You are browsing the archive for 2006 October.


October 21, 2006 in Uncategorized

As of today, October 20, 2006:

  • I now recognize 10 characters in hiragana without having to look at my handy dandy character sheet – the characters for “shi,” “e,” “no,” “ko,” “ro,” “pu,” “i,” “wa,” “ka,” and “ku.”
  • I have 2 weeks left of my job
  • I have an appointment for November 13 at the cardiologist’s for the echocardiogram prescribed by my doctor last week when she diagnosed me with a slight heart murmur but still haven’t gotten to the hospital for the school-mandated chest X-ray
  • I have eaten chicken cutlet curry from Teriyaki Boy three nights in a row when I ought to be eating as much American food as possible.
  • I have watched the “Yatta” video a total of 12,399,045 times


October 20, 2006 in Uncategorized

… and it’s done.

Two Weeks’ Notice

October 20, 2006 in Uncategorized

Today, in less than two hours, I will give my two week’s notice.

While I have been grousing for months that I couldn’t wait to do so, I find myself a little nervous at the threshhold of this grand announcement. Typical, of course … I hope it won’t prevent me from delivering my piece with calm and propriety.

Two weeks … it doesn’t seem possible. I started this job at the tender age of 22, fresh from an unpleasant bout of unemployment. I was hired as a writer and found solace and friends among my coworkers. 4 years later many of the old faces are gone, my job is completely different, and I am anxious to make a new start. So many have come and gone; I feel like a high school senior that can’t pass Math. It is an odd feeling for one who used to adore turning up at work.

Well. Off I go …

my mother is brilliant

October 19, 2006 in Uncategorized

A conversation between my mother and myself (regarding the fellow I was seeing briefly in September):

Isa: So what happened to the folk musician?

Liv: Dunno. I guess we’re done. I haven’t heard from him in 3 weeks and he ignored a text message I sent him 2 weeks ago.

Isa: He is probably busy.

Liv: (rolling eyes unseen): I doubt it – if he were into me he’d find a way to get in touch. No, he’s blowing me off.

Isa: You don’t know that.

Liv: Well, all the signs are there.

and then (wait for it):

Isa: Maybe he had diarrhea.

Liv: Uh, for 3 weeks?

And now, ladies, the eagerly awaited sequel to “He’s Just Not That Into You,” hitting stores next week: “He’s Just Not That Into You … Or He Has Diarrhea.”

Absurd … or brilliant?


October 14, 2006 in Uncategorized

Last month, as Polar Bear Pete and I slugged dark mugs and pints of Guinness at Mona’s, he tried to teach me bits of Japanese he had gleaned when he lived there some years ago. He taught me what to say when a meal begins (forgot it), what shopkeepers will shout at me when I enter their store (forgot that) and what to say when I want to communicate that I only know a little Japanese (forgot that as well). My inability to retain the phrases troubled me and, though I know quite a few vocabulary words (thanks to my darling Peaches and my love of sushi) and quite a few certainly pointless phrases from the Yatta video it all serves to remind me that smatterings do not a language make. If I am going to live in Japan for a year and if I want to make the most of my experience, there’s no getting around it – I must learn Japanese.

When Peaches took Japanese our Freshman year at NYU, she told me that there are three writing systems. “Madness!” I thought. Eight years later, as I stare at web pages of hiragana, kana and kanji it still sounds – and looks – nuts. In my few days of study, I’ve discovered that as soon as I commit a character to memory, it – maddeningly – flees my head. During some down time at work last night, I began to try spelling out the names of Japanese words in hiragana. Laboriously, I wrote “tako,” and as I admired my shaky handiwork, I simply couldn’t imagine ever being able to draw the characters fluidly.

I decided to try the reverse in my self-study. Where had I seen Japanese characters on line before? I remembered with glee that I had seen many Japanese characters in videos I saw on youtube that had been made when a certain band did concerts in Japan.

(“A certain band,” she says. Of course, I mean my beloved O-Zone. Lighting up my loins, teaching me Romanian and now, helping me learn Japanese – is there anything my boys can’t do?)

I selected a video featuring only Arsenie and hot hot Dan Balan and paused it when the first set of Japanese characters came up as Arsenie and Dan began to lip synch to their famous “Dragostea din tei” amid the shrieks of Japanese schoolgirls. Painfully, I began to identify symbols in no particular order, writing down whichever I found on my hiragana and kana charts first, scribbling something of a hangman phrase on the back of an old work schedule. Like Ralphie with his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, I worked diligently and excitedly. First: _ _ _ hi. Then: _ i _ hi. After some minutes, I beheld – to my great delight – the phrase encoded in the Japanese script: “MAIAHI.”

I beamed. While I know that being able to read one four-character string of Japanese is nothing in the grand scheme – what of base verbs? grammar? – I couldn’t help but feel proud, as though I’d taken one teeny tiny step in cracking a mysterious code.


October 6, 2006 in Uncategorized

A brief, tentative timeline of upcoming events:

  • October 14 - E gives her 2-week notice
  • November 5 – E works her last day at her company, on her 4th anniversary of working there
  • December 31 - E hosts a New Year’s Eve party
  • January 4, 2007 - E moves to Japan to begin teaching English in Osaka

so there you have it.


October 2, 2006 in Uncategorized

Heifer is more snuggly than ever. It has been suggested that she senses that soon i will move to japan and have to leave her behind. I disagree – i think she is just preparing for the colder months; she’s always more prone to snuggling when the temperature drops. outside, the leaves fall and through the big picture window in my living room i can see the tops of the trees beginning to turn crinkly red and yellow.

When I lie across the burnt orange velour sectional couch with my laptop, she slinks along the top of the couch and descends from her perch to curl up beside me, in the crook of my arm.

When I sleep in the king size bed that doesn’t belong to me, she curls up next to my head, tucking her face into the crook of her striped arms and covers her face with her paws.

She purrs. And purrs. And purrs.

My new company says that I can’t bring her with me. My parents have offered to take her and that is a comfort, but, regardless, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to leave her here.