30 Nov

Can you believe it’s bloody December tomorrow? Thought I better get in a post before the silliness of the silly season starts to kick in.

I haven’t been vacant due to ongoing fuckwittage in the States. I still think he’s a big oompalumpa but I have a zillion things going on at home that need more focus. Oh and, for what its worth people in the States should take at look at how South Korea protest. That’s a protest. Wow. They even made up a song and had night vendors selling octopus balls.

Just saying.

So, pretty much 17 minutes after I posted that post on my ‘many hats’ I got a huge translation that snowed me down into translation lunacy for a good two weeks. 24 hours before the last part of it was due I got another one that required half the aforementioned lunacy. It was rather taxing but should put us in good stead for the costs of Christmas and New Year and to get the water tank repaired, which will apparently cost upward of a thousand dollars. Huurah.

The town water supply pipes don’t stretch out this far so everyone here has their own well. Not quite Jack and Jill but it does mean we all need a big water tank system thingy in the ground to clean the used water before it gets pumped to where it gets pumped to. The water straight out of the taps is beautiful and pumped up from 80m towards the middle of the earth. Anyhoo, part of the system thingy is broken and we can’t get it fixed till January due to system thingy company working in the Kumamoto earthquake zone. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get worse before then.

Really haven’t got much else to post. So much more exciting posting everyday when the mundane and trivial can get turned into a post.

Hope you all have a good lead up to the silly season.

 

SDGH&QL

 

Blog Failure

9 Nov

The Administrators of this blog inform its readers that due to temporary fuckwittage in the United States of America, this blogsite is down. The owner has the right to temporarily or for full purposes close this site due to said fuckwittage and orange foundation.

 

 

That Translation Hat

5 Nov

I failed in my last post to go into detail about my ‘translation hat’. My translation is all freelance. I have contracts with three different places but workload isn’t specified so it can be very ‘feast or famine’ in terms of how much my translation hat nets me in any particular month. Some months I have nada, some months I make twice what my 50 English students bring in. Fortunately the super super crazy, wanna slit my wrists or drown in 80 proof vodka kind of months are few and far between. This is good, because they are a detriment to family life on every level. Children? I have children? Husband? fark no, that is so far down the list. Sex?

LOL.

I haven’t had a translation for about 3 weeks so my ‘translation hat’ wasn’t really on my radar when I wrote the last post. About half an hour after I posted however I got a translation that will see us not really have to worry about the festive period. No delving into secret funds or otherwise. I’ll even be able to send my sponsor child a Christmas goodie box AND top up the ‘If-everything-goes-to-shit-and-I-have-to-run-away-with-the-kids-to-NZ-fund’

Of course it means I’ll be as busy as fuck for the next two weeks so fingers crossed nobody in the house gets sick!

Wish me luck.

 

SDGH&QL

My Many Hats

2 Nov
  • Mother, first and foremost. I grew them in my womb, I pushed them out the saloon doors, I shared my boobs with them, and I am, for the most part, usually always in their corner – unless their corner is full of bullshit and petty lies, whining, arguments over the last ice-block, and or, who has had more seconds on the iPad (which is, as far as the kids know, in the middle of the rice paddies because dad threw it there last night – a whole post on its own. Fucktard. My thousand dollar iPad with last pics of my dying parents and footage of my brother’s wedding is not in the bloody rice paddy, but the whole fuckin huuha about it was too stupid for words and I’m currently too enraged to post about it). The mother has to teach, inspire, worry, share, love, and of course serve up the nicest parts of dinner to the children, then serve hubs and then get some if there is any left over.  I should really put ‘Cook’ as one of my hats considering the amount of time spend in the kitchen. Did you know that two days ago I spent over an hour making mince and potato croquettes that got devoured in less than ten minutes. But then I guess I drink a glass of wine that took a few years to make in less than 20 minutes so shit knows why I’m complaining!!

 

  • House Keeper – Keeper of the House. You know, the daily shit that keeps life running smoothly for those family members, all of whom have no inkling of what it actually takes to keep the cogs turning. There’s the typically washing, dishes, cleaning, vacuuming yaddah yaddah, but then there’s annual New Years cards, getting ready for the priest’s visits and other cultural things,not to mention the dealing with people who turn up at the house. These can range from the post man, the parcel delivery guy, the water tank checker and cleaner guy – all of whom I know and smile at and who don’t expect to come inside. Then there’s the religious woman who sits in the genkan with Granny K and her magnifying glass as they talk about passages regarding Christ and the Holy Grail, fuck I don’t know. She’s annoying because she is very pushy in her extremely quiet and demur way. Then there are the random relatives who rock up at 9am and ask to pray at the family alter. Granny K is out and I have to show them in, serve them tea and make chatter for half and hour. Found out later they are cousins!! Which makes sense considering I was having a hard time trying to figure out the family tree. And by cousins I mean the husband and wife are cousins to each other. . .

 

  • English Teacher – this is third on the list because it probably takes up a third of my week. I have 50 students ranging from 3 to 16 that I teach myself at my English office in town, and then I have thirty kids I teach every Thursday at the school in the next town over, and then 20 more at the same school every second Saturday. They are generally all very good kids. Of course I have my favorites and the 3-4 year-old class leaves me exhausted to the point I have to start visualizing that end-of-day wine in order to get through my next class of 10 year olds. My husband thinks my teaching is a ‘hobby’ – ensue hysterical laughter. Dickfuck. There is planning, teaching, organizing, payment schedules, contact with parents, halloween parties, Christmas parties and of course putting on that same genki teacher face whenever I’m out in public and I inevitably meet a student, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother (although there is only one of those I see regularly and she is super annoying because EVERY time she sees me, without fail, she comments on how big I am)

 

  • Daughter in Law – Lots of people have mothers in laws but not many are ‘fortunate’ enough to live with their aging one with no drivers license. We had A LOT of differences at the start but it is clear that now I am her preferred go to person – over hub that is. Sometimes I get shunted for the prized eldest son but usually its me. We get along a lot better and actually have conversations – which is something hub is incapable of doing with her. He gets all cross and then the next day we both just rant about him in the car on the way to one of her endless hospital visits. If it isn’t her knee, it’s her eyes, or her high blood pressure, or the other knee she got surgery on, or the time she fainted and we had to call the ambulance, or two days ago when she bumped her head getting Japanese rice wine vinegar out of the cupboard and thought she was dying… … All these things that stop me from making a daily schedule – can’t go shopping at the good supermarket cause its 40 minutes away and Granny K will no doubt need picking up from the GP right in the middle of the time I want to be away. So I go to the local supermarket and get so annoyed (in my head) at the aforementioned great grandmother of one of my students getting all suprized (fuckin again) at how big I am that I forget to get the four fillets of salmon hub specifically asked me to get because they are on special…. He finds it extremely hard to forgive anything, or anybody. There is never any “hey babe, don’t worry about it. Can you get them next time they’re on special, thanks”. It is more like “FFS, I asked you to do ONE THING”

 

  • Soccer Parent Rep – our team is very small. Only 14 kids and 10 families involved. Hub reneged on putting his hand up to be the parent rep from October through to the end of March next year – why? Because he just presumed I’d do it, even though I confirmed with him, on several several occasions, that he, himself, would be doing it. There isn’t that much to do – especially as there are no overnight tournaments to organize in this half. I have to organize all the car pooling for each game (every weekend) which means texting the group and working out how many times people have been, how many kids they can fit in their car yaddah yaddah. Coach gives me any tournament entry towels or packets of washing powder etc etc to hand out to each family. There are two parent meetings to be held, for which I need to make the handouts, decide on a date most people can come, book a room, hold the meeting. And there is the get together to farewell the 6th grade students in March.

 

  • Volunteer Helper – I help out at the school. I go in on Tuesdays and help with the morning math drills for the first graders and on Thursdays I read to the older kids. I like this and while I definitely wouldn’t whine about it because it is a choice I made, it is still something that adds to the whole day of busyness and trying to make sure I am appropriate in my choice of Japanese and cultural-ness-ness.

 

  • Volunteer Road Safety Warden – I get to wear a yellow sash and carry a flag that used to beep. Sometimes I push the button and make pretend beeping sounds anyway. I only do this once a month and all households are on the roster. That said, hub has never done it, despite it being over before he needs to go to work.

 

  • Gaijin – this is really a 24/7 hat. I am and always will be a foreigner in Japan. There will always be daily looks, constant questions, constant interest slash sometimes hatred slash sometimes over zealous people who just see me as a machine of English. Kids that point, parents that say things to them in hushed voices as I pretend not notice, smile and go along with my shopping.

 

  • Wife – if it has to make the list it can be at the bottom today. He’s seriously being a twat lately – not all the time but sometimes he just leaves me scratching my head and refilling my wine glass. Intercultural marriage is so hard. It is exhausting. It must be for him as well, I know, and I’m sure he has a list of reasons why he is so hard done by but for fucks sake . . . This all said though, my wife ‘hat’ is a full time job when he is home. Constantly making decisions on my Japanese, on how things are done, compromising on how I do things when I am on my own and when he is there.

 

I am also a translator, dog owner and WARRIOR.

Right, I better finish tidying the house, folding the washing and preparing for English – before going to the supermarket in the next town over because hub pointed out they have half-price frozen foods today…

 

 

Sweet Dreams, Good Health and Quiet Living you lot.

 

Oooooh, but before I go. My other halloween creations…

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Pumpkins, skeletons and nearly 9-year olds.

25 Oct

So its nearly damn Halloween folks! And do you know what that means? Only 8 fricken weekends till bloody Christmas. You don’t have to check. A Christmas-nut friend (we all have one) posted it on FB. I read the post and got both smiley happy and heart palpitations at the same time. Fuck. I have done nothing about Christmas yet – well, bar ordering shit I don’t even know if my children will like from a store in NZ to help fund my sister’s daughter’s kindergarten….

My sister is sending it over and I will then re-assess the situation and decide if Ryu or hub would be better suited to the flat drumming sound kit. . .

Today was my first of SEVEN Halloween parties I am obliged to single handedly hold for my English students over the next week. Well, I don’t have to do it. I do it out of love and the fact that I’m an over-achiever and like to make people happy. Last year I turned a single room in our house into a Halloween-inspired room. This year I have an office about three times the size. Not wanting to  disappoint the kids I told them all how fuckin fabulous I’d make it for Halloween.

And so I did.

But it took me two days, a roll of industrial farmers black plastic sheet (about 100m long), 200 drawing pins (push pins)  and approximately 4 bottles of wine, although this could be up for debate.

But meh, the room looks bloody fabulous and the first party today was a success. I even got a few screams when the girls entered the black room, with a lit-up pumpkin, scary music and a teacher waiting in the shadows to run out and scream at them looking like this ….

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The class today was 11 year olds. Tomorrow I have three classes, the first of which is 6-year olds, so I guess I’ll be an age appropriate witch!!!

But back to the pumpkin. I got it for a bargain $5 in the town three towns over. Big pumpkins are extremely rare in this neck of the woods  so finding one was super exciting – despite the stupid bitch of a vestling women who kept commenting on how wonderful Marina’s Japanese was and how I MUST ask a male-staff worker to lift the pumpkin for me. Fuck, she went on for ever, so much so that her vestling friends started giving me sympathy looks.

I jack-o-lanterned it on Saturday. Spent two hours cutting and scooping and gradually losing feeling in my right arm. At one point I questioned whether I was actually left-handed, as my left arm was completely winning at the scooping shit (after an hour). When I bought it the pumpkin had a handwritten note on it saying ‘not for eating – only for decoration’ – so I threw the sweet smelling flesh and seeds into the vacant rice paddie next door. Much to Granny K’s dismay. No doubt the wild pigs would come stampeding through her neglected veggie patch in search of the sweet smelling honey of nectar pumpkin flesh. . .

They didn’t.

But it was an argument on the way to the eye doctor that we didn’t need to have!! Especially as I am just the driver ferrying her around everywhere. Seriously woman, don’t pick a fight with your free taxi.

 

AND, Marina turns 9 tomorrow!! Has anyone been reading this since she was a baby? Wow. How time flies.

She has been turning the house up-side-down looking for her presents . . .

 

Which are right beside me in a box underneath a case of unopened Slimfast!

Hmmmm, Maybe I’ll put a bottle under my pillow tonight and hope that shit works via osmosis ( ?)  I want to write this word but I’m not sure. Mum used to tell us to put our school books under our pillow the night before an exam – so that the information might filter into our brains through ?? osmosis?? Is there another word I’m thinking of? Hmmm.

No harm in trying I guess.

 

Nighty night campers,

 

 

 

SDGH&QL

This, That, and The Gruffalo

6 Oct

So I finished going to the fuckin dentist!!! Wahooooooooo. After seven visits, a root canal, two other fillings and a de-plaqueing I paid a TOTAL of 11,000 yen (or roughly 110 US$) and am now the proud owner of a silver tooth. A silver tooth mind you, that is only visible if I am laughing in full force right in front of your left eye.

Hence why I didn’t fork out $500 for the white cap🙂

Marina thinks it is sooooo cool that she asked her dentist to put in GOLD wire on her braces – see mum, you’ve only got silver. I’ve got GOLD!!!

Such is parenting.

In other super exciting news Granny K had eye surgery today! We had the following conversation about how she would get to the clinic…

  • GrannyK: Can you take me to the eye clinic on Thursday
  • Me: Sorry, Thursdays are my money making days. I make so much I start shitting yen out my cheeks at lunchtime. I’d prefer not to have to take time off. I could take you at 9am though? (clinic is 40 minute drive away – this timing would be me taking her AFTER volunteer reading at the school and before teaching at the school in the next town over from half ten)
  • Granny K: Meh, but then I’d get there two hours early and have to wait until my appointed time to check in for said surgery.
  • Me: Perhaps there is a bus?
  • Granny K: There is, but I’d still have to wait for an hour and a half at the clinic.
  • Me: mmmmmmm, perhaps hub could take half a day of (paid) leave?
  • Granny K: No, he told me just to catch the bus and wait. Don’t worry, I’ll ring the prized eldest son.
  • Me: But he lives TWO hours drive away? He is also a senior detective in the police force. He is extremely busy (he fuckin better be because he’s shirking all his eldest son responsibilities).
  • Granny K: I’ll try him.
  • Me: But that means taking a whole day off to drive two hours EACH way just so you don’t have to sit in a waiting room chair for 90 minutes?
  • Granny K: If you’re going to the supermarket today can you get me some Tofu?

Turns out the Eldest son said yes and thus today rocked up at 10am to take her. BUT, he rocked up with beer, so I guess all is forgiven. I hadn’t the heart to tell him that next time he tries to make amends for me doing 99% of Granny K’s running to and fro that he needs to order in cases of Cloudy Bay.

And another conversation of note was one that happened this morning – day of volunteer reading at the local school the kids go to.

  • Shou: Hey mum, what book are you going to read at reading today? (said in Japanese)
  • Me: The Gruffalo. I don’t think your class has heard that story for nearly two years!! (said in English)
  • Marina: (from the toilet) …..  Gruffalo Soldier, from the heart of America…

In general, and compared to ALL my friends on facebook married to Japanese men, I am completely failing at the ‘raising bilingual kids’ thing.

BUT fuck it, I’ll take a win on this one I think.

And will thus, pour myself a glass of something and pretend it is Cloudy Bay.

Love to the family.

 

SDGH&QL

Still Capless!

23 Sep

Another dentist appointment today. I really can’t be bothered going into it in detail except to say that the mold they took of my tooth to make the root canal cap wasn’t 100% fitting my tooth. So they took ANOTHER mold and I have to go back again on Wednesday. Seeing my blatant disappointment that this shitting dental saga wasn’t going to be finally over the dentist asked if he could do the other two fillings in my upper teeth. Not wanting to have wasted a trip to the dentist for nothing I said yes – at which point he tells me that one will need an anesthetic as is bigger than previously first thought.

So an hour later, three injections of anesthetic, two beautiful white fillings and a whopping $18 less in my wallet I leave the clinic. I wasn’t expecting to have an anesthetic so was thinking I would make up for my lack of breakfast by having an early lunch as soon as I left. The nurse told me not to eat until it had completely worn off so I left, ignored her and chewed the fuck out of some sweet and sour pork from the supermarket – on my right side.

In other news I have all the contents of our emergency evacuation bags out in the spare room after a frantic, and futile, search for a condom last night. I was ‘this’ sure I had one in the emergency medical kit – just waiting for that time when hub and I felt like a shag in the community center after we evacuate a 10m tsunami or whatever. Jeeze. God knows why I thought there was one in there. I must admit though that I was pleasantly excited about being reacquainted with the awesomeness that is the seven-way spade. I know I was suffering severe PTSD by association at the time I bought 30-year shelf life NASA food and the solar panel suitcase, but damn, that seven-way spade was a great investment.

Talking of condoms, hub and I had an awesome conversation about then a couple of days ago… I was brushing my teeth and he was in the other room watching TV

  • Hub: mumble mumble need to get some more mumble mumble
  • Me: Yeah, well we’re going to that mall tomorrow to watch ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ so why don’t we go a bit early and you can get some then.
  • Hub: We could always get them from the chemist on the way.
  • Me: We can’t get them from a bloody chemist. You should really try them on first.
  • Hub: What?
  • Me: Let’s go early and you can spend ten minutes trying some on before the movies so you get some that actually fit. There is GAP at the mall.
  • Hub: a GAP?
  • Me: Yeah, it’s an American store. Usually expensive but they are having a sale.
  • Hub: Do you think American ones are better?
  • Me: Well the quality is better than some of the other shops around here.
  • Hub: …… um ……
  • Me:  But don’t you have enough pairs of jeans anyway?
  • Hub: Jeans?
  • Me: …….??
  • Hub: I said ‘condoms’. We need some more ‘condoms’
  • Hub: Oh shit… hahahahahahahaha…. well that was awesome.

Needless to say we forgot to get some over the weekend, which led to me rifling through the seven-way spade, spare change of clothes, billy, candles and canned fish that expired in 2015 to try and find the medical kit – which I might add is very comprehensive. Quite proud of myself.

Despite the lack of emergency condoms!!

 

SDGH&QL you lot.

 

Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan