Wednesday, November 02, 2005

November Rain

So on Halloween the other night John Woods was talking about making a mix tape of songs which all begin with the sound of rain falling...... so cool... I was kind of impressed by how many he came up with off the top of his head. The only one I came up with was ' rain drops keep fallin on my head' which was vetoed because apparently it doesn't start with the sound of raindrops.

Yes the rainy season is upon us. I don't mind too much because I get to wear my black rubber boots and sleep with a hot water bottle. Usually the sun does break through at some point in the day too, so it isn't totally depressing. When I went running today though I felt sick when I got back because the temperature has reached the - burning lungs temperature. I hate that burning lung sensation.

I am not working so much this month, and instead am trying to study about 4 or 5 hours a day for the Japanese test ( 2 級 )  which is in less than a month already. I have a very slim chance of passing, but it would at least be good to surpass the failing score I got last year... not necessarily an easy feat either because there is just so much grammar and kanji that I crammed for last year that I didn't use almost at all this year.
I have been thinking about what Japanese might be useful for in the last few days. I think translating movies would be a great gig. I wonder how you get into it. Maybe I will look it up. Of course I am not good enough for that, but its nice to have a goal however unrealistic.
Today I felt like getting out of the house while I was studying so I actually went to Starbucks which I normally avoid pretty intensely - but they definitely have the best armchairs in the area... while i was waiting for my drink I noticed an old lady sitting at the back of the room with her forehead flat on the table and not moving. I thought maybe she was sick, or even dead so I went over and patted her gently on the shoulder ' are you ok?' as I was so carefully trained to do in my lifeguarding days... ha ha - she woke up and sat bolt upright ' oh! oh
dear I must have fallen asleep! Its because my life is so boring you know! ' then almost immediately taking it back ' oh, oh no, its not boring at all, I have a great life, everything I need, how could life be boring when I have everything I need?' She was a little frightening. I felt sort of guilty that i didn't talk with her longer, but I really was trying to study...
Can life be boring if you have everything you need? anyone out there feel like responding to that? I think it certainly can be, because boring is a state of mind, not really a situation. Its all about how you choose to interact with your situation whatever that might be. and in a city like this there a plenty of things to get involved with if you don't like your situation. Still, I did feel sad for her, I think so many old people get cut off from the young generation and just get pickled in their own mothballs of memory. I like the project ' my grandmothers' by miwa yanagi. ALthough I think it could have been executed better actually - but the idea is really interestingto me. This Japanese artist got about 30 women to write a story of themselves as old women, and then they made it into a kind of fashion shoot - make up artists etc. turned them into their own visions of themselves as grandmothers. its online somewhere, but tonight I'm too lazy to find the link.
In fact I'm too lazy to write any more on this either. This is the after Halloween week, a little bland really. A little lacking in inspiration - some things sort of simmering, but nothing's quite come to the boiling point.
As for Halloween there are some photos of Blair and I up above - unfortunately I don't have the ones of other people on my camera, but I will get them from Blair and put them on soon. It was a great night - many thanks to Claudia for her great party ( where Blair and i won 2nd prize for the costumes! Marina won 1st as the best mr. T ever! ) and to the owners of the mansion at 49th and Granville with the fantastic 70's basement and the run down tennis courts etc. etc. Some closing thoughts: Maybe I should study Punjabi next...and do a master's in east asian studies...but how does doing that connect to any kind of paid employment?

I am very interested in work recently and how our working world is structured. I like the idea of making new structures rather than fitting into old ones - that is to say working for myself rather than someone else. Of course that has its own problems too, but I'd rather be a contractor than an employee by a long shot. I was looking at 'flight centre' today thinking that it wouldn't be so bad to be a travel agent for a while - but I just couldn't handle the idea of going to their mandatory ' buzz nights' and engaging in all that corporate socializing balony. JET was bad enough... what is the adjective for that kind of thing anyway? its all just so contrived and sort of self-satisfied and fake. Even if the people are individually fine its the structure of the whole ' company as family' which I sort of recoil from when its clearly so constructed and unnatural. I would rather do a bunch of different things, projects, contracts, etc. and wrap them all up in the title of ' self-employed'...


skye said...

have your wintery blues gone away? i hope so. i miss having you down the road in chino. we should talk soon.

MdL said...

i looked at your archive. i miss japan sooooooooo much and your pictures brought me back. i'm missing everything especially waking-up cold in the morning and hot onsens at night...i'm terribly chino sick.


Jen said...

I like your blog, Ariel! Your musings on boredom remind me of a quote by G.K. Chesterton: "There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people." I think boredom sets in when desire/dissatisfaction wanes. I had the same thought at Flight Center the other day! And then again at the airport thought "hey, I should be a stewardess." Ha ha
Take care,
Jen (

The Moort said...

Umm came to your blog by mistake but i love a few pictures in your 'my neighbourhood' section and would like to use a few for refrence for a painting but umm.. couldent thief them >_> so err..if you would be so kind send 'barrow' 'wideshot' and 'trunk' to look at for a few of my bad drawings.
I tryed to e-mail but couldent so sorry for makeing this a comment. I wont use any of the pictures directly or make any money from this. Nice blog Japan dosent seem so bad.