Posted in Uncategorized

Life Updates and Such

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Posted in Blog/Vlog Announcements, Uncategorized

Launching a Patreon Page! Yay!

Firstly, much love to everyone who stayed on the poetry series with me. It was a labor of love, and I’m glad to receive love for my work in return. It’s just awesome!

And so, it’s been suggested by a few friends here and there to go for a poetry book. Having no funds for such a venture, I decided it is time to get a Patreon page.

I haven’t set up monthly goals yet, but I essentially want to make exclusive content for the Patreon givers such as previews of the book that I won’t show here on the blog.

I also want to get back on the YouTube content making horse, putting up more tourist friendly things on Patreon with more day-to-day vlogs here on the site.

Basically, I have a thousand ideas, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m going for it anyways. I want to do more, like way more, but without a little support here and there I just can’t do it.

So if you’d like to support my poetry or my blogs or vlogs, head on over to the Patreon page. I’d appreciate even a dollar or two! It’s taking my work one step closer to getting out there!

Love you all, thank you!

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized

Break, Broke, Broken

I go through a class with my tongue sliding on

all the textbook words knowing I

will stumble over some

syllable or two

because it takes

all my energy

just to

stand.

The next day I call in with a cold for a cold

is easier to explain than some

twisted up version of a

messy thing I call

my own

soul

is

breaking.

The weight on my chest pushes heavier

into my rib cage to steal away

all the breath I need

to cry, to form tears,

to speak,

to get

help.

There are stories told at meetings.

An ALT went home because

someone found out

about the therapist

and no B.O.E

wants to keep

broken

merchandise.

And so I contain within the apartment walls

these festering abysmal thoughts

praying that tomorrow this

so-called cold

will just

leave me

be.

Two days later, I return to school

with a very big smile

so no one will guess

that I am still

carrying this

sickness

crushing

my will

to

just

stay

alive.

 

 

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized

Enter the Underground

Deck your body in tight black

with high black boots to match,

but throw on crimson eyeliner

and ruby paint on lips

so your lover can find you

on the dim lit dancefloor.

Watch green lasers slice through

the air around the stage.

What a lovely neon halo

around the fallen angels

singing on the stage.

The one drenched in blood

pulls out a heart to eat

for what is art if not

your heart exposed.

A woman in a silken robe

lets a man write kanji

on her skin

from head to toe.

She smiles at the crowd

as she turns to display

the seal against evil

along her spine.

We in the darkness cheer

as the man puts another line

on her inner thigh

set to the shamisen

and fast taiko beats.

Next comes the rock stars

decked in leather.

The one with the operatic chords

and the other with screaming energy

give the fans a taste

of Gothic beauty with a hint

of wrath.

At the end of the show,

your performing friend

comes to hug you.

“Did you enjoy the show?”

Posted in Slice of Life, Uncategorized

MORE Black and Queer Music PLEASE!!

Everything from Janelle Monáe has been awesome and fight me if you think otherwise. It’s apologetically black, queer, and woman empowering in a way that I think is groundbreaking.

And the she just dropped the whole damn Dirty Computer album’s movie on us.

She just came out as pansexual, which is HIGHLY REPRESENTED in this movie. My bisexual heart is in love with it (I say bi because I like the honor the history that comes with it, I am open to dating anyone I fall in love with much like pansexuality). I adore how this entire music was a work of art and a labor of love.
Specifically though, I want to just point out the Make Me Feel song.
I cried when I saw this music video. I have been telling people for YEARS that when I like someone, I just like them. There’s no way to explain, “But why?” Because I just do? I don’t really have a particular type, I just like who I like. And then there is a music video that puts it out there!!! I haven’t stopped listening to this song since I heard it. At least once a day like a vitamin I take this song in and let it soothe my soul.
But let’s also talk about Todrick Hall!
Firstly, I want his outfit from Dem Beats. I get called a unicorn so often I might as well just own it and become one.
Yes, RuPaul is in it and I have issues with Ru, but the style of this video and its non-binary 80’s punk vibe is just the best. The entire album Forbidden is just amazing. While I’m not a gay man, I love Todrick flaunts who his is in his identity, dancing with other men who dance with other men and just own it.
 
While there have been some talks about one particular song, Thug, as “furthering stereotypes” and “fetishes black male bodies” I gotta disagree. I’m a white woman so I can’t speak for all gay black men (ever, at all, I’m not that trashy), but from my eyes it looks like Todrick is trying flip the script on what it means to be/want a “Thug.” Queer used to be a slur, but the community took it back. By taking a word commonly associated with criminality and stereotyping and using it to describe a rough top, it’s taking ownership of that word to use it in a different context.
Also, it’s not a “fetish” to want a black male gay man when the person in the damn music video is a BLACK MALE GAY MAN TRYING TO BRING ATTENTION TO BLACK MALE GAY MEN. Dammit people, being sexual and gay doesn’t automatically equal “fetish,” I’m so tired of this argument. Same for Janelle’s PYNK video!
People got their panties all in a twist because she featured *gasp* VAGINAS in her video. I loved it, because how often do we actually get to talk about vaginas not in a comedy or gross context? Rarely if ever, and rarely if ever do vaginas get the celebration they deserve. People went back to that same old that she’s “exploiting” or turning black lesbian/bi women into a “fetish.” NO, she’s wanting to celebrate being those things and show the world it’s fine to celebrate all of those aspects of being a woman and/or loving a woman.
Anyways, all of these tunes are fantastic. Thanks to the YouTube algorithm, it also reminded me that Bob the Drag Queen exists and told me I missed a video released last year.
 
This one I like because, well, it’s funny! I mean, I wish I could say I love it for its artistic value and because oh what an age we live in that drag queens can be YouTube stars…but if I’m being honest I just adore the fact that it’s legit just all about the drama of the Drag Race and people slamming on each other. I’m not perfect, people, sometimes I like drama too, but I like really specific drama, men in dresses and ten pounds of makeup calling each other bitches specifically.
Is it problematic? Yes, but all of these videos are, and I love them. I want to see more, more beats, more drama, more queens flaunting their identities please! I want a new music age where black queerness gets to be on top and running for months on top 10 billboard countdowns.  I want them dominating the charts!
GIMME MORE!

 

Posted in Slice of Life, Uncategorized

Adorable Puppers “Saved” by Japanese Police

Today, I ate lunch outside in the sun with M____ and N____, two other training buddies at my new company. We were talking about a variety of topics while eating sandwiches, when suddenly a horrid crime was committed.

Two tiny fluffy puppers got left outside by their owner.

The pups were obviously distraught by literally all the love and attention thrown their way by the “dangerous” people petting them. An old lady took it a step further and reported this crime to the police (after all of five minutes of observation).

Immediately, the heroes came to the rescue!

With totally not just absolutely pleased smiles on their faces.

After a cursory check via lots of petting and cooing noises, the police searched nearby stores for the owner to come fetch these totally abandoned baby doggos.

The two men switched out every five minutes or so, and they totally didn’t keep bending down to reassure their fluffy wards that everything was fine each time they changed out. After about twenty minutes from the police “call,” the bewildered owner/criminal came out to find the police with his pups.

Confused about what exact crime he committed, the police politely explained that leaving cute things unattended will bring the wrath of retired housewives and he must take better care not to leave his furry family members out on the street (presumably anyway, as I wasn’t close enough to hear).

With their mission accomplished, I made sure to shout a very well appropriate “Ostukaresamadeshita!” to the giggling policemen as they passed by. They thanked me before resuming their ever vigilant watch at the station for other nefarious deeds.

The pups are well and expecting to have a full recovery from their ordeal.

*Note: For those of you who will inevitably cry foul about the owner’s behavior, he left the two little puff balls leashed on a poll in the shade while he ran an errand. It’s a common occurrence here, he just had the unfortunate luck to do it at a busier point in the day nearer to a station. He’s not a bad dad, I petted his pups afterward and he’s got a bag stuffed full with doggy things. Also, their fur was well kept and fluffy when I petted them, so neglect isn’t a problem. Thank you for understanding satire! Peace.

Posted in Slice of Life, Uncategorized

Advice I Gave Today

Today at training I got asked a lot of questions, because I’ve lived in Japan for over six years (gonna be seven in July). The questions ranged from things that one could Google, but some weren’t so much. I wrote some down just for this particular post, mostly because I want to just be able to pull this post up when people ask in the future.

What do I do about (home country) taxes in Japan? 

For the first year, you’ll have to make sure you file for your home country’s taxes stuff. In America, I had to get a form from a rather surly I.R.S. employee lady that would be used as proof that I’m living abroad so don’t tax me twice, please and thanks.

Be sure to check with your embassy to see what exact rules and regulations there are, because each country is gonna be different. I discovered today that South Africa is awful and demands that people pay taxes in South Africa as well as Japanese taxes no matter what, which I think is robbery but whatever. For us Americans, so long as you don’t have any estate or investments back in the U.S.A., you file your income made in Japan and don’t pay taxes back in America. Once again though, do research and check on

Check your local Japan city hall or ward office if you’ve got Japanese tax questions in particular. Income taxes are deducted automatically from most salaries, you generally have to pay a city tax if you live in a city for over a year, and etc. Talk to people there for more information.

Can I leave my food or drink trash here at this *training center?

Not recommended, as it’s considered bad manners to leave trash in a place that you’re only using temporarily that doesn’t belong to you. Japanese people aren’t going to tell you not to do it, they’ll just not be happy about it and maybe won’t invite you back into the space next time. Also, odds are there will be complaints filed to supervisors about it, too. Not the best way to start off your job at the mere training stages by being known as the “rude” and “gross” employee. Kept a plastic bag on you and throw stuff away later.

*Note: Ignore if your training center is a huge public place with multiple trash cans, I’m talking about a small space with only one or two small bins.

Are Japanese students better than (British/American/ Western) students?

Japanese students aren’t really “better” in the sense of learning or studying than Westerners. They just learn differently. Japanese school systems are still very much lecture based, so it’s difficult to get them out of that format and into an active classroom.

A Japanese student will perhaps on average be more passive and disciplined, but not always. Also, for English language acquisition, both of those traits can be disadvantageous. If a student is passive, then they can’t actively communicate well. If they’re disciplined or really focused, then they are more likely to focus on the wrong aspects on language (i.e. grammar rules over actually trying to speak).

In other words, they have their own sets of challenges.

Where can I buy a (bicycle/electric bike/ kitchen appliances/etc)? 

Recycle shops would be the best place to buy necessary items like a bike or a microwave on a budget. In America we would call them “second hand stores” or “thrift shops,” but I want to emphasize that in Japan second hand items are so gently used they generally look brand new. Everything gets checked to make sure it works, so the odds of you going home with something broken is exceedingly rare. Hard Off and House Off are the two main chain stores with electronic and household things available, Book Off is more for used books and action figures store, and you can get clothes at Book Off Bazaar.

Is it really hard to find a new apartment? 

No, not really for urban areas. Back in the day foreigner friendly apartments were rare, but nowadays through websites and real estate agents you can find an apartment no problem. The real issue is can you afford the move in fees? Usually there’s a one month or two month deposit plus key money, and from there the fees could include cleaning fees, paper work fees, lock exchange fees, fire insurance, life support fees, and the list goes on. You generally need at least 200,000 yen in order to move into a new place in a city.

Now, in the countryside the rules are different. Foreign friendly apartments are harder to find, but the move in costs are usually much cheaper and you can get way more space for less rent money. In many cases, your apartment may even get paid for by a company or school just to have you close by.

But for Tokyo, yeah, save up before you decide you wanna move.

Where should I go to withdraw money? What’s the best bank to use?

Any Japan Post ATM will do foreign cards and most of the time a 7-11 ATM will work too.

If you’re using a domestic Japanese bank card, it’s either a convenience store or your chosen bank’s ATM from 9-5 on working day. I recommend you just simplify your life and get a Shinsei Bank account which is accepted by most convenience stores, Japan Post, and even outside the country. Also, you don’t get charged withdrawing fees from convenience stores with Shinsei and you can withdraw money 24/7.

How to a sort my trash at home? What are trash days?

Every city and even city district is different. Go to your city hall or ward office to get information on that.

And there’s that. I’m sure there are more but I’m exhausted. Tomorrow if I get more questions I’ll answer them here again. Might as well, I’m sure it’s helpful to other people out there too.