Hey there, gang.
Our intrepid heroes pick up where we left off, following their fates to the isle of mystery: Japan!
We originally received our placements from our teaching program about a week ago. But, since then, we’ve had problems. See, we were placed nine hours apart:
This caused some issues, because we were really sure that we wanted to live together. Really sure. The MOST sure. Our logic: why be married and going to Japan for a marriage adventure together only to be separated? That doesn’t make sense.
Our grim decision: Rick would pull out of the program. Why? Because Rick was placed somewhere far from anything and anyone that Rick and Martha requested. Martha was placed in Tokushima, one of their requests. It only made sense.
But wait! There’s more!
Lynn to the rescue!
The leader of the program here in Seattle, Lynn, had already contacted Tokyo to petition the placements!
Anyway, the program staff in Seattle really saved the day. Tokyo called back and said, “hey, they sound awesome. We shouldn’t break up the band. Let’s keep them together.”
So, now we’re both going to Miyazaki Prefecture!
We don’t know anything more than that. See, a prefecture is a HUUUGE place with many towns, kind of like a county. Miyazaki is a big prefecture, too, spanning about a 5-hour car trip. We’re both going to Miyazaki, but we’re still not sure where in Miyazaki. We (could) still be very far apart. The Seattle office says that they’re really trying to keep us together. So, for now, we’re hoping for good news!
I’ve written up some information on where we’re headed which follows. I hope that I have more good news to share soon!
So, I recently hit that point where I usually start a diet.
I don’t do well with athleticism, and I don’t really care to get in much aerobic activity outside of walking and that thing where you push yourself around on a rolly chair.
So, because sports and physical activity always try to kill me, I tend to manage my weight by doing diets and generally watching my weight. Well, I decided to try Weight Watchers this time.
I didn’t pay for it, of course. I just looked up point values online.
See, in WW, you get to use points to keep track of food. The nice thing about this is that you get a certain amount of “weekly points” to use on bonus food.
Well…I tend not to spread my bonus points out over the week.
I spread them out across Monday and Tuesday.
Or just Monday morning.
…and sometimes I get an early start on the week on Sunday.
I find myself really missing those bonus points throughout the rest of the week:
At work, I have a hard time finding snacks.
At special functions at fancy hotels, I tend to forage a bit.
And I tend to go to church much more often.
But at least I get bonus points again the next week, and I get to use it all to eat my weight in ice cream on Monday morning.
I’m pretty sure that if Weight Watchers was a video game, bonus points would be the cheat codes. Sure, I get infinite lives, but is it really worth it?
Recently, Marfa says, “we should spend Saturday together, getting stuff ready for moving overseas.”
Normal enough, right?
Next, she says, “it could be a cleaning party.”
The dreaded addition of PARTY to something undeniably funless.
Now, perhaps I would have been fooled by this seemingly enjoyable joining of something that I don’t want to do with something that sounds fun, but this is not my first rodeo.
Not by a long shot.
You see, I grew up in church. My family, bless ‘em, was always volunteering for and/or being volunteered for events in the church. Most of the leaders and planners called a spade a spade, but you would occasionally get something like this:
Let’s paint the parking lot together!!!
Time: 3pm – ??? !!!!
Where: Parking Lot!!!!!
What to Bring: Fun!!!
Yes, this is deceptive.
Here’s what PAINTING looked like in my head, versus what awesomeness a PAINTING PARTY might be like…
Recently, my friend Aaron gave me a music mix of heavy metal.
He titled this mix, “Ancient Metal” because it’s filled with songs about battles and dragons and lairs and castles and epicness.
I may have been listening to this mix nonstop, which accounts for the strange way in which I’m starting to see the world. Everything is starting to become epic.
Even brushing my teeth starts out normal enough…
BUT THEN ESCALATES.
Next, I am brushing my teeth while a barbarian horde makes war cries at my back…
…in the middle of a rain storm…
…and lightning cracks the sky…
…ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF…
…AND MY TOOTHBRUSH IS MADE OUT OF DRAGONSCALES!
…But in all seriousness, it takes way longer to brush this way, but it’s the only way to gain XP while you brush your teeth. Next up, flossing!
Today’s post comes to us from Josh, my best friend.
Fun fact: Josh and I forged our friendship through a traumatic experience. I went to visit his house at age seven, promptly peed my pants due to nervousness (not much has changed there), and our mothers decided to send us to shower together. The rest is history.
We’re supposed to be thinking about things that we need to buy and take over to Japan.
In my case, that means finding pants that fit, because most Japanese clothing stores won’t have my size.
Unfortunately, most AMERICAN clothing stores rarely have my size these days. As I venture into each and every clothing store, I’m met with this:
Yep, the so-called “skinny” jeans fad.
Now, I have no problem with other people wearing skinny jeans (which is a lie, because I totally do, but I can get over it).
What I DO have a problem with is the fact that my thighs are built for germanic invasions, not for strutting around in constricting legwear.
You see, each male in my family passes down the genes for extraordinary thighs like an oversized trophy of family pride. In the past, this was good for things like attacking villages and scaring the skinny-legged townspeople that you wanted to rule over.
I do have hope.
While most of the clothing industry is currently attempting to make me wear shorts for the rest of my life, a small part of it still makes “relaxed fit” jeans, the “normal, circulation-allowing” choice for those with Germanic heritage.
As for the original problem: if they don’t have relaxed fit jeans in Japan, I’ll just learn to make pants out of whale skin or something. Problem solved.
…where we’re going in Japan, specifically.
This has caused many problems, but we have to be patient, because Japan was recently hit by a massive earthquake (in case you didn’t know) and so everything having to do with our program is delayed.
These delays have led to some speculation from my family who, of course, only know about Japan from all the news coverage of the world’s latest, deadliest natural disaster, a disaster only matched by the radioactivity problems the country is also experiencing due to unstable nuclear reactors.
I have attempted to sketch their projected analysis of our living arrangements:
I have to wait for 1.5 months. Actually, it’s longer, but I don’t like math and days confuse me.
I’m moving to Japan at the end of July to work as an Assistant Language Teacher with the JET Program. My wife is moving, too. We are selling almost everything we own.
This is how I field Craigslist calls right now:
Yes, I probably sound remarkably unattached to my possessions, as though I’ve reached some Zen-like state and just want to rid myself of any hindrances to concentration.
In reality, I’m tired of trying to sell individual things.
“OBO” pretty much means “please buy this so I don’t fall into a deep packing depression” at this point.
Here’s hoping that I sound meditative, like I’m releasing my worldly burdens, and not crazy. <–not the first time I’ve hoped for this.