Monday, March 21, 2005

Odds and ends

Just a couple of things.

First, an interesting article from a Twin Cities newpaper about the decline of America, and how Americans are still deluded that it's the best country in the world. Well first of all, I don't believe there is any country that is the best. It depends on who you are and what kind of culture you want to live in, and so there are countries that may be the best country for *you* personally, but not for everyone. But I can't help but agree that America is on the fast track to a really really bad future.

And secondly, I had such a nice day shopping with my friend Beth. A new shopping center opened in Tsukuba City, the next city over, and it was filled with lots of wonderful consumer goods that made me drool. For example, ladies and gentlemen, I now live a short drive away from a Lush outlet. Yes, yes, I know you're jealous (points at Gwenda and Amber and other Lush devotees). I got myself a cube of Jude Law's favorite soap and look forward to future showerings.

I also purchased a balance ball to do lots of various abdominal exercises at home. When I lived in Youngstown, I worked out at the university gym, and here I run and work out at home, which limits what I do. And I will be so happy to have a balance ball added to the workout. I also had a conversation with a young guy named Tomo who worked at the store. This happens and I know I write about it all the time when it does, but I get incredibly happy when I'm able to actually carry out a conversation with people here. I will stop going on about actual conversational details, since they're mostly banal everyday things, but it's still this amazing feeling that I can't really explain. I always got a high off of foreign languages when I was in high school and college, but it's nothing like the high I get from learning a new language and actually being able to use it with actual people who speak it. We sadly lacked and French speakers in small town Ohio. But there are lots of Japanese people in Japan (which is a bit strange, I might add with a bit of sarcastic humor) and so I get to actually do this thing that I've always wanted to do since I was a kid. And it's just so damned cool. Turns out Tomo went to Edosaki a long time ago, and his mother used to teach there as well.

It was a long weekend, we had today (Monday) off for holiday. This week is short too. Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, and then I'm off for almost two weeks, in which I plan to do lots of writing and working my abs and reading and relaxing. And buying a new suit, since the one I came with really doesn't fit like it did when I came. And the suits here are sharp-sharp. I can't wait to get one.

For now, sayonara.


Blogger David Moles said...

America 2005 = England 1905. Let's hope things really do move faster on Internet time; if not, we (and the world) have got a long slog through the 21st Century to get from "Pax Americana" to "Cool Columbia"....

10:40 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

You know, your English is changing in all these subtle, Japanese kinds of ways. I love reading your posts generally, but as I see signs of the new, somewhat Japanese Chris, I am fascinated.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Heather Shaw said...

Hey, I just bought a balance ball, too! Foolishly, I bought the first one I came across, and ended up with one that's way way too small for me. Luckily, I can still manage some crunches on it and it takes up less space in the living room than a properly sized ball would... anyway.

Still enjoying your posts, Chris!

1:27 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

David, an apt analogy. Unfortunately.

Maureen, oh wow, I hadn't even thought about that. You know, I'm living in the center at the moment and not realizing that sort of stuff just yet. You'll have to start making a list so you can tell me all about myself later!!, I'm not kidding, do tell. ;)

Best of luck with the balance ball, Heather. They seem so innocent and round, yet you get up on one of them and they turn into an electric bull from some godforsaken small town Texas steak house.

10:02 AM  

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