akujunkan: (kisama)
...Happy Birthday, dear Iraq Conflict, Happy Birthday to you!

I'd like to publicly apologize for being so late in offering my wishes. After all, you've reached a very important milestone this year.

You all know all the things I could say at this point, so I won't even bother reiterating them here.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
I paid a visit to the dentist yesterday. It was my first time driving in America for about a year. All went well - I didn't even mix up the turn signal and wipers as I pulled out of the dentist's office - and was quite proud of myself for being so alert through my jetlag. Glancing out of the passenger seat window I thought to myself, "Huh, that's weird. Since when are left turn lanes to the right of the straight through la--OMGAJKDSADFOIAS!!!"

Other notable moments of culture shock:

  1. Manners.

    • I still cannot get over how breathtakingly rude US customs officials are.

  2. Food

    • American food is sweet.
    • American portions are large. I still eat the same amount in Japan as I do back home, it's just that it's spread out more. I take four or five meals a day in Japan. Three is enough to do me over here.

  3. Money

    • American money is tiny.
    • I'm not used to handing money to clerks when I buy things. (That is considered rude in Japan. One puts the money in a little tray or on the checkout counter instead.)
    • I'm not used to being back in a credit society. I usually keep anywhere from $300-$900 on my person in Japan. People here freaked out when I paid for my $100 tooth cleaning in cash.

  4. Driving

    • Roads are wide and speed limits fast. (The freeways speedlimit in Japan is about 50mph, I believe.)
    • I'm actually surprised by how naturally I readapted to Western driving. Aside from the one slipup above, I've been error free.

  5. Computing

    • It's insanely difficult to type on Western keyboards.
    • I'm going crazy without access to computers that let me read, let alone type, in Japanese.

  6. Body Language

    • I got strange reactions from bank tellers the other day when I pointed to my nose to indicate myself.
    • I do the bow.

And the best of all, my father keeps insisting that I smell different. I assumed he was ripping on my host family, who refused to do my laundry because it didn't "smell right," but apparently he's for real. I can't win.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Man, I cannot get accustomed to using computers with no Japanese input system. My flavah is messed, my style seriously cramped.

These last four months have been hellacious. I have never been more thankful to be back in America. After weathering a sudden 12-hour-early departure to compensate for snow delays, an incompetent travel agent (oops, did I say the hotel was five minutes away from Shinjuku? I really meant twenty lol! Oops, did I just sell you a completely extraneous ticket to Tokyo station when you could have boarded the same train at Shinjuku, thus saving you $5.00 and an hour of travel time? My bad teehee!) I have never been more happy to set foot in God's Owne Homelande.

Of course, I've also remembered that the only country I hate more than Japan is America (unless I'm in Japan, where the only country I hate more than America is Japan...). American customs officials are some of the most obnoxious, unpleasant people on the face of the earth, as I am reminded like a slap to the face every time I return home for Christmas. I had fifteen minutes to catch my connecting flight, which was eaten up (and then some) while the airport monkeys scratched their heads over my Irish flute and pennywhistes. (Hint: if there were no explosives in my bags when I departed from Tokyo, there's no way any could have got there while I was flying over the Pacific Ocean unless the Hand of God put them there, and if the Hand of God put them there, there ain't nuthin any of us mortals can do to stop him...) Of course, that flight was delayed, which was good, because I had to play security check/terminal marathon, because....

.....OH MY DEAR SWEET LORD I FORGOT MY CANON WORDTANK ON THE PLANE AND SOMEBODY STOLE IT. I may hate Japan at the moment, but the fact remains that had I forgotten the dictionary in Japan, it would have been turned in, not lifted by a flight attendant. I realised my error not fifteen minutes after disembarking. The guy at the JAL flight desk was very kind but nonetheless indulged in some Japanese-ish doublespeak. "They probably threw it out," my ass. You don't throw out a very sleek, expensive looking piece of electronics.

Even more horrifying than the anguish of having left about $400 worth of gadgetry on the plane is the fact that


I have no faith in my ability to weather this crisis with my sanity intact and am thus seriously considering driving up to the Windy City to purchase a new one.

My parents had installed new, $200 mirrored doors on my bedroom closet, which I managed to break in a jetlagged haze within two hours of arriving home.

Then, I discovered to my horror that a money order I'd sent home via registered mail last March arrived at my house yesterday. These money orders are only valid for three months after the date of issue. So:

March - December = -(nine months)

where -(nine months) = -800 USD.

But hey, at least it makes the $400 Wordtank look like chump change.

In a moment of brightness, my CDs were waiting for me when I got home, so I at least have over 15 hours of Irish music to help soothe my nerves.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
A quotation from Our Fearless Leader:

"Many are angry and desperate for help. The tasks before us are enormous, but so is the heart of America. In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in our hour of need."

We just, you know, like to give them time to relax while we hobnob with the rich folks who funded our campaign.

The disgust I feel for this piece of excrement is enormous.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Quoting from the FM homepage (emphasis mine) here:

8/11/2004 - Last week a family of three in Michigan was kicked out of a rally for President Bush because they were wearing feminist and pro-choice T-shirts. First, Barbara Miller’s pro-choice T-shirt was confiscated as they attempted to enter Wendler Arena to hear President Bush speak at a rally, The Saginaw News reports. Later, after the Miller family had been seated, the same campaign worker who had taken their shirt arrived with a coworker and a security guard to escort the family out before the rally began.

According to The Saginaw News, Theresa Miller, 19, was wearing a Feminist Majority T-shirt with the slogan "This is what a feminist looks like" printed on the front. "I'm not an American? I can't see my president?" Theresa asked, according to The Saginaw News. Her mother added, "This is democracy under Bush."

Similarly, the Republican National Committee has been requiring citizens who want to see Bush speak sign an oath of loyalty before receiving tickets for entry at rallies across the country. According to The Washington Post, people wishing to obtain tickets in late July to an event at which Vice President Cheney was scheduled to speak were required to put their endorsement in writing if they could not be readily identified as contributors to, or volunteers for, the GOP. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the RNC turned away undecided voters who were interested in hearing Cheney speak.

This is such a mockery of our country and the election process that it is truly sickening.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
The working-group report elaborated the Bush administration's view that the president has virtually unlimited power to wage war as he sees fit, and neither Congress, the courts nor international law can interfere. It concluded that neither the president nor anyone following his instructions was bound by the federal Torture Statute )

So basically, the argument is that we had to invade Iraq because they aided al Quaeda I mean, because they had nuclear capability I mean, because they had weapons of mass destruction I mean, because Saddamn was A Very Bad Evil Man who tortured his citizens. But it's okay for the US to torture people as long as they're some other country's citizens, and we have a document that says we're permitted to do so.

Does this mean that if Saddam can produce official Iraqi documents stating that it was okay for him to torture his populace, we'll have to let him go?

Fuck Saddam. It's the President of the United States - and his cronies - who are the most dangerous, evil human beings alive.

That will be fucking all.


akujunkan: (Default)

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