THREE YEARS! Time to dig this blog out of the grave.

The Big H

Yasue, Yuki and I headed to Hiroshima last weekend for a much needed night-away-from Tokuyama. While we were trying to navigate around the bar/club district, we accidentally bumped into Casey and Nicky on the street and followed them to club Roxis for the Hiroshima JET Leaver's party. It was great to see some folks I knew from the ken for possibly the last time, but the venue was shitty, hot, and crowded. The music also sucked hard-core and I spent more time trying to drain my armpits in front of the A/C than on the dancefloor. But I guess you can make do when drinks are 300Yen all night.
Damn. I just wanted to dance! Is there any place in Japan where I can find a sane looking club with decent hip-hop beats and without marines trying to grind you from all sides with their dicks?
Anyway, I'm going back to the Big H on Friday with Hiro (the owner of Ell's Ditch) to catch my first Japanese pro baseball game. Maybe I'll get more satisfaction from this weekend's city trip.


I just found out that a casual aquaintance of mine died yesterday after a one year battle fighting leukemia.

She used to sit in front of me in ethics class. We also had mutual friends so we would usually go to the same parties or small gatherings. The last time I saw her was at my graduation party a year ago. She was only 22.

R.I.P. Jennifer Roosenberg.

Morning wake up call.


I woke up at 5 this morning with the windows rattling and my 2nd floor apartment violently shaking back and forth.

I think I was in a half-sleep state when it happened because I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not. I just sat upright in bed, frozen. Hell, I'm from TEXAS. I know the 3-step emergency procedure to protect myself from a massive tornado, a mega hurricane, or a devastating flood. But what the hell am I supposed to do during an earthquake? Stop, drop, and roll? Shake, rattle, and roll? Stand in between a door frame? Run? My friend, Mary, on the other side of Tokuyama said she took cover underneath her kitchen table. At 5am in the morning, my reflexes aren't quite at its peak. I just sat there, like a fool who, instead of dashing to safety, stares straight at on-coming highway traffic right before getting plowed.

I need to go back to sleep.

Tonight I have a hot date with Mr. Clean.

One of the perks of my job is that every night could be a Friday night. My job involves little planning, and the generous work day schedule, which usually runs between 2pm-9pm, allows me to party until the wee hours of the morning. The downside to my job is the pathetic, shitty pay.

I'm notorious for my horrible impulsive spending habits. Just look at my closet for proof. Last week I went on a shopping rampage in Hiroshima. When I'm PMS'ing whilst in the midst of endless racks of clothes, I lose all my inhibitions. I buy things just for the sake of buying things. Bringing home several carrier bags with new products delivers a natural high that is more satisfying than chocolate or a man. (Okay, maybe not the latter.) And somehow, during the majority of my time here in Japan, my menstrual cycle has appropriately timed itself to appear whenever my monthly payday rolls around.

It gets worse. I'm the complete antithesis of a homebody. I LOVElovelove to go out. My students and those who know me around here have dubbed me "Genki Karen" because I jump at every opportunity presented to get out of the house. I can enjoy grocery shopping as much as I do going to the local art gallery. During the weeknights I make an effort to go out at least three times. Every Wednesday night is unofficial UNO cards night at Mary's apartment. Thursday nights, after teaching six one-hour classes, are always spent either at the bar, yakitoriya, or the izakaya, rain/shine/tsunami/or typhoon. I've become such a regular at the local Irish pub (Ell's Ditch) that I get the occassional drink or snack free, courtesy of the bartenders. I also go out so much that people, even the locals, refer to me for restaurant/bar/cafe suggestions. But this gallivanting habit is just as financially fatal as my shopping addiction.

So here I am for the first time on a Saturday night at HOME. The lovely Shimenoseki ladies were kind enough to invite me along for a crazy night in Hiroshima tonight. Crystal also gave me a heads up on the rugby game/party/BBQ extravaganza at Miyajima this weekend. But I'm spending this weekend here in sad, lowly Tokuyama. Because there are bills to be paid (damn you fucking keitai bill), and a trip to China to plan for, I'm left with no choice but to make the responsible decision and take it easy. My mother (a CPA) would be so proud.

Monday night I'm going to make up for my shitty weekend. AUSTRALIA vs. JAPAN WORLD CUP PARTY AT BANANA LEAF. Ahhhh, I'll be surrounded by my hottttt European male friends (and one hot New Zealand guy) so hopefully I'll get over it.

Oh well. The bathroom needed a good scrubbing anyway.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing my hot date for the evening:

And for tonight he's allllllll minnnnnnnnnnnnnne, bitches.


1) I need to stop cussing like a sailor.
2) SHOPPING IN JAPAN IS HOPELESS. Back in America, women barrage me with "Oh, you're so petite!" comments. I'm a comfortable size 4 at home. Here, I can barely squeeze my ass into a pair of jeans without hearing the seams rip.
3) I hate my "massive" breasts. I've never felt so self-conscious about them until I came to Japan. Not only do I see random Japanese men gawking at them, but they contribute to my horrible shopping experiences. Tops, t-shirt's, dresses never fit. Never.
4) I have a bad habit of not locking bathroom doors.
5) I enjoy walking around my house in my underwear.
6) A guy I currently have a crush on keeps telling me that he hopes that I will stay in Japan for another year. I'm not sure how to interpret that.
7) I need to come up with a game plan for my life post-Japan. Or at least after my contract ends in August.
8) I was supposed to travel to China with a friend from the U.S. in August, but I don't know if that's going to happen at all. So if anybody is keen on going to China during o-bon, let me know.
9) My roommate annoys me more and more each day. I hate living with a roommate.
10) I want to go dancing.
11) I need to buy a fucking digital camera to replace the one I lost in the Philippines. I've missed out on so many perfect photo ops (like at Hiroshima's Yukata festival yesterday) because I don't have a camera. Gar.
12) My cousin just got engaged the other week. Being single has its perks, but damn, sometimes I just want a man all for myself.
13) I flirted with a marine I met at a bar last week and the effort paid off last Wednesday: I got access to the base, but the most significant part was lunch at TACO BELL! HELL YEAH. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
14) Why is that most Japanese men can guess that I'm Filipino but the Filipino women/men in Japan (even in the Philippines) can't figure out my ethnicity? Hmmmmm?
15) I wonder if they have an annonymous support group for people addicted to carbohydrates.
16) I love random text messages. Send me some luvin' >

I hate PMS

I feel fat, gross, insignificant, unwanted, lonely, and confused.

I want to cry.

If your initials are P.M.S., I'm sorry.