*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday 30 September 2013

Hair-Gel Sports

Are not played by men.  What's a 'hair-gel sport'?  Soccer and gymnastics, for a start.

The thought was inspired by Kamo's post reminding me that neither I, nor most of my countrymen (Canadians) or Americans can ever care about soccer.  It's likely in poor taste to quote one's own comments from another blog, but:
Divers... This is why football/soccer has not, and will never, get on in the US and Canada. We cannot take the sport seriously, or the fans (i.e. Europeans, and who's joined you? E. Asians). Enforcers we get, and we have them in hockey to the extent we call them the same: 'enforcers'. Goons to a man, but players like Gretzky only kept skating because the enforcers on his team would tear you a new one if you made a bad hit on him.

I think all team sports are daft if played by people over twelve, nevertheless I'd put money on any hockey enforcer over a soccer/football one... 
Honestly, I did try to watch soccer/football once. My father is after all from your foggy North. But I saw some continental get brushed on the shoulder, grab his jaw and start limping. If I'd watch male sports it'd need to be played by men.
I don't even like hockey, or (American or Canadian) football, but at least they are 'helmet sports'.  Accuse me of vestiges of homophobia if you'd like, but men do not have hairstyles, they have hair cuts.  I do not care if a man sucks cock, but for god's sake don't be prissy about your hair.  A helmet sport keeps a man honest.
It's too early to know if my boy likes girls or other boys, and I will accept either orientation, but he's playing no 'hair gel sport'!

Thursday 19 September 2013

My Japanese seasons...


Cedar Allergies

Fit for Amphibians?

Grass Seed Allergies

Fall Colours (far away, wherever trees are)

Never 'four seasons', of course: that's from Tang Dynasty China, like the rest of 'Japanese culture'. I need to leave...

Sunday 15 September 2013

She's not feeling it, Japan. He is.

You've all heard this story: 'Western' hetero-couple comes to Japan, woman bails within the year and dude stays.  New couple at my 'international school': they've only been here a month, but their story's already written.  Friday, he enjoyed himself a bit too much not to keep his eyes from straying, while his GF wasn't having any fun at all.  I have a picture, with them in the middle, I'd love to post: his face, enthusiasm; hers, rue.  Western women, you can keep your man in Japan, but a sense of humour goes a long way.  Hell, I have dated a western woman in Japan, and work with several I'd think to chase were I single: they all have a sense of humour.
None of them felt threatened by local women, or stay single any longer than they care to.  It's not us ('Western' men in Japan), it's you (the humourless).  Doesn't help this one's a vegetarian.  Shit on me all you want, and I know some male vegetarians who can take a joke, but not women: a sense of humour never goes with both femininity and vegetarianism, and certainly not also with Conservative Judaism (what was I thinking?).

Japan is far from perfect, and neither are the women, but it sure looks that way to a young man dealing with your snide when his first impression of Japan on a night out is this.
I well know there's a lot of bait and switch here: I'm married.  However, if the guy is worth keeping (because nobody else will fuck you with that attitude), you won't do it by sniping at the local women who your man sees in beer goggles coloured as above.  If you wanted life to be 'fair', why did you come here?

Sunday 8 September 2013

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: this town was made for boondoggles

Yes, Tokyo got it.  Not like the IOC isn't rotten to the core, or that anything they'd do could surprise me, but it would better have gone to Madrid, for the infrastructure and safety, or Istanbul, for brand outreach.  However, maybe they focused on Spain's present economic troubles, and forgot that though most Turks are Muslims, they are not the Arabs they'd prefer to bomb.

I'd like to think it's because the Tokyo bid used my favourite Franco-Japanese, but am sure the fix was long in before she got to speak yesterday.

They could have used even fewer mono-ethnic-Japanese on that stage, to better reflect the country as it is, rather than as many of the twats want it to be, and think it still is.  Needless to say, the one hybrid they do choose is even fairer than the monoethnics (as if the Japanese are monoethnic).  In any case, even with the Japanese over-dub it sure seemed like her French was fluent*: you'll never see a Japanese person rip through English vowels and consonants, much less French, at the speed she did with the confidence she showed.  Hell, they don't even speak Japanese with that confidence.  Nothing like a pretty face that can also do her job (and doesn't walk like she's Japanese).

Sure, if any city has the pockets for the atrocity that the Olympics inflicts on public finances this is the city.  However, it does nothing to slow the rot at the peripheries of this dying country, and accelerates the gilding of its centre.  Surprised hysteria over Fukushima did not kill the bid, but one good quake anywhere close to Tokyo...

There are a few problems:
- most of the new venues are on landfill in a siesmic zone
- at sea-level in a tsunami zone
- Tokyo is in the fallout zone from the Hamamatsu reactors
- Narita Airport still sucks, and Haneda cannot expand
- August in Tokyo!
- this economy may yet choke on its internal debts, as the miracle cannot last forever

*Got to hear her original a little later.  I am a poor French speaker but I do not think she is fluent, albeit far better than me.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Tokyo Summer, we're %$#@ing done.

I thought it was fine sprinting on my bike through traffic in 90% humidity just to get brought up at a stoplight, made to wait over pavement radiating heat in the 50s, Celsius.  I thought it was fine gasping for traffic-polluted air, managing my water intake somewhere between staving off dehydration and making myself puke.  I'd got used to ingesting so much water the night before I had to get up twice to pee, filling my gullet with more at breakfast, while riding, and another couple of liters through the day, on the ride home, before repeating the cycle again: still peeing yellow.  Even the hustle to the gym for a shower before work I could get used to.  The final straw?  Fucking Japanese gym doesn't air-condition much in the change room, so I come out clean to get covered in sweat again, to sweat even more between the gym and work as nobody ever thought to plant anything but concrete, and cannot cool down for another hour.  Thank the gods I am gone before the middle of next summer.  You're welcome to this swamp.

Sunday 1 September 2013

'L'Ordre de Bon Temps', fail

Part of my ongoing series of, 'Anglo-Canada, what have you got to be smug about?'  In this case, Anglo-Canadians, other than first and second generation, are shit hosts.

Three anecdotes:
- my experience in Canada
- my J-wife's experience in Canada, and told to her by other Japanese and other nationalities
- Canadians abroad

The post title?  One of the founding explorers of Canada (French Canada - nothing else was settled by Europeans for some hundreds of years), Champlain, founded a dining and entertainment order to endure the long winters.  While at McGill in Montréal I came up with the idea of doing something similar to get through those long winters, as a regular 'pot luck' booze-up with other penurious students called friends.  I also thought I could impress chicks with my cooking and get some.  The first part worked; the second part much less well than in Japan, where it has failed just once (in fact not at all - a Japanese woman in Toronto).  The first time, people made similar effort to me and we had a good feed and a fine time, though I slept alone...  The second time, my effort was much better than the rest, but it seemed an off-night from the other cooks.  Bear in mind that attendance stayed the same, so it was a popular idea.  I slept alone again...  The third time I was universally praised for my efforts, and everyone else brought store bought cookies, cheese and crackers or an unadorned green salad.  I not only slept alone again, but never contacted most of these people.  Do not even remember their names.

Did I mention that most of those in attendance were young women (I was in Arts, it was not a conspiracy) and that none of these from the first made much effort. I claim no objectivity, but my experience of Canadian women remains much the same in relationships, and in bed: I brought this, I'm done.  Though my luck did get better, I cannot remember any Canadian woman who was any good in bed, apart from being available.  If you wish to claim it must be my fault, it wasn't with the others, apparently.  I used to joke about my long bachelorhood that I had a cleaner apartment and cooked better than anyone I had ever dated.  Even now, my J-wife cooks as well as me, but love her though I do, her cleaning and tidying is mediocre...

Apart from never sleeping with any, so far as I know, my wife has not only had the same experience, but so have her Japanese and other non-Canadian, Canadian-resident friends: taking a large portion of an interesting dish that took some time to make to a gathering, having it universally praised and enthusiastically eaten, and nothing left but what the locals had brought: store bought shit.  Again, not objective, but nevertheless, Canadian women.

So I laughed my ass off watching a Japanese TV show about a Japanese expat wife at a gathering of international expat friends in Singapore.  The J-wife had made sushi, or something; the ethnic Chinese had made a huge batch of springrolls and sauces; the Indonesian nasi goreng, I expect; the French a whole duck, perhaps; the Canadian brought cheese and crackers.  I bet she stuffed her ass, too.

Our family will make an effort to befriend all the 'other' Canadians on our street, including Francophones if there are any.  Fuck Anglo-Canadians. Oh, but what about the men?  Some men...  Have you never seen how PW'd the husband of a Canadian middle-class wife is?