You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

For those of you who appreciate a bit of esoteric traveler knowledge, Americans who consider themselves ‘local’ to anywhere will always bitch about the weather and they’ll all use the same joke like it’s native and new: if you don’t like the weather in (name of region here) wait five minutes.

For the record, I’ve heard that used Florida where the weather is essentially sunny for 90% of the year.

With the season of “fall” came our first ‘cold season’ in Japan. And since our previous state was Florida, my wife was adamant about getting  a space heater since our home falls a bit on the drafty side. Naturally, I was enlisted in this shopping excursion because I’m her husband. I also used to sell space heaters (true fact!).

So we went to our local department store and purchased a space heater that we were both happy with. Upon exiting, I noticed that the Halloween costumes were merchandised on the same floor.

Shortly after that realization, I spied with my beady eyes the display that they were using in order to announce that they were, in fact selling Halloween Costumes.

In case you ever wondered what the population of Japan thought of President Trump, now you know.

I Like to Ride My Bicycle.

Regardless of the transient nature of my family, I didn’t actively get into photography until we came to Japan.

I’m not proud of this because there have been plenty of opportunities to photograph in Florida that I missed out on. If you get past the idiocy of some of the state’s inhabitants, there’s no prettier a place that Florida during winter time.

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With regard to the photo, on this particular day, it was colder than a well digger’s ass and I was exploring a different part of my neighborhood via bicycle. Prior to the photo, I had made a left turn down a random street in order to get off of the beaten path and away from the traffic.

This left turn put me within a cluster of homes, tripping on all of the unconventional architecture. I also learned in this cluster, that Japanese architects seemingly don’t plan neighborhoods so much as place houses. You’d be hard pressed to find 5 consecutive miles of straight road.

While I was in this cluster, I felt a pair of eyes on me. It was a woman, in her yard, looking at me, clearly amused by my presence.

In retrospect, I can’t blame her.

My bicycle was black, my helmet, which makes my enormous head, comically large, was also black. My outfit was completed with a thick, black hoody, and black nut hugger sweatpants. My shoes were also black.

I looked like I was trying out for a reboot of Beverly Hills Ninja.

I knew how silly I looked, so I smiled and waved because there was nothing else for me to do. For the record, she smiled and waved back as well.

 

How I Came to Live in Japan.

I have never really been a fan of summer. Doubly so, since I have lived in Florida for the past couple of years. (I try not to stereotype, but there’s really no reason for anyone to actually live in Florida. Sure, a fraction of the general population leaves something to be desired, but nothing is helped by the fact that the Sun is essentially trying to kill everything that attempts to go outside between the months of March and December).

What also doesn’t help my general dislike of summer is the fact that it’s been designated as the time of year for vacations and hooliganism (e.g. kids tend to think that they should get a break from life around this time of the year).

What a load of fly-blown bullshit.

Vacations should happen whenever it is appropriate and economically convenient for the person or people involved. As far as kids thinking that they’re entitled to a break, fuck that noise. I don’t get a break, why should my kids?

Every year, my wife and I have made a point of securing workbooks for our children for the grade that they would be entering in, in the fall. TO DATE, they have been consistently ‘better off’ for it. 2 out of the 3 children have maintained ‘honor roll’ status (the 3rd has been a solid ‘B’ student).

For the record: I’m not Hitler about it. They devote an hour a day to their workbooks and then they help out around the house. Other than that, they are generally free to do what they want as long as no one, and nothing, dies.

Point of fact? When I was a kid, my parents thought I should be able to “enjoy” my summer and “do what I want”. The following school year was always an educational nightmare for me because I retained little of what I learned the year before and no one was making sure that I was doing anything intellectually stimulating (defined as, the opposite of what I was doing: watching reruns of My Favorite Martian and playing endless hours of video games).

I digress.

This past summer, through an unusual, but expected set of circumstances, my wife, a Captain in the USAF, received orders to relocate herself and her family to Japan.

That’s right: I am now littering the Internet from the Land of the Rising Sun. (Fun fact: while I haven’t confirmed this, I’m fairly certain that Japan is referred to as that because THE SUN RISES AT 4 IN THE FUCKING MORNING DURING THE SUMMER).

Suffice it to say, there will be more writings about Japan, our journey here, and the usual drek I tend to prattle on about.

In sum, I will leave you with how I found out that we were moving to Japan. You may get a chuckle out of it, or it may confirm what you all ready know about me (that I’m an idiot).

One day in the kitchen of my former, Florida abode, I was using our food processor to get down on some dinner prep before I had to pick up my kids from school. After I had cleaned up and was ready to leave, I go to put the food processor away and the damn thing slipped out of my hands and hit the floor.

Rather than try to save it or perhaps catch it on the rebound, I got the fuck out of the way because it’s heavy as hell and can easily break a foot when it is in a gravitationally dangerous state.

After I regained composure, I surveyed the damage.

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This is a present-day photo.

Naturally, I was sweating bullets because my wife had bought this a while back and she had come to think of it as a fourth child. The name plate was popped out and, as you can see, there was a massive crack in the housing.

My first thought was, “Welp: I’m fucked. There’s no way that this is going to work”. After I checked the remaining integrity of the base and popped the name plate back in, I plugged it back in to see how bad it was.

It worked perfectly fine. I switched out multiple attachments and it was still fine. My next move, I thought, was fairly obvious.

I packed up everything nice and neat, put it in the one cabinet that she’d never go in, and buried it under other kitchen gadgets. All of this was done with the intent of blaming it on the movers the next time we move.

Five minutes later, I got a text from my wife saying that we were moving to Japan this summer.