Thursday, 8 January 2009

Genghis Kong vs. Davis and Carroll: Handicap Match!

Well, here I am again. Back in Japan, in my own little bedroom, eating my own delicious food, thinking about maybe having a little sleepy later on. It's altogether not too dreadful, I suppose.

Hello, friends.

I'm so glad you could join me. Do come in, you must be freezing. Let me take your coat. Would you care for a cup of hot peppermint tea?

*Ahem* Sorry, I've been in a peculiar mood today. I think it might be because I've been listening to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew whilst trying to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Japanese. The combination of Davis' free, experimental electronic jazz explorations and Carroll's darkly twisted anti-fairy tale received through the filter of a language I barely understand has a uniquely unsettling and disorienting effect on the brain.

Still, I'm sure it's all mind-expanding and wholly beneficial to my mental agility.

So, I've unpacked my stuff, done the washing-up, passed an exam (haven't had the results yet but... it's a pass), cooked myself a delicious pot of 18 different grains and pulses (it's January; I'm on my healthy thing) and watered the tiny cactus that's attached to my phone. I really ought to be writing one or both of the reports I have due in next week, but I felt I owed you a conclusion my last post. I can't go around promising you prompt follow-ups and not delivering them: that's one sure-fire way to lose a readership!

Anyway, as I said, I'm on my healthy thing. I managed to put on 2 kilos (that's about 5 or 6 pounds in English) over the Christmas break, which is a bit shit considering that's more than I lost over all of last semester, so I'm on my healthy thing. So healthy I went for a 'run' yesterday. Running is horrible. Not only is it the most unpleasant way to pass the time that I can possibly imagine, it's downright dangerous. My brief 20 minute 'run' yesterday has left me with some kind of knee injury and barely able to climb stairs.

Okay, so it's not that bad - more of a slight twinge when I bend my knee - but certainly enough to prevent me from going to the gym today.

I'm also trying to healthy myself up a bit in terms of diet and nutrition. I'm already feeling the benefits of an improved dietary fibre intake (to quote Grandpa Simpson, I'm "moving like Ginger Rogers!"), not to mention improved concentration and mental acuity (from Omega 3 fish oil supplements) and improved eyesight (from Lutein). And of course superhuman strength (tinned spinach), hair regeneration (snake oil) and a new-found love for Placebo (sugar pills).

Yes indeed, by the time I get back to the UK this summer I am going to be a veritable powerhouse of timely bowel movements and supple joints. Why, I'll feel like I'm only 38 again!

My "healthy thing" also includes getting on the proverbial wagon: yes, I'm off the booze. For how long, who knows. I've mentioned to some of my friends that I'm trying not to drink for a bit and they have all agreed to make it their specific goal to lure me into getting drunk at every possible opportunity, because (and I quote) "it's funny", and "it's makes their life more interesting". Admittedly, the threat of constantly having beers bought for me is not actually that threatening, but I'll allow them to continue to think that that would be a cruel and hilarious joke.

So far, 3 days without a drink. Ish - it's a bit confusing with the time difference and all.

Anyhoo - the only thing more tedious than trying to lose weight is listening to someone else talking about how they're trying to lose weight, so I'll move on.

I was going to tell you all about my wonderful Christmas holiday that most of you were a part of. Well, it goes a little something like this:

Christmas Eve - wake up at 5am Japan time with a stinking hangover having spent the previous night sitting in the bath drinking frozen sake while watching Mad Max and The Warriors. Gather my thoughts/possessions, empty my bins and leave the house around 6.30 to begin my epic journey. After 2 hours spread across 3 trains I arrive at Narita and go through the usual boring airport rigamarole without incident, except that I got upgraded to Economy Plus, which actually makes quite a bit of a difference. A 12 hour flight follows, for the first 4 hours of which there is no in flight entertainment. I do not sleep (never do), and just spend the 12 hours sittingly glaring angrily at nothing, wishing I could sleep.

It's one of those weird flights where I leave a 2pm, fly for 12 hours and then arrive at 4pm the same day. In theory it's been noon throughout the flight, but because we flew over the North Pole and it's winter, it was actually dark for the entire flight, so my body clock is very confused at this point. I am greeted at the airport by lovely parents who have packed a little lunchbox for me full of cheese, fruit and crackers. I merrily devour all the cheese and fruit but, so as not to appear greedy, I leave the crackers.

Christmas Eve and Day progress very merrily with mince pies, devils on horseback, champagne, presents, Christmas dinner and so on. Unfortunately, when I was doing my Christmas shopping a peculiar short circuit in my brain caused me to completely lose the ability to distinguish "a bit crap, but probably amusing/interesting" from "just crap. utter utter crap". This made it a little awkward when all my family gave me really nice presents and I just gave them enormous piles of entirely crappy crap in return. In my defense, they did get several presents each, and i somehow managed to spend a fortune on all that useless crap, but I still felt a bit bad about it. I'll do better next year, I promise!

I went out on Boxing Day night for the traditional "lets go out on Boxing Day night" night out on Boxing day night, and due to the fact that my ability to drink beer had been seriously eroded by months in Japan, I ended up completely ga-ga, was refused entry to the bar we were going to so me and Jethro went off somewhere else to get more blottoed before stumbling back to my house. At my house we proceeded to devour both legs off the turkey (a cardinal sin in my household, where the turkey legs are to be saved for a special post-Boxing Day meal). I then went upstairs to fetch Jethro his Christmas present, but by the time I got to my bedroom I had clearly forgotten what I had come for or even the fact that Jethro was in my house at all, so I just went to bed. After a while, Jethro came up to see what had happened to me and demand his presents from me (wait a minute, this is all starting to sound a bit gay... it's not, honest. well, I'd best get on with it). At this moment I honestly didn't know why Jethro was in my house or how he had got in, but I grumpily directed him to the pornography and squid I had brought him from Japan and returned to my alcohol induced coma.

Fortunately, I keep a permanent marker by my bed for just such occasions, and before he left Jethro was kind enough to draw an amusing moustache on my face. What a nice friend he is.

There was also a Rob's birthday shindig, which was fun - we seemed to spend rather a long time wandering around trying to find somewhere that was serving food so soon after Christmas, but eventually we did and it was tasty. We proceeded to a pub, I presume, and jollity was shared. Having learned from my previous evening's excessive drunkeness I actually managed to maintain a pretty respectable level of inebriation throughout, even having a brief coffee interlude when I felt I was getting a bit too drunk a bit too quickly. I mean, it was a Bailey's coffee, but still, that practically a soft drink, right?

Shortly after this, I went up to lovely Sheffield to see all my lovely Sheffield friends in Sheffield, where my lovely friends live.

Me and Ronnie had our traditional screaming contest in the car up to Sheffield. Ronnie nearly had nervous breakdown in Waitrose when we stopped to buy a sandwich and have a wee - we spent half an hour trying to find sandwiches, then Ronnie couldn't decide what he wanted to eat so in the end he just bought what I bought (salmon and cucumber sandwich), which turned out to be the only thing he really didn't want to eat because he hates cucumbers. Then when we got back to the car he realised that his car was literally full to the rafters with tons of food his mum had bought for him, so our entire journey round Waitrose was entirely pointless. He had even forgotten to have a wee.

We then screamed our way up to Birmingham, and then screamed ourselves all the way onto the M6 Toll, which wasn't where we wanted to go so we had to pay 4 quid just to turn around and go the other way. Following this expensive and frustrating setback, we passed the rest of the journey in silence.

Sheffield was really good fun. We arrived the day before New Year's Eve and spent a little while in the kitchen, drinking gin and shrieking at one another until the new Shooting Stars special was on. We watched Shooting Stars together happily eating cheese and drinking cheap French lager until Shooting Stars had finished and there was no cheap French lager left.

For New Year's Eve, someone had the genius idea of just doing a really small house party. This is one of the best New Year's Eve suggestions I've heard in years, because going out into town on NYE is universally disastrous. Everything is unbelievably expensive, crowded and shit, and everyone just ends up having a really bad time for about £60, so the idea of just bringing your won booze to a house full of your friends where you get to choose what music gets played is infinitely more appealing to me.

I actually had an awesome time. I danced a lot. Possibly I danced a little too vigorously. Probably I danced a little too vigorously and on camera. There may well be some strange videos of my vigorous dancing appearing on facebook/youtube in the future, if Heg is as cruel as I think he probably is. I've already decided that I'm not going to look at them. As far as I'm concerned, as long as I never see these videos, they don't exist, and I haven't embarassed myself. Laura kindly catered a load of party foos for us, I drank my own bodyweight in gin, and Katie man was a fantastic mess of a state having apparently consumed an entire bottle of rum in the space of about an hour. Bear in mind the fact that Katie man is only fourteen inches tall and weighs about the same as a chinchilla, and you will begin to understand why she was quite so drunk. She spent the night charging around trying to find out who drank all her rum (you drank it, my dear, sorry) and asking people to make her cocktails. Fortunately she has a lot of very responsible friends, so all her 'cocktails' for the night were basically coke and water. Fun times though, and merriment was shared by all parties.

Later on that night, after most people had gone home. I *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* and then, *CENSORED* *CENSORED* in the garden pond. *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* a highly trained team of Peruvian midget acrobats *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* with a melon. *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* one small aubergine, and *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* "Help! Margery is dead!" she wept, *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* Oh, how we laughed! *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* and I thought, Me? In the nearby Catholic girl's school? With half a bottle of madeira and a pair of knickers on my head? With my reputation? *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* but unfortunately, I was very, very drunk.

I rose the next morn at the very respectable hour of 10am, got dressed, and tried to find my way home.

Later that day we went down to the newly refurbished Notty House in search of their famous pies. Sadly, no pies were forthcoming, so in the end we went into town to go to Nando's for some exciting chickeny goodness. This proved to be a very wise move, and I spent the next half hour off my head on spicy whilst 'The Movie Game' was invented around me. The Movie Game is a bit like charades for lazy people: you just describe film, preferably in a confusing and oblique kind of way. e.g.
"Mad nanny" - Mary Poppins (or, equally, Mrs Doubtfire)
"A team of midgets wandering through the countryside, trying to deliver jewellery to a fire" - Lord of the Rings
"Bloke snogs his sister and then discovers that the main antagonist is his dad" - Star Wars

You get the idea.

We then went off to the Cobden View to talk loudly and at great length about dildos over a pint or two of cider before heading back to Heg's for Jonathan Creek. For those of you who didn't see the astonishing tour-de-force that was Jonathan Creek's spectacular comeback, let me assure you, it was phenomenal. It was utterly, utterly ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious in so many ways. I feel slightly sorry for those people who were watching with me and actually trying to follow the 'plot', because most of us were having far more fun loudly criticising how stupid it was, and trying to guess what the solution was. Some were better at picking up clues than others...
Wilko: Felix Dies? Isn't that Latin for 'happy day' or something?
Me: Felix Dies! That's totally Latin for 'cat god'! It was the cat all along I tells ya!

*ahem* I always wanted to study Latin. At times like that I really wish I had.

So that was Jonathan Creek. We then proceeded to Nisa (a 24 shop which is no longer called Nisa, but I can't remember what it's changed its name to) to pick up more booze and head back to Sellick and the girls' house to drink it. This is where Laura went a bit wrong and, after having spent half an hour showing us her massive minge (not really, but she was rolling around on the sofa flashing the massive hole between her legs... in her jeans) she invented the official cocktail of 2009 - rum and wine with a Special K bar in it. It was all a bit weird, but dead funny, and I've got some horrific photos of Barto looking awful which mean that it's still funny now.

The next day we watched The Mighty Ducks: D2, and considered how much the Mighty Ducks had changed between D2 and D12 (ho ho, just my little joke there...) We went and had some good old fashioned pub nosh at the Tav, and then I came home.

I spent a few more days at home having a lovely time at home with my home. My little brother was in Mixmag, which is exciting (check out his My Space, apparently he's the 4th most influential Aquacrunk producer in Glasgow). I went to the pub. Twice. [You may be able to tell I'm running out of stamina for this post] It was good. Then i packed up some cheese and left for Tokyo. Which is also good.

Now I am here. Which I think is good.

Well, I might come back to this post at some point and add some photos to it or at least give it a proper ending, but right now I am feeling uncommonly sleepy and really struggling to maintain focus on the task at hand, so I'll sign off.

Good bye

Here's some deliciously topical Italo Disco from 1985 to amuse you all

Lovely love,

1 comment:

Up said...


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