Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Inspire and hold it...

I’ve been spending some time in clinics these days. Not the mental ones, they don’t seem to have many of those in Japan or so I’ve heard, the medical ones. I think it’s the novelty of actually having health insurance again in my life. Even though I pay for it myself, it’s still a whole lot cheaper than in the states. Yeah, ok, the bedside manner here isn’t always the best.. I had one doctor actually ask me what I wanted him to do during my health check up... but I did have 2 wisdom teeth pulled (and got the drugs too man) for a measley 5,000yen (that’s about 50 USD). My dentist was completely shocked when I told him to pull out both of those suckers at the same time. It seems that, in Japan, they like to pull one out at a time so you can chew on the other side of your face (ha!) The sound of having them yanked was much worse than the pain. I’ll have to remember that when I go to get the last one pulled this summer.
Last week was the annual "Kate completely loses her voice for a few days and then gets a husky new one for a few more days" event. I knew I was done for when I was doing my trial lesson at a kindergarten where I was interviewing. Somewhere between music time and art project time my voice left me and didn’t return in time to get the phone call telling me I’d gotten the job (whoo hoo!) I was afraid to pick up the phone because all I could do was whisper. Finally I went to my doctor who gave me some more drugs.. 3 different kinds!
This morning I went to yet another clinic for the school’s mandatory physical. Miss Etsuko from the school came along with me to interpret and she was lucky to see not just one, but both of my cupcakes when the nurse nonchalantly lifted my shirt to check my breathing. How’s that for bonding with coworkers! Later I got to flash my boobs a few more times as they attached an EKG-thangy. Atleast there will be no question that I’m healthy.. in fact.. the doctor said I have the blood vessels of a 24 year old! Wowzers! it’s miniskirts and pumps for me this Spring! Finally it was time to do an x-ray to check anything else they may have missed during the other exams. The doctor told me to "inspire and hold it for a few moments" while he pushed the button to take the x-ray. "Ok, now INSPIRE!" The sweet man, of course, meant to say "inhale" but I didn’t have the heart to tell him and anyway, it was pretty inspiring just to hear him say it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Changes...

The end of February and most of March have been a blur. I'm sitting in my room in Sangenjaya with boxes and dust bunnies piled up around me... wondering how this will all fit into Makoto's tiny apartment (minus the dust bunnies I hope). Seems like I'm always trying to pack "the stuff" in my life to fit into yet another smaller space. I wasn't born with nomadic skills.. only a nomadic spirit. I find that the less material stuff I have, the freer I feel but somehow I can't manage to unload it all. I've started with little pieces.. giving away the very cute striped dress to Ya-chan and the excellent books I've already read to Linzer.

Two days ago I said goodbye to Tanya and I'm feeling pretty bummed about it. She's my friend I can bitch to without regret because she knows she can bitch to me too. I am happy that she's going to be experiencing many new adventures in New York and I know I'll see her there before I know it.. but I'm still sad just the same. My Japan is ever-changing with every friend who comes and goes.

A few weeks ago I finished working at a language school. There were good times and bad times but, overall, I was happy there. I loved my students and the friends I made. I decided I wouldn't settle for anything other than amazing this time around. This morning I signed a contract with Komazawa Park International School and I'll be teaching 4-5 year old children. These kids are from various countries and I'm psyched to be teaching something other than English. Psyched as I am, I'm still a little nervous about the newness of everything. New apartment, new job, new new new. It's funny how all of these changes are happening with the onset of spring. I can't wait for Sakura season!

Lindsay and I went into the studio to record our album. I'm really proud of what we've done so far and I can't wait to hear the finished product. We are being supported by the Contrarede record label and the manager is the nicest person. He invited us over for dinner cooked by his lovely wife yesterday. Unfortunately I have laryngitis and all I could do was bark and whisper. I sound like a 60 year old chain smoker. For some reason most people seem to think that is sexy.