Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year everyone! I haven't written since August??? Could this be right? Well, I suppose it's fitting since I was in the U.S. from October to early January. I'm very sad to say that my lovely grandmother, Emily Cecilia Sikora, passed away shortly after my arrival. I could say goodbye and kiss her cheek which meant a lot to me. Being home felt really good. I saw old friends and family, worked at my old job for a bit... I felt like I was in a time warp.

Fast forward to January 2010...

I'm back in Tokyo with Makkun. Now, we live in a tiny 2 room apartment which has a few issues but, overall, I'm happy in this place. The rooms are tatami, it's quiet, the old furniture fits here in a way it never did in our old apartment. I'm not so thrilled about the power going out when I want to keep the heat on and use the microwave at the same time, or that it takes about 15 steps to get hot water in the shower 1) switch on the gas 2) push another gas button thing 3) hold down the knob for about 20 seconds 4) turn the knob... while I'm standing naked, shivering, waiting for glorious hot water. It takes a little getting used to.

The first week passed in a flash and so did most of my money that I brought with me. I have to readjust my idea about money. I've scoured craigslist.com and gaijinpot.com for jobs. I've considered professional babysitting, voice acting, even medical testing for athlete's foot (I don't have athlete's foot by the way) Something has to come through soon!

A copy of the Loyal We album (my band) has finally come in the mail after lots of waiting (and waiting). I'm proud of us! I hope we get to do some touring now! The album will be in stores on January 20th. Now I'm waiting (and waiting and waiting) to hear when our release party will happen. Hopefully I can survive on the pauper diet until then.

I went to a shrine with Makoto the other day to get my "omikugi," or "fortune," for the new year. With trepidation, I shook the box, pulled out the thin little stick, and handed it to the woman. In return, she handed me a thin piece of paper. I didn't look as Makoto read aloud, "Kichi, good fortune." It seems that 2010 is going to be my year! Of course, if it were a bad fortune, I wouldn't have believed it.

Later that day, we went to Usaya in Shimokitazawa. I've mentioned Usaya in a previous post. It's a great little place in a crumbling little alley way. Monday was their 2nd anniversary party and our friend, Takachiho, was going to play. It cost 3,000 yen for "nomihodai" (all you can drink) and "tabehodai" (all you can eat). Mak and I don't have 2 yen to rub together but we wanted to see our friend Yoko and Washi before the head off to California. We sucked it up, spent the dough, and were rewarded with a wonderful night of hot wine, good friends, and I got to try my hand at making mochi! Mochi is a glutinous sticky rice that is traditionally made and eaten during the new year. Some folks were dressed as a cat, bird, ram, and rabbit in colorful patchwork costumes. They looked amazing!

Now I sit, still in my pjs (being jobless has some benefits), and ready to get dressed, go out and do something, anything. I'll let you know how it goes.