badness, family, goodness, life, manfolk

Jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, I’m bi

I’ve been avoiding writing a new post about what life has been like lately because there’s so much to report, and it’s not all good, and why would I intentionally, slowly, and in excruciating detail relive that?  Because that’s what this blog is for: my life.  All of it.

I need a full-time job.  So applied to the JET Program and got rejected.  I applied to AEON and got rejected.  I’d like to teach here in Los Angeles, and I’d like to travel, but really, I need a full-time job.  I heard from the host teacher at the ESL school where I volunteer that I might be offered evening classes as a substitute teacher, which would be a fantastic way to get my foot in the door, and get some real teaching experience.  Meanwhile, I had an interview at the journalism school at my university which sounds fun.  The woman I interviewed with was great, and we got along really well.  She mentioned that she might hire for the position I was interviewing for internally, but that that would mean another opening in her office.  I told her, “I’m not married to this title.  If I can work full-time in this office with people like you, that sounds fantastic.  I would love to work here.”  We chatted very briefly about anime, manga, cosplay, and martial arts (her best friend does Hap Ki Do, wtf).  She really seemed to like that I had gotten my master’s in teaching English as a foreign language.  Overall it went really well, and it would still allow me to be available in the evenings to potentially teach.  All good.

I got hired to work the Renaissance Faire this year!  All my weekends will be booked for the next six weeks or so (brutal).  I’ll be selling steak on a stake and sausage, which I’m going to be hawking in my best improvised, filthy Elizabethan (when we practiced during orientation, I shouted “Good day, m’Lord!  You’d like a hot sausage in your mouth, wouldn’t you?”  Once my mostly-teenage coworkers stopped laughing, our boss said, “But… make sure there aren’t any kids around if you’re going to say that stuff.”).  I ran into a friend from Office Job there, who invited me to work beverages instead, which I would love to do, so maybe that’ll happen!  I went to her place that evening to socialize with the beverage people, all of whom are older than me, and a total fucking hoot.  Working with them would be a blast.  I hope it works out.

I got drinks with a new friend from Office Job who used to work at an LGBT center at a conservative Christian university.  We chatted about gender and sexuality, and decided we should hang out, which we did last week at El Carmen.  When I went to the bathroom for the second time, there was a pretty girl sitting on the bench opposite the bathroom door, waiting her turn, whose face lit up when she saw me, and greeted me with a warm, “Hi.”  We flirted for a while, she took her turn in the bathroom, and when she came out we flirted some more, during which she called me gorgeous twice, we hugged, and before she left I said, “Wait, so, can I get your number?”  “Yeah!  Yeah…”  So.  I totally got some girl’s number for the first time ever.  I texted her a couple days later to see if she’d gotten home alright from the bar and don’t expect to hear back.  It doesn’t really matter.  I got a girl’s number!  Woot!

But what made me do that?  Hanging out with my new friend that night, we had been chatting a lot about sexuality, so it was at the forefront of my mind (plus I had a pretty solid buzz going after 2.5 happy hour margaritas).  I told her a I was bi, and we talked about that for a while, and she said, “Have you told your family?”

Cue record scratch.

My face dropped.  “Oh.”  It never occurred to me that I might have to do that at some point, unless I brought a girl home.  I don’t feel closeted, so I never felt the need to come out.  But she asked, and it got me thinking, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.  So when I hung out with Sister a few days later, I told her about this girl I had hit on.  “She was just so cute, so I asked for her number, and she fucking gave it to me.  Ugh.  So weird.”  Sister squinted a little during the whole story, but listened patiently with a hesitant “Ok…” here and there.  Afterward she said, “Wow.  So.  [my full name].”  We both laughed.  Then her boyfriend came in and the topic shifted to my graduate school graduation party.  However.  A couple days later she IM’d me over Gchat:

hey [tigerlilytoph]!
good seeing you last night and jumping on the invitation business
i want to talk to you about a conversation we stated earlier in the evening maybe next week

ok
I’m free most evenings I think
busy tuesday
and friday

ok cool 🙂
i have [friend]’s bday dinner wednesday

Monday?
or Thursday?

how about monday

okies
ugh now I’m kinda nervous
GROSS

about what?
me wanting to talk to you?

yeaaaaaah

llol
don’t be you goose
i’m just concerned your not happy that’s all

oh?

yeah so i just wanted to share with you my thoughts and be a good big sister

thanks 🙂

nothing to feel gross about silly [tigerlily]

well ok
i’ll stop throwing up now

llol
ew

right?

you going to hear [cousin] play tonight?

I am not going to [cousin]’s show tonight, but I definitely want to go to another one of his shows
His group has a good sound, and he seems really happy with them

So that conversation wasn’t a total disaster, and I think it’s going to be ok (of course it would be better if she hadn’t canceled to spend time with her friend who just broke up with her significant other, because now I’m all nervous all over again).  Now I’m mostly worried that she saw my hitting on that girl as evidence that I’m not happy with Boyfriend.  Blerg.  I can’t handle her judgement.  I want to hear her opinion, but if she could give it without all the fucking judgement, that would be just super.

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family, goodness, life, manfolk, martial arts, school, work

The past two months

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I posted.  Unacceptable.  “Marjorie, pull yourself together!”

Things have been moving very quickly over the last few months.  I’ve started my last semester of grad school, which is bittersweet.  I’m ready to be done with school, but sad I won’t be able to tell people I’m a grad student, which I’v fantasized about doing since I was just a kid.  I’ll be done with classes in about six weeks, and I’ll walk at the graduation ceremony in early May.  My parents will be so proud, which makes me very happy.

give me a life in the country

I’ve applied to the JET program, which, if I’m accepted, will take me to Japan for a year to teach English.  I’ll essentially get paid to do accent reduction as a TA and live in the countryside, which sounds like a fucking dream.  I probably should’ve asked Boyfriend what he thought of that idea before I applied, but I didn’t because I want to go to Japan, and that’s that.  Turns out he’s totally into it, and will come visit/live with me for short stints if it works out.  Very exciting 🙂  I’m signed up for weekly, 2-hour Japanese classes; they start next Thursday.
UPDATE: 1/21/14
I just found out that I didn’t get into the JET program.  I’m totally crushed.  I can’t think of why they wouldn’t take me.  I didn’t even get an interview.  Ugh.  Ouch.
END OF UPDATE

taught my Master Tatsu. no, really.

I’ve taken up Shinkendo, which is very challenging but rewarding (and I passed my first test!  Woot!).  We’ve started learning bō, my favorite weapon, and I could not be more excited.  Bō speaks to me in a way the sword does not, it’s like having a dance partner; it does what it wants, all I can do is give suggestions.  We form an agreement (most of the time), and communicate well.  Perhaps more importantly, I’ve found some amazing people who have become good friends at the dojo, and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with an old friend from elementary school, and can’t wait to help that friendship grow.  I also started another blog, which is what I’ve been spending my time on instead of tigerlilytoph.com:

http://www.dojostuff.wordpress.com

It’s all about life in a martial arts studio, and how hilarious and stressful it can be.

Office Job is still pretty dull, but better since Little Mole Boss was removed from her position as my boss.  She was a good boss (maybe the best I’ve had), but it’s nice to work with my co-workers more directly and speak frankly when we exchange ideas without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.  I’m taking a more active role in the upcoming events our office is planning, which feels good.

I’ll upload a photo of our bees’ honey soon!

The bees are doing just swimmingly, and we might actually harvest some honey this season!  Soon!  We did a minor inspection and found a few bars dedicated to honey and nothing else.  I held up the comb in front of the setting sun, and it glowed amber and gold.  The comb broke open when I pulled it out (the bees built two bars of comb together, so it broke apart when I pulled one bar out), and the honey dripped out of the cells.  We tasted it right off the top of the hive.  It had a clean, light taste, ultra sweet and just beautiful to look at (surprisingly light in color).  I can’t wait to see what it looks like once we harvest a little bit.

Thanksgiving this year was good, but boozy for the cousins.  I love them, but omg they are annoying drunks, and they drink a lot, lol.  I’m such a lightweight, maybe I’m jealous? (hint: NOPE)  Next year we’ll have to divvy up the apartments by temulency rather than gender.  Diminutive Friend came up for Thanksgiving day to hang out and eat with the family.  She seemed grateful to have people to spend the holiday with since she couldn’t spend it with her family in New Orleans.  I love her so much.

Dad told me a while back that he’s unhappy at work, and since he’s unreceptive to changing jobs, I told him I expect him to find some way to change his attitude toward his job.  Instead of taking his job personally (and constantly checking his damn email), he’ll have to find a way to let it go.  We’ll see how that goes.  It strikes me that I’ve chosen a good path: teaching English as a foreign language is a job I will enjoy (assuming I can find one).  Frankly teaching just about anything at all would make me happy, and I’m lucky to have discovered this as early has I did.

My folks gave Boyfriend a subscription to Bon Apetit magazine for Xmas, which I’ve already reaped the benefits of with a delicious rosemary chicken and a butter-basted halibut.  He is an amazing person.  We’ve been together over 5.5 years, since April of 2008.  I find the idea of marrying him very, very intimidating, even though I would love to have him as a life partner, and he clearly feels the same.  Luckily, neither of us is in any rush to make it official, and I’ve never had a burning desire to wear diamonds.

I spent this past weekend at GameHaus with friends, and, like every Sunday, doing Shinkendo and enjoying my dojo family’s company.

I am so lucky.

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goodness, humor, manfolk

Japan, you sexy weirdo

I found an app a while back called Sleepy-time Boyfriend, and yes, it’s just as amazing as it sounds.  It consists of about a dozen anime-ish drawings of Japanese men in various states of recline, each of which have a series of phrases that match their persona.  One is a flirty girl-boy named Sosuke (“Just being with you makes me very happy” and “I guess I should get into bed so you don’t feel lonely”).  Another (and my personal favorite) is Sei (voiced by Takaya Kuroda), a kimono-wearing DREAMBOAT with a voice like butter (“Come closer.” YESSIR).

But the one that gave me pause (between laughing hysterically and legitimately getting a little turned on) was this guy, Satoru, whose quotes have to do with being stressed at work, and how he wishes he could spend more time with you, his favorite lover:

he's a slave to his job... and his heart

he’s a slave to his job… and his heart

Is this a thing?  Do Japanese men fly off the handle at their partners when they have a bad day at work so often that apologies are a sexual fantasy?  And seriously people, up your standards.  My dream man does not apologize for getting angry at me for forgetting shit.  He doesn’t get angry at all.  In fact, there’s very little talking involved.  He’s more a man of action… *cough*

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goodness, nerd

I love you, Japan

by Kono Bairei

The art of the Japanese woodblock print is a fantastic demonstration of how, with very limited means, humans make spectacularly beautiful art.  Woodblock prints are some of the most delicate, intricate works produced from Japan.  They’re just gorgeous.  Hokusai’s Great Wave of Kanagawa is probably the most famous, and it’s not hard to see why.  [Then there’s the erotic woodblock print genre, which is pretty hilarious, and occasionally horrifying, but I digress]

I found today a series of classic video game characters (Samus, Megaman, Link) illustrated in the style of traditional Japanese woodblock prints.  They’re so silly and cool.  Nerds are the best.  Japan is the best.  I love you, Japan.

I remember playing through the first few hours of Metroid Prime (which I need to replay, what a great game) before Diminutive Roommate told me that Samus was female.  I’ve played so many male characters, I was super excited to play a lady.  I became attached to the game, fond of it even.  It’s an old friend who made me die a lot, and freaked me out with space pirates.  Good times.

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badness, martial arts

Cold comfort

The western world seems to be generally unaware of the “comfort women” of World War II, Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese forces.  I didn’t learn about it until I started training in Korean forms of martial arts.  My instructors were from South Korea, and for a while they wouldn’t admit Japanese students to our school.  One of them explained that his grandmother had been a “comfort woman,” and that many Koreans still harbored anger against the Japanese.  Though many formal apologies have been formally issued by Japanese administrations, the compensation paid to Korea by the Japanese in the 60’s–meant for the Korean people–was instead directed to other people (which is pretty messed up).  As a result, Koreans are still up in arms about the issue.

A bronze statue of a young Korean woman was erected in South Korea recently.  She sits facing the Japanese Embassy with an empty seat next to her for others to join her vigil.  This is a pretty serious issue over there, and has pissed off plenty of Japanese people who believe the issue closed (or at the very least dealt with through the proper channels).

I can’t believe I still haven’t visited Korea or Japan.  Gotta fix that.

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goodness

Komainu

Mythical creatures are so great.  What’s better than made-up monsters from a thousand years ago, immortalized in art that perpetuates to this day?

The komainu are mythical lion-like beasts that sit in pairs usually in front of temples in Japan (and China) to ward off bad luck and evil nonsense.

I fell in love with these guys while I was in China.  There are some huge stone animals along a walkway in Shanghai that I wanted to photograph (not enough time!).  But I managed to snag a shot with one that I became particularly fond of.

WUV YOUUUU

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goodness

Reign of toads

A friend of mine shared a blog post about old Japanese art featuring frogs and toads, and it just charmed the pants off me.  Look how awesome the paintings of these animals are.  Why are they marching around like that?  What the hell are they doing?  Once again, all I can say is wtf, Japan?  WHY SO AWESOME.

"you'll get the hang of it later, Hank. no everytoad can do arm-dousing in their first try."

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