Coming along

An old house I pass on my way to work everyday…
Apparently the last color scheme I picked was too dark to show up on some people’s monitors. (*in a huffy voice* “which obviously means you need to calibrate your monitors…!”) So I’m working on it now. I’m not sure how I feel about this current scheme (the original idea was “sleek and autumnal”, this new one looks too “shiney and I-just-learned-the-gradient-tool”-ish). So we’ll see.
In response to my friend Marty (amongst others) who was terrified of the previous panda-mask profile picture, I give you the new kinder, gentler, super-cute!!! panda profile picture. Please enjoy. Also, please enjoy the rainy, wet pictures I took today which are scattered liberally throughout this entry, despite having nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter at hand.
Rainy view of the river, with the downtown in the distance…
I wanted to take some cooking classes, but all the cooking schools I went to (most notably “ABC Cooking Studios”… grrrr!) gave me the big ol’ “BATSU” when I inquired – apparently men are not allowed in the schools!! Once my justifiable self-righteous rage had died down (I mean, seriously, what the hell!? Are they afraid I’m going to start raping people while I’m waiting for my cake to finish cooking in the oven!?) I sort of stormed out the place.
(as an aside, i was so irked by this slight that as I berated the poor clerk, I accidentally kept saying “sakoku” instead of “sabetsu” for the word “discrimination”. Those of you up on your Japanese will recognize the former as referring to “the period of national isolation before the Meiji era”. No wonder the poor woman looked so confused…)
wet autumn leaves on the pavement
I’ve been thinking – really, Japanese women (who have it pretty good to begin with anyway) shouldn’t complain about having to do “traditional housewife duties” (a.k.a. cooking) if when a guy actually wants to learn how to do these things, they don’t let him…!
I was talking to momo about this on the phone and she suggested this may be a sort of “protectionist” mechanism, wherein the housewives, not seeing any sizeable returns even if they do “let” the men learn (i.e. the men may learn how to cook, but they still won’t do it) may instead prefer to maintain their exclusive hold over the domestic domain (i.e. even though it sucks to have to do all the cooking, at least it’s something they and they alone can do).
One of the other teachers in my department, hard at work.
An interesting argument (and one offered by Ogasawara in her book “Office ladies and Salaried men” to explain why OL (office ladies) zealously guard the team room against “male intrusion” whilst they simultaneously protest being forced to do ochakumi (pour tea)). However, after some thought, I’m inclined to think that rather, this is more a manifestation of the “double standard” that exists in many “western” societies, wherein the domain of “acceptable behavior” is expanded for women, but either unchanged, or even contracted for men.
(For example, it is regarded as normal for women to wear “men’s” clothing, though the inverse is not true. Another example might include the criticism faced by stay-at-home fathers, (vs. the praise given to “career oriented” mothers). Or perhaps how the same gender “activists” who rally behind women trying to join private golf clubs suddenly fall silent once the issue of the draft is raised, etc. etc.)
A random parking lot…
Growing up as an asian-american (a term I rarely use to refer to myself), I have faced my fair share of discrimination. And while the worst of it died down once I learned to speak English properly (save my inability to pronounce the word “sandwich”) and we moved off of the army bases, nevertheless, it has always been a nagging issue, especially in the wilds of white, white wisconsin. So I guess that I’m not really surprised whenever I run into blatant examples of ignorance, and in particular, here in the fracticious land that is Japan, I should really just come to expect it. But it still irritates one to no end, sort of ‘sticks in your craw’ (to borrow an expression learned in the aforementioned sticks of white, white wisconsin) if you will – it’s bad enough I’m denied the little “cult of celebrity” reserved for blonde-haired, blue-eyed white foreigners, but now they’re going to hate on me because I happen to have a penis!?
A random orange… thing… at my local post office.
So while I’m sure I can take cooking classes somewhere else, I have one more little thing to bitch about on my “bad Japan days”. Whatever. After I left the cooking studio, I happened to pass by a restaurant that I remember one of my students had recommended to me. Seeing as how it was “service day” I stopped by and had a regular ol’ panda feast. While the bizarre logic that governs Japanese society may say that I am not allowed to learn how to cook the food, that doesn’t mean I can’t eat it.
Now listening to “Do as Infinity – Dai Hiiragi”
(ah, Van Tomoko is cute too, ne….)
10:06 am

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