Goblin goods

A quiet weekend, save for an all-nighter saturday night spent watching a nerve-wracking English victory over Macedonia (I`m steadily on my way to turning into a full fledged brit) at the local sports pub and culminating in what I can only describe as an early morning debacle at Mr. Donuts during which we consumed donuts en masse in an (eventually successful) attempt to amass enough “point cards” (awarded for every purchase over 300 yen) to purchase some “Goblin Goods”. I ended up with some sort of object that I can only describe as a canvas tissue-box / drink-bottle holder of dubious utility brightly festooned with cute, but slightly homo-erotic appearing goblin-folk. At any rate, it is hanging up in my kitchen, awaiting all my goblin-tissue-and-drink-toting needs.
The West Side – cuz` you and I both know it`s da best side…
Sunday was spent recovering, which led naturally to a rather sedate monday, the start of what will (hopefully) be a quiet week. The school is having final exams all this week, which means that panda has absolutely no work to do whatsoever. Which, given panda`s love of sleep, is great news :) .
Unfortunately, one can only sleep at their desk for so long before the kyoto sensei starts taking note of the spreading puddle of drool and comes over to hem and haw dissaprovingly. Fortunately, I found a big fat thick tom clancy novel laying around the house, and started in on that. It`s a hefty 1200 pages, which I initially imagined must be enough to last me the week, unfortunately, I`m already 400 pages into it, and it`s only monday. (and tommorrow is one of those evil 13 hour days).
Denise loves her precioussssss (shiney pieces of paper)
Now boyhood visions of james-bond spy thriller drama aside (political intruige! guns! sexy women cum NSA assasin! Enough to make even the most mundane trip to the water cooler a little more exciting, with me springing about from corner to corner mission impossible-style, at least until I trip over the science teacher`s wastebasket, eliciting a frown and the all-mighty-crossed-hand BATSU. (“DAME…!! It is prohibited the pretend of being international spy in the Instructor rest area! “))
errr… now where was I? Oh yeah. Boyhood visions of James Bond aside, all this Tom Clancy reading got me thinking about my future, or as I like to refer to it – “what-I`m-going-to-do-when-my-visa-runs-out-and-immigrations-comes-looking-for-me”. Now, while not quite giving up on my dream of marrying a beautiful daughter of a wealthy Japanese industrialist (I`ve been looking, but there just don`t seem to be so many of them down at the local Mosburger…), my impending birthday this saturday seems hell-bent on viciously ramming the reality of my growing age down my throat (24 – I`m gonna be AN OLD MAN….!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!) So I`m gonna have to start considering the possibility that I will not, in fact, be a kept man in the future.
Enough points for some Goblin Goods. Shiney pieces of paper not included.
So what to do? Or better yet, how to fill the countless hours at school sitting at my desk with something that will contribute positively to my future? When I decided to come to Japan, I somehow kept reassuring myself that I would “find something” which would magically click and then all the little details would get sorted from there, the end result being wealth, fame, fortune, and good looks. And a lifetime supply of tonkatsu. (details, details…).
Having spent five years of my life slaving away at Uni studying the immeasurably fascinating world of genetics and biology (translation: lots of classes on bacteria sex. like some form of prokaryotic protist porn, if you will) I thought it might be good to consider going on to graduate school to study something in this field (which, as my thinking goes, will eventually lead me to make some great (read: PATENTABLE) discovery which will lead to the above mentioned outcomes). Unfortunately, this plan is hampered by my extreme burning hatred for math, chemistry and sadly, genetics (all of which are implicitly important in the field of, um, genetics) and in no small measure, by my IQ, whom, I have been assured by several reliable sources, falls squarely in the double digit range. (Guidance Counselor: “Michael, based on your standardised test scores, we have concluded that you are perfectly suited for a career in Manual Labor!!!” Me: *blink eyes rapidly, get distracted by passing car outside*)
Ah, what a sexy group of gaijin we are, yes?
So that having been said, I don`t really know if a career in science is, as they say, “right for me”. But I must admit that I still enjoy flipping through the pages of the latest issue of Nature magazine, though in contrast to the age old chorus of men everywhere, more for the pictures than the articles. (ooh, pretty multi-colored A. Thaliana genome..!) (Cross reference Homer Simpson: “OOH! DONUT!”)
Too much donut creme drives Moby to the end of insanity.
So what then? Well, as they told me when I signed up for the International Relations program, “There`s always the foreign service!”. (They also explicitly mentioned “Food service / McDonalds” when I asked them what exactly a degree in IR was worth, but let us disregard that for now…). And really, when you think about it, Foreign Service is a lovely little job. Actually, I seem to recall writing down “mid-level bureaucrat” when my 2nd grade teacher asked us “what we would like to become in the future”. (My other options, as I recall, were “Spiderman” and “a ninja”) (this is before I realized that radioactive spiders are notoriously hard to come by, and that the invention of machine guns ago had made the latter job significantly more hazardous).
Me (and a racoon taped to my head) ravenously tearing into my Goblin bag.
So what of it then? I wonder if foreign service is the right choice for me. I mean, I really don`t want to get stuck way out in bum-f-ck africa (or worse yet, France), but if I could get placed in Japan or somewhere in eastern asia, it might not be all that bad. It might even be enjoyable. So vaugely kicking around this idea, I sort of decided to order a book to study for next year`s foreign service exam. It`s weird, really – I never thought that I`d be making crucial decisions affecting the rest of my life, liberty and happiness while dicking around in a teacher`s lounge in the middle of the Japanese countryside. Guess it just goes to show you that you can never tell the way life is going to unfold. I don`t know how this meshes with innocent meanderings of childhood or even if I still know what any of those dreams of youth are anymore. Somewhere along the way, I turned into a (sort of) adult, and seemed to forget a whole lot of things that I swore once I would never forget. An old man already at the ripe old age of 24, as it were, and I seem to have just stumbled into my current juncture in life – a product more of coincidental foolish bumbling from one place to another, winging it and dealing with whatever the repercussions, than of serious plan and contemplative study and determination. I guess when I was a child, and the whole world seemed open to me, I always thought I`d be in control of my own destiny, rather than one of those “accidental adults” who has let their dreams fall by the wayside in an inevitable march into suburban mediocracy – 2.5 kids, half a dog, yadda yadda. So who knows? Maybe it`s time for a plan.
And anyway, if that doesn`t work out, there`s always Spiderman.
Now watching: “Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels”
(I feel so much cooler now that I can understand the slang used in this movie!)
6:51 am

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