Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Farms

Two posts from yours truly… all in one day. Omagah.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Today I find myself with plenty of down time at my desk and I'd like to keep it that way. To avoid being asked to teach any unscheduled lessons I have enacted my ‘fortress of solitude’ plan. Basically I look busy at my desk by clattering loudly on my keyboard, furrowing my brow and questioningly grunting from time to time. If anyone gets too close to me or looks like they want to talk I flash a quick smile and bolt to the potty until I think they've gone.  Crazy? Yes. Wicked bathroom stink? Double yes. But ask me how many lessons I’ve taught today. Come on, ask.                                                                                                                                    
          Well anyway I had the time to do a little laptop housekeeping, and came across some photos and a video I meant to post some time ago. They’re from one of my favorite farms in the area, Green Farms. The only problem I have with the place is that they keep this bear that wandered in from the mountains in a really, really tiny cage. It’s bored as shit and just walks around in circles, day after day. Gotta figure out how to either kill the thing or raise some money to get it a bigger cage. Other than Pooh bear, all the animals on the property look pretty happy and it’s a lovely place to wander around. Have a looksee~
They had orange pumpkins this year!
  Bees in boxes. 'Bout 80 clams.
Fish in bags. 5 clams flat.
Grandma's telephone. Great reception but requires wax cylinders to make a call.
Mushrooms on stumps. I guess about 10 clams 50.
And lastly... Well I have no idea what you're supposed to be.

A Winter Work Out

More often than is probably usual, I find myself talking in a psychopathic squirrel voice, hell-bent on the murder of loved ones. Some who have come to encounter this strange creature have affectionately named it 'Gibbles'. Recently, a rare piece of footage was unearthed from my computer that catches Gibbles dancing to it's favorite band, Primus.

So as the chill of winter sets in and your potato ass mashes itself further down the cracks of your La-Z-Boy, I would like to offer up this potentially helpful video. It is my hope that you can enjoy dancing along to the frantic jig, as well as get the blood pumping back into those sagging vestiges of fat you call your body.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Around Suwa-ko

The other weekend I ran a half-marathon around Lake Suwa (21k). I wasn't aware that marathons came in halves or wholes until about a week before the race. Somebody told me. If there are categories that separate 'runners' and 'people who sometimes run and other times eat frosting from the can', you can probably figure out which one I belong to. My time wasn't great, but I finished six minutes under the time limit; something I hear about the lower third couldn't make. So, yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm proud of my comrades and of the people who didn't finish on time, too. Everyone really challenged themselves. Pictured below is 'team underdog'. We're enjoying some wine and a hearty pipe in the parking lot post-race. If our story were to be turned into a movie, the caption would probably read, 'the team that nobody expected to win, and didn't'. ♥

I can't think of any reason as to why I started running. Even less rationale behind why I started running without shoes. For most of the race I used a pair of five-finger shoes, but eventually even those had to come off. My toenails were long as shit and jamming themselves into their respective toe capsules, and my feet were begging for the pavement. People didn't stare as much as usual, which I contribute to their utter lack of energy near the end of the race. On the flip side, all of the village people who see me running around barefoot always want to stop me and have a chat about it. "Do you know you're barefoot?" "Do your feet hurt?" "Are you poor or crazy?" Recently I was going break speed down a sunlit hill in the Nagano countryside when Cat Stevens shuffled onto my mp3 player. He was singing something nice about peace and love or pot or bunny rabbits. I don't remember exactly what but it was pulsing through me as I flew forward. I could feel the rocks and damp grass under my feet. That's as close to understanding the 'why' of it as I've come. There have certainly been benefits to running barefoot; I have developed arches in my exceptionally flat feet and they don't pronate anymore. That means less foot pain and less trouble with my knees. That's not why I started running without shoes, though, and it isn't why I continue to do so. There is no 'why'.