Writing mostly. Bombed at finishing Nanowrimo, but to tell the truth it served it’s purpose. I’m writing a hell of a lot more.I’m drinking a hell of a lot more too, truth be told. More on that later.

Of course, I’ve yet to solve my problem of not finishing anything I write. So far I got several pieces of of a larger alternate history Vinland Saga, a homosexual romance in Weimar Germany, some poetry of metred and prose varieties, and an incipient series of Raymond Queneau inspired stories starring my old writing circle buddy. It’s a lot. I wonder if I’ll finish it.

Recently work has not been going so well, the floor manager is leaving soon, so he’s basically going on autopilot most of the time and starting to relegate duties to both the local and foreign staff, which means we get to feel the brunt of the main manager with all the all psychotic “don’t let one client out the door without them dropping some yen on the latest program” nonsense with no filter whatsoever. QA is fucking dropping like a rock and inventory and protocol is going to shit. The increased workload and stress is making me react in my usual way, by being a prick online. I need to channel it better than by teasing people who pomposity and self-importance annoy the fuck out of me online.

Recently found a conversation exchange partner. Her English is faaaaaar better than my spoken Japanese. It’s embarrassing for me to practice.

I’ve gotten into the habit of buying novels in English from stores in Nagoya. Literary Japanese is just beyond my grasp to read comfortably, and I need books to devour or I go crazy.

One of the things I picked up was a handbook of sake. Since I’ve picked it up, I’ve been sampling the many fine products of Japan that can’t be acquired easily abroad. For example, right now I’m drunk on Gokyo Ginjo Genshu. Usually priced at about 3600 yen for 720 mil, I picked it up for 1000 yen (around ten bucks). The label was slightly damaged and it was getting old (bottled in mid-July). Genshu (undiluted sake that’s around 20% alcohol content) is damn hard to find in the states, due to its rather rough taste profile. As it is, I got what I paid for. The finish is really showing signs of age with a horrid bitterness. The bouquet is still perfectly intact, though. I huffed this baby for about 3 damn minutes before drinking. Heavy fruits, almost tropical, with banana and guava dominating. Too bad actually tasting it was a letdown. It must have been sublime in it’s prime. The nama (unpasteurized) version is supposed to be one of the best examples of its subtype on the market. That one is actually exported. Good luck finding it, though Gokyo’s perfectly servicable Ginjo, Honjozo and Daiginjo are pretty easily had in any decent import liquor shop in the states as well. Heh, if anyone cares, I could make this a regular part of the blog. Sake and shochu amateur reviews.

Also of note is the fact that absinthe is completely legal here. The selection is small in my town (mostly latter-day Pernod and that Czech swill), but I hope to hit the shops in the Sakae district of Nagoya sometime. By spring, I hope to have some reviews of the good stuff up. Here’s hoping that the Jade company has a Japanese distributor.

One can also have Cuban cigars here, if you’re willing to give a pound of flesh. The plus side is, you don’t have to worry about counterfeits. Even the hole in the wall shop I frequent has completely legit Cohibas and Montecristos. The fuckers basically start at 3000 yen, though. Also, despite Japan being heavy cigarette country, cigars and pipes are virtually unknown here and most folks don’t enjoy the smell, leaving folks like me to furtively smoke by our apartment windows and in pricey cigar bars. The irony slays me.

Finally, women. You know, I think about ’em less than the average guy does, but Japan has been a long drought for me, as this land is devoid of “my type”. The Brazilian girls here in the immigrant community have also been something of a letdown. So I resort to a song that reminds me of a couple of girls back in Hawaii. I wonder how they’re doing now.

I hope when I’m in my 40s, I’m as fucking chill as Gainsbourg.

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