Wavy hair and glasses

I’m listening to Angela Aki now, a half-Japanese, half-American singer/pianist who hails from Tokushima, is fluent in English and Japanese, and has hit it really big in the last year or so, though she’s been around for a few years. Her sound sometimes reminds me a bit of Mika Nakashima’s laid-back lounge sound, but I really like it.

I’d been meaning to listen to her for a while, but I’d forgotten about it until my kids at today’s shougakkou told me that I, with my glasses and wavy black hair, look like her–and one girl, my personal favorite in the class, told me I was prettier! (Now I remember why I like those kids. (Kidding, kidding… (Not really…)))

This was a bit of a crazy weekend. On Friday, I left shortly after work and picked up Sally and Kirsten, and we headed out to the Fuji Grand at Kitajima, where we met up with Julie and Ashley (who’d just gotten their Japanese driver’s licenses that day! Congrats, guys!) and had dinner at Capricciosa and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End. No spoilers…but I’d like my ¥1000 back. It was better than Dead Man’s Chest, but none of us could make any sense of anything until the final resolution–too many overlapping and interlinked motivations and plot twists, several of which were gratuitous and entirely unnecessary, and it was just impossible for us to keep up with it, especially for three hours. If I find myself watching it again, I’m going to bring a notebook. I’m not joking.

We decided that night to have a mid-/westie girls’ night out in Ikeda on Saturday; it’s funny how this has really become The Place To Be in recent weeks. Sally, Gilly, Kirsten, Brian (our one honorary girl), Julie, and Mika came out to join Ashley and me for dinner. (I actually ran into my boss and her husband at the first izakaya we tried!) Brian/Julie/Mika headed home after that (boo!), and we headed to Bar G, where Ange and two of Ashley’s soccer guys met up with us. It was a lot (especially for people who’d had more than a couple of drinks) and I found myself in charge of sorting out the mess with the ambiguous bar tab. We all came back to my place and hung out for a while, until Ashley, Ange, and Ashley’s two soccer guys retreated downstairs around 3 AM to crash, and the rest of us finally fell asleep close to 4. We woke up at 10, took our time getting up, and went out to Autobahn for a lazy brunch. I love the westie girls.

Sunday was just disjointed as a result of that, and I had a kind of weird evening, but I had some jasmine tea and watched The Incredibles and it was all good. Today, it was just the normal routine (though all our classes are shortened from 50 minutes to 45 for the month of June; I didn’t get to ask why)–but I really need to see an optometrist because my eyes are pretty weak now, and I got another eyestrain headache. My glasses aren’t strong enough anymore; my eyes have extremely differing powers, and I realized today that when I closed my left eye, everything was a bit blurry when just using my right eye, which is far, far weaker than my left. I need a stronger prescription.

I did start working out the logistics of another long-weekend trip back to Kyushu in 3 weeks, to revisit Aso and Unzen. Unfortunately, the only overnight ferry I can catch (Matsuyama-Kokura) requires several hours of train travel till I arrive at Aso, and the more direct ferries I was hoping to catch (Matsuyama to Beppu or Oita) would require that I use more vacation time. Trains are always the easiest option but they’re also the most expensive, and highway buses take too long. I may just catch trains to Fukuoka and on to Unzen from there and work my way east and then back to Shikoku–but we’ll see.

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