When I got dressed this morning, I put on a pair of green flannel boxer shorts and my black LEAVE ME ALONE t-shirt. I don’t normally dress like that–most of my “shorts” go down to my knees. The shirt doesn’t matter so much. English on t-shirts is trendy but meaning mostly gets ignored. I wonder, though. If I wore that outfit in the States, would people think I’m gay?

I got a lot of leg ogling, which I actually enjoyed. A while ago, we were doing wide hook punches at the dojo and I complained that it wasn’t fair that my partner had particularly long arms. She said, “Yeah, well, you have long legs, so it’s the same thing.” I get comments like that all the time and really get a kick out of them. Long legs? ME??? I’m only five feet tall. I don’t have long anything! Even here, pants tend to be too long on me, except the ones made for old ladies,which tend to be too short, too tight in the butt and too big in the belly, so they look like diapers.

So clothed in my attitude outfit, I was sitting on a bench near the station and a man walked by carrying a shopping bag that said, “For your JUST” and that got me thinking about the strange relationship Japan has with English. Other slogans: Inspire the Next, Shift the Future. Some product names: Creep (coffee creamer, “Hey, creep, don’t touch my coffee!”), Calpis (sweetened milk beverage, let’s hope it’s milk), Collon (tubular cookies filled with chocolate, use your imagination). I guess it’s the same as the shirt, that the meaning doesn’t matter, but it makes me wonder. If you’re not looking for meaning, does that mean there isn’t any?


Prostitutes and Mutants

What a strange day I had on Wednesday. We were filming in an apartment and as soon as I walked in, the producer apologized to me that there was very little English in the script so there would be a lot of waiting time for me, but that I could wait in one of the bedrooms. Turns out there was nothing in the bedroom but a bed, so I spent the day lolling around in bed and getting paid for it. I don’t think there’s any other job where you get to do that, except maybe the obvious, but I doubt that prostitutes get to do a lot of lolling.

At one point, the little boy who was in the video came and sat by me and looked up at my face with absolute wonderment. He said, “Wow…your eyes…around the outside…wow!” I guess he’d never seen fair eyes up close before. I was totally charmed. I have had the experience of kids looking up at me and screaming. From their perspective, I must look like some kind of mutant.

Aiming High

At the dojo yesterday, I got to partner with Sensei for the last round. I NEVER get to do that. In the six years I’ve been doing his classes, I think that’s only the third time. Anyway, we were doing a one-two, upper, straight combination, and Sensei gradually kept raising the mitt higher for the uppers. Like everyone else, he’s a good bit taller than me, and toward the end of the round, he was holding the mitt over his head. I had to jump to get up high enough to hit it, then deliver the straight punch before my feet hit the ground. It was tough, but very Jackie Chan.

This isn’t him, it’s Takahashi-kun, but I like this picture.

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