Posts Tagged Pixies

June 13, 2004 – Music and movies with The Penpal

Today The Penpal came from Numazu to visit me in Kawasaki again. We hung out in my room at Hello House and listened to music. Afterwards we watched my Pixies DVD. I also practiced my Japanese by trying to retell the story about Green attempting to eat 20 Frosties at Wendy’s in Japanese. The Penpal understood my explanation of the story, but couldn’t understand why someone would try to eat 20 Frosties at one time. If I can’t explain it in English, I have no chance of explaining it in Japanese.

After she returned to Numazu, I went to the video store and rented American Beauty and Silence of the Lambs. I had seen both before, but they were both excellent.

(2014 Update) The ending of Silence of the Lambs continues to be terrifying even years later.

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May 5, 2004 – Pixies Rule!

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Just before 10:00am this morning I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. It was one of my supervisors calling, asking me if I knew that the work schedule had changed. I told him no, and asked what time I was scheduled to start. He told me that I was on the schedule from 10:00am. For the record – this is not a fun way to wake up.

I quickly shaved, threw on some clothes and RAN for the train. The train ride was 27 minutes long, and as soon as the doors opened I again RAN towards the NOVA school. I managed to arrive 3 minutes before my second lesson. Usually arriving late will get a monetary penalty, but I assume I will not have to pay since I was not informed of the schedule change.

Aside from the excitement, I had a great day. Working a 5 lesson early shift was great because my entire afternoon and evening were free. I used my free time to buy and watch a Pixies concert DVD with documentary. PIXIES RULE!

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April 2, 2004 – Back from the dead

Sleep and movies makes colds go away! I felt pretty good and was super productive. I managed to finally get back to the immigration office to pick up my pickuppables, got my hair cut, and picked up dry cleaning. Also, my kids class wasn’t terrible today.

But the real reason why it was a great day was that I found out the Pixies will be coming to Japan this summer! Details to follow.

(2014 Update) Yeah… I never got to see the Pixies when they came to Japan 😦

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February 21, 2004 – Pixies in Winnipeg? Are you kidding me?

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I had to teach a 4 year old girl today. She ran screaming and crying from the small Nova fishbowl sized classroom, even when her mother was in there. So I ended up teaching her in one of the empty kids classrooms. Once she got into the bigger, friendlier looking room she was really fun to teach.

Just before I started writing this post I got an email from The Ex letting me know that the Pixies are reuniting and going on a tour. Holy sh*t!! Unbelievably, the first date of their tour is WINNIPEG, while I am stuck here in Japan. To keep this blog mostly appropriate for all ages, I would like you to think of the worst, most vulgar curse words you know. Now imagine me screaming those words over and over until I lose my voice. That’s how I feel about the situation. Hopefully they will manage to keep it together until they make it to an as yet unannounced Japanese date. I mean, seriously, that`s just cruel. The only thing that could be more heartbreaking for me would be Kurt Cobain revealing he is really still alive, and Nirvana starting a reunion tour from Winnipeg. F@*k.

2014 Update

It took until April 2011 for me to finally see the Pixies in concert. The show was on the Doolittle 20th anniversary tour and it sold out in less than 5 minutes. I bought tickets from StubHub, a ticket reselling (scalping) website for twice the price. Not long after I made my non-refundable purchase, the Pixies announced a second show in Winnipeg that I could have easily got tickets for. Meanwhile, it took me weeks of getting the wrong tickets, sending them back, getting the wrong tickets again and then hours on the phone to finally get my overpriced concert tickets.

Do go see the Pixies if you have a chance. Don’t buy from StubHub. Ever.

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The Penpal

Another one of the important characters in my upcoming adventures is The Penpal.

In my second last year of University I took an elective Japanese language course. I liked it so much that I wanted to continue with another Japanese course in my final year of school. My biggest concern was losing my language abilities in the 4 months between semesters. Winnipeg has a very small Japanese community, so I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to find language partners in person. Faced with a challenge, I turned to the internet for assistance.

Searching for foreign language exchange partners brings you to a wide array of websites – some legit language exchange sites, many more for finding foreign spouses. I would promote the website that I used, but it has now been replaced with a straight up dating website.

I signed up for an account and created a profile explaining that I was looking for someone to practice Japanese with. In my profile I specifically mentioned that I was a big fan of Radiohead, Pixies, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the Beatles. In short order I ended up with penpals from Japan, Korea and the Philippines. One of my Japanese penpals decided to write to me because she shared the same taste in music. She was about the same age as me, and lived in a city called Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture. Like many other Japanese people, she had studied English in school but didn’t have a lot of opportunity to practice in daily life. Out of all of the penpals I got on the website, she and I had the most in common and wrote each other weekly in English and Japanese.

One of the highlights of our email exchanges was when I made a mix CD to send to her. The CD included Queens of the Stone Age, Moist, Our Lady Peace, Frank Black and other music that I was into at the time. Out of the CD, she particularly liked Moist and Our Lady Peace (go Canadian bands!). Not having a CD burner, she responded with a mix cassette. Her cassette included Shiina Ringo, UA, Love Psychedelico and Number Girl. I had never heard of any of them before, but quickly became a fan.

To be clear – I was not looking for a girlfriend. I already had one of those (The Ex). She also had a boyfriend at the time. We were both honestly looking for a language partner, and we both ended up finding a friend. From here forward I will refer to this person as “The Penpal”.

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