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Blogs I am following

Saturday, December 06, 2008 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Good Evening from Nagoya where it is 42 degrees and the night is clear.

I have had better days then today but at least it has been relaxing and my apartment is warm. And my apartment is also very clean and tidy which always makes me happy.

Ever adding more cool stuff to this my free blog you will now find a list of blogs that I am following. Just scroll down on the right hand side and you will see them. Some of these blogs are from Japan and others from different parts of the world. Like my links these will be continually updated.

As a reminder you can scroll down on the right hand said and choose to follow my blog. Again, you can sign up as anonymous if you want.


Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

Friday, December 05, 2008 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Konnichiwa (good afternoon)!

Friday afternoon and the city is blanketed in darkness and rain which I find comforting. In my head Miles Davis is playing Summertime with a mute while Herbie Hancock caresses the piano and Tony Williams gently touches the cymbals with a brush. There are few things I enjoy more on a rainy day like this then listening to Miles and drifting into a delicious sleep.

So maybe I will skip yet another English party tonight and enjoy some candle light, wine and my tunes. People tell me silly things like, “Why would you bother with candles when you are alone?” Or, “Why go to the trouble of setting up a good vibe when you are alone?” I don’t listen. People said the same things in Chicago when I painted my bathroom bright purple with black trim. That bathroom rocked and I still miss it. The funny thing is my landlord thought I wanted to paint the whole place purple and was okay with it.

Dr. David Burns ( describes self-esteem as, “How you treat yourself when no one else is around.” I love this definition and continue to learn how to be good to myself. Many of you may understand how much easier it is to be nice to other people.

Thank you for hanging out with me for a bit and sharing my mood.

Love & Peace,


Finding a Mexican restaurant in Nagoya

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)

A little story for you.
Many streets in Japan don’t have names and most fliers have small maps. Even for the Japanese these maps can be notoriously difficult to read. In Tokyo you see people of all nationalities looking at maps sadly. In Japanzine (see the link on the right hand side) there are great recommendations for clubs and restaurants. Unfortunately, some of the maps are tiny.
Last year on a cold Thursday in search of a Mexican restaurant I was using a minuscule map. Those that know me realize I am rarely stubborn but do have my moments. (Um, yes I do know where lies go!) After a week of errands which led me to ask for directions at every turn I was tired of it. I swore to find my way own. Seeing the same Super Suit store and Mos Burgers which smelled great, for the fourth time my will power was fading. Hunger was no longer the accurate word, any moment now I was going to pass the starving point. My will power caved in and my stomach said a prayer of thanks.
Wondering onto a busy street I stopped before a group of young men laughing and obviously looking for fun. Excuse me I said (in Japanese) and they stopped to look at the strange guy with blue eyes. They didn’t speak English but took my map and understood my problem. One of the guys who was more talkative and might have been their leader started to study the map intently. Before long he was making the international sounds of frustration we call grunts. The other guys gathered around him and also focused on my problem. Another guy with make up and more interesting dangling ear rings turned the map upside down. We all studied the map in silence. Another guy that was not wearing make up and looked prettier than the others turned it sideways. This led several more guys to start using the international language again. My sad stomach joined in with them. We didn’t understand each others native language and indeed may have had nothing in common except our affection for ear rings. But in that moment on a busy street in Sakae with rain looming in the horizon we were one.
Such moments never last of course and none of us were learning anything about the map. One of the guys with a nice leather jacket half heartedly pointed to a side street for me to take but we all knew he was guessing. Leaving them to find their fun I thanked them profusely in Japanese for their time.
Shoving the map angrily back into my pocket I promised my stomach Mos Burgers or the Mexican place in the next fifteen minutes. Sleepy and starving I wondered from this street to that and finally recognized something from the map. “This must be a hallucination my stomach” said to me. “Hey take what you can get” I told it. Turning the hundredth corner finally there was the Mexican restaurant.
As we were eating my stomach thanked me for the food but asked when we were going back to Chicago where they know how to make Mexican food. I felt the same and started to hope I could find the train. Almost all Japanese people know the word train and will point you in the right direction. So much I thought for my recent attempt to give up asking for help. Things could be worse, the Japanese people are very nice and seem to enjoy helping out foreigners. Besides I have been lost a few times in my life. Or maybe a few more times than that. If you are a rational person you don't get lost so much I think. If you are a writer and therefore not generally rational you get lost often but sometimes are lucky and find a story in your head.
Peace & Love & Happiness,
(A great song by Information Society)


Bounenkai (End of the Year Party) Take II

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)


Sunday night and it is cool outside but toasty warm in my apartment with the red curtains.

This year my company's Bounenkai (End of the Year Party) was at a popular restaurant chain in Japan called Yamachan. Unlike like year I had no problems finding the restaurant. Yamachan is easy to recognize because they have a big chicken sign. Getting off the train I was rushing to be on-time as the Japanese are often punctual. Then I slowed down and started laughing to myself because it was a gaijin (foreigners) party after all. Taking a nice slow walk I still got there before about 90% of the people.

They had delicious chicken wings and other things (something was a form of potato, something else was like a hush puppy back home but not) were yummy. A little bit of drinking took place. Okay we are talking about young foreigners in Japan, I think they may have run out. The waiters came by to clear the tables and when we asked for more food they said dinner was finished. As often happens in Japan more food came out ten minutes later. I know there was chicken but I can't remember if it was with noodles or something else. It probably was chicken I think. . .all I remember for sure is that I was hungry and it was good.

Brody, the guy in the pictures with spiked hair got lots of attention. He used some scary chemical waste to make his hair stay like that. I tried a new style with my hair down on one side (that was cool in the 80's) but it looked rather awful.

In the pictures you will see me with my boss (in the white shirt) who has been very helpful and loyal to me this school year. My friend Carl who looks the most natural I think with those silly expressions. We work together at my second school and he helps to keep me sane. The Japanese girls you see in the pictures also work at our company and deserve medals for dealing with sometimes crazy gaijin.

[See my blog on December 9th regarding the use of boy and girl.]

People at the party were from: America, Scotland, Australia, England, New Zealand, Hungrary, the Philippines, and an Eastern European country whose name I forget. The girl with the red hair is from that country and I forget her name too. Our party included people from several different regions in Japan so I got to meet fun new people. After stretching out our two hour dinner most of us moved on to the Hub, a popular English Pub nearby.

I hope many of you out there have wonderful holiday parties! If anyone has a good story from their party let me know.

Good night!


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A Flower Exhibition with a friend

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Hello and Welcome to my Blog.

Please remember to tip the wait staff; they are working hard while you are readeading. Or as they say at Second City as an army of waiters come out of a hundred doors (or so it seems), “The more you drink the funnier we get.”

After doing more research I discovered there is a ridiculously easy way to add pictures. It reminds me of spending hours looking for something you lost only to find it finally in a place that makes sense. Sure that receipt was in the jacket I wore last week not in the closet I just destroyed. Not that I would do something silly like take everything out of my closet and spread it across the bedroom. Really, I would never do that because the dresser is too heavy for me to remove. Nor would I try to download complicated new programs when you can simply add a link from Picasso Web Albums to Blogger.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. You should be able to double click on the slideshow and make it bigger have you the urge. If there are problems, please let me know.

Take care,


Flower Exhibition with a friend