i’m saying no.


Because this isn’t right for me. It’s not you, it’s me. Because I can’t make the kind of commitment you’re asking. Because the job doesn’t justify a move to the most expensive city in the world. Because I’d actually be happier making lattes in a place where I know people and in a job I can easily leave.

The answer is no.



I feel better.


ok, that was a bit convoluted.

that hooker story is actually about me. no, I’m not an actual hooker; I’m using the world’s oldest profession as a metaphor for teaching English. sigh. yeah, I was made an offer that’s difficult to refuse (especially given the fact that it’s the only offer on my table right now). definitely a step up from what I was doing pre-Master’s, but… ugh. I didn’t get 2 Master’s degrees to be a fucking secretary.


one last dance with Mary Jane

Once upon a time, there was this hooker. Let’s call her Mary Jane. She got along all right whoring, but after a while she decided she didn’t want to do it anymore, that her real talent was hairdressing. So she went to a hairdressing school, did well, and graduated. Normally, all would be well, except she had a slight speech impediment that she’d have to overcome before she could become a full-fledged hairdresser.
While she was working on this speech impediment, along came a rich businessman who was kind of like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, except Asian. Anyway he offered Mary Jane a job as his full-time escort. The pay was much higher than what she had been getting as a common street corner trollop, and there were health insurance benefits and free breakfast and lunch as well. In fact, the pay and benefits were better than she’d get as a hairdresser, and the businessman didn’t mind her speech impediment either. In fact, he found it very sexy. She knew that she could really use the money that this businessman was offering, but she’d be pretty much locked in for at least a year.
“No, no, no…” she shook her head. “I studied too hard, spent too much money on that certificate, and have come too far to go back to whoring. I just can’t go back… but fuck, I’m 30 years old and have no house and no money. What the hell should I do?”

cold e-mailing

Today at work we got an unsolicited e-mail from a job-seeker. Even though it’s what counselors encourage you to do, I can’t do that. Why? Because, well, I think I’d sound like an entitled little snotball. And that’s what I thought of this person with their undergrad in some vague Asian cultural studies major, followed by 4 years on the Program that Shall Not Be Named–time spent with that Program (OK, let’s call it Voldemort, shall we?) explained the “silver chopstick in mouth” attitude. I brushed it off and went about my work.

But much to my surprise, one of my colleagues thought it “might be worthwhile to get a CV off of him,” even though this coworker pointed out several typos and a general feeling that this person knew very little about our organization (which, incidentally, rejected my application for a full-time position, adding insult to injury).  I got indignant and it ruined the next 15 minutes for me. So they’ll reject me, but entertain this assclown. 

But… all right, I guess I’m being judgmental. Every job seeker looks like a complete tool, including myself, and that’s probably why said colleague treated me with the same kind of indignation I just expressed back in the halcyon days of a few months ago when I still had hope of getting hired here. So I took the opportunity to learn from the e-mail, and took away the following points:

1.) You will sound like a total, utter, insufferable tool in all your cover letters. There’s something about the job search that concocts an otherwise inconceivable cocktail of entitlement and desperation.

2.) If you look like you spent some time investigating what the company or organization does, they might actually overlook the tooliness and take notice.

3.) Watch your spelling, for fuck’s sake.

New Year

the clock struck 12 midnight on January 1st, 2013 without much fanfare as it does in my own parents’ place half a world away. (12:03 “Hey, it’s New Year.” “Oh. Yeah. How ’bout that.”) The T family doesn’t go to the shrine on new year or anything like that, much like a lot of families don’t go to Midnight Mass but everyone around the world just kinda thinks they do. it’s just as well; I was never one to make a big deal out of New Year’s, it tends to be depressing if you think about it too much. Instead, I prefer to think of every day as a new opportunity, with no need to wait until New Year or springtime or the new school year to get going; in fact using these so-called milestones can be a great way to procrastinate on it. That said, I want to pass JLPT 2 this year. and any time I find myself getting anxious, or generally falling into a cycle of despair, I’m going to say the phrase “adorable kittens.” Because, come on..

.adorablekittens adorablekittens2


yesterday I was made a very generous offer in the event that worse comes to worst and I have to choose between part-time, low income work that actually advances my career, and the high-income/apartment guarantor providing golden cage of English teaching. Basically, Japan is full of semi-abandoned houses that are too old to sell and still in their respective families, and… well, I’ll have access to one should the worst happen. I’ll help with the upkeep whether they want me to or not, but otherwise it’s rent-free. Even after 7 years, I continue to be humbled by people’s willingness to help a near-stranger in a tight spot. I don’t care if the T family was farming rice or shoveling cow poop in the Meiji era–to me, they are samurais. Of course I’ll continue to look for my own way, but it’s nice to know that it won’t come down to my dreams being wrecked by an inability to come up with key money.

最近一番不安なことはお金じゃなくて、アパートのことです。基本的に、外国人が大家さんに信じてもらうためには、大きい会社か英会話スクールとかが必要です。私の場合、本当に最悪です。日本語レベルアップのために、バイトをします。でも、今の機関やカフェとかはアパートを維持できないかもしれません。そうすると、「最悪な英会話スクールしか入れないね。」 でも、『トー様の家族は私に 「他のオプションがなかったら、前のおじちゃんとおばちゃんの家に住んでもいいよ」と言いました。彼らは私のことをよく知りませんが、助けてくれます。本当にありがたいです。