Wednesday 24 November 2010

'Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon...'

Here is a story. It could only happen to a gaijin like me. Enjoy my misery you sick bastards...

The marathon that wasn't.

2010 was to be my 3rd go at the 10km run at Fukuchiyama, despite the fact that the location is in the middle of nowhere and is very far from, well, anything, I liked the course and was comfortable with it. So back in September when I put my entry in I wasn't too worried, I had time to train. I enjoy training for a run, it gives me a goal and this year would surely be better than last year when I was fatter, more sleep-deprived and had less time to train.

So for a few months I disciplined myself to not stop and walk a lap of my local pond but run the whole damn thing lap after lap until my lungs felt like they would burst, cut back on the booze and bad food to get rid of those extra kilos weighing me down, and ran. Morning and night for the last two weeks of training. My feet had new blisters on top of old blisters and resembled a homeless man's prize leather boots, but as any runner will know your feet go numb after a certain number of kilometres anyway and the pain in your legs and chest is far more concerning.

I was a little nervous the night before but nothing too stressful, my bag was packed with every conceivable item of clothing I would need for the day in case of rain, wind, sunshine, it was all covered. I had also packed for Ash who would come along with us. Packing for an almost 2 year old isn't easy, unpredictable little buggers that they are. You need nappies and wipes, spare clothes in the case of spills, food and drink for them to spill on said clothes, bribes in the form of lollies, savoury snacks and their favourite toys. I had it all, or so I thought...

As we tossed up the options of which car to take and what time to leave it was suggested by Grandma and encouraged by me, that Ash should stay home at the in-law house, we'd be home before lunch anyway and the early start would make for a cranky little sod in the evening. But alas, Grandma and I were outnumbered and I was assured that his baby car seat would be transferred to MIL's car as that is what we'd take. Well, not exactly. MIL's car was having some ridiculously expensive repair at the dealer's so she had a brand spanking new, shiny hybrid Honda to drive for a week. less than 1000kms on the clock, sleek red paint, spaceship-like panel which made me want to quote buzz lightyear and all the little extras that come with new cars. We figured we may as well clock up the kilometres on a car we could just return anyway. Oh how much I wish we hadn't been so wasteful...

I was already awake when the alarm buzzed at 5am, already giving myself pep talks on how to keep my pace and breathe through my nose. Well, not really, but I was trying to convince myself that nothing really mattered as long as I gave it a good hard crack and finished the damn thing. Ryota stumbled up from his futon, clearly pissed off that he was awake so early with a 2 hour drive ahead of him on his day off, but being a good supportive husband, smiled and said: 'Let's do this!!' We left Ash in his baby slumber as didn't seem any point to wake the poor pet, we trudged downstairs and tried to warm ourselves up as the chilly air bit at every piece of exposed flesh. I got my running gear on and then layered with a few warm jackets while Ryota lugged all of my things to the car. By the time we were ready to leave I was feeling fit and confident that all was good, I double checked my entry ticket and parking ticket and estimated that we'd arrive at the marathon with plenty of time to spare for last minute wee trips and a snickers and Aquarius to give me that double sugar hit to get me through. But I had no idea my nightmare from a few nights ago* was going to come true...

The drive there was going smoothly, no rain, no traffic jams, Ash still sleeping in the position that he had been when I'd plucked him out of his warm bed and stuffed him into the warm car. Ryota munched on his cream bun with delight as I nibbled on my rice ball, admiring the irony of a Japanese guy licking sugar and jam off his lips while I, the western girl, carefully positioned my seaweed around my onigiri so it didn't collapse like a pro. Suddenly, almost choking on his breakfast, Ryota slammed the steering wheel and said "Damn it, we forgot the stroller!!" I too, was pissed off at this, I'd planned to grab it on the way out but with Ash being a dead weight in my arms I'd clean forgotten. But we reasoned that it wasn't that big of a deal, if he got too tired one of us would just have to carry him. Ash woke up with about 30 minutes to go and was in great spirits, singing along as we went through our 'boredom song' repertoire and chowing down on some bread and veggie juice. The veggie juice... Why didn't I go for apple juice...?

Shortly after singing his little heart out, the poor kid went a bit white in the face, went really quiet, and then... Proceeded to vomit all over himself and his car seat. This vomit was like you've never seen before. The veggie juice (which was a bright pinkish purple colour) came out exactly as it had looked when I wiped a dribble off his lips and joked that it looked like he was wearing pink lipstick, the bread was spongy and congealed, not yet digested. As he sat pooled in his own vomit Ryota spun around and his first thought was that Ash was vomiting blood. I guess we can thank some bastard god that it wasn't blood, but really, car sick!? Today?? Of all days?! For the first time!? However, Ash was in good spirits, giggling as I mopped up his stomach acids with wipes and tissues and I was thanking my lucky stars that his projectile had only gone as far as his navy blue car seat and not all over the powdery light gray seats of the brand new loan car.

By the time we'd recovered from the car sickness incident, we'd reached the marathon parking entrance. Due to rain the night before, the car park was a sludgy mess, and with about 25,000 people piling at the same time it was a sea of running gear and sports bags as everyone started the 20 minute trek up the side of the mountain to get to the marathon starting area. We were way early so decided to relax in the car for a bit, Ryota smoking, me changing shoes and getting all my stuff together, and then, just as I was about to get out of the car and brave the frosty 7 degree air, my heart sank, I got that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, and knew we were in trouble. Shoes. Not mine either.

How could I forget Ash's shoes AND socks!? He's been walking for over a year!!!!!

When I made this dramatic discovery and screeched at Ryota over my stupidity Ryota surprised me by not getting angry or down, but laughing uncontrollably at our situation. Picture it, the smell of vomit still fresh in our nostrils, bags and bags of useless clothes and a bare-footed little boy smiling at us ready to go and run around in the puddles. In many ways I still can't believe my stupidity but in my only defence I'm not used to him being asleep when we leave the house and just carried him straight out the door, probably stepping on his shoes as I went out the front door. To top matters off, a nervous ball of gas filled my belly as I contemplated our options and an explosion of oily gas burst out my arsehole and into my pants, luckily I'd brought spare pants for that reason. How could I bring spare pants in case I oiled myself but not the bare essentials of shoes for my son!?

We had 3 options:
1- Go to the marathon carrying Ash, Ryota having to carry him and the bags while I ran.
2- Carry Ash to the marathon area then check in to the inside room and not leave until I finished running.
3- Go searching for shoes and make it back to the check-in before 9am.

Number 1 was out for me, I think I would have been so distracted by Ryota being so put out that I probably would have done myself an injury worrying about them the whole time I was running. For me, running requires a clear and focused mind, not one stressing about whether my son's toes were falling off due to hypothermia.
Number 2 was do-able but I really didn't want to for all the reasons in number 1, plus I didn't want to do it on my own, I wanted to see Ryota and Ash at the finish line waiting for me.
So number 3 it was. The parking attendants told us we couldn't get out of the parking lot at first, but when Ryota explained the situation they took one glance at the inept gaijin burying her head in her hands in the passenger seat and took pity and re-directed traffic for us. It took us 20 minutes to get out but finally we could go on a shoe hunt. Now, for being such an efficient country, the opening hours of shops are quite late, most places 10am, supermarkets 9 or 9:30. And being the country side, NOTHING was open. The 2 supermarkets we found giggled when Ryota asked them if they had kids shoes, he even got so desperate as to ask them to check the stock room. Nothing. Not a shoe in sight...

We made phone calls, searched the Internet, frantically scanned the car navi. Nothing, it was hopeless, and getting towards the cut off time for check-in. We gave up. I wasn't going to run. We'd driven 2 hours and got up at 5am and I wasn't going to run. As expected I was crushed and hugely disappointed in myself, but Ryota assured me that there are lots of other runs to do, and some time in the future we would laugh at ourselves for this. I then started sniffling and making irrational statements like, "You should marry a Japanese girl, a Japanese mother would NEVER forget her kid's shoes!!" But he was a champion and replied with "Yeah, but a Japanese girl wouldn't have the balls to try and run a marathon while working full-time and looking after her family, plus, they're too skinny!"

In that moment, I knew I'd married the right one.

The way home was a mix of emotions, crying, laughing and disbelief. As we were almost home, Ash wriggled out of his poorly strapped car seat (not my fault this time!!) and leaned over our seats. We were literally 5 minutes from home when the poor thing spewed that lovely veggie juice, once again, all over the place. But this time it was worse. Much worse. Dripping down the still new upholstery, pooling on and under the handbrake and trickling down into every crevice of the interior. It was gooey and smelly, and PURPLE! We could only laugh, and contemplate the repercussions of this upchuck disaster.
Needless to say, we spent the rest of the morning scrubbing and cleaning and trying to perfect the interior of that car to get it back to the dealer without having to have it professionally cleaned. It was a group effort of all in-laws on deck, even Grandma watched Ash while we all got stuck in. I kept apologising to MIL but she couldn't stop giggling about me forgetting the shoes and not running.

In that moment I knew I'd married into the right family.

*A few nights before the run I had a nightmare that Ryota and I were going to the marathon but Ryota left way too late and then couldn't find his way and we just kept driving round and round looking for the place we had to go. It was very stressful. Even more so when it became a reality...

Friday 19 November 2010

Funny how...

having kids is useful for a few things.

Ryota and I had a big fight the other night over the state of our fridge. Now let me just say that I am pretty bad with throwing shite out, I pulled an onion that had grown a long curly tail from my last place when I moved, it's one of my weak housewifey points that I really will try to improve. Now Ryota claims that he is totally the opposite to me in this area, yet he let it go as long as I did. This could probably be because he cooks fuck all and never actually has need to go to the fridge but that's a whinge for another day...
Anyway, other night Ryota starts having a go at me about the fridge and decides to take it upon himself to clean it out. Which is awesome, but the way he went about it and the things he was saying were Japan's next top wanker material. PLUS, he started just as I was sitting down to my poached eggs and lettuce leaves, I mean come on, a dieting girl doesn't get to enjoy food anymore, at least let her have her fucking poached eggs in peace while she dreams of frying the fuckers and smothering them in hollandaise sauce!

He looked at every use by date and took some kind of sick joy in announcing the date, one item at a time. His voice got increasingly animated the further he got to the back of the fridge. "MAY!!!! MAYYYYY, Corinne what month is it!!!????"
Fuck off wanky boy, zip it and just throw that shit out!! I was so pissed, I'd worked all day as well which wasn't helping my mood. So this went on until the whole fridge was bad food free and then I had the lovely job of washing all the bottles and jars along with all the dinner dishes. As I was washing away like Cinderella he was still hovering over me and making snippy comments, of course my housewifey spirit was beyond crushed at that point and all I wanted to do was for him to fuck off and for me to have a good old sob into the dish water. Ryota HATES women who cry, he thinks it's weak and stupid. (married the wrong girl buddy, you'll think about that next time you have unprotected shags with girls who haven't cried in front of you yet!!) But I've found that me crying only makes our fights worse (not that we have that many) so usually I restrain myself then have a weep in the toilet or the shower. I was beyond holding back though the other night, but luck was on my side (kinda) and I managed to jam my right finger in the cupboard door and pinch the skin between my hand and my wedding ring. My wedding ring is too big for my left hand now (woohhooo!!!) so wearing it on the right when I'm not used to it wasn't a good idea, the bastard pinched so hard it started bleeding, hurt like a mother fucker but was a great opportunity to have a cry and disguise it as a pain cry! Ryota felt kind of bad then and just sulked off to the lounge room leaving me in my blubbering state.

After all the washing was done we still weren't talking and this would have continued had Ash not saved the day by being such a funny little bugger. These are the days I'm glad I had a baby when I did, what would I do in fight situations if he wasn't here!? He managed to take all his clothes off in the hopes I'd get in the bath with him, then went over to sulky Daddy and rubbed his little dick in his face screaming "Peeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!" in demented delight. It was so beyond awesome, I laughed so hard I spilled my tea and then we all just started laughing hysterically. The fight was then officially over as we tried to hide our laughter in the hope of educating our child to not rub his "peenie" in other random strangers faces for a laugh.

The reason I was thinking about the good things about having kids was the story I saw today, I'm sure you've seen it, a couple have a poll on their blog about whether to abort their child or not, attention grabbing idiots, but still, made me think. Ryota and I considered abortion in the early stages, never that seriously but seriously enough to get all the info. We couldn't do it in the end but I did have my doubts about having a baby so young with someone I hardly knew...

As it turned out, I have a kid who rubs his cock in people's faces, blames others for his farts and can fit 4 chicken nuggets in his mouth at once... No regrets at all!

Monday 15 November 2010

The small face is back!!!

"Your face is even smaller now, if it gets any smaller you're not going to have a face at all!"

I've mentioned the small face phenomenon of Japan before, for those who don't live in Japan it may be a little difficult to comprehend but apparently, Japanese people have big, flat faces where as foreigners (white, cute foreigners that is!) have small, dainty faces. These small faces are the envy of all who come across them, it is not unusual for a complete stranger to say something to me and then end the conversation with "やっぱり顔ちちゃいな!!(I knew it, she does have a tiny face!!)" I'm not offended by this, although if I associate a small face with anything it would be a rat face, but you know, on the whole it's not an offensive thing.

I've had my fair share of small face compliments, but not nearly as many as I've had with my recent Doctor diet efforts. I'll admit, when I lose weight I always lose it in my face and neck first, which is a bit of a bastard really, couldn't the weight loss gods cut me a bit of slack and take some of my squidgy thigh bits or my flabby tummy!? But no, it's always the face, and then the boobs. The weight loss gods really do like to punish me.
So in the last 4 weeks or so I've lost about 7kgs which is a pretty big amount to lose, especially when you're a giant like me, so all my flab tends to be stretched out over my limbs. And to my delight, people have been noticing but they have also been marvelling over the smallness of my face. I shouldn't complain really, although by telling me my small face is 'back' is really implying that I looked like a big faced roly poly fatty up until now!
MIL used all of her tact and grace by saying "You've always had a small face, but it's even smaller now, amazing!!!!"

I'm contemplating a tattoo on my forehead with a warning not to comment on the size of my face...

10km run is next week, getting nervous and excited but every morning when I run my socks end up with blood stains from the blisters I have. Will be hobbling around for a moth after the run I think but hopefully I can beat lat year's time. Anyone got any magic 'blister disappear' remedies?? I got the special blister band aids but they're just not doin it for me...

Right my small face, bloodied feet and I best be off to fill the minds of Japanese children with the knowledge of how to tell the time...

At least it's not Toy story...

Ugly J-girl turns into supermodel with only 50 hours make-up time!

Here it is!!! I finally found it, it's only part one and I couldn't be arsed posting the other 4 (YES-4 !!!!!) parts so to see the stunning end result you'll have to drag your lazy arse over to You tube and take a squiz.

Friday 12 November 2010


As you were all getting your panties in a twist wanting a link to the ugly J-girl transformation, I had planned to post it but can't find the bastard. Do you know how many J-girl make-up tutorials there are on You Tube!? Fucking thousands, and none of them as good as the one Ryota was watching. I could ask him, but that would lead to him asking me what I wanted it for and would then lead to me making a convoluted lie that would end up biting me in the arse at some point. I hate lying, my memory is too bad to do it well!

So general update it is. Sorry!

Work- Same, busy, good.

Diet- Great!!!! 5kgs down and 8cms off the old beer gut. Very fucking happy!!!!

In-laws- Meh. SIL ended up giving me a massage last night, which was very awkward for me. I had a horrible knot of some description in my shoulder and was getting stabbing pains in my skull as a result so SIL just came up behind me and started pummelling my neck. Now I had to admit it felt quite good, but it was the height of awkwardness for me, getting a massage from someone you've openly insulted is just, weird. Plus who knows which of the dog's orifices those hands have been exploring!

Marriage- Sweet, as can be. Ryota was being super nice to me last week, I knew he was up to something and sure enough after his wetsuit was paid for he went back to his usual 'sometimes nice, sometimes a big wanker' mode. He had a big wanker moment last night when he forgot to take his coffee from our house to the in-laws' house and then looked at me and said "where's my coffee??" Of course I scurried off and got it for him, warming it up over the stove to just-drinkable temperature and fanned him with a fucking feather afterwards. HA!!!! No, I told him it may be up his arse, or it would be if I got to it before him. He then skulked off to get it, no doubt thinking he should have married a Japanese servant wife.

Yesterday was BIL's birthday and being a good and thoughtful Onesan (who forgot to get him anything...) slaved over a hot oven and icing bag and made him 18 vanilla cupcakes complete with vanilla butter icing and spelled his name out with blue icing. Of course, the effort was totally wasted on my fucking in-laws. I swear if it isn't bought, it just isn't good enough. Grandma then told me they were too sweet, BIL picked at his then left it on the table all pathetic and half-eaten, MIL claimed diet and didn't eat any, SIL sniffed and said "Ooooo so sweet!" and Ryota said he liked his but he didn't like the silver balls on top. Lucky he still has any balls. Fucker. I am DONE making anything for that lot, my efforts are not only unappreciated but wasted on tongues that have been exposed to bland Japanese food for 80 odd years. (in Grandma's case)

And that's about it really! I hope everyone has a more exciting weekend than me, as I will be working, trying to get rid of cupcakes without actually eating them and watching toy story for the 50 millionth time no doubt. Oh the joy that is my life!

Sunday 7 November 2010

err... Thanks? Honey...

Mornings are way too cold and early for my liking these days, Ryota sets his alarm the same time as mine but I'm one of those people who set it early and allow for that luxurious, glorious, warm and fuzzy extra blissful 15 or 20 minutes of 'stolen' time in bed. I HATE getting up just as the alarm goes off, for a few reasons, the main one being that I'm hardly capable of opening both eyes at the same time when I wake up, let alone carry on a cohesive conversation. So recently, as the alarm goes off with it's chirpy annoyingness, Ryota will spring out of bed to go downstairs and get his nicotine and caffeine hit while Ash and I move from wherever we may be on our futons to assume the 'big spoon-little spoon' position and cuddle and kiss for the next 15 minutes. I've trained Ash way too well though, at 1 year old the kid can hit my snooze button with his eyes closed and still spooning. Quite impressive but may be dangerous if I let it go on and end up late for something...

So the other morning I stumbled down the stairs, bleary-eyed and hair a mess, clutching an equally as bleary-eyed, messy hair-ed son and got a bit of a shock when I opened the door to the lounge room. Usually, Ryota will be there watching the morning news, or watching surfing clips or munching on toast, you know, the usual stuff. But this morning, he was watching..... Japanese girls demonstrating how to do make-up on You Tube!?

As I saw him, entranced in the clip, flashes of fear and impulsiveness ran through my mind- Does he want to bang a cutesy J-girl?? Is he a closet transvestite?? Is he having gaijin regret and looking for a girl who spends 4 hours puttying her face on in the morning?? What does this mean?? Did he actually put in 'J-girl putting on make-up' into a search engine??

But then I came back to reality and realised that the only way to find the answers to these question, was to ask! Which is what I did:

Me: おい!何してんねん?? (Kansai language for "Oi, what the fuck are you up to??")
Ryota: (Clearing his throat) Ahhh... Huh? Oh um I was just watching these girls on You Tube...
Me: And...
Ryota: It's amazing! Look how much they change, she's so ugly at the start of the video, look! Look how ugly she is!!! Then at the end she looks like this!!!

I must admit, it was pretty amazing, she was a minger at the start of the video and by the end she was a big-eyed J-girl who seemed like her only mission on earth was to drive men crazy with her sleek, exotic looks. Even I was pretty impressed that make-up could make that much difference, but I reminded Ryota that I too rely on make-up to make me look presentable in the mornings, the transformations that go on with my face are incredible; I go from sleepy ugly, to red-faced ugly, (after running) to slightly acceptable with a few sweeps of a sponge and brush. Amazing.
This is where Ryota's innocent sweetness came in, he said, quite genuinely, "Yeah but you don't change that much! You're always pretty, make-up or not!" He wasn't even fishing for brownie points or trying to score a shag either! I thanked him for the compliment and was so giddy with delight that I started humming the Katy Perry song "Teenage dream" where she says "You think I'm pretty, without any make-up on" and clean forgot to ask him why he was looking at ugly J-girls transform themselves into goddesses in the first place!

Oh well, don't think I'll delve any further, just take the compliment and run!

Diet update- 4kgs down and 5cm belly fat gone, I won't need make-up soon, my smokin' hot body will be far too distracting!

Thursday 4 November 2010

The best birthday present...

was my visit to the doctor diet today- Despite eating; loads of candy, pumpkin pie and crap on Halloween, Pizza the night before the Halloween party because I was so stressed out from making four hundred thousand lolly bags with EXACTLY the same kind of candy in it, my birthday cake, and Yakiniku all-you-can-eat for birthday dinner last night.... I lost another kilo and another cm from the old belly this week! Sweeeet. That oil pill is an amazing thing, the oil just seriously starts seeping out of your arsehole as soon as you look at some deep-fried morsel. Was very happy and surprised I must say! (Although have been running at least 5km every morning getting ready for the run this month so have to take a bit of the glory away from oily bumhole.)

My birthday was actually a good day. I had to work but because it was a public holiday, Ryota was off work and Ash off school so we got to spend just the right amount of time relaxing together. The day started off with cuddles in bed with all 3 of us. Ryota even remembered to wish me Happy birthday as soon as we woke up! (I told him off last year for waiting!!) I think Ryota was so shit scared of fucking up in the same fashion that he has the last few years that he went a bit overboard, but he FINALLY understood that I don't care about material things (although things are nice, obviously) but the things I really like are the letters and sentimental little gestures. Which is why I was delighted when he told me he hadn't gotten me a present and would take me for a lunch and shopping date on Sunday so I could get what I really wanted. Which is perfect because all I really want is a new cardigan from uniqlo and some baking goods! Easy done.
He offered to make me breakfast in bed in the morning as well, although his nose was crinkled up in disgust at the thought of eating in bed as he said it, and I must say, now I think about it, the thought of toast crumbs and egg yolk in my futon actually grosses me out too... Maybe I've been in Japan too long, the thought never crossed my mind at home...

When I got home from work last night I was also delighted to find Ash come running out of the lounge room with a big bunch of pink roses and a letter for me from him and Daddy. This is the shit I've wanted since I married a damn unromantic J-guy! I cried of course which made Ash laugh and Ryota call me a dickhead but it really was so lovely to see Ash run out covered in toffee apple syrup and thrust the flowers at me and give me a big sticky hug. Ryota had written me a very sweet letter and even had gotten Ash to scribble and signed it "from Ash." Awwwwwww!
We then went out and ate about 3 cows each at yakiniku, I really wanted to have a few beers with my cow but restrained myself as drinking calories seems such a waste, especially when I'm the only one!

I also got lots of messages and calls from family back home and the wonderful world of facebook, so I felt very loved and special. We'd had cake and sushi the night before at the in-laws place which was cool but I had to 'share my excitement' with a joint congrats celebration for SIL because she actually managed to pull together the 3 brain cells it takes to get a drivers licence. Twat.
Ash got great enjoyment out of blowing out my candles about 500 times though so it wasn't too bad of a night.

It was nice having such low expectations for my birthday, it meant the day wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected. So Japanese style it is from now on!