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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

have a little faith in me
I take my place today one step higher in the world. Well, the world karate, that is. I am truly grateful for the copious amounts of faith placed in me; if I had been evaluating me last night, I wouldn't have promoted me based on the horrendous performance I gave last night. Though I hate to grant myself the handicap, I admit that it had everything to do with the fact that we were in the gym. The hardwood-floor gym. The NEWLY REFINISHED hardwood-floor gym. For those of you not in the know, very few things in the world can wreak havoc on my system like the floor of a gym. Perhaps arsenic is close. Or maybe Japanese salmon. But the minute I walked in, my stomach cramped, 15 minutes into it I was about to pass out, and by the time I was finished with the test, I was throwing up. Dizzy, no balance, no depth perception, no breathing... all really good, fun ways to spice up a kumite match, especially. You know, a little extra challenge.

Actually, what it comes down to is me being entirely too hard on myself. I got a number of compliments and "good jobs!" and "way to go!s" and other strong words of encouragement, but I personally feel I was falling apart. Overall I just didn't do what I know I'm able to do, and was actually really embarrassed that I was Captain Tard-O. The powers that be were obviously going off the "package deal" and not my single serving showing. The bum part is, now I feel like I have to prove my promotion... but first I'm taking time off to let that gym air out. Just say no to gyms!!

Monday, September 29, 2003

sexy phone voice
Yes, I've been on the phones at work starting in on my second week, and i've been hit on twice. Today it was by a 65 year old man whose pick up line was "hi, my name is Ken, how do you like me so far?"


This weekend was actually productive, despite my 3 hours spent at the doctors (with actual exam time being approximately 15 minutes... argh). My apartment is finally coming together as I decide to actually stop driving my roomie batty by leaving my boxes scattered hither and tither... that's a fun word. I got to "rah rah" some of my karate kids on Sunday, it's fun to be yelling advice to people on how best to beat up another person. I highly recommend it (in fact, for practice, you can come to my test tonight and yell for me!) Other than that, I'm hoping life picks up in terms of "interest" 'round here. I'm pretty sure not many people want an update on how Pong is doing (he's super, thanks for asking!).

Thursday, September 25, 2003

i'm definitely a fan of fresh, juicy, protein-style cheeseburgers. That whole "would you like to eat it in your car?" box they give you... not so much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

somethin' fishy 'round here
buritto - "sensei, what is the direct translation of 'yotteimasu' (from verb "you", to be drunk) into English?"
koike-sensei - "Ah, you can say "He is being drunking."
buritto - "uh, well, no, you actually CAN'T say that."

Yesterday I was told that people in my Japanese class would think I was much less cool if my name wasn't buritto. How's that for irony?

I have new entertainment at work in the form of some fun aquatic friends. The first one is Pong, a really shiny fantail goldfish that I got despite the insistence of an on-top-of-it Petco associate insisting the bowl I wanted to get for him was the worst possible home. We'll see. Originally Pong's name was "buta" meaning "pig" in Japanese (a throwback to my favorite pet of all time) and it sort of changed to "buddha" since no one could say "buta" and because he's so fat. But since bringing him to the office, Pong keeps bouncing off the walls of his tank non-stop, and hence, I had to change his name to something suitable. Maybe I should get him a friend, "ping". Also joining us from an H2O point of view are "Akka" and "Shiro". In a kumite (karate fighting) match, one person wears a red ('akka') and the other white ('shiro'), and off they go. I bought a divided tank and 2 bettas, and these 2 have been charging at each other for 4 or 5 hours at a time, flaring up or throwing themselves against the divider. It's kind of fun to watch, and, of course, gives me a chance to practice my judging skills... throws off my co-workers when i start yelling things like "ippon!" and "yame!", though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

despite the initial bumpy start back into American-hood, things seem to be looking up these days. Work is going easier as I re-discover my groove that once was so second-nature. For those of you who don't know, i'm back at my pre-japan job, that is, i'm back at Petco in the Customer Satisfaction department. I get paid to have people yell at me in the medium of their choosing (letters, emails, or the irate-customer preferred loud phone calls). Believe it or not, I'm more soothing and placating than I initially seem. Hehehe. If you hadn't noticed, I had previously kept my job whereabouts on the downlow... I was actually trying to hide out from a fellow corporate employee from my past. And I got away with it for about a week, until I was spotted in the lunchroom and then the jig was up. So now it's public knowledge, it's official: I'm back in the Petco action.

Karate seems to be working itself out, too. In addition to having to deal with the "how exactly do I fit in here?" issues, and coping with the anti-class clown attitude they seem to be adopting (bad news to fools like me), I have the added stress of a kyu-test coming up. Last time I had a test, I was so nervous I invited everyone i knew to come watch. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but for me, I felt better knowing i had people cheering for me to counteract the people scrutinizing me. It's a vibe thing. This time 'round, not only will I not be able to invite anyone (no grandstand in the gym we're using... besides, the folks in charge weren't too down with the adoring fans. Seemingly there's a first time for everything, and in this group, I seem to be the one to prove that), but this time we have to get sponsorship from 2 black belts saying "yeah, you're golden" before we test. I'm not very good about inviting criticism, so I was not very anxious to ask anyone to sponsor me, but I sucked it up and took care of business. Until the test on Monday, I'm golden. After that, I'm guessing I'm black-and-blue-and-golden.

Monday, September 22, 2003

customer "service"
Even with my reputation for attracting really creepy guys (warded off by my tried-and-true "I don't think my boyfriend will like that very much." defensive move, regardless of my actual relationship status), the attention is something I admittedly missed during my j-land adventures. However, I seem to be more than making up for it these days. There were a couple of tame ones (like the deli guy at Henry's who seemed to be really excited that I wanted his opinion on which sausage tasted the best {{shudder}}), but I think the guy yesterday might actually make the 'creepy guy' list. I was at my local Petco (where britto goes!) to buy a goldfish (something else I missed while in Japan) and attracted the attention of the overly-helpful fish guy. Now I know it's a pet store, but really, his emulation of a puppy-dog (following me all over, drooling, etc) was a little too much. The comments of "I expect to get a phone call on how that little guy (the fish) is doing." and "anything to help a fellow redhead" (most people would call me brown haired) edged him to the top, but having him ask to see my swimsuit (the tie was peeking out the back of my shirt) pushed him right into creepy-dom. I'm glad there's another Petco in the area, I don't know if he would be able to deal should I decide to dye my hair blonde.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

*... messing with my head ...*
things that are tough for me to figure out these days:
* blondes
* why my computer refuses to let Microsoft Word hang out with it
* relationships, as in how i fit in with them
* how I turned out so normal when my family is straight up loony (we spent entirely too much time talking about dead people at the dinner table, to be concluded with my mother stabbing Laura's cheesecake with the end of her spoon. Right.)

Friday, September 19, 2003

sexy trendsetter
I can think of at least 7 people off the top of my head that fell sick right after I started getting better. I'm ALL about spreadin' the love.

Oh, and you can just call me "toe-roe-zuu-ee". Close enough.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

the joke that doesn't die
As much as I may have gotten a kick out of the fact that my name is "bu-ree-toe" in Japan, I forgot that it has more significance here at home, and unfortunately it's not something I can get away from. For one thing, it's written on my karate gi, but at least only a limited few can read that. Then there are those who read the j-land adventures and like to tease me about it. But now there's a whole new crop o' kids who are getting a kick out of it; Mesa College Japanese 102. My teacher didn't know how to pronounce my last name; I got the lame Japanese way, "toe-roe-jee", and when I protested to that, she attempted the Italian/Japanese way which ended up something along the lines of "toe-weezy". WHO?! I told her it was okay to go by my first name, and she said "bu-ree-toe?". Unfortunately my "hai, soo desu." was drowned out by the waves of laughter flooding the room as people 'got it.'

I guess this makes up for all those failed elementary school taunts where they tried to make fun of my name by rhyming the only things limited grade-school vocabularies could match, specifically "Brittan Mitten" and "Brittan Kitten". That hurts, kids. That really gets me deep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

how sad is that?
someone already took the blogspot name b-star. And they aren't even doing anything fun with it. And it doesn't make sense I have to keep using the b-hoshi name. At least let me speak in my own language now, people!

and I, apparently, am a whiny bratty beast. Sorry 'bout that.
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack
Due to popular demand, I am once again venturing into the world of pouring out all my deepest darkest, well, observations of the world, mostly so I may entertain the few who would like to break the monotony of their day. (This one's for you, James.) At least till my time runs out on my site. It's also so people stop saying to me, "You should be a writer!" Again, I pose the question: what the heck would I write about? My life is not nearly as interesting as i pretend it to be, and will probably be even less so now that I am back in SD.

My head's still spinning from a lot of weird stuff I have had to get used to once again. Embarrassing as it is to say, what you all would consider really little things tend to freak me out, but not all necessarily in a bad way. On the one hand, i'm in absolute wonderment of the assortment of foods available at my disposal. Life on the island didn't afford the delicacies of the motherland (aww yeah Mexican food). But on the other hand, I see people with blue eyes and blonde hair and curves and can't help but stare. What freaks! I never would have anticipated that my perspective on body image would have been so altered in a course of a year. And it's way tough to deal with, especially since I don't have anyone to call up and be like "hey, are you feeling me on this one?"

I'm thinking it perhaps was a mistake to throw myself back into my old routine so quickly. Within 1 week of my return, my Mon-Thur nights were committed until at least 9pm. Add work to that, and i'm outta the apartment at least 14 hours a day. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you consider how many SouthWest airplanes find it necessary to come into Lindbergh Field... gets a little 'urusai!!' but i'm getting used to it. Planes and blondes. These are the hotspots of my life, and i'm not sure if they are ones that I actually want to claim.

By the way, these ramblings are temporary until I 1) get internet connection at home, II) get time to play with design and color, and c) get time to blog, period. So check back, yo.

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