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I am taking my “blog” in a different direction.

Hello to my WordPress followers!

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that how, and what I have been blogging about isn’t working for me. Hence the title of the post.

In the event that you’d like to keep up with the nonsense that I have been posting thus far (the so-so photos, and the meh photos that occasionally have commentary), I’ll be doing that on twitter: @therankspoon

Thanks for stopping by,

Matt

Independence Day.

Feast your eyes on what a fireworks display looks like in Japan. Granted, this was on American Government property. It looks like any damn fireworks show.

Yes, I’m one of those troglodytes who can go to a fireworks show like the one that you see below, sit quietly and patiently, absorbing the ink black sky being punctuated by man made star bursts, and still remain positively dead inside.

Fireworks just don’t do it for me. If there was some overall point, like someone issuing a proposal for marriage using strategically placed roman candles, or if there was a skeet shooting competition where the rifles were replaced with bottle rockets, then my interest might be peaked.

So, why am I showing you this side of me? Why did I go to a fourth of July celebration at all this year? For the same reason a husband/father does anything: my wife told me to, and she told me that I had to take the kids.

While I was loathe to participate, this matrimonial decree was not worth eschewing.

So, I took the kids, fought through the sweaty masses and accomplished my betrothed’s polite request. Not for nothing, it was nice watching my kid’s face’s light up.

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Perhaps he’s dead, I’ll just make sure…

For the better part of two years, my wife has occupied a “desk job” in Japan. Long hours, lots of sitting, and dealing with jackanapes on a minute to minute basis make Wifey a dull gal. As such, I try to get her outside and “aired out” as much as possible.

On one such occasion, I took her to the local park a few miles from our house. The picture above is from the park in question. I know, not the best that I could do. But doing my best isn’t the point here.

Point of fact? It was fucking hot that day and I was standing in full sun. The only “camera” that I had was my phone. Which means that I couldn’t see a damn thing when I took the photo. All I could do was point the lense in the general direction and let fate take over.

If you take a closer look at the left and right sides of the tree, roughly the middle of the picture, you’ll see some unnatural looking lines.

Those are spider webs.

That’s right. The tree is deader than a door-nail and it is chock-a-block with spider webs. To answer your next question, hell no I didn’t get any closer.

I just wanted to let you know that if you thought that American wildlife was gangsta, Japanese wildlife is twice as gangsta.

Crazy like the coconut

I am not a social creature.

The whys and where-fores of this fact can be debated ad nauseam. Is it: genetics? Environs? Mental Maladies? Suppressed childhood traumas? Poor parenting? Was I held enough/not enough as a child?

The only thing that I can say with any amount of certainty is that I don’t know.

I don’t know why I am the way that I am. The only thing that I can say for certain is that I’m ok with me.

Can you say the same for yourself?

If there is one fault (of many) that my worldview does not lend itself to it’s that it is awfully hard to enjoy living in a foreign country (that doesn’t utilize a European-based alphabet) when you are an obvious minority. To be blunt, it can be a completely isolating experience. The obvious rebuttal would be to suck it up, make friends, learn the language, etc. People who haven’t lived abroad usually offer these “valid points“.

That is not to say that my time thus far has been completely miserable. Some days have been worse than others, for sure. I have learned something though. While the solitary life has it’s merits, some days you just need to get out of your comfort zone and go exploring.

One such day, the wife and I went exploring and found that, after a while, we needed sustenance. We decided on a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that we had frequented before. While going through the menu, I spied, with my fat bug eyes, that you could get coconut water served to you, in what appeared to be, a coconut. As we were also parched, I thought “Why the hell shouldn’t I drink coconut water out of a plastic coconut?”

Suffice it to say, when it arrived, I was twice as pleased to see that it was a real, goddamn coconut.

Nice work, Japan.

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Battle Goats!

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When we first arrived in Japan and everyone had gotten past the jet lag and the culture shock, my wife had mandated that we go and visit the local IKEA, as it was only a 15-minute drive away from our home.

When we were stateside, we were never a respectable distance from any of the IKEA stores that are presently peppering our country of origin. As my wife is a modern young woman, this proved to be a bit problematic when the other females within her social circle would wax ecstatic about the novelty of going to IKEA.

We went once when we were living in Cleveland, It was the mid 2000’s and she was pregnant with our second child. The closest IKEA was in Pennsylvania. To my knowledge, we weren’t going for something specific. We were more or less ‘going to go’.

So we got in my three door Saturn and ‘went’. 1.2 way there, the eldest child puked. On top of that we found a dining table and chairs that she really liked.

It was a cramped and smelly ride back home.

The Tachikawa IKEA is, indeed, 15 minutes from where we presently are living. AS it is a main attraction for the city, it is strategically located within walking distance of the city monorail and the JR (Japanese Railway). What connects the JR and IKEA is a big promenade. Next to the promenade is a field. In that field, the above-pictured, handsome assemblage of goats resides.

I all ready checked: there are no death metal bands in the area. And no, the goats don’t end up as food. Said goats are used for field maintenance only. Someone, somewhere decided that it was more economical and more bio-friendly to employ the goats rather than your average itinerant work (in this case, me). Whenever I see the goats, I am reminded of the time that I reconnected with a married couple that I have known since we were all kids, and not married.

They acquainted me with their goats.

It was also the first time I had ever seen a goat shit.

Upon spectating said act of expulsion, I said with all sincerity “Maaaan that kinda looks like the inside of a pomegranate, don’t it?” Because when a goat shits, it does, for a split-second look like it’s pushing the inside of said fruit out of it’s backside.

Strange how oddly placed things can remind you of home.