Saturday, March 7, 2009

J-Blog of The Week #7 Good Beer and Country Boys

Last week there was no j-blog of the week. Sorry for that but I have been caught up in a few things. Well,this week I am going back to my roots; sort of. As many of us know, there is an endless amount of blogs about Japan. Almost every topic and situation is covered on the English speaking j-web. From maid cafes to bentos, the English speaking j-web has it all.

I have found a great blog ran by two southern boys from Kentucky. Good Beer and Country Boys is this week`s J-blog of the week.

I love a good beer but these boys might love it more than me. They travel around Japan looking for the best beer. It is a hobby for sure and one hell of a way to spend your free time. Hell, a lot of people in Japan spend their free time getting tanked so a blog about it seems natural. Even more natural is two southern boys in Japan having a blog about drinking. Some thing are just meant to be together.

Anyway these guys know their beer in Japan. One might think that they are keen on drinking in Japan. I for one cannot blame them. Japan does have a damn good selection of beer from all over the world. These guys even introduced me to Yebisu Silk. Even though they might not be a fan of Yebisu I find that most of their beer is not all the bad.

Actually, they are so serious about beer that they will turn down a down a six pack of Seiyu special. When I have had a tough day at work I do not care about taste or quality; it is the effect I am after. Although, I do see their point. There is no substitute for a fine ice cold ale.

I know there are many `beer` lovers in Japan. Country boys are the experts concerning beer. So, unless my logic is wrong; people who live in Japan and love beer must also love Good Beer and Country Boys blog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Local Hang-Out

As I will be traveling around Tokyo at least once a week visiting different branches, I have decided that I must find a good local hang-out in each area. I have decided to do this for two important reasons: 1) I need a place to throw down a few rounds after a long day. 2) I must gather information about the instructor to get to know them better. So, I can kill two birds with one stone. Knowing a good place to relax after work, I can have a few beers while `feeling out` the instructor.

The challenge with this idea is trying to find the time to search out a good drinking spot. I could just go to the area on an off day and scope out a good place. This way I would appear to be knowledgeable about the area thus earning me some quick trust points with the instructor. The problem with scoping out a spot on an off day is that it would be taking away from my off time. The other option I have is arriving in the area very early, on the day I am to visit the branch, and finger a decent spot. Well, showing up presents an issue of timing. For most of the branches I will be showing at a time when all the bars and cool places will be closed to the public. I can walk around and see the outside of all the different hang-out spots, but I will have no idea what it is actually like.

My third option is to ask the if they know of a good place. The advantage of doing this is employee empowerment. They will feel like they are leading me. You know, `I showed the boss whats up` kind of thing. Hell, the instructor in the area should know better than me concerning a good place to have a few beers. If they can show me a good place that is a sign that they actually spend time in the area for other than working. It is good that instructors out into branch area. It is a easy way to get our name out into the community. Maybe some of the locals might think, `Look! Its those cool teachers from ----. I bet they give interesting lessons. Maybe we should go and sign up.` As long as the instructors are not raising too much hell having them out in the community is a big plus.

In the end I will most likely end up doing a combo of my three options. Some areas you only have to walk down the street and take your pick of the places to drink; while others take a bit of gum shoe work to find a decent spot. Still, I am sure I will go to an area in which only a person who has hung out there would know of the best hang-out spots. Anyway it is just a minor, yet important detail, that is all part of the fun of my job.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Japan Blog Matsuri March Edition: Tales of Japan.

Confess your sins! Bow in front of the alter and speak of your crimes. The god of chaos demands you tell your tales of Japan. What have you done? What have you done and not told anyone before? What devilish secrets about your experience living in Japan are you keeping? It is time to confess your sins at The Ghost Letters alter of truth. LOL

Yeah, someone made the mistake of putting me in charge of this months JP Matsuri. It was Nick who made this decision, so please direct all your hate and unhappiness concerning this decision to him. This month`s JP Matsuri is going to be a little different. This month we are going to get `real` about living in Japan. There are a lot of people who only write about the `cute` image of Japan or some other P.C. bull. That is ok for them but I am willing to bet a lot of people want to read about fast times and crazy nights in the land of the raising sun. So, this month`s JP Matsuri topic is:

Fast Times in Japan!

Yes, this month I want to read about your tales of living in Japan. You know, the stuff that you usually share over a couple of beers. The good stories you would not tell your mother. I hope that most of you are not shy about telling me your fast times in Japan.

When you submit an article just provide a link, title, and your name in a comment to this post. The deadline is March 20th and the publish date is the 25th. Lets have fun with month`s JP Matsuri!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Eye of a Tiger

As of late, I have felt many different emotions back to back. Highs and lows are coming at me at the speed of light. It has been a draining experience to say to least. Yet, though it all I have developed the eye of a tiger. While my life has been a little extreme(when is it not), it has only inspired me to buckle down and get tough.

Yeah, the pressure has been very heavy recently. My professional and personal life has been pulling at me from all angles. I must admit, there was a moment when I though I was going to break under the pressure. I remember this moment well. I was hiding out at an internet cafe in bukodo. It had been an interesting night. I met one of my favorite people in Tokyo by random chance. We had a few drinks while laughing the night away. Although, that night I saw somethings which brought me to the point of causing my entire being to become sick. I felt as if I was finally going to go totally nuts. I had a dark moment which almost broke me. The feeling stuck with me for several days. I did not know if I should say `fuck it` or hold strong. As you can guess, I decided to hold stronge and call Tokyo`s bluff. It seems that Tokyo is not as badass as she wants me be believe.

So, I have made it though the dark moment. I feel stronger than ever. I have the eye of the tiger. I am ready for anything. I am excited about the near future. Many good things may come my way during 2009. It all depends on me. For the first time in years I have my future in my own hands. What happens at from this point largely depends on me.

I am again attacking each day with the goal of dominating everything I attempt to achieve. When I leave the house I am ready for whatever happens. I expect something to go wrong. I actually get excited when something does not go as planned. The god of chaos enjoys testing me everyday. The sick bastard gets his jollies from watching me deal with whatever shit he throws at me. I have come to the point in which I laugh in the face of the god of chaos.

Anyway, life will be interesting during the month of March. I will be traveling around Tokyo for my job. I have to go and `check out a lot of people out` while getting things more on the up and up. We(the company) have worked damn hard to get to the point in which we are now. Things are finally starting to look a little better. I am excited about being in on the action; so to speak. I will meet everyday head on. The energy I have for what I am doing will ever fade anymore. I am going to kick ass and take names!

P.S. This month I am hosting the Japan Blog Matsuri. I will announce the topic on Monday.