last updated September 28, 2006



from pine needles to metal ones - back to the accupuncture again and confident that I can get some help with my skin. I'm also trying to cut down on donuts and beer which are probably the main source of the heat in my system - the bakeries are just too good here. it's most relaxing going to the accupuncturists - lying around for an hour and a half while some one prods your body and burns plant matter on your skin and puts the tiniest of needles into your body. tonight I fell asleep.
when the doctor feels my vital signs it's like he plays my wrist like an instrument. last week I had a few needles in the back of my neck which were very 'thick' feeling - another common feeling is of them being drawn in as if there is a magnet inside you. all very satisfying. a visit doesn't seem to be complete without portable micro-needles being left on your body for a week - you can see one in this photo on it's sticky backing.

Posted by stupot at 11:04 PM Thursday 28 Sep



what I love about the japanese language is the very visual way in which words are derived from nature. I'm fascinated with the origins of words and that's why kanji (japanese script) is so interesting and my grammar is so bloody awful. The bonus of the leg injury is that I've managed to learn words I would otherwise never have encountered. the word for crutches is 'matsubazue' - matsu being pine tree, ba meaning leaf (or here, needle) and zue meaning stick. for something so ugly and troublesome, it's a beautiful and delicate metaphor.

Posted by stupot at 06:19 PM Monday 25 Sep


well, the invites for the show arrived today. I guess that means it's really happening. excitement is mixed with the usual pinch of anxiety. for anyone in osaka or nearby who is interested - there's info below. the show, scheduled for the end of november, will no doubt be here faster than you can say 'what happened to octob....' hope you can make it.

Continue reading "package"
Posted by stupot at 02:42 PM Saturday 23 Sep

are you really a doctor?


I went to get the cast off on thursday, only for a new one to be put on: the new x-ray actually looking worse than the old one for some reason. I saw the same doctor I had consulted on the first visit and his lack of enthusiasm or attempt to elicit any of his words didn't help my mood. he was slouched so far down his chair he was almost falling off it. the fact that he was pretty obese didn't fill me with confidence and he laughed off most questions, which didn't win him the bedside manner of the year award. taking the cast off with a mini circular saw, he eventually managed to nick my ankle after trying a few times. It made me think of all the times people have said to me that once you enter a University in Japan, you've as good as graduated. It made me think of Alastair, who'd mentioned that the students he taught here didn't possess that 'get up and go quality'. It made me also think of those junior high school kids I see on the train at 10 o'clock at night, coming home from cram school.

Posted by stupot at 11:50 AM Saturday 23 Sep



A couple of people, over the past few weeks, have given me a wry smile as they've passed me on the bike, my crutches resting over the handlebars. I've resisted taking the train where possible because the amount of effort involved to actually support myself getting to those elevators, or the right exit, is so demanding. I knew it before but I now have hard evidence that building standards in Japan are a world away from those in Britain. This is good and bad. on the plus side you get nice looking interiors with funky, uneven details in Japan which find their way into lots of international design magazines. The blind are also catered for extremely well - organised crime having not only a massive interest in concrete but also in yellow, sensory floor tiles. On the down side though, you get stairs at dizzy angles with handrails that seem to be designed for that 5th percentile of hobbits.

Continue reading "brothel-chic"
Posted by stupot at 11:21 AM Wednesday 20 Sep



The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is on December 3rd this year and I posted my application last week. The test comes only once a year and I'm using it as an incentive to study. A level 3 examinee is described as "having mastered grammar to a limited level, knows around 300 kanji and 1500 words, and has the ability to take part in everyday conversation and to read and write simple sentences." It sounds about right but I've never been a great student at voluntary stuff although I do find myself getting excited on those rare occaisions when things are clear and my brain tells me it has processed and agreed to the information. There's a long way to go though and whilst money can't buy you intelligence, spending a bit on a test can give you the kick up the arse you were needing.

Posted by stupot at 09:11 PM Wednesday 13 Sep



after yesterday's japanese lesson I miss-timed a kerb and rolled my foot. walking to the train station was sore but by the end of the day I was dragging myself home like an extra from 'thriller'. today I headed to the hospital and had it x-rayed and it showed a hair-line fracture. actually, you could hardly see anything but I could already tell from the pain that I wouldn't be out at the dancing this weekend. getting the stookie on was all very quick but I'm now contemplating 5 weeks hobbling around, precariously, on crutches: even going to the fridge is an ordeal.

(the japanese for plaster cast is gipusu, "gips", which comes from gypsum which is used to make plaster of paris. the scottish version, stookie, comes form stucco - the plaster finish.)

Posted by stupot at 11:18 AM Thursday 7 Sep

kyoto really is nice


went to see alastair yesterday, who's been in town to lecture at one of the uni's. his late summer visits have become an annual event and we always find time for a few beers when he gets to kansai. coming to kyoto about twice a year, alastair's pretty well versed on happening spaces and we went to a few great cafes and restaurants.

Continue reading "kyoto really is nice"
Posted by stupot at 05:16 PM Sunday 3 Sep