Friday, July 26, 2013

Hidemi’s Rambling No.478

When I lived with my family in my hometown, taking a cab from home caused a commotion every time. There used to be a small lot that my family had inherited from our ancestors three blocks away from our house. A local propane company had rented the lot and used it as a filling station. My family used propane for cooking and our tanks were filled for free as part of the rent. My father would carry the empty tanks on his truck and have them filled at the lot. The station was quite desolate and no one was working there mostly. My father would leave the tanks when no one was around, ask for filling by calling and go get the filled tanks later. We called the lot ‘Propane’. Cabs in Japan ran on propane gas and a local owner-driven cab union also used our ‘Propane’ as its filling station for their cabs. My hometown was in such a remote area that a cab seldom came to pump there. On very rare occasions, we needed to take a cab from home. Since I was little, it had been a mystery to me that my family walked to ‘Propane’ instead of calling a cab by phone. To take a cab, we would walk three blocks and waited for a cab at ‘Propane’ although it might never come. I had asked my parents or my grandparents a hundred times why we wouldn’t call and take a cab from home. Their answers always mystified me: “We have ‘Propane’!” I knew we cooked with free propane, but owning the lot didn’t mean a free cab. We paid for a cab whether we took it from home or from ‘Propane’. Sometimes, we happened to see someone working at ‘Propane’, and once in a while there was a man who recognized us. When a man knew we owned the lot, he would greet us politely and call a cab for us from a tiny shabby shack that stood there. I suspected my family expected that special treatment and wanted to feel like VIPs by taking a cab at ‘Propane’. Sadly, we had an almost one in a million chance for that and neither a man nor a cab was there usually. As the solution, my father walked two more blocks to the busy street to catch a cab and bring it to ‘Propane’ for us, or he even went back home to call a cab to ‘Propane’ and take it from there. In this degree, it was impossible for me to comprehend what we were doing any more and everything was nothing but madness. I still can’t make sense out of what we did for a cab…

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hidemi’s Rambling No.477

Since January, I had been pondering on the cause of a rash on my face in earnest. It was possible that my pollen allergy got stronger this year. Or, I took a bath too long and too often because it had become my daily routine to go to the communal spa in my apartment building both in the morning and in the evening. Or, the kind of cosmetics I had used for more than five years suddenly disagreed with my skin. I had to try everything to get rid of this inconvenience. My favorite bath time got shorter and I changed cosmetics. Yet nothing worked. Meanwhile, Tulip finished the tour and broke up again in the beginning of July. And at the same time, I started having a red rash around my eyes. I despaired. My eyes were comically swollen and I looked just like Bart Simpson. There was no way to hide my face or to go outside any more. It happened the day after I had basil pasta for dinner. Something clicked in my head suddenly. Back in January, I found a pouch of basil pasta sauce at a very low price online. I had bought it regularly and had it quite often since then. I keep a journal every day a little too in detail, with my weight and the maximum temperature of the day, what I did, what time I did it, and what I ate. I looked through my journal and noticed that every time the rash got aggravated, I had basil pasta the night before. As I had never had a food allergy, it was a blind spot. I stopped eating basil pasta and ten days later, my rash, at long last, disappeared. The long battle was over. The cause was my favorite dish, but what kind of idiot takes six months to find it…?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hidemi’s Rambling No.476

The decisive reason I chose music as my career is Tulip. It’s a Japanese pop and rock band. They literally changed my life and have still had influence on my songs. They broke up years ago but over the past decade, they were sporadically reunited and on tour for a limited time. Those occasions are extremely precious to me since I constantly crave their concert. In late January, I happened to see a poster of them at a convenience store. It told about their reunion and the limited time tour. I was so excited that I nearly screamed there. It was then that my long torment of an allergy has begun. Besides a pollen allergy, I had never had an allergy in my life. But I found a reddish rash at the lower part of my both cheeks one morning, which seemed some allergic reaction. During the days when I arranged the tickets for Tulip’s concerts, the rash had gotten worse. It was red and itchy and covered the lower half of my face that was swollen. I looked terrible. I walked drooping my head to hide my face with my hair every day. I selected three concerts of Tulip’s tour since I couldn’t afford all venues much as I wanted, and they were held monthly between April and June. Each venue I got the ticket for was far from my home and I needed to book the hotel and the train. I doubt if words can convey how embarrassing it was to make three trips wearing the red rash on my face. I had dreamed of Tulip’s another reunion for five and a half years and when it finally became a reality, I went to their three concerts looking awful with a red, swollen face…

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hidemi’s Rambling No.475

I go to extremes about a trend. Either I’m one of the last ones to catch up, or one of the first ones. While I claim it was I who brought trends of western boots and a shag cut hairstyle into Japan, mostly a trend has gone out before I catch up. I still don’t know what Tamagotchi is, that everyone was once crazy about. When I bought a bean bag doll for the first time, it had a bargain price as a clearance sale for unsold goods. As for my digital life, although I’ve been online since the early days of the Internet, I got my first cell phone merely five years ago. And just recently, I finally understood the attraction of Twitter and have been caught by it. I opened my account there a few years ago but I had tweeted once a day as a rather obligatory routine. I had signed up the web service with which I gained followers in return for following them. So, I had some followers but I had never glanced through others’ tweets not to mention replied. Now that I found how to enjoy Twitter and started it afresh, I sorted out my followings. I unfollowed all of them because they were from the web service and I didn’t follow them out of my interest. Instantly, the number of my followers began to decrease accordingly because I broke the exchange. My followers have been dwindling away drastically day by day since then. Soon I’m going to have no followers although I enjoy tweeting more than ever. I added some new followings that I ‘m really interested in. Except for a couple of Japanese comedians, my favorite band Tulip and a former Formula One driver, I follow fictional characters such as Snoopy, Homer and Spongebob. As their tweets amuse me so much everyday, I feel like I live in a fantasy world. Tweeting only to fictional characters with no followers around, I will not be much different from strange people who murmur to themselves in public…