I’ve been working a bit lately on my website, as you can tell by the new theme. I really need to start planning for the future if I’m going to try to move into doing art professionally next year — and a major part of that is having a professional website that’s more than a simple blog. (I did have a nice one set up to sell prints when I lived in Philly, but I dismantled it when I left.) So I’ve been reforming some of the code and playing with themes to get a structure I like… I’ll hopefully be able to change the graphics to something a bit more “Matt” soon, but for now these graphics are nice enough.

Since getting out of the hospital life has been slowly returning to a normal pace and a normal feeling. This past weekend was Aeon’s Halloween Party weekend, adults on Saturday and kids on Sunday… so it was a busy weekend. (I’m starting to get sick of being told to work on weekends rather than asked… Parties are one thing, but lessons are another. No sir, I don’t like it.)

Last weekend, after coming home from Fukui, Hitomi and I went to the Takefu Chrysanthemum Dolls. It was the same as last year, but it was still kind of cool — and kind of creepy. I ate ramen, my first real meal since getting out of the hospital, and even though it was shitty mass-produced festival ramen, it was soooooo good!!! Hitomi made fun of me for enjoying it so much.

Chrysanthemum pagoda

Chrysanthemum pagoda

Making the Dolls

Making the dolls

Murasaki Shikibu -- Takefu's favorite turncoat

Murasaki Shikibu -- Takefu's favorite turncoat

A bird boat?

A bird boat?

That week we had to get Halloween costumes, which if you remember from last year, are a pain the arse to find in Japan (and Amazon.com rarely ships clothing to Japan). I was supposed to be Captain Hook upon request from work, but I couldn’t find a decent pirate costume, let alone Hook that was available in Japan and under 15,000 yen. So I settled for Mario, who is cooler than Captain Hook any day. Hitomi dressed as a Japanese ghost after many hours of insiting and begging and pleading on my part for her to wear a costume.

Both parties were very fun, and everyone was really nice to me upon my return to work. It had been a long time since I was able to enjoy work so this week was refreshing in that aspect. I’ve got to remember to keep a more positive mind and not focusing only on the bad side of things or else I’ll end up in a depression.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

This week’s weather has been cool to cold and dark and rainy, which I absolutely love. The smells and feeling of the air is making me nostalgic of the good memories I had last year, as well as spending time with Hitomi before we were dating. Today there was a great rainstorm which cheered me up a lot. As I was writing and working on my page today, I looked out the window and saw an amazing double rainbow *right outside my window*. The most amazing part of it was how close it was. I could actually see where both ends hit the ground! (No pots of gold though. :-( ) Moving back and forth I could see the rainbow arch and slide around as if it were a real object… really cool!

Awesome rainbow!

Awesome rainbow!


I think I forgot to mention before that those super famous eyeglasses Ms. Palin wears that apparantly everyone is buying up like crackerjacks are manufactured right here in Fukui. In fact, I teach a company lesson at one of the major eyeglass manufacturers in Sabae city — perhaps the very one that supplies Palin and the rest of the world with those sexy, woman empowering spectacles. Fascinating!


My throat really hurts… I still have pain killers but I don’t have any more super syrup. The healing of the scars and scabs was surprisingly just as painful as the actual surgery… and lasts like 10 times as long.

I guess I’m healthy enough to go to work and all… I can talk and I can eat at a normal pace… but talking tires me out and eating is pretty painful. Swallowing my own saliva is still really painful too. I really don’t want to go back to work. :(

Eargh… well at least I can hope that this is the end of my painful throat ulcers. I’ve been blogging about them for almost as long as I’ve had this blog.

I’ve felt like I’ve been on some long, weird vacation for a long time — since early September anyway. First Angel came, then the surgery… so things have been topsy turvy for a long time. I guess now I will be officially be getting back to a normal life. I’m looking forward to some stability again I guess, but my time away from work has really made me excited and antsy about possibilities for the future; like working part time at a language school while painting part time… and really trying hard to get some work doing art.

I feel like I’m rambling again now. Tiredness plus pain mixed with many distractions. Maybe it’s bed time.

Orcs, Ogres, and an Organist

I did this piece for my brother for his upcoming organ recital. I guess he’s playing some famous “Halloweeny” pieces like Danse Macabre and Night on Bald Mountain on the organ. It sounds really cool, and I wish I hear it. But oh well. Maybe there will be a recording I can listen to? So this piece is supposed to go on the posters and such for the recital. He asked for a D&D-ish feel to it, so here is my ogress doing the “classic” organ playing pose.  Good luck, Erik!

Orcs, Ogres, and an Organist

Orcs, Ogres, and an Organist

Hospital Part 3

Well today I’ve felt generally much better, though eating a meal still takes me over 2 hours. They told me hospitalization in Japan was remarkably longer than in the US — 10 days compared to roughly 3 — although I can’t fathom how someone would be able to have gone home in 3 days after this… Perhaps if they ha parents or whoever at home to look after them. But since. I live alone I am so very glad I was in here for 8 days.

That’s right, 8! It’s official, I can go tomorrow. It feels like time off for good behavior at prison or something. But this hospital is great. It’s like a hotel really, so leaving isn’t exactly like breaking out… Except I’ll be glad not to have this moaning pornstar next to me (shut up, man).

I’ll also be glad to get back to my current hobby, editing the Wikipedia page on Echizen, Fukui. When I first came here, there was literally one sentence about my town, leaving me in the dark about this place. This month, though, I’ve been focusing on changing that, and day by day adding more to the page and updating the information already there. If you go there now I hope you’ll be impressed by the job I did!

Have I mentioned like 10 times yet how amazing the iPhone is?? This little tool is the cure to boredom and loneliness in a place like this. I’m sure I’d have been miserable or at least unhappy and bored without it. But I’m downright enjoying myself. It takes all the focus off the pain and lets me do a huge variety of things. This is the trinket I have been waiting for all my life. If I had this when I was a kid, there would never have been a chance for boredom in my life. I can’t imagine what all you old people must have done when you were kids without computers. ;-) That’s just not living!

Anyway, back to Dracula, chatting with Hitomi, and playing RPGs simultaneously on this thing…

Hospital Part 2

Tomorrow I get to leave the hospital ahead of schedule! Yay!

I’m feeling much better today compared to the past 2 days. Plus I just had a shower, which always makes me feel a little better. The nurses here have all been really nice and friendly so far. And my really noisy neighbor finally moved out this morning, so it’s been nice and peaceful! The new neighbor is more quiet, but he’s constantly moaning like he’s trying out to be in a porno… I feel bad for him because he must be in a lot of pain, but really… I think he might just be overdoing it a bit. The guy across from me with his stomach sliced open is always bright and friendly, never complaining. Oh well, at least the other guy is gone. He kept me up all night and all day shouting with his 60 of more guests who visited him constantly… And every one of them knocked my curtains back ad didn’t fix them so I had to keep getting out of bed. What’s Japanese for “indoor voices please” I wonder…

I wish I had blogged more recently, as I’ve been neglecting this site for a while… But I guess the busier I am an the more things going on in my life, the less time I have to write about them. Catch 22.

I really really feel gamer’s withdrawal. I need 10cc’s of D&D and a line of Warhammer stat!


I didn’t get a chance to write anything before I came here, but I have some free time now anyway, as I sit in my hospital bed delirious with agony…

Actually it’s not THAT bad… Having my wisdom teeth out was much much worse. And up to yesterday I was feeling better and better by the day. Today took a turn for the painful though. The doctor says I look good though, so the reason for the pain is actually because the new skin is causing the old skin to dry and peel in my throat. Basically I’m growing a new throat now. And that’s exactly as comfortable as it sounds.

Having my iPhone has been a complete life saver. I can game, chat, send emails, read news, (blog — which of course I haven’t been doing) and so on. I had recently been dying to play some of the old school DOS games that ruled my childhood like Ultima Underworld, and Dragon Wars, and Wizardy, and to my delight I found one for the iPhone. It’s called Dragon Bane II and it’s just like Bard’s Tale down to the graphics. I love it! It’s been helping the time go by. I’ve also been using it as an ereader, so I finished Neuromancer and just started Dracula (which is really awesome — I’m glad high school never had a chance to ruin it for me like it did with Frankenstein).

I also have my laptop here, so when I was feeling ok yesterday I painted a lot. Yay!

Actually the #1 thing about staying here has been Hitomi. She has been here every free minute she has had, doing everything to make me comfortable. She even inserts my butt rocket pain killers instead of the nurses for me. How lucky! But seriously, she’s made this as enjoyable as a hospital stay can possibly be, so I’m really happy that she is here.

I could go on in detail about minor things like the food, the view, the butt rockets… But I can’t imagine it being interesting to anyone but me. Besides, typing on the iPhone is not as fun as playing Dragon Bane II…