A girl again! : Talking and Reading from Japan by Hidemi Woods

 
Apple Books, Google Play, Audible 43 available distributors in total.
Audiobook  : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.
Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.

a paranoid traveler

My OC marathon is going on. I watch three episodes of ‘The O.C. Season 2’ every night before going to sleep. PCH often appears on the show. Before I lived in OC, I had visited there as a traveler. First time in OC, I transferred a local bus at the entrance of Balboa Island on PCH. There was nobody but a man wearing sunglasses at the bus stop. He talked to me about the bus being late. As a person who fears everything, I started panicking with bad imaginations. What if he is a serial killer? I’m wearing cheap clothes but he must know I’m a traveler and have traveler’s checks. Isn’t this a perfect place for murder with no buildings or people around and just the bush behind the bus stop? I was about to be sure I would be killed here by this man, when he began to rummage through his big bag. Now I was more than sure it would be a gun. My fear culminated when he held out something to me. It was a pack of biscuits. I got three packs for a dollar! Good deal, huh? Take one, I’ve got plenty!, he said, and the bus came. He was just a kind, friendly man and I was a paranoid traveler. Those were the best biscuits I’d ever had…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

born in that shabby van

I awoke exhausted. I felt all energy was drained out. My strain of the holiday season had snapped and I thought that was the reason. Finally I found a website where I could watch US TV shows in Japan for free and I watched ‘The O.C. Season 2’ online last night. As they have an expiration date for viewing, I watched three episodes at a stretch before going to sleep. Another possible reason for exhaustion is the intense hearing of English for many hours. My physical strength is not enough even for TV…

 The expiration date for free online viewing of ‘The O.C. Season 2’ is approaching and that led me to an OC marathon. I watched three episodes today too. Watching ‘The O.C.’ evokes my memories because I used to live in OC. My apartment was in Anaheim and I would often go to the mall in Newport Beach. A big difference between my life and the show is that I didn’t get there by one of those gorgeous cars. I always took the free shuttle van of the mall. The van was a completely ragged, worn-out vehicle which seemed to be a miracle to run so fast on Interstate 5. The windows, interior, the floor and the door all clattered and looked on the verge of falling apart. In a way, it was totally a thrill ride. But I should thank that van for what I owe. My new song for which I have been working now was born in that shabby van…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

When You Wish Upon A Star hr660

About a month ago, out of the blue, an offer for an online guest appearance came to me from a Podcast talk show. Since appearing on any talk show in the world remotely is possible thanks to the Internet while I reside in Japan, I took the offer rather casually. However, the more I got to know about the show, the more dismal my decision looked.

The show broadcasts from New York not only on Podcast but also on YouTube which means people see me not just listen to me. The content is an hour-long, one-on-one interview with the host. Learning those, I was gradually getting into trouble. I am an expert of stage fright and get extremely nervous in front of people. I do have my own Podcast show, but only on the premise that no one could see me behind the microphone. I have a complex about my looks and I couldn’t imagine how nervous I would be if I appeared on the screen. I would get hyper-tense and my broken English would get even worse. I would become speechless in the middle of the show or maybe would pass out. The show would be a mess and ruined because of me. It would certainly end in disaster.

My first appearance as a guest on a local radio show happened when I was twenty years old. Although only my voice was on the air, I was so nervous that I actually soiled myself, which I summon all the courage to confess here for the first time. As more shame of mine, I usually get soaked with sweat whenever some neighbors happen to talk to me. My sweat keeps dripping down just for trifling chattering and even my native language Japanese got broken because I am keyed up too much. I am excessively self-conscious and afraid of how I look and how I sound at all times. I didn’t think such a person like me was able to speak properly in front of the camera. For the whole one month after the online interview was scheduled, I had been fretting and worried about the show. The worst case scenario had come over my mind so many times and convinced me that I should cancel it each time. On the other hand though, I knew it could be a one-in-a-million opportunity for me. As a nameless artist, receiving an offer for a guest appearance might never happen again in my life. It was too valuable to throw away since this could easily be the last chance I got. I decided to go through it after days of consideration and wavering. As the date was closing in, I had relived my life in elementary school where a vaccination was mandatory on a regular basis. Because I was terrified of needles, I didn’t want the scheduled day to come. As it came closer, I counted down the remaining time and hoped that day would pass in a flash or I would do a time warp to the next day of the injection. I even thought it would be better that the world ended before the shot. I had felt the same way until the interview finally arrived.

The interview started at 2 a.m. Japan time because of the time difference. I am a night person, but my brain has almost engaged in a sleep mode at 2 o’clock in the morning. Adding to that, a rash broke out due to lingering nerves. On top of that, I lost some weight and my stomach constantly growled because I had had a decrease in appetite since the interview was scheduled. I knew the microphone would pick up my stomach’s growling during the recording. The condition had never been worse. By the time the recording actually began, just to wrap up was all I wanted. 

In the end, I was elated enough to be conceited and talk large thanks to the excellent, compassionate host while it was so miserable that it was painful to watch or listen. As it turned out, I somehow felt good to talk about what I was thinking although my ever messy speaking conveyed merely half of what I really wanted to say. Above all, it was all done, and I didn’t soil myself this time.

I had always dreamed of getting on a talk show as a guest. Every time I watched a talk show on TV, I had secretly wished to be there someday since I was little. I used to imagine myself being asked questions and answering them on the screen. I would wonder what kind of feeling it would be seeing someone have interest in me. After so many years, I was unexpectedly blessed with an opportunity like this, which was quite magical considering the fact that I became neither famous nor rich. And I realized that my dream came true.

soundproofing

dig

I recorded chorus parts for our new song. I do all the recording in my apartment, and as the soundproofing is not perfect, I need to be careful about the timing. It’s no-go when windy or rainy. Noisy kids or a car vendor around the building balk the recording. And I set a cutoff time for the nighttime because the wall to my next-door neighbor is too thin. I was going to finish recording the chorus in one day, but when I woke up, it was already four o’clock in the afternoon. I was absorbed in recording, but soon it reached my cutoff time. I couldn’t finish it. Still a long way to complete the song…

My chorus recording update -I was determined to finish it by the end of the day. But I accidentally stayed up late on the previous day and got up with lack of sleep. I got down to work hurriedly, even without washing my face, because of the cutoff time I have written about. Somehow, the recording didn’t go smoothly due to lack of sleep. I made a wrong configuration to the chorus tracks by mistake and had to record all over again. Then, soon came the cutoff time. I couldn’t finish it after all, yet again…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

body bubble

sdr

I have a large body bubble – you know, the space you feel comfortable between yourself and someone next to you. It seems people have much smaller bubbles around them because they keep sticking to me. Yesterday, it happened again at a grocery store. I was paying at the checkout counter and a woman next to me was waiting for her turn sticking to me. I tried to make space, but she closed up the space right away. I did it again, so did she. We repeated this. Nobody was behind her and she had large room on her opposite side. Yet she kept standing right beside me. She was a sidler. Eventually I had to reach out to a cashier because by then she was the one who stood in front of my basket. She completely pushed me out without touching, but with violating my body bubble. Even grocery shopping is a big challenge for me…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

labels : Talking and Reading from Japan by Hidemi Woods

 
Apple Books, Google Play, Audible 43 available distributors in total.
Audiobook  : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.
Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.

yellow sand

It was windy today and yellow sand from China was blown into the area I live in. I was nervous about going out, because I dreaded that yellow sand would cause any kind of sickness by being inhaled. Yet I went to the grocery store where they occasionally had the time sale for meat. But they didn’t have it today. So I just inhaled yellow sand and came back…

 

I cleaned up the windowsill in my room thoroughly, that I hadn’t done for years. There were stains and they wouldn’t come off no matter how hard I scrubbed. I had expected to feel refreshed by cleaning. Instead, I felt gloomy thinking that I would have to pay for that when I move out here. Some reward for cleaning…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

struck by an idea

Next to the building I live in is a parking lot. One of the cars plays the car stereo explosively loud and disturbs my sleep from time to time. Last night, the car played it in a low hum all night and my sleep disrupted all the way. As soon as I got up this morning, I rushed out to the parking lot to locate the car. No car. The lot was silent. I took noise of traffic on the far road for the low car stereo. I may well have paranoia…

 

While having lunch today, I was struck by an idea of a new song. It doesn’t happen so often. I felt exhilarated, but sadly, that feeling got replaced right away by the fact I am a slow worker. It’s likely after ten years from now to get it materialized. Besides, I have been working on a song, which I wrote six years ago…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

casino in Montreal

What is the sweetest sound for you? Mine is the sound of a credit card having been successfully processed and of a slot machine ringing for a win. I watched ‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ today and heard the latter in the last scene. I have never been to Vegas, but have been to the casino in Montreal. Every time, I lose. For consolation, I persuade myself that the money is deposited for a future jackpot. While keep depositing, I doubt if the day I withdraw from that account ever comes…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total