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2005-05-26 5:15 p.m.

hidden talents

Dude, itís getting to the point where everytime I encounter some horrifying creature in my home (usually the shower; I think they must be coming in through the vent) I barely even respond at all anymore. I just sigh, go get Pot, Lid, and Chopstick, and wrangle the mofo back outside. Itís just part of my routine. Come to think of it, by the end of last September, walking to work in a typhoon had also attained the status of quotidian annoyance. (Wonít that make a good story to tell the grandkids someday? ďKids these days have it too easy! When I was your age, I had to walk to school in the middle of a typhoon!Ē) Thatís life, I guess.

Oh, did I mention that Pralines and Dick is back in Japan, a half hour away from me? If he shows up at my door with a katana in hand, I promise Iíll tell it here first. Even if I have to come back from the grave.

Things which people who know me casually would be surprised to learn that I can do, and do well:

Work with children

Yes, Iím a mild mannered English-teaching novel-writing biochemist by day, Broadway STAR by night. (Or not.)

Oh, speaking of which, good news! I get to teach the first and second graders once a month, after all! I got to be there when they broke the news to the kids, as well. With the first graders, the teacher asked for a show of hands how many kids wanted to keep studying English. Every single kid raised their hand without hesitation. It was cool. When the second grade teacher announced that the kids would get to learn English with me starting next month, the room erupted in cheers. That was gratifying, I tell you what.

A lot of the little girls on the island have recently gotten their hair chopped off, to little boy length. Iím prone to enjoy short hair on post-pubescent females, but you need to be careful with that when it comes to little girls, I think. It can make them look like little boys.

I fear my adult conversation class has just started a descent down a slippery slope that will ultimately transform it into a supplementary elementary school English class. Another kid showed up this week. One of my former preschoolers, now a first grader. I imagine itís only a matter of time before more show up. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the adults donít show up that regularly. The two little girls were my only students last night. (One of the mothers was there, too, but sheís not particularly interested in learning English herself.) And I canít think of too much that would be more fun for me than to teach English for 90 minutes a week to a small group of exceptionally interested elementary school kids. But on the other handÖ Thatís not what the town hall, using the tax yen of the islandís inhabitants, is paying me to do. Itís supposed to be an adult conversation class. And I really canít do both at the same time.

Interesting. So it seems the next time youíre in a burning building, you should seriously consider just taking the elevator and getting the hell out.

Last night I dreamt I landed the lead role in a play about the life of Ian Curtis. Though it only ran for three nights, it was a big break for me, and critics and audiences alike sang my praises. The thing is, I hadnít memorized the script at all. I was just so into the character, so in tune with the life and attitudes of Ian Curtis, that I could just improvise away and the audience never knew the difference. In fact, I didnít even know what the play was about or what character I was playing until halfway through the first performance. I think at first I thought the play was about pirates. I got to wear cool clothes.


It made sense at the time?

UhhÖ Dancing, dancing, dancing.

Well, weíve talked about three out of four of my secret talents now, then. What about singing? Uhh. WellÖ I have been learning (and even writing) a fair amount of new songs latelyÖ
And then something else, and then something else again.


moving through the silence without motion,