Well some of you might get that SNL reference  some of you probably won't but I think it is rather appropriate for this  email. So in this email that stuff and other stuff...the Japanese Way of  being vague is taking its toll. ------------->Now, as you know, pronounciation is really  important here (as if it weren't anywhere else). Remember my email of  confusing a question I thought pertained to a jell0-like food with co-ed naked  bathing? Well another case though not quite as funny happened. First  here's the background. My direct boss' name is Mr. Koike and Japanese for  a business dinner party is enkai. So one day one of my teachers asked me  if I was going to--what I thought was---Koike's enkai. "Oh? Mr.  Koike is having a party?" Well what she meant was the Board of  Education which is koike iinkai. Yet, another embarrassing moment, but at  least I didn't feel left out not being invited. --------------->As you know I complain about how my  apartment gets so cold. You know about the ice forming on the INside of  the windows and seeing my breath constantly, but today a new thing happened...my  pipes froze so I couldn't take a shower and the water in my toilet  froze!!! Listen folks...when the water in your toilet freezes you have a  really cold toilet seat...hence why they have heaters on them. I won't go  into how I melted the ice. ------------------>At the beginning of February is a  festival called Setsubun. Basically what happens is people take soybeans  and throw them out their door while chanting "fuku (again watch out for  pronounciation) wa uchi, oni wa soto." Translation---"out with  the devil in with good fortune." Knowing that February is the coldest month  here it very well might be needed, but my question is "why  soybeans?" Is the devil or even a little demon supposed to cower to  the sight of a soybean? Are they meat eaters who look at the soybean as an  imposter? It would make more sense I think if they threw that nasty natto  stuff at them, then again if you throw enough soy they could be a pretty good  weapon. Still the question remains...who thinks of this stuff? One  day an ancient ill-lucked Japanese pondered "Okay how do I get rid of the  demons and get better fortune? I know (candle over head...not a  lightbulb..it being way before the lightbulb was invented and all)... throw  soybeans!!!!"??? Also each person has to eat their age in soybeans on that  day. Now that's cool if you are around my age, but what if you are an  elderly person...say 75 or more...talk about having a whole meal and then some  of beans (I will reframe from bathroom humor here)...so I guess growing old  isn't a relaxed process here...every year add another bean. -------->Yesterday was the first snowstorm in my area...and  I found out that when there is a lot of snow they do plow...how nice...though  they don't use salt very much and the roads are pretty slick. --------->Sometimes the school lunches consist of rice (big  suprise) and, the only way I can describe it, paper sheets about 4 inches by 3  inches of dried seaweed. Take the paper and rap up some rice in it for a  burrito rice ball. No problem with one exception. The seaweed paper  is EXTREMELY dry and if it touches your lips it will get stuck...similar to  placing your tongue on a icy metal pole. Well this happened to me and I  pulled it off...yes it did draw blood. Solution...don't let it come near  the lips and put the whole thing in your mouth at once regardless of how silly  it looks. Well that's all folks...take  care