Though I don’t really want to shoebox it,...

Semi-frequent flyer miles (cont’d)

Though I don’t really want to shoebox it, I’d say that Seoul is somewhere between Shanghai and Tokyo. It’s fairly clean in some of the more expensive areas, but a vast majority of it is still plagued by a lack of social consciousness. The primitive construction practices and poorly managed growth don’t help much either. The food is cheap (at least by the yen or the dollar), but salaries are probably lower too, so it might not be so fantastic if one actually lived there. The convenience stores too, are better than their Chinese counterparts but still lag in product variety and services when compared to the network blanketing Tokyo.

There was a really tasty waffle vendor on the way home to the hostel though. Sweet things are popular here just like anyplace else, but meat on a stick seems to be the walking food of choice, however. There are lots of stores labelled “PC” which I think basically means internet cafes with network games installed. Online gaming is a pretty big thing in Korea, much moreso than Japan or the United States. It’s quite competitive, actually.

On my first night of wandering around Hyehwa, I passed through a park where a hip-hop group was performing an impromptu live event. A large group of people both young and old had gathered around, the closest ones dancing. It was interesting to watch for a while. Upon returning to the hostel around nine, I had the good luck to run into most of the other backpackers and strike up a conversation. I ended up not being utterly alone for the ringing in of the new year, and joined a shuffling party of westerners drinking bad Asian beer (Hite, O.B., Cass) and lighting fireworks bought from roving street vendors. Towards the center of the city basically everyone was shooting off roman candles, and the clear night air became a drubbing of ash and cinders, so I spent the last couple hours with my hood up and under the protection of my thick wool jacket. There was an unbelieveably cute girl, probably not more than sixteen years old, selling rockets which virtually everyone in our group bought one of. Her smile was too infectious, she could have been selling rotten eggs and we probably would have caved just as fast.

Paul was from Britain, teaching English in Miyagi-ken. He was one of those people that you know right away is about the nicest person on the planet, and you want to be near as much as possible. Tim was also planning to teach English, but in Seoul and originally being from Calgary. He’d previously been teaching in one of the more industrial frontier cities in China. I think Alan (from New Zealand) was teaching English as well, though I’m not sure too much about his details, he was incredibly girl hungry and chasing virtually every female we came into contact with. Lastly, there were Rodney and Nikki, who taught English in Hiroshima. They seemed to have quite a bit of experience in the Seoul tourism scene. It was Nikki that first invited me to come along with the group.

After walking through crowds of thousands of revelers we finally made our way back to a subway station that was open, and decided to chance a potentially packed train in favor of stumbling home in the mind-numbing cold. While waiting (a _very_ long time) on the platform, a middle-aged Korean man who spoke suprisingly good English starting talking with me. I didn’t catch his name but he said he was an adventurer, and an ice climber. He told me of some of the famous mountains he’d scaled, and how he lost one of his best friends while climbing a glacier in Alaska. He was a really nice guy, and although his English was broken, his pronunciation was really on the mark.

After we got back to Hyehwa, the majority decided to go to a bar, but I wanted to get up fairly early and start my wandering, so I turned in early (01:00) by myself. The dorm room I was staying in had four metal bunk beds, probably similar to the kind in military barracks or summer camp. Since I normally sleep on a loft in Tokyo though, I was quite at home and my only difficult decision was whether to crash on the top or bottom.

[I went to Seoul for a few days over the New Year...

Semi-frequent flyer miles

[I went to Seoul for a few days over the New Year holiday, since it was the cheapeast international destination available on short notice. I have another four or five pages handwritten in my journal yet to transcribe, but here’s a start.

Photographs are viewable in my new replacement for HTMLGallery, a package installed with my webserver called Gallery. It’s obvious right away that someone has spent a lot more time than I did making it pretty and easy to use. Good for them.]

New Year’s is just about the only time you can really count on a vacation. To this point it’s the only holiday I’ve had regularly for every year that I’ve been in Japan. Each time it’s special I guess, for each year I’ve been somewhere different.

In 2000, I was working hard on my applications for graduate school, and I ended up spending the majority of winter break playing Final Fantasy IX and eating pizza in the lovely swank of Brandon’s and my apartment on Grady. With a Grizzly Adams beard, Jennifer and I rang in the new year on that lovely, beat, yarny sofa. In 2001, I had the last conventional holiday; as conventional as a holiday can be with a life-threatening accident. The ever faulty electrical system in my Charger finally failed for the last time and I rolled it over into a ditch with my brother on the way back from getting egg nog, a full 100 meters from my house.

2002 was the first new year experienced out of America. Nobue and I stayed the week at a time share in Akihabara, eating fish with miso soup and ultimately running around to every convenience store in Chiyoda-ku just minutes before midnight. The last, frenzied minutes of 2002 elapsed looking for a bottle opener so that we could pop open our ghetto champagne at the strike of January 1st. I spent those few days in a deserted concrete city, walking through slowly dying snow and photographing power lines in reverent silence. 2003 was my last year at home, probably the last for quite some time. I spent twelve-hundred dollars or whatever it was to get back to Virginia on the 27th and join the family at my uncle’s house on the Potomac. That was the time I recall having to fend off a barrage of, “Do you really want to do this”, and “Why can’t you live here?” inquiries.

Lastly, in 2004 Mikiko and I spent New Year’s listening to the ringing of the bells, echoing from the nearest Buddhist temple, the 104 strokes to beg release from man’s mortal sins. The next morning we rose early and took one of the first Komachi shinkansens for Akita, where we opened the first with pounding mochi at Ito Yokado and throwing snowballs after hatsumode (first shrine visit of the new year) at Iyataka Jinjya in Akita’s cavernous Senshuu Kouen. With virtually all the shops closed for the holiday, we walked and walked through white stillness, visiting a namahage kan (local forest demon folktale lodge) at Oga, and I stared down the flooring gale of the wind blowing in from the Sea of Japan.

Which brings us to 2005, the first New Year’s that I shall be truly alone. The winter’s sun feathers down on a pale Chiba, under skies hazy to be blue I ride east. Once again on the Keisei Limited Express bound for Narita. Kashmir resounds in epic grandeur as I move to a see a new year in mainland Asia, this time visiting Seoul. I’ll spend the holiday in an assumedly mute city of eight million, living off of noodle stalls and shuffling along in a Bangkok cotton jacket with a tripod over my shoulder. I go to see things, I go to listen. I go to breathe the air of another country and a people of economy and style.

Castles, streets, temples, and fields. Give me a bicycle, and a camera, and a notebook, and I’ll travel a thousand miles in contented thought.

One of these days the memories and nostalgia will tumble over my mind’s brim, spilling forth pachinko slot-like onto a carpet of so many t-shirts bought on vacation. I put my camera bag on the upper rack as the heater below the seats is in full force and I don’t want to mess with the Velvia.

I guess it would have made more sense to wear my Adidas’ since I’m going to be walking so much tomorrow and the day after, but I wasn’t thinking that much, so it’s my nearly soulless Chucks bought and made, ironcailly enough, in Thailand. Short trip. Man, I’m hungry.

[I’ve forgotten the names of the Taira clan already! I must review my Japanese history!]

Somehow, my first picture of any international trip is a can of the beer I got on the way. Though only a 130-minute flight, I get an alcoholic beverage and a small lunch of beef brisket, rice, vegetables, and salmon. The problem with planes, aside from not being able to move, is that you don’t really _feel_ like you’re moving. For better or worse, I decided to put ELO on after an intense Korean listening session and now I’m about to go crazy with bottled verve. Twilight is a song for somehwere between bicycling and driving down a highway to Nasu. Essentially it’s you in control of some great speed, a throttle kicking under your foot and around your hands, a bursting with gears and blood and smiling adulation. This is our time, and I have to melt crazy under the light-dripping city-fresh economy. It’s adventure! How can I sit in front of a computer when there are people and musics and choruses and techno energy so fresh flowing through the veins of capital society? “The neon in young lovers’ eyes.” Bud and sing and pop– sweet rubber under my heels.

In my place, in my place
Were lines that I couldn’t change
I was lost, oh yeah

I was lost, I was lost
Crossed lines I shouldn’t have crossed
I was lost, oh yeah

Say, say, where were we? Where were we when last we talked? How how we’ve travelled so far. Nineteen ninety-seven, high school, and college kids were adults, so much wiser and mature than us. And what?

Say, my love, I came to you with best intentions
You laid down and gave to me just what I’m seeking
Say, love, you drive me to distraction.

At the graudation of college still such a child, a child unknown to money and insurance and a life moving working what no summer vacation? Where did it end and why did it begin?

Climb on two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change

But what can I change?

A life of moving or a life of stillness? Or maybe moving and finding stillness, oh to move but be still, how my childlike heart yearns to be like thou who have gone before. But no! But yes! The road is the journey and there is no end, no end at all. Were I to find an end what would it serve? Are goals nothing more than towns along the way? A place to replenish supplies and look down, back down that mountain– but only for a moment for if we stop for too long, truly we will tire and our bodies will grow soft, attaching themselves to one spot in the ruddy soil.

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down you up and die
Lights down you up and die

Fifteen years ago or fifteen nights, what is a world with fire crackling in the hearts and the minds of wonderous dreamers. The known is valued and the unknown even more, for paths untravelled have so many branches yet waiting exploration.

Sweet brevity can I put all these racing thoughts into only a few syllables? Perhaps not. It may not matter, for words will always succeed only in failing me.

I have warm thoughts of my grandfather. He died...

Something for my grandfather

I have warm thoughts of my grandfather. He died when I was eight years old, less than a year after my grandmother. I can’t imagine what it must be like having the one person you’ve loved since you were a child, pass away. But until he did, we had a lot of wonderful memories: driving to Paul’s Bakery on Sundays to pick up Boston-creme donuts and crullers, or the time that we went to the Spotsylvania Mall and he bought me a Matchbox parking garage/car wash play set, and how when we tried to go home, Little Whitey, his car, wouldn’t start. We had to call a mechanic to tow it to a service station. I got to ride with my grandmother in the tow truck, on a bench seat between her and the driver. I remember vaguely how burly he was; him being a mass of whiskers, denim, and oil. I also recall how every time we went to the mall cafeteria for lunch, I loved sitting in the dark, partitioned, wood panel booths, and picking the vanilla pudding cup with only the most perfect whip cream on top. He would pay me a dollar to pick up twigs in his yard for kindling. I remember how grassless the ground was, under a canopy of old trees, so soft and spongy with moss, like in a fairytale forest. When I was older the one dollar would become five, and grandpa would visit our house to stay with us. I would sit on the orange stepladder chair to make enough seats at the table for five. My dad made a cherry pie for my birthday. I was my grandpa�fs “main man” and my brother was his “cuddly bear”. Unlike probably a lot of grandfathers, we’d play video games together at the computer, mostly Accolade’s EGA classic, Mean 18.

My grandfather was a world traveller, touring Europe with my grandmother on pensioner checks from postal and defense service. This was especially rare as few people on either side of my extended family had been farther than Branson, Missouri, where my great grandpa Bill and Gee-Gee lived. Grandpa and Grandma flew to Norway, the land of our ancestors. They saw Yugoslavia, where my grandmother fell and broke her leg. I received a Bosch-labeled race car and a cardigan from Denmark.

Through all these travels of the early 80s also went my grandfather’s camera, a 1981 Canon A-1, one of the finest made SLR bodies ever created. It’s like the Miyata 1000 of cameras, only not as rare and at the time substantially more expensive. The A-1 featured an in-viewfinder digital readout, five AE modes, and generous exposure compensation, long before such features became common in other SLR bodies. Though the last time I saw them was over twenty years ago, I know that the pictures taken must have been fantastic. When my grandfather passed away, the camera went to my father. And like most of my dad’s wonderful toys, it sat on a shelf to be scarcely used. In high school when I started photography for the sake of take pictures, I used my father’s simple SLR, but in time it because unusable, presumably since it had been dropped in the sea off of the coast of St. Croix on my parents�f honeymoon. So I started using my grandfather’s A-1, though regrettably, like most teenagers I was largely ignorant to the proper maintenance and care that should be afforded to exquisite pieces of technology.

So the A-1 went to the beach, and got smudged lenses, and a handful of shoddily-done polishing jobs with handkerchiefs. So twenty years of neglect and poor use have put my grandfather’s dear companion not in the best of sorts.

However, trying to be more serious about photography, and trying to pay respect to the machine and to my grandfather, yesterday I took the A-1 to the Canon Ginza service center, 7000 miles from where it was bought but less than a hundred from where it was made. In addition to the sand, the smudges, and the mold which have begun to bloom on the lenses, the shutter makes, as the clerk said, a very kanashii (sad) sound from lack of oil. So hopefully I can do a little towards restoring my grandfather’s faith by proper treatment of the equipment from now on. The least I can do is continue on with the tradition of taking pictures and travelling the world.

Resolutions are the kind of things that happen everyday...

Another World

Resolutions are the kind of things that happen everyday, not just at New Year’s. We strive to better ourselves, and lay to rest our tragic weaknesses. Sometimes, we try to be practical, and set short term goals. I have more than new administration, but I hope to add some small amount of accomplishment to my life with fixed periods of abstinence.

For the month of December, I will not play video games (for recreation). This means no console at homes, AND no GBA or DS on the train. I’m just that serious. I hope to accomplish a lot more this month than I have in the last three, because the vices I have with CRTs are just glasses of beer and whiskey for trampled individuals. There is something worthwhile in them, but for the most part it’s just a coping mechanism to dull the pain of a hard day, mental and emotional dope. But for the last month of the year, I will not pour the problems and frustrations of my life into some pixilated, blue haired starlet who casts cure spells and dreams of saving the universe.


The ban does not apply to everyone in the household, unfortunately.

I FINALLY finished Star Ocean 2 on the night of November 30th, though not completely done with the Cave of Trials, I finished the seventh floor and got my two pairs of Bunny Shoes and an Eternal Sphere (thanks Santa). Ultimately, I think I was overdoing it. The truth is I probably could have beaten Indalecio even without the augmented equipment, if I had refocused my strategy a bit more. But, I ran to the cave with the promise of fantastic experience, and emerged several weeks later at level 137. I didn’t really realize it until the final boss battle was over, but I had far exceeded the minimum requirements. I beat the tar out of that tenth wise man, or as my dad would say, “I cleaned his clock.” It took about a minute and a half, and I only got hit once.

In any case, it’s done, and so is my torrid affair with Star Ocean, for now. I have mixed feelings about the game, similar but different than Chrono Cross. The story was uninspiring at points, and there were enough strange (or weak) interpretations of things to make it hard to cuddle up to. The game was released in 1999/2000, in the same window as Final Fantasy IX, and it’s impossible to make a comparison between the two. Either Square is leagues more adroit than any other RPG maker, or Tri-Ace has an odd approach to development. It’s probably both.

But it wasn’t terrible. I thank the wonderful people at Enix for a RPG and levelling up system that is fairly original, and has a good number of creative ideas that could be transferred to future games. The ATG based battle was much more satisfying than Chrono Cross’s as well. The graphics were pretty weak though, both 3D and sprite-based.

In any case, no more games this month, and a renewed effort at being productive, and doing things that will reward me more farther down the line; mental investments. Even though I cheated on Star Ocean and started Silent Hill 3, that one’s going to have to get shelved for a while, much as Resident Evil: Code Veronica did.

Editor’s note: After getting incredibly sick with a cold that floored me for almost a week, I ended up going insane just laying around watching movies and beat Silent Hill 3 over pizza. I am a weak, weak man.

今日は寒い。家の温度計は「7」が表示されている。寒い。それで、ロフトに僕はトレーナー二着とシャツ一着を着ている。パンツは三つ。毛布は四つ。でも、まだ寒い。「...

エターナル・サンシャイン

今日は寒い。家の温度計は「7」が表示されている。寒い。それで、ロフトに僕はトレーナー二着とシャツ一着を着ている。パンツは三つ。毛布は四つ。でも、まだ寒い。「7度」は寒過ぎる。多分寒過ぎたから、あまり寝られなかった。色んな夢を見て、目覚ましが鳴る前に起きた。今ホットチョコを飲んでいる。ヒータを付けたけど、まだまだ寒い。

今日八時位出社するの予定です。後七日で今年の仕事は終わりです。でもまだメチャンコ一杯残っている物がある。段々緊張します。背中が最近、何時も痛い。今日の最高気温は「9度」みたいだけれど、その調子で乾く?布団カバーを洗わないと。

今月のテーマは「Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind」。やっと、国内DVDリリースが出た。頑張って先週の土曜日にレンタルが出来た。始めて見た時は、2004のGDCだった。会議はサンホセだったけど、一日イベントが終わってからCaltrainを乗ってサンフランまで行った。大切なミシェルと会って見た。彼女が何時も素敵な物を紹介してる(FFIX、Toy Story 2、Life is Beautiful、ブログ、スマッシュブラザースなど、など、など)。

なんか、良く分からないこの感情。。。ちょっと。。。本当にほっとけない–

Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you
And I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime

Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you
I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime

I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime

Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime

Wandering is not not knowing where you are going...

Midnight Cowboy

Wandering is not not knowing where you are going, but not having any place to go.

I wander the streets of Tokyo, on foot and on a rusty bicycle, half-watching twelve million people march by with shopping bags and eyeliner, dirty in a vest unwashed from leaning on too many lampposts in Shibuya.

My house is cold, and empty, and I pass between fretting over unpolished floors and indifferent ambivalence, spending weekends and mornings in bed with ten million things to do and not an ounce of motivation to accomplish a single one.

I log two dollar and forty cent convenience store transactions into pirated software, feeling the swelling weight of rising interest rates and the soaring value of the dollar, dialing people and hanging up in the hope they’ll call me back and reverse the charges of a ninety second phone call.

I’m tired of myself and tired of my being tired, so sick of complaining about my situation that I hate what I am to pieces, so whenever talking with someone I haven’t met in a while, I dig my fingernails into my palms and wish I’d just shut the hell up and be supportive for someone else so I can forget about myself.

My hours away from the computer are a string of phone calls to failed relationships, messages unreturned or being the receiving end of half-earnest apologies for not yet getting together, as the other waits in a new lover’s house while he showers.

Tires low on air roll and I ramble on, minutes mean less and less, and the weighty decisions of the day amount to deciding which pornographic novel to buy, rifling through mounds for one under four dollars, and in the end giving up thinking how four dollars is half a day’s food and possibly six hundred calories, one more obligatory meal to sustain life and fend off malnutrition, so I can go to work and make the dollars and cents to feed the cycle for another month.

Dreams were something, and being truly happy a memory, but now all the memories are other lives long gone, and the only days I have to build are those spent in a bland waiting room for “the next big thing”, which remains behind a door that leads to nothing. I live on a sound stage, and the crew has long since gone home.

Do you remember me? Of course you do. We spent...

Tifa’s Theme

Do you remember me? Of course you do. We spent so many nights together, looking up at the stars. Our dreams were so big back then and it seemed that the world was so grand, spread out before us. All those times that we faced down adversity, it was bold and important then, now it’s just a fond memory to replay on idle Sunday afternoons. Am I holding myself back, not progressing by keeping you on my mind? Would I be better off looking for others, or maybe just by myself? How can I really live only embalmed in warmth, wrapping myself in the sense of wonder and the light in your eyes? It’s a womb and a hospital, and a church. All places safe and warm with you.

Who knows what they want? What if you want everything, kind of? There was a time when I was sure of how I felt, and what I wanted. Or at least I like to think that I did. What the hell is it about adolescence that makes everything so simple? Ignorance. That may be the cynical answer, but it’s the right answer. The more you know and the more you experience the harder it is to have absolutes in life. Everything is dirty white and grey, with very few exceptions. So what am I supposed to do? I didn’t make any singular decisions in college; I just started moving faster and faster, burning through more and more people, companies, and locations. And what do I have now? [�cwhat indeed, do I have now?]

I volunteered at our village’s annual bazaar...

Starlight over street corners

Quiet. Chill.
A veil of clouds drifting out to sea,
and the heavens looked down
with starlight over street corners.

Bells and pianos,
sighed,
a breaking in tender night air,
while I road home from work late one night.

I volunteered at our village’s annual bazaar again last weekend. I was able to unburden myself of some old t-shirts and unneeded omake (extra gifts that come with a primary purchase) with a conscience, as well as spend a cold morning with my senior neighbors in the taut autumn air.

Like last year, I manned the vegetable corner, selling radishes, carrots, and mochi (pounded and drawn rice). I think I nearly caught a cold from standing in the rain, as my lymph nodes are swollen, but I spent a quiet afternoon after a hot bath watching Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs). In the evening I had a hearty home cooked meal of oyster and spinach stew, along with two pork cutlets and brown rice. I got another acrylic blanket from a Kyoto linen company of note, as well as book six of Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyou (His and Her Circumstances), one of my favorite anime/manga. I’m particularly fond of this volume for its tender and innocent portrayal of teenage love.

I am stiff, and my neck is sore, but there is a sense of accomplishment in my shoulders, and a wistful, lilting feeling of wisdom springing from the corners of my eyes.

Good night, world.

Every great protagonist has his rival, a blurry...

Following in the tire treads of Islam

Every great protagonist has his rival, a blurry reflection of oneself, whose mere existence seems targeted at stymieing the efforts of the hero. For some, it may be the owner of a blue 1997 Dodge Neon with custom tags. For others it’s a reckless cowboy with an inflated sense of grandeur. For me, it’s Islam.

Before a holy war is declared on my web hosting service, let me clarify by saying that I have nothing at all against Islam as a religion, or any person that chooses to follow its teachings. On the contrary, I’m of the mind so accurately described by one over-accepting parent in Hair, “Kids, be free, be whatever you are, do whatever you want to do, just as long as you don’t hurt anybody.” Faith is not something to be labeled right and wrong, better or worse. It’s how you treat your fellow man and the world around you. However, with all truly great rivals there is some outstanding trait that sets them apart, some sort of uncommon flair with which they leave their calling card. In my case it happens to be a slightly dingy “I (Heart) Islam” button on flap of a satchel commonly thrown over the left shoulder of a fellow commuter. Let me paint a picture for you…

Imagine a man, middle twenties– fairly tall, perhaps 183-185 centimeters. Slim, wears dark brown jeans and a grey cotton jacket. His complexion matches his earth tone wardrobe, light brown to sallow skin, and well-tousled, thick, black hair. He lives somewhere near the Tomigaya section of Yamate-dori, for I commonly encounter him there. He works (or goes to school) on weekdays somewhere east of Naka-meguro, presumably Ebisu, as he and I usually break formation at Yarigasaki, where I take the long hill down from Kyu-yamate in Daikanyama, heading west onto Komazawa-dori. I believe that his professional day begins at ten, much like mine, as the days that I don’t come into the office early (leave the house a few minutes after 9:30), without fail our routes intertwine like a zipper.

Like most males under forty not travelling to the grocery store, he rides a mountain bike, which puts me at a severe disadvantage to keep up. Though considerably faster than most domestic errand bicycles, my three-setting drivetrain tension adjuster is humbled on downhill stretches and my legs spin the pedals unhindered. If I wail on the uphill sections and really throw myself into it, I can almost stay with him to Tamagawa-dori, or slowly lose him in traffic. Occasionally he stops to pick up a nikuman (meat bun) at which point I can pass him, though my advantage is short-lived. He is the Armstrong to my Ullrich.

This is compounded by the fact that he’s maddeningly reckless, even more so than I am. Where I am prone to feats of arrogance mainly for being late, he seems to do so only to antagonize me, darting through red crosswalk signals, imperiously swerving around any startled oncoming traffic. I have long since mastered not being a burden to other vehicles in my lane by hugging the guard rail/curb within centimeters, yet he makes a point of passing by me exceptionally close, sometimes cutting me off when I’m laboring and stiff on the handlebars. From time to time, he looks back in my general direction, glancing with an air of poorly-cloaked satisfaction.

My quads are at a point where they carry a fair amount more definition than most non-athletes my age, but to my mind, they’re frustratingly small and soft. I want my body to be a carbon-fibre bow for the nimble, singing violin that is my bicycle, but that is not going to happen on a mama-chari; there will never been enough resistance in the gears to chisel my blocky frame. So for the foreseeable future I will have a rival on the morning commute, and one more reason to break down and buy myself a high-quality tool truly worthy of my passion. Until the day I do though, I’m going to have to settle for being second best.

Until that day, Islam.

Address 7C816D4F

The little things

Those of you have been intently studying my writing for the past four years can probably build some sort of wonderful psychological profile to put in a college textbook or something, call it The (D)evolution of a Young Man or whatever. But it takes no stalker to notice I don’t write about crazy little Japan things anywhere near as much as I used to. Broken English, bad Japanese, store signs of questionable grammar, etc. Well, you’re probably thinking then, “Why the hell do I read this stupid thing anymore anyway if I don’t get the spontaneous nonsense?”

So, here you are, several weeks of spontaneous nonsense, all concentrated for you like Donald Duck OJ.

Below are the posts I wrote last month while on...

Onslaught

Below are the posts I wrote last month while on the plane. All of this material was actually written just on the trip from DC back to Tokyo. Although I did successfully reclaim these notes from a certain humanities professor several weeks ago, I just had the spare time to parse them yesterday. I’m not sure in how much detail I want to write about my trip to the States, because I did so much I could probably talk about it for a month, or at least get two posts out of every day that I was there. I have lots of low quality pictures from my phone, but at the very least I think I will hit upon the bachelor party and the wedding itself. Those pictures have been sorted and webified, they just need material to go with them.

So for now, here is a nice, fat, four page slab of my frenzied, aching mind listening to The Doopees and Brian Eno. You probably won’t get through half of it, because it would take quite a long time to read, and it’s pretty monotonous and boring, especially in one shot. Still, it’s part of my introspective coughing and very important to me, and will probably be repeated in some way or another much later. But I’m already scaring you away and I haven’t even started talking. Enjoy.

Yes, you will hate the punctuation to your very core and rind.

…originally recorded October 23rd…

Somewhere past track eleven

time drifts, pouring
over cherry wood dining room tables
in a house of a family long-lived
and all of the children became adults
moving through life and not noticing it
until the years rotted away
smiling yellow, teeth, peeling skin from
a decade of sunburn through summer picnics
flowing. sweet and silent tumbling
the world decays through every radioactive second
a view through windows into a generation unseen
so many worried and careworn expressions.
hearts choking out the slowly gagging beauty of eternity.

after memories are bottled, pop consumerism
feeds like locust on the rotting fruit of society
so many sweaty-toothed mammals half drowned in
heavy syrup, factories churning out decade
after decade of shiny plastic goods, so long in form
on this earth after their owners
will the cars and the DVDs cry when we are only rotten food?
how the blood of the flesh is wasted in dollars and intangible things.
I want to stop dying alive, and start living dead.

swat the taxonomy of useless meaningfulness!

why must life go on anymore
why do I want you more and more
why do I keep on asking why?
when you’ll be my love `til I die?

It’s crooked. I know that I’m always changing. Everyone is. Everyone. And my change comes with accumulating bias from experience. Each day I grow more eccentric more passionate more timidly uncontrolled; but regulated with the wisdom of living. Living and continuing to live. Thinner or fatter, balder or hairier. I see these things. I think these things. And they are mine, and they are unique. They are of no use to anyone but me, yet that is every man’s story. We are humans, we can’t help but to fabricate and expel the feeling that burns inside of us. We are here. We take in and we give forth nothing but incalculable fathoms of slowly, rotting existence. It’s a firework. We are all cherry blossoms. We are all meaningless and hakanai. Beautiful and meaningless. With so many yesterdays behind us, and so many tomorrows the same. Humans will be when they are and they will not. And crying and worrying, and fighting it; it’s a reaction of sincerity. “Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” So we as a race will forever be under pressure. So sick and sad that we have to hurt each other doing it. But hurting is as unavoidable as death. Dimensions exist in life, that we may consider unpleasant or hope to avoid, but in happiness is a sadness so we are all still here. And I blithely lived in sunlight, so these words are empty to the sufferers. So I’m sorry to all these that have seen family decay and flesh burn. But there is nothing to be done, nothing at all. Just to be, and be as varied and aware as we can, for that is all any of us really have, actually. A chance, a choice, a fate. Savor the nothingness and burn out as silently loud as possible.

A page on touching

Oh rent, my dear gone loves. How deeply I felt for you at seventeen, or twenty, or when last I slept. To touch you and feel you tremble, it was one of the greatest things I was ever given. And each of you was special. Our lives came together for a moment and we were in love. Active and buzzing with the ringing of existing another way so fresh in our nostrils. The sting of parting ways cut a valley into my heart, and from the oping mouth, raw the cold burning water of life without a limb. Amputated, to stop the joy from surging out in wet tuxedoed waltzes. So heavy and soft, lying under terrycloth and cotton, so much electricity just crackling to drag the backs of my fingernails across your face. I carved every pore into the soft, wet clay of my mind, sensing each hair�fs vibration that sprang from the gentle tide of your breath. Wicker baskets, stick shifts, and barefoot wading across streams. All those moments cascade through the infamy of my poor, tattered and empty life. Am I really to believe that anything that happened between us was without import? It was an amazing thing to be done, as amazing as every flower in every field in every great novel about some other person�fs exhale of a life.

The seconds tick quartz and forty years from now someone will ask me what you were like and I can only taste black cherries and birch skin.

Wo, wo, down to the live of touching and starting and idealizing, so many gerunds just waiting to be picked and experienced. Don�ft ever think of me in remorse for all I can ever do is hold you with esteem.

Poor Caroline, playing Chopin and crying…
Things really must be tough for you.

How can love leave me so tone-deaf to logic?

Runway taxi up right sigh
Swim into the blue, soft linen fingertips
on the wings of a turtle dove dreaming for Asia.

�caudio science laboratory in Tokyo…

It’s knit for me in a striking pattern of tree lined streets strolling through parks and seeing one’s breath.

…Someday, that place in time…

I live in a city so cosmopolitan, but all I know are cafes and holiday sales.
Wrap me in seasons layered in leaves
shrugging off the murmur of modern life.
This is a parting made just for you
to cry and whisper and laugh!
Not since genesis have I been so content.
My role a small, small, part in a big, big city.
Happy a blossom,
hakanai.

“Music to prepare one for death”

In the open field of inattentive listening I listened, attentively. So rich in deep love letters and faces left on the floor. Wading through all the rubble, paper gum milled from life. Just wanting to not want, time without rain or rain without time, moments spent pitching cards of despondency into a cup on the floor, fourth tile from the radiator. A writer who writes much but writes nothing is perhaps the most tragic of all, for only a generation of critics after his prime can sift through the mountains of emptiness and find one nicely sized quote for a postcard. The few sound bites I end up making will probably be cynical, so only the lost and disenchanted dreamers will talk of it. But this was time not even spent selfishly nurturing one’s ego, it was the empty death almost zen, quite nothing. Impoverished on paper and rolling only to the block corner and back. I felt so demurely uncaring just then, for broken and inside was fuel and a kindling for the odorless consumption that would grip me every time I set foot in an airport. Music to calm music to think, the purity of an external echo for your heart, so you bemoan in stereo, and the incredibly beautiful love is left waiting and dies, past the luggage racks but before the currency exchange. Five hundred thousand untracked numbers of meaning and ache and downpouring holiday just gasping their last like so many horrified, mute trout, slaughtered by reapers of distance and time.

Although thought, too, is dimensional and goes forward, I am aware of the then and the will be and the not that wasn’t. So my immortality is a trivial thing, and the laconic pulls of advent wing on gentle breezes to a new heart. Aghast with the sheer dripping monument of how all this energy is nothing and everything I had to hurt in a way that was pleasurable. I had to feed that need for pain by cutting myself again and again, knowing full well, what it would be like to walk on daggers with every step and have no voice. I had to show up and do something you see. Because we can’t wrap around all the existence that is existing and being here untoward and feeling.

That living was just that, and something grand to celebrate and abhor at once.

And now I will think, without writing, if I can…

These are my brilliantly flawed trifles of the mind, the rose I can never complete shading.

A yawn but not I don’t want to sleep,
please don’t make me sleep.
Please just let me be awake a little longer.
I just can�ft rest now there�fs far too much
to be done. Let me make something be done.
Let me make something. Anything.
I have to make something to prove that I
was here, to prove that I could. I just
wanted to be talented and making something,
something beautiful and tragic like
life is. Something to say, “Thank you.”
See? I’m still a child, still not
grown up. Still crazy.

[Written in the margin next this was, “Slow down. Slow down. You’re too serious and you try too much.” … “Slow down. Obviate myself.”]

I just had the most amazing dream that the Empress...

Shock

I just had the most amazing dream that the Empress and I had a holiday together. We went to a fancy university and I was looking into getting tenure. But the crooked headmaster just wanted to sidle up to Her Highness. I was attacked by spiders that could weave incredibly strong semi-solid webs.

...

Unison

One hand loves the other
So much on me

Born stubborn me
Will always be
Before you count
One two three
I will have grown my own private branch
Of this tree

You gardener
You discipliner
Domestically
I can obey all of your rules
And still be, be

I never thought I would compromise
I never thought I would compromise
I never thought I would compromise

Let’s unite tonight
We shouldn’t fight
Embrace you tight
Let’s unite tonight

I thrive best hermit style
With a beard and a pipe
And a parrot on each side
But now I can’t do this without you

I never thought I would compromise
I never thought I would compromise
I never thought I would compromise

Let’s unite tonight
We shouldn’t fight
Embrace you tight
Let’s unite tonight

One hand loves the other
So much on me

Let’s unite tonight
We shouldn’t fight
Embrace you tight
Let’s unite tonight

Let’s unite tonight
We shouldn’t fight
Embrace you tight
Let’s

Unison
Unison
Unison

Mr. Turtle, how many concussions does it take to...

Two questions, same answer, different units?

Mr. Turtle, how many concussions does it take to become mind-numbingly oblivious to the ramifications of one’s simple physical actions?

or

How much does leaving the hot water bathroom tap full open for eight hours cost?

Guess we’ll find out at the end of the month.

Actually, to restore balance to the force in light of my ignorance, I’m thinking,

8 hours = 480 minutes / 8 minutes per shower = 60 showers I need to skip to make up for this.

Ergo, it’s cologne and layered anti-perspirant on every porous surface from now until Groundhog Day.

You’ve been reading Autumn Tactics, where we bring you you such startling non-standard conversion rates such as, “asphalt-cranium collisions to the US dollar”. Hint: Greenspan’s job is safe.

PS – Why oh why couldn’t Santa just show up in level 6 of the Cave of Trials the first time through?! I really need the mithril for my Eternal Sphere. 🙁

iPod + armband + Evanescence = out-kicking all pain...

iPod + armband + Evanescence = out-kicking all pain

kick-start. ignite. burn.

quick to heat, slow to cool. a sleeping demon jolts awake with hatred and alarm. the sparks shed by vulcan hammers stoke rage and hunger that burns through, up and over. to dart to fly, to consume not the world around but the fuel within, compressed carbon steel dissatisfaction, crusades not fought for honor or purpose but selfish glory, glory to remake oneself and feed the stronger heart inside for a contracting carapace out.

wo, beck and drink, vigor, oxygen and a lust for transformation convulsing on a cold slab of marble no a black and white altar of rock, the shellac formed from lashing upon lashing of ego against the self, a bitter furnace that roars with the thrilling agony of realization, and so eboned wings form upon my ankles, driving me beyond reason and hate and logic and so many words, a plan becomes a chant becomes a grunt but a growl, a vicious, seething maw of unhindered longing that bubbles and roils, a stinging heat boils to the surface and I fly down streets never so wide under a sky never so blue, pavement wet with the torrents that fell just last night to wash away the manacles I shackled myself with in weakness and deaf ears on the grotesque beauty of harmonious quakings from such a haggard, hoary, and noble beast.

unbind my necrotaur and let blood change to napalm to engulf. i cannot hold back such ravages any longer.