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...


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,

“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...


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.



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
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


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?


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.

“All Good Things…”

This was one of the best TNG episodes, I believe. It was also kind of sad, but I guess that’s to be expected since it was the series finale as well. I’m half tempted to read the plot summary, but I think I may have just found a good, solemn way to spend my Friday night (since I completed this week’s chores last night). So, I’ll resist the urge and try to forget about it for now.

But the real meaning of the title of this entry is a salute to two important [right] material possessions which, in the last several weeks, have left the realm of everyday utility. They have been with me for five good years, with frequent use in inhospitable conditions (standard fare for my reckless nature). So with today’s Autumn Tactics, we bid adieu my stalwart companions the Diamond Rio 500 and my blue Seahawks hat. So first, the MP3 player.

I was climbed onto the MP3 fad before it really became big. In pre-Napster era I got into it during my first year at Virginia during the fall of 1997. In those days, FTP sites were the portal of choice and the RIAA was more or less oblivious to the thousand-pound gorilla they’d have on their hands in just a feet short years. Using such pioneering sites as the long-since defunct MP3Asylum, I leveraged the academic version of WS_FTP 95 that came with the ITC student software pack to grab hundreds of tunes onto the _vast_ 8.4GB hard disk in my blazing Gateway2000 Pentium II, Sabrina. But this precedes the Rio by a good three years. After my summer at Microsoft I’d gotten sick enough of running around with my 1994 Walkman brick and bad analog tape (recorded by connecting the line out of my sound card to my tape deck), so I used the birthday money I got from my mom and purchased one of the first SmartMedia MP3 players off of Amazon. Through thick and thin, on three continents the Rio was with me for jogging, planing, and bullet-training. Along the way I upgraded the firmware so I could use 128MB cards, but it grew increasingly limiting as broadband exploded and I started pulling down two hour DJ sets at 192kbps. Additionally, the Rio wasn’t ment to put up to my kind of abuse, certainly not for five years, so after being dropped about fifty times, the LCD began to give out, at which point I started employing a hard whack to the back of the unit to perform a delicate adjustment on the current flow through the crystals. I suppose ultimately this is what lead it to it not even turning on. So after propping myself up with the 64MB in my Sanyo voice recorder, I finally put capital to the ailment and used a birthday present from this year (five years later) to get an iPod Photo, with a 20GB capacity, two and a half times the size of my entire desktop hard disk from college. Wary of what I can do to electronics I bought a little orange jacket and screen cover for the iPod, one that’s normal means of attachment to me is being looped through my thick leather belt (which I’ve been wearing now almost daily since 1996). Still, I think I may need to get a separate protector for the click-wheel, because the factory film is going to get greasy and come off fast. But first, let’s have a moment of silence for the unflagging service of the Rio, which will now be retired to the electronics box in the back of my closet until I get really bored one day and open it as a science experiment.

In even _greater_ standing (no offence of course to the Rio), is my beat and weathered Seattle Seahawks hat. This was also obtained in the golden year of 2000, but a few months ahead of my birthday at my first professional football game, a preseason matchup between the (then AFC west and considerably less adroit) Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts. When this hat was purchased for a mere seventeen dollars it already had all the earmarks of being a Rusty trademark. It had an almost perfect pre-curved bill, an outdated and campy logo, and a faded blue finish. But most importantly it met the two key criterion for objects representative of my style: 1) it was obscure (Have you ever seen someone else in a Seahawks hat?), and 2) it was as no frills as unflavored yogurt. Also a key selling point was the fact it had a copper buckle and adjustable strap, as opposed to the little plastic holes that I always need to set on “four”, which in turn make it look like I have a fat head.

The hat became my “lucky hat”, because to be it was obtained at the peak of my acceleration away from suburban Maryland obscurity. It also fit the Virginia “shaggy prep” look perfectly, always leading the chase of any first date in blue stripes and a Camel Hard Pack (standard operating gear for parties)**. So in my ongoing attempt to carefully control the disintegration of my apparel to reach Jack Kerouac-like status, I wore the hat everywhere and anywhere. To the ACM World Programming Finals, where the hat and I chatted up professional condomologists on the streets of Vancouver. To the mountains of Utah, skiing down Alta for the first time (and first concussion). To Mexico, on a cruise with a depleted supply of Coronas, sweaty busboys, and drunk girls who talked through their navels, where the hat nearly met peril falling off the ship and into the Gulf of Mexico, or under the bombardment of seagulls at port in Tampa. The hat swam through salted waters Atlantic and Pacific, on the calm shores of North Carolina to the rocky coasts of Carlsbad. In the sweet, dipping sunset of the Far East, on a man-made beach hauled up from Australia to rural Japan after the original was washed away by a storm. The hat was with me like a somber compatriot, suffering through scores of rainstorms, broken loves screaming in cars, into death’s eye from multiple bicycle-car collisions. It was even run over once, the proud and grimacing bill given a nervous twitch, a crick in the arch, and black tire marks across the crown. Though frayed and rusting, the hat still criticizes me not, but looks only to quietly serve, to see me through life’s adventures. Not for being lost a dozen times in absent-minded derision, not for being shoved into the depths of my cavernous backpack for the resulting paranoia. No, the hat has served far too well through all these years to be treated with such irresponsible abuse. For as foolish it is to revere an icon, this humble patch of cotton and polyester deserves far, far more. It is my trademark, it is the spirit of my perseverance and hope for the future. And so it has been retired, to a safe keeping place; a place without a forgetful owner or the risk of crippling earthquakes. Now it sits quietly, patiently, just like it always has, but in the warm darkness of my top closet shelf, in my father’s house nine thousand miles away. Slumbering in timeless space, dreaming of the day I will return home and reclaim it, for it will be worn on my next ride to glory. Sleep well, dear friend. I am not worthy of your patience.

… after watching TNG later that night …

Watching that series finale of TNG really put an accent on the night. It was just, spectacular. So much good writing, so many interweaving stories, so many lessons to take to heart. In particular, the look on Admiral Riker’s face as he explains why he let himself get in the way of Worf and Deanna’s relationship. Still clinging to the past,

I didn’t want to admit that it was over. I always thought that we’d get together again… and then she was gone. You think you have all the time in the world, until… yeah…

So many ways to reflect on the ways we live our lives. How are we living them? What is it for, really? It’s the people. It’s the people in our lives and it’s now. Because now will never come again.

(At the weekly senior officers’ poker match, Picard makes a rare appearance and prepares to deal the next hand)
Picard: I should have done this a long time ago.
Deanna: You were always welcome.
Picard: (pauses) So… five card stud, nothing wild, and… the sky’s the limit.

Last Saturday Uezu-san and I got out to the Edo-...

Stories old and new, foreign and domestic

Last Saturday Uezu-san and I got out to the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku (which coincidentally is also the sumo-training capital of Japan). I’m a knowledge buff and an efficiency buff, so I spent a considerable amount of time in advance consulting with coworkers and pouring over the websites of just about every museum in the tri-prefecture area. In particular I was hoping to find something with a strong chronological stratification, as the engineer in me always works big to small, divide and conquer, etc. It seems that the Edo-Tokyo museum was the best choice in terms of content, funding, and proximity to where I live (there’s virtually no place in the heart of the city that I can’t reach in half an hour).

I’d read on a message board that to see everything would require two and a half to three hours, so I figured arriving at three would be just about right for closing at five-thirty. Unfortunately we drilled down a little too much, and I think that estimate was a bit too conservative. The upshot is that we got through a good amount of Edo (Tokyo’s former name before the Meiji-era) but not really much of Tokyo at all.

Around five o’clock, the curators started really pushing seeing some sort of animated display in one of the rooms of the “Tokyo Zone”, as it was the last showing of the day. It turned out to be some rudimentary lighting cues on scale model sections of Tokyo, with a voice-over and the corny kind of background noise to simulate the sounds of the bustling city at the time period. If you’ve been to Gettysburg or pretty much any Civil War museum, you may know what I mean. Little wooden characters move in one dimension along a track to bad quality audio. It’s funny how everyone crowded around to see the different dioramas as the story of some famous murder progressed. Maybe they were expecting more, or maybe it was really fascinating to them. I’d guess at the former. Campy yes, but the nostalgia sponged away any cynicism I may have harbored.

So after that we had fifteen minutes until closing, at which point I inadvertently directed us into the “Life in World War II” section of the Tokyo Zone. It was bad enough that I’d thrown us three hundred years into the future from where we were last looking around, but it made things additionally uncomfortable that we got to end the tour (consequently right before dinner) reading about the unrelenting mercy of the firebombing US military, and the ludicrous ignorance of the Japanese government. [Example: the local officials estimated that at most one bomb would fall per ward in a raid, and that the fires could be put out with buckets] Having read several books on the Pacific War, I already knew uncomfortably far more than I cared to about the inhuman suffering of the conflict.

But I hadn’t eaten yet that day so after the museum closed we went to a more or less Japanese cuisine specialty restaurant and had a large assortment of vegetables and soybean dishes. The fact that raw tuna is largely bloodless, at least compared to beef, helped.

At dinner Uezu-san ordered a ryokucha hai (green tea cocktail) for my benefit since I’d never seen one. It’s quite common for restaurants and pubs to serve Chinese oolong tea mixed with Japanese liquor, but I’d never seen it done with green tea before. It was pretty nice actually. I got a glass of awamori, which happens to be one of my favorite Japanese (Okinawan) liquors.

After supper we went to Shinjuku because it was easy for both of us to return home from. I introduced her to Dance Dance Revolution and Taiko no Tatsujin, since she is still new to the wonderful world of video games. We had a nice time and stopped at one of my favorite whiskey pubs, Cho, on the way to bowling. I received further self-indulgent affirmation for how young I looked when the bartender asked if we were college students, though it was probably due to the fact that I was wearing my Waseda University t-shirt. In the end I helped teach a blogging newcomer how to post content on the web. (Are you reading this? Sorry it’s in English! パブちょうさんは読んでますか。英語だから、ごめんね。^^;;)

After two earnest attempts at bowling, it was time to say good-bye as last trains were approaching. My bike was in the Hatusdai underground parking deck, left there from Thursday’s adventures, so I decided to pick up a couple of cans of cheap Asahi in Nishi Shinjuku and walk home along Koshu-kaido so I could go pick it up. Along the way I stopped at a famous adult entertainment store (largely because it had some attractive costumes and wigs in the front window), and was later distracted by an overhanging blue light. The significance of this event is probably lost on all but one very devoted aficionado. Unfortunately this time there were neither bored housewives, a dental office, or garbagemen masquerading as police. It did help correct my posture a little bit though. 🙂

return 0;

Cooking, product placement, and the boys of autumn...

Cooking, product placement, and the boys of autumn

As I previously failed to expand on, last Thursday was Bunka no Hi, which is a national holiday, originally honored as the former Emperor Meiji’s birthday. Many of the Japanese holidays are founded as such. It is seen as a day for promotion of culture and the love for freedom and peace. Individuals devoted to community and the arts are honored with auspicious awards from the government and such. We had a gorgeous November blue sky and initially I planned to take another bicycle trek (this time without perhaps losing anything along the way), to the far east side of town. However, I had the good fortune of sharing a picnic, a (better) bottle of wine, and some of my moderately well-received lemon and ginger stir-fry.

So the day was spent in Inokashira Park, which was also apparently the plan for much of Tokyo, as it was quite full of families and large-tarped groups of docile party goers. Japanese people love to congregate outdoors and share food and beverage, spending long hours drinking and laughing. It’s something I didn’t have much of a chance to experience when in the States, but a pastime I’ve grown quite fond of since moving here.

While reclining with bananas, I slowly became aware that a young boy, probably about nine or ten, was calling to me. Onii-san, is the Japanese informal term for “big brother”, or in general any young man from middle school to his twenties. There are many other terms that go well beyond “mister”, each corresponding to a certain relationship or age of the individual. Since I’m quite often referred to as Oji-san (uncle) or worse, Oyaji (father/middle-aged man), I was quite thrilled to be called as such, especially since I’m often gauged to be in my mid-thirties.

In any case, the boy was calling to me because he wanted to play catch. Now societal conventions may cause one to feel awkward or try to avoid such a situation, but I love playing with anybody, especially kids, so it wasn’t hard to get me off the blanket. Unfortunately, I fell into my old routine of thinking too much, and threw it too high and far for him at first, my motivation being that he probably wanted to look cool, so I didn’t want to patronize him with a weak toss. This resulted in a lot of him fetching the ball until I got the hang of gentle, under-handed grounders.

I think we had a good time, until at one point he scampered away, to what I assumed were his parents, so I sat back down. However it turns out he was there alone, and so blindly affable that he would just throw the ball at about anyone passing by to get their attention or someone to play with. After having a difficult time finding any passing couple or closed group of picnickers that were accomodating as I was, he came back to me [at this point I was catnapping], to tell me that my t-shirt was riding up and my waistline was showing.

Hazukashii ne.” (Isn’t it embarrassing?)

Following this he circled around and since I was laying on my back with my eyes closed, he asked if I was sleeping. He then proceeded to lay down himself on the blanket before saying, “Good night.” After a few seconds he continued to the generic child faking-sleeping noises that I remembered using too well. When this didn’t get a reaction he started petting my hair, and I found myself uncontrollably thinking about Of Mice and Men. At this point I broke my silence and asked him what he was doing in a playful sort of way and he ran off again for a while before returning to throw his ball into the overhanging tree limbs (where it eventually became stuck for a good five minutes until the breeze shook it loose).

It was one of those experiences that left you feeling so mixed-up you weren’t sure whether it made you happy or sad. I hope he eventually found some friends to play with.

After it grew dark and cold enough that lounging in the park had lost its lustre, my stomach got the better of me and any efforts to stroll about sightseeing were cut short by a pressing need for food. Though I had greatly enjoyed my last visit to Miss Saigon, the signs outside a particular “dogs ok” cafe caught my eye. It’s a tragic experiment doomed to eternal failure, but everytime I see some new indie place advertising pizza, my heart (or more precisely my tongue) flutters and I get my hopes up just a little bit that I may find some hearty, passable pizza on this blessed little island. So we climbed the plywood steps and supped upon nama ham salad and the house pizza, which actually wasn’t half bad, being loaded with cheese, mushrooms, and what I suppose were potatoes on a (comparatively) thick crust.

The catch at this place though wasn’t the Ebisu on tap, but the blatant hipness of all the PSPs hung around the place. Spider-Man was playing by the door, Everybody’s Golf was at our seat, and several other titles seemed to be positioned at choice tables. No (freebie?) expense was spared to accentuate the Sony theme; the tabletop was even a PSP advertisement.

Despite my predilection to fiddle with things electronic in nature, especially games, I showed a sign of maturity I think and turned the system face-down and ignored it for the duration of the meal. It must be those twenty-six years catching up to me.


The healing power of bad wine

Though I will be the first to decry the horrors of how you can seriously do physical, emotional, and property damage to yourself and others due to alcohol, of course I won’t go so far as to damn recreational beverages en masse. It’s as Mr. Larson’s shirt says, “Guns don’t kill people, I KILL PEOPLE.” And as such, a little nip here and there is nothing to be ashamed of. It can even be good for your blood… assuming it’s not the 399-yen infamous (meaning more than famous), Ureshii Wain, which translates very simply as “Happy Wine.”

And such was last Wednesday night, the eve of the hallowed and venerable Bunka no Hi (Culture Day). I play a little game from time to time, it’s essentially the same game I’ve been playing since I was about nine, but whimsy is increased, and the stakes are decreased (perhaps). Basically, there is a tried-and-true adolescent logic that dictates events seemingly uncontrollable by us mortal humans should dictate the decisions we make, or at least be an irrefutable sign heralding the will of the gods.

If Mom doesn’t scream downstairs to yell at me for breaking the vase before The Simpsons is over, it means she’ll never find out, or if she has, she doesn’t think it was me and I’m off the hook.
If that overhang doesn’t collapse and kill that sad, bloated cat, I should jump this ditch.
If the parking ticket doesn’t stay on the windshield when I’m doing 74 on The Parkway, it wasn’t meant to be paid.

Perhaps you’ve used this kind of hermetic reasoning at one point or another in your life. It may also be easily extended from what other people do (or do not) do, to what you can do yourself, some inane trivial feat, usually whose stakes are decided upon when you are halfway through accomplishing it.

If I can hit the tennis ball forty times without dropping it, I got an A on my math test.
If I can hold my breath until I get to the top of all the stairs in the house, I should go play Nintendo.
If I can run backwards up the driveway to get the mail and crabwalk back down without someone seeing and laughing at me, Stephanie has forgotten completely about that episode on the bus.

…and so forth.

As I said these canons are so set in stone from frequent use that they are second-nature even in modern society. Such that when I ride my bike home at night, the state of the traffic lights upon my crossing largely dictates whether I go to the grocery, buy a beer, or hang out in front of Shinjuku station looking for someone to annoy. [Though I’ve ridden up and down Yamate dori so much that I have just about every timed pattern memorized by heart, so there’s not so much fun in it anymore.]

So there I was last Wednesday and it just so happened that I was in the mood for a drink since Thursday was a holiday, and it just so happened that I caught the lights to ride by the Mini-Stop on the way home, instead of branching off before it. Now I’ve had run-ins with the so called bottle of frugal mirth once or twice before and hated every drop of it, but I was too lazy to stop by any other convenience store (even though there were two directly in my path about a hundred meters down the road), so I plunked down my 399 and heeded the wisdom of the lights.

Whether it was the happiness, the hastily eaten dinner, or the fact I was just extra tired, I fell asleep playing Star Ocean 2 for the third time in two weeks, with the TV, PS2, and lights (as eternally dim as they are in my house) on, one arm draped over my withered stomach with a greasy Dual Shock, another around the neck of about 300-yen’s worth of Red #6 and Prestone. The same twenty-second world music somehow stayed looping all through my dreams and several half-hearted attempts to get up and make a proper movement towards bed; in the end about ten and a half hours sitting outside of Central City, where I had been busy compounding Skanda ointments. Unfortunately I didn’t save before I nodded off, and I had succeeded about seven times in making the power-ups, so I needed to end the overworld binge of nothing and eat the idle time on the game clock when I finally rose to the sounds of birds and laughing children.

Since pouring out ANY kind of liquor is alcohol abuse, I chugged through the happiness while preparing my lunch for the day. It actually put quite a spring in my step, and had me bopping around to Culture Club in boxers before heading out. It was also probably the crux of my inspiration for the charming thoughts on beauty previously posted on the first.

I have notes here to talk about some of the things that actually happened after I left the house, but I’ve run out of lunch hour, so they’ll have to come later. Until then, I wish you the very happiest of days.


[That whole thing about not paying the parking ticket if it flies off the windshield, I used that one so many times I was nominated for a Nobel Prize for Breakthrough Scientific Theory in Consumer Advocacy. Actually, no, not really. The truth is that I’m putting my life external to a medium-security correctional facility at jeopardy if I dare get behind the wheel of so much as a tricycle in the Great State of Pennsylvania. I had one ticket minus the towing limit in four of Pittsburgh’s boroughs, worth well over eight hundred dollars in fines with compounded late fees. I pity the man who drives that shining red Grand Prix west of Breezewood, I tell you.]

Well, they’re brown, but I still feel the...

Green Eyes

Well, they’re brown, but I still feel the same.

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand
And I come here to talk
I hope you understand

That green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
And how could, anybody, deny you

I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, now I’ve met you
And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes

Honey you are the sea
Upon which I float
And I came here to talk
I think you should know

That green eyes, you’re the one that I wanted to find
And anyone who, tried to deny you must be out of their mind

’cause I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, since I met you
Honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes
Green eyes

A poem written on the back of my neighbor’...

A poem written on the back of my neighbor’s gas bill envelope, penned while riding the train

What is beauty? Beauty? Beauty?
What? What? What?
It’s the Georgia black coffee can in the gap between cars one and two of the local to Kichijoji.
It’s the mother with her daughter and friend, whose high leather boots and short skirt I coveted, no, longed for; in the way people long for release, or vindication, in the way without consequences that doesn’t say “pedofile”, or you are wrong.

Beauty is five years old or ninety. It’s just an icy shaft that rends my heart asunder, gasping deep oh deep “but only?” …itches why are we so blessed with such toylike purity? Touch, touch never to touch but to dream to gasp and oh why yes? I am too fortunate to exhale on such a lovely, black-jeaned morning.

Deguchi wa hidari desu.

Yes Yes Yes Yes!
Get out, get off at the left side and run to your lives, so beautiful and delicate, wives and daughters, mothers and children. Every one so unaware of the inescapable accelerating beauty diffusing from inside lonesome hearts searching for release [relevance?].