The waiting

I used to be the kind of guy that was pissed to wait.

I’m sorry, running an hour behind, can you just meet me at the station at 11:20?

I’m already at the station. But then, I think that I’ve become the kind of guy that sits on steps in front of meeting places with a couple cans of low-grade alcohol and a Camel Hard Pack. This is why we have things like notepads and digital music players, otherwise I’d go mad. These steps are pretty cold, though. I guess need to grow an ass.

Lots of people say goodbye: groups of friends getting the train home, another social drinking party of twenty-somethings a success. The light bulbs glow dimly through a film of embalming smog over a battlefield of cigarette filters that budge from time to time under the oblivious footsteps of rushing subway commuters. I think of Montauk and take another sip as a ruffled Oxford drapes an arm around her shoulder and asks one more time if she can get home by herself all right. (Of course she can, he’s the staggering drunk one [the lonely one].)

I was thinking to myself on the train: If I’m going to be depressed, the least I can do is get something creative out of it. Just whining, anyone can do that (and everyone does). But to reform that blue and black coal crawling through my heart and produce a river of diamonds, or at least a fountain of quartz, now that would be something to make the pain worthwhile. I wonder how much of Kerouac’s scrolls actually made it into Big Sur. There had to have been a ton which looked much like all the bile I cough up, but it was obviously left on the floor. So then my journal is the rucksack, and the gems, well, you have to wait and be as patient to read them as I am to write them. Those are the ones that I actually like reading myself. Because really this is for me, and you just have some spare time, choosing to spend it making sure I’m not dead.

It’s best that we leave our relationship pacific like that: a one-way current as unobtrusive and dispassionate as the weather. These words are the clouds, the sun, and the rain of my inviolate and detached life.

Fat color, a laugh; it’s interesting, but I am still here

As time goes by, Bill Murray plays in more and more interesting films. I just finished watching The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, on my hit list of pictures with flair to see. Next is Broken Flowers, if it’s been released here yet. Jarmusch is already a hero to me for Dead Man, so I can only anticipate that Murray + Jarmusch will be quite intriguing.

But that’s the backdrop for this stream of consciousness post. I am two and a half glasses into a bottle of Chianti I got at the ‘Ho last night, and it’s the waning light of four o’clock in late November that’s put a chill into my bones. So I spent a few minutes trying to think of what was the most glowingly warm piece of clothing that I had. After several thoughts of how wonderful it would be to have a shirt that irradiated warmth, I reflected that I have no super cuddly warm shirts, and in one’s place that only an enveloping female in a knotty sweater would suffice. I’m short on those at the moment though, so I decided to settle for my linen jacket that was purchased in Bangkok. My hair is fluffed and slightly moist despite the dry weather, Laraaji echoes from the Onkyos across the room, and I am without friction, grinding my gears on yet another weekend with a dusty, smudged home and a score of useless affectations soaking up decay in this cold-sucking environment.

Today, what was/is today? Today seems over though only four, for it’s dark and cold and I feel less and less that I can make an impact. I feel like I should work with my photography, I should do this and that, a list pages long of renovations and self-improvements, but the hypocrisy of it all sees me exhausted emotionally and wallowing in the half-covering blanket of self-pity. I can’t work at m computer with aplomb if my entire desk area is greased-covered in disarray. Woe is me, poor me, so much more fortunate than the man who sleeps on the splintered bench in the freezing rain just outside my window, while I wring my hands and think of how I am such an utterly intractable person, and reflective of so many failings that humanity likes to turn a blind eye to. Sloth, but sloth, lazy am I afraid of the mess, making excuses of a chance to really clean, no time to really fix anything properly because nothing can every be restored to its original splendor short of moving, throwing it all away and starting again– the classic capitalist parasite and his disposable world. Out of sight and out of mind, the Sidewinder joystick given to me which I have no need for whatsoever finds its way into the trash and a landfill and the cable to strangle some bird while the mercury in the chips edges its way into the ground water to damn a hundred generations of children after me living in a world of far less bluer skies.

No no no no, what I am I about, really? No one understands me except myself for all my shortcomings, and how much I work to fix them I never get anywhere for my body is willing but my mind is weak, so weak, spoiled with the soft rot of so many fruits I bought for health and left on the shelf. Or perhaps someone half-understands because I really am all that simple and they just don’t say anything because saying doesn’t change anything, besides they’ve got their lives and how many times do I have to ramble like this, the diarrhea of my hemorrhaging mind, ejaculating in spurts from the headless husk of an ego and onto everything and every person I come across, leaving the sticky film of my waste like an intractable veneer.

I hate being like this.

Marmalade and thanks for labor

Lately I’ve been compiling a lot of things to write about. We’re sitting on one of my blog powder-kegs where I talk about all sorts of experiences, feelings, and other trivialities. However, this has run into trouble for two reasons: 1) I’ve gotten home near midnight nearly every day for the last week couple weeks, and 2) I lost my note pad which had my blog backlog. It’s a shame because I had some really good stuff in there, in particular an entry entitled, “Sex with Idols“. Later, I’ll just have to wing it from memory, which will unfortunately dilute the effect since I originally wrote the passage in the heat of the moment after attending one of my friend’s concerts.

This week I had big plans for Thanksgiving (Labor Day in Japan), as I always endeavor to produce significant improvement over any previous attempt at a structured production. I hunted down my navy bean stand-ins, procured only the freshest vegetables from green grocers around Tokyo, and even segmented my cooking over the span of several days since it was becoming increasingly apparent that I was going to have to work around the Thanksgiving holiday itself. However, that is a gross understatement (I worked from ten a.m. Thursday until nearly two this morning), quite completely submarining my plans for a very happy start to the holiday season. Now I have untouched dressing and a potful of water-plump beans waiting for pork stock and onions, as well as a number of glistening, soon to be fading, greens in the crisper. Of course I’ll be at work again late today, so I’ll have to cook either Saturday or Sunday. I wish I had cable, or global TiVo, or something. I really wanted to see the Macy’s parade today, bad weather and all. Every year it seems my holiday plans are curtailed more and more, making November-December little more than a rotation of clothes in my wardrobe, and the induction of choking seasonal energy bills.

My grandmother sends all of her children a Pittman and Davis fruit package every year, usually about two dozen ruby red grapefruits from Texas. Several similar customs exist in Japan, it seems. The parents of an artist in our office send cantaloupes for the company in one season, and roe at another. Also, our president’s mother makes marmalade, which I am always more than happy take home a jar of. This year it’s citron.

Tomorrow night I’m going to Cube for a twelve-hour party, so I’m going to have to do some creative management with my time over the next several days so this weekend doesn’t become just a bed-ridden blur. So many things I want to do, so many people I haven’t seen half a year or more. It all starts with my house: the metaphor for my psychological well-being; and right now, it’s a huge mess.

Sound bytes

This is really more the kind of thing I’d put on my LiveJournal, but the audience here will appreciate this a lot more, I think.

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, last weekend’s PS3 launch went off more or less smoothly, with folks queuing up patiently at Best Buy stores across the country hoping to get one of the systems.

There was a definite camaraderie among those in line. The roll call allowed them to leave and purchase food, or warm up inside their cars, while keeping a place in line. If they missed a roll call, everyone was moved up. There was even a dog, Rusty, waiting patiently to purchase a PS3.

I’m sorry

When I do things unintentionally, but carry the effect of something that would bug me, I remember that not everyone can keep up with all the stuff people care about. (Things like no email replies bug me the most.) Anyway, I just realized that Ken has been linking to me politely for quite some time now, and he even got the title, “autumn tactics”, correct as it appears in the banner above, no caps and all. So, Ken, if you read this, I’m sorry. I dropped the ball here. You’re sharp, you’re on task, and you’ve always got good, solid advice when I need it. From today onward, I link to you, right below Big Dog on the left.

By the way, I’ve been meaning to have an extended conversation with you about camera hardware. I think the exhaustion of last month’s trip prevented me from broaching the subject during the couple hours we were together. I’m writing you mail. Let’s get a lICQ/gAIM thing going on.

Whatever

The Merriam-Webster word of the day for the 13th was “sanctimonious”, though I didn’t realize it until just now. This is fitting, however, as it was the topic of last night’s diatribe. As it always is with diatribe nights, morning isn’t quite as dark, especially if something (half) works when I have long since given up expecting it to. For the third night this week, I slept fitfully, and daylight bore the nauseating haze of exhaustion from rest. But, I swore I wouldn’t be late and hurried again, so I got up anyway (calling in sick is really out of the question unless I physically am unable to move). Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have a delicious and fortifying breakfast. And although I didn’t feel much like eating it, I did. Perhaps it’s the reason that I could hold a one hour conversation on display list caching and buffered vertex data.

The boulder has rolled back off of my throat and reverted to its normal resting place over my groin. Now I can eat more spinach, pumpkin, soy, and egg and read about the great lake Baikal and assemble a couple more half-finished ideas before I floss and then retreat to the collapsed scaffolding that protrudes from my monitor to bully my temples.

[I was in a good mood before I started writing this, I swear.]

[Ok, I listened to a little Primitive Radio Gods and Oasis, better now.]

float fFar = 1000.0f;

Dead Man

When people ask what it’s been like working in Tokyo, I am at first at a loss of words. Stumbling over what should be said, or what the topical accoutrements of life in a metropolis of twenty million are like, I make apologies for my slackening grip on the English language. But the truth is I can’t really say what it’s like in any language, because there aren’t any words for it. But having been back for a handful of trips and a dozen encounters with faces from the past, I’ve finally generated a stock answer, which sums it all up: humility. Just that: how small I am, and how ineffective at changing anything I can really be. Humility to the point of only an eggshell-thin ego.

Look out the window. And doesn’t this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later that night, you were lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself, “Why is it that the landscape is moving, but the boat is still?”

I look at the world. I look at a lot of things and think. I think a lot of things. I see things and think that they disgust me. Sloth disgusts me. Failure disgusts me. People who weakly indulge disgust me. People who turn to fat, processed sugar, alcohol, and perversion disgust me. They disgust me so, and yet, I am one of them. I too, race home from work every day in frustration, frustration for what I didn’t get done, how today was like every other day, how nothing ever changes, and I am powerless to alter that. Frustrated, I race home reckless and selfish, loathing the construction and the cars and the stoplights which I pass in a fury, always one honk or stumbling pedestrian away from a fitful explosion of all this disgust, failure, and rage. And then, just before home, at the point of my “sanctuary”, I think of trash, of the trash my body craves (or is it my soul), the filth of things processed, cheap, and satisfying for all of five minutes. The masturbation of mankind that I need to push the nagging stench of my own failure out of arm’s reach for an hour before I give up on the things I said to myself that I’d absolutely do; to go to bed in exhaustion, oversleep, panic my way to work so my boss doesn’t give me a hard time and I can do it all again for another fourteen hours.

The hypocrisy of my own bigoted standards is as putrid as my outlook. I ride down the street, sweaty, my mind terminally broken to the point of not being able to concentrate on anything, and thinking of a dozen pedestrian things that will drown out any flicker of a noble idea. Then I see the broken souls. The shuffling, inebriated, dregs (foundations) of society that live in a bottle amid stained flannel, searching for the same five minutes of ignorance, hoping that two and two makes five and another shot of cancer-inducing sordid anesthesia to numb out the realization of now.

No, when I go back to the States, it’s all just a facade, and I don’t even try that hard to keep it up anymore. What difference does it make what anyone thinks anyway?

Every day and every night some are born to sweet delight, and every night and every mourn, some to misery are born.

The site will be taking a break for a few days…

My host provider, iPowerWeb, initially gave me a 500mb upload quota. Now new accounts get a 50gb quota. I’ve been hovering around 500mb for a couple months, mostly from all the pictures I store. Anyway, to get the 50gb quota that I’m entitled to, I need to move the site to another server, because the server that the site lives on is “full”. With RAIDs and what not, you’d think this would be transparent, but apparently it’s still a physical problem. Which means I have to back up all my files, and re-upload/configure my server and email to get to the new space.

The upshot of this is that the site may be down for 24-72 hours, starting Sunday night. Please forgive the inconvenience, and do not think I’m dead. I wish I could say that the next time you hear from me everything would look new, fresh, and like Web 2.0 (sexy and white, apparently), but that’s not the case. I have a number of enhancements I want to make but not the time for my limited Photoshop and web authoring skills. I’m still in the HTML 3.2/JavaScript stage, (Bronze Age?), sorry. If anyone wants to offer some tips, though…

[crickets]

Ok, well, thought I’d ask anyway. See you.

Rave + bicycles + unexpected encounters = fun

In Tokyo, the deciduous trees are shedding their locks, and the evenings have grown cold with the hiding of the sun. Open air party season is over, but it seems there are always a few surprises in store for the lucky raver.

Before.

Originally I planned to go to Ueno via bicycle, with the intention of stopping by a fragrance importer in Ameyokochou, and then proceeding up to Sendagi where earlier this year I experienced a couple drops of insight. However, the tumultuous situation of apartment living has shaken up my normally astringent domestic quarters, and a lack of cleaning caught up with me. This collision of priorities pushed back my departure time and ultimately I just decided to go to Yoyogi Park and lay in the sun with a beer.

As it happened, while taking the trek up the slope along the south side of the park, I came across an impromptu DJ session along the path. Two decks were set up under a small tent, with a generator powering some fairly good size speakers. The master humbly spun some Ibiza-like lounge anthems, while one of his friends milled about and another sat on a pile of coolers, selling “Drinks” for five hundred yen. We randomly met one of our friends, who sold pitas at the Sagamiiko rave back at the beginning of October. He’d just come by himself to spend the afternoon spacing out and relaxing in Yoyogi Park, but the bass had drawn him to the event as well.

After.

We ran out of beer and needed to do some shopping at Omotesandou, so we packed up and left around two. By the time we came back a little after four-thirty, however, the DJ was spinning (significantly louder) psytrance and there were close to a hundred and fifty people in front of the makeshift stage: cramming the brick path, flowing over into the garden, hanging on the fences, and crawling through the landscaping wire. It was pretty neat to see something come together like that and go off smoothly. But that is the crux of traditional raving: parties just appearing unscheduled, and the rushing tide of spirits, drawn together with growing momentum and energy, like an uncontrolled fusion reaction.

[This is my 500th post, hurray for me!]

振動覚 – AKFG

世界の端まで届く声より 君にだけ伝えたいだけ
六弦の三フレット 刻むマイギター
心だけ 奮わせたいだけ

揺れる鼓膜 馳せる言葉
憂い 戸惑い 此処に捨てる

特別な才能を何ひとつ持たずとも
心 今 此処で掻き鳴らす

君が嘆く 胸が痛んで
すべて包む永遠の生命
僕は叫ぶ 夜明けの雨
此処で響く永遠の生命

特別な才能を何ひとつ持たずとも
君の閉じる闇を打ち抜く
できるなら心、それひとつ
この胸の奥を 今 此処で掻き鳴らす

過去と現在を考えている。思い出と夢は頭内の真っ黒カンバス経て飛んでぶつかる。何がこんな深い切望?麻酔から覚めると放浪、心の中に昔の僕は怒りで呼んでいます。なぜ僕の無感覚な口が応答できない?