Monday, September 24, 2007

First Holy Communion

When I was seven, my godmother used to take me with her to catechism classes she taught on Saturdays. Dressed in t-shirts and overalls, it is hard to fathom why all her high school students used to fawn over me as they did. They'd give me candy and chocolate milk. They'd push me on the swing until I grew bored. Swing me around in their arms so I'd laugh. Girls fighting over where I'd sit in the classroom. Everyone finding something for me to color as I'd wait.

Everyone did, when i was a kid.

So behaved and well mannered. Asking permission for everything, keeping silent during mass. Well versed in please and thank you, complete with a smile.

Couldn't read, couldn't add, but precious nonetheless.

Back in the time when I confessed an innocence as sin, I walked in an aisle of white dresses, awaiting bread and not wine.

Onto autumn

Goals for Fall

Pass the JLPT 3 kyu
Suspend all frivolous spending to save for winter travels
Decide between Australia or Asia for Xmas
Love hotel
Make my own Tokaido travel guide
Work toward healthiness of mind and body
Make OC Class movie
Make Tobinator 3000 costume
Stay after school and play with the clubs more often
Ride Splash Mountain with my kids and buy the stupid picture.
See all my long lost buddies together at a Los Angeles bar that serves Newcastle on tap.

Perhaps if I keep it short, I can accomplish them all.

Goodnight, summer.

This link was the list of goals that I had made on the first day of summer. Alas, the end of summer has passed away as such did the long weekend, and now it is time to check upon my list to see how I fared this season.

Swim in the OigawaNo, but walked in it.

Camp under the starsTwice
Climb up a rocky waterfallNo
Drink my own homemade UmeshuOishikatta.
Ride a waterride at Tokyo DisneyNo
Boogie board on the southern coast of JapanNo
Beach birthday bonfire nightDamn typhoon!
Drown a bag of CicadasUh, no. That was just a pipe dream. Although one dropped from a tree onto my head. I screamed, and threatened to throw it into a river.
Take refuge in a refrigerated Pachinko parlorYES.
Spend the night in a love hotelUH, no!
Team teach with my sisterAnd they LOVED her!
Master photoclubNot a master.
Go to Ninja restaurant in Tokyo, Hello Kitty storeCheck!
Buy my bassDecided against bass.
Snorkle off the coast of OkinawaNext time, Gadget, next time.
Light skyrockets off the highest tip of FujiNo.
Get backstage at Fuji-rockUh, no.
Party it up with departing SempaiVery little sempai partying, sister in town that week.
Learn 100 summer related KanjiCould only think of 50, but learned them.
Soak in a kiddie poolYES!!!! The coolest kiddie pool in Tokyo!
Make a Tokyo PosseYES, more of posse than before!
Raft down a riverRRRR, no.
Rent a car, roadtrip to ShimodaRented a car, roadtripped to Shujenji
Dance the night away in TokyoOn many occasions.
Party with Gabriel his first night in JapanCheck
Hanabi like its going outta styleCheck
Secure tix to Melbourne for Christmas extravaganza with Moto, Angie, Gabby and AimeeYES and NO, reserved tix, but not sure if able to pay for them.

"They just appear."

You thought it was of the Buddhist belief to not partake in the ending of an insect's life.
You thought the blue hue and soft clarity of a river meant the water ran clean.
You thought that mold could not grow where there is no oxygen.
You thought window silhouettes kept to the rules on displays of affection.
You thought the innocence of infants sheltered them from recognizing differences in facial features.
You thought disgusting bugs should not fly.
You thought rainbows rest their feet on gold.

You thought everything had a purpose.
You thought alot like I did.

Alot, except for that.

There is no one doing the teaching except for yourself.
Gambarimasu, old friend.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Matsushima "Pine Islands"

Last weekend, I went to Tokyo then onto Sendai. Took a little train trip over to Matsushima to check out one of the Top 3 "most beautiful places in Japan". I forgot my camera, but I took a couple of pictures on my phone.

There was this crazy tree growing out of the side of the biggest island, horizonally. If you look closely, you can find waldo.

Then we found a rainbow.

And some guy caught an eel-y looking fish.

The islands were connected by cute red bridges.

I got an average fortune, so i didn't put my little red guy in a square.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Slack Off-ism

In general, I would regard myself as a person with adequate to semi-interesting writing ability. I'd never call myself a Vonnegut or Bukowski, of course, but I do admit to admiring their casual manner of writing as if you are just talking to a friend over a few beers. I like their style. I like how Vonnegut rambles, and how Bukowski never apologizes during drinks.

People often judge others on how they answer the question, "Dead or Alive, which literary figure would you choose to converse with?" Obviously, I wouldn't want to converse with anyone who wouldn't join me in the corner of a bar, pissed about something or other, and suggesting to move this conversation over to the parking lot across the street, when we both know he's got a bottle of whiskey in his knapsack. Obviously, I never answer that question in a normal conversation because my answer would only make me appear uncouth, uneducated, and of course, alcoholic.

Unfortunately, even years after escaping high school follies, i still succumb to obliging under what "they" think.

Rubbish, i'd say.

I am going to admit to you that i have coddled quite a bit of my homemade Ume-shu, and am now writing under the influence. You must know that Ume-shu is delicious, especially if you're of the unlucky lot who hasn't yet discovered its sweet, sticky charm. While Vodka makes one hot and angry, Ume-shu makes you smile and sleepy. It is sweeter than port and creates a melodic lull in the head which could sing babies, and quite possibly, convicts, to sleep.

My eyes begin to close as the incense wears on, and I figure that I must get to my point before the clock rages much further.

She's such an insolent, that time-keeper!

All I wanted to discuss tonight, as I summoned these windows of Bloggy was how impressed I've been with my recent reading material. Tonight, I read a story that taught me what "Royal Jelly" was. I never knew so much about bees. I never thought that i needed to. I love when people teach me something that I never even knew that I wanted to learn.

I wish love were like books.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

200th Post

The person I call my best friend has the same job as I. Since he's arrive, we've fallen back into old habits of calling each other every night and telling the other of our day. However, in Japan, the charges for cellular phone usage is much higher than us spoiled Americans are used to. You see, the companies here give you less than a hundred free minutes which has trained the Japanese people to communicate only through texts. The rates for calls become even higher when you frequently call other carriers. But that's his bad. I told him to get Softbank.

I've always liked texts. I prefer indirect, noncommittal communication. And when I was once questioned on why I waste my time settling weekend plans via 6 texts when I can just make a 2 minute call, I answered
"I dunno".

But I did know.

I know that I have very awkward phone ettiquette. And I also know that i can't keep anything under 2 minutes. It's good to know yourself, I reckon.

Tonight, this friend of mine told me about a student in his class. The assignment was to explain an illness to the doctor, and get a diagnosis.

Doctor: What is your problem?
Boy: I want a hamburger and coke.
Doctor: Are you okay?
Boy: I want a hamburger and coke.
Doctor: Oh, you have the autism.

I laughed. You see, the clincher is that Autism was not on the list of ailments to choose from. Later in the conversation, I begged him to tell me again, with all the same accents, and he did. He's good like that.

I told him that from now on, I was going to tell people that story as if it were my student who wrote that. There's no way it could maintain halarity if I were to start that story with "my friend said". Know what I mean?

So if you and I are alone under beers or whiskey, in the throws of banter, talking about work, and I happen to mention this story, I'd prefer if you'd ignore its true origin. Just assume I'm a liar.

And that i enjoy subtle cheekiness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


There's alot of things to see-
underneath the trunk
to middle of the leaf

breathe up close
then look away
and in the heat of the vein
aphids play

Monday, September 10, 2007


It is amazing what addiction can do. Unwelcomed, though tiny, thoughts invade your think-space in that slick, non-verbal jumpy frogleg way. As I write, trying to capture this moment so that I might reread it next time I think it'd be nice to go out for a smoke. I was 2 days short of a 3 week non-smoking stint that was quite unlike my others. You see, this bout with nicotine freedom was preluded by a very uncomfortable case of tonsilitis, which took the slight annoyance of craving a smoke and turned it into chronic pain which resulted in days without much water, sleep or tabemono. When you spend a week and a half in a miserable fever haze, tabako no jidou hanbaiki isn't much of a mirage-y oasis. My point is that after I recovered and began feeling good, I didn't want to do anything mean and yucky to my poor body. I was so nice to it. Only feeding it fruits, veggies, rice. Taking it out for afternoon walks. Buying it beautiful smelling soaps, no pickling, no suffocation, no disagreeable chemicals. I somehow convinced myself that it'd be pretty disgusting to do any of these things.

That is until I wanna relax. I know that sounds stupid. And I'm not referring to the type 1 relaxing that I had been engaging in since the detox. You know, where after a nice brisk walk through a humid afternoon, I'd do a bit of showering, putting on some musik and reading beside the lovely summer evening breeze sauntering past my bed. That's good too. But I mean the type 2 relaxing. The kind where you drink deliciously frosty beverages while focusing on other things: perhaps chatting with a friend, watching movies, or writing incoherently inside a notebook or perhaps atop a keyboard. Type 2 gives the added option of not only relaxing your body, distracting your mind, but also distracting certain emotions. It gives a small vacation from things like the autumn willys. And unfortunately, frosty beverages walk hand in hand with smokey cylindrical pleasure sticks.

In summary, this short reunion with my vices was not that intense. I smoked maybe about 5-6 in total. However, that was all that was necessary to make my after work kaeru fall back into my old desires of smoking 2 on my front porch as a welcome back Toby party today. And as I began this post, nothing sounded quite as good. And even now, as I'm preparing to leave you and depart for the shower/pajama/cold glass of water/cat power/roald dahl/sleep, all that would really satisfy me was an umeshu and soda highball outside the porch beside a half packet of Mild 7's number six. My thoughts run like wild children awaiting the end of a typhoon. My motorhead seeks refuge. It is amazing what addiction can do.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Can't tell whether it's my autumn willys, or if I'm just over it. I was over college about 2 years in, but I forged through 2 more years of late nights, silly hijinks, drinky, debauchery. I wonder if I prefer to keep to myself because most of the fun people either aren't around anymore, or if trying seems like more trouble than its worth.

I am tempted to wish for better times, but I'm not sure where they ever really were.
I welcome the willys. They make the sounds of the forest sound like the cries of laughter. And the take-take bump up against each other's silence, telling secret musik. Shut the hippy away, where she'll quit both victory and vice.