30 August 2004

Coming home

I am back in Japan after several mishaps and one additional, unplanned night in Chicago. Coming back to Japan felt more like coming home than going home felt like coming home and I suppose that's fitting. I like Japan. Of course, that's not to downplay the joy that was shared by many of us. This picture of Bob smoking his pipe and laughing captures most of what was best about being home (not that Bob is the sole object of my affection, but I think you understand what I mean).

Wrigely Field on a cool August night with Jon was also noteworthy. Louisville with Bob, of course. Me and Berto and Martha walking around downtown Chicago in the rain. Tom sleeping at the foot of my bed like a cat. These are all special things.

Oddly, coming back to Japan has felt a lot like the first time I came. When I opened the door to the apartment, I smelled the Tatami mats, much like the first time I opened the door to this apartment.

My job situation remains somewhat up in the air, although my name is in the hat for a position in Gifu that I would very, very much like to get. We'll see what happens.

More pictures may follow. I'll be updating again, I think.

13 August 2004


Now, me and Bob Kurtz are going to Kentucky.

If I don't see you, yes YOU, on Saturday, uh, heads will roll. Although the word from the blessed Matriarch of the Family is, um, no adult beverage. I know, I know, what can I do though? If it was at my place we'd be, you know, swinging from the fountains of adult beverage, but you gotta respect the people who have gently guided you for the last 22 some-odd years of your life. So that's it. No drinking!         .         .

"Speak to me in tongues and when I'm gone I will sing to you in bird calls."

When Joe Manning began to sing his 8 sad songs, my eyes were full of tears.

11 August 2004

Big plans

One of my big plans upon returning to the fine United States of America was to read some of my old journals. In high school, these were terribly important to me, and though I've certainly kept journals since then, I haven't done so with such tenacity. Anyway, as a seventeen year-old, I was much more of an idealist than I am now, and much more interested in drinking deeply from the sap of life and love. I wrote a couple of times, "I know I'm just seventeen but..." and "In five years I'm sure I'll read this and think..." Seventeen year-old me was a much more emotional version of myself which I guess is hard to imagine as I am still a pretty emotional person. Lots of poetry about walls bleeding, people bleeding, and love trumping all.

If I had seventeen minutes with seventeen year-old me, I think I might put my arm around him and say, "Big guy, I admire your tenacity, really I do, and I'm not going to tell you to stop doing what you're doing because I'm sure I couldn't get you to change anything even if I tried. But you know what? You gotta loosen the grip on everything. Because you seventeen year-old me, you are in control of nothing in your life. And though you'd like to think you are, you aren't. You're young and stupid like everyone else. So here, read this literature about Japan."

I don't know what seventeen year-old me would do. I think he'd sulk and write, "These bleeding two hands, your heart, my love, a giant black orgasim of reckless wonderment that sullies these glossy photos of the land of the rising (set) sun."

I hope twenty-seven year-old Stephen will visit me and set me straight about some stuff.

Tonight I talked in church about Japan and just rambled for about 15 minutes. I think I said what I wanted to say and shared what I needed to. I left the service early to hang out with Ana. I've been enjoying seeing people, one-by-one. It's wonderful. I've been fortunate enough to know so many incredible people in my life. I think I'll continue to feel this way all three weeks.

10 August 2004

Back in the States

Hello, everyone.

I'm back in the States briefly. Things here are pretty much exactly as I left them so I'm not complaining. I turned down a job offer on Thursday as it would have forced me to stay in Japan this week instead of coming home. I was pretty optimistic about the second job I was persuing, but that one fell through. So now, I'm jobless, probably returning to Japan jobless too. I'm not real happy about this, but given that I, theoretically, can stay another month at the church, I'm not too worried yet. Give me a couple of weeks though.

Martha and I saw Dave Matthews Band last night and before you get your panties in a bunch about the man and my perceived, you know, hypocricy, know that I was not particularily happy about seeing the show, but went more out of a comittment to nostalgia and wanting to spend time with my sister. I think this will be the last Dave Matthews Band show for me though. The crowd has changed, oh has it changed, from four years ago. It was like MTV's Spring Break. I didn't hear a good portion of the first half of the concert due to the screaming and other drunken whatnot that was going down around us. Anyway, I'm done with that.

So you should totally offer me a job.

04 August 2004

Lord of the Rings

I finally got around to seeing that last movie about the hobbits and the ring and the other whatnot. Well, I have completed my life purpose.

The worst thing ever recorded on film may be me teaching a pretend class of Jr. High students during a job interview today. I sang a song I made up. Enough said.

I’ll be home in three days. Please, place your requests now.