23 April 2006

Blogging is finished

I can't believe it, but I think I'm hanging up my boots. It's been a nice ride, a really nice one, but I think this blog has run its course. I'm happy with how it's gone, I'm happy with all you kind people, but I'm beginning to think it's time for me to live a less public life and keep all my little secrets about Yoko and the cherry blossoms to myself from now on. I hope this will lead to a kind of productivity in my writing, maybe I will finally finish something I've started. We'll see, right? Who knows if this will stick. I sort of hope it doesn't. And I sort of hope it does. But for now, goodbye everyone. We'll talk soon, I'm sure.

19 April 2006


I'm going on my first biking trip in May. My planned course is 250 km in 2 days. I met a really nice pastor from the island who said I could hang out at his house for a night so I might try to do that. Should be an fucking good time and also a good time for me to collect my thoughts about the impending marriage.

Impending sounds negative. I wonder why. I think I'll check the corpus. Searching for words in a corpus is good fun if you like words and collocation and that kind of thing. I personally think collocation is sexy, but that might just be me. A search of "Impending" gives us:

A9F 347 `;The number of members has, over the last few days and weeks, dropped more dramatically than a barometer before an impending typhoon.';
ABD 1329 They have lost no time in sounding the alarm about an impending famine, which they say threatens 1.9m people.
AJ8 511 Molly Picon was born on June 1, 1898, in New York, where her parents had
fled from an impending pogrom.
A6D 776 The situation was further complicated by those like Stubbes and Perkins who saw dress contusion as symptomatic of impending social collapse, and those like James I whose hatred of female cross-dressing introduced a misogynistic factor which antedated current social anxiety yet found a powerful focus in it.
Okay, not an impending marriage. But don't tell Yoko that I have a crush on Jane Sunderland. It's like, I'm doing my research and I'm wondering if anyone has thought of X and it's like, yes, Jane Sunderland has and she's written a effing book about it. I even e-mailed her.

One of my friends tried to off herself this weekend with sleeping pills. Well, not really off herself. She didn't take nearly enough to do any damage and it became terribly clear that she just wanted everyone to come to the hospital and feel sorry for her. They didn't even have to pump her stomach. It was odd because Yoko and I went to the hospital, and when Yoko went out to the waiting room to talk to her family, I was left there, at the side of her bed trying to think of what to say. I realized that this whole world around us is a novel that is unfolding, every minute, story upon story, and if I had a kind of net, I could catch all of them and condense them and make everyone feel what I felt sitting there. The clock, the doctor, her mother finally coming in to check on her.

The stories she tells are always only 5% of the truth. There is 95% of the story she doesn't tell. So you have to fill it in. What was really said. Did the glass really break. When you are with her, you are always trying to recover the truth and if she wasn't a real person with a real IV in her arm, it would be fascinating. I want to disappear, become the wall and just watch, but for now, that doesn't seem like an option and the stress is wearing on Yoko. Not on me. I'm an asshole, I could care less. But Yoko really cares and its hard to see her care more about someone's life than they care about their own life.

17 April 2006

61 Moons

This poem tells you everything you need to know about everything:

from Sarah Manguso's Siste Viator published in 2006 by Four Way Books.
Jupiter Has Sixty-One Moons

There's no difference between writing down what you hear and
writing down what you wish you heard.

On Jupiter there are sixty-one colors, one for each moon. Painting
students make moon-studies in their first color lessons.

It's hard to see in the dark, as it is for hours each day. Painters are
taught to paint blindfolded. Talented colorists show themselves
during this exercise.

When they do, they are taken away, as they suffer from a disease
that only light can cure.

16 April 2006

Moving up?

My normal blogging platform Xanga Premium is almost up. Should I move up to adult blogging world? Typepad maybe? Livejournal?

Hey, I guess today's Easter.

Ohanami was great this year. Really fucking cold and windy and I gave everyone the wrong directions (which I guess wasn't that bad because I got to tell the story of when I pissed off a whole ska band by giving them the wrong address for a gig in high school.) Trying to get four parties of people to move is an effing pain in the ass, let me tell you. But, when we all settled, it was a good clean fun for all the nationalities involved. Did you know Yoko speaks some Indonesian? I guess that she does.

14 April 2006


I forgot to bring my belt to work today so things are a little loose and I thought I'd bring you up to speed.

First, insecurity. I told my brother that when I teach English to children, I am always nervously watching the door because I am sure someone is going to show up and say, *Okay, show's over. We know you're a sham* and I'm just going to pack up and leave because I know it's true. I don't know who this person is, but I imagine they look sort of like Jack Abramoff in a trenchcoat. What I mean to say, my business is not going well. Week Two showed no improvement over week one. Little M chan spent the whole time not paying attention to me and trying to leave the room while little S kun's mother looked on disapprovingly. What am I supposed to do, S kun's mother? Seriously. I thought that by ditching the class I hated the most, I would get rid of teaching classes I hated. Well, the cosmos works itself out.

Second, the shrink. I'm going to talk a shrink next week, but I'm less convinced than I was on Monday that there's a serious problem. That's good, I think. One of my friends was telling me how you can read something and convince yourself that you have a problem, when you don't, in fact, have whatever disease you're reading about (like the *klap.*) That said, a second opinion will set my heart at ease.

In 86 days, I will be able to reduce a great deal of stress in the most fabulous, guilt-free ways. I imagine that will be helpful too.

Lastly, I rode my bike to work all week and now my legs are huge. Like machines. Bike riding machines. I asked Yoko if I can buy a faster bike after we get married and she said that wouldn't be a problem.

10 April 2006


I'm back on my Crowder kick — I want to talk about his song "God of Wrath." Since when did a song built only a list of descriptive words that are opposites become a praised form of artistic expression? I just don't get it. And he won three dove awards, I guess. Why? What am I missing? ::shakes teenager jumping up and down at a concert:: Explain this to me! I actually, honestly, want to know. Crowder's answer to my question was complete bollocks. Somebody's gotta tell me what's going on.

After about a five week absence, I was called back to work today. Don't worry, just for an hour. It was okay. I got my schedule for the new year and got one of my classes cancelled for this week already. You know, you think not having a job for a month would be great, but it really wasn't. No purpose, no direction. It was awful. But now, I'm okay and next year, I'm not going to do the same thing. Oh no, no.

65/35. These numbers are like manna from heaven. 35% cotton, 65% polyester. Wrinkle free, cool, and loving it. My personal guru Neal sensei, is to thank. Although he spouted out this advice almost a year ago, it is still blessing me in many, many wonderful ways.

I'm finally throwing in the towel and going to see a shrink regarding what I think might be a case of obsession disorder in the dude. Yeah, I know. There's nothing more embarrassing then saying, hey, I think I have a problem and I think I need help. I think it's time that I get a little bit of control over my thoughts. So your prayers or thoughts would be more than appreciated.

07 April 2006

This is my father's world

I know you probably don't find this interesting, but I'm proud of it. I made this with the help of a couple of programs and websites. It was harder than it looked.

Day Two of Strawberry Fields, my small English-teaching business attempt, was a marginal success. That is, four people showed up and I made a little money and everyone took information about the classes for their friends. If I can hit ten students, I will have made up what I need to financially, and if I could hit 20, I would be really happy. We'll see. I cut out my Wednesday classes until I have more students.

06 April 2006

Wedding stuff

For those of you who were following me starting my own business, consider day one a complete washout. Oh it sucked. No one showed. Well, one mom dragged her 2 and half year-old and while the kid cried, the mom tried to convince the kid that everything was fine and learning English would be fun. Unconvinced, little M chan buried her face deep in her mother's shirt and I thought, Yeah, I know how you feel kid. After about 10 minutes of this, they decided to come back today. Oh yeah, I'm really, really looking forward to that.

03 April 2006

Suits and Weddings

Wedding Trackers already know that there are only 97 days until the nuptials, but for the rest of you, a reminder. This weekend we looked up and down for an appropriate suit, but given my shitty attitude and my lost "wa," I don't need to tell you, things did not go smoothly. I think my attitude has been doing poorly for a number of factors, but the main one seems to be the growing formality and complexity of the wedding. And also the fact that you have to move forward with planning when you don't feel like it, or when there are more pressing relational problems that need to be dealt with at any given moment. It's hard, really. Add a different country, different culture, poor Japanese ability...

That's not entirely true. I went out by myself today and found the suit that I want, pictured here. The one thing Japanese suits have over US suits is the fact that they are much, much slimmer. Instead of looking like a fat, lumbering goose in a cheap rented tux, I look a little bit more like Edgar Allen Poe's poems look, at least in my imagination. Plus, this suit is one of the cheaper ones I found and not having to shell out over 100,000 yen has put me in much, much better spirits.

For the reception in the States, I want to get Jason Molina. Do you think he'd play? I e-mailed his booking agency. Tell me if you think this is creepy — a while ago, me and Bob Kurtz went to Kentucky to see the Magnolia Electric Co. play and this guy opened, Joe Manning. He was awesome. Awesome. So if Molina can't play, I wanted to ask this guy, but I can't find any information about him online, except a phone number on whitepages.com. Do you think it would be creepy to call that number and be like, Hey, this one time I saw you play a show two years ago and I was wondering if you'd play my wedding reception? I think it's kind of creepy.

I made up a new game where I take a dialog from my Japanese textbook, pick one of the characters and read the lines to a partner without telling them that I'm reading from the book. I then proceed with my person's dialog regardless of my partner's answer. Observe:

Stephen: Excuse me, Section Chief? Do you know about the relationship between the head and the foot?
Yoko: What?
Stephen: No, that's not right at all.
Yoko: I didn't hear you: the foot and the what?
Stephen: Exactly.
Yoko: Exactly what?
Stephen: Section Chief, are you serious?
Yoko: Section Chief?
Stephen: I have to get back to work.
Yoko: What are you talking about?

I then tried to explain what I meant by "shitty study buddy," but that's a really hard phrase to translate. Have I mentioned that Yoko is an incredibly patient woman? She's an incredibly patient woman.