Tuesday, May 30, 2006

memory backflash

My balcony window is open, outside thunder rumbles in the distance, mixed with the sound of traffic streaming past on the big road outside. I have another interview soon, but I dont want to get nervous so I think about the past as rain begins to pelt the ground, making an off-beat rhythm as it hits the rail on my balcony.
About 6 years ago. Me and my good friend Taro had hitch hiked to Joetsu, the week-long experience is well worth a story. Sleeping under bridges, mountain tops, crazy typhoons. I got to tell that story again sometime, but not now. We were almost home, tired and wiped out. Only about 5 hours from the nearest train to take us home. (A very bright flash of lightning interrupts my memories. The rain is pouring down now. The drops falling so fast it almost sounds like natural whitenoise. I try to refocus on the memory.) We stand just past the entry to a highway. A car stops but they are just looking at us, they drive away. The hot sun was beating down on us, sweat pouring down and making our clothes sticky. Finally an old man stops to give us a ride in his mini SUV. He's the first one during the whole trip who can speak any English, so I talk to him as we speed down the road. It turns out that in the 1970s when he was in his early 20s, he had flown to America and took Greyhound bus all around the country for a few months. I was surprised and interested to hear his stories. We stoped at a rest area and he said "Just a minute, I need to go fishing." It takes me a second to realize he means that he wants to go pee. I smile, and me and Taro laugh while he's gone. I've never heard that one before, but it makes sense. Finally we get to a faraway train station. We put in about 400YEN and collapse, as the train takes us home.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


It's always been OK before. It will all be OK. Don't worry. I'm the sort of person to walk down the road of life with little or no worry at most times. But its maybe time to start some of that worry stuff. I have very little time on my current visa and very little money left to my name. I went to a job interview at a cool company, but no word from them yet. In my home country I could be trying to get government assistance to eat. Here the very sober reality is I would be illegal if I ran out of money. I need a good job, and I need it soon. Either that or I need a nice box and a dry bridge to sleep under.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

my favorite season

It seems that theres always some day in each season when the weather is so perfectly matched with my mood and environment that I foolishly declare that season my favorite, even though it will doubtlessly be replaced. Today was one of those perfect days. Spring is dying in a violently beautiful way, the last gasps of this cycle manifesting in pleasant wind that plays with the blue sky. Summer has began the introductory dance and hot direct heat blaze any space not clothed by shadows. I lay on my floor, the sliding glass window leading to my small balcony is open. I'm reading a short story published more than 100 years ago about time travel. As I read I stretch out my hand and pet my potted plant that is growing happily on my balcony. I suddenly get a further idea on a five year old concept that I have for an engine-device. I open a notebook designated for such things, and scratch down the idea. I go back to reading the story on my tiny cellphone screen. Its times like this that some sort of appreciation for time travel echos in my mind. I decide Late Spring is my favorite season.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

odd foot website

Changing gears from the previous serious entry, I present a weblink. A very odd weblink. I think it is meant to educate the user about how to give a foot massage. But the feedback voice, although meant to be cute, is really creepy. Anyway, I wont ruin the fun by explaining it any further. Check it out here. (You have to click "enter" and then pick a massage "tool" from the right side, if you pick the pencil or brush you will mostly get no feedback besides screams or giggles.) I think this website might just give you nightmares. [Source a Japanese web design magazine]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

American war crimes

Before I continue, let me point out that I am fully aware that Japan had a bad history in World War 2 for some really nasty war crimes. But what I think a lot of people don't really know about is the war crimes of America. Beyond the atomic bombings, there were endless other crimes. One of the biggest was the fire bombing of the civilians in Tokyo which killed more people than the atomic bombings. For me, I have mostly read books in English about world war 2. So recently when I was reading a Japanese (only middle school level) book about the fire bombings it was an odd experience to hear from that point of view. I realized that this view isn't often presented in English, so I decided to translate the short story. Its rough, has some mistakes I'm sure, but I offer it here for you to read.
The Voice Inside the Flames

Monday, May 08, 2006

porn shop downstairs

As I mentioned before, I live above a porn shop. One thing I didnt mention is that its a weird porn shop. I havent been inside, but all the classic Japanese fetishes can be seen from the windows. But the owner also proudly displays a shelf of real Disney cartoons. Even more odd, most of them seem to be the Jungle Book story.
All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.