Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone...
... Don't be like me and eat too much...
But I'm me and I WILL be eating waaaaaaaay too much: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes. My sister had sent a Willy Bird. It's a free range turkey from Sonoma CA. No, it didn't come alive. It was very dead and frozen. But, man, was it good....

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Where's Sis...
... hoping to connect...
I wake up at 7:30 to call my sister. I call her house, but she's long gone. I try her cell, but its turned off: It automatically connects to her answering service. I think she's pretty much like me. We don't consider ourselves anti-social, but we treasure our privacy. I certainly feel that way. I am fairly open and honest and outgoing... when placed in a social situation, but in most cases I stick to myself, my family. I have my phone set to ring twice before it rolls over to the answering machine, giving me the opportunity screen my callers. My colleagues at work find this irritating: my boss usually begins with, "Onigiriman, will you pick up?!?" Haha... If I'm not in the mood, I will not. If you wanna talk to me about work, talk to me at work. If she leaves me a message saying, "It's important, call me back," she will never get a call back from me. If it's that important leave a message.

This is one of the reasons why I don't own a cell phone. I don't want to be contacted on my own private time, so if I have it turned off except when I'm at work, why should I carry one in the first place? If I leave it on, I'm not going to answer it anyway, because a cell phone is like a leash. "Where are you Onigiriman? I can contact you anytime!" No thanks. People who know me know how to get a hold of me.

But as I said, I am not anti-social in a social setting. Indeed, I am more than social in the appropriate setting. When students come to my office, I am always willing... no, eager to chat about anything: readings, exams, jobs, love, songs from the 60s, anything. I once helped a student compose a love poem in Japanese so he could put it into the school newspaper on Valentine's Day after he had a mjor arguement with her. Am I accessible or what? Haha, sorry, don't mean to keep tooting my own horn. (Why does that expression always strike me as perverted? Ah, only in the perverted mind can simple objects be turned into... other things.)

Anyway, my sister is supposed to arrive today, and I just wanted to confirm her arrival, but couldn't contact her. Oh well, she'll be fine. She's the kind of person who does things by herself because she can take care of herself. We have not been on the best of terms for the past 6-7 years since I got divorced--she got along very well with my ex. And she has all but accused my current wife as the reason for the divorce. But that's a story for a later time. For now, she is slowly accepting my current arrangement and is willing to come for Thanksgiving--two consecutive years. There are reasons for this as well, but are too sad to talk about here. Suffice it to say that I'm thankful that she is coming and we can spend the holiday together...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And don't be like me and eat too much!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Empathy is often grounded in experience...
I myself was a pretty lame student back in the day... But when I say lame--in response to Takunishi's comment--I mean I was uninspired and unmotivated, i.e. lame--academically weak and crippled. Insight and acknowledgement of my own deficiencies urge me to be more understanding of my students issues--whatever they are. Most academics I know are friggin' geniuses. They are brilliant and often do not understand the problems many students might have. Perhpas worse are the native speakers. I have had teachers who could never teach because they have absolutely no idea the issues that non-native speakers have.

"Learn the adjectives; it's easy."
"Yeah, right. Adjectives don't conjugate in English..."
"Oh, okay, just memorize it then..."

--NOTE: In case you're worried, the instructors in our program aren't like this. We have had many discussions about this and there shouldn't be a problem. If there is, let me know. You guys know where my office is--

Anyway, I liken these people to Ted Williams who was a great baseball player but a lousy coach/manager. He was a natural, and never understood how hard his own players had to work to reach a level of competency. When he was the manager of the Washington Senators, he would always blow his top in frustration: Just keep your eye on the seam of the ball and watch the rotation! Just turn your wrist over and pull the ball! Just, just, just. Well, I'm the Freddy Patek (KC Royals in the 70s?) of academia: Short, no power, just good enough to make it to the show, but I try hard. And no, I cannot see the rotation of the seam of a baseball as it leaves the pitcher's hand. Can you believe these guys? They can actually see red stitching, determine the kind of pitch that is coming and decide whether or not to swing, in about 0.074 seconds (I just made up the number). Me? I close my eyes and hold the bat out, hoping to connect.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Strictly Speaking ...Grade harshly. Grade strictly... as my mentor once told me. She was a professor of linguistics when I was a TA for first-year Japanese going for my MA. And I did as I was told. However, she also told me, never forget what it was like to be an undergraduate, never forget what it was like to learn a foreing language that was completely different than my native tongue. I took Japanese in college--I learned Japanese as an adult, much like most of my students--but I did remember French, taking the class, not the language itself.

My French was horrible, as much a reflection of my dedication to study as it was of my intellect, both in very short supply. Indeed, all I can remember is Comment allez-vous? Je vais bien. Et vous? Hahaha. Wait, there's one more: Je m'apelle Onigiriman... This and ten francs might get me a cup of coffee in Paris. Once on a quiz, I had to respond to the following:

"Write the seven days of the week in French."

Hmmm. "Days" was masculine, right? Okay, so "Le"... no "Les" cuz its plural. Seven is "sept", and day was "jour" as in "bon jour", so I can write "Les sept jours". I don't ever remember learning the word for week, so I just wrote, "Les sept jours du week," only to learn later that I was supposed to list the actual seven days of the week: Lundi, Marcredi, Mardi, etc. Like I said, I was pretty bad.

So when a student makes a mistake, I try to give them the benfit of the doubt. "Okay, you made a mistake, learn from it and don't make it again." This is one of the reasons why I often put the same kanji on different quizzes. I keep tabs on my kids and I can usually tell who learns from their mistakes and who is simply studying the night before to pass a quiz. I do so want them to do well in Japanese. Indeed, it is the ones who make mistakes that I want to see improvement. An 'A' student will get an A, even if you leave them alone. My job, as I see it, is to make the C student into a B student, and a B student into an A student. And I attribute this mostly to the fact that I myself was a pretty lame student back in the day...

Sunday, November 23, 2003

...Kick $uc's ass!... but unfortunately, it turned out the other way. The Trojan's killed my Bruins, then cut them up into little bitty pieces and had them for lunch on the Coliseum floor. This makes it five straight losses to sc, a very reluctant tip of the hat to them. *grumble, grumble* The Bruins have died. Long live the Bruins... Another season over, another year to look forward to some recuperating. This is truly hard to take year in and year out. But I will be there next year as well. I will be cheering them on, hoping for a great season. With Steve Lavin gone, maybe we'll get 'em in basketball... I can only hope.

As my kids know, there are specific rules to renga, and one of them is that one topic cannot extend for three verses. Here, that would be three entries. Well, this weekend, each entry was about the Bruins and their game with sc. So I guess I broke a rule and some of my kids will grade me harshly. That's okay. Grade harshly, grade strictly.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

To all the football gods

...To all the football gods in heaven, hear my prayer...... and while I'm at it, Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas, all I want for the rest of the season, is for the Bruins to beat the Trojans. I know, this is a ridiculous request. We are talking about a bear vs. a condom.

It should not be a problem. I mean, even Drew Olson can beat a Trojan, right? But the Bruins have a new den mother in Coach Karl Dorrell, and so they've been rather confused with his new plans, the West Coast Offense, in Westwood. Soooo, forget the offense, may be we can score a TD and a couple of field goals. And KD is a former Bruin and knows how serious this game is for us Bruins, so he should be extra-motivating. More realistically, though, we need to see the D play their best game of the year. Geez, did you know that the Burins have the #16 defense in the nation? How does a 6-5 team have the #16 defense? Heart, guts, talent. Get turnovers, beat up Leinhart in the first quarter, interception here and there. Hey! We gotta chance! So please, please, Bruins. Give 110% on each play, Make every play as if your life depended on it. I will be rooting for you with all my heart. You can bet that I will be taking every sip of beer as if my life depended on it! Go Bruins, Kick $uc's ass!

Friday, November 21, 2003

Moment of Truth

...Hah! Anyway, I'll give it a try and see how it works, tho' it might just totally flop... is just how Coach Dorrell must have felt when he changed quarterbacks a few weeks ago. Drew Olsen had won four straight and Matt Moore, the preseason starter who was injured in the first game of the season, was bitching to the media about how Coach Dorrell said that starters don't lose their postition because of injury. Well, he went back to Moore and it flopped. Last week he went back to Olsen and it was just as bad. I mean, whaddya expect from a 19 year old who was winning and then benched for no other reason than the prohibitive favorite--who had only started one game before this season and screwed up royally against SC last year in his first series. Speaking of which...

The moment of truth has arrived. Tomorrow, we play crosstown rival USC. If you are a student, alumni or fan of USC, DO NOT READ any further. I don't like to rag too much about 'SC under normal circumstances. And you don't need to read it. My sister got her MBA there, so the institution's part of our family--unfortunately. Anyway, they have a rising academic standard and a football team that kicks ass--except at Berkeley! Hahahaahhaha! Go Bears. Anyway, you guys don't need to read further. TROJANS, STOP HERE...DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER... (just in case) dO NoT gO aNy FuRtheR...

I have been a Bruin fan since I was a wee little lad. Watching Gary Beban take our Bruins to the Rose Bowl in '65 and winning the Heisman (UCLA's only one) a couple years later, Wendell Tyler and John Sciarra beating a number one Ohio St. team with Archie Griffin (that is a game they play often on ESPN Classic) in '76. When my dream came true and I actually attended this world reknown academic institute, I saw the Bruins go to three Rose Bowls! Damn, they were hot. Althought our crosstown rivalry was always heated, it was really hot then, because the football queens that are $「--there mascot, a Trojan, a guy wearing a skirt--had dominated LA with the student-body-right smash mouth football. Damn, if they weren't always in the top ten or top five, and the "gutty little Bruins" had to kick and claw for any kind of recognition. But in the early eighties, we ruled. And these queens viewed us a usurpers, and they became really nasty assholes. Wanna know how much? Let me tell ya'. My mom--God rest her soul--used to volunteer at a local Museum. Well, one guy there used to tease her about how her sons--my younger bro' also went to UCLA--were losers cuz they were Bruins. This is a 20-something $「 graduate ragging on a 60-something woman. My mom had a heart attack in the late eighties; now this jerk is not the cause, I'm sure, but shit, does he stop raggin' on her? Noooooo. He's having a great time, "Oh its just in fun." But my mom told me it stressed her out to hear his garbage. I suppose my mother should have told him to quit, but as a member of an older generation, she was kinda of reserved and non-confrontational, while this $「 jerk showed no sign of empathy or thoughtfulness whatsoever.

Now, is this representative of $「? Maybe, maybe not. But have you been to the $「 blogrings here on Xanga? Try University of Southern California which states, "USC University of Southern California students and for people who fucking hate f/ucla. fuck ucla!!! USC FOOTBALL KICKS ASS!! USC FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPS BABY!!"

If you're a Trojan do you want to be associated with this kind of attitude? Apparently, yes, cuz this ring has 66 members, presumably from $「...

How about *U*C*L*A* *S*U*X*, "4 all u ucla haters...mostly usc fans".

Obviously, the tradition continues for many of the people of the University of South Central... It's been said that you can only use a Trojan once but a Bruin is forever, but I'm not so sure if this saying is accurate; these jerks seem to be forever, too. And if you are a Trojan and you are reading this far, what have YOU done to stop this nonsense? Have you left comments for these blogring members telling them that they are giving $「 a bad image? Probably not, cuz you either subscribe to this trash or you are oblivious. But remember, ignoring it is equal to passive support.

Ah forget it, this is the only time I allow myself to vent about this University of Spoiled Children, the so-called Trojan--who the hell wants to be named after a condom? Hahahahaha! No wait, I'm serious. Being called a Trojan would be pretty embarrassing. I should show more compassion for these students who had no choice in having a mascot in a skirt--yes, he's very manish in his armor and brocade; but I'm not into that sort of thing. And can you imagine them walking around saying: "Hi, I'm a Trojan." Hahahahaa, sorry, I imagined it.... (tag lines: 1. Are you allergic to latex? 2. You can trust me, I don't break. 3. I'm America's #1 brand. 4. Feel me, I'm textured. 5. I come [oops, no pun intended] in three sizes.)

Ah well. Enough of this foolishness. I get really stupid this one weekend of the year. But that's better than Spoiled Children who have to be it year round... This is probably the only time I'll be afforded this opportunity, since South Central will probably use our Bruin mascot--Joe Bruin--to wipe there asses. *sigh*

To all the football gods in heaven, hear my prayer...


So what's a Renblog? In medieval Japan, poetic anthologies were compiled in a sequential manner. For most of us in the west, we think of anthologies as books with representative poems by recognized poets. Usually, poems were categorized by poets or genres. But in Japan, these anthologies were works of art in themselves. Compilers chose and entered poems into anthologies by sequencing them, often temporally. Spring poems were brought together and then sequenced from the first day of spring to the plum blossoms to the cherry blossoms and then the scattering of blossoms, etc. regardless of poet.

This kind of sequencing led to a more innovative poetry that defined the idea of participation art. Three poets would sit together and take turns composing a verse of a few lines in about 30 rounds. This was called renga, or linked verse. There were a number of rules, but the most important one was to compose a verse that was related to the previous verse but not related to any earlier verse. They endeavored to create a single piece of art that meanderd much in the way a scroll painting might. If you have seen a scroll painting, you probably know that it is viewed by srolling out on one side and scrolling in on the other. No one unscrolled the piece all at once to veiw the entire scroll. One was to scroll across and enjoy the picture unfolding before their eyes, much like scrolling down the page of a website. In the same manner, a renga sequence could be read a little at a time. Any give portion of the renga would be understood as a part of a whole, but still could be enjoyed for independent of the rest, as it was not connected to it in any logical way. It might be a kind of poetic stream of consciousness.

Anyway, I was talking about this in my classical class, and one of my students, Ducky--she's a J-major, on the crew team and pretty buff--mentioned that she had a similar assignment when she was in high school. they would have to write a short paragraph on anything, and then continue it a few days later by writing something related to the previous paragraph but not to anything else...

A light bulb goes on above my head. Now wouldn't that be cool on a weblog? Actually, I'm beginning to think that this weblogging is very J-Lit. Reading many other sites, I can easily imagine them being descedents of Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, a collection of opinions, lists and observations organized randomly. But I meander...

I will write whatever I want to write about and the next day I will write something that can be "linked" to the last sentence, phrase, thought, whatever. The sequencing will be backwards unfortunately, so it will be a kind of Memento Renblog... I might flip the order and enter it on my JA Journal for posterity's sake... Hah! Anyway, I'll give it a try and see how it works, tho' it might just totally flop.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Starting tomorrow: Renblog--linked weblogs

Yes, you read that right, Renblog, an experiment to link blogs day to day much in the fashion of renga, or linked verse. Explanation forthcoming... Maybe tonight... or not...

Nemo and me
Haha. I post a photo of Nemo
and I get more responses than I normally get. I guess that means... uh... what does it mean? Oh well, I suppose that Nemo is cuter than me, especially when we rev him up and he cruises across the dining table. And he is certainly more orange than me. But I like Bloat. When I went to Tower to pick up the video, I bought two, one for my daughter, the other for my grandson. Both live in Japan. Anyway, when the cashier gave me Nemo, I reminded her that I had bought two videos. She smiled and gave me the baby squid Squirt that farts ink in the beginning of the movie. Being the finicky sort, I looked behind her into her box of Nemo goods and asked if I could have Bloat instead. She looked up at me and I pointed to my waistline.

"We're cousins." I said.

She just laughed and gave it to me.

Now as this recent photo of us swimming makes very clear--I'm on the left, bloat's on the right--we are not related. Really. There are certain features we share--such as the above mentioned waistline--but not much else. And yet, I still have this affinity for Bloat. Maybe its the beer. I do feel bloated these days... *sorry... I just had to say it...*

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Language Center :update:

I need to figure out how to ask questions regarding teaching philosophy in language instruction. Hmmm. Why do I need to do this? Our school is planning to create a Language Center. I think that it's really a revamping of the Langauge Lab. I'm on the committee to benchmark internal language resources. That would include technology, of course, but also the instructors involved in the teaching. I'm sure many of you have taken languages. What do you think is the most effective way to learn a foreign language in a US univesity setting? Immersion? Explanation of grammar in English? No English even if you might not understand everything the teacher says? If you have the time--and inclination--let me know what you thought was the most effective way of learning, and dont forget what level too.

Another aspect: I think a number of readers have studied and East Asian Language. What do you think of the relationship between reading/writing a language and being able to speak it. Many linguists adhere to the philosophy that if you learn to speak a language, you will ultimately learn to read and write it. This is fine, I think with Spanish, French, even Russion, to a degree, but what about Chinese or Japanese? Do you think speaking it will facilitate reading it? I should say that I know MANY people who have lived in Japan for years--some were even born there--and can spek the language like a natvie, but still cannot read a newspaper. Any thought?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


I went to Tower Video to pick up the video for my daughter who lives in Japan and this is what they gave me at the counter.

Isn't he just precious? Notice that his right fin is smaller? If you haven't seen the movie, Nemo is handicapped. And if you get him excited, he'll "swim" across the floor wagging his tail fin. Hahahaha. Musubi-chan told me he ain't leaving the house...

Monday, November 17, 2003

Busy, busy, busy *update* sorta

Work is catching up with me again. I've got so much freaking work that I think I'm gonna puke. Thank gawd there's only one more week of college football... Well, football for me that is. If you go to a school like Florida State or Oklahoma or Miami or Virginia Tech, football season won't end until January... Lucky you. I get to wonder what the heck is happening to my beloved Bruins year in a year out...

I will write more later today, as the mood strikes me... As for now, its time to go to sleep (4:26 AM).

Okay, so the mood hasn't struck me... I think I'll go to sleep soon. I'm just exhausted.... *stupid Bruins* grrrrr.... But I have been thinking about the issue of privacy, especially when it regards places such as Xanga and other Internet-based communications... I will probably talk about it tomorrow or maybe later tonight if I'm still awake... but for now, time for din-din and then some work for tomorrow...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Bruins definitely suck wind.... WTF is happening?!? *sigh* They needed this game so badly, but they were murdered by Oregon. I mean, it was even a close game. Not from the very beginning. I think it was 14-0 in the first 5 minutes ofr something. I think I'll crawl into a hole and hibernate until they get a real coach... Just kidding! I would never betray my beloved Bruins, team and school I love so much, ever since I was eight or nine, 1964-65, which would make many of you minus-15 years old or something... Anyway, next week, its '$c... If they win, I think I might pass out...

Xanga's Was Down
So now everyone is updating all at once. Some have noticed that I comment on a number of people's sites. I don't just read and leave. I comment to let people know that I did read there entry. Now I don't comment all the time, especially lately since I've been bsuy with work, but I do leave my share of comments. And I appreciate the comments people leave for me. But wait, this isn't what I wanted to say. The significnat number of updates kept me up rather late last night... Okay, I'm up late anyway, but I was writing comments on many places. Damn, I left an entire dissertation on Matt's site. But then, he's doing bungo, so he gets extra consideration, even if he isn't my student...

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Xanga's Was Down

And so I linked my RBJ to the JAJournal, and found out that because of RBJ, I am actually getting more readers. I realized this because if an RBJ member comes to a Xanga site, they can't leave a message unless s/he is a Xanga member, too. But here, they are free to leave a comment on my guest book. Nan left this very encouraging message.

    your site's my favorite in the ricebowl journals. i'm learning and being entertained at the same time. please keep it up, but no pressure!

Thanks, Nan, whoever you are. I went to RBJ and looked for you, but was unsuccessful. Do you go by another name? Oh, well. I do appreciate your kind words. Although, you are just adding fuel to the fire, encouragement to the addiction. Hehehe...

I am totally bummed out! I went to one of my favortie sites,, and found that she was not feeling very cheerful, so I thought I'd cheer her up with a stupid true story of mine in Japan, but found out that she had the exact same experience. I guess my little story was nothing new to her, so I will put it up here in the hopes it will make some of you smile. The story is in Japanese, but I'll put up a translation as well, although you have to understand Japanese to get the joke...

Doh! What and idiot... Let me explain. Marui Department Store uses the symbols OIOI because O represents "maru" (circle) and I represents the alphabet 'i'. Now the stupid American decides to read both characters as alphabets, giving the pronunciation, oh-i-oh-i, or oyoy. Why do the Japanese do this? There always seems to be a sinister plot to foil foreigners from mastering Japanese...

Oh, almost forgot. It's football Saturday. My Bruins are playing there final home game of the season against the Oregon Ducks. AND IT'S NOT ON TV! What's up with that? Also, Coach Dorrell has decide to give the car keys back to Drew Olsen. I'm not sure how much more I can take their losing ways, their November swoons. Where are the days when we fielded decent teams? *sigh* We can only hope that the Bruins will win this week and also next against our arch rival...

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Scheduled for tomorrow

Have you ever had Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki? Well, that's what I'm making for my students tomorrow, my bungo students, that is. I figure they work long and hard to learn one of the most difficult aspects of Japanese language, and they deserve a little luvin', no?

My desk at work
Will someone clean up my desk for me? I know I have Kai's recommendation form somewhere here... And I'm pretty sure my notes for next weeks class are also. Hmmm...

Freakin' 47:
Kyzer, dude. You must have more time than I do... er, check that, you maulttask as well as I do... Yeah, I'm 47 freaking years old. And to show me how special that number is, Kizer reminded me of the 47 samurai, the 47 prefectures of Japan.... He also offered the link to the 47 society. I kid you not. There IS such a society. Click it and see.

More updates later....

More submissions:
I'm glad more are writing--I presume that these submissions were composed after reading the comments I made on the early submissions. Everyone is composing great poetry. The rules of senryu are strict and compel to make my commentaries, but they are all good and fun to read. If you haven't submitted one yet, feel free to; just submit it to Monday's post. I will read it. If those of you who have submitted one already want to submit another one, or a reworked one, that is fine too. This is, for me, fun to do... I'm such a JapLit weenie. hahahahaha

I will comment on these shortly but if anyone wants too leave their own comments, feel free.

Rumble inside gut
Cheeks tighten, Breath Held, Silence
A sigh of relief
Comments: Syllable count okay. This verse, although a bit uncouth, is close to what some think is senryu: Although I'm not sure if the the cheese was cut or not. Does "silence" suggest the gas was nt passed, or that it was an SBD (silent but deadly). The "sigh of relief" suggests the latter. Anyway, while funy, it would have been better if there was a sense of place--such as a crowded bus--something to give it context. As I said in the comments below, the senryu should be a photographic moment of life, your life... BarbEric, is this your life? Hehehe, just kidding.

Just as I finish
Every study abroad form
I receive eight more
Comment: Syllable count okay. Any student who has studied abroad should relate to this: With all the documentation involved with gong to a foreign country, the process seems endless. But I'm unsure about receiving "eight more". When you finish one application, is someone else sending you more? Or are you trying to say that when you finish one of the forms, you find that there are 8 more to complete? This is a bit confusing. But it's all good. The kokoro is there, and that's what counts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Veterans day

This is a day to honor those who have served in the US military--and that would include my ousin, Andy, who served in the 442 and died in Europe serving a country that felt the need to inter his brothers and parents and relatives and friends. This is truly a sad moment in our history.

Scary Horoscope:
On My MSN, they provide a horoscope that is customized for your birthdate and year. I don't subscribe to astrology, but it has always been fun to read them knowing that most of the "wisdom" can be interpretted for virtually anyone on this planet... but (and you know one was coming), the My MSN horoscope seems to provide advice that is custom made for me. It's kinda eerie sometimes. I know, I know, I can rationalize it easily: the advice is geared to an adult who is close to 50 and uses the interet. The advice is for working with colleagues and/or new ventures appropriate for my age. But still, it seems so right on sometimes. Today's horoscope for a 47 year old Sagittarius, the comments in parenthesis are what I think they refer to

    It isn't because your new projects (improving courses) demand such precision (I retool and revamp courses every year, to improve them so students will learn more) that they are causing you problems, dear Sagittarius. You still have a tendency to think that details impede you from having a global vision (doesn't it?!?) but this is simply not the case. There really is no conflict between the long-term view (getting tenure/promoted) and the short-term needs (teaching solid courses). You just think that the latter gets in the way of the former. (But if I focus on teaching I don't research; no research, no publishing; no publishing, no promotion...) Try thinking of the details that you find so annoying as stepping stones to your larger vision. (like using the bungo class so that it directly relates to my research? Yeah, I've been thinking about that...)
Yikes, this is too scary!!!!!!

Senryu submissions and comments:

Wow, I wasn't sure if anyone would respond--guess I was wrong. But this is great. Okay, now remember this is a practice run, and any comment I make is not to be taken as criticism, but as commentary for your next composition. If you would like to submit a poem, feel free, but submit poems to YESTERDAY's post. This is just for fun, and even though I may make remarks, it is JUST FOR FUN. Submissions will not affect your final grade. Haha! In the order received:

My heart leaps for joy,
When I hear the words ring out,
"It's time for dinner"
Comments: Syllable count ok. A slice of everyday life is also good, especially for a first attempt with very little explanation. Everyone--ok, maybe moslty guys--leaps for joy when its time to eat. However, to mention this straightout is, in Japanese poetry, a bit too obvious. Next time try to convey the joy through an image that suggests joy to the regular reader. And not just a smiling face; that too would be obvious...

I type rapidly
expressing a thousand thoughts
for Xangans to read
Comments: Syllable count ok. And I know everyone here understands your sentiment--wanting to say so many thought (1000 of them) but ironically with little thought (type rapidly) is funny and rings true for us! But the typing is perhaps too long a moment. Capturing a moment--or instant--in time in images is often the key to an interesting senryu. Perhaps the moment you lose a long entry to cyberspace by pushing the wrong button--or more likely when Xanga experiences PMS.

My boss talks too much
My boss is extremely short
Napolean lives!
Comments: Syllable count ok. Very funny, I think--I could imagine a boss who is talkative and short, and such an image would convey a Napoleon! Avoid repetitions. My boss, My boss. there is so much more you could include without it. Also, the word short is redundant if you use the image of Napoleon. Indeed, you could have provided even more info with the middle sentence. How about, "tip-toes at the urinal"? Haha. J/k. But I think you get what I mean.

i tried to escape
but millions of germ droplets
were sneezed onto me
Comments: Syllable count ok. And the image is very good--catching a moment in time that everyone experiences. As in the others above, perhaps an image that suggests an attempt to escape, instead of the word itself, would have been more appropriate. Also, the last line sounds awkward. One gets the sense of a Japanese passive sentence translated into awkward English. But the overall kokoro (essence) is very good.

Fall from peaceful perch,
Virgin white cherry blossom,
Warriors accept death.
Comment: The last line "warriors accept death" has, strictly speaking, 6 syllables, but "warriors" is one of those words where pronunciation can be fudged. There is a term ji-amari that means a few too many characters, but it is acceptable at times if the flow of the word/line doesn't sound excessive. The content is interesting--cherry blossoms are often used as symbols of a short life since they scatter after a few days after blooming. But this is often used and has become a fixed metaphor where I come from (field of Jap. Lit.). The term "peaceful perch" is a bit unusual. Is a cherry tree a peaceful place? It's hard to make the association. The interesting aspect of this verse--and it truly is interesting--is the juxtaposition of "peaceful" and "warriors", two seemingly contradicting images. This element of unexpectedness is often a strong point in senryu. Still, this poem, with its cherry image, smacks of haiku. Next time, try to reflect your own everyday life, and capture the moment.

woke up this morning
feeling dizzy from last night
too much tequila
Comment: Word count ok. The spirit of the poem is something most of us can appreciate; as you stated, "an ode to college students across the nation." But if you can capture a moment in time that exemplifies the feelings you want to express, particualrly in images. Is there an image that you can conjure that would convey to the reader that you are dizzy? What do you see, or how do you see things when you are dizzy? What do others do that tell you that they might be dizzy?

turns head coughs, again
cold hands, shivers, cheeks red, tears
Comments: Syllable count ok, but the goro--the fluidity of sound, rhythm--is missing because of the structure. No subject, tenseless verb, list of nouns. Without your title, "A trip to the doctor", the poem could mean anything, which is tantamount to meaning nothing--whose cold hands? Doctors? Who shivers? You? Doctor? Cheeks red? Whose ass? Haha! I think you can see what I mean. But the kokoro (essence) is fine, gong to a cold sterile doctor's office is certainly uncomfortable. You just need to focus the poem.

Slamming the slot closed
I leave Blockbuster behind
at twelve-ten PM
Comment: Certainly not a masterpiece, but a bit better than the one yesterday. It tries to capture the moment when one feels the frustration of having to pay for an extra day when returning a rented video late by only a few minutes. But still need work.

FYI: I teach Jap. Lit. and my specialty is poetry, so I have analyzed a lot of poems in my day--albeit late classical/early medieval court poetry. Also, my dad (on the right around 30 years old; ca. 1942) has been a senryu judge for most of his life, and I have had to help him set up and clean up his poetry salons--he would never let me judge; I wasn't good enough. You know how Asian dad's are. Anyway, I have been doing this or have been around people doing this for over forty years. As in most J-poetry, the ability to make images speak for other things is key. Not simply as metaphors, but in intertextual ways--that is, in ways that ellicit connections / associations to other texts / contexts that are obvious but not necessarily fixed, as in metaphors. Senryu is no different. But perhaps the most important aspect of a senryu is to catch a moment in life. As my dad told me a million times, imagine it as a brilliant photo that seems to catch the perfect moment. Nothing posed, nothing random, but a moment when the people, their expressions, the milieu, the color (or b/w) convey a sense of place, of emotion, of being. It may not be a surprise, but my dad did senryu poetry as a hobby, his profession was photography.

Monday, November 10, 2003

J Poetry for the commoner

In the Edo period of Japan--approx. 1600-1868--Japan closed itself from the outide world and enjoyed a time of peace for over 250 years. Tokugawa Ieyasu and his successors ruled Japan with an iron fist, but there was relative prosperity among the common people. And it is this time when new forms of Japanese poetry deverloped. Everyone knows about Haiku, I think, but few know about Senryu. Senryu takes the same form as haiku, but it is less concerned about the seasons and focused on the activities and emotions of man. The following is a poem by my dad, about his nostalgia for home.


geta haite
hashi wo watareba
sato no oto

When crossing a bridge
in a pair of wooden clogs,
sound of my birthplace.

As the poem states, the sound of geta--the noisy wooden clogs worn mostly by men--reminds the speaker of his native land. As this poem was composed in the US, the verse ellicits a sense of nostalgia, a sense of distance, and hence a sense of loneliness.

As in haiku, the structure of the senryu poem is 5-7-5 syllables. I have translated the poem to matche the same syllable count. Would anyone be interested in composing his/her own senryu in English? If you are, the rules are simple. First and foremost is the syllable count. 5-7-5. Do not deviate. Compose a poem that reflects a kind of universality of common, everyday life through textual description. My dad conveyed the nostalgia felt by many who are far from home. The poems can be funny as well; in fact, senryu is often translated as "comic verse".

Don't worry about how good it is; we can slowly develop our style as we go along. If you leave your poem as a comments, I will try to respond to it. Now, I don't know how many would be interested, but I think it might be fun. My students ahd to create poems for a poetry match in class. One student relayed this to her HS teacher, and they are now going to try it. GOOD! I love it when I can influence people in a positive way.

Anyway, let me start it off with a rendition of my own. Mmmmm....

Video in hand / I scurry to Blockbuster / at twelve-ten PM

Okay? Like I said: It doesn't have to be good.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

weekend ramblings II: Narcissistic moment

Yes, I'm narcissistic. But I think that's basically true of everyone who maintains a public weblog. I must admit that it makes me even happier--no giddier--to read flattering comments made by young ladies. Now, please don't misinterpret; I'm not on some middle-age fantasy, looking for a sweet 20-something to make me feel younger. I already feel young... sorta. Besides, who among us doesn't want to feel a little love? Mr_Mephisto, former student and Jap major, wrote: You are so shaq diesel! I never knew.... Rock on, sensei! It's is good to hear from her once in a while. She's teaching little Jap kiddies Engrish in Niigata. But it seems she may have been in Japan too long. What's "shaq diesel"? Is that a mutation found in Japan, or am I just simply out of it in the US? Christine0109 was a student of mine, but transfered to a school closer to home: "even tho ur twice our age, ur still young at heart and are a fun person to be around. I'm glad I'm fun to be around. I sometimes feel like a guru, of sorts, when young ones gather around asking for advice, trying to get my attention... usually over my liquid of choice: BEER.... Another young lady from the left coast, consummate_leah, commenting one a previous post, said: oh please. You are ubercool.... I would have loved to read my professor's blogs when I was in college. I'd probably be more inclined to talk to them as a result. This comment makes me comfortable. I'm glad that it's possible for students to feel comfortable with their professors, if given the opportunity. I always try to give them opportunities. Even more pleasant is the fact I have never met Leah; we "know" each other only as commenters on each other's site. Although I'm not sure about being "ubercool". It's flattering, but I'm a regular guy, so just plain "cool" will suffice for me... Damnation, I AM narcissistic... and maybe a bit boring... Maybe rambling is not good...

Weekend Ramblings I: I used to do "Weekend Fluff" but once school started, and the college football season--the one I am trying to forget at this moment--was under way, I have not really written any fluff pieces. Although I dubbed them fluff, there was nothing fluffy about the time it took to write them. So I thought I'd just ramble thoughts as they come to me, randomly, as I continue my work over the weekend....

Yesterday, I used Sanjuro's comment to have a little fun, at his expense. Don't take it seriously, but your comments made me think about my own position as a teacher who blogs about his personal thoughts and have my students know it. I thought it was interesting that you found your professor's life amusing. It suggested to me the distance you feel--or perhaps he establishes--between you two. I believe that the kids (students) who get to know me--mostly those who are majors, who take Bungo (literary Japanese), and who are willing to visit my office--will not feel the same distance. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm their best buddy--or try to be. We don't hang out together--indeed, there is very little we share, be it music, games, etc. But we do share our lives in an academic context and I do advise them on a number of thing, from where to study abroad, how to study Japanese, or what they should do after they graduate. To counsel successfully, I want them to be as honest with me as possible; and to promote this, to encourage them to be open with me, I am usually very open to them about my life. They realize that I am human too, that I do more than just teach, grade and read musty books. They know I like to drink beer, watch football, see movies. Many have heard of, then read about my life when I was their age in "Not Living Up To Expectations" (NLUTE) which you can find in the JAJournal--just click the Onigiriman banner above. They know I was once flaky, that I hated to study more than they do now, that I played in a band and blew off school, worked, got drunk and didnt go to college... but was eventually able to put my life back together. I want them to think, "Geez, if he can do it, then I have no excuse!" Or something like that... Wow, as I reread this, this sounds so whorish. What am I doing? Trying to sell myself? Ha!...

More later... back to grading...

Bruins suck wind again
SammyStorm: Were they TRYING to turn the ball over?? sorry about your Bruins.
Alas, no. They were not trying to give the game to Washington. It just looked like it because they played so poorly. Thanks for the condolences, but there is little else to do but commit ritual suicide... * sigh *

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Bruins play Wazzu
The Bruins play Washington State at Pullman, WA, and it will not be a picnic. Matt Moore will again start. He was sacked 8 times last week against a team that is 9th out of ten teams in the Pac10 in sacks. Ouch! Wazzu has a good defense, so I will pray for Moore's safety. Now don't get me wrong. I have faith in the Bruins, but I will also keep my fingers crossed and wear my newly designated extra-special good luck sweat shirt (above), courtesy of Winward_Skies. Go Bruins.

Get Protection
No, no, no, I'm not talking about condoms... Today we go get our annual flu shots. An ounce of protection is worth... yadda yadda... Did you get your shot Mona-chan?

PerfectSanjuro Heh, I don't think I'd ever let anyone that I know in a professional matter know that I have a xanga. Apparently one of my teachers has one, and according to what he writes he does some very interesting things in his free time. I find it amusing that this is the same person that writes up my exams and teaches me Physics.
Gee, I don't know how to respond to this... If Sanjuro feels this way, how do my students feel about me? Are they "amused" at reading Onigiriman, the dude who makes and grades their papers, who teaches them Jap lang and lit? While I don't go into explicit detail, I have mentioned a few things that some of my kids may find disconcerting. Perhaps, I should reconsider this Xanga thing. It would, actually, give me more time to do my work, such as write recommnedations and grade midterms in a timely manner. Perhaps, Sanjuro has opened my eyes a bit.... NOT! Hahahahahaha. Me? Quit? The word doesn't exist in my vocab list--inside joke. Tell me what you think! Or better yet, tell PerfectSanjuro what you think... hehehehe, I'm sooooo mean, but my kids already know this.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Busted again

Here's Kai's response: You make me sound so mean! In my defense, I turned in the request a month and a half ago.... you'll have *2 months* from the time I turned it in!
And I was referring to the entry you wrote a few weeks ago about all the stuff you had to do the presentation, midterms, etc, not just my recommendation!
But I wish everyone could've seen Onigiriman's face when I "caught" him typing on Xanga! Hahaha! It was classic! Talk about sheepish.

I write what Kai says, and she calls me mean. Mean? Moi? Mean is in the eye of the beholder. The person dishing it out always thinks the comments are not as mean as the person being served... Yes, I was sheepish. Classic? Perhaps. I hope this public admission of YOU getting the best of me makes you feel better... Bwahahahahaha!

Another Bust

Sometimes things just don't seem to go right. Like today. Musubi-chan makes me lunch as always. Now I am a luck dude to have a wife willing to make me lunch everyday. And in general its a good lunch. Today, I was treated to rice and natto--the fermented bean that many hate, including many Japanese, particularly because of its smell--with with mountain potatoes. Both are pretty slimey and together they are a gooey looking concoction. But I happen to love it. Well, it was in a separate container. I pour it over the rice, mix it up and gobble it up, "pulling strings" from bento box to mouth, as I feed myself. When I finish, I close the lid as usual. The container that held the natto also had some natto/yama-imo juice in it, so I bring it too my mouth to drink it up--don't wanna waste anything--but I dribble some of it on my shirt. Whew, thank gawd I was wearing a T-shirt instead of a dress shirt. I wiped it off as best I could and forgot about it. the T-shirt was beige colored so when it dried, you could barely tell I had spilled anything on it.

Or so I thought.

Later, I was walking to the little boys room when I passed some students I knew. "Oh man, sensei. Is that natto we smell?"

Busted again... and again...

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Say Yes

Say Yes / Chage and Aska
HattoriHanzo mentioned that Takeda Tetsuya reminded him of this song, the theme from the TV show "101st Proposal". Tetsuya's famous line was (this might be a paraphrase) "Anata wo aishiteru kara, boku wa shinimashen!" (I love you, so I will NYOT die!) While the ending was kind of iffy, the first 8 episodes or so were classic, probably the best romance drama...

I thought you were busy! Hmph!
Yesterday, I was taken to task by Kai., She dropped by my office as I was putting together this particular entry. The exchange went something like this... well not exactly, but sorta...

    "Do you think you can have a my recommendation ready by Thanksgiving?"
    "I'll try, but no promises, I have a lot of work. I've got Midterms to grade and stuff, y'know." I say, trying to avoid another task for this weekend.
    "Stuff like XANGA?!? You write a lot and update a lot. You always say you're busy!"
    "But I am..." I protest feebly.
    "And what are you doing now?"
    "Does your wife know why you're ignoring her?"
    "........." Busted.....

101st Proposal Hyaku ikkai me no puropo-zu
I can't get it out of my mind now. Okay, this was the process. Zettonv tells me I look like Takeda Tetsuya. "Hmm... Do I really?" I wonder out loud here on Xanga. Then HattoriHanzo comments that I do look like him, but he also says that Tetsuya reminds him of the song Say Yes--now playing--by Chage and Aska. I load the song to play and it brings back memories of the TV show, 101st Proposal, and I put up the one line that sticks out in the whole drama for me. Tetsuya is standing in the middle of the road, screaming at Asano Yuko, "I will nyot die. I love, so I will nyot die." (I write it "nyot" cuz it sorta resembles "shinimaSHEN") Then, Takunishi posts a couple of exerpts that exemplify Tetsuya's emotions in the show. Below is a translation for those who can't read it.

    My dream was to become a lawyer. But it's been awhile since I've given it up. But, I'll go for it one more time.
    My heart is crying. When I think I can no longer see you, I cry and cry, morning, noon, and night. I'm sure that I'll cry through the spring and summer and fall and winter, as well.
    That's why I'll no longer give up on my dream, on you Kaori. As a man, I'll show you that I can get you back.

    * * * * * * * * * * *
    Y'know, the next time, when I'm reborn, my face, my body, wouldn't be like this. I thought I'd be the kind of guy that girls will come screaming for.
    I'd be sharp, have a successful job, and have money, too....
    In any case, I wanted to be a guy that was completely opposite to what I am now.
    But, y'know... Lately, I've come to think, isn't a guy like me pretty good? This guy called Tatsuro Hoshino? As I've gradually fallen in love with you--before I realized it--I've come to like myself a bit, as well.

Ok, ok. It's kinda corny, and my translation doesn't do it justice. But I really liked this drama. Takunishi said he might go out and rent it again... Can you rent this?!? Damn, I wanna see it again, too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

My Desk

My desk....
I've got so much to give, there is so much to say, night after night, day after day, in spite of our words, they all turn away.

Kinda narcissistic, but these aren't my lyrics. They are from an old group, one of the original fusion bands (jazz-rock), Chicago, in Chicago II, which came out before most of you were born...

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Wow, I got a lot comments saying I look like Takeda Tetsuya! Is that right? Personally, I think the only resemblance is the fact that I'm a dedicated teacher who loves his students, and Tetsuya PLAYED a dedicated teacher (Kinpachi sensei), on TV. So, anyway, below are three photos. One is Takeda Tetsuya. One is Jackie Chan. One is me in 1996--I was 40 years old then. Can you guess which one. Take your time. Don't rush. Don't look at the profile pic on the left--that's cheating. Now, do we "alllooksame"? Ok, ok, let's make it easier: one is Japanese, one is Japanese-American (me--doh!), one is Chinese (Hong Kong, as if no one knew....) Isn't that easier? hahaha!

If you guessed the one in the middle, then you'd be right. Pat yourself on the back. This photo was taken around the time some people thought I looked like Jackie. Actually, we're brothers. Tetsuya, Jackie and I are all half: Hong Kong/Japanese. Tetsuya is the eldest, six years older than me. Then Jackie, a year and a half older. Tetsuya was really into Kung Fu, but never made it big as a martial artist, so he became an actor in Japan and used his Kung Fu in "Keiji Monogatari". But he really became famous as an the elementary school teacher, Kinpachi sensei. Jackie followed in his footsteps and became a star in Hong Kong in Kung Fu movies. You might have heard of him. Me? I avoid the limelight and just became a teacher... Ho hum... Oh yeah, and in case your were wondering, our real names are Manny, Moe and Jack. (I can't believe I just used an emoticon, ack! gag!)

Baseball is over....
The season is over but is baseball over too? This is a question someone asked on the RiceBowlJournal Forum. Is basaeball a dying sport? Is it too slow? Too boring? Is it past its prime? I left the following comment, in case some of you don't bother to click the RBJ icon and visit this virtual Asian Forum:

    I have to disagree. Football is far to physical to be more than it is. Basketball, I think, can be short because the good players/teams can still be determined in that timeframe. But in baseball, the good teams are not so obvious in say 81 games (half the season). This is a sport that deifies players that hit the ball 30% of the time. Is there a sport that honors a player for a 30% sucess rate? If you hit only 30% of your shots in basketball, you're benched. If you complete 30% of you passes, you're cut. Baseball players are judged at such a low rate of success--and their teams succuss/failure hinges on this success--I think it probably takes longer to get an accurate read with regard to which player/team is the best.

    That said, I think baseball will never be what it was. Many point to the speed and excitement of football and basketball--and I whole heartedly agree that they are fun to watch; I'm a football junky--but that is not the reason for baseball's demise. It's free agency. The free movement of players denies fans the opportunity to root for players who they feel represent them. While this is true in other sports, the nature of the game--speed, big plays--can overcome this. People can root for the team as well as any player. But in baseball, where the game is leisurely, where you sit in the bleachers with a beer in your hand and talk baseball as much as watch baseball, one needs to know his favorite team, know the players to talk about them, debate about them, and of course root for them.

    In LA, the Dodgers of the 70s to 81, had the same infield: Garvey, Lopes, Cey, and Russell at short. The outfield was pretty solid for a number of years with Baker anchored in left, and behind the plate Ferguson and Yeager. They were likd cousins. You knew them intimately, albeit not personally. Loyalty to a team was based on the loyalty to players. But with free agency, that is gone.

    I am no union buster, and the freedom to earn as much as you want is an American right, I suppose. And the fault is as much on ownership as it is to any percieved greed by the players. The did, afterall, treat the players like slaves for many years. Still, I think Kevin Brown makes too much and Alex Rodgrigues makes waaaaaaaaaay too much.

All Look Same

No, no, no. This is not another Asian American post, although I think I should post one soon--I've been writing too many inconsequential pieces for too long. School has kept me too busy to think too deeply about things that matter--not to make excuses, of course. Anyway, SammyStorm suggested that I look like Takeda Tetsuya. Look at my profile pic on the left or the photo below and compare it with this photo of Takeda. => Hmmm. I wonder...

Now if you're looking for look alikes, I think that Nefarious_hatter looks sorta like Yoshida Miwa of Dreams Come True.

The photos here are all of Miwa. The one on the far left really looks like Nefarious, at least from the photos I've had the chance to glance at. The other two look like her too. I was thinking of putting up her photo here so you could compare them, but I would need her permissions, which I haven't asked for... Hey Nefarious, do you think you kinda look like her? Or if anyone who know Nefarious in person, can you tell me if these look like her?

Actually, when I came back from Japan in 1996, I was much thinner. I used to workout regularly and had shorter hair. I was told on three different occasions that I looked like Jackie Chan. Hahahahaha. Okay, I laughed with ya. Two of them were non-Asians, so they don't count. No, offense, but I am refering to those who probably know few or no Asians and we probably all look alike to them. But one was a Korean guy who was working at Bloomingdale's in Tyson's Corner. When he said it--I presumed he had seen a few Asian faces in his day--I took notice. My sister, who was with me at the time, doubled over laughing. Anyway, if anyone wants to look at a photo from back then, holler... Maybe I'll scan one and you can tell me whether I look more like Testuya or Jackie.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I think I'll make another list

Any suggestions? I already did movies and foods. Shiroi_Norite thinks I should make a list of my favorite students. I know he's joking, cuz it would be way too narcissistic. Besides, I love all my students equally... Of course, those who take Classical Japanese are more equal than others. Haha.

: Growing Older :
But I recall thinking of growing older. As you may--or may not--know, I am fast approaching the half century mark, the big five-oh. So here--with a nod to Paiky who made his own list--are some of the bad and good you guys can look forward to

  • Lower metabolism: this really sucks. Chocolate, potato chips, pizza, all the things I love to eat kinda stick to the body unless I make a concerted effort to work it off.
  • Time flies: There simply isn't enough time to do everything I want. I feel that I am better at what I do, and so I can do them rather efficiently, but I also have a lot of it to do.
  • A general decline in health: The body creaks, joints pop. I try to exercise, and this allows me to enjoy a relatively healthy existence--quitting smoking didn't hurt either--but recovery time is slower as well. My body needs time to recuperate from a vigorous workout, which for me would be running about 5 miles and then doing some weight training.
  • Associated with this is a specific decline in sexual activity. Aah, to be 18 again. Most young men can get a woody without even thinking, its just a reaction. But as you pass 30 then 40, and reach 50, you can no longer take it for granted. For one thing, after a degree of experience, it takes more to get excited. Where once, a little cleavage would arouse me immediately, now porn ellicits little more than a yawn... well, most porn, anyway...
  • Money worries: Ok, many may think that everyone has to worry about money, but I think it gets much more serious as you get older. In my 20s, money saved was for a car, or for a vacation, or maybe even for the "future", a house maybe. All goals for myself. Now, I save money just in case, like paying the plumber when the pipes begin to leak, or the critter control guy when squirrels clay and make a whole in the roof, or the dentist for a root canal for my son because he doesn't know how to brush properly.
  • Lost brain cells: Warning to all you guys who like to party. Every drink you gulp, avery hit you take, you are losing brain cells. Yes we all lose brain cells as a matter of course, but the process is accelerated with these "poisons". I don't really know if this is correct, but someone once told me that's why you get high: All these brains cells are being attacked at once leave you in a temporary stupor. Whatever. Anyway, fewer brain cells become noticeable after a while. On days after drinking, I certainly can't function as I used to, and I con't focus as well as I would like sometimes. Perhaps some of my students will have noticed I that I will sometimes lose my train of thought. That NEVER used to happen....
  • Experience: I sure make fewer boneheaded decisions anymore. I often don't have to think things through anymore, because I already know the results of certain actions. Instead of thinking, If I do A, that will lead to B, then C, then D.... then Z, I now go straight to Z. Sometimes I can't even explain it. I just know some things are right and others wrong, like not eating steamed clams that don't have their mouth open. I attribute this to experience.
  • Patience: Aah, this is truly something I have developed. There are many people who may think I'm pretty impatient, and in a way, I am, but I used to be REALLY impatient before. I had not time--I thought--for idiots, slackers, slow-minded people. But now, I'm beginning to realize that in many ways, I was the idiot slacker who was slow-minded, that I was stupid and too lazy to understand that people do different things at different paces. Indeed, with my fewer brain cells, I am often the one who is actually slower and the apparent slacker...
  • Uh, I thought there were more good things, but I kinda got depressed thinking of all the bad. Haha! Oh well, If there's anymore, I will append it to this list.

Oh yeah, I was thinking of moving the the JAJournal here at RBJ. Not that it matters I guess. I've been spending some time on their forum. We'll see how long it lasts. Maybe you'll join me.

Football Saturday
Bruins sucked wind!!!! No offence. Matt Moore the QB gets sacked 8 times, to a team that only had 11 sacks in the previous 7 games! WTF is going one?!? Grrrrrrrrr. I'm in a bad mood. I think I need a beer or two or 17.... Will someone drive me home? No wait, I'm already home, Forget it. Grrrrr....

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Fewer children than I would have expected. I think about twenty and a bit came by. I wonder why? Are parents protecting their kids from the evils of sugar and bad teeth? Or are they keeping them from possible poisoning or worse, terrorist attacks? Either way, its kind of sad. When I was a kid--which would be make most of you about -18 to -20 years old--we went wild around our neighborhood. We'd get into our cheap Safeway-bought Casper the ghost or Superman outfit, take a large paper bag--there were no plastic bags back them--and try to fill them up as much as possible. Candy was pretty basic back then, nothing like the selection available today. I would usually end up with a bag of individually wrapped caramels and taffy bits. If I went to my cousins house in Monterey Hills, we sometimes were treated with an Abba-zabba or box of Milk Duds or a Milky Way bar. And back then, there were no minisizes, so it really was a treat. We never worried about poisons or terrorists, although there were random tales of rasors in apples... Well thanks to those days, to the delight of my dentist, I have a precarious set of teeth... Maybe my mom should ahve stopped me...

This year we made a Jack-o-lantern... actually a Yoda-lantern..

I guess they're a little blurry, but it gives it a spookier effect, no? (Ok, ok, I'm just making excuses.) But with a flash, you'd never see the candlelight... Musubi-chan said I kinda look like Sadako from the Ring... Or would that Sadao?

Saturday, November 01, 2003


H o l l o w e e n s coming!
Trick or treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat

Musubi-chan and I posed as models for the pumpkin last year. Although she won't admit it, I think the pumpkin looks exactly like her.

Everyone have a safe Holloween. And don't forget to give out kandy to the kiddies. They've been waiting since school has started.