Friday, February 27, 2004

A serious entry for once: Lent...

The movie The Passion of Christ seems to be getting a lot of press. Some say it takes the old school position of blaming the Jews for Christ's death. Others have rebutted saying that the criticism is based on an early version of the film, an incomplete movie that is nothing like the final version in theaters now... I wouldn't know what to say since I have seen neither. All I know is that the movie is in Latin and Aramaic, and I would have to read the subtitles to watch a story I have heard countless of times in my youth. I am, to be honest, the kind of person who dislikes reading subtitles. I think it takes away from the movie, don't you?

Now this may sound rather strange coming from a guy who teaches a Japanese film course in which the vast majority of students do not know Japanese or at least not enough to understand it without the subtitles. The course is very popular but, given my feelings, I often look at my many students and wonder--What the heck are you guys doing here? Hahahah! What an attitude for a teacher. I think the movies are great, and they have a lot to offer, but they can be appreciated so much more by knowing the language. I guess that's why I don't like watching movies in languages I don't know, cuz I always suspect there is something I'm not getting... I am such the pharisee.

Which brings me back to my original thought: The Passion of Christ. The movie is about the final hours of Christ's life as man, when he died for out sins. And not coincidentally, the film was released to coincide with Lent. As a Catholic who no longer goes to church and rarely follows the "rules" of being a Christian (I am so excommunicated), I was surprised to find myself pondering about the Bible, Lent, and my own set of beliefs.

I believe the Bible is a book that provides easy to understand stories and guidelines for conduct that can be intepreted by any changing society; it is not a collection of fast and unbendable rules--which is true of any text but that's another topic. Did God creat the universe in six days? I don't think so. I'm an evolutionist, not a creationist--although I am inclined to think he took Sunday off (now I'm really excommunicated). So is the Bible lying? Of course not! The Bible presented ideas--God created all life and it's an amazing feat--in a manner that was easy to understand for people back in the day. Given this attitude toward the Bible, I often questioned the practice of giving things up for Lent.

Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday, and ends on Easter, is 40 days long and is considered a time of sacrifice, of self-denial, a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Christ made for our sins.And while I'm not sure if Lent is based on the following passage, reference is often made to it during this time.

Matthew: 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. (NKJ)

As a child, I had heard this passage countless of times, reminding me of the suffering Christ went through, how Satan had tempted him with food, riches, power, and yet he never gave in. Oooooo. He was SO cool. He was SO strong--God knows, as does everyone else I know, that I would give in in a second. So how were we to apply this passage to our lives? Go out into the wilderness and fast? Ok, ok, more realistically, we were supposed to be strong, too, and give up something for Lent. For the adults around me it was chocolate or coffee or *shudder* TV. So we gave up one or--for the stronger among us--even three of our creature comforts. But what did we learn from this? Anything? Hmm, I didn't... So, many years ago when I began to move away from my church, I decided to focus on, among other things, why did Jesus go into the wilderness.

Well, for me, Jesus went to reflect on what he was supposed to do. Indeed, his 40 days is preceded by being baptized by John and followed by his inexorable journey to his death, starting with the gathering of his apostles. So he went into the wilderness alone to focus on his purpose, his raison d'etre. His self-denial reflected a seriousness of purpose more than anything else, I think. So how do I apply my own interpretation to my own life? Do deny myself, as the priests and sisters of my youth told me? What happens to my life if I give up chocolate--dark chocolate!--for Lent? Or maybe a beer? Right, like that's gonna happen. How about my absolutley most favorite sport, football? The fact that its not season makes it rather convenient. I mean anything I give up, will ultimately do nothing for me if I just go back to it after Lent. I mean, what's the result of giving up chocolate, if you're going to gorge yourself on chocolate bunnies and eggs on Easter? No, I will not give up anything for Lent. It is, to me, a practice that has no point. (So excommunicate me already.) Instead, I will reflect on my life, as I always do during Lent. I will consdier what I need to do to better myself, and in the process provide a better environment around me. How can I be a better husband or teacher? Colleague or friend? I have to believe that giving serious thought to these things will do much more than giving up CSI or kettle-cooked extra-crunchy potato chips. Yes, I will reflect on my purpose in life... over an ice cold brew.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Holding Hands: THE Response...

If you visit Barberic's site, you probably saw this, but I had to share it with ya' in case you haven't seen it. These are mittens couples. I mean, lovey-dovey couple! There's a lefty and a righty mitten, then a U-shaped thing that you wear TOGETHER! (Click on image for larger view.) With this, you can hold hands, skin-to-skin, and still keep the elements out! There is one problem, of course. What if something terrible happens and you have to use obht hands suddenly to avoid getting hit by a stray basketball or falling bricks... Hmmm. I guess I'd have to use my body to protect my sweetheart? Well, that'd be okay too. But still, isn't this soooooo cute? I want to get this. Hey Eric, where the heck do I buy this thing?

Also, I got this random question from a basketballer named Vlade Somethingorother (I can't spell it; it's too Russian). Some of you may know him, he plays for the Sacramento Kings. He is always on the road and is apparently dying for some serious advice. I was going to direct you guys directly to his site, but he's kinda bashful and I don't want to expose him--kinda like this place actually. So if you could answer this question for him, I'll make sure he gets it in pronto. Of course, he might contact you directly. He'll likely read the responses here and may ask you for more detail... hehehehe. Come to think about it, I could ask this very same question. It is, for us guys, the age old question:

Can somebody please explain to Vlade the secret to understanding a woman's heart?

Man, is that a loaded question or what!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Holding Hands....

Musubichan and I always hold hands. We are a year away from the big 5-0 but we still hold hands when we go out. Some people find this strange. they'll look at us and wonder how old we are. But I don't mind. We still act young, cuz we feel young. And holding hands was my first indication that I had to marry her. Call me Stupid. When I first held her hand, I knew I had to marry her... I still feel that way now. It was like some electric shock or something corny like that...

We hold hands everywhere. Although, I remember distinctly that she would never hold my hands at HER place of work in Japan. She said it was too embarassing for her to get caught by co-workers and club members--she was an aerobics instructor. But, of course, she HAS to hold my hands when we're walking around MY school. I don't get this double standard crap... Anyone wanna explain it to me?

At night, we will hold hands when we go to sleep. Okay, you can stop rolling your eyes, alright? In the morning, we are usually not holding hands anymore as I usually toss and turn and I guess we separate...

And we're always playing! I'll sometimes lick my hands before I hold her hands to freak her out! Slobber it up real good. Hahahaha. But once she out freaked me! She grabbed my hand and licked it in the same place! Eeeeeyuuuu! Gross! I bet you're thinking. But we just laughed and laughed. Yeah, we really can play around a lot. But more, we really like each others company...

Anyway, holding hands has become an issue. We now clasp hands (like we're wearing mittens). I prefer to intertwine our fingers, but I'm the fidgety sort so I have a tendancy to rub my fingers and they kinda grind my wife's knuckles which then hurts and she gets pissed off... *sighs* She claims that her knuckles are getting larger and that she is developing arthritis.

So how do you hold your significant other's hand? Is there a specfic way you prefer? Or is holding hands "old school"?

so leave already!


Hahahaha! No kidding! But before any of you get upset, the Vixen was joking. I was mean by leaving out the rest of her comment. It was, in its entirety:

so leave already! hehe, a joke, a joke!

I will miss bantering with her... really. Bane, I will have nothing but fond memories of you, as I will with all of you... well, except for maybe one...

And so, the Final Entry....
A number of people have tried to talk me into staying, but as I have stated, I do not leave to feel protected, nor do I leave with a tail between my legs. I leave to make a statement, that there are consequences to certain actions. The only way I would come back is if japblk, bane_vixen and sorjen posted a photo of themselves in their profile pic. I am soooooo curious... hehehhe. just kidding, of course. The only thing that would make me come back would be if the responsible person would confess to his/her deed, and make a public apology. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen...

If you're still interested in what I write, I will be posting on the JAJournal occasionally--in fact there's a new one now. I will post notices here when there are updates so you don't have to waste your time going there just to check. So you can continue to be subscribed if you want, or you can go to that O-man blogring *shakes head* to check as well, or you can cancel to lessen the traffic in your e-mails and subscriptions pages. I certainly would understand...

I will also try to check up on you guys periodically, although I'm not sure how often that will be.

It's really been a gas, as we used to say...


Sunday, February 22, 2004

O-man, the final days II

Like Purin_kun on the right, many have wondered if I was really going. Well, I admit that Xanga has been very addictive and it is certainly hard to leave, but leave I will. I'm sure I will be going through withdrawal, so if any of my students see me muttering to myself as I walk to class, please understand what's happening... heheheh. Dont worry, it won't affect my grading. I'll be the same ol' softy... NOT! Hahahahah. Anyway, to continue my responses...

2/18 4:37 to 2/20, 2:43 pm

takunishi79: I was hit number 16767 (i dunno, it looks kinda funky, don't it?). Well, regardless of whether it was in "good fun" or with malicious intent, we can figure it was an extremely immature act. I think, all too often, "kids" will act in a manner where they do not think about ultimate consequences or overall implications. Now that is if they did that with no intent to harm. If it was done with malicious intent, I suppose they've proven a certain point. I'm not sure what... but... something. Well, sir, t'was a short while on this little virtual space, but I hope this will allow you to get to more important things... like keepin' up with JA Journal!
Thanks, Taku. It was fun. I remember you as the first blogger--outside my students--who really impressed me. And it too bad about the number. I was so close to getting to 20,000. Oh well.

those_days: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...what's the url to your jajournal? the student probably posted that as a joke, because of the fact that taking money to change grades is something you would never do. and really out of character.
To my Xanga daughter. To be honest, I don't remember what it was exactly but you always seemed strangely similar to my real daughter, who I rarely get the chance to see anymore--she lives in Japan. So I will sorely miss you, too.

sputtum: awww, and just when u started to post comments on my xanga.... *sniff* u will be sorely missed.
Isn't this how it alway is? Just when you think you something good is happening, bang!

iiSoNySoUnDii: That's messed up, but I don't think you should abandon Xanga! I seriously look forward to all of your entries; though I can look at your other journal, it's not the same...
Ah so true... There are entries, and then there are entries... BTW: ddsb2000 mentioned in a recent post that he found some names pretty strange. I think yours would fit nicely too. Do you work for Sony? Is their sound good? Or areyou from southern New York... if there is such a thing... Or perhaps are your undies from Sony? or Southern NY? hehehehehe J/K... Ah, I will miss making stupid remarks like this...

PaikyPoo: well that's just phuggin great... xanga loses one of the more interesting bloggers... thanx phuck nut. onigiriman, sorry what happened to u. remember there r always assholes out there that use the internet as a medium for more then conversation. like this asshole. keep the faith mang... there r many good ppl who read your site.
In spite of the spelling, I think your frases come across phairly clearly... And I realize there are a LOT of good people who come here, and they know I feel this way as well, as I comment on their sites.

japblkgrl: its a sad day in xangaland... bye bye O-man but i don't blame you...i've had some weirdness occur recently cuz of something i wrote on my page...i'm in the process of protecting some of my posts now.... i hope to still hear from you on either of my sites....
No! not, bye, bye! You will hear from me as long as you keep blogging. And I will bug you until you give a full pic of yourself! hahahahhaa

Purin_kun: you can probably contact the and get either that rating or all of your ratings removed.? it's really a ridiculous statement, so i imagine you shouldn't have much trouble getting it removed.
Thanks Purin_kun.You are the first of my students to actually show your support, and I appreciate it.

yhekhor: man i m disgusted. u were a wonderful contributor to the xanga scene & my daily readings. man this disgusts me alright. i m appalled!
You and me both. But life goes on... And keep up the posts, you had some pretty interesting reading for me...

crotchety_old_man: wow, tactlessness never ceases to amaze... im sorry u have to deal with this internet ridiculousness [not wanting to use a much better cuss word]. Your posts will be sorely missed... now what am I supposed to read when i am procrastinating about japanese?? j/k take care then, maybe as a result ill come by the office more peace
You are the first of my future students. And I will expect to see you in my office soon! Then you can get the "LIVE" version of Onigiriman's humor. By all accounts, its much better than the stuff I write here!

hoymahal: it`s unfortunate that you are leaving xanga, for me, reading your logs made me feel like i was back at GW-- less homesick than usual. and sorry about the J-A confusion, that was my fault.
Wow, I didn't know that I could help alleviate your homesickness! Well, I'll be commenting on your site, so keep posting!

Hydralisk96: I've never read your xanga until Omega made a post about it. Those darn griefers are everywhere. There's always some inconsiderate little (insert profanity here) who has to have fun by trying to destroy other people's reputation. It's too bad that slander can't be caught over the internet.
Too bad you didn't post a comment earlier. Or did you only read Omega's comment very recently. Well, if I have time, I'll drop by your place for a visit...

zettonv: That really sucks that someone had the nerve to rite something like that in your journal, something like that can affect your career deeply and should never be messed with at all. i really enjoyed your journal alot and i appreciate all of your comments on my page, i still hope you have time to still comment on pages but if not no hard feelings, afterall some dickhead had to mess everything up, ill still raed your JA so laters and take care!
Thanks, but get Premium and use the spell check! hahahahah, J/K, J/K! I'm such the dickhead, too.

consummate_leah: You can't go!!!!
Oh yeah? Just watch me... Hehehehe. But I'll be reading YOUR site, don't worry!

Christine0109: sensei... you shouldnt leave xanga. just cus of what that person wrote. if you do, it'll be his/her victory in the end. just keep doing what u do, ignore the negativities that are going on cus there are just simply too many of them to deal with! theres all kinds of ppl in this world, good, bad, strange, psychotic ppl. dakara dont allow them to let u down. ganbatte!!! your a great sensei dakara :)
Yes, you hit it on the head! Well, not the great part, but I am a sensei. And I leave cuz I need to make a statement. But don't worry, I'm not down. I'm the kind of guy that rolls with the puches, who moves sideways...

kizyr: 先生!アァ、Xangaを続けていただけませんか?お願いします!実際、先生のXangaは一番好きなOnlineJournalなんですよ。多分、毎日何百人も先生のサイトに来るのですが。そんなコメントを書いた人はもちろん最低でしたが、Xangaをやめるわけでは・amp;nbsp;りません。お願いします。まず、RateMyProfessorを連絡して、そんな嘘のコメントを消してもらった方がいいです。それから、問題もうないでしょうね。一人のせいでXangaをやめないでいただけませんか。
・amp;nbsp;んた、日本語は達者だね! 日本で随分勉・amp;shy;してるみたい。はっきり言って、教師として、すご・amp;shy;嬉しい。皆、カイザーの爪を煎じて飲んでもらいたいな。

FLASHtheBRUIN: =( Some people take jokes too far... I'm kinda sad that what someone thought was amusing has lead to you leaving xanga!!!
It happens. Life goes on. Just treat you woman well. Did you take her to Sushi Gen yet?

simply_marie: =0( we love you... SPiDey and Lovely love you a lot. I'll open my diaryland again soon.. I hope you'll visit from time to time. =0( I'm so sad.. I don't know what else to say. *waving fist in air* STUPID PEOPLE!!! >=0( =0( I'm so sad.
Yes, I'll visit you Diaryland. Hahahah. Y'know, I used to always think that it was dairyland. I couldn't figure out what blogging and milk had in common. Hahahha! I guess those Cambridge monkeys, who said you could mix up the letters in the middle of a word and still read it correctly, were wrong. Or maybe I'm studpid, it's spelled correctly and I mis read it still! Hahahaha!

tanjf: do you really have to go??? i'll be missing you man... you are of the few ppl who cared to give me cooments and e-props in my xanga. you are also one of those few ppl whom i suscribed to! where am i going to find another xangan like you?.... i won't unsuscribe you, just in case you decided to blog in xanga again. * to that @$$hole who tried to defame you : ROT IN HELL, MAN!
Yes, I really have to go. But I will mention on this site when my JAJournal--link at top of page--is updated.

ca1b0y: What? You sure you're decided on this? It'll be sad to see you go... I'll be missing all your great entries. I think we'll all miss you. If this person was malicious enough to hurt you in that manner through your xanga journal, how safe will you be by continuing to write in your JA journal? That's the risk of revealing yourself online.
Yes, I know, I know. I am not protected. But as i said yesterday, that is not the reason why I'm leaving... But I will be in touch. Don't sweat it, man. Wait until the Tokyo summer. You'll be sweating plenty then!

jammkat: and here i was just thinking to myself the other day, what a difference creating a xanga presence has made in your life. for onigiriman, fall'03/winter'04 will be the year of the xangans, and now it all seems to be disappearing again. hmmm, not good, but change is constant, leaves sprout and leaves fall again. don't be bitter -?as you can see, the vast vast majority here would never betray you in any way. (but you're just not a 'bitter' kinda guy, are ya!?) anyway, maybe now Musubi-chan will see more of you than just your shoulders hunched over the keyboard!!!
Hahahaha! Man did you say a mouthful. By the way, weren't you gonna create a Musubi-chan character? Still waiting... and you are right, I think. I am not the bitter type...

yunnermeier: who was that idiot?! We all really like your blog and I don't read it everyday but I read it at least once a week! don't stop blogging! i'm visitor 16888~ 888- lucky number!
Man, you and Taku79! Well, if ever this site reaches 20,000 I 'll post something just as a special entry or something... hahahhaha. Like that will happen!

mystic_creator: I'm really sad that you're leaving xanga. It's so horrible that someone would do something like that. People have a lot of nerve sometimes. I can't believe it!!!! You're probably the most interesting person that I've met on xanga. You'll be missed. Still comment on my site please!!! :) :)
I'll try.

detachable: no!!! this is not happening!! UGH! that was downright low for a person to do that! low, low low!!! if it's a joke, it's not funny at all. i'm so sorry this happened to you. it seems people are taking advantage of your 'laidback' and 'humourous' nature far too far. i hope you'll change your mind about leaving xanga for you will be surely missed.
Thanks, T'pal. And I'll be missing your photos! They are so cool!

imahima: Nooooo! That sucks! That's ridiculous! Everyone knows you are the most stubbornly strict professor at GW! How will removing your site remedy this? Because if anyone came to this site to find out who this supposed professor was, they would be able to see all your wonderful writings and all also see the proof that you are very much loved by your students! It will only make the comment look more ridiculous.
Ah, very true, but I have own reasons as I wrote yesterday... but you'll see me when you get back....

mmh: I'm happy to see you commenting, but don't stop writing... please? :(
I know! I love to write, as you know. But I gotta make a stand. And take care of that cat if your sister won't!

kayanized: dont leave :*(
Gotta. Life is all about change. Hope your remaining time in HS will prove to be fun and adventurous.

tinkariffic: That's awful. I can't understand why people would say such awful and damaging things to nice people. It's unfortunate that someone should leave comments like that, but it's actually not all that surprising. Some people just don't understand how to act properly on the internet, assuming that since it's anonymous, it can't hurt anyone. Sorry to see you leave Xanga, since your blog is one of the reasons I even got an account. But you should do whatever you feel is best, since you do this for yourself first and foremost.
I'm one of the reasons why you even got a Xanga account? Wow, this really changes things... Uh, not really... Hehehe. But you get the live version of Onigiriman every Tues. and Thurs. No biggie, right?

NukemVomit: That's so messed up! Though I've never had you for a class, I started reading your xanga since Kaiser mentioned that one of his professors used xanga. So I found that pretty cool that a professor would have a blog, and I started reading it. You're a cool guy. Hopefully nothing bad comes out of
Do you study Japanese? Yes this whole thing is messed up, but there's nothing I can do now... *sigh*

nefarious_hatter: No! you can't leave! I'm going to miss the comments on my site...
Yes, I can leave! but don't worry, I'll be lurking around.... And don't tell me you only subscribed to get comments from me... Hahah, J/K. I remember you as one of the first Xangan to subscribe to me. and in a way, you were my first Xanga crush... Oops, that sounds kinda bad, doesn't it... like I've had a number of them... Well, um, I have not. Really, no way. Seriously, why would I have a crush... hehehehe.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

It's 6:30 am and I'm still awake

I have always considered myself to be a nocturnal animal. I love the night, I love the cool wind and the various shades of shadowy black and blue. In Japan, I especially loved the nights in Tokyo, particularly in the neon lit areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya. There is something so cool in the colorful lights against the gray Tokyo sky. It was even better on rainy nights when the neon lights reflects off the wet pavement. The lights gives meaning to the night, the reflection gives life to the street. And vice versa. This post-modern effect in which significance is is brought forth by the different elements affecting each other synchronically into a single context--or intertext, if you will--is remarkably attractive. This is one of the reasons I find Detachables photos so intriguing. Her ability to capture images--usually night images, if I recall--has the same effect... Oh, if only I could take decent pics as well.

The image here is "borrowed" from It is taken from the large intersection northe west of Shinjuku Station, and looks east down Yasukuni Avenue, I believe. The bright buildings to the left create the border of what would be Kabuki-cho, the red light district of Shinjuku. I kick myself in the butt for never having taken cool pics when I lived in Japan. In total, I lived there for about 10 years, and the longest uninterupted stretch was from 1990-96.

The following is a senryu poem my father wrote that might reflect this photo:

jin'ai no tokai to mienu yo no neon
It doesn't look like
the dirt of the metropolis:
the night neon

As the poem suggests, the neon lights look beautiful at night and do not appear to represent all that might be considered the dirty, seedier side of a large city. But then, my dad never went to Kabuki-cho, I think. Hehehehe. If he had, I think he would have learned immediately that the neon signs do equal the seedier side of Tokyo... um... er... not that I'm speaking from experience, of course...

O-man: Last days

The degree of support is, in turn, gratifying, moving, astonishing, and mystifying. How, I ask myself, can I affect people this way? And when I saw what Simply_Marie put up--What did Taku call it? A shrine? Pfrzzt.... I am totally speechless. Me, not knowing what to say?!? So I will do the only thing I can do.

Respond to all of your comments...

Unfortunately, the number of responses were way too many and I cannot afford to answer each one separately, so I will answer them here:

2/18, 1:09pm to 4:33pm

SorJen: am sorry for what happened... its a pity that you decided to leave xanga. I enjoy your daily logs a lot... . If you dont mind, can you please leave me the url to your JAJournal so that I can continue read your interesting entries?
I'm glad you liked my daily logs, and I'm sorry I have to leave, too. The link to the JAJournal is above. And please take care of yourself. Colds, pinkies, bills. Ugh, but be good, all will work out in the end!

mmh: Ow....thats there no way you can mail the site to have it removed or something? being too 'revealed' in Xanga has its bad i guess...thats one reason why i was always paranoid when asked about my online selling stuffs.....but do you really have to leave?
Yeah, I think even you changed your site once, right? Anyway, my reason for leaving is in The comment of the day column. And I hope things work out for you and your younger sister!

SammyStorm: That's really appalling. It will be sad to see you discontinue this site, but you have to take measures to protect yourself. I guess that's one of the pitfalls of opening up yourself on the Internet. Thanks for all the comments and for all the insightful and entertaining posts you have provided us. I don't feel that a short comment such as this does justice to the repect I had for this site, and of course, for you as a person. Take Care.
Sammy, you are a true Xangan brother, despite the hairy face in your profile pic! hahahah J/K. But I am not really trying to protect myself. What's done is done. and work will continue in one form or another. But I can't act like nothing has happened either. Someone has to say in a loud voice: Enough! Of course, even in Xangaland, this is a pretty small corner, and my online voice is certainly quieter than my real one... Peace bro'.

ddsb2000: That stinks that someone did that but you arent gonna post anymore!? Man can't you find out who did that? I guess it wouldnt even matter if you did because the damge is already done. Well I am sorry that happened to you. Your site was probably my favorite site to read and I can't believe you arent gonna do it anymore.
Thanks, it does stink. But I did learn that the rating site logs all IP addresses, so if the culprit wrote it from a computer s/he uses often, they'll find the person if this really gets out of hand... Another reason to come clean for the person who did it, but I doubt if the person would... I do intend to look for you drawings. In fact, I'd like one of your drawings. I still can't figure out how you had your dog sit for a portrait. Did you drug him or bribe his? Hahahaha, just kidding!

KENSHIR0: I'm so sorry to hear that you're leaving Xanga, but you're probably doing the right thing. That's terrible that someone would do such a thing without thinking of the consequences.
Hopefully the person will learn from this. Hmmm... Ah, hoping is such a good thing. Hopefully, another guy will learn what its like to work without hard workers, right? Let's hope and hope...

HattoriHanzo: it was fun reading your posts, i always had something new to see and learn when I read your posts...i'll be missing them.
Thanks Hanzo, but I hope to see yu anyway in the Fnatasy League. But you gotta teach me how to play! I don't get the rules yet. Its soooooo complicated. Is there a Fantasy League for Idiots on Amazon or something? I mean, they got one for everything else, right?

mattblue: Oh man, that's terrible! There really are some dumbass people out there who don't know what they're doing. And the thing is, those sites (at least the UMass one) are supposed to be moderated.
"Oh man"? Is that a pun? Anyway, the site is an independent site that is not concerned with my school. But it is moderated, thank goodness. Anyway, keep up the bungo (classical Japanese) and I will still read you site, to see if you need help! We're reading Ise right now.

bane_vixen: just $15? bah! that's not even enough for me to do the dishes
Now why is it that I can always count on you? Hahahaha, just kidding. Even though it has been fleeting, you've been great. Hope you turn into the editor of your own magazine. I'll be looking for you at newsstands.

Hamamoto: this totally stinks, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Ah, another JA brother. I will miss you... Wait, I already miss you since you've made yourself so scarce because of you know who... But unlike you, I don't follow basketball that closely, although I do follow the Lakers, including former ones. In fact, strangely enough, I recently saw a former Laker tap-tap-tapping away on a computer during a timeout. Bill Walton suggested that he was inputing the perfect play/move against Shaq, but upon closer inspection, he was writing a comment to SammyStorm! During the last three minutes of the 4th quarter, no less! Go figure...

Omega01: Oh god no! Darn it all, I can't believe it. Thanks to some retard acting stupid I've lost the biggest portion of inspiration I've had in a long time. I was even studying my Japanese all day today! And things seemed to be going so well with you having big hits and being on Featured Content...I can't believe this crap is happening...
Can I be the Alpha to your Omega? Sorry that sounded really corny... or bad? Hahaha. Oh well. You are one of the people I point to when I tell others that I can motivate all manner of students. I mean, really, we have never met, you live in Mississippi, for crissake! And I can still get you to focus on your studies? Damn, am I a teacher or what?!? Kinda justifies what I wrote in my Comment of the day response. I think I was born to be a teacher... And while you don't go to my school, you make me happy that I am one. I really should be thanking you!

SleepingCutie: Words cannot express my sadness....
If ever there was a reason to stay on Xanga... I mean, who am I gonna flirt with? hahahaha. See ya around, kiddo!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Old soldiers

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away--Douglas Macarthur
Yes, I have not yet left, not because I won't, but because I feel I have to tie a few loose ends before I go... Ok, ok, I just bet that some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking... Onigiriman's milking this thing for everything its worth... Well, I hate to disappoint--I think--but I would like to leave a last few comments, mostly because I will still be on Xanga to visit your sites and that I want to leave a few words of appreciation to those individuals who have left so many kind words for me...

For today, I would like to recognize a few subscribers who have written on their own blog words of support that I truly appreciate.

japblkgrl gokingsgo mmh Paiky zettonv Omega ddsb2000 simply_marie Sammy

Also, there's a new blobring that kinda humbles me.... hahahahah. Actually, I'm kinda freakin' out all over again.

Anyway, these nine individuals will be getting special decoder rings soon. Hahahah.

NOTE: According to my watchdog, Purin_kun, the defaming comment has been taken down...

NOTE2: Today's comment by detachable reminds me that many of you may not have read the Onigirman story. It's on the JAJournal. Link above.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Seriously now!

Right when I decide to leave Xanga, Xanga crashes! Is there a connection or something? Hahahahaha! Just kidding. Some of ya' will just roll your eyes in disbelief. I'm sure.
Well later this morning, I have a lecture to give on Japanese poetry. For some reason, they think I'm an expert. Man, do i have them fooled... But i will talk about texts and contexts and intertext. Sound weird? I hope so. I want to disrupt the class by asking them: Do words have meaning? And of course the answer is, NO. Words do not have meaning. We give them meaning. But not in the way you think. For we apply meaning to words based on context. But I will explain this later. For now, I have to go to sleep. I think I'll be lucky to get 5 hours... Wish me luck... Oh, and you can leave a comment by signing my guestbook...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Major disappointment

This is a comment someone left about me on
[Onigiriman] was a great professor. For $15 he turned by B into an A!! Thanks professor!!

As you might imagine, I was rather taken aback. First, allow me to state for the record that I have NEVER taken money for a grade. NEVER! Students who go to Japan or on vacation somewhere have occasionally given me an omiyage [souvenier], usually candy or cookies. But money? For a grade? Never...

Now, this person--I don't know if its a student or another Xangan--has placed my reputation and my livelihood at risk. Was it done as a prank, a joke? Was it done maliciously? Either way, the effect is the same: It is a public comment that defames me. And under the veil of anonymity, it is a cowardly act, to say the least.

"How does it defame you? Who would take seriously?"

My employers would. As a comment on a public site, they are well aware that any number of people will read it. Can you imagine a highschool student trying to determine which school to choose going to this site to check up on professors. Woah, professors can be bought? Can you then imagine the parent looking at this: $15? It must be a joke, son. But to write something like that suggests that the student has no respect for his teacher. Look for another school.

These are the kinds of scenarios that employers could consider. And as a result, will take steps to remedy this. I don't think the administrators at my school will subject me to some form of disciplinary action--althoug it is a possibility--but they will form an unfavorable opinion of me and my teaching methods.

Since the comment was posted after I mentioned it here on Xanga, there is, I believe, a good chance that the person who left the comment reads this site, at least occasionally. And as such, I feel betrayed. Consequently, Onigiriman has decided to leave Xanga. I will continue the JAJournal--click on Best of Onigiriman, above--in one form or another, but will be discontinuing my posts here.

So whoever you are, I hope you had a good laugh.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Getting hit on...

A few days ago, I was talking about flirting on Xanga. Killerwahle said he didn't think I flirted, but he DID say that I was narcissistic... Hmm, well I guess I am, but then, isn't everyone on Xanga? Whether you pat yourself on the back, or brag about your most recent date, or bitch about somebody's post--BLAH, BLAH, BLAH--you are expressing YOUR personal opinion for all the world to see. Isn't that narcissistic? Well, I think it is. But I don't think it's bad. Crap, if I did then I'd be admitting that I'm just another narcissistic, onanistic jerk-off. (side note: I think that's the first time I've ever used a word related to Onanism outside of class...) Oh well, if you're reading this, you probably have your own Xanga, but do you think you're narcissistic? Hahahaha...

Anyway, at the risk of being called a self-lover again and again and...
A couple of weeks ago, I was suprised when I got an extraordinarily high number of hits. I went to Sitemeter--a la SleepingCutie--only to find that many were coming to visit from the Xanga home page. I also got this rather cryptic comment from SammyStorm.

Hey! You made the big time! hahaha!
<TABLE class=left cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%" border=1> <TBODY> <TR> <TH class=left vAlign=top>Featured Content <TR> <TD class=left vAlign=top>Onigiriman 6:52 PM
MiSZ_TERi0UZ 6:33 PM
jennaypher 3:01 PM
xNpz_pete 9:41 AM
oojuneoo 12:25 PM
more featured content

I got another similar one from Consummate_Leah as well. It took me a while to figure it out--I'm kinda slow, y'know?--but they had copied the "Featured Content" box on Xanga's hompage. Apparently, they feature sites/entries that get a lot of e-props, and I guess a couple of my entries qualified. But before I start taking bows, I want to say that this is thanks to YOU GUYS. And I always appreciate your visitis and even more your comments. It is for me a great way to interact in an incuous kind of way with complete strangers, who are strangely becoming very familiar... .

Featured Content

ShapelyPatellas 2:15 AM
Onigiriman 5:47 PM
SleepingCutie 2:13 PM
wwny 1:39 AM
more featured content

Anyway, it happened again a few days ago. I got something like 242 hits because I was on featured content--and I'm right next to SleepingCutie! Am I special or what! Bwahahaha! Of course she gets that many hits as a matter of course... How does she do it? The funny thing is that the entry they featured is Wednesday's when I responded to all your Valentine's gift suggestions. Can you imagine these people coming only to find an entry that probably makes no sense unless they visit regularly? In any case, I find it kinda wierd to have literally hundreds of strangers coming by. But then, when I think about it, most of you were also strangers when you first came by.... Hmmm, this may seem like a stupid question, but... I wonder what it was that made you decide to visit my bento-bako (lunch box)? My HTML? Hahahaha. Not an important question, to be sure...

Monday, February 16, 2004

What's in your HTML?

sputtum: hope u dont mind that i "borrow" some elements from ur site! u know ur html and know how to make a good xanga site!!
Hmmm... Is there anything proprietary about HTML? Well, sputtum, you can borrow all you want, but to be honest I don't know what you would borrow from me. I have black text on white background. I have a Comment of the day box, but that's just a table. I insert some images, but so does everyone else. So, I'm not sure what you're talking about, but you're welcome to steal whatever you can. Lord knows, I've borrowed HTML from many sites. Indeed, that's how I learned a lot of what I know now. But I am glad you like the look of my site. It is simple to be sure, but I believe that simple is best. Being able to read the page quickly and easily is good for all of my guests.

Speaking of which... For those of you who write in Japanese on your site. Please read this! Many of us US Xangans have the ability to read Japanese, but since we have English OS, we have to change the encoding to read many Japanese sites, usually be right clicking and selecting the apppropriate code. Some of you--for reasons that are beyond me--use some script to disable right clicking, thereby preventing us English OS users from reading your sites. Do you know how jacked up that is? Well for you guys, as well as all who use Japanese, you would be saving us a lot of trouble if you put the following HTML into your Xanga page.

<META content="text/html;charset=x-sjis" http-equiv="Content-Type">

You can put the above META tag in between your current <HEAD> tags. If you don't have premium, like me, you can cut-and-paste the whole thing--including <head> and </head>--into your "Input your own Header HTML" edit box on the Look and Feel page. By doing so, we who have Japanese reading capability should be able to see the page in Japanese automatically without going to the trouble of changing the encoding. This will also work on the comments page. Now this META tag may affect certain symbols specific to English type, such as 1/2 [ス] or the copyright mark [ゥ]--right click, and select encoding, Wesern European to see the symbols. But I think we use Japanese much more than these special symbols. Are you listening Kumachi, Taku, Hanzo, Zetttonv, et al?

Whose looking you up? Revisited
SleepingCutie seems to come up on random and unusual searches. Strangers seem to click on me as well with random search words. But I never expected to come up on Yahoo when someone searched The Butterfly Effect, nude and pics... Whoever clicked me must have been sorely disappointed.

Apparently, these searches will pick-up every random word on an entire page, regardless of there relationship with each other. "The Butterfly Effect" was from an Amazon.Com ad in the Xanga banner, "nude" was in a Comment of the Day by Imahima, and "pics" was found in my entry of snow pics. (Click here to see the Yahoo "snapshot" of this page.) This is pretty annoying to me and to whoever is looking for nude pics of actors in The Butterfly Effect, as GTNinja would likely agree. There's gotta be a way to prevent random searches to hit our blogs...

Would it bother you if random people found your blog on a search list that included: "Pics Of Me Nude", "Butt Resources", and the oh-so-intriguing "Armin M The Homosexual Internet Sex Cannibal Contents Page"?

Sunday, February 15, 2004

A pleasant day...

Valentine's Day has come and gone. I was afraid it was going to be a disaster. After I gave her a dozen roses, Belgian choclates and a Pooh balloon, I told Musubichan that we should get those ears pierced. All of a sudden she got cold feet... I was so confident of this present that I did not have a Plan B to fall back on... Fortunately, she had a change of heart, and she now has two gold studs, one in each ear. Apparently, she needs to wear these things for 6 weeks as she keeps it clean by sterilizing it three times a day. She told me to get one to: "It didn't hurt at all!" Like I said, I have all the holes God intended me to have. Don't need extra. Besides, I have what is known in Japanese as fuku-mimi 福耳, which roughly translated into "fortune ears". Basically, it's an ear with big lobes like those old Chinese gods of fortune. Not that I'm superstitious or anything, but I get the feeling that if I put a hole in my ear, the fortune will pour out. Not that I have a fortune, but I want to keep what little I have. Anyway, we wrapped up the day at our favorite watering hole. Now I have a hangover... How am I gonna grade?

What I rented from BLOCKBUSTER
I watch a lot of movies, as you might guess. And I like to talk about them as well... and at length. I should keep them short. God knows I am no movie critic, and will not be giving Roger Ebert or Gene Shallot any competition. Certainly, anything I say wouldn't affect any of you as I usually see movies way after everyone else has. And yet, when I start to think about a movie I just saw, I can't help but talk about them. Anyway, at the risk of sounding longwinded, here's another comment.

Over the summer, I went to the see a few movies in the theaters--rarely do I actually go out to the theater--the previews for this movie played rather prominently... or at least they stuck in my mind. I enjoy Robert Duvall and this movie--also starring Micael Caine and Haley Joel Osment--seemed like a pleasant enough film. Not enough to go to the theaters, mind you, but to rent and watch at home. And indeed it was pleasant enough. The story revolves around a boy, Walter, who suddenlly finds himself in the care of two grand uncles he has never met, Hub and Garth, for a the summer in the middle of rural Texas. Placed there by his widowed mother who leads a life in search of the next boyfriend, Walt must now deal with two eccentric--albeit rich--old geezers whose major source of entertainment is to scare away travelling salesmen with their shotguns, and who are the subject of rumors that they are notorious bank robbers. They warm to each other as the uncles relate to Walt their story of adventure in Africa in the early 20th century. Its so warm and fuzzy. Unfortunately, thanks to the deleted scenes section of the DVD, I learned that this film could have been much better. In the film, when the uncles tell of their adventure, Walt imagines them as only a child can--hot desert, swarthy sheik, harem babes. But the director/editor deleted scenes in which Walt imagines scenarios in his current situation: life if the two uncles kicked the bucket in the middle of the night, or her mother as a court reporter. These scenes go a long way in suggesting the creative imagination of the boy who eventually grows up to be a cartoonist illustrating his uncles' adventures. Indeed, one of the scenes in the trailers that I remembered vividly was when the two fly beneath a bridge and buzz a patrol car. This scene is not in the movie, and its not even included in the deleted scenes. At first I thought that I might have gotten it mixed up with another film, but the trailers included in the DVD confirmed my greatest fear: These guys over edited a decent film. For that, only **1/2 stars.

I'm sure many of you have been similarly disappointed by films after embracing high expectations based on prevews. Which film proved to be the most disappointing to you and why? Or are you the kind who refuses to be influenced by previews?

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day!

Onigiriman and Musubi-chan

Friday, February 13, 2004

Before I forget...

HUGE, HUGE, UBER UPS to BarbEric_Bojo! Why? He taught me the magic key stroke, ctrl+z. Man! How many times have I deleted a major portion of text by accident in the edit box and thought I just lost it forever! Well, thanks to this magic combination, the most recent action is UNDONE! Yeah, baby. Again, thanks Eric. I use it all the freakin' time now....

This is what its all about...
I mean really. When I act playfully and whisper sweet nothings through my keyboard, these are the reaction I hope to get...

Simply_marie: I don't think you flirt... you're just super cool, super NICe, and SUPER HONEST. #1 thing.. you always make us LAUGH!
Making others laugh is my mission in life.

SleepingCutie: Your comments usually make me feel good about myself! haha. [Doesn't that make you feel good as well? ^-^]
Yeah, it sure does make me feel good!

RieLin: I know you left lots of nice comments on my page, including some about my pic. But I didn't take it seriously because I knew you were just being your nice chill-out self. Hmmm..i guess it depends on the person and how they take it. But I didn't think to hard into it. Your comments just made me feel better about myself and made me laugh alot. Did I ever thank you for that? Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu... hahahaha :)
Doo itashimashite. It is a pleasure to make others feel good, period. And if it makes them feel good about themselves, even better... especially if they're young and cute... JUST KIDDING! No, wait.. I didn't mean that you weren't cute. I mean you ARE cute, but I just didn't want to sound like I was flirting, or something... Can someone lend me a shoehorn?

gt_ninja: gah the thought of flirting with SENSEI or even just seeing sensei flirt (which has no sexy connotations to me, anime or not) makes me want to pour acid into my ears...
Alright, maybe we didn't have to go THAT far....

CultofDizzo: and this whole time I thought you were flirting with me....
Nah, I flirt with everyone--regardless of gender--and as a result I flirt with no one. I think that makes some kind of existensial sense...

Ca1b0y: Heh, once a flirt always a flirt?
Dude, how the hell did you know?!? Damn, I guess it's...

...Time to fess up
Bane_Vixen wrote that she "opened a can of worms", but she hasn't really. I'm the one opening the can.

"My name is Onigiriman, and I'm a flirt-aholic."

Yes, I admit it, I'm a flirt. It's sort of an illness. I don't mean to, really. But its a habit I picked up in my youth and have never been able to shake it. Dahahahah! JUST KIDDING! Whew, had to throw that in there, lest someone take me seriously... Anyway, no, Bane, I was not a strapping buck. Far from it. But I was definitely attracted to the opposite sex and I can talk in a way that can tickle their egos. I tease and let them tease me. But its all in good fun, right? Anyway, I want to say thanks to Bane for letting me have some fun at her expense... Again, heheheheheh...

Wait, one more thing: You were being sarcastic? The "there's just something sexy about the word "sensei." " remark was sarcasm?!? Ouch! And here I thought you were hitting on me! Instead, I'm just a big fat chump. That's the problem with this Internet thang. No intonation, no body language. Sometimes its just really hard to get the correct sense of people's words...

Hope you all have a good weekend...

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Just how flirtatious can a Riceball be?

Here's a comment I was going to make the Comment of the day, but I could not leave leave it alone without responding.
bane_vixen: i wonder how your students (or former students) would feel if they knew you were flirting with someone who could possibly be your student (age-wise, that is)?

Okay, guys. Settle down. I just know you're all rolling on the floor. Onigiriman flirt? I suppose I might have the capacity to flirt, but I'd bet Homer Simpson would get a better response from the fairer sex--even if its only because he has way more money than me.

I mean, this is sooooooo embarassing. Would a young lady actually think I was flirting? Here on Xanga? Oh my.... Now, I'm very flattered... *ahem* I think.... But to me, flirting involves a modicum of expectation. When I was younger, I flirted quite a bit, but always with the expectation that I would get a positive reaction. And you know where mutual flirting can sometimes lead. [Will Robinson. Danger! Danger!] However, at my advanced age, I have absolutely no expectation of a positive reaction, although I must admit my choice of diction may suggest I am flirting in an environment sans intonation, facial expression and body language. But believe me, if you ever meet me and get to know me like my students. You'd KNOW that I was not flirting. Fooling around certainly, but never flirting. I have told many of my students how good looking they are--male and female--from a strapping young man to a doe-eyed young girl. They laugh or giggle, and say "oh, sensei, cut it out." And we laugh. They know that an overweight, old teacher like me wouldn't even pretend to have a chance with these cute, nubile, young things... hehehehhe. Just kidding. Gotta watch my diction...

Indeed, just last night after class--it ends near 9pm, yuck--I was trying to button the snaps of my jacket. With my gloves and other suff in my pocket, I was having a little trouble making them reach each other. One of my students--tall, slender, certainly not unattractive--says,

"Sensei, maybe you should run a little more on your treadmill."

I responded by doing what only I can do, and actually what my students will allow me to do. I took out a glove and threw it at her. But that is how my students and I interact. Of course, if the student was a male, I would have reacted exactly the same way. So whatever they may see me write on Xanga, they will laugh and think, Onigiriman is being Onigiriman. Hahahahha.

But speaking of flirtatious texts, can we take a look at your comment? This is what you wrote the other day:

you know..... there's just something sexy about the word "sensei." not teacher or instructor or professor but sensei. and no, i don't have a japanese fetish. haha, i've been watching too much anime.

Now, tell me. Whose flirting with whom? Hahahahahah, just kidding. There's no way I could believe you were flirting... Just a little "what's good for the gander is good for the goose." Of course if you were, send me an e-mail. No one will be the wiser... Hahahahahhaha. JUST KIDDING!

But I shouldn't make Bane out to be the Vixen; she's is actually fun to banter with. And besides, maybe I do seem to be flirtatious to people who don't know me. I hope not... NOT. hehehehe. (Gawd, I can't help myself... someone please save me!) But I think I've been kinda honest on this page. I never say I'm good looking, and I give you the chance to look at my pudgy mug in the profile pic. And, geez, my doppelganger is a freakin' ball of rice, fer cryin' out loud. Even my advanced age is no secret. 1955 in my profile is the actual year I was born. That makes me 49 this year. So since everyone and his cousin on Xanga seems to have been born AFTER 1980--except Elliott, Sammy and Paiky; sorry guys--I don't expect ANYONE to take me seriously. Just havin' fun, that's all. But now, since you brought it up, I gotta ask...

Some of you have received comments from me that may seem "suggestive." Some of you guys, I'm sure, have read some of the comments I have left at other sites. While I do it in good fun to make people laugh or make 'em feel good, did you ever get the impression I was flirting?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Valentine's Suggestions

Thanks for all the ideas! To paraphrase a striped friend of mine: "They were great!" Some were funny, some were eye-openning. And I've decided on something that is kind of a combination of all the good ideas, which I've added at the end. But first, here are some responses to your suggestions.

mystic_creator: I'm taking my significant other to Japanese restaurant to eat traditional Japanese. It should be very interesting and romantic.
We'll probably go out anyway, maybe sushi at Makoto, one of the few places I've been to in the US that makes me think I'm back in Japan: small, clean, take off shoes at entrance.

PaikyPoo: roses d00d... roses... i know u said no flowers but EVERY normal woman/female in this world loves to receive flowers. or u could wait till she comes home valentine's day wrapped/clothed in nothing but a big red ribbon. i'll let u decided where it should be tied, HAHA!
Yes, I think I'll be getting roses as well, although I've been pricing them and they are all $70 or more per dozen. Do women realize how expensive they are? And I'll tie my ribbon around my left pinky. Don't want it to get in the way, y'know? Hahahahha. Back at ya, Paiky....

Nice, but no time
hoymahal: my only suggestion is a cruise around the potomac? although that could be booked already...
Isn't the Potomac kinda cold right now with all the wind? I think it too late anyhow..

iiSoNySoUnDii: Maybe you can order her something that she misses from Japan?
What she misses most from Japan are her sons, and I can't have them come over right now. But this is a really good idea. Wanna remind me around November next year to purchase tickets early?

simply_marie: HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE!? lol ... bah that's what I've always wanted!
Mr_Mephisto: I say Hot Air Balloon. On my way up from Tokyo this weekend I saw some and was OOBER tempted. Then again, its cold, maybe its more like a summer type event.
Yeah, its too cold. If I lived in LA--LIKE SOME PEOPLE--I'd consider it...

... And no money
mmh: If money is not an issue, some piece of jewelry/accessory would be nice? (ring/necklace/etc), or a little piece of decoration at home... I personally like gifts, I can keep with me all the time.
gt_ninja: I say a nice piece of jewelry. Of course I have always liked shiny stones.. perhaps too impersonal unless you find something that has a special meaning for you both.
japblkgrl: jewelry is nice...expensive jewelry even that has sentimental meaning that has sentimental meaning and is heart is racing at the thought of it.
Okay, I know I said money is not an issue, but all the jewelry that I have ever considered is over $1000. I wanted to get her a Movado watch and that sucker is like $800. For that kind of money, it shouldn't just tell time, it should stop time, alter time, MAKE time... Valentine's Day is too close to Christmas. My credit card is still in cool down mode...

The Creative
hanazakari: perhaps some bon jovi?
She has everything BonJovi. Of course, if Jon Bonjovi himself came over, that would be a different. But he's such a conceited ass. How can anyone from NJ be that conceited.

ikerton: She likes to work out right? You can get her one of those wind-proof North Face fleeces, so she can go running in this cold weather w/o being weighed down.
She has wind-proof clothes. If it has to do with exercise, she's already got them in triplicate...

JustAJapGirl: Handcrafting something would be nice. But then again... I know! You can just spend quality time with her, catch up on what's new what's old...ok, that was corny.
Handcrafting is nice but I'm all thumbs.

zettonv: i say you just spend some quality time with her, maybe take her out to dinner, but better yet you should try cooking a really nice meal, and perhaps rent a movie??? i dont know sounds kinda corny but seems like something i would do.
RieLin: You know what sounds really really nice like some of the comments above you should try to genuinely cook a nice meal. Like cooking something that takes both time and effort.
I already cook, perhaps not as often as I used to, however. FYI: I cook a variety of stir-fried Chinese dishes using anything from broccoli to bok choi. Unagi-kun likes my own Ma-bo Tofu Country Style--it includes onions and carrots. Nikibi-kun likes my chicken chuka-don (stir-fry over rice) with onions, celery, chingen-sai, snow pea, baby corn, et al. I also cook standard stuff too, from pot roast to meat loaf to quesadillas. Musubi-chan likes my spaghetti--tomato sauce made from scratch--but says she has no preference. She just likes it when I cook.

SATO: Here is what I did last year for my girlfriend. I took her out to a dinner. And then after that I told her that I had a surprise for her but I wanted it to be a surprise and I blind folded her. So I drove her to the hills where you can see a nice view of the whole valley. I took the blindfold off and she started crying... Well I don't know if she was crying for joy or crying because she was stuck with such a loser... but hey she said, and I quote "It was the best gift I have gotten in my whole life..."
Okay, everyone, all together now... "Aaaaaah."

crotchety_old_man: well i confered with a good friend and the consensus is to recreate a significant date/night/moment you had with wifey either when u two first met as friends or during your first couple months of marrige... something that would remind her of earlier times together (if u can remember! j/k)
A great idea, but we'd have to go to Japan for it. But you actually had a powow? I am so not worthy...

BarbEric_Bojo: find a four leaf clover.. thatd be the bestest
The "bestest"? But I think this would be better for me. I can use all the luck I can get.

Cboy918: If you play any instruments play or write her a song.
Actually, I used to play the piano. But I was a pretender, and cannot even come close to composing anything of worth. (those of you who read NLUTE already know this.)

Uh, thanks... I think
ElliottSez: I had an idea. Get about 200 lbs. of those tiny heart shaped glitter-fetti and cover the whole floor of your place with them. She would love it!
I'm sure she would love it but, uh, she would love it more if I cleaned it up afterward, y'know what I mean?

bane_vixen: how about you buy women's lingerie and prance around in it in front of her? it's not very romantic but it sure as hell funny, not to mention political (reversal of gender roles?) you might even like the feel of satin or silk against your skin...
Kizyr: Women's clothing can be comfortable, but it feels a bit funny usually. It'll feel nice against the skin, for sure, but since the male form can't fill it out properly all the contours you likely won't be able to stand wearing it for very long.
While I like the feel of satin and silk against my skin, I, um, would rather feel it while SHE's wearing it. Although the role reversal angle is kinda interesting... And Kizyr! How do YOU know that women's clothing feels a bit funny, or that it won't fit all the contours?!? Hahahahahah!

SammyStorm: I was going to suggest getting a premium Xanga page just for her, but that's probably a bad idea. hahaha!
No shit...

ca1b0y: prancing around in lingeries might be interesting too.
Will you cut it out already?

SammyStorm: How about one of those all-day spa treatments?
japblkgrl: i agree with sammystorm about the spa. buy her the spa works...massage, face/body treatments, man/pedicure. i'd be a love slave (for the day) if my bf bought me that.
NukemVomit: How about something at a day spa? That stuff's nice, and I'm sure she'd appreciate something to help relax and such. I mean after all, who isn't stressed out or busy?
takunishi79: ...and not one of those shady spas, aiight?
Oh man, a japblk girl as a love slave... My imagination is running wild... Anyway, I think she would really enjoy a spa as well, but she is always hesitant about going to these places because, according to her, she would rather not be touched, massaged, kneaded by a strangers hand. And before you make any suggestions, I massage her feet, legs and shoulder for hours as we watch TV.

THE idea that got me thinking....
tinkariffic: Most girls just like the attention that comes with anything their significant other gives them. No need to get all worked up about it, nor spend a lot of money. Is there something small that she's been meaning to get, but hasn't gotten around to? Like a book she really wants to read, or a local place she really wants to go.
Indeed, the phrase, "Is there something small that she's been meaning to get" struck a chord in the well of my consciousness. Yeah, she's been hinting that she wants to get her ears pierced. Simple enough. And it "proves" that I've been paying attention--of course, it took tinkariffic to trigger it. Then maybe I can get her some studs--not too expensive, but still jewelry, right? Something personal that will always "be with her." Now, I'm a traditionalist in many ways--maybe too many for my students? hehehehe. But I believe that God gave us a set number of holes and there is no need to make extras. Musubi-chan is the same. We don't frown on others for their choices, just as we don't expect others to frown on us. But I guess there are more pierced ears in the US than Japan, certainly at our age, and I think its kinda tickled her curiosity, and I will let Musubi-chan do anything she wants, basically. So, yeah, that's what I'll do. One more small favor, if I may indulge in your generosity one more time.

Where the hell do I take her to get her ears pierced? The doctor? Department store? Is it sanitary? I am, again, totally lost.

Parting shot...
SleepingCutie: To me, valentine's day is just another day. I don't expect anything spectacular from a guy. Dude, I'd HATE it if I had to outperform myself in ANY area every year. I'm so glad I'm a girl! ^-^
Me too.

TO MY STUDENTS: RateMyProfessor.Com

Here are the current results. Thanks guys, whoever you are. If you haven't rated me and have completed my class, please take your revenge. Average too high? Well, here's you're chance to Click here and GET YOUR ROCKS OFF. I would appreciate only those who have actually completed a course to participate. (The more the better, actually.) Thanks again to Sorjen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Brief response:

Purin_kun: well, this is a very different arguement than you put forth talking about the IA school's optional thesis policy.
Not really. The thesis is supposed to be the culmination of your studies/major and as such the crowning achievement of your education. However, in a class most take for a general requirement, they should reap the benefits of learning a new culture. Like Japanese--as you well know--you retain more by studying a little at a time, than all at once for one single exam, don't you think so? But enough of my class...

Lost in Translation
I finally bought the DVD. I had to go to five different stores to find it. Tower (DC)... Blockbuster (Oakton)... Borders... Barnes and Noble... Tower (Fairfax). At the last Tower, the sales girl told me she sold the last 2 in the hour before I arrived! This thing is freakin' popular! Anyway, I had given up and went grocery shopping with Musubi-chan--the local Super H Korean super-supermarket (superlative intentional). But next to Super H was another Blockbuster...

"Hmmm, you think?" I glanced at Musubi-chan, who just shrugged her shoulder.

Well, on the shelf was the last copy for sale, just waiting for me. It was a couple of bucks more than Tower or Borders, but I had to have it NOW! Y'know what I mean?

Anyway, this is a question that SammyStorm asked, but I was wondering what some of you might have thought. At the end of Lost in Translation, Bob Harris (Murray) whispers something to Charlotte (Johanssen) as he says his goodbyes to her. Musubi-chan and I are at odds. She thinks that Bob is reassuring her that they will meet again in the US. I say they don't. She looked to sad, for one thing, even though Musubi-chan thinks she looked happy--Did we watch the same scene? I think that Bob is telling her that he will always treasure their time in Tokyo--for it was precisely because they were lost in Tokyo that they were able to connect. Had they met in the US, they never would have hooked up. As such, Bob tells her to have a wonderful life and goodbye... I think. A bit melancholy I suppose, but appropriate.

What do you think Bob said?

Monday, February 09, 2004


I received many inspiring suggestions for yesterday's entry, but have yet to decide. Ooooh, six more days. (ToT;)

Response to Ca1b0y's Comment of the day:
Caution: Self-promoting/back-patting entry below. Before proceeding, place air-sickness bag or leak-proof waste paper basket within reach.

Purin_kun: Onigiriman loves papers. However, in lecture class with no TA, long papers are a no-go.

Gt_Ninja: It may not look like a lot of work but though you produce little he expects high quality. In another class you could get away with some BS for that 2 page write up on X, Y or Z but not with the Onigiri-sensei. Of course that makes the class worth taking.

Kizyr: Onigiriman-sensei's film class is one of the most worthwhile Japan-related classes you'll ever find. It's fun, and you get plenty out of it--it's a great overview of Japanese society at that. But, yeah, it's much harder than you may think; it's not just watching movies all the time.
Indeed, Purin_kun, Gt_Ninja and Kyzer say a mouthful. Purin_kun already graduated so he can say what he wants at this point. Ms. Ninja and Mr. Kyzer are current students so they may be sucking up. Hahahahah. Just kidding. Don't take it seriously, 'kay? Anyway, can you imagine 50 students submitting a mid-length paper, say 10 pages. That claculates to 500 pages. Now reading 500 pages by a single author is fine. There is a style you acclimate to and--hopefully--a consistent train of thought. But 50 students will have 50 different styles, each writing something different. Even if they write about the same movie, they will approach it differently, unless they're cheating of course... I have found it better to give them short assignments over the course of the semester. It is, I believe, better for them, because they will internalize EVERY film they see, because articulating a coherent thought about a film--even a short thought--is more challenging than watching 12 passively and writing about one in depth. Further, they will be engaged for the entire semester, not only at midterm and final time. And many of my students reflect SleepingCutie's comment that it is better to write short things over the course of a semester than having your entire grade ride on one or two submissions.

Just as crucial, I believe, is the ability to write concisely yet thoroughly. One of the hardest things to do is to say what you want to say in a limited amount of space. When my students graduate, they will work in private or govt. offices that will require them to write summaries, and so this is a talent that needs to be developed. NO ONE in the real world wants to read a 15-20 page paper. Believe me. It is quality I seek, not quanitity. And students can hone a skill they will actually use in the future. Indeed, a former student came to see me the other day to thank me, because she got a job based, in part, on her ability to write a concise yet thorough summary she and other candidates had to submit to the potential employer. (Maybe I should practice what I preach. Sheesh!)

Ultimately, my students end up writing--including the take-home final--around 20 pages for the entire semester, which would be equivalent to a 15 page paper and a 5 page final. Including the weekly quizzes, that's an adequate workload for the semester that keeps them engaged for its entire length. The added bonus is that its easier to grade a little at a time as well. Although, Musubi-chan is bothered by virtually no weekends during the Spring semester.... Speaking of which, I have to start planning the Karee (curry) rice party for J majors... My specialty is dry curry...

Would you rather have one or two exams/papers determine your grade? Or would you prefer shorter more frequent assignments/quizzes? And what kind of curry do you like? Japanese? Indian? Thai? Something else?

Sunday, February 08, 2004


Only one more week 'til Valentines Day
I'm dying. No, really. I'm such a jerk these days, these months, these years. I am the master procrastinator and as a result, i always find myself running around trying to find something appropriate to give to Musubi-chan on Valentines Day but ultimately, everything is sold-out, or extraordinarily cheesy, like Whiman's Chocolates from the local supermarket. Of course, Musubi-chan is the sweetest person in the world and will accept anything with joy. I am totally unworthy. But this year, even though I am fast running out of time, I have a plan. Last year, I had not Xanga. This year... yes, you! Can anyone give me a suggestion? Nothing abstract, please. "It's not the cost of the gift"... Blah, blah, blah. I need specific, concrete suggestions. All suggestions welcom, but especially from you women out there.
What would you want from your significant other?!?
What would turn you on?!?

GUIDELINES: 1. I've known Musubi-chan since 1994. We've been married since 2000. 2. No chocolates, flowers or dinners. Doh! Been there, done that. 3. I have little time. I'm usually working or Xanging. 4. Money is not a crucial issue, but I can't afford to buy a car or take a spontaneous vacation. 5. And yea, I realize how pathetic I am... But please help me anyway! Let me hear from you!