Friday, June 18, 2004

You're on the Air: Last


must have been really tired. I went to sleep at 3 last night and didn't wake up until now, 11:45 AM. That's almost 9 hours, which for me is a long time. I feel really relaxed. I feel like going back to sleep. Hehehehe. Nah, I have too many things to do still.

This past year has been pretty hectic and I haven't been able to do some of the things I normally do, like exercise. As a result, I have gained weight, and ballooned to 170 lbs. On a 5'6" frame, that is way too much. So this summer, I have rededicated myself to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Since June 1, I have been watching my diet--less fat, less carbs--which simply means more reasonable portions. Also, since I have been out of shape for so long, I am also slowly increasing the intensity of my exercise. I started out with fast 30 minute walks, and am now walking/jogging about 40 minutes. I've lost about 3 lbs. Okay it isn't much, but its a start...

Anyway, this is the last of the question that were asked on for my one-year Xanga anniversary. Many of you have asked questions subsequent to the initial post that asked for you questions, and I will try to answer them in due time. But for now, this is the last of the questions from June 5 post. You're on the air with the O-man.

Last questions

tim00: jolene blalock!!!!!!!!! :D UCLA men think alike! sophmore year my roommates and i had a poster of her on our door hahaha. how YOU doin' haha.

O-man: Oh man, I wish I had a poster of Jolene on my door too, but I think M would tear it down in the blink of an eye. She can get pretty testy about things like that... So what's your question?

tim00: Here is my question sensei. What is the most important thing in the world to you? And why?

O-man: Oh, is that all? You mean besides world peace and the end of poverty, starvation, disease and bigotry? Hmm... Let's see. I think the most important thing for me is M. It sounds corny but I will do anything, endure anything for her. I love my daughter and my students, and truly they are right up their next to her. But if I was forced to choose one thing over everything else, it would be her. And this is all for selfish reasons: with out her I would be nothing. Okay, okay, you guys can take your collective fingers out of your throat and stop gagging, like right now. I swear I can can hear ya all the way to DC. Okay, you're on the air...

spygirl: Yaay~ omedetai omedetai >_< I've got my xanga screen name because I wanted to put comment here. Hm...m that was exactly a month ago! (May 5th)

O-man: What? Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that you opened a Xanga account just so you could comment on my site? C'mon, you've got to be kidding! Anyway, what's your question?

spygirl: What's your favorite christmas present? When did you receive it and who gave it to you?

O-man: Wow, as I think back, I can barely remember any of my Christmas presents, let alone my favorite one. Perhaps, my favorite gift is one I recived a few years ago from M. It is a 10 volume set of the Shinkokinshu, an imperial anthology compiled in 13th century Japan. The set is editted and annotated by Kubota Jun and is worth over $1000. It has been out of print wince the late 70s and I thought I could never find a complete set, let alone afford it. But M scoured the used book stores of Tokyo, found a set in an obscure used-book store, and sent it to me. I think the effort she put in to obtain it is as important as the gift itself, so yeah that would be my favorite. I bet some of you were thinking I would give some other answer, one a little less work related. I mean, this would be tantamount to a mother being overjoyed at receiving a used but well-preserved, original GE microwave oven. But to be honest, I don't ever remember receiving a memorable Christmas present. (bane, is that redundant?)

As a kid, I got a walkie talkie from a family friend, and as a teenager, a turquois ring from a girlfriend... or was that my birthday? My birthday and Christmas are ten days apart so not only do I confuse gifts, I recall often getting one combination birthday-Christmas present. I often thought it seemed unfair, but these are things you get used to, since we were never the richest of families. I certainly never got a large gift. I remember wanting certain things in my life and realizing that I had to earn them. As a young teenager, I wanted a radio-cassette player so badly, but my parents could never afford a then $40 Panasonic radio-cassette. So at 15, I started to work at my old elementary school as a janitor/maintenance over the summer at $1 dollar an hour (plus lunch)--I cleaned the toilets, rewaxed the classroom floors, painted walls, stripped and resealed hardwood floors--it was real work. But I was able to buy my first player in two weeks. It was silver and black, with a radio tuner that ran vertically. It even had its own AC adapter. Woo-hoo! And I could blast all my favorite tunes whenever and wherever I wanted: "Beginnings" by Chicago, "Eli's Coming" by Three Dog Night, "Vehicle" by The Ides of March... okay, I'll stop. Anyway, at that time I learned the satisfaction of buying things with your own money. No one, not my mother or father could tell me how to spend the money I had earned. Save it, they would say, and I would laugh, Make me. Yes, I was moving away from the GLOB ideal very early. Working my butt off, I bought my first car from my mother ('73 Camaro as is with dents for $2000). My first computer, I bought as well when I was a grad student, using money I had earned through my scholarship. So I feel like I've been working a long time, but it has been a good ride. Do you have another question?

spygirl: Your job history. What have you done to earn money until you became a sensei?

O-man: Well, that's a nice segue. I think some of you who have read NLUTE know that I worked in a Japanese confectionary. I started as a sales boy and worked my way up to manager at one point. In total I worked there for about 11 years. And this was before I went to grad school. Other than that, I done many odd jobs such as work as a dilivery boy at a travel agency, and as a teller in a bank. In Japan, when I went in 1990 to do my disseration research, I got stuck for about two and a half years working as a secretary at a think tank. It was a plum job. They paid me lots of money--$50 an hour, 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, you do the math--to basically read a newpaper and drink coffee. As the secretary of the library for policy research, my main job was to keep my boss informed on trends in policy research abroad, chiefly the US, and serve as his secretary regarding English langauage correspondence. He'd tell me that he'd want to write a letter to so-and-so at the Brookings Institute, give me the gist of what he wanted to say in Japanese and I would write it up in English. Piece of cake. However, correspondence didi not fill up an entire day so I was also required to read and collect articles that were written by or that quoted top researchers at other think tanks around the world. So I had to read all the major new magazines--Time, Newsweek, and The Economist, et al.--and newspapers such as the NY Times, LA Times and Washington Post to search for these articles. Of course, in my little cubicle, I spent most of the morning reading the sports and entertainment sections first. However, regardless of how great this job was, I wanted to complete my original goals of earning a PhD. So I quit, finished my dissertation, and began my career as a college professor, at a significant pay cut... *sigh* Anyway, I hope that's the last one...

spygirl: What are you wearing today (complete answer please)? ^_^

O-man: Okay, one last one. Let's see, I have been sitting in front of this computer since I woke up, so at this moment I am wearing a black T-shirt that says "ELAC" in front and a pair of Guess shorts. No socks, no shoes, no makeup. Hehhehe... Signing off before you ask another question!

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