…or Life in Earthquake Country…


By Tom H. Brooks 3

Well…THIS sounds interesting…


Tokyo; It just seems to go on forever…


You didn`t really think I was FINISHED, did you?!?


LA Style, baby….
I am these words…
A Story of Episodes…
This journal was started in Miyota, Japan on 11/20/12
and finished in Tokyo, Japan on 4/16/13
“You mayonnaise-eatin` gaylord…”
Tim Hudock
“I do not know which of us has written this page…”
Jorge Luis Borges
“Borges and I”
“All poems are occasional, the products of circumstance.”
I see the writing on the wall:
It says, WE`RE FUCKED.
I never promised you a rose garden
“I am obliged to chatter their gibberish, to eat their filthy messes, to endure a thousand and one annoyances that come from their idleness, their treachery, and their stupidity.  But that is not the worst.  The worst is the fear of becoming doltish oneself, isolated as one is, cut off from any intellectual companionship.”
Arthur Rimbaud
(regarding his time in Ethiopia, Africa….and possibly reflecting the frustration of any expatriate…)
90% of these people in Japan wouldn`t know GOOD music if it punched `em in the face
Kida-san, one of my students, a classic character of 55 years old…
As I was teaching him some difficult English phrases, he cleverly used one of the things I had taught him with perfect comic timing.  In his accent he said, “I am in trouble…” which is komari mashita in Japanese.  What a character!  I couldn`t stop laughing….
Funny Names and bad spelling in Japan (the latest observations…all real life….NO JOKE!)
A t-shirt that says   FRORIDA KEYS
A toilet company called   TOTO
A J-Pop band called   MR. CHILDREN  (WTF?!?)
A cafe called    GOOGIE`S FARM
A sign that says   MERRY XMOS  ( I understand Christmas being hard to spell, but XMAS?!…Jeebus Christ!!)
A menu that says  SPARKRING WINE
Ham hock, suh?  Polish yo boots, suh?
Oh, how I treasure your clever little comments…
“The first rule of Project Mayhem; DO NOT DISCUSS PROJECT MAYHEM…”
“I`m gonna try to buy a shack somewhere and give everything up.  Just be a dirty old man waiting to die.  I`m SICK of 8 hour faces and laughter and babble…Dodger talk, pussy talk, and zero talk.  A roof, no rent.  That`s my aim.  Pick up enough washing dishes 3 times a week or pimping.  Lord, I`m sick of it all.  And poetry too.  No wonder Van Gogh blasted his head off.  Crows and sunlight.  Idle zero.  Zero eating your guts like an animal inside, letting you shit and fuck and blind your eyes, but nothing, a NOTHING—I couldn`t die stretched in a blizzard cause I`m already dead.  So let Pound have it.  And Keats.  And Shelley. and belly. piss.  the mailman with his smirking white rejection envelopes, and all the grass growing and the cars going by as if it all doesn`t matter.  Christ, I`m watching a guy water his lawn now.  His mind is as empty as a department store flower bowl.  Water, water, make the grass grow green. Great.  GREAT.”
Charles Bukowski
“Wishing to go where you don`t belong is the condition of most people in the world.”
Paul Theroux
“Blinding Light”
“A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum.  Larval entities waiting for a live one.”
William Burroughs
“The Yage Letters”
(ayahuasca: the vine of the soul)
If you haven`t seen this, you HAVE to….
Google     Modern Mojo    and watch it on YouTube…..DO IT….
“The secret that can be smelled at the heart of a lily is more imbued with learning than all our books.”
Claude Levi Strauss (the anthropologist)
12/11/12  Miyota, Japan…..
I`m in my happy place
I`m in my happy place
I`m in my happy place
Yeah, yeah, sure……….AND I`m the King of Old Siam…..
Tokyo visit
lacy thigh-high stockings
tight asses
& dead eyes…
“Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”
Lord Byron
(as quoted by Todd Schultz)
“I am a traveler, yet I discovered that the antipodes are within us, in the far continents of the mind.”
Aldous Huxley
“The Doors of Perception”
that country where it is always turning late in the year.  That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun.  That country where the people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts.  Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain…”
Ray Bradbury
“…and pluck til time and times are done,
the silver apples of the moon,
and the golden apples of the sun…”
W.B. Yeats
Every time I come through Tokyo Station, I just start laughing hysterically…
I don`t care if I`m surrounded by rushing, expressionless, Japanese staring
at the crazy foreigner….it`s simply the most insane transit junction I`ve ever seen….
Just found the coolest skateboard park in Shibuya.  Then I went by “Boarder`s Fact” skate shop.
I want one of those old school Penny skateboards from Australia, they remind of boards I had back in the 70s.
Oh, but how I can`t stand all these dead, soulless faces shuffling through the streets like zombies…
Yamonote Train Line stops from Shibuya through Minato-ku….
Ebisu, Meguro, Gotanda, Osaki, Shinagawa, Tamachi, Hamamatsucho, Shinbashi, Yurakucho, Tokyo Station….
Morning commute    BAD
Evening commute    NOT so bad…
“If they get you asking the wrong questions, they don`t have to worry about answers.”
Thomas Pynchon
“Gravity`s Rainbow”
12/19/12  Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, 10pm
Alone in a quiet and almost empty penthouse bar at the Buena Vista Hotel (how the FUCK did they come up with a SPANISH name AND spell it correctly?!?)  This country never ceases to baffle me utterly and completely.  3 businessmen are babbling in Japanese to my right and the dead city sparkles far below.  How can a city be so big and sprawling and still have absolutely no action and no soul?  I just don`t get it.  I just came from my room where CNN was ranting and raving about the New Town, Connecticut school shooting.  Fucking scumbags.  Any dysfunctional LOSER with anger issues and nothing else to do could possibly go out and decide to shoot a bunch of innocent kids nowadays.  And he probably will have bought his rifle at Walmart.  The world has gone to hell and it`s only going deeper.  This is a fact, not an opinion.
I weep for the sad and pathetic future.  I was lucky to grow up in the 70s when some tiny remnant of human decency still remained.  The future is a black hole of violent death sucking everything and everyone into its vortex.  Happy days will be hard to find.  The future holds many ugly surprises (and MAYBE a few good ones, likely for those of us that are stoned or drunk…or both….)
Japanese is SO difficult, EVEN THEY DON`T UNDERSTAND IT ALL!!
As a pervert and a dirty old man with a long and rich history of sexual deviance, I feel that it is MY DUTY to think and hope that all these cute and sexy, little Japanese teenage girls that smile and giggle and wave goodbye to me are going straight home to their little pink and white “Hello Kitty” bedrooms to stretch out naked on their beds and touch their little banzai-bushes to the thought of ME…
Think what you want…..I DON`T CARE
it`s December 22nd and the world DIDN`T end yesterday…
I bet all the people who`ve been hysterically worried about the Apocalypse are sitting huddled in their bunkers and bomb shelters feeling pretty goddamned stupid right now, eh?
“The skeleton ran out of shampoo in the shower…
Ow, now, brown cow!…
The arsonist had oddly shaped feet…
The human torch was denied a bank loan…
Stay classy, San Diego…and go fuck yourself…”
“Ron Burgundy”
“I want to talk to you about a serious problem…snow blindness in cats…
I want to talk to you about a serious epidemic…packs of wild, vicious dogs that are controlling most of the major cities…”
“Ricky Bobby”
“Talladega Nights”
“HEY!  Now, we all know the moon is NOT made of green cheese, but if it were made of BBQ spare-ribs, would you eat it then?  I would.  I`d have seconds, and then I`d polish it off with a tall, cool Budweiser.”
Will Ferrell
(His spectacular Harry Caray imitation)
There is nothing in the world stranger than hanging out in front of a convenience store in Ueda with a beer, smoking a cigarette, surrounded by Japanese, watching cute girlies having a snowball fight while listening to Warren Zevon`s, “Carmelita” on my iPod.
“I`M A MAN…the man who invented the wheel…. and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn!”
“Ron Burgundy”
January 1st, 2013  Miyota, Japan (the most boring town on Earth)
Between playing my guitar and reading my books and listening to my “hibernation playlist” on the iPod, I just slept my way into the New Year…..really.  Ate some sushi last night, some squid lips and whale cunt and jellyfish bunghole, etc……Drank beer until I got tired.  Went to sleep and woke up in the New Year….same as last year…..indeed…..
I suspect rocket science or quantum physics may be easier than the Japanese language…
“Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”
David Mitchell
“Cloud Atlas”
I found a bulging manila envelope in one of my drawers that I`d forgotten about labeled…
I was right, I didn`t look at them…
“Death Don`t Have No Mercy In This Land…”
Blind Gary Davis
“Most cities are nouns but New York is a verb.”
John F. Kennedy
A white trash dude`s t-shirt I saw once that I just remembered for some reason:
“All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish.”
Gustav Mahler
” `Your version of the truth is what matters.`
`No other version of the truth has ever mattered to me.` “
David Mitchell
“Cloud Atlas”
David Mitchell
“…and now… the matador shall dance with the blind shoemaker…”
“Talladega Nights”
(it doesn`t even make SENSE, but it`s still so damn funny!)
You know the sequel is coming out soon, so that`s why I`ve been bringing all these classics up…
“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” quotes:
“60%  of the time, it works EVERY time.”
“You have an absolutely breathtaking hiney …I wanna be friends with it…”
“Do you know who I am?!?  I`m kind of a big deal…”
“I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.  I`m friends with Merlin Olsen.  He comes over sometimes….ok, ok, wait!  Can I start over?  Can I try again?…..
I wanna be on you…..I wanna be ON YOU….”
My one BIG regret in life is that I didn`t play that guitar my gave me when I was 16 EVERY DAY.
I might have been a ROCK STAR…..much better than THIS SHIT I`m doing nowadays…..
Never in my life until I moved to Miyota, have I wanted SLEEP more than WAKING LIFE…
CRISIS 1/10/13
” `You think this is the first time I`ve had a gun pointed at me?`
`No…It could be your last though…` “
“Raylan Givens”
Fucking Japan!  How can you have a Subway Sandwich shop with no goddamned mustard?!?
You think this is an overreaction?
It`s the little things, people…..it`s the little things that drive you nuts…
Beware of wolves in sheep`s clothing…
YouTube The Black Keys/RZA- The Baddest Man Alive        (Excellent stuff…RZA is everywhere these days…)
Cute girl I know on the train from Ueda to Miyota….”I went to the erection (meaning election) yesterday…”
I replied, “You can come to my erection anytime.”
She giggled and slapped my leg….
(Really, that`s what she said!)
“Is failure an option?”
“Awww, that was my suggestion.”
“Peter Griffin”
“Family Guy”
“Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful princess, `Will you marry me?`  The princess said, `NO!`  And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and fucked skinny, big-titted broads and hunted and fished and raced cars and went to naked bars and dated women half his age and drank whiskey, beer, and Captain Morgan and never heard bitching and never paid child support or alimony and ate pussies and ass fucked cheerleaders and kept his house and guns and never got cheated on while he was at work and all his friends and family thought he was fuckin cool as hell and he had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up….”
Ronnie McCawley
“I knowed I`d be payin` for it by`n`by but, like I said a while back, in our busted world the right thing ain`t always possible.”
David Mitchell
“Cloud Atlas”
“Everybody wants me to be what they want me to be,
I ain`t happy when I try to fake it,
Yeah, whoooooo,
That`s why I`m EASY…..
EASY like Sunday morning….”
The Commodores
“Travel far enough and you meet yourself.”
“Why does any martyr cooperate with his Judases?  He sees a further endgame…”
David Mitchell
…shoveling FUCKING SNOW!!  Goddamnit, I hate this cursed mountain town!
Two days from now, I`ll be in sunny Los Angeles….
in the meantime, I`M IN MY HAPPY PLACE….HA HA….
The Artist lives in many worlds, and they all speak to him in different ways…
“Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.”
Chuck Palahniuk
“Our lives are not our own…
From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
David Mitchell
“Cloud Atlas”
(The Film)
1-15-13  The day BEFORE I leave for my LA trip….waiting is TORTURE!
“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”
Dr. Johnson
(At the front of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson)
“…and like all artists, they live so profoundly in illusion that gradually their lives grow illusory.”
Steven Millhauser
1-16-13  ON THE WAY TO LA…..
FINALLY…..on the road again…(or in the air again….whatever….)
Met a real character in the airport smoking lounge.  His name was Dan.  He was maybe 60 years old.  He has a Japanese wife & they were here in Japan for a spa and hot springs vacation in Nagano Prefecture, but he didn`t care much about the whole thing.  I can relate.  He`s leaving 3 days early to go back to Kona, Hawaii.  He knows that`s where he belongs.  Basically, he`s potentially ME in twenty years….
A hot Thai chick flight attendant walking around Narita Airport with her funny accent saying,
“BANGKOK, FLIGHT TO BANGKOK!!”  I thought it was pretty funny after a few beers….
AHHHHHH, Singapore Airlines…..
Flight movie……The Campaign, with Will Ferrell
“You`re such a turd, cats try to bury you!”
“You know the difference between your mama and a washing machine?  When I dump a load in the machine, it doesn`t follow me around for 3 weeks!”
Such a   L  O  N  G  , brutal flight…one excruciatingly stretched-out 36-hour day….
(this includes getting up early, a long trip from Nagano to Chiba, waiting for the flight, walking a long distance through endless corridors TO the flight, waiting in line to get ON the flight,
sitting and waiting for the flight to take off, 11 hours on the flight, FINALLY arriving, and then partying like an old rock star for many hours into the evening……….)
1/16/13, 7:00am in Nagano, Japan  to  1/17/13 at 2am in Los Angeles, CA……(or something like that….I can`t keep track of these damn time warps….)
A true story I heard from an Icelandic girl named Andrea in LA Farmer`s Market (her stories were WAY too long, but this one was funny…I`ll give you the Reader`s Digest version…)
Two fresh off the plane dudes from Iceland, a relatively safe country, confronted by a friendly local in a rough neighborhood while walking through Inglewood in Los Angeles.  The local said, “What the fuck, white boys?!?  Do you know where you are?  What, are you trying to get yourselves killed?!?”  They replied that they were just TRYING TO WALK TO THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN…
One LONG 36-hour day, indeed….
First, had an excellent day talking with Mom and then went to delicious El Coyote.  Following that, I headed to meet William at the Farmer`s Market Central Bar and who do I see smoking in the usual spot outside….good old fucking Ronnie and Ben…just standing there!  You see how things work out when you don`t submit to excessive planning and itineraries?  We went inside and there was William and we all had dynamic conversations as always.  It all went on intermittently until midnight or so.  I caught up with William, Ronnie, Ben, Jay the Bartender, talked to Andrea, Alison, and many other assembled characters.  It was spectacular, a perfect way for the prodigal son to return to his hometown.  EPIC.  Slept on an air mattress at Will and Melissa`s cozy, little Eagle Rock cottage.  We smoked herb into the wee hours of the morning.  Woke up at 4:30am with a headache resulting from the night`s numerous and excessive pitchers of IPA beer.  So…. the only solution was to smoke another bowl of the chronic. Put all my STREET JOURNALS in my new box in William`s office in their house, smoked a cigarette at sunrise right after I caught up with this dispatch right here.  I write now because I know from experience that later in the week the writing will become more and more fragmentary as the frantic pace of the chaos increases exponentially.
1/17/13  6:36am
Later, I`m going to meet Mom at Hollywood Denny`s on Sunset.  Later still, we`ll have lunch at Rubio`s Fish Tacos, all those things I miss in Japan (Japan Denny`s SUCKS ASS!)  The beach in Venice, reunions, beautiful ocean.  Tonight, I`ll probably stay at Ronnie and Agnes`s pad in Palms, Culver City…..edging closer to my beloved ocean….
Tomorrow, San Diego bound with my bro, Dave Polston.  It just gets better and better until it gets worse (meaning returning to Japan…!)
Just talked to some to some old LA hippy lady in a big van with her granddaughter in the Denny`s parking lot out by Gower Gulch…..what a CLASSIC character!
Ahhhhhh, the sand on Venice Beach feels SO GOOD on my feet!  You KNOW I`ve been gone too long when this kind of thing is such a big deal!
“I`m in full agreement with the original intent of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution..
EVERYONE should be able to own a musket.”
Bob of Redwood Stills (by the way, I went to their band rehearsal in Culver City and they were ripping….)
“You look like I could use another drink.”
Crystal Rhodes Byrd ( she was on the Amtrak train with Dave and I to San Diego in the bar car)
my response, “I like the way you pace yourself, baby…..you DON`T…”
Sheriff in the train car
drunks at the train bar…
Club Marina in Point Loma, San Diego….country music; “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” by Joe Nichols….HA!!
Cute, flirty, blonde receptionist at the hotel…..Humphrey`s Half Moon Suites
Miguel`s Cocina for dinner….many drinks….we`re getting sloppy….
Dave is out cold, which is sure to happen to me soon enough, but I still managed to stumble out for a bit.  Went around the corner to Humphrey`s By the Bay nightclub.  Jack Daniels and I have a reunion.  Jazz band jam, moonlight over the bay from a half moon, skyscrapers reflected on the water, Commodores, “Easy like Sunday Morning…..”
Later, inside the bar again, a CHEESY version of Journey`s “Don`t Stop Believin` ” by a HOT Armenian chick in a leather supermini-skirt……the music is terrible but she is NOT.  Nonetheless, what the FUCK am I doing here?!?  I`m out…there`s a picture on the wall of Alice Cooper.  I`m thinking, “Welcome to my Nightmare” I DON`T THINK YOU`RE GONNA LIKE IT.
When is the last time YOU watched Three`s Company drunk and stoned?  CLASSIC still….
I want to go to the Regal Beagle……but…….not tonight…..I`m DONE….
The next day, a homeless lady in San Diego….”Can you spare some change or a dollar?….”
(without waiting for an answer, she mumbles under her breath) “I didn`t think so…”
Do we look THAT BAD?!?
Ahhh…..TACO SURF…..it`ll cure what ails ya….
Much more happened in San Diego but the accurate records were destroyed by fire and spilled whiskey and what remains is just gibberish….(all I really cared about was Taco Surf anyway…)
Back in Los Angeles:
“I got a strong feeling about gun control: if there`s a gun around, I wanna control it.”
Clint Eastwood
“Silver is a better investment.”
Ronnie McCawley (while cleaning his gun)
Delicious Phillipe`s French Dip Sandwiches in Downtown Los Angeles….long time, no eat….
Dave and I…..
Just standing outside Victoria`s Secret with plastic bags and duct tape….
Jolly Roger hotel on the Marina del Rey and Venice border, Washington Blvd….
Somehow, we were kicked out by Tuesday morning after only two nights…how the FUCK did that happen….?!?
“It`s all real simple when alcohol gets involved.”
Dave Polston
Delirium Tremens
“NO, I WASN`T LOOKING AT THAT GIRL JOGGING IN PLACE!”  (Delivery yelled like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman)
Dave Polston
Venice Beach, a dude walking around and asking for change, saying, “he needed gas.”
Monday night delirium….5 hours of night terrors, 4 hours of actual sleep…..
Damn, even when I try to behave myself and pass out at 8pm, I get in trouble still….WTF, man?!
How the hell did we get booted from Jolly Roger sleeping that early?!?
“Nobody Facebooks me anymore.”
a sarcastic Dave Polston
I was remembering Dave lurching across the room at Mission Bay Motel down in San Diego to the wall that separated us from the frat boy CLOWNS beyond it who were WRESTLING at 4AM and making a RIDICULOUS ruckus.  He POUNDED on the wall twice and yelled, “THAT`S ENOUGH!!”  Suddenly…..silence.  PRICELESS.  You can`t make this shit up….
Tuesday, Santa Ana Winds and 79 degrees…..unbelievable…..
Man, my OCD kicks into OVERDRIVE when I travel….
It`s weird being home and still SO FAR from home…
LOST IN VENICE (my mind, I mean…)
The only fool in town spending 189 bucks a night on a hotel room and still lurking the whole night drinking and smoking weed with Dave in a dirty alley….
Tuesday sunset, dolphins at Venice Pier….
and then, you won`t believe it, a CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALE popped up right off the end of the pier, no doubt about it……remember; I used to work on whale watch boats….
Having come back from a long stretch on that strange little island, Japan, it`s weird for me to be able to be such a scumbag again….
Well, Dave went back up north, I`m on my own again and EXHAUSTED….I got no energy left….
Tuesday night, 10pm……just sitting around my hotel room watching “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars.”  What the hell is this shit?  I got nothing, I`m finished…..
You always want to go out for that last little taste of your youth, and then, it seems, it gets harder to find that last little taste……`cause you already had it…..
1/23/13  Venice Beach
Last night in Venice, cop raids of INSANE efficiency and militant force and hootchie mamas in overpriced beach dumps….to be continued…
You forget sometimes about the cops here….mothafuckas are SCARY.  Japanese cops are like librarians….
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”……GODDAMN!  I SO understand that book……
Tomorrow….back to Japan.  Here is home, although it doesn`t really FEEL like home anymore.
is very
for me
right now….
Quiet, soft, summer-style rain falling over a cloud-covered LA glowing night alley.  Then, to ruin my moment, two dudes in a beat up hooptie actually DROVE down this skinny, bumpy, dirt alley!
First time I`ve EVER seen that happen.  Then, there were cops sitting right outside my hotel.  And paranoia sets in…..time for bed….
I feel like a man split between two sides of the world.
Last day…totally rainy…..PERFECT weather for leaving.  All week it has been sunny….
12 noon….last beer at LAX….just sitting and having a Heineken and thinking about the madness of this trip and of life in general, the chaos that some of us live (me, for example).  Goodbye again, Los Angeles.  As sad as I always am when leaving and saying goodbye to Mom, I`m still totally excited to get back to my little wife.  Home is with Chiharu.
And at 12:20, as I smoked a last cigarette outside before getting on the plane, the sun came out one last time to say farewell to me….
“My real work is BEING.”
A nice, super-friendly and sexy stewardess on the plane, Chee Lay Cheung….Singapore, baby!
I watched that movie, Argo, on the plane……good flick….
Also, from The Expendables 2….Stallone says, “I heard you were bitten by a cobra.”
Chuck fucking Norris replies, “Yeah.  After 5 days of agonizing pain, the cobra died.”
A note I found in my bag that I got from Dave Polston….”It`s the same formula, innit?  You bought the ticket …ride the ride…”
eh, you`re full o` beans, aren`t ya?!?
And homeward I fly to my soft, yellow lady…..
1/25/13  11:15pm……Home at last to my lovely wife, Chiharu.  Tonight, finally, I will sleep well again with her curled up next to me….
Charles Bukowski
Goddamnit, back in the frozen wasteland!  I hate wearing so many layers of clothes and pajamas in the freezing winter.  It becomes such a PROJECT to change clothes, so time consuming….!
Sunday, 1/27/13
Back in Japan, feeling more than a little sad and desperate….TRAPPED, like a tiger in a cage.  I am truly lost…torn between two worlds; one is most definitely a better place in EVERY WAY.  The other has the woman I love and I feel an immense loyalty toward her and do not want to live without her.  But I don`t want to stay here forever either.  What to do?!?  There is no direction home.  I wonder if I can ever be truly happy again.  I`m afraid I`m having some form of midlife crisis….
…my answer is the endless jibber-jabber of Japanese nonsense TV in the background….
“From the cubicle of the job to the cubicle of resting and waiting to return to the job.  The job is the center.  The job is the sun.  The job is the mother`s breast.  TO BE JOBLESS IS THE SIN; TO BE LIFELESS DOESN`T MATTER.  Of course, one must consider their side—a job is money and to be moneyless is not comfortable.  I know about this.  And every person can`t be an artist; that is, a painter, a musician, a composer, a writer, whatever.  Many lack the talent, many lack the courage; most lack both.  Even artists can`t remain artists forever, especially good artists who can earn enough to survive within their craft.  The talent goes, the courage goes, something goes.  What`s left for the average person but an occupation that must, finally, kill the spirit?”
“I find that when the pain gets bad enough there are only three things to do—get drunk, kill yourself, or laugh.  I usually get drunk and laugh.”
Charles Bukowski
“More Notes of a Dirty Old Man”
“That`s what happens when two worlds collide…”
`Boyd Crowder`  ”Oh, you can trust me…”
`Winn Duffy`   “But I don`t even trust the way you just said, `you can trust me.` “
Pappy Van Winkle
Expensive bourbon whiskey from Kentucky
I`m NOT a businessman, I`m a CHARACTER….but I`m faking it the best that I can….
More Japan bad spelling…..
Hair Saron
“Study the past if you would define the future…”
Sometimes I think Asians are REALLY weird, man…..
sorry, just being honest….but if you`d SEEN the things I have….
They most definitely must think the same of me, though….
My electric guitar is a Baachus Universe Series and my amp is absolutely excellent….a VOX Valvetronix (tube and modeling) VT20+ (20 watt with a 12AX7 tube)
I`m not lazy,
I just hate doing things I HATE….
I`m not lazy,
I just hate doing stuff…
What interests me is WHAT I WANT TO DO…
Ahhhh, orange juice; the BEST part of any breakfast….
It`s like drinking a glass of sunshine…
Death BEFORE death is the worst tragedy of all….
“Lose your dreams and
you will lose your mind…”
The Rolling Stones
“Ruby Tuesday”
An e-mail I wrote to Tim Hudock in NYC who has lost countless cell phones and has taken to sending ONLY photographs with no message…..
Hey Jabroni,
Enjoying your new iPhone?  Good.  TRY NOT TO LOSE IT.  Write me a coherent letter once you sober up (IF ?!?). Or, I suppose, we could continue to communicate via digital pictures like
high-tech cavemen.  That would be fine too.  Whatever.  I`ll Facebook you later, scumbag.
heh heh, good one, Tim…..
“I was like any other dreamer— I wanted to die while being sucked off by the 15-year-old neighbor girl while her parents were at Mass.”
Charles Bukowski
Listening to Elton John`s “Tiny Dancer” while riding a PACKED Chuo Line train through the heart of Tokyo.  Fucking weird, man….
Ok, that Tokyo Metro Namboku Line train from Yotsuya to Azabu-Juban was the most RIDICULOUSLY STUFFED GODDAMNED TRAIN I`VE EVER RIDDEN IN MY LIFE,
like cattle going to the slaughter…
Well, it looks as if I got the job I just interviewed for in Azabu.  It is an actual school, a private one (or so it seems).  I`ll be moving to Tokyo next month.  Finally, I`m getting out of that cursed mountain town.  I`m actually excited about living in Japan again…a brand new world and the adventure begins anew….
Walked from Azabu to Shibuya…not that far, but not that close either…
I just remembered that classic shirt I used to have….
“When you`ve considered everything, you`ve considered too much.”
“I much prefer it when a woman discards me.  Then I am sure that the error is hers.”
“Brilliant men are created out of desperate circumstances; fools are also.”
“Most men who sleep late in the morning are a superior breed.”
“When the agony of all the people is heard, nothing will be done.”
“A whore is a woman who takes more than she gives.  A man who takes more than he gives is called a BUSINESSMAN.”
“Religion is NOT the `Opium of the People.`  It`s a peanut butter sandwich on white bread.”
“The best people are the ones you`ll never meet.”
“It`s exactly as good as it`s ever going to get.”
“Red wine for the people,
white wine for the servants,
and rose for the pigs…”
A French saying
“Do not expect too much of the end of the world.”
Stanislaw, J. Lec
“Having come from the light and from the gods, here I am in exile, separated from them.”
Fragment of Turfa`n M7
“…and I live in A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!!!!!!!!!”
Chris Farley
Saturday Night Live
Jimmy Tango`s Fat Busters
watch it on Vimeo  (Google it…)
“…in its loftiest sense, syncretism is the acknowledgement that a single Tradition runs through and nurtures all religion, all learning, all philosophy.  The wise man does not discriminate; he gathers together all the shreds of light, from wherever they may come.”
Umberto Eco
“Foucault`s Pendulum”
Monday, 2/11/13
I think Chiharu and I found a really good apartment today in a place called Umeda.  It`s a little outside the heart of town, but not too far.  It`s right by the river and it`s a beautiful spot for sunset.  We`re gonna check a few more spots tomorrow for good measure…
HOLY SHIT!  Look at them choppers!
Ok, it looks as if we`ll be living in an area called Funabori, also close to the river and the gorgeous sunsets.  Umeda was kind of the middle of nowhere in retrospect and Funabori is lively and convenient to the center of Tokyo (if there is a center).  We’ve narrowed it down to 2 apartments; one really close to the train station, spacious with lovely wood and tatami mats inside.  The other is smaller, but on the 6th floor (penthouse style) with a great balcony and a spectacular view of Skytree and the city.  This is a TOUGH decision.
Inline image 1
The Monad Hieroglyph of John Dee (A talisman that is supposed to concentrate all the wisdom of the universe.)  It kind of looks like a pendulum, doesn`t it?
from Foucault`s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
“I know that I was born
and I know that I`ll die,
the in-between is mine,
Eddie Vedder
Pearl Jam
North of Barcelona, Spain, on the Costa Brava, there lies a revolutionary and COMPLETELY original restaurant, one of the most famous in the world; it is called `EL BULLI.`  I have to go there one day.  Its master creator and innovative world-renowned chef is the food artist, Ferran Adria.  Apparently, he is the Salvador Dali of the culinary world—I mean, they are doing some CRAZY and FASCINATING stuff over there…you have to see it to believe it!  (better to taste it!)
Oh, never mind….I just found out it`s not there anymore…..
“The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”
William Shakespeare
King Lear
I still fucking HATE shoveling snow!  Especially WHILE IT`S SNOWING!!!  I mean, what`s the fucking point?!?  It`s just gonna pile up again!!!!!  It is such a waste of time and effort…..
“I Ain`t Nobody`s Problem But My Own”
Sawmill Joe
If you continue to believe in love, then you must be a glutton for punishment…
I`m afraid I`m coming unhinged….
And I say it yet AGAIN, to the Japanese especially…and everyone….
” `Do you believe in God?`
`Oh no, I believe….in something much bigger…` “
Umberto Eco
“Foucault`s Pendulum” quoting one, Rubinstein
“The conspiracy theory of society…comes from abandoning God and then asking,
`Who is in His place?` “
Karl Popper
“Conjectures and Refutations” 1969
YouTube   (Google it—easier to find)           Red Hot Chili Peppers- Out in LA (live 1985)
This one takes you WAY BACK to the good old days, rocking out old school….
This song is the first one they wrote and played together at the Rhythm Lounge on Melrose in 1983……CLASSIC….
The following is from Anthony Kiedis`s autobiography, Scar Tissue….
 These were a couple of their tour games they played to amuse themselves while on the road…
“I don`t know any Chinese,
but I`ve worked with blacks,
so gimme scrambled eggs with a side of flapjacks….
(everyone together…)  BECAUSE WE`RE THE GRIZZLERS!
“Every true artist is at war with the world.”
William Burroughs
(I don`t particularly agree that this is ALWAYS true [often enough, though], but I like the way it SOUNDS…..)
“Psychic spies from China
try to steal your mind`s elation
Little girls from Sweden
dream of silver screen quotations
And if you want these kind of dreams
it`s Californication…
It`s the edge of the world
and all of western civilization
The sun may rise in the east
at least it settles in the final location
It`s understood that Hollywood
sells Californication
(chorus)*  *   *
Firstborn unicorn
hardcore soft porn
Dream of Californication
dream of Californication
*   *   *
Marry me girl be my fairy to the world
be my very own constellation
A teenage bride with a baby inside
getting high on information
And buy me a star on the Boulevard
it`s Californication
Space may be the final frontier
but it`s made in a Hollywood basement
Cobain can you hear the spheres
singing songs off station to station
And Alderon`s not far away
it`s Californication
(pre-chorus)*   *   *
Born and raised by those who praise
control of population
Everybody`s been there and
I don`t mean on vacation
*   *   *
*   *   *
Destruction leads to a very rough road
but it also breeds creation
And earthquakes are to a girl`s guitar
they`re just another good vibration
And tidal waves couldn`t save the world
from Californication
(second pre-chorus)*   *   *
Pay your surgeon very well
to break the spell of aging
Sicker than the rest
there is no test
But this is what you`re craving…
(chorus)*   *   *
Firstborn unicorn
hardcore soft porn
Dream of Californication
dream of Californication…”
*   *   *
Anthony Kiedis
The LAST night staying at my office in Ueda.  A weird feeling, indeed…thinking of all the times I`ve partied with my Canadian friends and passed out here, wasted.  I`m just walking around town, lurking in the dark, cold, empty night streets and then I eventually return to the office and watch Walking Dead while drinking beer.  I soon slip into oblivion in my little sleeping corner….for the LAST time…..
Incidentally, I feel really bad saying, `see you next week,` to my students, knowing that it`s entirely likely that I probably won`t ever see them again.  It has to be done, in order to get paid.  My boss is unreliable with the money lately.  My ONLY choice is to take the money and run….
Jesus fucking Christ!  SO MUCH red tape in Japan…even more than America!  I mean, you gotta give your life`s history, a blood sample, and your left nut just to get a goddamned iPhone!  AND it took like 4 fucking hours!
2/27/13  Ueda   Last day of work….  7:23pm…..VIVID…..
I just saw the  L  O  N  G  E  S  T  shooting star I`ve ever seen in my life, streaking ALL THE WAY across the night sky!  Made a wish, can`t tell ya what it was….
Our LAST day in Miyota.  I`m FINALLY leaving this frozen wasteland!  Time is just DRAGGING today.  The moving company has taken most everything including my favorite books, guitars, and my computer, so there really isn`t much to do except play with my new iPhone and lay in bed staring at the nothingness outside the window, melting into a gray sky….I CAN`T WAIT TO LEAVE……
“A.B.B.A.B.    Always be berating and belittling.”
Moved into the new neighborhood, Funabori, in Edogawa-ku on the east side of Tokyo towards Chiba and the ocean…..WAY BETTER…..
Near Kasai and the Toei Shinjuku train line, along with the Tozai Line and the Yurakucho Line….
Our apartment is small, but cozy with tatami mat floors and it is only a 5 minute walk to the train station.  I tend to hit my head on the low doorways and it is somewhat similar to living in a large hobbit hole, but it`s nice.  Way better than before…..
A band called “Legend of 2pm” is playing Tokyo Dome…..can that many people really want to PAY to listen to that CRAP?!?
I guess so….
TAKING the Tokyo trains…..easy……
FINDING YOUR WAY OUT of the train stations…..next to impossible…..
Oh,  the trouble I go through trying to find Mexican restaurants in this country……
…but, I DID IT…..there is an El Torito in Yoyogi AND, lucky for me, there is a place called “Frijoles” right in Azabu by my work.  It is basically a carbon copy of “Chipotle” in America, but it will do the job.  It is good and it makes me happy.  Better than nothing, as they say….
It`s no TACO SURF, though, I can tell ya that!
I just saw a wannabe tough guy in Harajuku wearing a shirt that says
Of course, it makes no fucking sense at all, but that`s nothing new over here on these weird little islands.  I`d like to BE brutal and DESTROY that stupid fucking t-shirt….
Shaved my lid around the corner from my apartment at the coolest old-school barber shop I`ve yet seen in Japan……ABE-san…..nice guy and a character….
So many people in this city (and world) are just simply batshit crazy and I suppose I`m one of `em.  So….now I commute every morning on a hideously overstuffed cattle train bound straight for hell.  My new job has its ups and downs, like all slave labor, perhaps the scale tipping toward the downs.  I`m taking care of and trying to teach disabled and mentally challenged kids with ADD, OCD, CP, Autism and who knows what else?  Cute?  Some of `em, sure.  Others are little monsters.  Trouble?  DEFINITELY.  How does a 43-year-old man-child with behavioral problems of his own deal with this new twist of fate?  Good question.  Read on and find out.  Let`s roll the dice and see what happens next in the funhouse…..
School field trip to Miraikan Museum of Science in Odaiba…
Planetarium style 3D glasses and all…after only 4 hours of sleep last night, first hallucinatory,
then a power nap in the cool darkness….
Listening to Jack White sing “Catch Hell Blues” before work….PERFECT….
(then “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars….)
K(…), the autistic kid (I think?) is constantly talking about playing `Uno` and he always says,
“Ooooo, la, la!”  It`s funny, indeed….I feel like I`m on acid all day every day in there….
I feel like I`m working at a circus or perhaps a madhouse or a mixture of both even….
You`ve NEVER seen drunkards until you`ve seen Japanese drunks….BELIEVE IT….
My favorite entrance at Shibuya station is Hachiko entrance at Shibuya crossing…spectacular!
Bar Albatross on a tiny backstreet in Shinjuku is a really cool spot….
Route 14 to route 465 to Tokyo Skytree by bike from my apartment….maybe, 3 or 4 miles and had a Subway sandwich on the way…
Locomoco surf shop in Funafuckingbori, Tokyo……HA!!!  There`s no goddamned waves here!!!
It`s really strange when you see some of the same faces every day or two during the nightmare morning commute—the schoolboy in his little blue uniform and funny hat, the gaijin with his miserable face towering above all the tiny Japanese, the old man in the gray suit reading (NOT comic books—how rare!), the sexy girl in the tight jeans with long, fake eyelashes, the big, stocky man in the blue suit with a face exactly like a bullfrog.  In a city of 35 million, this common occurrence seems unlikely, yet it happens.  People have their routines, just as I…regrettably, have mine….
Write a book that will SELL….the ONLY way to escape the workaday nightmare…..
Saw Kyle van Natta from Marina del Rey back in the Oakwood era, here in Tokyo.  We went to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku to the New York Bar on the 52nd floor.  It was in the movie,
Lost in Translation, so you`ll know it if you`ve seen that movie …..
Then we partied all night at Motown Bar in Roppongi and then we ended up singing at some karaoke bar with some little chicks that I`d swear were in high school, but I fell asleep anyway and woke up in the karaoke box with a whiskey in front of me at like 4am.  When we got outside, the sun was rising.  Man, I`m getting old….I can`t do this shit anymore….(oh, I CAN, I just fall asleep….)
“…you don`t really wanna fuck with me,
the only nigga that I trust is me…”
“Bitch, Please”
“…just to stay alive, yo,
I gotta say FUCK IT!”
Cypress Hill
“How I Could Just Kill a Man”
Like millions of filthy rats, we commuters come streaming out of holes in the ground
and swarm on the vast city above like a plague….
But I am strong.
I will prevail…
I`ve always maintained that delirium is my favorite drug and let`s face it;
This kid looks like an evil hobbit wizard…or perhaps a little tiny howling Harry Potter….
but the only magic he produces is elephant-sized wet turds….
I`ve never changed a diaper in my life until now, and I wish I`d never had to.
I need a fire hose for some of these little monkeys….
“Sometimes you have to stand up really high to see how small you are…I`m going home…”
Felix Baumgartner
(the first man to jump and free fall from the edge of space; just before the jump, he said this………..this man has BALLS OF STEEL….)
“After Zamir`s last business venture, drive-thru organ harvesting, I decided plausible deniability was the best course of action.”
Anthony Bourdain
“No Reservations”
Motown Bar in Roppongi is cool….I went again….characters!
Tokyo is definitely the most difficult city I`ve ever had to figure out, as far as finding my way around goes….
Getting directions, a little help as it were…
On the way home from Roppongi, on a packed midnight train, listening to Radiohead, No Surprises…..PRICELESS….
The Rolling Stones
“He who has not even a knowledge of common things is a brute among men.  He who has an accurate knowledge of human concerns alone is a man among brutes.  But he who knows all that can be known by intellectual energy is a God among men.”
Manly P. Hall
“The Secret Teachings of All Ages”
“Celestial Harmonics”
“The Music of the Spheres”
taught by Pythagoras and later by Galileo Galilei
“Socrates, being fundamentally a skeptic, did not force his opinions upon others, but through the medium of questionings, caused each man to give expression to his own philosophy.  Socrates conceived every place as appropriate for reaching for truth in that the whole world was a school of virtue.  He held that the soul existed before the body and, prior to immersion therein, was endowed with all knowledge; that when the soul entered into the material form, it became stupefied, but that by discourses upon sensible subjects, it was caused to reawaken and to recover its original knowledge.  On these premises was based his attempt to stimulate the soul power through irony and inductive reasoning.”
Manly P. Hall
“Oh, the solace of empty vices…”
“In Search of Small Gods”
The moon comes up
the moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn`t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said NO in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there`s no chain.”
Jim Harrison (in Montana)
The place I`m working at, (name deleted at my lawyer`s insistence), is not a school – it`s a loony bin…
FaceTime shopping with Chiharu at a Japanese supermarket……HI—larious…..
“The sooner we get TO it,
the sooner we get THROUGH it…”
`Boyd Crowder`  ”I count 4 to 1….that hardly seems fair.”
`Raylan Givens`  ”Which way do you mean?”
“Nothing is actually real except the facts of one`s own mental experiences.”
Immanuel Kant
“Consciousness out of itself; all creation, though continually moving, never arrives at any state other than that of ceaseless flow.”
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
metaphysical units of power……MONADS
“Schopenhauer likens the will to a strong, blind man who carries on his shoulders the intellect,
a weak, lame man who possesses the power of sight.”
Manly P. Hall
“…the universal language…..SYMBOLISM.”
Manly P. Hall
“When confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of a strong intellect keep their poise and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question.  Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed.  While the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock of sheep and taught in simple language.  They depend almost entirely upon the ministrations of the shepherd.  The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food of strong men.  ThoughtLESSness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtFULness is symbolic of maturity.”
Manly P. Hall
THE OUTSKIRTS                   by ME
Flickering pools of light
flash across dark midnight water;
Strange seabirds voice
their unintelligible language
speaking riddles
into the still air
My woman
after all these years
still remains
a mystery
an enigma
a puzzle that is missing pieces;
Once you make me doubt myself
perhaps it is time for me to go
I say this to no one
but myself
as I stand here alone
at the edge of this dirty canal
that flows into a dirty river…
Yes, the water flows
back to the vast emptiness
of the great ocean
which no longer gives me solace
The echoes of the past
pierce my thoughts
with spearheads of pleasure and pain
and the lights of central Tokyo
sparkle in the distance
but they hold nothing for me…
It is all an illusion
an empty vortex…
As always
I linger on the fringes
where phantoms glide silently;
where ghosts shuffle through
alleys of trash
and forgotten dreams
There are no revelations
for me here
or anywhere for that matter:
I continue to blunder
through this endless ebony night
seeking something
I may never find
The water flows
It crawls and rolls
gently stirring the filthy
sludge on the bottom
It flows
going nowhere but
back to the emptiness
from whence it came
I sink slowly into
the oblivion of despair
It greets me with open arms…
iPhone….it`s not a cellphone….it`s a masterpiece of technology….
Back in the blue chair in front of the green studio.
Another year has passed, or so they say, but calendars lie.
They`re kind of a cosmic business machine like
their cousin clocks, that break down at inopportune times.
50 years ago I learned to jump off the calendar
but I kept getting drawn back on for reasons
of greed and imperishable stupidity.
Of late, I`ve escaped those fatal squares with
their razor-sharp numbers for longer and longer.
I had to become the moving water I already am,
falling back into the human shape in order
not to frighten my children, grandchildren,
dogs and friends.
Our old cat doesn`t care.  He laps the water
where my face used to be.”
Jim Harrison
Let`s not get romantic or dismal about death.
Indeed, it`s our most unique act along with birth.
We must think of it as cooking breakfast.
It`s that ordinary.  Break two eggs in a bowl
or break a bowl into two eggs.  Slip into a coffin
after the fluids have been drained, or better yet,
slide into the fire.  Of course it`s a little hard
to accept your last kiss, your last drink,
your last meal about which the condemned
can be quite particular as if there could be
a cheeseburger sent by God.  A few lovers
sweep by the inner eye, but it`s mostly a placid
lake at dawn, mist rising, a solitary loon call,
and staring into the still, opaque water.
We`ll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far.”
Jim Harrison
from “Songs of Unreason”
Paradise is RAKUEN in Japanese
Japanese Hobbit Hole
Sunday 4/7/13
From Ikebukuro Station to Shibuya by skateboard…
“What did you say, panty-waste?!?”
Money is an evil, greasy piece of paper that causes 85% of the world`s problems….
Listening to Bill Withers singing his excellent song, Lovely Day,  while riding the morning death train into Central Tokyo is just simply pure comedic irony.  I find myself laughing hysterically to myself like a cackling mental patient amongst a sea of grim and miserable Japanese mask-faces
“I had a dream,
Aw shucks, oh well,
Now it`s all fucked up,
shot to hell,
yeah, yeah,
my shit`s fucked up…”
Warren Zevon
Standing BETWEEN cars on the packed morning train (Oedo Line), looking at this sea of greasy yellow humanity.  Feeling bitter and better than everyone else; what can I say? It`s the truth!
I have to say, Psychosocial by Slipknot is PERFECT angry train music….
On the Shinjuku Line the very next morning.  It is SO PACKED that I can`t even GET to the spot between trains.  So I (and everyone) have to be VERY up close and personal.  I mean…NO SPACE AT ALL.  It`s like you have to shrink yourself up to fit in the car at all.  This must be what it feels like to see how many people can stuff into a phone booth.  You have to see it to believe it.  Today, I had a SEXY schoolgirl, maybe 17, wedged RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, TIGHT, I mean, my front pressed right into her ass, no fault of mine, mind you.  She keeps turning around, smiling, so I smile back and laugh out loud.  I suspected that maybe she spoke English, so when we stumbled off the train, I said, “I feel like we`ve known each other for years.”
She giggled and replied coquettishly, “Yes, VERY CLOSE FRIENDS…”  Then she walked up the stairs in her little plaid skirt and thigh-high stockings.  Things like that make a dirty old man feel young again….for a few minutes anyway.
The dirty orange (trying to be blonde) Japanese MULLET is by far, the funniest mullet on earth..image
If only I had a picture for you…..
Funny Names to call stupid people and drama queens…..
They`re playing our song
they`re playing our song
can you see the lights
can you hear the hum
Of our song
I hope they get it right
I hope we dance tonight
before we get it wrong
And the seasons
will change us new
be the best I`ve known
and you know me
I could not be stuck on you
if it weren`t true
I was sleeping
my eyes were dark
til you woke me
and told me that opening
is just the start
It was….
Now I see you, till Kingdom come
you`re the one I want
to see me
for all the stupid shit I`ve done
chorus *
Soil and six feet under
killed just like we were
before you knew you`d know me
and you know me
Blooming up from the ground
three rounds and a sound
like whispering you know me
you know me
* * *
So this was our song
This was our song
I still see the lights
I can see them
And the criss cross
of what is true
won`t get to us
cause you know me
I could not give up on you
And the fog of what is right
won`t cover us
cause you know me
I cannot give up a fight…
*chorus*   “
A real letter to Chiharu from Saturday, 4/13/13 at 10pm
Dearest Chiharu,
Let me start by saying that I still love you with all of my heart.  This should be obvious
to you after all we`ve been through together….(FUCKING MS!!)  I`ve stayed with you for 8 YEARS, since you were 21 years old, and I`ve been the best man that I can be.  I think, frankly,
that you`ve made me a better man in some ways.  And I KNOW that you love me.
We shouldn`t treat each other that way.  Some things that are said can`t be taken back.  They hurt us both.  The only way for US to survive is to stick together and FIGHT this sickness of yours!  I`m willing to do it—are you?  I can be happy in Japan if you are good to me.  BE NICE.
Together, we can climb the highest metaphorical mountains.  I MEAN IT and I love you forever.
Let`s die old…..TOGETHER!
Love, Tom
(you don`t know the backstory….the tragically sad drama that preceded this, so don`t judge me..)
(TV show)  a great line, anyway…
ALWAYS read between the lines…
you can find gold anywhere if you pay attention…
Dispatches From Tokyo
I`ve really wandered through the looking glass this time.  No words can really describe the bizarre situation in which I find myself mired and sinking…drowning, if you will, in an endless sea of humanity.  This is, without a doubt, the most hideously overcrowded city on the planet.  I say this with conviction.  I`M HERE.  I KNOW.  It is NOT a question.  Every morning, I wake up at 5:30am.  I try to wake up anyway, with coffee and a cigarette.  Then, I walk sluggishly over to Funabori station where I CRAM onto a STUFFED train with thousands of others caught on the gravy train—trapped in the workaday world of routine, that killer with no face.  I used to laugh at those expressionless Japanese faces, just looking MISERABLE.  Now I understand.  I even find myself looking that way, crammed on this crazy train with all walks of life, all of us, businessmen, old folks, schoolgirls in their plaid miniskirts and schoolboys in their little blue suits, foreigners, idlers, and ME, somehow laughing despite it all.  I`ve got my headphones on with the volume cranked up and the music carries me away to my own world—it SAVES me.  Up close and personal with complete strangers, you fight and stumble and lurch your way off the train feeling somehow violated, like you dropped the soap in a prison shower (unless you`re surrounded by sexy babes, in which case you feel HAPPY, FRESH, and SATISFIED…).  Up the stairs we go, everyone stay in line and walk in an orderly fashion, another brick in the wall, thousands and thousands of bricks….like cows to the slaughter, walking beef, clip clop, changing trains, down the stairs again to the next train.  I elbow my way to my usual corner between train cars if I can, where I write this missive to you.  And where do I go from here?  To the circus, that`s where!  To the hands down, CRAZIEST JOB I`ve EVER had to date, and that`s saying A LOT considering I`ve had like 55 jobs over my dubious and star-studded career.  ”    ” International “School” HA!…. the name sends shivers down my spine, a creeping chill that blackens the soul.  International School.  Sounds impressive; the website is nice.  Trust me, you have to BE there to understand the insanity I`m entering into.  To sum it up in a Reader`s Digest version, it`s basically daycare for rich brats and rich retarded kids and straight up vegetables.  This is not meant to sound cruel or heartless, but that IS what it IS.  I teach counting and the alphabet to the 2 to 4-year-olds first thing followed by an arts and crafts class where basically do 90% of the work to satisfy the agenda of the bosses so they have something impressive to show the parents; to let the parents know (or THINK) they`re getting their money`s worth (2 MILLION YEN a year per child!).  Lunch time at 11:30 and I RUN outta there and return to the so-called `story time` (no one has the focus to make it through even ONE short little story.)  All kids have A.D.D. nowadays.  Sensory overload is the phrase that sums up this modern age.  Then I teach a math class for some fairly smart and normal kindergarten kids followed by the utter chaos of dismissal (getting all their bags together, making sure they get to the restroom, checking that they don`t forget anything, putting them on the right bus, etcetera….).  FINALLY, a little quieter, but NO, it ain`t over yet, oh no, not yet.  Then I have two hours of what could only be called CRAZY TIME DAY CARE.  We`re supposed to have English class, but that is just about impossible to teach with that demonspawn, we shall call him K, in the room.  He is, without a doubt, the funniest, most ridiculously obnoxious juggernaut of a beast EVER to walk the earth in the history of time.  There are just no words to explain.  You just have to see it.  I will make a video at some point.  SpecFUCKINGtacular!  Y, we`ll call this one, sits there drooling and smiling, saying, “Goooooooooonnneeeeeeee!”  I`m not sure what this means, but I think it is an all-purpose word, meaning, “I`m hungry, I`m thirsty, I have to take a shit, I want more pills, I wanna punch you in the face, go fuck yourself….” or just about anything else you think of.  He is a character.  He has cerebral palsy, so I`m not making fun of him, just telling it how it is.  Meanwhile, the other little ones are running around like spider monkeys in a cage.  I just laugh deliriously and let `em run wild.  No point in trying to stop a typhoon, right?  I could very possibly end up in a straitjacket in a rubber room from this job.  At 5 pm, I bolt from that place like a cheetah sprinting across the African Veldt and I go straight for an ice-cold beer at the 7-11.  I return to the train station, smoking while I walk, and ride another overstuffed crazy train home, where I collapse in exhaustion—with more beer, of course.  Welcome to my world, mofos….>!!!!  What happened to skateboarding through the Venice sunset surrounded by babes on roller-skates in short shorts?
What happened to drinking heavily with little NYC vixens in bars until the wee hours of the morning and waking up in strange beds in the Village?  Yes, time is sliding away behind me and there is no going back.  I can`t wait for Friday.


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