By Tom H. Brooks 3
It`s STREET JOURNAL 71…
A STORY OF EPISODES
THE SUPER-ULTRA A.D.D. EDITION!!!
Dedicated to those who are so busy BEING busy….
These things are getting shorter all the time….
(you can even read the whole thing on the toilet!! Better than TV Guide!)
I`LL GIVE IT TO YA IN SMALL DOSES SO YOUR HEAD DOESN`T EXPLODE…
Started on September 6th, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan
The Autumn of My Life
And, of course, some other people are these words too……..
….like this one, for example…..
“If I had a sense of foreboding about this trip, it was because travel into the unknown can also be like dying. After the anguish of the goodbyes and the departure itself, you seem to diminish, growing smaller and smaller, vanishing into the distance. In time, no one misses you except in the casual, mildly mocking way of `Whatever happened to old so-and-so?` (who was always babbling about being on the next plane to Honduras?)
You`re gone, no one can depend on you, and when you`re only a dim memory, a bitterness creeps into the recollection, in the way that the dead are often resented for being dead. What good are you, unobtainable and so far away?
And that makes you two ghosts, because in the distant country, too, you`re like a wraith, with your face pressed to the window of another culture, staring at other lives. And much of what you see (or THINK you see) has another side.”
The Last Train to Zona Verde
A new entry regarding Japanese BAD ENGLISH:
A STUPID t-shirt that said
“KEEP THE MY FAITH”
Can`t somebody proofread these things for these little bastards before they print `em?!?
maybe I should PUNCH YOU IN THE YOUR FACE!
I seem to be really irritated with EVERYTHING Japanese today, I`m having a cultural disagreement overload. I hate rice, slippers, noodles, fish, J-pop, manga, robots, working,
robots (did I already say that?), this language, deadbeats, low doorways, subways, the ground I`m walking on, this dirty river, the smell of slow death in the air….yeah, basically EVERYTHING.
I`m also really sick of these weirdos walking their stupid little dogs in fucking baby carriages…
Feeling a little BITTER?…..
TRUE ART IS A DEMANDING MISTRESS.
Regarding this RIDICULOUS job I currently have in Tokyo…..**** International “School”…
“Hell is other people.”
A great documentary movie, I AM. After a life-changing accident, Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac, speaks with intellectual and spiritual leaders around the world and asks some fundamental questions about our nature as humans, namely WHO and WHAT we are. He asks, “What is wrong with our world?” and, even more importantly, “What can we do to change it?”
Some of the answers, you already know deep in your heart, and some of them will surprise you.
All around, an excellent movie. Thanks for the suggestion, DWP…..
Argon…..is a chemical element with the symbol Ar and atomic number 18. It is the third most common gas in the Earth`s atmosphere at .93%. It has been circulated throughout our Earth`s atmosphere throughout time and across the ages, with every breath of air you take. So, in theory, every breath we take is the same air that was breathed by the dinosaurs, the first mammals, Aristotle, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Shakespeare, Galileo, all the philosophers, all the warlords……EVERYONE. The very air we breathe connects us all across the vast bridge of time and we should all find this fascinating if we really think about it; life as an endless chain of breaths across the ages and trillions of hearts…..
I am a walking, talking CONTRADICTION…
JUXTAPOSITION OF OPPOSITES
Everyone has one special THING, one thing they were destined to do.
Every breath I take, I am working closer towards fulfilling my destiny….
“AND I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE…”
The Book of Job
****** International “School”
“More fun than a barrel of monkeys…”
Have you ever been around an actual barrel of monkeys?
Well….I have, and let me tell you, it is SPECTACULAR!!!
Never forget that really nice guy, Eric, from South Carolina that I see everyday in Azabu. He is filled with positive vibes. He is like a walking black Buddha, I tell you…a top-shelf character…
SILENCE IS POWER.
September 21st, 2013
Chiharu and I…..Farewell to Summer trip to Enoshima. It will be her first time there. It is 4:30am and an absolutely gorgeous morning with a full moon, stars, and crickets….PERFECT.
Those sheet-of-paper-looking local delicacies in Enoshima that I mentioned last time…the ones with the design on them……well, it turns out those people are eating dried OCTOPUS SKIN.
Having a discussion about something or voicing an opinion….well, that is no problem…..BUT….
“Critics” are fucking stupid. I`m talking about those who get paid to tell idiots what to think.
“Reviews” are for people who are too dumb to have their own opinion.
“THE ONLY FREE CHEESE IS IN THE MOUSETRAP.”
81-year-old Maine lobster fisherman, Alvin Rackliff, as quoted by Paul Theroux in
The Last Train to Zona Verde
“Without promotion, something terrible happens…..NOTHING!”
9-25-13 Morning Train
7:30am changing trains at Morishita…
I saw this ugly bulldog of a salaryman in the mandatory blue suit just barreling off the train like a juggernaut taking out anyone in his path. He mowed down a schoolgirl and made her drop a bunch of her things including bag and umbrella. She actually had the guts to grab his shirt in an angry manner, but he didn`t even acknowledge that she existed or try to make any kind of lame apology; he just shook her off and continued going ruthlessly forward. I had to do something, so I cut him off GOOD on the stairs and made him stumble, and OF COURSE, made no move to apologize. What a SCUMBAG! People are SO NICE…….love is EVERYWHERE…..
You have NO IDEA how frustrating it is to be a foreigner in Japan. That is, unless you`re some kind of a Japan freak— like you love manga or J-pop, or the “culture” or some such bullshit. BUT… when you`re a guy like me, born and bred on SoCal beaches, it is almost beyond tolerance; an excruciating and irritating experience of complete helplessness. It feels, sometimes, as if my life is no longer in MY hands. I have had to endure countless tortures since I got here three years ago: for example; endless lines at various government offices (these people like red tape even more than we do in America), listening to constant Japanese jibber-jabber that is beyond comprehension (maybe I understand 3 words out of 20). There is also the paperwork, line after line of cave-painting Kanji, floating off the page and stabbing my eyes like little ninja knives, giving me throbbing headaches. There is the terrible pain of sitting under fluorescent lights in some bureaucratic office listening to my wife speaking with some anonymous clone who is babbling gibberish and I can`t understand no matter how hard I try. I can`t read, I can`t understand anything, and to get the simplest little matter handled is harder than fucking rocket science. I can`t deal with computer or phone or any kind of technical problems without waving my arms around like an ape in the highlands of Uganda. It really is utterly ridiculous and I just don`t know how much more I can take. I`m afraid this place is gonna be the death of me. And the irony is that I don`t even want to be here anymore. The magic is long gone. It is just a test of endurance now. I must be a glutton for punishment. I am doing it all for love, for Chiharu. Like the song says….”Love is Blindness.”
After all the irritations of this morning that sparked the previous entry, it only got worse. After going to an employment office and listening to a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish, I went to the cell phone store (AU is the company; kind of like AT&T), and tried to get the defect on my iPhone fixed (MORE nonsense). They couldn`t do it…..OF COURSE. So, afterwards I took Chiharu home and we were kind of having a few disagreements, which I need not explain here. Leaving the house on a bad note, I went to Shibuya by myself. I planned on going to the Apple Store to get the phone fixed with high hopes, not to mention a fair amount of certainty, that SOMEONE there would speak English. My optimism was rewarded with MANY English speakers and my phone was fixed immediately. THIS was the ONLY good part of this horrible day. Afterwards, I was lingering with a beer and people watching when I called Chiharu to say hello and try to make good on our previous bickering. She was SICK, having one of her attacks resulting from who knows what. With her MS and all this other shit, I just never know what`s gonna happen next. She was in a panic, so I rushed home, where she was still in a very bad state. I had to call an ambulance and then endure more jibber-jabber, stress, and complete confusion; not to mention, A LOT of worry about the little lady. We went to the hospital (IN AN AMBULANCE) after 15 minutes of questions and red tape while these idiots just SAT there asking stupid questions in Japanese while she was obviously in extreme pain. I was really getting pissed, but what could I say. I DON`T SPEAK ENOUGH JAPANESE! We finally get to the hospital and NO ONE will tell me anything. They are all obviously afraid to talk to me because NO ONE speaks fucking English. How can you have an entire hospital (even in Japan) with not ONE ENGLISH SPEAKER?!? It`s not like we`re in the middle of the New Guinea Highland Jungles or the deepest Amazon. This is supposed to be a world city! NOBODY spoke a word of English! So I was lost, hopelessly. Paperwork in Kanji, money talk (I`m worried sick and these little bastards wanna talk about goddamned payments!), it was ENDLESS, I tell you, a fucking nightmare. She has to stay the night in the hospital, I have NO IDEA if it`s only one night or how much it will cost, since this isn`t her regular hospital. I am delirious. Poor Chiharu. Poor ME! We just can`t seem to catch a break. Every time I start to save up some money again, something like this happens. Fuck the money!……every time we start to find some semblance of normalcy and happiness, SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS. I just don`t know what to do. So, all I can think of is beer. I am home now, writing this on my third tall boy. It doesn`t kill the pain. Nothing does. Except maybe death. And I`m not ready for that…..no, not yet….
And here is the definition of a PERFECT 24 hour DAY:
After ALL the previously mentioned CHAOS, I went outside for my last depressing beer. When I came in the house, I saw a big mosquito flying off my shirt. It has been biting me all night long and this morning, I am a trainwreck of red welts and itching. Ain`t life grand?
Ridley Scott`s Blade Runner (1982)
One of the coolest, most amazingly prescient, dark, Science Fiction, film noir movies ever made.
After watching it again 20 years after I first saw it, I was filled with an ominous sense of nightmares sometimes coming true…
“The future is here; it`s just not evenly distributed.” William Gibson
Take my advice and watch this movie again. After all this time, it has most definitely taken on a whole new meaning. If you didn’t already know, this film is based on Philip K. Dick`s story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed are king.”
Antonio da Silva Porto (A Portuguese/Angolan in the 19th Century)
as quoted by Paul Theroux in The Last Train to Zona Verde
“I never saw a train without wishing to board it.”
(What about TOKYO trains, Paul? What about these hideously overcrowded, rolling nightmares?)
I used to feel the same way until I moved here!
Crystal Blue Persuasion…….
“DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT CLASSIC COKE?”
So, a Japanese person OR family has a nice balcony with a beautiful view on a sunny, perfect day and what do they do?……….Well, I can tell you this; they DON`T use the balcony for pleasure or relaxation or barbecues—NO; they just hang their dirty underwear and laundry out there so it can flap pointlessly in the cool breeze…
* * *
Sure…….it`s a CULTURAL difference……don`t ENJOY the balcony……just use it to DRY CLOTHES rather than forking out the money for a dryer! That`s some cheap logic for ya…..
“So death flooded life, and o`reflowing its natural margin
Spread to a brackish lake, the silver stream of existence.
Wealth had no power to bribe, nor beauty to charm,
But all perished alike beneath the scourge of his anger…”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
JUST REMEMBER, MY AMERICAN FRIENDS;
AT LEAST YOUR PROBLEMS ARE IN FUCKING
9/30/13, Tokyo, Japan