|Out On a Lim|
|To subscribe, send an email to SUBSCRIBE@henrylim.org|
|Out On a Lim (3.27.06 - 6.21.07) >>|
|Day One: no reply
Fine. Nevermind that she's always promptly responded to my emails in the past. But really, it was fine. I mean, I was cool and didn't jump to any paranoid conclusions. Of course, I could identify the gateways to those states of mind, having traversed thru them during similar situations. But I held onto my rational senses insofar as to feel concern beyond my subjectivity--besides, I've already jumped thru the hoop of vain insanity. And I sympathized with the possibility that something bad might've happened to her. There must be a reasonable rhyme to her silence. Or maybe she's being strategic, waiting for my next move, or simply too busy to write back. Whatever. It's beyond my control. I've personally established that being passive is more efficient than actively courting the complimentary soul. So I'm leaving my reactions to the passage of relinquished fate. Come what mayhem. Anyways, if this was a test of my patience, it's gotta do better than that for me to lose my mind.
Day Two: no reply
Still fine. Ok, a little leaning towards my worrying about her well-being than the possibility that any game being played was merely a hallucination. And between the seconds before I dialed her cell phone number, it hit me that there could be a third explanation for her unresponsiveness. Maybe she's gracefully giving me a hint. Admittingly, that's how I like the truth to be told. The flat rejections, the bullshit excuses, and the restraining orders, all seem to leave no room for the imagination. Letting me down via not actually doing so is conducive of constructing reasons beyond this realm. But I'd rather explore those paths when I get there. However, I was at a standstill. So I took a deep breath and mentally remembered hearing hers, shook the memory away, and consulted my fatal map. It revealed that I've been thinking too much about the matter, it's no big deal, let it slide, and walk away with thanks that I even had the chance to've been in her presence.
Day Three: no reply
Sorta fine. I decided to not overhype things. It could be a trap. I need to stray away from obsessing over myself. I'm no one. I'm just passing thru this world. Alone. As it's been, is, and always shall be. Slap. Ok, everything's ok. That staircase leads to commonplace headcase scenarios. No, but I'm fine, really. I've chosen to suppress this whole deal. The soothing removal of it all via the vacuum cleaner outlets. Blink. Ok, I'm relatively sane again. Or at least I can recognize that my thoughts've been ridiculous enough to ignore. And I'm glad that anger isn't involved. Hey, it could always be worse. No, the signs were mocking me. It's not my destiny. That's a grand way to put it. But these dots feel more significant than the overall pattern they form. I can't see it, but I suppose it's not my place to complain. Release. Ok, I'm sure that she's got some explanation for this whole misunderstanding.
Day Four: no reply
Beyond fine. I've still got traces of her touch on my mind that beg me to keep going, cause she's worth it, but I've gotta face the inevitable. I've done all I could within passive logic. There's nothing left for me but to congratulate her victory, if this was some tease. I mean, I had it comming. I can't expect her to change gears after I've been doling mixed signals at an immature pace. Cause there's a line that borders safely looking over the ledge of involvement and falling into the unknown. Sure, I've always been a fan of anticipation--it's sometimes more exciting than disappointment. Perpetually waiting for life to end is a part of life. And I can either enjoy or dread the day. So I gave up on her with a smile.
Day Five: she replied
A cat was watching me from the middle of the road as I headed for the corner mailbox at 2 o'clock in the morning. Oftentimes these felines cross my path during the habitual journey, but rarely do they sit still. This one was waiting to be hit by a car as we made eye contact.
My instincts told me to play a little game.
To the best of my ignorant abilities, I telepathically communicated with the being--if you're still here on my return journey, you shall be an omen. It didn't acknowledge me with a meow, but I figure I was asking it a favour so I wasn't in any position to beg for a confirmation.
And so I continued, carefully observing my reactions to the test of fate.
Initially, I dismissed the entire nonsense as some cheap magic trick. But this was only a defense mechanism against the possibility that the cat'll walk away before I get back thus creating a shield which'll protect my believing self prescribed superstitions. However, the more I contemplated the irrationality of the scenario, the closer I asked myself if what I'm really afraid of is disbelieving any distance between me and the cosmic layer that binds all that's beyond my comprehension.
Plus, it's harmless to abandon common sense when nothing's really at stake. I mean, it's like rolling the dice. Whatever the outcome, it's still only symbolic--I'll see an omen or not. I left it vague cause I've learned to not get too greedy when consulting mystics. Specific wishes are always counterbalanced with some hidden karmic cost.
And anways, the mind is capable of inventing truths.
After squaring away those logistics, I imagined what an omen would signify. Well, unsurprisingly since my mind's been on a single track, the top of my sneak peek list pertains to the humourous dialect in her reply email. It's the only hope that I'm clinging onto--she gave me instructions to wait til August. Obviously I'm obeying. And I shall even if it's in vain, but a sign of support, regardless of validity, would encourage my patience.
Cause it's gonna be a long summer...
So I guess what I really wanna know is if the cat knows anything about my future. It's got every reason to leave its spot on the road, especially playing along with my game. Before I headed back, I solidified my definition of the omen as being metaphorical, namely if I see it I'll also see her again. And I'm fine either way--I make that boast now with our separation in its early stages, it might be another story by the end of July. But like the game, I enjoy playing along with her enough to be committed wholeheardtedly. Lay it on me.
The cat was still there.
The title that caught my eye on CYN's list of recommended books by Philip K. Dick was Time Out of Joint. It reminded me of Dylan's album Time Out of Mind. I memorized the call number from the online catalog, walked over to the undergraduate library, and checked out a third copy at the automatated terminal. Having barely gotten thru the introduction of the characters, I've unfortunately put my reading on pause--don't get me wrong, it's starting off with lots of promise. But I need a chunk of time to dig into the story. And I've got all these prototype projects rolling around upstairs that the only hours available for page turning will be when I do my laundry on Saturday afternoon.
This week's been busy with DVDs. In addition to my Netflix queue, I borrowed some documentaries from MUB, in particular one on Dylan. I've been researching him as I learn his songs, which I'm pacing myself at a rate of at least one per week. For me, playing music is my favourite way to appreciate it. Not that I'm any good, but still I have more fun recreating the notes and singing the lyrics than listening to, and at this juncture, composing them. Actually, I've been shirking my Bach practices, again, cause my schedule's been shuffling. I still fit in WTC fugues whenever I can, but I think Dylan's speaking to me louder.
Let me put it this way--my mind wanders too much when I play Bach. Specifically, towards something in the way WAY moves. I think of her at the keyboard, her forehead, her long tied hair, her wide mouthed expressions, her mocking tongue gesture, her surprised eyes, the back of her neck, the neck of her back, her mirroring shoulder angles, her arm under her jacket, her etc. And if I wanna get thru the summer, I should try to avoid getting carried away with such thoughts. Not that Dylan's words can't lead me astray, but they seem to deal with obsessing over imagery better than Bach's dizzy spinning of single subjects. I mean, Dylan's less abstract, which isn't necessarily better, but I'm not in the mood to torture myself with recurring dreams, no matter how nice they might be--she appeared last night, which was cool, but waking up'll be much easier the harder reality hits.
In addition, LUV's been trying to stop mentally quoting her email, so he's been fooling around with his MIDI orchestra. There's a Williams theme that he's always wanted to reverse engineer, so he ordered the score and fit programming it into his daily activities. Not to forget, he keeps his blog current on a daily (except weekends and holidays) basis. He figures if he can keep himself busy she'll disappear from him. And if she returns and still affects him, then she'll be cause for truly going insane.
Editor's note: I finished Time Out of Joint on Saturday.
"80 days until football."
Someone'd written that on a dry erase board hanging in an alley of closet sized offices at the student union building. I read it on my scenic shortcut to the sushi stand. I'm supposing it's alluding to the anticipation for the first game of next season. And I laughed at myself for being impatient over a girl's return from New York, which, according to her email, ought to take less than 80 days--think of the poor fool pining for football. Sometimes a little perspective can destroy any overestimated big deals.
I mean, this person must've waited longer than 80 days, if my knowledge of sporting cycles is correct. It makes my time seem childish in comparison--I'm expecting to endure approximating half the painful duration. That football fan is braver than my shameful whining ridiculously depicted in previous blog entries. I bet that person takes pride in changing the number each day, feels dignity subtracing the digits, and blasts off with glory when the countdown hits zero. If only I could be so cool.
And this got me thinking--what the hell is she bothering with an idiot like me? Some nerve I got asking her out on a date. I'd've a better chance with winning the affections of Audrey Hepburn. I'm a joke. But I'm eternally on my knees for her reply. I certainly don't deserve it, regardeless of its contents. Any decent human being would suck up to the gratituded owed. 40 days and 40 nights ain't anything.
The pure of heart should scoff at my blabbering. I've once told her that I'm embarrassed to be in the same room with her--she's way outta my league. Some gall I've got griping about her descending to my depths. And yeah, I hear the nice things people say about me when they praise my shit, and no offence to all my kind fans, but I hope they're reflecting what I'm projecting--don't take me seriously. I wish I could be sincere, but that's impossible when the possibility of sincerity is just that, a wish. In other words, fuck what anyone else thinks, I'm gonna shoot for the moon.
I can look at this purgatory as an incentive to improve myself. I've got to somehow find a way to compensate for the distance between me and her in the looks department. And I can't depend on my carnival act past to prop me up to her level of intelligence and grace. I don't want to devalue her noble talents. But then again, I hold dear the mockery of anything sacred, so there's a stubborn conservatism against any so-called improvements made from altering my abivilance towards devoting myself to mere impressions of what she wants. In other words, I'm not gonna go changing for anyone--if they don't dig me, it's their loss. This usually is a good rule of mine that's never let me down before. After all I'm already happy. I don't need anyone to save me from sadness. Yet, she inspires me to take a gamble and be wrong.
Which I'm gonna take. Again, I've gotten this far in the deal, there's no backing down. I'd like to first start off my recovery from idiotic worries with an affirmation to begin every panic attack onset. Of course, the wait won't be the only anxiety trigger and I'm preparing to handle subconscious demons that'll present themselves in disguise during the middle act and attempt to destroy me during the final stretch. Anyways, for now, to keep my feet on the ground, I'm gonna chant "80 days until football".
Her black gartered polyvinyl chloride boots were too shiny to permit my eyeballs from rolling outta sync with them. The lights reflected off the dark folds branching in vessel patterns up and down her dancing legs. She's wearing a black skirt that's like an open umbrella--underneath her underwear is under an undercurrent of opaquely laced waves. And her black fishnet gloves point, salute, and hold my suspension of sensastions.
On the other side of the country, her angelic reminder is envisioned to be wearing the opposite--lighter shaded casual attire with dark shadows in the appropriately casted twilight angles. She's literally ahead of me cause of the time zone. But metaphorically, if the world was to end, we'd all lose our minds simultanesouly. I wonder if, say we're both thinking to ourselves, you know, running our brains during the day to day business day, and I'm not gonna be so ridiculous as to suggest that we're mental twins whose thoughts are precisely identical, but I'm curious if there's surveillance technology in heaven that can track and count how many thoughts we had that were not only the same, but occurred within three hours.
Not that it really matters--although, I've been building my Japanse vocabulary to increase my chances.
A poet showed me his poem which was written based on his first impressions of a chick that inspired him to resort to poetry as a wooing method. It was crude, with your stock classical themes, and wasn't highly educated in the spelling sector. Yet I admired it for its honesty, however under my standards of originality and correct alphabet usage. I mean, far from claiming to be any kinda poet, sometimes I think that I'm too smart for my own good and too dumb to be anything great for anyone.
Whilst the poet's intentions aren't exactly what I'd covet as his muse is married and he delievered his poem to her with the hopes of committing adultery, not to mention that he's also got something going with his girlfriend, I was nonetheless curious to see if his cheesy tactic would work. It did.
I like how my knowledge of Japanese is elementary. It limits my communication to the basics. I can't hide behind sophisticated subtext. If I do, it's probably either hilarious or annoying to the fluent speaker when I try to convey abstract ideas with retarded grammar. But it's what I wish I could unself-consciously fake in English--to sound like a brilliant idiot or at least an idiot who think's he's brilliant.
I wonder if my parents ever verbally expressed themselves fully to each other. Cause they both speak English as a second language--my mother grew up learning Japanese, my father Indonesian. So I imagine two foreigners fumbling with their translations. They're both supposedly intelligent in their native countries--my mom attended some prestigious school, my dad's a doctor. They must've dumbed down their eloquence in America. Cause when I hear her speaking to her Japanese friends, or him talking to his Indonesian buddies, they blab with greater animation than when they mouth the puppet English phrases that's expected of respectable immigrants. Unless of course, living the American dream outranked expressing their dreams in their original languages, then I suppose they got all the points that they neeed to get across when they were hooking up. After all, it all worked out.
My guitar's been accompanying me to work. After hours I take it around the empty library and practice Dylan songs in differect acoustical environments--the padded walls of the media room, the echo chamber stairwell, the dusty sound between the stacks, and under the hum of the fluorescents in my office. It allows my voice to get louder than a whisper, which is the level I use at my apartment so as to not disturb my neighbours. Plus, focusing on the music fends off my memories of her that chase me thru the other parts of the building--sanctified corners in the basement, stage exits, benches, classrooms, and bulletin boards. Without my guitar I'd probably pretend that she was still here.
There's nothing where she is to remind her of me.
Bokutachi wa naruhodo
Hajimeta toki bokutachi wa naruhodo
Sono shiroi ohimesama
Kono hiroi ogenki kara anata wa sugoi desu
Soko e ikimasu ne to omou
Doko e dekimasu ne to souzou wa sugoi desu
Bokutachi wa naruhodo
Mousugu toki bokutachi wa naruhodo
Yoku mitteru yo sono mirai
Soku ikiteru yo kono ikitai mitai wa sugoi desu
Boku no nagai natsuyasumi
Mokuyoubi bai oyasumi no kuni wa sugoi desu
Bokutachi wa naruhodo
Mata yume toki bokutachi wa naruhodo
Respect love of the heart over lust of the flesh
"Did you watch the documentary about Daniel Johnston?" my drug dealer cellularly pushed inbetween gurgling bong hits. He'd lent it to me the last time I picked up my prescription. "Not yet," I answered. "Well," he coughed, "let me know what you think about that line about loving the heart over lust of the flesh." I remember those lyrics--the last time I picked up my prescription, we sampled the medicine as he played that song with said lines in his office. The conversation during the transaction was interrupted with a rising of the volume on the stereo before that verse passed. RESPECT LOVE OF THE HEART...
The sound levels were returned to normal. "That line is haunting me," he confessed. Indeed, after hearing those words, I matched them with his situation--he's torn between two girls who represent the two subjects of the line. And so I'm guessing that that song hits him in a way which I can never understand.
First of all, it's an obvious statement. No shit, love of the heart is more respectful than lust of the flesh--the former is eternal, the latter gets old and ugly. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool line, but it's a little too honest to be played on the pop charts. Sugar coat it and it'll go down better. Anyways, such obviousness doesn't need to be shoved in my face. I don't need any convincing of the sentiment. It's not ridiculous enough for me to ignore. I mean, seriously, if I had the choice, there's no question what I'd pick. And that line'll remain meaningless.
Which isn't to say that I've never been tempted. But that's where being unattractive redeems its negative connotations. As a stereotypically ugly individual, I had to develop talents that would counterbalance my appearance in order to be a contributing member of society. Not being athletic, I decided to advance my brain. Which isn't to say I'm smart, but I did participate successfully in public education. Anyways, all the testing taught me the virtues of picking the right answer, even if the wrong one tries to trick me. Hence, when a hot chick tries to lure me to lust for her flesh, I remember to look for some aspect of her heart that's worth respecting before I make any unwise decisions.
And I'm not implying that it's easy. Intelligence can only go so far before nature kicks its ass. I mean, most of the thriving life forms on earth aren't guided by human neurosis. In terms of survival, eating, sleeping, and fucking are all that really matters. Bugs either don't give a shit about the quality of their hearts or they've all got respectful love for whatever bug hearts respect. My point being, sometimes lust for the flesh can mimic love for the heart. In defense against such deception, I've got a default rule that I hold dear--any hot chick stupid enough to be attracted to a loser like me surely must be playing on my lust for her flesh. Thanks, but no thanks.
I hate to say it, but it's easier to find respectful hearts in nasty looking chicks. Cause they can't fool me with their lack of beauty. And absoluting am I not stating that hot chicks don't have respectful hearts, but they're just harder to see, what with all those natural charms clouding my judgement. Suspicion comes from being an unattractive member of a culture that values appearances. I don't deserve any special treatments.
Let me rephrase that--I don't want any special treatments. Cause they'd include access to lust for the flesh. Wish I'd been there, but I don't wanna do that. Of course, I'm not suggesting that my heart's worthy of respect. In fact, the reason why I didn't watch the Daniel Johnston documentary cause I was having fun with Wasabi, a movie I got from Netflix. I've been alternating between Japanese and French films on my queue, just to keep my mind in and out of entertainment that reminds me of a certain Japanese girl. Hilariously, Wasabi was a French movie that was set in Japan. I noticed both our surnames in the credits. And there was a great Puffy song on the soundtrack. Anyways, the main actress, Ryoko Hirosue was incredible. If I wasn't watching her on DVD I'd consider lusting for her flesh, regardless of her heart.
Theme from Angela's Ashes
Editor's note: Tomorrow's the Fourth of July. You know the drill...
Cause I'm a smoker I don't trust my nose. I remember when I used to notice the smell of cigarettes. As a kid, my grandfather's constant tobacco scent was always a welcome encounter--I didn't see him often, since he lived in Japan, but when I visited he'd sit at his desk puffing imprinted memories into the air.
My mom used to smoke. Up until I started elementary school she'd sometimes have one after lunch and snuff them out into a tiny glass jar. I don't remember the smell of her cigarettes. Perhaps it's cause she seemed to've been faking it. I mean, my grandfather really smoked, chainwise. His reek was constant. Whereas my mom's bad habit reminded me of a passing phase.
I could detect which kids smoked in high school by their lingering clouds--the smell of sweet and sharp vapours. After I started smoking I stopped noticing the smell of cigarettes. I know it's strong enough to bother some non-smokers. And I used to be able to catch their whiffs with my nose. But it seems I've grown too accustomed to tell the difference.
However, I've been noticing their smell lately. For a second, my nose'll register the scent, and then my brain'll return to ignoring the presence of cigarette smoke. Like my ears, I've adapted the ability to mentally block loud smells. For instance, someone'll forget to flush their crap in the public restroom, I'll recoil from the stink, and after exhaling, my mind'll hold onto something else to think about whilst relieving myself. I guess it's sorta like how I totally underestimate my perception of my own excrement--I've spent time with it on the toilet, but others who've smelled it have violently complained.
Actually, smells in general get similarily muted, including pleasant ones. Familiarity really kicks in fast in terms of the diminishing wow factor that the nose acknowledges. Perhaps it gets stored somewhere in the subconscious, cause smelling it again can retrieve conditioned responses. But after the moment of first inhalation, it leaves my short term memory, or rather it's so pervasive that I abandon my sense of tracking it. Sure, depending on the changing distance of the source to my receptors, it can retrigger recognition after forgetting it, but usually not as intensely as upon first identifying it.
Food is a good example. Smelling it cooking is like the peak of a mountain, and it's all downhill after that. I mean, when I'm eating, the last thing I'm thinking about is what my nose is picking from the air, at least to the best of my awareness. It's probably all jumbled in some multi-sensory overload. But as far as I can tell, smells fade even when they remain.
Like I was saying, noticing cigarettes is odd cause it's like smoking for the first time again, albeit not as naive. I'd thought that my nose was blind to that smell. And not that it bothers me, but it's being noted somewhere in my self conscious observations. Ok, it has to do with her. She's joked about how she hates how her dad and her brother fog up rooms. And how she doesn't hang out at pachinko arcades cause of the tobacco stench. Anyways, I've been considerate enough to not smoke around her.
Generally, with the exception of children and the elderly, I won't give a fuck if I smoke around people. So this shirking of my code of ethics is uncharacteristic of me. I mean, I've denied requests to be courteous from other girls. I've got too much pride to admit that they were right--it is a nasty addiction. But short of saying they weren't worth the compromise, they didn't ask correctly. For starters, I gotta see some benefit in my not smoking.
Not to belittle roundabout hinting, but what sold me on her was the smell of her breath. I've been too polite around her to not get close enough to her mouth to notice during conversations, but one night, as she was sitting next to me at a concert, she leaned over and her face was closer to mine than ever before. It was then that I first smelled her breath. It wasn't fresh, which isn't necessarily an insult as I find altered breaths, be it with mints or gum to mask natural odours. Everyone's got bacteria--hiding it seems phony. Cause it's someone's real scent that counts. I'm sure some scientist is figuring out what animals already know, that bodily smells factor into compatilibty. Well, you either sense it or you don't, and I did with her. Call it instinct, but her breath brought back fond memories of my grandmother, not in some sick incestuous manner, but more of a sense of, for lack of better words, home in the old country.
Again, my sense of smell ain't reliable. However, I once met my grandmother in a dream in which I asked her why the girl I was dating at the time dumped me. She was a corpse slung on my back. I didn't expect a reply. "Better not breathe on me," was her advice from the afterlife. I didn't know what it meant other than that girl didn't like the smell of my breath. Now I'm guessing that it's a prophecy of sorts--I need to fix my breath or witness the same consequences. Granted, I've credited my smoking to saving me from getting further in relationships with demanding girls, but this time I think the opposite'll result if I don't heed this stretch of my imagination, not to mention the incentive.
I'm gonna quit smoking in August.
Akane iro ga chiisana senaka oshita mitai
A wise monk once taught me that "All women are evil". This was back before he joined the monastery and he's since left this world so I don't know if he still stands behind every word of that misogynistic statement. I certainly don't. Yes, there are evil women, but not all of them are so. But then again, I ain't intelligent enough to undeniably prove such, however, for better or worse, I rely on the hope that some women aren't evil. I mean, I've never encountered one that's the opposite of holy. Sometimes I can sense evil alignments hidden in some of them, but they usually don't manifest in my presence--they blend into the scene, away from my harm.
That being said, personally the image of the devil as a woman ain't absurd. It's the ultimate bait. Cause if the devil tried to tempt me in the form of the classic red dude with horns and a tail, I wouldn't sell my soul. Even if he offered all the power and glory that I ever wanted, I couldn't seriously make the deal cause it's not a fair trade, by which I mean if I'm gonna cash in, I better get a happy ending, if you know what I mean. The same goes for trading my soul for love--the devil's got to fuck me to heaven before I can sign.
So I've been paying attention to this pornstar who goes by the name of Jade Starr. She's pretty close to what I imagine the devil would look like if I had my way--a gothic beauty. Ok, her devil tattoo on her arm is a little overkill, but I've been worshipping her, so to speak, in my spare time. It's all in good fun. Cause I don't seriously pray all the way. I'll get worked up by her presentation, shift in my seat to get comfortable, and go thru the motions of benediction, but when it comes to devoting myself completely, I'll hold back.
I'm not saying that it's been easy not releasing my soul, and I'm constantly contriving excuses to convince me otherwise, but I've decided to bottle myself up until I've got a reason to spill my guts. The pressure from stirring my blood to excitement would be an adequate rationale, but it's not noble enough. Of course, watching porn isn't exactly something to brag about, but I'm "researching" as a crash course in denial. All the carnal splendour, within imaginary reason, at my fingertips, and I'm not enjoying any of it--well, not to full conclusion. Cause it'd be easy to simply not watch any porn. When it's experienced to the very limit of its function, denial exponentiates.
And it's during those extreme mental and physical reactions that a real reason for denying evil becomes apparent.
My sister and her husband bought a house. It's somewhere in Irvine and's got three stories. By the end of July they should be moved in, will no longer live down the street from me, and'll be working to pay it off. My sister seems happy--it's closer to her office. But I'm not envious of my brother-in-law--his commute is nearly doubled. Anyways, all that's left for them is having kids now that they've found a place to settle down
I asked my drug dealer if he'd ever get high with his niece. He immediately answered, as if the possibility's been well pondered already, that he'd wait til she was 18, and in accordance with her free will, would share a joint. This is cause he thinks that right now she's too young to understand.
On the off chance that I ever have offspring, I've thought about the appropriate age to introduce them to my blog. I mean, I'm not ashamed to claim that it deserves a parental warning, especially when the kid reading it is mine. And in no way am I hiding anything, on the contrary, I'll encourage them to read it when they're old enough. Cause, like drugs, I think my style of journal writing, which uses bullshit as a cloaking device, requires some maturity to appreciate without getting confused. So if they're too dumb to discover it on their own, as far as they know, for the first 21 years of their lives, their dad never kept a blog.
But congratulations if you're reading this now and're below the drinking age. Your dad is proud to've generated someone inquisitive and resourceful. However, keep in mind that what I write ain't necessarily true. If you want to know what's what and I'm still around, just ask. Say thanks to your mom for me.
And if you can legally purchase alcohol as you're reading this for the first time, uh, your dad still loves you. Word of advice, you're not ready to read this. Oh, and apologize to your mom for me.
When I was a kid, I consciously made a memory. It was during recess in elementary school, so I must've been about 6 or 7 years old. The bell'd rung and all the kids were lining up to go back to class. I lagged behind on the playground and blinked my eyes rapidly. I told myself that I'd always remember that perspective--low on the ground due to my height, and far away from everyone else. I've yet to forget.
|Back in the day, I used to look forward to jamming with The Meanwhilers. We'd pack up our cars with our instruments and claim the clubhouse at the top of the hill--it was available to the band members who lived in the private community along with a swimming pool. Although our amplifiers were puny, we'd rock out in the wood paneled dining room as we forget about our frustrations. Whilst we were all in college, the summer was the only time when we'd get together and rehearse. And it was often the case that I'd be hung up on some chick during those vacation seasons. Playing music helped pass the time.
The topic of jamming again for fun with the old band came up recently in a conversation between Larry McFeurdy and Ted Ed Fred.
"Do you know any Dylan songs?" Fred asked.
"Dylan?" McFeurdy repeated. "It just so happens that I've been playing his tunes a lot lately."
"Write them out for us," Fred suggested. "Do you know the song that I want playing at my funeral?"
"'Forever Young'?" McFeurdy knew.
"Yeah," Fred air guitared, "let's play that one."
"Alright," McFeurdy agreed, "I'll round up the rest of the band."
I laughed at the perfect timing of events not to mention my need for a diversion during the long summer. As I called up the other members, my mind thanked me for giving it something to think about other than her. With the exception of Seymour Greenwood, who'll be in London, everyone else settled on getting together on Sunday night. Zaggs' drums were already at JM Allevato's house, so that seemed like the most convenient place to convene.
McFeurdy arrived first. Allevato was uploading a track to MySpace for his current band the Schematics.
"My lawyer says I should sue the Schematics for stealing my riff," McFeurdy threatened.
"Yeah, it's nearly the same," Allevato confessed.
"But if I sue you," McFeurdy admitted, "Chuck Berry should sue me."
I went upstairs to the music room to try out his new guitar and amp as he continued to update his webpage. Soon Fred made an obnoxious entrance, possibly due to some sorta medication. He was hungry so he cooked up an egg burrito on Allevato's stove. I'd already eaten and sipped some water--this was odd since they weren't used to seeing me not nursing a Coke. Fred farted as Allevato cranked up the Schematics on his premium entertainment system.
"Hey, Larry," Fred wondered, "did you lock your car?"
"Oh shit," McFeurdy remembered, "I think I might've forgotten to lock my car."
"Yeah," Fred laughed, "let's go check to see if you locked your car."
Allevato doesn't get high. Fred coughed after taking a huge rip on his bong. I lit a cigarette to dilute the smell of weed. My car was locked.
"Fuck the Schematics," Fred charged, "let's play some Dylan."
"Where's Zaggs?" McFeurdy joked--the drummer's whereabouts is always a punchline.
He never did show up. The rest of us stumbled thru the songs--Fred's memory of how to play the bass needed to be rebooted and Allevato spent most of the time showing him where the notes were than playing guitar. Unfortunately, since I could play the songs blindfolded, my mind wandered as our sorry excuse for a band disappeared from my concentration. It was depressing. But I don't blame them. I got greedy thinking that I could count on them to distract me from my thoughts. What worked in the past doesn't anymore.
One of the main streets leaving Hacienda Heights intersects with the 60 freeway. Driving it north or south'll catch the expressway going east or west. Thus, there are four ramps.
On my drive back to Redondo Beach after giving my parents a lift from the airport to their house, the traffic on the freeway was uncharacteristically crowded. Not conjested like rush hour, but not clear for high speeds such as during my late night trips. Then again, I'dn't driven this way at the crack of dawn enough times, nor know anyone who has, to confirm that time's approximate numerical pattern of average vehicular lane occupation.
Cause it's rare that I head east on the 60 freeway whilst driving south into Hacienda Heights, I'ven't slid down that ramp with as many opportunites as I've'd going in any other direction. I once felt sorry for my negligence and sent my car thru it with no specific practical purpose other than to give me the right to say that I've driven down that ramp at least once during my life. Not that my dying wish would be to've gone east onto a freeway whilst driving south into my hometown had I never crossed it off my to-do-list, but that one time was like something familiar as it's always been there, just from this perspective the bushes that entered my vision weren't taken for granted, nor the shift in gravitational pull which tugged from a converse angle nothing worth ignoring.
My parents' flight from Hawaii got delayed nearly 10 hours. On paper they were destined to return home at 6pm. But the excuse their airline gave them was that their plane needed a part that wasn't available on the islands. So it had to be flown in from the continent--a five hour flight. Anyways, after it arrived, it took an incompetent five more hours to install. Luckily, my sleep schedule doesn't consider picking them up at 4am an inconvenience.
Besides, getting out of my apartment is a good idea, if for a vantage change. However, I didn't expect the freeway to be so packed. I mean, I can't get up to 88mph when sleepy idiots think the fast lane is cool to cruise at the speed limit. Puffy will have to wait til I connect with the 605 and hope that that freeway is open for igniting my flux capacitor.
I'm keeping her last email in my inbox. Cause it's a receipt. I immediately file read emails in their designated saved folders, or trash them if they're trivial. However, with business transactions, I leave them in my inbox until that deal is closed--library orders, eBay items, JPOP media. Not that I'm buying anything from her, on the contrary I'm indebted to her, but that email represents a deal that's still open. And it's a good daily reminder when I see her name listed as a sender to dream on...
The 605 freeway wasn't any less crowded than the 60. I turned up the Puffy CD to downplay my anxious need to accelerate. Of course I wasn't in any hurry, 5am is still before my bedtime, but music sounds different when you travel closer to its speed--not that 88mph is anywhere near, but it's about as fast I'll admit in print.
Going at grandma speed got me thinking about my impatience. For fuck's sake, my parents spent 10 hours waiting for their fate at the Honolulu airport. After all, my car wasn't at a standstill and damnit I really didn't need to be anywhere, let alone I've ridden the space time tunnels with Puffy before. I really have no excuse for being immature. Plus, perhaps the 105 won't let me down.
Against my routine, before my order for Kill Girl Kill 2 arrived, I deleted the generically branded adult video vendor's receipt from my inbox. It stars the she-devil Jade Starr in fishnets, striped socks, and exaggerated heels--or so I gathered from the teasing preview that was included with Atomic Vixens. Anyways, even though I'm stroking to see her tempt me astray, that email didn't sit well next to her reply. Call it a guilty conscience, but I didn't think it was in the same league to share the same screen with her exhalted name, even if the innocent bystander would never guess that I've ordered porn cause the supplier also sells plot-driven movies, it's how I evaluate my priorities that counts. My saving grace, or my fall from, is that I'm sticking to my word and've yet to lose my resistance--it's a trying test of my self indulgence, especially as the summer heat ain't helping, and I'm not saying I'll last a month, but I wanna stare down my addictions before I give them up. I can only hope that my heart's in the right place.
Pardon the corniness, but as I raced down the 105, with thoughts of her spiraling thru Puffy's lyrics, the sun came up.
"Not yet," she said. Or so I thought I heard her say looping around the overtones of a siren's undulations which were muffled by styrofoam shipping scraps strewn beneath the overexposed lights in a nether universe's contaminated warehouse. But it might've only been a misperception on behalf of my mind's overloaded concentration circuits that's causing the wires in my ears to accommodate the surplus.
I had a dream that was sorta like an inverted version of The Little Mermaid. I was human and wanted to become a mermaid so that I could join Ariel under the sea. What I remember most was not running out of breath in the depths of the ocean. It took some getting used to--at first I'd panic from not being accustomed to staying submerged longer than my lung capacity, and then I'd relax and let the mutations in my respiratory system gathered from the granter of wishes take my mind off the water circulating thru my nose. Sometimes during those moments of despair I'd wake up. Luckily, as I went back to sleep, I returned to Ariel. "Not yet," she said.
Until then, nothing beats the new Puffy single.
I celebrated the holiday as if it were a weekend--I added a day off to contribute to its illusion. Cause it landed on a Wednesday, not riding the tails of a three or four day weekend. I could've made it a five day vacation, but I had to pick up my check on Monday. So Tuesday felt like Saturday.
Except I didn't've to do my laundry. That subtle difference made all the difference. It allowed me to stay up longer on pseudo Friday night cause the next day's choirs were already done. I slept in the next morning. Not that I needed the extra rest--if there's one thing I've carefully crafted for myself is a schedule that doesn't skimp on sleep.
However, it was a holiday. Actually, it was the eve of. And although the opportunity to be a lazy bum was mine for the taking, I did some contributing to the economy like a good little citizen. Well, I dined on some curry for dinner. I know the Indians invented the cuisine, but it's my opinion that the Japanese perfected it--their sweet curry is tangy. Of course I'll eat whatever culture's interpretation of the spicey meal is. I try to eat the dish every week, oftentimes on Saturday. As well, I bought some raw tuna for my holiday banquet, which is a variation of my salmon Sundays. While I was at it, I figured that I'd stock up on citrus flavoured green tea and cigarettes--I didn't want to go shopping with commemorators.
Before I conducted these errands, I answered two messages on my cell phone. One was from the Ale and Quail Club, the other was from the committee trying to get me to play the piano at my brother's wedding party. The Club wasn't adjourning on Tuesday cause some members were gonna redeem their baseball tickets, so the next meeting was being moved to Thursday. This was fine with me, cause by the time I woke up, for all I cared, it was Saturday. The committee was a nag. I might've dug further into the hole that I'm digging.
Torture for the torturer is not being able to torture. The blind can't taste the blind unless they're told that what they taste is blind. A cup from the cupboard was placed onto a cupholder next to a cupcake baked by Cupid. The wind wound around the wounded around the winding road by the windmill. If you find what's lost, the cost to your mind is tossed to the time embossed in rhyme and flossed with crimes crossed off the boss' maligned glossary of resigned atrocities. Somewhere someone's thinking about somebody or somewhat somehow someday it'll all be something to summarize at a summit regarding this summer's sometime summons. The thunder thrashed thru those thousands thick thoughts.
More or less, that's how I spent my Fourth of July weekend.
Tenshi ga winku
Yuuki o dashite
Sore ga kimi to no
I'm not an avid Seiko Matsuda fan. I'm aware of her name--up until Ayumi Hamasaki recently dethroned her, she was the queen of JPOP with the most number one hits by a female singer. And anyone my age growing up in Japan mustíve found her songs inescapable during her reign which began in the '80s. As for me, the first time I heard her was on her unsuccessful attempt to break into America. She released a single which was a duet with one of the New Kids on the Block--fuck you, Sam was a big NKOTB, I didn't usually listen to that sissy shit. Her voice didn't give me a hard on, so I never researched her discography. I couldn't name you any of her albums.
That being said, I bought Jewel Songs: Seiko Matsuda Tributes & Covers. Puffy does a rocking version of "Tenshi no Wink" ("Angel's Wink"). It's a cool enough song for me to search for the original on YouTube, and yeah, it sounds better to my heart comming from the Great Ami and Yumi than from Seiko. Anyways, the rest of the CD is listenable. It's a nice sampling of what was deemed chartworthy overseas back in the day, albeit from a contemporary perspective.
Upon looking Seiko up on Wikipedia, I noticed the character for the first two syllables of her last name, which translates to "pine". It can be divided into two vertical halves--the left side is the symbol for "tree", the right spells my childhood nickname in one of the Japanese alphabets.
My sister, my brother, and I used to call each other by taking the first letter of our first names and adding "am". Thus Susie became Sam, Jimmy became Jam, and Henry became Ham.
Technically, Seiko's last name doesn't contain "Ham", cause with the exception of the consonant "n", all words in Japanese end in a vowel, rather it's the closest approximation, "Hamu".
I'd also seen that character on a lantern that hangs in my parents' family room. It's always been there, but like all the other Japanese writing that clutters their walls, I'd ignored it as decoration. However, seeing my name on that lantern caused me to acknowledge it after all this time.
"What does that say?" I asked my mom.
"Takamatsu," she read, "where our family's from."
"No kidding," I pointed, "it spells my name."
"Yes, it does," she reread.
Honestly, I never consciously planned the coincidence. You can ask Sam and Jam, when we decided on the "am" scheme, it was only after trying out other rhyming suffixes--"ack", "erman", "oe", etc. And we were lame in reading Japanese. There's no way I could've known that my name is contained within one side of our family's city of origin. It's cool nevertheless.
But what's cooler is my name's also in her last name.
Hey Alex, something strange is going on. I'm trying to find another Philip K. Dick novel to read, but they all seem to be unavailable at the libraries on campus, except of course the one that I already read per your recommendation. Even though the online catalogue states otherwise, not only your other suggested titles, but every book by that author isn't on the shelves. There are some located in special collections, but those can't be checked out--pretty useless to me. Either the circulating copies are lost or there's a conspiracy against my further reading. I've spent way too much time tracking down any of his books--I've searched the adjacent stacks trying to second guess where they might be hidden or misshelved, browsed the return trucks, and filed missing reports with the clerical staff. If I wasn't a cheap ass, I'd simply spend my money at the bookstore. But according to the library, I trusted that I shouldn't have to. And in a weird way, the situation reminds me of the Dick book that I did read, replete with paranoid clues. I gotta thank you (and Dylan) for your recommendation--the humour in my travails might've escaped me. Cause I'm feeling like the main character of a metaphysical metaphor, sent thru the runaround by bureaucratic fate, and gussied up in my own delusions of being centrally important to the galaxy.
Two dozen motorcycles surrounded my car as I was driving down the freeway at midnight. I got all egotistical as my gang guaranteed me safe passage thru the dangerous neighbourhood. No other vehicles were permitted within assassinating distance from mine. The biker directly next to me stood up whilst riding in a demonstration of assured balance. He gave me the thumbs up. I saluted him. We flew past the traffic in a parade of privilege that outranked the general citizenry's lack of inclusive awareness. Obviously, all this wasn't true--the biker gang was real, and they did escort me thru Compton, but I'm insignificant.
My former assistant Kate once said that "everyone's cool". It was near her last day under my supervision and I tried to compliment her by saying that I was gonna miss her cause I thought she was cool. She shrugged it off with the blanket statement. There's no proof that her claim is valid, but it's enough to quote, especially during moments when my head swells with or grants relevance regarding the illusion of hierachry in the supposed segmentation of our collective spirit. Everyone is special and there's nothing special about that.
Nevertheless, in this realm it's customary to find a mate--one who despite the oneness of all lifeforms, is selected amongst all others to share exclusive benefits. I'd like to believe that such hopefully well intended socially constructed morals are inconsequential enough to follow without disrupting the cosmic fabric. I suppose if one is compelled to adhere to whatever they define as intimate restrictions, then it's their version of reality that'll either hold together or fall apart in the face of ultimate love. For better or worse, all my life's been focused, subconsciously or not, on the standard boy meets girl formula.
Sometimes I wish I was gay. It'd certainly shave off a lot of the struggle in acquiring the heart of a perfect girl. Not to say that homosexuals don't suffer in their mating rituals, but for me, boys are way easier to mentally manipulate than girls. More than half the time, I can practically read the minds of most men--it's as if their mouths are slower than their already retarded thoughts. It doesn't matter their social status, I've been turned off by spoiled scripts during dialogues with janitors, executives, musicians, and the average man on the street. I've never taken advantage of my step ahead, even when I was disadvantaged and devious solutions begged to be instigated, cause my apathy ain't worth bothering, not to mention I don't get a kick outta fucking with people as a means of control, so I can't back my words. However, the intimidation factor is severely decreased. Meeting men who are rulers of nations, religious leaders, and even Dylan, can command my appropriately divided respect, but won't shake me up as calling a girl on the phone. No joke, I've vomited before dialing on several occasions. Cause less than half the time I'm totally lost as to what she'll say. The rest of my interactions with women aren't as dramatic, but they're just as challenging to understand. And it's that mystery that drops my chances of being gay.
Cause, to be fair, I don't rule out the possibility that there's some dude that can convert me, even though I've yet to get an errection from anyone of my sex. I'm open to it, but due to my familiarity with my own anatomy, I'm not envious of penises. In other words, without the element of otherness that I recognize in the female form, I doubt that the desire to compliment myself with the same shaped organs is mind blowing enough for me to pursue. Maybe in another life I would, but especially in this one, women spin my world. They've got my attention beyond my soul's bidding. Call it biology or conditioning, but I can't break their spell, and am left to wonder if I've got any proverbial choice in the matter. Like the complicated signs that they display, somehow getting to know a girl feels like the distance between guessing and comprehending the infinite design bridges closer. It doesn't matter which girl, they all do. Janitors, executives, musicians, and the average woman on the street all have turned me on to previously unknown horizons. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar forms the foundation of anyone's significant relationship with the population, straight or gay, multiple or singular--everyone's got their own reasons for falling in love, even if they don't make any sense. Mine's unfortunately riddled with absolute amazement and pure fazedness. Yet I'm closing all my other options to follow this conundrum to conclusion, cause it's likely that this is as close as I'll get to whatever purpose's been granted upon my life, if any. I can probably see it from any orientation, but I thrive on discouragement.
Oh, and I would't mind if the President of the United States was a woman.
In Japanese, the word "kokuhaku" means "confession". I recently watched a high school drama that introduced me to this concept in terms of admitting one's love. A girl was slipped an invitation to the meet a boy in the equipment room one afternoon. When she arrived, she faced the boy in private. They bowed. And standing stiffly straight across from each other, he nervously declared his affections for her. Of course, the contrast between the ceremonial formality and the youthful foreplay presented the scene as hilarious to my American sensibilities, I've nevertheless been drafting my own kokuhaku for you know who.
When I was in high school, I never made any big production out of asking a girl out. It was all informal--no written invitations, no secluded meetings, and no staged revealing of feelings. A simple "yes" or "no" was all I could inquire. Perhaps my approach contributed to my being rejected so often. But I was too scared to muster anything more. Geez, I'd've pissed and passed myself out at the thought of going thru a full scale kokuhaku when I was a teenager. In her defense, I can honestly say that she's the first to dare me to push myself to losing my confessional fears despite any connections between opportunities and will power. Cause it's difficult to be afraid of feelings that I agree with, even if she doesn't--I'm giving her my best shot, and that's all I can hope for. The deal is only as big as I make it.
A week ago, I wouldn't've been able to claim such boasts. But it hit me last night, before I fell asleep, the themes of my kokuhaku. It's gonna be epic. Cause it wouldn't be honest otherwise. Maybe it's all these years of holding back that's inspiring spiraling verses, or the long summer that's releasing the conviction behind their describing of vignettes. Not that I'm expecting to win her hand with my overconfident tale, but it must be molded with the same determination as a serious walk on the plank. I envision my kokuhaku as a death prayer with tons of laughs. Cause it wouldn't be me without going for the funny bone. Plus I get the sense that she's got the greatest sense of humour. If she denies me, at least she'll hear something that represents my interpretation of the absurd. I've got nothing to lose.
Anyways, anyone who's read OUT ON A LIM ought to've gathered some of the actual stories that'll flow thru my kokuhaku. For instance, the 999 elucidations that're archived starting from 7.5.06 and the name within name fluke that was written about on 7.16.07. Iím beginning to suspect that I started OUT ON A LIM specifically to log this data. I don't know if she's one of my subscribers, although she's admitted to visiting my webpage, but it doesn't really matter if she's been following my blog, cause those entries will be cast into the context of reality, in Japanese, and in person. As well, if she is reading this and she wants to be polite, please divert me from making a mistake. Just say "no". Either way, my written invitation's been sent.
Barring such, all systems are set to go. Her augmented reply is actually a blessing as it affords me editorial refinement. I'm not gonna actually write it out--something of this significance is easy to memorize. But it's consoling to have the spare time to rearrange and rehearse my kokuhaku, if anything to calm my confidence before the moment of truth. If I was crazy, I'd swear she lured me into this insanity. Regardless, as I'm fluent in English, I'll resort to speaking it during the end of my speech. But I'll keep it simple and to the point. And switch back to Japanse for the punchline.
Kore desu bai (this is it).
Oh it's not real if you don't feel it
Ideals you used to play with
They've finally taken shape for us
My rabbi once preached to me, based on his firsthand experience, about the unfairness of marijuana. Namely, the drug grants its users visions of heaven, which no one should be allowed to see unless commanded by God. He argued that it's not man's place to essentially break and enter thru those sacred gates.
I just watched The Goonies for the first time in a long while. I've never been a diehard fan and don't give a crap if they ever make a sequel, but I do remember it being a decently fun movie when I saw it back in '85. So I thought I'd relive the adventure. The great part was me being slightly familiar with the plot, cause as it unfolded the surprises weren't as worn out as say a film that I've watched way too many times.
If Star Wars was scripture, the verse "Just for once, let me look upon you with my own eyes" (Vader, Episode VI) would be my inspiration to remove as much of the apparatus as humanly possible that assists my physical manifestation's view of the beyond. Cause the Force gave me my eyes and I've clouded its sense of vision.
When I was a kid, I immediately, due to to my race, related to the Asian chum in The Goonies. As I rewatched the movie, I realized how off I was, pertaining personalitywise--I'm not an inventor of practical gadgets who speaks with a thick accent. Cause even the blue jean jacketed style of clothes worn by the leader of the gang matched mine when I was 13. I've always been a dreamer.
Some say "absence makes the heart grow fonder". Whilst I agree, I also think, to an extent, that "the fonder a heart grows, the more absent it becomes". Case in point, misdirected obsession, which may appear to begin benevolently, ultimately incarcerates excessive fondness yielding overzealousness and jealousy. Thus, I often find myself keeping course and regulating the growth rate of my heart's fondness with and during times of absence.
I cheered as The Goonies character that reminded me of a young me followed the clues, buzzed on the challenge of finding the treasure, convinced his friends to continue, kissed the girl, and saved the day. And in the end, he tossed his inhaler, which he'd been sucking on during previously stressful scenes, with the memorable line "Who needs it?"
I won't go so far as to say that I'm superstitious of trains, but there is a high amount of coincidence whenever I hit one. There's a set of tracks that I cross near the freeway on my commute. The frequency of trains has been down as of late, or at least I haven't been getting caught in their bell ringing, lights flashing, striped arm going down, and loss of time routine en route to work or home. And if I do, these days it's usually a few cars long--nothing as ridiculous as the 20 minute interruptions I had in the past. Anyways, this doesn't always happen, but more often than not, whenever I hit a train , it's likely akin to a warning that my day's gonna suck.
Ok, I'm not saying that my days ever totally suck, but given that on average, my contentment level is exactly at half tank, and as the balance tips, for me, the shift in my moods is, perhaps due to boredom, worth noting. And I wouldn't be writing about ominous trains if the connection between them and shitty days weren't so statistically in favour of my superstitious beliefs. My favourite example is when I hit a train engine that went back and forth four times at the railroad crossing before I could pass. That's the day my grandfather died. Other grand slam days that sucked almost always coincided with me being stuck in traffic due to a train.
If I were the Devil, I'd fuck with the souls that entered Hell. Namely, I'd brainwash them into thinking that they were still alive on Earth, with a torturous inkling that they've got a chance into Heaven, and a hint of paranoid suspicion that maybe the God they're praying to is me. I ain't in no hurry to watch them pay for their sins. Afterall, we've got an eternity to spend. Plus, watching them fall for it as they fall off their rockers is enough to make me fall on the floor rolling out loud with laughter.
My engineer paid me in hamburger for driving him to the musical instrument store. His primary mode of motorized transportation is his scooter and he wanted to buy a new electric guitar so he hired me to help him retrieve it. At the hamburger stand, there was a sign that read "beware of trains".
After a smoke break, my drug dealer revealed that he's seeking his cousin's approval. Nothing against the respectful gesture, but the idea of seeking anyone's approval is foreign to me. Cause I've always imagined it backwards--if they've got my approval, I really don't need theirs. In other words, I had no advice for him, other than "good luck".
I have never, nor do I particularily wish to skydive. Not that I'm scared to or don't crave the thrill, but a friend of mine once did the stunt and he told me that the most practical path to parachuting from an airplane involves going in tandem with an instructor. Fuck that. If I'm gonna jump, I'm doing it alone--falling from the clouds is a private moment. I don't want a stranger, no matter how friendly, strapped to me as the rush, which I assume kicks in based on the price of the recreational privilege, overcomes my self consciousness.
I'm reading her teacher's book. It's a hoot. The aphorisms about fugues are especially funny as well as helpful. And although some of the hyperbole about music being a near religious phenomenon is pedagogical mumbo encouraging jumbo, it's amusing to glimpse at elderly wisdom and wisecracks.
I hit a train today. It was short and didn't disrupt my day, literally and superstitiously. However, after it passed, the first thing that caught my eye was the Shell gas station on the other side of the tracks. The first letter on its business sign was obstructed.
The library was closed. Patrons and staff had evacuated the premise, except for me working late in the back office. Even though my main reasoning for having a schedule that briefly overlaps with everyone else's is coordinated as such specifically to avoid rush hour traffic, the childish absorbance into the thrill of having an entire music library all to myself is a welcome benefit. And I've taken advantage of the vantage point of the a clerical assistant on extended break, walking thru the mezzane's canyons of monuments binding the collected works of master composers, listening to CDs that were selected amongst tens of thousands from the rolling cabinet drawers, and reading current periodicals in the fully lit yet completely empty high ceilinged glass walled reference room. The night's shenanigans were about to begin just as soon as I finished checking in some approval scores, when there was a knock on my office's door.
You could've slipped subliminal messages into our conversations. I know you're dumbing down your Japanese, and I appreciate your accommoding gesture, but I don't always understand what you're saying, especially when you trail off with an accelerando. For all I know you've cast some spell into my guessing and probably projecting subconsciousness. Nevertheless, you've got every right to deny my flattering assumptions, lunatic irrationale, and idiotic theorizings, as you once wished to see how my brain works. And even though words are limited in depicting what goes on in my head, hopefully the practice that I ought to've garnered from writing this blog for the last four years should come in handy. Then again, it could've all been for nothing, which isn't necessarily a bummer, cause I never would've predicted, let alone respectfully earned, any future for me. But I can honestly say that I have no regrets beyond a negligible pile of meaningless doubts about what passes thru my mind.
I opened the door and greeted Penny, my former assistant, as she snuck into the back office. Apparently she's back in town. Anyways, she ran to the circulation desk whilst yelling something about desperately accessing a computer during these after hours. I let her be and remembered something she once said--that her flute teacher taught her not to listen to music related to the piece she's learning. I'd never heard of such techniques as I've always studied every recording in the library of Bach fugues concurrently as I memorized them. But hey, no one pays me a hundred dollars an hour for a lesson. So I'm actually ripping off that advice from her teacher, namely my listening's been pleasured by Puffy--super sweet pop music versus meager contrapuntal calisthenics. Although, technically, I can trace a line from Puffy to Bach via The Beatles as Ami and Yumi quote John, Paul, George, and Ringo (in the song "Kore Ga Watashi No Ikiru MichiĒ) who quoted Johann Sebastian ("All You Need Is Love"). Regardless, my enjoyment of playing Bach seems to be recharging. Maybe it's cause my fingers over the years have been getting comfortable holding multiple voices, or Penny's teacher's recommendation which she kindly granted onto me, or your subliminal influence on my appreciation of the piano, or the inspiration from my job at the library, or all of the above. Thanks.
|Once and for all, the cunts and the balls, dunced and installed, shall fall from a squall and crawl away from the never too late, always too early, and sometimes on time writing on the wall as seen by the obscene in florescent cream between the screams and reams of here and endeared nearness, clearness, and weariness due to the soon to be assumed doomed accumulation of tickets to the wicked draw bridge gnawing at the ridge of vows broken somehow now that the foul lineís been refined, reclined, and resigned to watch tomorrow's withdrawn dawn botched like a stone from a sling, a moan from a fling, a phone from a ring, and a grown from a wing cast by the master blaster of concealed conceit convicted within the confines of contractual, conscious, and contested confusion.
But I prevail with proverb protected pride, not necessarily carelessly consulted, cause my rule about rules is they're not rules unless you believe that they're rules ruling your ruler of judgement, adjustment, and sustenance regarding what pops in your mind, stops in your blindspots, and capsizes your capabilities to capture the captions spoken by the awoken however severed from the never hidden system of wisdom open to not only the chosen but the whole of souls traveling in the unraveling universe until uniqueness undoes its lust for dusty doors forevermore to be unopened.
And so I claim that the naming of shames remains the same as the framing of famed glories, cause ideally, really, the freely envisioned decision to observe the oblivious ain't full of worries, despite the stories otherwise, and seems to mean less in the ravine blessed by the final analysis, which is being optimistic about the opportunities pessimism misses, not to mention the conversion of conventions that strives to congratulate the lives of the saints over sinners, paints over thinners, and faints over dinners cooked with spices comprised of exact extracts from slices of twice as much evil.
Of course it's not downhill from this moment onwards as no crown will from an omen's words immortalize the immoral, so too shall every opposite opinion option for optimum maliciousness whether it's a simple dimple in the devil's smile, a thorn worn during a purgatory mile, or an unheeded plead from an angel's worthwhile suspiciousness, my hope is to cope with the eloping elevation and eliminated elucidation as I'm elsewhere bound from what I've gathered to matter insofar as humility is humourous when hummed by the impatient bums at the bus station with fussed elation and crushed contemplation.
Thus ends my littering of OUT ON A LIM with lies.
Everybody wants power
Everybody wants fame
Everybody wants money
La-la-la-la-la King Kong
Little man's weak and big man's strong
Everyone wants to be King Kong oh yeah
When I woke up this morning I had no idea that by the end of the day my bong would no longer be in my possession. The night before, per my drug dealer's vast knowledge of bongs, after all he designed mine, I mixed rubbing alcohol, rice, and salt as a cleaning solution for the built up residue. Mind you, I was putting it to rest. I'd finished my last stash and as an obsessive compulsive ceremony to respect its memory, I shined it up to its orginal clarity, which took an overnight soak. Not that I'm completely abstaining from pot, I'm going off buying my own private supply. Cause I think amongst certain friends, it's a social custom, and unless it's her request, I'll remain polite. I mean, it's different in the company of others--I've got enough self control to not overindulge. Which isn't always the case when I can smoke in the luxury of my own apartment, and that's why, like cigarettes and lying, I'm dropping these bad habits.
It was Sunday and I hadn't planned on going anywhere, so I wore my Guru t-shirt. It's supposed to be white, but since I don't separate my wash, it's grey--something I won't wear in public. I practiced some Dylan tunes in a fuck it it's the weekend so I don't've to be quiet volume when Ted Ed Fred called. He wanted to know if I'd like to go bowling tonight. Dylan's lyrics were still in my head as I suggested jamming his tunes with The Meanwhilers. Originally, I wasn't too jazzed about our last session, but Zaggs recently mentioned that he was up to trying again, meaning he'll show up. So Fred called JM Allevato, who immediately phoned me. Apparently he's been uncomfortable about playing in my presence after something I said before the Hacienda Heights concert. I apologized by saying I had no idea he was hurt, in fact I couldn't remember saying anything offensive, and that he shouldn't take anything I've said in the past seriously--I never meant any harm. So after clarifying that, we were set to jam that evening.
I had time to eat a salmon dinner, take my trash to the dumpster, go thru some Bach fugues, and come up with the honourable gesture of having Fred take the first hit out of my newly cleaned bong, after all he's its maker. I liken it to my way of saying farewell. Of course, I intended to share a rip, but I also thought that I'd bring it back home and lock it up in my secret hiding place as a tempting reminder that it's clean and ready whenever I want to get high, which hopefully I'll be able to resist. I mean, so far, I've been able to keep my hands off porn with it dirty and ready whenever I want to get off, so I've got faith in my not partaking in imminent self indulgent behaviour. Anyways, so I brought my bong over to Fred's house. After he finished watching the last scene from The Royal Tenenbaums, we waited outside for Zaggs. Fred taking the first hit out of my newly cleaned bong was a cool moment in that if I ever get the urge to smoke out of my bong at home, I'll remember the smile on his face and refrain--such happiness is enough for me. At the very least, my bong thanked its maker.
Zaggs was lagging, as usual, but he actually arrived within the same day. We piled into his truck and headed for Allevato's house, where the drums were set up in the music room. Zaggs' bong was filthy. I advised him to use Fred's cleaning solution, but he distraughtly commented on the difficulty of not being able to smoke out of it as it soaks for the unbearably long duration of overnight. And that's when I came up with the brilliant idea to give my bong to him. It'd sure get more use than taunting me from my secret hiding place.
I reminded Allevato that he has nothing to worry about in terms of my slighting him since he's the one who introduced me to Dylan--that's something I'll always keep dear to my heart. After we were all on the same page, the jam with The Meanwhilers was surprisingly fun. I mean, my thoughts were still with her, but they blended with Dylan's lyrics, especially with the backing of a rock band, in ways that I haven't heard before. I'm inclined to say that their poignancy, which I've been analyzing as of late, filtered thru our comradery and seemed to make more sense. For example "May you always do for others and let others do for you". Or I could've been high. But it certainly was a more positive vibe than the last time The Meanwhilers attempted to jam.
Coincidentally, Fred wore a Dylan t-shirt that he swore he didn't precognitively pick to wear. As well, on the drive back to Fred's house from Allevato's, after getting stoned again, we listened to The Kinks on Zaggs' stereo. The "King Kong" song came on. Cause I was in public, I'd changed from my Guru t-shirt to something less grey, my black King Kong t-shirt.
My favourite scene from Josie and the Pussycats occurs before Rachael Leigh Cook goes to Parker Posey's big party. She's dressed in a shiny dress and her wannabe boyfriend shows up at her corporate sponsored residence with his guitar on his back and a pizza in his hands. He's also wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt depicting the front cover of the "Zoso" album. Anyways, she asks him to help her attach her dress cause the back's hard to reach. He drops the pizza and struggles with the latch only to end up rubbing her back.
The truth is limiting, but I'm up to the challenge. Cause lying, or as I like to call it "fiction", is, for me, easier to conjure as my imagination expands the facts. And I define the "truth" in terms of this blog as anything that actually happened--nothing will be added or changed for dramatic effect, like in previous entries. I believe this'll tighten up my writing skills, or rather my ability to hone in on reality, at least as far as I can determine, without imposing any fake situations, sentiments, or secondary characters. Of course, identities will be protected, but I won't stretch their personas beyond what I personally perceive.
That being said, I've never touched a girl's back like I did hers. I mean, I could die right now and be happy that that moment graced my life. It was like every tactile sensation before wasn't real and after feeling her physical presence everything hence hasn't been worth exaggerating. Yes, the desire to further explore her body is great, and I've vainly tried to interpret her angle, but all I can gather is my patience as I pass thru time's tollbooth.
Some of the weirdos that hang out at my drug dealer's pad are so fucked up that it's impossible to ignore their dislodged state of minds cracking thru conscious reasoning. These clowns act in symbolic sign language. For comical instance, there was a jittering idiot who couldn't stand still--he kept his car's engine running as he ran around the street, jumped onto gate posts, and punched the bag of popcorn which he carried like a security pillow.
For a second I guessed that this lunatic might be dangerous--maybe I've watched too many movies to jump to the conclusion that illegal substances and violence are related. But then I saw that he was wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt depicting the back cover of the "Zoso" album. And I laughed. Cause for all I know he crossed my path to remind me that I've got a long way to go before I lose my mind. I can see how he might represent jealousy as I pictured someone else massaging her back. But upon forfeiting her to another, I couldn't help but see the humour in my getting the details backwards. I've no right to be envious especially after she so generously allowed me to touch her.
I've been drawing blood more in the last month than I usually do in a year. And my injuries weren't LEGO related, which is often the case--I'm sure the toy is relatively safe for kids, but on the scale and weight that I work with, it's actually a dangerously sharp medium. But I guess my coordination's been less than careful as of late. I mean, I can't remember the last time I wore a band aid due to a library or music instrument related injury, but I've had three incidents within three weeks that required attention due to squirting blood.
The first gash occurred when I answered my phone at work. I've got a metal file organizer on my desk that's by most standards safely edged. Yet I happened to graze its corner exactly at an angle that piereced my left hand at the thumb. Blood leaked down my arm as I held the receiver and took the call.
The second incident poked into my index finger as I was changing the strings on my guitar. Now, I've handled hundreds of metal wires in my life--there were plenty of opportunities to hurt myself when I fully strung a five octave harpsichord. But I never realized how much blood can spill from a tiny, but deep hole, punctured by the tip of a high E string.
The third cut was induced by a security strip--we use foil tattle-tape to set off an alarm if an item is taken out of the library without it being desensitized at the circulation desk. Again, I've hidden thousands of these in between the pages of books. And they're the last thing capable of laceration, but one caught my middle finger as I swiped it with my hand to apply the adhesive. Quickly, I reacted to the pain by pulling my palm away from the book. A second after I assessed the damage, I was holding a handful of blood.
My former drug dealer previously held a grudge against Steven Spielberg. He liked to brag about how he wanted to picket the movie A.I. by holding a sign reading "Steven Spielberg's parents should've died in the Holocaust". Cause he's a big Stanley Kubrick fan and he felt that, sight unseen, Spielberg destroyed the film--it was originally conceived by Kubrick who died before being able to direct it. So my former drug dealer refused to dignify anything associated with Spielberg besides boiling hatred. However, he recently acquired the deluxe book The Stanely Kubrick Archives. I was privelged to flip thru it, after washing my hands, and it's a comprehensive volume full of stunningly reproduced stills from the filmmaker's opus, a 70mm strip from 2001, as well as thorough details about all of Kubrick's projects, from unreleased images to behind-the-scenes accounts and unfinished ideas. "If you've got any questions about Kubrick," my former drug dealer announced, "I've got all the answers." Indeed, it's his most prized possession. Anyways, so I tauntingly asked if the book talks about A.I. I expected him to respond with his usual anti-Spielberg rant. However, as he flipped to the chapter on A.I., he admitted that he's having second thoughts about his stance, mainly cause he read that Kubrick personally encouraged Spielberg to direct the movie. "I'm more forgiving," he blessed as he asked if he could borrow my copy of A.I.
Brian was picking up the washer and dryer that he bought from my sister. I was visiting her apartment to collect some new movie t-shirts for my wardrobe as she and her husband were packing for the move to their new house. I ran into Brian as he was pulling out of their driveway with the washer and drying loaded onto a pickup truck. "Hey, Henry," he greeted as he stepped out of his seat to shake my hand. "Congratulations," I personally replied--he's a new father and this was my first time seeing him since. Immediately he showed me photos on his cell phone. I complimented his daughter who I thought looked just like him. Actually, he was once a notorious raver. Not that he's completely irresponsible, but thinking of him as a dad is kinda hard to imagine--he always seemed, and anyone who casually knows him would probably agree, like the perennial kid. To be fair, he has consequently mellowed out after getting married, as far as I can tell. And I'm confident that, like his characteristic ambition to strive for ecstatic extremes, he's capable of focusing his attention on being a good parent. I mean, his enthusiasm for showing off pictures of his daughter to me, which is granted what every new father displays to some degree, seemed like a genuine shift in his priorities. "Can you believe it?" he astonished. I couldn't disagree. "If I can be a father," he concluded, "anyone can."
I have no desire to see the new Transformers movie. In addition to it looking like a video game, I've always associated those toy robots with my brother, who's a huge fan and five years younger than me, which from the perspective of a child seemed like a generational span. Sure, some kids my age played them, but I never got suckered into the marketing ploy and thus have no memories to relive. Ok, I did think the Dinobots were cool, but I heard from my former drug dealer, who incidentally enjoyed the Spielberg produced movie, that they're not featured in the live-action CGI film. That being said, last night I had a dream that I starred in my own version of the Transformers movie. Of course I was Snarl, the Dinobot that transforms into a stegosaurus. It was pure silliness--lots of running around, fighting, and explosions. And when I woke up, I was convinced that there's no way the movie can compare to my dream, even if the Dinobots are rumoured to be included in the sequel. I mean, it's one thing to watch others transform, but it's something else to personally do so.
I'm writing this entry nine days in advance of the posted date. How I wish tomorrow was August...
I guess I've been getting ahead of myself--on average, I've got about a week's worth of entries in my queue. But I suppose I've been racing to get to the future, at least on my blog, as if somehow writing'll speed up time. Alas, I'm still here, nine days before anyone reads this, and so far away from the thereafter.
It's Sunday night 7.22.07.
This afternoon, on my drive to the cigarette store I hit a train. Actually, I'm starting to believe that my superstitious bad luck's turning around. Trains seem to now coincide with good days. You'll see...
"I'll take a carton of Marlboro Lights," I requested for the last time. The usual salesperson wasn't working today--I don't've to ask him what I want cause he remembers my brand. So saying those words out loud seemed appropriate, sorta like a farewell to the cigarette store. Cause by my calculations, the day after this entry gets posted, I'll've quit smoking. These are the last 200 cigarettes.
I never kept count, but roughly, estimating that I've been smoking for half of my life, and that I went thru a pack a day, which is a liberal guess, and not taking into account leap years, I've gone thru about 127,750 cigarettes.
I checked out my sister's new house in Irvine today. It's cool--the third story is especially cozy. There's also a community pool that I plan on using the next time I visit. I didn't today cause firstly I didn't bring my swimming trunks and secondly there was a crowded party going on there. It sure would've been nice especially since it was a hot day. Irvine's warmer than Redondo Beach, but even as I returned home, I had to open all my windows to catch what little ocean breeze was blowing in the early evening.
And then it started to rain.
It was, to the best of my waking knowledge, the first drizzle of the summer. Not that it's been particularly scorching, but it was exactly what I needed today as it refreshed the temperature and the present tense.
The last time that I happened to check, it's "50 days until football".
And now for a moment of doubt...
My license plate is 4LUV504. It's easy to remember it as "for love" and the 405 freeway backwards.
A WTC conspiracy theorist folded a 20 dollar bill issued before 2001 to prove that 9/11 was not only planned in advance, but instigated by the United States of America. Cause the bushes around the White House formed the image of smoke right after the planes crashed into the Twin Towers. Actually, I thought it looked more like weed spilling out of a joint, but I saw his point of view. Search online for "WTC 20 dollar bill" and decide for youself.
The first letter of her last name is "M".
If mine were the voice of reason and I had a say in who deserves to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, I'd cast my vote for Puffy. Cause I think there's nothing more rock'n'roll than not taking yourself seriously. There's a scene in Run! Puffy! Run! where Ami and Yumi visit the museum in Cleveland. They look like silly Japanese tourists amongst oblivious Americans. Little does anyone know, least of all the girls themselves that Puffy belongs in the shrine.
The first letter of my first name is "H".
I just bought the entire television series Trick on DVD. It stars Yukie Nakama as a magician who teams up with a physicist to expose fraudulent spiritualists. The first season arrived yesterday and I'll start watching it tonight. I've seen some episodes on the local Japanese broadcasts, and from what I saw the show seems intriguing, if only cause Yukie is so damn fine, but I'm not entirely sure that all three seasons are good. I guess I'll find out...
The first letter of her first name is "K".
Today, I noticed a car with the license plate 4MHK504.
Once upon a temporal juncture, a panel on my cheap bathroom sink fell loose. Being appreciative of my First World luxuries, I mean, somewhere a primitive tribe is planning a revolution for running water, I decided to fix it, which according to my rudimentary carpenter skills, required a hammer and a nail. I could've waited until the next day, but since I possessed more impatience than common sense, I attempted to do the deed after midnight. After one quick hit, the panel was secured. And thru my open bathroom window I heard someone yell "SHHHH".
This morning I was having a dream that involved a dog growling as it chewed on my leg. I woke up to the sounds of a jackhammer. I had my window open due to the summer weather and my lack of air conditioning, so the noise, which was originating directly outside my room, funneled into my amplifying walls. My legs felt the vibrations.
My watch read 9AM. I suppose in respectable society that's when sleep time's over, even though I find it difficult to look up to anyone who follows the herd, but for me it's equivalent to the middle of the night. Luckily, I was able to fall back asleep---I surfed the pounding rhythms as they demolished my consciousness. If this was payback for my hammering incident, I'm still in debt.
Congratulations for making me wait
Last night, in my dream, every airplane in the sky took a nosedive to the ground. I saw two--one at a distance and one nearby. After they hit the earth, smoke trailed upwards, and mysteriously the airplanes were sucked up into outer space. People stepped away from their homes and cars, flooded the streets, and expressed confusion. Was this the doings of aliens? I looked at a flock of birds flying by. Their wings were illuminated and their flight patterns wove sine waves. Somehow I was able to read the writing in the sky...
Right now, I'm inclined to think that there aren't any great works of art, just the overlapping of time sensitive emotions. By which I mean there's nothing inherently great about music or literature, rather it's how the listener or reader feels at the moment that counts. Cause it changes between generations, years, days, and even minutes--tomorrow, a piece of crap can be a masterpiece, and vice versa. It's the personal reaction, taking into account whatever's going on in the receptor's world that feels something, however tangential to the artist's intentions. Sure, there are consensuses and averages that produce seemingly universal appeal, but it's unlikely that everyone comprehends things exactly the same. If anything, there are only great responses. The work of art is only half of the story. And the story is being created as we speak.
That being said, Hana to Arisu isn't a great movie--it's long and drags. Yet I enjoyed it cause I associated it with my current state of mind. Ok, so the actresses are cuter than hell and disregard that they're costumed in schoolgirl uniforms and kimonos. But I doubt that I'd've connected with the film had I seen it any other time in my life. Actually, it arrived a day earlier than Netflix estimated. Anyways, the plot ain't too thick--two girls trick a boy into thinking he's got amnesia and they all are or were in love. It's sorta like an artsy teen flick. Nevertheless, I found myself freeze framing my memories, flatlining the moment, and totally overrating the movie. The characters twice mentioned the establishment of recalling occasions thru objects--a fountain pen will be found in a drawer later or a playing card will be rediscovered in the future to remember when and by whom these gifts were transferred. I ordered the DVD for my collection with the likewise aspiration.
The moon was hidden behind clouds on my walk to the mailbox. It wasn't visible other than as backlight for the nebulous edges. As I walked on the sidewalk, I kept my eyes to the sky, but every angle couldn't reveal the surface of the sun's reflection. And then I ingrained the details of my surroundings--the apartments under construction which'll soon be finished, the weight limit warning sticker on the letter drop that I never noticed before, and the shifting widths of the variably arranged crossroads.
Yesterday she emailed me from Chautauqua to notify me of her change in plans, namely that we'll need to postpone our social engagement til late September due to her staying away from Los Angeles longer. I don't mind, in fact I'm thankful for her courtesy. In a way I'm grateful for the extra time to prolong my overexcitement. I'm guessing that she's the kinda of patient delayer with some teasing suspense up her manifold sleeves to see if I'll crack. But then again, it takes one to know one...
On my drive home from work, by the airport, two airplanes crossed my path overhead--one at a distance and one nearby. I looked at a flock of birds flying by. And I reminisced how their wings were illuminated in my dream.
I broke the two minute barrier on sudoku--I finished in one minute and 53 seconds. Of course, I was totally lucky. And I'm not gonna shift my "under three minutes equals my mind is working fine" rule unless it happens again, which I'm not expecting. I mean, I don't wish for my mental acuity to be too sharp. I'm a freak already and don't need such encouragement.
I didn't break my promise to myself regarding swimming at my sister's community pool upon the following visit to her house since last. However, it was too crowded for me to do laps. There wasn't a party like the previous weekend and I did remember to bring my swimming trunks, but the sound of crying kids being forced into the water and the abundance of flotation toys discouraged me from picking up any speed. I just waded thru warm patches, touched the "deep" end (it was only 6 ft. 6 in.), and dried myself off after about 10 minutes.
According to Bobby, whenever he feels down and it seems like the whole world is against him, the movie Harvey always cheers him up. I'd never seen it so he lent it to me. Maybe it's cause I'm not feeling sad and I don't give a crap if anyone's against me, but the movie didn't make me feel any better than I already am. Yeah, I get the optimistic message of the film, and I'm sure it's helpful for depressed audiences, but I think the running time of one hour and 45 minutes is encapsulated within the first one minute and 45 seconds.
According to Sunny, the prestige of working at the Bellagio bakery in Las Vegas wasn't worth the stress. She'd spent the last nine months there and decided to return to Los Angeles. The impossible requests to create custom wedding cakes for couples needing them in 30 minutes or less were simply too ridiculous.
Half jokingly, Teddy responded to my question "Why aren't you at the San Diego comic book convention?" with "Do I look like a nerd?" This was funny cause he has attended in the past. "Are you on Facebook?" I asked. "Do I look like I'm 12 years old?" he answered.
Half seriously, Shelly laughed at the six times that she's repainted her kitchen due to "not being able to live with the colours". Iím guessing that if she went thru that many shades of "too much yellow" and "too much red" she's blessed with extra sensitive eyes. In those situations, I'm glad that I'm colourblind.
Kanae was afraid that I was putting a curse on her based on my incorrect usage of the Japanese word for "envious". Apparently she'd caught me expressing the darker shade of that sentiment twice to her. I quickly apologized, retracted the word, and replaced it with her less evil suggestion. Half seriously and half jokingly, according to me, sushi won't taste as good with her unless the curse is broken.
Genki desu ka? Natsuyasumi wa nani shimasu ka? Ninjin wa dou desu ka?
Honjitsu boku wa Unicorn hajimete kikimashista. THE VERY BEST OF UNICORN no CD o katta. Omoshiroi. Noe wa Unicorn no concert ni itta ne. Unicorn no ongaku wa chotto Puffy mitai. Demo Puffy wa chotto motto kawaii to omou.
Susie to Chris wa ie ni katta. San kai no ie. Sono ie wa boku no apa-to kara yonjuppun gurai. Ii ie to machi desu.
Jimmy to Minfang wa ima Oregon ni camping shimasu. Kugatsu wa kekkon suru. Sugu ne. Juugatsu Taiwan no kekkon suru. Boku wa sono toki nihon mo ikimasu. Tabun Yukichan no ie ni sasaemasu. Noe wa ganbatte sono toki ne.
Ashita boku wa tabako o zenbu yamemashou.
NOE wa yatto genki ni natta yo. A- shinndokatta.
Baby mo genki desu.
Baby wa otokonoko.
Ato 3 kagetsu.
One of the YUKIKO's students will go to Los Angels in this summer.
My mom talk to him about you. He wants to meet you if you have time.
His name is UEYAMA MAKOTO.Age 18.
He will stay in L.A from 19th August to 7th September.
My mom wants to talk to you on the phone.
But I forgot your phone number.
Can you call to my mom ?
My mom will go to Germany on 10th August.
NIHON wa atsui yo.
L.A wa atsui?
Do you have special plans in this summer?
I will go to hot springs with SHUJI.
And Fire festibal in BIWAKO will be special events for us. We will hold the home party with my parents and my friends.
Noe no onaka wa ookii yo.
|And just forget about my envy Lord and give me what I need
It's 2 o'clock on August 1st, 2007. I've got one more cigarette left. I'm gonna smoke it after I finish writing this entry. Not that I'm making too much of a big deal about the changing of the guard, but for the sake of a topic to blog about, I thought that it'd be cool to chronicle my final nicotine craving. It's sitting in the pack next to my keyboard. My Zippo's ready to blaze it into the atmosphere of my apartment. I honestly don't know what to expect after my last exhale. This could be my suicide note. Or this could be eye opening. In the back of my head, I'm guessing that it actually'll be insignificant. And perhaps I'll believe that I'm only imagining changes when in fact they're actually real. Nevertheless, on the possibility that my brain'll wrestle with the lack of tobacco smoke, and its defeat'll depend on finding clues to strengthen its sanity smeared in the text of this entry, for its sake I'll jot down these posterior thoughts.
After returning Harvey to my former drug dealer, I asked him if he could have a dream smoke-a-bowl session in his car, which is a four-seater, with anyone living or dead, who'd he invite? "Stanely Kubrick would ride shotgun," he established without hesitation. Who his other two guests were took longer to decide. "Bob Dylan," he tentatively placed in the first back seat. "Johnny Greenwood," he even more wishwashingly filled the final spot. "Not Thom Yorke?" I helped him find his confidence by throwing him names that he's tossed around before--Tom Waits, David Lynch, etc. "Orson Welles," he definitively answered, "it has to be Orson Welles."
If I was granted the similar scenario, well, first of all, I'd refuse such a dream, cause I don't prize my presence amongst others, with or without passing a bong, above the sum of my interactions with any of the segments of society that happen to cross my course. But if that's not on option, I'd pick my special lady friend to ride in the passenger seat, the first back seat would be her favourite music, and the other back seat would be mine. That'd be a killer dream.
And let's say, stretching this fantasy, that my favourite music must also be narrowed down to three forms, with a likewise seating arrangement in a metaphorically hot-boxed car, I'd select fugues to be directly next to me, the pop single at my diagonal, and silence riding behind. Extending the sequence, within each form, I must decide upon three prime examples, I'd pick the B-minor, F-minor, and F#-minor fugues from the first book of the WTC and the singles "Boom Boom Beat/O Edo Nagareboshi IV/Kimi ga Suki", "Hataraku Otoko/Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds/Don't Bring Me Down", and "ďOriental Diamond/Kuchibiru Motion/Neji Potion" by Puffy, and three randomly generated instances of the absence of sound. With those vectors I can map out my enjoyment of music.
I thought about taking a photo of my last cigarette. But that's about as lame as writing about it...
I tried to to quit smoking once before. Obviously, I failed, so I've selectively forgotten the details. I think it was about ten years ago and lasted a week or so. I have no idea why I made the attempt other than to see if I could do it. And I remember the headaches and losing my concentration as the reasons for returning to the addiction.
Like the last time, I'm going cold turkey. Call me old fashioned, but I believe the only remedy is in my mind. No patches, support groups, acupuncture, hypnosis, etc. However, I am aware that having a non-stressful life is an advantage--I have the luxury of confronting the withdrawal symptoms without any other worries to compete for my attention.
The first day was easy, but then again it was previously so as well. The nicotine's probably still fresh in my veins. Day two was a little trippy as my thoughts seemed to not flow as smoothly as I'm accustomed. But it wasn't anything worse than being stoned. In fact, I thought it was funny, which is the antithesis of how I reacted the last time I tried to quit, namely I panicked at my loss of mental organization.
Cause these days I don't give a shit about how my head's screwed. If smoking helped my brain to think, then please take it away. And I'm suspicious enough to distrust cigarettes--they're mind fucking me into perceiving them as consciousness enhancers. Ten years ago I'd've felt insecure about feeling less enlightened than everyone else. Nowadays I distance myself from such ego twists.
I'm hoping that the discomfort will escalate in the next few days. It's weird not breaking up time with a cigarette. Here's my analogy--time is like an ocean, cigarettes were like lifesavers that I could hang onto for a while, and now that they're gone, it's like, at least during these initial days, I'm drowning in the continuous hours. Actually, it's refreshing to experience time in this manner. I'd gotten so used to it going another way.
I haven't had any headaches yet. Admittedly, I'm not looking forward to them. But I suppose it's what I get for evading them for so long. I mean, everyone I know of has complaints about their head hurting whilst I haven't taken an aspirin since I started smoking. And even though my motiviations aren't health related, I guess I'd rather take headaches over a hole in my neck.
I'm starting to feel embarrassed that I embarked on this effort due to a girl. Not that I'm ungrateful to her inspiration, rather in the event that I fail, I don't want her to feel responsible. Thus, I avoid evoking her name as an incentive to persist. Instead, my goal is independence.
The other day, I bumped into my former assistant Penny in the kitchen as she was mixing a solution for her losing battle against a wart. My current assistant Dena's been befriending a high school girl whose daily agenda includes hording the library's Disney music holdings. I'm sucking on an orange Jolly Rancher at the reference desk as I write this.
If I could, I would've rated Zodiac two and a half stars on Netflix. It was technically a nicely made movie--if anything Fincher's a competent director, albeit I'm getting tired of his style. None of the actresses commanded my attention. And I don't have the urge to buy the soundtrack. After ejecting the DVD, I was sure to give the movie two stars. However, after thinking about it, I sorta enjoyed the tedious and unresolved tone of the film. So I rounded up and gave it three (out of five) stars.
So that was the second American movie copyrighted in 2007 that I've watched this year--the other was 300, which was also technically admirable but deficient in every other aspect of filmmaking. If this were a baseball metaphor, I'dn't be so cruel as to say that contemporary Hollywood's got two strikes so far. Certainly they aren't hits in my book. And I'll give America more than another chance to stay in the game. I mean, nothing against them, it's more of my own perspective that's not in sync with their ideas of entertainment, so I'd say that I've pitched them two balls.
I'm feeling more assured about my giving Hana to Arisu four stars. I'm actually dying to see it again--I had a dream in which I was in bed with the two title characters. Anyways, originally, I thought I was overrating it, but after thinking about it, I really admired the patient pacing and humour--there are some scenes that are so simple (playing cards littering a beach, a girl going thru ballerina steps dressed in a schoolgirl uniform) that my mind's eye keeps staring at those memorable images. If I could, I would've rated the movie four and a half stars.
And that was the second Japanese movie in the last month that I've determined to be of better than average status--the other was Cha no Aji, which was also as quirky, if not more blatant. As well, I watched the first season and a half of Trick, and had it been available on Netflix, I'd've given the television series four stars--I've never seen Yukie Nakama funnier. In other words, lately, in my opinion, Japanese entertainers know how to hit the ball.
Penny and Dena are repairing the circulation desk. A panel slid off the front side, which isn't too appealing for patrons to look at. Penny aligns the wood as Dena hammers it into place. The pounding is echoing thru the library.
Actually, I've got a support group in my corner. Cause I've told several friends of my intention to quit smoking. However, I don't expect their help other than to make fun of me if I fail. Not that I'm not thankful for their advice, but it's avoiding their laughter that's more effective for me.
Jeannette recommended that I reward myself for each cigarette that I don't smoke--sorta like some replacement for the compensatory association they offered. My former drug dealer suggested that I reward myself with a bong hit every night. All good ideas, but really, I don't need any rewards. Cause the way I see it, I cheated in life when I smoked cigarettes--they granted me peace of mind. I now totally respect people who don't smoke cause they lack the chemical advantage, and I should've cut them some slack when I called them idiots. I mean, I don't blame them for their stupidity in taking life seriously as they never were brainwashed otherwise. Thus, if anything I ought to be punished.
After paying my repects to Det Sjunde Inseglet I decided to take a walk. As I reached the corner mailbox, I looked at the distant end of the dozen blocks and followed the street to its conclusion. I respect the opinion that strolling in nature is far more awe inspiring than doing so in the city, but I believe it takes more work to find wonder in concrete than on some scenic hike. Cause you gotta be blind if you can't be spiritually moved by the majesty of a misty mountain. Yet the same beauty can be found in the weeds sticking out of the pavement. You just gotta look more closely.
And the smells. I'm amazed beyond kicking myself with shame for never realizing how many scents are in the air. Dog shit on the sidewalk, a girl's shampoo thru her shower window, gas fumes from a passing car, a backyard BBQ--all of it was too cool simply cause it was like I was smelling it all for the first time. I hope that my nose doesn't improve any further cause it's already overwhelming how much I missed.
At the risk of sounding judgemental, I think people watch too much TV. It seemed like every other window on my walk was filled with the flickering glow as dialogues, announcers, and sound effects emptied thru walls. But then again I was having too much fun outside, enjoying my journey, and recovering my sensations. I'm in no position to criticize.
Tomorrow I'll venture farther.
Bobby invited me, like he usually does almost every other Sunday afternoon, to go bowling that evening. Oftentimes I've got some excuse to not drive all the way to Covina on a school night, but today he deluxe sized the deal by promising that his cousin, Mike, who is anti-alcohol, will drink a White Russian on account of the lanes are being replaced with synthetic material, so as a toast to the memories, he'll bend his beverage rules. I was originally planning on rewatching Hana to Arisu--I noticed elements upon the second viewing that I missed the first time around, such as the little ballet gesture they whisk together in the train station, and cameos by Yukie Nakama's funny buddy from Trick and the Wasabi flavoured Ryoko Hirosue. I wasn't in any hurry to see the movie for the third time, even though it's improving with time, so I packed my bowling ball, the latest Puffy single, and some Japanese candy to suck on whist on the freeway.
Seriously, I think "Boom Boom Beat" is some serious shit. It's exactly what my ears were formed to hear. I mean, as a stand-alone work, it's hard to beat. Pop music, which is unshamefully commercial, is based on top hits charts which keep track of the popularity of songs. The main bartering unit of these weekly sales figures is the pop single. But the way I look at it, in addition to being a track that the record company is willing to bet on, the pop single is also a venue for uncommercial material, namely the B-side. These are tracks that won't qualify to be on albums proper. Sometimes they're filler and sometimes they're killer. "Boom Boom Beat" is coupled with "O Edo Nagareboshi IV" as a double A-side. And they're both rad songs. But the B-side, "Kimi ga Suki" is the raddest of them all. It's sorta like the kick ass third movement of a kick ass sonata. Puffy rules.
I met up with Bobby and I sat shotgun as we carpooled to the alley. He was driving like a maniac, albeit a skilled one, as he weaved beyond the speed limit between the traffic. "How the hell are you able to drive so fast without getting in an accident?" I complimented. "It's like I'm in The Matrix," he explained, "I can predict how the other cars will move and I just manoeuvre accordingly." "Like podracing?" I cross referenced his movie analogy. "Yeah, I can see things before they happen," he shifted gears, left an SUV in the dust, and laughed. "I could never do this," I admired. I wasn't scared, per se, but I did suck on some Japanese candy whereas I would've smoked a cigarette to distract my mind from fixating on the possibility that he was bluffing about his Jedi powers and executed this stunt a weekend ago.
After being introduced to Angela, she tied my tongue with a list of praise for my webpage--I always feel awkward when it seems like people know more about me than I do about them. Nevertheless, she seemed like a nice lady as she too couldn't believe that Mike was gonna drink a White Russian. Bobby ordered the drinks for everyone except Renegade, who's below the drinking age. We cheered and sucked the alcohol thru straws, except for Mike who complained about the burning taste and sipped it at a pace that was deemed mockworthy by all the adults present. In other words, it was memorable for being unmemorable. However, it was fun to bowl with Bobby and Mike as they'll going to France for a couple of weeks. And I accepted Renegade's request to make her a small fairy sculpture.
I got a strike on my first frame and never reclaimed such luck. On the drive back, Bobby continued his crazy driving style. But this time, the police caught him for speeding and carrying expired insurance--they didn't notice him putting on his seat belt after their sirens flashed or the bong in his cupholder.
We hope you will enjoy the show
That line from the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" suggests to me that The Beatles are either mocking polite popular entertainment with a faux humility aimed at record sales via a phony impersonation of themselves or are genuinely wishing that the audience will tag along with their gag. When I was younger, so much younger than yesterday, I let it be the blue jay way in my life. I mean, I still dig their music, but really, the only chance that I'll ever relive The Beatles' past in my future is if my wife allows me to entertain our kids with their music.
Far from being racist, rather if were a theorist specializing in WWIII speculations, the subtextual memes going around implying that China is up to something in the 21st century would be lobbying in my lobes. The first one I heard was "The Dragon Will Rise Again"--the mythical creature being the Republic, and call me ignorant, but I'm not sure if it's with or without the People. Cause the truth is so distorted over there that over the years I've been distracted into not caring. I mean, the unforgiveable outrage that sparks whenever I mistake someone from Taiwan as being Chinese strikes me as a source of potential tension, which isn't an atom's worth of the anger that erupts over Tibet.
Here we are now entertain us
That line from the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" suggests to me that Nirvana are either mocking polite popular entertainment with a faux humility aimed at record sales via a phony impersonation of their former selves after they sold out or are genuinely wishing that the audience will put on an enjoyable show for the band. When I'm in high school again, out of the ground into the sky, out of the sky into the ground, and I know I'm right, I wake up in my mother's arms. I mean, I still dig their music, but really, if the rumours are true, it's too late to organize a benefit concert to save Nirvana.
Far from being a theorist specializing in WWIII speculations, rather if were racist, the subtextual memes going around implying that China is up to something in the 21st century would be encoding sermons in my encephalon. The last one I heard was "Toy Recall"--supposedly some toys made in China were deemed unsafe for kids, but I'm not sure if the warning is exclusive for America or extends to the rest of the world. Cause the truth is so distorted over here that over the years I've been careful into not being distracted. I mean, the backlash from this last press release sounded like anti-Chinese propaganda as reinterpreted in the couch potato trenches, which isn't to say that it isn't baloney, but the potential to escalate the invisible connect the dots is sandwiched between the subtle switch of double standards.
Make yourself comfortable now
That line from the song "Hi Hi" suggests to me that Puffy are either mocking polite popular entertainment with a faux humility aimed at record sales via a phony impersonation of their former selves before they became cartoon characters or are genuinely wishing that the audience needs to be in a relaxed position to enjoy the gag--the operative word being "now". And they'll be saying now, anything is possible now, now everyday the sun shines in my heart, now every pure heart is shining so bright. I mean, I dig their music insofar as values are worthless in a valueless world.
I read on the IMDb that Christian Bale's diet for his role in El Maquinista consisted of one can of tuna and an apple a day. Not that I care about my weight, but my mouth watered at the meal. That actually sounds perfect--a simple no frills minimum sustenance. And I love tuna. I've never tried it in combination with an apple, and perhaps that's what's appealing to me. I'm not an actor so I won't try it everyday, but I'm definitely gonna give it a go at least once a week.
I'm currently reading this year's Communication Arts photography annual. I like to keep afloat on the current trends, even if I don't swim in the same waters as commercial photography--it's not necessarily the subject matter that I'm studying, rather technical aspects, such as angles and contrast schemes that I can swipe. And I hate to sound illiterate, but I enjoy "reading" photos more than I do words. I mean, I can spend hours looking at an image, whereas text ain't so inviting to my eyes.
Sakuran was directed by Mika Ninagawa, who is a photographer, and her visual sensibilities are, in my opinion, the highlight of the movie, next to, of course, the main actress, Anna Tsuchiya, and the music by Ringo Shiina. I kinda wish that I saw it on the big screen instead of my computer monitor--I got the Region 2 DVD. But I guess it's better than not seeing it at all.
Cowboys vs. Samurai
Today was a can of tuna and an apple day. Although, I think I overestimated the quantity of the ingredients. Cause a 12 ounce can is a lot of tuna and the apple I had was gigantic. I had to split the meal in two, and even then it was too much. The next time I try this I'll cut the proportions in half. I mean, I'm ashamed for feeling full. However, it was delicious--I can't believe I never thought of the combination before.
I'm weening off the candy that I've been sucking. Cause it'd be silly if I quit smoking cigarettes only to pick up another bad habit. Nevertheless, I guess it did its job, namely overcome sticking things in my mouth. But I'm smart enough to know, from my past Coke experience, that too much sugar ain't good for my teeth. I've got a bag of Jolly Ranchers at work and a can of Japanese fruit drops at home. I won't replenish either of them.
Every night I take a thirty minute walk. I've found a comfortable little route that's become a pleasant routine--I actually look forward to the stroll as I discover something new each time. Luckily my neighbourhood is such an amalgam of architecture as no two buildings are alike that it's difficult to get bored. Trash night is a hoot as the scavengers come out to dig thru the garbage.
Traffic's been a horror lately. I'ven't hit a nonstop commute all week. I'm guessing that there's some midsummer construction project or other going on up the freeway that's trickling the bottleneck. Anyways, I'd be pissed off if I didn't've cool music to listen to in my car. In addition to Puffy, I've been digging their sensei, Tamio Okuda, who was a member of the band Unicorn.
At the reference desk I spent nearly twenty minutes listening to a patron ramble. He began with a proclamation that Phil Spector was a genius, took several sidetracks including the impersonal nature of computers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and aerospace engineering, all of which never specifically landed on a question for me to answer. I figured he was just a lonely old man.
There're so many instances for me to lose my patience.
If I had any sense, I wouldn't've bought Chihiro Onutsuki's CD The Ultimate Collection. Cause her music is, for lack of a better word, "bland"--it's unoffensive almost to the point of agitation. I mean, I can see my parents listening to her brand of, for lack of better term, "adult contemporary" music, and falling asleep to her unspectacular voice and unimaginative use of standard instruments--acoustic piano, guitar, drums, strings. And her lyrics are, for lack of a better phrase, "too Christian" for my taste. I'm not religious enough to understand such preachy shit. Yet I can't stop listening to her songs.
I gotta say that ever since my sense of smell has returned my nose seems to really like wood. Trees, telephone poles, picket fences, and roofs are always welcome in my airspace. It's almost as if despite being cut down, chopped up, and figured into manmade contraptions, the smell of nature remains.
After visiting a cheesy website that's too embarrassing to link to, I think it'll best if I lay low on my Dylan praises. Apparently there's a lot of deifying on the horizon--movies, compilations, and the usual tributes. Not that I don't think he deserves any of it, but I'm not in the mood to join the choir. I should get out before I sound like I've been duped by the publicity machine.
The downside of regaining my sense of smell is a heightened awareness of expensive perfumes. I almost plugged my nose the other day when a sophisticated lady walked by, but then I remembered that it've been rude of me to draw attention to her phony odor.
Puffy are included in this season's Gap campaign. I'd like to post a link, but I'm sure, per fashion trends, it'll be outdated by the time this entry is read. Anyways, they look hot as usual. However, I'm slightly outraged by their designated profession--the ads feature various actors, musicians, comedians, etc. They're labeled as "popstars". Uh, excuse me, but I believe their correct title is "goddesses".
I was hysterically rolling during the second season of Trick. Moreso than the first and what I've seen of the third. I tried to explain it to a friend, and either I'm horrible at communicating jokes or the Japanese brand of humour isn't easy to translate, but I couldn't relay what I thought was funny, so I won't try to here. Plus, I'm also keen on the fact that my drool for the main starlet Yukie Nakama is possibly clouding my laughter. Anyways, as a coy marketing mix of the sublimely hilarious and the seriously insipid, Chihiro Onutsuki's songs play during the end credits.
Whenever possible, I've been playing the guitar without a pick. I find the volume produced by my fingers not as loud and the tone less bright.
Bobby and Mike are in France. Wong's over there, too. Umberto left for New York yesterday. My brother's going there tomorrow for a job interview. Alex is in the Ukraine. Penny and Dena are at music camp up north. My boss is in Ireland for a month. And Kanae is in Japan. It seems like a mass exodus this summer as everyone seems to've overlapped their travels. I've got no plans other than staying behind.
I visited the cataloging and metadata center today. It was my first time since they relocated off campus. I had lunch with Laura before attending Hermine's wedding shower--they both process music materials in the Westwood building. Actually, an advantage they've got is having plenty of eateries besides the tired UCLA joints. Although, I'd be tempted to sneak off to the nearby movie theatres during my breaks if I worked down there. Anyways, I took a tour of the various departments and met some of the personnel that I deal with on a regular basis--it seems like everyone's over there. My library's technical services staff is one of the few that've stayed behind.
A friend of a friend passed away around the time I quit smoking. I'm not exactly sure about the details, but from what I've read on my friend's blog, which has been updated with emotionally moving entries recounting memories, a last testament, and the funeral, some sorta fight with cancer was lost. I don't know if there's any connection to be directly made, but the friend of a friend was a smoker. However, the coincidence is enough for me to respectfully acknowledge as someone leaves this world whilst I stay behind.
Whenever possible, I've been playing the piano with the una corda pedal. I find the volume produced without it to be loud and the tone too bright.
|Well, I fucked up.
It's with great regret that I am reporting my failure to live up to my expectations--I never thought I'd break so easily and in such short time. I lasted about 17 days. But I guess I'm a weak idiot. I mean, I thought it was a fluke when I first broke the two minute barrier on sudoku. However, today I did it again. Fuck. Well, I suppose I'm gonna've to change my under three minute rule now that that speed is a useless measurement of my mind's agility. My consolation is that I'm five seconds slower than my record. I'm praying that I don't get any faster.
As well, this blows my theory about smoking enhancing my mental pace. True, during the first few days of withdrawl, my brain was mush. And I was fine with that--I was hoping to think like a normal human being without stimulants. Alas, my head's been returning to its usual rapid manner of processing thoughts--the neurons are firing again. It's like I'm a freak with or without cigarettes. I suppose I can never truly change.
I had another complaint to add, but I forgot what it was. Or so I tried in vain to lose my memory. Well, at least for a minute and 58 seconds I felt that wonderful blank state of mind sensation as I couldn't remember what was bothering me...
Meanwhile, I conjured up a petty nuisance that was unrelated.
My doorbell rang at 9AM this morning. Generally I can sleep thru the solicitations. But I'm expecting some CDs that I purchased on eBay--they're arriving from overseas and sometimes I need to sign for them. So I got up and answered my door.
"Are you Korean?" a man with a Korean accent asked.
"No," I laughed.
"You're supposed to be Korean," he insisted.
"Sorry," I closed the door and went back to bed.
Anyways, that absurd scene couldn't trigger the annoying complaint that had slipped my mind. And as I happily gave up trying to remember what it was that I forgot, the first line of an article in the UCLA staff newsletter caught my eye. It was about some grad student complaining about stress.
Yeah, that's what's been bugging me--the lack of headaches. It's been over two weeks since I quit smoking and I haven't had any yet. I'm still waiting for them to hit, not so much for the pain, but to pay my debt to the unfairness of life--I don't deserve to live without any suffering. Well, at least I wasn't smart enough to buy any aspirin in advance.
I received my copy of the CD Chine Reverie. Originally, I listened to it at work. I checked it in on the ethnomusicology archive's approval plan. Cause I'm a casual fan of Chinese stringed instruments, I popped it into my computer and listened on headphones. I'm not educated enough to tell if it's the musical equivalent of chop suey, but to my ears it sounded cool--there're some harmonies that I question the Eastern authenticity thereof, and the rhythms seem too common timed, but even if it's trying to cater to Western audiences, just hearing an erhu and a guzheng is enough for me. I mean, no matter what type of music they play, it'll remain Chinese by virtue of ancestry. I like the track "Green Valley". Anyways, I could've burned a copy at work, but I had to order the CD for myself cause I wanted to own the cheap artwork.
I'm close to claiming Hana to Arisu as one of my favourite movies. If watching it repeatedly without getting exhausted is any indication, then it's definitely a winner, although it's too early to be certain. Nevertheless, my theory on why it works for me is I can't decide which of the two main characters I like better--I'm a sucker for this formula. Sometimes I like Hana, whose climatic scene involves her confessing her lies in a kimono. And sometimes, when I turn off the subtitles, I like Arisu, whose moment of glory is a nonverbal dance in a school uniform. Beyond that, everything about the film is perfect--the intimate music and cinematography are simple, yet finely textured. Even though I'm colourblind, I think I've never seen green look so, um, green before.
I've yet to not see something ridiculous on my daily walks. Tonight I ran into a man who talked to his dog. One night I came across some kids watching a movie in a SUV parked in a driveway. On two different occasions I swear I saw the same cloud hovering over the same spot in the sky. But the silliest thing on my route is a crosswalk signal for a three-way intersection. I can understand why there's a stoplight for the cars on the street. However, I'm still scratching my head as to why there's a stoplight for the pedestrians on the non-intersected sidewalk. It's not like I need to be reminded that it's ok to walk there--it's always green, by the way. Am I misunderstanding the redundancy?
My obsession with Hana to Arisu continues...
I'm taking in the movie from different angles.
I learned some trivia after watching the behind-the-scenes documentary:
- the characters originated from a Kit Kat commercial
- the lens used was a still-photography lens
- Ryoko Hirosue wore nail polish according to her character
- the director Shunji Iwai slipped in several nods to the manga artist Osamu Tezuka
Hana also stars in the movie Ritana. It's listed on Netflix, but for some reason, as of this writing, it's only available as a "save" and not an "add", with an unknown date of rentability--the DVD was released in America back in 2004. Nevertheless, I found a vendor on Amazon who sold it brand new for $6.94. Even though the trailer makes it look like a video game (it's a time traveling, alien, slow motion bullet special effects movie), at that price I couldn't lose. And yeah, it's a silly flick. But Hana is cool in it. She's my new favourite action adventure chick.
Arisu was in the Lily Chou-Chou movie (which was also directed by Shunji Iwai). That film's way too depressing for me to add to my collection--I doubt I'll be in the mood to watch it over and over again. It's brilliant regardless. And I've been viewing it parceled in short chapters on YouTube--I don't think I can handle it in a single sitting. It does give Arisu's character an added dimension of tragedy.
It took some digging around, but I found the soundtrack--the official title is H & A. Anyways, I ordered it and can't wait to hear the CD in my car. The score was composed by the director.
Tonight I'll watch Hana to Arisu (English title: Hana and Alice) again, but this time I'll check it out on a different screen in another room and on headphones.
Yesterday was a genuine tuna and apple day. I had a 6 ounce can of tuna and a sensibly sized apple--exactly half of the serving size that I had the last time. And if I'm an average human, I'm further convinced that the three meals a day plan is bullshit. Even without appetite suppressants, such as cigarettes, I think it's feasible to live on one meal a day. Two is extravagant. Not that it's easy, I mean, it takes some discipline to erase the brainwashing that the food industry's fed me. I found listening to music, learning a foreign language, small talk, and taking a walk to be helpful.
I can't stop listening to Badalamenti's Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles, especially Mathilde's theme. It's short and simple, so it's hard to get tired of, and it's not played to death so when it does appear it's worth the wait. Musically speaking, it shifts from the major to the minor two and a half times. It's like it can't make up its mind if it's happy or sad.
Unicorn's got this cool song called "Jitensha Dorobou" ("Bicycle Thief"). It's the first set of Japanese lyrics that I'm admiring not for its content, but for its wordplay, or rather the tongue twisting chorus. As I'm learning to perform the song on the guitar, I keep fumbling lines like "Honki de oikaketa kedo boku wa oitekebori sa" ("With seriousness I pursued her but I was so sidelined").
Leave it to my parents to screw up my brother's wedding. I've been getting phone calls from them and my sister regarding travel plans to Taiwan. Like with my sister's debacle, I'm staying out of the arguments, so I'm not entirely sure who's to blame, if anyone is at fault, for the miscommunication, disorganization, and fissures along family lines. I keep my conflict concerned conversations constricted.
I wish my eyesight was better, in particular in regards to seeing spider webs. Cause on my walks I keep running into them, destroying all their hard work. Some poor spider won't be eating tonight. However, I suppose if I've got any purpose in this universe it's to encourage them to build their webs elsewhere.
Two weeks ago
"Can you make me a fairy?" Renegade suggested between frames during bowling.
"You want a fairy?" I double checked. "I can make you a fairy."
"But what kind of fairy do you want?" Bobby egged her. "Do you want a fairy like Tinkerbell?"
"Yeah," she agreed.
In addition to the copyright date, CDs published in Japan include the exact release date (formatted as year.month.day) on the back cover. Puffy's first single, "Asia no Junshin", which was the theme song for a beer commercial, and bares an instrumental resemblance to Unicorn's "Hige to Boin" (vocoder, chugging electric guitars, twinkling synth, marching snare beat), has a funny little message printed on the inside sleeve--"Debut mini album 'amiyumi' out this July...maybe!"
The Tinkerbell effect
As I looked up reference images of Peter Pan's fairy online, I stumbled upon articles about a psychological phenomenon named after the character. Accordingly, like in the story, it follows that certain "truths exist solely because people believe in them, for example, the concept of money, law, voting, and people swear they who believe in fairies. However, I think it's a little too obvious--everything can be traced back to wishful thinking.
Exactly ten years after the release of "Asia no Junshin", Puffy performed a concert at Hibiya Yagai Daiongakudo (as seen on the Tour! Puffy! Tour! 10 Final DVD). It was the last stop on their anniversary tour--the rain added to the dramatic date, as well as a guest appearance by Tamio Okuda of Unicorn. Anyways, they mentioned the significance of May 13 during the onstage banter. But somehow I never believed it until I saw with my own eyes the little "96.5.13" on the back cover of their first single.
On my walk the other night I noticed a set of life-sized Tinkerbell type fairy sculptures dangling under the roof of a neighbour's porch. I used them as my inspiration.
I woke up this morning with a bizarre desire for an MP3 player. I have no idea from where this idea got planted in my head--my only logical guess is some bug snuck up to my ear in my sleep and spit that nonsense into my brain. Cause I don't love music enough to warrant a fancy MP3 player. I've got my stereos and they're enough to keep me happy, and even that's too much of a good thing.
And no offense to iPod owners, but I think those devices are way too trendy for me. No offense to the consumer sheep, but I've absolutely no concept of what iTunes is or does, nor do I want to know. No offense to youngsters, but I think I'm too old to keep up with all these new formats--the CD was fine as it is. And no offense to shadows, but according to the ads it appears that I'll turn into a silhouette if I plug into an iPod. No thanks.
However, I did research what Sony had to offer in this department. Apparently the latest incarnation of the Walkman is an MP3 player. Cool. I saw myself filling it up with Puffy's entire catalogue--that'd be so convenient to have all their albums in one device instead of having to change discs. And taking nice long walks with Ami and Yumi in my headphones would be enlightening. Not to mention, I could take it with me on my upcomming trip to Taiwan. Man, I realy need an MP3 player.
So I went to my local electronics store. I haven't been in a real store in forever--Iím an online shopper. Heading over to the MP3 section for the first time in my life, I immediately ignored the Apple propaganda and looked for the Sony Walkmans. Disappointingly, the store didn't carry them. I was too tired to track them down elsewhere and too impatient to order them from Sony's internet store.
And that's when I woke up.
What the hell was I thinking? I looked a young girl fingering an iPod on display and lost all respect for her even though she had a nice ass. The desire for an MP3 was gone.
But what completely won me over were the sounds of the natural environment during my late night walk, albeit accentuated with city noises. It was the best music in the world, namely cause it's free and alive. I mean, really, humans can only wish they composed such perfect notes as those that are sung by insects. And the trickling of water in backyard fountains, underground sewers, and park sprinkers is beyond any rhythmic imagination. Dogs barking, cars rolling, my footsteps scuffing, the electric wires buzzing, a raccoon scavenging, an airplane landing--add it all together and it'd be a shame to miss any of it whilst listening to cheap and embalmed sonorities on an MP3 player.
There's a zany scene in the 1928 film The Cameraman in which Buster Keaton runs down from the fourth to the bottom floor in ten seconds. Even if the speed's being cranked faster than real time, the action isn't fake--he's actually booking down the stairs as the camera follows him without any cuts. The reason why he's in a hurry is to answer the ringing telephone--back then there was only one for an entire building. And the call he's expecting is from a pretty girl. He'd asked her out the previous day. Typically, she claimed to've another engagement, but would call him if it fell thru.
Yesterday, in my quest to find new rehearsal nooks, I climbed into the fan room of the music library, which is sorta situated on a faux fourth floor thru an elevated door on the third. Anyways, it reminds me of the basement with its clanking pipes and persistent industrial hum. The competing noises might seem distracting, but I think they promote a heightened sense of concentration as my ears disembody the melody from the din. Also, there's a door that spills onto the roof, but it's locked.
So Buster goes on a slapstick date with the pretty girl, including a wild double-decker bus ride and some screwball antics at a municipal swimming pool. At the end of the day, however, a coworker of the pretty girl, whom they happen to meet, gives them a ride home in his convertible. It starts to rain and inconveniently for Buster, the roof only covers the two in the front seats, so he sits drenched in the back trunk.
I've been casting myself in an Orpheus fantasy. For the last ten weeks it seems like I've been making my way thru the underworld. With my bamboo guitar in hand and the saddest Puffy songs in my throat, I'm far away from reaching the surface and on the verge of screwing things up with Eurydice.
Nevertheless, Buster gets the kiss from the strumpet. Going from the anxiety of the phone call to the absurdity of the actual date and the dignity of the ride home in the rain, that little peck on the cheek seemed grander than had it followed some uneventful adventure. Just don't look back...
Editor's note: OUT ON A LIM will return next Tuesday. Have a nice Labour Day weekend.
On my walking route, there're a couple of streetlights that turn on as I pass underneath them. I get self conscious when they do cause it makes me feel all magical.
There was a knock on my office door. I answered to find a girl that I've never met before crying in the hallway.
"My cat just died," she rambled about kidney failure and how he was in a plastic container that was in a practice room and that he was a good cat. "Should I get him cremated or buried?"
"Uh," I had no feelings about the matter, "do whatever you think is best." Actually, I was confused as to why she was bothering me. I was about to close the door when she interrupted.
"Can you give me a ride, either to my friend's house where he can be buried or to the vet where he can be cremated?" she couldn't stop talking.
Out of boredom and the passive compassion in my heart I said "Sure."
"My name is Elizabeth," she shook my hand as I introduced myself. I let her into the library after hours so that she could look up the phone number of the local animal hospital on the public terminal. I sat quietly with my hands folded behind my head as I waited for her to decide.
"What would you do?" she still asked.
"Really," I stayed aloof, "it's up to you."
"Let's go to to my friend's house," she settled, "and hope that he'll let me bury my cat there."
"I'm only driving," I drew the line. "I ain't digging a grave."
She agreed as we picked up the plastic container from the practice room which held Morris' body wrapped in a blue blanket, as well as his carrier cage and her miscellaneous belongings--plastic bags, a hat, sunglasses, etc. I'm giving her the benefit of the mourning, but her mind wasn't present as she ran to the bathroom twice, couldn't find her way thru the building, and misdirected me to her friend's house, not to mention this "friend" of hers was some Estonian that she recently met at the bus stop. I rolled my eyes as her "friend" took us on a tour of his house, but refused to let her bury her cat on his property. A Mercedes rolled up on the driveway packed with spoiled kids ready to party. I ignored their extended handshakes. I don't need to make any new friends.
"Let me ask my landlady if she'll let me bury my cat in her backyard," she suggested as she pointed up the street to her apartment complex. I sat in the car for half an hour as she disappeared into her landlady's adjacent house. To kill time, I received a call from my former drug dealer, who'd just returned from France.
"What are you doing," he puffed a bowl of American weed after only smoking European hash for two weeks.
"I'm sitting in my car," I described, "on a driveway with a dead cat in my trunk."
"What?" he coughed.
"Donít ask," I replied and explained the mess that I got into.
"Well," he advised, "be careful, cause you never know, she might be on drugs..."
Elizabeth returned with more tears in her eyes. The plan now was to get Morris cremated and then she'll bury the ashes in her landlady's backyard. At the animal hospital, I sat in the waiting room as she signed papers and cried. I must've looked like an asshole boyfriend.
As I dropped her off on campus, cause she wanted to take a shower at the gym, she broke down about how great Morris was--supposedly he was smarter and kinder than most humans. I couldn't take it anymore.
"Hey," I put a lid on the situation, "you can't ask for more than the time that you spent with him."
Unfortunately that was exactly what she wanted to hear. "That's so true," she burst, "You are so kind, thank you, bless you, and may good things happen to you."
Fuck me, I thought. Please, if there is a God, karma, or whatever, let this go. I didn't help her cause I wanted something in return. I only was being considerate--nothing more, nothing less. Everyone that I know of would've been a million times more supportive. I didn't even hug her, for heaven's sake. And yeah, there're millions of others who wouldn't've gotten involved with a complete stranger.
I cancelled out anything that I deserve.
Tonight I thought it'd be fun to walk my route backwards. It was cool to see the scenary from the opposite direction. And the streetlights die as I pass underneath them.
My only gripe about YouTube is most of the videos are in mono. Not that there aren't stereo clips, but supposedly it takes some extra steps, as outlined by this dude, to upload sound that's separated into right and left channels. I don't mind the picture quality, especially for the sheer selection of videos. But whenever possible, I've been hitting Stage6, where the audio is usually in good old fashioned stereo--you'll need to download the free DivX web player, but I think it's totally worth it.
That being said, I've been going blind watching this.
Here's the mono version.
"Hey," my former drug dealer asked his chauffeur, "slow down real quick." The car was turning too fast for him to pack his pipe. I wondered why the chauffeur was avoiding the main streets. "They're evil," he replied.
And then he told me a story about something, but I forgot what it was...
Even after a meditative walk I still couldn't remember if the chauffeur's story was worth writing about. Instead I suddenly realized that I'd memorized the names of all the streets on my route. After 13 years of living in the same neighbourhood, I never could keep track of all the street names--they were a blur as I drove past them everyday. But now they were mapped in my brain without any struggle. I guess walking facilitates osmosis.
My dad complained about all the passwords that he needs for all his computer accounts. He's losing his mind trying to remember them all. I suggested that he make one password and number or pluralize it. Not that I have the same problem, cause I tend to use keystroke patterns that don't necessarily spell anything but are easy to remember, at least for me, and difficult for others to figure out, which is the point of passwords.
I don't keep a daily planner. I figure if things are important enough, I'll remember them. Otherewise they probably weren't worth scheduling in the first place. I had a meeting with Jeannette today at 2pm. I got there on time--I remember something Audrey Hepburn once said about it being bad manners to be early or late. Anyways, Jeannette kept pestering me about taking notes during our meeting. I assured her that I wouldn't forget what we'd discussed. And if I did, something'll remind me and my memory'll get restored. It always does.
For example, the other night, before going to bed, I made a mental list of things I wanted to research the next day--release dates of certain movies to help me remember what I was doing during those years, and something else, which'd seemed to've fallen from my five plus or minus two short term memory slots. However, upon typing a uniform resource locator, I instantly recalled that I wanted to pinpoint the dot com crash.
"Who's Cate?" my sister asked. "You don't remember?" I answered. My sister admitted that most of her childhood memories are lost. My brother's got the same condition. Granted, I'm older than them, but I seem to've more pieces of the past in my head than they do. Not that any of it's super important. Cate was a girl that we played with--she lived up the street from us.
I broke up my Japanese/French film Netflix queue with Little Children, cause I wanted to hear Newman's score. Anyways, there's a scene in which the sex offender goes snorkeling in the public pool. It retrieved my memory of my former drug dealer's chauffeur's story--something about him knowing someone who didn't smoke but scavenged empty cigarette packs at clubs and parties, enough to collect the Marlboro miles needed to earn the scuba gear. Yeah, the story sounded better in the car.
Out of curiosity I looked up the very first OUT ON A LIM posting to check the date when this blog started. I knew it was four years ago, but I'm not a big anniversary nut, so the exact month and day ain't noteworthy. Or so I thought. I'll never check again cause coincidental birthdays aren't easy to forget.
<< Out On a Lim (9.7.07 - 12.7.07)
<< Back to main page