Change is Good

(or, You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks)

The above statement is something that I'd never thought I'd put to paper and believe. Although I often pay lip-service to my "ability to be flexible and go with the flow instead of against the current," the past months have really been a test of my mettle.

Everythingians have been lately filling my E2 inbox with warmth and concern. For that I'm very, very grateful. I've been putting off writing anything by saying that I've got "writers' block." Bullshit. I just haven't wanted to talk about what's going on.

Last night, after a lovely evening working (no sarcasm involved - it was, indeed, an evening filled with good karma) I decided that I'd put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and let everyone know what's in my head.

My new little buggy is now beloved by me. At first, I hated it. My friends cackled with snide remarks about the dramatic difference in my vehicle of choice. Stuff like "he lost the Lincoln in a poker game," and "the gas prices got the better of him." The nicest thing anyone said to me was "gee... it looks like you've sold your shares in ExxonMobil and are fast on your way to becoming a Democrat." Pshaw.

Anyhow, I'm driving all over the place (often far above the speed limit) and digging the compactness of the car. Last night I was negotiating a curvy country road as surely as in any far-more-expensive European sports car I've driven. I felt as if I was in my twenties again, and driving my first sports car.

The drive to see my dad in hospice is 45 minutes to an hour each way. I used to be so self-conscious about driving the little white car; enduring looks of loathing undisguised as my fellow Republicans in their Cadillacs, Mercurys and other gas-guzzlers flew past me, probably thinking I was some sorta tree-hugger ('cause of the big, green "hybrid" logo on the rear of the car). These days I find myself spending more time in the car paying less attention to other drivers and more attention to how lucky I am, being able to spend time with dad.

Which brings me to my wife. I've gotten recently to see a side of my wife I thought I'd never see. Sure, she's kind-hearted and very loving. But the stress of having to manage every day with "half of me" surely must be taking its toll. Well, ladies and gentlemen, she's risen to the occasion. If we were Catholic I think she'd have been nominated for sainthood. Well, I'm not Catholic and I nominate her for sainthood nonetheless. She is my rock and has been tolerant of more absence on my part (both emotionally and physically) than I think many wives would tolerate.

Dad's changes are for the worse. But that's C-A-N-C-E-R, my friends. A mysterious disease that becomes all the more mysterious the more I attempt to learn about it. So I've gotten an education. I've also been able to spend time with him. A lot of time. Which is far more than many folks can say about their own dying relatives. I am blessed.

My brother flew in from L.A. last week and will remain here until dad's demise. Thank goodness his firm allowed him to work out of their New York office for awhile. It's nice having him around; I'm discovering a new relationship with him that's just wonderful.

The bills for mother's new living quarters are quite hefty (she doesn't want to live in the family home without dad). I've taken a pay cut 'cause I'm not around that much. I'm dealing with eating at diners and otherwise pinching pennies very, very well. In retrospect I can see the foolishness of my ways vis-a-vis excess.

So although my life is full of changes and unexpected turns in the road, I remain optimistic and as cheerful as I can be ("fake it 'till you make it" works for me). My Buddhist faith has carried me far. My friends have carried me farther.

Love to all of you,


Dear noders,

Remember my angsty daylog? I'm well on my way to fulfilling my UK 2009 dream (ie, to live and work in the UK upon graduation). A quick update: I have successfully declared European Studies as my major and am learning German in the university. So things on my side are so far so good.

I've gone on to research on the British High Commission/Foreign and Commonwealth Office websites, enquired with the local British Council and even emailed my recruitment queries to the BBC (uh yeah, I thought it'd be nice to work for them, lol) but the thing that I'm most concerned about is how exactly I'm to make this plan of mine become a reality. The abovementioned organisations do not provide me with adequate information as to what I should do and what I should know with regards to making my transit from Singapore to the UK besides, well, saving as much money as I can.

I'll really, really appreciate it if anyone can advise. (You can find my email on my homenode) I'm a hopelessly goal-driven person and all I want is to be able to see some light at the end of this tunnel.

Mucho gracias.

Let me decimate this crap with romantic gestures and infantile dreams...

They all speak of Fuck that Matrix bullshit, I'm talking about real-life pain and strain; the penultimate desire to absorb that other half of yourself that seems to be able to walk this plane without you.

At this point she is far from a distant memory yet memory she remains. A million cliches dance in my head, angels they are not, as I try to pin down exactly what it was she held me with. Power, surely, but I am impelled to identify exactly how and why she was able to consume every attention I paid her greedily and still leave me hanging out to dry. Goddamnd you, bitch, for creating this monster and only the sweetest blessing drops of blossom can I lay at your feet. I worship you still and you will never know. Does it seem illogical to hate and love at the same time? Only if you don't know. Only if you don't... adhere to common misconception. If you walk your own path you've undoubtedly uncovered a myriad of skeletons and made them dance to your song, crooning regret and dispelling any swell of guilt.

Fuck poetry.

The One, she still walks the veins of my mind and I could not care less if I didn't care so much. How ironic that you who taught me to truly love taught me to hold back, never tell, and keep this one man an impenetrable island. You were always the best teacher. I now make iron seem jello. I spit these words now only with an alcoholic fume to follow them. This is this. This isn't something else; this is this.

Conclusion, yes? Isn't it just. Nah, forgive me if I lead you down another path for the moment. Reality begs to be acknowledged, and yet I find that my study of the Japanese language leaves my command of the English language faltering... dead in a ditch, as it were. Fuckit, let's consult the now. Resident of Japan I am, outsider by nature, and I tend to characterize the entire country as a woman that hasn't accepted me yet. She will eventually if I play the right game, and games are my forte, but I remain tiptoe-cautious.

My god you are beautiful. My Japan, my love, my girl... my self-imposed disillusionment. When I finally call my own bluff I will be riding the rails of my own soul, replete with awareness, love, and knowledge of your goals and heartaches. Such knowledge of the future with so little ability demands Buddha-like satisfaction in the sensual pressures of the here and now. No problem.

Let me mish-mash words and sing-song melodies to pass the time.

And so it goes.

"You dont actually belong here you know", he said turning away from the monitor to face me.

"What ?", I was surprised that he even had the time to look away from the game he had been so deeply engrossed in for the past hour, deeply enough to not notice me enter and slip into the chair behind him. Turns out I was wrong... again.

Nothing new here.

"Umm, dont you have a game on ?", I questioned trying to focus on the bright screen behind him, yearning for a glance. If only to affirm that all parts of me were there, physical and mental, and had been so since I entered the room. He was over but the round quite was'nt. All I got back in way of a reply was a long sigh and a dogged stare at a spot somewhere above my right shoulder. I knew better than to follow his gaze, because if I did the stare would be on me.

Its not like I didnt try looking. Vacant spots, abandoned corners, starry roofs had become my domain during this so-called quest. If only they existed outside my dreams. Woven in the fabric of reality I would atleast be able to convince myself and hopefully even others that something better lay out there and that I was looking for it. But then again, WHO am I kidding ?

Why was it taking so long ? Why wouldnt the damn-thing restart so that his attention would be diverted away and I could slip away unnoticed once again. Well, atleast a part of me. Rumour has it that somewhere in these dark, murky lanes I would be able to find fragments of me and be able to get back to where I was. Not that I remember what it was like back then, but it has to got to be better than this, heck, anything has got to be better than this. Those are paths you shouldnt traverse along. Lines from some cheap flick spring instantly to mind, but I smile them away not wanting to spoil your moment of psychological eloquence even one so brief and gimmicky.

Rumours - by me, for me, of me.

"Whatever", he mutters glancing back at the screen just as the timer runs down, time for another round. I hear voices in the distance as I slip back into my reverie.

Can it really end so abruptly ? Or worse, should it ?

What can we say about it, as people?
Love is the single most important thing we have to offer.
In a sick and twisted way, it is also one of the most
painful and destructive things we have to offer as a

We tear down the barrier that we put up to protect ourselves
from heartache, and pain. Between two people who are in
love, there can be no barrier.

The line must be erased and no longer exist if you are
truly, deeply, in love.

Experience can guide us, only to an extent..but if, and when
you fall in love with someone, if you can't imagine living
another day without that one person, well, i wish you luck.

Nothing can fully prepare you for love.
You will lose sleep.
You will cry.
You will laugh.
You will live.
Love is a miracle, and a curse.

I could sit here and try to define it all day for you.
However, nothing i say will materialize it for you.
That part you have to discover on your own.
I wish the best to you, in this, the most important aspect
of life.
We all know, its not an easy one.

"To make the journey and not fall deeply in love -- well,
you haven't lived a life at all.
You have to try.
Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived."

The Sunglasses Massacre

or How I learned to stop thinking and found a girlfriend on Tram Number Nine.

During the last several days I began to notice a trend here in Prague relating to men wearing sunglasses and men with girlfriends. Today I decided to put this idea to the test while coming home on Tram Number Nine.

Hypothesis: Of the men in Prague wearing sunglasses, an irrationally high number of them also seem to have girlfriends.

Observations: Sunday, 17 August, 1510 - 1540, Tram Number Nine.

As I rode the tram home I decided to take some notes on my hypothesis. Task one, observe men wearing sunglasses. Task two, observe to see if men wearing sunglasses are accompanied by a female.

Within the first few stops on the tram I observed at least five men wearing sunglasses. Of these men only one was not with a woman. This man, however, had obviously chosen to wear sunglasses for fashion reasons, based on his other attire.
Within the next few stops I became worried because the few more men that I saw with sunglasses on were not with women. I decided to pay closer attention, however. The key is to watch these men as they exit the tram. As most of the men exited the tram it became obvious they were with a woman, as they would pause and wait for her to get off the tram after them and then continue on walking together. One man with sunglasses did not get off with a woman.
Observing people on the streets as we passed, most men did not have sunglasses on, but the ones that did were accompanied by a female.
Almost all females with males who are wearing sunglasses are also wearing sunglasses, often of a very similar style.
Two men get on wearing sunglasses that are most defiantly not with any ladies. These two men, however, soon how themselves to be tourists who are probably just wearing their sunglasses in case they find a need for them.

Observation Conclusions: A strong ratio of 1 to 4 is apparent; though I did not take down exact numbers. If you subtract from these numbers men who are obviously tourists the ratio quickly changes to 1 to 5. (It should be noted that these few men wearing sunglasses but without a lady present does not mean that there is not a lady present in their lives, they were just not with one at the time.)

Possible explanations of such findings: I can only thing of two possible reasons:

  1. Women are attracted to men in sunglasses and therefore men with sunglasses are more likely to be accompanied by a woman.
  2. These men with sunglasses on are weak and feeble minded men that do whatever their women tell them to do. Therefore, women must be looking for men whom they can control.

Apologies: I know that this last conclusion seems harsh, but it does support other observation I have had lately, Such as:

The best way to scare-off a female is to discuss literature or politics or some topic that shows that you do have a mind of your own and can think for yourself.

End of Experiment

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