Latest Entries »

Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

In lieu of writing my own material today I will post a poem that I dig. Hopefully I will soon feel creative enough to actually create something.

Please note that this poem is in the Public Domain and is not subject to any copyright laws.

Ode
by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers, 5
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities, 10
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure 15
Can trample a kingdom down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself in our mirth; 20
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration 25
Is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming—
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one, 30
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshowing 35
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man’s soul it hath broken,
A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man’s heart. 40

And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day’s late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow, 45
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we! 50
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing:
O men! it must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing, 55
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry— 60
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God’s future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the comers 65
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,
And things that we dreamed not before: 70
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

Advertisements

A Rushed Post for a Rushed Life

It has been way too long. I feel like I have forgotten how to write.

I’m a salaryman now.
Salaryman is Japanese for workaholic by circumstance.

Just now as I sit in the lobby of a business hotel (on work) I thought that I just might keel over if I didnt make even a half-assed effort to update my blog.
Once upon a time for only a few short months I actually made continual update and had about 10 readers. Those were the days.

Well now life (work) is kicking my ass and I havent had the time or motivation. The key word being ‘motivation’, but I will put the emphasis on ‘time’ to make myself feel better.

A few random thoughts:

I just had my 2nd fathers day (third including pregnancy) and only one person told me happy fathers day. Although none of my friends are in the same situation, I was a bit bummed that none of them said ‘congrats’. This is just selfish of me though because of course they dont think of me like that yet. We’ll see how that goes next year.

Maybe Im not cut out to be corporate, but Im not sure yet.

I feel really happy these days. My son is big, strong, and crazy smart. He speaks pretty much only Japanese these days. My wife is doing great at her new job and is really coming into her own. I am so proud of them.

one, two, three, four, five
I want to write some more words
but this is the end.

The Last Present

It was the last of the presents that Bobby opened.  It wasn’t under the tree, instead Santa decided to hide it behind the sofa.  A final surprise on a mild December morning.  This one’s large cardboard box was wrapped in a piecemeal of old newspaper.  The absence of a big bow or bright, new wrapping paper only piqued his curiosity.  After his father pulled it from behind the old leather sofa, Bobby shouted in delight at seeing that the box was almost larger than he.

Bobby was an only child.  His mother worked full-time busing tables at a local diner and his father worked three times a week stocking shelves after he had been laid off at his day job as a construction worker.  The family was facing hard times.  A lower-income family being slowly drowned by the recession.  This year’s Christmas was bare bones.  The presents were mostly used, the tree’s only decorations were some tinsel and a paper star that Bobby had made in art class.  Dinner was going to be a box of fried chicken.  Bobby’s parents did their best to hide their troubles from him, knowing that his innocence would be lost all too soon anyway.  His mother’s salary barely covered rent, so his father had pawned off his tools and agreed to cover for his co-worker for the week, just so they could put some presents under the tree.

As Bobby began to rip the newspaper away, the words Radio Flyer slowly emerged.  This one present,unlike the others, was new and gleaming, the result of a cash advance from Bobby’s father’s boss in return for working on the holidays.  Bobby managed the tape with a pair of scissors and his father helped him remove the wagon from the box.  As his shouts of joy filled the small house, his parents let themselves forget, just for a moment, the struggles that were sitting like a pits in their stomachs.  They would remember this moment for the rest of their lives.  It would be the last time they were together as a happy family.

With his father and mother hand in hand behind him Bobby headed out to the sloping sidewalk in front of the house with his red wagon in tow.  He ran part way up the sidewalk, pointed the wagon toward his house, pulled his legs into the wagon and coasted down to his dad waiting to stop him.  After a few times his father taught him how to stop by using his feet as brakes.  Bobby rushed up the sidewalk again and much to his delight found that he could indeed stop by himself right in front of the house.  With his mom watching him, his father went back inside to grab a coat and hat for him so he could continue to play in the crisp winter air.

Ten years later, alone and somewhere at the bottom of a bottle Bobby’s father still blamed himself.  Blamed himself for leaving. Blamed himself for not saying I love you. Blamed himself for buying that damn wagon.  Mother blamed herself as well. Blamed herself for not stopping him. Blamed herself for not being able to see him grow into a man.  She too alone with her substance.  They remembered that he was no longer here and clung to that one short moment when they were a happy family.

The chilling wind rushed past his face tearing up his eyes and filling his ears with a hollow whistle.  The tires on the wagon jumped along at a great speed making a vibration that tickled his feet and rattled his jaw.  He laughed so hard his sides hurt.  For Bobby, this was the happiest moment of his life.

 

Silence Between Lovers

A sea of buildings stream by
touching upon my eye like wind from a butterfly’s wings.
Awaiting my caress is a lonely pen
sitting idly on the stationary in my lap.
So many mornings unveil the same, sad story of us
lovers
bound by silence and passion.
A can of coffee is slowly emptied.
The train approaches its final stop
and words intended to be expressed between lovers
go unspoken,
lost to a day that may never come.

The Lists in My Life

Well, it has been far too long since my last blog update.  The truth is I just can’t bring myself to write.  I want to write, but the words are not coming forth.  So in lieu of creative writing or focusing on any of my essays-in-progress I figured I would just give an update on my life and whats going on. (This is mostly for me to feel productive.)

Work

Its been busy but its straightforward and not particularly challenging.  For those of you that don’t know, I teach English at a middle school in Japan.  I wake up early go to bed early.

Planing the move back to Telluride

This is very stressful.  Everything that needs to be done is large task in-and-of-itself. Heres the breakdown:

  • Get my wifes visa.

This includes many steps….

1)Fill out all papers (some questions are seemingly impossible like, ‘List every place you have lived in the last 10 years’ and ‘every job and address from the last 5 years’)

2)Schedule an appointment and hand deliver all ‘flawless’ papers to the Tokyo office (the trip to Tokyo from Osaka for two people will cost around 150-200 USD one way depending on mode of transportation)

3)Attend interview sometime shortly after papers have been handed in and pay the 420 USD processing fee.

4)After and unknown amount of time my wife needs to return to Tokyo for a final interview.

  • Get my sons social security number and passport.
    This isn’t too hard, just costs a lot (200 USD)
  • Find a job stateside.
    This is proving to be very hard considering I don’t have a definitive date for the move, I don’t specialize in anything, the job markets not so hot at home, and the contract system used in Japan doesn’t look good on a resume in the states (all contracts are less than a year)
  • Find a place to live.
    Hard for obvious reasons and leads to questions like where would the family stay in the interim period.
  • Decide what is coming and what stays behind.
    More importanly…What to do with the things that stay behind?
  • Find a way to ship everything back.
    Again this will probably cost way too much.
  • Save money.
    Not going so badly, but have to balance saving money and paying off debts/bills.

 

Family

Things are going well between my wife and I albeit stress on all fronts.  The stress is mostly coming from her mother (which I might go into  some detail in a later post) and the prospect of moving to America.  Although we are both working and pretty tired/edgy these days we are taking everything with a grain of salt.  Our communication skills are always being challenged and therefore always getting better.  Still we have lots of progress to be made.  Our most handsome son is growing fast and learning about the world around him.  He is a true gem and keeps my wife and I in check.  The way he learns about the world is fascinating and inspiring.  It seems that he picks up every little thing that we do (sometimes this is not a good thing).  His vocabulary is ever-expanding and the current list (yes its still small enough to make a list of) is as follows:

(Italics denote baby pronunciation, ie. unintelligible unless you are me or my wife)

  • Itsy-Bitsy (you know….the spider)
  • ball
  • thank you (sounds like ‘tane too’)
  • bye-bye
  • hai (Japanese for ‘yes’)
  • bread/banana (it seems he uses the same word interchangeably for these)
  • wan-wan (Japanese baby word for ‘dog’)
  • nya-nya (Japanese baby word for ‘cat’)
  • zou-san (Japanese for ‘elephant’/ sounds like he ‘dou-san’)
  • bu-bu (Japanese baby word for ‘car’)
  • papa
  • mama

All in all we are nurturing a strong loving family unit and everything we do is with the family in mind.

 

Leisure/Down Time

Not much of it really.  Like I have previously mentioned, I want to write, but find it hard to do so.  In sticking with my list format that has taken over my blog here are the leisure activities that I have been doing or want to do.

  • I have been trying my hand at crossword puzzles with limited success.  I find them fun and challenging, but sometimes too obscure.
  • I want to go see the new Harry Potter, but lack of time and money (one movie ticket in Japan runs 20 USD) have prevented me from doing so yet.
  • The lack of exercise lately is really taking its toll. I need at least 7 hours a week.  The most I get now is from my 15 minute bike ride to work. (It’s all uphill at least)
  • Wish I could be learning to play my bass and/or play on an ukulele.  This would be easier if I had a practice amp.
  • Downloading movies.  I sometimes sacrifice a few hours of sleep in order to watch a movie at home (thank you isohunt.com)
  • Learning to flip a pen around my thumb. This is harder than it looks and for those of you that know me the pen has to circumnavigate a huge thumb.
  • Reading.  I have had time, but not a book. I have DFW’s Infinite Jest, but its life consuming and I cant dedicate the necessary time to it.  So I have made a list of authors/books I want to check out. Sorry…

Thomas Pynchon
Don Delillo
Paul Auster
Salman Rushdie
David Mitchell
Robert A. Heinlein
Dune
Freakanomics
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  • And of no surprise to you….Making lists. To Read:, Likes:, Dislikes:, Online Magazines:, People I See Every Day:.  (I’m sure there is got to be some psychological reason like needing order in my life or something.)

Its getting cold here in Osaka.  I don’t mind the cold, but cold without snow and skiing I just don’t see the point.  Japanese people always boast about how Japan has four seasons (and yes they are surprised to find out that other places do to), but they are probably the worst four seasons I could imagine.  In Osaka winter has no snow, summer is too hot and humid, and spring and fall are too short.  Bottom line is, I need to get out of the city.  I long for fresh air in my lungs.  Sometimes being constantly surrounded by some 17,000,000 people isnt so fun.

Minstrels in the Forest

words dribble out
teasing at something more
drops of seduction
waiting to ensnare
those hungry and drunk with curiosity
sink teeth into shadow
masticating the marrow of my mind
sounds of consumption from afar
vindicate every stroke
the mist, both friend and foe
a thief in the night
steals without notice
only to bequeath gifts of singular beauty
eternal, dense, and delicate as a cloud
the souls of the givers are devoured by the ravenous ones
all have played their rolls
satisfaction around the table
minstrels in the forest
dancing to their own melody
eager eyes and ears
or silence just the same
their craft endures
crashing waves of nothing
for come now the lyrics
to placate our fears
with peace found in scribbles on parchment
a friend in a strangers mind

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. ~Japanese proverb

Some people say that if you can survive 6 months in a foreign land then you will be ‘just fine’.  This, I have found, is not always the case.  In this series I will examine aspects of Japanese society that have left a sour taste in my mouth.

Including today I have spent 640 straight days in Osaka, Japan.  For those of you not big on numbers that’s 1 year and 9 months.

Aside from these 640 days, about 4 years ago I did a one-year study abroad in Nagoya, Japan.  That, mixed with a few other visits, brings my total days in Japan to about 1020, a nice round number that happens to be my moms birthday 10/20, and the number of days that President George W. spent on vacation during his time in office.

On consecutive day 640 I have had more than enough Japan than I can handle.  Japan just isn’t for me. At least not the new me, the husband/father me.

My first year as a student here was bliss.  With all necessary expenses paid for by years of savings on my parents behalf, no obligations to work, and only responsible to my own irresponsibility, life was a breeze.  Aside from the required studying, I spent my time playing soccer, drinking, going to clubs, smoking sheesha, and chasing girls.  Like everything and everyone in Japan, my activities were routine and precisely timed.  School Monday through Friday 09:30 to 16:00 except Thursday where school didn’t start till 11:30, soccer practice was right after school for 2 or 3 hours depending on if we had the whole field or half field, Wednesday night was all-you-can-drink at Red Rocks from 21:30 till midnight for 2,000 yen (even though I hardly ever paid), Friday and Saturday nights were club nights (19:00 departure, 19:30-21:00 pre-game at The Hub, 21:00-02:00 at the club iD bar, 02:30-06:00 at the hookah bar Tracks, 06:30-09:00 asleep on the subway loop line, and in bed by 09:30), and Sunday was recovery day in the hammock.  This schedule continued on with very little variation for almost 8 months.

It might seem like I totally wasted my year abroad, but I have to disagree as a matter of principle.  On top of my Japanese ability improving leaps and bounds, I made lots of friends, became much better at soccer, was physically fit, and I got to enjoy a lifestyle completely different to my time at University of Hawaii.  That being said there are cons to every situation.  I am sure my liver was not happy by the end of those 8 months, I could have studied more, and I could have tried harder to really see Japan in a different light.  At the time I actively tried to ignore what I did not like about Japan and instead focus on making friends with bartenders and club staff so I didn’t have to pay for drinks.  I was happy with the Japan I had and was quite satisfied that I didn’t have to deal with the problems that I saw with Japan, instead I could just bitch about them off handedly with my friends in class,  “man, this old woman just kept staring at me on the train yesterday.  Cafeteria 3 for lunch?”.  I don’t regret my reckless year in Japan and in fact it now holds a spot in my memory unblemished by the social hiccups that taint my current 640 days.

When I came back to Japan, this time to Osaka, it wasnt to drink and go clubbing.  My Japanese wife and I were going to have a baby and after some deliberation decided that it would be easier on her to give birth if she was close to friends and family.  Not knowing quite what to expect, but equipped with a love for Japanese food, a major in Japanese Studies, and almost a year of experience living in Japan I conjectured that I would be fine living here for an undetermined yet knowingly extended amount time.  Within weeks I could hear myself complaining about, ‘how things are done in Japan’.  One of the first instances that I can remember unnerving me revolved around gift giving.

Although we were moving in with my mother-in-law we had to bring gifts to some select neighbors telling them that we were recently married and moving in.  This in itself I do not mind, and is a good practice no matter where you are.  I myself had done the same thing with neighbors in Hawaii.  About a week after my wife and I made the rounds telling neighbors of our situation the same people started showing up at our door bearing gifts of money to congratulate our wedding.  I found this very thoughtful albeit a bit over the top, and in a few weeks we had amassed nearly 300,000 yen (about $3,000).  Granted most of the money came from relatives, but many of the neighbors had given us cash and or gift baskets.  I was taken aback by the kindness of everyone and quite pleased at our new savings.  Yet as soon as we started to get the first gifts I noticed that my wife started to stress out and the more gifts we got, the more stressed she became.  Upon asking her why she taught me a new Japanese word, ‘お返し’ okaeshi pronounced OH-KAE-SHEE.  The root word means ‘to return’, and the word okaeshi usually translates to  ‘in return’ or ‘a return gift’.  I explained to my wife how I expected that we should send thank you cards to everyone and that should be enough, but she let me know that I was clearly out of the knowhow and okaeshi constituted much more than a mere thankyou.

The okaeshi custom involves giving a return gift that is equivalent to at least half of the value of the original gift received.  This meant that all of a sudden we had to go out and buy 150,000 yen worth of gifts for everyone.  I protested that it made more sense for people to just give smaller gifts and in return give a thankyou, thus eliminating a lot of hassle.  In the end my protests amounted to nothing and we gave everyone their okaeshi.  Now, nearly 2 years later, I couldn’t tell you who gave us money or where the money went.  We have received other gifts here and there, and for everyone we have to find out the value, which is often a pain in and of it self as everyone removes the price tags, and given an okaeshi equal to half of the cost of the gift.  This wasnt so bad when we got cash gifts for our wedding, but was quite irksome when we got loads of clothes when our son was born and had to pay out-of-pocket for the return gifts.

As much as I didn’t like the 50% value, return gift idea, I was/am free from the true poison of this system.  Because I am a foreigner I am exempt from many of the finer nuances of Japanese culture.  This can be both good and bad.  In the case of okaeshi though, this is a great relief.  For Japanese people too, the okaeshi custom is convoluted and stressful.  The type of gift you should return changes based on the gift that you initially received and who gave the gift to you.  You must think the gift giver’s relationship to you and determine how that affects the okaeshi.  This is the same as speaking Japanese where you constantly have to change your language based on if the person is your junior or senior, part of your ‘in’ group or ‘out’ group, and other variables.  Even in the categories, ‘in’, ‘out’, ‘junior’, ‘senior’ there are many sub-categories, exceptions, and situational differences.  Bottom line is, just speaking Japanese can be a pain-in-the-butt.  Add this complex system to gift giving, and you have a headache.  It is so difficult that most people do not know how to do it and have to refer to professional help, internet, or books on the subject.

I find this system to be unnecessary and sometimes inconsiderate.  Why would someone assume that if they give you a $50 gift you have the $25 to give a return gift?  On top of this, I found that most people who we got gifts from were not doing so because they sincerely wanted to but instead because they were social obligated to because they were somehow associated with my wifes immediately family.  Indeed 98% of the people who have given us gifts in the last 640 days I have either seen only at the time of the gift giving and return gift giving, or never once as some people gave gifts through my mother-in-law.  In a nutshell, the okaeshi custom illustrates my frustration with Japans belligerent adherence to social obligations regardless of if they make sence or not.  There are so many issues that when I ask, ‘why not change this?’, the reply is, ‘because this is how everyone does it’, or ‘because that’s just how it’s always been done’.

As an independent, free-thinking American its hard to grasp the idea of doing something just because that’s how other people do it even if it doesn’t make sence.  I feel that if there is something wrong the best thing to do is to fix it.  In Japan I would say the general inclination is that if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed.  This is not a bad idea in and of it self, but in Japan people don’t like to acknowledge when something is broken.

Risk Aversion

Mark Rothko 1956

Orange and Yellow, 1956 Mark Rothko

 

In a recent netscapade I found this quote,

A coward is a hero with wife, kids, and a mortgage.  –Marvin Kitman

Now, I am not claiming to be a hero or a coward, but I do admit that since getting married and having a child of my own, my risk aversion has been significantly affected.

Yesterday morning was a warm, November Sunday here in Osaka, Japan.  My wife was bustling around the house doing various chores. I  was part watching our son, part chipping away at my TO DO list, and part allowing my mind to drift off in no small part due to ebaumsworld, or Facebook, or maybe Wikipedia, possibly even the NY Times, or….well, you get the point.  My son was quite content to just sit in my lap with his face buried in my chest, his back forming a misshapen C attached to my body like the handle on a coffee cup.  With the extra time afforded to me by my sons subdued behavior, I was able to knock off some items from my TO DO list.

  • send email to company regarding job inquiry….check
  • update blog….check
  • start collecting mailing addresses….check
  • work on visa application for my wife….check

Albeit my wife and I were in the same house it was as though we were from two different worlds juxtaposed on one another; one where time clips by close to c and the other where time only sluggishly moves along just so it can be called time.  I was quite happy with the lethargic rate of time in my world. Key strokes and my sons warm breathing formed a quite bubble of bliss.  The sun was out, I had a nice cup of tea, and most importantly: It was Sunday.

Although I was content to stay where I was, the 15-month-old on my lap could only hold still for so long.  He had seemed a bit under the weather, but more or less in a good mood for most of the morning.  The stark difference between our usually tour-de-force efforts to keep him entertained, and this morning rose concern over his well-being.  Come mid-morning he decided that enough was enough, and Dad’s lap was no longer the sanctuary he needed.  A storm of tears and gusts of heart wrenching cries quickly eroded my wifes patience.  With a declaration that she could not possibly cook lunch with him in the house, I was forced to retire the computer and gear up for a walk to the park with number one.

We dressed lightly, bid farewell and good luck to my wife, then headed downstairs to put on shoes and head out.  I  decided upon my Crocs, which just the day before I broke down and bought; a purchase I have to say was well worth it.  As for my son, its his blue shoes or his black shoes, so for no particular reason I helped him slip into the prior.  After a quick deliberation on whether to take the stroller or not, I opted against.  My little man had been virtually motionless for the majority of the morning, so I figured it was best to get his little legs moving.  We opened the door into a flood of warm light and a splash of autumn colors immediately stimulated the senses.

Our neighborhood is a slow and relatively quite residential section of Osaka well outside the city proper. Directly in front of our house is a slow urban river lined on one side  by Sakura trees.  The trees bring me much ocular pleasure and in the summer a touch of aural discomfort.  From late March to mid-April, quickly burning out in an explosion of beauty, the Sakura trees produce their famed and most beautiful gift: the cherry blossoms.  The beauty of the blooming pink flowers is exemplified by their short life, and two weeks after the first blossoms most of them have fallen to ground in a delicate and stunning display of one of Earths greatest sights.  After the last of the petit pink petals has been blown away, the trees dense foliage proves a desperately needed respite from Japans blisteringly hot and humid summers.  At the peak of summer in August, thousands of two-year old cicadas emerge from the ground, make homes under the leaves of the Sakura trees and begin a chorus of harsh mating calls.  This sound, which in Japan is synonymous with summer, combined with temperatures often reaching 40 degrees and near 100 percent humidity, is the bane of my life for one and a half months of the year.  Eventually the cicadas, much like the more pleasant Cherry Blossoms, die out.  Once peace and quite is restored the trees continue their quest for sunlight well into the fall.  Come mid-November suddenly realizing that it’s too cold and the the days are too short, the Sakura trees begin another transition in their already vagabond cycles.  In a two-week blaze of fury the trees renowned for their pink kisses, turn a darker hue reminiscent to drops of blood mixed with sunshine.

It is into this incendiary world of color that my son and strike our gait,  his six strides to my one.  The sun at our backs we start off down the river.  The leaves underfoot and above each a painting by Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still.  In the first few steps my son seemed taken aback by either the oranges and reds (his favorite colors), the change of pace, or quite possibly both.  He teetered a few meters empowered by the open world before he remembered his docile mood and slowed to a stop.  I reached down and offered my hand which he  eagerly clutched; my middle and ring fingers almost too much for his little paw.  His fully extended arm and my back bent down making me several inches shorter, enabled us to walk hand in hand, father and son.  As his soft, fleshy grip on my fingers melted my heart. I remembered the quote I had read online and realized that I would give up anything to keep this moment.  I could no longer rush into high risk activities without fear.

I was not fearless before marriage and a kid, in fact I was rather moderate in the risk taking I engaged in compared to some of my friends.  But now I’m afraid of something more poignant than loosing life or limb. I’m afraid of losing the happiness and comfort that is cultured between my wife, son, and I.  Maybe it could be said that I’m turning soft, or that I’m sappy, but honestly I don’t care.  I seem to tear up a bit in some movies where I previously had not, I find myself getting scolded by my wife for kissing my son and tickling him with my beard when he should be getting ready for sleep, I have given up space on my side of the bed and a spot on my special pillow so my son can sleep between my wife and I, and I have change hundreds of diapers containing smells that would make a garbage man cringe.  This journey on which I have embarked on with my wife and son is arguably the most risky and grand event of my life.  What is more risky than raising a human to hopefully become an independent, free-thinking, conscious, loving person?

The point is, as my son and I walked down the side of the urban river and picked up sunburnt leaves, I realized that I would risk anything for him, but I would have to balance out the other risks in my life that could cause me to lose him.  I will still ride motorcycles, maybe just a little more cautiously.  I will still drive fast, but not as fast.  I will still ski, mountain bike, climb, and hike, but not too much beyond my limits.  I hope to finish getting my pilot’s license and eventually  start my own business, but first I need to ensure that I can provide for my wife and son, so that one day he too can make the same decisions.

We eventually arrive, he made it within about 100 meters before he wanted me to carry him, and I let him down in the middle of the small riverside park.  He first crouched down and gingerly felt the dirt, waving his fingers across the ground.  A few toddlers playing in a jungle gym caught his attention, but they were to big for him, so he continued on to the slide.  Without hesitation he started up the metal ladder with me spotting him.  I had never seen him on a slide by himself, so I was not sure what he would do once at the top.  Little to my surprise, maybe because of some of still developing risk aversion algorithms, or maybe because of his fathers inherent relish for speed, he inched on his stomach to the brink of the nearly two meter slide and with a little nudge from his dad he raced down face first.  As quick as he went down he rushed back up again for a repeat performance.  Two times was enough before reverting back to the quite demeanor that had defined him that morning, and we headed to the swings.

After we sat on the swings for a couple minutes, again with him in my lap, we started to head back home.  I hoisted him onto my shoulders and let him get a closer look at the drops of color waiting to succumb to gravity.  Within a few minutes we arrived back home and said goodbye to the sun cutting its way across the sky.  We were greeted by a pleasant smell and a warm hug from mom and wife, and sat down for hearty helpings of fried rice.

Loosing this is just not worth the risk.

As soon as the camera came out, he freaked out.

Scum

To those in charge, we’re the scum.
Thats right, you and I
the nasty fucking gum thats been marinating in a cesspool of warm urine and spit on the floor of a public bathroom then gets stuck on the bottom of a shoe and walked through so much shit and grim that it just disappears

Lets not fool ourselves though
that size 10, $500 dollar loafer doesnt belong to us,
no
its Theirs.

I can hear your desperate calls echoing in the nothingness
‘Im no scum, I make 6 digits’

‘Hey, Im an upstanding Christian man’

‘Im a police officer’

‘We’re white, middle-class’

Well guess what?
The used and abused, the Scum,
have a plethora of lenses and filters to distort the truth until it becomes palatable.
Oh, but we cant be blamed
we have so many other important things
TO DO:

shopping malls
fast food
season premiers
ball games

Living life vicariously through a
42″ Hi-Definition FLAT SCREEN

five episodes of ‘Palin’s Alaska’ later
you feel like a native Alaskan

‘Wheres my shotgun!?’

Social programs run an inch deep
edukation is under-funded
war mongering over-paid
the disparity between rich and poor has created a social gap large enough to
DOUBLE FIST

Fuck me, this sounds great.

Your individuality  and freedom were thrown out long ago in favor of corporate interests
As long as you’ve got the
Super Bowl
right?

As bleak as the situation may sound
we’re just monkeys
our hands stuck in a jar
feverishly gripping a shiny object

we have been led to believe that
OUR HAPPINESS
can be found in that Shiny object

Lets just
let go!
free ourselves from the bottom of an over-priced shoe
The Scum are only scum if they agree to be,
if they acknowlage that they are part of the system
if they acquiesce to Their power
if they dont THINK

To loosen our grip on that shiny object
an exercise in willpower must be consciously and forcibly
brought forth.

I’m a betting man, so I will wager that this will happen
on a grand scale
when we loose our pinky toes.
Until then,
Ignore the smell of piss,
Fox has something important to feed you.

suppressed rant

simplification of pure is nothing
purification of simple is everything
definitive is a deleted expletive

(expletive deleted)
definitive as truth

(expletive deleted) truth!
to make any claims of truth is to extrapolate (expletive deleted) from the simplification of pure
such indulgent self-flattery

(expletive deleted) yours truly

fuck