Well, it’s been a while. I’ve certainly been neglecting this website/blog thing for a while and, for that, I apologize. It hasn’t been a matter of me being too busy to write or really not having a lot to write about but rather a matter of me being absolutely dreadful at managing my time and my creative energies being focused elsewhere (We’ll get back to that particular point in a quick moment).
Anyways, in order to prove that I’m still alive and still care, I decided to write something, anything really, and put it up in this neglected corner of my life (another hundred bucks down the drain). So here we are, almost a month through the new year (no matter how much I keep accidentally writing 2014 on all my documents at work) and I’ve yet to publicly disclose my resolutions for the new year, something that, as we all well know, should be shouted from the internet rooftops or at the very least screamed in a drunken haze at your drinking establishment of choice, to mean anything.
Now, I’m not normally a huge proponent of these sorts of things because (a) I’m very bad at keeping promises and (b) I feel like crap at the end of the year when I review my goals and realize I fell well short of them. That all said, this year I have a couple of things that I really want to do and, for the sake of my sanity and well-being, probably should do.
1) Stop caring so much about sports teams halfway around the world.
I know, I know. The only reason some (if not all) of you are reading this website is the fact that I “write” for a fansite about a sports team in California but I simply can’t do this anymore. I mean, when it comes down to it, getting bent out of shape because a group of people wearing the same shirt lost a children’s game to another group of people wearing a different colored shirt is a little too much pain for a relatively small chance at satisfaction (and even then, half the city generally gets trashed by drunk dudes).
When I still lived in California, I could at least argue that “Hey! These are my hometown guys so I have to support them!” but now living in Japan, my fandom gets to consist of waking up at ungodly hours to watch the 49ers forget how to run a basic offense, staying up until ungodly hours writing about the Sacramento Kings, a team now so dysfunctional that its a minor miracle the fans haven’t burned Sleep Train Arena to the ground, and, I dunno, generally caring about how the Oakland A’s do. Considering how awfully each of these teams ended (or are ending their seasons) their seasons, it’s probably not worth it to pay this much attention anymore.
And yet there I am, writing articles (really more op/eds than anything else) about how terrible the Sacramento Kings are being run, something that has apparently put me on the shitlist of people semi-within the organization, and taking days off of work to watch the start of the NFL season online (true story).
Another thing those of you living in the states may not know: watching sports (legally) from outside the greater North American continent (and Hawaii) is really damn expensive. I used to go to eight or nine Kings games a season (and most of these were in non-sucky seats) and still wound up paying less than what I’m paying now to watch the NBA and NFL (the NFL in particular is very adept at charging you juuuuust enough to avoid you having to sell a liver). And I get so pissed off when things don’t go well for my team, which carries over to how the rest of my life goes and that isn’t good at all.
So this year, ideally, I’m cutting back and trying to go from being a sports alcoholic to a sports binge drinker.
2) Put more cards in the geinojin deck.
Some of you, if not all of you, are probably shaking your head right now. What the hell is a ‘geinojin’ and why does Stephen want to insert cards in it? Simply put, a geinojin (芸能人) is, as translated from the native Japanese, a comedian. Now I know most of you are currently saying “But Stephen, you aren’t even funny in your native language” BUT I have a couple of things working to my advantage.
First off, I’m half-Japanese which in the entertainment world here is the natural equivalent of being born as a tall blonde chick with big boobs. In other words, you automatically wind up getting stared at passerby and dealing with servers, people at counters, and generally anyone in the service industry getting a wee bit flustered when you walk in. Sure, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to get anywhere in life but it certainly doesn’t hurt matters either. Plus, if the hot blonde chick analogy follows through, I could always get a job working tables at Hooters.
Secondly, I’m a foreigner. “But Stephen,” you say, “you just devoted a paragraph to the fact you’re half Japanese!” That’s true BUT, unlike most of the other halfs (Halves?) in the Japanese entertainment world, I was born and raised in the United States to the ripe old age of 22. In other words, while I can understand Japanese and am familiar with Japanese culture and, to a small degree, look Japanese, I am also distinctly not Japanese, which pretty much writes itself as a role for me to play. Be the Japanese dude who is white and from America. Be the white American who is also Japanese. And play the fool doing so. Much like in teaching English, my part to play in the world of Japanese entertainment may be firmly rooted in the fact that I am a stupid person.
Thirdly, I’m still young enough that I can do things without any severe repercussions. Were I in my thirties with a wife and kid or two (two kids, not wives), heck, if I were the same age now but with a puppy or even a goldfish, I’d probably think twice about taking a shot at a field with a 99% failure rate. I just need to get things going before this dude steals all my thunder.
So if anyone wants to get in on this racket (manzai is typically a two-man game), knows enough Japanese to sound convincing, lives in Japan, and can put up with a 23-year old neurotic fat dude, let me know, I’m looking for a partner, I guess. (DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for airfare, visas, lodging, food, or any other costs associated with joining in my Quixotic quest.)
3) Write more bloggish things.
I paid for this damn website and domain name. May as well get as much value out of it as I can. Or I can let this place fester like a wound. Yep. That sounds about right.
Got any exciting (late) resolutions of your own? Let me know in the comment section or via Twitter or carrier pigeon. Want to ridicule my career aspirations? You can do that in the comment section or on Twitter as well. -Stephen