So I’ve started trying to run more.Writing it down makes its seem like some sort of big life decision but really all it is is that I’m bored.As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found life to be series of routines, a long river riddled with whirlpools in which one can get bogged down and circle aimlessly for years on end.This is all, of course, simply from my perspective.
On my end, whenever I feel myself start to get bogged down into a set routine, I do something to change it.Be it quitting my English job to go to Japanese comedy school, starting work at a Japanese ramen shop, or, in this case, taking up jogging again. Continue reading →
The updates and blog posts have been few and far between of late. Of course, if you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever you already know this. Life has a funny way of coming back around on you. One minute you’re convinced that you have enough to say or write to put into words every day and the next you’re sitting around pounding your head into the wall trying to squeeze out a word turd through your prolapsed mental asshole. Continue reading →
The girl frowned, brow curling with the starting pangs of sudden confusion. He felt his own “Look at me being all grown up and buying chocolate for people on Valentine’s Day” grin beginning to subside.
“It is Valentine’s Day, right?”
He reached into the breast pocket of his suit to retrieve his cellphone. He liked to keep his phone there, he was an adult now, after all.
The Bossman cleared his throat and nodded towards an empty classroom. Without a word, he let the chocolate sit.
“First year in Japan, right?” the Bossman asked, shutting the door as he followed his bemused subordinate in.
“So you don’t know then.”
The Bossman took a swig of coffee from a paper cup. When he pulled it away his mustache was dripping.
The bossman paused, looked him over through thin barely there glasses.
“Better if you find out for yourself. I’m sure the staff’ll let you know what you need to know. Hell, they’ll enjoy it.”
Of course, explaining Japan’s various customs, rituals, and odd practices started by well-planned retail campaigning to the resident dumb gaijin seemed to be everyone’s favorite pastime here.
“Uh huh.” He always hated being explained to and hated the Bossman more for setting him up for it every time.
“Anyways, I was actually checking your file just the other day and it said you used to play football.”
“A little, I guess.” Small talk. He hated small talk. It was already what he did for a living. Make small talk in English. Make sure there were no horrible errors being made. Give the customer a nice list of new words to be digested, just to make sure they felt they were getting their money’s worth.
“What position?” The Bossman always kept his questions short and concise. Like he was teaching a class and the teachers under his supervision were his students.
“Oh. Linebacker. Right right.” The Bossman nodded in full acknowledgment even though He knew that the Kiwi probably hadn’t the faintest idea of what that position entailed. “Anyways, your next class assessment will probably be next month.”
“Right. Awesome. Is that all?” He got up, ready to show himself the door.
“Yeah. Let’s get a drink next time I come to town.” He had said the same thing the last five times he had made the rounds to this branch school and every time there had been no drinks.
“Can’t wait.” He let the door slam shut behind him.
The receptionist had been eagerly awaiting his return, no doubt anticipating the chance to tell the dumb foreign person more about how Japan worked. His chocolate gift sat unaccepted atop cheap plastic countertop.
He gave a resigned sigh and let her take command.
“Mister Stephen, boys don’t give chocolate until White Day.”
“Yes. Next month. Today is girls only.” The receptionist handed the unopened box of department store chocolate back to the dejected teacher.
“Oh right. Cool.” It wasn’t.
He ate the chocolate alone in his classroom before going home that night.
So, yes, I am that dude from that one thing you might have watched on Netflix and, yes, I am an actual struggling comedian with actual struggling comedian problems, problems that a Netflix film debut and the subsequent slight surge of recognition that came with it did nothing to really alleviate.
I’m writing this blog post in a Starbucks bathroom. Why? Because I’m an internet freeloader but also don’t want to pay three hundred yen for coffee. Also, I’m broke, which I’m pretty sure is simply a rite of passage for anyone going down the career path that I am. Also, Japanese toilet seats are super comfy so I could literally spend hours here without feeling too much rectal distress.
Think, for a split second, back to when you were a child, lost in the heat of the summer, alive and dancing, dancing and alive, all living on the edge of a moment that you never knew was coming, like a ballerina balanced on the edge of the stage, looming just over a faceless sea of spectators who knew what came next. Think about how they never told you. Think of all the moments you had to experience for yourself, all the pains and aches that came with them, the aching calling of something that both was and wasn’t there waiting for you. Think about those times. Think about how imprecise your memories are of them, like glass seen through the smoke of a fire that just won’t stop moving. Think, if you can. Try to place yourself back in those moments and remember just how much is missing from your memory.
Think about just how much is gone. Think about how you will never have that back. Think and remember that memories are like a pond someone forgot to skim, that no matter how hard you try, you can never quite see the bottom. Continue reading →
Hi there. It’s been a while. How’s everyone been doing?
Oh really? That’s pretty cool. I’ve been good. Going to work and not getting enough sleep, the usual grind, y’know.
What’s that? You don’t know because you’re still putzing around in (university/high school/ unemployed) or busy raising a family? Well that’s just fine and dandy.
So I’m coming up on the six month mark of the whole living and working in Japan thing and I think I’ve settled into what I guess people could call a generally adult life. I wake up everyday at a certain set point in time (except for that one day that I slept through all twenty alarms and showed up to work half an hour late) and generally go to sleep before the sun rises (though since the sun seems to rise at three in the morning here, that’s not always the case). I go to work, do my job, take long poops, spend far too much time on the internet and not enough time doing anything productive, I eat (a lot), then I sleep. In other words, for better or worse, I am finally an adult (if waking up at 10 in the morning and going to sleep at 2 AM counts).
I certainly don’t feel any different than I did when I was in college. Or really, high school for that matter. Sure my hair’s a little thinner and I may be wearing different sized pants than before but I still feel like I did when I was in high school, overdramatic romanticism and unrealistic expectations included. And yet, here I am, typing this up as I sit on the fifth floor of a non-descript office building but a few minutes away from the scenic (perhaps an overstatement) expanses of Mito Station, closing out a workday that I was supposed to have off (my colleague called in sick but that’s another story altogether).
Meanwhile, many of my friends are still grinding through college, though, let’s be fair, the hardest part of the college grind is largely the result of procrastination and binge drinking. I mean, university was a freaking piece of cake. I don’t know if I’m a genius or something (most likely not) but I got reasonably good grades throughout all four years of my university experience despite (a) not doing most (okay, all) of the assigned reading, (b) only studying the night before an exam, and (c) finishing the vast majority of my tepid, bloated, self-aggrandizing academic papers a whopping thirty minutes before the due date. I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything (I hear Marilyn Manson had some of his ribs removed so he could), but just imagine how good my grades would have been if I gave two craps about them.
I mean, the typical college student’s day probably goes like this:
Noon: Wake up.
1 PM: Go to class (or in many cases, ignore your alarm clock and sleep off that hangover)
4 PM: Hang out in the quad
5 PM: Go to happy hour. Get drunk.
6 PM: Ditch that discussion group meeting you reaaallly don’t like.
7 PM: Hangout with your friends. Get drunk/high/arrested.
2 AM: Get home.
3 AM: Realize you have a paper due in the morning. Freak the hell out.
And yet, half of the posts I see on my Facebook feed from my college friends are of the “FML” and “I’m so screwed” variety. I don’t know man, maybe if you spent a couple more hours checking upcoming deadlines and a few less hours practicing for your Frat’s Beer Pong tournament, you wouldn’t be forced to pull three consecutive all-nighters and sacrifice a goat to an ancient Mayan god in order to pass your bullshit “Transexual Black Jewish Lesbians in Chinese History” class. (No offense to those of you specializing in Black Jewish Lesbians and their huge role in defeating the Mongol hordes.) If you guys think life is going to somehow get easier once you get your diploma, you’re in for a shock.
Paying all your bills on time and remembering to wear pants to work everyday. Now that’s a real struggle.
College days. So much overeating. Not enough sleep.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, some of my friends have already gotten to the whole “settle down and raise a family and get that house with the whit picket fence” stage of life. Sure, this was pretty much how things went in all of society pre-1950 but settling down, getting married, and having kids all in your early-twenties just seems crazy to me. You can’t even legally rent a car at the airport for God’s sake! Six years ago, you were the dude drawing in the back of books in the school library. Now, you’re working really damn hard to pay off your mortgage and leverage your 401K. Damn dude. Adulthood must have hit you like a goddamn freight train.
I can’t even imagine having a kid right now. I mean, I already have a hard enough time wiping my own ass, let alone that of a small cretin unable to clean-up after itself. And where the hell would it even sleep? I barely have enough room in my apartment for myself. Shoving a wife and kid (or two) in there would probably result in a complete and total meltdown.
And the whole keeping track of your finances thing. What the hell? I am by no means a big spender but I can’t even imagine keeping track of my own budget. Asking me to watch my wallet for the sake of myself and two others would be like asking Hitler to imagine planning a Bar Mitzvah. Jiminy Christmas.
And the giving birth thing? Jeebus, ladies. How do you do it? The closest I’ve ever come to giving birth was that time I ate three burritos in one day and, after that, I couldn’t walk for a week. Much respect.
Young married people, I respect the hell out of you, but what the friggin’ hell?
Being an adult means having too much chest hair.
Now that I’ve successfully offended everyone, it’s time to talk about myself for a bit.
My twenty-third birthday is coming up in two days, which is really what kinda spurred this whole rant/thing on. Where am I on the whole “College lazy person to upstanding adult” scale? Somewhere in the middle or maybe not on the damn thing at all.
I’m twenty-two, completely un-relationshipped (That’s totally a word, right?), living a couple thousand miles away from most of my friends, really bad at doing my laundry, and spend most of my free time watching film of Sacramento Kings games or weird Japanese TV (I’m pretty sure most of the people running the entertainment industry over here are on some pretty hardcore crap), and shouting at people who have different opinions than me on the internet.
Sounds pretty immature right?
Sure, I have a job and, sure, I do everything I can to fulfill my responsibilities and duties to the best of my underwhelming ability. BUT I also don’t have much of a plan for the future (scratch that, I just thought of a cool design for a Moonbase) and put far too much effort into doing trivial fun stuff that I really shouldn’t be devoting so much of my precious time to. So, hey, maybe I’m a bit of a deadender at this current juncture of my life, but you know what? That’s just fine.
I used to spend most of the time I now spend reading people’s dumb NBA trade ideas (“Let’s trade Demarcus Cousins for Bismack Biyombo!”) and tasting terrible popsicles (Beef stew? Suprisingly tasty. Spaghetti? Potentially rancid.) on worrying about the future. I mean, I spent a lot of time worrying. Too much time. Sure that worrying and constant fear led to a hell of a lot of creativity and some of the best writing of my life but it also led to depression, anxiety, and a whopper of a mental breakdown that forced my mom to fly all the way across the ocean to retrieve me.
So, hey, enough of the worrying. Let’s just enjoy the present and worry about what’s around the corner when it sneaks up and sucker punches us in the balls. Until then, these morons on the internet aren’t going to ridicule themselves.