End of summer?

Looks like it’s approaching. Sure, we will have a few more days of 32-degree heat, but the worst is, I think, past us.
What this means:

Beach closes
Beer gardens start to shutter
Shorts disappear
Fans get put into storage
Air conditioners turn off
School starts in earnest

Can’t say I’m too happy about all of those goings-on, but the change to fall is always refreshing. Not sure yet what this autumn has in store for us, but hopefully it involves cool weather and good friends.

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Time marches on

Long time, no see.
I’ve been busy over the past year. We moved house, took many trips and I was promoted to a senior-level position. Good stuff.
There have also been a few bad things: we’ve yet to have a baby, though I feel the time is right. I can literally feel myself getting older — I’ve hurt my back, feet, and gotten an ever-expanding stomach. Still, I’m just 34. Plenty of time ahead, hope.
Right now, my main goals are to try and make my job better for the employees while improving our product. I’ve been thinking a bit about the future, though nothing specific. Things like possibly getting out of the fading media biz and opening up my own business.Unfortunately, I think that would be limited to something like a bar, restaurant or eikaiwa, none of which I am too keen on doing. That said, I’ve just ben promoted. Probably best to see how things unfold for the time being…

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Moving on up!

Moving. That is usually one word that inspired dread in the lazy. So far for me, though, it hasn’t been that bad. Dare I even say it, the process has even been fun at times.
In an attempt to move to a more spacious and quieter setting than our current apartment, we scouted out a number of potential houses for rent. Fairly early in the game we found one we liked. So we applied for it, we’re told we’d be able to rent it, and are now just waiting to sign the papers and then move in in the middle of March.
While March is said to be the busiest period of the year for moving companies, and hence their biggest cash cow, we’ve already managed to negotiate a decent (read: fairly expensive) price with one firm.
We’ve now got a 40 empty cardboard boxes and a billion new things we didn’t have when we moved into the apartment to pack up.
It should be a good time. Really. I anticipate finding a number of lost socks and other assorted treasures in the process. Maybe even some cash behind the couch!

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Write or wrong?

Just read an excellent piece on writing by Anna Quindlen.
In it, she talks a bit about writing, and how most prolific writers, contrary to popular belief, hate writing. For many of them, it’s not an innate ability their blessed with, moreover, it’s something they come to despise.
In her piece, Quindlen talks about having to force herself to write, and only within a certain time frame — outside of which, she struggles.
I can relate. Specifically to what she says about how having a job that involves writing works more against you than for you.
As a copy editor at a newspaper, the last thing I wanna do is blog when I get home. I’d much rather watch a flick or veg out. Which brings us to my quandary — what should I do?

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Reboot: What’s next

Time to reboot this blog.
This time, I’m gonna take things in a generic direction. There are just too many things going on to focus on one specific genre or topic.
So with that, I give you a list of things I need to do:
1. Slap the shit out of rude Oyaji next to me.
2. File taxes…for years back.
3. Exercise to lose this ever-expanding beer/bread gut.
4. Take my 日本語 to the next level.
5. Get a new job.
6. Have kids.
7. Drink less.
8. Drink more.
9. Move house.
10. Improve relationship with father-in-law
11. Seriously eye what it takes to start a business here.
12. Get driver’s license.
13. Finish books I got for Christmas years ago.
14. Apply for spousal visa.
15. Work toward permanent residency.
16. Buy property back in the States.

And I’m spent. For now.

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Totally rad

Being without bike, I was recently “forced” to walk to my nearest station, a decent 2-km trek. And during one of these trips to the station, I noticed something. Almost all the larger parks were undergoing some kind of construction.
I had heard about nearby schools having the top layer of their playgrounds shaved off after traces of radioactive elements from the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant were detected, but didn’t initially make the connection until arriving at my station. Were they shaving the playground at the park not half a kilometer from my apartment?!?
On my way to work the next day, I decided to leave home a bit earlier than usual to see if this was the case — and lo and behold, that is exactly what they were doing, though one park had the audacity to say they were merely doing routine soil removal. Routine?!
I have to admit, seeing all of this has left me a bit dumbstruck. I haven’t been one to freak out over the nuclear crisis, but this, coupled with the recent revelations that the area near my home is considered a “hot spot,” has left me a bit unnerved.
With my wife leaving her job in March and having wanted a change of pace — not to mention that we’re trying to have children — recent radiation-related revelations (see what I did there?) have been the straw that broke the camel’s back: We will most likely move shortly after her work finishes. The thing is, working in Tokyo, we can run, but can’t hide from the unseen threat of radiation.
I only hope that in March — a year after the outbreak of the crisis — things are a bit more clear. But I highly doubt that will be the case.






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Fuck the po-leese

Never had the pleasure of having anything more consequential than my umbrella stolen in Japan — until last week.
It was then that my bicycle was stolen.
Naturally, I thought of reporting this to the police, but then remembered something about my nearest koban: they are a bunch of assholes. Yes, assholes.
I’ve been stopped twice by them for doing nothing more than riding my (now swiped) bicycle. Once, obviously followed until a pair of them finally mustered up the courage to ask me for my documentation. Angered, at being accosted for what appeared to me to be no other reason than because of my appearance, I gave them an earful. Big time yelling/shaming ensued. In hindsight it probably would have been more effective to be rational and explain why I was angry, I know. I let the anger get the best of me.
Anyhow, this is why I now cannot go to the police box to report my stolen bike.
That sting? It’s pride fucking with me.

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