Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've been back from India now for three days and I'm still convinced I haven't showered it all off. India soaks into the skin like no other place in the world. At night in bed I marinated in India: acidic curry, rotting trash, black clouds of exhaust, and roadside cow shit. All these were massaged into my sweaty skin then coated with layer of invisible dust that can never be wiped off the brow or belly. Yes India is a dirty place and no one leaves clean on the outside, on the outside at least.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Earth's Hum

I find it deeply comforting that the Earth hums as it spins in the night. I can't say why I feel this way but it almost, just almost seems that if you sit still and quiet you can hear the Earth humming a low, slow tune. Scientists argue we can't hear the sound but, on calm nights, when my mind reclines, I settle into the sway of the primordial; like a newborn rocked in great-grandmother's hands.

I never knew the Earth sounded, but now that I know it does I shall have to listen. What lessons am I to learn tonight dear Earth; how should I pass the rainy hours that soothe your skin? Don't worry about learning, to hear, if you can, is enough.

Earth's hum they call it. Maybe it's "rthshu" that sounds warm and thick like a down comforter. Whatever the reason, I want to lay flat with my ear to the ground, listening to the earth underneath.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Best Friend's Indian Friend's Wedding

In just five days I'll be on an aeroplane to Bangalore, India to attend the traditional Indian wedding of my friend Calum's Indian friend. Basically I'm filed under the "and guest" section of the invitation. It should be a hoot!

Though I've heard Indian weddings last about three days and are loads of fun, I'm just excited to be going to India. And while I don't know much about India as a whole, I've picked up a load of stories from friends and professors.

While in India I will be extremely careful to avoid the infamous "black snake" which bakes on the train tracks. My friend Ahao told me about this species of reptile at a BBQ when I handed him a charred-nasty weener:

"Oh my friend," he said grinning, "I cannot eat the 'black snake'."
When I finally finished laughing at the answer I thought he would give me, I had to ask "What's the 'black snake Ahoa'?"
"It's when people sheet on the tracks in India and the sheet gets hard in the sun," he answered deftly with a shake of his head and some pointy hand gestures.
That's a lot funnier than anything I imagined.

Aside from that, I really want to meet up with a Sadhu (Hindu crazy mystic) and expand my view of the cosmos with the help of special herbs while rolling my way across India to a holy cave like Lotan Babba (The Rolling Saint). Deep down I'm a spiritualist.

Along with what I learned in Dr. Kinnard's religion classes, fiction has taught me a lot. My favorite books set in India are, in this particular order: Midnight's Children by Rushdie, and The God of Small Things by the infinitely prettier Arundhati Roy. I highly recommend both books but I warn you, both demand the reader's time and full attention.

India should be quite a trip.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Day Boots

Two weeks ago I went to Harajuku's Yoyogi Park to hang out with good friends and relax in the warm spring sunshine. Yoyogi is a massive park in Tokyo where you can always find an eclectic mix of people, from young professional yuppie couples to bongo banging rastas.

I was sporting my best denims and square toes when my friend Calum snapped this great picture. He's a pretty artsy fella to say the least.

You can check out more of Calum's work at, you might even find a few more pictures of yours truly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back to School

After the two week Spring break school is back in session. It's great to see all the students again, especially the new ones who are still trying to wrap their head around "Junior High School."

Japan functions on a different timetable than the U. S.. The Japanese year begins in April with blooming of Spring cherry blossoms. When the flowers open so do the schools and companies, from kindergarten to Parliament. Everyone everywhere starts afresh during nature's most transformational time.

Students entering junior high make one of the biggest leaps of their life. As the grade level rises so does the stress, and Japanese junior high students face more stress than I ever did at their age. For me junior high school was about skateboarding, comics, and Nirvana; for my students it's about anime, video games, sports, and the steady encroachment of the apocalyptic high school entrance exam. Fuck up on this test and there goes your life. Because Japan only requires education through 9th grade, high school is no gimme. In my student's minds I imagine the equation looks like this: bad test=bad high school=college?=shitty life.

Welcome to junior high school kids! Its novelty fades faster than the cherry blossoms! I'm glad I finished my formal education before coming to Japan.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Place of My Own

Hello everyone, I'm blogging now! It took me a while to start doing it but I am. I'll be posting some of my writing on here as soon as I figure how to do that.

Things are good in Washimiya aside from the 24 hours of massive rain pounding the town recieved.

I started writing what will be my first feature article for a magazine or newspaper today. I don't have a place to publish the piece yet but I'm sure I can find a home for it when it's finished!

The movement begins!