Tuesday, June 07, 2005

There it all is. Bunch of crap. Read it, you know you want to.

My laptop doesn’t like me. It crashes when I run movie files, even though I have updated all the drivers and done everything I was supposed to keep it running well. “But Myk,” you would say, were you partly prescient, “Since when are you using your computer for more than burning CD’s? You don’t have internet and spend all your time at home on your playstation or watching movies – you mean you and the computer have made up?”

Well, smartass, were you completely prescient you would realize that I am traveling around this week and next week. I have taken my computer with me to keep me company on train rides and in hotel rooms. Right now I am on the express from Okayama to Niihama, wrapping up a two day voyage of bullet trains and high resolution photographs. I have a veritable myriad of things to discuss in this update.

But first, please allow me the indulgence of meta-blogging for a moment. The very phenomenon known as “blog” is interesting, especially vis a vis yours more or less truly. By that I mean, I dunno anything. Reading this blog must be like hanging with me, but in concentrated and vaguely thought out doses and with no actual personality. You get snapshots – “This is my identity at 2:18 on Thursday afternoon.” And it is – my soul is at that instant engaged in the creation of the blog entry, which becomes something in itself permanent, ya know? I am archiving that instant of my being using text and the occasional photograph, and that instant is going to stand for me until kingdom come. Until the internet collapses from the inevitable weight of its own bloated, discarded cells – some sort of info-cancer – someone can find that moment of my soul on display for all to see. Unless I go back and change it, which I can.

I have control over the past. I can rewrite history with the click of an edit button, but all I would be doing would be writing the new present. The change date would be saved and I would ultimately be destroying a record by creating a new one. And even at that, give it enough time and some Yahoo- or Google-powered spiderbot will have created an archive that will find its way into the history (e)books studied by library science students in the year 3004 – Hey guys!

Why brood on this? Well for starters because my name is attached. That doesn’t mean anything per se, it cannot REALLY be traced by to physical whimsical me, but run a search for Bilokonsky and there appears a vague, implicit trail of my footprints across the world wide web over the course of 10 years. You will find that I am a registered member of the Ultima Dragons, a fan group for a video game I liked when I was 12. You will see that I once had two sentences worth of strong convictions regarding human cloning on some schmuck’s bulletin board – “Humans shouldn’t play god,” I wrote, strongly convicted. You will see I amwaswillbe a memberofficer of the Ohio State University Kendo Club, and that our club “Increases Skill, Numbers.” Go us. But over time, every word I have spewed into this vacuous forum will come back to circle over my head.

I almost said to haunt me, but that’s not right, is it? Someone will someday run a search about Niihama Japan and find out all of the mean, pig-headed arrogant things I have thought when I have been at my absolute lowest. I can be a pretty shitty human being. And yes, I could indeed say that those things will haunt me…but damn it, I won’t say that. Those things are a part of who I am in that they are who I was. If at that moment I felt that way then that is that, and it doesn’t make sense to regret let alone distance myself from that human being, does it? I wouldn’t be me now if not for him then cuz all I, right? I and I. Me, and me now. Memes.

Am I sounding like someone who is lecturing? I hate reading someone’s blog when they obviously feel like they have great wisdom to impart to everyone on earth, that’s not what I am going for and I am constantly hypersensitive that that is what I am taken for. I am musing at best, and that is that.

So yeah, that’s where that leaves me – Blogs, footprints in the flow. I am who I was who I will be, I Am He Who Is.

I am so tired of hiding flaws, of pretending to be so strong, of lying to others and myself and you do it too. I think what I like most about my blog is that my worst moments are there to be studied and thrown in my face by people so-inclined; it is a reminder of who I am and where I come from and from whom I can never separate myself. My blog, its worst moments, make me honest.

I have a livejournal out there, too, from when I was young. I have been ashamed of it for years, so much whining I did in there, so much writing like I understood life. I started to delete it once and now I am glad I never finished, it means I can come to terms with that asshole, too.

So that is my latest line of thinking: that we are all flawed, all forever frantically deleting old blogs before new friends find them. I am tired of that. My old blog is at www.livejournal.com/users/thebucket, and I can’t say I recommend reading it but that’s who I was and so it’s who I am.

Isn’t it odd to ever think “Me now.”? To ever identify with a moment, to think “This is who I am?” The moment you have that thought, “Me now” has become one with all the me’s that I wish had never been – all is flux, it’s a river. So realized Sidhartha. It’s like there is only past and future and the two are just one. And the blog, god the blog, it allows you to observe a human being in progress, it dissolves the illusion of stasis to which we cling so tightly…maybe?

To shift gears rapidly, I am traveling this week. Part of my website making process includes gathering information about various factories and offices across Japan and creating a comprehensive “Facilities” page with photos and phone numbers and other such tidbits. In order to do that, I am visiting these various places. The company is paying. They bought me a digital camera for use in the endeavor. I am not traveling alone, I am going with them cuz they are going around doing a safety inspection.

Wednesday was Osaka. We left niihama by train to Okayama at 920 and arrived in Okayama around 11. Then we caught the bullet train from Okayama to Osaka, arriving in Osaka at 1230ish. Then we had a meeting with the Osaka office people, and then we left by 330, following the same course back.

I just want to say that bullet trains are cool as hell. Each car is the size of a house, and there are like 20 of them. A long house. If you stand at one end of the platform, you cannot see the other end of the platform. Inside, it is more like a jet airliner than a train. The chairs are large and plush and stewardesses push around little carts with Pocky and Beer for sale. Needless to say, the train is fast. That’s why they call it the bullet train. It’s kinda cool, it’s like the business thing to do, I dunno anyone (except Pat but he’s special) who just sorta cruises around on the bullet train. It’s expensive as hell and everyone on it is really serious. All business. I felt professional.

I am wearing my suit and have been for three days.

Ah yes, I am doing that Pulp Fiction thing. Let me get back into chronological order. Thursday went to work, spent the morning writing my report, and caught train to Okayama from the afternoon. Followed same route as day before but this time stayed on well past Osaka, finally disembarking in Nagoya. Then another train to a towncity called Yakkoichi, which was bigger than you would think for a town you’ve never heard of.

My parter for all of these adventures is Manabe-san, who sets two seats down from me at work. He was an Olympic weightlifter, winning at least one medal in I believe 1988. He told me all about Olympic village, how there was no booze allowed there and the Japanese were too polite to complain but that the French refused to put up with such rubbish and so protested and so booze at Olympic Village was legalized. This is why Manabe-san likes the French. He is cool, he just sorta laughs and smiles a lot. I guess when you have an Olympic medal you don’t feel like you have a lot to prove, which makes you better than most people. I think. What do you think?

Anyway, my boss Jinno-san met us there and the three of us went out to eat (drink). I was so embarrassed. We went to an Izakaya (like a pub) and it was crazy busy and Jinno-san was so rude to the service. When stuff didn’t come fast enough he kept pushing the buzzer to make the poor girl come over and take his abuse. She kept apologizing and he just mimicked her voice and made fun of her. He kept looking at me and laughing at her, it made me feel terrible.

I suspect the measure of a person is in how he treats those he perceives to be below him. (I just used the sexist gender-neutral he there. If it bothers you…blow me, I can’t be asked.) Parenthetical irony is art. e e cummings is my hero, his writing is so fun.

I am feeling rushed cuz this train arrives at home in 5 minutes. I am not going to keep writing this now, I am signing off here and will finish later.


And now I pick up where I left off. It is days later – that was all written Friday night on the train, it is now Thursday afternoon.

So it’s 1230 and I am on my lunch break and wishing someone anyone would be on AIM but nobody is. Ya’ll are such tools, what with your “enjoying life” and “Studying for finals” and whatnot. I’ll have none, thank you much!

I am kinda ill. My stomach has been just sorta odd ever since the volcano adventure a month ago, and I believe Alex and Jackie have been feeling sorta under ever since as well. I sorta have this cold sweat thing going on and my stomach gives me diarrhea periodically. Charming, ne? Saw Million Dollar Baby the other night and the combination of one particular scene and my stomach made me run out of the theater to the toilet for fear of throwing up but I didn’t. Bleh. Tired of feeling like crap, need more exercise.

So back to an explanation of my business trips. I am going in order to take photographs, which I have done. I will post some at some later date. Other than that, I sit in long meetings twiddling my thumbs and not really knowing what’s going on.

Saw ayako yesterday for the first time since and she amused me by being so surprised at how bad my Japanese has gotten in the interim. She said at my peak I spoke like a Japanese but that now I speak like a marginally capable foreigner learning Japanese. I take it as a compliment? Anyway yeah, if I am going to run with the JP I need JP friends. Oddly I think they will be easier to come by in the States than Niihama.

But I am so sick of Japan and Japanese just about now, I need a break.

More business trip tomorrow. Leave for Tokyo and environs, back Friday night. Bleh. Busy. Doing a lot of reading. Got Bruce Lee Artist of Life, we will see if it teaches me anything.

Am also losing my voice from allergies. Am tired of this place. Allergies to various toxins pumped into the oxygen around me by in part the company that employs me. Am hard pressed to maintain my gratitude balance at times.

Anyway tired and worn and no rest for the weary and whatnot, but not quite battered down just yet. It is getting hot here, I am sweating my ass off at work. Wish I had brought a short-sleeved work shirt or two.
What did you think of Million Dollar Baby?
I am not entirely sure. I think I liked it overall, but parts of it felt really artificial. Dan put it best when he said it was a real "movie" movie, it felt like a movie, it was manufacturing and done to please a certain demographic of movie-viewing public but made sure to throw a bone or two to others as well. That said, there were some very powerful scenes. It was not, as Alex had expected it to be, "Rocky with chicks." So I dunno, I say 8 out of 10. Ish. Who are you?
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