: School Soon : New semester starts next week!

: Xanga for the really bored reader : PM Update

Below: Not living up to expections 6 (cont’d)

I have only a week left before school starts… and I am dreading it… Please believe me when I say that most instructors feel exactly the same way as students–What did I do this summer? Where did the time go? I’m not ready to go back! …… Well, at least this instructor feels this way.

This semester I have four courses… Japanese literature in translation, Readings in modern Japanese, Intro to Bungo (for tigger et al: literary Japanese) and the Major Proseminar… 

Grrr… as if we had time to kill… But then, if he found out how much time I spend on Xanga…

Speaking of which, I mentioned this in passing previously, but I may not be posting as much or as often once school starts. While providing personal, self-aggrandizing–i.e. useless–information is therapeutic, I must prioritze my life around the actitivity that actualy put food on the table and pays the mortgage. Of course, if there was a way to make money on Xanga… Hah! I doubt anyone would pay to read my stuff… there are already few enough people who refuse to pay for Premium. hahahaha….

Not Living Up to Expectation
This is the continuation of installment six. Originally posted on the JAJournal Monday, August 18, 2003

MM manifested a characteristic I was not familiar with… at least not on the giving end, which exposes me now as a selfish, self-centered brat. And I was, so I did what any selfish, self-centered brat would do, I broke it off… again. And I was so cool… uh, I mean, so uncool about it. I created a situation in which it made it seem like she was at fault… It was kind of a three-strikes-and-you’re-out deal, and I made sure that the strikes were acts she was bound to perform: lies… Not that I have never told a lie, but she had a way of strying from the truth, much like children do when they don’t want to be caught… Anyway, she ended up being too Japanese for me, and we did not last very long. Actually, she didn’t last very long, for I had another already prepped…

Okay, if you want to judge me a jerk, you’re too late, I’m already fully aware of it. Indeed, I was even aware of it back then, but it didn’t stop me. I was young and rarin’ to go. I won’t bore you with the details, ‘cuz the point of this story is to convey the idea that I had not lived my life like the Glob–good little oriental boy–I was supposed to be. I did things the way I wanted, and I was very selfish at that…

But I was also trying to find myself within my JA skin. I went back and forth with different girls: YI was from Japan but spent many years in NY and seemed pretty close to ideal, if not for her parents–she was the daughter of a shha-man (businessman in a large Japanese multinational corporation)–and they kept us apart very successfully. (Actually, I’ve always thought that they were pretty perceptive.) CN was a JA who was born in Japan but came to LA at a young age. Her Japanese was good, but her attitude toward life was similar to mine: defy the stereotype. We liked to dance, drink, sex, all-party all the time. But I think we were too much alike and we basically got bored of each other.

I soon quit the bank job and school–again–to work fulltime at the sweetshop in 1978. I had been promoted to plant manager at the tender age of 22, and became a “semi” big-shot in J-Town. It was pretty much a joke, as I think back about it now. A 22 year-old punk planning and managing the plant that supplied sweets for three retail stores and a wholesale market for Japanese confections. I am embarassed to discuss the details of the job, because I did so poorly, but my social life was active. Unfortunately it mostly involved drinking and drinking and more drinking. In fact, I had turned into an alcoholic. I can’t believe some of the things I did. I went to my favorite bar with my buddies from J-Town 8 days a week. I drank Cutty and water, 6-8 double shots a night. I’d flirt with every girl in the bar–many were not so cute, but then, as I was gaining weight from all this drinking, I was no beauty either… After a couple of scuffles in the bar and blow outs at home–my mother had returned by then–I came to the realization that I was out of control. At first, I thought it was cool hangin’ with my JA buds, being JA, talking Japanese, being cool. But this “cool” was not worth my sanity, my self-respect, my future, my life…

During this two-year “lost weekend”, I met JI who was a tamer version of CN, and I thought it would work. By the end of summer 1979, I had removed myself from the manager’s position, and decided to go back to school to see if I could still do something with my life. I came to realize that J-Town was not in my future, that being JA didn’t necessarily mean that I had to associate with this particular segment of society. JI was a remnant of this J-Town legacy and she didn’t seem to fit into the scheme of things, socially, intellectually… Intellectually? What a ridiculous notion. When the hell did that enter into the equation?

Well, actually, I can’t tell you the exact date, but it was a process that began when I entered a singing contest in J-town… and won…

Seven tomorrow….

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