Thanks for the love

I just realized that I am fast approaching the 5000 hit mark. While Xanga is not supposed to be a popularity contest, it is nice to know that people find what I write interesting enough to come by from time to time, even if I don’t write sexually explicit stuff, or that I have no hesitation about talking about myself or about topics that Musubi-chan refers to as “dirty topics”, in reference to things best left in the toilet–like yesterday’s post, although it was no where near as graphic as it would have been in person and after a few beers. Hehehe. I’m just an immature ojitarian.

Speaking of ojitarian: Does anyone know if the oyaji (re: late middle age, the old-man, pops) syndrome is genetic or race specific. I wasn’t born or raised in Japan, but symptoms–oyaji (corny) gags, toile talk–suggest that I’m afflicted anyway. Is there maybe an oyaji gene that proliferates after a certain age? Do other East Asians suffer similarly? Or is Japan the only country affected? ANY advice would be welcome–Capstew! where are you when I need ya’?

Thanks for waiting
Well, I finally “made” time to continue writing NLUTE. School has kept me very busy and I have had little time for myself… well, maybe to see a football game or two. But that’s beside the point. I truly feel that this semester may end up being the most stressful of my career. Thank goodness for my kids. They are the core of my existence (well, beside Musubi-chan, that is), and the only reason why I can continue to work where I work without going crazy.

Not Living Up to Expectation
Installment eight….

RECAP: After years of screwing around–playing in a band, ditching school, drinking like a fish–I realized that I should stop screwing around and get serious with education, but I was again enticed by the thought of pursuing an alternative career when I entered a singing contest. And I won, winning a trip to Japan. Click NLUTE to read the previous seven installments.

Well, I learned that the prize wasn’t all that great. I first had visions of grandeur. The Suntory Corporation would pick me up in a limosine at the airport and wisk me away to a posh Akasaka hotel. The reality was much different.

The ticket to Japan turned out to be a one-year open round trip ticket from LA to Tokyo on China Airline. Further, the only connection the sponsor, Suntory, had with the contest was providing money for the low-budget plane ticket. Indeed, the Suntory name was supplied by the local Suntory office, and the Tokyo headquarter had nothing to do with it and knew nothing of this contest. So all dreams of being “discovered” went up in smoke. As I think of it now, I was pretty naive

But still, I got a free trip to Japan, so I wan’t complaining too loudly. I decided to go in my favorite season, Fall, and left LA around the beginning of October. In Japan, I stayed at my grandparents condo again in Nishi-Ogikubo, but they were not living there. My grandfather was sent to Australia by his trading organization for a few years, but they had my cousin Alvin–who was by then a Waseda student, and still reminded me of a chipmonk–house-sit the place while they were gone. So I had a room to myself, little of my grandparents house-cluttering items, and a cousin who usually spent time at school and with his friends, so I could spend my time as I pleased.

For a week, I puttered around local areas, going to Shinjuku a couple times to get my self oriented to Tokyo, again. I also went to visit my relatives in the boondocks of Fukushima for a week or so. It was kinda embarassing. I told them that the contest was no big deal, that Suntory was only lending its name and had no real interest in the contest or its winner, but they would have no part in it. One look at the photo, and they figured they had a bonafide star in the making… or something. My cousin–Issei on my dad’s side–got all the relatives and a couple of the local council members who were friends to come over for a party to celebrate my winning the contest. My family on that side will use any reason to hold a party. I wanted me to sing the song I won with, and Akio, my dad’s cousin, searched the entire village for a karaoke tape of the song–Karaoke was in its infancy back then–but he couldn’t find one, so I ended up singing at the party a capella

One thing I wanted to do while I was in Japan was meet up with YI (re: NLUTE installment 5-6), the girl I went out with for a few weeks after MM…

Continued tomorrow…

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