Faux Pas Online

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Maybe I should have listened to what my teachers and professors and coaches and mentors were saying. I liked graduate school but now I’m teaching English in Japan and riding around on bicycles like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds listening to Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon and Earth Wind And Fire – Gratitude. My sons hugged me before I left home. I always kiss my kids, it’s some sort of Creole thing. I hit the road hard. Sometimes the adrenaline kicks in late, so I I’m on eight speeds but I’m passing road bikes. I was late to one class today. Dang! I’m terrible with time. I still write all my thoughts down and I have pounds of it stuff away in a satchel next to Yamaha speaker. A student went on the attack because of my punctuality, it was like last nights debate but he also forgot his textbook. My supervisor was worried but also last week they didn’t tell me two of my classes were cancelled. At the end of the day I’m back on my bike killing kilometers like ants underfoot. I’m eccentric and vicious with words but I care about people but we all lie.
A few weeks ago I opened the shutter to my second job and my business and a bird floated down like a seed on the wind at my feet. A gift from God. It fluttered away and landed on the pedal of my bicycle. I took it as a sign but what was its true meaning? So much of my time is spent in silence here. I don’t speak much Japanese but I’m watching things carefully. Sometimes it all comes down too two wheels. The streets are perilous but I always know in the back of my mind when I feel the pain, this could be it. This could be the day. I’m daddy.

Road Bros

People think I’m crazy for cycling. Honestly I can’t drive in Japan because the test is a total scam, so I gave up after three tries. I just threw my papers in the air and walked off of the course. Anyway, I’ve been hit twice and crashed twice. Drivers are more scary. Some cyclists are jerks but I think most good cyclist just want respect on the road. In Japan people use non verbal communication. Like staring at you. I’ve been touched and grabbed by people a lot. So I had to explain that it’s not good to touch people inappropriately. Then there are people just physically moving without taking into consideration who is left, right, front or center, until there is a collision or almost collision and then you’re acknowledged.
People here in Japan walk around with cell phones and cigarettes without looking up at you, also holding umbrellas all while riding bicycles too. Still, it’s safer Cycling in Japan, than the U.S.
Well the Trump-surfer-bro in this video is an asshole. I love cycling.

New Wheels!

It’s a dream I’ve had for along time but it finally came true. Cycling gets obsessive at times. You get a bike and then you realize it’s not enough. I dug deep and with the help of my local bike shop mechanics and a dream came true. It’s not over yet!

What happened?

At some point I stopped writing but several people that I know now have published books, newspaper articles or something else. It seems that everytime I came out of the ocean somebody I know or am acquainted had published something substantial but me. So, I’m wondering what happened to me?
There was a time when all I wanted to be was a famous writer and I wrote all the time, even keeping a diary and I was very disciplined. I was writing all the time. I started a novel and finally finished it but I couldn’t get published because I didn’t have an agent. I wrote another novel and it was the same scenario. I never stopped writing poetry and I have several hundred poems that I have written in notebooks and on various sheets of paper. Then for some reason I just got dried up on the beach. Now that I am living in Japan I still write poetry and I have written a short story and left other incomplete but it’s not the same.
What can I do?
I thought about just copywriting my stories and then just posting them here online for people to read. I wouldn’t make any money but maybe somebody would take the time to read what I had written. The other option is self publishing but since I just spent several thousand yen building a new road bike it will have to wait until my money is not funny.
My wife has been egging me on to write for some publication be it magazine or something else. Excited about her suggestions I saw several adds for writers in some well known publications here in Japan but I just never pursued it. I just stopped or got sidetracked. Maybe I’m just addicted to social media and so busy watching other people take selfies or other forms of self absorbed activities that I’m not into myself enough. There is a another reality too, my life has changed a great deal from those days. I have a family and I’m working all the time and so when I do have some free time I want to relax and play with my kids or vegetate but who doesn’t have these responsibilities! So, I can’t really use that as an excuse and it must be that I lost my motivation and my ambition because my idealistic dream of how I wanted it to all be didn’t materialize and so I moved onto other things, like making electronic music and cycling.
Recently, after talking with my mother she mentioned an opinion piece my friend had written in the Los Angeles Times. I explained to my mother that in college while working on our school newspaper together we were friends but also rivals, he got the scholarship, apprenticeship to the Los Angeles Times and I went to the LA Weekly. What really made me feel like a seal in an aquarium was seeing that an acquaintance had published an article in the Japan Times. I found out because he talked about it on Facebook. I didn’t know he was a writer and I don’t think I will read his book because of the subject matter.
Now I feel like a sardine. I feel like somebodies lunch. My mother did encourage me to write, not fiction but about something real which is what I never really did before because I was motivated to write fiction. It’s what I wanted to do. There was a vision I had to write the great American novel. I did it for myself but it’s stuck on my computers hard drive getting fossilized. At some point, what I feel will come out and I will get published but I just have to get it out like when you feel you have to vomit and then the words will come to me like some dream. At least I hope it happens that way. Don’t bang on the glass. Thank you!


All I can do at the end of the day is ride my bike home. I’m trying to build a new titanium bicycle. I still can’t get over Prince being dead. He was our generations Jimmy Hendrix. Will I ever get home? This is going to be a long process. In the mean time life moves forward. My son has a big soccer game tomorrow. Hopefully victory awaits us. Nerves of steel. He started younger than me. De ja vu. It’s spelled incorrectly but sums up this moment. At this stage in life your heroes start dying and people you know start to look old. Japan is a difficult place to live in sometimes but I won’t get shot by the police. I can feel the air siphoned away. That’s why what ever you are becomes focused like a laser. Can’t waste time spying on people with Facebook, will move forward word by word.



Prince dying is like art crying. One of the best and most influential artist of a generation. One of the most memorable parts of my life was going to see the movie Purple Rain with my sister. My aunt who had so many of his records before he had become more famous, greatly influenced my appreciation for music. Listening to Princes music made you feel that you could be original and not care what others think about you. That you can make music in your own way and people would respond because it communicated the need to just be yourself.
Yes, I saw him in concert like so many other people. The artist he spun off of his own creativity and their talent he cultivated. It’s the end of an era or just the beginning. The torch has been passed to us. Now, so many people make singles but can’t make albums. I don’t even listen to a lot of new music because I’m too busy discovering music from the past I’ve never heard before. Prince made so much music and some I may never here, it will take decades just like his career. It hard to make people understand how much he influenced generations of his fans in so many ways.
So many of us are slaves to others opinions and cultivate image more than creativity. If you do anything good it will speak for it’s self but there is nothing wrong with being confident. It’s true that he made some music that I did not like and that is the same for any other artist that I like but it’s just rare to find anyone who could do so many things and well.

What now?

It’s funny or it isn’t how you can have a family but still feel alone. An email from the states said someone read my resume and they want me to apply for a job. Should I go home? It’s tempting. At the moment it feels like I’m divorced. I’m here economically and paternally for my sons. What a way to spend spring vacation. It could be worse. Finally it stopped raining and I can go out and ride my bike but it’s still cold. My wife is colder, I love her but we’ve changed. How dumb a statement could that be when nothing stays the same. Nothing is easy in life. Look at the U.S. I love home but this is the first time in a while when I felt so scared to be an American. This election looks so fucked up, Trump is a racist asshole and Hillary and Bernie are boring.
It looks like the end but more exciting in Japan where people just seem to be moving increasingly more faster. I came to this realization that Americans are violent and Japanese are rude.
Which is worse?
Maybe I should take the job. I’ll miss my kids. I already took off once just to go home and see my dad who recovering from a back surgery but is about to have another surgery. Medical loves him. I can’t watch or wait anymore. That’s why I take care of myself physically but mentally it’s a lot harder. My bicycle can’t do everything. How many movies can I watch on Amazon? I could think of worse behavior like paying for storage. There’s things I can’t say on Facebook. People say pictures say a thousand words but some of that is caca because pictures don’t tell it all.
My tongue get’s stuck sometimes when I really want to say something to someone and I realize I didn’t do it. The one good thing to come out of all of this is that I’m writing some poetry everyday but I’m not back to where I was creatively so long ago. I’me so distracted by the internet. I need something else. Children are great. They give me inspiration but I have to know when something is not my fault, whether its external or internal. All I know is that I’m tired of fighting with my wife. Being with her sometimes is like watching someone float down a river on a boat and they tell you to try and jump on their boat and once you land on it they tell you to jump off. She lives life like she rides her bicycle she just takes off and you have to follow her or just find your own way to where ever we were suppose to be going in the first place.
What now?

Face hater

For some reason we make friends with people on Facebook that we normally wouldn’t. Then when they write something or post something that makes us wince and we wonder if we should defriend them. Outside of Facebook it’s easy to not like people but within the world of Facebook, I have to ask myself, “Why am I friends with this person?” Realizing later that they are still the person that does the same things I never liked, which is why I didn’t talk to them in so many years.
At times I’ve detoxed from Facebook. I had a problem with hackers and so I closed my account for a year. It was good to be off and lately I’ve been away again for almost three weeks now and I feel fine. Now I’m contemplating what to do next.
“To defriend or not defined, that is the question.”
I’m not saying I haven’t embelished some things from the past but I did it enough a few years ago to irritate an ex and late I ended up defriending her but now I understand how she was feeling. I wasn’t the the same type of situation recently but someone talked about an issue as if I had not contributed to it, a news story and well this person came off like a self centered jerk.
So here I am wondering what to do next. I don’t mind his wife but as wife’s go she probably tolerates him but recently I realized that he hadn’t changed much like a lot of people and so I am wondering what I should do. Or I am just taking all of this shit too seriously but being the thougtful person that I am I take things personal sometimes, I should say that I’m sensitive but that means I care. Otherwise confront the person head on and leave my conscous clear or just go with the Facebook flow and pretend to like things I don’t like and be friends with people I normally wouldn’t have been friends with after so much time has passed but as they say, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer!”

Woman with dark sun glasses in the rain


Winter has arrived once again here in Japan, almost. It’s getting colder. I ride my bicycle everywhere. Without it I couldn’t get to work. It’s a 50 minute ride. Maybe you know this already. The school year is over here. Unfortunately, it’s not quite over for me. I have to grade some exams but I was stuck home with my son because influenza, which is common here struck his class. So, Saturday and Sunday I’ll be grading tests.
Sometimes while riding to work I see scenes out of movies would make if I could but it’s very much reality. A young woman running across the street and then looking back at a man, presumably here lover. A woman wearing black sunglasses in the rain, standing on the corner with an umbrella. A woman wearing a white shirt and white pants and maybe she was waiting for a cab but out all of these people it’s the women, but I can’t forget the midget I see in a business suit. He looks like he is doing well.
A have a novel to finish and I’m in writers block and blog block and just block. I have to motivate myself and it’s hard. At one time it was my dream to be a famous writer. I’ve written several books but I don’t have an agent so I can’t get published. I have to self publish them. Some are stuck on computers that have crashed. What can I do? No matter what I have to keep writing.
Home looks crazy now. The world once again is obsessed with terrorism because of recent attacks in California and Paris. Thousands of people have died in all of the wars and bombing and blunder in the last two decades. Americans have short memories too. Who do we vote for? This is a white moment. I could say dark but I’ll just say a white moment because so many people seem to be blind to reality when we’ve never had so much access to information at our fingertips.
“The violence, the violence,” I think that is what Brando would say if he could look at the U.S. Here I am in a self imposed exile in Japan. As one year ends another begins but as always I wonder were is it all going. What is in store for us. No matter what I have to keep writing. It’s hard mainly because of trying to make peace with the past and with myself. The memories that creep up like steam from the sidewalk.


I recently had an accident on my bike. I was cut off by someone making a left turn and I slammed on my breaks, flew over my handle bars, bounced off the car and landed on my left knee and my head. Sounds crazy but I survived. I was pissed and punched the side rear window of the car twice. The driver was an old man and the passenger was his wife. They woman came out to check on me and asked if I was ok and I told her to, “look,” in Japanese. Then she casually walked away, got into the car an it sped off. I copied down the license number just in case.
My knee is still healing. I was bummed because I had just had my bike painted, returned from America and I was on my way home with my new foreigner identification card. I was in pain for weeks and I’m just now starting to feel better but it was a reality check. I wasn’t riding that fast but maybe I still had jet lag and I wasn’t all there. My bike was fine but I wasn’t. It was scary and painful. One more reminder that I was mortal. IMG_0939
Now I’m here, Silver Week, enjoying one of the few limited Japanese holidays. Living near Tokyo, everything moves at a dizzying pace and so to have slow-down is great. I have a family, so I’m busy, I also have a small business and I work part-time teaching English. I get burnt out often, sometimes , frustrated. I know some people who have been here over ten years, I know some people who don’t want to go home or can’t go home. I have choices they don’t have but I’m giving myself another five years if not sooner.
Last night I had some dream that I was in some temple but it was flooding from the bottom floors and I was racing to get to another level before the water reached me. It was so weird. At some point I was watching it from a far. What did all of this mean? I don’t know. Everyday here is a challenge, similar to understanding some strange dream you had the night before. I’m glad that I came and I’ve grown a lot but it’s not home. I have a lot here in Japan than some people who have been here longer than me. I’m comfortable but there is always more. I guess I’m never satisfied.
Being home this past summer was great. I went to a local university near my mothers house and talked to an archivist who had built a display about the Watts Riots of 1965. It was fascinating learning about the process of presenting history. A few floors above was an archive filled with historical documents and books about African-American history. I felt like I was in heaven until it was all interrupted by a phone call. It was then that I realised that I had found what I really wanted to do. That I wanted to study more, to learn more about history. That I’m not really doing what I want.
I’m not alone so, I can’t just think about myself anymore. I have children to raise and I’m married. Some people can do it all at the same time. I feel I can too.
For now I’m back in Japan, healing and wondering what my next move is going to be. I had a good vacation but I feel a little bit lost. I’m not satisfied with my work or living her in Japan. I’m anxious to go home and to travel more. I want to do something else. This is not it for me. I was diving for silver dollars at Redondo beach this summer and I remember that feeling I felt of being in the ocean and feeling totally free, and away from the crowds in the cities and on the beach. At them moment though I feel a little lost.