Every fives minutes my amp belches a nasty sound like an old buzzer. The blast lasts for less than half-a-second, but it is consistent. This is irritating enough to destroy my concentration when practicing stuff like my new octave-switch exercises (more on that later!) because it shouldn’t be happening. The wiring in my house appears to be poorly filtered and isolated from the surrounding houses. Recently machinery noises from a construction crew working in front of the house next door found there way through the power lines and out the amp’s speaker. So  I think the fault lies with the power supply, not the amp.What to do…what to do…


I stopped at House of Blues to pick up my amp after. After I went in and got a drink at the bar, a young guy with shaggy long black hair and a thick black beard shot me a “look” from behind his thick black rimed glasses, and then punched one of his friend’s in the arm aggressively. I moved closer to the stage to hear the bass-less punk trio, leaving him behind me. Here is the conversation we had:
G: Hey
A: (…)
G Hey
A: ……
G: Hey
A: (…)
G: Hey
A: (…)
G: Yo, bruza.
A: (…)
G: Amigo
A: (…)
G: Amigo
A: (…)

Finally he taps me on the shoulder and asks…
G: Where are you from? Are you Jewish people?
A: (sigh) Well, my father is Jewish but I don’t practice that religion.
G: What’s your religion?
A: I was raised in a (Seventh Day) Christian church.

Pointing at his “Mighty Quinn Recordings” T-shirt I countered with…
A: What’s your religion? Are you Rastafarian?
G: No, man. I’m just a hippy!
A: Oh, ok. So your religion is getting high!?
G: Yeah, that’s right.
A: Yeah, that used to be my religion. Nowadays, I guess my religion is making money.
G: Oh, like Jewish people. That’s why I said you must be Jewish.
A: You can go anywhere in the world and find people making money. Japanese, British, Malays, Chinese, Saudis, Greeks, Rupert Murdoch — not just Jews. Anyway, my Dad is Jewish and he’s not rich. He’s got no business ambitions at all.

I walked away, finished my drink and said goodbye to the owner who told me I could leave my amp indefinitely. That’s the only reason I was glad the previous conversation didn’t escalate.

Things are off to a bad start at it’s only 8:30am. Far from blaming it on the rain, my wife said it’s my fault her parents didn’t enjoy their trip to New York. The gum on my bike seat found it’s way in between my brand new pants, AND insulated North Face gear. Co-workers who think they’re smarter than I am are already trying to tell me how to do my job. I really need to get away from Chiba, this company and my wife.

As soon as I heard the violins playing minor thirds, I knew T4 was not going to be all I hoped. Instead of the though provoking time-paradox I was expecting, I got a collage of Wolverine, Transformers, Robocop2, Anaconda, Matrix, and several Vietnam war movies. If the makers were trying to be ironic by piecing together a Frankenstien-monster of a movie like the Marcus character, all they really accomplished was creating an abomination. During the death scene at the end, I hoped that it wasn’t really Christian Bale’s career on that table but Common’s only other line in the movie (“It’s gonna be OK…It’s gonna be OK.”) was not at all re-assuring. I’m actually relieved I missed the late-show, got a refund, and watched it as a Mexican video-cam bootleg my friend downloaded instead.

They’re not major discoveries, but many little ones plus great weather make for happy days:

-A conveyor sushi restaurant about 10 min. away by bike means I’ve been eating well within my new budget. The ride there and back is very nice, too. Yet no matter how slowly I chew, I get sleepy after eating it.
-Japan raised beef practically melts in your mouth, but I’d really rather chew it (with beer).
-Turning my amp‘s volume down to “1,” stuffing pillows in front of the speaker, and the connecting the slave output to my Korg Px4 with some cab simulators increases my time and enjoyment practicing into the wee hours.
-My proofreading skills are not as hot as I thought, but still quite good.
-Finding an excuse to annoying my boss everyday with some minor issue is having an effect.
– My wife’s credit card debits my back account 2 months after her purchase — not one.
-Different branches of Kuroneko Yamato Takkyubin charge different rates!
Finale Notepad 2009 is NOT free like the previous versions.
-Ejaculating is like temporarily castrating yourself.
-My son loves Ice Road Truckers as much as I do.
-My chin and jaw look nice even without a beard.
-Discover is perhaps life’s greatest joy.

Two years at this company and I’m about to go postal. Last week I was not included in a group that visited our largest clients back home, which would have given me an opportunity to get to know more about the market and people I’m supposed to be supporting. Instead I’m stuck here in this tower translating letters for monolingual yes-men, and alienating clients by chasing invoices which have already been paid. Being denied this opportunity causes me to wonder what my prospects for promotion are. Since I started here, I’ve been asked to do jobs that nobody really seems to care about, or maybe even want me to fail. Others that have started at the same time or later than me have been promoted. Is it racism? This would be very difficult to prove or be compensated for in a country that doesn’t seem to understand what that is. Until now I’ve been patient, but I’m starting to feel that the last two years have been a waste. Obviously I’m better suited for a different type of work in a different type of environment, but I don’t want to leave here without achieving something first. The problem is I’ve reached a new level of de-motivation and cynicism that puts me on the verge of tears several times a day.

You can always tell when a guy has penis envy. Yesterday I was sent to interview the captain of a container ship about my company’s software. It was a bit chilly with a shaved head and no coat, but I had just come back from New York so I didn’t notice. I was more worried that I might have to jump in the water if one of the planes passing above on their way to Haneda actually hit the container cranes. While we waited to board, the sales rep from my company started asking me general questions about my background as Japanese do (e.g. how long have you been in Japan, etc.) He then introduced me to the shipping company rep who set up the interview with the ship’s captain. The sales rep pointed out to him that I spoke fluent Japanese, but he answered in English. I smiled and answered with a a touch of genuine relief and excitement. However, this was the type of person who has something to prove. After exchanging business cards, he at least proved me correct when his next words were, “Actually, I’m a captain.”

That’s great, too. I’m just a guy who’s here to see the captain of the vessel in front of us, not a captain who’s been behind a desk so long that a little bit of cold sea air makes him start dancing around inside his fake leather coat. Since your “a captain,” you must be so in control that you got us the best looking ship captain you could find, even though he doesn’t actually use the service we came to interview him about. Your such a great captain that you hurry us off the ship before the real captain of the boat we’re on has a chance to extend us the courtesy of a cola, thus making him loose face.

In the car on the way back, he started joking around as if he were the life of the car pool. My boss does the same thing whenever he has a captive audience. His ego knows that everyone will laugh out of politeness and respect, and doesn’t stop him for exploiting this position to stroke. I said something in Japanese, and he answered in English. This was when I really realized he had his head up my ass because I wasn’t speaking to him specifically — I was speaking to everyone in the car, not all of whom speak English.

Let me assure my non-existent readership that while it is everything it should be and more, I know there is always someone somewhere who has a longer, fatter, harder, more curved, uncircumcised, pierced and/or better applied package than mine. The difference I know when I’m out-cocked, and fall in line. I don’t shave my pubes, and flex my prostate to tap the title on my business card, thus making myself appear bigger than I am. Hell, I’ll even fall in line if a guy like this behaves like the dick he wish he had, just because there is nothing harder than making an unwanted hard-on go away.