August 31, 2006


Moleskin sketchbooks are fun. I still have the one Benny gave me; I need to use it more often. My last drawing was of old people in the hospital.
I found a really keen webcomic/blog drawn in a moleskin sketchbook about Japan. You'll like it, so go to the site.

I really liked the sword-smith story. I want to meet one of those guys.

Right speech for modern times

I've been contemplating the Buddhist concept of right speech for about a year now. The seeds go even deeper, to hearing Rachel speak of an enlightened time when she could think no evil towards others, and later to noticing that Benny rarely ever said bad things to say about anyone or anything. Everyone teaches us something, isn't that beautiful?
Anyways, so yes, what is "right speech?" Well, one source I liked said, "Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter." Pretty simple. The ones I've been reminded of lately are gossiping and back-biting. Poisoning other's perceptions of people in other words. It's all irrevocably tied into "right thought," another Buddhist principal. I think Jesus summed it all up pretty well with, "Love one another." Most words, thoughts, or deeds either bring you closer to or farther away from love.

So one caveat I would like to add to the wisdom that has come before. More of a safeguard than anything: Never try to solve a dispute through online communication, specifically email. Humans can't get their emotions across correctly, and its so much easier to be concerned about your own feelings when you see a field of text instead of a person. Such selfishness isn't love. Maybe future, more internet savvy generations will evolve to get around this space that the internet provides, but until then, that's my advice. When I have talked things out with someone face to face, it has always been good.

August 27, 2006

catch-all photodump

Photos from the last month. I still have to do videos (if they aren't crap; I haven't checked yet).
First group is Nagasaki Obon. I think the idea is to send the dead to the afterlife by making loud sounds. I.E. firecrackers. It started to look like a riot as the night went on. If you go to this, bring earplugs and be prepared to dodge drunken lobs of explosive devices! And yes, that's my girlfriend in the pic, but I'm not trying to show off about how lucky I am; I can't help it if she's beautiful :).

Expand the post to see me post-nasal surgery! Yay!

From my hospital stay:Wow, that's what swelling does to ya.

My logger friend.

Other cute old people.

JET beach party in Karatsu.

5-year-old calendar/flower I found magnetically attached to the bottom of the desk.

I like nuke-head man.

Don't smoke while pregnant or you'll kill the cute penguins.

A family shrine found on a random farm I visited. Nice folks there.

Summer school.

Paintings from the airport:


Had nasal surgery. Slight pain. More later.
I will say that the medicine, while not hallucinogenic, did lend itself incredible envisioning. I could imagine more vividly. I have to wonder if the guy that did this was in a similar state of consciousness.

August 19, 2006

So do I relate my 14-year-old-boy prostitution story or not?

Okay, first off, these are just a few photos of many taken (go here to see not only mine, but everyone in the group's photos). These are just the ones I found comments to be necessary for to experience full enjoyment. Second, said prostitution story goes along with a photo. I'll post videos later.
Elephant ride. I am scared to death in that shot, because I am the one driving.

Anyways, expand the post to see everything and read my funny/creepy story.
Pigs in love at the Bangkok art college. My they were confused by me.

I like starving buddhas the best.

My Dr. Who suit. Made to match what the current doctor wears on the show. Not bad for $130 American, custom made, custom fitted. Here I am imitating the doctor's manic grin.

I can't get over how incredible the detail is on this guy. My favorite statue in all of Bangkok.

Two acrobats that happened to be at the town the orphanage was in. They were invited to the yoga show, then did one themselves! As he looks a lot like Christian Bateman and can lift her easily over his head, I bet the guy's girlfriend is rather happy.

Even monks aren't above poking dead body's with sticks.

I started a trend when we played with playdoe. Go see the album link to get more.

I've discovered that girls, upon seeing a guy don a woman's hat in a store, will instantly call him the funnest guy ever.

Okay, so this is a beautiful waterfall. You can see more pics at the album link. I swam in the turquoise pools. But I had to change before the van ride home. I saw a three-baht bathroom. No change, so I started to move on. But a 14 year old boy that was running the stand nearby eagerly waved and motioned for me to go in. The only words he knew in English were "me," "yes," and "you". So I go in, and he follows, and I think he is there to guard against random people coming in and seeing me change. But then I realize he is looking at me. So I wrap my town around myself so I can change shorts without him seeing my bits. But this concerned him. He walked up and pointed to my crotch. Then he said "me" sucking something cylindrical pantomime "you!"
"Um, no thanks!" I squeaked out, making an X with my hands (an artifact of living in Japan, that gesture). I get my dry clothes on without exposing myself. He was still insistent. "No, really. I'm good." And I am running out of there.
So there is my 14 year old boy prostitution story. I used to joke about such things, but now I've experienced it. Ew. But he may have just been a confused young man, and not looking for money. Thailand is different that way too. Lots of boy-girls and whatnot, their sexuality is very different.

August 17, 2006

Tv and my acting dreams

Today I was ambushed by the local TV woman on the street. I don't know what she was up to, but suddenly she was upon me with questions about where I was going and what I had bought at the supermarket (she put the camera right into my bags to look after I gave permission). A year ago, my Japanese would have failed me in such an unprepared situation. But I was cool this year.
But as if that was not enough, I was schedualed to film a commercial at 3 anyways with the same woman for a language class I am teaching. We convinced the man also being shot that his candid camera moment should be included, but he was being rather Japanese about the whole thing one way, when we needed him to be Japanese in the self-depreciating way.
So yeah, I'm on TV too much.
Cue my dream life yet again having continuity. Tonight, I sadly realized I was not ever part of the Dave Chappell show. Yet while dreaming, I had a running career for a long time over several dreams as a very minor actor in on the show. These continuous dreams are starting to stack up; I'm creating a nocturnal alter-ego. Soon, I may start to not distinguish my dream reality from the real reality. So if you see me acting stranger than usual, don't worry. Chances are I'm not taking reality seriously, and that's okay; it's all maya anyways.

August 16, 2006

The chief on the train

The chief decided to explore the white man's world for the sake of his tribe. He traded some supplies for the pieces of paper they valued. He boarded the strange thing called a train. He watched the scenery go by. Every once in a while, someone would come and yell at him until he gave them some of those funny pieces of paper. He spent days in this fashion, watching people and the world pass by. Eventually he ran out of funny peices of paper, and they kicked him off the train.
--paraphrased loosely from Crazy White Man, a book I read during my formative years. In fact that book was one of two that fueled my wanderlust. Anyways, I feel a bit like that chief, but I'll do a proper post about Thailand soon.

August 9, 2006

Japanese stomach

Hey look, and orphan popped out of that growth in my back. The pic was ripped from the blog of a couple that has been working at the orphanage for a while. Feel free to read it.
I had my first pizza in over a year thanks to a Thai pizzahut. But now I understand what Japanese people are always complaining about when they say American food is too oily. I've gained a Japanese stomach, for better or worse, and it doesn't like pizza anymore. This may be worthy of being distraught over.
Someone asked: My birthday is on September 21st. I recommend the "buy me books cheaply" post if you feel like giving something to my unworthy self.

August 5, 2006

Everything Changes

And yet does it? I feel like I've made a round circle, ending up in Thailand again. And It's been a year in Japan. My 26th birthday is coming. Time flies, no matter how we try to still the clock hands. Everything changes. And one has to wonder, how have I changed?
Physically, I'm getting more hairy. My knees creek all the time. Orphans can actually tire me out with play. Bad signs, I feel old already.
Mentally, I am quite happy. Still anxious, often for no reason, but when I feel that way I remind myself life is great. I still take walks every once in a while to clear my head, as Benny unknowingly taught me to do with his walks.
Spiritually, I feel I'm in transition. Slowly using more and more Buddhism to supplement my faith. I'm staying pretty true to my no bad speech or thoughts about others, but realize I need to follow through a lot better on my conviction to not upbraid others, it profits nothing, and I need to follow rule #2: Dont take it personally. And maybe I'll figure out meditation. I did yoga meditation with the kids last night. We chanted with electric guitar, we swayed, we sat, we kneeled, we gazed at the candle, and we did the best to clear our minds despite children that played distraction-imps around us. Krishna watched over it all from his painting on the wall.
Everything changes, including friends. I feel some back home have been lost, and other friendships strengthened. And I wonder if it's I that changed, or them. Probably both. One cannot lament change, nor faded relations. For everything teaches us something. I look to the next year with hope, and pray for the strength to impart genuine love to all that cross my path.

August 2, 2006

We heart our king

I'm on good old Khaosan road again, the mecca of the unwashed, the eurotrash, and me, in Bangkok.
The title is from a sign I saw on the bus ride in. They love their king here. He's the swavest guy with giant glasses I ever saw, so I don't blame them.
I met a couple of Japanese girls on the bus and had an interesting conversation with them. Afterwards, I tried to lead them to the cheap hotels, but they were fixated on following the guide. I don't know where they ended up; I am in a three-hundred baht a night place, and it's enough for me.
Tomorrow, long drive to the orphanage. Yay.

August 1, 2006

Thailand again

I'll be in Thailand (at the same orphanage as last time), starting tomorrow, until the 13th. So if you need me, just hop on a plane and come on down.
Hopefully this time I will get to ride an elephant.