Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day Train to Kyoto

Taking the train back to Kyoto in the driving rain that has persisted through the week. As the Republican convention might be opening, keep an eye on this garbage.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I have been a hip-hop fan since the first time I saw Run-DMC in 3rd grade. I fell in and out of contact but have been pretty solid with it since Chuck D told me to not believe the hype. For the most part, I haven't. Sometimes I intentionally avoid albums that are considered hip-hop milestones the way I avoid Good Will Hunting. Of all the places to get my come-uppance, who would have thought it would be Natsuki's glove compartment. I got tired of Jack Johnson, whom I tolerate, but who I have decided occupies the rung between Don Henley and Jimmy Buffet on the musical ladder, so I looked for something else. There, with a photocopied cover and a pen drawing on a burned CD lay Illmatic. I have never been against Nas, as much as I have remained indifferent about everything except doing his wife. Here is the deal, believe the hype. Illmatic is a sick, sick album. It is very good and I say that without reservation. I won't go in depth about what makes it great, I'll just say that it comes right on the end of old, NY rap and has the spare production style that I didn't know that I missed. Solid album.

What a Strange, Strange Pick

Does anything carry the stink of desperation more than McCain's VP pick? It is one thing to try and break new ground and think outside the box. It is another thing scramble around and try to make news and pick up the scraps that Obama leaves behind. It is kind of like hearing Evan Tanner talk about digging for quarters in his truck to buy a can of tuna less than a month after having a professional fight. Really? Big oil plus creationsim in schools. No man-made global warming plus NRA. Great. Great choice there McCain. You're going' places.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Time for Them to Own Their Failure

Line of the campaign so far. Was there any flaw in Obama's speech? Aside from the fact that his syntax implied the Biden takes home Amtrak drivers. An insanely good speech. He was absolutely right in attacking McCain and challenging him on foreign policy judgement. The imagery of his grandfather holding him on his shoulders waving a flag and saying "Isn't it amazing what Americans can do." Was as touching as it was painful. Great, great speech.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama

I wasn't really fired up about this speech, but she knocked a solid triple off the top of the wall.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama Addresses Hecklers

Sex and the Boring Boring Movie

It happened. I was in an actual movie theater watching Sex and the City. It has happened to boyfriends all over the world. As TV shows that boyfriends are made to watch, I remember it as being a little better than Friends so it had that going for it. I understand that this movie is not designed for me it is not targeted at me it doesn't care how I feel about it. One thing I was surprised about was how poorly made it seemed. The lighting was rotten. The cinematography was uninspired. There might be something to the whole TV stars being less than movie stars. Kim Catrall was the only one who looked like a movie star on the big screen. Any movie where you think "Man, I hope Mario Cantone can save this thing." Has a major problem.

I knew the movie would be shallow and self-centered but it was beyond. It was beyond anything understandable. There was an old man sitting by himself in the front row. I asked, "What is this old man doing here? Did he here 'sex' in the title and show up?" He rolled around in his row. Put his feet up on the seats in front of him. Laughed too hard it anything resembling a joke. Yelled out whatever words he knew in English and got up and danced in the aisles during songs. He was the most exciting thing in the movie.

I don't think any of you are going to see it anyway. Good.

It's Biden

He wasn't my first choice. I wanted Wesley Clark. I pondered Jim Webb. But now that the choice has been made, I feel that it is a solid one. Is Biden sometimes a lacky for the credit card industry? Yes. Is he willing to play it to close to the middle? Yes. Does he have hair plugs? Sure. Is he an arrogant asshole? You betcha, and that is why he is the right choice. Can you picture Biden letting whatever ramshackle, slime merchant McCain dredges up walk over him in the debates? Can you imagine Biden letting McCain surrogates talk down to him? Biden is a flame thrower and loves to put a motherfucker in their place. I love him for that. I think he has given the best performance in the debates over the past few elections. He speaks more effectively in that format than Obama. He is more willing to let it all hang out and nail someone down than Obama. The campaign needs that. I ain't agin him, Ize for em'.

This makes my point better.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have to get a new keitai. Marinating on the IPhone. Any thoughts? Detractors? Tractors?

One Day as a Lion

You know, it ain't bad. (usual disclaimer: give me a month and a studio.) That being said, I dig it.

I Knew It!!

I should have been an Olympian.....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Song of the Summer?

It seems like every summer has a song that you can't escape. My first in Japan it was Mogol 800. A while back it was Macey Gray's "I Try." A few years ago it was Beyonce "Crazy in Love." This summer....I don't know. Maybe I have been bouncing around too much. My nominee would have to be this:

I am not sold on Lil' Weezy, but this is a catchy mu fuhin song. Mainly due to the backing track.

Back in Miyazaki

DSCF8072, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

A six hour car drive, two planes, a bus, a taxi, trains and subways, my bicycle, another combination of trains and subways, a ferry and I am back in Miyazaki continuing my eventful vacation.

I didn't catch his rank, but soldier Alonzo in Atlanta, waiting to go back to Iraq for the 3rd time was a sweet guy. He said he had always planned to be in the Army for his career but he was tired of getting jerked around, back and forth. I suppose considering his situation wouldn't be supporting any troops. I hope he makes his last 6 months out okay.

The flight to Hawaii I sat next to an Army nurse who made me regret my lack of an actual profession. She was equal parts boring and inspiring. She leaves for Iraq in a few months, but she really want to deliver babies. I hope she does well.

To Waikiki where I was in the hostel next to the one I meant to stay in. Not the quite one with the low-key vibe and the half decent surfboards, but the one like the out of control dorm at a school for people studying English as a second language. I couldn't find Akko. I left to messages at her hotel so I went to the ABC store, my favorite convenience store ever, and got a pasta salad an onigiri and an Asahi. Polished them off and went to bed. I got up early only to be stalled by the morning shift changed and delayed by 30 minutes getting a shitty surfboard covered in foam. Still, 2 hours at Waikiki is 2 hours at Waikiki. Surfing that is, I would rather not be on the beach, unless it is 3am on the jetty with a Brazilian girl from Atlanta. It hit me that one of the great parts about surfing is that, compared to other sports, its legendary sights are accesible. I won't ever be able to play catch at Fenway Park, but I can paddle out to the break where surfing was born, look left at Diamondhead and catch a sweet ass wave through clear water over a reef.

On the way to the airport I run into Akko and her friend who turn out to be on the same plane with me.

I do my shopping and grab a cab to the airport. The driver was Vietnamese and moved here fairly recently. He was quite bright and we talked over politics. He was surprised that I knew Dien Bien Phu. I was surprised that he asked me "Do you believe in God?"

To Japan where, riding on the train, listening to an old man hock luggies into his own mouth and swallow them I swore, "I gotta get out of Japan." The next morning I got up early, rode my bike to the river and went jogging. My neghborhood renewed my faith in the country. Kyoto is lovely. Everday. At the end of my run, a ruckus errupted. 40-60 Uykou busses where caravaning down Kawabata screaming about education. No one ever knows what they are saying. Largely because every bus had its own diatribe.

On the ferry, 40 noisy, shallow, college boys and girls on a club trip to Miyazaki. The only time I am trapped on the ferry with hot chicks and they are trapped with lame dudes.

Now at Natsuki's drinking coffee and contemplating the IPhone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Japan

Alive with 9 hours sleep and a 7-layer burrito from the Taco Bell in Waikiki.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


And in Hawaii. Staying in the hostel I like less. Can't locate Akko. Worst comes to worst, I still surf Waikiki in the morning.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Classy Lady "Represents."

DSCF8210, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Oh Florida!

DSCF8244, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Goodbye Florida

DSCF8267, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Oh, FLorida, how I will miss your foods.

Me and Julian Bond

DSCF8258, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

We got it like that.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Update

Hope Solo is hot. That is all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The ethnicity you talked about is, I think, delightful."- Brooke Shields on Project Runway

This illustrates my entire hate/love relationship with this and its sister show Top Chef. I very much enjoy watching competent people at work creatively. I kind of wish shows like this had been on in my formative years. However, I feel that the nature of the shows is the Northeastern upper crust casting down their crumbs to us, the clay-eating, shoeless masses who sit, baking in the Southern sun staring north waiting for our buckets of slop. "I thank ail use the word palate and not mean it as summin' tuh sleep on."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking of Garbage...

I learned that my financial straights are more challenging than those of Magellan. Cursed by my own ignorance, hoodwinked, bamboozled I turn to the old, familiar territory.

For your reading pleasure:

The History Of One Tough Motherfucker

he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and
a white cross-eyed tailless cat
I took him in and fed him and he stayed
grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway
and ran him over
I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much
chance…give him these pills…his backbone
is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow
mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at
these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there…also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off…"
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he
wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to
him and gently touched him and he looked back at
me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went
by he made his first move
dragging himself forward by his front legs
(the rear ones wouldn't work)
he made it to the litter box
crawled over and in,
it was like the trumpet of possible victory
blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I
related to that cat-I'd had it bad, not that
bad but bad enough
one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and
just looked at me.
"you can make it," I said to him.
he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally
he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the
rear legs just didn't want to do it and he fell again, rested,
then got up.
you know the rest: now he's better than ever, cross-eyed
almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in
his eyes never left…
and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear about
life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed,
shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look
at this!"
but they don't understand, they say something like,"you
say you've been influenced by Celine?"
"no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by
things like this, by this, by this!"
I shake the cat, hold him up in
the smoky and drunken light, he's relaxed he knows…
it's then that the interviews end
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-
graphed together.
he too knows it's bullshit but that somehow it all helps.


Same Old Garbage

How long can we look back on another U.S. Men's Soccer result and talk about as a small improvement and pretend that failure is actually a positive? I think that ended for me this morning when we (we?) were eliminated by Nigeria. The U.S. plays like I live; they try really hard and fuck up continuously. I love U.S. soccer. I love them more than I love the Braves or Alabama. I love them enough to wake up whenevr they play and jump around on my couch regardless of how I feel. But, at some point, giving it their all and coming up short can't just be a starting point for reflection, it has to be a cold dissapointment. I think it is important for America to be a world football power. In the game against the Netherlands, the U.S. looked every bit the part. Against Nigeria they were a second-rate replay of the hearbreaking defeat to Ghana in the last World Cup.
I am inconsolable.

Das Olympics

A few notes from this olympiad:

First: Teddy Atlas remains the best commentator in all of sports. He gives good solid information. He doesn't dwell on useless trivia. When he keeps repeating a point it is because it is important. He doesn't buy into hype and he is never afraid to be critical. It is unfortunate that other sports don't have the benefit of his specific genius. Too bad most people aren't into boxing.

Second: I hate the opening ceremonies, but I managed to sit through all four hours of this years. The pagentry was a bit much but I was touched by the athletes entry. I think living in an international setting for so long makes it all seem closer. I cheer for Japan because I recognize the faces. I cheer for Ghana because Kumar used to live there. I cheer for New Zealand for all the Kiwis in my life. I feel ambivilant about Australia for all the Aussies in my life.

Third: Judo is available on the interenet, but I haven't been watching. I want it live on TV. Soccer all day everyday is great. Synchronized diving is ridiculous.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Post-Camp Roadtrip. #3

Post-camp roadtrip. #2

Post-camp roadtrip.

From points unidentified. Duagon access not granted, state troopers cower behind their pandas.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No Music

The stunted one week version of camp left me little time to play music with Phil, which is one of my favorite things to do...even though I can't keep up with the trad. Here is Phil's camp drawing.

It was good to have April at camp this year, not only for her outstanding voice.

An Odd Dynamic

Has an elementary school student ever asked you, "Have you ever heard of Alice in Chains?" Has a 15 year old ever played the intro to "Dreams" on a piano and tried to find a way to work it into a 2008???!?!?! Apparently we have this game to thank:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Chasing the roaches out of the washing machine I waited for David to call so I could get out of my 2 year/no Florida holding pattern and head out to the Smokies. 30 minutes to Rockford and I still have a magnet in my head for Roddy Branch Road. I knocked at the back door. I knocked at the front door. No answer. I sat on the front porch and read the New Yorker article about Tavis Smiley. Jim's notes read "Chad and others called." I am "others." No signs of life. No signs of life. I knocked on the front door and stuck my head in. "Hello." No signs of life. My mind rolls trough a week of church shootings and bus decapitations and family stabbings through a Southern Gothic, front porch filter. "Jesus, Jim killed the family." Might have crossed my mind.

After a bit, David and Jayden pulled up. They had mistook their flights for Tuesday instead of Monday and missed them both. Jayden had to get back to Mexico and David to Mexico via New Orleans with visa time line restrictions. The options are to fly business class or to leave several days later. After several frustrating hours on hold David finds out that no one-way rental cars are available in Knoxville for New Orleans. To Chattanooga!!

To Chattanooga. Two hours closer to a home I haven't seen in more than two years in a borrowed car. Renting cars with a debit card. The desk next door. Credit checks and insurance. Uninteresting Indian food in a strip mall with an overheating borrowed car. Only to turn around and come back as Jayden and David push on to stay in Tuscaloosa without even going to campus.

Mission thoroughly accomplished.

How Does One Run?

I have been wondering about runners in Beijing since it was announced they would hold the Olympics there.

You Listen to Baseball with the Commentator You Have...

I was never a Skip Caray fan, but he was the voice I grew up on. He died this week.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Loony Bun is Fine Benny Lava

Camp is over and this is all I have for you:

Blame this on David. Now with post camp space out crashing at Jake's. Camp went fine with only one tragic shooting and pronounced understaffment. I am tireder than three weeks worth and all full of Mexican food. Waiting for Chad to take me to Florida on Wednesday.

Minor bun engine made Benny Lava.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.