Friday, October 31, 2008
Coleman carried the water for the Iraq debacle by making sure that the giant, no-bid contracts where never checked out. If you want more info on him, check Al Franken's Youtube ads. Today this story, not unlike many stories about Coleman, came out.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
As a bonus. Hiroto's new band with my new karaoke favorite "Girgiri Gangan."
I will translate it later when I get a chance. Just by listening again I think it is:
The sunset is bright. It is bright red. Kick the empty can. It begins. It begins.
The fuse (?) goes "Bachi Bachi" in this moment.
It's romantic when you don't care what you look like.
GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN GIRIGIRI GANGAN
Today is the greatest. Today is the greatest.
GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN
Today is the greatest. Today is the greatest feeling.
You understand it on your own.
You decide it on your own.
We're joking around about cutting you with a razor. (I can't quite get this line in Japanese.)
At this moment the fuse is going "Bachi Bachi."
It's almost dramatic enough to make me laugh.
GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN GIRIGIRI GANGAN
Today is the greatest. Today is the greatest.
GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN GIRIGIRI GANGANGAN
Today is the greatest. Today is the greatest feeling.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I don't have to chase him though. I just went to his 2nd period class and waited. When he was finally rounded up and forced to come to class, along with his trusty side-kick Makino, he noticed me and tried to back out. Inoue sensei told him to apologize but he insisted it had nothing to do with him and he had never done anything bad in his life. In response, Inoue sensei grabbed him by the collar and kneed him in the stomach. When he crawled to the corner crying, Inoue sense proceeded to slap the shit out of him. I applaud the decision. Nishiguchi got up and threw his chair. He tried to throw his desk but I grabbed him as Inoue sensei had already returned to the front of the class. He was crying and I told him that I already new what a weakling he was but that if he really wanted to fight me, like he said, I was standing in front of him. He ran out.
Makino then started popping off, while chewing gum. Inoue sensei threw him on the floor and he left. Kubota, the odd child who pulled the knife on me earlier in the year said to me, "Why are you here? This isn't your class. Leave." Whatever he says though he mutters under his breath so you can't really tell if he means it or he is just thinking it out loud. I grabbed him and told him to stand up and say what he had to say if he meant it. "I don't know what you are talking about. Leave." At this point the three softball girls, lead by Chiho, who always freaks out and never makes any sense, start yelling about how everything is the teachers fault and they are being persecuted. They then begin laughing at nothing in particular. Inoue ends up slapping Kubota for not sitting up and facing the front while Kubota mutters under his breath. Chiho reminds me that I am a gaijin and should go home as I have no business being here. I tell her that since I pay Japanese taxes, have a Japanese address, am employed in Japan and have my residency here, that her statement really makes no sense. She yells, "I thought you went back to Gaikoku everyday." And starts laughing. I can't tell if she is joking. If she was a boy I would beat her senseless. Then again, she is already there. She is the worst of the 1st years. Anything that happens she explodes in a rage and then makes the entire discussion about her and how put upon she is. I told the whole class that everyone was tired of them and that I was concerned for their futures. I told Chiho that she was acting like a child and was embarrassing. "I am a child!" Well, that settles that then. She then tried the new favorite tact of assuring me that she couldn't understand a word that I said.
Apparently after Nishiguchi and Makino left they attacked the science teacher and punched and kicked him. Of course, at my school, that kind of violence demands a sharp reaction. Said sharp reaction? Letting both of them back into school and having a rudderless meeting about what to do with the two of them today. Whether they would go back to class or hang out in another room. With those kind of consequences....boy howdy.
Inoue sensei and I have a new greeting, "I think we're going to be fired....please!"
update: I meant to explain why I feel all of this is okay. My conduct and Inoue's. It is very hard to explain the atmosphere of this school and what is wrong with it. The 3rd year boys are spoiled and have become rotten. Although they have improved lately, they have set a terrible example. Nishiguchi is dumb and has very little going for him, besides being rich. He is also very big for his age. He discovered a month or so into the school year that by acting like a moron he could stand out. Of course, he learned this by watching the 3rd years and thinking their were no consequences for his actions. He wanders around most of the time disrupting classes, breaking things and picking on anyone who is smaller or weaker than him, including teachers. He is frightened of both Inoue sensei and me but he cares more about what his peers think of him. To this end he takes every opportunity to act out in front of everyone and tries to make teachers the butt of his actions believing there will be no repercussions. I think that it is very important to have very swift and embarrassing repercussions inflicted in front of his target audience. I know, through sparring with him, that, while being big and strong for his age, he is a terrible weakling and can't stand being hurt. He will also take no responsibility for his action and tries to act like it was ll in fun when it is over. He can't talk about anything seriously. His first reaction to being warned about something is to act like he is going to hit you. If there was a way to suspend him or give him detention, I would support that. If there was a way to extract him from class and put him into counseling, I would support that. If we could call his parents and get them down to the school, I would support that. A note on the parents. His father is a company president and apparently they are well off. His father is tried of dealing with him so he has decided not to. When Nishiguchi shoved a female teacher into a wall, sending her to the hospital, his father told the school that that was acceptable because the teacher had put her hands on his shoulders and asked him to go to his seat. What I want him to understand, and what I wanted to talk to him about today is that, in the real world, when you walk around acting like you are going to fight people, there are many out there who will take you up on your offer. It is best to learn that now.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Some good fights on this card. Hard to call fights. Fighters I like. Tough. I think I have ringworm.
Burkman vs. Sell- With absolutely no basis in anything, Sell is one of my favorite fighters of all time. This largely, well, entirely, has to do with his UFC debut vs. Baroni, which remains one of my favorite fights of all time. Since then, he has been KOd twice by Nate Quarry. Brukman is the safe pick in this fight. If you are betting money, bet on Burkman. I, however, cannot go against Sell. I see him hanging in, getting taken down, trading some good shots and slipping in a guillotine in the 3rd. I'm sticking to my folly.
Franca vs. Aurellio- If you have never seen Franca fight, do yourself a favor and watch. His strategy is basically fight like you are in junior high. Only, he is really talented. He is also 5'6" and comes out throwing haymaker bombs that he backs up with a BJJ black belt. I really like Franca, which isn't uncommon as he is one of the most likable people in the sport. Unless you are his former instructor, turned opponent, Marcus Aurellio. With a name like a Roman emperor, Aurellio sports a hefty reputation. As I have said before, I just don't see it. I am not alleging that he isn't good, but lately, his record hasn't reflected it. Both of these guys are great on the ground, and will probably be unable to submit each other. Aurellio kicks well. Franca is unorthodox, but with crazy power. I see Franca winning on a decision here, after knocking Aurellio silly a few times, and preventing any subs on the ground.
Miller vs. Horwich- Horwich loves him some Jesus Christ and make no mistake about it. He also is a Seattle street punk/ upper middle class enough to get involved in MMA through his mom buying him private lessons with Bas Rutten for his birthday/ Seemingly really nice guy/ talented fighter. I enjoy the Horwich. Nevertheless, Dan Miller, like his brother, is cut from the tough, athletic, wrestling cloth, that often rolls right over solid technicians, even if they are blessed with the spirit. I think Horwich will put up a good fight, but that Miller is far to physical and strong and will submit him in the 2nd.
Fisher vs Gugerty- Spencer Fisher is a very talented fighter. The end. I can't believe Spencer Fisher used to weigh 300 pounds. Anyway, he wins this fight however he wants in the 1st. Let's just say TKO.
Leites vs. McFedries- I have talked on here before about liking McFedries. How he has power in both of his hands. Power enough to knock-out anyone. Know what he doesn't have? Any semblance of take down defense. Leites takes him down and submits him in the 1st. This come with the caution that guys like McFedries only need one punch to land to win, so take that for what it is worth.
Sherk vs. Griffin- A lot of people claim this fight will be boring. I don't think so. Griffin's badonkadonk vs. Sherk's caveman training. Both are extremely good fighters. Extremely. I think that Sherk has very solid boxing but possesses the arms of a dinosaur. Not the long, lanky kind of dinosaur. Fortunately for him, Griffin is in the same genetic boat. There should be some exciting striking setting up explosive takedowns. I think Sherk will take Griffin down and pass his guard, but that Griffin will stay in the fight long enough to make Sherk fight for his decsion victory. Should be a grappling expo.
Werdum vs. Santos- I initially laughed this one off as an easy pick before I found out that Santos trains out of Black House with Nog and Silva. Even so Werdum is the real deal top 10/top 5 heavyweight. Werdum will strike with him, take him down from the clinch, get on top of him and TKO him in the 1st.
Maynard vs. Clementi- This is another fight I am going out on a limb on. Maynard is a very good wrestler who trains out of Extreme Couture. Clementi lives in Slidell. Actually Clementi has been on a career resurrecting run of late. He is very crafty and a solid fighter. Maynard is all kinds of strong and a better wrestler than Clementi. I would not be surprised at all if he grinds out a decision. He also hits very hard, if wild. I think that Clementi will hang with him, catch the worst of it and sub him in the 3rd, probably a guillotine.
Koscheck vs. Alves- This is the hardest fight for me to call. I have always been a Koscheck backer. I thought his battle to get Bobby Southworth to make weight on TUF 1 was the most compelling portion of the show. I believe in his athletic talent and his imporving game, but a new shiny object has obscured my view. The lightning flash that is Thiago Alves has temporarily blinded me. For Koscheck to win, he has to take Alves down for 3 rounds and hold him there, while being active and make no mistakes. All Alves has to do is neutralize top control, wait for the mistake and explode. He has the kind of freaky power in his strikes, especially his knees and kicks, to make the fight all about that one moment. I see Alves getting a KO by knee in the 3rd. It should be an exciting fight.
Silva vs. Cote- I like Cote. He has hard punches and a good chin. May they get him to the 2nd where he loses by TKO or sub, or whatever Silva feels like. We are watching a once in a generation fighter steamroll competition now. Enjoy.
That's it. Neutralize your ringworm with bleach, neutralize Arash Markazi with...whatever. Enjoy the fights.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This is the movie that I meant to see.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This event is hard for me to call as it features a bunch of European fighters that I know by name but whose abilities I haven't seen tested against known commodities. Nevertheless:
Eklund vs. Shiavo: Eklund is well rounded. Kind of awkward. I support him. Eklund by decision.
Baron vs. Miller: Baron is on a run. Miller kind of is. Miller is American. Baron is 5'5" and French. I really don't know. The momentum is behind Baron. I am picking Miller for no particular reason.
Stout vs. Etim: Stout is a much better striker but has a non-existent ground game. I can't trust that. He probably can get the KO but I can't back a guy with no ground game. Etim by sub in the 2nd.
Liaudin vs. Bielkheden: Bielkheden is a very interesting story. Leaving Scandinavia for Brazil and getting his black belt. That should put me for him. He can win, but...I just don't think the wrestling ability is there. I think Liaudin pulls of a decision. Could be a good fight.
Carwin vs. Wain: This fight is set up for Carwin to get a 1st round KO. He will.
Gono vs. Hardy: This is probably the fight that I am most looking forward to. Gono, the showman, has the most impressive resume on this card. He has fought everybody forever and won enough to stay relevant. Hardy is a compelling young British fighter. I think this could be the best real test, in the UFC of 10th Planet, rubber-guard jiu-jitsu. Gono has every chance to win this fight. He has a strong, strong top game and could pin Hardy and pound him out. I still believe in Eddie Bravo and his system. I think Hardy will implement it to back up his solid stand-up. I have Hardy by a TKO in the 2nd. However, it will not be shocking at all if Gono wins. He is a good, good fighter.
Davis vs. Kelly: I am also very much looking forward to this fight. Davis, The Irish Hand Grenade, probably has the best boxing in MMA. He has transitioned it over to be practical enough to compliment his new found sub ability. Kelly has been impressive, but his game is ground and pound with little wrestling to help it out. I see Davis by KO in the 1st. Not because Kelly is bad, but because they are both aggressive. Should be a good fight and could go deeper if Kelly's wrestling has improved.
Lytle vs. Taylor: Lytle is one of my favorite fighters ever. If this was a video game he would be an 80 out of 100 in everything (except wrestling.) Lytle has the strange talent to fight his opponents game to a decision. I expect this fight to be the same. Lytle by decision. Should be a good fight.
Sokoudjo vs. Cane: Sokoudjo is a freaky athlete. I think Cane has the ability to sub him, but I don't think he has the ability to take him down. I think Cane can KO him but I don't think his striking is as good. Sokoudjo by vicious 1st round KO.
Vera vs. Jardine: Vera is one of my favorites and I stick by him in these tough times. He finally moved down to 205 and should be running over folks. His kick-boxing is superb. His grappling is out of this world. He is really, really solid. Jardine is a wild-card. If you were a coach, you would want to correct everything he does, if it wasn't for the fact that it works. He has wins over Liddell and Griffin. He is an interesting cat. I see him frustrating Vera, but Vera clinching and then striking for a decision. An awkward decision.
Bisping vs. Leben: Wait...this is the top of the card. Ok. Ok. I am liking Bisping a lot more at middleweight. He still doesn't have natural power but his speed and movement is looking very good. I am assuming his stamina is solid as well because I have never seen it falter. Leben is an odd cat, in many ways. He can be fighting like complete garbage and wake up long enough to knock somebody out. Really knock them out. He has freaky natural power and an absurd chin. That makes things tough to call. He could be losing a fight for all but the two seconds he throws a nutty knock out punch. I am not crazy about his ground work even though he is rumored to have some. He is supposed to be a changed fighter...we'll see. I think Bisping will Rich Franklin this one and out stamina and movement and combo Leben to a decision. The one equalizer for people with out power is knees. I am interested to see if Bisping goes to the knees, from the clinch or otherwise.
That's it. Order your fish and chips and put on the Billy Bragg. Call Arash Markazi and tell him I've met his deadline for him. Salute Lance Hahn.
Starship Troopers- Robert Heinlein: People complain about this book's fascist biases. I guess so, but I enjoyed it. Of course it was pro-military in odd ways, but it was also dumb in odd ways and interesting in odd ways. A very quick read.
Spartan- Valerio Massimo Manfredi: This was laying around a friend's house. It had its interesting moments but it really devolved into boringness. Part of it might have been an awkward translation, which made the tone hard to come through.
Spook Country- William Gibson: I didn't like William Gibson when I first read Neromancer. Now He is one of my favorite writers. His sense of place and descriptions and use of the physical world is the best out there, in my opinion. This is a very, very good novel.
A Widow For One Year- John Irving: John Irving is like the Cameron Crowe of novelists. I go in thinking that it will be moderate but I am surprised by how much I am effected. A solid novel. Standard Irving, childhood to adulthood with a lot going on in between. Well worth the read.
Wide Sargasso Sea- Jean Rhys: As I don't read any Bronte stuff I kind of missed all of the important references in this one. Nevertheless it was amazingly well written and I enjoyed it very much. The descriptions of life in the Caribbean seemed like something that is missing from literature. Maybe it is just my limited reading. My lack of Bronte interest made the ending a little muddled for me, but I found it profitable just the same.
All The King's Men- Robert Penn Warren: I set this one down for a bit and then came back to it. A change in moods I guess. Never has a better book been written by man. Truly great. I won't say without peer but it is up there with Trainspotting, As I lay Dying, WIseblood and the rest of the giants. I won't dwell on it, but I really feel that, sentence by sentence, it is the most skillfully written novel I have ever come across. It never loses its speed, it never starts to come apart. It is never not completely sharp.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Do you not think Obama has the Ayers and ACORN issues covered? Expect McCain's addressing an ACORN event to come up. Expect to hear the name Annenberg. Expect to hear the difference between voter fraud and voter registration fraud.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've been trying to think about my students lives lately. Not like I haven't before, just been marinating on it.
One of my kids came home from school in the 6th grade and found his dad had hung himself in the closet. They still live in the same apartment. It is next to the school. His elementary school teachers talk about how big and kind and shy his father was.
One of my 1st years' parents came to sports day. "What did they look like?" I asked another teacher. "Like drug addicts, because they are."
I have a turbulent relationship with one 3rd year. He likes me now. His mom is on drugs and his dad just got out of jail. "I remember one Christmas we came out of our room and our apartment was full of presents. He always seemed weak to me, but I haven't seen him in a while."
An angry mother showed up the other day. She was angry because we had asked her to get her sons keitai that we hand taken away. He is big and uncomfortable and really sweet. His mom won't make him a lunch half the time, and won't give him money for one. His sister is terrible and nasty and can't speak to anyone really. The mom threw open the door and screamed at everyone, saying she was tired, why did we have to bother her. She makes food in a stall at fairs.
One of the worst kids in school's father lost both of his legs in an accident over summer break. He can't work now. Now the kid has to work somewhere, even though that is illegal. At least that is what he said happened.
"Her parents are so young and beautiful, but they never loved her as a child. They just gave her stuff and acted like she was a thing."
Those are just some of the stories we here every day. It's a dirty, dirty job.
Updated with further reading:
Arudou on rural Japan.
A larger discussion of the issue.
Someone who agrees more with David.
Here is a blog commenting on the article. I hate to be a dick, but most of the people writing comments just seem to be a bit ignorant. I think they would rather react than think about the issue.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Still, one of my favorite moments in television was the town hall gone to fiasco craziness put on by the Clinton administration at Ohio State starring a befuddled Madeline Albright. She was besot with the townieness of it all. The whole thing was clearly, clearly off the script. I like that format. I would like to see the candidates deal with a wrestling sea-beast of undetermined origins. I want it to get, if not Springer-tastic, that Geraldo-esque. Even if it was to be more civilized, I would like it to be raw and for stupid questions and intelligent questions to rough up the smooth patches of the agreed common knowledge. What if someone asked, "Sen. McCain, did you ever feel that you deserved to be in prison?" Ouch! I will try and be "bi-partisan." "Sen. Obama, did you join your church as a way to get a foothold in the Chicago political community? Do you feel that has paid off in the long run?" What are questions if they ain't uncomfortable.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Here is an article on Obama that has nothing to do with anything but also speaks to something.
Tomorogi had our sports festival on Saturday. I haven't been writing about school lately because I have been more interested in the election and more heartbroken about school. Somehow, after a terrible week of practices which featured me throwing a first year on the ground yelling "You want to fight teachers?? Fight me! And punching him in the ass while he cried" We managed to pull of a surprisingly good, and moving sports festival.
These doofuses pulled it off. Kuroda, on the right, who I get along with but who's conduct is something close to awful, was the student representative. He told the students before the start, "Come on, let's do this right! Let's actually try!" Why won't he do that in class?
The 3rd year boys ran an awesome relay. If Emi, on the far left becomes a famous athlete, don't be surprised.
The 3rd year girls did a dance. This is Ikada. She is actually great.
These are the rotten 3rd year girls. They were excited about the boys. They are terribly stupid.
If they just were like this everyday.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
(I don't think this picture is sexist, because I actually find Gina Carano attractive in a completely respectful way. If she was a dude fighter showing that he could make weight and a girl said he was hot, I would accept that. Accept this.)
It is about half past drunk 30 here in the Kyoto branch of the Cheek household. Just thought I would give you some picks for Elite XC tomorrow celebrating that food stuff known as meat.
Rua vs. Radach: The logical choice is Radach by methodical pounding. I say Rua by surprise sub in the 2nd.
Carano vs. Kobald: Believe this hype, Gina Carano is actually hawt. She is also a good fighter. She should be fighting Mrs. Cyborg who is on the undercard. But she isn't. She wins by well roundedness in the 3rd.
Arlovski vs. Nelson: Holy shit! A good fight showed up on this card. Roy Nelson is a fat man who can f'ing fight. Arlovski, while not being fat, is a giant. Arlovski is one of my favorite fighters ever. I think his stand-up is unstoppable and his ground work is solid. I see Arlovski by heel hook in the 2nd.
Daley vs. Shields: What will actually happen is that Shields will take down Daley and execute perfect top control for the win. What I am telling you is that Semtex, one of the greatest nicknames in sports, is going to KTFO Sheilds in the 1st. Happy no retirement Daley.
Feguson vs. Shamrock: And for 2 extra dollars you can watch two goats fucking. Nobody cares. Nobody cares. In lieu of a good fighter, they have exhumed someone who might have been a good fighter in an era when everyone sucked. Congrats. Shamrock, if his ass got miracled, dives for the heel hook and ruins Kimbo's career. Back in reality Kimbo destroys his epic glass chin in the 1st. This doesn't mean Kimbo can fight. It means that he is almost as good as everyone else who has knocked Shammy out. Everyone.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
attempting to silence the voices in my head.