Tuesday, July 15, 2008

late night crap

I think I'm going to start adding a youtube video of music I like with each post from now on. I know, youtube posts are so overdone in the blogging world, but don't feel obligated to watch it. You may be at work, or just don't care and that's fine with me.

During lunch today, I stepped out with a coworker to get a quick bite. On the way back to work from Chinatown, I stopped into a deli to get some fruit, more specifically, packaged sliced watermelon. I wanted a cigarette at this point, as any smoker or ex smoker knows that afer meal cigarettes are the best! I reached into my cheapy Muji bag and realized that my cigarettes were in the pocket of my blazer, which lay draped over my desk chair back at the office. Long story short, I ended up (reluctantly) accepting my coworkers menthol cigarette. Carrying the sliced watermelon in the plastic bag and smoking the menthol cigarette, I quietly said to my coworker, 'OMG! I'm black! Help a brother out'. Uproarious laugher. Yeah, I went there bitches, deal with it.

I did say that quietly, of course (though I say everything quietly). Race jokes are frequently funny, and besides, aren't I just doing what Obama wants? Getting race out in the open? I know that people have snickered when I've been on the subway back to my apartment carrying a 20 pound bag of Japanese (California grown) short or medium grain rice. But yeah, political correctness has never been important to me. It ruins humor, makes people afraid to ask a question, and is all around wishy washy. I just choose what to say to whom, based on how well I know them and how they might react.

Moving on, I'm now ordering cigarettes online from Indian reservations. I know I should quit, but.... well, yeah. There are so many cheap cigarette online stores, mostly based out of Eastern Europe. I really don't want to smoke cigarettes made for the Eastern European market. The Indian reservations sell them legally, and for a good price by carton. I've also switched brands- I've been smoking Marlboro Lights for a while now, yet never really liked them. I now smoke Pall Mall lights, which I think is quite cool and classic. A lot of the brands popular in the US, like Parliament, for example, I don't really care for. Marlboro Lights seem really popular, but are 'fishy' to me, for lack of a better word. Camels are ok, but I get tired of them. Winston Lights are nice, but I bought a pack of Pall Malls a month ago out of curiosity and loved the smoothness.

Isn't it strange how brands come and go? Pall Mall was THE cigarette in the US in the 60s, but now, probably do to lack of advertising (not to mention the death of the first wave of people who smoked them), the brand just isn't so popular. There are other examples. Lark cigarettes (which I really do love), are also not popular here anymore. They are, however, VERY popular in Japan. What happened? How did Marlboro beat all these other brands? Honestly, I don't think I could smoke another Marlboro Light again after trying Pall Mall.

from the mid 80s album 'Psychocandy', 'Never Understand' by The Jesus and Mary Chain. music for people who are.....numb

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I really can't handle my liquor

It happened again. I didn't faint this time, but I got sick after 2 drinks. How lame am I? When I tell my friends this story, I said it was after 4 drinks, but between you and me, it was 2 :-(

Shigeki was in town Sunday, so we met up late when he was finished with his work assignment. We met last summer when I was in Tokyo and had a nice time, so I was happy that he agreed to meet up, even though he had flown in from Japan that day, went to work, and had an early flight the next morning. Anyway, a late dinner at Yokocho started the evening. I felt a little silly bringing someone who just flew in from Tokyo to a mediocre izakaya, but on Sunday night past 11 PM, there aren't a huge number of options of places open other than diners. Hopefully he found it interesting, despite the annoyingly loud super trendy Japanese early 20s kids sitting near us. But, we made fun of them behind their backs and had a laugh. :-)

I only had one beer with the meal. One. Not 5. Not 3. One. I figured the divey but diverse Phoenix bar on East 13th Street could be fun, so we headed there. It was Pride night, but it wasn't that full. I guess everyone else was in the West Village and Chelsea, and from talking to Shigeki, I didn't feel like it was really his scene. Nor is Chelsea mine. Don't get me wrong, there's a few places there I like, but I didn't want to go and be judged by guys in lycra tops with muscles but no personality. We talked and I had a gin and tonic. Granted it was a strong G&T, but I drank it and we headed to 7A. I was feeling slightly hungry, and was planning on ordering breakfast. The conversation was nice, as Shigeki is quite wordly and easy to talk to. Long story short, I ended up heading to the restroom thinking I was going to puke. I wasn't drunk in the slightest, just not feeling well at this point. It was a false alarm, I couldn't throw up and returned to the table. About 5 Minutes later, I realized I was going to be sick- and slightly before this, I mentioned I didn't feel well. The next time I went to the restroom was no false alarm. Ewwww.

Washing of hands and rinsing my mouth in their filthy sink in their filthy restroom, I did feel better. Not great, but better, and returned to the table sweating profusely. I sort of had to lean to my side with my head on the glass window, and apologized to Shigeki. Each minute I felt a little better, and after about 20 minutes of leaning to my side and sipping water, I felt 100% fine. We talked some more and people watched- the light rain coating the dirty side walks, the charming yet run down East Village buildings made a good background to the interesting conversation. I was, of course, embarrassed in getting ill after 2 drinks while showing someone from out of town around, but it could have been worse. It didn't last too long, I got over it, and we were able to keep talking as opposed to me having to pass out in a cab. Thanks for the company, Shigeki. Next time I won't mix beer and cocktails, or won't drink at all ;-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Remember me?

Hi everyone. I know it's been AGES since I last updated. I've been fine, nothing wrong with my health, job, and I haven't been depressed or anything. Rather, I just felt I needed a break from blogging, but I'm back.

I have been checking in all my blog links, but haven't been leaving comments. That'll soon change, now that my blog funk is over. Since I last updated, I've been to Hong Kong. I figured I needed a vacation, despite the dismal US economy, and it is amazing the good deals a travel agent can find. I was able to stay at the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon at a fraction of the standard rate, and enjoyed the hectic Hong Kong lifestyle for a little less than a week- great food, shopping, a trip to the New Territories, art museums, more eating, Chinese opera, even more eating/ :-) I was amazed at the energy of Hong Kong, as I haven't been there since I was kid in 1987. I also found the changes interesting, such as more immigrants from Guangzho, and the use of Mandarin seemed to be more prevalent, though of course Cantonese is still the standard. Hectic, lots of walking, very few breaks, which is how I prefer to travel. It went by so fast. In the end, I felt slightly overwhelmed by Hong Kong. Sure, I'm used to NY and Tokyo, but Hong Kong is so built up and aggressive that I couldn't help but feel claustrophobic .

More recently, I went to Osaka briefly. It was very last minute- my boss casually mentioned I had some vacation time coming, and I inquired with my amazing travel agent again, and she found another great deal. Osaka is a city I have never been to, other than Shin Osaka Station in transit on the bullet train. It is considered the business capital of Japan, and is much more hectic. While Tokyo is larger, Osakans are more aggressive and direct than Tokyoites. However, the main point of this whirlwind vacation was to see the Miho Museum, designed by IM Pei. It took a while to get to, I had to go to Kyoto, change trains, then take a bus, but it was gorgeous. Since all my Japanese friends and connections are in the Kanto area, more specifically Tokyo and Yokohama, I didn't contact any of them to say I would be in Japan, since I wouldn't have had time to see any of them. I didn't want to be rude, so I just kept it to myself. This was a 4 day trip, and went by in a blur.

Back here in NY, the malaise over the economy is palpable. Sure, NYers still go out and eat, though shopping and what not is greatly cut back by many, with the exception of the mega rich, of which there are many here. Most of the people in the luxury stores are Europeans, and have been for a while now. I can't say I blame them since they are getting a great rate, especially the Brits for whom it's practically 2:1, but I'm starting to get irritated when some of my work clients (Europeans) say things like 'I love NY now since it's so cheap'. I know what they mean, but it's sort of rude and insensitive. I feel like they should change their wording and say 'it's cheap for us'-- it is not cheap if your salary is in US dollars. But then again, Euro trash is Euro trash for a reason.

More updates soon

Thursday, November 15, 2007

some random stuff

Ok guys- I've seen that site that hosts some of my archives, but don't really feel like linking to it. In a way, starting over is a good feeling, so this post will serve as an 'about me' section. First, though, I HAVE to mention the NYC opening of the best store in the world. Muji SoHo opens tomorow (Friday 16) at noon. There's nothing else like it in the world, so check it out if you are in the area and want sleek, contemporary designed stationary, housewares, clothing, kitchen supplies, furniture, some health and beauty at a reasonable price.


I was born in late 1978 in Japan. I am ethnically Japanese, and am adopted. My parents are 'white' Americans. My dad used to work in Tokyo in the mid 70s to early 80s, and as my parents had a hard time having a child, they decided to adopt there since it was much easier than to undergo the American adoption process. They did look into adopting in nearby Korea, but decided against it since it was more difficult due to longer waiting periods. Adoption in Japan is and was incredibly rare-- I don't mean to sound like 'I'm so special!", but it's simply not common. I think there were around 15 international adoptions in Japan the year I was born.

My birth mother was from Saitama Prefecture, much of which is a bedroom community of Tokyo. She was working class, single, and was left by my natural father. She went to a clinic in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture where I was born. The OBGYN specialized in adoptions, and was an activist in helping single mothers. He was an outspoken opponent of the stigma single mothers and their children carried on 'koseki', or family registries which contain information such as marriages (or lack thereof), education, etc. In an old post, it could be interpreted that my adoption was slighltly illegal, but it was not. It went through the courts, and all the proper documents were in order.

I became a naturalized American citizen in 1981 in Hawaii. I grew up in Westchester County, NY, went to college in New York City, and here I am.

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with NYC. I love what is available here. I love that you can be who you want to be here and people don't care. I love the accessibility of foreign food eateries and shops, the 24 hour subway, museums, cast iron buildings downtown, the whole cultural melting pot. I don't, however, like many NYers, even though I am one. The stereotypical loudness, people talking loudly on cell phones in shops, restaurants (you shouldn't even talk on your cell phone in McDonalds, in my opinion), not being able to differentiate indoor and outdoor voices, etc. I especially can't stand the 'I'll play my stereo loud at 3 AM, and if you don't like it, fuck you, it's NY, deal with it' attitude'. But, it's not like everyone is like that by any means (usually just ex frat boy yuppies), and at the end of the day, this is the place I feel the most comfortable in the world. I just try and tune out the 'entitled' mentality of some people here.

Even though I have many, many opinons and have voiced them on my blog, I'm not really a 'loud' person. Sure, I share opinions with friends, or people I feel are on the same wave length, but I'm also quite reserved. It may seem from reading this site that I tell people whatever I think whenver I want, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm actually quite reserved, and I'm very much a 'time and a place for everything' person. I just judge what or what not to say based on reading the person, and of course in professional circumstances, or with people like older family friends, I am quite diplomatic.

Several people have told me I have a good aura, and on hearing this, I always want to laugh. I don't exactly know what that means, and I feel that I'm often kind of tense and uptight in certain social situations. I'm very NOT new agey, hence the wanting to laugh....

I love food and cooking. For the most part, I don't have high end tastes in cooking. To me, the best foods are based on the peasant cuisine of different cultures. Of course, I do like Peking Duck, good sushi, etc :-) My favorite food when I do not have social plans, but feel like eating out is ramen, or the Japanese version of Chinese noodle soup. It's kind of like a fast food, but tastier--and no, I do not mean those instant packages you buy in the grocery store 6 for a dollar. The real stuff, baby! Rich broth of pork and chicken and soy, fatty slices of roast pork, hard cooked egg, naruto, bean sprouts, shinachiku, etc. Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malaysian are generally my favorite foods.

I'm a clean freak. I shower thorougly and vigorously. I HAVE to have a hand held shower head. The typical American style shower head that is attached to the wall is no good for me. I use what in Japan is called a 'body towel', which is semi course woven nylon cloth that gets rid of the dead skin all over your body. You can even wash your back with it and REALLY scrub hard, it feels so nice. You wet it, add soap or body wash, work up a lather, and turn off the shower so the suds don't rinse away. When done, rinse it off thorougly, ring it out, and it drys quickly. I usually toss them after 3 months or so.

However- while I love and am obsessed with showering, I have some pairs of jeans I never wash. I want my favorite several pairs of jeans to be comfy, and not be subjected to the shrinking or fading of laundry. I just febreeze them every once in a while. Stop judging me!

I'm gay and not that into the 'scene'. Sure, I go to bars and have fun, but I don't feel that being gay is that big of a deal and that I have to make it my identity. At this point in my life, I know who I am, what I like and dislike. I'm too apathetic to be any sort of activist, pride parades annoy me, and the thought of going on a gay cruise is the last thing I would ever want to do. Chelsea on a boat? No thanks.

I smoke. I try not to smoke in my apartment often, as I don't like the smell, so I'll grab my jacket and go outisde in the winter, unless it's absolutely freezing. Smokers of the world, unite! *cough, wheeze*

I love watching and going to the movies. If I had to list a few of my favorite films, they would be 'Tampopo' directed by Juzo Itami (which is focussed around ramen, yum), 'Raise The Red Lantern', 'Purple Noon', 'A Single Girl', 'All About My Mother', 'The Breakfast Club'

I get angry when people ask me if I am of Korean or Chinese background. Maybe not angry, but my face will sour.....

If I had to list my skills, I would say that it is being highly observant and being able to 'read' people. I can take things in easily and I remember things vividly from chidlhood vacations. I'm curious at knowing why different people in the world do things the way they do (sociology major). My weakness is making small talk, like on an airplane or talking to other travellers while on a vaction, for example. I get shy, feel awkward, and find it an invasion of my privacy.

Anyway, more to come. I don't want to make this post too long....

Friday, November 9, 2007

An explanation (or an attempt at one)

I've added my blogroll and haloscan comments, which I prefer to blogger comments. Apologies for deleting the blogger comments, but I did read them. Thank you!

I'm still somewhat saddened by my hasty decision to delete my posts. I was sitting at my computer a few nights ago, trying to come up with an entry that would be entertaining, funny, insightful, sad, edgy, ANYTHING, really. I was probably staring at the computer screen for an hour, sipping ocha and smoking, practically pulling out my hair in a 'blogger's block' induced frustration. When the wave of bitterness hit me, I decided to delete it all. Fuck it, I thought. I'm tired of reading about other people's interesting lives, while I barely have enough time to come up with a new post on a semi regular basis. So, I clicked 'delete this blog', and clicked again on the confirmation. I felt strangely satisfied for a few seconds, much like a teenager deliberatly failing a class to get back at his parents. But after a few drags on a Marlboro Light and a sip on now cold ocha, I realized that my posts were in fact interesting, that I do have something to say, and that my blog is not merely a bunch of photos of hot male celebrities like those of so many gay men. I almost started crying, but there would have been no point. And, like the teenager who fails in school to make his parents angry, the one he is hurting is himself. Blogging has been a source of great enjoyment for me since the spring of 2004. I've enjoyed sharing stories from my life, ranting, describing my travels or sexual experiences in pornographic detail. Most of all, I've enjoiyed reading about your lives, not to mention meeting quite a few of you in person. So, I'm back-- while the old posts and original FMS blog are gone for good, I'm still around, this time with more incentive to write.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading, commenting, and becoming my friends over the past several years. I may, in a moment of anger, have deleted my archives, but I'm not throwing in the towel. That's all for now, stay tuned....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Starting Over

Well, it's gone. In a moment of frustration I deleted all of my posts, not thinking to save them. I'm shocked at my behavior now that it's done, since the posts detailing the past three and a half years of my life are gone forever and nothing can be done to retrieve them. A part of me is furious at myself, yet another part of me is saying 'fuck it-- just write like you always did and don't look back'.

And that's what I'm going to do. Yes, being overworked, tired, with little time to persue hobbies or a social life left me feeling bitter, hence the deletion of my old posts. However, I won't cry over spilt milk. Give me some time to get the links and comments up and running again, and FMS will be back in business