Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Walking to work, pt.2

The walk to work is a time for deep thinking. So here is today's amazing message for the world (aka myself):

As I was walking in to work, I passed a guy who looked rough -- earrings, tatoos, an angry scowl on his face. It made me think he was angry at the world, or something, and it launched me into this sophomoric "philosophical" mode where I split the world into two camps, those who believe in God and have hope in a better tomorrow, and those who think that first group is stupid.
It made me upset at the people who I unfairly stereotype at church -- those people who have this supposed christ-like faith but aren't more kind and accepting of people like my new hardened tattoo buddy. I even thought that these so-called church-goers are actually the ones who push people to the extremes like this.

Stupid, huh.

But my conclusion was that instead of being angry and unfair to my churchy brothers and sisters, I could try to be one of the few "enlightened" ones who is not petty and intolerant (or a bad speller -- or, eh hem, a hypocritical elitist) -- one who is actually kind and generous and friendly to all people (and animals, too). What are my angry spiritual tattoos? Where are my angry spiritual piercings? Why must I be so judgmental? I should stop thinking I'm all that and just be a better, kinder person.

Pretty good piece of thinking, huh? All this in about 35 steps. And if that isn't proof of my eminant brilliance, I don't know what is.
All signs point to...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Purpose Envy

Can someone please explain to me what this huge billboard sign is doing on the side of a building in downtown Osaka?

No you can't play with mine because you've broken yours off!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Walking to work, pt.1

So I was thinking about writing a new post on my walk in to work today. Tokyo is an interesting place. It is busy, people everywhere. But there is also a remarkable sense of solitude. Maybe it's because I am so obviously a foriegner here. Or maybe it's my breath.

My apartment is pretty much under the "e" where you see the "Roppongi Hills Residence" in this picture of Tokyo, and I walk through Roppongi Hills and past the Mori tower every day on my commute to and from work.

There is a big spider statue in a courtyard at the mori tower. Thousands of people walk by it every day. I'm one of them. One of the fattest.

So I was walking today and thinking "what can I blog?" I was thinking about how Roppongi has a reputation as a "red light" district, and I was going to play off that -- play stupid, like I didn't know what it meant, and say something about how there are also yellow lights, green lights, white lights, and blue lights, although I've never seen a K-Mart. But then I decided that was stupid, and I wouldn't say it.

Then I thought about talking about some of the traditional children's folk-toys still popular in Japan -- like the wooden multi-colored tops that kids play with. I was going to build it up by talking about how fun they are to spin and you can pretty much play with them anywhere. I was going to say that people pretty much carry them around with them wherever they go, except for some places in Roppongi where they are not allowed -- some bars that open up at night that are strictly top-less bars. But then I realized that was stupid, too.

So basically the only thing I have left to blog about from my walk into work this morning is a scene I saw while I was crossing a street just before the subway entrance. This is a typically narrow Japanese backstreet -- I can cross it in three or four long strides, and yet it doubles as a two-way street. And there is a streetlight. And a crosswalk. And the crosswalk light was red, which even in Japan means "don't walk." And yet the Japanese commuters were all crossing anyway. Why not? There was no traffic whatsoever, and it is such a narrow road in the first place.

Except for one guy, with his briefcase and his dark suit. He stood at the corner, waiting for the light to turn green, watching all of the people around him crossing the street anyway. And I thought to myself, "what is going through that guy's head?" Here is a guy who obviously believes in following the rules, no matter what. What does he think about the people who aren't stopping like they are supposed to? Is he silently judging them? Is he silently patting himself on the back for being such a law-abiding guy? He stood there for 3 minutes. Why?

Oh well. Another day in the life in Tokyo.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Butt-prints In The Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream.
One set of footprints there was seen.
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

And then the strangest print appeared.
I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
This print is large and round and neat.
“But Lord, it’s much too big for feet.”

“My child,” He said in somber tones,
“For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and gained no strength.”

“You laid quite still. You would not grow,
This walk is not for me, you know.
So I got tired. I got fed up.
And there I dropped you on your butt.”

“Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must strive, and one must climb,
and one must rise and take a stand;
Or leave his butt-prints in the sand.”

(and can you blame them?)