Oh yeah

Tuesday, November 29. 2005
I signed up again for Chinese classes at the end of last week. Im going back to school. Its a different school this time I just decided that my old school, CLD, was too far away. Im starting tonight.

Im down for four hours of one-on-one tuition a week. Three of the hours are actually Mandarin Chinese; one is Taiwanese. Ive left this too long. I should been back in this saddle a long time ago but theres no time like the present to make up for missed opportunities.

So yeah. Ill let you know how it goes.

Another week, another weekend: Nothing

Monday, November 28. 2005
What ever happened to those Sunday updates that Kerouac Cat used to do?

Another week and weekend have much with not much in the way of significant events, much less posts from me.

Work is down to a tolerable level. I don't think I need to labour the point about the difference between tolerable and enjoyable.

I spent a good part of the weekend on the bike, the weather being very favourable, then a significant moment was spent off the bike. I woke late on Saturday but got out for a few hours before I had to come back to give an English lesson. Sunday, I went out at 6am with another Aussie guy I know. It was a great ride - near perfect weather, not much traffic - until I came off. Matt left about 10:30, and I decided to go up for another run.

I won't bore you with details, suffice to say it happened at low speed, and my jacket, gloves and knee protectors saved me from more serious damage. The bike is mostly ok too. I decided that was enough and after a short break I rode (carefully) back down to home.

No one here helps you when you have an accident. I already knew this; nonetheless it is a little disconcerting to have traffic driving and riding around you while you are flat out lying in the middle of the road.

My accident was nothing on the brand new Ferrari we saw hit the concrete barrier. Man I wish I'd taken my camera.

Oh, and I bought a skateboard this weekend.

The Last Greatcrasher

Sunday, November 20. 2005
It wasnt even a weekend, but it had all the hallmarks of one; it was a normal two days but I tell you, normal doesnt begin to start this one. It really started here and I wasnt going to chip in until I was required onstage, but its cold outside and I have things to put off. In the mood for some storytellin, too, so lets see how this one goes.

The word came through a week or two before the event. Rumours had floated through the ether before this but crystal rarely forms in the fog the floats above the Pacific and no matter how close you watch, direct action is needed to pull the gems out when the flash past.

Direct action was me calling on a paid day off and announcing, all right dude, Im in, you just say where and when.

Calls came and went, there was some confusion. There always is, but the road led to Urayasu, home of better than well off young families, rusty old sheds and spanking new hotels furnished with Disney Dollars. The entire area is under so much debt it might just sink back into the sea, just next door to the raving warehouse at Shin-Kiba and a pigs flight from Odaiba. Communication wasnt great but I found the mark and we took a taxi from the station to the hotel. I walked in like I belonged, I wasnt up to doing it like I own the place (that always comes later) and fully expecting to have to spin something, I got through like a scalpel into a ripe boil. Where was the pus? Wait and see, because it was surely there.

I met people. People who thought I needed not be there seemed to be absent. Everyone else just assumed, or worse, because I got a of looks that said, have I seen you before? You might be part of this, you might not Oh well. That was easier than expected.

Washing was done, introductions were made. Plans were wrought to hunt some beer but placed on hold by a phone call. The craziness had started and such craziness has but one course of action, in the fullness of time. Someone would need to die. Maybe some balls would be found and the correct thing be done, but madness is twisted and twisted paths are devilish to walk. Tears flowed, then stopped.

Beer was found and talk was talked. I made my way into the gathering and talked even more. Some good and some shit, not enough time to rub anyone the wrong way and long enough to get good with a few good faces.

Its like three am and we have plans for the morning, Ive had to leave the room because theres people who want to sleep. I might be one of them but the key holder is downstairs somewhere fighting one battle or another. I see inside the bell jar.

I sleep. Too long. The morning comes and Im left alone in this room but I have a shower and familiar faces re-appear. The man is a wallpaper expert, you can barely see the cracks. We set off to hit the city, as it called my friend, it had been too long. Artefacts for use in ancient ceremonies were purchased so that evils could be appeased in far away lands. Some good times were had and more talk was talked.

I retreated to my abode and prepared for the evening pursuit.

Suit, shirt, no tie, all class. Hotel New Otani in a rich part of town and the place was huge. Followed the signs up to the right room Theres reception, time to talk.

Yeah, my cousin is supposed to be here tonight, he invited me along, not sure if he remembered to tell the right people. Sure, Ill wait. No, my names not there, he probably just forgot, look, theres his name. Right, right, hey, no problems. Thanks a lot!

And I was inside. The room was massive, the suit the correct choice. Some reunion, lots of quasi-internationalisation bullshit, flags everywhere, bored Japanese men in identical suits talking about how they thought they would be able to get some business done.

Free drinks, dont mind if I do, the kids are late bus is stuck in traffic. I sidle up to the Australian flag and talk to some old man. No sir, thats the Australian flag. The English flag is over there. Not a problem, see you later. Then I looked at his card, it was only the president of Aeon. Must tell the J about that.

The grand entrance is made and the kids from last night are mostly decked out in decent gear. Always some clown wearing sandals. Free food, free drink, all is taken advantage of and a good time is had by all. Few people are aware Im not supposed to be there. I get away clean. Thanks for the feeding, cheers for the times and big it up for the last great Crashing of the age.

Reverse cabin fever

Sunday, November 20. 2005
I haven't had the motivation to put a serious post here in more than a month. I've been "working up to it", which is code for studiously avoiding it. Weeks and weekends come and go, and I do nothing.

I don't really feel like going out drinking. I don't feel like doing anything much, save for writing. This weekend I've been stuck in my room. I went out Saturday morning for a ride, but the weather was so cold and miserable I got half way up the mountain then turned back.

I was supposed to go riding today with a couple of Aussie guys I met, but it was called off due to weather.

The thing is, I'm not really busting to get out of these walls. I've been sitting here watching Dazed and Confused, listening to the NESCover CD from SA, and pressing the refresh button on my browser about one million times an hour. There's a ton of more useful stuff I could be doing, like studying Chinese, fixing up problems with the Dragon, fixing up my friend's website, getting ready for class next week, practising guitar, cleaning my room, fixing my bike... but instead I just sit here and feel my brain cells depart, one at a time; literally bored out of my skull.

I don't know why I prevaricated on the Japan story even, that fucker should write itself. Its very absence is evidence of my slackness.


Update: 12:55
I got off my arse and fixed up somethings in the NaviDragon. The links to T-Art, Links, and About all work now. Maybe one day I'll even get around to making the fucking page render correctly in IE again. Now, I'm going to go fix my bike.

Charity in the House

Sunday, November 20. 2005
I ignore the tin rattlers. Even the craziest of monks rattling tins fails to pry even a yen out of my wallet. Not a single organisation has my (non-existent) credit card number and all the kids I aint sponsoring in Africa will never know how much I wont be improving their lives.

Charity begins at home. I dont have any justification more than I keep my own yard clean and I stand on my own two feet, keeping this soul above the line in the sand. I despise the thought that donations go first to administer this and that Selfish, I know.

The banner over there is for Childs Play. The level that this has reached is incredible and as a game playing loner, I want to call attention to the efforts of my brethren not just because they usually get warped into maniacs and killers by the right wing arsehole media. We dont kill. Politicians do, and these boys make it a little bit righter. What more can we ask? Beat the drum.

One a.m. Bullshit, and then some

Thursday, November 17. 2005
Everywhere I go I seem to poison. Something in my head leeches out into the very streets, doors and rooms I make my home and the poison which came from me makes me sick, sick to the thought of being there at all.

This deadly place, I just think I need to get away from it, the very idea of staying makes me ill and then I need to get on outta here. Theres only one way out and nowhere I go can ever be safe. The poison will always follow me.

J man, Im going for it tomorrow night. Wish me luck and hold the phone.

Bancho, we hook up and get blasted before the year is out. This is a promise.

Break

Tuesday, November 15. 2005
It appears we lost signal there for a moment. The next instalment will be posted, no fear. I'm surprised John hasn't chimed in with his Amber Hour experiences. Maybe he's still mad I almost killed him.

Into it

Sunday, November 13. 2005
Get bent, mashed, mangled, just because its a Saturday night and theres a party happening, somewhere. And I got and urge to have some fun.

My heads in a different place, a different place to my mind and a different place to my body. All that talk, all those doubles, all the beats and thumping and banging, you take a few hours out there under the lights and repay it with hours upon hours the next day. Under the DJ hours fly over and the moment is full, the illusion total and your mates better be around somewhere, I made friends with the bartender and hes pouring them strong. My mate here is on a media pass tonight so I just followed his lead, I think he made me something with rum, my god, thats a fantastic dress

Lose it out there and float away, fly away. You the man, why cant we have always been here like this, how come years passed before this all came along? Doesnt matter here or now because the tunes are coming on and I feel a rush, look theres my mate, hes always out and about. Mate! What you doing here, I should be asking you, you my man and meet this guy here, you all cant be DJs, suppose you need a night off sometimes. All in this house, this temple to the light and the beat and to leaving your mind at the door

Dont talk to me, shit, is it fair that my head hurts this much? Its not really so bad, I dont have anyone to blame but me, Ive had worse. But still dont talk to me.

Back

Sunday, November 13. 2005
Well, Im back from Japan. And although KC forgot all about punching me in the eye, I still got what was coming to me. Those short little Filipina prostitutes can really throw a punch, cant they?

I have a feeling that some sort of division needs to be made of my time in Japan. Its a tough call though: Do I break it down into drinking and non-drinking time (about 50-50)? How about arguing with my girlfriend and not arguing with my girlfriend (again, about 50-50)? Time on and off buses (uh 50-50? 60-40?)?

The time was pretty limited but we made the most of it. I touched down in Nagoya on Tuesday afternoon, but it wasnt until the evening that I actually got into Nagoya. There was a lot of waiting at the airport for the other flights to come in and then there was a longish bus ride into town. We got there, got fed, got briefed, then turned loose. Stay tuned tomorrow, for the next exciting instalment: Doing All The Things I Said I Wouldnt Do On The First Night.

Everybody crap your hands!

Sunday, November 6. 2005
It's been a hell of a month.

Here's some random crap that probably won't fit anywhere else:

I bought a new, taller sissy bar for the bike. Ironic, considering that there's no one to ride pillion with now that Dinna is in Italy.

John, whose work has appeared here before, came and visited me at the end of last month. He'd actually gone to Japan on the day I got back, then flew home via Taiwan. It was great to hang out with him. We visited some markets, lived it up in some expensive lounge bars, visited some monuments and had a motorcycle accident. Sorry about that John. It's not part of the normal tour. Reassuringly, John mentioned that the results of his own research, conducted during his stay in Japan, are in line with our own, and support the Amber Hour theory. Encouraging.

I went riding with Charles and Jason on Saturday. It was pretty disorganised but we got out on some pretty interesting mountain roads, then we went swimming in a river that has natural hot springs. The water alternates between boiling and freezing, and it's free.

That night I also attended the last hour of the Taipei Blues Festival, and it was pretty damn good. There are some talented local blues bands around. I swear to god that about half the audience were Bob Wun Daye regulars too.

I headed back to Bob Wun Daye, but everyone, including the owner, had gone somewhere else, so it was just me and Charles. I was about to go home for an early night when I got suckered into going out by Aaron. We went to Wax, all you can drink for NT500. I drank two Cuba Libres before deciding I'd had enough, and sure enough my teeth hurt like all fuck this morning. What a way to write your Sunday off.

The blues fest, by the way, had four cans of Budweiser for NT126, still not enough to apologise for the awful taste of Bud. Can we get a representative from the States to apologise for Bud maybe?

Work continues to suck. I'm pretty jack of all the unpaid work I have to do, it feels like it never stops. I wanted this job because I thought it would afford me some free time but instead it's keeping me from posting.

Empty... full

Wednesday, November 2. 2005
This should have been posted a fortnight ago.

When it happened, I think I felt more relief than anything. I'd done everything right, and it was something I could stop worrying about. It was the end of an era.

I suppose in many ways you had the easier way out, and you squeezed that little more out of it; I guess the price for that is we are less shocked with your passing. Nevertheless, I have grieved and I still well up my thoughts turn to you.

I am resisting the urge to eulogise here. You meant everything to me, but I'm glad you and her are back together. We'll never forget you.

Vale Max.