Silly Grins

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lunch Lady: In Houston


Hard to imagine such a place...really.

Hell of a woman.  She had an edge. Maybe that edge came from working on the islands, in the refugee camps in South-East Asia. She'd also spent time in Bangkok. And knew how to navigate the Sukhumvit in the days when it was nothing but tuk-tuk, the pre-Skytrain era. She loved that place. Definitely not afraid to ask for a bargain and definitely not afraid to walk out. Tell you like it is. And, after a drink or two, tell you where to put it. Nope, not someone you'd want to upset. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not scared...

But feeling very uneasy...

If this...

can couple with something like


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


occupython: [ok-yuh-pahy-thon, -thuhn


1. a collective group, primarily made up of older people who still have money at this point, spawned from the OWS movement, an angry group that is determined to take action in early November of year 2011 by transferring all of their assets from banks into local credit unions as one way of returning some of the squeeze. 

Photo courtesy of here

Honestly. Just recently, a number of folks with a bank were receiving late fee notices that were obviously 'mistakes'...the kind of calculated mistakes that actually can add up to quite  bit of money for a financial institution when looking at the big picture. Rather than just paying the late fee to avoid the hassle, people were willing to pay to have their mail certified so no one could claim anything was late. 

Which reminds me...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sake, Sashimi, and Clean Sheets

Oh Tokyo,
They got some saki, and sashimi, and some clean sheets,
Oh, kimono, oh, kimono,
Tokyo's the town that I love the best,
East may be East, and West may be West,
Forget about between, it'll drive you insane,
And teach you things you never knew before. 

                                                - Loudon Wainwright III

Keyes Beech... a wartime correspondent during the Korean War and onward. 

He wrote a chapter, in Tokyo and Points East, as if it were his epitaph. That chapter is titled, "Here Lies Keyes Beech."

I drifted. The war, a bankrupt marriage, a stupid affair in Tokyo had combined to wreck my sense of values. I was no longer sure of what was right and what was wrong. I wanted absolutes to cling to, but reason rejected absolutes. Black and white blended into a confusing gray. Days were something to be endured; nights would bring forgetfulness of a sort. For the first time I knew that awful feeling that all men must experience at least once in a lifetime--to stand in a room full of people and feel utterly and absolutely alone.

I was dangerously close to feeling sorry for myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Punches to the Face: Immigration en France

 "Three Punches to the Face in Rapid Succession"

That's what was scrawled on the CD in red marker, a compilation burned especially for me, as a gift.

"Gee... thanks."

And for some odd reason, the only two songs I can fondly recall are the following two numbers, the first by Vicky Leandros and the last by Miss Kittin. Why the 'fondness' I am not quite sure. Maybe Vicky's voice is good at mocking the 'cute' in a way that suggests a lot of other things she must have learned while in France...


And here's a song by a woman from the land
where the  'L'amour est bleu' single
was written and produced...

Frank Sinatra

The whole CD was very disturbing, but also made me think about a few things...mainly about being in Japan... and a sense of being annoyed with the French. I'm sure it does not matter.

Just when I was starting to become irritated with something that really didn't matter in the big scheme of things, the smartass 'acquaintance' who had put together the compilation of sorts sent one of those out of  'le grand blue' kind of emails.

Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.

Immigration en France 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quite a Surprise...

Just after the quake and just before the subsequent tsunami that would literally wipe away entire towns... an e-mail came through, asking if I was okay... having no idea what was going on, my reply went something like this:

"My left hand is not pinned beneath the rubble, so I am still able to type... most importantly, my Mac is not even scratched... should be okay for at least a few more hours... we're good" 

You see, I'd had no clue as to what was going on.  After a severe scolding for such a crass remark, and after watching the footage of the devastation unfold on the numerous television screens... I realized that it was nothing to joke about.

I'd had no clue. No clue at all.

Watching as the ocean turned dark and washed everything away...

That's when the music in my head started playing...

That tapping sound... tapping... tap... tap... tap...

For years, I thought it was just the sound of scratch on an old record...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shall We Play a Game?

July 24, 2011

His eyes were scanning an article The New York Times Magazine that was reminiscent of times gone by, when technology was not so prominent (though ever present).  He took notes and ended up with three sets of phrases that caught his eye:
  • "willfully non commercial" (p.16)
  • "constrictive sense that you are a mouse in a tricked-out maze, chasing chunks of cheese" (p.20)
  • "never unfolds the same way twice" and then still on the same page, "He calls games like A*g*y Birds or B*d*z*led, which ensnare players in addictive loops of frustration and gratification under the pretense that skill is required to win, 'abusive'..." (p.21)

(All quotes were taken from the old-school version of the NYT Magazine. To go to the online source - if anyone wants to do that later - the  article can be found here)

 So, where is this going?

Friday, October 7, 2011

“Did you just see that?!”

(So much of my mental free time has been trying to wrap itself around 'the next' post that I've decided to cheat, and throw another one in because, well...if you missed this bit in the comments section somewhere on the bottom of a online news rag, you missed something truly awe inspiring and....I'm speaking from a male perspective here...utterly frightening.) 

I’m having one of those, “Did you just see that?!” kind of moments...
Ladies and gentlemen, she apparently posts her thoughts unapologetically in the comments section of a 'news' source I am guilty of perusing (recently not so often)....ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, her name is Nicky Washida...and she rocks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No Perfect Moment

“There is no perfect moment.
You just do it and learn from it.”

That bucket-full of wisdom comes from Will Allen, one person who definitely deserves the HERO title. 


Yeah, so why not now? Living in a culture that seems to worship the idea of perfection is not without stress. New ideas…forget it. Can’t listen to they who say nay...too stifling.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Status Quo: Is This It?

Not pushing nor fighting what is, but definitely taking note. 
Could this simply be a misunderstanding of cultural differences? 

What do you see?

Comments are open. Thought a lot about this, turned it over several times in my mind and decided to just 'put it out there' and see what happens. In another post or two, I'll put up the thoughts that are behind this. For now, I'll just wait and see...