Art Nouveau Chainsaw Cozy (2019 Begins)

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Already the year is speeding along. Two weeks and change on the books, which isn’t all that much, but it’s enough to have gotten the feeling that this year will…

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2019 Contractually Obliged to be Great, Court Rules

This post begins on the morning commute. My sardine-can train is slightly less packed than usual, and I’m slightly disappointed because I’m cold and exhausted. If it were more crowded, at least I’d be warmer and it would be easier to remain upright as the train rounds curves and occasionally changes tracks.

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№ 290 (Untethered)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.


There is a large park near my apartment of which I am particularly fond. From the day I first discovered it, within weeks of moving to Tokyo, it was a place where I was automatically comfortable. It’s a place where I can go to be surrounded by big trees, hear some legitimate (if somewhat limited) sounds of nature, and occasionally meet a friendly stray cat. There’s a murder of crows that hangs out in the forest canopy above the fenced-off area where Shakujii castle stood eight hundred years ago, adjacent to Shakujiihikawa Shrine. A beautiful place given a spooky edge by the history of the place set against the eerie calls of the crows (and Japanese crows are decidedly spookier-sounding than their North American brethren). There are ample cherry blossoms in the spring and big toads in the underbrush on warm summer nights. When it rains, alien-looking flatworms emerge from the topsoil, bright yellow and strange.

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№ 289 (Somewhere in Between)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.


I’ve tended to delete the dating apps after about three weeks, on average, then reinstall them roughly a week after that. It makes for a month-long cycle of being a sad guy, a lonely guy who’s somewhat motivated to try to meet people, a disillusioned guy who is pretty sure the whole thing is rigged (this is when the apps get deleted), and then a guy whose frustration with still being single overpowers the frustration with app-based dating and so it all begins again.

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№ 288 (To Muse on a Name)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.


From late 2010 through early 2012, I lived in Taiwan and taught English in the Hsiaogang district of Kaohsiung. One particular day a few months into my job there, a little girl was introduced to my class, knowing no English and having no English name. In English class in some places, it is customary for a student to go by an English name, just as I went by Pedro in Spanish class throughout high school despite being named David in real life (this choice of name having to do with a comic in the back of Boy’s Life magazine in the ’80s). In any case, I was asked to give her an appropriate English name.

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№ 287 (Expat Memory)
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№ 287 (Expat Memory)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date. Early one morning in Korea, deep in a strange winter, wandering after…

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№ 285 (Horizons, Time, and Death)

This post originally appeared on a previous incarnation of a personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date. 


Yesterday morning I woke at about 8:00 AM to the sound of a hundred children cheering in unison, singing a chant I did not understand but found wonderful to hear. The closest thing I can relate it to is being woken by a cat that loves you and nuzzles your face when it can’t stand your being asleep any longer.

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№ 284 (In the Wind)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date. Long ago I pried open the shuttersAnd simply let the hinges rustAllowed…

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