11 December 2008 ~ 10 Comments

Conversation (12/10/08)

Loco: How are you doing today? Private Student: …I’m…I’m chotto, wakannai… Loco: Are you ok? You seem troubled. How was work? Tough day, ne. Otsukaresama desu. PS: No, I was not busy. It was quiet day. Loco: That’s good, ne. PS: Demo, saa…this morning on the train… Loco: Ohhh no! Mata? Another chikan? PS: Oh […]

28 November 2008 ~ 9 Comments

Operation: Feet don’t fail me now…


It has been 10 years since my last rejection letter. I’d written my first and only novel, and once completed, found an agent, went under contract with her, and I was on my way…Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Micheal Crichton, Tom Clancy…make room for loco on that bookshelf, I’d told myself. Then, I got my first rejection […]

28 November 2008 ~ 3 Comments

When it rains we all get wet…

Many Japanese, when walking towards me, have a tendency to (upon noticing me and while at the same time noticing that there is little room or little time to make a run for it) put a hand up to their faces, like one might do if the sun was in one’s eyes. Only, I’m the sun and […]

19 November 2008 ~ 24 Comments

Gaijin hijinks

Gaijin hijinks

There used to be a hilarious English comic strip in Japanzine magazine, very popular in Japan, about a loser from Canada who comes to Japan to teach English and, by virtue of being un-Japanese, becomes super popular. It was called Charisma Man. This was before my time (I arrived here in 2003) but it remains kind of an […]

18 November 2008 ~ 9 Comments

Me and Japan pt 3: Vexation and Vigilantism

Me and Japan pt 3: Vexation and Vigilantism

…and once I get vexed, well…what can I say? I’m a New Yorker. I have to represent. If you violate personally you should expect some kind of personal repercussion. That’s a simple maxim, and a universal one, I thought. And even if that maxim doesn’t mean a thing in Japan I’m pretty sure Newton applies […]

08 November 2008 ~ 9 Comments

A little about me and Japan: Part 2-Kokujin Anjin-San

I’ve gone through several phases since my arrival here in the land of the Gods. The first phase was, well, exhilarating. It was all wonder and surprise, discovery and exploration. The bloom was on the rose. During this phase I guess I could best be characterized as a Japanophile. I’d come here with a profound […]

07 November 2008 ~ Comments Off on I could have been president: An open letter to my mother

I could have been president: An open letter to my mother

Dear Ma: I love you soooo much! You sacrificed so much for me and my brothers and sisters so that we could become proud and strong men and women, prepared to go out into this world confidently, and excel.  From your example we came to understand that with nothing you can create something, and that […]

05 November 2008 ~ 4 Comments

Live From New York: It’s Election Day!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. I came home to NY to vote and hopefully to be a part of this historical election where the first African-American becomes president of the United States. Sam Cooke sung “It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come!” and that time […]

27 October 2008 ~ 5 Comments

Ducking and Bobbing

“Kyou Ji-mu ni ikanai no?” Aren’t you going to the gym today? Kana asked. I opened my eyes, carefully rolled over to the side of the bed and checked the time on my cell phone. Shit, it was 9:00am already. I felt like I’d just gone to sleep. I’d told Kana last night that I […]

26 October 2008 ~ 5 Comments

How I learned to bow


I was on the way to work my first week in Japan, when I saw this gorgeous girl giving me the eye. I mean really beautiful. In America she wouldn’t need a stick to beat them off, she’d need Chuck Norris. I was reading a Japanese textbook…ok, I’m lying. I was reading a book on […]