You came and you changed my world. –MJ (Liberian Girl)
1) It’s two days until Michael Jackson’s birthday. When my friend BL told me it was his mother’s birthday on August 25th, I responded that it’d be Michael Jackson’s birthday on the 29th. His next words were, “So what?” Our friendship ended on that subway ride, (after an hour of I Spy, of course). Let’s compare, since I’ve nothing better to do, and if you’re reading this, you’ve got time on your hands too:
His Mother: A disheveled son with no taste in music.
Michael Jackson: Decades of happiness to many.
2) Do you remember my student M, from many posts back, that confessed to me that he wasn’t getting any “nighttime opportunities,” because he enjoyed getting drunk in izakayas more than going home to his wife? Well, he’s moving to Singapore in less than two weeks, and we had our last class together this afternoon. At the end of our session, I extended my hand to shake his, and he hugged me. Very un-Japanese, especially since he wasn’t drunk at the time. He said that he’ll miss me, and since we don’t really know each other at all, I now suspect he was in fact intoxicated during our lesson. When I asked him what he was concerned or nervous about with the impending move, he stated that his most pressing issue is “not finding the right nightclubs.”
3) This morning, I met another student S who’s visiting New York for the first time next week. As to be expected, he’s excited, and had a list of questions to be answered, and expressions to be defined. He exuded so much calm and peacefulness that I wondered if he was ready for New York at all; then he asked me, “Where can I go to hear Ne-Yo’s music?” Ne-Yo?! What do I know about where they play hip music, and the fact that I used the word “hip” at all definitely means I’m not. (I couldn’t tell you the name of even one Ne-Yo tune.) My only useful recommendation was to buy a Time Out as soon as possible, especially since I’m completely out of touch with the ever-evolving metropolis that’s NYC.
4) Speaking of New York, every time I try to find good, spicy, Buffalo chicken wings in Tokyo, my taste buds twinge for Blondies on the Upper West Side. Check out the undercooked, far from spicy wings, I got in Komozawu Daigaku:
* You may be asking, “Why’re they so big?” Yea, I was too. The restaurant did make up for the ridiculous wings with a burger that was impossible to finish:
*AS Classics bacon cheeseburger
5) You, you, you can never say that I’m not the one who really loves you. – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney (Say, Say, Say)
Summer. The sun’s setting on the summer. The nights are cool, there’re no more summer clothes in the stores, the summer sales have wrapped, and most importantly, when I visited Hayama’s Isshki Beach a few days ago, the Blue Moon guy reported that this upcoming weekend is the last weekend they’ll be open until next summer. I don’t get why they’d close all the beach restaurants so early, since the days are still scorching, but the only answers forthcoming are, “That’s Japan,” and “The jellyfish are coming to shore soon.” (Huh?) You’d be surprised at how many questions are answered, “That’s Japan.”
In true awesomeness, while I was in the water, Lars, a German guy, came in with a bodyboard. In isolated areas, foreigners have a tendency to speak to each other, so we exchanged pleasantries, and before you could scream “Wave,” I was atop his bodyboard. (That’s not code). I tried unsuccessfully a few times, until I finally rode a wave. It was thrilling, (my bathing suit thought so too, as it partially flew off).
6) You’re every wonder in this world to me, a treasure time won’t steal away. – Michael Jackson (The Lady in My Life)
Michael’s voice always brings me back. Everyone sitting around one television set waiting for the première of a video, singing together, getting excited, dancing, wanting something or someone unattainable, out of reach magic, moving streets, glitter and shine, barbecues and high school fetes, the sun setting too soon. And, here we are.