Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deft Honesty

As kids, we're told that honesty is the best policy and that lying does no one any good. However, because they don't want to scare us off, they often don't tell the while tale behind these maxims, in this instance, that honesty can place an enormous strain on relationships and that the blow up from being caught in a lie can lead to losing everything you've worked so hard to achieve. I know these realities well, having incorporated sincerity into my daily interactions and doing less than sincere deeds in my past. There is much for me to learn about being more deft in my honesty and how I state my intent, and I'm equally certain that my approach will create the kind of life I seek. This is doubtless because few things destabilize a relationship's foundation more than deceit masking true intent.

When people close to me became wolves in sheep's clothing, I became much more hesitant to place my faith in other; to this day I'm weary of accepting aid from other, the possibility of them using the act as a tool of manipulation never far from my thought. That kind of mistrust is all encompassing, leaking into all aspects of how we approach people for the first time, and is a feeling I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. For this reason, I always seek to let those I see as friends in on what I intend to do, no matter how off putting it may turn out to be. My lack of wording skill has alienated me from a few friends, that I won't deny, but even with that, my choice of lifestyle has given me a life with little regret. White lies can help to create harmony and encouragement, but what use is creating that kind of environment when the truth can bring it down as easily as a house of cards?

I recognize the dangers inherent in the truth, especially those which have cost people their livelihoods, if not their lives. That said, I can't really see the value of trying to cover it up, since it only adds to the impact of the truth when it finally comes out. Exceptions to this surely exist, but to me, no matter how painful or devisive it is, those you have even a modicum of respect for deserve to know the truth about what you seek; to think it's better for them never to know is to insult and devalue them as human beings. If there's anything I'll learn more about being honest, it's that a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down. Perhaps this is the key to reducing the possibility of involuntarily isolation

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crossed Wires

I read a children's book on a girl coming to America from China and her troubles learning English(which even one an award, back in the eighties). While the book itself felt greatly patronizing, it did get me thinking about what it's like to leave your old life behind to live in a new country, which I wrote of before, if I remember correctly(I'll post it up as soon as I can find it in my physical archives), but never from the view from someone who's living with the fact in the country. Those thoughts inspired this poem, which I eventually hope to turn into either a children's book or a comic of some sort. At any rate, give it a read and let me know what you think.

On the first day of 1st grade,
My teacher called on me
I could answer her perfectly
'Cause answers were all I knew

When that metal hawk left Japan
A carryon carried my life
But one thing just wouldn't fit
That one thing was Chie

She spoke in ways I understood,
sharing her tales and cookies
She spurred me on and made me strong,
Like no one else ever could

In fact no one else ever did
Try and put things in my reach
Even other kids with their colorful words
the kind schools never dare teach

In this school I was the zebra
Among a pack of giraffes
It was as if I had no mouth
Until Ms. Duvall gave me one

She tutored me when school was done
And showed me utmost care
With her, my English became my pallate
To paint energy in motion

She had me saying hi, hey and hello
To all I met in Torrance
She helped me grow more and more
My joy with her grew more and more

In time I only had one thing left
And that was try to make friends
But practicing English with my peers
Unlocked the shackles restraining my fears

"You sound like a FOB!
Your mom taking our jobs?
Me love you long time
Just go with your own kind"

Shattered-my desire for friends
Silenced-my passion for English
Scrapped-my love of school time
Sullied-my faith in others

The stir of words went up in smoke
Adrift above the recess ground
I watched from atop the Jungle Gym
A world now oceans apart

And so, for, the hands of time
Lead me to who I once was
But as I walked, I found a note,
It's tongue of the home I left behind

"I know you're angry, I know you're hurt
But silence isn't the answer
How can they know what's in your heart
If you won't let anyone hear it?"

At first, it left me quite perplexed
Who could know the tongue of my home?
But then it hit me who studied it
And that was Ms. Duvall

The day after I read that note
It stayed within my jean's pocket
It's message lit something deep inside
Which I felt as I sat down for lunch

Beside me was a girl in plaid
Who stirred her chocolate pudding
I lifted my eyes and flashed a smile
Extending to her, my hand

Since then, we've grown to be BFFs
Sharing life's many grand spendors
Should Ms. Duvall Ever come across this
Thanks for everything, Linda

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Letter to the Boy I Was in 10th Grade

A while ago I picked up the book What I Know Now: Letter to My Younger Self, and was intrigued by the concept of writing a letter to the person you were before you gained all you have about this world and what it contains. It fermented for many moons until, after looking forward at the path I will travel to becoming more of a man, something within me said the time was right to start crafting it. I know my path is not like those who've come before me or those who will come after, but it is my ambition to see my thoughts reach those who may need to hear it, even if I never realize it has reach them. This in mind, here is a relay to the ignorant, irritating little wuss I was back in the 10th grade, when my view of Japan was through the lens of Japanese animation and I had little grasp on just who I was and who I wanted to become.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Theory Behind Cultural Identity

This is the introductory speech I gave with my group concerning Cultural Identity, so the listener would have a good idea of what it is and how much is encompassed in it. I would hope I didn't choke too hard when I presented it to the class-on an unrelated note, I learned how to use PowerPoint by the seat of my pants as we scrambled to get everything polished up for the persentation. This is something that, as a student of both the Japanese and English language, I would want to pass on to my students. Anyways, here it is, in all it's glory, and if you have anything you wanna say, comment away.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Want It All Back

There comes a time in everyone's life where it feels like all the forces in this world are working against you and you alone, and mine came on the day my bike was stolen. On that day, someone targeted my precious vehicle to be taken, leaving the other, unlocked bike untouched as the family slept and forcing me to use the 4 wheeled scooter I left behind in my youth. Pushing myself on the rocky terrains as the gales buffeted my every move caused all the frustrations I've held for all this time to unite as one white hot flash of rage. After a toss of my scooter and copious cursing, this is what I shouted to the heavens(more or less): Take my bike, take my computer, take my hands, I refuse to relent! In that moment I realized what it means to sacrifice and struggle to bring a dream into reality.

I am quite fortunate to have many dilligent, hard working people in my inner circle, and they remind me of the advantages I have that I'm not using to their utmost, such as being able to bypass many trials and tribulations simply by being born a citizen. Perhaps it was this relative ease that's made it hard to look past all I don't have or can't do and recognize the things within my reach, however minimal they may be, in my view. Whenever the situation shifted, I always sought out ways to adapt to it and rarely how to change it, mainly because I didn't even think I had the means to change it in a meaningful manner, even when I did. It's often the case that we don't feel an urge to change the way things are until a certain catalyst enters our lives, and I'm no different. When I discovered creative writing for the first time, I knew then and there I want it to be a part of my life; when my beloved perished doing the mountain road drifting she so loved, it inspired me to take chances in living the kind of life I desire, even if that means taking the ultimate chance; all through the day I lost my bike, I became familiar with this idiom: the more willing you are to let go of things you see as key to you now, the more you free yourself to change your world and make a better atmopshere for the things and people you cherish.

I learned this well the first time I was unable to use my PC, incidentally putting many of those I saw as close friends beyond my reach. Losing that revealed what losing my bike brought to light: I relied on both to ease my burden and make me comfortably umb to circumstances, with the loss of both triggering a drastic change in outlook. In yelling those words into the cutting night air, it dawned on me that regardless of reactions to events, time nor life cease their progree, and if you choose to do nothing, they'll leave you behind just the same. If there's anything this time has done for me, it's thrown a a barrel of fuel on the fire of my desire to take hold of the life I seek I know this may mean giving up a few of the things I love, but if it means crafting a better place for them to live and thrive, so be it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blind Date

This is a short I wrote way back when, around the time I entered a dark place in my love, in terms of romantic involvement. Since I felt the message I wanted to send in those days got lost due to my own emotional quagmire and distinctly stilted views on women seeking men in those days, I took the editing knife to it to let the emotional impact better shine forth. This actually came to be one of those emotionally charged editing sessions where I had to face some of the darkness I thought I left behind for good, and in the end, I was better for facing up to it. I would hope this reflects in the final product, and is something you can appreciate. Without further delay, here is a moment in time from the life of people seeking love and somebody real

Monday, September 13, 2010

One Last Push

There are few feelings more infurating than giving it all you have and still falling short of your goals, a feeling I've stared square in the face more tha once.  It never gets any easier to deal with the inferiority and dejection failure brings, no matter hard much you learn or how much you grow. You're left with no other choice, but to stand before all the things that've dragged you to this point and either let them pass or let them ruin you. Each encounter has taken me to the razor edge of my limits, and each time I've taken a vital piece of wisdom with me into my daily life. That wisdom gave me the strength to keep moving and push myself past my own threshold.

Have you ever heard someone say "You're pretty good, but you still need a little somethin', somethin'"? That little somethin' somethin' has been an ideal sought after for millenia, and to achieve this, each of the multitude who've pursued this have had to face aspects of themselves they've suppressed all their lives. For me this meant owning up to my habits and the fact that they aren't the kind that'll make my dreams reality. My lackadasical methodology has shown me many of life's wonders over the years, but the time when even my most hardcore preparations left me missing the mark by miles are forever seared onto my consciousness, reminders of my failure and my fuel to take me higher. It is the joy of victory and agony of defeat that paints our mental images, and these emotions are what spur me to examine and re-examine myself so I can discover where I need to make one last push towards my goals.

When we reach the peak of one mountain, a higher one always awaits in the distance, daring us to scale it, and it's in this endless cycle that personal growth is enabled from womb to tomb. In some cases the process goes on long after that, when things they create get invovled, such as skateboarding and the guitar. It can grow tiring after a while, but no other way of life can hold a candle to what I chose. I love who I am and what I've become, and know much more is waiting for me for see and uncover. Whatever it may end up being, there's no doubt the journey to it will give me the tools I need to forge my own truth and craft something that serves others long after my time comes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Loss and Appreciation

One of life’s greatest ironies is that we can never completely realize the value something or someone has until it’s taken from us, only to be observed from a distance. This is something never lost on me, having lost everything from treasured media to loved ones over the course of my life, as well as witnessing others lose those precious things. Through my losses I’ve come to see it’s not the things themselves that build the value we link to it, but the experiences we build with them, the experiences that stay with us in times of prosperity and poverty. These are the things which guide us in our decisions and help us realize what truly has meaning in a world throwing everything at us at once, the same things I’ve come to appreciate the more I grow into my skin. With these experiences, our daily interactions become that much richer and rewarding, letting us see just how much more is there for us, if we build upon our past and let it lay a path to our future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Seat at the Dinner Table

It’s said one of the most rapidly fading traditions from the Nuclear Family days of America is the act of sitting around the family table and collectively enjoying a meal, shooting the breeze about their day. It’s in these moments the fabric of the family is laid bare, as well as how each person regards themselves within the family unit, and in turn within society. With my own family, I can remember few times we’ve ever sat down together for such a thing, and none of those times have I ever felt I belonged, causing me to reevaluate what it means to be part of something, as well as the concept of unity. In any group I’m a part of, I am strongly against leaving anyone out of the equation or leading them to conclude they have no use, which is a large part of what continues to spur me on in my journey to be a better leader and team member. In my studies and experiences around these fields there are two key questions I feel build on what makes a team grow and prosper: what does each person ask of their team, and what do they ask of themselves?
As a matter of principle I set the bar high for both myself and those I choose to work with, leading to as much disappointment as amazement at the things accomplished, which is to say quite a lot. Though they’ve brought great things to me over the years, these standards have also weeded out many I’ve met in my life, including several very interesting people I’ve come upon, but didn’t bother to get contact info from due to differing mindsets. The question of just how easily I could give up my standards and let myself become more like the people I’ve grown apart from, drifting along life’s shores is a constant presence in my life, especially in times of crises when such a choice is right within my grasp. The desire to belong is a force with illogical influence over us, growing more so as global society becomes more connected, but even with that close enough to smell at some points, but even with all I’ve sacrificed to live up to my principles, it’s not possible for me to fathom letting them go. It would be utterly hypocritical for me to scrutinize the world I live in and those I work with so harshly for setting such base level standards that they still fail to live up to, and live as if having standards is worth as much as dirt.
I still have a ways to go to reach the kind of heights I wish to reach, but even if it keeps me away from a good chunk of humanity, the vast amount of improvement just reaching for it has given me hardens my commitment to this lifestyle. The few moments of ‘This is incredible’ I’ve gotten from those I work with have become worth much more than any amount of ‘Oh, that’s neat’ I might get if I ask anything less of them. This may create much struggle for me and those I work with, but I know that struggle will make us better and allow us to appreciate the time and effort we put into a project once it’s done. If anything, the journey having high standards creates is the thing sticking with us for much longer than the end product, especially when the process begins over again and we proceed enriched by our travels. Who knows, maybe someday I might to share some of my tales from the road around the dinner table with the people I grow close to, hopefully serving some tasty BBQ.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stepping Back from the Brink

Regardless of any advancement mankind makes in raising the standard of living, one thing always present in day to day lives is stress, whether it’s emotional or situational. It’s a constant dance to ensure it doesn’t overtake us and influence our decisions, but even the best dancers slip up now and then, and that’s when the true test of a person’s grit begins. Do they rise up and push on, or let their issues drag them deeper into the dark spiral, eventually taking them down to the absolute end of everything they knew, more commonly known as throwing your life away as if it was line paper smudged with grease stains. I faced this decision more than a few times in my life, one involving a knife and another involving a bridge, and each time I couldn’t muster the mindset that ending my life would benefit those close to me somehow, and couldn’t do it. Because of that, I was able to contemplate just what kind of meaning my life had, and where I drew that worth from.

In my compulsory school days, I achieved much academically as well as underwent life changing incidents, yet even when I told them in plain English, nobody I knew seemed to notice, chipping away at where I saw myself within society. As time passed I looked to wherever I could to find some emotional validation, particularly the internet, and it was only when I was cut off from those sources did I face my reality and see the side of me I longed tried to escape. It took much inner soul searching and much deeper wounds inflicted by those close to me, but in time I came to see if no one else could or would make me feel I had meaning in this world, I had to give it to myself and make it myself. At times I still wonder what worth I have to the world and what I can do to better my station, but when a complete stranger tells me my 3 best traits are being knowledgeable, outgoing and confident, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in improving how I take life on, as well as how much farther I have to go to rise higher. I know whenever I hold a straight edge razor in my hand the only prevalent thought is “I wonder if this can still cut out coupons cleanly?”

Those I’ve befriended over the years have done much to give me a shoulder to cry on and let me see my issues from a more objective perspective, and for that I’m grateful, but even back then I knew they couldn’t always be there when I needed them, and that I had to build my own strength if I expected to survive the kind of life I wish to lead. Seeing others with that same fire to find a way to make their desires reality, while occasionally leading me to those I hold philosophical agreements with, renews my own fire and reminds me of why I choose to live on and push ahead, regardless of what they come to pass.   Every day I ponder the meaning of weeding out the weak and the strong, and every day I’m reminded of what that means to me: that those who are strong will do whatever it needed to live a life full of worthwhile acts and words, and that those who are weak will freely let the world rob them of every chance available to them to excel, if it means they can live on autopilot and let the reins slip completely from their grip. I admit I still do a bit of whining about the disadvantages I currently face, but I know well how capable I am of creating the kinds of resources I need to climb up, as well as what it means to sacrifice comfort for something better in this world, something worth committing to paper. It’s with this realization I’m able to see what the next step in growth is:  assuming the risks my path entails and learn to ride life’s ebb and flow. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boys and Girls

A brief poem based on a section of the Feminist's Manifesto my English teacher had us reinterpet. If you lik it, drop me a line

Men basing their lives on defending the women
& women who base their lives on finding a good man
Embody the spirit of neither

Define yourself by who you are,
Not what you lack.
Be not what you lust after.

Do you latch onto their wallet,
Latch onto their organ,
Or choose to latch onto neither?

Both are locked in battle
Each holding the same key advantage and disadvantage:
Desire for one another

Monday, February 22, 2010


This is a descriptive short I whipped up for my English class, and I have to say I'm quite proud of it. Down the line, I'm even considering making some logos and sketches to help better realize it. I did get a bit carried away during the writing process, though, so it runs a bit longer than many of my other works. If you wanna see the tale of a boy and his affront to scientific logic, take a look after the jump. As always, feel free to leave any thoughts you may have on it

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Open Ears

Often we grow up hearing others give us their advice on how things should be done, whether or not we need it at the time. Though laced with good intent, being spoken at in such a manner carves a divide between those involved, growing greater as it continues on. In time, the distance can grow enough to weaken and ultimately destroy any relationships involved, regardless of how many years they have between them. On the other side of the coin, years of damage can be swiftly repaired when this ends, and understanding begins. From my travels I’ve both witnessed and experienced the impact someone feels when they feel they are understood for who they are, not who the person perceives them to be.

I freely admit I’m guilty of going on at length about something with those I wish to help or hold a modicum of respect for. Despite that, I’ve given countless people my ear over the years, and the kinds of things I hear people reveal to me never cease to amaze. Likewise, whenever I speak of more personal things with someone I trust, I can always feel an amazing weight lifting from my shoulders, as well as gaining a greater insight into what my next step should be. Not only do these things fuel my desire to keep my ears (and subsequently my heart) open to others, but also seeing the kind of deep, long lasting hurt having heartfelt words fall on deaf ears can inflict on a person. I can think of nothing more disheartening and painful than the isolation of going unheard can bring, no matter the speaker’s intent.

One key thing I take away whenever I meet someone is the importance of open, honest communication. Of course there are always social norms and other things about the person to keep in mind, but in my view speaking with others without any agenda or unseen intent produces the kind of conversation that deepens the bond two people share and lets both parties know one matters to the other.  Whether it’s psychiatrist to patient or friend to friend, it’s this level of trust that dictates how each regards the other and how the relationship blossoms, something long forgotten yet utterly important in this age of instant connections.  One sentence rooted in allowing the other person’s view to be considered and dealt with on a level that dignifies them holds much more significance than a 2 hour speech full of helpful information, but treats the listener no better than we’d regard simpletons. Silver tongues can get you far and wide, especially now where it can be seen in global capacities, but even those hold the foundation that those being spoken to are granted that base level of respect, understanding and consideration. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010


One of the great inevitabilities in life is that no matter how much patience and wisdom you’ve gained over the years, there will be a time when your kettle reaches maximum pressure, and the steam will have nowhere to go but out. After the fact comes the aftermath of what we must do to better ourselves, for both us and those close to us. No matter how many worthless things we pummel or shatter to release the pressure, the core issue will still remain, and will still eat away at us until substantial action is taken. These raw, uncontrollable feelings can and will lead us places we’ve never even conceived going, and it’s on us to find a way that will lead us back to where we wish to go. If a way isn’t available, we must look within ourselves to hone our talents, skills and emotions to create one, with whatever materials are at hand. These lessons are what I’ve unearthed throughout the years, and to this day I’m discovering how deep they run, and how potent they are in cutting through the muck to locate the truth of who we are.

One fact life often teaches us is under pressure, all of us are mere children who must be receptive to any form of function capable of resolving our issues. I am no different, and many times have I been put in situations where I became utterly lost, with only the knowledge honed in my research, interactions and explorations to guide me. In such tight spots, fear and confusion are the naturally emergent emotions, pushing all our logic and experiences aside and pointing us to mere instinct as a base for our decision. To push any of these aside in favor of another is like trying to peddle a tricycle that’s missing a wheel: if it does go anywhere, it won’t be doing it very well or for very long. As our mind works with our body to maintain a constant, fluid motion, all aspects of our being must work in harmony with each other to either find or make the path we desire to lead us to our destination, wherever that may be. It is that which enables us to rise from our falls, learn from our falls and become better people so such things rarely repeat.

We can never undo what’s already been done, and anyone who says otherwise is preying on your emotions to push their wares on you. That said, we are given the means to try and make amends for what has come to pass, even if that process is slower and more of an ordeal than we expected it to be. If you still have breath in your body, you have what it takes to shift yourself to the place you want to be, and only when you allow it, can that cease to be. For this to become our reality we must hone it not just from some dime a dozen self help book or from people who haven’t even walked a half a step in our shoes, but from within ourselves. See the child working to make things right, be the child working to make things right.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Certain Age

After a certain age, one of the questions pivotal to our decisions is ‘What have I done with myself?’ This is something I’ve asked more of myself ever since I graduated high school and began my journey of discovering what it means to be an adult. In my travels I’ve witnessed a rainbow of ways one can define such a concept, many of them leading back to the idea that growing up means giving up everything composing your childhood and accepting the routine that comes with bearing your own weight, along with the weight of those who choose to walk beside you. I freely admit these sorts of things give me a bit of the shivers, but I’ve preparing myself for my journey and looking into what it takes to sustain oneself in the outside world of rent, taxes and bills. In my view, all these things are a mere hill of beans compared to the mountain that is personal freedom to see the world for yourself, with your own two hands.

Individuality v. group mentality has always played a part in how a country’s culture develops, as well as fuelling whether independence or family life is pushed as the ideal; this has also played a part in what paths I travel the older I get and the more important it is to become my ideal. While not fully satisfied with my current station, in the years after my graduation I’ve experienced many things removing the cape over life’s mysteries and witnessed firsthand what kind of commitment growing up entails. In that time I’ve come to know one fact very well: nothing is ever an ideal situation, and the only to turn one to your advantage is to make it so, with whatever is at hand. There are still many major issues for me to confront, on both a personal and professional level, but with everything I’ve learned in my brief time on this planet I’m doubtless I’ll come out on top after all is said and done. Though my ideal might end up being far from my ultimate reality, I will do all in my power to ensure that reality goes north of them, rather than south.

One of the most demoralizing things to do as a person is compare yourself to someone else, and because there will always be someone out there better than you, this will undoubtedly end badly. I have learned that the only bar all of us must surpass is the one we set for ourselves, and if we feel we’re not approaching it, we should identify and resolve what prevents us from this. Much more is still out there for me to achieve, and I will not relent in my pursuit of them until I draw my last breath, which, should my health and dietary habits improve, will be a time a few decades off. Home is where the heart is, and in time I will make that home one I can feel comfortable developing myself in, and perhaps entering the second stage of my life, when children and other affairs enter the picture. Of course, all that will come later, and the important thing is what I can do now, with what I have now, and those I hold close to my heart now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is a short I wrote up around the holidays to keep myself in thought about the holiday spirit, and is also tied to a larger project I'm working on with an artist of mine. Read and enjoy, and if you like, drop me a comment.

The slender, ponytailed young waitress brisked through the busy diner, balancing a tray piled with her table’s order. Soon after reaching the customers she said, “Here you go, meals fit for royalty.” as she placed it in front of them. One of her customers, a woman with boyish brown hair and sun kissed skin, asked, “And what kind of royalty orders Bacon Cheeseburgers, Fries and Chocolate Shakes?”

“Why, the kind that knows how to live it up, of course!” A laugh was shared, and a young girl wearing fiery pigtails glanced at the waitress with her emerald eyes and said, “Thank you for the meal.” to her.

“And thank you for coming. Enjoy!”Just as swiftly, the waitress rushed towards the kitchen to continue her shift. The moment she left, the woman slapped her hands together and proclaimed “Alright, let’s dig in!” With a giggle, the girl pulled up the sleeves of her pink turtleneck. Grabbing the burger with a dual grip, she said, “Hope this doesn’t get too messy”

“But the mess is half the fun, Ms. Jones, especially with this kind of food.”

“I guess. I just don’t wanna do things the wrong way, you know, Chisa?” With a gulp, Chisa pointed a fry at her and told her, “If you can’t let yourself do something wrong, you’ll never let yourself do anything.” The girl nodded as she swallowed her bite. Taking a sip of her shake, she took a small, blank envelope from her jean’s pocket, Chisa’s hazel eyes immediately locking onto it. “I’m guessing that has something to do with what you wanna do right?”

“Yeah, it does.” Tapping it on the table, she let out a sigh and fixed her gaze at Chisa’s half-eaten burger, commenting, “Has anyone ever told you ‘you eat like a jackrabbit’?”

“Hmm, don’t remember hearing I eat like one. Also don’t get any funny ideas.”

“Too late.” She said with a smile, munching a French Fry. Chisa rubbed her temple, grunting in irritation before saying, “Anyways, you already heard what I had to say; it’s on you to decide where it goes.” The girl’s eyes contemplated the bulge of the envelope, recalling when she first got it that morning in the park.