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I was driving down 41 today, listening to Metric. I thought that sometimes music is the best drug. It is. Take that however you want it. I was listening to "Gimme Sympathy" and I was in a new world. The sky was serene and free of clouds. There were no cops on the underpass, so I could maintain 60 in the 45. I thought about mystery. I thought about how it feels to not know somebody. I remembered how it feels not to know that anymore, but how exciting it feels to want it.

I'm done pretending to feel things. I'm done trying to pretend that I don't hurt, when I do. I'm tired of trying to say things, because I'm too scared to admit that I shouldn't say them. I'm tired of wanting to make people happy, because I'm selfish; and want to feel giving, even if it means not giving. And it was born out of not admitting that I have stopped trying. Maybe that, or maybe I'm just not motivated to really care about many things? I maintain a requisite care, but one that I feel is very sincere; if that could possibly be appropriate in this context. I've gotten away from this. I know that something isn't right. But you can conjecture about circumstances and what-not, but that isn't it. I should have been standing up for myself a long time ago. I got so used to pretending to be somebody, and later realizing what an asshole I had been, that I didn't try to stand up for myself even when I knew I meant it. A clown. A fucking clown. That's how I have been, and probably still am. Geeze, this post started listening to Metric and wanting to type again. Now, it's Lady Gaga. You can't not vent to this. Oh here it comes!!!! Ahhhhhh-- the chorus. A once respected place in the arts, the chorus that is. A device that facilitated drama, passed history along, and inspired the regulars to get to work the next morning; the chorus has connected a part of our creativity. It is the collective expression. We rise and fall in the chorus. We rise and fall in chorus.

I am inspired today. I don't know why. I don't understand it. It's something I can't rationalize. I can tell you the pictures, the day as it passed along through my mind, driving down the road, enjoying the thrill of an extra 10 MPH, and realizing that I have a sunroof. But what I enjoyed the most about the ride to John's tonight, was that my pointer and middle fingers were in time with the 16ths on the cymbals and my ring finger was on the quarters. I had adjusted for the fills. It made me the happiest when I could transition without ruining the beat.

I enjoy the tides. I enjoy where it takes me. I have tried for years to let it take me wherever it wants, but have manufactured choices. I am enjoying letting it take me where it will go. I am on my own now, without my favorite captain. My favorite Yankee. I will let my vessel sail until I find where it is that I want to be. The winds will have me, and I have always had them. I raise my arms to you, the West, but will always believe you come from the same Southbay that is in my heart, the frozen one from the deck, the willow and wool sweater, the clam fisherman, and my first meeting with barnacles; We have sat on this stoop together for too long, my friend. It is time that we shared the apricot nectar and got on the short-bus to camp. Amen, to our stuffed-mice! Amen, to the zip-lines! A pox on lost dollars! A pox on lost Italian-ice!

But bless what we can know and accept. We are not always the best of people. We can do better. I can do better.

Once and done


I remember riding down Cattleman. Listening to music. I remember...well I remember that no one was there in the winter. I wish it was next week. I want to put a chair through my wall. But, I can't. I want to yell but it will keep my friends awake. I just want to cry. I don't want to be seen.
I wonder if he knew that morning, that it would be the last time that he saw me. I wonder if that's why he was crying. I hadn't even thought about it. He was so much better. I honestly believed that he was going to be alright.

That's the last thing I said to him, "You're gonna beat this thing." And that's it? Those were the last words that I get to speak to my father in person.

I can't be here right now. I can't be at this job, doing this presentation. I can't listen to anyone right now. Their voices make me want to punch them. But what else would I do anyway? Sit at home and wait? I suppose it is better that I am here at work, at least I have a job to do. I'll leave the presentation as soon as I can tonight and call dad. What will I say?

I can't be here right now. I can't do this...


subete wa, kono toki no tame ni...


I am sitting here on break from work. It's currently -4 Celsius outside, and will be dropping to -11 by the middle of the night. That's pretty damned cold. I need gloves. My thumbs are currently hurting because of the warmth in the house. Matteo and I just got back from having dinner. He had some bulgogi and rice. I had sogogi saengmyeon. It is about the closest thing to actual ramen that I have had here. It was pretty tasty. I got a syrup/pancake thingy while we were walking home because a good meal deserves something a little bit sweet to top it off...much like most other things I would venture to guess.

I signed on because I thought that there was a chance that Tara was also going to be on right now, and since we haven't really gotten a long time to talk since last week, I figured now was a good time to start. We would have talked a bunch on Saturday night, but I went down to Chungdae to celebrate the interview with Graham for ALTIA. It's a bit strange to be writing that because if you go back into Tara's journal, you can also see the name Graham right up next to ALTIA.

I suppose this post seems a little bit subdued. What can you expect from today? I woke up early this morning to go sit in a dentist's chair for three hours while he mutilated my teeth. It's a bit sad that in order to make a bridge for a tooth, you have to destroy two good teeth in the process. I hate the dentist. I don't know what the lady was doing to my teeth in the last hour, but there was a slow pain that just kept building up. In the end it was blinding. Anyway, I'm alive. I finished with the dentist about 30 minutes before I had to go to work. That's not truly a fun prospect to face when you leave the dentist-- that you have to go to work right away. I was so hungry. I don't know why I've been that way lately. I guess because I'm not drinking, there is a whole vacuum of calories not being filled. But I never really ate too many sweets, but lately, I can't get enough pastry. I mean, I'm not eating tons of donuts or anything, but at the end of the night, I LOVE having a hot chocolate and ANYTHING sweet to dunk in it. Just one. Nice. Little simple pleasure. I would have had breakfast or lunch today if it weren't for the dentist thing.

I walked home from D&D last night which was A) Cold. B) A nice walk C) Long. But, I stopped at the Family Mart and got a hot choco for the walk, so it was decently pleasant. I went home and watched something, but I don't remember what it was. Then around 2 I got into bed, listened to Harry Potter for a bit, and passed out pretty quickly. I woke up in the morning and was upset at having to leave such a comfortable position. When I got back, I nearly passed back out and missed work.

Work. I'll only be at this job for a few more months. It's a strange feeling. It's a bit unnerving insomuch as I don't know if I technically have the job yet. I emailed Graham when I got back into town and I got his reply yesterday:

"Thank you James.

Just on the bus heading to the airport now but you probably won't get this mail till I get home tonight. I enjoyed talking to you as well, both in the interview and over beers afterward. I hope to be able to find you a position with ALTIA CENTRAL tis year so let's get the process going and head in that direction. I'll be back in the office by Wed and get organized then.

Talk to you again soon."

I just can't wait for the day that I know when and where I am going to go. I am certain that I am leaving Korea. Now, it's official. No more wondering if I will be able to get a job in Japan. I have "gotten" one already. I really am excited. It doesn't sound like it. I was on the bus back to Cheongju and I was listening to this song from Naruto called "Flow - Sign" On the condensation in the window, I wrote "やった" and as the song was playing, I kept remembering how it felt to come back from Fukuoka. How I felt in the airport leaving Japan. How I felt when I got back and put up my wall scroll. How I felt when I ceremoniously drank the whole bottle of Fukuoka-ken sake. I am moving to Japan. I could cry now if I didn't have to leave for work again in a few minutes.

And Tara comes to Korea next week. It's going to be fantastic. I can already tell it's going to go by much too quickly, if the time passing while waiting for her to get here is any indication. The days just seem to go far too fast. But by the time she does have to go back to Japan, it will be nearly two months to the day that I GO the Japan. Which, feels about as long as we've been talking about her coming to visit me here. It's very exciting. She sent me a picture today of her "sleeping" because of the cold and I realized that I would be waking up next to her on Saturday of next week. It's going to be a surreal moment. Facebook is going to be flooded with hundreds of picture of James and Tara in Korea...and I'm sure my mother is going to comment on all of them. Sigh.

It's beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas. =)

I LOVE YOU!!!!!! (because who else is reading this anyway?)

You'd be North

The more boring stuff first I guess, since it has been a pretty boring day. Well, the first few hours were eventful. I woke up around 8, but saying that implies that I slept well. I didn't. Whatever they were, dreams or nightmares, they were strange. I mean, strange is the fact that they were disjointed, irregular, and altogether nonsensical. I mean, there weren't even people in them. I wasn't even in them. Just random pictures, things like caterpillars crawling out of blue gloves-- they were strange enough that I couldn't sleep. They were frightening. So, I got out of past at half eight, knowing that I needed to eat something for breakfast and take my medicines. I found a rather interesting sandwich at the GS Mart. It was ham and cheese and tomato, but on some kind of pastry. Imagine if a croissant was much more break like, but tasted like a croissant anyway. Actually, it was a perfect little sandwich. I got some orange juice with it, came home, and took my medicine. I spent the rest of the morning dreading the dentist. Those fears were justified. I had a feeling it would go this way. I was sitting in the chair, and the dentist kept telling me not to be scared. Yeah, well, I haven't had too many good experiences with the dentist so I knew what to expect here. I won't go into the details. By the end I was actually shouting in pain. It didn't help that the whole ordeal of horror lasted more than an hour, in complete darkness because for some reason, they put a mask on you so you can't see...or else they felt like today was a good day to practice torture.

I've been milling around doing nothing since. Alex called me from North Carolina. I haven't talked to him in forever. He was a bit tipsy, and it was nice to banter (as much as I could) like we did in the old days. I watched some TV after that. I was going to play games, but I was sidetracked by trying to find working DC emulators, and then expanded GC emulators. I found one that works, but it crashes after a short time and I don't have the patience to deal with it right now.

But...this post is not about any of those things. I've had this Owl City album for nearly a year now, and I hadn't listened to Saltwater Room until today, and I really like the chorus that the girl sings. Specifically when the song gets to 2:21. That part is amazing. To be honest, I wanted to post about thinking about Tara today, but it's hard to do that if I can't stop thinking about her long enough to type a whole sentence. I told her I would think about her today while getting tortured by the dentist, and it worked...well it didn't REALLY work, but it did make me think about how no matter how painful it was, that I would get to talk to her again. I swear, every time I thought about her, I calmed down just long enough to get jolted out of it by a awfulness. Then I thought about the scene where William Wallace is getting eviscerated at the end of Braveheart, and I kinda of felt like that.

I started writing this post 45 minutes ago, and I can't go long enough without listening to "If my heart was a house" to write anymore. I feel like a great barrier has finally broken in me. I don't know how to explain it. I can't remember the last time I felt this way. Literally, I don't remember. I went through all that hell this morning, and wanted to be tough enough and not shed a tear. I have listened to this song 3 times in a row and every single time it gets to the chorus, I am crying. I even let myself smile. Maybe it's the shock of feeling this in love. It makes me wonder if I was ever even in love with Lauren, I don't remember getting together with her and actually shedding tears of happiness, or walking around all day wanting to be my best just because I was thinking about her. I'm sure that never even happened once. I KNOW it didn't.

If someone would have just told me that this girl was out here waiting for me...though many people used the "there are other fish in the sea."
Why couldn't they just let me know how THIS right now feels. How there is a twisting in my stomach because she's so close I could reach out and touch here, but I am still too damn far away. How, I could break down my normally irrational responses to criticism and be a sane and logical person, not just for her but for the both of us. How a silly little song would break me down into tears that I haven't cried for anyone in joy in perhaps my whole life. It would have been a blessing. If someone would have just let me know that Tara was out there waiting for me, I would have said that I am the luckiest boy alive. She has opened my heart in a way that I had long forgotten. In a way that is all her own. I wish I could put my arms around her right now and rest my head on her shoulder, and breath a sigh. It's been so long...so so long.



September, Canal City

Lying there, watching the lenses orb
and magnify the wispy sky as they fell,
I closed my eyes in anticipation,
as if jumping into a pool
still too cold for a late August afternoon.
I was drowning,
though I gasped for air,
or was I laughing?
There was a sigh, as the water trickled down my face
and fell into the fountains far below.

-- James Mula


I'm going straight ahead with the scar

These moments of posting happen rarely lately. I was going to spend time studying tonight. I did for a bit, but then I realized how lonely it was on Friday night, especially before you would have been leaving for Japan tomorrow and done with this damned country.

I never thought I'd get to this point about being here. You know, I just left off where I had been before. I never know best.

I know why I came back. I needed my freedom again. I needed to feel like my life was in my control. Then we come to UPS. I should never trust anything named after a sub-par delivery service. I should have learned that from Futurama by now.

I keep blaming myself. I know that I have to. If this had gone better, I'd have my passport back now and be on my way. But, because of me it took longer. Granted, I never would not have gone to Japan two weeks ago, but I would also not be in this position.

How many times can I land dream interviews and have to turn them down??
I don't think fate is that friendly.
FUCK, I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS OVER FOR ME! This is my will of fire. I will study. I will learn. And I will make it to a beautiful place in Japan, and kami willing, I will make it to Fukuoka one day.

That is truly the only place I find peace for my restless soul. I will get that back! I will!!

New Icon

This will be short. I have to leave now. New Icon. The school in Tojinmachi said they will contact me next week about an interview since the person in charge of that is away this weekend. I am very much hoping that the reason I stopped and looked up at that school last week was because I was fated to be there. Here's hoping! Stay...cool.

One life

I wish I could explain to you what has happened,

But you who still read this know. There are no old friends here anymore. My dream is Japan as always has been. If o Kami heard me, then such will be. This place that I found peace, found me. I have only one life, and where it begins and ends may be the same. We've always moved and grown. But it's time to sit down and reflect. I can't do that here. I don't want that here. It brings no peace.

And so, I must move.
It's my birthday right now. Again.

Heh. I say that I never want anything, but I want a surprise one day. I like then, So this is it.
Not a bad day I guess if you like work telling you that you don't foster relationships with your kids. Funny, they like me a lot. What I didn't know was that, they should hate you most of the time. I'm suppose to scold them all the time or send them to get beat by my Korean teachers...and this I am told is respect.

can I leave now?

I just want to be a teacher again.

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