Monday, December 31, 2007

Books of This Year

Books, 2007:
“The Secret Language of Feelings” (Calvin D. Banyan)
“Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar” (Simon Sebag Montefiore)
“Nehru: A Political Life” (Judith M. Brown)
“Uncovering Clinton” (Michael Isikoff)
“The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression” (Andrew Solomon)*
“Findings: Fifty Years of Meditations on Music” (Leonard Bernstein)
“The Infinite Variety of Music” (Leonard Bernstein)
“The Joy of Music” (Leonard Bernstein)
“Ousted!” (Patrick Keith)
“Reflections on ASEAN” (Mahathir Mohamad)
“Darkness Visible” (William Styron)
“Between Peace and War” (Richard Ned Lebow)
“Power and Interdependence” (Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye)
“The Human Factor” (Graham Greene)
“Sophie’s Choice” (William Styron)
“Shared Responsibility and Unshared Power” (Ho Khai Leong)
“The Ministry of Fear” (Graham Greene)*
“Travels with My Aunt” (Graham Greene)*
“The Heart of the Matter” (Graham Greene)
“The Power and the Glory” (Graham Greene)
“The Comedians” (Graham Greene)
“At Canaan’s Edge” (Taylor Branch)
“A Burnt-Out Case” (Graham Greene)*
“Stamboul Train” (Graham Greene)
“Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate” (Alicia C. Shepard)
“All the President’s Men” (Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein)
“The Final Days” (Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein)
“Orientalism” (Edward W. Said)
“Milosevic: A Biography” (Adam LeBor)






Sunday, December 30, 2007

"The Singapore Story"

Two nights ago, I stared “The Singapore Story,” which I bought rather many years ago but toward which I had not felt very strong, to say the least. Only after a few pages of the book, we can look into the man’s mindset.

“We played with fighting kites, tops, marbles and even fighting fish. These games nurtured a fighting spirit and the will to win. I do not know whether they prepared me for the fight I was to have later in politics.” (p. 32)

“Had [his mother] been born one generation later and continued her education beyond secondary school, she could easily have become an effective business executive.” (p. 34)

A fighting spirit learned from those boys’ games and its connection to his later political struggle and an allusion to a “business executive”… It demonstrates how radically different he is from me and vice versa. My own life has no place for fight or competition and a strong drive toward business, i.e. creating material wealth.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Photo Processing Continues




I’ve finally managed to book a hotel room in HCM City. It is quite cheap (US$15 per night) but the amenities include Wi-Fi internet connection at the lobby. Sounds good enough.

I processed and stored in my PC the photos of “Tanglewood” (August 1987) and Hawks ballgames (double-header, May 1976).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Digitizing My History

I’ve spent hours and hours since this morning to digitize my old photos using COOLPIX. Only half way through, I needed to charge the battery. Photos of my childhood and baseball games, but there are still so many more to go. Those taken in the US, Korea and Taiwan, and of my working days in Japan also should be processed. While the macro mode is a very useful function, I realized, with this mode, some photos become blurry even if they are originally well-focused. I believe that an image scanner will do a better job. And I recognized (once again) my father’s nice skill in photography, looking at those he had taken. After all, he was a man who was developing photos he had taken in the darkroom, though it was before I was born. In his days, cameras didn’t have an autofocus function. My Olympus OM1, which I got when I was thirteen, didn’t have it either. It was your own skill that counted.

I think about creating a website exclusively committed to the Hawks photos and memorabilia. As far as I know, the sites that now exist are mostly (or all?) about the post-Nomura era. I would upload the photos I’m still keeping alive. Perhaps one reason why the existing sites are about the last few years of the club is that people who created and are managing the sites are quite young. And those folks who still remember the Nomura-era seem too old even to imagine creating a website. (Hahaha! I’m too young to know the Tsuruoka-era.)





I received an invoice from Mt. E Hospital. Why? I’d already paid directly to the doctor…

Camera Arrived!!

The camera arrived tonight. It is so much smaller than I expected!! And I found out that I needed an outlet adaptor for battery charge as its specifications are all according to the Japanese standard, making me run to TB Plaza to get the adaptor. Coming back home, I immediately started charging the battery or so I thought. The indicator began flashing, which means it is being charged. The manual says that it takes about 100 minutes to complete the charging. After three hours, the indicator was still flashing and I referred to the thicker manual and it says, if it is rapidly flashing, the battery is having trouble. BOOOOO!! I removed it from the charger and reinserted it into it. Then steady flashing, which I needed to find… NOW IT IS FULLY CHARGED.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Killed in Suicide Bomb!!!

Bhutto killed in suicide attack (Al Jazeera)

Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister, has been killed in a suicide bomb attack on an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi

At least 15 others were also killed in the attack with another report saying at least 20 bodies were seen at the rally site after the explosion.

"It was a suicide attack. We don't know the number of casualties as yet. It happened just outside the venue. The attacker blew himself up when people were dispersing after the rally," an interior ministry spokesman said

Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman reporting from Islamabad said several hundred people had attended the rally.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Milosevic, Butcher or Victim

I’ve reached the end of “Milosevic.” It seems that Slobodan Milosevic’s life was at least in part controlled by his wife, Mira. However, considering that his religious father left his family when he is still young and his mother was protective and dogmatic and also both of them committed suicide, it may be little wonder that, for him, Mira, another dogmatic woman, was the only person he could completely trust.

And was he “the butcher of the Balkans”? He displayed strong hatred toward the Bosnian Serb leaders, Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. Was it Milosevic’s tactical maneuvering just to stay in power? I do not know. But more prominent to me is the hypocrisy of some of the leaders of the West.

After Milosevic signed the Dayton agreement 0f 1995, which ended the Bosnian war, Douglas Hurd, a former British foreign secretary, approached him for a deal to privatize Serbian state companies, along with Pauline Neville-Jones, who had acted as the head of the British delegation at Dayton. And Bill Clinton’s phone call to chitchat with him?

At the time of the publishing of this paperback edition (2003), Slobodan Milosevic was still in the dock at The Hague. He would die there in March 2006. The Yugoslav leadership had produced a statement, signed by Federal President, Vojislav Kostunica, Serbian President, Milan Milutinovic and Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, that said, “The criminal proceedings before the Belgrade Distric Court against Slobodan Milosevic, former President of the Republic of Serbia, FRY, and President of the Socialist Party of Serbia, were not undertaken in response to the demand of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia…” And another brief document made it clear that “Slobodan Milosevic will not be handed over to any judicial or other institution outside the country.” See what happened to him…

Incoherent Short Stories

Xmas holiday is over. Nothing to do with me though a few people very kindly sent me well-wishing messages to my phone.

In bed for more than 20 hours. A few incoherent short stories.

A scene of downtown Kyoto seen from a high building or airplane. The meteorologist was saying, “Now in Kyoto, the visibility is only one meter.” The city was covered with fog, but it seemed to me the visibility was not so bad.

I found many not-so-large cardboard boxes and a few tin containers in front of the family’s Kyoto house. Tin containers for storing off-season clothes people were using before plastic ones appeared. Apparently the day of moving. Mother and brother were ready to go. But I had not been told about moving at all…

And music was sounding in my head… one of the pieces my neighbor often practices.


A cheap Ho Chi Minh hotel I tried to book though a website is full during my visit. Not convinced, I tried another website and am now waiting the reply. An interesting thing is that different websites list different rates for the same one hotel.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm That Beautiful Mt. Fuji


Monday, December 24, 2007

Let Me Sleep!! (Round Trip Booked...)



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Confused over Where I am



この先の計画は、滞在延長の如何次第ということもあるが、ESLコースの受講は決心した。これから先への投資だと理解しよう。やはり「fly out」しないといけないようだと、二重にカネがかかることになるが、これは避けられないこと。

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Overhead Full Moon Night


Friday, December 21, 2007

I Have Almost Made up My Mind to Take the Course

Late afternoon, I made a call to the course manager to talk about my visa issue. She told me that she would produce a letter to be presented at the immigration office. As this course does not require a student pass, which is fine in itself, my status as a tourist won’t change. I don’t know if there is any participant from overseas except me. If there is any, I believe that he or she is also entitled to stay only for 30 days. Even if I get an extension with the letter, it won't be enough. I need a further extension to complete the course because the final assignment is in April. I’ve already made rather too many land-crossings. The Woodlands checkpoint is suspicious.

With the certificate, what would I intend to do? Having been a city dweller since I was born, my desire to live in a more humanly natural or fundamental, if materially inconvenient, environment is still strong. If I feel overwhelmed in some negative way in such an environment, that should also be fine. I believe that is something I need to go through. In fact, that is what I should have experienced when I was so much younger. Once certified, I may seek a position in a developing country.

When I was around 30, I thought about working at an Israeli kibbutz, to make my hands dirty. But I never took any action to make it a reality. In hindsight, it seems a wise no-action. I don’t want to extend my hand to help colonizers to further their occupation work.

Also today, I deposited the total amount for the camera. It was successfully done, even though it took me more than half an hour because of a $5 note, which the two deposit machines, located at TB Plaza, repeatedly rejected.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Student Again? And Mother and Daughter

My feeling is inclining to take up a course to become a certified TESOL instructor. There are issues to be resolved, e.g. my visa which expires just when the course starts. And when I have to be active in searching a job, this costs me a substantial amount of $$. However, this certification would protect me in the future to an extent, if not guarantee, in terms of employment. There are always people who want to learn the language. I should talk to the course director to be sure of what she can do to extend my visa without my flying out of the country. This time’s trip plans, whether to Myanmar or Vietnam, are forced upon me, and I don’t think I have enough time to prepare “psychologically,” even though those countries are just “over there.” I’m an old chicken.


Butoh -- Byakko-sha


「e-bay」でNikon Coolpix S510(コンパクトデジカメ)を落札した。と言っても入札したのは自分だけだったが。購入の理由は、長くなった髪の自分を撮っておきたかったのがひとつ。あとは、シンガポールにしても、ビルマにしても、ベトナムにしても、自分の歴史を記録しておきたいから。髪は歳をとる程に「クルクル」が激しくなる。引力に反して、今はまつ毛も上向き。

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In Bed for a Day and Half


What is my métier?? There has been no real satisfaction or serene uplifting of mind in what I’ve done in my career so far. The teaching job I had back home was so money-oriented, and I didn’t not consider it as anything educational or even remotely serious. Many students expected to be spoon-fed and “learning English” was just a faddish phenomenon influenced by the irresponsible commercial media of Japan. The company went bankrupt eventually. A writing job was really inspiring and made me feel that I was doing something, but then when the lunch break was not a break and dinner had to be delayed until 10 pm or later, it was not a mystery at all that it took a toll on my physical and mental health.

Yangon? Ho Chi Minh? Hanoi? And then??

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Want More about Milosevic's Childhood, and My Trip Destinations

I’m reading “Milosevic” at a steady pace. Especially after “Orientalism,” which in many parts is recondite, it is a big relief that I don’t have to read the same one sentence several times to understand. When one writes about him, it may be natural to devote many pages to his rapid rise through the Communist hierarchy ladder and of course the 3-way war in the former Yugoslavia. However, my interest in his life is to learn more about how his childhood and relatively young days affected his later career as both his parents committed suicide. It seems that as a person, he found the absolute security in his wife, Mira. No matter whatever I do, Mira is always with me, defends me and never betrays me.

By the way, his daughter, Marija, was quite a glamorous beauty, judging from the one photo in the book! She, still while a teenager, married a diplomat and went to Japan along with him. She, a very much pampered kid, didn’t like the life in Japan and got bored, left there and divorced him. Her recent photos show a complete auntie, though. She was reported to have had a “nervous breakdown” after Milosevic was removed from power.

Because the immigration officer at Woodlands was not very clear what “fly out” really means (must it be to Japan? Or anywhere?), I’m now thinking about destinations excluding Japan. Myanmar is an obvious candidate but visiting there requires a visa. Another is Vietnam, which I’ve also been interested in visiting because of the books I’ve read about the war and the movies, “THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA” and “Full Metal Jacket.” To enter Vietnam, it is not required to obtain a visa, as far as the stay is within 15 days. As the year end, when embassies will be closed, is approaching and I can’t still make up my mind, a trip that requires no visa seems attractive.

2 Familiar Names Gone




The poor fellow at the shop called me, and said my membership is now ready. After my complaint, the shop made it ready in a day. If they can do it in such a short period, why couldn't they have done so much earlier??

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Active Day


A day of action (by my standard): I settled the phone bill, mailed a postcard to my mother, placed a complaint to a computer shop at TB Plaza and went to Tanjong Pagar to retrieve a letter from the tax office.

This computer shop told me at the time of my application on November 23 that it would sent an e-mail to me for confirmation. I’ve never received such an e-mail. A young man working at the shop’s customer service was apologetic. I heard him say “Many customers claim…” when he was talking to another office. Hmmm… It seems I’m not alone. Apparently, they are having some computer system trouble. System trouble at a computer shop? Quite a joke. I demanded my membership $$ back. He pleaded me to give him another week. So I relented, but not satisfied, made this young staff write a short letter (in his unsteady English) to guarantee the refund if I don’t get the e-mail within a week.

A letter from the tax office arrived at the current address of my former employer. After I resigned, the employer moved to Tanjong Pagar to become a company under a group in need of capital injection.

The poor fellow at the shop called me this evening, and said my membership is now ready

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tablets on Their Way



Jean, who works at the clinic, contacted me today and said she would send tablets by post. Thanks.

Yesterday at Gleneagles, right after I finished “Orientalism,” I started “Milosevic: A Biography” by Adam LeBor. 30 pages are behind me at this moment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Hiking Trip

Yes, I’m really tired. This morning, I called the clinic six or seven times. Though there was no answer, the busy tone I heard in two of my calls made me optimistic to think the clinic was open today. I decided to try my luck.

I took Bus 16 to Paterson Road and then, from Orchard Boulevard, 174 to go to Bukit Timah Road. Because I wasn’t sure at which stop I should get off, I did so after the 174 passed a supermarket in my very old neighborhood. From the bus stop, there was quite a distance to the clinic. When I finally reached there, it was only to find a “closed” sign. I wrote a message and slipped it inside from under the door, requesting to inform me when it would reopen.

I thought that my first neighborhood doctor and the one, who originally referred me to the clinic, Dr. Goh, might be available and somehow could help me. Then I decided to walk back the way I came from, but at the same time I was thinking that I would be too late for his morning consultation. There I was, standing in front of the door of his clinic, which was shut. But it was the disappointment I had expected. With my head down, I was leaving the place to cross Farrer Road when I found myself between the shuttered door and the doctor sitting on a bench, talking on his phone.


I explained all about the closed clinic and told him I had run out of pills. He asked, “Oh, maybe she went on a holiday. But why are you here? You think I…” He opened the shutter and quickly made a prescription note for Cymbalta so I could bring it to a pharmacy.

A relatively near and large medical institution where I might get it is Gleneagles. I tried two pharmacies in the hospital and neither had it. I asked for an equivalent or even something “similar.” But they said, “No. It must be this particular one.” Exhausted, I rested myself on a sofa at the hospital (and finished “Orientalism” there). Or they had. Dr. Goh spelled “Cymbalta” as “Simbalta.” And the spelling I thought might be correct was “Symbalta.” Should I try tomorrow again or just hope that the clinic opens very soon?

From Gleneagles, I walked to Isetan to get rice, which also ran out a few days ago, and some other food stuff and then the Orchard MRT station to add value to my EZLink Card because the value was below $0. I finally took Bus 123 at the Lucky Plaza to come home. What a hiking all through drizzle, from Bukit Timah Road to the Lucky Plaza!

My pace to read “Orientalism” greatly quickened once the book entered the final chapter, “Orientalism Now,” which discusses the more recent decades. For some like me, who pathetically lacks the required knowledge of, for example, Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, it would be better for better comprehension to jump from “Preface” to “Afterward” and then start reading the first chapter.

[O]ne of the great advances in modern cultural theory is the realization, almost universally acknowledged, that cultures are hybrid and heterogeneous and, as I argued in Culture and Imperialism, that cultures and civilizations are so intertwined and interdependent as to beggar any unitary or simply delineated description of their individuality. (p. 347)

Much of the most compelling work on the new political and economic order has concerned what, in a recent article, Harry Magdoff has described as “globalization,” a system by which a small financial elite expanded its power over the whole globe, inflating commodity and service prices, redistributing wealth from lower income sectors (usually in the non-Western world) to the higher-income ones. (p. 349)

I have quoted a few parts from the work almost randomly. I’m hearing now the voice of Said that says “explain why you quoted this part but not that part.”

Psychiatrist Kills Himself...

According to the Sankei Shimbun website, a psychiatrist working at a Hyogo hospital killed himself for having been prescribing antidepressant pills to a unipolar patient without consultation for two years. The Hyogo prefecture had investigated the hospital for his non-consultation prescription. The doctor’s suicide must be shocking to the patient herself… But without consulting with her, how could the doctor have diagnosed the woman as a unipolar disorder sufferer?

I feel tired, very tired… No drive to take action and move "forward."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Said's Sharp Pen, and Info on Myanmar Wanted

When I woke up, it was still all dark outside. I thought the time was still in the midst of the night, but looking at the clock beside the bed, I realized it was almost dawn. Here, morning comes late. The sun is not really up there until 7am, and these days because of rain, it seems even darker at dawn. I went back to sleep after a few pages of “Orientalism,” and when I woke up again, it was already past 4pm. One missed call from a number I don’t recognize. And it was too late to visit the clinic…

The top page of the website of the Myanmar Embassy here is blank. So I decided to send an e-mail to inquire about the tourist visa information. And rare for me now, I did so quite fast. Soon after I sent the e-mail, I found that, without the top page, the inside of the site could be read and I managed to obtain the information.

Reading works by Edward W. Said makes me realize, with no exception at all, that how I am sloppy in using words, in writing and talking. His knowledge is deep, his observation insightful, and his pen unbelievably sharp.

… In 1973, during the anxious days of the October Arab-Israeli war, the New York Times Magazine commissioned two articles, one representing the Israeli and on the Arab side of the conflict. The Israeli side was presented by an Israeli layer; the Arab side, by an American former ambassador to an Arab country who had no formal training in Oriental studies. Lest we jump immediately to the simple conclusion that the Arabs were believed incapable of representing themselves, we would do well to remember that both Arabs and Jews in this instance were Semites (in the broad cultural designation I have been discussing) and that both were being made to be represented for a Western audience… (p. 293)

… When Louis Gardet treats [in The Cambridge History of Islam, first published in 1970] “Religion and Culture,” we are told summarily that only the first five centuries of Islam are to be discussed; does this mean that religion and culture in “modern times” cannot be “synthesized,” or does it mean that Islam achieved its final form in the twelfth century? Is there really such a thing as “Islamic geography,” which seems to include the “planned anarchy” of Muslim cities, or is it mainly an invented subject to demonstrate a rigid theory of geographical-racial determinism? As a hint we are reminded of “the Ramadan fast with its active nights,” from which we are expected to conclude that Islam is a religion “designed for town dwellers.” This is explanation in need of explanation. (p. 305)

In its February 1974 issue Commentary gave its readers an article by Professor Gil Carl Alroy entitled “Do the Arabs Want Peace?” Alroy is a professor of political science and is the author of two works, Attitudes Towards Jewish Statehood in the Arab World and Images of Middle East Conflict; he is a man who professes to “know” the Arabs, and is obviously an expert of image making. His argument is quite predictable: that the Arabs want to destroy Israel, that the Arabs really say what they mean (and Alroy makes ostentatious use of his ability to cite evidence from Egyptian newspapers, evidence he everywhere identifies with “Arabs” as if the two, Arabs and Egyptian newspapers, were one), and so on and on, with unflagging, one-eyed zeal… (pp. 307-308)


Monday, December 10, 2007

Orientalism Dogmas

Said explains the dogmas of Orientalism laconically in the pages 300-301;

1. the absolute difference between the West, which is rational, developed, humane, superior, and the Orient, which is aberrant, undeveloped, inferior.
2. the abstractions about the Orient, particularly those based on texts representing a “classical” Oriental civilization, are always preferable to direct evidence drawn from modern Orient realities.
3. the Orient is eternal, uniform, and incapable of defining itself; therefore it is assumed that a highly generalized and systematic vocabulary for describing the Orient from a Western standpoint is inevitable and even scientifically “objective.”
4. the Orient is at bottom something either to be feared (the Yellow Peril, the Mongol hordes, the brown dominions) or to be controlled (by pacification, research and development, outright occupation whenever possible).

Apparently, the clinic is closed today. I made four calls, three in the morning and another in the afternoon, but nobody answered.

Sleep Only to Feel Tired











Sunday, December 09, 2007

Another Anniversary of December 8



The BIG time bomb is ticking inside me.


The old “stray” dog has been identified!! YOU ARE THE DOG OF THE YEAR!!!


Old dog saves life of missing senile woman
The Yomiuri Shimbun

MITO--An old dog saved the life of a 73-year-old woman with senile dementia who is believed to have wandered from her home to a park about five kilometers away in temperatures that fell below freezing, police said.

The woman, who went missing from her home in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Wednesday morning, was found safe by a passerby about 30 hours later, snuggled up with the male mongrel in a park in Hitachinaka in the prefecture.

It is believed she spent the night outside in subzero temperatures.

"She may have avoided hypothermia by hugging the dog to keep warm," a Hitachinaka-Nishi Police Station officer said.

According to the police, the woman slipped out of her house and away from the supervision of her family just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, wearing only a thin jacket over her sweater. (Dec. 8, 2007)


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Absolute Determination So Easily Broken

My absolute determination was to stay awake so that I could go to the clinic. Just at the right moment, I foolishly closed my eyes, and then when I opened them, it was already too late for today’s consultation hours. Ashamed, and electric sensation is again appearing, a very clear sign of my life-supporting SNRI is losing its power. Resigned, I went into another long dream.









“Just mentally challenged”… Comments or thoughts like this so deeply hurt every human who suffers a mental illness. To my ear, it sounds “You are physically healthy. You are only a lazy person.” “I just can’t imagine what sort of condition you have” is what I was told by a friend. Well, you don’t have to try to imagine. Nor do you have to try to understand. But you have to recognize that people like me exist all over the world and are crying for help.

Cymbalta Effects Wearing off

No refill today (Friday) either.

I spent around 20 hours in bed. Last night, I was quite agitated emotionally after what happened at the checkpoint and far more because I thought and talked about my family. Even tears were flowing out of my eyes. I know the Cymbalta effects are wearing off. I must to get pills today (Saturday), no matter what.

I had, as usual in such conditions, a long dream, or a dream of a few seemingly continuous but totally unconnected stories.










How about this cartoon, published by "Today" on December 4?

"Just mentally challenged"?

Andrew Solomon, citing "Suicide and affective disorders" by S. B. Guze and E. Robbins, published in "British Journal of Psychiatry 117" in 1970 and "Manic-Depressive Illness" of 1990 by Frederick Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison, wrote in "The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression," "The statistic traditionally given is that 15 percent of depressed people will eventually commit suicide; this figure still holds for those with extreme illness. Recent studies that include milder depression show that 2 to 4 percent of depressives will die by their own hand as a direct consequence of the illness." (p. 25)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

30-Day Grace Period

No medication refill today.

I expected no problem at all at the checkpoint on this side. When my turn came after standing in a long line of visitors, I was “invited” by the young officer into his box and asked to sit on the chair next to him and wait. After about five minutes, an Indian officer came and escorted me into that room I know well of.

A Malay female officer explained that I could not continue entry by land “forever. And next time, you must fly out to Japan once.” “But officer, I don’t have a family to go back to in Japan.” “Even distant relatives?” “Distant relatives are all distant. Does it have to be Japan (I must fly to)?” She didn’t give me a clear answer. This time, she gave me a 30-day stamp anyway. I may have chosen the wrong line… My home country is not home. But they don’t understand it and consider individual cases. A grace period of 30 days. What shall I do?

The only thing that was nice today was that I managed to advance “Orientalism” to as far as page 288.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Rainy Season Has Come?



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Japan Baseball Team Goes to Beijing



Some days ago, I decided to write on my life about from 1995 (Korea to Osaka, Taiwan, back to Osaka and Singapore) completely from my own perspective, and I am adding a few lines almost everyday. In a sense, this is to leave a record mainly of my career and unipolar disorder. Partly because my diary for a few years from the summer of 1999 became unrecoverable together with my old PC, I believe this is a good attempt. At this point still with about 9,000 characters, my days especially in Singapore seem full of frustration and stress and it is no wonder that my depression (the Black Cat) sneakily appeared in the dark room.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Sign of Ageing

For a start, I’ve cursorily checked a few universities in Taiwan that have a language course for foreigners. In terms of tuition fees, they are so much cheaper than NUS, which charges more than twice.

I feel my age… Seven years ago, it was a hard but quick decision to come here. And I used to think “If you are really interested in something, you should have already taken action to make it happen.”

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"The Sting of Death"


Motorola announced that its CEO, Ed Zander, would leave on January 1st. This is the man who said to my question at a press conference, “I don’t know what you are referring to.” I asked for his response to Nokia CEO’s comment that Nokia was not a mere phone maker and he did not consider Motorola as a competitor. I had found this comment in an article of the Economist.

When I was reading “Crime and Punishment,” I thought about visiting St. Petersburg and Moscow. And suddenly Burma. And remembering my happy days in Taiwan, my interest in the Chinese language and its traditional characters is now growing… I like to understand what A-Mei sings about. My mind can be so simply influenced…

I have been largely autodidactic, as in the case of my English learning. For Chinese, I can probably combine the pinyin system, which is a creation of the communist China, and traditional characters.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


買う必要もなかったんやけど、HMVまで行って「♫ ごめんね」のCD(「我可以抱你嗎?愛人」)を買った。曲名は「会いたい(好想見你)」やった。中国語版はの曲名は「不在乎他」。歌詞の内容は違う。それから、やっぱり買う必要はなかったんやけど、「死の棘」(小栗康平監督)のDVDも19ドルやったんで買ってしまった。

I should have read “Orientalism” first among the works by Said. However, I, at this age, still have a great difficulty to follow this powerful book of his. It is perhaps because of my total lack of knowledge of English and French scholars on and travelers to the Orient. Learning continues… until I decide to quit all.

Five killed in Israeli Gaza raids (BBC)
Gazans bury dead after Israeli raid (Al Jazeera)
Six Palestinians, including militants, killed in Gaza (Reuters)

Trying to achieve peace by killing people… while the leaders are talking in the U.S.

With puke out comes the mental tumor.