Life Lessons

Your Eyes Are Not Yet Open

Writing a novel has driven home one of the truest truths of communication: More

When Someone Asks for an Ambulance, Call the Ambulance (Part 3)

The third and most frustrating example of the ambulance non-call involved a coworker named Kumiko. More

Again: Call the Friggin’ Ambulance

(Continued from this post.)
This happened twice more in Japan. The first time in Japan (second overall in my life) was more life-threatening, but the second time was more frustrating. Ready to again be amazed at human stupidity?
More

When Someone Says “Call an Ambulance”

…The following actions are not acceptable, or should only be taken after the requested ambulance is summoned: More

Your Actions: They Have Consequences

“Aw man,” Chris lamented, “They don’t let you take ketchup packets anymore.”  More

Some People Won’t Listen – Pt. 2

Fate is funny. I feel like someone read my previous post and set out on a mission to reinact the situation. Listen to how similar these two stories are.

Mrs. Tamura isn’t the half-crazy xenophobe that Michio is, but she does, like anyone, have some pre-conceived notions about other cultures. Hey, we’re all human, we all have our mistaken assumptions and we all believe a few things that aren’t quite true. But even she couldn’t let go of something in the face of contradictory evidence. More

Some People Will Not Listen to You. Ever.

“Do you like sakura?” a man named Michio asked me.

“Yes,” I replied, “I think they’re gorgeous.”  I had no idea this conversation was going to become very interesting, and then downright perplexing. More

No, Stupid, Caffeine Does Not Dehydrate You

I love when some asshole sees me drinking a caffeinated beverage and says, “You know that dehydrates you.”  This confirms that I’m talking to someone who gets his/her knowledge of the world from old wives’ tales rather that actual findings of actual scientists and helps me greatly in weeding out unhelpful sacks from my social circle.  More

Keep Learning That Foreign Language, Gramps

They say adults can’t learn languages as easily as children, and this is true.  It’s a total myth, however, to say that no progress or proficiency in a foreign language can be attained as an adult.  I didn’t start learning Japanese till I was 19 (and took like 2 years off from it some time later).  Now at 30, I bust that shit out by day and dream in it by night.  I’m not gonna overhype it and say I’m perfect, but I can hang.  My wife didn’t start till she was 20 or 21.  Now she can read a Japanese novel with no problems and completely understand JP movies without subtitles.  There are plenty of other similar stories out there.  If you’re dedicated, you can pull it off.  Plus, the learning process slows down the aging of your brain.  How about that?

Emails: How to Save Your Ass

When typing an email, especially one in which you have any sort of heightened emotion — I’m talking anger, sensuality, sadness, even happiness — do not fill in the “To:” field until you are ready to send the message.  You might not want to send any message at all, in certain emotional states, but if you do, you want ot make damn sure you have as close to perfect a message as you can possibly have.  If you accidentally end up sending that shit prematurely?  Uh oh.  Making the outgoing email address the final thing you write just might save your ass from burning some bridges.  And your face.