rice from train







I only remember sleepwalking once. I was maybe ten or eleven, and I was dreaming about an imminent flood of some sort while half-consciously walking down the stairs. I sleepwalked through the living room and into the kitchen, where I disinctly remember looking at the clock on the oven, although I can’t remember what time it read. I started to walk down the stairs to the basement, but I started dreaming that the basement was full of water and that it was rising quickly. For some reason, however, I was unable to go back up the steps and escape the flood. The dream ended just as the water had risen to cover the tops of my feet.

I woke up standing barefoot in the toilet.

Kyoto photos


The Kyoto photos are up, but hardly labelled. Click here, or scroll down a bit and look left.

inconvenient love

I came to Japan to see Lauren–to explore a connection that seemed too immediate and magical to be real. Her living in Japan certainly made my decision easier, but I would have come visit her if she was living in Siberia or the Sunni Triangle or wherever. The last two weeks have solidified the reality of our initial connection, and now I find myself with but two more weeks to enjoy it before I fly back to the USA without her. After July 5th, we have no idea when we’ll be able to see each other again, which makes this relationship we have begun markedly difficult to continue. This is not to say that we won’t continue, it is just to say that I am wondering why I am so good at finding inconvenient love. Yes, it could be far more inconvenient–she could be a gypsy from Calcutta and I could be a poor peasant boy from Tehran, or she could be a cat and I could be a dog, or she could be a ceiling and I could be a floor… Just as it is, though–an American woman living in Asia and an American man done living in Asia–it’s inconvenient enough, just not enough to keep us from trying.

While I’m writing about Lauren, I should mention that this is the longest I have ever co-habitated with a girlfriend, and I wake every morning surprised that she hasn’t smothered me with a pillow.


About a half-hour ago, I was sitting on the couch reading a book when the earth started to shake. At first, I thought it was just a strong breeze shaking the apartment building, but the shaking quickly intensified and was accompanied by a low rumbling sound. I jumped up and grabbed my camera, but by the time I was securely crouched under the metal desk in the kitchen, it was all over.

While this was a relatively small and short earthquake, it was still a bit unsettling–earthquakes are rarely isolated, and scientists have been predicting a big earthquake for this area for some time now. To add unsettle to unsettle, Lauren’s apartment is on the fifth floor, and there are cracks in two of the cement walls.

Lauren called me from school a few minutes after it happened. She was teaching when it hit, and while she didn’t even feel it (she was standing), some of her students apparently started to scream, which she initially misinterpreted as an excited response to her teaching.