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Jan. 1st, 2010 @ 12:00 am
Still not ready to do or say much about the last month.
I dread seeing anyone that hasn't already heard the news.
It is just an awkward conversation that I am not capable of stomaching much.
Thought that after 4 weeks, I would be able to talk about my father's death a bit more and try to make my peace with it...

Then my mother got sent to the hospital because some stupid doctor fucked up something as simple as Botox Therapy by ramming a needle into my mom's left lung. If that wasn't bad enough, they sent her home. If I had gone to the garage to do the cleaning I had intended to do, who knows if I would even have a mother today. Of course nothing is easy...after they got her lung back to normal...got the call the next morning about an artery that was surrounded by scar tissue from previous therapeutic injections was torn by her lung collapsing.
Now, she is in the hospital on New Year's Eve by herself sleeping.
Sadly, my sister and I are now worried about brain damage. She has been on a lot of meds, but given how long her lung wasn't working (the paramedic said he heard absolutely no sound from the lung), we are worried. Her stroke already weakened her short term memory, but so far we have had to explain what happened to her a couple times and she has repeated stories to us a few times now...so we are really worried and hoping that it is just the meds.
The doctor's office even called me this morning to check up on my mom. You see, I called them to ask about what happened and they had no idea and said they would get back to me in a couple hours...well, I didn't have the patience to wait and luckily I didn't, because that couple hours turned into almost a couple days. I chewed the lady out for all the additional stress her clinic added to our life and all she said was, "I'm sorry" and hung up the phone.

My mom asked me yesterday, "why did this have to happen to me?"
She trusted the doctors. She was finally starting to show improvement and now it seems to have been taken away from her and at a time when we need her to be strong until my sister and I can work out a way to take care of her on our salaries for 4 years until she turns at least 50, but could be as long as 55 or 60 so she can collect any kind of social security.


Anyway... I heard a few fireworks go off...

Happy New Year mom...

Fuck you insurance and Stubborness! Dec. 1st, 2009 @ 07:31 pm
If it weren't for either of those shitty ass things, my dad would still be alive.

GO TO HELL!

Dad update Oct. 27th, 2009 @ 12:06 pm
First of all, thank you for all the messages.
:-)

After the phone threat last week, my dad went to the hospital.
They did multiple tests and gave him several prescriptions, or so my mum says.
Basically, he lacks a lot of vitamins, has high blood pressure, and...should he choose to continue the course he is on and not stop drinking...the doctors suggested that he will probably go the same way as his brother.

I guess all good news must come with bad news as well.

My mum is optimistic and I want to be... however, it is hard when the voice on the other end of the line sounds weaker than usual.
I hope he does take this opportunity to improve his health and put down the bottle, but my dad has said -on multiple occasions throughout my life- that he wants to die.

It's sad. All of my students know that my parents are fairly young (both are 47) and yet, I feel many of my students at age 60 plus are far more youthful.
It's like he just quit living over the last few years.

Oct. 22nd, 2009 @ 11:46 pm
So.

I've been thinking a lot about death.
Not in an emo way, either.

It crossed my mind, given recent circumstances.
Over and over in my head, I replayed what I thought might be the last seconds.
Seconds in which you say goodbye.
Seconds in which you idly stare at everyone and say nothing.
The second before the final drop on a roller coaster.


There's nothing.

I can't even begin to imagine a moment where I don't think, remember, dream, wish, speak, tune out, glaze over, etc...nothing. Not one moment.

I can think of drinking and even then, I have never once blacked out. Anyone who has ever been with me during a night of heavy drinking knows that I would much rather prefer vomiting over blacking out.

I just can't imagine it.

In my secularism, there is nothing.
No moment afterward that I can leap into and no moment I can grasp onto.
It comes and it happens. I don't think it is avoidable.

The light dims and goes out.


Dawkins can write all he wants about the need to live out our lives, but frankly I think he wakes up some nights dreading that final second, much like any religious follower.

I'm no more religious, than atheist.
No one is ready to die, except those who know it is coming.
Like a roller coaster, I assume you grab the bar just one more time, hold your breath, close your eyes...


I have passed out more than most.
The last sense you lose is hearing, just so you know.
Three miniature bones -evolutionary traits- are all that keep us listening to sobs, goodbyes, I love yous, miss you, etc...rather than our mouthing the words, "It's hard to make the good things last", in a second of utter silence.

Like clockwork Oct. 20th, 2009 @ 11:13 am
Every Tuesday at 10:30AM my time, my parents call.
I talk to my mom for about 7 minutes, then my dad comes on for about 10 minutes give or take depending on the events of the weekend, and finally my mom comes back with a 3 minute wrap-up which usually includes 1 minute of good-byes and I love you's, between a series of 1-2-3 counts are chanted off as a means of getting her to hang up...a habit she formed my during my second week at College after I threatened to quit school and sit at home for the rest of my life.


Last Tuesday, I had great news to report. My free loading roommate of 8-months finally moved out on Monday and I was so excited!
My mom, as usual, didn't quite grasp how momentous this was. Sometimes I wonder if her stroke left my mother incapable of this form of empathy, as she is quick to cut off conversations with extremely random topics about her day or life, which have no connection to the conversation at hand, but which my family has chosen to just go along with and my extended family has chosen to ignore. Unfortunately, the doctors don't seem to think there is anything wrong with her, but I guess they don't spend enough time with her and thus are making inferences based on the 10-20 minutes they spend with her, talking about her, and so on. But, I don't have a medical or psychological degree and cannot pass judgment as easily.


Anyway, got handed off to my dad and he congratulated me on my new found freedom. Which was great, though he still is under the impression that the freeloader was paying money. Ah well...so, moments before the end of the conversation, however, my father tells me he fell. Not once, not twice, but three times. His legs buckled as he went to the bathroom one night. They buckled on him when he was going into the living room. They finally buckled on him when he was in a parking lot. That's how the conversation ended, which my dad suggesting he would have it checked out.

For one week, I sit here waiting for the phone call. I have been on vacation, actually, for the last 3 days with this on my mind and finally Tuesday has arrived.

The answer I got, I had too many other things to do, it costs a lot, I don't have time, no one will go with me,...and so on. My mother says she is trying to get him help, but as I said before, with an attention span no longer than 10 minutes, it is hard to get my mother to do anything unless she is focused on it for her needs. Which, I understand, but it is unfortunate that her needs always trump my dad's needs and no one who meets my family seems to understand that. The wheelchair really helps to get people on her side.


Well, after about 5 minutes of phone time, I was off the phone with the both of them.
My mother didn't want to hear me complain about how she hasn't tried to get my father to the hospital and my father said that he was just walking slower and hoping that things would go away in time, while sounding weak on the phone.

It is the same thing they did to me with my grandfather and my uncle before they both passed away. Pretend that nothing is wrong. Tell no one. And, much to my sadness, my extended family has basically given up on my parents and their childishness.

So, I am stuck here with a dilemma...

Hope for the best and continue on the track I want to be on.

or

Go home and take care of them.
Other entries
» The secret life of American teenager...
Before I return you to your regularly scheduled tauddrivel...

I am, I was, and I have been in love.

"It makes me sick how overlooked you are.
By everyOne.
Fucking just fucking head shaking wrong.

I love you too.
Goooood nigHt."

6 years of my life and I have been in love.

I have thought about it. Through every relationship, I have never really wanted anyone to know. It is easier to let go or to move on when no one knows.

I haven't been let go and I haven't been forgotten.
For the first time, I was loved in return.
» (No Subject)
"Everyone of my friends is good at something. A, you are good at driving. B, you are good at video games. Rick, you are.... you know I can't say anything."

Me: "Just drink this and go to bed."
Z: "You know what I mean when I said that everyone is good at something?"
Me: "Yeah, just get some sleep and drink this."
Z: "I'll send you an email. No, I won't. Yes. No, I won't."
Me: "Good night, Z."
Z: "Rick." *the door shuts*


I have been a good friend (for some people).
I've never been anyone's close friend.

I'm tired of hearing that I give too much.
I'd break down if one person actually said I was their closest friend.

I search the world, but I can't be that for anyone and only I know why......
» Much
The gateway jumps an illiterate anecdote.
» Also...
All the rage in Japan these days is Organic Restaurants.
Essentially the same exact food that they eat, only apparently it is called Organic this time around and costs nearly 50 bucks for one course.

One more step towards making organic vegetables available only to those who are affluent.

Anyway, I am going to one of these chic restaurants and I will try to give the food a fair shot, but I am skeptical as to whether this food will actually be organic or if I will be witnessing the placebo effect in action as lambs to the slaughterhouse dump their cash into the register before they leave.

Don't get me wrong. I love the concept of organic vegetables, I just don't see it as possible in a country that relies soo much on chemicals to maintain the beauty of its fruits and vegetables to the point that many Japanese still don't eat apple or grape skins. Not to mention that Japan's food self-sufficiency rate is an astoundingly low 39% and given that the elite in Japan only eat "grown-in-Japan" I will be surprised to know how they managed to clean up the soil for these organic veggies. Sorry for the ranting, but the math doesn't add up and gullible people are everywhere.

I think it will be like the Chinese vs. Japanese gyoza (pot-stickers) scenario I witnessed on TV.
There was a taste-testing event in which the participants were informed beforehand about the origin of the gyoza and reacted accordingly. The Chinese gyoza was given the thumbs down and looks of disgust, while the Japanese gyoza was praised for its superb deliciousness with these Orgasmic sounds... I have had Japanese gyoza and let me tell you...never once have I had an orgasm induced by it.
» FUCKING JAPANESE POLICE!
Every time I get on my bike, it is worries me that I am going to get stopped by the police. Sure enough, it happened today.

Let me share what happened:

I went to the gym and decided to take the long way home (7km/4.35mi out of my way) and I get to a busy intersection without a stop sign or light. Feeling a bit tired, I decided to turn back and head for home. On the opposite side of the road, going the other way is a police car. Behind me is a school girl on a bike. I get off my bike and walk over the bridge and start back down the path on the opposite side of the river. I look back and I see that the police car has done some kind of U-turn and is going the other way down the road.
I slow my pace, as I am on a bike trail with only a few roads accessible to cars.

About 1km in, two officers are waiting on the road pretending that they are looking around. Then one comes up to me with his hand raised.

I stop and he says: "Do you speak Japanese?"

In my head, I say, "Yes, but not for the likes of twits like yourself"...and I reply, "No."

He tells me it is a spot check and he asks my name and where I live.
I then ask him if he would like to see my bike papers. Surprised that I carry these papers on me, he said, "You have them with you?"
I said, "Well, police check me almost every week and it is getting really bothersome."
He said, "Yes, it is bothersome."

Fed up with the pleasantness they have given to this entirely embarrassing charade, I start questioning him.
"So why do the police stop me all the time?"
He says, "Oh, crime is going up in Japan, so we must stop people."
I snap back, "You didn't stop the Japanese girl that was on the bike behind me."
"We are sorry. Please, just cooperate," he tells me.
So I expand upon my perceived reality of the situation, "It is because I am white that is why you waited 1km down here and stopped me. I just went to the gym and I decided to ride my bike a little. I have lived in this area for 4 years and I pay my taxes. So, why am I treated like a criminal in this country?"
"Thank you for your time and have a good day," they say as they walk back to their car.
"SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!" I shout.
*the other one chuckles*

Down the road, I came to another intersection and there they were. They nodded and I shook my head disapprovingly.



In my general understanding of the situation, crime in Japan has gone up and as the number of foreign residents has increased, so has the crime committed by foreigners.
That being said, similar crime data suggests that while the Japanese population is decreasing, crime committed by Japanese is in fact the same as it was when the population was higher and younger.
Moreover, the crimes most often committed by foreigners include: Overstaying one's visa, failing to register one's bike, and failing to notify the government when one has changed employers or house.
Meanwhile, the crimes most often committed by Japanese include: random stabbings, murder of family and non-family members, solo and gang rapes, and groping on trains.

If we compare the types of crimes committed, we see that while crimes by foreigners have in fact increase, a majority of them involve crimes that hurt no one except the perpetrator. On the other hand, crimes committed by Japanese almost always involve someone getting killed, hurt or emotionally scarred. If I was a logical member of the Japanese police force, I might spend a little more time trying to figure out how to stop people on the train from groping others, how teach parents that it is not reasonable to put your 2 year old baby into a garbage can with the lid closed for 12 hours, how to prevent sick creeps from chopping up a body and flushing it down a toilet or stuffing the body into a train station locker, or how to train police officers not to let the prime suspect in a case -where a girl was murdered, raped, and buried in sand-filled bathtub on his balcony- get away barefoot!! You'd think it would be easy to find someone not wearing shoes in Japan!
I won't even get into the punishment of some crimes where the victim is not Japanese.

Yes, America has it's fair share of racial profiling and crazy crimes too. Though, I can honestly say I have never talked to the police more in any other country than Japan.
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