January 25, 2005
And now I am back in Chicago. I was in Japan, and then I was in Russia, and then I was in Las Vegas, and then I was in Connecticut, and now I am here, again, in Chicago. I will write until this album is over, and then I will go for a walk, because it is sunny outside and it makes me kind of crazy to sit up here in this spare bedroom all day surrounded by my handful of possessions and the adjunct thousands of my stepfather's video collection.
"Did you know that you have two copies of Desperate Journey?" I asked.
"You can't have that one," he said.
"I wasn't asking for it," I said. "I was just making note of it."
"No, I need two copies of that," he said, eyeing me suspiciously.
I will do a brief job taking notes on a focus group on Wednesday, and then I will start working in a longer-term position on Friday. Over the weekend, I will move my stuff into a new apartment, and on Tuesday, I will move my self into that apartment. After that, I don't know. I have to go ahead and turn 27 in a few weeks. At some point, I should put together the Lego set of the Mos Eisley cantina scene that I bought on sale at a Target on New Year's Eve, allowing Lego Han Solo to shoot Lego Greedo first. I'll have to make a few phone calls and see if they offer memberships for discounted admission at the Division Street Russian Bath House, whose walking-distance proximity to my new apartment will be frequently exploited if they're willing to drop below $22 per visit. The yakuza baths in Kyoto only charged 300 yen. Even with the falling dollar, that's still pretty cheap. I miss the yakuza baths. I'll never know if that one guy got the yellow added to his full-back dragon tattoo. You could see where it was going to be, but...
(news) BASRA — As Iraq’s election campaign enters its final stages, most candidates are more worried about staying alive than canvassing for votes. Even the few like Shia politician Mansour Al Tamimi who have openly joined the electoral race are avoiding debates and rallies at all cost. Fears of assassination loom so large that most of the 7,500 candidates taking part in the January 30 poll are keeping their names secret, denying voters information normally considered fundamental to the democratic process.
Do you have to be a born or naturalized Iraqi citizen to run in their upcoming elections? If Nader had any kind of foresight, he would have ditched the U.S. presidential election and run in Iraq. He could have diverted all of his money from campus copy-shops to security and then won debate after debate just by showing up. He'd have achieved all of his purposes. Sure, there is the risk of getting blown up, but since when was that a concern? Come on. I am the only person who has vision.
Below, you will find a new set of photos, rather a large bunch, taken on my way up and down Mount Fuji in Japan over the summer. I discovered some interesting things on the trip, such as the fact that you should not attempt to climb a mountain in old basketball shoes, and also that my fear of heights, previously so slight as to be nothing more than an amusing footnote, becomes a major issue when it's dark and there are no lights or fences or handrails and I'm coming down a steep, smooth slope at an elevation of over 3000 meters, in old basketball shoes. But, really, it was fucking awesome, so please enjoy the photos. I didn't photograph the way that life-saving chocolate bars kept getting more and more expensive at each shack I passed, or that Coke and cans of hot corn cost about five dollars each at the summit. I had been in Japan for more than a year at that point, and the omnipresence of vending machines had ceased to be in any way remarkable by then.