insecurities

Addiction to Acceptable Emotions

emoticons

Forget your flaws! Forget the haters! Do what you like! Do what you feel! Don’t just be a customer; be a happy, delighted, determined, excited, enthusiastic, pleased, proud, peaceful, obedient, and satisfied customer! Why? Because you’re perfect just the way you are!

Yeah, except that I’m not. (more…)

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The Fundamentals of Failing

kumite2Edward backhanded me in the face, making me step back. I was stunned but not because of the blow; rather it was because it was illegal. Hitting in the face during sparring was not allowed because the school was afraid of parents suing them (which didn’t make sense since tournaments allowed a good bashing in the face).

I looked at the coach but he didn’t see. He was too busy looking at the other fighters who were also sparring.

“You sonofabitch!” I said, smiling in surprise and anger. I felt a twinge of self-hate for looking to the coach as though I needed help, as though I was a rat. (more…)

Roun’s Rants vol.4: Roasting Your Weaknesses

.kitty rageYou got the blueprint in your head, the dreamscape in your heart, the unquenchable thirst in your bones.

You’re tired of living as a dignified paragon of self-moderation. You think a touch of Ebola is a blessing-and-a-half compared to spending another minute as a cubicle-dwelling non-entity. In fact, despite your mannerly appearance (your conscious compliance to become a lonely nothing), you’d like nothing more than to shake things up, to call attention to yourself, to run around giggling like an elf and go too far and feel like a goddamn boss.

And yet what do you do?

Nothing. (more…)

To Outline Or Not To Outline? What A Stupid Question!

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A better question would have been: do I need to outline? Because let’s face it, outlining and it’s counterpart, free-flowing, are not philosophical statements about the craft of writing; rather they are simply tools.

That’s right tools, which means it can be used poorly or properly depending on the writer’s proficiency. That means it’s all on YOU. (more…)

A Time of First Times

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It was a time of first times. I was already in my late teens when we moved to Japan. All my life I’ve always dreamed of living in my ancestors’ home to recapture the essence of my samurai bloodline.

Well, we didn’t actually move to Okinawa where my dad was born, but to Sakae, a city in Nagoya where his work was located. And later I found out that having samurai blood was just something a lot of Japanese parents tell their kids to inflate their ancestral balls (at best, from what I’ve heard from relatives is that my great, great grandma was a mistress of a samurai who descended from the castle to go to Tangie town—yes, he did it for the nookie—so there ya go). But regardless, such things didn’t stop me from living in my world, in the way of the sword, while getting drunk from beer vending machines that ask for no ID, no bullshit.

Before all of this, however, I lived a princely lifestyle—the prince of meatballs—and never had to work a day in my life. It always bothered me that up till then I had been lacking any sort of challenges, any sort of real struggles, unlike the people I looked up to who at the time were Alexander the Great, Musashi, and Robocop. So I was pretty excited to finally experience what it was like being an adult and working.

On the first day of my first job I had to wear something like what Jessie and Mr. White wore, minus the gasmask. After going through a room where you have to get locked down and sprayed with disinfecting chemicals, my manager came up to me in a similar outfit and gave me my first assignment. I worked in a meat factory. And behind him was a giant silver-metal barrel which he rolled out of a freezer that was so cold it froze the air in your lungs the moment you inhaled. In it was a thick layer of frozen blood.

My manager said something, punctured the sheet of red ice with his hand, and pulled from it what looked like a prehistoric frozen penis. “Cow tongue,” he said. Then he proceeded to repeatedly smash the thing into a wall until it was tender and threw it in another container. “Now you do it,” he said. So I did as I was told and by lunch time, my white uniform was drenched in red. (more…)

The Danger of Holding Back

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There was a flash of leather in my face and suddenly I was looking at the ceiling. When I looked back down, the bastard was already moving to my right. And when I turned to follow him, he just stabbed me again with another jab to the face. I felt something burst behind my front teeth and then something warm leaked down my nose and into my mouth. Ten seconds into my first fight at King’s Boxing Gym in Oakland, CA and I was already on the rag.

Served me right.

Two weeks after joining the gym and I was already salty. I wanted some action. But the coach wasn’t letting any newbies spar. Nevertheless I insisted. In my arrogance I figured, “hey I fought for my high school’s karate team and I didn’t do no pussy kata’s either (the display of posture, patterns and movements), I did kumite (competitive fighting)!” But this was not karate where fights lasted in two to five second blitzes; this was boxing, a three-minute, all-out, fast-paced hell with just you, your opponent, and your inadequacies. Needles to say, I wasn’t ready. I lasted two rounds because my opponent (this “white boy” I thought I could bully) bestowed mercy upon me.

Sitting in the corner—heaving and humbled—this little black girl came and began wiping the blood off my face. “You did good,” she consoled me. She was probably one of the gym residents because she obviously knew what she was doing. And she knew what I was—a beginner, an amateur. At the time all I had was ego, not pride. And there’s a difference. Pride is earned, ego is for free. (more…)

Generation-R(onin)

city samurai

Gone is the age of Kings, of Royalty and Executives. Gone are the days of being tapped on the shoulder and becoming “discovered.” Gone are the studios, the record labels, and the idea of Hope because now man can lay claim on his destiny once more.

Free of institutions, titles, and guidelines, the ronin wanders as a rebel and a vagrant. A vagabond in the eyes of many, he has long ago thrown away the dagger and the plate, and now carries with him the strategies and tactics he has acquired from his former academic lords. Masterless and socially adrift, he climbs heavenward into the clouds on the back of the serpent—the ancient star-spangled snake.

Hurled into the centrifugal force of Wall Street and cyber space, he is instantly met by a stream of dedicated non-thinkers on TV: the depraved and debased cynics, the bile-faced despisers, the castrating thundercunts, and the love anorexics who sell confidence-boosting suppositories to the masses of the walking dead. (more…)