Lazysupper

Koenji, the world and elsewhere


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Merry Conditional Christmas … Please Disregard If Not Applicable

merryfuckingchristmas

I effectively quit Facebook a little over a year ago (Oct 20, 2015 to be precise). Effectively, but not completely. I stopped posting updates to my wall and stopped commenting on others’ posts, pics, etc. But as very few people followed me in my return to email–not that I went Jerry Maguire on them or anything–I still need to use its messaging, lest I stop contacting friends and family altogether.

When I go back, I try to be as quick as possible. Kind of like sneaking a quick peek at a nice skirt walking by. I open the main page, immediately scan the top row of icons and determine whether there are any messages or new contacts. Sometimes I click on the little globe icon to see if there’s any activity from “important” friends–but generally not.

And sometimes I get sucked in. Something catches my eye and my quick peek becomes a glance which then becomes an ogle. Before I know it, I’m sliding down that rabbit hole greased with the idiotic comments and clickbait that got me to abandon the blue and white digital cesspool in the first place.

Yesterday, Christmas Day, I went to check messages and deliver a few good tidings and seasons greetings to friends. Something caught my eye on my news feed. A very long-winded “Merry Christmas” full of qualifiers. So I scrolled own and saw another. Then another. And more and more and more.

Many people were posting something to the effect of “Merry Christmas! But Only If You Celebrate Christmas. If You Don’t Then, Sorry, Please Just Ignore This.” My evangelical atheist friends had to qualify theirs with: “Although I Don’t Believe in God, I Wish Those Of You Who Do A Happy Holiday Season.”

If you want to say “Merry Christmas” say “Merry Christmas”. People know who you’re talking to. Your Jewish friends aren’t going to hate you. Your Muslim friends aren’t going to get offended. And your Atheist friends… well they’re probably exchanging a few gifts anyways.

When Ramadan roles around, nobody says “Happy Ramadan… but only to my Muslim friends.” Muslims don’t add qualifiers to “Ramadan Mubarak” and Jews don’t offer conditional “Happy Hanukkahs”. No one really gives a shit if you say, write or sing “Merry Christmas”. Unless you’re writing it in the snow. On the hood of their car. With your pee.

This is not a rallying cry for that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News rubbish about the War On Christmas. People just need to stop being such annoying pussies and have a little faith in others. After all, it’s Christmastime!

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Owning Time

The deathbed regrets of the rich or famous or otherwise successful are by no means mysterious, revelatory or exclusive. Even my friends with kids in their late teens or twenties lament the same regrets. More time with family, with children, with loved ones, with oneself. Less focus on money, more attention to living.

It’s been a rainy week in Tokyo, but I rode to physio anyway. There was only a 50% chance of rain for one hour this afternoon. Riding home from physio i got stuck in the middle of it. A torrential downpour struck out of nowhere, albeit not unexpectedly.

Rather than race home, I pulled my bike over under the covered front steps of an office building and sat down to wait it out. Salarymen ran by on the sidewalk, in and out of the building, rushing to some meeting, or at least pretending to. Running through the rain on someone else’s clock.

Time is the single greatest thing in life. Untouchable and ephemeral, almost ungraspable, time is the only thing man cannot capture or alter or pervert. Finite and infinite at the same time, it can only be allotted or wasted. It can be stolen but never truly claimed. 

Life’s greatest imperative is to disallow others to rob oneself of one’s most valuable asset. Time.


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Without a Phone

Fortunate to get a seat, I sat down on Tokyo’s crowded morning Marunouchi train. An habitual double-checker, with my bag in my lap, I performed a quick inventory of my daily gear. Tablet, check. Manuscript, check. Charger, check. Ear buds, check. Phone… dig, dig, dig. Pat front pocket. Pat shirt pocket. Pat back pocket. Rummage through bag again. No check. I’d forgotten my phone.

My initial panic lasted but a minute or two before I began running through my day in my head. Were there calls I needed to make? Photos I needed to share?