Archive for April, 2006

It’s gone

Just read a friend’s blog and found that her dog has passed away. It’s shocking and a sad thing to hear as I’ve always associates the dog to be a part of a family that I enjoy being around. She (the dog)’s always there to enjoy the company of visitors and create troubles and merriments for us. For me, she disappears from this world in just a moment.  In one posted message, and a living creature I know and find so real has gone. It shows how fragile everything is in this world. Anything can just vanish like smoke in an instance, and we never know what’ll be gone next. All that’s left will be the memories we have. Perhaps it’s the time, the experience we had with someone or something that’s the most important. There’re millions dogs in this world, but the one we’ve spend time fooling around with and taking care of are the one and only one out of the millions that’s irreplaceable and have a special meaning.


“It’s not the things itself that’s important, it’s the time you spend on it that makes it valuable.”

–from The Little Prince

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Love Musical

A friend invited me to watch a musical in London sometime ago. I pondered for a while whether to join or not as I got a few essays to work on as well as the potential travel and ticket cost of the trip (the days of generous scholarships in Japan are gone -_-). At the end, my impulse won the day: I went to London yesterday justifying my decision by telling myself I’ve lived frugally for the past months and have never seen a musical since I came to UK.  The outcome turned out to be satisfactory as well, the musical “Les Miserable” was great and worth all the expenses (http://www.lesmis.com/). The music’s beautiful and the casts’ performances are amazing. Though I never read Hugo’s original novel, I know about the story through a firm (I liked it) and various readings. The musical portrays many of themes in the story wonderfully: human nature, will to change, determination, justice, meaning of one’s life, love at first sight, unrequited and unconditional love, fighting for a beliefs, etc.  I love this musical and would definitely see more in the future. The experience reminds of Julia Robert’s reaction in movie Pretty Woman when she saw her first musical in her life.


Besides watching the musical with my friends at night, I also visited various places in London myself in the morning: Westminster area, National Gallery, British Museum, and walked around in various shopping districts. Visiting the gallery and museum (since I don’t enough time, I can only explore a small portion) as well as walking around London made me think about various things, mainly about human civilization, life, and my preferences or thoughts on various things. Many of these are probably stupid/unsophisticated thoughts, so before I reflect on them more clearly, I won’t bore you with all the non-senses. Nevertheless, I find the experience of taking my attention away from my immediate obligations and goals and wandering aimlessly for a while rewarding (at least when I feel like I learn something new–though that may not be true).

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1)      All the yakiniku and hot-pot parties2)      Natou and tofu I eat almost daily

3)      Biking up the APU mountain with Koji (takes forever) and racing down in 10 minutes

4)      Practicing and playing music with friends

5)      Overnight War Craft parties

6)      Men’s talk gatherings at APU talking non-sense about life and girls

7)      Lying down in the APU Roman theater watching falling stars

8)      Life Music members and performances

9)      Going to festivals with gangs to watch fireworks and locate cute yukata girls

10)  Attempt to try all the good restaurants in Beppu and Oita with Ka Lun and Panit

11)  Weekly cooking society to experiment and try new recipes with friends

12)  All the scholarships from APU

13)  Cheap and easily accessible onzen (hot-spring)

14)  Being able to skip all the useless classes I can while sleep in all those I can’t

15)  Absorbing divine wisdom from Askew and Thompson

16)  Swimming under a cool waterfall Sol discovered

17)  Weekly dining out: sushi, ramen, Iisakaya with freinds

18)  Rent tons of movies to watch in Panit’s place accompany by my favorite Gogo no Kocha

19)  Engaging in endless debates with Koji over sushi

20)  Sit idly near the Beppu coast enjoying the blue scene; when bored, call up Panit and have a meal and ice-cream afterward

Memories are a fickle thing. Although I genuine feel I miss these things, I don’t recall being this fond of my life in Beppu at that time. It shows how easy it’s for my memories to beautify the past and feel nostalgic about the good old times. Another interesting thing is that most of these activities are the common everyday events, and many involved good food and friends.

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World in Black and White

I’m more and more inclined to think that enjoying the moments in life is equivalent to being alive. It doesn’t mean that people should focus doing only the enjoyable things or ignore the future. Enjoying the different moments in life are meant to be a broad concept that may include working hard on something and enjoying the achievement, engaging in a nice conversation, sports; basically any activities. It’s true that not all tasks are pleasurable, but many times we still have to do them to achieve certain ends. Money’s a common constraint in people’s life and affects people’s decision in life. For instance, people may want money so they can be free to do things they like in the future. I don’t think there’s anything bad in striving toward money.  It can act as a motivation to better ourselves and provide services to others. The best world would be to fulfill our life’s constraints while being able to enjoy them at the same time (let them act as means and ends at the same time). But no matter how much money, fame, knowledge, or achievement we have, or how good looking or in good shape we are, it doesn’t add anything to life if we don’t enjoy the moments—the everyday activity we do. Ultimately it’s the daily events we encounter and how we engage in these experiences that bring something more to life than just being a waking zombie.


Having said all this, I’m not good at living life and enjoying the moment. It’s easy to beatify the past or look forward to a wonderful future (at least at my age), but it’s much harder to enjoy the present activity. Perhaps because I’m too self-conscious or calculating, like the Homo economicus who constantly thinking about alternative choices or use of time and thus seldom being able to enjoy the present.  Living life this way’s like living in a world without color, missing out all the moments in life. Sometimes I feel bad cause people like me don’t add colors to the world and may even spread this black and white kind of life to surrounding people. Learning to live is like learning to paint and add colors to my world.

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