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December 4th, 2010

…to which I already know the answers. So don’t worry, I’m not looking for an explanation of the obvious.

I’d simply like to juxtapose some stories to think about.

(Originally published at Wasting Gold Paper. I welcome your comments there!)

First up – a kid is arrested in an FBI sting for attempting to detonate a car bomb in Portland, OR. (Note: I am on the side of the FBI in this one. From everything I’ve heard about the story, it seems about as far from entrapment as you can get and still be running a sting.) It’s front page news. Obviously. It should be.

So what isn’t front page news? What did I just have to spend over five minutes digging through CBSnews.com to find, under the “front page news” of the Unabomber’s Montana property going up for sale, and “how to feel sexy while aging” (answer: have lots of sex. not making that up.)?

Guy attempts to set mosque on fire in Corvallis, OR, days after the kid is arrested. Guy is arrested for doing so. He’s in jail. This isn’t even second-page news. This is comb-through-the-site-for-a-few-minutes news. Conduct-a-few-searches-because-I-can’t-find-it (even though it was sent to my cell phone via Google News a few minutes before) kind of news.

Should it be? I think you can guess what my answer would be to that question. I dare not even ask if it should be covered as “domestic terrorism” in the same way that say, the same action undertaken by a brown person with an accent. If I went and asked that, I’d have to keep asking about our shifting use of “terrorism” and why it never seems to apply to our most bountiful domestic terrorists, white power and violent anti-abortion groups.

Regardless of your views on any of this, wouldn’t it be nice for this kind of article to be a little closer to the top of the page? As opposed to, say, the media’s freak-out about new TSA screening procedures when it turned out that, as reported in the media, absolutely no freak-out actually occurred in reality despite their predictions? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a front-page story about something that happened, in addition to all that stuff that didn’t happen?

Oh well. Let’s move on.

Second story of the day is the continued “deliberation” over whether to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). There has been a Pentagon study. General McMullen has repeatedly called for its repeal. Then the heads of the various military units call for it not to be “while we’re fighting.” (Conveniently for them, it doesn’t look like this will ever not be the case, so they’re kind of off the hook.) Sen. McCain goes into increasingly complex contortions to get out of admitting that there has been a large-scale study done that overwhelmingly concludes that the policy should be repealed. Other senators waffle. It is endless.

The question that comes up again and again is how active-duty personnel, especially in combat, think it would affect their ability to do their jobs. How will it impact the unit? How will it impact their own effectiveness? Morale?

So here’s a question I would like to hear asked, just once. Even once would be enough.

How do currently serving gay and lesbian personnel feel their effectiveness and morale is influenced by DADT? How would its repeal impact their ability to do their jobs, in combat, where they are already serving? How do the people directly impacted by DADT feel about it currently and how would they feel if it was done away with?

The questions that will never be asked. I’m allowed to dream, aren’t I?

November 27th, 2010

Finally, I'm getting caught on photos that are only a little over a year old. Making progress. Right?

I just put a set of photos on Flickr of my first trip with the Tokyo Museum Meeup.com group in September, 2009. It was such a good feeling to go through them because joining the group led to a year of fantastic events, good people, and a new friendship. I didn't get as many photos to turn out well as I'd hoped, but I'm very happy with what I put online.

Click on the image below to go to the set.


Kagiya Bar entrance, 2009.09.20

October 27th, 2010

a new kind of autonomy

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(Originally published at Wasting Gold Paper. I appreciate your comments there!)

As I was driving home tonight, I was idly listening to The World on my local NPR station and passively taking in their news tidbits (maybe a topic for another post, but something I find a truly bizarre development – possibly fueled by methods of discourse on the internet itself?). One in particular made me metaphorically stop in my tracks – I had an initial reaction of “hah,” but then my thought process kept going.

The tidbit in question was a minor dispute among brothers that stand to succeed a leader who recently died in the United Arab Emirates. (Forgive me for forgetting the name, but in this case it’s more or less immaterial.) The one, younger brother was apparently already chosen to succeed his father. However, the older, half-brother had thrown his hat into the ring by declaring that he was the successor – via “an internet video.”

Amazing how naturalized this has become for us already: that YouTube, etc., have become a norm for communication between not just those of us dancing, doing ridiculous stunts, or taking videos of our cats. No, it’s also the medium of choice for leaders ranging from Osama bin Laden to Barack Obama. (I wince at putting them in the same sentence given our political climate, but mean no association by it other than their tremendous use of new media in the form of internet addresses to the public at large.)

We have already passed a point, it seems, where we have – in general – taken the internet as a place where we can exercise some autonomy, where we can address, potentially, the world.

Ten years ago, would this half-brother have been able to assert his own (however imaginary) claim to a leadership position?

Would Osama bin Laden be able to send out monologues from wherever it is that he’s ensconced himself?

No, I think not. Certainly their access to traditional media channels is nothing compared to the power of being able to upload their own videos, writing, photographs, and calls to arms over the internet, to reach not only a target audience but potentially anyone across the globe with network access. It’s not even limited to computers. A large portion of the world is, I would say, quite empowered by internet access via mobile phone. There is now a two-way access to online media in each of our hands – through the nice desktop computer I’m now typing on, to a cheap non-QWERTY mobile phone.

And we must note that yes, Barack Obama, as well as a number of politicians, media leaders, and corporate PR departments, are using these non-traditional media channels as well – despite having full access to traditional media. What I consider traditional media, in fact, spends most of its time and effort covering these figures already. They don’t need YouTube to get their messages out in public, even globally. But Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook have come to be seen, obviously, as somehow indispensable in a larger strategy of communication.

The news of this brother’s internet announcement made me think beyond online video and Twitter, however. Think of the explosion of blogging in the past ten years. I kept a blog back in 2000, hand-updated on my web site, before blogging hit the mainstream and one could start an account at any number of services (although I am excepting LiveJournal from this history, because I think in a number of ways it’s a fundamentally different communication ecosystem than exists on other blogging services and web sites). Although I was blogging the minutiae of my days for a small group of friends that I saw on a regular basis at that time, somehow it never occurred to me that the autonomy my small web site gave me would spread so far and so fast.

This is how I came to see it, in those few minutes in the car. It’s part of a larger phenomenon that isn’t tied to any particular outlet. But it is tied to the internet, to networked computing and the unbelievably large-scale communication environment that it presents to us. Although we can talk about current issues of control over media environments – downloading content from iTunes and Netflix, looking to TV stations to upload episodes of their shows – there is still an undeniable shift in power that has occurred.

Whereas we had a theoretical personal autonomy in our communications before, I would argue that that is what it was – theoretical. At best, small-scale. At worst, produced only for ourselves. A zine circulated by hand among a relatively small group. A small-scale magazine. Personal correspondence. Letters to the editor. Outside of the media landscape out of our individual control, we had little opportunity to communicate any kind of message to a broad, global, and unknown audience.

This has changed. What I see in blogging, Twitter, and online video is a momentous shift not simply in communication media, but in communication possibilities. It is our opportunity for individual autonomy, one that has become largely subconscious. Of course anyone can submit a video to YouTube. Anyone can open a blog. Anyone can tweet from his or her mobile phone. Anyone can start a web site calling others to join in a larger movement – no matter how small, it’s on a larger-scale level that was unimaginable before.

This autonomy is not simply a louder, broader voice. It’s a possibility for communication by individuals on a global scale. It’s a possibility for communication beyond geographic boundaries. It is a truly new kind of autonomy.

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m ignoring the fundamental disparity in power that lies in infrastructure and economics, not to mention governmental or corporate control. Of course not everyone can make a web site. Not everyone has access to this communication landscape in the same ways. But regardless of the very real technological, economic, and topical boundaries that stand in the way of a serious segment of the population, it is undeniably a shift in possibilities. A shift in the way we can think about communication, and a shift in possibilities for power and influence on the individual level.

October 14th, 2010

congratulations to chile!!!

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(originally posted at Wasting Gold Paper. I invite your comments there!)



I am so happy about the miners’ safe escape in Chile that I started crying when I heard the news. (Or rather, started to read it late last night, checked it first thing in the morning, and couldn’t believe how happy and relieved I am. The tears came when I saw they’d been rescued by the time I woke up.)

What an amazing effort, on the part of a whole nation, international collaboration, an unbelievable group underground, and general rooting for them worldwide. What a relief not only for their safety but for the fact that we, humankind, can still pull off something that requires so much careful coordination, unity, perseverance, and optimism. Is this what made me cry?

This isn’t to say I’m not disturbed by the fact that this situation could have happened in the first place, or that it’s in any way acceptable that it took an event of this magnitude to force Chile’s president to address mine safety and regulations in a forceful way. As someone whose ancestors are from central and Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, this hits close to home, and I couldn’t help thinking of the tragedies that we still see in the United States in this area of the country. We should take this to heart and keep the focus on safety for our mines and miners – not simply mourning periodic “tragedies” (as though they have no causes) and maintaining attitudes that it could happen any time, that it comes with the territory, that we must be resigned to half-expecting miners to not come home on any given day. It’s unacceptable. (And I’m talking not just about political or national attitudes, but those that are prevalent within local communities. I know it’s entrenched and has persisted since there was a mining industry in the United States, but that doesn’t make it any more okay.)

At the end of the day, I’m overjoyed at this success and the truly unbelievable strength and optimism of these 33 men, but I’m afraid that the celebratory fever will free us to let ourselves off the hook in expecting accountability, now and in the future.

September 1st, 2010

originally posted at Wasting Gold Paper - please comment there!



A quick observation – while reading a New York Times article on the closing of Barnes & Noble stores, I was immediately struck by their first interviewee’s comment: I kill time at the bookstore.

The theme of the article is that bookstores are used in non book purchasing ways just as often, and that the demise of a brick and mortar store is saddening those who don’t buy anything on top of both employees and those who do enjoy purchasing while they browse.

Or just browsing, in general. Amazon does a fairly good job of this but it’s far from the real thing.

I couldn’t help thinking about this situation in terms of libraries: because that’s what libraries are for. I think rather than talking about libraries attempting to simulate the bookstore experience – comfortable furniture, events, coffee – we could think of this from the perspective of the large chain bookstore taking over the library’s role in the community.

When it’s far more convenient to get to a Borders or Barnes & Noble (and there are more of them, making it easier to just pop in wherever you are), why bother funding libraries? If they let you hang out and read as much as you want (again, the interviewee talks about reading a book a chapter at a time when he comes in with time to kill), what need are libraries fulfilling, other than letting you check the books out without paying something on top of your taxes?

Why not rethink this upsetting situation in which bookstores are closing as an opportunity for libraries to make their case as the original entities fulfilling this role, and as an essential part of the community?

It seems to me that “community” spaces are more and more private, commercial spaces in the US. The bookstore, the coffee shop, the gym. I can’t remember ever going to a community center in my entire life. And my local library in Ypsilanti is very isolated, a drive away from where I live downtown, and is not even on public transit (which I use most of the time rather than driving). It’s easier for me to wander into the Barnes & Noble or Borders (or three) that are on my local errand runs – and that are on multiple bus lines – than to take a trip out of my way to the library.

Instead of focusing on single focal points, why not a distributed form of libraries – small storefronts, if you will? I can’t think of anything that could serve a community better than more spread-out, accessible, convenient service that promotes itself clearly and loudly as an antidote to disappearing bookstores – and as an irreplaceable part of the private-but-public fabric of the community.

August 6th, 2010

(originally posted at Wasting Gold Paper. please comment there! I mean it! begging you here, LJ friends. I know you're reading this. :P)

A quick tidbit.

I've gotten a paper proposal accepted for the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in early October, in Columbus, OH. I'm excited about this conference in particular because of its focus on media and communication throughout history, and thinking hard about how we approach our various fields through this lens (or vice versa).

My own topic is something I will elaborate on later, but for now, let me tell you it's about the impossibility of separating physicality from social network from archive from publication in the context of a certain book in the late 1800s. To be less vague, I'm going to talk about how one man's "rediscovery" (via many allusions by a fiction author he liked) of Ihara Saikaku (then mostly forgotten, now Mr. Edo-Period Canonical Author) in the 1880s. Those who got excited about reading Saikaku talk quite a bit about buying, handling, and borrowing/lending old copies of Saikaku's work, and in their anthology that they published, they go so far as to credit each work with whose archive/collection it came from. The sense of physical ownership - and being able to touch the thing itself - is overwhelming compared to everything else I've looked at from this period. It's fascinating and exciting and I'm looking forward to sharing this finding as well as getting feedback on my methodological approach and conclusions. (Surely weak at best, given that this is news to me and I haven't had a lot of time to develop my thinking over the past year, buried in a mountain of magazines in the library basement.)

By the way, this probably can't fit into the paper, but the social ripples of Saikaku popularity vibrate constantly through the Meiji literature and general literary discourse that I read throughout my research. Saikaku love versus hate, going so far as to adopt a pseudonym that translates to "I love Saikaku" while attempting to imitate his style in one's own writing, republishing his works in random magazines, the changing ideas about whether or not his works qualify as modern works of fiction (小説, now translated as "novel" but then quite contested), and reactions to him - they not only feed into and inform and make clear literary cliques and their interactions, but also literary trends and experimentation in an era where nearly anything goes.

A forgotten author as a window into an historical moment: nothing could make me happier about choosing the path that I have.

series proposals

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(originally posted at Wasting Gold Paper. I beg for your comments and feedback there! yes, that means you - my lurkers. I know you're there.)

In lieu of actual content (which I promise I am actually working on in draft form), I have a few proposals and I'd be interested to hear some feedback on them.



As a beginning professional blogger (and by that I mean "blog about my profession," not "it's my job"), I've been thinking a lot about how to approach it. How do I attract and retain readers? How much substance is enough, is expected, or is too much? Do I act as a link referral service, commentary, or something closer to my academic work?



I could do all three, but what I am coming to think is that I need serious consistency. I am thinking of it in the following ways:



  • posting frequency

  • posting content consistency

  • focus on my academic and professional work, big picture style

  • currency/timeliness



But I think a fine and perhaps necessary addition to this kind of stream of consciousness style posting is a series. A series or two?



My ideas boil down to these three:



  • weekly On the Media review and commentary

  • monthly Moratoria highlighting terms and methodology within my fields that "I find problematic" (that's academic slang for "they piss me off and I can't believe people actually use them in this day and age")

  • perhaps most important, Read the Fine Print (the original title of this blog, stricken for being too forgettable), highlighting the complexities of ownership, intellectual property, contracts, power relationships in publishing, publishing customs, assumptions and their reality, and issues in authorship.

  • I spoke too soon - on par in importance, Librarian Alert, covering topics that are less well-represented in the library blogosphere and academic literature - some examples are net neutrality, thinking of plagiarism from the standpoint of student authorship rather than source evaluation, and critical information literacy theory and practice in instruction.



What do you think? Is there anything else related to book history, librarianship, journalism, communication, information science, Japanese literature, literature in general, or my fascinating (read: not) life that you're interested in hearing about regularly? Topics I haven't covered or seem to be unintentionally avoiding?



[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<p?by>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<em>(originally posted at <a href="http://mollydesjardin.com/blog/2010/08/series-proposals/">Wasting Gold Paper.</a> I beg for your comments and feedback there! yes, that means you - my lurkers. I know you're there.)</em>

<p>In lieu of actual content (which I promise I am actually working on in draft form), I have a few proposals and I'd be interested to hear some feedback on them.</p>

<p>As a beginning professional blogger (and by that I mean "blog about my profession," not "it's my job"), I've been thinking a lot about how to approach it. How do I attract and retain readers? How much substance is enough, is expected, or is too much? Do I act as a link referral service, commentary, or something closer to my academic work?</p>

<p>I could do all three, but what I am coming to think is that I need serious consistency. I am thinking of it in the following ways:</p>
<ul>
<li>posting frequency</li>
<li>posting content consistency</li>
<li>focus on my academic and professional work, big picture style</li>
<li>currency/timeliness</li>
</ul>

<p>But I think a fine and perhaps necessary addition to this kind of stream of consciousness style posting is a series. A series or two?</p>

<p>My ideas boil down to these three:</p>
<ul>
<li>weekly <em>On the Media</em> review and commentary</li>
<li>monthly <em>Moratoria</em> highlighting terms and methodology within my fields that "I find problematic" (that's academic slang for "they piss me off and I can't believe people actually use them in this day and age")</li>
<li>perhaps most important, <em>Read the Fine Print</em> (the original title of this blog, stricken for being too forgettable), highlighting the complexities of ownership, intellectual property, contracts, power relationships in publishing, publishing customs, assumptions and their reality, and issues in authorship.</li>
<li>I spoke too soon - on par in importance, <em>Librarian Alert</em>, covering topics that are less well-represented in the library blogosphere and academic literature - some examples are net neutrality, thinking of plagiarism from the standpoint of student authorship rather than source evaluation, and critical information literacy theory and practice in instruction.</li>
</ul>

<p>What do you think? Is there anything else related to book history, librarianship, journalism, communication, information science, Japanese literature, literature in general, or my fascinating (read: not) life that you're interested in hearing about regularly? Topics I haven't covered or seem to be unintentionally avoiding?</p>

<p?By the way, I have recently purchased the domain non-euclidean.com where I will move my creative content, separating it from this site. I will occasionally cross-post to my blog there, but I'm doing this in the interest of keeping this one uncluttered with straight-up creative production issues. (Obviously these often overlap with my stated content focus, but still.)</p>

<p>Thoughts?</p>

August 4th, 2010

(Posted at Wasting Gold Paper. Please leave your comments there. You don't have to register.)

* * *

Wasting Gold Paper
thoughts that breathe ・ words that burn
August 4, 2010
arbitrary categorization: temporal boundary installment

An arbitrary annoyance of mine has piqued a strange and obsessive interest, and perhaps you could say, a one-woman mission to rethink the way we cut off time.

A fancy way of saying this: as midnight approaches (well beyond my bedtime on a school night), I look at the clock in the playground below my balcony. And I think, it’s almost tomorrow.

But why is it almost tomorrow? Why mark the day with midnight, why that arbitrary division? Not that any division won’t be arbitrary, that any border or category of “day” and “hour” and any other subdivision won’t be, but that I wonder – why not the dawn?

Surely, one can protest, it is fluid and doesn’t remain constant on every day. It ruins, as Benedict Anderson put it, homogenous, empty time. Is time homogeneous, even for those of us who live in supposed modernity? I argue that it is not, although that’s not much of an argument. I state that is not. I put forward that we give great meaning to temporal boundaries, that those meanings change day today, season to season, year to year. Those boundaries can, and are, meaningful markers, no matter how arbitrary.

As a technical Catholic (there is no escape; trust me, I tried), I reflected recently on my idea to spend Christmas as a vacation, to indulge my atheism. And then it hit me – perhaps I could enjoy a really spectacular Christmas in finding an opulent Catholic church and attending midnight mass.

Midnight mass. What an example. I’ve got my own intellectual issues with Anderson. They are legion. I can’t think of a better example to contradict his argument about time and modernity. Midnight mass is a technicality, like so much in the Catholic faith (and I say that with the utmost good will), a way to get in an obligation just-in-time, before getting off the hook for the commercial and gustatory hedonism that is Christmas Day. It’s predicted “just-in-time” delivery of business services by, well, as long as it’s existed. Something tells me that’s quite longer than the 1990s.

Back to my proposition, which is this: forget this day change at midnight. What is the point? We sleep through it. (Well, some of us. We should. And we don’t.) We can’t directly experience our social marking of the boundaries of the day. There is, really, no social marking, save for those on the night shift or those who are rushing to finish a project that was due tomorrow one minute, then today the next. Midnight projects an air of sadness, loneliness, and sometimes one of panic.

I’m on a one-woman mission to change this. From now on, I call for a universal change of marking the passage of one day to the next. My choice is 5 am. I’d love dawn. But our homogeneous empty time seems to call for an arbitrary number. 5 am. This is what I want.

Anyone with me?

July 25th, 2010

I was having a great day so far - getting ahead on packing/cleaning to move a month ahead of time, instead of at the last minute (my norm). I had a very productive day.

Until.

There was a cockroach.

I have a horrible phobia of both cockroaches and dead things. This means even if I killed the little bastard (or rather, the bastard that is longer than 2"... augh) I don't know if I could go near the corpse. My hair is still literally standing on end. The fact that it decided it needed to climb up the wall onto the ceiling and then follow me wherever I went in the living room was a little too much. I retreated to my bedroom and am in hiding.

Then.

I was moving some stuff around to the proper place to put it (first step to packing: get organized), and my old ipod - the one that I now use as an 80 GB external drive for my photography because its headphone jack was the only thing wrong with it - suddenly displays this message about having to be restored. NOT. GOOD. It is the current equivalent, apparently, of the sad mac face (the face that killed my original first-generation iPod after a good 4 years of use).

Miraculously, I got it to mount as a real drive in addition to iTunes recognizing it. This is important because it means I could get to my directories on there that are full of photos and other backups. Everything was still there. The pics weren't damaged. I was saved!

Only, I was not smart enough to start IMMEDIATELY transferring the unique files onto my other external HD just-in-case. I thought, I can do it in a bit. I'll get a shower first. I come back from the shower, move the computer just a little, and now suddenly the iPod has become disconnected without warning. I try to mount it again. This time it gives me kernel panic. REALLY. NOT. GOOD.

Upon a hard restart of my computer, this thing will no longer mount, at all. It won't mount on my Ubuntu machine either. This drive is full of files but it might as well be dead.

Strangely enough, iTunes still detects it - despite it not mounting - and offers, helpfully, to "restore." That word, it sounds so kind. But so misleading.

"Restore" means "format your drive." Erase everything on it. "Restore" to some state of grace or purity that the iPod arrives in from the Apple heaven? A wiping away of sin?

Well, I want those photos back so none of that for me.

Instead, I twiddle my thumbs until I can get to my data restoration guy at U of M (yes, they have a service, and yes it is really cheap and wonderful), and pray to god - the Apple god? - that my sins were not so bad as to really erase all my photos post-February or so.

At least I accidentally put my most recent photos on my other, larger external drive, and I've been unbelievably slow in processing, so that's kind of saving me. I do not feel good having nothing to back THAT up on, though. I was using those two drives as a kind of redundancy in backups, because I am totally paranoid. I guess it's justified! Crap! Back up photos more often!!

Well there goes my good day...

July 16th, 2010

My oyaji cred is seriously increasing lately, although unintentionally. Don't worry, I haven't started leaving my shirt mostly unbuttoned, smoking while walking aimlessly through allies, and hocking loogies right and left, but if I don't watch it I might just turn into the female oyaji.

Speaking of which, I have got to come up with a word for that immediately, because I know one personally. She is not an obasan or obaasan. She is literally a female oyaji. Suggestions welcome.


So anyway here are the ways to date:

(preceded by the ways in which I am totally an old American man already: drinks of choice are Manhattans, dirty martinis, and scotch or whiskey on the rocks; desire to live in an RV or a retirement community; general extreme crotchetyness; set in my damn ways; will spend too much time in a bathrobe if allowed)

- spend morning at Japanese diner making other people uncomfortable with my very presence, while spending perhaps a little too long scanning the free newspaper and abusing drink bar privileges

- buying a lot of used books

- giving stinkeye to others on the train

- although this is due to my gaijin cred, I get to wave and say " 'nicchiwa" to the waitress who has adopted me as her own sort of foster child at the diner. I have refrained from "ossss" so far but watch out. I've done it before. at a ramen shop. that's serious oyaji behavior.

- sleeping on park benches in the afternoon, in full violation of the totally non-functional armrests installed there for the express purpose of keeping various oyaji from doing exactly that.

- drinking crappy convenience store in the park before, after, or during said naps.

- going so far as to do this in traditional Japanese gardens open free to the public.

- visiting the convenience store at odd hours for the most random items possible.

- engaging in overly-casual language-use conversations with strangers in my general vicinity making observations about whatever I damn well feel like. (admittedly these conversations are started by the strangers, often oyaji or obaachan, at least 50% of the time)

- riding the bus a lot.

- patronizing Coco Ichiban-ya curry restaurant alone more often than a self-respecting 20-something should, and eating more pickles there than is acceptable.

- patronizing Ten-ya more than once per season.


I have not yet mastered the following:

- being a totally unintelligible native Japanese speaker

- drinking one-cup ozeki

- drinking one-cup ozeki before noon

- drinking beer in the park before noon

- missing teeth

- wandering away in the middle of a totally random conversation I started with a stranger, who is not sure if I am talking to them or to myself, without any kind of conclusion or warning

- being a janitor, construction vest wearer and pedestrian traffic director, station employee, proprietor of a ramen shop, or masquerading as unemployed

- hanging out around the convenience store for no apparent reason

- abusing salespeople

- wearing baseball caps or jackets with the most highly dubious fashion sense possible

- wearing that mostly-unbuttoned shirt

- basing my diet solely on gyudon and ramen save for the aforementioned establishments

- already aimlessly wandering the streets at 7 am

- loudly snorting up the grossest massive loogie possible and depositing it with great skill right in front of other approaching pedestrians


In conclusion: I love 082!!! オーヤージ! Maybe I'm conflating them with the slightly more elderly, or the homeless guys who love to go tanning on the bridge to my station (seriously, those dudes are AWESOME), but damn it I think these are all oyaji traits and I'm sticking to my story.

Reminder to readers in the Tokyo region: 浜のオヤジ is still alive and kicking near Yokohama-bashi shotengai. http://www.yokohama082.com/ I guess this adds another trait: naming your ramen shop after oyaji and having a crappy picture drawn of an oyaji as your logo.
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