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Friday, August 26th, 2016

Subject:Sweden gay
Time:6:50 pm.

Hör av dig om du är nyfiken på oss

Please let me know if you are curious about us
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Subject:Fleeting thoughts
Time:8:43 am.
Beauty standard. The most handsome guys are big and chubby.

What is Sweden? Had it been defined or is it open to definition like the US?
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Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Time:9:30 pm.
The few days before a trip are always the hardest. Everyone is saying goodbye, goodbye. You imagine all the effort it's gonna take to get yourself from point A to point B, how early you'll have to wake up to get to the airport, and most of all the normal life you are leaving behind to set out for the unknown. It happens every time. The night or two before a big trip, I wish I weren't going. I wish I could cancel the whole thing and continue living my usual life. When the trip starts, I don't think like that any more. There are even times during the trip that feel quite relaxed and not rushed or out of your element. Travel makes you realize what's truly important: it's the things you miss when you leave them behind. I think people tend to miss and appreciate me more when I'm gone. Scarcity brings appreciation.
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Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Time:10:17 pm.
I feel stressed out mostly about this trip and the M project I can't seem to motivate myself to finish. I already imagine once the trip starts I'm going to be running from place to place like I do at work trying to squeeze as much as possible into the time. I wish it weren't like that. When someone else plans the trip, I can just go on it and what it is is out of my control.really it's just the first day to get through. I think it will be fine after that. I am looking for a source of calm in a chaotic world or maybe it's just a chaotic city.

I live in a quiet place. The suburbs. It is nearly silent compared to living in SoMa which was always noisy. It's nice to live in a quiet place. I couldn't wait to move here when, on any given night, as the time got later in the evening and I was getting ready for sleep, I would get in my car and drive far away from the noise of the city to my quiet mountain abode.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Time:10:21 pm.
Some guys are boring. Some guys like barebacking. Can't do anything about that. Remember the days when everyone was not yet fully formed, not yet hardened in their ways? Nowadays it seems like everyone is already set in their ways and inflexible. Their loss! I for one am still becoming something and don't plan to harden into anything.
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Time:9:13 am.
It's astonishing how many unique and interesting places there are to see in the world. Only a few examples include Riga, Mongolia, various autonomous places on the Iberian peninsula, train trips through Slavic country, Morocco, Bornean rainforests, Shinagawa, ATV safaris in Arabia. Some of these I have already been to and want to return. Others I have not had a chance to visit yet.
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Friday, August 19th, 2016

Time:11:14 pm.
I want... to create a jewel in the crown of life. A diamond. Something beautiful and unchanging, perfect and sublime. When he said that, I didn't understand him. Why would someone aspire to such a thing in a changing universe. It was pointless and you were only setting yourself up for disappointment. And furthermore, why was permanence a desirable thing anyway? Nuclear waste has notoriously long half-lives and we don't view its lack of breaking down as a good thing. Organic, compostable, natural: these were the good things. Diamonds are expensive, hard and forever. They are around longer than we are. Why would I want to wear something that's a constant reminder that it will outlast me? Doesn't seem like a good idea. Better to surround yourself with things that decompose, things that remind you of your mastery over the world.

At the same time, remember the sleepy cab driver in Casablanca who nearly made me miss my flight up out of there due to his unreliability! Useless people. That's not someone I want to be around. Much rather be around people who keep their word.
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Time:9:50 pm.
Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes. Zakynthos, Meteora, Olympus.
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Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Time:12:31 am.
One thing is for sure: Russians are not people I am afraid of. Despite all their macho posturing. And Finns are close enough, sharing a number of the same characteristics. You may think, being bullied in school by the Russian jocks, that I would be afraid of them. Yet it's quite the opposite: I think there is more of an intimacy from having grown up in close contact that I am not afraid of them because I know what makes them tick and, to be clear, there are plenty of gays in Russia including many of the straights, I say all this from personal experience.
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Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Time:10:03 pm.
I find myself in a time of many negative inputs, everyone trying to bring me down and tell me I'm not good enough. At times like these it's important to remind myself that I am good and valuable.

Yesterday I went to the aloha festival. Today I spent most of the day working. Progress has been slow. I did absolutely no planning of my Scandinavia trip. It's just been another thing on my to -do list. I should be more excited about it but the truth is I have too much work to do and under too much pressure to care about anything except keeping my head above water. Every day I hope today will be the day I do some planning of my trip but another day goes by and I'm no closer to planning it. Tomorrow looks unlikely already, a busy day at work followed by dance practice in the evening. This job really sucks all the energy out of you. Then again that's nothing new. When I lived in Japan I felt the same way: hid away on my days off and felt antisocial. Oh I was studying for an exam too starting at some point. The truth is that job didn't motivate me to succeed, wasn't really fit for my personality having to smile and talk and pretend to be happy all day it was pretty soul draining. The things that stand out as good memories were the trips I took to Nagano especially, and Nikko as well. And my walks around Shinjuku. The rest was kind of meh. I liked Rikugien, Tokyo Disneyland, Asakusa. Shibuya was a place I hung out a lot. Art galleries, movie theaters, modern, cosmopolitan, understated places that reminded you Tokyo was a new and tasteful place. This is what draws me back, something bigger than Ma and his flaunting and poor communication skills. Japan is so much more than that and he was just one person.
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Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Subject:Japan initial thoughts, I don't want to grow up, new traditions
Time:11:43 pm.
Thinking about some overly deep shit, like how in life there are phases and in each phase there's something which is important like friends and growing up in our 20s and raising a family in our 30s and how now that I am not in my 20s I can't go back and relive that part of my life and resolve the important questions differently than how I resolved them.

I am also thinking back and remembering the evenings I walked around West Shinkuku business district at night. It was one of my favorite evening activities, not necessarily going out to clubs in Roppongi, but this kind of night walks around the deserted business district at night, looking up at the skyscrapers. It makes me sad that I can't have this kind of experience now. Sure, I can go to Tokyo and spend an evening or two wandering around like that but it doesn't have the same meaning. It's different when you live there and an activity like that is at the same time both special and ordinary, when you see time stretching indefinitely, infinitely into the future and this type of evening walk is something perfectly ordinary, an experience you can have on any given evening of any given day. Doing it as a tourist would be different. Temporary. The fact that y are there on vacation means you feel pulled to do a million different activities, pressure to make your time there worth it. Aimless wandering and losing oneself in thought doesn't have much place on a tightly packed itinerary with much ground to cover. Also it wouldn't be a perfect replica anyway: the people you worked with who have defined your experience have now scattered back around the world, many of them married with children now in their 30s, though the memory of them you are trying to recreate is that of them single in their 20s and those people don't exist anymore as such.

Nevertheless, I am starting to seriously think about returning to Japan. Spending a week in Tokyo and a week outside of Tokyo traveling. The idea's beginnings lie in discovering my favorite gay magazine is no longer sold online meaning I have to travel there in person and buy up a bunch of issues myself, and the idea continued today when I watched part of Shinkokyū no Hitsuyō (Importance of Breathing) one of my favorite films, about growing up, something I think I am still in the process of but never really achieving and, honestly, something I hope I never "achieve."

Most importantly, tonight I remember the world is a big place with a wide variety of experiences to be had. There is so much more to life than the US election and the Olympics and the small village of San Francisco. More even than the United States and its perspective on the world. There are Buddhist monasteries with tatami floors, folding futons and places without central furnace heating. There are zen gardens and lonely train and boat rides, huge but quiet cities with twinkling lights. Train stations through which millions of people pass during the course of any given day and yet which you can use and access as well as anyone else.

When I arrived in Tokyo, it took me some time to learn all these things and how to navigate the city, learn the places, get the right maps and home appliances, set up Internet and phone service. It is crazy to imagine I can even begin to relive even a part of my prior life there. And yet I still believe I can have many important and meaningful experiences there, even if it would be temporary. The more I think about it, the more I feel it is important for me to return, or return for a first time and potentially make it the beginning of a new tradition of returning again. Just because I can't replicate my prior experience completely, is it a reason not to go back at all? No, of course not. Because I could meet one or two of those people from my past life and revisit some of the places that hold meaning to my life like Ebisu, much of the area around Shibuya and many other places around the Tokyo area, including some I always wanted to visit but never got the chance like Odaiba and Ariake. Altogether it's enough reason to go back soon so I will make my plans.
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Friday, August 5th, 2016

Time:12:17 am.
Tough days. Mistakes made, have to deliver the news to the client. Negativity from senior consultants I work with, setting high expectations and overloading me, then treating me like I'm stupid when I don't meet them. It's no fun to be an adult, work til 11 because "you have to." Do you ever really "have to" do anything? When you have a meeting the next day, you basically have to finish your materials the day before, otherwise you won't have very many clients. But of course, I have way too much client work as it is so having less work is exactly what I need right now.

In retrospect, I enjoyed my jet set day yesterday. Jetting off to LA in the morning, meeting with fascinating people for dinner, flying back in the evening, having a car while I am down there. Nice food, interesting people. All of this I enjoy. Working late to make it happen and getting blamed for all the errors is the part I don't enjoy. Too much pressure and responsibility if you ask me. That and I really don't appreciate being talked down to like I am stupid. Of course, it really doesn't matter since I am getting paid good money, well, ok money, to take their shit and at the end of the day what does it matter if I make another mistake and get blamed for it once again. It's not like they'll fire me. And if they do, I'm sick of this job anyway so it would actually be a good thing. I'd have to sell the condo, which as well has been weighing me down, too much responsibility and pressure to have that mortgage bill every month. I would move some place cheaper and find some other job. Working in corporate benefits or finance in Chicago for example. Well, maybe not Chicago. Maybe SoCal. I certainly wouldn't be heartbroken.
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Monday, August 1st, 2016

Time:10:48 pm.
I am filled with hate and anger. First, over being filmed in dance practice. Second, over being overworked. I like the dance class but when students videotape it gets in the way of enjoyment. At work I have too much work including the meetings the week. My least favorite part of the job.
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Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Time:9:11 pm.
It was one of those days you don't know whether to cry or scream. Work piled up in a mountain. Everyone wants everything immediately, sending negative energy of how stupid you are that you "just don't get it." It's hard to see past it when you are in the middle of it. I got home around 8pm and all I wanted was to crawl in bed and shut out the world. I was trying to work on Client G report for two weeks but kept getting interrupted and pulled into other urgent projects. I kept changing my status to Busy, Away or Offline but people found other ways to get a hold of me and break my concentration. Just wow.

I can't believe it's July 28th. My trip is getting closer and I have done zero planning for it. I hope it will take care of itself, like Southwest Roadtrips do, although this road trip involves a $677 flight. Then again, Hawaii is a $500 flight ($677 if you include an inter-island flight) so it's really not that big a deal. But it still feels like "a big deal" somehow because I'm going to another continent.

Europe. It has been a while since I have been to my birthplace, the place where I feel most at home. Actually I was there about two years ago in Frankfurt on my ten-hour layover on the way to India. But that doesn't really count. I enjoyed my rainy day walk around Frankfurt, but that's all it was. Too rainy to see or do anything. I think it was even Christmas, because everything was closed and deserted. Still, it was Europe and thus mine.

I am already thinking ahead beyond the upcoming trip. I see it as the first of many trips to Europe, another in 2017. Where would I want to go next? Well, Spain for example. That's another place well-suited to road trips, and so is Portugal. Andalusia. South of France. The Greek Archipelago. Places to wander, trips that are a continuous journey, never really "arriving" anywhere. Train trips through Russia... That may be more tricky but still doable. As An says, "I'm confident it will happen."
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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Time:10:47 pm.
Chicago holds my memories of youth.
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Time:9:12 am.
Snails pace of progress. So slow makes you wonder if anything is actually happening
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Time:10:18 pm.
An got my hopes up about joining me on my road trip, then flaked out all on the same day. I felt better after I forgave him.

Another neighbor died, a car crash I suspect. It's the second neighbor to die within the past year. The first one was a father of a young child, died at work in a carpentry accident. This time a young woman, car crash from speeding in her shiny new white Mercedes. All this news is delivered to me by my hot bear upstairs neighbor I want to fuck. An self identifies as a cub also. On a positive note, he said although he can't join me on this trip, he is confident we will take a trip together soon. On the other hand, his online profile says he is looking for bareback sex, not a good sign.
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Monday, July 25th, 2016

Time:7:09 am.
Is it fair to say I booked a birthday trip to Sweden on a whim? Not really; I've been thinking about it for a while. I would prefer to spend most of the time in Sweden (Stockholm to be specific) and Finland, with half the time in Lapland's nature and the other half in the southern cities. These are the settings of fairy tales I read as a child: Pippi Longstocking and Karlson on the Roof in the case of Stockholm, with its curved roof apartment buildings and tall spires, Snow Queen set in Lapland, complete with the Snow Queen's reindeer-drawn sleigh. Not sure of any fairy tales set in Helsinki but it always was in my childhood fantasies to visit there, and I was not disappointed when I first stepped foot in that quirky city of design and sunflowers.

A search of the most beautiful places in Scandinavia weighs heavily on Norway, which threatens to take over the whole trip, being so long and narrow with all those fjords, but this is not the point of the trip. Rather, Finland is where I want to spend the most time, as well as Stockholm and maybe some nature places in northern Sweden like national parks or castles or something. Norway it more of a side trip, if I go there at all. It seems kind of out of the way so maybe I don't go there. For my 12-day trip, I am currently thinking 4 days in Sweden and 8 in Finland. Norway really deserves its own trip in and of itself, but I don't feel drawn there. It has its trolls and Akershus, which may be the only place in Norway I visit on this trip, but other than that I really prefer to spend more time in designer Finland.

Places Scratchpad:

Stockholm Archipelago
Kalmar Castle
Skåne County - Southern Sweden
Preikestolen - Southern Norway
Bergen - Southern Norway
Flåmsbana - Southern Norway
Nordfjord - Southern Norway
Geiranger Fjord - Southern Norway
Ålesund - Southern Norway
Lofoten - Northern Norway
Lyngsalpan - Northern Norway
Oulanka National Park - Lapland
Olavinlinna Castle - Southern Finland
Tampere - Southern Finland
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Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Time:11:48 am.
Idle pursuits of useless people

Useless Person 1:
I ordered a DVD online. The person who shipped it didn't include enough postage.

Useless Person 2:
Instead of not taking the package, the post office took and delivered it to my local post office and left me a note they're holding it hostage until I pay the outstanding 96 cents of postage.

Useless Person 3:
My local post office is open at very inconvenient hours: 10:30-12:15 and 1:45-4:00 only Monday through Friday, making it impossible for anyone with a regular job to ever pick up their package there.

Useless Person 4:
After an inconvenience of taking the morning off just to go pay the post office their 96 cents, they told me they didn't have my package and sent it back already. It's your own fault, they glared, we only hold packages two weeks.

Useless Person 5:
I already know when I contact the sender, they will claim they put the right postage and never got the returned-to-sender package.

It's like all the stupid people of the world have conspired to cause some inconvenience to my life. That's the human species for you. Mind boggling how they haven't gone extinct yet.
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Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Time:1:41 pm.
I almost forgot to mention the recurring dream I had about flying. I had an umbrella. When I open it, it caught the air currents and would send me up into the night sky, higher and higher until the Earth became a round planet. It was black, windy and cold up there, but I could see the stars above me and the Earth below. The umbrella was quite flimsy and one of the spokes broke, which sent me flying back down to earth but the umbrella still had enough of a parachute effect I was able to land safely with a thud.
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