Not sure if any of you avid gamers read "Penny Arcade", but I would highly endorse it if you are a gamer (video gamer, that is). Hell, I endorse it if you aren't and simply like off-the-wall, well-drawn satire/sarcasm.
Reasons 1) The comics are really funny and bang-on if you follow games and the gaming industry, and 2) these two guys are a great example of how enlightened geeks can be heard by industry behemoths such as SoE, Blizzard, etc. I thought their blog today was quite funny -- apparently someone at SoE saw their comic and fired a humour-filled shot across Penny Arcade's bow by delivering 1,200 Krispy Kreme donuts to them. Nice.
In other more significant news, a good friend of mine (whom I'll call "J." but whom some may recognize by the writing anyway) engaged me in an email dialogue yesterday re: concerns of heading overseas to teach. I like to think of the conversation as one from Confucius to Confusion. (okay, witty I am not.)
...So, friend, now I am doing this for you. Though we will all miss you, I know that you aren't happy and have enormous capacities that are being wasted here and that you need to take a step. A step that will make your life much richer, with a little risk. A risk that doesn't have to be forever, but that will make your life better forever. And maybe Japan isn't the place, but why not? Its not the place as much as the experience of having lived it and the changes it brings to you.
Furthermore, re: my concern of having a new life overseas subsume this one:
An observation: I have wrestled forever with the idea of internal and external consistency and am coming to the realization that friends are a reflection of the facets of ourselves and therefore are consistent only with our own inconsistencies or contradictions and that diversity is not necessarily a contradiction. While we may try to live an internally consistent life, as humans, we don't get to achieve it. We can however, learn to enjoy our internal diversity. So we can grow and change and add new facets and therefore new relationships without worrying about cancelling out the old ones. At least that is as far as I have divined.
Brilliant, and thank you, J.! You don't know how much it meant to me to get those emails from you and S. yesterday.
With that, I'll say this: I am going to take the step as planned, risks and effects be damned. There is a lot about it that causes me to worry, but who gives a fuck? Worrying is only useful if it enables one to tackle the cause of said worry. If one experiences simply a Heideggerian "worry worry worry worry WORRY" fit, what's the point in having that emotional state?
So yeah. Onwards and upwards (and westwards, I guess).