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Another (much belated) quote

I rediscovered "Of Human Bondage" last week. I had promised myself that I'd be more diligent about writing my favorite parts, but the book disappeared under months and months of work.

From Page 430:

It amused him sometimes to consider that his friends, because he had a face which did not express his feelings very vividly and a rather slow way of moving, looked upon him as strong-minded, deliberate, and cool. They thought him reasonable and praised his common sense; but he know that his placid expression was no more than a mask, assumed unconsciously, which acted like the protective colouring of butterflies; and himself was astonished at the weakness of his will. It seemed to him that he was swayed by every light emotion, as though he were a leaf in the wind, and when passion seized him he was powerless. He had no self-control. He merely seemed to possess it because he was indifferent to many of the things which moved other people.
He considered with some irony the philosophy which he had developed for himself, for it had not been of much use to him in the conjuncture he had passed through; and he wondered whether thought really helped a man in any of the critical affairs of life: it seemed to him rather that he was swayed by some power alien to and yet within himself, which urged him like that great wind of Hell which drove Paolo and Francesca ceaselessly on. He thought of what he was going to do and, when the time came to act, he was powerless in the grasp of instincts, emotions, he knew not what. He acted as though he were a machine driven by the two forces of his environment and his personality; his reason was someone looking on, observing the facts but powerless to interfere: it was like those gods of Epicurus, who saw the doings of men from their empyrean heights and had no might to alter one smallest particle of what occurred.

The book is so amazing to me because I am just like Philip. We have the same bursting ego and yet the same garish faults. We complain about our environment and yet do little to change it. We both have secret loves and hates that burn within us, but we refuse to express them.

He is a kindred-spirit and I am in love with him. Except that he doesn't exist. Although, sometimes I wonder if W. Somerset Maugham wasn't writing something of an auto-bio with "Bondage," which means that I'd be totally in love with him except that he's very much dead. (I HATE it when that happens.)

It's pouring the rain outside (we're in the Japanese rainy season now) and it's beautiful. It's like a thousand dwarves have been dumping buckets of rainwater every millisecond just outside the office window. It's heavenly.

The evil 英判 meeting only went until 6:30pm, which was WAAAAAY better than I thought it would. Classic moment: Komura-sensei makes chain-smokers look like feather-weights, so (since there's a law now that people can't smoke in public areas, such as businesses) he climbs out the window and stands on this TINY balcony that nobody knew was even there (this is way up on what is essentially the 4th floor) to get his smokes in. He actually has to climb across the ledge to get to it. So he's out there and Kawai-sensei's view (yes, she is 可愛い) of him is obstructed and she doesn't realize he's out there. She happened to look out another window and see a crow fly alongside the building. It disappeared from view at the window where Komura-sensei had made his escape. Just as it vanished, Komura-sensei started climbing back in through the window. Kawai-sensei almost had a heart-attack. She thought that the crow had turned into a human and was trying to climb into the building. That was definitely the highlight of the meeting.

Afterwards, Carolyn and I went to this little sandwich place and she got a burger while I went for a nice BLT (and a Heineken--I think I spelled that right). It was a set-menu, so it came with a soft drink (ginger ale for me) and dessert (this fabulous strawberry shortcake with real cream on top). Japanese cakes are mind-blowing.

The next day I got up incredibly late and met Ashley at Nishi-kita and then we went to Osaka. We shopped at GAP (for her) and uniqlo (for the both of us--I bought two nice tees, black and maroon, and two button-up shirts, pale blue and pale pink). Then we hit 紀伊国屋 (I have to start studying for the GRE--grrrr) and Yodobayashi Camera (to pick up those mike stands, get a protective case and screen film for my iPod, and to get a LAN cable). Then we went to Outback (Fajitas, baby!) I know, I know, getting anything other than steak at a steak restaurant is immoral, but I REALLY wanted fajitas. They just don't have them here in Japan. Which sucks.

I miss Mexican food so badly.

Then we went back to Nishi-kita and parted ways. Got out the old floor fan yesterday (Sunday) and cleaned off 3 million years of dust (it was mega-gross). Sorted through all my old papers and found Jesse's business card (I've been looking for that since I got it!) and the info for my W-2 form.

Heh heh heh. My tax forms aren't due until June 15th. And they're going to give me back all my money, anyway, since my income isn't related to the American economy.

Cleaned all my nasty-ass dishes, did recycling (3 months worth), and shopped for groceries. Sat down for a little while in the evening to try and work on my comic, but didn't do more than flesh out what'll be on each page. Looked back at what I drew almost a month ago and realized that it wasn't that bad after all (did I say that already?) Was gonna have チャーハン for dinner, but it turns out that they...

STOPPED FUCKING SELLING IT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE I LIKE. Nothing in this country stays on the market more than a few months (except maybe Pocky and Pocari Sweat--ew to the latter). Things that I used to buy but can't now: leek soup (for a recipe), fried rice, breakfast bars, inari-zushi set, and some other things that they stopped selling so long ago that I've forgotten what they were.

Well, it's after 5pm and it's my day off, so I'm going home.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lalenalefay
Apr. 19th, 2004 03:04 pm (UTC)
aaa why don't they have mexican food in japan? Next time you come back we must go to the taco truck.
alexakaruda
Apr. 19th, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC)
Because they are evil and anti-ethnic anything over here. Yay, taco truck! (Erm...what's the taco truck? Never heard of it....)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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