About the Blog



I am writing this blog for a number of different audiences and purposes.

To communicate with friends and family. A lot of people who I have told about my plans seem interested in hearing about my life in Japan so rather than sending out a lot of individual emails to different people, I could put everything in a nice convenient blog with pictures and updates and maybe even video so that people could see what I am up to.

To force myself to write more. For the past twenty seven years I have been teaching writing, but other than a few review articles, textbooks, academic papers and presentations, I have not done much writing myself on a regular basis.  Sometimes I feel like the pudgy football coach who follows his players around in a golf cart during intense practice sessions.

To promote Japanese culture: As a twenty eight year resident of Chicago, I have always been a bit aggravated  by  the differences between the way that the city is presented in the media and  to tourists and what is it like to actually live here.  I constantly hear the same thing from people I know who live in Japan. So my blog is not going to focus on things like “Wow aren’t those Japanese people wacky with their vending machines, robot restaurants and monkey waiters.” It is going to focus on what it is like to actually live here as an expat. Although I have to admit that it is hard to resist a good monkey waiter story.

To give people hope: I am part of a group on Facebook for widows and widowers and one of the things which has struck me about the experience of grief is a profound sense of hopelessness that many people feel. In the first few weeks after my wife’s death I can remember seriously thinking to myself “Why should I eat, I am just going to be hungry again in a few hours anyway.” I see a lot of people with a similar reaction in our group. Although I do not expect other people to change careers or move to another a continent, I am hoping that people will see some of my blog posts and think “wow if that idiot can move to Japan, I can move on with my life too.” 


People who know me know that I have a tendency to geek out about certain things. However, my interests are not of the same type as the usual otaku (Japanese nerds). I have a PhD in modern literature, so my interests tend more towards literature, philosophy, sociology and linguistics and while some blog posts may be of interest to certain people; they will probably bore others to death.  So as a consumer service,I will warn people about this by tagging the post with an alert which may look something like this :

WARNING: the follow contains graphic scenes of Japanese prepositions and other linguistic references.