As of today, I am officially offering my services as Human Rain Cloud for hire:

For a modest fee (and travel expenses), I will visit your city and bring unseasonably cold and wet weather for a duration of time equal or longer to my stay. No matter how naturally arid or sunny your local climate, my rain cloud-conjuring abilities have been tested on a variety of European towns, with a perfect 100% success rate to this day.

Hire me and ensure your crops do not go dry and your golf course lawns remain a healthy green, even in the middle of the draughtiest summers.

My service fees will go toward paying hospitalisation costs for the pneumonia I am developing.

PS: to all my friends in Paris, Bordeaux, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin: I am sorry for fucking up your sunny Spring weather. I’ll be going soon and normal weather should resume immediately.

Today is the day we remember.

Japanese, Japan residents and pretty much anybody who has been exposed to images and testimonies of the astounding amount of death and destruction that befell the north of Japan a year ago to the day…

Today is also the day I must remember more than ever not to read a single foreign news site (particularly these enduring bastions of journalistic incompetence that have become French and German newspapers). Because I know that, even on this most symbolic day, they will not fail to make their front page on the largely unrelated and comparatively irrelevant aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

After all: why bother with the death of 15,000 people in some remote part of the world, when you can instead focus on a political issue that resonates with your local readership…

Dear Microsoft Word for Mac™ Project Manager,

You don’t know me. and I don’t know you. I am sure that you are a fine human being. A real person, with emotions, someone who experiences joy, sadness, laughter. You might even be a nice person, kind to animals and the elderly… Which makes it all the more difficult to tell you that I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN WHEREVER YOU MAY HIDE, FIND YOU, PEEL YOUR SKIN OFF WITH A RUSTED POTATO PEELER, WEAR YOUR SKIN, SAW YOUR HEAD OFF WITH A BUTTER KNIFE, DRINK YOUR BLOOD AND REPEATEDLY VIOLATE YOUR CORPSE THROUGH YOUR HOLLOWED OUT CERVICAL SPINE WHILE YOUR FAMILY WATCHES ON.

So, huh, yea… It appears that I have to file all my thesis documents through the mandatory MS Word templates that were sent to me. Weird formatting incompatibility bugs and all.

Yes, hello. I’d like to know the exact date on which I officially graduated from high school in 1998. No, not just the month, I imperatively need the exact day too. Yes, I need it in order to obtain my PhD. “Can’t I just put an approximate date”? Haha, you sweet thing. You have obviously never met a Japanese administrative employee, have you. I’m just happy they don’t ask for the exact hour. Can we hurry up please, I still have to get the days for the half-dozen university entrances and graduations I have had ever since.

Monday morning conversations with my grandmotherly Japanese conversation teacher:

– And how was your weekend, dear?

– Oh, you know… A lovely mountain Autumn hike, singing practice, bit of social drinking at the club, and on Sunday, cultural workshop on traditional Japanese crafts with my local exchange partner.

Why do I, in such occasions, hear myself speak in the voice of Malcolm McDowell.