CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: TTYL

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto
(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on February 16, 2011.)

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I still remember with the warmest of feelings when my mother first asked me to thread a needle for her. Probably one of the many evenings when she was so bone tired her fingers couldn’t handle the chore. Either that or she probably sensed #2 son needed an ego boost. The first instruction she gave was to wet the end of the thread; thus the smallest slit could be pierced.  Big needle eyes were a snap. (Makes me wonder if there was a prepubescent ambition to be Yves St. Laurent—or Christine Jorgensen.)

Miguel de Unamuno wrote: “The mind seeks what is dead, for what is living escapes it.”

Justin Bieber I don’t dig—nor the many Drs. and initialed—but this Esperanza Spalding I can sit back and enjoy. Not to mention understand. Didn’t watch the Grammys but caught a sliver of a past jazz bass rendition. Wow.

A rather knowledgeable old-timer caught me off guard  with a recent remark: “Egypt got rid of Hosni Mubarak after three decades of autocratic rule. Wasn’t that just about how long you lasted in Gardena with the Japanese Cultural Institute?”

English Internet slang is hard to top for being right on if not succinct: 10Q? Thank you. KISS is short for Keep it simple stupid. LMAO is Laughing my ass off so you can imagine what LMFAO is.

State Controller John Chiang has been racking up the photo ops and official quotations for the past year, more so now that Jerry Brown is governor. Watch for him to soon run for public office. Meanwhile, will somebody please tell me why his name is pronounced “Chung”?

For the longest time best pal John and I would diligently watch “Jeopardy,” once a week critiquing the winners and losers, commenting on why so many winners picked a red car, and the total lack of Orientals, er, Asian Americans. I stopped watching the program when he died. Was almost tempted to break the skein this evening to see how well a human like Ken Jennings can match up with Watson the computer.

B4 is an easy one: Before. ALOL is a little tougher: Actually laughing out loud. BFF is a commonplace Best friend forever while CU, F9 and MYOB might come in handy as See you (later), Fine and Mind your own business. (For what it’s worth, Internet slang draws heavily from old-fashioned shorthand.)

“Memory is often less about truth than about what we want it to be.”—David Halberstam

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m shuffling through a stack of scribbles and jottings collected bedside. A habit reaching back eons when sleep was as elusive as quicksilver, I would think/read/hear something worthy of remembering, reach for pen and paper in the dark and scribble. Sometimes merely a word to look up in the dictionary or one worthy of mention in a CR2S offering. As often as not the notations are indecipherable or the opposite of understandable. Like who was it that uttered, “I hope I die before I get old”? Was Cassandra the first whistle-blower? And who is/was Gabriel Thompson?

Weird e-mail of the year (so far): “I am contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement with my ex-husband who resides in your jurisdiction.  I am hereby seeking your firm’s assistance in collecting the balance from him.” /s/ Beverly Kawashima.

Am tempted to lift my hex on Tiger and Kobe to show my compassion and all that jazz. Almost.

GFY is a rather harsh “Go ‘f…’ yourself,” while STFU can be easily translated into “Shut the ‘f…’ up!”  But W8 (wait), IANAL (I am not a lawyer) but TBH (to be honest) BTDT (been there, done that).

If ever there is a need for candor – or plain talk—CR2S usually falls flat on his grill. In the case of 02-16-11, we’ve run into a mental roadblock. Something that has been occurring with frightening frequency lately. Part of it being physical makes it a double whammy.

While it was Ronald Reagan’s birth date a couple of week’s ago, I chose to observe Thomas Paine’s natal date. I think he was the first writer I ever read.  Probably not but it sounds plausible. It was a timely observance as it came during the Middle East foment; Paine at the height of his powers during the American Revolution. But a history lesson we don’t need.  Only his 1776 words: “These are times that try men’s souls.”

T T Y L—Talk to you later . . .

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by e-mail. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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