Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Football Fantasy: Griffin Again

College League: won, 78.14-34.05 (4-3 overall, 5th place out of 12 teams)
Vermont League: lost, 102.04-60.78 (1-6, 12th out of 12)
My Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III (Quarterback, Redskins) with 20 completions for 258 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 3 sacks, 1 lost fumble, 1 solo tackle and 9 rushing attempts for 89 yards
Photo via MSN

I can't claim to have much in common with RG3 but there is this: we were both born in Japan.  He was born in Okinawa, I in Tokyo.  For similar reasons, too: he was an army brat, I a diplobrat.


  1. Bink, you were *born* in Tokyo? I didn't realize that. (I'm hoping I didn't comment on a post at some point in the past with that information and I've simply forgotten!)

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    2. I was. My father was the press officer for the embassy. My sister and I were both born there. It was Dad's last overseas assignment. He spent the rest of his career in Washington.

      We left Japan when I was 3. I went back for two years on my own after college.

    3. I did remember you mentioning you'd spent time there as an adult. It's a place I've always wanted to know. (I think I've mentioned that in a prior comment, somewhere, as well.)

    4. Yes, you have mentioned your interest. I hope you will have the chance to go. It is a fascinating culture to be sure.

      Without a doubt, it was the most important formative experience of my young adulthood. I don't remember much from when we were there as kids but I am grateful for the meaningful link with the rest of my family.

    5. It is truly wonderful that you made your way back. I admire that. The farthest from the mainland I have ever been is Hawai'i, and I've never even been outside North America.

      I've debated whether or not to ask this and have decided to go ahead and throw it out there. Did you ever visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

    6. I did make a trip to Nagasaki. It's a wonderful city. Obviously, I went to the bomb museum, the peace park and so forth. But there is so much more to appreciate. The city's history is unique in Japan as it was the first part of the country to open to foreignors.

    7. This makes me think of 'Castle in the Sky' because there was such an undercurrent of trying to reconcile the potential destruction of certain technologies with 'peace-time' purposes. I wonder at the tone of the museum. How it is different from, say, the museum of atomic history where I live.

      I've done a lot of recent study on nuclear science and in trying to formulate both a personal response to our history as well as a commentary that can be shared at large, I'm terrified of missteps. Writing something that will, to completely understate it, add insult to injury.

      Also, your last sentence brings home the fact that I am not up on my Japanese history at all!

    8. Bear in mind, I'm depending on 15 year old memories here but the tone is fairly brutal. It's not as sobering as, say, the Holocaust Museum in Washington but details of the bomb's destructive power are made very clear and very personal.

      There is a bright side. Both cities have rebuilt and are thriving today. Both are at the forefront of promoting peace and disarmament around the world. Among other things, Nagasaki was the first Japanese city to embrace the sister city concept. Their sister-city relationship with St. Paul, Minnesota is the longest standing in Japan.

    9. I recently(ish) read (most of) Richard Rhodes' 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb' and was shocked at my visceral and speechless response to the eyewitness accounts of Hiroshima. It was so hard to get my heart and brain unscrambled after engaging that text that I wept and was very fearful I wouldn't have the wherewithal to write about anything concerning nuclear science at all -- this after having done more than a month of background research.

      I am actively seeking the bright side. Trying to look in the scary places where I wouldn't suspect it might be with an open mind. Currently reading this.

      My desire to visit Japan has never been more keen than it is, now. Someday.

      Sorry to keep the dialogue going on and on and on but don't you have some history in/with Minnesota, too? I didn't even *know* about the sister-city relationships with the US.

    10. Don't apologize for engaging in dialogue. This is the best of what blogging can be: one question can lead to another; a seemingly innocent post about a football player leads to a discussion of global politics. We're living the dream, Suze.

      Energy is THE geopolitical crisis of the 21st century. We must talk about it. All options must be on the table and we have to be willing to discuss the pros and cons of all of them. Without a doubt, the A-bombs are the worst of nuclear energy's dark side. To pretend that nuclear power isn't potentially dangerous would be ridiculous. But it's also difficult to envision a world economy without a role for nuclear power to play.

      I spent my first year out of college in St. Paul. I took off for Japan the year after that. I didn't know about the sister city relationship until I got to the Peace Park in Nagasaki. What's funny is that the two cities could hardly have less in common. One is a seaport, the other landlocked. One is subarctic in climate, the other subtropical. St. Paul is a homogeneous city in a diverse nation. Nagasaki has a history of openness in a highly xenophobic culture. They do share this: both cities are inhabited by extremely friendly people. Both cities are also very dear to me for the roles they've played in my life.

    11. You're living the dream bit made me smile.

      The first sentence of your second paragraph is dead on. I'll be honest, I have a lot of biblical apocalypse still banging about in my head from my upbringing that I also have to deal with. Heck, when I 'go home' to spend time with my parents, whom I adore and revere, I cringe whenever my mother starts talking about the rapture. It's a part of the development of a whole group of people to imagine that the world is literally going to hell in a handbasket, anyway. Being an environmentalist was never a priority for (most of) the soul-savers I hung out with at university, though there were pockets of people who believed 'Christians should be at the forefront of the ecological movement.'

      Just shook my head to clear it, felt myself going off on a huge tangent, there. In any event, what I find the most poetic about St. Paul and Nagasaki is the idea that they are negatives of another. You know, like a photographic image and its counterpart?

      Another (slight) tangent, last night we had dinner at our friends' house and both of them have federal defense jobs. I tentatively asked about a 'fuel leak' I had seen a flyer about on the Air Force base in our city and one of them looked me in the eye and said, 'Oh, that's old. We're talking World War II.' In nosing about as I have, I am deeply struck by how little has been commented on (in the wider culture) about both the inception of atomic weaponry and the other applications for nuclear power. I found two books online, the one I'm reading and one written by a kind of fringey-feeling guy named Reese Palley that really examined the issue in an educated manner. I'm sure there are more and I just need to keep digging but it does feel like this is a map very much in progress (as opposed to well-charted country.)

      And now I'm really rambling but I promise this'll be the last of it, the scrap of history that has really engaged my imagination was the little-documented (as far as I've read) fact that a troupe of young, idealistic Los Alamos scientists (ALAS) descended on Washington in one of the most unique lobbies to keep a bill from passing shortly after the end of the war (mid-to-late 1940s) that would have placed the DOE wholly under the jurisdiction of the DOD. What grips my spirit is the knowledge that people of conviction sometimes topple the giants! They do, B! It has me, I guess, a little riled and wanting to know how, exactly, a storyteller can contribute in that regard, you know?

    12. What's the Margaret Mead quote?

      "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has."