Learning not to Care: Lesson 1

From now on in my podcasts, I’m going to ramble, stutter, sniffle, repeat myself, etc. in homage to my new hero, Maria, the world’s most horrible singer.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

19 thoughts to “Learning not to Care: Lesson 1”

  1. Hey Rich,

    I’ve always enjoyed your soliloquy episodes the best. They’re always top notch. Your feed is one of only two that I’ve been subscribed to 100% of the time for the past two and a half years.

    Your Queen karaoke from way back when? Fucking genius.

  2. Hey Rich. I totally hear you on people like that terrible singer, who gets up there, sings those horrible lyrics, and not give a damn in the world about what people think.. only if maybe there was a reaction.

    I’m kind like you I guess. I care too much about what others think. Or I’m extra cautious. I tend to envy people like that singer guy sometimes. Only because there are times when I wish I didn’t listen to that sissy boy voice my head. I don’t understand it really. But that’s one of life’s crazy things.

  3. I second that Queen karaoke comment. I listened to that while I was at work and it pretty much made my day!

    I also find it really hard not to care but I reckon I too can learn!

    I like your podcasts and posts by the way, even though I’ve never said it before now. They are very human and it always feels like I am listening to an old friend – a very funny old friend who talks to himself a lot! Anyway, thanks for your hard work!!

  4. Great podcast … I agree with Anthony that the soliloquy recordings that you may think suck are extremely entertaining and insightful, in a twisted way. It never occured to me that my own farts smell good but everyone else’s stink, but it’s so true.

    You are hard-core to cycle 3 hours home in the middle of the night on a borrowed bike. Were you out partying before you fell asleep, or working late? If you normally don’t leave the office until that time and your company is late with the payroll, could be time to update the resume. A bilingual, IT professional like yourself should have no problem finding a well-paying and interesting job. Sounds like you’re very loyal to your boss which is commendable but it sucks living paycheck to paycheck and still never seeing your kids during the week.

  5. @Dave: One podcast I’ve always meant to do, ever since even before I ever started podcasting, is about the lessons I learned from a previous boss who was a very, very difficult person to work for. That person changed my life forever and for the better, although I wouldn’t wish the same experience on anyone. It’s the reason why I absolutely love my current boss, warts and all, and also the reason why I will stick with him through thick and thin.

    The reason I was so tired is because my boss let his Outlook’s PST file grow to over 2GB (look it up) and I had to recover it ASAP. I haven’t been able to convince him, or anyone else here at work, to switch to Thunderbird, so resuscitating overgrown and/or corrupted PST files is something I have to deal with a few times a year.

  6. Hi Rich, good to hear you back on the air. You mentioned paying for Japanese lessons, I was just curious after 15(?) years here what kind of areas need improvement? As a 3 year resident struggling with Japanese myself, I know it’s not a language learned by osmosis, especially if you’re working in Tokyo in an English speaking office.

  7. @Paddy: I was taking lessons mostly just to have someone to talk to. My instructor was a really, really nice 70+ year old guy who I enjoyed meeting every week. We read newspaper articles together and he helped me learn new kanji. But 5,000 yen an hour, four times a month, was more than I could afford so I very reluctantly stopped taking lessons. I miss him.

    There’s always more to learn. I still can’t read a book, newspaper or magazine without spending twice as long looking up words a dictionary.

  8. Yeah this past month was brutal, having to make it through 5 weekends between paydays. Nice little story about your midnight bike ride. You’re lucky you found a bike with air in the tires. Look on the bright side, you saved a heck of a lot of money by not wasting it on a 40km taxi ride.

    Note to self…never ever fall asleep on the last train.

  9. RICH!!! great to hear that you are going to be back on the podcasting wagon! I missed hearing all of the sniffles, and stutters and the rambles. You may not understand why we listen, but what it seems you might have figured out is that “who cares” takes a whole bigger set of balls than “why bother.” Thanks for coming back, really, really, really look forward to the next installment

  10. That stupid voice in my head has burned me so many times… Why do we listen to it to begin with? Maria either has no voice or ignores it completely. He/She is able to do something that I may never be able to do… Although I’m sure we could all sing better.

    I was biting my nails listening to your story about falling asleep in the train and then trying to sleep outside and having to bike 3 hours home. I felt really bad for you, but also It kind of brought back a fear I have of riding the shikansen when I go to Japan in 3 weeks… Me and my other 2 friends have a Japanese “101” knowledge of the language at best. If they announce what stop is a certain area I’m not sure if we will understand that we need to get off there or more importantly if we shouldn’t get off there. If we need to get off at a certain place in Shinjuku for example, are there 3 stops in Shinjuku, and we could possible get off at the wrong one thats really, really, far from our hotel and end up lost. I’m really nervous about this aspect of our trip.

    Bryan Campbell

  11. @Bryan: I totally understand. It was a long, long time ago that I first came to Japan, but I still remember well the fear I had for the train system for probably about the first 8-10 months I was here.

    Here’s a good way to get over fear: First, ask yourself, What’s the worst thing that could happen? Let your mind run wild. Then ask yourself, if that thing happens, how will I deal with it?

    In your case, you get off at the wrong stop or get on the wrong train. Well, what are you going to do about it? Get on a train going back to the station where you messed up then get on the right train. As long as you don’t mess up real late at night like I did, you’ll have plenty of time to reroute yourself in the right direction. In my case, I wasn’t panicked at all. I knew I’d eventually find a way home and I’d be at work the next day one way or another. And frankly, I welcomed the temporary release from my mind-numbing boring daily routine.

    About Maria being able to do something that you’ll never be able to do. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s 100% true only if you believe it to be. But I have things in my life too that are like that. Maybe we all do.

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