Hi. I’m Shane. I’ve been an English teacher in Japan for a long time. So you’re probably thinking this blog is going to be all about Japan or, more specifically, all about teaching English in Japan…or maybe even some of the weird things I’ve experience here.

And, you’re right. It will be all of those things…at times. I mean I have some pretty interesting (to me) stories about what has happened to me in my twenty-five years here.

But, that’s not what this blog will always be about, not by a long shot.

No matter how far I’ve traveled away from my Minnesota roots, I’m still a Midwestern boy at heart; complete with all the American ideas and tendencies that are regularly instilled in your average, Anglo-saxan boy growing up in the 70s and 80s. Some of my ideas have just had some Asian spice thrown in to give me a different kind of processing filter for thoughts and experiences. So consider this a meat-and-potato kind of blog, albeit smothered in teriyaki sauce and a plop of wasabi.

I feel “a plop” should be the official unit of measurement for wasabi:
         Waiter: How many plops of wasabi would like
with that sushi?

         Customer: Two plops for me, please.

So I will be writing about things I think you might find interesting about Japan, but I’ll also be talking about my childhood, growing up on the mean streets of a Minneapolis suburb; a place so lawless with inhabitants so reckless that sometimes our derelict neighbors would go a whole two…sometimes even three…weeks without mowing their lawn.  The horror. It’s a wonder I ever made it out of there alive.

But, if you are interested in Japan and want to learn more about how to travel around this fascinating country, I suggest you buy a travel book. I won’t be a wealth of information on how to use the local sento (bath house) or where to buy JR Passes. What I will be able to give you though are some insights on just how cool and accommodating  Japanese people are: how they will go out of their way to help you when you (and sometimes when you don’t) ask and how patient they can be even when it means standing stoically in place as they witness you butcher their language right in front of their faces.


Is this “About” section supposed to be about me or this blog? No one ever tells me anything. I guess you’ll learn about both me and this blog by sticking around and reading.

This is my first attempt at a blog so bear with me. I have no idea what I’m doing. I think I did manage to put a “Follow Me” button over on the left somewhere though. If you can find it, please press it. I promise nothing bad will happen. I also apologize that when you do press it, no Twinkies will appear from your computer. I’m still looking for a button that will do that.

So this is my “About” section. Thanks for reading it. I think I’m done here though. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you can move on to the other parts of this elaborate labyrinth I call Off on a Tangent with Shane.

There is also a “Welcome” page here somewhere which goes on and on about…going on and on. So read that if you want and then go to the blog, which may or may not be under a totally different button. At this point, I’m not sure where anything goes or what it does.

Good luck.

No. Sorry. That wasn’t for you. That was for me. I need all the luck I can get trying to get this thing started. But, you can have some luck too if you feel you need it. I’m not selfish. Good luck to you too.

Oh, and leave a comment below with your, um…ah…comments or just to say, “Hi” or whatever else pops into your head. I’d really love to hear from you.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

Have a great day.


(Can you P.S. in a blog? Do young kids even know what P.S. is?)
Anyway, I wanted to say that now that I think about it, maybe it was my family that took those long absences without mowing our lawn. It’s a wonder any of neighbors made it out of there alive.