Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Its weird, and out of the blue, but its time to update your bookmarks or whatever. I've decided to pack up my bags, and leave this blog for now. I wont delete it, because I will maybe return at a later date.... and I have over a YEAR in history (that you can read by clicking the archive link) but I'm moving in real life, and so I thought why not move my blog to something more shiny. I wanted to mix the idea of "homepage" with "diary" and the result is www.neonvirus.com .... for a half explenation of that title's meaning at the moment, please read the first entry. Keep in mind, I might return to this blog here from time to time and post stuff, its not fully ignored, but mostly it will be an archive from now on I guess. Keep in mind, my Japanese diary and my learning japanese diary and my cellphone's picture upload page will still remain on the web. They aren't being replaced by neonvirus. Anyway, thats that. Please go THERE from now on, if you want to read my English diary! Enjoy...


ok now for a few words to help search engines help people find my page: neonvirus is a homepage made by Dansen also known as Dansen Waters or when he was a kid he was sometimes called Danny Waters. He lives in Tokyo, Japan and he used the old name maisui sometimes when he had another site, and now he wants you to remember the words NOVA, and learning, homeschool, and WWU, and WCC, and Western Washington University, and finally Japan Radio that was in Bellingham.

OK. I know that was stupid, but maybe someone will be able to find me because of those weird words! oh yeah. So now go enjoy the transmission already in progress...!


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

A new month, Asia University Festival, and etc..

Well, I just did that annoying thing that everyone does every now and again... typed a big chunk of text and then accidently lost my post to a traveling group of monstrous robots. Damn, I guess I have to type it again. Anyway, I was saying, its November... the weather is changing, I can feel Winter slowly crawling this way. Pitter-patter, flutter, wudder... as some could say!? Anyway, the day before yesterday (monday) I went to a festival at Asia University (if you don't know... I went to Western Washington University, and while I was there I met many different cycles of Asia University students [called AUAP students] some of them I hung out with, a few became friends) It was weird to see the campus, I felt like I was suddenly in a role-reversal. On my campus, there had been tons of American students and some Japanese students... on the AU campus there was tons of Japanese students and even less American students (I counted maybe 3 others besides me) ...it was fun to see things that way. It was a fairly nice day, not too cold. I met USK at his food booth (they were selling a kind of pancake with sweet bean paste inside... USK had named his club Park Life, which was interesting I think) there was tons of other booths selling things, kind of like a Japanese Matsuri festival. I went around, tried some of the food, and stuff. I sat down and one of the guys who was at the radio show last week saw me and was talking to me in Japanese... suddenly Mutsuko came up and said "Hey! Why you speaking French?!" in Japanese... (you can see her with fake grandparents on my keitai page) If this seems confusing, its because I would always call Japanese as French when they were in America, and pretend I couldnt speak it (I know, I'm silly) and although she maybe knew I could really speak it a little, she was surprized I guess. So I walked with them (mumumuchan and friend) to a kimono place, she tried on a cool kimono (while waiting for mumumuchan me and her friend met another AUAP student I had known, megumi or something? selling this food that was a mix of korean and mexican food.. interesting!) when mumumuchan was done getting on her kimono we all walked back towards the direction of USK... thats when we ran across this little kid that was lost (said his last name was SATO or something?) and we tried to help him find his mom. We still hadnt found his mommie by the time we got to USK's food booth. The kid came up to it and said "Mmmm whats that?" in Japanese and then we told him and he said (way too obviously!!) "Wow, I really like sweet-bean paste!" It was clear he wanted it, so... I was a sucker. I gave USK the 190YEN for one, and asked USK to give him one. The kid came over and said "wooh, are you sure its ok?" and I said something like "sure sure, eat it." and he said "Wow, thank you!" and I say your welcome... and then he went off with mumumuchan to find his mom. I thought he was a silly kid, and thats why he comes into my mind now. After that me and USK went and checked out Satoshi's duel techno DJ performance thing... heavy eruo-beats with trippy psychedelic screens pulsing weird tripped out pictures.... cool! and then we went outside to this stage performance that was starting, just as the rain started to crash down. The dancers had a lot of guts though, they had practiced really hard, and weren't going to let a little thing like rain stop them... they sloshed and slid through their amazing brake-dancing inspired dance routines (althoughbeing soaked by rain was a negetive thing for those wearing thin white clothes or who tried to spin on their heads...) but their determination impressed me... although a few people almost broke their necks while sliding on the slick stage. After that, me and USK went to a room to listen to his friend play punk DJ. What? Well, a DJ like for hip hop.. but instead it was punk music... do we have that outside of Japan too? I'm not sure... the last thing we checked out was a final party thing that was inside this huge auditorium... it was really cool, because someone had given most of the crowd green glow sticks... so when everyone was excited they would wave the glow sticks in these waves, it looked so cool (I tried to capture it with my cellphone, but you couldnt really see it, so I didnt put it on my keitai page,... if you want to see what I did capture, to try to get some idea, click here...! The picture only shows the first wave, there was people all threw that bottom part of the picture that is just black in the picture...and the white hole in the center is the stage with the performance announcer.) Anyway, the "final party" thing was fun... some audience games and stuff... one of the performances was this young female comedian, and I actually understood some of her jokes, so I thought that was cool.... (one of her things was this song she made up where she sang something like "Ok, yeah, whatever" as a reply to anything... it was funny! and hard to explain.) The next comedians were kind of complicated, so I emberessingly fell asleep for some of it (hey! it was dark, it was a little tired, what can I say!) but I did get some of it. At the end, the behind-the-stage helper-people came on stage, so I could see my other friend Satomi on stage! Salt-omi didnt get to say anything, and she looked nervous, but it was fun to see another friend.... .. but, the weirdest performance that day must have been the opening act though... a bunch of guys ran on to the stage in their underwear (not sexy underwear, just normal fruit-of-the-loom underwear) and began dancing to Japanese 80s music while waving pom-poms, and then suddenly a dude dressed in a cheesy dinosaur outfit also ran on stage and joined them. They did this for a bit, with matching flashes of light, and etc,... really weird, and then when they were all done (fairly quickly) the stage curtains dropped and they just stood there.... and then the announcers came on stage and were like "uhhh, yeah, do you guys have something to say or something?" and they were like "AHHHH!!! NO!!!" and ran away throuh the crowd. The announcers were puzzeled, so was I, and I guess a lot of the audience (although people were laughing also, because it was just so damn weird!) ...anyway, that was that. Tomorrow another week of work starts, one week closer until I have my paycheck and move into my new place. Wooo. Life will be changing again, I guess! wooo! anyway, please feel free to comment but only if you really have a thought or question I guess... or whatever, but yeah. BIGGLES!


Wednesday, October 29, 2003

konnichiWA! a live report from Tokyo...!

Well, its late... but I wanted to sit down and write down some of my memories before I totally forgot everything.... On Friday I had to go to Shinjuku for training, and after training I met Hiromi to give her back something I had accidently stolen! She told me she wanted to introduce me to her friend, and we walked over to the side of a building... there was a friendly looking young man in punkish clothes, and when Hiromi stood next to him I decided to be friendly so I stretched out my hand and said (in English, because we had decided today was an 'English Only' practice day) "Hey! my name is Dansen! Whats your name?" he shook my hand, but looked really nervous and didnt tell me his name. I smiled bigger, trying to make him relax, I said the question again and added "Did you just get here?" and I glanced over at Hiromi (who had said her friend spoke English) and she was shaking her head and mouthing "Thats not my friend!!!" ... ^^;; ooops!!! It was kind of a stupid mistake on my part, but it was kind of funny. Later, me and her and the real friend went to kaiten sushi (sushi that is on a rotary belt, you take the one you want and you get charged by the plates you eat) you can see a picture of it on my keitai page, while we were finishing eating some older (40s) gaijin [foreigners] men were walking past the window, looking lost. Hiromi's friend turned out to be a total peoples-person, and waved for them to come inside. The 2 men were Italian pilots hanging out in Tokyo. They spoke in very heavy Italian accents, and spoke no Japanese. Luckly we were all doing an "English only" day... so we helped them find the resturant they were looking for. Thats what I love about Tokyo, its such an international city!

Worth noting I guess, from a culture point of view, Japan just finished the "Japan Series" (a Japanese version of the American wrongly named "world series" baseball games ...worgly named because it should be "USA series"!) Anyway, its a really big deal here. People who like baseball (and thats many Japanese people) were going nuts talking about it. The underdogs (The Tigers) had finally made it to the series, the first time in 17 years or something, and they fought hard... but the always-winners (equivelent to the New York Yankees or something I guess?) didnt let the magic fully happen, and the underdogs, stayed...well, exactly that... the Tigers lost, but it was a good match I hear. (Pictures that I took from the TV can also be seen on my keitai page)

Tonight I went to 84.2 West Tokyo FM and was a guest on the radio, live!! Wooo! it was so fun... the studio was a lot more fancy than the studio (KUGS 89.3FM) where I had my show in America. There was one place for the technician (who didnt talk) and then a row table with 4 mics and headphones where the guests could sit. It was fun.. I didnt say much, but I did get to introduce myself and answer a few interview questions (in Japanese)... and introduce one of the segments in English. Anyway, it was lots of fun! (once again, I have a picture of that on my keitai page also! The picture shows my friends Satoshi and Soichi... Satoshi is the one who invited me to his show. He knew that I had a show in America, and so he thought it would be interesting for me I guess.) After the radio thing, I went to Ikebukuro and met Taro for the first time not in Summer! It was amazing! ^^; hehe.. and, I also bought him dinner at this really cool noodle place, I have a cool picture but I'm too lazy to upload it now (my phone is recharging) I'll do it tomorrow. Anyway, thats all from my end. woooo!


Thursday, October 23, 2003

my weekend: shibuya freaks, drinking, transvestites and etc!

Wow, my weekend (if your slow, thats mondays and tuesdays for me, my days off work) has sped past me faster than.. well, uhh.. a speeding bullet. Its now back to the working schedule with about 3 more weeks until my first full paycheck! wooo! So first, on monday, I met Diana in Shibuya. I will always remember Shibuya from the days I spent there shortly after coming to Japan for the first time, so no matter what, it will always been a good place for me... but oh my god, it became even MORE freaky since I'd been there last. Millions of freaky people (in weird clothes) streaming all over the place.... Japanese punks (or social rejects, being that they dont spike their hair, they look a bit different than what are classified as "punk" in the USA...) sitting all around, and the ever present TV crews trying to figure out what is "cool" with the young people... and on this day, a stage had been setup near the JR Train Station and a 4 piece girl brainless pop band was giggling their way through mindless pop song after mindless popsong. (Japanese "The world is round, so lets do the mango mambo.. the mango mambo" ..uhm, what??? Thats not excusable in any language.) Luckily, Diana showed up soon (with her newly dyed black hair!) and we went off to TGIF (some people call it Fridays) ... interestingly, I had never been to TGIFs until I went to Korea, never in America... I like it though, good flavors of "american" food, although a little expensive... I was surprised to see a fairly large amount of foreigners in there, even more than the other Shibuya gaijin [foreigner] hang out, The Hub (a chain of fairly good pub themed bars) ... Shibuya was alive with lights and sounds, cluttering my mind and pulling back older memories.

The next day, I met Hiromi and Yosuke (I havent seen him for 2 years!!) in Shinjuku. It was really nice, the weather wasnt so bad... and we walked around for a little bit, and then decided to go to an all-you-can-drink place... it was fairly nice, just 777YEN for all you could drink (in a specified amount of time) and of course not including snack-food that you bought... still, I like that setup because it gives me an excuse to drink lots of yummy drinks ... I had "fuzzy navel" (got to love that name!) and some apple cocktail thingie, and a whole lot of other ones... who knows. A very drunk group across from us decided to prove how amazingly drunk they were too, so a few of them came over and asked to take pictures with me (something about me looking like someone or something? I dont remember!) and then a whole bunch of them started giving me hi-fives.... uhhm.. weird. Anyway, later we left out of there, and wanted to go to "purikura" (thats the machines in Japan that take sticker-pictures, if you dont know) ... the problem is though, that many purikura places in japan are only for couples (so weird huh?) and so we felt a bit weird walking into a couples only store as a three peice... wait, no kinky giggles. but anyway, I love purikura, its fun to get all the random faces onto stickers! (And you can doodle on the pictures!) After that, we were walking around outside in the late night air (a lot of young people were sitting on the steps and on the street, it was kind of surreal) and this really tall Japanese transvestite walked up past us... and slowed down, as he walked past, he ran his hands across my hair and said in japanese something like "ooh hello there little man" and then he was gone. It was strange, like seeing a giraffe suddenly on the north pole... ok, not that surprising, because there are a lot of transvestites in shinjuku/harajuku, but anyway... surprising.

japanese language is fun!
In other news, I am pleased to announce the opening of ANOTHER diary thing. This one has no real diary content, but a lot of stuff to help anyone trying to learn Japanese! (of course with the bias of it being written for people that understand atleast hiragana alphabet!) I realized that I learn a lot of Japanese words every day, just being here in Japan, so I thought I would share. Its mostly in English, with Japanese too. I hope it becomes a community of sorts, I will update it very often because I dont have to think about anything to think about except the new vocabulary. so give me feedback about it, and even if you dont want to study japanese, give me feedback on the design! So anyway, I present JAN, JAN JAN - learning japanese my diary-blog-whatever site about learning japanese! yay!!


Saturday, October 18, 2003

Another day, almost my "weekend"!!

OK, so a lot has happened, although most of it might be kind of boring if you werent me: going to school, teaching, coming home, eating, sleeping. Day to day things... my mind is kind of cloudy, but I'm trying to remember things to share in this diary. I went to training in Shinjuku (you can see a good picture from the window of the NOVA building on my keitai page!) .. the training was kind of empty... mainly sitting around the table and saying things that I could have put together in my own head ("high level students want more complex vocabulary and idioms. " Uhm.. duh.) but I did go away with some goood insights about how to teach very low levels (mainly using visual games and actions etc) so it was good in the end. I sent Nakayama (in America) a picture from my keitai, and I looked really drunk... I wasnt, but I thought I would share the surprising fact that I looked drunk. Uhm. What? ...

I plan to see Diana on Monday, and the few other friends who feel like seeing me. Next week Diana will have a halloween party, the whole thing... candy, scary movies, all that, sponsored by her school (GEOS) ... sounds fun! even though I cant go to the first part because I'm working. I plan to go to the drinking part, meet Diana and Yusuke there, even though it will get a little bit above my desired price range (my share will maybe be like 3000YEN.. about $30, expensive, but hey, its a party!) ...Talking about spending money, I was considering buying a digital camera, but I think I should wait until I actually have real money. ^^;

I'm tired, worked all day. It was fun again, I really like the teaching stuff.. it feels kind of like being in college, hanging out with the other gaijin [foreigners] at the office, and teaching english to Japanese (something I did in college too!) so I like it still... Doing this is still on my "I recommend it!" list.

and now in honor of my own silly brain, I offer the department of Too Much Information! In Japan, what we thought of in America as "Wheres Waldo?" is known as "Wheres Wally?" and I thought this was just a weird Japan thing (since Waldo "WA-RU-DO" is difficult to say, and maybe sounds too close to the Japanese word for bad or something) but then I heard one of the British Teacher's at training say "Wheres Wally" in reference to the books, and realized it must be a weird American thing that changed the books to Waldo, because they seem to say Wally in Britain and maybe other places. ....wow. was that too much information, or what!... in other news... before I sign off and crawl asleep... last night I had my very first Indonesian language featured dream! yay! actually, I thought that it was "fake" indonesian, because I woke up and couldnt remember the words I had been saying... well, I remembered them, but I couldnt remember if they were really indonesian or not... but I looked up the one I remembered strongest and... it was Indonesian, and used kind of correctly!! (the word was "tinggal" [to depart] ...!) anyway, let me take the air out of my own wings, or whatever they say, by reminding any and all readers that my Indonesian still sucks so bad, I cant even communicate much in it. . . I think its just the idle study in the trains that triggered this dream. anyway, was fun though. until next time, peace on the streets! PS: why is it almost my weekend? my off days are mondays and tuesday, and I think of that as my weekend! wooo!...


Saturday, October 11, 2003

Another day, another day (but still FUN!) ... NOVA report!

Ok, so another day has come and I've went and returned from my job at NOVA... I'm really starting to like it, but of course it has its good times and its bad times... so, because this is a public diary I shouldnt really complain publicly about the few teachers who I might find annoying or whatever, but I think I will mention a few of the students that left impressions on me:

I have these two students (in different levels) who take fake names. One is in a very low level, 7B, but he always says his name is Mr. Alien when I ask him. The other low level students laugh and are confused a little bit, but he keeps up the joke through the whole lesson! If I ask him where he went recently, he will say he came back from the Milky Way or jupiter (both good vocabulary for a low level student!) and not just one time! So far, every time he has said this... I'm starting to believe he really is an alien! Another student (in a higher level), clearly joking, said his name was Greggo, so I started calling him El Greggo as a joke, and now its me who always calls him that in the lessons... it really puzzles the other students, but it makes him laugh. I have another student who, when she is nervous, pushes against her chest with her hands... kind of odd, if I dont say so. And another student asked me once, "Is 'are you kidding?' the same as 'fuck you'?" which made me think "what!!!" but I just quietly replied that they were different, and that the second was used when you were very angry, and then changed the subject. Tonight, I had a very weird student... first, not as an ego boost (although it is one) but as a way to explain the situation, let me first say that last week one of the front desk worker ladies came up to me when I was clocking in and asked (in japanese, so everything is roughly paraphrased) "what did you do before NOVA??" and I said "School and stuff." and she said "What classes did you take? Because we have never had a teacher get so many compliments from the students!" ...anyway, that made me smile, even if its not true, it was a nice thing to hear. (Although I do try hard to be a good teacher...!) Anyway, tonight I had a couple of very high level students (3, 1 is my level: native, so 3 is damn good!) and they could tell that my name Dansen isnt a normal American name... so they asked my genetics, my heritage, so I explained my european heritage and the small amount of Tsalagi (if you don't know, thats the name of a native american country) ... anyway, the lesson continued, which was a debate about "Is money the root of all evil?" of course, there is no answer to this debate, and it got very intellectual... what is evil? does society shape our views of reality? does desire cause problems, or are the problems the source of desire? And a million other mind loops... anyway, I thought it was going great... but suddenly at the end one of the two students said roughly "I don't understand you!" and so I was surprised, so I spent the last 5 minutes trying to explain in a little simpler English the arguments that had been presented in the class, and near the very end right when the final bell was ringing he said in a very angry tone "No, I understand your grammar, and your words... I don't understand your Original American accent!!!!" and he got up and stomped out. The other student was embarrassed, and said shyly "thank you for the lesson, it was fun." or something and then we all went our different ways... but the left me feeling like "what??" that is just wrong for three (or more??) reasons 1. There would be nothing wrong with an Original American (native american) accent, who cares?? 2. It wouldn't be that strong anyway, he would be able to understand... 3. I TOTALLY DONT HAVE ONE!!! Based on genetic history, I have more chance to have a Welsh accent than a Tsalagi accent...! anyway, it was an odd situation... but whatever. All in all, however, I really enjoy teaching my students... its fun fun fun!

Today, I captured (had to upload it myself because MFOP has been not working recently) a very special Tshirt's logo on my keitai page .... keep in mind, as you read it, that I believe it IS intended to be kinky (I hope?!) but its the strange way it goes about it (word choice) that would have had me spending the 7 dollars on it, if it hadn't been cut for a woman... it was a very funny shirt I thought! ^^;

I'm hoping my first paycheck from NOVA (coming up on the 15th my time) will be enough (because its not a full pay, because its my first) to pay for my moving in charges... I guess I dont know yet, but I plan to go looking at places on monday my time (a few days before my paycheck comes) ....so I hope so! Other than that, everything is ok... nothing bad happening I guess... I want to update this diary more often with random thoughts, but I've been really busy with nothing but work (hopes to enter more stuff more often!)

...ya know, I really enjoyed the bonus point system last time, so I think I'll offer a few more this time!! Just for kicks and giggles, and a few biggles. 1 tiny point if you learn how to say no from the insane but real (as in really bad designed) kid's web at the pennsylvania state webpage.. its not a parody, honest. Am I the only one that finds it shockingly cheesy and lowfi? OK, 10 points if you know what a love hotel is or can guess (hint that clears it up: a hotel where you make love...uhm?) so.. to continue with the damn cheesy bonus point system, 45 points if you have ever collected (or even if you know that people do!) airplane barf bags!?! And a final 70 points for those of you who know the Japanese word "NIKUMAN" ...it means like a muffin (wrong word!) with meat inside (click the link, look at the pictures, and put your mouse over the pictures to open them up, the 1st from the top and the 3rd, are classic nikuman!) OK, and a final "sorry"... I normally just link to Japanese pages on my Japanese diary, so... sorry for these links here, but the text on those websites aren't so important!! Well, thats all for now.


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Life in Japan, and other witty comments
I'm baaack

Life has been rolling forward. I'm still alive, and I'm looking forward to getting my paycheck in about a week. With that money I hope to get off of my friend's floor and into my own tiny box of an apartment. Thats actually a fairly expensive process in Japan, even though Japan doesnt have any contracts to sign (so its only a month to month obligation) ... so no contracts is good... but most places require a 2 or 3 month downpayment (which might kind of come back to you when you move out) and also a "thank you" payment to the realitor of about 1 month (which wont come back of course) and other fees (elevator, gas, etc) and then added to that I got to pay 1 month to the "dont worry foreigners arent scary" office AND the first month's rent. So ironically I can afford a not so bad place, but I should move into a cheaper one so I can afford all the forward month payment thingies! Blah blah blah. Really can't wait to move into my own place though!!! oooo! Sounds fun! ^^;

Yesterday, I met Diana for coffee in Shinjuku and we ended up going to this yummy "rice omlate" place. Its like a soft egg omlate with sauce wrapped around flavored rice. So yummy! A couple of days before that I met Mio (visible on my keitai page... and incidentally that page has been annoyingly deleting pictures randomly, so be sure to check it often because you might miss something! ooya!) Anyway, I met Mio after my work and we drove around in her mom's car. It was fun, even if we didn't go anywhere really. She picked me up after my work, and we ended up in the more country-side part of Saitama I think (the state next to Tokyo, which is actually where I work even though its almost still Tokyo) ... we stopped and ate at an amazingly local fancy restaurant named.. what was it... I think, McDonalds or something. (ok now your suppose to laugh because I'm so damn funny. heh heh heh) Anyway, that was fun, and she gave me a bag of cookies! woo!

In other news, I'm very excited about the Chinese yuhangyuan (astronauts!) going to space! Although I'm still puzzled why they are called taikonauts in English... isnt a taiko a Japanese drum? Whats going on here? Can anyone explain this to me?? Anyway, its exciting to see the world begin to collectively jump towards space. I'm such a geek... but damn, wouldn't it be cool to walk on mars or something! woohoo! Maybe I'm being influenced by a silly book I got for really cheap from an English section at a book store. I wanted something to read and I picked up the biggest book, which happened to be "Return to Mars" which is a silly novel about a group of scientists doing.. well you can guess, a return trip to mars... ok, so I'm clearly desperate for reading materials because this is a sequal... but hey, who cares!

Wow, uhm. Yeah. This has been a special diary entry brought to you by the letter S. Oh hey, also, I found a few interesting jumping to places. Get your rocketblasters ready... first my question is this: why DOES everything have a .com address?? lichen.com if you even know what lichen is you'll get 10 bonus points (a type of fungus thingie) but if you even care enough to spend more than a 1 minute on this site, you get 100 bonus points (is it weird that I got those 100 bonus points?).... To pick up some more dansen bonus points head your browser to this link and memorize all 20 Japanese phrases, most are fairly useful and they are written in English and you'll be the whizkid on your block by knowing these! You know you want to, and its 70 bonus points! And for a final mop up of about 15 or 20 bonus points, check out this cool old-fashion panorama thing kind of like I made, but from the top of a Japanese mountain looking towards mt.fuji! Anyway, thats all for now boys and girls!


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

3 bars, life, and another post...

OK, so its almost 1:30 in the morning and I of course of work tomorrow... I really wanted to send an update to my diary though, so... surprise! thats what I am doing!

So first up, 3 bars! On Monday, Diana took me and Yusuke (his nickname is USK) on a tour of three cool bars in her area (Chofu) ... It was awesome! All over the spectrum, made "bar-hopping" fun. First up, we went to this Hawai'i theme bar called Charek or something... all the waiters were all wearing Redhook [Seattle beer] t-shirts, and there was soft music (often of the traditional lax key Hawai'i style... the tables had lit up boxes in them that showed trinkets from Hawai'i (plastic surf boards, fake shells, etc) .. it was all fairly cheesy, but enjoyable. I had a plum beer, USK and Diana had beers and also Diana had a vodka + cranberry juice mixed drink. Next up, we went to a bonified cowboy bar! It was called "Jackson Hole: Wyoming Cafe" (although it wasnt a cafe at all, it was clearly a bar) and the background music was all (atleast while I was there) country western... a video screen showed extreme skiing and pigs in darkened fields (why?) ... the strongest thing I remember from this bar is that the toilets were walled in fragrant wood, I could smell the wood as if it was a sauna, do you know that wood smell? I had a asahii beer this time, and so did Diana and USK. Final stop was a bar (that I've regretfully forgotten, maybe it was "golden child"?) that was totally reggae. It was at the bottom of a building, in what seemed like a basement. The lights were dark, and no one else was there except for a totally drunk group in the far corner. Loud Jamaican reggae was thickening the air, and this totally dred-locks hairstyle owner of the bar got us our drinks (cheapest beers in the house) and we sat over in the other corner... I'm proud to say I furthered humanity's desire for inventive uses of preexisting technology by using a straw with my beer mug. The brilliance of this is amazing when you think about how you can drink the beer from the bottom, coldest part, avoid the foam if you dont like it (and if you do its a simple matter to raise your straw up to suck just that off) ... generally speaking, I think this insight should start an amazing trend in beer drinking. Anyway, that was basically the bar-hopping that night. Fun adventure, if I do say so myself.

Recently, I've been thinking about how it is now the "latest" I have ever been in Japan... I have never stayed into October, so I am stretching into new territory. Wow. (In fact, a small note of an e-mail by Ayano tonight was titled "aki no nioi" which is something like "the smell of fall" in english...) Fall is coming, and with it a Japan I've never seen... wooooo! cool.

YAY!! Talking about Fall... that brings me to the topic of October, which is coming now. So I think its now time to proclaim a very happy birthday to myself and my doppelganger yukA who stole my birthday and is trying to become me or something! wow! scary! ...Another year older, time does really roll, it really, really does. In fact, just recently I've found my face skin is dryer than it used to be. I know, useless personal thought, but its just a fact of life... Anyway, with that said, I think I should sleep. Its late. Any requests for my keitai (cellphone!) diary...? Any reasonable legal requests for pictures will be considered, just leave them in my comment box with your other thoughts. biggles!


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

HANA SAMPO, image servers, and other thoughts

HANA SAMPO preview image - in the window that pops up, click the 5th tab from the top!

Its late so I guess, I should make this quick... (working tomorrow) but anyway, heres the update, for those interested, and myself:

Me, Kayo and Mari went to HANA SAMPO today (thats a kind of a "flower walking festival" in the country-side) ... I took some really awesome pictures with Kayo's amazing camera and my keitai ...A few words about the event; it was basically tons of people from the city stomping into the countryside on a holiday (fall equinox) to see cool flowers... there were TONS of people... but besides that, it was really cool to look at the pretty flowers, and being out in the country reminded me of hitch hiking with Taro through the back of Japan... awww.. the memories of youth! heh heh.... if your not satisfied with the pictures offered on this page, be sure to check out my Korean site for lots of HUGE pictures that I'm really proud of, they look cool, artsy and all that. Dont worry that the page is in Korean, in the window that pops up (thats not a popup ad!), click the 5th tab from the top and you will be taken to my photo album. The first three pages with pictures labeled "HANA SAMPO" are from today... (the pictures start out loading in their big forms, and then pop into small form when its fully loaded.) Why sending you there instead of posting them here? That brings me to my current problem... its geeky, and technical... but I need an image host!! All the sites I've been using to bring pictures to my blog have been having technical problems. I'm such a geek, I'm thinking about buying a web host now that I have a job.. anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be interested in what to do.

For those of you who read Japanese, or just want random information, I added a new poem to my Japanese diary yesterday. If there is enough interest, I thought I would include somesort of translation on my English page... working a real translation might defeat my poem.. so I was thinking about sending it through a machine and fixing any words it misses (because it cant see relaxed forms) but leaving the odd grammar in place... anyone interested in seeing this? If so, I might include it here or in a comment box or something...! ^^

On Monday (my first of 2 OFF days) I met Diana (which can be seen on my keitai page) at the bar/restaurant where Hiromi works! Japan has these bars, that are almost resturants... like a Japanese friend said "Kind of like TGIF!" ... You order drinks (sometimes with the option for unlimited drinks for a certain price) and order snack food with the drinks... not a bad setup... I had a really girly icecream drinky thing and Diana had a manly beer mug kind of drink with a Mango Sour (Sours are the Japanese version of wine coolers) It was fun to see Hiromi at her work, she was working hard!!

And other thoughts? I am starting work for another week from tomorrow... not so bad, I'll survive... I'm getting into this whole worker thing. biggles!


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

train congestion, earthquakes, webpages, and its like that y'all

Last night, at around 6, I was coming home from hanging out with my friend Mio, and the first train station I went to was Takadannobaba. Normally, this train station is busy, and this was rush hour ...but I can't explain to you the sheer MASSIVE amounts of people that were on that train platform. I didn't know it at the time, but on another popular route some idiot had parked his delivery truck infront of the train-crossing (in the road) and went into a convenience store to get a drink... regretfully, he forgot to put his brake on and his truck rolled into the train tracks, which caused the train to hit it and derail. Luckily, no one was hurt. Unluckily, the whole train line was broken because of that. So massive amounts of people had to squish into already crowded train lines... so switch back to me on the train platform. A huge RUSH, a WAVE, of people SURGE towards the next train that has arrived. Its an "express" and it can quickly take them out of this mess. They clog into the train, pushing against eachother, until in some cases they are so closely packed I could see people squished in the train, their faces pressed against eachother--- cheek to cheek. A gaijin [foreign] woman on my left exclaims "sweet jesus!" and I almost get into the mosh pit, but the train guy steps forward pushes in the random arms and legs dangling out and helps the doors shut. I am just one person away from getting into that train. The next train to come is a "local" train which translates into a super slow train, but I guessed that often people don't like taking that so I'll get on there find myself a place to sit down and just sleep all the way back to my station. I get on, and people get on behind me, and more, and more, and more, and damn. The train is filled to the brim again, but this time its a local train. So I've locked myself into slow-motion squished hell. For those of you with itchy brains, the hetero-horny people among us, who might be thinking "ohh yah ohhh ya, pressed against a group of cheer leader for 2 hours! yay!" let me just say ... no. no. Its not like that. The smell, stagnant. Old people rotting, body odor, swaying train, massive blob of people... not the funnest of experiences, but none the less the pure amazing power of so many people locked into a tiny capsule rocketing down the train tracks..that was kind of cool.

So the current rumor mill in Japan is buzzing about the fact that supposedly somewhere in Japan a group of scientists released information that any day now an earthquake, the big one, will hit Tokyo. My personal judgment on this one is its probably fake. But it is really creepy, I mean its possible, so its kind of scary. But whatever, no worries, the world always feels drunk to me... so if the ground shakes a little, I'll be ok.

If you didn't notice, I'm starting a new campaign. Nicky will maybe attack me, because I'm so damn annoying, but I thought I should. So yeah, I was thinking about two things recently... how I should really work harder on my Cantonese, and about how Nicky should teach some to his little kid because it would be so cool to learn a language naturally with no effort when you were a baby. Now I know I'm not the daddie, and I shouldn't try to make plans for N&E, but.... isn't it a good idea? Lets all think about it and say yes! heh heh.... But anyway, in my campaign I use Nicky's baby's picture (IF you dont want me to Nicky, I'll take his picture off!) because I feel like a baby myself when I'm learning Cantonese, I have to try to say the same word over and over again. Its really hard for me to pronounce those tones and stuff. If your interested in checking out a collection of some of the learning tools I found, feel free to check out my new temporary homepage about that (I will be changing it's location soon)! And talking about homepages, and links, and all that.... I feel like offering a few locations for you to visit. First, this link is anti-Bushwhacker not really anti-american, but take it as you will. I thought it was an elegant example of how crafty editing can make any reality true. .... also!! I have been thinking about net-museums. There are so many!! You might know there is a mullet museum but did you know there is one for comb overs too? (By the way, I so want a combover when I'm older! Its my favfav style of hair!) What you also might not know is that there are tons of AOL disk museums and all sorts of freakyness out there. The internet is wild, yah baby! Anyway... please feel free to comment as much as you want!


Friday, September 12, 2003

Nicky and Elaine's new baby & I am a worker!

Andrew Alex - Congrads N & E, I am so happy for you guys. Its so amazing! I want to come back to America and see the little guy! Elaine gave birth to him on September 7th, and he looks like a wonderful baby! Congratulations!

So I'm now a NOVA worker! Its fun, but its really hit me this isnt full teaching of course, its more working, but I will have some teaching time so thats good. To me, the schedule reminds me of a factory! We get there, and while we are still learning everything they give us an hour to start making the lesson plans we will need for that day, then a bell rings we grab our lesson plan run to a cubicle looking classroom (have to get there before the bell finishes!) and teach between 1 to 4 people for about 40 minutes (10 min. on each section of the NOVA defined lesson) and then another bell rings, we ask if they have any questions, and run back to the office grab our next lesson wait for the next bell in a few minutes and run back to the next class. (If your wondering why I feel like a worker? One reason is I was teaching my students and in "warm up" they ask you questions sometimes, and one student asked me "why did you come to Japan?" and I said "To be a teacher!" and he said "ohhh your a teacher??" he was surprized... uhm... what did he think I was doing? I think the answer is ... working! so maybe I'm just a worker kind of.... or something!) Now for my dear readers that might think this is scary.... let me say ... it is a little scary! heh heh.. .but I think I'll get used to it, and its not that hard. For Trenchy and Popsicle (I'm using internet nicknames!) it might be something they could do instead of JETT if they want other options... at Shinjuku orientation I saw actually a lot of couples... and if you live in NOVA housing they let couples live alone (singles have to share with two other room mates) and they give you all your housing and all that. And in case your starting to say "You stupid idiot, Eikaiwa [conversation english schools] suck!!!" I know that a lot of people here in Japan think that those kind of schools aren't so cool to work at. But I think life is what you make it, so I can try to be a good teacher for my students, and thats all I can do! Anyway, I'm happy to be working and thats about all I can say about that for now. I start full time work from tomorrow... Often from 1 to 9 at night, but on weekends from 10 to 6 (but I need to come in from 9 to 6 to prepare) .. .they have two days off each week, and for me thats monday and tuesdays. Anyway, I'll answer any other questions! PEACE!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

the return from Korea!

OK! you all can stop making fun of me in my comments box, because I'm back!!
So lets start off my entry with a huge picture that is a collection of almost all the pictures I took with my keitai, the normal digicam I borrowed stopped working, so these tiny little pictures are all I have to offer of pictures I took:

pics missing, try keitaipage


1) Dansen takes a last picture in Japan, in the airport! "see ya Japan!"

2)This is the main terminal in the airport, I got there and had to find the bus to my friends house... I tried to ask some people where the correct bus was in Korean, but no one understood my bad korean. I tried english, but still people got confused and sent me in several directions. So I just pointed to the bus number (606) written on my address book, and finally this guy puts his arms around my shoulders and says in slow english "see that sign over there, lets go there, see?" and took me there. I smiled to myself and said "welcome to korea!" because Japan is totally a not touchy country, but often people (even strangers) are way more touchy here in Korea. I got on the bus, and saw tons of the tiny red neon christian crosses dotting the darkened landscape (Korea is a strongly christian country) and I thought again "Welcome to Korea, Dansen."

3) At the Priema Hotel bus stop Seung One was waiting for me, even though it was almost midnight by the time the bus got there. She was driving her mom's car and so we stopped and picked up Mirim and they took me out to get some yummy dinner. I forget what you call it (I'm bad with names) but it was those good noodles that have black sauce and stuff. Hmm. Guess that dosent really explain it. heh heh. Anyway, it was tasty.

4) This could be a shot of Japan! Its a picture from a train while me and Seung One were going to the Japanese embassy. I was thinking about how Korea dosent look so different from Japan, instead its the culture that is more different, although Korea does look unique. S.O. was so nice to help me find the embassy on Thursday morning.

5) After that we met Da Yeon and Tae Yeon and S.O. went to go work out, and we went to lunch at this cool restaurant.

6)After that Sung Won met us and we played this funny card game in the restaurant, it involved matching fruits and hitting a bell when you did... it was funny!

7) Later Sung Won borrowed his sister's car and we drove a while out of Seoul to Tae Yeon's neighborhood (She explained it this way "Seoul is like New York, I live in like New Jersey!" heh heh!) when we got there we went to this park and walked on this weird path for old people. You took off your shoes and walked around on these different size pebbles. It was really good for the feet, but after awhile it was difficult for some of them to walk on it!

8) This is a closeup of the inside of the temple things roof... this is one of the key differences between Japan and Korean temple things .. this cool color pattern!

9) After all that, they took me out to some good yummy korean BBQ!

10) The next day, I woke up early and went to the Japanese embassy and picked up my work permit (that easy!) and then went to COEX mall to meet my friends. COEX mall is HUGE! one of the biggest underground malls in Asia... in this picture this group of guys is taking down (putting up?) a big road sign thing.

11) First I met Won Young and Hyo Eun (in this picture) and Youngim in front of KFC and we waited for Jin Suk and then we went to Pizza Hut (international culture huh? although the pizza was what companies call "localized" it wasnt one you could buy in america! a complex multi-topping pizza with corn and stuff in the center and then a rim of sweet potato and then a thick rim of cheese pizza and no crust. yummy!) 12) Hyo Eun, Jin Suk and Youngim get ready to take a picture of themselves with a cellphone, and I took a picture of that with my cellphone, trippy huh? heh heh. Hyon and Won Young were there at that time but werent in the picture...

13) Later that day after most people had gone home, Hye Jin Shin met me after her work and I remembered I forgot to call.... 14) Bored Girl (Hye Yeon) and so I called her and invited her to hang out with us too... we all went to eat ice dessert, yummy!

15) Exit is translated as "way out" in Korea, I think thats funny for some reason. 16) Korean ONIGIRI (triangle rice)!! .. its called SAMGAKKIMBAP in Korea...

17) Hanging out with Hyon and S.O.

18) Later Hyon took me to see "Bad Boys 2" ... it was so cool seeing an American movie in a Korean audience... I felt almost surreal watching your native language with "foreign" subtitles in a huge crowded theater that replied vocally to the jokes and scary parts (lots of laughter and gasps) it was cool..!!

19) Next on Saturday I stayed with Mr.Frog (Jiwan Park is his real name, but Mr.Frog is cooler, huh?) and we mainly just hung out watching TV and talking. I saw this one Korean TV show that shows three stories and you have to guess which one (out of 3) isnt true. One of the stories was a reenactment of World War 2 England. But the actors were funny, since it was of course made in Korea using local foreigners. The woman spoke in a thick Russian accent and the man spoke a heavy Australian accent,,, which made their conversations really funny I thought!

20) Next on Sunday I met Mirim, S.O. and Mirim's cool friend and we walked around Seoul and Yon Sei University.

21) For a couple of hours I hung out in a coffee shop (drinking a shake!) with Yeun and Suah, they took a couple of crazy pictures of me holding my leg and stuff. Crazzzy!

22) A pink monkey in orange pants? thats all I need to say!

23) This is a silly picture of Sung Won, on monday afternoon we hung out in COEX mall...

24) This is a picture of KIMBAP, its kind of a version of Japanese sushi. The rice is rolled in unique things though... normal seaweed, but also leaves, american cheese, etc. and the inside tuna is cooked, along with carrots etc. Yummy! Sung Won and I bought it for lunch, he loved the cheese ones.

25) This is a random sign in Korean alphabet, in front of Seung One's house.

26) This is a random train station, it looks kind of like a Japanese train station... I like how these train tracks go down, fading into a "tunnel" of bright sunlight.

27) Monday night I met my good friend Uni and her friend KeyHyon (he isnt in the picture) at a restaurant after her work. The restaurant was kind of like a buffet (you selected your food from a row of food booths) but you paid for each item individually.

28) After the meal, Uni and her friend drove me to S.O.'s house.... the night lights are sparkly!!

29) S.O. had bought some super tasty fried chicken for the last night I stayed at her house?@(because in the morning we were both going to the airport...she was going to north america and I was going to japan!)

30) Seung One's brother, a funny nice guy.

31) S.O.'s dog.,.... it was like a cat-dog. Small, and it licked it self clean!

32) The final picture from Korea, my Northwest airlines plane waiting to fly me away!...

You should also check out these two pictures Sung Won let me take with his camera, the left one is a group of appartments... so many appartments in Korea! In big groups, kind of like Appartment gangs or something! and the right picture is a traditional Korean todem Pole kind of thing:

[[pics missing]]

In Japan...
I'm back in Japan, living day to day. Yesterday, I met Taro and we walked around and talked. He is going to Indonesia soon for a trip, I'm so jealous. (although, I did spend an hour or so teaching him some basic Indonesian words that might help him! WC KE MANA? ^^; ) Before I met Taro, I randomly met an African guy from Liberia on the train. He was friendly, but his English was about the same as my Indonesian. He knew some words, and phrases, but had a hard time communicating. He asked if I spoke French, but I don't and he couldn't speak Japanese so we didnt talk so much even though he was nice. I did understand he had been here for 3 months, and he was going to work right then... but he was wearing jeans and tennis shoes... so I couldnt help but wonder where an African man, who can't speak English or Japanese, was working. At first I thought teaching French at somewhere like NOVA, but they maybe don't want African accented French, and also they would for sure require a suit. ..... Today I met my Japanese friend USK and he bought me lunch, because he had won some money at slot machines and he was sharing. It was nice to see him, we hung out---walk around talking---for a long time. He also helped me apply for my alien registation card.... yup, I'm offically an Alien now!! Anyway, thats all I have to say for now I guess. Let me know your comments about my Korea trip... or anything else!


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

goodbye japan (until we meet again)

A somewhat fuzzy view from my keitai of Sakuragicho. I went there today to see Ayano's photo showcase thing, showing pictures from her travels in a kind of gallery. There was so many cool pictures, although I didnt meet Ayano. In my keitai diary I say that place is Yokohama, which isn't really wrong.. but the part of Yokohama or whatever is Sakuragicho, that bit of information is for you triva buffs.

I came back to Shinjuku and I was looking for Citi Bank near Kabukicho area... (Quick side note for anyone planing to come to Japan, Citibank offers very good international ATMs with English) So anyway, I was walking across the street and I saw this lady litterly prancing forward in a small "school girl" outfit with a camera man behind her snapping pictures rapidly at a suspiciously low level. I was directly infront to the right, basically in full frame. My instant reflex was to dodge and hide from the camera (being that I don't like having my picture stolen from me) but on thinking back on what was obviously going on, I thought I should have just smiled or something. She was clearly a model of sorts, and they were clearly taking pictures for some sort of "flesh magazine" (heh heh I like to say fleshys) and I could have put my face in there. As it is, my face is maybe still in some random errotica magazine, but instead of a smile I just have this surprized shock look as this random model walks towards me and the thousands around me, the photographer's photo freezing it forever.

Next, I wanted to mention "flash mobs" ... and you are really behind world events if you have no idea what I'm talking about (go type www.flashmob.info into your browser to get more information about these random people coming together to do something silly events) ... its recently attached slightly to my interest, as well as the interest of a lot of other people in this world of ours. I also think its interesting that its traced to New York earlyer this year, I have to say that although I cant prove it started in Japan, I think Japan has had geeky random gatherings among the fans of comic books, or movies like the matrix, and at these random gatherings people have done weird things and what not, basically a flash mob, and some of this was before new york's first event I think... although maybe no one will pay attention to that. (Wanna see pictures of one of these Japanese style flashmob event thingies, look here for pictures and text in Japanse.)

I'm off to Seoul, Korea tomorrow! My flight is in the early evening but I'm going to leave here in the afternoon because I have nothing to do, and being early is always better than being late. I have to pick up my tickets at the airport, so I hope nothing goes wrong. Yikes! Going to Korea, yay, yay! I'm going to see some of the students from the BIP exchange student thing I did... I also plan to meet a few Korean students I met at my school in america.... So I'll be in Korea until September 2nd, then I come back to Japan and the following monday I go to job training (or maybe indoctrination is a better word! heh heh) and soon after that I start teaching. I really hope my students like me, I am so excited. Really, really! Enjoy your days, peace to the people.


Saturday, August 23, 2003

nova updates, and elvis is dancing in my head

I've been doing a whole lot, and honestly my brain is going WAHHHHH right now, so I don't really remember all of it... lets see.... I did meet Diana last weekend for lunch, that was cool. We went to this nice deli restaurant that I added to my EAT.TOKYO page. (If your looking for it, the name is NEWS Deli, and its near the bottom of my review site...)

WOOOOO! Anyway, before anything else, on to the good news!! I called NOVA the other day and they said I got my permission to try to get my working visa. I think I'm on my way to start working now... yes, I know its only Eikaiwa ("conversational english school") but I think I can be a good teacher anywhere that I get the chance. I'm excited!!

Well, having extra time on my hands has led to some more funky computer things to share. Kayo's sister is a computer graphics major and tonight she was showing me how to map faces onto 3D objects and animate them in this little program. We fiddle around and made me bow, and wear a weird helmet and stuff... I even talk in a Japanese robot voice (so have those speakers on!) and all that, if you want to see our finished product, click here!! Its really weird and silly, but it was fun to make... and talking about making things....

COOL! Another bigger Quicktime VR PANORAMA!! COOL!
(Once again, you need the newest version of quicktime to see this! File is 1.9MB so will be slow to load on a slow modem/computer, of course!) This time I took a picture in the late afternoon (3, 4?) right infront of the station. The train station, in the picture, is behind us and we cant really see it. In front of us is the town of Tanashi... we are standing in the middle of a Rotary Club (japan division) sphere art thing with water fountain, to our right is a group of taxis waiting for lazy people getting off the train, and to our left is buildings, but mostly we can just see kids playing infront of a fountain-wall. Somewhere in here is a NOVA building, can we find it? Anyway, if you can, check it out and let me know... I was thinking last time no one was gunna say anything cool about my extreme effort to make these silly things (now I should be giggling, its hard effort, but I enjoy it-- I'm such a geek?!!) but anyway, I've decided to make another one to help you all enjoy what Japan feels like kinda.

The other day, I got some money from that teaching kids thing I did and I made some dinner for everyone. I decided to make my very own invention, and so I'll offer here knowing that soon it will be a world rage I helped inspire... ladies and gentlemen, I present to you YAKISUSHI [fried sushi!]...
yumyum, no??
In case you want to try this yummy recipe for yourself, I decided to let the world know my amazing cooking secret and provide it here. (note you have to sort of improvise while making this food, its all about random flavors of the imagination!) so presenting...



* ground beef

* chives (or any kind of onion thingie)

* cheese (any style of solid cheese)

* nori (the green seaweed put on sushi)

* mayonnaise (and any other flavor enricher u want!)


mix the small amount of mayonnaise & chopped up chives into the meat to make

it softer and richer in taste, add any other flavors you want to the meat

(sometimes I use BBQ pepper etc) and then take a small square of nori

(about the size of a origami sheet, if that helps) and put some of the meat

into the center of the nori, then insert some cheese in the center of the meat,

make sure to wrap the meat over the cheese again and then roll the nori

around the meat, trim the extra nori off and continue until you have a lot.

Next fry the yakisushi in vegetable oil (place them into the already hot oil

with their seem pointing down) until they are really crispy looking.

Yumyum! Enjoy!

I'm starting another feature, I might stop doing this soon... but I was thinking about how thoughts happen to me suddenly and then those same thoughts run away quickly. My keitai diary is good for quick short thoughts and pictures, but when I want to think about something complex I have to wait to type it here.... so I invented the mobile-blog... but this one is kinda not hi-tech.... I've started writing in one of my notebooks where ever I am, with the idea to type it here when I can.
My first entry was:

Sitting on a train, hum of the air conditioning and subsequent waves of fresh air feels quite refreshing compared to the outside's amazingly hot air. I'm on a semi-express (marked with a green sign) train headed for seibu-shinjuku. I wanted a full express (marked with a red sign) but oh well. On my way to the train I spotted a display selling kids toys, rows of masks, tiny plastic cars, and a huge selection of toy knifes. I dont remember seeing a lot of toy guns here either.. And although I could be wrong I dont think this has anything to do with Japan being some sort of "anti-violence" country, I suppose its just market economics. The Yakuza [gangster] here normally carry nasty knifes, being that guns are hard to get, and so the social image is maybe something that is more accessible, if I dare guess, and thus more marketable? I don't know its just something I was thinking about as the train swayed me back and forth. Incidentally on a related but contrary point, you haven't truly lived until you've walked down a long train as it sped along a curved track, all the train's cars twisting dramatically as you walk forward, amazingly cool I think.

Wow. I was tripping out on the train huh? I wrote that to kill time, and its kind of weird, but whatever. Yeahhhh!

In other news, I'm heading back to Korea this next Wednesday...! I am beyond happy that I get to go to korea to get my Japanese working visa at the embassy there!! When I first called a company to ask about a ticket, I asked to speak English (not wanting to make a mistake and end up with a ticket to Bangkok or something!) and the guy took all my information in English (kind of shyly, but with a fairly good accent) and then said he would transfer me to a person who could "speak english" who would finish my order. He transfered me to a person with one of the thickest Japanese accidents I've ever heard, and she was horrible in customer relations... and said the ticket would cost me over $600 before tax! I was sure this price was a Gaijin Price (more expensive prices for non-Japanese, something that I cant prove exists, but that I think regretfully does sometimes, most noticeably, and most justifiably, in the housing sector) so I just told her I would try other places. It was too late to try anywhere that night, so the next day I looked through the magazines and found a cheap offer and called the place and asked (in japanese!) "Can I speak English?" and the guy said (in Japanese) "Actually, sorry, but all our salespeople who speak English are busy." So I asked (in Japanese) "When should I call back?" and he told me about 10 minutes... maybe its just me, but I thought it was funny having a conversation about when I could speak English, not in English... I should have just tried to buy a ticket from him... but anyway, I call back in 10 minutes and this guy answers and I ask him in Japanese again if I could speak English, and he says "Sure, man, how can I help you?" in a non-Japanese accident. Turns out this nice guy was from Turkey! and he was married to a Japanese woman, so he came here to work. His Japanese was really good, almost no accent. That was cool... and I ended up getting my ticket for about $400, after tax, which was what I had saved away for my ticket so I didnt really go broke. (although it feels weird spending the savings I had been keeping carefully!) So here I am, ready, so ready, to begin teaching... on the edge of the storm, I'm ready to begin!!!


Monday, August 18, 2003

hello kanagawa :: rain :: art thingies I've made

This last weekend (what was it? This last Saturday?) I was going to go to KANAGAWA to check out HANABI (fireworks show) with Tatsuya and Taro, but because its been so rainy in this part of Japan, they had to cancel the show. That totally sucks because the fireworks show season is almost over, so I guess I won't be able to have another fun fireworks party in Japan this year. Its been so weird this summer; some normal hot and humid days but mostly wet and cold days... anyway, we all got together (me, tatsuya, taro, and a female friend of tatsuya) and decided to hang out anyway, even though there was no fireworks. We watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which is called "Green Destiny" in Japan. (I still like that movie, even though the wire work making them look like they can fly is still kinda weird...) and after that Tatsuya drove us around in his car. I stayed with Tatsuya the first time I was in Japan, and he told me about his red souped up 1980s sportscar, but he had it in storage far away at that time. So getting a chance to ride around with him felt like a sequel to my younger memories, which was nice. The rain was really smacking down hard, thick sheets against the front window as we whooshed through the dark streets at night (it was about 11 when we started I think) ... I took a picture of Taro and Tatsuya's friend making weird faces in the back of the car, but for some reason the picture I took without the flash posted, but the picture I took with the flash wouldn't post. So actually you cant see anything in that picture! oh well...! We stopped at a cheap TONKATSU [breaded & fried pork] restaurant (and because I wasnt taking the train home, I had extra money in my budget!) and we all got some Tonkatsu on top of a bowl of rice (I didnt add this restaurant to my EAT.TOKYO page because I was too lazy to record the name or anything) ...the food was really hot and good, felt nice to fill my stomach with some fresh Japanese food, yummy deshita! ... After we all finished eating we walked to the car (while I sang Japanese kid's songs in weird ways, for sure bothering everyone?!) and in the car me and Taro played that game where one person says a word, and the next person has to say a word that begins with the last letter of the other word... Taro was so good at this game, he kept picking words with "Y" as the last letter so I would have a headache trying to remember Y words (Yank, Yak, York, Yankees, Yellow, and my favorite best one of the night Yesterday)...

And now, presenting to one and all, another weird boxy thing of weird picture randomness, representing night, and rainy tokyo:

rainy tokyo
OK, and actually I've been way too productive recently... in a very unprecedented ability (atleast from my site) I am now offering something really cool. Yes, I mean it, really really cool (atleast in a geeky interactive sense!)...

*** QUICKTIME VR 280 Degree Panorama!! ***
Click above (if you have the latest version of Apple's Quick Time, and if not get it.) to see a panorama of the view I always see right below the apartment I am staying in. This is the road right infront of my friend's apartment building at about 3 in the morning (I stay up late!) right after it rained again, its been doing that a lot. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it (if you have a slow modem please wait for it to fully load before you click on the image and drag it to move) because it took me a long time to figure out how to make and then to make it. Look at the details (if you want, you should be able to do a little bit of zooming too if you want because its a fairly high quality image)... for example, can you see the barber shop? And the gate thing leads to the temple where they had the bon-odori festival, etc... Its not perfect, I know there are some image glitches and stuff, but I think its a totally cool way to see what it looks like over here! Yay! I really need to start working so I stop doing all these silly geeky computer stuff and start teaching!!!! uh huh!!

Right now I was eating some of the candy Seung One sent me from Korea, and I realized something funny. I was eating a Mentos for the first time (??) and it was from Korea.. international culture! I guess its not something that other people can relate to, but I found it profound somehow (and those "MENTOS: the freshmaker" commercials were popping up in my head like popup ads, along with this one weird fake MENTOS ad I saw once about this guy shooting his friend because his friend did something with MENTOS or something... anyway, I am totally just talking to myself here, aren't I?? hahaha!!) Still no word from the Japanese Government about working visas... Oh well, I hope for good news soon!!

candy isnt healthy I know that, but it tastes good so you cant stop me from eating it! oh yah! PERMEN!! ...SAMPAI JUMPA LAGI---!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

no sleep and a fried green brain

Ohmygod, I'm so sleepy. I haven't slept since late afternoon yesterday. My brain is kind of slow, pulling itself along like a slug. Why? (You might ask.) Why not... I have no work at the moment, no appointments today, nothing really to get sleep for... so I've stayed awake, and messed up my health a bit. (I've grown two new big zits just for staying up late, yay!) As the crown for my nonsleeping I took a self portrait. Its kind of a big file, and you'll have to go to my Korean photo album (press three on your menu to the left) to see the whole huge file including my new special forehead zits! yay! But if you don't want to find that picture and just want a direct link, heres a croped smaller version, in which you cant see all of my crazy face, but you can atleast see I haven't shaved. Uh oh! I look like a monster, so be careful not to look at the picture late at night or after watching a horror film. heh heh.

In other news, I've produced my first art picture thingie-box-of-weirdness:

buildings and people

I wanted to somehow convey the huge massiveness of everything... the amounts of buildings, people, things. So I blocked random fuzzy pictures onto a picture of billboards crawling up the side of a Kabukicho building. Hope ya enjoy. (I must pointout the popeye cartoon in center tho!)

is this dansen?!
I thought I would take a couple of seconds to talk about some geeky computer stuff. Yay! ...I recently setup a website with a Korean website service. Korea is the world leader in people on the internet, and this website is totally setup for those who want to live on the internet. It lets you design an aviator character (you can see mine above) and also a room, but heres the kicker to put virtual stuff in your room (such as chairs, beds, watermellons, beer, etc) you must pay REAL money for them. Now, it is only a couple of wan (less than pennies, right?) but I still think its amazing that thousands (millions?) of people on this site are paying MONEY to have chairs, that they cant sit in... beer, that they cant drink... etc. I'm not saying its bad, I think I'm just saying: thats the future ladies and gentlemen.. a consumer is a consumer, no matter if that consumer is buying things they can hold in their hands, or buying things they can hold in their mind. Fascinating?? ...(that site also has a free diary, free BBS, and a free photo album that accepts huge files...something I'll be using for my big picture uploads!)

hoo hum...
In working news... the Japanese government still hasn't given me permission to TRY to get a visa. They better hurry up, my travel visa expires fairly soon. I can't wait though, when (IF?) I get permission to get my working visa... I will go to Korea to get my working visa.. and I will meet a lot of my friends from the exchange student program I went on! Yay! It will be so fun. Anyway, nothing major to say in this update. Just wanted to keep you all updated (well, thats all you 3 or 4 readers! heh heh)

leave your comments, questions, whatnots in the box to your right and remember I OWN YOUR SHOES NOW!!! whahaha! SEGAR! DAAG!

Saturday, August 09, 2003

a little work, some karaoke, some orginal music, and other insanity

The other day I went to this school almost outside of Tokyo, near the state of Chiba. It was far away, but I had been offered a one time only (and maybe more than that later?) teaching job at this kind of English preschool. The kids would come in and we would play with them and exchange basic phrases with them. Most of the kids were about 3 years old, and I was very impressed that a lot of them had memorized basic english phrases by that age! I could say "hello whats your name?" and often they would say their name, and then nice to meet you or something, and some could even carry on basic conversations about how they were doing and etc. I was impressed.... afterall, I don't think I was even doing much talking in my native language when I was 3, let alone in a second language! One of the little girls (was her name Mana?) was so young, but she had already became a little comedian (in Japanese). She would constantly make remarks (when a face was being drawn to practice naming the face parts in English she yelled in Japanese "ohmygod! stop it, its scary, it looks like my grandma!" and another time we were arranging ropes on the ground to let the kids play hoping games, and she said in japanese, "freaky! it looks like micky mouse, hurry lets make it into a panda!" and when all the kids were making crafts, they were supposed to make a cat and dog from folder paper [origami] and she made the cat and the dog and then drew a tear on the dogs face and said in japanese that the dog was sad because the cat was giving it a hard time, and other stuff like that! she was so silly!! I couldnt help but wonder if she would become a famous comedian or something!) It was all really fun, and later the lady who hired me (her name is kwi heng, she is Japanese-Korean) will send me a little bit of money for my work. which will be really good, since I am still of course really, really, low in the money department.

Taro had his birthday a few days ago... (HAPPYBIRTHDAY TO THE TAROMAN!) and so we met him and went out to eat (at an Italian restaurant now listed on my EAT.TOKYO website under the name "ITARIA ICHIBA" which is currently like the second restaurant listed) and then we went to karaoke. We were walking along in Shinjuku and this guy fished us out of the crowd, which is common in Japan. Its insane how crowded it can get in "downtown" Tokyo, people just flood the area, clogged in constant motion. Words cant explain the massive amounts of people that just exist in a constant flow. Anyway, back to the fisherperson. In Japan, people are hired to stand in the crowd harassing people with posters asking them to go to restaurants, gentleman's clubs, and you guessed it---karaoke! Dear reader, in case you've never had a chance to experience a japanese style karaoke thing (you can experience those in canada) let me explain a little bit. You go to this building that has lots of little rooms, you get assigned to this room with a microphone and a TV with a karaoke machine. Some karaoke places offer free drinks that are delivered (some are drinks like wine coolers and beer, and some places only offer soft drinks) and some karaoke places dont offer any free drinks, and instead they have cheap entrance prices but require you to buy atleast one drink. Anyway, the amount of songs you can sing is insane! This place, just as an example, had thousands and thousands of Japanese songs (both brand new and painfully old) and hundreds and hundreds of english language songs (super new and as old as the mid 1950s-early 1960s) and songs in Korean and Tagalog. What was really amazing about the English song selection was the range of music. This wasn't just brittney spears, it was anything, from greenday (punk) to marylin manson (goth metal) to eminem (hiphop) to anything else you could think. If your wondering, just for fun I tried to sing weird songs by manson, eminem, elvis, and other off the wall artists, it was so fun! the crazyest fun part was trying to sing the Japanese song "LOVE LOVE SHOW" by an artist I like that is named "Yellow Monkey".. (If you've never heard that song I think you can go here and then click the LOVE LOVE SHOW link and it will pop up a sample song window, wait for it to load.) My singing basically was in and out, some parts were maybe quite clear (the parts I had kind of memorized or the parts that were mainly written in Japanese alphabets that didnt use difficult kanji) and other parts were mumbled as I tried to keep up with the song. ^^; ...I don't remember ever trying to sing a Japanese song in Karaoke before though, so it was really fun trying... I'm going to have to practice with my bad voice, and do it again sometime!
i am sure i sound like a dying turkey when I sing! hahaha

dot dot dotNOTICEdot dot dot

I've had time to waste, and I don't like to waste my time just watching the seconds go away... so I made a freaky weird techno song using vintage radio samples and a virtual synthesizer and stuff. Please check it out by clicking here and then clicking the name of the file. (The name of the song "tenaga musuh" is Indonesian and I guess it means something like "energy enemy" or something!) I made this one, unlike the last song I linked to. Let me know what you think, try my weird song!

Right now the wind is really slaming against this appartment. Its late at night, and my mind is a little light headed... but I like the sound of the wind. Although sometimes it slightly shakes the room a little (if its not earthquakes shaking me its wind, when will the shaking stop?? heh heh) ... I really do like nature sounds though, I just hope I don't get blown away to the land of OZ. Apparently its almost a typhoon or something? I'll be ok of course. Let me hear your thoughts, cus I'm a comment hungry bunny. oh yeah.

if I was a bean I would be green JALAN-JALAN SAJA! DA-DA!

Sunday, August 03, 2003

drinking, living, and other weirdness

its getting hot in here...

Well, the rainy season in Tokyo is officially OVER... and its getting hot, I was walking around outside today and my skin was boiling and my brain was melting. Yes, hot hot. Looks like this summer will fit the Japan reputation.

I am sleepy... I originally started this at 9 my time, and then just forgot to type anything else, my mind blowing around on the internet. (its 1 now!) Do I have a major internet addiction problem, or what? I found some cool websites... Including links to a collection I'm correctly making. I have some extra CDR discs so I plan on making a collection of some super weird strange odd music that can't be heard anywhere. Why? for fun. For example... wish I made this song!!! (IMPORTANT! Click the link, and then click the SECOND file, its the one I'm talking about.) I was amazed to find out that other people enjoy making music in the same way that I do. I really envy that song, its brilliant. (click the link to download it, ya ya)

whooopie! oh yeah and on a side note, the current [[as of this moment]] emotion for my blog [[seen on the left]] is "dashing" because I'm trying to find some people who will let me tutor them for a little bit of money or food so I don't starve!!

A few days ago (last wednesday, an hour after writting the huge entry!) I met Aki and Satomi and we went to a bar. (you could see this if you had been checking my keitai page!!) It was really fun, we ordered tea and shoju (korean sake, uhh, you know sake right? korean wine.. ok, you should know that.) And so we mixed (and sometimes drank strate) the shoju with the tea and ended up drinking tons of it (one and a half full bottles!) ...needless to say, we were a bunch of drunk kids by the end of the night... stumbling for our trains, getting lost. I ended up jumping the gate at my station when I got there, because I forgot to get my ticket at the station (drunk drunk) and there wasnt any more trains anyways, it was the last train. Hows that for young and immature? (( note to Dansen: enjoy life, but be a good boy! ))

Tomorrow, I plan to meet my American friend Diana again. I want Taro or whoever to join us, but I think he is busy. So this is the end of my strange little blog entry. Just wanted to be a good little blogger, and keep on writing! SAMPAI JUMPA LAGI!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

More Nova, a live show, some freaky links and a NEW photo album

So on Tuesday I went into NOVA and found out the wait continues. Now, NOVA must get the OK from the government to let me begin asking for a visa. Yes, you heard that the right. Permission to ask permission for a working visa. Typical bureaucraticrap (check out my new hyperfusion word! giggles!). And the 12 weeks until my first pay check doesn't appear to start until after my work contract starts, which isnt until I have a visa. The boss guy said he normally suggests teachers have about $2000 (??) to start out in Japan.. I have about less than 100. Its time for some miracle magic... I'm going to have to try to drum up some money somehow. Hmmm. I can do it! I can do it! (??)

Tonight I went to this really awesome live show! Kayo had sorta won the tickets to see the DJ for a band I really like Denki Groove (for those of you who know them, yes they are shocking, but all music is cool--!).. Denki Groove has broken up, but their DJ (a guy named Takkyu) is still performing! But Kayo had an appointment with her good friend Buubuu (she was going out to eat and stuff with him) so she couldn't go to the show... long story short, I ended up with free tickets to an awesome concert. The show took place on the roof of a ten story high Tower Records building. It was the outside roof, so you could see the clouds up above, and the air blow on you... There were speakers set up all around the roof which would be used stereophonically (pulsing sound and stuff...) I got there first, and got in the blue ticket line. (The people who had won their tickets by buying a CD had blue tickets, those who had paid to get in had red tickets)... I noticed immediately that there was a difference among the blue and red ticket holders... the red ticket people were more or less your typical clubbers, but the blue ticket people were more of a random mix. Because of this (or maybe its always mixed up at Takkyu's concerts?) there was a really wide range of Japanese people at the concert. There was this one guy who had a huge curly beard, bigger than the unibomber, with a bright neon green stripped shirt. And there was these two classic hippies/stoners dancing next to me. They had dreadlocks, and sandals, bead necklaces, big baggy pants, and a "scruffy" look about them, and every time the beat kicked in, they would say the classic "wohhhyeah!" thing that hippies (this isnt meant as a negative word!) say when they are excited. There was that one person who gets too excited at every dance-party, you know the person who flings their arms too wildly and spins too strongly that they just dont match with anyone around them? There was the classic overly-nerdy guy who was hunched over, rocking his shoulders slightly trying to be cool but too scared to really move and too socially shy to do much of anything. And there was a couple of highschool girls, in sailor-style school uniforms, shaking away. And a young salary man (office worker) still in his suit moving to the rhythm. And that clueless foreigner that always looks out of place (uhm, ok maybe that one was me!) ... Basically it was such a diverse crowd, it was really cool. And the music was awesome, really weird and sometimes broken. (brake-beats, jitter-stops, screech-feed backs) but when the deep bass beats kicked in, it was so danceable. The bass music was so loud, that even if George W. Bush decided insanely to randomly add Japan to the axis-of-evil, and began bombing the hell out of downtown tokyo, I wouldnt have been able to hear it. It was that thunderous. It throbbed so loud that my ears were ringing afterwords. The kind of bass you can feel in your bones, makes you want to dance. And some of the sound samples Takkyu used were really freaky cool (this one that sounded like "dick-dick-dick disco" and another one that was this guy saying "we are the jihad, you know you want us bad, gunna have to shake your butt, the DJ is a slut" and he even had the guts to sample the one line from one of Eminem's famous songs [the one where he is bashing on Moby] when Eminem is saying something like "nobody listen to techno!" in the middle of a hardcore techno beat, which was really cool.) They ended the show with a super heavy techno remix of "you spin me right round, like a record baby" (you know the song from The Wedding Singer?!) and the announcer guy trying to sing the words in English but totally messing up (because it was remixed so heavy the tempo was all messed up) ... everyone cheered really loud and pushed the dude into performing one more song even though he said he was done, and so he put on another song, was really an awesome beat, thundering, then he faded the beat after a while, and then he flipped on a sample that kept looping "disco-disco-disco-disco-disco" and he threw up his hands (in a cool, I am a winner kind of way) and walked off stage. That was the end of the show. the loop kept looping "disco-disco-disco-disco".. the announcer guy came back on and some sound guy faded down the sound effect loop and the announcer guy said [in Japanese] "sorry about that guys, Takkyu is really tired, thats all, hope you enjoyed the show!..." and that was that. Good show though... really wild. (Pictures were illegal, but I took one with my keitai phone but it didnt turn out cool so I'm not posting it.) On my way back to my friend's house, I got off the train at the home station and was beginning to walk toward the exit's stairs when this guy freezes in his tracks, his face expresses complete shock, and he says in English "ddd...da..dansen? what where? what?" It was an AUAP student named Soichi that I had known in America, about a year and a half ago I guess. He didn't know I was in Japan I guess and he was so surprised to see me. I guess I am just too relaxed of a person, I wasn't surprised that much. But it was really cool seeing someone in busy Japan, in fact seeing someone so close to where your living, completely randomly. Freaky fun!

CRAZY LINKS! I've been collecting some funny stories and links to share with the (2 or 3??) readers of this site. They are Japan related, so here we go.... first lets start with the story of Bob Sapp:


Its been said a million times in a million ways, but those who have never been to Japan might not really understand what it means when someone says "s/he might not be famous here, but they are big in Japan." This is a phrase that can be used for more than just Bon Jovi (who is insanely famous over here) but also for acts such as Deep Purple (remember them? 70s rock band? Big in Japan, yes sir, they are quite big in Japan.) and also such people as... Bob Sapp. "Who??" you might ask with a puzzled look on your face. Who indeed!
bob sapp is gunna loooove you

Originally, Bob Sapp was in America not sure which direction his life would take him. He had played football for the University of Washington, and he had managed to get on TV's Strongman competition. Bob Sapp was virtually an unknown kickboxer from America (In fact, he recently bought a house in Seattle!) who is currently a super big hit with all the professional wrestling fans all over japan. And that fact in itself is kind of interesting, but it gets even more twisted and interesting when you check out some of Bob Sapp's overly sappy (pun intended!) merchandising deals. Bob Sapp has parlayed his amazing talents as a butt-kicker into an almost rap-funk act out of some distorted 70s-80s fusion of wacky proportions. Words can not express this act, so in an effort to fully spread the joy, some links are now offered. Please enjoy Bob Sapp kicking it, full speed ahead my funkadelic music desire-hungry masses!

video clip of Bob Sapp rapping (and if you dont have a fast modem, you can go low-res here)

And for all you new Bob Sapp fans, we couldnt help but to include a final clip. This one is with Mr.Sapp interjecting random things in a Berry White style voice while a Japanese guy is singing. Oh yeah...

video clip of that (and low-res)

(real player is required for all video links)

You might be inclined to laugh, which would probably be ok with Bob Sapp since he has a reputation for a huge sense of humor, but you should do more than giggle. This isn't just some insane weirdness, this is also entertainment. (And if your interested, you can pick up a copy of his song as a single for about 10 bucks in Japan.) Yes, its different. Yes, its strange. But hey, whatever, we all have different tastes! So before you go and laugh at someone who says "I'm big in Japan" you should check to see if they are big like Bob.

(For more information about Bob Sapp, please read TIME Asia's wonderful article all about him.)


Now on to some other crazy links I've found recently! Japanese freakyness! Check this stuff out!

check it out! Akiyoshi's illusion pages (and the original Japanese page) - this page is full of pictures that will totally mess with your eyes/mind/eyemind---! Most of them you should stare directly at the center, and you'll feel like your having a flashback or something! Wildness...
check it out! Tokyo Tower Live Cam - remember the section on my page when I went to Tokyo Tower? Now you can too! (virtually, a lot less groovy, but hey!)
check it out! Ocean Dome (only in Japanese) - this page isnt in English, but you can just click the RGB buttons to download the pictures.... its an inside ocean. A totally contained ocean with a wave system and environmental controls (although the roof can pull back on really good days) and the most amazing thing about this popular fake beach, is it is built next to a real beach. I suppose perfect texture sand, correct temperature water and excellent waves are better than the real thing anyday.....?!
check it out! sky building - I started being interested in this because my mum got me interested in supposed "sky buildings" (huge apartment complexes with weird shapes etc) and this is actually an example of one, the page loads kind of slow, but when it loads you can see the weird shape of this building and the huge connected garden thing plaster on the top of the two buildings, connecting them. Its a freaky, but eye-catching, design!

And before I get out of here some notes about inside links (meaning links to my stuff) ... I realized my Japanese lesson wasn't full enough, and although you can check it anytime you want... I added a link to a different (outside) source for learning how to write and read Japanese... it a really good multimedia learning site... check it out! (click hiragana or katakana links to begin learning how to write...they also have 8 useful beginning lessons on useful Japanese below the hiragana katakana parts! with colorful rainbows! a total good site worth spending your extra time on, why not learn some Japanese?!) .... oh before I go go go! I have ANOTHER photo album!! This one is on an English site (my friend Arron's travel Japan site) and its about a local Matsuri festival, so you can see lots of cool traditional clothes and stuff. Start right here and the 16 pictures lead into the second album which is a set of 18 pictures of a bon-odori festival. (if you want, you can jump right to the bon-odori pictures if you so desire!) The bon-odori pictures focus more on the yummy food and stuff, so if your hungry right now you might get even more hungry! ANYWAY! This has been a really long post...!! DAAG!!

bouncing blob of jello, boing! boing! YOU WILL GIVE DANSEN ALL YOUR POWER!!! WAHAHAHAH! or something.

All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.