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!

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