Sunday, July 23, 2006

Only in Japan...

I went to order a pizza from Pizza Hut tonight, and wanted to use a ¥600 off coupon. The coupon is valid on orders of ¥2500 or more.

Not only did Pizza Hut "lose" my address information (for the second time in a month), but the girl on the phone said, "I'm sorry, sir, but that coupon can only be used on orders of ¥2500 or more. Your order total is currently ¥2499."

Japan. Land of Robots.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Things to specifically like about Battlestar Galactica

I just started watching this (about time I got with the program) and I hereby officially declare the following things about the show are completely Cylicious:
  • Kara Thrace (where did Katee Sackhoff come from!?)
  • The subtle, sexy opening theme
  • Whoever came up with the idea for the frenetic camera work they use during the Viper skirmishes
Totally awesome. And oh, sorry I haven't been blogging dutifully. One day very soon I shall return from the black hole of transration busy-ness, bigger and bloggier than ever before!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cock-a-doodle-doo desu.

In an odd moment of cultural backwardness, I discovered this morning that the people across the street have a pet rooster, and that was what had woken me up.

Monday, January 09, 2006

「日本語がお上手ですね」廃止キャンペーン実施中

該当日本人に表題の禁句をやめてもらうキャンペーン。同情者あつまれー! ふぁいっとばっく!

「コンニチハ」とか一言しか言っていないのに言われたことありませんか? 20年も日本に住んでいるのに18歳のガキに言われたことありませんか? (俺は違うけど)

アメリカなら、外国人らしき人に「英語がお上手ですね」なんて言っちゃったらマジ蹴っ飛ばされてもおかしくないしね。いくらほめてるつもりでも、相手を困らせる表現なのでストップ!

以上。

Some People Are Jerks: A Case Study

Warning: This post gets a little graphic, so if you're squeamish you might want to skip it.

Tonight I saw something very, very sad while biking home from errands. As I was turning the corner near my block, I saw a car stopped with its lights on, trying to make a very awkward turn. It was almost as if they were trying to retreat the way they came before I could get too close.

Well, it turned out they were running. When I reached where they were stopped, I found a cat—or more specifically, what I assumed to be pieces of cat—scattered everywhere. The people in the car must have really been flying, because there were cat parts all over the road, and this huge swath of blood. It was like something out of a horror movie, I swear.

I felt awful just being there. I wanted to do something, but what could I do? I would never have caught the people in the car on my bike, and I wasn't about to pick up one of Mittens' mittens and carry it door to door for an ID. But it made me really sad to think some kid could walk outside and find that kind of mess.

For that matter, I live right near an elementary school, and today is a holiday, so it could have very well been a kid instead of a cat they hit. It's gross, it's really sad, and it's a testament to how reckless and inconsiderate people can be sometimes. I still want to ralph and this happened almost a half hour ago. I keep expecting to hear a blood-curtling scream or something outside my window.

Anyway, sorry to gross you all out, but this bothered me a lot.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

びかーずおぶゆー、紐育、紐育!

Last weekend I took a trip down to NYC to see my friend Lisa. She taught for a year in Japan with the JET Program. Since she's one of the cooler people to hang out with, I was very sad when she decided not to continue the program and went all the way back to NYC. (Boo!) But now that I'm back in the US for the holidays, I got to go down to the city and hang out with her.

I came in by train on Saturday around noon, and we started by getting a soup-and-sandwich lunch here in the Mariott Hotel's Broadway Lounge overlooking Times Square. Then we went and saw a puppet musical called Avenue Q. Now, I was really skeptical about the idea of puppet anything. But I assure you, this one's a must-see. Think South Park meets Sesame Street. You don't even have to like musicals, you'll still be laughing your ass off. Don't listen to the soundtrack ahead of time and it'll be even funnier. I was lucky enough to not know a thing about it beforehand.

After the puppet affair was over, Lisa and I walked around a bit—to the Virgin Megastore, the Colony, and then over to a park near the HBO building. There was a kiosk there selling very groovy stuff by Our Name is Mud. Next we shivered our way over to the New York BOOK·OFF store. (Sorry, I can't pass up a BOOK·OFF!) We also hit a nearby Japanese café called Café Zaiya for some hot chocolate...which didn't taste Japanese at all.

That evening we went to some sort of JET reunion for New Yorkers. I am neither a former JET nor a New Yorker, so it was a little weird for me, but after a couple drinks and a few hastily-warbled karaoke songs, no one seemed to care.

The next day, we went to the Disney Store on Fifth Avenue to get a gift for my friend's son. Then I dragged Lisa over to Rockefeller Center. We saw the Christmas tree and the skating rink, but the real reason I wanted to go was the new Nintendo World store, which was just freaking awesome. They had this monitor set up inside the entrance with Mario on it. There was a guy in the booth behind the monitor, and when he talked the Mario on screen moved with his voice, so essentially Mario was "talking" with the kids gathered in front of the monitor. They also had a mini-Nintendo shrine set up on the second floor which was fun to look at. The clothing and other items for sale were reasonably priced and a lot hipper than you'd think, and of course there were plenty of kiosks there for people to try out the games.

After the Nintendo had completely gotten out of my system (it took a while), we went to the Europa Café. This was the eating highlight of the trip for me. Affordable food, and the sandwiches and soups and salads were all fresh and delicious. Apparently they also deliver. They could have used more seating, though. The place was packed.

I had to catch a train at this point, but Lisa and I went over to the New York Kinokuniya Book Store since it was nearby. Then it was off to Penn Station and farewell.

Now I want to go to New York again! What do I do?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The PSP...

...is a mighty drug.
もじぴったん中毒になっちゃいました。
誰か助けてくださーい(^~^)モジモジ

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Resolutions and colossi

Some of you already know that I recently made a big change in my work life. And in celebration of that, I've made some other changes as well. For starters, I stopped buying drinks for home. It had gotten to the point where I was grabbing a can of chu-hi almost every night, and although I hear alcoholics make great writers, I'm not really ready for that experiment, thank you very much.

I also have been trying to cut down on eating after 10 P.M. Sometimes the munchies will overtake me and I'll make myself a bowl of soup—but if I get home late now, I try to stick to light eating and hold out until morning.

Speaking of which, I've been trying to get my schedule in order. Wake up early, get work out of the way ASAP, enjoy the afternoon, go to sleep at a reasonable hour. So far this plan has all but failed. After quitting my job I've found myself scrambling for freelance work to get myself going, but now I have too much work and I have to spend my evenings balancing everything out. I think I'll be able to get my schedule back in order before the end of the year, though. And there's always New Year resolutions.

One of the less expected changes is that I've started praying again, at night before I go to bed. I haven't really done that properly in a while. To be honest, it feels a little weird—I even feel like I need to tack on a disclaimer or risk being called Christian!—and I wasn't even going to mention it here. But faith used to be an important part of my life, so I figure it's worth looking into again.

So yeah, in general I'm trying to sort of reassemble the interesting person I used to be. Enslaving myself to a foreign company for three years really didn't prove to be the character-building experience I thought it would be. But I'm glad I did it, made good friends, and who knows? I might give it another shot somewhere down the line.

For those of you with PS2s, do you own Shadow of the Colossus (Wander and the Colossus) yet? It's really good. It feels as original as games felt back on the NES, when it seemed like every game was doing something new. If you like beautiful, simple and focused games, then do yourself a favor and buy this. Buy it for your kids! Share the Wanderlust.

Next Wednesday I fly back to the good old USA, just in time for Thanksgiving! I'll be there until after New Year's, so if you're on the East Coast, drop by and say hello.

Until next time!