Oshiri Kajiri Mushi.

Since I was just talking about insects (and arachnids), I thought this link from Cartoon Brew would be appropriate. Apparently, there's a new craze over here (though I have yet to come across it) about an お尻かじりムシ or "Butt-biting Bug" that once it chomps on your posterior, makes you feel happy.

It didn't make me very happy, just very very confused.
Spins a Web Any Size.

Catches mosquitoes just like flies. Years ago I read a John Wyndham book entitled Web that had an unsurprisingly クモの巣 (kumo no su or spiderweb) theme. There was also a TV-movie called "Kingdom of the Spiders" with William Shatner that was pretty good in a cheesy way. See also Tarantula, Arachnophobia, Eight-Legged Freaks (Japanese title: Spider Panic), etc. All these flicks came to mind when I read this article. When I was a youth, I had aspirations to be an Entomologist until I realized that there was too much studying involved.

When I was unemployed in the 90's, my brother and I made a proposal to a Government-sponsored Entrepreneurial Enterprise scheme to start up our own business called "GoodBugs". We would grow & sell bugs, such as ladybugs, to aphid-hating tree-huggers. Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected and I'm pretty sure someone else has stolen the idea. (Buggers!)

I'll just have to make do with this weekends "Superhero School Festival" to get my arachnid fix. (mmmm. Gummi-Spideys!)


Obsessives Anonymous Meeting

I met up with Nicole and it was nice to meet someone as obsessed as I am with collecting crap. I gave her several Pandas that she didn't already own and she gave me a few.

We wandered through LOFT looking for Super Hero Stickers, to no avail. But a display on the Second floor caught my eye. A very cool & cute rendition of Heidi.

This is a heads up to DJ Mokugohan, whose wife I know is a big fan. Check it out!

After dinner at Ha'penny Bridge (mmm Kilkenny & Shephard's Pie), we parted ways vowing to meet soon and compare obsessions. She's a lovely new JET from North Carolina (just north of South Carolina for the geographically impaired) who promises to mention our events among her colleagues (I'm always promoting!) and will come herself once her husband arrives next month.

BTW, she's looking for a cheap bicycle. Anyone know any used shops to buy one cheap? Furthermore, anyone know of any good Restaurants for Vegetarians to dine at? And most importantly, does anyone have any extra pandas? She needs about 15/48 to complete her set.
Picture perfect.

I went downtown to meet a blog replier for whom I had a few spare pandas to give. I had an hour to kill, so while downtown I snapped a few intriguing pictures.

First up is a recruitment poster for the Japanese Ministry of Defense and they even have a site in English. A nice enough looking poster but it was posted beside the Station's McDonalds...just who are they hoping to recruit? Chubby kids with high cholesterol?

There was an extremely long line-up for the モーニング娘 (Morning Musume) concert at Zepp Sendai. I had always thought that the target audience for this J-pop tripe would be young tweenie girls. Much to my surprise, it was full of old Otaku guys who looked far geekier than I. Somewhat disturbing.

But not as disturbing as this...

Killing more time, I wandered through a UFO Catcher Game Center and though there was some cool stuff, I opted not to waste my money. But there were some pretty cool items.

Such as this Freddy vs Jason set of Rockem Sockem Robot-clones.

Or Jason all by himself.

This Gundam knight was pretty awesome, but each were 200¥ a pop and I must really desire something and be pretty sure of succeeding before I risk 200¥.

But these nifty little characters were irresistable. How could you not like cute copies of the creepy kids from Grudge 2? And they were only 100¥ a try.

So I got 3 of this eerie lass while trying for...

This little boy who's still in a diaper. How adorable is that?

I'm sure when I watched this movie on late-night TV, this cat freaked me out. Not quite so scary now!

Watch these two and tell me which you find spookier. My vote is for the Japanese one. I love Buffy, but she's not so convincing as the victim here.

I popped into the E-Beans bookstore and bought a lovely Manga binder for under 300¥

and a Dean Martin cd.

I also came across a mini-Art Gallery featuring Alphonse Mucha and another artist. There was absolutely NO ONE around manning the joint and though the paintings were probably alarmed, there was nothing stopping me from grabbing a bunch of carry-able goodies (except for my own streak of honesty.)

I also wandered through the Tsutaya hoping to find the 2 episodes of LOST that I'd missed, but so far, only Season 1&2 are for rent. So I picked up a Setzer cd for a buck! It's amazing what you can accomplish in an hour.

Then I met Nicole...



One movie that was just ending its run when I was home was Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Everything I read said that it's mediocre at best, but I also heard the same argument about the first movie and I really enjoyed it. So on September 21st, I'll be in line to see it here in Japan.

This weekend, there'll be an Open House at the school and for the last 2 years, the English Club and myself presented a "Canada" display. This year, for a change, we're making it a SuperHero theme and we'll sell off my excess (unwanted) comics, LoSH toys and some Spidey-gummies that I picked up when home. Alas, due to copyright reasons, we can't show any of my DVDs to the public, so we'll have to make do with me acting out in silly ways.

Here are a few of the goodies I've collected over the years. I don't think I'll be selling them unless I can get a huge profit. I like them too much.

These Marvel SuperHero cards came with a stick of gum. I gave the gum away to my students, guess what I kept for me. It's been ages since I read any Marvel. Does anyone have insight as to who has done the art for these?

I found this mashed up Spidey-Bearbrick strap in a gimmick shop called Rock Your World downtown.
I love his cute little Spidey-teddybear!

This Carnage was part of a set of Spideys in a Capsule. I sold the others in Toronto, this one was a double.

Kubricks are incredibly hot here in Japan. Though I'm unfamiliar with Blue Costume Spider-man.

A Spidey-Bearbrick.

And a Bat-Bearbrick.

I got this Spidey-whistle at a festival last spring. If you fill it with soap, you can blow bubbles!

Finally, is this Spidey-ball that a coworker brought me back from Universal Studios Osaka (in exchange for several DVDs I lent her daughters.) I hope to try it out on Saturday!


Lady Die.

10 years have come and gone since the demise of Lady Di, so I'd like to take this opportunity to recycle a joke that came out back in the day.

Around the same time as Diana's fatal auto accident, Mother Teresa also died and received almost no press. Teresa was having a chat with St. Peter and as humbly as possible asked him a question. "I know I wasn't perfect, but I think I did a lot of good in the world, so I was wondering about something. I just saw Lady Di, and she had a halo, and could you tell me why I haven't yet received mine." St. Peter replied, "Oh that's not a Halo, that's a steering wheel."

I know, terribly bad taste. But thanks to Pat Varley for the reminder on this one.
Some Sizzling Snapshots.

It started off slow with a dozen guys and no ladies in sight, then a couple of my gal-pals came in and that started a trend. By the end of the night we had about 45 women compared to 30 or so guys!

The lass on the left, Hiroko, was an old flame of mine, though there was nary a spark and any fire between us has long been extinguished. Sigh.
Her friend, Yuko, works part-time at レイン (re-in) across from Shaft as a Hostess. She's invited me over, but I don't have the money (or stamina) to go.
Fumika here has developed a crush on me for some reason.
We have a date on Tuesday, but I don't expect anything to come of it
A former student of Mokugohan with Fumika.
An Amazonian friend of VJ Nori who stands head & shoulders above me.
A last minute squeeze before Shaft closes.
Miki over at ERNIE'S at around 5:00am.
Just so you don't think I was the only one getting any action, here is DJ Mixture busting a move.

I can't wait until the next party...
Jumping Jiminy!

I was casually sitting in my living room watching CSI-NY when I look over and see a honking big grasshopper (飛蝗/ばった = botta) crawling on my 障子 (fusuma = light wooden frames with thick opaque paper on both sides, the type Homer would walk through when they visited Japan.)
After several minutes, I managed to capture him/her and release it outside unharmed. Gil Grissom would be proud.

After Friday's Echo-extravaganza and my 6:00am return home, I pretty much vegged all day. This means that I missed the annual Internation Food Fair held at Tohoku University. DJ Mixture, who was a chef in a former life, served up a steaming pot of British Beef Stew. His assistant was the adorable Ayako. (Speaking of Echophonyk, past DJ and current Tokyo spinner, DJ Mark Saito has a new podcast for you to download...Spread the Word, WORD!)

Thanks to my trip home, I'm behind on two episodes of Lost, so I plan to catch them on DVD once I can drag my butt down to the video store. So while I'm taping tonight's episode, I have on the IAAF World Championships held in Osaka. I just watched an enthusiastic young lady on the Pole Vault succeed and then lose when they moved the bar up a notch. (Bad joke time: Man walks up to a guy holding a long pole at the games, "Are you a Pole Vaulter?" "No, I'm Swedish, but how did you know my name is Walter?") Speaking of which, a Polish guy just won the hurdles!

Oh, Lost is now over, so I can turn this crap off and watch something else!


Zoophiles alert.

Welcome to all Googlers desiring to see pictures of animals doing it. Alas, we went to the zoo on the hottest day of the summer, and we were lucky to get them to wake up, let along making the beast with two backs.

I went with my old University buddy, Iris, her hubby Paul and son Simon. (Iris will kill me, but let me tell you an amusing anecdote about Simon's conception, who I called, "My favourite apostle and chipmunk" upon learning his name. Iris & Paul desperately wanted to carry on the family name and spent about 40,000$ at various Birthing Clinics throughout Ontario to no avail. Nothing seemed to work and even my offer as donour was rejected. Finally they went to an acupuncturist who performed his pin-cushion magic and she was impregnated shortly thereafter. I put in my two yen worth and stated, "Apparently it took 100 pricks when just one wouldn't suffice.)

Anyway, back to the zoo...
These guys were all over the place, Canada Gooses/Geese are better known as カナダがん (kanada gan.)
Not just a glorified petting zoo, rabbit is うさぎ (usagi.)
Just kidding around. A baby goat is 子やぎ (ko-yagi.)
Now some real zoo animals such as the mandrill or マンドリル.
Tigers are known as 虎・とら (tora).
Elephants are called 象 (zou).
Hanging out at the ol' watering hole.
Poo of elephantine proportions.
Hippos are known as かば (kaba.)
I saw this giraffe when he was just born about 10 years ago, giraffe = キリン (kirin, not the beer or the mythical beast.)
Look who's not laughing now, hyena is ハイエナ (hai-ay-na, not hai-ee-na.)
These Silverback Gorillas are called ごりら.
Sigh, rhinos are known as さい (sai.)
Red River pigs or bush pigs are 豚・ぶた (buta.)
Ostriches are known as ダチョウ, (dacho.)
Some recently hatched ostrich chicks, (子ダチョウ).
I could go for an Emu-burger about now; Emu = イミュー (ee-myu.)
This purty bird is called a Violet Touraco すみれトラコ (sumire-torako)
Mmmm, bring on the stuffing.
It's nigh impossible to find turkey in Japan outside of Christmas time when you may be able to find a leg for sale. Turkey = 七面鳥 (shichi-menchou), curiously shichimenchou has an alternate meaning as grafting animal parts onto tools!
Butterflies are known as ちょう (chou, or kids call them チョウチョウ, chou-chou)
Can you find Nemo amongst these chiclids? (I guess the Japanese would be チクリド. Mmmm, chiclets.)
It's Skippy! (I heard that when filming his exploits, close-ups of his legs hopping were done with two dismembered limbs on poles!) Kangaroo = カンガルー.
The Nile monitor lizard would be known as: ナイル大蜥蜴, (nairu-ootakage.)
And finally, this escapee from Lost is a bi-polar bear or 白くま (shiro-kuma or white bear, how original.)

I hope you enjoyed today's Japanese lesson about animals.


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