Flower Power.

In my never-ending quest to waste my money on collecting crap, I came across something that is actually practical as well as tasty. For the last week, Suntory has been selling its Oolong Tea with a little booklet of Post-it notes attached and with a description of 12 seasonal flowers, one for each month. I got the last two that I needed today.

As you can see, each flower's name is in Japanese, so I'll try and translate them for you. (My half-assed attempt at studying Japanese.) This site helped a little, as did this one but I still had to Google some.)

January = ume = Plum Blossom
February = anzu = Apricot
March = momo = Peach Blossom
April = botan = Peony
May = sakura = Cherry Blossom
June = hasu = Lotus
July = bara = Rose
August = kinmokusei = Sweet Osmanthus
September = kiku = Chrysanthemum
October = ran = Orchid
November = suisen = Narcissus
December = roubai = Wintersweet or Japanese allspice

Now what the heck do I do with 12 booklets of Post-its?

ps. Recently in the Konbini, Suntory has offered up new Final Fantasy Potion Figures. But at 980¥ a pop, that's too expensive, even for me.


Butt-Biters Are Back!

A while back, I spoke of the Oshiri-Kajiri-Mushi, a ubiquitous bug that bites the butts of passers-by. Since then, the little buggers are everywhere. They have NHK specials, cds, tons of UFO catch paraphernalia and the annoying song continues to bug you wherever you go. Now there is a Kajiri-pie, little snacks that I'll be feeding to my students tomorrow.

This is what the interior of the box looks like. I have no idea what relevance it holds, so I'll have to ask some of those hungry students tomorrow.

Good night for now...Don't let the Bedbugs bite!

I was informed by one of my sources that the forthcoming Simpsons Movie has a Mr. Donuts tie-in. In the past, any Simpsons merchandising has been done by CC Lemon and I was first in line to nab those goodies.

Here are the キャラクター (characters) Click around this site and you can watch the trailer with the Japanese dubbers. Lisa is HOT! Marge is butch & scary!

So tonight, I beared the bitter cold and made my way to my local Mr. Donuts and bought their custard set. Four of these little custard-cake concoctions plus 2 Simpsons mugs for about 10 bucks.

At least, I'll have my breakfasts taken care of this week. Once done, I'll have to go back and get the plates.

So much for my diet, but Mmmmm, Donuts goods.


Tokyo Rose by any Other Name.

I checked out of the capsule and made my way to Shinjuku station. Buddy Nori had recommended a Burger King, back in action after a 6-year hiatus. He admonished about the MegaBurger, but in my slightly hungover state, I settled for a Whopper. It was larger than I had remembered, but then I realized that for the last several years, I never ate anything other than Happy Meals or Burger King Kids' Meals. I only really want the toys, not the food. Much to my chagrin, there was NO Kids' Meal, it was upscaled for adults, who would go there only to eat! Hard to believe.

I wandered around Shinjuku after that and eventually discovered a Movie area with a large variety of UFO catch game centres. I had plenty of time to kill, so I popped in several 100¥ coins and won various and sundry items including this bizarre Ramen-eating Salaryman who had definitely felt the worse for wear.

Best find was a centre with 5 different Pinball games! I wasted some more time playing Congo, Guns & Roses, Dungeon Madness, Shadow and my favourite game of all time...Twilight Zone! Alas, each of these 20-30 year-old games had seen better days and a lot of the play had left their bumpers.

I finally met up with Liverpudlian Andy and we went to an all-you-can-stomach Indian Restaurant. I didn't have much room to eat after the Whopper, but I still put a few plates away. We walked it off by heading to the Government buildings with a free Observation Tower on the 45th floor. Nice views of Smoggy Tokyo!

Those crazy hazy days of autumn.

Very Blade Runner-esque, with a blimp soaring overhead.
Nice little park with the changing of the leaves in full glory.

Full moon over Yoyogi Park.

We'd spent enough time in Shinjuku and made our way to Shibuya to meet up with Mark & Yuko. Andy recommended a place called Tasuichi where you can get Draft for 200¥ from 5-7 and only 300¥ after that. Needless to say we wasted several hours there getting wasted on cheap beer and cheap company.

The food was typical fare, but we decided against ordering this.

Swilling down the swill.

Enjoying a pint at the pub. We met a couple of backpackers from Wales who were on a whirlwind worldwide tour. We invited them out for Karaoke and they loved it but had horrid voices! (Word of advice if you don't wish to piss me off. If you plan to sing a duet with me while I'm crooning Sinatra, be sure you actually know the song!)

Mark and I continued drinking all night and took an early 6:00 train home. Mark slept ALL day and I continued a walkabout in Shibuya, hunting for a Santa costume. I went to my NERD store and bought this cool model of Gappa

Finally in a bizarre small world event, I met the girlfriend of one of Stef's friends from the night before at the pub. The next day, I met her friend on the Subway platform in crowded Shibuya while on the way home...freaky!


Falling Off the Wagon.

I fell off the wagon so hard, I bruised my bum! Since Stefan has been in town, I suspect than any weight I'd unacquired has been reacquired.

It started off with a terrific burger at Fat Robs (03-5768-9339) in Ebisu, but it was grease free and with a huge avocado slice.

I wandered around Ebisu looking for a great used book store, but never did find it. (By the way, it's called Good Day Books-now I know.) I did see an a cappella group warble outside the Yebisu Garden Palace. I recommend you go back there at night when it's all lit up...very illuminating.

Next I trekked to Shibuya where I saw a couple of entertainers advertising for the latest Pachinko parlour opening.

At the train station entrance, there are some rivals for Hachiko as the rendezvous spot of choice. These mini-sumo kids look like they're having fun.

Eventually, I'd be meeting the gang in Roppongi that night, so I made it there in order to book a Capsule Hotel. There's a nice one in the ロイ building...Super Sauna Roppongi VIVI (スーパーサウナ 六本木VIVI). Roi Bldg 4F, 5-5-1 Roppongi (Roppongi stn exit A3), tel. 03-3404-4126. While seeking my torpedo-shaped sleeping quarters, I saw this guy monkeying around above a pet store.

While waiting to meet up with Stefan and his pals, I continued my walk-about through Roppongi and took in the Vermeer exhibit at the The National Art Center. Though the painting was good, it was the only Vermeer on display and ALL the other paintings were variations of it by other Dutch artists. It was VERY dull. I did get to see a hurdy-gurdy though, so it wasn't a complete waste.

I wound up in Hiroo waiting and waiting and waiting. But at least I had some company.

Eventually, I did meet the gang and we ate at a place called Gonpachi. It's a warehouse-sized izakaya-style restaurant, with great food & beer.

Afterwards, we went to Club Yellow to listen to some a friend of a friend named DJ Milo. Though a cool place for the younger generation to hang around, it wasn't my cup of java, so I trudged several blocks back to my capsule.

Part 2 tomorrow...
Passionate Pictures.

Here are a few pictures from last Friday's event. It was bloody freezing, so our turnout was less than stellar, but those who did show seemed to have a good time. I'm just going to put up pics of the pretty patrons. Enjoy voyeurs!


Pilgrims Were a Bunch of Commies!

(If that statement doesn't increase my hit-count, I don't know what will.) As a Canadian, I'd always been suspect of the Thanksgiving tradition of chowing down with the Indians. I concur that the Indians (Native Americans) did supply the Plymouth people with knowledge of fertilizing corn fields with fish heads, but the whole breaking bread (instead of breaking heads) thing seems suspicious. This article by an Economics Prof in New Delhi claims that Thanksgiving has more to do with the Pilgrims overcoming their communal ways, accepting the capitalistic concept of property ownership and praising respite from a drought. But forget all of that, it's history...just sit back, watch your Football, eat Turkey and I hope everyone's Cornucopia is full of goodies!

Speaking of Indians, they signed free agent, 小林 雅英 or Masahide Kobayashi for a mere 6.25 million$.

Here's a YouTube of a different Masahide Kobayashi, for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure.


Congratulations are in order!

One of my first Japanese girlfriends is getting married tomorrow! I haven't heard from her since she celebrated her engagement by joining me in a final fling last Summer. I'd wondered what she'd been up to since then. Now I know.

In other congratulatory news, at my last trip to the clinic to refill my asthma meds, I weighed in at 2.2 kilograms lighter than I was about 6 weeks prior. Not a great achievement, but it was due to a fairly strict self-imposed diet. If I started exercising as well, who knows how much weight I could drop. But I can't lose too much more until after Christmas. Who wants a skinny Santa, and I have at least 4 gigs as St. Nick coming up!
Passion Fruit.

Thursday night is yet another Echophonyk party, this time with a special guest DJ from Tokyo, DJ VIVID (THE VIVID EXPERIENCE TOKYO.) He sounds like some hotshot spinner and hopefully he'll bring along some hangers-on. If you'd like to check out some of his work, go to Vivid or watch his Youtube Movie.

See you tomorrow!

UPDATE: I just got the link for a Live-streaming so you too can join in the fun tonight (but if you're in the neighbourhood, ignore the snow and come on down!)

Super-Size View URL

and, this Normal Size View version.

Check it out...


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