I don't like Mondays (Tell me why!) normally but the one thing that perks me up is seeing the latest example of バルーンアート (Balloon Art) created by one of the NHK teachers. This mornings is priceless! Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel with a mini-Woodstock in his lap, as a gunner perhaps?

Speaking of Snoopy, he graces the latest issue of Hot Pepper, the monthly free classified ad magazine. Halloween is just around the corner...

After work, I bade farewell to former gal-pal Fumika who is off to Australia for a year to study and husband-hunt. I didn't have a Sayonara present but I just happened to pop into KFC for lunch and picked up a リサとガスパールor Gaspard & Lisa case with my スマイルセット (a Smile-Set, their version of a Happi Setto.) She seems to like it.

Though I don't normally like Roger Dahl's editorial Cartoons from the Japan Times cuz they often go over my head, I do like these two since they dwell on a couple of my obsessions.

Finally, let's put up a YouTube of Monkey Majik before the powers that be yank it off the air.


Salad Anyone?

Delicious and nutritious!  
After a tasty salad, try this crunchy treat バイクドマヨネーズあられ or Arare (roasted mochi pieces usually flavoured with soy sauce, or sweetened with sugar and in this case Baked Mayonnaise.) They taste great, were half-price and the bag's are decorated with our AKB48 gals.
Here is one of their most famous tunes, one that one of the locals was warbling while playing Darts last night. Damn cute, but what an annoying song!

One of my pals has speculated on how ironic it would be if one of the gals went postal and decided to wipe out all the others using a Kalashnikov (if you don't know what that is, click it and you'll get the joke.)


Wanna See My Uterus?

I know I'm being awfully presumptuous by referring to her as my Uterus, but it makes for a catchy title, doesn't it? This is my recent Darts-pal and with any luck perhaps more so.
Her name is Kumiko and she's a Gynecologist (hence Uterus being her avatar name at Darts). We've chatted quite a bit and I'm taking it fairly slow cuz I'm batting way out of my league on this one. Furthermore, she is a very nice woman and I learned tonight that 1/3 of female Doctors are single, 1/3 are married and 1/3 are divorced. She's in the former category and beats my minimum age requirement (which is dating no one who's less than 1/2 my age) by a decade. Wish me luck folks, I need some positive vibes on this one!

Here are a few pictures of her in action at Darts. If you line up the photos right, you can make a little animation out of them.

In the background, you'll see her opponent, a tall leggy gal named Aya who unsurprisingly works in a Snack or a Hostess Bar. She really enjoyed my joke about "nice bust". (When you are counting down in Darts, if your total is less than zero, you bust. After every shot, people compliment one another with "nice shot" or "nice bullseye"..."nice bust" was an appreciated double entendre.)

You see this guy in the background below? He's a co-owner of the joint, 9s-Bull my local hideaway wherein I've shot some stick or tossed some Darts over the last few years. They're a real friendly bunch, so head on over if you're in the neighbourhood!
You know what else is cool? (I wish I'd taken a pic of it.) You can play online against an individual or team in another city anywhere else in Japan. When they shoot, there's a little video feed of the guy or gal and after the match is over, players bow to one another and then wave goodbye. So cool!
The End.


Inception Or Deception?

I finally got around to seeing Inception but I slept through most of it...Or did I?
It was excellent but it did seem vaguely familiar. Could it be the ripoff of an old Scrooge McDuck tale?

On my way to work today, I saw a frick'n huge Praying Mantis! I would love to introduce him to the guy who greeted me in my kitchen when I got home!
(Before I went home, I spent about 4 hours playing with my Uterus.*)
*Clarification: Uterus is the avatar name of my Darts playing Gynocologist pal.
 It's now 5:30am, I think it's time for bed...


Swing Girls!

I first heard about the movie, スウィングガールズ (Suwingu Gāruzu) in '04 but back then I was living out in the sticks and didn't make it out to the city often enough to catch it in the cinema.

Today for my daily Facebook wtf video, I showed this:

I was so enthralled that I decided to watch the entire thing on YouTube. I was glad I did and you can too by starting here at #1 and following to #11. (Bonus: it has English Subtitles that are really well done except for the odd typo.)

I was disappointed that the Boar scene wasn't in this version, I suspect it was a Director's Cut or a Deleted Scene. After the success of the movie (#8 in Japan), the girls began touring the country.
For example,

I only wish DVDs weren't so expensive here or I'd pick up my own copy. Hopefully I can find it used somewhere someday.
Are you KuKu?

Thanks to my online Japanese teacher, I discovered that in a parallel to our Schoolhouse Rock series of animated shorts, Japanese children learn their multiplication tables thanks to a series of chants called 九九 (KuKu).

This has been scammed from the ever awesome Namiko Abe of About.com fame. 'Kuku is a Japanese method for memorizing multiplication tables by using a rhythmic chant. Japanese students are supposed to learn "Kuku" by heart in the second grade. For example, "two times three equals six" is said as, "Ni-san-ga-roku," which refers to "two-three-six". Just as the name implies, "Kuku" goes all the way to "ku-ku-hachijuuichi (9 x 9 = 81)". The short phrases and rhythm of the kuku make it easier to memorize. Most Japanese memorize and use them for the rest of their lives.'
You can buy your own KuKu chart, but if you go here, you can print your own. Or you can just scam a copy of this one from this here ol' blog.
Here are some examples of  九九 showcasing the 6, 7, 8 & 9 times tables:

Now you don't have any excuse for not being able to calculate sales tax! I mean you don't want this kid showing you up, do you?


Worldwide KitKat.

There hasn't been anything new on the KitKat front lately, I guess Nestle is too busy destroying the Rainforest and the Orangutan's habitat to make any new flavours. This one is from a while back, yet I forgot to feature it. It's a mix of two flavours コラ味とレモンスカッシュ味 (Cola & Lemon Sukashu, sort of a 7-Up with a kick!) My colleagues upon tasting it both squealed, "懐かしい" (natsukashii or nostalgic!)

So let's travel around the world and check out what's happening in other countries, shall we? First up, we have three rather sexy ads and one wacky one from India:

From France, the longest commercial ever!

Have a HeartBreak, have a キットカット!

Finally from the UK, the Daleks take a break!
I'm Bagged.

GROUCHO: "Yes, there wasn't a cigar store in the neighborhood, as I say, I was sitting in front of the cabin when I bagged six tigers..."
DUMONT: "(interrupts again) Oh! Captain, did you catch six tigers?"
GROUCHO: "I bagged them, I bagged them to go away but they hung around all afternoon, they were the most persistent tigers I've ever seen.
(Can anyone identify what movie the above is from?)

Just so you know, I'm using the fifth definition of the term bagged from the Urban Dictionary, not the above. I'm pooped and I only have two holiday days left before I'm back in the full swing of things. 

Since I have your attention though, I'll showcase a couple of the bags and other stuff I've accumulated over the last little while. First up, we have a large スポンジ・ボブのバッグ. Just look at the picture and you should be able to translate it for yourself.

Next, we have some bags of peanuts from KFC. (Wait a sec, KFC sells Peanuts?) There is also a mini-ground sheet that came in useful at the Fireworks the other night.

Baby ミッキー &  ミニー offer up a ミニトートバッグ (mini tote bag).

This bag featuring Akubi-Girl, who is the daughter of ハクション大魔王 (Hakushon Daimaou) which is about a sneezing genie!

I am completely unaware of where I bagged this bag from, perhaps from a festival vendor. The creator is 垣野内 成美 or Narumi Kakinouchi whose work includes 吸血姫美夕 (Vampire Princess Miyu.)

These aren't bags, but rather a couple of mini-towels featuring
ピーターラビット (Peter Rabbit) and a Gachapin one.

Finally, there's Чебурашка or チェブラーシカ or Cheburashka which became very popular in Japan after an animated film series about him was shown in 15 cinemas all over Japan and was watched by approximately 700,000 Japanese between summer 2001 and spring 2002. In 2008, the Cheburashka films were inducted into the Ghibli Museum Library with a Japanese theatrical release on the same date as Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. (The above was scammed from Wiki, comrade.)


Fire Flowers In Full Bloom.

I went to an end of the summer (sigh) festival in Izumi last night and mellowed with Alex & Kaede under the stars and watched an awesome display of fireworks. I'll treat you to a few pics, but if you want to see 200 more, click Hanabi.

Here is Kaede making silly faces.

These are some shots of the crowd and culminating in some rather creepy ghostly shots of the park!

The evening ended well for I found 2 Puffy cds I don't own for only a buck. Furthermore, I popped into my local Darts/Billiards pub and I met a young lady who's avatar name is UTERUS! Unsurprisingly, she's a groinocologist and surprisingly, she's interested in meeting me again!


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