Sunday, April 29, 2007

Chris, if I don't get out of the house, I'm gonna spike her Tab with Drain-O.

I think the best part of my day is right now, eating the rest of my cinnamon sugar cashews from Jazz Fest. Mildly miffed I could not get my shift covered at the cookie factory but then we were so slow that more senior employees could leave early. Eat. My. Ass. This is what happens when you have eight managers who can't step back and just look at the big picture. In any case, I did get to go Friday night with Alex and our dad. I consumed a chocolate-dipped fried twinkie and you know what? It was pretty damn tasty. I don't need to eat one AGAIN or anything, but it was yum.

Another highlight of today was watching a cardinal trying to kick his own ass in a car's passenger side view mirror. At least he wasn't at it for too long.

I have to finish the trivia for June for the theatre. Just not in the mood. An employee of the theatre told the guy who farms the work out to me that it gets snarkier every month. We both work on it and we both consider it a compliment. Is that wrong?

Other than that, work is work. Still not motivated enough to exercise. In fact I am consuming a beer with my cashews. I lack not only motivation but discipline as well, it would seem.

D had to go up to his work for a meeting, so as I cannot finish the first disc of Bullshit season 2 (so far this disc they've attacked PETA, love and toilet seats), I will have to settle for reading the rest of The Philosopher's Stone. I'm fairly sure you all realize I'm that big a dork that I'm re-reading the whole series before the big finale in July. Harry's learning Quidditch with Oliver Wood. I don't know why but McGonagall's line, "Professor, can I borrow Wood for a moment?" always cracks me up; it just sounds dirty.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Oh, you know what, bite me so hard for that.

So the TiVO was getting a little full, largely due to the Desperate Housewives we've been letting accumulate.

We got the little guy after the season started (our wedding) so we've been waiting for the first few repeats to come along. After doing a little research to determine only the second episode was missing, I said fuck it and we plunged ahead. As with any of these bubble gum shows, you really couldn't tell. Although we did watch the pivotal supermarket shoot-out hostage episode last night, and that was probably one not to miss.

We still utterly loathe Teri Hatcher's character (quite possibly her at this point) and we're delighted Edie has stolen her amnesiac boyfriend.

And poor Bree not being able to smell the psychos. I wish Agent Cooper was a good guy. I'm interested to see what happens with newly not-homeless son Andrew, who maaaaybe is no longer the unimaginable dick he used to be. Probably still is. This woman's children are a fine, fine argument for birth control. Proof that sometimes, they really can just turn out like assholes no matter what you do.

On another note, it had better not rain tonigh (it wasn't supposed to), as the Denton Jazz Fest (formerly Spring Fling, yes Vel) starts tonight. I have to $#^%* work Saturday and Sunday but could possibly swing up there Saturday night if tonight rains out. By god I will eat horrendous foods (roasted almonds, huge curly potato fries, funnel cake, fried fill-in-the-blank, you name it), drink beer and listen to jazz. The website claims to have over 2,200 performers. Maybe if they count every little elementary school's Sparkle Time Motion participant, otherwise, someone can't do their math. But the main areas are a safe bet for good music and foods.

Oh, and we finally got to stock up on more Americone Dream. (This is a map pegged with all the locations of said ice cream sightings.) Apparently, it's Ben & Jerry's #1 selling flavor as of April and it's the #2 best-selling flavor in the country, behind Haagen-Dazs' Vanilla at #1. (I had no idea...)

I think Colbert was just so excited he beat out Cherry Garcia.

Now, off to do titillating see about switching electric companies, find an German auto place for my 120,000 miles tune-up (go Hans!), plant bulbs (cherry vanilla lilies, free with my tree purchase) and tell AT&T that no, they cannot sell my info (they sent a nice letter telling me they would unless we called and gave them a weird # off our bill that HEY, conveniently, was NOT on the letter they sent out. Fuckers.), and put the laundry away. This is why I had better be able to eat junk food tonight!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

She keeps an apartment. I keep goldfish.

78 days.

I'm afraid Imelda Staunton, however fantastic, may seem just too nice for Professor Umbridge. I'm sure I'll be proven wrong...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thank you, darling. Big kiss. The earring - fun... last year.

I am exhausted. And for no reason. Sure, I got up early the past two days and planted trees but come on. Surely that is not what's wiping me out. Normally I'd say my diet doesn't help but for the past week or two I've actually been cooking! Spinach/kale gratin, new garlic-lemon-shrimp dish, enchiladas, etc!

Unlike tonight, which is mostly wine so far. (D is closing). So just wine, spa and Amy Tan. I don't think I ever mentioned finishing Capote. Jesus. Started out great, got monstrously tedious (damn, it just felt like a high school book) and then the finish was fine. I mean, the writing is great but it was the subject matter. I found the blow-by-blow of the two killers' lives previous to the murder to be repetitive and uninteresting. And to be honest I put forth little effort in keeping the two separate in my mind, however different their personalities were.

I went on auto to such an extent today that I almost gave my cell number instead of the company's fax number while on the phone (they both start 817, so apparently sometime after that my brain switched off).

On the very plus side it's Drew's birthday (he gets there a full two months before I) and the geisha doll he requested from Kyoto arrived exactly today. (Because my mom did the mailing and she has the magic touch). And he is going to hopefully fly down to Dallas mid-June. He has never been to Dallas (and clearly this will involve an Austin trip in a desperate attempt to make Texas likable). I figure we'll have to hit both extremes: the Billy Bob's of Fort Worth on down to the Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs of Dallas. Maybe somewhere in the middle an actual gay cowboy will appear. (Why not, we have gay Republicans and what could be more unlikely than that? Oooh, black gay Republicans!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wow, and I almost wore my goatee tonight. Wouldn't that have been embarrassing.

Because I love my husband, I bought him season 9 of Friends last night. (He's only missing the last two seasons). It's hard for me because I already dislike the series, but then I'm in Target carrying it around and you know everyone thinks it's for me. Not that I care, but it's such a stereotype I just want to yell out, "Actually, it's for my husband!" and of course no one would care.

I thought I could tolerate a few episodes and I did, but still, after two I needed an emergency dose of something I consider hysterical, so we watched

because I don't think there has ever been a time when I just wasn't in the mood for Kicking and Screaming. It can almost always make me happy. (Even though it's vaguely depressing, really).

My trees (not the weeping cherries) from the National Arbor Foundation arrived today in the weirdest package ever. Apparently all 9 can be bundled together, roots wrapped in damp cloths and shipped in a tall triangular box. Weird. I obviously need to plant them soon. It's dark out. I work tomorrow at 10:30am, so we'll see how this goes.

The one with the biggest spread (45'), the sugar maple (supposedly turns burnt orange/red in the fall) I want to plant between my yard and the neighbors'. These would not be the uber-friendly neighbors, these would be the neighbors who have two semi-obnoxious boys (they are probably angels as far as 10(?) year old boys go, beats me) and with whom we have never really spoken. I guess I should drop by and mention hey, I'm going to be planting a huge fucking tree in, basically, both our yards.

Most everything else, the lacebark elm, southern magnolia (YUM SMELL!), red maple

(HAHA! Like it will EVER look like this in TX!)

and a couple regular Japanese flowering trees can go in the backyard.

In the meantime, it's time to make the lemony-garlic-shrimp thing featured in this month's Fine Cooking. Luckily we still have The Thing From Another World to watch tonight, courtesy of a great recommendation via Cinemaslave Joe's fantastic Thing-themed podcast, so I don't have to watch Saw III, which arrived today. I do have to placate the other half from time to time, you know...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Look! Skanky had a rock show, and nobody came.

Lifted right off imdb's daily gossiping, praise Jesus hallelujah:

Rivers Axed From the Red Carpet

Catty comedienne Joan Rivers' time on the red carpet is up - bosses at the TV Guide channel in America no longer want her covering the Oscars and other big Hollywood events. Rivers has presented pre-shows from the red carpets of the biggest awards shows for the past decade, poking fun at fashion faux pas and rambling through fast-paced interviews with the stars. But now TV Guide chiefs have decided they want a friendlier face greeting the stars and have asked TV actress Lisa Rinna to take over the show. Former Melrose Place star Rinna, who revived her career as a contestant on hit show Dancing With The Stars, will make her TV Guide red carpet bow at the Emmy Awards in September.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I live here my whole life and I'm like a disease.

I think I forgot to mention that today is my first day (GLORIOUS DAY) off after the ten straight days of hell. Greaseball "let me off" making up the other two of the four days I took off. (After a short wank of listening to himself talk about it).

It is GORGEOUS outside. It should be JUST LIKE THIS all the time. 74F-ish? Sunny. I already RoundUp-ed the better part of the backyard. Our weeds seem to have a cockroach-style approach to life which is making mine somewhat difficult. I can't wait to see chunks of the yard die off. And I'm really excited that not only is my foxglove still alive, a new stem of buds has emerged...soon...soon...

And to think a few weeks ago D asked me if it was a giant weed! Hmph!

The lambs ears are thriving, too. Now we just need the picnic bench for the rock area and we're nearly set. I got two cast iron torches (courtesy of the rest of an xmas gift card) so now D can actually see while he grills at night. He makes the yummiest pineapple burgers.

And the mail already came! And you know what was in the mail? Nothing but 'flix! Now that's my kinda mail day.

Off to fry some pickles, watch some Duckface (I know, FINALLY; didn't I blog about that movie like, a week ago?) and have a beer.

It's made of real fake gold.

OMG. So not worth it.

Obviously, fine performances all around. (Including the always-fabulous Bill Nighy.) But Notes On a Scandal added absolutely zero to my life and was fairly unpleasant all the way through. I can tolerate an awkward or uncomfortable film if the film really has something to say, but this? I mean, I guess the way the story unfolded was not a common path to take, but by the end of it all, it just didn't add a damn thing to my life and I took nothing away from it. The three fine leads are best sought elsewhere.

(Good call, Alexandra!)

The master will kill you for this! But not fast. Slowly! Oh, so slowly!

My dad sent me this. So, so wrong. Very wrong. Using brown subtitles at one point was a nice touch...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You know, everywhere I go there's always an asshole.

So my apologies for having made you watch that wretched trailer in the previous post. In an effort to promote good films, I submit the following trailer. This is probably my all-time favorite comfort film, and I dare you to call me a film snob now! (For the record, McCoy is the best female role ever. Ever.)

Rhode Island: neither a road nor an island, discuss.

So D has been bitching (yes! he actually has been blogging again!) about this for some time, but I just kinda thought meh, whatever. Now, having seen the trailer, I am livid. This is so, so, so wrong. Seriously. Just watch it. It's like he [Rob Zombie] totally didn't get the memo about what made the movie WORK in the FIRST PLACE.

And no, it's not a sequel. It's a FULL-ON REMAKE. *shudders and cries* And while we're at it...August? Cause August is the new October, what?

Sounds like you've been snacking on some of the local mushrooms.

So not to be uber depressing, but I was perusing the headlines on CNN, which of course is nothing but Virigina Tech. On an interesting note, however, the article was discussing how one of the killer's professors had found it quite obvious he was disturbed through his writing (and you know, everyone ignored her warnings), and hey look, one of the classmates posted two of Cho Seung-Hui's plays on his blog. Honestly, I was kinda curious. I mean, this must be some pretty fucked up writing--the teacher pulled him out of class to teach him one-on-one, get counseling, etc. Well, uh, that first play? It looks like it's ten pages and I seriously could not get past page four. Not because it's gruesome and violent and twisted but because it's really fucking awful. The fucked up part may have come later but I just simply could not get through it.

I don't think I'd make a very good writing teacher. Not a very nice one, anyway.

On a completely different and positive note, this past weekend I downloaded the best ever episode of Cinemaslave. The ALL-LYNCH Eraserhead and Elephant Man praise-a-thon. (And damn, I really am lazy...I always told myself I'd leave a voicemail rather than an email if he ever discussed Lynch. I really thought about it, but my cell battery was low and well, I loathe the sound of my voice, so email it shall be!) But Joe really nailed all the perfect things about Lynch--like sometimes when his stuff is weird for weird's sake it's nowhere near as good as his stuff with a strong narrative like EM or Twin Peaks (there is no such thing as Fire Walk With Me so I won't clarify by saying "the series").

Having said that, Eraserhead is the exception. It's just such a crazy beast it truly is in its own world. If it were not so weird, it would not be Eraserhead and I wouldn't have to watch it at least once a year.

My other favorite thing about Lynch will always be his use of music, abstract sound and the lack of sound. The last two especially can be very intense and engaging. (Twin Peaks spoiler ahead...) For example, Maddy's death scene in TP--I always thought the sound of the needle not retracting made that scene one of the best in the series. Leave it to me to find a death scene to be one of the best scenes in the series...

Monday, April 16, 2007

P.S. Like your tits in that top.

D and I have recently come to the conclusion that we are very out of shape. I'm not saying we're fat (although D is less than thrilled with seeing himself in the Japan pics because he seems to think his gut is shaping up quite rapidly), but severely out of shape. Running around Japan (and more accurately, dragging my ass up more stairs than I'd seen in the past four years) certainly brought it to my attention. Shit, even taking the stairs at work is an effort. Flipping channels almost wears me out.

Realizing this is neat and all, but we're also...well, let's just say severely lacking in motivation. And if you know me, well you know I'm awfully big on rewards. Got up this morning? Hey, you deserve Starbucks. Got through your workday? Hey, you deserve that bottle of wine (preferrably not consumed entirely in one night). So I thought if we could be motivated enough to work out and achieve some sort of goal (yes, a real goal, but also realistic), then maybe we could go to Thailand next February for our vacation without feeling superindulgent. This would probably have to involve my Cookie Factory benefits, since flying to Thailand is FUCKING EXPENSIVE. If you get the drift.

Ah, but then I started to think: what if only one of us is really motivated and the other totally slacks? Knowing us (ok, me), we'd (I'd) still be all "Well, that's good enough." So I came up with Plan B. If D manages to exercise and reach his goals and I don't, he says he wants control of the Netflix account for three months. That would almost definitely get my ass up at whatever hour of the morning. Don't believe me?

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C

I rest my case.

If it's the other way around, I just threatened something like six events in three months, including opera, seeing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and some local theatre. Honestly, this doesn't frighten him (much). The prospect of controlling the Netflix is far more enticing to him. And gee, ideally, we'd both reach our exercise goals anyway. Shah right. Now we just need to find somewhere to actually work out...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Blanche can look at you with a gaze of unflappable superiority, detachment and disinterest...not unlike how you're looking at me now.

Mega tornado-type weather today, nothing good enough to kill time at work down in the shelter, so let's move on, shall we?

Bid on 5 weeping cherry blossom trees

surely none of which will be this big. This tree is bigger than my yard.

But they shall be mine, oh yes. And we shall go to the ball!

Speaking of which, at least three people have mentioned the True Colors Tour to me. The first was of course, Alex, and I kinda thought, eh, it'll sell out and either way, it's probably not worth our time. Long story. But anyway, then Mob & Co mentioned they'd be coming up for it, and then my friend J started blathering about how I had to go...and no, I'm *not* going, but it's still kinda funny. I did actually look into it. I read somewhere about $15 tickets, whatever.

Yeah, those $15 tickets? Those are 4 packs on the lawn. I had to deal with not being able to see these people at an age when I couldn't quite drive and I didn't have money (well, I probably had more than I do now, but who said reason has to play into this?), and now I'm going to pay ANYTHING to see them on a huge SCREEN, on **A GODDAMN LAWN** while drinking **$9 COORS LIGHT**?? I. Don't. Fucking. Think. So.

The real tickets, as it turns out, are $76 each. And I'm sorry, but if I'm going to put up with Dallas, crowds, and ugh, PEOPLE (which one could assume would be included in the "crowds" category, but "crowds" doesn't really cover the individual stupids you invariably run into), well, then those are the tickets I'm going to fucking be buying. And I'm not going to buy them, I'm just not. First of all, I just don't think anyone needs to see me in public at an Erasure concert. Haven't seen them since, what, 1995? I would probably embarrass myself, which I do enough as it is. I don't care if it's the same week as my birthday, respect becomes all the more important as one gets older. (I will buy myself a nice DVD and get quietly plastered at home instead.) And hey, I'm delighted to have a candy necklace fused to my skin like last time (while doused in bubbles and glitter), but surely the nostalgia and cheap beer (I'm not drinking that shit, by god, I'll smuggle in a plastic flask if I somehow wind up there) would push me over the top and then everyone else would have to pretend like they were too tipsy to be able to remember how goofy I was.

Anyhoo. My mom gave me a disc of her Japan pics and D got some of them printed yesterday. I have, apparently, really mastered the Look of Disdain. It's kind of sad. On the other hand, I must thank Fredericks of Hollywood for their assistance in helping me appear to graduate from the Mosquito Bite class. Anything is a help. In any case, I'll post some of her pics in the near future. She did a much better job taking pictures of the stuff I missed and wished I had taken more pictures of!

Ok, I lied, here are three.

Oh honey, me too.

My old neighborhood, between my old shrine and my apartment.

And the coolest place I have ever stayed ever, ever, ever.

I cannot believe I have five more fucking days of work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You know, even though I had to wear that stupid back brace and you were kind of fat, we were still totally cutting edge.

Got three discs in the mail tonight, woo hoo! Volver, starring Duckface,

Children of Men, starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen (BOTH OF THEM!! I think I should watch that one alone...),

and my little West Wing guilty pleasure disc. I took a huge pause but am back on it again.

Maybe the former two can go on my little "Best of 2006" list, since that pathetic attempt has been met with resistance. I'm sorry, it was a paltry year (as far as what I've seen anyway...Notes On a Scandal comes out Tues and The Painted Veil doesn't come out til May 8, so still plucking away...)

Also started the first disc of Huff, that Showtime series with Hank Azaria. I heard such promising things and damn, is it pedestrian. I've heard it gets better, so I'm going to give it til disc 2. Oliver Platt, who plays Azaria's lawyer friend, is by the far the best thing about it. He's so friend J said it should've just been The Oliver Platt Show and it could have been the House, M.D. for lawyers. I would watch. In any case, I hear it does pick up, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed.

Work is work. Bleh.

Very excited to have the new Fine Cooking in my paws; I haven't cooked anything new in ages and everything in this issue looks fantastic. Of course, I was reading it just before dinner last night, so that may be like grocery shopping hungry...and I'll finally have two days off (in a row!) next Thurs/Fri, so I'll be tickled when that finally gets here. The grind is not so bad so far...

Speaking of grind, I'm saddened to hear the rumor that Harvey Weinstein wants to pull and re-release Grindhouse as two movies.

Nothing to like stupid shit like this to get my ass in action! D and I have plans to see it tomorrow night. I realize it may be "panning" at the box office and maybe this ruse will indeed work, but I doubt it. I'm actually really surprised it hasn't seen more love. I seriously doubt it's the runtime...Pulp Fiction is certainly plenty long itself. (Although the former may be a blast, the latter is a true gem).

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Justin, someone just came on your cat.

Just for a diverse little morning (afternoon?), I started off by finishing Gideon's Daughter followed immediately by Shortbus.

The former stars the magnificent Bill Nighy, and it was for this performance he won a Golden Globe this year. It was really well done, about a man who [somewhat discreetly] doesn't listen as he goes about his job and has become a sensation in the PR world (his business) largely beause of this. Several interesting characters are tied into his world, most importantly his daughter, with whom he has an estranged relationship to say the least. (This would be the also-wonderful Emily Blunt.) This is a terrible oversimplification; it's also just a little surreal...I enjoyed it. But then, after wrapping up this BBC-produced number, to pop in the new John Cameron Mitchell film (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame), well it was a change.

This is the film my friend J had to screen as his last film at the Angelika. Not only was I on the phone with him while he was watching the first part (I got to listen to his stunned silence as he watched one of the characters try to engage in self-fellatio), but just the other day he said it was a bit much for him "when one of the guys in the all-male threesome scene started singing The Star Spangled Banner into the other guy's balloon knot." But honestly, the sexually graphic scenes (which are fairly well done, not creepy and forced in an Eyes Wide Shut kind of way) are just a small part of a very decent film. It has lots of nice touches, it's very creative, fun and more than a touch sentimental.

I like to sneak in and lay on the table saw.

Sometimes I think Cat's Eye was really onto something. I always wake up by 7 or 8, hell, even the day after I got back from Japan I was up by 10:30. Today? Mouche kept snuggling in under the covers right up against me, burrowing in. I got up at 11:42. (Uh, I'm off today, btw...bein' Easter and all...)

This movie might explain it. My cat might be evil after all...(even if the cat's not evil in the movie...forget it, you know what I'm talking about).

Ok, time to cart my lazy ass to the sofa to knock some movies out.

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."

Much thanks to my friend J who directed me toward the newest Die Hard 4 trailer. It's not the teaser! doesn't have it (as of now). Quality is lacking, but it rules. As he put it, "Come up to the theatre, it'll be up in 20 minutes!" I'm sure the sound adds tremendous cool points.

**Ah, but let me do you the service he was kind enough to provide me: Watch out: Kevin Smith is, indeed, in the trailer. **ACTING.** Consider yourself warned. *facepalm*

It comes out for 4th of July weekend which ties in nicely with my birthday. Sold.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

That was the end of Grogan... the man who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my ranch, shot my dog, and stole my Bible!

Ok, I think the end is near. IT SNOWED ALL THE WAY TO WORK THIS MORNING!!

And then on the way home? It snowed a little more!

For evidence--possibly even more shocking since I'm in DFW and they're in Midland/Odessa, check out Blancodeviosa's pics, which are quite awesome, and my favorite is the first one of Blanco & Daveyyo, very cute.

And then I stole this off her site cause everyone else was doing it and it sounded fun. So there. (Plus I wanna wrap up here and go sip the red wine in the hot tub, ok?)

Put your iTunes/Winamp/WMP/Whatever on shuffle.

Use the song title as the answer to the question.

1. How does the world see me?- Late In the Evening- Paul Simon

I like it. I think.

2. Will I have a happy life? - We Danced Anyway- The Dixie Chicks

Hmmm...sounds like I'll have a *shitty* life but I'll be happy anyway? wtf?

3. What do my friends really think of me?- Stay Don't Go- Spoon

Oh honey, I'm sure.

4. Do people secretly lust after me?- Why Bother- Weezer


5. How can I make myself happy?- Post Modern- Common Rotation

Deep, yo.

6. What should I do with my life?- Anywhere But Here- The Eyeliners

Tell me about it!

7. Will I ever have children? - Should've Known Better- Nickel Creek


8. What is some good advice for me?- I Can't Wait- Maggie Gyllenhaal

This might be more a personality *description* rather than *advice,* but hey, whatever.

9. How will I be remembered? - After the Rain- John Coltrane


10. What is my signature dancing song?- My United States of Whatever- Liam Lynch

Sure, why the hell not!

11. What do I think my current theme song is?- This Is Ponderous- 2NU

uh yeah, cause I always have a big fattie in one hand?

12. What does everyone else think my current theme song is?- Psychobitches Outta Hell - HorrorPops

Fuck this game!

13. What song will play at my funeral?- As Cool As I Am- Dar Williams

I like this game!

14. What type of women/men do I like?- It's No Good- Depeche Mode

Yes, but what does that MEAN??

15. What is my day going to be like?- Blue Sky- Patty Griffin

Does that mean it will stop snowing?

16. Will I ever have love again?- Going Through the Motions- Buffy the Musical

Uh, so...huh? I'll just take this to mean D is the only one!

17. What type of sex life do I have?- I Love a Rainy Night- Eddie Rabbit

With a side order of thunder, please!

18. What song would be the title of my own porno movie?- Goat Girl- Tanya Donnelly

**HEEEEY**!!!! I OBJECT!!!

I did have fun! Ok, off to play in the hot tub cause it's a teeny bit CHILLY in here. (Though it's supposed to be EIGHTY this next Tuesday). Love Texas.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

If you don't have a brewski in your hand you might as well be wearing a dress.

Saturday morning, around 10:15 am. God, I think it was Satuday.

We saw lots of posters for this beer so we bought it. I don't know if you can see it, but it says "Refreshing New Style!" and then on top it says "Style Free!" I guess that IS a new style! So we just started calling it the "FreeStyle" beer. D is very sad they do not have it here. This is Shinjuku Gyoen, by the way. (Shinjuku Park, basically). It was a little chilly in the morning but it warmed up nicely. Didn't stop people setting up picnics! We snuck in beer--Shinjuku Gyoen says "NO ALCOHOL" but I recall sneaking in wine years ago and as we rapidly found among us, everyone else brough in booze, too.

My beer says "Enjuku" and that sounds like "Enjoy" and that's good enough for me. I did.

And then it was off to Osaki (actually this was Thursday around noontime, after eating at Kua'Aina, my old Hawaiian burger/sandwich joint. Hey, no one said we were doing this post in any kind of ORDER, thank you). Osaki is my old neighborhood where Drew and I used to live. This is the shrine I used to pass through every day on my way to and from work. If only I had something similar these days. I assure you I appreciated it at the time, which is why this next photo is so depressing. See that crap over to the right? They are building on it and making it bigger! Wtf? It was so much better when it was small and perfect. Plus that used to be the frickin' pathway to get to the apartment.

If you turned around, this was the view on your way back to the station.

It's so nice to have this photo in color finally. I took the same picture one night at the shrine messing around with Drew, not realizing I had B&W film in my camera. It's nice in B&W, but y'know? Kind of a bitch, considering.

And finally, the hotel we stayed at very, very briefly! That's our room right there!

And the view from our window...

And the line at Krispy Kreme just across from our hotel's entrance. I woke up at 3am and savored the view of NO ONE being in Shinjuku (weird) and around 6am went out to get breakfast for us. There was no one in line and I almost thought about popping over to see if they were about to open. (But even if I HAD snaked a sweet spot...I'd have to EAT them). By the time I came back with breakfast, fifteen minutes later, a line had already formed. Then, about 7am, this was the shot (and IT WAS RAINING, as you can tell):

And some of these were shot with 1600 if any smartasses are wondering about the GRAIN...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!

Well first of all, what a depressing story!

And then onto more trivial matters, my pictures.

These are all from Sunday in Harajuku at the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park. This is my favorite park in Japan and was my favorite place to go on Sundays, back when I lived there and it was one of my days off. Excellent place for drinking, reading and people watching. Especially people watching...

LOTS of people do this.

At the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku we caught the tail end of their ritual and got to see them march out...

And we also spotted a wedding (or rather the prep and photo shoot for it):

And one of my favorite things to shoot, of course, the Harajuku girls! (I took several but the rest of the roll is in my camera still!! Of course...)

And just outside the park were a couple guy rock bands, complete even with girlie groupies.

And stepping back a day to Saturday, we went in the afternoon to Kichijoji, home of the most popular park, perhaps, Inikoshira Park. Pretty, but as you can see, high in demand...

And after a brief sitdown and munching of food and inhalation of beer, we met up with some of my former students, notably Natsuko and Chiaki. Chiaki is quite shy and sweet, but Natsuko has more personality than anyone I ever met in Japan and everyone agreed they could just sit back and watch the Natsuko Show. A bunch (three? four?) other students I used to teach came to dinner as well and I sooooooo barely remembered them, it was vaguely embarrassing (but hopefully not apparent?) of whom was just the nicest guy with fantastic English--I have no idea why he remembers me cause I sure as shit don't remember teaching him! But oh well...

More to come....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Close my face?

Actually, I'm completely wrong. The bar looks exactly like it does in Lost In Translation. (Watching it right now). The piano is even exactly where it was when we were there! It's not a split level, and they aren't sitting at the bar; they're sitting at the same rectangular table he sits at when she sends him sake. (There is no "bar" at this bar). (Oh, and mom, when she *does* send Bob Harris the sake, the table they're at (I think) is the table we were next to, where the girl kept curling up in her boyfriend's lap (or whatever the hell she was doing...))

It's amazing how much we assume and/or imagine things the way we want!

It looks like a chicken wing or a cheese fry.

Mouche is entirely confused. All he knows is that his parents have been asleep for 12 hours and it's time to get the fuck up, if you ask him. I finally did. D is still fast asleep. Mouche contines to be extra-needy this morning, randomly jumping in my lap and burrowing and then running off to the bedroom, presumably to nip D. Which I think is funny.

Have to do something today, read a whole book or watch 3 movies, something since it's back to work tomorrow. It fills me with much sadness and pain to think of going back to work. I need another day of nothing! At least!

One of the most jarring things upon our return, even if only for a week, is easily the customer service aspect. And what always makes this especially jarring is that the first people you run across in the customer service area are basically airport personnel. In Japan, they don't really raise their voice (certainly not in the barking fashion you find here) and they definitely don't bitch you out if you hesitate for half a moment trying to figure out what to do or where to go--I mean jesus, we all go to the airport every day, right? I just felt so bad for any Japanese people for whom O'Hare airport was their first impression of America. But I'm sure it will only get worse. Everyone in retail is just so fucking's not that I necessarily blame them, I'm just saying it's a huge huge contrast to a country where upon entering every single place of business someone yells out "Welcome!" (in Japanese) and then proceeds to actually assist you. Weird.

Mouche is back for pets.

I've got to return a shitload of emails and keep catching up on all my missed blogs! We actully got through three Daily Shows last night before the beer took us down.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Evelyn Waugh was a man.

We're baaaaack! I guess it's nice to be home? Japan was so nice, too, though. Being in my house is nice, seeing my dad and sister again is nice...other than that, it's still goddamn Dallas.

I'll write more when the screen isn't throbbing before my very eyes. But a few highlights, lessons and general observations...

1. Krispy Kreme is the new Louis Vuitton:

(There are two parts to the line, if you notice--that glob of people off to the left is the line maze, the first part).

2. The Japanese even do mirrors better. One hotel we stayed in had a giant mirror in the bathroom and upon exiting the steamy shower, a perfect rectangle remained above the sink, perfectly clean. It had an odd horror-movie-vibe to it.

3. Running for your plane is nowhere near as cool as it looks in the movies. On the plus side, we would have been stuck in Japan, not the US.

4. Little take-out-only McDonalds at O'Hare, do you really need 27 employees all at once behind the counter, none of whom take my order? Seriously, we counted. And seriously, it was a goddamn McDonalds clowncar.

5. Cherry blossoms are the most awesome thing ever. Actually, no. Drinking beer in the park (legally! encouraged!) all day people watching and being surrounded by cherry blossoms is the most awesome thing ever.

6. The hotel bar from Lost In Translation barely looks a goddamn thing like it does in the movie. I took our three coasters anyway. (They are completely white and unmarked, but I know where they're from). (It was still a bitchin' bar with a bitchin' view, even if we were drinking $13 beers).

7. I have no idea how long I've been up but it's time for dinner and probably a whole half a Colbert episode.