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Today In CA

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Szkandelous.archive.november22_december10

12/10

Looks like I won the race against f2s to see whether I would be back in school before my site was back up. And what waits for me in the victory circle: a grammar midterm, an eight chapter Kanji test, and my website is still down on f2s. Hey, look over there...

BAM!!!!!!!

I'm back, and things aren't just new, they're baku-new. New web host, new features, and a new member to the Japanese royal family. No, really!

One of the more visible changes is the newly improved flash animation that you see over on the left. Aside from improved day/night differentiation, it now shows the weather. If I had internet access at home I would rig it to read the weather data for Tokyo off of the Weather Channel, but for now *I* have the power to determine what sort of day the citizens of "Little Tokyo" will be having. That means that the weather will usually be a day or two behind. But then again, America is a day or two behind anyway.

Today I am a benevolent god. It has rained once in the last 2 months. To show off the awesome power of my new toy, I thought maybe I would make it pour. However, while testing the new animation I thought it looked too nice and peaceful with just a few friendly looking clouds. Enjoy before I realize the full weight of my powers.

Also, I believe you'll notice that the menu bar at the top has a few new additions. One is that the sun no longer moves like it did in the old days. In testing I discovered that moving that sun took up more computer power than the whole series of events making those clouds on the left move (any of you flash programmers out there, how do you feel about the new additions anyway? I'm looking for feedback). Aside from that, I have removed (perhaps temporarily hint hint) the hardly functional games button.

But, in its place, I have added a reviews section to the site. Right now I have just a single concert review, but looking into my crystal ball I see many, many new reviews coming in the near future. In fact, one day this section may turn into its very own website.

The reasoning for this is that reviews take up a lot of room in these brief news updates and I don't feel that I have previously given the proper analysis to all of the new stuff I've found here. As of right now though, it's just a review of the Cruyff/Capsule Giants/Velvet Punch show at Heaven's Door on December 2.

As if all this newness wasn't enough, there are serious updates to some of the older sections of the site. Sometimes I fell like I have too much content.

But, enough of my problems. First and foremost, there are a ton of new galleries. In fact, there are five (5) entirely new galleries just waiting for you. First is the photo gallery of my punk rock cover band club's (Beat Pops Kenkyukai) Sunday live show for the Mita festival at Keio University.

Next, a gallery "cleverly" named "A day in the life of Dan". Following this is the gallery from the aforementioned Capsule Giants show at Heaven's Door.

Creating the Beat Pops and Capsule Giants galleries made me think, "If this is going to continue I should make a Reader's Digest version of all the live action here". And that is exactly what I have done, with the Gallery of Live Music Japan. Right now the gallery is just selected photos from the Capsule Giants and Beat Pops shows (as well as advanced coverage of the area around Heaven's Door), but with the addition of new shows, new photos will be added (similar to the Wacky Japan and Tokyo Life galleries).

The last of the new galleries is a sort of retroactive look at the first Willing Setagaya party that allowed non-residents to attend. I touch on this party in the 10/27 issue of the site. Now you can see the fun in action.

Speaking of the Wacky Japan and Tokyo Life galleries, both have had (not a lot, but) new content added to them, just to let you know that I still care.

The new addition to the Tokyo Life gallery is a photo of Sangenjaya, where I live, lit up like an old Japanese man at a women's high school.

I dedicate the this spiffy new photo in the Wacky Japan gallery our very own Hans. Hope this makes your day.

And while I'm doing dedications, this photo goes out to the LazMan. If you need a bigger copy, just email me.

Yeah, also updated the links section to reflect a few new changes in the online world. Next, to reflect on the last few weeks.

12/8

After my humongous and painful Advanced Grammar mid-term Brian and Tomoko (his Japanese Language partner from the US, see the 10/6 entry for more info on this "Tomoko") came to Sangenjaya. We ate at a remarkably cheap gyoza restaurant and played a few rounds of pool at the professional pool hall a few blocks from my house.

That came out fairly interesting since Tomoko had never played pool and Brian had only played pool twice. We were learning a new game too. So, Tomoko did really well for her first game, though still quite a beginner, Brian reflected his two games of experience, and I was the perfect manifestation of how much I just flat out suck at pool. Well, except for during the beginning of the second game where I sank 4 balls in a row.

Afterwards we had tea and cake at a coffee shop across the street from the pool hall that I had been meaning to go to for some time. Overall quite fun.

12/7

Today I had the largest Kanji test I have ever seen. After surviving it, I went home and went took a nap. For the last few weeks I have been sick like a mofo. In fact, there are five empty cartons of orange juice sitting in my kitchen. And I just started buying this orange juice two days ago.

12/4

I thought, hey, maybe I'll study for my Kanji test on Wednesday even though I feel absolutely terrible. To add some sort of ambient noise I turned on the TV. Yet, after a few minutes, I was greeted by the largest media buzz in Japan since the September 11 terrorism attacks. Except, this time it was good.

Masako-sama (I'm not sure what her station is exactly, maybe the Emperor's Wife?) went to the hospital to deliver her first baby. This is huge news for a number of reasons, but to begin, she had already lost two babies at or before birth.

What makes this all the more interesting is that the Japanese royal family (at least according to legend) has been one unbroken line since it's inception in the 7th Century (I think, I can't do proper research right now, gomen-ne). So if Masako-sama were never able to deliver a child, this would be the first time in over a thousand years that Japan would have to devise some scheme to find an Emperor. Therefore, it's just wonderful that she finally was able to have a child.

To complicate matters, the child happens to be a girl. Her name is Aiko-sama, and on the day of her naming ceremony a train station that shares the same characters as the name "Aiko" had some huge record breaking sale day

But I've digressed...what makes things interesting is that because the child is a girl, the next Emperor of Japan will most likely be a woman. Though not entirely unprecedented, I think several hundred years ago there was an Empress; it is fairly uncommon. And then, of course, there are people here who shudder at the thought of a female emperor. It's good that they'll have to open their eyes a little.

So right now Japan is in a fantastic state of ecstasy. There are festivals everywhere and whenever the news interviews people on the street they always smile and say how wonderful the whole thing is. Prime Minister Koizumi even gave his own congratulations, in that brief, everything-I-say-sounds-like-I'm-trying-to-be-cool way of his.

Why is it that big news always happens when I'm trying to study? Anyway...

On behalf of the "staff" here at Szkandelous.com: Masako-sama, omedeto-gozaimasu.

12/2

Capsule Giants concert at Heaven's Door. Everyone was really good and it was all over by 10:30 so I still had time to go home and sleep at a decent hour. Couldn’t beat that with seven sticks. Too bad I couldn't sleep.

Went with Brian, it was cool, yay.

Anyway, review of the concert up in the reviews section, photos in the galleries, ants in my pants.

11/28

Back to school. Also, it's my Dad's birthday, Happy Birthday Dad.

11/25

Finally got out of Sangenjaya for a trip to Keio to watch my club play at Mita-sai (this huge festival at Keio which is why I have the week off). There was a Minor Threat cover band, Puffy (this cute Japanese girl group) done metal cover band, Stooges, Stray Cats, and Red Hot Chili Peppers cover bands. My friend Minmi/Min-pei played guitar in both the RHCP and Minor Threat cover bands and the club's president, Monji, sang in the Minor Threat cover band.

Perhaps the best, like last time, was the Stray Cats cover band, man can that guy wail.

Sadly, my Ramones cover band was never meant to be. Maybe we'll play the next festival.

Anyway, photos are up in the galleries, go look now!

11/22

Thanksgiving Day. To make us exchange kids feel better about the whole ordeal, the UC Study Center threw a huge Thanksgiving Party. Met a bunch of kids from ICU as well as saw a bunch of the old JLI crew. Good times.

Afterwards, since we happened to be in the neighborhood, Brian and I went drinking with my friend Maya who I met at Heaven's Door.And somehow we made it home in time for the last train (still surprised).

Anyway the site was down for a while so go check the previous post, it's lame!

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