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Today In CA
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I went looking for a swimsuit today but found only Sancha. Then I read a brief passage from "On Overvisualised World". This time the conversation was about the relationship between Jean Luc Godard, David Lynch, paranoia, schizophrenia, and history. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Short update today.
"I try to tell you something important, but words can sometimes be meaningless or excessive and I am irritated by their uselessness. With the receiver in my hand, I stand at a loss." -Gomes The Hitman
Gomen nasai. It's been a hefty four days since my last update and I can't even say that I've been busy (I did, however, manage to fix my DVD ROM drive).
Today I diligently planned out my schedule for next semester at Berkeley, beat another level of Starcraft, annihilated my homework and still managed to play three more hours of Xenogears. Conclusion: I need to get out more.
I, however, do not just plan to procrastinate on this either. I think I’ve finally patched up my relationship with exercise. I will now get psychoanalytical.
Everyone wants me to go hiking. I, however, loathe hiking. I used to think it was just that I did not liking to be active, but now I understand; I just hate walking and hills. The images of hills that strike out to me the most from my childhood are those from summer camps where the hills always seemed between me and having fun. At one camp the swimming pool was at the bottom and the church at the top, at another the main camp was separated from the beach by a giant cliff. Even in Berkeley I lived on a big, annoying hill. The slightest attempt at joy meant scaling a hill with a full belly. Why do people like hiking?
I think I have some sort of mental aversion to hills. In contrast, my fondest memories involve swimming (the summer camps focused on swimming pools and beaches respectively). Despite this face, I can't recall the last time I went swimming and even then it wasn't for very long I think.
I will go swimming, oh yes.
I found a pool in my neighborhood, so once I find a swimsuit I'm there and none of you can stop me because I'm in Japan.
Tomorrow, unless I am too exhausted from class, I will scope out the pool and, if you're lucky, I might update the site for real. I need to move this page to the archives, but for tonight it will have to wait. I am going to sleep.
Right, I'm here, and I'm there. I'm in Tokyo, and at the same time I'm in Tunis. I'm the one to blame, and I'm also the one to forgive. Just as a for instance. It's that level of balance. Without such balance, I don't think we could go on living." -Haruki Murakami
4/10 11:35 PM
Sorry for the lack of updates but I've been busy with school. Occasionally I do social things too, so that ends up mucking up any other plans I have of updating.
Today had it in for me, but at a half-Murphy's Law level. I woke up this morning to find that the DVD ROM drive on my laptop has decided to stop accepting disks. As my laptop is my stereo, I was now out of two major entertainment appliances.
It was welcome back to school day on the trains. Usually the Denentoshi is pretty bad, but today even the superior Yamanote was bursting with people. People and assholes.
My friend and I were talking when a salaryman was pushed in between us. Without even looking at us, and after less than five seconds he audibly said "urusai", which means "loud" or "noisy", but also "shut up". I wanted to yell back "Omae was kuso urusai!" but I restrained myself figuring it wouldn't hurt to be quiet.
After my friend had finished his sentence I turned to him and said "we should probably be quiet" directly after saying which the asshole salaryman said "yes you should be quiet" in poorly pronounced English. [swearword] salarymen!
All day long there were little things to piss me off. Since my day had started with a bang, I expected the world to crash upon my head, but surprisingly the damage scale stayed low. The only other really frustrating thing was discovering that today I was officially ten (10) days out of warranty on my computer. Apple tech support was less than helpful.
It helped to watch Stereo Future, marking, I think, the sixth time I've watched that movie. This time I noticed more of the amazing audio work throughout the film.
I am going to wash my face and go to bed now. Hopefully my computer decides to accept CDs again tomorrow.
"Pressure drop, oh, your gonna feel it, pressures gonna drop on you" -Toots and the Maytals
4/8 11:38 PM
Not much to state except that today was my first day of real school at Keio, and that I still don't really care for what we are reading. I am used to the trains, the crowdedness doesn’t bother me at all.
It's leaning towards the hot side today; it's nearly midnight and my window is fully open. You wouldn't have guessed that when I woke up this morning the ground was still wet from it raining all night, just like the night before. Also, from this description you would not think that the last couple of days have been sunny, but both are true. Why do they even educate meteorologists here?
"S^1 is a space in and of itself -- it does not need to be embedded in another space for it to make sense." -Alexander Poquet
4/7 12:16 AM
It's always debatable which way the weather will turn here in Tokyo. I believe that it's actually worse than predicting the weather in Berkeley, since in Berkeley you could always count on it being some shade of grey. This morning it was a beautifully pre-summer, but by three my lovely April Tokyo had turned into a dreadful October Chicago.
Weather is a fragile thing.
June was on her way back from Narita Airport (having just returned from the US) so Brian, her, and I went out for another day in Shibuya. After she bought an electronic dictionary we were fresh out of things to do so we wandered the side streets looking for something to do. For dinner we ate a ton of garlic and I started to feel ill. Around seven I went home and took a nap for I am an old man.
"I don't wanna be an old man anymore. It's been a year or two since I've been out on the floor...It's time I got back" -Weezer
4/6 12:41 AM
I will not put you through another personality test but I am hooked. It appears that if I were a flavor I could be either coffee or tea. And, no, I'm not making this up or lying (though I imagine most people would think that I would taste like coffee now anyway).
Why are there no longer contextual menus on my computer?
4/5 11:18 PM
Woh, posting before midnight, this must be the new school Dan. Not, of course, the new-school Dan, but the new school-Dan, right?
Nothing gets me out of bed hella early like the soothing thought of a McDonald's breakfast; their food being a rare when the arcs of free time and sleep coincide at an early morning hour.
And whilst I am doing advertisements, I must say that while I cannot physically be back home to enjoy the humor of the people’s favorite, Richard M. Bustos, I am glad that I can have my own pseudo-Bustos in the form of "Cliff Yablonski Hates You" Don't believe me, click the link and feel just like you are standing in front the Lazmobile listening to the Bus being loose.
I came across the site as a request from Ha-chan, while getting ready for class this morning. He found the link at www.sadsites.com.
You probably want to know about the orientation and stuff today, but I will not talk about it. Like last time it was boring and included an at length discussion of harassment entirely in Japanese.
Instead, I will talk about my decaying mind and recent desire to read philosophy. Today I went with Dustin (curses to his influence) to Book 1st and picked up not one but two (2) whole books from the philosophy section. Yes, your logic is not failing you either, the English books section is not so presumptuous (yes, presumptuous...) as to have an entire philosophy section. No, two whole books, one called "Structure and Power" regarding postmodernism and another called "On [the] Overvisualized World" about technology and perception written entirely in Japanese. Mwahahahaha.
What has Xenogears done to me?
There was another book I was thinking of buying that is by the same author as "On Overvisualized World". It has a better design and interviews with some really spiffy authors and musicians (Lauri Anderson and William Gibson to name a few), also in Japanese. Maybe next time.
Anyway, after that we had coffee and ate at TGIF's. The waitresses now seem to know us..
I hear that Bush has been using some new tactics to wage the war on terror.
(All images copyright Something Awful.com)
4/5 1:12 AM
Compared to yesterday's heat wave, today was an average spring day. The wind makes a tree outside of my window look like a sylvan monster from some bad RPG.
Since today is my last official day of vacation (tomorrow being Keio’s opening ceremony) I sat at home and loafed around.
It's getting harder for me to get any work done as a result of general laziness, hotmail's tendency towards glacier-like speeds, my computer's desire to crash every so often, and the necessity to eat. I didn't do anything for the site today and had actually considered playing Starcraft all day long, but when I imagined myself on such a beautiful day sitting alone in my room blowing away aliens, I felt disgusted.
So, today I worked a bunch on my space invaders game. In this revision I included a "level complete" screen as well as a "game over" screen. Also added accuracy and time ranking for the player. Games being one of those things that always need more whistles and bells, I'm not sure when I'll be done, but as of right now most of the crucial game elements are in place; all that's left is some neat graphic effects, difficulty advancement to go with the level advancement, splash screens, and some balancing to make the game interesting to play.
I rented L<->R's greatest hits album from Tsutaya. L<->R is the band for which Takako Minekawa used to play accordion. She also sings on one song, though in a decidedly un-Takako Minekawa sort of way. Most of the songs are very 80's though her song has this very bubbly 70's feel to it. Not bad though, just different. It's like if Stockhausen did really good pop.
"itsumo video shop e kyo mo mata aruiteiku, Pop shop art yori watashi ni ha gokigen na mono" -L<->R
4/4 12:36 AM
Today was Green Velvet Crapper's final show. They performed at Koenji’s Gear, so Brian and I couldn't stay too long for the after-party. It was fun, I'm going to miss going to their shows and complaining about how much all the bands suck.
And surprisingly, today the bands didn't suck. It was pop-punk night, but good pop-punk. For local bands the music was complex. The last band’s singer was a cute girl in a ski cap (with fuzzy ball thing on top). She had a really high voice to compound the cuteness.
Afterwards, about 10 of us went to a bar and hung out. I met a couple of other bands. It's really hard to make plans for me right now since I don't know my schedule for next semester yet, but there are now a couple of bands that I have promised to go see.
And some might actually be good!
"Now, I'm comin back to my house, hoo, my house they call it cat house. My house is in the house. The master is now sleeping. From now on my secret time, what will I do today? Watch Autumn Tatum O'Neal's movie is now on TV! Sweet smoky pink and green, white. My house is piglit color. My house is in the house. Hoo, my house they call it cat house." -Takako Minekawa
4/2 11:27 PM
Tired like a mofo.
Today was fun, if by fun you mean a three-hour Japanese test. Yes, in that sense it was quite fun.
I can never think of a sentence to demonstrate grammatical patterns. On the tests they give you fill-in-the-blank questions that are grammatically fathomable but from the standpoint of meaning impossible. For example:
"To the point that it wasn’t____________________, on account of ___________________, _________________________."
Anyway, enough updating for now.
"Yo mama's got an afro with a chinstrap" -Pharcyde
3/31 10:03 PM
Hey everybody, I'm...
Who are you?
"We are the robots." -Kraftwerk
3/31 9:48 PM
Hey all, I finally got around to finishing another review. This one's a movie review titled, "Guy Richie meets Wong Kar-Wai: Hiroyuki Nakano's 'Stereo Future'". It is accessible through the link or by hitting the features button.
It is a decently long review with plenty of pictures. Also, a link to the movie's website (lots o' flash, but unfortunately only in Japanese). Enjoy.
"People don't pay to see a bland samurai!" -Stereo Future
3/31 2:54 AM
3/31 2:36 AM
I just hung out with Brian (first time in two weeks), Dustin, and a new girl from Seattle at Guru Guru. Still listening to Nobukazu Takemura.
Today I went to Shinjuku for coffee and then Harajuku to write. Still not done yet, but due to the lovely weather; hot and sunny until around six when it started raining.
At seven, I arrived home just in time to go to my friend Hanna's birthday/hanami party.
Final words of note:
I need my falafel!!!
3/30 1:58 AM
Do you ever just type in web addresses just to see where they lead? I just tried www.happy.com, and it was a drugstore.
"Happiness is a warm gun, yes it is." -John Lennon
3/30 1:42 AM
Things are so peaceful; now if only it weren't raining.
Had it been sunny today I would have gone to Harajuku to work on the website. But because it was raining, I stayed home. I was close to updating anyway, but Dustin came up and invited me to TGIF's, so I couldn't resist.
I'm awake enough to do a review, but I think I am just going to bask in how tranquil my room is right now..
"Buddha is probably not a work of art. You might not be able to normally use Buddha with a saddle. Buddha probably doesn't slither. Buddha is probably not a digital storage medium. Buddha is probably not native to New Zealand. Buddha is probably not a dessert." -Stephen Barber
3/29 12:35 AM
I have fallen back in love with experimental music. After watching "Stereo Future" for the fourth time I noticed that Nobukazu Takemura did a couple of tracks on the soundtrack so I decided to pop out "Scope".
I wasn't impressed with “Scope” the first time I heard it, but now I think I get it. A couple of the tracks are pure experimental blip-wanking, but half of the album is really peaceful and minimalist.
It gives me the impression of being in a vacuum clean future crossed with early 70's, Clockwork Orange style plastic furniture. I think I like it because it presents a different, equally futuristic and accurate picture of Tokyo.
Today was my final day of teaching (at least for right now) and for once, everything went as planned. I couldn't believe it; the kids sat quietly and worked with me. Then, when they started messing around, they still played in the framework of the exercise we were doing. When they enjoyed drawing English adjectives I couldn’t help but smile.
It's really cute how kids will draw things that even they know it doesn't look like much, but will still take the effort to choose the right color of pen. It's as though presentation of form were auxiliary to presentation of essence through colors. Plato would be proud.
The parent session went well also. I was going to review since it was the last lesson but they just wanted to talk. It went well, in spite of my ten minutes of preparation. Maybe I should prepare that little all the time.
Now that all of my official duties are done I am going to sink my teeth back into updating this website.
It was nice, albeit cold, today. But they are saying that it's going to rain for the next couple of days, so my loss is your gain, no?
"Working for vacation, working for meditation, watching television for as long as I want...Feeling wrong 'cuz the days are too long, counting heartbeats 72 in a minute." -Cibo Matto
3/28 12:24 PM
"Baffling black blob floating near Florida."
But the official word is...
"Florida officials refer to it as a 'dark brown-black-green water mass.'"
Has anyone read Don Dellilo's "White Noise"?
"There is an expressway beyond the backyard now, well below us, and at night as we settle into our brass bed the sparse traffic washes past, a remote and steady murmur around our sleep, as of dead souls babbling at the edge of a dream." -Don Dellilo
I keep telling myself that I'm not in Japan to sit in my room and watch movies, listen to music, and play video games. The truth though is that I am hear to experience Japan’s culture, so in a strange way I am even obligated to watch Japanese movies, listen to obscure Japanese music and play strange video games.
That being said, after a frustrating day getting beaten down in Xenogears I gave up and watched a movie I had rented yesterday called "Stereo Future", by Hiroki Nakano...
…and now all I am able to do is watch Stereo Future and listen to "Point" from Cornelius. Other than that I have no desires or abilities today.
I cleaned up the front page again. As usual, the old page has been moved to the archives.
Oh well, time to watch “Stereo Future” again.
"Sympathized sound elastic/deep inside my ear/Resonance
inside the heart/The image floats" -Cornelius
All works this site copyright D. Szkoropad, 2001-2003 unless stated otherwise. This means don't steal it or I'll tell your mother on you. Domo-kun copyright NHK.
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