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Today In CA

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Over 460 Served


3/14, 1:05 AM

I honestly cannot think of anything to put in this update. Read the 3/12 update ("I am drunk") and you'll pretty much understand what happened tonight.

It's Dan's last day here, so we celebrated (his coming?) at the izakaya down the street. I finally found out the name of the waitress we keep seeing (Rie). It's been a while since we left the bar, so I am quite capable right now, just thoroughly wrought at trying to come up with a reason to update the site except for precedent.

Well, that and I'm waiting for my laundry to dry.

Really, though, today was the same as Monday; with the exception that I played marginally better at Counter Strike.

"...and thank your God that I'm not all aware, and thank God that I just don't care. Oh and I guess I just don't know" -Lou Reed

3/13 12:48 AM

I don't know what it is about today, but there is something lonely in the air. Perhaps I should close the window. For the record, Velvet Underground is on in the background and I am back to my normal, sober roots.

Dan is down until tomorrow, so updates are going to be light until Thursday or Friday. Today Dan, Brian and I went to Gusto for breakfast. Then they came over and played Capcom vs. SNK 2/Dynasty Warriors 2 while I attempted to screen capture the opening movie to Persona 2: Innocent Sin for an upcoming review.

After that, we returned to TGIFriday's to show Dan the only real American meal in Japan. Then we sat in front of Tsutaya trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the evening. What we were going to do turned out to be sitting in front of Tsutaya until the final train came. Overall, it was a San Jose Coco's/Starbucks sort of night.

Nothing noteworthy, so why am I posting???

Here, I'll let you think about this for a sec. I am going to bed.

"There will never be more than a thin glass barrier between your present and the wreckage of your past." -Wei Hu

"the weird place i am in is really not so weird. it's a mundane mixture of loneliness and uncertainty and contemplation of the lovely nicole. chances are slim to nil." -jcruelty

3/12 12:30 AM

Dan (Jacobson) is down from Sendai to visit. As thus, it was Brian and my duty to take Dan out for a night on the town in Tokyo. In the time Dan has been gone he has learned to drink. Brian and I, on the other hand, have been pretty quiet when it comes to alcohol. We went drinking, and as a result I am unfortunately...

punk in drublic.

Sorry if this post doesn't make sense (or is unreasonably funny) but Dan has taken Brian and I OUT at drinking, and, although I still have abilities at walking, I cannot guarantee proficiency with a keyboard.

It is summer here in Tokyo, or at least Berkeley summer (not nearly humid enough for real Tokyo summer) and I have been wearing T-shirts and listening to techno (old Paul Van Dyke) and The Clash to celebrate. I can even keep my window open most of the day.

Today I went to Keio to finally sign for my scholarship. It sounds silly, but it's really been difficult for me to get up in time and travel to school so that they can give me $800.

While there, I figured I would scan some pictures so that you guys can have copies of the album covers etc/ for the Onsatsu artists.

Everyone knows I am a mac user through and through (I had a Performa 575 and if anyone can survive that...) and so it pains me to say this but the Macs at Keio really, really suck. What hurts the most is that they are not old Power Mac 7500's or something of similar convalescence but brand new (relatively) 800mhz G4 beasts with built in Superdrives. They have more ram AND processor power than my laptop. And yet, for some reason the people at Keio have found a way to cripple them beyond use. It pains me to think of all the innocent Japanese girls who, realizing that all the PC's are taken, think "maybe I'll give that cute little Mac a try" only to have the experience I had.

They couldn't even type correctly. And the USB floppy drive simply would not accept a floppy.

I have seen evil, and evil is Keio's PC lab monitors taking out there troubled childhoods on amazingly powerful G4's.

I ended up having to email the scanned pictures to myself.

Other than that, Brian, Dan and I played Counter Strike (they call me Death Adder, for the amount of times I die keep adding) and then we went to the izakaya. And now, as previously mentioned, I am slightly under the affluence of incahol.

Not much site news, gomen.

3/11 3:13 AM

Xenogears is my arch-nemesis. Today was system diagnostic and repair day on my hard drive (just to make sure that the old problems I had don't resurface) so I took the opportunity to catch up a little in Xenogears. Unfortunately, catching up meant spending six hours playing and still not making it out of the town (or prison camp) in which I started. I thought that maybe I could advance a level before carrying on with the site, but I was wrong.

The game is too long. This is my judgment. And an unfortunate judgment at that, since it stands sturdily in the way of me playing Xenosaga, which I must play so that I can review it for "the west". And then I can stop playing video games (finally) for a little while

I'm also starting to notice a disturbing pattern in the times that I post.

Anyway, did some minute site work formatting pictures and such, but I know that doesn't impress you guys. To compensate…

…here is a picture that deserves a post of its own. The photo you've all been waiting for, underwear lucky crane, the arcade game.

3/10 5:08 PM

Woohoo, there is a God, and his name is Photoshop batch file processing.

3/10 12:33 AM

Today was something of an oddity for me. I was woken up around 1:00 by Brian's phone call; he wanted to go eat in Shibuya. It had been some time since I'd been to Shibuya for anything but transferring. He wanted to go to Book 1st too, so we both ended up looking for books. I recommended to him "Monkey Brain Sushi" and for me it was "Shanghai Baby" by Wei Hui. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Anyway, for some reason every time I go to Book 1st there absolutely has to be two Japanese women there that need help finding a book on beginner Japanese for one of the two people's American boyfriend. It is unnerving, actually, how frequently I have been asked, "Which would be the best beginner book".

I looked for a copy of a magazine called "Spoon" because it had an interview with Takako Minekawa about her experience parenting, but unfortunately, it was in the previous issue.

We ate at TGIFriday's. I have developed a dark love for TGIF's because they are the *only* place in all of Japan that actually replicates the American dining experience; free refills, huge meaty sandwiches, and nowhere on the menu does the word corn show up. So why the dark love? The place is too American, I really feel like I'm near Valco Fashion Park whenever I'm there. Americans fill the place...and I get this sensation like I'm not taking advantage of my time in Japan

I imagine most people would think that McDonald's would be the safe haven for Americans, but McDonald's is not nearly as unadulterated as Friday's. For a second I even felt the obligation to tip. What's odd is that I don't think I've ever eaten at TGIFriday's in America. Bacon Cheeseburger lust does horrible things to people.

Standing in pale comparison, is the amount of work I did on the site today. That being merely this message. buh bye.

"Well, there's a wide, wide world of noble causes and lovely landscapes to discover, but all I really want to do right now is find another love!"-Joni Mitchell, but taken from the intro to "Shanghai Baby" by Wei Hui

3/9? 2:41 AM

Yes, it's 2:41AM unless you’re in California in which case it's 9:41 (Damn, now 9:42) in the morning. If anything's become apparent in the months since I left California, it's that I can't catch time. I don't think anyone can, when I got approved for the website I said explicitly "don't call me after 12:00AM Japan time" which I thought was a pretty good margin, 8AM-12AM. They called at 12:30. Drivel is coming out of my mouth, I am tired of typing, but also tired of only seeing the content orientated updates below.

To be truthful, I've been wandering in and out of this gloom for the past couple of days. Tokyo is uncharacteristically pleasant for Japan, but I can't get myself to go outside for very long. It's this heavyweight tag team of not having money and having lots of stuff to do on my computer. Lately, my life has consisted of waking up at one in the afternoon, turning on some sort of electronics equipment, and then finally, when whatever it is I want to work (whether that's count.pl or level 3 of Xenogears) is actually completed, I look at the clock and realize that it's now 2:41AM.

But then last week I couldn't make the time go by fast enough.

Not that I don't enjoy it, I do. But today I was reading this diary called jcruelty that June (not fish) recommended to me and it all became clear to me; somehow only the parts of America that I wanted to escape have followed me here. Two nights ago I went to a rap-core concert at Heaven's Door because I needed to get away from my room. Along with the silly Japanese gang bangers was this wanna-be Berkeley-ite in a Bob Marley shirt and beanie.

My first reaction was something like, "man, I sure am glad I'm not in Berkeley because now I'm not surrounded by Berkeley hipsters." but now I realize my folly. For all my loathing of Bob Marley paraphernalia I really miss the co-ops, their compost worms and people wanting (innocently enough) to go out and do something, but then being too lazy to do anything about it. In Japan, it feels like all the white people are scheming something; like they are all here to have some crazy ass "Wild On E!" episode and then go home with an authentic sake glass stolen from their host.

I think it might be the music I'm listening too. It's making me reminiscent and that's bad.

I think today's word of the day is "natsukashii". Particularly, I am putting the natsu in natsukashii; if there is one feeling I would like right now, it is that of a California summer at around 10:00AM when it's too hot to stay in bed any longer but still early enough that the shadows extend through your window and make your room look like the set of a fond memory from a film. I miss reading the newspaper on such a day. And particularly I would like a smoothie and calizone combo from Brewed Awakening.

I think my problem is that I'm lazy like all those crazy Berkeley kids, and without that common interest it's hard for me to meet people. There are, of course, lazy Japanese people too, but the sheer essence of the situation prevents us from meeting. I am gaijin, I live with gaijin, and they are not lazy. And if I could overcome this, I would have no right to call myself lazy.

Jesus, it's 3:23. I'm going to bed.

"Kimi to natsu no owari, shourai no yume, ookii na kibou o wasurenai...saikou mono, omoi de mo"

3/8 11:28 PM

Another day, another update. This time, as promised, I've given you something a little different from the normal "more pictures than you could ever possibly want to view" update. I'll give you a hint; doesn't something about the menu bar look a little different?

Well fine then, you never notice anything! Do I look fat in this dress?

[-whap-] sorry about that. Anyway, perhaps the most boring, and also most time consuming update is that now every page has a little "home" link, so that if I ever get indexed by a search engine people will be able to find their way back to the main site.

Second, and also somewhat time consuming; I have added a search function so that you guys don't need to sit there clicking through my links, looking for a specific article. That can be accessed through the brand new "Search" button in the menu bar.

Finally, and perhaps the only really interesting update, I have added a new section, named "onsatsu". You can click the button at the top to see what that does. Updates for onsatsu come as I get them.

I'm really starting to feel like I want to redo the design of this site. Maybe, someday…

"Memories keep on changing. Script errors never change."

3/8 6:04PM

Bad taste or not, there are some things that should not be written. Like reason number five which previously read "His Playstation 1, Pokemon edition finally broke." Really, that's just silly. It should be obvious that there would never be a PS1 Pokemon edition. Post updated and the writer has been shot. Thank you for your time.

3/8 1:00 AM

Another day of English teaching done, and what better way to celebrate than to try obscure Japanese party foods for dinner at an izakaya (like a bar, but then, also like a restaurant). Right now I am feeling the pleasantries of garlic, octopus, and something both blue and alcoholic. I'm debating whether I want to write a review at this hour, which means I probably won't.

Does anyone remember that old rumor that Sadam Hussein was collecting Playstation 2's in order to fly unmanned bombs? Well, as everyone knows, though the US may be fighting Iraq next, the current recipient of all new rumors must be Osama bin Laden. So, what do you get when you cross drinking, the release of the Xbox in Japan, silly old rumors, and the imminent doom felt as the result of the United States' refusal to deal properly with foreign policy issues? Perhaps it's one of those sarcasm-to-deal-with-life things, but below I'd like to present, in horribly bad taste, Brian and my...

Top 5 reasons Osama bin Laden is going to buy an Xbox.

#5: His N64, Pokemon edition finally broke.
#4: He's not Japanese.
#3: He heard it was going to bomb.
#2: He heard it crashes a lot.
#1: He wanted to support something evil.

Funny? Probably not, but it's late, and it's quick content. Really, I promise something cool in a few hours. Just let me sleep off this jalepeno garlic bread...

Because I know you all want things to click on here's a link to a new, super-hyper Japanese picture of me. It was taken by June on the dark, unfriendly streets of Shibuya.


Yay, finally re-upped the page and now everyone can see me at my true home, www.szkandelous.com, which strangely enough, is hosted by my old friends at f2s. Wackiness desu ne.

As you can see, I have been severely inept at updating the site since the any.za.net address died, so I have my work cut out for me in the next few weeks. I would suggest checking back in every ten, no; make that five minutes because updates are coming non-stop. Besides, you could be the one to bring my hit counter up to 1,000.

Why, might you ask, the sudden enthusiasm? Well, aside from my sparkly new DSL I'm off from school so I have free time for updates. Also, now that I have free time, I've started to learn my computer programs. You can see a screen shot of something in store in the next few weeks here.

Other than that, there are a stack of reviews I have to do. To make my work lighter, I am not going to talk about what I've been doing *every* day in the past tense for the last two months. Don't worry though; it's mostly tests. Well, short update for now. Check back in soon!

-Szkandelous Dan

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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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