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Today In CA

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Over 455 Served


8/18 1:00 AM

It's been nearly a whole month since I last updated this webpage, sorry. If it makes you all feel better I've been busy moving back to the California. However, from now on things will be different, I've got DSL so I can start updating like a real website again. But first...I think I'm going to redesign the whole thing. Stay tuned mina-san, there could be changes in the future. Over and out.


7/18 8:00 PM

Waaaa, tsukaretaaaa. Today was round one of a two round battle against Keio's 3G class. The essay question went really well and the rest couldn’t have turned out too bad.

Anyway, things are all wacky here in Tokyo. There's typhoons, there's hot, humid days and, perhaps a little too commonly, there's been end of year parties. Japan may be trying to kill me again.

Sunday Brian, a friend of his, and I all went drinking to celebrate his friend’s birthday. Man, his friend can drink. I think he put down something like six beers in less than two hours.

Fresh off of that evening I went to Monday morning’s class. Topic of the day, the end of class party that evening. Damn. We all met up at 6 (even our teacher!) and went to this izakaya near campus. We proceeded to drink at various establishments until 11:30-ish when we all had to catch the last train. To be truthful, I don't think that many people (most notably I) continued drinking much past 9, but we all sat there and ate and toasted until way, way late. Here is a picture (thank you Ken-kun).

Keio's end of semester party

Then Tuesday, Yuri-chan came met me after school (last day of Naito-sensei YES!) to eat ramen and listen to music. I really missed playing music for people.

Finally, today was the test on "The Population Problem".

Also, added Yuriko's webpage (Japanese only) to the land o'links .

Now all I have left is to write a page on "Stereo Future" for film class and study the "Hinoue-uma" chapter for tomorrow's test.

"Please don't turn me off, I don't know what I'm doing outside. Me and the telephone that never rings. If you were me what would you do? Me, I disconnect from you" -Gary Numan

7/14 1:27 PM Stopping The Spread Of Communism Since 1986

At long last I have updated the website. I have a couple of reasons for the lag, so for the reading populous I present article 1:

Yuriko and I

This is Yuriko, alias, Yuri-ringo, Yuri-lliant Green, Yuri, and Satou-san, and, as can be assumed of anyone with so many nicknames, she is my girlfriend. We tried to take several pictures but the camera battery went dead so I'm stuck with this photo (I don't like the way I look in this one, but at least one of us looks good). We started going out three weeks ago.

Friday, Yuriko came over for chat and omelets. It's been absolutely magnificent weather for the last couple of days (since the typhoon last week cleared out a lot of the smog) so we went to the viewing deck at the top floor of Carrot Tower (with cafe and radio station). We discussed how our day went and long distance relationships while looking for my house. *Sigh* two more weeks.

Other than that I've been working my way through the last few weeks of school. Next week is the end of Keio; I'm definitely looking forward to that, Last week was the end of both of Koyama-sensei's classes. Thursday she decided to surprise us by making our in-class essay have absolutely nothing to do with what we had read in her class.

For the record, the class was all readings from 1960's era anti-west drivel, while our essay question was "talk about what you perceive to be the future of Japan. Also for the record, I said that the influence of men would disappear from Japan as men continue to isolate themselves in companies while women continue to isolate themselves in commercial/consumer positions.

Sometime during last week I also received my first ever non-friend/non-family (I think) fan letter, subarashii.

For those of you interested in video game stuff, I beat .hack, so perhaps a review is coming. Or perhaps I just won't update again until I get back to California. Also, I bought a couple of games because I saw them cheap and now need games for my J-PS2. What to play? Last Gallerians of Ash?

Also, found a most excellent video game site at www.seanbaby.com, the NES section has to be the best.

Well, I'm out of here, but before I go, remember, sometimes the best way to stop communism is just to avoid it's gigantic red iron fist.

Don't fuck with Stallin

7/7 7:42 PM Updates?

*Sigh* what to write about.

Weather...weather is a funny thing in Tokyo. About a week ago it was deathly cold and raining. To my Japanese friends I explained the weather as being analogous to a California winter. However, now it's windy, hot and humid. Air conditioners really are beautiful thing.

To recap, a couple of weeks ago I went to this "bomb ass" hip-hop concert headlined by a group called HIFANA. They are an all-instrumental group. Their live show consisted of synthesizers, punchpads and turntables. If this is at all enticing I strongly recommend that you check out their site at www.hifana.com.

Other than HIFANA there were some amazing turntablists. Of the two DJ Kentaro was by far the best. There was also a sort of okay MC, who's name I can't remember.

In other concert news, a week ago I went with Brian and Maya to see our friend Aki-chan's hardcore band. Her band was okay (she is pretty menacing looking on a guitar though the other bands were awful. I was there to see Maya and her husband though, so that was fine. Between one of the sets I was asked to translate some lyrics. First translation job, woo hoo! Not that I made any money or connections or anything.

Two more weeks left of school, exactly three left of Japan. Why is it that things are picking up for me now?

"They pulled in just behind the bridge, he lays her down, he frowns. "Gee my life's a funny thing, am I still too young?". He kissed her then and there. She took his ring, took his babies, it took him minutes, took her nowhere, heaven knows, she'd have taken anything, but all night she wants the young American" - David Bowie

6/24 11:16 PM


Xenogears: The End

Yes, as you can see I have finally vanquished Xenogears. Level 70, 90 hours of gameplay. Life can begin again.

It is a day of great accomplishments, as not only has Xenogears fallen beneath my feet, today's history, I mean Japanese test marks the end of perhaps the longest, dullest chapter included in 3G's textbook. A chapter so boring as to spend 2 lines discussing the literature of the Heian era, an era known for it's phenomenal literature, so that it could spend a page and a half to discuss the economic condition of Japan during the same era. So long "Nihon no Rekishi", you will not be missed.

Unfortunately, it's already getting towards bedtime tonight, so I will not discuss what I have been doing for nearly the last month just yet. But most certainly soon.

As for games, I have decided to take a brief Xeno-break and play .hack. This decision is based off of the fact that .hack will be coming out in the US soon and therefore I should probably bust out a review before it becomes common knowledge.

Fun facts:

RPGs I've played in the last year featuring crucifixion scenes: 3

RPGs I've played in the last year: 4

I should start playing American games again.

"I gotta get Xenogears-that's the type of game that relieves my fears / Get it from overseas to here / I gotta get Psychic Force / Authentic arcade that I can endorse / They got me liking imports" -Del the funky homosapien ('Proto-culture')

6/08 1:08 PM When The Features Section Started Working

Yo yo. I know it may seem that I don't love you guys anymore, but really, it's just school. Somewhere between the last update and now I had to write a speech on video game history and managed to get 12 pages behind in this complex Japanese piece I'm reading. Thank God for truancy.

Before I carry on, a couple of pieces o' site news. First off, on June 6th the new Castlevania game for the GBA, Castlevania: Concerto of Midnight Sun (American release to be titled Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance) was released here in Japan. For you eager kids out there, I have posted an impressions article based on my first couple of hours with the game. It is titled, "Castlevania: Concerto of Midnight Sun, impressions" and you can get there through the link or by clicking on the graphic (word of note, no screenshots because I don't have a clue how one would do such a thing. The graphic below was taken from Gamespot, please don't sue me)

Castlevania screenshot

Also, on the 25th of May there was a super spectacular Buffalo Daughter/UA show at Milk. For purposes of comparison I now present photos from the first and second Buffalo daughter show.

Buffalo Daughter live at Shibuya's AXBuffalo Daughter live at Ebisu's Milk

Ok, the show was very cool, I describe a little in the gallery so be sure to read. Also, for those of you not down with who any of these people are, Buffalo Daughter is one of the biggest forces behind Japan's underground music scene, practically writing all of the songs on Takako Minekawa's first major album "Roomic Cube". Members of Buffalo Daughter have also done session work for artists like Chara and Cibo Matto.

UA is another major force of Japanese RnB. Her more recent work has a reggae vibe. Her name is pronounced "ooaah”.

The concert was a benefit for the Tibet Freedom Organization and nearly everyone I talked with was amazed that both UA and Buffalo Daughter were playing such a small venue.

Anyway, the gallery is here, however you can click on the graphic as well.

Super Live Action

In other news, it looks like Golden Sun 2 is coming out over here on the 28th of June.

...Let's see, so in the last couple of weeks I've been sick, gone to concerts, written the aforementioned speech, and even gotten to the end of Xenogears.

Yes, that is right, I have about two days worth of optional missions and leveling up to do and then the mofo is mine. And trust me, you site readers will know.

Speaking of gods and games, did you guys know that "Nintendo" means "leave luck to heaven"? Yeah, I thought not.

Other than that um there's a party at my house to night (I might end up DJing, which can only lead to bad things).

Uhh, can't think of anything else that's happened though I know there's more....uh, hey look, it's an eva! (Dan runs away)

Evangelion Roxorz

"On the floor of Tokyo, or down in London town to go, go with the record selection and the mirror reflection I'm dancing with myself...If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance, and I'll be dancing with myself" Billy Idol

6/2 11:21 PM (American Time, 6/2 7:21 AM)

Happy Birthday Mom!

5/22 11:21 PM Japan Needs More Porches

Clouds break and the sun shines all day, the humidity kicks up and Tokyo goes through a transformation. The radio is kicking first wave ska and suddenly a cramped train is no longer filled with uptight businessmen but Japanese rudeboys rolling up their sleeves trying to cool down. Is it that I want to go to the Caribbean or that I miss the old San Jo Ska parties?

It all started yesterday when I was reading June's page and she brought up old school 1960's era Bob Marley ska. I ended up bumping Monkey until I could run to Tsutaya and check out a similar Bob Marley album. I'm not a huge Marley reggae fan, but his ska's pretty darn cool.

Since then it's been straight first wave. I love this stuff, it reminds me of summer picnics and old family gatherings.

The problem with such beautiful weather is that it makes you want to do things. Last week it forced me to skip class to play guitar in the park, yesterday Dustin and I ended up pouring too much money into a really shady arcade game.

Today we could no longer bear sitting inside doing our homework. My excuse to summon him out of his room was a trip to the convenience store, but then we ended up walking all the way down Sancha to find a Dr. Pepper vending machine. Finding the machine, we could think of no other way to put off doing our homework and so walked home.

Staring into the face of undone homework we did what any death row convict or student protester would do, stop at the doorway and sit down. So, instead of doing our homework we sat on the steps outside and talked. Japan needs more porches.

"Simmer Down, oh it is too hot oh. Simmer Down, soon you'll get dropped, so simmer down, can you hear what I say, simmer down,"

5/20 7:12PM

Sweet, updated the site including upping a significant amount of pictures from my huge backlog (from when the site was down) AND wrote every single person that I still owed an email to. I RULE!!!

5/20 6:14 PM

Hey all. Haven't updated in a while, but to be truthful not much is going on.

This is intentional on my part though. On Saturday I was supposed to go to a punk show and on Sunday the Beat Pops guys were throwing another cover band concert. I just wanted to sit at home for what is now becoming a rarity, a day of video gaming. I WILL beat Xenogears. I WILL play Xenosaga.

I have all but given up on telling the Kyushu story. There are too many things to say and so many more to not, so instead I will just post the pictures and let you guys figure it out.

While I'm at it, I might as well post pictures from another story I never told. In January I saw a really excellent Buffalo Daughter show, however since my site was down at the time I wasn’t able to write a review.

So, without further ado, here are the photo galleries from Kyushu and the Buffalo Daughter concert.

Brian seems concerned about the Japanese level of all of my readers, so for your enlightenment I link to this page of Japanese lessons (click the link and soon you shall understand).

And this one goes out to Ha-chan.

Xenogears: My Arch Nemesis

"Where has my summer gone" -Buffalo Daughter

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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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