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watching, hearing, seeing, thinking

Archive for June, 2008

6/20-6/25

Posted by veritas on June 29, 2008

6/20-21 weekend was prolly the craziest i’ve had in my life, only to be topped (maybe?) by this just-ended weekend. and i’m not sure where the energy came/is coming from. i’m starting to feel the side effects of it today, but that’s ok. i only got a month left here and it’s all out or nothing全力でいこうぜwww

the entries are probably going to be way too detailed because there is way too much to explain about these places, so be warned. i try to avoid interpersonals, but sometimes i may go there.

6/20 – this particular monumental friday was club ageha featuring the famous dj kaori and 30 other artists, playing on 4 or 5 venues (i forgot) for 7 straight hours. the ageha in 新木場 is nothing like the puny clubs in 六本木 or most of the ones in 渋谷. you approach it crossing a bridge, and the place has an impressive recital-hall feel. the sound system was impressive and the variety of locations let you change pace whenever you wanted. and similar to the top tier places in london, they keep the place very sanitary throughout the night, even while people are tumbling over unable to see. over 3000 people came for the evening, for a 4000yen cover with no flyer coupon or member card discount available. so we were expecting a damn good show. pregaming at an izakaya in shibuya, meeting up with the rest of the party in shin-kiba, then chu-hi-ing at a combini, we were ready to go. what a show though, this place was すげぇ雰囲気. they featured mostly reggae hip-hop on the main stage with some more poppy hiphop by the pool and some house/progressive house in this “chill zone” area.

the peeps i met were pretty chill. my friend kentarou (there are like 18948213 kentarous, this one is “the surfer”, as they call him lol) introduced me to these guys, one of whom (tom) was going back to the states on wednesday and was going all out. we met up with rei and erika along the way, and this tom guy had some japanese buddies who worked with him too. one of them was obsessed with erika and hilariously kept trying to set me up with these random girls throughout the night so he could have a go at her, since he scared her and she was trying to avoid him and stick to me. tom had this japanese girlfriend (or at least, i’m guessing this is one of his girlfriends) who didnt speak much english and he spoke no japanese. you wonder how these relationships work, but it happens here…only with white guys and japanese girls tho. in any case, i was talking to her in japanese throughout the evening and she mentioned some shit about wanting to go with him and have a kid and get married. i’m like uh, ok, i guess (coughfoundagolddiggertype), then i found out that she knew him for about a week, which made it even more hilarious. see i thought that by 21 (which it was her birthday), this kind of thought process would be gone…but i guess not. well, good luck to her lol

6/21 – needless to say, the 22 hour day was well worth it. on the way back in the morning, i overslept my train over to 国分寺, and had to take another one back.週末でこんなことはよくあるよwi had some plans with my friend starting at 10am, but that didn’t work out so well. she said they were meeting as a group at night at ハチ公 before going for some all night karaoke, so i got up at 3, got ready (which i’m finding is taking me almost an hour these days. what happened to wake up -> be in class within 3 minutes? damn son), and went shopping in 秋葉原->原宿 before the evening. i’ll tell you, that’s the craziest fashion 逆 ever. nerdyish wrinkly used polos and antiお洒落white khakis -> 15 year olds that have an entire jar of makeup on their face with 6 colors in their hair and 10 pieces of clothing on different parts of their body.

i was kind of worried “meeting at ハチ公” because, if you’ve ever been there on a saturday night when it’s not raining, it is pretty much like the most dense place in the world outside 新宿・池袋 駅 at rush hour. however, i understood when i got there. we had a massive like 30-35 person 外人 gathering, which prompted the japanese to radiate outward and give us a circular area of room to be loud foreigners. from there we went to a formal large-scale izakaya, where we found out that the celebration was a combined birthday+going away party, where these people were “going all out”…i need to stop getting involved in these “going all out” things every day. from there we went to karaoke, but a few friends and i didn’t really wanna do 20 people in one karaoke room for 5 hours, so we went to the club camelot, which had this awesome “foreigners and ladies” pass where we get in for 1000yen 2d…which really, is a ridiculous steal. all i had to do is go up and speak english. win win win. the place actually had 3 floors – the main for hiphop/chat, the dance floor for some all-genre dance music, and the downstairs that went from house to some extremely progressive trance, which i obviously got psyched about. the clutch song of the night was probably camelot’s exclusive remix of daft punk’s “one more time”, and by that point…yeah it was a moshpit of fun. only complaint i had was the lack of air conditioning. upstairs and dance floor were like saunas, but we found an air conditioned part of downstairs and didn’t move from there lol.

once we left the club, we ran over to join the people who were still at the karaoke. i didnt get to sing much tho because i didn’t like any of the songs that came out (except hikky’s this is love, muse’s starlight, and californication). as 6am rolled around, we were leaving when this crazy russian-or-european guy came up and started harassing my (female) friend. jake came over and tried to get him to go away, but he was being a dick and trying to pick a fight because he was drunk. after he went away for a sec, we started to leave when this fucker started chasing us down and wanting to punch jake in the face for being a “policeman”. some japanese people getting ramen helped us out by letting us join them at the vending machine. this crazy fucker’s 2 friends came to try and get him to go away, and jake said he’d “be ready in 30 minutes and will meet him over there”. after momo and i and his friends got him to cool down a little and go away, we left to go to shibuya station to get the fuck home. guess who was waiting for us at the station yelling something about being ready after 30 minutes. momo ran to get police while we were stalling the guy (though he probably had no idea what we were saying since smashed people dont quite comprehend logic) and he got on the train, probably to escape police. and i mean real police. not jake, who was “playing policeman”. what a fuckin lunatic. i was afraid he was going to get off at harajuku and wait for our train then stalk jake to his house. certainly wouldn’t put it past that guy. jake prolly provoked him a bit, but who wouldn’t get pissed off by an idiot like that? he kept muttering something about “never been insulted in tokyo yet” – who the fuck cares? who died and made your stupid ass king? if i can hate a type of person, it has to be ignorance+arrogance added together. if you’re matsumoto jun, you can be king. not this idiot.

so, quite a day lol. monday and tuesday were more casual, with some minor schoolwork and chillin with friends. wednesday my friend yuki showed me the odaiba area, which is really pretty. it’s far away from tokyo downtown, but that’s what makes it seem so elegant. the place feels like it’s from the future, in one of those japanese tv shows set in some space colony or something. this trip to odaiba would come in handy on saturday.

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6/15-6/19 (can’t think of a title here)

Posted by veritas on June 19, 2008

well to start off, the 15th had me waking up quite late and almost being late for the 3-week-long-planned get together with takuma, his girlfriend natsuki, and her friend rie. the japanese plan stuff way way in advance, which is something i had to get used to. i’m used to just making shit up to do on the spot, but due to commuting difficulties and whatnot it’s really impossible to get everyone together randomly in 30 minutes, because god knows they could be all the way out in saitama or something.

the dinner itself was pretty good. i swore to myself that i’d try to japanese my way through this to practice, but instead i ended up using english almost the entire time. takuma was like, “you are so talkative!”, and i’m not sure whether this means “i was not aware you were so talkative” or “shut the fuck up”. though he’s pretty nice so i’ll go with the former. i think. we went to an english pub (they call em “hub”s around here) where they have happy hour pre 7pm and drinks are 30-50% off. i had mojito>dolce>jack+coke>martini. the mojito was pretty mean, but i remember making a better martini. the total ended up around 3000 including rie’s, which really actually pretty good. takuma pulled out his fuckin member’s card (this guy has a member’s card or something for everywhere lol) and got us discounts, which is pretty awesome. takuma and natsuki are a pretty adorable couple to be honest, even though they don’t see each other all that much due to how busy they are. rie goes to sophia, which i actually pass by everyday going home from temple transferring from 南北to中央at四ツ谷. she and natsuki were both pretty interesting, because you can see the bits of american in them, but they’re still mostly japanese so they do everything japanese people do lol.

path down karaoke addiction continued on tuesday, where my friend and i went to go sing and also eat at this “christon cafe” ( uh huh they misspelled “christian”…>.> ) that was super duper decked out and everything. kinda neat to be honest, and the food wasn’t too pricey. i had this house-created original cocktail that was pretty good. tasted like a b-52 but chocolatey. not bad for movie watching, which i guess is why they named it “celebrity”. at karaoke i walked in on two people getting it on in the karaoke room. they were not happy. especially when i was like, “whoops, my bad”. but come on, you can’t lock karaoke doors – what the fuck. and it was the first room literally right in front of the stairs/elevator. fuckin idiots, it is really not that hard to pay 600 yen more for a love hotel. “BUT YOU CANT DO IT WHILE SINGING HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME TO EACH OTHER!” yea yea ok ok…

yesterday i went out with jun, who’s a korean girl studying linguistics over here by government scholarship (@_@!). she’s quite a bit older than me but we get along so well, that it’s kinda scary. i really wanna see her again, but she’s actually quite busy (no weekends! saturday and sunday, morning -> evening = conference! yikes!) and so it’ll be a while before that. she has studied english before, but cannot speak it (発音が恥ずかしい!!!と言って。。) so we use japanese even though neither of us are japanese…lol. but my japanese comes out really easily with her, which is really surprising since you’d think foreigners both studying the same foreign language would be less knowledgeable and thus more confused. go figure.

so i guess lately it’s all been dates and get-togethers and whatnot, which is actually something i like better than sightseeing. my friend yuki gave me a massive list of shit i should prolly see before i leave, and maybe i’ll take a sunday or something and blow through these lol. though with commuting time i’m sure it’s impossible.

wallet am cry: 最近色々な買い物やったんだ。特に飽食w。i found a guy selling rings/chains on the street. i could tell he was the haggling type immediately. he gave me a total of some 5000 yen, so i went chinese on him and hesitated to buy until he cut it to 3500, which then i pulled the “i seem to only have around 2500 on me” to which he responded “mm, i can’t sell for less than 3000” to which i “magically” found another 500yen coin in my other pocket. ah so fun, reminds me of beijing.

you can’t haggle down a department store, unfortunately (though i’m sure kevin’s mom could find a way…), so the necklace i got was just for set price. still not too bad, though.

though the most expensive purchase of the last few days…a ticket to yui’s concert in NHK hall on july 3rd!!!! takuma and i have been collaborating around 10:30 every night camping last second yahoo jp auction (cause the show tickets 全国sold out in 6 hours so we gotta auction) for like a week. i don’t have a jp credit card so i can’t use it. prices of course will keep around 7500~ for shittiest seats in the house at about 30minutes to go, and then skyrocket over 10k when it approaches 5mins left (as each additional bid adds 5mins to timer, like in fucking world of fucking warcraft. ebay does it better). there was a section2 L4 (4th row in left side) ticket with buyout 15k, but that was too rich for my blood. then the next day i was about to give up when i saw a 10k buyout section2 ticket come up. takuma said he was about to sleep, but then saw it too and immediately got on his a-game and we bought it out instantly lol. the guy is hardcore. since section3’s go for 10-12k, section2’s for 15k+, and section1’s for 44k+, this was quite a steal.

so im quite psyched. she’s probably not going to tour in the states, or at least for a long time. even if she does though, i won’t be able to go to new york/cali for it, and 雰囲気 cant possibly be the same. other than utada hikaru’s ultra blue album, yui is pretty much the only jpop i can listen to, so this is マジでちょうどいい. i didn’t make a list of things that i wanted to do, but going to a concert in japan was definitely something i thought about (longed for?) for a long time.

the other satisfying part of this is totally unrelated to her music, though. something i really like to get away from sometimes is the planning process that is inevitable in daily life. however, i one day randomly decided i wanted to go to this thing, got the ticket done, and now i’m set to go. that’s such a ridiculously satisfying feeling. it’s prolly as close as i’ll ever get to the thrilling idea of randomly hopping on a plane to ibiza one day to trance all night long and flying back the next. まだお金の問題w

looking forward to random craziness this weekend. now, about the whole point (well, the main point) of coming here…getting future work contacts…yes…ahem…

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saikouuuuu 6/6-6/14

Posted by veritas on June 14, 2008

なんかさぁ。。。もっと書いた方がいいんじゃん?けど本当に時間がないからしょうがないよ。しかも書く時は厭きる時って、書かない方がいいんじゃん?まぁどうっちだろうw

最近何やってんだけ?i hung out with erika+christina on friday. we were gonna go to club asia to see the friend of a friend play, but the early evening (as in pre 23-5) show closes at 9:30, so we didnt wanna go pay 2500yen for an hour and a half. yea fuck that. we hung around, drank, talked, ate crepes, shopped, gawked at hot hot girls (at least erika and i…いただきます~), got rejected from the coins bar cause it was full, and just normal shit like that. we met these 2 european girls that were just hanging around to play, and got their email, but they havent replied…oh well lol

day before that i had my first picture party…i mean プリクラof course. my god it was mind blowingly fantastic. in our boring ass photo booths they give you like 5 hours to prepare to look perfect and then take a shot and ur done. this? no way. you get in and immediately you gotta get ready and pose to look good. no time to do your hair, girls. 8 fast paced shots in a row, and if you think you’re done after that glamour show, you’re wrong. next comes hardcore editing. so many damn options. you can add like literally anything. then it prints the pictures in the form of stickers and sends to your phone. so ridiculous. if you’re mocking me for making a big deal out of this, you need to come experience this magic for yourself. so hardcore.

saturday i ran into yumi and sean for a burger bigger than my mouth, which was good, but way too expensive. i made plans for monday to head to his place, but unfortunately that got scrapped due to “work”. mm hmm, i see how it is professor その代わりに友達と10時半までsmashやった。something as simple as that i can’t find in the states. this is why i love big cities. you can find people for whatever the fuck you wanna do.

火曜日は休みだった。テンプルは毎週一日休みがあるよ。i rested well to recover for the rest of the week, and ended up waking up around 5pm, which was unfortunate since we had a (surprise to me) house guest for the day. my host mom goes to these exchange student conferences, and she met this korean girl there. she came in, and here was me in my boxers and obviously physically not ready for (female) visitors. so once that was fixed, we had dinner, chatted, and she turned out really interesting. i grabbed her contact infos and hopefully we can go grab dinner sometime or something. this is the wierd/funny thing: usually i have to try to get myself in the mood to talk/flirt with (most) girls back home, and for a while i thought that i was too lazy to go talk to girls. but here it comes naturally because they’re (generally) all ridiculously cute and welcoming where i want to get to know like all of them. back home there’s a crazy sense of えらそうお嬢様っぽいeverywhere i go and that prolly just turns me off to the point of non-caringness. w/e

the rest of the week was relatively busy. my job at tutoring center keeps my hours between/before classes busy, and afterwards i usually go hang out with friends or pass the time in some manner. instead of study abroad, this really is like vacation. wednesday i went with takuma to this “dagashi bar” where they serve you regular food and drinks/beer, but in exchange for a 500yen cover, you get to eat all of the random snacks (ranging from candy to chip-like snacks to bread-like snacks) that are lying around all over the place. this was in ebisu, so we saw a fair amount of suits. really funny thing was, takuma and i were on the topic of がっこん(? is this right? prolly not i always mistake something), and these 4 showed up next to us doing the exact same thing. takuma said, 「こいつらこわいそう。今日wasteでしょう?」because the girls that were with them weren’t exactly…the most attractive. fuckin funny guy

thursday night, no sleep. no comment >.> and friday we finally got to get together with chiharu+naoko, which we were planning since a long time ago. we went to one of those japanese style bar/restaurants, with the izakaya feeling. lots of food, pretty cheap overall, good fun. everyone i know over here keeps telling me i’m getting really 日本人っぽいbut i seriously cant believe them, because i still get lost in other ppls conversations pretty frequently. listening to keiji and co talk, for example, i usually get the gist of the conversation and what each person’s views are on everything, but the downright specifics and japanese slang humor are what crush me. まじでむかつくだよw

today was (surprisingly) the first karaoke i went to here. and what a reputation it had built up from my friends both back home and here. けどがっかりしなかった。ちょう楽しかった。 we busted out our whiteness with tunes as classic bohemian rhapsody and as cheesy as semi-charmed life, fully exhibiting a memory trip to the 90s (its almost 2 decades ago!! ahhhhhh getting olddddd). those chu-hi’s are really formidable. i can drink a tall boy in like 3 mins because they’re delicious, but it’s got about 3 shots of liquor worth in every can (or at least the 8% lemon ones do), which is dangerous. i find my cocktail mixing experience comes in handy here, because people order nasty shit like rum+coke, then taste my glorious lychee liqueur+blue curacao mix, and love it. my cred goes up many levels there.

the only thing i am kinda sad about is tonight’s THE END in tokyo collaboration between the womb and THE END in london, the world’s 5th and 4th best trance clubs voted by dj magazine. this was probably the craziest trance event of the summer, but by the time 11:30ish rolled around, i was really out of it and a bit wasted, to where the energy to trance rave for 6 hours wasn’t in me anymore. i blame not sleeping thursday and barely on friday on crushing my raving energy. i’m weak, i know. i’m seriously going to have to visit some other time tho, because the womb has ridiculously good sound and visual effects as compared to other clubs in shibuya (which are kind of backwards) and far more fun that roppongi (which has a lot of white people, and especially guys in their 30s-40s hitting on girls in high school. kinda sketchy but, lol, people with money can do what they want). i wanted to check out at least the womb, club asia, vuenos tokyo, and colors studio, so i could compare when i finally get to go to night scene in new york (even tho i will always be sad i wasn’t old enough to ever experience the twilo) and especially ibiza (space better not close before i get to go!) some day. most of that list is slashed down. 本当に東京で何も後悔したくないけど、これはなんかびみょうだったwどうしようね。でも今まで全力でやったから、これを認めるwwwダサいなわけだろう

the important thing is that on top of school and japanese language, i’m pretty sure that coming here has already influenced my life in a big way, with 7 weeks or still remaining to go. with all my arrogance and ambition piled together, i had a lot to expect from this city, and it’s satisfying everything that i am expecting, as long as i go forward to do it. maybe in a puny place like winston-salem there’s things you can’t do, but here, the opportunity is always there, but if you don’t take it, you’re the only one to lose. だからまじで自分の生活って責任を取らなきゃだめだって、excitingなんだよ。望むところだ~

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never a dull moment! 5/28-6/5

Posted by veritas on June 6, 2008

temple’s summer session kick-off party was pretty good. i met this really cute girl named rei a few days ago during some temple student government organized cultural exchange thing (which does not seem to be getting anywhere) and she introduced me to her friends. they’re all part of the english program here, which is like a rigorous english-only schooling to prep them for undergraduate program. we went drinking before, which was unfortunate for poor rei, because she tried to keep up with me + this guy named ken, ending in her having a bad night and going home. figures the only people who have experience living in the states crushed everyone else in alcohol tolerance. i was pretty worried about her, and especially because she missed out on the fun of the evening.

they are a cool little group of friends, all of whom study like ridiculously diligently. they are always in the comp lab or in the lounge or cafeteria doing english essays, vocab, grammar, projects, etc. some enjoy it because high school was too easy, and others get crushed by the workload lol. wanna guess which gender is related to which?

ken and i checked out club asia on friday night from 23-5, and it was pretty cool. the environment in lounge 1f and 2f were pretty chill, which more people getting acquainted with each other on 2f, and ppl chatting on 1f. the main stage venue was packed with people, from the tired-yet-dancin chill people in the back, to the mosh pit in the middle, to the screaming fans of the bands up front. the entire night was mad fun and i passed the fuck out on 6:30 train and missed my stop lol. cover fee was 3000yen tho, which made me realize that even if i wanted to do this every night, my wallet would seriously not be ok with that.

tutoring job started this week, helping pay back the ridiculous costs of this city. i’m meeting a lot more people every week, which is definitely fun since i get more and more chances to practice japanese.

most important part, however: this place is like heaven. there are way too many cute girls walking around. しかもお嬢様のタイプは確かに珍しいだよ。かわいい+親切は最高コンビだぜw

with school being easy, it’s actually pretty fun. i can walk into the student lounge for some smash bros any time i want, or go hang out and talk in the cafeteria. there are little things people can do around here to keep themselves busy. the big city life really is nice, because people realize that they are too busy to deal with minute details. everyone works together to get things done so they can possibly find some free time. when people are bored and have tons of free time, they start to do things like scrutinize and criticize others, just as a way of passing time. there’s none of that here, and the feeling is really progressive and productive. i’m lovin it.

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settling in – 5/21-5/27

Posted by veritas on June 6, 2008

i think this thursday or friday was the first izakaya experience. only 7 of us went, and 5 stayed to the end. ridiculously fun, not too many details remembered except some never have i evers, and a lot of the tea+liquor drink that is really amazing. the shit replenishes you while you are getting drained by the liquor. i bummed the night at the ontakesan dorm, which ended up costing $20 for an overnight stay. that’s retarded, but now at least i know that if you’re caught you pay. else…

cynthia and i checked out the coins bar in shibuya on friday (or was it saturday? ._.) which really is a gem in shibuya. 300yen for any drink. and i’m not just talking beers or jack+coke, we got cosmopolitans martian martinis white russians moscow mules tokyo lemonades sex on the beach and otherwise drinks that actually need mixing. they have real glasses that dont fucking contaminate the drinks with plastic, too. definitely a great place in shibuya, considering other places are 400-500 per drink only during happy hour, and roppongi can get up to ~900yen per drink.

we met mainly english speakers there, but i told her we fucking fail at life if we dont talk to some japanese people in japanese before we get out of there, so she poked some girl (who was like 15 but over here 14-26 all seriously look the same) and complimented her on her skirt. her (extremely drunk) friends seemed kinda worried that i was gonna like take her away and did this really cute maneuver of sandwiching her in the middle while doing shots. but in the end i chatted her up for a while before cynthia and i left. i think this let me ease into speaking japanese with people my age here, making the next few weeks (up to now) easier

i had heard about club womb and being the trance addict i was, i went to try and look for it (without a map), which was a massive failure. instead i had to run away from about 8-10 prostitutes. apparently young men walking around alone = looking for prostitutes? one of them was like “すいません、お兄ちゃん。。”and i was pretty annoyed at this point, which almost prompted me to turn around and be like “オレは絶対お前より若いんだよ”, but i just kept walking instead, cause really, work is work…

i went exploring shinjuku’s night scene (staying away from 2-chome) and found myself a bit out of place. literally everyone was in a suit, and about 10 years older than me on average. i found 3 seemingly british businessmen looking for a place to drink, and so i followed them. they were gonna enter a pretty comfy bar, but since i had stuff to do, i couldnt quite stay all night and go home at 6am

lastly, this week involved me visiting Professor Sean Bennett, who is teaching english at…some university, the name of which is too long for me to remember D:. we went yakiniku, and after deciding to spend 2600yen on all-you-can-eat-in-90-minutes, we decided that we better be fucking eating nonstop the entire 90 minutes. we got our meat and stuck it on there, and the meat just never stopped. by some unexplainable phenomenon, we got hungrier as we kept eating. the end bill was about 22 plates of meat. they had to bring over 2 waiters just for us, since our first one got kinda tired and busy and had to call for backup. earlier, she came to change the charcoal and i didnt notice, so i had her order us more beef while she was carrying this super heavy and hot charcoal thing. i felt really bad so i gave her a tip at the end, which prolly has never happened to her before. she was so confused by the tip that at first, she gave me this ridiculous look like, “are you trying to buy me for the night?” but then kind of realized the situation and bowed 389823 times. i just hope she kept it and didn’t get confiscated by the manager or some shit.

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