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Thursday, November 30, 2006

The unexpected and unusual snow in Victoria has claimed the lives of trees, bushes, school days, and sadly, one pig. Mike Harcourt (yes, I'm serious, and no we didn't name him) - Mikey to those who knew him well, died this morning after a valiant fight against pneumonia (or so I'm told), in Victoria, BC. RIP Mikey, you were a good pig!
(Mikey the day we got him, vastly overweight and not too pleased with the world!) The three photos above were shamelessly stolen from my Mom's blog.

How did we end up with such a porker in our backyard, one might ask? Well, Mikey was a rescue pig, a clear case of being killed by kindness. Left to live, unfenced and otherwise un contained in the backyard of a house which had been abandoned for six years, Mikey lived a solitary life under a low slung sheet of plywood and a tarp, with only the neighbourhood stray cats, peacocks, and bunnies to count among his friends. It wasn't all bad for Mikey though - his former owners (who actually inherited him with the property), fed their guilt and Mikey's insatiable appetite, plying him with six times the needed quantity of food throughout those six lonely years.

We got Mikey in June. Unable to support himself for more than a few steps, the process of moving Mikers just 500 metres down the road required the vet, a horse trailer, six strong humans, and a bowl of grapes. If someone ever tells you that pigs can scream bloody murder, don't doubt them for a second! Mikey was keen to let the entire world know that his life was caving in around him. Blind from fat, confused and disturbed, our little piggy settled down and promptly went on a hunger strike. While this wasn't a bad thing due to his bulk, pigs are very sensitive (and smart) animals, and can become suicidal, losing the will to live, quite easily. To avoid this, hand feedings of freshly prepared salads soaked in kool-aid and watermelon juice ensued twice a day.

Over the next five months, Mikey slimmed down, and was able to walk around his paddock quite handily by the time I came over here. Unfortunately, I don't have any recent photos of him, but rest assured, he was much better proportioned in his last months!

Unfortunately, that loss of insulation appears to be a contributing factor to Mikey's untimely passing. A cosy nest of hay, sleeping bags, hot water bottles, a heated blanket and a side order of antibiotics were not enough to keep our (not so little) guy with us. Although he wasn't particularly expected at the beginning, he was an entertaining guy, and will be missed (except maybe by the horses, his screaming scared the crap out of them a few times!).

As for the rest of my day, ummmmm not so exciting, sorry! Jordon suggested the DNTO podcasts to me yesterday, so I took V out for a walk and listened to one of them - definitely will be adding them into my growing rotation of walk/train/bike listening! The CBC also has a 'Best of Outfront' podcast (among others), but luckily their archives don't go back as far as my show on there! Weird to be getting all into CBC/NPR/A(ustralian) BC shows, especially since after being force fed the CBC for the first 15 years of my life, I/we basically stopped listening to it for the last few... Very odd to go back to those old shows I remember listening to on the way to school and at night! The best of podcasts are definitely the way to do it! (And I'm sure mom is reading away rolling her eyes and going 'I told you so', but whatever, better late than never!)

Anyway, the only other major event in my day was a Yoga/Pilates class put on by the Tokyo Gaijins in Minato-ku. There was definitely more Yoga than I was hoping for, not being a particular fan, but I guess they'll start doing pilates only classes if there is enough demand for it. It was nice though, because there were only four of us, so a pretty individualized class, and now at least I've given Yoga another shot... I'll probably go back a few more times though, maybe it will grow on me, and the pilates part was good!

Peter's due back any moment from being a super VIP or whatever at U2, should be interesting to see what that gets a person! Maybe he'll do a guest entry for us! Hmmm....guest bloggers, that's a thought....

Will try and pick up the interest level in the next few days... Rest assured, Sunday will be interesting, and hopefully Monday, if we get our tickets organized!

until tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I waved Peter off to work today, and told him to have a great time at the U2 concert tonight, and then headed off on my day... Yesterday, I bought the Nike+Itunes Anytime/Anywhere outdoor workout, so today I rode the bike down to Yoyogi Koen to try it out. Basically, its 45 minutes of songs by alternative artists from one label (including Moby, Elbow, Sugar Cult, etc), which are put into a logical order and then overlaid with a voice track by a personal trainer. It's great because it's much harder to cheat yourself out of a good workout when there is someone telling you what to do... Besides cardio, it also includes upper and lower body strengthening, (I need that upper body work apperantly, whoo boy!) Anyway, it was good, and I'll use it again for sure...

Headed back home, changed, ate a late lunch, etc. and then headed over to Roppongi Hills at 5:30ish. I was planning on going to Super Deluxe for Pecha Kucha, as I mentioned yesterday, so I took Peter's laptop to continue working on my entry for the digital art thingy, and settled into the Starbucks just down the hill (it had a plug, my only criteria for coffee shops these days), to work for a couple of hours before heading to the club. I was just about finished my frappacino, and starting to wonder if this whole crazy project is going to work (I guess we'll soon see!) when Peter called me...Would it be possible for me to get drop everything and get straight on a train to go see U2 with Jordon in an hour?

Ummmm YES!

Packed everything up and scooted out of there while waiting for instructions on how to get to Saitama Super Arena which is absolutely massive! (up to 37, 000 people) Thanks to Nahoko for emailing my keitai with directions several times! Unfortunately, Peter found out about the extra tickets only about 45 minutes before the concert was supposed to start (they were already en route, planning to use these tickets for themselves), and it took me about an hour and 20 minutes to get there! Luckily, there was no opening act (I don't think!), and they started an hour after it said, so by the time Jordon and I sprinted in there, we'd only missed one song (Vertigo, which is too bad as it was the Vertigo tour), but we got to our standing area during the second or third song, so not too bad!

There were a LOT! of people there!!!! Pretty amazing... Fantastic atmosphere, and a great crowd, everyone was REALLY into it! Bono is a fantastic preformer (and has an amazing voice!) and had no problem engaging the crowd, obviously! They played a pretty big variety of songs (I'm terrible with names, sorry!) and also included one never before played (anywhere in the world) song, which was pretty cool!
(loooots of people!)

I couldn't really see the stage too well, being not exactly tall, but they had the big screens, so we could watch on that, and then the screen behind the stage was pretty cool as well - They didn't use it a ton, but it definitely went well with the show without over powering the music. They did a cool thing where they asked the audience to all get out thier keitais and make a 'Christmas Tree' - pretty incredible number of lights from that, pretty sweet!

Having the power outside of music that he does, and championing his causes, Bono also took some time out of the concert to impart his plea for change in the world. Interesting in that when they read out the first five points of the Declaration of Human Rights, they had it translated into Japanese on screen...which makes sense, but I also wonder how many people had any idea about what the lyrics were tonight... With a band like U2, you'd think that might be vaguely important, but I guess when the music is good, it really doesn't matter!
(there's a Bono in there somewhere!)

I'm not really sure what else to say about it...the energy from a big concert is amazing, but you really have to be there to get involved with the crowd, feel the music thumping through you and get lost in the atmosphere. It must be incredible to be someone like Bono/U2 and have that happen at your feet night after night. What a rush to weild that much power and create so much excitement and enthusiasm!

As we left, with 30 000+ other people, there was some pretty entertaining crowd control - everyone HAD to go in the same direction down the sidewalk, and anyone who tried to start heading the other direction was forcibly herded back into the cue... One girl who was walking on the other side of the street (and possibly not even at the concert), got chased down by a policeman, and then shoved into our throng of people... I saw her trying to get away, but the policeman was phyically shoving her into the mass of people... It was tempting to break rank, but we only rebelled by walking on the wrong side of the curb, though we stayed with the general river of humanity.
(sorry about the photo quality in general - just with the keitai in the dark, maybe Peter and Hitomi can get some better shots from their vantage point tomorrow....)

Afterwards we tried to grab some food (easier said than done!) and after being kicked out of Royal Host because they were about to close, we gave up and headed home, it would have been tight to get food anyway with the stupid earliness of last train...

Ummm yea, that's about it - it was great though, thanks to Peter for making it happen for us at the last minute! As for Peter and Hitomi, they'll be heading off to Saitama tommorow, for the special VIP event they managed to score tickets to, including some kind of dinner (not sure if the band is directly involved, but I'm sure we'll hear about it tommorow night!)

When I got home I had to sing for my supper and call the metpod line and leave some kind of review or something of the concert... Which was no problem, but I had no idea what to say! I ended up leaving two fairly lame reports on their answering machine... Possibly one will make it to the metpod, but don't get too excited!... I really don't mind public speaking at all, but I'm not so good on the completely spur of the moment soundbite thing - I could never do live air stuff - there would be all sorts of umms, ahhhs, and dead air!

Anyway, a great night and a total surprise, we really thought there were no extra tickets to be had, so a pretty cool call to get less than an hour from showtime!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So a good day for me today, but not so good for the blog readers (because I was actually accomplishing stuff for once!)... Peter was kind enough to leave his mac at home for me today (thank you!!!) So I could finally feed my craving for some Creative Suite (yes, I know, its pathetic!)

I went down to the cafe on the corner (I'm going to bankrupt myself on going out to work in coffee shops, why do I have to be soooo much more efficient when I'm out? It's not cheap!) Anyway, I went to the Decadence Cafe (or Decadent Cafe, or something like that), which was very nice, and even had a nice long, empty counter to spread out on so I could keep the drink faaaar away from the not mine computer :)

I started my entry for that digital art competition, and managed to make the 'graph' for the host, which should be the most complicated one because she has interactions with just about every person each time the food is served. For the other people, however, they just need to comment once, and so will only interact with her during the food portion (I'm not going to 'mark' conversations in that area, or it will get waaaaaay too complicated!!!)

I'm pretty happy with the way it's looking so far - I drew from the Bahamian logo (still my all time favourite!) as the inspiration for the type of colours I'm using - drawing heavily from the 'jewel tones' colour palatte. Since I've made up mini personalities for each person, their colour draws on the type of person I see them being, but all of the tones have the same general feeling. I also had my most success ever with that pesky pen tool today, so all in all, fairly successful start to the project!

Came back home, and worked on nikkitate online for awhile, which is coming along - I've had to 're make' a little bit of it, because a key file didn't transfer over onto my ipod, so while I have the files to a point, I basically just need to drag and drop images and text into a new webpage. Luckily, iweb is super easy to use, so it's not taking too long.... I also set up the official Nikki Tate Online shop today at amazon... They're pretty organized with this stuff over there!

Speaking of Mom, talked to her today and got filled in on the winter which has hit Victoria and the lower mainland with a vengeance! Stories of cars in ditches, cats up to their chins in snow (they're inside now!), pigs grunting under straw and sleeping bags, horses with icicles on their butts... All very dramatic! They just got their power back, but have no internet, and were boiling water over the fire for tea - how back to the turn of the century!

When Mom was coming home from Vancouver on the weekend (luckily in the truck), she waited for hours at the ferry terminal as they could only load one car at a time up the ramp - too many were getting stuck and sliding backwards! They had to hand pick the big vehicles like hers to get up there....Very exciting! Check into her blog in a few days, as snow pictures are sure to be posted when they get their internet back!

Peter was out at a dinner thing tonight, so I just made myself some food (scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes and Havarti cheese, with fries), and watched one of my TED talks podcasts... It was by the author of Freakenomics, and discussed how gangs are similar to McDonalds in their 'corporate structure', and also how crappy a job it is to 'work' in a gang... If you are in a gang for 4 years in Chicago, you have a 25% chance of dying. The death rates in the gang they studied are twice those of the soldiers in Iraq right now... Interesting stuff! (if a bit shocking)

Hmmm...what else? Started the next book on my pile - The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which is good so far, only about 50 pages in so far though... Peter just got home, so since I won't be able to work anymore tonight, I'll probably read a bit more...

As for the rest of the week, Peter and Hitomi are going to U2 tomorrow night, so I might go check out the Pecha Kucha night at super-deluxe... Thursday night I have a Pilates class with the Tokyo Gaijins, so Friday I won't be able to move, and then the weekend, but I don't want to post all the interesting stuff now and not have you come back for the full report!

If anyone wants to see any of this party thing, which I know I'm not describing well, leave a comment and I can email it to you - I'm not allowed to post it, even on my blog, as per the rules of the competition it needs to be 'unpublished work'...


Monday, November 27, 2006

After watching my weekly dose of ANTM, I just felt like riding the bike around randomly today, so this afternoon, I did just that. Listening to a 'This American Life' podcast about 'The Canadians Among Us', I headed down to Yoyogi Uehara and biked around on some of the bike paths which run through the park. It was an interesting day - fairly warm, about 16C, and it didn't feel as if rain was imminent, although it did rain later, but in the the park it was misty and damp and QUIET! and riding through the fallen leaves and looking over the wet fields it was hard to imagine the chaos just outside the borders of the park. I had the distinct feeling of being in back in BC or in England somewhere - the grey damp has a way of pulling you back there, I suppose!

Tiring of the quiet fairly quickly, as per usual, I headed aimlessly into the Harajuku/Omotesando area, and then back up and over to Shibuya, parking the bike in my usual spot near the ward office, and then headed to a cafe I'd noticed when we drove past it on Saturday - DexeeDiner. Nothing about it would have stood out to me amongst all of the other funky places to eat in Shibuya, had it not had this intriguing slogan plastered on their signage: "Wanna read and dine?" Indeed I do! And in fact, I do so compulsively without invitation anyway, but a restaurant which encourages the practice of lingering over a book seemed too good to pass up!(bad keitai photo, but you can kind of see the wall of books as you walk in...not sure if there are others anywhere else - these were everything from Dr. Seuss to Cats in the Sun to the Art of Portraiture)

It was a pretty cool place, with fairly minimal furnishings, friendly staff and delicious food! I had the Manhattan Tossed Salad, and chose the 'A' set of toppings - chicken, avocado, onion chips (tiny deep fried sweet onion rings), and black olives with Cesar dressing. (my other dressing options were 'American' or 'Japanese' both a bit too ambiguous to try!)
(another bad keitai shot, kind of the front half of one level... I didn't see the upstairs...)

As for the reading, most people, to be honest, weren't, but then again, they weren't alone and obviously didn't have the same ideas about reading at the table in company that I might have, uh, grown up with :) The restaurant did live up to it's promise to provide the books, and in the entry way there is a wall of lovely art and design books you can borrow to peruse over your meal. Despite having my own book (of course!) with me, I decided to see what they had on for offer, and was pleasantly surprised to find a very interesting (in English) design book.

David Carson: 2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print is part David Carson design retrospective, part typographic masterpiece/nightmare depending on your tastes, and part collection of essays with a philosophical bent on the innate connection between design and intuition. As opposed to necessarily believing that you need a reason for every design decision you make, Carson feels that there is, and should be, an element of 'just because' (intuition) in design. Personally, I agree... Nothing to sap your energy like a shitload of forced process work and a rationale to top it off with a side of BS.

I definitely don't think that there shouldn't be any thought placed into the how and why, and you certainly need to make sure that your design is going to be suitable for the end user, fit your client's brief and retain its usability, but I also don't agree with having to justify every little decision. It doesn't encourage introspection, it just encourages you to make stuff up!

Haha anyway, I really don't know what I'm talking about - I'm a design school dropout after all, but anyway, I enjoyed my lingering read over tea...

Headed back home in the now dark, and decided to enter the digital art competition I read/heard about via Metropolis awhile back... I don't have anything to lose, so whatever, I might as well! Waiting for Peter to come home so I can dump CS2 and Flash on his computer and start creating some digital art(ish) work. I'm planning to base mine around the idea of 'party/revelry/merrymaking etc' (you pick one of three kanji to visually represent as part of the competition). My general idea is to somehow make artistic graphs of ten imagined people's experiences at an imagined dinner party - showing how their moods change as they all intersect with each other. I want to give some kind of visual time line of the emotions and interactions of a dinner party, and then work everyone's graphs in together to make one big image. I know I'm not explaining this well, but I'm still trying to work it out in my head! (I have until December 11th)...

I love this kind of information design, where a greater concept is worked into a visually appealing pattern (with varying levels of being able to tell what's going on at first glance). For an example of what I'm not explaining very well, check out these textiles by Saldo. It's not a great way to see their work, but basically, they took a fight scene from a movie, and broke down the choreography of the entire scene into a crazy pattern which they then turned into a repeat for textiles... Anyway, we'll see how it goes (I'm thinking it might be overly complex!), but I've wanted to try something like this since I read about a similar project in our Critical Issues textbooks last year...

Ummmm after that, Venus and I walked down the street to pick up some fruit from the corner store, and then I made pasta and garlic bread (yum!) for dinner, and finished my book, Hungry Ghosts, while I ate. The ending was better than I thought it would be (as in ten pages out there were a lot of loose ends and I didn't think she'd be able to deal with them), and the one character who can only be described as a sick bastard got his due, so I was happy about that - for awhile it looked like he was going to get two girls, plus his whore house, when really he just deserved to be alone with his disgusting self....

And that basically brings us to the present - working on the blog, maybe going to make a few more notes on this dinner party thing and decide if I actually like the whole idea or not, (I guess York did indoctrinate me with some process work compulsions!) and that's about it - nothing too exciting!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

You know you have a spoiled lab on your hands, when she gets the bed and the blanket, and you get the sheet and the corner! Luckily it hasn't been too cold yet, so I haven't had to turn on the heat in my room or anything, but Venuppi Puppy doesn't' seem to think her fur is warm enough!

(You can't see it that well, but the black lump in the middle of the photo is Venuppi's head... That's how she slept all night last night!)

Today Peter and I had hair appointments together at noon, so this morning was basically spent getting ready for that... We headed to TONI&GUY where I met Lincoln, Pete's long time hairdresser from the UK. He's a very nice guy! For once in my life I didn't get in trouble for endlessly home dying my hair, and he wasn't all snotty like sooooo many hair dressers at home are! I just got the tiniest trim since I'm still trying to grow my hair, but he said that once it's a bit longer I can get a really loose perm, which I want to try so I can have some loose casual curls.... Now I just have to wait for it to grow more! Patience is so not my strong suit!

It was all very different from my typical, awkward, 'let's get this over with' hair cutting experience from home... We got head and shoulder massages, coffee and Christmas Oranges, and British Marie Claire! It was all very indulgent, good fun for the amount of hair I actually got cut!

Since it was right across the street, we stopped by for some Kua'aina burgers, and then came home to 'potter' around... Pete has been having closet organizational woes, so we headed back out to Shimachu, a 'home centre' over here. I was picturing a 'do it yourself' home centre along the lines of Home Depot, but it was actually more like a Walmart. You could get furniture, stationary, storage solutions, heaters, pet supplies, lighting fixtures, etc... In short a totally random variety of stuff, but fun to explore! Peter got a bunch of extra drawer type things, and I just got one big box thing to store my scrap booking supplies in... They had a pretty cool aisle of like craft metal and Plexiglas and stuff... I was thinking about how cool some of the design projects from last year would be if you had access to the random art supplies you can get over here! They had sheets of super thing pressed metal which looked exactly the same as the front of a G5...
(The store also had the added bonus of making even ME feel tall! They had quite a lot of furniture for when you want to sit on the floor, but in a chair, such as this living room set which came up to Peter's knees...)

(This table is interesting because it is heated... I'm not entirely sure how it works, but its got a huge thick blanket around it, and then I think there is some kind of heat source built in? I guess in Japan, people tend to heat themselves as opposed to their houses, which I think is great, I think its much cosier to bundle up in a couple of layers and a blanket than blast the heat, but maybe that's what growing up with the heat basically off will do for a girl! :) )
(The lumber section was pretty cute as well! Everything was three or six feet pretty much (they had about 10 eight foot 2x6's in a corner). The wood was also sooo nice! Really nice grades and generally sanded and ready to go - no gnarly, warped bits here! Some of the pre made trim and stuff also looked great - not that I know much about it, but the wood all looked like it would be really nice to work with!)

Anyway, we came back and each just did our own thing for supper, Peter had his turkey leftovers, but I'd enjoyed mine already so I decided to make some udon and it was so good! I have no idea what I actually added in there, since I basically cooked them in water with some red pepper oil and onion, and then added some mystery 'general purpose seasoning' sauce (a variety of soy sauce I think), and then something else that I pulled out of Peter's cupboard... I'm pretty sure it's what Hitomi used when she made noodles before, but I have no idea what it actually was, and I couldn't quite identify it by smell - it was a pretty tasty combination though!

We watched a couple of episodes of Friends, and I worked on my scrapbook a little bit. I also got a really random email... from myself! I guess last year, I participated in something that was doing, and wrote myself a letter to be delivered to my inbox one year later. (More info about the project) Unfortunately, I didn't write too much to myself - just that it was almost the last week of semester, that I was stressed out because the lab was down (I'd forgotten about that terrible weekend!), and that George and I had gone to the Underground for the first time the night before and had a great time... (What a great night of hilarious misunderstanding!...) That was it though, which is too bad, I'm curious what else I was thinking a year ago! I tried to send myself another one today from a different website they mention in the article I linked to, but it ate my message I think :( Ahh well, this blog is a big time capsule in itself!

So that's about it for today.... Not entirely sure what is happening this week as plans keep changing, but on the horizon for the weekend is design festa, and then a wedding party for Yukiko, who works at Orbitune...


Saturday, November 25, 2006

So today I got up early and headed to Shinjuku to try and get a rush seat to RENT. Jordon and I had kind of planned on going, but then a few things came up, so we rescheduled to next week, because I thought they had extended their run into next week. It wasn't until I google translated the Japanese RENT site yesterday that I realised that those extra shows were in Nagoya and Osaka, not exactly close to here!

There were two shows today, 12 and 5, so since we had Noh plans for this afternoon, I was planning on trying to get in for the noon show. I was really hoping that they didn't do it like New York (a lottery), so I went early, hoping to get an early number, and hopefully a ticket. In the end, I was number 5 in line, but it didn't help me out at all - there were over a hundred of us competing for 20 tickets (it was a lottery), and needless to say, I didn't get one :(. It's probably a good thing that two of us didn't try and go together - it was one ticket per person, so I saw a few families/couples having to make the decision of who got to go...
(As close as I got to RENT - we all had numbered cards, and then they drew numbers for the lucky twenty who got the final (not great) seats. It was really interesting, because as people got called, everyone clapped graciously for them! I'm pretty sure at home, people would have been shooting them jealous dagger looks since they got the tickets the other people wanted so much...)

Anyway, for those of you who were interested in a summary of the plot, if you actually want one still, post a comment, and I'm happy to recap what happens....

Anyway, I came home, and it was still only noonish by this point, but a gorgeous day! About 10-14C probably, and really really sunny - so nice! Eventually, I headed back out with my laptop and walked to Shibuya and ended up back at the New Yorker's Cafe (huge and good for power sources), and worked on a personal essay/article type thing I'm planning on submitting to 'common ties' a blog (I think owned by google maybe) that pays for interesting short stories about people's lives. Weirdly, while I was working in there, 'Kiss from a Rose' by Seal came on. Not so weird, except that I forever associate the 1995 trip over here with that song (and The Sign by Ace of Base, since that was on the first CD I ever got to go with my first disc man that Peter got me at the airport before we flew home). It's funny how music can hold such strong associations!

At threeish, I left there and walked to the Cerulean Tower Hotel, where Peter, Hitomi, and I had a scintillating afternoon of Noh theatre planned. Noh is an old form of Japanese theatre, generally considered to be an acquired taste! Honestly, we'd been briefed by a ton of people not to expect a whole lot of action, and it was probably good that we had low expectations, because it actually turned out to be fairly interesting.
(The big Christmas tree in the lobby of the Cerulean Tower Hotel, using Hula Hoops as a main decorative feature!)

The first half hour was definitely the worst part - they had a lecture by a Japanese professor on the art of Noh, which Hitomi said was a bit hard to follow even in Japanese! For the English speakers (the CCCJ was vaguely involved in the event, so there were a few of us), there was an ear piece with some kind of vague translation piped through. Unfortunately, the translator didn't seem to be fully bilingual, and that, combined with not so exciting and/or clear subject matter in the first place, meant that we were no more clear on what we were about to see after the speech than before it (for me at least, anyway!)

As this was the fifth anniversary of this particular theatre, we saw three different types of performance: Something which I'm not actually sure what form it was, called 'Shimai: Hashitomi', which was short, and involved five men doing a lot of chanting, with their leader moving around the stage, and using his fan to approximate something (we think perhaps sword fighting).

The second 'act' was a a Kyoogen Comedy; Bunzo. This had two actors, and an official 'stool holder' so that the main actor wouldn't topple off the stool in his complex robes. The story runs along these lines: "Tarokaja slips away on a journey without telling his master. The master gets mad, so he visits the master's sick uncle to try and make amends. He cannot remember what kind of treat he was given (?). He remembers that the master liked the bit about the battle of Ishibashiyama from the Tale, and decides to tell him about the food described in that." From what I could see, he got in trouble for doing so, but really, I have no idea!

The final 'act' was the actual Noh (or a portion thereof, actually), of Kurama Tengu (The Goblin of Kurama), by Miyamasu, a Noh of the 5th category (Finale Noh). All I can say is, thank God for the super cute five kids who were a part of this one! They definitely stole the opening portion of the show! The littlest one was only about 4 and soooooo cute dressed up in the elaborate costumes. One boy, a ten year old, had a fairly major part, and notably stood in one corner, with his arms held at near shoulder level for about ten minutes. Try doing that for a minute or so and then imagine a ten year old kid, under stage lighting, in a heavy costume doing it, without so much as a facial muscle twitch!

It was actually pretty interesting, because since I really didn't understand very much (we had a less than totally helpful translation of the story with our handouts), it really forced me to check out the technical aspects of the show, like the costuming and blocking and everything. It was pretty cool - some of those masks are pretty creepy! It was also totally amazing how STILL the actors and musicians were when they weren't directly involved in the action. There was no movement whatsoever, and some of them held uncomfortable positions for a very very long time! Even just coming on and off the stage was done very carefully and methodically. No extra movements are taken, and setting up and moving around is done with maximum efficency.

The music was interesting too - a heavy dose of what I could only describe as chanting, combined with drumming and then a crazy Japanese flute which certainly kept you awake during the Noh performance! At some times it was haunting and eretheral (sp?), and at turns it was, honestly, a bit grating - very high pitched or something!

I'm almost done with the Noh, promise! But one last thing which is interesting, is that you have be born into a Noh family in order to preform, and basically only males can be Noh players. So for the little kids in the performance, they have already started some kind of lifelong apprenticeship into the theatre and ancient tradition. Pretty interesting contrast with all the modernity among kids here!

I also got to meet Vivian (from Edmonton), who works at CCCJ I think. (CCCJ=Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan or something like that). She was very nice, and had really thoughtfully brought be a copy of Metropolis from the beginning of September which had a feature article about Noh in it, so I was able to get a better idea of what it was all about before the performance started.

After that, we headed to the Outback Steakhouse in Shibuya. I've been hearing so much about the new one opening in Roppongi on the Metpod, that I wanted to try it out. I had a fantastic salad with chicken, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, cheese etc. One of those great salads where the lettuce isn't the main/only ingredient and you really feel like you got a good meal. They also had diet coke, so all in all, successful!

Came home and started watching a movie called Hawaii, based on the James Mitchner novel of the same name. It's an interesting movie from the sixties about the first missionaries going to Hawaii, but it's nearly three hours long, and I needed to get the blog up, so I'll finish it another day...

I think that's about it - a surprisingly Japanese/cultural day all around! If you get a chance to look at some pictures of Noh costumes and the stage and stuff I would recommend it - the costumes are pretty impressive! The performance itself was also interesting, but something like the National theatre has just started where there is seat back English translation on the go would make it MUCH more enjoyable and understandable for us gaijins!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Peter headed off on some random errands mid morning today, so Venus and I decided to head down to the Shibuya Ward Office to get some information about Japanese lessons. Turns out they do exist, in Ebisu, every Wednesday night. There are three left before Christmas, and while it says that you can join at any time, I sent an email off to find out if it would make more sense to start at the beginning of a new ten week session in the new year...

Due to Venus smelling the roses, (and everything else!) it added quite a bit of walk time to Shibuya, giving me plenty of time to listen to the new Met Podcast for this week. I thought it was great since it stayed to the magazine, and I think an hour is a perfect length for a podcast - much longer and you start needing a really really long journey to get through it, but any shorter and you feel like you're missing a lot of potential stuff...I know that's not necessarily the general consensus, but it's what I've been finding through my now regular podcasts... I also listened to part of this week's American Life - what happens when you are a major pastor who stops believing in hell? Interesting stuff!

V. and I walked back through the park, and stopped for some 'street meat' for lunch... Some kind of long vaguely European sausage on a stick, and cold(ish) tea. Venus was quite happy to wait while I ate, holding out for the last morsel to come her way (she lucked out)...

The main event of today, however, was Thanksgiving part two. I now need to reevaluate my 'I don't really like turkey' stance! Peter, Hitomi, Welsey, Michelle, Kong, Yasako, Sarah, and I all headed to Bourbon Street for some fantastic Cajun, deep fried turkey. It was sooo good! (and huge portions, we all have turkey sandwich leftovers in our futures!) Besides turkey, there were starters of salad, corn bread, and crab cakes, and then the turkey main course (with stuffing, mashed potatoes and peas), and then we finished it off with some pumpkin-chocolate pie, a once yearly occurrence at Bourbon Street.

The chef, Sohan, is a great guy, and already knew everyone except for Sarah and me from past dinners (and I think before that?), so he was super friendly, and when we were the last group left (the restaurant only seats 25ish people, if that!), he came and joined our table, chatting about all sorts of things for the last hour or so...

Once again, with Kong at the table, conversation swung towards that old 'which mountain is tallest' question first posed the night we went to Odaiba/Zest and argued with the poor Nepalese waitress... Nobody could come to a satisfactory decision tonight either, but one of the people at a neighbouring table contributed (through Sohan on his way out), that he figures there is actually the world's tallest mountain-underwater! I guess someone will have to start googling, and also define how we want to measure that damn mountain - harder than you might think!

Ummm what else...? The food was really good (did we mention?) and everyone was really nice... Plans afoot for the couples of the group to head back for a planned Valentine's feast including stuffed lobster and Rose sauce, which piqued the curiosity of many in our group... There are also Mardi Gras plans afoot - yum!

Hitomi also had very exciting news for me today - she seems to have managed to secure me barrel practice privileges at Baji Koen :) We have to go meet the guy, but it all sounds like that's a go, so that's pretty exciting! At least I can work on my barrel stuff for whenever I end up back in Victoria, and it will definitely be a huge step to staying in vaulting shape!

Anyway, I have to get up pretty early to try and catch basically the last RENT show in town (I definitely read/mis-assumed the website wrong! I thought they added extra dates, but they actually have a couple of shows in two different cities, which I found out too late today to do much in the way of re planning - hopefully there will be some rush seats left if I get there early enough... After that, we're headed off to Noh, which will be a cultural experience... Grab your java before you read the blog tommorow!

Those turkey drugs are putting me right to sleep, so I should head off, but exciting stuff tomorrow, so should be a decent blog...


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! It seems a little bit weird to be celebrating two American Thanksgiving inspired dinners as a Canadian in Tokyo, but it's also a Japanese holiday today, which makes it all a bit less American-centric. Today is Labour Thanksgiving Day here in Japan, giving everyone the day off on a Thursday, but forcing them back to work for one more day before the weekend tomorrow, which seems a little cruel!

We have a dinner planned at Bourbon Street tomorrow, but tonight, Peter and I went to Tommy and Marina's house for an absolutely delicious meal cooked by one of the other guests (isn't that just the kind of guy you want to invite over?!) There were about eight of us including Mibu, Nana and Spiros who were also at the Glitterball.... We were a pretty international bunch representing Japan, the USA, Australia, Greece, and Canada...

Also briefly in attendance was Tommy and Marina's adorable 16 month old daughter named Jadis, who charmed everyone toddling around the living room in a very cute dress, and being VERY interested in Peter's laptop... A child of the 2000s :)

Dinner was great - chicken cordon bleu, rice, salad, a 'turkett' (a turkey breast maybe?), stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, etc. For dessert we have fantastic homemade cream puffs with chocolate sauce, and then also a variety of these Macarons which were so good! The guy who makes them is very inventive with the flavours, and apparently comes up with new ones each year. Among the flavours we sampled today were a toffee/caramel, chocolate, lemon, peach, and a couple of mystery flavours...

We all got into some pretty varied discussions including getting parking tickets when you're actually sitting in the car (Oma got SO mad at me when I let that happen as a five year old at the TD bank!), bizarre food you can eat in Japan (sperm!? not sure which animal, and don't think I thought to ask!), Coen brother's Movies (like Raising Arizona, which I still have to see), and lots of random things that just came up, as does tend to happen! There were a couple of photos taken, so if I can track down one or two shots I'll edit them back into this post later on...

As for the rest of the day, we really didn't too very much - I slept off two 3 or 4am in a row bedtimes, getting up at 11, eating breakfast, and then going back to sleep until 1:30ish :o... Mostly just read and hung out until we got ready to go and left the house just before six.

Oh yea, as for last night, I have no photos, sorry! We all met up and went to an Irish bar in Roppongi, which was VERY Irish, right down to all the bartenders! and then decided that Lexington Queen wasn't on, so we headed to Vanilla (or here), which was PACKED! We quickly found/were found by the USC/UCLA guys hockey team which was over here on some kind of tour, it was a bit bizarre to find so many foreigners there all at once! I was totally lame and bailed early, at 2ish, but I hope everyone else had a fantastic time the rest of the night! Clubbing in Roppongi is an experience for sure!

Also got my first cab (on my own), which was way harder to flag down than you might think! Tons of the ones which were showing availability were driving right past us (and there were a lot of people like me having flagging down issues!) I finally walked to Roppongi Hills, just about a block away, because I figured I could get a cab at the Hyatt... There ended up being one close by and quite happy to take me to 'Yoyogi Uehara', which is kind of the general area around us. I'd originally planned to just go to the eki and walk from there, but then I decided I was lazy, and I'd try and get closer to home.

Which would be fine, If I knew any directions other than straight! So I managed to tell him to keep going straight, the first time he asked me, and then finally realised that at some point we'd either have to stop, or turn. So I asked him to turn left, hoping he might know that, but he was like 'lefto? Ok Righto" and moved into the right turn lane... I was like "Uhh left" and pointed to the left, but either I wanted him to turn somewhere he couldn't/ wouldn't go, or I didn't put enough R into my L, or something...Anyway, we ended up turning right, which was fine - There is a pretty close Lawson, and I just got him to stop there, giving me a convenient excuse to grab one of my favourite ever ice creams - its a flattish block of vanilla ice cream, with a wafer thin chocolate strip through the middle, covered in ice cream cone material. (I'm thinking material isn't quite the correct word for this situation, but anyway, you know what I mean!).

I really must start taking some Japanese lessons down at the ward office - several people have told me that they offer good free classes now, I'll need to get on that!

Anyway, those Turkey drugs are putting me to sleep, but more Thanksgiving dinner blogging, this time with a Cajun twist, tomorrow...


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm blogging early today becasue I'm leaving a bit later on to go out with Sarah and some of her Waseda friends to Roppongi tonight... As far as I know, we're headed here: Lexington Queen, and I'm not planning on wanting to blog when I get home tonight! For anyone wondering what happened to RENT, we decided that since we're just getting our tickets on the day, we're going to wait till next week and go when Jordon is fully over his cold...I'll certainly be posting a full review once I see it!

Went to Sasazuka earlier to grab some money from the post office bank, and on my way home, stopped in a little tiny new and used clothing shop. It was pretty funny because the guy who was working there basically said hi to me when I came in, and then, seeing I was trying on a jacket, pointed out the mirror to me, and said 'chotto matte, smoking' - just a minute, I'm going for a smoke, basically, and left me to it! I'd have to say that's not something likely to ever happen at home! I mean, sure he was probably right outside, making it difficult for me to clean him out, there would have been nothing stopping me from piling in accessories into my oversized purse. Such is the culture over here I guess, a bit more trusting and less cynical from what I've seen - it's great!

I ended up buying the jacket to wear tonight, along with a cute little flip flop sandal keitai decoration, so I can finally keep track of my keys, and a a hair clip/scrunchie thing which he ended up giving to me. He was very friendly, and all excited when he found out I'm from Canada - he has a friend from Vancouver, hardly surprising, since everyone either knows someone from or currently in Vancouver, or has spent time there themselves. It's often something that I have in common with people I meet over here!

Not too much else to report about the day (I really will have to stash away some random tidbits as Pete keeps suggesting to whip out on these slow occasions!)

Ummm let's see, here's one: This is a great idea - standardized butter containters. Each little rectangular plastic tub has a gap in the side, just under the lid, within which perfectly fits the little tiny butter knife which is made to measure. I have no idea where one might get their butter knife to go with the butter tub, or if you have to buy a slightly different dimmension knife for each brand of butter? I suppose it's like the milk bag jugs in Ontario or wherever else they don't put their milk in a jug like normal! (Milk, and the cooking there of, is a good future topic for one here too!)
Anyway, custom sized butter knives is my thing of interest today - it really does cut down on knife usage, and there's always a good sized knife conveniently waiting for use!

So, random I know, but it entertained me the first time I examined it properly. (OK, let's be honest, it still does)! There's your cultural lesson for the day, and I'm off to get ready...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The clouds and rain which have been making biking a little questionable, though certainly not impossible, were all gone today, leaving a gorgeous sunny day, around 16C according to, so I took the bike down to Shibuya for my second conversation 'lesson', with the same guy as before... It went fine, though the whole concept still seems a little bit odd to me.

I made a stop in a Tokyu Hands, land of the everything to pick up some more supplies for my scrapbook, which continues to grow. I've almost caught up to November which is good, there are already things I've forgotten, and having the hard copy version means I a) won't lose it if blogger swallows my blog, and b) I can collect pamphlets, coasters, lighters, etc. to my heart's content. I'm sure in a few years I'll wonder why any of this seemed important, but in a few more years, it will probably be fun to look back on!

After finishing up our lesson, I look the leisurely route to Omotesando, winding through Yoyogi Park a little bit, and listening to a couple of 'All in the Mind' podcasts from Australian public radio. From the itunes description: "All In The Mind is Radio National's weekly foray into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour - everything from addiction to artificial intelligence." It's very interesting! On the way down to Shibuya, I listened to one podcast where they interviewed a brain surgeon about her job, and then on my way to Omotesando, I listened to a podcast on obsessive compulsive disorder in children and the possible link that the sudden onset of obsessive compulsive tendancies can have to the streptococcal virus. Later in the day, I listened to another one about a psychotherapist who lives in Israel and treats patients from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He told a story of how one of his clients came into his office after a few sessions and admitted she hated all Jews. This doctor is Jewish, but instead of being very offended by the comment, he was able to see this as a positive thing, explaining that he was happy she felt she could be angry with him, and that to be angry with someone implies that you trust them enough to feel that they will care about the emotion you are directing towards them. I don't know if I explained that very well, but it was very interesting to listen to him speak about the unique challenges that living and working in this park of the world present him with!

Once in Harajuku, I found the library which Hitomi had suggested to me in the comments of yesterday's blog - (Thank you so much!) I managed to find the library without too much trouble, and then made my way up to the third floor 'foreign books corner', which although small, has a pretty good selection of contemporary fiction - certainly enough to keep me occupied for quite some time! I didn't spend too long browsing (I wanted to start reading!) but I think there are also books on Japan and stuff as well, so when I'm in more of a browsy mood, I'll check that out!

I managed to get a library card with no incident, which seemed like a minor miracle to me, and then headed out with my new stack of books to go find a cafe! For anyone interested, I got: Sushi for Beginners, High Society, The Time Traveller's Wife, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and Hungry Ghosts (don't you love amazon for the shear number of titles they have on there?). I have two weeks to get through them, but I'm so happy I found a free English book source! As you can tell from yesterday, I was getting a bit desperate!
(interesting wall at the corner of Omotesando and Aoyama-dori - it's actually one huge mosaic done with small (1x1" or so?) tiles. I didn't have time to examine it too closely before the light changed, but I snapped this keitai photo to post - that is one huge mosaic!)

Hmm... after I loaded up with books, I just randomly biked around a little bit - I headed to the Aoyama Book Centre near where the Tokyo Writer's Day was held to pick up this week's metropolis, and then headed to Kua Ahina the Hawaiian burger place (from the Ikspiri day) for a late lunch. I'd been planning on trying something new, but as tends to happen to me if I make a plan like that, I'll start looking when I'm already hungry, wander around looking for somewhere that looks good until I go low and just duck into somewhere familiar. It was, however, very good so that's OK!
(sculpture outside the United Nations University on Aoyama-dori)
(interesting clouds/dramatic lighting over the buildings of Aoyama-dori. Unsurprisingly, the keitai wasn't quite able to deal with the lighting perfectly, but I still liked the way the clouds came out...)

Finally biked home since it was dark by now which is less good for biking explorations, and then took V. for a bit of a walk. I think she thinks my walks are less fun because she always has to spend 2 sets of five minutes learning a proper heel (she gets treats, but that doesn't seem to sway her!), and isn't allowed to pull. Still, she comes along happily enough - beggars can't be choosers I guess!

We got home at 7ish, and since then have just been hanging out, reading, and eating some of the delicious cookies left here by Felly and company today. Yum! Anyway, Peter should supposedly be home soon, (it's 9:50), so we'll grab some food or whatever, and then just the usual - TV, scrap booking catch up, reading, etc.


Monday, November 20, 2006

This morning I caught up with some Canadian TV, watching Jaeda get kicked off ANTM, finally! Then, as requested, I took Venuppi the Puppy for a walk the length of the Rick Steeves podcast on London and Bermuda. We went just about half way to Shibuya, and then walked back, winding our way through the area near Yoyogi Uehara and in the back streets between the station and the overpass that's under construction (like 15-20 minutes down the road)... We found lots of yummy smelling little restaurants and some cute looking shops tucked away in the back corners, along with a couple of nice looking cafes. Of course, with the venuppi puppy I didn't stop - I don't think she was too into the idea of being tied up while I went shopping!

I came back and dropped off the dog, exchanging her for the bike and set off to the area that Pete and I went to a couple of weeks ago with Venus - Sasazuka. I love being able to take a bike places - ride on the sidewalk and not get a ticket for it, etc! I have to start figuring out some other places which are a good bike from here - so far Omotesando/Shibuya, Sazasuka, and Yoyogi Uehara have all been good - Shimo Kitazawa is definitely close, but it's way too crowded for good biking! I'm sure there are tons of places I could get to within 45minutes or an hour, but I'm just not sure which random/windy road to go on - need to get that Tokyo Atlas out again!

I vaguely remembered there being some kind of shoe store in the mall/department store/still can't figure out exactly what it is since there are no walls between the different 'stores' in the area. Since I've been needing some shoes I headed over and had four pairs worth of success... I still kind of want a good pair of boots, but in much better shape after today. Oh and Andee - I took this picture for you of a purse they had (she just got a dachshund puppy who is very cute!)
Then I went across the street to the Excelsior Cafe and started reading 'The Wealthy Barber' by David Chilton. Pete gave it too me with a random stack of books he pulled off his shelves (I need to find a library or something!), but anyway, I'd heard tons about it so I decided to give it a go. It's actually a great book - I love how it is Canadian, so they don't mention like Roth IRA and 401(k) and all that stuff, but concentrates on RRSPs and Canadian tax law, and oh my God I sound like the biggest geek on the planet right now!

Anyway, in chapter one, he talks about the 10% rule, where you direct deposit/debit 10% of your income into a mutual fund and behold the magic of compound interest. Using an example from the book, if you start investing 30$/month at age 18, at a rate of 15% average annually, you will have 2, 000, 000 at age 65. Given, I can't imagine it's that easy to find a mutual fund with those returns, and, starting at basically 20, I'm gonna have to wait till I'm 67 to cash out my 2 mil, but still, it seems like a good idea.

I jumped online and started doing some mutual fund research, but I haven't got too far - if anyone has some good comments, I'm all ears - leave a comment on here for me! Obviously I barely know less than nothing about this stuff, but it's a good example of what having some time on your hands and an Internet connection will drive you to research! So far I've been finding funds which have an 8-10% return over 10 years, and some which have pretty high initial buy in costs, but anyway, I've aged myself about 40 years in this post, so moving on...

Peter came home and made me stop planning my financial future in favour of old episodes of 'Police Squad' which arrived for him from today. I fell asleep during the second episode, but the first episode did have a few vaguely entertaining sight gags - Pete was overly entertained by this 1982 'gem' of a comedy... I think if you're in the right mood it's probably pretty funny in an 'oh dear god who let them put that in there? kind of way'... Maybe my housewiferishness for today just didn't set me up well to enjoy them tonight...

Ummmmm that's about it - I'm thinking about signing up for a course at Athabasca University soon, but I'm not sure which one I would take. I should probably also call someone at SFU and find out how that might affect my application, which speaking of which, I should probably do at some point.

I think I'm teaching again tomorrow (the same guy as before), and then hopefully, hopefully, RENT on Wednesday! La Vie Boheme!

Sorry for the lame day/post - it's hard to do something exciting everyday! I'll try and pick it up tomorrow though....


Sunday, November 19, 2006

So the beginning of the day was average, and you don't need to know any details - basically it can be summed up thusly: got up late, breakfast, watched Friends, chatted with Andee, too wet to go out anywhere, watched Friends, worked on Scrapbook.

The day got a whole lot more interesting this evening, however, as Pete and I went to Hawaii night hosted by Kong at Velfarre. Of course, Velfarre was the crazy, packed mosh pit from the Glitterball, but we saw a different side of it tonight! Although highly entertaining, the evening was a little bit as promised, which was to say, resembling one of these:

We turned up at seven, decked out in our Hawaii duds and ready to trade in the pissing rain for some Aloha! Velfarre had magically settled down dramatically since our last visit, and the dance floor was filled with small tables and stools, with the crowd being 95% female, and between the ages of 20-65, all turned out to engage in the National obsession that is Hawaii.
(a laid back Velfarre)

Kong was co hosting the event which featured many live singers, a whole ton of hula dancers and performers, a Hawaiian buffet ( which this girl clearly didn't visit:),
(though Peter and I both ate our first pieces of SPAM tonight! I'd have to describe it as tasting like comfort food... I'm not really sure how else to put it! It wasn't bad though...)

...umbrella drinks, and the highlight of the night - Hula lessons! Apparently hula lessons can cost 2000 dollars here for a course, so many of the woman at the event were turned out solely for the purpose of learning some Hula. I was absolutely amazed how many people joined in for the lessons! They were pretty coordinated as well, leading me to suspect that they've been going to the every other month event since it began 18 months ago.
(one of the performers, a singer who sang something for an animated movie, I think?)
(This was one of the main performance groups, they were good, and showcased a few different types of costumes and varieties of Hula-esque dancing. I'm sure there are technical terms I'm missing out on!)

I was also amazed at how many groups (IE more than one!, but actually maybe 5 or so?) Got up to participate in the 'open hula' portion of the event, where you could bring your favourite hula song on CD and jump on up there to dance. There were some pretty intricate dances and costumes! I learned that the different hula moves mean different things, like tree, waves, rain etc. So if I'd know what I was actually watching, there could have been epic stories...perhaps.
(open hula group, they were the biggest/oldest act in the open hula session...)

The grand finale of the event was the culmination of the two sets of hula lessons which put together, told the story of a disco hit... 'Can't take my eyes off of you....' and all that. This was paired with a disco ball, snow, smoke, the whole bit! Quite impressive really, and, barring technical difficulties, available for you to watch on youtube, (I can't get it to embed in the blog at the moment, so it's just linked, but I'll try and fix it tomorrow) which is really much better than me trying to describe it!

There were also presents to be given away, including umbrellas, calendars, tea towels, a cookie jar scarily resembling an urn, and the prize I won, a silver bracelet with some turtles on it. The whole atmosphere of the event is a little bit hard to describe, but the comparisons we came up with tonight included a telethon at 4am, where you're desperately trying to get those last pledges for Hawaiian orphans and rally the troops at the same time, a time share presentation (perhaps inspired by the ads played on the big screen at regular intervals), in-hotel TV programming, and well, you probably get the point.
(Hula girl drinks and a Velfarre fan...just like Hawaii!)

Of course, no Hawaii night is complete without its resident creep, who was either doing some Maui-wowie or just plain creepy! Here he is at his favourite perch, leaning right up against the stage. He particularly preferred this when the coconut-bra wearing hula girls were shaking their stuff. Unfortunately for him, he's just looking at the family band right now, but that didn't seem to sway him too much! The weirdest thing was, he was there with a girl!
(creepy stalker maui-wowie boy)

Other high(?)lights include: the random 20 minute interlude of disco music which was played half way through the night, to which most people staunchly continued to hula, and which included the macarena as part of its set. No one danced the macarena.

The funeral march at the end of the event - quite the way to end it!

Making poor Kong and his co host go back on stage AFTER the event was over and basically cleared out, in order to re introduce the two performers (out of 30+) who where left over... Pete and I clapped a lot for them though!

(A day in the life of Kong, shown here trying to give away prizes)

Now, despite how this probably sounds, it was an entertaining evening to be sure! A bit hard to put into words, and probably best enjoyed with several 'Hula Girl drinks' under your grass skirt, but I certainly enjoyed it, though maybe not in quite the way the organizers would have intended us to do.

Re reading this, it's a bit of a mess of a blog in that the entry is all over the place, but in retrospect, that matches nicely with the whole thing. Kong, thanks for inviting us! You know we're laughing with you, not at you - it's not like you planned the thing! A good time was certainly had by all!

Aloha and Maholo