I think this blog is turning me callous, as I now have no qualms about taking photos of blood and shattered glass (which won't get posted till later, if they do) in the name of blog-news, but that story comes later on anyway...
Today seems like it was rather a looong day! Took the train to work today since I wasn't going home after, and it was also raining, ended up getting there a little bit early, but there was lots to do, so that was fine. I finished up and submitted my Dreamgirls review, worked out my questions for the BAB learning section interview I'm doing next week, and then got started on the business section piece for the next Weekender. It's concentrating on jewelry in Japan, which I knew absolutely nothing about! Since we didn't have a direct angle to pursue for the story, I started out by doing some research, and then simply starting to write about what seemed interesting to me.
Unfortunately, jewelry is a bit of an overwhelming subject, so I really didn't know where to start, but eventually I kind of settled on diamonds and pearls, but since I tend to be VERY wordy when I'm still trying to work out what I want to say, I ended up being way over the word count with just those two topics. In the end, Helen rescued me by saying it could just be about diamonds, since I had almost enough copy to do that alone, and maybe we'll revive the pearl stuff later. That's probably a pretty good decision since the pearl stuff really wasn't very good. Its an unfortunate quirk in my writing that often if I'm not completely sure what's going on, I have to spew out all my thoughts, and then often scrap the entire thing and re write it completely, picking up on a particular tangent which I liked, and mining out the best thoughts and sentences. In the end, the second crack at it usually writes itself, and doesn't take long at all, but it would be nice to be able to eliminate that first step!
I'm also learning just how short 800 words is! Both with this article, and planning the Hawaii article which I also started working on today, I'm starting to realise just how tight and efficient they are going to have to be! Anyway, shelved both of them about 1/2 done, and left just before five, to head up to Orbitune.
Tonight was the belated Happy New Year party for the office, we first trickled in to a bar near the office, which was pretty nice with dark wood and leather, etc. It was definitely a step up from what I'd been envisioning, and we scared the poor lady having her nice quiet martini right out of there! In total, about 20 people turned up and spent a couple of hours there, I had a nice chat with Tom (who went to GNS before the N was added and had some good stories about the place!), Mibu, Scotty, Jordon, and Peter... Just after ten, we took a poll for the next activity - bowling vs. karaoke, and luckily, bowling won out. At this point, Peter actually bailed, but I randomly kept going with his office party, although he possibly made the correct decision about going home - after the thirteen or so of us who remained headed to Takadanobaba to bowl, we discovered that tragically it was closed! With the 'bowling in the baba' plan scrapped, we headed around the corner to the inevitable karaoke parlor.
I'd been on our last trip, but not on this one, so it was a pretty new experience - the room had a crazy black light mural painted on it, which when combined with the lights and laser show made for a pretty full on retro experience. Add that to the wireless touch pad 'song ordering tablets' which were fully bilingual, and it was a pretty impressive setup all around compared to what we have in Canada. Karaoke seems to me like a bit of a random idea, somewhat like singing in the shower and inviting all your friends to listen, but it is super popular here, so there you go.
Actually, if I didn't HATE singing in public so much (something I stubbornly continue to blame Mrs. Humor for), I'd probably be all over it, and watching the other people is great, but I only did one song, (and by did I mean made Tom and Scott and basically everyone sing it with me, and not turn my microphone on). I wish I wasn't so lame about it, but I really just can't quite give it all up and belt it out... If you're wondering, my one contribution was Boney M's disco song 'Rasputin'. The other thing you find out with karaoke is just how many bloody words there are in a song! Here I am thinking 'rah rah Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen, blah blah blah'... Well there was a lot more blah blah blah than I thought!
There was a pretty typical mix of songs preformed, I'd think, though we did have an injury, which I'm sure can't be that common when karaokeing! (And here the story of the photo, which in my defense, I took only after the injured party had been taken outside to get cleaned up and we knew he was fine).
In the midst of a particularly rousing rendition of a song whose name escapes me at the moment, Jordon managed to swing his hand down and karate chop his glass, literally shattering the side of it with his thumb. We all heard a crash, but as it so often does in a completely out of the blue situation like this, it took everyone quite sometime to realise what was going on. Turns out that he'd smashed the glass hard enough to break it, but in just the right way so that it didn't fall over, and most of it stayed intact.
However, seemingly when you break a glass with your thumb, you tend to cut yourself and start bleeding all over the place. And by all over the place, I mean when you don't feel that you've cut yourself, and so you keep dancing, you can 'distribute' blood quite effectively, especially on your next door neighbour (Tom, poor guy)! Once we all figured out what was going on, everyone jumped into action, and Bobby woke up from the nap he'd been having in the corner to hustle Jordon outside, clean him up, and bandage his thumb. It's handy someone carries band aids around! Jordon was back for the next song, not so much the worse for wear, and in the meantime we managed to clear up the carnage around the table. It was all quite dramatic, and certainly a memorable karaoke experience!
Fairly shortly after that, the evening wound to a close for those of us who had to catch the last train, so four of us left, while the rest stayed on, and could still be there, who knows?! I got the last train from Shinjuku (12:54ish) with a whole three minutes to spare, and then came on home... A quick dinner/post midnight snack, whatever you might like to call it, this blog, and then I must head to bed - I have to get up again in about six hours, which isn't so bad, but I can see it coming to bite me in the ass when I have to teach tomorrow night...
Ahh well, Starbucks run on the way to work tomorrow, me thinks!