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Monday, February 05, 2007

Post 150!!! It seems like a lot more somehow, but I guess its more than once a day since I started this amazing trip, so...what a record! In thirty years, I'll know more than I ever wanted to about how I spent my time here, and even the things that aren't recorded on this oh so public forum (opinions, thoughts about people, anecdotes, etc) I'm sure that the events and situations and locations and photos will be enough to spark the personal memories way down the road, and I can remember these months! (If I want to at that point haha!)

Anyway, I woke up to some bizarre thumping noises outside my window at about 9:30 this morning, turns out that there was some power pole construction or something going on, so when I looked out my window (which basically doesn't have curtains b/c its on the second floor), I was somewhat shocked to see an electrician in a cherry picker hovering just outside my window! Lucky I didn't kick the covers off during the night :p

That was the end of my sleeping in, so got up, hung out here, called Julia (great to talk to you!!), etc. Peter watched the end of the Superbowl, and then at about 1:30, Peter left for a meeting in Roppongi, so I went with him, since TGIFridays seemed like a better place to study Japanese than Oyama-cho! We got there at around 2:00, and when I sat down, at the table beside me, it was really weird b/c there were four places, two of them had full meals (all burgers) sitting there, and there was only one guy there. Passed out.

Cure for hangover by hamburger?

It was kind of hilarious, because he was passed out for literally an hour, in which time the waitress had cleared the two burgers and brought them back wrapped up, refilled water glasses on the table, etc. None of this even made the guy twitch. Finally, about an hour and fifteen minutes after I sat down (so who knows when they got there!), the one guy woke up at about the same time as another guy came to sit down with him (both 25 ish gaijin guys). They were both soooo out of it!!

The conversation revolved around trying to figure out how they'd gotten there, where they were, what the food in the bags might be, etc. With a liberal sprinkling of swearing, groaning, and in the end, even puking into their food. It was, um unpleasant! I gather (from listening to them try and figure out their lives), that they'd gone to watch the Superbowl (which was on at 8:00am this morning), and then somehow gotten taken to TGIFriday's by two strangers, a couple of guys they didn't know but that they remembered bringing them to the restaurant, and who actually settled the bill for them before they'd left them there to semi recover. This all was pretty entertaining, especially as they tried to sift through the mists of time and reconstruct the morning, with some color commentary thrown in -

(Rated R :p)

"woah, dude think of how fucking cool this story is going to be when we tell our kids about it! Remember that time we went to the fucking Superbowl in the morning and ended up fuck knows where and we had no idea how we got there? I mean, I've had bad morning afters, but never morning ofs!"

However, they were also the kind of people who give travelers a bad name, loud, annoying, and by the sounds of it, not overly bright! Anyway, spent a couple of hours there working, and then when I realised there was absolutely no way that any of the grammar was sinking in 'ru verb? uhh which ones are those again?' I went downstairs and found Kong and Peter having coffee... Said hi to Kong and then shortly afterwards Peter and I got going... By this time, it was about 5:15, Peter wanted to check his email, so we stopped in at CCCJ and he grabbed a net connection, and then at about 6:00 we headed to Shibuya AX to see India.Arie!!!!!

Peter got given a couple of extra tickets this morning (thanks Nana!), so we had that great surprise today!!! I only knew a couple of her songs before the concert, but she was fantastic! I loved the concert and she was a great performer. I wasn't so keen on her opening act (a J group called Superfly) not that I really disliked them or anything, but wouldn't buy they're album or anything. I was pleasantly surprised by India.Arie's act though!
(only half decent picture I managed to get :( )

You really got the impression that you were at a concert as opposed to just hearing a bunch of songs off an album or whatever, she had lots of extra things to make it seem like more of a performance. For instance, her Mom was here in Japan with her and came out to do a duet. She also spoke to the audience quite a bit, sang some extra verses of songs that didn't make it into the radio/album cut, gave the mic to someone in the audience for a few versus of one song (either a lucky guess or a plant, the person was pretty good!), and generally kept the crowd pretty happy through her 1.5 hour show. It was pretty full in AX, but it's not a huge venue, so it felt pretty personal. I love how you can see acts like this in Japan so often! (pretty big names in pretty small spaces) I think it wouldn't be easy to be 20 feet from her at home! In her final song, Ready for Love (amazing lyrics, btw, especially for a sappy romantic such as myself), the audience was so quiet you probably could have heard if not a pin, at least a pen drop. Her voice and presence is very powerful and she certainly knows how to add the performance into the concert! (Yea, I know I said that already, but that's my overwhelming impression of tonight!) If you have the chance to go see her live, I would highly recommend it!

Unfortunately, they were soooo strict about photos, even stopping people from taking keitai snapshots. I have a couple of iffy ones that I managed to sneakily take, but they really aren't very good! I also took a TON of sound clips with my phone, of her playing the flute, speaking to the audience, playing a few key songs, letting the audience sing, etc. But my voice recorder on my phone appears to be really really crappy because you can't hear what's going on in any of them :( I wonder if it was too loud for it to deal with? Anyway, that means that unfortunately there's just the one picture, but there's a couple of links, so check those out...

Sleep tight, don't let the dani-bugs bite!

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