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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yeesh, long day today! It was fun though, which is always good :)

Headed to work at ten, as usual, this morning, (with people on the train clearly thinking I was nuts as I laughed out loud at Bill Bryson's book of collected columns: I'm a Stranger Here Myself). Since I didn't have to teach, I stayed at work until I got not quite kicked out, but at least encouraged to leave at seven. Over the course of the day, I did a whole bunch of proof reading, including one thing for BAB (the bab news), which is always a monster undertaking, and took nearly two hours, and I'm sure I still missed things! There is sooo much weird punctuation as it is mostly listings and short blurbs and stuff that I really have to be careful doing it. I'm starting to think that I like my Chicago Manual of Style just a little bit too much these days! I really shouldn't be coveting one for myself! Otaku desu ne?!

It's actually amazing how many grammar rules there are! I know I keep saying this, but I honestly had no idea there could be, for instance, six pages worth of rules about hyphenation! My general rule of thumb was to just throw them in where they looked good, but seemingly there is a formula (or at least rules) on how one does it! Lots of times it depends on where its placed in relation to the noun in the sentence, what else the word(s) are being paired with, etc. Craziness! Clearly my profs haven't been too stringent on grammar, as there is no way that I was doing all of this correctly before!

Besides the copy editing, I wrote a quick article about summer camps (did you know that something like 83% of kids get homesick at camp?), compiled most of the street snaps we've snapped over the last three weeks, kept the calendar updated, and generally tried to help out as necessary...

As I was walking out of the office with Helen, she asked if I was still enjoying it, which obviously I am, since, as I pointed out to her, I would probably be able to come up with some excuse to leave before working three hours extra if I wasn't enjoying it!

I had about an hour before I planned to be at Super Deluxe for Pecha Kucha night, so, for lack of a more inspirational plan, I went to Wendy's to get dinner. It was a huge one, at least as big as any at home, with decor straight from North America; it was so scarily similar, I didn't even have to sort my garbage! They did have a very Japanese, non-North American thing in the washroom though, which was an attachment on the sink, which instead of having auto water on its own, also had auto soap, and auto blow drying all built into one handy bank of automated-ness!
(Two friends enjoy some quality time together over dinner)

At about eight, I headed over to Super Deluxe, thinking I would have time to get a drink and a seat before it kicked off at 8:20, well, I managed the drink part OK, but it was so crowded! I ended up wall leaning for the first two hours before finally pouncing on a funny little ottoman type seat near the front, which I kept for the last hour that I was there, despite the glares I was getting from one half of a couple beside me. Incidentally, they managed to share the ottoman beside me (along with a chuppa chupe!) just fine, thank you very much ;).

I had very little idea of what to expect, but it turned out to be a great evening, and I'll definitely be back! Basically, the idea, started in Tokyo by Klein Dytham Architecture (KDA), and now in over 60 cities, is that designers and artists and people 'doing stuff', come to a public space, and each get twenty seconds per slide (20 slides) to show their latest projects, collection of works, etc. to the audience. They used to to twenty artists per evening, but that proved to be too long, and so I think they've cut back, although I'm not sure how many they use now - I left at about 11, wanting to avoid the last train rush hour and get more than a couple of hours of sleep, and they were still going strong. I think I saw about ten artists....
(work is projected onto three large wall-sections which are all beside each other, and total about fifty running feet by maybe 10 feet in height?)

The artists ranged widely from jewellery makers just starting out, to a product designer whose entire body of work was inspired by cigarettes in a carton, to experienced architects, to a yoga master with an interesting self-promotional video, to a girl who takes pictures of meat in various shapes (like she twists it into flower buds and stuff), and then cuts out the photos and decoupages them onto walls, in the pattern of hearts and sakura. It was absolutely hilarious as she ended her talk by saying, "I actually work in a real meat shop in Shibuya, you should come by on the 19th!" to which Astrid, the MC says "oh, is it like an exhibition?" and the girl goes "no! its discount meat day! for real!" Fantastic!

Her theme of sakura was fitting for the evening though, as this was the special 40th volume pink hanami themed Pecha Kucha (pronounced, apparently, pekakcha). Although Mark (Astrid and Mark are the couple behind KDA and Pecha Kucha) couldn't be here tonight because he was in London, he sent the audience of about 300 a video message, recorded in London just a few hours before we saw it. Pretty cool!

It was a very international mix of people in the audience, probably half foreign and half Japanese, although I'm not sure exactly - the mix of presenters was also pretty varied. I'd say there were about 3 which tried to incorporate English and Japanese fairly equally, and 3 that were solely J and 3 that were solely English. Anyway, for Y1000, including Y700 worth of drink, its a steal! I'll definitely be trying to make them monthly from now on!
(a wall hanging inspired by cigarettes organised in a cigarette carton, this guy's work largely followed this 'one sheet' pattern philosophy.)

(Shantell Martin's mini book portfolio. She did a great bilingual (with a friend translating) presentation about how she grew up in London, got into graffiti, ended up in Tokyo, started making mini books with drawings and poetry, started working on collaborations with clothes, etc. and now has a popular website.)
(Someone in the audience yelled out 'kawaii!' (cute) when this was shown! Actually, the guy was a bit of a nutter (or had over participated in the beer break just before his 'set', but was an entertaining/whimsical illustrator. He made some hilarious comments during his presentation, which wasn't so much planned I don't think ;). Good work though - funny stuff!)


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