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Thursday, May 31, 2007

These cats are missing something....oh yea! Hair! Click the pic for some very nice, if odd images of these little hairless critters... What was Rachel's called on Friends? Mrs. something? anyway...

This is cool t00-A Harry Potter theme park! Would be cool to get on platform 9 3/4 and head to Hogwarts! I want to play quidditch!

Anyway, so work early, around nine, got distribution ready to go (it was SO organised, even Skinny the Takubin man thanked us for having it together, before going 'it would be nice if it could be like this EVERY time' under his breath...Oh Skinny!)

Then worked on the US/Canada issue (sucks Canada's not celebrating July 1 here in Tokyo!), and then did BAB till lunch, when Helen and Jen I went to ZEST, and from there, Helen and I went to the City Club of Tokyo to interview them about their ladies luncheon's very nice!

After that, I headed to Sanno, since it was close, to spend some time with Peter, and gave him his birthday present from Mom, Grampa, and Me-we got him a set of medallions (gold, silver and copper) minted for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in a little white case in really good condition considering its age!

Then I headed back to the office for around 4, running into Caroline at Midtown on my way past, so we had a quick chat and then I headed off to finish up BAB... I stayed till just before 11, with a quick break for a HUGE takeout Suji's omlet, which was massively ginormous!! Also saw Anthony and a couple of his friends at Suji's, so sat and chatted with them while waiting for my takeout-seriously enough food to feed a family! I was starving, and only ate about half!

Got home around 11:50, and then took Venus for a walk till 12:20, poor thing is getting a bit shafted with Peter away! Then I waited till SFU woke up at 1, and called various people until I finally got ahold of someone who would help me, it was quite funny-I had a list of questions, and every time I'd ask one, she'd be like 'thanks for calling', and then I was like 'no, so ok...' and ask another question...Finally, I was like 'look, I'm calling from tokyo, it's kind of hard to get ahold of you, I'm just going to ask all my questions now', and that was fine... In bed at 2ish, and 8am came early for work!

Just going to get ready to go now....
Happy Birthday, Peter!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've really only got time for these sort of stream-of-consciousness blogs at the moment..between work and facebook (likely mostly facebook!) I'm just not that into it at the moment! Anyway, its probably good to try and keep up with the day-to-day stuff, at least so there's a bit of a record..will try and maybe do a proper blog on the

up at 6:20, gym till 8, work by 9:30, heard about Helen and the nutters in Roppongi, BAB all day, lunch at My Lebanon (really, really good, and we sat in a cute little room with cushions and stuff-the building used to be a sushi bar we think, the bar is still there, and we were definitely in what was/is a tatami room...), went with Emma and Jen to try some tasty hot dogs at Madison Park Cafe in midtown (dog in the park, with avocado and stuff, hold the dog, with grilled eggplant and mozzarella, and the bird dog, with spicy yet sweet chicken breast chunks). Really good-there'll be a review in the June 15 Weekender, so check that out!, after eating, went to visit Peter, who was eating a pretty gourmet meal himself-no shoe leather hospital food here! He had a lovely medium steak, which was melt in the mouth good apparently, and since his butter knife was gliding through it, it seems pretty good! Also had his silver tea service, etc... Besides that, loads of things have been delivered from visitors, so his fridge is chock full of goodies!

Went back to the office to meet up with Helen and keep working on BAB and getting organised for distribution tomorrow...Stayed till about 9:30, and then stopped off for gyudon on the way home, except that I ended up with some kind of weird kimchee instead of pork on the top... Unfortunate! I should have looked at the vending machine pictures a little more carefully!

Stopped by the comeni on the way home for some squeezable 'coolish' icecream (like a little metallic pouch, and you suck the icecream out of a plastic tube at the top) because I was still feeling all spicy from the kimchee, got home around 10:40, facebooked around a bit, and now, 11:30, and off to maybe read a bit and then go to bed....


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yikes crazy busy day today! Up at 5:40, emailed SFU about stuff for next year, puttered around online, tried to tidy up a bit for Felly and co today, left for the gym at 6:40, 'Exciting Kick' class till 7:45, home at 7:55, Gardeners knocking on the door at 8:02, confusion ensuing, they wouldn't come through the house, so jumped up on 6ft high, 4 inch wide concrete wall and inched along that with their ladder, called Peter to see what to do about Venus, gardeners were called off to their appointed time, FINALLY left for work way late, stopped by to see Peter and bring him his vonage on the way to work, got to a vending machine and realised my wallet was in my gym bag, back up to borrow lunch money from Peter, finally got to work at 11, lunch with Helen at Wolfgang's, brief donki stop, work till five, taught till 7 (we're reading frindle), swung past subway, got dinner to go, made it back to the byoin by 7:45, saw Lisle, hung out with Peter, left the hospital around 9:30, home at ten, article, facebook, skype (just installed--anyone have it?), and now, 12:20, and I'm thinking basically time for bed!

Monday, May 28, 2007

So, the rest of the story-

I've been fairly quiet about where everything has been taking place the last few days, but anyway, on Saturday, Peter had a bit of a freak accident at the dog park, and broke his femur! Shitty, ne?

It's a clean break right above the knee, and they're still deciding whether or not he'll have surgery, so in the meantime, he's ensconsed in a very very nice hospital, surfing the net, watching TiVo, and trying to stay vaguely comfortable...

Initially, he was in Kesatsu Byoin, which is the police hospital, and was put in the plague room (can't be too careful with the foreigners)! The hosptital was a bit ghetto-brown and sludgy in the wall and ceiling tiles, Hitomi saw someone come in in handcuffs, and the whole place was a bit pallid... (and all the window sills were covered in 4-inch rusty nails, to prevent escapage?)

Luckily, Peter got the last bed in Sanno today, which is very close to my office (and Hitomi's), and centrally located for most of his friends. It's also much more like a Best Western (at least) than a hotel, with wooden furniture, a big private room with view of Midtown and Tokyo Tower and the Mori Bld. at Roppongi, TV, internet, carpeting, etc. All the medical stuff is hidden away, and it's enough to make you forget you're in a hospital, even for phobic me!

Anyway best wishes to Peter for a speedy recovery, but I should head to bed, another long and busy day tomorrow!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Taught taxi guy this morning, then got itabashi and iidabashi confused (believe me, they sound similar!) The police officers at the koban thought I was a total idiot when I asked them for directions, and they realised that the place I was asking them about was in iidabashi, not itabashi, which is where I had ended up. They explained what trains I had to take and half an hour later, I was back on track...

Spent the afternoon hanging out with Peter, reading magazines etc. I did a tower records run and picked up METROPOLIS (the design one), Esquire for Peter, and CondeNaste Portfolio, a new monthly business/lifestyle magazine, which is really nice and pretty interesting, but maybe not worth the 18$ (its only like 6 at home)

Origin tonkatsu bento for dinner, chilling with venus, facebooking (addictive!!), writing, missing vaulting, researching, and emailing this to bed now--early morning gym, then work... We have a new girl starting tomorrow-exciting!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Well, summer is here, or at least coming, as I found out at the meltingly hot futsal game I went to this afternoon. According to, it felt like 30C, which when I wasn't running around, was actually OK, but sprinting up and down in the pounding-down sun bouncing off the turf, it was very, very unpleasant! I think ll be sticking to the evening sessions now, after the sun goes down! It was good to have a run-around though, and even if I didn't play THAT hard (trying not to die of heat stroke and all that), I didn't play too terribly, and I wasn't in pain, so all in all, I'd consider that a fairly successful futsal outing.

Other than that, slept in, worked a bit on some writing stuff, and Peter took Venus to the dog park, which I'm sure she enjoyed-she's been absolutely splayed out on the couch since the two of us got home!

Off to keep cross-referencing classes at SFU so I can try and figure out what to take next year, while watching Sex and the City--always a good form of mindless entertainment!

Friday, May 25, 2007

So I lived the life of Venus today, and caught up on some much needed sleep! Embarrassingly, I basically moved from couch to bed all day! I managed to: talk to Navina for an hour, watch the season finale of Desperate Housewives (shocking!), listen to the metpod (dozily), and that was about it, plus of course, about 5 hours of extra sleep during the day! oyvay! It seems like a waste of a day, but I also think it was probably necessary!

Peter got home from some meetings around 7, we watched On the Lot, had some chicken pies and corn for dinner, and basically chillaxed burning through his TiVo backlog... I'm also reading 'Tokyo Underworld' right now, which I think is going to be really interesting!

I was hoping to vault today, but it was absolutely pouring buckets, so I didn't quite make it, but I'm not working next Friday either, so that's OK-I'll go tomorrow-maybe when Peter is off at the Ritz for his b-day, also next Friday...

anyway, off to read about the post-war Tokyo mob now!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Work and the etc. today...Weekender stuff in the morning, got it off to print, then my monthly meeting and BAB all afternoon/evening. I ended up staying til just before ten so that I could keep working on BAB layout... By six, I only had 3 pages in, but by the time I left, I think I basically had about 12 in, which was good--I was much happier to stay late today and get more in than be worrying about it on the weekend, and having an absolute pile to do before we go to print next week... Not that it will be relaxed, but at least it will be 4 hours of solid laying-out less chaotic...

Managed to be a total zombie on the way home, and took a slightly different route to avoid going through Roppongi at night (so couldn't autopilot through my stations, but did anyway) in the end, I got on my train going the wrong direction...and didn't notice for about six stops until I was like 'hang on, I don't remember this stop!' Doh!

Stopped for a bento on the way home (going low+tired=not cooking!) and then Peter and I watched the first episode of 'on the lot' which is a pretty good reality show about people competing for a 1 million dollar deal and director's position with Dreamworks.

Now, bed! And sleeping in hopefully, though with my luck, probably not ;)


PS: In other news: Canadian teenagers aren't lazy and this guy is one heck of a nutty snake-seller!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Busy day yesterday!

Went to the gym around seven, and just biked, did the elliptical (neither for a particularly long amount of time), did a few weights, stretched quickly, and then got organised to go to work...

Went to Suji's for lunch in between getting Weekender ready to go to print tomorrow (such a cute cover!) and working on BAB for next week... I did Women of the World, and found some interesting stories, including 18 year old Samantha Larson from the US, who just became the youngest foreign female to summit Everest, and the youngest person to ever complete the 7 summits (highest mountain on each continent). On top of that, she graduated with a 4.43 GPA, plays the oboe in all sorts of orchestras, and has just deffer ed her admission to Stanford for a year in order to do the whole Everest thing! Congratulations to her, but way to make the rest of us feel lazy!

Anyway, ended up staying at work until just after nine with Helen, making changes to get everything ready to go to print.. It has such a cute cover though! I love the picture, so excited to see it out next Thursday...

After that, Helen and I ended up having dinner at TGIFriday's which was great fun! So much fun in fact, that I ended up missing my last Hibiya line train, so ended up walking to Nogizaka, where luckily I got the late last train... Since Odakyu line leaves yoyogi uehara quite late, I'm lucky that chiyoda line is late as well! The TGI's area of Roppongi is so annoyingly full of pushy club promoters, but luckily on the other side of Roppongi Dori, it's much better! I put on my 'don't mess with me' walk and scowl that I learned off mom (no one would ever bother her as she marches along radiating negative energy!) and honed in Toronto, and no one even really looked at me... I still feel safer doing that than walking around York at 9pm, which says quite a lot I think!

Anyway, made it home totally fine, got some sleep, and back up to go back to work now... BAB day today I think, so lots of layout...


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Early morning trip to the gym, followed by a flying visit to drop off library books, and then off to work...After work, I went to the Canadian Embassy for a lecture about Diversity in Canadian Culture. There were three lecturing profs, one of which was from York, which was funny/ironic, one from Waterloo, and one a foreigner who is a visiting prof at Tokyo U (not sure where he was from).

They all had handouts and well-organized descriptions and stuff, it felt like being back in the first day of lecture! Apparently, the mention of the Prof before their names brought out the note-taking brown noser in me, as my handouts are covered in notes about the symbolic meaning of the lyrics of Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen (Grampa, you would have liked that part!)

It was interesting, though not as useful for my upcoming Weekender article as I was hoping it might be. Nevertheless, there were definitely some good points made, although it did re enforce my idea that those of us who grew up on the winter-free west coast really miss out on a critical aspect of being Canadian-that wicked winter! Does my winter in TO count? Probably not, but at least it's a bit of a start in understanding what everyone from the east spends the winters whinging about!

Interesting fact as well-Canada's population make-up (in terms of ethnic background) mimics the population distribution of the entire world. That's cool in a microcosm-ish way!

Also interesting from today, but not at all related to the lecture -, a service (in English, once you sign up), which is a Web 2.0 application billed as a 'virtual desktop'. It all runs in your browser, looks like a windows OS, but is self-contained and specifically written, and includes applications such as 'writer' for uploading and editing word documents on various computers. I haven't quite worked out its full potential yet, but it seems pretty good.

Now, I'm going to bed, so go listen to a grumpy old man sing about Suzanne, or check out start force...either one!


Monday, May 21, 2007

So I went to work today to help Weekender get to print on Thursday, so instead of working Friday, I worked today, and I'll take Friday off... We went to Eggs Benedict for lunch today since it was such a gorgeous day out (sat outside under the big shady umbrellas) and then at about 5:20, I left and headed to Shibuya to teach. This is the guy I've been teaching the longest--the stylist, who just got a gf, who he was proudly telling me about. It was pretty cute! They were talking about a trip to Mexico until she saw Babel and got scared... I'd be more scared by the fact they've only been dating for 3 months, but that's just me I guess!

Came home around 8:30, wrote a paragraph for my application for a marking job in early June that Sarah let me know about (just for a week, but it pays well!), and then after Peter came home, took Venus for a quick walk, and made rice and bean burritos for dinner. Now we're just watching Desperate Housewives and then I'm heading to bed before the gym, work, and an event at the embassy tomorrow.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

So up early again today to go teach in Shibuya at 10, it was the taxi guy, and as is starting to happen more and more regularly, we somewhat struggled for something to talk about. When the last movie you've seen is The Mask, from what, ten years ago? it's a bit of a challenge!

Anyway, we got through that and I headed to Tokyu Hands to buy pin backs and ended up also getting onigiri forms and wrappers (you can truly buy ANYTHING in there!)

I came home, and then pretty soon after, Peter and I headed to meet Kong at a very, very, very busy suji's for a pre American Club Idol brunch. I didn't actually have time to eat since I had to be at TAC at 2 to interview some of the contestants before the event kicked off at 3.

It was really good fun! There were 16 acts (12 soloists, 4 bands) from international schools, mostly in Tokyo, but also as far away as Nagoya, who were selected to participate in the American Idol-esque day, MC'd by Lisle. Everyone was really excited and confident going into it, and they should have been - they were all really good! You can read more about it in the June 15 issue of Weekender :)

I got to be right up at the front to take lots of pictures, which was a great view, but did mean getting crawled on by a few kids - they were cute though, one girl in grade one looked over at me and said "I just wish that I could be the TAC American Club Idol!" Kawaii ne!?

After the event, which was very well attended, Peter and I decided to go back to Suji's for dinner, since I hadn't got to eat brunch, and also missed out on the Krispy Kreme donuts, so I was starving, which a Jason Burger quickly took care of! Kong also ran into us outside, so he joined us too. It was the place to be, as between the two trips to Sujis, I ran into three CPI people and saw two other people that I know as well...

Got home around 9, and now I'm just watching the very action-packed season finale of Ugly Betty before heading to bed... I'm working tomorrow instead of friday, so I have to be up early, and given my luck, that will be the day I want to sleep in! Ah well..


Saturday, May 19, 2007

So despite today being the one day that I could sleep in, of course I didn't, and was awake at 8:30, whereupon I checked my email, and found out that I got into SFU. Which was definitely nice to find out, it was taking quite some time for my application to get processed! Now there's the whole adventure of picking classes (Nihongo 1!!) and sorting out student loans and everything, but at least I'm in!

Since I wasn't sleeping, I transferred to the couch and watched two hours of college gymnastics that TiVo magically saved for me a while ago, and then dozed around as I waited to find out if futsal with Sarah, her sister and her boyfriend, and some of her sister's school mates was on (it was a bit damp this morning).

We watched Desperate Housewives, and then, since it was on, I got ready for, and went to futsal. I walked down to Todai, but accidentally went to the Todai 2 campus, instead of Todai 1 (they're kind of connected). Trying to meet up with Sarah was quite funny though - we had a conversation something like this.

"What gate are you at?"
"Main gate"
"Me too"
"Can you see the clock tower?"
"Well I can't see you. That's weird."
"Yea, I've walked around the building and didn't see you"
"Is the building red, brick, and squat?"

Ten minutes "Are we on two different campuses?"
Aha! Two different Todais, two different clock towers in red brick buildings, two different main gates...

We finally met up, and then met up with her sister and her sister's boyfriend, and then joined in for a few hours of pretty low-key, low-contact, but lots of fun futsal (actually, it was kind of bigger than futsal... a nice size as you could play some decently long balls, and play 6v6 plus a keeper... We kept alternating teams and stuff, so it was all very casual, and we ended up playing for about 2 and a half hours, on and off... Amazingly, no part of my body complained too much about it, which made me very happy!

After that, Sarah and I came back here to change and then met back up with her sis/bf for dinner. We went to a cute and tasty place in Shimokitazawa, which was interesting as it was like yakiniku style meat, but already cooked...It was a really good deal too, with a dinner set of meat, rice, salad, and soup, plus a drink and desert coming to just a shade over 10$... Basically lunch set prices but at night...golden :)

Headed home, and now just watching some Sex and the City, before heading to bed pretty early I think - teaching at ten, and then heading to TAC idol in the afternoon...


Friday, May 18, 2007

work, went to 300, much better than expectecd, full show ofpirates of penzance after, they've really improved a lot in 6 weeks, exhaustedly home, whated the last gilmore girls ever, and now, yay!, bed

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Further proof that facebook is taking over the world (and that myspace really needs to pick it up!)--check out this contest by 102.1 the Edge...
So after the crazy day of yesterday, it took somewhat of a minor miracle to get to the gym, but I made it! I did hit a bit of a hiccup when I got there though, as when I went to turn in my card for my locker key-card, we had a bit of a discussion about whether or not I needed to get a doctor's letter saying that I wasn't going to croak on them. Doctor-phobic me had a bit of a freak out, but I think I might be able to get a fax from home, which would be good!

Anyway, I didn't do a class or anything (I did a stretching one and an express one on Wednesday, which went OK, even though they're weren't in English), but today I just went on the bike, watching BBC World in English, and then stretched and stuff on my own...

Anyways...headed to work, and had a busy day there, as per usual! Lunch at Suji's, and spent a good chunk of the day doing distribution for Weekender, which came out today-the Great Outdoors issue.

We left at about 6:30, and then I went up to Peter's office for the first time in a long time, and camped out in the kitchen proof reading for BAB, and then reading some of Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (I finished the sheep book on the train this morning--very weird, but good)

Home now, and just watching the season finale of ANTM before bed...


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Leaving for the gym at 7, plus work, plus BAB night out, plus getting home at 11, = very tired not blogging tonight dani!

Go download a This American Life podcast or something!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Today was Navina's last day, so I took the morning off work and Peter and I dropped her off at the Hilton in Shinjuku to get an Airport Limousine Bus off to the airport for her 3:30 flight. I can't believe she's gone already, as it seems like the planning and everything was so long, and then suddenly she was on her way, here, busy, and now gone! It was really fun to have her around though, and hopefully she didn't get too tired of me and my planning!

After we dropped her off, I jumped on a train and got to work around noon. There were only three of us in the office, so very quiet, and I did bits and pieces of distribution, typing for Bill, researching for Women of the World, etc. (The average Japanese woman has 35 inch hips, (and is slowly getting bigger); in America, 41-43 inches).

Left the office around 4:30 and then went to teach, until 7--worked on math and spelling with the little girl and checked in with her brother about how all of his classes are going - he's gotten really into reading recently, which is great!

Came home and made THE most random dinner ever-mashed potatoes with a kind of Asian-y (bean sprouts and mushrooms in it) lemon peppery chicken. I think both parts on their own will be good, but still waiting to see how they taste together, as Peter, who said he was leaving the office over an hour ago, still isn't home (its like a 20 minute drive), so its in the oven. Since I have to be up so early these days, I think if he's not home by the time I finish this, I'm going to give up and eat without him!

In the meantime, I've been reading A Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami, which is a very weird but very enjoyable book that Jordon lent me...In some ways, it reminds me of Francesca Lia Block, but only in the style-reality with a heavy, heavy suspension of belief required to get into it. I'm about half way through now, and well caught up in the story, so, I think I'm going to go back to it and hope that V. and Peter turn up soon for some food!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Today is Navina's last day here, which seems crazy-I feel like she only just got here! Although we were thinking about it, and it seems like some of the stuff we did, like the BBQ and everything seems like it was ages ago, but overall, it seems pretty fast!

Today we had a pretty relaxed morning, and then went to check out Akihabara-what a place for my inner geek, pretty amazing!! We checked out a few of the big electronics shops, and I planned all the ways I could dress up my laptop I don't even own, and Navina bought a case for hers, and then after some Korean food (yummy!) for lunch, we headed to Ryogoku to watch the sumo.

The tournament opened yesterday, and Peter told us they wouldn't sell out if we went in the afternoon, however, unfortunatly, they definitly had, and so we weren't able to watch any of the wrestling, which was really too bad-we were both looking forward to it! We did hang out where everyone else was poised with their cameras though and Navina managed to get some pictures of Sumo wrestlers leaving the stadium.

After that, we headed home via the Shinjuku takeshimaya times square Tokyo Hands, and then in the station, stopped for choco cro before heading home. We had bentos for dinner, and watched some Friends, and now Navina is doing the depressing vacation-ending act of packing...

She gets on a bus at just past 11 tomorrow, and heads home while I head to work...

(More pics of Disney Sea below-taken by Navina)...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm tired and lazy after a long day with Navina and Peter at Disney Sea, which was great, but I'm really excited to head to bed now, so, before we head out to the sumo tomorrow, I think I'll get photos from our night up on Friday, as well as photos and video from Disney posted then...

In the mean time, this is a pretty interesting link (about emoticons in Japan vs. North America).

and also, Happy Mother's Day!!!
So yesterday ended up being long and busy, as predicted, and didn't end until about 6am today...

I went to the gym around 7am and signed up, which was great, but took ages longer than I thought it would, going through forms and everything. It's a really nice gym though, with a pool and a sauna and studios (lots of classes), plus the normal gym stuff, and really nice change rooms. Also, totally reasonably priced given that I've gone for the mornings before work only option.

I had time for a quick workout (but no classes), before I headed to work, mostly spending the day on BAB and some other design stuff... Navina, after getting a bit lost in Toranomon, made it to work, with some help from everyone in the office via the phone ("are you near a big sword shop?"), and we went for drinks at Suji's which was great fun before we went to Shinjuku to meet up with Jordon.

Unfortunately, Sarah wasn't feeling great, so she didn't make it, but the three of us wandered around and showed Kabuki-cho, or the entertainment district, to Navina. We went into one of the entertainment arcades that are everywhere, and Navina and I did the Taiko drumming game (kind of like dance dance revolution, but with taiko drums), and Jordon took some photos and video (to come).

After some wandering, we made it to Jordon's friend's Thai restaurant, which was very tasty, and really funly (that should so be a word!) decorated and then headed to Hatagaya, to a cute, small live house called 'Heavy Sick', where we watched Jordon's friend's all-girl band called 'The Feminine' play their garage-rock. It was a really cute space with a comfortably crowded number of people, not so many, as it was small though! And great, because the bar/tables and stuff were in a seperate room from the dance/dj/livehouse space, so while the live show was on, we went in there, but spent most of the night in the lounge area, which was quieter and lighter, and much better for chatting! Randomly, there was a Chihuahua in a purse for most of the evening, which seemed unfortunate, but other than that...

I'd met quite a few people before, which was both nice and embarrassing, as they all knew my name, and I, well, we know what I'm like with names! however, everyone was to nice, drunk, out of it, or not speaking English to really care! Also, when anyone would ask where we were from, and we'd say we were Canadians, and then they'd go "OH! You must be Jordon's friends!"

Navina and I got taken under the rather oppressive wing of one of the event/space organisers (as far as we could gather, that's what he does). He was quite funny, because at the beginning, he came over to me, and asked how old we were, and then when I told him, went "Oh. Too Young!" (for any sort of chatting up, I presume. He was 29...) and then proceeded to just spend the night intermittently hanging out with us. He insisted we memorize his number, so that if we ever run into problems in Japan, he would help us, as he "only has good feelings for the city, and any problems, have, we should call him and fix." Which on the whole, is a very nice sentiment, but he was a little far into the beer, so we ended up having a great round of a conversation, explaining to him about 10 times that we were students, but not in Japan, that I worked at an internship at a magazine, and that Navina was visiting. The capacity for repetition was astonishing! He was nice though, and certainly kept us fairly entertained!

It was also fairly astonishing how many people got falling down (OK passing out) drunk! Quite the percentage, which from a sober standpoint, was entertaining, though I can imagine there were some really, really unpleasant mornings for people today! Navina pointed out it was interesting/kind of surprising that there weren't really any random hookups going on. I wonder if that's a cultural thing, or a 'most of us know each other at least by sight and therefore its not so random' thing, or simply because it's hard to do much of anything when you're glued to the floor under a table?

Ahh, good times!

As one can imagine, after getting home at 5:30ish (we were actually walking distance from home, but didn't quite realise that until today, oops!) not much of anything went on during the day! I slept until about 1, and then got up to basically relocate to the couch, where we watched TV and I napped (for like 2 hours or so), while Peter went with Venus to check out the new dog park in Yoyogi Koen and the Thai Festival. It would have been nice to go and see everyone, but catching up on sleep was lovely as well!

In the evening, Peter took us out for a nice dinner to an Italian restaurant on the 54th floor of the Tokyo Opera building, where we had some lovely views over towards Roppongi, and then afterwards, snuck into a banquet room, and had lovely views of Setagaya-ku. We finished the evening with a drive through the Skyscraper District of Shinjuku with the top down-really nice!

Off to bed now, as you can never have too much sleep, and we want to be rested up for DISNEY SEA tomorrow!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Worked today as Navina headed out to Ueno park and Asakusa for the day. Today was Nine's last day of work, which seems crazy, since she just started a few months ago, but she has to head back to Europe for school and work, so unfortunately, today was her last day. As a result, we all headed down to Suji's for a farewell lunch.

The new BAB also came in this afternoon (Weekender went to print too, so busy day!), and it looks good, although I'm a little scared to actually look at it too carefully, convinced as I am that I'll find a mistake we didn't catch BEFORE we went to print (and therefore can't fix now!). I think all the photos and everything came out OK though, so that's good--that's what I was the most worried about I think.

After work, I went to teach, and that was fine as well--multiplication sucks as much now as it did ten years ago, but the novel study for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe that I found online was good, so that was successful.

Came out and found that it was PISSING down rain, very very weird and unpleasant--even with an umbrella I was getting wet!

Stopped by the gym in the station on my way home and decided to join, so I'm going to go do that in the morning... I went in there and they gave me an English schedule and also spoke some English which is great. The cheapest time is also the best for me, M-F 6:45-10 (before work), and has some good classes, including stretching, ab/upper/lower body sculpting, step, etc. Of course, there's the regular gym, and then also a pool, so hopefully it will be good! They're also having a special on now where the first month is free and you get Y3000 in the store, so it kind of cancels out the membership sign-up fee.

Apart from that, just hanging out at home-work tomorrow and then we're going out in the evening/night/morning, so probably don't expect a blog!!



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

*yawn! So tired!

Busy day at work today trying to get ready for print tomorrow morning...Navina spent the time going to Midtown and Roppongi, and then came for lunch with Nine, Kieron, and Emma, as we headed to Suji's.

Got out of the office at about 6:30, grabbed Navina from Roppongi Hills area, and then headed home to watch the second to last (EVER) Gilmore Girls. Peter got home around 8 with a Venus who was very happy about being able to run around the whole office today! We ordered pizza, and then I promptly fell asleep as Peter tried to subject us to Magnum PI

Off to bed now I think

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Will post photos and video from yesterday's fishing excursion on this blog, as today wasn't so exciting-work, which was busy and fun, went for lunch with Helen at Wolfgang Pucks, very tasty, and had a busy day working to get Weekender ready to go to print on Thursday. Went to teach after, it was pretty easy - math and spelling for the little girl, and her brother had no homework but got really really into the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, so that was good! After that I wandered to the outlet store at the Aoyama Book Centre, and picked up a couple of things (books, like facebook, are seriously my crack!) Of all things, I was excited to pick up a typography book, although all of my friends who might be excited about that with me, live in Toronto, and are part of the facebook group "Last night, I kerned your mother".

Yes, we are just that cool.

Anyway, Navina hung out in Shimo Kitazawa, and Peter and Hitomi got back from Hawaii tonight, so it was great to see them again-sounds like they had a lovely trip!

And now, for the angling photos/video:

(I don't think this place has changed at all since it opened in 1963!)(The smart fish congregate by the bubbles in the centre)
(some of us had a laugh while fishing...)
(...while some of us concentrated a little bit harder)
(the girls got some help from that guy wearing the white shirt...he called it 'princess fishing')

(baiting the miniature hooks was a goopy process!)
(but the fish seemed to love the snacks...)
(and eventually, one was stupid enough to get hooked! I shrieked like a wussy girl, and the guy unhooked it for me...)

(and then passed it off to Jordon to put in the net (so we could keep track of our points, though I think we probably could have collectively remembered "3" between us))

(but then goldie took a leap for freedom!)(...and lay gasping on the floor until Jordon scooped him back up and saved him (unless he was one of the two fish who died in front of me minutes later...seeing something take its last swimming stroke and then croak is a bit disturbing!)

And of course, there's the requisite bad quality video of the whole endeavor:

Dani does some princess fishing

Jordon fishes (or well tries to set the line I guess?)

xo D

Monday, May 07, 2007

Long, busy, fun day today-will expand the blog and add photos tomorrow when I get them off Navina's camera (and have a tad more creative energy!)

In short, we started the morning with a trip off to Kabuki-za, where we took in one show, for about an hour. The theatre has shows all day, and you can buy a ticket to see the whole day, but it seemed that those patrons tended towards the elderly Japanese set. The rest of the foreigners were like us, up in the 4th floor open-seats, just taking in a taste of kabuki. It was pretty interesting! Much more exciting than Noh-the sets had scenery, and there was a discern able plot! We went and got the English ear pieces, which was definitely a good idea--without them, we wouldn't have had a clue what was going on!

After the show (about an hour, a good length to get the idea!), we headed to Shibuya to meet Jordon for some pre-fishing lunch. We headed to one of a chain of Italian restaurants called Tapas and Tapas (or something similar to that-they have an octopus on a plate of pasta as their logo).

After lunch, we headed to Sangenjaya and did some fishing. Seriously. This place has been around since like 1964, and basically its a slightly ramshackle building with stools surrounding a big, above ground, concrete pool/pond, about 4 feet deep. You sit on the stools, and with tiny fishing rods, even tinier hooks, and itty bitty balls of bait, try and catch goldfish. It's harder than it sounds! I caught two, and Navina got one, and that was our sum total for the day! Both of us caught our first ones with the help of a guy who may or may not have actually worked there, but was really helpful-resetting our bait and telling us when to pull. He called it princess fishing, which was perfect!

There was also a random film crew in there at the beginning, and the girl being filmed spoke really good English, so she talked to Jordon a bit - she wasn't having much more luck than we were either! Tons of people there were regulars-really good at fishing (for points!) and just chilling out with their beer, cigarettes, and 24 inch long fishing poles. It was pretty great, more fun and relaxing than we all had expected, although I have to say the actual catching part was a bit traumatic! The first one, I made the guy de-hook (its all catch and release, no sashimi here!) and the second one, I fully just thrust at Jordon to deal with. For some reason, I really have a thing against live, flopping fish! The first fish almost met an unfortunate end, as the guy passed it to Jordon to put in the net, and it jumped out of Jordon's hand and onto the floor! He finally managed to scoop it back up and in, but it was traumatic for the poor little fishy!

After that, since I had remembered that there was a through road to Shimo Kitazawa, we wandered down there, and then once we got there did a big, circuitous loop around the area, taking whatever streets seemed good. Finally, we ended up at a back street izakaya, and sat outside, on converted kegs, for a few drinks. Randomly, we were given some potatoes and pork that we didn't ask for (but had to pay for, i think?) and then some microwaved popcorn, that we REALLY didn't ask for, but also didn't have to pay for. How odd, but a really good spot. We (well Jordon mostly, since his Japanese is so much more functional!) was chatting with the manager of the place, and we got his card, that had all of their locations on it-including one in Vancouver!

After all that, Navina and I wandered home, and have just been watching a couple of episodes of Sex and the City before heading to bed--work in the morning and all that!
Photos and videos of the fishing tomorrow...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Soggy day today! Taught in Shibuya at 10:30--taxi guy, who spent most of the lesson discussing how his company is facing possible legal action due to their regular disregard for labor laws. He's not a big one on confidentiality!

After that, I had an hour or so before I needed to meet Navina and Sarah, so I went to Three Minutes Happiness (isn't that a great store name!) to buy an umbrella, and then wandered by the Apple store to drool over macbook pros. *DROOL!* they were randomly having a great little concert in the corner of the store - quite a large (8 piece?) band was playing a roots type gig...It was great! Random, but great!

Went to meet Sarah and Navina at Hachiko, and then we went up to TGIF's (flair!) for lunch and a chat. After that, we sloshed our way around through the GAP, UNIQLO and Bic Camera, before dropping back into the nice dry subway. I decided, against all better judgement to go to soccer (honestly, I'm like a dog with a bone when I get an idea!), but when I got there, it was unfortunately cancelled due to rain. I did randomly meet a really nice girl who was working there though - Japanese, she grew up largely in the states, and therefore spoke perfect English. Since no one was playing, we just chatted for about half an hour, before I gave up on anyone coming and headed home. I did find out that the reason that the turfs close in the summer is because there is a swimming pool underneath! It has a retractable floor, that they push up in the winter and role the turf over, and then in the summer, they drop the floor down and fill it back up with water!

Headed home for origin bentos and choco cro for dinner, and since then we've just been chilling with Sex and the City and pink books...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today got off to a pretty relaxed start as I wasn't teaching until 1, in Shibuya. We headed down there, and I went off to teach while Navina went for a bit of a wander and then came up to the cafe to wait for me... We hung out there for a little bit after my lesson, and then headed a couple of streets over for some more ramen. So good! I think this basically needs to become a regular after teaching on Saturday lunch!

After that, we headed to the Imperial Palace East Gardens, not really sure what to expect, as we'd been told you couldn't see much, but still wanted to check it out anyway. Unfortunately, we didn't realise they closed at 5, so we only had just over half an hour to check out the gardens, which were beautiful! I actually took pictures today, but haven't down/uploaded them yet (I really think it's time I go pro at flickr!) so these are Navina's....Mine will come later-they're pretty similar, anyway!

Amazingly, we ran into Nine and her sister, here visiting for about ten days in the Gardens! As Navina says, 'that's like running into someone in CANADA'. It was fun to run into them, and they gave us a great osusume for the best place to spend our few precious minutes in the gardens!

After that, headed home and hung out- I kept working on this (research intensive!) article for Weekender, and Navina watched Casino Royale (for the fourth time, lol). Then I took V for a walk, and we did the download photos/blog/laundry/dinner domestic thing...

Tomorrow: teaching, lunch with Sarah, and hopefully, futsal.
Cool lens flare action on Navina's part! Some part of the castle defence system... The actual castle itself is really hidden away and you can only just see the top of it poking through the trees...

Posing by the river...
Finally a shot together after I accosted a poor Japanese couple and thrust Navina's camera at them...
A very small Navina under a very big gate
And me being dwarfed...these gates really meant business!

Taking photos (I have a similar shot of Navina on my camera!)
Interesting juxtaposition between the old gate and the modern city beyond...