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Sunday, July 29, 2007

So I know that I keep forgetting to blog, but at least here are some photos from this very busy weekend! First from Saturday's wakeboarding (dirty, disgusting, scary water, sore arms, slightly sunburnt, a bit frustrated at my inability to stand up, but with the potential to be a lot of fun and I want to try it again in Hawaii where the water isn't scary and the instructor speaks English) and Sunday's trip to Kamakurayama for roast beef with okada-san and his wife, a visit to (and into) a very large buddah, and an absolutely gorgeous shrine themed around hydrangeas.

busy busy week ahead...only three left...a little bit stunned at that actually.
Sooooo cool!!! For a week, IKEA visitors were able to stay in IKEA like a hostel, (in Norway) and eat meatballs for dinner, and stay on the beds... Sugoi desho! I really really want to do it!!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

So one glass of wine lands Paris in jail, but until this week you could be pissed and still fly a....shuttle? Um Houston? I think we have a problem! In part:

"Alcohol is freely used in crew quarters," the report said. "Two specific instances were described where astronauts had been so intoxicated prior to flight that flight surgeons and/or fellow astronauts raised concerns to local on-scene leadership regarding flight safety. However, the individuals were still permitted to fly."

After work today, Helen, Marie and I headed down to Suji's for a quick drink which was good fun--we haven't done that for awhile (Friday after-work drinks) before we all move on to our other friday night engagements.

I headed down to Shibuya and had a quick look through the incredibly busy and chaotic 109 building (loads of little boutiques in an 8-floor shopping complex) before heading to the crocodile in Shibuya (a live house/event space) to meet up with Kong, Jordon, Suzi, Hiromy Nina, and a couple of others to watch the Tokyo Comedy Store.

It was really funny! The second half improv was my favorite part--they were really good! Improv is SO hard to think that fast, but these guys did a really good job and were really funny as well! Stand up comedian 'Cloudy Bong Water' was also good--he sang a re created version of the Canadian national anthem with the new title and theme of "Oh Cannabis" pretty funny!

After that, there was a vaudeville/cabaret type singer who was also pretty entertaining! I've ne
ver seen anything quite like this before--she was telling some pretty cheeky stories with her musical numbers :)

We left around 11:30 and took roughly last trains home where I heard about Peter's exciting night climbing through Venus' dog door after having forgotten his keys in the office. Oops!

Fun night & good start to the weekend :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So another very long day today! I got up at six and headed to the gym at about 6:45 and worked out till 8. I tackled the stair master for the first time in honor of Mt. Fuji in 8 days, but I think it may well be a serious case of too little too late at this point! Ah well, I've heard of lots of people not training and making it up to the top.
After that, I headed to work, via Starbucks for breakfast (nothing like neutralising any benefits of the gym within an hour of leaving the place!) and got into the office around 9 or just after maybe, followed shortly by Karin and Helen--we sent a Weekender to print today; slightly stressfully, but in the end I think everything is OK! We'll see next week! Spent the rest of the day working on BAB, mostly, bit didn't feel like it was a particularly efficient day, which sucks! Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better!
We got to see Anna at lunch today which was really nice--her little Jack is getting so big! (she went on maternity leave just as I joined CPI).
I had to leave the CPI office at five today to head over to work at the pink cow from 6-11.
I was kind of whining about it, at least to myself (and maybe karin, sorry!) today, because I kind of wanted to sleep or do something as opposed to work, but in the end it definitely turned out to be a fun night--it was steadily busy which was nice, not too stressful, but I didn't feel as if I were standing around doing absolutely nothing all night either.
I ran into a guy from futsal, and both of us were like 'do I know you?' and then figured it out at basically the same time. Clearly I need to go back if we're all forgetting each other!
I also had a really random experience when I gave a girl her food she was like "I think I know you", but I wasn't really sure where we ever might have met, and to be honest, she didn't look familiar. But she kept thinking and then she was like "Hey, I think you know one of my friends. Do you know Jordon?" I was like "yea!" turns out we were briefly introduced to each other way back in October that first night when I went to see the Molets play and dragged Peter along because I was convinced I was going to be carded and tossed out (ha!) Her memory is crazy good to be able to recognize me from that and in this totally different context and put it all together!
Its always good food, but I also had some very interesting and tasty food tonight cooked by Goldie, the sous chef--she's from somewhere in South East Asia (Myanmar?) and cooked some of her traditional food for us; a chicken and rice noodle dish over rice (kind of spicy) and then a delicious soup with chunks of onion, meat, and seaweed in a seriously oishii broth.
Despite having drinks spilled on me and dying in the heat and coming home smelling like a bar, it was a good night! I got home a few minutes before Venus, rinsed off the heat and alcohol from myself, and then took V. for a walk, with both the two of us plus Peter and Hitomi all geting home around 12:30... Just doing this now, and then heading to bed--have to be up in 5 hours, which I think you'll agree, is just not enough hours for a decent beauty rest at all!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Today was a fun day--morning was fairly average--proofing (Weekender goes to print tomorrow) and laying out BAB... Lunch at ZEST again today--the beef jambalaya is endlessly tasty, and then this afternoon went to see Ocean's 13 for the magazine. It was really full! I ended up on an office chair perched on a stair in the aisle! Nuts! It was great--two hours of slick, shiny, hollywood/vegas escapism very much in the vein of the firs two. Being a supreme wimp, I love how its just a totally fun crime caper without a hint of scariness. Besides that, it doesn't really need a story--watching the cast is good enough to fully entertain the female portion of the audience! :)

After the movie, I headed back to the office, and--nothing like a deadline--wrote the first two hundred words in the three stops between the theater and the office! I scribbled a few more thoughts walking back, and then abandoned that idea after nearly being taken out several times, so just finished it off back at my desk.

Helen dropped it in while I had a quick look over the magazine, and did a little bit more work on BAB...We left the office at around 8:30 I think, and I headed up to super deluxe for Pecha Kucha night, which was absolutely packed!!!!! I stayed for about two hours and saw some pretty interesting stuff, including the current world bmx champion jumping over Mark from KDA with his bike, as well as some other guy's head as he sat on the floor; a 17-yr-old swedish guy who is interning at KDA an wanted the job so much that even after they said 'hell no' to his request for the position (he applied from sweden) he got his mom to call on his behalf. Basically, KDA hadn't taken him because they were like 'what if he dies or something?' and his mom, an architect, was like 'if he dies, i won't blame you, now give him the job'. So he's been with them for a few weeks, and is heading back soon, but it sounds like a good holiday experience for him!

I don't think this was the best Pecha Kucha night I've been to, but it was definitely entertaining--I really think they need to come to Vancouver! Its in about 100 cities at this point, including Lagos, so I think Vancouver could certainly fit right in!

Anyway, off to bed now--have to be up in less than six hours *yawn!* (isn't school going to be so relaxing?) ahhh I love it though!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

So I'm now blogging on hour 35 without sleep (and certainly lagging a bit!) but I'm not actually quite as dead as I might have imagined! I think an early night will sort me out and be ready for the week ahead (we hope!)

After a very quiet day yesterday, just after 7pm I cooked a stirfry for Peter and myself and then went to meet Helen at Ebisu eki just after 8, and then we carried on to Dubliners in Shinagawa where we went to see the end of the European music festival that Kieron organised. We got there in time to watch him (Cashell) playing, and that was great--its the second time I've seen him play, and its really fun to see him and support him, and he's great too, which always makes us more up for going out to see him ;).

Anyway, around 9ish, one of Helen's former roomies from London plus her boyfriend--the two of them are busy travelling around the world and are in Japan for the next couple of weeks. We watched the rest of the set, and then watched Japan beat Australia in PKs in the quarters or semis of the Asian Cup. At that point, Clare and Aaron needed some sustenance, and we tried to get something in Shinagawa, but there wasn't anything open and appealing in the station, and none of us knew the area, so we ended up heading to Roppongi and TGIFridays. Given that we got there at 11, I think we basically knew we weren't getting our last train :)

We ended up eating and chatting and leaving around oneish and heading to Propoganda for a drink, and then Castillo for a drink and a lot of teasing about me never having heard lots of the 80's songs, and never having put an LP on, and not having a clue about games you had to load up for three hours before you could play (?) etc. It was pretty entertaining. Helen and I are used to this "Please tell me you've heard of this ____" and then me being like "" but it was funny because in the eighties bar, I'd barely heard any of the songs, except maybe in commercials (I think that statement was viewed as fairly shocking as well!)

Castillo was really entertaining because of this sign:
Almost tempting to test the point!

After that, close to threeish I think, we headed to the New Lex--Edo, and saw Bill before heading inside to be among the pretty pretty people in the newly redesigned Lex. It was good fun; and this time I knew about 95% of the songs... We were hanging out and chatting and dancing a little bit when this guy who said he ran a clothing label and his side kick, who in various turns was a proffesional golfer, soccer player, and skateboarder, invited us into the VIP area and bought drinks and bottles of Moet. (They were entertaining a few tables, and the bottles were just flowing between everyone). When it came out that I don't drink the guy who was claiming to do all the sports looks at me and goes "You don't drink at all? You are like a princess. But that's OK. I'll be your prince." and then proceeded to get me a coke. It was pretty sweet. Actually, the two of them both seemed pretty nice and made sure we were taken care of.

We left at about 5:30, and were NOT happy to find that it was totally light out and raining...The whole coming home in the light thing is a bit traumatic! Fun night, though!!!

I got home around 6:30, but realised that I had to leave at 9 to teach, and that I would be a total mess if I slept for an hour, so I called Navina instead, read for a bit, and jumped in the shower before staggering back down to Shibuya to teach. Both of us were pretty tired (no surprises there, from either side!), and then I came home around 11:30, and wasn't actually feeling too tired, so I basically hung around here before heading out to Kichijoji for 3:30 to meet a girl that I teach and 4 of her friends. They'd planned a cafe day for us to go to a cute little cafe and get cake sets and tea... Then we wandering around a couple of the fun local shops a little bit before I headed back home...

Actually, what as really funny was that I was wandering around killing time before I went to meet them, and I came across a big kimono shop with a few photos outside, and then I went up to look at them, and was like "hey, it's coming of age day" "...hey it's me!"
It's very random as I didn't get my kimono from that shop, and I actually rented it from Shimo Kitazawa, not Kichijoji. Strange.

Anyway, headed home and got back here around 7:30, and tried, basically in vain, to write something for Weekender. Actually, what happened was that I passed out for half an hour, and Peter took photos of me fast asleep with my fingers still on the home row on this here mac.

At just after 8, Mibu came over, and we've been hanging out, burning fries and crab cakes, eating edamame, and watching crap TV--the singing bee and Letterman...

Probably will be heading to bed soon--its just after 11, and I got up at noon yesterday, which is many hours without being in a bed! Worth it though.


Friday, July 20, 2007

So just wrapped up another busy week at work--Obon in August is pushing up Weekender deadlines, plus BAB is coming up again in two weeks, so it feels like we're about to get on the crazy part of the monthly roller coaster--when two magazines are happening at the same time, except worse, because the other Weekender is so soon afterwards as well!

Anyway, we'll worry about that next week!

Yesterday the new Weekender came out, with the Michael Martin feature (the BMW biking guy) and I think it looks good (but I'm not biased, or anything!) I can't wait to go see his presentation on the 1st; it should be really interesting!

Today was a bit weird--I was soo tired after fighting only vaguely successfully with SFU and course planning at 2am last night (time differences), and so I was dragging a bit all day in the office, along with a still-jet-lagged Helen...we were a bit less genki than normal today!

About halfway through the day, I went to the house of our next BAB cover girl, which was a totally huge apartment building near our office (5 minute walk) and helped with the photo shoot. It was fun, and I'm excited to see the photos on Monday... I love getting the covers for BAB, especially since I can take the color and run with it in terms of layout throught the magazine... Turning everything from black or grey to a color is a bigs step towards having a magazine!

Anyway, left the office at 6, and the day took a turn from generally a bit 'grey' to completely bizarre and a bit scary. As I walked onto the sidewalk from the office, this 30ish Japanese guy sstanding around kind of looking like he was waiting for a cab. I glanced up at him, and he looked like he might want to say something, but I wasn't interested and kept listening to my ipod, and didn't look at him, and kept walking, but I could feel/see him intensely checking me out in a smarmy way, and so I kept going past him, but then he ran up from behind me, and went a few paces in front of me and turned around and started staring at me (and my chest) more, so I got my phone out to pretend I was texting or something (just to look busy) and stopped at Suji's to chat with one of the waiters who was having a break outside... I didn't go in, b/c I thought the guy might follow me in and sit down with me, he was acting that strange and like he wanted to speak with me.

I watched as he crossed the big crossing and figured I'd lost him and then after I finished chatting, went to cross myself, a couple of minutes later, but when I was walking, he darted out from around the corner, and trotted in front of me again, and then kept looking at me, but also looking pretty nervous and weird. By this point, my 'spidey senses' were seriously tingling, even though this sort of thing doesn't generally trip me out tooo much, especially in broad daylight with tons of people around, but I called Helen, originally with the plan of keeping her on the phone while I walked to the station, but then as he popped out yet again, and was all shifty and staring at me, I changed course into the AXIS furniture shop (he didn't see me go in) and watched as he walked past through the glass. Meanwhile, Helen called Kieron who was still at the office to come collect me, and walk me to the station. I'm sure I would have been fine on my own, but it was very nice to have everyone looking out for me! Thanks guys!!

Meanwhile, as I was waiting for Kieron to come collect me (and probably looking so nervous and pacing so much that the store was on the verge of calling security on me!), the day took a turn to the very very very much better as a quick flurry of emails and phone calls between Jordon, Peter, and myself established that we could go get my macbook tonight!!!!

So I went down to Ginza and met Jordon at the apple store, and we chatted with the orbitune office rep and then I got it!! It's sooo pretty! White macbook, dual 2.16 processors, 2MB ram, 120GB drive (didn't have 160GB in the country, but it should be plenty), etc. I was very very happy to take possession of it! We also went and visited the Genius Bar so that jordon could get a small battery-related glitch worked out with his macbook pro, and then an hour later, we parted ways in Shinjuku, and I headed up to the office in Mejiro, laiden with apple bgs and very excited to break into them! And that's what I've been doing the rest of night--playing with and setting up my purdy new machine :) Which I'm going back to right now... :)

(PS--falling asleep as we speak--if soemthing doesn't make sense, that's probably why!(

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So right after work today, Kieron, Marie, her boyfriend James, his friend from work, and I headed all the way out to Saitama Stadium 2002 (it was built for the world cup), which is FAR! Anyway, it was worth it, as we went for the Saitama City Cup, AKA Manchester United (almost full team) vs. The Urawa Reds.

We had open seats (open to the elements, too!--very surprisingly cold and not so surprisingly rainy all evening!) and ended up standing through the match, which was fine, as we were with the Urawa supporters in the only rowdy(ish) section of the whole thing. It was a bit ridiculous actually, as there were probably about 60,000 fans (an almost full 63,000 seat arena) and it was soooo quiet! I actually had a cell phone conversation with Peter where I didn't really need to raise my voice at all. How bizarre, hey?

They also had Sir Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton carry out the premiership trophy at the very beginning of the game-it was very shiny! It was a fun match--never been to a stadium that big before, and it was pretty cool (could have done without the crowded trains both ways though (although we did some tricky maneuvering and got seats on the way back!)

The soccer wasn't great, but wasn't totally terrible either- a couple of the goals were quite nice, and despite being outsized by most of their opponents the Urawa Reds did a good job, and well in to them for tying it 2-2. There were some definite moments of good soccer, but the whole experience of going and hanging out with everyone and watching the amazingly organised chanting (and singing of anti-German British war songs) was the best/main part of the whole experience for sure

I took quite a few pics--it's a very cool stadium! See them by clicking on the photo below.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Well first of all, we didn't get rattled around too badly in the earthquake today. That said, it was a pretty serious one, and we all felt it! It was a wavy one as opposed to a shaky one (technical, I know), and it was pretty long! It was just after 10am this morning, and even as recently as 11pm tonight I felt a fairly big aftershock-enough to get liquids moving around in a glass.

The other big news of the day was the BBQ we had for 40-50 of our closest friends :) It was the rescheduling of Peter's birthday, plus a bit of wedding stuff, plus just a fun excuse for everyone to get together. Most of Orbitune came, plus everyone from CPI who is still in Tokyo (Helen, Marie+1, Karin +1, Kieron, and Andrea+1) which was fun--everyone finally met Peter, if only very briefly, which was nice--two worlds coming together a bit! Hitomi also had a few friend and some office people over, so it was quite the full and mixed house, and even included a bunch of kids who had a great time playing on Venus' ramp while Venus was otherwise occupied and being naughty stealing food out of everyone's hands!

Actually, even Venus had a guest over, since our neighbors, who have a super cute little shiba inu named Ichiro came over (wearing his very appropriate Mariners jersey!) They were quite adorable together (basically the first time they'd spent any time together actually) and it kept Venus' mind off the cheese for a moment or two, anyway.

Anyway, that's basically how we spent today--getting ready for the BBQ and then having a steady stream of people around from 2-11ish...Lots of fun!

PS-today was Monday, but it was 'marine day' so its a holiday we were all taking advantage of, hence the kind of early start-end time of the whole affair--we all gots to get up for work tomorrow... *yawn!*

Saturday, July 14, 2007

God, bad blogger me! Smack bottoms all around I think! Ummm anyway, let's see... Wednesday (can't even remember the last time I blogged, how horrible is that?) Weekender went to print-it's our Auto issue, with Michael Martin on the cover. Michael travels around the deserts on his BMW bike taking AMAZING photographs--a bunch of us from the office are going to see him speak and present his images at the Goethe-Institut on august one, which I'm looking forward too-his book is likely to be amazing if the photos we saw for the magazine are any indication!

Thursday, I went to the gym, and then at work, BAB came back from the printers which was really exciting--I think it looks good, and so far, I haven't found any glaring errors (which always terrifies me after they come back from the printers). That said, that being scared to look at it thing always means that I basically just flip through it to reassure myself that none of the scary boxes came back or anything, and then I can't look at it in any more detail. Especially this one!! I'm sure I'll get over it and be able to look properly soon, but for now, I just take people's word for it when they say they like it :)

Thursday night, I went to work at the pink cow with Karin, who ended up helping out in the kitchen b/c she actually hadn't been supposed to come in, and then it turned out to be pretty quiet as the event wasn't really promoted and therefore quieter than hoped for --Karin and I talked about writing and stuff, and then we left an hour early, at ten, which was nice--early mornings/long days/nice to get home at 11ish instead of midnightish!

Friday, Helen was back which was exciting! Lovely to have her back in the office, although she was more than a little bit jet lagged and probably wishing she was still in rainy old England as opposed to rainy old Japan! We had a nice catch up over lunch though and then headed to Donki to take some photos for the beating the heat feature--there are some great 'only in Japan' products going in, such as a -40C bug killing spray (cyrogenics, anyone?) that basically freezes the life out of the poor suckers on contact. We also found these ridiculous 'mouth slimmers' that look like dental aids of some sort, with like a rubbery cross piece and then two rubbery C shaped bits that go in each corner of your mouth, and then you kind of make fish faces, working against the tension of the rubber (there's three different hardnesses) in order to make your mouth slimmer. I wonder if it helps with snogging? or would just make you seem really aggressive?

Anyway...Friday night was quiet-just me and Peter, I made us dinner to try and make some room in the fridge for the insane amounts of food he's laid in for the BBQ on Monday (he went to costco with Risa when I was at work on Friday)...

Today (Saturday) I slept in and then went to teach at 1:30, and came basically straight back as it was pouring (typhoon in the general area), and then chilled at home for the afternoon while Peter was at work--watching old episodes of the OC and trying to pick my classes (very frustrating, but I'm getting there) before Peter and Hitomi turned up around 9... We ate dinner mostly from the shipment of McCain frozen foods that turned up today (Hitomi used to work there), with crab cakes, mango, and peaches, and cherries for dinner (random by tasty)

While we were eating, we watched some more OC (current to us episodes) and Peter and I figured out what computer I'm going to be able to get--really really soon as is turns out!! sooooo excited! I'm going to get a dual 2.16Ghz mac book, 13 inch, 2 mb of ram, 160gb HD, should be pretty nice!!! Just have to head down to the famed Apple store in Ginza sometime this week to get it--will get them to switch out the J keyboard for an English one, and I'll be all good to go! *squeal!*


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I dont really know what to say... in summary, I suppose, July 10 saw me celebrating six months at CPI, and also getting Weekender ready to go to print, which it did, this morning. I'm torn between thinking it feels like I've been there forever (not in a bad way), and that six months, if you just told me that, really wouldn't sound like that long at all!

So far this week, mostly work--that weekender went off fairly smoothly, especially to what I was expecting Monday and Tuesday to be like! BAB comes back tomorrow--I'm nervous and excited... I can't wait to see it, but I also don't want to look too carefully incase some overly obvious at this point but nobody ever saw it before mistake jumps out at us at this point. Hate that!

Other than that, its been very weird/nice to have a couple of relaxing nights at home--not working late, not teaching, just chilling and watching crap tv and struggling with the rubix cube that is my schedule for next year. Trying very hard to give it the nescessary amount of attention even though right now the last thing I want to think about is school, because I know in the fall, if I screw around with it now, I'll only regret it all year at SFU. Also took V out for a 40-minute walk today after it cooled down a bit, and listened to an old 'the current' cbc podcast--about Dr. Yunus, who Marie got to interview today--total coincidence! He won a nobel prize for his work in Bangladesh administering microcredit loans. It sounds fascinating, and kind of reminds me of that CAPP project in gr 10. Despite all of the other interpersonal issues that came up with that, we did prove that you can turn $6 into $1500 in like 8 months...

Beyond that, not a whole lot to report--working at the Pink Cow tomorrow night after CPI... Karin is also working so it should be fun--there's a Refugees International Screening, which is interesting, b/c I really wanted to go see something, so this is a great chance to at least see glimpses of one of the films, and a kick in the butt reminder to get going to other ones while the festival is here!

In the meantime--go read Maggie's blog about her trip to Ghana. Much more interesting than mine, and actual involves another culture, something I don't exactly do these days! PS-how was Oakville CIS almost 10 years ago! That was shocking to read her mention on that blog!

anyway, off to bed-alarm in 6 short hours... blah!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Saturday was VERY relaxing! I actually worked hard at not working--I wasn't teaching, and Hitomi and Peter were off at the Ritz (photos) which sounds as if it was rather nice--a gorgeous corner suite, spa treatments, Japanese dinner, champagne brunch, etc.(they had some rather nice views from their rather nice suite!)

Meanwhile, Venus and I went to the conveni and stocked up on food and then came home and moved from one couch to the other, a total slumber party for two. We read, napped, moved from couch to couch, finished Season Two of the OC, and thought about working but quickly dismissed that idea as silly. It's been quite awhile since I did absolutely nothing for an entire day, and while it was lovely, I have to say I was a bit bored with the whole decadence thing by about I just headed to bed :)

Sunday, I had to teach, at 10 and 2, and in between, went to get ramen for lunch (yum!!) and then pretty much the business profile for the July 20 Weekender. Came home around 4, and found Peter and Hitomi home as well as Hitomi's brother, sister in law, and super cute two year old nephew, who was regarding Venus with some suspicion, so I took Venus out for a bit of a walk, and then came home to hear all of the tails of the mini-break at the Ritz.
Peter and Hitomi caught up on the OC for me (cliff hanger!) while I worked on the July 20 feature and then made pancakes for dinner. Fairly early night at today--


--got up early and got to work just after 8, to finish up the feature and businness before Karin got in, only to find that our internet wasn't working. Marie also came in early, and we only got the net back at about 10:40, so it was a bit frustrating that we'd gotten in but not been able to research stuff (or when proofing, check all of those pesky words you think you know but really don't - infact--one word or two? etc) Spend the day proofing, finishing those two articles, doing the calendar, chasing up content, and generally trying to get organised to go to print Wednesday morning. Luckily, no major crisis yet! Knock wood! Left with Karin just before 7 and went with her to Shibuya, where she was meeting a friend, and I went for more ramen (gotta get it now while I can!) before walking home... So not to exciting, but not to long and/or stressful either, which is always a plus as well :)


Friday, July 06, 2007

So two things of major note happened today...First of all, BAB July went to print, and by all accounts so far, successfully so. We had some initial pdf hairiness and freaky-freaky boxes (to use the technical term), but the proofs came back looking good, so, should all go to plan, we'll have a large quantity of magazines dropping into the office late next week :)

I left work right at 6 today (it's been a long week!) and headed up to Mejiro--haven't been to Peter's office in ages, so I saw the huge new TVs in the meeting room (pretty sweet), and Peter and I played some electronic darts on Aki's's a really good one and we were having a good time (especially me, as I was just barely ahead!) when the cab driver showed up and we headed home...

Hitomi arrived back to ours at around 10ish, and we had some popcorn hanging out in the living room, and then....big event number two happened--Hitomi and Peter got married! Omedetou!

Basically, July 7 is tanabata, which is a romantic holiday here in Japan, something to do with star-crossed lovers, and since it is 070707 this year, they decided it would be a good day to get married. We were planning on heading to the kuyakusho (city hall) at about 1 tomorrow, but when they went to get their paperwork checked over, the woman said it was likely to be busy during the day, so they pushed it up to just after midnight, as did several other couples-it was busy at the 24-hour marriage hanko-ing cubby hole down in the basement!

Before the marriage bit, we went to ZEST across the street for a nice dinner, and I gave them the wedding present that Mom, Grampa, and I got-- a hand carved Haida box, carved napkin rings, and a penny which has been cut in half, but the way it is cut in half is a design with two four leaf clovers that fit together, so they each get a half.

After dinner, at about 10 past midnight, we wandered across the street to the kuyakusho where we were somewhat suprised to see that after we descended into the slightly grotty basement, there was already a line! As far as we can guess, they were the fourth Shibuya-ku couple to be married on the 7th, and theirs was processed at 12:30! The little guy in the room was hilarious, with ancient furniture, a sink from many many years ago randomly behind his desk, and off to the side, a tatmi room, sliding doors shut, with a TV blaring--you could see the flickering screen through the doors. The place is 24-hours, and we're sure, that with very few exceptions, you really don't get too much work in there at 2am, except for a day like today!

Anyway, we were in and out pretty quickly, stopping only to be shocked and entertained by the girl's shirt that said "F*ck you, you bo-- sh#t head", but with nothing remotely censored out. SUCH a hilarious shirt to wear for a wedding! We decided we needed a photo, and Hitomi went back in with me (they were queing up) to say that I was writing a story about weddings on tanabata for a magazine in canada, and that i wanted a was great!

Came home, did a quick family portrait, and less than three hours after we left the house, all the excitement is over! There's lots of pictures here and a few below...

wandering down to get hitched
looking a little bit concerned at ZEST
but genki in the family pic after the fact
the entrance with the lovely gomi and old brick
in the queue...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

So, wasn't overly interested in blogging today, as it was another long day at work (yesterday, I went to the gym and got to the office around 9:30, and then finally left at 12:15am just in time to catch my last train home! It was actually quite funny because I was just in prime "I will actually growl at and or punch you if you try and sell me your drink specials" while I walked through Roppongi on my way down to Nogizaka, and one of the big club promoters took one look at me, and actually with seemingly genuine concern was like "you take care of yourself tonight". jeesh, I must have looked in rough shape!)

Anyway, today I got out of the office around 10:20, after sending a 90% complete pdf of BAB July to Helen, Caroline, and Helen, and after getting to Yoyogi Uehara eki decided to be naughty and stop for mcdonalds... I managed to draw the person who spoke not a word of English, so placing the order was a bit complicated, but I finally got everything ordered and confirmed, and thanks to a third party translator (a manager or something) ascertained that the nuggets were going to take 4 minutes to cook. I thought that since it took me ages to order and then awhile for them to pack it up, and then they handed it to me, and it is so not likely for them to forget anything that it would all be good.

But, when I got home, there were no nuggets. We checked the receipt and I had ordered/paid for them, but they weren't there. Now, if at home, this is where the story ends. But, when Hitomi walked in a second later, Peter asked her to call McD's, as apparently, when they forget something like this, they deliver it! I thought he was joking, or making an undue fuss, but apparently, there is nothing particularly out of the ordinary about the embarrassed manager walking 10 minutes from the eki to deliver the nuggets! I guess Hitomi basically said 'we tried to order nuggets, and we didn't get them ' and he went 'ok, I'll deliver; want anything else?'

I was in mild shock, and just for laughs, would love to try that conversation at home... I can't see getting very far with it anywhere in North America!

You gotta love Japan,

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy late Canada Day! (I taught, and then we took Venus to Neil's for a BBQ--Peter knows him from the CCCJ, and he's basically our neighbour now--he lives beside the UNIQLO shacho's massive house/driving range. I came back after a couple of hours with Venus, and then Peter stayed for a few more hours. While he was still there, I worked on the July 20 feature for Weekender and watched some OC).

Yesterday, I went to the gym and then to work, and then after work, met Jordon to go to the Mori Art mueum to check out the exhibit about Le Corbusier. It was really interesting! I only really knew his name, as an architect, before we went, but I wouldn't have been able to pick out any buildings or anything (perhaps because very few of his large-scale proposals actually got made?) but we discovered that he is actually an architect, painter, sculptor, urban planner, automobile designer, furniture designer, etc. It was a very impressive range of creativity displayed! One of the coolest things was the fact that they'd built 3 full-scale models you could walk through; you got a much better sense of it than just with the architectural models! A lot of what he was designing in the 20s and 30s would still be considered very modern today, and with one building, all that made you realise it was designed back then were the little people in their victorian style dresses and the drawings of old cars in some of the renderings.

After the musuem (and a super quick spin up to the foggy and smoggy city view) we headed to Suji's for dinner (its like a magnet or something!) and had a good time catching up...