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Sunday, July 20, 2008

It was Mike and Jen's (and Paul's, though he didn't come for obvious reasons) leaving do on the weekend, and they did a pretty fun and Japanese-y thing for it--a BBQ/beer garden on the top of a department store (because where better to put the hundreds of drunken Tokoites?).

It's the sort of thing that would never be allowed at home--two elevators, hundreds of people , a big roof, and open flame on every table... umm fire hazard? Not to mention the open-air alcohol (serve yourself), kids running around, and the pet store you had to walk through to get on to said roof. However, that said, it was lots of fun and a great evening. We did a 2-hour nomihodai/tabehodai, which basically means "eat as much lamb and veggies (and random, un-ordered sausages) and drink as much beer/juice in two hours as humanly possible" (another reason this might not get carried out at home...gaijin can eat a fair whack of food and dispense with a number of pitchers of Sapporo in two dedicated hours.) It was quite funny when they tried to get us out. (of course, closing at 10, means closing at 10). They played Auld Lang Syne (as you do) and then when that didn't work, came over and very politely told us we'd have to leave soon. The word soon was their mistake there! Finally (though probably only at about 10:04, and in our defence, we weren't the last table), the one guy (poor guy) who spoke English came over and told us that the elevators would stop running and we'd be stuck. So we left and headed to a random 5th floor darts bar with astroturf on the ground (again, as you do), for a quick one before last trains started to be an issue and we split up.

Sad to say good bye to Jen and Mike, but we've promised cross-continental trips, and I'm going to follow through on my threat to visit them in NYC at some point :)
DThe little yakiniku ( I *heart* yakiniku) grills...our gas canisters kept running out and having to be replaced and shaken and things...i'm sure not up to US code!, Also: a huge platter of lamb, and an even huge-r platter of veggies...
Quite the popular event, this Ginza roof BBQ thing!
Wahay, it's Dani with alcohol! No, I didn't drink it, and yes, Jen was laughing at me, and yes, this was photo-worthy, and yes, I'm crap at pulling beer. Let's see, 7 parts foam, to one part beer. oops!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Went to a baseball game with Amy and Zach on the weekend in Yokohama which was good fun, if bloody hot! It was the first few hot days of the year over the weekend and the entire stadium was a sea of fans moving at warp speed (as in paper fans, not baseball fans). Amy and I got hot pink Yokohama Baystars fans, which are oh so kawaii and oh so needed at the time! The hanshin tigers , which is an osaka-based team with a huge following had a LOT of fans at the game. i even saw a woman in a pink yukata with the tigers' logo all over it!

There were a few differences between the mariners game and the baystars game (beyond the fact that it was significantly hotter at this game and that I wasn't there with A)

+there's no cover on Japanese stadiums!!! (hooot)
+food and souveniers are actually reasonably priced. probably because you can bring your own in
+there are cheerleaders here
+i was very worried for the health and heatstroke-safety of the mascots (poor, poor buggers)
+there are songs for (according to hitomi) many of the different players as well as the different situations they might find themselves in
+the field was astroturf, not grass (but had carefully striped 'grass' in two different colors in order to give the appearance of being mown in two directions)

All in all, a fun day for sure and the time spent on the train let me read Anthony Bourdain's great memoir No Reservations. I definitely recommend it! What I don't recommend, now, is fish on Monday, lol.


On Monday Peter quietly slipped in to have the plate taken out of his leg. He came home today and brought said plate and the big-ass screws with him in a baggie. the whole contraption looks rather like a giant piece of mechano(sp?).

While he was busy doing that, I took advantage of my day off to show scotty's niece around a little bit. she's visiting for a month from sask and so far loving tokyo (as she should be!) We went to odaiba (despite the fact i nearly lost us a few times since i hadn't been able to pre-plan the route on jorudan!) we checked out venus fort (there are loads of pics in last year's entry about a google search for venus fort gaijinbedbug and it comes up). and while there did print club (for my first time!) it was SOO fun! We didn't quite know how it worked the first time, and didn't go from booth A (where it lets you pick a theme and then tells you how to pose) to booth B (where you get to decorate them) so we thought we'd lost those ones and went to do it again in a different booth (this one 'glitta' themed). Having learned from the people who went in after us in the original booth, we went into the first booth (more like a small room, really, way, way bigger than the ones @ home and with a sweet touch-screen system) and picked a theme (or more accurately, time to chose ran out so we went with their 'osusume' we then picked 6 poses, which it directed us into one at a time (with a different background for each superimposed in after).

Then, part two, which we'd faffed up before was to go to the next booth where our blank images popped up and on a split screen (so we could each do it) we both used pens (a lot like hte pens from the leapfrog books) to add all number of clip art things ranging from writing (kana or romaji), the date, random clip art stamps, etc, etc, etc. it was pretty amazing. we also got to pick the arrangement of the photos, and chose the 10-minute option, so we had 10 mins to decorate, though i think we got longer. once we were done, we went out to wait for our photos to print, and discovered our original photos (totally un-edited lol) in the printer. Keeping in mind tis was a totally different printer than they would have come out of, I guess some one figured out who we were and where we were and put them in for us. V nice!


Today (wednesday) after work I went to play futsal and I'm really glad I did even though @ the office it was a bugger to gather the energy to go! Luckily it wasn't *too* hot and we had a lot of fun...there were 8 of us which was perfect for 4v4 futsal...i scored a nice one-time curling/top corner goal off a corner from one of the other's strange how natural it feels to play, even when i haven't played in what seems like forever (2 weeks) and forever and a day before that (ok, that was actually forever and a day! like february when i was playing with the crazy guys @ hamilton?!)

Got home and peter was home from the hospital so it was good to see him (though i did visit sanno this am and bring him coffee on my way to work...SUCH a nice hospital!). Tonight he watched a DVD called earth, which is a spectacular production, but had WAY too many cute bay animals nearly dying, creatures getting attacked, etc. I left 2/3 s of the way through and escaped up here to blog.

So there you have it...a blog that's not bordering on porno (but it was art, i tell you!)
PS. If you listen to nothing else this week (since the BEST RADIO SHOW EVER, AKA this american life, was a %&$*# rerun this week you are off the hook for that), listen to WNYC's Radio Lab Podcast from March 25, 2008 entitled War of the Worlds. (thanks to Jordon for passing along the WotW goodness!)

Orson Wells, HG Wells, some poor people in 1938...and so on...I won't tell you what happens because you'll be listening to the story soon enough. And even if you do know the story of that bloody brilliant/crazy/stupid/amazing hoax, I bet you haven't heard all that Radio Lab will tell you!

OH! and another big PS--only 1 month till Beijing!!! Citius Altius Fortius! (and just because I have to do at least one gymnastics olympic year prediction after the dozen or so blogs + forum I've been religiously reading recently: Shawn, Nast, A-Sac, Chellsie, Pezek (I guess), Bieger (unfortunatly), Alt 1: Sloan, Alt 2: Hong, NTA: Larson. Unless shayla gets her 7.0 A score on bars and deals with her herniated disks, in which case, she jumps into the bieger spot and everyone else shuffles down a place. IMO.

Now, really, bed.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

We went out for dinner at Beacon last night, a nice steak restaurant in Aoyama. It was really good and we all enjoyed the evening. While there, Hitomi said she spotted a well-known Japanese artist, Murakami, who recently saw a sculpture get sold to the US for something like 5 million dollars.

The sculpture (keep in mind it's 2 metres or so tall):
The name: My Lonesome Cowboy
Warning: probably not for those under the age of corruption.

Off to a Yokohama Baystars game today, should be fun!