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Monday, August 25, 2008

In less than two weeks I will have gone to Hong Kong and also moved into my new dorm...Hong Kong will be fun, I'm def. looking forward to that, ESPECIALLY the hotel!

The dorm should be interesting, too. I found out a little bit more about it today. Here are some of the key points:

on the (big) plus side, it sounds like we get a bathroom and kitchentte in each room. That seems to good to be true, so I won't actually believe it till I see it. It would be amazing/great if that were true though!

on the holy-crap-are-you-kidding-me? side:
curfew (yes, curfew) is at 11pm. I have NEVER had a curfew in my ENTIRE life.
while in the dorm, there is an 'in/out' board where we have to designate whether we are, indeed, in or out, at all times. I suppose this is to stop us from taking the first train home and just arriving home when they unlock the doors again (oh yes, they lock us out after curfew!) at 6am.
Males aren't allowed in the dorm at all
male family members are...but only as far as the common room. I guess Peter will never see my shoebox.
I have a yokohama address! (that's sooooo on the other side of 'the loop' haha)
I have an 11pm curfew!!!!

As it was so kindly put to me in the office today, I'm joining a nunnery!
Not that I wasn't in a self-imposed one anyway, but at least I had the option of staying out til first train and skulking home with a bento at 6:12am if I wanted to...or if there was a kick-ass costume party in Koenji or something.

well, an adventure it will be!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today I headed to the very very end of the Odakyu sen, to Katase Enoshima, to see the Molet's play on the beach. It was a pretty great show and a fun day all around. It was also nice to see them all play during the day, not requiring an all-nighter :)

While it was on the beach, it was in a beach cafe, so it was covered, though there is plenty of natural light and open windows. It was perfect as today was cool and cloudy--not a late August in Tokyo day at all. In truth it was lovely even though I didn't go swimming beyond a bit of wading with Yo-chan thanks to the less than stellar weather.

Back in the cafe, however, there was plenty of dark wood, comfy-looking leather chairs, surprisingly tasty food, and good entertainment. It was a pretty full-day affair, and the Molets were up basically first followed by some other bands and singers as well as cabaret-style dancers. Some of the same wigged, pastied, dressed up girls, in fact, as from the cabaret night the molets played at in Shibuya awhile ago.

It was a good group of people today and everyone seemed to be having a really good time, right down to the toddlers who were bouncing away and wandering on stage occasionally. It was great to see little kids there, its not an event they would have been allowed at at home (too much liquor and skin) but the kids were way too young to see the burlesque girls for what they were and were much more enthralled with the silver and pink of the costumes than the fact that there were pasties flying through the air.

Good music, good friends, good food, good fun :)

For pictures click the pic.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

So this weekend, Amy and I decided it would be fun to climb Mt. Fuji again. We only decided to do it last week, but we figured it would be OK, given that we'd both done it before. So we booked bus tickets (which proved harder than you might think to use, given the language barrier!), got O2 and headlamps on base, and set off yesterday afternoon.

We arrived at Fuji san at about 7 and set off...It was quite cool up there, I was surprised! I guess when Helen and I did it last year, it really was unseasonably warm, as it wasn't nearly as chilly as yesterday's climb was. Off to the side was a lot of lightening, which was pretty interesting. It lasted for a few hours and didn't seem to move too much. Which was handy as it was aways away--where we wanted it!

My number one goal for the expedition was to make it up and down without puking a la last year, which I thought was food poisoning. Unfortunately, it turns out that I'm just not designed for high altitude, and so after summiting in 5 hours (maybe we should have gone a bit slower?!) We huddled first under a small bulldozer and then in some rocks in the BRUTAL wind, and then I puked again, not once, but twice. It's turning into quite a pattern--wake up, puke, watch sunset, drag myself down a hill). I'm not entirely sure how cold it was, but we'd seen that it was 6C a couple of stations down, so assuming it was a bit colder, maybe 4-5C and then factoring in the wind chill I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was below zero.

It's a pretty big mountain really--3778m, and the walk down, at least, is about 8km (there are a LOT of switchbacks). Going up is more direct, but also much more rocky...

However, we got a pretty good sunset, so that was good, and I am glad we did it, even though I certainly won't be climbing again any time soon!

Click on the sunrise to see more pictures.


PS. GOOOOOO Canada! We're finally beating Togo in the medal standings!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coldplay sings The Scientist right next to me. The quality is a bit shite, so I'd only watch if you're really a fan...I was using Peter's head as a tripod though, so at least it's basically still!

Coldplay runs right past me
Some pictures:Right after Coldplay

Yes, we were THAT close (for two songs, at least)

(The guy with his back to the camera (in black) is the one who gave me a high five).

The guitars used to make the magic that is The Scientist 20 feet from me.

Caravan at the Beach Stage (saturday am)

At the Beach stage during Xavier Rudd (just about the time we said hi to the Bedouin frontman)
Alicia Keys
Wow, amazing weekend! Went to summer sonic at Makuhari Messe in Chiba today and yesterday. Yesterday was absolute madness! I saw 10 bands--Caravan (1/2 set), Blood Red Shoes (just a couple of songs), Band Of Horses (so good!; third row), Santogold (really like these guys!), Cajun Dance Party (a couple of songs), Trivium (one song), We Smoke Fags, Death Cab for Cutie (15th row, amazing!), The Fratellis (more on them after), and The Sex Pistols (just a couple of songs, just to say I've seen them).

Today, Peter came with me, and we did a more relaxed day... He went to the beach stage for the most of the earlier part of the afternoon and chilled out at Bedouin Soundclash and Xavier Rudd. I'd already seen Bedouin last year so I stayed at the indoor stages and saw The Polysics (One song, just to say I did), Biffy Clyro (1/2 a set), and then totally by accident but he was great, a DJ named Junkie XL, and that was pretty much it before I wandered back over to the other half of the venue (this place was freaking huge!! 6 stages and plenty of room for roughly 50,000 people per day to not seem that crowded). Over in beach land, I chilled out for most of the Xavier Rudd set before we headed over to the Marine Stage (the biggest one, we're guessing about 30,000 people) for the end of the Radwimps, Alicia Keys, and Coldplay. Amazing.

I skipped JUSTICE and The Ting Tings (along with tons of others, but they were on my 'list') partly because of logistics and partly because they were too strongly tied to 'us'. It's weird enough as it is right now, especially since there was always music with us, and with music being hardwired into my brain and my memories I wasn't sure how that would be...Avoidance is good sometimes.


Santogold was really cool--her backup dancers had a great robotic thing going on, where they showed absolutely no emotion and just did there thing. It was a good show.

Death Cab was a great show, of course. I was close enough to see well and still have some space to move... they did a nice set!

The Fratellis. Wow, crazy show! I pushed my way to the second row, and to my surprise, ended up in a massive mosh pit. I had NO idea that was coming since the crowds in Japan are usually ridiculously quiet and polite (in the middle of the Radwimps, with a crowd of probably 10,000, we could actually WHISPER to each other between songs). Anyway, the Fratellis brought the freak out in the crowd and it was INSANE. I have never been in anything quite like that before. Just bodies and dancing and sweat (oh the sweat), and heat, and chaos. It was like one of those super crowded rush hour Shinjuku trains that was dancing for all they were worth. I was SOOO tired when I dragged myself home! I felt like I'd played about 2 soccer games during that set!

Getting a 'hey, how's it going?' and a grin from Bedouin Soundclash frontman Jay Malinowski as we were all at the beach stage (other celeb sitings: a band (no idea who) at McDs and walking back to the event, plus another band standing behind us at Coldplay. Also, potentially one of Alica Keys' backup singers standing behind us at Coldplay.

All the differences between how an event like this might be run in Canada, or, especially, the US: off the top of my head:
You can take food/drinks in, so A), you can bring stuff, and B) the stuff in side is cheap(er)
They don't look in your bag
Everything is VERY orderly
When they tell you to wave your arm up like a dork to show your wrist band for reentry (yes, you can re enter), everyone actually does it
Various bands/artists just wander around (see above)
When 35,000 people leave Coldplay at once and need to walk 20 minutes to the station, including over fairly narrow overpasses, they do so orderly and quietly
The audiences are quiet and don't dance much. When they do dance, it's mostly 'up'. Presumably for economy of space.
When the schedule says the band will be on at 2:55, they'll be on between 2:54 and 2:56, even if its the last band on the last day.

Now, for the most amazing part of the night: Coldplay! I looooove Coldplay, and have for a good 5 years now. I've seen them before, in Toronto two years ago, and while it was a good show, I have to say that it wasn't amazing. Probably because I had the cheapest seats in the house, and went alone. Anyway, tonight, Peter and I were there and had a good spot. To try and explain; this was in a baseball stadium and we were on the floor. They'd divided the front half of the floor into L and R (we were in L) and into front and back. We were at the VERY back of the front section, so that we could lean over the fence that was behind us. We were really close to the audio tent as well. Running between the front and back and left and right were aisle ways where they had staff/security/the occasional band.

About 2/3s of the way through the set (which was 30 mins longer than it was supposed to be), The entire band jumped off stage, ran down those aisle ways, and ended up on a tiny stage we didn't know was there, RIGHT BESIDE US!!!! They were probably only about 10 people away. It was freaking amazing! And when they started playing The Scientist, my FAVORITE song in the entire world, I actually nearly started to cry. I was certainly on the verge of hyperventilation (this is the song that got me liking coldplay, but more importantly, was a big part of the soccer slideshow that maggie made us before we went to BCs. and won. anyone on that team will understand why the song is so amazing to me). Anyway, moving on...So they were SOOO close and it was sooo great!!! I was soo happy we'd lucked into that spot. And then, bonus, as they were running back to the stage, the bass guitarist gave me a high five! Cool!

Then, the next song (Clocks) was pretty great as they brought Alicia Keys out to play the piano, which was pretty great. Overall, they had a great set, but the last third, from basically the second small concert on was just amazing. I even got a piece of the confetti they blew out of the stage at the end (some shiny mylar butterflies).

We wrapped up the night with some cup noodle, in Peter's car, with the top down, parked outside the Messe, blasting Coldplay. Classic.

Next post will have (slightly not allowed to have been taken) pics and video.