Wednesday, August 30, 2006

1 pict\her of beer + 2 glasses of veer =drunk

Prood in the mornignbtgh!

Sober edit:

Yep that was me on a work night! Had a going away party for Miki who is leaving Saturday to go get married in October!!! Loads of drinkin on my part, because when I ordered a pitcher of some local beer (it was very good, kinda fruity), only ONE person drank a glass! So of course I had to finish it!!! By the way I got to try some chicken wings which are famous in Nagoya and they were SOOO good! I am taking everyone who visits me to this place!

On to the pics!

This is me (oh really?), Miki and Tomomi.

Here is my glass of beer. No seriously. I did at least have the class to pour it into my glass continuously.

Anyways I slept in so I gotta hurry up to work for a 12PM working hour (I am the best flyer folder in Chikusa!!!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One of the greatest things in Japan... BEER GARDENS!!!

The set up: Neil Firman and Tommy Adams, are hungry and have struck out (AGAIN!) trying to eat at Heaven's Door. We know the Beer Garden across from the Twin Towers is closing this week.

The results:

Cost: 3500 yen (sanzen gohappyaku en)

The Rules: All you can eat, and all you can drink for 2 hours.

The Damage: I had about 2 plates of raw meat and bowls of rice to accompany them! At nights end I was at around 6 - 8 huge glasses of Japanese beer. Made some friends with the table next to us who were proper toasted, but they were good 15 minute friends. I asked one of the more social guys to do one more toast, which we did before they left, it was great!

We met some guys in the elevator down ended up chatting with them at the station for a bit in Japanese and got their number to go out drinking sometime. It was all gravity around then. This lead to the story below about the skateboard.

Breaking News!!!

No pun intended but I found out Sunday night that I can NOT ride a Japanese sized skateboard while drunk. I pretty much ATE IT on my ass in front of several 10s of people. At least everyone asked "Daijobu?!?!" I felt like I was part of Japanese society since they asked me in Japanese! The love!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

If I ever made a music video...

I want it to be about 10% as awesome as Devo`s "Whip It". Seeing as how I was an annoying little 2 year old when the video premiered, I had the pleasure of viewing that video in it`s interiety last night at Hard Rock Cafe. All I have to say is AWESOME! Please do yourselves a favor and download this video and vote for it on your local music television stations NOW!!!

Interesting findings since I have been in Japan...

This will just be a list of obnoxiously hilarious things I have noticed while here, that make me laugh until I pee, figuratively...

A Japanese guy around my age in a black "Compton" hat and a Ben Davis shirt. Doesn't he know he needs a Dickey's shirt and pants? Dr. Dre and The Game would bow their heads in shame...

Last nigth some black dude was cuttin and scratchin on a turntable near the fountain in Sakae and all the Bgals and Bboys were out in effect. So circling the block he was on was a TON (read: 6) lowrider cars, with drivers and passengers dressed in a mix from SoCal Mexican and Black gangsta apparel, hitting switches and everything! IT WAS GREAT! One guy who stood out the most, had a white rag on his head, one over his mouth, and a white TOP HAT (you know like the Planter`s peanut dude?) and a white button up shirt with the 2 top buttons buttoned! He was rolling in some expensive looking black car with some other "hoodlums". Everyone was bumping some 1980 something rap at the time while the guys peeped the girls and vice versa... I wish it wasn`t so late or I would have stayed and snapped some pics!

Japanese girls with shirts that read "I am so bored with Japan..." I have seriously seen like 5 girls with these shirts and I think it is damn awesome!

Obsession with Jamaica. I mean everyone has Jamaican flag colored wrist bands, shirts, hats, shoes, socks, this, that, those, these or another here! I don`t know why! Plus I now prefer the Japanese pronounciation of Jamaica over the English one! (JAH-MAI-KA)

TV has 3 options.
1. Variety shows with the same famous people as 30 minutes ago.
2. Cooking shows.
3. News.
I am so glad my mom sent my movies!

The pleasure/curse of being completely ignored by 98% of the population. Sometimes this kicks ass, sometimes it doesn't. But PLEASE don't have your ipod semi loud while loud girls are talking away on the train, or you may have someone tell you in English, that you are too noisy...

Moriyama ku has NOTHING to do. Really...

Clouds do NOT = cold weather.

Rain does NOT = cold weather.

Everyone's stories and experiences of Japan will be different. I heard horror stories and dreamland stories. Mine are more towards the positive than the horror stories I have heard. I have no clue what those people were doing to have such a hard time...

If you J-walk apparently taxis will speed up to try to hit you. Read my earlier post about how I will die in Japan...

DRUNK people at night is Japan`s saving grace for free entertainment. Screw NHK television. Go to a train stop from 9pm - 12am!!!

That is it for now. Going out after this 1 hour of OT for a day in the city with Neil, so expect some fun pics and more observations.

Total number of giant mechs seen in Japan to date - 0

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friends in the U.S. exit stage left, friends in Japan, enter stage right.

Save a few people, the emails have finally stopped flowing from peeps in the States, and mostly from people in Japan now. The switch is complete.

Not like I wasn`t expecting it, nor do I mind, just stating the situation. I would do the same, hell! I am 6,000 miles away from most of the peeps back in the states, so of course it will be all contact-contact my first month or so here, until the wow factor is gone, now it is time to move on.

Same for me too now. I am living an amazing life and experience here and everyday is just so much better than the last(even if I am paying 1500 yen to take my bike out of jail every other week...)! Luckily I have a group of friends for different occasions out here and I am not a loner in Nagoya (only when I leave Nagoya am I a loner)!

Good luck to all in the U.S. and hope all is doing well with you guys!

Had an earthquake last night!

Was preparing materials for today`s classes and the earth decided to start talking. I didn`t skip a beat while the rest of the staff made a little "OH" or Japanese "Eh" sound.

Another reason why being from California (Killa Cali!!! Someone wanted me to say that once...) is just too damn good! Let`s have some more!

So this week there was a 3 hour DOWNPOUR of rain stopping the trains, and an earthquake... what is NEXT!?!?!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tommy gets his bike taken by the police again!!!

Can we say "Tommy wa sugoi baka desu yo!" I know we can...I parked it in the SAME place as last time too!

So yeah my bike is in jail again and the place is only open from 2pm - 7pm. I work 1pm - 9pm. They are closed Sundays. Which means no biking until Monday... After I pay the bail money. Why am I sooo stupid!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I have dumb luck...

This is why my electricity went out...

I used too much. Apparently when your electricity breaker thinks you use too much electricity, it shuts it all off. How to fix it. Flip ONE switch on your breaker...

I also found out the PO doesn`t know that I am also Thomas Adams, and not just Tommy Adams, so my electric and gas bills have not been delivered yet. So if they get shut off, it is my POs fault! I have done step one to remedy this. Anyways time to go head to training before another day of teaching! Gotta head into the city for that!

I also got my first set of DVD packages from my mom! Now I have movies to watch IN ENGLISH! WOOT!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So I think I didn`t pay my electric bill...

I really have no idea, but today my electricity went out!!! YESTERDAY my water went out for an hour or so, then came back on luckily. Now my luck is just pretty sucky huh? Want to add more to that? OK!

Grabbed my bike from the parking structure (I learned my lesson) and the back tire was flat. Cost 1365 yen to fix this morning... I swear I am a magnet for bad luck like this. Things that cost money when I am low on it, or when it really just doesnt have to happen. At least payday is near, and it will be good because of yesterdays OT!

Do not have to go to work until late today so I will be mailing a couple postcards out today! Also my mom`s package of DVDs and other random electronics should be coming in today! NO MORE JAPANESE TV FTW!!! (FTW = for the win!)

I need to figure out how to pay my bills though, I thought I would at least receive something first...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Oh yeah, one of my students made me a cake!!!

One of my students made me a small piece of cake last week. She likes to bake and always makes her teachers cakes. It was chocolate so I couldn`t eat it (I didn`t tell her that!), but she said she would make cheesecake this week, WOOT!

It made me miss Cheesecake Factory though:(

I will put pics of the cake once I have internet at home!

WOOT my first time working OT today!

I actually dont mind because it got me off of my butt, but I work OT tonight, for just 2 hours! The kicker is, any time spent for OT is 15,000 yen! (About 150 bucks).

Woot! Gets me one step closer to the HDTV I wanna get in 2 months!

Suzuka Circuit - Cars and Girls...

So yeah this event was as much about the cars as it was the Race Queens, and I had no idea until I went there! It was just crazy how popular these women are! I went for the race having an idea how crazy it would be, but no, it was MAD! Check out the pics, they speak MORE than I ever could!

Here are some teasers:



Yeah, links to whole album below...

On to the race...

The first 2 cars to win the race were both 350Zs (which I HATE! Sorry Mark and Phong, you know I am partial to my old Z32). The Calsonic blue came through first, then the Motul Red in second. 3rd was a Lexus that I couldn't recognize in GT form, but the mother was loud and fast, just not as fast as the Zs!

Once I get internet I WILL be uploading EVERY video I took, I promise.

Teasers of the race and cars:



So onto the albums! Have fun!!!

The Cars!

The GIRLS!!!

For the first time in my black life...

I have a damn sun burn and this mess hurts! Now I know how all of my lighter complected friends feel. I am sorry I ever made fun of you...

I woke up after the day at Suzuka (which kicked ass!) and I felt like someone snuck into my apt at night and slit my neck with a razor... It hurt (and hurts still) THAT bad! It isn`t red since I am not light enough, but it is a darker intense color than my normal tone. HOW FUN!

Suzuka post and pics soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tomorrow I go to Suzuka Circuit with Atsushi!!!

So I have played the track and seen it in sooo many racing video games, now I get to BE THERE!!! We start our day early (9AM) with the hour drive to Suzuka in his Skyline (never a bad thing...), then we get to see the Race Queens (WOOT) when we get there and the racers and their cars before the race. Expect about 20,000 pics tomorrow when I get a chance to upload the pics. Should be fun!

Same old song...

So I was without my laptop for almost 3 weeks right?

Get this...

Now my free internet is gone, and I am back at the internet cafe. Guess it is time to start paying for internet monthly. Gotta pay the man!

Friday, August 18, 2006

If I die in Japan...

It will be death by car. I swear one of these days these cars are gonna hit me on my bike, and while I lie on the ground in pain, I won't know what to say in Japanese to explain that I think I may die. Kinda fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


If anyone knows who the Japanese celebrity Razor Ramon Hard Gay is, you will know what that foooo means!

All this time it has been broke, it was just some bad RAM. I took it out today and it worked... Desperate testing ended up winning in the end. Plus I am still getting internet from the old teacher's account! NO MORE MANGA KISSA!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So last night was a hilarious drunken blur. Want details?

So some random last minute plans plopped up during Summer Sonic Sunday to meet with some peeps from training week with Aeon, and of course I accepted, I miss those folks! SO the night came last night and how memorable it was... LET'S LOOK!

So the horrible part came first. I spent 7 hours at the internet cafe downloading stuff to fix my laptop, a program had to reboot the PC I was using so I could burn the CD. I reboot, and EVERYTHING I DLed erased. If I was born with tear ducts I woulda cried, like a baby. So this was perfect timing to pack up all my crap and go out for a night of fun, WITH MY LAPTOP CASE! HORRIBLE! It is heavy! Oh well!

I head to the meeting place and I am a bit early so I head out to find the Citibank nearby, which I didn't find (I am about to go try again once I publish this), so I went to my local UFJ bank and pulled out the necesary cash for drinking! Oh and eating...

Got a call from Becky that her and Laura were waiting for me and I was literally across the street almost there, so we had to wait for Neil, who I spoke to earlier and he said he was gonna be late. This is the best part of the night (maybe for me...)!

So this random Japanese dude, 25 years old named Rikiya, walks up and sits next to Becky, making her visibly uncomfy. He spoke some alright English and started talking to us, as Becky inched further from him, he got closer. So I decided to intervene. I started talking to him in Japanese and English and had a pretty fun conversation about him saying he has no future, no hobbies, and no girlfriend. All while Becky and Laura are giving me looks like "What the hell!?! Make him go away dont talk to him!!". At one point he grabbed my laptop case and I was eyeing him but didnt feel a threat, even though Laura looked a bit nervous, I eventually grabbed it from him and set it down. I eventually got his phone # and he said he would call me in a week to go to a party/club and listen to house music. Hell, why not! He got a phone call and had to leave to the ladies` relief. We waited for Neil a bit longer and met him at the fountain. We headed for Heaven's Door for a night of drinking and eating!

OH HELL NAW WE DIDN'T!!! We got there and it was CLOSED. So of course everyone laughed at me and Laura took a pic of me pointing to the closed door, of course I am made a FOOL! We just headed to Outback Steakhouse for bacon cheeseburgers and an awesome blossom for local vegetarian Neil. We had one drink each because they are hella expensive there. We sang happy birthday to the table next to us. At the end of the meal we spoke with them and one of the guys was the son of the drummer for War, a group my sis in California was friends with. Small world. We exchanged info and he gave me a DVD of his music, as he was a drummer like his dad. He also said he fixes laptops and computers, so if I have no luck tonight I may try him out tomorrow, as he lives in Japan with his wife. He was happy to see a fellow Californian. See, we are THAT cool people. Do not deny the truth life has brought forward to you. Please!

We needed more to drink. So Neil and I navigated to the same bar where we met the Okinawan dude back during our first week and made it there! SURE we knew where it was exactly... The girls got girly drinks, Neil and I got some rum drink, which he sipped, I downed. Oops it wasn't a shot? Then next I wanted to do a shot of Spiritus which is like 98% alcohol, and tastes like it. My fellow drinkers smelled it from my throat for a while after drinking it, it is STRONG. So I was on water for the rest of the night. Neil got bit by the bug and wanted to try it too! More power to him! He did so and felt the strength and power of SPIRITUS!!! The girls cringed as we killed braincells on it and the night just got funny from that point on. This Japanese dude next to us was singing and dancing to Koda Kumi, who is kinda like Brit Spears here. Now thise dude had a big beard and a cowboy hat, so you can imagine how this looked. Gonna upload the VIDEO and pics of him when I get a chance... Some other bearded dude came up and started dancing and posing and more laughing and pictures/videos were taken. It was then time to leave and we made it halfway down the block when I realized I left my laptop at the bar, so small detour for me to pick it up. We passed by the place where all the hip hop dancers dance and I walked in for a close look to see 3 people doing some STRAIGHT UP BEL BIV DIVOE (did I spell that right?) moves! Omg welcome to the 80s! I really want to help them, but I can't dance like them, so their loss... We rushed to the subway then the train to my place since Neil couldn't make it back to his place since he lived too far and we got THE LAST TRAIN to my inaka apartment station! WOOT!

So of course we got more beer at 7-11 and we drank and talked about many things until about 6 in the morning. I think I fell asleep on him talking then he fell asleep while talking. Awesome! We did have a conversation that may have a huge impact on what I may end up doing with the rest of my life professionally, but that will be between us and the 1 or 2 people I may have mentioned it to in the past who actually pay attention to my scatter brain ideas. Wait a few years, you may hear about it...

Anyways I am 7 mintues past my hour and pissed I gotta pay for a second hour. Time to go to Citibank!


So yeah... I uhhh.. didn't get my bike stolen. I parked it in the wrong place and the 5-0 took it to the concrete jungle (aka bike jail). Yoshie came down after her night of hard partying, like I did, to take me to the Koban to check and they said check there and of course it was. Bail was set for 1,500 yen and I was able to get my bike! Anyways I am here at the internet cafe to find directions to Citybank in Nagoya, cuz I spent WAY TOO MUCH in Tokyo/Osaka and need more money fundages! Plus I go to Atushi's after that to try to fix my laptop. Wish us LUCK!

Monday, August 14, 2006


So after this week of major travel for me with travel to and through Japan's 3 largest cities, I got to experience 4 rides via the Shinkansen. It was COOL as hell! They move sooo fast and it is very smooth. I snapped a few pics from the window (when I was sitting... I had to stand FROM Tokyo to Nagoya, an hour and a half, and Nagoya to Osaka, 50 minutes) and everything close is a HUGE blur, while things miles away stay clear.

Here are the pics of said moments.

Summer Sonic 2006 - AKA the best day of my life. Seriously!

So like I always planned when I bought the tix, I would arrive early, so in case I got lost I would have spare time. I didn`t get lost so didn`t really need the extra time. When I arrived to the venue I looked for and found the place to buy my wristbands (OMG the Japanese phrase "... wa doko desu ka?" is the BEST phrase when new to an area!). I walked straight to the open air stage where all the rock/metal bands would be playing for the day, with ORIGINAL plans to hop around to go see Kururi for my coworker Miki (which I didn`t, sorry Miki). After getting to the Open Air Stage, I was able to pretty much walk straight up to the front of the stage with only a few people at the time, with only about 10 others at the time, and the first band was going on in 20 minutes! I sat and listened to my ipod the whole time until we got word the band was about to start, and those 10 people turned to hundreds in my music listening hypnosis, oh well I was in front! So todays lineup goes as shows, I will have impressions of each one:

Hawthorne Heights - Stone Sour - Taking Back Sunday - Avenged Sevenfold - Zebrahead - Hoobastank - Deftones - Metallica (who I need to only watch 40 minutes of, to try to get good seats for Daft Punk, the whole reason I was here)

Hawthorne Heights - Now I was under the impression they were a pure pop punk band, but DAMN did they put on a good show. Now I am only familiar with the chorus to one of their singles, but the crowd was into it, so I got into the show. Minor mosh pits formed, but nothing too violent. ***(WILL EXPLAIN A JAPANESE MOSHPIT AT THE END OF THIS!)*** After an hour their show was over, and I was glad I saw them, I may have to check out their music more, once my laptop is up and running again. Next up Stone Sour.

Stone Sour - Now I LOVE Slipnot and was told Stone Sour was a softer Slipnot (lead singer of Slipnot and Stone Sour are one and the same), and I heard the first single "Bother" and never bothered to listen to them again. BIG MISTAKE. They kicked ass and the moshpits proved it. Corey WORKED the crowd into a frenzy and a HEAVY moshpit started everywhere in the front (the front stage seats were seperated into 2 areas, each with their own 2 areas. So 2 areas seperated with a place in the middle for the artists to run down and yell at and with the fans, and on each side two areas seperated by a gate that ends halfway up the gated front section) sections. The pits were kinda behind me, but I did get crushed against the gate and elbowed a few times, no visible damage. After this show I was worked up, and ready to check out Stone Sour's albums, and was ready for more bad assness from the show.

Taking Back Sunday - Now I am worked up OK. A decently hard show, then a HARDCORE show, Taking Back Sunday just HAD to kick some ass, but didn't. Now maybe because their music isn't my style, but I just wasn't into it too much. Plus the lead single was a little too fem for me,PLUS, and this is personal, he ripped off Cedric from At the Drive In/Mars Volta's stage antics, with the way he danced on stage like James Brown, and whipped the mic around his neck and spinning it in the air to catch it at the right part, bad news in my eyes! The ONLY saving grace for this band came when their bass guitar broke after a song. During the time they spent waiting for it to be fixed, the lead singer did his own rendition of Jay-Z's Big Pimpin, one of my fav Jay-Z songs ever! I gained respect for them RIGHT there! Even if they will never do that again, it was awesome to probably just me. Everyone in the crowd thought he was probably just talking, since there really was no music playing, and it took one verse for me to recognize it, but then I felt like a dumb blonde when I realized what it was!

Avenged Sevenfold - If Stone Sour kicked ass, AS kicked it, then punched it. They brought SOOOO much energy (and many more people to the front of the stage and this is when I got pushed into the first moshpit, my first moshpit, of the day). They did their songs while the lead singer did his best to rile people up. In between a song he shouted they were a band from Orange County California (Huntington Beach to be exact) and then was the moment I yelled and shouted, and NO ONE ELSE did. Oh well, they don't know better! Then they did a Pantera cover and the place about lost their damn minds! Now if you know me, I usually only like newer music, and only people I was fans of when younger, will get a listen from me with their new music. But I couldnt help but rejoin the mosh and lose my mind. A good time indeed. Covered in my sweat and other people's I was ready for more, and boy was I NOT prepared for this...

Zebrahead - Now I have heard of them, but never heard a millisecond of any of their songs, but coworker Miki said they were good and from Canada I think, so I expected a few fans. Now honestly, minus what i saw for Metallica, this band brought the biggest crowd to the front. When they started, they went right into a heavy song, and the lead singer INCITED people to go crazy! I got shoved into another pit while I had some guy on my shoulders (which I dont remember him getting up there, plus whenever anyone would get one someone shoulders SOMEONE else would shove the person carrying and they would crash into a pit OR on the ground, casuing laughter from me) and it was on! For their whole set myself and hundreds of people in a 50 foot by 50 foot area lost or goddamn minds! They HARDLY took breaks to talk in between songs, and when they did their guitarists would spout the dirty Japanese he knew, causing the crowd to go nuts (well the men and some women) then BAM, new song, MORE crazyness! After an hour of this the set was over and I was physically and mentally tired from all of that. I decided it was finally time to eat for the first time and get more to drink (in between each set I would grab 2 waters or 2 calpicos). Mind you at this time it was 3:35 in the afternoon, and I was JUST eating my first (and only...) meal of the day. Next up was Hoobastank, who I had no interest in going into this, so their performance was spent with me eating from afar, watching them, then these 2 guys practicing Capoeira!

Capoeira - Really cool fighting style from Jamaica/Brazil using rhythm, flips and kicks to beat people's ass, and REALLY cool to watch. There was a really tall (later saw he was about my height, but he looked a lot taller) white guy and a short Japanese dude practicing it, IN the gravel filled dirt of the food section. I WISH I thought to grab my camera, because as soon as the thought crossed my mind it was over. An awesome part was some Brazilian dude who just got there with his other friends (lots of Brazilians in Japan who work in the car factories)jumps in and just ABSOLUTELY OWNS these guys with the Capoeira he knows. He was fast and doing some HIGH ass flips and spins and I was just amazed. This ended the litle Capoeira show as the other 2 were a bit too embarassed to continue after the Brazilian dude shcooled them! I talked with them later and told them how good they were and the tall white dude said he was teaching his Japanese friend until the Brazilian dude walked in and "owned them" (his words, not mine, even though I used the same words to describe the humiliations). I c\told the Japanese guy he was good too even though he was learning and was shocked to see he didn't know English, which meant his friend had to be fluent in Japanese or close to it, so I commended him in what Japanese I knew, and then he smiled and thanked me. Oh well Hoobastank is about done (after a cool moment where the lead singer who is half Japanese brought out his grandma who was born in Japan and was at the show with him and I guess it was her last time coming back to Japan), and time for some DEFTONES!

Deftones - When I told a friend I was looking forward tot heir show, his words were "Dude, I have heard Deftones live, and they SUCK!". That must have been a bad night. They started the show with "Hexagram" which is pretty high energy and everyone went MAD. This show had probably 40 people less than Zebrahead, so it was packed. It got worst when Chino jumped onto the gate facing the square I had been in all day. When I saw this I ran and jumped on top of a few people for a chance to high 5 him, which I did, coo! Anyway they did lots more high energy songs, and brought it down with "Change (In the House of Flys)", which was awesome because it started to POUR down raining, which was just perfect timing for that song! After a song or two more of high energy and more moshing it was over, and headliners Metallica were up to bat.

Metallica - Now I KNEW I came to see Daft Punk, but a chance to see Metallica live before any of them die (they are getting older ya know!) I was sooo pumped for this moment. But, I knew I couldn't be up front and get to the exit in time to run to the stage to see Daft Punk. So I went ALL the way to the back where I could see the big screen. Now it was show time and they weren't on yet. I was nervouse because I wanted to see 3 - 4 songs and JAM, but here they are 15 minutes late and nothing. So I head for the exit hoping to find a place small enough for just my body to see the strage and I was told I was too far into the exit to stay there. My mind began to race at what to do, say F it and leave, or go back in and sit for 15 minutes to see maybe one song if they ever came out. My mind said F it and I headed out. I get down half a block and hear the voice of thousands of people cheering and Metallica goes RIGHT INTO "Fuel", no intros needed. Oh well I heard them at least, and when I got to the stage where Daft Punk was, there was a jumbo tron showing their show from the same angle as the big screen I was in front of earlier. So I stayed and watched 2 songs and saw the exact area I was standing at so many times on camera (because I saw the same 4 Marine guys who were all assholes to the people around them, damn I hate their attitude, now I know why Japan hates the US's military bases in their country). Anyways into the Mountain Stage to see Daft Punk.

Daft Punk - The moment I waited my whole life for was about 50 minutes from starting and I enter a big empty building with thousands of people in it listening to The Charlatans. I do not like The Charlatans now, and din't before, not my style. I saw a bunch of people fighting their way through the crowd to get to the front and I decided to follow so I can be ready for Daft Punk. I got about halfway from the entrance from the front of the stage and all 4 of us hit a wall of people and had to sit through the death of 4 more songs from The Charlatans, the pain should be felt as you read this. When the show ended, myself and the 3 people I followed fought our way forward and got about 150 feet from the stage, arm to arm with everyone else wanting to see Daft Punk, this wasnt gonna do, NOT AT ALL! I saw the security letting people in behind and to my left so I ran over and got in with them. For some reason this was in frot of what I thought was the front gate and I got a pretty decent distance from the stage (maybe 20 feet or so). They were playing some band's music that had a house type feel to the beat but the guy sang like Depech Mode or something similar, and everytime a song would end and a new song would start, EVERYONE would cheer thinking it was Daft Puk, then stop when we heard the guys voice again (I wish I knew who they were because their music was really good!). Finally THE moment arrived after what seemed like forever. It started with the alien music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (wow as I type this I seriously just got chills thinking about this moment, seriously this is exactly what I wanted to be doing, seeing Daft Punk live) and again I was the only one to cheer, because I knew that band wouldn't use that theme for a song, and I KNEW Daft Punk would, and what did you know, the curtains opened to show the dynamic duo (learn your stuff to roll with me please. Daft Punk is 2 DJs from Paris France who always wanted to make a punk music, and when they tried to get their first record deal, the agent said their music was too "Daft" for "Punk", hence the name Daft Punk. Their names are Thomas Banghalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo. Know this MAN!) dressed in their ROBOT SUITS!!! The latest album which honestly isnt THAT great compare to their first 2 albums, and not just me thought so, it didn't last long on the charts like their other albums, is called Human After All, and their theme is for them to be robots, realizing they act more human than they were built to be like. So yes the WHOLE show they were in their robot suits, which was absolutely insane to see! After the CEOTTK theme ended the beat from Technologic came in slightly, with the words for it getting louder and louder (and the screen in the back getting brighter and brighter with the words from the song, ALL in synch!!!). Now the cool part of this was, Busta Rhymes, the rapper, recently used, well the producer Swizz Beatz did, parts of the chorus with the SAME voice from his recent single "Touch It". Now Daft Punk just floored me when they would sneak in the beat from the Busta Rhymes song and chorus in with their song. It was just beautiful. It would go from this total Euro house beat to a rap beat, then back, over and over, maybe like 1 minute of each. Now what was awesome and bad for my heart at the same time, after every few songs, their cool ass stage and lighted scren in the back would go off and the music would stop and I thought it was over, since they clapped. Then they would go back to work on the turntables and EVERY song started off at like 1/1000 of the pace, and speed up maybe 50 points every 10 seconds, causing this "What the hell is this! Oh Hey it sounds kinda cool! OH SHIT THIS IS "ROBOT ROCK"/"ONE MORE TIME"/"AROUND THE WORLD" moment with everyone. Now what was cool, each "section of music had about 3 songs in it, different songs from all of their albums, played seperately, then at the end you would hear some part of EVERY song at ONCE!!! These guys are house music GENUISES! The rest of the night just went on awesome with more of the same then the finale which was just BAD ASS effects and probably their best 4 songs (one from each album, 2 from 1 album) mixed in one (Around the World/One More Time/Prime Time of Your Life/Human After All). This had THE coolest effects, some amazing bass and just AWESOME energy from them and the fans. Often time THEY would stop spinning and just bob their heads in unison to their own music, or pump their fists. The people in my area were probably the coolest. Many times I would get grabbed and we would start jumping or singing what songs had words to them, but the music brought us all together (2 Brazilian guys, 3 Japanese guys, and 4 Japanese girls)even though we probably couldn't ALL communicate on the street. When the show ended I couldn't stop saying "WOW" out loud and as I exited I grabbed the ipod, put it to artists, Daft Punk (which has about 95% of every song they have released, some songs I just don't like) and I eventually made it to my hotel after a tram, a subway, a train, then walking! Perfect ending to a perfect Obon vacation. Depending on who is going next year, I am SOO going to Summer Sonic again, but next time I wanna go with friends. Going to amusement parks and things like this alone sucks, especially when you can't just strike up a conversation with anyone you want. So here is to next year going with friends AND learning some more Japanese!

On to the pics of the SHOW and OSAKA station area!

Osaka - Day before Summer Sonic

Well I was typing this out earlier and had a good 3 paragraphs and it just cleared, don`t know why, but now I have no intention to type it all up again, I will do it in the future (which means I won`t). So a quick run down of my first night in Osaka goes like so: Arrive, call Saki to make plans for 7:15PM, walk around Yodabashi Camera, walk around mall with ferris wheel on it, meet Saki, eat Italian, go to a dive bar complete with live band playing bad 80s rock, play pool and only get 1 ball in, losing to an Iranian guy fluent in English and Japanese, left bar, said bye to Saki, walked to my hotel, sleep.

Tomorrow is Summer Sonic 2006!

Did I get placed in Nagoya or Los Angeles?

So I get back to Nagoya station from my awesome 3 days in Tokyo, to drop off dirty clothes, and pick up some things I forgot, and when I get to my train station, my bike isn`t where I left it. I frantically look in the surrounding area, and come to the quick conclusion it was STOLEN! Yep, stolen bikes in Japan are fairly common, but mine was LOCKED, and CHAINED to itself in between the wheels, so someone whould have had to cut it right there on the spot, OR lift it away somewhere. And no one saw this? Oh well, 10,500 yen down the drain.

UPDATE: I look for it today as I returned from Osaka, and it was still nowhere to be found. I even looked at every bike parking place about a block in each direction. Guess I am buying another one...

Friday, August 11, 2006

So my 2 days in Tokyo are almost up, but have had a blast!

Did Disney Sea and Disneyland in 2 days. Did Shibuya and Ginza yesterday after Disney Sea, did Odaiba today and doing Shibuya again tonight, gonna try to snap some shots in Harajuku. I will write more when I feel like it, right now I have been sitting at Apple for too long and my butt is numb, time to go walk some more miles in Shibuya! Laters!

UPDATE: I didn`t end up going to Harajuku, I just spent a lot more time roaming Shibuya, the area is so massive and active. I walked around several stores, music places, and places to look around, finding fun and interesting people to watch and snap shots of. At night I went to the same bar I went to the night before which was WAY different than the first night! The first night had me and 2 other people, this night had me, and about 23 others! They play Rap/Hip Hop music which attracts different people, way different people. So tonight the guy who was the bartender before, was NOW the DJ, and 2 girls were the bartenders now. The girls spoke quite a bit of English, different than the guy who spole none. There were also a group of Nigerians, some guys from somewhere in the Middle East, and then quite a few Japanese. What was funny about some of the Japanese, was they didn`t look the typical part to be in a bar that played hip hop. I sat next to a Japanese dude who`s whole head was tattooed and was dressed kinda like a chollo, who`s friend was dressed like a black thug, complete with Los Angeles hat in Olde Englishe and everything. I spoke with one of the Nigerians who has lived in Japan for quite some time and was fluent in Japanese, his native tongue, and English. He had been married 4 times while in Japan, and he was saying wife number 4 was going to be the last time (I guess the first 3 were to get settled in Japan or something). Anyways he was cool peeps and we talked a bit about life in Japan. After drinking and chatting I headed back to my hotel for my last night of sleep in Japan, heading back to Nagoya in the morning and then Osaka right after.

Here are the PICS!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Laptop STILL broke but had an AWESOME day with Yuka and her sister!

So skipping the fact that laptops suck, I had a rather awesome weekend! Went out last night with some people from MySpace and Atsushi and we all blew a good 40 bucks each on alcohol and food from Outback Steakhouse (7 PER Corona...). Atsushi had to leave (poor guy had to work the next day) and we all just spilled over across the street to a bar called Heaven`s Door where we drank 1 or two moxed drinks (2 vodka tonics here), then tequila shots, then some drink that was supposedly the strongest drink (can`t remember the name), which only myself and Oya-san (whom I just met last night) were MAN enough to drink. I downed mine and felt the burn, but it didn`t take me any further into being drunk than I already was at the time, after that we just had some more fun/hilarious random stories about life in Japan and America (Scotland for Clare) and just had an awesome night. We decided to taxi it home, because it was too late to take the train, they were done for the night. Had an awesome night of sleep before my day with Yuka at the aquarium.

So skipping all the morning crap I would usually type about, I met Yuka at Takashimaya in front of the clock (if anyone ever actually visits me in Nagoya, I will show you this place, it is THE meeting place at Nagoya Eki) and we proceeded to grab some udon at a nearby restaraunt. During our conversations during lunch Yuka offered to help me book hotels and buy shinkansen tix for my Obon adventure. So we headed to the bookstore at T-maya and checked some maps and hotel guides. During our research, Yuka got a call from her sister saying she wanted to join us to the aquarium, and of course I didn`t mind, the more the merrier. When she met us we ended our hotel reseach for the moment and followed her sister (damn her name escapes me right now) to Nagoya ko (Nagoya port, I may have it wrong though, either Nagoya jo or ko, bad memory plus long day...). Her sister was only one to know how to get there which is why we followed her.

Watching Yuka and her sister interact was hilarious! Her sister is kinda someone you can tell has a lot of fun joking around and such, and there were lots of moments where Yuka would maybe try to stop her from embarassing herself by asking me questions in English (she spoke a bit of English, just a bit) and her sis was so gung ho with asking me questions about anything in English, with Yuka behind or next to her lookign embarassed for the whole family, it was just too funny! She was cool people though and we all had fun together. Anyways back to the aquarium...

We got there after a subway trip with one transfer (man I gotta learn Japanese so I can do stuff like that all the time) and we entered probably the coolest aquarium I have ever been in. Now without pics to do the talking, and me without the drive to type up every moment like I normally would, I will just spam random memories from the trip. We got to see a pretty decent sized Orca (uhm kojira in Japanese, well it is whale) and several iruka (dolphins). It was funny because Yuka`s sister was so quick to give me the Japanese name of everything we saw, kinda overload for me, BUT highly informative. We saw a tank that had a school of over 3,000 sardines, it was a sight to behold (I took video and pics). I saw honestly the largest crab I have seen in my LIFE (giant spider crab). This thing would eat a full grown rottweiler if they ate meat. We saw some HUGE turtles (kame) and then behind them their tiny babies swimming in a little tank (imagine a room full of tons of KAWAIIs being shouter, but they were cute, I will admit it). We saw a dolphin show, which was no dif than one I have seen at Seaworld, but fun because it was ALL in Japanese! I was having father tendencies watching this little boy climb on the railings during the show while his parents were about 14 steps up from his newfound playground, but he never hurt himself, and I didn`t have a heart attack. More happened, I just can`t remember, but once my laptop is ok I will post pics and then probably make an addendum to this post.

We eventually finished and Yuka`s sister had to go to work (she works at a manga kissa like I am at now) so Yuka and I went to the SAME manga kissa I am at now to research hotels and book them for me for Osaka and Tokyo. It took time, I am not 100% confident things will go well, but things are booked and I drew some crappy maps from stations to hotels to concert locations, to Disneyland... Wish me luck this week... Next stop was to Chikusa train station to buy my shinkansen tix to and from tokyo, then FROM Osaka to Nagoya (I didn`t buy my return because I was waiting for a call from Saki to see if I would be able to hang with her, but no call, so now I know when I will return.)

So there it is. An AWESOME weekend in Nagoya from me, yet AGAIN! Plus I also am all booked and ready for my Obon adventure, AWESOME! Now I just need to fix the damn laptop so I can post from home and stop spending money for the train then fee for the manga kissa (key-sah. short for kissaten, which is cafe).

OH I remembered something from yesterday that was interesting, well to me. Aparently there was one of the world`s largest cosplay events in Nagoya at Oasis 21。Now I am not into cosplay, anime or manga but I love the video games. So I get out of Sakae station and hear One Winged Angel (if you have played and beaten Final Fantasy 7, you know this song WELL and you LOVE IT!). I see a huge stage and a girl and a guy dressed as Cloud and Tifa from FF7 and they were doing some form of play in front of HUNDREDS of onlookers! Kinda cool to see in person! Later on that night I found out I missed 5 guys dressed as Gundam mechs, complete with smoke machines attached to the costumes and everything... sugoi ne...

Oh well, next year right?

Now with pictures!!! Here ya go!

Nagoya Aquarium Pics!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

So the cool ass laptop I bought not so long ago...WON`T BOOT!

I am sooo damn pissed now! I woke up to a black screen and NOTHING I did would work! I get to try to fix it tomorrow and hope I fix it, or all of Japan will hear me cry. I am serious...

If I don`t get online, I WILL have fun in Tokyo, Osaka, and THIS Monday at the port and aquarium with my friend Yuka. I will have pics, but too bad NO ONE WILL SEE THEM!

And yeah, I know you are thinking, Hey Tommy, you can fix everything with PCs, what up homie? (Thanks! You are thinking that right?) Well fixing PCs and laptops are apparently different. Tonight I get obsessively intimate with fixin my lappie. I am at a internet cafe now to type this , then go head home to attempt to fix things. I can NOT lose things, because EVERY website I have worked on is ON MY LAPTOP harddrive. Only my old ones are on the external HD. Wish me luck, or I will be starting a buy Tommy a bad ass PC/laptop fund, that no one will support. Hell I wouldn`t!

Enjoy life wherever you are, I am still enjoying my time here regardless. My 2000+ dollar purchase dying on me can`t stop that! Right? Right...

Also a funny thing happened today. One of my students Kaori is a high school student who does hip hop dancing, according to Miki, so I asked her about it. So when I did, she was like "Yeah I DO!" Followed by this little rap video girl "snake" move, then these funny words, "I`m SEXY!". I could do nothing but start laughing out loud which caused me to get hit by her, but I couldn`t hold it in. She actually STARTED a hip hop dancing club at her High School, and learned how to do it at dance school. Ganbatte!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I got my cell phone, BUT I am getting sick!

So I am getting what feels like the typical cold, so let's see if this is a Japanese strand and it knocks me on my butt, or if my immune system becomes triumphant and this lasts a few days. My first weekend with no set plans and I may spend it in, uhhh, futon?, sick...

Anyways, onto the phone!!!

paste from an email that went out to family/friends/loved ones...

So today I got my ARC card (YAY) which opened the world of Japan to me!

No more carrying my ugly passport around, I could open a bank account (which I did!) and I could get a cell phone (the point of this email!

So now to the important, yet less exciting stuff: my phone number and the rules. Please do not ever expect a call from me, from this, when you are NOT in Japan. It will cost me an organ or two (read: four) to make any call to the states! Please only call me if you are in Japan until further notice. I am not sure if incoming calls are free or not, I have heard they are… but lemme confirm… I can receive email and send it from the phone from your PCs, they cost less than a yen per email, so it is all good to email me!

Also, if my contract has any say in this, expect me in Japan for at least 2 years (the cancellation is only 10,000 yen). The 2 year contract’s rates were MUCH better than the 1 year rates, so I got it. The phone WAS free, and I pay about 6230 a month for service!

Now to the cool details!!! My phone is a Vodafone V604SH (Sharp). It has a 3 megapixel camera on it (my pre Sony M2 camera was 3.1 megapixels) that takes pictures with a 2x optical zoom along with VIDEO. I can even output the video to my TV with the, get this America… PROVIDED cables! It has a mini sd slot to save pictures, music, video, and other things like games, ringtones and such. The awesome thing is, taking notes American phone companies… IT COMES WITH A 32 MB MINI SD CARD!!! Yes, I don’t need to run out and grab anything, because it also comes with a headset for it too!!! I can watch live TV for FREE, it is built into the service. Cool thing is I will pick up the channels of whatever area I am in. So when I go to Osaka and Tokyo next week, I can get their local channels in. There are some other features I need to read about, but yeah, those are the ones that pump me up.

So that is the news. Hope I get better!