Thursday, December 25, 2008

Second day in Cali - The arrival of Mutsumi and Akiyo (and an explanation of who they are).

So yeah, the interesting part of this little trip to California. The addition of Mutsumi and Akiyo.

Mutsumi and Akiyo, are 2 girls I met by pure random chance...

I was at Hub, back when I was DJing at Arena a while back, with my friend Adam, who just arrived to Japan (at this time he, it was his first weekend here). We were drinking to calm me down, and hang out before I went on to DJ. He saw a cute girl and tried to get her attention, but she was obviously ignoring him. This girl went to the bathroom and when she came back, Adam grabbed her, and asked her to sit. She was KIND OF scared and got her friend to come sit with us too.

I was a bit embarassed at my friend, and let him do the talking, because I had a girlfriend at the time, but then I noticed something common in Nagoya. These girls spoke NO English! Just basic words, and phrases, at best! So my big bud was struggling to get anywhere.

I tried my best to translate for him, to try to make them laugh with his jokes and such, and they were laughing at the situation and felt bad for me. The one that Adam grabbed, Mutsumi, exchanged information with me before we left, and said she would stay in touch.

A month goes by, no contact, but finally I got a message from Mutsumi, saying her and her friend Akiyo were going out to drink at Hub. I was already going to be there before a DJ night, so I said I would meet up with them. I got there, and they were surrounded by guys trying for their attention, but as soon as I got there, they both started talking to only me, and the guys eventually left. We all left together, and I went to DJ, and they went off to do their thing.

Fast forward to a meeting at a Starbucks one night, when they were near my corporate lesson, and asked if I wanted to meet for coffee. While talking (always in Japanese, 100%) they asked what I was doing for winter vacation, and I said going to California, and being SUPER lazy! They were envious of me, because their plans were just work, and hanging out with family.

Without thinking (I mean who would have guessed this would happen...?) I jokingly said they should come with me to California, stay at my mom's place because it is big, and I could show them around, since I would be doing nothing anyway. They checked their schedules, and thought about it, but we just laughed it off, finished our coffee, and went our seperate ways.

The next day at work, came the surprise. A surprise like no other. They had booked their trip to California... They were on a waiting list, but said it sounded good, that they would be able to make it...

Great! Now what do I do? I had a girlfriend, who would get a little jealous sometimes, and here I am now, stuck with not one, but TWO girls going with me to California, girls that she doesn't know, girls that are just friends (as far as I know, and even to this day, there is no love/like interests amongst any of us, just friends). What do I do?

So time goes by, they get off the waiting list, and are now 100% going to Cali, but also made plans to go to Sedona and White Sands National Park. Not just this, but it is Akiyo's birthday on the 27th, and Mutsumi and I would meet up sometimes, to plan a surprise for her, buy her a card and shirt, and draw some stuff on the shirt for her, to make her brithday in California a great/memorable one.

Well the time came and went, and they arrived to LAX the day after I did.

I woke up after partying with norm all night, and drove to LAX, getting there an hour before their arrival (15 minutes earlier than expected).

I got to the terminal and waited with some woman who was picking up her son in law from the same terminal as the girls, who is a marine in Japan. We talked a bit until he came, and shortly after the girls arrived!

As soon as they saw me, they started cheering my name, and everyone started looking at me (I forgot to mention, these girls are CRAZY! They are soooooo extroverted and not shy, and insanely funny, and to top it off, they are SOO much alike!). I took one look at them though, and knew, we couldn't go meet with my sister and go shopping like we had planned. Plus it was raining extremely hard! So I took them to my mom's apartment. They both slept pretty much the whole way there, they were severely jet lagged!



When we arrived, I introduced them to my mom, and we gave them the towels my mom bought and stitched their names into. I really think they almost cried at the sight of those towels. They took some pictures, and we began to eat some food my mom made us. Shortly after this, we were exhausted, so we decided to take a nap before I had to take them to the airport to go to Sedona/White Sands. We all knocked out QUICK, and couldn't get up even after the alarm.





We eventually got up, headed to the airport and they were off!

After dropping them off, I went to see my old coworkers at JoshuaCasey, but I missed my old bosses! I chatted for a long time, and then went to my old college after. I BARELY missed my old teacher (for the second time, it happened last year too!) and decided to go to Cheesecake Factory after that.

I got there, got a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake, while watching the Packer game. I wanted to enjoy it at home, so finished the cake (I can't finish a slice without getting sick!) and headed home, to watch the guy.

I got home, took another nap while watching the game, then got a call from Ken (my old TA from my Japanese class, who now lives in my old room here in Irvine!) wanting to make plans with Eric (old classmate from Japanese class) and Kazumi (another TA from Japanese class). We made plans, and met up at a Chinesese restaraunt, to eat talk and catch up. It was a mix of Japanese and English, and Eric was ordering all of our food in Taiwanese (his parents are from there). After eating, we headed back to my apartment, and drank and talked until midnight. From midnight to 2AM, Ken and I talked until he wanted to sleep for work that day.

My next day had, visiting my old company to see the bosses again, my old teacher at college, then shopping, then heading to see my dad in Rialto! I will save that for the next blog I write, once I wake up!

Going to California, and first day! Sunday twice!

So I woke up early and was luckily already packed to go.

I got to every station the time I needed to and was checked in over 2 hours early, now I just needed to wait for Susannah, so I had someone to talk to.

I was a bit bummed to find out she upgraded for a better seat and wouldn't be behind me, but then we got a surprise, to a fellow Aeon teacher also taking the same flight (Mel, who has played football with us before!). Not just that, but he will be in LA, and returning on the same day and flight as I am! Coincidence!

We get to Tokyo, to see that the flight wouldn't take off until 1.5 hours after we were supposed to board and leave. 1.5 turned to 2, and we boarded. We got a message of a plane problem and were told to sit back and wait for it to get fixed, this happened 2 more times. I woke up to the sound of the intercom saying that we had to change planes, and take everything we had and take it to the new plane, which would take off shortly!

We rapidly head for the plane and are met with, 45 minutes of waiting!

They gave us a $10 food voucher, which I used for MCDonalds. But come on, $10? OK, for that...

EVERYONE, NEVER USE Northwest Airlines, to fly to or from ANYWHERE? Your time and plans are worth $10 in airport food to them!

Ok...

I got to Cali, waited in a long line for Customs, had a cop open up the line in front of me to go through customs, so I was out sooner than expected. I even got my luggage quick.

I went outside and my friend Ken (he lives in my old apartment room in Irvine, and volunteered to pick me up at LAX. We didn't have time to do the shopping I wanted to do, so we went straigh home!

I got home, saw mom and grandma, and did some warming up to them. Shortly after I went out shopping for jeans and looking around my old stomping grounds. Sooo strange... The pople were so different than what I get back home. Ruder, bigger, women are curvier (love that), etc.

At night, my friend Norm suggested that I stay at his house, since it's closer to LAX, and we expected rain. So last minute, I go to his place, we start with 2 shots of Grey Goose vodka, drove to get Mexican Food (sooo safe huh?), drove back, walked to The Standard (popular bar/club)and went to it's rooftop to drink and party! It was great and we met some Japanese people and I had a great time. One of the girls was from Nagoya, but studying in California, and she had a friend visiting who was also from Nagoya. A few of us exhaged info, and now we are friends on Facebook, nice!

We partied till closing (2AMish), walked to his apt, drove to get mexican food after.
We finished talking and eating around 3:50 ish, and I had to wake up at 5, to shower and get my car out of the parking to pick up my friends form LAX.

Such a long day...

I am still super tired!

WOW! Just fell asleep and typed like a 1000 1s...

Time to take a nap,
I am going to a party soon...

I will update the second, third, and 4th days soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last weekend started HORRIBLE, but ended BEYOND AMAZING!

What a roller coaster this weekend was!

So The Undercats second gig at Maverick was a disaster. It was completely out of our control!

We got there, and when our friends started to arrive, they wouldn't let them in for half off like we were promised they would if they had a cell phone flyer and came before 10:30. Time was severely wasted getting them in...

After this, the club staff wouldn't let us switch in our equipment and get theirs out, as theirs was pretty archaic and just not functional for a house/electro/drum n bass night. Their mixer only has low and high EQ knobs (no mids?!?!?), the headphone was popping and cracking constantly, and there were no effects!

Ryan went up first, and he just wasn't feeling it because he felt he sounded bad, so he asked me to go up and save him. I went up and realized how shit the system was when I tried to mix into one song and out of another. Just wasn't working...

I did my hour set after many fuck ups, the worst being when some big rugby player came up to REQUEST that I play that "Baby don't hurt me" song. I don't do requests, not that kind of DJ. So while I spent minutes talking to him about this, I lost track of what CDJ I was on, and hit next track to mix in a new song, and yep, it was the live CDJ... DISASTER, and embarassing.

The club promoter came up shortly after to say the hip hop DJs (this main room is a hip hop room and that is what Nagoya likes unfortunately... So fucking lame!) were going to be coming in to do their magic... Yeah, whatever.

The only good thing was during my set, and after, the pole dancers were out in force, and it made people actually enjoy my set more than they should...

We left early because they didn't even let Shane DJ AT ALL! We went to the location of our second party, and our friends paid their fees to get in and got their drink tix. We went in to see a pretty decent sized reggae party going on (for the location). After a while, the bad news struck. We would only get 30 minutes to DJ... Not 30 minutes each, 30 minutes TOTAL, for 3 people. Nagoya really doesn't want us to DJ huh?

This pissed us and a lot of drunk friends off, but Shane did his set, we partied, and drunkenly walked out and towards a new friend's house who lived close. We got halfway there, and I came to my senses that, yes, my student who came to watch us, was not with us... Where in the hell...

So we (Morgan, Darlene and I) walk back, in super cold weather to go back to where we were for the second party and met up with my student and the friend of a friend. The place's owner felt bad for SCREWING us, that he cooked us some AMAZING curry for free and fed us. We sat and talked till it came time for first train. During this madness, my friend Mutsumi called to say her and her friends were close and asked if we were still DJing. Haha, no we weren't. But they drunkenly stumbled over to the place and hung out until my friends and I left. They were celebrating her friend's bday, and it looked like they celebrated, hard... Haha!

So went home to get my sleep and I was bummed. I felt bad because it was Sayaka's last day living here, and I was tired, drunk, and SO TENSION DOWN (haha love that phrase). I caught my cat nap, and had some plans in Gifu in a few hours. So I woke up, said my byes to Sayaka and had to rush to the station, still drunk... After Gifu, I had a gyoza party to do which was a ton of fun. Was hard speaking mostly Japanese the whole time, but it helps me out a lot.

After this I was driven to Obata station so I could make it to Sakae to go party HARD at JBs. I told Darlene I would meet her at 9, and the train didn't make it till 9:04. This was my first time taking this train to get to Sakae, so it was kind of fun.

I met up with Darlene, and we went to go get our pre drink on. We met up with Shane, he got his water on, and we went in the club to get lockers, and then do more pre drinking. We downed our drinks and went in to see Tom (from Tiny, our friends and best party hosts when it comes to electro events in Nagoya! We need them here!) finish his set, then my friend Yousuke start his FIRST PCDJ set. It was really good!

Then things picked up as DJ Kyoko (who introduced me to Chaki from Lowbrows!!!) took the decks and showed off her AMAZING beat matching and mixing skills! She is too young to be this good... So jealous!

After Kyoko was Chaki, who dominated the decks as usual! He does so many amazing things on the tables, it brings tears to my eyes... But the surprise came before his set. He grabbed me and told me, when he plays "Stay Faceless" he wants me to go up there with him... Hype man style! When he motioned to me to go up, his management, and the club staff kept kicking me out of the booth, so Chaki kinda got mad at them when he had the song he was mixing out of on a loop and they were delaying the start of Stay Faceless. The song went on, I lipped my lyrics, and people in the club knew the lyrics, it was crazy! My first time ever seeing people sing the words to a song I wrote and was rapping. Surreal... We ended the song with us covering our faces and I was out and in front of the booth ready to party to Danger!

If you don't know Danger, you better learn! Check out his MySpace.

So his set was a live set, in the likes of a Justice or Daft Punk show. He had a mac and a midi controller controlling every part of his set, which was 100% his songs. The energy from his songs is so intense, so we were all head banging, bopping, bouncing, yelling, everything! Every now and then Chaki would come through and rock the mixer and effects to great result! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!

After Danger's set, YATT came on and we rocked to them a bit, but it was SOO hot, we wanted to go outside and cool off. On my way to the exit Chaki is getting out of the VIP room and sees me and hugs me and told me he loved me, haha. The result of too much alcohol... But then Danger, unmasked (didn't recognize him without his mask) sees me and tells me to come into the VIP room. He shakes my hand and hugs me for rocking out so hard to his set, and working the crowd more. His friend/manager introduces himself, gives me a glass of some mysterious STRONG cocktail and I am now part of a game of singing and drinking in Japanese. I down my drink, get a hug from Danger, his friend, and some other random people. We did this many other times, I ended up finishing off 1/5 of a bottle of some wine Danger couldn't down. Things got very blurry around here. I got my friends in, we partied, took pics, with Danger, Chaki and the other DJs, sang, ate pocky, other stuff (don't wanna embarass or screw over any of the guilty peeps during this time...)and it was amazing. Danger and his friend demanded my info when it was time to close up shop after the last DJ. We shook hands, hugged, and parted ways. Chaki and his manager gave me a copy of the Lowbrows CD, hugged and parted ways. Shane, Darlene, and I parted ways at the subway and I made it home somehow...

Woke up yesterday morning with a sore neck, and the worst stomach feeling. I was bed ridden the whole morning... I couldn't even make it Ryan's bday thing at Red Rock, I felt so bad. I showered, got dressed and everything, but stomach wasn't having it... I spent the rest of the night under the covers relaxing...

Woke up this morning and decided to write a blog after what seems like forever. Going to California this weekend for a 2 week vacation! It will be very eventful, so please stay tuned for that! This work week is going to fly...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Someone stole the seat to my bike...

I don't want to cuss anymore.

This is the only thing I am saying...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Stay Faceless", the song I recorded with Lowbrows, is on their MySpace!


The Lowbrows, a well known production duo, consisting of Chaki (a musician and DJ) and Emi (a classically trained musician) are releasing their new CD December 24th (if everything works out) and I recorded a song with them!

The song is called "Stay Faceless", and they just put it up on their MySpace yesterday (Japan time). Go check it out!

http://www.myspace.com/thelowbrows

Just so you know, yeah it doesn't sound like me, because the pitch was edited a lot, but everything is me, even the "Daft Punk" like vocoder parts. All production by The Lowbrows!

Go show them love on their MySpace and buy their album for Christmas if you are in Japan and love Electro!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hiroko's wedding!

I really wish I had the energy to do this post justice, but I have had a busy weekend!

I spent all yesterday (yes, this is not as late as the last post!) celebrating the marriage of my friend/old assistant manager Hiroko!

Started the day waking up late and doing laundry to the point of losing track of time and having to make my coworker wait for me, as I missed the train I should have caught to be on time. I caught the next train and made it there fine. We got to the ceremony hall and were happy one of the people there knew me, and helped us sign the guest book in English. Yes! She was a head teacher at another school and aparently was an on the job training person at Chikusa, while I was there, but I didn't recognize her! A while later, Hiroko's friends from Korea came, and I helped them out a bit since they speak NO Japanese. Yes, me, an America, helping with basic Japanese translation, for 2 people from Korea... Wait till the end, it gets better! The ceremony was much shorter than I was used to from American weddings (and being the first wedding I haven't really been a part of!) but Hiroko looked SOOO beautiful in her dress! She and her new husband looked sooo happy by the end of the ceremony!

This is where things were different from American weddings. IMMMEDIATELY after the ceremony, in the same place, the reception began! Lots of good food, and alcohol were consumed and all had a good time! Hiroko changed into a kimono, as did her husband, and both looked excellent!

Everything ended, and I returned home to change clothes and get Sayaka to go to the SECOND party. This is called NIJIKAI and is a party AFTER the reception for friends and coworkers. The ceremony is usually family only, but Hiroko invited her friends from Korea, my cowrker and I, so we all felt very honored to be there! The second party found my manager, head teacher, and staff from the Sakae school there, along with many other people, 120 to be exact! This is the biggest NIJIKAI I have been to (I have been to 5 before this, maybe 5...). It was at the same location as the first NIJIKAI I ever went to so I was looking forward to eating a bit of Chinese food (was still full from the French food from the wedding!). I socialized as much as I could and was ready to join the games every NIJIKAI has.

Now I never win ANYTHING at these. I hardly ever get a chance to compete, and when I have, I lost! Last night was different!

THey were asking a lot of different questions and there were many prizes, like a crab all you can eat, fish all you can eat, and a onsen for couples!

One question comes up and I only caught "Spaingo" which means Spanish. I asked Sayaka what the question was, and she told me "What does the word "AHO" mean in Spanish?" Many people raised their hands, but everyone was wrong. Here is where my High School Spanish classes paid off. I raised my hand, and in Japanese answered "NINIKU!" aka garlic! I was greeted with a CORRECT in Japanese, and everyone cheered for me. Surprised. Yes, here is a black American, at a Japanese wedding, winning a prize for answering a Spanish question. Only in Japan...

I had to choose 1 of 4 cards to see what prize I would get, so I closed my eyes, and got the onsen for couples! I was asked to give a greeting to the couple (only me, talk about on the spot and it was super short, but I made people laugh. I took a picture with the bride and groom as they congratulated me and went back hands in the air to my seat with my prize, but not before the game host asked me who I would take, and I said Sayaka and she stood up and was totally embarassed!

The rest of the night went on, lots of laughs, pictures, and fun and things came to a close. I took so many pictures, I still need to sort through them and upload them. Once I do, I will update this post, or make a new one.

I spent today, getting DJ headphones for my first big event on November 15th 2008, since my previous headphones were too weak for a club setting. I came home and began work on a new song, to celebrate my new purchase. Let's see if I ever finish this one! I have a ton of work in progresses I have yet to release...

Finally a new post! Ganban Night weeekend!

All of this happened 2 weeks ago, but I have been insanely busy since this to write the blog, so here it is! Hope people still remember me!



WHAT a weekend!

This marks my first trip to Tokyo with my new iPod Touch 2G, which replaces my older iPod which replaces a need for friends when I travel alone to Tokyo!

During work on Thursday, I went to the 99 yen shop and bought an eye mask, toothpaste, cotton swabs, and a bath towel. I used the new eye mask on the way to Tokyo (on a bus with only 5 other people) and slept better than I ever have on a bus. I got to Tokyo station around 5:25 and went straight to Akihabara to do what? Find an internet cafĂ© and SLEEP! I did sleep better than usual, but it doesn’t mean it was a lot! After I woke up, I went to a nearby Denny’s to grab some pasta for breakfast and then I ion exwas on my way to meet my friend Norm (who was visiting Japan for 3 weeks!). I call Norm around the time he wanted to be called, and was told he wouldn’t be ready for another 3 hours, so I headed to Shibuya, to just let the time go.

I went straight to Starbucks, sat and waited for a while until Norm showed up. We met near the station and headed to TGIFridays for a slow lunch, with lots of talking and reflecting on his time in Japan. After we ate I wanted to check out the Bape store, where we met a staff member who was born in Hawaii and spoke pretty much fluent English. Him and I convinced Norm to buy his first pair of Bathing Ape shoes! Nice!

As time went on, we did a lot of walking around, then made plans with other friends to go check out a club event in Omote Sando. So we wanted to pre drink, to avoid the expensive club fees for alcohol, so we went to Roppongi, Mistake and a half. Not just for time, but for the whole innocence that even a drug dealer could lose, just for saying the name, let alone going there.

We get there and we are overrun by the myriad of Africans trying to get English speaking foreigners to go to the clubs they goon for. They will run up and walk with you and say, “Want to see beautiful girl?” What guy wouldn’t? But why would any guy want to be lead by an African, in Japan, to see these beautiful girls? Not us. So The first guy that came up, I responded, “We already have beautiful girl, thanks.” This made him try harder, as he was met with similar versions of the same story, until he eventually left. The next guy got, “Do you have any fat girls? Short fat girls?” He stumbled to find words to reply, but came up with nothing but “Do you want to see beautiful girl? Come on, beautiful girl is waiting!” As we walked away he started shouting “Were you mocking me?! Saying you want fat girl, you mocking me!” Yes. I was. The last ones to approach, was the best result. I told them I was Christian… This time there were 3 guys and upon hearing this they surrounded me, one started dry humping me with a few feet between us, and they asked why did I come to Roppongi if I was Christian. I told them I was looking for a church, and they started taunting me about not having a bible and such. I think they got it that I was kidding, and just shook my hand and said to have fun.
While looking for a cheap bar, we got a call from Norm’s friend, saying he would join us for the night and we would meet in Omote-Sando. To save money, I thought it would be a good idea to walk to Shibuya, then OS after that. We saw a sign that said 2km to Shibuya, so we headed in that direction to get there…
50 minutes later we arrived to familiar ground. 2km my ass!
Now the walk to OS is about 15 mins to OS, so we made the walk and waited at McDonalds for friends to arrive. Before we got there though, we saw a guy walking, a rather big, brown monkey. It was so random, we just stopped, stared, and continued on, without mentioning it too much. It got better when we were waiting at McDonalds and the guy with the monkey came by again! Shortly after monkey spotting, Norm’s friend PJ and his girlfriend Lucia showed up! They missed him!
We sat and chatted a bit and headed to the conbini to begin the pre party tradition of pre drinking. I introduced everyone to the world of Strong Chu Hi, and the power hit em half a can into it! We started feelin the swerve when Haruka called to say she was in OS. Haruka is a friend Ryan and I met back during our weekend in Tokyo last time, with her Frenchy Kevin! She was gonna roll with us to the party and meet up with Luke and Tom. She knew how to get to Ever, the club we were going to, and we headed there, after getting more to drink!
We found our way to the club, and it was pretty packed and beautifully decorated. Loads of people were there, and it was just pulsating with electro house, or a live band performance! Crazy! A short time after, we found, err, Tom and Luke found me! They run up, shout Tommy, and I get hugged (and I think kissed) by 2 of my fav underage partiers! It was officially time to party the night away.
Lots of music, alcohol, and dancing later, it was last song and we found ourselves stumbling back to McDonalds. We grabbed quick food, and said our goodbyes.
I was now alone...
Drunk, I headed to Shibuya, then wanted to go to a familiar stop, 3 stops away, to get a 5800 yen hotel. Easy enough right? Of course not in this story! I passed out and woke up 30 minutes later, on the other side of the Yamanote line! I got off the first stop after waking up, stumbled to the gate, to have it beep at me for having a ticket that was 30 yen off. I pay my 30 yen at the gate, and stumble into unfamiliar territory. I wandered the streets for a few minutes (maybe), and made it to a capsule hotel. 1600 yen, for 10 hours and a sento (public bath)? DEAL!
I woke up after setting the alarm, and was shocked to see I was in a capsule hotel! Everything I mentioned was a rough guess at what happened, but I really don’t remember much after getting on the train, just know I woke up in the capsule hotel. So I took a bath, left the hotel, and did some minor alone time in Shibuya. I told everyone when to meet up and everyone (Haruka, Hiro, and Susannah) got there roughly on time. We get there and I thought I lost my ticket to the show! I was panicked, everyone panicked, but alas! It was in my back pocket! Safe! But my friends hated me! Haha! We got alcohol, food, and downed all of the above and made our way to Messe to begin a night of amazing partying for Gan Ban night! We were eventually met by Ryan, Tom, Luke, and another friend Nami. Even more surprised to see some DJs from Tiny (Nagoya’s best DJ crew IMO). We all danced and partied the night away together and it was amazing.
Highlights from the show for me:
Waving to Daruma from Dex Pistols during Justice’s set, and him recognizing me and waving back, with a thumbs up!
Busy P, giving our section 2 cups of Red Bull and vodka!
Busy P, giving just ME a cup full of what I think was rum! He then gave me the funniest look when he saw it was gone in less than 10 seconds!
Being front row for people I thoroughly respect in this industry! Crookers, Basement Jaxx, Boys Noize, Sebastian, Justice, Busy P, and Dex Pistols.
Such an amazing night, but it was waiting to be topped by the next day.
Morning comes, and I stumble to the same capsule hotel for a few hours of sleep and a bath. I made plans to meet with Chaki from The Lowbrows, and do some recording for him. Before this day, I had made and sent recordings from my laptop, of a low quality, but he liked them, but said he wanted some more. So we meet in Shibuya with him and his girlfriend, and take a subway to get to his place. On the way, we run into one of his friends James, who is a foreigner studying at UCLA now, but in Japan for part of a class (I believe). Really cool guy in my book.
We get off the subway, part ways with James, and board a train to Chaki’s house/studio. I was amazed at everything I saw inside of there! Pure awe…admiration…jealousy! I got to meet Emi of Lowbrows and listen to the track I had recorded for previously. It was a lot different than previously heard, but still cool as hell! So Chaki drops the bomb, and tells me to write a rap. Great, but I don’t rap, but for a chance to be on their CD, I sat down and wrote something to music playing. After several takes, we got something that sounded amazing! We played with it over and over and over, until it sounded like something complete. This started at 4PM and it was around 3AM when I woke up from falling asleep while working on the track. Chaki was also tired, but we were both hungry, so we braved typhoon like weather to go to the conbini and grab some food. We got back ate, and were awake, so we played some Playstation 3. Our game for the night (morning), Call of Duty 4!
I already had a ton of respect for Chaki for doing what I want to do, extremely well (he is VERY experienced at DJing and being a musician), but to see him DEMOLISH people in Call of Duty, and laugh and taunt people like a typical American gamer, I had to bow down. One of his friends from Roc Trax was online playing with him and I was laughing at how slow he was moving. So careful and slow, but not getting any kills! It was my first time playing on PS3, so I was horrid, for a bit, but after a while, I was racking up the kills and having him show me respect for how I played. After an hour or so, we called it a night (morning) and we both passed out. I woke up to the alarm on his phone (he was in his room sleeping, I was in the living room, with his phone…haha!) and just sat there thinking of everything I just did this weekend.
Amazing party Friday night, amazing concert, Saturday night, and Sunday recording with one of Japan’s up and coming electro acts. Why me?
It was time for me to head to Tokyo station to catch the bus back home, and I bought some Krispy Kreme for Sayaka and I toe at back in Nagoya. I got on the bus and slept for most of the trip home. The most sleep I got the whole weekend!
As usual, it was GREAT to be back home in familiar, quiet, Nagoya, but it really made me feel like living in Tokyo is going to be great! Next year!

Check out the pictures from the weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am going back to California!

I am officially going back to California for a day shy of 2 weeks!

I got my tix and everything confirmed!

I will be flying NWA (no Dr. Dre, Cube, Yella, Eazy?) from Nagoya, to Narita, Narita to Los Angeles on December 21st. Then the reverse on January 3rd, giving me over 24 hours to sleep off the jet lag! Maybe this time I wont fall asleep on my students!

I am about to order one of the coolest Halloween costumes for this year! Since I have been in Japan, I have spent more money on Halloween than EVER! I actually like it here!

My friends and I (The Undercats) are getting gigs! Shane DJed at Domina last night and it was amazing! They want him to do it monthly now! All of us landed a gig at Maverick, a new club in Nagoya! It is HUGE and we will take the side room, which is larger than most of our fav clubs in Nagoya! Nice!

My 32gb 2G iPod touch will arrive in 2 days! Soooo happy!

Ryan and I will trade turntables for midi controller for a couple weeks! He wants to start producing, I want to get better at mixing! NICE!

It is starting to get cold and I hate IT! I always feel sick, even though I am not sick!

Some idiot parked their bike sooo close to my bike, and now their pedal is stuck in my spokes, and I can't get either bike loose! It sucks, because now I have to leave earlier to make it to work on time! Plus it has been raining...

Oh well, still enjoying life!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is this really Engrish...

... if it comes from England?

Don't wear red when eating this!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Its not the cold that makes me feel bad, its the medicine!

At work now, 4 more classes till I can go home and die!

YAY!

Friday, September 12, 2008

So I haven't posted for a while, a lot has happened!

So yeah, been busy!

1. Started DJing at what I thought was a stable DJ gig, but turned out the Turkish mafia (what I will call them until proven otherwise) was behind things, so we quit 2 nights ago.

2. Nearly broke up with my girlfriend. Not going into details, but we are working on it now, and it seems OK for now.

3. Bought tickets to Ganban Night! Wait until my posts after this event. I am stating it here now. This will be the best night of my LIFE! Google it!

4. Getting back into music production, and I have the tools I need to go forward with it the way I want!

5. Awaiting the call from the local Apple store to get the new iPod Touch 2G 32GB! I love electronics!

6. Have a chance to DJ at what is now Nagoya's largest club. Gotta love obscure connections!

7. Once Star Wars Force Unleashed releases next week, I will order it, Mercenaries 2, Infinite Undiscovery, and MAYBE Tiger Woods 09.

Other than these past events, the Tokai area of Japan (where I live) is expecting a HUGE earthquake tomorrow! So friends and family, IF you hear about a huge earthquake in Japan (there have been a lot lately huh?), THIS will be the time to actually worry about me. Not when there is a quake in China, Okinawa or Hokkaido, this one will be the one to worry about me. Wish me luck, otherwise, I will be out clubbing after work, quake or not!

Monday, September 01, 2008

First DJ show over! I rockstar partied this weekend!

And I slept all day today to make up for it!

After DJing, drinking and partying until past 6AM at our new club (we are now officially the resident DJs there!!!), I made it home, got a couple hours of sleep, headed to see my student's team dance, but I couldn't find her:( I did call her and talk to her and let her know I was trying, but by the end of the day, I never saw her:( Later in the night, we had a "farewell" party and welcome party, which saw us drinking until 2 something, then dancing at a club for free for 30 minutes. It was fun!

Got home at 3AM this morning, and have been sleeping on and off all day! I am already sleepy again though! Oh well, I will be preparing for next week's DJ shenanigans!

Check out how the show worked out at The Undercats!




Thursday, August 21, 2008

English class test!

Everyone else ignore this, this is for my English class today!

In my Frontiers class, the blue pen didn't work.

To my students,
please comment if you can find this!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shou-ron-pou!

This is so good!

Chinese food!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What are the chances?!?!

So I get home today after the awesome day out with Sayaka for her birthday, and I did research about a high school friend of mine who was moving to Japan to play basketball for 7 months.

I get home and do some research, and see ONE news article that he got picked up by a team in Nagoya!

I mail him and ask if it's true, and low and behold, he just got to Nagoya today!

What are the chances? I knew him since Junior High, watched him play in HS, hung out with him every day at lunch almost all 4 years, and here we are 9 years later on the other end of the earth.

To make things even weirder, he MAY be 1 station away, or a 20 minute bike ride away from me!

I will show him a good time here!

Keep an eye on him! Adam Parada, from Irvine, California (UCI, but we grew up in Alta Loma, California) playing for the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins!

30 mins after ordering!

This better be the best cocktail ever!

HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY!!!

Time to eat!

All we can eat italian!

Looks great huh?

Almost time to eat!

Waiting by the fountain!

Italian buffet, here we come!

Ice Cream Time!

Haagen Dazs is so great!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Mobile Blog Post

jurt trying it out!

tomorrow is Sayaka's birthday!〓

Summer Sonic 2008 and the aftermath...

So I am back from Summer Sonic 2008 and man, this weekend has been crazy!

Let me start from the beginning...

We get up early to go to Makuhari Messe so Ryan can find a scalper selling tickets. He gets one for 20,000 yen and it is ON!

Everyone we want to see on this day, are at the Sonic, Dance, and Mountain stage! All close to each other! But we have a problem. Ryan and I have backpacks and need to lose em! We walk alll the way to the Ocean/Marine stage and find a place for lockers. Oh well, in this time, we can find Justice T-Shirts and a Crystal Castles shirt for Susannah (our friend) right? Wrong! They were out of Justice shirts, and had NO Crystal Castles shirts!!!

So we walk all the way back to check out MGMT, who were amazing!!! Ryan wasn't feeling it so we moved on.

What we moved onto was possibly one of the greatest band discoveries ever! The Shoes! These 2 French producers/DJs put on an amazing live act! The music was off he hook, but they would grab their mics and do the vocals on some tracks, which normally doesn't work, but for them it did! Ryan and I became instant fans!

On our way to get food and to see The Polysics, Ryan overheard some Americans mention, everyone has a sweat towel, and he just told them it is necesary, and we all started talking. These 3 guys never left my side until the morning I came back home. They were, Matt, Ben, and Lord. Yes, his name is Lord! They have been travelling all over the world because they just graduated college, and Japan has been their last stop before they go back home! Only Lord had been to Japan before ( he has been studying a lot of Japanese) and everyone else was along for the ride!

Before the next band, we ran into the Dex Pistols, who just came to Nagoya last week, and they recognized me (they knew my name, but ALMOST forgot where I was from, but then remembered). We took some pics with them, sat and chatted, and went on to check out the next band!

We asked them if they wanted to join us to see Polysics with us and they were down. Now to our experience, Polysics is a kinda light techno pop band. Our experiences were WRONG! This was like going to an American punk or hardcore show! The pit that started was brutal! We got punched, kicked, pushed, jumped on, jumped over, and literally everything else you can imagine! They went from one hard song to the next, and finally let us breathe when they did a cover of "Secret Agent Man". We all got soo beat we wanted to head out so we could catch Crystal Castles!

I got a call from our friend Luke who said he was in a good position to see Crystal Castles, and we got there and found him easilly! When we got there they were playing music, and Daft Punk's "Teachers" came on, which made us lose our minds. Funny, cuz we were pretty much alone... When Crystal Castles were about to come on, everyone rushed the stage, as did we. I warned everyone we would get destroyed like we did for Polysics, but they didn't think so. At the beginning it was all mellow and cool, as Alice danced and jumped on stage, into the crowd, in front of the crowd on the ground, and on the bass drum of the drumset (that had to hurt her ears!). After a while things got hectic. Another pit started, but now people were moshing, jumping, and it got incredibly hot (we were inside)! When the song ended and they walked off, we were happy go get some air. Well, Alice came back and started another hardcore song to make us lose our mind and mosh again. At the end, Ryan lost a lens in his glasses (I can't remember if it was here or during Polysics) and couldn't see well for the rest of the day!

Next I wanted to see Does It Offend You, Yeah? but we thought it would be better to hurry to Boom Boom Satellites, so we can enjoy them, THEN get in front for Justice! We decided to go eat and get some drinks and such. After a short break, we went to see Boom Boom!

When we got there they were just starting and we worked ourway about 4/5 of the way to the front (the place is huuuge). We stayed there and rocked out for a bit and when we could find a chance, we moved forward. Meanwhile, Boom Boom Satellites were putting on a great show! Our new friends became new fans of the group we saw open up for Daft Punk last year. Their sound is sooo unique and mixes 2 of my favorite genres of music!

When Boom Boom went off, we worked our way to the front. I literally had 2 people between me and the gate, and we were close to the center! It was hard to take pics here because the security stops us from taking pics! Lame, I know! I did get some pics with me, and the cross in the background! When they started they put on such a visually and musically impressive show. I know it isn't fair, but I compared them to the Daft Punk show, which I have seen twice, and I have to say, I enjoyed it more! I felt like they were more REAL and visible to the fans! Xavier came out and jumped on the speakers to throw up a peace sign like a rock star, while Gaspard would often throw up his hands into the hair, and look up to the sky, while light shined down on him! It was purely epic and more personable than their robotic friends from Paris! Every song that came on, was remixed, and sounded like nothing that came from the CD. D.A.N.C.E. was the MSTRKRFT remix and everything else was just complete new ways to hear the songs! Oh besides the intro to Stress which was the Auto remix. Everyone did a solid hour of dancing! As Ryan said, we all went belligerent on the ground to EVERY song! They impressed! When we thought it was over, as Xavier went back to the speakers to throw a peace sign, music started back up and were all dancing again. For a little foreshadowing, I nearly lost my mind when I saw SO ME on the side! At the end of the set I was shouting his name, but of course he couldn't hear me!

After Justice, we were done with other acts, and just went on with our day. I was contacted by my friend to make it to a party, but we couldn't find it after hours of looking in Omotesando! Things were made worst, when I woke up to a text message from her saying that she was almost alone in partying with Justice at that party! I would have claimed this to be the best weekend of my life had I met them, but we may have another chance to meet them in under a month...

The next day after waking up, we grabbed some Chinese food for lunch and saw Dark Knight, which was beyond amazing! I won't get into much of that here, but go see it if you want one of the most complete movies from beginning to end!

When we were thinking of what to do next, I got another message from Yuko telling me SO ME was having an event in Omotesando, the same place we couldn't find the other club, but this event was easier to find, and was just a meet and greet (and buy) type dealie. We got there and in seconds I was standing next to SO ME. I got to shake his hand and take a picture with him. We talked for a bit on a couple occasions, but I got to learn that he does music and graphic design for fun. He called them fun hobbies. I told him I will be back to see Mr. Oizo in 2 months, and he told me Mr. Oizo's new album is amazing. He said if Mr. Oizo's older music is broken and jagged, his new album is fixed and straight, and very danceable. This made me excited as I LOVE his original style of composition and synths (I LOVE his drum beats!) I am excited to hear a change!

We went into the store and checked out his shirts he helped design and one of our friends bought something for someone and had it somethinged by somebody (sorry this is to not spoil a surprise for one of my friends for his someone for that someones gift, just in case they read this before he exchanges it). While in the store we saw a very familiar face to all of us! Andrew from MGMT!!!

We walked out, and he was just hanging out near a wall with Ben and their managers! Strange seeing them here! My friends and I went over and talked and took pics with them and they were soooo cool and down to earth! I mean seriously, they talked to us like we had been friends for years! Andrew was telling us how he liked Japan and performing at Summer Sonic. He asked us a lot of questions just about us and our lives and we sat and joked. Ben was definitely probably the more social one (I will credit lack of sleep on Andrew not winning this title) as he was talking to me about what it is like to teach English in Japan, telling me his ex girlfriend left him and came to Japan to teach English...and she likes girls now! I couldn't stop laughing, but he said they were still good friends, and she came to see him the same day I did in Tokyo. He said he will come back and do some sightseeing for sure. Their managers were equally cool! We talked to them a lot and one of them told me to email him, because he heard I did some photography and was interested to see what it looked like. Hmmm future contact...?

After the event, we went off for the rest of the night and I woke up 30 minutes before my bus from Tokyo station was to leave! I barely made it, and finally made it home last night! Got some ramen, got home, and went to sleep! It felt sooo good!

Such a GREAT weekend and I look forward to every chance I have to meet musicians who have made it big and are down to earth like these guys! I love that!

Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New music blog set up!

The Undercats!

Find it here. Post good electro-dance-music. Listen to electro-dance-music. Comment on local artist!

Just have fun!

It is run by me and my other DJ buddies!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Saw Dex Pistols play at JBs. Got their contact info!

If you don't know who Dex Pistols are (and you should), they are highly popular Japanese DJs/Producers/Designers based in Japan, who opened up for Daft Punk last winter in Tokyo. Since then, they have made great connections with Ed Banger, and open for all of their artists who come to Japan. These guys are solidified. Jealous of their pics with Daft Punk in the suits too.

Regardless, they came to Nagoya last night and put on an amazing show, and afterwards, DJ Daruma, gave me his phone number (I didn't ask for it, I was drunk and trying to call a friend I lost, and he was shocked at my Japanese, and remembers me dancing and knowing every song he played that night) and said if I ever start DJing in Tokyo to call him, or if I ever get some good music produced. Awesome.

So I get home just now, to see the other half of Dex Pistols, messages me on MySpace, because he recognized my face, and told me to keep in touch and when I go to DJ, we could DJ together sometime!

This is all blowing my mind at the moment, because I seriously have like a month of DJ experience under my belt, but the kind of house I spin and love, is right up their alley, and compared to other DJs in Japan, I prefer music that most club goers wait for big name djs to come and spin.

I am seriously going to just work my butt off to get to the level to take them up on their offer. It would be a waste for me not to!

Pics from the night!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beach, Onsen, then Oiden Matsuri! Summer has officially begun!

Well the weekend came and went, and damn did it go by fast!

Sayaka and I set the alarm for 5:14AM on Sunday morning. I remember waking up at 5:55. Apparently Sayaka turned off the alarm, and we both went back to sleep. Well, our train was at 6:18!

We quickly showered and jetted to the station, no food in our stomachs at all!

We made it to our destination now problem at all and found Nao-chan and Hide-kun and began our ride to the beach, stopping for food at a conbini on the way. THANK YOU!!!

We got to the beach and it was more crowded than I have ever seen it! So manyc ars and people. We changed, applied sunscreen and headed down to the beach.

We quickly found Sayuri, but Maki was missing! Sayuri said she hadn't seen her for 30 minutes, since she went out body boarding. We tried looking out for her but couldn't see her, so Sayuri went to look, while we enjoyed the waves and water for a while. The waves were super strong and big on this day, and made for some hilarious moments for people unexpecting them. I won't name any names... After a while Maki showed up and looked like she had fun body boarding. Well now we haven't seen Sayuri for over 30 minutes... Haha!

After a while Sayuri showed up, and we were ready to go rinse off, change and head to the onsen!

To those who don't know what an onsen is, it is a large public bath, where you wash yourself off in front of many other people, then go sit in hot, or cool water to relax. My first time was a little strange, now I am super comfy doing it. Hide-kun and I went into the warm water first to relax, then we went to this place where you lay on rocks, and warm water just flows beneat you. SOOO comfortable! I swear I know I fell asleep here!

After the onsen we headed to a nearby ramen shop where we all got gyoza, and everyone got some spicy ramen, and I got the regular soy sauce flavored ramen. We had a great lunch and headed back to change for Oiden.

It was then where I got a message from one of my students that I invited to come join us, who said it was raining hard in Nagoya... We were in Okazaki, and saw dark clouds, and lightning, but no rain. So he was debating whether he should go or not. We said we didn't want to say yes or no so early, as it was still 3 hours before the event started. I called him to communicate better, and shortly after, it began to POUR! The rain was so hard, but we told him to still wait it out, but he made the call to cancel! So sad!

We got to Hide-kun's apartment in Kariya, where him and I played Mario Kart Wii while the girls got ready. After they were done, we got dressed and drove to Toyota.

There were sooo many people there it was crazy. This was my 3rd year in a row though, and probably my last while living in Nagoya, so I was used to the crowds. We found good FREE parking, and went to go to a famous spot for GREAT cheap kakigori! I got ichigo (strawberry) milk flavor, which is AMAZING! After we ate, we met up with the rest of our friends, and bought beer and drinks at the store, which was MUCH cheaper than anything on sale at the booths!

We found a good spot in front of Denny's and enjoyed watching the fireworks for a while. When we noticed people were leaving, we decided it would be a good idea to go, or we would be stuck in Toyota for hours, while everyone returned. We got the first train we attempted to get on (after I tried to get a W Zeppin Cheeseburger from Lotteria!!! But it didn't go on sale until the next day!).

Sayaka and I were hungry, so we went to my favorite cafe near my job called C's Ave. Cafe and had dinner.

After dinner we headed home and I swear we slept as soon as we got home. I woke up still physically and mentally tired, and I really wasn't sure what day it was! That is bad!

The next day found me being super LAZY! I did nothing but laundry, play videos games with my best friend in America online, and sit under the air conditioner! I was supposed to (allegedly) go to my friend Ryan's house to practice DJing, but I was soooo lazy and the weather was too weird to take the train or bike ride over (There was lightning, thunder, strong winds, and random rain fall!).

Overall a great weekend!

This weekend, sees me at Club JBs to see Dex Pistols DJ with a slew of other good DJs, and local DJ crew Tiny!!! The next day, my school will have a BBQ at Aichi Bokujo (my prefecture's farm!). The weekend after that, Tokyo and Summer Sonic. the weekend after that, the beach again! The weekend after that, someone I met wants me to see his DJ set, then I will go see my student dance in Sakae with her team who won last year!

Life! Great!

Pics!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's summer, which means, I have plans every weekend until September!

And in September, my friends and I are trying to throw an end of summer DJ event! A big one... No details yet...

So 2 weeks ago saw Sayaka and I going bowling and out to eat. We both had amazing scores and a lot of fun!

Last weekend, we went out to eat after I got off of work, and had a GREAT carbonara pasta, salad, and dessert dinner set at Marino's! The pasta is prepared in this HUGE block of aged parmesan cheese, and it looked, smelled, and tasted GREAT! After this Sayaka and I were both horribly sick! Maybe it was too rich for us!

The next day we travelled to Kurokawa (literally Black River), to go eat ramen that Sayaka claimed was the best ever. We waited in line, in the hot sun for over an hour, and I was expecting the second coming of Christ in this ramen, but for me, the taste was too weak. The line was so long because they can only fit 8 people inside of the place. I told her we may not need to come back here again, at least I don't need to!

We headed to the city to do some window shopping and stuff before I had to meet up with my friends for the Shinichi Osawa show. When the time came, we parted ways and I contacted my friends after grabbing something to drink from Starbucks (it was SUPER hot this day). They wanted to go do karaoke, and I didn't feel like it, so I called up my friend Ryan who was also going to the show, and met him and his friend at Outback. We shortly left to the British Pub we always go to called, The Hub. We drank about 2 beers, and headed to go look for our friends who should have been finishing karaoke, and we saw them about halfway there and headed to the venue.

Did I mention we didn't know where the venue REALLY was? Luckily Sayaka found a map online with navitime I think, and I took a pic with my cell phone. We got to the place, and everyone else wanted to go eat. My stomach has horrible side effects if I eat when it is hot, so I passed, and Ryan and I went into the club (JMAX).

We were the only people, and first people there, so we stepped in front of the DJ booth and talked to the DJs. One of the DJs was Canadian (DJ Ether!) and he let us take some swigs from his bottle of tequila, good man that he is! When he got off of the decks we talked a bit and exchanged info. This is one of 4 DJs I would exchange info with at jmax, then 2 more later randomly.

Time passed, our friends joined us, and the music began to pick up into more hype music! But the place was still relatively empty. That is what happens when events start at 6PM! Around 9 or 10, the place was packed and it was crazy. Ryan and I stayed in front of the DJ booth all night, unless we went to grab drinks, go to the bathroom, or go see our friends. There was a point when the DJ who was spinning's equipment went silent, and Ryan and I started hyping the crowd up by clapping and chanting in Japanese. Everyone started getting hyper, and I got some great shots of everyone at this time!

When Shinichi came on, the place went mental! His set was so high energy, people looked tired, were covered in sweat, but had huge smiles and bounced and danced all over the place! I shook his hand so many times as he kept seeing I had the biggest smile on my face, so he kept reaching out to shake my hand, or vice versa. He went on for an hour longer than scheduled, which no one cared about. When he eventually ended, we met up top, and HAD to get some water. We met with a few friends we see at other club events and exchanged info for whatever event may come up in the future (2 will be going to Summer Sonic the same day Ryan and I go!).

It was now 2:50AM or so.

We all walked to Sakae with our heads ringing, going over how awesome the whole night had been. We walked to JBs, and it sounded exciting, but they wanted 3000 yen, and we all felt tired, and sleepy! So 4 of us walked to Denny's to eat and sleep, while 2 went into the club. Before leaving I saw and exchanged info with a DJ crew who we saw before Gildas and Masaya, who were REALLY good!

We got to Denny's and like usual, it was filled with people who had been clubbing all night. People dressed for clubbing, who look like zombies, eating at one of few places still open! The plan was to sleep there, but I wanted a bed and announced I would take a taxi to get home. No one complained and actually did the same thing. I hailed a cab for 2 friends and got them on their way home, and Ryan and I shared a cab back, since we live close to each other.

I made it home, and went straight to sleep!

The next day, Sayaka and I went to eat ramen near Chikusa (much better, and cheaper, and COOLER, then the place in kurokawa!), then went bowling! My first game was average, but shortly into the second game, I forgot how to approach the lane! I could not bowl at all! I eventually just started standing at the front and throwing it, no approach at all! I must have been sooo exhausted! After our 3 games, we walked to Shin Sakae Machi to go to Starbucks!

We drank, ate, and talked for a while, then I eventually fell asleep there, since I was so tired. It was only 5 minutes or so (I dunno, how long was it Sayaka?), but when I woke up, I was ready to go! We looked for an Italian food place between Shin Sakae and Sakae, but couldn't find anything with lasagna (she was craving lasagna, I wanted something with a lot of cheese!). Our search led us to a walk to Fushimi station, where we found Pizza Salvatore!

The food here was great! We ordered a lot:

A chicken and spicy salami pizza, with mozzarella and red pepper.
Lasagna
Tomato, onion, and garlic pasta.
Lemoncello
Sambuco (too strong of a taste for me!)
Gelato
Cappuccino

Everything was around 6000 yen and it was a perfect dinner. The place was BEAUTIFUL on the inside and played a lot of nostalgic old r&b and rap music that was big when I was in college. Too funny! Made me miss my mom a bit as they played songs I know she used to like!

After dinner we headed home and I think we played Puzzle Fighter on Xbox360 Arcade, and she beat me. MAYBE I fell asleep shortly after? I don't remember...

Now I am back to the work week, but this weekend, we will go to the beach early in the morning and go body board and swim (I hope no jelly fish this time!), then after that go to an onsen to relax, clean off, and MAYBE eat, then go to Toyota city (where Sayaka and ALL of her friends are from), and dress into our yukata and go enjoy Oiden Matsuri!

The week after that, the Dex Pistols (GREAT JAPANESE DJs, who opened up for Daft Punk last December when they came to Japan!) will be at Club JBs in Sakae, and I will see them after work! The day after that, my school will have a BBQ at Aichi Bokujo!

The week after that, I head to Tokyo to go to Summer Sonic and see Justice, MGMT, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, HADOUKEN!, and Crystal Castles!!! A DAY of great music!

When I head back to Nagoya (not sure when yet) Sayaka and I will celebrate her birthday, and possibly go on a trip somewhere.(if we don't go on August 4th...)

The following weekend I think we have been invited to go to a BBQ on the beach. If it isn't this weekend, it is the next weekend!

I always say I am busy, but here is my schedule, PROOF!

In September, Ryan and I will try to get this big DJ event planned, so keep an eye out if you are in Nagoya, to check it out and hear some great house music!

As usual, please browse the pics HERE!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! In Nagano!

So Sayaka and I decided we would take each other on trips for our birthdays, and since mine is today (yay me!), we went to Nagano yesterday!

We spent the day in a town called Iida, and did sooo many interesting things!

The first thing we did was head to a farm where we made our own apple pie, ate a potatoe with some GOOD butter! We also got to eat some blueberry soft cream which was DELICIOUS!!!

We made one of severa stops to some souvenir shop, and bought some omiyage!

Our next stop was going to a river which was moving pretty fast due to the heavy rain! We saw these tiny boats with motors on them and we soon boarded them for one of the most exciting rides I have ever had! The view, mixed with the rain and everything that surrounded us during this boat ride, made for a VERY memorable experience. When we got to the end, there were 7 or 8 ducks just waiting in the water for us! There was also a white cat just sitting there watching the ducks! The highlight of this moment, was when Sayaka and I were taking pictures of them, since they were so close, one of the ducks attacked her camera (pecked the camera when she wasn't looking!). We both got startled and the duck just stayed there like nothing happened! Too funny (see the picture later...)

After this we headed to a beautiful area that had tons of old Japanese shops and items to buy. It really felt like being in ancient times in Japan. I took WAY too many pics of this place because it was soo beautiful!

After that we headed back home and I had to head to my friend Mike's farewell party (he is going back home to Canada :( ). We started at the Hub, where we drank too much, then people bought me beer and shots for my birthday at midnight. Then a few of us stumbled to a hip hop club which I totally regret! The music was SOOOO horrible, as an American who knows what real hip hop is. There was some singer who was similar to Exile's style and everyone sat on the floor to watch them perform. We just stood then eventually sat with our face's in our hands because it was soooo bad! We just sat and talked, while people "danced" to horrible music, and then the Euro Cup game (Spain vs. Germany) came on and we watched that until it was time for first train.

I made it home and went to sleep after Sayaka attacked me, knowing I was exhausted! Thanks for that baby!

Tonight we go to Hard Rock Cafe and eat some GREAT food!

Check out the pictures from yesterday!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agent_viagra/sets/72157605895308909/

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another weekend full of excitement! - NOW with videos at the bottom!

So for weeks I was planning on going to my student, Shigeo's, band Coffee Time's live show. (who I designed and maintain their website at www.coffeetime.com)

Well the day finally came and they were amazing! I got there a bit late due to stomach problems (Sayaka and I ate like 30 something gyoza in 10 minutes...) and the band before them was on. I got in and was the only foreigner, but when is that ever a shock! I got there, and Coffee Time's drummer recognized me and said "Heeeey Tommy!" which instantly made me official as for having a reason to be there. He went up front to get Shigeo, and he came and we talked and joked around a bit. The singer Chikako, from Coffee Time came to introduce herself in English to me (I haven't met her yet, I only met the previous vocalist. Plus the new bass player and keyboardist came to introduce themselves to me too. Shortly after they were ready to go on!

They warmed up with a cover of a Maroon 5 song, and after that they did 4 original songs. They really are a great band, and it is hard to describe their style. It isn't J-Pop, too hard, it isn't JRock, to electronic... I will have vids up to decribe it a bit better later!

After that, I joined my friends for the farewell party of a local teacher. We hit up Karaoke Kan, the Greek designed karaoke place with an AWESOME night view (well the room we got had the great view!). We did this all while drinking too much and singing horribly to horribly old songs (but like always Ryan and I did Justice's D.A.N.C.E.). Most were going to stay and do karaoke for one more hour, while Ryan, Susannah and I were going to look for the club that would be our after party.

We went to JBs and it was closing at 4 and they were playing, what they call "techno". We tried Daughter, and it was dead, but playing rap (who wants to dance to rap?). SO we decided to take the walk to Magos. We are glad we did! It was Electro/House night and DAMN were the DJs good that night!

I met a DJ who will be having a set on August 27th and he will get me in for free to check him out! I always love clubbing in Japan because people seems to have more fun when foreigners are around. It was so quiet, even thought the music was BANGIN, but when we got there everyone got louder. Some guy eventually came up to me with a bottle of white wine which we drank from, literally in front of the DJ booth!

The other joined us, but I wasn't sure for how long because of the alcohol, but eventually the sun rose, the last song played, and I stumbled to Denny's where everyone was crashed at. I made the decision to go walk to the station so I could catch the first train home at 6:10AM. I caught the train, stumbled to ride my bike home, and got home and took a shower then slept!

I was shocked to wake up and see Sayaka was gone, but forgot that she had work! I woke up at 10 something and got ready to go to Immigration to go get my visa and passport renewed! I left around 10:30, got my passport at 3:30. Yeah, immigration offices... After that I headed home to get the first care package my dad and his wife sent me!

When it came I was sooo happy to see 9 packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (MY FAVORITE CANDY IN THE WORLD!!!!), 4 containers of Creole seasonings (Zataran's and Tony Chachers), 2 bottles of Frank's Red Hot sauce (such a good taste, and not too spicy!), some mac and cheese, and liquid popsicles to freeze! I will be happy with these for some time!

My mom should have sent me another package today too, with 3 new suits that I bought, plus some other things I asked for!

Such a good week!

Also, 6 more days until my birthday, and Sayaka and I will go have a day trip to Nagano on Sunday, and after that I will go to one of my friend's going away party. No idea what the plan is, but sounds like a bar night!

Busy busy busy busy busy... You should know me by now right?

Also after this weekend at Club Magos, I was seriously considering thinking of becoming a party promoter, and give some local DJs more recognition. These guys are as good, if not better, then other artists who make a ton of money and travel the world. I think they need someone to get their name out there! Maybe that someone is me...

Pics from the live!

Video from the live will come as soon as I get em uploaded!











Monday, June 16, 2008

I met Nabe Atsu!!!

AKA Watanabe Atsumu!!!

If you live in Japan, you know who he is, or at least know OF him!

Sayaka and I went to the big Eiden event at Nagoya Dome and got to see him and his partner do a 10 minute comedy sketch. Before that I bought 2 hi vision camcorders that were on sale for a GOOD price, and now I am going to sell them! (YAY!)

Anyways, Sayaka made reservations fora book signing event that he would be doing at Nagoya Station, at Books Sanseido. I didn't think I needed to do it, because I thought we would have been closer to see him at the Eiden event, but I was wrong...So after we ate I asked her to see if she could make reservations for me too. Well who would have guessed it, I got my reservation, 4 hours or so before the event! LUCKY!

So we go to Nagoya station, go get our tickets to buy the book and get in line to meet him. We waited for an hour and a half or so, but when he arrived, everyone got soo excited and started cheering. As they say in Japan, everyone became TENSION UP!!! (this always makes me laugh when I hear this being said...)

Thanks to Sayaka getting us in line early, she was number 8 in line and I was 9! We both went up together and she kinda acted as my translator. She asked him if he was tired, because he LOOKED exhausted (after the Eiden event, now signing 200 people's books and shaking their hands...) and he said he wasn't. He asked me if I understand his act, and I said a little, which made him laugh. He also asked if I spoke Japanese and I said a little again... We both got our books signed and Sayaka looked like she was about to explode, cry, faint, or all of them at the same time! She was tension up for hours to come.

Following this momentous occasion was a 2.5 hour drink fest at the beer garden in the Dai Nagoya Building. I was meeting up again with my trainers and other teachers after they did a day hike at some mountain in Mie. We drank ourselves stupid and ate till we couldn't move, just like you should at a beer garden! After that a few of us went to The Hub to chat and BS around until it became too late.

A super eventful day yesterday, and I was sad to see it go! Now I am stuck in my apartment, with no water, and thinking of how to sell these camcorders!

Wish me luck!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agent_viagra/sets/72157605640447837/

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bowling party, drinking party, and almost going to Nagoya University's school festival...

So my student who goes to Nagoya University invited me to go to the school's festival. So Sayaka and I got ready early and I picked up a day pass for the subway, and we headed to the station. When we got there, there were signs, and people in megaphones saying the festival had been canceled. A bit of back story is in store...

So Saturday night, after work, we saw that a lot of people got sick from eating some food at a school university. They were sent home, and people were shown crying and what not. Then we found out it was Nagoya University! OK, so get rid of the bad food, and all is well? Nope, the sign said something about not being able to continue with the festival knowing they got people sick, and they remained hospitalized. I do understand that though, but felt bad, because I KNOW my student worked sooo hard preparing for it, only to have the last, most busy day, be canceled! Maybe next year will go better!

So after those events, we thought we would go to Sakae before I had to go to my school's party. We did some walking around and caught a glimpse of a new J Pop artist who was signing her CD at Parco. I took pics even though I shouldn't have!

It eventually became time for Sayaka and I to part ways for the day, so we said bye and she lead me to the station. After a short time, I realized she lead me to the ENTRANCE to the shopping center, while she was walking towards the station... Dizzy dizzy girl! I walked back and she was on her phone calling me, and started laughing and hid her face when she saw me. A funny moment, for sure!

I eventually made it to the meeting place, and everyone was jokingly mad at me for being late. I admit, I was 9 minutes late, but stupid slow walkers in Kamimaezu station were to blame!

We rounded almost everyone up and made our way to the bowling alley.

The first game was my best game in a long time, where I scored 155 points. This put me in the number 3 spot for total points. After the first game we were set into teams for the tournament, and we bowled a difficult 10 frames, only to tie for last place. I ended with a 138 for that game. Pretty consecutive day for me, nothing below 100 this day!

After bowling we headed to Wara Wara, where we all ate, drank, and had a great time!

Our next party? BBQ in August!

On to the PICS!

Friday, June 06, 2008

My last 2 photo days!

Check out my new photo galleries for pics of what I have done recently!

Our anniversary at my student Yoko's strawberry themed party!

Our first Chunichi Dragons game!!

My last 2 photo days!

Check out my new photo galleries for pics of what I have done recently!

Our anniversary at my student Yoko's strawberry themed party!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/agent_viagra/sets/72157605419471970/

Our first Chunichi Dragons game!!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/agent_viagra/sets/72157605437959602/

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It has been a while since my last blog post...

Since then, Sayaka and I celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!
We didn't want to do anything too flashy and big, so we spent the day together going to my student's house, where she had a strawberry themed party! Her garden has a lot of strawberries so she let the kids from her art class come, if they drew her a picture with a strawberry in it. All of the kids were so cute and happy to be there. She prepared many types of snacks with strawberries in them too! Strawberry ice cream, fruit cup, soda, and other food too. After we stayed there and took several pictures, we headed to Kanayama to find something to eat. We ended up going to a buffet for 2 hours and enjoyed some great food that they had there! A nice relaxing anniversary date with Sayaka, we were both happy!

I also started a new hobby, which is DJing house music with my friend Ryan, who teaches in Kasugai, near me. He is also from the same city I lived in before I came to Nagoya, and has gone with me to many concerts, and we both have a love for music. Last weekend he had a small get together and we djed and drank and socialized, so I guess you can say it was our first DJ event. We want to practice more and see where it could take us...

Today or tomorrow I will be buying my ticket to Summer Sonic 2008! I went in 2006, skipped 2007, and now I am ready to go again! My first Summer Sonic I saw Daft Punk live for the first time. Daft Punk being the biggest house music act coming from France! This year will be my first time seeing Justice live, who is the NEXT biggest house music act coming from France! I will also be able to see Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Crystal Castles, and many other bands I can't wait to see! Ryan should be going with me and maybe a few other teachers in the area, so it should be a fun day of music!

OH! And Sayaka and I went to our first Chunichi Dragons game last weekend! It was a COMPLETELY different feeling than an American baseball game! Each batter has their own chant and cheer, people go crazy without alcohol, and the visiting team has their own section, going crazy and doing the same things! it is definitely more festive than the American version, and the biggest difference I noticed was that the field was shorter than the American sized baseball field. I felt like it wouldn't be TOO hard to hit a homerun!

Also I haven't made any music since my laptop died, and just yesterday, at work, I started working on the drums for my first new track in a while. I can't wait to put together another track, since I have been discovering a LOT of GOOD house/electro/french in the last month or so. I have TONS of inspiration now!

Now to the pics!




Friday, May 16, 2008

Big News (for me) I am moving! Next year to...

Tokyo!

I asked my trainer if I could transfer after I finish my 3rd year, and he said it would be no problem! He even asked why I didn't ask before my first year ended, but I just recently found out it was possible.

So next July, I will be moving to Tokyo!

The reason I want to be there is the find a foreign (or Japanese) company to be their graphic designer, web designer, or anything not teaching English!

Nagoya is a little sleepy when it comes to foreign friendly careers, so I want to make the move!

A year and a month or so away from the big T!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Slowly getting my laptop to life...

So I can NOT recover the data on my old hard drive. So I lost a lot of pictures, my Outlook data files (which means I lost ALL of my clients, all of my schedules, birthdays, etc.) and who knows what else I had on there that I just wasn't keeping track of (stuff on desktop, important financial info and such).

I am slowly trying to get this back to a state where I can make music, receive and send email outside of a web browser. and go back to making websites...

Slowly but surely.

This officially marks the second time in my life that my hard drive died while I was really enjoying making music. This time though, I had it all backed up!

So FUCK you fate!

Sorry, I am so pissed when I think about everything I lost...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Major major set back!

So shortly after I wrote the blog from today, my laptop bit the dust. Well at last the hard drive did....

Yeah I can go buy a new hard drive and be up and running, but, yeah, Ilost all of my programs, settings, a lot of picture I haven't uploadedyt (and even getting ones I have uploaded back on my hard drive is a pain, sine I have to download them one by one...)
Luckily, I just backed up my music and music files to my external hard drive, but I did lose 20 gigs of free sounds for my music software... Thoe took FOREVER to download and I never got a chance to back them up!

For reference, I am using an Acer Ferrarri 4000. NEVER buy one or ANY other Acer product after reading this! This is just the latest problem I have had since buying it just over 2 years ago.

This is why I am saving up for a Mac Book Pro!

Oh yeah, I am able to use my Playstation 3 to check e-mail and write posts still, but that is about it, as the browser is very limited.

Golden Week, a success?

I would say so.

My first days were filled with laziness, carbs, and calories! Got to disk 4 of Lost Odyssey and just completing a lot of side junk now for fun.

Bought some Bape stuff.

Made some songs for some videos.

My plans didn't really come about until Friday night, when Sayaka and I went to Outback for dinner. Saturday we slept in a bit to catch the night bus that night with her mom to Tokyo to go to Disneyland. Before the bus,w e ate dinner though, and we all agreed, the food at that place wasn't so great!

The bus ride there wasn't too bad, I got off at one rest area to buy some candy, as I just had the taste of grape chu-hi on my tongue and it wasn't pleasant! Next time I awoke, we were within Tokyo's boundaries, but not quite to the Disney resort. I stayed awake for the rest of the trip, enjoying the view of my favorite city in Japan!

We did our breakfast buffet which was pretty good. The food, salad, fruit, yogurt, everything was sooo good!

Now the day before, was SOOO hot in Nagoya, that I bought 3 pairs of shorts, and wore one of them for the trip. This day, in Tokyo, was COLD and windy!

Throughout the day at Disneyland, it would start sprinkling quite often, then downright rain a few times during the day. I was definitely not dressed for it!

The day was fun, but definitely, the most crowded I have seen ANY Disney park, save California's on New Year's Eve! We waited 3 hours and 40 minutes, for Winnie the Pooh's Honey Hunt, which was better than waiting an hour and 50 minutes JUST to get a "fast" pass, which wanted us to return at 8PM, and it was 9AM... After the Pooh ride (which underwhelmed Sayaka and here mom because of the length of the wait, to length of the ride ratio was ridiculous) we went on Big Thunder Mountain. The wait here was about 2 hours and 45 minutes. This ride always satisfies me, so the wait was worth it! After this we ate, then went on Splash Mountain which was another 2 hour + wait! Our picture for Splash Mountain was soo funny, because Sayaka looked like she was going to die, her mom was smiling so big, and I looked super relaxed!


After Splash, we watched the Electrical Parade, which I really think Daft Punk was inspired by for their last tour... After the parade we did omiyage shopping and headed to the bus to go home. It was a looong ride home, because the little girl next to us decided to start crying for a good part of the trip, and I think she kept everyone up.

Check all Disneyland pics HERE!

We arrived back in Nagoya Monday morning, which was around 17 hours before I would go see Gildas and Masaya at club Magos in Shin Sakae Machi.

We slept a bit and recovered, and the time to go meet my friend Ryan came and went.

We met at Hub which is a popular foreigner bar in Sakae, to go drink a bit. It is much cheaper to drink at a bar, than it is to drink at the club, so we always do this before a show! We met a guy named Mike that was half black and Japanese, lived in Hawaii for 10 years, so had a thick Hawaiian accent, but looked Mexican! I was shocked to find out his nationality, and that he was born in Nagoya! His English and Japanese were flawless. So jealous...

Anyways, we met with 2 more friends and headed to Magos. When we got there, the DJs that were on in the main room, weren't bad, if you don't consider the type of house that Gildas and Masaya play. Their style was a bit too slow for our liking. We moved to the next, smaller room, and got much better music! It was a shame these guys were not in the main room though! While partying in the small room, Ryan came and got me, and told me that Gildas and Masaya had just started, so we worked our way to the middle right side and partied there for like an hour or so! As usual we made friends/fans because us foreigners usually do a lot more than the 2-step at a house music show, so the Japanese party goers were amazed. At some point I realized "Hey, I want to be in the front by the DJ booth, so I gracefully made my way up there, bringing Ryan and our friends with me. We stayed there rocking out till Gildas and Masaya ended their set, and passed the turntables over to 2 Japanese DJs that were pretty much the same style as the star DJs. They even played a few of the same songs!

Overall, this show was one of the best house shows I have ever seen, and a lot more energetic than some of the bigger shoes. Maybe because of how small Magos was!

And that was that. The next day, Sayaka and I rode our bikes to 31 Flavors to get ice cream on the last day of their sale, then we went to get yakiniku and seriously ate so much we both wanted to throw up. Great huh?

And here I am, hours before my second day of work after vacation. Yesterday wasn't as bad as I thought. This is seriously the first and only job I have had, that I don't dread after a long vacation. That is a gooood thing!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The video with my song is UP!

SO I mentioned someone wanted to use my music for a video of cars using their products right? Well here it is!

It is his first video, and he is learning as he goes (he is not a video guy), but I like the way he got everything to fit with the pace and changes of the music.

Please check it out, and let him and I know what you think!

BTW the song is called Alta Loma, after ONE of many cities I have lived in.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So it begins!

I was asked by someone making some car oriented videos to use one of my songs on my MySpace page. I wont get paid, but I will get some exposure.

Of course I said yes!

Once he puts the video up and online, I will put a link to it!

Plus, today I went shopping and bought 2 new Bathing Ape items!

Some new shoes, and a reversible shirt!

What do ya think?



Saturday, April 26, 2008

Last day of work before Golden Week Vacation!

Yes in an hour I will be leaving to work, to teach 7 classes, before I begin 9 days of LAZINESS!!!

I have been soo busy lately that I want to just lay back and be Tommy!

Sayaka has only 3 days off during this time, so her, her mom and I will go to Disneyland, and the day we return, I go to a Gildas and Masaya show in Shin Sakae Machi.

Between Tomorrow and then? I will be sleeping a lot, playing a lot of video games I have neglected, and just being lazy and useless to society.

I deserve it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What a busy weekend!

Yeah like you have never heard that before!

Well here it is another busy weekend on my side of the world.

Saturday, after such a busy day at work, we all went to my coworker Eriko's wedding party! I love Japanese wedding parties because there are games and chances to win prizes! This one was extra fun because Krystin and I were the only foreigners there, so we got to be circus monkeys in a confined space, unlike in the wild like a regular day in Japan. The party location was amazing and Eriko looked great in her wedding dress, and her husband looks like a really cool guy (they are now the Nekoda family. Neko as in cat!) One of the games had everyone get into teams based on the number on our name tags. Manager and I were the only ones to go up and do it, as the others were too shy. I was on team 10 and manager team 9. On my team, was only one girl who spoke English, so I had to try my best to communicate in Japanese. The first game saw us having to go up and do a speech to the bride and groom. Well I was partnered with a girl who spoke no English and thought it was hilarious that I panicked when I was handed the mic. When I tried giving it to her, she hid behind me and I was stuck in front of the married couple, not knowing what to do or say. EVERYONE got a laugh at that, I guess even me! Next was imitating someone famous to make the couple laugh. A guy on my team and I were going to do Oriental Radio (Japanese comedians) but when they got to our number, they skipped us and started voting for the winner! We were sad because we kept practicing in line, which was great because we had kind of an audience watching and laughing at us. My partner who spoke NO English was bummed he didn't get to do a short team comedy with me, so we promised no matter what, we would go up and do our skit no matter what the game was. Unfortunately, that was the last team game and we didn'[t get to make fools of ourselves... Regardless, the food was great, dessert was lots of fruit with white chocolate, chocolate, and green tea fondue! Let's just say I ate a LOT of that! Plus Manager and I were drinking a lot and we made some awkward hoots and hollers after the bride and groom kissed. A great night!

The next morning, yesterday, we got up early and headed for Toyota to have a BBQ at a park. The weather was perfect as we all cooked and drank under the trees. The park was filled with soo many people, and there were a lot of kids running around too. Sooo much fun! After that, we went to Uniqlo and I bought 2 new shirts and a pair of clear lens glasses. We made it home and Sayaka did Billy's Boot Camp, while I made some music.

Speaking of music, the band wants to have a 4 song demo, and I have been working on the music for said 4 songs. Well as of today, 3 of the 4 songs are DONE! I feel like I can kinda relax a bit, but I LOVE making music and relaxing is the last thing on my mind!

I will eventually share the music we make once we are ready, but until then, check out pics of the wedding and the BBQ!