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!


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...