Amidst the rumors flying around at work about a teacher somewhere in west Tokyo who chucked his sad self in front of a train, and this article about the ever-rising rate of suicides in Japan, I thought I’d share some recent photos of life.
As the Monty Python song goes, “Worse thing happen at sea, you know.”
But seriously. If you’re thinking seriously about killing yourself, please do a favor for your loved ones and yourself and get some help. It’s out there, waiting. You just have to call.
Be safe. (Click below to see some recent photos. Didn’t want the front page to get too photo-heavy, for you low-bandwidth folks.)
So Marshmallow Spike finally had a gig inside the Yamanote. And there was much rejoicing.
Took the day off work yesterday to go to the mecca of extreme rollercoasters, Fuji-Q Highland with my friend Michiyo.
The amusement park is set next to Mt. Fuji, one of the most beautiful sights in all Japan. How the Japanese could pull this off, sticking such a crass commercialistic endeavor so close to a national symbol is beyond me, but since the dormant stays hidden behind clouds about 70 percent of the time, I guess it doesn’t matter much.
Anyway, the two best rides were naturally the most extreme ones.
There is a scene in Mel Brooks’ wonderul satire, “Spaceballs,” where Rick Moranis reveals to Bill Pullman just how they’re related.
“I am,” he says gleefully, “Your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.”
The way I learned about The Beautiful Losers was slightly more complex, involving my cousin, his parents, one heck of a loaned CD and emails with the band’s amazingly gregarious co-founder, Brett Boyd. But it was a good thing I did.
I’d like to take a brief moment to plug the website of two of my students, CyberManga.
It’s an innovative way to do ‘net comics by taking advantage of the flexibility of the web in linking information. Created in Flash, the art and story often contain images with some sort of movement and “informational” buttons, which provide backstory in the form of a narrative box or even a flashback sequence.
As with most manga, I’m not too clear on the story in the first episode, and the Japanese tongue-in-cheek, breaking-the-fourth-wall sense of humor might be awkward for some readers. But the art aesthetic is so compelling and fluid that I’ll definitely be back for more.
After avoiding traditional journalism for nearly two years, I seem to have an article published in the July edition of Japan-Zine.
But it’s not available online yet. I’ll see about reprinting it here, perhaps.
It’s not easy to find good, cheap international eats in Tokyo, and I’m only going to make it marginally easier for you.
Now don’t get all huffy. See, it’s not my call. As Jon, the unflappable owner of the tapas restaurant Las Meninas in Koenji, told me when he agreed to let me write about his little joint on my web page: “My wife will kill me,” he said in his Newscastle accent, a half-sarcastic twinkle in his eye, “if we get any more customers.”