Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Lord knows that, at any given time, I have a slew of movies I'm excited about. That being said....YES!!!

Watch the trailer

Friday, July 20, 2007


I'm surrounded on all sides by rice paddies. Why can't they be as cool as these? That's all I'm saying.

Click here to see more

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't Panic...

Typhoons, earthquakes, nuclear power plant leaks. All within 48 hours. Dare I say…”Yikes” But, like the title suggests, I’m still here and in one piece. The typhoon was pretty tame by the time it got up north. That’s pretty typical around these parts; nothing flashy, just abnormally rainy and windy. The earthquake was more of the same. Although it took place only 150 miles away, I didn’t even feel the quake, though maps suggest that I should have. I did, however, feel a pretty hearty aftershock about 12 hours later. Again, nothing terror inducing, just enough to get my attention. Take a peek at the maps- the first is a map of the first quake and the second is of the aftershock. On both, I put the purple dot in to represent where I am. What's impressive about both is the total area that each covers; thems big quakes. So, to recap: not dead, not blown away, not glowing with radioactive waste. If you feel the need to be concerned, I do have a headache.

Didn't feel it.

Felt it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

You're eating what?!??!

I’d like to relay an experience I go through every time I visit an elementary school (usually twice a week). Now, I understand that interacting with a foreigner must be a pretty interesting experience for them and the attention they lavish on me can be a solid ego massage, but occasionally their enthusiasm borders on the absurd. Take lunchtime. Long ago I gave up paying for the school lunch, primarily due to dietary restrictions but also because it occasionally made me kinda gaggy, and started packing my own lunch. Since that time here’s a pretty typical conversation I have with the little sprats. I have, of course, translated it for everyone to enjoy.

Student 1: What’s that!?!

Me: It’s a sandwich.

Student 1: A sandwich!! AMAZING!

Student 2: Did you make it yourself?

Me: Yep, sure did?


Thinking to myself: Yes, truly perfecting the art of layering sliced bread and cold cuts was a daunting task. Learning how to portion mustard to bread cost me nearly a year of your life. Don’t go down this road kids. It’s not worth it.

Student 3: What are those?

Me: They’re plums.

At this time a crowd usually begins to form around me. Often this culminates in kids lifting the top off of my Tupperware and peaking in. I’d say my favorite thing is when the kids touch my food. Awesome….just awesome.

Students: PLUMS!?!?! You’re so lucky! I want to eat plums for lunch!

Thinking to myself: You know you can get a dozen of them for about 4 bucks this time of year. They’re practically giving them away. Go tell Mom and Pop.

A little later-

Student 4: Is your food delicious?

Me: Yes…yes it is.

This is when I congratulate myself for packing food I like instead of utter crap.

Now, in their defense, sandwiches and even fruits are relatively uncommon foods to have for lunch, so I suppose a little surprise isn’t unwarranted. Oddly enough, the truly esoteric items (e.g. cous cous) usually leave them so nonplussed that they don’t know whether they should be covetous or not. (They should’ve been…it was delicious) What’s truly baffling is when I elicit this reaction with Japanese food. Take soba (buckwheat noodles) for example. I’ve had the exact same interaction as above with soba even though you could close your eyes and run into a soba shop here. They also point out how delicious soba is and how they wish they were eating it instead of their lousy school lunch. I can’t help but wonder why though. As good as soba is, it’s certainly not a unique flavor savored only on special occasions. While good, in the Japanese milieu I’d say soba is fairly pedestrian. I often wonder if I took the school lunch from the day before and repacked it into Tupperware containers if they would be as amazed and envious. I suppose the grass is always greener.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New Hotness

So my recent obsession has been news binging. I was skeptical of news aggregators at first, but I was shown the light a few months ago when Bloglines entered my life. As great as it was I was eventually wooed away by the unstoppable behemoth that is Google. So now, in addition to handling my email and my blogging, they now provide me with my news. What I'm getting at is that, in lieu of actual human contact, Google has become my new best friend. The next step in this relationship is integration; now when I think a story I read via Google Reader is particularly interesting I can post it on the blog for everyone else to judge its worth (and my own by proxy I suppose). And what story did I choose for this historical day in information synergy? The closing of the last Rax in Indiana. If you don't know what Rax is (or was) then you've lived a sheltered and meaningless life. RIP Uncle Alligator.