Monday, March 30, 2009

Osaka at sunset

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Smiths

For those moments where your heart feels like it's being torn from your chest and you somehow enjoy it in a laughing masochistic fashion. The Smiths Singles Box (UK Edition)!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

What I'm doing

I'm going to Osaka this weekend to meet up with the people I spend all day every day at work talking to. Since I came to Japan I've had UNBELIEVABLE amounts, like weeks at a time, of down time at work, and rather than study Japanese or German or read books or make music, I find myself unmotivated as hell and wasting hours on a particular e-forum. Right now most JETs are in the midst of spring break and not teaching, so everyone has time to post on the boards. Anyway, yeah, going to Osaka to meet e-people, eat amazing Osaka food and go clubbing - Fukuoka's "The Happy Cock" is hardly a legitimate dancing/DJing establishment, unfortunately. I booked my shinkansen and hotel today, ¥32,600 for round trip bullet train from/to Kokura (original target of the second A-bomb but diverted last minute because of clouds - fun fact) and two nights at a decent hotel right next to Shinsaibashi subway station (centrally located) isn't so bad, that's like what, $350 or something? Shinkansen tickets are expensive as hell but the nonreserved cars are smoky and gross, the ferry takes 12 hours and the night bus 8-9, so it's worth it.

I also have been obsessively planning outfits. I made a nice one today after buying some new tights and a scarf. That's the back view of today's outfit on top, and you can see my spare room and kitchen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


One of the main reasons I came to Japan was to load up on Japanese fashion and grooming habits. I've been buying ass-tons of new clothes ever since Tokyo Orientation in July, and yesterday I got my first non-auto haircut.

The haircut doesn't look spectacular but that's really just because I'm funny looking. I went to this little hole-in-the-wall place that I was walking by on my way home from work. It was just some middle aged woman with smoker voice who had 4 chairs, some magazines, a TV and a cassette tape player. Yeah, cassettes! She did a nice job with my hair and the preliminary shampoo/head massage was amazing. I love how in Japan they use razors instead of scissors. It creates the "pointy" effect that I sooo desperately wanted when I was in high school confused about my Asian-American identity.

And today was, like all Wednesdays, Ladies' Day at AEON Mall in Nogata, and I decided to load up on new work-appropriate clothes at Uniqlo (I know, I'm lame) and some other boutique-type stores. Shopping for work clothes is getting more and more fun. Am I turning lame?

Anyway, here you can see some of the clothes I bought + my haircut. I'm leaving it in link form.

There is weird yellow sand blowing all over Kyushu from China, and my lungs feel like they've shrunken to half their usual slightly constricted size. Or I'm asthmatic and don't realize it. Either way, this yellow sand business sucks. It makes you feel chalky whenever you go outside, which is a damn shame considering it's like 22 C at the warmest part of the day. I hope it fucks off back home to China soon...

Monday, March 16, 2009

A weekend in Sasebo!

So this past weekend I went to Sasebo with Walter, Miho, Mike, Chris, Josh and Monica. Sasebo is famous throughout Japan for three things:

1.) U.S. Naval base / overrun with American servicemen
2.) Sasebo burgers - they're big and juicy with lots of bacon and egg
3.) Huis Ten Bosch - a replica Dutch theme park that looks eerily like Amsterdam

We left Saturday afternoon from Hakata station (Fukuoka) and arrived in Sasebo somewhere around 3:30, checked into our hotel, stuffed our faces, went shopping for a while, and regrouped around 6:30 to stuff our faces again at a Tex-Mex restaurant. It was heaven on a plate; I haven't had enchiladas like that in forever and there was REAL sour cream. I may well never shit again after eating that much dairy in one sitting, but I'm at peace with that.

After dinner we opted for the obvious and went out on the town for drinks. We ended up at a bar called "Rogiq" that Shaun recommended and it was JUST. LIKE. HOME. except much more of a sausagefest than typical Albany nightlife - maybe 80/20 male/female. There was a brilliant Japanese band covering all the well-loved American classics, from Sublime to Jon Bon Jovi and RHCP, and dozens of bros from all over America raised their glasses and bellowed along. I tried to go into it all with an open mind, distancing the whole Village People thing from the navy, but it was impossible as there were shirtless men in construction hats gyrating in close proximity to one another. At 2:30 they kicked us out and amidst fistfights and other forms of chest-beating, we escaped to the safety of our hotel - which, by the way, had a special U.S. Navy discount for "rest only" (meaning "using the hotel room as a one night stand sanctuary")...

The next day we had Sasebo burgers for breakfast and went to Huis Ten Bosch, which is honestly the WEIRDEST place I've ever been. It's like some kind of entirely soulless brightly colored impossibly tidy brand new Amsterdam with working windmills, huge fields of neatly planted tulips, and Japanese people. There are no coffeeshops or Dutch pancakes, but you can buy imported cheeses and eat red wine flavored soft ice cream. Everyone was either hung over or sleepy so we spent most of the day taking pictures. The tulips were admittedly really pretty, but overall I left Huis Ten Bosch feeling wholly unfulfilled. Sometimes Japan does that to me - things like modern weddings and the lemming-like hand clapping at concerts are just so tacky and feel so superficial and bizarre, like if they existed in America they'd be crushed by the "uncool" police or something.

It was, in total, a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tim Exile + Capsule

Tim Exile - Listening Tree
DnB meets IDM, energetic and dark, 2009

Capsule - More! More! More!
Amazing dance tracks from the dude who produces Perfume (J-pop/electro girl group), 2008

Get them here!

Thank you Eli for the upload :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chromeo - She's In Control


Knock yourselves out. This is a lovely fusion of disco, soul and electro, and there are talk boxes!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

"my japan" as i see it

This is an open sewer and my rice paddy.

I've gotten into the habit of keeping weird, weird hours. This is the sun rising from the east as viewed from my balcony.

The beauty of being an educational peon is watching the teachers go crazy.

This is a fancy bento. I liked almost everything in it, especially the lumpy purple mochi/bean cake in the upper left hand corner.

Every day when I leave work I walk down this hill.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I made you a mix tape!

All of these fall into the "wear something black and/or shiny to fit in if this mix were being DJed at a club" category. They are in no particular order at all.


1.) Melotron - "Kein Problem"
The title track of the EP "Kein Problem." Germany.
2.) Depeche Mode - "World In My Eyes"
Sexy. Just sexy. England.
3.) Condition One - "Believe (Radio Edit)"
Black not required for this dance track. Germany.
4.) Red Flag - "Count To Three (House Mix)"
Learn to count while you dance. USA.
5.) And One - "So Klingt Liebe"
Love sounds like this. Germany.
6.) Matinee Club - "Sometimes"
Is that Madonna's Bettie Page lookalike cousin? England.
7.) Cosmicity - "Digital Delays"
The best synthpop ever to come out of Detroit? USA.
8.) Melotron - "Ich Will Dich"
Seduce her with these words. Germany.
9.) Diary of Dreams - "She"
Taste the goth as she makes her anger turn into quiet tears. Germany.
10. ) Anders Lundqvist - "Strike Force"
You've entered the future as viewed from 1980?! Sweden.
11.) Clan of Xymox - "A Day"
Now a classic goth club track! The Netherlands.


Leave a comment if you take anything :)

listen to cartoons

After show number one as "eigobando" everyone was happy, and there was beer in little plastic cups, and a Moroccan, and everyone sucked happy waterfalls of carbonated yellow fun from their transparent containers, and Krampus had a nice time supplemented by a toast to Cinnamon and a happy sunflower from a big chicken who cares. And then we decided it was more than fine to be re-known by our crowded gallery of fans, groupies and roadies as Listen to Cartoons.

Monday, March 2, 2009

an obituary

Cinnamon Sweets Cardwell

February 22, 1992 - February 26, 2009

: (