Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ivan Ramen!

The Wall Street Journal today has an article and video interview with my friend Ivan who has a ramen shop in Tokyo. We've been friends since taking Japanese classes together in college. I'm so proud of him!

(YouTube link. should be permanent)

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Knew My House Was Too Dusty and I'm The Only One That Cares

This NYT article discusses the "happiness gap" between men and women. Apparently men have found ways to cut back on activities they find unpleasant in the past 40 or 50 years and women spend as much time as they ever did on chores. It's just that now the chores also involve paid employment and the housework gets pushed back down on the list of priorities.
I'm not sure what conclusions I draw for myself from this. I'm tempted to say I should try harder to not be bothered by the dusty surfaces and the cat and dog hair on the carpet.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pigs Are Flying as I Type

Oh. My. God. Either the gaijin thing doesn't have the appeal it used to or the foreign guys in Japan are just a lamer breed than they used to be, but apparently there is a group of guys making money off of teaching other foreign guys how to pick up Japanese girls in Japan. These guys charge almost $800 for a two-day Bootcamp, $600 for a 5-hour workshop, and $1,000 for a 5-hour Sexual Mastery Seminar; they appear to have happy, paying customers, if their testimonials are to believed.
Back in the day (late 80s and early 90s) I used to hear my guy buddies telling all kinds of tales of girl hunting in Japan that involved minimum to no effort on their part. (And most of these were guys I knew from before Japan and they were by no means "players" before hitting the Land of Wa.) I wonder what the deal is. Has the gaijin aura lost its shimmer or has moving to Japan just become such a mundane choice of post-collegiate experience that when separated from their helicopter parents these guys need to hire someone to teach them how to get laid?
According to this, these guys must be much, much lamer than the generation that might be their older uncles or even their grandfathers!

Info on The Osaka Crew taken from a post on the once-promising-lately-not-so-much Stippy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

LOL Secrets

You know, I think this was inevitable.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Freelancer's Dream (or Nightmare)

Man, it's like someone had a spycam watching me, except I was a guy with a cat, ordering pizza instead of a gal with a dog and a cat, eating senbei sent from Japan.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Observation While in Traffic

Young girls stare into mirrors
looking for answers
what they get are reflections

Monday, September 03, 2007

Full On Empty

On Saturday I went to get a massage. (an awesome deal at $30 for an hour-long massage, btw.) During the session I was talking with the massage therapist and as the usual "what do you do" question led to others, she asked me if the Japanese really were healthier than Americans. I answered that they probably are, they certainly eat a lot less than we do. The student-therapist told me she waitressed this summer and noticed that the European customers at the restaurant ate so differently from the locals; they were very picky about what they ate and usually ate only about half of what was served. It all got me to wondering, once again, why we in this country are so obsessed with stuffing ourselves silly. I know there are plenty of researchers who will point to evolutionary reasons, but other countries that also enjoy abundant resources don't pig out American style. Sure the details of what we eat play a part, but I'm thinking strictly of volume. What's the void that developed over the past ten or twenty years that is begging to be filled with ever greater quantities of super-sized food?
When I was a kid, no matter how much I ate I never felt over-full. This appalled and worried my parents, especially my mother. Somehow over time I developed the ability to actually feel full and even uncomfortable as a result of overeating. I don't always pay attention to that, but most of the time I try to pay attention to the hara hachi-bu ("eat until you are 80% full) feeling that's common sense in Japan.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mad Men

I admit it. I'm hooked on Mad Men. I'm glad I didn't have to live in that world, but it's an interesting place to visit in retrospect.
Tonight we watched episode 7 (thank you On Demand) and I noticed that the "new girl" Peggy seems to have doubled or tripled her bust size over previous episodes. What's that about?
They are so careful about all the details on that show, so it's got to be somehow deliberate. It just struck me as so strange. Maybe she is just getting used to being a working girl in the city and bought a new 1960s style Wonderbra or something.