Saturday, November 29, 2003

Yesterday I observed my first surgery - or I should say surgeries.

My uncle was has bilateral total knee arthroscopies put in and his surgeon was kind enough to allow me to observe the process and even offered if I ever wanted to see anything else to let him know.

Damn it was cool.

Not much blood - a lot of saws and drills, clamps and vices... I admit I did feel a bit weak for a while there, especially when they started cutting up the base of the femur. But I managed to keep my stomach throughout the second procedure totally from breaking through the skin to stitching up again!


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Damn - THANKSGIVING??? Bugger - didn't see that one coming!

Well - HAPPY THANKSGIVING - may you all get some of the part of the turkey you like the most.

Late again! Thanks BLOGGER!
Nah Sul - I'm god that was just me being about 15 minutes late for work, I got far too caught up in reading the blog these past few days. Not to mention the weird and wonderful links you boys attach for me!

XXOO - :0 X
Happy Thanksgiving all!!! Give thanks and recall all the wonderful things in life...family, friends, good beer, shwag...I gove thanks this year to my friends who helped me stay sane in this weird and tumultous year.
Late again! Thanks BLOGGER!

Huh? Need help with something. As the Administrator of this facility I offer you assistance in a non-Lando Calrissian way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I've been there done that and have the pictures to prove it.

You are so dead...you are officially holding out on me!!! ^_~
K - I have a number of problems with that test... but recently I saw on a 60 minutes special the FBI testing a father of three with electrodes attached to his penis that consisted of basically the same images to determine wether or not he had molested his children.

I have a number of problems with that test...mainly the number of days until the Olsen Twins turn 18. No really...Avril's 19 now and I can look all I want.

Talking Hockey with Rev. Sully and an infinite amount of monkeys all typing a script for Hamlet:

It has begun. JR Superstar…Jeremy Roenick is having an MRI done on his back. So far only Todd Fedoruk is on the injured list. JR sat out one practice. Nothing major…yet. But I see it as a harbinger. When will the Flyers start dropping like…flies to the injury bug.

Eddie Belfour moved past Glenn Hall for fifth place in all time wins by an NHL goalie. Glenn Hall is the goalie seen here:

Speaking of Bruins versus Blues. Tonight in St. Louis…Bruins versus Blues. St. Louis is good this year. The Blues are high octane at 12-5-0-1, the Bruins are 11-3-3-3. The Bruins are drawing all the first place teams; 10 days ago the Canucks, Saturday the Flyers and tonight the Blues. It’s always tough to win in St. Louis. It’s been 8 years since Boston’s won there. The B’s are without P.J. “Goldilocks” Axelsson again.

Talk about the Walking Wounded. The Colorado Avalanche have at least 7 players in the Injured List including Paul Kariya.

The CuJo Sweepstakes what ever happened to that. He was pulled in the 2nd period last night after letting up 3 goals on 9 shots in about 30 minutes of hockey.

Late again! Thanks BLOGGER!
K - I have a number of problems with that test... but recently I saw on a 60 minutes special the FBI testing a father of three with electrodes attached to his penis that consisted of basically the same images to determine wether or not he had molested his children.
You can tell Sul had trouble getting through Ramadan when the tag line to his new favorite website is - PLAY WITH THESE NOT YOURSELVES...

I had NO trouble with my sacrifice of autoerotism. I found it difficult this morning to snap the carrot after a long November's Ramadan but it had to be done. I might just stop masturbating all together...nah...that's crazy talk.
Why do kids story book characters get used in such atrocious ways???

Because it's a 20th/21st Century thing that kids AREN'T supposed to be used in atroicious ways. ^_~ Up until then...kids were people too. Now...they're special...like a snowflake everyone of them. ^_~

It's a Tanuki, dear. You must stop what you're doing right now and go purchase Tom Robbins "Villa Incognito". It's a great little romp of an adventure. A darling tale...not verbose. Liek a good screw...over before you know it but you're still smiling anyhoo.

A tanuki is a mythical Japanese creature. There are actual mammals name tanukis but the Mythical Creature...Tanuki Himself was a bit of a...horny guy? True. Sully is actually 1/32 Tanuki. Ploo-bonga...ploo-bonga is the sound he makes when he strides across the land as his mighty scrotum slaps against his thigh.
FOUND IT - it was under games!

You can tell Sul had trouble getting through Ramadan when the tag line to his new favorite website is - PLAY WITH THESE NOT YOURSELVES...
I can't find the Zipperfish thing - but you should read some of the Walrus' rants -- EXCELLENT!
Ha - Sully you forget, in New Zealand everone wears uniforms to school.... I've been there done that and have the pictures to prove it.

Is that supposed to be little red riding hood? Why do kids story book characters get used in such atrocious ways???
that's nuts! pla-bonga...

Take the Jailbait Quiz!

Sorry Kiwi...you don't count as jail bait anymore but I'll still dress you up like a Catholic School Grrrrl...pigtails and knee highs and...WAIT A SEC!!! That's a dirty thought! BAD SULLY!!! BAD SULLY!!! ^_~ Tee hee...

Link to this image: http://www.zipperfish.com/free/quizimages/jailbait1.jpg


Monday, November 24, 2003

Talking Hockey:

Bruins lost against the Fleagles. 'Nuff said.
I consider the all caps tee hee to be a BIG SHITEATING GRIN!!!
If you giggle in all caps, isn't that the same as a regular laugh?
The no-masturbation thing has really kept my mind off the smoking. really. I'd tell that to anybody looking to stop smoking. 1 month. The Sully Method.


TEE HEE!!! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^
Good call... I've been off 'em for a while myself. Jill and I split one the other day when we were mutually jonesing, and couldn't finish the damned yucky thing between us.
I don't need the smokes anymore but I think there will be a stop into Chinatown tonight on the way home. ^_~ I think I won't do that until the need arrises. If I want a cigarette...I have enough dreams about smoking. I have more dreams about smoking than I ever did about (Insert Evil Name Here) or any chick. The cycle of addiction is broken and they are too bloody expensive anyhoo.
Sweet. Happy smokin' and strokin' Sully!
Happy End of Ramadan!!! ^_~ ^_~ ^_~
Comics...Saturday Morning Cartoons Now Available in To-Go Boxes. Well...they have been available to-go for a while...

Justice League of America: The Obsidian Age (in 2 volumes; TPB)

Rock of Ages. Uben gleeben rockum rollin.

Here’s some malarkey across that pert nose of yours. How would you like to write a comic book? I mean make up or bring back any character you want. I mean someone PAID YOU to do this! Well that’s the case here. I think Justice League of America: the Obsidian Age must be one of the most elaborate jokes or one of the most surprising stories in comics told. This is a story told by a self-professed fan of the Super Friends. Like that’s wrong…I am. I can’t say I was. I am. I will always be a fan of the Super Friends cartoon as cheesy and badly drawn they were, I love them. Saturday morning was the launch pad for my imagination.

Well, I am in favor of the “surprising story” theory over “joke”. I got the “joke”. I read it a few times. Your average passer-byer would accuse me of being a Mouth Breather from reading my lips on the bus as I mouthed the three syllables to myself a few times in disbelief at the end of the tale. I had no clue what was being pulled. I fell for it and loved it. I was soothed by the Afterword. At the time, I didn’t know if some cruel joke was laid upon me or if I was HOODWINKED until I read the Afterword. Since then I’ve re-read it three times, both volumes. I’m happy it didn’t have to be explained to me by another person (save the Afterword). I thought, “ohhhh…clever”. I like clever.

Unfortunately it is steeped in previous events. One thing about the long serial comic though, they are built to be accessible. Ever wonder why in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine’s “Adamantium” claws are always mentioned as that along with his ”berserker rage”. Every issue could be a jump-on spot for a new reader. So that is why in Comics especially in long-running serialized title, back references over-explained are normal. The Obsidian Age is reliant upon a previous story arc but don’t let that scare you off.

This story involves lots of things like kitchen sinks. And being hungry enough to eat the balls off a running bull. Also having a fine understanding of ancient ethics and motivations versus modern and perhaps jaded ones. This story involves how much are you willing to trust and what makes trust possible even between strangers. It’s about ultimately being rewarded for making the Good and Correct choices. It’s about being Good and having it pay off. It involves the tricky, sticky and perhaps over-used plot motivator of time travel. It makes the one feel the lack of hope when good does not win. For good does not win all the time but does good win in the end? The story is also about patience. About how waiting fills. And when waiting is over…great war is made.

I think one would have to be patient with this. Upon it’s first reading I felt it to be a good read and a good story but I didn’t understand it fully. The art was good and varied between a few different artists in the two volumes. I did have to read it twice more but that’s a thing about comics that make them appealing. The re-readings. I did like the Obsidian Age but I wasn’t satisfied until the subsequent readings. Usually, the reader will not read the comic just once unless they really didn’t like it. I’ve personally have read the living poop out of what I consider to be…titles like Miller’s Dark Knight, Moore’s Watchmen…the seminal pieces of the New Heyday. So I treat it’s reading as getting ready for something deeper. My imagination has to be pliable. Many different characters in it, it reads as a Shakespeare play does having at least 20 characters to keep your foci on.

These heroes date back quite a way. The Boy Scout. The Bat. The Amazon. Involved in comics “Golden Age”. This begot the “Silver Age” which could be the most familiar of the “Ages of Comics” in the DCverse. The Silver Age is what the Super Friends are. So the “Current Age” is where we are now. The Teen Sidekicks of this “Silver Age” have grown up. The children of the “Golden Agers” have grown into adults and into their own heroes by now from Jade to Black Canary. Measures have been taken to justify the hero’s ages among the now third generation of superhero. The time travel aspect means something in regards to an Age of Superhero too.

This JLA TPB originally covered an eleven issue title event. A title’s own house cleaning. DC recently achieved this with its The Flash “Blitz” storyline. It introduces new characters. It reacquaints us with old characters we might have forgotten about. It covers outstanding business by sewing up loose ends. It creates new foundations. The Obsidian Age storyline throws spins on different things and opens up more things than closes them. Sometimes new characters work, some times you have to put up with Booster Gold.

Some of the panels had lockjaw. I was captivated by a few. The story is praiseworthy although a little tough at first. The vocal interplay in the team is interesting. The banter between say Spider-Man and his enemies always delight. The bravado in the superhero never ceases to entertain. The banter is a by-product of that bravado shared by superhero and superfoe alike. The teammate banter comes from a different place than the mid swing one-liner said to a nemesis. The Obsidian Age shows where the banter and bravado goes when the battle is not going in ones favor.

Reading this was like being on the rug again and it was Saturday morning but definitely more advanced. An incredible outcome to an impossible situation. A tale of contingencies and a story of last ditch plans. This is the Challenge of the Super Friends and it has nothing to do with the Legion of Doom. This tome has more Leagues than the Seven Seas. It’s also about saving the King of the Seven Seas. A rescue mission gone horribly wrong. A set-up job by the power-hungry and about how much a hero is willing to sacrifice to save the World and his team.

I wouldn’t call it Epic though. An Epic is a poem. Not a movie, not a comic so calling it an Epic piece is technically wrong. I would call this one Homeric though because it is a really good storyline. Full of heroes and what it takes to be one. And about what it takes to be one of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes (trademarked ^_~). One of DC’s JLA. The JLA is the premiere team of the best superheroes in the DC Universe. There are other teams. Independently they are the “A List” superheroes. Between JLA and their own titles, where so they find time to shop for groceries. I’ll rip off the Blind Poet since I’m dropping his name.

Terror! Be now your song, Immortal One…
The Lantern’s dream, doomed & ruinous,
Of loss over bitter loss that sent so many into the Undergloom
And left carrion for dogs & kites…

To say more would be to ruin the story. It deserves to be figured out. It’s a conundrum. A bit enigmatic. It has many voices, many characters, many to care about and keep track of. The backgrounds are rich. The dialog is alright. The narrative voice is great. Keep an eye on the “voice” in the captions. Listen to the narrator and not just the characters. And even enjoy the hokey stuff because it’s in there too. It is after all still a comic book. It still can be hokey in places. Harley Quinn did cross over. Why not?
Comics...more classical references than an Episode of American Idle.

Vol. 5 Lonely City

Sure I skipped ahead exactly three volumes. I do not need to bore you with the particulars of this man’s life. You’d do that well enough on your own if you were wise. But if I know you like your mother does, you still shit yourself and someone else will have to clean it up but I digress…

Chicken McNugget Nation is coming! The Earth will be overrun by the McGeneration very soon. The eye of Osiris better known as the focus of advertisement is spying on this year’s and next year’s model as we speak. And I’m pretty sure The Eye is plugged in well before pre school counting on what will be cool when they’re ripe enough to pluck. Paris Hilton was groomed to be that way. Britney Spears was cloned using renegade DNA from Elvis and Marilyn Monroe…and I think a bit of Mary Magdalene from when she blew her nose on the Shroud of Turin. You know the Eye I speak of. Don’t let a stoner ever start on the intricacies on the details of the dollar bill. Once they hit the topic of Freemasons, it’s time to point in the air and cry “look, dead bird!”. While they’re searching, run away.

McGeneration thinks the Internet is a toaster. That Seasame Street is sponsored by the number BLING and the letters MTV. They are hypersmart and have a shorter attention span than you and me. And do you think you’re bad? McGeneration think that a Minivan is a station wagon. And it thinks that the Happy Meal is Motivation. McGeneration are the Elderly of this City. Spider’s City. He is their bastard not mine. The generation that we hate for the country’s ADD being focused on them will look at their offspring and shake their heads in their Geritol and Ensure Coladas. So don’t worry about it.

I see the food choices in TRANSMETROPOLITAN as the most grotesque part or it all. It’s always present, always in the background. Maybe it is a reflection of how we eat today. Maybe it is a projection of what we will eat tomorrow. It really is revolting and it takes a lot to make me gag. But look at the shelves in stores in this title. The packaging, the depth of it all…simply wonderful. The street vendor stands, the mini-marts, the pantries are the sickest thing in here. Not the hobnail bootstamping of the weak and degenerate or the genetic malfeasance people commit upon their own bodies. It’s what they ingest. So think of that the next time the kids cry from Happy Meals…100% Bastard meat, you know.

For the record: Spider is not some caricature of Hunter S. Thompson. Oh, it’s not hard to find the esteemed doctor’s DNA, or for that fact Finster’s legendary hooker with the dysentery, in Spider but I see Jerusalem more as Jubal Harshaw than HST. Deep, deep down insides, Spider cares. Spider feels. I’ve always enjoyed his work in a psychopathic vein but Thompson’s work never seemed to care, to feel, to empathize but merely to purloin your attention and enter into your life a slice of experience that more are too foolhearty or sane to see. I’ve found Hunter to be a tad nihilistic. Spider on the other hand cares a lot. It’s what makes him crazy. He is the only one who cares…besides Filthy Assistants. But really…I’d love to have Filthy Assistants. Spider can yell “FRONT!” like Jubal now.

New verbs are created here. Believe it. Well…if you’re going to put an “ing” on the back of a word, the word is a verb. The “ing” ending to a word makes it a gerund. I’ve personally have heard this done outside the comics world. The word “lawyering”. Now ask yourself, is that a real word? Well…why not? Language is as pliable as a 4’-9” gymnast. I feel it is to replace “mentor” with more specific nomenclature. Mentor started out as a proper name. The term to be koined is “monstering”. To mentor someone in the art of being a monster. This skill comes naturally to a select few but it is inherent in humanity and can be cultured and fostered to grow and menace the Public At Large. Spider is busy monstering filthy assistants. What exactly is “depraved indifference” in The City? In this City, there is no such thing as “hue & cry”. Or so we think…

The Comics Gnome and I were talking the other day. He knows all about what comics I read. UPC codes, GPS chips, inventory control, the 1986 Mets…the conspiracies are all in there…the Comics Gnome knows what I read. But the Comics Gnome mentioned that WE need Filthy Assistants. I agreed. Then I came down. Then I sobered up. Then I realized what the hell I just said. When he said that to me it must have been 2AM and FUZZY. But now I remember…we did have FILTHY ASSISTANT once. I came back to me in revolting rush of déjà vu, nostalgia and wondering where that promised money was. And we DID have FILTHY ASSISTANT and although it’s good in theory to have one…all she did was smoke our stuff, drank out wine and COCKBLOCKED us at every opportunity and not to mention the drama. But we did love her so our FILTHY ASSISTANT. So to Spider Jerusalem I say…GOOD LUCK you poor suffering bastard. They named a Chinese restaurant cocktail after you.

This volume asks the important questions. What to do when you wake up between two women who cannot stand you? Which stories are appropriate to share when you’re being interviewed? What the hell do you do when you realize you’ve been set up and there are fierce hostile forces working against you, conspiring to discredit, ruin and eventually kill you after you’ve lingered in a pain box for a few years?

I cannot answer these questions for you. Either Spider can or you’ll just have to go out and piss off People In Power yourself and learn the fine art of Thinking On Your Feet. It’s a skill that can only be learned by actually LIVING. Did I mention Spider got an anime made after him? Well…in the book he does. I don’t want you picking up any amine porn in hopes of it being a TRANSMET cartoon. That just wouldn’t be right to do to ANYONE…well maybe a few lucky contestants.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Hockey Talk with Rev. Sully & His League of Extraordinary Providers of Fine Meats and Cheeses.

OK…real hockey talk now. I was too hungover after my birthday yesterday to even think hockey. My brain was swelling due to a full on body check by Jeff Jillson. Jillson is so far my early pick for the Bruins 7th Player Award. It’s tragic that it’s turned into a popularity contest. 7th player means the player on the bench least likely to succeed but does consistently. Jillson is doing that and proving to be a quality acquisition. He was the true gem in the Kyle McLaren deal that sent him to San Jose and Hackett and Jillson to Boston.

Let’s catch up. The Bruins lost in Overtime in Hot’lanta the other night. As I keep saying…Ilya Kowalchuck does not need Dany Heatly. But the Bruins got the standings point for the OTL (overtime loss). Ilya is leading the NHL with 14 goals and is second in points with 24 (11-13-24). Bad pun alert: Ilya is the real dealya. Sigh…
We kicked the crap out of the Crapitals last night 3-2. Razor looked sharp but wasn’t too tested in net facing 22 SOG. Pat Bergeron got an assist on a Marty Lapointe PPG. Jason King of the Vancouver Canucks is 2 points ahead of our Rookie of the Year prospect (King 10-4-14, Bergeron 5-7-12). We’re talking Stats & Points so it’s fair to mention Joe Thornton is tied for second in Assists with 18.
We earned 3 points in the standing in 2 nights. Boston is still ahead of Philly by one point in the standings. Make no bones about it…Saturday’s game is not only Tony Amonte bobblehead night…it is a “Four Point” Game.

Usually a 4-point game is against a Division Rival but these are the best two teams in the East and if we project this to something like the Eastern Conference leaders at the end of the season then I say this qualifies as one with the way the Playoffs are formatted. The Bruins are also tied with the Canucks for Best Team in the NHL right now.

Pig Pile on Olie!!!

The Flyers keep their winning ways going by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-1 last night. The Flyers threw an impressive 41 SOG. The Bruins mustered 25 SOG.

Old Time Hockey!!!

This guy really wants to Esche his name on the Stanley Cup…where do I come up with these…

Next up…BRUINS VERSUS FLYERS!!! The Two Best teams in the East…a Clash of the Titans without Harry Hamlin. The Flyers have an unbeaten streak at 8 games that is so ready to be broken. The Bruins have a quality team and the same goaltending situation. Who is the #1 goalie for either team? Commonsense say go with the younger guys with the better records but they both have dependable veterans. Maybe Hackett will get a chance to show up the Bruins, the team that really didn’t want him. Maybe the Bruins will show how wise an investment getting Sandy McCarthy really is…finally a “tough guy” that can fend off the Savages of the Atlantic Division. The Atlantic is a TOUGH place to play. New Jersey, NYI, the Blueballs, & Philly. It’s a rough & tumble kind of place that McCarthy is used to and will protect the Bruins’ talent when we face the Atlantic. 7 out of 10 teams to go to the Cup Finals in the past decade have been from the “Atlantic” Division.

Why is hockey the coolest sport ever? One only need to look at Ray Bourque handing over his #7 to Phil Esposito with a #77 jersey on underneath his sweater to see.

But the Rangers are making a cool thing happen. They’re letting Mark Messier play for the Edmonton Oilers Alumni team in an Exhibition Match in the outdoor arena this weekend. In the vernacular of my people…wicked pissah. http://www.nhl.com/onthefly/news/2003/11/176520.html

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hockey Talk with Rev. Sully! & Cartman singing I'm Sailing Away:


I am too f*in' tired to talk about anything. All I gotta say is MEAT MEAT MEAT!!!

Bruins lose in OT. They only got 2 regular season losses so th...whatever...I'm going home. Full on hockey tomorrow...


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Check this out...oh wow...how funny...

Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis

Vol. 2 Lust For Life

A couple I knew back in the daze, once sounded trite over the fact that I wanted to change the US National Anthem from the Star Spangled Banner to Lust For Life by Iggy and the Stooges. Blasé. Unimpressed. Whatever. Now I was really serious about this. I meant it. I knew they were “real” Iggy Pop fans. Dusty vinyl turntable cover kinda of cool, dig? In their eyes I must have came off trying to sound cool. Surrounded by kitsch feeling mocked by the Uber Cool for saying something that I firmly believed in. Lust For Life by Iggy Pop is a wonderfully Patriotic and hopeful song. It is an excellent source for inspiration and a daily meditation on what it means to be an American. It’s not my fault he’s got one song that everybody knows. But that’s good. Everyone knows…or mostly knows…the Star Spangled Banner. But the problem is that the Star Spangled Banner is about living conditions we are SO BLOODY far from now that it just doesn’t make sense anymore. It would be as we had a song embracing that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Things change.

Cities are all about change. The 21st Century city has yet to be built. I see its blueprints in these pages and the future is a messed up place. This toe pee, yeah? Sometimes I don’t get it myself. Spider Jerusalem’s future is a messed up place. This City is a loud, crass, attention getting Beast with sharp claws and point teeth. Its skin is covered with broken glass and it wants to give you a hug. It’s no wonder why Spider gets noticed above all the rabble. The background noise of The City alone is enough to make you think you have jet engines for earrings.

This title makes you ponder. It would be as if you had a slow-bleeding gut wound and you had nothing to do but sit and think very hard about things. It’s desperate thinking. It is mile a minute, trying to process everything because you are locked in paradigm. When you’re reading TRANSMETROPOLITAN, you are confined in solitary and sentenced to life in Spider Jerusalem’s City, seeing this New World through his eyes and being guest to the tender mercies of his inner monologue. Which he happily shares with the World.

Lust For Life is the National Anthem in this tale I think. Maybe it’s in the Muzak in Civic Center by then. And this time the subject matter hits a little close to home for me. In the crosshairs of Spider’s scope in today’s tome is the wonderful world of spirituality and religion. Even in the face of science and technology and neon signs and pizza made of Soylent Green, people still gotta have spirit. People still gotta get their God on. Strength in numbers. Motivation for moral code. Something to do with you’re the spare time you got when you’re not killing yourself with a job or commute or television. CHURCH! Temple. Services. Doing something with and about your soul. They still do that in the future, get used to it.

God is in the details, Goethe said. I cannot properly pronounce the word Goethe. I remember once “entrepreneur” got me tongue-tied on the telephone. The Muppet send-up “Sex Puppets” has a Hindu quality to it with a blue skinned “Ernie” clone entwined with a duck resembling Big Bird. This motif is found on the back of Spider’s headless bastard son shirt. But hasn’t Spider been on a mountain for five years? This sounds a little fishy to me, kids. Depressed assistants seek sympathy for her boyfriend’s religious decision. That dreaded, awful two-faced pussy. Spider in Solomon’s Temple turning over tables.

How about if you woke up 100 years from now. Ever wanted to be downloaded? Live life on a reservation in the future…would it be like living in the now so what use would it be speculating? Are talking dogs scary? Ever been asked too many questions? Is it winter underwater when it begins to rain? Asking questions is IMPORTANT to journalism. Was that too obvious for you? Oh…another question…^_~

TRANSMET offers a harsh look at the future through the eyes of a complete asshole. I hope you enjoy the ride. Tee hee!

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns

WARNING: THIS ahem…this title is a whore. I mean that in the nicest way possible too…we’re just talking truthful here. It would be as if your mother actually was a whore and I said, “hey, your mother’s a whore” you could not do anything about it in regards to payback or contrition. You’d hafta take it on the chin, Boo Boo. Well...this title is a whore…

…But issue #5 of this series came onto my Coffee table. It was a Wednesday and I was supping on the couch when the newest issue came into my waiting hands. The Comics Gnome left droppings on the mantle. As I said it was Wednesday…

I like being entertained. I like Michael Bay movies. The Rock and Armageddon being two of my favorites. The titles I read aren’t meant to Enlighten me…that happens Naturally. I also like Bruckheimer/Simpson productions and Tony Scott. So no wonder I’m a big fan of the Marvel Ultimate Universe .

You couldn’t have been a kid and exposed to comics and not liked the Teen Titans. I mean the team of the kid sidekicks to the greatest DC superheroes. Imaging that you and your little dirtneck friends had super powers and cool outfits. A really cool treehouse…actually a “T” shaped tower. But that little cadre of friends you had when you were a kid and you had secret identities, cool gadgets and having to fight for truth and justice. You might even have a group of friends now but they would be your Justice League. The Teen Titans were way cool.

Maybe if was different back then…no one thought anything wrong with a mentor relationship in funny clothing. The Batman had Robin, Aquaman had Aqualad, Wonder Woman had Wonder Girl, Green Arrow had Speedy and the Flash had Kid Flash. It started way back in 1966. Rubber Soul. Revolver. Teen Titans. The title known as “The Brave and the Bold” did superhero team ups. Flash and Green Lantern comes to mind when the B & B get mentioned not a charming house with Continental and coffee in the morning. Green Lantern by the way NEVER needed a teen sidekick. But The B & B did a few with teaming up the sidekicks…”starring Robin, Aqualad and Speedy”. Who would have thought it would catch on. Very shortly after the B & B, Teen Titans were formed. They were a junior Justice League.

Well…even they grow up in comic books. Years pass. The kids grow up. In Soap Operas, there is an acronym known as SORAS. Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. The last child of two major soap opera characters to not only be SORAS’ed but played by the same actress was Robin Scorpio on General Hospital but I fear I digress…but this is a real “fanboy” term or would that be “fangirl”?. I say the opposite would be SAROS. “Superhero Aging Reverse Osmosis System”. Tat makes no sense whatsoever. But it keeps not only the superheroes young but their teen sidekicks as well. Look at Robin. When he came out originally, it was the 1940’s. But now he is not 72 years old. He is a young man in the prime of his life. He’s got a different handle and another kid is called Robin and that kid is solving crime with his mentor. Get it?

They aren’t supposed to age but years do catch up. Batman is still the same age he’s always been although I think we have to give him a few years here and there. So the “kids” next to him show the rings on his tree. Events happen. Events are because the clock moves so slow in major comics. But what happens when you can remember a Batman and Robin around WWII and the same Batman and Robin now but the Robin’s slightly grown up now and the second Robin was killed by the Joker and your current Robin has to worry about report cards and the Prom in a year or two. Whew…the mind can only reel.

So we’re now on I think the fourth team of Teen Titans. We have a Robin. A grown up ex-girlfriend of the first Robin playing chaperone. We have the Grandson of the Flash who was …born in the 30th Century…sorry…this is getting muddy. But Superheroes don’t have sidekicks much anymore. Batman STILL has his Robin though. Green Lantern STILL DOES NOT NEED a sidekick. But Aqualad is now Tempest. Robin is now Nightwing. Speedy is now Arsenal. Wonder Girl is dead. And Kid Flash is the Flash. The teen superheroes now aren’t as much sidekicks as they are youngins’ with superpowers and spandex.

I hate getting too esoteric. Was that too deep? It’s hard not to with an “olde skool” title like this. I hope they don’t grow ‘em up too fast. I think they might. Maybe not. Superboy and Wonder Girl were caught making out on the roof of Titans Tower the other night. They are staying up past their curfew. They’re breakout out in the middle of the night against orders. Robin still is the brains of the outfit. There are already old adversaries in new outfits come to get ‘em…and they’re all new and only 5 issues old.

The comic itself asks the question “what business do children have in being super heroes”? I also wonder why I don’t get into Campbellian tirades on the hero myth. It’s only interesting to geeks like me. The hero. Usually male. On a quest. Bloodshed. Loss. Rebirth or some other nonsense. But these comics aren’t about those kind of heroic quests. They happen but it’s about the adventure not the destination. It’s quick. It’s easy. Like I said…the title is a whore. It’s meant to get your attention and your business. A reliable title comes back with all its classic elements. The Wolfman/Perez run in the 80’s was great but the Titans by then had ceased to be the group of kid sidekicks. It’s got that back with great writing and superb panels. It returns with a group similar to its beginning. Also the new title respects the Wolfman/Perez heyday by having members of that team be the adults in charge of watching and training the kids.

Issue #1 of this Volume has now gone to a Fifth Printing. Wow. And there is an animated Teen Titans show based on the 1980’s Teen Titans Team now on Cartoon Network. They got their own DC title too. Teen Titan GO! It’s anime style and simply wonderful.

Happy birthday, you old fuck!
^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

It's my birthday...

Sully! Version 3.1

Tee hee!


SullyMAN -- It's your birthday, It's your birthday, It's our party.... Nyah Nyah

Yah -- with any luck I have the month right this time!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Hockey Talkin’ with Rev. Sully! & the Heavy Metal Karaoke Machine:

When Harry Sinden, the oft lambasted former General Manager of the Boston Bruins…who was blamed by Boston and the Gallery Gods for trading PHIL…and letting BOBBY get away…when Harry traded the often dehydrated (aka drunk, re: 1990 Playoffs) Craig Janney and Stephane Quintal to the St. Louis Blues for premiere pivot, the center Adam Oates…he seemed like a genius. Of course the deal sending Barry Petersen to Vancouver for Cam Neely made him Einstein.

Cam Neeley early in his career as a Cancuck.

In the Neely deal, ee also got a draft pick that turned out to be D Glen Wesley. Who we traded to Carolina for the draft picks that became Kyle McLaren and Sergei Samsonov.

What’s the point of it all? Adam Oates, 41 years old after not getting an offer from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim where he hung his helmet last year (and helped that team to the Cup Finals) was picked up by the Edmonton Oilers for one year. The Oilers lost center Marty Reasoner for up to a month with ankle and knee injuries. There are only 5 players with more points than Adam Oates. Their names are Gretzky, Francis, Bourque, Messier and Coffey.
Oates is a future Hall of Famer, he has a total of 1402 points, 1063 assists and has played in 1277 regular season games.

The Flyers tonight go for their 7th straight win. Let ‘em all they want…they lose on Saturday.

I haven't yet.
Sully, have you seen the Clone Wars cartoon on COmedy Central? They have them all archived at the website.

Cool stuff, and no spoiler content as far as I know.
December 13: Party at my place featuring the inaugural Jingle Jam performance of the new house band.

Show up when you're ready to party, bring something you like (booze, food, etc.), and feel free to crash here (if you can find room)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Actually I'm the one who bails the same day. I can't get him out of the house. ^_^ TEE HEE!!!
Main Entry: 6pike
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): piked; pik·ing
Etymology: Middle English pyken (reflexive)
Date: 1526
1 : to leave abruptly
2 : to make one's way

Basically, it's was James does everytime you invite him out --- but wait for it, cause you know there's gonna be a phone call the day of with a lame excuse that he can't make it... (luv ya Pumpkinhead... and until you start retaliating there's gonna be more of this)
Yo Pumpkinhead...whatcha doing Saturday Night? Bruins/Fleagles BEAT DOWN GALORE!!! I hope you got the night off and assume we're watching that! ^_~
I was shy...what can I say? That and I'm quasi-celibate. ^_~

The Bruins played amazingly against the Vancouver Canucks to officially say to the hockey world…WE ARE THE REAL DEAL AND YOU’D BETTER GET USED TO US!!! After Shutting out the Columbus Blue jackets Friday night 4-0, the Bruins Saturday night came home to play the Dread Canuck Squad. Thrilling low scoring game. Great defense. Great offense. Great goaltending! But as I always say…let’s wait until February to start chilling the Dom for the B’s.

Let’s hear it for Brian Rolston’s GWG in OT. Let’s hear it for Mike Knuble…leading the Burins in goal scoring. We are unbeaten in 5 straight. 4 straight victories.

Thursday…I’m going over Billy’s house to watch the Bruins/Crapitals game. He just got an HDTV. 42”. And we get to enjoy our first hockey game in a High Definition broadcast. This is as much a treat as the SkyBox.

So Saturday…I am not a Flyers Fan. BRUINS…FLEAGLES!!! LET’S GET IT THE F*’ ON!!! RAH!!!

So Hackett got a shutout Saturday night against Hot’lanta. They too are currently on a five game win streak…what a tear.

The Stars are desperate for defense. I guess losing their captain, spiritual sparkplug and best defenseman Derian Hatcher was too much for that team to handle. Too much talent up front! What a lopsided team. Man…I think they should send Bill Guerin to the NYR (aka Blueballs) for Tom Poti. Guerin is the Stars best player at 11-5-16. Sandis Ozolinish is pretty nomadic for a good defenseman too. He gets passed around like my ex-girlfriend at New Years. But Dallas needs defense. Pure and simple. They are too talented to be losing this much. Pierre Turgeon is looking more and more expendable at 1-5-6 for such a “good” player. How about Scott Young…2-2-4 AND at minus 10? That’s horrible. The Stars haven’t won a game in at least 5 games. They’re in third place in the seemingly terrible Pacific Division. The point of this is that they just traded for Jon Klemm from the Blackhawks. There are better defensemen out there. Think they couldn't wrestle McLaren away from San Jose...No Way Jose...they're in the Same Division. ^_~
You also said you weren't willing to talk to her. :P

Vegetarians only taste better if you feed them a lot of rich dairy products and keep them in tight quarters so they can't get any exercise. Also, you have to baste them regularly so they don't dry out.
I said I was in love with her. ^_~

I remember having a Steinlager at least once with Adrian pre-Leah days at the Parish. He was "oh...you gotta havva Steinlagah...it's the New Zealand beer". I don't recall liking it too much but since we both were walkin' bleedin' advertisments for it...^_~ I would have drank the Guinness anyway too. Man...am I a Gas giant because of THAT!

HEY JAMES!!! NYAH NYAH!!! Tee hee!!! Sorry I didn't call but I was already DRUNK!!! Sheeesh! I got hammahed, chief. Wickid hammahed.

Yummm...vegetarian lunch.

>she looks “too nice”.

And yet she's a Guinness-drinking rugby fan.

>But we should have been drinking Steinlager.

Spoken like a man who's never tried Steinlager. If it was available, I'd still have had a Guinness

Pre-script: feel not terrible, Leah. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and payed close attention to it. I followed it and had a good time with good company. Yes I admit looking at a TV screen 4 years ago with Matt and watching flickering images of Rubgy but I don't really count it as watching. eo's 11/17/2003 9:10AM But please know I had a good time and watched an excelelnt match between two of the best teams in that sport.

Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals; New Zealand versus Australia. November 15, 2003

Note: this piece starts In Medios Res. McGann’s Public House on Portland Street in Boston by the hockey arena. 9:30AM. I’d say the name but arena names are not the most static thing in the sphere of influence that dictates what you know and don’t know.

It is odd to hear a different National Anthem beside your own if you’re an American. Besides the Canadian we do not know many other National Anthems and that’s only if you’re a Hockey fan do you know the Canadian. God Save the Queen? I know the French, “Le Marsialles”. “Formez les battions, marchons, marchons.”. Well, the last time ever the French won an International Conflict was the last World Cup against these All Blacks. Greenpeace does not count. I can only assume that it was the New Zealand National Anthem that the people in the black shirts were singing.

But if I have to grade Events, I would say this is a nightmare. A harbinger; the Eijit Box cut out. The Rugby game was snow. No audio. This is great. This is the World Cup of Rugby’s semi-final. Right in the middle of the New Zealand National Anthem. It picks up about three minutes later in the Australian National Anthem. I was a beer deep and had yet to see the waitress.

The Haka. It seemed to have electrified my innards. I am a Pakeha to this sport. I am just an egg. But the Haka…simply wonderful. It made my Ki ripple.

Hmmmm…I’m thinking out loud here. Just know that. I have a short conduit between my mouth and my brain. But know this: I don’t have a gay bone in my body…maybe a chick’s finger or two over the years but never a gay bone. ^_~ I’ll tell any woman this…be a Rugby fan. I like hockey. So what. I understand picking up a sport to like. It’s good for conversation. It is good to like sports, to get pumped up over something, to have an opinion and vested emotional interest in something beside yourself. But chicks…choose Rugby. Get your Alpha Male on. Rugby must be to a woman what HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY is to a guy. Gratuitous. Base. Simple. Whatever…just know that I’m throwing a bit out there for chicks that like men. I like chicks that like men. Hopefully you like someone that likes you too.

But this is an Event. It’s not everyday a Pub opens its doors at 9AM and charges at the door to show the Pay Per View rebroadcast. It played live & direct at 4AM EST. 10AM was the first rebroadcast for the American East Coast. It was suggested to me as a form of Recreation. But it was a sad venue. The proprietors of the joint…I’ll call them my hosts didn’t understand that it would busier than a Friday night at 10AM. It was understaffed and it showed. I can feel for a busy place too. I really do. But this is about mismanagement. This had nothing to do with the waitress. It was not her fault that a room to be policed by four servers had only one waitress on duty in a hungry, thirsty and needy room. I see a fellow patron get her own coffee from the service station. Me myself was hungry into surly. It is one thing is I’m relying upon myself to procure nourishment. There was a Dunkins around the corner you know. I was told by the bar that the waitress would be over to taker my Breakfast order. It was a simple order indeed. For they had one thing on the menu for Breakfast. I was told by the bartender to my face that she would be over to take my Breakfast order and the bar could not. I was also told that lies make Baby Jesus cry. What do you believe?

All Blacks missed a kick!!! NZ 0, AUS 10 30:09 1st. Drat…off the upright.

It’s not that I’m falling for the American paradigm of entitlement. When asked my compatriot said to me “yes you are falling for the American Entitlement”. I told him to piss off. But then we all were hungry 10 minutes later. But the host should have had more people on. I was perturbed. Far from happy. Someone didn’t prep enough for their party they were throwing. How embarrassing. This is ludicrous. I digress…

NZ 0, AUS 13 1st, 33:59…I think…

And the crowd erupts. This place apparently like the Kiwis. NZ 7, AUS 13, 1st 35th minutes.

Sigh…::rumble of my tummy::

Halftime: it’s halftime and we’re finally getting friggin’ fed. Three Guinness deep before 11AM. I’m all about “circumstances beyond control”. I inquired about food the first time before the game started and we were early. I was invited here. I paid admission. I felt going hungry in this establishment under those circumstances was rude not to mention unprofessional! I mean beer was fine and plentiful but food? FOOD?…they had one guy in the kitchen, one server, two bartenders and a full house. I understand but I don’t have to like it. I do clean my plate though.

NZ 7, AUS 16, 42nd minute 2nd half.

Apparently you can “stomp” on someone in Rugby I see. Interesting.

As an objective observer I am thinking the All Blacks are having trouble keeping possession and plaguing themselves with penalties. Not lack of effort. Australia has possession of the ball more.

There is a hot, single chick at the 10 O’clock position. She dresses with no style and no panache…in a turtleneck and blue jean overalls and athletic sneakers. Reminds me of…boredom. Sure, she’s pretty and she could be sweet and nice. The overalls do lend a certain perspective of her mammalian protuberances but she looks “too nice”. Does that properly explain how nice she was? I was in love with her from the get go. It happens but I’ve had enough chick drama in my life so…

But to this novice, I felt the “fix” is in. Made for Tee Vee. Or is it? I know nothing about Rugby but France meets England, NZ meets Australia: the host country. Are these teams that good or does this seem set-up to you. I mean natural rivals in the semi-finals. If you paid attention in life you might have heard of the Bard and his work Henry V. That explains the France v. England angle to me. The New Zealand v. Australia game seemed self-explanatory.

I assumed this place would be more animated. I did bring a small stack of comic books just in case of ennui. I have not even considered reading them. I am still entertained.

NZ 7, AUC 19, 55th minute, 2nd.

NZ 10, AUS 19 57th minute, 2nd.

This is the first Rugby game I’ve ever watched in its entirety. I grok it. It’s only proper. I walked in here wearing an All Blacks tee shirt. It’s a risk. I could get the hassle in the restroom by a rabid Wallbies fan. I must be MINDFUL.

It can be said that turnovers killed the All Blacks today. Australia has had possession and used it wisely with strength and ownership.

The cute chick I noticed earlier…I may have been too judgmental. But you know…gut feelings are there for a reason. Maybe I should be kind and say…not my type and leave it at that.

And another turnover! WAIT…it goes back to NZ. NO!!! Now back to Australia. New Zealand cannot seem to keep possession of the ball.

NZ 10, AUS 22, Full Time.

And there was a turnover by the All Blacks right at the end. Fitting.

So at least we finally got fed though. I was getting grumpy to tell you the truth. I did feel kinda bad. Well they charged $20 at the door. Did that cover breakfast? I don’t think so. I think they would have told us. But we did wait over 45 minutes for breakfast, eggs, beans, toast, blood pudding, rafters…the Irish breakfast. It must take 4 minutes to whip up. We didn’t end up paying for the breakfast though. Maybe they let it slide. The bar is emptying now. People discussing the sour points of the game. The whole seven people rooting for Australia in the crowded room had left fearing physical harm.

I just hope for peace in the streets of Auckland.

She’s a redhead too…and drinking lots of Guinness. I think I am in love alright.

But we should have been drinking Steinlager.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

>I feel terrible that the first live game you go and watch Sully happens to be such an abortion for the Kiwi's.

I hate to say it Leah, but I've taken him to a match before. It was about 4 years ago... against France. Not a very good first impression I'm afraid. Glad those cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys got stuffed by the brits this time.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Tawkin Rugby


That pretty much sums up the sentiments of the the New Zealand population. I've never seen a bar go as quiet as it did last night in the 70th minutes when Australia and the mighty All Blacks clashed in their semi-final of the Rugby World Cup. I downed the last of my margarita and chased it quickly with a vodka, all with one flowing movement that I wish I could have lent to my boys on such a fateful night.

The game momentum and flow that the ABs normally keep all control over, was shut down and frankly extinguished by the cut throat tactics of the Australians and their whimsical attitude to safety and life sustenance. (Not to mention the ref. who obviously had yellow coloured undies on last night)

In only the 9th minute of the game NZ where shut out of the opening try by Muliaina, with a call of loose ball that had been knocked forward (never mind the downwards pressure...)

This was to be immediately followed by a careless pass thrown by our own Spencer, who just plain didn't see Mortlock coming.

Gregan the neverending ARSE... threw his share of balls out. But, for the first time in history the ABs didn't take advantage of his stupidity. The amount of Aussie injuries was just outstanding. (Hope you are OK Ben, and Matt - hope your nose heals up well darling). Thorne came threw with a triumphant try, but it wasn't enough for us to keep the momentum going.

Was it the chanting of 'Waltzing Matilda' that put them off? Perhaps the Dorothy shoes worn by our own mighty Byron? Perhaps, it was the fact that Carter never took the field? We'll never know...

We lost the game.

I feel terrible that the first live game you go and watch Sully happens to be such an abortion for the Kiwi's.

Well done Australia (you fucking bunch of poofs)


A long black cloud over New Zealand

Friday, November 14, 2003

thank you

thank you

thank you magic toenail...

Bye kids! Have a good weekend.
Irish Break'est and Guinness!!!
Where is Adrian watching the game? Live? We're watching a tape-delay at 10AM
Chris and I have decided to do breakfast and margaritas as well tonight for the game. I don't know how well that will go down at 10 tonight but we are going to do to be more connected with my brothers wtahcing the game back home (yes, I know you guys have a six hour delay but Im not staying up til 4 in the morning)
And sage advice for the orally challenged...
Dan Savage's Savage Love.
Mom Finds Son's Blog. From the Onion.
Matt, bring your camera so we can bug Kiwi with bad pics of eachother. And I need to update the pics on my Online personal too.
Yup...goin' to watch Rugby with Matt in the morning...

Gagne is French for "To Win". Simon Gagne is a third-generation NHL'er. Players like Gagne float my boat. The Flyers are perhaps my favorite hockey team outside of Boston. They have it all. The goalies. The defensemen and the forwards.
They beat the hottest team in the NHL. They are now the hottest team in the NHL. The Flyers have won five straight. We'll see at the end of the season who is still standing in Philly though. They have a knack for getting injured at the wrong time. But essentially with the talent they got right now, NOW is their time. They have great BALANCE as a team right now.

The Bruins will be in Columbus, Ohio tonight to face the Blue Jackets. Future Rookie of the Year Patrice Bergeron is an IMPACT player already. "Boston is 8-0-1 this season in games in which Bergeron has a point" (yahoo sports).
The Bruins are 6-1-1-1 on the road. Impressive.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Bryan Berard has this great interview from the Hawks' web site. Why can't the Bruins get good defensemen like him, huh? ^_~

Remember! Saturday is TONY AMONTE BOBBLEHEAD DAY!!!

Kiwi- Advantage is called when an infringement results in a clear advantage to the other team, and play is allowed to continue. The referee is the sole judge of when this is appropriate. Here's the letter of the law on it:


The referee shall not whistle for an infringement during play which is followed by an advantage gained by the non-offending team. An advantage must be either territorial or such possession of the ball as constitutes an obvious tactical advantage. A mere opportunity to gain advantage is not sufficient.

Notes:- (i) The referee is given a wide discretion as to what constitutes an advantage and is not limited to a territorial advantage. The referee is the sole judge of whether an advantage has been gained.

(ii) Neither team may gain an advantage from the following circumstances:-

(a) when the ball or a player carrying it touches the referee (Law 9(1));

(b) when the ball emerges from either end of the tunnel at a scrummage not having been played (Law 20, note (xiv)).

(iii) When any irregularity of play not provided for in the Laws occurs, a scrummage shall be formed where the irregularity occurred. In deciding which team should put in the ball, the referee should apply Law 20(7).

20(7) When an infringement occurs the team not responsible shall put in the ball.

In other circumstances the put-in shall be awarded:

(a) as provided by the Laws;

(b) if not provided by the Laws to the team moving forward prior to the stoppage; or

(c) if neither team was moving forward, to the attacking team.
One more for Sully --- u can take this to the Rugby with you and when you get bored you can take it out and run to the bathroom... OK?

That's so unfair, Kiwi. You know I gave up Carrot Snapping for Ramadan! C'mon! ^_~
Hi Kiwi!~!
How 'bout those red hot Flyers???

Thursday, November 13, 2003

There is a kid being brought up right!

One more for Sully --- u can take this to the Rugby with you and when you get bored you can take it out and run to the bathroom... OK?

(pssst Leah...I fixed the pics, luv Sully! ^_~)
Even I have to admit Meg's boobs are pretty impressive....

Anyway -- where is James? Shouldn't he be on here to defend his honour or something???

Meg's Boobs...

No Bruins tonight. We’re at the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow though. I would have loved to have gone to the game having a friend out there in the capital of Ohio. Would have been an excellent birthday gift to myself.
RookieWatch! Pat Bergeron is leading all rookies in scoring with 11 points (5-6-11). Well…he’s one point ahead of a three-way log jam for 2nd.

But EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOOT IT! Flyers versus Vancouver Cancucks. It’s the Best of the Best! And I’m not talking the Eric Roberts karate movie either. Tonight will be a show. I hope it’s on cable somewhere. I just might PPV this one. The Best of the Best is a bit misleading…the Bruins have a 1-point lead on the Fleagles for Top Dawg in the Eastern Conference but I think you get the gist. But two NHL powerhouses CLASHING! HIGH VOLTAGE! Sure to be a good one.

Philly tough guy Todd Fedoruk will be out of the lineup for breaking his face in a hockey fight. Poor guy fractured his cheekbone versus the NYI’s Eric Cairns the other night. “Dems da breaks?” What an awful pun…maybe P.J. Stock will get a call from the Philly Phantoms of the AHL. I wonder how that works…technically he’s still a Bruin on loan to the Phantoms so he cannot be called up by the Flyers.

The Penguins decided to keep their baby boy, Marc-Andre Fleury and his expensive, incentive-laden contract. The Pens lost the game but perhaps gained a franchise goalie in showing confidence in Fleury enough to give him the keys. He is in the driver’s seat now and can dictate his future as an NHL’er. Roy and Brodeur had similar starts as REALLY YOUNG GOALIES and look at their careers. Fleury might have let up 6 goals last night to the always-hated Blueballs but against 42 shots. The NYR found the trigger button last night and had lots of offense. If the Pens had their heads in the right place they might think about nuturing their prospect with mentoring. CuJo is available. Also a good goalie coach (they have Gilles Miloche now) could help. There’s also the possibility of getting a GOOD DEFENSEMAN to put in front of him and to yell at Fleury. Nobody knows a goalie better than his defenseman. Let’s hear it for the boy…

Damaged Goods.
The Big Dummeh had to leave the game with a scratched cornea. Fate is telling you something, Lindy.

Refrigeration mechanic Marlin Gogowich installs some of the ice floor cooling hoses at the Heritage Classic temporary rink at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2003. The Edmonton Oilers will host the Montreal Canadiens in an outdoor game on Nov. 22.
This is the coolest thing I’ve heard in a while. I hope this is televised on ESPN. I’d PPV this one too.

The Stars were clobbered by Team Geritol 6-2 last night. The Stars have not been shining and are quickly becoming the MOST OVERRATED TEAM IN HOCKEY. I blame the crappy 3rd Jerseys.

Nice! Thanks Kiwi.

Meg's Boobs.

Thanks Leah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

>Matt, kick over an older version of your EA rugby game so I can learn this shit.

Every review I've read of the new Rugby 2004 says it blows goats. I'm still playing the old one, but you're welcome to come over for a schooling any time.

Reasons For Addiction...comics...

DC’s The Flash: Blitz, Issues #197-200

The Flash Issue #197 cover.

Milestone Issues usually mean something. That covers a lot. It means an array of things like…new costumes, foil covers, hard-covered editions (I’m still shaking my head over that...hard-covered TPs. Sure), new team members, new locale, new storylines, new artists, new writers...THE NEW DIRECTION.

(See Daredevil’s Armoured Outfit below...then try really hard to forget that awful get-up...try really hard...)

The New Direction is KEY in comics. The PARADIGM SHIFT is essential in comics. Why? Because it still is about the serial. It is about the adventure. It is the Cause and Effect. It is the Problem and the Solution. Every story arc is its own Alpha and Omega. Rise and Fall. This will last 4 to 6 issues. One-shots are still important…stand alones still plays its useful role but the serial in an on-going series is the Primum Motivae.
Movies used to be like this. This trickled-down to the television naturally and in a Darwinian sense. Serialized modern Major Movies are always on a grandiose…gossamer scale (well…then my inner Randal cries Ghoulies 2...). They can barely live up to they hype. But comics...are different. Each and every major movie seems to be an event. Comics have not that luxury. The 1990’s proved that. But Milestone Issues are still Event Comics and have the opportunity that usual run of the mill issues do not. And are still wisely used that way to breathe new life into a title by having the opportunity to get someone’s attention. There is no issue #177 spectacular.

The Flash...a mainstay of the DC Universe. Friend of the Batman, the Superman...charter member of the Justice League of America. High roller. Heavy hitter. As a title…think of it in Eijit Box lingo as a “show”. Your Buffy, your “24”, your “West Wing”. ER, Friends, As the World Bleedin’ Turns. A SOAP OPERA is the best example of how to describe a COMIC to a NON-READER.

“Blitz” is a Milestone Event. Not just an ordinary story arc no...Events do things to the overall DIRECTION of the title.

The Flash is gifted with super-speed. He cannot fly. In the Olympian Pantheon he is like Mercury. In the Greek he’d be Hermes. This Flash is one of many ‘the Flashes’. Don’t get me started. But to the novice know that this Flash once was a sidekick to an Earlier Flash. He was Kid Flash. As Robin was to the Batman. As Aqualad was to Aquaman. Green Lantern NEVER needed a sidekick. The Flash died one day but he had a successor. His sidekick inherited the mantle. And a Volume 2 was created. Now the Flash died in an Event Comic; an “H. C. E. ” one could say...later on that.

Event Comics give the writer the opportunity to rectify some mistake or bad previous decision in past story arcs. Event Comics are a tool to Simplify the story. Event Comics deconstruct the flotsam and jetsam accrued by years of continuity neglect. Neglect might be too judgmental. But in the course of time, things add up and build up making clutter. Although entertaining, the Flash was not the most accessible of titles.

By the time of the Milestone Issue #200 in this volume of the Flash’s story, there needs to be some Feng Shui’ing done. The TV needs to go in a cabinet. The toilet seat put down when flushed…lest it suck the ki of the room down the drain…a true Feng Shui’ism…look it up. Since Crisis…say to word “Crisis” to a comic book fan and they’ll always ask to clarify its usage...since “Crisis” in 1985 there has been this newest Flash. Before then, the Flash was a police scientist moonlighting as superhero. His greatest adversary was his opposite. Literally…the Reverse Flash. Zoom. Professor Zoom had super speed. Had an inverse uniform to the Flash…color, design, and motif. It was the Flash’s greatest adversary in a...Rogue’s Gallery of super villains.

The Flash killed Professor Zoom. Superheroes aren’t supposed to kill the bad guys. Not in the “Olden Days” at least. The Authority wouldn’t think twice about wasting a pack of Nuns who got caught in the crossfire. Heck, at least the Nuns believed in God, huh? Well...maybe the Authority would think twice...they are after all…the Good Guys. Well...the Reverse Flash was killed by the hero, Flash. The Flash was put on trial. Got exonerated. And retired. Kid Flash didn’t take over until the Flash’s death though. Flash came out of retirement during a “Crisis” and gave his life to save the DC Universe.

Someone with a grudge against the current Flash gets the power of super speed…becomes his “equal”...and to make it an Event Comic, Flash’s new adversary takes the name “Zoom ”. Makes the same inverse costume. Creates similar if not worse havok in the Flash’s life. The story “Blitz” of course is resolved.

But the mistake in the continuity that had to be fixed was that the Flash’s Secret Identity was known to the public. That he enjoyed a certain sense of celebrity about it. But this current Flash had to learn the hard way the importance of a Secret Identity. There was this one Event Comic called Zero Hour, a housecleaning event. That’s up there with an E. L. E. It made an old principal canon and one that I agree with to make there be never any photographic evidence of the Batman among many changes in the DC Universe. It helped. But H. C. E’s...these “House Cleaning Events” usually do. And also the hard decisions that molds the direction of the comic.

A good juxtaposition to the “Blitz” storyline from another series concerning the importance of the Secret Identity is the Bendis/Maleev run on Marvel’s Daredevil (the DVD commentary captions of the DD movie says that DD has revealed his identity 55 times) namely the Daredevil trade paperback Vol. 5 “Out” (reprinting DD, Vol. 2 Issues #32-40).

In “Out”, there are two well-written and drawn examples of the Secret Identity and how important it is to a Comic Book and its hero. The dual life of a superhero is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the hero character. The balance it takes to pull off both and what happens if the wrong people find out who you are.

Cleaning house in The Flash was so needed. It is needed eventually in every long running, serial comic. Look at the Grant Morrison/Frank Quietly/Assorted Artist work on New X-Men. Bendis & Maleev on Daredevil. Kevin Smith on Green Arrow and Daredevil (with Hester, Parks, Queseda, et al…props). Jeph Loeb and Jim “Oh My Goodness” Lee on Batman. Cleaning house works. It clears the air and allows greater latitude for more and different stories and arcs. Geoff Johns has been a consistent and good writer for the Flash and does the 200th Issue event in significant fashion. Bringing the story back to an accessible place and cleaning house.

Like hitting the reset button. Like getting a second-chance. The Flash “Blitz” is a good place to meet an old friend. It’s this good by design. It’s a crucial jump-on place for new readers. It is worth the bucks spent for a good read and great artwork and if it’s done its job then you’ll be going out to get “Ignition” (#201…) shortly afterward.

(At this time “Blitz” in unavailable in trade paperback form 11/9/2003)

This Comic Really is in Technicolor it's you who see in Black & White...^_~

Sin City by Frank Miller

One of the things I like about reading comics is nothing is “old” unless you’ve already read it. Another thing I like is that trade paperbacks are many. They are reasonably priced. The selection is great. You can make up for lost time with old friends. Reprints of heydays. Collections of current arcs. No ads! Well…to be honest I do dig on the old ads YEARS later. I got an issue of Battlestar Galactica from 1979 that’s a hoot. I got a great chuckle out of a Rom the Spaceknight advertisement I found on the Internet recently.

I read for the first time in my adult life “Ronin” by Frank Miller. A little confounding but I’m sure I’ll read it again. But running out to work, you never want to leave home with an empty Bag O’ Life. Chicks like to refer to it as a Man Purse. I’d tell ‘em something but some girls don’t. But there’s nothing as boring as riding the bus without a book. Reading a Funny Book means you’re asserting more of your personal space too. They’re naturally bigger than a paperback. Genetics! I grab a few assorted issues and a trade paperback I haven’t read in a while. Nothing remains unread too long in my Flat. The Comics Gnome is munificent and punctual.

This is Marv.

But I found myself laughing with Marv on the way home. You can’t laugh at Marv lest you think he’d leap from the pages at you and do something just horrible involving razor wire to something pink and soft on you. This was my companion home…this strange, beautiful and stark masterpiece. One of the things I marvel at in today’s comics is the level of depth in shadowing and latitude in hues and colors. Blur effects…little ripples making the panel soar with action and vibrancy. But Sin City is black and white. In the most simplest fashion. It is a world of light and shadow. Expressions of faces caught in the paparazzi pop of muzzle flash. It is sexy but at the same time disturbing. This is Raymond Chandler on the Brown Acid.

I advocate the reading of things that might have slipped you by. These drawings look as though they belong on rice paper adorning a room separator in feudal Japan. They are elegant yet jarring. Stark definition of black ink and white background. The story moves quickly like flashlight tag. It is cruel and funny at once like an improper joke. Frank Miller has an amazing gift of vision and storytelling proven in this.

May I confess a secret to you? As much as I think I’m a geek and I’m pretty knowledgeable…I know there is a library of stuff I haven’t got to yet. This is the only Sin City book I’ve read. I know. The next thing I’ll say is that I’ve never circle jerked at the end of every Dungeons & Dragons game either. But I haven’t. And I’m still waiting for the next time I got that SEVENTEEN BUCKS as it says on the back as its listed price and I come across one of the many Sin City titles. And ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE DOLLARS later I’ll have them all.

It appears McGann's DOES have Irish Breakfast.
Matt has a girl to take though. He's sweet on her I hear. ^_~ (Making kissy-faced noises to annoy Matt with). ^_~
I'm trying to get James out of the house for the Cowboys/Patriots game Sunday night. It won't happen. I can hope but...
James and Laura need two-weeks notice minimum to schedule properly.

Find a girl to take too. At 10AM...I'm quasi-Celibate these days so...whatever with chicks. There is no such thing as love and if there is love then it doesn't matter...life will always get in the way...love barely matters...
It's like seeing a play - it cultural education. You should find a girl to take too.

Make Laura and James go... speaking of which - Pumpkinhead... you out there?
MY brother Adrian had the '96 EA Rugby and couldn't figure how the game worked! I actually think those older versions are a pretty poor way to try to learn the game. Basically they have to pass or kick the ball to make distance but can't pass it forward up the feild. Therofore they through the ball backwards. The ball is kicked after a turnover, to clear it from their territory to chip it forward to hopefully make a break, or a drop kick to score points during a play (making it through the uprights). Each try is worth five points and the conversion worth 2. There are a lot of other things I still don't understand, like why an advantage is granted, or the sometimes reckless use of demanding a scrum. But either way I say - go for breakfast and a margarita and try and catch it. There is bound to be blood (like hockey) and the little black fella that plays for the Aussies is bound to make an arse of himself (what makes it funnier is he's the teams captain).
I'll be there will bells on...no I won't. They got Irish Breakfast? I might...I can't get into rugby. And I'm a fan of Make a videogame and It'll teach me how to play and think it but...I dunno. Matt, kick over an older version of your EA rugby game so I can learn this shit. Last hting I need is Leah making fun of me 'cuz she gets it and I don't! ^_~
The All-Blacks v Wallabies match will be aired (6 hours delayed) at McGann's (Boston) at 10am on saturday.

197 Portland Street
Boston, MA 02114

The Big Bad Bruins are showing up at home which is good. I took in the game liast night in the SkyBox. Nice seats. Nothing wrong with them at all. Since they were free on top of it all. ^_~ The Bruins won 4-3. 39 shots on goal. Nice! We recovered the lead in the 2nd period and never looked back. Razor Raycroft was great in net and didn’t fail (or lead us into another tie/OT sitch at home!). I saw rookie sensation Pat Bergeron score a DOOOZY of a PPG. Fun time…I’m glad I can get to the Rink every once in a while.

Flyers keep wining. Good for them. 2-1 downing at home of the NYI.

I just don’t have much Hockey Talk in my right now…malnutrition!!! I’m starting to see skating Elephants!!!

The Penguins have to decide to let their Wunderkind goalie Marc-Andre Fleury go back to the minors lest they have to pay him. He’s 18 years old and can be sent back to the minors after 10 games but he’ll be at 11 with his next start. So…what to do with a young goalie. I say KEEP HIM. He’s already an asset. The only reason to send him back would be to save a few bucks. This is the team that tanked games to get Mario Lemeiux though so anything is possible.

Teemu Selanne got booed in San Jose last night. That’s funny.
Ottawa won…big whoop.
New Issues...Back Issues...I got so many issues I'm making my Shrink rich...COMICS!

Caper by Judd Winick

If I’m gonna mention Judd Winick then I also gotta mention Farel Dalrymple. Then Clem. And Guy. And Nachie. And Bob. But the two mostly to blame are Judd and Farel. I never really mention the writer and artist when I talk comics. I leave that for you to eventually figure just who the hell Warren Ellis is and why I can say him in the same sentence as Miller. Sometimes mentioning the artist and writer is part of the pitch. I don’t think it’s the case in point here but…Winick has up to recently been the writer for one of my favorite titles, Green Lantern for a long time. So he gets the props.

But there’s no way quicker than to loose a crowd than to start off with platitudes. I mean…people really want the dirt. The gossip. The gritty shitty. The what’s-the-hullabaloo-about, Mister?

King Fucking David. That’s what it’s all about. Not Angel Eyes. Not Clint. Not Eli. Elijah yeah. We are talking Jews here. Being a Recovering Catholic, I have an appreciation for not just Judaism but Jews. I was Jewish by Injection for 2 years and never got invited to Seder…l’chaim that! The first time I ever laid eyes on a Hasidic Jew I musta been about 11-12 years old. It was Fourth of July weekend. We were driving down from South Boston to New York…to Brooklyn…deep dark Brooklyn. The things I remember most were the heat. It was so bloody hot outside. July 3, 19XX…it was a Saturday morning and I should have been knee deep in Cartoons and Cap’n Crunch and here I was in this bouncing Blue box. And then I notice in Brooklyn that the signal lights and mailboxes were mostly scored like my buddy Bryan’s Millenium Falcon from firecracker explosions. And I’m talking heavy ordinance here. LOUD SHIT. But the thing which broke open in my head was: the Hasidic Jews. It was hot, it was Saturday and they were out in the morning…men, women and children all dressed in black. All wearing hats. All the ladies were dressed to the aces. All the men looked like they belonged in the same gang.

Now I thought I was badass growing up in 02127. The armpit of the world. Well…I never thought I was a badass until I stopped seeing Southie punks all the time. The only things that scare me are lobsters, clowns and local meatheads. Where was I…I thought I’ve seen everything, the world…it comes to me. I live in the City. I was a pre-teen and I was jaded. I had never before seen a Hasidic Jew. Never saw those in Boston. Never. You’re lucky if saw some black folk and prayed they got out of the neighborhood safe. It was like that back then. But these Jews also lived across the street from my Grandmother. The neighborhood is called Bayridge and apparently it is the border line between where the Hasidm live and the Quatier Italiano. But I remember the Hasidic Jews…the kids across the street and somewhere about my age…many of them. Not odd but different. Like living somewhat out of time…like Urban Amish.

Sample pages from DC dot com from Caper Issue #1.

So our story is called “Caper”. I do not know to what the title refers to…perhaps a caper of some sort later on. It’s a 12-issue run. Caper #1 was released and it magically appeared on my coffee table. Something I call the Comics Gnome…he leaves fresh comics on my Coffee Table every Wednesday. I think he’s the one from “Amalie”. The story is well written. It’s a bit of a period piece you could call it now. 1906. Turn of the century. Just like us…now…turn of the Century. And it’s a story of gangs in San Francisco. But not gang bangers…let’s understand what gangs were. More akin something spoken of in Daredevil recently about the history of Hell’s Kitchen and how its name came from when Gangs ruled New York…”this would be Hell’s Kitchen”…ah hadda be there. So this is a tale when Gangs rules the streets of San Francisco.

Tales of neighborhoods. And about these brothers. Two young brothers. They’re strongmen in a Jewish Mob. Besides establishing the characters and what this is about I can’t rightly tell you anything more. It’s a brand new series by DC. A comic not about spandex, super powers, the end of the world, or sidekicks. It’s about the same feelings though without the banter and bravado…well…it’s there too who am I kidding. Just no flight ability…well…sometimes people can take short flights. ^_~ Stories are stories. And reading a well-told story is never a bad idea in which to kill time.

We read comics. We buy comics. We shouldn’t be afraid to pick up different comics. Cliffhanger’s Two-Step. Wildstorm’s Sleeper. ABC’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Archangel’s The Red Star. Vertigo’s Y The Last Man. 4 out of 5 of those titles though are produced by DC. DC is best known for the Boy Scout, the Amazon, the Ghoul and the Big Red Cheese. Lots of different heroes and titles. Lots of leaping and bounding and secret identities. But this is not a superhero title. It’s not even about heroes. But does it always have to be? No. I’m surprised this isn’t a Vertigo title or a Cliffhanger. Sometimes you forget that DC doesn’t have to publish something in tights.

Looking forward to issue #2 of this especially after reading it on the bus again this morning. $2.95. Short runs are excellent to read. They make magnificent trade paperbacks eventually.

If it's Wednesday...the Comics Gnome comes to my Flat!!!


Two-Step by Warren Ellis

This motherlover released Transmetropolitan on my head. Also The Authority.

I really shouldn’t talk about this comic…you should pick it up. And when you look under its tail like I know you’ll be wont to do…you shall receive for your transgression a boot to your forehead that’ll make a lasting mark.

I was supposed to sleep after I read that and I just couldn’t do it. I felt I was a Subterranean Bollywood James Franciscus chasing around a 6ft gilded Vishnu statue. 21st century campy. Web wired Lucy Macgillicuddy meets Zen Assassin Ricky Ricardo. Is it a love story about two misfits? I don’t know yet. But in the tradition of Dave and Maddie, Fox and Dana is Rosi and Tony. Sassy and cool. Let’s see where this goes, huh?

The Art of Flight…a concept that’s been run into the ground in comics. It’s something I’ve been picking up on by having my ear to the rail. It makes titles like “Two-Step” seem flighty because it’s not a superhero comic...its hero can’t fly. Not that he doesn’t want to. It is a strange and sexy comic. Cool and dashing at the same time it’s absurd. A fun ride.

“Two-Step” is very British. Some people just don’t like Monty Python. I’ve heard people say it as to alert you…you might be cool but I won’t play the Holy Grail game with you. You’ve been warned. I open this comic and I hear the rising sound of Indian Music. I can smell vindaloo. As American as Pizza…as British as Curry…I can taste the coriander. Dwarf pet sacred cows. I didn’t make the last one up.

On top of it all it’s very Urban like Ellis’ previous work in Transmetropolitan. I guess it took Ellis to bring Jack Hawksmoor into the Wildstorm Universe. The King of Cities. Get it? But it’s an organic, paved, neon-lit with Subway veins canvas…a “future” London that actually comes to terms with my suspension of disbelief. That is Science Fiction not Science Fantasy. But the funny part is it’s set in 2001. It’s like it was written in 1986 about a future London of 2001 but actually penned in 2003. It’s the whimsical hindsight. I get that now looking at Science Fiction masterpieces like “2001: A Space Odyssey”, the 1996 Detroit of “RoboCop” and “Blade Runner”s Los Angeles of 2019. 17 years ago we thought Duran Duran and Miami Vice were cutting edge. The cell phone will only get smaller and cheaper but the flying cars…nah. But it’s funny…Ellis sees genetic manipulation as en vouge in the near future. He might even be seeing mutants on the streets this very day but that’s only an assumption.

And it’s cool too. I got the Mendoza Line of Coolness. I got a whole line of “A-Team-isms” actually. I am a product of my culture. I call it “Dirk Benedict Cool”. Dirk Benedict was Starbuck and Face. Something can be at least “Dirk Benedict Cool”. “Two-Step” got a certain amount of “It” to it. It’s not Zen to describe Zen. By the same token you can say “Dwight Schultz Strang” too. He was Murdock and Barclay. No, not “dangerous strange” just “Dwight Schultz strange”. “B.A. Badass”…B.A. had bling.

Check out the graffiti too. It’s pretty funny and everywhere. The four-camera POV panels are really interesting. They are as consistent as Kurasawa wipe segues. The colors on the muzzle flash and ignitions are really well done. Neon and flames seem to glow on the page. Laterally a good book…that means look behind the story in the background of the panels and you’ll be picking out green flakes from your teeth for weeks.

$2.95…I guess that’s what’s passing for quality these days. But hey, it’s a serialized story and look at me waiting for issue #2. Is it worth NINE BUCKS for 3 issues of this? Already, I’ll say yes. Entertainment. I like snappy dialog. I like bold good-looking panels. I like the Comics Gnome. The Comics Gnome has good taste. Again, I find myself not let down for branching out and reading something besides the obvious. That damn Frost poem once again.

Issue #2

Issue #3

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Sully, I think this dog likes Pokemon almost as much as you do!

>Any takers of the rooms yet, Peacher?

My brother's moving in to one of them. The other is still available until we find a suitable roommate.

>So are these people being led to believe that the Matrix Defense is plausible due to the cultural reliance upon fantasy or are they really sick?

Either really sick, or really stupid and malicious.

>Are video games and movies contributing factors for violence. I dunno...I dunno if I can by that.

I don't think they *cause* violence, but they do desensitize. Especially in the case of "first-person shooter" video games, they also teach to a certain extent... little tricks like using cover, staying mobile, etc. This is certainly not the same as being a cause though.

I also don't think violence is anything particularly new. In fact, I think we live in a far less violent world than has existed in the past. What I think IS new is the media's ability to sensationalize on a massive scale, which breeds a certain ammount of copycat behavior. (ie. all the school shootings that happened in the wake of Columbine). Lizzie Borden didn't need Marilyn Manson or the Matrix... hell, she didn't even need a gun.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Husk in Japan!!!

From his LiveJournal

Husk went to Japan in August!

Japan... trying again


So okay, here I sit in Japan. I am sitting on Taro's bed while everyone else in the household lays sleeping. If there are errors in any of my spelling, I apologize, but my computer screen was broken when it went through security in Boston. I now have a large black crack across my screen, and the whole damn thing will have to be replaced. I am sure that Joe can do it and all, it's just a question of when and how much I'll get yelled at when he does. I can hear him now, "You should have protected it more!" Ah well, I am not too worried about it, since I have other things on my mind right now.

The flight wasn't so bad. There were four movies, and none of them sucked big time, so that's a good thing. Of course, I thought that Agent Cody Banks was WAY too violent for the age group that it was targeting, especially figuring Hilary Duff's character kills someone in it, but whatever. Chicago was good, though I was asleep when it started. I didn't sleep all that much on the way. I don't really get how anyone CAN sleep in coach, unless they have one of the seats in front of the emergency exits. The Korean girl next to me had really bad gas for part of the flight too, and that was just plain nasty. The food, well, it was airplane food. Not too good, not too bad, but definitely too spicy. That wouldn't have been too big a deal if they brought drinks when they brought the food, but well, they didn't. I am really glad that I wore long sleeves and pants, however, because it was so cold on the plane. I had to ask for an extra blanket even with the clothes I had on!

When I got in, the whole Immigration process was really easy. The line went quickly, then I continued on to the Baggage Claim and Customs. No sweat there either, they just pushed me through. Taro thinks it was because I scared them, and I hope he was right. LOL! Taro's mom was waiting for me with one of her o-workers, and they helped me to the car. I knew that the driver's side was on the right and all, but as I'd never driven in a car like that before, it was really interesting. Not too interesting, however, as I managed to conk out a bit in the car on the way in! I didn't miss seeing much though, because these large walls surround the highways here, preventing me from seeing all but the very tallest of buildings. It's rainy and gray though, so I couldn't see any buildings that weren't close.

When we got here, I was helped with my luggage, and then I jumped in the shower. It was really nice being able to sit while showering, and I think that I am going to have to buy a stool for my home shower, as well as one of the handheld things instead of the standard shower. I liked it a whole lot, and it helped revive me a bit. I was feeling nasty after being on the airplane for so long anyway. When I was done, Taro's sister got home and we all went to dinner down the street.

I don't know what I was expecting of the restaurant that we would go to, but it was totally cool when we got there. This really kind older woman in a kimono with a silver front tooth led us up the stairs to a room for the five of us, (Taro's mom's co-worker and one of his employees joined us as well,) and I figured I would follow everyone's lead. That proved to not work out as planned, however, because they all kept waiting for me to do something before they did! I wasn't sure what was expected of me, so I waited for everyone else to sit before I did, but they were waiting for me. While we were doing that little dance, the old woman came back in and was introduced to me. Her name was Michiko, and she tried speaking English to me, but when I told her it was nice to meet her in Japanese, well, I set myself up for some fun there, I tell you. She decided that since I understood a little, I must understand a WHOLE LOT, since she kept speaking to me quickly and excitedly. Of course, I had NO idea what she was saying half the time, I mean come on, I only took a year of school Japanese and all so I was not prepared for it though. Don't get me wrong though, it was awesome, as she was a really animated older woman and all, and she seemed genuinely interested in making me happy. Of course, that was an easy job as far as I was concerned! Taro's mom ordered food, and I was NOT prepared for what she did to me. She ordered basically one of everything for me, which was cool and all, but I didn't have a hope in hell of finishing everything. They kept pointing out things that I had not tried yet, like the pickled ginger root. I tried it, and it was pleasantly sour at first, but then the spicy flavour hit me and hit me hard! I downed about three full cups of steaming hot, very rich green tea, which shocked Michiko. Apparently, most Americans do not like the tea there, because it is very rich and bitter. Though I am not big on bitter, I must admit that I thought that it was excellent, and I must have had at least two pots of it while everyone else was slugging back sake, beer and this other liquor, which Taro tells me is a Korean liquor or something. Taro's mom and sister can really slug it back, let me tell you! Ako-chan, (that's Taro's sister,) turned red at the first sip but that didn't stop her at all. Meanwhile, Michiko sat right next to me. She was sitting so close to me that our entire sides were touching, which was cracking me up. You would think that she had never seen someone with blue eyes before though, because she seemed fascinated. She thinks my eyes are pretty, and kept leaning over to look at them. Of course, with how bloodshot they were, I don't see how she could stand to look at them! They only hurt when I saw a mirror and saw how yucky they looked! Michiko was up and down the entire time, but when she was sitting next to me, she would alternate between fanning herself and fanning me, which was especially funny because of how much more than me she was wearing! SHE must have been stifling, while I was perfectly comfortable. But then we talked about her fan a little bit, as it was adorable, and then she went back to fanning us. Every time I took even a sip of the tea, she smiled and filled the cup back up again. I have never met such a cool person before, and it sucks that it isn't part of Japanese custom to tip servers. Well, then again, I don't have yen yet, so I guess it's not so bad.

From there, Ako-chan and I headed back here, and after she introduced me to the dog, (I saw him before but he was barking like a maniac and I was warned to stay away from him to avoid getting bitten.) He's a cute little Terrier, but I don't think I will be messing with him when people aren't there to hand him to me, as I am told that he bites a whole lot. After talking for a little bit, Ako-chan said, "Jason sleepy now!" and pointed upstairs. I took the hint, came upstairs and CRASHED. I woke up having to use the bathroom badly, and I went downstairs to find it. The toilet here is so unusual! I know, I know, weird thing to talk about, but it has buttons all over it, and one looks like it has an illustration of an ass being sprayed by water. Taro told me it was an odd toilet, but I wasn't expecting what I saw. Then when I flushed it, the sink atop it started up. Turns out that before it goes into the toilet tank, you wash your hands with it. Pretty efficient, once you can get past the whole idea of it and all.

I guess that's it for now though. It's almost 4:00 a.m., and I need to get some more sleep before the morning. I already have about four or five hours, but more will help, since we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow. Tea ceremony in the morning and Kabuki at night! I'll be writing more tomorrow, I am sure. As I look at this entry, I cannot help but smirk. When I post this to my Live Journal, everyone is going to KILL me. Not to mention that I bet most of you won't be reading anywhere near all of it. Well, except for a certain someone who I have been friends with for years and who will most likely just print the damn thing out to read at his leisure away from the comp?


Wow, I was pretty damn busy today! It rained a lot, so we weren't able to go and see the tea ceremony. However, we went to lunch downtown, and then we went all over the place shopping until it was time to go see Noh. I was under the impression that Noh was the 18th and Kabuki was today, but the order doesn't really matter very much now, does it? As I came down the stairs this morning, I saw someone in the bathroom who I didn't know yet. It was Taro's other sister, Lisa. She is SUCH a sweetie, and a lot prettier in real life than in the two pics I had seen of her before. She is very small, but so cute. Her hair is somewhat wild, but it's good messy as opposed to bad messy, so it works for her. She also has a lot of freckles around her eyes. If anyone had asked me to know by sight, I would swear that she was Taro's younger sister, not his much older one! After we introduced ourselves, I came back upstairs and grabbed my clothes, as I hadn't realized how late it was. I jumped in the shower, and there was a place set for me at the table, so I was all good.

When I sat down, I saw that Midori, (Taro's mom,) was on the phone. I realized quickly that she was talking to Taro. He passed a few translations to me, which was great. It turns out that while I slept this morning, Midori picked me up another set of Japanese Pajamas! These ones are a wonderfully light material, black with white dragons silk screened on it. It's really pretty! Then again, I have been wearing the pairs that Taro gave me every night since he passed them on to me, so I am really happy with these new ones too!

Lunch was nothing short of fucking awesome. We took a taxi to this place that apparently serves some of the best unagi, (that's eel for those of you who don't know for one reason or another.) As most of you well know, I could eat unagi every day for the rest of my life if given the chance. Well, let me tell you that this meal put all of the unagi that I have had to date to shame! It was so wonderful, and the rest of the meal rocked too! Sashimi, soup, fried fish, daikon pickles, and a lot of other things that I am way too tired to remember rounded out a most excellent meal. Lisa's English is a lot better than she gives herself credit for, especially when I am smart enough to slow down what I say, which is sometimes a chore for me. If I get excited about something, I generally tend to pick up my manner of speaking, and since I am still all psyched to be here, I am even excited when I am asleep! Anyway, we had a great meal and all, so then we headed out to shop, which is one of my all-time favourite things to do. I should share that I tried paying for lunch and Lisa looked at me crossly and put her hand out at me, (think Pointer Sisters video here,) and simply said, "NO!" For such a cutie patootie, she is very forceful! Not at all like Bao Ning, Ben's ex-wife, who was a mail order bride from China. She wasn't forceful; she just liked to nag!

The first thing we did was stop on one of the other floors in the store. It was a place where you can get traditional Japanese goods. I tried looking for a fan there as a souvenir for Ben, but there wasn't anything there under $80.00. Well, that's not entirely accurate. After the translation from 8,000 yen, it comes up to 66.66 dollars I guess, but close enough. I was really surprised at how much they were. I am hoping to find one somewhere for him yet. I did get him one of the things he wanted, a few postcards, but I will get to that later. From there we headed over to the Sanrio store, which was pretty damn cool. I checked out a lot of stuff that was there, but only bought a few things. Come to think of it, if I have time to stop in another one, I really have to buy something for Ivette and Jazelle while I am there! Ivette loves Hello Kitty almost as much as I do, after all, so I think she would be psyched to get something Hello Kitty direct from Japan. We finished up there and headed to Animate, a store that specializes in selling anime goods. WOW! I was in freakin' heaven. I mean, come on, SEVEN stories of anime goods? AWESOME. I am not sure if people will like the things that I got for them, but I did buy quite a bit of stuff while I was there. Kate is simply going to KILL me when she sees me in my new Chobits sweatshirt. It's a nice black sweatshirt with the Chobits logo across the chest and a small Chi in black and white next to it. I found a really cool pin for Jen; it's a Cowboy Bebop one of Fay's outline in relief on a brass pin. I got a lot more than that, and I must point out that Butters better like the older chick from Evangelion, cuz a little trading figure is all he's getting, and it happened to be her that I got. I usually know her name, but it's late and I am exhausted and somewhat jet-lagged, so I can't remember much right now.

We had some time after checking out the anime store, so we went to a small caf? in the building that Lisa and Midori like a lot. I had a Very Berry Smoothie and a Peach Yogurt cake. These desserts man, I tell you, they are so awesome! I wolfed mine pretty damn quick, much to the surprise of my company, as they saw how stuffed I had been not too long ago! We hung out there until a little before we needed to get the train. Lisa said goodbye, since we only had the two tickets for the Noh performance. She said to call her if we need to though, since Taro was sleeping by then. It was 4:30 in the morning back in Boston, after all!

When we got to the place where Noh was, I was dumbfounded yet again. What a beautiful building! It just screamed everything traditional. There were big bonsai-like trees outside, and the building itself had the lovely sloped roofs that Japan is famous for. It was even better after we finished taking a few pics and went inside. The whole place was just beautiful, and I don't think I have the words to give a great description. We checked in with the ticket people and were shown to another caf?, this one in the building, as we had a half an hour before the performance was to begin. While we sat there, I read over the English summary and sipped my coffee while Midori read through the program book she bought. She also bought a copy for me, but there is no English in the book. I did enjoy looking at the pictures in it, however, since they had me going in knowing what I was looking for. I cannot help but be a little sad that we don't have Noh in the States though. It was that cool. The whole concept is strange, as it's sort of like opera, but more like chant. The guys in the background were hitting the drums and doing the "Byooo!" you hear in anime all the time, which had me terribly amused as it was. What surprised me was that there was only one person in a mask; everyone else was bare-faced. The first story was about a drunken servant to takes a nap and releases one of the arms on his master's tea box. A shyster comes along and places his arm through the other strap, and when the servant awakens, he is enraged to find the shyster trying to steal the box. The two begin to argue, and another man comes along to help. He makes the men tell their stories separately, but the shyster arranged it so that the servant tells the story first, and then performs the same story. When the arbitrator makes them both tell the story at the same time as a song and dance, he grabs the box and takes off with it, leaving them both high and dry. It was really quite funny. During the intermission, I bought some postcards and went to use the restroom. Midori bought me a Noh mask pendant while I was in the bathroom, which was very nice of her. It's a rather pretty silver piece, so I'll wear it. The second performance was a bit easier to explain. A woman has a vision of her lost son and goes to meet him. The priests at the temple she goes to first dismiss her as being mad, but finally the boy comes forward and confirms that she is his mother. They leave together, and there is rejoicing. Pretty cool, but it's three times longer than the other.

By this time, I am exhausted, but we go out to eat anyway. Really good food, and from what I understand, this is Taro's favourite restaurant. I finally tried yakitori! I know it's not as big a deal as I made it, but it's pretty damn good, and I will definitely have to eat some again before I leave. Thank you Junko Mizuno for pointing out its existence to me, since I wouldn't know about it without her version of Cinderella! Aki/Ako-chan showed up a while after we had started eating and helped bridge the communication gap again. We talked about a lot of things over dinner, and mother and daughter both had a few drinks, more beer and Korean liquor.

When we got back, we also had a bag full of snacks, since they decided I wasn't eating enough. It was cool though. I put the pajamas on and Midori needed to take pics, which I found pretty cool. If they came out well, I will have to scan them in and post them somewhere. Maybe one will turn into a new icon for me.

That's about it though. I need to get to bed, because I have yet another busy day ahead of me tomorrow, and Midori wants to cook for me too! Woo hoo!


So last night I didn't sleep all that well. I crashed pretty early, however I was unable to stay asleep past 6:00 am. If you know me well at all, you would know that there is definitely something wrong with that situation! Anyway, I called Taro and Joe, then Kate when Joe didn't seem very happy to hear from me. I know, I have only been gone like two days, but I would think that he would at least be happy to hear from me and all. Instead, he's busy talking to the damn people at CVS. Like the intercontinental call is something he gets every day and all. I shouldn't be annoyed, but well, I just cannot help it. So I called Kate, and she was with Russ. They were happy to hear from me, so all was better in the world. Heh heh heh.

I went downstairs at about 8:00 am, and I was going to jump in the shower straight away, but someone was already in there. When I had come down, the dog started barking again, nonstop. I know that I was warned that he is a biter and that I should stay away from him, but well, he's a little Jack Russell Terrier. How could I stay away? He was very friendly to me as soon as I got close, which was cool. For the rest of the day, he kept coming up to me all sniffing about and all, which was really cute. He jumps up and down all over the place, which is pretty funny. He also wears a Hawaiian shirt, which okay, I do find more than a little bit bizarre.

When we finished getting ready, we went to another Unagi place for lunch. Do you think you see me complaining? No way in hell! I ate some stuff there that I would have not thought of eating before mind you, but it wasn't bad. I won't share it all, since most of my friends already think that I am a freak for simply loving eel. I will share that I wasn't very partial to the eel heart soup though. Aki mistranslated what it was, and I thought that it was eel liver at first, so I went ahead and ate the organ that was in the broth. Then she thought for a few minutes, "Vely solly! Not liver. Heart." I was not really bothered, mind you, because I would have not come to Japan is I was afraid of trying new foods. However, I didn't really like it. It was far from horrid, but it had a bit of a bitter taste to it that I didn't like. Everything else was lovely at lunch though. From the una-ju, (eel over rice,) to the shrimp tempura, it was great. There was a strange dish there that I didn't know how to eat at first, but Aki and Midori showed me. It was a fish that was baked whole, and it was very crispy. It looked as though there were bones like everywhere. The way we ate it was really interesting, as we ate bones and all by just snapping off pieces of the fish! The view was awesome too, since the restaurant overlooked a lake and a monorail.

From there, we had to say goodbye to Midori, who had a lot of business things to attend to and could not accompany us. It was okay though, as Aki was with me. You know, I was a little nervous about spending the whole day with her, but she turned out to be a whole lot of fun. She is just the sort of girl Ben would like to spend time with. Ben from Tennessee, that is, not Ben from the office. I don't know what kind of girl Ben from the office likes, since he doesn't talk about that stuff with me, though he has told me to bring in hentai before. Maybe I will have to pick him up a hentai comic while I am here. LOL! I can just imagine his face upon my return!

From there, Aki and I walked to Gamers. I can now officially say that I have been to the birthplace of Dejiko, Puchiko, Usada and Pyocola, as well as all of the other Di Gi Charat characters, which is totally cool. I need to note that watching my spell-check go crazy whenever I type in a Japanese name is making me giggle. Not jiggle, since I'm not round enough to jiggle, (Doug is,) but giggle. We spent a lot of time shopping in Gamers, but most of the really really cool stuff like DVDs and video games will only work on Japanese players, and I don't have one. I would like to be able to watch the Di Gi Charat stuff, but oh well. I learned that though I would really like to buy a Game Boy Advance while I am here, I most likely should not. Some people are telling me that it won't work with American games, while others say that it will. There are so many cool Japanese games and all, but since I don't speak Japanese fluently, I will have to pass on them for now, which is a real bummer. I could just see myself playing the Chobits game in school, with the game talking to me and everyone giving me weird looks since most people in Boston don't expect me to understand much Japanese at all. Then again, they're right, though I really do have to start fixing that. I would like to have perfect Japanese speech, though I am not silly enough to believe that I will ever get that good. However, being able to master simple conversation would be awesome, since it's been so hard to get by without a translator. I spent ENTIRELY too much money at Gamers, but it's all good. I managed to get a lot of cool gifts while I was there, and I got a point card. With that, I was able to get a free CD, cup and Pyocola pencil board. Then I spent barely any money in the Gamers outlet and ended up getting another 31 points, which confuses me, but I won't complain. You should see the Black Gema Gema Dan pics I managed to get. They're awesome, and I got the full gang of four. I think I would have bought some of the little black gang member if I could have as well, at least three of them, but there weren't any. Aki decided she wanted to get me a Sakura Wars figure, and she wanted it to be Sakura, so she headed over to the little vending machine thing. Okay, imagine the little cheesy vending machines we have for kids in department stores and supermarkets after the registers, only imagine they have cool things inside them. Now imagine a 35 year old woman, (though Aki looks much younger,) going through about $30 before giving up on getting the character that she wanted. It was very funny, but cool too. I mean hell; you will never see me complain about people spending money on me! We looked a lot more, and I saw some AWESOME figures that I had to buy, two Di Gi Charat and one Sumomo. They were expensive, but damn it, they were so cute!

Aki really wanted me to be able to find some Inu-Yasha figures since I told her that it was one of my favourite shows. She found out about a small figure shop down the street from where we were, so we started off toward the place. On the way, we became distracted by one of those UFL catcher machines. You know, the machines with stuffed animals in it and a claw that comes down to grab one up. I am sure you are also aware of how they're all rigged in America to not pick up a damn thing. However, the ones here are different. Almost right away, I managed to snag a Freya/Dark Chi, and then I wanted an Elda/Chi as well. The Sumomo dolls were mainly buried, so I didn't try for one. We also had to stop at a perfume place. I saw a bottle of CK1 for only 1,000 Yen. That's about $8.34 in American money, while I would have to pay $50.00 back home for the same size bottle. Needless to say, I grabbed one up. I would have and should have gotten more than one, but my Yen was running out fast.

We stopped at another Animate on the way to the figure store, and I found some really cool Yami no Matsuei hanging thingies. I bought them, one of each, and that was my money for the day. However, Aki wasn't done shopping with me for Anime goods yet! I guess she was also having a lot of fun, and I kept telling her about more and more anime. She wants to see Chobits a whole lot now, for instance, and will be on the lookout for Chobits stuff. I hope she is buying for herself though, especially after what happened next. We found the figure shop, and Aki brought me up. I thought that it would be a depressing trip, but as I looked at things and pointed, I didn't notice Aki was picking them up and placing them in a basket since I was so dumbfounded by the whole place. I mean, it was a shop of NOTHING but anime figures, mostly of the trading types, which are the ones I love. While I was looking at things, she was also grabbing up other figures that she simply thought were "so cute" and throwing them in the basket as well. She found a complete set of Sakura Wars figures and bought that, which was funny since I already have a bunch from hr trying to get me the one of Sakura herself. Now I have PLENTY of souvenirs to give out though, let me tell you! Everyone will get some, even if they don't like it! I was a bit disappointed, however, that I was completely unable to find anything from Final Fantasy for Ryan. I wanted to get something Vivi for him like he asked, but like I thought it would be, it's completely over. There were some large figures of FFX2, but those were really expensive, like over $300.00 each, so I passed on those. When I turned around, she had a basket full of things. When I told her that I didn't have the money for all of that, she laughed. "I get! Present for you!" I tried declining, but she would have none of that. She paid for them, (there was over $110 in anime goods there, as I saw a LOT that I liked. Keep in mind that the figured ranged in price between 400 and 1200 yen, which is about $3.30 to $10.00,) and we were done shopping for the day.

All of the shopping, however, had made us thirsty. Aki decided to show me a very nice tearoom, so we went there and had some coffee. My first was a regular iced coffee with cream, but the second was an iced coffee ole with ice cream, which was SO good. The ice cream was of very high quality, so I was in heaven. Aki pulled out her cigarettes and started smoking, and made sure to let me know that it was a secret from her mother that I smoked. Okay, I cannot tell Midori this, especially after how well she treated me all day long. Between having all of my meals paid for thus far to having tons of souvenirs given to me, I feel like royalty or something. "Konichiwa Jason-sama!" No, no, I am not THAT conceited. I leave that to certain artists out there who think that they deserve that title.

One thing that I really feel the need to share is how cool shopping at Gamers was. I mean okay, eight floors of anime goods is cool enough, I am sure, but it gets better. The staff, first of all, was awesome, and so helpful. Okay, no one agreed on whether American games will play on Japanese Game Boys or not, but still, they were really knowledgeable about their store, and seemed to take great pride in working there. Then again, if I worked there, I would most likely be excited to come in every day and look at all of the Dejiko stuff, even if I was not buying it all the time like I was today. Each time I bought something, (you had to cash out at every floor,) I gained more points towards free stuff, which I think is a groovy system. Not only that, but they gave me a ton of free stuff to boot. Okay, none of it was like wicked fancy stuff or anything, but it was cool being given free gifts just for spending money at a store. Free pin badges, candies, tins, cardboard fans, posters, and even a megaphone! This store really knows how to treat their customers so that they will want to come back and shop more. I only hope that the one that opened in California is anywhere near as good!

When we came back to the house, Midori was very busy cooking and the guy from the night we went to Machiko's restaurant was there. Aki and I sat down, exhausted, and I flipped through the television after being handed the remote. I stopped on Yamato, and we watched that. To my surprise, everyone in the room was a fan of the show. I was happy with that, since it meant I could watch some anime, even if I didn't know what was going on. I do highly recommend watching Yamato with the sound off, by the way. It's really funny if you don't know what's going on and are good at MST3King things like that. Lots of random explosions and awkward looking scenes, so try it. When the food started coming, it KEPT coming. I guess they still don't realize how little I eat. Once again, we were eating stuff that I would generally avoid, like whole prawns. I would never eat them before, since eating food that looks at me usually freaks me right the hell out. I think I am over that by now, however, since a lot of food has been staring at me on this trip. Eating prawns was a lot like eating lobster, to tell the truth, and there was something immensely satisfying in ripping the beastie apart like that. The first thing I was instructed to so was suck out the brains. Hell, I am in Japan, I am doing as the Japanese do, and damn they were good! I asked if they would help make me smarter and speak more Japanese. You should have seen the laughs that got, which surprised me, since it wasn't very funny. The last thing that Midori brought out for the meal, (at this point I was full to bursting, too,) was a large bowl of several things with sticks poking out of a broth. I tried it, and it was really good, (well, the one I tried, since there was a lot to look at!) Aki pulled a baby octopus out and handed it to me. When it was cooled, and I was over the thought of eating a whole octopus, I popped the whole thing into my mouth. I don't know what dad was talking about; I liked it a whole lot, and didn't have a hard time chewing it. Midori is a great cook!

Throughout dinner, people would keep yelling out, "Machiko!" to hear my impression of her. Of course, I would rise to the bait and reply with a high-pitched "Haaaaai!" It had them all in stitches. Aki kept saying, "You sound so good like her! Taro teach you how to listen Japanese good!" It was really funny. Then a Japanese announcer came on the television and said something, so of course I had to mimic him as closely as I could in MY Japanese announcer voice, which I used to use in Japanese class all of the bloody time, since there was always the last sentence in the dialogues where an announcer would summarize the text. Once again, everyone was in stitches.

A woman named Sachiko also showed up while we were eating, and I don't think she was happy with me being there. Maybe I got that hint at her saying "Gaijin" a whole lot and all, but whatever. The guy from the other night said it a bit too, but I am not offended, because well, I AM a gaijin. Of course, it's going to be REALLY weird to go to the public baths with him and all, since we're going to be hanging out buck naked and all together. Awkward much? Of course, I will have to just get over that, since I sort of signed up for it all by coming to Japan and staying with someone who will make sure I see as much of Japan as I possibly can, so I am not complaining. Anyway, Sachiko kept giving me the hairy eyeball, which I did my best to ignore. No reason to provoke her.

Aki and I then set about looking through all of the shopping that I did. It was so much fun, and we put together a few of the figures that we got, which was a lot of fun. I was getting sleepy by that point, so they gave me some Japanese pear slices and sent me off to bed. I think I forgot my Chi sweatshirt downstairs though?

That's it for now though. I still have plenty more time to do stuff, and I am already on 7 pages, so everyone is going to kill me when I post this to LiveJournal!


So okay, I am from America, and I am in Japan. Will SOMEONE please tell me why I am on European time then? My body, that is. I keep going to bed around ten or eleven, but then I wake up several times to pee. I do that, then end up waking up completely around 4:00 am, which is not good. I am getting dark circles under my eyes from it, too, as I have not had time for a nap while being here. Ah well. At least I got back to sleep for a while after though, somewhere around six or seven. Of course, I then slept until ten. Grr.

Midori and I talked to Taro in the morning again, as per usual. She laughs about it, since he facilitates a lot of our communication. Anyway, he is having Visa troubles, and he asked me to look over the paper that his mom has. I was supposed to do it today, but we forgot all about it. I will make sure to read it in the morning though.

We met up with Tomoko, Midori's friend. Yeah, yeah, I know. My Tomoko is not here until the 25th, so it couldn't be my Tomoko. Oh well! Tomoko's daughter came with us to Shibuya, which was great of her. Yeah, Shibuya like in Lain. Anyway, we stopped at a Dim Sum place first for lunch, which was pretty cool. It was a lot different from the Dim Sum restaurants that I am used to, but whatever, it was good food! We all ordered desserts too, and sampled from each other's. Asa, Tomoko's daughter, lived in England for a while, so her English is really good. Everyone keeps apologizing for his or her English to me though, and there is no reason to! So many people speak English much better than I speak Japanese, so you won't see me complaining! I only complain about native English-speakers who cannot speak it well anyway. Asa was very much like my friend Tomoko in that she was somewhat of the Japanese girl stereotype. You know, really nice and somewhat quiet. She was so sweet to me though, and helped a whole lot. I really appreciate the way she showed me around. When I asked if there was anywhere that she wanted to go, she insisted that she could come to Shibuya anytime she wanted, so no, there was nowhere that she wanted to go. I felt a little bad, but she wouldn't hear of going to any place that she liked.

We then headed into Shibuya to shop. I stopped at HMV and spent a lot of money on CDs. I will be buying a portable player tomorrow hopefully. I got the Chobits soundtrack though, which is pretty cool, as well as a lot of other CDs. Hamasaki Ayumi and Utada Hikaru, as well as Natsumi Aba, who has some really cool music. I listened to her on the little listening station they have and all, and I really enjoyed her. Of course, for all of you fuckwits who consider Boa to be J-pop, let me set the record straight. The cover of the CD even says K-pop, NOT J-pop, so get over it. She is a famous Korean singer who sings some stuff in Japanese. I like her a lot, don't get me wrong, but come on. She isn't J-pop. It's okay.

We then looked around in a whole lot of other shops. In one of them, there was a lot of cheap punk-type stuff, and I managed to get a lot of cute things. Midori took my basket away from me and paid for everything in it and all, which sort of sucks since it's not all for me. Okay, the navel rings are mine, but some of it I wanted to get for Liz, since she helped me out so much by giving me a ride to the airport and is also picking me up on Thursday. I got her a wicked cool little patch that says Punk Rock Girl on it with a pic of a voodoo doll that is stabbed through the heart with a giant safety pin, as well as some other cool things from it. Nothing that was too expensive, and nothing that screams Japan, but I am pretty sure that they are things that she will like. I also stopped at a Goth shop that I saw when I saw a sale that they were having on this outfit and all. Regularly $100, down to $50. It was really Japanese Goth though, so I didn't get it for Jen. Instead, I bought a corset for her that looks like silver snakeskin. It's pretty damn cool, and I am pretty sure that she will wear it. In public, well, maybe not, but hopefully! I do at least expect to see a pic of her in it though. Hear that Jen? You're posing in it for me! And hey, maybe for one of your girly goth magazines too! There was a wicked cool shoe store that specialized in platform shoes there too, but I won't have any room for an extra pair of shoes in my luggage. Hell, I will be surprised if I can mange to get home everything that I have bought already!!!

From there, we headed back here to the house. Asa said goodbye, and we stopped here for a few minutes before walking around the neighborhood a little. There are some really cool stores in this area! We got some food, as I was really in the mood for fruit, and then we also stopped at a discount store since Midori knew I wanted to buy a Game Boy Advance. They didn't have the new one there, which is the one that I will be buying, but they did have some games, including Star Ocean and another starring a girl from Tales of Eternia. For those who don't know, Tales of Eternia is a highly unknown but really cool anime that I downloaded a while back. I should watch it again sometime soon? Anyway, we did a little more shopping and dropped off the film that Midori had taken, then went back to the house.

Taro's aunt, cousin, and her husband were all coming to the house with the baby that they had a month ago. He is so cute! Akira spoke English very well after having lived in Europe for two years and America for one, so we talked a lot. He's really a cool guy, and he was interested in hearing my opinions on everything I have been doing here. I told him that this trip has gotten me to try a whole lot of things that I would not have tried before I came here, and that I used to be grossed out by eating anything that could look at me while I was eating it, with the exception of lobsters, but that I am over that now. Everyone has simply been so nice to me on this trip, and I am really thankful for that. I mean, I am really about as outsider as you can get in this country, but I don't feel it all because of how well they have been treating me. Of course, it helps to be staying with, as Taro puts is, a Bowler. She knows a lot of cool people and is very popular in the area. Akira talked anime a bit with me, and was surprised at how much I know about it. It's awesome to be able to talk at length with a Japanese person about animation from their own country! I explained to him that it usually takes at least three months for us to get whatever anime is new here, since they have to translate it, and we don't play much on the telly. What IS played, I explained, is cleaned up a lot. He was surprised at first when I told him that Ranma ? will never be played in America until I pointed out the vast number of breast shots that are in that series, and then he understood.

We all went out to eat again, which was a bummer since I was already full from the fruits I had eaten. Ah well, I still managed to tear through quite a bit of food at the restaurant. Everyone laughed when I said that by the time I get home, I'm going to be completely fat. The food here is just simply too good. I told Akira about how my dad doesn't like the little octopus, but that I find that I really love it. It's a little chewy, mind you, but not as bad as adult octopus. That I still don't like, since it's more like gum than food. We talked and ate for a long while, and I started getting REALLY sleepy. However, there has been an odd message on the phone all day long that I was trying to get rid of. It's still on the phone, but whatever. I asked Taro if I had a voice message from him, but he said no, so it can't be anything too important. Well, unless dad or Joe tried calling, since they're the only other ones with the phone number. Ah well, it's okay I am sure. It's not a message saying anything is wrong, or Midori and Akira would have figured that out. I also found out that Taro's dad came back to Tokyo so that he could meet me, but that we have very different schedules, so when I am at the house he is out and vice versa.

From there I came back here and just completely crashed. I was so tired and all, so when I got back up here, I was out like a light. As you may be able to tell, I am writing this entry really early in the morning actually, since I was too tired to even attempt it last night. I am actually going to leave this entry at this now, as I need to start getting ready to face the day shortly. We are going to Kabuki, so I need to be out of the house by 9:30, I believe. With all of the people here, this will not be an easy feat! I am going to go jump in the shower now so that I can get one in!

The Rest of the Trip

I should tell you ahead of time that this is being written a week after my trip was over. Keeping a journal of the last few days was close to impossible, so I just said forget it and decided I would write when I got home. However, it is now a week after I have been home, I am at work again now, and I have not had the energy to write until today. Well, I don't even have the energy today, but I want to get this done so that I can post this and share my Japan experience with everyone.

Day five was awesome. I could not have asked for something more beautiful than Kabuki. The first half of it was a military tragedy, which was so fascinating. I mean, it was taking place during the warring states period of history and all, which is one of the times I find most interesting in Japan. So we have these elaborately dressed up men, and when I say elaborate I really mean it, performing this beautiful play. The fighting scenes were awesome, and I can understand why people come from all over Japan to see them. It's more like a dance, really, and watching a lone country girl take on a battalion of enemy soldier was worth going alone! Of course, it kept getting better. When the big battle of the lord of the house started, well, all I can say was WOW! There was one really cool scene when he was attacked by all of these people carrying the pieces of wall that he had "smashed in" earlier on. He took them all on, and they ended up taking these pieces, (which were really just large, stiff straw mats,) and putting three of them together, much in the same way you would build a card house. Only thing was, he was standing on top of them when they were done. One by one, the twenty warriors retreated, leaving him with only one person helping maintain the balance. Then when it came down, he landed on his feet. I know that it doesn't sound like much, but it was fucking awesome!

There was a brief intermission where we were served lunch, and then we came back for the rest of the show. The dances comprised the second half of the performance. Damn, they were really cool too! The first one was a prostitute's dances, depicting several different ways of making love to the man who frequently visited her. She used a fan and a drum to show this, and it was very subtle, but the translation that was playing in my ear really helped my understanding of the entire performance a whole lot. The dancing itself was awesome, and "she" kept changing costumes on stage. I swear, there must have been twenty kimonos on this actor, since they just kept coming off to only reveal another one beneath it! There were also several drums, each one more beautiful than the last. Really, I understand how these things can be so expensive now as well. Some of the drums were golden, as were the fans. Well, parts of them were gold, at least. Obviously a fully gold drum would be a bad idea, as well as completely unwieldy. The second dance was the tale of a traveler. He was a stereotypical perverted and broke man who kept lamenting that he could not visit several prostitutes who he usually made sure to go see. He was sent letters from them all, but he already spent all of his money gambling, since he didn't believe in keeping money overnight. It was a bizarre series of dances, and not as enjoyable as the others, though it wasn't bad either. The last dances, however, were so beautiful that I had tears running down my face and all. The dancer was dressed in a yellow kimono with very tall geta, (those are the wooden stilted sandals, for those making a confused face at me right now.) It was the tale of a girl who was so strong that she beat up a horse in the streets, which made for an interesting introduction. The horse was cool as well, as it was two dancers in a HUGE costume. They did a small dance with the woman and went offstage. During most of her dance, she had these large paddles that were attached to long reams of cloth. She waved them about and the fabric fluttered beautifully, rippling much like water. I was impressed enough that the dancer could even hold them and move while wearing such high geta, but then I became awed, as the dancer lifted one foot and leaned forward, her geta balancing on the front of the sandal and the first stilt. She then started hopping across the entire stage, and my jaw dropped. I mean, she went across the WHOLE stage like that, flapping the fabric all the way. I really cannot describe how awesome a sight the whole dance was. Midori, Taro's mom, went on a shopping spree for me as well and bought me a whole bunch of memorabilia from the Kabuki place, including some souvenir cookies for my grandmother. I tried one, so she should most likely love them. I also have some Kabuki Hello Kitty gear, which is just way too cool.

From there, we went to an electronics store. While she was buying Taro a new Game Boy Advance, Midori also bought one for me as well as a game. This shocked the hell out of me, but I wasn't about to argue. I picked some games up while I was there, but my Japanese will have to get a whole lot better before I will be able to play them. One of them was a Di Gi Charat game, so you know that I was not about to pass up that chance! Heh heh heh. I was surprised at how cheap the electronics were there, and I ended up picking up a CD played for myself while I was there as well. It'll help make the trip to school much more bearable, since I'll be taking the shuttle bus from here on in, as parking at UMass sucks. Even if you buy the stupid pass for $300, you aren't guaranteed a parking space, so I'll train it. Anyway, we met up with Taro's uncle shortly afterwards. Taro was actually really surprised to see him in a picture with me, which confused me, since he was just such a nice guy and all. I guess he didn't expect me to have spent as much time with him as I did or something, since he came with us for most of the rest of the evening. We had to go to the hospital, since Taro's other uncle was in there for a while. With the profuse apologies, I thought that we would be there like all afternoon or something. Instead, it was simply a short visit, like not even five minutes. I guess they won't let you in the ICU for very long at all. From there we went to Asakusa's shopping district so that I could pick up the doll for my mom and aunt. I managed to buy quite a few things while I was there, and then we headed to dinner, and everyone proceeded to order entirely too much food for me again, which really cracked me up. I mean, I am not complaining or anything, since the food was damn good and all! Taro's uncle left us from there, and we went back to Taro's house for a while.

That night was the night I was going out clubbing. Though I didn't have a good time exploring the gay side of Tokyo, I am glad that I did it. I went to a lounge called Arty Farty to start. This place is supposed to be totally famous and great and all, but I didn't see anything that I liked there. I mean, everyone was just all tired and hanging out. There was pop music playing, and a few people dancing inanely, but nothing to keep me there. I decided that since the environment there was a lot less than friendly, I would take off and go to Dragon, which was only a few streets away. I sat down and ordered a coke, which was like whatever. There was dance music going, but no one dancing, as it was like dead there. The bartender, who was wearing nothing but shoes and a pair of leopard-print underwear, was friendly and all and tried having a conversation with me. He spoke English pretty well, which impressed me. There was old-school Falcon porn playing there was well, which I found bizarre. Like late 70's / early 80's porn. You wouldn't expect something like that in a small club in Japan, or at least I wouldn't. An old man came over and told me that he wanted to know my story, so he sat down and we talked a bit, which was difficult as neither of us spoke the other's language all too well. It was going pretty well and I was enjoying my time until he started trying to stick his hands down my pants. For an old man, he was really spry, and it was a challenge to get him away. I took off after that though, since I didn't need any of that shit. I can put up with a lot, but an old pervert is not one of the things I am about to subject myself to again if I don't have to. I went outside to send e-mails to Ben, Kate and Taro telling them what happened when four men all tried offering me money for sex in the space of like fifteen minutes. I told the first one, "I am really expensive, but you're friggin' cheap!" in Japanese, since that was about as witty a comeback as I could come up with in a foreign language. (He had simply asked me 'How much?' to get me going.) The others asked the same thing, but I just pretended to not understand Japanese at all. It was rather interesting.

Now, the trains weren't running, so I had to do something, so I went back to Arty Farty and ordered a coffee, then sat there nursing it for a while. When I got tired of watching the attention-whore who was all trying to impress a group of people, I left and decided to walk around. Taro called me, and we talked for like two hours, which was nice. Of course, when it was time for me to go catch a train, the phone died. Luckily, Taro asked me if there was a 7-11 around at all before it completely died. I went to one and stumbled through my communications again, got a little detachable charger, (these things are so cool!) and Taro managed to get me back to his house. I crashed for like six hours, then we were off again!

We did some more shopping in Akihabara, as I needed to cash in my point cards, and then headed over to Odaiba. I am hoping that I got that spelling right. We went to a really nice sushi bar there, which overlooked a harbor. We could see Tokyo Tower from there, but there was no time to go. It's okay though, since I've already done the Eiffel and all, and it's basically the same thing. Anyway, we shopped for a while in Odaiba, and I was so tired that even the caricature that I had done came with bags under the eyes! It was crazy! We did some shopping at some really cheap clothing stores around Taro's house on the way to dinner, (I got like five outfits for under $30.00, all of it new and all of it cool looking!) Dinner was awesome. We had okonomiaki, which was fantastic. I had expected to watch someone else make it, but we actually made it ourselves. Well, Taro's family made it, I should say. ^_^ I remarked on how nice the teacups were, as they all had some beautiful geisha on them. You may notice, but my memories of the last few days are a bit fragmented, since I was so tired! When I woke in the morning, there were three cups there for me as well as a teapot that I had said that I liked in the teapot store in Asakusa. It has a little bunny rabbit on the top of it, and there is a large filter that pops out of it for the tealeaves. You know I am a happy camper!

My last day was pretty much spent shopping, sightseeing the Asakusa shrines, and having lots and lots of good food. For my last dinner, we went back to see Machiko, which was cool. As we sat there, I sketched a little drawing of her and gave it to her, which excited her a lot more than I thought that it would. I even wrote her name on it in Hiragana, which made everyone else really entertained, as they knew I could read it but they had no clue that I also wrote. Machiko was really excited that I asked to see her for my last dinner, and sat down with us for most of it. Well, while she wasn't busy fetching things for us, at least!

When we came back to the house, I had to pack for the morning. I did a pretty good job, I think. However, I came with one full suitcase and one empty one. I left with two suitcases, two boxes, my backpack, and a full shopping bag! I managed to get the three things on the plane coming from Japan, which is a good thing. I had to check in the second carryon in Chicago, but whatever, I am not there yet. Before leaving, there was another pile of Hello Kitty things for me downstairs on the table. Had to pack those as well. We stopped at one of the many restaurants in the airport and had one last lunch of unagi, which was awesome. I also had a chocolate parfait. Mmm!!! Japanese people really do ice cream right. Can you imagine, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, cake, candy pieces, banana chunks, pieces of ice cream cone, and chocolate syrup all in one yummy treat? I really want more sundaes like that!!!

From there, I said my goodbyes and headed to the terminal. One quick stop to the duty-free shops, and then I was off. The flight to Chicago was pretty bad, since my food was stolen the one time I managed to fall asleep. I was also in a window seat and needed to pee at least three times. Twice, my seatmate was sleeping, so I leapt over him. I got funny looks for that, but do I look like I care? He was all drunk on the 20 bottles of sake that he drank anyway. I wouldn't be so upset about him stealing my food had it not been for Midori making it for me. She made me onigiri, (rice balls,) and even had Hello Kitty wrappers for them. Stupid drunk man.

While security at Narita was no problem, security at O'Hare SUCKED. I had to switch terminals, which meant that I had to go through check-in again and all. I checked my luggage and another piece, lied and said that I paid extra in Japan and got off without having to pay anything extra at all, (oh, the joys of being an American!) I had to have everything searched again, which was a long process, and my luggage was opened while en route from Chicago to Boston. Whatever though, I'll get over it.

Liz picked me up, and then we headed to Krispy Kreme to pick up some snacks, then since I didn't want to go home and collapse in a heap only to wake up at the wrong time, we went to the Square One mall to make fun of people. That was great, but what was in store for me when I got home was something that I just was not prepared for.

EVERYTHING has been moved around at home. Everything I had in the front room is now in the back, and I had to spend two days unpacking books onto my bookshelf. Of course, this is a story for another time?