Friday, August 22, 2008

Saturday Night With The Lights On

My oh my how the days roll by. It seems like just a few days ago I was looking at a Japanese sunset, riding into Tokyo in a little car with doilies on the seats. Now it's almost a month later, and it seems like I've got a bit of catching up to do. Tokyo (Akasaka to be precise) was good times. It's like getting battered about the face with a truck full of neon lights, often after an 11-hour flight. It's all a bit overwhelming and disconcerting.

It's a welcome sight to once again be greeted by a little robot that washes your butt for you. Most people don't like it, but those tend to be the same people who hate candy or think dinosaurs didn't exist. Shame on you butt-robot haters and pterodactyl-deniers.

We went out straight away for a big old mound of sushi and beer. There is nothing more acclimating than a warm piece of eel sitting on a little bed of rice. Amazing. Our interpreter this time around was a girl named Emi, who we promptly dubbed 'asian kelly osbourne' due to her fond of the more crass elements of the English language as well as her ever changing hair styles.

Walk. Don't walk. Who's really to say? Zen and the art of crossing the street.

I was fairly amazed by how quickly and thoroughly I am capable of taking over a space and making it my own. My first night in the white plastic, Stanley Kubrick suite made me a little jumpy, so I figured that emptying the contents of my suitcase onto the floor might make it seem a bit more like my home.

Another way to feel at home thousands of miles from your actual home.

Summersonic festival. Maybe the fourth time that I've done it. It's always the same big, empty warehouse with bands that are inevitably English or American (with an occasional Puffy Amiyumi tossed in for good measure) who are equal parts thrilled and overwhelmed by being in Japan.

Death Cab went down really well. I find that if a show is loud and bright that you can transcend pretty much any cultural boundaries. Unless, of course, you opt to wear one of those Karate Kid headbands while on stage. So many Western bands seem to be fond of that, though it's akin to a Japanese band eating fried chicken and wearing a pair of American flag bikini briefs to a show in the States. Now that I mention it that sounds pretty endearing. I take it all back.

The Sex Pistols were headlining one stage and The Prodigy the other. There were a pair of TVs in the backstage area showing each stage side by side. We alternated watching one while listening to the other. I'm not sure which group of Englishmen I preferred being yelled at by (a toss up really) though I did enjoy the Prodigy audio with Sex Pistols video.

On the flight to Osaka we took several local beers for a test drive. The combination of jet lag, extreme, dehydrating heat and humidity and an incidental amount of booze meant that most of the party was prom night tipsy before we got to the airport. By the time we got on the plane we were good and pickled. The last thing the quite reserved flight attendants wanted to deal with was our big, joyous group and a number of people insisting that it was my birthday (it wasn't). They obliged by writing me a little card and giving me a toy plane. I woke up 20 mins later after some Godzilla-related turbulence feeling like I had just eaten sawdust and been shown the business end of a claw hammer to the back of my head.

It's not all that bad being so far from home sometimes.

I'm ok, how are you, thanks for asking...

It's been forever, and maybe a day or so. Travel has gotten the best of me and my abilities to claim even a few moments of time for myself. That, coupled with the relative scarcity of the internet and telephone has silenced me a bit these last few weeks. For that, and little else, I am sorry. I fly home tomorrow at long last. It seems like it's been months. I feel wiped out, and beaten up, and I'm looking forward to a well-earned leave of absence from this dumb course that my life seems to have taken as of late.