Shamelessly ripped from Merlin.
Mad Men's Don Draper's mistress's brother got a job at the VA hospital in my hometown.
We're waiting for our flight to Florence in the sprawling Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. I don't have time to do the flight here justice since we'll be boarding in about 10 minutes, but suffice to say that international business class is a wholly different animal than anything I've experienced to date. Should've majored in finance I guess.
Anyway, after landing in Florence we have a two-hour drive to our hotel. If their claims of Wi-fi prove out, I'll have another update and (hopefully) some pictures in about 36 hours.
Women like three things: men in kilts, Southern Comfort, and Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. -- Dave
And one of my favorite songs from the show:
Living in a veritable bubble as I do over here, the American pop culture to which I'm exposed is far less than complete. Just now I'm watching some 'L Word' -- the reasons behind that deserve a separate post -- and the character Shane comes in and says 'Hey, hey, hey'. And immediately my temporal cop sense starts tingling. I don't know exactly how old the character is meant to be, but I do know that she is far too young to remember the show What's Happening. I've had that reaction numerous times to the show Psych, wherein the early 30-something characters incessantly reference tv, movies, and music to which they were not old enough to have a connection. And neither character has older siblings. I cry bs. But lo and behold through the power of the internet I discover that What's Happening has been available through Hulu and TV Land. Somehow I feel betrayed. As if seeing things in 'normal' syndication was ok, but cable channels dedicated to nostalgic programming are somehow an abomination. It's like now there is no longer privilege of place. The powers that be are taking away that which was our birthright -- the ability to lord over those younger than ourselves anything for which we were fortunate enough to have been alive. With Adult swim and TV Land and the internet, one of the last bastions of the pop culture obsessed has been wrested from us.
I need to get over my attachment to this external definition of myself.
やっぱり they've decided to savor it.
The Devil's mixing cocktails...
Bill Moyers talks again with Kathleen Hall Jamieson. This time (mostly) about the Republican National Convention.
Frontline has a show that you can watch online comparing the health care systems of six countries including the US and Japan. Worth a look.
Or is anyone else watching The Big Bang Theory. Generally I consider 30-minute sitcoms the lowest form of television. Recent exceptions being the short-lived Knights of Prosperity and the first few seasons of Scrubs.
I have found, obvious character tweaking during the writers' strike aside, BBT to be consistently entertaining, if a little generic in its nerdy references.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention 30 Rock. Mea culpa.
...sitting by yourself in front of a computer with the only other sounds being hammer guns from the latest in a clowncar-esque progression of neighborhood house renovation and the otherworldly caw of crows big enough to eat your face is?
"Well it's business drunk. It's like rich drunk; either way it's legal to drive." -- Jack Donaghy
The Time Magazine article. Read it.
So I'm watching Prison Break today, and the latest implausible plan from Mssr. Scofield hinges on him calling an electrical generator manufacturer. He gets someone on the outside to read him the manufacturer's number off of the generator. It's an 800 number. Scofield then calls from the inside of the Mexican prison. Unfortunately, 800 numbers don't work outside of the US.
It's those kinds of details that all too often ruin tv for me.
excerpts from Michael Oates Palmer's entry will give you a clue
I write because when I was six years old, my grandfather would take me to his favorite hang-out, the Stop Inn, a dive bar on the corner of a row house street in Northeast Philadelphia. He’d let me sit on a stool and drink a Roy Rogers, while he and his cronies told stories for hours. Then we’d stop at 7-Eleven on the way home, and he’d buy me comic books.
Because in college, I learned that music journalists got to go backstage. Because I loved rock and roll, but was a lousy guitarist, and realized at around 21 that all of the rock critics I worshipped were having a tough time paying their health insurance.
Because when the writing’s going well, there’s a high. Because when it’s going poorly, you call another friend up, and then you can talk for fifteen minutes about how it’s going poorly, and then you talk about food.
Because it was one of only three things I was ever good at, I couldn’t figure out how to earn a living make mix tapes, and the third thing is illegal.
Because no matter how many times you see them, Duck Soup is still funny, The Manchurian Candidate is still jolting, Rosemary’s Baby is still scary, and, when you’ve had a lousy day, Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” bit in Singin’ in the Rain can still put you in a good mood. Every time.
Because it’s therapy, and because it’s church. Because it’s community, and because it’s solitary confinement. Because it’s blood.
And because, like the song goes, we did it for the stories we could tell.
Woke up today around 8, which constitutes sleeping in for me. Checked email and worked through my newsreader while listening to the NPR 24-hour program stream. Then around 10:00 on to listening to Wait Wait. That brings us current. Now Misa and I are trying to decide what to have for breakfast brunch.
I have some studying to do for the kanken and also have to meet up with my boy Bunshi who's in town from Sapporo. He's staying in Gotanda, but I' not sure where we'll meet up yet. Usually we hang out at The Cow, but I'll have to check what they have on tap before we decide to go there. I might try to find a place in Sangenchaya. It is a really hip place with lots of eateries and drinkeries and is only a stone's throw both from the Yamanote and from Misa's place.
11:00-11:30 Filed some online reports for work.
Lunch and miscellaneous screwing around and trying to troubleshoot intermittent signal dropping on Misa's airport. That's (seemingly) fixed.
2:00-5:00 Kanji study with a small break around 3:30 to try out SKYPE
5:00-6:00 Watching Sumo
Sumo is on tv from about 12:00, but the high-ranked wrestlers don't come on until around 4:00, at which time they also start the English language broadcast on the sub-channel. This is the first tournament since the summer in which yokozuna Asashoryu is competing. He was given a two tournament suspension, but also had surgery to repair an injury during that time. He's been kinda the bad boy of Sumo for the last 5 years in spite of being one of the most dominant sumotori ever. I'm not a big fan of his style of sumo, but his ability is beyond dispute.
Just back from seeing Bunshi. It's amazing to me that we could've been such good friends for going on 7 years, as I feel like I'm just starting to understand a reasonable percentage of his Japanese. 運が良かったみたい。
Gonna watch the latest episode of Psych and hen hit the rack.
Couple of things I noticed right off:
1) All Along the Watchtower (Hendrix version)
2) American Pie
These are two songs that appear (one or the other if not both) in just about every Vietnam movie that has ever been written.
What's the significance of them being used in a trailer about a scandal from the 80s? What are they trying to say? Seems that the whole trailer <snip> seemed a little Oliver Stone-esque.
My tag line would be 'Bartlett. What's he hiding from us now.'
I'm all over it, but now I'm going in with baggage...
I'm glad that somebody's got our backs.
It has always seemed to me that the majority of stuff on tv here falls somewhere along the range that runs from contrived to completely fabricated, so I can't see anyone being surprised when a network admits to falsifying their data. One of my favorite shows, which I would venture to say is representative, is based on the premise that some famous person (a different one every week) rides a train line (a different one every week), gets off at arbitrary stops, and goes into places that he/she finds while walking around. The week's host (as well as the shopkeeper/person in the midst of some odd hobby) then have to go through the obligatory step of pretending to act surprised. I have a few friends that run restaurants/cafes here and every time one of these shows has come to do a piece, they are told about it weeks in advance. For some reason, though, the 'look what I found' format seems set in stone, and people just take it for granted.
Anyway, because so much of Japanese tv is either premised on deception -- similar to those shows that are called reality television in the states -- or thinly veiled infomercials for something or other, I could never believe that, for example, natto would help me lose weight.
So within two weeks I saw references on two separate NBC shows (Scrubs and Studio 60) to Corinne Bailey Rae, who I've never heard of. Cursory searching yielded no obvious link between NBC and EMI (Bailey Rae's label). Anyone know anything about this? Am I being paranoid?
Last weekend was a 3-day one here in glorious Tokyo and so we had the benefit of the reduced pace that comes with it. On Saturday, Misa and I went to Setagaya ramen (せたが屋 らーめん）in Nozawa. Just about every week, we watch a show called dochi no ryori sho, on which every week they have two people cooking, and the assembled stars vote on which dish they think will be more tasty. As a wrinkle, the stars that voted for the meal that gets the most votes get to eat it, and the others get nothing. Anyway, we've been meaning to go to this place since we first saw it, and I'm glad we did. They have the tastiest soup (made from scallops I think) that I have ever had in ramen.
I wasn't going to comment about this, but I see that one of the blogs that I read occasionally, just posted about it also.
Small world city.
When I went to my boy Doug's wedding in 2001, my old karate teacher from Amherst was in Japan as part of a delegation celebrating his teacher's having brought karate to the States.
When I went to the States this past March, I missed the final game of March Madness by like one or two days.
Now, come to find out that the World Championship of Basketball. THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF BASKETBALL. The game that I have been playing for more than three decades. The game raised to the level of art by Cousy, Maravich, Erving, Johnson, Bird, and Jordan. Is going to be in Japan starting Aug 19th, four days before my trip to the States, and the finals are held the night I return. To make matters worse, according to the schedule, all of the games before we take off are at least a 3-4 hour train ride away, and the finals are up in (da)Saitama, 5 hours after we land. So it's possible for me to go to the finals, if I ship my baggage from the airport to my apt. and go directly to the game after a 14+ hour flight.
What would Tyler Durden do? While I know that I am, in fact, not my f'ing khakis....still....
What would you do ?
Maybe I can talk The Shoe into going...