Friday, October 31, 2003

Trick or Treat

Last minutes pumpkins arrived from Natalia of for ALL Co.,Ltd on very day of Halloween.
"Trick or Treat" to make this old network appliance work fine at office.
Despite marketing effort of many shops and bars having Halloween decoration over October these days in Tokyo, Many my colleagues kept asking me;
"Oh! Is Halloween today?"
"What's this pumpkin?" "It's Halloween pumpkin."
then "What's day is Halloween?"
Busy day to explain about Halloween over and over at office.

Later the day, the pumpkins became

Seiji-san (an actress) with my pumpkin.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Autumn -- Art event season

Have been a couple of art events over weekend which were organized by quite different people yet seems something common in there....


My ex-ex boss wrote a new book and presented promotion event at Harajuku RUIDO on early evening of Friday. (the man I worked with was (is) a well-bred young promising PhD computer scientist in large company and the book is about his private study.....) As Stepping down dirty stairs and opened a heavy door at the bottom, was a dark space full of people and on a stage under dim light was a sexy girl sitting and bound to chair and a gorgeous lady wearing red leather underwear’s holding heather whip at her hand. Though no idea it was as always or just for the purpose of this show, impressed was this S queen kept talking to M girl "free your mind,,,,, not yet,,,,, free your mind....."
Followed was a naked woman dancer painted gold from top to toes danced kind of Hindi dance...as if gold Buddha statue itself was dancing....and "iyashi-kei" music......


Another event was Satomi-san played a couple of her original dances at casual art event presented by young and powerful people of Japanese and non-Japanese at Loop-Line on 25th. The first dance was slow movement of her limbs in a way I could feel her deep breathing and got synchronized to deep relaxation. Other was, while a guy on the stage-space was crying as if in great grief, she blindfolded her eyes drifted middle of audience, leaning to someone, trembling her body, dancing hard in a small space made by encircling audiences, eventually found the crying man, took her blinder off and carried him away. The theme was "peace in yourself"


Friday, October 24, 2003

002 Tokyo Flash Mob

Good to me had another event to go early evening at Harajuku, after relaxed and calmed down myself at Cafe, went to in front of Condomania and found a piece of instruction paper there at 9:30 pm. Following the instruction, I walked to the overpass in front of Harajuku St. and 9:42 switched on my flashlight and waved it toward some trees for 3 minutes from the overpass. That's all.
Unlike other first time event, meeting or party, not necessary to worry if I could behave well like celebrity to be accepted. Just behaving what told in instruction among people I don't know and am a part of the event! Such a casual thing to join!
Apart from event impact, I guess this is why people love to join the flash mob around the world. Anyone tired of behave well among people must come and try next time!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

CINEMA : WARABINOKOU

(Going bracken field)

At Shinjyuku Toei. Directed by Hideo Onchi,

Narayamabushi-ko (The Ballad of Narayama) Kind Story.


In this poor northern mountain village of peasants where crops suffer from frost summer every few years, it's so hard to survive people that people over 60 must leave their house late spring and stay in a lodge up mountain where no food but bracken grows by. They are called bracken and walk down to the village for begging food. Their life is depend on how long they can make daily journey to the village.
Cruel? Depressing? No, indeed. Even no space to feel pity them. Those grandam and granmpa fully accept the fact they've got to give up food for their children and grandchildren and still enjoy vitally their survival life as if kids in summer camp. One tries to eat the dead body, one hunts animals (forbidden by Buddhism these days) this grandam is partial to this grampa and……….as season changes one by one get sick, dementia and die……. It was their fate that can't survive winter……. .Near the end, they have been dead, feel lighter and dance on stormy snow field together and chatting about next life. Was heartwarming.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Platform Play Night

Last Friday, a stage actor friend of mine read part of Othello and (Modern) Macbeth with an actress for the platform play night at Meidai-Mae. My ever first time platform play experience.
It dose not kind of exiting and stimulating show but inevitably concentrating voice and content of voice made me immerse my imagination fully in the story led by the power of words. After all, listening the story is the original pleasure of human being.

Those readers cannot even look at each other because once they avert their eyes from book, the stage is gonna to become PLAY...interesting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

HARAJUKU

As am a 30-something singleton, getting too drunk at hang-outs habit.....is one of top things on "not-do" of my resolution list....., haha…, need to spare more time for staying quietly at home to develop inner poise??

But sometime I have reason;


A fiend of mine who recently started cafe at Harajuku had serious and emergency management trouble so we hung out some bars and cafes after kid's hour at some quiet back street of Harajyuku area for help and idea desperately. Those bars and cafes are not cool and smart people outside might imagine but rather pop and shabby, nothing attractive but humanly people of various kind. As she talked her present trouble, People listened her seriously. Neither uncertain comment nor uncertain information, neither critical nor preach they spoke, asked some practical questions, some of them who had certain idea spoke and offered help and idea which really helped her. Even young people were such in a manner that knowing well what kind of help the troubled person would most helpful.

And been getting too drunk as always… Ahhhhhhh....

Friday, October 17, 2003

California Wine Drinking Holiday : Wine Tasting

Amazing was that every morning, it was thick cloudy, in so-called summer fog, means make me feel wanting to linger in bed. By the noon, cloud was just swept away and it was such blue sky and bright sun shine as always so there.

Neat Downtown Napa.

Running Napa valley up, vineyards spread over and here and there are winery house. Easy to Spot "tasting" and "tour" sign at winery gate and just drive in.




Tasting bar normally offers 4-5 tries for 4-5 dollars,(except some expensive). (Each try is less than quarter of wine glass, not much to get drunk at all.) I had a permanent tasting pass borrowed from a friend of mine and was not necessary to pay for.

Paying / showing the pass at the tasting counter, instantly lined in front are; a wine list, a wine glass, a glass of water and a wine- cooler-like vessel for throwing dislike wine in. On the list, wine names are listed in order to be chosen from top to bottom (Top is light white wine followed by red wine and the bottom is desert wine)


Off course those wineries offer tasting bar for selling their wines. Well, secret is it is not necessary to buy wines of full price at wineries but can buy them cheaper at downtown outlet shops such as JV and Trader Joe's. It was unbelievable that some not-bad-wine was as cheep as 2$!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

After-Holiday-Mood

Maybe she's right;



Ahhh - she came back from her travels with lots of wine in her suitcase and a hankering for three-bedroom houses with big gardens! See? This is the trouble _I_ always have when I go and visit my friends in nice places. I come back and I am no longer content with my fate! In fact, if my employer had any sense, they wouldn't allow their little worker bees to travel at all for fear that they might develop ideas of a better life.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

California Wine Drinking Holiday : Wine Drinking Life

Monday, October 06, 2003

California Wine Drinking Holiday : Language lesson

During my holiday, I stayed in Napa to see my Japanese friend there. But because 1) she had a baby 2) I was interested in life of American in America rather than of Japanese in America, I arranged to not only stay friend's home but also homestay at local family through local language with few lessons with expectation of being able to see some more wine-drinking company with me.
(It's not my original idea at all. I've seen in London some Canadian and European who spoke English but still came to language school just for talking with more people over their summer vacation.)

Well, my expectation was betrayed, as I was alone at my level in the school, and turned to another kind of interesting experience.

One of my teachers was a wish-to-be-dancer of her mid thirty I guess, always talking over cell phone in her free time. She asked me If I have any particular I want to study and I said "pronunciation" to mean all my speaking weakness.
On hearing this word, she went out and fetched some books from next room, showed me one of book saying "you must mean this one" in her convincing voice, it was a children learning book about "r". Realizing I used wrong word, saying I quickly said "No, I mean...." but before making my words, she then showed me one by one, about "l", "w" and "x".

It took while effort to make her hear me; I meant sound problem like this case. On a way to Napa by local bus from Vallejo following ferry travel from SF Fisherman’s Wharf, a name of bus stop I wanted to get off was called "pearl street". And I've got ask driver to let me know when I got there. I know the word “pearl” well what it meant and how it was sound in Katakana Japanese. But the moment speaking this word, I was not sure if this word sounds like "pearl", "par-lu" or "pea-le" or something else and this made me panicked while. (because all of them sounds the same in Katakana, I come to neglect sound difference in daily life in Japan.) Recovering “sound” of English from Katakana always bothers me.

Once she understood my trouble, she was quick and great. She taught me an idea of phonics and sound spelling that are new to me and suggested hints to look for where I can study them in Japan. She also taught me some tips of yoga to improve voice clearer. In the end I could learn good hints of improving "English speaking" I couldn’t find out alone in Japan during just few hours lessons there. Good God!

Friday, October 03, 2003

California Wine Drinking Holiday : Oriental manner

During my holiday in SF where there has large population of Oriental residence and Napa, north of SF, old familiarized oriental female manner at encounter came back to me.

When oriental females encountered in town of foreign countries, what most likely happen is avoiding eye contact each other, trying not recognizing each other under psychological tense of recognition of presence each other. Suppose I was walking with some other oriental young women in town and saw a group of oriental young women of the same age (especially of FOB looking) came across, both group never made eye contact and pass by under tense as if glowering at each other, yet after keeping enough distance one of my company would say that Ah there is so many oriental...The other group must have been talking the same.

Not ever learning from somebody, we know this manner and behave the first time we stood abroad even as tourist.

This tense and ignoring were here and there and anywhere tourist place in SF. And in a small town of Napa where I stayed most of time, some oriental women who looked obviously having been married with White American still looked away on encounter to me. And so dose women of descendent generation of Asian American in appearance.

Interesting serious natural-born manner of oriental female.
(I wonder if oriental male and other Asian and else ethnics has the same manner?)

Thursday, October 02, 2003

California Wine Drinking Holiday : Impression of San Francisco

Hahhhhh... my Californian wine drinking holiday is over....

Sunrise from airplane window to SF
My request of watching the sunrise from cockpit was refused. JAL no longer admit passenger in the cockpit after ANA haijack.




Stepping out of San Francisco international airport on arrival of 20th Sept (my first step to America!) into hot dry air under Californian sun and blue sky, I immediately knew I love here and understood why people loves California.


Yes! anything on this red soil glitters by bright sunshine under clear blue sky yet at bay side California, cooling see breeze prevent from getting too hot. What component of climate make us feel fine? worm dry air, yes. blue sky, yes. dazzling sunshine, yes. cool breeze, yes. I wonder if all of them are essential or there some more to add and how human were made to feel such climate comfortable.... I wonder any scientist has already studied exactly scientifically what component of climate affect what's type of human's temperament. Comparing Californianism with of my native Tokyo and London I stayed while make me wonder.

Anyway, fine climate makes people fine. People I saw during my holiday looked fine, open-mind and relaxes no matter of easiness and difficulty of life. Nice to see and talk to such fine people.
I kept being said during my stay by people I talked that my English is good. (I know it means as my typical Japanese tongue and accent and typical Japanese tourist outlook of wearing Prada sport sunglass, either Joseph or DKNY T-shirt and Seven jeans. People dose not say so if I am really good.)
On reply I said, "Because I used study in London while. But I feel easier to speak to Californian."
Then they proudly talked, "Because Californian is used to talk to foreigners. If you go to Central America or Boston (or place varied with person) it would be more difficult to communicate."


And so made me fine too. Californian air and sun soon dried up years long sticking and growing moss inside my head and beaming sunlight disinfected my thought. Oh! how healthy!! Yahoooooooooo!



To me, the fact that San Francisco has the largest china town in America and large Japan town which mean a large population of Orientals (I use the word Oriental for Chinese, Korean and Japanese type people.) and has a large population of Mexican whose face has some affinity to oriental made me feel ever easier.. I saw local oriental standing, walking and working almost every corner of San Francisco downtown. Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants looked almost noting special.
How I can dislike there.