J-adventures bla bla
praising, ranting, raving all about me being here. To read any further you must hereby understand, the following is an expression of my opinions and feelings at the moment of posting. It does not necessarily reflect my veritable mindset.

To combini or not to combini

By -MJL-
Combinis are the life blood of Japan. If it weren't for them people would starve. Well at least I would anyways. Combinis for you Japan-o-virigins is an Engrish word derived from Convenience Store. Stop at Conveni, slap a b for the v and close enough.
For doze of you in Quebec on dit depanneur, sti!

When I first heard of Japanese combinis I didn't understand just what the west lacked. Until I came and saw the wonders for myself. Now I'm not talking about the big gulps and burritos and all that junk food that make americans fat (hmm contient of country this time, I'll stick with continent). Were talking about reasonably priced ready to eat fresh (made that morning) O-bentos; lunch sets. Tempura, tonkatsu, sushi, hiyashi ramen and deserts beyond your wildest dreams and better than any sub par american convenience stores will ever have. It's almost like Willy Wonka's factory with some delicious and healthy foods too. Recently I have heard that Lawson or was it Family mart combinis have made a move for the us market opening their first store in LA or SF.

Hmm I just made myself hungry. I think I'll make myself something to eat. Why not go to the combini if they're so good? Well I eat the stuff for lunch so I want to make my own dindin post work.

More some other day..

I do have some good news that I'd like to share. I have stopped my Chinese slaughter. Yes I am now 100% Chinese kill free. Now if only we could get China to be the same way. Now I'm off in a fantasy world killing silly creatures that take turns trying to hit me and when I'm not fighting I'm inventing new foods, making new dishes. Again with the food, hmm combini here I come. (for dessert)




 

Space ants!

By -MJL-
After this post I can finally put pictures that have semi relevance to the content of of blog. So far if you haven't noticed, the pictures were in a backwards order (except the two first ones) the last ones being the oldest. I would like to show off my space ants. What is a space ant? Well you try and guess. A- Ants in Space, (like The Simpsons episode) B- Ants that live in space Jello C-Army ants that I send up in a toy rocket to parachute down to earth and reek havoc upon the unsuspecting victim D- Alien ants flying a UFO, which landed in my rice bowl.
[...]
Though I would certainly like to launch the little things up into the sky and have them parachute down as mini WMDs ( yes I'm stuck on this ridiculous idea, whoops I mean serious threat). I have roommates.. about 30 of them. They live in a separate "room" it's a padded room. Made of space jello. It's a space age gel type of thing that they can eat and dig tunnels in. Yes I have an ant farm. (geeky, childish yes yes) but it's BLUE! clear blue Gel. I've read reviews about this and the ant farm experts all say that it is cruel to stick ants in gel which serves as their food and home. Cruel, right because they love the dark and this is clear blue gel, never mind the fact that ants in any type of ant far m were TAKEN from the wild and stuffed into a container, the highlight here is that the gel is blue and edible. Excuse me? I don't think I would mind living in a gingerbread house. Home renovations would be great! Of course I just wouldn't go crazy and eat the bathroom.

On my way to work yesterday morning (today Friday being a another National Holiday, as was Monday) I had aroma therapy treatment on the train ride to work. Sitting down for once in the train, a cutey sat beside me and proceeded immediately to put some stuff in her hair. Looked like conditioner to me but I'm sure it was some kind of hair perfume in cream form. As soon as she finished up with her hair treatment, the intoxicating aroma found it's way into my lungs and her sleepy head onto my shoulder. It was a delicious smell and had I been starving I think I would have snacked in her hair as she slept. Anywhere else in the world this may be seen as a little strange but not here, that extra 5mins of sleep really does wonders. So I let it be, mind you had it been a salary man I would have moved out of the way and have him roll off the seat and onto the floor.

Tokyo has since the beginning of the month or so on most trains on most lines instituted a women only car for the morning rush hour period. For those who don't understand why, the reason is simply that Japanese men are socially acceptable perverts, and some choose to live out hentai anime fantasies on the crowded rush hour trains. The "chikan" is a man (99.999% of the time) who enjoy groping women in a crowded situation where he may be difficult to identify. Culturally women do little to deter the pervs nor do the people standing around. Though I strongly disagree that the women only car is the solution, it is a band aid fix. So, because of that minority of super pervs I have to get crushed in with MORE people than before while the women enjoy their luxury first class aroma therapy filled car. SO what is this telling people? the women that chose not to go in that car wish to be groped? That more men should become chikans? (of course not but I've heard such things already) In my opinion Japan needs to take a long hard look at it's booming sex industry and related areas and consider a social behavior change on a massive scale.







 

Sarcarstic? me? never! :)

By -MJL-
Today today was quite the day. Nothing eventful really just business as usual. I was almost late for work twice today as the trains seem to take a pit stop just before my stations! It's a great way to miss out on your 20 connections you need to do later on! Just wonderful!

After my daily slaughtering job I mozied on along to my teaching gig. I was apprehensive about going to the JAWHM office, as I mentioned before my welcome seems to have expired along with my visa. This was very evident today as I tested the waters by seemingly mundane chit-chat. For you see I've been stabbed in the back, according to my obvious sources, I now know the source of the dagger.

-snip- edited

Though I do not wish to mention personal troubles of this nature here I feel compelled to vent my frustrations.
I haven't done anything yet, but you know what they say: "it's the silent ones you should be worried about"! Not to worry though I will not go "Japanese kid" crazy and chop of my problems' head. Nor will I throw the person off the roof of a building, nor stab them countless times. I prefer the cleaner approach of messing with peoples heads.
Anyways once that ordeal was done and dealt with for today I had to teach one of my favorite groups of students. If it wasn't for them my day would not have ended on a positive note. There's just something about them. What that something is I leave up to you. Today's lessons was pretty good, I had extra time so I taught them the meaning of sarcasm. It's something the Japanese culture lacks. Well perhaps lack is not the word but regardless the Japanese have somewhat difficulty understanding it. Mind you, humour is always the last step in learning a language. As someone who is NEVER sarcastic it was a tough one for me to explain, ahem cough cough.

Post sarcasm tidbit we went to grab a bite afterward. We went to a nice place a former student took me to, and it was no let down this time either! Avocado tempura was an interesting dish, small but good (like most things at the resto). mmm if only the portions were bigger. The saying "Good things come in small packages" really rings a bell right about now. The students seem content with the portions though, then again I probably weight as much as 2 or three put together!

Nuff said..






 

Chinese Massacre

By -MJL-
I'm not going into another futile history lesson here, so it's not the WWII Nanking "incident" in which Japanese soldiers "accidentally" did some population control, nor the Chinese governments own attempts to quiet it's people by the thousands and no not the Tienanmen square massacre.

It's me, I kill bugs and Chinese people. I can't remember just how many I killed. This month alone I must have sent millions of Chinese to their graves. What?! It's not like the world will run out of them. I slaughtered them all! OK OK before you get your nickers in a twist I'm talking about video games! At the moment all I can really say it's a sequel of a sequel [...] of the original which came out many moons ago. Think Chinese historical games for PS2. It's not always Chinese, I'm an equal opportunity slaughtering machine, (yes yes) 4 months ago it was Japanese, and before that Romans. All that slaughtering makes me hungry. If I were a cannibal I could be virtually fat. I wonder how many calories an average human body has

Now that the long weekend is here I'm quite happy I don't have to stare at a TV screen at work. Instead I did that at home yesterday. ALL DAY...Yay TV. I think my IQ dropped after watching so many brainless uh I mean entertaining Japanese shows.
I did learn something about Japanese TV culture and culture in general. Similiarly to the shopping channel where the person will taste food and immediately say it's the best they've ever tasted. Japanese culture is similar in the fact that the Japanese seem to have an uncanny ability to say the food is delicious even BEFORE they eat it. Must be a Japanese thing. Responses to food sampling seem to always be of various degrees of "it's delicious". It's very delicious! It's very very delicious! It's really very delicious! It's super duper very delicious! It's earth moon dragon fire river butterfly delicious!

Ok enough moon talk. I bought a vibrator the other day! oh yeah it has a razor blade attached to it too. It's Gillette's new gimmick the M3 POWER. Slightly larger and naturally more expensive than anything else in the Gillette series, I think they could have made more money by making a women only version as well.
It's pretty weird at first to have 3 blades that are vibrating on your face. Does it work any better? Well judging by my loss of blood hmm yes the shave is much closer I think.

Would blood loss be considered a way to diet? Feeling faint need blood... fresh blood. And it's a full moon too... what's all this extra hair? "Canadian" werewolf in Tokyo

well this entry sucked.. I'm running out of things to say...






 

"I am the Walrus" or am I?

By -MJL-
For you musically inclined you may recognize the title.

Today was a LONG day.. It all started, actually I forget where I was, I think I was at a restaurant eating a BIG JUICY steak with gravy and potatoes when my throat started to itch. And Itch it did as I began coughing more and more to relieve my internal itch. Cough cough cough, COUGH. On the big cough I closed my eyes, when I reopened them it was dark. There was nothing, my steak was gone, everything had changed. It took a minute or two and my eyes re-adjusted to the darkness. I was home in bed still coughing like a mad cow. What a sad thought, there was no steak, and "there is no spoon"! Hurry and give me a pill, you know which one I want! Give me the choice of the blue or red pill! I want blue! Send me back.. But no! reality had its grips on me and I couldn't shake it off. Merde. Ok so there I was in bed coughing bits of my brain out, waking up the neighbours at 4AM. That was a wonderful 3 whole hours of torture. I tried drinking water and all sorts of things to ease the irritation in the end I took a long hot steamy shower.. that seemed to have helped. Then afterwards I turned off my A/C and opened the window. hmm What a difference that made! The "natural" and "clean" (Tokyo) air was a little more humid, and perhaps all the airborne chemicals had a numbing effect too. About 5AM what to do.. well I had just gotten a new movie. The longest yard. Adam Sandler and Chris Rock starred in it and overall I'd say it was pretty decent.
Post movie it was get ready for work. (yes it is work even if it's playing video games, damn it!) I ended up missing my local train but getting to work early with the express train. well Express TRAINS as I take 3-4 on a one way trip. Yes it's mind-boggling for americans (CONTINENT people, not country, again!).
played, uh I mean worked from 10am to 8pm then zip off to the hair salon another 3-4 trains away. get that done with and home...
I was dead tired riding the train home but nowhere near as tired as the Walrus. As I waited on the platform for the door to open I was pleasantly surprised there was a lot of space at my door. When the doors opened it all became clear. A sweaty 125KG (about 300lbs) business man in a loose grey suit and vomit-yellow shirt was lying on the train floor blocking the doorway. I had to walk over the Walrus to get a standing spot.
I fingers were just twitching to get my camera out and snap one. The doors closed and he got up! Zut!
Next station: after wobbling around on his feet and barely holding on to anything not to fall, he squatted and stuck his head out the door. And promptly started expelling his izakaya consumables. The smell alone almost made me do the same. Remember, this is a big guy, he had taken in a lot of food and drinks. As the doors started to close he would stop them to continue his 2 minute diet.
I simply wanted to push him out of the train, but some guy instead yanked his limbs out of the doorway and we proceeded along our journey once again fearing getting crushed by the drunken Walrus. You know, it's one thing to fear Earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, fires etc, but now this?

OK make that a 21 hour day now. There's much more on my mind but I don't know where my dreams start and reality ends. Look!!!, steak!!!!...







 

Killer bugs from ...

By -MJL-
Killer bugs from.. Actually I have no idea just where they come from. On rainy days they seem to find shelter in my apt. I wouldn't mind if they helped with rent and food (giving and not eating).
OK so the title is misleading, I'm the killer. I went soft lately and I started capturing bugs and letting them go outside. But I got annoyed that they (or others of the same type) kept on coming back for my hospitality. So I started becoming prejudice and discriminatory towards them, I admit I was doing some racial profiling, I'm a racist yes yes, when it comes to bugs!
On a side note, the definition of the word racism in the way we used it is fundamentally flawed. Are Asians (yellows), Africans (blacks), Natives (reds), hmm Caucasians (whites) all different races? NOoooo we're all part of the HUMAN race. (except in Japan of course). The term race to define ethnic groups is an old word that should be abolished. Only a hundred years ago or so women also were considered a different race, but we don't use racism to define people that are sexist now do we?

So where was I? Ahh yes, I killed a few select bugs. (local ethnic cleansing) and they got pissed and sent their family members "en force", all of which I promptly mashed into the floor or wall. After that attempt didn't work they sent in the big guns, cockroaches. In Japan they are nasty things. Apparently they fly too, though I'm fortunate enough not to have witnessed that. The reinforcements were fast buggers, I tried slowing them down with a spray bottle mixture of dish washing detergent (10% and water 90%). Turned out I killed them!?!?! Or were they playing dead? Will the next batch be dish washing detergent proof?!?! Since then I've been left alone. Or have I? Going paranoid!! what's that, little voice in my head? you said the bugs have developed WMDs?!?!

Ok enough non-sense. hmm guess that means I stop here.

From Japanese TV, something to try when bored or on a rainy day.
Ok just a bit more. Here's a weird one for you all. Well not all just the culinary adventurous ones. Those who love and can't get enough of all types of sushi. Taste test: Take a piece of mikan (tangerine) 2- Dip ( I prefer soak or wet well ) in shoyu (soya sauce) 3- Then wrap it in Nori (dry seaweed) 4- Optional but recommended dip the nori wrapped mikan in shoyu again and eat.
The point of all this? For the sushi connoisseurs you may taste something from the sushi restaurant. That is the very first taste you notice. Naturally it will taste like mikan after the initial sampling. Give it a shot. If you try it let me know what you think.

The second thing I saw on the TV show. Though I haven't tested it, was how to get rid of stains on your pots and pans. You can use a very common house hold item on it then rub with a semi hard sponge (like the tough green side of a dish washing sponge). This item is most likely in your fridge!. It's a condiment. Come on think!
give up? come on try! you put it on your fries! The southern us calls it katsup. If you haven't guessed yet skip the whole thing altogether! Try it out and give me feedback! It's supposed to make your pots and pans all pica pica (shiny/sparkly)

OK.. enough.. I have to wake early to play PLAYSTATION. yes HAVE TO....





 

"Erection" day

By -MJL-
Herro eberybody today is erection day. Pervs need not apply! This is in fact ELECTION day. Yes you see it all started when... Are you ready for this?

Well in any case I have your attention now. PM (Prime minister means the same as "President" but they're usually smarter than the latter, not that it's much of a challenge nowadays). Ok so the PM Koizumi's goal ever since he entered into politics some 30 years ago, when he had short black hair, was to privatise the Post office (which is also used as a bank). So for 30 years this was his ambition. 4 years ago or so he became the PM. Last month due to people in his own party who betrayed his wishes he lost the vote to privatise the Post Office . So instead of accepting defeat and realising that this may be what the people want what does he do? He dissolves the diet; basically throws a premature election slated for today (SEPT 11th) on 1 months notice.
Why would he do this? well I think all those long grey hairs of his have dug their roots too deep in his brain. His lifelong goal of privatisation failed so he decided to try again. This time by getting rid of the people in his own party that voted against him, and replacing them by "YES" people.
My question is: how is this democracy if the PM can just try over and over to get his way? Worse, is that it looks like he'll win by a landslide. Unbelievable... (Google his before and current hair pics!)

Again I only know all this because I'm straved of international news.

Ok enough politics.
I tried the blogger.com blog thing. And I have something to say. "Hi my name is (you know it) and I'm a Google addict". I was hoping to switch over as I really dislike MS, BUT blogger (a Google venture/association) was a pain in the arse to re-learn. What's worse is that about 10 mins after copying my 1st post over I got a spam comment?!?! 10 mins!!! Furthermore the picture hosting option is GULP not as good as Spaces. what is the world coming to? Though I must say I don't like the limited features MSN has either. I think this new layout is nice for picture viewing but makes the comments I put on the pics somewhat obsolete. (photo section people)

More later...






 

I have a green tongue

By -MJL-
Yes yes the blogs are 2 mins apart. I know. In reality they are 3 days apart.

Lately I've been going on a green binge. No no not that eco friendly bla bla. I've been going crazy for salads. I think my body is trying to tell me something. no more "where's the real food?" no more "where's the steak?", It's now where's the natto?. (ahahah, not) But seriously, I was never a salad person. I think the salads available here are simply amazing. The veggies, the mixes, the flavors and dressings are delicious. Though it really annoys me that french dressing is white and thousand islands is pinkish/red. when I think white dressing I think Ranch or something mayonnaise based. meh whatever.. I have bigger issues

I've caught a cold. Yes someone was NICE enough to share it with me. And in the spirit of sharing, I've "shared" my gift to many on the ever so crowded trains. Woops silly me. Cough cough sniff sniff. Whoever got it from me should be honoured, after all it passed through me which makes it an exotic cold.

Hmm there was something else on my mind I wanted to share. Guess it wasn't important.

I have started transferring this blog elsewhere updates soon to follow. I have chosen blogger.com and after getting other recommendations to try it I think I made a good decision.