Wednesday, November 30

winter time woes and apricot hose

is it really that time yet? i can't tell becuase i have been out of touch with the coldness for a while. is it time to be sad during the bleak months of winter already?
wait a second.

will this advertisement for a japanese toilet cheer us up?
what about all these nice songs that i have been listening to lately?

you've made me so very happy - david axelrod and lou rawls
disco ball - young cash [they say they had another blackout in new york and he need us to come down and smile, immediately]

backstabbers - mark morrison feat. daz [what it is? i thought you was down to the end]
will you still love me tomorrow - the shirelles
everybody here wants you - jeff buckley
vienna - ultravox [this means nothing to me]
[what a waste of] army dreamers - kate bush
no child of mine - pj harvey [i have no time for hate or love]
the edge - david axelrod and david mccallum
you come through - pj harvey
[but you] don't want to see me - mac mall
california nights [with the breeze blowing in]- leslie gore

the window - the flying lizards
falling - julie cruise [don't let yourself be hurt this time]
lover, you should have come over - jeff buckley
didn't i - dorando
you took the words right out of my mouth - meatloaf [on a hot Summer night]
paper roses [oh how real those roses seem to be] - loretta lynn
rose hip november - vashti bunyan [catch one leaf and fortune will surrender ever more]
the shadow knows - david axelrod
mojo pin - jeff buckley [black beauty i love you so]

i guess it's ok to be sad in the winter, as long as you pick the right tunes to nurse you along. my old time favorites are leonard cohen and tom waits' small change album (in my mind this is what christmas music sounds like). oh, and one year, the de la soul aoi bionics album sounded like christmas to me. but. it's definately not winter yet, so i'm going to be having none of that for a while.

suggested reading for the winter time blues: banana yoshimoto- alseep. although this book has no aparent cheering effect, it seems to have the correct atmosphere, which is a highly significant aspect of enhancing any mood. why not feel properly sad?

Monday, November 28

an article about japanese food

so, japanese food is fucking amazing. we all know how delicious stuff like sushi, teriyaki, tempura etc. are, but this is just the surface of amazing japanese food. like the amount of shops and people, there is also an unparalleled number of japanese snacks, all delicate and wrapped up just right.

sumo wrestlers get all their strength from japanese food

beginning with the strucutre of food: restaurants are everywhere. in the 15 floor department stores, the top 5 floors are all restaurants. all restaurants have laquered versions of their food in the window display, so you will know exactly what your food will look like when you get it.

japan loves the owls

then. there are food halls at the bottom of all the department stores (think mall when i say department store). these are 2 floors with the top having totally gourmet tastes, and the bottom all prepared food.

"they tear our hearts out at the top and throw them off the ledge"

gourmet food here is perhaps gourmet because it is rare? i am still figuring this out- there are cantellopes that cost 80 dollars. that sure is alot for a cantellope. certain sea weeds are also pricey. down to the lower level. all food is divided into themed shops. it is like a very clean and polite marketplace. every shop has samples, so you can eat all the food as you wander around doing your shopping. there are the standards: fruit/vegetables, fish, dry goods, but the majority is the previously mentioned fucking amazing japanese food.

creepy japanese congouring of christmastime

to enumerate: bakeries have pasteries, delicious wierd breads, cheesy meaty snacks... things come stuffed with wierd things: sugar coated doughnuts have red bean paste inside. buns with soy beans on the outside have soyish/green tea mush on the inside. then there is the soy bean ham and cheese medley. sushi type shops have sushi and sashimi, but then there are crazy additions in lunch box type structures: sometimes it is a salad of sushi parts on top of rice. sometimes there are roots with the sushi or cooked meat or tempura. but there are totally seperate tempura places too. and skewered meat shops, dumpling shops, side salad type shops- there are actually more than i can tell you about without getting bored.

these trees are as real as me standing in front of them

but talking about the restaurants is not boring. i guess i can speak of the past two nights of restraunteering with my parents. restaurant 1 was shobu shobu. you have a plate with raw vegetables: cabbage, bok choi, sprouts, long skinny mushrooms, carrots, etc. then you have a plate of really thinly sliced meat. there is a boiling pot of broth in front of you and you place your raw foods into the pot at will. there is a sesamae sauce and a vinegar/soy sauce that you then dip your cooked food in.

restaurant 2 was kushiage, which is a very elaborate ritual disguised as eating. you sit at a bar and you get all these little salads (like seaweed and octopus salad with sesamae dressing). one by one, the chef behind the bar cooks you some little skewer of deliciousness and places it on a tray for you to then take at your leisure. the skewers are all different: quail eggs, asparagus wrapped in pork, strange japanese vegetables, strange japanese fish, salmon, roots stuffed with pork, then wrapped in seaweed, tofu, etc. then you have your
miso soup and rice balls stuffed with unknown tasty treats. amazing, right?

so i'm pretty obsessed, if you can't tell.

Sunday, November 27


Friday, November 25

visual lessons in culture

things from my childhood that finally made sense yesterday:

super mario bros. 1 dungeon level


super mario bros. 3 grass level with aforementioned racoon/fox

karate kid pt. 2

marble run games

magical qualities of pasta

that chinese abacus (still not understood)

Thursday, November 24

elizabeth: tutorial

Tanuki (タヌキ or 狸) is often mistakenly translated as raccoon or badger, but is in fact a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), a distinct canid species native to Japan. Tanuki have been part of Japanese myth since ancient times. The mythical tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded.

If they give you trouble, you are fully expected to pummel their perplexing endowments. Failure to respond with (albeit goodnatured) violence will be read as a tacit approval of continued harassment, at their 'hands.' As you can see, though manly in physical manifestation, the tanuki will daintily carry a parasol in certain meteorologicalistic circumstances, a disparaging comment about which probably was the impetus for this gruesome encounter. A prompt "Boy howdy!, you got some monstrous ones there, m'fiend!" will solve any misunderstanding quite quickly (especially when combined with a goodnatured pummeling).

When not picking fights, tanuki can be found peacefully fishing in pairs,

or large groups.

If you have the foresight to procure some of their favorite moisturizer as a gift, you may be blessed with one of the most remarkably luxurious and enjoyable ferry rides known to us at this point in history (no smoking, for the love of god).

So, Elizabeth, please take this under advisement when traversing bodies of water, or stolling on a rainy day, while you're in Japan. As they say, "A tanuki can be as much fun as a frog in a glass of milk, provided you know your way around a top shelf bottle of personal humidifying ointment." Good afternoon, and good luck!

*Note: these prints are circa 1880's!!!!*

For more information, please see:
Studio Ghibli film, Pom Poko
Super Mario Bros. 3

Wednesday, November 23

this is beauty

best news picture today:

Korean farmers rally against the decision to liberalise the domestic rice market.

time space travel 0---------o

Tuesday, November 22


"In Japanese folk tradition, rabbits living on the Moon produce mochi in the traditional method with (rabbit-sized) mallets and mortars, although the method they use to export it to Earth remains a mystery. (This legend is based on the traditional pareidolia that identifies the markings of the moon as a rabbit pounding mochi.)"

No entry found for pareidolia.

Did you mean peridial?

is it
*the covering of the spore-bearing organ in many fungi?
*relating to, containing, or possessing land; landed?
*the step, or raised secondary part, of an altar; a superaltar?


no, it's none of these things. rather, Pareidolia (from Greek para- amiss, faulty, wrong + eidolon, diminutive of eidos appearance, form) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable.


Monday, November 14

in the water, there were robot serpents rushing towards our raft


1. When in doubt, squeegee.

Thursday, November 10

lessons in improving the use of the pun

english has less pivital words i think than other languages, due to its many influences from languages that it has stolen from but not culturally interacted with historically. for instance, this japanese poem about meeting the first US fleet:
Awoken from sleep
of a peaceful quiet world
by Jokisen tea
with only four cups of it
no more sleep possible at night
can be translated also as:
The steamships
break the peaceful slumber
of the Pacific
a mere four boats are enough
to make us lose sleep at night.

i am trying to learn lots of things about japan before i go, and wikipedia is an endless stream of entertainment/learning agency.

aparently, lots of things about japan have been borrowed from surrounding cultures, like writing, societal organization, religion, and silk (they used to make clothes from bark- awesome!). in the spirit of sharing, i am interested in using some of their clothing ideas like the obi- it's a belt! other ideas for clothing are print making and hand painting. or, a combination of the two.

youth fashion trends in japan are Crazy, especially this yamanba character. but i suppose we have similar issues with hipsterdom in america, esp. right here where i am at 116 havemeyer. but i can't even really understand this:

"In "GALs" One of Ran's major annoyance is the Ganguro Trio a.k.a. Tan Faces Red, Yellow, and Blue. The Ganguro Gals tell Ran that they are way beyond season and that they won't let seasons de-mean our cheap chill or thrill.

Ran-Shut up, you unseasonable tanatics, get outta here!
Tan Face Red- We are beyond season.
Tan Face Blue-We don't let seasons de-mean our cheaper chill or thrill.
Tan Face Yellow-We are hardcore tan freaks so you might as well back off...dork-pale gal."
Ran-Shut up, fake-bakes."
is this really a translation? i don't understand! seasons? "tan faces red?" is that like a character from the power rangers or something? i guess these are just some of the things that i will have to learn about some more.

Tuesday, November 8


luckily, BBC news is feeding me a steady stream of information about disease to keep my appetite for terror and paranoia satiated. in this history of pandemic disease they talk about all the epidemics in the ancient world, which in my mind i relate to the british mini series rome. (Not history)

i got back from ohio a while ago and these are some images from the journey. one of the most shocking instances was flying over manhattan and realising its uncanny resemblence to a snow globe.

my week long countdown to go on this season's vacation #2 has begun. it is about time to get excited about the warm california beaches, especially el matador. i can also begin planning a full week of burrito samplings. driving will be another fun perk, and perhaps i will go music shopping While driving at amoeba records. it will be sunny and in the mid 70's instead of this east coast bullshit. uhhhhhh huh.


medomalacuphobia: fear of detumescence
opthalmophobia: fear of being stared at
kakowhiaphobia: fear of failure or defeat
atelophobia: fear of imperfection

favorite smells (imagine the smell in your very own nose, if you like):

dusty leather
cat that's been in barn
rice vinegar
lighter fluid
vent from drycleaners
tomato, still growing