July 31, 2003
why I'll miss my job
So far I've kept my work and my blog life pretty seperated.I certainly didn't advertise my blog to those I interact with for work.But now that I am leaving, I feel open to share more of myself. I administer scholarships for people from Asian transition economies and the firrt cohort from the 2 year program is graduating. Here are pics of them (and others I've come to know). Yes I am attached to them and quite proud of their work. I will miss them and all my other scholars. They wanted to keep in touch so I told them about this blog - the best way to know what I am doing and get in touch with me. I hope they log in. If you are one of my scholars (and yes, I realize I am a bit possessive here), "Hi! and thanks for stopping by. This is what I meant by your pic being on the web. Click on the Comments link to leave a note. Congratulations!"
July 30, 2003
Thinking of TT
I've got 22 days more to go. Then I hop on a plane with Katsuo and Wakame and head to San Francisco. So bear with me if my postings get erratic or frantic.
In addition to all the moving logistics and tying up work, I've been thinking of Tokyo Tidbits. What to do with it? Should it remain and someone else, or a group of people living in Tokyo, continue it? Or should I adapt it to SF (I'll have to figure something else for the name, I know)? A lot depends on what I "can" do and I'm trying to meet with people to see what possibilities there are, but I guess I'd really love some feedback from you.
What brings you to TT; the weird and wacky of Tokyo, or my everyday mumblings? Or any other suggestions? I'm kinda attached to this and don't wanna just walk away, you know?
July 27, 2003
I am in heaven
If I were stuck on an island and could have only one thing to eat, it would have to be 宇治金時 (ujikintoki, shaved ice with matcha green tea, adzuki beans, and shirotama mochi balls).I suppose I'd be the first to die of malnutrition but I'd be happy!
July 26, 2003
Having brunch with friends ... chit chatting about cool ideas.
July 25, 2003
Another use of a blog!
I have stuff to sell and what better way to let people know? Of course this applies only to those living in Tokyo (to all others, bear with me).
Here are some pics of what I have. The sofa is called for, but not the coffee table. I also have a bunch of plants (bamboo, small trees, flowering vines), and all that stuff you need to make a futon closest work as a clothes closet (poles and plastic drawers).
Thanks! And thanks to Eddie for setting up the page for me!
July 23, 2003
working late kinda sucks...finally heading home. 疲れちゃった。お腹も空いちゃった。雨も降ってるし、明日まだ木曜日か。がばろう。
July 21, 2003
However, when I found this bright red bunny sticker stuck on a green telephone pole, I pointed out that it was exactly the type of thing that I really would moblog. And even better, as we continued walking down the street, Rebecca kept finding more of them...like some secret cult message. Who knows what will make the final cut onto CNN, but they sure got footage of me all excited each time another bunny was found!
So as we walked around, I did some sample moblogging for their camera. It was a bit weird since I moblog when something truly catches my attention, whereas here, I was on the hunt for something interesting. Plus, although I took pics, I didn't upload them immediately so I didn't really moblog.
But here are the pics: a cool scooter I spotted where the owner changed the handles what looked like mountain bike handles. Showed the owner's pride and creativity. Then I took a pic of a guy taking a pic of a poster with his keitai. In truth, I missed the moment and asked him if he could retake his photo so I could take the photo (while CNN recorded us...). Lastly, we came across another camera crew doing a street interview and I took a pic of that and a pic of the CNN cameraman taking them.
Rebecca from CNN, her camera crew, and I walked around Harajuku this afternoon discussing TokyoTidbits and what it means to me. It'll be a short piece, but sounds like TT will get some coverage! Of course, I insisted that I get to blog them
which I am most excited about...blogging CNN covering me moblogging is just kind of cool, you know?
I didn't want to stop and make them wait as I typed a message to instantly moblog, so I'm posting this after we finished.
wasn't able to send all movies together...
花火 Hanabi 2
although you really have to be there to see, feel, and hear, my phone did its best...
The characters for hanabi mean Flower Fire. Always thought that was nice.Tonight's show was just amazing.Saw a smiley face, a cat face (last pic), something that looked like a double helix, saw one that exploded into 5 colors that then turned into a 100 rotating sqiggley pig tails, and felt the booms so loud that I think I felt the sound waves travel through my body. Every year we are treated to more fantastic magic.I cant help but feel that if there were hanabi Olympics,Japan would win!
July 20, 2003
Tonight is Yokohama's 花火大会 (hanabi taikai), fireworks festival.It will be insanely crowded but it's not summer without hanabi. Many women are decked out in cute yutaka (summer traditional dress).We're sitting in the parking lot of the port customs. Will start @ 7. Interestingly, I can't access GPS info.
Postscript: it wasn't just gps that I couldn't access; I couldn't send my posting and although I got a notification of an email from Dav, I couldn't receive it. My phone was fine so I'm guessing there was too big of a concentration of keitais in one place and the system couldn't deal. I mean it *was* very crowded. Normal calls were fine but no voicemail...Anyway I'm posting this from the train on my way home now that all functions are fine. Got my email from Dav too (^_^)
I wanna be a cowgirl
Remember I showed you a cow patterned cloth I bought last time I was in SF? Finally getting around to working on it to make a cowgirl outfit I've been fantasizing about. I was gonna make overalls with a nice cow tail on my butt, but with the reality of figuring out how to cut overalls, I've opted to make an overall-skirt. My mom helped me tons...teaching me how to work the sewing machine and taking over when I had a hundred knots and the thing wouldn't budge. Still got the second half to do next weekend, so I'll show you the final product then. It is coming along well though, and I'm psyched.
Oh yeah, by the way, this is to wear at Burning Man, so you won't catch me at Nishi Koyama's supermarket in my cow outfit!
New gardening technique
On the way to my parents' house, my mom spotted a crazy looking garden. Plastic shopping baskets perched on top of the poles supporting various plants. My only explanation is that it's one way to make sure the ubiquitous crows don't sit on the poles, making them fall over and destroying the plants. But it sure isn't a very aesthetic approach. Made us all laugh though
Uh...we're a bit disappointed cuz Kenny did 'hybrid' stuff with some rapper.We were wondering why the crowd was so different.He will do what we wanted tomorrow.So we are consoling ourselves with a midnight snack. We were wowed by all gandamu-like fighter figures @ this cafe. Both of us immediately whipped out our cameras.
July 19, 2003
Kenny Dope @ Air
We had to get in line to get a ticket to get a ticket.Still early so the crowd isn't too bad but this guy is a famous house producer from NY.Will be packed for sure later!
July 18, 2003
It was worth venting...
They either got bored or simply their designated 'protest time' is up. They've moved on. I can work now. : )
I neeeeeeed to vent!!!!!
I've had a hard week at work and am still gonna be here for a while. I need to concentrate so I can clean up my desk.
However, right now there are some very noisy protesters outside causing an unbearable ruckus. Someone is literally screaming into a megaphone and they're blasting right-wing-ish military-like songs. It echoes and just sounds awful. I feel like running out and saying, excuse me, but SHUT UP!
I mean if they're trying to gather support, I'm sorry, but this ain't the way. At least get better music. At this rate, they're just making everyone flee...Oh god, I think I hear 2 competing megaphones now.
OK, I'm frustrated and don't have my usual reservoir of patience. I'm all for freedom of speech and certainly for protesting...I just can't take it right here and right now. In other words, I'm just complaining that I actually just wanna go home.
Why do I like my blog? Cuz at times like this when no one is around, I can still vent! Thank you...
July 16, 2003
this is what my thumb deserves
and it's small & sexy. Only for docomo now. Hear that AU? Wherever you are...
パニくらない (panikuranai), Don't Panic
My office recently invited the Marunouchi Fire Dept. to come talk to us about earthquakes. After the recent sway we experienced from the 21st floor, we all wanted to know what we're really supposed to do.
Turns out, at least for the office buildings in this area, it is best to stay indoors. Get under a table for sure, but don't leave the building. Unless there's a fire, they tell us. If there is one, the building emergency announcement should inform us. Either way, the announcement should be talking to us frequently, letting us know what to do.
Only thing is, we had noticed that during the last earthquake, the "emergency announcement" didn't come on until a good 10 minutes after the quake only to tell us that an earthquake occurred and the building was safe. The fire dept. people said maybe they didn't feel the earthquake at first since they are located in the basement. Great. We were freaking out up here and they were still chilling downstairs? We don't quite trust this announcement system anyway and all secretly agreed that we'd still try and get the hell outta here should a quake happen.
Other interesting tidbits:
Since the 1300's, there have been 8 "significant" earthquakes...the largest being 7.3.
The highest tsunami was 32 meters (about 10 stories high).
We should have thick-soled shoes for walking home. Sneakers could melt if there are fires.
There will be confusion when the 2,000,000 of us in central Tokyo try to get home so it will be very important to follow instructions that the radio will run (must have battery run radio handy).
The Marunouchi Police expect a huge homeless group will form in Tokyo for those commuters who live too far away to walk home.
Each office should have food, water, and blankets to tide everyone over for 3 days.
Because phone lines will be a mess, NTT has set up a special emergency message system. Dial 117, then your home number. Leave a 30 second message to tell your family you are OK and on your way home or whatever. They in turn can call the same to hear that message.
A healthy male can survive for 10 days on 5 liters of water only...if necessary.
All central Tokyo police/fire folks practice once a year coming to work by foot or bicycle as they are required to show up to work after any earthquake over 5. The woman who came to talk to us thus rides her bike to work once a year which takes her 5 hours. But now she knows her route and work knows when to expect her.
Since the Kobe earthquake and the realization that Kobe emergency agencies were overwhelmed with work, Tokyo has organized citizen volunteer groups who are trained for emergencies.
The MOST important thing in an emergency is not to panic, or パニくらない (panikuranai).
Earthquake predictions used to vary; recently they're agreeing that one is due very soon.
However, in the context of earth's history, soon means between now and the next 50 years. And that's being pretty specific from the earth's point of view.
In closing, our presenters said, "after the earthquake, if you're still alive, be thankful."
Wakame (my cat) makes me laugh
This is her this morning. She is just as bad as I am in the morning.For those who were @ the First International Moblogging Conference...yep, I do post about my cats. They just have too much character not to post. $^!= 猫バカです。
July 15, 2003
dang, Tokyo is just a small town
Guess who I bumped into on the train! Eddie from Nishikoyama whom I met thru TT.I had also bumped into Belinda from work...2 bump ins in a matter of seconds.Now we're having curry dinner together.Dav outta recognize this place.
July 13, 2003
Where it all started.
A little less than a year ago, I bought my current phone from this neighborhood shop. The phone guy (with cute dog in shop) had set me up with with my first phone that was the simplest around upon my insistance. I didn't want any gadgetry.Well, when I needed a new one, beloved Dav was visiting and he told me how he could set up a blog for me and write code for my phone so I could post from it. I had NO IDEA what he was saying but it all sounded fun. Plus I wanted to have, for once in my life, the newest model...just to show off a bit, ya know.So that's how TT began.And with Dav's last visit, it seems most appropriate to credit the phone guy (who has helped me when I couldn't figure out something about the phone).Now it also seems timely to let you know that Dav and I decided that we really enjoy being together and no amount of moblogging, instant emails, and digital pics will replace the real thing. So I am thrilled to say that I am moving back to SF!Details to follow; I still don't have a computer and this took a long time to type on my phone...my thumb is tired.Kiss to everyone!
July 12, 2003
anyone get this?
An ad for Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park. Quite bizarre.A male robot giving birth?
@ a BBQ with Amy
Amy and I have been friends since nursery school.She is visiting Japan from Oregon with her boyfriend Keisuke and we're with his friends from his old university having a BBQ.
bought a hat!
This store has 2 floors of hats. Finally found one for me ... in preperation for the sun @ Burning Man.
@ Laforet in Harajuku
A particularly girly dress store.
July 08, 2003
more from niijima
Mie with an island kitty. We had much fun; biking, climbing, getting sunburnt, and floating on a surfboard (no waves = no surfing). I'm leaving tommorow for San Francisco, so back now to a pure Mie TT...
July 06, 2003
We are going to Niijima
An island known for surfing, south of Tokyo.We are on a jet boat that sorta skims above the water.We are going 78.7km now and it should take only a little over 2 hours.Feels like we are on a train...and we have to wear seatbelts!
Forgot to post pics of views from the top of Roppongi Hills
where Dav and I went after yesterday's conference and before the party.The place is huge and we got so lost!
July 05, 2003
Thank you Adam
Just heard Adam's closing remarks and I am excited, curious, and also anxious or concerned about what's to come with the technology.We shall see but I am very grateful to the people I have met through TokyoTidbits. I receive so much.
viewed from the panelist table...Lots of laptops and tons of keitai cameras.
First International Moblogging Conference @ SuperDeluxe
Of course I can't resist posting (^_^)
July 04, 2003
Laid back lounge in Ebisu
Last night while waiting for a room to open up @ Hotel Velare, Mie and I hung out at a nice bar around the corner. It had a 70's roadside diner layout and a disco lounge decor with modern electro-lounge music. Did I mention it was loungy? Check it out if you're in Ebisu.
July 03, 2003
love hotel mobloggin'
Tonight's the night, and here's the blog: Love Hotel Moblogging Conference. Mucho thanks to MJ for the splendid last minute design work!
July 02, 2003
The wonders of Akihabara
Stopped by Akihabara to pick up a converter cable for my ipod and some batteries for Mie's A/C controller ...well really I just wanted to wander around electric town' and look at all the gizmos. Like the GPS navigation systems for your car and the tables full of CMOS chips. My favorite vendor in Akihabara though is the Puzzle Man who operates from an umbrella covered stand in front of the train station, selling wooden boxes (which can only be opened by sliding hidden panels in a specific sequence) and other low tech tangible brain teasers.
a bit late...
From last Sunday.Went to a street festival in Asakusa after the dinner with Dav and folks (restaurant name was Bon). Here are pics from the booths. A kids' game where you scoop out fishies and can take em home,a yakitori stand where the adults were getting their drinking on, another kid game for scooping out rubber balls, a cute girl looking @ plastic toys, and a guy selling plants whose bedtime had already past.
July 01, 2003
Ha! I have hacked Mie's blog! She's so 0wnz3r3d! M4d pr0ps 2 #IA -n- nat4lieSF!
10 PRINT "Dav is l337!"
20 GOTO 10
Just kidding. I've been carrying around Mie's cellphone for a couple of days now and finally set up a posting account for myself on TT. Mie's parents took us to a "zen" restaurant with an excellent Japenese vegetarian set menu. The ambience was fantastic; we had a charming and elegant two-tatami room to ourselves with a view on a private garden. The meal consisted of somewhere around ten courses where each course usually involved three to eight delicious choices. I think my favorite was the Japanese pumpkin soup. The service and presentation was top notch, which is to be expected from something chosen by Mie's father. After all, he did write the book on eating well in Tokyo. Mie's mother and father are great dinner companions, I can see why she turned out so well :)
Naturally, being an idiot, I forgot to mark the GPS location and I never got the name of the place. Maybe Mie can post that info later. After dinner we found a summer street fair going on in the neighborhood and she got a few good photos from that which I'm sure she'll post soon.