pacific rim pretentiousness 

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GB blogs on GBlogs

I'm finding plenty of good sites via GBlogs; in addition to, which I've been reading for ages, I'd like to point you towards lukelog, and Seething Hatred. More to follow...

Posted by chris at 11:13 PM | Permalink

Impending brotherhood

This whole "leave work on time" stuff still weirds me out. If I leave at 6, I can be home by 6:45. 6:45! That's practically lunchtime! Tonight I got home, did some washing, went out for dinner (Asian restaurant on the 49th floor, spectacular views of Tokyo's sparkling black expanses, dulled to grey by cloudy rain), came home again and it was still only 9:30pm. That leaves room for a solid four hours of PS2 before bed - unbelievable. And to think I used to work late! What a fool. This is the way forward - I'm reclaiming my free time as my own.

Getting excited about next week, too: I've taken all of the week off, as my brother, Andy, is visiting. I could just let him wander around on his own for a week, but that would hardly be fair - on the Japanese, anyway. We'll probably spend most of our time catching up on what the hell's been happening in each other's lives, drinking in the kind of bars that tourists never get to find out about, snowboarding (yes, I know it's summer) and tripping over each other in my palatial (not) flat. No doubt I shall try to convince him that he really ought to listen to more Underworld, and he'll only be interested in hearing naff eurobeat. Ah well. My flat - my music.

I'm sure we'll also wind each other up by referring to each other as "my little brother" - me because he's three years younger, and him because he's three inches taller. Grrr. I can feel my hackles going up already.

Right - must keep tidying, or there'll be nowhere to put him. There's always the balcony, though.

Posted by chris at 10:24 PM | Permalink

Paid in pork rinds

An on-line manga which is funny, intelligently written, and regularly updated - it can't be.

But it is. Check out MegaTokyo and tell me you wouldn't want to try Rent-A-Zilla. Awesome.

Posted by chris at 02:53 PM | Permalink


Groovoir - Tokyo Tales has joined the hallowed ranks of GBlogs - no relation to Joe Bloggs (unless there's something we're not being told) but rather a collection of UK-based or -themed weblogs. I got in on a technicality; there's not much chance that I'll make any of the blogmeets in the near future. I put my joining down to a desire to be among people who spell similarly to myself - though probably better.

I remember being genuinely pleased when I found that GBlogs existed. Statistically they were bound to, of course; but, equally statistically, they (sorry, "we") are also doomed to be rather outnumbered by and lost among (dum dum dum...) "Lord Hailsham?" "The Belgians?" No, Lord Hailsham, I'm sorry but the answer is "The Americans". Whiny teenage Americans, to be unashamedly generalistic and not a little unfair. Expect plenty of sidebar links to fellow GBloggers very soon. Very very soon.

tangent: what would the internet be like if it were the direct descendent of a Belgian, not American, military communications network? smaller but with great beer?

So, if you've happened across this little motel of quiet, perched on a precipitous off-ramp of the information superhighway (remember when that phrase was new and all-conquering? <nostalgia>sigh</nostalgia>) via GBlogs, then drop me a mail and say hi - it'd be nice to hear from you. If you're coming the other way, go check them out.

Posted by chris at 11:44 AM | Permalink

Putting the 3(am) in GT3

Must... *stop* playing... Gran Turismo 3.....

It's nearly 3am, I've got work tomorrow, I've just discovered the delights of the rally courses. Houston, we have a problem. I would have been fine if I hadn't gone and won that AMG D2 Mercedes CLK Touring Car... but then I just had to start racing it.... and from there it was downhill all the way.

This game will kill me.

Or maybe just make me late for work.

Posted by chris at 02:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Let's drink very good taste

Remember the Cat & Mouse postcards I mentioned? Well, here they are.

"The cat likes corn flakes, milk & the mouse!!"

(Produced by and Copyright Etsuko Fukushi)

Posted by chris at 04:48 PM | Permalink

Karate, kendo and spatulas

I thought *I* was obsessed with ninjas but, compared to the guys over at Ninja Burger, the world's leading clandestine fast food delivery service, I am nothing.

There's a veritable shuriken display-case of content, including artwork, haiku, details of their deadly martial art techniques (incorporating "ninjitsu, judo, karate, jujitsu, tae-kwan-do, kendo and spatulas") and even dating tips. I laughed so much I shall have to leave and commit seppuku immediately.

Posted by chris at 04:39 PM | Permalink


I can't quite remember how I arrived at this particular combination of tunes, but my current playlist (on my office PC) has evolved into the following:

  1. Alpinestars - Cresta la Wave
  2. All Saints - Black Coffee
  3. Air - Sexy Boy
  4. Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea
  5. The Family Stand - Ghetto Heaven
  6. GTO - Wonderful
  7. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
  8. Bjork - Human Behaviour
  9. Kraftwerk - Tour de France
  10. Quincy Jones - The Self-preservation Society (from The Italian Job)
  11. Puffy - Jet Keisatsu
  12. S-Express - Theme from S-Express
  13. Catatonia - Road Rage
  14. The El Conquistadors - The Ballad of Captain Morgan
  15. The Wonderstuff - Unbearable
  16. Third Eye Blind - Semi-charmed Life
  17. Yoshinori Sunahara - Untitled, from Poptics
  18. Ren & Stimpy - The International Log Song
  19. Underworld - Air Towel
...but it's only 19 songs. Although I'm a big fan of prime numbers... any suggestions for a nice round 20?

Posted by chris at 11:34 AM | Permalink

Mind the banner

More evidence for the goodness of Flash: Mind the Banner is a showcase of Flash pieces which, I have to say, is in serious danger of rocking your world. It features projects from hi-res, Tomato (the design collective that Underworld are part of), The Designers Republic and many many more. Make sure you've got Flash installed and prepare to be sucked in.

I found this one via gmtPlus9, an Osaka-based, design-focused weblog which I came across, in turn, via centrs, a Dallas-based Japanophile I met while discussing the recent kaycee-nicole fake weblog thang. Confused yet? Just give in, check 'em all out and roll with it.

Posted by chris at 04:14 PM | Permalink


Oh, I nearly forgot. Also on one of the videos received from home, sandwiched between two episodes of Spaced, was a late-night book review panel program. The book in question was number9dream, which I read a couple of months ago. The reviews were fairly luke-warm, which is fair enough. It's beautifully written in parts and very enjoyable, but loses it a bit near the end.

It was all going pretty well - fairly low pretentiousness factor, well informed comments (though one of the reviewers did keep mispronouncing the hero's name) - until one of the critics, in all seriousness, used the word "architectonics".

What? I mean, I know it's a real word (barely, though) but, for god's sake. Critic one, listening public nil. Very clever. What's wrong with "plot" or "structure"? Grief.

People who go around trying to discombobulate others like that really piss.. me... off.... oh. Whoops.

Posted by chris at 02:14 AM | Permalink

Whoa there, pickle...

The perfect hangover cure: sleep till lunchtime, drink a shedload of water (it has to be a watertight shed, of course) and watch Spaced all afternoon.

Spaced is a Channel 4 sitcom which Nigel's been absolutely evangelical about since it first aired in 1998 - and which of course I'd never seen. So, a big "thanks" goes to Mum, for taping the re-runs of both series and mailing them to me - finally I got to see what all the fuss is about.

Heh. So many smart little movie references, flashes of knowing humour, montages of endearing wackiness, slick camerawork - and a lot of PlayStation gaming. My favourite bit was probably the scene where their obsessed clubbing friend comes around, and starts hallucinating a techno soundtrack to the rhythm of the phone ringing. Priceless. Or maybe it was the bit where Tim (aged 27) has to burn all his Star Wars toys... we see him dressed as Luke Skywalker, setting fire to his stuff a la Darth Vader's funeral pyre. Genius.

I haven't had such a pleasant hangover in ages.

Posted by chris at 01:38 AM | Permalink

I pity the fool

Heh. Mr.T haiku, anyone? Best so far:

i don't like planes, fool
you want to get me to fly?
better drug my milk

Posted by chris at 03:55 PM | Permalink

The doctor will see you now

Boy, am I behind. I'll catch up soon, I promise.

In the meantime, go check out the good doctor - DoctorGrosz, that is. The man writes a very readable blog, and he can sing, too.

More link exchanges, medical and otherwise, in the pipeline.

Posted by chris at 01:05 AM | Permalink


I'm better now.

Posted by chris at 11:15 PM | Permalink


God what a boring day. Grey, crappy weather. It was so dull in the office that I found myself praying that my latest software order would arrive so I could start work on the next big project - and the software in question is Access 2000. How pathetic is that?

<sob>What have I become?</sob>

Posted by chris at 11:15 PM | Permalink


Spotted on the way to work - a sign for:

Auto Galage - CREW

Galage as in the act of being a gal? A female equivalent of laddishness?

Intuition tells me it should be spelled "gallage" but I suppose we need to keep "gallage" distinct in order to refer to the act of being galled by something, eg "Captain Montague's repeated apologies did nothing to assuage Emily's gallage".

Um, anyway - fuhgeddaboudit. (Psst: more Japlish here...)

Posted by chris at 05:05 PM | Permalink

Most people will not notice the clothes you wear unless they are very dirty

Wow - that was really good. Design Festa was better than I expected; lots of interesting little booths full of random postcards and nick-nacks, lots of good t-shirts and a light sprinkling of oddball performance artists. I got a little carried away on the t-shirt front, but thankfully ran out of money after a couple of hours, so the damage was limited.

Some of the highlights of the day were:

  • t-shirts bearing the motto: "Most people will not notice the clothes you wear unless they are very dirty."
  • 2 feet tall posable monster warrior robots made out of twisted, welded metal - the cheapest ones we saw were a cool ¥80,000 (£500)
  • postcards in the style of a breakfast cereal box: "It's delicious! Special Breakfast (The cat likes corn flakes, milk and the mouse!!)" along with a picture of a cartoon cat tucking into a bowl of cornflakes - with a mouse in it. I'll scan one and put it up, if I remember.
  • Minx and their extremely enthusiastic moshers, who managed to synchronize their dancing styles with fearsome accuracy
  • t-shirts depicting Ninja self-purification rites, to be carried out before undertaking important missions
  • a girl sitting about four meters off the ground on a sort of lifeguard chair, watching the people passing below through binoculars. There was a megaphone on the table at the base of the chair, so you could shout up to her. No-one did, though.
  • t-shirts bearing the Apple logo, but with "Macintosh" replaced by "Fucintosh"
  • 3D CGI postcards of futuristic spacecraft, i-Mac-using robots and artist's impressions of next century's Apple Macs
  • birthday and other greetings cards in the style of 70's boarding passes and flight tickets - not for sale, unfortunately
  • postcards in the style of airline safety cards, showing the correct procedure for concealing ninjas in the overhead lockers

  • The weather was nice, we played frisbee next to a queue of what must have been a thousand young women waiting to get Tokio's autographs, and then went for dinner in Shinjuku. All in all, a great day - and I suddenly realised that this is my first proper Saturday / Sunday weekend in something like three and a half years.

    I could definitely get used to this.

    Posted by chris at 01:09 AM | Permalink

    Design Festa

    Time to flee the flat; the weather is gorgeous and I'm off to Odaiba to visit Design Festa. It's an exhibition of artists, designers and photgraphers. If I'm lucky there may be some web-design stuff as well - fingers vaguely crossed.

    I think I'll take a few photos of the area, too; Odaiba is part of Tokyo that has been built entirely on reclaimed land, ie rubbish dumped into Tokyo Bay until there's enough to walk around on without getting wet. It's therefore quite new and shiny, and one of the few places in this city where you're reminded that Tokyo is actually on the coast. Don't expect me to go anywhere near VenusFort, though.

    Rumour has it that in a major earthquake, the synthetic ground will simply liquify and the entire area will do a passable impression of Atlantis' final moments. I guess then it would be re-reclaimed land - better take my inflatable armbands and rubber ducky.

    Posted by chris at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    drinks subway shower change bar club

    friday post work drinks subway across town home shower change meet friends bar drinks meet more friends club drink techno shuffle ken ishii better techno dance enjoy faster kraftwerk samples more better rei harakami mellow disjointed techno slowly more danceable quite full on more drinks fumiya tanaka background techno tequila shots sunrise over tokyo hits us on eighth floor bliss wander downstairs taxi home on the way fifteen crows pecking and fighting over rubbish bags my flat home computer on blogger post and publish shut down futon sleep dream of all tomorrow's parties

    Posted by chris at 06:22 AM | Permalink


    Why Flash is bad:

    1. bloated, slow-loading splash pages
    2. "intuitive" navigation methods that serve only to confuse
    3. nasty scratchy sound loops
    Why Flash is good:
    1. the remedi project
    2. yugop
    3. periscope creations

    Posted by chris at 05:42 PM | Permalink

    Matsuri - Japan in the Park

    Damn. It's times like this I wish I lived in London. If you're free this weekend, then you should consider getting down to Hyde Park for Matsuri - Japan in the Park, part of the Japan 2001 festibition.

    It's a celebration of Japanese tradition, dance, food, martial arts and crafts [tangent: not a typo; there are actually strict grading systems, if not actual colored belts, for ikebana (flower arranging), shodo (calligraphy) and origami (er, origami), among others] and fashion and, from the website at least, it looks ace.

    Of course I'm closer to the real thing, but you never get the whole lot in one package; it's diluted by the minutiae of daily life: trains full of slumped snoozing salarymen, humming vending machines on every street corner and tottering orange yamamba on skyscraper platform sandals chattering shrillingly into their miniature keitai.

    Which is, again, ace.

    Posted by chris at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    There's a frood who really knows where his towel is

    What are you doing on Friday, May 25th? Well, whatever it is, don't forget your towel. Clyde at Binary Freedom proposes a fitting way to pay tribute to the greatness of Douglas Adams.


    Posted by chris at 12:13 PM | Permalink


    Reasons to be happy:

    1. I got granted the time off I requested, so I'm going to visit Swerdloff in New York.

    2. I'm meeting a fellow Tokyo blogger tomorrow night - Rumi of rumi.nation.

    3. The latest additions to the line-up for this year's Fuji Rock Festival include Ritchie Hawtin, Autechre, Squarepusher, Coldcut and Yoshinori Sunahara. I am definitely excited about going now.

    4. The days are getting warmer, without being unpleasantly humid. Yet.

    5. I've just learnt the Korean for "Hello"

    Posted by chris at 02:06 AM | Permalink

    Gallery update

    Okay, thumbnails are up on the gallery page. If the weather is still good come the weekend, I might take the camera and go for a wander. Maybe Odaiba - somewhere with a sea breeze, anyway.

    Posted by chris at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Animal or plant?

    Tokyo's restaurant scene is vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan. So why can't most places tell the difference between an animal and a plant?

    I really empathized with the author of this short article - not because I'm from Vegetaria myself, you see, but because of the hoops I've watched vegetarian friends jump through in order to get the ham picked out of their vegetable salads. He speaks the truth.

    Posted by chris at 09:36 PM | Permalink

    Oops, I did it (metal-organic chemical vapour deposition, that is) again

    You may not have realised that Britney Spears is actually an expert on semiconductor physics but this is, in fact, the case.

    Be sure to check out her informative and authorative guide to the Finite Barrier Quantum Well and her equally authoritative essay on Liquid Encapsulated Czochralski Crystal Growth. Stephen Hawking eat your heart out.

    Posted by chris at 03:47 PM | Permalink

    Do you have "Girls Be Farting 7"?

    This fart fetish site is undoubtedly puerile, sexist and exploitative.

    It also made me laugh a lot.

    "Good smell."

    Posted by chris at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Mania Clove

    Tired but happy. Saturday night was excellent - good people, nice atmosphere, plenty of booze, grand tunes and pancakes for breakfast.

    Womb was great, and a small hardcore ended up moving on to Maniac Love in Aoyama for the restart - after 5am it's only a grand (£6) to get in, and you get all the coffee you can ingest. They are absolutely paranoid about noise levels, though. The doormen actually intercept approaching revellers in the street outside the club, asking them to shush. They also operate an airlock system as you enter and leave, which is fair enough - but with such po-faced seriousness. Lighten up, for heaven's sake.

    Tangent: whenever I see the URL for Maniac Love's web site, I can't help but interpret it as "mania clove". This may not actually be very important.

    Got to bed at 8:30, in the end, and slept till about 2pm. I was pleasantly surprised to wake up and realise that I had already bought today's paper on the way back from the station - autopilot is a marvellous thing. No hangover, either - just felt a little tired for the rest of the day, but that's hardly surprising, really. The walk back from the video rental shop knackered me out - I need to do something to boost my energy levels other than just consuming lots of caffeinated drinks, I think. Sleeeeep...

    Posted by chris at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    A couple of the sounds that I really like

    Saturday night is most definitely not alright for fighting, kids.

    Drinking and dancing with your peers at a fashionable "discotheque", however, is perfectly acceptable.

    Tonight is Sarah's birthday party, so we're hitting the Hub in Shibuya (I hope everybody turns up to the right one) and making our way, somehow, to Womb (also in Shibuya). Womb was practically deserted last time we went, to see Ko Kimura a few months ago - which was excellent. Plenty of space, no queues at the bar: nearly perfect. I hear that they've got a later license these days so it could well be more lively. It's a nice club.

    Tonight is DJ Kensei, who I understand is a good breakbeats / techno DJ. Might also be seeing him next week, if I can get tickets to the Liquid Room... must make sure I get out of bed before the ticket agency closes tomorrow (ie. about 7pm).

    Posted by chris at 06:07 PM | Permalink

    Stop and smell the planks

    Okay - just back from seeing Minx play in Ebisu, and... no cockroaches. Yet. Phew. I'm still expecting to see one scuttle out from under the sofa at any moment.

    Solution: don't look at the sofa.

    Leaving the venue in Ebisu, having totally missed the last train, I decided to start walking back north to Shinjuku. It was about 1:30am, it wasn't too cold, I was pleasantly drunk, I'd just learnt the Italian for "He has a chip on his shoulder" - it could have been a lot worse.

    So I walked. It's often said that Tokyo is a series of small towns strung around the Yamanote Line; we go to Shinjuku, to Harajuku, to Shibuya, to Ebisu - always by train. When was the last time you walked somewhere instead of driving / training / taxiing? I always like knowing where I am, how to get from A to Z - how places tesselate with each other.

    Wherever I am - London, Tokyo, <shudder>Watford</shudder> - I find the easiest way to do that is by walking, linking places together myself, on foot - sometimes trying to fit my memory of the journey to a map afterwards. Trains and tubes are great for popping you up right next to your destination, of course - but where's the fun in that?

    So, tonight's journey took me all the way from Ebisu to Shibuya Tower Records before I got bored and caught a cab the rest of way. I found a couple of cool-looking places that I didn't know existed before, and I also found a new route to one of my favourite bars in Shibuya. The name of this place is a closely guarded secret - catch me in a good mood and I might share it with you.

    The walk also took me past a lumber yard - right next to the Yamanote Line tracks, in downtown Tokyo. I stopped briefly to savour the smell of the freshly-cut pine - and it didn't seem like a strange thing to be doing at all.

    Posted by chris at 04:24 AM | Permalink

    Trying again

    What's up with blogger? This is just to force the previous post to re-publish. Trust me - it's worth it. Well... um... maybe not. But it's the principle of the thing.

    Posted by chris at 01:41 AM | Permalink

    Signs that you need sleep, #34

    Christ, I must be fried. I just plugged my landline phone back in to the wall, after disconecting it from the mains while I bombed my flat (with the roach equivalent of sarin). To check that it was still working (I have a fairly complicated phone / PC / ISDN terminal adaptor setup) I tried dialling the landline from my mobile - and got an engaged tone. Bugger.

    What's the problem? Check the dialtone... check the wires... check the lights on the terminal adaptor... check the PC... so what's the problem? What's the damn problem... the problem... the problem is, I suddenly realised, is that I had dialled the first six digits of my home number, follwed by the last four digits of my mobile number. I tried again and, of course, this time the phone rang. So I picked up and had some choice words with myself.

    I don't spaz out often, but when I do - boy oh boy.

    Posted by chris at 01:33 AM | Permalink

    Behold the Aerosol of Instant Death

    I am so tense right now. For the last few nights, I've been at war - with my uninvited houseguests: cockroaches. I'll put up a longer post when I've had a chance to calm down, and stopped looking over my shoulder every time I leave the relative safety of my futon. I seriously can't cope with them - I'm petrified.

    I literally haven't taken more than two steps away from my futon over the last couple of days without taking my Aerosol of Instant Death with me. I eye the floor suspiciously with every step I take, trying to prepare myself for a sudden scuttling shock. The area round my futon has been swept clean (I mean in the FBI / SWAT Team sense of the word, rather than the more literal "broom" sense) but I've still got a few piles of clothes / papers near the bathroom that could be providing refuge. It takes time to clear a pile of underwear when you have to gingerly pick up each piece individually with one hand, whilst training the aerosol on it with the other, convinced a cockroach is going to drop out on you.

    And you think I'm kidding. Oh no.

    The only roach I have any time for at all is Archy - and I'd probably still run a mile on meeting him.

    Posted by chris at 01:05 AM | Permalink

    Gallery launched

    Okay, the gallery is up and running. I'm definitely not much of a photographer, but I hope you'll find some of the pictures worthwhile.

    If you're interested, the camera is an ancient Olympus OM-2 SLR, probably almost exactly the same age as me. Thanks, Mum. Now you get to see what I've been doing with it.

    Posted by chris at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    You can't be that busy

    One of the target phrases on the English conversation TV program tonight:

    "You can't be that busy!"

    Actually, I am. So there.

    Posted by chris at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    A song so catchy that most people probably don't listen to the lyrics

    I saw American Psycho last night, and now I can't get "Hip to be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News out of my head. The mark of a good film? Or perhaps I'm a closet eighties fan. Hmmm.

    Ebisu Garden Cinema has a large promotional poster signed by Christian Bale on display:

    "To Ebisu Garden Cinema - This is not an exit. Christian Bale"


    Posted by chris at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Infinite Wheel

    Tuesday morning, and I'm back in the office. Ah well; Golden Week couldn't last forever and so I'm plunged back into the world of intranets and database design. But, to break up the monotony of the day, I bring you This is a rarety among Flash demonstration pages: one that uses looped samples without sounding like it's being played through bacofoil speakers. Even the one slightly risque section is beautifully designed.

    While I'm on the subject, you should certainly check out infinite wheel; if you don't find Bad Oyster enjoyable then you need your head examined. These guys (this guy? those gals? that baboon? damn these anonymous websites) are also responsible for the official Mark & Lard site, another essential resource for those of us who are BBCically challenged.

    Posted by chris at 04:02 PM | Permalink

    Scottish themepubs

    The occasion of my leaving the house yesterday was Mike Coleman's leaving do - one of the few people for whom I would consider switching off the PlayStation. We started off at a mock-British pub, one that appears to have sprung up in the last few months, as I don't remember seeing it before.

    It's sited, rather incongruously, amongst the strip clubs, pornographic video shops and hostess bars of Kabukicho, the area of Shinjuku that much of the street scenery in Bladerunner is meant to be modelled on. Restaurant kitchens backing onto narrow alleys, pimps and hustlers loafing in doorways, neon, litter, ramen, shopfronts apparently advertising 5-by-7inch glossy pictures of numbered schoolgirls - and then this place. A mock Scottish (Mottish? Scockish?) basement bar. Tartan tablecloths, fine whiskies (and whiskeys) behind the bar, pamphlets from the sacred distilleries of the Highlands tastefully adorning the walls, and the usual shelves of dark brown, weathered items carefully chosen to scream "authentic".

    They never get it quite right, though. Whisky yes, Scottish beer no. Guiness is Scottish, apparently. As is Carlsberg. And when was the last time you saw a Scots pub landlord in a bow tie and waistcoat? Who wipes the outside of the beer glass after pulling a pint, with a deadly serious expression on his face? Do locals really leave there thinking that this is what Scottish bars are really like? (Only one of the three bar staff behind the bar at any one point was actually allowed to do any serving, of course. The others just watched. Not lazily, though - attentively. Like they were on guard duty. This happens everywhere, though, and is a topic for another day.)

    I know, I know; I'm being picky. Japan is as susceptible to bad imitation Scots and Irish pubs as Watford High Street, or anywhere else for that matter. This place was just horrid, though. Obsequious staff who will do everything for you short of actually serving you. 1050 yen (£5.97) for a pint. 630 yen for a Coke, for Christ's sake. The company was good, though; I met some interesting people and we lasted for a good few hours before rebelling, politely, and moving on to Footnik in Takadanobaba. Phew.

    Footnik was much more fun. Watched the end of the Derby / Manchester United game; Derby won 1-0, actually, meaning they stay up next season. Which was nice. Then we tried to watch Arsenal / Leeds, but sort of gave up at half time and had a table football tournament instead. Modesty forbids me from boasting too much but, thanks to the solid skills of Alan at the back and some dogged attacking play, "Pain & Torment" triumphed over "Team Name", "London FC" and whatever the hell Alex and the other Chris's team was called. All in all, a fitting send-off for Mike and Yoko - they will be missed.

    I finally wandered home at about 5am - the best thing about Footnik is that it's within easy walking distance of my flat. Today has been pleasantly hangover-free. The only affliction is the usual panic attack when I stray more than 15 feet from my PlayStation - so, nothing to worry about, really.

    Posted by chris at 08:02 PM | Permalink

    Insert credit to continue

    It's okay, it's okay; Gran Turismo 3 has not yet swallowed me whole. I am a separate entity, distinct from my PS2. I left the house once yesterday, and once today. See? Perfectly healthy behaviour.

    The sunlight wasn't half bright, though. And there were too many people, realistically rendered though they were. And my PS2 controller didn't appear to work so well outside, as I wandered the streets with it clutched in my sweaty mitts. There was no pause button, for starters, and the steering felt funny. Resolution was much better than on my TV screen, though. Perhaps I should stay indoors more ... real world bad.... PlayStation 2 good....

    Posted by chris at 07:10 PM | Permalink

    I'm very excited

    I'm very excited.

    I've just gone and bought Gran Turismo 3, a driving game for the PlayStation 2. I haven't had time to explore it fully yet - it's huge, after all - but it looks great so far. What a game.

    If it proves anywhere near as addictive as Gran Turismo 1 & 2 were, then I think I'm about to do a passable impression of someone with no social life, at least for the next couple of months. I can see myself calling in sick for a week or two, and relying solely on delivery pizza to fulfil all of my dietary requirements. This may be the last you hear from me for a while.

    Posted by chris at 03:16 AM | Permalink

    What is this thing you humans call "relacks"?

    Hmm. Maybe this relaxing thing has got something going for it after all. I spent a pleasant hour in a coffee shop this afternoon, reading the paper and watching people pass by. I managed to do so without feeling the need to work on my websites, go white-water rafting, or anything like that. I think, with practice, I may be able to relax for as much as two hours at a time by the end of the week.

    Mind you, the coffee shop in question was actually the Starbucks overlooking the Shibuya crossroads, possibly the busiest pedestrian crossing in Tokyo. Every two minutes, the traffic stops and four opposing masses of people flood towards each other. The tarmac is a seething confusion of directions for thirty seconds, and then thins just in time for the cars, taxis and buses to reclaim the streets. Slowly, the waiting pedestrians accumulate, until the traffic stops again and yet another human tide surges forth, relentless. You should see it when everyone's carrying umbrellas.

    I plan to start with relaxing in front of hectic scenes, and then move on slowly to relaxing in front of genuinely-relaxing scenes. Got to start somewhere.

    Posted by chris at 03:15 AM | Permalink

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