Friday, 31 October 2008

"Under a light to strangle infants by..."

After I went through the copy of Gormenghast that my mum left behind I realised that I really wanted to read Titus Alone, as I remembered it being my favourite of the three books. I wasn't wrong. This is how you should start a chapter:


Seriously: Mervyn Peake, goddamn.

Also, doesn't that make a great Halloween post? Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Get Your War On

Hey, you know Get Your War On right? Course you do. You're so well acquainted with it I don't even need to hotlink to the homepage back there. What I will do for you however is embed one of the videos now that it's gone animated for the election:


As usual, you're welcome.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Squids are in


from Famous Monsters of Filmland #117, July 1975

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Animals EATING Other Animals!

Check it out:


Pretty sweet, huh? Allow me to elaborate. Every week I have to find a topic for a discussion class and write a bunch of vocabulary and discussion questions about it. I basically trawl through a bunch of newspapers and online news sources until I find something that people can talk about for an hour and have at it. Luckily all of the British broadsheets are comprehensively represented online, and the BBC is an invaluable resource, so I can usually find something good although sometimes it takes me bloody ages.

A side result of this is that I've become pretty analytical about the style and level of English that the various newspapers use. Since I'm setting the articles for second language learners, even when they have excellent English understanding they can find flowery, idiom strewn prose really difficult. Because of this I have to basically steer clear of the Times and the Guardian, which are both fabulously well written, but just too acrobatic in their grammatical construction. The BBC is always simply written, partly because it's aimed at an international audience; and as a friend who studied some journalism pointed out to me ages ago, the Independent is generally pretty badly written, but not incomprehensible, so I can often use that. Interestingly the paper which I find most reliably well written, but pretty simple is the Telegraph. I mean, I wouldn't read it back in England, but for my purposes, as long as I avoid politics, it pushes the students' vocabulary and grammar without completely flumoxing them.

This week, hunting through the Telegraph site for something I could hang a discussion on, I was checking on the most read articles and noticed that today's no. 5 was "Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera". That's cool, I can understand how that could make no. 5 any day of the week, but then I clicked through to the top 5 for the week. "Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera" was at no. 1 for the week. Now, what with the US election and the global financial meltdown we are hardly in a slow news week, so that raised my eyebrow, but then, when I clicked on the top 5 stories for the month... well, guess what is the most read story on the Telegraph website this month. "Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera".

I'm gonna stop snobbing it up now, coz I gotta admit it's great stuff. That spider looks freakin' evil. And when you click through to the actual article you find a veritable treasure trove of animals eating other animals. Seriously it's like some kinda hidden bestial-snuff-porn microsite on the Telegraph server. Shark eats seal (see above). Seal eats duck. Leopard kills crocodile. Heron eats rabbit. Mouse bites snake to death (that one's a doozy).

So check it out, for the love of God. What are you still reading this for? THERE IS A PICTURE ON THE INTERNET OF A HERON SWALLOWING A BABY RABBIT WHOLE. Go look at it.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Monday via Monday

According to Donguri, the super-popular bakery in the department store near my flat, this is an English Sandwich. Ham, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Chicken.


I'm not sure where they got the idea, but in terms of taste it's the closest I've come to an English style sandwich in Japan. Bravo Donguri, bravo very much.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sunday via Monday

On Sunday I didn't post because I was resting my brain. I did however find an external hard drive with a terrifying tag-line. Seriously: left temple - red wire, right temple - black wire...


I while ago I fell in love with the gatcha-gatcha (bubble machine) Spider-man toys. Hell they had Venom, Carnage, Doppelganger, Scarlet Spider... I was in a little geek heaven for a while. And now they've got a new series from the same makers taking in the rest of the Marvel Universe! Witness: "The Cutest Weapon X":


I'm going back to buy more today.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Saturday via Monday

On Saturday I didn't post because I went to two parties and then continued drinking after those until about 5am. This is the Halloween wig my sister sent me, as proof of this:


Sorry about that.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Mostly Without Comment

I saw a poster for this band in the record store next door to where I work the other day. Their major label debut single "Doll" came out this week, and they're called Scandal:


According to Wikipedia they are actually high school students, and they've already done a US tour which took in some of the comic and gamer conventions. The single's not great, but it's not terrible either, and they're well represented on you tube if you want to check it out. So there you go!

At least they're not AKB48!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Fucking Banana Diet

I just realised, in the stupor I've been flailing away in recently I never vented about The Banana Diet.

THE GODDAMN BANANA DIET.

Basically it's the latest fad diet that struck Japan in mid-September and resulted in a mass banana shortage that's only just starting to lift. The idea is: eat two bananas with a glass of water for breakfast and eat sensibly for the rest of the day and you can burn off weight without feeling tired or crappy. It's pretty easy and seems to be pretty much common sense but because it was on TV everyone went completely... banan... no I can't say it.

Suddenly, NO bananas. In any shop. And because I only heard about it a few days in I had no idea what was going on at first. Had the shipping roots been disrupted? Were bananas suddenly out of season (Japanese supermarkets are much better at only carrying seasonal fruit and veg than British ones)? And when I found out I started yelling in the middle of a restaurant, because, y'see, I was already on The Banana Diet! Except I didn't call it The Banana Diet, I just called it eating fucking bananas for breakfast. Seriously, this lack of banana-goodness for weeks probably had a hand in the viscious cold I'm just getting over.

You tube has a bunch of videos, mostly from people on the banana diet, or from companies trying to cash in on the diet and bring it to a western audience. This one is insanely annoying but covers the whole thing pretty well:



This one is pretty funny, because it's been edited by a chimp. It claims the diet has worked for "hundreds of people in Japan" which in a country of 127 million is virtually meaningless. Then it turns into some banana-fetish-screensaver. These guys are not going to win the Banana Diet wars that's for sure.

Now, my world is returning to sanity. I can usually buy bananas and eat them for breakfast, so I'm happy. But every now and then I raise my fist and shake it at the heavens. "Curse you, Banana Diet. Curse you..."

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Alex, Andy and Katsuhiko Session

Ok, after the picture of Katsuhiko making electronic bliss are links to the usable bits of jamming and music making that we did in a crappy rehearsal room last Saturday night. It's not too shabby. Listen and download (right click on the song titles and save as) and enjoy. Although the tracks don't have numbers, I've put them in roughly the order we played them below.


Facing the North (take 1)



Facing the North (take 2)



Horse Soap



Mizukusai



Waves of Light



The Dog Sits Up



Sea Lion



Bee is going



Different Kinds of Meat



- - -

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Alex, Andy and Katsuhiko Session: Mizukusai

Here's one of the tracks from the session last week with Andy and Katsuhiko. It's a crappy messy track, but that's how we wanted it. Not much Katsuhiko on this one I'm afraid, but there's more of him later for sure. It's called Mizukusai, which doesn't mean stink-water, despite the literal translation.




- - -

And you can download it here.


I want to do a lot more of this, it made me dizzy and happy. Andy's already posted another one of the songs on his blog here, but I'll put the links for all of them up here at some point, and one or two'll be on Loom this week too. Ah, cross-posting, or as I like to say, "Spreading the love".

Monday, 20 October 2008

Kiss to Pizza

I ordered pizza from the delivery company Strawberry Cones last night. Aside from the fact that it seems to be a pizza company with an ice cream company's name, it was pretty good. The worrying thing was on packaging for the side order:


The chilling concept that the children might write a formal letter to their parents which clearly, and insultingly, states that they love pizza more than Mom and Dad. In fact read it again:


Ad copy, or excerpt from a sibling suicide pact note? I'm not saying anything... I'm just saying.

Also there's this:



Which... yeah.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Making Music

I'm still struggling to kick a beast of a cold, but I'm glad I felt well enough last night to join in musical cacophony with the mighty Andy Bentley:


And the awesome Katsuhiko Sagai:


Amazingly enough considering it was entirely unplanned, unrehearsed and unprepared for, we came out of it with a bunch of stuff that's pretty interesting. I'll post it all eventually, at the moment I can't sort it out properly, but rest assured it's a mess. I mean awesome. It's a fun, listenable, pretty great mess!

Please note the rehearsal room we hired as well. It's almost exactly the same as any rehearsal dive in England, which I found reassuring from the moment I stepped in the door. I think the whole experience was medicinal.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

In The Studio


video

Video from tonight. The fruit of this labour is coming soon.

Friday, 17 October 2008

A nice video from a train and more words with Andy


video

So Andy, how're your beans?

My beans are cool, of course.

So, today I went to Hokkaido shrine. It was a very nice shrine, but i was attacked by swarms of mosquitoes, which wasn't so nice. After that I went to the Sapporo Beer Museum. I learnt all about how beer is made by snowmen with mouse-like tails, and after that I drank Sapporo beer fresh from the golden river. It was good beer.

Oh, and I had lunch with some lovely people. And then met up with you for sushi dinner.

How about that sushi huh? Special Hokkaido sushi. I bet you never had unicorn nigiri in Fukuoka.

Nope. The Special Hokkaido sushi was delicious, but not so different from Fukuoka sushi. I think Fukuoka has better kampachi. Here, the salmon and hotate might be better.

What did you think of Eminem's new song?

It has no hook. I was a bit disappointed. And he sounds less angry. I like him better when he's angry and stompy.

Something I've been meaning to ask you. It's been a while since I found something crazy and entertaining on TV that I can tune into regularly. SMAPXSMAP never seems to be on when I think it is, and Super Chample, the break-dancing show is like this mythic white whale that I only glimpse through a mist once every few weeks. What do you like watching?

Well, I like those too. Super Chample is seven kinds of ace. I also like Ai-Nori when I can catch it - reality TV featuring some boys and some girls in a pink minibus travelling around the world. The studio presenters pick apart the body language and the things they say. It's fun to see who fancies who, and how it progresses week after week.

Ai-Nori is so incredibly popular, and has been running for so long. I'm always impressed with its longevity and appeal, almost every Japanese girl I know watches it and it seems to have been running since the dawn of television. It's basically a dating show and travel show at the same time. Some boys and girls in a pink van go around the world, getting to know one another, and when they think they've "made a match" they confess their love. If it's reciprocated the happy couple head on home to Japan. If they're spurned, turned away like an unwanted piece of two day old sushi, then they have to go home alone.

Yes, that describes it pretty well.

We are listening to The Research as we write this. What else have you been listening to lately Alex?

Yeah, this is the second time I bought their album, which should tell anyone how good that album is (very good indeed). I was really excited to find the 2nd Art Brut record the other day, and that seems awesome. Other than that, my Zazen Boys fixation continues unabated, I got hold of Vast Aire's new album and that's fantastic, and since I went to see Radiohead I was listening to them a bunch. I was also listening to a bunch of arty indie-rock of the late 90s early 00s before you came, people like Milemarker and Unwound. Andy music wa?

The new Mogwai, the new Marnie Stern, High Places I really like a lot, some Nagisa Ni Te, some UA, and some Melvins.

Is it goodnight Alex?

It is Andy, thanks for writing so much!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Andy's Continuing Adventures in the Distant North

So hey Andy, since we went to the zoo you've experienced even more of the dazzling, glittering life that awaits all denizens of Hokkaido when they step out of their front doors. Today we ate Jingiskan (aka: Genghis Khan, a kind of mutton yaki-niku that's famous in Sapporo) how was that?

It was good. We ate a lot of meat, but it was delicious, and we also had some Hokkaido potatoes. They were very tasty. And lots of onion. I think I can still taste onion in my mouth.

Yeah, it was very satisfying I thought. Remember that was Hokkaido lamb too. You might as well have been eating Hokkaido SOIL Andy, that's how authentic it was. As real as the dirt beneath your Grandfather's fingernails. Also you walked the whole length of Odori park, how was that?

It was pretty good. Like you said, every section had something of interest, and I think there were 12 sections to it, if I remember correctly. there were some fountains, some statues, and a slide which I slid down. We saw the TV Tower and we could see Sapporo Battle Tower. I liked the trees, and seeing the colours of the autumn leaves on a crisp, sunny day.

That's pretty much it you know, after you see the Sapporo Beer Museum tomorrow you can probably just turn up and ask for your official Sapporo resident's permit. Then you can get free Sapporo beer and potatoes everywhere you go. FACT. Also yesterday we went out to Geijutsu no Mori, Sapporo Art Park, way south of the city and had a good look around the sculpture park. I really liked it, especially the Antony Gormley hidden away at the top of the hill. How about you?


I liked that one too. I also liked the big shiny steel poles with loops of wire between them. I could imagine lying underneath and looking up at the clouds through the loops. Looking at the picture will help you understand:


Then there was the secret hidden garden, including the seven water fountains, the cone in which our voices echoed wonderfully, and the stream which seemed to work by magic, because it took a long time to figure out where the water was coming from.


Do you remember this one Alex? It was called 'Woman with Cock'.



Yes. Yes, I do remember that one Andy. If I remember rightly the description in the guide referred to her as "mannish" or "manly" which put the fox amongst the chickens even more as it were.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Return to the Zooniverse contd.

So Andy, what were your favourite animals at the zoo?

Well Alex, I really liked the polar bears of course. We were really lucky because when we turned up at the polar bear museum it turned out that it was feeding time for the bears, so we could watch them diving for fish underwater. It was very exciting.



I also liked the hippo a lot. I wondered if he wasn't a little lonely on his own in his little pool of water. But he had a great big smile on his face and looked really peaceful.



I think we both liked the capibaras, even though they looked a bit stupid. They were relaxing in the same enclosure as the spider monkeys. You wanted to see a spider monkey jump on a capibara, or throw a nut at a capibara, just to annoy it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.



Your favourites were the gibbons. Those guys could swing about on ropes really well. It was fun to watch.


I almost forgot. Another of my favourites was the seals. They swam about effortlessly like big blubbery torpedoes. There was a big glass tube and every time a seal swam up it everybody went "OOOHHH!" and took a picture. Here is your picture, the seal comes out looking like a blob of light in the tube:



I really did like those gibbons (I think they were gibbons). I loved the way they were trying to find the best way to swing from one rope to another, or the way they would try to increase their momentum while swinging and chasing each other round. And also when one fell on the floor I liked the way his arms flopped down like a stuffed toy.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Return to the Zooniverse

Today we took a day trip to Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa. Last time I went it was covered in snow (I wrote about it before), but this time it was warm and sunny, so I had a pleasantly different experience. We should probably go over what animals were the coolest, but here's a little snippet. Recognise this fella?


He's a porcupine right? Except after a thorough survey of two (2) Japanese people, they've never seen or heard of one before. And the Japanese name for porcupine is Yama Arashi, meaning either "Mountain Storm" or "Mountain Destroyer" which is awesome however you break it down.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Beaver Planning Center

?


Possibilities:

- Planning where to put beavers?

- Planning what to use beavers for?

- How to make new, improved beavers?

- Family planning for beavers?

- A place where you can consult with an expert beaver planning team, re: building dams.

As always, Japan has the better of me.

*

Andy says, "I saw a beaver looking out of the window. He definitely had the look of a beaver making some important plans for the future."

*

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Andy has come to visit Hokkaido!

Hi Andy, what are your impressions of Hokkaido so far?

Well, coming in on the train from the airport, I was looking out of the window at the trees and the houses thinking that it looked a little bit like Holland. There were some very pretty trees. And then i met you in the city and it was like Japan again.

But I'm English.

Yes, I think it was something to do the way you kept saying "sugoi!" at everything.

I'm practically naturalised yes. So when you were travelling through the countryside to get here I'm sure you saw lots of bears. What did you think of them?

They waved at me as I whizzed past on the train. I thought it was very friendly and welcoming.

They don't even train them to do that. The Hokkaido brown bear is a natural host, always warm and entertaining. What were your preconceptions of Hokkaido before you came up here?

I thought it would be colder. My mum told me to wrap up warm. But it isn't too cold. A bit chilly, but not too cold. And I thought that Sapporo beer would be flowing down the mountainsides in fizzy golden streams. I haven't investigated any streams yet, but I will be disappointed if that turns out not to be true.

Well, I'll take you to the factory and you can see the bears who work there bottling it. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. As part of your flash immersion into "Dosanko" culture you also had Sapporo soup curry tonight. How was that?

What's "Donsanko" culture, Alex? Yes, I tasted my first bowl of soup curry tonight, and it was very good indeed. I can see why you eat it every week. I had a level three curry on the hotness scale, as you know, and this was about right for me, but the scale goes right up to ten. A ten must be very hot.

I think ten is what the bears eat. Sorry, I threw that one in to test you. "Dosanko" is slang for someone from Hokkaido. So, what are you most looking forward to doing?

I'm looking forward to hanging out with you, going to the zoo, going up the mountain in a cable car, eating some Hokkaido ramen, and Hokkaido sushi, going to the beer factory and hopefully, if we get chance, playing some music together. Alex, how many pairs of trainers do you actually own?

Hmmmm.... I have four nice pairs now, one chunky pair for outdoorsy stuff, one pair of slip ons for stomping on guitar pedals, one pair of slip ons for going outside, one battered pair for sports... and one pair that don't quite fit me. I'm not sure what to do with them. Does that have anything to do with Hokkaido? Do people in Kyushu have less than nine pairs? I think that's probably a fair amount for Hokkaido. Yes, pretty fair. We're pretty far North here remember.

Yes, I think that the further North you go, the more pairs of trainers a person is likely to have. Alex, one last thing, when the airplane started to descend I looked down to see the sun glimmering on the suface of the sea below, there were some mountains in the background and the setting sun turning the sky a beautiful golden colour. I was coming down from the sky trying to take in all the colours and thinking that the world was a good place to be. Alex, do you feel like this sometimes?

I think I may have looked at the sun hitting the same mountains from a different place and felt exactly the same thing. Sometimes the world is the best place to be. Goodnight Andy!

Yes, it is. Goodnight Alex!

*

(Andy is guest writing my blog with me this week! He normally writes on his own blog over at Polar Bear Is Dying but I'm going to be sucking his brain dry of ideas this week, so good luck with that Andy!)

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Tokyo! The official recovery post... mostly about shopping.

So a week since I left for Tokyo I think I may be taking some tentative steps towards recovery.

That's kind of a joke, I was already getting sick by the time I went to Tokyo, and staying up all night, racing around like a crazy person, meeting friends, sh
opping and seeing Radiohead was just a silly idea all around. It did however mean I was walking through Shibuya at 7am to take photos like this, which was strange and fun:


So what can I tell you about Tokyo this time? I feel like every time I go to Tokyo I spend 50% of my time on trains getting from one place to another. And you can never sit down on the trains. Apart from that it's always really awesome to meet my friends in Tokyo, and if you ever go to eat Korean yaki-niku in a neon lit hole in darkest Kabuki-cho where the hot plates don't even sit straight on the tables, all the furniture looks to be made out of garbage bins and you seem to be leaning on a box of cabbages - the food will actually be really good. I guess the clue was in the fact it was wallpapered with celebrity autographs. Also I still hate Shinjuku Station. Fuck that place.

After the lack of sleep, the Radiohead and the kimchee and pork, I managed to get some shopping in too. I tried to go to the Original Fake store near Omotesando once before when it was closed, but this time I succeeded, and stepping inside was like breath
ing the kind of bottled air that is released in a limited edition, and reserved for the unbearably trendy. I really love Kaws' work and his all-round design and visual style, and the store did look incredible (photos would have felt like sacrelige so I refrained), but his current clothing line under the Original Fake label mostly leaves me cold. It's awesome, but it's not my style. It's filling an increasingly popular space in the street-wear scene for tailored, high-end, high-quality goods, but it's just way too muted for my tastes, especially since his splashy flair was what turned me on to him to begin with (and what he still seems to be doing in his painting and design elsewhere). There was one hoody I loved, but - of course - not in my size. I love seeing the old Kaws collaborations with BAPE because they're just so fucking gharish.

And speaking of BAPE:


The BAPEXCLUSIVE store in Minami-Aoyama (practically Omotesando) is just crazy. Adrienne was just reeling around the place getting lost in mirrors and colours. These two pictures of the BAPE stores are hers because I was too chicken to get my camera out. The downstairs is a super-fancy clothes boutique, but the upstairs is just a crazy shrine to a dazzling rainbow of patent-leather sneakers. They have shoes rotating inside glass cases, floor to ceiling displays of classic BAPESTAs, and a freakin' conveyor belt displaying shoes that haven't even been released yet. All this and still somehow it feels minimal. And the crazy thing is that you're surrounded by sneakers... so many sneakers, and you can only buy the 8 styles in a tiny area on the right. The others are only for show. So goddamn frustrating. That said... they had some good stuff in the back - if you know what I mean. I left there a happy man.

And then about three blocks away is the Harajuku BAPE store, which is also a trip into boutique wonderland. Their shoe floor isn't as spectacular, but they do display their shoes in a glass bar, which the assistants stand behind to serve you.


That's me emailing a picture of some shoes to Olivia to see if she wanted them, a terrifying piece of hi-tech shopping that for better or worse resulted in the following:


Zap!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Tokyo: Outside the art gallery that was closed.


We tried to go to a cool looking art gallery thing, but of course it was closed. Instead we looked at this above a 20 metre drop and got vertigo.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Sick Sick Sick

Exacerbated, though not caused, by my trip to Tokyo, I've gone down with a real stinker of a cold.

So not much of anything here this week I expect, but at least I dropped by to let you know.

Oh actually while we're here:


And if you don't think that's the best photoshop ever you're an idiot.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Tokyo


I went to Tokyo and saw Radiohead and bought sneakers and met friends and had a wonderful time but I was running mostly on momentum and now my brain is like a small mammal donked on the head by a shovel and I seem to have lost my voice.

Good night.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Sapporo Food: Let's Sushi Party at Hanamaru!

Hey, no posts for a few days because I'm flying to Tokyo to see Radiohead rock the humble-sounding Saitama Super Arena. If I really loved you I'd find an internet cafe to post from, but y'know....

You're adopted.

Anyway here's tonights menu: tasty, tasty sushi! After I managed to shut Demode Queen down by writing about it I wasn't sure about naming any more restaurants, but this place isn't going anywhere. Hanamaru is a kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurant in the huge Sapporo Station complex. It's pretty well known, and pretty popular so you'll always have to wait for a table, but it's easy to sign up for and worth the effort. It's on the 6th floor of Stellar Place right next to Daimaru, the fancy-dan department store.


Oh look, it's some of my friends eating sushi! Hi friends!

Hanamaru is fun because it involves a lot of shouting. Someone's always shouting something to someone and then that someone makes the sushi you eat. It's a system that works well for me. Even better is when they make a special order and ring a bell and ask if anyone wants some. Everyone shouts at the same time, kinda like West Side Story, but with raw fish instead of mambo. Now let's look at some sushi that I seem to have photos of on my computer:



fig 1: Salmon. This is raw salmon on rice. I know, you were thinking that salmon meant tuna, but actually, no, it's just salmon. Everyone's favourite, everyone eats a lot of it.


fig 2: Chanchan-yaki. This is seared salmon with spring onions and a sweet miso sauce and it's delicious. Chanchan-yaki is really a whole salmon cooked with the sauce and is a speciality of Hokkaido, but a few places do sushi versions. I recommend it!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A Bagful of Sticks and Carrots

I figure that, being pragmatic, one of the main uses of this blog should be to give people an inside view of what living in Japan is like. I mean, coz clearly there's not enough blogs and sites doing that already.

Ahem.

(The ahem is meant to indicate that the preceding statement was sarcast... oh never mind)

So here's something you get from day to day life in Japan: shop assistants love bagging and wrapping things up for you. I'm pretty sure I've gone into this before, but my mind is fried this week, so humour me. Seriously, much more than in the UK, and to a farcically impractical degree. I have a pretty good understanding with the donut shop I buy coffee at now, whereby they know me and just give me the coffee, in my hand, and I walk out the door. At first though it was coffee, in a paper bag, in a plastic bag, and then it tips over as soon as you pick the plastic bag up. I like the new deal.

This can be tied into Japan's phenomenal service culture of course, but it's really, really wasteful when the supermarkets are always giving you more plastic bags than you need, or bagging your groceries for you into far too many bags. Wasteful... until yesterday that is!

As of October 1st, both of the Supermarkets I go to regularly have stopped giving out free plastic bags! Not only that, they are using both the stick (5 yen per bag) and the carrot (1 yen off your shopping if you bring your own bag) to incentivise their customers. Seriously, I'm astonished and delighted, but now I have no idea what I'm going to use as bin bags at home coz those medium sized Daiei bags were just the beans.

I guess I'll take one for Mother Earth.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Let's put a smile back on that face!

My day today, as they say, both sucked and blew at the same time. I'm lucky I found this thread on one of my internet haunts with so much music and video... that'd be music video, joy. Click to commence smiling.

Not a proper music video, but a scene from The American Astronaut, a movie that just rocketed to the top of my want-to-see list (N.B. I don't actually have a want to see list):



Just one big smile:



You know, why does anyone even remember that he was in the Sex Pistols when he did stuff like this for PIL?



This one is even better if you remember that the actual idea was that the car was the pop-star here, possibly the car was singing the song:



Ah, man... that feels better.