Saturday, November 3

Catching Up

I'm back after an unexpected and unexplainable break. I'm not really sure what happened. Whatever the case, let's get through a quick sum-up of the last month. It might be a pic heavy post...still getting used to writing again. Let's get to it.

So that there is my old phone. She served me well for about 2 years. But in her old age, sending a few emails or taking a picture would tired the old bird out. She would need to take a nap right away. (My battery died all the damn time!) I replaced her with this hot number. (And's not the iphone. I lust after it, but it's not available in Japan yet.)

I'm still getting used to being able to use all the functions without the phone shutting itself down. That is still a treat for me. But I'm most excited about 2 new functions. #1. I can send "Decoration Mail". Deco mail gives you lots of options for color, font size, special text options, embedded pics and video. Lot's of fun to play with on the train when your book ain't making you smile. #2. The other cool function is that you can download complete menu sets. It includes main menus, icons, screens for sending and receiving mail & calls. I could download any...but I chose the one my girl made. One advantage of being with a graphic designer. Moving right along.

Picked up some cds in the last couple weeks. Both of these are well worth your dollars. The Simian Mobile Disco tracks are some of the most solid & complete songs I have heard in a long time. They are so good that I have yet to hear a bad remix of them. At the same time, not many remixes are amazingly improved either. Here is a Bjorkish/low-budget/art school attempt of a video for one of my favorite tracks on the cd, "It's the Beat".

The "Ayres N Titties Baltimore Club Mix" is exactly what it says it is. A one hour mix of B-more goodness. Click HERE for a complete track listing and free samples.

What more can I say about M.I.A.?? The album is just really good. A bunch of great tracks and a couple amazing ones. The international edition had 3 bonus tracks that were well worth the extra money I paid. My fav track is still "Paper Planes". I can't help but post the remix featuring Bun B and Pimp C of UGK. More about M.I.A. to come.

Dizzee Rascal
's album was a surprise. It was a huge improvement from his 2nd album, which I really couldn't get with at all. This one has lots of good songs and the beats are bangin' again. Strangely enough my favorite track also features Bun B. I need to get some UGK stuff soon! Here is the track, "Where da G's". (Not official video.)

What you see above is my only pic of the amazing M.I.A. show in Tokyo. My camera was taken away before I entered and security was NAZI-ish with the pointing and the wagging of fingers. I was about 5 feet from the stage the whole show. (Therefore the security also.) It was packed. People were jammed in there. It's been a long time since I have been to a show like that. And to be honest...maybe I'm getting to old for that kind of show. But, this show was simply amazing. If you ever have a chance to she her, don't walk, to the ticket window. I have never seen someone with as much energy and stage presence as her. And the music was superb! Sadly, I was unable to take notes during the show as I was too busy loving it and getting pushed and jostled about.

My girl found the BEST curry place in Tokyo. Bondy Curry is unbelievably delicious. I have had the extreme pleasure of eating there twice now...and both times have been amazing. One word of explanation before we get to the food. This place is IN a bookstore. And not just any bookstore, it's in a vintage, dusty, old man style bookstore. After you weave your way through the shelves, you see the tiny entrance to the restaurant. It's like a hidden treasure. Ok...on with the food.

They start you with a very simple appetizer: potatoes with fresh butter. I add to that a nice beer. They throw in some cheese when you order beer...that's just how nice they are. And then comes the main entree.

Yes...that is cheese on the rice. It really adds a little something special. Not that the curry itself needs any help. I'm sorry I couldn't take any pics with the curry on the rice. Once I started eating...I was quite unable to take any pics. I ordered the chicken again. And let me just say...DAMN! My girl got the pork, and it was good, but it couldn't touch my chicken.

Quickie Book Reviews:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is as good as the hype said it was. It brought characters to life like few books can. Read it as soon as you can. I challenge you to put it down during the the last quarter. I couldn't.

Haruki Murakami's collection of short stories is truly impressive. Each one of these holds a perfect world together. Some of these maybe familiar to people who read short stories, but most of them were completely new to me. A great collection.

Vachss just always hits me the right way. I can't even tell if I love his writing in an ironic way or if I actually love his dark justice tales. Give him a chance and you may never look back.

Transmission by Hari Kunzru
was bought mostly on the design of the cover. But I also had a vague memory of a book review I read in Arena magazine a while ago. I'm so glad I picked it up...what a great book. Fast paced and smart in all the right ways. The ending was really fun as well.

A Scanner Darkly was an uncomfortable read. Kind of in a good way...but also not that much fun. Like a lot of PKD's books you are never sure of much in the book. Nothing is ever solid enough. But the end pulls things together nicely so I was not very angry at it. Glad I read it. I wonder how the movie is?

Nick McDonell's book Twelve was a really quick read. I remember reading a lot of hype about it years ago. It is pretty good. But, not earth shattering. An honest (sounding) glimpse of the upper-class teens in NYC. Not a bad book, but you could just watch KIDS and save yourself some time.

After spending about $25 on UNLUNDUN by China Mieville, I sat down to read it and I found this on the inside cover: "Mieville has written 4 adult novels and 1 collection of short...." WAIT WHAT!??!? Yeah, this here is a book for young adults. Nice. It was still good, but I was understandably disappointed. That will learn me to read the inside cover before I buy any of my favorite writer's new books.

Pink by Gus Van Sant sucks. I like most of his movies. I barely made it thorough his first book. Don't waste your time. (It's possible I'm just not smart, arty, or sensitive enough to enjoy this book..but I doubt it.)

These are the insoles from my new Nikes. Looks like some kind of digitized camo. I like it. I picked them up at the new Undefeated store in Tokyo.

I thought the store would be full of attitude, being they are one of the big players in the shoe game. But, the people have been pleasant each time I have visited. And they don't seem to jack up the price even on exclusives. I picked these up for ¥15,000 ($130). I do have one complaint about the shoe though. I feel like it would have been a better look to have the NIKE AIR & the swoosh in black. But it is a small thing.
This pick and the teaser pic of last month show the nice camo detailing. I like the color combination on this pair: black, tan, and just a hint of purple. Ok...enough fooling around. Here is the full shot.

That's a nice subtle looking shoe if you ask me. The quality of leather is really high. The whole shoe look and feels really solid. And they fit just a bit more snug than other 90's I have. I like how the dark laces look. But I like these better.

I love both laces, with the inter-weaving of the contrasting color. This shoe is from a new line called the Tech Pack. The Nike Lab has made some really nice pieces. If I had some extra money laying around, I would pick up a jacket or 2.

That is all for now. Take care...and let's hope it's not another month till I post more nonsenseup here.


Gretchen said...

ooooh super cool phone...the food looked amazing and delicious and loved the location! I liked the different cover of the kite runner and i agree i couldn't stop reading it either...funny about mieville's teenie-bopper book. no time for music right now, sneaks are always entertaining....glad you are back, i've missed reading your thoughts.

Lisa said...

What a great comeback, very well-balanced and interesting...and a cool artsy first pic!! You did it all in great style!!

Really enjoyed seeing the bookcovers of your many reads! Are you CERTAIN that you are keeping within the self-imposed sneaker limit!???!!

Super to have you back

Anonymous said...

hiiii john! long time no speak!
how's everything going?? was supposed to come on the 28th nov but cancelled my ticket. nobu's gonna come here. works out wayy cheaper anyway. tell me whats going on with u!work... shoes..blahhhh.
toooodles! hope alls good

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