Tuesday, September 25, 2007

past weekends

Since I can't think of any one amusing anecdote for my loyal readers today, I thought I'd share some random tidbits.

Last weekend, Takeshi, his friend and I all went to a soccer game! Yes, that's right, they have soccer here. It was a game between the New England Revolution versus the New York Red Bulls. We took the bus, which got us there about 45 minutes early, and the place was EMPTY. Scarily, depressingly empty. We started giggling nervously, especially when, half an hour to the game to go, the only one who had joined us in our entire section was a challenged gentleman who started franticly cheering for the Red Bulls... when the field was empty.

But 10 minutes to go, all the semi-enthusiastic fans started meandering to their seats, and there was a decent crowd to watch the game. I don't know very much about soccer other than getting it in the goal is a good thing (except when it's the your own team's), but I thought it was a good game. The final score was 2- 2. But more importantly, the soccer enthusiasts I came with told me it was a good game, even by international standards, so I was content.

Renn Faire pictures are up. We did NOT go in costume to my dissapointment, but I believe a gentle immersion into the world of the American Nerds is probably a good thing. As it was, a random costumed gentleman grabbed my confused husband by the arm and made him do a jig, which made my day. We had some delicious mead, some turkey legs, and watched knife throwing and a joust (at separate times). Also, a parrot tried saying 'hello' while simulateously trying to bite Takeshi's ear (this is after it tried to steal his watch).
So all in all, it was a good day.

If anyone has seen Kanye West's new video, it may be worth noting that the whole 'escaping from the hospital scene' was taken from the anime Akira. (Must re-watch Akira!). Amusingly, the katakana splashed across the screen says 'gasobare' instead of 'ganbare', and 'kosero' instead of 'korose'. tee hee.
(those who have taken a few years of japanese might want to look at in in depth, as it is rife with typos!). But I appreciate the anime reference, so I hope Kanye continues to gasobare in all his future endeavors.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fit TV?

One of the nice things about our Manhattan apartment is that it came with cable pre-installed.
Normally we don't watch cable, but since it was all set up with our internet, and I need the internet like most people need their right arms, we kept it.
Unfortunately, with more TV channels come more commercials. I have to admit- american commercials, especially CABLE commercials, can be really annoying. In Japan, the commercials will never say 'buy this now!' or yell at you 'COME ON DOWN TODAY' or any of the other super annoying traits of American commercials...(Takeshi's pet peeve is showing piles of cash on the screen, and talking about MONEY MONEY MONEY)... they rely a little more on subliminal messages, and skits and the like. True, sometimes they are SO subtle and indirect that they come off as truly bizarre. And they ARE big on jingles. The last month I was in Tokyo, I had the Aflac song stuck in my head. "What Aflac song?" you may be asking. Dear reader, if you really want to know the answer to that question, just follow that link. But you have been warned, it won't be getting out of your head any time soon.

But after that counter-culture shock, cable is fun. I had really been missing the ability to see new drama on TV, like my favorites Grey's Anatomy and CSI (although my guilty pleasures include shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "Top Chef").
But of course, cable's strength is that, if you really want to, you can see shows that are actually good for you in some way. You can learn stuff on the Science channel, learn to cook on the food network, and last but not least, thoroughly embarrass yourself by following along with FitTV.

I have been trying to find a way to keep in shape in Manhattan, and after looking at all of the incredibly expensive gyms close to my house, tried jogging in Central park a few times. Unfortunately, although it looks close on google maps, it's still a mile just to get there. A mile of either walking or running through crowded, high-traffic, smokey streets. I just don't want to breathe NYC air too deep, I'm afraid that crap will never get out of my lungs.
Anyway, after an hour or so of lazily channel surfing one day, I came across FIT TV, and the program with creepily zombie-smiling host Sharon Mann. I shuffled to a stand, lured with the promise of lean, toned muscle, and tried doing some squats along to the beat. Every few minutes, one of the background dancers would hoot or yelp with encouragement.
"How Are you guys doing out there!!" Enthused the fitness lady. It was not a question. But you know, rhetorical questions are just begging to be answered.
"Horribly in pain!" I enthused back.
Within the course of half an hour, crazy fitness lady had somehow produced a yoga mat, 2 five lb. weights, a pilates stretchy band, an elevated platform to jump on and off of, and a 'fitness pole'. Needless to say, I had none of the said accoutrements, and had in a pathetic attempt to reproduce the excercises, produced a towel and a mop. THe rest of the program I followed along with 'imaginary' versions of the necessary tools, which were much cheaper, but I am sure they did not help me create long, lean muscles.

So I gave up on Sharron Mann, but since then, have discovered the delights of morning yoga. As someone who likes Judo, I had always filed yoga under the 'pshh - whatever' mental filing section. But I gotta say, not only does it help you stretch and wake up, it also allows you to make absolutely rediculous poses under a veil of dignity. (Promting Takeshi to try to take pictures the first morning I tried it. And no you can't see the pictures.)
I swear the yoga people get together in a little room, putting their heads together to think of the most crazy looking poses imaginable and giggling.
"Oooh, I know! how about one foot to your nose, meanwhile waving your hand back and forth like it's stinky." "Good idea! we'll call it the 'never washes feet' pose!"
So if you're poor and in need of excercise, I recommend the Namaste yoga program on Fit TV. Unlike the other program, it only takes one yoga mat, and all your self-esteem. ^_^

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


That's the reason I gave Takeshi when he asked me "why are we going to the Rennaisance Faire again?"

There really isn't any better answer. I mean, first I tried the "it's an American experience!" tack, but that didn't really pan out when he logically responded "how can it be an american experience when the renaissance didn't even HAPPEN in america?"
..hm, I guess he's got a point.
Well, it's kind of all-american in the way that you can see a bunch of people (some of whom are far too overweight for that sort of thing) wear tights, speak with fake accents, and generally act like a bunch of idiots for a day.

Well, I think it's high time to do something silly. For the last few weeks we've been doing entirely wholesome activities... going to museums, going to the beach, hiking in the woods, etc. Apparently Takeshi's coworker is an aspiring mountain climbing guide who's next stop is Mnt Kilimanjaro... after he's taking us up Mount Marcy in two weeks, that is. So manly! So wholesome!
I think a fruity dose of Ren Fair next weekend will clean my pallate nicely for the manly adventure to come.

(All things in moderation, you know.)