Wednesday, August 30, 2006


So, Im sitting on the train yesterday riding round and round in circles, half asleep, half reading, when something hits me. I dont know why I noticed it at that time, but for some odd reason, I did. The Yamanote line, being probably the most used train line in the city, has all of the loudspeaker announcements in Japanese, and then in English. I knew this, but it never really struck me until yesterday, when I am sitting down, tired, trying not to fall asleep, trying to read. First the announcement was in Japanese. Then it was in English. Then I sit straight up and say out loud, though not in a loud voice, "Why did they just repeat the announcement?"
It never occured to me that I was understanding both the Japanese and the English. It seemed so weird!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yamanote Line (山手線)

The Yamanote Line is a train like run by JR Higashi (east) Nihon (JR stands for Japan Rail, Nihon is the Japanese word for JApan) and is probably the most used line in the city, but I dont know any numbers. It is a circle with the large stops included: Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa, Tokyo, and Ueno. I might be able to name all 30 some odd stations if I thought about for a while, but I dont really want to! It is the Tokyo's loop line, and one loop takes 60 minutes. So, what do you do on loop lines? You sit down in the same sit and ride it round and round in circles! When my time is up at the net cafe, I will get on and ride it several times and finally get some time to read with out feeling really lonely by reading at home. I wanted to talk with some people at JR headquarters about making a movie on the train, which is just having a camera pointed at the same spot for one entire loop, but then I remembered that I dont have a video camera. pretty cool idea though?

I have Natsume Soseki's Kokoro in both English and Japanese to read today.


New Lincoln Principal.

I just had my day made (OK, so its only 11 in the morning and all I have done so far is read on the train, but still) by an email from the new principal at Lincoln. I had heard from friends that she is very interested in expanding Lincoln's participation in exchange programs. I am doing what again? I had emailed her several days ago about trying to figure out a way to walk with my class when I get back. She said she was very interested in my situation and would talk with "staff, the VP's and counselors" about what to do.

So we might not have any money at schools, but it sure looks like we have people who care and want to get things done.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Death of Ivan Ilych. here is my paper.

Can I please get some feedback? Peer editing across the Pacific Ocean, Whee!

In The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy, the title character, Ivan Ilych, is a seeming well to do Russian politician. Somehow, Ivan develops a sickness, that ends up being fatal. The book begins with his funeral, and the continues from his birth up until the time of his death again. Ivan Ilych's sickness is a metaphor for the way he wasted his life.
The first sign that he wasted his life is shown through his 'friends' relationship with him. The people that the speaker calls Ivan Ilych's friends, are most certainly not his friends. The first example of this is when his colleagues first "...reciev[e] news of Ivan Ilych's death, the first thought of each of these gentlemen...was of the changes and promotions..." (pg. 96, Tolstoy). What close friend thinks first of what sort of promotion they get and not of how unfortunate it is that their colleague has died. Ivan Ilych is said to be "liked by them all" but instead his death "aroused...the complacent feeling that , 'it is he who is dead and not I'" (pg. 96, pg. 96). In someways that is just a 'survival of the fittest' mentality , but that doesn't mean that these 'friends' should have to "...sacrifice [their] usual nap" in order to go to the funeral (pg. 97). Paying last respects to ones' friends isn't a painstaking task, it is simple common curtsy, that shouldn't even be thought about in the case of ones' friends. In the speaker's description of the funeral, only two of Ivan Ilych's colleagues are named, Peter Ivanovich and Schwartz. These two come to the funeral, though reluctantly, but even though they go, they don't treat it at all as one should treat a funeral of a friend. When Schwartz first sees Peter, he "winked at him, as if to say: 'Ivan Ilych has made a mess of things-not like you and me" (pg. 97). He sounds like a true friend. Peter realizes that Schwartz wants to "arrange where they should play bridge that evening" (pg. 97). That is simply not the conduct of a person at a friend's funeral. There are three supposed facts in that sentence. Schwartz and Peter are people and they are at a person's funeral, which means that the flaw is in the word 'friend'. This means that they weren't really friends. Where could they relationship of these colleagues have fallen apart? At the place where it started: work.
Ivan Ilych's drive to succeed in work and the way he goes about it attributes to his pain. Ivan Ilych works very hard on having a good image, both personal, and of items (more on that later.) Upon graduating from college, he "ordered himself clothes at... the fashionable tailors, hung a medallion... on his watch-chain, had a farewell dinner with his comrades at [a] first-class restaurant," and buys a lot of personal belongings, "all purchased at the best shops" (pg. 105, pg. 105). His first job is only so because of "his father's influence" and so it doesn't actually seem as if Ivan did anything to deserve it. Thus, all of this very fancy clothes and such are necessary to make sure that he can fit the part. Through out his career, he is constantly seeking a higher paying job. Many years into his career, he goes searching for "a post with a salary of five thousand rubles a year. He was no longer bent on any particular department, or tendency, or kind of activity" (pg. 113). He doesn't care about the work, all he wants is the money, presumably so that he can improve his image. When he is considering getting married, "he was swayed by both these considerations: the marriage gave him personal satisfaction, and at the same time it was considered the right thing by the most highly placed of his associates" (pg. 109). There is no mention here of him loving the person to whom he is considering marrying, just satisfaction and it being the right thing from people higher up than him. In other words, it seems as if he is getting married to appeal more to those people in high positions than him.
Ivan Ilych's marriage and his relationships with the members of his family show another way he has wasted his life. His marriage, and thus the relationship with his wife, from the beginning, appears to be a terrible mistake. After the honeymoon period (and thus presumably rather early on in their marriage), Ivan's wife gets pregnant, and "from the first months of his wife's pregnancy, something new, unpleasant, depressing, and unseemly, and from which there was no way of escape, unexpectedly showed itself" (pg. 109). The only thing that has changed in his life is his marriage and the appearance of a child, which means that the cause for this "unpleasant, depress[ion]" is these new things. In order to get around these things, "he tried to ignore his wife's disagreeable moods , continued to live in his usual easy and pleasant way" (PG. 109). She, like any woman who is put in this situation, gets incredibly angry and finally, "he submitted-that is, till he stayed at home and was bored just as she was" (pg. 110). The two of them are bored together, yet they don't try to get around this, they just sit at at home and be bored. If two people who truly cared for each at were bored together at the same place, they could change this in a heart beat by working together, but as they don't care for each other, they remain bored, and in Ivan's case, "alarmed" (pg. 110). Their child gets born, and more and more does Ivan feel the need to get away from his family life, "As his wife grew more irritable and exacting and Ivan Ilych transferred the center of gravity of his life more and more to his official work, so did he grow to...bec[o]me more ambitious than before" (pg. 110). As this keeps up, again as she should, Ivan's wife gets more and more cranky, and "within a year of his wedding, Ivan Ilych had realized that very intricate and difficult affair...which in order to perform one's duty, that is, to lead a decorous life approved by society, one must adopt a definite life attitude just as towards one's official duties" (pg. 110). One very interesting part of this passage is that there are two "duties" and they are different: one's official duties, which is to say work, and the duties which Ivan has put a great deal of effort into, "to lead a decorous life approved by society." The latter is certainly not at all a duty in the way that work is, and for this, Ivan is wasting his life spending his time doing this, instead of say, trying to make his wife happy. More children come, and his wife gets more and more irritated, and Ivan spends more and more time at work. And "so Ivan Ilych lived for seventeen years after his marriage" (pg. 112). He lives this terrible life for 17 years and never tries to do anything to fix it, just get away from his problems, which is a terrible waste of his relationships. He is constantly seeking promotions and better jobs so that he can have more money to support his duties, as opposed to his official duties or familial duties. At one point, he final gets the job he wants and buys a new house. In order to turn this house into a house that would show he "[led] a decorous life approved by society", he begins to furnish the house with a great number of accessories and other fancy house items.
The various furnishings for his new house show Ivan Ilych's drive to appear better, rather than to better himself. Throughout the book, there are numerous references to the furnishings in his house. In the beginning, at his funeral, a great deal of effort goes into describing the surroundings , "a coffin-lid covered with cloth of gold, ornamented with gold cord and tassels, that had been polished up with metal powder" (pg. 99). In particular, the drawing-room, "upholstered in pink cretonne... The whole room was full of furniture and knick-knacks" (pg. 100). He "himself superintended the arrangements, chose the wallpapers, supplementer the furniture...preferably...antiques... and...the upholstering " (pg. 115). He is spending way too much time caring about how he will appear to society, then caring for his family. The place on Ivan's body where much of the pain is as he is dying came from a wound that received while decorating his house. While "showing the he wanted the hangings draped, he made a false step and slipped, but...only knocked his side against the knob of the window frame" (pg. 116). This injury is a metaphor for how in the long run trying to make ones appearance really pretty without bettering the insides, which relates to how Ivan Ilych is wasting his relationships, and thus his life.

can someone please tell me how to make an intro and a conclusion in about 100 words?

Just out of curiosity

Does anyone else miss Pluto?

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I did some studying for the first time in a long time. I pulled out the desk in my room, got out my dictionary, notebook, and my architecture book. I started copying out the essays and adding my own notes like readings of characters I didnt know, meanings of words and grammar patterns I didnt understand, and was plugging along! My mom walked in the front door from grocery shopping, sees me, screams with surprise, and drops the groceries all over the floor!
It was the first time she had ever seen my studying!


but that doesnt mean it was the first time I had studied!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Sitting through a half day of schol with wet socks is absolutely terrible! At least I got to see some friends again. I dropped biology because it was too hard ( I thought the teacher was writing in the readings for all the characters for my sake, but it turns out they were for the other students as well!) Classes dont actually start until the 4th, but there is so preterm stuff. I dont mind too much, because it gives me something to do. After school, I went to Tokyo University, which is one of the most famous uni s in the country, and bought an electronic dictionary. Alex had given me some money to do so, and so I did. It looked good, did the things I wanted it to, and was 53 percent off! or so it claimed. I looked at the one with Korean, which was really cool because you could enter in 3 languages, but I figured that I dont have any more korean friends since my last one left for canada. I am gonna start studyng (GASP) next week.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

A nice nap.

I took Alex to the airport today, because he was leaving. But, of course we had to buy some souvenirs on quintessiential crap street. So he bought some souvenirs, bought some food, and got on the train. We took the inexpensive, fast train to the airport, got there with about 2 hours before the flight took off, and waited in line about 45 minutes to check in. Got checked in, chilled for a little bit, then he left. I think I cried a little, but I had some pudding to cheer me up on the train back. I was pretty tired, so I took the expensive (300 yen more) slow train, and slept really well. I also got some reading in. I think I have school tomorrow, dont really know, but I will get to switch some classes around, focus on those ones so that I feel like I am doing something, and hope to someone/something that that makes me feel better.


ps. granpa: I read all the comments, and love hearing from you!

Coolest t-shirt ever? I think pretty close

2 June 1967

For his appearance
at the West London
Magistrate's Court
Tomoki Sukezane wearing
a boldly striped shirt.
But he was born in 1965.


Black background with bold white letters.


A fun little story.

I have enough time to log on at the hostel where Alex is staying so that I can tell this fun story while he finishes packing.

Last night, Alex and I went out for sushi. We sit down at the counter of the place, order, chat, and a couple minutes later, a large (American) man walks in, wearing jinbei, which are basically Japanese pajamas. He speaks to the people at teh store and fluent Japanese (he was ordering takeout) and sits down in the seat closest to him, which was at the other side of the corner from us, so basically right next. Alex says I should talk to him in Japanese. I lean over, and ask him how long he has been in Japan. He says 10 years, and asks about me, we talk about what he are doing here rather briefly, me as a student, he is in marketing, and then he says to me in Japanese, "so, where were you from before you started living in Japan" I tell him the states, and he looks at me really shocked and says in English "Dude, why the hell are we speaking Japanese!" I thought that that was pretty fun! We talked for a while longer and then his food came, and he left.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

briif news update 2!

about 7 minutes left on the puter time! Alex has been taking a bunch of pictures, and I havent taken any. I havent had any time to run to a store to get the pictures on the camera to a cd, or even to buy a new memory card, which is a bummer, because we went to Kamakura yesterday. I had some exchange student thing going on there, and Alex just went to the sites. I only saw some, and not even the Daibutsu there. After my thing (promotion for a school I dont go to, but at least they paid for transportation) Alex and I ate dinner, and then went to the beach, which was fun, because it was the beach at about 8 at night in Japan. Came home super pooped and slept till about 10:30.
I have also decided to go into modern art, because we went to the Mori Art Museum at Roppongi hills, and that shit was really cool. and expensize! Thats a way to make money in this country. pity I have no art skills. Except for calligraphy, which I am really enjoying, but that is techniqually a language art. speaking of language arts, Alex was telling me about this thing at Stanford that sounded very interesting to me. It is called Symbolic Systems, or SymSys. No time to explain, but we talk alot about college for me and making the best out of Japan.

love to all


Sunday, August 20, 2006

The first time I have been able to check my mail in like 4 days.

I finally got to a computer after being kept busy by my older brother. He should be in the shower right now, but I dont really know. He showed up at Narita, which is the dumbest airport on the planet, and I was like 5 minutes late, we took him to his hostel, and I got us sort of lost on the way, and then we ate eel for dinner. Then I ran home, and slept. Then I woke up late, got to the hostel late, and we explored. It has been a really long time since I have posted that I dont remember what all we have done. Ueno, met Hidetoshi, met my family, ate some awesome ramen, climbed sunshine 60 at night, and I got to stay out late one night!

my time on the computer is up, gotta go


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The most difficult, terrifying, and interesting thing I have ever done...

...left me crazing more. What happened, I can't really express in words, but I will try my best.
Today, August 15th, 2006, is the 61st anniversery of Japan of the Japanese surrender of World War Two. Today, I went to Yasukuni Jinjya. I wasn't really sure if what I was doing was right, so I called Dash and asked for help (tell your parents Sorry I called so late!) He told me to go and check it out. I got off the subway at the nearest station, and leaving the station, I got really scared. Walking towards the shrine got even weirder, seeing lots of people, lots of older men, leaving. I was shaking by the time I got to entrance. There were alot of people there, and it was like 4pm when I got there. Koizumi Junichiro went about 8 in the morning. I would hate to see the number of right wing nuts there were at that time. Not many when I was there. There were some people (rather young looking) dressed in military uniforms of the WW2 era, doing something, and I even saw a couple very old men in their military uniforms. They looked, to say the least, sad. I can't begin to describe the faces I saw. I walked towards the main building, and got in line to pray. I got up to the front, threw my 100yen in, and apologized the awful things my country has done. I walked around for a bit longer, and was standing around when some people came up to me. 3 people, claiming to be students, asked me in English, if I spoke Japanese. I said yes, and they asked if they could interview me. I said yes, and they begin. One of the people was holding a video camera at me, which made me nervous, because I didn't really know what they would ask me. They asked me some very difficult political questions. First they asked me why I was there today (to apologize), if I had been before there before and why (yes, I got lost), and then some really really difficult things. I dont remember all of them because there is such much more that I had to remember, but they asked me what I new about the shrine (not as much as I should or would like to), if I and then most American kids know about the events of WW2 (yes, but only what is taught in American schools), if I new about the class A war criminals enshrined there and what about them (yes, and not as much as I should. only that they were there, not really why they are called class A war criminals, except that they lost), if I thought Koizumi is doing the right thing by coming here (I dont know enough about the shrine to answer that, why one really comes to the shrine), from here they went on to China and Korea. What I thought about Sino-Japanese and Korean-Japanese relations (they could be a LOT better, and I didnt think to say this, but BoA is a miracle) some questions about America, and then one question about the Iraq war. Did I think that the Japanese who die in Iraq should be enshrined in Yaskuni (I dont really know why people are enshrined there, so I didnt really know if they should be too. I said that I didnt think anyone should be dying in Iraq, and left an ambigous sentence ending.) They asked if Americans agree with the Iraq war, and I said that most people dont agree with Bush. I was a little afraid of super nationalists, so I tried to make my answers sound neutral, which makes me a hypocrit, because I am always saying that people should just straight say things, which the Japanese have a problem with. At this point, a guard walked up to them and told them that they werent allowed to do interviews in the shrine, and chased them away. I saw some other people interviewing foreigners, always in Japanese. After the guard chased them away, an older Japanese man (he said he was born in 1933) walked up to me. He had been standing near by during the interview and had obviously been eavesdropping. He started talking to me in English. His English was pretty good. I kept answering in Japanese, but he kept using English. He said that whenever he say a foreigner, he always used English because he really wanted to practice his Japanese. He told me that in the last 2 years, he had been to the Imperial Palace gardens 44 times to practice English with foreigners. He then said something to me about the interview that struck me as incredible, and I think, rather incorrect. He wondered why the interviewers had spoken to me in Japanese, because he thought that I might not be able to understand the true meanings of their questions, or of my answers, Japanese not being my native tongue. I was to nervous to be mouthy and say that if they had spoken in English, they might not have been able to understand the English, it not being their native language. Japanese does have an incredible about of connotations and hidden meanings, about which I have several chapters lined out for my book. I have so many ideas and things to say about that, but I dont really know how to put them on to a blog. I also have to run.

I took no pictures. There were some foreigners (although very few, what they were doing I don't know, if they knew that today was today, I dont know) and they were taking pictures. There were tons of Japanese taking pictures, but I didnt really have the courage to take pictures. I dont really know what the Japanese think about today, and I am afraid to ask them.

I have too much to think about to know what to think.


Some Hokkaido pictures.

This is the view from the top of Mt. Hakodate, looking down on to the city. We went the night before, the view at night is considered on of the 3 greatest night views in the world, along with Hong Kong and Napoli. I don't see how this is possible, considering Hakodate only has 30,000 people, but when we got to the top, it was cloudy, so we coulnt see anything! I quite liked the city, it has a great deal of foreign ideas, they being a great deal of happening there during the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, and some really cool history too.

This is the view from my hotel room. suckers!

gotta run, busy now.


Hokkaido post 1: naked male bonding.

I am taking a breaking from writing, so I thought I would post the one post that doesn't have pictures, because they would be, well, not young reader friendly. So, the hotel where we stayed had an onsen, which is a hot spring. The public baths were absolutely amazing! The first one I went to was on the roof and outside, and it was amazing. The weather was cool, and the really really really hot bath felt amazing. and the view was great. except for the view of the other bathers. Public baths are all nude. There are of course seperate mens and womens baths, but I was at first a little weird about taking my clothes off in front of lots of Japanese people. The baths totally made up for it. Then, later that evening (the first time was in the afternoon) I went to the other bath in the hotel, which was on the first floor. It was huge! It had like 5 or 6 different kinds of baths. I was changing (that is to say, changing into nothing) when the bath attendents (old women) walk in. Nobody cared. I might have spent about an hour in the ground floor baths. They had a cool water tub that felt amazing after bathing in really hot water. I tried the sauna, but it was too hot, 90 celcius!

bliss. a great experience.


ps. I have a larger penis than Japanese adult men.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Just time for a bit, I am busy. First, I got an email from a reader who asked me remove the post about no great Japanese thinkers, calling it racist. If anyone thinks that, I whole heartedly apolgize, It was not meant to be racist at all. I guess what I should have said is this:
The Japanese have plenty of great thinkers, so why aren't any of them taught to us in school?


Wow. amazing. everything top class. really really nice. not much time for anything but this. The hotel. was amazing! It was very Japanese, we had a very delicious meal for dinner, all slept on futons in the same room, it had an onsen (hot spring) more on that later! and it had facilites for lots of Japanese things like go, shogi, and karaoke.

I think thats all I have time for right now. More as soon as I can, with pictures.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why aren't there any great Japanese thinkers?

I was talking with my host parents last night, and I don't really remember why, but we started talking about famous people. Then it occured to me that there aren't great thinkers in the history of this country.
Task for my readers: go back 200 years in Japanese history, and try to find a great thinker.
They haven't really had a civil war in over 1000 years, and even during the Seinan Sensou (Satsuma Rebellion) all that emerger were fighters. No really thinkers.

I think I will email Mr. Curry and see what he thinks.


You know you are a fool when... give up going for a ride in great weather to attempt to work on an English paper. I have about 250 words down! I will work for an hour or so and then go ride.
Aaron, great to hear from you, glad to hear that summer is treating you well, and that you can ride. Riding in Tokyo is much different than riding in Portland. Drivers are actually nice, dispite there being millions of them! You can just look a driver and open your mouth, and they will open the window and ask if you need anything. I asked a guy for directions going to Ikebukoro, which a big hub in the NW corner of the city. He told me how to get there, and then said it was rather far (about 6 kilometers from there, not far) and asked if I wanted a ride. I told him I was fine, and he told me take care. Whats the last time that happened in Portland?

also, for an interesting bit of comparison, check out my mom's blog at
The metropolitan area (laughs out laud) of Morris, Minnesota is about 6000 times smaller than the metro area of Tokyo!


Friday, August 11, 2006


I am sitting in my media pod banging away on my English paper when I look down at the keyboard, and something is missing. The Japanese keyboard I am at doesn't have brackets! I had to find some on the internet and then copy and paste them into my paper!
Shout out to Ezra for finding me , cool piece of software!
thanks a heap Ezra, not I cant think of any other excuses not to write the paper.

well, I bet I could come up with something


Thursday, August 10, 2006

How to write an English paper in Japan

If you know, please inform me! I just sat down in an internet middle pod in Shibuya to type out a paper for my English class back in the states. The pod here is much better than the one in my neck of the woods, because the chairs are amazing, and they have free ice cream. At least that is nice. Here is what isnt. The computers here dont have a typing program. They are all designed to play games and internet, so I have about a dozen different MMORPGs, but no word processing program!!!! I am now writing a 1500 word essay on Leo Tolstoy in my email.

What if I wrote it on my blog?


Monday, August 07, 2006

Pirates of the Caribean, and a sortof date with a wacky Korean-Japanese friend!

Pirates 2 kinda sucked. It was pretty racist. Actually, the Japanese are two, when we were discussing come home from my race and getting to the firework show, I said that if I was late, I would just go straight to the show with my bike. My dad said that that was a bad idea. He said that there are a lot of foreigners in Japan (some of the worsd he used were Tou-nan, which means South East Asians) and that I should be really careful becuase they would steal my bike. thanks dad, really being good. Actually, no one in this country can ride my bike. One of messengers at the ride tried to ride it, and had about 50 people laughing for about 5 minutes as he tried to reach the pedals (and the handlebars) from the seat. Then he put his feet on the pedals, and the proper seat height would have been about the crossbar. He couldnt dismount so he ended up falling into a bush. but back to Pirates. It was really nice to sit in a cooled theater for a while, because it was really hot outside, then we had lunch and went to this big festival thing. By that time it wasnt so hot because the wind was blowing, and it was quite pleasant. He watched various dancing groups at this festival, ate various festival foods, and talked about being exchange students. It was only a sortof date, because she leaves for Canada on the 13th. She was teh girl who was teaching me korean, and I said to her in Japanese."can you introduce me to some of your korean friends? once you leave, who can teach me korean?" her response was in English (her english is pretty damn good) "my mother?" oh we laughed. That picture is of us stargazing on some stairs. We were waiting for some fireworks, but we were a day late (see previous post) her response (again, in English), "oops, I mistakes!" I would have fallen asleep on the stairs, because they were a pleasant warm, and the wind was a pleasant cool, but my host mom would have killed me, so we went home.

It is a really bummer to see all of the Japanese Exchange students leave. IT is also a bummer to see the other foreign exchange students come home. Damn you Anya, you owe me 1000yen!

I am off to do something.


Itabashi Firework Big Meet.

That is the rough translation of the name of the event.

After hauling home from my race (see previous post) I got home, threw my self in shower, got dressed, and left, all in about 7 minutes. WE rushed off to the station and waited in line for a bus to the event for about 25 minutes. We rode the bus for a long time, and then walked a long ways, and sat on hard conrete steps and watched big fireworks. According to my host dad, there were 3000 explosions! I would say that they were more than 100,000 people on both sides of the river watching this event. That day (8/5) is a really big firework day in Kantou. In the 6 prefectures, there are 37 large firework festivals! It was just like fireworks in teh states, but bigger than in Portland. Speaking of Japanese things larger and Americans, I saw this thing on TV about the longest hotdog ever made. Like, 4 or 5 days ago, the Japanese made the longest hotdog, which was nearly twice as along as the longest made by americans. The Japanese hotdog was 60 meters long!! The longest American one is 31. Oh well, I dont like hotdogs much anyway.


Tokyo Cycle Messenger Championships.

Its not just for messengers!

I lot of people might recognize my bike, but how many people would recognize it with an official TCMC spoke card? all..of..them? Probably. So, I woke up, prepped, got on my bike, and rode all the way across town to the park at the base of Tokyo Tower, and got there really early because I didnt know how long it would take. Found the place, met the people, and chatted a little. Got signed up, got stoked! Anyway, I met a bunch of really cool new people, met a bunch of really cool people I had met before, met at least two people who had been messengers in the states (Boston and Seattle, both perfect English: "17? Damn! howd you get to be so tall?!"). The first event was the oval skid. Not riding a fixie, I couldnt compete, but it was amazing to watch these guys just haul ass up to this line of tape on the ground, and just start skidding around this large concrete circle. The winner skidded for about 15 seconds. I dont really know how far that was, but thats about how long the movie I took of it is. Then, the race! This was the only event I could do, and I was really nervous, becasue I had never done an alley cat before.

Race Report!:We were allowed to start anywhere in the park, and I lined up with a bunch of people near an exit. The horn went off and all hell broke lose. We bottlenecked trying to squeeze through a bus stop onto the street, and I used my mad cross skills to hope the barrier and get in front of a bunch of people, but a large group from a different exit were way ahead. Those guys made bats out of hell look slow! I followed a group of people to the first check point (not knowing the way, more on that later), and at the entrance to Ebisu Skywalk, I picked 'Manifest B' What was on this little sheet of paper were 6 questions. you had to go to the 6 places and answer the questions. Here is where things stated to suck. I had only ever heard of 2 of places, and couldnt read 2 others. I had a map (but I will get a better one, the Tokyo city cycle map) but I didnt really ever have time to use it. I raced around, the streets, having an amazing time, and made it to the goal before time was up. I got 3 of the six, including the 2 required ones, which was worse the 2 other people wearing helmets (yes, only 3 of us, out of about 80) but better than both other Americans. (my Japanese was better too!) I chatted for a while at the goal, got a free tshirt which was cool, made some friends, and found my love again.

Excuses: why I lost: It wasnt leg strength, I could keep up with any of them, and passed them with no problem; it wasnt lung strength, most of them smoke; it was because I didnt know where I was going! oh well, it was rad

And now I dont think there is anything I wil become other and a messenger in Tokyo. I said some goodbyes, and hauled ass home, to go to fireworks with my family.



I finally got to an internet cafe, so I can post the things I have been up to over the past couple of days. And pictures too!

the 4th: went for a nice long walk, found two bike shops. I knew both of them were there, and I had been looking for them. The first shop, was mostly vintage campy. It was amazing. The next shop, was much bigger, and had a lot of standard bike shop stuff, I might get some wheels there, because mine are old. Then, at this second shop, the msot amazing thing happened. This gorgeous girl walks in, probably early 20s, and says something to the guy at the counter. I wasnt paying anything attention, so I didnt hear it. She leaves teh store and comes back a minute later with a really big bike box, which she sets outside. She leaves again. She comes back, carrying... a pair of Zipp 404s. Oh God. Beautiful women, beautiful bike parts. It was like putting icing on the cake. Except that I dont like icing, so It was like taking the icing off of the cake.



Friday, August 04, 2006


Yesterday, I rode like 70 kilometers through the busy streets of Tokyo. It was amazing. I think being a messenger in this city would be sooooo cool. Speaking of messengers, I went to this shop, whose owner was been to portland, and met Molly. the shop is really cool, and they had a bunch of stuff from the states. including? A veloshop team hat!!!!!! If I want some nostalgia, I will go there. They had microcosm publishing patches, and lots of other Portland stuff. They are a sponsor of tomorrow (the 5ths) Tokyo Messenger Races. I will go, and even though Im not a messenger, the guy at teh shop said Imight be able to compete! I cant go to the award ceremony becasue I have to go to this fireworks festival with my family, but it will be fun to meet some new people.
Then, last night about 5 o clock, I went to...a calligraphy tutor! She had 4 other middle and highschool kids there and I went for a little over an hour. She was very impressed with my calligraphy, whichi s cool. I will go back, because it is less than half the price of most tutors like that!

sorry about the odd spelling and punctuation, this keyboard is old and sticky.


High School Baseball part 2

So, I never actually found the article in the paper, but I dont see why the guy would go through so much trouble to interview me, take a bunch of pictures, and then not publish it. Shitty. At least some friends saw me on TV! no interview, but looking into the stands I stick right out! I was going to go with my school to cheer on the team on the 12th, but the becasue the bus ride is so long, (1o hours) I wouldnt be able to be back in time for my family vacation to Hokkaido. balls, the girl I like asked if I wanted to go with her and her friends! balls!

according to my mom, Asahi Shinbun comes out with a book about the years baseball, and said itmight be in there. I will keep you updated, but dont get your hopes up.