japanesedream_72: (Default)
Thought I’d chime in on Game of Thrones & the ‘Jonerys’ thing. Of course, this is just my opinion, & everyone is entitled to theirs. I’m not trying to shame or invalidate anyone’s opinions, ideas, feelings, etc. I might be a bit critical of the writing (likely the show’s, not the books, since I haven’t read them & don’t know how much of what I’m criticising does or doesn’t come from George R.R. Martin, himself). Oh, & SPOILERS for GoT & a bunch of other shows/movies.

While, in the “real” world, I don’t condone the practise of incest (quite the opposite, in fact – I find it repulsive), I am not averse to seeing it in a fictional work, IF it works within the narrative. (Heck, I’ve even written a bit of it into the past of one of my own fictional characters.) But there need to be structured & established boundaries, in terms of the world & its attitude. What kind of society are we being taken to? Is incest commonplace or specific to one set of characters? Is it condoned or frowned upon? Are some variations more acceptable than others? From what I’ve read of others’ comments, the books seem to establish this far better than the series does. I’m not sure I can recall any major instance of the show doing it at all. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, to my recollection, the most prominent incestuous relationship in the series is Jamie & Cersei’s. And that is very much kept either secret or whispered as rumours, their possible truth looked upon unfavourably by just about everyone except Jamie & Cersei. It seems that Dany’s family is somewhat known for it, at least in the books – though it seems to also be thought of as an underlying factor in the ‘madness’ that pervades her bloodline, from what I can gather. Other families in the world of these tales have had cousins & whatnot intermarry (I believe I read somewhere that Ned’s parents were cousins); indeed, all of this has historical precedent, as many royal families in certain cultures were known to do such things, to preserve the ‘purity’ of their bloodlines. I’m not disputing any of that.

I also realise that Jon & Dany are fully unaware, at this moment, that they are related. Same thing (SPOILERS!) happened in the movie Oldboy. In fact, that was the gut-punch of that story. And while, given the story is presented as a movie, with a much more constrained time limit than a 7- or 8-season drama series, there was not only an established setting & attitude toward incest (modern day/modern sensibilities), but it also established the couple. It built them up over the course of the events, as gradually as a couple can be within an approximately 2-hour time frame. A series, being slower in its pacing, needs to take a lot more time to build to the climax of a couple getting together. (Not counting headcanons & ships not directly suggested by the story.)

So why is it not a gut-punch here? Why are we not devastated, like we were in Oldboy? Is it the timing of the reveal of one character’s relation to the other (R + L = J)? Is it the specific relation one of them has to the other, does that make a difference (aunt/nephew as opposed to brother/sister)? Is it because some people know of the books & their pre-established, somewhat-historically-based notions of incest compared to our modern or real-world attitudes? It this pairing perceived as the antithesis of Jamie/Cersei, both of them (though, these days, Cersei far more) being antagonistic figures? I’m trying to understand. Actually, given the villainous nature of Jamie & Cersei, one can almost give them a pass for their relationship, in a weird way: it’s almost as if no one else in the world would or could have them. But even that is changing over the course of the show as Jamie is breaking away from Cersei. (Even early on, Robert was known to have had children with other women, & his & Cersei’s marriage was most likely convenience & politics rather than anything akin to love on either of their parts – again, correct me if I’m wrong here.)

Perhaps it is because the show is being brought to something of an abrupt conclusion – no longer 10 episodes per season, & now, a limited run to its definite end-point (season 8 is going to be something like 7 episodes, & the storyline is not exclusive to these 2 characters), but one of the things that rubs me the wrong way is how rushed this is. Maybe there’s a love-at-first-sight sort of thing being implied here, & that can work in the right context, too, but their first meeting didn’t go tremendously well, if memory serves. (Of course, many fictional relationships have been known to evolve out of bad first meetings.) Now, at season’s end: ‘I’ve shared a couple episodes with this guy, we went through some stuff together. I respect him, I don’t want something bad to happen to him.’ I get those sentiments, & yes, over time, they could lead to deeper feelings. There are people in the Walking Dead fandom who discount the possibility of a Carol/Daryl romantic relationship, which has gradually been built into a deep, abiding bond over 8 seasons, yet, somehow, there are those who accept the half-a-season Jon/Dany pairing (if anyone harbours both of these attitudes, I’d like to know the thinking process there). Again, I’m not an uber-shipper when it comes to Daryl/Carol, but I wouldn’t be put off in any way whatsoever by it happening, because it would make sense. It’s a long-established, natural progression.

But this is Dany we’re talking about. She’s spent far longer with Jorah than Jon. That pairing would make more sense. I’m not trying to make a case for a Dany/Jorah pairing – for the record, while I do like Jorah as a character, & enjoy/appreciate the bond he shares with her, I had come to believe she would remain ‘mate-less’, given the death of her husband, to whom she’d been married for a prolonged length of time in the story’s timeline (& yes, I know, there’s the “R” word hanging over that relationship, & if someone didn’t like it because of that, I can’t fault them, but she turned it completely around, from a brutish, loveless situation into a very loving one where she was on equal footing, changing her husband & his attitude toward his own actions/cultural notions, & I was moved by the tragic end of that story arc). I’ll come back to that idea momentarily.

To continue, Dany had her ‘fun’ with Daario, yes, but she wasn’t in love with him. That was made clear. I wasn’t really into that ‘relationship’, personally, but even during that, she mentioned maybe having to marry for political reasons. In the world of the story, as I understood it, those things made sense. Now, all of a sudden, after just a couple of episodes, a few awkward interactions, some mutual experiences (however tragic), & a bit of respect, she & Jon are in love? Maybe it’s one of those cliché things where someone is upset over a tragedy & ends up being ‘comforted’ by another person, leading to sex? Maybe losing one of her dragon children was just too much, & her own wall of stoicism has come crashing down?

Anyway, back to the ‘mate-less’ thing; just to put this in perspective, Dany is my favourite GoT character (along with Tyrion). I even dressed as her (dragons included) for Halloween a couple years ago. Won the costume contest at my job that year. I was actually debating for a while, whether to go as her, or as Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors. The reason I finally chose Dany was very personal: I admire her, her strength, perseverance, & confidence. Even when she isn’t fully sure what to do, she moves forward, & comes through it. I am not that kind of person at all. And since Halloween is, in some ways, a chance to be something you are not, I thought I might try to channel those qualities, just for a day. With some luck, maybe absorb them just a little bit. Seymour’s a great character, but he’s closer to what I am than what I want to be. Dany is the latter.

Take the line from that recent monologue she had: “Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself.” That’s someone who doesn’t need someone else in order to be complete. Succumbing to this “urge” (because that’s how it comes off to me – no stain on Kit or Emilia, they’re both great in their roles) to sleep with Jon seems, dare I say (& meaning no offense to Jon as a character), beneath her. It takes away some of the integrity they’ve been building up all this time. It’s too much the cliché of someone being a certain way or type of person, & BOOM, they fall in love, & instantly lose who they are.

Take the end of The Faculty, for example – Clea Duvall’s pseudo-Goth girl no longer seems the strong (though slightly stand-offish), independent, Goth-type person she was. She’s instantly somebody else because there’s a guy in her life. Same thing with Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club, though Molly Ringwald also contributed to that one.

(And I know what it sounds like; I’m not into this ultra-angry female-centric idea of feminism. I grew up in the 70s & 80s, it’s more equality than any notion of superiority that I favour. But being strong or different or fixed in a set of ideals or personal parameters is not something that needs to be overcome or challenged, in the way it is often presented, cinematically.)

So much for Dany breaking that wheel.

Maybe that’s what’s written on Tyrion’s face as he watches from outside the room. That, I would certainly understand, as I can’t look at either Dany or Jon right now in the same way. That bothers me, especially given how I felt about Dany up until this point.

By the way, is there anything like masturbation in the world of this story? They could, you know, try that. Also, Bran, why didn’t you send a bloody raven? Did you know the outcome of this already? Were you too messed up by the Hodor thing & figured you’d be interfering on some epic level? (If so, are you a Time Lord?)

There’s only one season left, so I’ll watch the series to its conclusion, mostly because I want to see what happens to the dragons. (Can somebody find Melisandre & see if she can resurrect Viserion? There’s gotta be some magick that can fix this.) But I’m disappointed. I know that writers can’t please everyone, & it’s probably wrong to have a set idea of how a character should be & not expect them to stray from that (it’d make them 2-dimensional or, at the very least, predictable), but when it’s been built up as one thing & then seems to take a hard left, a person can’t be faulted for the way that makes them feel, can they?

By the way, I absolutely hated the character of Ygritte (no offense to the actress), who I’ve always called “Jon’s girlfriend who likes to shoot arrows at him”. She just rubbed me every wrong way. Never in a million years would I think I’d miss her presence in the series, but so help me, I do.

I’m just praying the witch from season 1 was right, & Jon, in the words of Ygritte, really does “know nothing”.

Rant over, thanks for your time.
japanesedream_72: (happy)
When talking about the weekend, I barely know where to start. :P A little family time when I first arrived at my mom's was followed by a whirlwind of activity. We nipped out to shop for a bit, including picking up some humourous cards for my brother, Mark (whose b-day is today, 6/22! ^_^) & a couple of boxes of brownies from the bakery in lieu of a b-day cake, which might've been a bit heavy for a summer BBQ.

Mark's gotten quite a bit of work done on the house & yard. There's also a tire swing now, & a little pool for the kids. We all chatted & got to look around & see what's changed since our last visit, then played with the boys a bit, & gave Mark some goodies (my mom got some, too - it was kind of a joint party, since her b-day was earlier this month). Then he fired up the grill & we had a nice lunch, followed by birthday brownies (with candles & singing)!

The rest of the day involved other folks Mark knows - basically, friends, neighbours, & a couple of Danielle's relatives - popping in & out to enjoy the festivities (she, unfortunately, had to work). There was lots of tire-swinging & water action, the latter including Mark throwing Bridget (Mattie's girlfriend) into the pool! She & Mattie ganged up on him & (eventually) got revenge, LOL. XD

I took LOTS of shots & video! I've just finished converting all the videos (I shrank all the photos last night ~ these things always come out so huge with this kind of camera!) & sending them to Mark. Here is a small sampling. :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11154.jpg
Tire swing fun - Mattie helping Church, Trey, & Anthony figure out how they can all fit on there at once

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11159.jpg
The gang's all here - my mom, Bridget, Mattie, & Mark

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11171.jpg
Cute couple - Mattie & Bridget

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11190.jpg
Shenanigans - Johnathan dunks Anthony in the pool (Mattie lends a hand, literally; you can only see his arm)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11163.jpg
Come on in, the water's fine - Church, Trey, & Anthony go for a swim

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11220.jpg
Chillin' - Johnathan watches Mark & his friend, Ken (who came with his daughters), as Anthony dives into a flavoured-ice cup...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11221.jpg
...with adorable results!

As you can see it a bit in the second-to-last photo, above, my nephew has this green hooded towel, which I think makes him look like one of the Ugly Dolls (http://designsolutionstore.com/images/ugly_doll/ugly_group.jpg). We all agreed he was like something out of Where The Wild Things Are, walking around with it on, so we called him The Little Troll. I then took it upon my insane & artistic self to create The Troll Pictorial:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11202.jpg
The Little Troll in his native forest

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11205.jpg
The Little Troll nervously watches a group of humans

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11209.jpg
The Little Troll is befriended by the children & is invited to play

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11224.jpg
The Little Troll finds love among human adults & is adopted

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11230.jpg
The Little Troll, enraptured by television

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11232.jpg
The Little Troll, all tuckered out from frolicking amongst his new people

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/japanesedream/markparty61910/SDC11238.jpg
The Little Troll, awake in the evening, spies some ladybugs in the back yard


Back to my mom's in the evening, though the twins & Bridget stayed over & came home on Sunday. My mom & I (or, at least, I) dozed off for a bit during the "House" marathon, then watched that re-re-make of "Night of the Living Dead" with Sid Haig (I mentioned it in my previous entry - http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/375820.html). Of course, we weren't tired after that, so we were up until about 4 am talking & watching tv. :P

Sunday, we did some more shopping; my mom picked up an outfit at a very good price. She'd already given me 2 skirts on Sat., so I didn't need to buy anything - I was gonna get some blackout curtains for the living room, but they don't seem to make curtains of any kind for large bay/picture windows anymore; you have to buy them 1 panel at a time, & it might take 5 or 6 to do a window like mine! XP

Can't remember if Johnathan showed me those videos (mentioned in my previous entry) on Sat. or Sun.; maybe a couple each day. XD I still had Diru's "Hageshisa..." video on my camera, & showed him that. Naturally, he liked it, but I was showing Bridget, too (on Sat., before we left for Mark's), & she said it sounded pretty good. ^_^

In any case, after we got back from shopping, we saw my mom's neighbour's brother, who chats with my mom when he's in town (he's a cross-country truck driver), & talked to him for a bit. Then we went in & had some lunch. I always bring a couple of DVD options for us to look at, so they watched Tetsuo: The Iron Man (http://www.mandiapple.com/snowblood/tetsuo.htm). They enjoyed it. They certainly couldn't say they've ever seen a film like it before! XD

Sadly, it was soon time to pack up & hit the road. What sucked was that, as soon as I pulled in my driveway, I turned to get one of my bags off the floor & WHAM!! I threw out part of my lower back!! XP It's better now than it was, but is still a little sore. I might go to chiro on Friday after work, 'cuz I want to be in good shape for the company picnic on Saturday!!


In other news...MONSTER's back on! :D I'll be happy to finally see how the story ends.
japanesedream_72: (gackt)
nyc

This is the theatre where we're going to see Diru next month. Plenty of places in the vicinity for food & lavatories. Which is especially helpful if you plan to sit in line for 6 or 7 hours.

It was very easy to locate, & there is some lovely architecture nearby. A church stands just across the street from the subway when you arrive on 23rd St. (& right next to the subway we'll have to take back). Here is a close-up of the archway. There was also the clock tower, on the same part of the block as the theatre. Once I got back to the Times Square area & hit my haunts, I took a slightly different route back to get to the subway (just on a whim; I'll be doing the usual the day of the show), & found this hotel. Groovy, ne?

While I forgot to stop in Sephora to get the make-up I'd run out of (I'm doing okay with my stand-in stuff, but I'll have to hit Menlo Park one of the weekends before the show, 'cuz that mall & the City are the only places where I can get it), but had a nice time looking around Kinokuniya & Book Off. There was a lot of stuff I'd have liked to buy, but things were SOOOOO expensive! They had some DVD's, live stuff from Diru & Vamps & a Hyde 'best of + concert video' set, all of which cost WAY too much, esp. when I'm saving my money for the Diru show. Thought I might find some CD's, but no joy. They still had Vamps' "Evanescent" single in Kinokuniya, but I still think $12 is too much to pay for 2 songs, one of which I already have. I was hoping something like the Kozi solo stuff or Gackt's "Crescent" might show up, but no sign of the former. The latter, they had on what might have been vinyl or some kind of album-sized laser-disc (it was in a case, so I couldn't tell; I just saw the word 'digital' on there), but I didn't know if I could play it or even afford it. They had "Machine Girl", but since I haven't seen it yet, I didn't know if it was worth $20. I found a cheap copy of "Pistol Opera" in Book Off, which I've been wanting to see for years - the visuals are so bold! - but it was a Japanese print, & I didn't think it had subtitles. They also had the "Moon Child" special edition, the DVD + commemorative book (I'm assuming it's the photobook I've swiped seen so many pics of on the 'net), but I already have the movie, & I didn't want to shell out $40 for the set. And that's to say nothing of the pretty, black & white Goth-Loli dress I saw in Kinokuniya...$375!!! Unless that thing has been on Mana's body, ain't no way I'm shelling out that much for any garment.

Looked at a few interesting books, too. There was a whole rack with J-zines featuring Gackt, for some reason. I know he's popular, & is in a lot of them, but so many at once! If only I could read better...they're a bit too pricey just to look at pretty pictures (pretty as he is, lol). Anywho, as per my M.O., checked out the GL Bible section; looks like they got a new issue (33, I think they're up to), & of course, Mana-sama was in it. Oddly enough, so was Courtney Love! (Understand, I adore Courtney, but it was really weird seeing her in that particular publication.) Also found a book called "Tokyo Gaikokujin" (Tokyo Foreigners), with pictures of the Japanese domeciles of foreign-born residents. There were Americans, Indians, all sorts. (*is jealous*) It was all in Japanese, so I couldn't tell too much about it (it was also expensive). Another book had these little cartoons, & it was written in both English & Japanese. Really funny stuff! It was called "You know you've been in Japan too long..." Strangely, a couple of the things in there already apply to me! I also learned there is a term for what I am: a henna gaijin. Gaijin or Gaikokujin means 'foreigner', but a henna gaijin is a 'wannabe Japanese'. And I definitely wanna be!

I'm always a bit sad & envious, but moreso sad, when I'm in those places, because my knowledge is so lacking. Even the things I can read seem overwhelming, 'cuz there's so MUCH that I can only glance at things (or I'd be there all night!), & what I can read, I have to read VERY slowly. But it gets balanced out by how comfortable I am there, & I just keep telling myself, "Someday." I hope I'm not lying to myself.

In any case, a gaijin dude I'd seen in one of the aisles at Kinokuniya recognised me when he saw me later in Book Off. I didn't get a chance to check the upstairs manga section at Book Off (I can't remember if they have English stuff up there or if it's all Japanese; I usually spend most or all of my time there mired in music & movies), but I couldn't find any Banana Fish. I did find out, though (at home, not in the City), that "Monster" might start showing on Sci-Fi/Syfy next week (they do Anime on Monday nights). Toshie said that's pretty good.

I got to use a little practical Japanese, though, in Chiyoda Sushi, where I absolutely had to go (after passing up buying the Kill Bill set for $14 - I might be able to get them cheaper in Princeton), as I hadn't eaten since breakfast & it was nearly dinner time, so I was getting a bit dizzy. They're really nice in there. Had a lovely meal of brown rice, pumpkin tempura, & these mixed vegetable batter-cooked thingies (not tempura, though; I don't know what you'd call them), with Calpis (a sort of milky soda) to drink. Picked up some foods for home, too - dorayaki (bean paste-filled wheat cake), daifuku (sort of marshmallowy things), hijiki onigiri (a rice/seaweed thing; hijiki is, I think, brown rice & dark seaweed), burdock with carrots & sesame seeds (burdock is some kind of root; I usually get either that or lotus root when I go there, whichever is available), & a dinner bowl of whitefish & other assorted yummy things over white rice. Oh, & another bottle of Calpis.

After that, it was back Penn Station to catch the train. I lucked out, 'cuz it started boarding 10 minutes early. I'd brought a book with me (Koji Suzuki's "Dark Water"), so I got in some reading on the way there & back.

And that was my day.

I have tv.

Jun. 11th, 2009 09:49 pm
japanesedream_72: (happy)
Picked up my new cable box tonight, & hooked it up. The DVD player is still in the back room, & the VCR's aren't hooked up to anything, but the box is, at least, working. It was giving me an error, but the screen had a phone number to call, which I did. They were very professional & helpful, & got it working within a few minutes. At least I've got my former channels back, like TLC, Spike, SciFi, Travel, even TCM (they're showing "The 7 Samurai" tonight)! I even get a little bit of on-demand. I don't get free movies like my mom, but I get something.

^_^
japanesedream_72: (Default)
(or, "It's a good thing you did that, a real good thing!")


Yeah, thank my mom for the tag lines there. ^_^ And for this mega-nostalgia trip clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux3laLkueZk


That stemmed from our conversation when I called her to tell her about my day. Now I get to tell you:

So Michael, my friend from work, came over this morning, & I drove us down to the train station. Took the train into the City, & had a good, long walk. But, unlike my Japan Day experience, we actually found stuff without wandering very much, 'cuz he has a sense of direction! Took the subway up to 72nd, & walked around Central Park, or at least a nice portion of it. Actually hit a few spots I hadn't seen my previous time there, which, of course, required the taking of photos (Strawberry Fields was decorated today, too, so I also got a shot of that). Strayed a little off the beaten track at one point - we were going in the right direction but exited too early; it was okay, though, 'cuz I got to show him Columbus Circle (59th), & we walked up the rest of the way (back to 72nd). On the way, I saw a few nifty buildings I'd never seen before, & took pics of them. Passed the entrance to Tavern on the Green, too, which I'd never seen (though I didn't get a shot of that - it was only the sign). Went to lunch at Kumo Sushi, where we had bento (tried the Teriyaki Tofu one this time - YUM!) &, of course, green tea ice cream. My friend had never had that, & hadn't ventured into chopstick territory before, either (despite having had Japanese food before), so that was fun to introduce him to. He dug the food, & was very good with the hashi (sticks) for a first-timer. Also taught him a teeny bit of practical Japanese. :)

He was kind enough to pay for lunch (I offered to chip in for my half, but he wouldn't let me, so I left the tip), & we missed the majority of the rain - it was starting when we left the park, but I'd brought my umbrella; it poured while we were eating, but had almost stopped as we were leaving - & took the subway back to Midtown...where it started to pour again. As my umbrella wasn't quite large enough for 2 people to fit under comfortably, we stopped at a souvenir place & he found a nice, large one, which he bought. I showed him some landmark buildings/areas, like the Chrysler & Empire State bldgs., Times Square (including the theatre where I saw Diru, & where the line stretched - the restaurant where I had dinner that night isn't there anymore! It's a Levi's outlet now), Rockerfeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, St. Patrick's Cathedral (which we went into for a minute; my first time in there - it's SOOOOOOOOO beautiful!! But I didn't take any pics 'cuz there was a wedding going on), Bryant Park (which we went in - I'd been outside it but never in it before), the NY Public Library, I can't remember any more. Took him, of course, to my haunts - Kinokuniya (where I showed him Mana's many appearances in the Goth-Loli Bible, as well as perusing various issues of CURE, one of which had an article on Jun's new project, another of which had an article on Riku's band, Chariots - including a very scrummy photo! But I saved my cash (don't think I wasn't tempted, though), showed Michael the CD & DVD section (no "Bara no Seidou", though I picked up a flyer for one of the Death Note live-action films), then made our way to Book Off - which they've rearranged! The same thing happened to me in Tower when I was in Shibuya. MUST be a Japanese thing. So I got promptly lost (I used to at least be able to go right to the L'Arc), but found a couple of my bands eventually, or should I say, where there stuff would've been if they'd had any. Took a gander at the anime & whatnot, debated whether or not to buy that Death Note soundtrack again (yeah, it was still there), decided against it (though again, tempted), & headed back to Times Square to check out Virgin Megastore. Didn't buy anything, but looked long & longingly at many things I would get if I could afford to get them all...

Back to Penn Station via the subway, where we ducked into Penn Sushi. I bought a bottle of green tea (which I think was the same brand I bought at Narita Airport when I landed in Japan), as well as some desserts I'm always itching to try but never do 'cuz I end up buying sushi &/or gyoza & shumai instead. But since I had sushi with my lunch, I went in for the mystery desserts today. There's a green cake thing (sort of rolled around a bit of cream), a brown cake thing that may or may not be stuffed with something, & green tea daifuku. (I saved the cakes but ate the daifuku a little while ago - they're like marshmallows! Very lovely!) Used my own bag, natch, & had a little conversation with the bishette who works there. I always see her when I go there, but haven't really spoken at any length with her. I can't remember who started it, it might've been my friend asking me what the word for delicious was for the umpteenth time (not that I minded - it's "oishii", in case you were wondering), & she said it, too. He asked if she were Japanese, but it turns out she's Korean. I used my Rirakuma bag, which she thought was cute, & she & another, older lady who I guess works there, too, or runs the place or whatever, were trying to read it (I knew it meant something + bear, but I just found out it means "relaxed bear"), & I was showing them the katakana. It was kind of a neat little moment.

We had some time before the train, so we wandered about a bit, looking at different shops & whatnot. Ran into one of the guys from work, Luis. We were introduced to his wife & son, & his parents - the latter were here on vacation from Puerto Rico, & Luis had taken them into the City to show them the sights. We chatted for a bit, then went on our way.

When it was finally time to board, we were on the niftiest train!! It was a double-decker!! I'd never even been aware that those things existed! The seats were like airline seats - more comfy, even! And there was a digital thing that noted the upcoming stops. It was so cool! Got into some conversation with a guy sitting across from us. Between throwing about tiny bits of French, talking cinema, & concocting the Great Cult Crossover - The Kiss Saves Santa Star Wars Xmas Special (Kiss, light sabers in hand, saves Santa from Darth Vader, who can't stand the sound of rock music) - it was a hoot & a half.

Back to the station, finally, & drove home. But the day isn't over yet. See, Michael used to live in Arizona, & got to know some of the Goth community there. You'd never think this person who is kind of soft-spoken, a chemist, a little nerdy-looking (& I don't mean that in any derogatory connotation whatsoever), who likes watching comedies, would be into music like Goth or metal. But he can actually dig that sort of thing, & was interested in hearing the Japanese take on it. So I'd had a few CD's in the car, & it was pretty intriguing (& fun) to see him react so positively to stuff like Dir en grey, Moi dix Mois, & Phantasmagoria! He asked about my J-rock colleciton, & if I had any video that he might be able to see. So I let him hang out for a little bit when we got back & showed him clips by Diru, Malice Mizer (Klaha era), Hyde, Gackt, & Mago. If I can figure out how to do it on this computer, now that my Music Match Jukebox seems pretty much defunct, I said I'd make him a sampler. (Worse comes to worse, I'll do it on audio-cassette.)

Said our good-byes after that, & he was off home. I called my mom, finished my tea & daifuku, & came on-line. Will probably pass out after Death Note.


EDIT: Photos!

Just a quick shot before company arrived.

Pretty picture by the water’s edge, Central Park.

Another pretty shot of the lake, Central Park.

Strawberry Fields, Central Park.

Teriyaki tofu bento from Kumo Sushi.

Grand Central Station, exterior.

Interior of Grand Central Station.

Japanese desserts - daifuku, sponge cake, bean paste cake. Please note, the sponge cake pic I had to nick off the ‘net since I forgot to take a photo of mine before snarfing it. ^_^

August 2017

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