"Rock stars: is there anything they don't know? - Homer Simpson
Monday, April 29, 2013
"Rock stars: is there anything they don't know? - Homer Simpson
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
On New Year's Day 2013 the DJ(s) at the bar I was at played Gangnam Style twice in quick succession. I wondered aloud on Facebook if this was the best/worst start to the year to which a friend replied:
"A hint of a Korean trip in 2013".
It sounded like a fortune cookie prediction at the time but said prediction did come true as I found myself in Busan, Korea the other day. I didn't set out to go travelling during my spring break but variables worked in my favour - I can't remember the last time when things worked out in my favour.
So I spent four days in the land of +82: drinking lots of beer, having the best Korean BBQ and doing work. Wow I took work to do on my break.
I think I've banged on about it before but I always wonder what would have happened if the film Lost in Translation wasn't set in Japan but instead set in, say Korea? Would I have been equally inspired to go visit Korea, have my heart and mind won and stage a move? Your guess is as good as mine. It's a tricky "what if" to think about but that's what I thought about as I looked out into Busan from a four star hotel: I was there for dinner and it was only OK. I mean the food. Dinner itself was wonderful.
Coda: Whilst I did not go to Seoul and the real Gangnam area I still got to party to the song in Korea. Somehow being Korea and listening to that song made the song a whole lot more fun.
Music In My Head: Crowded House - Twice If You're Lucky
Shouted out by John at 12:45 am
Sunday, March 03, 2013
If you've ever been to a gig I bet you a pretty penny that you'd see someone wearing a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors: be it someone from the band or a punter. I guess it was something that was once cool and now is part of the scenery. Similarly, I bet you a pretty penny that you'd see a sticker on a guitar hard case.
Is it the cool thing to do to put stickers over the empty black space of the case? I dunno. A friend said it wasn't cool when I told her I was going to put the sticker that I was buying onto my guitar case. Like suitcases I've seen some guitar cases covered with stickers from various airports. A sign of gigging around the world: that's cool. A guitar case covered with South Park stickers and sticker photos (ala my first guitar case): that's not cool.
I started covering my current guitar case with stickers about two years ago. Starting with one it became a need to cover the whole case with stickers since one solitary sticker looks dull. They were hard to come by but now I come across them here and there. I try to get stickers when I travelling (in Japan stickers aren't a popular souvenir as key chains are so sometimes I end up empty handed), get stickers at gigs I go to or stickers of bands or things I like in shops. With the latter I guess I won't be sticking on any South Park stickers on this guitar case.
So many uses of the word "sticker" makes this sound like a stupid venture. I guess it is. But there is some story or anecdote behind each one. I like wearing my heart on my sleeve and I guess a natural extension of that would be to stick my interests onto my guitar case. Not that stupid, I guess.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I think it's been a while since I had a steady run at writing here. Years mayhaps?
During that time, I've gotten a few more grey hairs, had some friends taken away by the tyranny of distance and lived through one of the worst natural disasters of in recorded history. Throughout all this I've bought a fair few CDs and death has been slowly creeping closer into my world. I guess there are somethings that are worth writing about.
I started this blog all so long ago because I thought that it would be an interesting output to help me work out mentally and have a stab at being creative. Both assumptions are true and I still think so. But somehow my plate got too full between the hours of 07:00 to 01:00: working with my favourite bunch of people in the world, bouldering and having my heart broken here there and everywhere. But truth be told I just fell off that horse and it was hard to climb back on. Tonight whilst waiting for my upset stomach to work through my dinner I watched the highlights of a football match that I did not care about.
Amongst the need to put away my laundry and have a shower I realised that there are many other things I should be doing. Whilst jumping on here and writing a post isn't as urgent and pressing as putting away my clothes, it seems like a better thing to do than watching Swansea become the 2013 League Cup winners, as much as they are a likeable team.
So here I am. Let's see where this goes. Again.
Hopefully to more than a pile of folded shirts.
Music In My Head: Flying Pickets - Only You
Shouted out by John at 12:18 am
Sunday, December 02, 2012
I've always dreamt that my life in Japan would resemble the video for "When You Come" by Crowded House: a life of being an outsider but surrounded by goodwill, good humour and a good times all soundtracked to a more than decent tune.
I dunno why but I only watched the video to "Motorcycle Emptiness", one of my favourite Manic Street Preachers song, for the first time the other night. And with that the dream of my life in Japan becomes even clearer and sharper. Well maybe not as sharp as the face of the vocalist James Dean Bradfield.
Previously, I daydreamed out loud the idea of being in Tokyo for the long term. That daydream is still alive and now I have two more than decent tunes to soundtrack such a dream. All that's left to do is make it happen which isn't too hard, right?
Shouted out by John at 8:30 pm
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Part of the reason why of late I've been having that feeling where there has to be more than this is that I've taken up a weekly English conversation class. The class, which is mainly made up of retirees, are fun to teach and talk to, the money's good and it takes up time that I would've wasted on things like this. But since I've been working too much and not sleeping enough I don't think any extra work helps to ease that feeling
As mentioned it's not all that bad. Coming across this tongue twister during preparations for the next class I also helps things.
Love's a feeling you feel when you feel
you're going to feel the feeling you've never felt before.
Hope the next class goes well.
Music In My Head: Shojoskip - Makura
Shouted out by John at 12:20 am
Thursday, November 08, 2012
I always believed in futures.
I hope for better in November.
Jimmy Eat World - Futures.
Welcome November, my favourite month of the year.
November is an awesome time of year. I think this fascination for November stems from the 6 Novembers that I had during university, where I would slave away on assignments and exams. However, with the end of the school year in sight, the cool late night breezes making the cram sessions enjoyable. And with the weather and the hem lines (ahem) going up in tandem, November always holds a special place in my heart.
I always assumed that the above quoted song by Jimmy Eat World was written especially about my love for November and looking forward to good times during this period: since I do love November and this period never fails to bring good times. But with the recent election in America I realised that this song was penned about the elections (I think it would've been during the election of George W Bush's second term). Which makes a hell of a lot of sense.
Reno kindly suggested that I blow the dust off this blog so here I am doing so. There are various reasons why a lot of dust has collected around here but like all reasons they're not the best reasons.
Having said that I'll go back to finishing work: yes I have work to do at nearly midnight. I always loathed the idea of bringing home work but that's the life I lead now. And that's one of the reason for all this dust.
Shouted out by John at 11:26 pm
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I'm currently on my way back to Australia for a brief meet and greet. It's been three years since I last went back to Sydney. A friend asked if I considered "going back to Sydney" meaning "going back home". I'm not sure how to answer that one.
Something that I'm not sure about is how to prepare to go back home. I was concerned with the logistical side of things: do I still have underwear back at home? But then my dear friend E pointed out the things more important than the availability of underwear and I think she said what I was really caught up with:"I think in many ways going home requires a lot more preparation than going towards an unknown. There are long built rhythms we expect to find, dread to find, faces we wish to see, not see. At the back of the mind, a question if we could find or fit into that rhythm again, Or has it moved on too?
Going home is to find an old image of yourself before you left too, and there's a certain dissonance - we can't always pick up where we left off, and to say we've done so, could mean we've not moved forward despite being in a new place sometimes, doesn't it?
I guess in going home, it is also closing a circle and where we're still feeling somewhat incomplete and searching, closure brings mixed feelings as we are not ready to close. Just follow the flow and you won't go wrong. Just follow it and you'll find your rhythm."
Trust a dance to go on about rhythm.
With all that said there is a lot of truth in it: I went back to Sydney nine-ish months into my stint in Japan. Then and now I knew that was too early. I was still who I was when I left, albeit with some new stories to tell people. Now? I'm not sure how far I've gone from the me that left Sydney over four years ago. I'm not really sure if I know what I'll find but I'll keep it all in mind. Similarly, I'm not sure why I'm in Seoul instead of Tokyo or Sydney.
Travelling is too much work.
Shouted out by John at 1:22 pm
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Today the sky is what it should be like: a shade of blue no Instagram filter can improve when it already is this striking, and starring the fluffiest clouds known to man. Today is also the day that I see off my Twin as she heads out to start a new chapter in her life.
A day with a glorious sky and a heart wrenching farewell: the world balances itself out sometimes.
Music In My Head: James - Destiny Calling
Shouted out by John at 11:28 am
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Every year since I first started to live in Japan nearly four years ago, I have had to say goodbye to people. It's always around this time of the year when their respective work contract ends and they head off to whatever or wherever it is that their lives take them to. Over the years I've said goodbye to a fair number of people: all in all they were nice people that I would look back fondly on as my days pass by. Obviously some goodbyes are easier than other but in general it's not something I can get used to. Anywhere in the world summer is a time to look forward to for the fun, festivities and sense of creating memories that you'd keep with you forever. Japan is no different or even more so I guess with its abundance of fireworks and summer festivals. In the midst of all this is the task of saying goodbye to folks: it does take the shine and warmth out of the season.
When I first watched "Lost in Translation" all those years ago I knew that when it was my turn to farewell Japan it would be like the film's ending. Note that this was before I even knew that I would be living in Japan let alone had an inkling of it. But somehow as the film's final moments, with its pitch perfect montage of Tokyo's skyline fading by, etched itself onto me I knew that this painful mixture of sadness, loss and nostalgia (hauntingly soundtracked by The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey") would be familiar to me one day.
I am not leaving Japan and I dare not to: I can imagine yet dare not imagine the reality of such a feeling would feel. That is partly the reason why I have not yet left Japan. Yet come the start of August I'll gain a sense of it as I bid a temporary farewell to my Twin. Fitting the name she has been equally significant in my life as I am in my own, if that makes sense. With her absent it feels like I'm starting things again in Japan.
I'm not leaving Japan myself but since a huge chunk of me is leaving it might as well be that I am leaving as well. There's a high chance that when that dreaded day comes I too will be on the streets of Shinjuku. And it'll be a lot like this. Minus me being old like Bill Murray: I'm old but not THAT old...
Shouted out by John at 12:26 am