Latest Projects

Of course, I talk about not having time to concentrate on the site, but at the same time I’m working on a brand new update (version 4.0, which I think will better represent all of the things that I’m producing these days, and will also let me start moblogging with pics twice the size of what you see now), slowly working things out for my record label project, and trying to think up of new interesting things to do. I’m constantly being told that I need to get a ramen devoted site off the ground, and now, while talking with Yuko, I got the idea of putting up a site (well, in magazine terms, I would call it a feature) that takes a look at the world of comedy in Japan, particularly focusing on the up and coming comedians. Seems like there’s not much info online in English on the subject, so might be something of interest for some. What do you think?

The New Radicals

501040202cov_whiteGreat feature in this week’s Asian edition of TIME on the linglei, the new radicals of China. “[A] generation of Chinese […] are now in the process of deciding what they want to be when they grow up. No longer forced to fit into a regimented Maoist monoculture, their range of possibilities has diversified along with the country’s exploding economy. For many, their path to success does not necessarily lead through the traditional tedium of high school cramming, college exams and then a junior position at state factory No. 327. Although some are dropouts whose alt-lifestyle experiments are subsidized by newly wealthy parents, they’re not all slackers. They are setting up their own companies, writing books, designing funky clothes, making music, making love—and in the process they are beginning to form the crude outlines of what in the future will be considered countercultural, even cool, in China.” Read the whole article online here.

News Otaku

0525947647.01.MZZZZZZZYou might have noticed a slowdown in postings lately (although I’ve kept up with the daily pics), and that’s probably in part due to an unfortunate new addiction: political news. I’ve never really been a political news hound, but for some reason, I’ve become quite the junkie of the US Democratic race (even though I’m Canadian). I subscribe to TIME (the Asian edition), and the articles (and essays) I tend to go to first are the ones covering the primaries. Add to that CNN and BBC World coverage. Add to that the book I’m enjoying at the moment: Al Franken‘s brilliantly hilarious LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM: A FAIR AND BALANCED LOOK AT THE RIGHT (I’m listening to the audiobook on my iPod during my daily commute, and I highly recommend it as Franken himself does the reading, and he’s great at it). Also, although I’ve been totally out of touch with Canadian politics since moving to Japan, I found out this week that the CBC keeps a contant stream of its nightly TV news mainstay, THE NATIONAL, and I’ve started watching that while I do my surfing. Nice to see Peter Mansbridge again.

Oh, and as a pleasant to surprise to me, I’ve been keeping up with the Japanese studies (to attain my goal of passing the second level test at the end of the year). Need more time in the day.

Tsukumo on TV

That ramen shop I talked about a few weeks ago known for its cheese ramen, Tsukumo, is being featured on TV right now. It’s a special on ramen shops in the Ebisu area, and the hosts are having a bowl of the infamous cheese ramen. Looks like they’re quite enjoying it. It’s nice to be on the pulse of the Tokyo ramen scene!

Sakamoto

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Giant advertisement at Shibuya station featuring Sakamoto Ryuichi. His new single, “Undercooled,” is out. It’s him getting back to electronics, and it announces a soon-to-be-released full-length album. I’ve had a chance to listen to the single, and after only one listen, I think I prefer the b-side, “NGO.”

Shot taken with the A5403CA mobile phone.

Choices

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As I mentioned yesterday, Kouryu lets you choose your toppings, and you can see the selection here. The 100 yen coin you see in the upper right hand corner is for my mini-beer. That’s pretty damn cheap, and was perfect accompaniment to the ramen.