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Totally not above doing the normal touristy things from the Shinkansen.

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Your not-so-cool photo of the night: Notice the “Soapland” in the immediate background too…

Your not-so-cool photo of the night: Notice the “Soapland” in the immediate background too…

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Your cool photo of the night: Facade of building designed to look like an exposed circuit.

Your cool photo of the night: Facade of building designed to look like an exposed circuit.

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Like a Kid in a Candy-store…

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So, on one of my many trips to “The Field” (See, I’m a legit Sociologist. I can refer to wandering around Shibuya as going to “The Field”) I stumbled upon the billboard you see above this text. So you just knew I had to investigate further. The store right behind that billboard is called “Disc Jam” and they specialize in DJ equipment. The proprietor, a shaggy-haired late-middle-aged Japanese man named Abe (you can find is twitter feed by clicking: http://twitter.com/#!/DiscJam ) was pretty helpful and just an all around cool guy.

Now, those of you who really know me know I secretly yearn to be a DJ. What’s not to love? You get to stay up all night, free admission to the best clubs, free drinks, legions of admiring fans (well, at least in my fantasy…). So I was incredibly stoked by this place. It seriously has all the gear you’d need to get yourself started designing and playing tracks. Abe even has a demo space where he can show you all the equipment in the store. I told him that I’m a student on a budget and was looking for a keyboard (which he showed me). But then, to my great delight, he pulled out a Korg Kaossilator.

What is a Kaossilator, you ask? It’s a small dynamic phrase synthesizer with a touch pad, dial, two toggle buttons, and a selector. You can use any of the 100 different synth programs to create your own beats phrases. But what’s more, you can use it to create beat loops and then stack each of those loops to create infinite layers of tracks. Simply put, it’s pretty damn awesome because you can create live music almost anywhere (as it has a battery backup power source). Korg has a demo video you can watch here: http://www.korg.com/mediaplayer.aspx?md=4016&pd=292. Or you can start watching some demos on Youtube like I did and you might see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ciKgH5z1Dc&feature=related or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj9TNoDOobM&feature=related or even this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey4FbWi1ejk&feature=related

So, looks like I have something new to waste my money on! Unless, that is, you’ll buy it for me… Pretty please? It’s almost Christmas…

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Moment of Glory - 10/19/2011

I love lunch. It’s pretty much the best meal of the day. While breakfast usually winds up being repetitive or redundant and the typical dinner is way too heavy, lunch follows the Goldilocks Principle. I’m big on an abundance of small entrees that whet the palate, but don’t sit oppressively on the colon. Generally, I like my meals like I like my comedians: to leave me wanting more.

And that’s one of the cool things about Japanese lunch. On the more “traditional” side of things, the 定食 (teishoku “set meal”) that consists of a bunch of small items (usually a bowl of rice, some miso soup, pickles, two small sides, and a main entree) is usually available for lunch at most Japanese cafeterias (as a side note: cafeterias are all over urban Japan. Most large malls have them for the benefit of office workers.)

Which brings me to today’s moment of glory…

I arrived at the main library and decided to go check out what the the “Japanese lunch of the day” (which is what they call their teishoku) so I’d know whether I’d need to get there early or not (it usually sells out before 1:15pm). There are two long asides here: 1) Don’t you love how even libraries have a cafeteria? I do. I mean, you get a lot for what you pay for and some of them are really, really good (aside from this general dumpy atmosphere a lot of them tend to have… (I’m looking at you, Tokyo University). 2) Display food in Japan is on another level. One more than one occasion, I’ve though about eating some displays. And yes, I was sober. If I weren’t, I probably would have just done it.

So anyhow, today’s set lunch looked pretty awesome. Especially because I could eat all of it (for those that don’t know, I eat no pork and no beef. In parts of East Asia, this condition is simply known as “vegetarian”.) So, with visions of consuming my first meal of the day, I trudged back downstairs and began doing whatever it is that I normally do at the library. But, I was ambushed by messages both urgent and otherwise, and wasn’t able to make it back up to the cafeteria until 2:15pm. Surely I wouldn’t get to partake in the deliciousness…

Or would I?

Hooray for small moments of glory!

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And so it begins…

After months of duplicity, I’ve decided to make an honest man out of myself and start ye olde blog. Don’t get too excited, I do have a track record of not following through on these things… But I’ll be posting some pictures, griping about crap, and generally sharing my thinkings on stuffs.

Won’t you be my [online] neighbor? ;)