Do you know how hard it is to get rid of a fridge in Tokyo without either parting with half your bank account or breaking a dozen local laws? Hard. Very hard.

But it’s all behind now, the move is over, all that’s left is a few days to enjoy Tokyo and say bye to all friends before heading for Europe, by way of Hong-Kong (Thursday to Saturday, if anybody’s around and wants to meet for a beer).

So anyway, tonight, I, with a few friends, will be busy getting drunk on cheap sangria and reminiscing the wacky hijinx of the gaijin life in Japan, all the while spinning a few records and, who knows, shaking some nails to it…
It’s all taking place between 8 and 12, at Cozmo’s Café in Shibuya. About 2 minutes from the station, near the Post Office. Here is the map

So whether we’ve met in the past or even if you’ve never got a chance to spot me in the flesh during my stay in Tokyo, do come and say hi! I’ll be the one either drinking my 20th Gin&Tonic under a table or haphazardly spinning a few records at the turntables…

I rarely (read: never) bore you with the minutiae of my daytime occupations; and for good reasons: they aren’t all that fascinating.

Actually, some of them are, but I’m too much of a sissy to risk getting dooced just to bring you tasty anecdotes of the life of an aspiring genius salaryman gaijin in Tokyo, so these will have to wait until I’m out of sight from Japanese shores.

In the meantime, I thought I’d point you to a few of the small side-projects I’ve been involved in, over the past year or so. If only because I couldn’t skip such a perfect occasion to reinforce my public image as a tree-hugger pinko commie with a taste for artsy schmaltzy stuff.

Neither one of these sites I consider the pinnacle of my coding skills (some of the HTML markup isn’t even mine), but I thought they deserved a little mention here:

ForestAlert.org:

The first website is for a non-profit organization called ForestAlert.org, that deals with the problem of illegal logging and timber trade. The ruthless exploitation of non-renewable timber resources in third-world countries threatens to annihilate entire regions: destroying millenia-old primary forests, their ecosystems and the indigenous tribes that depend on them… Usually to end up as construction material in Japan or copy paper in about every other corporate office in the world.

ForestAlert.org is aimed at drawing attention to this problem, by continuously reporting on ongoing illegal activities condoned by public companies, exposing the global trade mechanisms that allow this traffic and tippin you on some easy steps you can take in your everyday-life to help prevent this ecological disaster.

Currently, the focus is on trade currents between Asian countries (Indonesia, New Guinea, Japan) and content is bilingual (English and Japanese), but the site is slowly extending its reach to cover every area of the globe.

Note that ForestAlert.org doesn’t ask for any money, just a bit of your time and some help spreading the word.

Pinx Photo:

In a much lighter tone, I also gave a hand to our very own Samurai Atsushi‘s management agency: you can now see the work of a few talented Tokyo photographers and stylists on Pinx Tokyo‘s official website. That includes Mr. Atsushi Nishikiori himself, on his way to become the Helmut Newton of the East.

Don’t be frightened by the few kanjis here and there: one doesn’t need to speak a word of Japanese to browse and appreciate the pretty pictures in all their glossy photographic CSS glory.

A few cool things coming up:

Wednesday (07/20)Japanbloggers Meetup – Zest, Harajuku

A group of people from all horizons and many countries, brought together by a common love of blogging, tech gizmos and cheap somewhat reasonably priced beer.
Newcomers always warmly welcomed.

Thursday (07/28)Laurent GarnierYokohama Museum of Art [Note: I got the date wrong initially. This is taking place next week, not this week. Thanks to Martine for pointing that out!]

Reels of silent early-century B&W movies, with live instrumentation by worldwide famous, veteran techno DJ and producer: Laurent Garnier.
Sounds very experimental, but the man is insanely talented, should be interesting.

Update (also playing on 08/06):

Friday (07/22) – screening of Bondi TsunamiSuper Deluxe, near Roppongi Hills

An indy surf-movie about a bunch of crazy Japanese and their adventures in Ozland…
Miss Tracey blogged about it a few weeks ago. Turned out last week-end that my friend, the awesome Stacia, is going steady with the lead actor… It’s a small, tiny, star-studded, world, after all.

今週の面白なイベント:

水曜日 (07/20)Japanbloggers Meetup – 原宿のZest

毎月にブログを書く人がバルで合う。外人と日本人も来る。誰でもきてもいい。

木曜日 (07/28)ロラン・ガルニエ 横浜美術館 [注意:さっきに日付は間違えた!来週ですよ。]

有名なフランスのDJ/producer、Laurent Garnierは古いな映画間中ライヴ曲を作る。彼は80年のMandchesterで始めた。可笑しくて面白いでしょう。

金曜日 (07/22)Bondi Tsunami (ボンダイ津波) – Super Deluxe Club, 六本木ヒルズの近く

オストラリアでサーフィンが好きの日本人は車で旅行する。本当に楽しみ。友達は映画の役者と一緒にです。先月にTracey見に行った ブログで 書いた

About Laurent Garnier:

Chicago jazzman Oscar Brown Jr. died last Sunday.

He wasn’t perhaps sitting at the top of my personal pantheon of Jazz, but one of his track most definitely is.

But I was cool has to be the most hilariously infectious tune ever howled by a talented musician this side of the Funk belt, and the only way you should spend your next 2 minutes 55 seconds.

And until my bandwidth freezes over, or the vindicative Gods of Copyrighted Music kick me in the karma nuts, I’m gonna put the track for download on my server: please be nice and buy the album, it is well worth it. The trial sample is right here.

When I grow up, I want to become a snarky jaded bitter old man, just like him. Complete with asshole-tearing writing skills and all.

Ah, I wish…

No, please, don’t object: try as I might, I know I’m nowhere near that level of bitter, yet… I can’t keep up.

Plus, it just might be that I don’t care enough (I’m told caring only comes with age or when you go off your meds).

But I’m sure glad somebody does.

Party announcement at the bottom »

How do you do when you completely and unabashedly forgot an ex’s birthday? With no valid excuse whatsoever, if only a very busy day and a genetic inability to remember dates correctly (I swear I thought it was tomorrow). And don’t tell me suck it up, apologize and get a nice gift: she’s quite the vindicative type too. After all, she made sure to wait until the following morning at 8am to inform me that I was officially an arsehole… you know, just making sure I had no wiggle room for white lies…

Which brings me to the problem of my day so far: what to do…

Which you probably do not give a rat’s ass about. And truthfully, who am I to blame you.

But let’s not ruin the mood. I guess we’ll just have to double the usual morning tequila sunrise and consider our quota for public humiliations and shameful exposures fulfilled for the whole month. And that’s always a good thing: you don’t really want to stock up on past dues for these kind of quota.

Cue mandatory sakura blossom speech.

Everybody will have, by now, noticed that the sakura blossom is upon us. At least I know I have. But I would have little excuse, seeing how every other street in my neighbourhood instantly turned a rosy white color and I no longer see my breath upon waking up (which means either one of two things: my new toothpaste is working much better than the previous one. Or it’s getting warmer). That, and also half the trains on the Yamanote have been busy giving day-by-day updates about the state of the sakura front (unlike, say, some people who could have at least hinted that there was an important upcoming date, last time we talked).

There are basically two schools of hanamist:

Some will defend the inscrutable beauty and zen symbolism of the spectacle, and take comfort in their ephemeral regularity, seemingly changeless, yet each time unique. Those people, particularly the gaijin among them, will tend to grow copious amount of facial hair and put on traditional samurai armors to charge at locomotives on their horse, thus ensuring an edifying finale where they can get a last dying glimpse at the sakuras down below, before heading out for the land of their ancestors.

No recipe here tonight. But Neuro has decided to join the, ahem, Recipe Mondays posse, and has posted a delicious recipe for a dish we could translate as Duck au pineapple, or something like that…

It’s in both French and English, go check it out if you don’t know what to cook tonight and have a few extra ducks running around your garden.
BTW, Neuro is adamant: crows do not make a suitable substitute for daffy duckies…

Another great source for your gastronomic needs is Kristen, at Mediatinker, who has been blatantly infringing on our Monday Recipes™ trademark for many years now: she calls it Thursday Recipes, but I think we all know who was first on that breakthrough concept. Ha. To add assault to the injury, she even stole the recipe I was gonna do last week: Pasta Carbonara… a Dr Dave’s School of Cooking staple, if there ever was one!

But this sneaky attempt at driving the competition out will not be tolerated!

Keep your utensils ready. For next week will be a very special edition of Recipe Mondays with Dr Dave. Expect heights in culinary refinement!

Also, if you can, try to catch and peel a couple medium-sized squirrels during the week: they need to be prepared at least 24 hours in advance, and you do not want to be caught unprepared come Monday.

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If I tell you the place is really gorgeous, unusually classy for Roppogi (that is to say: doesn’t look like Roppongi much), will be filled with cool people and feature a jazz ensemble and some smooth beats courtesy of yours truly (the beats, not the ensemble…) you should already have more than enough reasons to come see me tonight at Cafe Amanis.

But just to make sure, I shall also add that there will be an Open Bar (yea, that means free booze) tonight (28th) from 6 to 9… Still cheap after, but it will probably be too late to catch up with the heavily inebriated crowd by then.

If your wage-slave hours do not allow you the slightest bit of fun on a weekday, then you can still come check out the place with the mere mortals, on Friday (29th), Saturday (30th) or Sunday (31st): I’ll be there, along with heaps of drunken people wearing silly outfits.

As an extra bonus, you might get to see me in my special Halloween leopard-print g-string costume.

My friends Kristy and Tara have resumed their traveling around the world and are traipsing around South-East Asia and India at the moment.

Kristy has been regularly sending emails accounts of their (mis)adventures, and I thought it’d be nice to get her to start blogging these for a wider public.

So I made her a blog account and gave it a start by importing her past emails. Hopefully, she will be able to regularly add to it, net access permitting.
Eventually, she should also be able to upload pictures (as soon as I have time to finish the setup).

These girls are definitely not following your average chartered touristic path and their tribulations are filled with lots of weird and comical moments…

Anyway, if you are curious to know how two slightly crazy girls, yet seasoned travelers, are managing the bumming-around-Asia experience so far, go check out: http://WhereIsKristy.com !

Keitai PictureKeitai Picture


I guess now is a good time to let you know that tomorrow night is Candy II: Still Happening, in other words, the second installment of what has by now clearly been established as Tokyo’s best party of the Summer.

As it turns out, it’s also Justine’s birthday party, and Carl’s, and Hama’s, and half a dozen other people. So if you’ve not heard of it yet, it’s probably because you just don’t know the people that matter in this city. Or maybe because the only one you know is a lazy sod who’s posting that announcement exactly 24 hours ahead of time.

Anyway, I’m told it will be quite fun, and happening early on, so show up early. I, myself, will be deserting the place at 11:30: there’s some really cool outdoor party in Chiba that same night and, quite frankly, between: 1) hearing myself playing sober in a fashionable bar and 2) dancing to ear-splittingly aggresive progressive house on a beach with my head full of substances, there’s nary a choice there.
Nah, I’m just kidding (especially about the substances, mom)… it’s just that, with Atsushi, Hako and everybody else, we’d been planning to go a long time ago, and anyway, Candy should be an early night affair.

All right people, so I shall expect to see you tomorrow 8:30 sharp in Shibuya. See flyer for details and don’t bug me: I know it’s exactly the same freakin’ one as last month… blah.

Oh, did I say it was free (as in beer and love)? well it is.