Today marks the start of a series of “lasts.”
Last e-mails on the work account.
Last time staring at the patterns in the acoustic ceiling tiles.
For Christ’s sake, last goddamn morning exercises!
I am walking around the office in a haze. I watch myself shaking hands, saying goodbyes, tying up loose ends from a third person point of view. Six and one-half years is an awful long time to do the same job in a foreign country.
Over the next few weeks, time will accelerate and I will be in a rush to see old friends, catch a few new sights, and feel the rush of old, familiar feelings one last time before I go (oh, and also to move to Thailand). But it all starts here, on the last day of work. My cynical side equates this to escaping from the Yamato – fight bravely, suckers! – and it is undeniably sad to watch friends and colleagues sail off as I find a different way, but it is also the right thing to do, and it is my way.
Today, I graduate from being Salaryman.

Speaking of shit sandwiches…

Chinese like to gobble a dick all kinds of dick: Beijing’s penis emporium
I will admit to having eaten bull penis and testicle soup (respectively, cartilaginous and spongy), poached cod sperm (creamy), and a few other weird things, but I absolutely draw the line at seal penis (I once saw a walrus’ penis and it was like a beige fire hydrant) and aborted reindeer foetus.

Would you like some ketchup on that shit sandwich?

How about a tasty glass of water from the Yodogawa?

The Osaka municipal government’s Water Bureau plans to sell bottles of highly purified tap water from Yodogawa river in an attempt to dispel a long-held belief among residents that the city’s water does not taste good.
Even though the tap water is now purified at facilities with cutting-edge technology, there are still many locals who say the water smells and is not drinkable.
The municipal government plans to hold a competition to choose a name and design for the bottles that will present a positive image of the city while keeping an eye on sales of bottled tap water in other cities.

I know! How about “Massengill ??????”
Full story here.

Kentaro Mania (Solid Steel Vids)

I’ve said this a thousand times before: On the Wheels of Solid Steel is the best CD/DVD combo I’ve ever seen, period. When I heard about it I had to order from England, but it looks like they sell it on Amazon now. Do yourself a favor and get it, it’s one of the few mixed albums I can stand to listen to on it’s own (without video), and the bonus DVD is one of the few I’ve ever found worth watching more than once – hell, I’d have bought it separately if they’d decided to market it that way.
The two vids above are really well edited and fun, but I saved the best for last. These are live performances from his 2005 Japan tour: