Buddha’s Thoughts on Weddings

First of all, and most importantly, I have come to understand that a wedding is for the bride.
Now, I had heard this sentiment before, but didn’t put much stock in it because, hey, I’m psyched about our wedding, too. The thing is though, like most guys, I’m psyched about a lot of things – trying a new beer, having a good feed, sleeping in on the weekends. I look forward to all of these things and profoundly enjoy every new experience. I’m psyched that I found a used lens for my camera. I’m psyched that I’ve put my car through its last car inspection and I can now theoretically cut the top off and remove the muffler with impunity. I’m especially psyched that I will be living in a new country next year, learning a new language among friendly people. However.
Observing Nam making plans for the wedding has made me realize that I am a total lightweight, a absolute noobie in Everygirl’s Land of Being Psyched. Let me explain.
When I go home from work every day, my living room floor is totally covered with magazines and brochures with names like, “Bride to Be,” “Perfect Wedding,” and, “101 Guest Gift Ideas.” They are splayed out so I can see the writing in the margins and pages marked with Post Its that she wants me to read. Yeah, right. When I fail to comply with her wishes, she takes all of my reading materials out of the bathroom (Aaron Cometbus, Kevin Kim, and car/fishing/computer mags), hides them upstairs, and substitutes them with bridal magazines! Many a potentially pleasurable crapping experience has been ruined by this heresy, I tell you (Vibration lures are hot! Wedding veils are not!).
We sit down and have dinner. Topics of conversation include what we will serve at the wedding party and… well that’s pretty much it. I am a chowhound, not a food snob, and I excel at:
1. Making good food, and
2. Eating good food,
but I pretty much suck about planning what we will be eating on a planned date half a year from now. It is fun to try to keep up with Nam for the first ten minutes or so, but I’m cursed with a short attention span when it comes to this stuff.
For instance, the other day we went shopping with nothing specific in mind, I just wanted to make her happy by taking her where she wanted to go, and she just wanted to look for “ideas or stuff she could use for the wedding.” Guys, between you and me, by the end of the day I just wanted a quiet place to shoot myself. Girls, I know that sounds horrible and selfish, and it probably is, but I’m just not wired that way. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife and will get her anything she wants (I will even buy her the things she at first says she wants then changes her mind about and says “save your money” about but I know she still secretly wants but feels genuinely guilty about, not fake-guilty like a master-of-puppets), and I am very much psyched about being married and our upcoming wedding, it’s just that I AM NOT A GIRL.
And by default, compared to Nam, I am less psyched about, say, the type and color of flowers to be used for table settings. I want something pretty and classy and fresh, but other than that I really don’t care if it’s lilies or roses or even Birds of Paradise. But for girls, this is different. Apparently due to some estrogenous primal instinct, it is natural for them to raise the level of planning and meticulousness to one normally reserved (in a guy’s mind) for say, an amphibious assault on European beaches against numerically superior and better-armed adversaries. Even after professing to be sick of it all, she will browse for hours online looking for the One True Tablecloth Pattern. Me, I just want them to be white linen (OK, maybe I secretly want 3 per table, but still…).
In the end, this is going to be such a cool wedding party. Nam will love it, I just know it. I just hope everybody knows how much I will never want to see a bridal magazine, ever again.

Digging a hole to China

This is the coolest application for Google Maps EVER! Use it to see where you would come out if you dug a hole to the other side of the Earth: Go forth and dig!
Tip: There is a bug with the zoom that brings up Australia as the default result every time. In order to resolve this, once you have chosen where to dig and the results come up, zoom all the way out and see the note that says “your hole ends up here!”

Danjiri Photostream

Well, the Danjiri lived up to its reputation and was, in a word, exhilarating. In my free time, I’m looking through the hundreds of photos I took and will post the best ones here. I might have gotten five really killer pics, only half of what I set out for, but more than I expected. The main difference between my new D50 and the digital cameras I have used in the past is simply that I like a lot more of my own photos than I used to – and that’s a remarkable thing, really.
While I’m getting my best ten or so photos ready to publish on this blog, you can get a sneak peek of about 200 or so I posted in my Flickr photostream:
Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri 2005

Day Before Danjiri

Tomorrow morning, Nam and I will ride the hydrofoil from Sumoto to Kansai Airport. From there we will ride the train a couple stops and step into the semi-controlled chaos of the Danjiri Matsuri. This is one of the few things I promised myself that I would do before leaving Japan (some of the other things include watching someone disembowel themself with a short, sharp sword, and just once not being told “but you look Japanese” after introducing myself as American).
I am taking a cumulative 2.5 GB storage space in memory cards, as well as my trusty micronote to transfer data to should this be insufficient.
I want to take at least ten really killer photos. That’s a lot, I know, but I will set my sights high since the weather should be nice and since I am, after all, ditching work to drink beers and watch gigantic wooden floats collide together in unrehearsed and seriously dangerous ways.
Wish me luck!

Oh. My. Shaka.

I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the fact that this site exists, or the fact that my family’s Shitzu has a bee costume, too. Or the fact that I bought him an Eeyore costume at a dog clothing store in Kobe last year. Oh my god, I’m practically an eight year old girl! I’ve been in the land of Hello Kitty and Totoro way too long!
(Mom, please send a photo of Jak in his bee suit for me to post)

New Quark Logo Issues

In a brave struggle to become less irrelevant and direct attention away from the fact that they lost the Desktop Publishing Wars a long time ago, Quark Inc. has adopted a new logo.
Oh wait, did I say “new?” Let the games begin:
The new Quark logo resembles the Scottish Arts Council’s logo.
But wait! The new Quark logo also resembles the Designer’s Network Logo.
Who will sue first? To find out, tune into next week’s show of When WingDings Attack!
Look familiar?: Artworkers
Quark has responded; issue is not yet resolved.

Compulsory Commentary on the Japanese Elections

It must be nice winning an election and watching the stock market rise like this. Plus, let’s face it, the Richard Gere look-alike thing was a fucking masterstroke. Interesting fact: Did you know that before the plastic surgery, Koizumi was a dead ringer for Pat Morita?
Daniel-san, you must concentrate!
Unfortunately, Japanese politics are a prime example of “the more things change the more they stay the same.” For instance: Post office privatization. If you’re waiting to see how this is going to directly affect your life in Japan, tell me how it turns out a couple decades from now, okay? Seriously… People who are predicting the change in interest rates for savings accounts at this point in time ARE FUCKING DELUSIONAL OR HAVE A SERIOUSLY KICK-ASS CRYSTAL BALL +7 CHARISMA. Okay?
(Note from Editor: Compulsory “Japanese erection” joke deleted.)


AHA! A possible explanation for my recent Indian chief dream (see my mom’s comment at the bottom). I completely forgot about that! Actually, catching that sheepshead won us the “fishing tournament.” I remember being extremely proud about the fact that we used small rock crabs that I smashed with my dad’s “abalone prybar” (a flat piece of iron with rubber grip I think may still be rusting in our garage or the backyard shed) to catch that fish. The funny thing is, before we landed that one, something big hit our bait and nearly jerked me off the rocks we were fishing from as I held onto the surfcasting rod for dear life! I will always wonder about that first big “one that got away.”
Yeah, the YMCA Indian Guides trip to Catalina… Awesome. As I sit here and reminisce, more memories from that trip are coming back to me… I remember the brown and yellow dome tent we slept in, the first tent we ever owned with sectioned (but not joined with elastic cord as has become the norm) fiberglass tent poles; you had to be careful because they would leave invisible fiberglass splinters in your hands if you weren’t careful that would itch and be sore for days… One of the other fathers brought Kansas City strips to barbeque on the propane grill for all the other dads. My dad told me it was ironic that some of the other dads thought it fit to bring whiskey to drink around the campfire at an Indian outing, a reference I wouldn’t understand for a few more years… That propane tank bust a seal the next morning when someone hooked it up, and it made a loud screeching noise for a good minute or so. I remember taking cover behind a steel trash can, sure it would explode.
Of course, in this politically fucking retarded age of college sports teams having to be renamed, etc., I am quite sure the Indian Guides are no more. Probably renamed to “Gaia’s Earth-Friendly Vegetarian Recyclable Co-op of Homogenous World Heritage,” or some such bullshit. Lemme google this shit to make sure – yep. The YMCA Indian Guides are no more. What a damn shame.
And in a way, what irony! The Indian Guides made Indians cool to all the kids who participated in the programs! These days, the word “Indian reservation” evokes only one thing: Casinos. This makes me very sad. In fact, I’m so far behind the times, I don’t really know if the term “Indian reservation” is racist or not! I certainly hope not.