Chuppies

A friend in marketing taught me this term the other day.
Chuppies = Chinese yuppies.
They are the next trendsetters.
God save us all.
My friend says anyone who is anyone in his field will give his left nut to be a major player in this demographic. Me? I went to school with Chuppies, only we didn’t call them that then. We called them sneaky, lying assholes with a twisted sense of Confucianism. Of course, we were just stupid kids, so….

Rhymes with “complaining”

Go check out this
AV Club interview with Matt Groening.

AVC: Do you think a Life In Hell cartoon would have taken off the way The Simpsons did?
MG: I think human beings probably resonate with audiences more than bunnies, but who knows? One of these days, I’ll get around to animating Life In Hell. I still draw it every week, been doing that for the last 25 years. I’m just now putting together, for the first time, Life In Hell toys. Yes, I’m finally selling out.

My favorite Life in Hell strip is the one where Akbar is on his deathbed confessing how he’s been peeing in the bathroom sink all these years. Since I’m too lazy to find it online, here’s one with Binky:

(click to enlarge)
BONUS LINK: The “Akbar” font that mimics Matt Groening’s handwriting

Dyson

Although this will possibly incur the wrath of a million brand loyal housewives brandishing curtain brush attachments, I must speak my mind: “The vacuum cleaner that doesn’t lose suction” is the worst slogan of a successful company I have heard in recent memory.

  • It is immediately apparent to all that see this tagline that what Dyson is actually trying to convey is that his products “suck harder than a $600 hooker” (which conveniently implies all the other cleaners in this price range are whores as well).
  • By the same logic, Long Dong Silver was “the actor who never lost fuction.”
  • A quick search online shows around a 70% approval rating from Dyson owners. Less than I would have thought from all the hype. Or maybe more, actually.
  • One cool thing about Dyson – I saw on a TV show where he got the idea for a transparent dust reservoir. He was in a product planning meeting and saw one of his team members blow his nose, then look at what he had blown into the tissue before crumpling it up – “see,” he said, “everybody likes looking at what they cleaned up.” That fucking rocks.
  • This middle-of-the-night rant was brought to you courtesy of Justin, “the guy who never scratches when playing pocket pool.”

sorry, i’m stupid

You know those situations where you refrain from explaining something to somebody because you don’t think they’ll get it, then they turn out to understand it better than you do and you’re too embarassed to admit that you didn’t think they were capable of understanding it to begin with, which is already apparent to them anyway?
It makes you just want to go hide in a corner somewhere, especially if you kind of like that person… But sometimes it’s nice to confirm you’re just an asshole, like everybody else around you.

Weekend Update (April 22-23, 2006)

This weekend provided enough points of interest to allow my free rambling mode. Nam’s older sister, Nok arrived at 7AM on Saturday morning. So we woke up at 4:00 and drove down to the car ferry in the neighboring city of Awaji-shi (until last year: Tsuna-cho) to catch the 5:30 boat. As ferry rides go, it was pretty unremarkable. I took a couple shots of the sun rising over the ocean, then I fell asleep on the carpet of the break room and apparently snored everybody from one side of the boat to the other. The one funny thing that happened was when I was taking a crap.
Now normally I wouldn’t shitblog on a Monday, but this isn’t so much about kernels of corn or clogging the pipes so much as it is about unexpected company and release mechanisms. Partway through my bathroom experience, somebody entered the stall next to mine and started coaxing his shit out. The thing is, he started out all like, “uuuuuuuuungh,” and, “hrrrrrrraaafff,” and ended up yelling at it in a very much yakuza tone of voice. Yes, faithful readers, it is the very first time I have heard someone yelling at their own shit, in any language. “Hayo DERUNJYA KORA!” (Hurry up and come out!) It made me wonder if he was pulling heroin bags out of his ass. I finished my business and decided to vacate in a rapid manner, half-amused and yet permanently scarred by the experience, and just wanting to Get the Fuck Out. Horror of horrors, as I was washing my hands at the sink, the other guy finished and stood behind me waiting as I quickly splashed water on my face. I glanced at his relection in the mirror – bald head, black knit sweater with handpainted gold glitter design (my guess: $250 at a fake Versace shop?), man purse from hell – yep, this guy was at least High Wannabe level. When we got back into our cars belowdecks, the guy’s ride was a mid-90’s Gloria with blackout tint and Tokushima plates. Feh. (It’s all about Kobe plates, bioootch!)
The conversation I witnessed between a friend from France and an 18 year old girl from Hong Kong made me think the most this weekend. Mostly, it made me think what a fine line there is between Gallic honesty and assholism, but maybe you will see what I mean. So my pal Stef from Mimizan, who is about my age, is being asked about jobs available to foreigners in Japan by this young girl from Hong Kong. And Stef says, straight up, “You should be a prostitute. It’s the easiest way to make money in the shortest amount of time.” And I laughed my ass off and said That’s Fucked Up, just because I thought it was a particularly cold-blooded thing to say to an 18 year old. But then I thought about it some more. Sometimes I wonder if I just see the world differently than those around me, and whether that is a curse or a gift. But, yeah, in reality maybe it’s a good thing to get on the table at an early stage in life: Girls, you can all be whores. That option is always open if you need money quickly. If all else fails, go to France; they will understand your needs there.
Oh shit, I almost forgot to write about the dope-ass swag people gave me this weekend. As a wedding present, Stef brought back a set of white bathrobes made of thick cotton for me and Nam – and they have our names embroidered on them! In green! Cursive! Pimpalicious. Now all I need is a smoking jacket and a monocle, oh yeah, and a house with a study, and I will never leave home again. You can all come visit me and we’ll make a toast with snifters full of the vintage umeshu (plum wine/liquor) I scored from T’s aunts this weekend!
On Saturday night, I stayed over at T’s place and he mentioned that his aunts had recently found a jar of home-brewed umeshu from 1978. ZZZing! That got my attention. I made it known I was interested in trying some. So, around midnight, his aunt Yuki-chan came around the house and told me to help her bring out some jars from behind the old house. It was dark and I hit my head on a pipe, but it was worth it. In all, we rescued three ten-liter glass jars, one typically amber-colored lot from 2000, one reddish vintage from 1997, and one of unknown (but very old) vintage that had turned nearly black. Glasses were procured, and each lot was tasted carefully. The 2000 vintage was nearly indistinguishable from store bought umeshu. Good, but typical. The unknown vintage was so old it had started turning to vinegar – I’d like to try converting it into a plum vinaigrette dressing sometime. Now the middle lot – BINGO! – this stuff was goooooooood. T’s aunt, Tatan, told me this lot had turned a reddish color because she took out the plums a few years back (I do not know if the red umeshu sold in stores also turns colors naturally. I always assumed they added coloring.). And since we are moving to Thailand this year, she gave me the whole lot! I was so happy I nearly cried. This is the Good Stuff. It is not even what I would call top shelf, because I wouldn’t put it there. It is more precious than the Bookers bourbon; more meaningful than the Kubota sake which are the best bottles of booze I have at home. This stuff stays in a cool, dark place in the earthenware bottles to which we transferred it, to be sampled occasionally, and treasured forever. Let me be clear – this stuff is so good, it almost makes you wish you had never tasted it, for want of never being able to drink regular umeshu again.
The last thing about the weekend worth mentioning was my drive home yesterday. It was long. The weather was perfect for windows-down driving in a t-shirt. I drove directly into the setting sun for most of an hour, listening to Soundgarden as the asphault melted into long streaks of orange and gold before me. I crossed the Yodogawa, and thought about taking walks on it with my brother last year. It turned dark as I headed through Kobe and watched the lights dancing on the harbor out my left window. And I thought about how in six months time, this will all be a distant memory.

Tachiiri

tachiiri-dam_001.jpg
We walked up to the top of Hatsuo dam and found the newest levee, a massive concrete wall currently only controlling a trickle of water. The harsh whiteness of the walls stands out like a scar viewed against the surrounding forest environment. This is a washed out photo of the No Trespassing sign adorning it.

this is nerd tv


“I thought it would be a fun project to write and record a pop tune using nothing but cellos, then make a video of the performance. The original goal was to keep everything entirely acoustic, with no recording studio effects or other processing. I quickly abandoned that idea to get more variety of sounds, but everything you hear was played entirely on my cello. There are 37 separate cello parts recorded on 23 tracks using 37 plug-in effects. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit I spent hundreds of hours on this project, or proud to have paid so much attention to detail. You be the judge.”
full info

crowd signage hack

Okay this is a pretty fun and useless hack (the most interesting kind, IMHO): 1,024
Upload a jpeg/gif/png (less than 500k in size) and a new graphic is generated. It shows 1,024 people in stadium seating holding up placards that your uploaded graphic is displayed on. The end result looks something like this:

//////////
Yes, Asian Trekkies, that is the king of cool:
takei.jpg
(original graphic)

Lucky Guy

I have this thing where I constantly scan for telephone poles, trees, and other stationary objects as I walk down the street, just in case a car loses control like this. An OCD, for sure.

“placenta lasagne”

This is not helping my mood any: Cruise vows to eat placenta after birth
Selfish bastard. Everybody knows the placenta is for the mother to eat to replenish essential shit after childbirth, right? Or at least, that’s what my mini-Pekingese bitch did when she gave birth to a litter of pups in my closet.
Fucking wannabe samurai biting my fucking dog.
Now I just feel the need to lash out.
UPDATE: Yes, the title to the previous post is a Family Guy reference, itself a Peanuts reference. Nice catch, FG otakus.

no dogs allowed

My bro is moving back to the states after living here the past few years. He left on a flight out of KIX early this morning. My dad came last week and they went down to Kyushu together on a kind of sayonara tour (Adam lived down there before coming to Kansai). My dad is leaving for the airport later today. I’m taking the afternoon off to have lunch and see him off.
Expats who stay here for longer periods all have memories of people leaving; sometimes it seems that life is just a series of goodbyes. For me, these next few months will be tough: My wife is also leaving next month, to start teaching at Mahasarakham University in Thailand. I will be here on this island for four months alone, and I am not looking forward to it. But it must be this way, in order to make it better in the long run.
Jesus, sometimes I’m such a pussy.