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Off to Kyoto

March 28th, 2005 | Comments | Posted in Personal

Asakusa Kannon Pagoda

Well the last few days in Tokyo have been a blast, and we’re about to hop the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. I’ve uploaded a bunch of Tokyo photos, so check those out.

On Sunday we went to Ginza, which is a very upscale shopping disctrict, with the most expensive real esate on earth. It was an unbelievably gorgeous day, and we were out in t-shirts. They close Ginza-dori, which is the main thoroughfare in Ginza, so that people can shop; it’s a little like closing down 5th avenue. Pretty sick. That night we partied hard in Roppongi.

Yesterday, it started raining, and we took a bus tour of the city, including Tokyo Tower, the Diet building and Imperial Palace, and the Asakusa Kannon Temple in Ueno. Trevor’s on my ass to get moving now, so I gotta run. Enjoy the pics.

New Japan Pics

March 26th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in Uncategorized

Tokyo Tourists

I’ve uploaded a few of the pictures I took while doing touristy stuff yesterday. You can see all the japan pictures by going to my Flickr photostream and choosing the tag japan. Hope you enjoy; we’re having a blast so far.

Blogging from the East

March 25th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in Personal

Hey all, writing this from Mikey’s laptop in his and Brock’s apartment in Tokyo. It’s noonish, and we just got back from walking the city a bit and grabbing some food at Denny’s, which is absolutely nothing like Denny’s in the US. Last night I got in about 5:45 local time (12:45 by my clock) and it took a few hours to get through immigration and customs and ride the train into downtown to meet Trevor. We dropped our stuff off at the apartment and headed out to a couple nomihodais (all-you-can-drink bars); somehow I managed to last the night and after getting a few good hours sleep on a hard-as-hell tatami floor, we’re ready to go all touristy. I’ll update later with some pics. Bottom line, I’m alive and well, and Japan is my oyster…

Ittekimasu!

March 23rd, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in Personal

I’m off to Japan tommorrow morning. Keep checking back as I’ll be updating from the road and uploading pictures.

Oh, and here is the result of my studio sessions this week. I think they came out pretty good. Let me know what you think.

Next stop, Tokyo!

Buying the Indispensable Opposition

March 21st, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in Personal, Politics, Yahoo! Related

It seems my switching to Flickr for my photo hosting was timely; this weekend we bought them. I’m very pumped about this, their service is fantastic. If you haven’t played with it, check it out at flickr.com or just click on one of the photos in the left column there.

In other news, I’ve basically been gearing up for the big Japan trip. I plan on blogging as much as possible during the trip, so if you’re interested in following our travels, this is the place to be. I also plan on uploading as many pictures as possible as I take them.

I’m not going to New York, and while slightly heartbroken, I can only hope the Pillows return to tour again. As it is, I guess could still go to see them at the Chicago anime convention <shudder>, but that would be truly painful: I’d hate to reduce a band that’s been playing for 15 years to the few songs they contributed to an anime soundtrack. Plus, I went to one of those conventions once; all I can say is, I don’t ever want to do that again.

Lastly, while digging through some old cassette tapes, I discovered a copy of the recording of my grandmother testifying before the House Un-american Activities Committe (HUAC) in 1954. I’d heard it before, but every few years I rediscover it, and am always blown away. Hearing a short, female, jewish, communist attorney brow-beat congressmen (in the fifties, no less) is really quite an experience. She quotes extensively from Walter Lippman’s Indespendable Opposition during the hearing; after reading that document, I found it to be as relevant today as it was then. I’ll leave you with one quote my grandmother used in the hearing:

We take, it seems to me, a naïvely self-righteous view when we argue as if the right of our opponents to speak were something that we protect because we are magnanimous, noble, and unselfish. The compelling reason why, if liberty of opinion did not exist, we should have to invent it, why it will eventually have to be restored in all civilized countries where it is now suppressed, is that we must protect the right of our opponents to speak because we must hear what they have to say. … For there is a point, the point at which things really matter, where the freedom of others is no longer a question of their right but of our own need.