05 November 2005

A Curse on Thee, Foul Temptress!

So, I yesterday I had dinner with a friend at the Itami Diamond City shopping center. I had some good conversation, ate some pizza (just plain old tomato and basil this time... sorry) and drank some chai at Starbucks. All in all I had a pretty good time. Until...

Innocently enough, I thought that on the way home I would pop into the cheese shop at the mall and pick up a little something in the way of a Danish Blue or perhaps a small slice of Gruyere. For you see the last time I had visited Diamond City I had found, to my delight, a small fromagerie, as it were, which specialized in imported cheeses. Little did I suspect (although I really ought to have, given what I know of the typical Japanese taste for truly insipid cheeses) that in the short span of but 2 years it had gone right out off business, taking with it my dreams of Roquefortian refreshment and Brie Bliss... Oh the Humanity!

Needless to say, I was devasted, but fortunately our local supermarket turned out have a decent cheese section, by recourse to which I was able to stave off (for the time being) the cheese cravings which were roused (only to be so cruelly denied) by the beguiling Diamond City Mall.

Goog Niter.

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02 November 2005

Review: nymphomation

Rating: ☆☆1/2

Title: nymphomation

Author: Jeff Noon

Genre: Science Fiction

Read: 1st Nov 2005

Comments: Nymphomation takes place in a dystopic future (well it was future when it was written (set in 1999, written in 1997), but now it's past... anyway...) version of Manchester England, where the populace is in thrall to a strange new lottery based on dominos. It's a bleak place where anything and everything is corporate-sponsored including the schools and the cops, and the air is filled with bio-mechanical advert bugs called blurbflies. A group of renegade mathematicians and hackers thinks there's something fishy about the whole domino system and especially the so-called jealousy killings of lottery winners, so they decide to try to break the system. Sounds like a good idea, no? But...

I have really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it has a really great premise, some cool characters, a interesting and well developed backdrop and a writing style which is very modern, flashy, playful and fun to read, but (and this is a very big 'but') it's just not believable. Noon's trying to write science fiction, and he gets the fiction part really down pat, but he totally fumbles on the science, which makes it almost painful to read at times.

There are all kinds of things that are just inexplicable, (or maybe just badly explained), the main one being the blurbflies and their weird reproductive abilities, but all of the computer and hacking stuff seems like it was written by someone who doesn't have clue about computers and sounds almost magical rather than technological... Also, he likes to talk about how all of these characters are supposedly brilliant mathematicians, and he mentions all of these supposedly complex equations, but he never shows them to us other than a few off-handed mentions of quadratic equations (?!?).

So I guess I'd have to give it a C. The writing really is quite fun, but the fakey-ness of all the science bits is just too much.

Next up on the list is 'Joy in the Morning' from the Jeeves series by P.G. Wodehouse. If you've never read any Wodehouse I recommend that you start now! He's probably the funniest writer I've ever read.

Quote:"It’s domino time! Domino time! Dom, dom, dom, dom domino time!"

  • nymphomation

  • Goog Eveninger!

    PS. re-edited to gel with the new format


    01 November 2005

    More Halloween Hijinks!

    I also had an impromptu Halloween Voice today at Okaba, and had some of our students (From left Ryouhei, Tomohisa, Me, Kiyomi and Kumiko) create Halloween Costumes with the random arts and crafts supplies lying around our office. They came up with some pretty good ones.

    Here is Kiyomi dressed as Santa Claus, complete with cardboard moustache and coke-bottle glasses. Just like the real Santa!

    This is Ryouhei in a Ninja costume. You can't see it very well, but he has a super-floppy ninja sword and a paper shuriken. Watch out evil-doers!

    This last one is Ailish in the same Ninja-gear. Now who do you think makes a better Ninja?

    Goog Niter!

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    Yesterday was the Sanda Flower Town & Okaba Halloween Party at Tiffany and Ailish's place and did we ever have a wild time! Wee-ha! There was a whole lotta drinkin' and brawlin' and carousin' going on ( by which I mean a bit of chatting and eating chips and taking photos of ourselves in our silly costumes.) Enjoy!

    Luke wore a wolf-man costume and scared the living crap out of all the poor Japanese girls on the train, but I think he deserves extra points for toughing it out with no-sleeves, 'cause it was frickin' cold last night.

    Iain (I always want to spell his name 'Iaian') from Flower Town came dressed in a plastic garbage bag and pumpkin mask ensemble, but he added some extra panache with a daikon-o-lantern. (I didn't get a pic of it though... can someone send me one?)

    Tristan came dressed as Dracula, thanks in part to the vampire teeth my mom sent me in my Halloween package. Thanks, Mom! The cocoa-flavored Peeps were deeeee-licious! (And courtesy of google translation.. Here's that last bit run through Japanese and back out into English..."Appreciation namely mother! It is to be acquired cocoa flavor to exclude, seeing was licious deeeee-!")

    Phil's came as an eggplant apparently a last minute costume decision, but still super-cute. And it's always good to have a big felt eggplant lying around the house anyway, who knows when you may need one?

    My roommate Erica wore a costume inspired by bad Japanese eighties hair-band 'X-Japan' I envy her weird-eye-shadow skills.

    Finally Ailish and her Pilates buddy Yuko were dressed as cute witches. Unfortunately Yuko missed the last train home to Tanigami and had to crash with Ailish and Tiffany, but that's just the kind of wild and crazy party that it was.

    For some reason I don't seem to have any pics of me or Tiffany. But if I can get some I will post them up tomorrow. My Pippi costume was pretty sweet too, but I think Luke probably wins the prize for best costume because with his weird wolf-man lope and moon-howling he was SERIOUSLY in character (maybe a little TOO in character)...

    OK, Goog Niter Everybody!

    PS If the folks at home are reading this, please send me pics of the babies in their Halloween get-ups!

    PPS Without the photos this post kinda sucks... oh well it's not like anyone's coming back and reading it anyway...

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