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Bob Loblaw

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I don’t have anything especially in mind to write, but I figured I should write something before this blog becomes super stale and dead like so many of my friends’ blogs have *coughNR70000cough*.  Ha.

Golden Week came and went here in Japan, the week-long national spring break that seems to exist only to give airlines and other travel-related business an excuse to hike up rates times one billion since the majority of the country has vacation during the exact same few days.  I really don’t understand why they don’t get rid of Golden Week and just allow people to actually take off.  Then again, based on my limited experience, even with an extra 5 or 6 vacation days a lot of people here just wouldn’t use them.  Why not?  You have vacation days, right?  Oh, but it would be such a hassle to everyone else. Ugh.  Is it sad that GW might be a necessity here to actually get people to take a vacation?  Of course please also note that many “hard working Japanese office workers” spend half their day in pointless meetings, stamping forms, chain smoking, and writing e-mails with super polite language that makes simple communication a chore.  And then they wonder why they have to work overtime!

I was planning on taking a few days during GW off myself, but things didn’t work out as planned when the Wednesday before I got hit with some kind of nasty flu or something that knocked me out for a good 4 days almost.  I’ve had colds before but this was something much worse.  Headache, congestion, fever, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, all that fun stuff.  Usually I’d welcome the chance to lay in bed all day watching TV but I couldn’t even enjoy it this time around.  It was pretty bad.  But I recovered.  Just in time for Golden Week to be over, too!

I don’t really watch Japanese TV anymore, save for a few shows that I just download anyway.  American TV has been pretty good recently, and I’m looking forward to some awesome season (and series) finales coming in the next few weeks.  Not looking forward to the summer drought of new episodes, but that’s to be expected.  Lost has gotten pretty disappointing and I’m honestly just hoping to get it over with.  Maybe they’ll surprise us with something awesome in the end?  House has been fairly good all season although I miss the better season-long story arcs they had in past seasons.  The Office and Family Guy are just kind of there, although still good.  Fringe probably has my vote for best show at the moment, especially with the season finale coming up that should tie a lot of stuff together and really drive home the long-term arc they’ve been working on for the past two seasons.

Let’s see, what else is there?  Work is still work, for better or worse.  I’m hoping something pops in the next few weeks/month or two.  Either way right now I’m looking at moving back to the US (for reals this time) sometime in the fall.  St. Louis here I come!  It’s hard to think about packing up everything here in Japan and moving back to the other side of the planet.  It’s been a great time, but I think that four years is a lot longer than I had originally planned to stay here.  Yeah I just realized that come September it will have been four years.  Yikes.  I have no regrets about moving to Japan after graduation, but I think it’s time to start planning for the future.  That will be much easier in the US.

Quit the vibrating

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It’s late at night on a Saturday and I’m watching MXC on Spike. Is it strange that being in the US after such a long time, I’m now wasting time watching an originally Japanese show on TV? Nah, the dub is awesome.

I do have a small gripe though, and that’s with a certain commercial that’s already come up twice in the past 15 minutes of me watching this show. It’s for a Trojan “Vibrating Touch” thing for ladies. I don’t think I need to explain any further, do I? So yeah, whatever, it’s that kind of product and it’s late at night, I can understand that. But do they have to include a super old woman giving a testimonial about how much she loves her little Touch thing? It’s absolutely disgusting and I’ve almost puked each time she shows up. What women are up at 3AM watching Spike anyway? This commercial seems very out of place.

Ugh.

MTV sucks

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I’m back in the US. It’s been pretty good so far: lots of great food, being able to go places without having to rely on trains, stuff costing closer to what it should, etc. I’m definitely leaning towards moving back here sometime in the next year or so, whether to St. Louis or somewhere else.

Oh yeah, so I complain a lot of times about how bad Japanese TV is, especially since 90% of programming in Japan consists of the same stable of untalented “talents” overreacting to food porn. But I was sitting here working on Monday afternoon with the TV left tuned to MTV and my god, I think the shows on there (of course they don’t play music videos) have gotten even worse than before, and even beyond bad Japanese shows. I watched about 10 minutes of this show called “Parental Control” and it was just so bad in so many ways I couldn’t turn it off. I’m hoping that none of you are familiar with this show so here’s what I can gather about it: it’s a dating/reality type show where a guy’s parents aren’t happy with their son’s girlfriend. Each of the parents set up the son on a blind date, and the parents and current girlfriend monitor the date from the living room with a TV monitor. At the end of the episode, the guy decides to stay with his girlfriend, or he can choose one of the other 2 girls.

First off this show had the same style, music, and feel that all MTV shows have had for the past 10-15 years. It was just sad how the shows on that station haven’t changed at all in so long, yet I’m sure they still have a steady audience of pre-teens who don’t know any better. Next, contestants on MTV shows are always the same type of people: obnoxious, stupid loud, rude, and suggestive. On this show the parents were also like this, which made it super creepy, especially when the dad brought his girl out for his son to date, and wouldn’t shut up about “how hot she is.” Where does a married guy in his late 40’s or so find a 20-something girl who wants to be on a TV dating show??

The answer, of course, is that he didn’t, and she was provided by MTV, but it was still super creepy.

And almost like clockwork, when things starting “heating up” during the date, the current girlfriend started getting all uppity and then was arguing with the parents, expletives flying and the censor beep being used just a little too much. The show was just obnoxious and repetitive, although I did laugh a few times. These times were when the son was on camera (a lot) since he was probably in his early 20’s, seemed to have an IQ equal to his age, and was going super bald but still insisted on spiking his hair up a lot. Har har.

Quote so bad I had to make a note of it #1: “Since we went rock climbing, I brought you some rock candy!”

Quote #2, by a girl who got rejected because she was mega butch: “You know what, I am manly, and if I ever see you on the street I’m going to kick your ass!”

Ugh. I hate you MTV.

Also I’m tired of seeing “professional” poker on ESPN. Mainly just the guys with sunglasses, because that’s obnoxious.

Seriously, I’m having a great time in the US, but a lot of TV here is just amusingly bad.

Monk-y Magic

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Sent off my application and writing samples for the textbook-writing job on Monday morning. We’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’m close to getting a job there. I’m supposed to get some kind of answer back next week. One of the samples I had to write was just a personal essay about something that impacted your life, and what I wrote was pretty much exactly the same as some of my blog entries, maybe a bit more serious and formal. But not all that much. Oh, and I guess it had a little bit more structure than the usual brainpuking I do here.

I’ve been watching a lot of the TV show Monk this past weekend. I’d seen random episodes here and there in the past because my parents watch it at home, but watching it from the very beginning has been better, although there’s not really much stuff that transfers from one episode to the next. It’s pretty much the same as watching Detective Conan, just with a different gimmick. Instead of a little kid with a bow tie and a stun-gun watch, you have a middle aged dude with OCD and a bunch of other phobias. Oh yeah, and Monk‘s not animated or in Japanese. Pretty much the same thing. Other detective shows like CSI are OK, but I like the ones that aren’t too serious, so this is a good.

I suppose it’s proof of my own OCD that I have to watch them all in order too. I don’t really like just watching random episodes of shows, even if it’s really episodic.

Packing again

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Today was a fairly busy day. Hit up the Lumbini Indian buffet with Blanchard, then did more shopping for gifts to take home. I’ve spent more this week on other people than I would usually spend on myself in a whole week or two. Ran some more errands all afternoon, then headed to Makuhari. Saw Miyoko who’s working at some shop that sells funky Christmas hats and clothing for miniature dogs, then went to Hana no Mae with Andy. That kid is mad sweet. For real. It’s actually hard to explain, but the guy is just awesome.

Right now I’m supposed to be packing, but I’ve spent a long time tonight sitting around watching Iron Chef episodes. And speaking of Iron Chef, I randomly checked Iron Chef Sakai’s blog (he is a pretty hardcore blogger) and saw a picture of him at the gym. It’s pretty surprising. I guess you don’t think about an Iron Chef pumping iron.

I need to be at Narita around noon, so I’ll probably leave my place at 10 or 10:30. Not packed at all yet, but I’ve got piles of stuff on my floor waiting to be Tetris-ized into my suitcase. Will be in St. Louis for X-Mas and all that. If you’re around, hit me up.

I want these DVDs!

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How did I not know that Mama’s Family was released on DVD!?!?! I might need to order this set (Amazon link). Even though it’s only season 1, which isn’t as great overall as the later episodes, it is still a quality TV show that was worth staying up until 5 or 6AM last summer to watch on TBS.

Vinton!

Also another note to self: I need to get News Radio season 5 eventually, just to complete the set. Who knew I would actually be so willing to pay for DVDs?

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