Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's already tomorrow here

Konnichiwa bitches. In Tokyo right now. I've slept about 6 hours in the past 48 hours. Probably not the best thing for my body but it should minimize the jet lag. Flight was uneventful except for the talkative kid next to me - I rarely start conversations but some people seem to find me approachable. Freaks.

The movie selection was surprisingly good. Well, it helped that every seat had a personal monitor which you could select from various movies. Caught Million Dollar Baby, the first movie to bring me to the brink of tears since, I don't know, Forest Gump, and Hitch which is not the worst romantic comedy ever made.

But I'm safely in Tokyo, which feels like a big city. I know, it might sound a bit weird, especially coming from a New Yorker, but to me NYC feels like a collection of neighborhoods while Tokyo is just... immense.

As luck would have it, the Japanese national soccer team was playing a crucial World Cup qualifier today. Japan could clinch a place in next year's World Cup Finals with a win over North Korea with one match left to play. Although this was an away match, live viewings were held at several stadiums in Japan and I decided to go to one at the National Stadium (below).

The match was shown on the stadium jumbotron but you couldn't tell that you weren't at the match by listening to the crowd, which was 20,000 strong and chanting throughout the match. The fans had reasons to cheer as Japan won 2-0 against the overmatched but still troublesome North Koreans. As if we needed any more reasons to cheer, thanks to the magic of time zones and scheduling, Japan became the first team to qualify to next year's Finals in Germany.

Tomorrow, I'm off to the mountains. I hear the rain season is fast approaching but it should hold off for the next couple of days. I won't have internet access for a while, obvs, but I'll be uploading photographs to my Flickr account whenever I have the opportunity.

In the meantime, enjoy what should be the last batch of links until I come back stateside.

  • The great Rushkoff on cracking down on medical marijuana users. I don't smoke pot myself, but when I see this society's dishonesty in addressing marijuana, especially in contrast to acceptance of Big Pharm drugs, I want to smoke up. Half Baked had the same effect on me.

  • Thighmaster is so, so wrong. Bojangle's is just heavenly.

  • Here we go, the long awaited Pitchfork Review of Memphis Bleek's 534. Pretty harsh as one might expect, but surprisingly tame score, especially after the 0.4 given to Weezer's Make Believe.

  • Fans of Lost will probably enjoy this: The following numbers unlock the easter eggs: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. But if you're obsessed about the show, you probably already knew that.

  • Via Lindsayism, Corey Haim Feldman is now a Lower East Sider. As a fan of Lost Boys, License to Drive and that porn he did with Feldman Haim, I am excited. But an elevator? Are you really living in the Lower East Side if you're not living in a walkup?

  • As you might have heard, New York's Olympic bid not so good. Really, does anyone other than Bloomberg and the NYC2012 people want the Olympics in New York? And look at Paris' pep rally - that's frickin awesome.

  • Behind Dumpling Man's smile lies a dark side.
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