Archive for the 'shopping' Category

B.O.L.O.*- grey, bi-lobal, wrinkled mass of tissue weighing about 3 lbs.

People.  I have had my mind blown.  Several times today, and in the last few weeks, but I think today I’ve really done it.
So, yesterday I bought a plane ticket to Cairo for a 2.5 week sojourn through Egypt at the end of Ramadan.  Picked up my lonely planet guide- saw two pictures, and freaked out.  So excited.  Can’t comprehend that I will be looking at the sphinx, or the location of the great library of Alexandria.  Cannot. comprehend.
This morning, I went to see Dr. Doom (AKA the E.N.T.).  I’d spare you the gory details, but then there wouldn’t be any.  He removed a copious amount of seriously the most disgusting, (mostly solid), foulest- smelling biological tissue I have ever seen (keep in mind I majored in Bio in college, saw a two week old dead body as a kid and have been to Louisiana).  So many colors- every earth tone and green you can imagine.  At one point, I thought he was pulling my eyeball out through my nostril.  Ears still not popped. 
Then, I headed uptown to hit MyIntimacy.  This is where it happened.  It’s that bra shop you’ve seen the commercials for- 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve been meaning to go for some time.  I go in, get a “fitter,” enter the booth and take off my shirt, as instructed.  I was wearing my best-fitting bra.  I was actually Tut-tutted.  “You need to take that thing and throw it in the garbage.”  Um, OK I said.  She told me to get real close to the mirror and turn my back to her.  A long pause was followed by a “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”  “back is so small, that’s the problem.” 
really?  not the two enormous bags of fat hanging from my chest?
“turn around.”  So, I do.  She sizes me up for a minute- all visual, no tape measures here, not for Mireille.  She’s been doing this for many, many years.  “I’ll be right back.”

mooks, maoris and .357 magnums

hi kids.

it’s been a tick since i last checked in with you, but i have been up to quite a bit.  i dropped into hong kong for a kip, caught on movies via qantas in demand, went to very many meetings, got a new roommate, took a bus tour up to northland and a boat through a hole in a rock, made friends with a traditional maori dance troupe, accrued 30K frequent flyer miles and shot some guns.

since so much has happned, i guess it’s best to sum up the highlights and key takeaways:

  1. qantas has better business class than cathay pacific,
  2. spiderman 3 was the biggest let down in my movie going career since, well, ever, i guess,
  3. australia and new zealand may only be separated by the tasman sea, but they are worlds apart,
  4. kiwis say “awesome” more than americans,
  5. the all blacks might be the coolest rugby team on the planet.  but i’m such a poser, i’m basing that statement on the trivia from my bus tour driver and the cute jacket that i bought at the auckland airport,
  6. i didn’t go to the “lord of the rings part” of new zealand (of which there are several), but i did go the house where the treaty between nz and england was signed, as well as the world’s biggest war canoe,
  7. i am now, officially, a tree hugger.  there’s a kauri tree, somewhat like the american redwood, in new zealand that the maoris believe bring you good energy if you hug it, so i complied,
  8. got some good business done,
  9. signed on some new agents,
  10. took on even more duties since my domestic counterpart is leaving the company, but will get to have some fun with it,
  11. nz also has law and order a lot, though i was often too jetlagged to make the 8:30 showtime,
  12. yes, flight of the conchords is  popular there,
  13. there is a store in australia called mooks.  seriously.  it’s very trendy.  can’t figure out why it hasn’t made it to the us, though…
  14. LA still sucks, but having a gps in your car makes it almost bearable,
  15. LA kind of rules for having a gun club downtown that you can go to, rent any kind of non-automatic and shoot.  i tried a glock 9 mm (what the coppers in nyc use- thought it might be prudent to give it a test drive in case i go that way).  also tried a .357 magnum revolver with .38 caliber bullets.  MUCH better for target practice,
  16. next time i want to try rifles and shotguns,
  17. i’ll probably never make it as a sharpshooter,
  18. hailed the return of russel crowe during 3:10 to yuma, which needed a better director to handle that star power,
  19. ate like crap,
  20. watched t.o. devour the giants on sunday night football, which is the only way i could ever tolerate a dallas-led giants loss,
  21. saw bubba on letterman whilst in oz.  still love and worship him and need his new book,
  22. decided elvis should rise from the dead to take out all those responsible for the “viva viagra” campaign- pfizer, the ad agency and the people in his estate that OKed that deal,
  23. was amired by a hot (female) bartender for my choice of drink (whiskey on the rocks) and my job,
  24. got worked on by an aussie physiotherapist and was massively impressed.  he thinks i should be much more healed and is going to hunt for someone in new york to help me,
  25. i love bubba.  i know it’s a repeat, but i like round numbers.  and i really love him.

oh, and the catalan has been IMing; he can’t wait for me to visit.  i gotta try and swing that.

mt. fuji is a very shy mountain. hai! aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh hai!

cue up the Vapors, it’s time for my “observations on tokyo” email.

Shortly after writing my last entry, I got up, got out and went shopping in Shinjuku. This led to three, no four, observations:

1. Nearly everyone in Tokyo is really well dressed. At all times. For all occasions.
2. Shopping seems to be the national sport as all the centers, malls and department stores were stuffed to the gills with browsers and buyers.
3. This place is not nearly as Americanized as is portrayed in the media. Aside from the proliferation of Starbucks, of course.
4. Hai! It’s like “smurf.” It seems to mean everything. You hear it all the time. At the beginning of sentences, as punctuation, in the middle of words…

Also, people are a lot louder than I expected. I was in a trendy store called Laundry buying the expected hilariously translated t-shirts. There was a sales girl, very nice, helping me out with her arsenal of english language shopping phrases so that I could use my inane hand gestures a wee bit less. Anyway, when not helping me, she was just yelling. Of course I have no idea what she was saying, but I could tell that she wasn’t talking to anyone in particular and all the sentences trailed off in a “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hai!”

I took one of those guided tours that I generally avoid like the plague, this one to see Mt. Fuji and the hot springs at Hakone. My well earned “day off.” We drove out to see the mountain, which is way cooler even than it looks in photos and on TV. It totally stands out from the mountains around it, and seems ultra special. Apparently, it’s also a very shy mountain, as it likes to hide behind the clouds, so if you see it, you’d better take pictures immediately. Since it rained like crazy yesterday, there were mudslides and we couldn’t get too close. We went to a peace shrine instead, which was beautiful.

Then off to lunch at a hotel (I was the only person on a bus of forty that chose not to have “western style” chicken, but opted for the Japanese lunch instead. Weird.) then cable cars over the mountain to the springs. Any of you who know me well are going to be very proud when you see the photos of this thing.


Then, we got to Owakudani Valley with all the springs, reeking like sulphur as hot springs tend to do. The draw for this place, though, is that they boil eggs in the sulphur and iron filled springs, which turn black from the combination of minerals. They say if you eat an egg, you add seven years to your life. I bought “one” (which turned out to be six) for the novelty, convinced it would be disgusting. It tasted just like a regular hard boiled egg. Score seven years for me, without foul effects. I shared four of them with French Canadian pilots and stewards and then brought the last one back to the hotel for a snack (14 years!!!); my bag may never be rid of the smell.

Then we took a “pirate ship” across Lake Ashi. I don’t know why it’s a pirate ship. Our guide suggested because the other company runs plain boats, it gives them an edge. Ridiculous.

Finally, I took a bullet train back to the city and then walked around for a while looking for that section of Tokyo that you always see in the movies- you know, the Blade Runner looking part. I think I found it, but I’m not sure. This city has so many downtowns.

I lucked into a subway station (my own line, no less). Lucked into guessing which might be my stop by comparing general locations of landmarks and ended up a block from my hotel. Oh, and I found the gaijin. They’re on the subway. I was wondering where all the whiteys were.

That’s all for today. I have real business meetings tomorrow, all day. Then Harajuku for ridiculous souvenir shopping on Weds before I head out.

Ah, Tokyo, I barely knew ye.

Ciao, kiddies.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, no Law & Order, at least not yet. These people are clearly missing out.

it’s raining in tokyo


Because I am a total jackass, I did not check the dollar to yen conversion rate before I left Melbourne,  Sydney, New York or wherever.  Cut to me getting to the Citibank ATM after 11 hours of flying and arriving in Tokyo at about 8:30 pm.  or 10:30 Melbourne time.  Or 9:30 am yesterday in New York.  Or whatever.  I go to the ATM machine, put in my card, and for the first time in the long history of my travels have absolutely no idea what to do.  I had to cancel my transaction, go check out the Thomas Cook rates, come back, stand in line and get money.  I  still didn’t quite understand because I barely got enough to pay for my train ticket to the city.  Then I had to go back again, wait for some seriously confused Brits to get their cash and withdraw about ten times the amount I’d originally done.

Incidentally, and oddly enough, shit’s a lot cheaper here than in Australia, as least as far as food is concerned.  I’m waiting for that illusion to be shattered.

so, Japan is getting all the rain Australia so desperately needs.  It is pouring.  I was planning on retailling (like shopping, but you take notes instead of buy things) or go on a day trip.  now, i’m thinking of renting movies in my room for 2500 Yen a pop (no, I have NO idea what that is).  maybe read finish my horrible crime thriller.  Take a shower.  Watch Barack Obama on CNN International (man, are people as or more obessessed with the election as Americans are). 

Or maybe I should just buy an umbrella?


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
September 2018
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”