31 March, 2009

Saw Watchmen. Prefer it to the book.

I saw Watchmen over the weekend and I have to say that I quite enjoyed it.
Actually, I now prefer the film to the print version for a few reasons. Please don't think
I'm knocking the book. Far from it. The book is an interesting and fulfilling piece of literature.
Well drawn, and well written. But.................

GOD IS IT BORING! Yes. I said it. Watchmen, the book, is boring. Not to say that the movie doesn't have it's slow bits. It does. But the film does a very good job of streamlining the story into a digestible and entertaining 2.5 to 3 hours. The book took me longer to read than most novels. Simply because it is not really entertaining. All the "Black Freighter" stuff and the magazine interviews.....interesting. But boring.

The movie. A lot less boring. A little too much slow-mo, a little too "look how we framed the shot exactly like the comic panels!" but a lot less boring, and a lot more entertaining. Also, I LIKED the changed ending. The Dr. Manhattan frame up? Waaaaay better than the "war of the worlds" of the book. Just my opinion of course.

That's it. Go forth and multiply.

11 March, 2009

Coming Home

We'll be leaving for the airport here in just a few minutes. I will miss Japan, it is a beautiful and interesting country. And I hope to return here someday. We'll be home around 8 or 9 pm, and we'll hopefully talk to everyone this weekend. See you soon!

08 March, 2009

Days 4 and 5

So, I went to Shibuya and was slightly disappointed in the scale. It looks ALOT bigger in films. The city was still really cool, but my expectations were not met. Other than that pretty awesome place. Lots of shops selling the newest, most popular fad items, a metric shit-ton of music stores. We went to Tower Records, HMV, Disk Union, Book Off, and a few others I can't remember the names of. Overall a very stylish place to go.

The next we took a daytrip to Kyoto, and then to Osaka so's I could go to Shocker!, Japanese punk band Balzac's store. Kyoto reminded me of downtown L.A. Alot of very shiny, very tall office buildings. Unlike L.A. there were pachinko parlors in between most of them. Saw Kyoto Tower, nothing special. Really. Bought a statue of a tanuki, which the sales lady tried to wrap, which they often do in Japan, (almost every individual item) and TORE THE PAPER!!! She was very apologetic, "Gomenasai, gomenasai..." I told her, "Daijobu. Daijobu desu." Luckily she let it drop, it took her about 10 minutes to get as far as she did. We then headed of to Osaka. I didn't really see much of Osaka because we had a really fun time just trying to find Shocker!. We asked a cop, and he told Michiko, my friend Joe's mother, how to get there.......and she promptly forgot. So we hailed a cab, and the cab driver promptly drove IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. FOR 15 MINUTES. Needless to say he only charged us for half of the trip. We got close to the shop, asked another cop directions (apparently that's all cops do in Japan, give directions) walked a few minutes, asked a random pedestrian, and finally found the joint. Very cool, very small shop. I wished I had more money. Then we got on the subway, and back to the Shinkansen.

The Shinkansen is the famous "bullet train", and it is fast. Really fast. Sometimes sounds like you are on a plane fast. Very comfortable ride, they even have someone walk a cart down the aisle with refreshments every 20 minutes or so. It was around a 7 hour round trip from Osaka to Tokyo. So that was pretty much the entire day.

06 March, 2009

Day Three

Okay. Today kinda blew. It rained ALL day. Not pissy drizzle, RAINED. I went back to Akihabara to scope out some more places and take some more pics, but the rain really put a monkey wrench into that. So, hopefully today will be better. Weather's looking good so far. Planning on hitting Shibuya today. That's the huge crossing with all the neon and video screens you see in everything that has to do with Japan. Update later........

Day Two Pics Zojoji Temple

Day Two Akihabara

Day Two Pics Tokyo Tower Wax Museum

Day Two Pictures Tokyo Tower

05 March, 2009

Day Two

Well. Today we got our first experience taking the Yamanote line train which circles central Tokyo. It is CRAZY. People cram themselves onto the train like sardines. A few times I was preeetty sure the doors wouldn't close. Anyway, we went to Akihabara, otherwise known as "Electric Town" electronics everywhere, as well as arcades, claw machines, and lots and lots of manga, games, anime, and toys. Almost all of these stores are 5 or 6 floors of geek bliss. If only we had stores like this for geeks in the U.S..............Tokyo Tower was pretty cool, it looks like a bright orange Eiffel Tower. We hit the main observation deck which was 150m. You could see all of Tokyo. Pretty impressive. We also hit the very weird wax museum in the tower. It was mostly filled with wax western rock stars. Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, and James Hetfield to name a few. Good selection of t-shirts though. None that would fit my enormous western frame though. We ate at a little 2nd floor joint that served horse meat sashimi, and I would have tried it if Kim hadn't given me the stink eye. That's it for now. I'll post some pictures later tonight.

04 March, 2009

Day One Pictures

Day One

Well. Our first day in Japan has already made all previous vacations pale in comparison. There is literally something to see everywhere you look. There is no unused space here. Every alley is filled with restaurants and shops and people. In Japan you will never go hungry or thirsty. There is a restaurant every few feet, and vending machines selling hot or cold drinks just a little further apart. The people are polite, other than that they mostly just ignore you. I did however, get spoken about as I walked by three 20 something Japanese guys. All I understood was
"America-jin" a couple times as I walked past. We went to Asakusa and visited Senso-Ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bohddisatva of Mercy Kwannon. It is an enormous temple with a long shopping arcade that leads to the jingu, or gate. The shops sell everything from sweets and snacks, to toys, statues, and costumes. Pretty much the only thing I did not see being sold was electronics. We also hit a couple of arcades which were mostly filled with middle aged men smoking and playing the games. They are so incredibly loud it is hard to describe. I think that is it for now, I will upload some pictures in a seperate post.

02 March, 2009

T-Minus 45 minutes...

It is 3:34 am Monday morning and we will be leaving for the airport at 4:15. All our bags are packed and we are ready to go. Just waiting for the cab that will take us to the magical flying machine. I will attempt to let you guys know whats happening if anything, when I get the chance.
Hope to everyone when we return on March 12th.

P.S. I think Kim might be a robut.

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