died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Sunday, January 30, 2005

music music music

Alright Mike, here goes

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

146.1 MB. It's a strange hodgepodge of my roommates CD's, My CD's, and LimeWire stuff, alot of which is crap music from the person who put the software on our computer.

2. The CD you last bought is:

Album: Chopin 24 preludes Nocturens op.27 No.1, etc. (I really wanted to here 'Raindrop' because it's in Kurosawa's 'Dreams'

Single: I have taken the authority to combine this with the download section

Download: Traveler (Kid Loco's Once Upon a TIme in the East Mix) from Cafe del Mar Vol.6

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Mathematics by Telepopmusik (random LImewire download)

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

I like music that can create a landscape without words. I suppose the list is pretty Ambient-heavy:

1)Lux-Northern Lights (from Cafe del Mar vol.7)
Traveler (Kid Loco's Once Upon a TIme in the East Mix)
from Cafe del Mar Vol.6

As the DJ of the Cafe Del Mar intended, this is the ideal groove to watching an Iberian sunset

2)Aphex Twin- Cliffs from Selected Ambient Works Vol 2 (Disc 1)

Because the ephemeral voice in this song reminds me of Munch's ''The voice/summer night" in the that there are somethings that cannot be said no matter how hard you try. It also reminds me of my time in Washington D.C. navigating the Metro and running around the embassies everynight

3)Isan-Lucky Cat-fueled

Because it is able to paint a tapesty of intense almost crushing urbanity

4)Air-Talkie Walkie-Alone in Kyoto

Because it reminds me of not being alone in Kyoto

5)Schubert:Impromptus D.899/935

Can't explain. Just listen, maybe you'll understand

The buck stops here

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Saturday, January 29, 2005


On my way home from buying tickets for a lecture I'm going to see on my birthday next month, I had my first encounter with subway rats in japan, in of all places, Omotesando
on the Chiyoda line

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

sneakily sending money home

Because I'm so smart, I thought I would share with you the ideal way of sending money home to, well America at least.

Ways of sending home money for suckers/losers:

Lloyds Remittance Service:

It's in all the newspapers. JET promotes it in its mountains of literature. Why is it for losers? a) you have to pay to wire the money from your japanese account to your japanese Lloyds account, then pay lloyds 2000 yen to wire the money to your account in america, then the bank you're mailing to in america will charge yet another fee, then there is the conversion exchange. I ended up paying about $50 to send money home.

The post office

The post office is infinately cheaper. Using a money order you pay 500 yen (a little less than $5) for every $750 you send home. Then you must mail that money order. The only advantage of Lloyds is that it is almost instantaneous. The post office all depends on how much you're willing to send it how fast.

Now comes sneakiness.

The post office has a special card for use abroad. You can take money of an American ATM, and simply deposit that money into your account at home. The drawbacks? You need a collaborater to sneakily put the money into your home account, which means they need atm cards for both your postal account and your checking account in the states. It best be someone you trust. More frustrating, though, is the 'horyu settei', which basically requires you to go to the post office in person and say 'I want this much money accessible abroad'. Huge pain with the lines at the post office.

The sneakiness I've chosen is two open two bank accounts that have atm cards that can be used at foreign ATM's. The only problem now is, since Japanese banks won't issue duplicate cards for people other than family with foreign ID cards, is that you have to get the money into the account, usually via bank transfer, or just have your company put part of your salary in one account every month. There is a charge of 210 for every $500 taken out of the account,and if you have a collaborator, it can be even faster than Lloyd's!

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Monday at the office

Originally uploaded by woodwart.
So I realized that most of you may have no idea what my office area looks like. Well I am in the Mitsubishi Mura area of Marunouchi, right outside of Tokyo station. The building you're looking at has a Tomorrow land in it, and there's even a Brooks Bros. in the basement of ours. That is, until the office moves next year and they tear this building down. It's a shame I didn't take this exact same picture almost a month ago; The Millinario was on, and the hordes came to see somewhat mediocre lights set up all along the street. The crowds were more the spectacle!

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Lazy Saturday

Hey everybody, learn about me. Via articulatory loop

A - Accent: zero, Minneapolitans are the pinnacle of perfect standard American English
B - Breast Size: pecc-y guys with dark features.
C - Chore You Hate: re-anything.
D - Dad's Name: Christopher
E - Essential Make-Up Item: Aveda
F - Favorite Perfume: Whatever my roommate wears.
G - Gold or Silver: don't forget red!
H - Hometown: Mpls
I - Insomnia: nope
J - Job Title: International PR
K - Kids: someday I hope!
L - Living Arrangements: living in swanky Akasaka with my homeopath roommate.
M - Mum's Birthplace: Chicago,Ill
N - Number of Apples: mmmmm, apples
O - Overnight Hospital Stays: one, don't want to talk about it
P - Phobia: uninteresting people, debt
R - Religious Affiliation: unfortunately not jewish
S - Siblings: Older Brother, Spencer 29
T - Time You Wake Up: 7:30
U - Unnatural Hair Colours You've Worn:My grandma brags about how my hair gets redder in the summer....
V - Vegetable You Refuse To Eat: rakkyo
W - Worst Habit: blogging
X - X-Rays: Twice, broken metatarsel and potential broken rib from snowboarding
Y - Yummy Foods You Make: epicuriosities www.epicurious.com
Z - Zodiac Sign: pisces

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

guess before you link

So, I went to the Time/Warner/Fortune magazine person of the year press party last week at roppongi hills' swanky Grand Hyat. Now before you click, who do you think it was? My hint, they won the prize once before, somewhat recently.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Loki, as some of you may know, is a shape changing-norsk god. This would seem to be a fitting name for the jacket that I just bought.In a pinch for the recently blogged snowboarding trip, i was in need of a outdoorsy jacket. Still blubbering over the loss of my beautiful arc' teryx theta ar, I was worried I would have to buy a baggy, unfuctional snowboard fashion jacket that would put me out several hundred dollars. Fortunately after perusing I found the loki jacket section. At first the metamorphic sleeve turn glovemit just seemed like a one trick pony. The novelty soon wore off when I realized how warm my hands could be; with your hands directly connected to the heat of the rest of your body, your hands really don't get cold. On the slope the next day, even though the temps hovered around a balmy 0 degrees C, not once were my hands cold despite sopping wet gloves; my body heat kept them warm. The other great thing is the wind protection you can have with the popout wind guard for your mouth and nose. There's even an iPod holding inner pocket My only complaint, and I think it is a major one, is that the model I bought was not waterproof, so it did get rather wet. It may not be the beautiful arc'teryx theta, but it certainly takes after its namesake in its advantageous shape changing abilities

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Monday, January 17, 2005

phun phonetics

I was hanging out with someone who lives in Taiwan this weekend. He speaks, German, Mandarin, French, and English. No Japanese, but he of course understands all the kanji. It was so funny (and how similar to my own) to see his reaction to some of the place names in Japanese. As we were traveling around, he just about fell down laughing as we boarded a train bound for Abiko. Now, Abiko literally means 'My grandchild'. But Japanese people never think about the real meaning of the word itself. As I have to work today and didn't have time to show him around, I was trying to tell him places to go in Tokyo that would be fun. I said go to Yokohama. Most people know yokohama, but when I tried to tell him to use the Tokkaido sen, that would obviously be hard. We ended up communicating place names like that through the meanings of the kanji in English, like take the east ocean road line to Yokohama. Then come back and take the mountain hand line to Akihabara. Reminds me of my own experience in Korea. Looking at station names was just a blur of hangul, vowels, and consanants. If I had the Kanji, I had something to go from.

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So I went snowboarding this weekend in Niigata. We tried to reserve a bus trip up to some place north, but all the places in Nagano require you to leave the night before, and all the places in Gumma were predicting rain. Anyway we took the shinkansen up to Echigo-yuzawa, a quick 70 minutes, to a place just 15 minutes from that station. Pretty good stuff! Wet snow, which made it a little less fun, but Ishiuchi-maruyama has pretty good skiing. Lots of runs. Even the friend I went with, who grew up and went to college in Switzerland, said that it could compare with there, except for the altitude just being lower.Of course, now my body is...well at least I can walk today. Unlike the road race I ran last year, with no running training for over a year, and had to stay home from work because I couldn't even stand up.

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Friday, January 14, 2005

Top Mpls companies

According to the latest issue of Fortune magazine, a handful of Mpls based companies made it into there Top 100 companies. at 15 is General Mills, which apparently gives employees 100% tuition reimbursements. Next was Medtronic at 20, which gives employees a quarter of their working day to devote to gaining skills outside of their own. And lastly not really a company, and not really in Minneapolis, the Rochester, MN based Mayo Clinic (were King Husssein went for sugery, along with many other folks including my grandmother. )

Also in their rating was Starbucks (booh!) at number 2, which apparently gives same sex couples comprehensive health coverage from hernias to homeopathy. Thankly, it's all balanced out by Whole Foods, which has salary caps on limiting compensation to 14 times average total of company full time employees. Wish I would have invested in these guys years ago. oh well.

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Tsunami Relief

As I do work in PR, it seems appropriate to put this here. As some of you may know, at half a billion dollars, Japan is major contributor to the tsunami aid relief. Japanese companies are also acting in kind, and my company, Mitsubishi Electric will be donating JPY 50 million to relief causes. Check out the release I translated!

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What's a The Pretenders?

I took a bitch level test. Check it out
Miss Parker - from The Pretender

Who's Your Inner Bitch?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sooooo....what does that mean? I know nothing about American Television (although the simpsons is a different story. Or wait no, I haven't seen a new episode in about five years... yikes! Five years! quick, someone send me vcd's!)

What you all shold see is shizen fushigi hakken. salt planes of peru were on the last episode I saw (which was a reallllly long time ago).

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Saturday, January 01, 2005


So there's a great eatery down the way that serves among certain things falafel . It's a little kiosk near the oedo line roppongi exit near the currently under construction Tokyo mid town project. The owner of the establishment is Turkish (how he's in operation as far as visa, etc. goes, I can only imagine) and the interior is your staple euro trash with hard house music playing and posters of to these american eyes, cool european movies. Lately, however his son has taken over for some reason. And when he took my order he asked me in English etc. Then he chats away in Japanese to his Japanese customers. Then switches to Turkish to chat with one of his turkish speaking buddies hanging out in the kiosk cum resturant. I thought about making falafel recently . After looking at the recipe, though, it seems that canned garbanzo beans are a big no-no. Since I had already bought a can of garbanzo beans, I was stuck. I decided to strike up a conversation with this seeming trilinguist in English first. Blank stare after I asked him about where he buys his ingredients. I try again in Japanese, this time with some success. He said he gets all of his ingredients from Turkey. Now I find that hard to believe (First of all they're using cabbage instead of lettuce and why would you import onions from Tukey?) I think he meant the gyros meat. Anybody know where I can find dried garbanzo beans in Tokyo that has subway access? No non-23-ward-car-access-only mega shopping centers please. My Int'l drivers license expired in May. Anyway, the interesting thing to me was, this kiosk worker seemed to have so much going for him language-wise.

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