Monday, January 30, 2006

Holy Shit.

That's right, the theme of this post will be "...Holy shit." Each bullet shall be preceded with the statement, "Holy shit....".

  • ...I could sure use a can of Milo.

    I was walking through the airport yesterday and I thought to myself, "Wow, I could sure go for a can of fuckin' Milo right now." Imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw THIS:

    For those of you not fortunate enough to grow up with milo, it's a crunchy chocolate powder that you add to milk, creating a tasty beverage. It's made in Australia, so maybe it was imprinted on my mind when I was living there at an early age, along with Vegemite. Anyway, I did some research and found out some interesting facts about Milo.

    Apparently, depending on where it's sold, the texture and composition of the powder is different. This makes Milo the most culturally flexible chocolate malt beverage on the planet (in my opinion). Furthermore, it is the "In and Out Burger" of malt beverages, because in Malaysia, if you know the Milo Lingo, you can get it served in different ways.

    ....such as "Milo Dinosaur" (a cup of milo with an extra spoonfull of powdered undissolved Milo added to it), "Milo Godzilla" (a cup of Milo with ice cream and/or whipped cream on top of it) and "Neslo" (combined with Nescafe powdered coffee).

    I always thought it unfortunate that Milo never picked up in the USA. My first son shall be named Milo.

  • ...this website is fuggin awesome.

    Many of you know I am fond of doing wookie calls. I think it started the summer before my senior year of college, when my cousin Mikey and I spent the better part of August laying on the couch, watching TV, drinking Coke, belching, and practicing Wookie calls. We also used to tell detailed, lurid stories about performing sex acts in Jimmy Stuart voices, which is guaranteed to get a laugh anywhere, especially with the following:

  • Making whistling noises before every "S" sound
  • Saying stuff like "pritt'ner" ("pretty near") like Grampa does, i,e. "Pritt'ner shit muh pants"
  • Pronounce "trespass" like "TRESS'pis"

    Anyway, I got an email from Mikey yesterday. The subject was simply, "Yes", and the body of the message contained this website.

    Good stuff.

  • ...I got annihilated this weekend.

    I know I write about goin' out a lot, but the truth is, I really don't get too trashed. I do drink a lot, but that's mainly because I'm hanging out for such a long time, like from 9pm to 7am or whatever. I don't like getting too horrendously lit up because I'll fall asleep on the train and ride it around for 4 hours like I did with Sam.

    So I will hesitate to say "Holy shit, I got annihilated this weekend" because it didn't result in my throwing up. That's not something I've been doing lately; not like Okinawa, where it was pretty much a Friday-Saturday custom.

    As we all know, sometimes when drinking, and I stress sometimes, there is a point where you know if you continue, you'll cross the line into sick land. Often times we don't see the line, because we're too busy seeing how many shots we can drink....but Saturday night was different. I had a moment of clarity, where I thought to myself, "Ok, this is it. One more and you're gonna jump off the cliff."

    So I stopped. Stopped everything. Stopped drinking, stopped talking, stopped moving. A few people have witnessed this first hand, but it's a new drunken personality for me. I just get really quiet and refuse to talk. At one point in the night, some girls we were with asked me what someone said, and I quietly responded, "tsuuyaku owari." which literally means, "Translating: Finished.." I was done interpreting, which did very little to endear me to the girls we were with, one of whom was mad at me anyway. Blammo, Paul gets drunk and fucks it up again.

    Getting quiet is a modification on my previous behavior, which was to simply disappear for the rest of the night and pursue side adventures. This was a step up from when I was much younger and less "controlled." A good example of this is when I was dancing ("vogue-ing" actually) with a local retarded dude named "Cake" at Brando's 21st birthday party. There are just some things that make you embarrassed to think about, even 9 years later.. Throwing up out of moving cabs was another one of my former stupid-pet-tricks, which I'm happy to have abandoned.

    Here here, I'll drink to sophisticated drunken behavior.

  • ...I work with freaks.

    I saw a Rubics cube sitting on my boss's desk, so I stood there and played with it for a little while. I'm not good at stuff like that - it would probably take me about 2 hours to complete just one side. Anyway, I got bored fucking around with it, went down stairs, and when I came back 15 minutes later, it looked like this:

    Yeah, I work with some real freaks.

  • ...I'm an asshole. aka I have some funny friends.

    While this goes without saying, I'd like to present you with an excerpt of an email from my good friend. We'll call him J. We studied in Japan together, and he bore witness to a lot of stupid things I did, and I him. Anywho, here's part of the reply I received from him today from an email I sent to him yesterday, subject: "Mongoloids."

    I'm gonna have to go with your "mongoloid" suggestion. I gather that you have a very low threshold for calling people "mongoloid" since you so viciously and gratuitously flung the label at me for simply not remebering that Mrs. Cleaver's name was "June." Come on, like, who's gonna remember that it was June unless he sat around watching way too many old Beaver reruns when he could have been doing something more productive like playing Punch Out. So given your microscopic requirements for labeling people with racial epithets, I feel somewhat justified in doing the same because a) I know you're not racist and b) it's a funny and interesting project and c)you're a big fat hairy mongoloid smegma fart.

    This was in response to what I wrote him, which was this:

    beaver's mother's name was june. june cleaver, you mongoloid.

    yeah, ive been calling everyone at work "mongoloid".for some reason i said it on friday and it was a huge hit. i said it to a few of my friends out in town and they thought it was pretty funny too, so it's the new buzzword. "you fuggin mongoloid." i think it started in okinawa, cuz we used to eat mongolian BBQ a lot, which we called mongoloid bbq. maybe you could try that out on your friends sometime. you could say, "hey, i know this restaurant with REALLY good mongoloid BBQ. you wanna go sometime?" and when they say, "you mean mongolian bbq?" you can say, "yeah thats what i said, mongoloid bbq." feigning stupidity is the cornerstone of most of my humor. while it's funny to you and whoever is in on the joke, most people find it pretty offensive. anyway, i decided that it would be cool to have a mongolian girlfriend, because before you introduced her to your friends you could say, "well, there are a lot of cultural differences, and i dont really understand what she says a lot of times, bein that she's a mongoloid. you know, they kinda talk funny. on the plus side, she's incredibly strong, tho a little tempermental and unpredictable. she likes rollerskating and icecream."

    I guess running around my workplace calling telling people to "stop acting like a mongoloid" may qualify me as a bit of a jerk, but a lot of people find jerk-like behavior really funny. I'm not sure how I got started on the mongoloid kick; I think it's cuz one of my office mates has a Japanese wife, and subsequently two half-Japanese kids. We were talking about his kids, and I think I told him that he should be happy that his children don't carry a lot of mongoloid features. After that, everything for the rest of the day was "mongoloid this" and "mongoloid that" and "shut up you stupid mongoloid."

    I'll leave you all with some lines from the classic film, Dusk till Dawn:


    Awww, it's just been a shitass day.
    Every inch of it hot and miserable.
    First off, Nadine at the Blue Chip
    got some sorta sick, so that Mongoloid
    boy of hers was workin' the grill.
    That fuckin' idiot don't know rat shit
    from Rice Krispies. I ate breakfast
    at nine, was pukin' up pigs in a
    blanket like a sick dog by ten

    Isn't there a law or something
    against retards serving food to the

    Well, if there ain't there sure oughta
    be. Who knows what goes on inside
    Mongoloid's mind?

    You could sue the shit out of her, ya
    know. That kid belongs under a circus
    tent, not flippin' burgers. You could
    own that fuckin' place.

  • Saturday, January 28, 2006

    Let me reiterate….

    When I was on ship, I used to always joke around about the fact that like clockwork, once a week, I would smile to myself and thank the spirits that I had decided to get out of the Marines. Granted, our urban missions from ship were demanding and stressful, but that’s not the reason I really wanted to get out. It seemed like, on a monthly basis, the things that made being in the military “fun” were degraded. A huge part of this were curfews.

    Had I stayed in, I had a limited amount of options of places to go, and the places I would have deployed to would have either sucked or been made to suck by the command. I certainly would have done at least 6 months or more in Iraq, and had I deployed to Okinawa or Korea, I would have had curfews slapped on me, which would have limited the amount of time I could hang out with my friends, and worse, restricted my freedom to do stuff I wanted to do. When I was in Sasebo and we had a 1am curfew, the only thing that did was make people start drinking earlier in the day and drinking a lot more. We were walking around town at 2pm and saw shitfaced service members everywhere. At least at night, there aren’t kids around. Curfews also cast a pall over everything, because people feel like their “free time” is being controlled and dictated by people who they don’t know/don’t have control over. Some retard I don’t even know and have never seen pisses on a police car or something, and I have to be in bed by midnight. Cute.

    While I am not in the military now, I am still a SOFA status person. SOFA stands for Status Of Forces Agreement, and it’s the agreement between the US Government and the host nation on dealing with people who are in the host nation working for the US Government. Military personnel/people working for the military do not have work visas or whatever like other expats; our passports are stamped with something else, we have certain ID cards, etc etc..

    For a more complete definition of SOFA, click here.

    So here’s a funny story.

    Yokosuka Navy base here on the main island of Japan has had a string of incidents recently, the worst of which was a couple weeks ago when a woman was robbed and died after taking a shot to the abdomen by a sailor. The next week, another drunken sailor tried to break into a local elementary school. While the Japanese media is definitely anti-US-Forces-in-Japan, it doesn’t take a whole lot of word-smithing to make these incidents strike fear into the hearts of the locals. How would you like it if your neighborhood were full of a bunch of drunken 18-25 year olds who were in decent physical condition, considerably bigger than the average local, and had a recent history of rape, bare-handed murder, robbery, breaking and entering, theft, etc etc.. Naturally, the locals reacted, so the commander imposed a midnight curfew for ALL SOFA status personnel living on Atsugi and Yokosuka. That’s all military, all contractors, all federal workers, and all dependents.

    I hear stuff like this and it really worries me. I mean, if it can happen to them, it can happen to me, right? Fortunately, most of the people around here are pretty geeky and don’t go on long deployments ending in drunken debauchery, so I don’t have to worry that much. Still, if the #1 commander in Japan deemed that a curfew was necessary, it would really suck to have to blatantly violate it, because I would.


    A group of 10 contractors were understandably pissed off about this – they’re not in the military, but they’re being told what to do by military folks because of stupid shit that military folks did. If a contractor or civilian employee goes and does something stupid, it’s an easy solution – they get fired. If I got a DUI out in town, I’d be done. It’s a different animal than the military, and shouldn’t be handled in the same way. Anyway, the group of 10 contractors’ solution was: SUE THE GOVERNMENT! Here’s how (and it’s pretty sneaky):

    We work 40 hour weeks, and anything more than that must be compensated, per our contracts. For instance, if I travel to a conference in the US, I’m compensated for the travel time. Also, if I have an official mandatory function outside work, I get compensated for it. Being compensated for overtime requires paperwork, and it’s a pain in the ass, so it is highly discouraged, to the point of being prohibited.

    In the military, however, there are no regular duty hours. You’re always “on duty,” and if you’re not working, you’re on “liberty.”

    The contractors’ argument was this: If we are subject to your orders after our regular work day, you owe us for overtime, and now we’re going to sue you for compensation.

    The military’s reaction: “Uuuh OK, curfew is for military personnel only.”

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaah SNAP!

    Imagine that. 10 civilians got together and made a difference. I’m glad that precedence was set, because if a similar curfew were to befall this place, no one would do a damn thing.

    So nothing to fear – Adventures will continue unabated.

    Time to run – I need to buy some clothes; more later.

    Thursday, January 26, 2006


    Drumroll, please....

    It's that time again -- when I look through search phrases people used to find this blog and cut 'n' paste the ones that catch my eye. I like to post these because they make me wonder what people are looking for on the internet. Some are really obvious, but some? Well, you be the judge.

    I'm going to break them into some categories today.

    Sexually Related
    May as well start it off right, right?

  • Okinawa whore
    Concise and to the point.

  • big japanese ass
    Good luck, keep searching.

  • girls fucked by barbarians
    I'm not sure what to say about that one.

  • japanese girl looking for friends
    "friends" eh?

  • groping girls
    ". . ."

  • Vanessa Williams+Herpes
    This is weird because I believe Ryan had the same hit on his blog.

  • "japanese girl" roppongi
    Uuh huh..

  • people getting fucked in public places
    Again, someone who knows what they want. Maybe he and the barbarian guy should link up.

  • gaijin roppongi "japanese girl"
    Google that. The results are funny.

    Google is God
    When I was roommates with Sam and I'd ask him a question he didn't know, he'd simply reply, "I don't know, let me ask God" and he'd google it. Anyway, I get a kick out of how people don't seem to understand the concept of "keywords" and ask Google questions stuff like it's the Oracle at Delphi. (I mean, it is, but you gotta ask it the right way.)

  • need something to attach to the top of the cubicle dividers to make them taller
    "Yeah, so, hey Google, um, I need blahblahblah."

  • why do people think profanity is ok
    Because it is.

  • what does sociopath mean
    I'm flattered.

    Et cetera

  • crackbabies
    I always liked that one.

  • DMZee roppongi
    I have about 5 variations on this, all with DMZee in it, probably because Tommy works there.

  • "spit bottles"
    I'm not sure why someone would google this. Maybe they were looking at buying a spitter? Ordering one online?

  • pics of disembowlment

  • japanese sharking video
    I had 3 variations on this - I think it's referring to those ships that catch sharks, cut off their fins, and throw em back in the water.

  • funniest miscommunication stories about American and British toilets
    I was unaware that there were miscommunication stories about American and British toilets, or that the toilets are so vastly different, that one would be confused where to drop one's deuce.. I googled it and amazingly enough, I came up empty.

  • creepy towns(pics)

  • Our God is an Awesome God -Song

  • dudikoff golf
    Apparently karate isn't this man's only obsession.

  • compulsive liars quiz
    I wonder what the questions are?

  • Diddy Mao
    Four variations on "diddy mao"

  • "ninjas kidnapped my family"
    Mine too, bro.

  • living with a sociopath
    Someone was doing some serious sociopath research.

  • Nigerians in Shibuya
    There are some in Shibuya, but less than in other places......

  • schmolocaust
    Apparently comedian Scott Capuro said,“Holocaust, schmolocaust, can't they whine about something else?” So I appear to, once again, be unoriginal.

  • "wearing guinness" gay
    Yeah, I thought so too.
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Anyone for a cattle prod?

    "Holy shit," I exclaimed. "It's beginning to a look a lot like Christmas up in this mo-fracky."

    I woke up on Saturday morning at about 8am. I had planned to maybe cruise up to Tokyo to train a little bit, but it was snowing pretty hard. You know what I mean; it was like these big huge American sized snowflakes took over the kanto plane like some post apocalyptic invasion of cute little ice larva, no two of which were alike.

    I feared that my Saturday night plans of applying a coat or two of red ocher to the village were dashed, but I went out anyway and had a pretty good time.

    I left my building and was met with the following:

    Considering that everyone living in my building is at least in their late 30s/early 40s (or older, with the exception of yours truly), I was a little surprised. They even have a little snow dog at the snowman's heel. And it's about 5 foot 10 inches tall, so it's a good sized snowman.

    Switch gears.

    Today I was watching Fox News before I went to work. I'm at the mercy of AFN programming, so I don't have a huge choice of news channels to pick from, but whatever. Anyway, apparently G Dubya was at KSU yesterday doing a talk, and he fielded some questions. Given the opportunity to ask the Leader of the Free World any question about anything at all, one of the students, seeking a better understanding of geo-politics from the perspective of the President of the United States, asked the following question:

    "Did you see Brokeback Mountain?"

    What a fucktard. Are you shitting me? Imagine if you were the person sitting next to him/her, and you had a good question prepared for the Prez, and s/he got picked. I'd knock them over the back of their chair. Some might argue that scripted Q&As are a bad idea, but maybe they're good in order to avoid stupid questions like that.

    But there's no such thing as a stupid question my 1st grade teacher sed so lolz

    Shut up! Yes there are. I don't care what anyone says. I wonder what that student's thought process was. "Hmmmm, President Bush is a conservative Christian who is proud of being from Texas, which is known to be populated with cowboy-esque people.. Given his views on gay marriage and abortion, etc, I think this would be an extremely thought provoking question. I'm genuinely curious to see whether or not he saw it, because I'm honestly not sure."

    Of all the movies, or cowboy movies at that, that the President might see, do you really think he'd pick a movie about a couple of tabakky chewin', cattle ropin', man-on-man-action lovin' turd wranglers?

    I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain. I don't plan to. Some might say, based on the fact that I said "man-on-man-action lovin' turd wranglers," that I won't be seeing it because I am a homophobe and hate monger. Sure, ok, whatever -- you're entitled to your opinion. While some might argue that a movie about love transcending even the manliest of institutions is a moving experience, I'll go ahead and be moved in some other way. Not wanting to see Brokeback Mountain doesn't make me any more of a homophobe than, say, not wanting to see Jarhead makes me anti-military.

    Or maybe I'll break out that case of Zima I've been saving for a special occasion, don my scuba hood and assless clown pants, and have my self a gay cowboy night. Who knows?

    Amazingly enough, President George W. Bush has not seen Brokeback Mountain either. Maybe next time he speaks at an institute of higher learning, some globally minded knowledge seeker will ask the difficult questions that are really on everyone's mind, like "Do you believe in God?" and "Are you a Muslim?"

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    No man-on-man action lovin' turd wranglers were harmed in the writing of this blog.

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    Ode to Little Joe

    I would like to devote this blog to my friend, Little Joe.

    Joe was originally a friend of mine from Hawaii, and he was on my team in Okinawa. He is an awesome drinking buddy and an even better pointman. He would pull routes out of his ass in NTA, Okinawa’s triple canopy that blew my mind, and always got us to where we needed to go. We never got lost with him in the front. And he was a surgeon with his benelli.

    Here’s a picture of Joe during a live-fire IA drill that we did in Okinawa. I always thought he looked like The Great Gazoo when he was wearing his Kevlar.

    Maybe that’s where he got his powers from.

    Anyway, when I was in Afghanistan, I was pleased to discover that he would be coming out and joining me. Here’s a picture of us one night. The blurry photo is very appropriate, because we were drunk. How do I know this? Because I am drinking out of my “Jesus Cup,” which was only ever filled with a vodka and sprite mixture that could inebriate a horse. The night would usually end with a game of “asp-apple ball,” which is where someone pitches an apple to you and you try to whack it with a collapsible baton, and then Little Joe being chased around by reputable members of Kroll Inc after a gravel fight (which is on film). Nice beards eh?

    While Joe’s terms of, erm, “resignation” from the company, are anyone’s speculation, and there were many many times that I wanted to buckwheat* him with his benelli, he's still one of my best friends.

    So why am I saying this? Well, as any of you know me knows, I like doing impersonations and impressions. Joe recently sent me a picture from when we were in Guam during TRU-EX (Tactical Reconnaissance of an Urban Environment-Exercise) in 2003. During TRUE-EX, teams are constantly subjected to the scrutiny of SOTG (Special Operations Training Group aka Sorority Of Tough Guys aka Stay Off The Grass), and generally each “instructor” has a different opinion of how everything should be done, so you’re always wrong, aka FUCKED UP aka YOU’D ALL BE DEAD. Or they tell you that you did a good job, then launch a smear campaign against your team. In any case, most SOTG instructors dress and act a certain way. While in the hotel room in Guam, I decided to take the opportunity to dress like an SOTG instructor and criticize everyone around me, and someone took a picture of it. I’ve gone through the trouble of labeling the picture so I can point out the characteristics found within. Anyone reading this with military / contractor / law enforcement experience will be able to appreciate it.

    Ok, let’s go over the labeling:
  • 1: Goofy ballcap
  • 2: Shooter glasses (I believe “Oakleys” have been replaced by Wiley-X, as the official shooter glasses.)
  • 3: Perma-sneer, from walking around with a dip of Copenhagen in your mouth and constantly telling people how fucked up they are.
  • 4: Polo shirt, usually with some sort of emblem. III MEF SOTG uses blue polo shirts with a golden Special Operations emblazoned on it. Marines (at that time) were pretty self conscious about not having any SOCOMM units, so anytime they could attach themselves to it, they would.
  • 5: Pants/trousers pulled up inappropriately high
  • 6: Must…Have….Cargo Pants….. Usually Battalion Quartermaster 5.11 gear.
  • 7: A fanny pack turned to the front. I didn’t have a fanny pack so I adapted and overcame with a camera case.
  • 8: I decided to point this out too. It’s an enormous hickey on my neck, given to me the night before by Little Joe. For some reason I showed up late to a bar, and when he saw me he ran up to me, jumped on me, and attached to my neck like some strange, human leech. When I finally got him detached, I slapped him in the face as hard as I could.

    When we got back to Okinawa, I sent an email to the SOTG guys. I told them that I was interested in working for them, and named off fictional schools I attended, for example, Ethiopian Frogmen’s Manhole Breacher’s Course, and Canadian Spetznats Acrobatic Infiltration Symposium, etc.. I told them that I knew it was important to “Act As If,” so I attached the above photo (minus the labels) and told them that I had already gone through the trouble of adapting their manners and style of dress.

    The best part is how angry a lot of them got. That was the icing on the cake.

    In any case, I figured this story was applicable, because it happened when I was deployed to Okinawa, which falls within the realm of Adventurepan. Also, Little Joe might come out to visit, so I thought I’d do an intro-blog for him.

    I hope you enjoyed this little jaunt down memory lane with me.

    * - Buckwheat is from Things to do in Denver when you’re Dead
  • Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Siamese Dreams and Chinese Call Girls

    Yeah, so I did it. I caved. I previously mentioned that there was no way I would see a "certain movie" that has come out recently, but I did.

    I saw Memoirs of a Geisha.

    It's not called that here though, it's called "Sayuri". "Sayuri" was the name given to the girl named Chiyo in the movie when she entered Geishahood. For the purposes of this blog, I'll respectfully refer to "Sayuri" as her whore name.

    You're probably wondering what a drug kingpin like myself is doing seeing a movie like this. Perhaps I'm looking at diversifying my empire? Maybe getting into the human trafficking business? Well, the main reason I saw it is because when I showed up to the movie theatre with my lady friend, it was the only one playing around that time.

    There was also some irony involved.

    My lady friend is from Laos, and I thought it would be funny, as a common round-eye, to see a movie about old-school Japanese hookers played by Chinese actresses with her. It reminded me of a joke I heard once: "A Lao girl and a White dude walk into a movie about Japanese hookers played by Chinese actresses."

    There was just no telling what could happen.

    This is Adventurepan, so I dove in head first.

    Plus she paid for my ticket.


    I had a few problems with this movie. I know some of you think I'm probably just being an Asia snob, but I'll keep the technicality snobbery to a minimum. Or at least what I consider to be a minimum. So let's jump right in.

  • If you have sex for money, you are a prostitute.

    Period. I'm not talking about gifts, movies, clothes, dinner, etc., in exchange for sex, because I'm not willing to jump out that implication-window. I'm talking about a currency exchange. I don't care how artsy-fartsy you are. I don't care if you're supposed to be a "performer", an artist, an escort, a musician, blahblahblah. In the movie they make a big deal about this, about how Geisha's aren't common whores who defile their body and whatnot. Well, an uncommon whore is still a whore nonetheless, so I don't really wanna hear about it. You can eat a $200 meal or a $3 steak -- it all ends up being processed through the business end of my colon. Catch my drift? Anyway, Sayuri becomes a full-on Geisha when there is a "bidding war" to take her virginity, and she has the record for the highest bid ever for any Geisha. Wow. Congrats. How classy.


    On to my next point.

  • Human Slave Trade and Happy Endings

    The plot would take too long to explain, so I won't. Suffice it to say that in the end, everything works out for Sayuri, which seemed pretty unlikely. Movies that begin with prostitution and/or human slave trade and end up with a happy ending are charming and nice, but I prefer reality. I wanna see her throw herself off a cliff at the end because her life is such a wreck. I like movies where I feel empty inside and want to throw up at the end because the human element of suffering and misery is so intense. Like Requiem for a Dream. That's what life is. That's what being a human is all about. If I wanted to feel like an anthropomorphic garden shear dancing in a butterscotch waterfall, I'd rent some Disney movies and go on an all night Candyland rampage.

  • A Blue Eyed Asian

    Get real.

  • Language and Communication

    OK, here's where I might seem a little snobby, but I think I've got a point here for the simple fact that language is such an enormous factor when traveling somewhere else and carrying out even the simplest of tasks. Near the end of the movie when the Americans come, Sayuri chit-chats with the Army brass effortlessly. After the movie I said to my friend, "Wow, I didn't realize that English conversation was in the Geisha school curriculum." I don't understand why they couldn't have just had her speak Japanese. I mean, Americans don't know the difference, and it was obviously a movie made for Americans. The Japanese used in Kill Bill was spoken so poorly that I had to translate for the Japanese person that I saw it with. In the middle of the movie she asked me, "Can you understand what they're saying? Because I have no idea." Maybe Kill Bill shoulda stuck to English, while Memoirs could have given a little more effort to realism. I guess most Americans really wouldn't give a shit either way, and would be irritated by subtitles because they're illiterate mouth-breathers. Again, this is just the language snob in me coming out.

    Minor movie errors kinda piss me off anyway... I remember right before Brando and I shipped off to basic training, we went and saw X-Files in the movie theatre. At the beginning, there are some cave men running around, and it says, "North America, 20,000 years ago" or something. I leaned over and said, "There were no humans in North America 20,000 years ago." I'll never forget his response:

    "Why don't you take your anthropology degree and wreck someone else's movie."

    I guess I'm an esoteria snob too. I knew that degree was good for something, i,e. wrecking Brando's movie viewing pleasure.

    ...But don't get me wrong. There were some good points.

  • You get to stare at Ziyi Zhang for a couple hours. Soooo cute..
  • Gong Li also looked nice. I thought she did an awesome job portraying such a horrible person and entertained me the most of anyone in the movie. Watch for her, she's gonna be in a lot of stuff.
  • Ken Watanabe is a good actor. I'd like to see him win some kind of award, but I think the Academy is still sore about the whole December 7th misunderstanding..

    I think the main problem with this movie was that the plot just wasn't all that interesting. Decent acting, weak plot.

    In the ending credits, I saw that the cello solos were all by Yo-yo Ma. I'm convinced that the production of this movie was some Chinese backed conspiracy to piss off the Japanese. "Visit Yasukuni shrine, will you?? Well, we'll show you!!" Unfortunately for the Chinese conspirators, they grossly overestimated Japanese nationalism, because no one here really seems to give a shit. If you wanna get a reaction from the Japanese people, use the media. Otherwise, don't expect anyone to come to their own conclusions.

    Maybe the movie wasn't about old Geisha's anyway? Maybe it was meant to reflect contemporary Japanese culture. Here are some of the elements:
  • Chinese hookers
  • Japanese businessmen having no communication skills and falling in love with foreign hookers, who want nothing more than to be rescued
  • Americans being scumbags and corrupting the "refined" aspects Japanese culture (yeehaw!)
  • Japanese guys hitting on inappropriately young women.

    So I felt bad about my friend dumping 1800yen ($15.60US) on a ticket for me, so I paid for some food, which for two people was less than one movie ticket. During dinner I interrogated her about life as a Laotian immigrant. Japanese factories basically use South-east Asians and South Americans (mainly Brazilians and Peruvians, because a lot of them have Japanese blood which simplifies immigration issues) in the same capacity that American farmers and companies use Mexicans. Cheap labor. She doesn't work in a factory though. She works at Calvin Klein. Her birthday is also on January 1st, so when I first met her I asked her if she was a terrorist.

    One can never be too sure.

    Lao sounds a lot like Mao, and we hates Maoists, precious.

    Anyway, I feel like ass right now. I think I'm gonna take a day or two off work.
  • Sunday, January 15, 2006

    P-Unit in the Hizzlepan

    Now, I know that you know that I know that you know that I keeps it crunk up in this piece.

    It’s a simple fact.

    I keeps it gangstah.

    It’s official now.

    I’m the guy who gets things.

    That’s right folks, last night I was involved in a major drug deal.

    I was waiting for my Canadian friend, Drew aka Drewski aka Punky Drewster, in front of Starbucks in Shibuya. I like meeting people there ‘cuz it’s a prominent landmark, there aren’t many people milling about, and I can text people to meet at “Starbizzles” when they ask where we’re meeting. Apparently it’s the busiest Starbucks in the world, and you’ve probably seen it before because it appears in every quintessential “Crowded Japan shot” on TV or in pictures, as seen here.

    So I’m standing there, minding my own business, and this white dude walks by and makes eye contact with me, like maybe he knows me. I didn’t know him, so I just stood there, maintaining my normal expressionless mask. He walked by, and about 30 seconds later he came back and stood next to me and said, in a rather conspiratorial tone, “….Did I just ring you?”

    Naturally, my first thought was that I was somehow caught up in the middle of some homosexual internet sex ring. Again.

    So I looked at him and with a very “straight” face, responded, “…no.”

    So he broke our prison-yard-stance-like setup and said, “Oh, ok. I’m trying to buy some POT.”

    I wrote pot like that because it was a very pronounced British accent. Say it with me, like a Brit. POT.

    I said the first thing that came to mind, which was………

    “Do I look Iranian?”

    He smiled and walked off.

    Fast forward to 5 minutes later. I’m still standing there, maintaining my steely eyed look that only a man of action can possess, and a guy with glasses and a baseball caps walks up to me and says, “….did I just talk to you on the phone?”

    Amazingly enough, he was Iranian, so I said, “No.. Down there.. Guy with a beard.” He walked off, looking rather sheepish.

    I thought this would make for a funny story, which it was, and then I realized that if there was some sort of sting operation going on, it probably could have gotten me arrested and maybe deported.

    Fuggin foreigners, bringin' they inferior cultures and habits into Japan and corrupting society.

    So much for working for any law enforcement agency. I’d fail the polygraph. Great. That’s what you get for minding your own business here in Adventurepan.

    In other news, it’s been a strange week for emails. The CEO of the company I worked for in Afghanistan is coming to Japan for some stuff and wants to talk about some possible “options” for me out here in Japan. I’ll keep you posted.

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Flatulence and Tolerance: A Cultural Perspective

    I'd like to say something.

    Hopefully on this blog, I don't come off like I'm complaining about Japan or that I think Japan needs to change, should be different, or that I'm somehow above it. That's not what I'm ever trying to say. However, I realize that when attempting to be funny or make light of things, such sentiments might appear to rear their ugly head.

    As a decidedly non-postmodernist person/non-reptile, I react to things in a humanly manner. It's natural, really. Sometimes things piss me off, but I try to keep things in perspective. It was kind've like when I was in the Marines. "I love the Corps, I just don't always like it." Same rules apply to Japan, as well as many things that, while I don't always like what's going on, they are near and dear to me.

    I hate to generalize, but in certain situations it's unavoidable. Like I said, I'm not a postmodernist. In any case, one thing that I really respect about most Japanese people [in general] is their willingness (which sometimes seems like a desire) to saddle themselves with discomfort or trouble on the behalf of other people. The fact that so many Japanese people seem to have a willingness to be exploited is a point of contention with me, but at the same time I am shocked at what people will go through to avoid conflict, confrontation, or save people from embarrassment.

    Grasping Ghastly Gastrointestinal Grappling

    It's no secret that I have a high protein diet. While once-a-week alcohol abuse and a sordid love affair with Copenhagen disqualifies me as a "health freak," my weekday persona is, nutrition wise, a pretty healthy one. I limit my carbs to lunchtime, which is usually some sort of Japanese food, because we go out in town for lunch a lot. Pretty healthy stuff. If I don't go out in town, I usually enjoy a low-carb wrap from the cafeteria downstairs.

    So my point is, I have a pretty good amount of gastrointestinal ... erm, exclamations?

    Most of the westerner guys (like 2 or 3 of us) that attend the jiujitsu academy have similar diets, and sometimes things get downright silly. Here's where I tie in what I was talking about before with this unpleasant subject.

    While rolling on Wed night, this is what I was attempting:

    Now, a lot of times you end up in a position like the following picture, because the person is trying really hard not to end up like the above picture. So sometimes you get stuck like this:

    You work their hands to get them loose, and then you hip out, kind've like a back extension, to stretch the guy's arm out.

    Looking at the above picture, imagine if the person on the bottom was facing inside, instead of outside.

    When I "hipped out," extending my body to extend his arm, he resisted by grabbing the arm being extended with his other arm. This caused me to hip out as hard as I could, putting a strain on all the muscles in my lower back and abdomen.

    The results? Hmm, probably something resembling this.

    In any case, he got a face full of bio-processed protein powder, and what do you think he did?

    He did nothing.

    No one reacted. No one batted an eye. No one said anything.

    Rest assured, everyone heard it.

    But as usual, no one said anything. Whenever this happens, and it happens probably every other time I go, I always apologize to whoever I'm rolling with. I simply say "Sorry bout the fart." They always seem embarrassed a little bit, and sometimes pretend like they didn't hear what I said. In any case, their reaction is, like many Japanese reactions, one that avoids unnecessary embarrassment for either party and restores harmony without much exchange.

    Let's compare this to a typical reaction of Americans and other non-Japanese in the class:

    And then about 10 minutes of intermittent giggling fits...While trying not to look like they're giggling fits....Cuz we're almost 30 or more than 30 years old.

    I guess "Farts are funny" isn't a universal truth. Who'da thunk?

    It's interesting to see how different cultures deal with potentially embarrassing situations; in the USA I think we often call attention to it as a method to get rid of an awkwrd situation all together, i.e. "hey man ur fly's undone" or "hey you got some food on your face," while Japanese people will pretend like they don't notice. They'll talk about it later and laugh about it with their friends, but these folks are freaking pros at not reacting. In the states, if someone pretends not to notice, you can still tell they noticed but are pretending not to. But here? Their skill level is honed to a point only made possible by a lifetime of pretending-not-to-notice, which, as you can imagine, can have major implications when it comes to pretending-not-to-notice certain social problems that are all but ignorable.

    There. I bear my soul unto thee, my 6 person readership. I await your comments and cultural commentaries.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Konbini Bouken


    I was shitfaced in a convenience store (Konbini in Japanese) when some items caught my attention. I thought some aspects of these items were a little bit ironic, so in a drunken haze I snapped off a few pictures with my cell phone. Now, I'm sure you're probably wondering, "So you like taking pictures of stuff at convenience stores? Doesn't that seem strange?"

    Let me assure you, most of my public behavior probably seems strange to the people of this country. Still, given recent events, some retarded gajin taking pictures of things at convenience stores is probably the least of their worries.

    I've got to admit, sometimes I go a little bananas with the cell phone camera, the results of which you will soon see.

    Convenience Store DVD Sales: A Case Study

    I spied a rack of DVDs at the convenience store outside my favorite watering hole, and thought the prices were mighty interesting. The DVDs were: ET, Robots, Titanic, Van Helsing, and the Last Samurai.

    Let us begin with the classic, ET:

    That's right, for the low price of about $32USD, the ET collectors edition can be yours. Seems a little bit pricey, no? I realize it's a classic, and that is the collectors edition, but doesn't that seem a bit expensive? The box set is $29 on, and the collectors edition DVD is $15.00.

    Next up, we have Van Helsing.

    This is about normal price for a new DVD I suppose, if not a little bit cheaper, coming in at about $13USD even.

    The next two are a little confusing, like the ET one. I never saw the movie Robots; the one with Robin Williams doing the main voice. The movie looked a little bit creepy, and apparently Mr Williams was rude to my aunt, who is a Disney exec. There's no excuse for that, so I tend to avoid anything involving him in it. Boycott politeness, will you? Well I boycott you!

    2670 yen, or about $23.30. I guess this makes sense; a little more expensive than a new DVD in the USA. And it's relatively recent (for here).

    Next up is Titanic, which can still be purchased in Japanese convenience stores for a Titanic Price.

    OK, 3670 yen, or $32 smackers, just like ET. I guess super classic movies have an industry standard of 3670yen for some reason. Given that this movie is really long, I guess you get more bang for your yen, but still, that's a good $10 more than Titanic brand new on amazon. Ooh, but wait -- it's the ULTIMATE EDITION. New release! I wonder what the difference between the ultimate edition and, say, the collector's edition is. What's next? Super-Ultra-Badass-Gaybashers Edition? Fuggin-A, sign me up for the preorder. Sounds badass.

    Finally, my favorite of all. This is the whole reason I began this stupid little diatribe. I saw the price of the next DVD and I knew I had to capture it forever because it made me so happy. That's right, folks, peep this:

    pwnt. That's all I gotta say. For the low low price of $8.50, you can own the Last Samurai, which was easily the lamest piece of Japanese fictional history ever created.

    Finally, something in this country makes sense.

    Now that I put it on "paper", it seems a lot less exciting than when I had my revelation of pwntitude in the convenience store. It's really amazing what gets you excited when you're drunk, but now that I've read this post over a few times, I ought to re-think posting drunken revelations. They're worse than a hangover.

    Anywho, after taking a bunch of pictures of DVDs, some tasty anpan caught my eye, so I snapped off a picture of it.

    Ichigo Choco Anpan. Or rather "A~npan", according to the box. Sounds good, no?

    I exited-stage-left, and was greeted by the following scene. A deserted Tokyo street, filled with refuse, pigeons, and vomit, like some strange, post-apocalyptic aviary / vomitorium combo, the stores barricaded against marauding zombie hoards.

    That was my attempt at a literary sounding thingy.. Prose? Yeah.. OK...

    That's about the size of it. So shall I conclude the tale of my Convenience Store Adventure, or Konbini Bouken in the local vernacular. It's only appropriate that I ended by mentioning anpan, which is a type of bread. Pan means "bread" in Japanese, making Adventurepan really mean "Adventure Bread."

    Marinate on that one for a while.

    This guy

    Note: Nothing written in this blog ought to be taken seriously. Thank you for your understanding.

    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Office Shenanigans

    I'm a positive person. I like to create a humorous, light environment wherever I go. Work is no different. Now don't get me wrong -- I know there's a time and a place for fucking around, but I don't think it's a huge crime to have a good time at work.

    In Japan, it's generally the opposite. Work is work. It's not for fun. It's where you work. I read a quote by Ichiro Suzuki, the baseball player. He said something along the lines of, "I don't have fun during games. Baseball is work. Fun is for afterwards."

    I guess that's one way to live your life.

    While I do not work in a corporate setting, I'm very much in an office setting. Chained to a desk, if you will. The fact that my job is not for monetary profit makes the shenanigan level increase exponentially, because no one loses money if we take it easy for a couple days. As long as our work is done, no one really cares.

    At my job, my workload is pretty much determined by how much the Japanese people "under" me are working. Since they've been gone for the last 2 weeks, I really have nothing to do. So right now, the Japanese employees here are working diligently, sprinting up and down the hallway (they like doing that, it looks very "hard working"), and generally making a huge display of busting their humps, while I spin around in my chair, dance around my office, text my friends on my cell phone, surf my daily blog list, and walk around talking to people.

    Anyway, for a new person entering an office environment, a huge piece of advice I would give them would be this: CHECK YOUR DISTRIBUTION LIST. Always look at who is on the "To:" part of your office emails. I'm sure all offices have weird shit floating around their email server, and people are left off the To: list for a reason. This is especially applicable here, because while most of the Japanese people I work with are ultra-serious about their jobs, there are some more relaxed ones too. If their bosses knew they were having a good time at work or interacting with the Americans in a joking or light-hearted manner, well, there'd be some serious talk about this.

    So today after work we're having a little "New Year" drinking party with a few folks from the office, which was supposed to be a Birthday-party-combo for the boss. One of the Japanese workers mentioned the Birthday thing (which was supposed to be a surprise) and the boss was on the list.

    I did what I had to do, which was be a jerk and make it seem like a serious infraction had occurred. Jumping on google images, I sent this little gem to the distribution list:

    It was one of those times when you let the mouse arrow hover over the Send button for a few seconds, then cackle like a demon when you click on it.

    I thought the "Americans Suffer" thing was particularly good, especially since a bunch of Japanese people were reading it.

    I was hoping for a response, but nothing came. It would appear that my little joke may have backfired. This is not the first (and certainly won't be the last) thing that I've done that could be easily perceived as being culturally offensive. I guess when you're trying to make a positive-work-environment omelete, you gotta break some eggs.

    Sorry I don't have anything more compelling to write. It would appear I've entered the realm of the sedentary office beast. I've been in denial for a bit, I suppose, and trying to make up for it by having weekly adventures elsewhere. Maybe I will have something more inspirational to write next week, but I'm afraid that the highlight of my day was posting the above picture in an email message and sending it to a multinational group of people.


    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    Adventures abound: New Years in Adventurepan

    Happy New Years everyone!!

    I’ve always liked New Years more than any other day we happen to celebrate. I really see it as a historical moment, both for the planet and for us personally. After all, it’s how we sequence world events and how we have been sequencing world events ever since we’ve been able to do it.

    So as per SOP, last night was full of adventures.

    This is Adventurepan for cryin’ outs.

    I know I harp on Africans in Japan a lot, and all the naughty stuff they do here, but last night I got the opportunity to cruise around with a “connected” African. He’s a good friend of mine, and referred to himself as a “pseudo-African” who was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Egypt and Belgium, is a native speaker of Egyptian dialect and French, and speaks English as well as anyone I know.

    I know I hate Roppongi and all, but I had a pretty good time with him.

    I always get a kick out of being the only white guy in a bar.

    We started off in Shibuya (as always) and drank a lot (as always). Get a load of this group of Good Time Charlies ushering in the New Year.

    I have no idea who the guy in the Kangol hat is.

    I dunno that girl either.

    The magnum face was totally unplanned.

    The fact that Craig and I were both wearing Guinness shirts was also unplanned.


    So at 5am Kevin the African and I drove to Roppongi. He’s a machine. He never sleeps. He’ll drink his ass off and dance around for 8 hours until 5am, then go work at a bar in Roppongi until noon. In any case, we bar hopped in Roppongi, trying to dodge outrageous cover charges for the New Year.

    Rolling with a Connected African is good for dodging cover charges.

    Here’s what I look like at 8:30am after drinking for 10 hours.

    Not too shabby eh?

    That’s what a white guy with a Roppongi ghetto pass looks like.

    A real drunk one. At 8:30am.

    Oh yeah.

    Kevin actually drove me all the way home. He had a 2 hour drive ahead of him to meet his girlfriend at a hot springs. Never under estimate the kindness of friends.

    Anyway, I hope everyone had an awesome time ushering in the New Year. The sky’s the limit for 2006!