Monday, June 25, 2007

Junkichi LIVES

As many of you know, I lost touch with my very first Japanese friend Junkichi over 4 or 5 years ago. The last I had heard he got mugged, beaten in the head while living in a bad neighborhood in Australia somewhere. Jun lived for years in the Ethiopian neighborhood in Seattle where he had at last count at least 2 or 3 people gunned down right in front of his front door. He's kinda weird that way, always likes living on the edge. Of, whatever. So you can imagine how worried I got when I didn't hear from him for like 4.5 years!

Thankfully through our mutual friend and ex-roomate Katsushi I finally tracked him down and have been in email correspondence, he is a reporter living in Manila, Phillipenes. Still doing the Jun thing, tripping around the world, peeking into random dark corners of the globe, always an outsider looking in. He tried moving back to Japan after 8 years or something in the US, but that didn't work for him. I had heard rumors from a friend of a friend that he was indeed in Manila, but even after exhaustive google searches nothing came up at all.

I've been friends with Jun since 1993, and we were roommates for over a year in Seattle. I've met his whole family, and have always really appreciated his friendship. My whole family is very fond of him too and I am very happy to be back in touch.

Viva la Jun! (this picture is from like 2001?)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Super Saturday

Yesterday we woke up early and drove up to Malibu with our friends HP and Kazu to go surfing at kazu's favorite spot further up North. It took us a while to get there and when we did, it was overcast, with a very uneven rocky bottom which terrifies me (still a total noob at surfing) and TONS of really good surfers competing for waves. None of which appeal to me. I tried catching a couple of waves but I was just too stressed to have a good time. So we wrapped up early and started heading back south, when just past there we glimpsed a couple of surfers at a sandy beach down a steep path. We parked and checked it out, and found an AWESOME point break, with a sandy beach and big slow moving beautiful powerful waves coming in. With only 5-10 surfers in the water at any given point, there was plenty of room for all of us. I caught some of my best waves yet, the sun came out, the water was SUPER clean and refreshing, and Yoko caught some HUGE WAVES on her boogie board too. One of the best days yet!

That night we went hiking in the Santa Monica mountains with Grampa, everyone had a great time. When we got home we had a bunch of beers and watched the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers extended edition. Grampa ended up sleeping over and today we hooked up my surround sound system finally and tonight we will watch Return of the King in surround sound, after a BBQ chicken dinner down by the pool!

Weekends in Santa Monica kick ass.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Robin Williams is awesome

I just bumped into Robin Williams in line at the surf shop. He was buying a wetsuit to use in San Francisco, I made a wisecrack about all the sharks in the water up there and he started going off, talking about how sharks have figured out humans taste just like chicken, and having sex with elephant seals. Everyone within earshot was laughing their asses off, he really is hilarious in person! I really shoulda taken a pic with my cell phone but wanted to respect him, even though he pretty much is one of my two favorite actors, right next to Jack Nicholson.

The weird thing was I wasted like half an hour at Costco, only to have my ATM card not work and it was all a huge waste of time. On the way to the surf shop I was so pissed because I wasted my time and I was asking myself why the universe does shit like that to me. Only to time my purchase at the surf shop EXACTLY WITH ROBIN WILLIAMS. TEH AWESOME.


After a long day at work I snuck downstairs to where EA was holding EA3, basically a mini E3 with only EA games. I got to see Skate, The Simpsons, Army of Two, Team Fortress 2, Mercenaries 2, Wii Sims and a bunch of others. Stuff looked pretty good, people were really buzzing about Medal of Honor:Airborne, which is good because those guys have been working their asses off and the game is looking excellent. Hopefully that will reflect on our bonuses next year...

Monday, June 11, 2007


My surfing buddy H.P. broke his damn finger playing Soccer saturday morning and is going to be unable to paddle effectively for like a month.


Anyone wanna go surfing?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Yoko and I watched Paprika, the new Japanese anime from one of my favorite directors, Satoshi Kon.

It was one of the trippiest movies I have seen in a long time, and very good. The story is very intricate and detailed and its subtitled so I got lost a couple of times but was mostly able to keep up.

I still prefer his film "Tokyo Godfathers" which may indeed be my favorite movie, his stories are always a clash of light and dark, joyous yet haunting, and a completely fascinating social commentary on Japanese society.

Its only playing in the states for a couple of weeks so I highly suggest searching this one out and seeing it while you can, although I am sure it will be on DVD as well.

Check it out

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Arizona Adventures chapter 2

On our way to Phoenix last weekend we stopped off at the Salton Sea.

Stunning. Unbelieveable. Disgusting. Amazing. Felt like World War 3 had finished, and this is was the world would be like next. Abandoned, scorched, dead, and dying. The sea was literally FULL of dead and dying fish, the shores were lined with bones. There was no sand on the beach, just bones. One of the craziest things I have ever seen. While exploring an abandoned hotel on the beach, I felt a funny tickling between my toes, only to look down at my flip flops to see a big rusty nail sticking RIGHT THROUGH THEM resting comfortably just between my two toes. Dang!

The shore stunk like mad, but it was crazy to see and very inspiring. And on the way back we finally found a "Date Shake" stand, where they serve milkshakes with fresh ground up dates which are very popular and grown there, near the Palm Springs area. We have been looking for them ever since we went to Palm Springs with Megan and Travis early this year.

Our our second outing in Arizona was the stunning Arcosanti architectural/social experiment just north of Phoenix.
Seriously, very cool, if flawed experiment. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Our tour of Arizona ended in Sedona, one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen in my life. Red rock spires unlike anything else, deep blue skies and thick green trees everywhere. Stunning. So is Grampas bad fashion sense once he gets out of his 3 piece suits. My god, my eyes still hurt!

Crazy Dave

So Crazy Dave came down from San Francisco for a weekend of surfing and debauchery, both very successful. Dave is by far the craziest friend I have, and I'm one of his only friends that can take his insanity and keep up with him for extended periods. We surfed, and drank a lot, and played a lot of Playstation 3 Motorstorm this weekend. Good times! I surfed 3 days in a row and this morning we were going to go again but my muscles told me otherwise. A couple of hours later I'm good to go but everyone else is WEAK. Tomorrow!

Dave, being the hyper intelligent being that he is, surfed in bright sunny socal water for over 4 hours with no suntan lotion on his face. You can guess what happened next.

It was Darrens birthday too, which he didn't tell anybody til the last minute ON TOP OF blowing us off to go surfing this morning which he PROMISED he would be here. I'll never believe him again.

Gregg Tavares was in town this weekend too so we (Dave, Yoko and I) went to lunch with them (Asako, Evan, and Gregg) at 26 on Washington this morning, right near Abbot Kinney and Lincoln. Pretty amazing breakfast, at a good price. I'll be there again. Gregg drove down from SF too, too bad Dave and Gregg didn't know each other before this morning, maybe next time they can carpool?

At the BBQ party we went to last night for our friend Satomi's going away party, I found my future bookcase, now all I need is a fancy huge ass loft to put it in...