Archive for the 'observations' Category

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May 1st, 2008

When you’ve lived in Asia for quite a while, you lose your taste for Engrish…or, perhaps, you could say that your taste becomes more refined.  Random misspellings and minor grammatical mistakes are no longer interesting.  But, still, from time to time, there is something that tickles your fancy.  Like today, when I saw a guy […]

Studying Japanese and Playing Skateboarding Video Games

February 6th, 2008

(This post doesn’t really have to do with Japanese, that’s just coincidental) With the rise of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, the internet is aflame with musicians who complain that the newly ascendant musician-simulator genre is keeping people from actually picking up and learning to play real instruments. The same argument has been used against […]

3 Levels of Maturity

January 24th, 2008

I was thinking about maturity today (in the sense of “people being immature on the internet”), and I’m starting to think that generally, a person’s general level of maturity can be divined based on what they think is bad. I’m not saying that what is below is what makes a person mature or immature, but […]

Carbon-Dating Expats

January 20th, 2008

Talking with various foreign friends, I’ve realized that you can determine a sort of threshold value for when they moved to Japan: pre or post late 90’s. When I came to Japan (1996), beepers were all the rage in the US.  Cell-phones were rare if not virtually unknown.  Car phones, sure, but not cell-phones.  In […]

Jean Shepherd is Depressing

December 15th, 2007

Huh.  I was familiar with Jean Shepherd from the context of his writing and narration in The Christmas Story, so I assumed he was a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant radio personality in the vein of Garrison Keillor.  However, I recently stumbled upon a site linking to a podcast with an absolutely enormous (650 or so […]

The 3 Year Japanese TV Crash

November 25th, 2007

Something happening once is an occurence. Twice is a coincidence. Thrice is a trend. I used to love Japanese TV.  I’m not talking about the days when I didn’t understand anything, and it was just random shouting people doing crazy things.  I’m talking about when I actually understood the jokes and that the laughter wasn’t […]

Japanese Abbreviations FTW

November 10th, 2007

(For you older folks, “FTW” stands for “for the win”, or, in other words “are awesome”) English internet dialect has tons of abbreviations. IANAL, LOL, IMHO, RTFM. But they all pale before the greatest abbreviation on the net: (ry It took me a long, long time to figure out what (ry meant, because it’s used […]

Tokyo Climate versus Houston Climate

November 8th, 2007

Actually, this post is about Japanese climate, not just Tokyo, but I like parallelism in my post titles. Japan is a hot, humid country pretty much overall.  And Houston is a hot, muggy climate.  They probably post equal temperatures (in fact, Houston probably has higher temperatures), but, man, is Japan hotter. It all comes down […]

The Age of Female Gender Loss

November 8th, 2007

One of the things I’ve grown completely used to, but found odd when I first came to Japan, is that there is some nebulous age at which, apparently, Japanese women just turn into Japanese people.  Somewhere around 50. It’s not at all unusual for female janitors to clean men’s restrooms while they are in use, […]

The Value of Reruns

October 28th, 2007

I always basically considered reruns a sort of unnecessary evil, but now I’m starting to think they’re a necessary evil. Japan, basically, doesn’t have reruns. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that everything disappears into a big memory hole. There are reruns of old prime-time shows during day-time television slots. But the American system of […]

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