Archive for January, 2005

Bird Park!

Monday, January 24th, 2005

A Sunday, we woke up and got ready to go to the bird park, but not before making sure all of the breakfast dishes (pancakes!) were done. Got on the street and had the worst luck getting a cab. Oh well. Went into the park, saw the penguins and the night birds (owls, including a lonely, but magnificent, snowy owl), mum rushed off to the toilet in a panic, then we wandered around and saw the 11:00 show in the amphitheater. Cool stuff from the hornbills and toucans as they swooped around, nice aerobatics as the macaws flew through hoops, and also a comedy act by one of the talking parrots that could speak Chinese, sing in Japanese (“chotto mate KUdaSAIIII”), and bark like a dog, meow like a cat, and tons of other stuff. Went to see the toucans and horbills, then Zen and I took a loop on the slow slow monorail. Saw the cool new lory tent, which is a lot of fun to walk around in. Cool. Walked past the eagles and condors, vultures, and the massive flamingo pond. Nice. Saw the penguins again, then went home by cab. Got home at 1:45, hungry and thirsty and exhausted, Zen stayed up until 3 before he napped away. I got to work to prepare for the trip, including cycling off to get some Kaya. Ugh… Dinner of okonomiyaki. I’m already feeling triste about this trip, but at least it’s short-ish, and I have a long weekend to prepare myself for it. Tomorrow I’ll be in Shanghai, but luckily my first meeting isn’t until 2. I can check in, snooze, and shower before it all goes down.

In the walkman: The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Iggy Pop, New Order, Circulatory System, 25 Suaves, By Sexual, Jazilla, Reagan National Crash Diet, and tons of Mekons (including the new one – Punk Rock).

Zen and the flamingos

at the penguin pit

This this this fun

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Yes, I got back from Japan in one piece. Last weekend was spent vegging out, not really knowing what to do with myself. Sunday just hung around the house all day, napping, snacking, eating. Poor Zen has had diarrhea since Friday, which means Naoko’s flight back on Friday was hellish. Took Zen to the doctor again on Sunday night, but he’s OK. Monday was spent trying to understand the madness of my trip, writing perspectives, and just generally trying to figure out what life is all about. Got doing a bit of this and that. Ouch! Zen was still ill, Naoko had stayed home with him all day. She took him on the MRT and the LRT, he must have enjoyed that. Came home late. Tuesday, Zen was still ill, so Mum and Dad looked after him. He cried a lot when we went off to work – it was Naoko and his first day apart in almosts a month. At work, I got started on my e-newsletter, also tried to settle my Japan stuff. Feeling very bland and lifeless. Long meetings. As a result I was given all sorts of new responsibilities tied to a research report. Wow, cool. Came home late, hung out, drank gin and tonic, played guitar. Wednesday, I took Zen to school in the morning, dropped him off. His first day back at school for nearly a month, but he was fine. Got to work and started writing – I felt good about myself, because I finally wrote an article. Today was mum’s birthday, so we handed her the thing that had come in the mail for her from Ralph’s family. Zen sang her “happy birthday to you,” and everybody was happy. I heard mum use a cuss word for the first time. We were talking about the old German Schlager “Mit Sechsundsechzig Fangd Das Leben An,” (i.e. “Life Begins At 66″) so she smiled and told me “Well, that’s bullsXXT,” repeating “bullsXXt” again for emphasis. Wow – mom! In the evening, I took off work right at 6 and headed off home, got changed, and then we went to Pasta Fresca Il Salvadore on Bukit Timah Road, nice place. Sat outside, ate pizza and paste, and we gave mum her presents – the Da Vinci Code book, and a pair of cheap earrings that she liked. Wandered around, checked out the Stammtisch Swiss restaurant, and mum got in an argument about the price of Asian food in Switzerland. Oh well. Went home, had cake and wine. Zen loved the cake soooooooo much! Thursday was an incredibly busy day for me. Besides tidying up the desk and working on some stuff, I made two trips to the Ministry of Manpower to get those work visa things finally take care of – no problem, though. Stayed at work until after 9, then took a cab home. The cab driver took me all over the place, claiming it was a better way than just driving on the highway. Got home, and Naoko was just putting Zen to sleep, then she fell asleep herself and I didn’t see her until the next morning. Disappointed. Talked to Mum and Dad over dinner, then played guitar and drank gin until 1:30 or so. Friday, happily, is a national holiday. Took a cab to West Coast Park and let Zen play on the equipment there. Walked around, kicked the ball, looked at the water, went into the forest, looked at the lagoon, then went to McDonalds for ice cream. Zen thinks McDonalds is only for ice cream, I guess, but he’s very aware of the place. We kept on walking, and got to a quiet part of the park that was very nice indeed. Cool. Took cab back, but this time by a different route to determine which is shorter. Had lunch, and then everybody slept. Went for a swim at 6, then for a walk at 8, and wrote up blog and stuff.

Zen said lots of funny things recently, I don’t really remember what they were. He told the time in Japanese. He knows his phone number and address. He can spell words like Oma, Opa, Peter, Zen, others. Smart kid. But getting sassy – a bit of a fighting mood at times it seems.

happy birthday to Oma

a picture

wee three

Memory Test 2: one more memory lyric. Hint – this is one of the bands that is in the other memory test, if you remember that one. Obviously someone is obsessed with clever puns.

“I’ve forgotten more than I care to remember.”

Guess the band and win a toaster.

Remembering Yesterday – Name the Crap Heavy Metal Lyric:

Don’t write in starlight
‘Cause the words may come out real
Don’t hide in doorways
You may find the key that opens up your soul
Don’t smell the flowers
They’re an evil drug to make you lose your mind
Don’t dream of women
‘Cause they only bring you down

film review – the Bourne Supremacy: On the ANA flight over, a bunch of crappy movies were playing, things I would never waste time on normally. Since I had low expectations going in to all of them, amazingly, I enjoyed them all. Much more than crap like Electra or Catwoman or the stuff that is showing in the cinemas now I think. The Bourne Supremacy is a well-made spy action thiller, with a good perfomance by Matt Damon as a government-trained killer with amnesia. Cool scenes in India, Berlin, and Moscow make it a good looking movie, and the pace is fast, although the super-cop lady does a Tommy Lee Jones as he was in the Fugitive, which this film is in a sense a remake of, a bit too well, making it a little annoying, actually.

film review – Garfield: I thought this would be terrible, but the cat is actually OK, and voiced by Bill Murray nearly irresistable. Unfortunately that’s about the only thing that the film got right. Jennifer Love Hewitt looks nice in a dress, but as Liz she’s terrible. The guy who plays Jon is OK, but the plot is useless. Nermel and Odie are played by real animals, not CG like Garfield, and they are terrible as well. Odie at least should have had more character. Oh well. Good for a laugh or two.

film review – Without A Paddle: Essentially a remake of Stand By Me, with a dash of Deliverance, these three guys go into the wilderness to find DB Cooper’s stolen millions. Of course they find it, but not after being chased by bears and people, going over waterfalls, the usual stuff. The best thing about the film is the dialogue, which is pretty sharp, but not a film to watch under normal circumstances. Still, somehow I enjoyed it.

film review – Cody Banks 2: a spoof of Austin Powers, Bond, or whatever, the teen with the CIA handler tries to save the world from being brainwashed. The dialogue is pretty good, but the kid who plays Cody is pretty annoying. Best thing about the film is the witty dialogue and the repartee with the big black CIA handler guy, who is very charming.

Japan, Singapore, China

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Hey ho, it’s been a few weeks since I wrote on this. Geez. I have a bunch of pics and stuff to post. Naoko was mean to me today. Zen is being naughty. Mum freaked out when I used the word “snot” while she was eating her breakfast (“PETER, PLEASE!!! NOT WHILE I’M EATING!!!!”), but later on she used the word “pee” while I was eating, so… well, what’s with the double standards? Later on we went to the West Coast Park and had difficulty hailing a cab. I saw a cop car coming up the road, so I said “hey, here comes a white cab,” and had fun watching the others try to hail it, hee hee. Someone from the office came by to pick up my old monitor, which she was buying, and also to give me a few things that I had forgotten to take home from work on Friday, that I will need for my business trip to China next week – saved! Just now Naoko was holding a naked Zen, just out of the shower, as he was farting – gross!!

Jan 4 to 6 – Singapore: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I don’t remember what I did, but I sure was busy preparing for my Japan trip. On the 6th I went off to the Ministry of Manpower to take care of employment pass stuff, that was exhausting and required three trips throughout the day. Friday… a blank.

Jan 7 to 15 – Japan: Friday was a busy day at work, went home late, ate dinner with Mum and Dad, then off by taxi to the airport to catch a night flight to Venus. No… a night flight to Tokyo. By ANA. That went OK. Saw the Bourne Supremacy, that was quite OK. Those Japanese stewardesses sure are busybodies. Just fell asleep when suddenly it was time for a 4:30 breakfast. I wish I had put a stop order on that one… I just wanted to sleep. Took the bus to Tokyo station, wandered around a bit, then got on a bullet train. Drank chu-hi and listened to the walkman. I got a window seat on the mount Fuji-side of the train, so I was hoping to see the big thing finally. Unfortunately, I only realized just after I got my seat that I was in the smoking car (!!!) of the train, so I suffered a bit on that trip, but it wasn’t too bad. Weird that Japanese trains still have smoking cars, though. My bad luck, though, I never saw Fuji. I guess it was covered in clouds. Got to Himeji after only 3 hours (those new bullet trains are incredibly fast!!!) and saw Zen, Naoko, and my father-in-law. Got a nice pic of Zen standing in front of a bullet train too.

Zen and the train

wee three

Went home, had a relax in the cool cool cold Himeji home, cycled off to get my bullet train ticket to Tokyo for Monday, and then chilled out. Guests started coming over, and by 5:30 we were all feasting on crab, sushi, sashim, and all sorts of other yummy stuff – it was the famly matriarch’s 88th birthday year celebration. Lots of food and drink, plenty of beer and sake, and me speaking full-on Japanese again after a long break (footnote – there is now a Japanese-speaker in our staff, so I can now finally use all of my languages in the office). Zen got sleepy at 9:30, so I took him upstairs to sleep. Of course, at the same time I passed out utterly – I was functioning on not-much sleep and too-much booze. OK. Sunday we went off to Nishinomiya. Zen was happy to be on the trains. We took a bunch a bunch a bunch of trains.

on the train

Got to Nishinomiya, met up with friends, including the marvelous Tadd Harron and his cool cool parents.

Tadd and Zenn

Later on we went to see Aki, where we took this cool picture:

at  Aki's place

Got back to Himeji, hung out, drank shochu. Monday was a mellow day of hanging out. I dug arorund my boxes of stuff and found an old picture of myself, a keyboard brush, my birthdays memo, a White Zombie hemp cloth CD holder, and some other wacky stuff. Cycled off to the castle with Zen to look around, then went off to look at guitars in the classic guitar shop up there near the house. Great. Drank lots and lots of shochu in the evening. Maybe a little too much, actually…

Tuesday, off to Tokyo. A sad farewell as I went off to the bullet train station. Cool to have my first interview of the day at 4:00 in the afternoon – no hurry to get there, obviously. The trip went well, although I was a bit hung over. Read a bit from Shogun, my book for the trip, which I am about 1/3 through (footnote – I am wearing a Hanshin Tigers cap and reading Shogun while I am travelling in Japan – am I a geek or what?). Having given up on the chance of seeing Mount Fuji due to numerous failed attempts to see it from the bullet train (for the record – 5 previous shinkansen travels) I was just dazing out when, by chance, I looked to my left and saw through the windows this MASSIVE thing floating in the air beyond the windows of the train. I knew instantly that it was Fuji, and I let out a loud gasp (weird, right?). I jumped out of my seat, which was not Fuji-facing but sea-facing, and off I went to the end of the train car where I could get a window of my own to see the magnificent hill. Amazing. A few minutes later it was obscured by other mountains, so I went back to my seat. But what a charge!!! Got to Tokyo, got oriented, lugged my suitcase off to the Japanese Banker’s Association for some more conversation. Then off to Sony Bank – what a lot of walking WITHIN the train station to get to the actual place I needed to get to. Then LOTS of walking around Tokyo before I finally found the place I needed to stay at whithin Kabukicho, Tokyo’s most notorious entertainment district. Lots of Africans standing around trying to snare salarymen into their venues. Cool. Whatever. I finally found the place, after an elegant African (who kept urging me to “be cool” – I guess I was a little uptight after my long day) got me oriented. I found out that the place was quite nice, although simple. I checked my email, and then went off to eat. I wanted to have ramen and gyoza, but walking around I didn’t find anything good. I ended up in Mr. Lee’s shop, but the gyoza weren’t great, and the plate of chao mein was too big and not so good. The bill was a bit high too. Oh well. Going home, I found a bunch of ramen shops MUCH closer to my hotel. D’oh!! Wandered the neighbourhood – strange Chinese women came up to me asking me in breathy voices if I wanted a “massage.” Yah, right!! Wednesday, January 12th was a busy day of interviews. Don’t remember what I did, but in the evening when it was all over and the dust was settling I discovered that I had nothing to do and nobody to meet for any reason or another. So I chilled out in Shinjuku, wandering all over the place. Bought the new Spitz CD on the day of its release, getting a free sticker as well as a cool pin. Boring night, very boring. Lonely. Thursday, January 13th I had the morning off, due to a cancellation, so I chilled out, watching TV and sufring the internet and seeing Kabukicho in the morning. I managed to snare a lunch meeting, so off I went to the Marunouchi Building in the Tokyo station area. Went up to the 36th floor, and saw Fuji for the second time – right across from our table, there it was, floating above the urban sprawl on one of those rare, clear, Tokyo mornings. Wow!! We could also see into the Imperial Palace, which lies at the foot of the building.

Fuji is in this direction...

Imperial Palace

After lunch, I found the Ginza locatoin of Shinsei bank’s cool new Bank Spot, which has a bunch of high tech stuff to wow the cliients. Wow. Went to several interviews in the afternoon, then met Hara-san for dinner in the Marunouchi Buiding (again). Had nice pizza. The Italian pizza chef I saw going in greeted me in Italian – thought me a paysano perhaps. Went off to a TV studio to do a spot talking about Japan’s Internet banks. The interview was out of Singapore, Tokyo’s studio is just a room with a cameraman, a bunch of equiptment, and a chair for me to sit in. Fun.

on TV?

Afterwards, met up with Naoko’s cousin Masatoshi for drinks… and more food! Hara-san ordered another complete meal, and we ate and drank more to celebrate our unusual encounter in Tokyo. Wow – wild!! Lots of people the trendy Hibiki bar/restaurant drinking wine, but there we were with our sochu and sake. Great. Got home late, prepared for tomorrow…

January 14th, 2005, a very busy day, I walked to my first interview, got lost, made it on time, then went off to another lunch appointment in the Toykyo Palace Hotel where 4000 yen roast beef sandwiches are served. Great sunny afternoon, hanging out. Went to a 2-hour interview, held in the staff cafeteria, only to find it had been cut to 1 hour. Weird! Wandered around for a while, taking pictures of bank logos. Bank geek! Went off to another interview, then the day was done and I rushed off. Got in the train, went off to the cool new Shinsei Bank headquarters, which is a wander-through bank, with its after-hours tellers, its meeting rooms, and the big escalator. Nice. Wrote emails from the Yahoo cafe there, then went back to the hotel to hang out and eat an onigiri dinner before going out to meet TIm in Koenji and going to the cool music pub he took me to. Cool solo acoustic set, then a funky rockin’ blues set by toothless musicians onstage eating and singing and all that stuff. Had a fun time with Tin Whalen (of Rag and Bone zine and Semi Roar music label) and RIck Round (of Ointment On The Souls Of My Shoes zine and its OOTSOMS label) at a mini-zine summit. All we needed were Matt and Scott, and maybe Carter, to make it complete. Fun.

cool guy

cool guys

Zine summit

Weird people started playing music throughout the evening, and I was having fun being in a hive of activity. But it needed to come to an end, so I went off with TIm, in the rain, and caught a cab to my next destination – Rolling Stone!! Got there, and saw the 2000 yen entry charge. Oh well. Got there, and heard the techno, saw the rockin’ boys, and rerquested PWEI. They played “Can You Dig It,” which gave me courage, so I requested RATM and Sisters of Mercy and all sorts of stuff. They played a few things that i requested, and I had a few gin and tonics there, but eventually I had to leave – too weird and sullen and potentially violent. Went out, had a hard time orienting myself, then found out which way was Kabukicho. Then, settling in on a pub to spend another few hours, I happily found one that had a hard-working pubstress who knew all about Spitz, Elephant Kashimashi, Love and Rockets, and maybe even Leonard Cohen. Cool place. Got home really late, like 5:30 or so. Then 5 hours of sleep, wake up on my own at 10:30, checkout time is 10, a blur of activity, get it all together by 11, then off to brunch, fun, shopping, and while I’m wandering through HMV I find the Mekons new CD and I let out ANOTHER loud gasp. Naturally, I am buying this without any hesitation!!! Wandering around, I meet Ephraim, who is wearing a Hanshin Tiigers cap as well as me. INterestingly, he only bought it out of necessity. Oh well. On to the hotel, and a curry lunch, then checkout, and off to the airport. On the trian with me is Bill, who is also wearing a Hanshin Tigers hat. We talk for the whole trip. The pervert who is sitting in the seat in front of us, while on a trip to the toilet, tells us to “be quiet.” Naturally, we ignore him, but it’s totally weird to have a Japanese person tell us to shut up. Wow. Got to the airport, checked in, flew on to Singapore, uneventful, except for the fact that I watched 3 evening films -”Without a Paddle,” “Garfield,” and “Cody Banks 2.” Weird. Got to Singapore in the late evening, took a cab home, and spent the rest of the weekend recovering from this tough TOUGH trip.

Zen and Sun Woo Help the Monkey

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

The first picture book I ever made for Zen features him as Sushi Boy, and his Korean friend Sun Woo as Kimchi Girl.

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

My first picture book

Old Boy

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

Hey, a boring rainy Sunday in Singapore. Woke up, had breakfast, hung out. Played guitar, tidied, did emails. Mum and dad went to watch the ice capades at the Esplanade or something. Spent the afternoon watching DVDs – Old Boy and Happy Togetherr – then took care of some errands and stuff. Boring. Tried to call Naoko and Zen a few times, but never any answer. Mum told me today “you know what? You really look like what you look like.” It took me a few seconds to figure out that she was referring to a picture I had drawn of the five of us, she meant that my depiction of myself was very accurate. Thanks, mum.

DVD review – Old Boy: A drunk is kidnapped and held captive for fifteen years in a room with nothing but a TV set. He spends a lot of time trying to figure out which of his enemies may have done this to him. “I wrote down the names of all of the people whom Ii fought with, bothered, or hurt. This was both a prison journal and autobiography of my evil deeds. I thought that I’d lived an average life, but I’ve sinned so much.” Weird disco music seems somehow inappropriate. Steals sunglasses. Slurps down a whole live octopus, which is trying to crawl out of his mouth. “Be it agrain of sand, or a rock, in water they sink all the same.” This line becomes important to the end, but it shows that the smallest sin is actually as great as the largest. Or what? Weird wallpaper rooms, rough sex, mirror and tits. Ass tattoo of a cross!! Thrown against glass, weird forest ending. Plenty of great stylish things that were obviously done on a small budget. A great sort of film, with a fairly satisfying ending that can possible be viewed on multiple levels. Not like anything I’ve ever seen before. Elaborate revenge thing may be slightly similar to The Game, but I don’t think so, actually…

DVD review – Happy Together: Black and white? Or just bad color? Great music, including Argentine tango (which Wong Kar-Wai obviously has an attraction to) and old rock and roll (ditto), in this case the title song (does Wong always name his movies after song titles?), and Frank Zappa “Chungka’s Revenge,” and “I Have Been InYou.” Cigarette smoke becomes slow-mo, very stylish. Flea sprayaing – process investigation. Bought lots of cigarettes, both sick, selfish and horny. Ears more important than eyes. Platonic gay love. Soccer matches. Traffic boulevard at night. Rooms in Wong’s films – Nam rents Fei’s room. Crying. Iguazu falls. Taipei. Sobbing on tape. Great film. Parts Chungking Jungle and parts The Mood For Love.

First day of the new year

Sunday, January 2nd, 2005

Yesterday was, of course, the last day of the year, and quit busy. What did I do – some work, some flaking out, and ate a nice dinner with mum and dad. Called Naoko and Zen in Japan, spoke to them a bit. Everybody is fine. Around 8:00 I went out to meet Sean at the Old Brown Shoe for some New Years Eve hanging out. We chatted a bit, partially about how good Japan’s Kohaku is for various reasons – mainly because young and old alike will watch it, and they mix the trendiest young pups with the gnarled old enka pros. Funny how in Japan even those in their 60s know the names of all of the up and coming bands. Talked aboutt films, about the Beatles, about Krakatoa and killer tsunamis, and a bunch of other stuff. Spiderman. The Fantastic Four. What If… Two sets of musicians played. One was a local couple – the guy played guitar, the girl sang. Really great stuff, they sang a great Tracy Chapman song, “the Boxer,” and a bunch of others. Great, great, great. Then up came these two white guys, one playing a 12-string, and the other an acoustic. They started off with “Sweet Home Alabama,” then a bunch of other songs. “Dust in the wind” was very good, as was “(I Would Walk) 500 Miles,” but the between-song banter was lame. Oh well. Sean was getting visibly drunk as the evening went on. At 11:30 we went back to Sean’s friend’s place to have noodles, thereby missing the final set of the first (better) couple, unfortunately, but we had a few beers, we had some nice noodles, and some sushi and sashimi and ham-melon. Good. Took a cab home, then I got on my bike and checked out Busk Pub – they were having a private function so I couldn’t stay – Maple Pub. That was OK, but mainly a bunch of guys sitting among the ruins of a wild party. Where did the women of Singapore spend New Year’s Eve? Certainly not at Old Brown Shoe or the Maple Pub. Oh well. I had a beer, then was invited over to a table with several guys and a lady, they plied me with brandy highballs. Yuck. Of course, when I woke up this morning at 10 I had a headache and felt listless. Brandy – it’s a killer. Saurday, New Year’s Day, all was quiet. It was all about hanging out at home as it was a rainy day outside (plenty of rain on New Year’s Eve as well), watching Betty Blue and Alphaville, and going swimming once. Lots of internet surfing, but nothing of note accomplished.

DVD review – Betty Blue, version integrale: I have considered Betty Blue to be my favorite movie for a long time, and watching it again it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It makes me want to seek out the Philippe Djian novel and read it in French, actually. Weird how I have seen so many French films over the weekend – Alphaville, Betty Blue, and Love In The Afternoon (set in Paris). The integrale version has several interesting new scenes, of which I would say that two of the shorter scenes were worth adding into the cut, and two of the longer scenes (the holdup and the “kidnaping”) were not so great. One scene involving cocaine was totally retarded. There was also three appearances of the white cat, which somehow detracts from the mysterious, simple elegance of the original ending of the film. Nevertheless it is a fantastic piece of work, and the first half is pure magic. Betty is sexy, stunning, statuesque. Zorg is one cool dude. Amazing how they just strut around naked like that. Roger Ebert considers this a major fault, but he is as far away from understanding Europeans as he is of understanding the marine life of Lake Tenochtitlan, or the lichens of Tuktoyuktuk, or the wind patterns in Ougadougou. Great dialogue. “A flower with psychic antenna and a tinsel heart.” “Tequila Rapido.” Rejection letters: “Sorry, no. Amusing, but your style is unbearable. You deliberately wrote a non-book.” (response: who is this queer?) “I’ve read everything, but nothing like what you’ve had the poor taste to send us. Your writing shows all the signs of AIDS. I return this nauseating flower you call a novel. Rely on me for publicity. Leave that thing where it belongs, in the qauagmire of your brain.” (response: That’s just part of the game, we’re bound to run into morons.) “Betty was a wild horse who had cut her hamstrings jumping over a wall and was trying to get up. What she thought was a meadow was a gloomy pen. She couldn’t bear immobility. She was not made for that.” Hilarous scene with an olive salesman. Great night piano. I realize that I really liked this movie when I found myself admiring a simple staging shot of Zorg walking down a flight of stairs. Great stairs. Great lighting. Great walk. Yeesh, my adoration of this film almost sickens me… Funny and interesting new scene with a hook man. “Salot!! Ordure!!!” Homo cigarettes (!?!?) “He has to be a homo to drive a car like this.” Church and cops scene is still hilarous, as is the scene with the psycho cop singing “Prend Un Enfant Dans Ses Bras.” Great surreal scenes. Kid put up on a hook. Crazy neurotic small town grocer with sexpot wife still straying… say what? Happy Betty running after she “kidnaps” a kid, running in slow-mo and laughing. Zorg sitting by fridge-light. “Leave a fridge-light on for me.” I found out a lot of the locations where the film was shot, finally, including Marseille, Marajevols where the piano-shop scenes were filmed, Gruissan where there was a short canoeing scene, Nogen where the opening beachhouse scenes were filmed, and Narbonne. I’m not totally sure what was filmed there, but they have a really cool panorama webcam that you should check out if you can find it there on the menu’s pull-down stuff.

DVD review – Alphaville: Big in Japan Forever Young – indeed! The Jean-Luc Godard film is a funny thing. Super dramatic music, sourpuss detective, lots of “process” – driving, arriving, walking. He writes for Figaro-Pravda. Scientist names are a big feature, as is the concept of “galaxy.” He drives a Ford Galaxy, and they bend over backwards to make the pun. Crazy pool executions – victims of the totalitarian state are executed as they shout defiance – shot at poolside, allowed to fall into a pool, their corpses retrieved by synchronized swimmers (?!?!). “I’m too old to argue, so I shoot.” Logic is the secret. All women carry serial numbers. Crazy monotone voice drives us all crazy. Ironic line of dialogue – “we live in a void of metamorphoses.” Did I see this before I wrote a novel called Void’s Metamorphosis or after (of course, my book is a take-off of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, but whatever). “Le pays ou le soleil se leve.” Odd parellells with the Matrix – glass and marble lobbies are the environment of “the future”? Conversations with the Architect. The world of the future that looks suspiciously like the world of today. Lines like “it is our misfortune that the world is reality.” Things like that. Whiskey, shootings, and fights. Chase scene in the snow. Funny walks.

In the walkman: The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, the Cure, Nirvana (box set), Slipkont, Chumbawumpa, Half Japanese, the Gories, Ultra Fuckers, Free From Disguise, Rick Round, Mad Capsule Markets, OTEP, Masonna, Space Machine, Acid Mother Temple, Sekiri, Richard Hell

at the botanical garden

botanical garden

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 2nd, 2005

Hi Everybody, happy new year to you all. Hope this will be a good one.