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J. M.

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Japantown and the Viz Building [Aug. 28th, 2009|10:00 pm]
J. M.
Just checking back in before I forget anything that's been happening in the last few days. I've been in California for the past week and I'll be heading back tomorrow. This trip started out as just to visit family but eventually evolved into getting to visit two of the three Japantowns of California. I've become very aquatied with Caltrain, VTA, and SF Muni transit systems as is the best way to make it between all these cities on the coast.

Tuesday I spent some of the day in San Jose Japantown, which is mostly a residential district, so there wasn't much to do other than look at the houses and the outside of the temples. There were a few shops, but quite a few weren't open yet. I ended up eating food from the Nijiya Market since it was cheep and had plenty of onigiri in stock. Even their yakisoba tastes good cold. The rest of the day a spent riding around on VTA and getting off at random places. I stopped by several theaters, but most of them didn't open til 4-7pm, so I decided to pass.

Thursday was the most interesting, finally reaching San Francisco Japantown. By this point I was very comfortable using Caltrain, having used it almost every day to get around. The SF Muni transit website was very complicated, so I ended up using google maps to figure out buses in down town San Francisco. I do like that they come so often in the morning and many run 24 hours a day.

The New People World building that just opened two weeks ago was closed for repairs, so I spent most of the day the in the other mall buildings on Post street. It was interesting that just about every place to eat there was a formal sit down restaurant. I ended up choosing what looked like the least formal of the bunch, On the Bridge. It was located on the sky bridge between the Kintetsu building and Kinokuniya building. There were walls of manga to read, Miyazaki on three different screens, and several mountains of plushies in different corners. They had a variety of soju drinks combined with calpis and soda which seem to go very well with Japanese food. The vegetable curry I had was amazing, so it didn't really matter that my whole lunch ended up coming to about $20. I also went and saw a mid day show and the Kabuki Sundance theater next door. It's the first cinema theater I've been to where you have assigned seat and the price is adjusted accordingly. There was almost no one in there on a Thursday afternoon so we just sat where we wanted.

Friday was spent at the Viz building. I spent about a half hour looking around. A big chunk of the building was devoted to fashion, which I'm not at all interested in. The Superfrog gallery was interesting, albeit small, and the mezzanine had a nice gift shop, but much of it was very over priced. However, that really wasn't out of the ordinary for the store. My main reason for going was to visit the theater, the only one of it's kind in the United States dedicated solely to Japanese cinema, or so I'm told. The only thing really playing there that week was the 20th Century Boys trilogy, so I decided to see all three. The third one was having a world premiere there the same day it was opening in Japan and I figured I wouldn't have another chance to go to something like that anytime soon. Only about 40 people showed up for the first show. It was lots of fun, and the story was interesting enough that I might eventually have to read the series. I still have yet to read Monster by the same author...

The new people building had very interesting interior designs throughout. The whole place was decorated with various artists art painted right onto the walls. I found the theater the most interesting. For lighting, the sides and ceiling were covered in what looked like hundreds of full spectrum fluorescent lights, all different lengths with very little rooms in between each. However, only about 10% of them were lit up. It gave a curious impression that out of the corner of your eye it seemed like the room was covered in black drapes with a little bit of sunlight peaking through the cracks. The biggest flaw in the room was the floor light were much too bright during the actual movie, so you had to sit closer to the front to get away from them.

Even with everything I'd seen, I still prefer living in Portland. Because of the Urban Growth Boundaries, there is less urban sprawl so it takes less time to get to places, and I only need one transit pass to get everywhere. The Kinokuniya near by in Beaverton, though the building is small and cramped, has just as much stuff as the San Francisco one. I also looked at the different cinemas there and it seems like I have even more variety and choice here in Portland than I did there. The new Living Room Theaters helps out in the vast variety. The main thing we don't have is the new Viz theater, but I think I can live without it. I have plenty to watch here already.
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(no subject) [Aug. 8th, 2009|07:40 pm]
J. M.
Two oddest things on the back of debit cards today:

PIN: 4382

Rock the Holocene

Things are pretty slow as usual. Only one week left of class and then a whole month off. I'm going to spend about a week of that in California as my first vacation in three years. I'm still figuring out what I'll be spending most of my time doing, but one day will be spent in San Francisco Japan Town and another visiting various small theaters.

Haven't been online much lately. One problem was it seemed like our Mac's motherboard, or at least the device controller, had fried. It was likely given symptoms, but in actuality the boot disk and the hard drive were found to be both dead at once. The ordeal did get me to use Ubuntu more on our Linux machine, only to find we have a cruddy sound card built in to the new system.
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Plan 9 from Outer Space [Jul. 16th, 2009|09:45 pm]
J. M.
"This isn't like plans one through eight. This is plan nine, the one that worked! The worst movie ever made!"

My theater is running a Mystery Science Theater 3000 of Plan 9 from Outer Space on Thursday August 20. Normally it costs $12.50 to go, but if you would like to go with me, I can get you in for 50 cents each. Anyone who would like to go, let me know soon as tickets are already selling down.
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Randomness [Apr. 24th, 2009|10:00 pm]
J. M.
I've been watching morning cartoons live on TV Tokyo at 3pm. An interesting addition to the morning is teaching kids a new English sentence each day. I first paid attention to it when the girl on the show was teaching kids to say, "How will you be spending you return?" on tax day. Since then all the ones I've managed to catch have been phrases I wouldn't think of teaching to a small child.

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(no subject) [Mar. 20th, 2009|09:15 am]
J. M.
Finals are over. I'm done with Japanese for now as I've finished all I need for my degree. Yes, it would be fun to take more, but I can't really afford it. At least I finished this term with an A.

I also found out this week that apparently the epidemiology program that was supposed to exist at PSU actually doesn't. Figures it's only a graduate program. So I contacted an epidemiologist that works at PSU and got some advice on what I should be taking there that would be good for the graduate program. Looks like I have a lot of Biology ahead of me. Good thing I put off Biology and Geology as my final classes to take at PCC. Biology will be fresh in mind.
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Amazing Dancing Christmas Stick [Dec. 3rd, 2008|05:30 pm]
J. M.

It's December so it's time for the Amazing Dancing Christmas Stick.

And just for fun, some of my other favorite Adult Swim bumps:

Projected Holiday Spirit
Big Horn Monster
Banana Operation
Tomato Operation
Dancing Robot
Do Not Stray
Smash the Ship
The New Knowledge
The World's Wealth
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Japanese class [Nov. 13th, 2008|06:24 pm]
J. M.
I have learned a new word in Japanese class that I felt I had to share. I didn't believe it when our teacher first told us.

デニる "deniru"
translation: to eat at Denny's

I had no idea Denny's was so big in Japan that going there required it's own verb. That makes me feel kind of queasy...
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(no subject) [Feb. 27th, 2008|10:10 pm]
J. M.
I know hydrargyrum will be checking up on this journal soon, so I'd better update. The term is almost over! One more day of learning on Monday then it's just Two review days a Midterm and a Final. And time to finish everything in ceramics.

Speaking of which, that class has been going well. I think my favorite thing I've made this term is a container in the shape of Saccharomyces cerevisiae from moyashimon.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

I've also found a place downtown that sells those GIANTmicrobes (Powells Technical books). I felt compelled to buy Yeast, Mad Cow, and Lyme Disease. So along with the Common Cold nanao gave me for Christmas, this brings my total up to 11 that reside on my manga bookshelf.
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There Will Be Updates [Jan. 30th, 2008|10:30 am]
J. M.
Been busy with school and work. One of the nice things about this job is that if I happen to have free time I can go see a movie for free. I've seen quite a few recently, maybe about two a week (as opposed to two or three every year before I started working here). The best I've seen yet, and have even seen twice, is There Will Be Blood. When I first heard the title I thought it was going to be terrible. But then I heard what it was about and then I saw the trailer and then found out it was based on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! I decided it might be worth watching. I went to go see it first when it was at Cinema 21 and once it came to Century theaters I took my dad to see it for free. We both agree we really haven't seen anything like it before. Daniel Day-Lewis is going to get the Oscar for this one.

School has started up again. I decided not to continue Organic Chemistry. The teacher wasn't very good and I was starting to hate science. Instead I've switched to Physics. Not a great move either since it's another 2nd year teacher who doesn't know how to teach. He's already started the class over once. I don't have high hopes for learning the subject.

I've done some weeding through my f-list. If we never talk or you don't update anymore I've taken you off. But if you really want me to add you back, ask.

ETA: You should watch this, mr_utopia_man. This must be how Chemistry feels: Chemistry Made Simple
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Kamosuzo! [Dec. 10th, 2007|04:20 pm]
J. M.
[mood |calmcalm]
[music |Colors of the Heart - UVERworld]

Finally updating. The term is almost over so now I have a bit of time on my hands. Christmas presents have been sent out, I've given terwashere and witmanfade theirs, I have presents ready to give to shinjuki71, mr_utopia_man, and nanao, and all the family's taken care of. I don't think I'll do cards this year, I but I'll send them to anyone who's sent me one if I haven't already sent them a present.

I am now working and the Century 16 theater by Cedar Hills crossing, which is the main reason why I've been so busy lately. 30 hours of work a week and school does give me much time to do anything else. I'll eventually catch up with my friends list and e-mails, but it may take a while.

I finally finished watching Blood+. I had some time last week of Thursday, so I sat and watched the last 10 episodes. Yes, I could have been doing other things, but the ball really gets rolling and it's hard to stop.

Cut for spoilersCollapse )

I have now started a series called Moyashimon which I found out about through nenena. The series follows Tadayasu Sawaki, a first-year college student at an agricultural university, who has a unique ability to see and communicate with micro-organisms and bacteria. It's funny and educational at the same time. My favorite microbe so far is Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is in the icon I'm using.

It's funny, the more I think about Sawaki, the more I'm reminded of Paul Ehrlich. I remember him most for coming up with interesting theories about the microscopic, that could not be confirmed by any microscope at the time, and describing them often by drawing out almost comical pictures of them.

Cut for a long passageCollapse )

Speaking of microbes, I was at OMSI recently for my dad's company Christmas party and in the gift shop they had a bin full of GIANTmicrobes for $4 each! These had been sitting there for a few months and very picked over so everything had been marked down. I was able to pick up Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis C, Flesh Eating, and two Red Blood Cells, one for me and one for the Red Cross where I volunteer. They now reside with Black Death, Ebola, and E. coli from mr_utopia_man on my manga bookshelf.

That's all I can think of to mention right now. I hope everyone's doing well.
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