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Friday, March 17, 2006

 

St. Patrick's Day on the other side of the world, another round of photos from Tokyo and why I hate Nick at Nite

A few months ago I had to turn down an invite to spend Spring Break running around Japan. While taking odd photos in distant locales is my favorite activity in the world, April brings with it bills for car insurance and the Multnomah County tax. If I were willing to run up massive credit card debt I could be sleeping off a hangover in Tokyo right now, where the current time is 6:27 tomorrow morning.

All this begs the question: do the Japanese celebrate St. Patrick's Day? From what I've heard, they do indeed. My colleagues were set to arrive overseas at 5 PM Friday, Tokyo time. From there, jetlag be dammed, a friend was planning to take them on a tour of the city's pubs and past no less than five million potential photo opps.




Oh well, at least I can live vicariously through another Flickr gallery's worth of leftover Tokyo pics taken during a trip in late 2004. This one marks the last gallery in an ongoing series that has run on Welcome to Blog for over a year now. This final set contains oh-so-kooky shots of:


  • The "Penis People" plush dolls that serve as mascots for the Tokyo Tower.


  • An odd painting of Disney's seven dwarfs hanging around with a lederhosen-clad gorilla.


  • A 9+ story karaoke parlor.


  • What Bill Clinton's autobiography looks like translated into Japanese.


  • A group of commuters practicing CPR in the middle of Tokyo Station.


  • A cigarette lighter shaped like Adolf Hitler's head.


  • And more!


  • I had to rise early on Thursday to get out to the airport and, of course, I woke up in the middle of night after a Japanese-themed nightmare. Traveling jitters for someone else's vacation? I guess so. Here's a rundown, in case you're curious.

    The nightmare began in my grandparent's kitchen. Their entire house was now located in a Tokyo suburb. It was night and through a sliding glass door I could see an illuminated pond filled with koi fish. A group of cops was sitting around their kitchen table. The room was all film noir-ish and filled with smoke. A videotape was sitting on a kitchen counter. In walks a Shield-era Glenn Close looking all tough.

    HER: "We need to keep this tape for evidence. It's going down to the station."

    ME: (In this nightmare I'm also a cop) "Don't you get it? This tape kills people. There's a corpse in the bedroom upstairs."

    HER: "A videotape that kills people? I'm sending you in for a psyche evaluation. You're off the team."

    ME: "It's the same damn tape from that movie The Ring. Didn't you see it?"

    The other cops are still sitting around the table smoking in silence. Desperate to prevent the tape's curse from spreading, I grabbed it off the counter. Close tries to tear it out of my hands and starts punching me in the head. As the other cops continue smoking, a white ring and the ghost girl from the film appears on my grandparents' tiny kitchen television.

    I woke up before spectral havoc no doubt better than anything in The Ring Two could ensue. Unable to get back to sleep, I turned on the TV. A Halloween episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bell Air" was on and a few minutes later it cut to a commercial. The first ad that came on? A bizarre toothbrush commercial that begins with a CGI shot of six white circles on a black screen.

    Needless to say I didn't get much shut-eye that night. Thanks, Nick at Nite.

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