The first is the rainbow-coloured disc that means my little black MacBook is struggling with something. It's been spinning around and around for far too high a %age of the past ninety minutes. The second is the chocolate/sweet cycle, by which I need one after the other and the other after one. All this sugar has come in useful keeping me awake long enough for that disc to stop spinning, mind. And I need to stay awake because of this third - the more I do, the more I have to write about, the less time I have to write. Just realised this third isn't especially circular in its process, but on the walk back tonight it felt like there was something cyclical to it. In short: too much exciting, not enough writing.
Did manage a perfect circle of a wander today, camera in hand. Minox 35mm point 'n' shoot has died, and only after a month or so after purchase, so left with Konica SLR; fine for wandering towards black 'n' white shots of girls on steps, but will have to re-place/pair the broken for anything resembling fast snapping. Closed today's excursion in a French coffeehouse with a crepe, a beer and Rabbit, Run. Crepe came with that French salted(?) caramel sauce that I can never quite decide if I love or hate. Bittersweet. Spoke a little French then, but not much Japanese. Mon père was here this weekend, catching up with the son after a few Korea/career days, and has suggested conversation classes, and, yes, after 3+ months in Japan, perhaps a little more language might be nice. But I work in and with English, and have a growing suspicion, fear, belief that I always will... Much introspective considerations of the future lately, and Updike isn't helping.
But searching for the levity in life is proving a little more uplifting; comedy may well be the only field in which describing your efforts as 'laughable' isn't putting yourself down. Self-deprecation does seem the basis of my schtick so far, but considering branching out into animal impressions. After surviving last Monday's Japanese haircut - an episode with mysterious Russians, a Colonial coffeehouse, elusive hair-care products, and far too many emails - I've been able to up-end the joke of all dark-haired British teens looking like Harry Potter in Japan with the realisation that I now instead resemble Emma Watson on a bad face day. Most of my limited set is based on encounters with said fairer sex, but it would be giving the game away to reveal details; the Tokyo audience can't tell the fact from the fiction.
In various states of worklag I've suffered from similar delusions. Stieg Larsson's fictional Millennium magazine keeps blurring with my own workplace, and David Foster Wallace's similarly fictional film-maker, James Orin Incandenza Jr (or Himself, or the Mad Stork), keeps appearing when I'm clicking through eBay listings for Canon XL1s (that's a plural; not to be confused with the XL1S, or even the XL2. Similarly, it's not advisable to confuse Larsso's Ronald Niedermann with Wallace's Don Gately, to whom Incandenza appears in a manner quite different to my own experiences, to clarify). Just finished, clearly, both David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. The latter doesn't seem to need my opinion, but on the former, here's the joke the South Shore biker Bob Death tells on p. 445 -
This wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes 'Morning, boys, how's the water?' and swims away, and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, 'What the fuck is water?' and swim away.
Sure funnier than saying you look like Hermione Granger.
Now that I'm quoting, this whole time I've been living here I've been reminded of that line from Belle and Sebastian's 'I'm A Cuckoo' - 'I'd rather be in Tokyo / I'd rather listen to Thin Lizzy-oh / And watch the Sunday gang in Harajuku / There's something wrong with me, I'm a cuckoo'. So watching them Friday night over at Studio Coast was something of a bonus. Past ten days have been pretty kind on the music front; another Milla and the Geeks gig, turns out they're off to Texas (I think) for a festival, so sayonara on that front. But highlight has to be two Wednesdays ago, with a secret DJ set from will.i.am and apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Pea'd fame. Found out via Twitter at about eight, raised some funds and raided Freshness Burger, dressed up to the nines and was there queuing for a midnight set. Left at five in the morn, sky the colour of a bruise, and found myself a McMuffin on the way back.
Culinary satisfaction has also been high over the past week - there. That's the weather forecasting tone I've been searching for. - with a highlight, alongside that Thursday's early a.m. Golden Arches, of Sunday morning's breakfast with Dad. After four weeks of peanut butter on toast, instant coffee, a satsuma and lemon-flavoured vitamin water, the Capitol's French toast with maple syrup, coffee, orange juice, pastries, toast and butter, and croissants and jam really made the day as it was so far. That weekend, the two of us walked and eat and talked our way through the city, with the marathon, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, the Imperial palace gardens, the Diet bldg, and Ginza's bars and lack of live music all now under our belts, of which at least mine need loosening come Monday morn. Morn and dawn is not much sooner than I'd like it to be down my end, and much planned for my Sunday, with donuts and that Velvet Underground track scheduled ante meridiem. This time next week I'll be in Abu Dhabi - now there's a thought. And there goes another one.