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October 31, 2005

Happy halloween

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I was at work all day today. That is scary enough for me.

Posted by Kirk at 08:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2005

Happo-en Shirogane

Happo-en in Shirogane...what a great place! We went over there today for a coffee and walked around the gardens a bit. It is all still very green as you can see, but a few weeks from now there should be some fantastic colours as the leaves change. Mark it in your calendars. They have a nice restaurant with a terrace that overlooks the garden (well-heated), and it was so quiet and peaceful sitting there. They also had some surprisingly good scones, which was a bonus.

This was my second visit to Happo-en...the first time was last March/April when the cherry blossoms were blooming. It was also very nice then. They certainly know how to show themselves off! Anyway, you have two good reasons for going now.

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And if you do not like trees and the like, there is also big pond, which is full of carp (koi). I think they are supremely ugly fish, but you might like them so here are a few pictures. They seemed to think I would have some food for them. That or they were hoping I would fall in! Scary...

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Posted by Kirk at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2005

Happy anniversary

I have been doing this for six months now! Actually it is six months and one day, but I had completely forgot about it yesterday - which I tend to do. I know some people link to their favourite or more popular posts, but nothing springs to mind at the moment so maybe I will do that after one year. Well, the entry about Preyash trying to board a plane with his baby's passport does - but I promised I wouldn't name him, so I won't link to that.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and made this part of their Internet life. I hope in the next six months I can improve on things - it should not be too difficult as Kaz tells me I am still not funny or interesting.

Speaking of anniversaries, I should get to the real topic of this post. Because six months pales in comparison to the 37 years that my sister Sandy and her husband Roger have been married. They celebrated that happy day on Thursday (yep, I missed that one too, but only by two days). Happy anniversary!

Posted by Kirk at 02:46 PM | Comments (2)


Yikes! What a long week. After work last night, I barely had the energy to make it home, let alone go out and be sociable (or what I consider sociable, which is sometimes different).

I woke up this morning to a real dilemma. No coffee or milk in the apartment. Vaguely, I remember making a note to myself that I would need to take care of this, but like many of these notes it had disappeared under the flurry of other things that grab my attention.

The problem is that I usually need a coffee to be functional in the morning. And on some mornings, like Saturdays, i really do not want to talk to anyone until I have had my dose of caffeine that makes conversations possible. And that is the catch-22. Because I needed a coffee before I could talk to anyone, but I had to talk to someone before I could have that coffee. Having to speak Japanese just makes this worse.

This all rambled through my head as I walked over to Cafe de Crie, the closest coffee shop to my apartment. The initial order went fine...I have memorised these important rituals in my mind, so that I do not have to think. But there seemed to be a problem. The man behind the counter came back with a non-standard reply! I had a feeling that whatever he had said was something I had heard before, but I could not quite grasp the meaning. There were words I knew when considered in isolation, but the coherent whole was elusive. Finally, he pointed at his watch and at the coffee machine.

"...wait a minute..." whew! I can do that. The panic subsided.

I better get coffee/milk for the apartment so this doesn't happen again tomorrow.

Posted by Kirk at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2005

Is it Friday?

I think this is the adult equivalent of a child in a car continually asking "are we there yet?" ... it pretty much says the same thing. I have had a longer week than I would like at work, and I am in shock that this work week actually has an end, let alone that it is hours away (am I an optimist or what?). In my free time, I have been thinking of all the fun things to do in the Autumn and Winter.

This is what I could come up with (granted, I am not at my best)
* ski weekend in January
* day hike in the mountains to see leaves changing colour
* go to kasama and but some pottery/ceramics
* onsens in hakone or izu peninsula
* any day spent on the water - asakusa-odaiba water taxi, for example
* sleep (actually this should be first on the list)

It is a pretty poor list...I will have to work on it some more. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Posted by Kirk at 08:15 AM | Comments (1)

October 26, 2005

James Dean update

Live_Fast_Die_Young_Rebel_Without_A_Cause.jpgSo, how is this for cool? I am not the only one that noticed the monkey connection in "Rebel Withour A Cause"...in fact, I missed most of the monkey references. But Al Weisel and Lawrence Frascella not only noticed, they have written a book about the making of the movie and they talk about much more than monkeys. You can find their website here.

Check out the section "Rebel Mysteries" to see what questions they answer...it looks like there is lots of interesting things behind the movie worth reading about. While you are there, look out for a little monkey on the page that will take you to the most important part of their website. If you have trouble, you can go to the comments section of the last post where Al refers to it directly.

I will be ordering my copy today. Thanks for the referral Al...I am looking forward to it.

Posted by Kirk at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2005

Tokyo Film Festival and one of the greatest movie lines ever

The Tokyo International Film Festival is in full swing this weekend. One of the features is a James Dean 50th Anniversary tribute, so all of the classic films he was in are being shown. I opted for "Rebel Without A Cause"...as you will see, it was an inspired choice.

James Dean has a special place in American film history - he died young, which always helps - and he was considered the cool up-and-coming presence. One of his co-stars was a young Dennis Hopper, looking much different in his pre-Easy Rider days. Another co-star in "Rebel..." was Natalie Wood, who also died young and in questionable circumstances. Because of this, the films they were in take on a whole new significance...they become bigger than they otherwise would have.

I won't bore you with the details of the movie. It was good, but not great, and there was some holes in the plot you could drive a truck through. But I will forgive all of this after hearing one of the best movie lines ever...

In the scene, Natalie Wood is walking away from James Dean. There is some tension between them as they obviously care for each other, but earlier in the day her boyfriend had died in a car race that James Dean had won. You can imagine it is a bit awkward.

As she leaves, he takes out a makeup compact that she had lost the first time they met and moves to return it to her. He opens it, holds up the mirror and says "Judy...would you like to see a monkey?". . There was even a blurred camera shot of her reflection in the mirror. I am still laughing.

I only wish I had said it first. NOW I know why people like him so much.

Posted by Kirk at 09:22 PM | Comments (4)

Now this is more like it

I woke up this morning to sunlight streaming through the windows. Is this odd? Yes, if you are me. If you have been reading this blog regularly over the last four months, then you know that I have been surrounded by fog and rain pretty much all the time (alright, I did go to London, where it is like that for everyone). When I went to sleep last night, it had been raining, so I was very surprised.

Anyway, this is not just sunny...it is "deep blue sky, not a cloud to be seen" sunny. This kind of weather is one of the things I like best about Tokyo. In the Fall and winter, the sky always looks like this.

If you are in Tokyo, you probably already know this. If not, I took a picture so that you would believe me. And here it is. This is near my apartment in Akasaka, looking north to the Hotel New Otani. Looks like a nice day, doesn't it? I am going to go outside now and enjoy some of it.
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Posted by Kirk at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2005

A frustrating morning

Tickets to the next Japan football match went on sale today. Japan will host Angola on 16 November at National Stadium. On the surface, it does not seem to be the most exciting match, but Angola has just qualified for their first world cup (!) and it is very close to home and office, so it should be good.

Unfortunately, getting tickets is not so easy, no matter who Japan is playing.

Japan games are always sold out, so it is a case of being the early bird to give yourself a chance. The tickets were on sale from 10am, so I was at my computer at 9:59am ready to give them my cash. I used the Rakuten JFA site, and it was obviously very busy (slow downloading, lots of error messages when you click through to the next step etc). I was at a disadvantage to the other on-line buyers I am sure, having to work in a second, not-very-well-known language to get through the system. And, of course, when I finally finished I was told there are no tickets available, but that I was on the waiting list.

I tried again with category four tickets that were still available, but it would not let me buy them because I already had a reservation for category one. I can understand that as they would not want one person to place multiple orders while others go without..

I might not have been successful with the tickets, but I am very pleased that I could use a Japanese language site, understand what I needed to do and actually do it. I hope that makes me feel better when I am watching the match on television.

Posted by Kirk at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2005

Another birthday!! Stop it!

Happy birthday to me! I am at the age now where this is not always something to celebrate, so I have mixed feelings. I would be much more positive if I had the day off and it felt like a real holiday!

And this year, I have no plans. Last year, I invited a bunch of people from the office out for drinks after work at a bar near our office. Great idea and a pretty good turnout, but there also happened to be a typhoon (advertised as possibly "worst to hit Tokyo in fifty years"), which ensured an early end to the evening. On that basis, I decided that planning your own parties was fraught with peril and it might be better to let someone else do it, or do nothing at all.

The emphasis should be on the latter.

Anyway, some people use their birthday as a time to reflect on what they are doing with their life and how they can improve themselves or the world. Not me...that is what you do on New Years' Eve!

So, no party, no resolutions and no plans. But I have received lots of congratulatory e-mails and my wonderful sisters sent me gifts even though I forget their birthdays every year. Thank you!

Actually, I am pretty happy. I just hope there isn't a major earthquake today. Sometimes it is the little things that make you the happiest.

Posted by Kirk at 09:23 AM | Comments (2)

October 19, 2005

Another earthquake!! Stop it!

I will eventually get back to you on the magnitude, but it was scary enough. Could somebody tell me why I am working on the fifteenth floor of an all glass building!

There was a lot of shaking...in fact, it still feels like it three minutes later, which could be...
* something like that sea-sicky feeling you get when you first walk on land after being on a boat
* the building's way of handling a quake by re-distributing the energy
* aftershocks

If it is the latter, we are all probably massively screwed. There was definitely an earthquake on Sunday, and I thought there was one Monday night. Now this one. Time for a business trip!

UPDATE: Most of the press reports calling it a 6.2-magnitude quake, but not centered in Tokyo. No injuries, everything is working fine. (except my head...I still feel like the building is shaking! I better lay off the sauce). This article seems to have the most information!

Posted by Kirk at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

4,000 now...

Well almost...it is four away, but I am at work and will soon be too busy to play around with this anymore.

Thanks to everyone for reading and please keep coming back. I think it is almost time to hide that thing. I used to like watching it, but it is getting kind of boring now.

Posted by Kirk at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2005

Pictures of France in the album

link8.JPGYou can find some of the pictures I took in France by clicking the button to the left or the one on the sidebar to the right. I did not add all of them - why do something today, if you can put it off for tomorrow (not promising anything about more pictures then, by the way). Hmmm, do you think the overcast, rainy weather in Tokyo has got me down?

Posted by Kirk at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

Earthquake? Or was that just me...

I think there was an earthquake around 12:50am last night. Something woke me up...although it is hard for me to tell in the middle of the night. It seemed like I was asleep one minute and shaking the next.

Unfortunately, I could not go to sleep for awhile after that. I checked some of the English language news this morning, but there is no mention of it and now I am wondering if maybe I imagined the whole thing.

Posted by Kirk at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2005

Some old friends stop by

I managed to get out of the apartment today. I met Satomi for lunch in Omotesando...that was the good part. It was the far right black vans, earthquakes and mad Japanese men I could do without.

15oct 002.jpg After a good lunch at Cafe Madu, we walked through Omotesando a little bit...usually this is very nice, but as you can see on the left, the "far right" black vans were driving around blaring their slogans for the benefit of the Sunday shoppers. It is not a very good picture - it seems I could still improve on my photography.

As a result, we decided to get off the street and have have a coffee at the small cafe near the Burberry store. While we were there, Satomi started looking around...obviously something was bothering her. Actually, it was the earthquake! After a month in Europe I had forgotten all about that particular Tokyo amusement. I didn't notice until there was a fairly big shock, which also got everyone else's attention. Satomi must have a built-in earthquake sensor - which would be handy if it kicked in earlier than two seconds before. I am also wondering if there is a connection between the black vans and the earthquakes as I saw/felt both within fifteen minutes. In any case, the building did not collapse and we could finish our coffee and make a respectable exit.

But that is not all! On my way home, there was an absolute nutter on the train. He was a fairly big guy and he walked through our carriage yelling "WAAAH WAAAH" over and over. Fortunately, he kept going. But, he was so loud it really caught your attention, especially because you never expect that kind of behavior in Japan. I was already thinking I would get off one stop early and leisurely walk home, and that clinched it.

And, of course, so did this guy. I step off the train and it is normally quiet like you would expect and all of the sudden "WAAAH WAAAH", but this time he was running down the platform. On the train it startled me. On the platform, I wondered if he was going to doing something stupid and hurt himself. Strange. I headed home before anything else could happen.

Posted by Kirk at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2005

Hokkaido - some of the pictures posted

link5.JPG I have posted some of the Hokkaido pictures...click this button here on the one on the sidebar to the right. It was really nice to take a look at these pictures again...made me remember what a good time it was.

Maybe you will also notice that I have made the page more exciting to look at by replacing the text links with actual pictures! I wish I could take credit for the monkey picture, but actually Aiko sent that to me. She took it in Nikko. Thanks Aiko.

I will add some more links to other galleries as I start to fill the albums up with pictures. You should go have a look!

UPDATE: I think I have all of them loaded now. There are 49 of them in the album...and I tried to leave some comments for each. Considering how long it has been and how bad my memory is, I did not do too bad. Good thing it is raining or I never would have got this finished.

Posted by Kirk at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

Sayonara Glenn

Glenn made his almost final farewells Friday night. I say "almost" because I expect to get out with him one more time before he heads back to England. Hobgoblin Roppongi was sayonara party headquarters, and (strangely for Tokyo) we stayed there the entire night.

I should mention straightaway that there was a great turnout. I bet there were at least fifty people at one time or another! What can you say - Glenn is a popular guy. On the left, you can see he is getting into the swing of things...to the right, it looks like he has finally realised I brought my camera! Actually, I did not get my camera out until late, so what you see below are pictures of the ones strong enough to carry on all night.

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Which is what we did! The barstaff had to kick us out so that they could close. Fortunately, reason prevailed and instead of a move to the next bar, we all went for ramen instead. It was a fantastically good night and it is safe to say Glenn is leaving on a high note.

Of course that is standard for a Friday night in Tokyo...are you sure you want to leave Glenn? (insert your own "expect you to be back" metaphor here - I can't think of any good ones right now). And make sure to keep checking back here to see what you are missing out on!

Posted by Kirk at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2005

Making up for lost time

First things first...

Sayonara Emma and Jeremy! Safe trip back to London and I am looking forward to seeing you in December. As you may recall, they had their leaving drinks on Wednesday. Here are a few pictures from that. On the left: the lovely couple...on the right, is a not-so-well done group picture. Sorry about that.

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We went to Aux Bacchanales in Ark Hills and sat outside. It was almost perfect weather (it did get a little chilly at the end) and about fifteen-twenty people showed up at various times over the evening. It was great fun. I should be writing more about it, but mornings are the only time I have to write and with j** l** (I said I would not mention it), I am not at my best.

Last night, I met Howie and Kaz for a few drinks at Heartland in Roppongi Hills. It was not very busy for a Thursday night. I prefer it that way, so it was a good night out. Howie and I pushed on to a few other places to see if we could find where everyone was hiding, but the whole town seemed empty. I was camera free, so no pictures this time. Considering the declining quality of photos, it is obvious that the camera needed a rest.

Posted by Kirk at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2005

Mexican food, pool and MORE leaving drinks

It was my first night out since getting back (OK, it was my first night back). After work, I went with Yoko and Michika for dinner - we had Mexican food. I am not sure why I had that after being away from Japan for a month - you would think that something Japanese would be more appropriate. Not thinking straight, I guess.

After dinner we met Jan and Delon from the office and went to play pool. Again, this is probably not what I was missing in my time away. First of all, I am absolute crap and I overwhelmingly proved it. And, there seems to be better ways to spend my time than making a fool of myself (not that you would guess).

I am not posting any pictures - none of them came out very well. You are off the hook, Michika.

Anyway, tonight is Emma and Jeremy's leaving drinks. They have been in Japan for three and a half months because Emma was transfered over here from London to help out. I imagine her boss finally found this blog and saw how much fun she was having and decided to call an end to it. It is too bad, because they are good fun and they seem to belong here. If you know them and want to say goodbye, drop me an e-mail and I will tell you where we are meeting up. If you do not know them, you can catch the post-party review here tomorrow.

Posted by Kirk at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

Back in Tokyo

Well, that business trip is in the bag. I got back yesterday afternoon and have been hanging around in the apartment...did a bit of grocery shopping, launndry and the like. As expected, I feel like I have missed out on my weekend. It is Tuesday already and I am just getting started. The jet lag is manageable...but I will try to limit my comments on that, so that is the last you will hear on that.

Should be a good week - no meetings (that I know of!) and Glenn's going-away do is on the schedule for Friday. He is going back to England next week, which is sad. Then again, that is probably good for my liver and should bring my Tokyo hangover ratio to a more rational level. And I go to London all the time - simply means a change in drinking venues, right?

Glenn is on the left...there will be less of this in Tokyo, more in London. And the picture on the right should have been posted months ago. That is Howie and Fred at the latter's stag party. How I missed posting that before is a good question.

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Posted by Kirk at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2005

New banner, until something better comes along

I took this at Kamuiwakka Falls in Hokkaido two months ago. I have no idea who the woman is...she just happens to be there. This is the hot water pool at the top of the falls.

Yoko said I should change the picture to something more Fall-like. This was the best I could do on short notice. I hope to get a nice picture with lots of leaves changing colors, but this will have to do in the meantime.

Posted by Kirk at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Tokyo here I come!

I am back in BA's Heathrow Terminal One Lounge...at least I am going home now!

Since the last time I was here, a new section of shops has been opened at Terminal One. It is really well done. I spent some time poking around to see where my next meal is coming from as I can only assume the BA/Gate Gourmet dilemma will keep me from eating something on the flight. That is probably a good thing.

I did not buy anything in the shops, but I will have to stop by to get some last minute omiyage for the office. They are getting chocolate, like always. Better to be safe than sorry.

My trip to the airport was the fastest ever, maybe 30 minutes. I thought the driver was late to my hotel and I told him I had considered taking a taxi - not that I was late - but he seemed to need to prove a point. Anyway, as you can see, not much happening today.

I will spend part of my flight thinking about what I want to cook when I get home. Maybe I should eat now...I seem to be focusing too much on food.

Anyway, here is one more picture of London...this is the Lamb and Flag pub, just off Covent Garden. I did not go there this time, but I thought this was a suitable farewell picture.

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Posted by Kirk at 08:19 PM | Comments (0)

England qualifies for WC 2006

Well, they did it. England managed to qualify for the World Cup finals in Germany next summer, topping Austria 1-0 and assisted by the Dutch beating the Czechs in Prague.

_40888588_lamps300.jpgFrank Lampard sealed the victory with a penalty kick in the first half after Michael Owen was held in the box. A ridiculous penalty by Austria, but what do you expect. That is a professional view of the kick to the left.

Beckham was unfairly sent off after getting two yellow cards in two minutes...apparently not the first time the Spanish ref has done this. In any case, it was thoroughly undeserved - the referee was a complete idiot. Owen was also robbed of a sure penalty kick in the box after a clanging tackle, which the ref also missed.

Having said all that, England should have put the game away in the first half. They won't go very far in Germany if they play the way they have over the last month.

Posted by Kirk at 06:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2005

I am a lucky traveller

London has been consistently grey and cloudy over the last three weeks, which is a nice change from the heat and humidity of the summer in Tokyo. But I would not mind seeing a bit of blue sky or sun for a change.

The good news is that the weather forecast calls for sunshine and warm weather on Monday...28 degress in mid-October. The bad news is I will miss that as I am travelling back to Japan. I just checked the weather forecast. Yep, it is raining.

I took this picture in Zurich, where it was 8 degrees. It is all a matter of perspective. And, as you can see, the fog continues to find me wherever I go.

oct 002.jpg

Posted by Kirk at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2005

I forgot my wallet...

Some of you may remember that last week I mentioned a certain person who went to the airport with his baby's passport. I can report back that he is taking advantage of his reputation as much as he can. We popped out of the office for a quick lunch today. When the bill came, he pats down his pockets, realises they are empty, and says to me "I think I left my wallet back in the office!"

...considering his reputation, how could I not believe him? I wonder if he had his baby's wallet instead?

Anyway, he saved himself £11, which goes a little way towards paying for the £120 in extra cab charges he racked up.

Posted by Kirk at 01:22 AM | Comments (1)

I am back in London, but nothing going on

I got back to London on Tuesday night, but I have been too lazy to update this. The good news is I will return to Tokyo next week...so, the few of you who still read this are in the know. I am hoping I do not waste my entire three-day weekend on a plane (I already missed two in Japan by being here in London), but it looks like Sunday is the only day I can travel.

In any case, do not include me in any of your weekend plans. This weekend, at least.

I am going to make a list of things that I want to do when I get home. It should be obvious, but jet lag makes my already bad memory worse. Often times I get home after a trip and remember I wanted to cook, but I cannot think of what exactly I wanted. So, I make chicken stir fry and am vaguely unsatisfied. Bad example - I love chicken.

Anyway, I will try and get a few spectacular pictures of London to post on here before I leave. Depends on whether the weather cooperates (get it? weather, whether! I am so funny). It is cold and cloudy here and there is no indication that will change.

Posted by Kirk at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2005

Off to Zurich now

I am off to Zurich this morning - quick trip, leaving Monday morning and coming back Tuesday night. But, in the interest of travelling lightly...I am not taking my laptop, so it is unlikely I will be updating this!

Posted by Kirk at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2005

NEC Harlequins 27 Doncaster 7

Yesterday was a rugby day - we seem to be alternating between that and football each weekend. We headed over to Twickenham Stoop to watch one of the famous London sides (surprisingly relegated last season) take on Doncaster in a Division One match. Harlequins came away the winners, but they had to work for it (or so I am told, I still cannot quite figure it out).

The good news for me is that I think I may have finally got a decent picture of sport. Here it is: this is one of the Doncaster lineouts- they are on the right...Harlequins on the left. Fortunately, there were quite a few lineouts on our side of the pitch so I got lots of practice. The other pictures I took are crap.

ru 018.jpg

The weather was strange, alternating between sun and rain for most of the day. Fortunately, it was more sunny than not, and we sat in a covered stand so we were not getting wet. It is is still nice to be outside in London, but you can feel winter coming...when the sun was not out there was a definite chill in the air. This should give you some idea of the contrast - this is the same stand before and after the match.

ru 011.jpg ru 019.jpg

To add a Japanese link, NEC is a major club sponsor, so the announcer would refer to the team as the NEC Harlequins and there was lot sof NEC advertising around the stadium. They are also know informally as the 'Quins' or 'the Mighty Quin'. Most of you probably know that the later is also a song - they played that before each half.

I had an old duffer sitting next to me and you would have thought this was the worst rugby team in the world. He kept muttering under his breath after every play and always saw the downside. The 'quins score a try? his reply 'don't even bother to kick - no one can kick on this team'...and so on. It was funny at first, but after awhile it was tedious. Then again, he has probably supported the team for 50 years (have they been around that long?) and this was my first match. I suppose I should cut him some slack.

I completely enjoyed myself (again). Leigh and I have been to rugby twice (Agen and Harlequins) and football once (Chelsea) in the last three weeks. We were wondering how many other people have been clever enough to watch this string of matches in the last three weeks. If you are one of them, let me know.

Posted by Kirk at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2005

Lazy Saturday morning

Carrying on from my earlier post...after killing as much time as possible on the Internet, having a morning coffee and finishing the book I was reading, I went out for a walk. I do this to give the hotel's housekeepers an opportunity to clean my room, but it is mostly wishful thinking on my part as they know to only stop by when I am here. They seem to have an innate sense of who is absent, which allows them to skip that room and continue on to harass the guests that remain behind.

Anyway, I walked through Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square with my camera ready in case I came across something interesting. I didn't, but I took 20 pictures despite that, and this is the one I like the best. At least you are not getting another picture of an old building and a red double-decker bus (I will save those for next time).

oct 020.jpg

Posted by Kirk at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

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The Tokyo Film Festival is coming soon!

You would think with an early start every day in London (7am) that I would use the weekend to sleep late...but I was up at 630am. I seem to be caught in this vicious circle. I went to sleep at 10pm or 1030pm last night...I am not sure which. When I got back to the hotel, I could not decide what I should do, so I did what I always do when I have to make a decision: I fell asleep.

tiff_index_02.JPG Anyway, the coffee place near the hotel does not open until 8am, so I played around on the Internet and, to my pleasant surprise, found the site for this year's Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). I have been meaning to look this up as it happens every October, but had not made the effort, so it is good that I found it now.

It runs from 22-30 October...tickets on sale from 3 October. There are a few James Dean (50th Anniversary) films, which would be fantastic to see on the big screen, old Japanese films, and a ton of films from Asia and Europe. It should be good.

Who likes movies? Who is coming with me?

Posted by Kirk at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Who can't travel alone?

I bet most of you are laughing and saying "that must be Kirk!"...but you are wrong. Sure, I have lost my passport once, mis-placed it twice, and lost my wallet too. But I am always traveling and over time the odds of this occurring naturally increase. Or I may be completely useless, but this is my blog, so I do not have to admit it.

What I have never, ever done is show up at the airport to head off with my mates for a stag weekend in Spain (who's the man? I am the man! etc) and try to check in using my baby's passport. Not only does he miss the first night's revelry, he has to pay an extra 120 quid to get back home and back and admit to his wife that he is the biggest monkey she could ever meet (which is why he gets another mention here).

I won't tell you who did that, because it is embarassing enough for him, especially as he has only been back in the UK for a short time after living in Japan for 18 months. You may remember his many sayonara parties.

Posted by Kirk at 12:26 AM | Comments (1)