For my 300th post I thought I would introduce a new No Airplay feature (inspired largely by the recent "Art Archives" feature). B.N.A.P. (Before No AirPlay) is gonna basically be a section (?) where I will post pictures that came about before I started this blog. That covers a pretty large expanse of time, however, as I was growing up, I didn't take so many picture, and didn't have so many taken of me, and of those pictures, I hold very few of them. My sister has most of the family album stuff now. So, the breadth and scope of this idea will mostly be relegated to some fairly recent stuff. Stuff that was captured before I had this medium to share with the world. For the 1st edition, why not go back to the beginning? My first B-Day! What better place to start? I guess a shot straight out of the womb would be nice, but I don't have one of those, so here ya go, B.N.A.P. vol. 1's 1st picture:Ah, good times! Chubby cheeked little bastard! Sweet overalls and so ready to unleash terror upon the world at such a young age!
I just finished the 1st of my 9 days off and I plan to do some posting about what I'm up to these 9 days, but for now I'm just gonna throw up a picture for the "Art Archives." This is something I did at a point in college and this is probably my single most famous piece. It's a take on the NBA logo, what is happening in the picture is up to your own imagination... Blind Spot Studios is a name I took (trademarked thank you very much (had my own business license (above my toilet) and everything)) from my first ever comic strip that I came up with when I was in elementary school. I gave up on it (the comic) when I learned that there was a photography magazine by the same name, but I kept the name in the back of my mind for years and then established "Blind Spot Studios" years later when I was in college. Most of the work I did was photo manipulation, almost exclusively photos of me, and although this example is pretty easy to tell that it is of a person, some pictures that I will put up down the line will not be. But trust me, it's probably based off an image of me. During my "Blind Spot" phase, I probably produced the single greatest "period" collection of my life. There are countless pieces that I came up with during this period, some of which have become widely know, some of which haven't. As the "Art Archive" expands I'll introduce some more of my favorites from this period. I also had a similar experience where, in High School, I had a band called "Surface" but abandoned it when I learned of the existence of an old singing group by the same name... lame, we could've been huge!
Here's something i did a bit more recently than the previous Art Archive entry. I think this was done in late Jr. High or maybe in High School. Can you guess who it is?Yup, Mick Jagger. Breaking out of an egg... yup. Why? I don't know, just what it turned out to be. Think that the quality is a bit low, I was never good at incorporating color in my work anyway, but I just like this one because of the pure absurdity of it. I might try to re-work it in photoshop some time. For now, enjoy.
1. Redman / smash sumthin' 2. Nirvana / D7 3. Weezer / buddy holly 4. CCR / bad moon rising 5. Mos Def / the boogie man song 6. Bad Company / can't get enough 7. A Perfect Circle / magdalena 8. Envy / testimony to the existance 9. Pennywise / the world 10. Kanye West / getting out of the game 11. 7 mary 3 / my my 12. NoFX / zyclone B bathouse 13. Talib Kweli / work it out 14. Between the buried and me / colorblind 15. Radiohead / bones 16. The Roots / we see you 17. Green Day / jaded 18. Weezer / tired of sex 19. the dillenger escape plan / lurch 20. Notorious B.I.G. / juicy 21. Outkast / we love deez hoez
I've recently been re-bitten by the art bug and I've really been feeling like I need to be creative. I tried to pick up the guitar about a week ago for the first time in awhile and promptly gave myself a wicked blister on my left ring finger... Haven't been able to play since. It's almost healed now! I've been trying to do some drawing and haven't really found my direction just yet, but I'm plugging along. It all got me looking at some of my old stuff and I decided that I should put some of it up for all to view. The first installment in the 'Art Archive' is from way back, seems that Napoleon Kaufman played at the UW from 1991-1995 so this could have been done any time between those years, but I have a feeling that it was probably around '91 or '92. So, I was around 11 or 12 years old, man this drawing brings back memories! I remember it most because I did it for my orthodontist, he was a huge UW fan, and a season ticket holder. Anyway, I know it's shit, but oh well:I cropped it a bit from the original, think it looks a bit better this way. The facemask and the left arm are pretty messed up! Anyway, I'll try and upload some other favorites in the near future...
There's only one simple answer to the question, "how was Anoop eliminated from American Idol?" America is full of a bunch of racists. That's it, that's the only possible answer. There's no way that Matt is better than he was. Why was Anoop in the bottom 3 like 4 times? Racists! Yeah, I've never watched American Idol until this season because mornin wanted to check it out, but hell, I'm into it now, and I'm pissed! Anoop dogg should still be in the running... I know, when he started he had some wicked eyebrows and he looked more like he should be programming at Microsoft than singing on American Idol, but he made some serious strides in the competition and he actually had a 'personality.' Anoop!
well it's about time! I'm feeling good, today's the 1st day I've gone back brace-less since the 'incident' and most days I've been too medicated to concentrate enough to write anything for this blog. sitting at the computer and writing was not really possible and most of the time i just use my cellphone (that's why i don't capitalize much) on my train rides but i just couldn't be bothered. it all began one Thursday, actually, Thursday the 2nd of April. a beautiful spring day, the cherry blossoms were near full bloom and i was planning to do some viewing at a place near my place but wanted to meet my friend S-G and he suggested Yoyogi park (代々木公園). to start things off, mornin and i headed over to the Hatanodai (旗の台) area to a great Indian curry spot called 'Raj.' super taste! we met up with melvis and mr. infidel and after lunch we parted ways and mornin and i headed over to Yoyogi to meet S-G and do some hanami (花見) action. it was good fun, we enjoyed the blossoms, some beer, music and some hacky-sack. there were tons of people for a Thursday afternoon, but we got a good spot and i got a bunch of good pics, check em out:after the park, we hoofed it over to Shibuya and the infamous HUB. a British-ish pub popular for foreigners all over Japan. on the way over, mornin decided she had to go home to prepare for a meeting the next day, so she headed off and the rest of us all posted up near the entrance waiting for a table and enjoying happy hour. we got a table and sat down and S-G and i struck up a conversation with a nice guy whose name i don't remember and had a good time. here's where our story takes a tragic turn... a little background on the layout of the HUB in Shibuya is necessary. 1st, it's small, with narrow paths between the main, center table (where we were seated) and the surrounding tables. 2nd, the tables are tall with tall bar stoolesqe chairs with rungs between the legs to rest your feet seeing as the chairs are tall. follow me? so, as i am apt to do, i decided it was time to order another beer so i stood up headed for the bar. ahhhhggg! as i stood up, my right foot slipped off the rung and got stuck inside the legs of the chair and i took a dive. with the short distance between myself and the chair i crashed into, there was no time to brace myself. i turned my body at least so that i didn't bust my face open on the chair, but i did bust my back and elbow as i crumpled to the floor. my initial reaction was pain. it hurt, but i jumped up, said i was ok and walked up to the bar to get my beer. the pain wasn't unbearable, it hurt, but there's been worse, and i figured that, like most times i hurt myself, i would be feeling fine after 10-15 mins. after sitting back down and even finishing my beer the pain had slowly built up, still, not that bad. i decided to call it a night and bid my buddies adieu, grabbed my bag and headed to Shibuya to catch the train home. on my way to the station the pain in my back grew and grew, mostly focused around my right kidney and spinal area but really the whole of my back. by the time i made it to the station i was in some serious pain. i sent some mails to mornin and she came to meet me at Gotanda (五反田). Gotanda has no escalator or elevator connecting the Yamanote (山手) and Ikegami (池上) platforms (which the should) and by the time i got to my train going home i was having trouble moving anything and even keeping my eyes open. to make this part of a long story shorter, i made it home and i was hungry so i had mornin order me a pizza and i laid down in the bedroom. everything hurt. i couldn't move, and i so didn't want to move. eventually it was decided that i should go to the hospital so an ambulance was called. somewhere during the wait i fell asleep and awoke to about 6 paramedics surrounding me and taking the sliding doors off the bedroom so they could put me on a stretcher and haul my ass out of the apartment down 4 flights of stairs and to the waiting ambulance. those boys earned their money! it wasn't an easy fit going from the living room through the kitchen and out the front door. and the stairs man, the stairs... once in the ambulance, one of the paramedics got on the horn and called around for an available hospital for me. after several mins i was cleared for takeoff to Tokyu hospital (東急病院) over in Ookayama (大岡山). we arrived and i was taken to the x-ray room to have several x-rays taken. that's all fine and good, every time they moved me for another shot, i felt intense pain, but the worst part was when a nurse came in asked me to give a urine sample... since most of my pain was centered around my kidney, they wanted some pee to see if there was any blood in there. normally i have no problem with giving up some pee, but there, laying on my side, in an x-ray lab, with a nurse and a lab tech, an environment that your mind and every fiber of your being tells you is not a place to take a wazz, we had problems. i tried and tried and tried and after a few dribbles, the nurse gave me the OK.after the x-rays and the pee, i was carted off to a hospital room, my own private room. i was put in there because it seemed that all the free multi-rooms were full. man! if you get the chance, hit up Tokyu hospital in Ookayama and get yourself a private room, they are pretty sweet, bigger than some hotel rooms I've stayed in, bigger than the average apartment in Tokyo. laying in bed, still in tons of pain i needed some meds. as i am semi-allergic to aspirin, the nurse said the best, fastest acting stuff they could give me was 座薬(ざやく)... i didn't know what that meant so i asked mornin what it meant and (i think) after checking her cellphone's dictionary, she came back with 'suppository...' "Noooooo waaaaay!" i said. the nurse said it was best and i was in so much pain that when she rolled me on my side and slipped my pants down, i couldn't fight back at all... i was essentially raped by a nurse... not at all how I'd hoped. the medicine didn't even help... eventually i nodded off forabout 2-3 hours after getting some sleeping pills but woke up at around 4 in the morning. mornin was gone (i learned later that she was at home getting some things) and i was already going stir crazy. i hate hospitals. that's where i see people die. i wanted out. they wouldn't let me leave though and i would have to wait until the afternoon because the doctor would be in surgery most of the day and wouldn't be able to check my test results... again, long to short, i spent the day freaking out, laughing from the pain, taking meds (痛み止め), IV drips (点滴), rolling around in a wheelchair (車椅子), experiencing horrible pain, taking x-rays (レントゲン), giving urine samples and enjoying some top notch hospital food! finally, i got out in the afternoon sometime around 4. i took the day off of work that day and the next. Sunday was a normal day off and i just spent the whole time 'resting.' i probably moved around a bit more than i should of, but despite the pain, i just couldn't sit still. Monday, i headed back to work, i picked up a 100円 pillow and kept myself highly medicated. it's not real easy teaching when you only hear about 2 of 10 words someone says. i was pretty zoned out. but, oh well made it through. so the results of my x-rays came down to a cracked rib, and a strained back. i think that there was some serious bruising, maybe on my kidney (there was a little blood in my urine, just a bit though) maybe on my spine, and definitely on my lower back and elbow. i probably should have had some more tests done, but while the nurses at the hospital were awesome! my doctor was pretty lame. when he proposed a cardiogram (心電図) i had had it. i felt he wanted to run up the cost and wasn't listening to what i was saying. maybe it was just claustrophobia setting in (i wanted out!) but i thought an MRI was reasonable, but why a cardiogram? oh well, after almost 2 weeks (actually now that I'm posting it, it's over 2 weeks), I'm rolling without my back brace, I'm down to 1 or 2 pain killers a day and I'm feeling tons better. i don't walk like an 85 year old man anymore. i still have to take it easy, I'm dying to play catch, i even bought mornin a mit! Akahoshi model (赤星モデル). I hope the weather is nice this Sunday, going to my 1st game of the baseball season, Baystars X Tigers in Yokohama, should be beautiful, the tulips should be out and since i have unreserved seats, I'll have plenty of time while waiting in line to play catch!
This was supposed to be up yesterday, I ended up in the hospital (more on that another time) so it is a little late, sorry!
#1: Koshien Stadium 阪神甲子園 Location: Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Pref. 場所：西ノ宮市、兵庫県 Team: Hanshin Tigers チーム：阪神タイガース Capacity/定員: 46,229 Opened: August 1, 1924
It was destiny. It was manifest destiny. It was preordained before we even started on this journey. Coming in at #1 on the stadium tour is none other than the wonderful, spectacular, stadium-of-stadiums, Koshien! Koshien, which is located in Hyogo Prefecture (not Osaka), is the oldest active NPB stadium in Japan. It is the equivalent of Fenway Park, or Wrigley Field. It is the field of dreams for H.S. baseball players around the country. It is my field of dreams. At the end of last season, Koshien underwent some renovations (extending the roof behind home and removing the obstructive outfield lights) that will probably take it to a new level, unmatched in the whole of Asia. From the first time you set eyes on Koshien, you can feel its magic. It's got freakin ivy covering the outside! How cool is that!? The last time I was there the Ivy was down and a picture of the ivy was up in its place... strange, but that's how iconic it is. While they were renovating the building, they had to put up a picture of the ivy that was missing! Although the stadium itself is a bit on the inaccessible side, especially when compared to Osaka Dome or either of the 2 here in Tokyo. It's worth the trip out to Nishinomiya though. Oh, the trains are stupid crowded before and after the games, think rush hour on the Yamanote-ish. When it comes to concessions, who cares! I don't even remember if I've eaten there, it think there are some decent choices, but that's not why you go to Koshien. You go to see the most loyal, crazy, and dangerous fans in all of Japanese sports. You go to see the dirt infield that H.S. players take home in jars and bags after they've been eliminated from the championship tournament. You go to see the ivy. You go to see a team that has been associated with "the curse of Col. Sanders." You go to hear and sing the most famous baseball song (this side of "take me out to the ball game"), "Rokko-oroshi (六甲おろし≪颪≫)." You go because. Security is off and on, usually not too bad and if you are a Tigers fan, people will give you beer anyway. And sometimes ask you to talk to their wife at home... or give you hamburgers... it is a strange group. Koshien did have some obstructed seats but with the removal of the old outfield lights, that should be taken care of. What still must be changed is the fencing on the outfield walls, tear it down! One thing to note is that it is nigh impossible to get tickets (at least 2 or more together) in right field, but don't worry, everywhere you sit is Tigers territory! Fure, fure, fure, fure! location: +3 history: +10 fanmasphere: +10 concessions: +2 smoking: -1 bathrooms: -1 sight lines: +4 field surface: +10 outside: +10 surroundings: +2 seats: +2 atmosphere: +10 security: +4
#2:Meiji Jingu Stadium 明治神宮野球場 Location: Tokyo, Tokyo. 場所：東京、東京都 Team: Tokyo Yakult Swallows チーム：東京ヤクルトスワローズ Capacity/定員: 37,933 Opened: 1926
Down to the final 2, and, as it should be, it comes down to East vs. West. Several of the top stadiums reside in the Western parts of Japan but coming in at #2 is the highest and last representative from the East! Jingu Stadium! Probably the biggest reason it's here is because it is the most accessible (good) stadium in all of Japan, as it is in central Tokyo. Jingu has its faults; artificial turf, lame home team!, but after its renovation before last season (switch to field turf, concourse upgrade and new video screens) Jingu has stepped its game up. Easy access from several stations (I use Gaien-mae (外苑前) on the Ginza line (銀座線)) but stock up on beer and other goodies before arriving as convenience stores are few and some don't sell alcohol! In this day and age!? One of the best factors that Jingu has is the outfield section which is fairly flat with a large open area behind the stands and wide aisles. The whole stadium is enclosed by a fence which is both strange and cool for some reason. Jingu however, has the same problem as nearly all other stadiums in Japan, fencing on the top of the outfield walls. I'm not sure why Japan likes this... maybe it's for fan safety? maybe it's for player safety? or maybe it's so fans don't mess with the game? Whatever the reason, tear them down! Jingu has a perfect balance of a very old, beautiful outside especially the promenade where you can wait in line before a game (except tigers games where the line stretches out for miles) and a comfortable, modern interior. For Eastern Japan, Jingu is by far and away, the best stadium to take in a game on a summer day, or an autumn day even. In summer, they even have fireworks (kinda weak though). Concession selection is good and there are plenty of beer vendors to quench your thirst, but security is pretty lax so bring your own! Hey, when it all comes down to it, it's the 2nd oldest (pro baseball) stadium running in Japan, and it's a gem! location: +10 history: +10 fanmasphere: +1 concessions: +3 smoking: -2 bathrooms: +4 sight lines: +5 field surface: +2 outside: +4 surroundings: +3 seats: +3 atmosphere: +2 security: +4
I actually recorded a "show" today! I talked about my mostly boring month of March, my probably busy month of April, the games that I've been playing, and I called out Apoc D! By the way, I didn't listen to this, so I could be guilty of exactly what I called him out for...