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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 57, The Monster Cafe

Japan has a lot of themed cafes and restaurants. It seems like the very first place I would be interested in (aside from a cat cafe) would be the Robot Restaurant. Uh. Sure – if there were actual robots operating the restaurant. This place looked hugely overstimulating, so I gave it a big no go. There are also maid cafes, a vampire cafe, owl cafes, hedgehog cafes, etc. I opted for the Monster Cafe in Harajuku and I essentially took one for the team. It was overpriced, the food tasted like chemicals (What was I expecting?), the service was bad, and the entertainment was annoying. I’ll tell you what I did get out of it though: really good pictures. Enjoy.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 55, Japan and Food

I’ve written about food a lot, I know.  I kinda like food.  Japan has many wonderful food offerings but there’s definitely a dark side to food where Japan is concerned.  I’m not sure what’s going on so I’m going to try to analyze some of the things I found aggravating.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 53, Return of the Fluids

This post could be called many things: The Oni Cafe, The Best People in the World Live in Onishi (and/or Read this Blog), Why Wasn’t I Born a Japanese Person?, Satan Created Goodbyes, I Adopted a Japanese Grandfather, Kurumi is Actually a Bear… I could go on.  It’s a big wrap-up of my stay in Japan though there will still be a few more posts about Japan before I’m done with this blog series.  Alas, this post is titled Return of the Fluids for foreshadowy reasons.  (Also, Fluids 2: Bigger, Badder and More Watery was messing with my website search engine optimization…)

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 52, Dutch Impressions

Today is my first full day in Renkum, Holland.  I was greeted at the nearby train station by the residency concierge, Josien Jonegan, who graciously gave me a ride home with my cumbersome luggage.  I was shown around the house and quickly given a key.  Josien knew I was tired as I had just come off of 28 solid hours of travel.  (Let me tell you how grateful I was for the ride from the train station as opposed to wrangling a bus…)  Had an ok night’s sleep.  I’m fighting jet lag right now and staying awake as long as I can.  I’m eating french fries and fried chicken wings with a sweet chili sauce and drinking a malbec.  It’s glorious.  Wanna see some pics?  Of course you do.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 44, The Cute Stuff

This one’s for you Rosalie!  Japan has an obsession with cute.  Like… really really has an obsession with cute.  In Japanese the word for cute is “kawaii” and there’s a massive culture built around it.  I’m getting a little sucked in to the madness with anything that is a black cat, and of course, Gudetama.  Let’s look at some pics.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 41, The Watanabes

Meet the Watanabes.  They are adorable.  Actually they are the epitome of adorable Japanese people.  I describe them as a 70 year old couple placed (not trapped) in late 20’s/early 30’s bodies.  They are super sweet and talented people and they are very active in the community.  I wish I could have had more time with them.  They know some English but usually I use my translator app to communicate.  I love when their faces light up as we understand something together.  Here’s their website.  (It’s in Japanese so see if you can run it through google translate.)

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 40, The Weird Stuff 4

Things are coming to a close here and I have very mixed feelings about it.  Ryder is finally here so I’m really happy.  I have two and a half days left in Onishi so I’m sad.  That means there’s 7 days left of the Japanese leg of the trip.  I’m on day 40 of 80 and I feel like things are moving too fast now, especially the last days here in Onishi.  This is a big art weekend at the brewery (it’s a big complex that once was a sake brewery but is now where all things art takes place) and we have lots of activities scheduled.  I may actually take some video!  I’ll be busy packing and cleaning and saying goodbye which stresses me out a little.  Need to write a light post today.  Anyway… just airing some thoughts.  Let’s look at some weird and cool stuff.

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Guest Blogger: Ryder Richards on Masks and Airplane Etiquette

My wife forced me to come to Japan. The first day was, like, 27 hours of waiting surrounded by people. I woke up at 3:30 AM on Sunday and then traveled a bunch so I could fall asleep at 8 PM Monday in Tokyo. And then wake up at 3 AM. I told my stupid body to sleep 12 hours, but it can only count to 7.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 37, Sumi-Ugh

Ok, ok.  I’ll show you the sumi-e work I’ve been doing… but prepare to be underwhelmed.  I’m going to contrast it with the work of my instructor, Sanae Aiba, so you can see why I’m embarrassed.

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Around the World in 80 Days: Day 35, An Art Show

Holy crap.  Here it is.  A little info about the work: My initial idea was to make sculptures of everyday objects that have cameras on them, such as bumpers, phones, video game consoles etc. and exaggerate the camera portion by putting a surveillance camera “growth” on the spot in which the camera appears on the object.  I tinkered with a raspberry pi for weeks before I left the country with plans to have it power an actual camera and put it inside of the sculpture.  It would be attached to a monitor which would show you looking at the piece and the piece looking at you.  Well… the raspberry pi made me want to murder people in the face.  I never solved the issues I was having no matter how many youtube videos I watched and tutorials I read.  I still love the idea so I may revisit it when I get home if I can get a living, breathing tutor to help me figure it out.

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Bomb diggity Author and Artist.

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