Coffee prick

I’m an ornery person, dear Reader. This will come as no surprise if you’ve spent any time glancing over my profanity-infused writings. And perhaps because of this goddamn cold that won’t go away, or the fact that I was tossing back a Theraflu and vodka at 3:00 this morning while watching episode 2 of The Mentalist (a sort of silly show that nonetheless manages to entertain), I realized today that I also really hate this fucker.


Yes, you.

You stare at me on the trains. You stare at me from vending machines. You’re always either staring at me or looking contemplatively off into the distance. Who the fuck are you and what do you want?!

Apparently, the good folks at Kirin thought that this tosser would make the perfect poster child for their Kirin Fire line of canned coffee. They also thought it would be hip and edgy to make him a man of substance, a man of unswayable morals. Look no further than the incredibly deep tagline below.


“I hate … [dramatic pause] lies.”

Well, congratulations.

I hate your brooding countenance.
I hate your fortune cookie-like attempts at wisdom.
I hate your entire ad campaign.
But most of all — and I’m sure this comes as no surprise — I hate you.

Get a haircut and quit staring at me. Idiot.

I won the Irish lottery!

Stop the friggin’ presses, I’ve won the lottery.

That’s what this latest e-mail in my inbox tells me, at least. So it must be true.


See? It’s accredited and licensed. And registered under the data protection act of … well, it sort of trails off after that, but make no mistake, it’s registered.

Dear Winner,

Further proof! They don’t even bother with my name anymore — a winner is me!

Your E-mail I.D have won You A FreeLotto Prize Of £3.500,000,00 Approved by the IRISH FOUNDATION PROMO (I.F.P)in 2009 charity bonanza.

Hmm. It would seem the Irish could do with a bit of spell-checking. They’re a pretty invasive bunch as well, requiring of me the following information:

1. Full name…………..
2. Contact Address……..
3. Age………………..
4. Telephone Number…….
5. Marital Status………
6. Sex………………..
7. Zip Code……………
8. Occupation………….
9. Company…………….
13.Amount Won …………

Seems a bit strange for them to ask me the amount I’ve won when they’ve just informed me of the amount I’ve won, but I suppose they’re just being thorough.

This promo is governed and monitored by the British Lottery Gaming Commission of 2009 and censored(B.L.G.C).

A promo for the Irish lottery under the jurisdiction of the British lottery? And censored?

I’m beginning to think these guys aren’t on the level…


Language fluency is a weird thing.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, my Japanese is good — damn good. It better be, after all the time and effort I’ve put into it. I can deal with tech support, harrass the cable guy and converse with short-tempered doctors, all in Japanese.

I have an insatiable appetite for learning. I read everything from dictionaries to food labels to internet gossip sites. I went through a period where I was obsessed with kanji etymology, triggered by the realization that 空 (sky) is 穴 (hole) with a carpenter’s square, which struck me as rather bizarre. Another phase found me fascinated with onomatopoeia (for which I recommend 現代擬音語擬態語用法辞典). I once read nothing but porn magazines for two months, till I’d learned all the requisite terminology and was really sick of porn.

Thanks to CSI, I can rattle off terms like “bullet casings” and “gunpowder residue.” I learned the word for “night-vision goggles” after watching Silence of the Lambs, and still remember that the dictionary entry was on the left page toward the bottom. And just because I’m weird like that, I know not one but two terms for “rift in the space-time continuum” (時空の割れ目 and 時空断層). A friend of mine shakes his head and calls me “the walking dictionary.”

And yet.

I’ve had a conversation break down because I didn’t know the word for “sieve.” Up until last year, I didn’t know what the Chinese zodiac was called. Just last week, a lovely coworker introduced me to both 温野菜 (“steamed vegetables”) and 連呼 (renko), a pretty lulzy word that means to repeatedly say the same thing in a loud voice. And let’s not forget that time 10 years ago when, for whatever insane reason, it took me a full two months to finally memorize 石けん, or “soap.”

Which brings us to today. When I had to do a double-take because I didn’t know the word appearing in the title of this post — 結露 (ketsuro), meaning “condensation.”


Will there ever be a day when I don’t get my ass handed to me by this language?

Orion Ichiban Sakura

Yes, yet another beer post. But I came across this number today and felt compelled to write about it.

sakuraOrion Draft, the flagship brew of Okinawa-based Orion Breweries, has long been available here on the mainland via some devilish partnership with Asahi. I personally seldom drink the stuff, not because it’s a bad beer, but because it doesn’t have a lot of character. The same cannot be said, however, of Orion’s latest entry into their lineup, Ichiban Sakura.

Touting itself as being made of “All malt & aroma hop,” Ichiban Sakura hits the tongue like a regular if somewhat smooth pilsener — and then the aromatic hops kick in, giving it a wonderful fruity aftertaste. I finished the can almost immediately and then turned around to go get another.

So far, I’ve seen Ichiban Sakura only at 7-11, which would be the place to go to if you’re interested in trying the stuff for yourself. Both the can and the official site indicate that it’s a limited-edition seasonal beer — which makes this sort of an odd season to release it in, given that this would make the perfect summer beer, light and refreshing. 7-11 prices it at 215 yen for a 350 mL can, making it the same price as, yet far more drinkable than, Kirin and its bastard kin.

The web site notes you should buy quickly, because once Orion reaches their production quota, the beer will be no more. I’ve already stocked my fridge with it.

Stout revisited

So, my recent post about Asahi Stout has apparently gotten a few of us beer lovers excited. (At least, I’m excited.) In the comments field, I mentioned another beer called Tokyo Black Porter, a lovely brew from the same people that make Yona Yona Ale. The more I thought about that porter, the more I wanted one … and considering I’m doing bugger-all at work right now, I said “Screw it” and decided to go get one.

As soon as noon rolled around, I headed to the snobby supermarket a short distance from my office — and was denied. They stocked Yona Yona but not the porter. I had to settle for a canned Kirin Stout, which is a completely different animal from the original bottled variety that seems to have disappeared. The canned stout is bland, sort of like unsweetened cocoa, and has an almost mealy mouthfeel. Not at all satisfying. By the end of it, I was actually feeling a bit peeved — and then I remembered the import liquor store waaay the hell in the other direction in Shimbashi. Once again, I said “Screw it” and decided to go take a look.

foreign-extra1They didn’t have what I was looking for, but they did have this strange beast, which I’d never seen before. I’m not all that big on Guinness, but the “foreign extra” bit caught my eye. I took a look at the label and sure enough, 7.5% ABV, making it a stronger brew than regular old Guinness. I forked over my 260 yen and popped it open, making a U-turn and heading back toward the office.

Guinness Foreign Extra is a strange brew indeed. When it first hits your tongue, it has the trademark Guinness bitterness, but a second later it ramps up into a barleywine-like sweetness. It is literally a bittersweet beer. Not a bad brew, I suppose, but not one I think I’ll be trying again. (最初で最後 as the Japanese say — “The first and last time.”)

While I was in Shimbashi, I decided to head over to World Beer Bakusyu and snap a photo of their sign, which you’ll see below. I have yet to visit the place, but if the beer bottles on the counter are an accurate indicator of what’s in stock, I’ll have to be stopping by very soon indeed. Aside from the requisite Duvels and Chimays was Anchor Steam, which I haven’t had in ages and would happily punch someone for, and at least one offering from Rogue brewery. The bar is essentially a straight line from Shimbashi Station Karasumori Exit, on the corner past the movie theater with the brazenly pornographic posters.

In summary, I basically spent my entire lunch hour walking around and drinking beer. There are worse ways to spend one’s time, I suppose. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t seen not one but two Mr. Slippers. I really hate those guys.

Be seeing you. Oh, yes...

Be seeing you. Oh, yes...

Glengarry Glen Ross, dammit!

This has nothing to do with Japan but everything to do with amusing.

Glengarry Glen Ross is a powerhouse of a film, with brilliant, dialogue-driven performances from a cast that includes Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris and Jack Lemmon. And said dialogues tend to include a fair amount of off-color language.

Regular readers will no doubt be aware that I’m fond of dropping the F-bomb myself. (And now, thanks to this post, I have a fresh influx of perverts using the search term “uncles fucking teens” to get here. Cheers to those of you who can spell “uncle” correctly, by the way.) But Glengarry Glen Ross takes every four-letter word imaginable and wields them with masterful precision — which leads me to the point of this post.

Some enterprising soul out there made an extremely amusing video titled the “Glengarry Glen Ross Obscenity Count,” which tallies the number of curse words used by each of the main characters and makes a quiz out of it. Which of these talented actors will fire off the most curses? Make your choice and watch the obscenities fly! Here’s the goddamn video:

Obama the ass-kicker

Barack Obama is now the 44th president of the United States, and in my mind it’s about damn time.

But I’m not writing this post to engage in political dialogue. No, dear Reader. I’m writing to inform you of a simple fact:

Barack Obama is one bad motherfucker.

I know it, and the good people cowards who have since removed the content at Gamu Toys know it.

That's *Mister* Obama, この野郎!

That's *Mister* Obama, この野郎!

Sword-wielding Obama. Gun-toting Obama. Looking-like-he’s-about-to-kick-your-ass Obama. All these and more can cannot be seen on Gamu Toys’ website, because they got a case of troll’s remorse and decided to delete fucking everything. Were the content still there, I would advise you to be sure to scroll all the way down. But it’s not there anymore, so don’t bother.

Or I’ll send Obama after you.

Mad thanks to pete regis for the link.