Friday, July 23, 2010

New RED Theatrical Trailer - pretty dang cool.

Wildly different than the OGN by Warren Ellis, but still looks all kinds of awesome.

Quite a turn of phrase, the military as "national codpiece."

That made me guffaw quite a bit. Convinced the military is always incredibly prepared for whatever the last conflict they faced was. The next? Not as much.

Fred On Everything:
"...Do the aircraft carriers intimidate North Korea? No. Iran? No. China? No. For this, a trillion dollars a year?

The reasons for the mediocrity are clear enough. First, the Pentagon has become a contracting agency for buying gorgeous and elaborate arms of little relevance to the wars the US fights. (If the Martians attack, we’ll be ready.)

Second, the US is no longer a nation of hardy country boys who grow up shooting and loading hay bales into pick-ups for spare change. (For the uninitiated, hay bales are heavy.) I often see headlines such as “More than two-thirds of Texas schoolchildren flunked the state's physical fitness test this year…” If Texas has gone all soft and rubbery, you can forget about Massassachusetts. The American pool of hardy, manipulable kids without too much schoolin' isn't what it was. The lack of troops of course pushes the Pentagon toward more pricey gadgetry and greater imbalance..."

Comic-Con, where the magic happens - "Slave Leia debauchery at G4 party."

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force."

Via the ever esteemable Nathan Fillion (NathanFillion) on Twitter.  Photo originally here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Spankings for Jesus/God Hates Jedi" -- Comic-Con counters Westboro Baptist douchebags.

Westboro Baptist, hate group of anti-homosexuality and picketing soldier's funerals infamy, decide to protest this year's Comic-Con, because they 'worship idols,' of course.

Geeks counter protest FTW.  More at the link.

Via God Loves Gay Robin – Comic-Con Vs Westboro Baptist Church Bleeding Cool Comic Book News and Rumors

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And just like that, I'm not a teacher anymore. End of JET.

Still on the clock until the 30th, but burning off leave/nenkyu till then.  And still have something like 4 more farewell type gatherings with friends, co-workers &family, but today was the last day with the students.  And really, my time here in Japan has been defined by the time I was lucky enough to spend with the kids, so it really feels like the end today.

So that's it.  5 years as an ALT on the JET Programme -  it felt meaningful, I've enjoyed it, and been good at it.  Lucky enough to have hit the trifecta with this job.

Last day was... tough. Final class, final farewell speech to all the Jr High kids. Any veneer of toughness I've ever had vanishes when groups of kids say "We all love you Rob. Never forget us." 

Holy hell, that's like a kickpunchstab to the emotions box, I'll tell you what.

Managed to hold it together to give the farewell speech, but only by keeping my head down to read my bad Japanese.  Had I looked up & made eye contact w/the munchkins it would've been all over.

Harder was the wandering the halls and the sports clubs one last time after school, shaking hands and saying goodbye.  I ain't gonna lie, it hurt in that place where people tell me my heart is supposed to be.

A couple of my favorite 3rd Grade students this year went above and beyond the group letters the class made for me and gave me these cards.  Hard to say if they'll ever know just how great they were, how special I thought they were and what awesome kids they were.  [This is the only time I wish I'd have studied more Japanese.]  Just a fantastic couple of students.

I swear, if I don't make it back for their graduation I'm going to end up hating myself forever.

Japan - the things I'll miss, the things I won't.

Can't believe that's 5 years.

I'll miss... My students, the kids, most of all.  I grew really attached to them.  Much more than I ever could've anticipated before I came back to Japan.  You know, you don't wanna throw around a word like "love" needlessly, but if love is that thing where you wish every sense of happiness and fulfillment for someone else, then god yeah, I've loved these kids.  I hope their lives are brilliant.

My coworkers, and the friends I've made. There haven't been many, but the few there have been have been genius.

Small town living. Tsuyazaki is brilliant. And the big city is only 45m away.

Japanese customer service. Second to none.  Especially the clerks at the local 7-11... who may be some of the the nicest human beings on the planet.

The use of jankenpon to settle all disputes. I swear, governments worldwide should adapt this policy. Makes far more sense than anything else, would save millions of lives.

Japan's cultural and rampant acceptance of overdrinking and alcoholism. Yes, I may have issues. Shut up. It's still brilliant.

The fact that, if necessary, you could completely live and sustain your entire existence from the local konbini [convenience store.]

Japan's ready acceptance of skirts that are wildly and inappropriately short. And that are shorter in winter than summer. Yes, sooo very sexist - blah, blah, blah...  But.  You know.  Guy over here. And, well... awesome.

Japan's food culture - karaage, great sushi as convenient as the local supermarket, sticky rice, daifuku, an ice cold Asahi, a hot cup of sake in winter, tamagozaki when I've got a cold, ramen in the winter - somen in summer, a crisp Mitsuya Cider, a fresh tuna/mayo-ebi/mayo onigiri...

[Also, from my hateful point of view, in all of Japan, so few Christians to deal with. That's right, I said it.]

Things I won't miss... The whole shoe thing. I don't really need three pairs of shoes for one school. That's just absurd. And I'm glad I spent a better part of my last two years just ignoring that silliness. [shhhhhh!]

The bicycle commute during the rainy season.

Sunday AM citywide loudspeaker announcements...

"Life getting tough?"

"The House Rules"/Christian Kane rocks. Plus, watch me explain the internets economy.

So, long time fan of Warren Ellis.  He wrote a kickass miniseries called Global Frequency which was optioned for TV.  A pilot was made by TV writer/ubermind John Rogers, who keeps an awesome blog called Kung Fu Monkey.  Global Frequency didn't get picked up, but Rogers went on to be the showrunner for Leverage, a brilliant heist/con show.  One of the stars of Leverage is Christian Kane, who's acting work I already dug from his time on Angel.  I'd read/heard he also did music, but given it was country, wasn't really motivated to search it out.  I can dig on some country, especially old school like Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson, or old style rockabilly like Elvis, but tend to gravitate to hip-hop & rock.  This past week's episode of Leverage was an ep set in the country music industry and Christian Kane did some singing.  I thought "Hey, he's actually pretty damn good, and I dig that song."  Head to his website to see if there's a way to legally buy/dl the song living overseas - and there is - and for a few bucks more I can pick up an EP he did.  Sold.

And that's how you sell stuff in the 21st century economy.

And on the EP, this jam - "The House Rules" - totally kicks ass.  A rockin' grinding rockabilly anthem.  Had this thing on replay for the last 48 hours or so.  Made of Win.

'Welcome to my house, buckle up tight, everybody sings and drinks and laughs and gets high...'

'Rule # 7 says don't touch the women, but they can grab whatever they want to...'

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wow, 3 straight days of procrastination. Maybe a new personal record.

It will hit very, very soon that denial and not getting stuff done will not equal getting to stay in Japan longer. Hm.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"The information you are basing most of your thinking upon is mainly the facts as seen by the current power structure."

The Genesis Generation.

Child fucking as bad as female ordination - Yay Catholic Church!

Catholic Church Equates Sex Abuse With Female Ordination - Bonnie Erbe (
"I had to reread the first paragraph of the following story three times until I was sure I’d read it correctly. The Vatican believes that priests who rape little boys and ruin their lives are in the same criminal category (under church law) as are Catholic bishops who ordain women as priests and are the women who participate in ordination ceremonies."

We are all evolutionary pinnacles.

Think about it.

[This is both an exciting and depressing thought.]

Another one of those "re-doing Plebe Summer" dreams. This time featuring my Jr High students as my classmates.

Eh, USNA dreams tend to show up around times of change/stress.  I've pretty much lost track of all the times I've done plebe summer over again, in many varied surreal and abstract ways.  Crazy.
Pic Via.