Archive for June 2003

Spirited Away

June 30, 2003

Not much of a weekend. But then again, all weekends are pretty much the same.

I saw “Spirited Away” for the first time. It was alright, but perhaps I was expecting more because virtually everyone I talked to said it was GREAT! I was rather impressed with the English title, because the word Kamikakushi in the original title 千と千尋の神隠し suggests the unexplained disappearance of people. Once upon a time, unexplained disappearances were attributed to the gods or tengu, the red, long nosed ogre of myth with god-like powers. The literal translation, I suppose, would be “The Unexplained Disappearance of Sen and Chihiro by Gods or Ogres.” Yeah, that would draw a lot of people to the theaters! Disney effectively translated it to “Spirited Away”–to be carried off mysteriously or secretly. Unfortunately, this success is not always translated in the dialogue. With the time I had this weekend to get rid of the stress of the previous day–thanks to the words of encouragement from Tak, Sleetse, et al–I saw both Japanese and English versions. While most of it is adequate, there were a number of scenes that just weren’t right. Of course, this is perhaps a matter of culture. I mean, how do you translate engachoエンガチョウ? Okay, the normal(?) rendering is cooties, but engacho also suggests a separation or cut from the group, as it is derived from 縁がちょん切った–you have the cooties so you and I are no longer connected. In the movie, Kamaji tells Sen to put her fingers together so he can cut through them with a “magic” spell and thereby reverse her cooties. I think the English version kind of garbles it up. But still, it was okay. Just picking nits.I also watched “Cowboy Bebop.” This is the one anime that students have been buzzing about more than “Spiritied Away” this year. So, of course, I had to see this tale of a bounty hunter in the future. This was okay too. Kinda reminded by of Lupan III with a futuristic edge. No big deal.

More JA Stuff: (for NarciJ)
Anyway, a couple of thoughts have been going around in my head–what’s left of it anyway. Marja suggested that there is little co-mingling among different Asian groups. That was mostly true in the day (30 years back), but is it still the case today? Are there many out there who tend to stick to “there own kind”? I mean, once we are Americanized, is there really such a difference between us as to justify this kind of exclusionary attitude? Just some fuel on the fire.

Peace, everybody. (Okay, its old, but its better than “groovy”.)

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Spirited Away

June 30, 2003

Not much of a weekend. But then again, all weekends are pretty much the same.

I saw “Spirited Away” for the first time. It was alright, but perhaps I was expecting more because virtually everyone I talked to said it was GREAT! I was rather impressed with the English title, because the word Kamikakushi in the original title 千と千尋の神隠し suggests the unexplained disappearance of people. Once upon a time, unexplained disappearances were attributed to the gods or tengu, the red, long nosed ogre of myth with god-like powers. The literal translation, I suppose, would be “The Unexplained Disappearance of Sen and Chihiro by Gods or Ogres.” Yeah, that would draw a lot of people to the theaters! Disney effectively translated it to “Spirited Away”–to be carried off mysteriously or secretly. Unfortunately, this success is not always translated in the dialogue. With the time I had this weekend to get rid of the stress of the previous day–thanks to the words of encouragement from Tak, Sleetse, et al–I saw both Japanese and English versions. While most of it is adequate, there were a number of scenes that just weren’t right. Of course, this is perhaps a matter of culture. I mean, how do you translate engachoエンガチョウ? Okay, the normal(?) rendering is cooties, but engacho also suggests a separation or cut from the group, as it is derived from 縁がちょん切った–you have the cooties so you and I are no longer connected. In the movie, Kamaji tells Sen to put her fingers together so he can cut through them with a “magic” spell and thereby reverse her cooties. I think the English version kind of garbles it up. But still, it was okay. Just picking nits.I also watched “Cowboy Bebop.” This is the one anime that students have been buzzing about more than “Spiritied Away” this year. So, of course, I had to see this tale of a bounty hunter in the future. This was okay too. Kinda reminded by of Lupan III with a futuristic edge. No big deal.

More JA Stuff: (for NarciJ)

Anyway, a couple of thoughts have been going around in my head–what’s left of it anyway. Marja suggested that there is little co-mingling among different Asian groups. That was mostly true in the day (30 years back), but is it still the case today? Are there many out there who tend to stick to “there own kind”? I mean, once we are Americanized, is there really such a difference between us as to justify this kind of exclusionary attitude? Just some fuel on the fire.

Peace, everybody. (Okay, its old, but its better than “groovy”.)

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June 28, 2003

Too frustrated to write anything today. The following unanswered–impossible to answer–questions keep going around in circles in my head:

  • Why am I married?
  • Why did I remarry?
  • Why do I drink?
  • Why do I drink with her?
  • Why is it always my fault?
  • Why do I even try sometimes?

I think I’ll lose myself in a book for the rest of the day.

June 28, 2003

Too frustrated to write anything today. The following unanswered–impossible to answer–questions keep going around in circles in my head:

  • Why am I married?
  • Why did I remarry?
  • Why do I drink?
  • Why do I drink with her?
  • Why is it always my fault?
  • Why do I even try sometimes?

I think I’ll lose myself in a book for the rest of the day.

June 28, 2003

Too frustrated to write anything today. The following unanswered–impossible to answer–questions keep going around in circles in my head:

  • Why am I married?
  • Why did I remarry?
  • Why do I drink?
  • Why do I drink with her?
  • Why is it always my fault?
  • Why do I even try sometimes?

I think I’ll lose myself in a book for the rest of the day.

Too frustrated to write anything today. The follow…

June 28, 2003

Too frustrated to write anything today. The following unanswered–impossible to answer–questions keep going around in circles in my head:

  • Why am I married?
  • Why did I remarry?
  • Why do I drink?
  • Why do I drink with her?
  • Why is it always my fault?
  • Why do I even try sometimes?

I think I’ll lose myself in a book for the rest of the day.

My Camaro

June 27, 2003

Took my car in for servicing today. Its nice to have a car; a rather inane but nonetheless honest comment from a boy born and raised in LA.
I couldn’t wait to own a car as a teenager. I bought my mother’s ’73 Camaro–no, she didn’t give it to me–I molded (not attached) a spoiler on to it, removed all the Camaro insignias to make the body look smoother, repainted it from red to midnight blue (making it look even darker, but not black), and changed the rims (cyclones). I left the engine stock. It was beautiful and my baby (the Camaro in the photo is not my car, but the resemblance is remarkable, right down to the absence of the front red Camaro insignia!). However, as driving became a necessity–going to work or school–and finding myself each day in the parking lot known as the LA freeway system–take your pick, Santa Monica, Pomona, San Bernadino–I soon dreaded driving. And of course, my eyes were progressively getting worse–see earlier post–which made driving an even scarier proposal.

Needless to say, when I went to Tokyo, I was very impressed with the fact one could get around quite easily sans kuruma. The trains and subways ran frequently and on time. Amazing. I subsequently lived in Japan for about 7 years and got completely used to the idea that I didn’t need a car. Back in LA, where my Camaro was sitting in my parents driveway, my mom complained persistently about the hassles of having a car around that isn’t being driven, and ultimately I was persuaded to give my baby up for adoption, which I did reluctantly.

Of course, as the gods of irony are wont to do, I got a job in DC six months later.
Upset, I vowed to find a place to live near a Metro stop, so I could continue my Japanese lifestyle of not needing a vehicle. Unfortunately, unlike Japan, where there are always retail shops surrounding the station, suburban Metro stops–particularly beyond Ballston in Va–are surrounded by parking lots and condominiums. I was reduced to going shopping at “local” supermarkets on foot or by bus. Stubborn me. I lived like this for 6 years.

Last year, I inherited my mom’s car (she lost her battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), and now am recalling the freedom a car brings. I don’t drive to work–the traffic here is as bad, if not worse, than LA–but to go shopping in a car is sooooo much easier. The convenience it provides easily outweighs the cost of gas and insurance. Who woulda thunkit.