12.28.2007

Horses and Houses


This Google map shows where I am living right now. It's an older apartment building in Meguro-ku, Tokyo. The street I live off of is called Moto-keibajo, which means former horse racing grounds. Apparently, a major horse track was built in this area around 1908, but as residential buildings took over, the track was moved to Fuchu City in west Tokyo to become the Tokyo Racecourse.

The Origin

Braincell Jupiter. Perhaps there is a need to explain how the theory of Braincell Jupiter, alternatively spelled Brain Cell Jupiter or braincelljupiter, came about. We have to go back to Los Angeles circa 1993/94, sometime before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out and probably closer to the time that River Phoenix overdosed and died outside of the Viper Room. Most likely the idea was hatched inside a white Hyundai with tinted windows while driving down Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, or somewhere in the vicinity of Moorpark Street near Moorpark Park, the narrow park with a redundant name near the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulvard. A Mr. E, Mr. H, and I were probably bantering about Scooby Doo and Gilligan's Island or some equivalent pop culture chitchat when I saw a vision of the planet Jupiter not as a planet but as a bit of brain matter. If a braincell were as large as Jupiter, what kind of thoughts would be inside that mind? To experience those thoughts would be greater than anything known on Earth. This sensation would be dubbed "Miller-Rama!" This blog is an attempt to simulate what it feels like to enter Braincell Jupiter, a poor attempt at that. Perhaps in the future, there will be a better way to bring "Miller-Rama!" to the masses. But for now, this is what I have to offer.

12.26.2007

Akihabara Curry Shop

I ate lunch yesterday at one of the branches of Akiba Curry, a curry rice shop in Akihabara, the famous electronics and assorted geek fetishes district near the office where I work. After I sat down, a bowl of three unshelled hard-boiled eggs was placed on the counter in front of me, and the waiter told me that the eggs were "all-you-can-eat." Which got me wondering. . . how many hard-boiled eggs could I eat? It's one thing if you are only going to have a lunch of hard-boiled eggs, but it's another thing if you are supposed to eat a bowl of curry and rice on top of that. In "Cool Hand Luke" Paul Newman didn't bet that he could eat so many hard-boiled eggs AND a plate of curry rice. In the end, I just ate two eggs as an appetizer, let the third one sit in the stainless steel bowl, and didn't exercise my right to free refills.

12.21.2007

Electric Bath

Last night, I decided to visit one of the sento, or public baths, in my neighborhood. The exterior of the building was rather unusual; a modern apartment building with lots of sharp angles and decorated to appear slightly decayed. The sento was located on the first floor, inside a slanted doorway.
Several baths were available, including your typical jacuzzi-style massage bath as well as an ice cold one. In the corner of the room was the electric bath. I could see some kind of metal plate on the side of the tiles, but other than that, it looked just like a regular pool of water.
Rather than just hopping into the bath, I cautiously dipped my right hand in. I didn't even get past the tips of my fingers before my body instinctively recoiled from the shock. It wasn't exactly painful, but it made my whole arm momentarily twitch uncontrollably.
That should have put me off to the whole electric bath thing right there. Instead, I decided to wade in, keeping the water at waist height. The effect on my legs was not as strong as it was on my hand. Rather than going into a spasm, the shocking effect felt more therapeutic, like my muscles were being pummeled by dozens of tiny fingers.

11.15.2007

Cockroach Allergy?

So about a week ago, I moved into a small studio apartment that has cockroaches. I subsequently developed a cough and a sore throat. Of course, it could simply be a cold. But my paranoid personality lead me to look up the correlation between cockroaches and my symptoms, and I learned that cockroaches leave droppings that can aggravate asthma. Although I had the landlord fumigate the place, and I have not seen any of the bugs in a couple days now, there are places where I can still see lots of roach shit. I'm probably breathing this all in. I always thought roaches were disgusting, creepy-crawley critters, but I never knew that they could affect my health.