Archive for category Lux

November 24, 2004 – Christmas Shopping in Asakusa


After crashing at Hello House last night, I went Christmas shopping in Asakusa with Lux and Zoe. Christmas shopping is pretty easy when living in Japan because basically everything is a unique Christmas present. I ended up spending too much money, but I got nearly all of my shopping done. Also, the stores wrapped everything nicely for me too. The street leading up to the temple in Asakusa is a great place for souvenir and gift shopping.

We ate lunch in a really cool Chinese restaurant near the temple. I had ramen loaded with seafood. Yum!

I ended up having way too much stuff to get back to Numazu with by myself. I packed as much as I could, and left the rest at Hello House to pick up before I left the country.

(2014 Update) I found out about a month later that having the gifts wrapped was not a smart idea. Stay tuned!

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November 23, 2004 – Visiting Hello House

Today I got a late start and then went to Kawasaki to hang out with Lux and Zoe.

Not much had changed in Hello House in the month I have been away. I updated them on stories of my new city, and Lux filled us in on stories about her friend Fritz. She was always talking about Fritz – Fritz this and Fritz that. Other than tales of Fritz, Lux was getting ready to move back to Canada. Her recent trip home reminded her that she liked living in Canada better. This caused a bit of tension with her boss, who had just promoted her.

We went out to Gyukaku and watched horror movies in the evening. I ended up crashing on Lux’s floor in Hello House instead of returning home. I don’t think anyone ever completely cuts ties with Hello House.

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October 25, 2004 – My farewell party

Tonight was my Hello House farewell party. It was a lot more subdued than the previous evening’s activities, but was still a lot of fun. Yes, more beer and karaoke 🙂

(2014 Update) One of the residents of Hello House at the time was Dan Bailey, who was an English teacher at the time. Dan has now gone on to fame and success as one half of Tokyo Dandy, a pair of influential fashion party blogger guys. Dan was good friends with Lux, but I always got the impression that he didn’t like me. It turns out that I was wrong, and Dan did a lot make sure I had a well organized and fun farewell party. Thanks Dan!

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October 5, 2004 – A bomb with skull and crossbones

Today was another rainy day in Kawasaki. Lux is leaving for vacation to Canada for 3 weeks on Wednesday. Before she leaves, Zoe and I decided to take her out for dinner at Gyukaku. Yum!

After yet another fantastic dinner of grilled awesomeness at Gyukaku, we went out to karaoke at a place close to Noborito station on the Tama River. I can’t remember the name, but it was great! The song selection was huge; I sang the theme from Sesame Street, 21st Century Digital Boy by Bad Religion, and Sugar by System of a Down.

The drink menu was also huge, with a very long list of different cocktails available. The ingredients for each were all written in Japanese. I could only understand about half of the menu, but one drink caught my attention. The picture showed a clear, bubbly drink that looked like a gin and tonic. However, there was a picture of a bomb with a skull and crossbones next to the drink. Taking this as a challenge instead of a warning, I ordered the mysterious cocktail.

For the record, I have never tried drinking industrial strength drain cleaner before, but I am pretty sure that it tastes better than the bomb cocktail. Blerg!

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September 7, 2004 – The early end of Twin Peaks night

Yes problem

Yes problem friendly Giant. Yes Problem.

Lux and Zoe had some kind of big argument and aren’t talking to each other at the moment. Both of them are pretty strong minded so I’m not sure how long this will last.

I’m still getting along with both of them individually, but this has pretty much killed Twin Peaks night.

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September 6, 2004 – Touring Noborito

Another schedule update at work. This month I will be working Sundays at Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA. Sunday is one of the busiest days, so it’s fantastic to be at Keikyu which is more relaxing than Kawasaki NOVA.

After work, Archie came back to the Noborito area with me. I showed off Hello House and we went for beer with Lux. A good time was had by all!

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August 31, 2004 – Gyukaku and Homestar Runner

In the morning I went to the immigration office to update my alien registration card (aka gaijin card). All foreign residents of Japan are required to carry their gaijin cards around at all times, and to keep the information up to date. Failing to do so would be a bad idea.

In the afternoon I went shopping with Zoe, who is also enjoying a day off. We went to Yodobashi Camera to inquire about internet connections. Unfortunately it would have taken a month to get hooked up, leaving me with only about a month of internet before the expected date of my transfer. At this point it’s really not worthwhile to go through the trouble. While in Yodobashi, I resisted the urge to buy a DVD burner, but I did end up getting some cool futon covers and a new pillow.

In the evening Zoe, Lux and I went to Gyukaku again and then spent time watching Homestar Runner. My mini-holiday is now over.


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August 26, 2004 – More Twin Peaks

damn fine coffee

Today at work I talked to my area manager and found out that my transfer to Shizuoka will “probably” take place November 1st. I am excited!

After work I watched yet more Twin Peaks with Lux and Zoe. I seriously love this show.


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July 29, 2004 – Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me! I turned 26 today!

I got woken up in the morning with a birthday call from my parents. Lux gave me some presents including a six pack of Labatt Blue. I love Japanese beer, but it’s always good to drink something Canadian when I get a chance. Canadian beer brings back a lot of good memories.

Work was a very relaxing day at Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA. After work, the usual Thursday night karaoke became birthday karaoke. The regular Thursday karaoke group is usually about 6-8 people. Tonight we had about double that. I had the best of intentions to be sensible with nomi-hodai, but ended up having a little too much fun.

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July 21-23, 2004 – The saga of the new computer

July 21, 2004 (day 1) – I used a shift swap with Jem today in order to get a break from my 20 days of work in a row. I ate breakfast outside of Hello House, and had a pretty relaxing day. In the evening, I went to pick up a used computer in central Tokyo. My sister’s ancient laptop is just not enough for me anymore. I searched English language ads online, and found someone selling a used desktop tower for 15,000 yen (about $150). It isn’t the world’s greatest computer, but it is a huge step up from the laptop.

Zoe and Lux came with me to pick up the computer. The seller was a Malaysian man with a fantastic apartment. He seemed nice, but Zoe and Lux were getting a creepy vibe from him. We tested out the computer and it seemed to work well, so I handed over the cash and we were on our way. I didn’t realize how big and heavy the computer was until about 5 minutes into our walk back to the subway station. The tower was huge, so it was awkward to get a grip on. I am very happy that I brought friends with me to help with the keyboard and doors. Carrying a desktop computer through busy, massive Shinjuku station is NOT fun.

On the way home, Zoe almost got into a fight with a salaryman on the train. He was sleeping while standing and kept inadvertently hitting Zoe with his umbrella. She responded by kicking him every time the umbrella hit her. Good times!

When I got the computer home, I formatted the hard drive so I could install a fresh copy of Windows. I rebooted after formatting and I couldn’t get the computer to work! F**K!! The rest of my evening was very frustrating.

July 22, 2004 (day 2) – I bailed on Thursday night karaoke to spend time working on the computer. It still isn’t working correctly. I ended up watching The Shield in the Hello House common room while grumbling about wasting 15,000 yen.

July 23, 2004 (day 3) – I got some ideas on the computer from my more tech savvy coworkers. The main problem is that the CD-Rom is on a SCSI interface, which won’t work without drivers. Windows has appropriate drivers, but my Windows 98 install disk is on CD-Rom. I ended up making a simple boot disk on floppy so I could get the new computer running. I then used my box of floppy disks to slowly copy the Windows install files from the CD-Rom on the laptop to the hard drive on the new desktop.

Once all the install files were finally copied, I was able to run Windows installation from the hard drive on the desktop. When Windows finally installed, it recognized the CD-Rom and everything started working! It took forever, but the new computer is finally running! Victory!

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