It's a busy Sat'day! It started off with the usual Japanese class. We learned how to say "I don't like to scale buildings and shoot webs from my wrist with my friend Tanaka-san," and I had pennies thrown at me by resident anime fans.

Those anime fans, along with Prinzess PMS, along with Batjew, along with Greg Dean, all went to Fanime 2002, whilst I was stuck in my Japanese class learning how to make katanas out of origami.

But I showed them! After Japanese, and a shot of Rockstar, I was off to the new arcade James and I had discovered on Fourth Street, downtown San Rafael. It's called "Star Base 1," and it recently celebrated its 20th birthday (hence the cheesy name). It's got a hell of a lot of great games, including Tekken 4 and Tag, Aliens vs. Predator (Capcom), BAD DUDES VS. DRAGON NINJA (not), and of course, Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix Plus!

For only 25 cents a dance (75 cents a game), James, his friend Hayato, and I danced our asses off for 2 hours straight. Amazingly enough, even though Hayato Wong is half Japanese and half Chinese (making the ULTIMATE ASIAN), James was even better than him at DDR. A picture gallery (mostly of James - bleah! :P) for your enjoyment:

Hayato and James start off.

Not sure what song it is, but according to the bar, they must really be sucking.

While Hayato is great, James is GODLY. Er, perfect.

James begins to break a sweat!

James goes wacky with the camera and shoots me playing "Have You Never Been Mellow" (not).

Trick! Yet again, while Hayato is "PERFECT!" James is "PERFECT!"

"Duaaah... I step on the buttons."

An amazing 4-step combo!

James, bathed in sweat, chooses from a million remixes of "Paranoia."

Hayato takes a break, and learns to breathe again.

"He's a MANIAC, MANIAC, on the pad."

James's lucky number.

My camera has a really fast shutter, but trust me: James is breaking the speed limit with his feet.


James goes Double.

Wow. My camera, like, kicks a lot of ass.

Tee-hee... a 0-combo.


James starts off on Non-Stop Mode, has written a will.

A momentary rest between songs...

Sweaty backs are the style this month.


The owner of the arcade, once a devious youth like us, adjusts the bass and does a little dance.

So that was like the best way EVER to spend a Saturday afternoon. After that, I was very uptight, and a shower was so relaxing! (I did it! A River City Ransom reference!)

I went with my mom to this church, where the "Field of Dogs," and organization that owns a field... for dogs... had a meeting. My mom gave them some moneys because like all free organizations, they're eternally financially strapped.

Then it was off to Dominican University, a nearby private school, to watch their orchestra and choir sing Mozart's "Mass," and "Requiem" by John... Sutter or something. There are too many composers out there named John.
5/4/2002 05:04:15 PM


Talk about censorship in action. Some of my favorite songs are on this list. Imagine, Jumper, Chop Suey!... all on there. Wow.

And then there's Project Censored, providing amazing stories from halted book signings to Daniel Pearl's Israeli citizenship.

I think I've found out a whole lot more of America to complain about.
5/1/2002 08:23:32 PM

AND IF YOU ARE VISITOR 12222, PRINT SCREEN, SAVE IT, AND TELL ME. The counter is over to the left, below the main button bar.
5/1/2002 04:12:37 PM

Okay. The GIA's gone. Where the heck is my Gameforms?
5/1/2002 04:10:49 PM

And Ian J. gets a link because his lower-budget comic completely ROCKS. (Go back to #50 if that's not the most recent comic.)
4/30/2002 08:03:15 PM

I shouldn't be laughing at this, but it's time for Mario is Stoned's


This is where I find pictures of kids on the internet that have been gone for 5 or more years. Using the FASCINATING technology of "age-progressed photos," the police have released photos of what the kids probably look like now. This method involves taking the head of some older kid and putting the missing kid's face on it. By the way, you may be very offended by this cruel form of, uh, cruelness, so why don't you start off at Cliff Yablonski or Fat Chicks in Party Hats to laugh at people who are actually safe at home eating their asses off.

Let's look at Wisconsin's current list.
Good face reconstruction... FOR ME TO POOP ON
Um, although she's DEAD, she might or might not be wearing glasses.
Anyone with the same dopey hairstyle and goofy grin should be questioned immediately.
I've already run out of snappy comments.

And now for
Aheha. I think the eyes were taken from the Microsoft Clip Art Gallery.
Which one would look more like Margaret Thatcher with any more progression?
I wonder what "give up" means.
She's not age-progressed, but either way she's the most pleasing to look at.

I should have planned this better. I've already run out of really good photos, but those terribly done jobs should tide you over for a while (except for that last one, which should tide you over for a while anyway).

...God, I'm an awful person.

Oh, by the way - this is a note for James - I found a DDR machine on fourth street it's in the wonderfully titled "SPACE PORT 1 THAT IS RAD TO THE MAX"... or something. Believe it or not, it was established in the 80's. But, I can see the DDR machine from the street, but I don't know how much it costs because my dad won't let me play it until I get better grades (uh, okay). But it's THERE! You don't have to ask for directions, because I'll post the obscure directions here for no one but you to understand!

It's on the opposite side of the street from Bananas At Large. It's really close to Pier 6 Chinese Food, where we ate. Um, if you don't know where either of those are, it's on the opposite side from Double Rainbow, and WAY up the street. Just look for a dumb name and stupid paintings of spaceships out front.
4/30/2002 06:57:39 PM

Well, I got my dad to watch Metropolis with me. What probably persuaded him was the four stars that Ebert gave it (Ebert likes anime), and the quote on the back of the DVD case by James Cameron, calling it the "new milestone in anime." Or maybe he just wanted to be a good dad... ugh.

Well, Metropolis is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's created by Tezuka, Written by Otomo, and directed by Rintaro. What does that mean? Well, it means it's got do be damn WONDERFUL. While it's the most cartoony and simple things I've ever seen, it's also the deepest and best animes I've ever seen. It's... like... really hard to explain.

Metropolis is a four-layered city. At the bottom are robots who work on powering the city. On the level above that are the slums, where revolutionaries live. Above that are the bourgeois, in a city much like ours today. On the surface level is the model town of Metropolis, with giant buildings and the "Ziggurat," a giant tower acting as a direct reference to the Bible (Babel Tower). Seems like any other four-layered city you might think of, right?

The characters are very, very cartoony. They don't look like any other anime characters I've ever seen. They've got big noses, giant moustaches, they're all super-deformed with short legs, and they all speak in a cartoony voice (both dubbed and Japanese). More like Warner Brothers characters, or something. But they've still got a lot of depth.

The main generic good-guy Tezuka character, Kenichi, accompanies his uncle from Japan to Metropolis, where they're investigating a crime. Kenichi finds himself stuck with a half-human, half-robot creation that, unbeknownst to him or the robot, is destined to rule the world through the Ziggurat. All they care about is their survival, as they're chased around by Rock, an orhpan child of the Duke of Metropolis, who keeps chasing after them and trying to shoot them. Even with these odd characters, everything in the film is just rather wonderful.

Oh yes, and the music added a lot to the movie, too. Actually, at times, it defined whole scenes. Most of the movie was accompanied by 20's flapper swing dance whatever tunes, making Metropolis feel even more like the "big city." And if you watch it, just wait until you see the placement of "I Can't Stop Loving You." I won't give much away... but just think of the ending of Dr. Strangelove.

I'm currently showing Jin-Roh at my school, borrowing the DVD player from my generous dad, and Metropolis will be next. Since Metropolis barely has any Japanese feel to it, it'll be a great way to end the school year (even though there will probably be time to show some more stuff afterwards). I actually planned to invite all of my friends to go see Metropolis in theaters, but it went out of theaters the day that we planned the party. Well, I finally got it, and Ebert and Cameron are right.
4/28/2002 10:36:23 AM