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Same pattern as before: I got up late and got out of the apartment late. I decided to head out with my big camera and just go roam around and take pictures. As soon as I got out I decided to send a message to my friend Kazumi to see what she was doing. I know Kazumi from the UVSC days. We had a class together back then. She has since become friends with many of my friends, including Richie and Junko here in Tokyo. It makes me happy to hear that they hang out together occasionally here. Not sure why that is, but I like that my friends have become friends with my friends. She messaged back and said she would be available at around 9 p.m. so I decided to just shoot near the train station until then.

I met this girl while shooting. She approached me as I was shooting and spoke English to me, but I am not really sure what she said. She was highly intoxicated. You could tell that she had decent English, but it just wasn't coming out right. So I spoke Japanese to her and she was surprised to hear I could speak and asked how much I could speak. I didn't really know how to answer..."I speak at about a level 6c"...You get what I mean. So I just said, "well let's talk and then you can find out yourself." She agreed and grabbed my arm and starting walking me towards the station. I was fairly curious as to where we were going, and I knew she wasn't a prostitute. All prostitutes in Japan are from Taiwan or something, and they are all quite unfortunate looking. She was Japanese and decent looking. So we got to a staircase that led up to a bar, and I stopped her and asked her where we were going. She said her friends were waiting for her up in this bar, and that if I wasn't scared of her I could come up, but if I was, that I could leave and that would be ok. I told her that Kazumi would be calling me in about 15 minutes and that I would leave then. But I had to go up to keep talking to her since she was so off the wall and making no sense. I figured it would be like stand-up comedy for 15 minutes before I left. And it was. She became very flirty and as I discussed with her that I was married she then proceeded to speak about that for the next 15 minutes. But I really have no idea what she said. She insisted on speaking English, and although I understood her sentences, I didn't understand how they all fit together and I didn't understand her point. I literally listened to her for 15 minutes and only understood one thing, and that is what she wanted to hook up with me. But after telling her I was married the conversation that continued from her...she talked about marriage and me being married, but I am not sure at all if she was saying that it was nice that I was married and respected the union, or if she was saying that even though I am married it is fine to mess around with her. It made no sense and was as funny as I thought it would be. Either way, there were plenty of other foreigners sitting around me with her friends taking this in and I knew I was leaving, so there was no possibility of entrapment.

Kaz called right on time and I arranged to meet her in Shibuya and stood to leave. Mayu, the crazy drunk girl, was now on her phone and she saw that I was leaving. I expected her to say something, but instead she just looked at me and have me that look along with the hand waive that said, "Go ahead and get outta here. I am getting nowhere with you." It was hilarious and I laughed as I walked out. Those are the little experiences that you hold on to. The kind that make you say, "What just happened? I was taking pictures, and now I have that gem of comedy."

I met Kaz and we had some delicious food at a Hawaiian place, though I don't really think it was too Hawaiian. Either way it was good and it was the first food I had all day, at like 10 p.m. That isn't good is it? We stopped at the Starbucks that overlooks the Shibuya crossing for dessert. It was good to talk to her and catch up. We are planning on going out with Richie and Junko before I leave, but I wanted to make sure I saw her before I left. So tonight was backup.

Here are some funny experiences I saw on the train. One was tonight and one was two night ago. Two night ago I saw a man leaning into the corner, standing, asleep. You could see that he was starting to lean towards a pole that was now about 5 inches from his face, and you could see that his glasses were slowly moving down to the end of his nose. As the train jerked a bit as it started moving, his head jerked back and his face smashed into the pole which sent his glasses flying. He reached for them, put them back on, resumed his position, and went right back to sleep. Slowly his glasses moved back again to the edge of his nose...

On the way home tonight there was a man sitting in the end seat of the bench on the train. The end of the bench has a pole going all the way up to the ceiling. This is the same pole the man from the story above smashed his face on. Anyway, there was another guy standing and leaning against this pole. The standing guy had a decent sized bag on his outside shoulder, the left shoulder, and he was leaning against the pole with his right shoulder, but also had his right arm hooked around the pole a little. When he was caught off-guard by the train coming to a stop, he basically fell backward, but since he arm was hooked it basically acted as the fulcrum to his motion, and his body ended up spinning instead of just falling. Now remember his outside shoulder supported a large bag, which was now rotating at a high velocity on a horizontal plane. A horizontal plane that just happens to be at the same level as the sitting man's face. That is where the rotating bag terminated.

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I think I am becoming nocturnal. I got up at like 2:30 p.m. or something and I made it out of the apartment in time for dinner with Richie and Junko. We went to a Vietnamese place called Lotus Palace. It was pretty good. We hit McDonald's afterward for hot apple pie and a little bit of ice cream.

The picture of the day is something I took there. Products and posters and all sorts of different things all over Japan have these little barcode-looking things, as you can see on top of the apple pie package. They contain all sorts of information. In this case, it is all the nutritional value of the apple pie. Most cell phone have the technology to read them. You use the camera on your phone, point it at the barcode, and move it around until the camera makes a correct scan of it. Then all the appropriate info comes up on your screen. Like I said, in this case it was nutritional value, but in other cases such as a poster advertising something instead of writing all the info down, you scan the barcode and then you just take the info with you, including the maps to get to whatever was being advertised. All sorts of different applications. Why we don't have this back home baffles me.

Since I hadn't been awake that long I felt up to the call of Mr. 24's email when I got home. He was headed to a party at a club in Shibuya. Something friends of his had organized. It started at midnight and ran until 5 a.m. which is right when the trains start running again, so it all worked out well. We had a good time and I danced for five hours straight. It felt good cause I felt like I had a bunch of stored-up energy these last few days. It also the first time I have just hung-out with Mr. 24 outside of work, and that was cool.

Looks like there is a photoshoot Sunday night starting at 6 p.m. and it looks to go all night. I think they are shooting a video for a teenaged boy-band. So I think it is good that my sleeping is sort of on that schedule right now.

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I woke up at 2:30 p.m. since I had a late night. After doing many of my Thursday duties, which include getting clean linens and such, it felt weird to be heading out at 7 p.m. for the first time today. I went down to Shibuya to just hang out. I ate at Friday's and talked with a guy named Sean. He is here for about a week for work. He lived here about 10 years ago, but currently resides in Bangkok. He wishes he could live in Taipei again, and he highly recommends going to Prague. He had the Caesar salad with extra dressing, deep-fried mushrooms, vodka tonic.

On the way home there was a group outside the train station holding signs that said, "Free Hugs". They were so happy and encourages hugs. They even approached people. There was a photographer with them, and audio recorder, and another guy taking notes as people hugged. Awesome. Sometimes girls pushed their men over for them to be hugged. A couple of the hugged became huggers.

Did I already write this? A couple days ago a brand new women's spa, Shiespa spa, totally exploded. It is/was located right near where I was tonight. Three people died as far as I know. They were not fitted with a methane detector. One of the studios we have shot at before is right by it. They said they thought a car had driven into their office. When they went outside to check it out, no car, but then little pieces of trash and paper started floating down around them. If you go to the Shiespa homepage, you will get a page with nothing but text explaining the situation, where once there was a nice website. If you select all of that text and run it through Google's automatic translator, you get this:

This each time, placing on the employee changing room of our company facility and woman private natural hot spring [shiesupa], accident occurred. 3 employees dies, 1 it is employee 2 name and in the midst of passing doing the wound, we are hospitalized. Restraining in the people who die, as ` you say to stop, we pray happiness in the other world from heart. In addition, the one which is in the midst of being hospitalized we pray the fact that also moment is quickly recovered. Restraining the fact that great annoyance was put on everyone who the people of neighborhood and in the midst of passing is the customer, we apologize. Presently, it is in the midst of investigating with the police and fire fighting concerning cause. Furthermore, placing on our company, you start accident investigation commission, exhaust all power to cause investigation. As soon as be able to grasp details, we report to everyone.

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What a day today was! We had a really long day, thus the delayed post...I left my apartment at 2:00 p.m. and I didn't get home until 4 a.m. It took us a while to drive out to the studios where we were going. The studio was actually a whole lot of studios on one set. The whole place is sort of run down, but all the studios are up and running just fine. These studios were made famous by Ultraman, if any of you have ever seen that classic Japanese show. I guess this is where they made and filmed most of the scenes.

We were photo graphing Ami Suzuki today, and at the same time, she was filming the music video to her upcoming single release...I assume the song is called "Be Free" or "Wanna Be Free". We heard the song about 1,736 times, and that is what I caught from it. So in between cuts, or set changes for the video, we would rush in and do some pictures sort of in the same setup as the scene they just did for the video. It was cool to see the whole thing, and I would love to see the finished product. Lots of lights, big shiny black stage, huge production. They even did some green-screen stuff, and you could see her up on stage on against the green-screen, but you could look down at the monitors and see her transposed over another scene. They were shooting for 24 hours straight, and Ami, who is nicknamed Amigo, was doing great. I think I would be dead.

They had huge banks of LED lights all around the sides and back of the stage. Each group of lights is about the size of a quarter, and then those groups are on sort of a grid, with about 4 inches separating them from the next group. Anyway, you can walk up to the grid and see through it, and pass small objects through it. As we were up on the stage doing photographs, my back was up against the LED lights when I heard a voice. I turned around to see one of the workers behind all the lights talking to me. "So, where is the regular place you go drinking every night," he says to me. My mind starts to race, trying to figure out if I have talked to this guy at all to make him come up to me and start a conversation that seems like it is actually a continuation of another conversation. I have nothing. Similar random questions spill forth from his mouth. "Is Linkin Park popular in America?" With the way the entire set was totally dark, and he and I were separated by electric grid of little lights, it felt as though we lived in the future, both captured by the robots that had taken over the world, and at night we would sneak to the fence to talk to each other, to keep from going crazy. Like "Red Dawn" but with robots instead of Cubans/Russians. And with pretty Christmas light looking fences instead of chain-link fences and armed guards. I wondered if Ultraman would come save us now...

I got home at 4 a.m. 24kun's girlfriend's birthday was today. I think he was in hot water. The picture today was from a planter area outside of the studio. It was filled with glass balls about the size of a quarter. That is right, I used a quarter twice in this entry to reference size.

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Well, I used my day off to finish the project for Sarah back home. That is the freelance project I have been referring to the last couple of days. She needed a shot of a Starbuck's coffee cup on a table with some rolled up papers that were to look like architectural designs. So Saturday I made the paper rolls, Sunday I took the picture and got crapped on by that bird, and then today I edited the picture that was chosen by the company Sarah is designing for.

All last minute stuff like all design work is. The picture is a before and after of the photograph. They needed the logo from the cup gone, and new check-box titles placed on that are relevant to the company. They needed more table at the bottom for spacing issues. And the background needed some touching up. I hope you like the final results, even though they mean nothing to you unless you see how it goes with the ad in its entirety.

Richie and I went for okonomiyaki. Once again, it was delicious.

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I guess I better get any entry in before I have to do tomorrow's entry. I had too much to do after coming home to get to this.

There was no photoshoot today, but I got to go over to the office to participate in some retouching of the photographs. Shuichi san had some things to do, so he had me start making some edits to some photographs of the band Shonen Kamikaze. The photographs looked like they were for an upcoming single or album, but I am not sure. I forgot to ask. I am glad I got some computer-time in though. To help out just a little bit with the final product. Mr. 24 came too, so we got to just hang out for a bit, talking while we were working.

I met up with Richie, and as we ate gyoza we decided that one night before I leave, we are going to have our own gyoza challenge and see how many of those little guys we can eat. Since our favorite place to go sells them in a 6-piece or a 9-piece, we are anticipating the consumption of 54, 60, or 63.

I took pictures of nothing today, so here is a picture of the lock to my door as I returned home. It's great that I don't have to carry any keys around. I just punch my zip code into this, and I am in. If anyone breaks in now, I'll know it was you.

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I went beck out to try to find a location for the picture that I did not get done yesterday. I headed to Yoyogi park, and I found that that is quite the place on Sundays. Bands playing all over the sidewalks, drum circles, frisbees, dogs, sunbathers, ninjas. There was a dude practicing his ninja skills. He had paper cups up on little stands around him, then he would swing his nunchucks and knock them off, or knock over the stand, or miss both and just fall over.

I found a semi-decent table to try to take pictures on, and I stood and waited for about a half-hour for it. I finally got the table, spread my stuff out and was photographing all over it. A Chinese lady just came up and sat down on the bench right on my shot. I mean, I am pointing a very large camera right in her direction and have been doing it for a while. She sees me doing it, sits down, then turns back and looks at me just staring at her. Then she finally realized how obtuse she had been. I took a bunch of shots, but I am not too sure about them.

I took off to maybe try to find another spot to try the shot out, I started to cut across a semi-wooded area instead of on the path. Something slapped my upper back, so I though something had dropped from a tree. A few seconds later I decided to swat at it in case it was a big bug or something. I did not swat a big bug, instead I just sort of splattered bird crap all over my back and the top of my backpack. A crow's crap. It was wonderful and I had to remove my shirt and find a water source and rinse everything off. It was very unpleasant, especially on top of how sweaty and dirty I already felt. Luckily tons of people in the park were shirtless, so I didn't feel like I was out of line. My smell might have been. Needless to say, I headed straight home for a shower before my next event.

I headed over to Marcus and Liana's place. They have a family home evening every other month for all the Filipinos in their stake. There ended up being maybe 25 people total over there. Good thing the Otsujis have a very nice-sized place. It was very nice. Most of the Filipinos are here as baby-sitters and cleaners, because they make almost 8x as much money in Japan in one hour as they would make in a day back home. So after their really good food, we played a crazy game called "Screaming toes" and had a message. Then they all got to work in cleaning up after the group. They are pros and the place looked great.

I know the other day that I bought a bar of dark chocolate. I can't find it anywhere and I am fairly upset about it.
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