Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doug gets no sleep

...along with the rest of the frickin country!! Ever since moving down to the Tokyo area, I've been averaging about maybe 4-5 hours sleep. I work sometimes as late as 7:30pm (average of maybe 6-6:30, which I don't mind as I'm paid hourly), and cannot for the life of me get to sleep before 1 most of the time. This is bad considering with the commute I wake up at 6, thus no sleep!

But as I say, I'm not alone in my struggle against the sandman. I read this article at my favorite Japanese weird fact source that says Japanese may cost themselves up to 30bajillion doll hairs per year in productivity from not sleeping, and I for one will agree if it means that they'll let me come in at like 10 or so. But seriously, I totally agree with the whole idea that staying in the office long hours does not necessarily mean you get more done. Work smart not hard, all the way. I'd do an experiment and see how much work I could get done just doing the 9-5 but sleeping more, but as I said I'm paid hourly and like the overtime bonus. That and I don't want to go to sleep all early and miss out on all the fun to be had staying out til last train with friends or vegging out watching downloaded American tv shows and movies.

Now my office certainly isn't one of those places where you automatically have to stay just because your boss doesn't want to go home yet, but they do have enough to keep you busy at times... especially my department. One thing that you might find crazy if you've never worked in Japan though is that every Wednesday is "go home on time" day, implying that no one does any other day of the week. Seriously, it's on the calendar.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The bra of the future is here!

I will never look at rice and miso soup the same again...

So the other day, I run across this article. Someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to make this bra with a built-in chopstick holster and cups made to look like a rice bowl and bowl of miso soup, and I would have to concur. But wait, there's more!! Not only does a collapsible set of chopsticks fit on the side, but see that little ribbon in the middle? That's a little chopstick holder so you don't have to just place them on the table!! Pure genius! The idea is that Japanese use entirely way too many disposable chopsticks, and this will inspire them to save a tree or something.

The one thing I still haven't figured out is how they expect you to nonchalantly whip these out in public without making a scene... then again, if girls can take their bras off without taking their shirt off then I'm sure they'll figure it out somehow. Anyone wanna volunteer?

There are more videos here if you just can't get enough.
Btw, in my search for more pictures of the 「マイ箸ブラ」, this came up too. The USB keyboard bra!! Man, I feel the carpal-tunnel syndrome coming on...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tokyo Motor Show 2007

Ok... I take it back.

You may remember that a few months ago I mentioned I was holding out to see the rally version to make my final judgment call on the new Impreza, and I'm just oh so pleased as peaches that I did! The base model is still butt-ass fugly, which for those of you keeping score makes it as fugly as two asses, but they most indubitably made up for it with the rally car. I saw it this past weekend at... *drum roll*... the Tokyo Motor Show!

Among the attractions and in addition to the new STi and new Suburu STi Rally Car, I saw the new GT-R (technically not a Skyline anymore), the new Toyota FT-HS (successor to the Supra, and a hybrid), the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (boring styling, but fast nonetheless), the new Suzuki Rally Car (they've been out of the game quite a while), and booth girls!!! Tons of booth girls! I hear they have a test drive section and some other stuff, but I didn't get around to checking that out. Back to the girls though...

One note of contention at essentially every Tokyo Motor Show is which booth has the best girls - I hear there are myriad magazine articles debating this very point to death. Now believe you me I looked long and hard, and although Suzuki and Subaru had some good contenders my hat goes off to the girls at Mitsubishi. This picture is a thing of beauty... legs as far as the eyes can see.

For more pictures, check out the flickr account on the right.

Oh and as a little note to all those that are paying attention - I'll be in town for the holidays!! Dates TBA shortly, but it'll be basically from Christmas to January 5th. EMAIL ME NOW!!! so we can plan stuff - I'll be spending plenty of time with the fam, but I'm definitely interested in seeing everyone else and doing something fun for New Year's. Hard to believe, but it's actually been a year and a half...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bizarre Japanese bizness practices?

Dentsu Executive Offends and Humiliates Employee With Brothel & Onsen Trips

AP article

Ok, time for more news that's interesting to me. So apparently there's this guy that worked for the American branch of Dentsu, a major electronics company based out of Japan, that got fired for being sexually offended at some rather, erm, interesting hosting by the Japanese CEO on a couple business excursions.

At first I read this as some American guy getting all uppity about nothing - I mean, it sounds like the guy just took him to an onsen, very normal, and maybe a Soaplands or something. Big deal - maybe the Soaplands was pushing it, but it pretty much sounds like standard "getting to know you" kind of stuff that you'd see around here. When you work in Japan, people like to try and make social ties as well in order to strengthen business ties, so stuff like that's pretty par for the course as I see it.

Then I read more into it... this CEO guy's a real whack job! Apparently it wasn't a Soapland at all - it was an actual brothel on a business trip in the Czech Republic, and the guy was running around taking crotch shots of a bunch of women besides that. I heard in Thailand that Japanese businessmen are among the highest frequenters of Thai massage+++ establishments and love taking sex tours, so this doesn't surprise me. But then! The coup de grace was this little gem of an addendum:
Apparently, defendant Shigeta maintained that having sex with prostitutes was a "Japanese" style of conducting business. For example, defendant Shigeta once told plaintiff (as well as Ronald Rosen and Douglas Fidoten) that he and another Japanese businessman sealed a deal not with a handshake, but by hiring a prostitute in Mexico and having "double penetration" sex with her - i.e., where both businessmen had sex with the same prostitute at the same time. Defendant Shigeta explained to plaintiff that having "double penetration" sex was a way in which Japanese businessmen would commemorate business dealings.
Wha....??? Now I have heard tales of the infidelity and promiscuity of certain "Japanese businessmen", both 1st and 2nd-hand, but.... what??? Getting offended about being asked to go to an onsen is laughable. Being asked to a Soapland, or even a brothel, can easily be declined or avoided by going and simply not having sex. But sealing the deal on a Mexican hooker?? I guess the pen is mightier than... the pen. The American guy overreacted and suing is stupid, but that Shigeta guy could definitely use some straightening out.

There are some rather sick (yet colorful) people in this world of ours.