Thursday, February 23, 2006


OK, I'm now back after a few blog-free days.
Thoughts, recaps, and comments from the week:

First and foremost, this week has been centered around interpreting for a N.Y.-based art photographer who is in town for a group exhibition. It was the best assignment I've had in a long while, not least because I was invited to the Omotesando gallery opening for the Art + Commerce Festival Of Emerging Photographers ...

... where the most kick-ass ambience was created by DJ Towa Tei, previously of Deee-Lite fame. Let me say, for the record, that this man may have changed his style but that he most definitely has not lost his touch. In a word: awesome.

The photographer I was working for (or hanging out with, as it were) is a very cool German artist who takes beautiful, natural-light photographs. You can see her work at It was so great to see her work and to check out her amazing equipment.

It's been a very weird week. I can't quite explain the hows and the whys. It's been one of those weeks in which good things come unexpectedly in waves, and rather uncharacteristically, you're there at the ready, fully prepared to reap every last reward there may be. All without any stress or exertion.

For instance, this interpreting job plopped into my inbox one day. After that, 3 new translation clients asked me to sign on. When I went to pick Anna the photographer up at her hotel, I stood checking my mobile horoscope in the lobby, which told me my "lucky item" for the day was a coffee mug. I wondered how or where I could schedule a coffee mug appearance in my day - and 3 minutes later, Anna handed me an "I LOVE NY" coffee mug as a souvenir. I had some subjects that needed photographing and this whole week of photography just came together on its own, out of the blue. Starbucks sent me a prepaid Starbucks card, which will get me at least 5 Chai Lattes, gratis .

Et cetera et cetera and so forth.

The weather is getting warmer every day, which also means less aches. My foot hasn't felt this good since I injured it 8 months ago. I would go running if I weren't feeling a tad bit shitty after my night of excess last night, where I smoked entirely too much and sipped grappa for the first time in my life. According to a fairly inebriated fellow partygoer, grappa goes through an utterly unique fermentation process, in which the leaves and seeds of the grape are used along with the pulp and skins. Halfway through the explanation he became confused, saying that the fermented grape seeds create ethanol, or methanol, or maybe, no, wait, it was ethametha, no.... Either way, the stuff tasted evil enough to be ethanol or methanol or gasoline. I was still burping up grappa and feeling highly combustible in bed 4 hours later.

Oh yeah, I should probably mention that I was at the opening party for The Baron, an upscale Irish pub-style bar tucked away in Nishi-Azabu, not far from Roppongi Hills. The place is huge and has a stage area enclosed in a surprisingly sound-proof room. The clientele was mixed, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was an opening. Still, it was quite heavy on the "weird gaijin" contingent - those foreigners in Tokyo who you just want to ask: "What exactly do you do here again?". I mean, besides running away from Ohio/Perth/Birmingham and chasing local women who don't understand how creepy you are because of the language barrier?

OK, that was bitchy. But there is a very real scene for that sort of thing over here, and while I totally understand it's none of my business, I also reserve the right to think it's gross when I see it. Another thing that put me in a bitchy mood at the bar was the sweet, rich, stench of coconut air freshener, which someone obviously mistook to be eau du cologne. Why would anyone want to smell like a taxi? I don't understand.

All of the above, plus a few nice and overindulgent dinners with girlfriends, some translating, and an impromptu English tutoring session rounds out my incommunicado past week. Coming up: one dinner party for which I still haven't decided on a dessert, still more translating, and (drum roll, please) a meeting with a publisher regarding my children's book.


Blogger teahouse said...

Wow, sounds like you had an eventful week.

Oh, and grappa is the most foul stuff ever invented. It's like drinking kerosene, isn't it?

5:34 PM  
Blogger e! said...

Yay! Teahouse!! Thought you were going to be MIA in cyberspace for a while?

YES. Kerosene. I was trying to figure out what that familiar stench was.

6:42 PM  

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