May 23, 2000
10:25 pm
Right now I'm feeling: tired

Right now I'm listening to: Misia

Misia : Believe

Today I finished reading: Elizabeth Peters Lion in the Valley

How do you measure up?
At Japanese Karoke, you get a score of how close you came to the actual singer of the song!

  Quote of the Day:
"The greatest mistake a person can make is to doubt their own worth."
-- J. N. Mendoza


What do you get when you lock two people who can't sing in a Japanese karaoke booth for two hours?

I found out on Sunday when I went to Burakuri-Cho with my friend Aya. Here, you pay an hourly fee for a small room that's got a karaoke machine with like thousands of songs on it (though most of the English songs are from the 80's or earlier, the Japanese are obssessed with the Cardigans and the Beatles). The sound system is good, if you know how to work it, which we did not. All the songs I sang to sounded a bit strange. Aya knew how to adjust the key of the music, and she finally let me on to this little fact about an hour into our singing.

"Y'know, Aya, the songs sound kindof strange to me."

"Hmmm.... maybe you need more practice."

"No, I mean there's something wrong with the sound. Do you know how to adjust it?"

"Hmmm.... no, I'm sorry I don't know."

Now I'm convinced that Japanese people sometimes claim ignorance (or that they didn't understand what you meant) just to torture you. In the next song Aya sang, the key changed sharply in the middle of it and she calmly reached over to the remote control and pressed the button which changed the key.

Somehow, I don't recall my singing ever being so bad. I could say I just had an 'off' day, but that sounds lame. Sounds like I'm making excuses. But I refuse to say that I totally suck, so... yes, I must have had an 'off' day.

Those Japanese karaoke booths are pretty cool, though. You can get drinks brought to your little room, they've got air conditioning, and you just pay for how many hours you want the room.

The strange thing is is that karaoke is very technical for the Japanese. Sure, they bellow and holler, smoke and get drunk in those little rooms and have a blast, but at some karaoke places you get a percentage score of how well you match up to the actual singer. It's really competitive. Sometimes, Japanese people will go to a karaoke place a day or two before they know they will go with friends or co-workers to practice!

Yep, they have a funny sense of what recreation is supposed to be.

"Exit...Stage Left!"

I changed schools on Monday. With the new change and the new school year, comes new teachers, new students, and a new desk. Or actually just a move to another desk. All the teachers move desks in the teachers' room. This time I got the desk close to the door. SCORE! Oh yeah, baby!

This is a dream location for several reasons. The most apparent being entrances and exits. Last year my desk was right next to the principal's desk... I think he had this arranged so that he could stare at me when he had nothing else better to do (which seemed like 95% of the time). lt made it hard to come in late and leave early. Every time I did so, I'd get his disapproving stare. Secondly, my desk is far to one side of the teachers' room making it difficult for students to stare at me from other vantage points in the teachers' room. They have to come around to stare at me, or talk to me. So it works out just fine for me!

Mouse Mayhem

Went out shopping for a digital camera again today, and bought a new mouse instead. A cool one. Had four buttons and a wheel. Buttons are good. The more buttons the better. The motivation for buying a mouse came from the fact that my refurbished non-warrantied IBM Scrollpoint™ Mouse bought online from (my advice, don't touch them with a ten meter cattle-prod) turned out to be a piece of crap with a rubber ball attached to the bottom. Damn thing never worked from the start and I finally got sick and tired of the accursed thing.

So anyway, being the cheap-ass that I am, I buy one of the mice in plastic bags in the big plastic bin which are marked down to about nine bucks. Never thinking for a moment that there may, in fact, be something wrong with these mice, that's why they're marked down.

Get home, damn. Looks kewl! OK. Install software... hey! It's in English! Score! Does it work? Ehh.... no. The mouse won't click onto anything in the Start Menu and does some other weird things. It's big too, and after a while of working with it, trying to get the damn thing to work, my thumb was getting sore from over-extension. Took me five restarts, unstallation, and reinstallation of my old driver for my old mouse to work right again. I just wasted 45 minutes of my life!!! Arrgghh!!

Birthday Blues

Today I just realized that I had forgotten two of my friends birthdays that were this month. Such a wretched feeling. I am so unworthy!!

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