do you get when you lock two people who can't sing in a
Japanese karaoke booth for two hours?
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.
Aya, the songs sound kindof strange to me."
maybe you need more practice."
I mean there's something wrong with the sound. Do you know
how to adjust it?"
no, I'm sorry I don't know."
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
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.
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
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!
they have a funny sense of what recreation is supposed to
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!
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!
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 Onsale.com (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.
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.
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!!!
I just realized that I had forgotten two of my friends
birthdays that were this month. Such a wretched feeling.
I am so unworthy!!