a The Transit Lounge: March 2006

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Friday, March 31

Just Another Night

Here in Osaka it doesn't matter what night of the week it is. You can be guaranteed to find one, some or, as it usually pans out by midnight or 1am, all of the Usual Suspects getting their freak on - or just knocking back a few friendly tequilas - in some part of the Minami maze.
The Wednesday just gone was no exception. I started off with dinner with DIO 17, which in itself was quite the feast from which I didn't think I would make it out alive. He took me to quite the fancy-schmancy Italian restaurant, we ate about 100 courses of great food, and lo and behold I managed to keep my beverage consumption to a respectable 2 GnTs. Had a few drinks at Zerro including a mandatory tequila shot for one of the barboy's birthdays (all the bartenders there are quite the eye candy) before he pashed me up all saucy like under the lights of Inferno (of all places, Carlos RIP I miss those random nights starting with a 3am phonecall and the booming McBain style "Leeez, Leeez what you doing? You come Inferno now. Where's Clifffff-orrrd?") which then saw us part ways and me hightail it down the Shotengai to catch up with half of the gang for Rob and Cal's sayonara feed at the 280 izakaya.
After knocking back the standard "peachi" chu-his there, and collecting Ivan "Stevie B" MexIvan, we decided it was best to bust a move to karaoke, with a pit stop at the new slice of heaven in Osaka, Slices (how aptly named) to pick up a somewhat innebriated Clifford and Erik. Of course it wasn't just a 5-minute run in but more like a 1 hour refuel on whatever alcohol we could get our hands on. Which turned out to be beer.
During this time we made a few important observations:
  • Slices is in fact a pizza shop and not a bar. Hence they serve beer...
  • Clifford and I both - unknowingly and at different times - proceeded to ask the owners if they could add vodka or gin to any of the "bubble" teas they had on offer, and when told no as the only served beer, then asking them if they could possibly stock these varieties of booze in the future.
  • Clifford and I both - again unknowingly and numerous times - attempted to order rounds of tequila shots. Only to be told again they did not stock this with us seperately asking in return if they could do so for the future (word got back to us today that they have indeed complied with our requests).
  • Cliff and Erik are Mortal Kombat otakus (geeks)...the ensuing argument that followed their simple discussion spawned such pearlers like "I used to give challengers 1st round," "I was that Asian kid that everyone lined up to challenge," & the winning quote of the night, "I made my grandmother watch me perform all of the fatalities"
  • Erik and Triplebypass having a heated conversation over who does the best burgers in town. I think Ttriplebypass won that hands down when he shot down Erik's "Look at me, how small I am, I should know" with a simple pat of the stomach and a "Look at me." (Think David and Goliath in terms of sizing here)
  • Ivan does indeed look like Stevie B - see photo at right - and said he will not recreate that pose if no money is changing hands.
  • Cliffy thought I looked like Kylie - the boots tucked into the jeans? the blonde hair? the weight i have lost? the copious amounts of beer he had drunk? - I was drunk enough to believe him and it made me stay. Then upon questioning Erik as to whether or not he saw me wave at him when I walked past him at Zerro earlier on in the evening with DIO 17, he didn't miss a beat with "Oh was that you? I thought it was Kylie!"

After which point we finally made it to karaoke - Naosky, Batman, RobRoy, Candid Cal and myself - with RobRoy rarking it up and performing Rock The Casbah like you have never seen within 30 seconds of us all entering the booth. The karaoke debauchery continued and Batman and I managed to escape reasonably intact albeit to be stopped 2 blocks down the road by a drunken Cliffy . We managed to push through him until a further 5 metres down the road the MexIvan rounds the corner and rounds us up pushing us back in the booth (as Batman later put it "My reputation was at stake. It was either go home and look like a pussy or stay out."). At this stage I get a phone call from Cliffy which I swear is in stereo - and that's because I turn my head and he is standing right behind me. It was all worth it in the end when Cliffy and TBP mic'd it out to Rapper's Delight (Cliffy is great at free-styling) and with a swift crawl under the table, Batman and I maneouvered our way outta there.

Bocces, Balls and Babes

This is what I do in my free time. I don't mean play bocce, or even make short videos, I just mean general assing around with my friends, spending our time in a seemingly meaningless yet fun fashion. Although I do play bocce (and the reason behind this is that there is bocce tournament coming up) and whenever anybody gets a camera out, chances are I am in front of it. And for the record, I don't smoke. That's just called getting into character.

Wednesday, March 29

DIO17 - Pure Coincidence

The best nights are those when you know you are looking great, and a past DIO just happens to walk into the bar when you are smack bang in the middle of the dancefloor. Even better when that is totally unplanned - the fact that the two of you are in the same place for the first time in 6 months really is coincidental!
Target: Moi! I didn't even know he was around until I got a tap in the shoulder just as I was about to slide down onto the floor and show off a Capeoria move.
Venue: Zerro
Issue: I am usually against all forms of PDA (Public Displays of Affection) as is he. So I was really surprised when he kissed me after we knocked back tequila shots with Cliff and Troy. I guess the reason I hate PDAs is because what if somebody else I like is around that I am not aware of and sees me getting cosy with another guy therefore ruining any chance I may have with them? I have a feeling this DIO thinks this way too. Afterall he owns a billion nightclubs around Japan, and I am positive he has a girlfriend tucked away in Tokyo - and he is positive he doesn't.
Fact: I had one of those days wear wardrobe, hair, make-up and body fat looking minimised came together, and worked as a team. I looked good. For the first time in a long time, I looked uber.
Fact: So many people commented on what how I looked - girls and guys. I don't know if it was the hat or the boots or the shorts I was wearing, I couldn't believe it. I even got an email sent from the Japanese boy I used to hang out with, who is not so much Instant Idiot now, as just nice guy (we see each other out all the time now and he has settled into his drinking), that read: "Was cool your fashion on weekend. Domo domo."
Fact: When I was at Triangle for London Calling, I got on stage to dance - which is not unusual - and people started chanting my name. No kidding. I got cheers.
Fact: Even better when you look so good and you bump into all of DIO15's mates - and you know they are going to tell him you looked fiiiiiiine.
Fact: A friend of a friend who I don't know so well couldn't believe it was me - does that mean I usually look crap?
Fact: Back to the DIO at hand. I knew it was all jive talk, but the sweet nothings he was whispering were making me weak at the knees despite my best intentions not to listen to a word that came out of his mouth. I can't help it, flattery and bull shite really are the keys to my heart.
Words of Wisdom: Liz: "You are on the right side of 6 foot." I like tall men. And a whole lot of mumbo jumbo that he said purely to flatter my ego - I think at one stage I told him to keep talking. He knows how shallow I am.
Possibility of a Date: Dinner tonight. What am I going to wear?
Plan of Attack: Nothing. He is Tokyo-based.
Mental Note: Must think of another hot outfit to wear for my next club venture. I can't wear the ensemble of this post at least until Summer has come and gone - it was too distinctive, too memorable.

Tuesday, March 28

Oh Morty!

Hmm...It seems Gwynnie and her rockstar hubby Coldplay frontman Chris Martin are at it again.
Child number 2, a boy, has been named Mortimer.
I used to collect these lego type things when I was growing up, called Fabuland. Does anybody remember that? I think they stopped making it in the mid 80s. Anyway, Mortimer, as shown to the left of your screen, was a mouse and I think his story was that he worked on a boat. If I remember correctly, he even came with fishing gear. Anyway, I never liked Mortimer much. Compared to the other characters' lives he was kinda boring and I always made sure he fell overboard. With that kind of name, he sounds like he has one foot in the grave already.
What kind of a start in life is that for a newborn?

Friday, March 24

Fat or Muscle?





Okay so here is some of what was on offer - lots of wobbles, lots of jiggles. Look at his boobies.

Boobies - hehehehehehehehe.

Chubby Chasers

Today Batman and I realised a long held dream of mine to see the Sumo wrestlers. This has been my third sumo season in Osaka and each year I have said "Well better go this time in case I am not here next year" and finally I held true to my word.
I have been fascinated by the world of sumo ever since my dad sent me a postcard whilst on business trip to Japan about 20 years ago, with 2 fat, no make that really bloody obese men, in what I thought were some kind of old fashioned nappy grabbing each other in a ring.
Although we went early in the day and had to leave before the "heavy weights" came on, it was still exciting to be a part of it. The auditorium wasn't so full, which took away from the atmosphere somewhat, but meant that Batman and I could purchase the cheapest seats possible and sit in the most expensive.
Quotes of the day:
B: "They're so fucken fat they got fat on their fat!"
L: "I have never seen so many men with man boobs so big."
We started taking bets on who would win each match and I surprisingly picked every match bar one. You would be surprised that the fattest blokes quite often didn't win. In sumo, although there are different divisions, it still doesn't stop a competitor from being pitted against someone twice his size.
And some of the rolls they took - whoa! It is no wonder that every tournament, dozens of ringside people are taken to hospital sustaining injuries from being.....squashed.
I will post some photos asap but at the moment, I'm having probs uploading them. We are hoping to go back on Sunday for some more chubby action, but that is the final day so tickets will sell fast, and we are not sure we will be awake at 8.20am when ticket gates open...

Wednesday, March 22

Let's Get Physical

So in an effort to improve myself somewhat, I have gone back to try and recapture my youth by doing gymnastics again, and also thought I would try capoeira, which is hugely popular over here because of the large Brazilian population.
The gymnastics is self explanatory I feel.
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art made up of kick-ass dance moves and stuff that is performed to drums and weird native instruments with lots of chanting. I tride it for the first time last night, and can barely move today, although i can do this one thing that leads into a cartwheel - kind of. Think Eddie, that character in Play Station's Tekken game. I just thought he was stoned, therefore moving slowly. Turns out he knew a thing or two on cracking skulls.
Anyway, It has been 12 years since I tried any sort of tumbling and let's just say backflips will be a while off yet, but I am having lots of fun- and getting quite sore. I did spend Saturday night on the dancefloor trying to round house kick Troy in the head - which would have worked had I not been wearing my 'skinny' jeans that I have just been able to re-fit into again. If I don't breathe, they don't feel so tight.
So the male instructors at this place are all hot! Most of them are from Oz and are all extremely well fit. So even if I can't do more than half of everything, at least I have motivation to keep trying.
All I feel capable of today is going for tan. Times like these I definitely realise I am not as young as I used to be.

Tuesday, March 21

All things Dub

My Fat Freddy's Drop interview was published on ITM. I love these guys, so if you are in Melbourne I recommend you check 'em out next month, they really rock my world at the moment.
Thanks to Troy and Ivan, who upon forcing me to listen to new things have expanded my world of music, I have really gotten into dub music at the moment, especcially stuff coming out of NZ like The Black Seeds, Salmonella Dub, Trinity Roots and Che Fu. This music is stuff chilled out, easy listening/easy grooving stuff, that you can kick back to at any time of the day, but still get some energy from. I am realising that whatever people's musical preferences are, they still have room and appreciation for dub (and particularly FFD).

Sunday, March 12

803 Back Again

Over a year ago I wrote a few episodes about a place called 803 entitled 2 Guys A Girl and a Ramen Place.
Again, all of these events are basically real. Do not attempt at home unless under the supervision of Jose Cuervo.

Ep 6 - 803 Gets New Tennants
On NYE T-Money and Motown tell Point 5 that they are moving out to focus on their new aclohol-related business oportunity that apparently involves selling the stuff and not just drinking it.
Point 5 is left feeling pretty desperate until hearing the news that her old high school pash buddy Batman is moving to Osaka. Still left with the problem of filling flatmate number 3, Point 5 acts on a suggestion of one-time flame "Pac-Man", and agrees to having the monkey that currently inhabits his laundry move in.
Batman, upon hearing this news, kicks some Bat sense into Point 5, and they realise they are stuck in a corner. As the race against time begins, will anybody answer their desperate ad in the local paper calling for anyone bar midgets, amputees and POMs, to move in or will Point 5 be relegated to trying to get the monkey off Batman's back for the rest of her J-land life?

Ep 7 - 803 Gets A Battle of the Superheroes
With news that Point 5's Dubai based Superman is flying in to Osaka for one night, Batman starts hoarding crates of Kryptonite in his room in case of a potential showdown.
Meanwhile, Motown has planned a huge event at Loft Lolly for the same night, with all the Usual Suspects including T-Money, Rob Roy, Matt Damon, E-Diddy, Fishworks, Dirty Claire, Naosky and The Sexy Mex being there. With Pacman too drunk and stoned to attend, and T-Money's prose ringing in her ears, Point 5 dons her red diesel boots to become Wonder Woman (she thinks Super Girl is a pussy).
But dramas unfold as Point 5 learns she has to work. Can she trust Batman to safely lead a somewhat daft, yet hot Superman through the Osakan metropolis to her heart, or will the Usual Suspects find out what really happens when you put two men wearing lollybags over lycra tights in the same disco?
Ep 8 - 803 Plans A Party
Point 5 feeling bored one day decides to enlist T-Money's help in planning a Golden Week BBQ at 803 for early May. Getting Batman on bored, they write a list of desired attendees and get cranking on the theme and invites.
Batman alerts Point 5 to the fact that there appears to be someone they haven't informed about the party, although neither of them can be quite sure who it is. With a shrug of the shoulders, they agree that if they can't recall who it is, then they probably shouldn't be there anyway.
Meanwhile, Batman decides to talk to Point 5 about his allergy to all pets, exotic ones included.

EP 9 - 803 Gets Some Early Morning Visitors
After a Friday night fuelled by copious amounts of Vitamin T, and trying to keep DJ Style Icon and Next Target apart so she could flirt openly with both of them, Point 5 is in no mood to party the following night after vommiting in her bed all day.
In the meantime, Batman decides to come clean with Point 5 and point out the fact they neither of them work for the Red Cross, nor are they volunteers and therefore should rid their lives and apartment of any pro bono work. A clear case of the beautiful vs. the ugly...or is it?
Point 5 feels something is amiss as she lays her head down to sleep that night and asks Batman to do a perimeter check. Is it the open window she can't be bothered locking? She can't be sure. But one thing is she is sure about are the 2 extra bodies in her bed the next morning - without wanting to open her eyes, she is pretty sure by the snoring one of them is Motown, and by the constant "get on the phone and call that bald dude" in her right ear, the other one is T-Money. Will Batman come in and save the day or will Point 5 have to open her eyes?
Ep 10 - 803 Gets Ramen
With Motown and T-Money holed up in 404 (yes they moved 4 stories below) working on guitar riffs over electric beats, Point 5 decides to introduce Batman to her favourite ramen place and the 750 yen lunch special including rice and hakata gyoza.
Eating there numerous times a week, the pair notice their bellies are expanding but deny that it could be their beloved fat-based ramen to blame. Even so, they decide to turn to pizza from the local convenience store for a while instead.
When T-Money wants to hook up a date with Point 5 at the ramen place, he gets suspicious by her resistance and decides to investigate. Will T-Money discover that Point 5 has indeed been ramen cheating on him?
Back in the apartment, Batman buys up big on the pizza flavoured nachos and bite sized kit kats as a way to fill his ramen void, but drama unfolds as eats himself into a sugar-carb induced coma. Coming to, Batman and Point 5 decide never to ditch the ramen again.

Saturday, March 11

To Cheat or Not To Cheat?

"It's always better to cheat than be cheated on."
T-Money, otherwise known as my voice of reason, February 2006.
As much as people may instantly object to that quote, to me it makes perfect sense, and something I have subconsciously always believed. Some people reject cheating on a partner on all levels and I can respect that, but I think it is foolish to expect it won't happen. Maybe I say that because I know it will happen. What can I say, when I'm not with someone I fully object to players and games, then as soon as I am with someone, I become the biggest player of all. Seems to me the powers of attraction between people are stronger when you are attached.

DIO16: Getting Your Groove Back

When returning to the Singles Scene after any kind of absence - official or otherwise... -, I like to do something for myself that will improve me in someway (no, I'm not perfect, but I am certainly uber) and then drink lots so that everybody around me improves too!
Venue: Fan J Twice
Target #1: Shall remain nameless but he has been mentioned numerous times in this blog.
Target #2: Let's call him Well Fit
I will break this down target by target.
T1 - Issue: I have DIO2 on a pedestal and no-one, NO-ONE as far as I am concerned, can touch him. He really is my dream man. I can't explain exactly in words what it is about this guy but I will try:
  • Style: Such a good dresser (and rocking shoes). It makes me weep with joy that there are straight men out there who know not only how to dress, but how to wear their clothes too.
  • Character: His personality is as wonderfully beautiful as his clothes are expensive. And he is always fun to flirt with. He has a great laugh and a big, warm smile.
  • Music: He is a DJ of course - how could my ideal man not be?
  • Career: By day, an Engineer - he has the smarts as well. I love him even more.

He is the man that any guy in my life will never measure up to. Anybody who knows the both of us knows how much I adore him. And adore him always I will. He will forever be this image of male uber-ness in my head because we don't actually know each other well enough to have discovered any bad points. And that's what makes it the perfect crush.

Fact: It's always harmless flirting. We both know it won't ever go anywhere, which again adds to the perfectness of it all, 'cause we will both go ahead and wonder anyway.
Fact: I always make an effort to see this guy. And we have this drunken 5am Sunday phone call thing going on, which just makes me smile.
Fact: He kissed me anyway. And again and again and again! I died and went to heaven.
Words of Widsom: Me: "You are so hot." Him: "You are so hot."
Possibility of a Date: Umm nada - there is a very big reason why, something having to do with him wearing a ring. But those drunken phone calls will still go on.
Plan of Attack: Nothing. Otherwsie I could see it getting dangerous.
Mental Note: Ask no questions and I will tell no lies.
T2 - Issue: I have known this guy for 2 years on and off, we have always had an attraction there but the timing has always been out. Until last night I hadn't seen him for months - before I went out I saw his name in my phone directory and was thinking of calling him then bingo! He was at FanJ!
Fact: I always suspected he was a little insecure. In the past he was always really quiet and I think intimidated by me. The first night we met was at Freeza, and he had been going through a rough time and had no money so I looked after him with free drinks and he said he has never forgotten how nice I was to him and that night turned out to be one of the best he has had.
Fact: Last night was different. He walked over to me with purpose and a confidence I had never seen in him before, grabbed my hand, made me feel his arms and proclaimed "6 months in the gym." At anybody else I would laugh in their face and tell them to F^&k off, but he and I just both cracked up together because we knew what was going on.
Fact: He admitted that he lacked the power before. But now everything is on track and maybe I would notice him now. So I said "Honey, I liked you already and I am really happy to see you tonight."
Words of Wisdom: "It's about time we got this started."
Possibility of a Date: Seeing him tonight!
Plan of Attack: Eat the wait and see pudding. I have really high standards and high expectations not just of the person I am seeing, but in general of all my friends. So...
Mental Note: My new YSL shades really stepped up to the plate last night.

Friday, March 10

Rethink

Let's just say being back in Osaka has made me rethink my delusions of grandeur...I have a habbit of making things out in my mind to be a lot better than what they really are, this included. This is one unmotivated stoner I do not need in my life.

Wednesday, March 8

Delusions of Grandeur

...or of romance anyway.
BIG DELETE!!
Oh my. Taking this post out - I was completely deluded, I still blame the bloody stomach virus I have got, it is clearly influencing my logic and rational at present...

Tuesday, March 7

China - A Glance Part 1

Where am I is a good question to start with, but an even better one would be - which decade is she in? right now I am in the province of Shantou, which is somewhere around the mid 1980s. My guess is just as the pepsi-coke cola wars were starting, when pepsi had that one time advantage of being the new kid on the block and the world for 5 minutes was a sea of red and blue ying yangs, instead of just a whitewash of "the real thing/this is it/just for the thrill of it" red. But more about Shantou itself in part 2.
The short story of why I am here is that I have been offered a job with a Japanese export company as the manager of their Asian offices - being in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and china. But nevermind the job, let's talk about China so far.
As soon as i got through the Chinese immigration at Shenzhen (I got there by flying to Hong Kong and then catching a taxi for a 30 minute ride to the north of HK Island), it was like crossing an invisible line into a world that I believe somebody like Walt Disney back in the 1950s would have imagined the year 2006 along with the rest of the 21st century to be. In fact I think Hanna Barbera captured it correctly with The Jetsons. Okay so there are no flying cars, but there might as well be with the height of some of the overpasses here - at one of the highest points, you are at least 16 floors up. I know because my room at the Hilton was on the 16th floor and I opened my curtains to cars zipping past. It was a weird combination of I Dream Of Jeanie's take on Bagdad of its day (buildings with tear-shaped bubbles plonked onto the top of them) meets The Jetsons meets Cuba and Communism (well this is a China). I say Cuba because all the buildings were those faded pastels blues, pinks, and yellows that you see in any film that has Havana in it for more than 5 seconds, where everything looks like it either needs a good scrubbing or repainting.
For the first time in a long time, I was utterly speechless. All I could do was stare. I tried to take photos, but none could do justice to the the scene unfolding before me. The smog and mist from the rain also added to this bizarre futuristic feel because visbility was pretty poor which meant whilst driving in the taxi to my hotel, all of a sudden, out of the windscreen of the taxi, you would see enormous structures looming out of the dense air in front of you. It was absolutely facsinating.
If it is possible, while the architecture in some ways looks completely beyond the realms of what our imaginations are currently capable of, it also looks outdated giving the whole city an almost ghost town like feel to it, as though everything has been abandoned and quickly vacated in the middle of some alien uprising. There are no people about (tucked away in the buildings I assume) and there are no cars (most of the traffic is above you on the overpasses).
It is only when the night settles in and the neon comes into focus that you realise the logic behind the planning of it all. The blanket of darkness covers a multituide of sins, and it is only then Shenzhen become aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Still, nothing in Shenzhen could have been possibly more different to what I viewed on my 5-hour bus ride yesterday morning to the province of Shantou. I have been to Hiroshima, Japan, and seen the history of what happened to that city with the detonation of the nuclear bomb and can say that what I witnessed on this journey yesterday was so scarily and eerily reminscent.
What continued to shock and horrify me that in these city shells and fragments was evidence of lives being lived there. Amongst lush vegetation and mountanous landscapes were gaping holes in the landscape where the land look to be flattened and obliterated by God only knows what. , containing what looked to be fragments of once booming cities now in complete ruins, as though they were the last remaining evidence of human life every having existed on earth before some sort of universal wipeout. It also had the sense that either people had deserted these places by the droves as fast as humanly possible (many things appeared to have been halted miway through contruction) or whatever life had been there previously was destroyed by some outside force (Stephen King's "4 Past Midnight" keeps coming to mind).
The biggest surprise was, if you looked hard enough as the landscape whizzed by, you could in fact see small and subtle signs of lives existing within this - well what seemed to me - desolation. A makeshift clothes line with linen blowing in the wind here and there, or the occasional dog drinking water out of a bowl - certainly facts pointing to people going about their everyday lives in these areas.
Surrounding these "cities" was farmed land and sometimes people setting about their work, hoeing their fields with waterbuffalo (never once did I see any sign of more modern ways of farming - everything seemed to be done by true old style manual labour) and harvesting sugar cane - again all done by hand, not a cutter in sight. Only once did I see some sort of a tractor, and even then it was struck by the side of the highway (not anywhere near any agricultural hotspots), with whoever it was behind the wheel fast asleep.

Monday, March 6

China Girl

yep as the title suggest I am in China, be back in Osaka on Wednesday and will update then - this place is crazy!