Tokyo does not look like this. One of the reasons I thought it would be a good idea to continue posting photographs is that perhaps the place where I’m from could be interesting to someone. At first it seems obvious that no one would want to look at pictures of Wisconsin because, come on, Wisconsin is _normal_. But Japanese reactions to our huge open spaces with nothing but cows and barns for miles made me realize that as interesting as Tokyo is to Midwestern USAmericans, perhaps the USAmerican Midwest can be to Tokyoans. On my [personal site], I have a links section that contains a heading for “Masterpieces”. Just recently I’ve found a new link to add to this tiny list, and it’s to [Tokyopia]. The site itself is nice, but what I really dig are Tim Rogers’ “Adventures in Tokyo Wonderland” articles. They have the same rare atmosphere that keeps me up reading helplessly all night. : http://jetfuel.metalbat.com : http://www.tokyopia.com
Archive for February, 2003
One of the first things I did when I got back to my own house for the first extended visit in a year, was to set up my old Macintosh Plus and see what I could still do with it. My cousins and I created many megabytes of adventure games and assorted other diversions, and I wanted to know how much I still had and how much could be salvaged. I’d love to make a CD containing all of our old games and some sort of emulation environment that would allow us to play them. That’s my must-preserve-and-encapsulate-everything instinct. Anyway, at some point the old Mac Plus mouse and my iPod got next to one another, and as I was packing up to go back to Green Bay, I saw them sitting there together like old friends. For a moment, I could feel the progress of one brilliant company’s industrial design over the course of almost 20 years. The two devices serve completely different functions and come from different decades, but the simplicity and sense of purpose that distinguishes Apple design are apparent in both of them. They are sturdy, with no unnecessary lines or excess features. You put one of them in your hand and within thirty seconds you understand what to do with it, and then you can almost forget that it’s there. I can’t even tell you how much I love Apple.
This is the press they use to make lithograpy-prints at school. I’m happy to know that big iron machines like this are around.
Hiroko likes to pick up Japanese fashion magazines whenever she can, and she did so when we went down to Chicago last weekend. Over the years I’ve found myself paging through them more than once. My favorite is Non-No, and I’ve become fond of one of their regular models, Mori Kimiko. Hiroko’s roommate Tomoko knows this, and took a photo of her photo while Hiroko was borrowing my camera. So here she is. If you think it’s bad for me to like her, you should hear the number of guys Hiroko fawns over in a day.
This is the process of fixing my lung. In the upper left picture, my lung is the thing on the bottom, and the inside of my chest wall is the thing on the top. As you can see, there is a bunch of air in between them. In the second picture, the doctor is touching my lung with a metal thing. In the third, he is scraping the heck out of my chest wall with a sharp metal thing. In the fourth, he has sprayed talc in there to irritate the tissue. Apparently, when they suck all the air out, the scraped-up and irritated tissue will heal up in such a way that it fuses to the lung, preventing it from collapsing away anymore. That’s the idea, anyway. I hope it works.
I spent week in bed at the hospital. Many nift people came to visit: my parents, my brother Dave and his family, Hiroko, Tomoko, Jon, Peter, Peter’s surgeon-dad. They bore gifts as varied as Cheez-It, Kit Kat, Twilight Zone DVDs, Mad Libs, and the first book in George R. R. Martin’s _A Song of Ice and Fire_, which is highly recommended. I’ve always been interested in microcosms, like long plane trips and schools after-hours. My hospital room was the tiniest microcosm: me phasing between sleep and reading, with morphine on command after my operation, nurses coming in and out, delivering food and such once I was allowed to eat, visitors coming in to listen to my drugged-out babbling. It was an interesting week.
I have a thing with my left lung, where it likes to collapse. Well, it _tends_ to collapse. If it liked collapsing, it probably wouldn’t hurt so much every time it collapsed. The first time was a couple of years ago when it just up and collapsed on me at work, and I had to go into the hospital to get the escaped air sucked out of me through a tube. Actually, after I had been in there for about a day, someone walked in, looked at the sucking device, acted surprised, and then plugged the device into the wall. No kidding. It happened a couple of times in Japan, and I was treated by a Dr. E. Honda. Some will find that hilarious. When it happened again upon my return, I was advised by my friend Peter’s surgeon-dad to get myself admitted to the hospital. There they hooked me up to a variety of devices. This is the view from my window, as photographed by my dad. St. Vincent Hospital is rumored to be the tallest building in Green Bay.
Now that I’m living with Jon, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. Jon is a healthy person, and likes to make his own meals when possible. So I’ve learned much from him and his George Foreman Grill. That thing is great. If you have some food and you want it to be hot, you can like just put it on there and it will get totally hot. Anyway, here’s an onion that Jon cut into a neat cube-like shape.
Hiroko goes to figure-drawing and portrait-drawing classes each week at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. One night she invited me to her figure-drawing class, where I got to draw a naked guy. Allow me to remind you that I have interest in neither drawing nor naked guys. Anyway, it was not for naught; as I got this fascinating image of the inside of the elevator there. The handprints in the wall-carpet all around you make it very creepy.