Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloweenies in Japan 2012

Halloween isn't typically celebrated in Japan. It's not a traditional part of the culture, though dressing in costume is obviously a much loved hobby for many Japanese. It's not really surprising that after appropriating Christmas (it ain't about Jeebus in Japan, I can tell you that much) the next holiday to gain momentum would be Halloween. Who doesn't love an excuse to dress up and have fun?!
While I encountered some festively dressed folks on my way to work, the real Halloween hijinks were to be had at a party with coworkers afterwords. 

Several of my coworkers were Americans as well, so we had our own version…which involved watching Nightmare before Christmas in Japanese. My favorite Japanese version song was "What's This?!", though, as Jyakku shouting "NANDA?! Nani-?!" repeatedly amuses me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Las Vegas: Candy Warpop & 710 Visuals at the Beauty Bar 2015-10-18

Antho and I went out to the lovely Beauty Bar in Downtown Las Vegas recently to do visuals with the badass band Candy Warpop. Jonas on bass, Amy on vocals, Josh on guitar and Anisa on drums, these guys always put on a great show and we're always happy to throw some extra-sensory fun into the mix!
They're all multitalented and ambitious individuals, so it's incredibly inspiring to work with them. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Las Vegas: the Watching Dead: Episode VI- Return of the party 2015-10-11

Once again I was lucky enough to be invited out to draw for a viewing party of The Walking Dead!
This event was hosted by Fat Beard, the cast of Evil Dead the musical and Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities (AKA VAGINA! Isn't their name great?) 

Spoiler alert!
If you look carefully you can see me chainsaw-dueling with Ash from Evil Dead!

Season 6 just came out, have you been keeping up to date?
Lucky for Antho and I season 5 was released onto Netflix about a week prior to the season premiere and we marathoned it before the event.
I actually missed most of the episode because I was so busy drawing, but I certainly can't complain about doing what I love. :)  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Las Vegas Indoor Swapmeet

Do you have an Indoor Swapmeet in your area?
We have a couple of different swap meets here, but we've only gone to this one so far. 
Now that I know what an adventure they can be, we'll definitely have to make the time to check out the rest!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Las Vegas: Halloweeny sushi date with Antho

いくら軍艦寿司, Ikura gunkanzushi

Antho and I have many things in common, from our blue-tinged hair to an enthusiasm for Doctor Who and backpacking. Happily, sushi is one thing that we both greatly adore so our choice on date nights is usually quite an easy decision. We even share a profound appreciation for the glory of sea urchin! As such it makes an ideal choice for those rare nights we two get to go out and celebrate our coupleness.

A top choice for us to satiate our need for sushi in Vegas is Sushi Twister.
One of the bigger selling points for me is that the restaurant is owned and operated by Japanese staff, so I get to bust out my rusty Japanese skills and impress my guy. Winning!
Their specials board changes often, but we're always happy when they have super white tuna!

shima aji in the front, super white tuna behind

Shima aji's appearance made me exceptionally happy as shima aji is traditionally considered a summer season fish in Japan and I don't think I've ever encountered it in a restaurant stateside. The oily fish has a rich, supple flesh without the fishiness of other mackerel. I'm a big fan of aozakana (blue fish), and the seasonal specialties of Japanese cuisine are one of the things I miss most. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Las Vegas: Candy Warpop & 710 Visual at the Triple B 2015-10-09

Candy Warpop, if you guys didn't know, are a gang of badasses who rock the stage and sometimes give us the privilege of blinding them with pretty lights. 
On October 9th they performed a fantastic set at the Backstage Bar & Billiards in Downtown Las Vegas and asked us to light them, so we did!
Jonas was unable to perform for the evening due to another event with some Cirque du Soleil related business, so the very talented Angelica Santis stepped in on bass!

Unfortunately for us, their giant neon sign kind of drowned out our visuals, but the effect is still pretty neat. More photos and video after the cut!

Members: Amy Pate - Vocals, Guitar Joshua Cohen - Guitar Jonas Woolverton - Bass Anisa - Drums 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Las Vegas: FEAR the WATCHING Dead Season 1 finale Party 2015-10-04


I am a huge fan of zombie lore and also quite fond of drawing, so when Fat Beard gave me the opportunity to combine the two at yet another event, this time the FEAR the WATCHING Dead Season 1 Finale Party, I couldn't resist! Especially when you throw in the undead hosting talents of the cast of Evil Dead the Musical  and the tasty grub and gulps to be had at Shakespeare's a good time was guaranteed to be had by all!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Las Vegas: Electric Coronation w/710 Visuals @ the Womb Room 2015-10-03

And to the headlining band, Electric Coronation!
This highly talented group was celebrating the release of their album, so naturally 710 Visuals had to bring the lights for this momentous occasion.

Electric Coronation is comprised of: Joshua Chévere Cohen & Brian Gathy - Guitars, Assorted Trickery Ethan Gathy - Synth Torture Ramy Almerie - Percussive Time/Space Manipulation

Friday, October 23, 2015

Las Vegas: Whenskiesaregray w/710 Visuals @ the Womb Room 2015-10-03

Following Periskope came Whenskiesaregray. Hailing from Baltimore, these guys were on the tail end of their tour and experiencing van difficulties. Even with the technical difficulties weighing on them, they busted out a great set!

Brandon on guitar & vocals and Eric on bass.

More photos and videos after the cut!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Las Vegas: Periskope w/710 Visuals @ the Womb Room 2015/10/03

Antho and I have done several shows at the Womb Room now, and it's one of our favorite venues. Being somewhat small, the intimate vibe encourages people to mingle and meet one another on friendly terms. We've met some truly amazing people there!
There's less pretense and I've yet to see any arguing as none of the bands want to ruin their good standing with the hosts. It's an invite only kind of shindig, so if you lose your invitation you're out!
And with so many talented acts coming through on a frequent basis, that would truly be a shame. 

Talented acts like these guys, Periskope!

A self described "psycho-surf-rock instrumental reverb-disco" band featuring:
Sonia Verde on Bass 
Brandon Fansler on Drums 
Jake Lasky on Guitar 
Justin Ptak on Guitar 
and Hank, the Band Dog.

While some members weren't really visible during the show due to lighting angles and proximity, they all did their part and put on a great show. 

More photos and video below the cut!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Las Vegas Hempfest with Grim Reefer & Sublime 2015-10-03

Oh, the challenges of being a blogger, perpetually feeling obligated to preserve and record events for posterity's sake, sharing them with the world. Scribes were the first bloggers in a way and in that tradition we carry on the torch, adding our own contribution to the annals of history.
How could I possibly turn down an event to Las Vegas Hempfest?! 
It is my journalistic duty to be your eyes and ears on the ground, and I take my duties seriously!

So here we are, folks.
Las Vegas Hempfest 2015.
Hempfest, in case you've never heard of it, is a celebration of all things relating to marijuana. From medical education and growing seminars to glassware and famously stoney celebrities and music acts.

Say "hi!" to Tommy Chong!
He was given the Lifetime Achievement award by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) at 4:20pm and gave an impassioned speech. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Las Vegas: 710 Visuals performance at First Friday 2015-10-02

Oh, Photo Bang Bang, I should write a love ballad to thee.
The photo gallery/studio/event center/stage/lounge/artistic haven is a bustling hub of creativity that brings people of all types together. Lying on the outskirts of the official First Friday event, there is a lot of foot traffic that filters through, but on other days of the month the venue still attracts musicians, photographers and make up artists.
As 710 Visuals, Antho and I have been collaborating with them for several months now and are always happy to participate. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Boulder City: the Coffee Cup & Hemenway Park 2015-10-01

Just hanging with some of the locals, you know? Chilling.

These were taken in Hemenway park, in Boulder City. 
The park has long been known for it's popularity for grazing among the local Big Horn sheep population. When we initially drove past we didn't see any of the rams, but after stopping for breakfast at the Coffee Cup diner we were willing to give it another shot. Good thing we did!

First thing first, a girl has got to eat!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Boulder Beach campout 2015-10-01

Back in Nevada, we set up base on Boulder Beach!
We were able to park reasonably close to the water, which was lovely.
While we stayed up for a few hours after leaving Willow Beach it was simply too dark for photos...
 Sunrise, however, was a whole different story.

A shame, too, because we witnessed a coyote prowling the beach a stone's throw away!
Louie had played his guitar for us, which seemed to incite the coyotes into yipping. 
I thought that was pretty neat, but our neighbors down the beach packed up and were gone within moments! Scaredy cats. :P Coyotes shouldn't be brazen enough to attack humans unless extremely desperate. There should be plenty of bunnies for them to enjoy by the lake!

More photos after the cut~

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Arizona: Willow Beach night 2015-09-30

Long exposure photos and glowsticks were a match made in heaven.
Throw in a quartet of silly 20-somethings sitting on a dock in the middle of the desert and here we are.

Photos after the cut!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Arizona: Willow Beach Day 2015-09-30

Only a short drive from Las Vegas lies the Lake Mead National Park & recreation area. 
I've been making trips out to the lake ever since I can remember, riding in my dad's old van that reminded me of the Mystery Machine. (If she doesn't get that reference she's too young for you, bro)
It's a beautiful area, really. A man made water reservoir fed by the Colorado river and dammed by the marvel of engineering that is the Hoover Dam. If you bypass Lake Mead you can head down to the river, which is where Willow Beach comes in. This beautiful beach and boating area is tucked away a short distance from the state line. 

On a bit of a whim, our pal Louie invited us to join him on an expedition. 
We happily agreed!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Las Vegas: Toxic Dump at the Life is Shit festival at the Dive Bar 2015-09-25

Come all ye hipsters, for your beacon of golden hopped hope is here.

Have you ever heard of the Life is Beautiful festival?
This post has nothing to do with it, as I refuse to go. Haha!
But for those of you who haven't heard of Life is Beautiful, it's an annual event here in Vegas that features a medley of pop music acts (the majority of which I'd never heard of), live art, and other such fluffy and upbeat entertainment, as harmless a toothless kitten to the psyche of your average cheerful mass media loving consumer.
Although it costs nearly $300 for a general entry ticket it still clogs up our roads with countless visitors flocking to join the festivities, and despite having worked, lived in and visited some of the most congested cities in the world, I'm not a particular fan of large crowds.
So…yeah... No thanks.
Being of a more cynical bent I found myself much more eager & willing to accept my friend Marcus's invitation to the Life is Shit festival, which happens during the same days and costs a fraction as much as the saccharine event. Featuring local bands, vendors, a giant inflatable PBR (along with cheap cold cans) and many of my friends in attendance, we made our way to the Dive Bar and we had a blast! 
We performed as 710Visuals, despite some technical difficulties and a wee bit of badgering from an over-worked Brit. ;)

More photos and video below!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Las Vegas: Brennan's B-day Tie-dye project finale 2015-09-25

He really likes tie-dye, what can I say? :)

Once the shirts were soaked overnight, we rinsed them off thoroughly and dried them. 
I took these photos the very next afternoon! They faded a bit, but that's to be expected as the shirts are going to look a lot darker when still wet anyway. 

My black and orange shirt.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Las Vegas: Brennan's B-day tie-dye shindig 2015-09-2

Antho and I tend to have a colorful cast of friends, so it's always a lot of fun to pool our social resources for collaborative events, and as it so happened, our friend Brennan happened to have a birthday coming up! He's a big fan of tie-dye so when he wanted to spend some time with us on his birthday it was a natural choice! There were four of us altogether with Brennan, Dalton, Antho and I and 6 shirts between us. I also had an old boring towel that I contributed. :) Dalton only wanted to do one shirt as it was his first go at tie-dye, his was the pink and black bull's eye! Isn't it pretty? He did a great job! Brennan also opted to only dye one shirt this time around, too. The boys brought Star Wars Monopoly (YES it's real and it's really fun!) so when the shirts were all tied off and well-saturated we retreated indoors to let them cure overnight. They came out great! 
More photos below!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Japan: Kaihin-Makuhari & Ishizawa home visit 2012-10-17 「日本語も」

One drizzling day I met with my friend Yuka at Kaihin-Makuhari messe for a girl's day out.
Kaihin-Makuhari is easily accessible by the Keiyo line and provided a good meeting point for Yuka and I after I completed my weekly acupuncture treatment.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Japan: What I ate & what was in my fridge 2012-10-12

From left to right, clockwise:
そばつゆ:soba tsuyu, soy sauce & dashi based dipping sauce,
ざるそば:zaru soba, cold soba noodles
めかぶ: mekabu, slimy seaweed salad 
たこさしみ:tako sashimi, cold fresh slice of lightly-parboiled octopus w/soy sauce & wasabi
つけもの:tsukemono, mixed vegetable pickles

This is what the interior of my fridge looked like… lots and lots of vegetables, sauces, juice, etc.

And for dinner; rare steak with tomato salad and toasty potatoes. 

What did you have today? :) 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Japan: Lazy day in Urayasu & brief Harajuku visit 2012-10-11

Due to the demands of my job, I was often worn out and exhausted by the time my weekend rolled around. This meant that my first day off usually centered around cleaning, shopping, running errands and relaxing. On this particular rest day, I had a leisurely venture around Urayasu to appreciate some of the local architecture before making my way into Harajuku to shop at the resale store Kinji. Resale shops are essentially Japan's take on thrift stores! I originally discovered Kinji from the article on Tokyocheapo and looked forward to scoping it out. There are a wide array of shops selling clothing for various prices, some exorbitant and some shockingly cheap, so there's going to be options whatever your budget!

More photos after the cut!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Japan: Bridge to Tokyo 2012-10-07

Urayasu station was one of the three train stations within walking distance from my residence. Normally I would take the trains into the city, but on this day I had to run an errand to the Arribas offices, located just across the bridge from Urayasu station in another burg of Tokyo. 
I could bike to the corporate offices in about 15 minutes or so from my apartment. :) 
I was quite fond of those wedge boots I picked up… I still have them, too!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Japan: Arribas work party 2012-10-06

The company I worked for had been in Japan for well over 20 years by the time I showed up, and many of the artists who had started working there in the beginning were reaching a point in their career where they were preparing to step down and return home or retire. As such, when one of the longest-working professionals was reaching the end of his time working with us, the manager arranged a farewell party in his honor.