生命式 村田沙耶香 – Murata Sayaka

Just finished reading the stories collection 生命式.

All stories were previously published, but this was the first time for me to read them.

Below is the list of stories and publications.

As a collection of stories, it felt like revisiting ideas and stories I already read in her books. Discussion of new forms of family (二人家族), future strange rituals of death and life (生命式), love of objects (かぜのこいびと), “strange” eating habits (街を食べる and more)

In that perspective, there was nothing new for me, no new discoveries of her writing and ideas.

Except maybe 孵化 (Hatching), a story of a young woman about to get married, which adopted a different character, “persona” , throughout her life.
A strong decisive woman in her junior high school,
stupid “airhead” in high school ,
“princess” in university,
“tomboy” in her part time work during the school days,
and the “mystery woman” at work.

Realizing she is in a pinch towards the wedding, how can she join all 5 characters, people from different period of her lives to one, she created (advice from her friend) a sixth character, which seems to solve the situation. At least with her future husband.

I think we all try to live up to the expectations of our surrounding, sometimes appearing and talking like someone we want to be, or the people around us expect us to be.

Many times in Japan, Japanese expect me to be the “foreigner” type, a bit loud, not too familiar with Japanese customer, free, which I am obviously not. So, in that respect I am fighting the expectation appearing as “me”, or at least someone very close to the “real me”

Coincidence

What are the chances of me being in Yoyogi park during the weekend, bumping into a former work colleague traveling in Japan.

This goes beyond amazing!

Murata Sayaka book translated to Hebrew

Just say in ynet that Murata Sayaka (村田沙耶香)’s book was translated to Hebrew.

While in Japanese the name of the book is コンビニ人間 , meaning “a person of the Convenience shop” , in Hebrew the title is “בשולי הנוחות” which is a word play of Conveience, meaning “the Edge of Conveience”.
Have to say I do not like the Hebrew title as I feel it does not keep the meaning of the Japanese title.
The book cover is also problematic a shows a take away paper bag which may be popular in the US, but definitely not in Japan .

Shurijo -首里城 – Flickr Stats

Shuri Castle (首里城) was burnt on October 31.

Same day, my photos of Shuri castle peaked on Flickr

Very happy I had the chance to see it in its glory and hope it will be rebuilt soon.

From this simple example, I can just imagine the amount of data Flickr can extract from searches and trend deduction, but I doubt if they do it.
We all know Google do.

The Stranglers live in WWW, Shibuya

Went to see “The Stranglers” perform in WWW, Shibuya.

But let me start with “Are these really The Stranglers”? When two members continue the band and add new members that sound different and perform different, is it still the same band ?

Will Radiohead be “Radiohead” without Thom Yorke?

It is always fun to go to a concert and remember the old songs, but it did sound to me like a band covering “The Stranglers” . (And asking forgiveness from the members that are there from the starts).

So, I have to say I was disappointed.

My ears hurt when in “Golden Brown” struggles to sync with the keyboards. Song started with the drums, keyboard entered and were out of sync… Drummer struggles to sync which he did, but lost it again several times.

In another song the drums were too strong, but then settled down as song progressed.

Tuning the guitars was messy, talk was bad (but have to admit most artists fail to talk with Japanese … maybe they are concerned they will not be understood).

So, overall enjoyed an evening of two guys from the Stranglers (I know) performing their songs with some people I do not know.

Platinum Pen Star Wars series

Platinum pen just released their new Star Wars pen series. These fountain pens will be available only in Japan and will coincide with the release of the new Star Wars movie in Japan :

https://www.platinum-pen.co.jp/star_wars_fountainpen.html

Have a feeling I am going to buy one of them

Serotonin by Michelle Houellebecq

Finished reading the English translation.
I truly regret I cannot read it in French, but decided to read it in English over Hebrew or Japanese as hoped the translation is better.

Did not enjoy the book. If in the past I used to enjoy his writing and views, “Serotonin” for me is probably the end. Same as the main characters walking on a path of self destruction, so was the book.

From an unclear story about the writer’s Japanese girlfriend and her sexual plays, unfolds the path of destruction. The writer’s reminiscent about his past girlfriends and his impotence, neglecting himself, gaining weight due to depression and Cortisol level (?), or is it because he feels obliged to spend all his money before killing himself.

There are political discussions of Globalization and the effect on French agriculture, but I find it messy like the book.

Luckily, I did not read reviews before reading the book. But now I read and agree to most of what I read.

In the first part of the book I really got angry in the way Yuzu, his Japanese girlfriend, his depicted. A very stereotypical, pornographic and condescending. But reading further, I just feel sorry about the character and the writer. If he needs to use such descriptions and story he must have reach rock bottom.

Samsung T5 on Mac OS Catalina

Samsung T5 driver does not work on latest MacOS. The amount of anger and frustration in this support thread is quite justifiable.
It is un accepted that a company which sells SSD does not bother updating their driver. Mac Beta program is very clear and allows enough time for vendor to modify and qualify their products, but it seems Samsung did not bother doing it.

As the thread mentions there are workarounds and it works for me, but I still think this is a very bad customer experience.

Platinum pen All blacks

A bit of humor and marketing flair

Platinum pen published this in their instagram .
Today is the semi final match between England and New Zealand All Blacks

Idan Reichel – Starbucks Japan playing list

What a surprise.

Was sitting at Starbucks in Tokyo, and was surprised to hear a song in Hebrew. Hebrew in Japan? How possible?

Shazam was very helpful to identify it was Idan Reichel.

What I still don’t know is why? Who selected Idan Reichel to Starbucks playing list?