Weeknotes #232

in weeknotes

  • Mum returned to Australia on Saturday evening. Like last year, she flew out from Narita so I took Rowan in the car and we drove over to a bus stop in Ikebukuro for one of Tokyo’s airport buses that Mum caught instead. Rowan was difficult on the drive there, demanding attention and shouting when he didn’t get it. On the way back, with no one else to talk to, I chatted with him as we drove and it all seemed very normal.

  • Sunday was a bit of a disappointment. I’ve been waiting to see a kids’ movie with Emma and John after last year’s successful The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Wish outings. Inside Out 2 is the one I’m most looking forward to but that doesn’t come out in Japan until August so instead the first film that looked like one I might enjoy too is IF. There was a session at 2 in Hibiya and so after the kids’ swimming lesson, I took them both over that way. I realised as I got off the train at about 11.45 that I should have bought the tickets earlier but figured there was enough time to get it once we got to the restaurant. As you no doubt guessed, there was not. By the time I’d opened the ticket ordering webpage, I was dismayed to see that there were only a handful of seats scattered around the theatre. So no movie for us.

  • The restaurant we were in while I was trying to book was a Thai restaurant. This also fared poorly. The kids had a farewell MOS Burger with Mum on Saturday and so I wanted something other than burgers. The Thai was disappointing for everyone. John didn’t want the fried rice, Emma found the pad thai too spicy and I discovered the dish I’d ordered was not in fact pad ki mao but was instead instant ramen noodles cooked in a Thai style with fried pork. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t what I wanted.

  • After those back-to-back successes, I decided to risk taking the kids to the Konica Minolta Planetaria I’d spotted the other night on Google Maps. We arrived just in time to buy three tickets for a presentation called Arabian Nights Healing. At first, it seemed excellent. There are two domed rooms with a high-definition projector able to project an image onto the concave surface of the dome. The little production logo that began the presentation for Konica Minolta had both Emma and I excited that this was going to be something akin to the experience of the ride ‘Soarin’ at DisneySea (a lot of bright colours and motion that made you feel like you were falling ‘into’ the ceiling—it’s a difficult effect to describe). Alas, the production logo was the highlight and it was all downhill from there (for little kids, anyway). As the presentation’s name suggested, it was focused on relaxation and so was slow and meditative as a sonorous voice talked about the constellations in the Arabian sky and the meaning they have in Arabic culture. I’m keen to go back and give it another go with a presentation that’s meant to be more exciting.

  • I hope this doesn’t represent a new normal but the weight loss stalled a bit this week. The Japanese also didn’t go well. With things back more to their normal rhythm, hopefully those will both turn around.

  • Matt Lakeman has another travelogue: this time on Tajikistan. Unlike some of his other travelogues, this is really more of a travelogue than a summary of the modern history of Tajikistan.

  • I liked this profile of Conan O’Brien in the New York Times. It’s no doubt a function of my use of YouTube and what its algorithm thinks I’m interested in but O’Brien seems at least as culturally relevant to me as someone like John Oliver or Stephen Colbert.

  • It would be infinitely cooler to link to one of the Interpol albums I was catching up on this week but none of them especially grabbed me. Instead, I’ll link to Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean’ (Apple Music) which somehow is almost ten years old 😱.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net