Great stuff from Straight Line.

imperial palace swan @ night

imperial palace swan @ night

Crummy day at work, unfocused at practice, so decided to walk home past the Imperial Palace. Reasonably cool night, and as I walked along the moat, I spied a swan pecking at the wall and generally just swimming around looking chill as only swans can. Felt much better after that.

bad boy

bad boy

dog day

After practice I got on the subway with Hata-chan, and a woman got on carrying an Annoyingly Small Dog in a Louis Vuitton doggy bag. I started into my standard diatribe about comparing the amount of money people on their dog accessories versus what we spend on human children living in poverty.
Coincidence? As soon as she got on the subway, my eyes started watering, my throat got all scratchy, and I started coughing. Ah, the joys of allergies. I am usually ok, because in a city like Tokyo it's generally quite simple to avoid animals. But not when they are brought onto the damn subway.
Reminds me of the flight a couple of years ago I took from London to New York. Seems someone bought her cat on board. I started sneezing like a madman, and of course didn't have any allergy medicine on me as I made the obviously silly assumption that this would be a cat-free flight. I asked the flight attendant if she could move the cat to the back of the plane, but she said the owner bought her cat a business class ticket seat, and suggested that I move to the back of the plane. I reminded her that I was a business flyer, on a ticket purchased at full fare, two weeks before flying, going from Tokyo to London to New York to Tokyo, working for a company that flies exclusively on United. I said the choices were simple:
1) The cat goes as far away as possible;
2) We wait another hour and, when my allergy attack gets bad enough, we turn the plane around and land back at Heathrow so that I can be taken to the hospital; or
3) I move up to first class.
For some reason the flight attendant actually had to think about it and consult with ground operations before moving me up to first class.

I have nothing against pets or animals in general. I am totally indifferent, having never had any significant pets of my own. What really festers my bunions are people who treat their animals better than they treat their fellow human beings. Never mind the fact that United was so desperate for the sale that they actually sold a seat to a cat. The cat was actually miserable; crying the whole flight, obviously scared out of its mind from being stuck in a caged box inside an airplane surrounded by strangers for 12 hours, and subjected to violent turbulence and altitude changes. I don't know how desperate the cat owner was for her cat's companionship, but the non-cruel thing to do is sedate the animal and stick it in freight. 12 hours later the cat awakes from its nap in New York, never the wiser.
So this lady on the train, with a dog the size of a sewer rat in a handbag expensive enough to feed an impoverished family of 10 for a year, taking this miserable canine-rodent onto a shaking, noisy subway full of strangers, she's not doing ratdog any favors. The short-haired little chihuahua was trembling in fear and wishing it was big enough to support its own body weight instead of being so pampered (read: malnourished) that it needs to carried everywhere.
The only acceptable animals-as-fashion-accessory: fur and leather. Wear 'em with pride, bonus points for killing it yourself.


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kimono shopping

Hiroko wanted some kimono stuff, so we spent the day wandering Harajuku/Shibuya/Omotesando. First powered up on Nathan's and then went to the used clothing mecca Chicago and loaded up on han-obi. Then we walked up towards Aoyama and hit a few different places. Got a few used kimono and more obi at a Oyama Kimono inside of Oriental Bazaar.
Got home with a craving for steaks so instead of the traditional Japanese Sunday dinner, we feasted on slabs of dead cow and 'taters, side o' greens.