Saturday, December 17, 2005

It Was Winter In The Frozen City

Woke up this morning (bah dah da dah)
With a pain in my head (bah dah da dah)
It hurt me so bad that (bah dah da dah)
I wished I was dead (bah dah da dah)

I just got me, got me them ol'
Them ol' post rock-show blues
- Isamu Yoshiwatari, Post-Rock Show Blues

Okay, so it wasn't that bad, but I did have a tad much to drink the night before.
A shower, a change of clothes, a peek out the window...


Whadda surprise.

So I check out of the hotel and head for the subway, canceling my previous plan of walking back to Sapporo Station. I did it because of the snow, and because cars and people were slip-sliding all over the place.

After I arrived at Sapporo Station, I headed over to Kinokuniya, an extremely cool bookstore right across the street from the west entrance to the station. I picked up some textbooks for one of my classes. I'm a-gonna teach somma them kids how to write English essays good.

I ran into one of my students while I was in Sapporo Station. He was on a date with his girlfriend. This is not the first time that's happened, and we were joking around on Friday that it would be funny if we ran into each other. I was going over to see what movies were playing at the station's theater, when I hear, "Dustin?"

There he was. We had a good laugh, and then I took off to do some more shopping.

I had to buy a wig and a fake moustache set for the play. That took some searching, and by the time I'd found them and picked them up, I was feeling ill from being around all the dang people in Sapporo. It wasn't the smartest move to try and go shopping in Sapporo right before Christmas. I'll admit that that was my first mistake.

So I picked up the wig, the 'stache set, some blank CDRs, a regular CD, and those books. I was loaded down with bags and plain old exhausted. So I found a locker, tossed my stuff in, and went to get some ramen.

I went to Ittetsu again. The owner remembered me. "Hey, it's Jack's friend." I ordered some ramen, took my time eating it, enjoying every slurped noodle, every sip of soup. Once I was done, he asked me if I would like a cup of coffee. "It's instant, but how 'bout it?" I happily accepted, as it was cold and miserable outside and anything to give me some extra warmth would be welcome.

The snow in the morning had been quite nice, actually. The city looked really beautiful, and it wasn't all that cold. Then the wind picked up in the afternoon, and the snow went from being light and fluffy to sharp and stingy. It was snow just this side of freezing rain. Ouch.

By the time I'd finished my ramen, I knew it was time to head home. I was a little worried about Wasabi-kun, as I'd left him parked outside, and if it was snowing in Muroran anything like it was in Sapporo, I could have some problems when I got back. So I headed back to Sapporo Station and caught the train back home.

When I got back to Higashi Muroran Station, I went out to the parking lot and dug out Wasabi-kun, who was, as I had feared, buried in snow. I hopped in and headed for home.

On the way back, Wasabi-kun died.

This was also as I had feared.

The engine cut out. Completely dead. I don't know what the problem is, but I wish it would stop. But, as the great Western philosophers said, "If you wish in one hand and crap in the other, which hand gets full first?" Of course, these Western philosophers used a slightly more colorful word than crap, and they were from Arizona and Texas, but you get the picture.

I waited a bit, and finally got Wasabi-kun started up again. While I was waiting, the snow was falling so hard that I actually had to dig him out again.

I somehow made it home. I had actually planned on going to a Christmas party with some of the other foreigners in town, but as Wasabi-kun was not in the best of shape, I had to cancel.

What did I do instead?

I opened up the CD that I bought. It was the fourth item in a series of releases commemorating the 10th anniversary of the formation of Number Girl, a kick-ass band from Fukuoka (previously mentioned in these Chronicles). This fourth release was of rarities and unreleased tracks. It also included a DVD of their time in the States in 2000.

I asked myself, "Could it be possible?"

So I popped in the CD, and watched it through. In 2000, they started at SXSW and played shows in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and...


Which is where I saw them play.

Which is where I interviewed them.

Which is why I was wondering, "Could it be possible?"

Could I be on this DVD?

I watched through to right near the end. There's the footage from Seattle.

There's the Space Needle.

There's the club.

There's some guy holding a tape recorder as they say, "Hi, we are Number Girl. Yeah, man. And you're listening to 'Kaze', on the 'Burg, your Music Central."

Wait a second.

That guy.

Was that?

Could it be?

I rewind the disc.

I take a long look.




That's me.

I'm on the Number Girl DVD.

They're saying my radio program's name on that DVD.


I called up a friend and bragged. I called up their manager and thanked him. I did the Happy Dance.

Maybe if you ask nicely, I'll show you the Happy Dance someday.


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