Thursday, December 29, 2005

Zombified Goodness

After watching King Kong, I had to:

1) Drop off Kasumi.
2) Get back to Izumo for a party.
3) Stop by Cosmo.
(not necessarily in that order)

Kasumi and I had swung by Cosmo that morning before heading out to the movie theater. I had some folks out there I had to see.

Let me explain a bit about the Yonago Cosmo. It's a combination bookstore (1st floor) and CD/DVD/video game/miscellany store (2nd floor). Guess which floor I spent most of my time (and yen) on.

After I bought a Playstation 2 at the beginning of my second year in Hakuta, I started buying DVDs with a vengeance. Not games so much as DVDs. Don't even ask about my CD buying. (Ask my Dad.) I became a very familiar face out at Cosmo. So familiar, in fact, that I started making friends with the staff.

First was Nekko. She used to live out in Hakuta, and she recognized the address from all of the reservation slips I would fill out. So one day we struck up a conversation and hit it off as good friends.

From Nekko, I was introduced to some of the other staff. Shiba, who works in the CD section. Kaa-chan, a huge Number Girl fan who transferred over from Tottori and was transferred back a couple of years later. Kakari-cho, one of the higher-ups in the company, who had an Osaka accent and an Osaka sense of humor. Aya, one of the register workers. We would hang out, catch concerts or movies together, and generally joke around every time I visited the store.

Shiba, Nekko, and I at Cosmo last July.

Shiba introduced me to the wonderful world of zombie movies. Now, I'll admit a love of the Evil Dead series (I, II, III aka Army of Darkness) prepared me for my foray into the wonderful world of zombies. But I gotta say, I luv 'em. The Living Dead Series (Night, Dawn, Day, Land) is absolutely awesome. I even watched the "Dawn of the Dead" remake with Kaa-chan and her mom. Classic theater experience.

Land of the Dead was being released here in Japan on DVD at the end of December, so I e-mailed Nekko and asked her to reserve me a copy. "Why? Can't you buy it up there?"

Of course I can. But I'm not going to be "up there", I'm going to be in Shimane.

"Wow! Sure! Come on by when you get it!"

So I did. But Nekko wasn't there. Only Shiba. So Shiba and I talked for a bit, and then I noticed it.

The Grail. Of zombie movies.

The Night Of The Living Dead in its original form, not the re-edited and cinematically violated edition that was released on DVD a few years back. It was a limited edition three-disc pack with the original, a colorized version of the film and a DVD of George Romero extras.

(Cue angel chorus singing "Halleluiah" as a beam of light shines down from Heaven upon the DVD set)

Must. Buy. Zombie. Movie.

So I had Shiba put it on reserve for me, and then I said I'd be back in the afternoon, after King Kong finished.


Cut to the Yonago Cosmo, around 5 PM. There's Nekko, so I go over and say Hi. We talk for a while, and then I shell out the yen for my new zombie DVDs. I bid Shiba and Nekko farewell, drive Kasumi over to a video rental place in Yasugi where her dad will pick her up, and then cruise back to Izumo. I get to Lisa's place just in time to feed Jiji, put my new purchases away, hop on Lisa's bike, and pedal on over to Bamboo

This evening, I was meeting some teachers from Hokuyo Elementary to have dinner at Bamboo. There was a group of four teachers out there that I got along with really well, and I introduced them to the Okinawan culinary delights to be had at Bamboo. When I left for Hokkaido, they told me, "Let us know when you'll be back. We'll all go out for dinner at Bamboo again." We actually ended up following through on it.

The Hokuyo gang and I.

So we got together for dinner, talked for a while, ate some good food, and generally had a good time. After the party ended and we all left, I headed over to Soul for some drinks. Soul is the bar run by Masaya, the tall guy I ran into my first night back. Another really good friend of mine, Daisuke, works there as a bartender. I went over to talk with him for a bit.

Daisuke and I on the night before I left Izumo. It was a tad...emotional.

I had a couple of drinks, talked with Daisuke, paid my bill, and went back to Lisa's apartment, where Jiji was waiting for me.

Good night, Jiji. End Day Three.


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