Monday, November 19, 2007

I Like Cranberry Sauce

Happy November! So its 3 days before Thanksgiving and I am getting giddy. Its Official. The Holidays are here. Its a bit chilly, all the streets/stores are all decked out with Christmas decorations, and holiday smells permeate the air. I am so freakin' excited! Today was my day off and while running errands I couldn't help but sing Christmas Carols and smile a bit more. While running errands I ran into an international store and guess what I found. Pumpkin Mix. For some reason I am big into baking nowadays and been wanting to make a pumpkin pie. And I found Hamburger Helper. Which I never really ate in in the States but for some reason I bought it and plan to eat it soon.

For Thanksgiving I think I am having dinner with some people here at E-Village. I think I am going to join the cast of Big Band Beat's dinner. My good friend Josh said I can come so I am THERE! There is a bigger party with alot of the Disney people but I know them as well as I know the cast of B.B.B. So after working all day I should be able to gobble down some turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. It won't be the same but it will do. Thanksgiving to me is such a family Holiday to eat and hang out. I will miss my family on that day and my mother's cooking!

So a couple of weeks ago I went to Disney Sea with my buddy Josh. We both had a day off and I wanted to go so bad. So we decided to go be it rain, sleet or snow. For those of you who aren't familiar of Disney Sea. Its a park that is owned by the Oriental Land Company who also owns the Tokyo Disneyland Resort where I work. The parks are right next to each other. So Disney actually doesn't own the parks just the rights and controls everything that happens in the parks. In a sense the O.L.C. is renting the Disney logo. They are also making alot of money from it. So they made a park that is kinda like a Water themed Disneyland. You have your Mermaid Lagoon where the Little Mermaid lives. You have the Thousand Leagues Under the Sea section. There is an American Section with a huge dock and ship. Reminds me of the harbor on the Hudson in NYC. There is a huge lake in the middle of the whole park where they do crazy freaky awesome water shows. Its so awesome. They do a day show and a night show. I took some video/pictures of it. The best rides there are Tower of Terror and Journey to the Center of the Earth. And the best show there is Big Band Beat which is a Broadway style show with jazz music. It also had a Christmas section that makes you feel you were at Radio City during Christmas. Its great. The water shows are also fantastic. The day was great. We spent the whole day there. We saw some shows a couple of times. Of course Josh wanted to see his show twice to see his cast perform without him. They knew we were in the audience and they gave us a great show. There were even some fans that recognized him. It was crazy how obsessed they are with the show. There were even some fans that recognized me from my show. It was fun to see meet them but a little weird I must say about how exited they get over these shows being grown adults. Whatever makes you happy I guess. We saw the Little Mermaid show twice which is so cool. The mermaid does the whole show in the air as if in water. It's cool. She is of course in a harness throughout the 15 min show. It has some of your fav songs and the production is overall fascinating. Anyway, it was great to see the Magic that I am a part of. This may sound cheesy but when you are back stage and doing the same show 5 times a day you kind of forget why you are on stage. I am glad I finally got to go to the park and experience it. I felt like a huge kid all day. I was so happy! Now when I'm performing I understand what the audience is expecting and feeling. It's so rewarding. The Disney magic is something else. I don't even know what it is but its all so wonderful. The parks really do a good job of making you feel you are in a whole new world(pun not attended). I made plans with some people in my cast to go to Disneyland the park I work at. Our date is set for second week of December. I can't wait to see all the Christmas decorations and shows. Here are some pics and a video from my day at Disney Sea:

Culture Corner: The Japanese are very by the rules. There is no wavering from these rules. I like to say they live "letter of the law" and there is no room for change. I think its a big strength and weakness for them as a people. Its crippling when there is a better, more logical, easier way of doing things. But it makes them a very discipline people and when a rule is set its followed and things run smoothly. One small example is their recycling habits. They recycle everything and people do it. The country is the most resourceful country in the world because of it.

Well, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. May your bellies be filled with turkey and your hearts with gratitude. I am thankful for so many things but I will pick just one. Entertainment! It is just such a great source to uplift, educate, and enlighten. I am glad I am in that line of work. I get to do all those things while reaping benefits from it. Love you all! Tony

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"B(r)ess You"

So Halloween has past, the temperature is dropping and now here comes the Holidays. Halloween was fun. I worked all day and got to see the kids come dressed up. Not alot of people dress up here like in the states. It's more for those fans who are obsessed with the show to come wearing costumes from the show. Its crazy how close they get to copying the costumes. One day there was the cutest little Japanese boy maybe 4 years old at the most with my opening costume on and a toy mic. Every time I was on stage he would mimic every move I made and looked like he was singing his little heart out with mic in hand. The kid was so cute and his mom couldn't have been any prouder. It made my day for sure! After the show on Halloween I went to THE HUB which is a bar near by that the Disney employees like to frequent. It was actually my first time going to this famous bar I heard so much about. Everyone was dressed, drinking and having a good time. I got to meet more people which was good for me cause I feel like I know no one here. I went dressed as a SUICA CARD or SUICA MAN which is their subway pass card that most people use. It is equivalent I guess to the Metro Card in NYC. All I did for the costume was copied the logo which includes a random penguin onto a shirt with paint and a Sharpie then made some underwear and a cape. I had fun making it. It came out kinda ghetto but everyone seemed to be amused by it. I didn't enter the costume contest but I wouldn't have won anyways. Two guys went as Zoolander and Hansel form the movie Zoolander. They performed the whole "walk off" sequence from the movie that they memorized and and had down. It even included the pulling of the underwear from their pants. It was HILARIOUS! I was laughing so hard cause I love that MOVIE! Here's some pics of the Halloween party:

Thanksgiving, Christmas then New Years is coming. I am excited to see how all that is going to work over here in Asia. I am thinking Thanksgiving is going to be hard to come across a good turkey dinner. I also work all day that day. Hmmmm, maybe someone from church will invite me over after work. That would be great! I have Christmas eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Year's Day Off. They both just happen to land on a Monday and Tuesday which are my days OFF! Which could be scary....cause what am I gonna do?!?!? I am not going to even think about it. I think it would be fun to go over a family's house from the ward and watch the kids open their presents or something. I need to stop thinking about Christmas its so far away. It is just that Disney is already Christmas-ed out. The decorations are up and the music is playing. It's so insane. I thought America were the experts on commercializing Christmas but the Japanese have it DOWN!

Life here has been kinda plain. I've been having some back problems but its getting better I think. I went to the doctors and they gave me some meds and massages that have ben helping alot. The shows are going great. I really do like my show and have a lot of fun. It actually have been really rainy here and I had like 3 days where I didn't do much performing but alot of sitting around in the dressing room. Which is a good break from performing back to back. I bought this really good Japanese workbook. I have decided it was time to crack down and start learning the language. Its been fun learning and then putting it into practice. My cast has been really great with helping me out and letting me practice on them. It could get really annoying for them when I keep asking "What time is it?" "What is your phone number?" and "How much does that cost?" Maybe by the time I get back to the state I will be able to have a simple conversation in Japanese. Here's to hoping. I also been into my TV episodes. I am all caught up with Prison Break and now got into renting 24 which is AWESOME!!! I am loving it. I also downloaded some Kid Nation on youtube which is fun too. Anyway, that's all for now.

Culture Corner:
Something that I find that is kind of amusing is that the Japanese don't say anything when you sneeze. In the states we say "bless you" and in Spanish we say "Salud" which means health and in French they say "Sante" which means health also. But when you sneeze no one says anything and is kind of awkward for someone who is used to hearing "bless you." And the Japanese do sneeze it's not like they don't. My cast is sooo funny cause they adopted the phrase. When someone sneezes at work the say "bless you" cause they are used to having so many foreigners around. Even when another Japanese sneezes they say it but it is more like "Bress You." Its great to witness.

Also here is a cafe that I found walking around I couldn't help but laugh. For those of you that don't speak Spanish Moco means Booger. Cafe Booger! hahahahaha!

Take care and hope everyone had a nice and safe Halloween. Till next time!