Monthly Archives: July 2008

80s flashback of the day

I think I’ve referenced 80s designer jeans about 5 times today, so it seems apprapos (is that how you spell that word? F it. Let’s just say “fitting”) to salute them in today’s 80s Flashback.

Not only would I still dress like that skinny-ass version Blair Warner wannabe in the commercial, but I fully intend to start doing that hand clap blow-off technique. That would be so kick ass to do to some dork who asks to buy you a drink in a bar. “Bon Jour! Action! Jeans!”


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I’m dying to go to work today


Labor bureau: Japanese man, 45, died of overwork

By JAY ALABASTER, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 9, 12:33 PM ET

TOKYO – A Japanese labor bureau has ruled that one of Toyota’s top car engineers died from working too many hours, the latest in a string of such findings in a nation where extraordinarily long hours for some employees has long been the norm.

The man who died was aged 45 and had been under severe pressure as the lead engineer in developing a hybrid version of Toyota’s blockbuster Camry line, said Mikio Mizuno, the lawyer representing his wife. The man’s identity is being withheld at the request of his family, who continue to live in Toyota City where the company is based.

In the two months up to his death, the man averaged more than 80 hours of overtime per month, according to Mizuno.

He regularly worked nights and weekends, was frequently sent abroad and was grappling with shipping a model for the pivotal North American International Auto Show in Detroit when he died of ischemic heart disease in January 2006. The man’s daughter found his body at their home the day before he was to leave for the United States.

The ruling was handed down June 30 and will allow his family to collect benefits from his work insurance, Mizuno said.

An officer at the Aichi Labor Bureau on Wednesday confirmed the ruling, but declined to comment on the record.

In a statement, Toyota Motor Corp. offered its condolences and said it would work to improve monitoring of the health of its workers.

There is an effort in Japan to cut down on deaths from overwork, known as “karoshi.” Such deaths have steadily increased since the Health Ministry first recognized the phenomenon in 1987.

Last year, a court in central Japan ordered the government to pay compensation to Hiroko Uchino, the wife of a Toyota employee who collapsed at work and died at age 30 in 2002. She took the case to court after her application to the local labor bureau for compensation was rejected. (source)


Holy Sailor Moon! I thought I worked alot, but these guys win the prize!

If you’ve ever been to Tokyo, you know it’s pretty common to look up at the many office towers and see businessmen still hard at work at 9, 10, or even 11PM.  They are crazy-loco about getting the job done and often will even stay the night in their offices. And, of course, everyone knows the stories about the “capsule hotels”, which are kind of like morgue filing cabinets for commuters who miss the last train out of the city. (Here are pics from one such hotel, located on top of my favorite McDonald’s in the whole world: the Shinjuku Beatles-themed McD’s. “Herp! I need somebawdy! Herp! Not just anybawdy!” They also make a kick-ass Wasabi Cheebugga there. Someday I will get around to posting about my ratings of different McD’s around the world.).

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Karoshi. Sorry, I got all distracted thinking about Japanese fast food outlets. Anyways, the Japanese Department of Health and Labour published a study a while back that said in 2007, “147 workers died, many from strokes or heart attacks, and about 208 more fell severely ill from overwork in the year to March, the highest figure on record and 7.6 percent up from the previous year. Another 819 workers contended they became mentally ill due to overwork, with 205 cases given compensation…. Mentally troubled workers killed themselves or attempted to do so in 176 cases.” Zowie!

I call bull on all this! Or maybe I call “donkatsu“, because it’s much more delicious than bull. As I’ve gotten older I subscribe to the “You load 16 tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt” mindset. I work my ass off to get a decent place to live way out in the suburbs of Tokyo. I have to live in the outskirts because it’s too friggin expensive to afford so much as a closet in the Ginza or Harijuku neighborhoods. Then I have a couple of kids, and they have to go to private schools. Oh, and they need all the creepy Japanese designer clothes. And my wife needs that new LV purse for 180,000 Yen. And I really need a BMW X5. And we need…. blah blah blah. People are working themselves literally to death in Japan (and a few other placs as well) just to afford the basics in life & to show their loyalty to the company, and then it’s to afford a few nice extras and to prove they’re working harder than everyone else, and then it’s to afford to keep a high-lifestyle we all “deserve”,…

I’m out. Deal me the hell out of this stupidity.

And on that depressing note, I need to go get something to eat because for some reason this post has made me hungry and possibly a little light-headed.


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Libre! Libre! Libre! Libre!

La Pequena Ingrid Betancourt — !estoy libre!

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Movie quote of the day – double shot!

In observance of Independence Day, I offer you not one but TWO movie quotes from a royal American family – the Bouviers. No, not Jackie Bouvier Kennedy. I mean Edie – both Big and Little, my personal style gurus.  Say what you will; they kept it real, y’all.

Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale: You can’t have your cake and eat it, too in life.
Edith ‘Big Edie’ Bouvier Beale:
Oh, yes, I did. I did, I had my cake, loved it, masticated it, chewed it and had everything I wanted.


Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale: If you can’t get a man to propose to you, you might as well be dead.

– who the hell knows what these two are ever talking about? (Grey Gardens)

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Serious news….

Twice yesterday, I had tears in my eyes reading the news. Tears of joy. And tears of utter sadness.

After six dreadful years in captivity, former political candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American contractors were rescued from their bondage as hostages of Columbia’s FARC rebel regime. I’ve been following this for a long time now, checking in every so often to see if there was news that somehow hadn’t made the US popular news. But the hostages stayed put, apparently the target of amazing torture at the hands of their captors. With the recent fatal heart attack of the guerilla army’s leader, it was clear something was going to happen soon. And it did happen, in the form of a wild rescue by operatives who duped the local rebel faction into delivering all four of the high profile captives as well as their own sadistic leader. My boyfriend asked if Kiefer Sutherland was one of the rescuers because it sounded like some kind of crazy “24” plot.

The second source of my tears is one I am having trouble writing about. The lifeless body of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett was found dumped not far from her uncle’s home in Vermont. Her uncle and stepfather appear to have been partcipants in an abusive sex ring that targeted young girls. I’ve read of at least two other victims so far who have been attacked by the monsters involved in this sick shit. If there is any kind of justice in the world, the people responsible for hurting these innocent victims will spend their lives in prison with huge uber-violently sadistic rape-happy cellmates. I could rail against the sickness of the world. I could scream in anger about women who expose their kids to dangerous known predators.  But…I can’t think any more on this subject because my stomach is flipping over.

Two examples of victimization. One ends in freedom for the captured. The other ends in a different kind of freedom from the pain. My heartfelt prayers go out for you both.

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80s flashback moment of the day

Banana clips: good for clipping your hair into a tacky over-sprayed mane and for solving blindness in the future.

Best when worn with cheap stretch pants in an unnatural color, as well as with a cheap stretch space uniform also in an unnatural color.

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