In which I sample a “proprietary milk-based pop”, and then do things with it that I never should have even considered.

I will write a real blog post soon, honest. Things have just been remarkably busy. Excuses, excuses.

This is the first episode of a series of videos I hope to continue while I’m over here. If you’re an American who’s never been to Japan, you cannot understand how many vending machines there are over here. It’s ridiculous. Not only do I pass 13 beverage vending machines (along with three tobacco and two newspaper) on the way to the train station every morning, I can see countless others when I look out the windows on the train, both in front of shops and near train stations, but also tucked away in residential neighborhoods. They’re freaking everywhere. And they have a huge variety of offerings, both hot and cold. It’s convenience in a way that you’ve never experienced it before.

It fascinates me, and also makes me want to sample pretty much everything they have. So, inspired by my friend Ed, who’s been trying for a while now to eat or drink something every day that he’s never eaten or drunk before, I thought I’d make a video project somewhat similar. I don’t have the time to do one every day, but I’ll try to fit it in when I get the chance. If there’s anything this first one has shown me, it’s that they’re a lot of fun to produce, if a little time consuming. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to try a ton of unfamiliar beverages! How cool is that?

So, here’s the first episode. More will come later.

A silver Parker Jotter ballpoint pen

Parker Jotter pen

Dear Parker Jotter #4:

We both know you weren’t my first Jotter. That was in middle school, when I shared the joys of writing in a journal with another. By the time we had met, you and I had nothing new to show each other. We were both seasoned pros.

And yet, my memories with you are unparalleled. For years, you fit in my shirt pockets and pants pockets, ready to leap out and, with a satisfying click of your spring-loaded plunger, smoothly glide across my paper, leaving a crisp black trail of ink. You were my totem, my personal prop–I knew you better than anything else I owned, and as the years went on, a part of my soul nestled itself in your barrel, wrapped snugly around your stainless steel cartridge. You were a part of me, and I was a part of you. Continue reading