Turning Japanese

"Proceed with confidence, good fortune awaits."

What kind of fortune cookie fortune is that?

Wow. You go away for a day and 60s heartthrob Troy Donahue dies. Actually, my oldest cousin was in town and I spent two consecutive nights eating dinner with her and her brother's family. It's weird having cousins in their early 40s. I mean, my mom went to school with my oldest cousin. Scary, huh?

My extended family is all screwed up. Get this: on my mom's side, my oldest uncle, who's like seventy-something now, never had children, so my second uncle gave two of his kids (the cousins I had dinner with) to my first uncle. He just flat out gave his own kids to his brother. So when my two oldest cousins were in elementary school, they packed up and moved from Taiwan to Japan, where my first uncle lived, legally adopted his Japanese surname, and grew up half-Japanese until both came to California to study at UC Berkeley.

Anyway, my oldest cousin ended up marrying this filthy rich banking guy and they live in Taipei for the most part but have a house in Bel-Air, which I had the opportunity to visit this weekend. I felt like Will Smith, except that I'm not black and I'll never play Muhammad Ali in a movie. This house was sick. Apparently, it was featured in Beverly Hills Cop 2, and upon purchasing it, my cousin's husband decided to tear it down and build from scratch. The new and improved house has, among other things, a bunch of huge entertainment centers that you operate with remote controls the size of TV dinners and an indoor pool with an atrium. OH MAN…

I, Jonathan Yu, dined with a millionaire and her brother (my second cousin), who lives in Beverly Hills with his Japanese wife and two kids. On the ride to and from dinner, the van was awash in Japanese. I felt like a foreigner, unable to speak their language. I once tried to learn Japanese when I was in elementary school through a Kumon educational center and failed miserably. The only thing I remember from studying Japanese is how to say "my name is dog." Watashi no namae wa inu desu! What's more, my second cousin's Japanese wife used to study in Iran. The triple threat of Japanese, English, and Arabic was simply too much for me to compete with.

Wouldn't you know it? We went to Japanese restaurants both nights. Sunday night we ate classic sushi place fare. Monday night, however, we had yakitori, which is Japanese for "let's see whatever the fuck we can put on a skewer and grill." The Japanese are quite resourceful. Seriously, every part of a chicken was available on the menu in the form of a grilled kabob. Chicken wing, chicken gizzard, chicken kidney, chicken neck, chicken skin, chicken tail, even chicken tongue. Yummy. I think I devoured three entire chickens that night. One thing you have to understand about Chinese people is that they'll eat anything. I remember my favorite dish growing up was pig ear. It doesn't seem that appealing in retrospect. Maybe it's because I'm allergic to pork.

I think the best part of my Labor Day weekend was when I asked if my second cousin's 7-year-old son had a Game Boy Advance. Lo and behold, his parents told me that he had TWO Game Boy Advances and that I could have one for free. Whoo! I'm personally saving up for a Gamecube (November 18, baby), but hell, I'll take a free Game Boy Advance any day, Nintendo slut that I am. Damn, the camera does add 10 pounds because this thing is tiny. It's also used and only compatible with Japanese game cartridges. What the fuck do I care though? I got a Game Boy Advance for FREEEEE!

All right, I told Dan Means that I would plug his website, but usually when I plug something, it's a key element of a special event post in the works, so I've decided that Dan Means is the latest key element of my special event post.

So now then.

Just Plain Dan is an E/N (everything/nothing) site for people who hate me. Like a breath of fresh air in an internet world that's despairingly low on happiness, Just Plain Dan is a slice of careless youth frozen in time, a throwback to the days when jokes didn't need to be dirty in order to make you laugh. Plus, Señor Means actually updates every day, unlike the rest of us irresponsible webmasters who spend all our time in front of the computer getting off on Counter Strike. He's funny, he's watches wrestling, and he likes monkeys and cheese. Just Plain Dan is the greatest website ever. Period.

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