I finally got myself out of the house again this week, after being something of a homebody yesterday and just hanging out in the heat. Unlike the last couple of weeks, the weather around here has risen significantly to turn my bedroom into a sauna. I leave the window open and the fan on, but that just exchanges the heat wave air with the sauna air. That decision lasted all of five minutes. My grandmother is actually considering buying one of those central air conditioning units you plug into the wall and put in the center of the room. It’ll set her back about five hundred bucks, but if she wants to spend that kind of money, then who am I to stop her?

Dave dropped by from Redwood City at a little after 1730 today, and after I ran a few errands for Grandma, we went over to Saratoga to visit the Kinokuniya store off of Saratoga Avenue. Now, for the uninitiated, one of the benefits of living in Campbell is the very close proximity of Kinokuniya Bookstore. There are only two other places in California that I know of that have a Kinokuniya: San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I could be wrong about this, but I have no idea why this famous chain chose Saratoga to have a store in, but I am very glad of their decision to bring Japanese books to this little slice of Silicon Valley. It saves me a forty-five minute drive up north. Anyway, this particular Kinokuniya, like its San Franciscan cousin, is within a Japanese mall. So not only is there this awesome bookstore, but there’s also a toy shop, a grocery store, a ramen stand, a sushi stand, and… the music shop! All of the J-Pop and Anime CDs I can shake a stick at. Mind you, I’m paying at the Yen rate as well as extra for import costs, but that’s all right. Every time I go to the music shop, I know I’m not walking out empty-handed, unless I’m dead-ass broke and can’t afford it no matter how hard I tried to suck some money out of the ATM. Today, I picked up the fourth album for Morning Musume, entitled 4th Ikimashoui. It has some of the tracks they’ve produced between the last album and now, but not all of them. Not to mention, none of the Mini-Moni or Puchi Moni or Tanpopo releases. All of those groups are like mini-groups within Morning Musume. After making my purchase and getting my little membership card stamped to reflect the purchase, we went into the bookstore itself. I was going to pick up the fifth installment of the Video Girl Ai manga translation, but they seem to no longer carry any translations. Dave picked up the first volume of the Angelic Layer manga (I think). Then I went over to the grocery store and bought me a sports bottle of Gatorade, as afterward, we would be heading over to Milpitas to go play DDR. I specifically did not play DDR at the usual place to go to Milpitas and play. Why? Milpitas offers me DDRMAX2 (7th mix), which has many of the songs I’ve been tormenting myself with. I bought twenty bucks worth of tokens and I played about eight times. Four on 7th mix, and four on 4th mix plus, since they have both. I did not take any kind of break, and Dave managed to get in a game himself. By the time I was done, I had to walk around the arcade, with my hands on my hips in fear of the fact that if I stopped walking, the jelly-like nature of my thighs would send me to my knees. I don’t think I’ve ever played eight straight. By the third game, my Gatorade was gone already. I think I’ll stick with water, it seems to last longer and it’s not quite as expensive.

I think we left Milpitas at a little before eight, and since I had quite a few tokens left, I thought I would head down to Oakridge Mall and drop them off with my buddy Todd. Todd hits Golfland more often than I do, and I think he would appreciate the leftovers. I usually collect nickels to use at the nickel arcade near my house. But unfortunately, he was not working, and so while I was there, I picked up Princess Nine volume four. Karen and I made plans for Thursday night. I’m to bring over all the Princess Nine I have, so we can watch it together. I have yet to see my third or fourth volumes, so I won’t be completely bored, but the first and second volumes were kind of slow. Once you get to the end of the second volume, the story really starts to pick up. Since Todd wasn’t at work, we drove over to his house, and I figured if he wasn’t there, then his little sister Teriann would love to have those tokens. She’s a much better DDR player than I am, and just as she is Todd’s only sister, I’ve sort of adopted her as my little sister, too. She always gives me a hug whenever I see her, and we go out and have fun at the arcade, too, sometimes. But no one was home! I think fate was trying to tell me to hang onto those tokens for later, so I guess I will do that. This means more 7th mix later, so I’m not complaining.

By this time, it was getting to be close to eight-thirty, and we were both getting a little hungry. After stopping to drop off my DVD at my place, and checking the local area for ideas to go eat, I remembered that there was this new Japanese restaurant right there on Campbell Avenue, across from the Nob Hill Store. I couldn’t remember the name of it, but it looked inviting, so I suggested we head there to try it out. It’s called Furu-Sato, and the restaurant (which used to be a Happi House teriyaki fast food place) was quite impressive. I mean, they must’ve had some serious startup capital, because the chairs, the tables, everything was very nice-looking and very expensive-looking. I felt a little underdressed in a t-shirt and shorts, but they didn’t turn us away, so we sat down and ordered. The last Japanese restaurant, and I mean real Japanese, not Benihana’s or knockoff Hibachi steakhouses, was Minato’s over by Nikaku’s in downtown San Jose. I love their chicken-katsu and tonkatsu, with a bowl of steamed rice. They’re pretty good. But Furu-Sato just kicks Minato’s ass right off the fucking planet. Dave and I were completed astounded at how good this food was. He leaned over to me near the end of our feast and said, “I’m actually very upset by the fact that I’m full.” He and I were both forcing food down, because we didn’t want to surrender to the amount of food they laid out before us. I had chicken-katsu and he had chicken donburi with unagi maki. The platter of chicken-katsu was HUGE. I think it was meant for like two people, not one. But I managed to finish it all, though I had to loosen my belt and they needed handtrucks to wheel us out of the place. I’m going back soon, because it’s not too expensive and the people there were really nice. This is a place I would go to eat by myself, if I have to. And I hate eating alone.

When we got into the car, though, neither of us really wanted to get up, so we drove around chatting until we felt we had digested enough food to move. Yes, I’m definitely going back there today, for sure!