I've washed dishes, posted on Travelpod, and prepared tomorrow's lunch, so let's productivity up some more! Here are two recipes, as requested by Becca and Emily.

Apple Crisp

(My mother's recipe. Not sure where she got it.)

Ingredients:

Filling:
7 medium apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbs lemon juice

Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Directions:

Peel, core, and cut apples (either slices or cubes) and mix with lemon juice and brown sugar. Put in greased oven-proof baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Cream butter and add to the mixture. Spread topping over the apples.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 375F/190C.


Mapo Tofu

(The original recipe is from rasamalaysia.com, though I modified it a bit.)

Ingredients:

1 block tofu (recipe says silken, I prefer firmer)
200g ground pork
1 tbs cooking oil
2 tbs chili oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs Sichuan spicy bean paste (豆板酱, doubanjiang)
1 1/2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 heaping tbs spicy fermented black bean sauce (豆豉酱, douchijiang)
1/2 cup water
2 stalks green onion, chopped into 1-2cm lengths
1 tbs Sichuan peppercorns, crushed (I do it with a pestle)

Directions:

Drain tofu, cut into cubes, set aside.

Heat wok on medium to high heat, pour in oil and chili oil.

Add garlic, pork, bean paste. Stir-fry until pork is half-done.

Add chili powder, soy sauce, black bean sauce. Stir-fry for a minute, until all is well blended with the meat.

Add tofu and water. Stir gently to blend, taking care not to break tofu.

Lower heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add Sichuan peppercorns and green onions. Stir gently to blend.

Serve hot over white rice. It's even tastier after the tofu's had a bit of time to soak up the flavours! I can usually get five or six meals out of this.

NB:

Since cooking with a wok on high heat means you don't have time to mess around, I prepare the ingredients together in little bowls beforehand: one for the garlic and bean paste; one for the chili powder, soy sauce and black bean sauce; one for the Sichuan peppercorns and green onion.

The original recipe calls for 1/4lb (~110g) of pork, but I like more of it. You could use another ground meat or omit it altogether. Eggplant works, but needs longer to cook to absorb the liquids.

Ground pork in Japan is anything but lean, so I reduced the amount of oil (original said 2 tbs of cooking oil). Adjust as you see fit, i.e. more or less oil and the proportion of chili oil vs. regular.

The original recipe calls for 1 tsp of fermented black beans, rinsed and pounded, but that's too much work for me, so I use the sauce. XD Some sort of black beans are necessary, as they add a rich, salty note that brings depth to the dish. I do have black beans in my cupboard, so I'll have to try them someday.

For the bean sauces, Lee Kum Kee brand does both, and is probably the easiest to find.

The original calls for salt to taste, but I find the soy sauce and black bean sauce are plenty salty.

* * *

If any of you try these recipes, I want to know how they turn out! ^_^
Belated merry Christmas, everyone! I hope that you had a great day, whether or not you celebrated the holiday.

Things I learned this Christmas:

1 - Much like a car, my sewing machine needs time to warm up on cold winter mornings;

2 - I totally fail at making roll cakes;

3 - Spending the whole day baking is fun, but it's even more fun with a friend there to help wash dishes, measure out ingredients, chop things, etc;

4 - Having Hannah around is the secret ingredient to having the most delicious turkey ever to grace a Christmas dinner;

5 - Having one's hand-made gifts appreciated is totally worth the time and effort that went into making them;

6 - Tabitha will gladly abandon me for someone with a higher core temperature than mine. ;___;
Instead of saying anything about today's hot topic, i.e. the death of Kim Jong Il, allow me to express the fact that my love for tenimyu will never die as long as stuff like this happens:

Possible spoiler? I don't remember this from the original Rokkaku musical, anyway: )

Excuse me while I die of laughter all over again. XDDD

I'll post more at length about it... eventually, as I've been meaning to post about the new (not so new any longer, I guess) tenipuri movie, tenipuri food at Namja Town, Dream Live 2011...
My priorities, I has them straight. Which is why I'm typing this when I should really be getting to bed. Why have I been so exhausted this past week? I'll tell you next time...

But seriously, food. Why is it so amazing? I think I'm going through one of my hormone-sponsored "OMG food is so wonderful and all these magical tastes are awesome!" kicks. I'm not complaining, it makes eating even more fun! It also motivates me to cook, which is a good thing.

Also: I found poppy seeds! Even better, they were in a store in Kichijouji that specialises in baking supplies! Yay! It's called Cuoca and they've got other branches as well as an online shop. Reasonable prices, too! Well, for that sort of thing in Japan, anyway. -__-;

I meant to take a picture, but maybe tomorrow: my latest stir-fry is tasty indeed! Because, as Eda and I agreed at one point, cardamom is a very sexy spice. Here, have a recipe. Sesame and Cardamom Stir-Fry )

Let me know if you try it out. Kira? ^_^

If you're wondering why on earth I thought to include cardamom, it's because I've become a spice fiend and troll supermarkets looking for more spices. The other day I scored some discounted cardamom powder and whole cloves, which brings my spice count up to I Need a Real Spice Rack territory. Santa? :D
... getting things that have been sitting on my to-do list for a long time, done, here are some very brief reviews of movies that I saw ages ago. Don't expect anything too deep, as none of these movies were either.

Twilight: New Moon )

Men Who Stare at Goats )

Kizumomo )

Good, I've knocked a few of them off my list!

On the money front, I may just survive. Tonight I experimented with hanpen, which I didn't even know existed! Well, I've certainly eaten it before, I just didn't know what it was. It's a kind of fish cake and it's fluffy and light and soaks up butter like a dream. I chopped it into small pieces, sautéed it in butter and fresh garlic, then added an egglant, blanched broccoli, basil, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper. Delicious!

I think my laundry's almost done, so I'll take care of that and go to bed. 'Night, folks!

Quotes!

Sep. 6th, 2011 12:08 am
Yay! So far this month, I'm at under Y2000 on groceries! I know it's only the 5th, but I made curry tonight, which settles the question of this week's lunches, and I've got spaghetti sauce in the freezer for at least two more meals, and then there are things enough in the fridge and kitchen to last me until next week. So yeah, that means I've been cooking! As I was making the curry, I had a sudden urge to ditch the curry package and freestyle some sort of stir-fry, but then I remembered that I love curry! And full of potatoes, it makes a very easy lunch. I did use yogurt instead of my usual coconut milk, though, and it turned out nice and almost tart.

Sadly, I ate my last box of Kraft Dinner last week. TToTT

At the moment, I've got one of those freaky-looking sheet masks on my face. The package says "Herb Essence Collagen Mask" and it smells like... it smells like... isn't it maddening when you can't pin a name to a smell? Am I the only one that frequently happens to? Anyway, it's not quite mint, not quite anise, not quite flowery, but I KNOW I know this scent. It puts me in mind of being a kid and taking a bath, so I must at some point have had bubble bath that smelled like this, or more likely, bath beads. It smells round. XD;;; According to the ingredient list, it's got lavender, rosemary, oregano and thyme, but it doesn't smell like any of those to me. Well, maybe a tiny bit like lavender, but lavender that's gotten all the spicy kick sucked out of it.

Sometimes, I write down quotes or transcribe amusing things I see, intending to share them with you all later. Seldom do I get around to it, but in the interest of winnowing down my paper pile some more (I'm trying to be good and just spent the last half hour sorting through stuff), here are a few of them.

* * *


A t-shirt I saw on the train at some point, an eclectic list if I ever saw one:

Tick one per line: [very good] [good] [fair] [poor]

Tokyo
love
yesterday
soybeans
beautiful clothes
music
you and me


* * *


From a children's book on animals I came across at work. Obviously written with someone whose English vocabulary was limited and whose knowledge of the animal kingdom was even more deplorable.

A fox is a kind of wild dog, with a bushy tail. Not a dog.

Horns are the hard, pointed bits on the heads of deer. Horns =/= antlers!

A lizard is an animal with short legs and a long tail. A very vague description indeed.

A reindeer is an animal with very large horns. We went over this...

A starfish is a star-shaped fish. @_@

A tooth is one of the hard white bones in our mouth. DX

[After something about domestic cats looking like big cats,] But leopard, tiger, etc. are just "large animals". *headdesk*

* * *


From Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, a novel so powerful that though I stopped halfway through it and didn't pick it up again for over five years, I remembered the first half vividly and picked up the story as though I'd only put down the book the day before. Here's Sue Bridehead explaining why she doesn't want to marry Jude. Not something I expected to encounter in a 19th century novel, to be sure!

"Well, I don't know. The intention of the contract is good, and right for many, no doubt; but in our case it may defeat its own ends because we are the queer sort of people we are -- folk in whom domestic ties of a forced kind snuff out cordiality and spontaneousness."
Happy birthday to me! Sadly, my little trip to the Philippines is almost at an end. I don't want to leave our perfect beach and the amazing water and the delicious fruit shakes and all the weird and wonderful sea creatures! Well, I can leave the jellyfish. But they're kind of cute in a weird way, as long as they're not all up in my face!

One last evening to get my fruity drinks on and have some sort of large dessert.

See you soon, Tokyo!

Vaycayshone

Aug. 1st, 2011 11:38 pm
All things considered, I did pretty well today! I followed my to-do list in spirit, if not down to the minute -- yes, I'd broken my day up into hour-long chunks, but when I start writing, I get really into it and it always takes longer than planned. Same as sewing. And reading. Well, it's not that reading takes time, it's that I can't stop!

Anyway. I'm three days into my summer vacation! So far I've:

- slept in once;
- gone to ballet class;
- seen Masa and Baba being dorks and wrote about it;
- had cake with Kimberly;
- cleaned my apartment;
- made some gifts;
- studied Japanese;
- posted to Travelpod;
- gotten my bike fixed;
- abused the drink bar at Royal Host;
- finished a book (Game of Thrones);
- made packing lists and to-do-before-leaving lists for my three trips.

I haven't actually packed for Seoul, but I can do that tomorrow morning. No stress, because I have a list! I also have some emails to write, laundry to bring inside and put away, and... there was probably something else. I'll check my list.

Tomorrow.

Good night!
As a birthday gift, Jill took me to Spinning Box yesterday, a.k.a. The Really Silly Masa & Baba Show. How silly? Apart from the singing and the dancing, there were clowns, juggling, KNEE-SOCKS AND LITTLE RED BACKPACKS. And Baba on a tiny unicycle. I'm serious! But most of Spinning Box wasn't. )
Because it seems kind of pointless to pretend to myself that I'll be in bed at a reasonable hour...

I saw the last Harry Potter movie on Friday, and may I just say... Meh. It wasn't just me, either. I went with Kimberly, who's a big fan of the books and the movies, and she was just as underwhelmed as I was. Where was the emotion? Granted, I had pretty much cried myself out for the week, but I expected to at least feel marginally moved. I wasn't in the least.

(@Eda: Except for the pole-dancing scenes, of course, which were pure poetry in leather pants! XDDD)

* * *


Last night, Eda and I met up at Zepp Tokyo to see The Show That Was Cancelled Twice: U-KISS )

* * *


We finished rehearsal early tonight! Well, by early I mean, we finished rehearsal on time! Mostly I think because Inui-sensei wanted to bike home before it started raining again. Too bad, because he was really hitting his stride. "Smile! SU-MA-I-RU!" "I looks like you're sniffing your armpit!" "Waki! Wakiwakiwakiwaki. YOWAI!" "You're sniffing your armpit again!!!"

I've developed the ability to gauge the temperature in the studio before I even look at the display on the little A/C. At least, I can feel the difference between 29, 30 and 31 degrees. 29 is almost comfortable, 30 is hot, and 31 means my hair is so sweaty it looks like I just got caught in the rain.

Speaking of which, when I left home to catch the bus this morning I got completely soaked in the minute it takes me to walk to the bus stop. Not only was the rain coming down in sheets, the wind was such that the rain was coming at me nearly horizontally. By the time I reached the bus stop, my right side (as well as most of my left) was wet to the bone, so I just stood with my right side against the rain to at least try to keep my bag sort of dry. After a few minutes, my right foot was ankle-deep in water -- INSIDE MY RAINBOOT. Since I didn't want to spend the bus ride in a footbath, I wriggled out of the boot and emptied it, to the great amusement of the two other women waiting for the bus.

Luckily, because it's summer school and the pool is out, I had a change of clothes at work: a bikini, an old t-shirt and board shorts, which I quickly changed into because even my underwear was wet.
Fuck. Chrisse cochonnerie d'injustice de marde.
Hello, world. You're looking mighty pretty tonight! ^_~

Ballet rehearsals started last night. 30 minutes after class? HAHAHAHA. I left at 11. Contrary to last year's, this year's piece is much more typically classical, which means I can actually remember the steps; it's much easier to drill "pas-de-chat, développé écarté, tombé passe 2è arabesque" than "left arm up, bend knees, twist sort of left, head down and UP, turn drop shoulders".

"This year's word is 'elegance'," Inui-sensei said, looking pointedly at me. orz

Since there are only two of us, he spent nearly an hour correcting our starting poses and the first twelve counts. I kind of felt like a mannequin at times, like when, after having rearranged me to his satisfaction, he stood back and uttered a pleased little, "いいじゃん!" And later on, I was up on my toes but not high enough for him, so he came up behind me, grabbed my ribcage and lifted it, then walked me around the studio. I had a hard time not bursting out laughing, because it looked pretty funny. I laughed when he finally let me down. XD

Still, it was encouraging to get a "見て、きれいじゃん、これ。" when I finally managed to do the initial preparation pose (about two seconds of the piece, go me! :D) relatively gracefully.

* * *


The new JLPT, which I did on Sunday, is quite different! I did the old 2級 a year and a half ago, and barely made it out alive. With the the new N2, the kanji, reading, grammar and vocab are in one 105-minute block (instead of the same amount of time but split into two parts) and with only 75 questions, that was just a bit more than half as many as last time. No wonder I had time to finish all the questions! I may have read the last couple of texts pretty fast, but I closed my exam booklet with a minute to spare. Also, the listening section seemed pretty easy. Was it really? I'll find out in a couple of months!

* * *


I've been meaning to share this for a while: behold, one of the funniest texts I've ever received!

[Context: Eda and I had tickets for a U-KISS concert that was cancelled.]

I wrote: They should let us exchange the ticket for a couple of hours with the boy of our choice!

Eda: I agree! So for 9500 yen, that should be redeemable for:

- 2hrs with Kevin OR Kiseop
- 45 minutes with Kevin AND Kiseop
- 3.5 hours with Dongho (must show id)
- 4 hours with AJ or Soohyun
- 6 hours with Hoon (comes with free parfait)
- one month with Eli
["Because it would take him two weeks to even notice you; "Durr durr derp, a chick! 8D"]

Free parfait!!! When I read that I lost it and started snorting with laughter in the changing room at the ballet studio. XDDD

* * *


Arguably the best part of teaching the afternoon advanced class, apart from the fact that the kids are bright and sweet and hilarious, is correcting their homework. Comedy gold! A big part of their homework is reading, and we ask them to write a book report for each book they read, as well as choose five words from the story and write down the definitions in their notebooks. Then they have to come up with an example sentence of their own for each word.

This week's batch yielded some great sentences. (These kids are all six or seven; five of them graduated from our preschool program, and the other two are returnees.)

My friend has a Revolutionary War picture so she likes wars.

Raccoons are stinky.

I want give a survive to the daddy.

If someone kills an animal the animal cannot survive.

Animals don't play snow and animals don't make snowboll.
[This was from the "What I learned" section of a book report on hibernation.]

Male: Male is cute?

Things: I like things.

Diesel: My dad diesels so much he buys it every day.

When some bear is going to the forest then I don't go.
It's not consumption! Or at least, the doctor doesn't think so. Though I was a tad worried when the little chunk I coughed up this morning had some blood in it, I had an amusing vision of myself reclining on a récamier, wearing a white muslin dress and coughing delicately into a lace handkerchief.

Anyway, he gave me some [stronger than last time] antibiotics and a bunch of other pills to stop the cough, the inflamation, and also the sputum. Here's hoping they work! I'm kind of tired of the coughing, especially now that I feel like my lungs are raw. It's really a lung cough, not a throat one.

All this sort of pales when compared to last night's fever, which though I have no thermometer to measure such things, can't have been much else; my forehead was burning to the touch, but I was shivering and it took two blankets and a sheet to warm me up. It passed eventually, though it came back a bit during the day. I took my temperature at work, and the thermometer said 36.4 -- I suppose that means a horrible fever, since that thermometer has never given me a reading higher than 36 even.

Off to bed now. I'll try not to cough up anymore blood! ^_^v
Dear Eljay,

My body is stupid. I don't know what its problem is, but it seems that at the end of every weekend, recently, no matter what I've been doing, I feel more run-down than at the beginning of it. When will this stop? Seriously! The headaches, the fatigue, and now the coughing -- which actually woke me up a couple of times last night -- are getting out of hand.

Things are feeling so wrong that I'm going to be in bed before 9, and I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow. So there.

That said, I had a nice, relaxing weekend (which is why I should FEEL MORE RESTED, DAMNIT!). Yesterday I tagged along while Becca got her brain scanned. And now that I've seen her in those oh-so-sexy blue clinic pyjamas, and gazed on her brain from all possible angles, I feel our friendship has deepened. XDDD Today, Jamie and I went out to Enoshima, visited the caves there and lay on the beach for a while. I was glad the sky was very, very overcast, as we could still feel the sun. We didn't bother going into the water, but we had a nice time. I even found out what those weird centipede-ish waterfront bugs are, Emily, in case you were still wondering! They're called wharf roaches, or sea roaches (ligia exotica). Funamushi in Japanese.
In spite of waking up with achy skin and the worst headache ever, which persisted through most of the day and different pain relievers, I was astonishingly productive today. Perhaps that was because I didn't turn on the computer until 7 p.m.!

Here is what I accomplished, starting at about 9:30 this morning:

- did laundry;
- studied kanji;
- washed the dishes;
- got all my PET bottles, cans, styrofoam trays, etc. ready for recycling;
- got all my non-burnables ready for pick-up (i.e. the things like an old air mattress, a broken umbrella, etc. that have to be put in a special bag);
- tidied up my apartment;
- vacuumed;
- showered;
- got dressed (no mean feat, considering it was uncomfortable to have anything in contact with my skin!);
- took my recyclables to the supermarket's Recycle Centre;
- went to Royal Host for lunch and sat there for nearly three hours, doing a dismal job on an old N2 test -- though considering my state, and the noise level in the restaurant, I suppose I didn't do all that badly;
- paid my taxes and bills;
- bought a mountain of fruits and vegetables;
- came home and made some curtains;
- wrote a Travelpod entry;
- started making concrete plans for my summer holidays (one hotel reservation, I has it!).

I had planned on riding my bike to the restaurant, but just as I got to the street, the back tire blew out. Again. I've had it repaired twice already. Bloh.

Now, up until the making curtains bit, imagine me doing all those things, including walking to the restaurant and to the bank, at a snail's pace, especially this morning, because moving my head too quickly made the stabbing pain behind my left ear increase ten-fold. I actually had to stop what I was doing and lie down on the tatami (my futon was airing outside) a couple of times. Tabitha was intrigued by this unusual behaviour, and came to sniff at me and purr. I told her to be useful for once, and you know what? Pressing my ear to her side and feeling her purring vibrate through my head actually made me feel a lot better! The headache's gone now, thankfully, and my skin isn't really achy anymore, so I should be all right tomorrow.

So, yeah, my taxes? The city of Mitaka has finally decided I exist (after I prodded them about it a few months ago) and yesterday I got my tax papers, so now I've paid up what I owed in back taxes. It was a very large sum, but not quite as large as I'd been fearing (fine, only Y30,000 lower, but still!), and now I can rest easy knowing I'm being a responsible resident.

Hmm, the only things on my to-do list that I didn't accomplish were doing some vocabulary study (tomorrow!) and replying to lj comments. Er, that will also be taken care of tomorrow.

Bits & Bobs

Jun. 8th, 2011 10:31 pm
I most likely will never get around to writing about them otherwise, so here are some of the things I got up to recently. Please imagine these brief paragraphs as the elaborately detailed posts I meant for them to be, won't you?

K-Pop Extravaganza!

Last month, Eda got her hot little hands on a pair of tickets to the huge K-pop charity concert to raise funds for earthquake relief. There were a million or so acts and it was pretty much a sausage fest, as Eda described it; apart from two girl groups and IU (who is beautiful and adorable and I can't decide whether I want to do dirty things to her or watch her play with kittens), it was all boy bands. So just imagine us spending the evening bouncing along while mostly interchangeable Korean boys DID NOT RIP THEIR SHIRTS OFF on stage. It was actually a bit disappointing! The only guy who obliged was the one wearing the hideous skin-tight pants that he'd obviously stolen from the WWF. Also notable was that when ToHoShinKi (all two of them! XDDD) came out at the end, the entire Saitama Arena went red as the crowd got out its official penlights. "We're in Mordor! D:" I exclaimed. Best act for me was BEAST, who had lots of energy. And it's trashy dance music, what's not to love? Sadly (?!), "Every night I SHARK" actually did sound like "shock" when heard live. Oh, well. It'll always be shark in my head! ^o^

Moving Eda

Last Saturday, Sarah and I helped Eda move. It was pretty much the reverse of what Jill and I helped her do last year, in that this time she moved from Nippori to Nakano. It took two trips, same as last time, but the weather was gorgeous! We discovered that Pickled Nasu Lady has a buddy, Pickled Daikon Lady, in front of whose house I most rudely parked. Not in front of her door, or anything, but in front of the frosted glass window that wasn't even open! She came out and glared at me, but I ignored her, since she wasn't congratulating me on my superior backing up skills. And later, when we were getting reading to leave, she came and asked us what we were doing -- it was so worth it to hear Eda say, in possibly the bitchiest voice I've ever heard her use, "We're programming the navigation system." We didn't see her on the second run, but Pickled Nasu Lady was sitting by the side of the street, and told us, as we drove by, "There's no exit that way." I suppose my very loud peal of laughter wasn't very polite, but didn't she remember us from last year? XDDD

In between runs we had lunch at Big Boy, because that was the only place we could think of that had parking. I'd never eaten at Big Boy before (I only knew of its existence because of Austin Powers, to be honest), and the menu was pretty much just large chunks of meat, but I am in love with the salad bar! For Y600 you can eat mountains of salad, which I did. Who knew salad could be so filling! And I've done some research and found that there's a branch in Choufu within reasonable biking distance from my place. :D~~~

Game of Thrones

This series is SOOOO GOOOOOOOD! There are only two more episodes left to go for this first season, but that just means I'll be able to marathon them all. Tyrion is still amazing; Arya is great; Jon (and Ghost!) are finally getting to see some action; Tywin is perfect; I'll just stop there, because I'm too tired to go into details. Suffice to say, you should watch this series even if you don't know the books. Watch it!

Work

Kids crack me up. I taught my advanced class today (all kids who either graduated from our preschool or are returnees) and the word "boss" came up. I asked them if they knew what it meant, and who their boss was. They came up with, "Mummy and Daddy. And my teacher." So I asked them if they knew who my boss was. Dead silence. "Your mummy?" one girl tried. "No, it's Ms. Y." I pointed at my boss, who was at her desk on the other side of the room, and the look on their faces was priceless. I guess until that moment, the teachers were all just teachers on the same level. Which makes sense, since we all, my boss included, go by "Ms. FirstName". XDDD

Later on, I was giving them sentences and they had to tell me what kind of verb I'd used. I said, "I believe the moon is made of cheese." Chaos ensued! Well, almost. It was the little kid version of OMGWTFBBQ?!?!?!?, so I had to explain the joke, such as it was. At least they all knew that some kinds of cheese have holes in them.

JLPT

My brain is starting to hate me, and I've really no idea how much of an improvement over my last score I can reasonably expect, but at least I'm studying daily! I'll do one of the practice tests this weekend to get a rough idea of how badly I'll do. I wish I were kidding. -___-;;; At least I'm motivated now! I've got less than a month to go, but I'm more or less where I'd planned to be in my studying. Ideally, I'd have been going through the grammar book again as well, but I don't have the time. I can skim through it easily enough, as grammar is not usually my weak point.

Lady Gaga

I spent most of Sunday with Hannah, eating caaaaaake and shopping wandering through stores and not buying anything. Except for Lady Gaga's latest CD, which is even dancier than I expected. I quite like it, though I'm a bit surprised by how retro it sounds. Sure, everyone was going on about how "Born This Way" is Madonna remixed, but I hear hints of TLC in it too, and more than a bit of late '80s/early '90s Bon Jovi in some other songs. I'm not sure whether it'll grow more on me or whether I'll grow tired of it after a while, as none of the sounds sound as unique to me as "Bad Romance", "Poker Face" or "Telephone".

Caaaaaaake

To get back to the caaaaaake, we hit up the Sweets Paradise in Shibuya at 11:00, expecting it to be full of gyarus, but it was mostly full of ordinary folks, including a birthday party of 8-year-old girls. I guess 11:00 is too early for them -- it takes time to apply those five layers of false lashes, after all!

Misc.

I've finally managed to translate my chronic (when can one begin to describe it as chronic, anyway?) fatigue into getting to bed at a decent hour. Go me! I've been averaging about 11 to 11:15, which is amazing, considering I used to rarely make it to bed before half past midnight. I feel better in the mornings, though I still can't get myself to study then most of the time, leaving it for the evening. On the other hand, I've been lazy with Travelpod. Bloh. At least I've been uploading pictures? XD;

Time for some reading before bed. I'm thoroughly caught up in World of Wonders, so lets see if I can manage another chapter or two before my eyelids shut of their own volition.
Instead of sitting around like a useless blob for the rest of the day, I thought I'd write a bit, since I've got a few things to write about that have been piling up.

First off, [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi gave me some words!

If you want to play, request your words and I will find some that remind me of you. Somewhere. And then you have to tell me what they mean to you. Kender, adventure, holidays, Chinese men, tray tables: )

Oh, hey, I think I had this idea that I'd keep up with book and movie reviews this year... Hah. Here are a few, at least.

Yesterday was Pirates Day, as in, Pirates of the Carribean. I went to see the newly released On Stranger Tides yesterday, and then Kimberly and I decided to watch the third one at her place, since I hadn't seen it and she had fallen asleep halfway through it. Pirates to starboard! )

I meant to sew today... And I did, for all of twenty minutes. It's as though studying Japanese sucks all the energy out of me, and after diligently writing out kanji for nearly an hour and a half this morning, the only thing productive I've been able to do is write this post.

Apparently, the potential embarrassment of getting a lower mark on the JLPT this time 'round isn't enough of an incentive for me to get up early in the mornings. I think my body wants me to hibernate, or something, I find myself fantasizing about sleep all the time. I'm not even getting less sleep than I usually do! :P Like right now, my body is all floppy and wanting to take a nap, but if I do that, I know I won't get to sleep at a decent hour tonight. Double bloh.

And Tabitha is staring at me like, "What's the problem? Now is always a good time to nap."

I also meant to write a Travelpod entry, since I haven't even begun my account of this year's Golden Week trip, but ugh, I don't have the energy. I should at least make myself from supper.

Wow, I'm all kinds of lame today. An early bedtime for me, says I!
Wow, it's been quiet around here lately...

Jet lag has never been so cruel to me. This is twice I've gone to bed around 11 and woken up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep. I was a right zombie at work on Wednesday, and today was only slightly better.

I need to get organised again this weekend. My apartment is a disaster (but that because I haven't yet finished unpacking) and I've been sliding on my nihongo study. Only a bit under two months to go before the test! *extreme fear*

Have started watching the third season of Slings & Arrows, finally, after only, oh... two years of it sitting on my shelf. It's way better than the second season was, but I'll wait until I finish to see if it tops the first. The snark about musical theatre is deliciously venomous, and as much as I love Paul Gross in this, Don McKellar steals the show with his bitchiness and aforementioned venom about musicals. I couldn't stop laughing at his, "If you want to communicate something to the proletariat, cover it in sequins and make it sing. It's noisy, vulgar and utterly meaningless. I love it." His delivery is perfect for every single line.

Speaking of perfect delivery, Oliver's ghost is pitch-perfect, especially during the therapy scenes. XD Also awesome are Richard and Anna -- omg the beancounters getting drunk together was so tragic/funny! And Anna's, "How does the new general feel about musicians?!"

Bwahahaha, and the Minister of Culture made a reappearance, much to my delight.

Tomorrow, I'm going to a Kpop concert featuring a million different performers, which I think means it's time to bust out the fake eyelashes with the silver strips. :D

Before that, though, I'm going to see if I can beat this stupid jet lag.

Bonne nuit!
Hisashiburi~~~~~

I got home a bit over two hours ago, but I've just been reading back through lj, playing with Tabitha and not unpacking. I figure I can do that tomorrow night, if I survive work.

Surprisingly, I slept for nearly six hours on the flight back from London. After watching a movie and reading a bit, I thought I'd try to take a nap. When I woke up, the flight map said "Time to destination: 2:10" and they'd started the final meal service. I imagine I slept right through the mid-flight snack, if indeed there was one!

The wonderful world of reading has sucked me right back in. One of the things I'd asked my mother to bring me was "The trilogy of books by Robertson Davies that includes The Lyre of Orpheus*," which she wrongly took to mean the Deptford Trilogy. No matter, I all but devoured the first one (Fifth Business) over the course of my trip and managed a good chunk of the second one on the bus back to Kichijouji. Excellently written, though nothing so far has made me laugh out loud in sheer delight as did the dinner party chapter in The Lyre of Orpheus, and I can't wait to plough through the rest of his works, as soon as I can get my hands on them.

That's all for now, I've got two episodes of Game of Thrones to watch. And then sleep, blessed sleep.

* Turns out the trilogy I meant is the Cornish Trilogy
See you in London! \^o^/

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blodeuedd

February 2012

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