Believe me when I say, with great awe, that the second episode of Game of Thrones was AMAZING. The ending. THE ENDING! The build-up, the music, the timing, it was PERFECT! *flaily arms*

Damn, I didn't expect this series to get me into the accelerated-heartbeat-edge-of-my-seat-I-can't-wait-for-the-next-part so fast.

The kids are incredible. Arya rocks so hard, and Bran. Bran! (even though he was in a coma the whole episode) *wants to hug him* I just want to wring Joffrey's pathetic scrawny neck, the prick. Tyrion is even better than I'd hoped for! And the direwolves! *shivers*

But on the subject of the direwolves, where the hell was Jon Snow's direwolf hiding all episode? *puzzled* Okay, I just checked, and you see Ghost for about half a second at the beginning of the scene when Jon and Tyrion talk on their way to the Wall, but the direwolf definitely wasn't there earlier, when Joh and his father parted ways. The hell?

And to think that I have to wait two weeks until I can watch the next episode! Oh sure, I'll be travelling around the U.K. for most of that time, but still. At least I'll get to watch two episodes back-to-back when I return to Tokyo! :D

Guuuuuh, I must watch that ending again, even though I was practically crying tears of rage right along with Arya. ;____;
Has anybody on my flist read A Song of Ice and Fire? Why the hell not?!

I just finished watching the first episode of A Game of Thrones and EEEEEEEEeeee! Be still my little fangirl heart! <3 <3 <3 It's like watching the book come to life! Though I suspect people who haven't read the book might be a little lost, I'm sure there will be more explanation of who's who in the coming episodes, seeing as how the cast is so huge. But I still got a little thrill of, "Hey, it's the Hound!" and "Oh, that must be What's-his-face Greyjoy!" even though they haven't been named yet.

First impressions: GOOD! It's GOOD! The sets and costumes look amazing! The direwolves (what we've seen so far, i.e. not much) are adorable! Joffrey looks like a total ass! Arya is great! Tyrion promises to be absolutely amazing! The Starks and Lannisters both look (and act) perfect, and the Targaryens are spot-on! The opening scene north of the Wall was wonderfully creepy, except for the fact that we couldn't see their breath. With snow all around, even. Bloh. But then at a later scene at Winterfell, you could see people's breath in the air. Seriously, add it in digitally if you must, but it NEEDS TO BE THERE if we're to believe it's winter.

What else, what else... The opening credit sequence, with the map and the clockwork, is really cool, and the long shots of Winterfell and King's Landing looked good. I really liked the weirwood, which I'd totally forgotten existed until there it was on the screen. And since it's an HBO series, there's plenty of blood and sex, which is good. It's about on par with Rome in terms of expliciteness.

I need to make sure my father brings me the books so I can read them over! Well, at least the first one, while the first season is airing. Here's hoping for lots of success, and for the rest of the series to be filmed! Maybe that'll make the author finish the damn thing, already. *pointed look*

Ooh, this is so exciting! Not quite Lord-of-the-Rings-are-being-made-into-movies! exciting, but not too far off.
Hello, internet. How are you on this lovely spring day?

Flipping through the channels this morning, I came across an anime series called "Ringu ni kakero" (リングにかけろ ), the "ring" being the boxing ring. So an anime about boxing. The one episode I watched was enough to prove that the laws of shonen are alive and well, i.e. the good guys' team has the requisite five members: the regular-guy hero (who has the most devastating moves), the big guy with the pompadour, the elegant pretty-boy, the short comic-relief guy, and the fifth guy... I didn't quite get what his role was, maybe he's the older, more experienced mentor? In this case, he looks like a taller version of the protagonist.

What really got my attention, though, was the opposing team. Seems they're in the world championships, and this episode, they were facing off against France, which for some reason had their given names (instead of their surnames) on their shirts. The team leader was named Napoleon and was basically Oscar François de Jarjeyes -- I'm not even kidding, it was Oscar right down to the hair and the casual clothes, including the jabot. The other members were also Oscar clones, though at least their hair was different shades of blond/light brown/red. But they all had blue eyes! One of them was named Tiffany, which as you may know, is usually a female name (and not even French, to boot!) -- but another one was Claudine, which is an even girlier name than Tiffany! Well, Claudine (and at least one other guy, can't remember which one) was voiced by a woman, but really... I was kind of hoping that Claudine would actually turn out to be a woman, but the show oozed enough testosterone that I don't think they'd be into that kind of plot twist. He was K.O. within about thirty seconds, anyway.

Now, I have an apartment to clean, some writing to do, and a skirt to finish sewing.
... tends to stay at rest. Or rather, a girl who doesn't update her lj tends to not update her lj.

Not like I have anything spectacularly interesting to write, but I thought I'd let you all know that the last few weeks have had my sense of time all askew, thanks to Señor Really Big Earthquake. Or should I say, Really Big Earthquake-san?

Anyway, my work schedule was supposed to look like this:

7th-11th: preschool and afternoon lessons;
14th-18th: preschool and afternoon lessons;
19th: graduation day;
21st-23rd: no preschool, afternoon lessons;
24th, 25th, 28th-30th: Spring School, no afternoon lessons;
31st & 1st: holiday

What ended up happening was:

11th: preschool, but afternoon lessons VERY VERY CANCELLED;
14th: came in early, left early (classes cancelled);
15th: came in at 10:30, boss sent us home after lunch;
16th-18th: school closed;
21st-23rd: no preschool, but we had afternoon classes;
24th & 25th: preschool (Spring School = cancelled) and afternoon lessons;
26th: graduation day;
28th-30th: preschool (Spring School = cancelled) and afternoon lessons;
31st: teachers' prep day (no classes);
1st: teachers' prep day, afternoon lessons.

So, yeah. Last weekend wasn't really a proper weekend, since we had the graduation ceremony in the morning, then the parents had rented the party room at Shidax and we spent the whole afternoon eating, drinking and singing. It was lots of fun, and it was really cute to watch and listen to the kids sing the Doraemon theme song over and over and over and over again. And then a Pokemon opening song at least 348904 times. And then Hyo sang at least half of Michael Jackson's discography. XD

Speaking of Hyo, I solemnly promise to share with you the Star Wars story he wrote on his last day of school. I took pictures of it (he illustrated it), which I haven't uploaded yet, and it's the funniest thing I've read in years. I should tell him to send it to George Lucas, because it's a way better script than the actual movies. XDDD

Since yesterday we had no classes, I took half the day off to get some stuff dealt with, namely sending in my application to take the JLPT in July, get my city taxes sorted out, and renew my international driver's license. All this took longer than expected because I dropped my bike off to get the flat tire fixed before going to city hall; the guy told me it would take about an hour, as they had lots of other bikes to fix before mine. Two hours later, they still hadn't called me, so I went back to the store and asked whether my bike was done. My "But two hours ago I was told it would take an hour..." did the trick, and a different guy fixed it right away. I was kind of relieved that I didn't have to pull the tearful "But I'm going to be late for work!" card -- my bike was ready in ten minutes. But as I was on my way to the drivers' license bureau, it suddenly started to pour and I took refuge in the entrance of an apartment building. An older lady was doing the same thing, and we ended up chatting about travelling and sakura and she kept showing my pictures she'd taken with her phone, of Shakespeare's house and of sakura in a nearby park. Finally the rain let up, I got my license, and was caught in another downpour on the way back. This time I was near a conbini, so I bought an umbrella a cycled to work in the rain.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'm sure there's other stuff I wanted to share with you, but it'll have to wait until at least tomorrow. I'm tired.
I meant to write about... I don't even know. I'm feeling incredibly blah. I haven't been to ballet class in two weeks, my body is feeling heavy and clumsy and my appetite is being weird. I'm tired. There are things I want to do that I just can't seem to motivate myself to do. It's a struggle to roll out of bed in the morning.

I know I can do better than this. So why am I not doing it?
Today's LOL: especially the 4th strip, though they're all great. XD

Thanks to not having a headache of doom and feeling like my sinuses were about to explode, I accomplished much more today than I did yesterday! Let's compare, shall we?

- I showered! Before noon, even! Yesterday, I took a bath... in the evening.

- I got dressed! Yesterday, I spent the day in my pyjamas, even though Kimberly came over to crochet and watch a movie. We don't stand on ceremony with each other, so it's all good. Like when I go over to her place, and we've been sitting around chatting for an hour, and she exclaims, "I'm sorry, I completely forgot to offer you something to drink!" "Don't worry, I poured myself a glass of water when I got here. :D"

- I translated a Travelpod post! Yesterday I didn't type a single word except for a couple of emails.

- I cleaned up my apartment! I vacuumed (at midday, so as not to do it at a time when most people are turning on their heaters and whatnot), tidied up, aired my futon, and reorganised my sewing notions. I even vacuumed Tabitha -- apparently, she'll tolerate the little brush nozzle; she looked rather confused about what was going on, but she didn't try to run away, and though her ears were slightly back, she was purring. Yesterday, I... I put my dishes in the sink, at least.

- I went outside! I actually took a rather long walk along the Senkawa, and took lots of pictures of the last few plum blossoms in the area, then spent a couple of hours studying Japanese and drinking Coco's out of their drink bar. What can I say, verbs, both transitive and intransitive, make me thirsty. Quite an outing, when you consider that yesterday I only opened the door of my apartment when Kimberly arrived and when she left.

- I ate a proper meal! One. My breakfast was a grilled cheese sandwich* and I didn't eat anything else until Coco's. I sort of forgot about lunch! Yesterday, I ate a bowl of Cheerios, 3/4 of the little pizza Kimberly brought over, two slices of toast with honey, and a small bowl of leftover ebi-chili. Hmm, I guess we can say this one's a draw, if we're talking total amount of food consumed. But I might have a snack later.

- I burned my finger while making the grilled cheese sandwich! Maybe scalded is a better word. You can't tell, but it's tender enough for me to feel it whenever I touch something. Yesterday, I didn't injure myself in any way.

- So far I haven't knitted today. Yesterday, I finished the second mitten of the pair I was working on. Tonight, I aim to start assembling the afghan for Baby Roo.

- I haven't watched or read anything yet today. Yesterday, I started The Girl Who Played With Fire while I was in the bath (with the bath bomb Hannah gave me for my birthday -- thanks, Hannah! ^_^), and I watched an episode of Ace wo nerae. I'll get some more sparkly pastel tennis in once I finish this.**

- Yesterday, I tried to do a little cleaning out of my bookmarks, and ended up revisiting some PoT fanfiction I'd bookmarked ages ago. And no matter how cliché many things have become in that fandom, some of them will never not be funny to me, like Tezuka hanging up on Inui, or Shishido expressing disgust over the Golden Pair being lovey-dovey/touchy-feely/really gay. XDDD

* The daughter of a friend of my mother's couldn't pronounced "grilled cheese" when she was little, and called them "grouchies".

** I really want to make a long review post with lots of screencaps for this series. It's really cute and fun. The main character, Hiromi, has huge crushes on both a female senpai and a male senpai, and she totally ships them together. <3
Today has been unexpectedly productive. It's almost as though time has stretched out, allowing me to get more stuff done! Or maybe I just didn't waste my day in front of the computer, is all. XD I spoke to my parents on Skype, scrubbed the toilet (including the floor around it!), went out for lunch with Kimberly, studied Chinese and Japanese for a couple of hours, did laundry, washed the window sill in my room (this required going at it with a toothbrush, and sloshing water all over the place, to get two years' worth of dust and dirt out from between the runners), got groceries, cooked pasta, posted on Travelpod, and did some general tidying up. To add another item to the list, here are some book reviews. Six books so far in 2011, not bad! Did I even read six books in 2010? I can't say that I did. Major fail, self. -__-;;;

A spoiler warning is rather unnecessary, as I don't go into much detail, but you never know. Have you read any of these? Please discuss!

Canada from west to east: Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw )

Spies and volcanoes: The Vesuvius Club )

The fifth installment in the Nightrunner series: The White Road )

A Russian classic redone as a comic book: Le joueur )

Creepy and short: Smoke and Mirrors )

Further adventures of the Gentlemen Bastards: Red Seas Under Red Skies )

All right, that's enough. I've got some hooking* to do.

* That's crochet-wielding, for you non-crafty types. XD


Mar. 12th, 2011 12:34 pm
Because it would be silly to waste all that typing, here's what I posted about yesterday's earthquake in my Travelpod last night. (It's here, if you want to see a couple of pictures of the things that fell on my kitchen floor).

It's unusual for me to post a super current, up-to-the minute update, but I'm mostly doing this to reassure my mother.

As you might have seen on the news, Japan was hit by an earthquake this afternoon, of a magnitude of 8.9, followed by several aftershocks.

The quake hit a bit before 3 o'clock.  I was at work, and we'd just finished sending our preschoolers home with their parents.  I stepped into the washroom, and just as I was sitting down, everything started shaking.  What is it with me and being caught with my pants down?  First the plane to Beijing, now this.

After a second or two, I heard my coworkers shouting that we should go outside.  What was I to do?  I finished my business as quickly as possible, but didn't flush, for fear the pipes might be damaged; that's how hard the earth was shaking.

I ran outside, still in my slippers -- in Japanese fashion, we never wear our outside shoes inside the school -- and joined my coworkers, along with a couple of kids who'd arrived early for their afternoon lessons, and people from nearby businesses.  One little girl had been dropped off by her mother, and she was in my coworker's arms, crying.  We took turns holding her, as much to comfort her as to calm ourselves down.

All told, the earthquake lasted... I want to say twenty to thirty seconds for the initial shaking, or at least it felt like that.  Then there were several tremors, and about thirty minutes later, another big shake, though not quite as strong as the first one.  Still, it was violent enough to send us to the parking lot beside our school's driveway, since we figured at least we were out from under the power lines there.

Of course, everyone had their cell phones out and was trying to get in touch with family and friends to make sure they were safe, but the networks were so overloaded that it took nearly an hour before some could get a signal.  Since we have wi-fi at work, I was able to send an email to my mother, because I knew she'd soon be up and would no doubt hear the news and worry about my safety.

In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March; today, we had a videographer at school to shoot scenes for our year-end video.  He was still around when the quake happened, and later he told us that he'd been living in Kobe in 1996 when the big earthquake hit.  "I seriously thought I was dead," he told us.  "Lots of people in the buildings around mine were.  Compared to that... this wasn't so bad."

Never have I been so glad I live within walking distance from work.  The trains have all stopped running, and thousands of people are stuck waiting at various stations.  Passing by Kichijouji Station on the way, home, we saw the queue at the taxi stand stretch all the way around the corner, and figured some people would be waiting for hours.

I've got the tv on as I write this, and they're showing videos from all over: chunks of the ceiling crashing to the floor in Ibaraki Airport; a tsunami sweeping storage containers, cars, boats, and even buildings inland near Sendai; office workers grabbing onto desks; workers at a supermarket preparing food boxes for distribution; a ship being driven against a breakwater; piles of debris from the tsunami along a street in Iwate Prefecture; an oil refinery in Chiba burning into the night, the flames reaching skyward and lighting up the clouds.

Tsunami warnings have been issued for nearly the whole coastline of the Japan, as well as for other nations around the Pacific rim.  Phone lines are down, large areas are without electricity (Tokyo, or at least my part of it, has been spared), and the trains won't be running for a while yet.  Imagine: Shinjuku Station on a Friday night is bad enough when the trains are on schedule, but now, with no way for all those people to get home?

When I made it home, I was relieved to find that due to my kitchen floor being some sort of thick linoleum, the bottles that had toppled from the top shelves hadn't broken.  The only damage was to a tea cup that now has a tiny chip on the rim, and my bottle of Thai chili sauce that leaked a bit; either I hadn't screwed the cap back on properly, or it was dislodged when it hit the floor.  Apart from that, a couple of things fell of the shelves in my room, but that's it.

Tabitha was hiding under the computer desk when I got home, and didn't come out until I'd called her several times.  Her tail was all puffed up, poor thing, but it wasn't long before she was her old self again, meowing for her dinner and demanding affection.  She's curled up on my lap now, no doubt content that her little world is back to normal.

I just felt a little tremor.  Apparently, we're to expect them for the next couple of days, perhaps even strong ones.  It still feels unreal to me.  I don't come from a part of the world that's prone to earthquakes, and until today, the strongest one I'd ever felt was within my first two weeks in Japan, an earthquake in the sea a ways out from Tokyo, a 4.5 that had the bookcases in my fifth-floor room swaying back and forth.  This was much stronger than that, and really felt like turbulence on an airplane, though the motion was side to side instead of up and down.

The main thought going through my mind as the ground shook was that there was a  fundamental wrongness to the situation.  Because if the earth won't stay firm beneath your feet, what can you trust?
Yesterday I was in an inexplicable "clean ALL THE THINGS!" mood, so I ran with it. Ultimately, it only resulted in vacuuming my apartment, though I did an extremely thorough job of my computer desk, even taking everything off it and organising the stuff that was on it and on the surrounding floor. Now, the floory of my bedroom is mostly clear, as is the floor of the sewing room. I'm really trying to make more of an effort to be tidier. So far, my closet -- cleaned out two weeks ago -- remains in a state of organisation rarely if ever seen in my life before now.

In other news of things getting accomplished, this morning I managed to get up early enough to cook up a large batch of curry for my lunches this week. I calculated that by doing so, I can eat at work (lunch + 2 snacks/day) for under Y2,000 a week, or a little under Y400 a day. Not bad! Not only is it cheaper than buying lunches -- even if I buy cheap stuff like rice balls -- but that way, I don't have to waste time figuring out what I'm going to eat each day. This week's menu:

Morning snack: sliced up banana with a handful of strawberries (+ any snacks given to us by parents or brought my coworkers);
Lunch: hearty bowl of green Thai curry (made with onion, chicken, potatoes, eggplant and kabocha) + butter roll;
Afternoon snack: carrot sticks/orange bell pepper + yogurt dip, purin;
Drinks: tea (jasmine, peppermint, rooibos, darjeeling) and ice coffee.

I've also decided that in the interest of not spending too much money on food, I'm eating stuff I already have at home, like the hundreds of Chinese dumpings/shrimp balls in my freezer, or the copious amounts of pasta and instant curry I have on my kitchen shelves.

The kitchen, you see, will be one of my next targets. In the coming weeks, I'm going to try out this thing called "spring cleaning" (only the weather seems to be wanting a return to winter, what with the snow today, the hell?!) so there will be some scourging going on at Château Croquette:

- wash the windows, window sills and fix the mosquito netting that Tabitha's round furry self stretched out of shape last summer (and I do need to do this before it starts getting too warm);
- reorganise the kitchen (shelves, drawers, cupboards) and scrub the floor and beneath the gas range and inside the trash cans;
- clean the veranda;
- reorganise my sewing notions and fabric scraps (I did the fabric itself not too long ago) and also go through the overhead storage space.

Hopefully, this will put me in the proper frame of mind to create stuff and to do the things I want to do, especially when it comes to sewing. I have lots of nice summery fabrics, and I want to make myself a few loose shirts and tunic tops to cover up my shoulders and arms, and also some dresses. Oh, and I need to mend the purple and black dress I wore constantly last summer, and make myself another similar one but with pockets.

I'm tired from the week, and rather tipsy. You've been warned.

I'm getting to love Sayaka-sensei's classes more and more. Tonight I did pretty well, considering I'm pretty wiped out on Fridays, and my jumps felt effortless. *so happy* I had to prod myself to make it to the lesson, but as usual, once I was in the middle of it, it just felt so right and god, I love ballet. Even if I'm not very good at it, I don't care. It makes me feel beautiful and graceful for a little while, especially when I can ALMOST DO GLISSADES! AND ASSEMBLÉS!!! AFJKGJLFKDJ afjkl;fn!!! Victory was mine. *tears of accomplishment*

And then Sayaka-sensei, showing another woman how far she should be jumping, sent her flying across the studio with a well-timed assist in the middle of the jump. Let me tell you, the sight of a beautiful woman throwing another one around like that was pretty hot. *____* *fans self* Maybe she'll throw me around next time? :D~~~

Speaking of hot, one woman, who I'd never noticed in particular before, wore tight shorts over tights to class a couple of weeks ago. Normally, she wears yoga pants, and that's why I'd never noticed that her ass is amazing. Seriously, I couln't stop admiring it that class. I still can't stop, though she's since gone back to her regular attire. Damn, I feel like a pervert. XD;;;;;; *hides in shame*

In other ballet news, I still can't do the splits, but at least my flexibility is improving somewhat! I really need to be doing daily stretches, though. And figure out what the hell my other goals are re: my body. The trouble with developping the muscles in my legs is that the muscles highlight the areas that aren't muscle, so the jiggle looks worse than it did when my whole thighs jiggled. Also I don't think I should wear plaid tights anymore (not for ballet class, I mean regular tights) because the muscles make the lines look wonky. Oh, the tragedy that is my life! XD;;; Does anybody want a few pairs of plaid tights?

My groceries tonight: a carton of milk and a bottle of vodka. I are a classy broad. It's not my fault white Russians take twice as much vodka as crème de cacao! *drinking a very strong one right now, which is why I'm kind of giddy*

My appetite has been weird all week. My period is due... now, actually, so I hope my body will calm down within the next couple of days. Hear that, body? I've been giving you plenty of iron in the form of red meat. I've even started the iron pills early, and have been drinking no tea, just so you can absorb that wonderful Fe so you don't feel lethargic and listless and tired. *hinting like mad* Seriously, it's getting annoying. This week's excuse is hayfever, which I hope will pass. I hate feeling this fatigued, and if it isn't seasonal allergies, I don't know what it is. Bloh. Like I want to try getting more sleep to see if that will ameliorate the situation! :P

Before I jump on the bandwagon and start that 10-day, 10-thing meme, here are some questions from [livejournal.com profile] tayles. Five que-que-que-questions! )

That's enough, I'd better get to sleep before I'm tempted to make myself another drink. I need to be up at a decent hour tomorrow, after all.

Good night, everyone! ^_^
A thing of beauty... is a joy forever. Specifically, the 19th comment. (Comment #9 is pretty good too!)

Is it wrong to want to marry an lj comment? If it is, can I just frame it and hang it on my wall? ;___;

how can he be "anti-establishment" when his plaid-clad crotch clearly indicates he leans to the right? *dies laughing all over again* XDDDDDD

This ad, on the other hand, is all kinds of disturbing, even when filtered through the context of the time period. Because, you know, people ate pigs back then same as they do today.

But enough of that, I need to feel I've done something worthwhile with my evening. These questions come by way of [livejournal.com profile] hinoai:

1) Why did you choose to live (or remain) in Japan?

Over a decade ago, when I got into anime and started studying Japanese, I thought living in Japan would be a good way to have a base overseas, allowing me to explore the country and its neighbours. When I got together with my ex-husband, we decided that our top picks (for his job posting) were Japan and China -- we were both leaning toward China as our top choice, but he was sent to Japan. When we split up, I was nowhere near ready to leave Japan. In a way, I think it was easier to rebuild my life far away from everything and everyone I knew.

Since then, I've made wonderful friends here, and I really love living in Tokyo. Apart from all those things, Tokyo is a really "easy" place to live in, and it has the advantage of having everything I need, and being close to lots of other places to travel to.

2) Imagine you suddenly turned into a cat. Describe your first day as a member of the feline persuasion. ^^

I would awaken in a sunbeam, stretch, then settle down for a nap. Later on I'd wake up again, groom myself for a bit, then find an even warmer sunbeam and have another nap. Once the warmest part of the day had passed, I would have a snack, and find a human to scratch my chin and tell me what a beautiful creature I am. Then I'd attack and claw crazily at the little catnip-stuffed mouse that I'd ignored for the past week. The mouse dealt with, I'd demand fresh water. And canned food. Sated, I'd sit in the window for a while, looking down my nose at that annoying yowling cat who comes by every night. After a trip to the litter box, I'd find a warm lap to sit on and remain undisturbed until my human was ready for bed, at which point I'd claim the most comfortable spot of bedding for the night.

3) What is one bad habit of yours that you wish you could stop?

Procrastinating. I end up doing so much less stuff than I'm sure I could, and often for no good reason at all. I'm slowly improving, but... yeah, it's mada mada.

4) Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla, if it's cake or ice cream -- I've just never cared much for chocolate ice cream, except for that stuff that Eda and I had at... Royal Host, I think it was? That was good. For other things, it really depends on my mood. Chocolate is generally a more readily available flavour, though, so I eat much more if it.

5) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still travelling the world! And posting lots of pictures from my travels. Hopefully, my Japanese and my Mandarin will have improved. Apart from that, I'm not sure. Whether I'm still in Japan, back in Canada, or somewhere else altogether, I'll have Tabitha with me. Beyond that, I don't know. I'd like to be with someone, and we might have kids together (plural, because I wouldn't want to have an only child; I have too many great memories of my brothers, and too good a relationship with them now, to want to deprive a child of sibilings), but I'm not too concerned about the specifics, as long as I can still do the things I love.
Because I'm just like the House of Commons, I am. XD

Before that, though, I want to know why weekends go by so quickly. It's unfair! Yesterday I got mah hair did, went to ballet class, then spent the rest of the day with Jill. We at sushi, we stitched, we bitched, and we drank lots of blueberry wine. It was great. Today, I met up with Jamie, Eda and Hannah to eat burritos. The burritos were very large. I also had yummy tortilla chips and guacamole. After lunch, Hannah and I went to Shinjuku. We spent some time in Kinokuniya -- I immediately went to the porn section, i.e. the travel section. I may have bought a guide to Singapore. ^.^ After that, we waited in line for ages to get a slice of tart (for me) and a glass of air freshener (for Hannah). For what was left of the afternoon, we shopped a bit, got lost, and Hannah imparted some wisdom of the make-up variety, because I know sadly little of such things, and it turns out I kind of care about the state of my face.

Someone needs to tell shop managers in Shinjuku to lay off the fragrances. In Studio Alta, I kept sneezing, it was so strong, and even in Lumine, I had several uncomfortable "ITCHY NOSE!" moments. And I don't even have that sensitive a nose! :P

Since I've gotten home, I've eaten, cleaned up cat vomit, and posted a Travelpod entry. Oh, and I did laundry. Why am I so exhausted?!

Here are some more questions, these ones courtesy of my favourite hobbit in the whole wide world (and that includes the imaginary ones), [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi.

1) What flavor or scent do you associate most with winter?

To me, the scent of winter is cold night air that freezes its way up your nose. Or the smell of a cat's fur when it's just come in from outside, a scent that's vaguely reminiscent of smoke and steel. The scent of clementines and evergreens is specifically a Christmas smell to me, not of winter in general.

2) Would you rather give up hotpot or ice cream?? D:

Ice cream. There are other ways to cool down in the summer, and plenty of other desserts to enjoy when craving sweets. And really, one can't boast of having eaten the world's spiciest ice cream, eh? ^_^

3) What vintage fashions would you most like to see become the vogue in the near future?

You were the one who said once that the 1920s were my decade, right? I love the aesthetics of the era: the drop-waisted dresses, the long ropes of pearls, the short hair, the shoes, the elaborate beadwork. And beads are sparkly, and we all know how I feel about sparkly things! :D

4) What language would you choose to study after you've mastered Mandarin and Japanese, and why?

If that day ever comes... Hah. Probably German. I've got the family name to go with it, for one thing, and I like the sound of it. Plus, my youngest brother is learning it now and damn it, I'm the polyglot of the family!

5) What's your favorite way to eat a bagel? (what kind of bagel, toasted or untoasted, butter/jam/cream cheese/other??)

My standard order at Tim Horton's is a toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese (cinnamon-raisin if they're out of blueberry, as the Ottawa Airport one often is, grr!), and for several years, my usual lunch was a sesame seed bagel with either cream cheese or peanut butter.

That said, the ultimate bagel experience is a fresh poppy seed bagel, toasted, with raspberry jam and either brie or camembert on it. (I know, I know, as if the raspberries weren't bad enough, SOFT CHEESE! XD)
Because it's Friday night, and I'd like to go to bed thinking I've done at least one productive thing today, apart from pay my phone bill, here are my answers to that 5-question meme. You know the one. These questions are from the lovely [livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky. Also, if you want me to ask you some questions in turn, just comment and I'll try to think some up for you! ^_^

1. Is there any place in the world that you've never traveled to, but you'd really like to visit? If so, where, and why do you want to go there?

The question should probably be, are there any places I don't want to visit? XD Seriously, though, there are lots of places I'd love to go to. If I could go anywhere right this moment, it would be either Singapore (with its mix of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian cultures, the food has got to be amazing, right?) or back to China, to see the south-east of the country. I loved China, and two weeks was far too short a time there. I love the language(s), I love the food, it's beautiful, I really liked the people, and I just felt really comfortable there. The only thing I disliked, in fact, was the pollution. And certain tourists.

(There are many, many more places I'd like to visit, such as the Scandinavian countries, Mongolia and other central Asian countries, Thailand, Laos, and the list goes on and on, but in the interest of keeping this short...)

2. What kind of old woman would you like to be? :P (E.g., the jolly grandma type? The crazy old lady who talks to her millions of cats? The you're-only-as-old-as-you-feel granny who scales mountains and goes skydiving? Etc. :P)

This is a really cool question!

I'd like to be the kind of old woman who doesn't care what people think of her, who does her own thing, and who can inspire younger people to get out and do the stuff they want to do. You know, the kind of woman that makes you think, "Wow, I hope I can be a cool old lady like her someday." Cats would be involved, of course. =^_^=

3. If you had the power to change one thing about the world, what would you change?

Where, oh where to begin? I'd like for people everywhere to be more tolerant of each other's differences; I think that would go a long way toward solving a lot of other problems.

4. Does Tabitha eat moths? If yes, can I borrow her during the summer to work as Special Agent In Charge of Destroying the Moth Colony In My Cabinets? If no, do you eat moths?

The one or two times there's been a moth fluttering about my apartment, Tabitha got very excited about it. I'm sure that if one flew close enough, she'd have no choice but to follow the prompting of thousands of years of instincts and eat it, but whether or not she'd decide it was an experience worth repeating... I doubt she'd like the commute to Chiba, either way!

As for myself, I can't say I've ever felt the desire to eat moths.

5. If you could have any super power, what super power would you want to have, and how would you use it?

Being able to understand, speak and read any language would be awesome, and would make travelling a hell of a lot easier! Not to mention, I'd be able to enjoy books in their original language.
This weekend ended up being pretty relaxing, all things considered. Friday night I went to ballet class -- best moment of the night was Sayaka-sensei staring at me in disbelief: "You can't walk backwards!!! D:" -- then came home and didn't even switch on the computer, such was my desire to go to bed early. Except I told myself I'd read a bit, and two hours later... yeah, I'm pretty into Red Seas Under Red Skies, what can I say!

Yesterday, I cleaned out my closet! The whole damn thing! (Well, except the top part, but I did that when I put my Christmas tree away last month.) I banished a large pile of clothes from it, sorted through my hair accessories (i.e. put nearly everything in a box to give away), threw out some ratty old panties and a few pairs of tights and socks. I readjusted the bar, got rid of superfluous hangers. I even vacuumed in the back corners! I don't think the closet has looked this good since I moved in. I haven't taken a picture, but I have a witness (Eda), in case anyone doubts my word.

Apart from that, I went out for a lunch of kaiten-zushi, and while I was nomming on some yummy salmon, Kimberly texted me to invite me over for dinner/dessert/movie/one or all of the above. We made it dessert and a movie: strawberry and banana cream blob (she said it was meant to be pie...) and The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, of which I'll write more soon. I finished another square for the afghan I'm making, and made good progress on the first of a pair of mittens.

Today, I did some more cleaning and organising. I got my recycling out, sorted through papers, sorted through more papers, and did some general tidying up. Eda came over for hotpot, and it was delicious. Mmm, lamb, why are you so tasty? ;~; We had fun laughing at Tabitha, who made the greatest face ever when Eda started meowing back at her. It was like, "Who is this strange person and why is she making weird noises at me?"

Actually, Tabitha was rather miffed because not only did I spend the day at home, but there was another human there also for a good part of the afternoon, and there was no available lap for her to sleep on. Even just now, she meowed angrily at me when I got up to go brush my teeth. Because her job is to produce as much fur as possible, and my job is to feed her and provide a warm lap for her occupy. @_@

Countdown is one month until graduation!

Oh, and I have to start figuring out plum blossoms! Anyone up for a day in Ome, or somewhere else that's got lots of pretty trees? I think there's a place along the Keio line somewhere...
Can I write a coherent post in fifteen minutes? Let's find out!

My resolution to rise early to exercise and/or stretch has been going well, except for Monday. I had a headache Sunday night, went to bed early, called in sick and slept until half noon. Over thirteen hours of sleep, people! I can't remember when that's ever happened, except for sleeping on and off when sick. I went in to teach my afternoon classes, and the worst of the headache was gone by evening. I still went to bed at ten, though. Tuesday I was right as rain again.

This evening I've been productive, sort of. At least I'm ready to hop on the night bus tomorrow night! I made a last-minute decision last weekend and am heading off to Aomori for three days, just to be alone. Christmas back home was kind of exhausting, and I've been busy since I got back. A good kind of busy, with lots of good times spent with friends, but busy nonetheless. I need to recharge. Hopefully, a few days walking around in a new city (and a haunted mountain? :D) on my own will do the trick. I've got a book, plenty of yarn, an ipod full of music and my camera, so I'm sure I'll find a way to occupy my time.

In other news, an old mystery has been resolved! Last year, I had a stamp card from the Berry Café that entitled me to a free slice of cake. Only problem was, when it came time to cash it in, as it were, the card was nowhere to be found. I searched high and low, finally concluding that I must have accidentally put it out with the recycling. It had bothered me ever since, because that was so out of character for me. Then, when I finally cracked open my JLPT books the other day (after not having looked at them since I took the test, over a year ago), what do you think I found? The card! T____T It's way beyond the expiry date, but at least I know that I had kept it safe. A little too safe!

Speaking of the Berry Café, Hannah and I spent a long time there last Sunday. And the weekend before that, I spent a long time with Marianne, Jamie and William at Miravile Impakt, eating lots of desserts. And the weekend before that, it was Sweets Paradise with Alexis! I'll post pictures when I get back. Maybe. And maybe I'll find a place to have sinfully delicious pastries in Aomori, hm? ^_^

These made me giggle: figure skating costume commentary! U.S. Nationals ladies and pairs, and men and ice dancers. I can't wait for them to cover the Worlds!

When are the Worlds? Eda, you want to make a date to watch some of them? :D

Time for bed now, I have to be up early to Get Stuff Done.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!


Feb. 5th, 2011 11:41 pm
My nails are pretty and glittery. All is well with the world. ^_^

More or less. I have a stupid cold sore (after having had one a week ago, no less!), and my throat is kind of doing a teasing "I may be getting sorer, or I may be not, you'll find out tomorrow!" thing. I don't care, I'm still going out to eat. So there!

This morning I had a laser hair removal appointment. When I arrived, the girl said, "So it's lower legs and the backs of your hands today, right?" Uh, no. I was certain that I'd only booked for my legs, but I was going to ask if they could do my underarms as well, so it all worked out. This is the second time something like this has happened, actually. The first time I got my legs done, I think it was, for some reason they had me down for lower legs and forearms. Either the person I talked to when I made my reservation misunderstood me or made a mistake entering the appointment, or they were sneakily trying to sell me something and were too polite to say, "Girl, your arms are HAIRY!" Sorry, I'm not yet at the point where I'm going to worry about my arm hair. It's still blonde, and the rest of me is enough of a pain as it is.

I spent the afternoon at the dance studio. I took two classes today: Pilates (only 70 minutes) and a regular ballet class. Pilates was nice; I'd like to try to go more often. Ballet had its usual fail!moments and win!moments -- my glissades pretty awful, but I got some nice height on my travelling jumps, and my double pirouettes were not bad. I only wish Inui-sensei would be better at having us do the left side as much as the right. When we do stuff from the corner, we always start going right, and often he'll have us do it again, and then only once from the left. I'm actually naturally better at leading with the left foot, though you wouldn't really be able to tell now, since my right foot gets twice as much practice. Good for my right, not so good for my left.

Thanks to Hannah's suggestion (fashion guru that she is), I found a pair of jean short shorts. I won't wear them the way they're meant to be worn (i.e. cuffed) because that does my thighs no favours, but they're still cute. Since they're cut for a [bumless] Japanese figure, they have the fascinating effect of making me look like I nearly lack an ass myself (which is certainly not the case!), but that's by pushing most of the mass up. Hello, love handles! You haven't been this generous since I was many kilos heavier. It's all good, though; these are the lowest of low rises I've ever owned, so I need to wear long tops over them anyway. Besides, I'm expecting the shorts to stretch a bit, so I won't be assless for long. :3 Also, I doubt I'll wear them with the black over-the-knee socks they came with (see: I don't have pretty Japanese legs), but the socks will definitely be worn... with something else.

Gah, speaking of clothes, I need to find something to wear for my school's graduation ceremony. The only dressy thing I own is what I wore on last year's "congratulation day", as the kids keep calling it!

Last night I took myself out on a date and had lovely Italian food, accompanied by wine and the most amazing garlic bread in the world. I o-kawaried it. Almonds in the butter, omg amazing. *___* The walnuts not so much, but I only found one largish chunk of that, so it's okay. So yeah, I think their claim of "best garlic bread in Japan" is justified.
Tabitha just curled up on my lap. Finally, she's being useful! =^_^=

My body feels... not exactly achy, but restless. That, combined with the protein cravings I've been having these past two days, have left me feeling at once tired and overly energetic. Go figure. I would have had steak tonight, but since it's Setsubun, I had the requisite futomaki instead, bought from a Korean counter at the department store. A "kinpa" maki -- tasty! And then I had chocolate. I feel kind of bloated now, but I'm not going to do aaaaaaanything tonight, except watch a movie and crochet, and read. I've decided that I won't do anything tomorrow night either, since I can go to a ballet class on Saturday instead. Maybe I'll go out for Italian food tomorrow.

B1 has started working out the logistics of our family trip over Golden Week. U.K., here we come! I'll be spending roughly ten days travelling from London to Glasgow, most definitely not in a straight line. Those of you native to the U.K., or those of you who've been there, suggestions of things to do/see/avoid at all costs will be much appreciated.
Know what's funny? This is. Also, this. Tears of mirth, people. Tears of mirth.

* * *

You know what I like? Seeing something I enjoy being improved upon. In this case, it was the reboot of tenimyu. What's good about it?

- they cut out the boring parts (i.e. Arai XDDD, and they fit Fudomine into half a show);
- they kept the good songs ("I'm always wiener", V.I.C.T.O.R.Y!, etc.);
- they vastly improved the choreography, or maybe it was just the fact that these guys can dance;
- an Echizen who transcended the script (bratty character made somewhat charming by acting age-apporpriate);
- the cast is adorable and THEY CAN ALL SING! :O

The last point cannot be overstated enough. Echizen and Tezuka were particularly good, and OMG@#$%@^ a Golden Pair that can sing*! Better than decently! *happydance* Both of them! It made their song soooo much more enjoyable.

As I said, the actors are adorable. I wanted to put them in my pockets and take them home with me. The ichinen trio were great, especially Katsuo; Kachiro basically acted like a seven-year-old girl, but girlier. Momo and Kaido were awesome, Fuji was pretty in spite of his horrible hair, Oishi was really sweet, Kikumaru was very bouncy, Taka was BAAANINGU!, Tezuka was a very good robot though his face (and head) seemed kind of large for his body. Kikumaru's head seemed a bit small for his body, but then again, he's all legs. (Of course, compared to the last Kikumaru, who had stubby little legs, anything would look longer, but still.) The only one I was slightly disappointed by was Inui. He wasn't bad, he just wasn't... Inui enough.

Fudomine actually has seven members now, though Tachibana still failed to interest me, except for his little pose at the end; Kamio was quite good, and Shinji had the oddest face -- he looks like a manga drawing come to life.

Leave it to Nanjiro to make a bad joke about cups... XD;

This was my first time seeing tenimyu from the first row, and from that close, the guys' perfectly smooth and hairless legs were at bit distracting. XD William and I joked about being able to see up their noses and count their nose hairs.

During the first half, the actors seemed to keep their eyes firmly fixed on the back of the room, but their gazes started to wander during the second half. Tezuka was singing to me at one point, and he waved at us during the final bows, as did several others. We were kind of hard to miss, four foreigners in the front row as we were!

They locked us in the theatre for a little while after the show so the actors could do their "junbi", that is get behind their little velvet rope, so we got to "Otsukare-sama" a few of the cast members as we filed out, including Ryouma (he's so cute! <3) but not, sadly, Tezuka. I was kind of hoping one of them would try out some English, but none of them did. XD

Really, the weirdest part of the show was how empty the hall seemed. We arrived at Seinenkan around 5:20 or so, and there were a couple of girls waiting outside. That was it. Once inside, it felt like a ghost town, especially when we got to our seats, and no more than 1/10th (if that) of the seats were occupied. It did fill up more, but I'd say the first floor only got to about 90% capacity, and there were only a handful of people on the balcony. I can understand why people who followed the musicals from the start have quit and aren't bothering with the new ones, but it's kind of a shame, given how entertaining this show was. I wasn't expecting the show to suck, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was, and definitely want to see what they'll do with the next one, which will have St. Rudolph AND Yamabuki mashed into one show. I can't help it, dancing tennis will never not be amusing to me. ^_^

* Maybe 3rd cast could? I don't remember, that's how much of an impression they made on me. ^_^; And 5th cast wasn't bad, they just weren't great.

* * *

I seem to have accomplished a whole lot of nothing today, apart from laundry, but I'm going out for a supper of sweets later on, so I suppose I should at least try to do something worthwhile while the sun is still up.
I lied, I have something else I want to write about tonight. :3

I always thought that nothing could ever match the excitement I felt when looking forward to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, but here's something that might come as close as anything possibly could: HBO's A Song of Ice and Fire. Sure, those books don't have quite the importance to me that LotR does, but I do list them as among the best fantasy I've read -- now if only the author would give us the next volume, damn it! I got my father into the series as well, so I'll have to inform him that we're getting a tv version. Maybe one day we can marathon it together! ^o^

I'd read about the project to make the series into a tv series a while back, and remembered it a couple of days ago. Now that I've watched the trailers... EEEEEEEEeeeee! *fangirlish squeal* Here's hoping that it's on a level with Rome, i.e. better than The Tudors. And I really, really hope it's leagues ahead of The Mists of Avalon, if we're talking adaptations of fantasy books that hold some personal significance for me. XD;;;

So far it looks goooood, and the actors all look the part, though I didn't imagine Jaime quite so square-jawed. I always thought of Ned Stark as much darker and with a narrower face, but I completely trust Sean Bean with the role. After all, he made me care about Boromir, right?

It starts airing in April, but you can click around here if you want a little sneak peek.

Excitement! :D

:D :D :D
Hey, everybody. It feels like it's been a while since I've written a post of substance... Will this be the day I buck that trend?!

This weekend I accomplished precisely nothing. Well, I did get my hair cut, ate sushi, walked around Kichijouji taking pictures, and took some more pictures in Shinjuku this evening after having supper with Alexis. We went to the gayer than gay Sweets Paradise, and I was already amused that we were most likely the only non-couple F/M pair there, but given our main topic of conversation over the food, it was kind of funny. Or ironic, I suppose.

Another thing I accomplished was finally finding an acceptable purse and buying it. It's pink! And not the dusty old rose that everything seems to be this season *yawn* but a nice bright one. I didn't have a pink purse yet. Another thing I bought is more nail polish, because I definitely needed more of that! But I can blame Hannah for eliminating any vestiges of shame I might have had left on this particular topic, as she rightly pointed out that, "Nail polish lasts forever."

It feels a bit late to write in detail about my time in Canada, but there are a couple of things that were really driven home while I was there.

The first is that goddamnit, I really miss speaking French regularly.

Those of you I met in Japan might not realise it, but before moving here, my life was mainly conducted in French. I've always spoken French with my mother; all my schooling, except for kindergarten, grade 1, and 2/3 of my university classes, was in French; I studied ballet in French; I taught French full time for three years; most of my closest friendships in Canada were conducted in French; and G and I always spoke French together. As for English, apart from being the language I speak with my father and brothers, it used to mainly be my language of cultural consumption rather than daily life: the television shows and movies and books that I choose have always been overwhelmingly in English (or subtitled in English, in the case of anime), but I never lived my day-to-day life in English until I came to Japan, where I work in English and conduct most of my social life in English.

Juste pour le fun... )

The second thing is that I'm starting to really notice the shift between... living in Japan and having been in Japan for a long time, I guess. Almost four and a half years! The inevitable question of, "When/Are you coming back?" was asked more than once -- not by people close to me, though -- and I found it a bit harder to answer than I used to. While I still don't intend to spend my life here (I'm not ruling it out, but that has never been my intention), it seems that after four years, "I have no reason to leave yet, and I really like it in Japan" is starting to shift toward, "I have good friends there, a good job, a cat, a good place to live, and I'm happy." And isn't that what we strive for when we build a life for ourselves?

All right, that's enough [badly expressed] self-reflection for now.



February 2012

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