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.
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.
DISCLAIMER:

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! ^_^

Fluff

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.
[Clearly I shouldn't be allowed to try to organise stuff when I'm super tired, because then I get the dates wrong. So! Here's the corrected version of the general invitation for dessert porn.]

It's that time again... the time when I get a hankering for delicious desserts. Well, actually, that time is pretty much all of the time, but this time I'm going to do something about it! So in two weeks, Hannah, Eda and I are going to indulge in hard core dessert porn at Miravile Impakt (take a gander here, though the menu might have changed by the time we get there). This is the place we went to that time and that time.

Who wants to join us on Sunday the 30th? Most likely we'll meet a bit before 6 at Yurakucho Station (it's just a block or two from there).

I'm going to go have the six course dessert menu. Third time and counting! I wish they had a stamp card, I would so be earning some free noms. :D If you think the prices seem a little steep, they are, compared to your average dessert place, but I assure you, for the quality, it's damn cheap. These are really, REALLY good.

* * *


I other news, tonight I went to my first ballet class since before the holidays. I'm seeing sore muscles in my near future! There were only thirteen of us there tonight, which surprised me, because it's usually closer to twenty, but it was nice having more space.

When I came in, Inui-sensei gave a little " うおッ!久しぶり!" but he was soon back to the usual: poking at my abs, trying to rearrange my rib cage, telling my to tighten my inner thighs and to relax my shoulders and arms. "リラックス。 リラックス! RELAX!" all the while holding my head up to where he thought it should be while I tried to do the exercise. I missed you too, Inui-sensei. XDDD

My legs were a bit shaky by the end of class, and I was very sad that I didn't get the height I usually can during one exercise, which included some of my very favourite jumps: a cabriole followed by a jeté croisé and then an entrelacé into an assemblé tour and two faillis-assemblés. I hope we do that one again next week and that I can do it better!
At the moment I'm feeling...

...disorganised, for having decided that several things I wanted to do before leaving for Canada will remain undone, and I'm still not done all the things that really do need to be gotten out of the way before my departure;

...shallow, because do I really need to put this much thought in the clothes and accessories I'm bringing to spend a week and a half with my family? It's not like my father's going to say, "Didn't you wear that in Europe last spring?" (Actually he might, just to tease me!) But I guess there's that feeling, deep down, that I want to show everyone how well I'm doing, that I'm happy, that I look good. Not that anyone didn't believe I could make a life for myself here, but you know... I want them to be proud of me;

...exhausted, because last night was the Carmina Burana group's bounenkai, and I didn't get to bed until about 2:20 a.m. after having consumed beer, sangria (several glasses), some sweet Chinese liquor, some sweet Japanese liquor, and red wine. I was surprisingly coherent this morning, too! Still, scratchy throat and slight headache aside, last night was lots of fun, and I got to chat with some of the other women in the group that I hadn't really talked to before. One of them was heading off on her honeymoon to Tunisia and Thailand! *envy* We also had a good laugh when Kikuchi-san started asking me what the [French] names for ballet movements mean. She thought that "foissonne" was "poisson" (fish): "I thought it was because it looks like a fish leaping out of the water!" It does, and that's a really cute image. ^_^ Also, it was worth it to have a tipsy Inui-sensei try to pronounce "Brad Pitt" (he totally failed), "bicycle" (not too bad) and then ask me if there was a difference in pronunciation between "Mac" (the computer) and "Mac" the fast-food joint -- well, for starters, we don't call McDonald's "Mac"! XD

[livejournal.com profile] akahannah posted this a few days ago. Let's see how I did in 2010, shall we? This year: )

The best thing would be to just go to bed right away, and get up early enough to finish packing (mostly done) and cleaning the apartment a bit more. Sleep, here I come!
Hotpot has got to be one of the best foods in existence. For one thing, it's delicious. But even better than that, it lasts and lasts! Here I am having my sixth meal from the batch Eda and I had on Saturday -- though technically, it was two hotpots, since we had Sichuan and satay, so there was plenty of leftover broth, but I haven't yet had to add any water. Best of all, though, is that it's so easy. Get home, turn on the gas, wait for the pot to heat up, and add whatever I want to eat. So far I've had in it, at various times and in various combinations: tofu, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, beef balls, fish balls, shrimp balls, pork, lamb, noodles, pea shoots, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, komatsu, and some other Chinese greens.

God, tofu is amazing. Whoever invented it deserves a medal.

I've determined that before the end of the year, I'll have "visited" more than 100 cities, according to Travelpod. At the moment, I'm at 94, but once I finish writing about B1's visit to Japan, that'll have added another three, and my trip to Provence will mean another five. Still only 16 countries, though! Technically, I've been in 24 different countries. However, Finland really doesn't count (two-hour layover), Belgium doesn't really either (I took a train through it, though I walked from one train station to another, which took half an hour, so at least I touched the ground?), and I was in the U.K. (London) for under 24 hours. Of the other countries, Switzerland will be included in not too long, I hope, and the others are from over seven years ago, so I may never get around to posting about them there. Although, I guess I could make another travelogue and just group them there. I can copy-paste from lj for my first trip to Europe and my trip to Vietnam, after all. *ponders*

Last night's ballet class was good but as usual, mostly getting the small jumps (which I normally suck at) meant that I totally failed at something I usually do okay on, in this case the bigger jumps. I'm sore today, but in a good way, like I can feel all my muscles. It's kind of disturbing that my reaction to this is, "Yes! Develop more muscles!" But I don't want to see them, I just want them to be there and allow me to do cool moves!

I put up my little Christmas tree last week, as well as Christmas lights in my window, and it makes me feel all warm and cozy. These days, I'm spending lots of time fantasizing about my trip back home, mostly about all the food I'm going to eat, and the snow. Snow... And cheese. I just had a brilliant idea, which is to take my family out to Meule et caquelon. They serve Swiss-style raclette, which is basically just heating up a huge block of cheese and drowning bread, potatoes, and whatever else you want in it. It's incredible. They also have regular cheese fondue, and other fondues, but who cares about those? It's all about the cheese.

It's not even nine and I feel like going to bed already. Bloh. *lame*
Okay, so that's two days that I didn't do my daily memes. Still, it's better than I'd hoped for!

Part of the problem is that by doing a daily word count, I know that I already passed the 25,000 mark, so no matter how far behind I fall, I've still won. I was going to try to hit 40,000, but there's no way that's going to happen now. Can I hope for 35,000? We shall see.

Yesterday evening I did nothing worthwhile, except for buying vases in which to put the flowers I received yesterday (a ballerina should always have vases at the ready!). I also bought Y5,000 worth of earrings, but they were all 70% off, so for that amount of money, I got eleven pairs of bright, sparkly, dangly pretty things. ^_^

Today, I got 3 1/2 hours of exercise: 1 1/2 walking (to and from work, then to ballet -- I would have walked back, but it was raining pretty hard), and 2 of ballet. I don't know what magic Sayaka-sensei was weaving (she was the one who with the crazy extension who did the solo during Carmina Burana), but I got my right leg up in a really high second position and was able to keep it there for a few seconds! That's a victory.

Apart from that, I wish I could sleep in tomorrow. And let's not even talk about the state of my apartment, it's disgraceful. So let's do those memes instead.

My favourite loan-word and vending machine )

What makes me cry, and a first )
無事に終わりました!

Normal life may now resume.

The show went really well! Okay, so the back screen didn't go up when it should have for our number, and I messed up a couple of things, but my fouetté turns were ON! I think I was even in synch with the others! More importantly, I was spotting, and I mostly stayed in place, which is a victory, so who cares if I stumbled a bit on the landing. And I have no extension, and

Hah, I will, once I see the DVD. XD;;;

Thank you so much to those who came to see me (and those who wanted to but couldn't), and those who sent encouraging words. It really meant a lot to me. Somehow, ballet has always been something personal to me, because I never did it with friends (except for A-L, at first), so it's never been something I really share with people. I'm very touched that people came to see what I'd been working so hard for. And I even got flowers! <3

Quickly, before I turn in for the night, here are my daily memes.

What they don't have back home... )

What makes me feel better )
My wrist is screwed. And it had been doing so well these past couple of weeks, not even a twinge of pain! Grar. I'm not sure what set it off this time, but I really hope it'll be okay for the recital... Of all the body parts to worry about for a ballet show, this is pretty silly. :P

I went to Nippori today, and showed remarkable restraint! I spent barely over Y2,000, and much of that was on trim. Haha, like I'll ever have time to sew again... ;___;

Perhaps everyone else has this problem too, but there's just so much stuff I'd like to do, and I haven't got the time to do it! I suppose I'm managing pretty well this month, what with all the ballet and the writing, but that means that Chinese and sewing have basically been cast aside, and the only reason I've been knitting is that I've forced myself to watch movies to relax. *ded*

We're two thirds of the way through November! [insert exclamation of disbelief at the swift passage of time.] If I make it through the month only having fallen a day behind once, I'll consider NonNaNoWritMo a smashing success. My excuse for yesterday was that Harry Potter made me stay out until one in the morning.

Harry Pottaaaaah! )


And here are the memes, both yesterday's and today's entries:

Japan: favourite character and folklore )

30 Days: a regret, and this month )

Travelpod can wait until tomorrow, time to zone out with my glass of wine. Which movie shall I watch?
Tonight, I feel like the brave little tailor. Except instead of "Seven with one blow!" I've been chanting "Three doubles in a row!" to myself ever since I left ballet.

[flailing goes here]

As discouraged as I was the other day, today was much better. Thank you for the comments, they meant a lot to me. <3

I don't know if it was the iron pills I've started taking, or the large cup of coffee I had before ballet class, but I was on fire tonight. THREE PERFECT DOUBLE PIROUETTES IN A ROW!!! And then... THREE MORE (almost perfect ones) GOING LEFT! And then... THREE MORE NEARLY PERFECT ONES GOING RIGHT AGAIN! It was amazing. I was high up on demi-pointe, my back was straight, my arms were perfectly level, I was whipping my head around like nobody's business, and if I'd given myself a bit more momentum, I could probably have managed triple turns. I want to crush this feeling to chest and hold on to it forever and ever. *_______*

Class had already been going really well, because my arabesque got an "いいでしょう" from Inui-sensei (before he told me to stretch my leg out even more XD), and then he stayed by me during the rond de jambe exercise, poked at me a bit and adjusted my positions and told me I was doing well. *happy tears* And also rehearsal went well -- I thought he'd have more to say to me when he started correcting all of our turns, one at a time, but his main problem with mine was that I wasn't looking where I was supposed to. "How do you expect to go diagonally if you're looking in front?!" Of course, he was right, and it was much easier once I shifted my line of sight.

So if it was the large latte I had with dessert that is to be thanked for my non-suckitude tonight... Imagine if I'd had espresso! XDDD

My meme answers will be short and sweet tonight, because I need to get to bed. Rehearsal starts at 8:40 tomorrow night, so who knows at what time we'll finish?!

Wow, in a week, the show will be over. O_O

Turning Japanese )

My first kiss )
I feel I should preface this post with a warning that I have had some extremely uncharacteristic moods lately. Namely bad ones, despairing ones, foul ones... you get the picture. Partly it's hormones (what the hell, I'm nearly 30 and for the first time experiencing typically female mood swings, why NOW?!), partly it's other stuff, but at least this post will get happier toward the end?

Originally, I wanted to reprise last night's meal, but with the way I was feeling when I left the ballet studio, I [rightly] figured wine was the last thing my fragile emotions needed, so I got some sushi from the department store instead. It's a step up from grocery store sushi, I guess? XD;

Anyway... Here's me whining about my body and ballet. )

I watched some movies recently! If you care about spoilers, don't click.

Team America World Police )

Lucky Brand Refrigerator )

Animals Are Beautiful People )

Happy Together )

And here are the daily memes:

It's hard, so hard )

What I wore today )

I feel slightly better now, though I wish I could take a week off work and... I don't know, sleep, or try to feel less screwed up about things.
My ballet recital is on a national holiday, the 23rd of November. Tickets are Y1,000. It's at 6:00 (doors open at 5:30) in Kichijouji, though closer to Mitaka Station. Would you like to come? It's Carmina Burana! And there will be cardboard boxes! And imaginary flying takoyaki! (don't ask XDDD).

I have three unclaimed advance tickets at the moment. For extras, I have to wait until the 3rd for general sale, and the email I got said there might a lottery, I guess if there's too much demand (not quite sure about this, will have to check the website when they update!)

Anyway, let me know! First three replies will get my remaining tickets, and I'll try to get extras for anyone else, though I won't know for sure how many I can get until the 3rd. (Eda, yours is already put aside, so ignore this! ^_^)

* * *


Today I did NOTHING!

Sort of. Not Really. It was one of those days that turned out to be both more and less productive than I'd hoped.

Did: laundry, dishes, vacuumed, wrote a Travelpod entry, posted pictures to lj, studied Chinese, sewed a futon cover, put away summer clothes, took out more winter clothes, helped Kimberly with something for her online class, ate lots of Halloween candy, cuddled Tabitha.

That sounds like a lot, but I feel like I spent most of the day sitting around like a bump on a log.

Did Not Do: cook anything for my lunches this week, get my bike's brakes tightened, reschedule my doctor's appointment, schedule a laser appointment, schedule a hair appointment, take care of my nails, or finish the pair of socks I was knitting in Kagoshima.

Well, the socks only need their ends woven in, so I can take care of that right now. That'll be another sticker! :D And I really do need to trim my nails.
Inui-sensei didn't let us go until midnight last night. Or rather, he didn't kick us out until midnight. And I asked him to go over stuff with me, so he isn't really to blame for the fact that I got home at about 12:40.

I've been having some trouble sleeping the past few nights, and I don't know why. It's most vexing. Last night, I guess the four and nearly a half hours of dance meant that my body was still riding high, and even the 30 minutes' walk home wasn't enough to calm me down. I really hope tonight I'll sleep better! I should, considering I've had nearly two glasses of wine. Although, I sipped those over a period of nearly three hours, while writing my latest Travelpod entry, so the effects may be somewhat dilluted. But red wine tends to make me sleepy, so here's hoping.

I got some clarification re: the "You're Atsushi" issue. It seems that the kids don't like Atsushi (of Exile), and since they'd decided I was a bad guy during play time that day, I was Atsushi. And I guess the other Exile members they don't like have longer hair. XD

Sarah and I have beds for all four nights of our little trip! The first is in a Toyoko Inn, and I can put the coupons I got back in March, on the Road Trip That Never Ended, to good use. The next two nights, on Yakushima, we'll be in a Y1,600/bed dorm, which is incredibly cheap for Japan, so yay! Our last night is a splurge in a fancy ryokan on Sakurajima, with a nice meal and everything. And we'll get to bathe in an onsen while wearing yukata, because it's a shrine! It's going to be so cool!

For some reason, the prospect of bathing fully clothed is almost more appealing than doing it totally naked. And I'm alway happy to get naked! XDDD

That much ballet in one evening has left me seriously sore. And it's not the soreness of having strained my muscles, it's the soreness of, "Hey, you didn't give us a break for four hours yesterday! We protest!" Like, even my arms. :P

At last, I'm done my Travelpod entry, and my wine!

Time to stop abusing the exclamation marks, so I'll be off to bed, now.

Good night!
Ballet tonight didn't turn me into a blubbering mess of fail, go me! Though I kind of sucked during the class, rehearsal went well. Inui-sensei taped me up real good, so my wrist was okay. <3

There was more explanation about the cardboard boxes of fate:

"So then the dancers [people in the contemporary class, or one of the other ballet classes, I'm not sure] with the cardboard boxes are going to come up beside you and do their thing, and you have to walk around them and follow them, looking at them like, 'What the hell are you doing crashing my song with your cardboard box?' Then you take the box and go [insert choreography] and then walk in a line to this side of the stage, and sit down with your box, like, '私のダンボール,' "

My fail moment of the day (apart from the fact that I'd forgotten my ballet studio membership card at home, so came home after work to get it, then walked back into Kichijouji for my class, so I was really hot and sweaty by the time I got to the studio and my bright red face contrasting with my bright yellow hair had two different people asking me whether I'd gotten sunburned in China XD;;;) was this morning. After hitting snooze for over half an hour, I finally rolled off the futon and started my little morning routine. Do-do-doo, shower, do-do-doo, pat Tabitha, do-do-doo, get breakfast ready, hmm, check email -- wait, why are people wishing me happy -- OH RIGHT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

While it's true that I don't make a big deal about my birthday, it's never been this bad!

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, I felt warm and fuzzy and loved all day as they kept coming. *mushyraburabufeelings* I'll reply tomorrow, maybe in the morning if I wake up early enough.

The funniest message was from B1, who doesn't believe in exclamatory punctuation:

Happy birthday. May your day (and hopefully week) be filled with Capibara-san*.

I'm expecting many updates on Travelpod of your China trip. So far, it looks like it was muy bien.


(* When he visited me in 2008, he was struck by the number of game centre machines that had Capibara-sans as prizes. This has remained a joke between us, and I've given him at least a couple of Capibara-san souvenirs since then. XD)

B2 has so far not remembered my birthday, but I kind of expect that from him.

My mother sent me an e-card featuring a squirrel blowing stuff up. XDDD

Cry Moar

Jul. 28th, 2010 12:54 am
In the pool today, Haruka was trying to get up the nerve to put her head in the water. She had her goggles on, and was pinching her nose shut. I could see her head bobbing up and down as she counted to three inside her head, over and over again.

Mai, who has no fear in the water, was beside Haruka. "Come on," she encouraged her. "It's easy! Let's do it together, okay? One, two, three!" And Mai would dive under the water, while Haruka stood still, her fingers on her nose and her shoulders hunched.

Watching them, I tried to remember the last time I'd done that, try to overcome my fear with a "One, two, three, JUMP!" but I couldn't think of when it was. I can remember doing that when I was a kid, standing on the edge of the pool, trying to get the nerve to dive in. I remember being eleven years old and locking myself in the bathroom for half an hour, crying as I slowly, slowly took the blood-stained bandage off my fresh scar (from the removal of the large birthmark on my knee), ignoring my worried mother who was knocking at the door and offering to help me. I remember sitting on an airplane bound for Paris, off on my own for the first time in my life, and being unable to do anything but close my eyes and will away the panic, reminding myself that I could do this.

And I could. I did. Those times when I make myself do something because I know I can, because I know I should, and because once the first step is taken, it'll all be downhill from there -- those are the easy ones. Worse than that is being unable to do something because I'm physically unable to. Not because I lack flexibility, or strength, or endurance, but because my wrist has been permanently weakened.

Tonight, as the teacher was showing us a new part in the dance, there was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw that there were two movements requiring my whole body weight to be supported by my right hand (this is the contemporary bit, not the ballet bit, as you may have guessed). Last week, there was a part where we had to support ourselves on both hands, which is all right, because I can favour my right, but tonight, I just couldn't do it; there was no way my wrist could take the strain without some kind of support, and it was heartbreaking.

And even more annoying than the fact that I'm extremely unattractive when I cry (my eyes get very red and my nose gets blotchy), my voice fails me, so I couldn't even speak up until Inui-sensei was going around to each of us, checking to see if we'd understood. I finally managed to explain that I couldn't do that jump-kick, and felt like the biggest moron ever when I couldn't find the words to explain that no, it wasn't an injury from using the computer, but from working with kids. At least I was able to explain, as he poked and twisted my wrist around, that it was only a problem when I tried to support my weight with it. He said he'd help me tape it up next time to see how it goes.

[Later on, though, we had a couple of good laughs; first, Inui-sensei explained a movement he wanted us to do as, "Imagine you're wearing a furisode -- think long, flowing sleeves." Apparently my furisode wasn't flowy enough, because he kept correcting me, and finally let out an exasperated, "Furisode! Geisha! Fujiyama!" which had all of us bursting out laughing. And then, while showing us a movement where we have to let ourselves fall/throw ourselves to the floor face-first (it's not a natural movement AT ALL), he said something to the effect of, "Well, it's a good thing you're not men, because then it would be much more painful! Imagine if you landed badly down there -- I'll stop talking now."]

Even now, the whole thing is making me cry. I hate this, I hate having this stupid wrist making things complicated. And yeah, you'd think that a wrist injury wouldn't be such a big deal for someone who does ballet, but in this case it is, unfortunately. But suddenly being forced to acknowledge it after a very long day, and with a million things vying for attention in my mind, it's unpleasant and depressing and discouraging.

But I don't want to go to sleep depressed, so to finish on a positive note, the women I'm doing the performance with are really very sweet, and I had a great time chatting with them tonight. My nihongo wasn't as failtastic as it could have been, once I'd stopped crying.

And also, though I can't do anything about my wrist, I can try to do something about my lack of flexibility. Inui-sensei wants 90 degree arabesques? I'll give him 90 degree arabesques. I've got to stop being lazy -- to paraphrase Elizabeth Bennett, when I find myself lacking, I prefer to suppose it's because I never took the trouble to learn. So now, it's time to improve myself.
It's gone 11:30 and I just got back from my first rehearsal for the dance recital, meaning I had a three-hour class instead of a two-hour one! *is dead tired*

Turns out there are five of us from the Tuesday class doing the dance, which is nice. (Smaller group = more teacher time for each of us!)

The music?

Carmina frickin' Burana!

:D :D :D

!!!

*is super super excited*

Off the top of my head, I can't imagine a more awesome piece to dance to.

On the other hand... there's going to be a lot of modern style dancing, which I've never done in my life. So far it's fun, I'm just afraid I'll look totally ridiculous, because my body has never been told to move that way before.

I don't want to be "the foreigner with no extension who sucks at modern"! DX

Inui-sensei's explanation of the theme involved cardboard boxes of fate (yeah, there will be boxes on stage) and punching through them and throwing them around and possibly wearing them? I'm not sure I fully understood that bit. XD

This is going to interesting...
Sometimes I'm so dense, I frustrate myself. Like, it takes nearly coming to tears during ballet class (because there's one movement I can't do properly and I make it look awful) to consciously realise how much I love ballet, and how much I really want to do well. But then, five minutes later, I felt that I had nearly nailed an enchaînement I've had trouble with for months, and I was smiling to myself and wanting to pat myself on the back. I know I wasn't doing it perfectly (my arms especially were all over the place), but I was on the proper beat, and I was more up in the air than down, my feet skimming the floor as they were supposed to. That's what I love about ballet: when I'm doing it right, I feel light and weightless and graceful.

At the end of class, there was a little surprise party for a girl who's leaving to study contemporary dance in Germany for two years. Cakes and wine were brought out, and since there were no plates or napkins, everyone was given a fork and told to dig in. It was fun! I ended up chatting with one of the girls who works at the studio, who was very sweet, but after a two-hour class, with nothing but half a glass of wine and a few bites of cake in my stomach, my Japanese wasn't all that impressive. Still, I gambatta, so yay me? XD;

Ugh, cockroach! :P At least Tabitha proved she serves as a warning system? XD Must buy more poison tomorrow. Bleurk.

Anyway, I bought a 4 class ticket for ballet instead of my usual 8 class, both because I don't think I have the time or the energy to make it to eight classes before I leave for China, and also because Sarah came up with this crazy idea to go to Bali, and I'm afraid I'm going to cave and go along... even if it means having no money to spend.

I've been thinking a lot about money recently, and trying to figure out where my priorities lie. Well -- actually, that's not true. I know where my priorities lie, where they've always lain: I want to travel. Ever since I started working and didn't have to save up money for tuition, I saved money so I could travel. Even now, though I spend pretty freely, I feel guilty for not putting more in my travel fund. As it is, China is going to cost a lot, on top of what I've already paid (plane ticket, insurance, visa, medical stuff). Then there's airfare home for Christmas (but maybe I could get my parents to partly fund that: "Daddy, how much do you want to have me home for Christmas? :D"), and the whole Bali thing... not to mention little things like rent and food. Bah, why doesn't someone give me a pile of money to use as I please?

On the bright side, this desire to be frugal is inspiring me to sew, since I won't be getting my jollies buying stuff. Except for when Hannah and I hit up the summer sales, of course.

Hmm, maybe that can be a sticker sheet reward? Haha, maybe I have too many sticker sheets; it's getting that I have too many things I need to reward myself for. ^__^;;; At least that means I'm accomplishing stuff, I guess!

Anyway, good night, gotta get some of that sleep stuff that is apparently good for you!
It's becoming clearer and clearer that I fail at remembering anniversaries, so this one is nearly a week late: last Monday marked the date that I'd been living in this apartment for two years.

Two years! Incredible. You know how when you start something, or go through a change, and everything seems so new and fresh and the days ahead seem to stretch out forever? Then, suddenly, you've blinked and it's two years later and you can't imagine how you initially thought, "Well, I have two years here, then who knows?" because you're so comfortable and why on earth would you want to change anything now? You're just getting started!

* * *


Friday night, I was in bed by 11:30 and slept until 9, I was so exhausted. Sometime between yesterday morning's brief awakenings and further bouts of sleep, I dreamt that I had signed up for a ballet competition, but I couldn't find the venue. Once I found it, I couldn't find the dressing room and kept walking into the auditorium by mistake. When I finally found the dressing room, I realised I had no idea of when I was supposed to perform, and the weird way the order of the performances was listed on the wall wasn't helping. Oh, and also it turned out that I had signed up not for one dance, but two! Then I couldn't find my costumes. And I had no idea what music I was dancing to, and I'd forgotten all the steps.

Gee, you think I might have been stressed about something? XD

Actually, it's post-traumatic stress of sorts, after a crazy week at work. I tend to sublimate immediate stress so that I can function, and my body reacts by either developing a cold sore or storing it up and releasing it after the event, so that after Friday's ballet class, I was nothing but a little blob of spent muscles and liquified brains.

* * *


The reason work was so crazy was that we had Culture Day on Friday. The parents were invited, and each kid had to dress in the traditional outfit of the country of their (read: their mother's) choice, and bring some sort of food from that country. We had the kids sing a song in four languages (Tagalog, Spanish, French, and English), and presented a dance performance. We had a ballet troupe (I led that, of course, and had made their costumes), a hip hop crew and a hula group. OMG the kids were so adorable! Some of the mothers really put a lot of efforts into the costumes, and the food was great. We'd told the kids, who had brought their lunch as usual, that they had to try the special foods before their could open their lunch boxes. I was so proud that only one out of ten kids was even interested in her bento! It helped that the mothers had chosen to make things that kids would like, but it wasn't all desserts. The Swiss rösti was extremely popular, as were the Korean sweets and the French bread with cheese.

* * *


I really like Friday's ballet teacher. She's kind of like a female version of Inui-sensei, but I need to find a good nickname for her; it seems disrespectful to think of her as Perfect Ass-sensei, no? Anyway, she's not so much hands-on, but she's really precise in her corrections and pinpoints exactly what I'm doing wrong and how to fix it, so that it feels like a revelation. "Ooooooh! That's why my position looked off! :O" The only trouble I have is that she sometimes uses imagery in her explanations that I have trouble following. Friday, she resorted to English (her English is quite good) when I wasn't understanding why she was holding her hand out while saying something about my fingers. I do appreciate that she asked me if it was okay to use English, because I'd told her during my first lesson with her that I was fine with just Japanese.

The windows in the studio were open, and near the end of the class, a wasp flew in. At first it hovered around the lights, then started inspecting us. It landed in my hair, and I brushed it away, but it came back.

"Wasps like bright/light-coloured things, don't they?" someone said. The wasp, grown tired of my rebuffs, flew over to the only grey-haired woman in the room. Then, somebody had the idea to turn off all the lights and open the door to the hallway; the wasp flew right out.

* * *


It seems unfair that breasts as small as mine are should become this sore when my period is about to start. Or maybe because they're small, the swelling is proportionally more severe, thus more painful? Bloh.

My period has been doing its usual thing again, i.e. timing itself to come at the most inconvenient times. I'm pretty lucky in that I don't get severe cramps or anything, and I'm fairly regular, but it's nearly a given that whenever I travel, I'll have my period. Last year, it happened a whole three days early, right in the middle of my Hawaiian vacation; it started on the night Emily and I left for our Great Train Adventure; it started the day before I left for Europe this year; and guess what was happening over my weekend in Seoul?! Naturally, the timing for my trip to China is perfect, and I won't even need to be early or late for my period to coincide with my travels. Given that I haven't travelled for more than two weeks at a time in years, and my cycle is an even 28 to 29 days, this seems suspicious.

* * *


I was astonishingly productive yesterday, even though I didn't take a shower. I earned three stickers for my sewing page. THREE! :D I made myself privacy curtains -- I've always found that term funny, because hello, they're sheer! though I understand why they're called that -- for my bedroom window, and then another little curtain for my bedroom doorway using the same fabric, thus using up a whole sari. Do you know how long those things are? I think it was the very first sari I bought off Ebay, so that would have been back in... 2004, possibly 2003. Now the light coming into my room is pretty and green. <3

My third sticker was for finally finishing the curtains I started back in... before Christmas, I think. They just needed to be hemmed, but for some reason I'd thrown them aside in disgust (over my inability to measure stuff properly and cut in a straight line, most likely) and hadn't touched them since. They're woefully out of season now, though, because when I think summer in Tokyo, bare trees are not the first things that come to mind. But at least they're something! It turns out the way to get myself to make curtains is to wash the only ones I have, so that I'm forced to put up something before it gets dark and I want to change my clothes.

Tabitha did her usual thing. Because she wouldn't be a true cat if, faced with nearly 2m of fabric laid out on the floor, she didn't sit right in the middle of the six inches I was trying to cut off.

* * *


When the weather gets hot, my vacuum cleaner has this annoying habit of overheating and shutting off, then taking at least a quarter of an hour to cool down enough to start working again. Last weekend, this happened after I'd only vacuumed half a room, which is bad even by Ion-kun standards, so I was worried. I emptied it, left to cool down for over half an hour, then tried plugging it in again. Nothing, not even the green "I'm plugged in!" light. Uh oh. Hoping I wouldn't need to try to get it fixed, or buy a replacement, I did other stuff for another half hour, then tried again. Still no green light! Sighing in frustration, I looked up at my ironing board and noticed that though the vacuum didn't seem to have any power, the iron was plugged in and working fine. XD;;;

Yesterday, I managed to vacuum the whole apartment in only three "sessions", which is much better than I'd expected. Not that it did much good, because Tabitha made sure there was fur over everything again before the day was half done. But it was nice while it lasted!

* * *

Today I hope to be just as productive. I've already studied for an hour (sticker! yeah!) and written this long post; next, I've got a Travelpod post to finish (the last of Team Okinawa's adventure down south). Afterward, I need to shower (definitely!), then decide what I'll do with the rest of my day.

Have a good Sunday, people! *kisses*

Centrality

Jun. 8th, 2010 11:35 pm
Tonight, for the first time in what feels like forever, I found my centre. That is, my centre of gravity.

So the simple pirouette exercise, the four quarter turns followed by two half turns and two full turns, repeat with the other leg? I nailed it for the first time ever -- no stumbling, no hopping, no putting my foot down early. I felt like crying happy tears.

Of course, not five minutes later, Inui-sensei was laughing at me because I got confused in the middle of an exercise and was going in the opposite direction from everyone else, but who cares?!

Centre of gravity, I has it! :D

What Makes Me Happy )

In other news, it seems the rainy season has arrived (it is June, after all), so I'll just be over here being a little ball of sweat and poofy hair until September or so.

Thank you, and good night.

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