As a birthday gift, Jill took me to Spinning Box yesterday, a.k.a. The Really Silly Masa & Baba Show. How silly? Apart from the singing and the dancing, there were clowns, juggling, KNEE-SOCKS AND LITTLE RED BACKPACKS. And Baba on a tiny unicycle. I'm serious! But most of Spinning Box wasn't. )
This evening, I had the honour of witnessing a very, very special dance performance featuring everybody's favourite hot dork (Masa) and Luke "Little Luke" C. We knew next to nothing about the show going in, so were prepared for anything... except perhaps what we got, which the letters "wtf" do not even begin to describe.

In a surprise move, I preordered the DVD, because this show deserves to be shared and screencapped and commented on at length. I'm looking forward to actually being able to write up my version of the story with pictoral evidence at hand. And then we can compare it to this review and laugh at how bad my memory is! XD

In the meantime, bug Eda for her spot-on translation ("And it was, like, dark, and there were, like, waves fucking up our ship...") of the story as it is explained in the pamphlet. The pamphlet that I sadly do not own, because they were sold out and I let Marianne have the last one.

Before I start the review, I must relate my incredible ticket luck. Marianne and I randomly got tickets N1 and N2 from Jill, but when we went into the hall, the ticket-taker asked us to come to the side. I wondered if they were going to tell us our tickets were bad, or something, but then she explained that there would be a camera in front of our seats, so they were giving us different seats instead. We ended up in K13 and K14, which were first row after the centre aisle, and on the side. "Oh, if only this were tenimyu, they'd be the best seats ever!" we remarked. TBC...

The King of the Gay Cowboys and the Tranny Green Giant - as told by me )

ETA: I also forgot to mention that at one point, Famous Guy sweeps out of the wings wearing a very long cape with a high, pointy collar. My reaction was, "... huh, they didn't even line the cape! SHODDY COSTUMING JOB!" Before you laugh at me for noticing this, may I point out that if you don't line a cape, you a) see the seams and then it looks like a rush job and b) it doesn't flow as dramatically as it would if it were weighed down by lining.

So there you have it. Stay tuned for my screencaps of the DVD, which should be out at the end of May. おたのしみに!
List my resolutions for this year, that is.

1. Start taking ballet lessons again.

I started this one today! I did a trial lesson, and though I was way below the level of the class, I know that a great deal of that is because I haven't danced in 3 1/2 years. At least I didn't run into anyone? :D The good thing is that it really highlighted what I'm good at (balances, arabesques, grandes jetées, ronds de jambe) and what I really need to work on (anything in 2nd position or écarté, pirouettes, flexibility in general). I was feeling pretty good at the barre, but that's always been a strong point for me. When we went to the centre I'm sure the teacher was crying inside, like, "What the hell is this girl doing here when she can't do a glissade -- where the hell did she pull those tours fouettés from?!" I'm going to try the lower level class tomorrow, at any rate.

You know how Japanese people (women especially) hang back and don't want to be first to step forward? When we were divided into two groups for lack of space, and I was in group number one, all the others hung back so that I was kind of forced to go up front and centre. Usually I wouldn't mind, but it was pretty obvious I didn't know what the hell I was doing! @_@

All that aside... it was really, really fun. I felt like crying happy tears when I walked out of the studio, because the two hours had flown by so quickly. I've missed dancing.

2. Take better care of my body.

Not that I neglect it, or do anything really harmful to my health, but I'd rather cultivate good habits now. The troubles I had with my wrist this past year underscored the fact that I've actually been incredibly lucky up until now. Even with 12+ years of dance under my belt, not so much as a sprained ankle. *knocks on wood* My knees have given me trouble at times, but I think that can partly be attributed to backpacking, partly to general walking/cycling/dancing, and it's not so much a specific injury as feeling I'd better wear supports some days.

Also, I haven't had a general medical check-up since leaving Canada, so I'm doing that tomorrow. It was going to be today, but I got lazy... *fails*

Getting a bit more sleep falls under this resolution as well. The end of 2009 was stressful for several reasons, and going to bed too late didn't help things.

3. Do more creative, crafty things.

Why, hello there, fabric stash, long time no talk to! :D I need to get over my mental block of not wanting to start doing something unless I have a whole day free to do it. I know I can accomplish lots in an hour, but when I get home after work, I tend to veg out at the computer instead of doing some sewing. I've got millions of ideas in my head, they just haven't come into the real world yet. I want to do better than I did last year.

4. Keep up the Japanese study and take the JLPT2 again. And pass it!

5. Start studying Mandarin again and try to regain most of what I had.

Don't know if that's quite realistic with the Japanese going on at the same time, but... I've got angsty Chinese tennis boys to motivate me! Lai ba! XD

6. WRITE IN MY DAMN TRAVEL JOURNAL.

And, as a supplement to this, sort through all my travel memorabilia and get it into scrapbooks. I have all the material, I just need to sit down and do it!

* * *


Coming soon, the saga of The Three Gaijin Who Topped Ikebukuro, complete with purikura scans!
So, all you doing-the-JLPT-hito, have you received your invitation to the practice test? I got mine and I'm stupidly excited about it because I thought doing it last year was a very good experience, since it's an almost-real test before the real test, and also, they pay you! Which means that not only do you get to do a simulation of the real thing, that's Y2,000 less you're paying for the priviledge of taking the actual test.

I'm signing up, and you should as well! Woohoo! :D Practice shiken shiyou!

Apparently, I'm very loopy tonight. I totally screwed up the rumba on my first try -- you should have seen me, I was spectacularly lost! -- but managed to improve. I also totally failed at nihongo while speaking to my super sweet French buddy; she must have been thinking, "Oh my, this girl really thinks she has a chance at passing level 2?! O_O" But then after the break, when we went back into the studio, the word had gotten around (thanks to one of the instructors, who calls me "Canadian" XD) that I'm French-Canadian, so I was approached by the adorably wrinkled Monsieur Asano, who studied in Paris way back in the 60s. I'm constantly surprised by how many French-speaking Japanese people there seem to be in Tokyo!
You're supposed to learn something new every day, right? Well, today I learned that trying to do the rumba with a man who has no idea what he's doing is really painful for a wrist already sore from rolling out pie dough.

What have you learned today? :D

I meant to post an update of sorts on my suupaa nihongo benkyou plan, about how I almost managed to keep up for the first week. Fortunately, since yesterday was a holiday, I was able to catch up; I also got up a bit earlier than usual this morning (i.e. not as early as I told myself I would, but earlier than I've managed since I started trying!) and only have a little more to do this evening.

Who among you are taking the JLPT in December? Jill, Laura, Eda, Hannah? Anyone else? Would any of you be into getting together to study once in a while? I like family restaurants for that (drink bar, ilusm), personally, but anything is fine, really.

I've decided that while I mostly don't expect to pass level 2, I'm going to give it my best shot. I'm tired of being lazy, and am pretty ashamed of the opportunities I've not seized when it comes to bettering my nihongo. So here's to two months of gambaru power level up!

Ok, maybe I should go to bed now, I'm barely making sense to myself... -__-;;;
First things first: Thanksgiving!

Unless anyone has any objections, let's settle on Sunday the 11th, my place (Kichijouji or Mitakadai station, let me know if you need directions!), around 4 or so. Emily and I will probably spend the day attempting to bake pies, so I don't know how feasible it is to send a delegation to meet people at the station, but most of you have been here before, so you can find your way again, right?

Attendees and their offerings:

Me: Pie, stuffing, mikan-flavoured castella from Nagasaki, mad sangria-making skillz
[livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi: Pie, cranberry sauce (or salad, if there are no cranberries to be had, even for ready money)
[livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky: Mashed potatoes
[livejournal.com profile] llamachan: Drinks (alcohol? :D)
[livejournal.com profile] dilettantka: ?
[livejournal.com profile] kurayamihimitsu: ?
[livejournal.com profile] genkischuldich: ?
[livejournal.com profile] akahannah: ?

As you can see, we still need some sort of meat -- last year, we had Costco roast chicken in lieu of turkey, but I have neither the time nor the membership to go and get one. Can anyone volunteer to either get something similar or cook it themselves? I've got two gas rings and a microwave/convection oven for any on-site cookery that needs to be done.

We also should have some sort of vegetables, and more drinks. Or you can chip in some money to cover the cost of fowl and sangria and pie fixings! :D Either way, let me know what you plan on contributing!

Finally, if anyone has any leads on where one could buy cranberries in Tokyo or Chiba, please share!

ETA: And if anyone not on that list would like to join us, let me know, there's still some room! ;D

* * *


I was going to post about how in a way it was a good thing I'd caught up with all the fansubbed Chinese PoT episodes, because I wouldn't have time to watch any more tonight, what with dance class and studying, but on the other hand, moar Ju Wan/Da Shi doubles love goodness plz!!! (Last ep ended just after the Golden Pair lost to St. Rudolph because of Ju Wan's lack of stamina, so I'm looking forward to some juicy angsting on both their parts as Ju Wan accepts he has to work harder and Da Shi just wants to support his partner, with maybe some manly tears and hugging thrown in XD) Anyway, I got home, and there was a new subbed episode waiting for me!

*glee*

Still need to study, though, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. And then I have the raw episodes, so I can see just how much of the Chinese I can understand. So far, more than I would have given myself credit for, but a lot of times it's while reading the subtitles, I compare it to what I'm hearing and think, "Ah, that's what I would have guessed," so it's not the same as having no translation at all.

* * *


So yes, dance class!

Tonight I started a social dance class with K and R (our coworker) at the Musashino City Sports Club. I'm by far the youngest one there, as it's mostly ojiisans and obaasans (A-L, il y en avait un ou deux que tu aurais certainement voulu kidnapper!), but it was fun. We did some waltz, some rumba, and what they call "blues" (slow, slow, quick-quick), and god, I miss dance classes!

I was pounced on by a nice lady who spotted my name-tag (they'd printed "Marie" on it, because Japanese people don't seem to understand hyphenated names) and wanted to know whether I was French. Turns out her husband is living in France, and while she speaks German fluently, she has trouble with French (but she sounded pretty good to me!), so she asked if we could chat in both Japanese and French. She was really sweet!

* * *


Japanese study... I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I'm determined to get through my study plan even if it kills me. So if I'm not around on line or don't post much for the next couple of months... it's because nihongo has eaten my brain, not because I don't love each and every one of you. orz
There's been a serious lack of ballet in my life for the past couple of years. In an effort to remedy this, [livejournal.com profile] umbrellaofdoom and I are thinking of going to see The Nutcracker, if there are any tickets left. Is anyone else interested?

http://www.ambt.jp/english/upcoming_performances/upcoming_performances.html

Nan demo...

Sep. 8th, 2008 10:18 pm
Looks like I found my second job! I went out to the general Hachiouji area this evening for an interview, and was offered the position after I dazzled Matsumoto-san with my charm and wit. Oh, and the fact that my availability matched up perfectly with the hours he needed a teacher for. XD It's only two nights a week, but that's just what I was looking for. The only downside is that I'll have to reschedule my next laser appointments, but I can do that tomorrow afternoon.

Also, tomorrow afternoon I have to send in my application for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. And then get out my kanji books because as much as I'd like to think I could go in and breeze through the test without studying beforehand, and I probably can guess and infer enough to get through it, I'd rather put some effort into it.

I should also tidy up the ol' apartment a bit, because Bashy Boy and Tango Chick will be back for two nights before heading out again, and coming back on Friday. They'd originally planned to hang around the Kansai area for a while longer, but BB called me earlier and said they were suffering a bit of temple overload, and wanted to come back and climb Mount Takao instead. I'll demand that they come to school with me Wednesday morning to meet the kiddies, and they can't really refuse -- think of how much money I'll have saved them by the time they leave!

It was funny when they arrived; I showed them into my place, gushing about how much BIGGER it is than my old one, and they looked at each other and said, "We'll never complain about the size of our condo ever again!"

Getting back to the job, I'm really looking forward to the extra money because after watching SYTYCD, I've had this constant refrain of "must find ballet classes NOW!" in the back of my mind. And then the other day I picked up a flyer for Tokyu Shibuya Culture Circle, and they have all sorts of dance classes: classical and modern ballet, jazz, tap, musical, belly dance, even flamenco! Unfortunately, many of them are during the day, but a fair number are in the evening. I haven't read through all of it yet, but the modern ballet classes look cool. I'd go for classical first, but the evening ones seem to be mostly either pointe classes (and I think I'd better work my way up to that; it's been 2 years, after all!) or classes for "adults who haven't taken dance classes since long before they were adults" and that's hardly my situation.

Mm, my chicken soup is tasty! It's even better today because I can smell it. :D Not that I can take much credit for the taste, because I didn't do much except peel and chop, but that ginger didn't grate itself, you know?

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