My head hurts, my eyes are sore, I've got sand in my ears, I'm tired, and my apartment is a disaster. On the bright side, I took myself on a little trip today, which included some beach time (hence the sand), seeing some old friends*, and a flavour of ice cream I'd never had before.

Also, I earned two more stickers for my sewing page! :D So I've more than honoured that part of my vow to Haengbok-sshi, even though I'm failing at the other parts.

Damn, I just realised that I haven't studied the old putonghua today, so no sticker for that... Oh well, I can still get some stretching in before I go to bed.

* Those weird bugs Emily and I saw by the water in Beppu, but these ones were smaller and not as colourful.
Today was nice. Relaxing, fun, and the weather turned out better than expected!

To celebrate Canamerica Day, I headed out to Chiba's Edogawa Pool Garden with Kimberly, Jamie, Eda, Emily and Tiffany. Upon arrival, we were shocked to find the place deserted. Well, not deserted, but compared to the other times I'd been, there was barely a soul in sight -- in fact, we had l'embarras du choix when it came to choosing a place beneath the awnings (we'd always had to set up camp somewhere around the edge of the park, in the hot sun, the other times I'd been). Even waiting in line for the slide took only a fraction of the usual time! I'm guessing people stayed away because the sky looked threatening, but though the weather started out overcast, which was nice because it wasn't too hot, the sun eventually came out with a vengeance. I played it extra safe and reapplied sunscreen more than once, and am happy to report myself free of sunburn. My eyes are a bit tired from being out in the bright light most of the day, but that's to be expected.

Bobbing around in the lazy river was nice and relaxing, and it was overall a great day, except for the service at El Torito, which was slow and just... I thought it was standard policy to check everyone's glass of water when someone asks for more, but not according to that one waitress, it seems! At least the other girl offered us all refills when someone asked. But then she forgot to give Jamie's order to the kitchen staff... *rolls eyes*

Eda and I topped the triple challenge at Baskin Robbins, sharing a coconut/raspberry-chocolate/gay tropical island fruit cup. It was yummy. ^_^

Back in Kichijouji, it was raining, so Kimberly and I poked around Yuzawaya for a few minutes while waiting for the bus. I hadn't been to the new location yet, if you can believe it! I wound up finding ballet-themed stickers, because that's what it takes to get me to do my stretching every day. My reward for a month of daily stretching will be a new leotard (which I desperately need), and the following month it will be some new ballet slippers. With split soles, this time! :D

This means I now have about... oh, 800 stickers to use.


On the bright side, on another floor at OIOI I spotted a couple of really cute bathing suits, and I'm thinking one of those can be my reward for completing my first study sticker sheet, because being able to communicate with people in China isn't enough of a reward. XD

One of the bathing suits is actually two bikinis that you can wear together. Yes, because layer bathing suits is what's in, now. Oh, Japan, what will you think of next?!
Wow, I'd forgotten how small kids are. It's one thing to work with them each day and hold them; it's quite another to make dance costumes for them. So. Damn. Tiny. (We're having Culture Day on Friday, and as I'm in charge of the ballet troupe, I thought I'd make little vests for the boys and skirts for the girls. We're dancing to The Nutcracker. We've also got a hula group and a hip-hop group. They're all going to be so cute. <3)

Kids being kids )

In news unrelated to kids, I feel I've been rather unproductive today. Though I did go to a ballet class, then to the travel agency to hand over my passport so they can take care of getting me a Chinese visa (less troublesome than going myself, though more expensive), then went and bought some clothes even though I'd told myself I wouldn't. At least I got a whole outfit? XD;

Oh, well. Tomorrow shall be a Day of Sewery, so I'll be able to at least finish a few things, and add a few more stickers to my sewing page.

Speaking of which... Check this out! )
It's one of those words that described something that does not make a noise but if it did make a noise would sound just like that. Bliss. It's like the sound of a soft meringue melting gently on a warm plate. (Terry Pratchett, The Truth, p. 234)

What's your favourite word, in any language?

In English, I like "thrilling". It's got a soft "th", the full "l", the "ing" ending, all of which are part of the core of English, to me. It sounds exactly like what it means, something that'll send good little shivers up your spine, especially when spoken in a whisper.

In French, my favourite word is "velours", another word that sounds exactly like what it means (velvet). A soft "v" sound to start off with, a little frisson of "ou" and a purring "r" at the end. Mmm, velours...

* * *

After two days of wanting to eat everything in sight -- and it's not even specific cravings, it's just OMG MUST EAT even when I've just eaten and am not feeling remotely hungry -- it finally dawned on me that on top of the weather suddenly being chilly again, I'm about to start my period. No wonder my body is craving nutrients. Not that I deprive it of any, it's just being testy.

* * *

Look at my first sticker sheet! Isn't it purty? :D )

I've since earned a sticker for completing a knitting project. Also, I have more charts!

Kimberly helped me make them, and while we were working on that at her place, I pondered what I should reward myself with.

"It's tough, because there's nothing I really deny myself. If I want it, I get it, unless it's unreasonably expensive, or something. I go out to eat with friends often, and I travel as much as I can already. And I don't want it to be clothes, because I'm attempting to stop buying clothes. And I own way too many pairs of shoes."

"How about accessories?"

Pause. "Have you seen my earring collection? XD;;;"

Laugh. "Right."

Finally, it dawned on me that the one thing that I do really like, and that I seldom ever buy, is fancy pastries. So each completed line will be a depaato pastry, which I will eat slowly at home, enjoying it along with a nice cup of tea. Now, doesn't that sound good? I can't wait!

I still haven't decided what I'll give myself when I complete a whole chart, though! Any suggestions?
Last night I watched some figure skating with Eda, and it was interesting to watch it with someone who actually knows about technique! I can tell if a jump looks good or not, and I'm great at complaining about the between-jumps bits being boring, and making fun of the costumes (ugh, that neon green monstrosity with the sideways bow, DIE!), but that's about it. And Eda confessing her secret desire to be a large Russian figure skating coach wearing a huge fur coat and lots of bling totally made my evening. <3

This morning, I suddenly had a violent, inexplicable craving for poutine. I could practically taste it! I almost want to go out and find a Becker's, though their poutine is but a pale imitation of the real thing...

Mmm, speaking of cheese, I'm very excited to be going to Europe for my annual family Golden Week vacation*. Because you know what they have in Europe? CHEESE! Lots and lots of delicious cheese. And I will eat it all. :D

First up on the Get Stuff Done! project, I'm going to give myself a sticker for every picture post, either livejournal or Travelpod. I would also give myself one for getting to bed before midnight, but seriously? Pfffffft! Like that's ever going to happen! XD

So here's for a sticker, for my yet-to-be-created sticker sheet! ^o^

Out and about )

Speaking of the Berry Café, I can't for the life of me find my card for a free slice! It is most vexing. I've been through all my papers twice, and I still can't find it. I'll try one last time tomorrow, since the card expires this weekend, but I'm afraid it might have accidentally gotten mixed up with papers to be recycled. If so, it's long gone... -__-;;;

Next picture post will feature the fifty seven desserts I consumed in Yurakucho a couple of weeks ago.

* Ten days, starting in Vienna and ending in Berlin, with stops in Prague and any other place that strikes our fancy in between! Gotta get me an international driver's license so I can get us to those in-between places. I'm excited!
Your responses to my last post were encouraging, so let's do this!

At my school, at the end of each day, we give a sticker to each kid who's been good and has followed the class rules all day. They put that sticker on their sticker sheet, and when it's completed, we give them a certificate and let them put a coin in the Anpanman capsule machine we have (which we fill with Anpanman stickers). The 2- and 3-year-olds especially get excited about "Anpanman gacha-gacha! :D".

I'm not suggesting Anpanman stickers as a reward for reaching personal goals -- though far be it from me to deny you such a thing, should you be a closet Anpanman fan! XD -- but cute stickers for small goals and a big reward (left up to each participant's discretion) after having earned x number of stickers? And a certificate, of course, that goes without saying!

So, your thoughts? Create a lj community specifically for this? Elect officers? Have a special badge and a secret handshake? 8D

Now I'm off to complete a simple goal for this evening: be in bed before 12:30.
I was all geared up to post pictures of my trip to Sendai, or at least of last week's snow, but then I logged into Photobucket and realised I've got a million other pictures to post first. So. Yeah. -__-;

Recently, especially over the past year, I've lived so many amazing moments that it seems whiny to say that I feel somehow dissatisfied. Actually, dissatisfied isn't quite the right word. It's more that I'm starting to really feel that I'm letting myself down by not trying to improve at the things I really love. I can pick up new things easily enough, and do a passable job at them, but I've never really worked as hard as I feel I could, as hard as I see others working, to really achieve something.

You know what I need? More time. I've got all these things I want to do, but I don't know how to organise things so that they all fit nicely into my schedule. A step in the right direction, of course, would be to get myself in gear and stop wasting time lying around in the evenings, but where to get the motivation? I think I mentioned a while back wanting to create some sort of "Goal of the Month" club, and I'm seriously mulling it over.

Who wants to join me? What is(are) your goal(s)? Do you want me to make up stamp cards so you can get a stamp for each small accomplishment and I can give you a big shiny sticker when you reach your goal? :D

(I'm serious, here, folks...)

My goals, in brief )



February 2012

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