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
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.
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...
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.
They now have Fanta "furufuru she--ka--" in lemon flavour! :D~


And KitKat in koujicha flavour, though it tastes more like coffee to me.

And I have a tv that works! Not that it didn't work before, it was the cable hook-up in my apartment that was wonky. First of all, the basic cord that came with my tv wasn't enough, because the wall plug was one with screws that needed a prong-like adapter. So I got myself one of those, hooked it up, and found that every channel had snow and bad sound. I went to speak to the landlady, and after some back-and-forthing of "Are you sure you hooked it up right? Can't you get the store to hook it up for you?" and "I followed the instructions, and I went back to the store to ask, and they said it should be fine, and the tv is brand new..." she came over to take a look. We fiddled around with it for a while, and found, to our consternation, that the reception was actually better when we just held the end of the cord up to the plug, instead of actually hooking it up. Yeah. So the landlady sent an electrician over yesterday, and it took him under five minutes to change the weird screw-plug to a normal one.

Still, out of eleven channels, why are two of them different home shopping channels?



February 2012

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