In spite of waking up with achy skin and the worst headache ever, which persisted through most of the day and different pain relievers, I was astonishingly productive today. Perhaps that was because I didn't turn on the computer until 7 p.m.!

Here is what I accomplished, starting at about 9:30 this morning:

- did laundry;
- studied kanji;
- washed the dishes;
- got all my PET bottles, cans, styrofoam trays, etc. ready for recycling;
- got all my non-burnables ready for pick-up (i.e. the things like an old air mattress, a broken umbrella, etc. that have to be put in a special bag);
- tidied up my apartment;
- vacuumed;
- showered;
- got dressed (no mean feat, considering it was uncomfortable to have anything in contact with my skin!);
- took my recyclables to the supermarket's Recycle Centre;
- went to Royal Host for lunch and sat there for nearly three hours, doing a dismal job on an old N2 test -- though considering my state, and the noise level in the restaurant, I suppose I didn't do all that badly;
- paid my taxes and bills;
- bought a mountain of fruits and vegetables;
- came home and made some curtains;
- wrote a Travelpod entry;
- started making concrete plans for my summer holidays (one hotel reservation, I has it!).

I had planned on riding my bike to the restaurant, but just as I got to the street, the back tire blew out. Again. I've had it repaired twice already. Bloh.

Now, up until the making curtains bit, imagine me doing all those things, including walking to the restaurant and to the bank, at a snail's pace, especially this morning, because moving my head too quickly made the stabbing pain behind my left ear increase ten-fold. I actually had to stop what I was doing and lie down on the tatami (my futon was airing outside) a couple of times. Tabitha was intrigued by this unusual behaviour, and came to sniff at me and purr. I told her to be useful for once, and you know what? Pressing my ear to her side and feeling her purring vibrate through my head actually made me feel a lot better! The headache's gone now, thankfully, and my skin isn't really achy anymore, so I should be all right tomorrow.

So, yeah, my taxes? The city of Mitaka has finally decided I exist (after I prodded them about it a few months ago) and yesterday I got my tax papers, so now I've paid up what I owed in back taxes. It was a very large sum, but not quite as large as I'd been fearing (fine, only Y30,000 lower, but still!), and now I can rest easy knowing I'm being a responsible resident.

Hmm, the only things on my to-do list that I didn't accomplish were doing some vocabulary study (tomorrow!) and replying to lj comments. Er, that will also be taken care of tomorrow.
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
How will I transport eleventy tonnes of books back to Tokyo?

By borrowing a small sports bag from my mother: it has at most 1/5 of the capacity of my huge suitcase, but because I put all the heavy stuff in it, it feels like it weighs the same. XD;;;

Where the hell are my sunglasses?

My mum invoked Saint Antoine de Padoue and not five minutes later, we found the sunglasses. (My mother is a vehemently lapsed Catholic, but she still believes in Saint Antoine. And it seems that he still believes in her!)

Will I manage to eat some of the delicious poutine I picked up at S&G Fries on the way home, over an hour ago?

I think so, if I ever stop feeling like a huge blob because of all the food and wine I consumed today.

What will Tabitha think of the cat toy I'm bringing home?

Not much, probably.

I could leave my winter coat in Canada, couldn't I? It's not like I need it in Tokyo!

I could, but if I ever manage to make it to Hokkaido in winter, I'll be glad to have it.

Will I remember to take all the vitamins my mother so kindly bought for me?

I'll try. In 2011, let's all healthy eating!

Aare the ketchup chips really necessary?


And all the yarn?


What will I do on the plane without scissors, when I need to cut the yarn?

Gnaw through it.

Will I again watch 6 movies between Toronto and Tokyo?

Probably not. I'll try to sleep a bit, so 3 or 4 movies sounds good.

What will I do once I get back to Tokyo?

Sleep. After that, my only goal is to have unpacked my bags by the time I go back to work on Monday.

When will I be back in Canada?

A-L has tentatively set a wedding date for May 2012. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I doubt I'll be back before then.

That's all for now. See you on Tuesday, Tokyo time! ^_^
Christmas back home was wonderful, though we experienced a few setbacks. Originally, my plan was to only take half a day off work, leaving (and arriving) on Christmas Eve. Then I thought that that would be cutting it close, and that it would be better to leave on the 23rd, just in case there were any delays. B2, who was in Europe, was also supposed to arrive that same evening at roughly the same time I would, but in Montreal, so he'd arrive two hours later by bus.

My flights went as planned, with no delays, and I was in Ottawa by half past six.

B2, however... landed in Montreal at 2:30 p.m. on Christmas day. Originally, he was supposed to fly from Berlin to Munich, then from there to Montreal. As you may have heard, much of Europe has been thrown into chaos by the weather, which my brother said in most places was a joke (but it seems that Paris can't handle half an inch of snow), and his first flight was delayed, but he did manage to get to Munich, which was good because since he was officially in transit, the airline had to feed him and put him up in hotels.

So here's what happened to him:

He got to Munich late, but might have made his connection, except a security agent searched his carry-on bag three times, in the process damaging his gift for our mother. By the time he made it to the gate, they had already closed the doors. So he went and stood in a long line of people who had also missed their flights, waited for hours, and was finally told that he could get a flight to Zurich, and from there to Chicago the next day, and from there they'd get him to Montreal. They put him up in an airport hotel, and the next morning, he went back to the terminal and stood in line some more.

He made it to Zurich, then waited... and waited... and waited... and finally was on a plane to Chicago. By now it was late on the 24th. He'd been keeping us updated via phone and email, and called from Chicago on Christmas Eve to tell us that *fingers crossed* he'd be in Montreal the next day.

He finally got the airline to give him a hotel room in Chicago, and he also got a $45 meal voucher, but he said the cheapest thing on the dinner menu still came up to almost $30, once you added tax and tip. And the cheapest thing on the breakfast menu was $17, so he couldn't even have breakfast before plodding back to the airport, early on Christmas morning. We were at Dorval to greet him (with a sign, even: Baron von Latefürchristmas) and then rushed home to open our presents, with a pit stop at what was supposed to be Tim Horton's, but ended up being Harvey's because Tim Horton's was closed. On Christmas Day! Can you believe it?!

My gifts included books (very thoughtfully chosen by both my brothers, though one is a hundred-pound thing that I have to lug back to Japan with me -- thanks, B1! XD;;;), money, a pair of lovely peridot earrings (real gold and everything, which means I now own actual jewellery!), and the usual stocking stuffers, though my mother got me tights instead of socks this year! I got the lucky gratteux (lottery ticket where you scratch off numbers/pictures) this year, though I only won $3; I'm pretty sure that ever since my mother started the tradition of giving each of us kids one of those in our stocking, twenty years ago, it's only happened once or twice that either none of us won anything, or more than one of us won something. Without fail, there's one lucky ticket, though none of us has ever won more than $20.

Since arriving, I've gotten to know the two new family cats, Merlin (a.k.a. Merlin le malin, Merlichon) and Beulah (a.k.a. Madame, Toutounnette), both lovely black cats with yellowish-green eyes. They're not related, but strangely enough, neither of them can meow properly. My parents got Merlin when he was a kitten, so he's presumably always been like that, but they adopted Beulah when she was about two years old, and think she might have been abused and so lost her meow at some point. Instead of meowing, she creaks, and Merlin makes this weird noise that sounds almost like a pigeon cooing.

I've been checking the forecast and so far, there doesn't seem to be much hope for a snowfall before I leave. Bloh! Oh well, at least there's snow on the ground.

A last thing I'd like to note is that I'm sitting here typing in nothing but a t-shirt, track pants and socks, and it's no doubt at least -10 outside, and the heater in this room isn't even on. And it's kind of surprising that when I turn on the cold water tap, the water that comes out is ice cold.
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

[ 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!
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 )
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.
Kimberly and I had lunch at Outback -- in spite of the fact that it was past 2:00, and we hadn't eaten since before 10:00, we only managed to eat one little loaf of bread, barely half a blooming onion, one cup of soup (me), one garden salad (her), and we didn't even finish the 300g steak with vegetables and fries. In our respective countries, that would be a portion for a single person (well, not the onion, but all the rest), and the two of us weren't even able to eat that much!

My tummy was very round all through ballet rehearsal and then a class. And even after over three hours of dancing, I wasn't the least bit hungry. I picked up a few things in Kichijouji, walked home, and since 8:30 I've been puttering around. I have my supper laid out in front of me, but so far, I've just been sipping at my wine. It's good wine, though.

Supper: prosciutto, tiny yellow tomatoes, gruyère (I caved and bought a small block of it for Y1,000 the other day), soda crackers, and the aforementioned wine. Once I get the rest of this post done, I'm going to put on a movie, eat, and knit.

Daily life )

This week )
After ten days of faithfully following my two memes, plus the usual Travelpod updates, I was sitting pretty at just under 14,000 words.

THAT'S INSANE! At that rate, dare I hope to break 30,000 by the end of the month?

This week has been tough, and I'm not even sure why. Yesterday I was feeling blah and crabby and it was an overall lousy day, except for spending the evening with Eda, which was wonderful as always. <3 Today, I thought I was going to throw up at one point, but I didn't, and felt better by the end of the afternoon. It's not even like there's anything wrong that I can pinpoint, it's just a general feeling of malaise and fatigue. :P

Okay, here are today's topics:

Fail and smash )

In mah bag )

Now I'm going to put on a light, fluffy movie, eat the lemon tart I bought earlier, and knit.

Good night!
If I were an insect, I could type and knit at the same time. Imagine how many socks I could knit in a month!

Whatever's been going on with my brain and my body lately, it's made me fantasize about sleeping. Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. I just want to curl up in a pile of warm blankets and sleep, then wake up, doze off again, and stay horizontal for as long as possible. The thing is, even though I slept in fairly late (for me) yesterday, and was tired last night, I woke up this morning at 8:30, after under eight hours of sleep, and was wide awake.

Bloh. Anyway, I'll start getting ready for bed now, right after I finish my tea.

Japanese words )

Friends )
Having these daily writing prompts really gets me to, you know, write! Amazing.

But before I start on those, I've just had this rather silly idea for Christmas gifts. I'll need to get started on them soon, so please comment if you would like a unique, hand-made-by-me little something for Christmas/New Year's/Solstice/whatever. You will also need to give me your mailing address at some point, if you don't live in Japan or I possibly won't see you before I leave for Canada. For now, simply tell me:

1) one or two colours that you like;
2) animal, vegetable, or mineral;
3) useful, or just cute?


Food )

My day )
Say, has anyone been friended by any random Russians lately? I got a notifications the other day that someone I'd never heard of had friended me, so I went and took a look at their lj. It's all in Russian, and there are a bunch of photos of different places, some of which seem to be stock photos (watermark and all XD). It's happened before, though one of them seemed to be an actual person who pmed me asking if it was all right to friend me. I said sure, but that I wouldn't friend her back, since I can't read Russian. Anyway, has this happened to you? *curious*

* * *

Lately, I've been feeling tired, stressed, indecisive, and insecure. Last weekend's Thanksgiving party made me feel at least 100% better, it was so much fun. Thank you, my friends, for making the time I spend with you so memorable. (Yes, there are pictures, I just have to scan our masterpieces and then I'll post everything at once.)

Part of the stress is from my upcoming ballet recital. At least Inui-sensei's been messing with the choreography, so that the parts I wasn't able to remember very well have been reworked, so I'm not lagging behind. I'm starting to think that I won't stick out like a sore thumb on stage after all! Well, I will, but hopefully not because of my dancing. XD;;;

Another annoyance, and I think it's related to the changing weather, is that the flesh around the scar on my back has been... not aching, exactly, but feeling sort of swollen. Like, "Hey! I'm a scar in the middle of your back! Just wanted to let you know I'm still here! :D"

This weekend, I really need to start work on my Halloween costume. I've got all the fabric, and I know what I want to do; I just need to measure myself vs. Brunhilde to make sure I make it my size, and not hers.

* * *

The kids are starting to get really excited about our Halloween party. This week, Hina kept asking all the teachers what their costumes would be. When she got to me, she announced, "Ms. Adele, you'll be a banana!"

"No, I won't."

"Then what?"


"Pineapple!" She stuck with the fruit theme until I told her I wasn't going to be any sort of fruit. Then she switched to "[random object]-man!" Finally, one of the other kids guessed that I'd be a flower. Hina looked up at me with a big smile. "A boy flower?" (This was after it was determined, by my two youngest girls, that I couldn't be a princess because princesses have long hair.)

* * *

In other Halloween news, I received a parcel of sugar sweets from Emily yesterday. She wanted to know whether Halloween goodies are traditionally the same in Canada as in the U.S., so here's what I have to say about that:

Tootsie Rolls: I always got a few of these when trick-or-treating, but to me they were in the same category as the toffee -- what you eat when everything else is gone. XDDD
Hershey's Milk Chocolate: Yup, we have these in Canada, along with the dark chocolate ones and (my favourite!) the cookies 'n' cream ones.
Butterfinger: We have these, though I've never seen/tried pumpking flavoured ones! Small chocolate bars given to trick-or-treaters (at least in my area) tended toward Snickers, Mars, KitKat, Smarties*, and Oh! Henry, though this could have changed in recent years.
PayDay: I had never seen or heard of this before! Very salty on the outside and very sweet on the inside, it's like the perfect answer for a sudden craving. I like this, though one per day is more than enough! ^o^
Pumpkin cookie: You gave us some of these last year, didn't you?
Sugary pumpkins: I might have seen these back home, but I can't recall ever having eaten any.
Candy Corn: The first time I ever ate candy corn was two years ago, because my boss buys seasonal decorations and things from American party supply stores. I'd most likely heard of it before then, but it was probably one of those things, like homecoming dances and temperatures expressed in degrees Fahrenheit, that only came up in American books and that I dismissed as a weird foreign thing.

As far as I can remember, my Halloween haul usually had a good deal of suckers (lollipops), Rockets*, Halloween toffee, various small chocolate bars, a few small packages of Nerds, Skittles, jellybeans, etc., and always some non-candy items, such as pencils or juice boxes.

Now I'm curious as well. How about the rest of you? What are the most popular goodies where you're from? Is candy corn common in other areas of Canada?

* This year, I learned that Americans have this strange idea that Smarties are little fruity candies. I just found out why: oh Wikipedia, what would we do without you?
Hmph, I spoke too soon about the heat having broken and it not feeling like summer anymore. Bloh.

The past couple of weeks have been a long steady stretch of blah, at least for how I've been feeling, a combination of fatigue (I think I've finally recovered from China!) and lack of direction. I still lack direction, but I had a nice evening of chatting with Eda last night, I slept until 10:40 this morning -- that hadn't happened in far too long! -- and I got a new bookshelf! Now I have more room to put stuff. I still need to accomplish some reorganisation, but I'll do that tomorrow, on my day of No Plans.

*blissful sigh*

Aren't those wonderful words? Last Saturday was a day of No Social Plans, but I had lots of errands to run. Tomorrow I truly have no plans, except for cleaning up my apartment some more.

Another very exciting thing in my life: I finally got myself a new bar to hang my laundry on! The one I was using before was here when I moved in, and was a cheap plastic one, which over the years had bent so that it hung worryingly low in the middle. Now I have a nice metal one, which means that my drying racks stay in place, though it also means that hanging stuff up means I need to reach higher, and also the sun tends to blind me more.

All right, now to shower, take Tabitha to the vet, then go out and see people. Having a [working] bicycle again means I can wear heels, yeah! :D
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
Even though we took off an hour later than planned (same as when we left Narita!), I made it home before 5 this afternoon. Not that I've done anything since then, except for play "Let's see where Tabitha threw up on the tatami!". I think I found all of it.

So I spent the last two weeks being sweaty, but at least it was sweaty without 2+ weeks' worth of cat fur sticking to me. -___-;;; Someone's gonna be doin' some vacuuming as soon as she works up the will to get up.

Now my stomach is all confused, and I'm exhausted, and I can't decide whether I should put off my laundry until tomorrow morning, because I think I'm going to crash really early. I want to at least start uploading my pictures, though...

Why do I have to go back to work tomorrow? *whines*

I think I have some lemon ice in my freezer, maybe that will help. XD

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.
I'm sitting in a net cafe right now, but I'll get to that later.

It's summer school now, so the pool is out, and I can join the kids in trying to cool off as best we can. Seriously, Tokyo? A whole week at 35 degrees? *melts into a little puddle of sweat*

Monday, I left my brain at home, along with my bathing suit and towel, so no swimming for me. Tuesday I was good to go, and got changed as soon as I'd finished eating. Hyo was waiting to use the toilet when I stepped out of the bathroom, and he looked up at me and laughed.

"You're like Lady Gaga!" he exclaimed. His mother is big into music, so he knows his stuff. Still, I wasn't wearing a dress made out of balloons, or shoes with platforms two feet high, or a lobster on my head.

"I do? Why?"

"No pants!" he answered, delighted.

I must add that "Ms. Adele has no pants!" is always a great hit with the kids. A few months ago, I spilled my soup on my jeans, and changed into my ballet clothes (which I luckily had with me that day) to let the jeans dry out. The kids thought this was the funniest thing they'd ever seen, and they still bring it up on occasion.

"Remember one time Ms. Adele knocked over her soup? No pants!" And they all start laughing, even the ones who weren't there at the time. XDDD

Hmm, there's a guy snoring a few booths over, but otherwise it's nice and quiet in here.

Right, so I'm at a net cafe because my hair appointment was possibly the quickest ever, in spite of the fact that I got a full dye job. I was in and out of there in under 2 1/2 hours, for reals! Since I'd not planned on going home before going out again for those scrumptious desserts, and had lugged all my things into Kichijouji, I figured I might as well update my Travelpod -- which I didn't do last night because I was too exhausted -- and stay where it's cool.

Anyway, I told the stylist that I wanted really short, and the colourist that I wanted really blonde, and that's what I got!

I absolutely love the cut; it's exactly what I wanted. The stylist got it perfectly just with my explanation (I couldn't find a reference picture close enough to what I wanted), and he seemed really excited about giving someone a super short cut (there was a lot of "Cute! So cool for summer! ... Do you mind if I cut this bit a little shorter?" going on).

As for the colour, well, I asked for "kinpatsu" and I am definitely "kinpatsu" now. XDDD I suppose that since I didn't specify that I wanted a shade of blonde actually found in nature, I shouldn't be too surprised. It was quite a shock to see myself in the mirror, like, "Is that really coming out of my head?!" I'll be doing double takes for days, but I think, on the whole, I like it a lot. It's certainly dramatic! Though I feel like I should wear equally dramatic make-up with it, or at least some better powder/foundation than what I use now. And dangly earrings, definitely!

Kimberly's reaction was, "O_____O Wow, now you really look like Lady Gaga! Can I touch it? XD"

I'll post pictures, I promise.

All right, now I've got to decide what to do with the rest of my afternoon. I have my Chinese stuff, so I need to find a place to study. Doutor was too crowded earlier, and probably will still be, but I don't want to have a family restaurant smell clinging to me for the rest of the day... But I should eat, because so far today I've only eaten two very thick blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and bananas, and I don't want to eat too close to the Time of Dessert.

Oh god, those desserts are going to be amazing. *___*


Jul. 17th, 2010 10:17 am
First up, some announcements:

Fireworks! Here is what's going on in Tokyo this summer. I can't do anything between the 31st of July and the 15th of August, but any takers for some of the other ones, maybe on the 29th? *hopeful*

Birthday! My birthday is the 17th of August, but I'll be working that day, and will have a ballet class afterward, so there will be no partying that day. However, I would like to get to the Tamagawa Fireworks on the 21st (Saturday). Those are my favourite fireworks (after the Edogawa ones, which are happening while I'm away), so I hope they're just as good this year!

Birthday, Take Two! Apart from the fireworks, I'd like to have my birthday celebration on the 29th of August (Sunday). So far, my idea is to have Greek food (or possibly Turkish or Moroccan, depending on what restaurants are to be found), and also purikura and maybe something else. Reserve that date for me, please! ^_^

Desserts! To reward ourselves for sticker sheets completed, Eda and I will be hitting up that fabulous dessert place in Ginza on the 24th of this month, probably around 6:30. Who wants to join us? :D

Heat )

Girl, I want to make you sweat )

Fruity individuals )

Smile if... )

Counting the days )

Wow, getting up early on weekends is great, it's only a bit after 10 and I feel I've done so much! Well, I haven't actually done much, it's just that I've gotten my daily tooling around the internet mostly done. Still, I've done laundry, am uploading photos for my next Travelpod post*, and last night I got fabric out for a (few) new project(s). Because I really need to start new things, when I'm in the middle of a bunch of others.

All right, time to get some sewing done, then I need to go over my budget (the next few months are going to be tight -__-;;;), then I'm going to see U-KISS in Nakano! Because Eda is awesome and got us tickets. <3

* Picture #666 from The Great Train Adventure is of... the giant reclining Buddha in Shimabara. I giggled.

ETA: Here's what Tabitha thinks of the heat. You can't make me move )
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*
I'm not sure why, but these past few months have seen me feeling things more intensely. I've always been d'humeur égale, prone neither to extreme highs or lows of mood (not without a good reason, anyway), but today I've been full of so much love for everything that I feel warm and mushy and I just want to hug the world. I don't know if it was waking up to Tabitha being incredibly affectionate, cute and cuddly and purring like a tractor, but the rest of the day was lovely. I got up early to cook lunch and it turned out really well; I discovered my new favourite song* and beat my record time for walking to work; the kids were just so adorable and bright and funny today that I wanted to hug them and gnaw on their cute round cheeks forever; after work I met up with Eda and Jamie and we parked ourselves at Coco's to study (Korean for Eda, Mandarin for me) and draw (Jamie); I got home to a postcard that Jill sent me from Thailand, informing me that even the ladyboys have larger boobs than I do.

Well, if they didn't, I'd say that they'd really wasted their money!

* Lady Gaga's "Optimist" which I love and makes me stomp fiercely through the streets, mouthing the words.



February 2012

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