... getting things that have been sitting on my to-do list for a long time, done, here are some very brief reviews of movies that I saw ages ago. Don't expect anything too deep, as none of these movies were either.

Twilight: New Moon )

Men Who Stare at Goats )

Kizumomo )

Good, I've knocked a few of them off my list!

On the money front, I may just survive. Tonight I experimented with hanpen, which I didn't even know existed! Well, I've certainly eaten it before, I just didn't know what it was. It's a kind of fish cake and it's fluffy and light and soaks up butter like a dream. I chopped it into small pieces, sautéed it in butter and fresh garlic, then added an egglant, blanched broccoli, basil, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper. Delicious!

I think my laundry's almost done, so I'll take care of that and go to bed. 'Night, folks!
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.
Instead of sitting around like a useless blob for the rest of the day, I thought I'd write a bit, since I've got a few things to write about that have been piling up.

First off, [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi gave me some words!

If you want to play, request your words and I will find some that remind me of you. Somewhere. And then you have to tell me what they mean to you. Kender, adventure, holidays, Chinese men, tray tables: )

Oh, hey, I think I had this idea that I'd keep up with book and movie reviews this year... Hah. Here are a few, at least.

Yesterday was Pirates Day, as in, Pirates of the Carribean. I went to see the newly released On Stranger Tides yesterday, and then Kimberly and I decided to watch the third one at her place, since I hadn't seen it and she had fallen asleep halfway through it. Pirates to starboard! )

I meant to sew today... And I did, for all of twenty minutes. It's as though studying Japanese sucks all the energy out of me, and after diligently writing out kanji for nearly an hour and a half this morning, the only thing productive I've been able to do is write this post.

Apparently, the potential embarrassment of getting a lower mark on the JLPT this time 'round isn't enough of an incentive for me to get up early in the mornings. I think my body wants me to hibernate, or something, I find myself fantasizing about sleep all the time. I'm not even getting less sleep than I usually do! :P Like right now, my body is all floppy and wanting to take a nap, but if I do that, I know I won't get to sleep at a decent hour tonight. Double bloh.

And Tabitha is staring at me like, "What's the problem? Now is always a good time to nap."

I also meant to write a Travelpod entry, since I haven't even begun my account of this year's Golden Week trip, but ugh, I don't have the energy. I should at least make myself from supper.

Wow, I'm all kinds of lame today. An early bedtime for me, says I!
Yesterday was lovely, though I wish the sun weren't quite so slow to warm my apartment, especially when I'm up early and sitting at the computer. Oh well, what can you do?

Here are the rest of my movie reviews.

From Toronto to Tokyo, I watched:

Different flavours of gay: Breakfast With Scot )

Communism, Romanian style: Tales From the Golden Age )

Medieval nuns: Vision )

Depression in a mental ward: It's Kind of a Funny Story )

Pretty Italian costumes: Io, Don Giovanni )

Back in Japan... Cops and Irish gangsters: The Departed )

And then last night, I watched another movie! Explicit sex is both hilarious and moving: Shortbus )

FINISHED! Wow, I don't know if I've ever watched that many movies over such a short span of time!

Next time, a couple of book reviews. For now, I've got to get up and do stuff.
I spent at least half the day yesterday convinced that it was Friday, and beating myself up over the fact that I wasn't accomplishing anything. When I realised my mistake, I gave myself carte blanche to continue accomplishing nothing, which sort of worked. I did a bit of sewing, read (almost done the book the lovely [livejournal.com profile] tayles sent me), and PUT AWAY MY SUITCASE! *awaits applause* Sure, there's still lots of stuff lying around on the floor, but technically, I'm unpacked! Then, I went to Kimberly's place for supper -- I helped with the preparation of a typical Southern meal of ham, fried okra, fried potatoes and biscuits -- and she once again taught me how to crochet a granny square (she did once before, when we went to Hokkaido in 2008) and we watched a movie. I crocheted two whole squares! They're for an afghan I'm making for Anna's baby. All in all, a relaxing day, and I even got out of the house, so I probably burned off the sugar from at least fifteen of the million jelly beans I ate.

Following my resolutions, I started doing the Pilates DVD. I did the ab section yesterday, and my abs are a tiny bit sore today, which is good. When I was doing the exercises, I didn't really feel anything until the very end, which is a sure sign I wasn't doing them properly; my abs are in decent enough shape, but not so much that it should have been painless. I expect the burn to increase as I learn to do the routine better and really focus on the relevant muscles.

This morning I did the hip segment, which consisted of a lot of ballet movements (pliés, tendus, dégagés and fondus*) with some yoga (downward dog, anyone?) thrown in. My lack of flexibility was a problem, as I can't really do a proper downward dog, even when I haven't just woken up and am still stiff with sleep. Once I get more familiar with the routines I'll add some basic stretching in, my goal being about 30 minutes each morning.

I did not, however, do any studying. Bloh.

* Not fondues, which come in many different flavours and are delicious XD

* * *


As I wrote in my last post, I watched thirteen films over the course of my trip. Of those, I watched eleven of them on the plane. Here are some quick reviews! As usual, don't click if you're worried about spoilers.

From Tokyo to Toronto:

Young dancers chasing their dreams: Only When I Dance )

Documentary? Drama? Animated? All of the above: Howl )

Tight pants and thick Russian accents: Salt )

Give us you meat: Chez Schwartz )

Earthquakes and family tragedy: Aftershock )

Bored office workers trapped in a cage: waydowntown )

In Canada, I watched these movies with A-L, because watching dance movies together is what we do:

Psycho ballerina: Black Swan )

Awful story, amazing dancing: Step It Up 3 )

That's enough for now. I've spent all morning writing these, so I'll save the others for another post. Have any of you seen any of these movies? What did you think of them? Comment, I'm curious! ^_^

It's noon, and time for me to do stuff besides write. Today is my last day of true freedom, i.e. the last day I have to myself, as I have plans for the next two days, so in no particular order, I want to:

- sew;
- finish putting all my things away;
- draw up a study plan for Japanese and Mandarin;
- shower;
- go out for a sushi lunch;
- write up a quick Travelpod entry;
- put away my Christmas tree;
- crochet and knit: I'm not sure if I can do two more squares today, as I'm unused to crocheting and my hand might cramp up, but I'm halfway through a sock and can probably finish most of it this evening.
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?
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.
When I wrote my last post, I totally failed to write about Tuesday, so here:

Tuesday: worked all day, rushed to Shibuya to get part of Halloween costume, rushed back to Kichijouji for two-hour ballet class, rehearsed for nearly two hours, didn't get home until past midnight.

It was a good rehearsal, though. We got some new stuff done, and polished up some things. I was glad I'd been to the Saturday rehearsal, so I already knew the new bit.

Next Wednesday is a holiday, but I have a rehearsal. That means I'll have class and rehearsal Tuesday evening, will get home and collapse into bed, then (hopefully) sleep in, and go back to the studio in the afternoon for another rehearsal.

Last night I had to finish hemming my costume. Of course it took longer than I'd anticipated, so I had time to watch three movies. None of them were longer than 1 hour 40 minutes, but still. Three movies in an evening! You'd think I went out of my way to find the three most different movies that I could, but I could have done even better. I was just limited to movies in English by the fact that while hand-sewing, I really can't keep my eyes on the screen enough to read subtitles.

Murders in snowy Minnesota: Fargo )

An ultimately uplifting documentary about religious homophobia: For the Bible Tells Me So )

1930s elegance in a cloud of smoke: Shanghai Express )

Also, last week, I finished watching Alexander Senki, another title I put in my mental list of "Things to Watch" ages ago and only just now got around to. Reign: The Conqueror )

And the Halloween costume? Apart from the inexcusably bad job on the corners of the hem, I'm very pleased. Here's a teaser, because I wouldn't want to spoil it for those of you who'll see me tomorrow!

Photobucket


(We took sexy pose pictures at work after the kids and parents had gone home.)

In other news, I'm still wearing the false eyelashes I got for my costume. I really like how they look! Maybe I should wear false eyelashes every day! (This enthusiasm has been brought to you by the realisation that when I wear make-up, I don't look quite so much like a teenaged boy.)

All right, time to take them off and start relaxing. I've got two kids' Halloween parties tomorrow and then a birthday dinner, so I need some rest!
Once upon a time, I made a point of tuning in to all the queer movies on Showcase, or at least taping them to watch later. Then I moved to Japan and started downloading all the queer movies I could find torrents or dowload links for, and for a while I sort of had my "queer movie of the week" habit, but that fell by the wayside when I stopped watching as many movies and tv shows because I suddenly had a full-time job and a social life! I didn't stop downloading stuff, though, so things have been piling up. In an effort to get back into the gay groove, over the past week I've watched two movies that have been sitting around for a while (well, technically, I only found a torrent for Lan Yu a few months ago, but my aunt recommended it to me three years ago, and I'd been searching for it ever since).

[BL movies are about pretty boys overacting and pretending to kiss and/or have sex, sometimes more convincingly than others. I don't count them as queer movies, because they're not. Show me one in which the characters are more than some sort of air-brushed fantasy of what gay men are, and I'll reconsider my stance.]

There are spoilers for both the movies, in case any of you were planning on watching them and are worried about such things. *crickets chirping* No? Right, then, carry on.

Taiwanese lesbians! Spider Lilies )

This next one, gets my highest recommendation. Watch it. It's one of the most touching love stories I've ever seen. The fact that it's about two men is really incidental, though if you're into that kind of thing, this movie also has some of the best depictions of tenderness between lovers, gay or otherwise, that I've ever seen.

Gay Chinese men! Lan Yu )
Thanksgiving Starts Tomorrow At 3:00

Me: stuffing, something desserty, meatballs
Kimberly: fried okra, ham
Eda: samosas and chicken skewers (satay)
Kira: vegetables and dip
Tiffany: vague potatoes
Lindsay (arriving later): drinks and something dessertish
Emily (not physically present): the spirit of pie
Marianne: (drinks?)
William: ?

We still need bread, crackers, cheese, maybe more drinks.

* * *


Last night, I spent some quality time at Daiso*, then got myself a half-bottle of good wine, promising myself a nice evening of relaxation after doing some much-needed tidying up. I'd originally planned to do productive stuff for an hour or so, or not past 9, but then it was after 10 by the time I finally finished cooking (I cooked! VICTORY IS MINE!) and settled in. Hmmm, what to watch? I skimmed through my [enormous] folder of unwatched movies and shows, thinking I wanted to watch something light, and randomly picked Kindan no Koi.

Oh, the lols! I wasn't expecting much (it's a BL myuvie, so...), but it actually provided even more amusement than I'd hoped for. As in, I nearly spit out a mouthful of wine at the final dramatic moment when the Jealous Character resorts to violence.

Reasons You Should (or Shouldn't) Watch This:

- 2nd-string myu-boys, i.e. the not so hot ones (there's the Atsushis from tenimyu, and the main guy is... I can't be bothered to look him up, but he's got a Nose);

- the budget allowed for exactly five actors: the main guy, his boss, the boss's two sons, and the manager;

- camera angles carefully orchestrated so that the actors never actually have to touch lips, it just vaguely looks like they might be kissing;

- the most ridiculous-looking writhing from a guy who is supposedly about to give head to another guy;

- the only female presence in the movie is a dress form, which makes no sense because the main character is a designer -- of men's shirts;

- the love interest being deceived by a bad photoshopping job (yes, seriously!);

- the world's most obvious spycam ever, which the stupid character never noticed in spite of the fact that it's sitting in the middle of a bouquet of flowers on his desk, inches from his nose;

- an ending almost as ridiculous as the one in Boy's Love, falling short only because it doesn't involve carting a dead body across Tokyo;

- it'll only waste and hour and ten minutes of your time!

There's also incestuous desire, if that's your thing, and an obligatory pool scene or two, and an evil megane character who smirks and leers and seduces the two teenaged brothers. So yeah, it was silly as hell, but somehow (maybe it's the wine talking) it came out more amusing than painful for me.

* BECAUSE KICHIJOUJI HAS A DAISO ONCE AGAIN! *unreasonably happy about this* It's the swankiest-looking 100en shop I've ever been in. It seriously doesn't look like one at all, what with the pretty lighting and the nice layout. Oh, and Eda, they have half an aisle of fake eyelashes! :D (No coloured ones, though, I think)
Finally, some reviews! Discuss in the comments? ^_^

Everyone should read these books: Vellum, Ink )

Back to the classics: Good Omens )

Mamma Mia! )

Rome, season 1 & 2 )
A week late, and a book fewer than I was hoping (am reading Vellum but have 40 pages left and figure if I don't post these now, it'll be another week...), but here are some reviews! As always, discuss in the comments if you have any thoughts on any of these things. ^_^

Shockingly, there is no death by butter knife! But here is a long review of it anyway. Girls Love )

Featuring the most badly-animated gay pâtissier ever! Antique Bakery (anime) )

Another reason to love KenKen, because there weren't enough already. ^_^;;; Butlers! Happy Boys )

No superlative seems strong enough! So You Think You Can Dance Canada )

I'm a pretty even-tempered girl, and it takes a lot for a book to frustrate me, but this book managed. And how! If anyone would like to read this book, I'll gladly give it to you -- you may want to skip this review, then, because I'm about to reveal the surprise ending, which totally surprised me because it had NO BUSINESS ENDING LIKE THAT! My Sister's Keeper )
Another weekend nearly over... Can't complain, really, since I had lots of fun, in spite of my throat which is not taking to hint to get better already. It's been two annoying weeks of "I'm not really sick but my throat tickles/is kind of sore/I'm coughing stuff up but only sporadically" and it's getting old fast.

A day spent with Jill, and not a single mention or instance of sausages, spurting or otherwise! D: )

It was so much fun that we need to do it again, and anyone else who would like to join us is invited! Bring your knitting, your cross stitching, your origami, your sketchbook, your [insert current project here], and let's enjoy sparkly tennis together! :D I'm all out of mead, though.

Ume, ume, ume!!! )

KenKen and Kane-chan in Kiddyland, take 2! Or, Kane in Sunshine Cinemaland! )

Yokohama Singing Adventures )

I hope everyone else had a nice weekend as well! Good night!
I love having a weekend with absolutely nothing planned except "tenimyu karaoke at some point". I thought I'd have plenty of time to lie around at home and be lazy sew (AHAHAHAHA!!!), but I ended up going out for Mexican baikingu with K after work on Friday, after which I shopped. Then yesterday's lunch and karaoke turned into lunch, FOUR HOURS of karaoke and sitting around eating pastries and chatting well into the evening. Today I got up bright and early, rushed to get my laundry done then battled the wind all the way to the station on my way to see KenKen With Kids (oh fine, the actual title is 新宿区歌舞伎町保育園), after which we kicked around Ikebukuro for a while and had lunch. And now I'm home watching So You Think You Can Dance Canada and the weekend is almost over! D:

While the hilarity is still fresh in my mind, I bring you KenKen and Kane-chan in Kiddyland: Shinjuku Kabukicho Daycare - a review )

In news unrelated to any myuboys (D:) I was on a roll yesterday morning, and my apartment is spic 'n' span. It's nice, but it's also a bit annoying because I notice every little thread or piece of lint on the tatami that much more, and keep complaining to Tabitha that she really needn't shed so much.
I promised myself that I'd do it right, this time 'round. And since I never did get around to writing the rest of my reviews for 2008, I'll write them up along with the new ones. Let's see how long this resolution lasts...

Feel free to discuss in the comments!

Amazing Grace )

Rome, season 1 )

Enfin veuve )

Iron Man )
As I did not get a review out last night, here are two three movie reviews for the price of one, three movies that I watched on the way to and from France over Golden Week.

The Kite Runner )

Charlie Wilson's War )

I don't usually hate movies. I may find them dull, or idiotic, or badly written/acted/directed, but rarely do they make me seethe. This one did. 27 Dresses )
You know what? I'm 27 and tonight I went on my first date* ever! :D There were no real sparks, but the guy is sweet, and it was nice to be treated to dinner and a movie. I'll most likely see him again, but I'm going to be so busy over the next few weeks...

May I recommend Red Cliff (or John Woo's レッドクリフ, as it's advertised here -- it's actually part I, and part II will be out here in April of next year) as a date movie? There's lots of fighting, liberal amounts of blood spurting all over the place, a couple of gorgeous actresses, Tony Leung (for those of you who do not know this, I have a soft spot for him a mile wide), handsome actors being manly in funny hats and flowing robes, lovely Chinese scenery, and a foal-birthing scene. XD

Also, since it's in Mandarin with Japanese subtitles, your date can gallantly offer to answer any questions you may have regarding the plot; still, between my rusty Mandarin (not that it was ever good enough to fully understand a movie!), my so-so Japanese reading skills, and some deductive reasoning, I managed to understand most of it -- and it helped that out of the 2 1/2 hour running time, at least half of it is fighting -- although I did have a question about "what was up with the baby in the beginning? It was never seen again!" "It was a prince, he'll most likely be important in Part II."

* I've only ever been in three relationships, and they were all of the friend-that-became-something-more variety, so there was no "dating to get to know each other" involved. So discounting times I may have gone out with someone when it was clear (to me, anyway, and I tried to make it as clear as possible to the other party!) that nothing romantic would ever come of it... yeah, this was a first.
Last week, I picked up Luck in the Shadows (by Lynn Flewelling) at Book Off, not expecting anything, because the thought of an hour on the train without anything to read terrified me that much. And now, I'm totally hooked! Has anyone else read this? I'm writing to my mum to ask her to send me the rest of the series -- what's been published, anyway -- for Christmas, and I'm already annoyed that I'll have to wait that long to find out just how much time it'll take Serengil to work his way into Alec's pants Alec to accept the inevitable. Because seriously, if it doesn't happen, I will be severely disappointed! D:<

Speaking of Christmas, I'm already plotting the use of my vacation time. I'm pretty sure there will be a Lord of the Rings -- OF COURSE EXTENDED EDITION! -- marathon in there somewhere, in case anyone is interested in joining me. I mean, what else am I going to do with two whole weeks off? XD

My throat is feeling ominously raw, so I'd better get some sleep. After all, I won't be able to finish the costumes to my satisfaction if I'm sick, even with the One-Woman Sweatshop (i.e. K, who will probably be camping out at my place this weekend to help me finish) at my beck and call.
So, at least a few of you are familiar with the DragonLance books, right? ... Right?!

Before you click on the cut to read my Review In Pictures, there are a few things you should know: )

Now that that's been established, onto the (breast) meat of this post.

Show me the boobs! (part I) )
Today I:

- felt my first earthquake in I-don't-know-how-long, and only because I had woken up to go to the bathroom. Otherwise, I would most likely have slept through it. Again*;
- slept in until 10:30 or so, which hasn't happened in forever;
- ate the two leftover slices of pizza (not in the same sitting, because good lord, they were huge! How did we manage to eat two each last night?!) and they were yummy;
- cleaned my apartment top to bottom: vacuumed, scrubbed the bathroom and the toilet, washed the dishes, put away my clean laundry, put away the air mattresses and cushions that were still lying around from BB's and TC's visit, even properly wiped down the tatami mats, and would have done another load of laundry but for the damp and the rain;
- finally sewed a proper cover for my computer chair;
- did some serious in-my-head planning for the DPP: I think I'll to tackle Belle next (once I put the fringe on Pocahontas), just because it'll be satisfying to get something that big (I'm thinking it'll be at least 10m of fabric, easily) out of the way;
- watched DragonLance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight. IT WAS SO BAD!!! DDDX But in a hilarious way, thankfully. I took many, many screencaps so that I can write up a thorough(ly scathing) review. >:)

* There was a rather strong earthquake one night while M-P and I were in Taiwan, and I didn't even twitch, in spite of one of the girls in our dorm letting out a surprised shriek and everyone else waking up when it happened.

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