Bits & Bobs

Jun. 8th, 2011 10:31 pm
I most likely will never get around to writing about them otherwise, so here are some of the things I got up to recently. Please imagine these brief paragraphs as the elaborately detailed posts I meant for them to be, won't you?

K-Pop Extravaganza!

Last month, Eda got her hot little hands on a pair of tickets to the huge K-pop charity concert to raise funds for earthquake relief. There were a million or so acts and it was pretty much a sausage fest, as Eda described it; apart from two girl groups and IU (who is beautiful and adorable and I can't decide whether I want to do dirty things to her or watch her play with kittens), it was all boy bands. So just imagine us spending the evening bouncing along while mostly interchangeable Korean boys DID NOT RIP THEIR SHIRTS OFF on stage. It was actually a bit disappointing! The only guy who obliged was the one wearing the hideous skin-tight pants that he'd obviously stolen from the WWF. Also notable was that when ToHoShinKi (all two of them! XDDD) came out at the end, the entire Saitama Arena went red as the crowd got out its official penlights. "We're in Mordor! D:" I exclaimed. Best act for me was BEAST, who had lots of energy. And it's trashy dance music, what's not to love? Sadly (?!), "Every night I SHARK" actually did sound like "shock" when heard live. Oh, well. It'll always be shark in my head! ^o^

Moving Eda

Last Saturday, Sarah and I helped Eda move. It was pretty much the reverse of what Jill and I helped her do last year, in that this time she moved from Nippori to Nakano. It took two trips, same as last time, but the weather was gorgeous! We discovered that Pickled Nasu Lady has a buddy, Pickled Daikon Lady, in front of whose house I most rudely parked. Not in front of her door, or anything, but in front of the frosted glass window that wasn't even open! She came out and glared at me, but I ignored her, since she wasn't congratulating me on my superior backing up skills. And later, when we were getting reading to leave, she came and asked us what we were doing -- it was so worth it to hear Eda say, in possibly the bitchiest voice I've ever heard her use, "We're programming the navigation system." We didn't see her on the second run, but Pickled Nasu Lady was sitting by the side of the street, and told us, as we drove by, "There's no exit that way." I suppose my very loud peal of laughter wasn't very polite, but didn't she remember us from last year? XDDD

In between runs we had lunch at Big Boy, because that was the only place we could think of that had parking. I'd never eaten at Big Boy before (I only knew of its existence because of Austin Powers, to be honest), and the menu was pretty much just large chunks of meat, but I am in love with the salad bar! For Y600 you can eat mountains of salad, which I did. Who knew salad could be so filling! And I've done some research and found that there's a branch in Choufu within reasonable biking distance from my place. :D~~~

Game of Thrones

This series is SOOOO GOOOOOOOD! There are only two more episodes left to go for this first season, but that just means I'll be able to marathon them all. Tyrion is still amazing; Arya is great; Jon (and Ghost!) are finally getting to see some action; Tywin is perfect; I'll just stop there, because I'm too tired to go into details. Suffice to say, you should watch this series even if you don't know the books. Watch it!


Kids crack me up. I taught my advanced class today (all kids who either graduated from our preschool or are returnees) and the word "boss" came up. I asked them if they knew what it meant, and who their boss was. They came up with, "Mummy and Daddy. And my teacher." So I asked them if they knew who my boss was. Dead silence. "Your mummy?" one girl tried. "No, it's Ms. Y." I pointed at my boss, who was at her desk on the other side of the room, and the look on their faces was priceless. I guess until that moment, the teachers were all just teachers on the same level. Which makes sense, since we all, my boss included, go by "Ms. FirstName". XDDD

Later on, I was giving them sentences and they had to tell me what kind of verb I'd used. I said, "I believe the moon is made of cheese." Chaos ensued! Well, almost. It was the little kid version of OMGWTFBBQ?!?!?!?, so I had to explain the joke, such as it was. At least they all knew that some kinds of cheese have holes in them.


My brain is starting to hate me, and I've really no idea how much of an improvement over my last score I can reasonably expect, but at least I'm studying daily! I'll do one of the practice tests this weekend to get a rough idea of how badly I'll do. I wish I were kidding. -___-;;; At least I'm motivated now! I've got less than a month to go, but I'm more or less where I'd planned to be in my studying. Ideally, I'd have been going through the grammar book again as well, but I don't have the time. I can skim through it easily enough, as grammar is not usually my weak point.

Lady Gaga

I spent most of Sunday with Hannah, eating caaaaaake and shopping wandering through stores and not buying anything. Except for Lady Gaga's latest CD, which is even dancier than I expected. I quite like it, though I'm a bit surprised by how retro it sounds. Sure, everyone was going on about how "Born This Way" is Madonna remixed, but I hear hints of TLC in it too, and more than a bit of late '80s/early '90s Bon Jovi in some other songs. I'm not sure whether it'll grow more on me or whether I'll grow tired of it after a while, as none of the sounds sound as unique to me as "Bad Romance", "Poker Face" or "Telephone".


To get back to the caaaaaake, we hit up the Sweets Paradise in Shibuya at 11:00, expecting it to be full of gyarus, but it was mostly full of ordinary folks, including a birthday party of 8-year-old girls. I guess 11:00 is too early for them -- it takes time to apply those five layers of false lashes, after all!


I've finally managed to translate my chronic (when can one begin to describe it as chronic, anyway?) fatigue into getting to bed at a decent hour. Go me! I've been averaging about 11 to 11:15, which is amazing, considering I used to rarely make it to bed before half past midnight. I feel better in the mornings, though I still can't get myself to study then most of the time, leaving it for the evening. On the other hand, I've been lazy with Travelpod. Bloh. At least I've been uploading pictures? XD;

Time for some reading before bed. I'm thoroughly caught up in World of Wonders, so lets see if I can manage another chapter or two before my eyelids shut of their own volition.
My ears are still ringing, but as we discussed last night, concerts in Japan are nowhere near as loud as they are in North America (and possibly other parts of the world, but I've never been to concerts anywhere but Canada, so I wouldn't know).

Masa's live was great fun, and even though I don't know the songs from his new album well enough to sing along much, he sang some older ones too. And much of the fun comes from him being a dork, and there was plenty of that!

I wish I had a better aural memory. I remember visuals in an incredibly detailed way, but to remember what someone said is pretty tough for me, even in English or French. I'll remember the gist of it, but exact wording? Not so much. So I can't, unfortunately, remember Masa's best lines -- he was practically doing a stand-up routine at one point, and it was hilarious. But what had me choking on laughter was when he introduced the band members, and the guitarist called him "Ma-kun". The whole audience started chanting, "Ma-kun! Ma-kun! Ma-kun!" and initially, he started complaining that only his kindergarten teacher should call him that, or something. But we wouldn't shut up, so he finally just went with it, and started doing this dorky little dance to the rhythm of "Ma-kun! Ma-kun! Ma-kun!" That alone makes the DVD worth it, for me. XDDD

And also, his great hero Nakajima... gah, I can never remember his name. Anyway, the guy he fangasmed over at his first live, who wrote a song for him, was there. Nakajima did two songs with him, and Masa had this enormous grin on his face the whole time. It was adorable, actually. When Nakajima left the stage, Masa indulged in some actual flailing and looked like he was about to explode from the excitement. Eda and I looked at each other: "I think he just came."

Masa's new hair (bleached, with the roots showing big time now) makes him look like a hedgehog.

Another hilarious part of the evening was spotting a guy who I thought was Baba looking very bored in a fedora on the 2nd floor balcony. It turned out to be him, in fact; when we walked into the lobby afterward, we heard girls shrieking and there he was, standing in a corner behind a VIP rope, still looking bored. He looked like a mannequin. XDDD

I must leave to get my hair cut now, so I'll talk to you later! ^_^
How hot was it today? Hot enough that when I put a second coat of nail polish on my toenails, then wore strappy sandles an hour later, the polish was totally ruined -- including the first layer which I put on three days ago. But that's not important right now!

U-KISS!!! *____*

[I'm sure Eda will write up a better review, since she actually knows these guys, and she's way funnier than I am!]

The show started at 6, but they were supposed to start selling the goods at 4... Maybe somewhere else, because I was there before 4, got in line, and waited... and waited... Eda arrived, and we waited... It was 5 o'clock and still we waited... Finally, they opened the doors and we got our penlights on the way in. While we waited for the show to begin, we tried -- and failed -- to take pictures of the stage, which had sparkly stuff going on. We were very excited about the prospect of even more shiny things occurring, then wondered what would happen if U-KISS and ON/OFF were put in a room together. "Like... a spontaneous ejaculation of sparkles!"

U-KISS were awesome! So funny! So much fun! :D Unfortunately, it wasn't so much a concert as a promotional tour (actually the event was "Seoul Train", so an event to promote Korean groups, and this was... the 4th one, maybe?). There was an opening act, Sponge Band -- and maybe it's because I work with young children, but as soon as I hear "sponge" my brain supplies "-bob Squarepants" -- whose bass player was adorable (except I didn't like her shoes), who played three songs and got a little talk session. Then U-KISS came out, sang a song, talked a bit, sang a couple more songs, were seated for a long talk portion, sang their "last song", then came out for an encore for their real last song.

Their first was "Binggeul Binggeul", and omg, I'd laughed when Eda showed me the video, but in person, the dance is kinda hot! And also, tight black jeans FTW! 8D Then they sang "End of the Road". Yeah, the Boyz II Men one. Seriously, WHY?!?!? They didn't do it too badly, but who cares if they don't have any ballads of their own, obviously we didn't come to see them sing ballads! We want more trashy dance music!!! They also sang "Mworago" and... what was the next one? The encore was "Man man ha ni", which was kind of obvious, since they'd given a dance lesson about it during the talk segment. (Alexander: "No, no, you can't do it with a big grin!" *does little x of ダメ*)

I'm forgetting a song, aren't I? I listend to the album on the way home, and now I'm all confused. ;___;

Damn, now I feel I need to learn their names. Googling doesn't help as much as it should, because they keep changing their hair! So I can't go around thinking of them as "the blond elf" or "super bleach boy", because who knows what their hair will look like next week?

It was a shame Eda and I weren't seated together, though we each had good seats, me in row 6 and she in row 8. But I think we both had more than enough fun each on our own side of the hall; for my part, I couldn't stop laughing during the talk portion of the show!

First of all, they made one guy (was it Soohyun?) do an impression of himself slipping during a song and flopping around on the stage like a fish (their exact words). Then we learned which one of them is dumb enough to eat dog food. And soap. ("It looked like little candies.") Then there was gratuitous ab flashing!

They were also asked if there was any place in particular they wanted to go in Japan. "Disneyland!" "The top of the Oricon chart!" "Into everybody's heart!" XDDD

Alexander stole the show, what with his finger wagging and his little x of ダメ, and as much eyeliner as the whole of the audience combined. His hair was kind of lame, though. Did the hair people spend so much time sculpting the other guys' coiffs that they had no time left for him?

Kevin (he was the blond elf with all the pearls hanging from his shoulder, right?) was the one I liked looking at the best, though Super Bleach Kiseop is also really pretty; I was just distracted by his majestic sweep of hair. 8D Eli spends way too much time at the gym, and Dongho has huge ears and looks like he's in elementary school (his lip synching to the interpreter was hilarious!), but overall, I think I have to add U-KISS members to the category of Guys Who Do It For Me (formerly comprised mainly of tall Chinese guys, i.e. the cast of Chinese Prince of Tennis XD).

So I was wondering how guys who wear that much make-up could still come across as manly (mostly... XD), but then I remembered that I live in Japan, which is answer enough. XD;

Apart from the disappointment of them only singing a few songs, I really, really regret not having my camera with me. If only I'd know they'd do a... what did they call it again, a "Photogenic Corner" or something? Anyway, we were encouraged to take pictures while the guys posed for a couple of minutes. Oh, if only I'd had my baby and its zoom lens... DX

Now, they need to come back to Japan and do a proper concert! Their songs are exactly what would happen if someone had tapped into my brain and wrote music guaranteed to make me want to dance.

Come back soon, U-KISS, come baaaaaaaaaaack! <3
Friday, yaaay! v^o^v

Hmmm, cheesy dance music, I likes it.

Eda came over last night for sexy study times sexy hotpot times. And then I asked to be educated about Korean music (in preparation for our assault on Seoul), and we spent some time watching videos on YouTube and rolling around on the floor laughing at incredibly faggy Korean boy bands who are BEASTS and ANGSTY and wear HIDEOUS SHADES OF PINK to advertise cell phones.

Before we got to that, though, we witnessed the weirdest behaviour ever from Tabitha. I was showing Eda some pictures I took nearly three years ago, of G's cats and Tabitha, and while I was clicking through the pictures of Tabitha, the furball herself started staring intently at the screen. Her tail puffed up larger than I'd ever seen it go, but she kept it down, nearly between her legs as she crept toward the computer, one slow step at a time, her eyes fixed on the screen, totally ignoring our comments about how strangely she was acting, until she was half up on the computer desk. I was almost afraid she was going to attack the screen. It was so weird!

Did she recognise herself? Was she having some sort of existential crisis, thinking I'd captured a piece of her soul? I'd never seen a cat act like that. I've seen cats react to movement on a screen, such as birds or fish or squirrels, but never to still images. Even weirder, there were plenty of close up shots of her eyes or face, so it wasn't as though she was simply identifying a cat-like shape. Once I switched to pictures of the other cats, though, she completely lost interest and wandered off. o_O

I asked her about it today, but she just blinked slowly and looked away, purring. <3
Gentle reminder: post-JLPT celebration starts at Berry Café in Ginza! Let's meet at Ginza Station exit C8 at 4:00 or so. Will later move on to a yet-to-be-determined drinking establishment. Who's coming? Comment or text me!

Last night, Eda and I indulged our sparkle fetish fine appreciation for things of a sparkly nature. :D Here be a concert review: )

I just finished a last-minute practice test (the 2004 one, specifically) with a result of... 56%. And that was in sub-optimal conditions, with Tabitha alternating between running around and being evil and then being cute and demanding attention, so the result may be slightly skewed, though I guess my exhaustion balanced out my lucky wild guesses... That's honestly higher than I expected, so yay? On the other hand, it's good luck for the final rehearsal to be a disaster, so...

Either way, it'll be over tomorrow, so I'll finally be able to relax! Ahahahaha. Actually, no, I'm going to be busy for the rest of my life, it seems. I'm going to have to block out a couple of days in my two-week winter holiday for me-time, if I want to get any relaxing in! >_<

K and I laid waste to Nippori today, with my handy dandy 10% discount postcard from Tomato. K had brought her suitcase, I had two large bags, and we shopped for a solid 2 1/2 hours. I believe the technical term for the amount of fabric we bought is "good lord, ladies, learn to control yourselves!" (metric). I was unable to resist all the cute can-be-Christmassy-if-you-want-it-to-be prints, and then I saw a blueberry print. For realz. I believe I squealed. "What are you going to make with it?" K wanted to know. "I don't know! 8D If I can't think of anything, I'll just fondle it! 8D" She laughed at me. ;___;

After that, we had lunch at Bubba Gump's by the Tokyo Dome. We got there at around 2, and the line for the Arashi concert was already snaking all over the site. Pretty much all women, of course, though we did see one guy who looked to be in his late 40's, accompanying a teenager. "Aw, a dad taking his daughter to the concert, that's so cute!" Or at least, waiting in line with her to get goods. XD

I'd never had a meal at Bubba Gump's before, only drinks, but K had warned me about the size of the portions... Indeed, her order of fried chicken was 2 enormous pieces (she took a whole one home), and I had to eat half the fried shrimps on my po' boy before I could even contemplate eating it like a proper sandwich. I guess you get your money's worth, considering I'm not even remotely hungry yet, nearly seven hours later! Also, we split a (huge) dessert. "Since neither of us will want supper tonight anyway, we might as well! :D"

It was raining hard by the time we left. The umbrella vending machine at Suidobashi, which I'd noticed a guy restocking earlier in the afternoon, was empty.

Now I should start getting ready for bed, so I don't sleep through my alarm like I did this morning... And I'd wanted to be all productive this evening and tidy up and write cards and put up my Christmas tree! I guess I can do the tree and leave the tidying up for another day. XD
Yesterday was bad and good. The bad was me being lazy and not getting as much done as I'd have liked, then not thinking about which station I was getting off at, then overshooting when I tried to walk to the correct station. And then the taxi driver failed by taking me to the wrong station, but finally things were sorted out and I caught up with Eda inside the venue (Akasaka Blitz), after being stuck behind some old ladies at the drink bar who were just standing there with their tea, blocking everbody's path. Akasaka Blitz, please to be rethinking your lobby layout, it was way too cramped and hard to move around in, even without the obaasan tea drinkers.

So yes, we were there to see the 4th installment of Pati Nights, which you may remember from back in March, when I renamed version 3.0 Sparkle Fest due to its fabulously sparkly line-up.

This time the billing was not half as shiny (except for the Sparkle Twins and Furukawa Yuuta -- more on them later), but the show was still quite enjoyable. So if you want to read what I think about The Path of Manliness, Shirota Yuu's brother's Lame Silver Shirt of Doom, the giraffe neck, the Sparkle Twins' new look, and Sebastian, clicky click click! )
When I watched the sunrise in Atami with [ profile] kurayamihimitsu and [ profile] rynn_sama, we confounded the Atami Jogging Club by dancing to "Caramelldansen" and "Viking Horn" as the sun rose out of the sea.

What should I dance to with [ profile] later_uk and [ profile] nekonezumi to confound everyone on top of Fujikins?

I'd better get back to cleaning my apartment and packing for tonight. I've got a jacket, gloves, my camera, hiking boots, knee supports, [ profile] later_uk got us super sexy headlamps, and snacks will be bought later today. What else do I need?

In unrelated news, every new Green Day album confirms my love for them.
Whenever I see one of those "Name your top 20 favourite albums" memes, I'm always at a loss, because I can never think of more than ten or so albums that I truly love. There are lots of individual songs that I like, but I'm not that much of a music lover, it seems. Still, there's one album that always surprises me with how much it affects me, each time I listen to it. It's an album* that I think I could listen to on repeat for weeks on end without tiring of it. I don't know if it's that I only partly understand the lyrics (it's in Mandarin), or that Faye Wong's voice is so hauntingly beautiful, or that it's so évocateur (of... I'm not sure -- rain-slicked streets at night, gentle longing, quiet reflection in solitude), but it causes my heart to squeeze up a bit whenever I listen to it.

The first five songs on Fable have that effect on me too, but because the second half of the album is so radio-friendly fluffy pop, and even though I love 笑忘書 to bits, I can't truly love the whole album.

It's also mostly why, I think, I was so disappointed by To Love. While it's by no means a bad album, and many of the songs are quite good, as a whole it just feels like Wings of Light all over again, but falling a bit short. Whenever I listen to it now, I always think, "Hey, this isn't half-bad!" but the initial let-down still hasn't completely dissipated, because 5 times out of 10, I put on Wings of Light, 2 times out of 10 I'll put on Fable, 2 other times will be Only Love Strangers and the last will be To Love.

* Faye Wong's 2001 self-titled album, often called Wings of Light
I have a goal, my friends, and it is two-fold: first, that I should to be in bed by midnight, and second, that I should write about my weekend before going to bed. Will I succeed? We shall see.

Yesterday was hanami at Shinjuku Gyouen, though the sakura weren't quite au rendez-vous. Next week should be perfect. I'd never been to that park before, so I didn't know that the ticket gate would not give back the ticket, and so didn't take a picture of the highly amusing Engrish on it. But I plan to go back, at which point I will be sure to get photographic evidence.

After that, I wandered around Shinjuku with Tammy, trying to help her get a bus ticket to go visit her sister. First we tried the JR highway bus terminal, but were told we had to go to the west exit of the station. Once there, we could find nowhere selling bus tickets, and finally the guys at the sightseeing counter managed to figure out that Tammy needed a Keio bus, so sent us to the Keio bus ticket booth, which is not in the station proper, but by Yodobashi Camera. Except when we got there, we saw that they only sold same-day tickets... Dum dum dum! But a kindly old security guard showed us the hidden door and the secret staircase up to the second-floor office where you can buy advance tickets.

Once that was done, we came back to my place to watch my NOT FOR SALE DVD of Imperial Presence 5B, which I hadn't yet watched. I like 5th Seigaku, and their Eiji is adorable! So bouncy and cheerful. We had a grand time, eating cookies and adding colour commentary to the show.

We were hungry afterwards, so we went over to Grazie Garden (the restaurant nearest my apartment, because McDonald's doesn't count! :P) and shared a 4-cheese pizza drizzled with honey. I liked it! :D

This morning I headed out for some more hanami. This time it was at Ueno park, where the cherry blossoms were more cooperative, and further along in their blooming. We shared chocolates and various types of chips, including some spicy meat sauce-flavoured things which were not all that good.

Laura and I couldn't stay for too long, because we had to go to Shibuya to line up for goods for Masa's live. It turns out that you needed to buy a polo shirt or a hoodie to get the beer mug, and I only wanted to buy the CD, so no beer mug for me. I did, however, get two free photos. They're pretty. ^_^

And now, what you've all been waiting for... the show! :D )
Yesterday was the last of Three Days of Jill and Eda, which started on Thursday with Masa's show and culminated on Saturday with Sparkle Fest 2009!

Friday I got to spend some time with Erynn in Shibuya, and because she is my random-old-anime-song soulmate, we had to subject everyone else to songs from Marmalade Boy, KareKano and Gundam Wing at karaoke. *feels no shame*

Later on, after we'd seen Erynn off, we headed to Shimokitazawa for Y399 drinks and eats, ostensibly to celebrate my divorce. I thought there would be maybe four or five of us, but we ended up being a Large Party of Foreigners: 9 people! I was happy to see everyone, and the evening was a lot of fun, so thank you all for coming! ^_^ Not only did I win the Goya Battle (can I be Goya no ohimesama?), but there was lots of good food and lots of silly drinks (Rabburii! Honey umeshu! Mango beer! :D) and general silliness at the table, including but not limited to certain people declaring that a certain clearish white liquid resembled another clearish white liquid and then posing for pictures with it on her face. XDDD Then, to finish up the evening, a few of us went to Shinjuku with Leah and hung around in her hotel room until it was time to catch our trains home. Good times. I nearly cracked a rib laughing! ^__^

Yesterday I went to Odaiba for the first time*, to go to Zepp Tokyo. We ate, walked around a bit, I resisted temptation and bought no shoes or cute earrings! The only thing I bought, apart from food and drinks, was an ON/OFF washcloth.

Did you know that scalpers in Japan have uniforms? At least, if the signs are to be believed, they do. Do not do business with anyone dressed like this: )

After standing in line for ages out in the wind -- our ticket numbers were so high we were in the last group to be let in! -- we were finally let into the venue, at which point we had to wait around. But it was so, so worth it, because Sparkle Fest was amazing. Not only was Kimeru nearly out-gayed by Masa (only his rhinestone-studded pants saved him!), but the Sparkle Twins out-sparkled everyone. Because that's just what they do. Read all about it! )

Final verdict: HELL YEAH!!!

Today I did Nothing with K, which translates as us both being late to meet for pancakes, then going over to her place to watch movies and tv and make fun of her dogs, who seemed to think that we should be sharing our popcorn and Oreos and pizza with them. @_@

How is it that after a three-day weekend, I'm more tired than I normally am after a five-day work week? Fushigi ne~~~

* Technically not really, but I'd only ever been to go specifically to Tokyo Big Sight or to the Oedo onsen before, so this was my first time looking around a bit at the shops and all that.

** The kind of music that, mukashi mukashi, M-P accurately dubbed "musique de coma". XD
Tomorrow evening is another incarnation of my divorce celebration, so those who would like to come, be at the north-south exit of Shimokitazawa station (on the Inokashira line) at 4:50. From there we'll go to that everything-costs-399 restaurant. So far I think it'll be me, Jill, Eda, Hannah, maybe Becca, maybe other people? We should probably reserve, so let me know if you can make it?

You know what would be hilarious? If we saw The Pants again. XDDD

Tonight was Masa's live, and there's a glowstick in my purse and I'm wearing a cute "Cheers!!!" wrist band. The show was high-energy, lots of fun, and Masa is dorky and adorable. Eda was right up at the front and had a glorious view of the man's crotch; Jill and I were in the third row, if standing-room only can be said to have rows, and our view was almost as good. XD He and the whole band came out in the pink t-shirts for the encore.

My ears are still ringing.

I had 19 bobby pins in my hair tonight.

Haircut tomorrow morning! *cheers*
So I lied, I won't be divorced in 31 days, I'll be divorced in 25 days, on the 14th of March.

Best White Day present EVER! XD

And a week after that, I'll be at Sparkle Fest 2009! Seriously, who the hell thought up a lame name like Pati*Night for a concert that includes the Sparkle Twins and Kimeru?!
Masa, Sparkle Twins, Yuuta, Kimeru and Bunta!

You know you want to go!

So Jill and I want to get tickets. Who's coming with us? :D
The ballad karaoke party was fun. I was one of only two foreigners there, and gave a shout out to my country by singing "My Heart Will Go On". XD

Also, I maybe sort of agreed to go on a date? Not sure how that will turn out, but the guy said he'd contact me through Facebook, and gave me his business card. He bought me a drink, and at various times said I had a sweet voice, a cute dress, and had I ever had a Japanese boyfriend? because he was sure that the Japanese boys would be all over a cute girl like me. I think he was just mesmerized by my non-cleavage, because while what I was wearing wasn't very revealing - even if I had anything to reveal - by Western standards, here it's OMG PLUNGING NECKLINE! But it's the only seasonally-appropriate dressy thing I own, so I had no choice.

Still, by far the most attractive (to me) person there was the tall woman in the drop-waist dress, who had lovely legs and a deep, sexy singing voice. Who cares if she totally mangled the English language! The other women were commenting on how she was Takarazuka otoko-yaku-rashii, especially when she put on the fedora (the karaoke place had various accessories like wigs and tambourines for patrons to play around with). I told her she looked totemo kakkoiiiii in the hat. ^_^
So I'm going to a karaoke event tomorrow, and the whole point is to sing ballads.

I haven't written a word of actual story for NaNoWriMo, but I've got over 1000 words of outline for a Golden Pair angst-sap-smut-fest written in a notebook, and that's not even the whole story! [ profile] umbrellaofdoom has requested that I include the line, "What faggotry was that?!" in it, and since Shishido is already a major character, it shouldn't be too hard. Except that he's to be involved in a lot of said faggotry, so... XD But I also have a list of other fic ideas, in case I run out of steam with the first one, so maybe I can include it in one of those.

Working with young children forces me to ask questions such as, "Yuriko, why are you sticking your hand up my shorts?"; "Hina, why are you trying to lift my skirt up?"; "Leon, why are you groping my breast?"; "Haruka, what do you think you're going to find in my back pocket?"

I love that in this country it's possible to buy super-cute shoes for under Y2000 (of course they were made in China!) that are comfortable to walk in! Now I have to bring myself to throw out the old, worn shoes that these new ones were meant to replace.

Studying for the JLPT has reminded me of how much I enjoy writing kanji, and how particular I am about them. There are some kanji that I just don't like the look of, such as 長 or 違 (and in that case, I retained the meaning immediately because it just looks wrong to me); others such as 家 or 機, I like the look of but can never seem to write gracefully; and others I like the look of and can write very prettily, such as 魚 or 遊.

Tabitha approves of the drop in temperature because it means I use more blankets, which means a cushier bed for her. Unfortunately, this also means that the centre of the futon is hers, and if I want to move my legs during the night I have to do it around her, because a comfortably sleeping cat weighs ten times more than that same cat does when awake -- she will not be budged. Also, she starts mewing at me earlier to get to bed. As she's doing right now.

I haven't yet finished writing my reports on the training workshops, and they have to be mailed Friday at the very, very latest.

K and I are already plotting next year's Halloween costume extravaganza, which will be Alice in Wonderland. She's to be Alice (because I don't want to be), I'm to be the Mad Hatter, and we'll have the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar. Ooh, I've got fabulous costume ideas dancing through my head already! I don't plan on making strict adaptations of the Disney versions of the characters, because I'm not sure the kids would recognise them anyway, and I don't want to make an actual caterpillar suit.

Now that Halloween's over, we get to look forward to Christmas! Last year, I was ever so happy that my mother had found me a copy of Nana Mouskouri's Christmas, which is an essential part of the season in my family. There are two other albums I'd like to have as well. One of them is Raffi's Christmas Album. What the other is, I have no idea, but it's an old tape my parents have, featuring traditional carols sung by a choir -- in my family, it's known as "the Grosse Marie tape", because my parents swear that at some point there is mention of "Grosse Marie". My brothers and I conceed that point, but we've always heard the beginning of one of the songs as, "Abu Dhabi bébé rose", even though the songs are all in English. I have no clue what the lyrics really are, and I don't really care.
At work, we have an ipod with all sorts of different playlists for the various themes we explore with the kids, such as "Animals", "Summer", "Halloween", "Body Parts", etc. We also have a Disney playlist which is, as you can imagine, quite a hit with the four-year-old set. But why is it that they always want to listen to the most annoying songs? We've got plenty of great numbers, like "Hakuna Matata", "Be Our Guest", "Bear Necessities", and "A Whole New World", but all they want to listen to is the Disney "Happy Birthday" song, whether or not it's actually someone's birthday. As if that weren't enough, they seem convinced that the lyrics simply consist of "Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday," ad nauseum, and they're perfectly happy to sing that line over and over.

Actually, the most requested song is "It's A Small World", and it's a rare day that goes by when I don't hear, "Ms. Adele! It's a small song, please!"

I still haven't convinced Mua that the words do not, in fact, go, "It's a small world after Earth."

Today, Mai was singing the song quietly to herself, and I started paying attention just in time to hear her version, which I think is the best I've heard yet:

"It's a small world elephant!"
Changing my alarm tone (and my ringtones) to Caramelldansen? Best decision ever. My happy song makes waking up so much easier! ^_^


Mar. 17th, 2008 10:54 am
Over the past month, I've regularly found myself humming the opening song for Excel Saga, and I don't know why. Sure, I watched some episodes back in the fall, but I never bothered to download an mp3 of that song, since I love the opening because of the animation, not the music, which means I've never listened to it on its own, which means I CERTAINLY never looked up the romaji for the lyrics. So why do I know at least half the words? I didn't rewatch the episodes THAT much, back when I first got into it!

I still can't decide if that's a better song to have stuck in my head than "Petit Papa Noël", which is the other song that comes to me out of the blue, no matter the time of year, with dismaying frequency.

Maybe it runs in the family: B2 can regularly be heard humming the "Gloooo-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooooh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooooh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooo-ria" part to "Les anges dans nos campagnes" (I think it's "Angels We Have Heard On High" in English, right?), whether or not it's anywhere near Christmas or anything glorious is going on.

This is the second morning in a row that's seen me wide awake before nine, without the aid of an alarm or any loud, outside noise. Interesting. I suppose it's good practice, seeing as how my new job will require me to be on my way to work no later than 7:30 (!!!), which will mean being in the shower by 6:30 on the days I have to wash my hair. Maybe I should start practicing...

In a way, I'm looking forward to going back to a "normal" schedule. Since coming to Japan, I've been coasting along on a minimal number of work hours, none of them before 10:30 (usually, it's 11). Since I don't have to get up early, I don't go to bed early, and I'd rather have the infinite possibilities of an evening stretching out ahead of me than the pleasure of early morning light but a pre-determined ending to the time I can spend lolling around in bed, exploring the internet. Back in university, I had the same thing happen to me the semester I had no class that started before 11. After a couple of months, though I was too lazy to do anything about it, I started feeling that the going-to-bed-at-3-am-and-getting-up-just-in-time-to-run-after-the-bus routine left a little something to be desired. I'm not truly a morning person (I really have no preference), but I do like my natural light, and since my window (yes, singular ;_;) faces north-east, I only ever get good light in the morning.

I just ate the weirdest pastry: a flaky shell (tasty) with white cheese (always good), egg (who doesn't like egg?) and half an apricot (fruit pastries are always appropriate!) on it. This is the second time I've bought it, and I couldn't tell you why. It tastes... not bad, certainly, it's just a bizarre combination of textures that manages to be odd yet satisfying. I think it's the egg that does it, though the fact that it isn't all that sweet (Japanese pastries, even the Western-style ones, tend not to be sugary-sweet) and the apricot hasn't been slathered in syrup also contributes.
This week, a book and, to switch things up a bit, some music!

Nagayama Takashi - Jam )

C'est quoi, cette idée-là, de lire deux livres en français en moins d'un mois?! La working girl : petite chronique de la vie de bureau )

And then, it was over. But only the tv series! I'll keep it short, I promise. Prince of Tennis )



February 2012

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