Me + camera + 8 1/2 hours of hiking in a forest = 12,908 pictures of moss-covered trees; 54,930 pictures of moss-covered tree stumps; 781 pictures of moss-covered rocks.

Okay, okay, slight exageration. I took approximately 1,100 pictures over the course of our five days in southern Kyushu, though only about 1,000 of the pictures made it back to Tokyo. Now I'm slowly going through them, but by my estimate, here is the general break down is (please imagine this as a pie chart):

53% -- pictures of trees, tree stumps, rocks (moss-covered or otherwise) and general foresty-ness
21% -- pictures of the sky, clouds and the ocean
12% -- pictures of various things of interest we saw, including several failed pictures of jellyfish
6% -- pictures of food that I ate
4% -- pictures of amusing signs, etc.
3% -- pictures of me or Sarah being dorky
1% -- miscellaneous

* * *


Right now, I'm thinking I want to curl up in bed with Tabitha, because it's Friday night and I'm an old lady! :D So maybe eating some chocolate isn't such a good idea.

Argh, I just remembered that I forgot to buy milk.

Oh, well. Maybe one day, I'll actually have something interesting to post about! I have ideas, I just need the time to get them out on paper, as it were.

With my sticker sheets, especially the travel posting one, I've come to a point where I'm doing it just for the sticker, and the reward sort of falls by the wayside. But I completed my second sticker sheet a while back, so I deserve some dessert! I will look through my dessert magazine and select a likely spot, then issue a general invitation. ^o^

* * *


Tabitha seems to have decided that instead of being bratty when I come back from travelling, she's going to be the most adorable cat ever. She just hopped onto my lap and spent several minutes purring and rubbing up against me. *melts* The fact that the weather's cooled considerably helps, as it's now open season on my futon, i.e. open season on whichever part of me is warmest.

Fluff

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 )
Here's the dress I finished on my way to Korea. Seriously, I spent the train ride to Narita sewing the straps, and finished those and added a hook and eye at the gate while waiting to board the plane. I completed it about five minutes before my seat section was called.

This picture is also a teaser for my account of Seoul, which I'll start posting to Travelpod tomorrow night. Here be a dress! )

And now, a challenge for you all: gratuitous Tabitha spam )
[ETA: One more picture, which I forgot to include.]

When I manage to get to bed at a reasonable hour, it's a chore to drag myself out of it as early as I'd like. And then when I let myself go to bed later, planning on sleeping in, I'm wide awake at 6:20 and am unable to fall asleep again. Sigh.

Perhaps I shouldn't complain, because the reason I couldn't get back to sleep (in spite of Tabitha being warm and purry beside me) is because after yesterday, my brain is fired up and unable to stop.

I know I keep saying, "I'll post about this next time," and I really mean to, but oftentimes I don't, or it gets delayed indefinitely. Perhaps it's because I feel I don't want to be spammy and post long entries about stuff that others might not be interested in. I figure if I only post long entries once in a while, there's more chance they'll be read. ^_^; Anyway, I really want to write about creativity, and the whole creative process, because after a good creative week, yesterday was almost too much for my little mind to handle. Or maybe it was all the fabric fumes*. At any rate, Kimberly and Jamie are both very creative in very different ways, and it was a joy to spend the day bouncing ideas off other people, making stuff, talking about making stuff, and sort of casually brainstorming.

But first, as promised, pictures**! For pictures of Tabitha, my completed dress, my not-yet-completed dress, and miniature fruit, it's this-a-way: Also my chest -- go ahead and laugh, Jill! XD )

That's it for now, folks. I swear, within the week I will write about:

- Tenimyu
- creativity
- a really cool izakaya I went to in April
- OMG I'm going to Korea for a day! :D

* I'm somewhat allergic to the chemicals that are used at the end of the fabric-making process, which is one of the reasons I always wash my fabric before using it. Something that I've been working with must not have been washed, because I'm feeling distinctly asthmatic, which only happens when I'm with Siamese cats, or using fabric that's still factory-fresh. And I know it's not the damp, because even though it's been grey and drizzly, the air isn't damp enough to make my hair start to curl.

** And this is where I visit my Photobucket account and see that, hey, there are pictures and video I uploaded over a month ago that still haven't been shared with the world! -___-;
The day I went to Ome to see the plum trees this year happened to be the 14th of March, which is White Day, and also the anniversary of my divorce. In a happy coincidence, I had some coupons for 50% off a large dessert at Coco's (the family restaurant, not the curry place!), so Kimberly, Jamie and I decided to go stuff our faces after having admired the natural beauty of the blossoms.

Happy White Day/Divorce Day! )

In other news, I almost succeeded in doing all of Inui-sensei's exercises correctly this evening! I was doing so well, until I screwed up on the last glissade-assemblé bit. But still, it was a victory for me to managed those passé jumps. For once, I didn't look like a spastic frog doing them. XD Also, Inui-sensei has stopped trying to pull my ribcage up past my shoulders, so presumably my posture has improved to his satisfaction. Now he comes around mainly to re-angle my hips and to poke my lower abdomen, to get me to tighten the muscles there. Mada mada da ne...

I've just eaten a slice of the blackberry pie Jamie and I made the other day, and it's time to get myself to bed. Sweet (blackberry) dreams, everyone! ^_~
ATTENTION ALL CAME-TO-MY-PLACE-FOR-EASTER PEEPS (yes, peeps XD)

I was asked to provide a zipped file of all the pictures from Easter, for those too lazy to manually save each one. So I made a .rar of ALL my pictures, plus some stolen from [livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky's post, and [livejournal.com profile] dilettantka's awesome Tabitha macros. There are all the shots I posted, of course, and plenty more silly ones, including a whole series of the "Tabitha reaching for YES!!" variety. The file is 541.94MB. Let me know if you want a download link!

* * *


Today has been absolutely glorious. I didn't set my alarm last night, and even when I woke up this morning (probably around 7:30 or so), I refrained from looking at the time, because I didn't need to get up! ^o^ I ended up sleeping until nearly 10, which I don't think has happened in ages. I think Tabitha was a little worried, to tell the truth.

It always seems to happen this way: on the days I let myself relax and tell myself I don't need to do anything, I wind up accomplishing more than I probably would otherwise. Today, this includes:

- 3 loads of laundry;
- chatting with my parents over Skype, which included laughing at my father because he and my brother have started studying German in view of our impending trip, and the book he has was published in 1938. "So, does it include useful phrases like, 'Shall we invade Poland tomorrow?' ";
- cleaning up the last dregs of Easter in the kitchen. I even scrubbed the backsplash and UNDERNEATH my gas range. No huge mutant roaches attacked me, to my great relief;
- making muck au thon* and eating it;
- giving Tabitha her first brushing of the season, with exciting results! Do not want. )
- posting to Travelpod (still waiting for pictures to upload...).

That's pretty respectable for a lazy day, wouldn't you say? And I still have the whole evening ahead of me!

* Muck au thon, as my parents jokingly called it, was something we often had when I was little because it's hard to find a cheaper meal to make than canned tuna mixed with mashed potatoes, and also it made me happy because I could drown it in ketchup. I don't remember how old I was when I separated the sounds in my head and realised that it literally meant "tuna muck". XD
Looking through the pictures after the fact, I noticed that of all the food we consumed, there was barely any pictoral evidence, at least on my camera. If anyone else has some, please share, especially if it involves YES!! post-cooking but pre-eating.

Apart from YES!!, we had: salad and dressing made by Emily; ham and fried okra, provided by Kimberly; Swedish meatballs as well as baked zucchini and eggplant with cheese on top, courtesy of Jamie; shepherd's pie, a joint effort by me and Alexis (well, he brought the can of creamed corn from Canada XD); bread, cheese and crackers brought by William; yummy Vietnamese snacky things from Kira; potatoes mashed by Imo-hime (Tiffany); my sangria; rice cooker cookies made by Sarah; Eda's amaaaaaaazing lemon poppy seed cake and another cake whose name I can't remember but was also very yummy; apple slices (and Peeps!) dipped in chocolate, brainchild of Jamie. Am I forgetting anything? @__@

At some point during the proceedings, Kira and Alexis discovered their common heritage. Said William, "That's the first time I've ever witnessed a spontaneous high five in the wild."

Bon appétit! )

And that's it! I had so much fun, and I'm really glad that everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves as well. I love you guys! <3
Because I didn't specify in Part I, the Easter celebrants were: me, Kimberly (who has no lj, omg!), [livejournal.com profile] xelloss_poo, [livejournal.com profile] dilettantka, [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi, [livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky, [livejournal.com profile] akahannah, [livejournal.com profile] kira_shadow, [livejournal.com profile] are_ku_shisu, [livejournal.com profile] genkischuldich, [livejournal.com profile] hinoai, and her friend Nana. Sadly, some unfortunate situations prevented [livejournal.com profile] kurayamihimitsu from attending, so there were 12 of us, instead of lucky 13.

NOW WITH MORE HAIR ACTION! )


In case you were keeping track, all this was before we started eating the meal proper. To be fair, YES!! spent a good 2 hours in the oven, so we had plenty of time for generally having a fun while we waited.

Next time, on EASTAAAAAAAH!: dinner is served, Tabitha gets her evil on, and there is an attempt at a group picture!
So I could write up a long, detailed account of Easter in Mitaka, complete with insightful commentary and recipes and... oh, who am I kidding, we all just want the pictures posted as soon as possible, right? So here is part I of III, with a sprinkling of words for good measure.

Herein lies Easter )


And that was Part I! Stay tuned for Part II and Part III, featuring more pretty girls, cheese, YES!!, boobs, and KKKitteh!
Yesterday's Easter dinner was a smashing success, I think. Not only was the food plentiful and tasty, it didn't feel that crowded in my apartment, though there were 12 of us! As Eda put it, it feels as though these get-togethers are getting more organised. I think she's right; it would be sad if I weren't getting better at hosting, seeing as this was my 4th attempt at having a large group of people consume a large meal here. I'd even arranged for more clear surfaces in the kitchen, and had cleared as much space as I could in the rest of the apartment, which really paid off.

Of course, the real key to having a good party is the quality of the attendees, and you people are the best. As silly as it is, I have to stop myself from getting all sniffly looking at this picture, because my heart is ippai of rabu-rabu when I think of what awesome friends I have. <3

Photobucket


The proof of the success of our little soirée is in the wonderfully silly pictures that were taken throughout, pictures that I will post in the very near future. Poke me about it and I'll see what I can do about getting them up tomorrow night! ^_^ And of course, I'd love to see all the silly pictures that you guys took!

Spam!

Mar. 28th, 2010 10:53 pm
Here's what I looked like today:

Mug shot! )

For a photobooth picture, I think it's quite a good one! Very European-looking. The dark smudges under my eyes are proof that I fail at removing make-up -- those are the remains of yesterday's mascara. At least my hair turned out more or less the way I wanted it to. ^_^ But is it just me, or is my hairline oddly uneven?

The picture was for my international driver's license, which was the quickest, most painless bureaucratic experience I've ever had in Japan. Once I'd walked the hour and ten minutes or so it took to get to the Fuchuu* licensing bureau from my apartment, I was in and out of there in under ten minutes with my new license. I almost came. ;___; (tears of joy)

Anyway, I showed the picture to a few people, who commented thusly: Tiffany said I looked like an international spy; Emily said I looked like a French actress; Eda said, without hearing Emily's comment, that I looked like I should be in a French movie. XD What do you think?

Later in the day, after a Very Large Meal (will post with pictures another time), when I was contemplating the fruit at the grocery store, a Russian man asked me, in Russian, whether I was Russian. At least, I'm assuming that's what it meant, since I didn't have a handy Eda with me to translate. All I heard was, "[insert Russian sounds here] Ruski?" He took my confused expression and my "I'm sorry, I don't understand," as a "No," smiled, and walked off.

* Fuchuuuuu! Almost as fun to say as Beppuuuuu!

I like crossing stuff out! )

So, yes, more Chinese Prince of Tennis! I honestly don't know why they're bothering writing in some sort-of-maybe-could-be romance between Long Ma and Xiao Ying, because the Golden Pair provide all the rabu-rabu you need in a show that's supposedly about tennis. Though they're mad at each other, and Ju Wan is kind of a dick (not waking Da Shi up when he overslept), as soon as he hears Da Shi is sick, he runs back to the dorm to take care of him. Then they reminisce about when they met, and we get flashbacks to them as dorky first-years, complete with their first meeting. "OMG, you play tennis too?! <3" I really wish I had subs for this part, because from what I understand, Da Shi wants to play doubles, but Ju Wan doesn't want to, so sets up some kind of challenge, like "I'll be your partner if you can do ____." But I could be totally off base. WANT SUBS! At any rate, dorky-wants-to-be-Ju-Wan's-partner-so-badly!Da Shi = <3
Today was the kind of day that makes me happy to just be alive. The weather was gorgeous, there were plum blossoms to be sniffed and photographed, Tabitha was unusually adorable and affectionate, I made shepherd's pie and Kimberly made fried okra and a cake and we had a good meal together, then watched a movie and knitted.

Oh, and it turns out the mole on my back was a dysplastic nevus, and not malignant melanoma. Not that I was incredibly worried about it, as the doctor had said it was most likely nothing serious, but I guess there was still a vague "what if..." lingering in the back of my mind, because I definitely felt a small twinge of relief when she told me it was all clear. So now I just have to remember to be extra-careful with the sunscreen, and to keep my back covered.

In case anyone was wondering what it looks like, here are pictures! Yes, I bugged my friends to take pictures of my back. Not precisely so I could share them with the world, but because it was the only way I could get a good look at the thing myself. I don't think it's too gross, but maybe those squeamish about stitches should not click. Also, I have bad back skin. Sadness! Wanna see? )


So far, the best story I can come up with is a failed assassination attempt. Give me some ideas, people: who did I take a bullet for?
This morning, I received what is probably my favourite email, ever. Someone (not someone I know, or at least I hope!) commented on a picture on my Travelpod. A picture I took and posted over 4 years ago. They said: you look not so good.

It's not even a picture of me! XD

* * *


I've been busy lately, and there are about a thousand things I want to share with you all, but for now, I just need to write a bit about what I did on Saturday, since I haven't laughed so much in a long time. In fact, it's probably illegal to have so much fun helping a friend move, so shhh, don't tell the authorities!

Anyway, Jill and I helped Eda move from Nakano to Nippori, because she decided she no longer wanted to be part of the West Tokyo Crew. ;__; I'd reserved the van from 11:30 to 9:00 and in spite of the rain*, we made fantastic time, getting the move done in just 2 trips, with a long break for lunch at Coco's, during which we helped Eda work out some details for the doujinshi she's going to draw. Seriously, it's going to be the best thing ever. Come on, admit it, you've always wanted to see the tenipuri boys on ice! XDDD

Jill and I are going to start our own moving company, Gaijin Girl Movers. I'll handle the driving and the logistics (what goes in the van when, etc.), and Jill will guard the van, pack the stuff in and assemble any furniture that needs assembling. Our motto? Yudan sezu ni ikou, bitches!

The navigation system in the van had us using surface streets the whole way, and traffic was surprisingly light. I got to honk at a twit on a bicycle who was in the middle of my lane and wearing earphones. We all misread Gokokuji as "Gekokujou", and somehow, each time, the 50-minute drive seemed to go by in the blink of an eye.

The first time I turned into the little street that leads to the even littler alley where Eda now lives, a purple-haired obaasan was selling vegetables from a truck, and her customers were blocking the road. I inched the van forward, waiting for them to get the hint and move out of the way already, and was given the dirtiest look I think I've ever received, courtesy of ol' pickled nasu face lady. Then, as Jill and I were running things into the building, we "met" one of Eda's neighbours, who will ever be Mr. Disgruntled to me. I mean, if you were about to go out, and a girl were struggling to get two unwieldly pieces of furniture up the step, you'd probably offer her a hand, if only so you could get to your shoes faster, right? Not this guy; Sourpuss just stood there, staring, as Jill finally got the pieces of the bed up from the genkan.

Once everything was inside, we helped Eda at least clear some space on her floor. Jill set to work assembling things, helped by Eda's Tool Bag of Manliness, and I piled things up in the corner. We did pretty good work, and since we had to get the van back from whence it had come, we opted for dinner in Nakano. An izakaya beckoned, and it was with great amusement that we watched Eda get tipsy on practically no alcohol at all! I actually had the most to drink of all of us, since Jill gave me her first drink, as she didn't like the taste.

It's a shame I didn't have my camera with me, but I didn't want to have to carry anything around, so here are some crappy shots from my phone. Click! )

* Note that I am more than happy to help a friend move by driving the van, but I seem to bring bad weather with me the first time 'round. With Jamie it was hail, with Becca it was a downpour, this time it was miserable drizzle. But the second time with Jamie, it was a gorgeous, sunny day. Second time's a charm? ^.^
Last night I watched some figure skating with Eda, and it was interesting to watch it with someone who actually knows about technique! I can tell if a jump looks good or not, and I'm great at complaining about the between-jumps bits being boring, and making fun of the costumes (ugh, that neon green monstrosity with the sideways bow, DIE!), but that's about it. And Eda confessing her secret desire to be a large Russian figure skating coach wearing a huge fur coat and lots of bling totally made my evening. <3

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

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

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

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

Out and about )

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

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

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

Snow! ^o^

Feb. 16th, 2010 11:43 pm
I celebrated Valentine's Day marathoning movie/television adaptations of the works of Jane Austen with [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi, [livejournal.com profile] akahannah, [livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky and [livejournal.com profile] later_uk. Pictures will come at a later date. ^_^

In the meantime, in honour of the snow that may or may not fall tonight, here are some pictures from a couple of weeks ago, when I awoke to a very unusual sight. Snow day! )

In case anyone was wondering about my back, there is now a hole in it, where the mole used to be. It's smaller than the mole was, since it's mostly healed, but the skin hasn't closed up completely yet. It'll probably take a few more days, maybe a week. It doesn't hurt at all (good!) and I can take normal showers again, and apart from covering it up for ballet class (went back tonight after over two weeks away, let's see how Inui-sensei's new stretching exercises leave me feeling tomorrow! XD), I can go about my life as though nothing had happened.
I may have said this before, but I love my new camera. Whole-heartedly, passionately love it. <3

A couple of weeks ago, I looked up one morning on the way to work, and spring had come! ^o^ )

On the 30th of January, I met up with Jill and Andrea in Shinagawa for some karaoke. Everything seemed normal until I went to the washroom (for the second time) and noticed the warning on the door. D: )

After singing our little hearts out, I met up with some fellow food-lovers near Omotesandou and hit up a restaurant that specialises in eel. NOM! )


While the eel was certainly very tasty, we weren't quite full, so we headed off in search of dessert in Harajuku. And what do you eat in Harajuku? Damn right! )
One thing I did last month was attend the Tokyo International Quilt Festival, held annually at Tokyo Dome. I'd been in 2007 and 2008, but had missed it last year. Overall, I don't think there were quite as many stand-outs as the other times I'd been, but there were still some very beautiful things to be seen. I appreciated the trend of using sparkly or sequined fabrics, of which there weren't so many in previous years.

Be warned that I didn't edit these pictures in any way, so I apologise for the poor framing of some of the shots! Here be crafty stuff. )
And now, because I haven't shared enough pictures for one night, and because the intarwebs have been demanding MOAR KITTEH PICSPAM, a brief interlude. )
After the onsen, I participated in an evening of extreme girliness. Eda had chosen the Princess Heart Café as the site of her birthday celebration, and in case you were wondering, the theme of the place is pink. Lots of pink. Also, ruffles. Pink ruffles. Eda looked adorable in her pink (of course!) dress, the food was good, and it was a fun evening.

Birthday Partay )
Here be part one of a ???-part photodump, because I've got all these pictures accumulating that I should really share with people, especially the people appearing in said pictures. Here are some of the things that I've been up to so far in 2010, and it seems I've been a busy girl! I don't know how I've managed to do so much in less than a month and a half. @_@;;;

Actually, I meant to post this last night, but by 10:00 I was so exhausted that I couldn't keept my eyes open, so I made like a little old lady and went to bed. However, it wasn't until 11 or so that I finally fell asleep, because that's when Tabitha decided to finally stop being a pest and gave up running around and scratching at the walls and meowing, in favour of curling up beside me and sleeping the deep sleep of innocent babes and evil kittehs.

Tokyo Oedo Onsen, waaaay back at the beginning of January )


SYTYCD 5 Finale! )

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