Today was nice. Relaxing, fun, and the weather turned out better than expected!

To celebrate Canamerica Day, I headed out to Chiba's Edogawa Pool Garden with Kimberly, Jamie, Eda, Emily and Tiffany. Upon arrival, we were shocked to find the place deserted. Well, not deserted, but compared to the other times I'd been, there was barely a soul in sight -- in fact, we had l'embarras du choix when it came to choosing a place beneath the awnings (we'd always had to set up camp somewhere around the edge of the park, in the hot sun, the other times I'd been). Even waiting in line for the slide took only a fraction of the usual time! I'm guessing people stayed away because the sky looked threatening, but though the weather started out overcast, which was nice because it wasn't too hot, the sun eventually came out with a vengeance. I played it extra safe and reapplied sunscreen more than once, and am happy to report myself free of sunburn. My eyes are a bit tired from being out in the bright light most of the day, but that's to be expected.

Bobbing around in the lazy river was nice and relaxing, and it was overall a great day, except for the service at El Torito, which was slow and just... I thought it was standard policy to check everyone's glass of water when someone asks for more, but not according to that one waitress, it seems! At least the other girl offered us all refills when someone asked. But then she forgot to give Jamie's order to the kitchen staff... *rolls eyes*

Eda and I topped the triple challenge at Baskin Robbins, sharing a coconut/raspberry-chocolate/gay tropical island fruit cup. It was yummy. ^_^

Back in Kichijouji, it was raining, so Kimberly and I poked around Yuzawaya for a few minutes while waiting for the bus. I hadn't been to the new location yet, if you can believe it! I wound up finding ballet-themed stickers, because that's what it takes to get me to do my stretching every day. My reward for a month of daily stretching will be a new leotard (which I desperately need), and the following month it will be some new ballet slippers. With split soles, this time! :D

This means I now have about... oh, 800 stickers to use.


On the bright side, on another floor at OIOI I spotted a couple of really cute bathing suits, and I'm thinking one of those can be my reward for completing my first study sticker sheet, because being able to communicate with people in China isn't enough of a reward. XD

One of the bathing suits is actually two bikinis that you can wear together. Yes, because layer bathing suits is what's in, now. Oh, Japan, what will you think of next?!
Wow, I'd forgotten how small kids are. It's one thing to work with them each day and hold them; it's quite another to make dance costumes for them. So. Damn. Tiny. (We're having Culture Day on Friday, and as I'm in charge of the ballet troupe, I thought I'd make little vests for the boys and skirts for the girls. We're dancing to The Nutcracker. We've also got a hula group and a hip-hop group. They're all going to be so cute. <3)

Kids being kids )

In news unrelated to kids, I feel I've been rather unproductive today. Though I did go to a ballet class, then to the travel agency to hand over my passport so they can take care of getting me a Chinese visa (less troublesome than going myself, though more expensive), then went and bought some clothes even though I'd told myself I wouldn't. At least I got a whole outfit? XD;

Oh, well. Tomorrow shall be a Day of Sewery, so I'll be able to at least finish a few things, and add a few more stickers to my sewing page.

Speaking of which... Check this out! )
I don't have to leave for another ten minutes, and I'm all ready. The hell? XD

Brief recap of the past few days:

- Got a sweet letter from [ profile] rynn_sama -- thanks! <3
- Made Eda brew me some Inui juice at Royal Host, because I slightly failed at keeping my bedtime/rising time resolution. I only drank half of it, since I figured it was only a minor infraction, and also because it was totally gross. In case you're wondering, melon soda + ice coffee + orange juice = green and foamy and sludgy.
- Bought what must be the fiercest footwear I've ever owned as a reward for keeping up my studying every day this week (except the day I was sick). I'm going to have the sexiest in feet in Europe! ^o^
- Got a 4GB memory card for my camera -- Tokyo folks, they're on sale for about Y1,950 at Yodobashi.

I think that's it? All the important stuff, anyway. Have a great Golden Week, be good while I'm gone! ^_~
Note to all people seeking to acquire ladies' undergarments in Tokyo: Amos Style gave me some chocolates (Lindt milk chocolates, in case you're wondering) for shopping there today, so I guess this is a good time to be buying stuff! If I'd known, I'd have bought one item and gone back at other times for more. Mmm, free samples...

In back news, there are 6 stitches, it seems. The pain is pretty much gone, but now I have to deal with the deep, annoying itchiness of skin knitting itself back together. (Isn't that a great image? Millions of tiny little skin cells with knitting needles, attempting to connect themselves to each other. ^o^) GRRRR, I JUST WANNA SCRATCH! *whimper* I know it's a good sign, it's just not fun. Good thing it's right in the centre of my back, otherwise I might be tempted to poke at it. XD

In other news, woohoo, Dream Live 7th comes to Tokyo -- well, Yokohama -- after Golden Week, which means I get more time in Europe with my family! *dances around*

SYTYCD final 6 rambing goes here! )

I can has results! )
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, in honour of American Thanksgiving, five of us made the perilous journey from Nishi-Tokyo to Chiba, to partake of chicken (lots of chicken), various vegetables (porn and peas! :D), mashes potatoes, stuffing, cranberries (in various states of solidity), and pie. Lots, and lots of pie. And cake.

Quote of the evening: "It's a basic human right to not look like Horio."

It's true. In fact, the people who drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are kicking themselves right now, thinking, "How could we have forgetten the most obvious one?! DX"

In other news, I called in late for work because I just couldn't drag myself out of bed, and felt ready to keel over all day, culminating in a dizzy spell during my afternoon lesson that nearly had me calling over to my coworker, "Can you take over for a minute while I pass out?", but I couldn't get my voice to work, so I refrained. It passed after a moment, and I was all right after that.

Then I went a spent a bunch of money on gifts for my family. Mostly. Part of it was spent on The Coolest Belt Ever, which I can't wait to wear tomorrow! <3 And also a few cheap long-sleeved t-shirts, because layering is no longer a fashion statement, it's a must with the chill setting in. I'm glad I found some which are supposed to be long and kind of wide on tiny Japanese girls -- they fit my shoulders!

When I was in a menswear store getting stuff for my brothers, I was asked if I needed help finding a size. I'm wondering whether the clerk thought I was shopping for myself, because I was wearing a hoodie I bought at that very store.

When I came home, I had this glorious list of stuff to do, and set about doing it... but got mired in item #3, which was "prepare Christmas parcels for family". I had about a million things to separate into little bags, so it took longer than expected. That's my excuse for the dishes still languishing in the sink.

Tabitha is sitting on my lap, keeping warm. She'll no doubt complain when I make a move to get up...
My brain, she is not working so well today. Wasn't yesterday either, apparently, because I checked the wrong train schedule for today, and though K and I didn't end up being late to the English Fun Fair, I made us run through Shibuya Station just in case. K didn't really mind, because she's been hopped up on Contact cold medication all week. The other day at work:

K: Omg, why didn't I start taking this stuff sooner?! :D
Me: --__-- What?
K: It's got something like 70mg of caffeine in every dose! :D
Me: *yawn* ... isn't that the equivalent of a can of Redbull?
K: I don't know, but I haven't felt this genki in ages! :D
Me: ... it can be nap time now? ---__---;;

Watch me blather on about What Chinese Food Means To Me! :D )

Heh, looks like the fluffy, perfect fried rice and fried shrimp rolls I had for lunch were even more filling than I thought -- I totally forgot to eat supper! D:
But she did! Post pictures of adventures at the Vampire Café in her Travelpod, that is. Not technically travel, but it's a start. One step at a time.

* * *

It's just occurred to me that I'll soon be spending 4 days in Okinawa, and I need someone to look after Tabitha. Would anyone be up for the job? I'll be away from home from the morning of the 19th (Thursday) until late in the evening on the 22nd (Sunday). I'll leave plenty of food with her on Thursday, but she'll need to be checked on at least once, preferably twice before my return (say, Friday at some point and Saturday evening/Sunday morning). Is anyone up for the job? I will bring you back something strange and awesome from Okinawa! Or will repay you some other way, if you prefer. If any out-of-towners want to volunteer, you're quite welcome to spend the whole long weekend here, since Monday is a holiday. =^_^=

* * *

I'm giving everyone a great big advance warning that I am quite willing to host Christmas dinner! For those of you not fleeing Japan for the holidays, consider yourself invited for some Yuletide cheer at my place. My apartment gets cold and lonely in the winter, so help me warm it up!

Of course, before that, there is still American Thanksgiving [this being the .5 announcement, since it isn't really news] before that, so remember to join us chez [ profile] lizstarsky and [ profile] akahannah on the 29th of this month, if you're free and like to spend time eating with friends. ^_^

* * *

I bought a wig today. It's my first, unless you count the gold one I wore once in elementary school for Halloween and the horribly cheap black one I bought at some point in secondary school for... I can't even remember why I bought it, because I never used it for a costume, and probably only tried it on a couple of times.

This wig is awesome, though, and I just need to give it a cut and style it properly. And then find a cosplay occasion to wear it! Because unlike Laura and Tiffany, I didn't buy it to wear it around town. While I am thinking of changing my hair colour, it certainly won't be to ice blue!

So, what do you think? Can you see me as a redhead? A platinum blonde? o_O...
A week or so ago, I was looking at the calendar and thinking, "Cool, after weeks of being busy all the time, and before another month of lots of things to do and places to be, next weekend I have nothing planned!" Ahahaha. I fully intended to study all weekend, but then various friends suggested various activities, so...

Tonight I had a sexy Saizeriya study date with Eda; tomorrow I'm going to volunteer with Jamie, then we're joining Eda and William at a vampire café for supper; and on Sunday, the Fuji Crew -- we need t-shirts! XD -- will descend upon Ikebukuro to find Emily some boots.

This means I need to get to bed soon, since I've apparently gone crazy and think it's a GREAT idea to want to be up by 6:30 on a Saturday morning. ^_^;;;

Sleep tight, everyone!
Am in the middle of packing. A big part of my packing strategy has been: "Did I have this the last time I went back to Canada? Has anyone from back home seen me wear this? If so, can't take it with me!" Does this make me a shallow person? XD Seriously, though, I feel as though I've never looked better than I do now, and I want my outfits to reflect how I see myself. Feel free to mock my deluded sense of fashion behind my back. .____.;

I've managed to fail on several fronts in the Department of Being Prepared. Namely, all but one lightbulb on my standing lamp have died and I haven't bought replacements; I haven't yet vacuumed my room, though I gave the sewing room a lick and a promise the other day; I've only done 99 out of the 120 points in my Japanese grammar review book, though my goal was to finish it before leaving for Canada -- this means the book will be crossing the Pacific with me, along with a kanji review book and possibly another grammar/vocabulary book. Because it's not as though I'll have anything to do while I'm there! @_@

K gave me an early birthday present, the most awesomely-titled book ever: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That solves my dilema of what reading material to bring along with me; I've started The Lies of Locke Lamora, for some reason I'm not too keen on taking it with me. Though if I did, it would make it a well travelled book indeed: my father brought it to me in April, along with the sequel, which he took back to Canada with him because he didn't have time to finish it in Hawaii, and which I'm going to bring back with me to Japan.

A small victory was had in finally hanging up my Dream Live 6th poster. Because I would have felt more than faintly ridiculous had I failed to do that before seeing the new show. Now if only I could post my review of it...

Another victory that isn't really a victory is that I spent YET MORE MONEY on nail polish (I didn't have any sparkly yellow or sparkly coral yet! *justified*) and earrings (I didn't have any shoulder-duster ones yet!).

Bloh, I really need to get to sleep, because I've decided that vacuuming and dishes can be put off until the morning. Assuming I can drag myself out of bed early enough to get it done! I'll need to find energy somehow, though, because I have a hot date with Rikkai's tennis team tomorrow night. :D And then I have to meet up with [ profile] llamachan, Tabitha-sitter extraordinaire to bring her to my humble abode.

[Please to be noting that the following is not meant to be taken as a lament over the fact that I don't have an AC unit, because the past few days have proven to me that air conditionning only aggravates my stuffed nose; I feel better as soon as I set foot outside.]

It's so hot that even sitting still, wearing nothing but my panties, I had droplets of sweat running down my chest earlier this evening.

And on that oh-so-sexy thought (XD!), I bid you good night.
It's official, Facebook and Gmail freak me out. There's Gmail, where the ads on the sidebar change depending on the content of the message you're reading or writing (and it switches languages when you do, which is even freakier!). And then there's Facebook, and while I know that it's linked to my Gmail address, it's disconcerting to have a "Suggestion to add So-and-So" when that person only joined Facebook a couple of days ago, you have no Facebook friends in common (and no friends-of-Facebook-friends in common, as far as you know), and the last time you exchanged emails with that person was over a year ago.

And now for the important part of my message: OMG I SPENT A LOT OF MONEY TODAY!!! D: At least it's crazy summer sales time, so I got a hell of a lot of stuff for all that money, much of it gifts for people on my list, but still...

Okay, I lied, that was not the important part of my message. Ahem.


If there's anything anyone would like me to bring (within reason, obviously, so no bowling ball requests!) back with me, let me know! I'll try to cram it into one of my suitcases.

So far, [ profile] umbrellaofdoom wants toothpaste, [ profile] lizstarsky wants Kraft Dinner, and [ profile] akahannah wants makeup (you'll have to send me a link or a picture!). Anyone else?

Similarly, if anyone in Canada wants anything from Japan, now's your last chance. I've got very little shopping time left!
I don't know if it was the heat or what, but today's laser appointment was the most painful one to date, at least the underarm part. But I womanfully bore the pain, and it only took a couple of minutes. Aside from that, the most uncomfortable part of the experience was when the technician was using a marker to delineate portions on the backs of my legs, because dammit, that tickles! I wonder if they ever doodle silly things on customers.

After that I happened upon a super Uniqlo sale and bought two pairs of shorts for Y990 each! Pink and, because they had no more yellow, purple. Then I met up with Jill and Laura and we sang the newly-available-at-karaoke Shitenho-ho-houji song! 8D It was most excellent.

Afterwards we repaired to Jill's, where there was Kraft Dinner, tenipuri, some bitching, and a whole lotta stitching. Laura got down and dirty with t-shirt surgeries and started her initiation into Jill's unholy [cross-stitch] club; Jill stitched kitties; and I knit a(nother) pair of booties for E's baby, but oh, at what cost? My wrist is really sore... :P

So we were discussing "Which character on ___ team would you date?" We started with Seigaku, of course, but before could I even open my mouth, Jill said, "No, Adele, Golden Pair is not a valid answer!"

;_____; But I want them for each other, not for myself! :DDD

Oh fine, I wouldn't say no to an Oishi of my very own... with different hair. (Or even better, girl!Oishi, because she'd be really pretty... <3)

We kind of fizzled out at Rikkai, because honestly, who would want to date any of them? XD

Bloh, I just remembered that I'd told myself I'd start my translations tonight, but I'm too tired. I'll do that tomorrow morning before heading out for the day, then go over it again in the evening. The project is almost over (I've already done 5 stories and several in-game text files, and there are 2 more stories due Monday, then 3 due Wednesday, for a grand total of about 10,000 words, so yay, money!*), and it's been a fun one, if not as cool as being able to tell M-P, "I worked on some of the French for a Castlevania game! :D".

* I have no idea how this works back home, but it seems that freelance work here is always paid 3 months after you send in the invoice. It was like that when I did the educational video, and it's the same with this translation gig. I sent my first invoice in April, so I should have my first paycheque by the end of this month. That means that I won't see the money for this project until October, but after all the travelling I'll be doing in the next two months, I'm sure my bank account will be happy with a little extra padding at that time. ^_^
Is there anything more hilarious than watching a cat tweaking on catnip? Tabitha was trying her best to make sweet, sweet love to her cat tree, on which I sprinkled some earlier today, rubbing herself against it and gnawing on it and purring sweet nothings in its ear. Worth FAR more than the Y399 I paid for the little bottle of magical powder. Des heures de plaisir garanties!

This morning I woke up from a very vivid dream, and wrote down a few key words so I'd remember it later. My note to myself reads:

play skipped
Yangzi (?)
red candles
silver seals

"Play skipped" was something about me being back in university, taking a drama class (I'd be only slightly less likely to take an engineering class!) and skipping the day I was supposed to present because I'd suddenly realised I hadn't learned my lines! The other part of the dream had nothing to do with the first, and I was in China, trying to see those suspended coffins over the Yangzi -- but didn't the Three Gorges dam project wash those away? I'm sad I'll never get to see them -- which was much narrower than I'd expected*. There was a Chinese man I knew and a friend of mine, a woman I was travelling with, and the man showed us a protection spell (I think?) that involved us lighting a red candle that had several wicks running through it, making it vaguely tree-shaped. Once the candle was lit, we used a seal to make a mark on a paper that was covered with silver crests. My candle burned out, though, because the wicks were too short, and the man just laughed, saying that that was a sign I wasn't meant to marry a man. (Because I didn't suspect that already! XD)

I stayed in today, revelling in a lazy sort of day on my own. Chatted with my parents over Skype, ate Kraft Dinner, ate some mango KitKats. I did laundry -- I'm sure I've said it before, but to me there nothing more satisfying, household-chore-wise, than doing laundry: it requires little effort, and my clothes/bedding/fabric come out clean and fresh, and then they get to dry in the sun, and there's nothing better than freshly laundered, sun-dried clothing -- and lots of tidying up. I went through the ridiculous amount of PET bottles that had been accumulating, dropping them off at the supermarket's recycle centre (because who wants to wait for pick-up day?!), and restocked things like laundry detergent and カビハイター(I'm wondering if that's supposed to be "fighter"? ^_^). I even scrubbed the bathroom! I''ve been trying to vacuum as well, but Ion-kun has informed me that his union allows working no longer than 3 minutes at a stretch, so it's been a fits and starts sort of things. As of now, it's been 3 fits, and that's only covered the two rooms; the kitchen has yet to be tackled.

By far the most exciting thing that happened on this lovely Saturday is that I finally got myself a new set of wheels! The bike is silver, the brand is Fat Cat, and it promises to reflect my lifestyle of "nonchalance, noblenss [sic] and pride" XDDD Also, it was on sale, so I ended up paying less than Y15,000 for the bike, registration, a better set of tires, and a basket for the back. Now my only problem is disposing of my other two [useless and rusted beyond repair, respectively] bikes. There's a bus-station parking lot not too far away, so I may just dump them there under cover of darkness! *is stealthy like a ninja*

* Now that I think about it, the scenery was rather like what I saw in the Taroko Gorge in Taiwan last summer: steep marble cliffs and swift, narrow mountain rivers.
Last weekend I bought a plane ticket home for my summer vacation: I leave on the 1st of August and come back on the 16th. My bank account cried out in pain.

Now I have a dilemma. I need a new bike. I also want some sort of fan/mini-pseudo-air-con unit. And those cool gladiator sandals I've been eyeing for weeks. And back in winter I promised myself an electronic dictionary. But I've been spending more than I should have these past weeks (visitors and friends' birthdays = lots of restaurant outings) and don't want to buy all that at once, so now I'm not buying anything at all because I can't deciiiiiide.

Actually, I'll probably end up going with the bike and the sandals. Now to find a cheap green bike... (Of course it has to be green -- it has to match my phone, and my jeans, and my sandals, and half the tops I own...)

At lunch today, the kids started listing all the things I apparently am. (Please to be imagining my face going from :) to XDDDDDD as they went on and on.)

"You're a boy!* You're a tomato! You're a pig! You're a box! You're a big box! You're the number 21!"

Oh, kids. Don't ever change. XD

My love affair with Yuriko continues. This morning, I poked her tummy and she let out the most hilariously adorable little giggle-squeak I've ever heard. If I could capture her essence as it is now, I would, if only to forever be able to keep the feeling of her clinging to my back, her head resting on my shoulder.

* Between this and certain people questionning my femininity because I don't believe that chocolate > everything, I'm wondering if I should issue an official statement to the effect that I am, in fact, all woman.
K and I met up at 10 this morning and headed to Nippori (or Nippofuckery, as it's known to certain people XD) to get our fabric on. We hadn't done so in ages, not since Hallowe'en, and we haven't really spent much time together over the past few months. At work, she's upstairs and I'm downstairs, so we don't really get to talk much during the day. It was really nice to hang out and talk and nearly miss our train stops together again, as well as confound everyone on the Yamanote with our hysterical giggling (more on that later).

K had a mission: to buy material and notions to make tutus for her friend's two-year-old daughter who longs to be a princess. I had no specific project in mind, which is why I ended up buying Y10,000 worth of fabric and trims. *rolls eyes at self* Uh... well, in my defence, I hadn't bought any fabric in months, really, and the 100y/m section of Tomato was particularly well-stocked today. And we certainly amused the owner of the last shop we stepped into. We were totally loopy by this point, me bowing in apology to K, begging her forgiveness for leading her down the path to damnation -- i.e. teaching her to sew -- and K continually upping her estimates of how much pink lace she needed -- "One metre should be enough, right? Oh, what the hell, make it 3! :D" -- and the guy was trying hard not to laugh at us. He was very generous with his cuts, though, and when I handed over the gold and green sequin string (to match the fabulous Shitenhouji fabric I found at Tomato!) and asked for 3 metres, he gave me 4 and only charged me for 3. <3

Anyway, K and I left Nippori after about 5 hours, and kept cracking up on the train. We decided the fabric fumes must have affected our brains, and this declaration set off a five-minute-long laughing fit, complete with me using my hand towel to wipe the tears of laughter from my face. We'd calmed down by the time we got back to Kichijouji, though, and went to Lemon Drop for cake -- HEAVENLY! -- and shopped for a few other last-minute things. I'd intended to buy myself a new bicycle (my old one died ;____;), but I figured I'd spent enough for the day, so I came home.

And the grand tally of what I bought today is... *drum roll*

Fabric: 23m + various remnants and small pieces
Trim: 26m
Sewing machine needles: 10
Earrings: 2 pairs
Necklaces: 2
Bowls of udon: 1
Slices of heavenly blueberry tart: 1
Boxes of cherry-flavoured KitKat: 2

The End.
Tomorrow is White Day, and you all know what that means, right? I will be officially divorced! o(^O^)o Not that I haven't considered myself as such for over two years -- and I just remembered that I failed to observe the two-year anniversary of my moving out on my own.

You know what's dangerous? Having an hour to kill in Shinjuku. Because I ended up at Odakyu and found that beyond the super-fancy and crazy-expensive perfume and make-up counters, there's a little "cheap" section, where you can get eyeshadow for under Y2000 a cake! *gasp* And it turned out I was in a mood for nail polish yesterday, even though the last time I did anything more to my nails than cutting or filing them was ages ago. Plus, there was this shade, in an adorable little bottle, called "Techno bar à Tokyo", so how could I not? It's sparkly black and I'm wearing it now. I also bought a couple of books that will hopefully level up my nihongo. I resisted buying the latest issue of JILLE, though I'm sure I'll cave in within a couple of days, because how can I resist Imajuku Asami's adorable face?

Later on, feeling proud of myself for not having given in to laziness and having opted to walk home from Mitakadai instead of taking the bus from Kichijouji, I remembered I'd left my bike... at Kichijouji station. *headdesk* So it took me an extra half hour to get home, because I wasn't about to pay the train fare to go two stations down the line!

In other news, I felt that after the uplifting, fascinating, inspiring, draining, bemusing experience that was reading Vellum and Ink, the only thing to do was to do back and revisit an old, well-loved friend. Yes, THAT book. The perfect fix when you've just finished something incredible and want something you know you'll love, something you know will make you smile and tear up a bit and will have you choking back laughter on the train because dammit, that description of a first-rate lurker gets you every time*. Because nothing brings down my "I've just read a great book!" high quicker than reading a lousy book right after, and I didn't want to take any chances!

Got my coworker to take a shot of me with the kiddies yesterday, and I was pleasantly surprised, when I looked at the picture afterwards, to see that in direct sunlight, I'm still truly blonde. Also amusing is how tiny the kids look beside my giant (sure, yuck it up, but I'm by no means small in this country!) self.

Speaking of my giant self, the Miracle of the Jeans failed to repeat itself when I tried on some shorts recently, though I supposed I shouldn't be too bitter about it. After all, a while ago it was the XL shorts I could barely get over my hips; now it's the L shorts that I can with great difficulty zip up and then be unable to move around in at all. And it's another excuse to not spend money! :D

My new budgeting plan is going quite well, in spite of having two major "extra" expenses over the past couple of weeks (sunglasses and getting hair lasered off my legs). It's simpler to withdraw all the money for the week at once, and I've settled on Monday as the start of the week. Hopefully, I'll be able to add a bit to my savings, especially since until the end of April the cash flow will be somewhat thinner between ending my second job, my first full-time paycheque coming at the end of April and one of my private students taking a break until May.

Now, time to take all the bobby pins out of my hair (my styling experiments continue...!) and get to bed.

* Good Omens, for those who don't count THAT book among their "would take it to a deserted island if I were only allowed five titles" list.
Today, K and I finally met up with E. I say finally because we last saw her during Christmas break, and we had made plans at the time to go to Disney Sea at some point in January or February, but they kept falling through, and we had to scrap the amusement park idea because E is now hugely pregnant. Due in a week or so, in fact. We had her give us the name of her hospital and everything, just in case.

So instead of a day of Disney, we went down to Kawasaki (where E lives) and had an insanely huge lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. May I just say that their Thai chicken pizza is scrumptious? It was also the first time I'd even seen bean sprouts on a pizza, which is something of a novelty even in Japan, where they'll put anything on a pizza. We split a salad and two pizzas between us, and were pretty full, but ended up ordering a caramel sundae to share. It was for the baby! :D And a good thing it was we'd ordered only one dessert for the three of us, because it was enormous, nearly as big as my head. Nearly as big as E's belly!

All that to explain why I'm still not hungry and will not be having supper tonight. This seems to be becoming a trend: last Sunday, after gorging myself at the Thai buffet (Eda, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you for showing me that place... @_@), I didn't have any supper either!

K and I had another reason to go to Kawasaki, and that was to pick out frames for sunglasses. The parents of one of our students are ophthalmologists and have their own clinic, and do business with a frame/lens shop out on the Den-en-toshi line. They give us a major discount on everything, for which we are incredibly thankful. Last year, I got new glasses for only 50% of the price of the frames (they didn't charge me for the eye exam or the lenses!). This time, I paid Y16,386 for sunglasses (50% of the price of the frames, plus a fraction of the price of the lenses).

Actual retail value... *cue The Price Is Right music*



So I said I wouldn't have supper tonight, but that doesn't preclude having snacks. Which is why I'm munching on a jasmine tea-flavoured KitKat bar while sipping actual jasmine tea. Appropriate, no?
Over the past couple of days, I've finally come to a decision as to how I will control my spending. Not that it's really out of hand, but I'm not saving as much as I'd like. Therefore, my plan:

- Rent and bills all need to be paid at the end of the month, so I withdraw what's needed and pay all at once*.
- I've given myself a weekly allowance, to be withdrawn at the beginning of the week; all expenses, groceries, outings, etc. must be paid for using this money**. Now all that's left to decide is whether the beginning of the week is Saturday or Monday. XD
- At the end of each week, what (if anything) is left over goes into my piggy bank (must get piggy bank!) and will be money to splurge on something nice. Like, I don't know, maybe a plane ticket back home this summer so I can be Anna's bridesmaid!
- Am still debating whether the money from my private lessons should go directly into the "something nice" fund... Maybe 50-50?

That said, I bought some clothes today, because I was in Ikebukuro in a part of Sunshine City I'd never been to before, and OMG CLOTHES EVERYWHERE! And I apparently cannot resist cute Japanese salesgirls being all cute and chatty and complimenting my outfit. XDDD Still, all the sweetness in the world didn't change the fact that the Really Cool Jacket was too tight across the shoulders, which is one of my two Major Issues*** when it comes to buying clothes here. Because I have abnormally broad shoulders by Japanese clothing standards, it seems. @_@ No matter, the Even Cooler Jacket turned out to be on sale and it fits me fine, as long as I don't wear anything too bulky underneath.

* It's annoying, but my water/sewage bill is always due on the 23rd of the month, so I have to pay that one before the others, which are all due between the last day of the month and the 6th of the next.
** I'll make an exception for charging my Suica, and withdraw money for that as needed.
*** The other one being my bum and hips, of course.
Passed the JLPT level 3 with 359/400. Level 2, here I come!

I'm still kicking myself about that answer I shouldn't have changed, though.

Jill and I hit up Ikea in Yokohama this morning. Did you know that on Valentine's Day, they give you free champagne when you eat at the food court?


I live!

Jan. 30th, 2009 10:38 pm
Yesterday, we took the kids to the Inokashira Zoo, and a grand time was had by all. There were three of us herding 11 four-year-olds, and we managed, though we did have to raise our voices at times. But still, they were just so cute it was hard to be harsh with them, and I was too busy taking pictures, anyway.

B1 gets a kick out of making me laugh, but this is the first time he's done it this way: we are loving siblings )


So this evening I went back to Parco to check out the last of the sales... and ended up spending nearly 10,000y. But it was all in the name of cute shoes, cute slips and awesome pants. How awesome are these pants? For starters, they're green (almost exactly the same shade as my green jeans, in fact >_<), and also the lining of the pockets has POLKA DOTS. But best of all, they're those weird double-waisted pants (like the red ones Mao-chan is wearing in the Dream Live 5th pamphlet) which means I can wear two belts at once, should I choose to do so.

Actually, I lie. The best part of those pants is that I bought them in a regular Japanese shop, i.e. Not Uniqlo.

They Had My Size. Or rather, I Am the Right Size (for their largest size). This is Good, but it also opens up a whole world of dangerous shopping possibilites... ^.^

Also, Japanese salesgirls are too damn cute, and they're chatty. Even chattier when I'm wearing my cute rainboots, as I was today.

And now, time for some more So You Think You Can Dance Canada as I sip my camomile tea.



February 2012

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