Sunday, July 31, 2011

Closing shutters

You'd think walking by closed shutters would be depressing since it's a reminder of how you're not completely part of the flow of the world, but I love it.

It reminds me of late night closing shifts at the Magic Kingdom. Walking through streets that are usually teeming with people is surreal. It's one of the perks of working there; you get to see a side of that place that relatively few people even think of. I almost want to go back just to get a taste of that again.

Though it's not a bad idea. This time go on the guest services side of things. With my Japanese languge ability, currently growing experience with different types of people, and my apparent natural ability to seem amiable, I think I'd be a great asset to the mouse.

Just another career option. Surprisingly more permanent than some of the other ideas I've had.


There's going to be a festival near my place next weekend. It's going to be a tiny thing, but definitely worth checking out. As long as I can get time off from work...

There's also the one at the castle that will be going on for 10 days. Plotting a day to go there with my housemate. I brought the two yukata I was keeping at my grandmother's to Nagoya. I have about 6 back in SoCal, but it came down to these two when I was packing. I kind of want a new one, but reall? Totally unnecessary.


I had all but given up on wearing a yukata this year because of work, but things are looking up. While I could always use the cash, I think I need this more.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy, not happy?

On my way home.

It's still only 9:30pm and tomorrow's first is 10am. While I'm looking forward to some of them, I wasn't expecting to have an almost full schedule.

Need to make sure I sleep tonight. My body's not quite liking me. Not stressed. Just hungry.

Going to the soon-to-no-longer-be-24-hour market to see what there is to eat. I would cook but 1)I don't have any source of protien in the fridge 2)I can be bothered to cook, but not to clean and that doesn't work in a shared housing arrangement.

But from tomorrow, the place will close at 11pm! I'm lucky if I leave work at 11pm when I have a last lesson.

Oh well, at least Cats Cafe is open until 2am or something like that.


I need to learn to go to bed earlier.

So I'm waiting for my train wearing a new skirt and looking like I'm headed to the beach. Man, I wish I was.

I'm in serious need of some coffee.

Can't type any more...

Friday, July 29, 2011


At the end of July, my 24hour market will not be 24hour.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A snack to hold me over

Off to my grandmother's again and I bought some snacks to hold me over until dinner at Toyohashi.

I love the combini culture here. I spend way more on snacks than I do in the States but it's so much more fun. Limited editions and seasonal snacks as well as tie-ups. Awesome.

When I get settled I'd like to log my combini and vending machine adventures. Yay.

First time on the bus!

I need to drop by the Ward office to pay for stuffs. Since it's hot and I'm cutting it close, I decided to try the bus from the station.

I asked the driver of the bus if it would take me take me to the ward office. He looked at me like I was a freak and said "Well, it will, but this bus goes around in a circle, so it will take a long time to get to that stop" Hinting I had better options, but not saying anything else, he silently suggested I hurry and make up my mind about the choices I didn't know I had. I figured the bus was better than walking in the heat so I got on.

Fortunately, I'd been to the office before, so I got off when I knew I was close and the bus started in the other direction.

Waiting for my turn at the ward office was longer than my walk from the stop to the office.

While I understand it wasn't the driver's problem, he didn't have to be so condescending about it.

So much for my first bus ride in Nagoya.

I did save time and energy by using the bus, so I'm walking back to the station.

Lesson learned: look up bus info before leaving the house, even if it's just to avoid the glare from the driver.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home just in time

Dropped by the 100yen shop on my way home for a few things and just got back.

Now it's POURING outside complete with thunder and lightning. Less than a second between the flash and the rumble.

I think I might just turn off Castle, make myself a cup of Lupicia Bonbon tea and enjoy the rain beating on my window.

Day off!!

With only open lessons, I saw no point in going into work and waiting for some one to book an early morning lesson so I closed them to take the day off. After yesterday's walk with a eriend and the wandering I did before that, I'm amazed I got through the last lesson of the day.

I already had plans to meet up with a frhend today so taking the morning off let me sleep in and take one less Sakae round trip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Despite my longtime resistance, today I bought not one but two pairs of Crocs. I wanted shoes that looked like shoes but could handle the rain. My biggest problem with them was the bulky appearance. But now there are different ones that look more like shoes and sandals, so I caved. I got these in the and some light blue sandals. Let's see if they live up to the hype.

Currently waiting for a friend to finishoff work. Unfortunately, I am insanely sleepy and a bit tired. *almost drops herphone* *twice*

I should close tomorrow morning's lessons.

Surprisingly awake

Totally unrelated, but I have Skyway Flyer stuck in my head. (Will link later)

So I leave this morning to not return until midnight. It's slightly depressing. And I'm not sure if it makes it more depressing or not that I'm only teaching 4 lessons. Well, since I'm going to the bank and possibly getting new shoes then going on a photo walk in between lessons, I can't really complain.

Yesterday I went out with a housemate for what was originally a brunch to replace our walk in Shiogamaguchi that we cancelled because of torrential spurts of rain. As we sat in the restaurant, the skies cleared so we went to the park near our house. This turned into a walk to the river and subsequent wanderings ending at a great little coffee place where we chatted for a few hours. On our way back, we figured out the coffee place was actually pretty close to the house.

It was a really good day. We also began to plot outings so that we could wear our yukatas and a night of fireworks in the park with housemates. Very happy about that. August might just turn into a very solid "summer" month.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Do I enjoy what I do?

Do I want to keep doing this for more than a year?

Do I want to do only this for the next few years?

The problem is that I don't have one clear goal. Just a lot of options. Maybe I should hurry up and realize that I am greedy; I want it all.

I keep thinking of that Queen song:
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all
And I want it now.

Personally, I don't want it now. Maybe that's why I'm satisfied with just surviving for now. I'd like to believe that when I do want it now, I'll be able to kick ass. But, as much as I'd like it to, it's not going to miraculously happen. Taking it easy is going to have to switch from survival and recovery to preparation. I need to lay low and bide my time until it's time to strike.


Damn, I must have been tired to write that.

Almost midnight, almost home.

Back to work

So you know how I said I didn't want to run for the train this morning?

Guess what I just did.

I'm not sure it was worth it.

Now I'm all sweaty and suffy. And sleepy, but that's because of the rest of my day.

Hopefully I'll be able to post pics soon.

Want sleep now.

Lessons. English. Yeah.


Committing one of the classic faux pas of Japanese culture -eating while walking- with, of course, the classic food to do so with: buttered white toast.

I did manage to avoid the ultimate cliche of running down the hill with the corner of the toast in my mouth while screaming "I'm late!" in a way that would put the White Rabbit to shame.

Though if true to formula, this would mean that someone else will come barrelling down another hill and, not seeing each other in our haste, we would collide. This would, of course, be my fateful encounter with my soulmate.

And I almost hate to say it, but there was a guy sprinting down a hill into the street I was walking down to get to the station. Had I been running, the timing might have been perfect. Alas, I decided to take the next train. Might I have have possibly thwarted Fate from dropping my Prince Charming in my lap? I mean, really? The first day I happen to munch on toast on my way out the door and a guy comes flying down an adjacent hill into my path? It's perfect. Too perfect. I'd suspect a few weeks of bliss until I learn about a female co-worker of his that I become extremely jealous of and after that ordeal is over we'd experience a few days of bliss until a man from my past miraculously reappears in my life. Making it through a number of similar ordeals, we would eventually get married and live happily ever after.

And the stupid part? There's no way in hell I would be satisfied with something so predictable. I love cliches but I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if my life became one.

Alrighties, enough of that. Walking to my building now. Time to start a new week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This time!

This time I *will* go to sleep before midnight.

Last night was complete early-to-bed fail. I passed out around 10pm, but I managed to wake up and stay up until 2:30am. I lack self-control when it comes to staying up late. DVDs, re-learning HTML, uploading photos, playing around with GIMP, reading blogs and the like are more fun in the wee hours of the night.

I feel like I'm wasting time when the sun is up, but when the sun is gone from this part of the sky, I feel like I'm just borrowing time from myself.

Not that I can do anything about it. Oh well...

Lesson prep?

What I am capable of with too much prep time and the Internet.

The witches came up at the end of a lesson and I said we'd figure out which witch was which in our next lesson together.


Just accidentally erased the post and it wasn't deep or anything, cicadas and summer and such, so I'm just going to keep writing without re-writing.

In fact, I'm just goiog to end here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wait, what time is it?

Of all the...

I'm not sleepy. This bites.

Maybe that will change in the 30min to get home...

Or maybe I should do some punches and kicks, tire myself out, take a shower and hopefully pass out.

I need to pass out after last night's 3am lights out. I may have survived today but two in a row is pushing it.

I'll do an email check in the morning. Sleep! Must sleep.

Punches and stretches it is. Ooh, a massage would be good too.

Yay! My stop!


Sometimes I make unwise decisions.

Like my decision last night to mess around with html tables while watching Castle. I ended up watching 5 episodes as I tried to remember how to use rowspan. I left work at 9:30pm so yeah, with work at 10am today, that was not the best night for that.

Huge bags under my's going to be a coffee day.

But first, I need to stop by the combini at my transfer station. Today's food source is going to be onigiri again.


So crashing as soon as I get home tonight.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Aand back to Nagoya and work

Spent a few lovely hours at my grandmother's and now it's time to go back to the not-so-daily grind.

The weather was glorious yesterday and this morning. Nice and cool with some showers at night. But dreams never last long, do they? I can already feel the heat creeping up on me. Must enjoy the Enshu breeze while I can.

At least I'm not in a hurry to get back

I hope next Wednesday comes soon. Though with plans on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday along with work, I'm sure I'll find little idle time.

I've been trying to find things to be excited about, but I think I'm too busy to really look forward to anything. My 30th is coming up in a few months and part of me wants to go on a trip while the other just wants to do absolutely nothing. Maybe I should go somewhere to do absolutely nothing. Take a week in Kyoto or Shonan. Probably Kyoto, I know too many people in Tokyo and the temptation is too great to meet up with friends while in Shonan.

Hmm, Kyoto is sounding nice. Treat myself to a nice hotel for a week and at least one nice meal every day. Starting on my birthday since it's a holiday. Maybe with a friend for the weekend part of it. Then for the weekdays take my time through the streets with my camera. Buy a small plush animal to be my travel companion. Visit temples and shrines and stationery stores and zakka shops.

Take time out for me to be me. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. Now to start planning. Traveling alone can be expensive. If it's doable, I have my something to be excited about.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dinner in Toyohashi

Probably should have gotten Shio or Abura instead of La-yu, but still yummers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Impromptu walk

Went by the 100yen shop this morning and just didn't feel like going to the drugstore too, so I just went home and talked to the newest housemate then proceeded to tidy my room while watching a bunch of YouTube videos (Jimmy Wong, mainly).

I looked outside to see the typhoon had come and gone. So I decided to go for a walk and go to the bigger drug store on the way home.

Got this shot at the price of 5 mosquito bites. Not sure if it was worth it, but at least I was carrying around my anti-itch stuff.

Then dinner! Udon, tempura, tororo-gohan and chawanmushi. All for 1000yen! And quite yummers.

And now to go to the drugstore and make the walk home.

Happiness is...

Sleeping in until 9am and having the luxury of going back to sleep.

...and again at 10am( ̄∀ ̄)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Couldn't resist the smell of grilling meat...(apologies to my vegetarian friends)

I used to go to the Pepper Lunch in Hama for lunch every once in a while when I worked at the BoE.

Simple and yummers. There's something about how the dish comes out blazing hot, forcing me to eat slowly, that I actually like. A small size ends up being satisfying, a good thing for both my stomach and my wallet.

*And* this store is playing J-pop from the late 90s.
Color me happy.

Morning set

Facebook folk are probably extremely aware of my morning adventures. And for those not familiar with this bit of Nagoya culture, by morning I mean the breakfast set that comes with a morning cup of coffee.

Some sets come free with the coffee some cost extra but not that much more. The set pictured here is less than 500yen. And the coffee was quite good. The best part is that morning sets tend to come with a small salad and this one came with some yogurt with fruit sauce so I getting a rather balanced meal.

Ooh, sleepy. Yay for being almost home


So much for my laundry plans today and tomorrow; apparently a typhoon is on its way. Not that I can complain, this morning's walk to the station was breezy but wonderfully cool and I got a good amount of laundry done last week, including sheets and stuff.

There is a dryer in the house but it doesn't dry so much as tumble the clothes in hot air. A nice thhing to keep in mind for the winter, but practically useless to me now.

Speaking of the house, a new person moved in yesterday and two more will move in in the next week, bringing our total residents to 6. Going to have to label my food from now on. Ooh, I should make gyoza tomorrow now that I'm not doing laundry.

Also, completely unrelated, but I'm rather awake right now and that kind of freaks me out. Wait, scratch that. Now I'm getting a tad sleepy.
Well, next is my station. Laters.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspiration and strength

Look! I'm writing a post from my computer!! Okay, so I've done that before this month, but still, with 2 keitai posts a day, I thought I should point out the slightly rare occasion of me typing out a post on my keyboard.

Anyways, I'm writing this more for myself (as if this whole blog wasn't just for myself) but a few months ago, I stumbled on a YouTube response to an ignorant video made by a college girl. I felt most reactions to the that girl were a little over-the-top considering she was more of an ignorant racist rather than a mean and spiteful racist. I'm not saying what she said was wasn't wrong, but she did more than enough to prove herself as ignorant and uneducated and also make me worry even more about the level of education in the same university system I graduated from (though I came from a superior campus. GO BEARS!)

Back on subject, among all the mean responses, responses with the sole purpose of hurting that girl, there was this video by guy named Jimmy Wong.

Train dawn

There's something I absolutely love about a train coming into a station. It's gotta be the lights. And maybe that slight breeze.

I don't get tired of it.

Good morning

Well now that I feel human again, I think I'll take advantage of those lessons I closed out of weakness. And close one more while I'm at it.

Today is a holiday, but it's not. The auto industry will be at work, so the anyone working at an associated company will also be at work. Even if their not getting paid because it's a day off.

Most of my work experience is as a teacher and I was a student for a good number of years so it's not a foreign mindset to me but it still seems unfair.

Makes me think about what I want to do after this wandering phase of mine ends. Or if it ever will. I'm toying with the idea of becoming a freelance filer. Or find a company that is doing that kind of work. When it comes to that kind of work, I have some shining references.

Hmm, this is actually sounds doable. Well, I'll stop here since I got to my building. Time for work.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not much to say

I just want to go home.

And the Oktoberfest in July and Monday off means more beer breath than a normal Sunday night.


Well most of the pain is gone and just the fatigue remains. Closed a bunch of lessons before its too late. Just tired. I've been just barely making it. Once life makes a bit more sense, I need to find a temp filing job. I need to do some manual labor with repetative brain work. I like filing. And I like it. I want to go back to organizing.

But now, now to ponder late night food options.

Trying to think of a non-negative title is hard

At least it is when your body is rebelling against you.

I'll be fine tomorrow. Just need to survive today.

Yeah, I really don't have the mental capacity to write anymore.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Aaand off to work

Don't you just hate it when the next train is coming and you might just make it if you run, but just can't be bothered and decide to take the next train but at the entrance there's one minute and you purposely slow dowm so you completely miss it rather than just barely.

I think this comes with thinking: oh I'll just take the first train that comes. I can't do that with the local train near my grandmother's that only comes once an hour.

I need to write down the usual trains I take so I leave the house without having to run. Especially with the whole changing-clothes-at-work thing, I can't afford to be on time; I need to be early.

Oh no...sleepy...

Getting breakfast before work, but I don't know if that will wake me up or make me even sleepier. I hope it's the former.

Alrighties, transfer time. The train is so packed!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Work, work, work...

Amazing how I still need a fan at 11pm.

Even more amazing? How I want to watch Castle when I get home despite having work at 10am tomorrow. I should just wait until tomorrow since I closed my evening lessons. I currently have my minimum number of lessons and numbers tend to go up at the end of the month, so I'm financially safe for now.

Now to get back to my lovely projects. This blog and Chicago's are fine. I need to work on the Kenjinkai site and newsletter as well as tend to a new project in the works. And of course there's PhotoBook 12 and summer greeting cards...

I occasionally forget how much I love to create stuff. How it's an inseparable part of who I am. How it makes me feel alive. There's nothing else like it.

Maybe I'll work on Book4 when I get home. After I pick up some conditioner. In my absence of mind yesterday, I managed to buy two packs of shampoo. At least I grew out of my shampoo/conditioner testing phase and am quite happy with this brand. And with the new cut, I won't be buying shampoo for a while...

Anyways, getting close to my station. I might get another post up tonight featuring the love of my life.

Back to work

After a full day and a half at home, I'm back on the train to work. Just four lessons tonight and looking forward to a couple of them. Can't make any assumptions, but it should be good.

Then back home and sleep. First lesson tomorrow is 10 and the evening looks empty so I might just call it an early night. My goal for the next two months is to make just enough to survive. This month I'm very close and I'm already 40% there for August.

It's nowhere near ideal, but it'll do for now.

Father and Son: STS-1 and STS-135

I'm sure some of you have seen this already, but it's too awesome to not share and make sure everyone sees it.

A father and son saw the first space shuttle launch 30 years ago and were there to see the last one two weeks ago. They took a photo in 1981 and decided it would be cool to have a similar one from 2011.

Flickr has a blog post where arockalypse shares his story about this picture.

Totally awesome.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day off


Took this shot on my way home from my unintentionally long walk this evening. I love it. And I really love how I got these colors with no post-processing. I love my camera.

Needing to relax

I spent the bulk of today checking on my drying laundry and going back to sleep.

Once it looked like it would just get cooler, I embarked on a trek northwards. Found a few shops that I will definitely be visiting again after payday. A used everything shop in particular caught my attention. I'm most interested in the clothes(cute tops for under 500yen), but there were some ONE PIECE goods that caught my eye too.

I was going to try the Italian place next to it but seeing a Gusto on the map made me crave french fries and drink bar. It's comforting knowing what to expect. I'll be adventurous another day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Headed home?

Just as I was headed down the steps, dreading a commute home in rush hour crowds, I looked at the sun setting on the Nagoya Tower and realized it was cool outside with a rather nice breeze.

A walk in the city it is!

I am predictable

Yep. I managed to get out of the house just in time. Not late, but definitely not early.


Ooh. I need to pick up some coffee.

Just need to remind myself that I have a day off tomorrow and I'm staying home this week. As much as I love going to my grandmother's I have some laundry to attend to.

This means laundry and sleep tomorrow. Yay!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Headed home again

So I have this theory that my sense of time is even more off the beaten path than it used to be. I suppose making the daily commute twice can do that to a girl.
Tonight I'm going to have to make sure to sleep well. Getting through 40min lessons is one thing. Getting through a full day of certification is another.

This schedule is making me rethink the one I put in for August. I might just close as much as financially possible. But then again...Gah! I keep second guessing myself and I'm afraid I'll put money over general happiness and lesson quality. Balance. I have yet to find balance so I cling to anything that looks even slightly stable.


My dear friends, if I start dating anyone within the year, please interrogate him and make sure he won't cause me grief. I might not be completely able to tell right now.


Aaand back to work

The picture is of my breakfast. While the caffeine did nothing to wake me up, it was for the best since I really needed the sleep. I crashed the moment I got home and barely had the presence of mind to set my alarm. Yay for power naps; I feel extremely better.

So yeah, back to work. An almost full plate tonight with a few lessons I'm really looking forward to.

To add to the yay, I get to sleep in a bit tomorrow because of certification. Though readers of this blog know what happens when I have extra time... Maybe I'll go early and have a morning somewhere while I ponder the universe.

Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Headed home

At 10am. Yay.

I'll be back in a few hours. Hopefully I'll be more awake then. If not, coffee. Lots of coffee.

Speaking of coffee, looks like I'll make it home just in time for Cats Cafe's morning. *happy dance*

Ooh. Not good. The stations are passing by much more slowly that usual. Sleep..

Empty streets

Figuring it's 5:40am, this is probably the way it should look.

I am frighteningly awake right now, despite having only gone to bed less than 5 hours ago. Three lessons this morning, then it's back home for laundry and a nap. Will probably need a coffee to get through all three. I think I might go to Cats Cafe for breakfast on the way home. Mmm, should I get just the muffin and egg or pay 150 more and get the salad and bacon too? I should probably get the salad. Veggies. But that probably means I shouldn't get a coffee at work...

Great. Now all I can think about is breakfast.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello summer

Thanks(?) to no scheduled lessons this morning, my first lesson is at 5:30. But I'm having lunch with a friend and just staying in the center of town until work.

So that would be why I'm walking in the sun at 11:30am. So hot. And it's only July. I'm considering buying another ice pillow so I can rotate them in the middle of the night. The shorter hair was totally the right choice. Even with the stray blips curling the wrong way. Need more styling products...

Anyways, thus starts a new week. I'm taking it slow this month for a lot of reasons. Mainly so that I can figure out what "my pace" is so that I can take it.

And now I'm sleepy.

Alrighties, getting close to my transfer. Laters!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Flickr Photo Dump


So I finally got around to uploading photos onto Flickr. Just one set: July 4, 2011 - Tanabata in the Orchid House. There may be a new project in the works for me to show these off to everyone in a different way, so I'll just leave you with the link to the relatively untrimmed set.

I promise I'll get to the other photos sooner or later.... There's traveling to my grandmother's, making pea soup, random photos from the neighborhood, my decorating adventures, walking the streets of Sakae at 6:30am before work...Knowing me, these will be posted most likely quite later. I also realize I need to work on my Foodspotting account and talk more about Postcrossing. But it all must wait since I really need to just go to sleep.

Good night, world.

Today, this weekend, was awesome. Here's to hoping tomorrow is even better.

Hot...just hot...

Got home. Opened my room door. Was attacked by heat.

Turned on the AC. Ran downstairs. Turned on the living room AC. Hiding here until my room gets cool.

Who knew one floor could make such a difference. I still like living on the second floor, but this heat does make me worry about my PC. I wonder if there is anything I can do. Maybe I can get one of those things to keep food cool and wrap my PC in that...

Okies, I think my room is now chilled.