Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Monthly: December 2012

It has been a good month for movies. I'm liking this. Under the cut are the movies (and other things) I've seen and some random thoughts. I hesitate to call them reviews because movies are a matter of taste and I have always said that a "good movie" and a "movie I like" are not always mutual. I've also done my best to leave out any spoilers.

Also upcoming movies for January and February that I am somewhat interested in seeing. Living in a big city like Nagoya has its perks and I'll most likely be able to watch most the movies I want to see.

New Year's Eve

Made gyoza for dinner. Two types.

Now eating mikan and watching Kohaku. Already saw Taichi be a camera hog. Awesome.

It looks like TOKIO's not at Countdown, so I gotta get my last TOKIO kick of 2012 from Kohaku. Though there's lots of TOKIO to be had on the first. Yay!

And now it's TOKIO's turn. Just in time for toshi-koshi soba. Yummers.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Off to grandmother's house

5 glorious days of doing practically nothing. Yay!

Might update. Might not.

It might be good for me to stay off the grid for a bit.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Two more days.

Today and tomorrow at work. Then the 30th to the 3rd at my grandmother's. So looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

A time for memories and choices. Time to make some changes.

Wow. Depressing sounding.

Don't mind me, it's just the wine talking.

Merry Christmas everyone. Wishing you a good one.

Off to Hama!

Operating on an hour and a half of sleep, I miraculously taught two extremely coherent lessons (at least on my end, but these were both regulars who would ask questions if I make no sense, so I think it's safe to say the feeling was mutual).

I finished up at work, changed clothes, half ran to the station, got to Nagoya station with enough time to eat a bowl of kishimen, and get on my planned Shink.

So far, so good.

A cold, early Christmas morning

Bought an ultralight down jacket from UNIQLO yesterday. Trying it out now. This thing is impressive.

I only have a half-sleeve shirt under this and I wasn't even cold! Chilly, perhaps, but I only have a regular shirt under this. As a result, I feel perfect in the train. Usually I'm broiling.

And it really lives up to its name. Deliciously light.

We'll see how it handles a Hama wind, but so far I'm extremely happy with my purchase.

Oh yeah, and
Merry Christmas!

I'll try to post through the day. I've got an interesting one coming up.

Up WAY too late making these

Still worth it.

Though ask me again tomorrow...



Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Best garland EVER

Look what I got from my mom!! Totally taking this to Hama with me!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Business as usual

So no apocalypse, huh? In all honesty, after the morning, I completely forgot about it. The worst thing that happened Friday was having a splitting headache then being on the train home with more smelly drunks than usual because it's year-end party season.

Full day today, empty day tomorrow, work in the morning then off to Hama for Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

One IC card to rule them all

Well, not really. But I couldn't resist the title.

Starting March 23, 2013, a lot of the major transportation IC cards will be useable across systems. Awesome.

I have a Manaca, Toica, Nice Pass and Suica. Toica and Manaca became accepted on each other's systems early this year, making me way happy. I knew that next spring, I'll be able to use my Manaca on Toica vending machines. But this is even better.

Unfortunately, it looks like Nice Pass isn't on there. But that's understandable. It'll be there soon enough.


And it's because it's December 21. But every December 21 is like this at 6am.

So far, business as usual.

December 21, 2012

Well, it's past midnight. Everyone's blogging about it. May as well join the crowd.

While I'd love to follow today all the way to December 22nd across the world, I'm going to sleep now because if the world is still here *knocks on wood* I have work in 6 hours.

Good night and see you on the flipside.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I'm trying to convince myself that today won't be as bad as it makes itself to be. But I'm also not holding my breath. I don't care for days that feel like they're going to be a battle. It's all been put into motion, so now all I can do is go through the motions and see this through to its end.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Morning @ Torelu

I can't say this without sounding like a pompous ass, but I have slight issues about the chopsticks being placed left-handed and the fish just kind tossed on the plate.

I know, it's not a "fine dining establishment" but it's pretty empty right now and I was the only one to order at that time, so there was no rush. No excuse to be this careless. Presentation counts for a lot in my book when it comes to food at a restaurant. Unless it's a dive. But even then, or especially then, there is an aesthetic.

But it's still a really nice breakfast. Especially for 350yen.

Just peeked over at another person's tray. Left-handed as well. Maybe there's another reason behind it.

Hmm. I would ponder more, but it's time for work.

Friday, December 14, 2012

At the Theater: The Hobbit

First three afternoon lessons were open so I took that as a sign to close them and go watch a movie.

And seeing as I'm doing Movie Monthly for 2013, I paid the 500yen membership fee for the club card. 300yen off AND points? It pays for itself after 2 movies. Score.

Okies, it's show time. Catch you after the movie.

Yeah, it's cold.

But not too bad. Off to work and with some luck, I have a long lunch break today. Which is good since I need to mail something to my parents. It's going to be a late day as all Fridays are but it might not be a long day. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Kitchen: We made Bao (nikuman)!

The one in front is my first one. I *so* had no idea how to wrap them. The others were better, I swear.

And they tasted fantastic! This is going on my list of dishes to perfect.


From the Shinkansen window

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Turning Pages: BACCANO! 1935-B

Yep. Got my hands on the new one.

And 37 pages in, I've already almost chocked on my food from laughing and gotten goosebumps from a well-played reveal. So awesome. The next 250 pages are going to be so much fun!

Welcome back DARK!

COLD! came back this weekend and brought over its friend SNOW!

I forgot to post my SNOW! pics from yesterday. Just as I was heading to work after a mini Tokyu Hands spree, it started to really snow. It was awesome. Having grown up without snow as part of reality, it's still quite novel to me. Plus my transportation methods aren't affected by it, so that helps keep the experience positive.

Ooh! Update on the skating, Fridays are Ladies' Day and it's only 500yen. Might have to try it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quintuple Point Days at Tokyu Hands until Xmas Eve!

Yeah, title pretty much covers it.

I went to pick up the newest BACCANO! at the bookstore (1935-B and there's going to at least be a C as well! Yay!) and get a few things for my parents at Tokyu Hands, then realized I get 5 times the points. Awesome!

Might pick up a few more things later this week too.

Morning Adventures: Torelu - Morning Set (with coffee) 250yen

I saw this sign on Saturday. It says the udon is waiting for me. Since the store opens at 7:30am, I decided to answer the call after my morning shift.

At this time of day, they only have a morning set. Small serving of udon, rice, fish, umeboshi, kombu, nori, and a coffee for 350yen. Quite balanced and satisfying for breakfast. It was good too, including the hoji-cha that was first served.

And since the lady brought in the sign I was going to take a pic of, I'm assuming this set is only until 10am.

Morning udon! Yum. I will most definitely be back. Another breakfast option in Sakae. Awesome.


Not that it's going to last all day, but I took the opportunity to wear my snow boots and use my umbrella. Now my feet are toasty. Toasty feet on a cold, snowy day makes for a happy Mel.

Also. Feeling 100% better today. Was feeling strangely off yesterday. Feverish, fuzzy in the head, headaches, topped off with a bit of nausea. A jolt of vitamin C and 6 hours of sleep seems to have done the trick.

Now that I've pretty much signed up for kickboxing, I'm going to have to change a few habits. It'll be a pain in the butt, but that's partially the reason I want to do this. Force myself into a less self-destructive lifestyle.

We'll see on Tuesday. I really hope the gym and I are a match.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


And it snowed. Not that you can really tell in these pics.


So there are rumors of snow today. I bundled up for the cold then realized that I don't have any shoes for the cold. I have rainboots and snowboots, but they're both bulky. I think I need to go find some mocassins. Or boots. Or both.

In other news, I finally signed up for a trial kickboxing lesson, so that'll be Tuesday. And on Wednesday my friend and I are going to make nikuman from scratch! Yum!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Skating banana peels.

Well, they caught my attention so I guess they did their job.

I'd love to go to a skating rink especially if it's so close to work and in the shopping district. I'm a horrible skater, but I do enjoy it.

And I'm curious about what this non-ice skating rink is. It says 1000yen, but I wonder if that includes skates. Hmm.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Taking it easy. Kinda.

Not knowing how I'd be after a 12 hour flight and an 8 hour bus ride, I played it safe and made sure to start work on Saturday instead of today.

The jet-lag still has me in its clutches and I've been awake since 1am, but enjoying Castle Season 4 (just finished disk 2) and arranging my desk and planning my day.

I've transformed my closet doors into a work area. The whiteboard I was using as a schedule is now a to-do and to-buy board. I brainstorm here then transfer the plan to my planner. Turns out I'm even more visual than I thought. I draw the pieces to the puzzle that is my day, then arrange them as effciently as possible. It's more a mosaic than a puzzle, but you get my drift. It can't quite be done only in my head; I forget things. Little details get lost and the pieces don't get the right shape.

Anyways, I'm going to finish my Komeda morning then head into the center of town. Today I'm off to get some things done before going back to work tomorrow. Then I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Back in Nagoya

Got in 7am. Skyped with the parents. Watched two episodes from season 4 of Castle. Then passed out for a few hours. And my luggage arrived. All in all, a good day and it's only 3pm. Yay.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Back to Nagoya

On the bus which is currently just me but is going to be full.

So sleepy. Totally going to pass out...

Chillin' at the NRT station Starbucks

Have landed and planning the next 5 hours or so before my bus. Already contacted the family to let them know I'm alive. Sent two bags to Nagoya and they'll arrive tomorrow afternoon.

The flight itself was rather pleasant. Considering it was a little under 12 hours, that's actually quite a feat.

Alrighties. Now, what to do.

From the window of the Shinkansen

From the Shinkansen window