Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9:30 and I'm under warm covers


I have a small electric blanket back in my room in Nagoya, but this one is heavenly. And necessary in my opinion as there is no heater in this room.

Knowing I have two full days off starting tomorrow is also fantastic.

Stuck at the station

So train from big city into medium city was late, which made the train from medium city late which of course, the small train to my grandmother's didn't wait for.

Thankfully it's still rush hour so there's another one in 20min. And it looks like I'm going to get to try out my new rain poncho.

Meh. I've been awake since 4am and can't stay awake.

Creature of Habit

Something about riding the Shink makes me want Chip Star. I used to buy these all the time as a kid when I came to Japan in the summer. I think it was a pre-Pringle era. I honestly don't remember and like a lot of things in my life, I never registered the two in relation to each other since they were "Japan" and "America".

Anyways, off to my grandmother's for my "weekend" and as has become habit, I'm on the Shink. So I bought a Chip Star and a coke.

Speaking of Shinks, they're still playing Ambitious Japan before the announcements. It's pretty incredible that TOKIO is so integrated in the lives of non-fangirl Japanese people. Still am and always will be proud to be a fan. TOKIO FOREVER.

Okies, almost to the station. Gotta pick up stuff before catching the next train.

Ahh, there's TOKIO. Yay.

Winter on it's way out

They're taking down the lights.

There's cheap, and then there's cheap

Bought some bread at the combini because I needed food and while it did have ham and cheese and tomato sauce as the package says, look at all that air and fluff!

But the hot genmai tea was totally worth it.

Damn, still sleepy. Going to have to down some coffee when I get to work.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blogging obsession win

The only reason I didn't forget my phone today: When I left the house and thought about how cold it would be when I take my morning picture, it occurred to me that I didn't know where my phone was. It wasn't in my pocket or my bag... Which was when I remembered it was still plugged into the charger.

Thankfully, I had literally just stepped out of the house, so I ran back upstairs, grabbed my phone, and still managed to make it to the station in time to catch my train. And thus I can post this entry with a customary picture of the coming dawn, the first of which this year was taken without the flash going off.

I'd like to say Spring is on its way, but COLD! has returned as if to say "And you thought you were rid of me. Muwahahaha!"

Not cool, dude. Not cool.

Sorry, something's up with me today. Gotta increase Normality for the sake of everyone taking lessons with me today.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I need to go for a walk

It's been a while. Walk around, eat something good, actually post to Foodspotting. Next week. I have to stay in Nagoya anyways. And I still need to file my taxes. Bah.

But at least I got to sleep until noon today! Being unpopular has it's perks.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Unpopular me.

For whatever reason, and I was unbooked tomorrow morning. It's a sign from the universe. I don't know which color or if it's the 'verse, but I respect the universe.

My first lesson tomorrow is 2.30.

Awesome possom.

I'm going to clean my room and do stuff. Like watch Fringe.

Dude, I almost got on the wrong train. I needed the time off more than I thought.

This is what happens when I deviate from my regular path by just a bit. But I noticed in time to catch the right one. And I still got a seat. Score.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nagoya Love

I find this ad to be all sorts of awesome.

The play on "I heart NY". The shachi-hoko in the heart. The miso nikomi-udon in the background.

I'm curious about how this brilliance was conceived.

COLD! seems to have followed DARK!

I haven't abandoned my earmuffs and leg warmers just yet. But it is noticably warmer today.

Spring is here.

And it turns out, I'm not as happy as I thought I'd be about it. I've gotten used to the cold. I can deal. But the muggy heat of summer? No. I'm from a desert region; I like dry heat.

It's still a few months off. Right now I need to think about surviving my week.

And yet the number one thing on my mind is whether or not I left my heater on. Maybe I should go back during my break. Something tells me I should. Weird.

Maybe that's the part of me that desperately wants a nap right now.

Meh. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Made white sauce earlier today. And spinach pesto. And a white sauce based pasta soup with mushrooms and salmon. It was awesome.

There goes another huge amount of money

But the UNIQLO purchase was for work clothes. I'm obsessed with the boatcut shirts Beckett used to wear on Castle and UNIQLO has them.

They disappeared off the shelves for a bit, but they're back! So I bought a few more colors for my work outfit, which is basically a color shirt, black jacket and black slacks.

And the awesomeness of the combined bra and cami.

Burt's Bees!

They've made it to Japan (Loft)

Happiness. But expensive.


DARK! has left me for earlier hours. If I want to see DARK! again, I'm going to have to wake up even earlier and that's just not going to happen.

Farewell DARK! It was fun.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Xiang chi dan dan mian


I'd been curious about this place for months and it didn't disappoint. Lots of sesame goodness, just the right amount of hotness, a big container of chili oil and a big pitcher of ice water on the table, juicy crispy gyoza, and staff who knew how to set plates on a table.

Total yum.

Being a girl is expensive

I'm all for being healthy and taking care of my skin, but the makeup irks me.

The societal pressure that I won't be considered a self-respecting female if I don't wear makeup. I spend at least 30 min of my day making my eyes stand out and messing with my hair and stuff. I do like how I look afterwards but take this morning for example, I had to forego my exercise because I knew how long it would take to do my hair.I do like how it looks, but I'm bitter that I've given in to that expectation.

Sorry just griping about the 8000yen I just spent at the drug store on makeup and skin products.

The biggest problem with my bitternes is that I end up wanting to eat out. Like I'm appeasing myself.

Tantanmen it is! With gyoza!

Farewell DARK!

Spring is coming and so is Dawn. Well, to my world anyways.

Did a bit of last minute translation work last night that would have been fine except that it's the middle of my work week, the stuff had to get sent via email Sunday night to be practiced and reviewed for Monday afternoon and I received the original Japanese text plus what happened to it when run through a translation site on Saturday night at 10pm. Saturday morning I read through part of it and basically couldn't touch it until I got home at 9pm. Mashed out a translation and got to sleep as soon as I could, but I still woke up later than I'd like and didn't get any exercise in. As a result, SLEEPY.

And I have a pretty full day today. On the train at 6am and not getting home until about 10pm. And I have my morning set tomorrow.

Then after that, sleep! Glorious sleep!

Then working on stuff that leaves me feeling under appreciated and taken advantage of but I still do it because I said I would and it's unfortunately a family matter.

But before that, SLEEP!

But first, to survive work today.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


This tea claims to make your body a fat-burning machine. Or something like that. Thanks too the extra tea fat-burning stuff it has, it's more bitter than regular green tea, but that makes it just about right for a morning drink. Not sure if I completely believe it, but I feel my body did get more toned than with just the walking home and it was less so when I stopped drinking it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

DARK! and Yay! and Hrmmm

DARK! is still DARK! and I'm really going to miss it when it leaves 6am for earlier times. I won't be missing its friend COLD! too much, but then again, DARK! and WARM! aren't exactly the best combination.

Yay! is for the new signs at the station. They've been up since before Christmas but were just recently put into service. So awesome. Now I can see when the next train is. Sometimes change is good.

Hrm is for a decision I've already made. To buy two more volumes of manga. I don't really have the space or the cash, but I'm starting to crave it and if I don't appease the manga monster inside of me soon, I'm going to start buying LaLa every month. Unless you knew me in high school or college, you don't know how dangerous that would be.

Ooh, yeah...I really want LaLa now. So much good stuff in there.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Awesome phrase of the day: Bacon could save the world

I hate that bacon in Japan is this weird mix of bacon and ham. I want crispy salty bacon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-day Purikura

Spent a fantabulous evening with Samantha in Hama. There wasn't enough time to karaoke without me running for my train, but we did get our purikura on.

Purikura are like the opposite of driver's license photos; they can make anyone look good. Samantha's practically a pro, so it doesn't surprise me, but I barely recognise myself. Oh the magic of purikura.

Speaking of taking purikura like a boss (I've been spending a lot of time on Tumblr...), if you haven't already, check out Samantha's purikura blog: purikura.blogspot.com

She's got purikura machine reviews and tips and tutorials and if I remember correctly, there's still time to enter her first anniversary giveaway. You may see some purikura with yours truly as well.

Headed to Hama

Then my grandmother's.

But first! To celebrate the V-day massacre a la Bones minus the guns with Samantha.

Purikura and karaoke yay!

Happy Valentine's

Lookie! I got a valentine from my housemate! Yay!

I also have valentine's for the people working today. The generic ones. All giri choco. Let's see if I get anything back for White Day. Though I always felt like White Day took away from Valentine's. As though girls give because they expect something in return and guys to give back on White Day because they are obligated to.


I guess I'm one to talk. I give for purely selfish reasons as well. Because I want to cute little packages. Lots of them. And see them in numbers, similar and yet each individually different. The visual makes me happy. Any happiness that people feel is an extra bonus.

Monday, February 13, 2012


After moaning and griping silently under my covers for about 30 minutes, I did some crunches, planks, wall push-ups, and by the time I got to the punches and kicks, there little reason to be cranky anymore. Resigned to my fate, I followed my self-prescribed schedule.

I had the TV on as I cleaned up from breakfast and Zip just started. Today being Monday, Tatsu-ni (Yamaguchi Tatsuya) is suppossed to be on, but he's in Ukraine.

Tetsuwan DASH sent TOKIO to Ukraine to get a first-hand look at post-Chernoybl farmlands. DASH village is in Fukushima, so it's close to home for them. DASH and TOKIO have regularly been checking in with the local people who have been helping them out at the village over the years. While people, myself included, may not have a clear image of the affected areas before and after last March, people -by this I mean the TV watching Japanese public- know TOKIO and most know of DASH village. I'm not the only one who felt a twinge in the chest when a mental connection was made between everything Chernoybl has come to mean and the made-for-TV village that has come to represent a simpler, purer, less-convinient and yet still somewhat better time in Japan.

There was a small joke among the circle of online English-speaking fans I was in that TOKIO would be Japan's last line of defense when the apocolypse came and that the rebuilding would begin at DASH village. When the Seisyun PV came out and only to feed our overactive imaginations. It all made perfect sense.

Then reality hit. And we were reminded that our fantasies are not impervious to the real world.

But maybe the rebuilding *can* begin at DASH village. Maybe it will make sure that the general public doesn't forget. And maybe we'll be able to prevent the apocolypse that would be beyond what we can imagine.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lesson of awesome

I got to teach someone adjectives by describing Sheryl Nome today. We also talked about seiyuu. My weekend is so beyond complete.

It's going to be hard to top that one. Really hard.

Though tomorrow I get to see two people I haven't seen since I've gotten back.

But first, to go home, get some food, and finish up my Valentine's project.

Dude. Line.

Looks like I'm not the only last minute V-day 100yen shopper...

At Daiso on my break. I was hoping to hit up Loft too, but chances look slim.


Nope. Gonna. Try it.

Slow day?

Last I checked, I have 6 lessons today. That's just over half.

15 minutes later...

Ran into my housemate at the station. Even though I just saw her in the kitchen, it was good to talk to her again. My schedule being what it is, I don't see her much. A positive side effect of waking up earlier is seeing people on weekend mornings. Obviously I don't see anyone on weekdays, though there is a chance of seeing another housemate who takes the first train in when she has the early shift. (I take the third or fourth.) But I don't think she drops by the kitchen long enough for a chat.

Anyways, I'm at work, so I'll catch you laters.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


So...I got through today unscathed. How does that work? The universe is trying to tell me that resistance is stupid and I just have to accept waking up early as the best option.

I am tempted to say "Challenge accepted" but that's probably a bad idea.

Oh yeah, I had some down time so I looked up "Just do it" and the slogan was inspired by the last words of an executed prisoner. Nothing to do with the goddess of victory, but I learned about the origins of the company. Pretty nifty.

As for my motto, maybe "Challenge accepted" works...
Nah, probably wouldn't fly.

How about:
Life is as simple or complicated as you make it. Smile and be happy.

Too much?

Smile and enjoy life.

Smile and live life.

There's an Elmer/Baccano reference to be made there. I know it.

Maybe I should quote a movie. Or Castle.

Ying needs Yang. Ying-Yang is harmony. Ying-Ying is a name for a panda

Yeah...the company would love me for that one.

Meh. I'm home now, so the motto search continues tomorrow.

So far, so good

Look! Someone planted flowers!

So after the schedule of death yesterday (that I foolishly gave myself next month too), I managed to wake up at 6.30 as desired and this morning went well. Breakfast and tea. Yay.

But seriously? 4am to 12.30am is a long time to be awake. It's probably happening again next Friday too. At least I can sleep until 6.30am.

Did you read that last sentence? SLEEP IN UNTIL *6.30AM*


Anyone who knows me from high school or Cal is probably wondering who the hell is writing this. In all seriousness, I'm pretty productive in the morning as long as I don't sulk about it. When I get stuff done, I get it done. So I guess that's it, isn't it?

I see the possibly non-coincidental connection between Nike being the goddess of victory and the sports brand's catch phrase.

Speaking of catch phrases and the like, I need to change the motto and advice on my work profile. Something simple, understandable, not pretentious or preachy and not typical. You wouldn't believe how many people overuse, misuse, and abuse Carpe diem. Or maybe you would.

I want to change my motto, Just remember to breathe, to my advice. But then what is my motto? I want it to be something that has to do with smiling. Something like "You smile, you win at life" but a bit more refined and something even beginning learners of English can understand.

Meh. Will have to ponder this later. Now, I gotta make myself worth the money my clients are paying and not what I'm getting paid.

...that can sound really wrong. Well, you know what I mean. Right?

Friday, February 10, 2012


Yep. Back to work. And thanks to the jetlag, I'm totally awake and set.

My ideal Monday Tuesday Friday schedule is:
4am Wake up and blog in Japanese or read something
4.30 Get out of bed and do some light exercise
4.50 Take a shower and get dressed
5.15 Have breakfast maybe watch the news
5.45 Clean up and leave the house in order to catch the 5.56 train
5.56 or 6.06 Catch the train and blog in English
6.30 Get to work, change (I prefer to commute in jeans), prep
7.00 Teach
9.15 Finish teaching, write up records and follow up, prep for evening classes (Mon, Friday)
10.00 Change and leave work

Saturday Sunday it's
6.30 Wake up and blog
7.00 Get out of bed and exercise
7.20 Shower and change
7.50 Breakfast
8.15 Leave the house and go to the supermarket to pick up sandwich parts for food breaks
8.30ish Catch the train
9.00ish Get to work and change and wait for them to open the doors
9.15-30ish Prep
10.00 Teach
8.30pm Finish teaching, finish writing records
9.00 Change and go home

If it's Monday or Friday, I have another long set of kessons in the other workplace that go to either 9pm or 11pm.

No extra details. Just got to work.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black Thunder collaboration

During my trip home to SoCal, I gave everyone I met up with Black Thunders. It's become a random mini-mission of mine to spread the glory of Black Thunder.

While talking to a friend who likes Black Thunder as much as I do, we looked at the site and we found some collaboration ones. So when I saw them at the combini, I just couldn't resist.

The ChocoBall Black Thunder has a light peanut flavor.

The Tirol Black Thunder has a nice kick of coffee.

The Black Thunder ChocoBall wasn't that great, but still good.

The Tirol Black Thunder is my favorite of the three. There are also Black Thunder and ChocoBall Tirols. Must find those!

Mmm, Black Thunder.

And the result

Check it out!

I'm quite happy with the results.

It won't make it in time, especially outside of Japan, but anybody want a late valentine?

Six thirty am on my day off

And I got the carving bug again. Plus jet lag.

Something about Valentine's that makes me want to make stuff. It's never been a couples holiday for me even when I was dating someone.

It was always about using it as a creative outlet and a reason to give chocolates and candy and love in cute packages to the people around me who have a part in creating an environment where I can smile and laugh everyday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Look what I found!

I regularly hide cash from myself in case of emergencies, but a 20? Not that it matters much with exchange rate.

Finally left the house to restock on groceries and see just how cold it is outside. Not as bad as I thought. This is good.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012



Actually I've been back for a bit. Caught up with housemates and looked at mail. Got a few awesome things from peoples. Thanks you guys!

And that's all for tonight. Good night!

At Centrair

Just gotta pick up my suitcase and ride a couple of trains and walk up the hill and I can sleep! Yay!

And on the plane

While the lack of wait time is kinda cool. There's zero time for error.

Likewise the legspace is awesome, but I don't like having to put everything in the overhead.

Can't have it all, eh?

Just a bit more and I'll be back in Nagoya.