Saturday, August 31, 2013

#MelDoesLondon2013 - Made it!

And changing the tag. :)

Got through immigration and customs way faster than at LAX, met up with Cat, met her boy, went to dinner and yeah. Good times already. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

#MelInLondon2013 - In Helsinki, Finland

I'm in Europe!

And currently rushing to my gate after running around changing money, buying liquid (No water fountains! What's a Mel to do?), and getting and sending postcards. 

Boarding the plane to Heathrow in a few minutes. Whee!

#MelInLondon2013 - On the plane to Helsinki

*I'm leaving on a jet plane*

You know I had to do it.

Catch you on the flip side. :)

#MelInLondon2013 - Gate 14

Dude, this is such an awesome gate! It's at the very end with a perfect view of the runway. So cool. My dad would have loved this.

#MelInLondon - Brunch: Soup Stock

Checked in, exchanged cash, and ready to go. Currently eating lunch.

Can't seem to get enough of this place. Mmm...soup.

Lachic's Soup Stock is better, but it's still healthier than McD's.

While checking in, the lady at the counter thought my visa was expired because she thought it was 2014. Seriously. She actually had to check with the lady next to her that it is indeed 2013 this year.

She was nice and all and I had lots of time to my flight, so it's all good, but still. That was a new one.

#MelInLondon2013 - Check-in counter not open yet

Waiting in line bopping around to TOKIO's Harvest. Still have 15 minutes until they open, but it's better than being late or further back in line.

Also, going to hashtag whatever I can. Forgot about that. Will try to remember.

One other thing I didn't mention: my camera broke back in June and I've decided in this year of change and readjusting, I'd go without. Shocking, I know.

So it's iPad mini and sketching for this trip.

Getting butterflies for multiple reasons

To the airport!

My god this train is crowded.

Doing a Vine again. Though I kinda let my iPad fall a bit and I touched the screen, so we shall see how it turns out.


Sorry for the flood of posts. You'll get a few more until my flight at 10ish. Then it'll be radio silence until I get wifi.


*happy dance*


The first pic is familiar because I took the same train I would normally take if I was still working Friday mornings.

One bummer moment, a wheel on my suitcase broke. The suitcase has gotten a lot of miles, so maybe it's about time, but it's also just the wheel, so I kinda want to just replace the wheel if possible.

For now, it still rolls and I'm checking it in, so I think I'm good for this trip.


Cat! See you soon!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

At the theater: Star Trek Into Darkness - After thoughts

I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. It was very predictable, but I didn't go to see the movie for a creative plot line. I went for lots of action and Benedict Cumberbatch; seeing as I got lots of both, I'm a happy movie goer.

There were some good moments that I enjoyed. I liked all of the characters. Well, Kirk was okay. But Spock was cool and I really liked Scotty and Bones. Best was, of course, Khan, but I'm biased.

The IMAX experience was definitely cool, though I wasn't 100% sold on the 3D. Unfortunately, I think there was too much "Ooooh, look 3D!" (so far only Ironman 3 has pulled off using 3D effectively without taking away from the movie itself). Also, the IMAX 3D glasses didn't sit very well over my glasses, so I spent more than half of the movie holding them in the right spot.

I don't regret seeing it in IMAX 3D, but I would suggest saving money and seeing it in a regular theater.

I think I might have gotten more out of the movie as a whole if I was a trekkie, but it was still entertaining enough in my blissful ignorance. I do think I'll have to add at least the Star Trek movies to my "to watch" list.

At the theater: Star Trek-Into Darkness IMAX 3D

Nothing like a movie to escape the hot afternoon.

Wanted to catch this before I left for London just in case it wasn't in IMAX when I got back.

Thoughts after the movie.

Finally sinking in

Woke up early to do my laundry and hang it out to dry and now I'm heading into town to take care of some things then cleaning my room and packing because I'm going to London tomorrow.

I'm going to London tomorrow!!

Wow. My first real trip overseas. I know that sounds silly, but Japan and California have always been within my range of "local". It just happens to be a really big range. Boston was a bit of a shock, but still the US.

England is an entirely different matter.

And I'm going via Helsinki, so I get a glimpse of Scandinavia too.

Wow. England. I'm rather excited. And by rather I mean extremely.

But first, I gotta pay some bills and do some last minute shopping.

Also...the Into Darkness 3D ad just caught my eye. There's a 12:40 show. There goes my afternoon. :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

WCBF: Last full day

And it's raining! :(

But I just exchanged Good Mornings with Sadaharu Oh, so it's not all bad.

And we're still playing games. So yay! :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WCBF 2013: The calm before the storm

Survived the first night.

My kids are going to be over a day later than planned due to a bunch of travel issues, so I'm helping out where I can today and tomorrow night I'll be rushing to get a day's worth of stuff into a few hours and make sure everything is set for them. Nowhere near ideal, but we'll make it work.

I'm in one of the big rooms so there will be 14 girls in a 20-tatami room. Tight quarters. It's going to be good.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Retail Therapy: A few last minute items

I swear, I didn't forget my ruler on purpose. But I also admit I was happy to realize I forgot it, giving me the excuse to purchase a ruler I have been coveting for a while.

Also, having miraculously arrived early, I treated myself to tantanmen and gyoza which made me VERY happy.

Off to the WCBF for 10 days of baseball

I think I overpacked, but that can happen at 3am. No time to cull.

I didn't pack a book, but I do have my iPad and my trusty OCD notebook. After last year and the pages upon pages of disorganized information, I took matters into my own hands. I cut and pasted the three pages about my group I'm in charge of, then wrote out a schedule and filled in the important information.

This morning, I also came up with a brilliant/stupid idea to create and keep scorecards for each mini-game. Spent an hour trying to remember/learn how that's done and figure out how to adapt it.

I didn't have time or energy to write a mini J-E glossary of baseball terms, but turns out there's an app for that. Not a great one, but free and better than nothing. I'll try to build one as I go along.

Also planning on using the notebook for some pre-sleep writing to unwind and have closure on each day.

This is a revenge match and an experiment. I did not do as well as I feel I could have. The overacheiving perfectionist in me wants another shot. So here we go.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Plans, plans, plans

Tomorrow to Fukui for 10 days of baseball camp.

Then three days to pack and prepare for London.

Then London for about a week.

Then a few days off to recharge.

And back to work mid-September. Only to work about a month until going to California for ten days in October to go to a friend's wedding and take a trip with my mom to Monument Valley. (I just made the reservation today and am on my way to the travel agency to pay for the tix.)

It's all going to be great, but right now, my head is going to explode.

But first, work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Turning Pages: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

I liked this one. Perhaps the best so far. But I'm drawn to stories of mazes, so I'm not surprised. The stories are familiar, but not. And I like the characters; Blackjack is my favorite.

And I'm glad I had the foresight to bring The Last Olympian with me. It's my companion for the trip back to Nagoya. Depending how far I get, it'll be coming to Fukui with me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Almost last day

And I'm somehow operating on an hour and a half of sleep, which on a Tuesday means I was awake for about 23 hours. The wonders of caffeine and a bad habit of finishing off books no matter how late/early the hour. Not planning on making it a regular thing, though.

And unrelated, but I just got to the station and realized we're on Obon schedule which is getting me to work a bit later than I like. Grr.

Oh well. At least I'm used to the job enough to not panic.

Monday, August 12, 2013

*VS playing in my head*

Also? Damn, I made that too strong.



Now to brush my teeth to get rid of the coffee breath...

Sunrise falling

The weather is still HOT. but each week 6am is becoming more golden. The summer solstice was about two months ago and it took me until about last week to sense the change. While the days may be miserable, the sun doesn't have enough time yet to heat the air, making mornings a bit more bearable.

This is my last week before baseball in Fukui, then I have 3 days to frantically pack my bags for London. Yay London!

I'm pretty much taking a month off for these two trips. I start up again almost a full week after I get back from London simply because I'll probably need to recover from both before returning to reality.

But before I think about that, first I need to survive today's full schedule.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Feeling empty handed

As mentioned in the previous post, I finished my book and while have the next three Percy Jacksons waiting for me, I'm still in the Ghosthunt world. Not obsessed enough to get it today, but book 3 is definitely going to be my London book. The Kasai Panic.

So, back to the title, I don't have a book with me today.

I also left my music player and my new notebook. Sure, it's a lot of stuff to carry when all I'm doing is going to work, but the 30 minute commute can be much shorter when there are things to keep me busy. Of course, I could just blog like this and I have my iPad as well.

But there's something about not having a book to escape into that makes me feel empty handed. I want to see something beyond this world right now.

Mmm, books.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Turning Pages: ゴーストハント2 人形の檻

Finished! Damn, that was good!

The series has always been a favorite of mine, but the rewrite is amazing to say the least. Ono Fuyumi added so much depth and while at times it gets a bit long in its explanations, that's kind of the good part. So much detail into the instances and study of paranormal activity. It makes so much sense and is so intregal to the story that I consider what I've learned from reading Ghosthunt to be truth.

And then I started to write a bunch, but it got long.

Bottom line: Ghosthunt is awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

I really can't wait to get to book 4 because that's when Yasuhara makes his appearance. Love him so much. Great character. Squee.

Morning Adventures: TORELU - Price Increase and Tickets

I mentioned last month that my go-to weekend shift breakfast place was raising prices.

They revamped the menu while they were at it. Now there is a choice of hot or cold udon, a choice of fish or natto, a choice from 5 "toppings", and it still comes with rice.

Even at 350yen, this is a deal, but they were selling ticket books of 10 at 250yen each before the change and I bought 2 figuring I come here so often. May as well save some cash when I can.


DARK! and COLD! always seemed to merit exclamatiom marks as they strangely invoked excitement in me.

HOT., on the other hand, is more of a definitive and undeniable reality. There is no excitement, only heaviness.

And that's all I got for this morning.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Retail Therapy: Yukawa's coffee cup

I saw this at MUJI and just had to have it. This is going to be my work mug at Nagoya. Even brought instant coffee with me. Not that I ever have time to take a coffee break, but it's very existance in my work locker makes me happy.

Retail Therapy: MINE AT LAST!!

I promised myself I wouldn't buy a new notebook until I wrote on every page of my current notebook. My fingers have been itching for weeks and I was determined to get to the last page during my days off so I could buy this today.

And I did. And now IT'S MINE!

That being said, I still have a few pages that can be filled in my old oneand I want a bit of a game plan for this notebook, so I'll probably wait a bit before I start this one. (And by that, I mean tonight. Tomorrow, max.)

I've decided to combine my notebook and schedule and am currently trying to figure out the best way to go about it.

Probably going to get the sticky calendars and keep them in the clear pockets in the back, attching them when I get to that month. Hmm, sounds like a plan.

Now to figure out the rest. I've got a general idea, just need to pan it out and test it. I've come to accept that I will never find *the* perfect way to keep my schedule and notes because my lifestyle and work keep changing and more importantly, I get bored really easily. Change is good, right?

Couldn't resist

Was buying some tea and saw this. Too hot today. Had to get it.

Mmm, ice...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Just realized I have 2 full days to myself.

Sure, I have errands to run and chores to do, in fact, with WCBF and London around the corner, I have lots to do, but all on my own time. I'm not meeting anyone or scheduled to do anything. And when I realized this, I was filled with a sense of bliss and relief. I probably have my busy week two weeks ago to thank for this feeling.

So now I'm going to take my sweet time planning out my two days and leisurely get stuff done.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

At the theater: The Lone Ranger

I have to say, I honestly enjoyed that.

But I also have to say for extremely personal reasons, I cried my eyes out.

I'll spare you the babbling reasons I was bawling at the end credits, though it had nothing to do with the story.

Long story short, it made me homesick. I miss hot dry summers. I miss the desert. And I knew a large majority, if not all, of the audience was not in the same psychological place as me, not that I would ever expect or even want them to be, but it's been a while since I felt and knew I was so alone.

It was also a bit of a shock since it's been a while since Japan felt so foreign.

I want to go home. I need the desert. I need the smog and the multi-lane freeways. I need the Mexican food. I need my cat.

Yes, all this and more from Johnny Depp in white make-up and a dead bird on his head.

Worth it in the theater too. Transcontinental railroad and explosions.

At the theater: The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp and the Wild West. Even if the movie is bad, I'm going to enjoy this. :)

Three more to go

I am most definitely tired, but I have enough in me to get through my last three of the week.

And I was thinking of going back to the house and collapsing after, but maybe I'll go see The Lone Ranger. Then collapse.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Turning Pages: Made a trip to the bookstore

会長はメイド様 17
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Still reading Ghosthunt 2 though. :)

Monday morning

The air is heavy with humidity.

It's amazing how that can suck the life out of you. No, that's not quite right. It's more like a blanket that smothers you.


On the positive side of life, I don't feel as tired as I normally would on a Monday. Taking Saturday off probably had a lot to do with it, but I'm not complaining.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

At Gaishi Hall: Disney On Ice

Couldn't resist and bought a flashing glass with strawberry crushed ice and a slightly dysfunctional straw.

Looking forward to the show though. :)

Bright midday sky

So glad I took today off. Main reason was for Disney on Ice tonight, but I'm glad I can chill today.

Skyped with my mom while I made my WCBF notebook. I'm combining all of the important documents from the 19 A4 pages of documents I received into one small notebook.

This is a coping method. If I don't do it, I'll be a panicked mess. All the info is going to change the day before each day, but I like having a base line to start from.

I know I'm going to get the overachiever eyerolls, but I need it to function. Too many unknown variables.

To quote Javier Esposito: A control freak like you with something you can't control? That's going to be more fun than Shark Week.

Which I'm sure is what many of the organizers thought when they witnessed or heard about my meltdown around day 7 last year. Needless to say, I was not amused, but at least I had a shoulder to literally cry on.

This year, I have an idea of what I'm up against and I can be in a more prepared mindset. I won't have as many walls up to protect myself. I can lighten up. Or at least I hope I do.

Well, enough babble. Next stop: Kasadera.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Got out of bed at 10:30 and it was GLORIOUS.

I'm going to have to learn to wake up earlier on Friday mornings. Or rather, go to sleep earlier on Thursday nights.

Summer is here. There is a lot to do. But today, I have to think about work.

Tomorrow is preparation day.

And Disney on Ice.