Sunday, August 31, 2014

TOKIO Fangirl: 101km Marathon

Leader did it. 101km.

Everyone thought he wouldn't make it before the show ended. The staff even told him it was impossible.

And then he ran the last five kilometers to make sure he'd finish in time.

At the very end, just when you'd think the others wouldn't show up, the four other members joined himfor just a few meters into the Budokan and to the top of stairs. Leader made his way down the stairs and turned around and looked up to wait for the other four.

A few seconds passed as Leader put up five fingers and they shook their heads. He put up one finger, then nodded and crossed the goal by himself as the others cheered him on.

They told the staff that this is Kanjani's 24 Hour TV, so they can't go on that stage. This battle was Leader's battle. They didn't want to take any spotlight away from anyone. I totally respect and appreciate how they didn't wear the official 24 Hour TV T-shirts. They showed up for Leader and no other reason. On live nationwide TV, it was an extremely personal moment. I was moved to tears and honestly could not stop crying for the next few minutes. I can't wait to see them in that same Budokan in two months.

I have very mixed feelings about 24 Hour TV, but for tonight, リーダー、お疲れ様です。今夜はゆっくり休んでください。


Friday, August 29, 2014

New favorite: ONE OK ROCK

Not to say they replace TOKIO. No one takes TOKIO's place in my heart. TOKIO inspires me and supports me and encourages me. I love them as a group and the purest form of that is at a concert. There is something deeper than just music and 5 hot guys... And I'm going to stop here (As November comes closer, these posts will become more frequent and more feverish. You have been warned.)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, ONE OK ROCK.

I watched the Rurouni Kenshin movie a few days ago and while I loved the movie, I was also completely amazed by the song in the ending credits. I thought it was an American band because of the sound and the English lyrics I could understand, but then Japanese lyrics started to flow and my eyes were fixated to the screen to get the band's name.

Mighty Long Fall by ONE OK CLOCK

Artists who can use both English and Japanese hold a special place in my heart. Flipping back and forth just because, they offer a kind of indulgence that I rarely experience in my everyday life. I don't hold back a part of my brain or myself. I get to relax.

I don't go seeking these artists out, but it makes me happy to find music I want to hear right now and if it's both Japanese and English, that's the cherry on top.

Anyways, I was so taken in by ONE OK ROCK that I bought a new iTunes card and using the convenience store's free wifi, downloaded their most recent album.

Listening to it now. Good stuff. Just what I needed. Might post a follow-up after I've had the album for a while, but so far, I like it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Personal Trainer: Week Zero

When all is said and done, I got a personal trainer because I want to jump my little heart out at TOKIO's concert in November without having to worry about running out of steam.

Sure, a gym might be cheaper. Running is pretty much free. Using books and videos, I could train by myself. But I've done this dance before, many times, and it hasn't worked. I hate to be so cliche, but I'm not getting any younger.

I know I need to get into shape because climbing 60 stairs to transfer always gets me out of breath. Not so much that I opt for the escalator, but enough that it's that classic "Wow, I'm out of shape" at the top each time.

When it comes to gyms and running and self-instruction, I don't know what I'm doing right or wrong and I always hesitate to ask, so it always ends up as kind of "meh". I figured a personal trainer might be what I need to give me some guidance, direction, and motivation.

I looked at a few sites and found a place that is a five minute walk from a station I regularly use and it seemed to really push "toning bodies" rather than "losing weight" and that's a huge thing. Sure, I'd like to shed a few pounds, but my main goal is to become stronger and understand my body better. And yes, not just survive, but enjoy a three hour concert.

I scheduled a free trial lesson and it was great. For each time slot, they only take one student and it's one-on-one. The owner of the company did my trial lesson and he listened to everything I had to say in the counseling session, then in the actual training session, he pointed out how my body was wonky and what muscles were weak and showed me a few exercises we could do to work on those areas, while making sure I was doing the movements properly.

There is no way I would be able to figure it out myself plus the awesome fact that I don't have to. It was wonderfully stress free to be told I was doing something wrong rather than being unsure. Then feeling the difference after we fixed it.

With the cleanliness of the place, the convenience, the impeccable professionalism of their emails, and just how much lighter my shoulders were after a short session, I was sold. (And that was before he gave me a small balance ball and a pair of toe socks with treads as part of a campaign they're doing right now. Free stuff!)

I deposited the money for 8 lessons this morning and from here until November (first session is on Taichi's birthday!), I'll be doing weekly personal training sessions and attempting to do whatever they assign for me to do at home.

That's where this blog comes in. I plan to write my thoughts on each session and how things have possible changed simply for a record of my own, but I would love any input from those few readers I have. What are your feelings about personal trainers? Have you ever had one?

Retail therapy: JUMP Store + Ghibli Store = Shopping Spree

And the pic is just a mere peek at today's haul. Spent so much money! Got so much good stuff!

On a similar note, I need to get some business cards. Time to start defining myself.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

At the Theater: るろうに剣心

That. Was. Awesome!

So glad the next one is only a few weeks away.

I'm also rather glad I've never seen or read the original; I had zero expectations and just soaked in the fun.

Also! Only Masha could exude so much badass aura in about 2 minutes of screentime.

At the theater: るろうに剣心 京都大イ火編

I was iffy about this movie since I had never really gotten into the anime, but then I saw the cast.

Yeah, not going to miss this one.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Turning Pages: ちょいワザ文具術

Couldn't resist this book of stationery/office supply life hacks. It honestly makes me genuinely happy.

I'm also happy to see I'm not the only one who thinks of these things.


My last 6am on-the-way-to-work shot for a while.

Giving up the morning shift because I'm tired of spending the rest of the day recovering from just three lessons.

I'm also tired of being afraid of waking up late. And of feeling like I don't have time. The advice is wake up earlier, but when waking up at 5am leads me into a panic, earlier really isn't an option.

So I'm taking controll of the situation and not working mornings. Going back to 5am being early and not just barely on time. Maybe then enjoing a morning cup of tea will become an option. And cooking lunch. And dinner. And taking walks. And working on projects.

I feel possibilities with this change.

But first, to do my job this morning.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turning Pages: Masquerade Hotel

Borrowed my mom's copy. The page number is daunting, but Higashino Keigo proves once again that he is very easy to read.

The prequel looks like it's already out, giving me more to look forward to.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Me versus the crows

Pretty sure I'm not going to win.

On my way out, two crows flew away from the trash bags set out for pick up. One of the bags was peeking out from under the net and the crows had found some breakfast.

As I rearranged the bags and secured them under the net, the crows flew in and perched closer and closer. Still being traumatized by The Birds and various videos on YouTube, I went along my way quite quickly. And they both decended onto the sidewalk next to the net.

I'm sure I put the bags completely under the net, but I wouldn't be surprised if they just pulled the net off and resumed their breakfast.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Turning Pages: ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 4

I picked this up at Centrair before I went home to California, started it in the immigration line at LAX, but finally picked it up and finished it on the way to my grandmother's.

Unlike the previous three, this one was all one story. It was cool because it dove deeper into the mystery as well as involving Shioriko's mom, but I also didn't get my Shioriko-Daisuke squee fix that happened at the end of each short story in the previous three volumes. Granted there were some major squees in this one, but I had to fight the desire to flip to the end to see where they end up at the end of the book.

Overall, quite satisfying, especially since the topic was Edogawa Ranpo. Awesomeness.

Now I need to pick up volume 5 and after that, I must wait. The author mentioned in the afterword that this story was entering its second half, which makes me a bit sad, but also hopeful that this couple will actually become a couple soon.

This is one of those series that I read for both the plot and the characters. So much fun!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The ink that won't dry out

I've literally been at this for hours.

I want to drain the ink so I can clean my pen. Sure, I could dump the ink, but where's the fun in that?

Nails - Update 1

Let's see if this works...


Woke up at 1am, organized stuff, Skyped with my mom, actually got out of bed, went to Komeda for morning before it got busy and got some stuff done.

Then came back to my room to take refuge from the heat.

And since I still have a few days off, non-dress code nails! Actually, they're probably okay, but I personally prefer neutral (though often shiny) colors at work.

Adding shiny stuff once this coat dries but I don't know what I want to do. Hmm. Maybe some gems. Hmm.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

SoCal 2014: Nagoya

My bag came out a lot quicker than expected. Sent it to the house and now it's my turn to make my way back.

Decided to spend some cash on an extra measure to guarantee myself a peaceful ride to Kanayama.

Looking forward to passing out in a bit.

SoCal 2014: I'm leaving on a jet plane - Part 6

Incheon to Nagoya! Last flight! Then it's about an hour and a half back to the house. So totally going to sleep all day tomorrow. Watched movies on th way here, as is the norm for me. All twelve hours. The line-up was:

  • Transcendence
  • The Other Woman
  • The Amazing Spiderman 2
  • The Muppets Most Wanted
  • Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Tangled (skipped to favorite bits since there wasn't enough time left)
No huge movie disappointments, but no sleep did require a lie down at the gate. Not that it stopped me from posting an Instagram.

Systems relatively normal. May or may not post once I'm back in Nagoya. See you on the flip-side.

SoCal 2014: I'm leaving on a jet plane - Part 5

Headed to Incheon. Then to Nagoya.

It was a nice relaxing trip, though short, so I'm sorry I couldn't meet up with a lot of people. Next time, I hope to be around for longer.

Catch you on the flip-side.


SoCal 2014: LAX - The new Bradley Terminal

It's all shiny and new! I'm so confused!

SoCal 2014: LAX

Checked in and in the security line. With the construction going on, there's only one place for security and the lighting's really dim, so it's not unlike a long line at Disneyland. Complete with tourists. All part of the process.

Monday, August 4, 2014

SoCal 2014: SNA

And I'm baaaack!

SoCal 2014 (Back to Orange County): I'm leaving on a jet plane - Part 4

Farewell, East Bay. Until we meet again. Which will hopefully be very soon.

SoCal 2014 (OAK): Food

Major airport fail! I left my food in my check-in! My half-eaten chocolate croissant, my untouched square of cornbread, and my salted caramels from the wedding! To hold me over until we are reunited in Orange County, I got a pretzle.

At the Theater: Guardians of the Galaxy

Movie with Dana! Yay! And this theater is HUGE! My local theater is going to look tiny after this.

Friday, August 1, 2014

SoCal 2014 (Berkeley): Sketching on campus

Not too shabby. Was going to do some postcards, but I left them at the hotel. Love this campus!

SoCal 2014 (to Berkeley!): Wifi yes. Free no.

So they said there is wifi on the plane, but they never said it was free... Oh well, downloaded more than enough podcasts and for a flight that's under two hours: window seat! I will be thoroughly entertained. :)

SoCal 2014 - Berkeley: John Wayne Airport

I haven't been here in ages!

With a good hour before my flight, I'm taking advantage of the free wifi, doing some obligatory pre-flight blogging and maybe try to get a sketch penciled. I keep forgetting how expensive water is. Thankfully I brought my water bottle and I was reminded how much the drinking fountain water is mediocre. Meh, you win some, you lose some.

Headed up to the Bay Area for a dear friend's wedding and I decided to take a trip down memory lane while I'm there, so I'm staying for four days. I also decided this would be the best time to splurge and treat myself to one of the finest hotels in Berkeley.

Now that I'm on a sketching kick, I was considering not even leaving Berkeley, but maybe I'll head over to San Francisco today. But that plan might change once I land.

I really have zero set plans other than the wedding.

In anycase, with wifi in the airports, in the plane, and at the hotel, expect blogging, Instagrams, and sketches. Or rather blogs with Instagrams of sketches. :)

Catch you laters!