Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fushimi Inari

To the top and back. took some time and chilled and it took me about 3 hours. My calves and quads hate me. It was more crowded than I'm used to, but it was good, as always. Cleansing, self-searching, and mind-opening. Much needed.

Also, I wasn't going to draw an omikuji this year, but it came with my soft serve and it was "very good luck" so yay! I'll take it.

Now at Kyoto Station having a late lunch and refilling on liquid. So good.

Picking up some omiyage for my grandmother, then heading back to Nagoya. Will be Instagramming once I'm back in my room.

To Fushimi Inari

Had breakfast, packed up, checked out, dropped by to say bye to Dad, stashed my big bag into a locker (miraculously found a 300yen one), and jumped on a train towards Nara.

Looked up and saw an ad with 5 of my favorite people in the world. They got their game faces on. Their other game faces. Not their stage ones or their DASH ones, but their celebrity advertising ones.

As for me, I need to get my patience game on. Going to one of my favorite places in the world, but it also happens to be one of the world's favorite places to visit. Tourists galore!

Patience. Patience. Patience.

Luckily, the weather is perfect. Just warm enough for the hike ahead.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Made it!

Now the walk to the hotel. :)

そうだ 京都、行こう

Straight from training, now free from the stress that was my work week (seriously, my trainer noticed my slouchiness), I headed to Meieki to catch a Shink to Kyoto.

Three years.

Doesn't feel that long at all. Like that part of me got caught, while the rest of me has been dragged along by the river of time.

Not the first time that's happened, though. 2002. 2004. 2009. Kind of like Cobb's elevator in Inception.

And it won't be the last time. But that's life.

On a lighter note, Ambitious Japan! played on the Shink and it took everything in me to resist doing a fist pump.

Nothing like TOKIO to put a smile on my face.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Post-it Notes to Myself

I'm liking this one today. I think it'll get me through the weekend.

Watch how I soar.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I was sick, so I bought myself a hat

I swear, that made sense earlier today.

I got extremely sick for about a day from late Monday night to Tuesday afternoon. Then spent the next day and a half recovering.

I didn't even know it snowed on Wednesday until I saw Facebook.

Felt at 80% this morning and managed to get through work.

But before I got to work, I went to Loft where I was good and didn't buy more Star Wars goodies, but I did buy another pen case and this hat.

It was on sale.

And it made me feel better.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Turns out in a moment of absent-mindedness, I dropped her into my workbag.

Thankfully I've learned to only acquire items that can survive me, so she escaped from the depths of my bag unscathed.

I feel complete again.

Now to head back to my room and save up energy for one more day of work until Monday, which is training day. Yay!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Can't. Find. My. Necklace.

Haven't freaked out like when I can't find my keys, glasses, cell phone or iPad.

But I'm disappointed in myself for misplacing it. I passed out last night so it might have fallen somewhere near my bed. I also change at work and I might have taken it off and left it in the bathroom. Building maintanance hasn't gotten anything, but I still need to check with work and the cleaning staff if possible.

I just can't believe I don't remember when I last saw it.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Back on the wall

Last month, I climbed for the first time in probably 3 years.

Back home, I had gotten into the habit of top-roping every week, even trying some lead climbing. Coming to Japan, without my top rope partner and faced with bouldering, which I wasn't very comfortable with, I still gave it a try a few times. My ineptitude bothered me. As did my general fear of falling and landing. I've hurt myself more than once when I landed weird.

I'm not entirely sure why I stopped, but I remember that it got harder and harder to return.

But I also missed it. And after a year of personal training, I decided to test out this body of mine that was getting stronger and gaining muscle.

That was December and it was depressing how bad I was. I was almost ready to give up all over again, but I had already enthusiastically said I'd go bouldering with a group from my training studio in the new year. I couldn't back out now. 

When the day came last week, I got to the gym about half an hour before everyone else (I had just seen The Force Awakens in 3D IMAX and the movie got out with perfect timing) and I tested myself on the walls that I had so miserably failed at a few weeks before. 

To my pleasant surprise, not too shabby. My brain apparently was able to access climbing memories and remind my body how to move. By the time I was climbing with folks from my training studio, I could hold my own. Barely, but I was sending problems and the fall back down to the mat wasn't giving me a mini-heart attack each time, so I call that a win. Plus I was having a ton of fun.

In fact, everyone had so much fun, it sounds like there's going to try and organize another climbing event in the near future.

Which brings me to today.

I made my way down to my local bouldering gym. It's only a 20 minute walk away. A bit small, but lots of problems that I've found to be set very well. I took my time, alternating between stretching, climbing, and thinking. It was good. Again, not great in any sense of the word, but enjoyable.

In fact, I'm trying to figure out how to make this a weekly thing. It's going to have to be Wednesdays when I'll still be sore from training on Monday and I'll be bringing in forearm soreness to work where I handwrite pages and pages of notes.

Not ideal, but I'll be climbing again. And that makes me happy.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do

I was standing on this street corner post-training, and I had been for about ten minutes, not knowing where I want to go or what I should do. It got damn cold and I was pretty tired, but my brain couldn't process anything because it refused to acknowlegde David Bowie's death.

I eventually got on the subway and headed home, but the feeling of loss is overwhelming. I wouldn't call myself a fan, I only know a handful of songs, but I realize now, as silly as this is going to sound, I believed he would live forever.


Lunch @ Hoshino Coffee

Did a bit of sketching as I waited for my souffle doria to cool down from scorching temperature.

It turns out to have been a good day for people watching.


Managed to make it to the last day of the exhibit.

Mitsuaki Iwago travels the world and takes photos of cats.

Lots and lots of photos of cats being cats.

I'm sold!

Friday, January 8, 2016

At the theater: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hard to tell from the pick, but I got an executive seat. They recline!

And for regular price since I have a members card at this theater. Good stuff.

Not bad seat-wise. Though a bit closer wouldn't be so bad. Might take that into account when The Martian comes out.

Also, the popcorn here tastes like popcorn back home. :)

Today is going to be a great day

Slept in. Took a shower. Did my toenails. My hair decided to show its perm just a bit. Yay!

Headed to the 109 theater to catch The Force Awakens in 3D IMAX. Whee! Wearing my other Star Wars shirt.

Then climbing with people from my training studio. Looking forward to it, but anxious would be an appropriate word to describe my current mental status on that. A group of a larger number of people than I'm used to, and half of them trainers, watching me as I awkwardly climb a wall. Yeah. Self-concious much?

But I'm just going to throw myself into it. A lesson in humility should be good for me.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how my trainers tackle bouldering. Plus they're an awesome group of people. It'll be fun. Just need to convince SociallyAwkward!Mel to just relax. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

初 東山公園!

I went to the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens for the first time today. I spent most of my time in the Botanical Gardens where most people weren't and it was lovely.

In the sakura area there were a bunch of clovers, so I looked for a four-leaf, as I tend to do, and found a five-leaf. That was unexpected. :)

Must go back again soon. More trails to explore and seasons to experience.

Afternoon outing :)

Yesterday was wasted gloriously sleeping in.

Was tempted to do the same today, but I need to be home to accept a box of mikan tomorrow and three days of staying indoors isn't the best way to start the new year, so around 10am, I decided today is the better day to get some fresh air. Then I called my mother. :)

After a 2-hour Skype session, yet again mostly about Star Wars, I took a shower and now I'm headed to a classic Nagoya sightseeing spot for the first time.

Can you guess which one?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday! First training session of 2016!

Not to shabby. I even surprised myself. My arms are getting stronger and I'm figuring out how to properly use my abs. Yay!

But now...I just want to take a shower and go to bed.

Right after, my arms were jelly, so I couldn't use them properly, going down stairs is menacing, and even my brain was so tired, that it slipped my mind that I'm going climbing on Friday. Also, Japanese became difficult. Yeah, that was unfortunate.

On the plus side, I'm going to sleep SO well tonight. :)

Back to Nagoya

It was a good New Year's.

Not productive, but I didn't expect it to be.

Now for the journey back. I'm bracing for holiday crowds on the trains. The first two have proven to be busier than usual. Three more to go.

Honestly, it's not the crowds. It's the occassional people who are in the crowds that are intent on making others as miserable as they are. And the parents who haven't bothered teaching their kids how to behave in public.

Patience. Patience. Patience.


Yay! The Shink is practically empty!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

That was fun

Nothing like a sea of people in the new year to get a glimpse of humanity.

Returned my 2015 五円 to the 狐塚 and found a new one for 2016, scratching up my nails and hands in the process. Whee! Also planted a bunch all over. More and more people know about it so there's less and less coins. Kids are fine, but the adults,

Now to Toyohashi to get lunch and pick up a few things.


Yep. Sea of people.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

They have a system of rotating people through, so I'm not that fussed about it. Just need to watch out for pickpockets and kids/senior citizens who push their way through the crowd to the front.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

Also it's quite warm today. Score.

To Toyokawa!

First outing of 2016!

And I lost my new earmuffs. Probably on the TenHama, so I'll check on my way home.

Going to Toyokawa Inari for 初詣. It's going to be a sea of people, but I'm headed back to Nagoya tomorrow, so today's the day.

It's all good. I got my iPad with me. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016


After eating 4 squares of mochi for lunch and only having walked less than 1000 steps today, I decided to go for a walk.

I know how to get back, but I'm not sure where I am. Time to turn back.

Next time, I'll check online first. There are a number of walking trails in the area, but I've never been on any of them.

In anycase, the walk has proven to be good brainstorming time.

First night of the year: mikan, green tea, and Aibo.

Sure, it's almost 2am and I should go to bed, but there is a 2 and a half hour Aibo special to be watched.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I got to ring in the New Year while Skyping with two of my favorite people in the world. A great start to 2016.

May 2016 be an awesome year for everyone. :)