Jan. 4th, 2010

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Vacation was insanely busy, and I did almost none of the things that I was supposed to. I wanted to use the time to catch up on things, and instead I fell even further behind. ;_; I did have a good time though, and I got to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] anruiukimi, [livejournal.com profile] kyashieru, [livejournal.com profile] jougetsu, and [livejournal.com profile] misspaulette. I also had the most Japanese New Year's yet, including sending and receiving New Year's cards, making a trip out to the inaka, going to a temple for the New Year's Eve bell-ringing, making a New Year's Day shrine visit, and shopping at the New Year's sales.

x____x OMG, the New Year's sales. I spent so much money. Like seriously insanely ridiculous amounts of money. First we went to Peace Now, and I got two skirts, a top, and a sweater. Then we went to the loli department store, and I got a jewelry lucky bag. Then Cassiel took Paulette and me to Osaka to show us the Qutie Frash store, which is made of awesome. And the salesgirls' hair was made of even more awesome, all teased up and crazy colors and filled with tiny little New Year's decorations. I wish I'd thought to ask for a picture. Anyway, Qutie Frash makes Asian cyber-punk clothes in styles and materials that actually fit the non-tiny. And they even let you try on sale items! I bought two skirts, a pair of pants, a Chinese-style tunic top, a Japanese-style kimono top, and a camisole. After that, we tried unsuccessfully to find an ATM that would actually let us withdraw money, ate at a cute okonomiyaki place, went by h. Naoto, Gouk, and Hangry Angry, but they were closed, and hit up Kera and the used shop. I had no money left, but I went back the next day and got a pair of armwarmers at Gouk, a hoodie, a pair of bloomers, and a doll case at Kera, and a whole bunch of stuff at the used store. I got an h. Anarchy t-shirt, two Algonquins skirts, a Qutie Frash skirt that would be Cassiel's if I hadn't seen it first (and if it didn't go PERFECTLY with my dragon jacket), and two h. Jelly skirts that I thought were wraparounds, but turned out to be fitted skirts with wrap overskirts. x_x One of them fits (barely), but the other one I don't think I could fit into even if I were at my ideal weight. The overskirt goes great with my QF stuff though, so I'll probably just keep it.

And there's still Super Comic City next weekend! T__T But after that, I'm definitely through spending money. Except for BPAL. And maybe some shoes to go with the skirts that I bought. It wouldn't really be a problem, except that I also bought three dolls for other people during vacation, so my yen level is pretty giri-giri for this month. And the whole thing about maybe having to return to the US with its distinct lack of jobs soon.

Speaking of BPAL, holy crap, my collection exploded over vacation. Not literally, thankfully. XD After the After Event, Cassiel and I had a sniffing party at Starbucks. (BTW, I highly recommend this month's houjicha latte. I don't like coffee OR tea, and even I thought it was great.) I tried scents until both arms were full, and she very generously gifted me with several of her unloved imps. Then when I got home that evening, there was a package of even more imps waiting for me! XD So now I have 50 different scents, not including the vial of Zombie Apocalypse that fell down the drain. And 30 more in the mail. Aaaand about 15 more that I need to send money for. ^^;;; BPAL is very dangerous, because it's not very expensive, if you look at each imp or bottle by itself, but it's SO easy to get carried away.

One of the things on my list that DID get done was a trip to Spa World. I went with Lannie and a friend of hers, and had a great time. It's a pretty strange experience though, moreso than a regular onsen, because there are employees selling snacks or doing spa treatments, and the customers are all naked, but the employees are all clothed. We decided to get some spa treatments; I got the one where they rub off all your dead skin, and a mini-facial. I thought that the skin rub was going to be just arms and legs, but no, it's ALL over. o.O I hated it at the time, because my skin is really sensitive and it hurt a lot, but I have to say that my skin looked fantastic afterwards. The facial was also uncomfortable because it involved a lot of really hot towels, but since then, my face has been noticeably less oily than usual. It's starting to go back to normal though, unfortunately. Outside of the baths, there's a lot more stuff that you can do while clothed or in the spa-provided tunics, like several restaurants, a game center, a nap room, and a pool where doctor fish suck the dead skin off your feet. I love the fish, they're so cute and it feels like a cross between a tickle and a mild electric shock. There's also a pool, mixed bath, and seasonal water park, but we didn't get to that part. And they've extended the ¥1000 campaign, so I want to go again either this month or in March to see the European floor, but finding a day that won't be packed will be difficult. Oh, and one more awesome thing about it: the building is really well-ventilated, so you can wear your glasses everywhere! Being naked in public is a lot easier if you don't also have to be blind.

I also did get up to Mineyama to see Elizabeth, and Mandy and Jarrad came over for dinner and hanging out. There were cookies and hamburgers and mixed veggies and biscuits and proper bacon and scrambled eggs.... T^T I miss having real food. We watched The Fifth Element and Cars in shiny shiny blu-ray, and I had a nice, snowy train ride back to Kyoto. I also now have Kirk and Spock action figures which I need to put in inappropriate poses.

Hatsumode was beautiful! It was snowing gently, and clouds raced across the full moon. Unfortunately, my videos of the bell-ringing turned out crappy because my camera was on a super low-res video setting that I didn't even know it had. But I got a lucky fortune, and ate delicious strawberry taiyaki! And then Paulette and I rode the subway back and forth until 5 in the morning.

What I DIDN'T do: dishes, cleaning, studying, mailing Christmas presents to family. x_x I don't feel quite so failtastic though, because out of the whole vacation, there were only three days that I was actually at home, and I spent one of those recovering from vertigo. I also didn't eat any McDonald's the whole vacation! Yay me!

I'm not going to do a decade retrospective, because I'm lazy 2010 is the last year of the current decade, not the first year of the next one, geez people. 2009 was pretty okay, had some fun times, not too many bad times. My biggest regret is that I pretty much just let 2009 happen to me, instead of going out and making things happen. That's the main thing I want to change for 2010.


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