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Vacation was kind of meh. It was a combination of super-awesome (surprise bottles of Midway and XCDL13 in the mail, Shinsaibashi's getting a Krispy Kreme) and super-suck (e-mail getting hacked, customs lost one of my packages). The weather was terrible, so I wasn't able to go out and do much sightseeing, and even though it was the perfect opportunity to clean and study, I didn't do much of that, either. So now I feel unfulfilled and irritated with myself.

I finished the Edgeworth game. It was fun, but needed more Phoenix. It would have been awesome to play against Phoenix as Edgeworth. I liked the "logic" addition, but sometimes some of the connections you had to make were completely illogical. I also liked being able to point out contradictions in the evidence right away instead of having to wait for the right person to say the right thing at trial. I didn't feel that any of the storylines were particularly captivating, though.

I cleaned out my shower, including the drain, which was a major accomplishment, and I remembered to go to the year-end band concert, even though I forgot to go to the yearly faculty photo. I uploaded a bunch of photos to my flickr page, but not enough to keep from falling a year behind. >.> I sold Kira and Minoru, although Minoru is on layaway, so his box will still be taking up space in my apartment for a few months. And another DoA user whose name starts with p and ends with adme79 was using MY photos to sell HER Minoru, which is NOT on.

About ten people came to my hanami party, and everyone said they had a good time, so I was happy. ^_^ The sakura where we were could have been more in bloom, but the weather was nice and the spot was peaceful, and even had a covered picnic table where the dolls could be safe from sun and dogs. Photos are here, but you probably need to be a member to see them.

I'm not really looking forward to going back to the grind, but at least this year I have no first period classes!
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Edgeworth game GET!! Thanks, [ profile] rkold! ^3^

I've been so busy lately that I can't even remember all of the stuff that I wanted to post about but was too busy doing to post. It's mostly doll stuff, I guess -- getting ready for Dolpa and the Yume no Grand Prince Hotel event, then going to the events, then shipping stuff out from the events, while keeping up with FCS, too.... And angsting over whether or not to get SD17 Hijikata and SDgr Okita takes up a lot of time and energy, too!

Anyway, I had a ridiculously fun time with Paulette and Mandy at the Yume no Grand Prince Hotel event. And I loved that I didn't have to pack a suitcase! Since the theme was Alice in Wonderland, we went dressed as Alice (me), the Mad Hatter (Paulette), and the Cheshire Cat (Mandy). We had cake for lunch, picked up our dollies, ate a fancy dinner with steak wrapped in pie crust, drooled over Hijikata and Okita, were awed by the one-off display, narrowly avoided a catastrophe at the candlelight party, enjoyed a flute and violin duet with fruity drinks, snuggled in our squishy hotel beds, and helped ourselves to a tray of neverending bacon at breakfast. It was great not having to get to Dolpa early and wait in line. I didn't win or buy anything at Dolpa, but it was fun hanging out. And I fell even more in love with the Black Peace Now skirt that I shouldn't have bought at Pure Sound, which is good, because it helps justify the price.

The other reason that I've been so busy lately is that I've been seeing a lot of movies. In addition to a whole bunch of movies that I want to see coming out all at once, there's the 10AM Classic Film Festival going on. So in a period of two weeks, I saw Rear Window, North by Northwest, Coraline, The Princess and the Frog, and Sherlock Holmes (oh my goodness, so very married, btw). And coming up is I Love You, Phillip Morris, Limelight, The Great Dictator, Some Like It Hot, Alice in Wonderland, and Trigun(!). And of course sumo and cherry blossoms, too! It looks like spring break is going to be every bit as relaxing as winter break was. :-; And every bit as expensive, too, since I'm buying 6 dolls this Saturday. x_x I think I need to bury my wallet.
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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 [ profile] anruiukimi, [ profile] kyashieru, [ profile] jougetsu, and [ 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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The higanbana are blooming, and summer is finally over... is the entry I've been meaning to make for the last 3 weeks or so now. I don't know why I find it so difficult to update my journal these days. It's not like I'm spending my time doing anything useful.

Anyway, Silver Week was awesome. Besides sitting around doing nothing, [ profile] misspaulette and I went to Universal Studios Japan. I can see now why it's so popular: it's made to look exactly like America. Much like Costco, but with thrill rides instead of 24-packs of canned tuna. The buildings of course have that uncanny valley look of theme park buildings designed to look taller than they actually are, but I was really impressed by the details. Poured concrete sidewalks with painted curbs! Trees with metal grates around them! Fire hydrants and blue mailboxes! A trash can next to every streetlight! I'm pretty sure the Japanese tourists were laughing at us. The area around the Jaws ride made me feel especially nostalgic, since it was made up to look like New England.

But OMG the crowds. INSANE. The line for Jurassic Park was 190 minutes. (We went in the singles line for that one.) We only just barely made it to the 5 major rides, and only because we sat right outside Spiderman to watch the parade, so we were able to get in line when it opened again for about 10 minutes before the park closed. It was a lot of fun, though. I especially liked Back to the Future and Spiderman.

The next day, I put Tobin in one of her new Dolpa dresses and took her to Sato. She was incredibly popular, and we had a hard time leaving because people kept asking me if they could take pictures of her with their dolls. But really, can you blame them?

IMG 4375

Sato also had a billion tiny baby koi in their pond. SO CUTE.

On the last day of vacation, a big group of us went to Osaka to see Cirque du Soleil. It was amazing. If you've never been, it's well worth the ticket price to see it at least once. It's unbelievable what those people are able to do.

The next weekend, I went to Hirakata Park, which is an amusement park halfway between Osaka and Kyoto. It's a lot smaller and less exciting than USJ, but they have a lot more rides, and you can actually go on them because there are practically no lines at all. They've also got a beautiful rainbow colored Ferris wheel which looked stunning against the blue sky and puffy white clouds. And an alpaca tried to eat my cell phone.

More recently, I got to hang out with [ profile] rkold while she was here, so now I have a DSi and puzzle games and candy! :D Which also means I won't be having a life for the forseeable future. Plus I have more shampoo and deodorant, which not only I but my coworkers thank you for, Rachel. ^_~ ♥

Sighhhhhhh I need to get off my lazy ass and be productive. >.> As soon as I get over this cold thingy.
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Sad face, for I have no more episodes of ST:TOS to watch. *emo tear* The final episode, though... lol forever. XD But I was disappointed that there was no money shot of girl!Kirk and his posse. Kirk and Spock were totally holding hands though, so that makes up for it. (The title also makes me want to rewrite it with Phoenix Wright characters.) Watching TOS only makes me appreciate even more how awesomely awesome Zachary Quinto was in XI. He really did his homework for that role. Oh, I can't wait for the wave of Star Trek doujinshi that I know is coming~~

RL has been so full of fail lately. Between sickness and stress and more sickness and insane humidity and laziness, I can't seem to do a single damn thing right. There have been a few cool happenings, though. I went to a kabuki production of Twelfth Night, which was awesome, and to a Hanshin Tigers game, which was also awesome. I met up with [ profile] konoha for festivalness and purikura and TeniPuri karaoke, and [ profile] misspaulette and I wore yukata to the Gion Matsuri parade (and had a really good purikura session afterwards). Yesterday's eclipse was pretty cool too, but of course it was overcast, so I could only catch a few glimpses of it.

In contrast to RL, Pokémon has been going awesome. I finally completely finished LeafGreen and transferred all my keepers to Diamond, and started playing Emerald. Emerald's keeping my interest a lot better, since it's not a rehash of something I've already played. And also because my game file is a Phoenix Wright AU where a Jirachi wish gone wrong has left Phoenix trapped in the body of Miles' Torchic. X3 Speaking of Jirachi... I has one! And yes, it's legit. Yay for Japanese wi-fi presents~ I also got the special Shokotan Pichu which lets you get the Gizamimi Pichu in GS. I haven't gotten movie Arceus yet, but I'll be doing that soon. I just hope that I don't actually have to sit through the whole movie to do it. :P I've also been getting a lot of good trades through GTS lately. Including an Usaring with Pokérus!!!! *throws confetti* So now all my pokes are infected/recovered. I also got a Shuckle named Noodle and a shiny Mew through [ profile] pokemon. The Mew is hacked of course, but who cares? It's Mew! ♥ OH and they have so many new plushies at the Pokémon Center!! I got a Snorlax and a sleeping Gizamimi Pichu which is the CUTEST THING EVER. I'm thinking of getting a Magikarp next time, just for the lols. The Lapras is really cute, too....

[Poll #1433861]
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So, to cap off a week that involved my JTE saying, "Hey, let's have a lesson about that guy from SMAP who got drunk and ran around Tokyo naked!" and a whole bunch of cops coming to my school because of a moped gang, [ profile] misspaulette and I went to see the Takahashi Rumiko exhibit at Isetan. It would have been super amazingly awesome, except A, it was packed with a billion people, and B, while we were in the Ranma 1/2 section, some kid threw up all over the place. And by all over the place, I mean there was a trail of vomit going through every room in the exhibit. -_-

The exhibit really was amazing, though. It was so cool to see the original artwork up close. Plus, there was a whole room with pictures of Lum drawn by other mangaka, including Nonaka Eiji (Cromartie High), Watase Yuu (Fushigi Yuugi), Kumeta Kouji (Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei), Arakawa Hiromu (Fullmetal Alchemist), and my favorite one, Yoshizaki Mine (Keroro Gunsou). I was seriously ready to scream from all the people, though.

Then we went to Starbucks in Porta to get something to eat, and there was a special music stage thingy going on right next to it. Just as we were finishing eating, the next act came on, an a capella group. They were really good, so we stayed to listen to their whole set, and were rewarded with the unexpected awesomeness of their last number.

Bleh, I also set up a new acount for myself (pen name Sporktacular), but there's nothing there that's not already on [ profile] geek_mythology. I learned that's upload system still sucks, they still have ridiculous character restrictions, and there are still lots of idiot reviewers. >.> Oh well, here's hoping to get back into the swing of things. (Damn stupid people on the internet need to stop being so entertaining! They're taking up too much of my time!)
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Happy Emperor's Birthday, everyone!

Well, somehow I survived the Christmas party. We had a blindfolded snowman-building relay race, so the kids practiced "go up," "go down," "go left," "go right," etc.

Anyway, if you're wondering what I've been up to lately, I have prepared a lovely picture post for you!

clicky )

But [ profile] rkold will be bringing me a shiny new Canon when she comes to visit!!!!! I can't wait! ToT

Oh yes, and speaking of doll pictures.....

how fucking cute is this shit, seriously )

Also strung up my first 40 cranes for my senbazuru. Crane count: 94 down, 906 to go.
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First of all, [ profile] rkold and [ profile] misspaulette are sneaky, devious, awesome people. They planned a surprise birthday party for me! ♥ There was ice cream, presents, JET people, non-JET people, dollie people, non-dollie people, cheezburgerz, and all-night karaoke! ^o^ (Fastest seven hours ever, btw.) We didn't get the ¥10,000 parfait, but the group two tables over did.

Then we stumbled home around 6 Saturday morning to get some sleep before going over to Tenshi no Sato. Sato was a bit of a bust -- the release date was pushed back on the mini Komame plushie, the outfits we wanted were sold out, and all the good cakes were gone -- butttttt Kun-maybe-Tobin got her wings! ♥ Sooooooo cute~~~~ Be glad I have no good place to take photographs, or I would spam you with a billion of them. Then I had a yummy sort of carbonara with pumpkin for dinner, and once again went home to try to catch the bare minimum of sleep before the next day's events.

Sunday was Osaka Comic City (tiny! only two halls!), so Rachel, Paulette, and I headed down there to meet Irena and Rachel's friend who omg works for Capcom and is totally awesome. And a big Phoenix/Edgeworth fangirl, which explains so much about the English version of the games, lol. But most importantly, I found out the answer to the question I've had for a while, and I'M RIGHT AND FANDOM IS WRONG. \o/ SUCK IT, FANDOM.

Anyway, I got a couple AtoZuka doujinshi, some Roy/Ed, and a rather long Dean/Sam book by my favorite Supernatural circle (who has also branched out into Chronicles of Narnia, which is perfect for their style, but I soooo don't want to go there). There's no smex, unfortunately, but it wins just because Dean is stranded on a planet with a bunch of Docomo mushrooms. But actually, I was much more excited about my non-doujinshi purchases. I got a new cleaning cloth for my glasses, which is not only so much better than my old crappy one, but has Oshitari proclaiming his love for megane on it! There were two booths with the cutest original kitty artwork ever, and I got a bunch of postcards, an eco-bag, a cleaner strap for my DS, and a notepad. And at assorted other places, I got a necklace, a bookmark, and some stationery and a cell phone strap for gifts.

Then, because, you know, we hadn't spent enough money on porn, we headed off to K-Books and Animate and the Osaka Volks. I actually may have not bought anything. I was tempted by a post GS4 Phoenix Wright doujinshi because it had a super hot older!megane!Edgeworth on the cover, but other than that, the art wasn't that good, so I passed. We finished off the evening with dinner at some garlic place that had the best garlic bread evar.

So yeah. I went into work Monday morning having spent no more time in my apartment over the weekend than was absolutely necessary to sleep and shower. =_= Everything was awesomely fun, but no recharge time whatsoever. Monday, had to work late. Tuesday, realized holy crap, yes, all the applications for the big Volks event did have to be mailed together, and had to arrive by November 3rd, sent out a bunch of frantic e-mails, and met Rachel for a surprisingly filling vegan dinner, although my teriyaki tofu steak was more like tofu and less like steak than I would have liked. Wednesday, had to meet Paulette to get her application, and we were both in the mood for a movie, so we decided to see Eagle Eye instead of doing silly things like catching up on sleep or watching Supernatural. It was the right choice. Thursday, spent my lunch break and the post office and worked late again, but treated myself to dinner at McD's and a delicious piece of chocolate cake from the local bakery. Friday, met up Paulette again, as it was 31% off Baskin Robbins' double cone day, an event that is not to be missed. (Ghost World = ♥) And we swung by Animate so I could pick up my MaruMa OTP mug! Seriously, it has chibi-Yuuri and chibi-Conrad surrounded by sixty-three hearts. Even the handle is shaped like a heart! IT IS OBVIOUSLY CANON. Then I came home and went to bed. And spent a relaxing three-day weekend doing laundry and finally getting a chance to watch Heroes and Supernatural. Yes, an entire week without even a single spare hour to watch Supernatural. It was hell.

But now we can all rejoice in a new birth of freedom from batshit fundie Republicans! Thank you, America, for not repeating the same dumbass mistake as four years ago. I think, for the first time in my life, I'm actually excited about my country's president.
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I'm seriously thinking of buying Pokémon Platinum now, instead of waiting for the US release. Because I'm just that lame. (But it would be good Japanese practice, right?)

The Weezer concert was so amazing. The only disappointments were: A) the Weezer towel sold out before I could get one, and B) Asian Kung-Fu Generation's set was way too short! But Gotoh was so cute talking about how they'd wanted to be "Japan's Weezer" and now they were opening for the real Weezer.

Weezer's part of the show started with a hootenanny on a small stage in the center of the room, which I was literally right next to. Rivers came out first, and spent like ten or fifteen minutes chatting with people, singing Japanese children's songs, and napping on the stage. Of course, he didn't talk to me, because I'm not Japanese enough. :P And then some Japanese fans who had been selected through processes unknown went up on stage with their instruments (including a trombone), and the rest of the band showed up, and they did acoustic versions of "Island in the Sun", "El Scorcho", and "Beverly Hills". Then Weezer went up to the main stage and the "real" concert started, and it was made of awesome and yay. They're soooooooo good live! ^o^ During the spoken part of "Undone" (which strangely enough, seemed to be one of the least-popular songs they played -- the audience seemed to be confused by it), Rivers told a story about going to an onsen, which was basically: "I went to an onsen for the first time. It was a little strange. But I think I'll go again. Let's all go to the onsen together." In the next part, he talked about his favorite manga (Detroit Metal City). XD

They didn't go too heavy on songs from the new album, which was good, because frankly, I don't think the new album is that great. ^^; However, I have to say, "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived", which left me unimpressed on the album, is fucking amazing live liek whoa. And everyobody yelled "That's right!" at just the right time during "Troublemaker", and it made me happy. ^-^ Annnnnd, they played "Pink Triangle", which I totally didn't think they would! :D I was surprised that they didn't play "Across the Sea", though.

Merch report! I got an AKG t-shirt, the AKG tour towel, an AKG wristband, an AKG pencil case, the new AKG eco bag, which is not quite as awesome as my other one, but says "Now is the times when the punk rockers think about the earth," two Weezer t-shirts, and two Weezer stickers. I think that's it. >.> I really wanted that towel! ;-;

And that used up every ounce of my energy for the weekend. I've been completely exhausted for the last week and a half. ._. I think I should get my thyroid tested again (I don't think they did the right test when I had it done a few years ago and was told I was fine), but I don't know how to go about doing that here. *sigh* Of course, the other main thing it could be is mono, except I don't have a fever, but I don't GET fevers anymore no matter how sick I am, which points back to a thyroid problem. [insert rant here about it not being a "real" fever if it's not over 99°, even if it's a full two degrees higher than your normal temperature] >.> Bleh.
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So, sometime between cherry blossoms and Golden Week, [ profile] yhibiki and I went to the Monkey Park. Basically, it's a place where you pay money to climb up a mountain and get attacked by wild monkeys. We also found an amazingly good ice cream shop that had strawberry cookies 'n' cream. :9

have some monkey pictures )

Then [ profile] rkold came for Golden Week, and we went to Kurama and Kibune. There were lots of stairs, but it was nice, because they still had cherry trees in bloom at Kurama-dera.

Kurama and Kibune )

Then we went up to Tokyo for the long weekend. At first I tried to do Important Cultural Things, but after half a day of that, I finally accepted that Tokyo really is only good for shopping and seeing the places that were in X. The National Museum of Western Art has lots of Rodin sculptures, though, and since Rodin is one of my favorite sculptors, that was cool. I went there and to Ueno Park to find a cherry tree in bloom on Saturday while Rachel was at Super Comic City, and then I went to the Diet Building and the Imperial Palace for a little bit.

Ueno Park, home to pshychopaths and stray cats )

Sunday, I decided to go to SCC with Rachel, and I actually made a lot of good finds. I got a bunch of really good FMA books (both Elricest and Roy/Ed), some more S/N from Pitophuii, some HikaGo, and I found a circle that does Yuuta-centric St. Rudolph doujinshi in which Kaneda has a huge crush on Yuuta and Yuuta is completely oblivious. XD I also learned to stay far far away from Kuroshitsuji doujinshi. :P

After that, we went to Meiji Jingu and Harajuku. We went to Volks, which is decorated with very cute and very slashy Tony/Hewitt and Lucas/Chris comics (Black Cat Lucas and White Cat Chris ordering an FCS together is a metaphor for them having a baby, y/y?), and went shopping at the used punk and loli stores. And we ate dinner at a place that had REAL pepperoni on their pizza! T^T I was sooooo happy.

most of the places we went didn't allow photos, so there aren't many pictures under this cut )

On Monday, we headed over to Asakusa to see Senso-ji. And it was packed. We forced our way through the crowds to the main hall, and as we were exiting it, we noticed that there was something coming through the crowd towards us. And that's when we realized it was Children's Day, and we'd crashed the festival. There was a boat-shaped float pulled by a bunch of kids, and kids playing instruments were riding on it. It went right past us, so we ended up being in the perfect spot without even trying. Then we took a look at the grounds and the festival stands, and Rachel got her cock-on-a-stick. And we found a gelato place! Soooo good~ And then we went to Nakano and Ikebukuro for more shopping. XD

Senso-ji )

Rachel had to leave early on Tuesday, so I went to Tokyo Tower by myself. And the stuff that everyone says about the Tokyo Tower mascots? They're even worse. @_@ I got there in time to just barely make out Mt. Fuji through the haze, but by the time I made it through the line for the special observation deck, it had disappeared. After Tokyo Tower, I went to the Pokémon Center, lol, and then to Sunshine 60, where you really can have your love fortune told at the top, but it's a palm reader, not an astrologer.

I can feel the destiny! )

@_@ I'm so far behind now that I can't even remember what the next update is supposed to be. Fuji, I think?

Also, fuck you, photobucket.
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So, I took a few days off before classes started to go around and see the cherry blossoms. For some reason, I had it in my head that I needed to go to Nara, so I went. The park is very lovely, but you definitely have to watch where you step. I also learned that you shouldn't buy deer crackers if you're by yourself, unless you want a herd of deer to swarm out of nowhere and have their way with you.

Todaiji is amazing though, and definitely worth the trip. Buddha is totally chill, and the guardians at the gate are amazing. Hard to believe they were carved 700+ years ago. Nara was also my first time seeing true hanami. Three salarymen, a camp stove, and a 24-pack of beer. Rock. But instead of boring you with words, I'll bore enthrall you with pictures.

Nara )

The next day, I decided to stick around Kyoto. I caught the last of the plum blossoms at Kitano Tenmangu, had yakisoba and Ramune under the cherry blossoms at Hirano Jinja, and checked out the zen garden at Ryoanji. I wanted to go to Ninnaji too, but thanks to getting sick in the middle of the night, I got a late start and got there just after they closed.

Kyoto )

Friday, I went to Hana no Tera in Oharano. Even though it's well-known for its cherry blossoms, Oharano doesn't get many tourists. So it was very quiet and peaceful there. Actually, the only other gaijin that I saw there happened to be the guy I sat next to on the plane from Boston, who teaches in Okinawa. o.O Everyone I met in Oharano was super-friendly, and the other temple, Shohoji, had beautiful gardens, and you could actually go inside the halls. So I had a great day. ^_^ Then I took the train back to Kyoto and went to the Gion light-up and to see the huge cherry tree in Maruyama Koen.

Oharano )

Saturday was the big Sakura Matsuri at Himeji Castle, and like a crazy person, I went. It was sooooo beautiful though, and definitely worth fighting the crowds.

Himeji )

On Sunday, I went to Kameoka for a hanami picnic with Paulette and Sue. We had alcohol and a tarp, so it was genuine hanami!

Kameoka )

Monday it rained, and I was exhausted, so even though I had the day off, I just stayed home and had awesome RP with [ profile] kanaliya. Unfortunately, it continued to rain heavily for several days, so that was pretty much the end of sakura season. :(

As always, there are more photos here.

Next update: Tokyo and pr0n version!
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And now, for another rousing edition of "Look At All the Crap Emily Bought!" I ended up NOT going to Comic City today after all, because there's a bigger one in August, and it's a lot of time and money and hassle just for some mediocre porn that I already have too much of anyway. Plus, the group that was going wanted to see Juno afterwards, which was all hell no. But I promised [ profile] rkold that I'd send her package today, and hey, I was already dressed, so I went down to Kyoto Station. In case you're wondering, Kyoto Station is where the central post office is, which is open all day on Sunday, and there's also a big craft store there, and I needed to buy some snaps for my h.Naoto skirt. (That's right, bitches, I said h.Naoto.) And the easiest way to get from the subway to the post office to the craft store without getting soaked because yay, rainy season, is to use the underground mall. And I was weak. But most of it was stuff I really did need. I got some socks and a couple calculators and a necklace stand at the 3 coin shop, where everything is ¥300. Of course, that's not including tax, so it's actually impossible to buy anything with 3 coins, but whatever. Then I went looking for the shoe store I had seen earlier, because they had Toppers, and I really REALLY needed a new pair of sneakers. But I was distracted on the way by a really cute blouse. >.> It was a little expensive, and I probably shouldn't have bought it, but it actually fit, and it's SO Japanese. So it can be my token Japanese girly shirt. I just need to find the right thing to layer it with. Then I found the shoe store, and they were cute and fit well and were actually not that expensive considering what shoes in Japan usually go for, and considering how hard it is to find shoes here that you can actually wear all day without wanting to shoot yourself, so I got them. And then I thought I was done, but a display of folding fans caught my eye. Of course the one I liked was the ¥3000 one in a display of ¥1000 ones, but it was really nice, and I really needed one, so I got it anyway. I was also tempted to get the Disney's Belle perfume that store had, but I didn't. XD The End. Until next week, when the sale at Black Peace Now starts. >_>;;
This shopping trip was brought to you by the numbers 7 and 11, which is the only place I can get cash on weekends. *fang*

But yes, I saw Indiana Jones yesterday! *fangirl* It was far from perfect; spoilers )

Back on the topic of doujinshi, last weekend I went with Ilona and [ profile] nightflight to a Phoenix Wright doujin and cosplay event. It was small, but fun. There were lots of good cosplayers, including a cute-as-a-button Apollo, a freaking amazing 6-years-ago Mia, a perfect Judge, and a Jean Armstrong, lololol. There was also a raffle, and Ilona won a pair of Gavinners or whatever the Japanese name of the band is guitar picks, which she gave to me. And if your birthday was in June, you got a bag of Godot's special blend coffee. As for doujinshi, there wasn't much for pairings that I like, but I got two Gavincest, one when they were younger, which I can fully endorse, and one just because it's a whole lot of really well-drawn cat-ear porn. Ironically enough, after explaining to my cohorts how Klavier and Apollo just didn't have that "spark" in the game, they sparked in my own mind, so I think I'm an official fan of the pairing now. ^^

Long sentences are long. Also rainy season sucks, even though it looks like we got off easy this year. Also, I want to punch American Guy in the face, but that's an entry for another time.

Oh, and I uploaded my old Yami no Matsuei music video to youtube. Validate me, plz.
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It’s a special kind of person who can roll halfway down a mountain strapped to a pair of skis and be fine, but needs to go to the hospital for x-rays because they messed up putting on their shoes. >.> And yes, that person would be me.

I haven’t updated in, um, forever, because A) there’s been a ton of stuff going on, B) I’m lazy, and C) I hadn’t been taking my medicine regularly because I was running out, but I got some more, so I’m starting to feel better now that I’m taking it every day again. I do wish that the world could just stop for a bit and let me catch up, though.

super boring update: skiing version! )

super boring update: doll and bodily injury version! )

super boring update: art snob version! )

Okay, I’m ending things here, because I know that anything more would be just TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS for you to handle at once. But stay tuned for more zomg amazing updates featuring exciting topics such as: Flowers! Being attacked for food by crazy animals! Flowers! Bitching about the Japanese system of school administration! Porn! And moar flowers!! And as always, check out my flickr page for more photos.
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fsejrhgj *flails* I still can't believe I actually saw The Police live. And it was amazing. It was my first time at a stadium concert, and I was up in the nosebleed seats, but I had a good view of the stage. The lighting was soooooooooo good (don't know why, but good lighting at a concert is really important to me), and Andy and especially Stewart were just incredible. The big disappointment was that Sting did almost all the singing by himself, so there were none of those great Police harmonies, which is one of my favorite things about The Police to begin with. ;_; Also, no concert towels! What's up with that? I was really looking forward to having a Police towel in my collection! But it was definitely definitely worth going, because I never ever thoguht I would actually have the chance to see The Police perform live. And I was so happy because they did an extended version of "So Lonely", which is my favorite song of theirs, but since it's not a single, I wasn't sure if they'd play it or not, but they did and kyaaaa~~~~ ♥

Message In A Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Can't Stand Losing You/Regatta de Blanc
King Of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take
Next To You

As for goods, I got the world tour t-shirt and the Japan-only hoodie. :D

Also, Osaka Dome totally looks like a giant spaceship.
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I think today would classify as a good day: no classes; the local bakery re-opened in its new location, bigger and better than ever (they have chocolate chip bagels, what) and just a block away from school; there was a family of no fewer than three wild monkeys prowling the neighborhood (Me: Look! A monkey! Student: 何や? Me: *points* Student: Oh!! Cat!); and I SAW BUMP OF CHICKEN LIVE OMG. Of course, I had to pay 4x the face value of the ticket, but better that than regret not going forever. Supernova live is ♥~~~~~~~~~

The bad news is, I have to get up at my regular time tomorrow, and I still have to shower before bed. >.>
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Happy Birthday, [ profile] nightflight! I hope you have a great day~ ♥

Man, Straightener puts on one effing KICK-ASS concert. And Nanba Hatch is a really nice venue. There was no opening act, which was good, because that meant I was able to get back to Kyoto before the last subway. There also wasn't anything in the way of set design, but the lighting was so freakin' amazing. Especially at the end of "March" when they had these bright white lights shining from behind the band into the audience and they kept getting brighter and brighter until it hurt to look at the band~

I wasn't able to get too close to the stage, but from where I was, I had a really good view of both the band and the crowd in front of the stage. I think I like that better than being down in the crowd. I was also standing right behind two guys who weren't into jumping up and down, so it was really lucky for me. ^^ (Is that proper English? God, I can't even tell anymore.)

In addition to the band being just so damn good, the bassist really gets into performing, like there's honestly nothing else he would rather be doing than playing on that stage. It was really fun to watch him.

As for merch, I got a tour t-shirt, the tour towel, a wristband, and a bright pink keychain with the Straightener dog on it. The keychain is for my bike, since it's a happy keychain, and I have a happy yellow bike. (My bike is also named Ken-chan because Ken-chan is a happy name.)

I really want to see Straightener again. This concert was sold out, but since I got a pre-sale ticket, I don't know how fast the tickets went. I hope I'll be able to get tickets next time, too. Now if only I can get into the Bump of Chicken concert~~~ >o<
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I can has blatherings about Asian Kung-fu Generation? )

I’m hoping that this string of good things, particularly situations which seem bad but turn out well, applies to the JLPT, too. I did really badly on the first two sections, but much better than I expected on the last section, which is worth half the test. So there is a very slight possibility that I may have passed, but I won’t find out until March or so. :x

This post has been brought to you by the letters A, K, and G, and the fact that I have no classes today. \o/
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If you're in the mood for fresh mountain air, do not go to Yellowstone. XP Stinky. But I saw Old Faithful erupt, and the paintpots, and a big herd of elk, and a bunch of other cool stuff. To get there, I took this road that went right over the top of an 11,000 foot mountain, and at the very summit was a herd of mountain goats. The babies were so cute! I camped at Yellowstone, which was much more pleasant than Badlands (where the temp didn't drop below 90 until about 3 in the morning), and even though my food wasn't strictly properly secured, I didn't get attacked by bears. The next day I drove south through the Tetons to Salt Lake City. The Tetons are really impressive. It's definitely an area I'd like to go back to again.

Utah has a lot of seagulls, which makes sense if you think about it, but it was still weird to see them there. I went to Arches National Park, which was amazing, but soooooooooo hot. D: The average high during the month of July is 100, and I went during a heat wave. ~.~ But then a thunderstorm moved in and there was a huge rainbow~

I managed to make it to my aunt and uncle's near Aspen that night, in spite of a major flaw in her directions. My uncle has his own motorcycle repair business now, so we took a couple of the bikes he'd just finished out for a test drive. He's also the caretaker of the motorcycle mentioned in this article. Then we went into town for lunch, I finally bought HP7, and I had a pretty uneventful trip to my dad's house.

And thus, my road trip ended. I didn't have as much time at my dad's as I originally wanted, but we played tennis, went out to dinner with my brother John, bought a Squishee from an authentic Kwik-E-Mart, and went to the midnight showing of The Simpsons Movie. I washed Sei, but because of a power outage, I didn't have time to polish and wax him. :x I miss him.... ;_____;

Flying back to NH was a hassle, with the airline security and bad weather around DC, but I got about halfway through HP7, instead of doing stuff I actully should have been doing. And last night was the free They Might Be Giants concert at Mohegan Sun! I just barely got in, which meant I actually got to be in the reserved section instead of the regular section. There were free giant foam hands, and they played some old stuff I'd never heard live before, like The Famous Polka. And I wasted way too much money on the slots afterwards. -_-

And now I have a freaking ton of stuff to do before I leave for Japan, so I really should stay off the internets as much as possible.

22 days
4970 miles
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West Virginia is full of mountains, trees, and abandoned buildings. I like mountains, trees, and abandoned buildings, so it gets two thumbs up in my book. Plus, [ profile] jagen13's Jack Russell terriers gave me so much attention, I felt like a movie star. 8D I got to see the museum and meet her crazy boss (no exaggeration), And then her sister forced us to go see Harry Potter, which, well, let's just say it lived up to my expectations. But it doesn't matter, because time spent with Alison is always time made of Win. ♥

Thursday, I drove up to Michigan, which was a drastic change of scenery. But the flatness of the midwest has its own charm, like how when the local high school or AAA league is having a baseball game, or there's a county fair, you can see the lights from miles away. And then when you get a bit further north into lake country, it's so peaceful and pretty. It really brings back memories of when I lived in Minnesota.

Anyway, [ profile] sailorstarsun and I went to Cedar Point on Friday, which was OMGTEHFUN. We went on sooooo many roller coasters~~ Maverick is really cool, but the line is way long, and it's still buggy, which makes the wait even longer, so Millenium Force is still the best. However, we learned the hard way that right after dusk is a very bad time to ride it. Ewwwwwww. XP But of all the things we went on, the giant swings were the scariest. MaxAir was super fun, too.

It should also be noted that Sunny has the most anime and manga swag of anyone I've ever seen, and her doggy and her grandparents' kitties are full of squeeeeeeecuteness. Furthermore, Arby's strawberry banana swirl milkshake is really good. :o

day 14
3016 miles


Apr. 26th, 2007 01:20 pm
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I'm ridiculously excited, because after reconfiguring my router, I'm able to use my DS' wi-fi function. (I also gave the router a much cooler SSIN than the one lesboy had given it.) Anyway, if you're playing Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, give me your friend code! Let's trade Pokémon! And mystery gifts! And visit each other's secret lairs! My code is 0473 4272 4291.

[Poll #973822]

I had a good time hanging with the posse in Norfolk. The weather was soooooo nice~ We went to Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and we saw wild bald eagles at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Including a baby eagle! So cute!! Colonial Williamsburg was really interesting. The "interpreters", as they call them, at the plantation are amazing. I learned so much. And I somehow ended up with a season pass to Busch Gardens, so I'd really like to go down there again if I can manage it, especially since they have a new roller coaster opening next month.

Despite it having New Hampshire's state motto in the title, I wasn't really planning on seeing Live Free or Die Hard, but Justin Long as the damsel technogeek in distress? I may have to. I can already imagine the Die Hard/MacPC crossover fic. Plus, you just can't go wrong with helicopters blowing up.

Gah, I need to get dressed, but I can't stop playing Pokémon....


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