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Okay, so I'm feeling pretty exhausted and crappy today, but at least I managed to do some laundry, right? So, I bring it inside, and I'm about to hang it in my closet, and HUGE FUCKING CICADA clinging to my shirt. >___< WTF, why do those things have to be so ugly~ T__T
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Lonely Planet can bite me; Hirosaki is well worth visiting. I had a great day today. I walked around the castle, went to the Neputa museum, saw a Tsugaru-jamisen performance, and rode a free rental bike through the temple district. For lunch, I had an apple (40 yen! Crazy!), apple pie, and apple vinegar with honey.

Yesterday was great, too, even though it involved a whole lot of sweating and an unfortunate encounter with a cow's tongue on a stick. Matsushima is beautiful, and the train ride from Morioka to Odate was lovely. Even though it was total BFI without even a separate track for each direction, it was the nicest local train I've ever been on. It even had a bathroom AND a trash can! Plus, Morioka Station has a Jupiter, so I was able to have a Dr. Pepper during the ride.

So sleepy, and need to get up early tomorrow to head back down south. And just think, today was my relaxing day. x_x
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In Sendai now, and feeling much better. Thanks to everyone who sent well-wishes last night. The group of Italian girls at the capsule hotel gave me some medicine, which almost made me take back all the bad things I had thought about them.

Sky Tree is not as impressive as it should be, actually. That's because the framework is so massive that it looks like it's much closer than it is. It's not until you get really close that you realize, oh, that steel beam that I thought was two feet across is actually six feet across. It's hard to believe that it's already much taller than Tokyo Tower, and it's only 2/3 finished.

Sendai seems like a nice place. The local specialty here is beef tongue, but after seeing a picture of how it's served, I decided my stomach wasn't up to it. The train ride here was lovely once we left Tokyo's urban sprawl. I took a little detour into Gunma-ken, just so I can mark it off my list of prefectures. That means this trip will take care of all of Kanto and Tohoku.

Must shower before bed, bleh. Want to sleep.
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I woke up this morning from an awesome Kyou Kara Maou! dream in which Conrad had been kidnapped, and Yuuri went into total ass-kicking mode to get him back. Not exactly Maou-mode, because even though he was powered-up, Yuuri was still totally himself, just pissed off and taking names. It was so cool.

Except then it was 4:30 in the morning, and I couldn't fall back asleep. ;_; Then, when I finally fell back asleep at 6:30, I overslept, couldn't find any suitable clothes to wear, and had to skip stopping at 7-11 in order to get to work on time. And since it's exams now, the cafeteria was closed, so I had to eat overpriced Calorie Mate from the vending machine for breakfast.

Calorie Mate is exactly as appetizing as it sounds, although it's not something to help athletes put on muscle, which you might guess from the name. Calorie Mate is sort of Japan's version of an energy bar. It tastes like cardboard (I actually mean that literally), bears no resemblance to any food ever found or created by natural means, and according to the package, is 100% nutritionally balanced. It is the yin to an energy bar's yang; instead of being a slab of congealed sludge which is impossible to chew and guaranteed to give you stomach cramps and constipation, Calorie Mate is a crumbly, moisture-less cookie bar that can't be swallowed without the aid of at least half a liter of water, and is guaranteed to give you stomach cramps and constipation. It's also the only food other than corn soup sold in any of my school's five vending machines.

Needless to say, between the lack of sleep and the rock in my stomach, I'm not having a very good day. I demand super-fun tiems tomorrow to make up for it! >:| [edit] Okay, finding out that my will-call angel got all the protos I wanted AND a bar of Xmvlzencab helps quite a bit, too.

Oh, and I must amend my post from yesterday. Today she spent only half the day on facebook. The other half was spent on twitter.
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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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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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Merry Christmas, everybody! (Sorry to my Jewish friends, but I have no idea when Hanukkah is/was. ^^; ) I was supposed to go up to [ profile] anruiukimi's, but was kept at home by a strange case of vertigo (and the billion things I have to do). It wasn't caused by seeing Avatar in 3-D, but that probably didn't help things. So why am I still up? Because I only just now finished my New Year's cards, which have to be mailed by today to be delivered on the 1st. @_@ Kyoto addresses are crazy! There was also a moment of panic when I realized I have no idea what honorific to use when addressing a letter to my students. So being the genius that I am, I wrote their addresses in kanji, but their names as "Miss Nantoka Daredare".

Anyway, hopefully some sleep will get me feeling back to normal. I'm going to be pissed if I'm still dizzy by the After Event.
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There were previous storms that coworkers had referred to as typhoons, but apparently that was just wind and rain from storms that were hundreds of miles out at sea. Last night we got the actual thing. VERY different. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning to the sound of the wind trying to rip my privacy window off. Not too much damage around here other than a few fallen trees and branches, luckily.

But what I really want to know is, if it can blow the roof off a kindergarten in Osaka, why does the giant spider still have its web hanging out over the bike rack?! D:
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The Prime Minister resigned AGAIN. From the little I understand about Japanese politics, he would have been kicked out anyway once the new ruling party came into power, but seriously, people. This is the third PM to resign since I've moved here. Acting all nicey-nice is so culturally ingrained that no one has the balls to stand up to a little criticism.

Anyway, I finally made my big trading post over at [ profile] pokemon, and it went pretty well. My pokédex is at 401 seen, 350 obtained now. I also completed my berrydex and got some master balls to finally catch Mespirit and Cresselia, thanks to [ profile] magicpotion. ♥

I also finally found a Firefox add-on that will block specific websites. I'm hoping I can finally kick the sf_drama habit now.
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Win 1: I ordered a pizza! \o/ This is especially big news for me, because I don't even enjoy talking on the phone in English. It was sooooooo good, too. Either they use real pepperoni, or it's been so long since I've had real pepperoni that I can't tell the difference any more. The bad part is that now I'm going to be tempted to have pizza way more often than I should.

Win 2: Scored some 70% offage at Black Peace Now.

Win 3: Volks is NOT having the Sato event on Health and Sports Day weekend for once, so I can actually go!

Fail: The leopard print glasses that I've been lusting after look absolutely terrible on me. ;_;

In other news, ST:Wrath of Khan is amazing and amazingly slashy. So goddamned sick of the surprise!son trope, though.
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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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I've got to do purikura more often. The lighting in those booths makes everyone look so good!

Okay, this is mostly a gratuitous icon post. Oh, Japan.
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Saw the first cherry blossoms today! \o/ Spring is finally here!!!! To celebrate, I have a bottle of Canada Dry Sakura Mist on my desk, and a sweet potato in the oven.

(Yuuta icon because I had a Yuuta dream last night. ♥)
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I had a Very Cultural Weekend. Yesterday [ profile] misspaulette and I went to a taiko recital. Seeing little girls being taught to beat on drums as big as themselves makes me happy.

Today was pro wrestling! \m/

It was actually a lot of fun. I wish the tournament came to Osaka more than once a year.


Feb. 7th, 2009 11:02 am
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Come on now, people. I know it's not what teh animuz would lead you to believe, but there IS more to Japan than Tokyo. Japan did perfectly fine for thousands of years without Tokyo, actually.

Note: this is not directed towards anyone on my flist.

Also, gayest ep of Supernatural ever?

Crane count: 638 down, 362 to go.
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Some days I get so frustrated at what a fucking joke Japan's public school system is. This would be one of those days.
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I wish they would stop doing SPN flashbacks, because A) they steal my fic ideas, and B) the actors they get to play the Wee!chesters always suck. However, you'd think the writers could at least not make Dean OMGWTF!OOC.

Anyway, I got my contract extended for another year! \o/ Which is awesome because not only do I want to stay in Japan, but holy shit, the thought of going back to the States and trying to find a job in this climate is terrifying.

Looking at all the info for the Disneyland event makes me realize that I really do want to go to Tokyo Disney. As in, the actual park, not just sitting in the hotel and playing with dolls all day. But good Lord, the cost. x_x I know, you can cut it down a lot by not staying at the Disney hotel, but I WANT to stay at the Disney hotel! ;-; That's half the fun! Why can't they have an option that doesn't cost $500 a night???? Oh well, there's no point in regretting not getting park tickets with my Volks package, since there's no way in hell I could have taken any more days off of work right now. I'm lucky I got just the one.

Here's what I've learned about getting my ears pierced:
• Don't do it yourself.
• Go to a piercing place.
• Don't go to a piercing place because they are all operating without a license and your ears will get infected and fall off.
• Take the piercing kit to a doctor.
• Don't ever use a piercing kit, they will mutilate your ears and leave you permanently disfigured.

Also, dear whoever is in charge of the Tales of the Abyss title cards: LETTERS HAVE MEANINGS. Even if they are letters from a made-up alphabet. You've called at least the last five episodes "Water Metropolis", and it's starting to piss me off. >|

Crane count: 579 down, 421 to go.
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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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Who among the Japan peeps is NOT leaving the country for Christmas and New Year's and wants to do something together? I think maybe [ profile] triplepunch and [ profile] jougetsu are the only people this applies to....

[edit] This is the lamest 1000th entry ever.
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I never thought I would be saying this, but Costco is so amazing! It's like being instantly teleported back to the U.S. We lol'ed so hard at all the Japanese people with their giant shopping carts filled with boxes of bulk cereal, a 20 oz. soda (with free refills for only ¥80!!) in one hand and a hot dog in the other. It's like some kind of crazy theme park where people go to play American. And they sell DS games! I could have saved 10 bucks by getting Platinum there! But then I wouldn't have been able to get my Secret Key today, so it's all good. *pets the shiny mystery gift*

Let's see what I bought.... brownie mix, American mayonnaise, canned chicken, canned tuna, 75 packets of instant cocoa, a 24-case of Dr. Pepper, microwaveable popcorn (I usually hate the stuff, but I have no way to pop real popcorn, and I'm that desperate), MUFFINS, and two slices of pepperoni pizza~ T^T So disappointed that they didn't have Lucky Charms, though. I regret not getting the Tim Tams, but I was barely able to get everything home as it was, so oh well.

Next time, I'm bringin' the BIG suitcase.


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