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June 19th, 2011


07:29 pm - I HATE CLOTHING SIZES!!
 It is infinitely irritating when one is trying to lose weight to fit into clothes and yet the clothing measurements don't match up to what my measuring tape says!!  Ever since I've come to Japan I've been a steady "Large" according to their clothing measurements (in Canada that was considered a Medium) so today, in an attempt to motivate myself to lose weight, I went to Yumesaito and bought some M-sized and S-sized tank tops and dress shirts. I also bought a pair of M-sized pants.

I didn't actually expect to FIT into the M-sized clothes, much less the S-sized ones, but here's where my irritation begins.

The M-sized shirts claim that bust is 79cm-86cm (31in-34in).
The M-sized pants claim waist is 64cm and hips are 91cm (25in and 36in).
The S-sized shirts claim that bust is 77cm-83cm (30.5in-32.5in).

Ok, no probs. So I measured myself.
My bust (fullest part of the chest) is a 93cm (36.5in).
My waist (narrowest part below the breats and above the hips) is a 72cm (28.5in).

Clearly according to those measurements I was not suppose to fit into anything I bought. AND YET I FIT INTO ALL OF THEM AND, aside from the pants, QUITE COMFORTABLY. O________O;;;;

The pants were a tight squeeze on the upper thighs but if I really wanted to I could still wear them.

WHAT THE FREAKING HELL?!?!?!? Now I have NO idea what measurements I should be aiming for since apparently clothing companies like to pull random numbers out of a hat when it comes to labeling their clothes!! Either that or they're measuring some other part of the body I have no idea about.

ARGGHHHHH~!!!

On a happy note though I now have a bunch of new clothes I can wear XDD
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May 20th, 2011


01:10 am - East Asia and the environment
"Climate change sceptics might not like to admit it, but Asia is embracing environmentally-friendly technologies."
--BBC.com


Yeah, well one only has to visit Beijing in mid-summer to find out why this is extremely good news.  Gray, smoggy skies are not my idea of good living standards no matter how tall those skyscrapers get, or how many Olympic Games the country hosts.  I didn't take this photo of the Olympic Stadium in Beijing but basically for the first few days I was there last year in August this was what the city looked like.  If I hadn't actually gone there myself I wouldn't have believed pollution could actually reach these levels O__o;;


(And just a note, I actually got this photo from the EpochTimes website, you know, the FaLunGong sponsored newspaper/website that I liked to read just to laugh at how ludicrous they are back in Canada?  Yeah, I may hate their guts but China's pollution really needs to be kicked into high gear, though unlike the FLG I think the CCP is capable of doing that if they would just put their foot down on the issue.)

I do think the East Asian countries have a bit of a leg up on Western countries in this area though.  I mean back in Canada, even though environmental issues have taken on more importance in recent years, there still are some who run around claiming that environmental issues don't exist and it's all a myth concocted to allow governments to impose carbon taxes and the likes...because those big, bad governments are so conniving and devious.  Something along those lines anyway.  

Yet here in Japan, and also when I went to visit China, I never heard a peep out of anyone doubting that environmental issues are real and do indeed require immediate attention.  People over in the Western hemisphere don't particularly like the "follow the leader" mentality a lot of East Asian cultures have (and to be honest it sometimes makes me wary too, I mean all it takes is one screwy leader and the whole system unravels) but I think on certain issues like this one it's actually quite beneficial.

Anyway, just keeping my fingers crossed that that clean technology hurries up before the Earth turns into one massive toxic landfill.  Heaven forbid other cities start resembling that photo up there...

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May 6th, 2011


10:44 pm - Canadian Federal Election, 2011
 What the hell happened in Canada on May 2nd?  
 
Here are results after the 2008 elections and then the results of the most recent May 2nd, 2011 federal election (RED are 2008 results, BLUE are 2011 results);

Conservatives;................................... 143 --> 167
Liberals; ................................................77 --> 34
NDP (New Democratic Party); ..........37 --> 102
Bloc Quebecois; ...................................49--> 4
 
 
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For those unfamiliar with Canadia politics;

- The Conservatives are considered Canada's most right-winged political party generally favouring privatization, tax cuts, small government, etc.  
- The Liberals are more centre-left preferring policies that favour social programs, government spendings, etc.  
- The NDP is considered even further left than the Liberals, large government, social welfare, union support, etc.  
- The Bloc Quebecois mainly campaigns in the French province of Quebec, their policies resting on dissatisfaction some of the French Canadians feel regarding how their cultural heritage is treated by Anglophones (English-speakers) in Canada.  They were loudest in demanding that Quebec be allowed to separate from Canada and become their own country.
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The Conservatives actually got a majority in the Parliament??  A majority in the Canadian government basically means the Prime Minister can pass just about any bill he/she wants (like in the U.S. if the President is from the same party that controls the Senate and the Congress).
 
And the NDP has become the official opposition??  This is the first time in history they've become the Official Opposition, surpassing the Liberals.  I guess with the Conservatives having a majority, getting the NDP who're on the opposing end of the political spectrum to keep them in check is probably a good thing, but still...quite a shock they gained so much ground.
 
Then the Liberals...these were the guys that used to dominate Canadian politics, for 69 years in the 20th century they kept power in Parliament O__o  I have a soft spot for the Liberals because I really like Pierre Trudeau, but I think he was an exception in politics, not a rule.  I am stunned they lost so many seats this time around...but then I guess the party hasn't really performed exceptionally well since they lost to the Conservatives in 2006.  None of their members seem to stand out and their political platforms kind of...nonexistent?  I don't know, I guess since they're centre-left it means they're flexible which way they go (which should be a good trait), but at the same time it runs the risk of coming off indecisive and wishy-washy.
 
And BQ...well that's just really sad, granted I didn't particularly care that much for them anyway, but still that's a pretty awful defeat >__<
 
Whoa...it seems like Canadian politics are changing a lot, although why that is I'm not sure.  There hasn't been any major changes in the political landscape these days to warrant this shift, maybe the 2008 economic crash had something to do with this?  I don't know, but I guess Harper hasn't done too badly since he's been elected in 2006 so hopefully he'll take this chance and do something good with it (and stop upping out defense spendings dammit. Canada used to be known as a peacekeeping nation worldwide, people used to use OUR flag when travelling because other countries LIKED us because we didn't meddle in others' businesses and now instead of peacekeeping we're getting involved in combat missions.  Wth, no one's got a beef with us, so stop tossing bombs in other peoples' backyards >| )

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April 30th, 2011


03:35 am - FINALLY AN UPDATE!
 I just realized it's been around a month and a half since I updated this journal O__o;;  It's so weird that I just noticed because I've been coming everyday, mostly to check out community updates and stuff,

Well anyway, I'm back and hopefully the next updates won't be so far apart.  I remember back in university I used to update like, everyday or at least every week, recently I've kind of fallen out of the LJ circles for some reason D:

So, a lot has happened since my last update in mid-March.  My mom came to Japan for a visit at the end of March and we had a great week together.  It was kind of short but fun :D  We didn't go anywhere too far since I had to work for 2 of the days she was here but she got to try some Japanese food, meet my co-workers and some of the students and we also went to Yufuin for a hot spring Japanese hotel.  That was an awesome experience, and really relaxing for both of us.  My mom really liked Japan and was happy to see I had more-or-less settled into my life here.  

Aside from that nothing really new has been happening.  I recently got in the Korean pop group Tohoshinki/DBSK/TVXQ/东方神起 (so many names for them, lol).  I know they split up due to contract issues with 2 members carrying on as Tohoshinki and the other 3 forming a new group called JYJ, but I like them back when they were 5 together.  I've been scouring youtube for video clips of their interviews and variety show appearances, as well I downloaded like, 50GB of their stuff from veryCD.  Some of my students at school are also fans of them so when we see each other it's like a fangirl fest of squeals and giggles XD  I've seen some of their concert DVDs (thanks to one of my students :3) and they're pretty good, but mostly I like watching them good around during interviews or on talk shows. 
 
I first watched their Banjun drama "Dangerous Love" a few years ago while I was still in university (you can watch it on youtube here).  Even though at the time I didn't know anything about them except that they were a famous K-pop group I downloaded the show because it hinted quite blatantly at this one couple between 2 of the members and I never was one to pass up a chance to see 2 cute boys together...that way XD.  So I knew they existed back a few years ago, but I didn't really look that much into it until recently.  I knew if I dug into them it'd be all too easy to fall into the fandom (5 cute/hot guys dancing around and looking smexy?  Come on, it's just far too easy, lol) and then there'd be the constant urge to buy their goods, tape their pictures all over the place and just fall into the whirlwind of being a fan, so I tried to stay away...but I guess that was a bit of a bust  OTL  Oh well, what can you do ^^;;

Anyway, now it's Golden Week (YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY~) so I'm just enjoying some time off.  Don't really have any big plans or anything, but this Sunday I'm going to dinner at a student's place, and next Wednesday me and some students are heading to Fukuoka to see Takarazuka (Snow Troupe) perform "Rock ON!".  It's going to be so exciting, I can't wait!!  Then after the show I'm going to stay in Fukuoka for the rest of the day to do some shopping :D

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March 12th, 2011


09:25 am - Natural disasters brings us all together...or does it?
 I go to check on my twitter and this "Top Tweet" pops up (click to enlarge and see the text);



Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  An earthquake vs. an attack made in times of war, not to mention I think the USA got more than enough revenge for that attack already with those notorious a-bombs.  So when the US gets hit with another Katrina we should think of their bombings of Iraq, Afghanistan, Kossovo, the thousands of civilians that have been killed thanks to US bombs and feel better that innocent American lives were lost and destroyed??

Wtf is wrong with people?  You don't feel happy watching another country's distress (I'm looking at you China) and you don't feel "better" by thinking of past political events, you shut up about politics and sympathize because your heart shouldn't even have room for anything else besides reaching out a helping hand to the innocent lives that have been destroyed or affected by these natural disasters.  

If you MUST be an a**hole at least have the common courtesy to keep it in your head.  

On a happier note though the majority of responses I've seen are heartwarming, let's all wish for the best for the victims of this devastating event.

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February 22nd, 2011


12:06 pm - Joining the hype on the "Jasmine Revolution" in China :D
China's security tsar warns over 'jasmine revolution'
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Shanghai

Zhou Yongkang urged senior officials to improve "social management" and "detect conflicts and problems early on", the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

He was speaking at a weekend seminar which took place as an internet campaign tried to provoke a "jasmine revolution" in China.

On Sunday, police dispersed a meeting of people who had answered the call...

(Whole story here;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12522856 )
 
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Let's take it apart :D  I love doing that to articles on China, and now there's a whole bunch with the whole International Jasmine Revolution hype that's thrown the Western media into an ecstatic frenzy.

"China's security tsar warns over 'jasmine revolution'"
--> "Tsar"?  Geez, I know people like comparing China to Russia due to the communist link but can we try to be a little more subtle BBC? (Granted the term is simply a title for a supreme ruler in some East European countries, most people think Russia when they see that word I think.)

"Leading human rights activists and lawyers were taken into police custody in the hours before the protests were due to begin."
-->  Aw great, now just waiting for the flood of "OMG CHINA'S OPPRESSING HUMAN RIGHTS AGAIN!!" news reports to begin.

"A leading government think-tank has said there have been 90,000 so-called "mass incidents" - examples of public unrest - in China every year since 2007."
--> How's that possible considering China supposedly doesn't allow such displays of public unrest?

"Academics said it appeared the government was reacting to "rumours" by arresting activists."
--> And now, ladies and gentlemen, onto the conspiracy theorists who will wow you with tales of the CCP starting these "rumors" in order to arrest these activists.

"The conditions did not yet exist here for such a mass movement to succeed, they said. The controls on the internet, and out on the streets were too strong."
--> Or maybe there was no mass movement because most people aren't willing to risk chaos that will undermine the progress they've worked so hard for in the past few decades?  Or possibly most people doesn't have enough of a beef with the CCP to take to the streets? Or perhaps most people are happy enough with their lives currently to just ignore it? But of course not, those couldn't possibly be the reasons, it MUST have been the fault of the government because if given the chance who wouldn't want to rally in the streets and bash the CCP right?

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February 9th, 2011


12:22 pm - Fukuoka loot :D
 Went to Fukuoka yesterday for some training and as usual I sneaked in some shopping :D

I didn't have so much time this time since I had to get back to Nagasaki before school closed for some evening classes, so instead of Vivre shopping centre where they had an entire floor for gothic lolita clothes I just went to one store, Black Peace Now, in the Tenjin Core shopping centre.  They were having this huge sale on some of their winter stock but I didn't have time to try on any clothes, so I just got some accessories.  To my surprise after over half a year of not visiting the salesclerk there still remembered me!  I guess they don't get too many foreigners buying that style there.  On my first visit way back in like, March or April last year I bought a little mini-top hat, so now everytime the salesclerk sees me she makes the little hat motion with her hands and greets me with this huge "AH!!" and a smile.

Anyway, here's what I got this time (modeled by the lovely Capybara-sama);
    
A brooch...kind of.  It's actually 2 connected by a chain.

  
A pair of cute butterfly and rose earrings :3

And last but not lease I, of course, had to make a visit to Quatres Reves, the Takarazuka store.  I love going to that store but I hate it at the same time.  It's like heaven in there but I never know what to buy.  CDs? DVDs? Posters? Calenders? Folders? Magazines?  Postcards?  God, there's so much in there my eyes just darts around like I'm in a treasure trove *-*

This time I settled on Harumo Sumire's Adieu Marseilles.  It's an older show (from 2007) but I really wanted to get an Osa DVD, she was my first favourite top and her Elisabeth was the first full Takarazuka show I saw that got me hooked (actually I'm watching the DVD now as I type XD).  This was also her last show before she retired, and who could resist Osa in a suit :3

(Speaking of which, I'm going to see Zuka live again in May for Golden Week!! :DDDDDDDDD  More squeeing to come once I get my hands on the tickets, this time it's Yukigumi with new top Otozuki Kei, omg I CAN'T WAIT~!!!!)

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February 3rd, 2011


11:32 pm - Happy Chinese New Year from brightly lit Nagasaki~!


 新年快乐,心想事成,万事如意,岁岁平安!!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone~!!  

The year of the tiger has come and gone and today we welcomed the year of the rabbit!!  As with last year, Nagasaki welcomes this joyous occasion with their annual Lantern Festival and the shopping arcade that my school is located in lit up tonight with hundreds of lanterns from the traditional red ones to giant ones that took the shape of dragons, phoenixes, and characters from Chinese folklores, history, and mythologies.

It's kind of strange but I think this may be one of the times when I've missed being in Canada the most.  When I was in Canada during Chinese New Year (or any other Chinese festival like the Moon Festival, but New Year's the biggest celebration) I'd spend it with my Chinese friends, and we'd all gather together eating traditional food like dumplings and just enjoying being together; the closest we have to family away from our families.  The Chinese Students Association at the university would also have celebrations, gathering the members together and all the people really make the atmosphere seem like the celebration I remember it to be.

Here though I don't have anyone else who's Chinese and who I can celebrate with.  I mean my co-workers and students will say "happy new year!" to me but since none of them actually really celebrate it it's not quite the same thing.  This weekend I'm planning to go to the Lantern Festival with friends though so I'm looking forward to eating some delicious sesame balls and pork buns *O*

(Also need to find a site to download the CNY Gala, 春节联欢晚会, I know the people in China don't really watch it anymore and a lot of people say the ones in recent years suck but when you're not in the midst of the festivities everything counts :3 )

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February 1st, 2011


12:51 am - New journal background :)
 It's been awhile since I last changed the background of my blog  OTL


koneko_desu (click on the image to go to my blog to see full-sized image)

This time the theme's slightly darker, starring Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds :3 (I think I may be slightly obsessed O_O)

I wanted to use a screencap of a scene in episode1x18 with him and Lila (the actress).  After the (infamous) kissing-in-the-pool scene where she ends up getting mad at him Reid adopts this incredibly adorable puppy-dog look.  I couldn't screencap it in high enough resolution for a good blog background though so I re-drew Reid anime-style XD

Here's the original screencap that I based my drawing off of, granted I added some teary sparkles in his eyes because...well no one can resist teary-eyed Reid;

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January 24th, 2011


02:08 pm - Origami before dawn :X
Couldn't sleep last night so on a whim I grabbed some origami paper I had and googled some fun projects to do.  Apparently at 5am I enjoy making paper bookmarks and decoration for my Japanese lesson folder <__<;;

Here's the batch I made, I only had patterned paper and no solid colours so some of the ones I wanted to try (like animals) didn't turn out too well (cherry blossomed mice just don't look quite right OTL):



3 heart shaped bookmarks, a swan, 2 framed hearts - one with a fox and one decorated using a purikura of myself, and a (giant) cherry blossom.

Close-ups and links to instructions under cut~Collapse )

[EDIT]: Newest userpic in my collection pays tribute to a smexy, wet (and anthrax infected TAT) Dr. Reid, god I love his eyes...

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January 17th, 2011


09:08 am - Kids :3
 Look what one of my students in my kids' class drew for me~ (the pixelated area is her name, I photoshopped it out)



Isn't it adorable?  :D  Sometimes the children in my kids' classes can be so sweet.  I think actually when it comes to kids' classes I'm quite lucky.  Most of my students are really well-behaved and smart, and I can see them trying so hard in class even though there's the language barrier preventing them from understanding a lot of what I say (and preventing me from understanding them when they ramble at me in Japanese, lol).

 I'm not really a kids person, I think the first few times I had kids' classes I went through like, a mini-panic attack before each class, and usually when I'm at school just hearing the kids voices that signals their arrival makes me kind of stiffen.  I don't know why but I've never really gotten that warm fuzzy feeling when looking at babies or kids that I guess a lot of people get, I'm the one that looks at a baby and things he/she looks like an alien and wonders why others 'coo' and 'aww' over him/her.  I mean I can understand the parents doing it, it's their baby, of course they'll think he/she's the cutest in the world, but personally I prefer puppies...or kitties...things with fur XDD  Needless to say I've decided quite a few years ago that making my own babies in the future is about as probably as my winning the lottery, highly unlikely unless something drastic happens.

Having said all that though, once in awhile my kids (students) does something like this that makes me all warm and gooey inside, and I think if maybe the language barrier wasn't there I wouldn't be so phobic of my kids' lessons either.  It's frustrating sometimes when I can see my students don't understand something and I want to explain but can't.  
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January 10th, 2011


05:35 am - Birthday report :D
 So I had my birthday last week.  It was really good, I had a lot of fun and got a ton of birthday wishes from friends and family :D

I had to work that day but after work me and my co-workers went out for dinner together.  We had a really great time just hanging out.  I got some lovely birthday messages in the card they gave me, plus a really cute and comfy pajama shirt.  The restaurant also gave me a birthday dessert that was really yummy :)

On my birthday a parcel from my mother also came (lucky it arrived on my birthday too~).  She sent me this huge box of chocolates, Lindor, Ferrero Rocher, Turtles and Quality Street.  Lindor and Ferrero Rocher are my favourite chocolates and usually every year around Christmas they sell a lot of them in the stores so we always buy some. In Japan I actually haven't seen any for sale, so I was really happy to get some from my mom :D  She included a $5 Canadian and American bill.  For some reason seeing the $5 Canadian bill made me a little nostalgic for Canada.  I kind of just stared at it for a few minutes remembering my previous birthdays and Christmas holidays back there.

Here're my presents from my mom and co-workers (click to enlarge) :3



Today I got 2 more presents from a friend.  She knows I like Mizu Natsuki from Takarazuka so she gave me a postcard with a message on the back plus a pair of cute butterfly earrings.  They're so adorable =^w^=



And today I also gave myself a little present of sorts.  I had been wanting to get another piercing on my ear so today I finally went and (with the help of the friend who got me the postcard and earrings) bought one of these disposable piercers (they're really easy to find in Japan, accessory shops, drug stores all carry them.  Apparently a lot of people do ear piercings themselves here).  So now I have 2 piercings in my left ear (the picture's flipped because I took it in the mirror).  I think I want to try for 3 piercings in one ear and 2 in the other, this one was kind of a test-run to see a) how these piercers worked and b) if I could actually do it myself.  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  I remember when I got my first 2 piercings I think I went to Ardene or Clair, and it didn't hurt so much.  This time was pretty much the same, a quick pinch and then it was done, but I have noticed my pain tolerance level is pretty high so maybe that's why I didn't feel it hurt that much. (You can see in the picture I'm wearing the butterfly earring my friend gave me today too :3)

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January 3rd, 2011


01:44 pm - My jaw hurts from chewing LOL
 3 days into the New Year already.

 Japan's New Year's is a lot more traditional than in Canada I think.  They kind of switch the activities for Christmas and New Year's around here, whereas in Canada Christmas you spend with family over Christmas dinner and then party on New Year's, here in Japan, Christmas is for parties (if you celebrate it at all) and then New Year's is with spent with the family eating osechii, going to the shrine and such.

According to Wikipedia, prior to 1873 the Japanese New Year was based on the Chinese Lunar Calender so they celebrated the New Year on the same day as the Chinese would celebrate Chinese New Year  (along with Korea and Vietnam).  After 1873 following the Meiji Restoration Japan switched to the Gregorian calender (or Western/Christian calender).  I feel lucky I celebrate both, twice as much yummy food to eat XDD

I went out yesterday to buy some groceries and holy crap there were so many people (with kids too @_@).  For the first 2-3 days of the New Year Japan has this huge sale (called Hatsuuri meaning first sale of the year) and almost every store has these lucky bags or grab bags known as fukubukuro (福袋) (you know, the kind where you don't know what's inside, but the value of the items inside are worth more than the price of the lucky grab-bags so people are willing to chance it).  Basically I think they do it to clear last year's inventory but it's kind of like Boxing Day in Canada and everyone goes shop-crazy.  Trying to get through the stores (heck even just trying to get to the stores) was like running an obstacle course.  I had to snake my way through the crowds, dodging kids, trying not to run over some little old lady/man or fall over some lovey-dovey couple.  Insanity man, seriously.

Anyway, even though it's only been 3 days after making my New Year's Resolutions I've noticed my jaw is really sore when I try to chew anything.  I think it must be because since I've been trying to eat slower I'm chewing my food more which means my jaw muscle it working more than before...lol, didn't see this problem coming when I made the resolution XDD

Today I made ozoni (雑煮) which is this traditional soup they drink in Japan on New Year's Day.  My friend made it for me on New Year's Day and she told me how to make it, it sounded really simple and was really delicious so today I made my own (even though it's not New Year's Day anymore).   Apparently there's a lot of different ways to make it and the ingredients you use in the soup can vary widely from region to region or even family to family, so I think I'm going to experiment with some different ingredients in the coming weeks :)

1.5 more days of R&R before I go back to work, better get cracking on those Criminal Minds episodes I downloaded XDD

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January 1st, 2011


03:15 pm - 2011 New Year's Resolutions!

So...a New Year already eh?  In the blink of an eye I've been in Japan for over a year (came last December) and I've spent my second New Years here.  I had a lovely time with a friend and her husband last night, watching the annual Kohaku which is a singing gala featuring some of Japan's most famous artists, and then catch the end of the Johnny's Countdown (crack I tell you, blinding, crazy, adrenaline pumping CRACK).  Then this morning we had my friend's homemade osechii which was sooooooo~ delicious, she even gave me some to bring home so no combini food for Men-chan tonight :D!!
 
So, time for some New Years Resoultions!!  Usually I have no confidence I can keep to any resolution for a year and thus don't bother but hey, what the hell, doesn't hurt to try :)

1) Take more time eating.
-->  I've noticed I tend to always wolf down my food and so usually meals last at most 10 minutes before I'm done.  It kind of feels like a feeding frenzy for 10 minutes where I shovel as much food as I can into my mouth.  This year I'm going to try to slow it down.  I read that it takes the brain 20 minutes to register you're actually full, so eating very quickly can cause a person to over-eat because you think you're still hungry.

2) I want to put an end to a very bad...habit I've developed. 
--> This habit started in university but worsened over last year.  I've already started trying to stop it and been doing ok, but this year I'm really going to push to end it for good.

3) Save at least half my paycheck every month.  
-->I know this year I'll probably have a big trip around Golden Week in the Spring, maybe to Tokyo and Kyoto which is going to cost a bit, but other than that I hope I can save at least half my paycheck every month instead of spending it all.  This past year I did some calculations and I've been saving just below half of my paycheck every month, but now that I've settled in, bought my new furniture and everything this year for next year I should be able to save more :)

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Alright, so 3's pretty good I think.  Of course there's the perpetual "I need to lose weight" clause, but I think at this point I don't even need to add it anymore since it's pretty much always there XD  So at the end of January I'll re-visit these resolutions and see how I've been doing :D

Anyone else have resolutions to share??

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December 20th, 2010


12:37 am - December craziness
 December is always such a crazy month, lol.  I had 2 Christmas parties in the last 2 weeks, and 1 more week to go at work before the New Years' Holiday kicks in (they don't have X-mas holiday here in Japan, just New Years).

I'm not sure why but yesterday after I came home from my 2nd Christmas party (which was insanely fun :D) all of a sudden I came down with a headache.  It was like the weirdest feeling, I was just sitting in front of my laptop being all happy from the party, then BAM!  My head started pounding and I felt dizzy and nauseated.  I thought maybe it was a cold, but it doesn't seem to be since I don't have any other symptoms, just a headache.

Today I stayed in bed all day watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which actually I think made me feel worse.  My headache's still here and now my whole body's sore plus I kept having these nightmares when I drifted off to sleep where I was a victim on CI or something -____-;;

I do, however, have something to feel so ecstatic about :D  I weighed myself today and found I was 59.5 kg (~131lbs)!!  It's the first time I've got my weight down below 60kg since I came to Japan, yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy~!  Granted it's only .5 kg lol.

Ugh, I hope this headache goes away by Tuesday when I have to start work again, just 1 more week to go before the holidays~~~!
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December 8th, 2010


08:09 pm - Takarazuka; Dream Come True.

 On September 13th, 2007 I posted my first journal entry on Takarazuka.

On September 16th, 2010 (almost exactly 3 years later) I had in my hands my first tickets to my first Takarazuka show.

On December 8th, 2010, my dream of seeing these lovely ladies in action finally became a reality.

Oh. My. God.

*Hyperventilates*

*Breathes*

You know how sometimes you expect something to be really amazing, you think it'll be wonderful, mesmerizing, perfect, beyond-words-can-describe incredible that when the times comes for the actual thing you think to yourself it can't possibly be as amazing as the standard you've set for it in your head?  Yeah, that's how I felt this morning heading to the theatre.  I thought I've been dreaming of seeing these ladies live for 3 years now, 3 years of thinking how perfect they are, the singing, the dancing, the stories, the everything, there's no way the actual experience could be as great as I imagined.  

Except they proved me wrong...boy did they ever prove me wrong.

It. Was. Perfect.

Almost 3 hours of being in a dreamlike trance, gazing up at that stage where people I had only adored through the tv screen came to life.  They sang, they danced, they were only a few metres from me and sometimes came so close I could reach out and touch them.

I thought since I'd seen the DVDs it wouldn't be such a big deal.  I mean with the DVD you get closeups, the camera zooms in on who and where you should focus on, in the theatre there's no way you can see in such detail, but just the whole atmosphere was incredibly.  I must have had the stupidest smile on my face through the entire thing, and my heart was beating like no tomorrow.  Three times Matobu Sei came into the audience, going into the aisles, twice shaking hands with people, dancing and singing as she went, once she was joined by Sou Kazuho Hana Ranno, and a bunch of the siennes, all dancing and singing in the aisles.  My friend and her daughter actually managed to shake Matobu Sei's hand as she went, and we were giggling like crazy schoolgirls.

Even now, a mere 3 hours after the show I already feel like it was a dream.  All that glitz and glamor of a few hours ago, it seemed like no way could I have actually seen it live.

I think I'm in big trouble because now I feel like I MUST see another show, I absolutely MUST, MUST, MUST.  Next year, though they probably won't be coming to Nagasaki again since their national tours come around only two or three years, I MUST go see them in Hakata at least!

The photo above is the booklet I bought for the show I saw.  Initially I wasn't sure I wanted to get it but then I figured it was only about 1,000Yen (~$10) and I needed SOMETHING to commemorate my first time seeing a show live, plus just the experience alone made it worthwhile.

Hghnnnnnn...that was like, the most perfect 3 hours of my life....haaaaaaahhh.....

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November 26th, 2010


11:06 am - Hooking up Japanese VISA to Paypal possible?
 PAYPAL Question this tiiii~me~

So apparently it's next to impossible to get makeup from US based online stores shipped to Japan without going through a shopping service that'll cost an arm and a leg ($30+ for shipping on makeup that costs like...$20?  Rii~ght).  It seems the only viable alternative is ebay.com but I've run into a slight snag in that most sellers there accept only Paypal and as far as I know I can't hook my Japanese bank account up to my paypal account.  My last thread of hope is if I can hook up a Japanese VISA to my paypal.

I searched a bit and apparently it should be ok, Paypal does have a Japanese site (paypal.jp though oddly it doesn't offer Japanese option, just English and French) so I'd assume it's do-able, but before I either try to apply for a VISA here or ask a friend to use his/her VISA, I just want to double check.  

Has anyone done this before?

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November 24th, 2010


11:59 am - Makeup time~
 Makeup question~!

I've noticed that the area around my eyes (like usually where you would put on eyeliner and in the corners) tends to get oily very quickly so it's a hassle using eye makeup (liner and shadow mostly) since it never stays on very long.  All of the waterproof liners I've tried never seem to stand a chance against the natural oils and I tend to end up looking like a panda at the end of the day (I need oil proof, not waterproof lol).  

I did a quick google search and found some useful suggestions, but since my knowledge of makeup isn't so sophisticated I'm hoping someone can help clear some questions up for me.

I have a face primer I use on my nose, cheeks, forehead and chin before putting on powder, can I use that same primer on my eyes?  Will it work ok?  Or, can I just use my face powder as a base for my eye makeup?  Will it absorb the oil or will the oil just make it all smudgy like it does to my eyeshadow?  What exactly does eye makeup base look like anyway?  I've never heard of it before this, and so I don't know .  Does it look like a powder?  Like foundation? Is it clear? Skin-coloured? 

Ugh, I hate having oily skin, I know naturally it's suppose to be good but where makeup's concerned it's such a pain >_<

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November 22nd, 2010


01:04 am - The charm of androgyny
The other day I was watching a Japanese drama, Peacemaker Kurogane, and one of the actors in it caught my eye in a "Whoa! Stop! Rewind! Replay!" kind of way.  It wasn't really because his acting was so amazing, but more so his looks, or more specifically his makeup style in that particular scene that caught my eye.

Now, I've been watching Japanese dramas for a few years and so I've seen my fair share of "pretty boys", or "bishounen" as they're called in Japanese so nowadays I don't really bat an eyelash at seeing them anymore, but still, this one caught my eye and it got my brain ticking over why I have this fascination with either boys that look feminine or, in the case of Takarazuka, girls that look...masculine but still feminine...does that make sense at all?

First of all, here's a picture of the scene that started it all:

So, a dab of lipstick, some eyeshadow (it's kind of hard to see since his eyes are open in the picture but he's got a hint of red eyeshadow near the outer corners of his eyes that look really beautiful when he blinks or is looking down), neatly shaped brows, very...kirakira (sparkle sparkle) XD

Now in the drama he's a shinobi (ninja) so when he's trying to sneak information from women he puts on this kirakira display to woo it out of them (or so I guess), but usually he doesn't have such...feminine makeup on.  The interesting thing is that little bit of makeup makes all the difference it seems because when I see him without it I think he's pretty, but not enough to STOP! REWIND! REPLAY! yet with it...I stopped, rewound and replayed for like...30 minutes -__-;;




It's very puzzling to me.  Thinking back, my first crush was actually on a girl, an anime girl at that.  Haruka Tenoh or Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon (pictured on right).  It wasn't just that she acted like a boy, but that she had the look of a beautiful boy, yet with an added feminine charm.  Granted it was because originally the mangaka of Sailor Moon had intended for Haruka to be an otokoyaku top star of Takarazuka with Michiru as her musumeyaku counterpart, so that explains a lot, but still, I mean, why didn't I find Mamoru (Darien in the English version, Mr. Tuxedo Mask) that attractive?  I mean he's a good looking guy, and hell, it's anime so aside from some colour difference their faces didn't look all that different anyway.  So exactly why did Haruka appeal to me (and apparently a lot of other girls too) so much more than Mamoru?

It's not that I'm attracted to guys that crossdress, I mean I think Hizuki from the Visual Kei band Versailles and Mana from Malice Mizer are very beautiful when they're all dolled up, but it doesn't really do anything for me other than a visual admiration for their beauty.  Yet boys/men like Gackt manages to catch my eye (though with Gackt I think I've gotten used to his prettiness so it doesn't stun me when I see his pictures anymore).  I also noticed that my androgyny kick is upped another notch when they add in some beautiful long hair on these pretty boys like when they portray samurais (the first pretty boy pictured up there actually has a pony tail behind him which made my eyes twinkle like little stars *-*).

So basically I guess in a nutshell, where looks are concerned I like my boys pretty enough not to look ridiculous with makeup on and I like my girls looking like those pretty boys but not like...girly-girl feminine yet not butch (Takarazuka's otokoyakus seems to have hit the right mix where my preferences are concerned).

Geez...complicated much?  Someone mentioned in one of my earlier posts that perhaps it's because as women some of us get sick and tired of that whole "I'm a man so I must act manly and tough so if you're a (straight) man and your hand so much as brushes against my hand I must reaffirm my masculinity by spazzing out!" and I think it is true to an extent.  I mean I don't consciously feel sick of it, I'm not around guys like that to irritate me to any extent, but some guys do give off that vibe, yet that can't be all that drives my preferences can it?  And besides I think those types of men are limited to only some parts of the world in certain circles.  Maybe I just like pretty things and people...just aesthetically speaking perhaps I have something in me that makes me lean towards the pretties.  Hmm...

Ah, c'est trop compliqué!  

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November 5th, 2010


10:35 am - Uh oh...
 F*@*#!&@&^#^%@%!^@&**#^&@&!**@&#^#%^&@&*$$%&##**@&^@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lost my voice and I have to teach 6 classes today and 7 tomorrow, including 1 kids class in which I have to scream to get the kids to listen to anything.  F********************************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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