Thursday, December 31, 2009


last post of 2009!

i've been chilling out quite nicely at home for the past few days. to mix it up today i went window shopping to get the legs walking. i guess you could have called it exercise? i did bike around a lot after all... this morning was super windy. i saw a lot of laundry all over the place outside - poor folks lol.

yay rice is done - time for dinner! but before i go, pictures!

lucky bamboo at main school. i effed with the colors in photoshop a bit to make it look happier lol.

yes, this is on the entertainment menu tonight lol. i was saving it for some good occasion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

today was my first day of real holiday. i spent it catching up with buddies which was super. before that i was having the tv do its thing. now im back to tv-ing. i think ive expressed all kinds of negative feelings in previous posts about japanese tv, but i figured i might as well do all the normal jp new years customs (minus osechi cause its so expensive and im alone here lol) in which the tv part cant be ignored lol. along with kotatsu + mikannnnnn~ like konata from lucky star =3

Friday, December 25, 2009

ive been thinking of Hometown Buffet for hours lol

Monday, December 21, 2009

i've been watching a bunch of movies recently - Inglourious Basterds, Up, One Piece: Strong World and today we're going to see Avatar. yay.

and dude, it's annoying to not be able to find campbell's chicken noodle anywhere. you see all these other flavors like corn (ugh japan's obsession with corn) clam chowder, minestrone, and cream of mushroom but there's no chicken noodle to be found - what the heck is up with that? not even tomato... and tomato is the bomb too - way better than corn man... there are so many other brands/ varieties of corn soup that japanese people will buy so why does campbell's even bother marketing their corn soup here? uhg... but hey, it's not like im hating on corn or anything.

i bought some oeros and milk yesterday. then i got DNC to 21 - it's pretty cool being able to solo toughs at lvl 20 lol. you just... keep... dancing!

so as i was blowing my nose on those freebie tissues folks pass out advertising for something or another, i was thinking how easy it is to infect like... the entire japanese population with some crazy biological weapon by lacing those tissue packs with something creepy and then have them be passed out at like all of japan's major cities. winter would be the best time, of course. oh man, i suddenly feel all paranoid about accepting tissues...

i suppose i'll get ready and stuff now~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

does anyone remember usher's nice & slow? i was looking at the time a while ago as i was preparing christmas boxes to be sent to the states and it was... 7 o'clock on the dot lol. totally pulled it up on youtube. i remember that song as like... the babysitter song. oftentimes the song of friends whose high school aged older siblings would play on their mix tape in the car.

and oh how ive been caught in another 90s music youtube binge.

oh and im leveling DNC. high time i sub it during campaigns.

and is that ffxiii trailer on youtube's front page (ad banner at the top) new? prolly related to the jp ffxiii release date today. i swore i saw scenes ive never seen before. was that a baby choco on black dude's hover bike thing? haha.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

just watched ep 10 of kimi ni todoke and ep 8 of kobato. i dont know if i mentioned in any previous post that i was following those titles this season... maybe i mentioned kimi ni todoke though... in any case, i am. kobato has very cutesy CLAMP flavor, while kimi ni todoke is enjoyable shoujo. it's a really strange feeling watching these two because, being japan life/ japan school life types of anime, there are all these environmental + cultural things that i've experienced or seen on a firsthand basis and so it makes me relate personally on a deeper level. it's kind of the same feeling i got after watching k-on. id stare at the girls' cardigans or towels, and when the characters go for vending machine small talk i'm all, "dude i've seen them do that irl!" kobato is a little more removed from earth with its fantastical elements and such. also, with the dude character rocking this old school male ponytail thing, it makes the series feel less modern haha.

my buddies have kind of indirectly gotten me on the eva card collecting scene. they're basically these packs composed of one hard plastic evangelion collector's card + a nice chocolate wafer cookie thing (yes, to be eaten - they're about the size of a credit card) for around 105yen. i get them every now and then at valor. i have about 8 collected so far with no doubles yet so i guess im pretty lucky hehe. the nicest of my bunch is one of rei in her school uniform looking up holding onto gendo's glasses - the background is this refreshing pastel pink blue and purple striped scheme, and it's all frosted metallic... makes me want to pour over my sailor moon card collection at home again.

for some reason 3 days ago i was really hankering for some mindless katamari action so i've been back on the psp version trying to up all my 'islands' to 100 points. i still need to get the elephant's island past 90 points though, grr...

but i think i'll go back to star ocean second evolution now.

what else to report...

i sustained this crazy slash across the top part of my right middle finger (the surface where a ring might sit) the other day as i was getting the mail. i went up, washed it out and slathered some neosporin (not of the expired kind either... >_>) on it right after it happened but it's still taking a while to heal. there are just too many activities that i blaze through in a day where i have to wash my hands or get them wet in some way. i think it has a high chance of ending up looking like this scar i have on my left ring finger - got that on a ronco showtime rotisserie bbq in high school (a part of it was broken and i totally got sliced @_@).

!!! and holy crap, after googling ronco real fast, get a load of this!
i totally want this for christmas - buy 1 get one free! - american, we can use these when i get back lol

oh yeah and i discovered this after watching a recent TED talk
i think it's pretty sweet.

Friday, December 4, 2009


it's that time of turkey year again!!!

it was really more vivid in person, believe me. it was like... an orange vortex of infinity!

this is how we roll.

cooling down with excitement

the other thing people like to do with gingerbread

at the same time... Team Cake is working on their creation!

on the rise!

meanwhile, our gingerbread house is really taking shape!

cake @ 100%

i think the gingerbread house is at 100% too ^^

my english club girls were extremely happy.

one of the many other gingerbread/ sweets creations that were made.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

still no picture-worthy scenes of nature stuffs... maybe i'll just wait until mid winter or something. there was a sale at my local fabric store today so i bought some cloth to be made into pj pants later this month around christmas. i spent like 40 mins looking at their entire inventory and decided to take home this very plain and simple blue and black flannel. 2 meters for 800yen!

weather-wise it was a gloriously clear day. it also felt warmer than it's been - around 14 degeees C.

i hopped on board this saturday night party train - bday pt train to be exact. it's at this club nearly 1.5 hours away, but i figured it's been a while since ive gone to this type of thing.

prefecture meeting is tomorrow... in the rain, oh boy -_-! but this gives me an excuse to wear this totally boss vintage camel hair long trench coat that allen's mom gave me last winter kekeke. and the shoulders are to die for lol.

oh yeah last night i got the moonlight medal II in campaign. on top of that im around 13,000 into lvl 66, hooray... but axe is totally underskilled, boo.

anyway gonna get in touch with my gym rat side now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

200th post!

anyway i threw together some screen caps of some vids from almost all guys tech school festival. all kinds of good stuff lol.

in other news, 30th anni kssr party was very merry indeed. not only did i go to the 2nd after party, i got kinda dragged to the 3rd party too lol (at a karaoke place). all in all, the actual banquet thing was cool. lots of folks i knew and didnt knew. lots of babies, too!

i posted (in the middle of posting rather) a private vid on youtube of me walking around taking in the party vibe. for all the KSSR folks, let me add you on my friends list so i can let you guys in on the viewing. steve, i added you, so you should be able to have a lookSee =D you can play the "dude that was totally OO-san" game lol.

anyway, here are some pix of that pudding daifuku that ive been talking about for quite some time now. check out the pudding-ness on the inside lol. it really is a delightful treat.

ive been meaning to snap some seasonal pictures but nothing has really been blog-worthy. theres a nice gingko tree with the leaves all golden and stuff, but there's construction going on around where the tree is, so as a photo i think itd look kinda crumby. i'll take a nice photo yet.

thanksgiving potluck dinner party is this tomorrow. if the mood is right, i'll take pictures. usually i don't - not at this event anyway - too busy eating lol.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

holy crap,

if you throw a search for 'guy cecil' on google images, i'm totally on the first page.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

gosh darn it, is such a time sink for me lol. even more than youtube is! beyond online window shopping even!! facebook is nothing!

anyway cultural festival festival day 2 for almost all guys tech school was yesterday and boy was it awesome. those guys never disappoint lol. too bad everything i captured was in video format @_@ so it'll take me some time to get some stills up.

one week til kssr banquet in tokyo~

two weeks til a very merry foreigner thanksgiving dinner~

three weeks til... first sunday of december? lol.

i've been feeling JET senioritis nipping at my heels these days. for JETs in my particular sector of the venn diagram, it's something like this: i'm starting to compare everything about everyday life here to things back at home - from diaper commercials to... that out-rounded calf phenotype seen in japanese females. i've ditched my cute bento box for a brown paper bag with a BLT sandwich in it! and a red apple! that i eat with the skin ON, NOT cut into slices; i set my chompers to it like the human beast i am til there's nothing left but the core. i've been eating milk and cereal even though special K red berries is still 360yen for a one-size box that gives you only 2 big-ish bowl servings.

the other day it was pretty effed up. i get on the special ed train to go to almost all guys tech school once a week (special ed because there's a special ed school en route to my own school and i see the same group of special ed students get on the train once a week, every week). i was about 10 meters away from the first door leading into the first unreserved car of the train when i saw one of the special ed girls had fallen down right at the doorway - she missed a step i guess because her left foot was dangling in the gap between the train and the platform and she was kind of sitting on her ass, kind of half laying down all dazed and stuff. she was in a funky position with her right foot in the train, left foot in the gap, rest of her body on the platform and her hands/ elbows supporting her behind her. it was kind of bad too cause she was all spread-eagled with her legs and though they were modest-looking i guess you could see her black undergarments. the effed thing was there were people who were weaving around her to get inside the train. no 'are you ok?' or anything. it was pretty appalling. even businesspeople on the platform just stood their ground and stared. i was like "omg are you ok?" and stooped down put a hand on her shoulder. she was like, "i... fell..." and looked at me. so then i went behind her, got her by both arms near the armpits and hoisted her up myself. i asked her again, 'are you ok?' and then she looked at me and said, 'thank... you..." only when she was already standing did another woman bystander come over and ask her, "are you ok?" a second later the train dude showed up (seemed like he was jogging) and asked her if she was ok and then thanked me. but damn! those people who pretty much stepped over her crumpled body to get into the train. there was even this dude sitting in the train right near the door. he was so close to the girl he could have poked her with the tip of his shoe. but he just stared at her. he didnt even stand up or reach out or anything. ugh. they're all going straight to hell! lol.

I like Carrie Underwood's Cowboy Casanova ^^ the instrumentals are sooo basic, but i like the groove of it =D i wouldnt mind doing the electric slide to this song lol.

oh i got my wings iv medal back ^^

Friday, November 13, 2009

my 200th post approaches!

anyway, today was a grand day, despite being friday the 13th... except the day is not quite over yet <_<

almost all guys tech school cultural festival day 1 was today. the special exhibition was a play - and man was it a good ass play! demon/ ogre theme set in heian japan with overtones of love and humanity ^^ best parts though were all the epic battles between the demons and demon slayers (i was CONSTANTLY envisioning random kenjutsu/batojutsu + jujutsu, and jo vs sword/ sword vs jo tachiais lol... which gave me this weird unsettling feeling as i was watching each battle).

ran post office and bank errand after work, then gymed. bought shoes that were so not on sale >_> BUT! im going to wear them to the KSSR 30 year anniversary banquet that's coming up very soon. when i got home i decided to figure out what the rest of my outfit was going to look like and im very happy to say ive got everything down, head to toe. i even took a whole hour doing hair trials @_@ but now im fairly confident i will NOT look like total crap for the banquet.

oh, today was the first day i was very much forced against my will to wear one of those ridiculous dust masks. they said it was because the entire school had to be packed together in one big hall. also, they sprayed every man, woman and child (their hands) with this alcohol sanitizer before and after the play. so extreme. im surprised they didnt walk everyone over to a big trough to have them gargle. i totally would have put my foot down there.

yesterday i tripped over my router thingummer and now it's emitting this high-pitched wail... it's even more high-pitched than those pest control devices they put around the perimeter of shopping malls (not that those things are all that high-pitched actually - theyre quite audible and it cripples my soul every time i have to walk through the train station's underground @_@). anyway, it's significantly more bearable than those pest devices and i actually want to test to see if it keeps critters away... except im afraid im going to slowly go deaf or something if i let it shriek on for the rest of my time here... i guess i'll jack directly in from the broadband modem thing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

last wednesday my english club kids and i experienced a delightful culinary treat, thanks to the two turkish sisters who are club members (and enrolled in the international understanding department as well). i forgot the name of the dish, but after looking it up just now, i think what we made is known as: Etli yaprak sarma. their family's version was basically rice, meat, onions, black pepper, salt, tomato paste, olive oil and some other spices and ingredients i didnt see go in, rolled up with grape leaves and stewed/ simmered til goodness! served with generous heaps of plain yogurt.

my girls were like, "omg pham-sensei, you roll so beautifully... and fast!" and i was like, "lol... i have much exp."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

curses! i'm almost done with Lady of Sherwood... i knew i should have just gotten Lady of the Glen as well ;_; now if i order, i'll have to wait another 3 weeks until it gets here -_-!

i guess this means i can finally finish odin sphere lol - been putting Armageddon off since last month. in the meantime there was star ocean: first departure and now star ocean: second evolution. i never played the first one before, but i did play the second one years ago and i have to say there is a lot i dont remember. i generally don't re-play RPGs unless it's a remake (chrono trigger!) cause i figure there's just so many in the genre, might as well treat yourself to new material, right?

so in season one of minami-ke, (old-ish anime i know) there's a good deal of food related chatter going on - like with the rice, curry, cream stew, udon i think it was... or ramen i don't remember... anyway with that cream stew, right? i actually learned of this dish's existence through minami-ke. i've just never had it served to me with someone saying, "this. is. cream. stew," and i've never seen/ noticed it in a restaurant before. anyway at the supermarket, the cream stew sauce/ mix powder thing is placed in the japanese curry mix section. so whenever ive gone to get curry i always stare at the cream stew boxes and think of minami-ke. ive never actually tried it out though... until yesterday!

there wasn't anything particular going through my mind - i just picked up the box, looked at the back for the ingredients, got them too and went home to whip it up. all and all the dish is pretty alright. i don't rate it higher than japanese curry in terms of tastiness and satisfaction, though. also with all the milk that goes into it, i have no idea how this dish fares with lactose intolerant folks haha.

/story interjection... there's a dish that i named, 'white curry' maybe 2 years ago because i had forgotten to get the sauce mix blocks and it was already past 900pm and my market was closed. so i decided to simply season the 'curry' with chicken broth powder and some other stuff. the finished product was quite nice! anyway, that dish was way better than this cream stew i think. so next time you want to do the anti-japanese curry dish, just follow every step for japanese curry and then at the last step omit the curry blocks and season to taste with other stuff. it'll be groovy, trust me.

... but sometimes you just cant deny your appreciation for japanese style curry rice.

holy crap how did i get 20000/24500 into lvl already... campaigns make the world go round!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

pudding daifuku is pretty good. i first saw it maybe a week before halloween and tried it out just because ive never seen or tried a pudding daifuku before. today i saw it again at the market and couldnt resist. it's kind of sad, but both times, i was thinking in my mind, 'gotta take pix of this little guy and post it,' but both times i totally forget. somewhere between taking it out of the plastic shopping bag and unwrapping the squishy thing my mind just goes blank with anticipation lol. i'll manage to take a picture someday. basically, it looks like a normal daifuku on the outside - a blob of rice cakey softness. it's this soft yellow color. then on the inside you got the pudding goo and caramel goo too. soft, smooth and velvety~ i would even go so far as to call it my favorite kind of daifuku ever. hopefully it's not just a seasonal thing.

as i may or may not have mentioned, it's getting cooler now. yay for light sweater weather!

big kssr pt in 2 weeks omg... gotta figure out what to wear lol.

Friday, November 6, 2009

oh yeah, almost forgot these pictures. i saw this little dude today at almost all guys tech school - it's a paperweight hand-crafted by some bored high school kid haha. it's pretty awesome, and it started my day off real good haha.

oh! and Lady of Sherwood came in the mail today ^^
cultural festival is coming up at almost all guys tech school!

so i had them whip up some english public service announcements/ signs targeted towards elementary school students. my examples are these two lol.

easy enough to understand, right? =D

this one is kinda heavy i know. does anyone remember seeing this PSA on TV mid-90s?


anyway, the kiddies came up with this stuff:

he totally did a /palmface when i told him he was missing the 'N'

takoyaki ^^

cause everyone is afraid of influenza!

this was a class favorite.

also a class favorite.

cause i love crab /heart

an excellent composition, i think ^^

another excellent composition

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

today was the first day i felt cold outside when setting off to work in the morning. the air and sky were so clean and clear, too. it made me want to migrate all my lessons outside. i dont think other teachers would have liked that, though haha.

anyway it's been foliage + moon viewing season ^^ today the moon was great. it's beginning to wax a bit, and it was a nice cheesy color from what i saw.

pretty soon ill snap some more seasonal pictures and put them up ^^

Thursday, October 29, 2009

spicy chicken!
doesnt this remind you of the Wonder Chef? kekeke
red bean pepsi...
/sigh richmond

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

halloween sleepover mini party, then party party coming up this weekend! but before that, im going a nice bobbing for apples and carving pumpkins thing with eng club yay =D

that means ill have more jack o lantern pictures to put up! hopefully my girls come up with something more original than the girls at spicy chicken school hehe. speaking of which, i actually was able to purchase some spicy chicken, finally - after so long, at spicy chicken school. the pix is on my phone so i guess if i remember ill post it as soon as i get home in a few more hours =D

hopefully my exchange girl remembers the pumpkin buying date we have today after school...

im having my kids draw turkeys (you know, that elementary school art project thing where you trace your hand and turn the shape into a turkey) and write the stuff that they're thankful for. the regular course 1-8 kids are so freaking ADD lol. its a good thing that my teacher buddy for that section is good with dealing with those kinds of kids. especially the boy students! it almost feels like my almost all guys tech school in there. we had to threaten them with the whole, "aight guys, it's obvious that everyone wants to FAIL the next FINAL EXAM, cause no one wants to stfu and listen..." we're such terrorists i know...

what else has been going on...

im afraid to finish odin sphere... rather ive been reluctant to move on to the armageddon book cause i dont want the magic to end haha. so ive been playing star ocean instead. im around 30 hours into the game and i just reached the point where i "will be unable to return to ancient Roak" so i feel it might be coming to an end as well? i guess ill find out soon enough haha.

so im pretty set on staying in japan this holiday season for reals now. i have to somehow prevent myself from vegging out indoors with games though >_> i guess i can try to get myself to the gym every day during the break, minus emperors bday, christmas and new years day itself anyway.

lone wolf christmas for me this year lol. at least im not 25 years old yet; no remorse about eating christmas cake alone when youre twentyFOUR! (in japan they say women are like christmas cakes, on the 25th: christmas day, theyre beautiful, fresh and desirable - 25 years of age. on the 26th though theyre nothing but leftovers that no one wants, like a 26 year old woman... japan is harsh to their ladies lol) anyway i havent told any of my teachers my real plans yet... they all think its a given that ill be in taiwan. in any case i dont want their pity invitations to random events >_> not like im too good for em or anything like that - no problem doing my own thing...

maybe i can go to fuyukomi! though im not too eager to brave the crowds alone... actually now that i think about it, two conventions a year seems good enough for me -_-! id go shopping, except i dont think itll be a good idea to buy even more stuff when i should instead be thinking about sending stuff home... ah that's right... maybe i should use the holiday to ship stuff home - i can investigate that sea/ ocean mail service thing.

lol some teacher has a loud ass polyphonic ringtone thing that's playing like, the entire damn song of some variant of pachabell.

most of all, i gotta tell myself to not spend money; save it. dont spend money, save it. dont spend money, save it. dont spend money.... save. it. otherwise i might as well have bought an expnsive plane ticket to vegas to be with the rest of my family haha.

yay 6th period is over~ cleaning time~ which means i should vacate the zone so they can actually sweep under my desk lol.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Xenogears, Reflection After 10 Years

ive been thinking about xenogears a lot due to a link that was posted on facebook about that humans + gears remix CD that's out there... and it really takes me back.

the main reason why i love that game so much is because it's had such a profound impact on my life - how it helped me grow into the person i am today and stuff. i must have written on so many different forums and in chats, or said in so many game-related conversations irl about how inspiring the writing/ story/ message of the game was to me at the time i played it.

so i make it a rule not to write so much on blogs like this about super personal stuff, but for this game, i will just for the sake of me trying to honestly... just tell it how it is.

i was in 8th grade, which was like 13 going on 14 years old. in a group of really close classmates/ guy friends, there was one dude in particular who became my best guy friend. now in all reality, i lived a middle school life characterized by its manga-worthy drama (no details on that, though, sorry! - i actually plan on pitching the story to be made into a real manga someday =D), so fast forward to the very end of 8th grade. my best guy friend and i were going to go to separate high schools, which really sucked. i was going to the mid-level ghetto school in the district and he was going to one of the best ones. as a matter of fact, ALL my best friends from middle school were going to different high schools than me. im sure if you recall your early teenage life, your world pretty much revolved around your friends, right? so to be torn apart from all your closest homies would be nothing less than earth-shattering, right? that's what it kind of was like for me. especially when you're that fragile 14...

anyway, that best guy friend, with much verbal pushing from peanut gallery friends, came to be called a 'boyfriend' and i the 'girlfriend,' which at that time was kinda like 'wha?' because of our history of being 'just friends' for so long. eventually we were just like, 'yeah, sure, i guess... youre into me and im into you... aight, lol.' nothing really changed though in terms of our... what, eating lunch together in a big group/ clique of friends? talking about video games during passing period? chatting about anime on the phone after dinner at home? what else can middle school kids do? haha. we went to the movies... thanks to our parents who drove us there and picked us up afterwards LOL. however, the more i entertained the possibility of us sharing a loveLove kind of relationship together, the more make-believe i jumped into, and before i knew it, we were each others' undisputed darling and sweetheart kekeke.

fast forward through 8th grade graduation. so that summer, the summer before freshman year of high school, i was really beginning to feel my resentment, anger, sorrow and everything stemmed from the ghetto high school i was forced to go to. i spent days arguing with my parents about how much better my life would be if i went to the other high school where all my friends were going to. but they were convinced that if my older brother was having an A-ok time at 'ghetto high school' i should have no problems there, either.

ghetto high school was in fact the best compromise between cost (of travel time + money) and quality (academically it was 3/5 stars in the district), but blinded by my feelings for my friends and first real relationship with a guy, i continued to fight with my parents up until the very end of summer. my dad especially was super pissed at me. he kept trying to convince me that the school didnt really matter as long as it was decent enough, and that i myself would have to be the one to make the most of it. then he tried to make me understand about the benefits of having older brother to have already 'paved the way' for me. plus the $$$ we would save on gas, AND the school was sooooo close to the family business as well as our house. my mom even tried my mentioning that id be able to see some of my elementary school friends again at high school.

/sigh... in the end, i was a good asian kid and listened to my parents. if i really REALLY was hell bent on it, listening to no reason at all, i would have filled out the appropriate paperwork to change my address registered in the school district's office, which would have put me within the boundary (where you were sent to school was based on where you lived, or precisely what address you had on file with the school district) of the high school i wanted to go to. i even had 3 moms who were willing to write their address on my papers so i could go to the 'better' school. anyway despite all the young, teenage angst and raging hormones, i was still able to buckle down and be a good kid.

so what the hell has any of this got to do with xenogears? everything!

that fall season was tough; new blood on campus, not a single friend to chill with. even those i could recognize from elementary school (i even remembered their first and last names, damn it!) didnt even bat an eyelash at me when i said 'hi' to them in the halls, hoping for them to OMG! me lol. the only salvation i had was my brother, which made things worlds better, but still there was the bf i wanted to be with, and the homies i wanted to just be together with - talking about mess, fondly referencing memories from middle school. i would be on the phone a lot at home, that and AIM hahaha - talking to my friends, high school life, etc.

enter xenogears.

it was around this time when bf let me borrow this one game. it was actually a game that he himself had borrowed from a mutual friend who may or may not have known it was now being passed on to me. in any case, without much background knowledge at all about this 'Xenogears,' into the playstation it went. who knew it would help me deal with all the shitty things in my life? lol.

if you're not familiar with the story, characters, music, etc. of Xenogears, it's all good. you will read no spoilers here. i will instead rec. it to you! play this game so you can know its awesomeness on a firsthand basis!

anyway, what i needed was to see someone in a similar situation of hopelessness overcome their hardships and emerge a beautiful, strong, wise, human being. as i was playing this game, i realized that if i could develop my own patience, be understanding and open to new ideas, but at the same time know when to grasp at the things i desire, or have the drive to create on my own, i could look forward to a future that i could be proud of. as long as i believed in myself, i could enjoy being blessed with being believed in, in return - and to ultimately experience the jubilance of a distant yet carefully kept promise.

there are many themes of suffering in Xenogears, but the resolution to all the suffering is so artfully unfolded. maybe it was all too much for my 14 year old self to fully comprehend and appreciate, even lol.

in this way, i didnt kick myself for not being able to see my buddies on a daily basis, but instead i looked forward to the 'my friends can meet your friends' thing at birthday and/ or dinner parties and the like. plus there was of course an undisputed 'cool' about having a mysterious bf at a different school too, haha. not to mention going to each others' proms! oh, and anime clubs + conventions made things even more dynamic! at one point, bf and i were like the spike that held this long and complicated railroad network of friends together (not by virtue of our dazzling life-of-the-party charm or anything lol - it was more like we were the means by which our friends first met and hung out together for the first time).

that bf and i have long since broken up, and others have come and gone. as everyone knows im all the way in japan while current bf is still in LA. i get a lot of, "oh you must be kinda cut that you gotta pull this long distance thing for so long," and in my head my answer to that is always, "dude, i played Xenogears. i am sooo beyond mentally prepared. besides, it's a breeze. i had to go through it all through high school, too. no worries." all that really comes out though is, "no i'm fine with it, lol. he comes to visit quite often actually, so it helps. plus there's all this technology that's out there - skype, email, etc. which eases some of the stress as well."

anyway, i cant praise this game enough for what it's done for me. i just happened to be in the right kind of situation to be taken in so spiritually by this game haha. if a missionary had come to me at the same time instead of this game id totally have been a convert, i swear lol. seriously, i was _that_ in need of help @_@

also, come on - i was 14! and i needed a good female role model >_> Tifa was getting old lol. (backseat gamed ff7 the previous year at 13 which may have been the REAL reason why im such the messed up, otaku-tinged, RPG fangirl-type today!)

oh and american, if youre reading this, go buy it at gamestop or ebay or something and play it NOW! i think you might need it in the state youre in haha. hopefully it can 'save' you like it did me! noImJustMessin. play it just for kicks of course ^^ actually: how about i buy it for you and have it shipped to fourTen? cause i can... and maybe will... lol.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1TB logitec external on sale at eiden for 12,800yen that i swept up today =D

mini gasshuku was intense. got to watch a chuden okuden and kaiden test and it was sooo long @_@ after party was super, though!

and jps are such glottons - im reminded every time i dare turn on the TV lol. those ridiculous reactions make me want to punch my screen in, seriously. i mean come on, shaved ice? you can say its good if you think its good, or even smile or be like 'awwJea' but to do this whole song and dance about it... and on top of that everyone says the same damn thing -_-! it's always some variant of .oishii. or .umai. it's just llike when my kids describe something as 'interesting.' i wanna put their paper right to the shredder (it is next to my desk after all lol). what's worse is that it's bled thoroughly into my own speech pattern because it's easy for my kids to pick up and i know they know the word so i throw it around a lot especially when im asking them questions about something. alright, gotta use funky words around them more often...

hmm... now i feel obligated to speak good of some aspect of jp culture now...

let's see, the cleanliness always pleases the air especially is very good here.

people-watching is cool here. they inspire.


i guess that's about it.

liabelle got to lvl 62 today haha.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

an abnormally long-ish post

-so, lots of stuff ive talked about before except this time with all the boring details-

ive been researching on DSLR cameras a lot recently lol. with the whole not going anywhere thing this winter, i thought, "hey, i can use that would-be plane money to get a DSLR!" not only that, but ive really been in the whole "im going back next summer" mind set, which has had me going through a lot of my belongings here - trying to figure out what im going to leave and what i want to bring back. i have a bunch of stuff mentally grouped into different categories like, "things i definitly want to send back home, and are going to go by sea," "things i can see myself throwing out if i have to," "things i know im going to throw out," "things that are going to go in my actual luggage on the plane back to LAX," "things im going to give away," "things im going to try to sell," "things im going to try to slough off not-so-secretly in the international room at school >_>"and stuff like that.

for no one else's sake but my own, here's a list of just my technology stuffs and electronics alone i've got here (not including kitchen appliances).

*brought, $bought, %inherited, @pink:

2004 Sony Trinitron TV, 26inch %
Epson PX-A740 photo printer/scanner $
Jilbere de Paris 1.5inch ceramic curling iron *
Dell inspiron 1520 *@
Wacom Graphire4 A6 (CTE-440) tablet *
Nintendo DS *@
Sony PSP 2000 (times two -_-!) $@
Apple iPod 4gb mini (you go, little discontinued buddy =D) *@
iPod speakers by ELECOM $
Set Mate 3/4inch ceramic curling iron $@
Helen of Troy professional gold series hair dryer *
Nikon coolpix 2100 (bought way back when in japan spring 2003 - my first time here!) *@
Sony MDR-Q38 headphones $@
SVP T-100 all purpose media device of doom $@
Sony PS2 *
Funai VCR VH-M23 %
National/ Panasonic ES2082 (dont hate, epilate!) $@
Brother ELU52 sewing machine $@
Singer TT600 mending machine (/short story start! the first thing i ever got on ebay - rather, the item that got me to sign up for ebay and paypay in the first place - sophomore year in college lol. i knew 45 bucks total was too good to be true cause it's a crap machine lol. they call it 'mending' machine rather than 'sewing' machine on the box because it, you guessed it, cannot actually 'sew' lol. as kid living in a cramped dorm with not one, but 2 other roomates, i thought itd be a good idea to get a lightweight machine for my college cosplay ambitions... i thought wrong @_@ while it can handle sewing through extremely thin pieces of cloth like business shirts or pillow cases, as soon as you get thicker than 2 sheets of cotton sweatshirt materal, the motor is simply too weak to push the needle through, haha. even using the hand wheel feels like the needle kinda hits a brick wall. on top of that, there's this one prong which holds the top spool of thread that is kinda ghetto and moves, which effs up the tension and in turn effs up the machine's ability to catch the bottom spool, leaving you with no sewing action what-so-ever. from our old apt, i had allen bring the machine to me on his first visit to japan because i thought maybe here i could learn to appreciate it... only to get frustrated at it all over again lol. (american, im sorry for having you drag that thing all the way here just for me to totally not use it lol) /short story end!

i also have an assload of cords, wires, adapters etc. that i inherited along with a whole other plethora of 'gamesoft' [(= game titles) as they call it here, lol] that have been sent to me from home lol.

so yeah, with all that considered, if i get a DSLR camera here then that's just another bulky bastard to bring home lol. im pretty sure the scanner/ printer wont follow me home, and im on the fence about the sewing machine... because it's simply awesome - strong, lots of stitch options, fast and easy threading, push-button (foot pedal optional), all the on-body text is in japanese (it'd be like my mememto of japan) and it's pink!

arg. well, good thing i still have a lot of time to plan this stuff out lol. it's pretty bad though because as much as i tell myself i shouldnt be buying any more material goods i still window shop, and then one thing leads to another...

just yesterday i was on cnn and read an article about the merits of backing up files on your computer more often and i said to myself, "yknow thats some good advice because in my 2 and little bit more years here i totally have not done that. pictures, art, lesson plans, etc. stay right here on my laptop's hard drive. sure i have a bunch of stuff posted on various sites online, and i have handfuls of files from work that i keep on a compact flash mem card, but as for seriously sitting down and saving important or sentimental stuff off of mr computer, i got nothing. SO i went to eiden after school yesterday to check out prices. i saw a bunch of 350gb external hard drives (pack of 3) and 500bg ones (packs of 2) for around 9800yen and 18000yen respectively. i dont really know if those are good prices at all, really. i also saw some flash drives, 4gb, 8gb and 16bg on sale for 1900yen 2900yen and 4900yen respectively. then i cruised on over to the DSLR camera section and picked up a bunch of pamphlets as i drew aggro from the eiden staff lol. didnt have any headphones on me yesterday so they were all too ready to ask if i needed any help... like 5 billion times. i'll be ready tomorrow! >;3

while i think i'm willing to spend a good hunk of cash on a phatty camera and lenses, if i can find myself a decent entry-level one, i'll be happy with that. i dont need to make any money with the pictures i wanna take. i just want something that'll add my cosplay hobby, especially upon coming back home. right now i have my eyes on the Olympus E-620!

damn, if i can only be a good kid and wait until i get back home! i also have to resist the urge to get one based almost entirely on its outer design (the Pentax K-x model comes in 100 different color combinations offered only in japannnnn @_@ but it runs on four AA batteries bleh, and it doesnt have the cool art filters the Olympus E-620 has, nor is it as handsomely pimped out).

expanding on my emotions about cameras, i think it totally sucks how they are more expensive here than in the US - even the japanese brands too! shouldnt it be less expensive? maybe it's like japanese rice lol - 20kg bag for 5000yen! cant you get a 40lbs bag of three ladies jasmine rice for 14 bucks at international supermarket in san pablo? i get 2kg bags of rice and that costs like 1180yen. the cheapest brand of 2kg rice at Valor is 880yen. /sigh

theres this seller on ebay from taiwan who has a number of various Olympus E-620 kits - body 2 lenses, 4gb mem card all hovering around the 1k$ range. free shipping too!

i should stop, lol.

dad was a pro photographer before the restauranting happened. that was like late elementary school and middle school for me. i remember alllllllll the photo stuff we used to have between the studio and our house. theres also this one photo of me that's HUGE. im like in 4th grade or so, with 80s big fluffy hair, zebra skin patterned unitard thing, sitting in a chair that is also reminiscent of zebras, staring off into space but looking oh so happy at the same time. and i was pretty chubby lol. still kinda am, especially in the face lol.

anyway, photography reminds me of all that. i just wish i was older and into cosplay and stuff during the time my dad was a pro and had his own studio and darkroom and stuff so i could take advantage of it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

i finished Lady of the Forest today.

best damn book ive read in a long ass time lol. im gonna some of jennifer roberson's other stuff like... now.

we had a nice chill today - around 14 degrees or so in the morning, it heated up into the 20s during the day and by the time i rode home it went back into the teens maybe? riding around with a light, long-sleeved number was still no problem, though.

this weekend is mini gasshuku in osaka. oh boy, oh boy. im looking forward to the after party lol.

latin aerobics again tonight!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kanadehon Chushingura

it was my first time ever going to a kabuki performance so i didnt really know what to expect. i remember studying a little about the history and such of kabuki in one or several of my classes back in my university days but we never really went much into detail.

one of my teacher buddies managed to snag some student price tickets (1,300yen) for this show a few months ago and insisted that i attend along with some other kiddies so i was like, 'sure why not...' not really knowing what i was getting myself into. the full price for the seats we got was 13,000yen by the way haha. anyway imagine 5 hours of action - and when i say action i mean sitting in a hot, cramped theatre full of older folks listening to gobbledygook lol. not to say it was the most horrible experience ever - it's just that... it would have been better if it was more comfortable that's all. we had three intermissions when we should have had like... five. the air was so freaking bad it's amazing i didnt throw up right there at my seat (i threw up when i got home, though @_@). i managed to meditate and focus on breathing normally and that somehow saved me on the train ride home. i had the worst headache ever, though. it started 10 minutes into the performance. i took an advil (luckily i wore the bag that had medicine in it) during the first intermission which helped a lot, but by the end of the whole show it was back in its entirety. anyway, when i got home i went straight into throwing up, brushed my teeth, threw away the contacts and settled into bed. i made plans to go to a live performance at House of Crazy later that night, but the thought of getting on a train or even walking made me feel sick lol. i dont know what time i was out, but the show ended around 340pm, and im going to say it took like an hour and a half to get back to my apt. i woke up again at 800am this morning and was like ooooooooooooohMyGoodness.... i stood up and i was like, 'man still got headache...' i took some bayer and knew i had to eat something, so i ate an apple... it's 200pm-ish now but i dont feel particularly hungry... and speaking of food i totally bypassed dinner last night lol. im going to a bday party in a few hours so i'll get in my fooding then.

yeah so about the play itself!

i think what i enjoyed most was the set and music + singing.

the stage had this awesome rotating circular thing so when it spun, the next scene was like... totally there. like theres this one part where the dudes are all outside and then the walk inside and the stage does its spinning transformation thing. the stage ninjas also aided in transformations. like there was this part where this one stage ninja had this huge rolled straw mat/ carpet thing and in one big toss he throws it from one side of the stage, and it manages to reach alllll the way to the other side all beautifully and stuff. it was pretty pro. everyone in the audience was like, "oooooooooo!!" /applause lol. it was but you got to hand it to him though because it really was pretty slick.

the music crew made things awesome. it was all male, as were the actors of course, and they were simply magical. lots of vocal + shamisen action. the drums were cool too. oh not to mention the wooden block beater people. imagine that stereotypical "yoHhhHhhhhHH~~~! /clack! /clack! /clackClackClack... thing kabuki has - cause that's totally what i experienced haha. i didnt get a picture of the black, red and green curtain thing because i was way too sick by then to even think of taking pictures lol.

and when i saw the actors who portrayed female characters i couldnt stop thinking of Alto from Macross Frontier:
leave it to anime for warping my perception of japanese culture! lol.

Monday, October 12, 2009

so some neighbors wanted to check out the different kinds of aerobics programs at the gym so i was like aight lol. we did a 915pm-1015pm tonight (which is later than i usually go) led by some super hyper youngish looking middle aged dude. he was pretty intense. imagine if hard gay led an aerobics class for a solid hour lol. he was screaming in the mic in english cause he saw me and my anglo looking girl friends in the back lol. it was a riot. i'll be honest too - he looked pretty gay. not in a bad way, just in a "dude. this boy is GAY," kinda way. bicycle shorts that were hella high up and tight. warrior AF tank top. he had the walk. all his aerobics dance moves had some G-life flare to it too haha. pretty spicy. it was fun though, and a good workout haha. we're going to try the latin aerobics tomorrow to check that out and then the one on wednesday too. get outselves in a good sampler of all the instructors.

if neighbor buddies never asked i never would have gone in. not because i have anything against aerobics or anything. i think it's actually pretty cool. i have fond memories of aerobics in PE during sophomore year of high school. it just sucks to be the only noob in the back fumbling around that all. way to fumble around in togetherness with people you know! and for the past few years all the people ive known who went to the same gym were dudes only interested in weight lifting and the treadmill.

anyway, go aerobics!

in other news, check out these fat onigiri dudes i had for dinner today:

those who know me fairly well can probably guess what's inside. hohoho.

Friday, October 9, 2009

hello, mr. snowboard.

so i was cleaning up typhoon mess just now on my veranda when lo and behold a snowboard crashes down at my feet. it was in its bag and stuff so i guess at first glance years ago i took it for more surfing equipment. as i may have mentioned, i have a full set of golf clubs, a surf board that's taller than my height of 5'2" for sure and a boogie board out there, among basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls and dumbbells. anyway ive only gone snowboarding once so i dont know much about it other than it's close to 150cm in length.

ah~ if only i were at home home again. then i wouldnt have any remorse about getting into snowboarding. but here i have to worry about all the shit i own cause... as ive complained about before - i just have so much crap. last night i sifted through mountains of clothing and managed to weed a bunch out into a pile i call, "not coming back with me." pretty much the stuff i got dirt cheap or from the second hand store here. the 'what the hell was i thinking?' clothes are also in this pile haha.

anyway back to cleaning up. i gotta tape up my bug screen.
some sights of typhoon #18's aftermath

these are all different trees by the way