Wednesday, April 28, 2010

i noticed today that for the amount of ffxi stuff i talk about in this blog, there are so little (if any...?) screenshots of the game at all here lol. for those of you who do not know, i started playing ffxi a few days after halloween day in 2003; about 2 months into my freshman year at university... and i've been playing ever since! i posted a good handful of screenies on my old xanga during my undergrad days, but i thought id might as well lay down some here too. i'll try not to be too jargony or explain too much about the game itself, and focus more on actual memories, thoughts, feelings, etc.

dead. or "knocked out" rather. the fellow in the back is casting a spell to raise me. there's not much you can do while you're incapacitated besides the /tell command and pan your camera around, so this is the state in which i usually take the most screenshots. i took this one a few days ago on accident. i was wiping my keyboard and accidentally hot-keyed into the step before you actually take the screenshot, so i was like, 'meh might as well, it's been a while' and snapped one.
april 17th, 2010

this is me leveling my dancer job. i was fighting solo and the mob i was up against made me fear for my life for the first time in a long time, so i thought it picture-worthy ^^
december 19th, 2009

i saw this big fella and thought to myself, "i wonder how long id last against this..." i didnt die in a shamefully short amount of time or anything, but as soon as i messed up, it was all over super fast lol.
february 23rd, 2009

it's a firework in my hand, and that's how i look like with no armor on.
august 28th, 2008

Carmine Rose. my second chocobo that i raised from an egg ^^
april 27th, 2008

oh, Jalis. me and him go back real far lol. he sauntered up for a chat, but spent more time on chatting than on looking out for enemies lol.
december 15th, 2007

oh, Arolek. another interesting character. some kind of red thread of fate seems to tie us together. the very first time we met in real life, we just so happened to park next to one another in a sea of cars in an amusement park parking lot lol.
october 6th 2007

this is when i passed the 'final exam' so to speak of my thief job class. (being a thief means you should be able to steal right? so that's what i did to pass lol). this was the day i had my first alcoholic beverage. to be more exact, this was the first time i ever felt like i needed to celebrate something with the use of alcohol. yes, i drank to my character's success in an online game lol.
april 16th, 2006

oh, Azallie. i have nothing but good memories with this dude! on this particular day he was like, "come! /insert lyrics to A Whole New World here >>" and then for the next several hours i experienced quite possibly the best virtual date ive ever had in my life lol. (and yes, you can still hold me to otakon; it will sooo happen!)
march 5th, 2006

this is the day i created my second character (for the sole purpose of using her inventory space). ffxi people affectionately call characters created for this purpose, 'mules.'
july 15th, 2005

ah, Zenair. the character of my then-bf. MMORPGing with a significant other is kind of a fun+funny situation lol. we went to the same university so there was no distance hardship or anything, but some times it was just like, "hmm, we could have dinner and hang out tonight, but there's a so-and-so quest/ event going on, so... uhh... let's just ffxi!" (about the picture and in-game text: on chocobo it's possible to 'follow' another character on auto-pilot, so i would always have Zenair "drive" for me because im pretty sucky with maps and directions lol)
december 17th, 2005

the classic "airship trick" where you can run off the side of the airship. believe me, it was way cooler back in the day lol.
july 24th, 2004

the first ffxi screenshot i've ever taken (or bothered to save). this was our very first time on an airship. Bakudannar is my brother. we still play every (Japan time) Sunday afternoon.
february 17th, 2004

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ok, super abridged post!

mini gasshuku in gotenba was most excellent!

we're going to izu for golden week.

freshman students this year have nothing but good things/ skills/ attitudes to show me.

i cut my hair again and the age guessing got blasted down all the way into late teens lol. i guess bangs really are the secret to the whole age-defying thing haha.

and now for random pictures:

i came upon these flowers while wandering around the local hospital's mini garden (i take the bus home from the hospital, which is next to one of my schools). they stood out so vibrantly against the dark green, brown and gray... anyway, my initial reaction was, "wow! those are some great-looking orchids!" so i walked through the shrubs to take pictures of them. since im not a botanist or anything, i dont know for sure if theyre really orchids or not... there are like hundreds of orchid breeds out there too, so i'll be safe and just call them 'flowers' haha. they were growing only in the shady areas underneath trees, like in a perfect ring around like 5 trees.

(this is without effing with the colors like i did in the above 2 pictures).

here's a particularly ferocious-looking staff room dust bunny that tumbled by my desk. the windows were all open because it was a nice day, but all the dust from under all the desks were blowing about and... well, just look at it haha. there were legions of bunnies like this all over the place!

...and it's still cold and rainy here lol. (it was like 8 degrees in gotenba brr!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

on the left is the oreo-inspired cookie i found at the 100yen store some weeks ago. as you can see, the colors and layout of the packaging, as well as the actual cookie composition and shape are totally mined from the real joe nabisco snack on the right.

aha! here we have some sub-packaging deviation!

the cream-o is a few millimeters smaller than the oreo in diameter, and the brand name in the center reads "jack'n jill."

in terms of taste, the cream-o is noticeably less sweet (both the cookie part and the white stuff). the cookie part is a lot like a British digestive biscuit, having this coarse grit to it. the cream-o white stuff has very nearly the same consistency as the oreo white stuff (i would say oreo's is slightly more creamy though), and is a tad yellower in color. oreo's white stuff is like this super bleached white! also, the oreo definitely absorbs milk faster than the cream-o...

lol totally ate like 5 cookies each just now. but! it's only around 830pm now, so i can justify it as a legit dessert!

and now for something completely different, i got a new lunch box set unit thing!

the design looked pretty spiffy, and i'm a big sucker for cool stuff that comes in some hue of pink so... yeah, it called to me and i answered.

you can take the 2nd and 3rd level out and substitute conbini-sized onigiris, a load of mikans, bananas in the 69 position or what have you. today my configuration was: 1st level, shrimp shumai, and level 2 and 3 were fitted with 2 onigiris. oh, and i had room to stuff a stick of string cheese beside the 2 onigiris, too~

here's what it's like all turtled up, masquerading as a piece of computer hardware or external HD or something. anyway, it'll be like, armor for sandwiches and stuff.


i was reflecting (again) about random stuff related to japan... actually, it was quite honestly closer to a kind of meditative state i was in... but in any case i think i'm in a better and/or more positive mental state now than i was earlier this season.

so it's all gravy for now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

getting close! but getting close to what, exactly?

last weekend i got WAR to lvl 74 and attained the Medal of Altana (highest current campaign decoration).

i was at a bar last night talking to random folks about life and it dawned on me that i spent all of middle school, high school and university totally engrossed in japanese culture stuffs... all the while hoping that i would be able to somehow come to japan to live and/ or work.

now that my 3 year JET experience is coming to an end (i'll go home this august), i'm left with the feeling of, "wow. holy crap, what do i do now?"

this is actually the first time this feeling has really taken over me. before, like in the late summer when i knew the countdown for my last year had started (it was a matter of choice by the way. had i wished it, i could have stayed for a 4th year), i didnt really think much about moving on with life or living back in america again because well, i still had a whole year left of adventuring to do here. now i have like... a little more than one season of adventuring left haha.

i guess i should start eating as much conbini onigiri as i can from now on or something.

one freshman boy guessed that i was 30 years old. what the heck? do i look like i'm 30 now? man, that's why being 25 kind of sucks. at least when you're 20-24 it's cool because no matter how old the kids guess you are, you always have the confidence of truth in your actual young age. but it's like when you're 25-29 and the kids are like, "uhhh... 30?" it hurts! because you think in your head, "damn... do they actually think i look 31-34 and are really trying to round down to 30 to make me feel better?" and then when you're like, "no i'm actually 25" they're like, "aw boo, so close!" and then i cry on the inside lol.

in all honesty though, my super youthful-looking days are nearly over. now if i dont conceal my dark under-eye circles it's like, "ah, good morni--holy crap! you look so... so tired today! did you sleep well last night?!" and it's like, "no i feel wonderful actually thanks... this is just how my face looks like normally..."

[the "oh snap, you look so tired!" comment is actually one of my biggest pet peeves EVER. now i'm a pretty mellow person and it takes a heck of a lot of effort to yield an angry emotional response from me, but this comment will do it. i know japanese culture is all about revering the hard-working citizen and all, but for me, i dont need the lip service. please. never say this to me no matter how tired i may look.]

which reminds me of a funny encounter i had with a teacher early into my first year here in japan! (think i might have written about this before in a post a long time ago, but here it is again cause why not huh)
me: "good morning!~"
older lady teacher: "mornin~ ... !!! ... hey pham sensei, yknow what... we staff members are allowed to wear uh, makeup and uh, color and style our hair and uh, things like that... so... it's ok you know! go ahead and uh, ... yeah! so it's perfectly fine ok? maybe a little something here *hand motion to eye area* like the other lady teachers! uh anyway, talk to you later!"
me: "..."

and the day after was like the first day i started regularly using concealer and mineral foundation lol.


and it's final; i cant NOT be miqote lol.

Monday, April 5, 2010


and pictures~

Saturday, April 3, 2010

kyoto was such good times! really glad i got the chance to come out and see pip + jakes even if it was only for a day =3

then, yesterday was JET hanami pt in tsuruma koen up in nagoya, and ohhh boyyy was it crowded (you can't really tell from the pictures, though). all the more joyous!

then it got too dark, and i was a bit too drunk to take more pictures lol.

i'll upload all the pictures i took and post the link here a bit later.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

day trip to kyoto tomorrow!


in the rain!


oh and i bought malcom gladwell's 'what the dog saw' at seibunkan today! i've read 'the tipping point' 'blink' and 'outliers' so i'm looking forward to another helping of weird yet thought-provoking ideas he might have to talk about in this book.