I made this little video yesterday while Devin and I walked to get some house supplies. Apparently it was a holiday yesterday, so the normally busy and crowded streets were even more empty than usual even during the snow. We sort of got caught in a mini blizzard at one point and had to buy umbrellas because we got soaked. It was lightly snowing again today, but hopefully will warm up soon.
The music in the video is Dr. Andonuts theme from Earthbound. ^_________^ I don’t want to make any promises, but I’ve been thinking of making a bunch of mini videos to some Earthbound soundtrack music. It’s just so good….!
Last day over at our friend’s place, the sun setting on the buildings across from his balcony view. also a sign of no more puzzle fighter. I don’t want to brag (except that I do), but over the past two days I have upped my puzzle fighter skill tremendously. although Devin has years of experience on me, I have kept up a fight of worthiness with my cat-girl, felicia. (ps anyone who cosplays this character needs a dad in their life).
after our first visit to tokyo back in 2008, I always remembered the tiny grocery store in our friend’s neighborhood with the veggie characters on the packages. having cute characters representing your food is no new thing in japan by any means–but I was telling everyone about the grumpy mushroom! maybe he’s just bitter and unsure, like he doesn’t wanna be apart of it all. it cracks me up. a character that isn’t happy or smiling or cute, that was new to me. I love grumpy mushroom <3
after being in japan for about 8 days, we found and moved into an apartment. today we unpacked our bags (we brought too much stuff). (as I am writing this, there is an earthquake happening. it is the second since we have arrived. 2 earthquakes (mild, mild, no worries) have happened, but I only remember 2 earthquakes in my entire life growing up in Seattle. I hear it’s “earthquake season” right now…) ANYWAYS. this apartment is great. the neighborhood is awesome. I’m super happy about everything. I will elaborate on those statements later.
a brief night shot from our window. in the top left corner are the ((IN)famous!) shinjuku towers. I was told we are just a 15 minute bike ride from shinjuku. we are 5 minutes walking from a station which is 2 stops from shinjuku. I will post a map of how awesome this is, so you can understand the weight of the awesome.
I can’t wait to properly explore the neighborhood with my camera this weekend! we have lots of accessories to get for the apartment, some we can easily get from a ¥100 ($1) store. man, those stores are great. so useful. tomorrow it is suppose to snow. I hope it doesn’t. I don’t like being cold. >:|
alt: MISTER makes you smile
today was a glorious trip down awesome memory lane into the land of Akihabara, Tokyo’s otaku district. for friends and family who don’t know what an otaku is, it’s a Japanese nerd. but not just any nerd–the ultimate nerd in very nerdy Japanese nerd things. scary nerd things. also, wonderful nerd things. it has been decided that Akihabara is the nerdiest place on the planet. an unchecked fact that needs no checking.
this picture bores the hell out of me. I’ll tell you why. besides the fact that it’s just an uninteresting photo, it doesn’t tell you a story of what akihabara feels like. yes, it looks like this: giant 7 story buildings covered in anime ads filled with figures, cosplay, electronics, video games, idol merch, etc etc… but it feels like nowhere else. like meeting a celebrity, it’s just so weird in person. I could ramble on and on about Akihabara, but I’m sure other white nerds on their dumb geek blogs might put it differently (but I must note: the arcades THE ARCAAADDEESS!). Like Sakuracon, I can only be around awkward geeks for so long. Once I start getting turned on by someone’s Street Fighter skills, it’s time to go.
PuriKura = Picture Club. the advancement of these photo machines keeps getting more and more intense. expect to see a bajillion of these types of photos comin atcha in this blog. I am/have always been obsessed.
we stepped into a toy shop we visited on our last trip, and I totally forgot how much I love figures. if I had the money, I would be one of those damn figure collectors. they had a new One Piece series… Zoro was wearing a suit. Sanji was carrying a gun. I had to wipe the drool off the box before putting it down. I could wander around Akihabara looking at old and new toy figures in those random glass cases for hours. and I did, last time. nearly a whole day of it.
Also, mister donut. they have a limited time only bear (!!) donut (note to matt and jenni: devin did not eat it ;___; ). turns out it wasn’t maple, but coffee flavored (but it was hard to tell) with a creme filling! the thing about Mister Donut is the light delicate flavor. complete opposite of Krispy Kreme. the strawberry donut tastes like a very fluffy strawberry pocky stick. AMAZING! I look at this picture and want to barf because I ate it so fast. guuhhhh
I wish so very much I could teleport my friends to Tokyo and show them all the dumb things I’m in love with and get excited about in this country. at home I was constantly butting in with unsolicited facts and stories about Japan in any situation, whether the person seemed interested or not. I think the only reason everyone kept letting me talk is because I was so damn excited to be sharing this information with them, (and I would get more excited they didn’t stop me) my eyes would get bigger and my mouth would talk faster into this crazy smile of insanity. “IN JAPAN THEY DO THIS AND THEY HAVE THINGS LIKE THIS AND IT’S LIKE THIS!” is what it mostly sounded like. I could just imagine showing my friends this land I spoke of and show them it’s totally real! I like seeing minds get blown, it feels good.
I want to share Japan with my loves, because it is one of my loves. and I love sharing love (gaaaaaayyy). tomorrow we have our first apartment go see!
next episode: vampire japan.
ps please let me talk about Akihabara with you more.
I think from now on I will try to remember some engrish I encounter that day and make it my subject blog title.
today another road block made things harder by one company refusing to let us rent with them because we are only on tourist visas. not surprising, but it may mean we will have to revert to a guesthouse situation instead. also not a huge deal, maybe the best for our standing right now as we are only for sure going to be here for 3 months anyway.
It was our friend’s day off today, so after he helped us find out more road blocks involving maybe not being able to get a bank account through the post office, the 3 of us wandered around shinjuku until we found a cafe suitable for drawing.
at one point a cute boy (man) was sitting next to us, reading and smoking. I failed at drawing him so I sneakily took a photo like I was 13 in junior high school because I liked his outfit. I also thought his tiny sparkling socks were cute.
I don’t think anyone is particularly impressed with my blonde hair in tokyo. They see foreigners all the time. I sometimes overhear girls passing Devin and I, whispering about how impressed they are with his height.
I have yet to dress to impress and work it around harajuku & shibuya. mostly still fretting where and how we will stay in Japan. I think it’s safe to say that both Devin and I still can’t comprehend completely that we are here on this adventure, but maybe it’s because we know we still have time to figure it all out. who knows what will happen. as long as I get to eat every day and take purikura photos fairly regularly, I’m okay with this uncertainty.
also, here is a new arcade game where you have to get angry and flip a table. I once watched a movie about a guy who would get mad at his wife and flip his dinner table. it was based on a table-flipping manga. culture differences, people. get worldly!
will someone connect my brain to my body?
all last week I had been so busy moving out of my apartment that I didn’t have any room in my conscious to realize I was about to go live in Japan. I’m here now, in the future, in Tokyo, and it’s still barely sinking in that I get to be here for a solid 79 days (or more, depending).
The journey here has been rough. since Devin and I started telling people we were going to try and live in Japan, we were explaining to everyone we were taking the hardest route possible. No English teaching jobs involved (although, I wouldn’t have minded). It has literally been the hardest route since we started packing!
We ended having to buy an extra suitcase at the airport because our bags were too heavy and they wanted us to pay $450 (each!) for our bags to be overweight. but splitting it up to 3 bags cost us only $50 each for only being just a *little* over 50lbs. whuuuut!? I seem to have a golf-ball sized knot in my left shoulder probably from carrying my carry-on bag. I hate baggage. metaphoric and literal, lugging crap around sucks. If I had money I wouldn’t bring anything and just buy it here. however, because I’m poor, I must lug around stuff I already own to another country.
We are staying with our friend and his wife until we can find ourselves an apartment or guesthouse to stay in for our time here.
We’ve been here one full day now. Already involving lots of TV, peach juice, video gaming, an American Idaho burger from mcdonalds, pepper lunch, center-gais, recognizing Japanese celebrities, mixing up trains from shibuya to get a plug adapter from tokyu hands for Devin’s laptop, and remembering everything from 2008 like it was yesterday. I really like the smell of Japan.
This photo is me on Coney Island! dirty weird and run-down, just as I had hoped! Returned last night from a 10 day trip to New York and Virginia. I mostly wore just black, a little gray. I had to shop before I left on the trip to get shorts and tanks, it reached 100 degrees and was stupid humid. gross. that’s all the summer I needed. I came back to Seattle and it’s cloudy and 60 degrees. perfect! even on July 1st! My mom bought me those sandals before I left for my trip. I wore them 8/10 days, they were great. I only owned that hat for 4 days before I got caught in a freak rainstorm in New York and it warped and shrank. I bought a new summer straw hat later in Richmond.
I have 14 rolls of photos to scan!
Rachel and I went to Alder Lake for a day a couple weeks ago. I took 3 cameras with me, I just got some medium format pentacon six pics back. some shots were overexposed. the lake was completely dry. we had a picnic by some guys on a dock who weren’t catching any fish. there was no wind, and one cloud was blocking our view of mt. rainier. the stumps were a cool wasteland effect. everything was blue and green with a gradient into a yellow brown. we saw a giant dam, and a tiny town. it was a good day to get out, even just for a little while.
Matt surprised us with Crystal Skull Vodka! I have been wanting to try it for so long… ever since I saw Dan Aykroyd’s website explaining how epic it is. and then when you’re done… YOU STILL HAVE A CRYSTAL SKULL (!!) TO PUT STUFF IN!!! Ocean Shores trips with the A-team never cease to amaze on any aspect.