Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chanel Cristalle and L'Eau d'Issey

I tried Cristalle twice and can officially say that I don't really care for it. For some reason it reminds me of my old Barbie dolls. It smells familiar, as in a scent I remember identifying as perfume but not particularly liking. *shrugs*

I do like L'Eau d'Issey though. It's light and sweet; maybe a little too sweet for my taste. But it's a pretty, fresh scent. I don't think it suits me particularly well, but I like the fragrance.

I don't know if I dare try out Beyond Paradise once more.

As it stands, I like Anna Sui Secret Wish, Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey, and The Body Shop Indian Gardenia, but nothing particularly fits me. I love Escentuals of Portland's Grapefruit essential oil, but I need a perfume oil scented with it! Mujirushi has this yummy grapefruit and orange refreshing water, but it only lasts for an instant. They need to make a perfume out of it.

Some people might be interested to know that I plan to visit the Shiseido shop in Ginza this Saturday. I wonder if we'll be able to smell the famous White Rose, or if we will be stymied by zealous guardians. Frankly, I think we'll be fended off. I also wonder if I'll be able to appreciate its reputed beauty. Perhaps I ought to go sniff Yves Saint Laurent Paris before I set off for Ginza. Anyway, it ought to be interesting.

Update: I tried on Beyond Paradise, and I must have confused it with something else. It's very nice and feels rather elegant, except for the fact that it seems very familar and normal. And I sniffed Indian Gardenia again and was smitten once more. It's delicious in this cold weather.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

budget, organizing

Ooh, I am over budget this month. Oh well, it cannot be helped. It's a reaction to being free(er) from Japanese studying. It's so liberating to not feel obligated to study every day after work. I really ought to be studying all the time, but it's nice not to have immediate pressure to do so. This week I've been doing a bit of vocabulary studying.

I just picked up an issue of a magazine called Real Simple, the Japanese edition. It's apparently under the Time Magazine umbrella. I find the name a little odd and patronizing. Simple would have worked better, but perhaps that is too generic.

Some of the ideas for organization are pretty interesting. One lady recommended not buying any new storage and just getting rid of stuff you already have. Storage apparently encourages new purchases, as it provides more space for it all. For stuff that you can't throw away because it might come in handy someday, I like the idea of putting it away into boxes. If you don't use the stuff for a year, dispose of the box unopened. I think it'd be good to label the contents of the boxes so that I can find everything though.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

my hair looks horrible!

I give up. It's simply impossible to communicate with hair stylists. Even having a picture doesn't help. I should just let them do whatever they want.

Maybe my hair stylist is just bad at cutting hair. I'll have to try some other places.

If I don't like it in a week, I'm getting my hair cut again.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

waaant it all

The Complete Calvin & Hobbes.

Because Bill Watterson is a genius. The only problem is, I don't really have any place to put it. :|

I think I have to start a Someday-I-WILL-Buy list:
* The Complete Calvin & Hobbes
* All DVDs of Hayao Miyazaki's work
* Slam Dunk books in English (or maybe I'll buy it now)
* Slam Dunk The Perfect Collection (Japanese comic books)
* All the Slam Dunk tv anime and movie DVDs

Calvin Klein Eternity Summer

After my Japanese test on Sunday, I got a haircut (after 4 1/2 months!) and did a little shopping. I stopped by a little perfume store and inquired after gardenia fragrances. Eternity Summer smelled lovely and fresh and summery out of the bottle so I got a little 1 cc sample to try out, and added a little sample of the store's original green tea perfume.

Unfortunately, Eternity Summer smelled a little musty and boring on my skin, so I'll be giving the sample away. The green tea scent was a little closer to expectations. It actually smelled like English tea (of some sort) in the bottle, but on my skin turned into green tea! I felt like green tea ice cream, so I don't think I'll be using this much.

I still have a couple more samples to try out; L'eau d'Issey and Chanel Cristalle. After that, I think I should just visit department stores and try stuff there first. These samples are adding up! But dept. store fragrance areas are a little intimidating when visiting by oneself. I'll have to recruit some friends.

I didn't particularly like Estee Lauder's Beyond Paradise either. It was okay on me.

I don't know if I mentioned it but Chanel Chance and Givenchy Love in Paris are nice but not so exciting to me.

So far, I still like The Body Shop's Indian Gardenia the best, but I'd like to find a more light-hearted fragrance.

Friday, December 02, 2005

sarcasm is healthy

And I enjoy reading Eyeshadow Government.

Current favorite quote:
They also make some Strawberry thing but I don't fuck around with that kind of shit.

Found through The Beauty Addict.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

how do you convince someone to accept a gift?

I occasionally see items that I think my mother would enjoy. However, my mother doesn't like it when I spend money on stuff for her. It's a knee-jerk reaction that seems to prevent any enjoyment of said gifts. I was hoping that we could get past this behavior, but I don't think it is possible.

For example, she adores Chanel No. 5. She has been hoarding a bottle of it for decades now. I think I was 8 the last time she actually wore it. For all she knows, the perfume has actually gone bad. I told her that she should wear it just for fun, since she can always buy another bottle if she uses it up. And life is short, why not enjoy it? However, I don't think she can get past that need to hoard the things that she likes.

It's such a pity, because there are so many fun perfumes that I think she'd like to try, if she were open to trying them. But at this point, a present just means more clutter for her, so it's probably better for her peace of mind if I don't give her presents.

So, I will just have to give up.

must. give. in. gracefully... as if.

Still, from this lesson I have distilled a new rule of life. If I'm not going to use it, I don't need it. (Yes, I don't need those adorable and fluffy Totoro catbus stuffed animals, or those collectible Totoro key chains. Really, I don't. Even though I waaant them. And Studio Ghibli isn't evil like the Disney Company...)

I need to go frame my SlamDunk Io card. If it's art it's useful. Haha.

Canadian Online DVD shop?

Is there an alternative to Amazon? I'm looking for a specific dvd, but Amazon (and HMV) doesn't directly have a copy. And all the online stores I know are American ones, and tend to be annoying about shipping to Canada. I tried and some other sites, but they don't carry the title either. How annoying.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ormonde Jayne sample program

*rubs hands together* I'm thinking of ordering a set of perfume samples for my friend. Unfortunately, I don't think she's terribly interested in perfumes; she sticks to her adored perfume Yves Sant Laurent In Love Again. I think she'd probably enjoy cosmetic sets more.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

minimalism step 1: organization

I'm getting stressed over Japanese studying (6 days till my test) and for some reason reading about makeup and fashion is giving me a slightly negative outlook, so I started looking for some positive things to do. has a nice series of articles. I started with "How to get organized."

I'm going to have trouble with this though:
Tape cassettes, laser disc players, old computers and cell phones are just taking up space.

I can't throw away my tape cassettes! I should turn them into mp3s.

non-essential spending

I'm trying to settle upon a reasonable monthly budget for frivolous things. I don't know what's reasonable though. It probably doesn't matter. I think I'll be spending what I feel like.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

online shopping: free shipping to japan

Well, I don't know if I'll try it out, but I was shocked that actually offers free shipping internationally. I had no idea that existed! I'd love to take advantage of it, but if I want to return something, I would have to pay for shipping. Still, Japanese postal fees are quite reasonable.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

who is carrie bradshaw?

I've been running across references on various blogs and wondering who this person was. And then thinking, "Yay, I'm not brainwashed by U.S. pop culture! There are celebrities that I don't know."

And then it occurred to me that she's probably the character on Sex and The City. Darnit, I do know who she is. It's my roomie's fault. Oh well. I guess I am brainwashed.

Hey, at least I know she's fictional! A guy in my Japanese class thought that Bridget Jones's Diary was an autobiography. bwahaha.

the coolest url ever

Is I'm not sure why it appeals to me so much, but it probably has something to do with having the attitude to call yourself something like that and not look like a total poser. I'd go into this further but I would probably embarrass myself. Haha.

Add the "Peppermint Patty" title and it's perfection. Even though I totally identified with Marcy.


Some musicians that I like:
OLIVIA (japanese)
Tina (japanese)
東京事変 (japanese)
UA (english and japanese)
伊藤油奈 (english and japanese)
Jamelia (english)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Johnnys Jr.

My punctuation could be unofficial, but Johnnys Jr. is a part of modern-day Japanese pop culture. The largest talent agency for boy bands, they churn the groups out like you wouldn't believe. They must also be infamous for their relentless pursuit of the most shockingly ugly costumes being created today. I was looking for photographic evidence but could only find this one on short notice. They all dress like this. All of them.

In the meantime, I will list the most visible examples of this ongoing crime against good taste:

Kinki Kids: you might think that the name of this duo is itself a crime, but there is actually a region in Japan called 近畿(きんき), of which Kinki is a perfectly valid romanization. No, their crime lies in their clothing, their hair, and their dancing (in that order). To get an idea of the hair, you can look here. Imagine the black hair with medium curls and one side of the hair shaved. He looks like a grandmother now.

SMAP: I really don't understand why this group of 5 guys continues to sing, but whatever. I don't listen to them. What really disturbs me is the fact that 5 guys in their mid to late 20s actually chooses to wear the atrocious costumes (for musical performances) that they do. Since SMAP is pretty much the most popular entertainment group in Japan (and has been for many years now), it is inconceivable that they cannot pick their own clothing, so I can only conclude that they cannot tell that it's ugly.

W-inds: The "W" in the name of this trio may be lowercase, but I don't care enough to check. As usual, their clothing and their dancing are unacceptable.

Tackey and Tsubasa: Another unfortunate name. Same issues. I've never heard them sing, but the photos speak for themselves. (Search for "human mirrorballs")

Kansai Johnny 8: As usual, bad clothing, bad dancing, and mediocre singing.

I'm sure there are many more offenders, but I can't keep track of them all.

Clearly it's all Johnny's fault.

ps. I have nothing against the above groups or their fans. As entertainers, they're pretty good. I just find the clothing unspeakable.

Monday, November 21, 2005

superficiality vs. label whore

I'm contemplating the paradox of being superficial but not caring about product brands, versus being a mindless drone when it comes to product brands but not caring about outward appearance.

One does not necessitate nor imply the other. Fascinating.

By the way, I need a more delicate synonym for "label whore."

Indian Gardenia, Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, Snowcake

I stopped by The Body Shop on my way home last night and spritzed on a bit of Indian Gardenia. It's quite a pretty perfume. It lasted at least a couple hours. I don't think I'll buy it though. It's nice but not addicting. I'm waiting for something addicting.

Today I tried on my sample of Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune. After four hours, it smells vaguely...chemical. Actually, I can't think of what it reminds me of. It's not quite chemical; if I smell it properly there's a nice mixture of scents, but the overall effect is not quite pleasing.

Fun anyway. I'll be trying a different sample tomorrow.

I've been using LUSH's Snowcake soap for a couple days now. I love the scent of almonds. Bathing is almost luxurious now. It's nice for the drier winter weather too.

a bit on minimalism

It sounds great!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Anna Sui's Secret Wish; evangelism

It's my second day of testing Secret Wish eau de toilette, and after a couple hours, it smells nice but unexciting. Very interesting. I wonder if any perfume will hold my attention for more than a couple hours?

"Hopefully not, heh," says my wallet.

The inner evangelist; many people, including me, seem to like evangelizing about various products that they feel strongly about. It's a curious thing. We honestly believe that these things are great, and we want everyone to discover how great they are too. It's like we're all becoming infomercials. I'd better curb this tendency. It comes out the strongest when I talk to my parents.

I bought a cake of Snowcake soap from LUSH in Shimokitazawa. It smells lovely, but I haven't tried it yet.

I need to find some people who blog about minimalism.

Finishing Walden Pond would be a good start towards simplifyng my life. I think I got about half way through that book. Quite pithy and interesting but somehow a little too dense to finish easily. Very different from reading Harry Potter books which are like scarfing Cheetos. Tasty but not fulfilling.

snarky writing and consumerism

Snarky writing about fashion is the best!

Regarding a jewelry site, Spirit Fingers writes:
Some of the designs are bordering on gaudy but there's a heap of pretty, sparkly beaded goodness that had me hunched over the keyboard whispering "My preciousss...we wantsss it!".
I love Lord of the Rings' references.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

wardrobe cleanup!

After my Japanese test, I will reward myself by get rid of all the clothes that I don't like to wear. I'll donate them.

Then I will have room for new stuff! Japanese apartments put a nice physical limit on my belongings. I really appreciate that.

nonsensical things

Have to wonder why I feel inclined to write a weblog about frivolous things. Not quite putting my best foot forward, am I?


inexpensive makeup

I haven't posted lately. I guess I've been more absorbed with reading other people's blogs.

The nice thing about inexpensive makeup is that when you accidentally buy the wrong thing, it doesn't matter. I got gold eyeliner instead of
brown, but at 380 yen, it doesn't bother me. I tried the gold on; it actually makes a nice subtle sparkle. A little too glittery for work though. I'll try layering on some various color shadows.

I want to throw away that greasy black eyeliner I got from Three Minutes Happiness. It goes on transparently, so really isn't much use. I guess the product lives up to the store's name! Most things in the store are 100 yen.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

perfume is on its way

I'm excited. My order of five perfume samples has been shipped! It should arrive in a couple days. I'm hoping the package will fit in my mail box.

I ordered:
(Anna Sui) Secret Wish Eau de Toilette
(Issey Miyake) L'eau d'Issey (for women)
(Estee Lauder) Beyond Paradise (for women)
(Guerlain) Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune Eau de Toilette
(Chanel) Cristalle

The only one I've smelled before is Secret Wish. For all the others, online reviews intrigued me so I thought I'd try them out. Approximately $2 for a 1 ml sample and $1.40 for shipping from kousui shop (perfume shop). I wonder if my mom will like any of them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

fasio lipstick RD 481, and vicious cycles

Fasio is a Japanese brand with BoA as the image model. Since I'm not a big fan of BoA's music, I have avoided the cosmetics until now.

Today, I bought the Shine Star Rouge lipstick RD 481, which is a pinkish red, semi-sheer lipstick. It's actually a little darker than is probably suitable for daily use, but would be fun for night time. Or I could use less lipstick during the day. It suits me fairly well. At 672 yen, it's fun to sample (smaller than normal size so cheaper). I like the consistency and the scent is light and discreet.

Now I want to try a different color. Ugh! No good!

I have got to stop reading all these blogs. The more I read, the more products I want to try. Yesterday I investigated Lush's body creams, searching for the Japanese equivalent of "Smitten." There is a product called "肌の愛情" which roughly translates as "affection for the skin." It contains almond, so I gave it a sniff. A faint almond scent; pleasant but not enough to make me want to buy it. At 1800 yen, it's a little expensive considering I have absolutely no need for body moisturizer. I'll wait for the popular "Snowcake" soap to appear (Nov. 29?) and give that a try. Soap is a little more useful, and much cheaper.

I wonder if Lush has gone public. They have a killer business model. I need to find a cosmetics index fund.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

wed. status

I tried the Pantene Smooth and Sleek straightening mousse that I picked up in CA. It works pretty nicely. I should have given up on that Mods styling cream more quickly. It's useless on my hair, but I like to use up whatever I have. I need to get a proper brush for blowdrying my hair straight.

Lip shimmer as usual. A little powder too. I put on a little mascara, but it doesn't seem to make up for the fact that I need more sleep. Imagine that. Tried the Chanel Chance that my friend lent me. It's quite a strong fragrance, but doesn't seem very exciting to me.

Wearing my new silver ring. Rings are nice when bracelets don't go with my clothing.

Have spent two days shopping around for samples of In Love Again (Yves Saint Laurent) and Secret Wish (Anna Sui). No single store carries both, of course. I was on the verge of ordering In Love Again, but the site registration requires credit card information, which annoys me in principle. So here I am, stymied again. Maybe I'll buy the full size perfume from Rakuten (which has a slightly less annoying registration process). If I don't like the perfume, I can always give it to my friend.

a couple hours later:
I solved my dilemma by compromising. Now the only question is, when to order? I'd like to order now, but I should be studying. Oh well, ended up ordering a bunch of samples, including Secret Wish! Excited.

Monday, October 24, 2005

jamelia at hmv japan

I guess it makes sense. British (I think) music store carries British artist! Woohoo! Cheaper than the U.S. import price, naturally. Yay, I'm going to buy Jamelia's Thank You album (2004 Japanese release). Kinda curious about her live DVD, but eh. I don't think I need to watch her perform, even though I'm sure she's good.

I never realized that there are HMV stores in Shinjuku alone. They're hidden in the MyCity and Takashimaya department stores. I only knew about the huge HMV in Shibuya. Maybe I'll check them out today.

weekly grooming

Laf. Grooming has the nuance of pet care, doesn't it?

Anyway, after my recent (er long term?) apathy, I finally trimmed my eyebrows a bit, and tried out a nose strip. Nose strips are really fun when they work. Probably really gross for the observer, but really fun for me. I also applied Biotherm D-stress lotion, which smells lovely. A nice, clean, relaxing scent. I looked online but it doesn't appear to be carried anymore! Ironic. I could have the name wrong. I'll have to check. The bottle looks like the packaging for Biotherm Biopur Melting Moisturizing Marifying Fluid for C/O but it's hard to say.

Trying out Givenchy Only perfume today. It hasn't made much of an impression on me. Wearing zero hair products, and Shu Uemura Lip Shimmer in Strawberry Compote (discovered via Berta). It's lasted me two years now. I can't wait to use it up and start playing with the Shiseido clear lip gloss I bought. Suckered in by the limited edition lip gloss. It's wonderfully light and glossy though.

Ooh, Shiseido Garden C has a free eyebrow consultation available for visitors until the end of this month. I will have to take my mom there. Perfect timing, as she was curious about getting her eyebrows done. Should be fun!

2005-10-26 note:
The Biotherm lotion that I like is actually Biotherm D-Stress Nuit, apparently no longer part of their product line. Oh, the irony.

tofu dinner

I had a very elegant Kyoto kaiseki dinner of various types of tofu and seafood. It was very nice, but not quite delicious enough for the approximate $35 price. My friend and I went to the kaiseki restaurant on the 14th floor of Takashimaya(高島屋) in Shinjuku (新宿). The staff were very pleasant and they take credit cards (important for my friend). The view from the 14th floor is very nice too. The moon was low on the horizon and a pretty yellow that evening.

Speaking of nice views, the 20th floor lobby of the Hotel Century Southern Tower has a very nice view of the city. Quite lovely. There's a lively bar there which looks like a pleasant place to spend an evening. The hotel looks modern and stylish. It's a bit surreal to see all these Americans in the hotel lobby though. I bet lots of techies stay at the hotel because it's in the same building as one of the Microsoft offices. Ironically, my friend from Apple was staying there. It's certainly in a convenient location. Just 3 minutes from Shinjuku station.

I bought some rice crackers as a little souvenir for my friend, and a set of nicely wrapped shrimp crackers for my parents. Although I believe my parents are on a low sodium diet. Maybe I'll have to give the crackers to someone else. I adore shrimp crackers.


I find it odd that I love reading makeup reviews and such, but am still too lazy to wear makeup on a daily basis. I wear sunblock and that's about it.

I supposed that I really know how to kill time.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

ehow really has everything!

They even have articles on "How to Cancel a Date at the Last Minute" and "How to Get Rid of a Housemate You Don't Like."

Valuable knowledge!

Actually, the housemate one is merely tips from eHow users.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I am feeling pretty scruffy today. When I am sleep deprived, I have zero interest in my appearance.

I really need to start ironing my clothes or get clothes that don't need ironing.

Want new clothes. Want to get rid of the clothes I don't wear. But just spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes, so shopping embargo for at least a month. In the meantime I can get rid of the clothes I don't wear.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

too much stuff

I spent all of Sunday (yay for 3 day weekends) cleaning my room. Obviously, I have too much stuff if it takes that long to clean my room. Well, I reorganized and made my room neater. I also filed a bunch of receipts that have been sitting around for half a year in various paper bags.

I need to reorganize my closet so that my hamper can fit inside it once again.

I have a pair of sneakers and a pair of stack-heeled shoes that I need to give away. The sneakers are too big for me, and the heeled shoes are too tall for my knees. Yesterday I bought a cute pair of black shoes with a nice moderate heel. Very happy about them, but the true test of whether they are comfortable will be when I wear them for a day. They were rather expensive too. Sigh, shoes in big sizes are hard to find in Japan. I won't need any other shoes for a long time if this new pair proves to be comfortable though!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

today's character face

ヾ(´ー` )ノ

another one:



p( `o´ )q オッス!

Friday, September 30, 2005

from perfume to makeup

While search for the perfect grapefruit perfume, I ran across this mini-essay on eyeshadow. It looks terribly interesting. I guess strong opinions are pretty interesting. Anyway, many more entries to look forward to reading.

Perfumebay has a nice selection of sampler vials available to order. And, they have YSL's In Love Again (the relaunch)! So I ordered a bunch. One for my mom, one for me, and a couple presents. I also got some Chanel for my mother. I know she already has Chanel, but I don't know how well the bottles have kept so little samplers wouldn't hurt at all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

wanna go shoooooooooooooopping

It's gotten too cold for my light jackets, which means that I need a warmer one, of course!

And, I want some comfy birkenstock-like shoes. Wearable with or without socks! Brilliant.

Oh, and I want this purse. Of course, it's a present with a purchase of a pair of their shoes, and they don't carry my size. :P

Monday, September 26, 2005

perfume: anna sui's secret wish part 2

As my recent obsession lingers, I searched for Secret Wish online. Apparently it does come in a mini size for the reasonable cost of $12. Shall I risk the online order with a random company? I'll debate it.

While searching, I ran across a blog entry in Japanese where an office lady (OL) was mentioning that her older colleague (a friend) suggested that she wear a slightly more fruity perfume at work. I found this amusing for several reasons.
1) Her colleague is concerned about work appropriate perfumes (which makes sense, but indicates more sophisticated thinking than mine :D).
2) Her colleague found it important enough to mention to this blogger. It's probably important to note that the 2 apparently get along well.

I think I put on too much perfume today. The sillage is a bit strong! I tried washing it off but it hasn't worked. I hope my coworkers aren't too bothered.


It just occurred to me that perfume is not a terribly good gift. Since the fragrance of a perfume depends on how it reacts with a person's skin, one has to wear it for a while in order to decide whether onelikes it.

So, if you'd like to give someone perfume that they will wear, it will have to be something that they've tried before.

I can still give people miniature sets, just for fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

brands and luca turin

Luca Turin's site is a lovely read. I found it through through katiedid's Scentzilla site.

I love words like "sillage." I still don't quite know what it means (it's something about wearing perfume) but it sounds absolutely marvelous. Refined like smooth powder. I'll look it up someday soon.

Today I ran across Turin's article on brands.

the greatest unenlightened scam, the one they teach in business schools, is the one where a) you screw the customer, b) they still trust you and c) they come back for more. Example: Louis Vuitton luggage. Rubbish quality (the Thai fakes are better than the real thing), dubious taste (to reverse Marx, what started as a '30s farce, "let's put the lining on the outside", is now a tragedy), outrageous price. And yet they sell. Why ?

sense takes longer to acquire than cash

Saturday, September 24, 2005

perfume: anna sui's secret wish

So, I'm not a fan of Anna Sui's branding or clothing. It has such a baroque, overly feminine feel to it. But, spurred on by Chandler Burr's ravings about her "delightfully weird" frangrances, I tried on Secret Wish at the duty free shop in Okinawa's Naha Airport.

I was really surprised. It's a lovely perfume! Perfectly normal but very interesting. No wacky anise scent or anything like that. I hate licorice, so for me anise is a very undesired smell. There's a really fun hint of what smelled like vanilla in the perfume, so I kept sniffing my wrist because the perfume smelled so nice. Of course, Burr was speaking of Sui's perfumes in general, so Secret Wish might be a normal concoction compared to her other perfumes. It's the only one I've tried.

I think I could really get into buying perfumes. Too bad that a lot of them are so terribly expensive. At $47 a bottle, I won't be buying Secret Wish. But if I find small sample sizes, I would definitely pick it up.

Didn't wear perfume today.

Friday, September 23, 2005


I played racquetball for the first time today. It's quite fun, but there are some differences between tennis which take some getting used to.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

mystery of life

Why do I like Sarah Michelle Gellar better than Reese Witherspoon? It must be because she's cuter. And I hate that movie "Legally Blond".

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

reasons it's bad to know japanese

I found all this SlamDunk stuff that I can buy at bookstores here. Doh!

フットワーク出版 (2001-11-22出版)
This looks like a Japanese issue of Rolling Stone.

作者:井上雄彦, 菅良幸
定価:¥ 780

定価:¥ 1,050

スラムダンク研究会 著 文化創作出版 版
1,020円(税込) 1993年11月 発行 ISBN4-89387-073-4

スラムダンク延長戦桜木花道の秘密 2
スラムダンク研究会 著 文化創作出版 版
1,020円(税込) 1994年07月 発行 ISBN4-89387-094-7

スラムダンク桜木花道 3 私たちの秘密
文化創作出版 版
1,020円(税込) 1995年10月 発行 ISBN4-89387-119-6

神奈川スラムダンク調査団アルファ遊撃隊 著 データ・ハウス 版
1,020円(税込) 1995年03月 発行 ISBN4-88718-282-1

定価:¥ 1,050
I might not want this, although it looks like a comic book. Issued recently.

スラムダンクの秘密 (2)
定価:¥ 1,050

スラムダンクの秘密 3
神奈川スラムダンク調査団 著 データ・ハウス 版
1,020円(税込) 1994年09月 発行 ISBN4-88718-262-7

紀伊国屋(kinokuniya) actually has a fair number of the above books in stock. Junkudo also has some of them. I'll have to print this list out and go look this weekend. I just ordered Howl's Moving Castle and Ghibli Shorts yesterday. Ah, materialism.

猫の恩返し / ギブリーズ episode2
出演: 池脇千鶴, 袴田吉彦, その他
監督: 森田宏幸
ASIN: B00008WI78

ギブリーズ episode1 apparently was only released with a special edition of もののけ姫。

Ooh, and I found more Here is Greenwood card goods (out of print since 1989! That's when Castle Cagliostro was made, haha).
カ-ドギャラリ- ここはグリ-ンウッド
那州雪絵 2
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
1989年03月 発行 価格確認中
ISBN 4-592-72020-2 C-CODE 0179 

For the above card gallery (collection?) I find it amusing that Kinokuniya catalogued Nasu's last name as 「那須」when it's actually 「那州」.

The first card gallery (which Kinokuniya catalogued correctly):
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
500円(税込) 1988年02月 発行 ISBN4-592-72013-X

I want these, but as they've been out of print for a while, it's unlikely I'll get them.

ここはグリ-ン・ウッド 1 愛蔵版
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
1,220円(税込) 1996年08月 発行 ISBN4-592-13836-8

ここはグリーン・ウッド 2 愛蔵版
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
1,220円(税込) 1996年07月 発行 ISBN4-592-13837-6

ここはグリ-ン・ウッド 3 愛蔵版
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
1,220円(税込) 1996年09月 発行 ISBN4-592-13838-4

ここはグリ-ン・ウッド 4 愛蔵版
那州 雪絵 著 白泉社 版
1,220円(税込) 1996年09月 発行 ISBN4-592-13839-2


I don't have time to read this!!! but I want to read this essay on poverty being relative.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

shopping urge is back

After being happy about not buying any new clothes for ... actually I can't remember the last time I bought new clothes. Perhaps last winter? So half a year at least! Oh , I did buy new clothes in July. Nevermind. I have the urge to shop again, after 2 months. I bought a beach patterned camisole for $4. I love Uniqlo sales. That wasn't enough so I'm keeping an eye out for midweight jackets and nice tops that don't have to be ironed. Of course, I don't really need anything; I just find my current wardrobe terribly boring.


I love the clear sunlight of bright mornings. It gives me hope that everything will turn out well. The day seems more pure.

Monday, September 05, 2005


From a recent Miss Manners column:

There is no proper way to be tacky. Miss Manners hopes this doesn't come as too much of a shock to you.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Today I begin my quest to get 1200 mg of calcium a day. 600 mg for breakfast (milk and drinkable yogurt). Apparently you can only absorb 600 mg every six hours. So I probably should split up the intake between breakfast and lunch for better absorption.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

a funny review from Kirkus Reviews

While browsing Chandler Burr's website (thanks katiedid!), I found this excerpt from a Nov 15, 2002 review by Kirkus Reviews (review only available to subscribers):

Raised in France, Luca Turin is happy to admit that "the idea that things should be slightly dirty, overripe, slightly fecal is everywhere in France." Given a stinky cheese, says he, Americans think, "Good God!"; Japanese think, "I must now commit suicide"; and the French think, "Where's the bread?"

Sunday, August 28, 2005


katiedid has a lovely list of summer fragrances. I want to try them all! But in 下北沢 there is a lovely little store called Art et Parfum that lets you buy small amounts of whatever fragrance they carry. They also make their own blends. I bought 2 types last time. One very sweet Salvatore Ferragamo scent, and one freesia scent apparently produced by an American flower shop. They're both quite nice, but I can't tell how they smell on me. :D Fragrances are a very funny thing. Anyway, it's really fun to try different perfumes.

By the way, perfume is 香水(こうすい kousui)in Japanese.

I also think it's amusing that Ferragamo features three languages on their site. Italian, English, and... Japanese! Who do you think their biggest customers are? Heh.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Hobbies are an interesting thing.

I have tons of interests, but they aren't all important. Certain interests can become important in specific situations.

Take my fondness for volleyball. At the moment, I don't play any volleyball, so this interest is not particularly important. But 3 years ago, it was pretty much all I did all week every week.

It's really hard to sit up straight for long periods of time. Say, longer than a minute.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

for the record, I don't particularly like Harry Potter

Just had to say that. And raise my banner for Diana Wynne Jones.

Friday, August 05, 2005

hungry by 4pm

I wanna go buy a snack, but that would mean leaving my desk.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

perfume image

It's funny how important the image of the brand affects the perception of a perfume. For example, when trying perfumes, I have no interest in trying any of Elizabeth Taylor's products. Celine Dion doesn't draw me either. I'm curious about Jennifer Lopez's perfume, but I'm a little disinclined to try it. Hermes? Ugh. Burberry seems boring. I used to run away from Yves Saint Laurent, because their designs are really unappealing, but my friend introduced me to "In Love" which is surprisingly light and fragrant.

The funny thing about perfume is that the cost margin is so high, it's a great product to carry if you can get people to buy it. The difficult part is creating the image that will attract people.

So now, I want to try a new perfume. I get tired of perfumes quickly (I adjust to the fragrance really rapidly) so I'll buy little mini bottles. Marc Jacobs smells really good on a friend of mine, but not on me. I like the smell of CK One, but it's so common.

Here is Greenwood on sale in English!

Wow... only 10 years after I first saw it? Laf.

Must... buy... but... already...own...Japanese...version...

Friday, July 15, 2005


The other day I realized that I haven't bought clothing in a couple months. And, I have absolutely no need to buy any new clothing. It's kind of sad how many clothes I have!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

purging guilt

After this trip, I will have delivered all but 3 of the gifts I bought over the past year. I will leave 2 of the 3 remaining gifts (to be given) with my parents, in the event that they see my cousins' parents.

In the process of giving the gifts I will purge much of my remaining guilt for various actions in the past.

There's still some lingering guilt, but there are a couple people that I can't find, so I must live with the knowledge of my ingratitude, to paraphrase Miss Manners (Judith Martin).

I am happy to finally give these gifts. A few of them are a couple years late. And I think that they are pretty nice gifts.

Plus, I can stop fueling materialism.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

arguing all the time

From Tell Me About It:

Since my one-sentence book, "Has It Occurred to You That You're Essentially Saying You'd Rather Fight All the Time Over Stupid Things Than Be Single?" has so far failed to find a publisher, give her "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker.

I like that title...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

the fallacy of buying hair products

I have been highly entertained (obsessed) with shopping for hair products lately.

Today I realized why it has been so engrossing. Basically, my hair has been less than attractive lately, in addition to needing to be cut. So I am hoping that the right styling product or hair conditioner will make my hair smooth and manageable. (I sound like a commercial). Of course, while possible, it puts all the blame for my hair on using the wrong products, as opposed to the way I care for my hair.

At any rate, even with the right hair products, I will still probably need to spend a little time every day on my hair. As opposed to the 0 minutes I currently spend grooming my hair. Laf, at least I wash and condition it.

I really need a hair cut. But I want to find a good picture of the hair cut I want, so that I don't need to explain much to the stylist.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

shopping surge

Whoa. Got swamped by a massive urge to shop. Online shopping is way too fun.

Current shopping cart:
Pantene Pro-V Conditioner, Smooth & Sleek
Sleek.look by Matrix Smoothing System Conditioner
Banana Boat Faces Plus Sunblock, SPF 23
Banana Boat Faces Plus Sunblock Stick, SPF 30

I don't really need both things of sunblock, but one will be good for daily use and the other will be good when I go to the beach. Yes, I haven't run out of sunblock yet but... Normal brands of sunblock in Japan are at least twice as expensive as in the U.S.

On the to-buy list:
Franco Sarto Bocca shoes
Jamelia CD
Kelis CD

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Japan and English teachers

An amusing thread about Japanese visa requirements for English teachers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


So, it's basically a pain to travel.

If I want to take a trip out of the country, I need to spend half a day getting a re-entry permit and transferring my visa from my current passport to my next one. I really should do it anyway, in case I need to travel for an emergency.

If I want to visit China, I have to take 2 mornings and get a visa, once I've bought a plane ticket. I also need a letter from a Chinese tour agency. I'm not sure what to do if I'm not going on a tour.


After I have a big meal, I'm usually starving in the morning. I think my stomach is very quick to expand.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Japanese post: new vocab

有給休暇(ゆうきゅうきゅうか)paid vacation

Saturday, May 21, 2005


I am currently reluctantly studying Japanese. I'd have rather gone to dinner and movie with some friends, but I thought I'd be meeting up with another friend who's visiting this weekend, who ended up cancelling.

So instead I am studying Japanese and listening to this DJ Tiesto cd I got from George. Thanks George! I didn't notice until now that Sinead O'Connor makes an appearance on it. I like her song quite a lot. I've always liked her quite a bit. Ooh, she has a really interesting new cd coming out. 17 of her best collaborations. I love Peter Gabriel's "Blood of Eden."

Yukie NASU

那州雪絵 is one of my favorite manga artists. Primarily because of "Here is Greenwood," of which I am still looking for the wide version of the books. Apparently she has still been publishing 1 or 2 books a year, so I plan on checking them out. I'm glad! I hate it when one of my favorite artists fades into obscurity.

On a side note, another cafe that I like in Shimokitazawa has closed. Bummer!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


When communicating by email, it helps to keep questions simple and focus on one topic at a time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

buying frenzy

Getting bewildered by all the things that I want and trying to figure out all the things that I actually need. Need to set priorities.

1)Highest priority is carpet - will be ordering that this week.
cost: about 20,000 yen total
2)New futon (not really needed, but my futon isn't very good):
cost: contemplating 10,000 to 20,000 yen
3)TV - would be nice to have before May 5th
cost: under 10,000 yen would be great.
How big of a tv would I like? 25"? I no longer have any idea how big that is. I should go visit an electronics store later.
There's a used one going for 8000 yen, which seems pretty cheap to me.
4)External hard drive
40 G or more, USB 2.0, ideally 7200rpms, but not necessarily required
cost: 8000 yen or more, apparently
5)end table
cost: 4000 yen or less
6)vacuum cleaner
cost: unknown

I'm thinking of withdrawing a lot of money this week, laf. Payday was today anyway!

Monday, April 25, 2005

link: ca dmv

Change of address form

because I never remember

Which type of order I want, I'm sticking a link to Nobu's blurb here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


churned through most of my emails! finally. still have a couple left, but am mostly caught up.

( ^^) _旦~~

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

five minutes per email

At that rate, it'll take me an hour and 40 minutes to write 20 emails. Urgh.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I think I've become a little dependent on milk coffee. Yuck.
I really feel very out of it today though. A combination of sleep and
caffeine deprivation?

Urgh. I don't even like coffee.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

yesterday's meals

Lunch was a sandwich from Doutor, and tofu and okra salad from Origin Bento.

Dinner was Korean food: chijimi (egg and scallions and other things) and a hot soup with rice and some of the stuff in bibinba. It was good but I ate a little too much. I also tried a muscat grape drink. Yummy.

Friday, March 18, 2005

everlasting potato chip

I'd like an infinite potato chip. One that I can munch on for hours and it won't disappear. I guess it's probably something like a rawhide dog bone, but I can't really eat those, nor do I really want to. I like potato chips but they disappear really quickly.

potato chips

since work has been really busy lately, I find myself wanting to eat snacks like potato chips and fried chicken. I saw a guy walking with a big box of KFC and a book or 2 from the bookstore. Laf. I wonder if he's an otaku.

I should see the dentist. I finally found a female dentist though. Very happy!

good daily sunblock

I'm looking for a sunblock that's fairly light and I can use every day. Any recommendations?

I might try Paula's Choice Essential Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 15. Berta seemed to like it a lot. Right now I'm just using regular No-Ad sunblock. It works quite well, but is a little heavy.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

hair (kaminoke)


Sunday, March 06, 2005

polyester shirts

I am too lazy to iron most of the time. Even if I do feel like ironing, the shirts never look that good. So, I bought 2 polyester shirts on sale yesterday. They had cotton shirts too, but the shirts were pretty thin and looked really difficult to iron.

I really like one of them - it's a rather spring-like striped shirt. The other one is a regular light blue, which I mostly bought because it was on sale and it fit well. I'm wearing one today, and I like the fact that it doesn't wrinkle! Usually by the end of the day my shirt gets quite rumpled, but so far my shirt is still respectable. Of course, it's only been 2 hours. I'll have to see again at the end of the day.

Monday, February 28, 2005

small stereo

I got a little stereo so that I can listen to the radio.

It's pretty nice to have. I heard a program called Asian Essence last night, where they played a pretty fun Indian song. It sounded like pure pop, but was fun nontheless. I think I could understand a lot of what the djs were saying too.

Monday, February 14, 2005

dress shirts

Also known as button down shirts.

Anyway, I've discovered this ring-around-the-collar phenomenon is very annoying. I guess I have to treat all my collars after wearing.

Anyway, at this rate I have exactly one impeccable shirt. I have 5 wearable shirts, but One is too small. One brand new shirt has a strange faded spot on the sleeve. One has random stains and broken buttons from the dry cleaner. My other brand new shirt has a faint ring :P Horrible! Must buy all new shirts. But as they are so easy to ruin, I don't want to spend much money on them.

I really like the earrings I got though.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

shirt, earrings

New purchases!

I got a suit shirt for 1200 yen from Comme Ca Hommes. The Shinjuku store was having a mad sale. Too bad the only other shirts were black. The shirt I got was a rather fuschia colored shirt, rather like Banana Republic's pink push a couple years ago. I like it, surprisingly enough. And while I am an M size in Uniqlo shirts, I am an L or XL at Comme Ca Hommes. Ah well. It was cheap.

I also got a pair of non-pierced earrings for 850 yen. They're great! Cute and don't hurt! The painlessness is key. Now I don't have to wonder whether I should get my earrings pierced, as I can wear earrings without any pain. All my other earrings hurt, sadly enough. It's too bad I don't really wear jewelry on weekdays. Sure, I could... but there's no real need too. Probably more important to tame my hair on weekdays than wear jewelry.




Sunday, January 30, 2005

my computer

really ought to protect me from myself.

It needs to read my mind and determine if after-midnight usage is actually necessary or not.

I really ought to sleep early.

If I didn't have a computer, I would definitely have been driven to buy a TV.

Clearly, I have too much time or not enough drive to study, that I should focus on these materialistic things. The irony of my perfectly sufficient lifestyle. Such artificial environments we do build.

goal setting

On the one hand, I should set small, realistic goals so that I will be able to make them. Builds confidence when I meet them too.

On the other hand, I need to challenge myself so that I will grow and stretch my limits. Otherwise, the limits naturally start shrinking slowly, like a deflating balloon. Have to keep adding air. But not too fast, or the balloon will pop.

However, if I set many goals for myself, I'll get at least some of them done, which is better than nothing. This approach is probably best for handling a specific day. Its effectiveness probably indicates that some of my goals are a bit too large to handle. Although a particular goal may be doable within a day, it should probably be broken up into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Stuff I'd like...

book case

little computer and printer stand

a rolling toiletries stand

The only thing I really need is the book case, and I'd bet I could find a nice one for less. The computer and printer stand would be nice...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

cannot escape consumerism

I want to buy a suit, because this winter has been pretty cold.