Thursday, January 24, 2013

I also had the cold from hell for most of the month.

Hey y'all~ So this is basically just a quick check in post. January's been a very quiet month and I haven't really been doing anything special. So, I don't really have anything for you guys. Well, I have a couple small things, I guess.

So, the Body Shop in Aeon changed over from their Christmas campaign a bit ago and their new campaign posters made me giggle. In high school, my friend Suzi used to call everyone rebels as a term of endearment. (She still does, come to think~) So, I saw this and thought of her.
I also had the cold from hell for most of the month. I caught it when we got back from Disney and it's only just gone away maybe 3 days ago. Our apartment is really dry, so that doesn't really help things, but it just would not go away! I would wake up with a sore throat and then I'd have a random cough all freaking day. And it was weird. I couldn't not cough. I literally had moments where I'd just cough for like 3 minutes, because I couldn't stop. Gah. Oh well. Over and done with now, thank god.

...And that's actually about it. Ahahahaha... It's just been a really quiet month. I'm gonna be attempting a crock pot lasagna sometime in the next few days, so I'll report on how that goes, I guess. But yeah. Still alive!

Friday, January 11, 2013

I won't spoil anything, but my feels were threw the roof after watching the final episode.

So, on January 2nd I had a cross stitch date with my friend, Tamsyn. In Sendai, they do lucky packs on the 2nd, so after having a quick cup of coffee we set out into the shopping arcade. I was going shopping mainly to pick out a new project to sew, but it was fun to go see the madness. And it was INSANE! like, CRAZYSUPEROMG busy! We almost couldn't walk! I was going to take a photo, but I was afraid of dropping my iPod. As it stands, I bought a lucky bag from Tutuanna for 1,000yen. Not too shabby! They sell the most amazing socks and tights. I forgot to take a photo of what I ended up getting, but I got a real steal!
We worked our wa to the local craft store and I picked out a new kit to work on. They didn't have lucky bags, but they had a lottery! like, one of those crank lottery things you see in animes. Well, I tried it and a white ball dropped, so I didn't win the big prize, but I did walk away with some tissues and a new handtowel! Not too shabby! It was starting to rain when we left, so we boogied on back to Tam's place. We had decided to stay in for lunch and I offered to make spaghetti. And can I just say, Tam has an AMAZING kitchen! It's MASSIVE! Sooooo much space! And a gas stove! I love it. So, anywho, I made us some awesome lunch. It was reeeeally tasty. And I may have dumped half a bag of cheese on top. BY ACCIDENT, I SWEAR!
So, after eating our AMAZING lunch we sat down and got sewing. It was nice! Just chatting and stitching. The pattern I picked out it the toughest one I've done yet, but I wanted a challenge! And can I also add, that I may be a genius. I was setting all the kit things out and in a kit they always come with a needle in a little cardboard and plastic pouch. I went to open it and I somehow managed to BREAK my needle! True story. Don't know HOW I did it. I must be talented!
At around 6:30 we both went our separate ways. Tam was meeting some friends for dinner and I had to rush home to pack an overnight bag. Why did I need an overnight bag you ask? Well, David and I went to Tokyo Disney the next day. And maaaan, we had fun but it was exhausting. We took a nightbus from Sendai to Tokyo Station. We left Sendai at 11:50pm and arrived in Tokyo at 5:30am. Oh god. I hate the nightbus, because I never seem to sleep on it. Then again, it's cheap and a good mode of transportation. And we only had the one day, so it was our only option. So, we hopped a train from Tokyo to Maihama Station, which is Disney's station. We got there at about 6:30am. The gates open at 8am. And there were already people in line when we got there! Easily about 20 lines spread out around the gates, each without about 10 people/families in line. So, we picked a spot and parked ourselves. And it was cooold! We each had our cute hats from our visit last December, thank god. Otherwise it would've been bad. At about 7:30 Mickey walked by the gates to wave and welcome everyone and then the gates opened right at 8. And people were running to get in! It was crazy!
Because we traveled during the news years celebrations, they had some cute decorations here and there. We passed this by the entrance to the Arcade.

Now, our first priority was to get fast passes for Space Mountain, but since there was like NO LINE, we just walked right in and got on. It was awesome! After that we were really kinda hungry, so we walked around looking for a place to eat. We ended up skipping on the bakery, only because we wanted something warm. They had cute foods out like always, though. I ended up with a Mickey glove chicken burger. Yep. For reals. And it was delicious. (And cute!)
After breakfast we wandered through the castle to grab fast passes for the Haunted Mansion. It was the last day for the Nightmare Before Christmas decorations, and we wanted to do that. The castle really is quite pretty. Almost as nice as Disney World in Florida. I love to see all the little details.
We hopped over to do It's a Small World, too, since it's tradition. And they had it all Christmas themed. It was kinda cute~ The dolls even sang Christmas carols (as well as the token song).
We wandered into Toon Town and did the Gadget Coaster. I looove that it's Gadget from Rescue Rangers themed! I used to love that show! And Gadget and Monterey Jack were my favourite characters! We also popped into Minnie's house while we were there and discovered that she had a copy of Jessica's Secrets on her chair! Sooo risqué!
After that we just kinda wandered about for a little bit. We didn't buy anything while we were there except food, but I took a picture of a really cute princess doll set.We also went for a ride on the steamboat and saw a band of people canoing by on the river. They run the 'Rivers of America' attraction at Tokyo Disney Land still, and boy, I've never seen such a sad display of paddling in my life. It was pretty pathetic. We grabbed lunch after that. David got the Mickey sammich this time and I got the chicken and scrambled eggs plate thing. It was pretty good~
We spent most of the afternoon just wandering about, doing a few rides or attractions here and there and just having a nice day at the park~ We caught the parade, which is rare. David normally hates watching the parades, but it was cute. The floats are really spectacular. I took a few pictures of the shops displays this time, too!

 Towards the end of the day, we were exhausted. It was a really fun time, but we were tired. We took the nightbus home and I managed to get some sleep, thank god. We got into Sendai at about 5:30 and took the 6:08 train back to Natori. The 20 minute walk from the station to our apartment was the longest walk of my life. It was cold, windy and we were both so freaking tired, that I was tempted to just sleep in one of the rice fields. We made it, though, and when we got home we turned the heat on. Our apartment was a whopping 5°C! Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Since our Disney adventures, we've been ling low. I've been attempting to do some casual studying and I watched series 2 of BBC's Sherlock. And man. New favourite show. I am sooooo looking forward to series 3. But oh my god. Poor John. I won't spoil anything, but my feels were threw the roof after watching the final episode. (In internet lingo, that basically means I was full of emotion after watching that episode.) Basically, this was me after watching it:
*Note: Not actually me.
True story, though. And now, I've been trying to work out some theories on what happened in that episode. (We'll see if I'm right~ (Which, I probably am not.) My casual studying method was pretty awesome, though~ Reading Sailor Moon manga in Japanese and watching Arashi shows without subtitles and trying to figure out what they were saying. Awww yeah~

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

He bought me... a HAIRDRYER!

Happy new year, everyone! Lets work together and make this year awesome! [●´・ω・]人[・ω・`○]
So, when we last left our heroes, there was an earthquake and a wedding anniversary. Man, December has just flown by! It was a pretty good month for us! To start, I got a small Christmas present from my friend Chris in Scotland. He sent me some chocolates and some awesome soap. Orange Ginger. It smells amazing~ *___*
At the beginning of the month, David and I decided to see a bunch of movies. So, we saw Skyfall in the last entry and since then we saw the Hobbit and Les Mis! The Hobbit was awesome! I was asked to meet David after work, so I went and grabbed a drink at Starbucks, pulled out my book and waited. The staff there are really sweet, even though we can't communicate very much. Always smiling and trying to use their English. And they always put smiley faces on my cups now!
So, after work, David walked over to the Bux and we decided to grab drinks for the movie. I picked out White Pepsi. Yep, WHITE Pepsi. No dad, I don't think you'd like it. It's みかん flavoured. I.e. Tangerine flavoured. It wasn't bad, but I don't think I'd go out of my wait to consume copious amounts.
So, we both really liked the Hobbit. We watched the 3d version. It had Japanese subs, but the movie was in English. Awesome. We went opening night and there were quite a few foreigners in attendance! I was expecting another Skyfall experience, but nope. Easily like 15 of us in the audience. When we left the theatre, we noticed posters for the new Dragon Ball Z movie that's coming out this year. I took some photos and we had a good laugh, pondering what TeamFourStar will do with it. And we also laughed at Krillin and his newly grown hair. Ahahaha. 
A few days passed and David and I went to grab some groceries and I ended picking up a new magazine. It came with a great tote bag included, which was the main reason for the purchase. The fact that Arashi was on the cover had nothing to do with it... The package the bag came in had some cute Engrish.
We also decided to skip over to the Sega World near us to see if there were any new and good things out. And I found a cute Hatsune Miku figure. I usually don't play UFO catchers much anymore, because I have really bad luck nowadays. But, I threw 100yen in and gave it a bash. And I won! LUCKY~~~
So, towards the middle of the month, I went out with some girlfriends. They came up from Fukushima to see the lights in Sendai. They were just as pretty as they were earlier in the month and it was a fun time. We also checked out the candle festival going on nearby. It reminded me of the festival I went to last year in Aizu. They also had a small lights display. And man, it was saaaaaad. So, for those who aren't from my hometown, every year we do a big lights display in the park. And it's been going downhill recently, but it's tradition, you know? I always make a point of trying to go. And maaan, Sendai's was just so sad looking. They had an old train near the entrance with like 2 strings of lights and a big smiley face light thing on the side. It only covered half of the train. And the 4 displays they had were small and sparse. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
On the 21st, we went to see Les Mis. David worked that day in a different area, so he again asked me to meet him at the Bux. So, again, I went and grabbed a drink and I got a snack, too. I changed my order to something different recently, and the baristas there already memorized it! I was super impressed! And they make the worlds most perfect chai. (Well, aside from my own, of course.)
I also decided to get slightly dressed up, since it was a date~ It's hard to take a picture of yourself, you know? Or at least, I think it is. I always have such dumb looks on my face when I do.
Also, I've been getting into drinking tea more as of late. Like, when I grab a drink at a conbini, I always get tea, now. So, I noticed there was a cute bottle with Mickey and Minnie on it, so I thought why now? Turns out, it was pretty good. Yumyum~
Les Mis was a good movie. I probably won't buy it, but I'm glad we went and saw it. David wasn't a fan of it~ Oh well. So, we haven't gotten much snow here in Natori. Kinda sad~ But, on the 23rd, 24th and 25th we got a lot of snow at night. It was kinda sweet~ Walking home at 9pm in the snow. Like, Canada type snow, too. Well, kinda, Not the pretty glittery snow, but the clumpy covering the ground quickly snow. We'd get home and we'd look like snow people. It was hilarious. I wish I had taken photos, but I didn't wanna get my iPod wet. Sorry guys~
I pre-ordered a CD from last month. The person who created the Synchronicity series was finally going to release Part 3 and Angel and I have been waiting for this for about 3 years. No lie. I was so excited, that I preordered. Yeah. Anywho~ The preorder came with goodies, which was pretty cool. I got a random mousepad and a phone charm. The CD was great and part 3 was totally worth the wait. Although, the ending made me cry. 
On Christmas Eve we went out. We originally had plans to buy KFC for dinner and get a Christmas cake, too. But, we didn't end up doing that. We ended up going into Sendai for the evening. David worked on Christmas day, so we celebrated that day instead. So, we walked about in Sendai and then on our way home, we bought Christmas cake. It came with a free bowl, which was pretty cool. 
We grabbed BLTs from the food court for dinner and then went to pick up a few groceries before we headed home. I wanted to see it they'd have any turkeys or turkey pieces in the meat section. And lo and behold, they did! There were 2 turkeys left. And maaaan, were they ever expensive! It was insane. a 1.8kg turkey was 2,980yen. Wow.
When we got home, we ate our cake and watched a few Christmas movies. Including It's a Very Mery Eek-smas! Does anyone even remember Eek the Cat? Well, I do. And it was awesome. Eek, The Muppet Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, awesome cartoon) made our night great. And all the while, we watched the Google Santa tracker thing. It was cute! They tracked his progress as he wound around the world. He visited Sendai at about 11pm. I didn't see him though! Better luck next year!
 On Christmas Day, David had to work. I skyped with my dad's side of my family and was able to participate in the Christmas part, like last year. However, it was kinda sad. I was alone at home and I couldn't really hear half of what was going on, but it was still nice to see everyone. After the party (which started at 8am my time), I decided to take a nap. I slept for a few hours, and felt a little better afterwards. I checked my emails from my iPod and noticed there was a message from David. He was getting out of work early! And he wanted me to meet him in Sendai for a date! Yay! I got dressed and left to go meet him. It was great! We met at the station, and we ended up going out for dinner. At Freshness Burger. Yup. I had a cheeseburger for Christmas dinner. And onion rings! Yay~ My drink was interesting. I got a lemon raspberry refresher. And man, was it ever sour! It had no sweetness to it. I ended up adding gum syrup to it.

After dinner, David pulled out a gift for me! We exchanged gifts the day before, so I was floored when he pulled this out. I had bought David some Warhammer and a Gundam for Christmas. He bought me a few pieces of clothing, including a really pretty skirt. But, this was my favourite Christmas gift. He bought me... a HAIRDRYER! YAY! I've needed one of these since I came to Japan. And it's white and pink! And it works like a dream. Awesome!
We didn't really have any big plans for the evening, so we wander about for a bit and then decided to go to karaoke for an hour. It was great! My ability to read Japanese has improved, so I was able to sing some Japanese songs flawlessly! Wooo~ David sang a few Disney songs and some other goofy things. We had a fun time! It's been forever since I've done karaoke!
We tried a few UFO catchers, too. David won me a really cute Minnie plushie. She's wearing a furisode kimono for new years! David tried to win the matching Mickey in new years garb, but it was too difficult. Oh well.
One thing we do have a match set of now is handtowels! In Japan, everyone carries a handtowel in their purse, pockets, bag, etc. Most public restrooms won't have paper towels and only like 1 air dryer. So, it's just easier to carry your own little towel to dry your hands. It's better for the environment, too. I think it's a fab idea, personally. And I collect cute towels. I like to change my towels up every few weeks to keep things interesting. And when I saw these were on sale, I bought one for me and one for David, since he needed one.
 And then, on the 29th, we went back to British Hills for a night. It was great to see everyone! We took a stupid early shinkansen to get there in time to catch the 10am bus. We had to leave home at 7:20, to catch the 7:46 train at Morisekinoshita station, to catch the 8:20 shinkansen from Sendai. And then we got to Shin-Shirakawa at 9:19, and we had to kill some time. So, we grabbed breakfast and sat and chilled. We picked that bus, since we thought it would be dead. And on man, were we wrong! Turns out, there was an observation tour going on for prospective school guests and it was crawling with people! Our bus was totally full! Crazy. So, we got to BH, checked in with James and then headed over to the tea room. Eriko was working and she's become a certified tea master in the time we've been gone! That's so cool! We were supposed to meet Belinda for lunch, so we grabbed a small snack and chilled. I got the Ascot tea set. Quiche, a scone and honey caramel tea~ Yum yum. And Nagayama-san, the chef, gave us a cute baked meringue snowman as a treat!
At about 12:30, Belinda showed up with Dharmesh for lunch~ It was great too see them! We had a really lively lunch and we all joked and laughed and caught up. Man, do I ever miss Belinda. She was my best friend on the mountain. I might add, that I forgot to take photos for most of our trip. Sorry~ After lunch, Belinda and Dharmesh had to run back to work, so we went and hung out in Relaxation Room while we waited for our room to open. At 3pm, James handed us the key and we went to check out our room. We were put in House 8, Drake House, which is the nicest guest house. We ended up with a standard room, but it was still nice. We got a REAL bed! That was just fab! Dinner was at 6pm, so I changed and made myself all pretty and off we went. Dinner was FABULOUS. As always. But, I think this was my favourite refectory dinner ever. We had the roast beef, like always, but the other courses were great! We had a backed cheese dish, which was good. And the dessert was awesome. Caramel mousse with a crunchy chocolate filling, brittle on top and orange sherbet. Yummmmmm~ I tried to take a picture of dinner, but this is what came out:
Not a very good pic, but oh well. The lighting was pretty romantic. We had a candle on the table and the lights were dim. Our server was Carrie. She came to BH just as we were leaving. She got my old room, actually. She's from a town about an hour and a half away from my hometown. Really nice girl, and she came over and chatted a lot with us during the night. After dinner, we popped over to the pub and hung out with Belinda, Dharmesh, Brett, James, George, Carrie, Homani and Natsuki. It was a great night. And the next day, we had a lunch date with George which was fun. I miss George! He's so much fun to talk to! sadly, we had to leave at 2pm, so we went to go catch the bus and I finally got to see Megumi! She was off the day before, but she and I had a huge hug and a quick catch up before the bus left. We took the shinkansen back home, and I grabbed a cute green tea for the ride.
And then, it was New Years Eve. David and I didn't really want to go anywhere, so we had a very low key night. I made us pizza and we ate that and had some snacks for the night. I watched old Gaki no Tsukai Batsu Games from pervious years and Arashi shows and David watched anime. At midnight, he came over and gave me a kiss, though~ Awwwww. <3 And that brings us to today! My aim for the new year is to improve my Japanese to the point of being able to hold my own in a conversation. And to monitor my spending more. I made one last big purchase at the end of December, and now, I want to save my money for a trip home in May, or failing that, to go to Disney Paris at Christmas next year. So, we'll see what happens.