Jan 31, 2011

Only a Week

Well okay, a week and a bit.

Due to volcanic eruptions and various other distractions, I decided to postpone my weekly update this week. It's going to be mostly my stuff, with a just a teensy bit of the music/art/fashion stuff mixed in this time.

Piles of bags of ash are neatly piled at the roadside

This is what my car looks like after ash, a brief rain shower and then more ash. The inside's getting dusty too T^T I would get it washed but.... it's only going to get this dirty again!

Front page of a newspaper for kids. Miyazaki is front page news X2. Bird flu and volcanoes - why don't you come and join us!? We had foot-and-mouth last year too! ^^

  •  Also in the news recently is the LED lights trend "scandal". An advertising campaign at LaForet in Tokyo was touted as the latest "teen craze" in Japan, when in fact it was...well...just an advertising campaign. Not sure how much airtime the mistake is going get, but I'm kind of glad that it happened. People are too quick to jump on the "oh but it's Japan, they only have crazy stuff there" wagon. This may actually induce future journalists to research first. :P
  • This week my kawaii (cute) stuff has been featured on Kirin's blog, Tokyo Kawaii Etc. If you want to submit your own kawaii things, read how to do so here. I've had a post featured there before, for her Christmas Illumination photo project. Actually, Kirin and I met up when I was in Tokyo and we had a great time chatting over coffee and doughnuts - and she even gave me some totally cute omiyage! (Guess which one has given me the most joy... ^^;)
Coffee and doughnuts. Yum!

Presents!!! Thank you Kirin! ^^

The bean pod (kind of a de-stress device, akin to popping bubble wrap ^^) above has a bean with a face on it... I wonder which one I got?
Angry face!!!! ('o';) Endless hours of fun, I'm ashamed to admit. ^^

  • I've kept going with my Aojiru/ Blue-green juicey thing experiment, and I can say that, at the very least, it's not as gross as it originally was. I definitely feel perky afterwards - whether that's psychosomatic or not I don't know, but it certainly feels good. 
  • This is actually from a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot to post it. My fridge was on the blink and I got a new one (it's a rental, so they just replaced it). I like the new one better, and not only because it actually works:
Rather unremarkable as fridges go, EXCEPT! Look closely!

it's! The brand name/logo. It's...what? A fridge? A statement? And unfinished sentence? How wonderful that such a mundane household appliance has given birth to whole heap of philosophical questions! ^^

  • I've decided to shut down Vicky's and my podcast, Nandeyanen completely until further notice. It was on a bit of a hiatus, but Vix and I just don't have the time and/or energy to work on it right now. I'm focusing on developing this blog and she's got some intense studies. It'll probably resurface again, once Vix comes back to Japan (hint, hint!). In the meanwhile, I'll be posting the old transcripts up on here regularly so that they're still available. ^^
  • Saturday night was Tokyo Kawaii TV time, and this week was all about transformations. Takeru's SuG (often featured in KERA magazine) did a makeover of a girl from plain Jane to "Dark Beauty" or however they named her. Two others were featured as well, but Takeru won. ^^
Awful pic, but Takeru and the girl furthest to the left, then the other two makeover contestants are actually two guys, who dress as girls normally and did their makeovers themselves. ^^

  • My friend Moa has booked her flights and is coming to Japan this coming Spring! Yaaaaaaaaay!
  • Golden Bomber's Kiryuiin Sho is going to Germany in a couple of weeks! He got his very first passport the other day. Awwwwww.
  • On the topic of Golden Bomber, I've been really into their NicoNicoDouga activities lately. The vocalist, Kiryuiin Sho hosts All Night Nippon every wednesday night (I don't listen to it live because I'm a good girl and already in bed by then), but listen to them after. Good Japanese practice! The band as a whole also have NicoNicoRadio every Friday at 10pm JST, and it is HILARIOUS. I love it. If you want to check out last week's episode, feel free to look here. (All in Japanese though!) I'm dying to go to one of their live shows! I will, I will, I will go to the ball...er...show!
  • Lastly, I received the most awesome email this morning. I've been a longtime fan of Craig Harper's website with sock-it-to-your-belly, no-nonsense posts of fitness, healthy eating, attitudes on life and everything in between. Reading it is like a mini homecoming to one of my adopted homes, Oz. ^^ And today, I got an email from said personage! Totally surprised, very happy... and now I'm going to gloat a little by sharing it with you all (with permission!) . ^^
Hi Lisa (or Ri),

Just thought I’d drop you a quick line to say hi. When I see your comments on my posts I often click on your site link to see what you’ve been up to. I love the way you write – clear, funny and authentic. Which is kinda refreshing in the blogosphere. Your laid-back personality and great energy come through – even in the middle of volcano ash! Anyway, enough of my waffling, I hope this finds you well. Be safe and keep having fun.

Best, Craig

 I'm totally strutting around (in my head ;P). If I were a dog, it'd be the equivalent of trotting around with a self-caught dead mouse in my mouth. Yeah, I'm that stoked. ^^

And on that note, I'll stop here. Will do a proper update later this week. Have a good one! ^^

    Jan 27, 2011

    Kirishima's Turn to Shine 霧島山負けねぞう!

    This is a different topic from what I'd originally planned, but this (more timely) post is part of the Show Me Japan meme over at Budget Trouble.
    このポストはBudget TroubleShow Me Japan参加です~


    As some of you know, I've harped on about Sakurajima quite a few times already. I have at least one more post on that topic before I'm totally through as well.

    Turns out the much closer Kirishima refuses to be outdone and commenced covering my town in ash all last evening, late into the night. It's still active, but there doesn't seem to be any fresh ash dumps on the go (at least right now).

    To be honest, I had no idea what was going on until around 2.20am last night when my doors and windows started shaking. At first I thought I'd left a window open and there was a draft (by the way, one of my pet peeves is the sound of trembling/shaking doors and windows; it irritates me to no end) so I wandered around the apartment trying to find the source. There was none. Odd. Opened a window, no strong wind outside. Slightly confused, but too tired to care, I got out my earphones and listened to some the GazettE, which sadly didn't drown out the sound well enough. It was about this point I felt the trembling. "Ohhhhh! An earthquake!" I thought, and satisfied that I'd found a reasonable explanation for the annoying door/windows spasms, I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep.

    でも今回 家が揺れた。

    Except I couldn't, because the ground kept shaking. For aaaaaages. I started to get annoyed again, but fell asleep at some point.


    Still completely unaware of what had actually happened, I woke up to a mini Pompeii:

    I don't know what the actual stats are, but I'd guess this was about 2-3cms deep. 2-3センチぐらいかも?

    Grey, grey, grey. 灰色、灰色、灰色

    Grey and ashy. 灰色と灰

    Mmmm, ashy goodness. 灰~

    And off I went to work, not a care in the world! 仕事に行くよ~

    Grubby as. 汚いそう

    Glad I waited with getting my car washed. よかったね、先日に車を洗わなかった~

    Should be brown, not grey! 茶色は普通・・・

    Yup, more grey. また灰色。

    (Note that I set off for work as usual; it didn't even cross my mind that had the situation been worse there'd be evacuation procedures. (It wasn't until the office called me to check that I was okay and give advice on what to do that I began to clue in that it at least looked worse on the news than it was in reality.) It was just exciting and a bit of a nuisance. I'm either very easygoing, or very dense. I'm not even sure myself which is more accurate.)

    Then I took some video footage on the way home. It's not so exciting, but you can kind of see...well... how grey it is. (Although to be fair it's usually pretty grey anyway, because of all the concrete. ^^;)


    And another one:

    About an hour ago (5.30pmish) I felt some more trembling, but haven't looked outside.
    For more info on Kirishima's eruption (or interruption as I keep wanting to type), you can find a video of the lava bombs here and a live video feed of the volcano here.


    As for me, my only concern is for poor Miyazaki prefecture that's already having a tough time (last year foot and mouth disease and just recently bird flu) - the amount of ash that's already covered the area will probably affect vegetable and fruit crops. Hurrah for even more expensive veggies.


    Be strong Miyazaki, you can get through this!!

    As for me, I'm quite happy sitting at home watching NicoNicoDouga videos online, but would appreciate being able to open my window without turning into an ashwoman sometime soon.

    Jan 25, 2011

    Miyakonojyo World Festa 都城ワールドフェスタ

    Miyazaki's Miyakonojyo went international last weekend and I was there to diversify the country offering! ^^

    The scary venus fly trap flyer ちょっと怖い花な・・・

    私はどこでしょうか~ I'm in there somewhere...

    Chibi-me representin'! チビになった!

    Unfortunately the pictures are really fuzzy (iPhone + taking photos in a rush before everyone starts arriving = not so great shots), but hopefully you'll get the idea.
    I had my very own stall representing Sweden (sadly without a flag, my bad - I'm not so patriotic that I carry one around with me... takes up valuable luggage space needed for clothes, yo!) with some promotional material I'd gotten from the embassy, as well as scrap paper to make Swedish Paper Hearts.

    残念ですが、写真はあまり良くない、ごめんね!m(_ _)m
    大使館からチラシがあったと私はスウェーデンの手作りハートのつり方を教えてあげた。( ^ _ ^)
    実は、このハートはクリスマスのデコレーションだけど、もうすぐバレンタインだから、なんか好適だと思った。 (>ω<*)ノノ田♥

    The hearts are actually usually made in December as part of Christmas preparations (they're hung as Christmas tree ornaments), but with Valentine's Day coming up, I figured it would work anyway. They're fiddly as heck, but really cute! (Also, the way I showed how to make them was different from the tutorial I've linked to. The tutorial shows how to make them into practical baskets, while I prefer to make them "flat".)

    My booth, complete with maps! 私のブース:地図がいっぱいな~ (。・_・。)

    ちょっとせまいけど。 A weensy bit narrow. 

    Promo material スウェーデンのインフォ

    旗とピッピ!両方借りたものだ (*゜-゜*) Flag and Pippi. Ashamed to say neither are mine, haha!

    スウェーデンの馬も借りた・・・_| ̄|○ Yup, the horses are borrowed too.

    All prepped and ready for customers! 準備できた!

    これを作ったよ~ (^_^)And this is what we made.

    Tada! スウェーデンはいかがでしょうか ヾ(^∇^)

    まゆみさんは手伝ってくれた、ありがとう~ ( ゚▽゚) Mayumi helped me out all day, thanks!
    I'm seriously upset with myself regarding clothing choice though. I love my skirt ('cause I made it, hur hur), but I couldn't find the top that I really wanted to wear with it, so it ended up being a bit of a dodgy combo. Bleeeergh. Ahh well, can't be helped. ^^;

    スカートカットソーコンビはちょっと… (T.T; )

    Busybusybusy! 忙しい~ ヾ(^ ^ゞ =з =з =
     Anyway, it was crazy busy for the hours we were active, but also tons of fun! It was just a pity I couldn't check out the other booths since I had my hands full the whole time but...well, the things we do for our countries, eh?
    Finally, a big thank you to everyone who stopped by! (*≧▽≦)

    そしてみんなが来てくれた、ありがとう~! (*≧▽≦)

    Jan 22, 2011

    In the name of Science 理科のために

    I have voluntarily made myself a guinea pig, in the name of science! (Translation: I did something, possibly stupid, to satisfy my own curiousity.) (o*・ω・)ノ
    理科のために命をかけた。(翻訳:私は(多分馬鹿なこと)好奇心からそうしたのだ。) (o*・ω・)ノ

    I have risked my life in order to make the world a better place! (Translation: I ate/drank something that wasn't quite so yummy,) (´・ω・`;)
    世界をより良い場所にする ために命をかけた。(翻訳:私はあまり美味しくないことを食べちゃった/飲んでしまった) (´・ω・`;)

    I tested FANCL's "Green/Blue Soup", which is basically a vegetable juice drink made from leafy green vegetables. In this case, 100% kale.
    It's not so tasty. ( ̄へ ̄)
    In fact, if you were ever to try eating tatami mat, I'm sure that's what it would taste like. (;´ρ`)
    I wouldn't recommend trying that though, I'm sure it's not as nutritious as the blue soup thing.
    All in the name of good health, right? (´~`)
    Anyway, here's how it went down:

    あまり・・・ね。( ̄へ ̄)
    まぁね、身体にとっていいはず! (´~`)

    青汁です~ Blue/Green Drink thing!

    Ooh, lots of vitamins and stuff. ビタミンがたくさんはいっている (・∀・ )

    One serving looks like this. 一本はこの感じです~ (・∀・ )

    やっぱり青ですね。 Mmm, powdery goodness. I wonder if it'd be better to snort it? (゚.゚ )

    Yup, it's green. ズーム! (゚ー゚)(。_。)

    美味しそう? Looks...good? (-_-;)

    Well, it looks...green. ちょっと心配ね。(~-~;)

    凄く心配よ。 Getting worried here. (ι´Д`)

    Downed it all though! 全部飲んだけど!o口(・∀・ ) ゴクゴク
    Whether it's actually any good or not healthwise I can't tell yet, I've not had it regularly yet.. I do know that the ifrst time I drank it I ended up being super hyperactive though - imagine drinking 10 cups of black coffee and you've got the right idea. Ten cups of double espressos perhaps. ヾ(^ ^ゞ =з =з =
    In summary, my findings: Tatami flavoured green/blue soupy drink thing is not delicious, but possibly good for me... and at the very least, a good replacement for coffee. ^^

    10杯のコーヒーを飲んだな感じ。ヾ(^ ^ゞ =з =з =

    Have you tried this before? Do you use it regularly? What do you think of it?
    If not, would you try it? (Or are you not a masochist, like myself. ;))


    Jan 21, 2011

    New Year, Young Art 新年、若者の作品

    A couple of weeks ago, on Coming of Age Day (the day all young'uns who turned 20 (and thus aren't minors anymore in the eyes of the law) dress up all poshlike in kimonos and suits and such then ride around in pink monster trucks and hang out at Joyfull (you think I'm kidding don't you? Ohh I wish I'd taken photos...)) I was lucky enough to score some free tickets (thanks Tomo!^^) for a ballet show (I know, I'm so cultural!) for myself, a co-worker and her daughter.

    It was held at the Miyakonojyo Wellness Plaza (you can find Christmas illumination pictures of the plaza that I took here) and was really fun! No pictures of the show as it was kinshi (forbidden), but I have much more important things to share.

    バレェ演奏 (コンサートとバレェのコンビみたいね!)は都城のウェルネスプラザに(私のウェルネスプラザイルミネーションの写真もう見たかな?)あったけど、バレェの写真がない。(;_・)
    でももっと大切なことを見せたいよ!(^ _ ^)/

    Like our lunch before the show, for example.
    例えば、ショーの前の昼ごはん! (^~^)

    This is where we went! (Forgot the name of the place...^^;) ここです~ レストランの名前もう忘れちゃったけど
    I had the viande blunch. Yup, it says blunch. ^^ 私のビアンドブランチ・・・ローマ字はちょっと変けど・・・ (・_・?)

    Our starter. スターター

    The...er...soup that I kind of ate before remembering to take a photo. 食べちゃった!! (*゜Д゜*)

    Tamaki's lunch - she had the fish blunch. Ah, I love that word now. たまきさんの魚ブランチ

    I got the beef tongue. Soooooo soooo soooo good. Minus the bread, totally paleo! ビーフタン、美味しかった~ (^_^)
    Coffee and pineapple sorbet コーヒーとパイナップルアイス

    Now that we've covered the most important part of the day, let's move onto what we found over at the Plaza. They had a special New Years exhibition where kids and young adults from the area showcased artwork related to the year of the rabbit. (For those of you who don't know, according to the Chinese Zodiac, it's now the year of the rabbit. Except in China, where they wait until the lunar new year to start.)


    I *looooove* this one!! 一番好き!!かわいい~!O(≧∇≦)O

    This was big. Really, really big. これ、デッカ!(O_O;)

    Ikebana 生け花

    Ikebana 生け花

    Almost a fully story here. 劇みたいね

    Converse shoes! And rabbits! コンバース!ウサギ!

    This is actually really clever - it's a rabbit, but it's also the character for "rabbit" (only used in reference to the Chinese zodiac) いいセンスだね!(・∀・)

    This one's also quite clever ^^ これも、賢いな!

    More ikebana また生け花

    It was all very interesting, impressive and quite beautiful, but....
    Like the big kid I am, I prefer the interactive activities:


    Take a pen, a paper with a rabbit (and a survey, but I kinda ignored that) and write a New Year's message! ペンとウサギの紙を取って、新年のメッセージを書いて・・・..._〆(・∀・@)

    Then, stick it here, along with all the others. Guess which one's mine. ここにメッセージを貼って・・・私のはどちらでしょうか~ (゚ー゚≡゚-゚)

    Guessed yet? もう、わかる?

    How about now? じゃ、今、わかる?(?・・)

    Close-up! I wrote: "I'll work hard this year too! Fight !/Lisa" ズーム!自分の書いたメッセージ (*^^*)

    Tamaki put her rabbit next to mine. Pals! Hers is along the lines of smiling every day/spending each day happily/being positive. It's so hard to translate - it ends up being really unnatural when I try to use the right words ^^; たまきさんも、いい事を書いた。ウサギは仲良しそうですね~ \(^∀^)メ(^∀^)ノ

    And that's the end of the start of my 2011! Except not quite, because I have one more picture to share - we (Adam, my brother and I) were invited to Tomo's parents' house for osechi (traditional New Years food) and this is (part of) what we ate! (It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!)

    でもまだまだ!(゚.゚ )
    お御節を食べた~。( ^‐^)_且~~

    Blurry as, but delicious 美味しそうだね~

    And that's my entry for Budget Trouble's Show Me Japan this week! ^_^

    これで今週のBudget TroubleShow Me Japanのポストは終わりです~。 ^-^