Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last walk of the Year

Went for a walk around the neighborhood to score some steps before the sun went down.

Found a pretty 蝋梅 along the way.

Can't believe the year's over in less than 8 hours!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Farewell 2015 Nagoya

Picking up a few things at Meieki, then headed off to my grandmother's for New Year's.

Looking forward to a week of catching up on TV, watching TV, eating mikan, making gyoza, Skyping with my mom and some awesome friends, writing, drawing, regrouping, chilling, and planning.

It's going to be good.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Soup Stock TomaChu is back!!

I have strong love for Soup Stock Tokyo's Tomato Stew.

It's one of their seasonal soups and I'm always very sad when it's gone. I can't fully explain it, but it's comforting.

And now it's back on the menu!

Yay!

So happy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I'm at work for Christmas (by choice).

Wore some Christmassy earrings and brought a post-work candy cane for myself.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

New Year's Cards done! Freedom!

I enjoy making and sending New Year's cards, but for whatever reason, it takes me FOREVER to get them done.

I almost never get them done before New Year's Day.

But this year! This year, I finished last night and I just dropped them in the mail!

FREEDOM!!


And now all that remains is to clean my room...

Yeah...


But for today, headed to work.

4 more work days left in the year.

And since it's Christmas Eve and Christmas, the company incentivized working the next two days with a tiny bit more cash and food. I was going to work anyways, so score.


Gotta take the wins where I can, right?


It's looking to be a decent week to end the year. Yay!

Friday, December 18, 2015

After the Theater: Star Wars Episode 7-The Force Awakens

On my way home. With BB-8.

No plot spoilers.

Though as far as I know, all of my Star Wars fan friends who would read this blog have already seen the movie.

As it should be.

Enough space?

Like I said, no plot spoilers.

I just want to say that I'm happy I get to look forward to Episode 8.

At the Theater: Star Wars-The Force Awakens: T minus 20 minutes

Couldn't resist and got the BB-8 cup.

And while I've cut back on fizzy drinks, this is a coke and popcorn movie.

Ooh, the excitement builds.

Also, this screen is huge!! Yay! Note to self: H-19 for Screen 4 is perfect.

キャー!わくわく♪

Alrighties, shutting down the keitai.

May the Force be with you.

Star Wars: T minus 2.5 hours

Ended up at Starbucks for a chai latte and the barista started saying "So, are you here for..." when she saw my shirt and came to the correct conclusion "the movie"

I proudly showed my bag as well and she said "Right, it opens today."

So now to pass about an hour or so writing New Year's cards and avoid Facebook as the reactions start coming in.

Also! SHERLOCK!!

They're showing the Sherlock Christmas Special on the big screen!!!

In February. And limited release.

But still!

I may or may not have yelled out expletives when I saw the flyer. (And Samantha, expect to receive the pamphlet from me if there is one. I am deeply saddened you will not be here to watch it with.)

Getting the pre-sale ticket when I head back to the theater. Whee!

Star Wars: Ticket and Pamphlet GET!

The pamphlet has 2015.12.18 on the back. The shop staff double-checked my ticket date and stamped the back before pulling the pamphlet from a covered box. :)

I haven't looked at it yet because spoilers. I might get a regular one depending on how the movie is. The regular cover is the Millenium Falcon.

Same with the goods. Having gone overboard months ago, I don't feel the immediate need to buy Ep7 goods before seeing it.

So now the 3+ hour wait.

As may be detected from this post, I'm holding emotions back a bit. Both to experience more of a rush during the actual movie and to curb the possible disappointment similar to that of Ep.1.

Off to see Star Wars!

Shiny starry nails and my Galactic Empire bag on the train to the theater.

Picking up my ticket then hopefully picking up the commemorative pamphlet, or at least a postcard to get the pamphlet.

Then heading to the mall to get some New Year's cards done and get some food before the 18:30 show.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Perm Victory!

It took! Hiro was happier than I was. XD

Also took some purikura for New Year's cards. Seriously, never believe a purikura photo.


Having dinner at Gomihatchin, then heading back to Nagoya.

Headed to Hama to see a man about my hair

I know spending this kind of cash to go to another city to get my hair done sounds ridiculous to some. But only Hiro is allowed to touch my hair. True when I lived in Boston. True while I live in Nagoya.

Loyal? Just a bit. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday Soreness Report: 反省 Lesson Learned

A nice general soreness in my abs, glutes, and some side and upper back muscles that I don't know the names of. That's cool.

But the great time out I had on Sunday night drinking with a dear friend came back to hit me in the head halfway through the session yesterday.

I could still move, pretty well actually, but damn, that headache!

And I was fine until then. Had a lovely lunch with a good friend and the first half of training was fine. Then bamn!

Fought through the second half of my session, dragged myself home, downed a 2 liter bottle of tea, and passed out around 7 for 4 hours. That did the trick and the headache was finally gone.


So while I don't regret Sunday night a single bit, because I honestly don't remember the last time I had that much fun on a night out, I'm probably not going to drink so hard on future Sunday nights.


Priorities. Training is just that high on my list.


Taking it easy tonight. Picked up the last bits needed for New Year's cards. Will be playing with those and finishing up my journal for last week.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

CreMa Vol.33: New Pendant!

And a whole bunch of other stuff.

But I stayed under relative control. Will tally up the damage when I get back to my room.


Less than an hour left today, I'm going to take a quick look at Bldg.2 and head home to save up energy for Round 2 tomorrow.

Whee!

CreMa Vol.33: I'm in!

Love coming in later. No lines.

Got my pamphlet and map. Now time to mark the booths I checked earlier this week.

This year's winter CreMa is quite Christmassy. Yay!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mini Vacation!

Finished work early, picked up some chips and salsa because I'm still a bit bummed about missing the Tamale Festival, and now I will plan my nails for CreMa and The Force Awakens.

Totally planning on being an American this week. Because I can. I miss it.

So in the lineup: CreMa x2 one of those days with an awesome friend, year-end party, lunch with a lovely lady, training, volunteer work, possibly climbing, getting a cut and a perm, radio volunteer work, possibly climbing if Tuesday doesn't work out, and then The Force Awakens.

So much for taking December easy.

This is going to be fun! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Soreness Report: Forearms

So I didn't blog about it, but I went to a climbing gym for the first time in ages yesterday.

A humbling experience, as it tends to be. Almost no one boulders alone in this country. I am a top-roper. I have a fear of falling as well hurting myself on impact. And it's been at least three years since I last climbed.

So while my balance has improved, my core is much stronger, and I've dropped over 8kg since I last climbed, I still sucked. Not badly, but more than I expected. Disappointing.

Thankfully, with climbing, I hate giving up. So now it's time to see what I need to do.

I stopped yesterday because my fingers and palms were raw. The skin on my palms has grown weak, so it can't take as much punishment as it once did. No probs there. It'll get thicker and proper skin care will keep it soft to lessen the callouses and not feel rough.

Thicker mental skin when it comes to fear of falling will also come with practice.

Today, my forearms are sore and yesterday, they were the second biggest reason I stopped, while all the other muscles feel fine.

So there it is.

I need to remember how to use my core and legs more. Practice should fix that.

And I need to work on my grip to up my game.

Now that I think about it, we haven't really taken a look at my forearms. No need up until now.

I looked up a few exercises online and found some simple ones that don't require any equipment. Need to run them by my trainer, but when I tried them out I felt it in my currently sore forearms, so I'm optimistic.

If I get his seal of approval, I'm going to suggest them to my grandmother and mother who have both been concerned about losing strength in their grip. It should help me at work as well since I write so damn much.

Another example that goals provide direction and which makes coming up with game plans much easier.

Yay!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Training: Clothes really do matter

For the past few weeks, I noticed the clothes I had been wearing were limiting my movement. They weren't a problem before so it's kinda cool because that means I've improved so much my clothes couldn't keep up.

But it got to the point where it was negatively affecting my training, so I gave in and got a new set of workout clothes that are nice and stretchy.


OMG, I wish I had bought these earlier. Today was insanely easier to focus on my movements. I knew my clothes were important, but I didn't realize to what extent.


So yeah. Looking forward to see how far I can push myself now that one simple yet rather big barrier has been removed.

Chilling at Laid Back

Love this place.

Had the taco rice today and it was really good. Got some sketching done and finished up last week's pages in my planner journal that I couldn't do yesterday because I was battling a translation thing.

Training later today. Yay!

Then some shopping. Then sleep.

It might be a long week. Need my energy.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday night Komeda

I've been here for two hours translating and I'm about half-way through. My mini keyboard is saving me a bunch of frustration.

Five pages about Japanese New Year. The sentences themselves aren't hard, but everything needs extra explanation that has been understandably yet frustratingly left out in the Japanese.

I'm going to need something stronger than coffee after this.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Back to Nagoya

And another work week begins tomorrow.

It's going to take me a while until I get used to this new schedule to the point where I can make the most of it.

Baby steps.

One thing at a time. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ばあちゃんと浜松

Was out in Hama with my grandmother. Lots of shopping. Like, LOTS. :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday! Deltoids!

Just finished my training session. Wow. Sleepy tired.

It's good, my entire body feels good tired, but I'm on my way to my grandmother's now and still have a bit of a ways to go. Just got on a Kodama and all I want to do is take a nap.

Planning on taking a nice long bath tonight while listening to the Christmas songs I downloaded last night.


Ambitious Japan just played. It makes me happy and proud.


Also, totally random, but I named my bag for training Asgard because I put Thor on it because deltoids. And if you know why Thor and deltoids are connected, you know the lines in The Age of Ultron way too well.

Morning stroll to the Post Office

I like my main local post office. The closest one to me, I still don't completely trust, but the big one is good.

They had a special line set up for people to pick up their "My Number" card. (I now officially am a 12-digit number in Japan just like I am a 9-digit number in the States.)

I found it amazing that out of the ten or so people who were in line ahead of me, half of them didn't bring photo ID with their address on it. It specifically said on the notice to bring ID with proof of address if you're picking it up at the post office. (I almost always walk down to the post office for the exercise and to save me from the paranoia while listening for the doorbell when I request re-delivery.)

Part of me would like to say "Dudes, the foreigner (who happens to be wearing a Capt. America shirt) is more on top of things than you people." But I know it's my obsessive personality that makes me check details, not in any way my nationality.


In anycase, the walk was quite nice and I was able to pick up some stamps while I waited at the post office and I made the copies I needed for work on the way back, so all in all, a productive morning.


Now to pack for training and a few days at my grandmother's.


It's December tomorrow. One year since I bought my beautiful Yosegi fountain pen. Less than two weeks until CreMa. And 18 days until The Force Awakens. I thought I'd be taking it easy in December, but I guess not. At least it's all fun stuff. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Night at Komeda

Love this.

I pretty much get through the weekend knowing about two hours of playing with my planner and journal at Komeda are waiting for me at the end of the day.

Mockingjay took a lot of space this week, as it deserves, so no Komeda corner this time, but I have enough space for my awesome Levistone gloves.


Today was a chill day at work and I was able to clean up my work area as well as discuss a few things with my supervisor. Sure, I'm doing way more than I'm being paid for, but if it's enough to bitch about, I may as well make my observations constructive. I actually like the challenge.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Overachiever.

But you know what? Now thanks to Chris Hadfield, I will no longer allow anyone make me feel bad about being one.


All in all, quite a good week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Testing Blog Stuff/ Also: Intercostals!

Realized a while back that I had two services sending links to my blog posts to Twitter and today I finally decided to fix that.

This a test post to see if it worked.


Also: I learned that the muscles between my ribs are called intercostals. I'm slowly learning muscle names as they get sore post-workout.

They're still sore today. I know I should get out of bed and move around (and it's past 11am), but I like sleeping in on my days off as a luxury (and not a necessity like some Mondays).

I'll eventually need food.


Okies, let's see if this works.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

After the Theater: Mockingjay-Part 2

That was insanely good. For as unsurprisingly yet undeniably disappointed I was in the first movie, I am quite happy with this one.

And lots of crying on my part. I'm attached to these characters. Just the mention of Cinna's name had me bawling.


Also, got to see the newest Star Wars trailer. Awesome! Less than a month! And in Marvel news, found out that in Japan, it's going to be Civil War: Captain America and not the other way around. Oh Japan.


Okay, it's suddenly really cold. Getting back to the room to bury myself under the covers.

At the Theater: Mockingjay-Part 2

Yay! Looking forward to this.

Tuesday Soreness Report/Are you, are you, coming to the tree?

My ribcage is sore. It hurts to laugh. And to correct my posture.

And as the day progresses, the soreness grows in my quads and glutes.

Hurts so good.

---

Went to an emergency drill at work. After a month of Chris Hadfield and The Martian, I found the casual attitude disturbing. Yes, it's not space, but still life or death. It was really let's just go through the motions instead of let's do this and make sure everyone here can actually do this when we have an emergency.

Fun part, my workplace is on the 12th floor, so the decent was a bit harsh, but not as bad as it would have been if we had a leg day yesterday.

---

Post drill, I made my way to the station to get myself to the movie theater for Mockingjay: Part 2. Bought my ticket on Sunday when I was having an exceptionally mentally exhaustive day. Movie therapy.

For once, I'm watching a movie before my mom. Wow! A bit miffed I need to go all the way down to the TOHO Cinemas, but it's near an AEON mall and a sporting goods store, so I can pick up a few things too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday Soreness Report: Need to learn muscle names

My glutes and adductors are sore. Those names I know. (Learned adductor this morning).

And what I think are my obliques (sides?) and my lats (back?) are also sore. Maybe my pectorals (chest? but right near my armpit).

Time to consult the Internets when I get to my grandmother's.


Soreness is still at "super slow stairs" and not yet "escalator" level. I'll probably be at my grandmother's by that time, thank goodness.

It's close though, sitting down and standing up are getting laughably painful.


Which is honestly why I decided to not work on Tuesdays. Mondays, I go to my training session. Tuesdays, I recover in comic soreness. This allows me to push harder on Mondays. Sometimes just to see how sore I'll be on Tuesdays.

Sure, I'm not working as much, but I am lucky enough that I can set my priorities that way. So I'm going to take advantage of it while I can.



Yeah, walking is starting to hurt.

Hurts so good!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Post-training Report: Hello jelly legs, it's been a while

The whole of both of my thighs were complaining on the walk down the stairs. This is going to be fun tomorrow.

The past few weeks have been a bit meh sometimes at training because I love my new messenger bag too much and it's taking its toll on my posture. I'm a bit crooked right now. Not the bag's fault; it's just exposing my weaknesses.

And I'm not willing to give up my precious bag, so the only option is to strengthen all aspects of my core. Which is fine by me. And my trainer is helping me do that with my bag in mind because he is awesome.


I'm being good this week and heading back after a quick stop at the grocery store. Then attempting to clean my room...Need to find my climbing shoes.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday night journaling

Chill way to unwind. We'll see how long it lasts, but I'm loving it so far.

Forcing myself to sit down and write and draw. Create. Organize. Regroup. As Chris Hadfield would say, find my attitude.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Soreness Report

Not as bad as I was afraid of. Which means I need to work harder next week.

My back around my shoulder blades were sore yesterday morning. My inner thighs and glutes started to be sore in the evening, but I didn't need the escalators.

This morning I slept until noon. But I think that's from general fatigue. Hunger finally dragged me out of bed and I'm headed down to a cafe on the other side of the river. Like one of my fave places, it's been there for years, but I just haven't gone.

Not sure what's up with my muscles, but my legs are getting all itchy like they do when I haven't walked for a while and I did almost 12,000 steps yesterday. Maybe I slept too long.

In anycase, it's a gorgeous day today. If I were I runner, I would have probably been out taking advantage of it much earlier.

Still enjoying it all the same.

Alrighties, found the place. Let's see how it is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Aesthetic of Lines

Saw an ad for this exhibition a few weeks ago on the train and had been itching to go.

Some of it was weird, but there were some pieces that really grabbed me. All in all, it was pretty good. Especially at 500yen.

It was also my first time up to the 10th floor of this building and it's pretty awesome. The view is incredible.

And since it's lunchtime and it's right here, I'm having roasted chicken at Wolfgang Puck. Mashed potatoes and gravy! Yay! I might just come here for Thanksgiving. It'll probably be as close as I can get.


LOVING this new work schedule of mine.


Also, now that I've finished it, I can say that chicken was damn good! As were the mashed potatoes and gravy. Had to resist licking the plate. Not kidding.

Extra bonus: free drink refills with the option to change drinks. Score! Had two ice teas and finishing off my lovely meal with a hot coffee.

And gave in to the server's "Room for dessert?" and got some cake.


Life is good.

Monday, November 9, 2015

At the theater: グラスホッパー After thoughts

I'm not entirely sure what I just saw.

I'm glad I watched the movie, but I also really want to see Uroboros when I get back to my room. Watching that man move makes me want to get stronger.

Toma definitely does a great job though. He flailed while running in a way that makes you forget that he's insanely fit.

I'm always amazed by Toma. I may not like the movies he does, but I love watching him. I find him to be convincing, even if he's often type cast as the cute loveable guy that you sympathize with. This movie is no exception.

I have hopes for 秘密 which is coming out next year. I hear his role is cold and calculating.

Alrighties. Tomorrow is two hours of dealing with one of the realities of living in Japan as a foreigner, even for a Japanese American. Then a bit of New Year card planning. Then the day is MINE!

I might go to the museum.

Then clean my room and dig out my climbing shoes. And winter outfits. But the shoes are priority.

At the theater: グラスホッパー

Row F in Screen 1 ain't too bad. Definitely worth it.

I've been watching all of Toma's movies in the theater since 脳男 so I'm not stopping now. I mean, I even watched 土竜の唄.

But グラスホッパー looks promising. And Yamada Ryosuke is in it too. I know he has a bunch of action scenes. Hoping Toma gets to show off his action skills too. (If he doesn't, I'll just watch some ウロボロス when I get back to my room.

In anycase, this movie will at least be entertaining. Whee!

Black Thunder's Grey Zone

"Forbidden Borderline!?"

Yuraku has made an Earl Grey Milk Tea flavored Black Thunder.

Honest opinion? Not bad, but stick with the original.

---

Did a bit of shopping post-training and now I'm waiting for 8:20 to roll around. Watching グラスホッパー tonight.

Yay Toma!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Turning Pages: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth/火星の人 (The Martian)

That was such a good read!

A bit trippy to read right after The Martian, but in a good way.

And now to trip myself even more, I'm going to read The Martian in Japanese. Whee!