vintage_belle: (Default)
I know you're all sick of me posting, but I have to mention KOBE. KOBE KOBE KOBE KOBE KOBE KOBE KOBE. Kobe is too awesome to be real. We ate more food today than I have in basically a year, all of it delicious. Included in the menu were pizza, a salad with roast chicken, bubble tea, meat-buns and a sandwhich verison of one, tako-yaki, Subway (the need for a sandwhich was overpowering), and ramen. And China Town is just really awesome - I finally got a Buddah figure to bring my uncle, and there's a super awesome square with the Juunishi figures all around the perimeter.

We came back and rode the giant red Ferris wheel on the Hep 5 building (the same place where the call of Subway pulled us into the store before we realized it). We also took a detour back to Osaka Castle to get some pictures of it during the day.

With that, we've seen basically everything on our Kanjani8-said-to list. Tomorrow we're getting out to Osaka Dome and Nipponbashi. Considering how much we've managed to do early in the morning, we have no idea what we'll do with the rest of our day. Wander, perhaps, though I have no idea where we'd wander to. l-lol

Now back to my date with Mito Koumon. :3
vintage_belle: (Default)
Today was suuuuuuuper busy day. After waking up for Double, Amanda and I proceeded immediately out into the city to see as many of the stops on our Kanjani8 Osaka tour as possible. These included the American Village, which had Sankaku Park, and another park close by. We stopped into a Mexican restaurant for lunch, then walked to the street of huge signs (the crab and the Glico Man and the octopus and them; I'll think of the name of it when I'm not half asleep). Originally we considered stopping to get the food under each of the huge signs, but considering the lines... yeah, that didn't happen.

It was fine, because we took the train out to see the giant Sun Tower, then came back to Osaka Tower, eating Kushi-katsu for dinner and going up after the sun was down. Osaka's really pretty from on high at night, though of course getting pictures was quite the thing. Night scenery setting without a tripod will do that.

Tomorrow the plan is getting up and getting out to Kobe (for China Town and pizza), then we'll come back and ride the Ferris wheel. Wednesday we need to swing up to Osaka Dome and Nihonbashi, but otherwise the day is ours. We may just wind up walking around. Fun times.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Amanda and I have arrived safely in Osaka. We left Ujiie at 12 and didn't get to Shin-Osaka until 6:00 (this would have been made shorter had we not taken the normal train to Tokyo). We checked in at 6:30 and left right away to find Osaka-jo, and spent almost two hours attempting to take pictures in night-scenery mode. We went to a Chinese place pretty close to the hotel because their sign was on fire, and rushed back for TV, because that's the sort of life we lead.

Speaking of TV, have some reactions:

Kaibutsukun 2 (this one's late) )

Kaibutsukun 3 )

Re: Arashi no Shiyagare.
I'm not sure what I think of it. I like the opening a lot. The format... is kind of Shukudaikun Lite, in its way. It's too much like Himitsu for my taste at the moment. I like that they're supposed to learn from the guests and then get a chance to test out what they've learned (Jun: *waving hand* MAA, MAA, MAa, maa, m-- *sits*). But a lot of the success of the show is going to be dependent on the guest. Well, it's going to change sooner or later. I just think they should change back to food.
vintage_belle: (Default)
[ profile] sw_inku and I went to a five-course tea at The Inn at Irving Place today. The restaurant is called Lady Mendl's (that's not a typo), and is very Victorian in its decor. The food was delicious and the tea very good (though the selection isn't as good as it is at Alice's). It's also very expensive at $35 a person; I think you pay for the interior design because the portions aren't exactly big. Not a place to go to every day, or even every weekend, but it was a good time.

Following tea we went to see my optometrist. I have new sunglasses! 8D And I will have new glasses by tomorrow morning, which is exciting.

Then Mom and I went to see God of Carnage tonight. It's HILARIOUS. I'm no play analyst, but I'm pretty sure the point here was about civility and the over-civilization of society and how ridiculous we all are. But see it and judge for yourself. It's definitely the sort of play that can't be done if the cast can't work well together, and there really isn't room to be too over the top in your acting because the pace is so fast and the dialogue is outrageous as it is. The cast tonight had Lucy Liu and Jeff Daniels, and was excellent.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Any time I receive anything from Dear Old Company now my stomach pinches with dread and my heart starts thumping madly. Am I the only one who thinks that e-mails from the Boss should not do that?

Mom and I are going to the second of two passover dinners tonight. Last night's was in Long Island and featured a very hilarious and abbreviated version of the Seder. The Greenfield's are far more interested in eating than anything - that's my kind of family Seder right there. XD

Tomorrow I have an appointment for tea and then with my optometrist; then my mother and I are going to the theatre for her birthday. Thursday I have another appointment for tea, and in the morning I'll have to do all my shopping of essentials. Friday I will be packing my little heart out, because Saturday I leave at 6:30 in the morning.

I can't believe my vacation is half over already. orz
vintage_belle: (Default)
Huzzah America.

I am here, alive, and really, really tired. Also sleepy. Despite good intentions, I didn't wind up falling asleep until 3-something in the morning. Mom got me up at 10:45 or so. I had coffee, we brought my pants to the tailor to be taken in, we had lunch, and went shopping (new external hard drive and new bras yaaaaaay). We didn't get back until 4.

Now I am trying valiantly to stay awake so I can go to sleep at a decent time tonight and thus be rid of jet lag. Hopefully moving things from the laptop to the new external will help that attempt.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Well this is a late report, but.

22nd, left work early (after having spoken with Kyoto-sensei on Monday), ran for my apartment, grabbed my stuff, ran for the 14:00 bus to get to the station at 14:20, got my tickets, got on the 14:43. Got to Takasaki in time for the 15:13 Shinkansen to Tokyo. Got to Tokyo at about 16:15, which gave me enough time to catch the 16:33 express to Narita, which got me to the airport at 17:30.

Luckily nobody travels at 17:30 on a Tuesday night and I had done online check-in. All I had to do was print the ticket and head on through security and immigration, scarf down dinner, and wait around a bit to board. The plane took off pretty much on time and because of tail winds instead of landing in Hawaii at 7:30, we landed closer to 6:30. Good stuff.

I got the shuttle to the hotel (round-trip ticket so I didn't have to worry about getting back), and arrived about 8. Mom met me in front. We immediately went shopping at the Ala Malona shopping center - basically to celebrate Chanukah without the religious trappings. Neither of us have lighted the candles this year, in part for mourning and in part (in my case) because I don't have a menorah in which to light them. Haul: two shirts, a pair of jeans, three pairs of shoes, and a new watch (every last item was on sale). We returned and went to the beach to watch the sunset. Dinner was at a Thai place one of mom's friends had recommended.

Wednesday we woke up late (about 9:00). We got a late breakfast, and by the time we were out it was nearly 12. We decided to see America's only palace (the Iolani Palace), and we had one hell of a wait for the bus. It was a fairly long ride into Honolulu to get to the palace, but well worth the visit. After the sugar plantation owners overthrew the Queen and ignored President Cleavland's order to reinstate her, the Americans promptly auctioned every single piece of luxury in the building. The organization that now runs the tours is still trying to get it all back. The building is beautiful, quite small as palaces go, and I hope they're having success.

Thursday we went on a circle tour of the island, guided by a driver who literally did not once stop talking. Even when we were all getting off the bus, he was talking. When we got onto the bus, he was talking. Every minute the bus was moving, he was talking. We saw many beautiful lookouts, and a pod of about four humpback whales swimming by one of the beaches. We also went to the Dole plantation (which is moving to Maui because they can't keep up with their expenses.)

Today has been a very lazy day of walking, lunch, sitting by the poolside, and now heading down to see my last Hawaiian sunset. Tomorrow I leave around 12:00 for Japan again.

Quite a trip, no? :D
vintage_belle: (Default)
Dude. Shingo seriously is singing some of the best English I've heard coming out of a Japanese person's mouth. The rs need work, but that's a damn good 'naturally' he does. (I imagine he practiced for the last months, but still. Impressed am I. Also Brad Pitt needs to shave. WTF was that beard?)


Saturday I went out to an onsen with Amanda. FREAKING HOT WERE THOSE WATERS. Like, the hottest I've ever been in. Hot enough that I came out shivering with my vision whiting out. So that was fun. 8Db

Today the internets were out at school - and it just happened to be the day of the marathon, so I had no classes until 2. DEATH OF BOREDOM. Yes.

My mom sent me the most adorable package from her cruise in the Galapagos; I now have a really soft stuffed animal (I have no idea what it's meant to be, it looks kind of like a Yetti or something), rainbow gloves, and a pretty necklace. Speaking of my mother, she called on Sunday night and I now am in possession of a plane ticket to Honolulu on the 22 of December. I will be back on the 27th, just in time to receive [ profile] sw_inku. My winter is suddenly very full, and I am incredibly looking forward to it.
vintage_belle: (Default)
With the past weekend being a three-day weekend, on Thursday I was asked if I cared to run away to Nagoya. Not having been to Nagoya in two years (and two years ago seeing nothing more than the train station), I agreed. It was so last minute that a hotel was not in question - the idea was to stay in a karaoke booth and/or internet cafe. Since at the time it seemed like a fun experience, I agreed. Sadly, karaoke booths are far too loud and constantly moving. The internet cafe, while a much better deal with 6 hour packs and being open 24 hours, is a much better choice.

However, having had the experience of sleeping in one, I can safely say that I am not ever going to do it again unless forced. The matted, flat booths are the best choice of accomodation, of course, because otherwise you're stuck in a chair, and they come with a pillow. That's all you can count on. The place (called Rounge, by the by) had a man who snored constantly, but not consistently, and LOUDLY. There was a light directly over head, every time something was cleaned the cleaner made a loud announcement about it, and it was freezing. I woke up about once an hour every hour between 3:30 and 8. So an experience to be sure, but not one I wish to repeat.

The rest of the trip consisted of a very admirable 5 prefectures in two and a half days.

Nagoya is in Aichi. On Sunday we went first to Tsu, the capital of Mie (yes, you read this right, it's called Tsu). Then we were off to see Lake Biwa in Shiga. For dinner that night we went into Gifu city, Gifu. (Coming back and retrieving our things from the coin locker in Nagoya, we then proceeded to become fantastically lost trying to find the hotel we'd booked that night. Considering the sheer walking we did going around Biwa, the luxury was well in order.)

On Monday we left from Nagoya and went into Shizuoka, where we stopped to have lunch. The original plan had been to go up into Koufu in Yamanashi and thus make it six prefectures in 2 and a half days, but because of our running late, we missed the train that would have gotten us there at a respectable time. Instead we went to the science museum just outside of the Shizuoka station.

With all the Shinkansens and dinners and souvineres and whatnots, I now must resign myself to going nowhere for the rest of the month. But I give myself a week before I break that.
vintage_belle: (Arashi - Jun is happy)
I have returned, spending nearly the entire day flying. 5:15 wake up - not so awesome. Olympic airlines is also not so great an airline; very bad service. It didn't help that for nearly all of the time before take off and after landing the two morons in front of us were chattering as loudly as they could be - I could hear every single word of their conversation and it was not intellectually stimulating. Twenty minutes spent trying to figure out how their tickets were labeled A and C and yet they were sitting together (easy answer - there isn't a B seat, the little sign overhead said so). There were other inane topics, but I've forgotten them for the most part.

With the bad stuff out of the way: It was an amazing trip. Athens is amazing for having all of the antiquity that it does. The waters surrounding the islands are a beautiful and gorgeous blue, and so delightful to swim in. Dana and I spent nearly every night walking through the Old City (built up over a million years, it seems, there is Byzantine all the way up through Ottoman influence) and having our dinner at various establishments throughout. The scenery was beautiful, the skies were clear, the sun was brilliant (and intent to burn, but the olive oil sunscreen we bought worked amazingly well). It was also fantastic to spend so much time with Dana after the one or two lunches here and there that we'd had to cobble together during college. I would do it again in a heartbeat - I really want to see the other islands now.
vintage_belle: (Arashi - Nino yay!)
I am currently in [ profile] hikarineko's house, about to have lunch and then leave for the airport, where five of us will get on a plane for MEXICOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am excited. There may not be much of a chance to update from there, so I'll see you all on the 29th, when I get back.

Ja bai!
vintage_belle: (1950s rainy day)
I have actually gone and done some real Christmas shopping. I'm down to two people to buy for, I think. This is good.

Also: I CAN HAS TEKKON KINKREET, Y/Y?! Found that movie today, finally. OH. MY. GOD. It is so fantastic and trippy and creepy, and Nino Iadoreyoudomorevoiceactingnowplskthxbai. There is not much better than Nino's voice whispering at you for almost ten minutes. Unless it's Nino's voice whispering at you for almost ten minutes over Studio Ghibli backgrounds. The art style might not be the "prettiest" in the world, but damn does it ever suit the work.

February's Myojo has Arashi on the cover, and the pictures are so pretty. It is, however, sadly full of Hey!Whatever!PEOPLE stuff. Like a CD box-y case thing that's bright pink and covered in chibi!drawings of them. God, are there seriously ten of them?

In other news it is raining. I do not like the raining.
vintage_belle: (Blue whimsy)
Today was a good day.

I met Sissi at 15:00 for a round of ice skating in Bryant Park. The weather was nice; not too cold and the sun not shining directly on us. The temporary rink is much bigger than in Rockerfeller Center, and better still - it's mostly free. The whole endeavour cost me $7.00, including a cup of hot apple cider that wasn't of terrible quality. There was much catching up and nearly-knocking down children as we circled. There is nothing quite like circling a rink of snowy ice to the sounds of badly produced Christmas songs to get one in the holiday spirit - and I mean that sincerely.

We left the ice at 17:00 to have what was my dinner. At 18:30 I headed on to Lincoln Center, to meet my mother for the Messiah Sing-in. It's a 40 years running tradition there, now, and one my mother and I have been going to for eight years. It's funny how you can sit 2000 people in an audience, most of whom have never been formally vocally trained, and get a really nice sound out of them. This year there was a particularly bad timing problem, though - most people weren't looking at the conductors, so people were losing their place and jumping in randomly.

The Hallelujah Chorus was perfect, though. That's the important part.

Now, for tea.
vintage_belle: (Alexis Vinas)
On the off that anyone's interested, I've finally gotten around to putting my pictures from Barcelona up. They're here, some with commentary, I think. Then again, the commentary might only be on my facebook account. They're not particularly artistic, either, just some snaps to remember a holiday by - which I'm vaguely ashamed of, as Barcelona screams to have artistic photos taken. Oh dear.
vintage_belle: (Anna Paquin - cuddly)
My ceiling appears to have developed a leak in the last three days, due to the amount of rain. My transition to a true Bohemia is nearly complete. It matters little, however, as tomorrow I'll be off to meet my parents in Barcelona. They've promised to do something about the leak as soon as it gets a bit dryer. Anyway. Barcelona. I'll be meeting my parents there tomorrow morning, and I'll not be taking my laptop with me. I'm sure we'll find an internet cafe somewhere, so chances of me updating are high, but if you don't hear from me until the 18th, that's why.

Hope everyone's well!
vintage_belle: (CATS - Mistoffelees)
I find myself sitting here at the computer terminal with an extra twenty minutes of time thanks to a fifty pence piece that Dana decided to gift me with. (Read: Thought she was using it on herself, but missed the right slot for her computer.) So I thought I'd give another quick update on absolutely nothing, because neither of us have anything better to do. So far the plan is to attempt to stay awake all night, in an attempt to be awake tomorrow morning rather than risk sleeping until four again. Given that the travel from Cardiff to Glasgow is about five hours, there should be more than enough time to sleep on the train.

Cardiff during the day is rather boring, as I've said, but the night-life is pretty impressive. Walking down the main street yielded a bar or club every other door with music pouring out into the streets. It makes an for an interesting mix of songs like My Humps fading into songs like Uptown Girl as you walk.

There's a nice sort of TV-room in the hostel, where Dana and I watched about three-fourths of Dirty Dancing before hunger hit. Unfortunately once the clubs open all the restaurants seem to close. We wound up at McDonald's. Never would say this normally, but thank God for it.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Wanna hear something sick? After going to sleep at approximately 11 or 12 on December 28, I awoke the next day. At four PM. On December 29. God, now it's going to be even harder time getting a normal sleeping schedule going. I haven't slept that long since I was getting over jet lag from China. I suppose in some ways it's for the good of my trip. Cardiff is just the littlest bit boring, being dotted with shopping arcades but not much else. There is the Cardiff Castle, but it closed at four, so of course we missed it. We'll have to go tomorrow.

Also, the keyboards at the hostel are god-awful to type on. And we had the scariest time at a Subway I will ever have, with a woman behind the register who was more like the Soup Nazi than anything else.
vintage_belle: (Kana - sleep softly)
I write to you from merry olde England. This will be a brief update, as I fear for my coherency level. Dana and I left at approximately 7:00 - naturally about twenty minutes late. We touched down at Heathrow at 6:10 in the morning, and finally got out of the airport (after customs and all) at around 7:50-8:00. We took the only cab we will take to the school so I could drop off my huge fuck-off suitcase of stuff and laptop. Then we took the Circle Line to Paddington station and then got on the train to Cardiff. I'm typing from our youth hostel. I also technically haven't slept since 10:00 yesterday morning. The worst part is that it's only two in the afternoon. I'm afraid to sleep now because I don't want to get jet lag. Bah.

Cardiff is a nice city, but small. It is full of shopping arcades, but neither Dana nor I are interested in shopping at the moment. The stores can all be found in America, anyway.

[ profile] deviliknow, your challenge 'fic is progressing nicely. It's at about four pages now.

And now I die at the computer station.


vintage_belle: (Default)

May 2010

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