Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bottoms up, Rockstar!

WOOHOO! I went to the Nickelback concert that I've been looking forward to for the past few months! And the concert was AWESOME!! It was pretty chilly in the Budokan while I was waiting for the concert to start, but the temps rose quick as soon as the band got on stage. This was their first live at the "legendary" Budokan and looks like the band had a great time playing for us, just as the audience was having a grand time rockin' with the band. Yeah . . . the audience were having a grand time but man, they do NOT have the moves! NO sense of rhythm. This dude next to me was a classic case of 2 left feet, standing still, tho!! Ho-ly shite!! It's a pretty common sight at rock concerts here. Makes you wonder if you're listening to the same beat. Think jellyfish swaying in the wind . . . that's kinda what they look like. From what I heard, they gave the Japanese audience a longer show than for the others on the tour. Maybe cuz it was the last show of the tour or maybe cuz it was that they were having such a great time playing at the Budokan. Or they just wanted to keep watching the jellyfish dance! J/K

OMFG! You shoulda seen the drum solo! Awesome doesn't even come close to describing it! Daniel was banging away at the drums for what feels like forever! It was an amazing sight!! Tho the concert was Here and Now, they played a good selection of songs from their other albums. I loved it when they played Rockstar. Give it a day or two, then someone will probably upload a vid of the concert on YouTube. 

As soon as I got my ticket, I told my boss that I'll be leaving early on concert day, which he had no problems with. I even marked my calendar in big red letters! So when anybody asked me if I was available for a meeting, I'd show them my calendar and say any day except for this one. That got a chuckle out of a few co-workers. I was so excited about going to the concert, I had a hard time focusing on my work, but fortunately, I didn't get any rush jobs or anything that needed a lot of concentration to do. 

It was a cold and overcast day, forecast being rain. But I was lucky since it wasn't raining on the way to and from the concert, tho it looks like it was raining cats and dogs outside all during the concert, looking at the puddles when I got outside. I was asked to pick up a tshirt, so I got to there early enough to pick one up. Too bad that they didn't make any tshirts specially for the Budokan live. Now that would've been sooooo cool. But alas, they just had the general tour tshirt. Oh well. The line at the official goods tent was pretty long so it was a good thing I got there early. There were hawkers outside the grounds that were selling "unofficial" goods. I hear that the the bootleg stuff they sell in Mexico and South America are so much cooler than the official goods that even bands have their staff go out and buy some. LOL

Getting home was an ordeal. There was an accident on the line I usually take so I had to double back to take a different route, which takes longer usually. On top of that, mini boss decided to schedule an early morning meeting the next day. I hate early morning meetings in the winter--it's dark out when the alarm goes off and still dark when I leave the house. That just doesn't sit right with me. I'm going to work, FFS! Why do I have to leave the house when it's still dark??!!

Anyhoo, I had a great time at the concert. Getting back to reality the next day was brutal . . . 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Yo might have different origins and uses in English but one of the uses is the same as a Japanese girl would use it at the end of a sentence. Adding yo at the end of a sentence is a girlish way to talk, so dudes might not want to use yo while in Japan or people'll think they picked it up from their Japanese GFs. LOL  Dudes who pick up Japanese from their Japanese GFs do tend to sound girly  :)) But only someone who's fluent would pick up on the difference. I sometimes wonder if using yo at the end of a sentence got exported from Japan by dudes who picked it up from their GFs? :-?

Yo is also used like hey, which is another common usage. Not polite, but common. Saying yo yo when calling out to someone is more of a masculine usage, so you won't hear girly girls using it all that much. When I speak Japanese, I take on a more masculine tone, which friends find interesting since it's a pretty big contrast from how I look on the outside. I never did like the girly way of talking. :-?

I get weird looks from expats when I tell them I don't eat raw fish. They look at me as if I'm out of my mind. That's why I like the sushi go rounds they have here since the toppings aren't always raw fish and they have a pretty good variety that I can eat. Yeah, I'm a fussy eater so not easy to cook for  :P

Speaking of cooking, my friend promised to bake me cookies :-?  Dude, don't forget to bring freshly baked cookies the next time you see me, yo! :P

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Wasshoi! Wasshoi!

That's what you hear from the people carrying the portable shrines down the avenue. In English it's translated to heave ho, but instead of pulling, they're carrying the heavy shrines while bobbing rhythmically to the chants. The mikoshi is the portable shrine they carry down the main avenue in a parade before they return the little shrines back in their rightful places after the festivities are over.

My friend told me that he'll be carrying one of the shrines in the Mikoshi Parade. The weather was nice, warm, actually, for this time of year, so I ventured out to his neck of the woods. I looked down the main avenue but I didn't see a bunch of gaijins (foreigners) standing around the rather large portable shrine I saw sitting at the station. Turns out he's over at the park. Park? He didn't say anything about a park? So I head over to the park and lo and behold, there were a lot of portable shrines decked out in their full glory waiting to be shown off in the parade.

I saw my friend standing around with his buddies and texted him I was at the park. Then I roamed around taking pics for my blog. The frikkin' idiot didn't miss this chance to sneak up on me and make me jump.  But it's not often that he gets to do that . . . it's usually me laughing at his expense. LOL We chitchatted for a bit before he had to go back to his buddies. Gotta say that he did look cute in his red happi coat, which is like a livery but adapted to be more festive. He said the parade starts at 10am, but it was more like 11am before his lot joined the parade. So in the meantime I wandered around taking a bunch of pics.

His lot finally started moving so I tried to take pics but there was always someone in the way  At least I got a pic of him looking all cute in his happi coat when he came to chitchat with me for a bit

I usually don't go to these festivals since it's always too crowded but I went to show a little support for the darling dude. It was nice getting out to enjoy the weather for a bit. I did crawl into bed to take a nap right after I got home, tho. LOL

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sew sew sew the dress . . .

Well, not exactly a dress, but skirt and blouse

I have a flamenco recital coming up soon and the prices they charge for flamenco dresses/skirts/blouses and whatnots are unbelievable. Not to mention that it isn't easy to find a size that fits my fat ass. LOL

So whenever there's a recital coming up, I usually end up sewing a new dress/skirt/blouse depending on the color scheme. This time, it was red, white and black. I do have a red polka-dot dress I made a little while back, but it was time I made something else.

The skirt didn't take all that long to make, but it took me longer to finish the blouse than I thought it would since work got busier than usual. Now all I have to do is memorize the routine and choreography. Yikes!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Speaking the language

I ran into my friends who live in the neighborhood on the way home from grocery shopping and stopped by for some ice cream. Ever since I started working on a "normal" schedule, I haven't seen them in a while since their weekends tend to be occupied.

While catching up, I heard that their younger daughter is getting married in August. What wonderful news! They're Japanese but the daughter's marrying a Brit. The mother speaks English but the dad can barely get out a "hello". LOL So, to his relief, the future son-in-law went to college in Kobe, Japan and is fluent. From how they describe the boy, he seems to be sweet and considerate and everybody from my friend's side of the family like him.

For parents of young couples of different nationalities, the main concern is whether they'd be able to communicate with the son/daughter-in-law. The relief on my friend's face was almost comical, finding that his daughter's future husband spoke the language.

Now since the wedding's going to be in the UK, it'll be interesting to see how the dad is going to fare. I'm so looking hearing the whole story, from both sides. There's no way it won't be a story of hilarious laughter.

Anyhoo, congratz to the young couple and wishing them many many years of happiness to come!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What's your name say?

I was reading another blog and the writer said she looked up her name in the Urban Dictionary and looked up the meaning of her name.

OK, sounds like fun. I went to look up my name and lo and behold, I'm pretty awesome, regardless if I were  a male or female. Yeah, my name goes both ways. Here're the results I found:

Female version:
Person named this is usually quite smart.

She is a very beautiful girl/woman/lady inside and out------- Origin Ireland, has great artisitc talent, loves to piant draw anything ARTISTIC! Lovig Sympathetic Optamistic. Smart Creative a GOOD friend likes to have fun and laugh. Also has origin of Venus the Godess of Love and Beauty!

Fun, sympathetic, and charming. Witty, brilliant, and an excellent friend. Unless you want your friends to call you. Ever.

Male version:
An extraordinary man. Real. Down to earth. Funny, Witty, Handsome, Intelligent and a true friend. Tough personality but has a huge heart.

Not sure if I like the "Unless if you want your friends to call you. Ever." part, but overall, seems like my name pretty much suits my persona.

All work . . . ?

So, what've I been up to lately? Nothing exciting. At. All. Basically going back and forth between work and home and vegging out on weekends. My contract got extended for another 3 months. That's good news.  And it's almost July! 

These past couple of weeks were pretty busy ones. Beats twiddling my thumbs all day long at work. I even go to do some desktop publishing work. I was a bit rusty at first since it's been over a year since I used InDesign. The software being in Japanese did NOT help either. It took me forever to try to figure out what's what. The menus are a bit different. Not everything is in the same place between the English version and Japanese version, which sux. What's worse is that Adobe doesn't offer online manuals. Only some lame-ass tutorials which are about as helpful as a thimble of water in the desert. I finished the project but I still couldn't figure out how to get the style sheets to apply the baseline grid. Grrrrrr . . . had to do it manually . . . grumble, grumble, grumble . . .

I don't know what it is with these people, but they come by my desk asking me to do some translation jobs, which is no problem since that's what I'm paid to do, but they have a bad habit of asking me to do it by the end of the day or first thing the next morning. No problem if we're talking short documents but multi-paged ones? Seriously?? But yeah, I manage to get it done. Good thing for no social life, hey? Plenty of time to stay  and get it done. At least I get overtime.

I really need to open up my PC this weekend. It's starting to make this weird noise. I think it's the fan, but not sure which one. If the fan's not the problem, I'm loathed to know what's making the noise. I did take a vacuum cleaner and got rid of the dust a little while ago when I first noticed the noise. Yeah, yeah . . . I'm making backups so no worries there.

Oh well . . . tho life's lacking in excitement, at least I have a job and seem to be appreciated at work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kapow, boom!

OK, who's been pissing Mother Nature off these days?

First it was a bed-rocking earthquake in the middle of the frikkin' night a couple of nights ago and then last night there was lightening and thunder accompanying the heavy rain. I have a Dutch friend who lives in Taiwan who loves this kind of weather but not this gal!

The weather report from the day before said only 20% rain, but that changed over the course of the night. Since I have a bad habit of not checking the weather report before leaving the house and not carry an umbrella unless if it's actually raining when I step foot outside, I ended up getting drenched on the way home. At least I have a hot bath waiting for me.

Today's lovely out. Too bad I have to work. It'd be a nice day to have a picnic in the park.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hard task?

OK, one of my pet peeves is seeing an empty roll of toilet paper in the holder.

I work in an office building with several women and I come across this more times than I'd like. Really ladies, what is so hard about replacing a roll of toilet paper? There's toilet paper stacked right there on the shelf, even!! What's more irritating is seeing both holders empty. Seriously? Not one of the ladies who used the stall could change it? I really doubt we're taking away the cleaning lady's job by showing consideration for the next user . . .


Commuting in comfort

Since it's getting too warm to wear my Skechers Tone-ups with a furry lining, I was looking for something to replace it to use for commuting.

There were a pair I liked but the shipping costs proved to be too expensive if I ordered them from the States so I was browsing local sites to see if I can find anything I liked.

Then I came across these. I've been wanting a pair of Shape-ups and since these were on sale, I was like eh, why not?  I spent the weekend out and by the time I got home, there they were, waiting for me.

I tried them on and OMG! are they comfortable! The fit was great, even the arches. I don't think I can really put much faith in getting in shape just by wearing these to and from work, but at least I can walk in comfort. Trying to navigate through the train station in the morning can get to be a brutal ordeal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ding dong!

I saw this sign on my FB page a little while back and darned it it ain't the cutest thing!

It's a hand-written cardboard sign posted at some eatery saying "If you'd like to get our attention, please push the button below and say Ding Dong! in a loud voice. We'll get to you as soon as we can."

Gotta say, this got some laughs from me and my friends! Kudos to the eatery for their creativeness, too! I'm sure a place with this kind of sense of humor would be a great place to have a filling meal with lots of laughs.

Hope you got some laughs out of this, too!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sakura sakura

The sakura was absolutely lovely this year, as in the past years. Fortunately for the weekend they were in full bloom, it wasn't raining--for once. Tho Saturday turned out to be cloudy and chilly from noon but Sunday was lovely all day, despite the winds being on the chilly side.

There's a road that passes through a residential area that's lined on both sides with cherry blossom trees and it feels like you're driving under a canopy of pink blossoms. It was really pretty, even at night time. But I would not like to be driving under that pink canopy when it rains. Once the petals stick to your car, it's not easy getting them off.

Pretty soon it'll be "snowing" pink petals but we'll enjoy the view while we can.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Roast Dinner

Due to the "worst storm since the 50's", Roast Night at a pub I go to every now and then in Yokohama was changed to last night instead of the usual Tuesday nights. Since I finished my work well before quitting time, I asked a friend to join me for dinner and off we went to enjoy a roast dinner of roast beef, roast lamb, carrots, peas, mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding with gravy and mint sauce.

Man, was that a good dinner! The gravy was amazing and the mint sauce was refreshing and went very well with the lamb. Even my friend who wasn't a big fan of mint sauce liked this one. Gotta say, this pub does serve good food! Fish and chips are always popular, the chicken for the chicken and chips are wonderfully tender, the shepherd's pie is great and they offer daily specials, too.

It was great getting together with my friend since I haven't seen her in a while. Good food, good company . . . what more can a gal ask for? LOL

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ow ow ow . . .

Don't you just hate it when you get a call from Nature in the middle of the night?

So last night I did and while I was going downstairs half asleep (Japanese houses tend to have only one bathroom), my slipper slipped on the edge of a step and I ended up sliding down half a flight of stairs, hitting my butt, tailbone, funny bone, the side of my heel and shoulder blade area.

Now I have a nice bruise on my butt and elbow, a bruised tailbone and heel, and sore shoulders. Since I'm not fully awake in the mornings, I didn't start to feel the pain until I was riding to the station on my scooter. And man, did I feel every single bump! OW! On the train, I had to be careful not to sit back too much or my tailbone'd start complaining.

Here I am at the office sitting in front of my laptop, in pain and my back getting sore from having to sit in a position I usually don't. Never thought leaning back to stretch could be so painful! OUCH!

I'm sure I'll be sore for a couple of days, but hope I'm better by the weekend!

Be careful of them pesky stairs in the middle of the night!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flowing text

OK, I think I figured why it takes me so long to translate from English to Japanese. Not only do the words not flow as smoothly in Japanese as it does in English, I have to convert the words into kanji characters and there're usually more than one character to choose from. Talk about PITA!

When typing in English, once you type a word, you can go onto the next unless if you made a typo. In Japanese, you have to convert the word into kanji before you can go onto the next. Doing that takes up precious seconds and the seconds add up to minutes and the minutes add up to hours.

I'm not all that familiar with Japanese grammar, either. I'm glad I'm not translating something that needs proper grammar. *whew!*

Anyhoo, it's taking me forever to finish an English to Japanese assignment and it can get to be irritating because of the slow progress. I hope they give me more Japanese to English assignments than vice versa. I'm missing the times I was just twiddling my thumbs with nothing to do. LOL

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weepy? Really?

A friend invited me over for breakfast and I'm not one to pass up a chance to get me some real, crisp, US bacon. LOL

There were 4 of us having breakfast that morning, one being the my friend's GF, who I met for the first time. I've heard what others've said about her but I kept an open mind but didn't take long for it to slam shut.

So I filled my plate with bacon, pancakes, hashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs and sat back down on the couch where I usually sit whenever I'm over. I think the dog learned by now that I don't share so he went to sit in front of someone else. LOL Two of us wolfed down our food and thanked the dude for a great breakfast. I look over and saw the GF in tears while eating her food. WTF?! I was like really? There're people over FFS, and one who you've never met before and you're sitting there crying? Seriously?

Seems like she got her feelings hurt since we didn't thank her, too. When my friend told me that she's the one who cooked the bacon and helped prepping, my first thought was so THAT's why the bacon was kinda under-cooked. But I didn't say anything. I just smiled and said OK. But seriously, is that something to cry about? Really?

I might be rash in my dislike for her since I only met her that one time and don't know her, but she didn't make a great impression and she reminded me of my former assistant. Now that was one weak, weepy, manipulative and vindictive bitch who had a tendency to pine over things that belonged to others. On the surface, she gives off the impression that she's cheery and nice but in truth, she'll go behind a person's back, crying over every single thing that made her unhappy and manipulate others so they'll turn on anyone who she doesn't like, me being one of them. Did I do anything about it? No, not really. I let her dig her own grave and eventually she fell flat on her face in it.

Personally, I don't have much tolerance for weak, weepy, manipulative bitches who let loose the waterworks whenever their feelings get hurt or they're unhappy about something and expect people around her to feel sorry and fawn over her. Which is what her BF did. Yeah, whatever dude. If she gets your freak on, have at it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It's said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, since I'm used to later mornings (I used to leave for work between 9-10am at my old workplace), I really don't feel like fixing myself anything for breakfast. I'm not much of a morning person and not usually hungry at 6am. Hell, I'm barely awake! LOL

Working in an office district does have its advantages. There're places open early that serve breakfast. I usually get a container of yogurt from the store but sometimes I'll have a heavier breakfast. The typical Japanese breakfast is rice, miso soup, dried seaweed and raw egg (I can hear screams of eeeeewwwwwwwww!!! here . . . LOL ), fish, and pickles. We're not talking cucumber pickles like in the States. The veggies are usually pickled in salt or what's called nuka (a fermenting bed using rice bran). These pickles go well with white rice.

I should start eating heavier breakfasts and lighter dinners, tho. My jeans are too tight so I can use to lose some weight. I hate dieting. *sigh*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Achoo! Honk!

. . . is the chorus that's resonating throughout the office these days. Hail allergy season!

Every year around this time you'll see people with red eyes and noses, not cuz they have a cold or they saw a sad movie, it's cuz there's pine pollen in the air and a good chunk of city folk've (and also some in rural communities) succumbed to allergies. Some people go as far as getting laser surgery before the allergy season starts so they won't have to carry boxes of tissues with them.

Apparently, the plan build the forests back up after the big war ended up with having an unpleasant side affect for the citizens of this isle. Springtime, when you're supposed to say good-bye to cold weather, welcome the warm weather, sunshine, flora and fauna, breathe in the fresh air and feel good, now is a season that's dreaded by the Sneezies.

BUT, hell if these peeps are letting allergies put a damper in their partying! LOL By the end of this month or early next month, you'll see party-goers sitting under the cherry blossom trees eating, drinking, singing (as well as sneezing), having a great ol' time.

So far, I've been spared . . . knock on wood. LOL

Monday, March 5, 2012

PC games

OK . . . getting locked out of your own PC is a sure way to get rid of the Polynesian paralysis aka afternoon drowsiness. 

I was installing a software that I need to learn to use and that required a system reboot. Sure, no problem. So I reboot the system and entered my password. Bleep! Wrong password! Eh? Typo'd the password? OK . . . so I enter the password again . . . Bleep! Wrong password. WTF?! So this time I entered the password one key at a time reaaaaaaaal slow. This time I'm told I had to reboot. HUH??!! OK, so I reboot and entered the password again. Now the PC says nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah . . .  your password's correct but I'm not letting you in  :P:P:P  The little piece of shit locked me out!!

Grumble grumble grumble . . . 

The stupid security software this place uses went bonkers on me and the administrator had a jolly good time fixing it. Hey, I didn't do nothin'! Ain't my fault that the sucker decided to play games with the user . . . hmph!!

Anyhoo, my PC's finally unlocked and the new password's working . . . for now . . . :-w


I've basically figured out which train is less sardine-packed compared to others in the morning but I'm still experimenting. One morning I get to the station early and saw that the local train (stops at every frikkin stop and sits pretty at certain stations waiting for an express trains to pass by) just pulled in. I always wondered what the difference in time was between a local train and express. So I get on the local train, find a seat (which is a rare treat in the mornings) and off I go . . . but not for long  . . . before I realize it, the train's sitting pretty for several minutes, waiting for the express trains to pass by. Oh crap! I just saw the train I usually take speed past! That means I need to change trains at the next major station or I'll be late for work. So much for experimenting . . . *sigh* . . .

The train I usually take is crowded but there's still enough space around me to breathe freely. But, the express train I ended up taking that morning was one of the seriously jam-packed ones where you can't even move your arms. You're stuck in the position you're in when you get on the train til the crowd gets off at the next major station. Talk about stifling!! So there I was, squished up against the other commuters (luckily the neighbors didn't pig out on garlic the night before), swaying to and fro since the ride is far from smooth. You never know where dance lessons come in good use, especially where the instructor teaches you how to shift your weight so you can still keep your balance.

I barely made the connecting train that I usually take but I made it to the station at my usual time. Yay! I can stop by the store to pick up some yogurt for breakfast.  No, I don't eat breakfast at home since I barely have time to get out of the house to get my fat ass to work after I get out of bed.  Besides, 6-7am's too early to eat.  8-9am is a good time to have breakfast for me. But I'm not the only one eating breakfast at work. The geeks around me seem to be glued to their keyboards, eating breakfast and lunch (and probably supper, too) at their desks while busily clacking away codes and whatnots and use the 2nd drawer in their desks as their goodies drawer, storing cookies and candies to snack on over the course of the day. The peeps here sure make good use of the convenience store on the 1st floor. LOL

Oh well, now I know that taking the local train in the morning isn't a good idea and better to stick with the train I've been taking. At least I can have breathing space on this one and possibly get a seat on the connecting train.


Gotta give 'em a good whack to get them working right sometimes . . .

I thought I dropped my Mp3 player one too many times the other day when it stopped playing my beloved Bon Jovi. Yeah, I'm one of the rare few who still don't have an iPod :P  I could use my tablet if need be but my Mp3 player's a whole lot smaller. Anyhoo, the little sucker flew out of my pocket and onto the hard-tiled floor of the store I was exploring (I'm starting to get to know the area where I work a bit more and exploring the stores). So I pick the player up, turn it on . . . silence . . . not a peep . . . I take out the battery, put it back in . . . it looks like it's trying to read but not getting to the playing stage yet . . . damn! Do I need a new player? I haven't even got paid yet! I plug the earphones in my tablet and listen to Bon Jovi from that while I was still fiddling with the player since I was exactly ready to give up yet. As a last resort, I have the sucker a good thwack from the other side. Lo and behold! Houston, we have lift off!  :))  Who knew that all the little player needed was a good spanking?  =))

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kuhlahpus . . .

Since "r" and "th" don't exist in Japanese phonetics, these people have a funky way of pronouncing foreign words. Every now and then I'll come across some words pronounced in such a weird way that it takes me a while to figure out what they're saying.

In my island of desks, everybody else is a programmer. So they're throwing out techie terms all day long and the guy who sits across from me kept on talking about kuhlahpus. I've been hearing that term almost every day and one day, while I was doing some translation work, it dawned on me that he was taking about color paths!!  Sheesh!! And here I was wondering if I was picking up some techie term. LOL

Here're some examples of how some words have funky pronunciations:
Tijuana = Ti-fah-na
Vinyl = be-knee-ru
Cyprus = ki-pu-rossu
Law/Raw/Low/Row = loh
Pass/Path = pa-su
Coffee = koh-he

Since their phonetics are more limited, tho they maybe speaking English, sometimes it 's hard to understand a word they're saying. Guess if I stick around long enough, I will pick up some real techie terms. LOL

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sampling cream

A few friends got together for yakiniku over the weekend and the food was fabulous! One evasive friend surprised us by coming to the restaurant!  Miss Chatterbox and I were merrily yakking away as usual and I told her the time and place we were meeting. She did ask if she could join us, which surprised me since she's not the most outgoing person around. Of course she was more than welcome and she actually showed up!

So the 4 of us sat around the table grilling meat and yakking up a storm.  After we got our fill of meat, we topped off the dinner with cold and refreshing ice cream. We each ordered a different flavor and went around sampling each other's ice cream. Of course, chocolate ice cream rocks!  

After dinner, we headed out (in the cold) for drinks. The original plan was to go to a Spanish restaurant located at the other side of the station but sadly they were closed. So we went to a bar that had fish tanks filled with colorful tropical fish lined up along the walls instead. It was a nice bar, tho a bit on the dark side but that brought out the colorfulness of the fishies. The time to catch the train was fast approaching so we called it a night and bit our extended farewells at the station with lots of hugs and kisses. At any other time, we would've looked like a rather odd group but the station was filled with tons of drunks so we blended right in!

My hunger got the best of me and I forgot to take pics!

Nap attack!

OK . . . this past year of unemployment's spoiled me rotten! Wake up late in the morning, take a nap whenever I want, no set meal times, don't have to wear undies unless if I'm going out, schedule dates whenever I want . . . but the downside is no real incomes, just the pittance from the unemployment office, which went straight to pay the mortgage.

It's been a few weeks since I started working again. The first day was uneventful. I was surprised how they weren't exactly ready for my arrival--no ID badge that I need to gain entrance to the office building and clock in and out, no PC set up--I got a crappy laptop that has less than 500mb RAM and I had to set up my own user ID and password , they didn't have anything for me to do--I ended up spending the day reading some boring literature about the processes. I was assigned a project today, so I'll have something to keep me busy for the next week.

One problem I ran into in the beginning was when 2-3pm rolls around, I get attacked by the sleep rays So there I wasstruggling to stay awake and focus on the assignment while trying not to suck up all the oxygen by my yawning. I start getting over my sleepiness by the time it's time to leave for the day. Go figure! LOL

I guess it's gonna take time for my body to realize we're not living at a leisurely pace anymore.  The commute's not exactly something I want to get used to, tho. Packed sardines anyone?

Finally employed!

I was soooooooo thrilled and excited when the staffing agency called to confirm that I got the job that I interviewed for a couple weeks earlier! Whooooopeeeeee!! I'll be on a one-month trial but if they like my work, they'll extend my contract. Actually, the trial's a good thing since the job involves a lot of translation work. Tho I can do it, translation's not really my thing, so it'll give me a chance to test the waters to see if that's what I want to do on a long-term basis.

All those 100s of reject emails are a thing of the past now. At least for the next month. The commuting distance isn't all that different from before but I'll be working on the other side of town and I'm looking forward to exploring the area.

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that they like my work and extend my contract.

It's a positive trend, tho. Corporations realizing that high test scores doesn't mean people can translate accurately and coherently. My test scores actually suck since I don't translate word for word so the automated tests don't recognize the accuracy of my translations. But then, we're talking about tests made by non-native speakers, too.  I sure as hell won't be putting down purring vegetables as an answer!  LOL!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Good-bye my friend

A couple of days ago I got a shocking email from a former co-worker that another co-worked passed away from cancer. That news came as a shock to all of us who used to work with her. She was only a few years older than I was but somehow managed to keep her girlish manner.

Her smile was infectious, always helpful and caring and boy did the girl like her beer!  LOL During the staff outings, she and another co-worker were the first ones with beer in their hands, starting off the party ahead of the rest of us.

It's so sad that she was taken so early, she still had so much to give to her family and friends.

Good-bye my friend. It was a pleasure to get to know you and to have spent some time with you on this world. Be in peace. The love you left behind will stay with us always.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A good day

My birthday came and went but I had a good one this year.  The day before, a friend took me out to dinner and on the day I had dinner with a couple of other friends. Since I told my mom that let's stay away from getting clothing articles since both of our wardrobes are overflowing, she got me a big box of chocolates and rice crackers since she figures I'll be craving something salty after eating so many sweets. LOL

For the dinner with friends, we went to a restaurant that runs a bakery and they offer all you can eat freshly baked rolls. I like their yomogi rolls, made with Japanese mugwort. The course dinner was nice, we had salad, appetizer, main dish and dessert w/ coffee/tea. We ordered different appetizers and main dishes so we can share. The food was nice and we were sopping up the sauce with the freshly baked rolls. Yum!

I was waiting for friend to finish packing so we can ride the train together, me to the dinner, him to the airport, so I ended up being a bit late. Trains are evil, tho . . . they make you drowsy and you doze off almost missing your stop.  I got off first, wished him a safe trip, and headed off to the restaurant.

I was out all day and didn't get home til late at night so I got my birthday present from my son the day after. He got me some cake  And they were gooooood!

It's a conspiracy! Everybody's out to expand my waistline on my birthday this year!  But still, it was a good day and hugs and kisses to all my friends who sent me birthday wishes!

Science and scrubbing

After spending a few days over at a friend's house, I come home to a vile lingering smell of something burning. I was like WTF?! I head for the kitchen and there it was . . . my beloved shiny (and expensive) Amway frying pan burnt to a crisp. AAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Apparently a certain idiot in the household put the pan on the stove, forgot about it and went to bed, waking up to the charred remains of what was supposed to have been the previous night's dinner.  My son's in charge of doing the dishes and he was soaking the pan in water in hopes to salvage it. The charred remains felt like it was cemented to the pan.

Well, I wasn't about to give up and throw out an expensive piece of cooking ware that easily. I hop on the net to see if I could find any solutions. And there it was . . . How to Clean Burnt Pots and Pans . . . all you needed was some baking soda, vinegar and determination. After following the directions, lo and behold! The charred remains came off! It's going to take a bit of polishing to get the pan back to its shiny luster, but getting all that burnt stuff off is a good start.

I felt like I was doing a science experiment, using the baking soda and vinegar, but it worked like a charm and my beloved frying pan's pretty much restored to its original state.


Lost with map . . .

A few friends got together for a night of Korean BBQ the other day but before that, my gal pal, M, and a buddy dude, R, met up in the afternoon for a stroll in the park.

We met at the Shinjuku Station, which is probably one of the worst places you can use to meet up with someone. The station is huge and also confusing. M tells me to meet her at the Central West exit. R and I were heading from Yokohama, but since I got on the wrong train, I ended up being late to meet R at the Yokohama Station. Oops  So we get to the Shinjuku Station, get out the Central West exit, and she's nowhere to be found. A few minutes later, I get a text from her saying she's running a few minutes late. R and I were standing there, starving since we haven't had lunch yet, waiting for my gal pal to show up. Then I get a text saying she can't find us. Dude . . .  Since we were standing in front of a department store, I told her to meet us in the cosmetics section. Now what girl canNOT find the cosmetics section in a department store?  LOL

To get to the Shinjuku Gyoen park, we find that we should've started out at the EAST side instead, then head south.  Thus starts our adventure in finding our way to the other side of the station. Just to let you know, it was no easy task. We went underground, went in circles, got above ground, got lost . . . and all this time M was holding a map in her tiny hand. Now who the hell gets lost while holding a map?! I was hungry and getting kinda cranky and before the inner bitch is totally unleashed, I took matters into my own hands and fired up my GPS, which I should've done in the first place. I knew she was a lousy navigator but didn't think she can manage to get us lost while looking at a map! 

We finally found our way out of the station and was on course to the park. I saw a fast food beef bowl joint across the street and asked if R would be OK with having a beef bowl for lunch. He's never had one so he was game. Now M was another story. Being kind of a snob herself, she doesn't like places that aren't trendy. You won't see her walking into a fast food joint out of choice and started griping about the calories and cholesterol levels. That was it . . . I was really hungry, to the point that I was starting to feel a little sick, so my inner bitch couldn't stay quiet any longer . . . I was like if you want to go somewhere else, go ahead, but I'm going in and getting something to eat NOW, and marched right into the beef bowl joint. R and M followed but she was kind of put out since she didn't get her way. But fortunately, the place had low-cal ala carte items on their menu so that appeased her a bit.

Our hunger sated, we headed off to the park, which was just down the road. The Shinjuku Gyoen park is a big park in the middle of Tokyo. Since we only had a few hours, we didn't explore the entire park and stayed on the main paths. I knew it was cold out that day but didn't expect to see ice on the pond!  BRRRRRR!!  It was funny and cute watching the ducks tread cautiously over the ice and occasion, fall through along the edges where the ice was obviously thinner. Being winter, the trees were bare and the park lacked color but the daffodils were in bloom and gave off a nice scent. I'm sure the park looks stunning when the cherry blossoms start blooming and grass turns green again.

The park was closing and it was time we needed to head for the Korean BBQ place to meet up with the others. It was the six of us this time and eat, drink and be merry we did! Even tho it was just after the holidays, the place was packed! There must've been a bunch of Tokyo tours or something on that day cuz there were so many big groups. A lot of kids and teenagers, too. Never did I see a tray of French fries and fried chicken disappear so quicky from the buffet line!  The place wasn't so packed the last time we were there. The price is quite reasonable considering soft drinks, booze and dessert were all included in the all-you-can-eat. We were busy grilling, yakking and drinking til we were about to burst. To get to the ice cream for dessert, we had to fight off the hoard of kiddies flocking the ice cream freezer. Of course being the self-serving adults we were, we managed to get our ice cream and cakes. LOL 

Time was up and we had to leave but we were happy and full. We roamed through Ginza for a bit and found a nice little bar where drinks and bar food were at an extremely reasonable price of 300yen each. On the way, we saw the oddest thing . . . a pair of shoes left behind by the side of the road. Back in the 80s, when it was popular to change into slippers when people got into their cars (I kid you not, some people had a no-shoes policy in their cars, just like in the homes!) and forgot to retrieve their shoes, so you saw a pair of nicely aligned shoes left behind in a parking lot. This happened more out in the boonies where parking was more plentiful and people drove more than they rode busses and trains.

After drinks, we bid our farewells. Two of us had birthdays coming up and were treated with homemade chocolate cake, which was very rich, chocolate-y and yummy!! 

I'm looking forward to our next dinner! But before then, I'm gonna have to do something about my waistline . . . yeah, right . . . LOL

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's just too "Me"!!

I got a birthday package in the mail today! Woohoo!  And it's from a good friend who moved to the States a while back! YAY! There even was a card inside, a real, honest to goodness card!  Better yet, there were not one but TWO boxes of chocolates in the package!  I also saw something familiar . . . little Garfield beanie babies . . .  I pull them out and the bigger one was wearing a tshirt saying "I don't do perky!".  My dear friend wrote in the card that "The Garfield is just too YOU!" He knows me too well!   After all, he HAS seen me in the mornings!  

Thank you dear friend!  I LOVE the chocolates and Garfield beanie babies!  HUGz!!

*My birthday's next Tuesday, tho. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Traumatizing beauty

OK. Taking care of your complexion might not be an easy task. But whenever you don one of these moisturizing facial masks, don't roam around the house too much or you might end up traumatizing your mother. I guess coming across one of these (refer to the right) is least expected in the house and a person can forget to breathe for a few seconds. LOL My son's seen me like this a couple of times. After freezing in place for a second or two, he just starts giggling. The things women do for beauty, hey?

A friend of mine got me a whole bunch of these when he went to Korea for work. The Koreans aren't fooling around when it comes to their cosmetics. These facial packs make your skin feeling smooth and after regular use, you'll notice the difference on how the foundation goes on. I also got a tube of the Korean BB cream foundation and it's nice how it goes on thin and light but still manages to cover blemishes. This foundation serves as an all-in-one moisturizer, sunscreen and base cover so one application takes care of all these.

I'm going to be enjoying smooth moist skin while supplies last. It's good especially the winters are so dry here they suck out all the moisture out of brown sugar.

Meeting up with meat!

For you vegetarians/vegans out there, move on, cuz meat was on the menu that night and lots of it!

A few friends and I got together for a new year’s party in Shibuya the other night. Since the churrasco place was offering a New Year special, we decided to go get our fill of meat. And get our fill, we did! No doubt about that! The food was so goooooooood! :D

I headed out early so I can snap off a few pics of Shibuya. I didn’t take into account that it got totally dark by 5pm. It was still light out when I left the house! So I get out of the station, not happy that it’s always a few degrees colder in central Tokyo than it is where I live, overwhelmed by the crowds but somehow plow my way through for my stroll around the area.

I started up Dogenzaka, then cut through the “love hotel” district. I’ve never seen so many “love hotels” clumped together in one place! There was one sign that said this hotel is built in the pure Japanese traditional way with cedar bathtubs. I thought that was kinda quaint. I also found the swinger’s club that’s popular among the foreign crowd. I was looking for it and passed right by it a couple of time without knowing it. LOL I came across a few places that advertised “relaxation herbs” . . . now wonder what that can be?? :-?

Shibuya’s an interesting place. On the left, you have the hotel clusters, in the middle you have the shops and eateries geared toward the younger crowd and on the right you have the higher priced department stores.

My friends and I were to meet in front of the Hachiko statue (not the best idea if it’s crowded). I was wearing a brightly colored hat that helped me stand out since otherwise I’d be buried in the sea of people. They were able to find me and off we went to the Brazilian restaurant. 2 of my friends are city folk so they were able to negotiate the crowd without hitch but me and another friend are fellow booniesville residents so we had a hard time keeping up.

We finally made it to the restaurant. It was good that we thought to make reservations cuz the place was packed! They were turning away people without reservations. We got to our seats, placed our orders and headed straight for the buffet table. The black bean stew they served was really good. I sampled a bit of each of the dishes, except for the ones that had things I don’t like, and all in all, I liked it. While wolfing down the salad and other Brazilian dishes, the servers come around to the table with meat, meat and more meat. Then they give you a small slice of each, you’re pretty full after sampling 7-8 types grilled meat they bring around. The grilled pineapple was good and refreshing before moving on to dessert. Sadly, I only had room to try 3 kinds of dessert, the custard pudding, chocolate pudding and fruit jello, and of course, some coffee. No way am I gonna step on the scale the next morning! :))

After dinner, we went out for some drinks and yakked a bit more. It was a great evening. I had my son come pick me up at the train station since I wasn’t sure how much I’d be drinking that night. It ended up that I didn’t drink that much but it’s nice to have a car waiting at the station to take you home. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Oh well . . .

. . . so much for resolutions. Since my closets and drawers were overflowing with clothes, hats, shoes and purses, I "resolved" to try to not add to the chaos. Key word being try.

Bored and restless, I finally shed my pjs, change clothes, put on some make-up and head out to go shopping. I needed to go out soon anyway since there're a few birthdays coming up.

So there I was, browsing around for birthday presents and what catches my eye? This hat! I swear it was beckoning me! It was like 60% off and when I tried it on, it was a good fit. It'll go good with my red or black trenchcoats, too. Kaching! The sale was rung up. Sigh . . . so much for resolutions. That's why I'm not in the habit of making any. And I got myself some chocolates, too. But that's OK since it won't add to the chaos in my closet, tho they might add to the tightness of my jeans.

Well, I didn't end my shopping at the hat. I did pick up a couple of birthday presents while I was at it. All in all, it was a good afternoon and I came home pretty happy with myself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

2011 wasn't the greatest year for me. Never imagined that I'd end up being unemployed for an entire year. Despite the fact that I'm fully bilingual and have tons of experience, my age and lack of degree is biting me in the ass big-time here in this male-dominated pedigree society. The prefer to hire young dimwit who limped through college partying more than studying than someone with experience and is good at their job. *sigh*

Now it's 2012, new year, new hopes and preferably with few disappointments. It doesn't help that the year started with Mother Nature shaking her booty. The epicenter was off the shores of an uninhabited island over by the Izu Peninsula and registered M7 but it was only M3 where I live. But still, it was a long one. I'm sure the doomsdaysayers are crying out it's an omen! LOL

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's shinnenkai (new year party) with a few friends. I know it's gonna be tons of fun.