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Japan Day 10 & 11: Mostly food & Nostalgia, and GIRLS’ LIPS =0

4 Sep

On August 1st, I rolled my butt out of the fold out bed, tried to make my face not look like a melting mess, and set out for my full day of Osaka adventure by myself. Nicole had to work until the afternoon so I was on my own to visit my old haunts and be a creepy lady on the streets of Osaka until evening.

I hit up Namba and the Minami Osaka area first and worked my way north through all of the shops that I used to like to frequent.

Can't start the day without a proper breakfast. To the Chococro! The most delicious chocolate croissants ever! And of course, some sort of mystery mayonaise corn pizza kinda thing.

When I saw this, I first thought, oh my god it's THAT damn hot here that they'd want a -2 degrees celcius bar to hang out in?? WTF! Then, later, I found out that they meant the BEER was super cold. Not the room. HURR HURR.

This is super messed up, but I regret not getting these. FIRST OF ALL: ZIMA is still a thing in Japan. It has been sicne it came out, unlike its debut in the US where it came out, flopped, and was tagged the drink of losers. SECOND OF ALL: This is part of a new promotion, where each bottle comes with a set of lips. ACTUAL MOLDS OF MODELS' LIPS. They're rubber, and you put them around the mouth of the zima bottle. When you drink from it, it's as if YOU ARE KISSING THAT MODEL'S LIPS. How. Messed. Up. Is That. But I love it.

More insanity after the jump:

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LA Weekly Web Awards Party!

13 Jun

Last Thursday, June 9th, we were happy to attend the LA Weekly Web Awards party as guests of JapanLA, who had won Best Retail Site. It was a casual little party held at Bardot, which had a super lush interior that I was overly interested in, haha.

Bardot has a cool Moroccon feel to it, with draped ceilings and fabrics all around.

Yume poses with the new issue of LAWeekly... Such a cute cover..

Left to right, Elliot, Jamie, owner of JapanLA, and myself, posing with Jamie's shiny little plaque!

A totally way-too-dark photo of myself and True mee. haha, oh well!

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Discover LA: Hacienda Heights and Round One! Who knew?

12 Jun

The birthday trio of Jamie, Robyn, and Di all had their b-days in a 3 days pan of each other, which resulted in a joint b-day bash at the Round One in Hacienda Heights! It was also my first time sporting my epic mermaid clip in weave straightened out and in casual clothes..!

Beforehand, Onch, TJ, Chrissa, and I had an epic hang out afternoon around Hacienda… the land of crazy asian stores! We ate delicious Chinese food then wandered over to some great stores that carried a TON of asian cosmetics, and adorable home goods…

Chrissa and I in awe of the insane amounts of food we ordered, haha

In front of the Piyo Piyo store! It's SO CUTE IN THERE!!! Really wanted that bear table.. couldn't justify it though... :/

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Monster of a Time

11 Jan

I’ve been purposefully making sure I can go out and socialize as much as possible in the first few weeks of January, because my schedule of over working and not seeing my friends is coming soon…!

So, if these last couple of posts makes you think I’m a party animal, you may be correct only for another week or so, haha.

Will and I purchased a superfancy electric skillet from Mitsuwa, so that we can host our own yakiniku, shabushabu, and sukiyaki parties at our home eventually! We tested it out for the first time last week and had some nice yakiniku times. Here’s a quick pic of the pre-meat action setup.

You'll note the face that it's not even on a table.. it's an upside down bulletin board on top of a box, haha. We need furniture...

Saturday morning provided some downtime for us, so I made an attempt at a different DIY nail style, with sort of half-assed results…

This is totally the better of the two hands. I'm right handed, so the nails on my right hand look like a battlefield! Next time, it would be better if I bought one of those nail pens to do the black! You'll also notice I have inadvertantly done the VIVA JAMAICA colors lol.... dammit!

Saturday night, we went out to the Anime Babes Burlesque & Cabaret show at Bordello Bar in Downtown Los Angeles. Last year, this same crew did the Star Wars & Video game burlesque, and it was a huge hit– I was sad I didn’t go! But this time, we braved the chilly streets to check out the show…

For the occasion, I wore my dress that I've named "The Tron Dress", even though it's just a regular dress I purchased online, haha.

The show itself was pretty amusing, with burlesque dancers dressed up as Pikachu, Tokyo Mew Mew, Trixie (it wasn’t really her outfit though… just a generic “racing girl” costume.. gah I’m a perfectionist!), Lust from Full Metal Alchemist, and Rei from Evangelion. I wasn’t really able to get a proper photo int he dark club with my phone, but you’ll find the rest of the proper photos up on my pals’ LA Weekly article here!

Sunday I had a nice work-related adventure downtown grabbing supplies for an upcoming party that my co-owned company Bubble Punch are throwing with Onch! I always get super tired after huge adventures like that, so I NEED to replenish my HP bar with some bacon covered hot dog goodness!

Well, I know you all LOVE my crappy fuzzy phone pics, but I finally got my new camera in the mail! May it live longer than its predecessors (I am a camera killer, and accidentally ruin all cameras I have in about a year. SADS). This little tyke shall be named.. THE RED DEMON. THe red is so bright it’s almost orange..!

Other than that, last week was really keen and relaxing. Monday brought on a slew of really terrible events, which I’m working hard on keeping my mind off of this week. Please excuse any emo-ness you may find on my twitter and such. But hey, more inane blog posts about absolutely nothing for you guys woo!

Stay warm, my friends!

Spectres of the Past <3

6 Jan

I am incredibly happy to be back in Los Angeles, cleaning and decorating my apartment, and seeing my LA friends again! Also, a SPECTRE OF MY PAST (titular line. TITULAR LINE!! haha) showed up in LA this week, the lovely and talented Megan Maude, and  her husband Austen, which I met via THE LIVEJOURNAL many moons ago on the EGL community BACK WHEN THERE WERE NO MODS, GUYS. REMEMBER?

Yeah, we are old school. And old. Haha. They are staying with my buddy Sheyne, and invited me out to some hangout times this week with them! On Tuesday we ventured out to the La Brea Tar Pits, since it was free entry! I’d been a bunch of times before. I really like their wall of Dire wolf skulls! Look at these things! So many, and all found in the tar pits!

We poked around the museum and the tar-smelling park for a bit, then went to Milk for some sweets satisfaction! I was finally smart enough to ONLY get a milkshake this time, and not a meal + milkshake, which usually makes me go KAPUT for a bit. Everyone else had a meeting to go to after that, so I went around to Koreatown and grabbed my buddy nicole for some intense Korean food-ening! We drove over to Kobawoo House for some nomnoms!

Huge line outside means you KNOW it's gonna be JAWSOME!

We patiently waited outside for a good 30 minutes and were rewarded with super fast service, cute waiters (I’m trying to hook Nicole up with one of them), and deeeelish food!

We also got the Makkoli (unfiltered korean rice wine) and was kind of intimidated by the BOWL of it they gave us with a goddamn LADLE!!! SO INTENSE!

We tried to eat it all, but it defeated us in the end THIS is how much we had left over!! Wouldn't even fit in the box! HAHA!

After that epic feast, we padded over to Villains Tavern for some chill drinks and that weird sand-y, shuffle-y board, looking game that’s not quite shuffle board. God I am descriptive. No photos of that because the place is all outside and my phone camera can’t take photos in the dark :( POO!

On Wednesday, I had some quiet time to myself so I set about cleaning my office and doing a little decorating. I managed to get up some decorations around my fireplace!

Clouds are from my old apartment in Japan, and the "art" you see are color theory projects of mine from FIDM haha... You can see the corner of Niblet's cage there, too...!

I’m excited to decorate more as I start to accumulate more stuff! I’m currently seeking a dining room table and chairs…!! I ordered some rugs off the internets, and those should be coming in the mail soon, which I’m super excited about! I spent $99 on 23 carpets because there was some crazy sale going on right before New Years! Yay!

After decorating, I dressed up a bit to head over to Sheyne’s place for a nighttime barbecue!

Shirt: Goodwill, Belt, skrt & necklace: H&M, Socks: Target, Bloomers: Bodyline, Boots: Irregular Choice (sample sale!)

SO MANY FOODS =0

I had a wonderful time! I picked up Will, and although it took us over an hour to get to Burbank because of traffic, it was totes worth it…(And we were STILL the first ones there! haha). Met a lot of cool peeps, saw all my old buddies, and of course got to hang with Megan and Austen again! It turns out they aren’t leaving until Sunday, so there will be more time to catch up with those two :)

I feel like a jerk for not taking more photos of other people for my blog posts, haha! It mainly has to do with how SLOW my camera is on my phone.  I hate HATE HATE using my phone to take all my pictures (my last camera died in a freak water accident)! But you dedicated readers won’t have to suffer through my crappy blurry pictures for too much longer.. I just ordered a new camera yesterday via Amazon and it should be here soon! THEN YOU CAN SEE FOR REAL PICTURES AGAIN!

Alright, time to clean a bit then head to my eye exam! YAY for being blind!

Day 9, 10: The End and the Beginning of Things

6 Jan

I like making up hokey titles for my blog posts, in case you didn’t notice :3

This is my last entry about Pittsburgh things, so if the last couple of entries have been boring you to tears, you will have a sweet release soon. If it’s the opposite, then.. well, tough cookies, I guess.

On New Years Eve, I started off the day by donating 8 boxes of books to the Carnegie Library in Oakland. Goodbye all of my cheesy Tokyopop manga! May you find love in the arms of another child! I did, however, salvage my old Gothic Lolita Bibles and Garfield books. I’m a dummy.

The library is connected to the Carnegie Natural History Museum, so Will and I decided to check it out since I haven’t been since high school..!

Fossil lab where the kiddies can watch real dudes sweeping dirt off real fossils! The guy was actually really cute and was waving to all the kids plasterd to the window :)

Stick your hand in it's mouth to donate to the museum. Haha.

There was a really keen minerals and gems collection! This one looks like a dragon. I'm a nerd, so I think that's cool.

Alligator-dinosaur fossil =D

Will likes bones. Hurr hurr....

This enormouse prehistoric fish fossil picture is dedicated to True Mee =D (She is scared of the ocean and the things living in it)

This was actually a pretty terrifying display

FOR REAL. FOR REALLY REALS.

A little dark, but this was a pretty cool display! Moving water lights and scary underwater dino fossils!

From the fossils, we saw the bird portion of the museum... This is so, so wrong. Showed different kinds of famous "birds" like Toucan Sam, and cartoon characters, with a dead bird next to it for reference.

The Carnegie museum and library have retained a lot of its original awesomeness in its inner structure despite having been remodeled several times. This "great staircase" leads to other exhibits.

I went to high school up the street from the museum. Here's a view from one of the windows, with the Pitt Cathedral of Learning on the left, and Heinz Chapel on the right.

Part of the newly remodeled museu entrance, with Will lookin perky :)

The museum is really worth the admission ($15 for adults, $11 for students), and includes the natural history museum, museum of architecture, and the modern art museum (which was kinda BLAH). The building itself is nice to poke around in :) Also, the Carnegie Library is still one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever been in, and is free to go in and poke around, of course. They did a major renovation while I was in college, so there are super “modern” interiors in some of the new wings of the building <3 SUPPORT YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARIES, PEOPLE!

We finished up with the museum and scooted back to my parents’ house to get ready for our evening festivities. We had booked a table at Sing Sing down at the Waterfront, which is a dueling piano bar. It was actually pretty fun and cheesy, as expected, and I was happy that my old college roommates were able to join us that evening! We got drunk, one of them got “cut-off”, a member of our party went missing (a victim of “drunk wandering” as he has always been prone to do), we found him wandering around the parking lot, and we ended up back at my house at 2am doing sparklers in the backyard. We are little nerds at heart!

New Years Day consisted of the traditional “Laying around the living room in a hungover state”, placidly watching the Rose Parade on TV, and then a college football game of Penn State vs… someone else, I don’t remember. Poor JoePa (aka Joe Paterno, the 70+ year old coach of the PSU Nittany Lions. Everyone loves him so much that he NEVER RETIRES o.o)! He is so old and doddering and WHY is he still coaching the Nittany lions??? We suspect he is just the puppet coach, and there is another team actually “coaching” the team, because in every shot of JoePa, he is never wearing the headset thing, he’s never really talking to anyone in particular, just sort of yelling at the air, and he always looks lost and confused. :/

Will (left), and Neil (right) one of my college house-mates

All my old house-mates from college: Caitlin (right), Ben (center), my ex boyfriend from college, and Neil (left) being hungover and hanging out in the dining room eating pancakes

In the midst of this hungover day, where all of my friends were still lounging around my living room for the entire day, my mom made us some awesome scallops and stuffed mushrooms. NOMNOM.

Everyone headed home shortly after scallop-feasting, around 4pm, and Will and I headed home only to be faced with yet another huge meal. A giant ham.

And thus concludes the adventures in Pittsburgh. It did NOT, however conclude our string of TERRIBLE luck which started at Pittsburgh International Airport. We traveled out on January 2nd, which we were supposed to have a flight that went to Cleveland, and then went on to Los Angeles. The flight to Cleveland was canceled due to MAINTENANCE (not even weather), and the only other flight they could offer us was at 7:30Pm the FOLLOWING DAY. They refused to help us find a flight on another airplane and were just douchebags all around. They told us we could make our connection if we rented a car and drove… so that’s what we did! Thanks to my heavy-footed driving, we made it from Pittsburgh to Cleveland International in 2 hours. I am amazing. We were able to toss the rental car back to Budget rental, run to the shuttle, and make it to the airport in time for our connecting flight. Those assholes didn’t even offer to pay for the rental NOR eve offer us a refund on the flight that was canceled!! Totally d-baggery, so I ended up calling their 800 help line and screaming at bitches until we got a partial refund :p it barely covers the cost of the rental and won’t be “processed” for another 4 goddamn days. YOU GO TO HELL, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES.

Ok, so THAT concludes our crazy trip. I am not anxious to go back to Pittsburgh again anytime soon, and god am I happy to be back in Los Angeles.

Day 7, 8: The Town That Roger Built

31 Dec

If you’re wondering what happened to day 5 and 6, just… don’t ask. These were dark days…

Moving right along, in reference to the title, you may think “Roger, who?” MISTER Rogers, of course! Did you know that Mr. Rogers lived and recorded in Pittsburgh? His recording studio was right next to the all-boys’ high school where I participated in band and musical theater clubs. Pittsburgh has often been voted as one of the best cities to live in, and most friendliest cities in America. It’s bizzarro to drive around and have other drivers let you pass, not cut you off, and let you back out of a space before going forward.. Angelenos are nothing like this…! But all that good comes at the price that working young adults from ages 22 – 38 have really FLED the city… While poking around town it was rare to see anyone my own age, and if I did, from overhearing the conversations, it sounded like they were all just home for the holidays like myself.

On day 7, I went to Gullifty’s, a staple of Pittsburgh, which is often voted for BEST DESSERTS of the city. If by BEST I guess they mean HAS THE MOST PIT AND CAKE, because it was really so so to me. I remember in my youth going there for first dates, post-musical celebrations, and cheesecakes, so it was nice to go there and be nostalgic with my old high school buddy Mary Beth.

Afterward, we hit up “Silky’s” across the street, a Squirrel Hill college bar favorite of my brother’s back in the day. They were airing both the Penguins hockey game and the football game which has been postponed until Tuesday, so the crowd was pretty amped. The garb of choice for patrons of the bar were Penguins jerseys. It was surreal, but felt like home, haha. This town is so hung up on sports, which always made me feel like I Was taking crazy pills.

On Wednesday, one of my best buddies from college came around and we spent the day together exploring the city. Neil and I used to share an apartment with 3 other people when we were at Penn State, but now he lives in Florida doing geoscience related things while I am at the other end of the country. Every time I see him, it’s always as if nothing has ever changed, but unfortunately, I know that’s not really true. We are older, with more problems, and I’m always extremely saddened that time and distance keep us apart. But enough of this wishywashy crap, on to pictures of adventure times.

Neil was the original co-adventurer of mine back in the day. We used to get into a lot of trouble exploring areas clearly marked NO TRESPASSING, haha. Yesterday we drove down to where the Science Center was, with some vague notion we might go in there if we felt like it, but found a ton of other adventures to have instead.

They had made a pop up ice skating rink next to Heinz Field (yes, Heinz like the Ketchup… made in Pittsburgh, yo). We people watched for a bit, with downtown Pittsburgh int he background.

Then we found some old statues to mess around with nearby…

Neil trying to be as epic as this dude, a statue commemorating the service of policemen.

This terrifying thing is supposed to be a statue of Mr. Rogers. Uhm, with really disproportionate feet. Neil is doing a pretty epic SUPER-RUN-AWAY pose here haha

Hanging from his hand. Yup, that's what I do!

Right next to the science center is this huge submarine that you can go into, SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A TICKET TO DO SO. We ran around on deck for free, anyhow. Sort of a random thing to have chillin in the river.

We thought we’d be out of things to do after that, but we glanced over and noticed, HOLY SHIT they built a CASINO right next to the science center and Heinz field!!! WHAT! IT was a pretty fancy building, but we nonetheless scooted our ghetto butts over there and grabbed a cocktail and enjoyed the sad scene.

Lord of the Rings and Star Trek slot machines side by side.

After this, Neil and I went to his mom’s house for FAMILY GAME NIGHT. I am not sure what kind of families do these kind of crazy bonding things, but it was really fun… so wholesome! First we played with a huge box full of his old Nerf gun toys, then his whole family including cousins, uncles, and aunts sat down and played Telestrations– I game we used to play in college, but without all the fancy dry erase boards. Basically, you start with one phrase, you try to draw it, the next person tries to describe that drawing and so on.. like a game of telephone using drawings instead whispering. Sounds lame, but oh my god we laughed FOREVER AND A DAY. 2 pics of the best…

This one started as "Cartwheel," and ended up as "HAND PANTS."

Started off as OIL TYCOON.. and.. got racist very quickly haha...

Soo yeah. GOOD TIMES!

Day 1: Love Thy Daily Life

22 Dec

WARNING: If you cannot bear to be reminded of the mundane, and hate to read about it and hear it spoken of in good graces, you should probably stop reading. My journal. Forever. Haha.

So I have just arrived home in snowy, grey Pittsburgh.

About 9 months out of the year it looks like this. Pretty grey, sort of like Gotham City minus the Batman, dark most of the year, and in the winter, boatloads of snow. Flying into Pittsburgh this morning, it was nice to see the usual coat of snow over everything. I dusts pretty often here, but I’m pretty sure the buildup I was seeing was from the snow storm they had a couple of weeks ago. And we’re due for another one soon, in time for a very white Christmas!

I’m not very attached to this city, but I’m trying to at least appreciate it. Being raised here as opposed to SoCal, I am pleased to know I am comfortable dealing with cold weather, snow, sleet, and hills (not that I’ve left the house today haha).

And now I am on the ultimate vacation. One of the reasons I do like to come home is that my parents are lovely, even if we fight a lot, and my mom is the best cook in the world. The other, is that it is a COMPLETE escape from work. I’m still on the internet and on my phone from time to time, but at least I can officially say I’ve “checked out” of work. Although working from home sounds really fabulous, it’s not like I can just lay in bed and mope when I don’t feel like working. Mostly, I don’t have set break times, so I end up working from the moment I wake up until the very minute I lay down to go to bed. Here, I can relax and feel like I’m at “home” minus the office.

Additionally, I think a lot of people in Los Angeles are very concerned with throwing away the shackles of their “ordinary” past, perhaps it was growing up in a small town, or not feeling like the cool kid in school. I find that weird, because I like telling people where I’m from, where I’ve been, and most importantly for me, how nerdy I am, haha. I don’t know if people really get that image from me, though, since I do still like to dress pretty and go to parties and complain about work a lot, like most other Angelenos and people my age. Also, I find that people who are from the East Coast sort of do that wink and nod thing, where we acknowledge the awesomeness of our birth-coast, and at the same time, do not make any false claims about wanting to live there right now.

However, the next week is dedicated to showing more about my past, who I am because of it, and why I really miss being a lazy slob, but I don’t. (I’m sure by the end of this week I’ll be ecstatic to get back to work. About 3 days of idleness really gets me in the word to be productive again, and I could use the reboot.)

And so, this post is titled “Love Thy Daily Life.”

God how I’ve missed the mundane of laying in bed and watching TV from it! Long gone are the days of reading manga, taking a nap, reading more manga, eating, taking another nap, watching tv, then eating more. Okay, maybe I did 1 work email and did 1 work phone call in between all that but it’s still vacation to me! I am even pretty excited about putting on some pounds. I lost some weight due to stress and not eating and it weirded me out. I am now filling that void with food. A LOT OF IT.

Here is the super-important breakdown of my day:

Home cooked items eaten:

  • Beef, tofu, egg rice combo (pictured above)
  • wonton soup
  • 1 raisin cookie
  • 1chocolate chip cooke
  • 1 pieces nut roll cake
  • 1 piece pumpkin bread
  • 2 bacon covered scallops that my mom made to “test” her recipe ::droool::
  • 2 glasses of OJ (My parents think it’s the only thing I drink, which is weird because I haven’t drank it since.. oh yeah, college.)

Random television I have absorbed:

  • Snow Buddies movie
  • 4 – 9 episodes of Mythbusters. I have lost count. Including the 2010 Christmas special and the Green Hornet special. Wow, must have been watching for a while, because Christmas episode is beginning to repeat haha.
  • 2 episodes of Ghost Hunters (I only watch the part where they first enter the building then I have to turn it off when scary stuff happens. I don’t know what is wrong with me).
  • Half an episode of Hannah Montanna
  • Half an episode of iCarly (Miranda Cosgrove has the face of a 40 year old woman, wth)

 

Literature/Manga read while in bed (hooray to my lovely boyfriend Will for giving me a Kindle for Christmas this year!):

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  • 2 chapters of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • 11 chapters of Full Metal Panic Sigma
  • 6 chapters of Mei-chan’s Butler
  • 2 stories in Japanese Fairytales

I feel so lovely and media saturated and fat and warm. I have no really plans while at home here except seeing some old friends, seeing my neice tomorrow, and probably drinking heavily at some point. Life is grand.

And I leave you with this, my last gloating point, of which I think I deserve to gloat considering how much work I put into classes this year: my grades for second quarter despite my going crazy with stress over my 2.5 jobs plus classes on the side (I guess it’s not really “on the side” when you’re registered as a full time student, huh?): STRAIGHT A’S! BWHAHAHAHA.

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