Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nordic Print Tampons

I've said in previous posts how everything marketed to women in Japan has to have some sort of OMG SUPER KAWAII element to it, and apparently tampons are no exception. Allow me to showcase my latest find: Nordic print tampons!

Seriously - why do these even exist? Japan loves its seasonal themed crap, I know, and I share in that love every time I go to a convenience store and see new stupid drinks or snacks. I suppose Nordic print is everywhere because it's cold like the Nordic countries of northern Europe (although not really), so why not put it on tampons? At least they didn't cost any more than the normal print ones.

Better watch out for this starry night design, too!

Yet unfailingly, I was reminded at the register of how ridiculous this all is. I told the cashier I didn't need a bag since I'd be tossing it into my big work bag, but she still wanted to wrap the box in brown paper. IT'S A SNAZZY NORDIC PRINT, WHY WOULDN'T I WANT TO SHOW OFF MY AWESOME FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS TO EVERYONE I KNOW??? Oh, that's right, because it's still a tampon box and it would be so mortifying to be seen carrying it. I do wonder if the Nordic print will throw off my manager from realizing it's a tampon...

In other news, I took a picture with a big poster of Aiba in a train station. VERY DANGER.

Now if only I could somehow rip that poster off the pole...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Conversations With My Students: RUDE.

Teenage boys have a way with words.

Keep reading.

A way long time ago, I accidentally taught Slightly Racist Teenager the term "muffin top." Not one of my finest moments, but it was pretty funny. He brought it up again in class recently:

Me: Tell me a story. A funny story, like the time your friend had his crepe stolen from him by a crow.
SRT: Ah... *Thinks for a moment* On the news they have an English corner. They teach you words. Last week they had "muffin top."
Me: Oh no...
SRT: Yes and my mother said, "Oh I don't know that," but I knew *grin*.
Me: Of all the things I've tried to teach you...

Dearest Caroline relayed this one to me about one of her own Despondent Teenagers. We have lots of siblings at our school, and her DT has a younger brother who is a bit heavier.

Caroline: How are you?
DT: Tired.
Caroline: How's your brother?
DT: Fat.

And you know what his brother told me when I had him for a private lesson?

Me: Why do you like English?
Fat Younger Brother: *In Japanese* Because my brother does it.
Me: *Knowing about his brother's comment* Awwww you are so precious...

Recently the two brothers were in the lobby of the school together. Despondent Teenager came out from class and was none too happy that his younger brother was going on about something and very excited to see him. He quickly put on his shoes and went outside to get his umbrella, and I motioned to him to come back inside to wait for his brother.

INSTEAD he sticks his head in the door and says, "See you!" and waves goodbye to his poor little admirer.

Rude. Hilarious, but rude.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photos from my weekend

I went to Odaiba on Sunday. I had wanted to see Mt. Takao and all the leaves changing color on the mountain, but the weather forecast had predicted rain so I decided against it.  But it turned out to be a beautiful day, which was nice but also sucked since I'd already scrapped the plans for Takao. Oh well.

The view from this little offshoot in the park was amazing. The graffiti on the railings was also kind of cool.

Only in Japan would you mark your eternal love on a railing
with the Emperor dating system XD
H17 = Heisei year 17 = 2005

Ai ai gasa~

Walking around Venus Fort, there was a looooooooong line going outside the mall that went on for ages. There weren't any signs to indicate what was going on, but there was a big event happening - A HANDSHAKE EVENT FOR SEXY ZONE!

Sexy Zone is the newest Johnny's Entertainment group to debut, but given the youngest member is 11 and 3/5 of the group haven't hit puberty yet, the name is terribly misleading. But all these girls my age and older were waiting in line to touch their magical sexy hands!

That line went out the mall and went for at least half a kilometer.
I did not ask anyone how long the wait was.

And I tried a fun new wintery alcoholic beverage! These Kirin Chu-hi things are pretty disgusting, but this one was less so because of the apple. Still, I had to force myself to drink half the can. Blech.

109yen well wasted.

Tomorrow is Japanese Labor Day, so I get ANOTHER holiday this month! Woot!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mini-Post: Tuna's Gone!

Remember back in March when my mother thought I was going to die of starvation following the earthquake and sent me 29 cans of tuna?

I polished off the last can about an hour ago!

Even after I gave 10 cans to a coworker, it still took me the better part of 8 months to eat it all.

Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I have done nothing of interest lately

Seriously, I haven't done much of anything lately. I've been trying to save money, asking my parents to send me stuff from my closet at home, and generally surviving until Christmas break. SO HAVE SOME RANDOM PHOTOS OF STUFF!

What I've been getting for free from my j-boy:

J-boy and one of his male buddies went to the Girls Award show at Yoyogi Stadium this past weekend. HE GOT TO SEE BECKY LIVE OMG. He *says* he went for special guest Yoshiki, but whatever. He gave me all his free stuff!

Face mask, some type of sanitary napkin underwear (better than tampons???),
face wipes, mouth wash, shampoo/conditioner, j-boy theatre show ads, and folders.

Obviously the most talented one on that poster.

Do I even want to bother translating?

Cutting this up and making a board game!

What I've been reading:

JLPT study guide making a second appearance, more than halfway through The Girl Who Played With Fire, and the New Penguin Parallel Text book is AWESOME. But it opened with a Murakami piece so everything after the first two pages is... meh.

I got my JLPT ticket yesterday, which is super exciting and scary! What the hell am I even doing reading an English book??? Gotta get my butt in gear for some major Nihongo studying!

What I've been drinking:

Honey & Lemon drink! There's a carbonated version that tastes pretty good too, but I think this one is better.

I have an unopened bottle of Pepsi Pink in my fridge and I'm kind of scared to drink it.

What I've been eating:

Dearest Caroline recently told me that vanilla is her number one choice for scented or flavored things. Mine is probably maple, and I didn't realize this until I came to Japan and every maple thing I ever ate or drank or smelled was amazing. They don't have nearly enough maple products back home.

Hopefully I'll get to doing something INTERESTING soon!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Conversations with My Students: Story Time Answers

For the older and more capable students, I often start with an activity on the board called "Story Time." I leave about four simple questions for the students to answer whenever they happen to roll into class. The last question is usually, "How are you?"

The boys give great answers.

Q: How are you? Why?
A: I'm good. (Reconsiders this, erases it.) NO.

Me: (Watching student write this) NO is not an emotion or an appropriate answer, Slightly Racist Teenager.
SRT: Yes but... Ah, wait... *writes JUST NORMAL*
Me: *facepalm* OK, you didn't answer WHY.

Q: How are you? Why?
A: I'm confused.

Me: Why are you confused, Mittens?
Mittens: Because a policeman yelled at me. I don't know why.
Me: Where were you? By the Koban (police box by the station)?
Mittens: No, I was by my house. He told me, "Be careful," but I wasn't doing anything.
Me: Well... I don't know, either.

And turn your head sideways for this one, didn't want to upload nicely.

He admitted to me later in class he hadn't seen the entire film but wanted to draw it anyway.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Urawa Reds Game!

My dear friend and #1 Urawa Reds fan Chie invited me to one of their last home games for the J-League season. I went with her and another friend to a charity game back in April, but this was entirely different and way more awesome (aside from the fact that they lost 0-3).

Chie and her husband are season ticket holders for the Reds, but her husband couldn't go to this game so I got to use his seat instead. I don't think I've ever been to a game of any professional sport in America, so this was SUPER exciting! The cheer section, the flags, all the sort of Engrish-y fight songs, even the booing was great. I didn't know you were supposed to boo at the opposing team's top players and ignore the other guys.

That cheer section is organized and HUGE.

At each Reds home game, they feature one of the players on certain pieces of merchandise. That night was Tsukasa Umesaki's night, so fans sitting in a special Wonder Seat section got to take home Umesaki bobblehead dolls and everyone received a trading card with his photo and stats. There was even cheer song dedicated to him!

Not a bad looking j-boy.

Unfortunately the Reds lost the game. I don't know much about soccer so I wouldn't be able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, but the Reds seemed like they were lagging a bit. One of their star players, Genki Haraguchi (who I love mostly because I can read all of the kanji in his name), got run over in the first 10 minutes and never seemed to recover. He was limping by the end of the game. They couldn't hold onto the ball and were just kinda MEH the whole time.

#12 is reserved for Reds fans!

I'd say they lost to a better team, but the refs screwed up a few calls (like forgetting to call one of the Reds' players back in, forcing them to play a man down for a while) and the other team kept pulling drama queen antics. YEAH I'M SURE OUR GUY REALLY HIT YOU SO HARD THAT YOU JUST HAD TO CURL UP IN THE FETAL POSITION ON THE SIDE, YOU DESERVED THAT YELLOW CARD YOU FAKER. AND OTHER IWATA GUY WHO TRIPPED A REDS PLAYER, YOU DESERVED YOUR YELLOW CARD, TOO.

Some people are calling this game the worst of the season, but that's okay. The next time I watch a Reds game I'm sure they'll win and be amazing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stuff I Did Not Take Pictures of on Halloween

Everything I did this past weekend sounds good written out, but really it was fairly meh.

Saturday I went clubbing. Now, under most circumstances, this would have been awesome. You get dressed up, even MORE dressed up for Halloween, dance, talk to boys, drink a little, and end up counting down the minutes til first train. It certainly wasn't terrible, but I've had better non-holiday nights. I did take away some valuable lessons:

1. Don't go clubbing with boys.
2. Don't go to international mixers if you are a gaijin girl looking for a j-boy, because everyone there is either an English-speaking j-girl who's looking to marry a foreign man OR a shameful neckbeard foreign man.
3. Offensive costumes are OK! Blackface? No problem, there are 10 other people doing the same thing! Large weaponry? Go big or go home! Appropriating other cultures? It's an "international" mixer, duh!

Sunday was spent sleeping and eating Vietnamese food. I found this little Saigon restaurant off and I thought I'd be able to get a bowl of beef noodles reminiscent of Pho777. Walking off the elevator this place smelled legit, but I was slightly disappointed by the pho.

Tastes amazing, but thick noodles? Only a 4-page menu with less than two dozen dishes? Where's my Lazy Susan with sauces and spices? And no side dish piled high with bean sprouts and greens? The only thing that made up for these things was the Vietnamese coffee. I could use a glass right now.

On Monday I went to Disneyland for Halloween! The only way I could tell if people were Official Disney Cast Members was if they had a person dressed in safari gear with them taking photos. There were A LOT of great costumes, I kind of wish I had gotten a photo with the one Mary Poppins I saw all day. I did get a photo with a Japanese Jack Sparrow, who played the character VERY well!

First churro, cinnamon flavored~

You can't see him well but Barbosa has a stuffed monkey on his shoulder.

Best Japanese Jack Sparrow Ever.

I dragged them to It's a Small World.

They didn't mind :)

Second churro, strawberry flavored~

Curried meatball soup. DELICIOUS.

I needed the last two nights to recover from my weekend, but it's okay because I get to enjoy a national holiday tomorrow! I don't even know what we're celebrating!