Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obituary of a Handbag

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of a purse.

I don't know if anyone else is as sentimental about things they've had for a long time, but it does give me pause to throw things out. It makes no sense at all and getting into such a habit will only land me a prime time spot on a hoarding show.

Still... :(

I've had this bag since I was in high school. I must've gotten it when I was working at Ala Moana for the first time, I probably bought it with one of my first paychecks. It's from PacSun, could not have cost more than $25.

For most of the last few years it's been sitting pretty in a plastic container in Hawaii. Never brought it with me to college, though I started using it regularly when I went back home. I asked my mother to send it here because Tokyo is not a city where you can carry around a little clutch and survive. You need a big bag to carry around your wallet, keys, makeup (damn eyelashes will not stay in place all day), cell phone, camera, electronic dictionary, book for the long train ride, all kinds of crap.

The Tokyo lifestyle wasn't very nice to my bag, though.

I know $25 doesn't seem like a lot, but it is almost painful to hand over that kind of money when you're working for $6.25 an hour (before taxes!) at a big chain retail shop in a busy mall. I suppose half my problem with throwing away stuff like this is that I know how hard I worked to get it. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter that I throw a cheap PacSun bag away at age 24 because I'm sure I'll have to part with much more expensive things later in life. The fact that I dropped almost $100 on a mustard yellow replacement also means I don't need this bag cluttering up my apartment in the present.

I will miss you, bag. You were a good bag. I already wish my buttery-smooth expensive bag would sit in a better position against my butt. I will bid you adieu when I figure out what day of the week the garbage man takes precious items that deserve proper funerals but cannot be buried properly :'(

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Look at Dead Fish Eyes Running Down the Street

Way back before I ever dreamed of studying or living in Japan, I was an intern at a government office in downtown Honolulu. Not only is the area the central hub of political activity in Hawaii, it's also a hot spot for tourists who want a bit of history and culture. I don't think there's another state that can claim bragging rights to having a capitol building on the same block as a former royal palace.

One day, I happened to be outside of Ali'iolani Hale waiting for a document. Not much was going on, but a film crew was setting up in front of the statue of King Kamehameha. Some reference photos:

I was standing off to King Kamehameha's right side in front of the building. The person they were obviously going to be filming was a guy, maybe a bit older than me, dressed up all nice in a tuxedo and looking pretty. I didn't know who he was, but I assumed he was some Korean super star drama actor filming his next big thing in Hawaii.

The crew set up a camera across the street from the statue. Tuxedo Mask did three takes, running furiously in front of the statue each time. Between takes he went back to his make-up and hair assistants and someone graciously held an umbrella over him to protect his delicate skin from the harsh sun. It must be nice to be so pampered, I thought.

I took a few photos of this guy and asked my expert K-drama friend who he might be. She had no idea. And then I forgot about the whole thing until three years later when I was studying Japanese at the University of Hawaii. I retold this story to a classmate, who immediately told me, "That was Dead Fish Eyes!"


Oh, Fishy, if I had only known who you were... Maybe you and I could be married, like your BFF Jin and Meisa, and speaking English on Route 66. Instead I took some creepy stalker photos of you. Thanks for the memories and rhetorical "what if..." questions I will ask myself until my dying day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

!!! Custom Cup Noodles: A Photo Journey

I made a second visit to the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama this past Monday. The first time around I didn't get a chance to make my own custom noodles, but this time I did and took an embarrassing amount of photos! Yay!

The two noodle "factories" get their own floor. On half is the cup noodles portion, and a large kitchen off to the right is where you can make the original "Chikin Ramen" (which is pretty awful, sorry to say).

Let us begin our noodley journey!

Step 1: Purchase a cup, literally just a styrofoam container, to decorate. Cost is 300yen.

Step 2: Put it here while you sanitize your hands.

Step 2.5: Model with your cups (only if you're cute)

Step 3: Decorate!!!

Step 4: Get your ramen in that cup!

Step 5: Add soup base and extras~

Step 6: Shrink wrap.

Step 7: Bag and inflate!

Step 8: Be a hipster with your newly created ramen bag.

BONUS STEP: Take a stupid photo with the Momofuku Ando cutout!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Conversations with My Students: Do You Have a Long Pink Mullet?

A few weeks ago my older kids were learning hair words and making sentences describing their own coifs. Most of the kids I teach would have found the original language to be too easy, so I added a few awesome words and flashcards.

I Apologize for Not Representing Black People side note: I did make a card for the term "dreadlocks," but it didn't fit in nicely for the language pattern. You can't say, "I have a long black dreadlocks." Screw English and its countable nouns. But don't worry, every Japanese kid knows the term "afro" and assumes it is a ridiculously gigantic orb of black hair on a person's head.

At one point in each lesson, I gave the kids some paper and crayons. I told them to pick cards and draw that hairstyle, however strange it may be. Here's some of their artwork.

Long black perm.

Long red hair.

Doraemon with a mohawk.

Not actually the hair lesson but hilarious anyway.

Short curly bowl cut.

 A creative bunch, I have.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DisneySea Strikes Back

Kind of a cop-out post, I know, but I went to DisneySea again! It was the end of January and very very very cold. It would have been better had we known the park closed at 7pm and not the usual 10pm, but it was still a lot of fun.

It's a post-apocalyptic icicle world after all...

My buddies~

Shrimp-filled, lifesaver-shaped thing. 6/10, might eat again if desperate.

These 10th Anniversary stations were dotted about the park.
You put your hand on it or hold up a magic wand
and it plays music and lights up and crap.

Face masks are totally in.

Especially the Hello Kitty ones that don't cover your face~

Onward, noble steed!

My students had a ball playing with my Abu monkey tail.

Ariel's Grotto part deux~


I'll do a real post soon. Promise!