age: 23
birthdate: June 16, 1981
occupation: student
major: Japanese Language
location: California, USA
email: totchiko @ livejournal.com
aim: totchiko
icq: 16317520

  Welcome to my livejournal! After a full year of writing my every move and thought here, I have finally gotten sick of the 'generator' style I had been using. Hence the new look! TADA! This layout came into being one night as I was playing around in photoshop with no aim and nothing in mind.

Not really much to it. It's pink. Very pink. I'm sure many of you would think TOO pink.. but what can I say, I like pink. ^^; The images up top are my user icons. I didn't think actual images would fit in with the layout, but there was too much deadspace.. this way is a sort of a comprimise between the two. The bug and title for this version are both borrowed from FAKE?.. I've been listening to them a lot and it seemed to fit in in some strange way.

This is actually one of two versions of my livejournal I have floating around. Why two? I'm not completely sure, it just ended up that way. This is the onsite version, meaning that it is the one that is actually located on the livejournal servers for other livejournal users to see. As such, it is the simpler one. There is also another one that really doesn't exist for any reason at all.

But enough babble for now. That's what my actual journal is for. =D

Best viewed with Mozilla, 800x600 resolution or higher. Sorry, but I can't be held responsible for how it turns out in other "browsers" such as IE & Netscape..
 

 

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007 10:15 pm  
永遠を欲しがっても、刹那を感じてる・・・

[ mood | ・・・ ]





Monday, September 10th, 2007 1:30 am  
this year just keeps getting weirder...

[ mood | crazy ]


Oblivion Dust

New Album

Coming soon....


I screamed.. and damn near cried... awesome way to announce it. Good show.. only real thing it was lacking was Future Womb... details here.

Only thing bad about this is the possibility (probability?) of no more FAKE? shows... I never managed to get to one of those. There was a show on 6/28 that I've lamented missing for the last couple months.. but I had work.. and it was in Saitama.. As much as I fucking LOVE OD, a lot of the stuff Ken did w/ FAKE? has had a slightly deeper emotional impact on me in the last couple years.. maybe just because it's more recent.. who knows... but if he completely halts FAKE? activities I'll be sad...

either way: O.O

Okay weekend.. two very awesome shows.. now comes the withdrawl.. is it October yet?


Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 10:41 pm  
Update! + business

[ mood | rushed ]


Okay!

I got home today with notices from FC Pyro and SLAVE waiting in my mailbox, so now I have more information (but still no SLAVE card and ring =P):

Ticket presale starts on SATURDAY at 2 pm.. yes, THIS saturday 9/1. We are allowed 4 tickets per fanclub membership, which means we ought to be able to personally get our hands on 12.. 4 of which I expect are already spoken for. We will be submitting at least ONE order ASAP on saturday, and I'm determined to try and get the other two in before the presale ends on 9/14.. but seeing as how I only have ¥10,000 to my name at the moment, payday isn't until 9/10, and ordering 12 tickets up front will set us back ¥120,000 + handling.. I don't know if this will actually happen.

Basically what I'm saying to all you on my friendslist: IF YOU NEED TICKETS FROM ME THEN I NEED TO KNOW NOW.. and I will need to be paid for said tickets SOON.

Here's something that kills: Each SLAVE member is entitled at a chance to buy a ¥20,000 Premiere Seat ticket to the show. This is for one of the 2,080 front seats, access through a special SLAVE gate, laminated pass, and present. I don't think that I will be trying for this.. it's more important for me to be with friends for this experience than to be that close.. though I WISH I could get it..

Oh, and they are offering Air & Bus and accomodation plans for people flying in from over Japan. There are 10 courses depending on city of origin.. hahaha...

OKAY. Those of you who are serious about going LET ME KNOW.


Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 3:10 am  
=O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ mood | ecstatic ]


Tokyo Dome 12/24/2007 God Bless You 〜One Night Dejavu〜

That was TOTALLY worth waiting up til 3 am to find out o.o;;;;;;;;;;

I need more info you bastards! STOP overloading and bringing the site down!!!!

o.o;;;;;;;

EDIT: I KNEW it was a good idea to join SLAVE when that countdown page went up.. now I need to harass them to make sure my membership is completed in time to get tickets o.o

EDIT EDIT: I found some info via Shinya's Official Website:

LUNA SEA
GOD BLESS YOU 〜One Night Dejavu〜
TOKYO DOME
2007.12.24
開場 16:00/開演 18:00
チケット料金 全席指定/¥9,500(税込)
チケット一般発売日/10月28日(日)

ouch.. SO worth it.. o.o;;;

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Wait.. they'll probably let you do fanclub tickets through ALL the fanclubs, not just SLAVE.. that means we ought to be set, what w/ one Super Loves and two FC Pyro memberships between Eric, Jessica and I.. even if it's only 1 ticket per person that covers at least the three of us.. still want to know what's up w/ my SLAVE membership, though...

I can't stop shaking......


Sunday, June 24th, 2007 11:07 pm  
don't expect too much out of me all at once..

[ mood | full ]


So it was my birthday last week. I turned 26, which is kinda weird to think about.. I think 25 and 27 are scarier numbers than 26, though.. not entirely sure why that is. For my birthday I gave myself a gym membership.. it's no secret that I'm horribly out of shape, lacking in the energy department, and less than happy with my physical appearance. I decided that I needed to get off my ass and work on that.

After a lengthy saga involving choosing between Tipness and Oasis in Shinjuku, I finally got myself a morning membership at Oasis and started going about a week and a half ago. The morning membership thing is pretty cool for my current schedule. I have full access to the gym facilities from 8:30 - 11am Monday-Friday for just ¥4700/month. That includes machine room, 3 studios for classes, 4 pools, mist and dry saunas, and Japanese bath. Not bad considering I usually start work at around 12 pm, and it definitely beats the full membership price of ¥11,000/month.

Anyway, on my first day there they did a full body analysis on me, which yielded some really interesting results. Pretty much completely in line with what I expected for myself, but apparently surprising to the vast majority of other people in my life. Basically, I'm real fat. O:> My weight, presently at 56.6 kg, is in the healthy but ever-so-slightly high range for my diminutive height and body structure, but my muscle mass is dangerously low, and my body fat percentage is borderline dangerous at a whopping 37%. That'd be quite a bit above the recommended 18-28% for females. It sucks that I'm so damned out of shape, but at the same time it's nice to have something on paper to show to all the people who get mad at me when I call myself a fat-ass and proclaim my need to drop some poundage.

Anyway, since then I've started up my fitness routine at the gym (strength training 3x/week on MWF, and cardio as often as I can.. which generally means 30 minutes on the elliptical cross trainer every morning) and also joined this website that lets you track food intake and exercise progress. I know that makes me sound like I'm on some crazy diet, but it's not quite true. I've done the online food intake tracking several times before, and it's more just keeping myself informed and giving me something to do than actual dieting. I'm pretty sure I've actually been eating slightly more than I'm used to since starting in an attempt to get in my full recommended daily intake of protein, that's always a hard one for me. I'd never survive conventional 'dieting'.. it's too restrictive for one, also completely and utterly ineffective and counterproductive in the long run, and I just don't see the point. Also I'd never stick with something so severe like that.. I do, however prefer healthy food and eating it when I can. And keeping a record of the shit I eat makes it a lot easier for me to make the time to cook at home and plan in advance, which means healthier, tastier meals. Everybody wins!

Anyway, when I decided to do all this again I immediately went looking for the tracker I used back in San Francisco, and then again before my computer crash last year, that was linked from the USDA website.. and found it broken. This neccessitated finding a new tracker. So I went looking and found a decent, if slightly cultish-sounding one called SparkPeople. I could do without the crazy positive shit and the censoring of profanity in private emails, message board posts, and blog entries.. but the tools themselves are pretty good for being free, so whatever. Anyway, the nutrition tracker is actually much cooler than the old one I used because it lets you enter your own food into the database and save food groupings and shit. I'm liking it quite a bit so far. Also there's a fitness tracker and stuff, which I didn't initially set out looking for but I've been using since starting there.

The site comes with the option of setting up your own little website with progress tracker, blog, and access to your records for anyone to see. I made mine only because it gives you 'sparkpoints' to do so, and I want to get my next trophy (*coughcough*). Anyway, I was really bored and posted a blog entry on there tonight, and the resulting guilt in cheating on LJ is what finally made me give in a write up /this/ entry today..

Page here if you're feeling voyeuristic.. and referrals get me sparkpoints too, if anyone other'n alexa's interested in joining up.. ^_^

In other news, I bought a pink iPod shuffle last night. My real iPod is in its death throes at the moment, and has been for the last several months. It does this thing where I get the sadmac icon whenever the battery gets low, and I have to plug it back into the wall to fix it. Earlier this week it refused to fix itself, so I went all week with no music on my hour-long commute. That really sucked. I was thinking about getting me a new 80gb video iPod, but apparently the rumor sites say to wait right now because it's been nearly a year since the last update and there might be one coming up in the next couple months. -_-

So yeah, that led me to purchasing the shuffle at Yodobashi last night.

I'm really not a shuffle person. I tend to need to have all my music on me at all times so that I can listen to anything whenever the mood strikes me. I also like having a screen and more than basic controls so I can look at the ID3 information that I spent so long organizing.. but I really don't want to buy if there's going to be an update soon, and I just can't go without portable music until said update hits. Also, the shuffle seems like a good idea for the gym, since a normal iPod would be too heavy. So yeah, all that led to my decision to get a shuffle yesterday. I figured I could put my top rated playlist on there and be decently content with the thing.. then I realized my top-rated list is 3.11 GB -_-;;

Of course, this morning, right after I plugged in the shuffle to load shit onto it, my real iPod mysteriously turned itself back on again. Bitch.

Oh well, I'll still be able to use the shuffle at the gym, and it'll give me a backup for when my iPod decides to kick it again, which I know is inevitable at this point. =P

Oh, and I bought a permanent account.

What else? I'm sure there's stuff, but that'd take too much energy and stuff... which is in short supply since I'm teetering on the edge of a cold.


Wednesday, December 13th, 2006 12:42 pm  
Long time no post

[ mood | rushed ]


Looking down on this here page I see that the last time I posted I was in the middle of a fun session of frantic packing. Hah.. dejavu.. only this time the packing isn't so much for the purpose of moving across town as it is for boarding a plane and heading off to the land of guns and burritos and turkey and smoke-free restaurants for Christmas. Oh yeah, and family and friends, too.. can't forget them.

Yep. Maya's going home for the holidays.. in about 2 , actually. Well, I have to leave home in 2 hours, the flight doesn't actually leave for another four hours after that, but it takes a while to get to the airport and check-in and stuff. We were originally supposed to leave tomorrow, but that didn't work out and we had to book our flight for a day earlier. Not a huge deal except that Eric requested vacation starting from tomorrow so he had to lug his suitcase in to the office today to work a half day. I'll be meeting him on the Keisei Limited Express about halfway through the ~1.5 hour ride to Narita.

We have roughly 42 hours of air and road travel to look forward to in the next two and a half weeks. We're flying into San Francisco today.. ish? (damned timezones) on a 9.5 hour flight, staying for 6 days with my family, then flying out to Wisconsin by way of Chicago on the 19th to see Eric's family. I don't know the exact dates, but about half the time will be with his mom in Racine, and the other half with his dad in Menomonie, which is 5 hours away by car. Then on the 26th we get to fly back to San Francisco for the last couple days before getting back on another plane for 11.5 hours on the 29th and arriving back in Tokyo on the evening of the 30th. X_x

That's a lot of traveling. It should be fun, but kinda tight.. i'm worried about getting everything done that I want to do while home.. and seeing everyone that I want to see while I'm around. Of course, being notoriously bad at keeping in touch with people, a fair amount of those on my 'must see' list have no idea I'm coming.. but it should be fun to drop in and say "surprise!" right? As long as they don't kill me on the spot for not emailing or calling >_>

My list of must eat places: Chevy's! (how I miss you ;_;), Bull's Head, 2223, Roti, La Corneta... I also want Thai, but haven't decided where.. I'd say Thep Phanom, but we're kinda tight with money at the moment.. and we might break down and go to Hanabi for their vegiten rolls and tofu salad, though I keep on pointing out how lame it would be to go for Japanese food while back home. I've also requested three meals from the family: beans, tortillas and stewed chicken; roast turkey with all the fixings; and tamales.. mmm. Our flight into chicago arrives around noon, so hopefully we'll be doing the pizza thing there.. and I'm kinda wanting to go to P.F. Chang's for some good americanized chinese food while we're in WI as well.. and there's also the obligatory stops at Dairy Queen for blizzards, and the O&H Bakery for kringle. On the non-food front I got us both appointments to see Eddy for haircuts while we're back, too.. since we both miss having him around (and my last disasterous haircut in Tokyo has left me somewhat untrusting of new people >_>). Oh, and we're each bringing an extra empty suitcase in which to cart back christmas swag, random missed items, and american brand products and food =D =D =D

I plan on eating a lot of cheese when I get home. CHEESE. *_*

Oh.. and I'm deathly afriad of culture shock, seeing as how I've been away for a year and a half now... wish me luck.. o.o

Uh.. that's about it for now.. I need to finish up packing, eat something, turn off the gas, and unplug the internet, tv and toilet (gotta love japan) before leaving.. and clothes would be good, too.

Buh bye for now..


Sunday, September 24th, 2006 1:15 am  
moving...

[ mood | rushed ]


Schedule:
  • Now - 8 am == packing..
  • 8 - 8:30 am == showering..
  • 9 - 12 pm = = waiting at the new place for the bed to be delivered..
  • 12 - 3 pm == waiting here for kuroneko to come pick up our stuff..
  • Pick up the flat sheet in Shibuya, possibly order the sofa and sliding door curtains..
  • Find local laundromat to wash new sheets..
  • CRASH

This will commence once I finish my cafe au lait Parm ice cream bar (glorious caffeine.. I take you where I can get you)...

Today was fairly productive.. after we got going (late start owing to the exhaustion). I added about ¥60,000 to my credit card debt at Tokyu Hands and Loft.. but we are now possesed of sheets, pillows, bedroom curtains, and a 180 cm x 85 cm kitchen unit -- to be delivered next saturday. We dropped our purchases off at the new apartment on the way home. The first time we've walked there from Takadanobaba and it took exactly 13 minutes. After we get used to the route we may be able to knock that down to as little as 10.. wow. We also managed to decide on our sofa (¥80,000 X_x) which we may order tomorrow along with the living/spare room curtains when we go pick up our flat sheet at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya (the Shinjuku store was out of our color). Bed is paid for, ordered, and being delivered tomorrow, fridge is picked out, but the place we originally ordered from decided they didn't like my overseas credit card, so we're in the process of seeing how long it'll take to reorder from another cheap place.

Left to do: pickout and buy washer, tv, oven range (think we know which one already), desk, coffee table, dining table/chairs, night stand, aircon for the bedroom, internet, standing lamps, kitchen shit/dishes, other misc stuff that I can't think of offhand.

Moving is expensive ;_;

But as of tomorrow we will be out of the 22m² 1K Seibu-Yagisawa Leopalace and into the 55m² 2LDK Shimo-Ochiai apartment.

We won't have internet when we move in. The guys at Yodobashi Camera have told us we should expect it to take about a month to get set up once we apply.. and before we apply we have to figure out whether cable or hikari fiber will be better for us (right now we're leaning fiber), so unless someone in the new building happens to have an open wireless network for us to leech off of (which I'm not counting on), online times will decrease dramatically as we'll have to find a nearby internet cafe to visit for email and such.

I don't have to turn in my keys for this place until midday wednesday, and will be coming back on monday and tuesday to clean the place up.. so if the internet situation is as non-existent at the new place as I think it will be, then I'll probably leave my laptop here and take advantage of the internet while cleaning and such.. so if you've been wanting to chat with me or anything lately, that would be the time to do it before I become much harder to reach.

Okay.. here we go... wish us luck...


Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 3:05 am  
... eh?

[ mood | heh? ]


Snatched from Wikipedia's Thailand entry:

September 19, 2006

Even though the Army promised to stay out of politics after the democratic constitution was established, on September 19th, 2006, Army tanks blocked off traffic to the goverment headquarters in Bangkok, and at least 20 soldiers entered the Government House building. An Army TV station was reported to broadcast patriotic music from the times of the military coups and show pictures of the royal family. PM Thaksin Shinawatra, in New York on UN related business, declared Bangkok in a "severe state of emergency", and vowed to return to the country as soon as possible. He also sacked the top army chief, and ordered military forces not to "move illegally" [1] [2].

Reuters News Agency claimed that the Thai Armed Forces chief set up a political "Reform Commission", while army forces and police control the situation in Bangkok. The military later declared martial law, and at 17.46 GMT BBC News reported that the military had revoked the Thai Constitution and suspended Parliament.

......O.o

Edit: More here, and here.


Saturday, September 16th, 2006 12:05 am  
I live.....

[ mood | drained ]


.....In the dead ass fucking tired sort of way. But I'm dead ass fucking tired back at home in Tokyo... so I count that as a blessing. You're going to have to wait for the Thailand details. I've been up for about 36 consecutive hours right now... my body's exhausted, and my brain is still reeling.. so nothing coherent until I've calmed the fuck down and gotten some rest.

I will mention though, for those of you who missed it, that we now officially have an apartment (2 minitues from Shimo-Ochiai!) and will be moving in next saturday.. details can be found on Eric's journal at the moment... specifically here, here, and here.

Oh.. and for all of 30 seconds today I was legally an exchange student again..

details forthcoming.


Friday, September 8th, 2006 1:27 am  
gah..

[ mood | stressed ]


There is a ton of shit going on.. and no time in which to write about any of it. I have to leave home for Narita in about 12 and half hours now, and I feel like I have way too much to try and squeeze into that tiny amount of time. Plus I'm supposed to be trying to sleep on top of that. In fact, Eric's totally alseep as I write this because work seems to tire him out to the point where he's been falling asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow every night for the last couple weeks.

I feel very much unprepared to be leaving the country right now. And that upsets and annoys me. It would be nice if I could calm the fuck down long enough to actually ENJOY the fact that I will be spending the next week in Thailand on a rare overseas vacation to an interesting and exotic location and actually getting to see my Uncle at home in the country he's lived in for the past 10 years.. but all I can think about is the fact that I'm not ready to be leaving Japan right now.. that there is so much to get done that I haven't had time for, and how much it's going to suck to be back here next week on a temporary visa after getting used to a year as an acutal registered resident. Not to mention I've got that niggling fear in the back of my mind that something will go horribly wrong next friday and I'll somehow get denied entry back here and get sent home. That would really, really suck... and I have no idea how I'd even begin to deal with such a situation..

But let's just hope that it's only the paranoia talking there..

Today was busy. I cancelled my health insurance and then spent the rest of the day getting in some last minute apartment searching on the Seibu-Shinjuku line around Saginomiya, Shimoigusa, and Shimo-Ochiai while Eric was at work. That took a long time. I was with the agent from the Saginomiya branch of Leo Housing from about 2:45 - 8 pm. Looked at four places, took pictures, handed them off to Eric with descriptions.. he's going to check them out this weekend and if he likes one then we might just go ahead and try for it. You can read all about that whole saga over at his journal, since he's way better at keeping shit updated than I have been lately. Please offer you comments and advice, if you have any.. we've been desperate for help and input.

It's going to really suck to NOT be here for the next week housing wise. But better I miss the potential applying and contract signing this week than the moving and cleaning that's going to have to take place the week after I return... provided I get let back into the country..

I haven't even started packing yet. Partially because the laundry is all hanging to dry in the bathroom right now and taking longer than usual, it seems.. but ACK. I'm going to try and pull out my suitcase and open it up and toss some shit at it tonight.. but I doubt any actual packing will take place until tomorrow morning.. STRESS STRESS STRESS.

And it pisses me off that I didn't think to go buy wooden circular needles before yesterday.. because somehow I doubt that they'll let me take my aluminum ones in my carry-on with me.. which means my plan of working on the leaf lace shawl is out. I guess all I can do is start another sock.. since I have bamboo dpns for those. Maybe I'll finally get around to starting Final Fantasy III on the DS Lite as well.

I really wish Eric was coming with me or something.. things like this are so much less stressful when you're not the only one having to go through it..

Anyway.. back to trying to get stuff done so I can go to bed and lay there staring at the ceiling until morning. If all goes well I'll be back next friday afternoon.. if not.. then I'm sure you'll all hear about it eventually...


Saturday, August 12th, 2006 4:06 am  
allo.

[ mood | bored ]


And now for an entry completely devoid of details, just to peak your curiosity... fun fun fun.

No updates in a while, but that doesn't mean that stuff hasn't been happening, of course. Like Mario. I purchased New Super Mario Bros. for my DS Lite and it has been consuming an ungodly chunk of my life. That and tutoring. There has been much tutoring. Sadly, tutoring alone is not enough to support two people in Tokyo for two months.. so there has also been much scraping together of small change and meal skipping. Oh yes.

There has not, on the other hand, been much knitting. Yarn issues involved with the Leaf Lace Shawl have put the project on hold while I try and make up my mind between two options I have on hand and another that I do not. There will be eventual progress on that. Also, knitting time has taken a severe hit due to my recent habit of pulling out the DS and either Mario or 大人のトレーニング2 on the train rather than a sock in progress. Whoops.

Last night I bought this.

Tomorrow Eric and I go to Yokohama to see J play at Yokohama Blitz. It's his birthday.. so that should be interesting. Also we have fan club tickets numbered 21 and 22, so could potentially be pressed up against the stage rather than 5 people back like the last time we were at Yokohama Blitz. He's playing next week at Shibuya-AX, too. Mmm.. concerts. Here's hoping they go smoother than the SHAG show last week which started 2 hours late and caused us to miss our last train home. Stupid Sugizo.

It's late. I'm tired. On the books for the very near future: More tutoring. Cooking and housework to make up for the fact that Eric will be working and I will not. Apartment hunting. Potentially starving to death.

Oh yeah.. and I'm going to Thailand.

More later.


Thursday, July 27th, 2006 11:32 am  
Diamond Fantasy Shawl....

[ mood | proud ]




Well, I promised didn't I?

Specifications:
Pattern: Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Puppy Yarn New 3-Ply 100% wool in color #344, 2 40g balls (215 m each)
Needles: JPN size 4 aluminum circulars, Okadaya brand
Start Date: June 16, 2006 (my birthday!) - I actually ripped the first try out and redid it twice before officially starting on June 19th
Finish Date: July 25th, 2006 in the wee hours of the morning
Block Date: July 26th, 2006
Final Measurements: 160 cm wide at top edge, 80 cm long down the center
Adjustments: I knit 8 repeats, putting me solidy between the scarf size (6 repeats) and the full shawl size (10 repeats) I had very, very little yarn left over.. yay!

Most of you probably don't care about all that.. it's mosly just for my own records and the one or two of you who actually know what I'm talking about (hi Jun! *waves* <3)

Now comes the part that you're all going to kill me for. The part where I clog up your friends pages by posting 100000 pictures of my shawl with no LJ-cut. >:D Yes, I know many of you will hate me for this, but you know what? I'm kinda proud of this thing, and I want to show it off damnit. So deal.



Here's the back view as it should be worn officially. I don't actually /wear/ shawls, so god knows if I will ever be seen like this again, but that's not the actual point. The point is that I enjoy the process of making things, you see. Sadly in this picture the shawl is kinda folding a little down the center and not laying completely flat, but oh well.



Me proudly displaying my handy-work for all to see outside my apartment early in the morning. While we were getting ready to take these pictures a couple of young salarymen in suits came out of one of the other apartments on their way to work and I got all embarassed and hid behind Eric until they went away. Eh heh heh.... But anyway, in this one you can see the drape of the fabric on either side of where I'm holding it. It drapes pretty nicely in my opinion. =D



Here's the obligatory look! I can fly! shot. Seriously, if you've ever gone around and looked at knitblogs this shot is like required for every shawl that anyone ever makes. I mean, I see why.. it's one of the best ways to really show off the whole thing.. but it just kinda amuses me that I have now joined the ranks of people who have stood in this exact same pose for this exact same picture.. ^^

That aside you can see the size of the finished piece nicely in this picture. I really, really like the size that it came out to, actually. I think that the scarf size would have been a little on the small side, but the full sized shawl would have killed me to make. Those rows were already too long at 8 repeats, so another two pattern repeats would have KILLED me.. not to mention they probably would have added another month to the knitting time... and did I mention that this this in 3 cm wider than I am tall? XD



I just like this pose.. and it shows off the edging detail on one side of the shawl. A lot of shawls out there have you knit the main panel and then pick up stitches to add on the border which, may I just say EW? This pattern was really nice and simple in that you started down at the very tip and knit it all as a single piece, border included, up until the top edge. Yeah, as I've mentioned before, the increasingly long rows were a pain in the ass, but the trade off of having it all DONE when you get to the top was really nice.



Close up on one point of the shawl and the edging points coming off the border. You can see the individual stitches in this shot. I have no idea how many of them there actually are.. but I'm sorely tempted to pull out a calculator and figure it out sometime, because I'm sure it's in the thousands at very least.. lots and lots of little tiny loops there... The point, by the way is a short row point knitted before going across the top edge with the applied i-cord edging. Very nice and clever..



Okay.. last one.. ^^ This is just me holding up the whole completed shawl. Again, showing of the very, very lovely diamond pattern. I am really pleased with the way this came out. I was nervous about knitting a real, huge, lace pattern for the first time. And my first (almost) full sized shawl on top of that. But I don't think it could have come out better. I really like the way the weight of the yarn and the needle size I picked ended up creating the perfect fabric weight and style for me.. and the color is of course really nice as well.. I'm happah =D

Of course, this means that I have one less project in progress at the moment. That leaves me with just my Jaywalker and Pomatomus socks on the needles, and that just won't do!

So...I'll be casting on for the Leaf Lace Shawl sometime today =D. Also in Puppy Yarn, this time New 4-ply (I bought it at the same time as the yarn for this shawl) in a deep, deep blue. I'm undecided on JPN size 4 or 6 needles, so I'll be experimenting a little before making up my mind. ^___^


Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 9:59 pm  
Laaaaaace...

[ mood | pleased ]


My Diamond Fantasy Shawl.. the one that I've been knitting for the past month and a half (with a few breaks, though those of you who were here while I was working on it and grew intimately familiar with the little tangled mass of purple yarn might not believe that I ever put it down... >_>) is finished. Done. Complete.

I finished the 8th and final repeat on Monday evening while Eric tried to fix the vonage phone, and then did the applied i-cord edging while we watched more of Buffy Season 3 the same night. I believe I finished knitting somewhere before dawn on Tuesday morning. This morning at around 8 am I washed it and pinned it to my bed to block. It being my first lace piece I left it blocking for much longer than it probably needed to make sure it held. It was probably dry by around 1 pm. I didn't unpin it until 45 minutes ago. The anticipation almost killed me.

It.. Is.. GORGEOUS. I am so proud ;_;

It was very much worth all the work, and the false starts, and the horrible annoyance of all those increasingly long rows. And even though pinning it out I didn't manage to get the thing completely even and straight, you can barely tell when holding it up in the end... It's pretty close to even and again.. looks fantastic.

I will definitely be knitting this pattern again.. next time with nicer yarn. Don't get me wrong, even with the cheap Puppy Yarn I used it came out fantastically.. but it's not a terribly soft yarn.. and I can only imagine how it would feel if I'd splurged and used some super soft Jaeger Zephyr or something instead *swoon*. But then, I didn't want my first lace piece to be with expensive yarn in case it came out badly. The next time I knit it will probably be with the aforementioned Jaeger Zephyr, though...

No pictures yet.. I would very much like to show it off, but I would really prefer to take pictures tomorrow when the sun is out rather than tonight under my crappy lights in my tiny apartment.

It's pretty, though.. trust me.


Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 1:12 am  
Oh yeah..

[ mood | tired ]


And I keep forgetting to out him.. but for those of you who know and care (Spooner, Rene, Jun... I'm looking at you) I managed to con our favorite Josh into joining the fold and starting up a livejournal. So go forth and pester him until he starts posting more stuff. ^___^

I think he's off somewhere riding his bike across the country or something this week, though.. so he might not actually respond to demands for updates until he gets back.


Saturday, July 22nd, 2006 11:57 pm  
I win!!1one =O

[ mood | weird ]




I've been meaning to post for a while, but I keep putting it off because posting is hard work when you're me and you live in Tokyo. I figure I better get this out of the way before it gets old, though.. I can catch up on the rest later when I have more energy..

So yes. I am one of the masses. I lined up early Thursday morning with the rest of Japan to get my hands on one of the new Noble Pink DS Lites on release day. You knew I would, didn't you? ^^ I mean, sure.. I've been dying to get my hands on a DS Lite for months now while jealously watching every single one of my friends succumbing to their desire and purchasing one.. but I've been able to hold out and be rational in the face of this adversity and wisely chose to wait until I could actually afford one. The fact that they've been sold out across the country and I've pretty much not had more than ¥5000 yen to my name at a time in the last couple months helped, yeah.. but it was mostly will power. =O

Then I found out that they would be coming out in pink.



Well, okay.. that's not the /only/ thing that broke me.. it was just very conveniently timed. See, I hadn't really played with one much since May when Rene bought hers, so it was easy for me to push it to the back of my brain as unneccessary at the moment.. but last week Rene finally got her own copy of 漢字そのまま, and I got to play around with it for the first time in two months.. and it reminded me that one of the main reasons I had been drawn into the DS Lite fold in the first place was because of that game. I love games and all, but I don't play them enough to justify purchasing my own handheld system. But when that system costs just ¥16,800 and has the ability to double as a very, very convenient Japanese Dictionary.. well, that's just something I NEED. Something very vital to my survival in Japan. Now that I don't have classes to help me grow in my language study (not that they actually did when I had them.. but that's another story), I need something easy and fun to use so that I don't stagnate. So I decided to bump it up on my list of priorites..

Then I went home and found out about the new color. *cough* >_>

I'm sure you've all noticed that the color pink seems to figure heavily into my life. It's not my only favorite color, but it's fun.. and generally when given the choice I'll end up coming out on the side of pink.. so it just seemed natural that I should end up with a pink DS Lite rather than my previous top choice of the enamel navy. Besides, everyone else already has the other colors (Ice Blue - Rene, Crystal White - Josh, Enamel Navy - Alex, til he had to give it up to his friend.. among others) and though the upcoming Jet Black one (September 2nd, people) is DAMNED sexy.. that's Eric's color, and kinda generic (everyone's gonna have one of those.. I can see the lines come release day already X_x). So pink just seemed like the obvious choice. It's more me ^^

ANYWAY.. I hadn't initially planned on being one of the people lining up for the release. I'd planned on trying to hit up the tiny local game shop later that afternoon in the hope that they might still have one in stock.. but as the release got closer and closer I got more and more determined to actually get my hands on one as soon as possible. The day before the release (Wednesday, July 19th) I went on a recon mission. The guys at the local game shop didn't seem to know if they'd even be getting any in at all.. much less whether or not it'd be the next day or how many.. so I decided it was too risky to count on them and started eyeing the major retailers instead. After much thought about where the potential crowds might go.. I settled upon Shinjuku as my target location. Unfortunately, there are a good 4 or 5 stores at just the east and west exits that carry games that I could try.

Much thought ensued, but in the end I decided to go with Yodobashi Camera at the East exit because 1) it opens at 9:30 am, 30 minutes before either of the BICs, B) We like Yodobashi for their price matching and have bought a lot of crap there, and Last) We have a Gold Point card.. ^^ If Yodobashi was a bust I'd run over to the BIC across the street which was due to open at 10 am and try my luck there.. reserving a copy from the next shipment as a last resort if they had already sold out.

Since Eric and I have managed to completely screw up our sleep schedules in the last week I ended up being still awake early in the morning on Thusrday... I was unsure of what the crowds would be like, but didn't fancy the idea of standing around in Shinjuku in the potential rain (we're Typhooning recently) for longer than I had to.. so I ended up leaving at 7:30 am and arriving at Yodobashi just before 8:30 am..

The line was already around the building =P

The crowd was really mixed, which didn't exactly surprise me, but was interesting nonetheless. Behind me was a 20 something OL (office lady) and three college guys, and in front of me were three older chinese women. The rest of the line had pretty much every kind of person from salaryman to teenage boy. Blah blah blah.. there were also four security guards watching us with little counters in their hands and talking into little mics strapped to their shoulders, and Yodobashi employees popping out every now and again to check on the line. In the end the store opened 30 minutes early at 9 am to start selling the goods.

It was a very efficient and orderly line to the counter. We moved up along the building, and got let into the store in groups of three to stand in another line that snaked around a few aisles from the counter to the door. When you got to the front of the line there was someone to tell you which register to go to and ask if you wanted a screen protector with your purchase. Obviously they were only selling the system, and everyone in line was assumed to be there to get one, so when you got up to the counter they just slammed it down, took your money, and set you on your way. I was out the door with my Pink DS Lite by 9:15 am and quite ecstatic. On the way out I made sure to pass by all the people still in line at BIC waiting for the store to open. hah!

Of course, the downside was that I didn't manage to get the kanji game and a case because of the way the line was processed, so I decided to go sit across the street at Starbucks and knit for a little bit while waiting for the crowds to clear out so I could go back. I stayed there until 10 am, then headed over to HMV (because stupid Tower doesn't open until 11 am -_-) to get the new J single that I couldn't afford last week before wandering back to Yodobashi.

I entered the store at about 10:20 am, and all the posters had big 'SOLD OUT' signs plastered all over them. It was the same at BIC Camera. Hah. Go me. Anyway, I grabbed the game, but the selection of cases sucked, so I decided to pass on one until I can get me to Akihabara where I know they have a lot more to choose from. Then I headed back home to take a nap.. because damn I was tired after that.



Anyway.. I'm happah =D I mean, I would be happier if I had an actual game to play on the thing, but that's going to have to wait until I have money again because I kinda need to eat with the little change I'm left with after blowing all my food money on that thing. So yeah, right now it's nothing but a glorified denshi jisho (dictionary).. but it's a damned awesome one, so yay! =D



Okay.. that's my story.. told in typical maya fashion (ie.. long and way too detailed, but with pictures!) More later..


Saturday, July 8th, 2006 10:55 pm  
It's been fun guys...

[ mood | drained ]


Welp.. with the exception of Rene, who is leaving next friday, every single member of my inner circle of friends is now gone. The worst was probably Alex on wednesday, because he was the first one to really LEAVE leave and break the team apart.. it was hard. Josh and I seemed to take it the worst when it actually came time to say goodbye.. what with the sobbing and the clinging.. but I think that a lot of that was because everyone else was emotionally exhausted by that point and not able to really show their emotions as much. We were both leaky and unstable for the rest of the day.

It wasn't as bad the next day dropping Josh off at the airport because we'd gotten most of the tears out of the way when Alex left. I rode the two hours out to Narita with him and left him there.. Not so many tears, but I felt pretty dead inside for the rest of the day after watching him go through the ticket gates at Narita station. I think I slept most of the 2 hour train ride back, and was in a haze for hours after that. I transfered at Ueno and somehow everything seemed very.. odd to me. Like it was the first time I'd been there and everything was new and foreign to me.. despite the fact that I'm so familiar with the place that I could navigate my way around the transfer without thinking and all.. it was very... surreal.

I ran into Funi and his entire family on the platform at Ueno Station. They're apparently visiting Tokyo for a week or so before he goes back to Oregon. Talked with them for a while on the train before getting off and running a few errands (*cough* picking up another shippment of designer yarn from the post office.. [Lorna's Laces Shepard sock in Ice House and Daffodil, Jun ^_~]) before meeting up with Spooner and couple of his friends for some much needed comfort and dinner.

Felt better yesterday, and spent most of the day with Spooner again.. shopping in Asakusa (I got a new bag/purse thingie that's awesome.. and thank you for insisting on the red and black, by the way.. it was a good call) before having to say goodbye to him as well.. He should be hanging in the air somewhere above the pacific as I write this. *sigh*

Last night we met up with Jessica for dinner and two Sugi shows.. which were odd but fun and interesting. I managed to whip out my camera this time and get a few shots of him with his violin up close and personal.. not as close and personal as at the SHAG show, but cameras weren't allowed at that one, so oh well. We had to say goodbye to her after that all finished as well, since she flies out on Monday.

Shonda's still in the country.. Wakayama by now, probably.. but we won't see her before she leaves, so had to say goodbye on Tuesday after dinner and coffee with her and her folks. It was surreal and didn't feel like a goodbye at all.

My brain hurts.. I want to go hang out at Starbucks and knit with Jun to decompress, but she left last Sunday.. and they got new couches this week that aren't as loungable as the old ugly ones, so it wouldn't even be the same... so I guess I'll just have to knit here instead.. =P



Don't expect anything of substance or coherence out of me for a while.

This week sucked...


Friday, June 30th, 2006 3:13 am  
......

[ mood | blank ]


This week is going to be one of the hardest of my life..


Thursday, June 29th, 2006 5:48 am  
....

[ mood | blank ]


SOB.

;_;


Saturday, June 24th, 2006 4:13 am  
Kansai Pictures up..

[ mood | blank ]


I promised I'd post when it was finally done.. and I'm keeping that promise, though it's quite a bit later than I'd hoped...

So yeah.. all the pictures from the Kansai Trip back in March/April are finally uploaded, sorted, and captioned... all 1000+ of them. Now I can move on to getting the rest of my pictures up..

It was probably one of the better times I've had this year.. so yeah.. go look and enjoy.. ;_;

Click here to go check out the Pictures


Thursday, May 25th, 2006 8:46 pm  
Quick Updateness

[ mood | blah ]


Go see PICTURES!!

Yet again it's been a very long time since my last update. Oops. It has seemed for a long time now that I have so many things to do in my spare time that I end up spending said spare time trying to decide what to do and never actually manage to get any of them DONE. Updating my livejournal is generally in that pile of things to do.. as is reorganizing all my files from the Great Harddrive Meltdown of March 1st, 2006 which I never mentioned here (short version: HD died, I cried a lot, spent 25 days using Eric's laptop, ended up getting a new, slightly bigger HD and recovered maybe 50-60% of my data-- most of which was stuff I didn't need, while the important unreplaceable things got lost--, I cried some more), trying to catch up on my picture gallery, emailing people who probably think I'm dead because I haven't replied to their emails in several months, rating all my songs in iTunes, homework, starting Final Fantasy XII (in Japanese, of course), etc.

There's a lot I could say, but the thought of going into a huge big, detailed update entry at the moment is urm... how to say.. uh.. intimidating as all fuck? so I'll just mention a couple things for now and hopefully sometime next weekish I'll actually have the motivation and time to write something of more substance.

The last few months have consisted of lots of.. uh.. stuff? ^^ Eric and I have gone to a lot of concerts since the end of March (The Flare- 1, SHAG- 1, Tourbillion- 1, J- 3, total = 6) and I've bought a bunch of tour goods at all of them, so as a result we've both been utterly and completely broke lately. This sucks not only because it makes living in Tokyo hard, but also because we need to be buying more concert tickets this week. *coughcough >_>* There are three Fake? shows I'd like to go to in June/July, and I have to buy our tickets to J's summer tour from the fanclub before Monday. I'm interested in going to like six of the shows, but practically speaking we likely wouldn't make it to more than four (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka). Due to money constraints I think we've decided to just get the Tokyo/Yokohama tickets now and get the others when general sales open up if we can. Meh. Also on the money front I get my very last scholarship payment in about 2-3 weeks.. BAD. Time to start looking for a part time job =P

We've gone to some interesting cultury/sporty things in the last month or so.. one of my teachers took us to a Seibu Lions vs. Yomiuri Giants baseball game at Seibu Dome that was kinda cool. We mostly enjoyed watching how organized the fans were with their cheering. Everyone around us was cheering for the Giants, while me, Jason, and I think Eric as well decided to root for the Lions based on the fact that.. well.. we live on Seibu train lines and ride them all the time. The Lions won, we were happy. A couple weeks before that Makino-sensei took us to the 'Stable' where Asashoryu trains to watch the sumo-san practice. Asashoryu wasn't actually there that day, but it was still really interesting and we did see this one top ozeki whose name I forget. Also on the sumo front, we went with the CSU people to the final day of the spring grand sumo tournament this past Sunday. That was a lot of fun.. we got to see a bunch of people we'd seen on TV before, like Kotooshu (yay Kotooshu! ^^), Baruto, Hakuho and again Chiyotaikai, the ozeki from the stable. Hakuho won the tournament. I bet Asashoryu would have won had he not pulled out with an injury, considering he's the only current yokozuna and has apparently won EIGHT of the last NINE tournaments O.o.

Er yeah.. Sumo's on all the time here, it's hard not to get at least a *little* interested ^^

What else? Been trying to spend more time with the CSU and Waseda people, since they'll mostly be going home in about five weeks or so. Boo.. started going to this Waseda english conversation club calls Trans last week.. it's been pretty fun so far. I've met a couple interesting Japanese girls there. Also nice that we always end up going out to dinner after the meetings, so that helps fill in my socialization quota.

On the not so good front: I went to this beauty school place yesterday to get a free haircut since I'm broke and my hair was getting long. Eric, Alex, and a couple other people had all had their hair cut there and it came out nicely.. also I was told that you get a free massage and stuff. Sadly for me it didn't go so well. I got, like, the school flunkee or something. I was there for nearly FOUR hours and came out with a LOT less hair than I'd wanted. See, I had really kinda liked the way may hair was growing out, so I decided I wouldn't get it cut as short as usual this time.. but the student just.. well.. SUCKED and I ended up with the shortest hair I've had in my life. It comes down to about my jaw line and just barely manages to stay behind my ears. The guys also went CRAZY with the thinning scissors, so I lost a lot of volume in the back. Most people probably wouldn't realize that since I have extremely thick hair, but it's REALLY bizarre for me to shake my head and have the back not move around and brush my neck.. Sigh. I came home and cried, of course.

I feel marginally better today after sleeping on it, washing it with my own shampoo and getting my own products in it and stuff, though. And it could be worse I guess. At least it'll eventually grow out =P I can't help but really, really, REALLY miss Eddy, though. I never even had to tell him what I wanted, he just knew, and it always came out perfectly. I almost think I'd be tempted to fly home next time I need a haircut just so I could get him to do it...

Yeah.. on my budget.. uh huh.. >_>

This weekend I'm going to Hakone with the CSU group for one night. We're apparently staying at a really fancy hotel in the woods and taking the Romance car on the train over, so that should be fun. The bad would be that I'll most likely have to a) buy, and b) been seen in public wearing a swim suit there for the first time in many, many, many years and saying that I am terrified at the very idea of this would be the understatement of the century. I know I'm not horridly obese or anything, but my lower body is still not quite how I'd like it. Nevermind the ass, lately it's mostly been about the thighs, calves, and overall dimply-ness. EW. I'm also not looking forward to showing up with my ugly ass hair now, but what can I do, right? So yeah, I'm viewing this weekend with a a mix of terror and anticipation.. but hey, it's progress that despite the swim suit thing I'm still actually choosing to GO rather than staying home to avoid the embarassment, right? ... right? eh... =P

Yesterday Eric and I went to Tower Records in Shinjuku and bought the new Fake? album, Songs from Beelzebub, which is the first release since Ino left the band for Tourbillion. I've been kinda worried about this whole thing because Fake? has been one of my favorite and most listened to bands since Luna Sea broke up and there was really no telling what'd happen with Ino gone. I kept clinging to the whole "Well, I loved Oblivion Dust, so Ken should be okay without Ino" logic while waiting for the album to come out. So far I've listened to it once and I'm not sure I've really formed an opinion yet. Some parts of it just seemed like a really drastic departure in a way that I'm not sure how I feel about, and others seemed more familiar. I'm currently taking a break and working on rating my songs (I just got through the Smashing Pumpkins, am currently on Soul Coughing, and looking forward to Sugizo) for a while. I'll go back and listen to the album again in a bit after I've mentally processed it a bit more and hopefully my feelings on it will solidify somewhat after that.

Uh.. oh, I stopped updating my picture gallery and it was stuck on February 10th while I went through my month without a computer and had house guests and went on vacation and what not. The problem is that during this time I didn't actually stop taking pictures, so when I got back from kansai in early April I found myself with 2000 pictures that needed to be uploaded and captioned to get myself back up to date. Eh heh heh.. very intimidating number there. So I put off pictures for a while, and only started updating again this month. So far I've finished up all of February and most of March. I've actually managed to get all the pictures taken prior to the kansai trip up and captioned as of right now, and I'm hoping to get started on the actual trip pictures (1034-ish over a period of 10 days X_x) tonight. I've set a short term goal of getting through the end of March before leaving for Hakone Saturday morning, but I don't know how possible that is at the moment. I would really like to get my gallery up to date in the next week or two, though.. since it's a lot easier to show you guys what I've been up to than actually trying to rememeber it all in an entry.

So yeah, if you wanna know how I spent February and March, then GO TO MY GALLERY and see for yourself. And keep in mind that I am actively trying to update the thing, so frequent checks back might actually be worth doing. I probably won't mention it again up here until a) the Kansai pictures are ALL up, and then b) when I'm completely caught up to the present.

I've also been knitting a lot. I don't know if I mentioned it here before, but I started teaching myself to knit back around the end of December/begining of January. I've kinda crocheted for a long while, and everytime I made a scarf or hat or something I always like "damn.. I wish I could knit because then my hat/scarf would be SO much softer and stretchier." Back in December I found out that Tehani was helping Rene learn to knit and it really bumped up the motivation factor, so I turned to my trusty friend Teh Intarnet and learned myself some knitting =D.

It's been fun, and I'm a fast learner.. so I think I'm squarely out of the realm of beginner and somewhere in the mid to upper intermediate level by now. I started with some scarves, and then moved on to hats before trying gloves and socks. Currently I'm working on a basic, somewhat boring shawl and planning out another pair of socks, and hopefully sometime in the very near future I will try my hand at knitting some lace and tops. I just have to find patterns that I actually LIKE first. Oh yeah.. and find money for yarn. I've got a smallish stash of hand-dyed sock yarn I ordered online, but sock yarn isn't really appropriate for every project.. be nice if it was though. ^^

Um... I can't really think of anything else at the moment. Life has been stressful, with periods of happy goodness mixed in occasionally since spring break ended at the begining of April. If I'm not doing a good job at keeping in touch (which, chances are, I'm not) then I appologize and you should feel free to poke me. I can't guarantee a timely response though, because life often sucks and it's hard to tell if it's going to make me a) not want to talk to people, or b) want more than ANYTHING to have someone to talk to.

Okay.. I need to get some pictures done tonight before bed.. and probably check my schedule to see what homework is due tomorrow so I can go in informed about what assignment I blew off. Oh, and I should probably also eat something tonight.. I have some microwaveable corn soup and a salad with my name all over them in the fridge. I also got myself some overpriced cherries at the grocery store earlier today. w00t.

Oh yeah, and I turn 25 in three weeks. This terrifies me.

Go see PICTURES!!

 

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