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Friday, March 20, 2009

Most fantastically pompous ad ever:

"Aesthete, bibliophile, castle-builder, chronicler, collector, cosmopolite, epicure, optimistic pessimist, pacifist, pedant, philomath, not-quite-polyglot but contemplating fixing that. Incorrigible dreamer. Denizen of museums, art-house cinemas, libraries, concert halls, universities, cities of exceptional grandeur and antiquity, prodigious landscapes of uncommon splendor. Indefatigably curious, active cultivator of mind and body. Impelled by overwhelming internal compulsions: to muse abundantly, to render other-worldly imaginations, to voyage and wander hither and yon. Engrossed in the study of sciences, languages, history, philosophy, and the arts. Repelled by any bondslave of dogmas, superstition, religion, material anxiety, resignation or despair. Reckless, sometimes careless, never uncaring. Disciple of a crowded pantheon: exempli gratia, JS Bach, D Shostakovich, W Furtwängler, T Beecham, S Lem, L Tolstoy, A Kurosawa, I Bergman, A Tarkovksy, L Bunuel, B Keaton, G Marx, K Hamsun, T Bernhard, P O'Brian, A Damasio, D Dennett, C Darwin, M Holub, W Shakespeare, H Melville, A Akhmatova, TE Lawrence, M de Montaigne, K Issa, H Zinn, P Casals. Afflicted by Unamuno's sentimiento tragico de la vida. Dressed in order not to stand out in the Boulevard St-Michel or the Staré Mesto. Inclined to subject all things in life to a process of aesthetic refinement: dress, cuisine, speech, deportment, and every inhabited space, among others. Most fond of the light that arrives shortly after dawn and in the hours before dusk, when shadows are long. Enchanted by mysteries. Invigorated by rains."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hey, I've had over 10,000 hits. That's pretty cool, especially given all of the ignoring of this blog I've done over this past year or year-and-a-half!
Recently, Jordon, Yo-chan, their friend Ed, and potentially some others have come together on flickr. Each day, we have to upload a picture of something that makes us happy. We started on March 1, so it's been about eight photos each so far. You can see what makes us tick here. My poor camera phone doesn't live up to the iphone-iness of the others, but so far I can't find anyone who wants to take over an iphone in August, so I'm waiting till I move home. That's how I'm bribing myself to go back. (and seeing you all, of course). Anyway...back to the topic. Finding things that make you happy when work is 8-16 hours of unfortunate-ness these days (not BAB, other work), is a challenge. I've noticed that many of my posts revolve around food. Well, what can you say, you all know me. Check out the ahmazing veggie lasagne though. That was the weekend's project (along with white/chocolate chunk cookies, which, incidentally, also made the official happy list). The lasagne involved roasted red and green peppers, onions, shallots, zucchinis, egg plant, and probably some other stuff, plus fresh tomatoes in the sauce, and lots of other yummy stuff--cheese, eggs, etc. Yum :)

I'm hoping to make a carrot cake tomorrow to complete a week of living with an oven and taking full advantage of that. (Peter and Hitomi are in Hawaii these days so I'm house sitting until thursday).

Speaking of Thursday, this weekend I should have plenty of things to make the happy list--Amy and I are flying to Hokkaido to go to Niseko to go snowboarding for a couple of days. Here's hoping I don't break anything! Niseko should be interesting--there are loads of Aussies up there and from all reports it feels very foreign. Yay accents!

School starts again in a couple of weeks (oh god) which is stressful beyond belief. I barely have time to cook twice a week or run that much (all about the small, achievable goals these days), nevermind go to school full time. The only good thing is that I'm only going to be taking the same level of Japanese as I did last semester. That is a bit of a cop out but on the other hand, hopefully I won't be as stressed and I'll actually better learn some of the content. I'm studying as much as I can (or, well, like an hour a week) these days and I've forgotten sooo much. It sucks!

Anyway, not much of a report, but I need to get back to work, of course.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A random collection of happenings from between October and February (oy how the overzealous bloggers have fallen!)

1. I took on way, way too much. Two magazines and full time school, and too-hard Japanese, and a long commute=crappy. However, I have fab friends who either cooked for me, distracted me, studied with me, taught me how to conjugate adjectives, or spirited me away to America for concentrated work sessions with Chili's or cheap movies or cookies to look forward to. A big big hug to Jac, Hoka, and Amy!

2. Weekender got sold, and completely revamped. Marie moved back to the UK to start the next stage of her life, and Ulara came on as editor. Lots and lots and lots of changes. We all know how much I love change. In January, we had a party @ SDLX.

3. I officially don't know what I would do without Amy. (())

4. I was Juno for Halloween. Meanwhile, Jac was an '80s fitness instructor, rocking my awesome vaulting spandies, and Hoka was (an increasingly convincing as the night went on) Lily Allen. Highlights included a sock in Hoka's hair, a large pillow up my shirt, and people giving me their seat on the train as I looked pregnant enough. Most people didn't know the movie and seemed to mostly think I was just preggers. However, I will def. be re-using this costume in N. America so I can say things like 'hang on, i'm on my hamburger phone' and 'honest to blog?' and people will know what I mean.

5. Jac, Hoka, Hoka's friend Nadine, Jensen, and I headed to Kyoto for a weekend after school finished. It was lots of fun and we stayed in a great hostel that was convenient and cheap. We did the touristy things--Gion (geisha stalking!!!), the golden temple, a couple of castles, etc. As well as karaoke (where I fell fast asleep!). We did the trip the uni way. Ie: cheap and took 8 hours to get there on local (or rapid local) trains. Unfortunately, Jac and I (who were coming back up alone) managed to miss our first train from Kyoto on the way back, causing a chain reaction leading to sleeping in a station somewhere outside Atami and vaguely lying our way back through the ticket gates in Tokyo as technically we had one-day tickets but weren't about to pay for the trip that we didn't get to use the day before. Good times. We discovered that there are many freight trains at night, 1/2 a granola bar goes a long way, and corn soup in a can isn't so bad.

6. I went home for Christmas, which was great! There was tons of snow, my first real white Christmas, a proper break, and a new cousin (Zoe). It was fairly quiet as Williams family Christmases go, but so nice to be back and see everyone. And have Tim Hortons.

7. I took my mom to (bible) horse camp for Christmas. We went for 4 days after boxing day. It was quite the experience. It all started when I got the plague (due, no doubt, to my burning loins getting over worked [though I would debate that point at the moment, sadly]) and literally couldn't stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. Unfortunate when the camp schedule ran full-on from 7am-after midnight (on New Years). Despite being ridick sick and freeezing in the snow while outside, it was lots of fun with trail riding, vaulting (in an ice rink, basically), archery, ping pong, hanging out with Julie/perspy, mounted games, an awesome private lesson, etc. We'll have to go back!

8. Helen came to visit. Love! So good to see her looking soooo happy :)

9. Amy and Zach and I went to the opening of ZED, Cirque's permanent show in Maihama/Disney. It was amazing!!! After the show, I went to the opening party in Shin Kiba. Also loads of fun! I want to join the circus!

9a) I got circus lessons for Christmas!

10) Amy and I got to go to Corteo, Cirque's traveling show in Yoyogi Koen. I got to live out a dream and go backstage, conduct interviews, and eat in the artist caf. I'm not sure who I would chose to interview over Cirque...Maybe Coldplay but it would be close. I was fairly close to hyperventiliation, but throughouly enjoyed myself and the show. I want to join the circus!

11) In an effort to do something (anything) involving mats and chalk, I seem to have taken up bouldering. I've only gone twice, but so far its been lots of fun, if frustrating when I can't finish the pink (kiddy) routes, and forearms are seriously protesting! However, its lots of fun and as a bonus I'm sure the arm workout will help my mounts in vaulting and the rough grippy things will suitably abuse my hands so I don't rip so much when I finally get back into gymnastics. Good things all around.

12. I moved today. Again. All the girls moved today, all the boys move tomorrow. This is pretty communal-style dorm living, which will take some getting used to. I'd so far managed to avoid the '21 girls and 4 shower stalls in the basement when the rooms are on the 3rd floor' thing, but we'll see how this goes. On the major plus side, no more curfew, and we live in civilisation again. In a ku! in a good ku at that (setagaya). we're near jiyugaoka and ookayama, which puts me only one train away from work (instead of three) and a 10 minute walk to a proper shotengai. yay! Pics to come cos the cable is at work. boo!

AFAIK, this is house number 17 or so for me, but I'm kind of losing track (is this right, anyone?). (Saltspring, Victoria, Johnathon Harbor, Myrtle Beach, Ft. Lauderdale x2, Chaucer, Myrtle, Sidney, Hampshire, Dowler, Wellsview, York, Oyama-cho, Vancouver, Higashi-Kanagawa, and now Setagaya). This was def. the easiest move, as though I'd packed about 1/2 my stuff, the moving company packed/unpacked everything else for us, and loaded/unloaded the truck, etc. No lifting of boxes or anything. V. easy!

However, a long day so def. time for bed...back to work tomorrow. meh.
In my last, very very long ago post (maybe I can do some kind of highlights post or something to recap in a list form...?) I mentioned how I was just starting sumi-e class and afterwards we were going to have 'an exhibition of sorts' well here it is--second floor of the shokudou (caf)--and and exhibition by everyone in the two classes. In the picture above, on the very left is ms. hoka's super-cute penguin, that ended up looking very suica-ish :)
This is my peacock. The kanji for peacock is 'many colors bird' and I stamped the first half of it onto the piece. (Basically: many colors)
Ms. Jac's Tiny Dancer. I love the tutu/skirt :)