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I'm waiting for my chickpeas to finish cooking, which means I have 30mins to do this.

I went into a stationery store in December, checking out the Moleskine notebooks.  Well, hell, it's a stationery store - I'd happily check out the paperclips.   While I was lurking about I found a little display toy cameras and started playing about with them.  I was particularly interested in the fisheye camera as I've been wanting a fisheye lens for my SLR, but cannot afford it.  Anyway, I wandered off into the bookshop next door.  However, I kept thinking about those cameras, so I had to go back and have another play with them a few weeks ago.  I checked the manufacturer and found that they were Lomography cameras.  This meant nothing to me.  Anyway, I looked it up and found that lomo cameras take some pretty good photos - the vignetting, colour saturation and hazy quality of the pictures rather appeals to me.  I can just see Shinjuku or Shibuya through one of these lenses.  However, as is my usual case, money does not quite allow this month.  However, next month I should be able to get my money back for moving to Yokohama last year (I had to pay for it, and would be reimbursed a year later), which means there should be enough to get myself a Holga.  And just to get even more excited about it I found a gallery shop in Omotesando, so you know where I'm going on February 1st!! 

And a thought - if wielding Marlboro Lights, a bottle of water and wearing a scarf makes you a member of the Drama Soc; and wielding bottles of water, brandishing pencils and clutching sheet music puts you in the Choir; what does scribbling in Moleskines, wielding lomos and drinking tea make you?  Equally as pretentious as the Drama Soc?

Moving on, I missed my last train on Saturday night and spent a fair few hours in a bar in Yokohama snuggling under a blanket and wearing the earmuffs they gave me.  I happened to accidentally steal the earmuffs when I left, which means I'll just have to go back and return them to one of the cuties who work there.  Damn.  I didn't get home until about 6am.  My knee hated me yesterday as it had been subjected to the freezing elements all night, and so it ached and ached all day, even though I put it under the kotatsu for at least 9 hours.

So far this weekend I have tidied my apartment, messed up my apartment, watched Criminal Minds, watched "Goodnight and Good Luck" (which has an excellent soundtrack) and slept alot.  Today I have to do something which doesn't involve sitting on my arse.  So, tidying, shopping, a private lesson, cooking etc.

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So "Before Sunset" was a lovely as I remember it. What I love about this and its prequel is the long continuous shots used throughout, something you just don't see in modern movies. I also love the conversations. They remind me of the way Gid and I used to sit about talking about anything and everything when things were good, and even when they weren't. I always leave these films thinking about the discussion they had, as though they were actually having them with me too. I had to empty my head in my Moleskine before going to bed as my mind ws spinning with thoughts.

Today I had my two Japanese lessons, which went very well, and I found a new cafe to lurk in - a Vietnamese-style place called Cafe Du Du where I was served iced Chai. Yummy.

I also had to get some new passport photos done (as I need a new passport) and was amused by the huge number of freckles that showed on the photo booth screen. I was aware that this photo will be used for the next 10 years to identify me, which is quite amusing. What will I look like at 37? I compared the photo of me at 17 with this one. Somehow my face seems longer now, and I'm mush more rosey cheeked. My hair is a different colour, but back then it changed regularly, and of course, I'm now proudly wearing my fabulous glasses in this photo, rather than hiding them in my hand out of shot. The heavy eyeliner still exists, but my eyes are not as puffy as they were then. Not bad, but it would be nice to a photo with my cheek bones evident.

Tonight, tempura and X-Files.
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I was visited by an Incubus on Friday night, and no, it was, in fact, quite frightening.

So a week of disturbed sleep was compounded this morning but being awoken by the town sirens going at 6am. What they were alerting us to, I've no idea. I got out my dictionary to find out what was being said, but had no joy. Half and hour later as I was finally starting to to the edge of my resentful wakefulness the blasted thing went off again. So I gave up, made a cup of tea and read [ profile] greygirlbeast's "Bradbury Weather" instead.

I blame the incubus invasion on red wine and watching Hugh Jackman in a dumbass movie. I had little in the way of expectations when I sat down to watch "Kate and Leopold" (it was showing on the Movie Plus channel and I was bored and not in the mood for anything cerebral). My only point in watching (aside from thinking Hugh Jackman is pretty, though particularly in Wolverine mode) was to see whether the film would tick all the plot boxes for a love story. Which it did. Shame that none of the science behind finding cracks in time wasn't explained, but I guess that's far too much for the target audience to take in.

So last night I went to my favourite bar. I had been requested to go out to karaoke with Joe and few others but have taken a thorough dislike to singing in snack bars lately, so headed for the comfort of Yongo Yongo. It's not that I don't enjoy the singing. I am just quite bored with the number of requests I get to sing songs. People always make suggestions and I feel obliged to acquiesce. In some cases, people don't even ask me, they just give me a microphone when a song comes on and say: "Dozo". My annoyance at this behaviour is furthered by the fact that this is most often done with songs I hate - Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", Mariah Carey's "Hero". I've come to an agreement with Joe that the next time this happens I will inform the bar of my hatred of these songs, and give the mic to Joe, who will go on to sing on my behalf. That'll learn 'em.

Joe and I went back to Yongo Yongo for a private "mini-mini-live" with Mi-chan, back from a gig last night in Roppongi. Kumi brought her son Koki, who is 9 years old, but not much past a year old in mental terms (I can never keep up with what the "PC" term for this is). He was utterly ecstatic to meet Joe and insisted on crawling across us to get a hug. He was mesmerised by the guitar and enjoyed banging away on the bongos too. He's a very happy, if slightly anxious, kid and is good fun, though I guess extremely tiring to look after as he needs constant attention. So Koki munched on kombu onigiri while Mama cooked up a huge feast - egg and eggplant pizza, nama-haru maki, bagels, salad, accompanied by beer and wine.

As a result I'm been feeling distinctly off-planet this afternoon. However, I'm going to correct the situation with more red wine and a viewing of "Before Sunset", one of my favourite films, which I had the joy of tracking down in Tsutaya today.

Maybe I might get to sleep properly tonight...
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Most Monday nights I often wonder where my weekend had gone. Very often I indulge in a great deal of sleeping. This is good and not so good, as it counts in my book as procrastination.

This weekend, however, I have something to account for the passing of time. Yesterday, I went to a craft fair in Komagane with one of my students, Keiko. There were hundreds of stalls selling glass, ceramics, jewellery, clothes, textiles, and one animal welfare stall with three of the cutest ginger kittens I've ever seen. I wanted to eat them up!

One of the highlights of this, was actually getting of Ina. It's nice to see what's beyond all those menacing roads I choose not to risk my life walking along. Views such as these are examples:

I bought some green glass jewellery and a cat shaped incense burner. After that Keiko took me to a Sri Lankan restuarant which also has a shop so I could stock up on curry goodies, and on to a very cheap farm shop run by "anarchists". I didn't get a chance to go into just what kind of anarchists they were as we were distracted by some very cute baby goats:

On the subject of which, (anarchists, that is) I've finally found out what the noise is all about some mornings. A few times a week I am seranaded by the pomp and circumstance of imperialist music and unintelligable babblings from the annoying political campaign vans running around Ina. I found out that I live very near to the "Communist" HQ. The "Fascists" like to come down and park outside the communist building extolling the evils of their red ways, whilst profusely apologising to the surrounding residents for the inconvenience caused. Strangely polite for fascists, me thinks. Anyway, being a non-fascist, I'm siding with the commies as they don't wake me up in the morning.

In other news, I sent off a poem and story (another version of "Exit") to a magazine. We'll see about that one in a few months. I also watched Donnie Darko and Pan's Labyrinth this weekend. I was booing like a big girl at the end of both of them. Something's obviously wrong with me.
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I haven't posted properly for a couple of weeks, so we'll see if whatever comes out of my brain now will be worth the wait.
Read more... )
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And so should you.
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This weekend, so far, has been a particularly productive one.

Saturday night saw us go out with a group of students for what they called the "High Calorie Party". This involved going to one of the more expensive yaki-niku restaurants in town, eating meat and drinking beer. Well, I ate, vegetables, salad, tofu and kimchi, and drank beer. Afterwards we went to a huge snack bar where I avoided being the first one to sing karaoke for once (the night's songs included: S.O.S -ABBA, Angel - Eurythmics, and Stay - Lisa Loeb). During my rendition of Angel I was brought to near hysterics by the sight of one of the my students and the other NET grooving along to the song in an Austin Powers stylee.

On Sunday morning I got up at 9am, made tea and toast for Saori, who had stayed over, and then staggered back to bed until 1pm. Then, after waking myself up and eating, I sat down and wrote a short story. It's been popping into my head repeatedly recently and I started making further notes on it last week. Yesterday it wanted to come out, so down I sat and it wrote itself. I have the final section to work on today and then that's the first draft done. It's quite an interesting story for me as it is written in the present tense, not something I usually do, and it's written backwards, so the start is at the end, again, not something I usually do. I found that I automatically slip into writing in the past tense so I very often had to stop myself and change sentences. It gives the story much more sense of immediacy, which is what I want for this one - a sense of confusion, that you don't understand what is happening until the very end. Then to work on the next draft and type it up.

After that I watched the "Devil's Rejects" and started downloading "Pan's Labyrinth".

[On an aside, I blasted my way through all 18 episodes of "Heroes" and and now can't wait to see the next ones. Why, oh why didn't I pace myself, as I was warned about the season break! Next to download is the second series of "Life on Mars" which is about the only show I've been missing from England.]

So far today I've been swimming, after having to shake off dreams about flying around England in a Mini Cooper (which was excellent fun) and watching motorcycle races across the Arctic. I now need to do some shopping, work on the story, do some Japanese practice and head out to meet my private student. And may I add that my student and I meet in family restaurants and cafes, NOT his apartment, and that he was passed on to me by his previous teacher who vouched for his sanity. So don't worry.
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I am sad to report that I have not left my apartment all day. I did poke my head out the window at about 1pm, but it was windy and snowing in that peculiarly British way it snows, except this is Japan and has no excuse for it.

I woke up and sat in bed watching V for Vendetta, which I enjoyed; Natalie Portman gets an A- for the English accent. Since then I've made some food, had my head in my Japanese books, done my accounts for the month, written some cards for New Year and somehow wasted most of the day flitting between LJ and various other websites as they have taken my fancy. Oh, and I finished a short story. Go me.

I've got a couple of downloads to check out, then I'm going to make myself finish "The Whisperer in Darkness". I decided to re-read all the HPL I haven't read in a while, and am coming to remember why I don't read some of it a great deal - it's just not up to the standard of my favourites - "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", " Call of Cthulhu", "The Colour Out of Space" etc etc. At least "...Innsmouth" is next, though I may take a break for a while. I've also been re-reading all of [ profile] greygirlbeast's Sirenia Digests. I'm up to No. 4 and am glad that I have subscribed to this monthly delight since last December. I recommend you do so that you too can experience the anticipation of receiving something which is guaranteed to take you by surprise every time.

That's it now. No more internet today, or until the New Year as I'm off to Nagano to get naked in a hot spring (!) and enjoy real snow, and the Zenkoji temple. Back on the 1st.
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Good morning...

SO, this week has been quite a good week as far as film-type things go. On Monday I went to see Blade 2 with Gideon. I quite enjoyed it especially the SFX and the fight scenes. The only bad point was the stoooopid girly sitting behind us who kept saying: " Urrrgh that's sick" or "Urrrgh that's disgusting" throughout. Her only varitaion was " Isn't that the guy from Red Dwarf?". YOU MORON!!!!! SHUT IT!!! Why oh why do people insist on paying a fiver to have a conversation in the dark - you can do it in a field! I really think people should be tested before they are allowed into cinemas, but then I also think some people should be shot at birth - "Are THESE your parents? Well, sorry kid, we just can't let them breed." BANG.

Oohh, so tetchy. On the upside, Dave and I went to see Queen of the Damned on Friday night and the whole experience was a lot better - only about 15 people in a 300 seat theatre. QOTD is better than I expected. It's best not to view it as a sequel to Interview though, more as it's own film. My only gripe (well two) is that it ripped off cheesy lines from Interview and was too conscious of its soundtrack. The Crow is the best example I can think of with a subtle use of rock on its soudtrack. Having Marilyn Manson and Static-X screaming at full volume ruined some of the effects slightly - particularly when Lestat is climbing up the wall and onto the ceiling. That scene would have worked so much better had it been coloured a little more errily with the music; not " COLD WE'RE SO COLD!!!!!" from Wayne Static.

Yesterday I saw Jeepers Creepers (what a popcorn fest). I was actually a little spooked by it, but not as much as the creepy X-files I watched last week - I don't normally get the shivers but the 1000-yard stare on that kid did it!

Today is Sunday which means I am doing the washing, mending clothes (believe me this is a regularly event - I can't afford new ones)and getting some food. I still hold true to the idea that food is not necessary - someone put me on a drip please, then I can waste my time on other things.
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It has been a lovely sunny day in York which worked out quite well as I have spent most of it racing around York on the back of a Vespa (Vesper?). My friend Sammy took me on a Scooter "Ride-Out" to Bilbrough on the A64 and then back into York. I thought it would be a small York thing but it ended up being more like 250 scooters clogging up St George's Car Park by the river and then stinking up Mickelgate with exhaust fumes! A nearby wedding party decided to film us so we waved at the camera.

Now, as you know, I am not a Mod and having met some I don't think I would ever like to be one. I don't do blue jeans, nor do I do bomber jackets. I far prefer the leather and hair of the biker scene - on top of the fact that the engines are more growling than whining. No, I prefer men with teeth and hair, black leather and lots of make-up. I think I may have caught the sun - my face has that tingley tight sunny feel to it. I will wake up tomorrow with the freckles out!

So, today has been good fun, apart from my damned Web Page maker making my computer crash. I have just installed Adobe GoLive 4 and the computer doesn't like it! I also have lost patience with the damned thing. Everything has to be done in a certain way and if you don't do it THE way then it won't happen. Yes it's got DHTML but REALLY!

Films and cars...? Yeah, I need a new car so that I can take myself to the cinema and see Blade 2 before Friday when QotD comes out. If you want to see reviews I may write of anything it may be worth checking out my website at some point soon (i.e. when I regain enough patience to work on it....)

I think and VW Golf would be nice - black with black leather seats and maybe blacked out windows...


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April 2011

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