blacklilly: (Genki)
I'm super-stoked because I got a shout-out on Bruce Dickinson's Rock Show on BBC Radio 6 in the UK.

I emailed the show a few weeks ago just to communicate my disappointment at the show being cancelled by the Beeb.  And they emailed me yesterday to say I got a shout out.  I'm currently about an hour in, but so far nothing.  But we'll see...

You can check the show out here:

blacklilly: (Amelie)
Today was a national holiday - a holiday to celebrate the founding of Japan.  Not quite sure when that was, as today is different to Constitution Day, apparently.

So, as the weather was rubbish, and I needed a rest, I decided not to go out.  Well, I went out on my bike to Shintakashima and bought some baked beans from Tesco.  It was freezing cold and raining.  When I got back, I had a fit of the grumps, lay about in bed for a bit and then after feeding myself beans on toast (suspect the grumps were brought on by not eating), got down to typing up a little story I've been working on, and then re-writing a poem that's been kicking about for almost a year now.  The story needs to not be a first person narration, so I have to reword the whole thing, but it's only 1100 words so far, so nothing too strenuous.

I watched "The Lovely Bones."  I haven't read the book.  People were raving about it when I worked at the bookshop in Slough, and I had a policy or avoiding reading anything that was recommended to me more than twice in one day, because back then I was an idiot.  It was a pretty good movie - very tense in parts, very sad in others. I liked the whole fantasy-heaven part as well, particularly the ships in bottles smashing up on the beach. The music was good too, and made even better by the fact that I recognized Brian Eno, The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil in there.  Go me with the music knowledge.

So,  an update on movies and books is due I guess...


Jun. 25th, 2009 08:36 am
blacklilly: (Crazy)
I think I may have tonsillitis. 

This means I have to go see the doctor, and my nice smiley doctor has the day off on Thursdays, which means going to see evil, strange doctors who don't have smiley faces. 

I'm dragging one of my managers with me.  They'll protect me.  Maybe.

This morning my iTunes shuffle keeps throwing up rap, hip-hop and big-beat stuff.  All very unusual:  DJ Shadow, J Dilla, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Freetsylers.  Well, DJ Shadow not so much that unusual as I have tonnes of his stuff, but it's rarely complimented this well.


According to the smiley doctor, who was available today (I was looking at the wrong clinic), I have Pharyngitis, which is a...err, sore throat.  But he has given me lots of nice drugs, so it's all made of win.  I didn't ask about being infectious, and whether or not I should take the day off... looks like I'm working then.
blacklilly: (Default)
It's never sunny when I have a day off.  Today it's all windy and grey outside.  The crows have moved back into the neighbourhood the past week or so, and are giving their throats quite the workout.  I recall being on Skype with my parents last year and them asking what the noise was.  So I turned my webcam round and showed them the monster squatting on the phoneline outside my window.  Evil things they are...

I want March to finish as soon as possible.  I was looking at a post I made from the beginning of the month and though it was only 3 weeks ago, it seems like an age.  Roll on April, which includes two weeks of holidays.

Later today I'm going to Roppongi with a few people to have a celebratory (as in "Yey! You passed your Japanese test!")  Indian lunch.  I can't wait to eat a proper curry.  I plan to eat so much I won't need to eat dinner, which works quite well, as there's nothing for dinner in the fridge...

There was the jazz gig on Friday night where I got a little too tipsy and danced with a 21 year-old trumpet player.  It was a bit like dancing with a tree.  I then had weird dreams which included my sister having  a transparent stomach so we could all see the baby, who had black hair and blue eyes.  Then there were some rather lovely blonde-haired, pierced and tattooed twins who looked a little like Eric Northman, but dammit, my neighbour woke me up before anything interesting happened.  Speaking of the neighbour, his number of OCD door rattlings increased yesterday to 12 repetitions, and then he came back two minutes later and did it all over again.  At 5.30am. 

blacklilly: (Default)
I'm back from Gifu, warming up my apartment, drinking beer and hoping my washing is going to dry.  I'm also raiding the recipe stacks of to find things to eat for the rest of the month. 

I took the bullet train from Nagoya to Shinagawa and had to stand the whole way owing to it being the last day of the holidays.  The whole of Japan was going back to Tokyo in preparation for tomorrow it seems.  I've never had to stand for 90 minutes anywhere in recent memory, but it wasn't quite as bad as I was anticipating.  I had Cloud Atlas with me, which cheered me up, and was listening to MF Doom on my iPod (Laura in not-listening-to-heavy-metal shock antics!!).

Rachel put my dinner in a bag and stuffed it in my rucksack so I don't have to cook tonight.  Last Sunday night I cooked falafel for lunch on Monday and then forgot to take them with me.  I hope they're still edible!!

Things to write about:

1) Getting kicked out of the gym
2) Going to Osaka and having a fabulous time in a forest
3) Some thoughts on books and films and music
4) Err, other stuff - like crazy people on the train, how much I hate old ladies, and why old men love me.
5) Throwing myself down a mountain and bleeding copiously
6) Why being vegetarian in Japan is akin to living in the North of England, except there's no Quorn... or quiche. 

開けまして おめでとう ございます!(That mean's Happy New Year in Japanese).

blacklilly: (Default)
I've been awake since 5.30am. Not sure why I had to wake up at that time. I spent the morning thinking about the milipede I found crawling across my ceiling the other night. On account of it being so tiny, I decided we'd agree that it could leave through the top window during the night. Which I hope it did. I will however, be investing in a cockroach bomb some point soon. I haven't seen a cockroach since the one I saw a few months ago, hopefully due to the traps I put down, but I'm going to gas the place at some point, just to make sure all the creepy-crawlies aren't walking across my face during the night. I was also told that some millipedes in Japan are capable of a very nasty bite, but I think we're talking about creatures significantly bigger than the one I saw. The advice is that if I see one, I drop something heavy on it.

I downloaded a tonne of music the other night, thanks to Andy at work who had been trawling through his download site and kindly let me have his password so I could pinch stuff he'd already picked. So I've got Jonny Greenwood's "Ether", DJ Shadow's "Live: In Tune and In Time", some Mogwai, Brian Eno and a few other bits. Quite the revelation is an artist called Burial, whose "Untrue" album has been on my iPod for the past 36 hours, and which is currently playing on iTunes as I write this. This is most definitely not the kind of thing I would normally pick up. However, it's billed as Electronic (but then Jonny Greenwood's "Ether" is categorised as Reggae...) which gets my first thumbs up; has nice, darkly titled songs (Night Bus, Archangel, Ghost Hardware); and has an element of garage music to it which I do not find unappealing. It is perfect night music, perfect early-morning-watching-the-rain-smash-down music. I highly recommend it.

The dancing on Monday was good fun. Belly dancing works so many muscles. I can still feel most of them. It appears that belly dancing may be a new craze in Japan, a bit like Billy's Boot Camp last year. Belly dancing, however, is ten times more fun that circling your arms and doing those quite painful squats. Plus, belly dancing muscles look better than bootcamp muscles, which look totally wrong on a woman. We also took a Latin class and tried out salsa, cuban, rumba, merengue and samba. My favourite was samba, as it is possibly the craziest dance in the world. I signed up for some more classes, which cost me more money than I has predicted. I plan on doing some more bellydancing, and then switching to Latin once I get some dance shoes, and then maybe alternating classes.

Right, more sometime. Today I will be eating the first tomato from my cherry tomato plant. I'm going to have half with some olive oil and pepper, and the other with some blue cheese. Yummy.
blacklilly: (Default)
Today is hot and humid, though overcast, which makes the thought of going outside later a little more bearble.
The days have been hot this last week though, mercifully, not as hot as last week, which saw me walking around Yokohama in 38 degree heat and what must have been 80% humidity. Needless to say the experience was...wet.

I took myself to Yokohama for reconnaissance purposes. I've been considering the idea of transferring there* at the beginning of next year so thought I'd go and see what kind of place it is. It is a little less frantic than Tokyo, only 30 minutes away, which is the first thing in its favour. It's quite easy to walk about. I started off in Kannai and walked up and around China Town, then up to Yamashita Koen to check out the sea-view. I then carried on up to Harbour View Park, which affords a panoramic view of Yokohama Bay. I stopped off at what I thought was the Kanagawa Museum of Literature, but which actually turned out to be something a little different. It had tonnes of books to ogle, though, along with a collection of cat figures.

So I wandered around a bit more, taking in the Foreigner's Cemetery, Italian Gardens and the Motomachi Shopping district, before heading back through China Town (where I found a cute cat shop), and then to Yokohama. I met up with Janan, who is over here for a few weeks, and we went to a yaki-niku place for dinner with some of her friends. I stumbled off about 8pm (it was all you could eat and drink for 90mins) and had to find my way to Gyotoku in Chiba, where I was staying with Saori. I got there 2 hours later.

So do I want to move to Yokohama? At the moment I'm having a period of great indecision. I've started to feel quite settled in Ina lately, so the thought of moving away and having to start all over again is putting me off. It may just be that I'm going through a good period here at the moment. I'm sure the winter will bring with it that depressing bleakness which has broken so many teachers here before me. Yokohama certainly has many more things to do than Ina, more people to meet etc. But, it's a big place and I rather enjoy the leisurely pace of life here. Some may call that pace of life non-existent...

On the happenings front, I spent Saturday night in my favourite bar. A local musician was playing guitar for the evening in the corner, taking requests. I accompanied on the bongos for a few while, surprising myself at an unknown ability to keep time. By 1am the whole bar was singing "Stand By Me", sending the Mama into raptures of delight. I went back last night to pick up a present I'd forgotten to take home on Saturday, and she and I watched Duran Duran videos, including the uncensored "Girls on Film", which I don't recall having seen before (I'm sure I'd recall pony boys being soaped down, and mud wrestling).

So, here's a picture of me and Joe (Yasuko in the background):

Until I have something else to say...

* Fukuoka in Kyushu has also been suggested to me for its nice beaches, but could I handle the heat and typhoons?
blacklilly: (Default)
Last night I dreamt that I was going to become a man.

I was in my doctor's surgery in Stoke Poges, and was very much on guard as I didn't want anyone to know why I was there. I went into the doctor's room and sat down. Without even any preliminaries she plonked down on the desk in front of me a tall black flask full of testosterone, a bottle of pills, some pamphlets and a few other things that have only vague shapes. She said: " People will start to notice very soon, but you just have to tell them what happened to you and they'll understand why you want to be a man." At this point I started panicking. I suddenly realised that I didn't want a beard, and that I would have to deal with an unknown amount of abuse from people because of my changing body. In the back of my mind I wanted to ask about when I'd get my cock, but the doctor left the room abruptly. I sat in the chair for what seemed like ages and then and thought about "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Then I put all my goodies in a black plastic bag and left.

This must come from a reading "Orlando", and an article in "Dreamflesh" about the taboo of female body hair.

In other news, I bought a bicycle this morning. It's a black folding mountain bike, and is extremely heavy - but good to ride. I felt great joy as I cycled off from Watahan in the morning sunshine with the breeze blowing through my hair. I will have to plan some weekend adventures now.

This caps a rather lovely weekend. I went out on Saturday night with Kumi to see a few local bands, all of whom were great - rock n roll, more balladic proggy stuff, and a funk-rock band to finish. I had a peculiar conversation with the bassist of the second band - peculiar because I could actually understand what he was saying, even if I was unable to reply to any great extent with my crap Japanese. We discussed music (as you do with musicians) including Dream Theater's bassist John Myung.

On Sunday we had planned a picnic, but the weather was a bit dodgy so Kumi and I decided we'd go bowling instead. We took Masaya and Makoto with us. I suck at bowling. We ended up in the park having a picnic after all, as we couldn't find anywhere to eat the McDonald's (bad bad Laura!) we'd bought for lunch. Masaya encouraged me and Makoto to talk in our respective second languages, which is always quite amusing, as Makoto's English is as good as my Japanese, so we just end up giggling with embarassment. Meanwhile, Kumi searched for a six-leaf clover, having found a five-leaf clover during the week. After that we played billiards, at which I am a lot better. It was a good day, which I finished off with a long bath and then "The Lost Boys".

I have to go to Tokyo this Friday for a meeting. 4 hours of meeting, 8 hours of travelling. I'm trying to make it more worthwhile by planning a magazine haul in Shinjuku's Tower Records.


Jul. 16th, 2002 08:59 pm
blacklilly: (Default)
So I've got this dumb job doing data entry in an office with no radio signal and no one talks to me. Of course, if I didn't have my walkman on all day they might do, but they had their chance. I've been listening to Static-X, Tool and Aphex Twin which got me a bit tetchy after a while so today was Saint-Seans and Tchaikovsky (?).

I've booked my plane tickets for the US and Vancouver. £580, which isn't bad at all! now I have to sort out accomodation etc and then I'm sorted.

I went running after work, which was unlike me. I'm trying to tire myself out as I would like to get to bed before 1am sometime this month. I managed to actually BEAT the dog sprinting - granted he was already tired out and had a stick to worry about.

I haven't been on a good goth night out since I came back here. My corset is crying out for attention. There is the possibility of going to Slinky in Bournemouth in August, though that isn't goth so maybe doesn't count then... See, that's what happens when I leave, no one wants to wear black anymore!
blacklilly: (Default)
not sure what happened there...

I was going to put this on last night but in my drunken stupor it didn't work. So here it is...

Yesterday I didn't do an awful lot of packing. Instead I went to town with my friend Lou and had lunch,then bought CDs and make-up. We always start off clothes shopping but end up getting the fear in shops like Mango and have to leave and buy a CD to calm ourselves. I came home and started packing. Three boxes of books (big boxes too), one box of CDs, then I gave up and had a couple of tea before falling asleep.

Today I repotted some plants - because that's what do do when you should be packing - and began typing up this Star Industry interview. At first check, and not completely written, it got to 8oo words. So I paniced a little but told myself to finish before I did another word cound. 1157 words, then 1300, then finally 1822 words! I have gone off on one a little bit about how goth music tends to sound all the same. It's not a criticism of Star Industry so much as in it is a criticism of all Goth music and the Sisters of Mercy. The only people I credit with any originality are VNV Nation, and even then they are a product of something else. The fact is though, that VNV Nation get people's attention, get them dancing. I can't say that a lot of goth bands do anything for me, which is predomiantly why I still like my metal and everything else I listen to. I was listening to Voltaire while I was typing the article up which was probably not good as I was looking to find anyone who sounded faintly like anyone else, and for Voltaire I came up with Morrissey. I'm not that this is a fair comment!

Tonight I'm going out to Ziggy's with Tori and Lou (oh, haven of all things teenaged and baggy trousered). I haven't been there for nearly a year, so I will no doubt be reminded why I don't go tonight. You can always tell a bad club by the fact that you have to be rat-arsed to enjoy it! So we're having cocktails before we go! I have an optician's appointment tomorrow morning though - should be wonderfully blurred and amusing!!

Right, I'm off to do a bit of packing!


blacklilly: (Default)

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