Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Engrish, LOL and ROFL

I can't believe I didn't buy this.

"Laughing Out Loud"

"Rolling On the Floor Laughing"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A review

The following is a blurb about Oldies, where I spent approximately 74.82% of my free time in Tagawa:

Located in the shopping arcade right next to JR/Heichiku Tagawaita Station, OLDIES Izakaya is a combination Tex-Mex restaurant, izakaya, and party venue. It's also more or less a shrine to kitschy Americana - the walls and ceilings are completely covered in Elvis, Marilyn, and James Dean. Friendly co-owners Toshi and Miho serve reasonably priced classics ranging from hot dogs and karaage to burritos, enchiladas and a rather famous taco salad. There are weekday drink specials on tap beer, as well as a selection of imported beers like Corona, Hoegaarden and Dos Equis. Several times a year, OLDIES hosts all-you-can-drink parties with live music from local JETs as well as Tagawa rockabilly bands. Very popular hangout spot for Chikuho area JETs. An English menu is available. Miho speaks excellent English and wears Old Spice deodorant.

Open 6-11 pm, closed Sundays.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I am going to wear this to a party.

So I am going to this party tomorrow night.

The dress code is "put on your best threads, no flip flops."

Black dress is from Zara, rabbit fur gloves were a birthday present from Miho, gold boots are from the OPA department store in Osaka. Will also wear fishnet tights and much louder makeup. If there's anything I love, it's attempting to smoothly blend dressy with silly, with a touch of "serious business." It's rare I expose this much skin in an outfit, but I think it's well suited to this "HIGH IN THE SKY" business that Fukuoka Now is promoting.

See you there!

Night driving in the mountain pass to mend a bruised heart and back

You know this would be a great place to get murdered.

You mean a great place to murder someone?

And then we passed from questionable civilization to none at all, just us and the heart heavy trees bent like grandmas over the road. Lurching and jerking we sped over mountains in the most inconveniently twisted path imaginable.

This is the shit Japanese postcards are made of!

Like the "Japan's Nature" ones?


It is so wonderful to be out here in no man's land like this. If we died up here no one would ever find us, would they? We could pass in a head-on, since the road is so narrow and curvy that staying in one lane feels like an unnecessary chore.

You know you're lucky I don't barf in cars.

Please don't barf.

Every so often while making a turn you can catch a brief glimpse of where you are - somewhere, lost forever, in some vast coniferous mountain range.

This is what the Black Forest is supposed to look like!

The Black Forest?

It's a real place?! I thought it was just the name of the cake.

DUH I've BEEN there.

It's like nighttime in here, with the setting sun behind rain clouds and thick fog like the Tenerife disaster takeoff you'd never know what is happening in the real world. Nor do you particularly wish to return to a place with houses, supermarkets, schools or hospitals. It's disappointing when you reach the summit because you know you're on your way out.

Oh we're halfway there. Now I can use my brakes again!



Returning, after nursing a bruised heart with rich food and a fat man who tried to order our friend a pizza. It's pitch black, foggy, raining. This is better than primal, perhaps primordial. We are listening to "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey.

You know, with the music video and everything, this is strangely fitting.

At this point I don't ever want to leave. I can't see shit save for the plant debris on the road and the road reflectors but I know I am in a forest and right now a forest is the only place I want to be.


We switch to "Orion" by Metallica and then a string of Clan of Xymox and A Flock of Seagulls songs because I have totally hijacked the music. On our way down again it's disappointment all over again. I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I want to stay on this road forever.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm not a real Korean but I still cried like a baby when I watched the New York Philharmonic play "Arirang" in Pyongyang. And then again watching all the other "Arirang" videos on Youtube. And then even more when I played it myself on the violin, recorded myself playing it, and listened to it.

I hate when people talk about North Korea and South Korea like they are separate species of humans. Korea was torn in half less than 60 years ago. People have family on either side of the border. They have the same national anthem, and both celebrate "Arirang" as the ultimate song of national pride that swells deep in the chests of every citizen.

Here's to hoping for a reunified Korea someday. I think it will happen.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hiroshima and Miyajima

Spent just under 24 hours in Hiroshima and Miyajima from yesterday until this afternoon. It takes less than 2 hours to get there from Tagawa by local/bullet train, and made for a lovely minitrip. In an effort to stay classy I have chosen not to post the majority of the photos I took, which are of my friends making stupid faces with beer in hand.

Nagasaki was ultimately disappointing, but Hiroshima seems to be quite the opposite. The city itself is modern and accessible, tourist-friendly as expected (this weekend it was overrun with German tourists), and the people, architecture and food are quite attractive. Miyajima was beautiful; we spent less than two hours there so I'd like to go back someday. Soft ice cream in a deep fried bread bun and free roaming deer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wolf shirt

Wolf shirt!

My infatuation with wolf shirts claims to be ironic, raising eyebrows here and there as I rack up shirt after shirt without signs of stopping. This is the first wolf shirt I have owned which is actually passable as anything other than tongue in cheek. I would definitely throw it on were I going to see live power metal, but I am also equally inclined to wear it wherever casual current dress is called for. The oatmeal/tan color is somewhat new; this spring I have actually been trying to branch out from my comfort zone of nothing but black. What kind of shoes would complement this well?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Spring colors for a spring day. I'm not terribly wild about this season's twee florals with cowboy hats and light wash denim, but I can work with one at a time. The white floral top came from the little vintage shop in Tagawa, where I befriended the owner.

Monday, April 5, 2010

what the...?

I think I am losing my mind and turning into a hippie on accounta it's getting warmer outside. I bought this silly skirt on a whim at the gimmicky hippie store at the mall yesterday, and today I decided to go on a shopping binge at TRIAL and bought the sandals, white tank, and scarf pictured. Unsure what to make of this apparent new incarnation of myself that likes neutrals and earth tones - and even tiny florals.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The "what if"

When I was in high school I was VERY dedicated to the pursuit of violin, orchestra, chamber orchestra, string quartets, playing at weddings and art shows, etc. I even got a private teacher my senior year after landing the first chair position (I still maintain this was a freak accident as I am a naturally inclined novice at best) in an audition for a regional youth orchestra. My music teachers were far too optimistic and spouted all this encouraging bullshit about how I could easily get into a conservatory and that I should become a performance major or educator, etc, blah blah blah.

Well, I didn't do that. I went to Vassar instead for liberal arts, and I had a really nice time there - I played in their orchestra for a couple years, met really amazing professors, read a lot of interesting texts, and made lifelong friends. Vassar really opened my eyes to different kinds of people that didn't exist in my hometown, which was neat, and I am of course eternally thankful to my grandmother's inheritance for fronting the bill.

I keep in touch with some friends/former teachers from my active orchestra days via Facebook, and they are working at schools as orchestra/instrument teachers and talking about preparing their students for upcoming concerts and things. Naturally, a (significant) part of me is thinking "I want to do that!!!!!!!!!" and wondering "what if........"