Archive

11 October 2016

Just Japan Things: Terrace House

Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City has just recently concluded and my Tuesdays have never been the same since.

I've been trying to get people to watch this show, often times to no avail, and I kind of understand why. It's a reality show, which the world is trying to collectively move on from, plus it's in Japanese so it's not something you can watch passively. I myself had to be prodded by Netflix for months before I gave it a try, and when I finally did I didn't make it past the first episode before I moved on to something else. When I have finally exhausted all my other options, I gave it another whirl, and I was up until 3 or 4 in the morning and I had work the following day. Unbeknownst to me, Abe was also up at the same time, because I ordered begged him to please please please watch just one episode so he has an idea what I'd most likely be yammering about in the days to come, and he ended up watching the entire first season and hating me for having access to the next one.

Terrace House is a local TV show that was picked up by Netflix. The first season is available in most countries as far as I can tell, and second one should be available soon. So the premise is you have three boys and three girls and they live together in one house. Yes, you can roll your eyes because heaven knows I did.

What separates it from every other reality show ever is that everyone's life outside the house still goes one as it normally would - they still go to work, their families and friends can visit, and they even get to watch their own episodes as they air. And, it's Japanese. They just do things differently.

Like birthday party conversations.


And "everyday" grub.


And professions that are popular with women.

Terrace House Tip #1: Hairdresser > Jock. Yep. 

Also, people keep waking everyone up, and no one gets mad. Like they don't even shout or anything.
I mean, he's buried under the covers for crying out loud. Is that what you look like when you're up?!?

Some things remain the same across all cultures, though.



The show also includes a regular commentary from a very entertaining group of local celebrities (seriously, at certain points they're the ones that actually keep the show going), which provides even more wonderful insight.


Terrace House Tip #2: Keep that voice nice and deep. 



Terrace House Tip #3: Never ever tell people you're hungry. 

But seriously, though. Keep that voice deep.


Like real low and deep.


Maybe even consider vocal chord surgery?


Seriously, just give it a go. If you stick with it long enough you shall be rewarded with an episode where a guy bursts into tears because everyone else ate his meat. It's glorious, I tell you.

22 September 2016

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Reposting (and rephrasing), because I accidentally deleted the last one while editing a typo. That's what happens when you place your mouse which controls the Macbook beside the trackpad that controls the Mac, and your mother who is visiting Japan for a week really, really, really wants to watch her telenovelas and you have been awake since five in the morning (having four real adults in the house means being all showered and breakfast-ed by the time my first alarm of twenty goes off).

So anyway, the point is: (1) I lost weight, and (2) I lost the minimalist battle (but not the war). The latter sort of because of the former but not entirely so.

2015 was when I hit my peak weight, and I felt and looked like a fucking mascot. When I would meet friends I haven't seen in a while, they'd always tell me I look "different". When you gain a few pounds people don't usually hesitate to tell you so (it's practically the traditional Pinoy greeting, isn't it?), but when it's a lot, then it becomes awkward. Hence, "different".

I was fine with it at first; full-fat food, after all, is glorious. But when I started getting depressed whenever I look in the mirror and felt myself cringing when looking at my photos, I knew it was time to make some changes.

For a week (and only a week - it's tedious work), I counted calories to figure out how much I am overeating (answer: a lot). From there it was all a matter of making better choices. Actually no, scratch that. I just stopped making really bad choices. Like giant cup ramen (500 kcal - that's two quarter pounders!). Or an entire bag of Lay's (1200 kcal, or my entire daily allowance). So essentially what I'm saying is I just started eating like a normal human person. Also, no more extra rice. It's sad but there is more rice to be had tomorrow, and there is no need to attempt to inhale all I could possibly can in one meal.

Admittedly the progress was slow, but it was at least steady. I am still nowhere near the level of skinny-ness I would like to achieve, but at least I can look at myself in the mirror with less and less horror each day. And when I board the train, I am no longer afraid that people might give up their seats for me because they think I'm pregnant.

Spot the difference


To be honest I feel like the weight loss is noticeable to no one but me (and Abe too, but that's because he has too :p), but at least the weighing scale and my pants agree. I went down two sizes, and that was when the shopping fast was broken, so to speak. I used to have a section at the back of my closet reserved for clothes I will wear "when I finally lose ten pounds", but I threw them all out when I started going "minimalist". And now I have to go and buy the exact same (-sized) clothes. The irony of it all is not lost on me.

Once I started shopping I found myself unable to resume the fast. "But I also need new tops, because it's summer." "But my favorite dresses are now too loose and must be replaced." "But I want new lipstick."

And so here we are. Sometimes I ask myself if maybe, maybe this isn't for me. Maybe I should just start accepting the fact that I am a hoarder and just, you know, buy more storage. But last week I pulled out my makeup drawer, feeling totally guilty because of the aforementioned new lipstick. But as I started pulling items out in an attempt to edit, I realized I have, despite the setbacks, managed to significantly whittle down my collection, and at no point did I ever feel like I did not have enough. So I guess I've been making progress after all. ^^

08 September 2016

Favorite Things: Goody Spin Pins

So these have been around for ages, but nobody ever told me they actually worked.


In fact I think I tried everything else in the hair section before I snapped them up out of desperation. They just didn't look particularly effective. I mean, they're just screw things that also kinda look like a double helix.



Goody claims that a spin pin is equivalent to ten bobby pins. I don't really know how true that is, but I can confirm that not only were a pair of them able to hoist all of my hair up, they kept it there the entire day, and that to me is nothing short of miraculous. I have very fine hair, and not a lot of it, so clamps and clips will inevitably just slide down for lack of anything to grab on to. But these wonderful little pins, they stay. 

Usage is pretty straightforward, too. Just twist your hair into a bun and screw the pins in, one on either side. To remove, spin them in the opposite direction (remember: "righty tighty, lefty loosey" :p). It takes two minutes, tops.
In fact, this picture took longer to take than it did to create the bun.



I've recommended it to friends with hair types way different from mine, and it worked for them as well. I think it's worth giving them a spin *wink*. Seriously though, it's kinda awesome.

28 August 2016

Just Japan Things: Kanebo Evita Beauty Whip

So let's just pretend that I didn't go off the radar for nearly two months. Things just happened and by things I mean Pokemon Go (I know, I know, for shame). I also got all four wisdom teeth removed (not all at one time - it took two sessions), and made a quick trip home to the Philippines where I was welcomed with heavy rains which I somehow brought back to Japan with me in the form of a typhoon which left me with a nasty case of the sniffles.

Anyway.

So Anj alerted me to this thing one afternoon and I kid you not, it was on my bathroom counter that very night.


It's a facial wash that is dispensed in the form of foam roses. Yes, roses. Because, you know, Japan.



To be honest as far as facial cleansing innovations go I'm still waiting for one that foams whilst maintaining the correct pH, but have I mentioned you get ~perfectly-shaped~ roses? Like with individual petals and shit?



And that you can scoop it up and smoosh all that loveliness into your face?



The texture is very similar to shaving cream - it's dense and soft and feels a bit like spreading icing onto your face, which I may or may not have done irl. It's just very, very luxurious. Like at one point I started thinking to myself that this must be what it feels to have made it (until of course, I rinsed it off and went back to the reality of not actually having made it).

Performance is quite meh - the foam doesn't lather (again, really like shaving cream), it leaves my face squeaky (read:drying), and yet it is powerless against airbrush foundation and waterproof mascara (I use cleansing oil for that anyway, but I just tried for the heck of it). The rose scent is also a tad overwhelming. But let's be honest, is anyone actually buying it for its facial cleansing prowess? Didn't think so.

Yes, it's a gimmick.

A video posted by ella yap (@ellayap) on


And yes, you need it in your life.
It retails for around 1200JPY in  your friendly neighborhood Japanese drugstore - I got mine in Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Final word of warning: If you press the levers a little too eagerly it goes from floral to phallic very quickly. XD

08 July 2016

Favorite Things: Ateleia Brass Pen

As far as note-taking is concerned I am decidedly old-school. It has been postulated that people retain information much more effectively when writing it down as opposed to typing, and I find that to be particularly true for me. The pen is mightier than the keyboard (yes, even a mechanical one).

I discovered the Pilot Hi-Tec-C during my senior year in high school, and it has been my weapon of choice ever since. I was loyal to the 0.3mm tip, and then promptly moved on to the 0.25 the moment I found out it exists. However with the plethora of form factors available here in Japan I still find myself wishing for something a bit more substantial, and that is why upon discovering the Ateleia brass pen I ordered one with very little hesitation.


Minimalist, slim, and weighty. I couldn't ask for more, really.


And look, a handwritten note! I can never hate a business that sends handwritten notes. I just can't.

The pen is machined out of C360 solid brass bar stock. I have no idea what that means, but if my fifth grade teacher threw this pen towards the noisy people at the back of the class, he would most definitely have been canned. It's probably not something you would want to twirl, either.

It's a very straightforward, no-frills kind of pen, and it feels incredibly well-made. It is definitely on the heavy side, which works very well for me as I like to write with a lot of torque. It's just a lovely, lovely pen to write with, and I've used mine every single day since it arrived, and I write so much more often too (case in point: I used five times more pages last month).

Crazy teenage gushing aside, there are a few caveats. First, it requires a wrench or a similar implement to change the refill cartridges. Thankfully they've included one in the package. But it's not something you'd want to be doing on the fly. Second, the cap does not post. It will roll off the table and startle everyone within a hundred meter radius when it hits the floor. Last but not least, the brass stays pristine for exactly five minutes, after which it promptly begins to tarnish. It also imparts a metallic scent to your fingers upon contact. I have to point out that I am bothered by none of these (if anything the last one is a positive because it gets rid of the post-cooking garlic stench that even the strongest dishwashing solution is unable to remove from my fingertips) but I can understand how they can be an issue for some people.

At any rate, I am so very smitten with this pen that I immediately pounced on the copper version the moment it became available. The color is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to take it out for a spin (I did run into a bit of a problem because the 0.25 refill cartridge is a hair thicker than the normal ones for some reason, so they had to send me a replacement tip with a bigger hole). I think, I think I have all the pens I would ever need.


P.S. You can get the Ateleia brass pens at a discount right now on Massdrop.

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11 October 2016

Just Japan Things: Terrace House

Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City has just recently concluded and my Tuesdays have never been the same since.

I've been trying to get people to watch this show, often times to no avail, and I kind of understand why. It's a reality show, which the world is trying to collectively move on from, plus it's in Japanese so it's not something you can watch passively. I myself had to be prodded by Netflix for months before I gave it a try, and when I finally did I didn't make it past the first episode before I moved on to something else. When I have finally exhausted all my other options, I gave it another whirl, and I was up until 3 or 4 in the morning and I had work the following day. Unbeknownst to me, Abe was also up at the same time, because I ordered begged him to please please please watch just one episode so he has an idea what I'd most likely be yammering about in the days to come, and he ended up watching the entire first season and hating me for having access to the next one.

Terrace House is a local TV show that was picked up by Netflix. The first season is available in most countries as far as I can tell, and second one should be available soon. So the premise is you have three boys and three girls and they live together in one house. Yes, you can roll your eyes because heaven knows I did.

What separates it from every other reality show ever is that everyone's life outside the house still goes one as it normally would - they still go to work, their families and friends can visit, and they even get to watch their own episodes as they air. And, it's Japanese. They just do things differently.

Like birthday party conversations.


And "everyday" grub.


And professions that are popular with women.

Terrace House Tip #1: Hairdresser > Jock. Yep. 

Also, people keep waking everyone up, and no one gets mad. Like they don't even shout or anything.
I mean, he's buried under the covers for crying out loud. Is that what you look like when you're up?!?

Some things remain the same across all cultures, though.



The show also includes a regular commentary from a very entertaining group of local celebrities (seriously, at certain points they're the ones that actually keep the show going), which provides even more wonderful insight.


Terrace House Tip #2: Keep that voice nice and deep. 



Terrace House Tip #3: Never ever tell people you're hungry. 

But seriously, though. Keep that voice deep.


Like real low and deep.


Maybe even consider vocal chord surgery?


Seriously, just give it a go. If you stick with it long enough you shall be rewarded with an episode where a guy bursts into tears because everyone else ate his meat. It's glorious, I tell you.
No comments
22 September 2016

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Reposting (and rephrasing), because I accidentally deleted the last one while editing a typo. That's what happens when you place your mouse which controls the Macbook beside the trackpad that controls the Mac, and your mother who is visiting Japan for a week really, really, really wants to watch her telenovelas and you have been awake since five in the morning (having four real adults in the house means being all showered and breakfast-ed by the time my first alarm of twenty goes off).

So anyway, the point is: (1) I lost weight, and (2) I lost the minimalist battle (but not the war). The latter sort of because of the former but not entirely so.

2015 was when I hit my peak weight, and I felt and looked like a fucking mascot. When I would meet friends I haven't seen in a while, they'd always tell me I look "different". When you gain a few pounds people don't usually hesitate to tell you so (it's practically the traditional Pinoy greeting, isn't it?), but when it's a lot, then it becomes awkward. Hence, "different".

I was fine with it at first; full-fat food, after all, is glorious. But when I started getting depressed whenever I look in the mirror and felt myself cringing when looking at my photos, I knew it was time to make some changes.

For a week (and only a week - it's tedious work), I counted calories to figure out how much I am overeating (answer: a lot). From there it was all a matter of making better choices. Actually no, scratch that. I just stopped making really bad choices. Like giant cup ramen (500 kcal - that's two quarter pounders!). Or an entire bag of Lay's (1200 kcal, or my entire daily allowance). So essentially what I'm saying is I just started eating like a normal human person. Also, no more extra rice. It's sad but there is more rice to be had tomorrow, and there is no need to attempt to inhale all I could possibly can in one meal.

Admittedly the progress was slow, but it was at least steady. I am still nowhere near the level of skinny-ness I would like to achieve, but at least I can look at myself in the mirror with less and less horror each day. And when I board the train, I am no longer afraid that people might give up their seats for me because they think I'm pregnant.

Spot the difference


To be honest I feel like the weight loss is noticeable to no one but me (and Abe too, but that's because he has too :p), but at least the weighing scale and my pants agree. I went down two sizes, and that was when the shopping fast was broken, so to speak. I used to have a section at the back of my closet reserved for clothes I will wear "when I finally lose ten pounds", but I threw them all out when I started going "minimalist". And now I have to go and buy the exact same (-sized) clothes. The irony of it all is not lost on me.

Once I started shopping I found myself unable to resume the fast. "But I also need new tops, because it's summer." "But my favorite dresses are now too loose and must be replaced." "But I want new lipstick."

And so here we are. Sometimes I ask myself if maybe, maybe this isn't for me. Maybe I should just start accepting the fact that I am a hoarder and just, you know, buy more storage. But last week I pulled out my makeup drawer, feeling totally guilty because of the aforementioned new lipstick. But as I started pulling items out in an attempt to edit, I realized I have, despite the setbacks, managed to significantly whittle down my collection, and at no point did I ever feel like I did not have enough. So I guess I've been making progress after all. ^^
No comments
08 September 2016

Favorite Things: Goody Spin Pins

So these have been around for ages, but nobody ever told me they actually worked.


In fact I think I tried everything else in the hair section before I snapped them up out of desperation. They just didn't look particularly effective. I mean, they're just screw things that also kinda look like a double helix.



Goody claims that a spin pin is equivalent to ten bobby pins. I don't really know how true that is, but I can confirm that not only were a pair of them able to hoist all of my hair up, they kept it there the entire day, and that to me is nothing short of miraculous. I have very fine hair, and not a lot of it, so clamps and clips will inevitably just slide down for lack of anything to grab on to. But these wonderful little pins, they stay. 

Usage is pretty straightforward, too. Just twist your hair into a bun and screw the pins in, one on either side. To remove, spin them in the opposite direction (remember: "righty tighty, lefty loosey" :p). It takes two minutes, tops.
In fact, this picture took longer to take than it did to create the bun.



I've recommended it to friends with hair types way different from mine, and it worked for them as well. I think it's worth giving them a spin *wink*. Seriously though, it's kinda awesome.

No comments
28 August 2016

Just Japan Things: Kanebo Evita Beauty Whip

So let's just pretend that I didn't go off the radar for nearly two months. Things just happened and by things I mean Pokemon Go (I know, I know, for shame). I also got all four wisdom teeth removed (not all at one time - it took two sessions), and made a quick trip home to the Philippines where I was welcomed with heavy rains which I somehow brought back to Japan with me in the form of a typhoon which left me with a nasty case of the sniffles.

Anyway.

So Anj alerted me to this thing one afternoon and I kid you not, it was on my bathroom counter that very night.


It's a facial wash that is dispensed in the form of foam roses. Yes, roses. Because, you know, Japan.



To be honest as far as facial cleansing innovations go I'm still waiting for one that foams whilst maintaining the correct pH, but have I mentioned you get ~perfectly-shaped~ roses? Like with individual petals and shit?



And that you can scoop it up and smoosh all that loveliness into your face?



The texture is very similar to shaving cream - it's dense and soft and feels a bit like spreading icing onto your face, which I may or may not have done irl. It's just very, very luxurious. Like at one point I started thinking to myself that this must be what it feels to have made it (until of course, I rinsed it off and went back to the reality of not actually having made it).

Performance is quite meh - the foam doesn't lather (again, really like shaving cream), it leaves my face squeaky (read:drying), and yet it is powerless against airbrush foundation and waterproof mascara (I use cleansing oil for that anyway, but I just tried for the heck of it). The rose scent is also a tad overwhelming. But let's be honest, is anyone actually buying it for its facial cleansing prowess? Didn't think so.

Yes, it's a gimmick.

A video posted by ella yap (@ellayap) on


And yes, you need it in your life.
It retails for around 1200JPY in  your friendly neighborhood Japanese drugstore - I got mine in Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Final word of warning: If you press the levers a little too eagerly it goes from floral to phallic very quickly. XD
No comments
08 July 2016

Favorite Things: Ateleia Brass Pen

As far as note-taking is concerned I am decidedly old-school. It has been postulated that people retain information much more effectively when writing it down as opposed to typing, and I find that to be particularly true for me. The pen is mightier than the keyboard (yes, even a mechanical one).

I discovered the Pilot Hi-Tec-C during my senior year in high school, and it has been my weapon of choice ever since. I was loyal to the 0.3mm tip, and then promptly moved on to the 0.25 the moment I found out it exists. However with the plethora of form factors available here in Japan I still find myself wishing for something a bit more substantial, and that is why upon discovering the Ateleia brass pen I ordered one with very little hesitation.


Minimalist, slim, and weighty. I couldn't ask for more, really.


And look, a handwritten note! I can never hate a business that sends handwritten notes. I just can't.

The pen is machined out of C360 solid brass bar stock. I have no idea what that means, but if my fifth grade teacher threw this pen towards the noisy people at the back of the class, he would most definitely have been canned. It's probably not something you would want to twirl, either.

It's a very straightforward, no-frills kind of pen, and it feels incredibly well-made. It is definitely on the heavy side, which works very well for me as I like to write with a lot of torque. It's just a lovely, lovely pen to write with, and I've used mine every single day since it arrived, and I write so much more often too (case in point: I used five times more pages last month).

Crazy teenage gushing aside, there are a few caveats. First, it requires a wrench or a similar implement to change the refill cartridges. Thankfully they've included one in the package. But it's not something you'd want to be doing on the fly. Second, the cap does not post. It will roll off the table and startle everyone within a hundred meter radius when it hits the floor. Last but not least, the brass stays pristine for exactly five minutes, after which it promptly begins to tarnish. It also imparts a metallic scent to your fingers upon contact. I have to point out that I am bothered by none of these (if anything the last one is a positive because it gets rid of the post-cooking garlic stench that even the strongest dishwashing solution is unable to remove from my fingertips) but I can understand how they can be an issue for some people.

At any rate, I am so very smitten with this pen that I immediately pounced on the copper version the moment it became available. The color is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to take it out for a spin (I did run into a bit of a problem because the 0.25 refill cartridge is a hair thicker than the normal ones for some reason, so they had to send me a replacement tip with a bigger hole). I think, I think I have all the pens I would ever need.


P.S. You can get the Ateleia brass pens at a discount right now on Massdrop.

No comments