My boss, Mr. S, during today's monthly party (which is basically beer + pizza + laughter) on how to distinguish one development group from the next:

I think people from [my development group] are usually intelligent... until I met you.

Can you say owned?

Just so I remember

So today I went up all the way to our 9th floor office using the stairwell. In heels. Yes, I - the girl whose sport was Boggle in grade school, procrastinating in high school and college, and shopping in the years thereafter - was able to go up eighteen flights of stairs nonstop without fainting. Of course now my feet are maybe wanting to detach themselves from the rest of my body, but who cares, really?

And for dinner I had free ramen courtesy of my boss. He now tells me any e-mail sent by me gets automatically filtered to trash, so I'd say we're getting along pretty well.

It's one of them good days.

Shopping ga suki des

And the EQ has left the building.

Let's start with this one:

It's my first paycheck! Hep, before you get any ideas - it's just a slip of paper, and the money isn't in the bank account yet. What is in there, though, is the reimbursement for my 6-month train ticket. And it's been there for quite a while. And here I was bringing home-cooked meals to work because I'm dead broke (or so I believed). I didn't know if I was supposed to be annoyed or relieved. At any rate, I chose to shop.

First day of the three-day weekend (which culminates today) we went on a daytrip to Hakone. I really really like fall, but I missed the trip to Nikko, so I guess this one would have to do.

The skies were clear when we got there so Mt. Fuji was very much visible. Hakone is also famous for its "black eggs" which are basically just chicken eggs cooked in sulphur springs hence the color. They taste like, well, chicken eggs. On the way home we dropped by Odawara castle and there were all these lighted candles inside bamboo shafts everywhere. We had no idea what they were there for, but we took pictures anyways. (Pics are here).

Anyways, on to the shopping. Sunday noon, Miss Nell and I met up in Kawasaki (so sorry for being extremely late, but there are no express trains in the Nambu line it's so annoying). I'll spare you the details and just show you the damage:

Let's do the shoes first. They're from Converse's 100th anniversary collection.

Now take a good hard look at this one and tell me it does not have my name written all over it. Go on, I dare you.

You have no idea what I've been through to get this pair. I discovered them on my first weekend here (my first weekend as a year-long assignee), and well, I thought it's going to be everywhere so I'll just buy it in Shibuya where chances are it's cheaper. The next day, we went to Shinjuku, and I can't find them anywhere. So we went to Shibuya, and get this - it's only available in men's sizes. WTF. Pink shoes in men's sizes only. To be fair, this is Japan, and earlier that morning I saw some dude wearing my shoes. Hmmph.

Anyways, to cut the crap short, I went back to Kawasaki only to find out that the smallest pair they had was 24.0 cm. And my size is 23.5. But I tried them on anyways and they're actually okay, so I told them I'd get it and as it turns out, it's the very last pair. But I did get a good discount so it's practically a steal.

As always, I bought stuff from Uniqlo. There's something weird about this day because the cashier was cute. And I never see cute guys in Japan. Ever. Even the one cute guy in the mothership office has lost so much weight lately he now looks scary.

And then we dropped by Muji and bought bath salts in sample sizes only. I'll get the big bottle once I decide I like em.

Now this is where the day gets totally weird. Because the cashier at Muji was - yes - cute too. Maybe it's cute cashier day? So my bill was around 150 yen (which is what you would pay for a can of coke), and I almost paid for it with a 10,000 yen bill because I didn't want to rummage through my coin purse in front of the cute guy. ^^

Oh, and I'm not done yet. When I saw this in Tokyu Hands, I nearly fainted:

It's a Pilot G-tech 0.25 in PINK. I wanted to hang myself because I even brought with me G-tech pens from the Philippines because I didn't know if they'd have them here. And sure enough they do - in 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5, and in five shades of pink. God, I love Japan.


As with all new job assignments, I had to go through the whole introduce-yourself-and-share-something-interesting-about-yourself shebang. Only now it's in Japanese. Of which I know zilch. But I made it unscathed (I think) and it was fairly okay. So this was how it went:

Ohayou gozaimasu (Good morning). *bow*

Hajimemashite (ermm... glad to meet you or something to that effect). *bow*
Watashi-wa ella des (I am drop-dead gorgeous).
Project-wa ******* project des (My project, *******, is a total failure).
Shopping-ga suki des (I am really broke, please consider donating).
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu ("Sige po" as my boss puts it). *bow*

And that's how it's done. Thank you Lord, it's finally over.


Today I decided to skip the going all over Tokyo part and just stay at home and nest. After all, I'm no longer a business tripper; I'll be here for a tad bit longer. The sights and sounds that Japan has to offer would have to wait; right now it's me and my apartment.

So this morning (would you believe I woke up at 8:30 in 20-degree weather? It's so unlike me), I did my laundry, tidied things up, and vacuumed the carpet. Yes, vacuumed. I have a spanking new vacuum cleaner (that came with the apartment), and it's quite scary because it makes so much noise when you turn it on. By the time I'm done it's 3 in the afternoon. I made a quick trip to the hundred yen shop (for the nth time already, I know) and bought a couple more stuff.

I bought, among other things, tons of hangers, chopsticks, and a towel rack. And a dozen toilet paper rolls (which "colors your life"). They were on sale in this drugstore so I went ahead and hoarded. And can I just say, drugstores in Japan carry the full range of Shiseido Maquillage and Avene. I'm consciously trying not to drop by every chance I get (which is, well, everyday because drugstores are everywhere).

Anyway, I also dropped by the nearby grocery store.

I evidently did not think this through, because I carried 2 kg of rice and two giant bottles of liquid all the way home, and well, I just wasn't built for upper body strength. So I bought rice so I have something to eat at home, and water (Jenard! I finally finished the 2L bottle you gave me a month ago) and iced tea and what is probably a lifetime's supply of salt. I also sneaked in a couple of slices of bacon and a pack of frozen shrimps and garlic and a lemon. Why the lemon? I have a jar of crab fat and I'm making crab rice and the recipe calls for kalamansi juice. I'm substituting because where the hell am I going to get kalamansi in Tokyo?

I've been getting quite addicted to bacon lately because it's sorta relatively cheap. For the past week this has been my breakfast/dinner:

It doesn't look so yummy but I swear it's soooo good. Smells heavenly, too. So that's bacon and re-fried soft-boiled eggs. The latter came about because I mistakenly bought soft-boiled eggs instead of raw eggs. But I still went ahead and fried them and they're actually not bad. Just bland because I forgot to buy salt (I just bought today, remember?).

Oh, and by the way...

Care to guess what's in the (pretty huge) box?

Hay, finally. You didn't seriously think I wouldn't get some shopping done, did you?

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu

Surprise! I get to blog again! I left the office at 830, which in Japan standards is pretty darned early. It actually feels like I've been here for years, what with all the work I've had to do. But I'm not complaining; it keeps me from missing home. And, well, now my OT pay is worth all the trouble and lack of sleep.

Anyway, so I blew all my bucks on a six-month unlimited train ride to and from the office plus a couple of things to make my room just a tad bit more me. And yes, maybe a couple of other stuff for me.

My six-month train pass. I would hang myself if I lose this. It's worth around 25 Pepper Lunch meals with enough change for dessert.

Stuff from the 100 yen shop. They sell everything. From socks to hangers to chocolates.

Pretty fuzzy pink slippers from Uniqlo. This cost about as much as everything else in the picture up there but it's so worth it.

A couple of pens from Muji, which is where I will be getting my home stuff when I am no longer dead broke. I love Muji so much I can live there and just look at how pretty everything is. But I'm on a tight tight budget so here's a billion more stuff from the 100-yen shop.

I found a nice brush holder for the MAC brushes with enough room for everything else. Pretty, don't you think?

And since I'm on a roll I might as well post the birthday gifts to self.

Schlepping bag from ALDO. Which now gets crushed every single day in the train (which by the way I loathe but it does get me to work on time so I guess I can live with it).

A Kenneth Cole frame-hinge wallet. It's my new Plum . And it fits the 10000-yen bills (that are slowly but surely running out).

Now I'll probably lock my broke self in my room the entire weekend, so I'll save the other stuff for later.

Me Likey

This by far is my most favorite thing in the world.

Can you guess what it is? When they first gave it to me I thought it was lipstick (but we were in the bank applying for a savings account so that's a bit unlikely).

I know, I know it looks like "HIV" but it's a stamp with my name in Japanese. Apparently we do a lot of signing and we have to do it in Japanese so they had these made for us. And I get to keep it! Laveeeet!

Now if you'll excuse me, I will now start stamping everything I own.


You know how first days are usually great? Well this one isn't. But hopefully things will pick up in a few days. Will blog when I've recovered from all the stress.
p.s. 4 years already, would you look at that. ^^

Oh, inertia

Thou art a heartless bitch. I know, I know, it should be gravity if you're watching TBBT like every other geek in the planet but that's Sheldon and this is me.

So I'm leaving on Tuesday morning for Japan where I'll be staying for a long long time. And guess what? I haven't packed anything yet! I don't even have everything I need yet. I haven't even bought meds, and I am still undecided if I should go buy vitamins or not because I'm just not the multivitamin kind of person. So here I am stressing myself out making a mental list of things that should be done while doing absolutely nothing to at least cross a few items off the goddamned list. Argh.