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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snow

It snowed today. In Tokyo. Finally! And lucky for me, it happened as I was on my way to the mother ship office.

I already gave up on snow in Tokyo when the temperature hit 20 degrees one weekend. I decided it's spring, and bid farewell to my Eddie parka and furry coat (and in the process also bought a dress). I can only be thankful I at least brought gloves today and had enough foresight to wear boots instead of my much preferred flats. By the time I got to the office the snow has turned to rain, but it was still unbearably cold, and I would much rather prefer that it never happen again. Sure, it's undeniably picturesque - the sight of the snow falling on temples and buildings and trees - but it quickly loses it's charm when you have to trudge all the way to the office with your ears about to fall off.

Anyway, my apologies for not being able to update lately. It's crunch time right now for our project and we were thisclose to reporting for work on a Saturday. I leave you with my latest bargain shoe find, and what's inside my shoe closet.





Not included in the picture are three pairs of boots, which occupy the bottom bunk. Also not included are the two empty rows which I have yet to fill. ^^

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick Quip

This had me laughing so hard I cried. My boss sent this e-mail yesterday:

Around 40 tests failed. For each test that failed, we will take a dump.

Talk about regular bowel movement.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mail Day

I love Tokyo, I really really do. They have the most awesome postal service ever.

So I bought some stuff online last week and I think it was delivered last Tuesday. Of course I wasn't home, and it required a signature, so they weren't delivered. Now here's the cool thing. If they're unable to deliver your package, they leave you with an "Undeliverable Item Notice" slip, which probably has instructions or what not that I can't quite read. But the point is, you can either go online or call their English hotline, and you can specify the date and time frame when they can deliver your package (they actually deliver until 9). I scheduled mine for delivery today from 12 to 2 pm and it's here, right on the dot.



And here's the even cooler part - for a pretty huge box, I didn't even get taxed! Back at home, I had to go to the Central Post Office to pick up my teeny tiny parcel (which was just in an envelope, for crying out loud), and then I had to pay a 15 Php handling fee. Now I know that might not be much, but if you factor in the cost of having to go all the way to wherever that is (I'll be honest and admit that Rodmaykel actually picked them up for me because I'm a brat like that) and the hassle and having to file for a leave because they're not open on weekends it's just pure annoyance. Although it did discourage me from ordering online, whereas this Tokyo postal system is going to turn me into a beggar in a span of months. Just now I'm considering ordering books from Amazon because I miss reading, I really do.

Oh, anyway, this is what's inside:


I ordered Clinique online because it's helluva expensive here.


I'm actually shocked because all the while I thought I was getting smaller bottles, and these are double the size I was expecting. I got a Stila lip gloss as a freebie, but to be honest I'm not too fond of it. But all in all I'm very very pleased.

And then yesterday, in the spirit of Happy Friday (although I was one of the last to leave the office due to some project demands), I went shopping and bought mascara (I just realized my mascara is way way way past the 3-month retention period) and I chanced upon this brush.


I don't really know what it's for, but it looks like a foundation brush to me (the texture is like a MAC190). And from what I could tell from the illustrations, it probably is. It's actually lumped together with geisha makeup or at least that's what they looked like to me. I've been really meaning to get a foundation brush for my tinted moisturizer because I don't like using my hands for the simple reason that I often get foundation on everything I touch thereafter (like my favorite white Parka). I don't like sponges either because you have to wet them and when I'm in a hurry I just don't have time to scoot to the kitchen sink and back. Have I justified it enough? Do I have to mention it's super soft? And that it has flowers? And that it came with a couple of things I assume are palettes? And that it's pretty?


I really ought to blog about something other than hauls.

Friday, February 20, 2009

EQ-proof

So yesterday we were discussing how we've bought everything we could possibly want (at least the high-ticket things like laptops, cameras, and such) and so now we're happy and content.

And then this morning, lo and behold :


The Canon Powershot D10, available this May. Shock-proof when dropped from shoulder-level (although they never did specify whose shoulders we're talking about here), water-proof up to 10m, and freeze-proof up to -10 degrees for better snowboarding pictures (and videos). It kinda looks clunky which I like; I'm not to keen on the usual camera silhouettes (in fact before this one I wanted the Powershot E1 which looks candy-ish). 

A couple of my friends have been bugging me on how Canon doesn't have a waterproof camera and so they have to make do with the plastic watertight cases (although you know, it's not like I have a say on the camera designs - I'm not even remotely involved). Well here it comes, and I'll be damned if I don't get one. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

AFK

Am a bit out of it. Will blog when all is well, and when I have recovered from the demise of free coffee in the office.


We're still happy, though. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms aside.

(photo credits: tin )

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend EQ Meltdown

I had the entire day to post this and now it's five minutes before midnight. Procrastinate much?

Anyway, I just had this major EQ meltdown yesterday. I was in charge of touring a couple of business trippers around, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at things), the only activity I have mastered is shopping. So I dragged them all the way to Yokohama to visit the Mitsui Outlet Park in Torihama. There is a nearer one in Minami-Osawa, but it's a tad bit smaller. Anyway, Anj is pressuring me, so I'll cut the babble.

It's actually a pretty charming mall. And there are a lot of pretty dogs and incredibly cute babies (as you know, ugly babies are illegal here hehehe).


So anyway, here's the damage:

Daredevil red Nike Free sneakers. Now, I have this love-hate relationship with Nike Free. I love them when I look at them and hate them when I try them on. They just never look good on me, I swear. I've tried so many times. Now this particular pair is actually for men, but I found them really really pretty so I tried them on, prepared to accept the fact that they would look horrible, but surprise, surprise, they actually look good. How can I not purchase?


I dropped by Eddie because I've been meaning to use my 1k yen gift certificate which I got when I bought the Parka. And then I found this half-trench on sale for 5k which is not bad, and then when I paid for it, I got an additional 20% off, so combined with my gift certificate it's only 3k yen for this one. Oh, and the lining is removable so I can wear this when I go back home. And then they gave me another 1k yen gift certificate for March. Ahck. And just so you know, the original price for this is 27,300 yen. How crazy is that? Apparently it's made from this "intelligent fabric" called DiAPLEX. I'm not sure if it's really worth the exorbitant price tag but I got it for a steal so I'm not complaining.

Right after I said I have way too many trenches, I found another one on sale, so the running count is now five, which is five more than what a girl from the tropics would need. I forgot the name of the store but the brand is One After Another, and I really like it because apart from the 70% discount, the lining is pretty. Actually I'm thankful for the lining itself because cheap coats would usually have no lining at all which is just sad.


And then in this store called Next Door, which I really really like because you get fabric bags for your purchases, no matter how cheap, I found shirts going for 300 yen each! Sadly only two were in my size, so I just nabbed them both (the blue and brown ones). And then I also got this sheer top from Last Call which I could use as a cover-up for the beach. Yes, I'm shopping for beach things in the middle of winter.

And then I also got what can only be described as the gayest coin purse ever. But I'm in desperate need of a coin purse and this one has card holders to boot.

Actually, I'm pretty happy with the stuff I got, and I don't regret any of them (yet). Most of the time my impulse buys are the ones I love the most. I guess it's because when you go to a store hunting for something and you can't find what you want you just settle for the best there is even if you don't really love it that much just because you really really need it. But when you know you don't need it but you buy it anyway then you probably are so in love with it, right?

At any rate, I've gone through my "EQ budget" for the month so I'm going to enter a dry spell until the next payday comes. My apologies to Kit and Jenny because instead of accompanying them, they ended up accompanying me as I went shopping. They look happy, though. ^^

Friday, February 06, 2009

Pre-weekender

Just a couple of things I want to share.

First, congratulate me for I dared to go where no men have gone before. I've been looking for MUFE in Japan for the longest time and supposedly there's a store in Shinjuku where I can get it and it's in the Subnade. Subnade, not subnode, as Google insists every time I do a search. It's this underground mall near the East Exit, which now I am so familiar with because it's the exit I take when I visit MAC. Anyhoo, no one I know has ever been there but I really wanted to try the HD so I just trooped over there by myself and I found it quite easily! Hah!

The bad news is, they had limited shades of the HD foundation, and I found it too cakey, so I bailed. And then, as per Anj's advice, I also tried the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and a couple of Chanel liquid foundations and the crazy thing is the cost for all three is the same which I find unbelievable. A tube of tinted moisturizer = a bottle of Chanel foundation = MUFE HD = 10 ebi burger meals in McDonald's? In the end I just decided to not get anything.




Well, at least I didn't get any more makeup. My skin is in crazy mode again. It was fine prior to the arrival of my humidifier, now it's bonkers and oily. In winter. How annoying. So now it's skincare, and then some.


I'm giving up on my one-scent-for-every-stage-in-my-life thing because it kinda got screwed up. So now I'm probably sticking to Elizabeth Arden Green Tea just because I really really like it (and it's dirt cheap here). I intended to make Lanvin Eclat d'Arpege my "one-year-in-Japan" scent but sometimes the smell annoys me. I don't really do florals.

So I bought the huge bottle because it costs only 500 yen more than the tiny bottle. And I also got the Green Tea Honey Drop Body Cream which smells wonderful. Well, it smells like the perfume which smells wonderful.

And then I dropped by Clinique because they were having a promo thing and I really really wanted to try it and see what the fuss was about. Now in Takashimaya, if you can't speak Japanese and the sales assistant can't speak English they call a translator (who wears an "I speak English" pin). Thank God I was actually going to buy because well, after all the effort, it seems a bit embarrassing if I just thank them and go. So we'll see how this turns out. I can't decide if the bag is kinda cute or just plain fug but I guess I'll just use it when the need arises.

Speaking of, I usually hate buying makeup bags; I prefer the freebies from Clinique and MAC and what have you, but this one I bought and I really really love.


I forgot how much I paid for it, but it's probably worth it. It's from Wicked Sista, and it opens like this:


And it holds so much junk! (The second bottle on the left pocket is the perfume my friend Chelo gave everyone one Christmas. ^^)

And then, quick story. So yesterday I was, well, in engineering attire which consisted of a sweater over a tee, jeans, and my hot hot pink Chucks. And then surprise! Meeting at the mothership office. The minimum get-up is smart casual. Now, the big boss tells me it's no problem because the meeting is after the official workhours anyway. But, our meeting room is in the control center of the mothership and I just can't go there in pink Chucks with silver glitter. So I had to go home on the way to the mothership office and did a quick change ("like a Cinderella" - Mr. S). And apparently that was hilarious because after the meeting, Mr. S, having ran out of ideas for a non-project related conversation, told the customer about it. Hmf. He seems amused though, so I guess it's not such a bad thing.

Why, yes, I'm vain like that.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Cooking Pinoy

So I was on the speaker phone talking to my lola, and my mom, and a couple of my aunts and uncles.

Mama: Did you go out for dinner?
Me: No, I cooked.
Mama: And what did you cook?
Me: Arroz caldo.

And everyone, and I mean everyone, suddenly started laughing hysterically, like it's the funniest thing ever - me cooking arroz caldo. See that's how my family shows love and affection. They're probably telling the story to other people and having a good laugh about it now.

Anyway, I was never really the family cook. I grew up with my two aunts who won't let me do any household chores because they were too OC about it. And then in high school, I had to stay in the dormitory. Same thing with college. And then when I started working I lived with my cousins and sister and they had more free time since they're students so they took care of the cooking. And when I go home and attempt to cook my brother would hover and go "not like that, like this" and if it's not him it's my mom who would do the exact same thing so there.

At any rate, I discovered I do love to cook. That in no way means I'm good at it. But so far I haven't poisoned myself so I would say I'm okay.


This is the aforementioned arroz caldo. It's actually egg-caldo, I don't really like chicken. And yes, that's a hefty dash of pepper on the side. Whenever I'd have arroz caldo in my grandma's house it would always have too much pepper because the dispenser has a huge gaping hole, so one shake and it's doomsday. And I don't see what the big fuss is about me cooking this one because it's just garlic and ginger and rice and water and chicken cubes (because I didn't add chicken). You saute the garlic and ginger, add fish sauce, add the rice, and when it's translucent add the water and chicken cubes and then wait for it to cook.

This is my best adobo to date. I used pork spareribs because the chicken pieces in the grocery were just too tiny. The problem is I can't document the recipe because I just emptied out the bottle of apple cider vinegar into the marinade so I don't know how much I put. But it almost tastes like home. ^^

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blog Back-log

I'm back with a vengeance. As promised.

First: The Office Party
I don't think there's anything to be said, honestly. I just wanted to share the pictures. Teehee.

The bossing, me, officemates, and beer (although mine's a cocktail and it's gooooooood).

Group picture. You can probably tell that some of us (me included) were looking at the LCD instead of the lens. Hehehe.

I actually don't know what is up with this picture but my guess is it's because we all look very very drunk (and probably are).

Group pic before going home. See how happy we are? No sign of stress at all. That's because we're drunk.


Next: The MAC Addiction
Like they say, once you go MAC, you never go back. Although I do fear I'm breaking out from Studio Fix Fluid. Oh noes.

To date I have three MAC membership cards - one for Tokyu Shibuya, one for Odakyu Shinjuku, and another for Isetan Shinjuku, which is my favorite because the MUAs are very nice and friendly and pretty and it's also the biggest.

This is my loot so far. It's not a lot, but considering I accumulated these in a little over a month I'd say it's a handful.

Studio Fix Fluid (NC25), Brush Cleanser, Fix+, Studio Finish Concealer (NC20 & NC30), Blush (Dollymix), Studio Fix Powder (NC30), Mineralized Skinfinish Natural (Medium), 109 Contour Brush, and 187 Stippling Brush. It's a handful, alright.


So far, I'm liking the Stufio Fix Powder and the blush. The latter is actually an impulse buy, just because I was so proud of myself for being able to read "Dollymix" in Katakana ("da-ri-mik-ku-su... Dollymix! Is this Dollymix? Yes? OK, kaitai-desu"). It's a really pretty pink, and I use it when I'm in a hurry. I like NARS Exhibit A better, but if not applied carefully you risk giving yourself a virtual bitchslap.

At any rate, I don't intend to add to the haul anytime soon, I do think I have enough. I visited the MAC store yesterday, and for the life of me I actually can't find anything to buy. Negative EQ has its limits, or so it seems. We'll see.


Last: Snowboarding 102


It's really not for me. Although I was able to do one graceful stop (read: I stopped without whipping up a snowstorm), and I finally figured out how to control the board a teeny bit. But, I don't really enjoy the speed. I'm really no daredevil. Twas fun though, and I wouldn't discount myself from going snowboarding anytime soon.

And we're done.

Weekend Haul

The Boss: "With all the things you buy, you should write a blog."

Well duh.

I was actually wondering how he finds out about the things I buy (I was actually afraid he was reading my blog, and considered posting in Tagalog, but that was before I remembered he was actually getting proficient) before I found out Barack Obama-lookalike ratted on me. Hmmmph.

Anyhoo, this weekend's haul is very very light for a couple of reasons. One is the weather - it was raining yesterday, and earlier today I tried to go out but it was so windy my EQ had to concede. The other is the Hello Kitty + MAC collection on February 13. And the last one is I'm dead tired from all the meetings I had last week. I was in the mothership office every single day, and I'm sure you know how much havoc it wreaks on my shoes (and feet). And then it started raining, so it got even worse. And then we started receiving complaints regarding work quality and all hell broke loose.

At any rate, I still cannot steer myself away from Shinjuku - it's almost a compulsion. I have to visit it once a week. Which is quite surprising considering a couple of months ago I wouldn't even go there alone. The Shinjuku train station is a huge huge station with like a billion exits - each takes you to a place very different from the other. Now I haven't memorized the whole place, but getting lost in Shinjuku is actually quite fun because there are hundreds of people walking aimlessly with you. Okay, so they may have been walking purposefully but still we were headed in the same direction.

So this is the haul:


NARS lipgloss in Chihuahua. Pretty pretty pink-peach color. It's not as sticky as most glosses, and I'm surprised it actually gives a hint of color. It smells and tastes horrible, however, but I'm taking that as a good thing because when glosses taste good I lick them off in a matter of seconds.


Black boots for 1050 Yen. I laveeet. I got it from this tiny store in Shinjuku station (St. Mary's, I think). I always visit because they always have this huge rack overflowing with shoes at 1050 yen each. This is actually my third pair, and they're quite comfortable and I could happily run after trains with them.

Last but not least:


Who the hell buys shades in winter?
Answer: Moi. I have never really managed going into Uniqlo without buying anything. But these aviators are cheap and pretty and don't fall off my non-existent nose, so I don't really mind.

The End.
To be continued...

Rock-a-bye

This week is earthquake week. Not earthquake awareness week. Earthquake week.

From JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency):
04:59JST 30 January 2009 Intensity 3.8
06:52JST 02 February 2009 Intensity 5.8
14:43JST 02 February 2009 Intensity 3.8

Although for Tokyo, the JMA seismic intensity is only 1 (why they don't use the Richter scale, I wouldn't know). However, I live in the third floor of a very lightweight building that is designed to sway in the event of an earthquake. So it is very much felt. During the first two quakes I was cocooned in my bed, which is quite scary because my "bedroom" so to speak is a half-coffin, half bunk-bed that sits atop my hunch-in crawl-in closet.

The next quake happened as I was telling oblivious people about the earthquake just that morning. Now prior to this I've only ever experienced three earthquakes - the first was the 1990 earthquake and I was right smack in the epicenter and amidst all the chaos I valiantly tried to save my crayons . The second was in college and we were watching The Bourne Supremacy (which I didn't get to finish ). The last one I was in the office and Japo was beside me and he jumped and the world shook and I really thought it was because of the impact. Hehehe.

At any rate I'm actually a bit thankful for these tiny earthquakes. For 25 years or so, Japan has been bracing itself for the Tokai earthquake. It's a major earthquake with a minimum intensity of 8.4 (Richter), and from records it occurs every 110 years, give or take 33. The last one was 1854. As you can see, it's very much overdue. And well, being tardy is not a Japanese trait. Anyway, I'm hoping these tiny earthquakes do some things to relieve the pressure off the tectonic plates. Of course I'm not entirely sure that's the case, but one can hope.

On a lighter note, this is my cocoon:
Contents:
1) Moleskine
2) Cellphone chargers
3) Vicks Vapo-rub
4) Yellow floral pillow - inherited from Jenard (yes, the pillowcase was his)
5) White pillow from MUJI
6) Yellow "Holiday" pillow - inherited from Mau, especially useful on snowboarding trips
7) Tiny white pillow (yes that's a pillow) that came with the apartment
8) Decade-old comforter

And no bed bugs. ^^