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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Minami (may) Tama

Kids, this is why you shouldn’t play video games when riding trains.

And why cassis-orange intake should be limited to one glass during weekdays.

Yep, missed my stop because I was too busy playing games on my iPhone. This is the first time it ever happened to me. Okay, so it happened to Tin and I on our great Shinjuku adventure but that was a weekend.

I was actually able to catch an earlier train today; by earlier I mean 11:05 instead of my usual 11:17. It was quite full, as is always the case, and beside me was this really really drunk guy. Now drunk people are a very usual sight on late night trains; however they’re usually well-behaved. I mean, sure sometimes they just start talking or shouting, but even so they generally keep to themselves. This huge creature, however, is different – he started talking to me. Or attempted to talk to me. Or just plain muttered things while facing me but at any rate I got so scared so I just whipped out my iPhone and started playing games so I would have something to keep my eyes on. When he started hovering over me trying to see what I was looking at I moved to a different section of the train.

So I continued playing and at one point I glanced outside to see where I was. Two stations to go. Great, I can play one more level. And then all of a sudden: “Tsugi wa Minami-Tama… Minami-Tama desu.”

Oh shit.

So I got off Minami-Tama and figured well, it’s still early and I can still catch the train going back to my stop. Which is a perfectly good plan except that I had to wait in a completely empty station for more than fifteen minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Harajuku

As I mentioned in my previous post I went back to Harajuku today. I actually just wanted to go to Forever21 because it was pretty late already. It’s pretty easy to find – you take the Takeshita exit, and just follow the people. If you pass by people with bright yellow bags then you’re on the right track.
No one ever told me that Forever21 is really really cheap (for an international brand in Japan). It was crazy though; minutes after I entered there was already a line forming outside – the guards are already regulating the number of people inside. I spent a good hour inside the store after which I proceeded to H&M where I stayed for another half an hour trying on jeans (fail: one size is too small, next size is too big) and then it was already dark so I was not able to explore the rest of Takeshita Dori. Needless to say I’ll be back very very soon (I’m thinking in colder weather I could walk from Shinjuku to Harajuku).


Anyway, on to the haul. For some reason I spent a good amount of time on accessories; partly because they’re cheap, and partly because I just felt like it.


This is a black ring I got from H&M (it’s the only thing I bought because stupid jeans don’t fit). And it’s just black and huge and nice. I can’t really pull off dainty accessories anyway so I always go for bold chunky things.


This one’s from Forever21 and it spreads out to the finger next to the one wearing it.


This last ring I bought on a whim because it was near the counter and it was just so pretty (and gaudy and tacky but what the hell).
And then I bought a helluva lot of earrings because they were so cheap!!! I noticed I’ve been liking black a lot lately for some reason.


This is an entire set which is why I had to get all three. If it were up to me I’d just get the black pearl ones (I have black pearls from Palawan but I think I left them at home). Still, they were pretty cheap (I would’ve paid that price for the pearls alone).


And then I bought a set of faux pearls because I’m done worrying to death everytime my beloved Palawan pearls are misplaced (I wear them everyday).
Last but not the least: I got two shirts because they were really really cute.


And then in Shinjuku I chanced upon a new Kate foundation so I got a bottle because the old one is my favorite favorite foundation (and I’m about to run out because I use it everyday). I’m thinking they’re the same (it’s just re-branding) but we’ll see how it goes.


It’s not too much of a haul but it’s enough for me to survive the week to come. ^^

Tokyo in Half a Day

So yesterday we did what I really thought was impossible – see all (well, most) of the sights in Tokyo for half a day. Disclaimer: I do not recommend doing this at all, especially in the scorching summer heat. For me to visit a site is to experience it, which would entail spending some time to drink everything in; if I would stay in one place for a mere five minutes to take frenzied snapshots then I would just go look at pictures in the internet. But that’s just me.

Anyway, I was supposed to take Arlene around Tokyo for two days. But thank goodness for her Japanese friend (an about-to-be-Jesuit priest who shall remain nameless) because we would never have been able to visit all the places she wanted to visit on our own. I don’t think I have to tell you I have no sense of direction; plus I don’t really frequent tourist spots. In fact we wasted the entire morning looking for Yoyogi park only to find that it’s nearer Harajuku station than Yoyogi station. Hmpf. Anyway, we met with her aforementioned friend around lunchtime, and here begins the tour of Tokyo as frenetic as the city itself.

First stop: Shibuya
I met up with Arlene here on Friday night, so it wasn’t really new. But this time she was able to take a picture of Hachiko (it was pouring on Friday).

Next stop: Yoyogi Park


From Shibuya we walked, yes walked to Yoyogi Park. This was around noon time, so you can imagine the heat. The park was, well, clean. According to guidebooks artists often perform here (as is the case in most other places), but who would want to play under the glaring heat of the sun? All we saw were people sunbathing or taking a nap under the trees. I’m guessing the artists would come here later when the temperature is a bit more bearable.

Next Stop: Meiji Shrine



So after Yoyogi Park we walked, yes walked, to Meiji Shrine. And what can I say; a shrine is a shrine is a shrine. We chanced upon a wedding procession, and here weddings are very similar to funerals – everyone is solemn and sad and wearing black.

Me: Why are traditional weddings here so sad?
Guide: Why wouldn’t they be sad? It’s the end of their single happy life!

Good point.

Next stop: Harajuku
So we walked again to Harajuku station, and this is where we had lunch. Now Harajuku is Tokyo’s fashion district, and it was almost sacrilegious that we did not do even the teensiest bit of shopping. Which is why I returned the following day, but I’ll reserve that for another blog post.


This is the only photo I managed to take (all photos are from my iPhone because I forgot my cam). It’s Takeshita Dori, which is a street chockfull of fashion boutiques and what-have-you.

Next stop: Tokyo Dome


 This time we used the train, thank God. We weren’t able to go in because there was a baseball game. There was, however, a multitude of cosplayers with really really amazing costumes. Winner for me is this one here.


When he started moving towards me I kinda got scared; the way you probably feel when a robot charges towards you.

Next Stop: Akihabara
Everyone knows I hate going to Akihabara because, well, I don’t have a Y-chromosome. But Arlene is a crazy crazy person and we ended up in a Maid Cafe. It was scary and awkward and strange and I didn’t get it at all. And to top it off, even with the expensive entrance fee (one thousand yen just for an hour!!!), we can’t even take pictures of the “maids” (that’s an extra 500 yen). Anyway I’d understand how it’d appeal to an otaku; when we got our drinks the maid did this whole chant ritual whatever it was to make the drinks taste better. Right.


Arlene ordered a latte and the girl drew a cat and a heart using chocolate syrup.

Next stop: Tokyo Station and Imperial Castle
Tokyo station is pretty but it’s under construction.


We went to this building called Marubiru which has some sort of viewing deck in the 35th floor.


And here’s a picture of our unofficial tour guide.


 The Imperial Castle is only open to the public on New Year and the emperor’s birthday, but you can always check out the grounds. It’s quite interesting; like a last bastion of traditional Japan right smack in the middle of a busy busy city littered with skyscrapers.

 And it’s quite relaxing to see just open space in the middle of Tokyo. Oh, and we chanced upon swans.


Next stop: Shinjuku
What can I say, it’s where the love is.


We also went up TMG which also has an observation deck. From there we were able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks from the Sumida Fireworks Festival (which attracts around 1 million viewers).
We had dinner here, and afterwards we went to Kabukicho because Arlene wants to see a “hosto”. No pictures because I was so scared.

And that’s that. Now my feet are sore, my shoulders ache, and I have a T-shirt tan line. Anj, please tell me we’re not doing this when you get here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pahabol

Last post before the week gets crazy.
First, my egglings are growing quite nicely. I’m not sure if this is basil or mint but it’s one or the other.


I actually have three but this one’s the nicest-looking. I’ve been taking care of them for about a week already. By taking care I mean occasionally watering them.
And then, I did a bit of cleaning today; nothing major, but let’s just say people can now enter the apartment without me getting embarrassed. And I organized all the make-up stuff, but I do that every week. I realized that the most convenient location would be the table where my television is, because the full length mirror is mounted on the wall on the right (you can’t see in the photo).


 Last but not least: pandas in my cup noodles.

 Have a great week, everyone.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chofu Fireworks Festival

I would upload all of them but I’m lazy like that so I’ll leave you with two. The first one’s pretty long but at least the camera is stable so it’s quite bearable to watch. See if you can spot the fish and pig and rabbit and smiley shapes.



Weekend

Well technically my weekend’s not yet over since Monday’s a holiday but I’ve reserved it for de-cluttering the apartment for the hundredth time. I don’t know what’s up with me; I just seem to attract clutter.
Anyway, last Saturday while the rest of the people attempted to scale Mt. Fuji, Frank, David, and I watched the Chofu Fireworks festival. There are a few possible options but we decided to watch it from somewhere near Nakanoshima which was just four stations away, which was convenient, especially since the train was jampacked. I’ve never seen so many people in yukatas (cotton kimonos) before – it’s the traditional garb for watching fireworks, never mind that it’s only for an hour and a half. So anyway, we were watching from the riverbanks, and it took us quite a while to find an empty spot because the crowd was huge.


So this was how it was but we didn’t have  a picnic blanket or anything to sit on and we were situated in the slopes which was a bit inconvenient. I was hesitant to take pictures because I can never really take good pictures of fireworks but David had a spare Gorillapod which I figured I could prop on my knee which is infinitely more stable than my hands. And I did turn out a couple of post-worthy pictures. And a lot of videos which I have yet to post.


The rest of the pictures are here. As for the actual fireworks display, I have no words to describe it. Pictures don’t do it justice, videos don’t do it justice, words don’t do it justice. You really have to be there and be amazed.
Going home was an entirely different story. There were just so many people – and by many I mean many; Tokyo is a crowded crowded city but this is an entirely different crazy level. You know those movies where there’s some sort of killer virus or plague or volcanic eruption and all these people are evacuating? It’s like that, just more disciplined and half the evacuees are wearing kimonos. Of course knowing the Japanese, they’re more than prepared for things like these, and even if there were a billion people outside the station we were able to board the train with very minimal jostling.
Oh, and I’ve been wearing my weird coral necklace with fishy nonstop since I got it and I really really likey. And notice how we seem to have the same bag in this photo:


Today I woke up really really late but it’s shopping day so I still hit Shinjuku even if I only had a couple of hours before the everything shuts down (most shops close at 8 pm). Zara has been on sale for two weekends now, and, well, let’s cut to the chase.


I don’t really need a new bag, I know I know. But it’s quite difficult to find bags that can fit A4 sheets without being too bulky. I usually have to schlepp a couple of documents when going to the mothership office, but all my other “office bags” are way too small so I end up ruining the documents which just ticks off the OC in me. Lately I’ve been using my Marc Jacobs giant canvas bag even if it doesn’t go with office attire at all. So anyway when I saw this bag I just thought it was perfect for work and as I went about the store I kept checking on it to see if it’s still there (it’s the last one), and it’s in those crazy moments when you want to strangle people who dare touch your bag that you just know you’re going to get it. I don’t even know why I hesitated – it’s the perfect size, the perfect color, and it’s on sale (almost 70% off!). And I’m really liking the shoulder strap. So anyway I got it and hovered about the store for around 30 minutes looking for work wear but I ended up just getting the bag. I am in dire need of office attire but I just don’t have the heart to shop for that.
So after that I headed off to MAC to buy moisturizer – I’m switching to the Lightful Ultramoisture Cream because it’s very very very hot and humid these days. On my way to Isetan I noticed a lot of people are stopping to take pictures so I looked up to where their mobile phone cameras were aimed at and it’s a rainbow!


Nicely situated in between Marui (OIOI) and Isetan, how wonderful is that?
I was hoping to see the new Color Craft collection from MAC but they didn’t have it and instead they had something similar to holiday collections because there are two brush sets, two lip sets, and two eyeshadow palettes with some sort of art deco theme. I was so so tempted to get the brush sets, but I already have most of them and they were really really expensive for brushes that are machine-made in China (the regular MAC brushes are hand-made in Japan) and I just placed another order from Coastal Scents so I passed (yay, EQ). And I wasn’t crazy about the theme either so I just got my moisturizer. I know it’s a bit crazy to buy MAC moisturizers when supposedly the Japanese have the best skincare but honestly everything is just so expensive and the Shiseido diffusion lines just don’t agree with me. Although I do love their facial wash (I have Shiseido Perfect Whip and Kanebo Kracie Naive Peach).
And then, I hope none of my friends disown me for this, I got Crocs x.x. But I got the ballerina flats, which I’m hoping is forgivable. See, my feet are just in terrible terrible shape right now from all the walking, and it’s all blistered (last weekend I got blisters from my flipflops, how unfair is that) so I really really need comfy shoes for weekends. Last winter I at least had my uggs which are the most comfortable things ever, but that’s not really an option now, is it? Anyway, I’ve had my eye on the cotton candy pink pair for the longest time and they were running out so I nabbed one.


It’s quite strange – some pairs had holes in the back and some didn’t but this is Tokyu Hands and I seriously doubt they would sell fake stuff so I just picked out a pair without holes. I have to say they’re really really comfy. And they’re such a pretty pink color; if only they weren’t so plasticky looking they’d be perfect.
And that’s it. Oh, I also got a NYX lipgloss in Smokey Look but I’m too tired to take pictures but it’s a really really pretty nude color and it smells good and is cheap too so I would say it’s ten times better than the NARS lip glosses. Anyway I’m blabbering and it’s almost three in the morning so I’ll cut this short.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bobblehead

So today we watched Harry Potter. It was… eh… hrmmm. This time we decided to go ahead and be impolite and not sit through the credits (to be fair, a lot of people left when the credits started rolling because it was really really late).
And then from the souvenir shop outside the cinema called “The Store” I finally finally got the Megatron bobblehead.



They also had Bumblebee and Optimus bobbleheads, but Megatron is just way too cute. I’ve been eyeing this two movie nights ago, and since I found myself still liking it on the third time of seeing it I decided it was time to buy .
Anyway, I have a long weekend ahead and a quite hectic workweek after that. I better hit the sack while I still can.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Squeam

So if you had to pick one...


Would it be: Tofu with erm… fish things? This was part of last night’s dinner. I tried a couple but I seriously felt them wriggling in my stomach, while the rest of their unmasticated brothers stare pleadingly at me.

 Or: Good old balut but this time the mother duck appeared to have been impregnated by a rat?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Haul Day

Things have been awful lately, and I’m PMSing maybe, so in the interest of positive thinking I went shopping.
First stop: Lush



I’ve been subsisting on free packets of Shiseido Golden repair I got one fine winter day in Shinjuku for more than a week now because I can’t decide on what brand of shampoo to try out next. See, shampoo bottles here are godawfully huge, so it’s like a huge commitment to something I couldn’t even read the labels of. The moment I got here I bought a complete set of Shiseido Tsubaki, supposedly the best-selling brand here, despite Jenard’s warning of hairfall – which turned out to be true. But it does make your hair nice and shiny, at least what’s left of it. When I’ve had enough of hair strands coming off every time I run my fingers through my hair I switched to Shiseido Mild which smells good and is so-so.
Anyway, long story short, I settled on what I hope is a bottle of Lush Rehab Shampoo and a tub of Retread Conditioner. The shampoo label is all kanji, so I wouldn’t know; and tub, although labeled in katakana, reads “turipururun” which no matter how I try to twist and turn would never be retread (triple run, maybe?) but I compared the ingredients list and they seem to be the same. And then I chucked in a tiny slice of Porridge because it’s been so humid and hot lately and I need to exfoliate.

Next stop: MAC


I finally got a paint pot! I’ve been wanting to get one just to even out my eyelids which are really really dark (I’ve had people ask me if I’m wearing eye shadow – it’s that dark). This was a bit of an ordeal because I was looking for Rubenesque and well, the label read “ru-be-n-su-ki-yu” but anyway I managed to find it and as the reviews say it’s a pretty pretty peachy color. I didn’t want to get anything pink because I would look like an insect bit me on the eyelid.


And then I finally got my hands on a slimshine in Bare (second from the left; the label reads “bea-”). When I told the sales assistant I’m getting it she told me it’s discontinued but she gave me one anyway. I’m guessing she was trying to tell me it’s discontinued and I can get only one (she kept saying “one”) but I wouldn’t know. Anyway, these are all my MAC lipsticks: Creme Cup (cremesheen), Bare, Fanfare (cremesheen), and Viva Glam V (lustre).
And that’s that. Have a great week, everyone.

Clutter

I’ve always felt I have too much crap so I decided to take pictures just to remind myself how absurd it’s become but I realized it’s actually very very very miniscule compared to what other people have. But anyway, I’m thinking of giving some stuff away because I really don’t use everything so if you think I love you enough and you find something you like drop me a line. I’m not parting with everything of course.


Foundation: Mac StudioFix Fluid, Mac StudioFix Powder, Mac Mineralized Skinfinish Natural, Mac Mineralized Satinfinish, Kate Liquid Foundation, Shiseido Maquillage Lasting Liquid UV, RMK Creamy Foundation, Maybelline Angelfit, L’oreal TrueMatch, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, and a horde of mineral makeup stuff I won’t bother to enumerate. And out of all these the only actual keeper would be Kate, although the Shiseido one is new so I’m still trying it out.


Blush: Stila Push-up cheek color (I have another unused one because it’s a set of two), Benefit Benetint, Benefit Posietint, Benefit 10, Nars Exhibit A, Nars Desire, NYX Mocha, Bare Minerals Warmth, and mineral makeup stuff again. The NARS blushes I am keeping for life, as well as the Bare Minerals one (it’s for when I’m really really pale). The Benefit stuff I tried to love so much but I actually hate them because I get these tiny bumps whenever I use them.


Obviously I’m not so into lip things because I always have chapped lips and I can’t really give these away because that would be unhygienic. But anyway, from left to right: Nars Chihuahua, Stila it gloss, Smashbox O-Gloss, Ettusais, Nivea, Maybelline, Mac Creme Cup, Mac Viva Glam V, Mac Fanfare, Stila vanity fair kit lipstick, Nivea strawberry, Burt’s Bees, Carmex, Eyeko Fat Balm, and a Borjouis miniature. The only one I use regularly is Carmex – it’s my savior.


Mascara: L’oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes, L’oreal Telescopic, Fasio Shock-proof, Fasio Hyper-stay, VMV, Benefit Bad Gal Blue, Maybelline Lash Discovery, Maybelline Cat Eyes, Fasio I-have-no-idea-wat, Maybelline Define-a-Lash, Kate Mascara Base, Kate Gel Mascara, Shiseido Majolica Majorca, Fasio Mascara remover, Givenchy Phenomen-eyes, and a Clinique sample. Now ideally you should only have one mascara at a time because you have to chuck them out after three months or so but I’m nuts. See I only have like five lashes on each eye so I have to make the most out of them. The best one I’ve tried is Majolica Majorca; however it just a bitch to remove. For everyday, L’oreal Telescopic is good. Givenchy is really nice but it’s not waterproof which is such a bummer, and it’s expensive to boot.



Brushes: You know you have too many brushes when washing them becomes a chore, and yet I still stalk brushes online. Anyway, a lot of them I’m willing to part with except the Mac ones, of course. And the flat-top buffer brushes. And the nice foundation brush.
Anyway, that’s that. I actually thought I had more than this so it actually made me feel better that I don’t have as much unnecessary junk as I thought I had, if that makes sense. So now I’m off to get more junk. ^^

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday Shopping

It's been quite a while since I last made a haul blog post, and that's just strange, isn't it? It's killing me that my G9 is still knocked out so my pictures kinda suck; I'm going to try and have it repaired because I can't find a replacement just yet.

Anyway, off we go.
It's nothing major; just stuff I picked up this afternoon on a trip to the outlet stores with Marci.


Black pumps for work. I know I have too many shoes (actually you can never have too many shoes but I'm out of storage space) but I realized I don't have basic black shoes for work. Which everybody needs; they're like your favorite pair of denims you can always turn to when you're twenty minutes late and out of ideas. Anyway, I particularly like this pair because I'm liking the way the heel kinda curves inward (I have a pair from Charles and Keith with similar heels but a bit chunkier). And it also fits perfectly. And it's the last pair. And it's 50% off (still quite pricey though).


This was a surprise find; I didn't even know they had Model Co here. It's quite a steal - the kit's contents cost more than double the price if you purchase them individually. Anyway, I've been wanting to try the lash wand since forever so I couldn't pass this up. The kit contains a Designer Brow Kit, a LashWand, and Plus Lash Extend Mascara. The brow kit has brow powder, brow wax, two angled brushes, a spoolie, a couple of eyebrow templates and teeny tiny pink tweezers in a hot pink case with a mirror that says "Think Pink" and everything is just too cute.


Again, apologies for the picture; the iPhone can't take macro shots. Anyway, this is one of those random quirky things I end up buying just because. It's from Billabong, and it's a necklace in that whitish silver plating that I really really like. The pendant is a coral reef, or at least that's what I think it is, because attached to that is a flounder. I know it's strange but I really like it and hopefully I still feel this way tomorrow morning, after the shopping high has abated.

I also got two tops - one for work and one for play? - but clothes never ever photograph nicely so I gave up.
And that's that. It's not a lot, but the shoes were kinda expensive so I had to scrimp a bit.
The next haul should be a month from now; let's see if I last that long.