30.11.09

Whack Part 2

So I'm still alive - three days holed up in the apartment hacking and coughing and sleeping with zero shopping (not even online) was apparently not enough to kill me. Lady Gaga saved me, because Bad Romance was all I listened to the entire weekend. I love her so much I actually bought the song and the video in iTunes.

It's actually not as bad as the previous one, although I kinda wish it is because I swear I must've lost 10 pounds then (and gained it all back but that's another story). I tried to subsist on BioFlu and this morning I was actually a lot better so I reported to work. By a lot better I mean I can actually get up and food is starting to taste like something other than snot (I swear everything - clam chowder, cheese spread, spicy ramen - tasted like phlegm).

I tried my best to convince the boss that I'm fine (I wasn't) and I don't need to go to the doctor (I really didn't) but he'd have none of it and insisted I visit the pink-stethoscope-toting doctor. It was actually quite fun because our GA staff is always a riot. Like no matter how stressed out I am every time I see her around the office I always end up grinning. And she calls me "skinny" (and now her daughter does, too). Anyway so the doctor listens to whatever sound comes out of that pink stethoscope and gives me the exact same prescription he gave me before. So now I'm back to downing six pills after every meal. Oh, how fun.



I'm hoping to bounce back before the coming weekend. I'm thisclose to panic-pasalubong-buying and I hate it.

23.11.09

Quick Quick Loot

Stuff I got from a quick shopping spree in Tachikawa station.


A super old-school label maker which I so looooove.


And I finally got my hands on Nippon Vogue. It's always sold out, and I'm so happy I finally nabbed a copy, and it even came with a Comme des Garcons ecobag. ^^

Hyper

Not counting the Hokkaido train marathon, this has got to be my most hyperactive day ever.

See, this is me on a normal outing to wherever.



It must've been the weird sickening scent of fall leaves, because minutes later I'm doing this:



OMG. Me and a frisbee. The stance looks quite convincing, don't you think? Like I really knew what I was doing (I don't).

And then I also went cycling for maybe an hour or more all around the park and I'm pretty sure my bicycle mileage in Japan is higher than my mileage in the Philippines.

Anyway, so now everything hurts and I'm dead tired. I just really wanted to post the pics because I'm so incredibly proud of myself for, well, doing something physical other than running after trains and having shopping marathons.

Edit: I got sunburned. Oh the horror.

Pictures courtesy of Franz, Erick, Debid, and Tin (I forget who was holding which camera with which lens),

Loot

Hello people who read my blog waiting for the requisite loss of EQ every weekend (that means you, Anj; I so covet your boots, BTW).

I hate to disappoint, but despite the grand grand plans I had for this weekend laziness sleep got the better of me.

Last Saturday I spent the entire morning and a good part of the afternoon playing Tap Tap Revenge 3 on my iPhone (it's a testament to how addictive the game is that I chose it over shopping). By the time I managed to drag my ass off to the outlet park (Minami O, as always) it was almost midnight. Well OK it might've been five in the afternoon but it seriously looked and felt like I was out at an ungodly hour.

Anyway, I was supposed to shop for stuff for people back at home, and I did, but not as much as I would've wanted. I hate shopping for pasalubong - unlike shopping for myself, I get really indecisive and it's really stressful.


And that's my excuse for yet another pair of Nike flats. To me they look like Christmas (ignore the hearts and focus on the red and white and glitter). I was actually in Nike looking for shoes for my brothers but I just couldn't find any which was frustrating - this is like my fifth attempt to buy them shoes. They wanted Nike Free shoes and for some reason they're all gone so I was trying to scour the broken sizes at the back and I found these pretty pretty shoes, fell in love, and took them home with me. End of story.

The rest of the stuff I got are for other people, although I'm seriously coveting one of the bags because it's so pretty I want to keep it for myself. I have to constantly remind myself that I have two Coach bags so there is absolutely no need for another one.

That night I sent some of my stuff home courtesy of an officemate who had (a lot of) extra space in his Balikbayan box. I am now having separation anxiety because I can't see my Sonia Rykiel boots which were sent home along with six other pairs of shoes and eight bags.

For today I had a lot of things planned out - laundry, general cleaning, and then head off to Harajuku and then Shibuya and then Shinjuku for some major major shopping. And then I woke up at 3 pm. So I ended up going to Uniqlo in Fuchu which was just two stations away.

Uniqlo is having this crazy crazy sale and so I spent a good hour in there looking for stuff I could give other people but I ended up buying stuff for myself. I picked out quite a lot so I had to edit out a couple of pieces at the last minute which I kinda regret because when I got to the counter there were some additional discounts on some of the clothes which I didn't notice with all the frenzied panic buying going on. With what I "saved" I could've bought the black Merino wool sweater tsk tsk tsk.


I did get one in red, though.


Yet another fleece jacket because I don't have one in this color yet.


And a couple of button-down shirts for the office.

After that I went to the hundred-yen shop to get a couple of those compression bags.


These are bags for storing clothes and blankets and such, and then you use your vacuum so you save a lot of storage space. Most of them I will use for packing, and I bought a couple of extra ones for my mom and my grandma because they are in the habit of hoarding towels and linens and beddings.

Random things from some random store:


I finally got my hands on that damn stapler. It's insane - I can staple fifty pages of paper with one hand and very very little effort. I could probably even staple people's mouths shut.


Now this nifty little gadget is supposed to be a static electricity eliminator, but I have yet to find out if it works. But if it does it's my favorite gadget in the world -  now I no longer have to live in fear of discharging on metal objects. But we'll see.

It's now almost four in the morning. I shall now attempt to sleep.

20.11.09

Strawberrynet.com

Well that was fast.


I placed the order Sunday night, I got the delivery slip last night, and now it's here! So I got the "Ulta" mate stila set, which was exactly as pictured. There's a tube of illuminating tinted moisturizer, a teeny tiny pot of convertible color in Peony, a tube of mascara and lipgloss, and four eyeshadows including the infamous Kitten which I so want to open but I can't because I have to get a palette first.

And then I also threw in a bottle of Philosophy Purity cleanser because supposedly it works great with the Clarisonic. And then there's a free silver necklace which I didn't really care for at first but it's pretty cute.

Overall I'm pretty pleased, and well, I should be. It shipped in less than five days, everything was in good condition, and the stila kit was even gift wrapped so it almost felt like Christmas morning (yep, tore that damn gift wrap open). Oh, and did I mention that shipping is free?

18.11.09

It Comes in Fives

I just think five's a nice good number. Don't you think so?
And here in Japan it's supposed to be lucky. I think.
Anyway, bad news first.

Five Things I Regret Buying


1. MAC Wipes
People keep raving about this, so I thought I should, too, but I'm afraid I don't have anything good to say. For one, it's ridiculously expensive. I also don't appreciate the scent, but it's tolerable. I also find it quite abrasive; it hurts when I rub it across my face. And I don't like the oily residue it leaves after usage.

2. Shu Uemura "Mark Cealer"
To be perfectly honest, the only Shu Uemura product I really like is the eyelash curler. This is a concealer that for some reason wants to be seen. You tap and rub and blend like crazy, and then a few seconds, there she is - a very very visible splotch of concealer on your face, which kind of defeats the purpose.

3. Givenchy Phenomen'eyes mascara
I've been wanting to try this for the longest time because the ball applicator (that looked more like a torture device than a beauty tool) seemed like a good idea. And maybe it is, but I would never really know because the formula sucks big time. Now I got this in Narita airport where it was significantly cheaper but I still feel like it was highway robbery. For a very expensive product the least they can do is to make it waterproof, don't you think so? These days there is simply no excuse for running mascara. And it makes my lashes look spidery for the lack of a better term. And the packaging is, well, meh.

4. MAC Face Protect SPF 50
Well this may be kinda unfair because I have yet to find a sunscreen that doesn't make my skin go haywire (breakouts, dry patches, the works). But I thought this would at least make my foundation last longer which it didn't.

5. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
I had really high hopes for this because I've been reading nothing but raves, but I think the only way that this product would work is if you have perfect skin to begin with, and if you have perfect skin, why use a tinted moisturizer?

On to the good stuff.

Five Things Worth the Loss of EQ


1. NARS Skin Hydrating Freshening Lotion
It's quite a bit overpriced, but my skin feels really comfortable after application, and sometimes I feel like I don't even have to moisturize after (I still do, though). And it might just be my imagination but I do think it brightens the skin somewhat.

2. Mandom Cleansing Express Moist
Best make-up remover ever! Although it doesn't stand a chance against Majolica Majorca mascara, everything else it removes with ease, and it feels like water, no kidding.

3. NARS Blush in Desire
Although I do love Exhibit A, it takes a lot of work and it's not the blush you'd want to apply when you're in a hurry. Desire is a pretty pretty pink color which I find works better on my skin tone than coral blushes which show up orange and who on earth blushes orange? I also like that it doesn't have glitter because I don't really fancy a shining shimmering splendid face. And as with all NARS blushes, it extremely pigmented, so one swipe and you're good to go.

4. Makeup Forever HD Foundation
I know I said it was cakey, but that's because the pump dispenses a helluva lot of product which all ended up at the back of my hand. There's still a special place in my heart for Kanebo Kate, but since it's still too light for me, this is what I've been reaching for at the moment. For reference, my shade is 123 and I'm a MAC NC30 (I think). And I use either a Coastal Scents synthetic buffer brush or a MAC 187 or my beauty blender sponge.

5. Clarisonic Mia
Is it a necessity? Probably not. But do I recommend it? Yes, if you have extra moolah to spare (ehem, Christmas bonus). I use mine only once a day because I think twice a day is overkill. I've had this for a couple of months now, and my breakouts have significantly lessened and I think my overall skin condition has improved. My skin is still far from perfect, but at least now I don't feel I have to slap on foundation when going out.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Majolica Majorca Mascara

Best mascara I've tried, hands down. Beats the crap out of Givenchy Phenomen'eyes, which was a sad waste of money.


Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara. Well that was a mouthful.
Price: Around 1000JPY

The Good:

+ Significantly lengthens - this formula has those fiber things for lengthening, similar to the white stuff in the Maybelline or L'oreal double-ended mascaras, but in this case it's already mixed in with the black erm... stuff.

+ It keeps the curl in place the entire day. By entire day, I mean from 8 in the morning to 10 in the evening which is a really really long time. I'm not sure if it curls, though, because I always use an eyelash curler (Shu Uemura - there's really no contest there as far as lash curlers are concerned) beforehand.

+ It doesn't budge or flake or smudge. No raccoon eyes or black flakes around the area - and this is even if I often rub my eyes or use eye drops when I'm wearing contacts. It stays put.

+ Reasonably priced.

The Bad:

- Application can be quite tricky. On bad days, it can end up being clumpy and who wants that?

- It's a bit difficult to apply on the lower lashes. The applicator is a comb, and for the lower lashes I prefer using a brush-type wand.


The Ugly:

x It's a b*tch to remove. At the very least, this requires a couple of swipes of an oil-based eye makeup remover.

In Summary:
Go.get.it. But don't forget the eye makeup remover (I use Shiseido eye makeup remover with a cotton pad).

Last na, Promise

It's almost a disease.


Relax, it's just one of them eco-bags, which I have some insane compulsion to collect. It comes with the fall make-up collection or something. I first spied it on display in the convenience store we pass by on the way to the mothership office, and I wanted to get it but the boss was going noooo what do you need another bag for you already have so many and you said you will never go shopping again you're wasting money and so on and so forth so I thought OK, I'll just wait 'til I get home and buy it from the friendly neighborhood convenience store.

Anyway, it's pretty decent and well-constructed, and lookie, the lining is pink!


But really, this is the last one. Unless of course there's a new Marc by Marc Jacobs.

15.11.09

MacBook Cleaning Lesson No. 37562048


This has got to be the cutest MacBook cleaner ever (move over Hello Kitty).



Significantly more functional too.
Let's call her Ling-ling (you forgot your bling bling hahaha Hot Chick) after the panda in Ueno zoo that I didn't get to see.

Bleak

Last Wednesday there was a torrential downpour so I thought it would be a good time to cook sinigang. So I went to the grocery, picked out a couple of shrimps (49JPY a piece but that's Japan for you), and then as I was paying for it, the cashier asked me how many shrimps I put in the plastic bag (please know that this is my interpretation of his rapid Japanese accompanied by hand gestures - for all we know he might have been asking for my age). I had to blink a couple of time before I remembered that 1) I was in Japan, and 2) He expected me to tell the truth. So I told him I bought eight (hachi, accompanied by hand gestures in case he doesn't understand). If I were in the Philippines, this would never happen because 1) the cashier will never ask you how many you bought, he will count it by himself, and in some cases he would count an extra invisible shrimp, and 2) the buyer will never answer with the correct number. In fact if he could get away with saying "I only got one shrimp" he would do so. But anyhoo, that's just my excuse to post a photo of a shrimp.


Why? Because I have nothing else to post. Why? Because nothing happened to me this weekend. NOTHING.

Yesterday I went to Shinjuku and Akihabara *shudder*, and here's my loot:


It's a random keychain and while it may be cute, it's not mine and it costs less than the train fare which to me translates to a terrible terrible shopping day.

Anyway, I told myself I still have Sunday and lookie what I got:


All from the friendly neighborhood 7-11, in an attempt to cure my hangover.
Backtrack: last night we had a drinking party, and I was late so I had a can of cassis orange on an empty stomach. Tsk tsk. And then, we each took a shot of what appeared to be ricewash but it tasted like rubbing alcohol. After that I was dizzy, but I thought I'll just sleep on it. Right. When I woke up this morning my head was pounding, and I had no idea what to do because I haven't really had a hangover before. I don't know if it's the coffee, Coke, or clam chowder but I was fine by noon time. Oh, and the magazine with the free Tsumori Chisato eco bag helped tremendously.

The afternoon was spent on laundry and the Pacquio-Cotto match, which I found kinda boring but I promised some officemates whom I bailed on (they went to Hakone but I was there last year) that I'd give them updates so I had to rummage around for live streaming links. And then it occurred to me that I had no idea how to give boxing match updates.

Update 1: Start na.
Update 2: Pacquiao punches Cotto. He punches back. They do that a couple more times.
Update 3: Round 2. Still going at it.
Update 4: Will somebody please hit the floor already?

At some point I spaced out and then suddenly it was over. I'm really no boxing enthusiast. I only live for the Manny Pacquiao interviews, which are as epic as the match itself: "Kuto is a very strong."

Since it was such a bleak weekend, I figured I'm at least entitled to a bit of online shopping, right? Unfortunately, the necklace I've been stalking is still out of stock. How annoying.

Anyway, since I was buying skincare stuff for my mom I thought I'd sneak in a couple of things for me, so I got a Philosophy cleanser and a Stila set which is quite a steal for less than 20USD:

I think a single eyeshadow pan alone costs more than the entire kit. And shipping is free (plus you get a 5 percent discount if you order three items or more) so I'd say it's a really great deal. There are a couple other things I wanted to get (the Benefit Powder Pop Palette, other Stila kits) but I shouldn't really be hoarding any more makeup. But anyway, in case you're interested, I got these from StrawberryNet. They have a lot of stuff, so please visit only when you're loaded with EQ. Or money.

8.11.09

Sunday

1. Macbook Bonding Time

I am happy to report that the new Mac (and the old one too) has no defective pixels. If you wish to check yours (make sure you can have it replaced else I would never ever ever recommend it), you may find this particularly useful.



2. The September Issue


It's a documentary about Vogue editrix Anna Wintour and what goes one behind the creation of the phonebook-worthy September issue. It's the real-life Devil Wears Prada, and yes, you do get Patrick Demarchelier, hot Starbucks, and "Miranda killed autumn jackets" (only here it's "Anna killed color blocking"). I've seen it twice this weekend and I'm watching it again tonight because it's that wonderful.

3. House of Harlow


I have been coveting this necklace ever since I saw it on display in Kitson (Lumine Est, Shinjuku) but it was just so ridiculously expensive here, so I have resorted to stalking it online.

4. Tea


Four cups of tea today and counting.
New flavors I'm loving: Spice and Christmas Wreath from Lupicia which are both spicy and cinnamon-y which I've discovered I really really like.

5. Food


Crabs and chicken caldereta. Almost like home.

The Story of my Mac


Oh look, I got another one. It's like my birthday all over again! I was so giddy I would've skipped my way home if I didn't have the new Macbook in my hands.

But let's rewind. So Thursday night I was using the new Mac and horror of horrors I found a dead pixel. I thought it was a stuck pixel at first, so I ran this sequence to try to "unstick" it, but I later figured one of the subpixels (each pixel has an R, G, and B subpixel) must be dead because for some colors the pixel works properly, for some colors it doesn't. Anyway the point is, one pixel is defective. And in my attempt to fix it I discovered yet another defective pixel. Can. you. imagine. the. stress. Dead pixels are much like miniscule scratches - they're fine as long as you don't notice them, and they're pretty hard to notice, but once you discover they're all you can ever see. Like this really drove me nuts. In fact, I was pretty much dysfunctional the next day at the office and I kinda feel bad.

After a bit of googling I was pretty much convinced that I'm stuck with the two dead pixels because apparently Apple doesn't have a "zero tolerance policy" regarding defective pixels which means that there's this certain minimum number before they replace your screen, which I so don't get. I mean it's no secret that you pay a premium for Apple products, and with that I expect amazing customer service. And I also expect my Mac to be perfect. I ordered a machine with 1920x1280 pixels, and if two of those pixels aren't working, then that's a defect, because the product does not meet the specs, right?

Since I've only had my Mac for a week I figured I'd at least try and bring it back to the store, and in the spirit of positive wishful thinking, I reformatted the Macbook in case they'd be willing to replace it. But I was also trying to accept the fact that there's a huge possibility that I'd be stuck with the two dead pixels.

So I took the Macbook to Yodobashi, explained what's wrong (it actually seems a bit silly because it's a teeny tiny pixel, but I swear once you notice it it's all you ever see), and after what seemed like ten thousand years, the staff grabs a new box and hands it to me. I swear I almost burst into tears. And yes, we did check the new one for dead pixels. So now I'm using the new Macbook and grinning ear to ear. Thank you thank you thank you Yodobashi person who replaced my laptop. And a billion thanks to the boss for helping me out because I'm pretty sure if it was just me I would've gone home in tears.

Anyway, on to other (random) things.




This is from the GA sisters and I thought it was really sweet and I really really love gifts because I'm shallow like that (but I mean, who doesn't love gifts?).


When they handed it to me they said "Here; get fat! get fat!" and now that I've opened it everything makes sense.

Oh, and I'm happy to announce that after a week of substituting tea for coffee I no longer get heartburns. I get a bit sluggish in the office, though, so maybe I'd sneak in a cup of coffee once in a while. The bad news is, I'm halfway through my two favorite teas after only a week.


So out of the three types I got from Teavana I ended up liking just one and it's MateVana, which isn't too surprising since this is supposedly for coffee lovers. I don't know how to describe the taste exactly, but, well, it's smooth and sort of earthy and not herbal or fruity.


This one's from Lupicia which has a stall in Shinjuku station so it's infinitely more accessible than Teavana (shipping costs are such a b*tch). It's called Bon Voyage and it has cinnamon and spices and blueberries and it's really really yummy but unfortunately it's one of those seasonal blends you can only get during Christmas.

Last but not least, how cute is my Hello Kitty toilet paper? It even smells faintly of strawberries.

2.11.09

Sunday

In an attempt to reduce my coffee consumption to one cup per day I decided to get myself a fancy teamaker, if only to make tea more appealing. Now I am no tea connoisseur; if tea were music I'd be liking pop rock. And I really hate green tea. Since it's served in most restaurants here I've developed some form of tolerance for it, but if I had a choice I would never ever ever drink green tea. But, in light of the heartburns that have been recurring at an alarming frequency (and maybe getting worse each time) I figured I should at least attempt to switch.

Anyway, to cut the crap, I got my teamaker today. It was a bit intense when someone rang the doorbell but he had an ID and he showed me the package through the video camera which to me was enough assurance that it wasn't the "scary person" (or as our wonderful GA likes to call him, "stupid man").


I got the teamaker and I thought while I'm at it I'd sample a couple of teas, so I ordered 2 oz. each of MateVana, Strawberry Slender Pur-Erh, and Rooibos Tropica. Uh-huh. I cannot get any more clueless than this. But, I have tried the first two and they were surprisingly good, and the third one smells so so so wonderfully fruity. Now the teamaker is practically idiotproof and I'm pretty pleased with it.

I have yet to see if these can keep me functional for an entire day, though. See, this is where I spent the entire afternoon:


My activities were limited to the following:

1. Alcogel
2. Use new Macbook
3. Wipe off the lint from the new Macbook
4. Drink tea
5. Use the old Macbook
6. Alcogel
7. Hold up the new Macbook against the light to see if there are any scratches
8. Wipe the new Macbook with a microfiber cloth
9. Repeat steps 1-8

Anyway, gotta go. Work tomorrow.