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Philippians 12:21

21 December 2015
Steve Harvey giveth the crown, and Steve Harvey taketh away.

The Philippines has not won Miss Universe in more than four decades. I myself have been waiting for this moment since Dindi Gallardo lost to Dayanara Torres in 1993 (technically the first pageant I watched was in 1992 when Namibia won, but I didn't know who Miss Philippines was, nor understand the whole concept of the pageant in general).

And now that it has finally happened, it had to be like this.
Goddammit Steve Harvey. You had one job.

Holy mother of cringe.
Seriously, what in the actual f*ck.

And while it's admirable, the level of composure that the girls showed after this... blunder, I think the only acceptable way to have gone about it would be to tear the crown to pieces and throw chunks of it at the other girls.

A piece for Miss USA, a partial Miss Universe.
And a piece for Miss Colombia. She has been severely humiliated, but she still looks like a rock star.
And none for Gretchen Wieners Steve Harvey.

... Still a great night

Five Things

20 December 2015

{Calbee Yuzu-Chili Potato Chips}

So, so very good, and now I can't find it anywhere. Damn seasonal flavors.


I've seen more baumkuchen in Yokohama alone than in a Weihnachtsmarkt. I even won one as a consolation prize in our office Christmas party. It's good, but I cannot for the life of me understand why it is such a big deal in these parts. I feel the exact same way about Tokyo Banana.

{Guess the Product}

The only characters I can decipher say "Toilet". And then you have a car, no water, and two people with an urgent need to pee (quite an accurate rendering, I must say). Found in the section with the emergency kits and things, so I guess that somewhat clues you in as to whatever this is for. I wonder what that white powder does, though (probably not the smartest thing to keep in the glove compartment, no?).

{Make Your Own Cup Noodles}

The Cup Noodle Museum is a ten-minute walk from the flat. There's not a lot to see (there is only so much you can say about instant noodles, after all), but you can make your own cup noodles - you get to design the cup and select the soup base and toppings. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would (and Abe doubly so - it took him almost half an hour to finish "designing" his cup whilst I being the creative genius that I am merely colored in the letters and signed my name). It was 800 yen well spent (500 for the entrance, 300 for the DIY cup noodles).

{"Mischief" Coin Bank}

This is a gift, but I needed to "test" it, yes?
Will definitely get the panda when it's back in stock.
A video posted by ella yap (@ellayap) on

What I've Been Loving Lately: House Things

11 December 2015
Back to (ir)regular programming ;p

I have gone from "OMG this apartment is so awesome" to "who in his right mind would place the only full-length mirror in the house in the bathroom in front of the shower" (seriously, who?) so I guess it's safe to say that the honeymoon phase with the new flat is over. I still love it to bits though. And while I still have a long list of things to do before I can say I've settled down completely (and by that time I'm probably about to leave), it feels more and more like home everyday.

Dansk coffee mugs

My apartment came with a pair of white, nondescript mugs, which I like but they hold such a paltry amount of coffee that it gets cold almost immediately. It took me three weeks to get bigger ones because these days I've been so picky. I think it comes with the whole "minimalist" territory, i.e. if this mug is the only mug I'm getting then it better be perfect. It's annoying and very frustrating, but it has done a good job of keeping me from accumulating stuff.

I found these mugs in the outlet store in Torihama. I am unfamiliar with the brand, but they do have a lot of very pretty enameled cookware (which I am also tempted to get). I've always wanted a red coffee mug, thanks to years of watching Nescafe commercials, and quite predictably I got a white one as well. They hold a good amount of liquid, and the handles are surprisingly ergonomic.

My Kitchen Drawer

Surprise! It's a grill!

I am told it's a common feature of Japanese kitchens. It's technically a broiler, with a heating element on both the top and bottom. The best part is once you slam it shut all the smoke goes straight to the ventilation system - I can now cook pork belly without smelling it on my clothes for days.

Naturally I inaugurated it with twice-cooked adobo (wrapped in shiso leaves because we're fancy like that) and it performed superbly. It works for roasted veggies as well, and for reheating random deep-fried things from the depachika.

Laundry Gel Balls

Granted, measuring out the proper amount of detergent for a load of laundry is not rocket science, but there is just something so immensely satisfying when you chuck in that gel ball and call it a day. Plus they are so cute and squishy! And they smell awesome too :)

Spiced Apple Cider

Whenever I drink apple cider I think of Prague, that one time I ducked into a random cafe to escape from the cold winter rain.

I got this from Dean & Deluca, and while I'm sure it's nowhere close to apple cider made from scratch, it's perfect for lazy winter nights when I'm all bundled up in the couch watching Animal Planet - all I have to do is boil some water, mix in a bit of syrup, and hmnmnmnmnm instant comfort <3

Minato Mirai 21

03 December 2015
So I've been living here for a month now. An entire month. It's kinda nuts.

Minato Mirai feels like that one corner of Sim City that you always keep pristine and pretty - full of gleaming high rises, picturesque buildings, and a giant Ferris Wheel thrown in for good measure.

And to think I was initially opposed to living here - the agent in charge of arranging my accommodations only recommended one option, and because I have become jaded after dealing with one too many failed rentals I was naturally apprehensive (and maybe a bit suspicious). Thankfully my fears were unfounded because I am utterly smitten with my apartment. I often find myself wanting to hug my kitchen (and maybe I have).

Having lived (comfortably, may I add) in studios just a wee bit larger than a shoebox, this flat feels like an overabundance of space. For Japan, most especially. And with a grocery in the next building, a park right across, and a network of malls a stone's throw away, it's hard to find fault in the location.

A couple more minutes of walking and you're in AkaRenga, the Red Brick Warehouse (now a mall), a welcome sight after all that steel and glass.

Life's been good, and I am grateful.
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