23 December 2008

Yoli & Me: When Brown People Unite

YES~!!! No school today - thank you Mr. Emperor for making your birthday a national holiday. Thankfully, I'm taking 3 days off, too.

Anyway, last Saturday (the day after my birthday), Yoli midnighted to my place. She wanted to hang out in my area and do some Christmas stuff before our trip to Tokyo (which is in 2 days, btw). When she got to my place, she decided to take a nap before we headed out to 大阪 (Osaka) to meet up with my friend, Yuko.

Around lunch time, we met up with Yuko near 難波駅 (Namba Station) and walked to a place called WIRED Care. Yoli and I ordered Loco Moco, but it was TOTALLY different than the actual Hawaiian-style version. Instead of gravy, they used this demi-glace burger sauce. It was weird. Oh, and there was this f-ed up lookin' ketchup bottle...looked frozen, but it wasn't. Why was that? I don't know.

We took the train and made our way to USJ (Universal Studios Japan). We had to walk through Universal Citywalk to get there, so we did some side-shopping along the way. And, yes, we had to stop at the Takoyaki Museum, of course~!!!

The main reason why we went to USJ was to see the Christmas show. Yoli and I wanted to feel the Christmas spirit full-blast since it's known to be really commercial here in Japan. We rode the roller coaster, the 3D Spiderman ride, even watched a Peter Pan show. Churros? Had to eat some. We even ventured into the souvenir shops that were more packed than early morning commuter trains.

Dang, we DARK...jk.

Yoli & Yuko

Christmas Tree Hat?

3D Glasses x 3 (+ a random woman)

The Spiderman Ride Car

Christmas Churros

The Christmas show itself was amazing. There was a normal looking series of buildings on the lot. That night for the show, really colorful and winter-ish images were projected on the surfaces of the buildings. There were dancers and singers, people dressed up as angels., and a fireworks finale. It was hard to get good pictures because all these old people kept pushing their way through the crowd to get a better view of the events as they unfolded. And it was dark. And some tall-ass Japanese people were there.

All the songs they sang were traditional English songs, so I started to feel REALLY homesick. After all, it was my first time being away from family for Christmas. Finally getting our fill of "home," we parted with Yuko, and went back to my apartment.

The next day, Yoli and I went to 京都市 (Kyoto City) to do some shopping for our trip to Tokyo.We took a leisurely pace until we met up with Yuko for dinner. We had DE-LE-JUSS Japanese food and weird, but tasty-times drinks.

Monday rolled along, and I had to go to work. It was closing ceremony. After I got back home, Yoli and I headed down toward 宇治 (Uji) to get my haircut, but I didn't realize that all barber shops closed on Mondays. So instead, we just walked around the city; even got some 宇治抹茶ソフトクリーム (Uji Matcha Soft Cream). We went back to my apartment because I had to get ready for a school social in the city with the school staff. Yoli spent time solo in the city during that time.

Tuesday was Yoli's last day before heading back home. We pretty much spent the rest of the day up until Yoli left to soak in the scenery at 伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi Inari Shrine). It was fun being able to explore the unbeaten paths that were hidden behind the obvious ones. We ended up going through a bamboo forest that suddenly became what looked like a pine forest (seriously looked like the California mountains at a point). We passed some vegetable farms and ended up in an area that NO tourist would normally end up (possibly a residential area behind the hill).

We even cut through a forested area and ended up on the other side of the viewing area f the lake. It was cool exploring the area with a good friend. Finally it was time for Yoli to head out. The both of us had fun during the long weekend. Down cuz we're brown~!!!

This is what goes down when brown people unite. WE OUT, SUCKAFISH~!!!

19 December 2008

I'm 26 years old...great.

It's list time~!!!

3 Dec 08 - 4 Dec 08:
Had my mid-year conference! Didn't have to go to school on Wednesday and Thursday, thank God. I went with one of my JTEs. She's awesome.

8 Dec 08:
Started feeling sick. It got progressively worse. I had a super headache, a fever, a bad cough, and a horribly sore throat.

9 Dec 08:
Went to the hospital (trip number 2...DAMN IT) after school. Ended up getting strapped to an I.V. for an hour because I apparently had f**kin' acute tonsillitis. Yeah for prescribed drugs.

10 Dec 08 - 11 Dec 09:
Sick days are a treasure.

13 Dec 08:
It's Marathon Day (マラソン大会) for the kids, and yet I still had work on Monday. Why was that? Whatever.

15 Dec 08:
Kimi's 25th Birthday~!!!

Had class today, but only one 1st grade class. I turned 26 today. Great. At least Yoli's midnighting into town. It should be a fun weekend this weekend.

Transmission Over

02 December 2008

NINJAS in 神戸~!!!

Just to let you know, my father's birthday was yesterday (1 Dec. 08). I STILL don't know how old he is. Whatever. Age is just a number, right? It's all mental~!!! Well, I talked him for like HOURS last night~!!! I really miss my dad.

Anyway, last Saturday (29 Nov. 08), Mitch (a.k.a. Lil' Ninja) and his friend Michelle stayed for a short weekend. Yeah, I've been busy, huh? It was only one weekend before when the EC Crew was over...I'M CRAZY~!!!

We decided to meet in 神戸 (Kobe). It was a pretty chill day. We went shopping and spent some time walking around the Kobe Port Tower and the Port of Kobe (had to take a picture next to Frank O. Gehry's sculpture at the Fish Dance restaurant).

We also wandered around 南京町 (Nankinmachi - Kobe Chinatown), which was interesting. There were a bunch of Chinese folk yelling at you to enter their establishments...in Japanese~!!! The street food was good (my favorite was the shrimp ball that looked like a cocoon or something). We also took a picture with Bruce Lee~!!!

We even went up 摩耶山 (Maya-san). The view from Maya-san was SO amazing, but it was SO f-ing cold, and it was too dark to take proper pictures.

For dinner, we went to a place (forgot the name) for REAL Kobe beef~!!! Yeah, I dished out the money for the SEVEN COURSE MEAL that included red wine~!!! Man, that was BOMB-ass beef. Michelle even started crying because it was THAT good (and cuz she was laughing a lot).









It was a great ninja day in 神戸.

25 November 2008

A Day in 大阪 & Turkey Substitute (EC Reunion Part II)

It was off to Osaka the next day (Sunday, 23 Nov. 08). I initially wanted to take the crew to Kyoto again to see more stuff, but Saiki had major issues with her Apple laptop, so we went to Osaka to hit up the Apple store.

We dropped off her computer and headed to 風月 (Fugetsu), an お好み焼き (okonomiyaki) restaurant in アメ村 (Amemura - America Village). It was DE-LE-JUSS. I'll let the pictures tell the story~!!!

After finally getting back Saiki's computer, we decided to hit up various stores and stuff around 道頓堀 (Dōtonbori). Naturally, I had to take them to the Glico Man, a well-known landmark, and OF COURSE we HAD to eat たこ焼き (takoyaki) from a street vendor before we left. I wanted to show them more of the area, but alas, we were running out of time (I had planned an early Thanksgiving dinner with them). We finally headed back to my apartment.

FINALLY, time to cook in Papa Noel's Kitchen...EVERYONE GET OUT~!!! Just kidding. Since we were all together and we all were scheduled to work on the day of American Thanksgiving, I decided to plan a dinner for all of us. All the guys took turns helping me out in the kitchen. It was rockin' times - sharing funny moments, cooking & breaking bread together, and telling each other what we were thankful for. And seriously, we were just thankful that we were in each other's company.

The Menu:

Herb Chicken in Mushroom Sauce
Garlic Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Seafood Shumai
Mini Meat Patties
Fish Fry
Brown & White Mix Rice
Alcohol, Juice, & Water