Archive for April, 2011

gw gw gw gw gw

😦 I woke up yesterday morning and realized that someone had accessed my gmail account and changed the password. I reset it and updated the password, but it’s like someone broke into my internet house. Sigh.

Anyway, in lieu of actual content, here is some food I’ve eaten lately:

Seiryuumon lunch set in Ikebukuro. Delicious!

Takano sweets we bought together for Valentine’s Day.

Aaaand the 7-11 chocolate thing I bought for Noji.

Miso-flavored Kit-Kats from Gifu. Surprisingly good?

We went to this yakiniku-ya called Ushi no Kura for our company party last quarter and the meat was incredible.

These are called “toronama donuts.” They were a kind mousse with some sponge cake on the bottom. They were just okay, but I got a “nama choco donut” from them as well that was just a tiny ring of delicious chocolate.

Noji made hayashi rice and crafted a cat out of my rice. *_*

Speaking of cats, we ran into these cuties in our neighborhood.

Also, check out these “Invasive Species” straps they sell at the grocery. Nothing says “fun” like learning about some invasive species!

It is almost Golden Week, I can barely contain myself.


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Well, now I can cross off “in the train,” as that’s exactly where I was during the M7.0 aftershock today. We sat in the station for about 10 mins, and then we were off. Life moves on in Tokyo. I was probably more traumatized by the sudden pouring rain that soaked me on the way to the station.

I know that a lot of people have been donating to the Red Cross and other organizations to help the human victims, which is great and necessary, but if any of you want to do some good for the animals, there are two groups that I know of doing rescue work in the North: ARK and JEARS. There are loads of dogs, cats, livestock etc. who were abandoned or lost in earthquake/tsunami/nuclear evacuation– I saw on TV news horses that had were tethered to their pens without food or water for weeks, groups ofΒ dogs roaming the area around the nuclear plant etc.– and they are working hard to rescue as many as they can. If nothing, it’s a good opportunity to think of what you would do with your pets if there was an emergency.

Ahh, Monday. I feel stressed and want to impulse-buy this cat cardigan right… about… now.

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Our apartment, complete with annotations!

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This weekend, Noji and I went to karaoke (have I mentioned lately how much I love karaoke?) and we sang with the “ranking” feature on. The ranking feature ranks your singing against anyone else who has used the ranking feature! It makes karaoke both simultaneously more fun and less fun. I managed to rank number 1s on a bunch of songs, but pretty much only the Katy Perry songs no one else here sings. And an Amuro Namie song (kinda proud of this one). And also a Hikawa Kiyoshi album song!

Hikawa Kiyoshi is a national treasure.

Anyway, while we were singing, another aftershock hit in Ibaraki, meaning we got a bit of a shake. Let me check how my list of “places I don’t want to be during an earthquake” is doing…

– In the office

– In the office alone

– At home

– In bed

– In a toilet

– At karaoke

– On a train platform

– On a train

– In the shower

– Outside

– In a place full of hanging sharp things or big shelves that could fall

– In an elevator

Check out this site if you want your mind blown.

This weekend was also spent carefully considering our tiny apartment and whether we want to renew our lease or not. (And when I say tiny, I mean genuinely tiny– 277 square feet for two people.)

In Tokyo, renting an apartment is almost always a huge money pit. Some (dumb?) people pay up to 6 months rent up front just to get in the place. We were lucky and had a nice agency that rented to us despite my foreigness and Noji’s underemployment at the time; we got our tiny place in brand-new building with no agency fees, key money, or deposit, probably because it’s a kind of weird booney neighborhood. We probably paid about a month and a half’s worth of rent in various fees at the beginning, but that’s pretty cheap for Japan, and now our weird neighborhood has a Uniqlo and a drugstore and a DVD rental shop! (Moving on up!)

Still, our apartment is really tiny and we have this weird hallway kitchen that is really hard to use and there’s no place to put any dishes or a microwave or anything, AND Tokyo apartments have a sneaky “renewal fee” after two years that, in our case, was 1.5 months rent according to our contract. So taking that into consideration, we had been thinking of peacing out of our humble digs and looking for a place with a dining room/kitchen in July when our contract expired. BUT THEN! Our relator must have read our minds and sent us a timely “hey don’t you think renewal fees are lame and were you totally thinking of moving out because of them? well, we reduced your renewal fee for you?” letter cutting our 1.5 month renewal fee in half. Conflicted emotions.

Moving to a bigger place would be awesome but not only would our rent go up, the chances of getting a deal like we did on this place are pretty slim– i.e. 4-5K just in moving fees. So instead, we might just stay put and replace all our weird furniture we bought when we moved in and get a couch and a rug and whatever to make this place more livable. And maybe a fancy mattress, like an adult.

ps I got my hair cut and the whole time my stylist and I just talked EARTHQUAKES! TEPCO! because that’s a legally required conversation topic for anyone you haven’t seen in the last month.

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