Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Great Kuzuha Adventure Part 2: Mystery of the Disappearing Book-Off

So today started a new allowance day. Thank God because JAY'ED's new CD is out and I want it! After cooking pancakes and saying Sayonara to my roommate until late Sunday night (she is going to Nagoya to see her friend and I have the room to myself), I started my adventure.

The day when Joey and I took our little (well, not so little) night time walk to what ended up being Kuzuha, I found a Book-Off. Book-Off is used CDs, DVDs, Manga, etc, very cheap and very awesome! I remember seeing Book-Off that night (twice so on the way there and on the way back) and saying I need to come back and visit. Each Book-Off has it's own selection and some carry more stuff than others like clothes and purses (I particularly love the used purse section). It seemed to be two stories high and sitting at an intersection corner.

Today, I decided I would walk to the post office in Makino, get money, stop at Sanko on the way back and get needed groceries (Sanko has good sales Tuesdays because they are closed Wednesday so I didn't want to buy too much), drop it off at the dorm then head to Book-Off and Tsutaya (I saw a sign for Tsutaya that night too).

After accomplishing the bank and Sanko trip, I put the groceries away and headed out. I start walking pretty confident the Book-Off is no more than 20 minutes away. So I walk.... and found myself at a familiar intersection. I realized then this is an intersection I go through to go to Makino, where Joey and I were trying to go that night. We missed a turn... second intersection, turn left. ANYHOW I continue to walk... and walk............. and walk... and I find the "TSUTAYA THIS WAY" sign. I'm thinking it can't be far from the Tsutaya. So I keep walking... and walking......... and I'm at the place where Joey and I turned. I think here it can't be much further.

So I turn.... and walk......... and walk...................... after walking for some time I start thinking I imagined the Book-Off when I see "BUY SELL BOOKS DVDS CDS" (in Japanese of course) and I get excited!!! I FOUND IT!!! ....wait, this isn't Book-Off. So I decide to pass up this place and keep walking straight. By this time I have walked to Kuzuha... again. I give up on this direction and decide to hit up the Book-Off wannabe store. I go there and it's nice but I couldn't find anything used (they had new as well) that I wanted, and really wanted to go to Book-Off. So I come out and think... he we turned down this road and walked... maybe I found it down this way.

So I walk......... and walk.... and OH FAMILY MART LUNCH! I stop and get a drink and spicy chicken for lunch. At this point I'm pretty content with my food and decided to give up on the Book-Off. I'm not sure what happened to the Book-Off, so readers choose for yourself...

1) I did not go far enough
2) I imagined a Book-Off, twice, that night
3) I confused the wanna-be shop with Book-Off that night
4) I am blond and passed it, twice, today
5) It was there but was replaced with the wanna-ba store

I was actually thinking 3, but that store doesn't look like the one I remembered. I will have to look up the locations for Book-Off and see (which I coulda swore I did before).

So I walk back deciding to just hit up Tsutaya. My CD is pretty new so I'm sure it would not be in Book-Off anyways. But I really want Aoyama Thelma "LOVE" with the DVD. So I start walking back to find the Tsutaya. I think I am lost as I am walking and it has disappeared too (and I am thinking "just watch, Amber, you are going to find the Book-Off after searching for over an hour"... that didn't happen though thank goodness). I eventually do find the sign "TSUTAYA THIS WAY" and start walking that way. I feel like I'm on a road where I will find a Wal-Mart... then I think "Amber, you are silly, there is no Wal-Marts in Japan."

I DO FIND THE TSUTAYA! Good, because I wasn't walking for my health! I walk in and my jaw drops... this Tsutaya has an awesome book selection :D I've been looking for a book store so I can buy an Intermediate Japanese book and part 2 to my Kanji book from Sophia. Unfortunately, the selection wasn't THAT good ;_; BUT! I do find Angels and Demons! IN JAPANESE! AND TINY! So I am looking at it awe and see the price.... like 590 yen... so cheap. Then realize it is in 3 parts so multiply it by 3 and it's about 1800 yen for the full story. But I am still happy. I love this book. So I get part 1. I may or may not read it, and may not finish it if I try... but it is awesome to have. And I get my JAY'ED CD.

So in the end, mission accomplished. But the mystery still lingers... what happened to the Book-Off!?!?!!?


My purchases

Monday, October 26, 2009

Readers... meet Aoyama Thelma

So last night I went to the Aoyama Thelma concert.


Air and I took the 4:15 purple express train to the venue. We arrive about 30 minutes later (YAY FOR PURPLE EXPRESS!) We were able to get in line early. While waiting these girls came around and told us that Thelma's birthday is in 2 days and we can write her a birthday message in a notebook they had. Because I know the singer is fluent in Japanese and English, I wrote in English because 1) I can't write happy bday in kanji and didn't want to take the time to look it up, and 2) my English would stand out amongst the Japanese messages.

Sadly, pictures and video was not aloud :( Because I was with my speaking partner's younger sister who did not want me to break the rules and we were seated in a spot that I could easily be caught, I didn't get pics... BUT AIR DID!


There is one. The concert was awesome. I dance, sang, cried, and we sang Happy Birthday to her at the end when the crew surprised her with a cake and present. They took a pic of her with the audience in the back and it is suppose to be put on her blog, so I'll try to get it and we can play Where's Waldo with me :D

Here are some youtube videos of her if anyone is interested. It is Pop/R&B. She has to be one of my favorite singers of all time.

"Soba ni Iru ne" Guinness World Record song for most downloads via Japanese Cell Phone

"Wanna Come Again" One of her newer songs

Fantastic Concert :) Happy Birthday Aoyama Thelma!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Get Ready... GET SET...


Until then, here are some pictures from Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary School. Remember, we were introducing Halloween, hint my kitty costume <3

(I removed pictures due to privacy of the children)

I'm sharing this one because it is taken in the hallway so you can see the setup of Japanese school.


This is the girl who was also the black cat in the "I am a _____. And you?" exercise.

(see above)

The little girl in the middle is the girl that looks like my little sister but in Japanese girl form. Seriously, if my little sister morphed into a Japanese girl, she'd look just like that... I promise you.

Mameshiba Trivia #2

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"I am a cat. And you?"

Today, I had a crappy midterm. We won't talk about that. It is midterm week and it sucks. But that is a depressing subject...

Moving on...

Today was my first day volunteering at the Elementary School :D We taught kids about Halloween and taught some English grammar. When I got there (half way through with the second group) the kids learned to say "I am ______. And you?" They were given a card with a Halloween themed picture (ghost, pumpkin, etc) and had to find their match by asking others (we played too).

Then we played a Trick-or-Treat game. The kids were matched up, some with us students, and went to the Japanese students and the dialogue was like this:

Kid: Knock Knock. Trick-or-Treat.
Student: Who are you?
Kid: I am a ________.
*kid gets sticker*
Student: I have a question.
*show kid one of the English pictures, ie. wake up, eat breakfast, read book, etc*
Kid: __________.
*kid gets another sticker*

So I traveled with my little girl and encouraged her. It was so much fun! I cannot wait to go again.

Anyways, I'm starting something new on my blog...

I really love Mameshiba characters here. So I am going to introduce them one by one to my readers. Daily trivia...

Bye. Time to study!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Celebrity for a Day... almost

Today was the fashion show in Umeda. The plan was to meet at 8 AM at "Phil's Gate" (main gate at campus) and the guys would drive us to Umeda. So I get there a bit early (thinking we should be on time, and thinking breakfast... mostly breakfast) and go to 7/11. I get to the main gate just a couple minutes before 8 and no one is there. In fact after 8 still no one is there. Then the other 2 girls come, and right when i start SMS'ing Rae because Phil was missing, he came. Of course the guys picking us up were 30 minutes late.

So yes, the guys (who are the designers) pick us up and we ride an hour to Umeda... me recognizing every song being played in the car. I'm not sure if it was a CD or MP3 player going... but it was all my favorite singers! Went from Shion to Aoyama Thelma to Dohzi-T <3

Anyways, we get there and us girls go to a girls room where everyone was getting into wardrobe, and getting their hair and make up done. We got dressed, got our make up (just eyes) and hair done. We all looked great. It was my first time wearing fake eye lashes.

So we went for pictures (which we do not get a copy of because they are professional and expensive I am guessing), finale rehearsal, lunch (which one of the guys tried to turn into something difficult because it may have been taboo I guess if one of the judges saw us in our clothes before the show, so we just wore jackets, ran to get food and ran back), redress, check, practice, then stood in an outside staircase for the show. We were 6 out of about 16 groups I think? We did awesome. We stood around then went on to the finale where we stood scrunched on stage, everyone, all groups, then waited til 5 for the award ceremony. Unfortunately, our stylists did not win :( But they did awesome <3 They are super sweet.

It was like being a celebrity today though... we were the only foreigners around (besides maybe 5 others who showed up, 4 friends of Phil LOL). Every time we went somewhere we had our pics taken. Everybody wanted our picture taken. By the end of the day I was tired of it. Celebrity is not for me...


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fashion Show Rehearsal

I gotta make this one a quickie because I'm tired and still have homework to do...

I knew this week wouldn't be easy...


We are stylish Native Americans with blond hair. It seems like the Japanese guys who are the designers went out without Rae, the one and only American there, to find models and thought foreign girl = blond girl. Of course, tall and skinny for modeling. Oh and Chris is the male they needed. I'm not wearing the smurf blue tights... mine will be in tomorrow. Show is Saturday. Pretty excited. The guys who are designers are super nice. I know I will come out with one picture, I'm hoping to get more and video of the show, but not sure yet.

Anyways... this week is still jammed pack with dance practices, meetings, papers to write, midterms to study for, nights out with groups... so sleepy. I have a vocab quiz tomorrow... unfortunately these aren't words I mostly know. Composition tomorrow to do... 2 speeches next week. Volunteer next week. Yeah, and I'm wasting time here on my blog. Buh-bye.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best Day EVER

Trip to Umeda

This was suppose to be me and friends... but it ended up just me and Joey. And I'm ok with that. I wouldn't have it any other way. It was the best day ever because of him.

So we left on the bus, separating from Ash and Katie for me to get money. The plan was they go ahead to their Anime Museum show and we would meet up around lunch time. So it's just Joey and me, I get money, we go to the station, take Keihan to Kyobashi, JR to Osaka. We are using the JR Loop Line... because Joey is tired and I'm thinking Katie and Ash need time, we got on the train going the longest way(Osaka is 3 stops from Kyobashi, but we went the opposite way so it was like 10-11-12 stops??). It's a loop line, it's all the same. Still 160 yen. I get a text on this ride they they will be there for a few hours and will most likely meet up for the Umeda Sky Building at sunset.

So it's just Joey and I. We walked around some expensive malls (you know a department store is expensive when there is not one but TWO elevator attendants in one elevator LOL). We went to HEP 5 which is a pretty awesome mall, has the not so awesome Joypolis (compared to Tokyo) but we did get to play in the UFO Catchers WHERE I WON MY BUNNY :D IN.ONE.SHOT! I got so cocky i kept trying for more things and lost prolly 1000 yen. Joey, please stop me next time... I know you were trying... but try harder next time LOL. We went to this one game center that had little critters walking around! Like I guess they run off batteries and they hobble and walk around... it was so cute, I wanted one LOL.

Joey ate lunch around the time we got there. About 2-3 hours later of walking, I saw my Sukiya... I've been wanting and looking for one for awhile. And I saw it and gasped, pointed, grabbed Joey's arm and ran like it might disappear if I didn't get there fast enough... I scared him. He thought something was wrong. I got there, got my gyudon, and was a happy girl. We walked around more, went to Yodobashi camera. Then met back with Ash and Katie to go to the Umeda Sky Building for sunset viewing.

We meet at the North Central exit and walk for about 20 minutes to the building. When we get to the intersection crossing in front of the building... Joey and I notice the underground path that basically cuts our walk time in 2/3 LOL. We didn't see it on the otherside. Well we got our exercise right???


Here is the sky building


Me and the view AND MY BUNNY :D All that is missing is Joey.


3 of the 4 favorite people here. Yet again... Joey is missing. One day, Joey, I'll get you HAHA.

Beautiful sunset. I was freezing up there. I didn't have a jacket and of course it's cool here at night now. I was being held by Joey most of the time. He tried so hard to keep me warm up there. It was worth freezing for though. Watching the sunset up there was beautiful. Beautiful ending to a beautiful day. Joey didn't do anything special, but he was the one friend that stuck by me, and I appreciate that. Best friend ever. And so many good things happened and I'm going to pretend it was because he was there. I won my bunny, found a Sukiya, saw a beautiful sunset, survived cold winds without a jacket...

My feet hurt now, I'm tired, and I am on dorm arrest tomorrow. Must get work done.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Walk to Remember

It's started at 11:30 pm when I asked Joey if he wanted to go for a walk. I didn't think we'd be gone too long. So we start walking on the main road in front of the library. We think in about 20 minutes we are going to end up in Makino and we can find a 24 hour restaurant. You think after 30 minutes we would have realized we are not headed toward Makino. And after an hour and 15 minutes or so we realize we are in Kuzuha. Well, we missed Makino by a long shot. There's seriously nothing to do at 1 am, so we head back, just about forgot the way. But we made it back around 2:15ish. My feet are still pounding.

But it was a nice walk.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Raining MELONS :D

So last night around 7:00 pm we went under a storm warning because Typhoon Melon (aka Melor... I can't read obviously. Melon is so much cooler) was coming toward us. Well, at that time we were already getting rain and wind. It was a weeny typhoon in my opinion. Rain and Wind... I slept like a baby last night. It's strange when I go to bed before my room mate. I think that is the second time I've done it. Morning classes were canceled, classes began from 1:00.

This week was meh meh... so much rain. I'm glad the sun was out today. I went to dance practice (slowly getting better... I am using muscles I didn't know I had) and to the meeting. Forked over 1000 yen for my shirt. Meeting was ok, just started to make posters. I'll state here how much I do not like fake people. It's very annoying.

This weekend is a three day weekend :D YAY! No plans except going to Umeda on Monday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All I wanted was a band-aid...

Today was just one of those days... by the end of the day, I wasn't in a good mood. But I kept smiling because I refuse to lose to this stupid day.

So I made breakfast and semi-burned my toast (1). Got ready for school and tripped (2) out of my slippers. Walked to school not realizing while adjust my black flats, I pulled down my sock and I got a sore from walking (3). Damage was done once I noticed. So I go to the clinic with Katie after lunch to get a band-aid but the nurse insists on doctoring it up and requesting I come back tomorrow for a follow up. I leave mumbling "All I wanted was band-aid...".

I walk to town to get my alien registration card and stumble a few times (4, 5, 6). Go back to school by bus, my attitude getting worse, but trying to smile. Seriously, after the 4th incident, I just know there is more to come... I go to the bathroom and bump my head on the door (7) then go to my meeting and there are so many foreigners (the one problem I have against KGU is the amount of exchange students) and the meeting is so unorganized I just leave... I can't take it. I decide to email them my info and see how it goes from there.

I walk back to the dorm and it's super windy and I get dirt in my eye (8) and start tearing up. Stub my toe in the dorm (9). Get splashed by my hot oil (10) while cooking (not burned or anything but enough to make me jump).

Yep... one of those days... where is the hugs???

Bad Day - 10, Amber - 5 (some good things did happen)

Bad Day may have won the battle, but I'm still smiling, so I won the war :D