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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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:: Friday, January 27, 2006 ::

Sneak Peek Video



Yea for internet technology. For those of you on real internet connections (sorry, mom) you should be able to watch the video below.



As we travelled throughout Tokyo it was evident a huge blood drive was going on all over. There were even donation points in train stations, often with signs out front reading, "Type A, 150 donations needed, in a pinch, Type O, 250 donations needed, in a *big* pinch*" and so on down the line. This fella was getting out the donations via megaphone in Shibuya.

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:: Kazen 8:02 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
GOT THE POSTCARD! So cute! Thanks!!
 
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Vacation Photos, Huzzah! - Part I



Took me long enough, I know. :P Here's part one of Mark's visit over here, full of photo-y goodness. For those of you not in the loop, Mark is my boyfriend. *^_^* He's currently working a dream job in San Francisco, programming a massively multiplayer online game. He was able to visit for ten full days, wheee! ^_^

Day One - School, Hirakata-shi, and Karaoke

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On Mark's first real night here we went to karaoke--it's a must! Instead of belting out drunken tunes in front of an entire club/bar you do it in a small room, giving only your friends blackmail material. -_^

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Left to right--Nikoli, Birgitte, myself, and Mark. Birgitte was a great friend over the semester, and Nikoli is her boyfriend. It was their last night in the country, so bittersweet! I miss you guys!!!

Day Two - Osaka

Osaka really gets jipped in the guidebooks. Kyoto will get an entire chapter and Osaka two pages. Made it harder to find things to do, but we managed. ^_^

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This drum guy is in front of perhaps the largest restuarant in the world. Like most people, we got our picture taken with the drum guy and never went inside. :P

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This river runs through Osaka, and plays a big part in lore. If you can see, the bridge in the distance has a lot of glass and stuff. Well, the story goes that if you jump off of that bridge into the river below, the local baseball team (the Hanshin Tigers) will win the championship. It got so crowded and jumpy and dangerous during the play offs they put plexiglass on either side to prevent any jumpers. The store on the right is full of crazy crazy things--costumes to dress up as your favorite tv personality (including, no joke, a guy that goes by "Hard Gay"), backpacks and luggage, brand name goods, and even a ride (the thingie with the round red cars).

Day Three - Kyoto

There are soooo many temples and shrines in Kyoto, and we saw a ton of them. As a result, I can't always remember which was which. >_<

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...someplace...

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...some other place...

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Kinkakuji, or "the golden pavilion". One of the most famous temples in all of Kyoto. The second and third stories are covered in gold leaf. The grounds around it are quite beautiful, too:

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There's a nice walk you can follow through the woods, and some nice shops, too. I got a pretty handkerchief here... no, not for wearing during 50/50! -_^

That's all I have time for at the moment... the next entry will be Tokyo, yeaaa! ^_^

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:: Kazen 7:14 PM [+] ::
:: ... 3 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
FINALLY! PICTURES!!
::e continues to live vicariously through her friends::
 
oh- and - he looks like a sweety, all of you MUST come visit... especially if the house thing happens!
J and I are signing the deed in both of our names and the mortgage in my name for now - that's a story that's more for aim than for blog comments...
 
Wow, PICS! Loved them! Oh, he looks like a sweetie...and must be to have come all the way over there to spend 10 days! Uh huh! :)
 
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:: Thursday, January 12, 2006 ::

Lotta Random Fun



Yeaaa for the internet and a blog that leads to an article that prompts a search that leads to an awesome blog. ^_^

Get in on the randomness:

- Notable Name Database - Neat idea, putting bios of people up (though the one I read seemed a bit slanted) along with clickable connections to husbands, children, and even ex-boyfriends and girlfriends (they should really put the prefix "ex" in there, though). Still in beta, with over 16,500 articles. I thought I would search for my first name to see what came up... nothing good.

- Love Daily Show videos and similar comedy? Get a video a day at One Good Move. Turns out Stephen Colbert's term "truthiness" was voted the 2005 word of the year, but he still finds reasons to rant.

- I'm not a fan of Alito, not one bit. I wish I could listen/watch the coverage live so I could be mad in real time (killer time zones) but the transcripts and media coverage do get me sufficently mad as is. -_^

- Mark comes to Japan tomorrow, yeaaaaaaaaaa! Took care of a lot of little things today, like paying for the hotel (well, big little things). Also took a great, long bike ride around Gotenyama and Hirakata-shi--took bunches of photos I hope to photoshop into panaoramas when I get home. The sun was actually out today (we've been living in mostly cloudy land for a while now), and it felt like the stirrings of a New York spring ...but in January.

We're going to be doing a ton of traveling over the next two weeks or so, so if I seem a bit quiet, that's why. I'm sure there will be a ton of pictures on the other side of it, though. ^_^

Time to make dinner, yeaaa! Pasta! ...again. -_^

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:: Kazen 4:19 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
i'm glad you like pasta cuz... well... when you come visit we'll probibly have it atleast once.
;-)
 
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:: Saturday, January 07, 2006 ::

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!


(Or, Happy New Year!)



I can't believe that I haven't updated this thing since December! I'm really falling behind. -_- That being said, I hope that everyone's new year got off to a great start!

I've been having a lot of fun over here. Yesterday I started an intensive section of ceramics. Can't beat the value--my school pays the tuition ($200 or so), and I only need to pay a $40 materials fee. I get to play with a ton of clay and make even more cool things. ^_^ There are only two people in the class total, and the other girl isn't going to show up for another week, so right now it's just me and Sensei. How cool is that? At first I thought it would be a little awkward, but it's not--Sensei and I actually end up talking a lot. :P Sensei is Japanese but he teaches completely in English, and I'm studying Japanese, so we usually end up using a combination of the two. He told me some neat stories about his high school days and a lot of neat stuff pertaining to Japanese culture. I like it because I can pass along fun English phrases like "Black Friday" (turns out Japanese has the expression "in the black", too! Literally "black letter/s") and "to have a lead foot" (I tend to have one on the potter's wheel -_-). Sooooo much fun.

And I'm making neato stuff! Every day there's a new technique. Yesterday it was lidded pots (don't like those so much, not very fun) and today it was big bowls. Fruit bowl sized bowls, over a foot in diameter. Normally you make a ton of smaller pieces off a big hunk of clay, but these bowls are so big that they would become misshappen under their own weight. So you make a flat donut of clay on the wheel and attach a wooden "bat", or a piece of plywood the same size as the wheel, and then make the bowl on that. That way, when you're done, you can take the whole piece of wood off, so the bowl is always supported. Then you attach another wooden bat and start over again. Neat, huh? Today I made four of those bowls, heaven help me get two home. >_<

For kicks I Googled some pottery studios in the US--it's an expensive hobby, between the materials and studio time. Some of the classes give "25 pounds of clay!" to use during the classes. But like, today, in those four bowls, I went through 18 pounds of clay (eight kilos). Soooo... yah.

Tomorrow I have no plans, which is wonderful. Monday is a national holiday, Coming of Age Day, when those turning 20 in the coming year are deemed adults, finally being able to smoke, drink, and vote. It's also my friend's Patricia's birthday. Her parents are visiting from the States, too. There's going to be a party for her at her host family's house, with her real family and friends attending, with karaoke after that, yea! Should be a ton of fun. ^_^

Also looking forward to Mark's arrival next Friday--he'll be here for almost two weeks, yeaaaa! Have a whole bunch of stuff planned for when he comes here, including trips to Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and, of course, more karaoke. ^_^ Can't wait!

I hope you're all doing well, do take care!

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:: Kazen 3:48 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
Damn you both for going and being in Japan!!! Naw, just kidding, have fun you kids. ;)
 
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