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Jumping on the bandwagon... go to Google, type in: "You know you're from (state) when..."

YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA WHEN...

Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you're two. "Backards and forwards" means, "I know everything about you."

You know that going "barefootin" is one of the great joys of life

You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.

"Vacation" means going to Myrtle Beach. (SO true!)

Out of state friends beg you to send them fireworks

You know at least three places to get great fried chicken

You've taken a road trip to South of the Border - and it wasn't Mexico (HELL YES!)

You buy your groceries at Winn-Dixie

You know someone who works at Hooters

You say "cut on things" instead of "turning them on".

If you think everyone from a big city has an accent.

If you have had this converstation..

"You wanna coke?"

"Yeah."

"What kind?"

"Dr. Pepper."

You know the difference between a festival, carnival, and a fair and you wouldn't ever call one of them by the wrong name.

Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

You've seen all the biggest bands ten years after they were popular. (Ah ha ha, so true!)

You measure distance in minutes. (Oh yeah... Liam and I confuse each other all the time over this... He'll be like, "Oh, the 7-11 is just past the hotel," and I'm all, "Yes, but HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE?" I've also had to explain to him the subtle nuances of "I'll be there in a few," "I'll be there in a little while," and "I'll be there after a while.")

You know several people who have hit a deer. (Including my brother!)

You've ridden the school bus for an hour each way.

You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C"
in the same day.

You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July. (Hmmm... actually, I don't...)

Stores don't have bags; they have sacks. (And buggies!)

You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it no matter what time of the year.

You use "fix" as an adverb. Example: I am fixing to go to thestore. (Or you shorten it to "Fid'n to...")

All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, plants, or animal.

You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, beer, and Jell-O salad with marshmallows.

You carry jumper cables in your car.

You know what "cow tipping" and "snipe hunting"
is.

You only own 3 spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires 6 pages for sports.

You think that deer season is a national holiday.

You find 90 degrees Fahrenheit "a little warm."

You know all 4 seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.

You know if another South Carolinian is from the Low Country, the Sand Hills, or the Piedmont section of South Carolina, as soon as they open their mouth.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from South Carolina.



Adding a few of my own:

You travel out of state and wonder why there is no Cheerwine in the soda machines.

You use Duke's Mayonnaise as salad dressing.

You think Charleston is the height of culture.

You know what a sandlapper is.

Your high school had a cattle-judging team.

Weather report says there is a 20 percent chance of snow flurries? OMFG RUN TO THE GROCERY STORE FOR MILK, EGGS, BREAD, DIAPERS, AND BEER!

You know to stock up on booze before midnight on Saturday, because the grocery store won't sell it on Sunday.

You've heard a mother tell her child, "No, I ain't buyin' you nuthin', cause you ain't been bein-have!"

You can still sing the old-school Little Cricket theme song... DUMMY!


Fellow SC-ers... care to add your own???
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[livejournal.com profile] _kataomoi_ gave me this assignment: name five songs you love, starting with the letter P.

1) Push by The Cure.



The Cure is one of those bands I love to listen to late at night, when I'm home alone, hiding from the world, drinking red wine in my PJs, decompressing as we introverts love to do. Robert Smith definitely has one of my Favorite Voices Evah. I saw them live back in... oh, what, 2004 or something? It was a festival, and I had to endure a whole day of crappy Cure-wannabe bands, and hordes of emo/indie/scene/hipster/whatever kids, but it was worth it, because sweet merciful Jebus, The Cure were Ah-May-Zing. It was truly beautiful. Push is my favorite, but unfortunately they didn't do it at that show. It was an incredible concert nonetheless.

Dunno why I like it so much. I dig the weird lyrics (as in all their stuff,) and especially the way he sings "strawberries" with that British drawl, just like Liam does. ;) The video I wanted to use had embedding disabled... it was funny, cuz you could see how people used to dance in the 80's, ha ha. Oh well. This is the same audio.

The rest here )
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I think the ONLY movie to ever truly do justice to the book was The Green Mile. Shawshank was pretty good, but The Green Mile just kills it. (Aside from Tom Hanks' terrible accent...) They didn't leave anything out, and they didn't change anything. I'd rather have a movie be three hours long, and tell the whole story correctly, than be cut to bits and changed around.

I also hate when they cast actors I don't like for characters that I do... Rat-faced, skeletal Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett??? Who the hell okayed that???

Did anyone see The Time Traveler's Wife??? I ADORE that book, but haven't seen the movie... thoughts? Seems like it might have been difficult to translate into film.
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I have to leave at 3:45 a.m. to start my loooooooong journey home... my cunning plan was to sleep from about 6 this evening until 2 a.m. It is now 10:41, and I haven't slept a wink. I should have known. The nerves are getting the best of me.

I fucking HATE traveling. Well, the actual "getting there" part of it. I already feel like a big ball of stress, and I haven't even left my apartment yet.

3 hours on the bus to the airport... then a few hours wait for my plane... then a 12 hour flight to Chicago... then a few hours between flights... then another flight to Atlanta, maybe2 or 3-ish hours? Then a two hour drive home. FUCK.

I always get motion sickness, too. And my sinuses are flaring up, thanks to the blooming dogwood trees. Uggggghhhhh... I already feel like I wanna cry. Traveling stresses me out SO MUCH. I really, really, really hate it.

If my luggage gets lost this time, I will be PISSED. My big suitcase has exactly two changes of clothes, and the rest is OMIYAGEEEEEE... gifts for people back home. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't lose my luggage...

Oh god, I really don't wanna do this... fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck..........
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The seasons affect me, but in the opposite manner than they affect most people... I absolutely fucking HATE the summer, dude. I have a very low threshold for heat. If the temperature rises above about 60 degrees, I think it's too hot. Add the ridiculous humidity of my part of Japan, and you have a very unhappy girl. From May until November, I am miserable. Absolutely miserable. My brain just doesn't work when its hot. All I can think is, "FUCK ITS HOT!!!!" I end up yelling at the kids in my classes, and being very short with the adult students.

The fact that Japanese people DON'T SWEAT makes matters worse. I will be pouring sweat from every pore, my clothing sticking to me, my bra and undies chafing like hell, and my students will all whine about how cold they are if I turn on the AC. I bring a fan and wet washcloth with me to every class in the summer, ha ha. I seriously sponge myself down mid-lesson. I don't care. ITS FUCKING HOT!

Summer makes me want to be a lazy slug. I just want to barricade myself in my living room and blast the AC 24/7. I dread going out and breaking a sweat. Come fall, though, I feel a surge of energy... perhaps because I'm not sweating myself to death.

I'm not a fan of the sun in general... gray, rainy days make me feel peaceful and happy. I LOVED the weather in Scotland when I visited a few years ago. If I could pick the perfect place to settle down, Scotland would be it. Cold, drizzly days every day? Yes please!

Speaking of hot weather, it won't be too much longer until I have to endure yet another summer in Ota... what makes it really bad is that my company is too cheap to turn on the AC until like, August... and then, all my Japanese co-workers will whine about being "samui!" if a single little draft of cool air touches them... I seriously wish I could hibernate all summer.
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I was just thinking about the time I "dated" a guy in college (at Hofstra,) for three months, because he promised to take me to a taping of Late Night With Conan O'Brien when I returned to New York after summer vacation... HA HA HA. We had one very awkward date, did NOT click at all, and he cried at the movies... like straight-up BAWLED. And it wasn't even a tearjerker, just some random action flick. I kept in contact over the summer, pretending to be into him, because I really wanted to see Conan's live show.

My finances took a turn for the worse, and I ended up not being able to go back to New York, so I never did get to see Conan. All that effort for nothing.

A few years later, my brother and I were channel surfing late at night, and I saw him on TV Land on some game show. Ha ha. Weird.

Anyway, I should REALLY be sleeping now... Liam touches down in only 8 hours!!!! I have to at the bus terminal at 6:05 for that oh-so-lovely 3-hour bus ride to Narita airport. :P Bleeeeehhhhhhhhh... Then we have to wait four hours for the next bus out once he gets here... stupid bus schedule. But I reckon that time will fly by. ;) I haven't seen him in 17 months. At this point, it has been so long, it just seems totally unreal that he will actually BE here in a few hours. It's almost like meeting a blind date, ha ha ha. I actually feel... kinda nervous. Heh. It's just been SO LONG... Japan is the land of No Public Displays of Affection, so we are sure to shock a few natives upon our reunion. ;) NO WAY will I be able to just shake his hand and say, "Long time, no see." Ha ha ha. Long-distance relationships SUCK, but the reunions really are quite movie-like. :) (In my movie, Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman..." would be playing during the reunion-at-the-airport scene... it's what's been playing in my head the past few weeks when I think about it.) ;)

Guess I should TRY to sleep, at least. (Squee!)
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First of all, how bout all this Conan craziness????

Longwinded ramblings about Consey )

Anyway, I went to a Green Day concert in Saitama toady. :D Yeah, their newest stuff is kinda lame, but overall they really rocked the casbah. Must have played for about three hours. Did lots of the older stuff, stuff from Dookie and Nimrod... pretty much everything you could possibly wanna hear at a Green Day show. The acoustics were reallyreally good, so they sounded great. Did three encores, one of which was just Billy and an acoustic guitar, playing and singing alone for three or four songs.

Going to a concert in Japan is pretty weird. It was the best-dressed, most fashionable and well-kempt crowd I've ever seen at a concert. None of the mulleted rednecks you see at shows where I'm from, ha ha ha.

True to form, the crowd was extremely polite and well-behaved. I think it was kinda tripping the band out... Billy was like, "Oooh, yeah, I just love these uncomfortable silences..." ha ha ha. I guess part of it was also that most people didn't understand what he was saying when he was talking to the crowd. It was like, "ARE YOU FEELIN' ALRIGHT, JAPAN?!?!?!?" (scattered coughs...) ha ha ha. Plus, he kept saying stuff like, "Yeah, we love you, Tokyo!" when, um, the show wasn't actually in Tokyo, it was in Saitama, ha ha ha. Close, but not the same... They finally got a few people to crowd surf towards the end, so all was not lost. ;)

Anyway, audience awkwardness aside, it was a really good concert. They sounded great, and hey, Billy Joe can really sing! I'm always happy when singers actually sound the same live as they do on their albums. You never know...

Another Japanese thing is OMFG MERCH! You know how when you go to a big arena concert in the US, you have to wait forEVER in a long-ass line to get in... here, you can just breeze on through, find your seat, go to the bathroom, buy a beer, and return to your seat, all in five minutes, because EVERYONE is at the merch table... Merch, merch, gotta have merch! The line for merch was like all the lines for rides at Tokyo Disneyland put together. I bet the people in the back had to wait for three hours to get to the front. And then they will spend 3,000 yen on a really silly Green Day tea towel... sheesh people, buy a t-shirt online for ten bucks!

(Seriously, Japan LOVES merch... at the movie theater, there is weird merch for all the new movies... a whole shopping section in the theater.)

Had some ridiculously yummy あんかけ ラメン and gyoza after the show, then took the train home... I had to walk from my office to my apartment, though... I'd parked at my office this morning, and when I returned, the crappy company car was dead. No shocker there. I didn't use the headlights, and I made damn sure all the doors were closed and lights off before leaving, so I dunno what's up. Oh well. My boss can deal with it tomorrow, ha ha ha.


OH! And I bought my ticket to fly home in May!!!!! :D I'm staying for almost 5 weeks... holy hell, I can't wait...


Liam arrives on Friday!!!!!!!

Peace out for now.

CONAN FOREVER!!!
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Tonight in my junior high class (two girls,) there was a lesson in the book in which the kids had to read a paragraph and fill in the blanks with the missing verbs; words like, "teach," "walk," "drink," and "kiss."

The paragraph was a story about some ficitional family, and their daily schedule. It ended with, "At 8:30, Larua kisses her father goodnight and goes to bed."

The students, not being familiar with English names, didn't realize that this meant a child was kissing her father goodnight. They thought the parents were kissing each other... and they totally FREAKED OUT.

"GASP! KISS!?!?!?!?!" said one of the girls...

"Yes," I replied. "You know, like this..." and I mimed saying goodnight and kissing.

She stared at me in horror for a moment. "But... children! Watching!"

Then I realized what she was thinking. Most Japanese parents never kiss each other in front of their children, it seems. So I pointed to the picture in the book which was illustrating "kiss." It was a mom being kissed on the cheek by a little boy.

She stared at it for a minute, then relief washed over her face. "Aaaaaaaahhhh... This is mother, and child?"

"Yes."

"AH! I... I think... tall mother, little father, ラブラブ!" ("rabu rabu," or "love-love!")

Can you imagine being absolutely shocked to the core to see your parents kissing? Ha ha. (Well, I dunno, maybe some of you can, ha ha.)

It reminded me of an "Oh my god, I am turning Japanese" moment I had a few weeks ago. I was shopping, and these people in line at the cashier were kissing. I am pretty sure they were NOT Japanese, maybe Brazilian... anyway, were I in America or England at that time, I'd have thought nothing of it, maybe not even have noticed it. But after being in Japan for two years and NEVER seeing anyone kiss in public, I actually felt shocked, ha ha!

Ah, Japan. A place where it is okay to read really graphic porno comics on th train or in the 7-11, where they sell vibrators next to the kids toys at Don Quijote, but everyone is shocked to the core if you kiss your boyfriend in public! (Even me, apparently, ha ha!)
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Every time I have a birthday, I think about that Pink Floyd song. So last Saturday I had the very last birthday of my twenties... God, I feel old. Am I where I thought I'd be at age almost 30? Hmmm... no. I never really had a *plan,* but somehow I still feel like I haven't done as much as I should have with my life so far... but maybe I should look at the positive? I finished college, I live independently and support myself, I have lived in two foreign countries, and I have been in a serious relationship for almost three years now, albeit long-distance most of the time. I have paid off ALL my debt except for my student loan, and I'm starting to actually save money for the first time ever. I have a full-time job in a time when lots of people can't even find part-time work. So... not so bad after all, I guess... but I still feel like I'm lagging behind somehow.

Speaking of my relationship, Liam booked his plane ticket, and he'll be coming to Japan January 29th, hopefully to stay this time. :D It might be stressful til he finds a job, but I will be soooo happy to have him around again. Long-distance love sucks, man. It truly sucks.

So, in preparation for his arrival, and also just to make myself feel better, diet and exercise, gambarimasu! Now that my Thanksgiving is done, I have no excuse to eat junk all the time. And now that the weather is cooler, I have no excuse to not exercise. (Unless it rains, in which case, I can do something indoors...) which brings me to my next point...

Anyone have any advice for working out at home, particularly weight training, in a veeeeery small space? I think I can put down a mat in my kitchen and do something there, as long as it doesn't involve needing a lot of space.

Should I invest in some free weights? The only equipment I currently own is a balance ball, and my bicycle, which doesn't help me inside the apartment, heh. What can I do indoors to tone up, build some muscle, that kind of thing?

Any advice appreciated!
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Any quilters among my lj friends?

I want to try and get back into sewing, which used to be my main hobby back home, even though I kinda sucked at it, ha ha. Someone suggested that I make a quilt out of kimono fabric. I could get old kimono at secondhand stores...

Only thing is, I have always been intimidated by quilting, and never tried it. I also don't have a sewing machine, though I could probably buy one. I've seen some cheap ones here. Dunno WHERE I would have space in my apartment for using one, though.

Making a quilt by hand is CRAZY, right? Ha ha.

Any advice welcome!
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If anyone is interested, I have a lot of pics from the past two years here in Japan which I am FINALLY getting around to uploading. I am putting them on Facebook, though, since it's easier, and because my family doesn't read my lj.

If anyone out there still loves me (ha ha) and wants to add me on Facebook, let me know. I still like lj, but most of my pics are probably gonna be on Facebook nowadays.

Plus, new Facebook friends are always good. :D
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I've been in SUCH a negative frame of mind lately, so here are some reasons I am going to be happy RIGHT NOW.

*Because one of my adult students gave me an Anna Sui handbag today. WTF, right? Like at least 200 dollars worth of designer handbag. I tried and tried to tell her it was too expensive for me to accept, but she said she'd bought it a few years ago for her daughter, and her daughter had never used it. WOW. Honestly, it isn't something I would ever pick out for myself, and I am pretty much anti-designer, anyway... but DUDE! Someone gave me a freakin' designer handbag!

*Because some kind soul uploaded three seasons of Daria on Youtube, in very good quality, and the powers that be have yet to take it down.

*Because it is Halloween week at work, which means I don't really have to prep for any kids classes. Just whip out the Halloween Bingo game, and there's my lesson.

*Because I went out for a walk tonight, and ended up JOGGING for a good 5 minutes! Not all at once of course, ha ha. But I did it, and it felt GREAT. If I jog at night, no one can see my boobies bounce... ha ha.

*Because my Wednesday morning kindergarten classes are cancelled tomorrow, meaning I won't have to be at work until about 3:30. :D

*Because I am FINALLY over the Chest Cold of Doom.

*Because the hot weather is gone! I haven't sweated in days, not even when I was jogging tonight! YAAAAAA-TAAAAAA!!!

Tomorrow WILL be a good day, dammit! Just try and stop me!!! ;)
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That song has been stuck in my head for a few days now. It totally rocks. Sweet, sweet Maynard...

Ah, so, what is up, LJ peeps? I have been reading through my lj entries from years ago when I was in college... LOL! Apparently, all I did was work and drink. Every other post is *Oh, I am hungover, blah blah blah...* How I kept my GPA up, I will never know! I don't think I slept AT ALL, either. I was always bitching about my insomnia. Pretty funny to see how far I have come, though. ;)

I also used to post every day, if not several times a day. Mostly to distract myself from studying, I think. Now, I never post. I really should try to post more often. But I don't really have anything interesting to say. I go to work, I spend all day pretending to be interested in what my students say, then I come home and hide from the world so that my introverted soul can recover.

Also, since I have been here in Japan for two years, things are just... normal. It isn't new and exciting any more, so I feel like there just isn't much to say.

I actually went out and socialized last night, for the first time in ages. Usually, on Saturday nights, I go home and CRASH. I work Tuesday-Saturday, and by the time Saturday night rolls around, I am just DONE with people, and need to decompress. But, three of my seven lessons cancelled yesterday, so I wasn't so tired after work. I went out to Saizeriya (a cheeeeeap psuedo-Italian place) for dinner with three friends/co-workers, then went to our local game center, where I spent all my cash playing the UFO catcher machines. Usually, I don't win jack from those things, but it was my lucky day, and I RACKED UP! Ha ha. Tons of stuffed toys, most of which I will probably give as Christmas gifts. Including a huge Elmo doll for 100 yen! I was rather proud. ;)

The weather is FINALLY turning cool, and I am soooooo happy. In a few weeks, it will be time to move my bed back into the bedroom and set up the kotatsu (heated table) in the living room. The autumn fruits are already in the stores (persimmon, which I am not too fond of, and mikan, which are tangerines--I love these!) My fingers and feet feel chilly, and it is FABULOUS! I've not broken a sweat at work all week!

Liam might have a lead on getting an ALT job through my company... crossing my fingers!!!

I am spending the rest of the weekend puttering around the apartment, cleaning here and there, and not much else. Bliss.
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What are your hobbies? I know a bit about some of you, the things you like to do, but tell me more, if you don't mind. Do you collect anything? Do you make things? What do you love to do in your spare time? Other than the usual movie-watching, book-reading, shopping stuff that we all like to do.

I am in deseperate need of a new hobby. I used to do a bit of sewing back in the States. I am reluctant to invest money in that hobby here, though, due to lack of space and the high cost of craft materials.

I'm infatuated with miniatures, and have collected a bit while I've been here... like, a tiny kotatsu (heated table,) plates of food and that sort of thing... I need a cute way to display them without building a whole dollhouse.

I rather like making things, and have picked up a few jewelry-making kits...

Anyway, what do you guys do in your spare time?
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In Japan, you can often get a cute freebie with a bottled drink. Cell phone charms, onigiri cases, small towels... The best freebies ever were the weenie-animal magnets I collected last year... had to buy 8 bottles of nasty-ass Pepsi Nex for those suckers, but they were soooo worth it. ;)

Today in Don Quijote (which is like Wal-Mart on acid,) I found Sesame Street characters wearing yukata (summer kimono!) Had to buy some questionable tea, but meh. Was well worth the 99 yen, methinks. Check out Bert and Ernie all decked out for a summer festival!

Photobucket

Random and weird and cute, eh???

My goal this weekend was to NOT lay around and surf teh interwebs all weekend... so I guess I kinda sorta accomplished that. Ha ha. I did a lot of much-needed housecleaning and laundry, got groceries for the week, and managed not to spend money on anything else. These damn Ota City taxes are killing me... I have budgeted myself 10,000 yen (about a hundred bucks) to live on til my next paycheck. :( Gambarimasu!

I also need to get back on the studying bandwagon... it is ridiculous that I have been here almost two years and know like, zero Japanese.
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My mom sent me some pinto beans and a ham hock, and I finally had time today to try cooking them in my rice cooker... just add water and PRESTO! Aunthentic southern-style pinto beans, cooked just the way I like them! Ohhhhhhhh man... it tasted like home!

Does anyone else happen to make stuff (other than rice) in a rice cooker? Apparently, you can even make cakes and bake bread in them... if you have any recipes, share? Please and thank you!
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So I spent all day laying around in bed watching bad reality TV online. A day well-spent if you ask me. ;)

The best thing about FINALLY having my own computer is that I can FINALLY get an iPod. Five years ago, I used to be fully up-to-date with the music I like. I always knew who was on tour, who had new albums out, who was gonna be on Letterman or Conan... I know it's silly, but being out of the loop for so long, not reading the music magazines regularly like I used to, I feel like I lost part of my personality. Lame, right? Like, how does knowing if Dave Grohl is currently working on a solo project or something make me a better person? It doesn't... ha ha. But it was the closest thing I had to a hobby, so I'm glad I can finally start catching up.

So, if anyone has anything new and good that you're enjoying at the moment, lemme know! You guys know me well enough to know what I like to listen to, right? ;)

I can also post the 500 pictures I've taken over the past year and a half... yaaaataaa!

Who knew a little computer could make a person so happy??? I especially appreciate it now that I'm not in an English-speaking country all day. It's nice to chill out to pirated episodes of lame TV shows when you spent all day making awkward conversation with people, or yelling at rowdy kids. :D
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Went to Yamada Denki on a whim, and got a sweet deal on a baby-sized notebook computer... MY VERY FIRST COMPUTER. Yes, I've finally joined the human race! Now perhaps I can resume my lj-whore status like back in the day...

I have internet AT HOME! Dude, what a trippy concept! I can't get over it!!! :D
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Golden Week, 2008. I went to Osaka and Kobe with two friends. We took the night bus (12 hours) to Osaka. I'm NEVER taking the night bus again, ha ha ha. But it was a fun trip.

Especially partying with the Cookie Monster! )


I also had my picture taken with Andy Griffith's star on the walk of fame... but I look to ghastly to post it. My Japanese friends had no idea who the hell Andy Griffith was. HA HA HA.

Next up... Ueno Zoo, or as I like to call it, "The Most Depressing Place on Earth." Stay tuned!
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These are from last year's (2008) Cherry Blossom party...

Saaaaakura... )
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