10 September 2008

hello Audrey

Meet my newest object of desire. Banana Republic's Monogram Georgette scoop neck dress (pictured). Only a mere $130, which I am completely willing to pay. Unfortunately, the Japanese stores of Banana Republic do not carry this dress. Or they don't on their website, which to be honest Japanese websites are never accurate for stores. For a ridiculously advanced technological society they have leaps and bounds to go for online shopping. But maybe that's part of the Japanese healthy lifestyle. You fit in those awesome skinny jeans at the malls/department stores because you walk all over town to find the perfect pair. Interesting idea. At any rate. Banana Republic's International Inquiries Service Desk has yet to get back to me about shipping it here and allowing me to pay for it here. I have no other option except to possibly exchange yen for American dollars and send it to my mother in the hopes that she will send it to me. But I love this dress. I can imagine it would be perfect for our currently planned New Years' Eve night out in Osaka. As well as dates or ever parties, paired with a jean jacket it could probably dress down rather well. At any rate, I am willing to give up my current fall goal of a pair of nice black, knee-high boots in return for this lovely number. I think it's a bit trendy, but classic enough I can wear it for a few years. Plus it seems very forgiving for those little body issues that tend to plague most people. Now I just have to find a pair of heels to go with it if I can get them sent. Going out shoes were clearly not too high on my priority list when I was packing. Sad.

Aside from pursuing the LBD, I am also in search of decently priced cosmetics and other random items from Japan. I have a feeling I should pick up a points card from the local drug store as I will probably spend several weekends just going up and down the aisles checking out products. One of my goals was to find a nice red lip gloss (to achieve the red lip but appropriate for a Japanese work place). Kanebo's KATE lip gloss in RD-1 has been a good investment at this point. Also at ¥370? it wasn't too expensive. The color isn't as great as I'd like, but it'll do until I can hunt down the Cult of Cherry collection at M.A.C. when it gets over here.

All I ask is that my electric bill is smaller next month. I will need that money to pay for my newly acquired cell phone bill. Gotta love Japanese cell phones.

05 September 2008

Politics Smolitics

Ahhh, so let's do a weekly wrap up of what went down in my political world this week: PM Fukuda resigned. Sarah Palin was trumped as the V-P candidate for the Republican ticket. Her daughter is pregnant and not married. John McCain accepted the Republican nomination (what? like he was going to reject it?).

First things first. In a stunning move Monday night a 9:30 PM Japan Time, Prime Minister Fukuda resigned after under tweleve months in office. And aside from staring at Sakurai Sho on News Zero while I was trying to figure out exactly what everyone was freaking out about, I have to admit I was pretty stunned. Not to say at some point I should have seen it coming, his polls are as close to rock bottom as you can get, his recently policy and cabinet shakes ups did nothing to help that.

But according to media reports he basically didn't tell anyone about his decision to resign. Can you do that? Seriously, as the head of the party that has been in power since the occupation ended and Prime Minister of Japan, can you pretty much blow off everyone and just hold a press conference to say, "Yo. Peace out." ? It boggles my mind.

Aside from Fukuda's amazing resilence to modern gossip, I do not like the look of the new PM. For one thing he just looks conservative. He scares me the same way Sarah Palin's seemingly unshakable hair does. And that whole not supporting a female ascending the throne kind of irks me too. I think it's really funny that Japan freaks out about women being emperor, when as far as most people are concerned they remember the first emperor being an emperoress. And I know I'm going all Western in a matter that really shouldn't be any of our cultural business, but arguably one of the most famous monarchs of Europe is Queen Elizabeth I. I mean, for her day and age, she kind of kicked ass. And that was after Henry VIII have six wives to try and get him more sons than just poor sickly Edward, it was in fact the girls he so desperately wanted to be men that actually ended up becoming some of the most important women in history. Irony is a bitch, no? At any rate, Aso scares me.

NEXT TOPIC. Sarah Palin. Ahhh. The weath of scrambling and head scratching and gasps the McCain camp got from picking her. Hell, up until he did pick here no one had really considered her as a viable option. But she sure did stick it to those wondering if McCain had lost his flair for reform, didn't she? Of course, she might of stuck it to them a little too hard. After all Mrs. Abstience Education might want to look at where it landed her daughter. And no, I'm not trying to attack her daughter or her parenting skills or whatever (not that anyone doesn't hesitate with anyone else's), but let's face it, in a media obsessed with Jamie-Lynn Spears' pregnancy and the galmourization of the Hollywood life style, do not tell me that Ok! and US aren't pounding at the doors of the campaign shops wanting to know if they can get the first picture exclusive. Which, if they allow, I will make serious judgements on her parenting skills. But until that day happens, I will patiently hold all of my criticism.

Oh, yeah, and she scares me. Have I mentioned that. Her hair. Her lack of depth with anything that McCain doesn't seem to whisper the answer to in her ear. Obama make lack experience, but at least he's been up front for the most part on media reports. Can I also comment that I really want to see her and Hillary Clinton go at it? That'd be a riot.

Oh and that other old fogey on the ticket. Poor guy, he's the one running for president, but you'd think it was Ms. Palin. And another thing I don't get, why exactly is the Republican party trying to make themselves the underdogs? How does that work?

AND this "All these right wingers complaining about left wing bias protest too much.

This Palin person is clearly an idiot - she is opposed to the core principles of the Enlightenment. She is opposed to the rules of logic, of reason, of science, of liberty, and freedom." From a random BBC forum post. Okay, I agree on several of those points, but the principles of the Enlightenment? Come on now. We're seriously noy going to argue over the founding principles of out country that seriously were probably deviated from as quickly as the 1860s. Sorry, just pointing it out. The Enlightment is way back there as far as the government of the United States is concerned.

And finally, not mentioned earlier, but just as important. WELCOME BACK TO THE COLD WAR!!!!! Oh how we missed the posturing of the U.S./West and the USS err, Russia. Hurrah for that. Seriously. And Washington and the EU are pathetically responding. And the scary thing is? Most of my students don't think it's all that important to them. Hello North Korea, anybody? Granted North Korea isn't exactly buddy buddy with China or Russia and nor are they very friendly towards each other. But at any rate. The Japanese seem perfectly content in fretting over whether their new prime minister will be Mr. A1, Mr. A2, Mr. A3, or Ms. A4. Sad.

On a good note, I get a Japanese cell phone Sunday.

30 June 2008

keeping track

Meet my MortarBoard. Sold by the MortarBoard league, association, whatever, on campus to raise money for scholarships, it has been my sanity for the past four years (and whenever I actually have a life). Sold in two sizes, this is the larger and is something like 8.5" x 11", while the smaller one that I easily outgrew after freshman year is something like 5" x 6" . . . I don't remember. At any rate, whether I have chosen to mentally accept the fact that I have graduated or not, I am still left without my beloved yearly agenda book. It has a week divider and a large full length column for each day of the week, with smaller rows/columns for the weekends. my only problem is finding a large agenda such as this. While I have several people who have offered to buy me one and ship it once school starts (since they're on a school calendar), I am trying to find something a bit more refined and more practical than trying to find someone to send me one every year. I've looked into several Coach and Cross designs, but none have really struck my fancy. And of course, I've scoured Target for one as well (although, I like the idea of getting a Coach or large luxe brand agenda because I'm quite sure I can get new pages anywhere at anytime). So here is my plea: help me find a large, full size agenda. Suggestions, anything - is appreciated.

And while we're on the subject, I'm kind of looking into a new wallet, since mine is showing the two years of college abuse I've given it. I was thinking a nice small billfold, change purse style . . . any ideas there?

26 June 2008

monies and currency

I found a lovely little gem in my mail the other day. A notice informing me that I'll be receiving my stimulus check in the mail soon. Which is fantastic, just I never expected to get one. Being a dependent and all I thought I wasn't included in the government's very odd plan to mail us all money to try and get the economy going (my feelings on the economy hearken back to my study of Japan after the housing bubble - but that's for another time). At any rate it's a lovely $300 I wasn't expecting to have. And a unfortunately the same day my work e-mailed and confirmed my reservation at the Ramada for training . . . so that's where my stimulus check will go. To Canada. The irony. Because in reality I really wanted to buy another pair of shoes (like Ralph Lauren's Lauren wedges). I never thought shoes would become the bane of my existence but here they are. So sad.

In other related news I went to a bank bank since my credit union here at home doesn't offer the same as PEFCU back at school (another reason why I miss it so). But I wound up asking if I could buy some currency for Japan (especially since I'll get there Saturday night and banks won't open to cash traveler's checks until Monday). And unfortunately the lady ordering it for me couldn't figure out the website, and who am I to try and figure out why the bank's online stuff won't work. So I have been left with little to show from my trip to the bank, except my mother buying me a shirt from SimplyVera at Khol's.

The thing that gets me is, why can't a credit union do things like, cash bonds, order foreign currency, etc. Is it not in the set up? Credit unions are practically taking over banks as the main form of savings and checking, at least for most young people. Or perhaps that's just a Purdue phenomena. Purdue offers a credit union to its students and alumni as well as employees. But Purdue is also a large institution that probably employs hundreds of thousands of people and services over thirty-five thousand students on a yearly basis. My sister doesn't use a credit union through her school, but UVA is a much smaller school. Perhaps they lack the infrastructure to support such a system. At any rate, the annoyance of having to use my mother to do things at her bank and yet keep savings in a credit union else where is becoming tiring and overly annoying. Ah well, welcome to being a grown up I suppose.

16 June 2008

shoeboxes and other randoms

Clearly decorating an apartment is hard work. Especially when you've never seen it, have no idea what you're getting in it, and have no idea what size it is except 'small.' This of course has not stopped me from trying to get an idea of what I want my apartment to be. I spend countless hours scouring Ikea's Japanese website to try and find good and pretty storage solutions. Or search through the endless hoards of wall decals on Etsy. But I have come to the conclusion that I will not spend sixty-eight dollars on a wall decal that I'm not exactly sure will fit my space or design without even thinking about the color of the decal. So I'm resolving to wait until I get over to Japan and to my apartment to try and find decent decals and just have them shipped all the way there. (And using Alchemy to commission some fun seashell shaped decals.)

On the same line of the apartment, goes the job - since it is the reason for the apartment. And the job has quite strict dress code requirements. So I have spent even more hours online looking for things I won't be able to easily find in Japan, like size 8.5 or 9 shoes. (I am especially in love with Ralph Lauren's Lauren wedges but can bring myself to spend $100 on a pair of shoes without any more income than birthday and graduation money.) Close toed, closed heel, high heeled shoes are hard to find in the cute variety. And unless you're in love with high heeled loafers, most are on the pricier side. So TJ Maxx and outlet stores for places for deals - twenty bucks for a pair of brown heels from Nine West, not bad hm? I also find myself constantly on the look out for quirky tops and straight black skirts.

However, I have a feeling the main benefactor of my money spending will be Target. I have a long list of necessities that range from a million pairs of nude stockings to several tubes of toothpaste, I'm afraid I'll look like a very strange version of a end-of-the-world-stockpiler. I apologize if you're in line behind me.

Recommended Websites: Etsy and Ikea WorldWide.

25 May 2008

Hello again. As a I sit and ponder the greater meaning of life (or rather, the idea of was buying those shoes really a good idea?), I have come to a realization that perhaps living far away from my friends in Japan is actually a good thing.

As of right now, GEOS has given me an eighty percent chance of landing in Kitakyushu. The second largest city on the island of Kyushu in the prefecture of Fukuoka. It looks sweet, if not a bit industrial (although as long as there are no paper factories that smell, I'll be happy). It's ridiculously far away from everyone I know (over 1,000 miles). And while that's terrifying it's also a bit exhilarating too. I went to Purdue knowing relatively no one - and I have made life long friends, enemies, and generally good ties with most people I've met along the way. I have no reason to think that this won't happen in Kitakyushu. Except everyone speaks Japanese. That's my only worry. Since especially my Japanese has declined in recent months. :\ Sad, right?

But as I scour the internet for blogs, information, and all sorts of other things about Kitakyushu, I'm beginning to become more excited to go than ever. After all the emotion and desire to not leave school and people behind, focusing on the city where I will be moving makes everything much more real and much more exciting.

For postings regarding Kitakyushu shopping, blogs, and all the research I'll do before hand and once I get there - check out: http://community.livejournal.com/gaikokujin_ne/profile .

02 May 2008

Moving On

My apologies for the months it has been since I last posted, but a lot has happened. I have received and accepted a job offer in Japan. Classes have ended with a strange lack of finality on my undergraduate career. Finals and final papers are finished and done. Residents are moving out with a strange flurry of hurry up and wait mentalities. But for all my love of Purdue's campus during senior week and the lack of there being anyone to interrupt the beautiful weather and absolute nothingness of stuff to do, I am very sad to see my residents move out. My friend, Lauren, always says I'm a mother hen type, and that I don't deny. I just wasn't as aware that I was so attached to my girls. I suppose that says it all. Referring to them as my 'girls' as opposed to 'residents.' But attachment is what I do best, for better or worse.

A friend called me yesterday and amidst the dinner plans and finals griping, he ask if I was excited to be moving. And honestly, I can't say I'm looking forward with complete abandon and excitement. I keep looking back and holding on to certain things. Friends. A boy. Residents. Jobs. Family. Not in that particular order, but I am starting to feel what one of my professor called the human reaction to change, transitions. I am feeling the vulnerability and fear of change and the finality of it all. I want nights of cuddling and kissing and movies lasting until one am when we pass out in each others arms without consequences of things the next morning. I want to be able to call a mental health day because I still have two excuse free skips in all my classes that day. I still want to be a college student. But I'm realizing that while I want to remain in college forever, I am ready to grow up.

Residence halls are great. Don't get me wrong. Heck, I'm planning on coming back for a masters in student affairs (when I do get back). But I can't wait to move into my own apartment. I can't wait to cook my own food and be an adult (in some ways). There are so many exciting things of being a gown up that I look forward to. Although doing so in a foreign country is a bit daunting.

The last point I want to make is about my attachment 'problem.' I know people think it's silly and I'm crazy for telling someone I like them three weeks before he leaves and four weeks before I graduate, but although I knew from the start I'd be more emotionally attached than the situation should allow, I went for it. And let me say, bravery isn't my thing. Not really. Not emotionally. To tell him - to let someone else tell him even, was a large leap for me. But I've learned you only live once. And I believe that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Especially when you realize you like someone enough that when they embarrass you in front of your friends you still like them. Life is way too short to be taken seriously. People who do end up being boring and ____phobic to an unhealthy degree.

And while I might be overly-attached and invested in a relationship that hardly exists and may cry like a baby when my friends leave, I have at least fulfilled my fantasy of making out with him in the elevator.