16th September, 2014

“When I met death too early
I did not pray for you, or beg for time
to peel back like muscle from the bone.
I thought of our child who never was.
Her hair like mine, a blackberry bush of curls.
Your half moon eyes shining
from her face, always giving too much away.
It is my swan song. My final scream.
The cry of women, my good lord.”

Lady Macbeth Mourns Her Daughter, Clementine von Radics (via clementinevonradics)u

(via Clementine von Radics)

15th September, 2014

…. you probably just saved me a lot of trouble. I usually order Americano when I’m in a cafe and it’s nice to know what I should actually say!

15th September, 2014

themelvincent replied to your post “Cool, where are you travelling to in Oz? Nope, no tipping in general, only in good restaurants, about 10%. Service staff are comparatively well-paid here - you needn’t worry that you’re ripping anyone off. And most people use cards to pay for everything, so you don’t have to carry much cash at all. Let me know if you have questions :-)”

Don’t tip anywhere :) the Gold Coast is fab. It’ll be perfect beach weather when you are there. Are you planning on going anywhere else? Or just spending your time around there?

No clue yet! Nothing is really finalized yet. I know the guys in the group are really into surfing (you’d be surprised how active surfing is up here in northern Hokkaido; people surf well into winter off the islands… I shiver just thinking of it), so I imagine a lot of beach time is my future.

Hope I get to see lots of nature! I love walking and being outside (and not spending money, har har).

15th September, 2014

rogueblood asks:

Cool, where are you travelling to in Oz? Nope, no tipping in general, only in good restaurants, about 10%. Service staff are comparatively well-paid here - you needn't worry that you're ripping anyone off. And most people use cards to pay for everything, so you don't have to carry much cash at all. Let me know if you have questions :-)

Seems like we’re going to the Gold Coast. We haven’t gotten anything down for sure yet. 

Thanks for the tips! Going from America with tipping all over the place, to Japan with no tips ever, I’m nervous about messing up things like that. And I haven’t used a card in real life for… years… jeeze.

If you or anyone else has any advice on how not to be a total idiot in Australia, please let me know! 

15th September, 2014

…. no, but really, I am!
I had originally put aside money for a trip home this winter, but some coworkers have noticed me looking a bit stressed and worn down recently, and suggested something better: a trip down to Australia in January, to catch a few sunny days in the middle of winter.
I’m pretty excited, though I felt a lot of guilt at first. I figured my family would be upset. I was even afraid to tell Dai, thinking he’d scold me for not saving that money instead. But everyone is as excited about it as I am. It turns that pretty much everyone in my life has been worried about me and is glad that I’m taking some time off. 
I’m pretty touched, but that leaves some questions, mainly Australia…. I know nothing about it except that they speak English there, and have lots of horrible poisonous animals (??).
How much do I tip and where? Do people even tip?? Any terrible faux-pas that I will inevitably make?
It’s going to be funny to be the only English speaker in the group, too. Yes, how the tides have turned!

…. no, but really, I am!

I had originally put aside money for a trip home this winter, but some coworkers have noticed me looking a bit stressed and worn down recently, and suggested something better: a trip down to Australia in January, to catch a few sunny days in the middle of winter.

I’m pretty excited, though I felt a lot of guilt at first. I figured my family would be upset. I was even afraid to tell Dai, thinking he’d scold me for not saving that money instead. But everyone is as excited about it as I am. It turns that pretty much everyone in my life has been worried about me and is glad that I’m taking some time off. 

I’m pretty touched, but that leaves some questions, mainly Australia…. I know nothing about it except that they speak English there, and have lots of horrible poisonous animals (??).

How much do I tip and where? Do people even tip?? Any terrible faux-pas that I will inevitably make?

It’s going to be funny to be the only English speaker in the group, too. Yes, how the tides have turned!

(via no shame, we all feel the feels)

5th September, 2014

SHISHAMO - 僕に彼女ができたんだ (I got a girlfriend)

バレないかな 誰かにバレないかな
あの子とデートをしてたこと
バレないかな 誰かにバレないかな
あの子と手をつないだこと

I can’t let it out, can’t let anyone know
that I went on a date with that girl
I can’t let it out, can’t let anyone know
that me and that girl held hands

One of the cuter bands I saw at Rising Sun. 

5th September, 2014

renai-junkie:

a-type:

Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.

aww that sucks :x do you remember what they played? I’ve only ever seen videos of their performances but they’re usually great, so that’s a surprise…

I had trouble remembering (since most of it was remixed anyway!), so I looked it up. Apparently it was:

1. Ame(B) remix
2. ミュージック
3. サンプル
4. バッハの旋律を夜に聴いたせいです。
5. 三日月サンセット
6. SAKANATRIBE
7. アイデンティティ
8. ルーキー

Of that list, only three songs were played fully as you’d usually hear them: ミュージック, アイデンティティ、and ルーキー. And all of that filled an hour’s block… You can start to see the trouble.

Usually I’m happy when they break into a remix because it’s rest time from dancing and jumping (haha), but this time it was like, ok… I’m ready…. let’s go! And just when it seemed to “begin” it was over so fast.

But if you’re planning on seeing them don’t let this discourage you! It wasn’t normal at all.

(via renai junkie)

22nd August, 2014

ashes to ashes, pearls to pumps

OR how not to be a dweeb at a Japanese wake

image

(don’t be jealous of my fake pearls)

A while ago I mentioned I purchased (very expensive) mourning clothes, hoping I wouldn’t need them but glad to be prepared. Sadly I had to use them the other day when a coworker lost his mother.

Working in Japan, there’s a chance that someday you, too, will need to attend a wake and not make a total ass of yourself. So I wanted to give some basic tips so you won’t make a sad time even sadder.

(note: different areas of Japan have different customs and preferences, so be advised)

Unless you’re family, chances are you’ll only be going to the 通夜 tsuuya, aka wake or vigil. This typically happens the day after the death, and the day before the legit funeral. For the family this night is pretty long, but you’ll probably just be attending the service, which is fairly short.

1. Clothes: 

Black black everything black. For men, clothing is really simple, and you probably own what you need already: a black suit, white shirt, black tie, black shoes. If you’re coming straight from work, any dull/dark colors are acceptable; these men tend to sit in the back of the room to blend in.

For women… welllll, it’s more of a pain. The typical outfit is: black dress (or blouse/skirt), black jacket, black stockings, black shoes, black bag. And just black isn’t enough, fabric is also important: no shiny bags, colored/blingy accents, etc. The less skin showing the better; even ‘summer’ mourning clothes tend to be long sleeved.

image
(
a cute family, ready to mourn; click for source)

Most formal clothing stores sell mourning clothes in sets, but you can use your own clothing. However, be careful about the cut: skirts must be below the knee and very conservative. Cleavage or skintight clothing is (obviously) no good.

Here’s my outfit from the other day:

image

(protip: take all photos from an iphone sitting on the floor)

2. Hair, Makeup, Accessories

For guys, whatever is appropriate for the office is probably fine.

For girls…. hahahaha yeah no surprise, it’s more complicated.

Hair needs to be nice. If you have long hair, you need to tie it back or put it up; it needs to look put together. Any hair accessories must be understated and dark colored, so leave the bling at home.

Makeup is weird. Too much makeup, things like colored/sparkly eye shadow or lipstick is no good, but at the same time, no makeup is also rude. Most websites I checked suggest just foundation, concealer, and eye makeup in very subtle muted tones. 

Accessories are also weird. Jewelry and such is a no… unless it’s pearls. I have no idea why, but pearls are considered acceptable and pretty much everyone and their mom will be wearing a string of pearls.

Most people will also be carrying a string of buddist prayer beads. If you bring some, they are worn on the left hand, loosely held around your fingers.

3. Condolence Gifts

So you have your outfit ready, and you’re accessories on point. But before you go, there’s one more thing you need to prepare: your 香典/kouden, or condolence gift. This gift is money and it goes towards offsetting the cost of the funeral. 

Just like for the wedding, you need to use a special envelope. It looks just like a wedding envelop, except with a different message and instead of bright colors it’s all black and grey. 

image

(fancy; click for source)

It’s very important that you write your name on the front. Write it vertically down the center, below  the ribbon, much like the message is written above the ribbon. Fancier envelops have a separate message insert; if so, write your name on that and slide it in.

Inside, you put your money (obv.). For a young person who isn’t closely connected, 3000 or 5000 is fine (NOT 4000, for bad luck purposes). Manners dictate that you must use old bills (because the death was a shock so obviously you didn’t have time to get fresh ones at the bank, unlike a wedding), but seriously don’t sweat it.

When you’ve put money in, glue shut the flap and write an X across the sealed edge, to show that it hasn’t been tampered with.

4. The Actual Service

Ok, so you got your clothes, got your kouden… Let’s get to the service.

When you arrive at the wake, the first thing you’ll do is give your kouden to the receptionist. You may be given a gift in return. You don’t have to say anything, but if you want, something people say is:

「ご霊前にお供えください」- Go reizen ni osonae kudasai.

Next, you’ll take your seat. There will most likely be staff to show you where to sit. 

The ceremony will most likely be Buddhist, so get ready for some serious chanting. When the priests enter, press your hands together in prayer. From there on, just follow everyone: when they put up their hands or bow, do the same.

At some point it will be time to burn incense in prayer. Depending on the venue and the amount of attendees, you will either approach the altar or a small incense tray will be brought around through the seating area. If you approach the altar, the first and last thing you do is bow to the family. 

At the altar or in your seat, the incense is the same. First, clasp your hands and bow. Then, with your right hand, take incense from the right hand area and sprinkle it on the pyre on the left hand side, 1-3 times.

Sometimes, people bring the incense up to forehead-level. You don’t need to do this, but if everyone else is, might as well. FInish with another bow, hands clasped.

imageclick for source

Finally, when everything is complete, the family will line up at the door and you can offer them your condolences as you leave. Make sure that, if nothing else, you bow your had to them as you leave. If you’re at a loss for words, a common saying is:

このたびは御愁傷様です」- Kono tabi wa go shuushou sama desu.

…. and, you’re done!

A wake can be a very emotional time, and you might feel like you’re not doing enough, but honestly the best thing you can do for the family is to keep your manners and make the wake pass as smoothly and peacefully as possible.

….and no, no bathroom breaks, children. 

20th August, 2014

Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.
We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?
Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.
But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo

Had a great time at Rising Sun! But so, so tiring… I’m definitely getting old, haha. They weren’t kidding when they said the music keeps going until sunrise. I was nearly dead by the time Sakanaction finished around 2:30am, but things were still in full swing well into the morning.

We had a tent site close to the main stage, so luckily I could see without shoving my way into the crowd. I saw lots of good music from bands I’d never heard of, and got to see a few favorites too. Things that shocked me: Kimura Kaela’s stage was stuffed with aggressive fanboys (gah!), The Pillows have apparently not aged since I was in high school, and there are people who don’t like BEGIN…. yes, I know, where do these un-chill people come from?

Sadly, Sakanaction, my main reason for wanting to go along, had a terrible set! I went with a couple super fans and there was a collective “…..” after they finished. It can’t cool my love, but seriously, I don’t know what they were going for, and why they felt a major outdoor rock festival was a good time to experiment.

But it was fun! Lots of meats were grilled, lots of dances was danced, flower crowns were drunkenly worn, and I had a nice time with some nice people. Wish I’d taken more pictures…. or, well, more unblurry pictures. don’t drink and photo