Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


woops. SO I went off to my relatives' house in Hamamatsu for a week, and my vaio is back in my hands now.

First 2 days there I feasted like a queen and went to the gym for 2 hours. My ass had not touched a bike machine since the ARC in July 2008 -___- I thank my mom everyday that she maintained speaking Japanese with me, otherwise it would be torture for my Japanese family here. They are such a blessing, and very well deceive my beliefs of shallow artifical Japanese folks (well, some. i'm sorry) I can't even begin praising my Grandma right now, but that I tear up every time I think of the day I will lose her. Okokenough, (this mariah carey &boys II men playing in the background is not helping) The day after, I went down to Nagoya to spend the day with Hanna from Sweden who was down there visiting her broham too. We ended up walking endlessly around shopping areas and a park...and hella bakeries with good looking buns of breads (both our weaknesses). Oh yea while we were walking, this man on a bike cussed her out when she accidentally walked in front of his way with the nastiest face. 1.) You're a dude, you just dont do that to girls. 2.) You are not superior because we are Half-foreigners. 3.) We're not sorry.
Next day, I headed down to Kyoto to visit my mom's good friend. Kyoto...Kyoto..., its basically everything that Tokyo isn't. or at least to me. One thing I really liked was that everyone didnt HAVE TO PICK THE RIGHT OR LEFT SIDE on the escalator in order for people to walk past them. The Golden Pavilion was mos def breathtaking, and the fewdz were delicious.

So if you didn't know, the title of this blog is "Grandma" in Japanese. It's not just about my gratefulness for my grandma, but I happened to sit next to one in the Shinkansen (bullet train) when I was going to Kyoto. She saw me reading an American novel then asked me in Japanese if I was studying English hard right now. This led to the usual brief explanation of me studying abroad for a year, and that I was originally from L.A. yada I thought I was going to end my small talk with her within 5 minutes...nah turned out to be 45 minutes. But a really Encouraging 45 minutes. This grandma, she's 85. With so much energy and endurance. She's a doctor and was on her way to speak at a lecture in Kyoto. What 85 year old grandma still has enough passion to share her knowledge to the future??! She couldn't fluently speak English, but she spoke all these difficult terms without any global warming, a bunch of diseases/sicknesses, political terms. Her hometown was coincidentally the same Japanese hometown as my Japanese family, and her grand-son or something is also currently a Keio University student like me with a dorm in the Yokohama area. Yowza! What really made me warm inside was that she kept telling me that she was so happy that she got to sit next to a young girl like me. Someone who was interested enough to study abroad in Japan, when I came from a big place like Los Angeles, and to successfully speak in a bilingual lingo. (heh) Bottom line, grandmas these days do not make the effort to talk to young people like us because they know we are foolish people still. And Yea, we are. And some of us, Really are. Think about it.

AAANNNDDD...when I came back to my dorm, my Amazon order of 5 novels plus snail mail from Jungle was waiting for me. A very happy face.

Okonomiyaki in Kyoto/Nara...I forgot...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Over : )

It's official. I quit. It's a done deal. And you know what? It felt sooooo damn good. Like it was healthy for my body. I even went out in my dorm hallway and said "I QUIT" out loud just to hear it echo and echo and echo. Oh yea, I quit my dance circle that I'm in here at Keio University. Why would I want to re-live the social depression when it already drove me insane right?
But I will admit, I did feel a pinch, like a tablespoon...nah maybe a teaspoon full of guilt when I told them. It was sudden news for them, but What Can You Do? You really thought I was joking when I told you this news? When I was treated like a straight-up foreigner? When I refused and screamed in my head to behave in a pathetic way to show "respect" to the upper-classmen? Hit that bitch with a bottle.

On top of that I want to thank quite a handful of my treasures--my friends, the ones back at home, and ESPECIALLY THE ONES in Japan, who talked the sense out of me and was basically everything NOT that the circle was. Surprisingly, the 2 people that I told in the circle who remained to be genuinely friendly to me, were not wholly shocked to hear that I suddenly wanted to quit. I hope this country will breed more natives like them <3 Good Luck Japan.
Anyway, I have a feeling this girl is reading this so I really wanted to give a shout out to Erica S. Lampkin. That night I really needed an American blooded person to blab to, and God gave her to me at the wee hours of 1:30 am? She even just came back from Taiwan that night and ugh, although I don't talk to her as much as I should, she gave me responses that I needed to hear.

CADC, I know you guys may be disappointed that I quit dancing, but I'm not. I'll take classes on a weekly basis and such please don't worry (honestly I'm more scared than you guys are). The experience of love you guys show to me, No to everybody equally in the team, would probably be preposterous if the Japanese dance circle here knew about it. (If they caked me, I would've honestly said F*CK TRADITION and not kid about it. ) Gawd, you guys spoiled me...

From now on, just Happy posts. The Good Garbage of Japan. Yeah.

Steven Ni made (MYFAVORITE) banana cream pie. Happy thoughts already -___-

Monday, February 16, 2009


I don't usually call myself a quitter, but its 5 months now and I am seriously considering it. I keep telling myself things will get better, things will turn around, but its either steady or going downhill. I never dreaded practice/call times/performances at UCI, and if I was late, there was always some kinda reason behind it. Over here, I make myself leave for practice in the last minute until I won't be late. I LOVE walking back to my dorm after practices. On top of that, the days I have practice is another additional day I am pissed at myself. So f*ckin pissed that I am too pussy to admit to myself that I deserve better.

Last night something happened that I don't want to get into further detail, but it ended up with me walking back to the station at 9:30 pm in a city where I had no idea where the f*ck anything was. I dance so often now to release anger, instead of to bring me to a happier place.

This country was just turning into a more exciting place for me on a normal basis. BUT I DONT CARE ANYMOREEEEEEEEEEEE. afjlsafkjdweiwefj, go ahead slap me, b*tch at me, I deserve it for being this weak .

Friday, February 13, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day. Today is GORGEOUS in Tokyo, it is currently 72 February!!! Started off the morning with my lovely RA-- Ayano, to an appointment at the Orthopedrics--like I mentioned earlier, my upper back/neck has been hurting since my Mt.Fuji climb in August. Long story short, I have to stick a Salonpas-like patch errday around my back.

So ever since I updated myself with American culture from watching the latest Valentine's episode of 30 Rock this week, I've had a much more positive mood for this holiday. To be honest, it may have been the recurring scenes with the McDonald's McFlurries. Food can make people just Grin sooo easily. Plus this morning, the Starbucks here in Japan gave each customer a chocolate covered candy (like M&Ms), with the word Hugs or Kisses on it...I caught myself smiling like a fool afterwards walking from the cash register to get my sugar/napkins.

...With my spare time here, I've also decided to post up food that has brought me disgust and laughter at the same time. On the left, I don't know if Spencer would approve of me posting his creation, but ANYWAY, haha I fell in LOVE with this photo the moment I saw it. It's an undercooked choco/caramel cake. The picture on the right undercooked pumpkin pie. Just imagine drinking pumpkin pie-- it was cold too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Everything in Eight Months

It is February 2009 aka my 8th month here studying abroad in Japan, but 5 more months to go! I'll kick this off by posting a photo or two from each month highlighting significant events.

All the UC students studying through the EAP program in Japan for a year were bundled into this Tokyo-Kameido, Weekly Mansion for 2 months and a bit. While our summer stay here, we were assigned to take a Japanese intensive course. We easily got to know each other by just looking up/down our floors as you can see, and it was most definetly a blessing...Fast Forward-->Many of us still hang out with each other, no matter how much we get to know other people in our Japanese university inernational dorms. : P That's just how Californians roll.

I made a friend. A friend that I ended up having 30 mutual friends with, according to Facebook. Me and Jess (De la Merced? I still don't know how to spell her last name correctly) decided to go to one of many Japanese summer night festivals where we ate Japanese sweets and other authentic food. Of course we decided to take sticker pictures/プリクラ, because we look G. Fast Forward-->I love her, I love her. I'm so thankful that I met her early in the program. We still hang out with each other we make the best of both worlds later in September.

This is me, Brian, Mike, and Anna probably during level 9 of climbing Mount Fuji. About 10 of us decided to hike an all nighter climb to Mount Fuji. It took us 8 hours to climb up, and 4-5 hours to come back down. Long story short, I was the last/slowest for the trip down (downhill is major killer on the knees) and I still have a recurring backache from the backpack I carried throughout the climb (1 liter and a half of water, hella chocolate, hi chew candies, airbreathalizer can, etc.). Fast Forward-->This climb is still my most memorable and proudest thing I've done since I've been here studying abroad in Japan.


Anna invited me, Brian, and Mike to her relative's house in the country side. We went to Yamagata with an 8 hour bus ride (I haven't gotten that carsick in a longASS while which made me act like a 100% drama queen during the drive, sorry.) This trip was what we all needed at the time. Some time out completely far far away from the city, and just appreciate the country we're studying abroad in all over again. BTW, Anna's family prepared feasts for every meal. It was more than what we needed, but at the same time we were so thankful and satisfied with it. *Thanks Anna for your folks, plus you too : )

And then...Jess decided to enter a video contest that our school back at home (hollaback UC Irvine) was holding. 2 full days of walking around and filming Tokyo was unexpectedly exhausting...but it was worth it. Enjoy!

So I've known this kid Joshua Mou-Jay Shiau since 2nd grade, and luckily he also decided to study abroad for the fall semester in Japan. This is one of our all nighter days after hanging out with MY UC friends. We stopped by for some Japanese style late night grub that Marj suggested near her apartment (baller-ass)...this is also probably around 4 am--right before trains start again at 5 am. Fast Forward--> It helped A LOT to whine and vent to a homie when I honestly hit rock bottom during my study abroad time later.

OKAY! NOVEMBER (rock bottom):
Phase 2 was slowly creeping in by November (the period of time when study abroad students are ridiculously homesick and hates their new residence), but because my birthday(20 yrs) is also in November...things spiked up a bit. A bunch of us gathered first at an izakaya, then went karaoking. I tried a cigarette for the first time in my life...and there are better things in life, 'nuff said.

This is me with Yuki-chan, backstage at one of our 4 dance performances during our Keio University fall festivals. Uhh, long story short...I joined a hip hop dance circle (160 ppl) at my Japanese University, and things were good in the beginning but I felt really distant and HELLA fake vibes during our rehearsal week for the festival. At the same time, my old dance crew back at UCI (hollaback CADC) was prepping for Prelude and placed 2nd place (1st obviously), and it made me realize how much love and care people naturally had back at home. I eventually broke down in public during intermission at one of my performances...and Fast Forward--> It still feels kinda the same right now with our dance practices. I guess some things won't change even if we put ALL our efforts into it. I admit it was an experience I needed to snap out of my spoiled bubble of friends, but this...this was pretty f*ckin painful. *on the other hand, the girl in the picture with me is a really really sweet and nice girl who luckily used to live in the States.

I escaped to my Japanese side of the family, right after the performances ended. This is me and the love of my life (my Grandma), at her house. Being out of Tokyo, away from college students, fellow hormones, PMS, was what I needed...I also needed homemade meals, fresh fruit, vegetables...and spacious rooms. : P


LOVE. A bunch of EAP kids needed this, especially around this time of the year. For some of us, we found this by walking to the LOVE sign near Shinjuku lol...nah nah, we also had a secret santa party. For me, I came back to Love when I went back home to L.A. for the holidays. After being abroad for so long, you kinda HAVE to be at home for the holidays. I have cried at airports at the departure wing, but this was the first time I cried at the arrival wing. Seeing my parents was the best Christmas/late birthday present I could ask for at the moment. You see, the holiday season for Japan is even more commercialized than the States and it is soooo difficult to even feel love in this country. I still remember when a business man cussed me out under his mutterings when I accidentally walked in front of him at the suica ticket gate. Yea, sucks to be you, you Age, you walk Slower, cussing at me won't make you younger. Ass. Fast Forward--> You witness so much sin in Japanese train stations. Heartbreak, crime, foul behavior-it's all there. I've passed by 2 huge painful breakups between young mid-aged couples...Goodness, where is The love.
I don't need to discuss seeing my home friends, CADC, ex-roommates. They define Love for me.

(this is also when the Twilight madness hit me and I turned into a major hermit crab. Oh, and 30 Rock too.)

1st Semester at School has ended...EARLY! I have 2 months and 2 weeks of spring break. Soo, decided to drag Margarine (Marj from 626 Arcadia) on a week-long trip to Kyushu. We visited Hakata/Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima. Each city was completely different, where Hakata was basically like Tokyo but in Kyushu with BETTERMUCHBETTER Fewdz, Nagasaki is basically the Japanese San Francisco, and Kagoshima was the perfect mix of the city/nature where an active volcano was in the neighboring island.

Luckily, our hotel in Nagasaki was in the heart of Chinatown...completely safe too, and we honestly had the best access to our meals ALL DAY LONG. I'm also going to spill it and say that I couldn't have asked for a better person to go on this trip with. She dealt with me when I got my period the night before our trip started, and then when I got a fever 2 days later...and when I had to delay our schedule for an hour with my Peeing pit stop. I'm super glad that I met you from this program (PRETTY LATE THOUGH). Everything just worked out well, to the point where I conveniently take night showers and she's a morning shower person. Ok enough lol, anyway.

No pictures yet for this month, because it is still midway...but we started dance practice this weekend for our performance in March. Basically we have practice everyday ranging from 3-4 and a half hours for a month. No Excuses. Ah well, it's at least definitely helping me with my endurance for the Tokyo March.

Currently Reading: Currently Listening: Stevie Wonder-For Once in My Life