Thursday, May 29, 2014

♥ The Bento Post ♥

Hello again everyone! ♥
I thought I may throw some different things in my blog just to keep with my resolution to keep things updated! Annnnnnd, why not? This is my sort of personal area so I'm going to decorate it with all I've got!

So, a few years ago I tried my hand at bento. I love to cook for others so I thought: "Why not cook for senpai?" I'm not very good at it yet, but I'd like to slowly make my way into learning the art of making really pretty bento. I'd also love to one day be able to make a cute bento for myself!

I've been doing them several times a week now, though. I get to use the leftovers from dinner or I buy something specifically to put in there. While I usually like to include most of the food groups, sometimes I like to switch it up. The most difficult part of the learning process is finding out which things taste okay cold and those that do not. 

Carrots, ham & cheese roll, homemade mashed potatoes with skins, with beef and red peppers. 

I thought the blog may be a nice place to share my creations! I hope that my dearest readers will enjoy these posts! ♥

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cosplay Wednesday: The TARDIS

Woah! It's another cosplay Wednesday! 
(Sorry that I've been slacking) 。(*^▽^*)ゞ

I don't think I've really mentioned it here on the blog, but I actually really like Doctor Who. I've had a TARDIS ballgown drawn up but I've never gotten around to actually making it. When I found out I'd be able to go see the 50th anniversary in theaters, I totally wanted to have a costume to wear. I modified my ballgown drawing, because a ballgown isn't very easy for something like this, to make the costume dress I'd wear to the showing. It was my first time making something like this but I think it turned out pretty well!
(I totally didn't go around making vwoorp noises (രᴗര)  ) 

And lastly, a candid photo of me being so excited to be there that I posed next to the sign for a picture with a giant smile on my face.  (A little derp of a smile)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Cats!

I think I need more cats on the blog. =^● ⋏ ●^=
I recently had the pictures from the actual camera put onto my computer from the trip to Japan. Mainly because I needed pictures of the ice sculptures for my next Journey to Japan part (Which I promise will come soon!). I forgot that we had pictures from Tashirojima (Cat Island) on that camera as well. I wanted to go ahead and share an album of some of the pictures that were taken there. It's mostly new pictures but I threw my old ones into the album just for the sake of keeping things orderly. ♥

Created with flickr slideshow.

I kind of really miss some of the kitty friends I made there. Oh! If you remember me talking about the kitty at the shrine, Kuro, I have a picture of her in the album! She's the precious gray tabby doing the elevator butt.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Future Cosplay: Rin - Little Busters

Hello Everyone! I completely forgot about Cosplay Wednesday again. I usually have these things queued up, but since I've been sick lately, I haven't really been thinking about things.

I do, however, have something cosplay related I wanted to post!

While I was in Japan, I wanted to pick up a cosplay from one of the stores there. It's unusual for me to buy a costume but I really wanted one as a souvenir. I also admit that I'm not terribly great at making blazers. I thought that if I bought a costume that included one, I could study it. Mostly because I want to be able to make school blazers.

It's from ACos - Animate's Cosplay store.
There were so many there when I got in, but I'll talk about that in one of my later posts.
I got to try it on before buying it. Well, at least they'll let you try on the blazer and skirt. The costume fit me well and it was comfortable.
The only thing that bugged me about it were the snap closures up front. You could see them even while it was closed, but in the end I was actually okay with it and it doesn't bother me as much now.
The cost was somewhere near 10000 yen or 100 dollars at the time. This particular costume seemed less in price than most of the others, maybe it was less expensive to make?
The quality seems really nice. The blazer is lined and all of the pockets are real. The collar on the shirt is really crisp and feels high quality and the shirt actually feels like a real shirt and not just a part of a costume.

This costume is going towards Rin from Little Busters (though I could use it for any of the other female characters as well!)

I just need to get on top of the wig now; I already have one picked out!

If you haven't watched Little Busters, I highly suggest it. It may seem a little average and slice of life and boring at first, but it gets better- Trust me. (Maybe a bit of a spoiler, but it could interest you if you've lost faith in it before this)

 It has a specific twist that kind of reminds me of all those strange theories people write about movies and cartoons. 

(End maybe spoiler)

Or you could play the game. That might be fun, too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Journey to Japan (Part 6)

I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to go out and see all of the snow again. It had snowed a lot the night before and the day had finally cleared up (though I would have rather had it snowing all day long!). Folding up my futon and getting washed up and dressed, we were ready to head out soon enough.

After describing the amount of snow on the ground the night before, I just had to have a picture beside it to prove how much there was in some places. So on my way to get breakfast, I posed for a picture!

I had to wear multiple layers of clothes just to keep warm while I was outside. What you don't see are the handwarmers in my pockets and at the time, the feetwarmers in my shoes (but those bothered my feet so I used them in my pockets as well).  I love the snow and cold weather, but I don't keep warmth very well.

We all went to the train/subway station to have breakfast. I'm sure I mentioned this before, but train stations/subway tend to have mall-like areas in them. Shops and restaurants line the walkways that lead outdoors. It's a great place to pick up food while you're on your way to your next destination. Don't get lost though. In big places like Tokyo and Sapporo, the stations can be really huge and winding. We actually stopped by a bakery/cafe called Vie de France. It has several freshly baked breads and pastries, which make for a good morning meal. I had a strawberry filled cream cake. Unfortunately I ate it before I even had the chance to take a picture of it. I accompanied it with a box of strawberry milk. For some reason a lot of people seem to think that they don't do milk in Japan. I ended up drinking a lot of milk while I was over there. They even serve it in vending machines and drink it after a hot onsen bath!

I should state that strawberry flavored things are very different in Japan. Their strawberries seem more sweet than our tart strawberries and their strawberry flavors reflect it. I will warn that it is a lot stronger of a taste, too. If you see strawberries in a Japanese store, you'll probably notice that every one of them looks like it was chosen from really high standards. In fact, most of their fruits look like that from the many stores I saw them in. They are also packaged in a way that the strawberries don't end up bruising each other. I think that's very important.

Our group decided that it would be fun to visit some of the arcades and stores in Sapporo after breakfast. I think I managed to only take pictures of Touhou Project merchandise again. We only visited these sort of book stores and a couple of shoe shops (because one of the companions needed some boots for the snow). I also got to do something I hadn't been able to for quite some years- play Dance Dance Revolution on a machine.

I won't go too much into it, but a lot of people have tried to scare others from playing or make them feel bad by saying that the Japanese would make fun of them if they saw them playing. From the many times I saw arcade areas with dance games, it seemed really laid back and the atmosphere was not as snooty as a lot of people would have you believe. This wasn't just on weekdays but weekends as well in several different regions. Maybe I just had a better experience, and maybe the fact that it was mostly foreigners who were playing adds to that.  However, I really get the vibe that people use it as stress relief from their jobs because it was mostly men in suits who were playing the rhythm games. So don't let these people get you down about playing!

Since the version that appeared with Kors K songs on it had came out, I had been dying to play his music on the game. I was happy to play Oarfish especially. There were also several music games I had never seen or heard of before. They have huge sections (or even entire floors) dedicated to music/rhythm games. I recommend trying out whatever you can. Something that looks intimidating might actually turn out to be really fun!

I think I had lunch somewhere in between, but I don't actually remember where or what it was. Since I wasn't feeling my best this day, my memory is a little fuzzy. I may have even just had something from a convenience store.
Edit: I was filled in with what actually happened- We went to a department store- The first floor was dedicated to sweets, especially with Valentine's day just around the corner. I ended up getting a bowl of fresh fruit for lunch. Again, fruit is really nice there and this bowl was no different... well, it had grapefruit and I really don't like grapefruit, but the rest of it was amazing!
At first we were going to eat on the stairs but a woman showed us this little nook- a place to rest while shopping (I hear it's very good for men to go and sit while the women are shopping (・∀・)). The room was decorated with couches and tables. It had a vending machine as well, and a sink to wash your hands after you were finished. In one corner it had a smoking area. You wouldn't smell the smoke, though, because it had glass doors and when those opened, there was sort of a vacuum inside that would keep the smoke from escaping.

We then went to see the Sapporo Snow Festival! Again, snow is kind of a really huge gigantic deal for me. I used to see it every winter, but since I live on the coast now, I never see it. It was decided that first we would start our journey at the Sapporo TV Tower.  There were several food stalls in front of it so the others grabbed food while I had a nice cup of hot maple milk. My cousin introduced me to maple milk many years ago and I've found it really tasty, but I've never had it hot and I thought maybe it would warm me up. It was very tasty and it did warm me up, both by drinking it as well as holding it in my hands. While we were there, I also had a pair of the Snow Miku earmuffs purchased to help keep my ears warm.

The tower had a lower observatory that we walked up to. Again, I'm afraid of elevators. Unfortunately that was the only way to the top, so I didn't go. Instead I looked around the gift shop and ate a few gyoza we had picked up. After that, it was time to see the snow sculptures! Most of these were done by professionals, but some of them were also by amateurs. The two divisions were separated and I think there was some sort of contest going on for them. I don't even remember if I got through them all because there were so many amazing sculptures.

Speaking of sculptures, I don't smoke but one of the most fascinating things I saw were the smoking rooms they had created. They were carved out of ice and if you wanted to smoke, you'd go into one of those. There were also sooooo many other foreigners here. It was the largest concentration I had seen of foreigners than the rest of my trip combined. Most of them had skis and snowboards so I assume that there was quite a good place to do those types of activities at. It was a very interesting experience seeing how other foreigners also acted in Japan. Sometimes it was embarrassing (loud and foul and not smoking in proper areas) but many of them were also really kind and polite.

We stayed out really late looking at just the snow sculptures. I took a bit of video of them as well because I wanted to remember the feeling of being there through video as well as pictures. I think one of my most favorite sculptures was the Snow Miku one, which was also a stage!

And finally, after several hours of walking in the snow, we had dinner. We decided on a little curry shop in a subway station. It was my first time having curry with cheese and I think I probably had my curry like that for the rest of the trip. It was tasty, however, and a warning to people who don't like smoke or can't handle it (maybe it makes your food taste a little strange, too- I know it does for me), a lot of restaurants in Japan still allow smoking inside- often with no separation of smoking and non-smoking seats. Be warned if you see ashtrays on the bar, which you can usually see from the entrance of a store if you're in a train/subway station.

That was remedied, however, when I got to go to a patisserie and had one of their last slices of strawberry shortcake. I'm not a big fan of strawberry shortcake- something about it always seems off to me, but this was the nicest shortcake I've ever had. I'd eat mostly shortcake for desert if it all tasted like this one. And yes, the strawberries in Japan are really that red and pretty.

I finally got to go back to the hotel and rest my poor feet and warm my cold hands, but not before seeing a gacha machine that dispensed underwear for your phone and these really awkward looking cats that you could put on the back of your phone. For those of you who don't know what I mean when I say gacha (Gashapon) it's like those machines you put a 50 cents into and turn the crank and a ball containing a prize falls out for you. They're really popular in Japan and you'll see them everywhere including many different types of items and characters. They may cost more than 50 cents but the items aren't usually the cheesy and extremely cheaply made items a kid might get out of a crank machine here. Gacha is really fun to play, I think.

On my next day out, I would get to see ice sculptures and see an actual Pokemon Center! 

Created with flickr slideshow.

I'm alive!

I know I haven't been posting lately, I even skipped cosplay Wednesday  ( ゚д゚).

I've had a bit of health issues lately that I'm getting taken care of (Hopefully already taken care of). Let's just say that I had an adventure in having many kinds of x-rays and learned how to use an inhaler! Besides all the pain and needles and scary stuff, it was actually an interesting experience because I got to learn about a lot of different equipment and medicines. However, this has distracted me from my usual posting schedules, but since I'm feeling mostly better now I'll try to get back to Cosplay Wednesdays and Journey to Japan posts! Sorry for the delay!

As an apology, have a picture of Drift in a box!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What Am I Listening To #3

If you're interested in finding some new songs (or listening to old ones) -it's another What Am I Listening To post!

I think this IA song is rather catchy! I've been listening to her stuff lately and she's certainly one of my favorite Vocaloids for sure.

I thought this was a very pretty version of Emotional Skyscraper ~ Cosmic Mind (Byakuren's Theme)

A version of Plain Asia (Keine's Theme) that I listen to quite often when I'm sewing. The music is quite calming for me, especially when I get stressed out.

A little different from the things I usually post, but this mix has a special place in my heart and reminds me of fond memories.