Note: I'm taking part in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon this Saturday, October 18th, but I will not be posting any updates here.
When I'm not reading or cheering, I'll be hanging out on Twitter and Instagram. Come say hi!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Can you guess where I was today?


Yup, I finally got out to the new Ikea store that just opened near Tokyo a couple of months ago. Had the requisite Swedish meatballs, and bought some stuff (how can you go to Ikea and not buy SOMETHING??) but not too much. I did have to carry it home on the train afterall. But why wasn't it open when we needed to buy things for our apartment at the end of last year???

green tea


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kyoto


view from Kiyomizu-dera

Book #22 - Close Range

Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx

Rating: 3.5 (Good)

Another distraction from my Summer Reading Challenge but I had to get it back to my friend who had borrowed it from a local library. This was my first time to read Proulx, and it took me a couple of stories to warm up to her style, and to the bleak stories themselves. Some of the stories, particularly their endings, left me somewhat unsatisfied, but the harsh, unforgiving landscape was very vividly portrayed, and will no doubt remain the most memorable part for me of this collection of stories.

As for Brokeback Mountain, while I enjoyed the story, moreso with a second reading, it's one of those rare cases where I think I prefer the film. (I also couldn't help but picture Heath and Jake while reading it, though that is NOT a bad thing!!) The story is so conducive to long silences full of underlying emotion, that especially for the character of Ennis, I found the film much more powerful.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

cat-in-the-box


It's pretty warm these days and Bailey's shedding. A lot. So we brush him everyday with one of those funky mitts with soft rubber prongs and it's amazing how much hair he loses. Today I rolled the loose hair into a ball and tossed it to him. He's had more fun than he has in days...chasing around a ball... of HIS OWN HAIR!!!
Why buy cat toys??

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kawaguchi Shrine

TodaySix months ago

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

in a blur


...a geisha in a hurry
(Gion, Kyoto)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

sitting duck


Book #21 - Deafening

1st book finished for my Summer Reading Challenge

Deafening by Frances Itani

WINNER of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize - Best Book (Caribbean & Canada) 2004, Shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2005

Rating: 4 (Very Good)

You can tell that Itani is a poet; each word seemed to be chosen with care. The story follows Grania, who lost her hearing after having scarlet fever at age 5, from childhood to her marriage during WWI. The beginning chapters that described her relearning to communicate, and her family's various reactions to her deafness, were wonderful. Through Itani's rich details, we're allowed into her life and begin to understand what it must have been like to be deaf at that time. As a result, the contrast between her quiet, internal life with the intense noise, and trauma of the war scenes was all the more vivid. Slow at times, but never boring; a touching story.

"Sound is always more important to the hearing."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

sparkling coffee


And yes, it WAS as disgusting as it sounds!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

List of fives

Following MissSin's lead...

5 Movies/DVDs That I Have Watched Recently

Brokeback Mountain
Café Lumière (Japanese film)
Memento
Pride & Prejudice
Vanity Fair

5 TV Shows That I Tend to Watch
- Keeping in mind that Japan is either a bit behind or years behind for American shows!!!

Alias (currently Season 3 here but since I'd never watched it before it's all new to me and the season 1 and 2 catch-up marathons were good fun!)
CSI (currently Season 3 here so lots of repeats for us)
Lost (Season 2 will start here next month)
and I'd really like to be watching House (we saw the first few episodes in the UK and I'm pretty close to breaking down and buying the DVD of Season One), ER (I was all caught up to the end of season ELEVEN in the UK, but they're only showing season FIVE here at the moment), and maybe Desperate Housewives since I saw the first season.
And we'll be getting the DVD of 24- Season 5 when it's available.

5 Restaurants I have Visited Recently

Sushi Misakimaru (sushi bar)
Tsurutontan (udon restaurant)
Tenya (cheap tempura)
Freshness Burger - probably the 2nd burger I've had this year! But we needed a quick bite before the movie, it was next door to the cinema, and it was raining!
um, can't think of a 5th. Haven't been eating out much lately for some reason.

5 Foods That I Currently Enjoy Snacking On

olives
tomatoes (LOVE tomatoes, it's a sad day when our fridge doesn't have tomatoes in it!)
grapefruit (weird, maybe, but I love sour things, and very refreshing in hot weather)
kakinotane = small spicy rice crackers with peanuts
some variation of the many stick type snacks available in Japan, Pretz if I'm in a salty mood, Pocky for a sweet mood.

5 Musicians that I currently listen to

Dixie Chicks - talk about reverse psychology! I'd heard of them but country music??? so I'd never bothered to listen to them. But then I heard the story on CNN recently about all the controversy over some anti-Bush sentiments. So I just had to buy their latest album!
Emilie Simon
The Arcade Fire
Brad Sucks
Also spend a considerable amount of my ipod listening time on podcasts, such as Planet Japan, which always makes me laugh.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

Coolish


Drinkable ice cream for when regular ice cream is just too darn cold!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

watermelon


our first of the season

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fingersmith

I finally got around to watching Fingersmith, the BBC miniseries, on DVD. It's really made me want to read Sarah Waters newest book, Night Watch but I will try to remain strong and wait for the paperback release. Even though that'll be March 2007!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Don't eat


It is to be resarved that you eat a lunch in the precincts.
Trash is burned in temperature, and much 'dioxin' occurs when a plastic and so on is burned. Because it is difficult to burn it at the high temperature, it is the condition that 'dioxin' is very easy to cause with a little incinerator.
It is grappling in the ryoanji not to show hamful material at all to keep many trees and the peopl's health.
Because it is prohibition, it ask cooperation to eat a lunch in the precinct.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

So Zen


Ryoan-ji, Kyoto

Saturday, June 03, 2006


..in need of a little support.

another challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge only began a couple of days ago and I've already added another challenge for myself, and a rather large one at that as it's over 1000 pages.
In addition to the list of 10 books I posted here, I've started reading The Tale of Genji. I've been meaning to read it for a long time but I finally just dug in. At least I've also started the first book of my original list!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Book #20 - The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Translated from the Portuguese by Alan R. Clarke

Rating: 3.5

A lovely fable with a simple moral about listening to your heart and following your dreams. For me it was also about the journey itself, who you meet and what you learn along the way. A quick, easy read, but not life-changing or particularly original.

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."

Also reviewed at:
The 3 R's: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The other Mr. Darcy


Continuing with more Mr. Darcy loveliness, I decided I NEEDED to watch last year's film version of Pride & Prejudice too! (It's all your fault Heather!!)
Watching it so soon after the BBC version though, it did pale in comparison. Some of the story is rushed (how could it not be in only 2 hours), but it's still fun to watch when in need of a quick fix! I think I saw an interview somewhere with Keira Knightley in which she said she preferred the UK ending, and now having finally seen the alternate US version, I'd have to agree with her.

Colin's definitely my favourite Mr. Darcy, but I think Matthew MacFadyen did a good job. I've liked him since seeing him in the BBC tv series, Spooks.
I've run out of visual versions of P&P so hopefully life will now get back to normal! :P