December 31, 2012


In Japan it's already 2013.  It's so weird to think that this was once considered the distant future.

Here are my favorite outfits from 2012:













It seems my style have evolved yet again.  (For the better yet again too!)  Thanks to WWZDW for making it more than humanly possible to be like Zooey D.  If only I had the pocketbook to match.

I know it's not quite the new year in Arizona yet so whatever you do, please party responsibly.  I hope you have a great celebration and a wonderful 2013!

December 30, 2012

Home sweet home...

Japan decided to be a huge jerk and welcome me home with pouring rain.  Not the annoying misty rain that Japan usually gets.  It's pouring.  Fortunately inside my station is a コンビニ so I bought an umbrella.  No way did I bring one to dry and warm Arizona.  So I made it to the ATM, the grocery store and home with only the bottoms of my pants soaked.  I'm sitting under the heater trying to warm up/dry off.  

My plan is this: eat dinner, shower and then crash in my own nice warm bed with the heater blasting on me.  My bags are being shipped from Narita tomorrow so I have nothing to do tonight.  Just the way I like it.  They said it might be delayed because of the holiday but they promise some time tomorrow.  I can only hope it's earlier rather than later.

Anyway, just a brief update.  I'm exhausted but glad to be home be it ever so humble.

I hope you're dry and warm wherever you are.

December 28, 2012


It's 8:10AM.  My jet lagged self woke up twice.  Once at around 2:30AM and once about 5AM.  It's okay because I am going back to Japan tomorrow!  (With an arrival of Sunday afternoon blah!)

It's been an interesting "vacation."  Vacation is in air quotes because the first like four days I was here, I unpacked and repacked boxes and after that I packed and unpacked and repacked my suitcases.  I leave with 2 checked and one carry on plus a backpack.  All of those items are bursting with clothes and a few American items I can't live without (Advil, sunflower seeds, Mio).  I think my big suitcase is over by 2-3 pounds.  Hopefully, they will let it slide.  If not, I think there are some 2 pound shoes in there.  :o

The best part of this vacation was seeing all my family (like literally every member who lives in AZ) and the few friends I got to see.  It's okay if I don't get to see everyone.  I know people have their own lives to live just as I am super anxious to get back to my own life in Tokyo and plan some New Year's fun!

I hope I haven't annoyed anyone with how much I gush over Japan.  I suppose the gushing might be amplified as I live there now.

I am so glad I have another week of vacation!  I have a lot of work to do on my closet to try and get all these clothes to fit in there!  In addition, I can't wait to be back in my own bed and cook in my own kitchen.

People have greeted me throughout my stay with "welcome home."  This is fine to say but I feel like my home is not my home anymore.  I have to rely on others to get around and my schedule consists of nothing much.  In Japan, I got things to do!  However, I will always be from Arizona and it will always be my home state. 

I think one of my greatest achievements while here was the two large boxes of clothes that went to Goodwill.  Nothing like moving to another country to make you get rid of stuff.  I think this was huge for me because I tend to keep clothes even if I don't wear them which is super silly.  Part of being a level 1 hoarder, I guess.  I still have problems getting rid of things as there are still boxes which I have no desire to be shipped to Japan but I can't bear to part with the contents.  Maybe I'll get over that some day.  After all, stuff is just stuff.  It can't love you back.  I parted with a lot of things when I left here and even more things during this trip.  Maybe a pattern is developing.

My gosh this blog is long-winded!  Thanks for reading it all if you did.

I hope you have a Happy New Year and the next time I check in, it will be from Japan!


December 26, 2012

(Lost) In America...

I'm trying to write a blog but I keep dozing off.  I am so tired.  Obviously, I'm still jet lagged if my body thought 1:30AM was an acceptable time to wake up.  It never is.  It might, in some cases, be an acceptable time to go to bed but never to wake up.

Today, my mom and I ran all over returning gifts and doing some light shopping and had a Mexican lunch to top it all off.  Later, my sister and I went to Kohl's to spend our gift cards.  Luckily, my family knows how much I love the Kohl's.

I bought these two sweaters (as well as various long sleeved tees for layering):

I am not looking forward to the cold again but I can't wait to wear them.  Neither picture does the colors justice as they are really quite pretty.

In other news, I've seen two friends since I got here six days ago.  I'm actually kinda bummed about it.  I mean I didn't expect the whole town to stop what they were doing and show up at my door but I had hoped more people wanted to see me.  I've been putting notices on Facebook like "Hey, I'm not busy."  No one has responded.  It makes me think about my life (that was) in Arizona.  I think maybe this means that it's officially over and everyone has moved on without me.  That's okay because I have a little life I've built in Japan.  It's nothing spectacular but it's all mine and I love it.  Of course, I may be reading way too much into this and it may be that everyone is just busy.  BUT, I made many gift bags thinking they'd be long gone but there they sit on the desk.  When I look at them, I get sad again.  I have been spending a lot of time with my family which is great.  I'm glad I get to see them.

My boxes are all reorganized and repacked.  The things I decided I wouldn't need are in a separate stack from those I do need (or want).  Two suitcases are packed full.  One is holding steady at right close to 50 pounds.  The other one is a carry on and the last suitcase I'll be cramming stuff into until the minute before I leave.  That's just how I roll.  Unfortunately, I think I pulled a muscle or really hurt my shoulder.  I am in a lot of pain back there.  I'm sure I did it lifting boxes.  It hurts so bad.  Or maybe it's from coughing.  I wish that would hurry up and be done.

Welcome my new reader Sassymoo!  (I'm glad she's here because I have been following her blog for a while.)

Anyway, I'm dozing again.  Hope you're not in this bad of shape!

December 23, 2012

Live from America...

Hi all!

I'm currently in the motherland visiting the fam (and sorting through my crap) for the holidays!

Needless to say, I'm not currently lost in Japan but lost in America.  Not to sound pretentious and holier-than-thou but it's weird being back in America and I haven't quite adjusted yet, jet lag aside.  Oddly enough I forgot how culturally diverse America is.  I live in a mostly Japanese community and there are hardly any foreigners there.  In addition, everyone here speaks English!  In Japan, I am an anomaly for being Western, a girl, and speaking English.  Here, I am an anomaly for living in Japan.  It's a different dynamic and difficult to get used to.  (Incidentally, I think none of the above are reasons to gape at me.)

The trip was mostly painless.  Aside from an escalator being out of service I got to Narita pretty easily.  After checking my bags, I shopped and ate at Narita.

I decided on a big delicious bowl of きつねうどん which if you don't know is one of my favorite things to eat in Japan then you don't know me at all.

I figured I'd probably not be eating any Japanese food on my trip so I went out with some Japanese.  I have decided to gorge myself on Mexican and Cheesecake Factory (neither of which I've managed to eat yet - sadly).

I flew on Korean Air this time and I was for the most part, pretty impressed.  Korean gives you the standard blanket and pillow but also a package with toothpaste, toothbrush and also slippers.  Coach legroom is sufficient but still not as good as ANA.  I watched two movies on the plane, ate, and studied some Japanese.  The food (vegetarian meal) that I ordered was gross.  The first was bland overcooked rice and veg and the second was a rice porridge which had no flavor whatsoever.  I might have to call them and switch to like Indian vegetarian or something.

A couple bad things about the flight, first I sat next to two girls who didn't shut up the entire plane ride.  Second, have you ever flown with congestion?  My advice to you, is that if you're ever congested and have to fly, get the best decongestant money can buy.  I'm coming off another sick and I still have congestion and a cough.  I had no decongestant and upon our descent (both times) I felt like my ear was going to explode and that needles were jabbing into my head.  It was the worst.

So I got to LA even though we were delayed an hour.  After going through customs, claiming and rechecking baggage, finding the Delta counter (after going to the wrong counter), getting my new boarding pass and eating lunch, my five hour layover turned into a one hour short nap (since I didn't sleep at all on the plane.)

Since I've been home, I've seen most of my family (haven't seen my dad yet).  I saw two friends.  And I've unpacked and repacked a shit ton of boxes.

See what I mean:

Since I came to Japan in June, I left my entire winter wardrobe in the States.  One does not need sweaters during Japan's brutal summer.  I came here with two empty suitcases which I have already begun to fill with winter wear.  I certainly don't need it here.  Yesterday, I wore a 3/4 sleeve dress and flats.  It's ridiculous how nice it is here.  I don't miss the cold but I miss Japan already.

My sister gave me the best hair cut yesterday.  My hair looks so cute!  I can't wait to style it properly so you can see!

Anyway, it's 7:30AM here so I guess I have to start the day.  I hope I can make it.  I didn't sleep much last night and I'm fighting every urge to nap through the day.

I hope you're good and not jet lagged or congested!

December 20, 2012


Before I board a plane tomorrow afternoon for the mother country, there was one thing I had to see before they all disappear sometime right after Christmas.

Japan is famous for some spectacular illuminations.  Oddly enough none of the mega famous ones are in Tokyo.  Strange right?  Regardless we have some pretty lovely illuminations.  My friend Kathryn wasn't feeling much of the holiday spirit so I asked her along and we went to two places.

First stop Shiodome:

Blue lights everywhere!

Sea of blue

White tree
Pink tree

Green trees

Projections on the Caretta building

More projections



Santa sees you!

Christmas market

After Shiodome, we headed over to Roppongi:

Tokyo Tower sparkled for a bit...

...and then drew a heart.

Roppongi Hills

White trees


Cars & Christmas

Tree lined street

Louis Vuitton

And giant spider!  Giant rose and regular sized Tokyo Tower.

Managed to photograph the one star viewable in Tokyo.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek at some of Tokyo's illuminations.

I hope that whatever you celebrate that you spend it with the ones you love and you have a joyous time.  Happy Holidays!

December 16, 2012

Saying goodbye...

I'm not good at it.  I downright hate it.  I turn into a bucket of sobs.

Three people I know leave Japan this week for good as far as I know.  You can say to them "It's not goodbye just see you later" but more often than not it's goodbye and these people will rarely walk back into your life again.

I just said "see you later" to my whole life, all my friends in family in the states.  To be honest I have had enough goodbyes for a while and didn't expect to be saying them again so soon.

See you later Christian and Ed.

I feel like I didn't get to know either of you very well and I am most sad about that.  I wish you all the best outside Japan.

See you later Stephen.

Not to get all mushy but I'm really going to miss Stephen a lot.  When I interviewed for my job here, I was taken around and introduced to the very small staff.  As I left the interview, I noticed Stephen walking behind me to get his lunch.  We had a small chat as we walked to the grocery store.  He was so friendly that I forgot all the stress of the interview.  I consider Stephen to be my first friend at the new job.  If you are lucky to know Stephen, you know that this guy is a bottomless pool of talent.  When he's famous, I can say I knew him when.  Best of luck to Stephen.  All the best outside of Japan.

I hope it's truly not goodbye and just "see you later" where these awesome fellas are concerned.

One song best sums of my feelings here.

"It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."

December 15, 2012

In fashion...

Since I'm sick, let's look back on my week in fashion (before the voice kill bug).  It was filled with Peter Pan collars (my favorite type of collar).


It's kind of hard to see but has a gorgeous lace collar.  Thanks to my friend Alice who let me buy this even though she grabbed it off the rack first.  Anyway, sweater Seiyu, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), shoes Fergalicious.


It's hard to see but the sweater is actually navy.  It came from Uniqlo with a horrid smell, even after washing.  Maybe after a few more washings.  Jeans & shirt Kohl's, legwarmers Daiei, boots Chiyoda.


Same royal sweater coordinated differently.  Sweater H&M, jeans Colleen Collection (Old Navy), boots Kohl's.


Again hard to see but a sequined collar this time.  Unfortunately my hair kept getting stuck in the sequins which means this is a hair up sweater from now on.  Sweater H&M, skirt Kohl's, tights Daiei, boots Crocs.

No fashion this weekend.  I'm all jammies all the time.

In other fashion news, I'm working on a blog featuring a very popular trend in Japan right now.  Coming soon!

December 14, 2012


Well, I'm sick again.  This time I've lost my voice which sucks because I love the sound of my voice.

All joking aside, I'm going to tell you something no one told me before I moved to Japan.  Maybe it will help and maybe it won't but I wish someone would have mentioned this to me.  If you move to a foreign country, you will get sick...a lot. 

I moved to Japan in June.  December marks month six.  In the last six months, I've been sick three times and not just a tiny cough or some mild congestion.  I've been so sick I don't want to exist any more.  I was sick when I first got here.  I was sick for pretty much all of November (Happy Thanksgiving!) and I'm sick again (Merry Christmas!). 

I braved the doctor again today.  I think I was lucky last time as my doctor spoke English.  Same place, different doctor, maybe one word of English.  Add to this the fact that I couldn't speak.  Trying to force out words forced out squeaks.  Everyone was really nice though.  The doctor prattled on in presumably the fastest Japanese in Japan.  After he examined my throat, he told me exactly what he was going to do next.  I understood.  He was going to stick a scope down my nose and check it out.  I nodded politely through his speech.  I was fine until he moved the scope deeper.  It hurt so I started to cry.  Again everyone was kind and caring.  大丈夫? 大丈夫? They asked.  (Are you okay?  Are you okay?)  I nodded through it all still unable to speak.  Trying to squeak out ごめんなさい (I'm sorry) for crying.  I thought for sure when he pulled the scope out the tissue the nurse gave me would be soaked with blood but there was not even a drop.  I guess that means he did the exam correctly.  He told me in Japanese that it was very red.  I knew that without an exam.

So the usual routine.  Wait.  Pay.  Go to pharmacy.  Wait.  Listen to explanation in Japanglish.  Pay.  Still around ¥2000.

This is the medicine I got this time (plus something to gargle with):

Fortunately today marks the start of winter break for me and I don't have to return to work until January 7th.  I'm also supposed to jump on a plane for America soon.  I'm visiting the fam for Christmas.  So I guess my vacation begins with countless hours of rest, TV, soup, hot tea and eventual cabin fever.  I hope I get better soon.  I want to see some illuminations before I head to America.

Anyway, this has been my total crap day.  I hope yours is better and you are well wherever you are.  I'm off to sleep and watch a lot of TV.  Maybe not in that order.