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Cherry Blossoms

Last year, we flew to Japan to watch the cherry blossoms bloom but thanks to a late frost, we totally missed out. This year, I’m bringing the cherry blossoms to bloom inside because Southern California is awesome like that: the weather has gotten a lot warmer lately and now I can enjoy these pretty blooms from the comfort of my living room.

I wish I had a whole tree but according to the universe, you can’t have everything.

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While most people visiting Japan go crazy over the toys and the souvenirs, I go crazy over the food. Well, I wasn’t super crazy about the traditional food because I was sick of the rice-fish-pickles-noodles combination by Day Three. I was more interest in the fun snacks and candy they have everywhere, from the basement food markets with tons of samples, all the little cafe and sandwich shops in the train stations, the pastry shops, creperies (which I sadly did not indulge in) and soft serve parfait options. Also, I couldn’t buy any clothes because I couldn’t fit in any of them. How wrong is that!? I’m not a giant. There were so many girls in Tokyo that were my size. What gives!?

Anyway, there was one non-food item that I did buy myself, which was a Hello Kitty omamori from a temple in Kyoto for good health, specifically made for my blood type (A). How could you go wrong? It was amazing and went perfectly well with my Marc by Marc Jacobs purse (and any outfit I would wear).

Like any of that matters anymore.  A week after I get home, I visit my grandma and show my omamori off (because it’s that adorable) and what does she do? She takes it, asks if it’s okay she can have it and I am forced to say yes, because whoever says no to their own grandmother is a heartless, cold person. RIGHT?  So in less than 3 minutes (and less than 7 days after I bought my special souvenier), it was out of my hand and lost somewhere in the clutter next to my grandmother’s bed. She’s probably going to give it away, too, because she loves to “gift” things to anyone who’s not related to her. Ugh ugh ugh ugh.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this heartbroken. I came home that night with the saddest face, and it didn’t help that a certain someone laughed at me when he found out, or that my sister blamed me when I called her in a panic in the car ride home, or that my mother pointed out over the emergency long distance call that I’d probably never find another one again because when are we ever going to Kyoto again in the near future?

But I’m comforting myself knowing that my omamori was broken anyway, because of the following:

  • I got sick and threw up four (FOUR!) times the night after I bought it.
  • It made me forget our Sonicare toothbrush in Tokyo.
  • The little bell on the string made me sound like a cat anywhere I went.
  • Did I mention I barfed?? What kind of good health charm makes you barf within 24 hours?

Also, people who write mean blog entries about their grandmothers are not cold, heartless people. They are people with FEELINGS and strong attachments to material things, especially those made out of pink silk and Hello Kitty.

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There’s a Nike store near the apartment in Tokyo, and I only noticed it because they had a giant rubber model of the Nike Free Run sole hanging from the ceiling to display it’s bendable qualities. I never gave it much thought (except OMG GIANT SNEAKER!!!) until I came across this video of Japanese breakbeat duo Hifana hooking up audio sensors to the shoes and creating this awesome music video.

Speaking of running, this was my first time in Japan that I noticed so many runners around Tokyo. The Kaigakan track was across the street from our hotel, which I thought was a feature that most cities should provide–can you imagine a sidewalk designed to be a running track for the public to use??–and almost hourly were groups of runners, making their laps around the circle. Japanese runners go all out, too. We didn’t see regular people dressed in messy shorts and old t-shirts trying to exercise those love handles off. They were decked out in lycra pants, water bottles and even backpacks. Backpacks. If I had to run with a backpack, I’d make sure it was stuffed with tissues I could use as I sobbed my way around. Sometimes we’d even see the same runners twice during our walks around, because that’s how slow we were. They’d run a quarter of a mile in the same span that we’d walk a block. Insane.

I’m going to go eat some Cheetos now.

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Snow in April!

Who would have thought that a random day in April would kick off with freezing temperatures and snow? Okay, maybe if you were in Antartica or something but our trip just became a bit more memorable.

This is the 300+ year old ryokan inn, Tsurunoyu, we stayed at last night that boasts some of the best “out of the way” natural hot springs. And “out of the way” means a three hour train ride, followed by two buses with a bunch of elderly couples into the middle of nowhere.  There were icy snow drifts when we came in, but there was enough green around to remind us that Spring was here. That is, until we woke up the next morning to powdery snow covering the ground and being able to see our breath when we shuffled down the hallway to breakfast–and then running through icy puddles to jump into the outdoor hot springs for that true experience of sitting in a steaming onsen butt naked while snowflakes fell all around you.

And with that, I’d like to officially announce that I am sick of Japanese food, including miso soup, fish, tsukemono, red bean anything but not rice because I could eat bowls of rice all day long.

Also, B would like to officially announce that he’s a huge fan of the toilet butt sprays. He’s been trying every single one in each of our hotels. The last toilet even came with a hot air fan to dry your butt off. I refuse to try them. Toilet paper is enough for me, thank you very much.

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Writing this down so I don’t forget:

  • Find a cove.
  • Kill dolphins.
  • Eat whale.

Wish me luck!!! BRB

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These are my dad’s shoes. I don’t know why he put these bows on them but he thinks they’re cool and they’re for men. That’s what he said when I asked him. My mom even prayed at the temple for him to take them off, but he argued that it allows him to see and find his shoes better. Ugh.

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An 11 hour flight is grueling, especially when the plane is delayed by four hours and the girl sitting in the window seat in your aisle won’t pull the shade down, so you’re sitting in perpetual daylight. But here’s what I occupied myself with:

  • Up in the Air is the perfect in-flight movie.
  • I’m too old for movies like The Princess and the Frog.
  • Don’t joke about your future children being annoyingly fussy with lazy eyes before boarding your flight, because that exact child will be sitting two rows in front of you for the next 11 hours. And will not stop crying.
  • It’s really hard to try to figure out which of the baby’s eye is wonky. I was convinced it was the right one because the left one kept staring around, but later one, I swear the wonky one was glaring at me.
  • When in doubt, always pick the Asian menu over the Western one for your in-flight meals.

But we’re here and it’s all cool and the first thing I see in the morning is this awesome Hello Kitty bus and the first thing I asked my mom was WHY WEREN’T WE ON IT.

I promised my mom that I wouldn’t fight with her for the next 10 days. Here we go.

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FINALLY! Tomorrow we are off to Japan for 10 days. Things I hope to do:

  • Take lots of pictures.
  • Eat lots of odango.
  • Watch lots of TV.
  • Feel overweight as I realize I am an XXXLL among all the anorexic Japanese girls.
  • Appreciate my straight teeth.
  • Argue with my mom.
  • Roll my eyes at my dad.
  • Whine to B.

So basically, I’ll be doing the same exact things that I do here. Fun!

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I was wondering when someone was finally going to upload the McG directed music video of Kirsten Dunst dressed in cosplay for some Murakami art exhibit in London. Well, here you go.

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Jerry Beans

No, let’s not talk about how this commercial features Jelly Beans wearing lacy underpants that get pulled off by the mouths of other Jelly Beans, and how this doesn’t relate at all to new cell phones. Or the fact that these Jelly Beans have butts. Or that Jelly Beans are pretty gross to eat.

Let’s talk about how they’re singing it like “Jerry” Beans. This reminds me of that time I made fun of my mom because she asked for a “grazed” donut. She’s my mom and I’m Asian so that means I’m not racist.

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