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It’s Obon season! Or rather, it was Obon season when I started writing the draft of this post, LOL. During that time, the only people at work were the ones who were stingy with their nenkyuu or had to be on “day watch.” Some days it was just me and the kyoutou-sensei at school, with a teacher strolling in every now and then as if to pick up something forgotten. I still have several days before I have to introduce myself to the students at my new school, so this is the perfect time to sit down to chronicle all the Random Stuff that has happened in my Life recently.

On with the show!

Glasses, 変身!I’ve been wearing Transitions lenses, the photochromic lenses that automatically turn dark when struck by UV rays, for over 10 years. Unfortunately for Transitions lovers living in Japan, they’re not well known here. Most people react with a surprising degree of disbelief when I tell them such glasses exist. Luckily, there is one store in Fukuoka Prefecture that sells them: Megane no Yonezawa in Tenjin. If you’re desperate for Transitions in Japan, here’s the store finder page (Japanese only): Transitions Shop List

This time, I went with a brown tint instead of my usual black. The lenses do go darker, but I guess there wasn't that much UV bouncing around when I took this photo. The frames are "Geometry 1004" by Glass Garden. ♡

Time Waits On All Men? Look at the sticker with the bananas. The piggy one is funny too.

Click for a larger view!

A familiar face One of the things I don’t like about now having to take the train to work is that I’m tempted every day to go to the chain bakery Train d’Or, one of which is set up in all bigger JR Kyuushuu stations. Now, when I was at my old school, I used to stop by the local bakery on my way home on Wednesdays, before going to Japanese class. I liked their “pizza” and their butter rolls, but everything else had a weird flavor, as of cheap vegetable oil, so it wasn’t a challenge for a bread fanatic like me to get something there just once a week. But Train d’Or, with their decadent lightly grilled cheese sandwich? My, oh my…

Anyway, I was so happy to see a tortuga there!

カメちゃん!

“Tortuga” means “turtle” in Spanish and is a common type of pan dulce (sweet bread). Basically, someone took a semita (known as “concha” outside of Honduras and “melon pan” in Japan) and put legs, a head, and a tail on it. This bread was labeled “kame-chan,” “kame” meaning “turtle.” As my brother pointed out when I emailed him this photo, the tortugas made in Hispanic bakeries don’t usually have faces painted on them.

Does throwing yourself through it count as defenestration? I did take three days off during the Obon season, and used the time most effectively to advance in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which I hadn’t had a chance to play in like 2 months. I noticed a pattern: there’s many levels where you get to the final boss/scene by busting through a window.

Why does Gabriel hate windows so much?! (Insert Windows joke here)

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for this game has cooled somewhat. Sir Patrick Stewart is still the bee’s knees as Zobek, but, even though I’ve advanced to Chapter IX, the music is still as exciting as watching wallpaper peel. I don’t understand how this soundtrack actually won an award.

Now for some art geekery Nearly 13 years since gaining international acclaim as the illustrator and character designer of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Ayami Kojima’s work was finally compiled into an art book. Santa Lilio Sangre -緋いユリ- (“Akai Yuri,” the whole title ends up meaning something like “Holy Blood Lily ~Crimson Lily~”) was released last December by Asuka Shinsha. I stumbled upon it online somehow, and ordered it within minutes of learning about it. ^_^; The photos in this English-language review are much better than the ones I can take, so I’ll post only a few of her less frequently highlighted works, those for novels and magazines.

The book's dust jacket, as shown on the publisher's website. When I realized that I had waited literally half my life for this, I felt both old and young.

Originally from 「巨人を挑んだ男たち」("The Men Who Challenged the Giants").

Originally from 「黎明に叛くもの」which translates to something like "The Ones Who Rebelled at Dawn", on the left, and 「異・戦国誌」and 「竜虎伝」on the right. (Not sure how to translate that. "Unusual Warring States Period Magazine" and "Legend of Naga"?) At least, thanks to Fuurin Kazan, I can recognize Sanada Yukimura's six-coin crest.

Originally from 「士方歳三の鬼謀」("Hijikata Toshizou's Devilish Scheme"? -- left) and 「維新の嵐・幕末志士伝」("Storm of the Restoration - Legend of the Patriots at the Bakufu Period's End" - right).

See? Not everything Kojima draws involves guts, insects, and/or pretty boys! ^o^

Speaking of scary things I really didn’t get on the fedora bandwagon until GACKT’s strange/adorable indecision about what to do with his hat in the music video for “EVER” made it absolutely necessary to have one, and I found the wicked Griffin Hat at Hard Rock Café (it has the specific location name on the other side, of course).

One evening, during one of the GACKT FESTAs that I’m wont to throw, my three friends and I decided to go out for dinner. Since we were gonna do karaoke afterwards, I grabbed my fedora, and one friend provided hats for the other two. So there we were, four foreign women walking down the street in fedoras. Man, it’s been a while since I’ve seen people cross the street so fast! >o< We weren’t even wearing zoot suits for cryin’ out loud…

We lined them up at the restaurant, and decided that the wearer of the grey hat was the Doña.

Older Brother Memorization I’ve never been a big fan of flashcards, but I decided that downloading Anki, the digital flashcard program, for quick kanji review wouldn’t hurt. Now, because “Anki” sounds like “Aniki,” and the default Anki icon is butt ugly, I had to change it to a picture of Aniki. That is, GACKT during the YFC lives. XDD

Now, I always want to click on it. XD

Change of Theme? I’m getting a bit tired of my black-gray-white-red blog theme. I think I’ll go back to something that lets me use a header photo. Hmm…

次回!My Old School Costs More Than My New School?

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