Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I love drugstores. Anywhere, everywhere. Everything in them. Love them. I love Walgreen's and Rite-aid in America. I love how the combination of cosmetics, essential toiletries, and prescription drug counters bring all the generations together into a kind of timeless warp of slightly outdated signage and gentle muzak. And I love drugstores abroad! Beauty products with exotic packaging and mysterious ingredients = ROMANCE EXPLOSION.

Has anyone tried this brand? What is it? How is it?

This seems to be some old lady line of haircare products. Look at those colors. I want it all.

The Junkisui line for acne-prone skin is so beautiful I want to put it in my mouth! I like it even better than the very pretty cobalt-blue Sekkisui. This green is just so perfect! I might actually try the emulsion cream when I can afford to do anything but take pictures in drugstores and then complain about being broke in every single post I make on my blog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

POP QUIZ! re: Today

How are you?

What are you doing?

Why so alarmed?

Do you want to smell like pancakes?

Monday, September 28, 2009


What kind of weird stuff do you do to entertain yourself when you're alone? When I'm alone, I sometimes take photos of myself, and once in awhile, I take pictures of myself DEAD!

This is not a very good one (eyes!) but I was having a hard time this day. I was trying to take ones like I was falling out of the closet and that was tough! Then I thought about getting under the bed but abruptly got so grossed out by my creepiness that I had to quit, which is what always happens. I'm thinking this is less weird to share because it's almost October, so, almost Halloween! Creepiness = A-OK.

There's usually a theme to each of my severe bouts of poverty, according to what activities I find I can entertain myself with for free. In Newport it was "Let's read Plato!" In Yamagata it was "Let's climb mountains!" In Tokyo I guess it's "Let's be morbid and sullen all day and then go out and get sleazy with strangers in strange places!" But that's not what kind of blog this is. What kind of blog is this? I don't know, friends. I'm pretty sure it's no secret that I love me some trouble and sleaze, though.

I saw Patti Smith: Dream of Life in Shinjuku with Aya. What a beautiful film! It touched me in the right places, anyway. So I'm in a good mood and naturally cutting back on the serial killer documentaries and illicit activities, for now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Train Train Train

I walk abnormally fast, even for Tokyo. And when I'm cranky, it's like everyone's moving in extra slow motion, so my morning commute through Shinjuku Station = fucking insufferable.

Oh, GO AHEAD! SAUNTER! DAWDLE! SHUFFLE! PAUSE! Check your phone on the way down the stairs! Congregate with your school friends in front of my exit! TAKE YOUR TIME! It's not like this place was SPECIFICALLY BUILT FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED TO GET SOMEWHERE! ... I'm always early for work, so I really have no reason to hurry, haha. But sorry, I can't handle slow walkers and businessmen in the same place at 7AM.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silver Week

AKA one more long holiday when all my friends leave town and I sprawl around my apartment searching for eccentric ways to pass the time but always end up doing the same things: reading, looking up weird things on the internet, jacking off, trying on clothes, eating random things one at a time from the fridge. Got this sweater for a dollar at a garage sale this summer. Got that moyashi for 39 yen.
Broke in Tokyo, my cheap diet consists of natto, eggs, onions, moyashi, cucumbers, alcohol, and the school lunch I have to eat at work (which is tasty, in Japan). My cheap activities consist of strutting aimlessly around the city, drinking canned beer outdoors with friends, unreasonable amounts of sex, annoying my roommate with bad philosophy/literature lectures, and wishing I could afford both whiskey and hair conditioner. Thinking of moving to Japan? This could be you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh, no!

Friends, watch my back. I am devouring fairy tales and John William Waterhouse paintings like a starving idiot.

The last thing I want is to turn into a Renaissance Faire geek, okay? All right? You must know how I feel about vulgar Arthurian-ism.

I don't know if I should blame my ongoing Keats obsession, or the 3 Gunne Sax dresses I procured in a week's time this summer. I should have known better than to embrace Romanticism and long skirts simultaneously. Then you throw in some Early Middle Ages studies and a few fairy tales...

"I am half-sick of shadows," said the Lady of Shalott.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Once more!

I posted this Glass Candy video about a year ago.

I'm posting it again because I remembered it suddenly and have been watching it all morning. It's just made of everything I like. Bizarrely so. I'm predictable but it's okay.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What's wrong with me?

I can't stop thinking about old RVs.

God they're so cool, I've wanted one for my whole life!

When I was little it was like everyone and their uncle had a camper. Why? They all had rad 70s upholstery and wood paneling. My uncle's camper was parked in our driveway forever. The decor was all red and orange and there were orange glass grapes on the shelf. I used to sit on the upper bed and read all day.

Someday I'll have the raddest camper ever and constantly scream, "MY HOUSE HAS FUCKIN' WHEELS! HIT IT!" Zoom. On the road.

Look what people do with vintage campers these days. Restoring a camper would be so fun. I would need a carpenter boyfriend to show me the ropes or something.

God I cannot stop googling campers. I think in a year or so I'll just go buy a camper. I HAVE PUT THIS OFF FOR TOO LONG.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teaching English in Japan

That's what I'm doing here. I was teaching at a junior high school in Yamagata, but I ended up in an elementary school in Tokyo, which I did not want. The night before my first day of work I ended up on the balcony chain-smoking, cradling a wine bottle, bawling to my friends through the open sliding door that being child-friendly would destroy my soul. But I've learned to deal with it and I get to do arts and crafts all the time. These are the things I've had the most fun making this year. I made the shopping exercise after Michael Jackson died. The students had to buy each item of clothing with their shopping vocabulary and then color it in. I love the vegetables because they look so delicious like cartoon food. And I'm not sure what I like so much about the sad poster but I think it's one of the best things I've ever drawn.


I made a post about my birthday in Kamakura awhile ago. I was just going through some photos of the place and thought since all I ever write about is like, Bob Dylan, toxic persimmons and coming home drunk at 6am, I thought I'd try and be a proper JAPAN BLOGGER for once. Kamakura is my favorite tourist destination in Japan. It's only an hour and a half from Tokyo and super cheap and easy to get to. If you're visiting Tokyo and want to get out of the city you should definitely go to Kamakura.

Once you get there you can ride a famous old train called the Enoden to get to all the interesting spots.

The Kamakura Daibutsu is the second-biggest Buddha statue in Japan. It used to be inside of a temple but a tsunami washed the temple away in the late 1400s and now he kicks it outside. I really love his face.

You get a little bored of temples and shrines after awhile. I like them and all but after you've seen a few you kind of like, get the idea. So I was surprised to find Kamakura's religious sites really awesome and unusual. If you wash your money at Zeniarai Benten Shrine, it'll double. Tokeiji Temple was once a refuge for abused wives. The Hase Temple (Hasedera) has an intense statue of Kannon, and a shrine to unborn children.

Each of these little jizo statues represents an unborn soul.

My favorite shrine in Japan is Bentenkutsu. It's this dark cave with statues carved into the walls of Benten, an ancient goddess of the sea and fine arts, and other minor gods of art and industry.

I lost all my atheist cred stumbling over myself to write my name on a candle and light it in front of Benten and praying my ass off but what else would you expect? I'd go there every morning and night if I could.

Deeper in the cave is this small cavern where you can buy a small statue of Benten to dedicate to a medium statue of Benten.

It cheers me up that so many other people want to be on her good side.

Kamakura is unreasonably beautiful in the springtime when the wildflowers and cherry blossoms are in bloom, but it's probably beautiful all the time. There are also beaches and an island and hiking trails and stuff. If you go to the Odakyu counter at Shinjuku Station you can get the Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass for 1,430 yen, which gets you round-trip from Shinjuku plus unlimited rides on the Enoden and Odakyu trains in the Kamakura area all day. That's a good deal. You can have the best day trip ever for like, nothin.

Look at all these super Japan-related photos and tips! To think I was actually about to make a post about Augustine of Hippo / how much I like popsicles.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It suddenly feels like fall. I realized soon it'll be dark by the time I get home and I'll ride through the lights in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro (Ikepukero!) every evening. That's nuts. I don't feel like I'm in NIPPON PARADISE or anything but once in awhile, elsewhere as well, I catch myself accidentally living out small forgotten childhood dreams. It's a pretty good thing to say about your life. That's why you should do what you want all the time.

I moved to Japan almost a year ago. I spent all last autumn like this, poring over a giant map, charting epic walks down the backroads and up the mountains in Yamagata. I was all alone up there. I couldn't make any friends so I just walked all the time. One night I went to the top of this mountain and wound up in the darkest, spookiest place ever.

At the time there were persimmons growing everywhere in Yamagata. I picked one and ate two bites. It wasn't that tasty, I guess there's a bitter kind and a sweet kind. I'd never had a persimmon before Yamagata so I didn't know. After the two bites I abandoned the persimmon and then got worried the mountain would think I was being rude. You can call me a hippie but look what it was like up there!

The persimmon was all I'd eaten that day because I was truly broke, and I walked a lot of miles. When my stomach started to hurt on the way back down I quickly concluded I'd eaten a fatally poisonous fruit by mistake. I was in the middle of nowhere.

I really thought I was going to die under a tree in rural Japan from eating a poisonous fruit I'd picked at the top of a moonlit mountain and it was going to be so melodramatic and ridiculous and I rued every poetic fantasy I'd ever had. I was so anxious and grim.

My death throes went on for about thirty minutes and then I guess must have gotten distracted by something, because I forgot all about it until the next afternoon when I was like LOL WTF. This story reveals my dramatic idiocy/idiotic dramatics, should I delete it or can I blame the mountains again? If the story of Yamagata had a ring structure the corresponding section to this would be the traumatic nightmare I had about a real-life Mister Donut before I moved to Tokyo. Let's not.