Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Golden Gai

Love this picture Amanda took of Yusuke and me in Golden Gai. Golden Gai is a famous block in Shinjuku packed with tiny little bars that used to be brothels. If you can't speak Japanese, it's not really worth the table fee most of these places charge you to sit and drink -- you can find similar 5-seat dives at almost any station in Tokyo. If you can speak conversational Japanese and like paying table charges, there are some really good places in here. Good luck finding them and then remembering them. I have lost two great bars in Golden Gai.

If you CAN'T speak Japanese, go walk through Golden Gai at night anyway. The atmosphere is awesome if you're a sucker for time-warps. Probably one of the funnest walks you can take on the planet is from Shinjuku Station, out the East Exit, amble through the smoker's island, cross over to ALTA, pass through the red gates, swim through the river of hosts, and head south to Golden Gai. This walk is the best. Just pay attnetion and don't do anything I would do.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Early November.

Late November.

My mom got me this fake fur coat. It's the darkest dark chocolate color and so warm and I wore it for the first time last night and I fucking love it. This photo doesn't do justice, but I rocked my world so hard with this outfit. It was so comfortable, striking, and fun to walk in. I got these boots from Hanjiro in Kichijoji for only about $11. They are simple and perfect.

It's winter. It's my last winter in Japan, actually. But I can see Mt. Fuji from my house.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Children's Toys for One Coin!

If you know any children with birthdays coming up and you're on a budget you should definitely check out the one-coin shops where you can get awesome toys for like a buck fifty each!

Well, this one is actually double the price. But I mean, duh, you can't have your kids just be huffing any old can of chemicals.

Awesome! This was between little stuffed animals and generic Nerf guns. Your little girl can display it on her waist or bag!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little stamps! Little boxes!

This year I finally got a hanko, the magical little stamp that proves your identity anytime you deal with official paperwork in Japan. And today I finally got a case for it. Too bad I already chipped it, which will probably result in my being deported. Like I'll go stamp something from Amazon and they'll be like "WHAT! is this little GAP IN YOUR STAMP! There was no gap in the last one! Holy shit counterfeit, this is a serious problem. You must not be who you say you are! You cannot have this package." And I'll be like "oh my god are you kidding me? Here, look at my foreigner's card and my passport and my health insurance card and my bank card and my employee's card, dude it's me I promise." And they'll be like, "Well, miss, that's some straight-up evidence you've got there, and I see here that you have used this strange and inimitable handwritten signature of yours many times, so there should really be no question that it's you. Unfortunately this little stamp -- which your co-worker actually went and got for you in your name for about 15 bucks -- is the only true key to confirming your identity, so I'm afraid this spells doom for all future endeavors that require you to be yourself." "Fuck!" Oh, hanko. You make all the sense in the world. Nice case, though!

Look, little candies in cute boxes! Now stuffed in an envelope that has been sealed, addressed, and waiting to be sent for one month plus. Exotic old-fashioned packaging, labels in another language, thrill me no less today than when I was little. I love them! I could buy entire grocery stores when I'm abroad, I love foreign labels so much.

It got cold today. Winter! Why are you like this? I just ordered an electric blanket. I expect us to be best friends. I hate winter here! There is no escape from the stupid cold. It's impossible to insulate these cardboard walls and as soon as you turn off the space heater the cold rushes back in. There is no escape, absolutely no escape, no safe place to shave your legs or put on lotion. Conditions so harsh even I am compelled to keep my pants on as often as possible. I ordered this blanket from AMAZON JAPAN which is viewable in English, has free shipping, lets you schedule delivery and pay in cash when stuff arrives. For every nuisance there's a convenience. Talkin' bout you, Japan. P.S. Amazon doesn't require a hanko, I carelessly made that up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I went to Kobe and Osaka

I hadn't been down there in years! My first summer in Japan was down in Kansai-land. I loved it so much. Then Tokyo vacuumed me up. But old Amanda lives down there, so I went callin. Dude, my card reader is busted! I stole all these from Amanda.

The Hankyu trains are so cool looking inside! Wood paneling? Teal seats? Please. But Amanda was distracted by my angelic beauty so this is all you get. By the way, my favorite train line to ride in Tokyo is the Seibu-Shinjuku line. I like the orange seats and how it goes down really narrow alley-like tracks with houses and trees on either side. And every time I ride it, something cool happens.

This photo. Jesus. Twenty years from now I will look at this. And all that smoke in my hair, all the booze on the street, all the ruined stockings, and all the hangovers will wash over me in an awesome wave. Ahhh, youth! My youth! Also right after this photo was taken we ended up picking up three really sweet boys for all-night karaoke. They gave us a ride home at dawn, with a designated driver and everything! We all sang Lady Gaga in the car. It was the loveliest, most harmonious spontaneous sunrise road trip. The hills were so beautiful. So when you look at that photo, know that my life methods = CONSTANT VICTORIES!

We planned an all-nighter in Osaka but it got cut short. We went long enough to eat 500 yen roasted crab. It's like, Aw fuck yeah crab! But then it was kind of dry and bland. Waste of a poor crab's leg. If you slay an animal, make it tasty.

Amanda was surprisingly quick to grab the crab hats. Amanda, I did not know you were a silly hat fan. But I can deal with this, I'm not threatened. I'm not threatened by a paper crab hat.


I'm back home and I have bangs! And yes I live in this sweater now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Neglected Photos

Align CenterI was just going through neglected photos and I still marvel at the cute little bitter mess I was in Yamagata. Look at me. Look at that face. Look at that hair. The work clothes. The parka. The cigarette. The cold. Sorry. I will never get over that winter. Move on to some more forgotten photos.

Team Clean

My first night in Yamagata. How things change! If you put me back there now I'd already have one of those cans shoved halfway into my mouth and I'd still be bitching about something. Hahahaha. A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.

How to have shoes. Thanks, box!

Pains me to think I missed one fucking epic tantrum in the stockyard.

Do you wonder that I'm high strung?

I do appreciate the veranda.

I don't miss elementary school lunches.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sick __ Japan

I fucking hate going to the doctor. I hate it in America and I hate it in Japan. I hate Japanese clinics especially. I have National Health Insurance and I don't know if I'm just going to public health clinics or what but every time I go to a clinic in Tokyo it looks like some fucking neglected bankrupt funeral home chapel entryway or something. They're not dirty at all, they're just really run-down with peeling wallpaper, low lighting, old carpets, and more often than not, faded artificial flowers, just like, you know, the ones in cemeteries.

I don't know why I'm so outraged by this, I mean I'm always preaching the grunge... maybe it's just that in a country where you can't get a cup of coffee without 5,000 watts of fluorescent light blasting down to prove how clean the tables are (and how marked your blemishes) you would think that any place offering any kind of medical care would at least keep the paint fresh. Maybe when I'm sick and miserable enough to go to the doctor I want to feel like I'm actually in a medical facility, not some sketchy old cat lady's parlor. This is like the fifth time I've been to one of these clinics and they are easily the five dingiest looking places I have seen in Japan. That's counting dive bars.

And every time you get sick in Japan they're like GO TO THE DOCTOR GO TO THE DOCTOR! Then you go to the doctor and here's what happens.

Doctor: What's the matter?
You: [wheezing in your face-mask, swaying in your chair, eyes half-lidded, voice raspy] I have a fever of 39.5, chills, my throat is really swollen and it hurts to swallow, my body is aching, I have terrible nausea, I'm super tired, it hurts to move...
Doctor: Sooo, you caught a cold!
You: Ummm, well there's a big flu outbreak where I work, so...
Doctor: Ah! Let me look at your throat. Ah, yes. Very swollen. Okay! So I will give you some medicine for fever and throat pain. Please wait a moment.
You: ...okay, well, I can't go back to work if it's the flu, so do you think it's the flu?
Doctor: Oh, sure.

Then you pay like $14 for a bunch of little paper bags full of pills that you have to take three at a time three times a day for five days or something.

Is this just like, the experience I'm stuck with if I'm using National Health Insurance? Or can someone recommend a good place for regular medical care in Tokyo?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This eyeliner is wicked. The felt tip is easy to use and it stays on forever. I bought it for the fab cheesy retro package, though, which reminds me of weird anime movie covers that used to creep me out in rental shops as a kid.

Summer Stray

I love stray cats. They make me feel all big city, big city. Hey, I'm back in Japan!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I took a picture with my phone today! I have 7 days left in Oregon. Look, I'm wearing sneakers. Usually I feel weird in sneakers and in white but I am making an exception for these. I think white Keds make a girl's calves look pretty. I wore these with a little black floral dress and a redwood-colored sweater. But I like this picture because it makes me look like a little yuppie with a seaside summer home.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'm in America right now. I wanted to blog through my stay but I forgot my card reader thing! I'll be here thrift shopping and reading by the beach for a couple more weeks.

This is an 1882 photo of a young Navajo guy, before and after. Can you believe that?

This week I get to go look for a trailer!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Streets are UNEVEN

I always get more followers whenever I post tourist-friendly or Japan-centric stuff like ANIME or AMEYOKO. That is fine. You know when I liked this blog, though, is when it was all about my big yellow sweater and some music videos. And I can only just hope to subconsciously try to stay gold in this new life I lead.

when you're a STRANGER
women seem wicked



faces come out of the rain

when you're strange

no one remembers your name

when you're strange

when you're strange

when you're

Monday, June 28, 2010


Nice view.

I got this rose for my birthday but it just wouldn't listen.

Tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored,tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored, tired, bored

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What an awesome planet.

Okay I know this has nothing to do with "JAPAN" or whatever but have you ever thought about MOUNTAIN LIONS? Just do that for a second.

Cougars have got to be the most under-appreciated animal in America. There are tons of them in the western states like in Oregon but I don't think people really get that they exist. It's a fucking lion, dude. Look at it. We have lions. Wild lions in the forests. Not in Africa, or in the zoo. We've got serious huge native lions. How fucking intense is that? And we don't even think about it. So just think about it. I love you, planet.


Summertime, we get kinky.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Tokyo Moe Jared already posted this but it's not like we can have too much. HELLO! Look at it! I thought it was pretty dorky when I just saw the flier on the left, but when I saw the full-body ad a couple days later, I realized smoking is the coolest thing on earth. Who is the target demographic here? My co-worker said "Gays, duh." I was still surprised. I mean duh this is gay but I didn't know it was something any significant number of Japanese men would go for and I didn't know a major cigarette brand would brand itself so 100% gay in a blanket ad campaign. And it's not like I've ever known Japanese concepts of GAY to match my concepts of GAY. If someone told me this was going for the tween girl demographic I wouldn't even be surprised. Whatevs. Go Winston Japan. I love this ad.

P.S. note the portable ashtray hanging from his belt loop. Beefed up and polite, that's how I like them.


I love marketplaces. SO MUCH. So I've been meaning to go to Ameyoko, the street near Ueno Station that served as a black market after World War II, for like three years. Ah three years. TIME!

It's along and under the Yamanote tracks between Ueno and Okachimachi stations. Things I like besides markets: train tracks, bridges, places under train tracks and bridges, alleyways, stray cats near garbage cans at night. I also like tin-can stoves so I'm basically a hobo.

Ameyoko wasn't tons of excitement but it had cool side streets and alleys and roughnecks eating noodles outdoors!

And that kind of old 70s/80s Tokyo vibe that I sometimes run into on the east side of the city. Like in Koiwa.


Some stuff is cheap here. Big packs of dried fruit, big packs of nori, octopus legs, hairbrushes...

...beans... Heads UP, anyone who's thinking of moving to Japan, beans be fuckin pricey.


Ten buxx for shoez

Rickety tables, ramen, stray cat, brick road, the city still loves me.

Ahhh before I go home I have to be a yankii superstar for one day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Old Sweater

I am not a fan of cropped leggings AT ALL and this photo shows me they are not doing my rather shapely legs any favors but I still dig this today. My 90s brown lace-up ankle boots were the killer but I was too lazy to get them in a photo. P.S. this picture is exactly what I feel like lately.