alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

L'Arc~en~Ciel 20th L'Anni~ver~sary FINAL Live

First, let me say that it was a blessing to even get the ticket! I wanted to buy a ticket for the Saturday concert, but I ended up getting to the convenience store in Osaka too late (12-1pm or so, and tix went on sale to the public at 10am that morning) and the Saturday tickets were all sold out! But, it is pretty cool to be able to say that I was able to go to the FINAL 20th L'Anni~ver~sary live!

Let me also say that preparing the L'Arc/lolita outfit for the live took a LONG time! After work, I went straight to the design studio to get help drafting the pattern for the vest/skirt, but the worst part was the stenciling. In Japan, people do not focus on heating the room as much as heating themselves, so I endured cold and cramped legs to make the outfit. Anyway, the stenciling took twice as long b/c the material is black, so I had to have a 'primer' layer and then the actual color. Honestly, to do the back, back, front, front stenciling took about 6 hours per application. BUT, it was worth it. I want to do one more coat on the vest, but I am very pleased overall. The front of the skirt reads, 'L'Arc~en~Ciel' and the back of the vest and skirt have some lyrics to one of my favorite songs of theirs!

Okay, on to the day of! I woke up around 5:45 am to get ready for the concert, though I had already determined my layering the day before b/c I did not want to wear a coat for it would have covered up my stencilling. I arrived in Osaka around 10:20 am and waited outside to meet a fellow Hyde fan whom I have been friends with on facebook since 2009! M and I chatted and then came Mrrrr, who hugged me close since we haven't seen each other since orientation! We went to a church geared towards youth and I fell for the first time in my rocking horse shoes! It didn't hurt and I wasn't too embarrased! The sermon was more like a pep talk about 'Running your Race,' geting rid of unnecessary 'weight' in our lives, and most importantly quickly confessing sin in our life and getting it right with God so that we can, as Christains, win souls for Christ. (Did that throw you for a loop?)

After church, I hugged Mrrrr a million times, then M and I went to アメ村 for some shopping! M told me about the time she met Hyde at a Vamp Addict meet up because he liked her drawing! We met E and she told me about when VAMPS had the historic concert at Pearl Harbor (considering that they are a Japanese band) and she had HYDE encounter x3!!!! The accounts were all in Japanese, but the day before the concert, she saw Ju-ken coming from a jewelry shop and she told him to do a good job! Then she cleverly decided to wait around and she saw Hyde and Kazzie in a jewelry shop!!! She wanted to go in, but the manger wouldn't let her! So she waited for him, all the while looking though the glass window. When Hyde finished, I think he waved and then left. Second, the next day at the concert, she was about 3 people from the back and he cocked his head to look at her b/c he probably recognized her from the night before! She also saw Hyde at the food court at the airport and he shook her hand. Of course, a million people lined up to shake his hand afterwards! We had this chat at a Lotteria in Osaka, but afterwads, we headed to the 京セーラドーム! It was awesome hearing people ooh and awe over my outfit, but I am not sure if they got that it was L'Arc-themed. I'd like to think that they did...

At the dome, more oohing, then M and E and I parted ways because they had floor seats and I was the farthest from the stage, on the outer ring of the dome. I know this because I checked my seat online! I bought a melon soda for 200en, asked the stewardess if it was okay to bring drinks in to the dome, then asked for directions to my seat. There was a gap between the seat in the wall, so I put my Metamorphose bag and schwag down before setting in beside two Jp women to my right and a man came to sit next to my left, but not a hottie. T.T The arena was smokey and I contemplated running to the loo, but decided against it. Minutes passed and I noticed that there was a woman in a tower to work the lights/camera. She had to climb a ladder to get there!

Before the show started here is what I thought they would play:
xxx, niji, Chase,
bless, caress of venus, lies and truth,
anata, kasou, revelation,
forbidden lover, driver's high, kaze ni kienaide,
jojoshi, seppun, ready steady go,
hurry christmas, good luck my way.
metropolis 2011
I wish 2007
kasou heisei jyuunananen

After the exact same intro as the Fukuoka live, L'Arc played さよなら first and if you have the True cd, you know that さよなら's outro is Caress of Venus' intro and they played it next as I suspected they would! Hyde danced to C of V, of course and so did I! Then they sang Good Luck My Way and during this song I began to shed my outer layers of clothes because I didn't want to get my handmade L'Arc vest sweaty! I noticed that the guy next to me was mimicking my hand movements, which made me feel cool! Next was Heaven's Drive! I danced around in that confined space like crazy!
L'Arc played flower and then DRINK IT DOWN, though I didn't appreciate the digital flames that appeared on the screen and partially obscured Hyde's face. I wonder if it was a tactic to hide Hyde's ageing face... Next was Dune, and Hyde did his twirl! I sang along, but either I couldn't hear the person beside me or they didn't know the lyrics. Also, my voice sticks out from everyone else's. Maybe b/c I'm not Japanese? The next song truly surprised me, ガラス玉! I almost cried, I think. forbidden lover followed and when Hyde sang the part about crying out to God, bright lights pointed at the middle of the ceiling. The next song was MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM, which I love to sing and once again, my voice sounded different. Revelation started by quoting from the Bible's "Revelation" and then ken, tetsuya, and yukihiro were driven around on carts with steam guns as we shouted "OI/HEY" for forever. After all three made a complete circle around the arena, hyde was carried out. Then they sang the song when
he got back on stage! It was soo fun, but took a long time! Then they played SEVENTH HEAVEN and Driver's High and I had TOO much fun singing along and jumping and shouting, 'YEAH!!!!' I think I annoyed the people around, but I am a teacher and this is my only real form of stress release and letting my hair down! 

After Driver's High, tetsuya asked if we'd like to eat his banana, then he threw it at the crowd! Mukimpo! Then they performed Stay Away and we clapped. After that was Ready Steady Go, Hyde cursed before it in English as per usual and said whohoho! At the beginning, I worried that Kenchan was hurt again, but he was okay! At the end, yuki went crazy on the drums and I thought he had arm tattoos, but he was just wearing a tattood shirt! Following, they sang Anemone which is what I have been longing to hear them perform live, tear pricked my eyes. He sang it with the orchestra and I think he confused the lines of the song at one point. XXX and Chase were the chasers (though I don't drink I know the term) and then ken sang 'happy birthday to me'! It was too cute!He said something about 'nukanuka' which may mean dummy or 'nukunuku' which means comfy. He may have also said something about mashibamui, but I have no idea what that means. Actually, I do not get Ken's jokes, but then the crowd doesn't seem to either... Then they sang Hurry CHristmas with the blue slideshowesque reindeer background. It made me think of the Hurry Christmas app for the iphone they had.

Then hyde spoke about how he was running and fell and hurt his knee, I think. He spoke about how he hadn't done that since they started 20 years ago. He waxed nostalgic talking about the past 20 years then they sang link and niji was last. After that,  they put on a video a the then-yet-to-be-released CHASE, announced a NEW ALBUM, the WORLD TOUR for 2012 and it was over.

alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

Japanese and American Breakfasts

Today is my third day in school! I did a five minute self introduction in one class. The students were pretty attentive. In Japanese schools, students only receive mild chiding for sleeping in class which explains the sentence above.

In one class, we talked about Japanese food and the teacher I am assisting asked if I could tell the students about my experience with Japanese food in America and about American breakfasts. Actually, I anticipated this before I came to Japan, so I took a picture of my breakfast while I was in America. In terms of the former, I told the class that just as there are McDonalds and KFC's in Japan, there are also Japanese restaurants in America and most Americans have tried to eat with chopsticks (in Japanese, hashi) at least once. When I was about 7 years old, I remember trying to use chopsticks with the eggless fried rice my mom gave me. One student asked if I could use chopsticks now. (This is a very common question from Japanese people partly out of genuine fascination if Westerners can and partly out of politeness, I think.) 

In terms of American breakfasts, I told the students that the traditional American breakfast is bacon or sausage, eggs, toast, and juice and/or coffee. I just like water, fruit, and yogurt, but fruit is REALLY expensive in Japan, which I will discuss at a later time. THEN, I had the brilliant idea to ask the students what THEY ate for breakfast: rice, rice balls (in Japanese onigiri), miso soup, tea (in Jp ocha), nothing, fish, etc. THEN, in my ultimate genius, I asked the students what they thought was unusual to eat for breakfast in Japan, which the teacher had to translate. Their reply: ramen, gyuudon (beef over rice in a bowl), and more dishes I have sadly forgotten. After class, I asked the teacher why these foods were unusual to eat. She replied that Japanese people usually do not like to eat greasy foods in the morning and that sweets are alright for breakfast, but not after dinner! That explains why my Japanese host mother in college advised me not to eat 'dessert!' On a side note, the teacher in question actually does eat icecream after dinner.

Now, I must grade papers. In a mere three days, I think all the Japanese English teachers have figured out that I do not mind grading papers.

Good day!

alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

My Second Day at School!

Today was my second day at school. I had a dream that someome stole my beloved pirate ship shirt and then I had a nightmare that I woke up late and missed the first class of school today. Thankfully, it was just a dream!

I had four classes today: two 20min self intros, two stacks of papers to grade, one student who spoke to me during lunch in very quiet Japanese, at least two students asking if I had a boyfriend, and one asking the hazardous question of what fashion I liked. To that question, I replied, "romantic styles with frills, lace, lavenders, pinks, whites, etc." I know that some styles have stigmas in Japan.

I had a good day and soon packages will be sent to me! Hurray!

  • Current Music
alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

(no subject)

Dearest Dairy,

Today, I went to 大阪(Oosaka), the Big O! I left the station early in the morning and arrived around 11:20am. I went straight to NU Chayamachi Mall's Daikon Restaurant and saw no one, so I called Y from their shop. She said she'd be late, but she was bringing E at 1:20. I waited for N, unsure if Y had said that he would be late too, but he came up the escalator around 12:20! We hugged and I noticed that he was skinnier than before.

Y suggested that we eat without them and Nchan wanted とんかつ(tonkatsu, fried pork [fillet?]), so feeling a bit disloyal after the shop's attendees' willingness to allow me to use their phone, we went in search of とんかつ。 However we couldn't find it after searching and asking people in Japanese, so we went to a Mister Donuts after discovering a L'Arc~en~Ciel cafe!!!!!!!!!!! I want to return there and eat someday! 

After eating donuts, we went back and E found us, later Y, too! Together we took pics, found Nchan's beloved とんかつ, and headed to another mall where we ate delicious icecream. While eating icecream, I shared plenty with Nchan I gues I have a maternal/protective instict towards him. This is why he is my -chan. Asan, Nchan's friend met us at the mall.

After meeting, we did karaoke (pronounced KAH RAH OH KAY) for about 1 or 2 hours. I drank a lot of Melon Soda b/c it is the best!! I cried when I head ZONE's 'Secret Base' for the first time. I told everyone it was because I was moved since I could understand most of the lyrics. We sang Hikaru Utada's 'Automatic,' HYDE's 'Pray,' L'Arc's 'DRINK IT DOWN,' Perfume's 'Computer City,' and many other songs. After 'roake (ROH AH KEY, personal slang for karoake), we went to a haunted house in which I desperately tried to weasel out. Thanks to Jp group mentality, I could not do so gracefully so I instead covered my eyes and ears and had a friend physically lead me through it. I have no idea what was in there and I am glad. After the HH, we were out of ideas of things to do, so I suggested Manneken Waffle since I really wanted one and had been unable to find one since the one in Nagoya was closed down. I bought a box of 10 for about 1100en.


alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

(no subject)

Dearest Dairy,

I woke up, washed a load of whites and went to school. The custodian begrudgingly let me in and I told him I wouldn't do this sort of thing every weekend. In thirty minutes, I managed to give my number to Nchan and search for good Osaka shopping.

I then went grocery shopping and looked for shoes to wear indoors at school. The lady was nice and let me get a point card! I love this particular super market because it is cheap! I bought five croquets for 198en and a KitKat for Nchan for 98en. I bought him a KitKat because Japanese KitKats have many different flavors.

I went home to wash more laundry, kill mold, clean the Spare Oom (Naria ref.), and vacuum. Nchan called around 5pm as I read a book. It was wonderful to hear his voice after a little over 2 years! I will meet Y and N tomorrow at 12 pm at NU mall! N's friend is also letting me stay the night! After that, I told N to give me Y's number then I went back to the super market to buy two more KitKats! I also found grapes for 100en (grapes, fruit, and food in Japan in general is quite expensive!) They tasted just like the ones my host mom would buy for me sometimes! No call from Y, but Music Station last night was great!

alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

名古屋市、Nagoya City

Dearest Dairy,

Today, I went to Nagoya for my Re-entry Permit. I went to a nearby train station to meet D and J-Ai who helped me with the application form.  We met at the Golden Clock (famous meeting place in Nagoya Station), then went on the Aonomi線(sen, line) I'd traveled twice before to not be kicked out of Japan on a traveler's visa. I bought my stamp (6000en) and went ahead of the others.

I paid 200en to go to Hisayaoodori station instead of going to Sakea even though it cost the same and is closer. Riding in the 地下鉄(chikatetsu, subway) was so very nostalgic! There are rails now to prevent accidents. I went out the wrong exit, went in the Vivienne Westwood, saw Broland (named by moi, where all the cool guys buy their apparel), went to a previously undiscovered BookOff, found out PARCO dept. store's Manneken Waffle and Cold Stone Creamery are gone, and then went to my favorite store! I am not exaggerating when I say that I have thought of this moment almost constantly since I left Jp the first time. I bought basic socks and a lovely, if heavy, crown!

After shopping, I planned my trip to Osaka the day after next
alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

hurried day

Dearest Dairy,

Today, I went to work early again, 7:40. The cleaning lady even commented 早いですね(hayai desune, it's early). I must note here that sometimes comments/compliments can actually be meant as critcisms. For example: 'aren't you cold' can mean 'why are you dressed so immodestly?'

I got on the internet to look over the powerpoint I made earlier for my 自己紹介(jikoshoukai, self-introduction). I also met with another 先生(sensei, teacher) to talk about an upcoming event we would be doing together. I enjoyed working with her and I hope our planning for the next event in October will also be fun! Then, I tried calling PM about his church, but I couldn't reach him. Later on, I went with D and the previously mentioned 先生 to go to SoftBank phone company and got back at 5pm! I had to hurriedly check route with Nchan and get a nenkyu (time off) for MOnday! I had no time to check the station b/c it was already dark. I rode to MV to get my point card and my previous purchases did not count towards it. Packed.

alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

Physical Exam Day!

Dearest Dairy,

Today I write in pink because today was very embarrasing. I went to work and dressed my virtual doll. I miss having time to think of new outfit coordinations for her. I think I was caught many times by the vice principal! I felt quite guilty.  A few hours later at 11am,  D and I went to get physicals. I was nervous about my hair.

I gave them my blood as it splashed into three vails which were simply swiched (instead of having to insert the needle again). I was somewhat horribly fascinated by the process. I had an eye exam on which I did bad. After these tests, electrodes were put on my person for the first time. I giggled like a lunatic! GUFUFUFUFUFU! I feel sorry for the attendant. After that , I had xrays and just as I was about to leave, the Doctor said in loud English: GOOD NEWS! YOU'RE NOT PREGNANT! LOL (It is funny b/c such a thing is impossible as Jesus has already been born.)


alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

Jp Bugs and Mold

Today I woke up at Ph's house, got dressed, and left before L and C, but after Ph (sounds like a word problem). I didn't really know the way back to the meeting site, but I managed.

Early again, I bought a ミスド(misudo, Japanese shortening of the 'misu' from Mister and 'do' from Donuts) custard donut and met D on the way in. I like D b/c he seems very familiar and friendly. In my mind, I have already added him to my fictive family. D and I went to a Ministop convenience store for D's breakfast.

This second day of meetings was quite important as I stated in the previous post. They spoke of how to properly clean a house, prevent mold, and ward off bugs. Bugs in rural Japan are scary: killer bees, painful and smart centipedes, etc. After this, we learned mega-polite Japanese, which made 「もいいですか」 seem like an obnoxious demand. After the meetings, we got in the earthquake similator! I got to go in with D, Mk, and one other person whom I cannot recall. While waiting in line for the e.s., I told D that I deemed him my big little brother because he is actually younger than me! Then I went home with A.

alice, Rockinghorse shoes, lolita

Meeting Halloween...

Today is a special day!

I got up at 5:40 and walked to the station. I arrived at my destination early, so I loitered around the station, then payed for my ticket the old lady and young man told me how to buy via the station manager b/c I couldn't figure out the machine.

Still an hour to burn before the meeting, I ate at Mister Donuts: ぶどう(budou, grape) ぜりー(zeri-, jelly) and a creme-filled 抹茶(maccha, the REAL green tea) frosted bear. While eating, I met an older teacher and saw some of my colleugues outside of the shop window. I hurridly finished and met with the group for the meeting. It was quite long, but pretty useful. I am anticipating tomorrows topics: mold busting and bug prevention.

After orientation, we hung out at this odd, halloween-themed place! After that I spent the night at Ph's house and met L and C. They're all really nice!