Saturday, March 31, 2007

More sleeping beauties.

Well, I'll just keep myself occupied while

HAHAHAHAHA! I love that he fell asleep WHILE playing with his DS. I bet he was doing English brain training or something. I would've loved a shot of his screen but that was a little too over the top even for me :D

Sumo pics!!

Otaku posted some pics and a video of the event. Here is a link to them. Woo hoo! Fat guys pushing each other around!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Open schoooooool - done!

Yah! We finished our open school today. It went really really well! We even had 3 students sign up already. We have a week to go before the school officially opens for everyday clasees, but I'm excited. I am exhausted - used up alot of nervous energy making sure everything went well but feeling generally content. Whew!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The new job

So the new job pretty much started today. We had our first day of open house this morning and it went well. I'm really tired but happy. Blogging postphoned until next week when I will have some time. All those little ankle biters are gonna keep me busy!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Picture Server is online

Now that we have internet again the picture server is back online. Sorry about the slow load times, but I'm still optimizing the gallery software.

For those outside Japan the transfer rate may be slow.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Yah!!!! We finally have internet!!!! It only took them 2 and a half months!!!!! But its here now!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? Otaku is even more excited than I am. He made me hook the modem up on my own when it arrived just to check if the line worked. Sooooo, now I will be able to post some stuff that I have been delaying due to extremely slow signal. I swear I will be posting some pics soon for Sumo and Canada and all the other crap we've done since January. Aaaaaah. Its good to be connected.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I don't know about you, but this brought a big old smile to my face. It's a great reminder of why I love travelling...

I have new hair!

I am not one of those people who gets their hair cut/coloured very often. In fact it can be 6 months or more before I even enter a salon so its exciting for me when I get my hair cut. The winter totally trashed the ends of my hair this year. Japanese winter is not kind. Its humid outside, and with no insulation etc, your house is freezing. So you have to run a heater 24/7 to feel warm - an electric heater which dries out the air. And your hair. Also, an unexpected consequence of buying a new jacket - there are zippers near the top along the collar that my braids kept getting stuck on. Every now and then I would hear a *shrip/snap* where my a few hairs would break after getting stuck. So I cut off a good 5 inches of hair and darkened it to cover my grey hair *sigh*. But the new colour is great and I like the cut. I even got a few bangs. What do you think? I'm not wearing any makeup so be kind!!

Hong Kong Day 3

Hong Kong DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!!!!

I told you I was dreaming of castles and talking mice :) So they even have a special train that you take to get there. They created a subway line specifically for Disneyland. Cool ne?

So we rode our Mickey Mouse inspired train there, paid our fare and then romped like little kids around the park. Some pics of some fun things you can see there.

Some of the rides that you can go on like the Jungle Cruise.

The Winnie the Pooh Ride - so cute! Doesn't Rachel look smashing in the Eeyore hat? :D

The Tarzan Treehouse which you have to ride a raft to get to.

Then there was a big street parade. Lots of neat floats!

They also have some really neat shows - like the Lion King. We also went to an interactive Lilo and Stitch show. I am now Stitchs new girlfriend. Sorry Otaku - you've been outed by a little blue alien. He named a planet after me.

Then they have some great fireworks every night over the castle. Magical!! They start with a kind of light show on the castle

Then crazy ass fireworks!

All in all, we had a fab day. We made our way back to the city and crawled into bed and due to 2 nights of no sleep.....I crashed and slept like a baby :) Next - our last full day in Hong Kong....

Fight Club

Every few weeks or so, a group of friends and I descend on a small park in Shitennoji for an interesting form of exercise...Sword fighting with Shinai (bamboo swords). Our audience is made up of a few curious homeless guys staring at the stupid gaijin whacking each other senseless for fun.

I began my training a few sessions ago and I'm looking forward to my first unsupervised session.If all goes well, I'm seriously thinking about taking this up as a full-time hobby

A few months back, I bought a bokken, a solid wood
en sword used in Aikido, and have named it Frankie after a notorious Scottish gangster (he had a reputation for making fun of the cops).

And remember people, don't try this unless you are only a 5 minute walk from one of the most famous Japanese sword makers in all of Japan. I know that doesn't make any sense, but there's a famous store in Shitennoji where you can buy this stuff! So cool....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Japanese culture.

God, I love YouTube so much...
At last, we can all learn the correct way to eat sushi in Japan!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hong Kong Day 2

So Day 2. After not alot of sleep - I am sleeping alone for the first time in a looooong time and obviously this makes it a little difficult for snoozing - we head down to see the waterfront during the day. There are plans to go and see some of the more famous famous buildings in the city as Rachel (my travelling partner in crime) is obsessed with them. Here are some daytime shots of the promenade area.

We took the famous Star Ferry across to the Hong Kong Island side. Apparently there was some controversy recently over this. They built a new dock and people were quite upset about the destruction of the old one. It was a quick ride to the other side. Then we went to the IFC2 (International Finance Centre) which is the tallest building in Hong Kong.

There was quite a view from the top. All of these clustered buildings are apartments. Apparently, about 80% of the population lives in this one condensed area.

Then we walked around to see some more interesting buildings.

We decide to take a bus up to Victoria Peak. Its the highest point in Hong Kong where you can get a great view of the city. Its about a 45 minute bus ride to get all the way to the top. We enter one of the peak buildings to find.....

Yep, its an EA. I took these pics for Timmie. We went up to the viewing deck to find an amazing view of the city. Again, it was amazing how condensed the apartments are. Crazy!

We went back in and did a little browsing and found Bruce again. Turns out theres a Madame Tussauds.

We were waiting for nightfall. To see this....

What a great view! We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place where we could continue to enjoy the night lights. There were several nice restaurants with a city view.

It was a little pricy but soooo worth it. The food was fantastic! And that was one helluva martini. We took a special tram back to Central. I kid you not, we sat at a 45 degree angle going down the hill and the floor was curved in half circles at every seat to accomodate people standing - to help them from falling over. We walked past some familiar sites that now looked completely new in the dark!

And we saw a cool boat in the water.

Then it was back to our ghetto looking hostel (which as you can see has a much nicer - if very tiny - interior) and headed to bed.

From some reason we dreamt of magic castles and talking dogs.....I wonder why?

To be continued.....

Some classic Jimmy Kimmel

Some funny ass Japanese stuff

I don't know what's wrong with these people that they would agree to do this show, but I am secretly thanking them as I laughed my ass off watching it :D

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kobe Part 2 (a little late I know!)

We took a tram up to the top of the mountain. A spur of the moment decision that we were extrememely happy with afterwards. The ride was great (except that Rich is a bit afraid of heights) and the view fantastic.

The view from the top! Here we are :D

At the top there was a cool garden. Tropical flowers and other pretty greenery.

Then we walked down through the herb park where a lake awaited us.

We continued down the path to find a waterfall at the bottom. Gorgeous! Look out for wild boar!

Then it was time for Dinner. Our friend Tai met us at the Jamaican place and we stuffed ourselves.

AND it was Steves Birthday. So after dinner, we all headed back into Osaka to have a little cake and ice cream. Link here for pictures of that :) All in all a very productive and fun day!

Hong Kong Day 1

So we landed in Hong Kong Airport and decided to take a bus into the city as it was less than half the price and seemed to take about the same amount of time as the train.

The ride was about 45 minutes. We saw some interesting stuff along the way...

Yes, there is Yoshinoya in China! So after we got into the city, we checked into our hostel (got a little ripped off) and dropped our stuff off. The first thing we decided to do was, of course, start eating some of that famous Hong Kong food! So we found a restaurant with some very interesting menu choices.

Mmmmm, snaily sea creature thingy. Actually we just went for some dimsum but seriously there was some weird stuff displayed in the tank.

By the time we finished eating, it was getting dark outside. Since our hostel was so ridiculously close to the water, we decided to take a walk down to the shore to get some pics of the famous skyline. Wow!

I was going to load a video of the cool ass light show that they do everynight that involves all the buildings across the water on Hong Kong Island, except that I seem to be having some compatibility problems with youtube and blogger right now AND youtube is being a bitch right now and not letting me upload the video at all.......grr....... I'll add a link when everything is working again.

Now this promenade is also famous because its the avenue of stars. Its like China's Hollywood. There are stars and handprints in the cement and a few other touristy things along the promenade.

Woo hoo! Bruce Lee! We were still feeling energetic and took a walk to the night market at the next station. We passed a 24 hour McDonalds and we couldn't resist popping in for some french fries.

Check it out - a McDonalds meal is like $25. HKD of course are not worth much :D

We finally made it to the night market! It was a sea of stuff in makeshift tents. It goes up and down every night. There was touristy stuff and not so touristy stuff. Copy bags and watches and sunglasses, small silk purses, electronics and other stuff. A plethora of purchasing! And of course nothing is the price it says. Part of the experience is haggling with the vendor to get the best price possible. I ended up buying a D&G Bag in a very nice green leather for about $40 Canadian. Yah!

Then we headed down the street and found a section of restaurants open quite late offering yummy treats! They had live seafood that was literally asphixiating in front of us on a table. Obviously we were intrigued and were enticed into one of the places for a $10 beer and some snacks.

When we finished eating we realised it was after midnight! Time for bed. We headed back to the hostel and went to sleep.....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Back Home

Made it back into Osaka today. Am TIRED! Holy crap! It was a really busy 4 and a half days. But a great one. I go now too my bed after a long bath at the sento. Posting later......

PS - A big thanks to Sakamoto who took care of my baby while I was gone. Otaku has been having some problems the last few days. (Too much coffee/coke/buying crap food at work which gave him gout!) I told him to stay away from the damn coffee and Yoshinoya and drink some water! Anyway, thanks to Sakamoto, AND to Sarah who took him to the hospital this morning for a checkup. Check Otaku's blog for the whole story.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Sakamoto-san is Karaoke Queen's old boss and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Having heard about how he helped out Osaka Otaku's problems of late, I though that this guy deserves a entire post dedicated to him and all the crazy things he does.

He seems to have this thing against cute Japanese cartoon characters.

And against sea life too.
Here he is in full-on nice guy mode.And here he is in crazy-I just-met-you -in-a-bar-and-your-my-best-friend mode.

Sexy legs

In all seriousness, Sakamoto is a cool guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty for his friends, clients (of which I'm very grateful) and humanity in general. Here's to him:CHEERS!

Hong Kong Update

Currently, I am blogging from an internet cafe in Hong Kong at 1AM. Holy cthings I've crap, its been a really busy 4 days!! We head back to Osaka tomorrow - but before we fly out at 3PM, we're still hoping to hit another temple and see the big outdoor buddha. I think I'm just going to sleep for a week when I get back home. The trip has been fantastic! I've had a great time and bought lots of souvenirs for people.

List of things I've done so far:

Navigated our way to the hostel avoiding the plague of guys outside who want to 1) sell you something (fake bags/watches/massages) or 2) send you to whatever hostel they represent regardless of the fact that you have a reservation somewhere else

Get a little ripped off by the hostel, but really only by $5 a night so who cares.

See the AWESOME city skyline. We walked down to the waters edge past some cool ass buildings and walked along the promenade and saw the light show that involves buildings across the bay.

Eat some fantastic Hong Kong food. All over. Various prices, various styles, but all good.

Do some shopping at the night market.

See some landmark buildings on Hong Kong Island.

Use the very clean and very efficient MTR system here in the city.

Go to Hong Kong Disneyland!! Yah! Its the smallest one they have (still under construction) but its still the magic kingdom.

See 1000 buddhas. Really, there is 1000. And a really cool ass temple.

Buy some really cheap, and some not so cheap souvenirs. Temple prices are always inflated.

Get harassed every day by the SAME guys standing outside the hostel. Again and again. "I have cheap bag!"

Speaking of bags, buy a D & G bag for a ridiculously cheap price.

Avoid getting my socks wet in the bathroom - the shower and toilet are in the same room. On the plus side, its private. There is Mickey Mouse on the half see through doors. Perhaps this is what triggered the Disneyland Trip. Is my hostel in cahoots with Disney???

Find this internet cafe where the guy who runs it is half Japanese. Talk about weird. Nice guy!! And meet a random Dutch guy who I'll probably keep in touch with. He seems nice.


Have a generally fantastic time!!

Whew. Thats all I can manage. I need to hit the hay! I also took about a million pictures (had to buy a memory card) so I be posting those eventually too.

Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!!

OK, I know my birthday was in January......BUT......I didn't get my present then. My Birthday and Christmas present this year from Richard is:


A trip to Hong Kong in the Spring. Yah! So I will be taking a quick trip to Hong Kong on Monday. Veeeery exciting! Its just what I wanted. I booked a cheap ticket with a local agency and Rachel and I will be getting on a plane in 2 days!! I can't wait. Of course Hong Kong is most famous for its incredibly rude inhabitants, and its f&$king fantastic restaurants!

Real Chinese food. Dim sum. My mouth is watering already......

Friday, March 02, 2007

The real Garfield

OK, I'm in a little bit of video overload, but this was too funny not to post. I'm sure when I told people that my cat watches TV - like WATCHES TV - they're like 'yeah, whatever'. Here is a video of someone elses cat just like mine. All he needs is a cold drink.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cool Art

The Hole - video powered by Metacafe

I discovered this video on another guys blog while just surfing. Watch the whole thing as its not what you expect! Too cool!

A sappy picture

OK, this picture and story is a bit sappy, but shoot me, I'm an animal lover and this story was too cute. It (and the picture) was sent to me by Brandy.

OK, so this person finds a fawn. Probably the mom has been hit by a car or something. So they take it home. The plan was to bottle raise it until they could transport it to some friends of theirs who have successfully freed 2 previous fawns into the wild. Heres the cute part. They already have a dog. A BIG dog. Who apparently loves the little fella!

Isn't that soooooo cute!!! OK, I'm done now. Back to your regular scheduled programming. No more fluffy animal stories for at least a month. :D