Friday, December 30, 2016

It was nice knowing you, 2016.

With 2017 around the corner, I can't help but be excited. Many people have been saying that 2016 has been a horrible year and they want it to be over. But I notice people say that about every year for some reason. Besides some political crap going on in the world and a rough start due to my parents, 2016 was a good year for me.

I had quit my crap job at the car dealership and enjoyed my last few months in California with friends and family. I even got to shoot with one of my favorite models, Alysha Nett and was able to capture some of my most favorite shots ever. And then, I set off to Japan working as an ALT and an English teacher at a private school.

I've met some students that I really love and some that really bug the shit out of me, but that's kids for you. I love my bosses, and I love my friends and my life in Japan.

I've been getting my tattoos, traveling within Japan, meeting up with old friends and making new ones. And being here in Japan has helped me learned more about what I want for myself in the future. I really loved 2016, I was hoping to make the most of it and I feel like I really did.

Some lessons I learned this year and advice for the new year?

It is all about timing. You can meet someone that is everything you ever wanted in a relationship but if the timing is wrong it won't work out. It's sucks, but it's okay. That's life, and you learn from everything. Just appreciate what you have and never forget to settle for anything less now that you know it's possible to receive unconditional love. Don't be so hard on yourself for not being in the right frame of mind to settle down, it isn't you, it's the timing. 
Putting yourself first does wonders. Not having to run your life by anyone and just living it without anyone's validation is something you should strive for. As long as you are not hurting anyone and you're doing it in a healthy way. Being able to think about your life choices without anyone putting their unnecessary opinions makes thing so much easier. Try to remember to do this when you no longer have the distance to help you do this. Remember to live your life for yourself, always.
Don't compare your life to others. People want different things. You tell yourself this all the time, so just listen seriously. This lesson will probably take forever to learn and will be a yearly thing but I will be here to keep reminding you. Do what you want, don't look to see where other people are in life. It's not a race, and no one is the same. Chances are, you guys don't even have the same goal. Just do what you feel is right for you. And as long as you're happy, nothing else matters. 
Give big decisions the time they deserve. Don't stress or over think. Just give it the time it needs, especially since this decision can change the rest of your life. It may seem like common sense, but sometimes you are so worried you're wasting time you tend to stress and think about what you should be doing. But my dear, you will waste more time making a rash decision and regretting the choice later. So, take your time.
It's okay to not have it all figured out. I know, another common sense one. But you're used to having a goal and having a plan of action to reach your goal. This is the first time you're unsure about your future. All you know is you want a job you enjoy, an apartment of your choice in a city you like, your tattoos, and a motorcycle for a small escape, and you know what? That's enough. You'll figure out the rest. You always do. Go with your gut instinct as always, and be patient. Enjoy what you have now.

I'm so grateful for 2016. Looking back on what I wanted last year was I wanted to make the most of 2016 and become more of the person I wanted to be and I have done that. I'm content with where I am in life. For 2017, I just want to solidify my plans for my future, make some good memories, and make the most of my time in Japan.  I'm looking forward to 2017, though I'd be lying if I wasn't a bit scared for what's in store. All I can do is hope for the best!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

秩父夜祭り





December 3rd was Chichibu's Night Festival. It's one of the few festivals that are held during the winter time, and it's Chichibu's biggest festival. I went with Lyy around 5pm and we took several pictures of the float and ate, ate, and ate some more.

We ate chicken skin, yakisoba, custard pancake thing, cheese french fries, and I'm sure we ate more but I can't remember. One of my favorite things is the food during a matsuri.

Around 8 or so, my friend Shayla met up with us and we ate more. It was nice. Lyy also got some hot sweet sake. As the night went on it got chilly, so when we went home we had nabe to warm ourselves up.

The night was filled with talks till the morning as usual. It was a nice weekend.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

25.





At the end of last month I turned 25,
and I spent my birthday weekend in Tokyo with my friend Lyy.

It was a simple birthday, eating pizza, drinking craft beer and talking the day and night away as we usually do.
We also went back to Tachikawa to do karaoke. That was fun, it had been while.

I didn't go back home till Monday around noon. It was a good weekend.
And Monday night, my bosses surprised me with a sweet potato pie they made.
I was so happy, and it was delicious.

It was definitely a pleasant birthday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

autumn colors.







How beautiful leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
― John Burroughs

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Small update.

Adulting has taken over my life, as it does for many so my blogging time has been reduced significantly. Some good news, I got my Japanese drivers license. It was a pain in the ass, but now I have my Japanese license. I'm so happy and proud. Also, it will make traveling within Japan easier.

Winter break is soon approaching. I can't believe it will soon be my birthday, then December, winter break, and then the new year. Time always flies so quickly around this time.

I actually forgot it was going to be my birthday until Lyy reminded me. I'm going to Tokyo for the weekend to watch a movie, eat pizza, drink beer, and just have a chill birthday! That's the plan at least.

I also have some nice winter break plans, but I'll share those when they're set. Also, as always, new tattoo pieces in the works.

I know I always say this but, time is flying!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice.



For Halloween me and Lyy were going to go to Tokyo. For a while, I was trying to figure out what to be but when I saw Lyy's tweet about wanting to be Lydia Deetz I knew what would be a perfect costume would be to be Beetlejuice.

Due to lack of sleep I woke up later than usual to been Lyy in Tachikawa where we had lunch. We still needed to get some things for our costumes, and getting ready took much longer than expected but it was still fun. Probably the most fun was getting ready tbh.

We were watching The Crow, talking, listening to Silverstein, and drinking. It was so much fun. By the time we were finished it was much later than expected so we ended up leaving to Shibuya and deciding to stay till the first train.

Since Halloween was on a Monday, and we went out on a Saturday, there wasn't as many people. But there was still quite a lot! We ended up taking purikura and eating. Chicken namban!! It was delicious.

We wanted to go to Harajuku to take more photos but it began to rain. We ended up going to the bar we usually would go to together and just chilled there till the first train talking. Which was probably what we would have done if it wasn't raining anyways lol.

More photos of our costume's on Lyy's blog!

Friday, November 11, 2016

cute without the e.


Me and Lyy met up when she came back to Japan in October. It was good to see her and catch up. Many things had changed, even in just the span of a few months.

Lyy came out with her own clothing line that has her art on it. It's called Sanatoriium, which is basically what all her designs of this brand will be focusing on. 

We had a small shoot in Harajuku at night and took some pretty nice shots for it being so short and limited. I love the design of the t-shirt and am so proud of how hard she is working to achieve her dreams.

If you are interested in this 'cute without the e' t-shirt, make sure to check out her Instagram.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Inktober.


Hello loves, it's been a while. Time goes by so much faster when you're working. Can I just say that I'm extremely happy it's fall? The weather is lovely, finally. I may be sick, but I'm still so happy it's nice and cold.

And now for the news, well it's not news if you follow me on instagram but if you don't here it is: I got two new tattoos, my wolf tattoo and my Eric Draven tattoo. Don't mind my wolf, Nymeria is peeling in this picture.

The month of October is going to be lovely, Lyy is coming back soon and Halloween is coming. I'm also excited to plan Halloween themed classes for my students, especially my older students.

Words cannot explain how happy I am that is it fall, I have this playlist that I tend to play around this time with Citizen, Brand New, Statistics, and Death Cab for Cutie. It's just nice to listen to music all day and chill in your room in a hoodie and high socks.

Can you believe it's six months since I've moved to Japan? It doesn't feel like it's been six months and with the holidays coming up I'm sure it will fly by even faster.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Miss World Japan 2016 & Countryside Students' Opinions on Her Win.

I'm taking a break from my Miyzaki trip posts and decided to write about something that happened a bit recently.

If you do not know, Miss World Japan 2016 was crowned, and she happened to be another mixed aka half contestant. Her name is Priyanka Yoshikawa, and she is half Japanese and half Indian. And as Ariana Miyamoto experienced backlash, so is she. 

I often watch a YouTuber called, The Japanese Man Yuta. He tends to interview Japanese people on opinions of certain matters. Sometimes they're controversial, sometimes they're not, but I find them interesting.

He believed that the media was portraying Japan wrongly in regards to the win of Priyanka Yoshikawa saying that most people were fine with her win and support this. In his video, indeed most people were fine with her win. 

However, these interviews are conducted in Tokyo, and the people who are being interviewed are people who are okay with people filmed and having their face put on YouTube, which is not common. Japanese are very private, so needless to say, the people he is filming tend to be more outgoing people. Which, although it was interesting to watch indeed it does make the results a bit skewed.

So, I took the opportunity to use my high school students at the eikawa I work at to see what they thought about her opinion. I was curious to see what my students had to say. I have 7 students, 3 males and 4 females. All are high school students except for one who is a third year in junior high school. 

I first showed them a general video about Priyanka Yoshikawa so they could get background information on her. Then, I showed them the video made by Yuta, so they could see some different views on the matter. Then I asked students whether they believed it was okay that she represented Japan or did they believe that someone "full Japanese" would be better and why?

5 of my students were okay with Priyanka representing Japan,  4 girls and 1 male. The reasons being because she was born and raised in Japan so that makes her Japanese. The second reason being, she was nominated to win so clearly people believed that she would make a good representation of Japan. 
There were 2 male students who did not support her win. Their reasons were that she is not full Japanese so she is not an accurate representation of Japan. The second reason being, that Japanese beauty is unique and her being half does not show the "true Japanese beauty."

The overall consensus was indeed that most people considered her Japanese because she was born and raised in Japan but of course, there is a small amount that believe that because she is half she is not really Japanese.

I was a bit disappointed in my students who opposed her win, but I was happy that they even voiced their true opinion since most Japanese do not and they were the last ones who voiced their opinions.

And of course, we know that the countryside is still very traditional. My bosses told me that where I live, their way of thinking is equivalent to my parent's generation. 

Though Japan is changing on some strict traditional views, especially the youth in the city, the countryside still has a way to go. But I was happy that most of my students supported her win.

I had my students talk about their opinions on tattoos which will be posted later as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aoshima Beach Park.








Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

After Sun Messe, we headed to Aoshima which was close to our hotel. The weather was perfect to head to the beach. This beach was lovely! Not only was there little to no people, but the beach had it's own beach park! They had cute little food stands and clothes stands. Me and Lisa would have got something but we were meeting some old friends of hers later so we had to save our appetite.

But this beach is probably my favorite beach in Japan so far. The people are so fun and outgoing and the beach was just so oshare and cute!

After the beach, we headed to meet her friends at Aeon Mall and we ate chicken nanban, which I immediately fell in love with. Apparently, it's Miyazaki's soul food.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

island vibes.












Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

After Udo Shrine, Sun Messe was our next stop! We drove along the ocean with the windows down and sang along to cliche summer songs, "Island in the Sun" by Weezer, "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. We butchered the songs but it was so fun.

When we arrived at Sun Messe we were a bit hungry so we decided to eat some mango soft serve since Miyazaki is known for their mangos.

The weather was good, and the view were lovely. Me and Lisa wanted to get a go-cart and drive it around Sun Messe but you need a Japanese drivers license, Lisa was pretty bummed. But we got to exercise more lol.

Sun Messe definitely had the best things for omiyage so I stocked up here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

sapphire blue oceans & shrines in caves.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Me and Lisa ended up planning a trip to Kyushu for our summer vacation. I wanted a little getaway and Lisa was down for one as well. After seeing photos of my older sister's trip in Jamaica, I craved the beach (which is rare).

Lisa told me about Miyazaki, a place she used to live when she first came to Japan. She said it's pretty much forgotten now with little to no tourism but it has lovely beaches that many local surfers go to. It sounded lovely so I was of course up for it.

I later realized that Miyazaki was home of the Japanese gods and it had Takachiho gorge, a place on my bucket-list. I was sold.

I stayed at her place the night before and we headed early to our flight where we landed in Miyazaki pretty early. We got our rental car, ate, and headed to our first destination: Udo Shrine.











Saturday, September 17, 2016

ビラパワ

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. That work life tends to get in the way of doing fun things, especially the Japanese work life. I'll post an update post soon, but there are still so many other posts I'm behind about. So I wanted to finish those before I get more behind. So back to the summer vacation posts.

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Me and K have been wanting to go to this pizza place that my students told me about back when I first started teaching but it was only open on the weekends and he usually visits me during the week since he works weekends.

We finally got a chance to go though, and it was a cute pizza shop owned by two elderly people where they cooked the pizza in their own stone oven. It differently had a nice, cozy, western feel to it. And the pizza was amazingly good.

I usually don't care much for margherita pizza but this tasted so good, I loved it more than my chorizo jalepeno pizza (which was also really good)! They also had their drinks in nice vintage soda bottles. I loved that, reminded me of Mexico ironically.