Tuesday, December 22, 2009

great post "it was racist"

Lots of food for thought in this post: it was racist.
The references that the author cites sound very interesting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kid Cudi - Pursuit of Happiness

The video is terribly cliched, but the song itself rocks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

thoughtlessness...

A great post on thoughtlessness and racism.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

blah, Iyaz - Replay

Tired and eyes have been a little irritated, so went light on the makeup today. Filled in eyebrows with pencil (Shiseido Inoui ID automatic pencil liner in a taupe), tightlined with liquid eyeliner (Kanebo Kate Supersharp Eyeliner in brown), and added a stain of a warm berry lipstick (Maybelline Lipstick in Toasted Almond). Kind of a fun change.

Iyaz has an addictive song Replay out now.

Monday, December 07, 2009

sequoia e-mook

I have got to start eating breakfast.
Mary J. Blige and Christy Turlington are great.

It's really nice to see the great supermodels returning. There are tons of pretty models nowadays, but Turlington is gorgeous and interesting. I don't like Kate Moss as much, even though she does manage to be a fashion leader.

I picked up the e-mook from Sequoia this weekend. Included as a huroku/gift is a hot pink little tote bag with sturdy leather handles. I'm using it at work for my midday (lunch) excursions, as my little canvas Miffy tote (gift from Lawson by collecting stickers) is a bit grungy and could use a wash. The pink Sequoia tote is much more of a proper bag as it's even lined! For 1200 yen, you can't beat it in Japan. It's probably made in China of course, but it's cute and useful. My Chisato Mori tote has a terribly cute pattern, but it's not as nicely made so I'll use it for shopping closer to hope - easy to toss my wallet, keys and phone into totes as opposed to proper purses.

It's funny, Le Sport Sac bags are really far too marked up in Japan. Much better to buy in the U.S. as Le Sport Sac even has a sale site! Currently down for maintenance. I hope it comes back soon so I can do some holiday shopping. I'll check out Bluefly instead.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Banned books

From Two Women Blogging, the Top 20 banned or challenged books in the US during the 20th century. The ones I've read are in bold.

I don't understand understand the concept of banning books, but in particular I don't understand why you'd ban the following books.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck -read outside of school
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell

10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
13. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell

18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - tried to read
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

wtf

The Maguindanao massacre

Good grief! Inhuman.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

materialism: consumerism

I took a look at Majolica Majorca's holiday collection last night.

The Secret Lingerie sparkly scented body cream seems rather nice with mild sparkle and a pleasant scent. It's quite a lot of cream too; I'm not sure I'd be able to use it up. Actually, I'm quite unlikely to be able to use it up unless I use it every day during the winter!

The sparkly powder in the collection was a bit disappointing though - the powder leaves a whitish cast on the skin which is quite noticeable if skin is a bit dry - it'd be difficult for me to use, although the sparkle is rather subtle.

The palettes are cute and the pigmentation of the eyeshadows is pretty good. The dark shade is only slightly powdery, and the lighter shade is rather smooth and shimmery. I found the purple shades to be a bit nicer than the grey ones in softness, but that could be my imagination. The glittery gloss is not really useful, but the pigmented gloss is useable.

Tempting, but I think I'll pass. I just don't need more glosses, and I could buy a regular MM quad palette for the same price.

I may pick up the body cream though.

mini review: bb cream, dhc makeup base

tried missha's bb cream today. The one in the brown packaging, No. 23.

My face feels a bit itchy so I'd like to take it off, but it's my only sunblock today, so I think I'll deal with it.

I'll probably toss the rest of the sample. I was hoping it'd be a nice alternative to foundation in this dry cold weather, but I hate stuff that makes my face itchy. When my skin recovers from this sample I'll try the Hanskin super bb cream sample I have. Then maybe I'll use up the fancl foundation I got from my roommate. In this dry air, powder foundation just isn't working well on my skin.

By the way, I've tried DHC's rose makeup base; it looks rather nice - brightens my skin - but my face feels a bit stiff afterwards and I can't really smile or yawn normally, so I'm keeping it around just for special occasions. I should probably just dump it; it's not like it even occurs to me to use it :P

Thursday, November 19, 2009

japanese vocab: 試行錯誤 shikousakugo

試行錯誤(しこうさくご): trial and error

today's breakfast

yogurt and a steamed meat dumpling 肉まん

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

カタカナ英語

カタカナ英語を使うのは面白い。。。

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i just don't understand

Why should someone else's religion dictate my health care? It doesn't make any sense.

And I do think there is a need for ethical evaluation of technological innovations, which includes medical advances, but this is distinct from moral judgements on what medical care should be provided. Ethics are distinct from morals.

Monday, November 16, 2009

lady gaga

I want to hate her, and I do hate some of her videos and lyrics, but her songs are darn catchy. "Telephone" is addictive!

Friday, November 13, 2009

gyoza (pan-fried dumplings, aka potstickers)

Went to a little gyoza shop in Ginza last night for a quick dinner. They focus on gyoza and beer, heh. They do have some other options, but I opted to try the shop's chao chao gyoza (like a sheet of mini open-ended taiwanese dumplings), the shiso-flavored gyoza, and the shrimp gyoza. All were pretty good but I think the shrimp gyoza were the best. But man, that was a heavy, greasy dinner!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

materialism: cleansing oils summary

I've been steadily trying various cleansing oils, like Naive, Sana Nameraka Honpo, Shiseido Perfect Cleansing oil, but still I think DHC's olive oil based one works the best on my skin. It's also the harshest, but it really cleans my pores. Fancl's cleansing oil comes in second for me. Once I use up my current bottle of Shiseido, I'm going to give Extra Virgin Olive Oil a try; can't beat the cost!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

kenji yoshino

Read an excerpt from his book here; articulate and perceptive. I want this book!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The First Death by Jay

The First Death by Jay

tsuke-men showdown

Ramen events rule.
In Hibiya they're holding the last of 3 ramen showdowns; about 8 ramen shops hold temporary stands in this park near Ginza. It's all tsuke-men - ramen that you dip into the thicker than normal soup. Usually tsuke-men is more popular in the summer, since it's cooler to eat than a regular bowl of ramen. Yesterday I tried this Fukuoka restaurant 博多 新風's ramen - soo good! The soup was deliciously thick and savory, and meshed perfectly with the noodles. By itself the soup was overpowering, but with noodles; perfection!

I took a picture with my cell phone but it was dark and blurry; darn this newer Sharp phone that lacks a flash!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

persimmons and girl crushes

Lately I've been addicted to persimmons. They're sweet and delicious and very halloween-y as they look akin to smooth mini pumpkins.

However, they take a while for me to peel (bleh). Clementines and Japanese mikans are the best for peel-ability.

While peeling, I thought of some of my biggest girl crushes.


Salma Hayek - long-time girl crush on her. She's just fabulous. Sexy, hot, and smoldering. She really knows how to dress but is never tacky.

Michelle Yeoh - she's just beautiful. And strong. I love that. Line her up next to Zhang Zi-Yi and you can see how much more beautiful Yeoh is. Zhang is just plain in comparison.

Megan Fox - never seen her act, but her pictures always make me take a second look. Probably the less I know about her the better, heh.

Former crushes include Catherine Zeta-Jones. Just beautiful, but lately I see her and think of her husband and that's just euw. Don't need that, nothing personal. Angelina Jolie - fabulous, and wow she can work those stilettos, but dunno, Pitt is just rather boring now that he's with her. Her kids are adorable though.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men cover Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" on their new cover album, Love! I can't wait to hear their version. The album comes out Nov. 17th, so just 2 weeks.

Rather addicted to their song Booed Up from The Remedy:


Anyone see Michael Jackson's "This is It"? It's not exactly a documentary, and a way for people to profit off of his last moments, but it's also a way for fans to see what might have been in London.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Disgrasian: Amazian of the Week: Sgt. Sandra Lee

Kudos to Sgt. Sandra Lee for speaking out.

Those statistics are boggling!

brand crushes

From cosmetic-candy, 5 current brand crushes:

Giorgio Armani - just fantastic packaging and luxurious products. I've only tried the lipstick and lipgloss and sheer fluids, but they were lovely. If only they weren't ridiculously priced in Japan.
Shu Uemura - the array of colors and the gorgeous collections they put out really draw me in. I love rouge unlimited too; a great formula.
Shiseido - Dick Page! And the lipsticks in most of the ranges are just gorgeous. I adore the metal packaging of the The Makeup Perfecting Lipstick.
Majolica Majorca - I can never remember which order the two words go in, but the brand image is so cute and the eyeshadows are just lovely.
Lunasol - the glittery eyeshadows just draw me in, and the lovely pigmented liquid liners call me. Darn them!

Suqqu - If I had money to burn, all of their products sound fantastic
Chanel - I'd love to try their lipsticks and blushes
Beauty Credit - still addicted to the scent of the Pomegranate skin care series

Palangtong baked collection?

It looks like Palgantong has a new collection of baked blushes and eyeshadows. Rather interesting!

The blushes look very pretty, I'm going to go swatch them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

smashbox cream liners

I got a little mini cream liners set from Sephora courtesy of a friend; a very travel friendly and nicely packaged set of 4 cream liners, with a usable brush and mirror for application.

The cream liners are very pretty and apply pretty smoothly, but even with a primer and eyeshadow on top the liners smudge on me. Ah well, gel and cream liners just don't work for me, or I haven't learned to apply them so that they'll work for me. Back to my trusty Kate Super Sharp liquid liner in brown.

It's too bad, because the sparkly grey liner is really nice even for work.

Alexander Wang Maquillage lipsticks

I thought I'd post a list of the limited edition Maquillage Moisture Rouge (sheer type) マキアージュ モイスチャールージュ(シアータイプ) colors from Alexander Wang:
BE380
RD303
RD564
RD732
RS535
RS721
RS713

They're lovely lipsticks but the lighter colors don't seem that necessary to me; on my pigmented lips they just show up as a pretty sheen. I'm still lemming that RD564 but it's just a touch too cool for my taste.

The lipsticks are sold out in quite a few places in Tokyo, but you can still find at least some of them pretty easily. I haven't seen the darker colors recently though. They're gorgeous but I'm going to settle for less expensive alternatives. 3000 yen for a lipstick is just too much!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shiseido Maquillage Perfect Gloss

Shiseido Maquillage's newest glosses are fantastic!
Only a little sticky on the lips, wonderfully glossy, long-lasting, medium-pigmentation, subtle sparkle.
I'm going to buy one gloss each time I go through duty-free in the airport. I'll start with the less popular shades, as those will probably be the first ones to be discontinued.
Let's ignore the fact that I already have more glosses than I can use up. I'm really going to have to do a better job on using them up. It's been a while since I've been interested in lipglosses - for a while I was enjoying the more subtle effect of lipstick only.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

yay for the al franken amendment

Senate approves amendment

Hopefully it will remain through the final vote + after reconciliation with the House amendment.

Gotta wonder why the 30 GOP members and the Defense Department oppose this amendment. It's such an obvious clause. Yay for everyone who voted for it.

Republican Sen. George LeMieux of Florida echoed some of Murkowski's sentiments.

"I can't see in any circumstance that a woman who was a victim of sexual assault shouldn't have her right to go to court," LeMieux said. "So, that is why I voted for it."


Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania did not vote.

- "Senate passes Franken amendment aimed at defense contractors"
By Cynthia Dizikes, MinnPost


Actually, it should be illegal for companies to require employees to resolve sexual assault allegations and other claims through arbitration. These are crimes; the police/military should investigate them.

The senators who opposed the amendment (all Republicans and all men):
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Japanese magazine Glamorous

Glamorous features Namie Amuro on the cover; it's kind of a gyaru-ish magazine targetted at women in their late twenties. This month the 750 yen magazine has a "special box" from Emilio Pucci: 3 note books and I believe a mini perfume. The magazine goes on sale today.

the associated press is stupid

According to the Associated Press,
Roman Polanski lost the first round Tuesday in his battle to avoid extradition to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.

It's not sex. He drugged and raped her. He admitted to it!

Ugh. It's horrible to just type that sentence out. Ugh ugh ugh.

update: better than I can put it, this post sums up the whole situation nicely.

Friday, October 02, 2009

the women's crusade

The Women's Crusade - saving the world's women.

ugh

fong lee and violence

Police officers being offered/awarded the medal of valor for shooting unarmed civilians just boggles the mind.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

nov. issue of Spring, Biteki

I picked up the November issue of Spring for the JILL by Jill Stuart cosmetic pouch that is included with each purchase. At only 600 yen for the magazine, I'm quite happy with it.
The pouch itself is a smooth, light nylon. It opens easily and has a pair of handles so it's a bit more functional than most pouches included. It has a nice set of pockets for brushes, etc, and a mesh side pocket for other items. Quite functional and well designed. However, the big red plasic heart came a bit scratched already; I'm not sure if it got scratched in transit or what.
For the price, I'm tempted to get a second pouch, but I don't really need more than one pouch in this very girly heart pattern.

Biteki has a Roberto pouch and some Est samples included; I'm tempted to pick it up too. However, I wasn't all that impressed with the quality of the Roberto passport case, and I've bought a lot of magazines this month, so I'm thinking it over.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BAPE kids mook is out

The BAPE kids by A Bathing Ape magazine book (mook) is out now. A bit pricy at 1800 yen, it comes with a square boston bag in a colorful nylon material. Quite a nice large size, with long handles and a zipper on top, I am rather happy with it. If the nylon holds up to regular usage, it's quite a reasonable price, considering that a tshirt from BAPE kids cost 4000+ yen.

The fabric is a bit rough, but seems sturdy. The mook is quite nice; they've packaged it so that the gift bag is separate from the mook (rather a catalog really) so you can keep the mook itself around and throw away the cardboard packaging that protects the gift. I actually plan on giving the mook to some friends as I think they'll be amused by the pictures of the fashionable families pictured. The kids are absolutely adorable too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Racism 101

A followup to the previous post: Racism 101

An ever-expanding list of common understandings we share as anti-racists. Please feel free to submit your own entries.

a really interesting post about writing people of color

From Margin to Center: Writing Characters of Color

by Guest Contributor Neesha Meminger, originally published at Justine Larbalestier

This essay was originally meant to be a short comment in response to Justine’s post on why her protags aren’t white. In one of the comments, someone brought up the old argument: if white people can only write white characters, then should people of color only write characters of color? Here is my response . . .

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

simple string processing

I was searching for elegant ways to remove every other character from a string and came across this
thread.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

update on Fasio Melting Glossy Rouge RD441

It's a gorgeous color - a sheer but decently pigmented and wearable warm red with gold shimmer (shimmer is on the coarse side). A lot of slip to the lipstick, and plenty of shine to merit the Glossy name. However, it doesn't have much lasting power. It disappears within an hour if you're drinking anything. A pity since the color and finish are so pretty.

Perhaps I'll check out Maquillage's fall limited edition color by Alexander Wang; I'd had my eye on Maquillage Moisture Rouge Sheer Type RD564 but wasn't convinced the color was quite right for me. Still, it's a pretty color with good lasting ability. I'll go try it on again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Amerie "Heard Em All"

Amerie's upcoming new single Heard Em All is addictive!!!

Amerieの曲 Heard Em Allはすごい!
たまらない!

とりあえず Why R Uを先に買う。

あんなに個性的な音楽を作るのはすごい。
最近の新しいR&Bはどれでも同じっぽい。たとえばEsmee Denters;彼女は歌えるしデビュー曲は聞きやすいけどそんなに頭に残らない。

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MARC BY MARC JACOBS 2009 FALL/WINTER COLLECTION e-mook


The MARC BY MARC JACOBS 2009 FALL/WINTER COLLECTION e-mook (magazine book) out in Japan is a great deal; for 1200 yen it includes a cute, cute, cute black canvas tote bag of a good size. I almost don't want to use it, it's so cute!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brochettes de Reve et kushinobo

前から気になった串かつの店は今日やっと行けた。

「Brochettes de Reve et kushinobo」
約は「夢のような、何て素敵な串揚げでしょう!」らしい
http://www.kushinobo.co.jp/brochettes/
つまり、フランスのビストロ風な串かつの店。

ランチ(平日のみかな)は11:30~14:00で、1050円からする。
1050円で串かつ8本、ライスと味噌汁(お変わりできる)、サラダ、お新香がでる。
サラダはキャベツがメイン(串かつからかしら)なので、まあ、私の好みではないけど、ほかは全部美味しかった!
http://www.hotpepper.jp/A_20200/strJ000704740_hmd2.html

新鮮で、肉も柔らかかったし、魚はちょうど良かったし、満喫は昼ごはんだった。遅い時間に行ったので、店はけっこう空いていて、サービスがよかった。何回も店員がお茶(麦茶ぽかった)を注いでくれた。

おすすめ!銀座だけでも3つの店があって、六本木などにも店舗があるみたい。

Thursday, August 13, 2009

on battling your fears

A nice post on ignoring your fears and just getting started.

interesting how people are reacting to Clinton's comments

A thought experiment

fallacy tutorial

Apparently there's a Mac tutorial called Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3.0. The text of the tutorial is here. It would be nice if we could run all politicians' speeches through it and automatically parse out the fallacies!

Then we could ignore the crap and just get to any actual valid points.

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson is great, but Self magazine is a little twisted.

Monday, August 10, 2009

on generalizations

An excellent post on generalizations by RenegadeEvolution:
I am sorta of the mind that people are a pretty diverse bunch, and lumping them in with all statements and universal guidelines is a huge disservice to…well, a lot (not all, but a lot) of people. It can lend itself to some nasty stereotyping and misinformation about various sections of humanity- often times already marginalized ones (women, people of color, gay people, disabled people, sex workers, trans people so on) and I think universal statements or assumptions sell the coolness that is human difference and uniqueness and individuality short.

Nirvana New York in Roppongi Midtown

Good Indian food but overpriced; I suppose you pay for the ambiance and location.
Nice view of the Garden Terrace though; very pretty.
Interesting entrance - look down when you walk in.

However, one of the waiters was a bit rude; service was slow (only 2 or 3 visible waiters, and one server) and when our waiter finally deigned to come by our table, he was unapologetic in a coldly polite way. For being overpriced and with a name like Nirvana! I expected a bit better. The other staff were rather nicer, including the maitre d, but sadly the cold waiter was probably in charge of our table.

Still, if you go, the samosas are tasty (although tiny), and the mozzarella nan is delicious and a nice size. The saag paneer was a bit salty although very good otherwise. The masala caesar salad was quite good too.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

interesting

An op-ed article on the Prof. Gates/Sgt. Crowley incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I think for some people, the question is whether the police officer was just a jerk, or a racist jerk.

In the end, you can't deny he was a jerk, at minimum. So what he did was wrong. But he and the police dept. do not admit any guilt.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

want to live here

in this fabulous house designed by Yoshiaki Tanaka in Aichi prefecture.

Okay, maybe I'd like a few more windows, but this place is great!

tomatoes

In an effort to be healthier, I bought a bag of fresh tomatoes into work. Two for breakfast today, and more for snacking or tomorrow's breakfast. I meant to buy some yogurt but haven't made it to the convenience store yet.

If I ever move back to the U.S. it'll take a while to get used to the inconveniences like no healthy foods in the convenience stores...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

stay in Fukuoka and study Japanese!

My friend runs a Japanese Language School in Fukuoka that offers various accommodations in addition to a wide variety of lesson plans; the manga and anime courses look very fun.

I've never been to Fukuoka before, but as part of Kyushu, it is famous for tonkotsu ramen (my favorite type of ramen). It is also apparently extremely convenient, being only 20 minutes by train from the airport! Tokyo, in contrast, is an hour and half to 2 hours from Narita International Airport, and an hour from Haneda airport, the domestic airport.

Fukuoka is apparently home to quite a lot of game and anime developers, so the manga and anime courses are probably great fun. It seems rather more authentic than going to Harajuku to stare at the ever dwindling numbers of goth-loli kids there.

This seems like a great way to combine some intensive Japanese study with a trip to Fukuoka and Kyushu. I may have to try it out this fall before the JLPT.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Alicia Keys vs. Beyonce

別に意味も無いアンケートだけど、誰のほうは才能があると思う?

私だったら、個人的に歌手として、Alicia Keysのほうが上かな。

けど、声について、どちらのほうがいいかは私には分からないこと(判断できまへん)。
Keysのほうが上だと思う理由は単純にKeysの曲作りの才能のほうがいいので。

Beyonceは頭に残る曲を書けるし、歌えるけど、十年後でその曲が聞きたいのは微妙だな。Keysのほうは歌詞が得意し、飽きない曲が書ける。

まあ、踊りとしてBeyonceのほうた確かに得意けど、それは歌手として必要な技術ではない。

on using money sensibly

I've bought 4 pairs of shoes in the last week.

This is quite an unusual event, in that it's rather difficult to find my shoe size here in Japan. Normally, shoes for women only go as large as 24.5 cm here. However, I've slowly gotten to know the stores that carry larger sizes.

Washington Appropriate (specialty branch of Washington, a Japanese shoe store) in Ginza (6F of the building that Dalloyau sits in). I only learned about this store recently, but the shoes are reasonably stylish and seem to be pretty well made. Probably on the high end of average shoe prices in Japan. Summer and winter sales periods are a good time to shop, as most shoes are on sale for half price. Even then, a pair of shoes is likely to be 10,000 yen. I heard about this shop just in time for the current sale period and in my excitement, I bought 3 pairs :) All of the shoes are quite attractive, but the loveliest pair was too stiff and gave me blisters. I had to take it to the local repair shop to have them stretch it out. Still, one pair of shoes is soft leather and is almost guaranteed to be comfortable. The last pair of shoes will probably have to be stretched and softened too.

Oriental Traffic carries larger sizes at all of their stores apparently. Shimokitazawa has a floor devoted to the larger sizes, which is much less crowded than the ground floor shop. Trendy and inexpensive shoes (many 5,000 yen shoes). Quality is what you would expect from the price, but fun styles. I think all of the shoes are made in China. I've never owned any of their shoes.

O1O1's branch next to MUJI in East Shinjuku (after Kinokuniya and on the way to Isetan) has a store in the basement devoted to Model sizes (I like their term for large sizes!). Styles are quite fashionable, and prices range from 10,000 to 20,000+ easily. Quality is average or above. I have a pair of shoes that have lasted a couple years and are still wearable. They carry a range of brands so I don't know how good the quality is in general.

Queen's 卑弥呼 is the specialty branch of the 卑弥呼 shoe manufacturer, located in Keio Mall on the basement level of the west side of Shinjuku. Styles are fashionable and prices range from 10,000 to 20,000, but the pair of shoes I got from this shop only lasted about a year of regular use. They were quite comfortable in the beginning though.

Tulsa Time in Kichijoji - for the average prices they charge, I didn't think the quality of the shoes was particularly good. Most shoes were in the 7,000 to 15,000 yen range, but of course there are less and more expensive shoes also available. Styles lean towards what is trendy for women in their mid-20s here.

There's a shoe store on the west side of Seibu Shinjuku station - coming from Shinjuku station you go out the west exit, turn right, and walk along that large street for a while before coming to the shop on the left side of the street. Styles lean towards older and less trendy fashions. The store itself feels rather old. I thought quality was so-so, and didn't end up buying anything. Price range was similar to Tulsa Time.

As a bonus, I discovered that my local shoe/bag repair shop carries Castaner sandals! Sadly they were sold out of my size, but I did find some lovely italian sandals in a soft dark brown leather for a mere 4,000. That was my fourth purchase this week, and the very best. Ridiculously cheap, classically stylish, and comfortable shoes. I may just stalk the store for their half-yearly shipments of new stock, as they make spending more money at other places look terribly nonsensical. If you wear size 35 or 37, there's a shop I can tell you about.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

i thought the u.s. govt. was better run

but I guess you can do a lot with bluster.

Conflict Over Spying Led White House to Brink

Though the president had the formal say over who was "read in" to the domestic surveillance program, Addington controlled the list in practice, according to three officials with personal knowledge. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales was aware of the program, but was not a careful student of the complex legal questions it raised. In its first 18 months, the only other lawyer who reviewed the program was John Yoo.


Anyway, the entire Bush administration should be investigated for illegal proceedings. We need to find the people who made it possible for this farce to continue unimpeded for 6+ years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

some Majolica Majorca, Kate, Lavshuca products to be discontinued

Majolica Majorca Cheek Customize OR322(コーラルピンク), Kate Deep Trap Eyes GY-1, all of Kate Dual Caret, and all of the Lavshuca 3 color palettes will be discontinued when the new collections come out.

I've been meaning to pick up Kate Deep Trap Eyes in GY-1 so I'll try to do it today before they take it away for the new display. I only recently picked up Cheek Customize in Red and have yet to try it, but all of the reviews describe OR322 as a nicely pigmented orange, so I'll have to get one also.
I'm also considering Dual Caret in PU-1, as the dark shade is a pretty blue-purple and it is sparkly but still wearable for work. It's not a must-have though, so perhaps I should refrain.

At times like this Daikoku drugstore in Shimokitazawa is great because all Kate products are always 30% off.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Avene soothing moisture mask and my makeup bag

I tried my roommate's Avene soothing moisture mask last night. I used a couple dollops but it all just disappeared into my skin - perhaps my skin is so dry it just inhales the moisture?

My face was quite pale after the mask; a lot of the redness disappeared, although it's back today.

My roommate quite likes the mask; she has sensitive skin that easily gets dry, so if it works for it's probably safe for me to use. I haven't noticed any irritation today. I don't to invest in any masks at the moment though; I already have two masks that are taking years to use up!

Just give me easy, simple skincare that works.

I think the air-conditioning at work is quite strong; I should bring in my thermal water spray and use it throughout the day.

Daily Beauty Buzz posted and got me thinking about what was in my bag.

At the moment:
* Clarins moisture quench lip balm in 14 I think (a bright, orange balm)
* multivitamins (not really taking them regularly but I should)
* Eve tablets (ibuprofen)
* Silky Girl eyeshadow duo in champagne and brown
* pads
* blotting paper
* Fragonard solid perfume
* band-aids
* little Doraemon mirror
* Palmer's cocoa butter lip balm with spf 15
* dental floss

What's in your bag?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

materialism: quick review: eyeshadows

Silky Girl eyeshadow duos - I got the pinkish-beige and brown duo. A good, easy to use combination of colors. Silky texture - easy to apply and blend; metallic finish but not over the top. However, it creases, although the lasting power is fine. It's good to have in my little makeup bag, but it's not something I need to repurchase.

Wet eyeshadow quads from Lawson 100 (100 yen shop) - some nice colors including a lovely metallic taupe; reasonably easy to blend, metallic finish but lightly applied it's fine for work. Lasting power is mediocre though - maybe two hours at most. Creases also, so not something that I'll repurchase. Again, handy for "emergencies" but better for when you want to play with makeup. I ended up with 3 of the quads, in blue, purple, and the darker brown version. Colorwise, I think the purple one is the best.
The brown set is odd in that most of the colors are warm but the darkest taupe brown is cool. The blue one is nice but the two middle colors are pretty much identical.

Perhaps with a good eyeshadow base all of these eye-shadows would be very useful. I may experiment if I ever start using a base.

Anyway, I enjoyed trying all of these shadows. The total damage only came to $10, and I can keep them in all of my purses if I want to.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

cheese o-nigiri

I am completely addicted to the Cheese Ao-jiso rice balls チーズ青じそおにぎり (at the bottom of the 4 rice balls shown) at Natural Lawson, an organic/healthily-themed convenience store in Japan.

These are delicious! A bit creamy because of the cheese, and very tasty while being healthy.

There's nothing better than cheese and rice, heh.

Tsumori Chisato lunch bag tote in Jille

Jille magazine has a lunch bag tote from Tsumori Chisato in a very cute print. The tote itself is a slippery plastic one, not particularly high quality, but seems functional and easy to clean. The print is terribly cute though.

Monday, July 13, 2009

materialism: lipstick review: Fasio Melting Glossy Rouge RD441

Fasio Melting Glossy Rouge RD441
ファシオメルティンググロッシー ルージュ
11 colors 1,400yen (1,470yen including tax)
全11色 各1,400円(税込1,470円)

This lipstick is very nice. A bit of gold sparkle in it, and the pigment wears nicely. A shiny finish, befitting the "Glossy" name. The RD441 is just the sheer red I was looking for - it doesn't turn fuschia and is a wearable red that I can wear sheer-ly or layer on for more pigment. A light, comfortable formula. The packaging is solid and sleek.

With lipsticks like these, I may not venture beyond the 1400 yen mark for lip products, unless there's a unique color that I can't find otherwise. I'm looking forward to trying Integrate Live Fix Rouge next

I'm going to pass on the Alexander Wang limited edition lipstick; at twice the price and a limited edition, it isn't worth it. Also, while the color is pretty, it is a bit fuschia/cool for my taste.

I haven't been too interested in Kose's Fasio line, but this is a very nice lipstick and color. I'll be interested in trying other colors and formulas of lipstick in the line.

Friday, July 03, 2009

michael マイケル

Did you know that the one and only Michael (Jackson) merely needed his first name to be identified in Japan?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

favorites update

current favorites
* Seikisho soap - love the delicate herbal scent! can be a little drying though
* Adjuvant Re:>>>Treatment
* Laura Biagiotti Roma edt - lovely fragrance
* Jean Patou Sublime edt
* Kanebo Kate Super Sharp Liner BR-1
* Paul & Joe lipstick - love the shine and subtle sparkle of this lipstick, but it's too expensive to re-purchase (unless I really can't duplicate this with any other lipstick)
* Majolica Majorca Eye Shadow Customize - the metallic shades are really great and so inexpensive!
* Kanebo Lunasol Sheer Contrast eye shadow - limited edition summer palette - too sparkly to re-purchase anything in this series unless I use it up, but I like it a lot

perennial favorites (stuff I re-purchase when possible)
* Barbara Bui Le Parfum (will they hurry up and re-issue this?)
* DHC deep cleansing oil
* Queen Helena clay mask
* Shu Uemura lash curler
* Flamingo foldable brow shaver
* Opera MyLash mascara
* DejaVu Fiberwig mascara
* Inoui ID eyebrow automatic pencil (discontinued)
* Inoui ID eyeshadows (discontinued)
* Inoui ID blush duo (discontinued)
* Shiseido Perfecting Lipstick (too expensive though)
* Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited (lipstick) (too expensive though)
* Bloom lip gloss (in the frosted tube)

what was I waiting for?

Geez, why have I been wasting my time on all of these other eyeliners?

It took me years to try Kanebo Kate's Super Sharp Liner, and wow it's great so far! Easy to use, and the brown is perfect for definition while not harsh at all. We'll see how it wears over the day. If it doesn't flake, it'll be great.

I have to try Integrate's liquid pen liner next; that's supposed to be super easy to use also. But I can find Kate at 30% off, so it's a super deal next to Integrate, which is never on sale.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

materialisim: powder foundation mini reviews

Cle de Peau Teint Naturel Poudre (powder foundation) - full coverage, good oil control, good lasting ability, rather matte in finish (at first; it be comes more natural as my skin produces oil). I rather like this foundation, but it's so pricy! I'd rather give Guerlain's Parure Pearly White foundation a try at half the price (online). Still, when money is no object, this is a quality foundation that won't waste your time.

Coffret D'Or Lasting Power Pact UV (powder foundation) - my impression is of a normal foundation. Medium coverage, medium oil control, pretty good lasting ability.

Primavista Powder Foundation Long Keep - light to medium coverage. Pretty natural finish. Normal lasting ability, pretty good oil control. I am just not satisfied with the amount of coverage that this provides, so I won't be continuing to use this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

tech: multilingual website solutions

This guy has an interesting approach to the problem of maintaining a site in multiple languages.

From "Creating multilingual websites"
There are numerous multilingual websites on the internet, most large multi-national companies have websites available in a few different languages. However, the most of these sites provide links for different languages, following a link takes you to a different document for each language. I found this technique to be quite undesirable due to the problem of maintaining these static documents, a time consuming process with the developers having to synchronise separate copies of the website. Furthermore, considering the dynamic nature of my website, I was loathe to create a static copy just for the purposes of translation. What I needed was a dynamic solution.
- Colin E. - 4th November, 2004.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

tech: xml etc.

Finally properly delving into xml definitions.

Today, finally learned that xmlns referred to namespaces.

Next was XPath.

Last was XSLT.

Monday, June 22, 2009

hair stuff: Fiber Grease

I'm trying out Fiber Grease (the yellow tub) today. Recommended by a friend, it's a water-based wax with mild hold (2 on a scale of 5). By adding water you can re-shape whenever you want.

I tried out the mini size (87 g), although there's apparently a nice 15g trial size (probably only available online) available too. The regular size is 210 g; how long does it take people to go through that?! 87 g already seems like a lot to me.

It smells quite nice, although I haven't noticed the fragrance lingering in my hair. My hair feels good; no stickiness from the wax, unlike with Garnier's wax.

I adored the smell of Garnier, but it was impossible to use on dry hair because it remains sticky.

I'll check how Fiber Grease controls my hair.

The packaging is functional and simple; smooth plastic case in yellow with a retro design on the tub. The series is called Cool Grease, with varying levels of control; but Fiber Grease has the least hold in the series, hence the special name, I suppose. Cool Grease is actually marketted at men, but whatever works! I'd like to try Nakano's spice wax next time; it's got very cute packaging. But Fiber Grease was cheaper and came highly recommended so I started with it.

It's pretty reasonably priced at about 900 yen for 87 g, but only certain drugstores seem to carry the product. I found mine at Ainz Tulpe in Harajuku, but I believe some Tomod's drugstores also carry it.

Update 2009/06/24: Actually, Garnier's soft curl cream is pretty nice too. I'm using it today. Garnier is not available in Japan though, so it's good to have an alternative.

Friday, June 19, 2009

positive thinking

useful stuff on being positive:
This week’s tip for my Living Smarter Not Harder series addresses how we as women talk to and about ourselves. I’ve noticed how comfortable we women are focusing on our perceived shortcomings, belittling our accomplishments, and making self-destructive comments like “I’m such an idiot” or “I’m so disorganized” or “My book will never be a best seller”. At the very least, this way of living is negative; at it’s worst, it prevents us from experiencing our potential.

Our bodies, for example, are our prime targets of sabotage.


Today's thought: My body is my friend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

tech: installing Joomla! with Japanese support

Joomla! release downloads

Joomla! jp project

for the all-Japanese version of Joomla!: install Joomla_1_5_10_in_Japanese.zip (linked directly from the Joomla! jp project site)

alternatively, you can:
  • install the regular standard Joomla!: Joomla_1.5.10-Stable-Full_Package.zip (from Joomla! release downloads)
  • download japanese site and admin functionality:
    • ja-JP_Joomla_1.5.10_admin.zip
    • ja-JP_Joomla_1.5.10_site.zip
    • note, the above 2 zips are included in a single jar: ja-JP_Joomla_1.5.10.zip but the installation of that was not working for me...
  • then install the 2 zips (from extensions menu)
  • to update the module and plugin names, this sql will have to be executed:
- however, in this case, no more english plugin names + headings! You can't switch back and forth, basically

Thursday, June 04, 2009

ramen...

been on a ramen kick lately.

I went to Santouka 山頭火 (which is now available in multiple places in CA!) where I always get the salt ramen. It was good as usual, but not that satisfying. In contrast, I had Nissen cup ramen in a Shiodome 汐留 flavor (Shiodome is an area of Tokyo, where there's apparently a popular ramen shop) that was quite tasty - chicken and pork broth.

I suppose I'm in a tonkotsu mood. Need to go back to that Azabu-juban shop...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

lunch plan

Ramen (for a fast meal that I haven't had in ages), and a trip to the Santa Maria Novella (link to Japanese site) shop in Ginza to try out Eva, a perfume that sounds intriguing and perfect for summer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

spf and powder products

I was wondering how effective powder SPF products are, so did some searches.

According to this link, you'd have to use a lot of powder to get the stated SPF!
When scientists test facial powders to determine SPF (as mandated by the FDA), they typically assume that 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course), meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product's label
It's funny how unclear the details of SPF are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen#Sun_protection_factor

http://www.fda.gov/cder/offices/OTC/understanding_spf_sunscreen.htm

http://www.slate.com/id/2171789/
http://health.howstuffworks.com/spf.htm/printable
The above two articles have interesting similarities...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Japanese post: new vocab

新しい単語を最近よく聞くけど、覚えるまでは別の問題だね。

如才ない じょさいない (adj-i) tactful; shrewd; adroit

如才ない知り合いがいる。

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ibuprofen in Japan

If you're looking for Ibuprofen in Japan, you can find it sold as "Eve." There are probably other brands under which it is marketed, but that's the first one I've found.

materialism: maquillage colored mascara and eyeliner duos

Maquillage's summer collection includes a pretty series of colored waterproof mascara and eyeliner duos called Full Vision Gloss Coat Mascara (2100yen).

The eyeliner was quite easy to use and the mascara was pretty nice, so I am quite tempted to buy it. Waterproof too, so if it doesn't smudge, it'll be perfect for the summer (and year round).

Friday, May 15, 2009

wow

Cheney has been pretty vocal lately:
On Sunday, he said he would pick Rush Limbaugh over former secretary of state Colin L. Powell as a model for the Republican Party and virtually wrote his onetime colleague out of the GOP.
- As Cheney Seizes Spotlight, Many Republicans Wince

Wow.

That says so many things.

1) Cheney's crazy.
- and he is completely incapable of evaluating Powell and Limbaugh's skills as politicians.

2) He has no idea what regular Republicans want to hear (I hope!).
- nor does he know what the general population wants to hear.

3) He's so right-wing. No surprise there.

forgot to say:
4) He's pretty cold. I think Powell got pretty burned by the Bush Administration to begin with, and Cheney's just stepping in open wounds.

An amusing addendum:

Jesse Ventura's say:

"You look at Dick Cheney who ran and hid [from the Vietnam war draft]," Ventura said. "I have no respect for Dick Cheney. I have tremendous respect for General Powell."

Waterboarding, Ventura said, "is torture... It's drowning... I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the true difference between the British and the Americans

"We get a lot of inquiries from Americans who are interested in selling the bras," Tsuchiya reported. "But the British are different — they tend to be shocked by what we're doing."
- Japan Times, "Office workers out in front in demand for men's bras"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

food for thought

The Washington Post has a very interesting article on a friendship between a moderate-liberal judge and the conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

new year's resolution, step one

I've been whining about not being able to cook for years now. This is quite sad. So I've resolved to make bento lunch boxes at least twice each week. So I'm taking steps towards fulfilling one of my perennial new years' resolutions.

第一歩!

Also, a friend inspired me with his easy and scrumptious home-made Japanese curry. It looked like a lot of fun.

美味かったし

I tried to make 4 things on Saturday. One dish turned out quite well, one wasn't bad, and the other 2 were edible but not exactly good. It was my second time making 3 of the dishes, but I followed slightly different recipes.

A good experience for me, but it took 3 hours, all in all! I need a tool for shredding stuff. And how do you slice carrots diagonally?

こつを教えて下さい!または道具(笑)

The scorecard:
Win:
stir-fried asparagus and carrot

Draw:
stir-fried shredded potatoes

Loss:
teriyaki chicken (Yee Kum Kee sauce recipe)
cabbage and egg stir-fry

On asparagus and carrots:
I loosely followed this recipe for the asparagus and carrot stir fry:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/publicsite/recipes/viewrecipe.aspx?recipeid=6048

Ever since my roommate made the dish years ago, I've wanted to replicate it for myself, as I've never seen it in Chinese restaurants.

I ignored the water chesnuts (didn't have any, and my roommate didn't use any) and cilantro (yuck), and didn't have nearly as much asparagus as needed, and instead of julienne cut I sliced the carrots thinly in diagonals (but they turned out as ovals). Despite all of these ad hoc modifications, the dish turned out quite tasty. I will try making it again this week for bento lunch to bring to work.

I really need to find my totoro lunch box; it's very annoying to have bought it (against my better judgement) and to not be able to find it. It's probably in that wall of boxes that refuses to unpack itself in the corner of my room.

On shredded potatoes:
I love this dish where the potatoes are washed free of starch so that they are crunchy, and lightly seasoned with salt and spicy green peppers (and probably some msg). However, I haven't quite found the right recipe. A lot of recipes add carrots and green onions, and while those are probably quite tasty, they are not the dish I am trying to re-create. Actually, I tried green onions and didn't think it added anything to the dish. I've managed to get the texture of the potatoes satisfactorily, but the taste still doesn't match my memory. I will try again! It takes way too long to julienne the potatoes though... must find tool.

On teriyaki chicken:
I followed the recipe on the back of the sauce packet, but in my opinion boiling chicken in sauce is very difficult to do without overcooking the chicken. I just don't know how to do it. The sauce itself isn't bad.

On shredded cabbage and egg:
I found a recipe that uses onion and cabbage, but in my opinion the onion just doesn't go very well with the cabbage. I'm going to try again with just cabbage. I also need to learn to make an egg pancake without over cooking the egg...

Cooking is fun, because I make whatever I want, but it's hard to actually replicate what it is I'm trying to make! I'm eating more veggies this way though.

Friday, May 08, 2009

guess what?

my love of potato chips continues unabated...

stir-fried shredded potato

I started cooking a bit again. I'm currently trying to replicate this shredded potato dish that I am very fond of. I've figured out the texture element (soaking the potatoes in water gets rid of the starch, leaving it nicely crunchy), but the flavor element was lacking in my latest attempt.

There are quite a few recipes that call for vinegar, but the dish I am trying to replicate was probably only flavored with green chili peppers and salt (and msg?).

Thursday, May 07, 2009

slumdog millionaire

I quite enjoyed the movie, but I doubt it was the best movie of the year. What did you think?

Monday, April 27, 2009

after all that hype

itunes does not have Raphael Saadiq's "Rifle Love." What's up with that?


After all that hype, itunes is letting me down. Come on, even Amazon has it. Maybe itunes' search engine is below par? I thought it was difficult to be worse than Amazon's search functionality...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

California May 19th election

I really like the CA League of Women Voters; they have well thought-out positions on the various issues.

Sending in my ballot tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

materialism: because lists are fun

I started writing out my favorites, including explanations, but that is taking a while so I'll just post the lists first.

current favorites
* Kanebo Naive Gracie Deep Cleansing Oil (green bottle) (is it really Kanebo?)
* Muji portable lash curler
* Max Factor lash perfection mascara in blue
* 100 yen "wet eye shadow" 4 color palettes
* Paul & Joe lipstick
* Yves Saint Laurent Golden Gloss in #2

perennial favorites

* DHC deep cleansing oil
* Fancl cleansing oil
* Queen Helena clay mask
* Shu Uemura lash curler
* Chasty blue mascara comb (metal)
* Flamingo foldable brow shaver
* Opera MyLash mascara
* Inoui ID eyebrow automatic pencil
* Inoui ID eyeshadows
* Inoui ID blush duo
* Kanebo Lunasol Sheer Contrast eye shadow - limited edition summer palette
* Shiseido lipstick perfecting lipstick
* Bloom lip gloss (in the frosted tube)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

materialism: O.P.I. and Essie in Shinbashi, Tokyo

So, wandering around in random electronics stores can pay off!

I was looking for a DVD player and went to LABI (Yamada Denki) 生活館 (Household Goods Building) in Shinbashi at lunch today.

As expected, they didn't have DVD players at their Household Goods Building (they were at the Digital Building), but they did have a nice selection of discounted cosmetics.

A group of Asian tourists (mostly men) were looking at the Integrate products, leaving me free to browse the neat aisle of Kate products and be surprised by the selection of O.P.I. and Essie nailpolish available for 1200 yen and above. One set of O.P.I. polishes was priced at 1890 yen, but most stuff was 1200 yen or so, which is almost U.S. prices. It's the first time I've seen O.P.I. that inexpensive in Japan, and the pricing of Essie is definitely less expensive than at Plaza stores.

They also had a selection of Lancome, Orlane, Clarins skin care products and some YSL and Givenchy cosmetics and skin care products (lipsticks, eyeshadows, meteorites, powders, foundations, etc.). Some various mascara products available too.

Anyway, if I must have an O.P.I. or Essie polish, I will come here. I'm sure the color selection is limited and old, but the prices are very reasonable.

mini review: Ponds Pore White Cleansing Oil

Summary: a bad product, in my opinion.

Cons: Drying; my skin was literally peeling the next day. I have combination skin, prone to breakouts. While my cheeks can get dry, it's quite unusual for my chin to be, as I have an oily T-zone, but with this product it can happen.
My roommate hated this product, but she has sensitive skin. Good thing I didn't pay money for this!

Pros: Smells great, removes makeup, doesn't sting the eyes.

Worse than Softymo cleansing oil, which broke me out, but didn't cause my skin to peel.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

health: on losing fat

A summary of Tummy Exercises:

Maintain good posture.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Exercise (both aerobic exercise and weight training).

Good guidelines for healthy living in general.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

labelling food

In Japan, I have noticed that the ingredients list for consumable goods is quite short; presumably food producers are not required to list each and every ingredient that goes into the products they make.

In the U.S., regulations vary, but for food products, usually every ingredient should be listed. There is some leeway, as companies can gloss over some details such as "fragrance." For over the counter medicines, etc. there appears to be a distinction between active and inactive ingredients.

materialism: Smashbox cosmetics leaving Japan

All products are 30% off.

I heard that J. Crew is also withdrawing from Japan; I should drop by.

Bloom Cosmetics withdrew from Japan last year.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

food news

Not really "news-worthy" but new info about food topics:

* Vivivavi.jp: this little shop in Ginza only sells pork feet; they offer it grilled with salt, grilled with garlic, stewed, and marinated. They have also started offering lunch bento - croquettes with japanese sweet potato and bits of pork cartillage, and the regular grilled porcine menu, along with a healthy selection of vegetables, marinated salad, and spring rolls. Quite tasty and good for the consumer who is new to this part of the pig. Next time I will get the grilled version, but I am quite a fan of the croquettes. All for 500 yen! Including rice.

I'll take pictures next time. I've been using my film SLR (single-lens reflex) a lot lately; even with my simple 50 mm lens, it takes pretty pictures. Film and development costs add up, but it's just much nicer than my little digital camera. It's funny because everyone assumes it's a digital camera, so I have to explain that no, it's archaic that way.

* tried a ramen place called Toraji 虎ジ in Hamadayama, a couple stations north of Meidaimae on the Keio Inokashira line. The noodles were quite tasty, and the salt-based soup was good, and the pork slices were tasty but overly salted. The guy managing the shop was a bit brusque for my taste though; I think guys would enjoy the experience more. No complaints about the ramen, although for 800yen it was a smidgen pricy.

materialism: lunasol, primavista, cle de peau, guerlain, etc.

Lately it seems like shopping is on my brain.

Beware, below lies only ramblings on cosmetics.


After giving up for a while, I'm again seeking a good powder foundation. Over the winter I tried samples of Lunasol Skin Modelling Foundation and Primavista's winter foundation, but nothing stood out.

Color-wise Lunasol was quite nice, but in the end the coverage was only average and oil-control was only average. As a fall-back, it would be quite acceptable, but if I'm going to spend $40 or more on a foundation, I'd like something a little better.

Primavista's winter foundation was pretty poor on coverage and average on oil-control, so I forgot it immediately. The sample was a print on paper, so perhaps the sample formulation had issues to begin with.

However, I've heard good things about Coffret D'Or and Primavista's spring/summer foundations in terms of both coverage and oil-control so I'm looking forward to trying them.

I recently received a sample of Cle de Peau's powder foundation teint naturel poudre SPF 20 PA++ in ochre 20 (タンナチュレールプードルS オークル20), which has impressive coverage, although I've come to realize that ochre 20 is a tad dark for me. The finish is rather matte so far. I'll see how the shine control fares over the course of this week. The coverage is quite nice - it covers up redness and some large cystic pimples without looking powdery or unnatural. It doesn't sink into pores much at all. There's some itchiness, but this might be the Elizabeth Arden face lotion I am using.

I did like Guerlain's pearly white powder foundation, which brightens the face and covers redness nicely, but the Cle de Peau may have better coverage, as one would expect, considering their target audience. It makes me wonder how the regular Shiseido powder foundation is; if it is almost as good as Cle de Peau, it may be a nice compromise in terms of price and functionality.

If I'm lucky, Coffret D'Or or Primavista will be almost as effective, as they are the least expensive options I am considering.

A Touch of Blusher also has reviews of Coffret D'Or and Primavista's winter offerings.

As a side note, I found Fresh Minerals' mineral foundation rather itchy, but I like the loose powder quite a bit. Nice, functional packaging too.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

josh bell

I've been listening to Josh Bell's performance at a Washington, D.C. metro stop a lot lately. It's lovely but not too intrusive.

screen shot tool

By the way, zapgrab2 is an easy-to-use screen capture tool.
Very convenient for adding screenshots to documents and email.

velcro in Japanese

Do you know what velcro is called in Japanese?

Magic tape! Quite appropriate, I believe.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

did you know there's a yakisoba express?

I thought my friend was joking when he mentioned it, but there really is one! I wonder if they serve yakisoba...

http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/shizuokabus/highway/highway_yakisoba.html (Japanese language link)

Monday, April 06, 2009

cherry blossom season!

And the weather is beautiful today!

materialism: eyeliner update including Fasio liquid eyeliner review

The eyeliner update. Thanks to makeup alley and lots of beauty blogs, I've found using eyeliner to "tightline" the eyes to be a great technique for subtly making my eyes look bigger. However, I have very oily eyelids, which has made the search for a non-smudging eyeliner extremely difficult.

Summary:

Liquid eyeliners: Only liquid eyeliners seem to avoid smudging on me.

Maybelline Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: could be a winner here!
Lunasol eyeliner (the glittery one): probably will not repurchase.
Fasio liquid eyeliner: will not repurchase
M.A.C. liquidlast eyeliner: will have to try it out again; it's a bit difficult to use but if it doesn't smudge...
Majolica Majorca Neo Automatic Liner: will not repurchase
Iroha dual pencil and liquid eyeliner: will not repurchase

Pencil and gel eyeliners: all fail. They uniformly smudge, so I give up on them, for tightlining. Above the eyelash, I can prevent smudging by putting eyeshadow over the eyeliner, but it doesn't help with tightlining.

Silky Girl Eyeliner: smudges, but really nice above the lash line if you apply powder on top. Inexpensive too, but not available in Japan.
Bourjois clubbing eyeliner: smudges
Kate gel eyeliner: smudges (it won't budge on my hand, but is gone quickly from my eyelid, obviously a challenging spot)
Iroha dual pencil and liquid eyeliner: smudges
Mac automatic pencil eyeliner: smudge city!
Rimmel eyeliner: smudge city!
Shu Uemura drawing pencil: smudges

In the end, Fasio liquid eyeliner went in the trash. It comes in lovely colors (mine was a gunmetal grey with bits of fine green and pink glitter - perfect for a smoky look), but the liner smudges on me, which is simply unacceptable. It's ironic that one of the common complaints in reviews for this liner was that it doesn't budge and is hence terribly annoying to remove. Not for me!

For now I'm going to use up my Lunasol liner (clumpy though it may be). Lunasol comes in the loveliest colors and is reasonably easy to use, but it gets clumpy very easily and the liner is tangible on my skin as a tight feeling. This gets annoying as the day goes on. It's okay if I only apply a bit, but for the price it's not worth repurchasing unless I can't find anything better.

I broke out the Maybelline liquid eyeliner last week. It is doing quite well on my demanding eyelids. No noticeable smudging, although there is some fading as the day wears on. Fading is okay with me; I merely cannot tolerate any smudging. The felt tip is a bit difficult for me to use, as it doesn't glide on my skin unless there is a lot of liquid, but too much liquid makes too thick a line for my taste. It takes a bit of getting used to; at the moment I can usually only get one eye nicely drawn.

When I use the U.S. Maybelline liner up, I will see if Maybelline's Line Allure in Malaysia is the same as Maybelline Nonstop Eyeliner in Japan, as Jojoba seems to have had a good experience with Line Allure. I may also give M.A.C.'s liquidlast eyeliner a try, but all of the M.A.C. sales assistants I have met in Japan have been either unpleasant or bad at applying makeup (or both), so I am rather unwilling to buy anything from M.A.C.

After that, perhaps I will check out Kate and Integrate's pen liners, although I fear that they will peel off as Majolica Majorca does. Peeling off is better than smudging but it's still not ideal. The K-Palette 24 hour liner might be good too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

materialism: quick review: eyeliners

Iroha dual pencil/liquid eyeliner pen (pencil on one side, eyeliner on the other):
* very easy to use
* very black
* creases a bit
* reasonably priced
I tried the black pencil/black eyeliner version. The pencil smudges pretty quickly, so as usual it was pretty useless for me. The eyeliner was nice -very fine tip; very easy to draw with. The black is very black, so actually brown or grey would work better for my purposes - it looks pretty unnatural against my sparse eyelashes. However, formula-wise it is not as good as Majolica Majorca's eyeliner. In the Singapore heat Iroha creased more quickly.
For people who don't have oily lids, this may not be a problem, so I would recommend it for those who are looking for an easy to use black liner.
* Summary: not good for my purposes

Fasio liquid eyeliner (the version in the little pot, rather similar to Maybelline's liner):
* pretty color
* a bit messy to use (line itself is easy to draw, but eyelashes are collateral damage)
* smudges a little (not terrible like pencil, but a little irksome)
* reasonably priced
The metallic black is quite pretty and works out as a nice gunmetal grey, so color-wise it is good for my purposes. Unfortunately it's a little difficult to apply without also coating my eyelashes in the formula. Otherwise it's not difficult to use (Kate's pot liquid liner was just the most difficult to use ever!) but rather messy for my eyelashes. The line you draw is nice, but the eyelashes get coated too. The color is quite lovely, but sadly this stuff also smudges a bit as time goes on. It doesn't peel off like MM will, but it smudges. The Japanese reviews all talked about how this stuff is impossible to get off, but I guess my oily lids defeat it handily.
* Summary: may repurchase if I don't find anything better. Nice selection of colors too - they have a pretty teal and a nice burgundy.

Lunasol geminate liner in a pretty metallic brown:
* Very easy to use
* pretty color
* flakes off a bit late in the day
* expensive
The color is lovely; a metallic, sparkly brown that is still wearable for work. Easy to use brush, very little mess on the eyelashes. However, as the day wears on, bits of the eyeliner can flake off if you touch it. The formula dries so that it as a bit clumpy on the skin - it's not flat like the other eyeliners I've tried. The flaking is not as bad as MM, but it's still an issue for me - if it starts, reapplying won't really fix it so you really need to start over on your eye makeup.
* Summary: will probably not repurchase because of flaking. At this price, I won't compromise on the flaking, and I prefer a little smudging to the flaking - smudging is easier to fix. It's too bad, because it really is easy to use.

The only other eyeliner I have on my list to try is Maybelline's liquid eyeliner. After that, I'm at a loss for what to look at. Gel liners usually seem to smudge on me (Kate, Bobbi Brown) so I don't think the formula works very well. Maybe I'll try MAC's liquid liner.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ostu (オストゥ) Italian restaurant

Some of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo include Brasserie L'Oasis (they have quite possibly the best bread ever), Roy's Tokyo Bar & Grill (their appetizers are insane! main dishes can be hit or miss though), and Ostu (オストゥ) (http://www.ostu.jp/), an Italian restaurant in a quiet corner of Yoyogi-park.

I haven't got pictures, but their website has a few.

An Italian/Japanese couple introduced my friend and I to the place, where the girls tried the set menu and the guys ordered a la carte. The restaurant itself is elegantly simple, and the staff are friendly and attentive.

Everything was fantastic. Of course, the price rather reflects it, but I definitely want to go back.

Tel: 03-5454-8700
Yoyogi Matsuura Bldg.1F 5-67-6 Yoyogi Shibuya Tokyo
東京都渋谷区代々木5-67-6 代々木松浦ビル 1F

Hours:
営業時間
11:30~14:00(L.O)
18:00~21:00(L.O)

Closed:
every Wed., third Tues. of every month
水曜日、第3火曜日定休

Seats 20 people, non-smoking
総席数 20席 禁煙

Friday, January 23, 2009

moving again...

In Feb. Time to throw more stuff away!

Anyone want to buy a fridge and washer?