Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Garance's interview with Jean-Philippe Delhomme

One thing is for sure, you should never wait. If you wait, it’s like you’re stuck somewhere, it’s very bad. So it’s just always trying to keep yourself moving, even if you think you should go in a different direction.
 -  Jean-Philippe Delhomme as interviewed by Garance

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DUO Dexter boots: first impressions

My DUO Dexter boots arrived this weekend. They seem sturdy and well-made, although were a little scuffed when I received them.

I was a bit surprised to find that DHL charges a 700 yen handling fee, and also charges sales tax on the customs tax levied by the Japanese govt. on all leather imports. It would have been nice to know this in advance - I was aware of the customs tax, but not the other fees. DHL also has really limited business hours for a delivery company in Japan - they're only open a half day on Sat., and not open at all on Sundays, and they don't have an automated answering service that would allow me to schedule a delivery. Indeed, I have been spoiled by the Japan Post and Japanese delivery companies like Kuroneko Yamato.  It will be hard if I have to leave Japan!

I am a US half size, with a foot that is generally on the wide side, and DUO boots suggested that I go with the bigger European full size, as they don't offer European half-sizes. Now that I have the boots, I feel that the smaller size in the wide width would probably have fit better. It's hard to say of course, but there's really a good bit of extra space in the toe. I'm now in the process of breaking the boots in.  I'll update after I've had a chance to wear them in.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

best baumkuchen so far

The baumkuchen at ねりん家 (nerinya) is fantastic. Moist and delicious! Expensive, but definitely worth it, if you can avoid the lines somehow. Whenever I pass Matsuya Ginza, there's always a line at the store. It's also available at Daimaru Tokyo and Seibu Ikebukuro - I wonder if they also have constant lines.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

napkin rings - never for formal dining!

Did you know?

Apparently, napkin rings are used when re-using cloth napkins at home, to distinguish between each person's napkin.

Thus, one would never put napkin rings out when holding a formal dinner, as one would never re-use napkins then!  I had no idea!

Miss Manners column at The Washington Post

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12th day!


Wishing that everyone is happy and healthy.

May you have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Daelmens Caramel Wafers in Japan

Or stroopwafels, as they say in Dutch, I suppose.
Anyway, an import shop in Hibiya Chante sells the full sized stroopwafels, and I took note of the importer, EIM.  Page 9 of their 2012 All Seasons Collection catalog is a glorious full page of Daelmens products!

Natural Lawson seems to have temporarily stopped carrying the perfect mini stroopwafel, so the Hibiya import shop has been supplying my fix.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Oops 2: I have unfairly maligned L.L. Bean Japan

Turns out that they actually do carry regular sizes!
At least online.

I stand corrected.
I will have to go check if they carry regular sizes in store too.  How excellent!  Looks like I am an XS in L.L. Bean sizes. They should probably add a XXS for Japanese consumers.  But it's good for the larger Japanese consumers - their needs have been woefully under-served until now.

A pity about Glitch

Just started playing Glitch, as a friend mentioned that she was devastated that it was closing.

She gave me an invitation to play, and I signed up.  I can see why she's devastated.  It's a wonderfully detailed game that you can personalize and make your own.
An amazing, creative game that gives me hope among the gaming world filled with the surfeit of battle games like Call of Duty.  To be honest I'm not really aware of the current state of the gaming world, but a visit to Tokyo Game Show a few years ago wasn't really exciting for me.

Glitch probably is/was ahead of its time, built on a doomed technology.

It's a real pity that Adobe has decided that Flash will die, but such is the technology churn.

I'm half tempted to take a day off and play Glitch for the remainder of the time available.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

oops, sorry about the mess!

I was cleaning up posts, but I didn't realize that "Update" would update the original date of the post.
So instead, you all got spammed with about 80 updated posts from last year!

Yikes.  And of course, I don't know the original post dates, so I can't go and fix them...  Argh.  Will have to see what I can do.

Update: Oh good, it seems that tags didn't update the post dates, just the cases where I modified the actual post text.  So just a few posts that appear today but were posted ages ago.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

mit blog following the Fukushia Nuclear Plants
Information about the incident at the Fukushima Nuclear Plants in Japan hosted by

Very educational blog posting info and analysis of the events at the Fukushima nuclear plants.
In the face of all the conflicting information, it's a nicely organized, if technical, source of information.

Japanese: Expressing opinions 意見を述べる

Some useful phrases from my Japanese teacher:




積極的主張 Strong Assertion:

軟主張 Weak Assertion:

Old Japanese

Maquillage fall collection - Moisture Rouge

I tried on the tester for Maquillage's Fall collection with Alexander Wang today. I love trying out brand new testers. I wiped it off afterwards in a futile attempt to not completely contaminate it for other customers. Isn't it funny that the fall collection goes on sale July 21st? I'm definitely not in the mood for fall right in the middle of summer!

The limited edition red RD536 Moisture Rouge is very pretty. It's a sheer red (being Sheer Type), but pigmented enough that it's quite distinctly a red lipstick (faintly on the berry side), but not too strong to prevent it from being easy to wear. However, the color does sink into dry spots on my lips. So far it's been an hour and a half and the color is staying on pretty decently. I'm rather tempted to buy it, as it is quite a wearable red. I must admit that it is a bit cooler than I would like, as I'm looking for a more neutral red. Still, it's quite wearable and I think it suits me.

I'm also tempted to buy the dual mascara/liquid eyeliner in green released by Maquillage this summer. They're not limited edition though, so I'll wait 'till I use up (somehow!) my Kanebo Lunasol Geminate liquid eyeliner, as the fun colors are really only appropriate for after work.

mini review: Heroine Make Mascara Volume and Curl

Overall: meh, not for me.  Mascara that smudges just isn't acceptable.  Fibers can be irritating if not smoothly applied.

Pros: Holds curl well, fibers do help build volume.  Fairly easy to apply formula.

Cons: The fibers can get clumpy if you're not careful.  On rainy days, definitely smudges.  Fibers were irritating my eyes when I applied the mascara in a hurry.

The brush is pretty big - I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I think I prefer tapered brushes - this one is shaped like a dumbbell - big on both ends.  It worked pretty well though.