Thursday, February 26, 2009

A lovely 'sign'

I've been a bad blogger recently, I know. These last few weeks have been pretty busy with work, some family visiting and getting ready for Abe's season to finally wind down. With that also comes planning our trip home, getting ready to move out of this cramped apartment, and, dare I say it, planning a wedding? (Maybe) Oh, the uncertain future and everything it holds!

I've had the pleasure of touring more of Japan and taking lots of pictures. Eventually, those photos will be posted. But I wanted to post these two photos because while visiting another prefecture, I came across something I rarely see in Japan: a Church! Recently, Abe and I have been wondering what our future will hold regarding his basketball, my teaching, etc. While walking through the snow last week, it was great to see something to stop, make me think and take a picture. Unfortunately, the doors were locked so I couldn't go inside, but just seeing something that reminded me of home made me relax and smile.


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Even though it was snowing, the blossoms were doing their best to impress me.

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This weekend is going to be big for us. It will pretty much decide if we get to go home sooner or later. I also get to see some of my friends from Tokyo and get to take some fun mommy-daughter pictures. Stay tuned for those!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Missing Cameras Unite!

Two words: brilliant idea. I'm sure everyone has done it or knows someone who has. I actually did it twice in one semester of college...lost a camera! I have always wondered what people who find other people's cmaeras do with them. Many times, you want to return it to its owner, but don't have a way to. It feels funny, I'm sure, to go through the pictures that were never meant for you to see in the first place.

However, I found a blog that reunites people with their lost cameras, and the memories they may have lost! People just post a picture of whom they think it belongs to and where they found it. I love it! One of their success stories involves the below picture in which a woman lost her camera with pictures on it including her child's birth and her master's graduation.




I found your camera...cool beans!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Flexibility

When I was little, I wanted to be a lot of things: a dentist, a cashier, a figure skater, a teacher, and of course, a gymnast. I forgot at what point I gave up on that dream (maybe it was the fact that I was super tall starting from a young age). But being able to watch these Chinese gymnasts do their thing before Abe's game really made me want to start stretching and get back into it....uhhh, yeaaah, highly unlikely.
How beautiful and graceful do these girls look though?!











In other news, my camera was in the shop last week. I guess there was something wrong with the sensor and it caused lots of horrible green scratches across a ton of my pictures. The shop told me my Nikon would be away from me for 3 to 4 weeks and I was devastated, however, they suprised me with a good-as-new camera only 9 days later. I danced all day yesterday after I picked it up. I can't wait to take some more photos in the next few weeks!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just in Case




I'm not sure if you've read about the recent hubub regarding Facebook recently. I've been a member for over 3 years and am excited that the photography world is now using it to network.

However, people are starting to talk about the new Terms of Service regarding pictures, or any other content for that matter, that are posted using their site. Basically, the consumerist site is stressing over the fact that Facebook can use your photos (even with your photo logo cropped out!) for their own services. Obviously, this affects photographers who post parts of their portfolios on Facebook. I have, however, read Facebook's response and it now sounds like they're changing their tunes a bit and may re-word their terms. This 'conflict' might be resolved quickly, but just in case, watch what you post in the meantime! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2,4,6,8....!

Yay for cheerleaders in Japan! My friend Yuka saw my blog and wanted to be a part of it and I was so excited to get some pictures of her. I've never met someone who has made being a cheerleader a career, but Yuka really has. She's been on several pro basketball cheer teams, is the director of the Brex dance team, has performed for the National Team, and has just started her own cheer school in Tochigi! Sheesh!

For this mini-shoot, I wanted to photograph her in her element, so we went inside an old-fashioned Japanese gymnastics tumbling room. It was amazing. It smelled like old wood and tatami mats and just had an ancient traditional Japanese feel to it. I like that she was dressed comfortably as if she were about to practice:






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Scrapblog,Scrapbook,Ethereality


*On a side-note, you may have noticed some weird streaks across some of the pictures. Unfortunately, my beloved camera is having some issues that happen to Nikons sometimes, so it's time to take her in for some repairs :( I don't know what I'm going to do without my camera so I hope it's just a quick-fix! Fingers crossed*

the countdown begins...

Abe and I have been in Japan this season for almost a full year. This is the longest either of us have been in Japan since we've moved here (we usually go home for the holidays but couldn't afford it this year). His basketball season ends next month, so I can't wait until we get to go back to LA. This time will include surfing, eating Wheat Thins (which are impossible to get in Japan!), meeting some photogs that I've been hoping to shoot with, and lots of family and friends time. Yay!

As the countdown begins, I'm having fun going to games and teaching awesome students. I'm totally excited about some photos I'm editing right now. So I leave you with a preview of a pretty friend of mine who was interested in having her photos taken:


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Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Airport Chic

Who says boys aren't allowed to be involved in "Fashion Friday"? This was taken last week at the Sapporo Airport. Abe explained to him that I have a weekly spot on my blog for notable Japanese fashion. He was excited to pose for me, and I was happy he was willing to. Thanks Masa!



It's "comfort meets fashion"...I like it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ice Ice Baby..

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As I've mentioned in my last few posts, Abe and I went to Sapporo last weekend. This is a trip that I have been hoping for for almost 4 years now. I've never been to the northern part of Japan and once a year, they have a "Yuki Matsuri" which means snow festival. People from all over the country flock to Sapporo to see the ice sculptures and larger than life snow characters. I was there a week too early but was fortnate enough to watch the preparations of the famous festival...and it did not disappoint!


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Scrapblog,Scrapbook,Ethereality


This gem was surrounded by all of the "real" buildings and was made completely of ice!

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To give a little perspective of the size of the ice house:

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The locals really loved this guy...

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From a tiny model of a castle...

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...to a real-life size ice castle:

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I'm so excited that I got to check that off my to-do-in-Japan list. Sooo worth it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ni-Jyu-Go

Ni-Jyu-Go means "twenty five" in Japanese. I know this has been circulating on everyone's myspace, facebook and blogs and I've never done this and figured why not share it on my blog as well?! So here are 25 random facts about me:

1. I never learned how to crawl as a child. My mom says I went straight to walking.

2. I worked at Hallmark, Weinerschnitzel and Marie Calendar's throughout high school.

3. I have been on 2 game shows: "Win Ben Stein's Money" and "WinTuition"

4. Abe and I dated for 5 months before we got engaged.

5. I wanted to be a dentist up until my junior year in college when I realized chemistry was waaay too hard for me. I could only imagine dental school.

6. I drink fruit smoothies at least 4 times a week (no matter how hot or cold it is outside).

7. I studied Spanish all through high school and college because I thought I would somehow live in Spain but now speak Japanese everyday. :(

8. I practice doing stuff with my left hand all the time (brushing my teeth, signing my name, etc.) just in case I ever break my right arm and can't use it for a while.

9. I am missing a molar. It just never grew in.

10. I've been to Hawaii 5 times. I adore everything about it...including Li-Hing anything.

11. I rarely finish anything I eat or drink. I always leave just a little bit left over...it's not a diet thing. I just feel sad when things are done. Weird huh?

12. When I was a child, my dream job was to be a cashier so my mom bought me a real cash register and I used to play "cash register" all day. I still have her driver's license number memorized because of when she'd write me fake checks.

13. I play the ukulele when I'm bored.

14. I'm a mixture of Mexican, Japanese and Puerto Rican.

15. I learned how to surf the day after I broke up with my first boyfriend. He told me I'd never learn how because I was a girl...I proved him wrong the next day!

16. Some jobs I had after graduating from college: MTV intern, bartender, substitute teacher, baseball scorekeeper, junior high school teacher.

17. My favorite Rite-Aid ice cream flavor: Chocolate Malted Crunch.

18. When I was young, I used to love the sound of the computer keys clicking so my mom would call me and let me hear her type :)

19. I attended Catholic School up until my last year in high school. I wanted to experience public school for just one year, and it changed my life.

20. I've ridden an elephant before.

21. My left foot is about a half-size larger than my right.

22. I did a skit on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno while in college. He called me a bitch on live TV!

23. I idolized Pippi Longstocking when I was younger.

24. I love interacting with people on a constant basis. I couldn't imagine doing a job where this wasn't the case.

25. I was obsessed with basketball in my youth. I watched every single Laker game during their period of "rebuilding". I was made fun of at school but didn't care. I still love my team :)


my ukulele!

Say What?!

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(In Japan, it's very common to confuse the "L" and the "R" in words....and I'm not sure what the difference might be between a toilet and a restroom...)


Abe had a game in Sapporo and I must say, it was one of the best road trips I've experienced in my years here in Japan. The weather was amazing (this here Cali girl experienced SNOW!), the games were exciting and I got a lot of touristy stuff checked off my list.

One interesting thing I noticed while at the other team's gym was the amount of encouraging signs for their home team (Rera Kamuy). They were proudly scattered all over the walls of the arena. Although very bold, and more impressively in English, I couldn't help but observe the awkwardness of some of the language:

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And my favorite...

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(Win just one gamE?)

**Just to let my readers know, I'm not mocking Japan. I've been a teacher here for almost four years and work with Japanese everyday. I have asked many students why companies don't hire editors to make sure the grammar, and sometimes spelling isn't correct on the posters, signs and t-shirts throughout Japan since they are everywhere and companies and schools invest so much money in English lessons. Most of my Japanese friends and students say because, even though they may not understand the language 100%, English just "looks cool". There are several sites that have pages and pages of this example. I guess it would be the equivalent to the Chinese and Japanese kanji writing in US clothing or even tattoos! Actually, I've heard that some people in western countries walk around with kanji tattoos that don't mean what they think...so I guess having mistakes on signs or clothing isn't as bad as ink on your skin! :)**

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bus Stop Fashion

Abe and I returned from Sapporo (Japan's northernmost city) and really enjoyed the delicious food and cooler weather. It was -5C when this picture was taken...and this stylish girl wasn't about to let a few inches of snow stop her from catching some looks at the bus stop. As I looked out the bus window I could see people walking cautiously in order to avoid slipping, and they were dressed accordingly, but this woman was having none of that!
(I know it's not Friday but technically this counts as a Fashion Friday post because it was taken on a Friday...and cause it's my blog!) :)


Hope everyone had a great weekend!