Monday, November 29, 2010

Ooki ni

Man, i just spent the longest time editing and uploading pictures (the computer is awfully slow today) and now i've completely lost the will to write.
Dang.
Anyway, here's the short version of the awesome day i had yesterday.

I've wanted to visit Fushimi Inari for such a long time, and it seemed like the perfect place to take a day trip, so yesterday we hopped on the shinkansen and met up with Ai in Kyoto.
The weather got darker and darker the farther away we got from Tokyo, but the gloomy weather was perfect for our destination, and even the little bit of rain we had ended up feeling kind of nice.
The place was beautiful, eerie, fun and easy to get to and i highly recommend going if you're ever in Kyoto.

Whoa, totally lame, that short version.
I owe you a long, witty post in the near future.


Seasonal ekiben
 
おいしい!!

One of the first kitsune we saw... we had no idea how many was still to come

Torii madness

You know, i did met a bad happen once, and that shit ain't fun

I took mine home instead

I think they used my knee as a model for this

To say that there are many fox statues there would be a gross understatement...

... there are literally hundreds of thousands, all different types, sizes and ages

There were lots of kitties too... this one wasn't the prettiest (or the cleanest) but it definitely was the loudest and the friendliest

Always more steps, always more torii

Most of these came out super blurry, but i like this one!

Expect more awesome pictures as soon as Allan uploads his, and Ai gets her film developed

Well, obviously i had to buy one!

I must have taken a million of these, but i just don't get tired of looking at them

Ai thought it was a bit creepy, though, but maybe that's what i loved about it?

This was as far up as we made it; it was getting dark, so we're saving the peak for another time

Everything was so wild there, very unlike Japan, really

All the restaurants closed their kitchens early, but this one opened for us so we could get some udon

We didn't find these at the gift shop near the station, but we did find a couple of other nice statues

Before we had to catch our train back to Nagoya and Tokyo, we went for dessert-for-dinner at Isetan

This was all kinds of delicious, but finishing it nearly killed me


This place was everything i'd hoped it would be, and more, and i definitely plan on going back there sometime to finish the climb to the top.
And my fox obviously felt right at home too, so i think he'd like to go back as well!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Out-going

A quick post before we're going out.
Yeah, for some reason (the reason being that Hata wants to) we're going to a club tonight.
And we have to get up early tomorrow too.
We sure know how to time these things.

I don't have much time to blog at the moment, as our time in Japan is running out.
We wanna get around and try to make the most of it before going back to what is beginning to sound like hell, only frozen over.
Tomorrow we're taking a day trip to Kyoto, and i think we're gonna try to visit Nagano on Tuesday.
Rail pass has been activated and we're ready to go.
I'm sure i'll have time for a few, quick posts before we go home, though, so do check back for non-tattoo related adventures soon.

Today in Ueno... yes, it's actually still fall here

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Four out of four

And we're back!
From getting tattooed in Yokohama, that is. Thankfully, we're not back in Denmark just yet, although we are almost down to our last week.

But let's not worry about that just yet!
Monday was Allan's day, and also the day when the fox head was finally gonna get some color in it.
I was too anxious to go really anywhere, and i was feeling a bit flue-ish too, so i stayed at Yellow Blaze, cross stitching and fetching drinks for Allan most of the day.
Allan was a total trooper as usual, and everything they'd set out to finish got finished.
And it's looking fucking sweet too.

Shige and Chisato rescued yet another kitty, Uzume's brother (on the right) and he's just as adorable as his sister!
A client of theirs has already agreed to adopt him
While out buying bananas, i took a quick detour through Chinatown
Chinese dragons always make me think of this
Pattern is finished (for now) and so is the fox's face and paws
Grrr!

The next day it was my turn.
Oh, how i'd dreaded the day.
I was so nervous and physically i felt like crap too, not a great way to start what would surely be a very long day.
After the rough time i had a few weeks earlier, i'd made the decision to not take any painkillers, Valerian or any pills at all.
I'd been thinking a lot about the symptoms i'd experienced both last time, and during my first session in April, and come to the conclusion that the pills could be to blame.
Right before leaving for Japan we had a client experience a reaction similar to mine after taking regular painkillers and Valerian, so just to be on the safe side i was packing nothing but water and Pocari Sweat.
This turned out to be pretty much the smartest thing ever.
Not once did i get dizzy, nauseous or anxious and not once did i think that i was gonna pass out.
And this was in spite of the fact that this turned out to be the toughest, most painful thing i've ever experienced.
After this i'm gonna have to completely reevaluate the advice i give our clients.

Anyway, when we came that morning Shige told me that he thought we should just do the knee, which was actually fine with me since my thighs were still sore from the shading.
And i wasn't really worried about the pain, just about getting sick, but that was until we got started and this conversation took place:

Shige: Do you want normal or special flower?
Me: What's the difference?
Shige: Special, maybe more painful.
Me: Maybe you shouldn't be asking me this...
Shige: I think, maybe special.

Of course, the correct answer when someone asks you if you want normal or special flowers, is normal.
For god's sake, say normal.

The whole session was so incredibly painful, i don't even know what adjectives to use to describe it. Even in my own language, i wouldn't know where to start.
The whole thing hurt like hell, but the last 40 minutes of lining on top of the knee that was already swollen from getting tattooed for hours and hours, was just pure torture.
Now, i like to think that i'm normally pretty good at sitting still and not complaining too much, but during that last stretch, i was whining and jumping all over the place (and occasionally laughing and apologizing for just not being able to control my body).
It was so painful that i had to ask Allan to leave, when he came by to see how it was going.*

But even though the pain was more intense that i could have ever imagined, i had the best session i could have possible asked for.
And my pillow was amazing!
Even after we were done i felt great and not at all lightheaded or feverish.
In fact, i felt so good that i was able to go out to dinner afterwards.

I'm still a little skeptical about the plans to finish this in two sessions, but let's wait and see, maybe it can be done.

While it was just plain bad Allan was still allowed near me to take pictures
During this part, when the pain was at its worst, i tried taking a few pictures myself as a distraction (it didn't work, by the way, nothing did)
Maybe special
So worth it
That knee just got bigger and bigger after this...
At dinner after the session, i ate this delicious, simple cabbage dish
And this, cheese pizza!
Next morning

The next day, yesterday, we made plans with Toshi to go back to Yokohama, this time to visit a bookstore in Chinatown and to go to the Ramen Museum near Shin-Yokohama.
Allan's Australian client Matt, who got this and this done at Inkrat, was getting tattooed by Shige, so we dropped by to say hi to everyone and to kidnap Matt's wife Sam for a few hours.
I had the hardest time walking, especially up and down stairs, but we had such a great day, so it was worth the discomfort.

The Ramen museum was a lot like gyoza town... in other words, awesome!
We even found ramen without pork, so me and Sam could dig in too... it was delicious!
Doing the cute kitty pose
Toshi really needs to work on his, this just looks like an angry tiger

Since we did so much walking yesterday, i promised my leg that i'd stay home today, which is exactly what i'm doing.
Allan is out taking pictures, and the weather is so gorgeous today, so i'm actually a little jealous.
But if i feel ok tomorrow, we're gonna take a real trip, away from the city.
Possible a trip involving monkeys!


*Now, in his version of the story, i am shrieking "LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALOOOOONE" in the voice of a thousand angry banshees, but in reality i just said "you really can't be here right now" in the calmest way i could.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SWEET POTATO PIIIIEE (without the pie)

Sometime last week i took a walk to Nakano.
It's close to my town and the walk there can be quite nice and relaxing.
I was on a mission to find a Gloomy Bear for a friend at Broadway, the nerd-dirt-mall in Nakano, and possibly a vintage Booska for my collection, but i was unsuccessful.
Dammit.
I did however have a nice walk and an unexpected snack.

One of my favorite games to play when i wander the streets of Tokyo alone is "i live in THAT house" and the winning house that day was this old beauty in Koenji-kita
It even has a little display box out front, and two vending machines... win!
It wasn't like there weren't any Booska; it's just that they were all too expensive (as usual) or too big, like this guy
I was looking at this sign in the basement of Broadway when the proprietor of the shop starting talking to me in Japanese, and made me feel like i should be buying something... what the hell, i do like caramel source
He let me taste one of the ice creams, and i chose that without knowing that that one was actually a sweet potato ice cream... double the sweet potato? My friggin lucky day!

Today is Sunday and i have absolutely no plans, besides studying hiragana.
I feel like i should be doing something, though, but sometimes Tokyo can be a little much on Sundays.
Maybe it's ok to stay home once in a while, especially if you have two days of getting-up-early-as-shit-to-go-to-Yokohama to do, right?

Hope you all had, or are having, nice weekends wherever you are!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This and that

I'm embarrassed.
It's been days since i've blogged.
I don't know why, but i'm in a weird place.
I feel like time i moving too fast for me.
This is not new, by the way, i always feel like that, but now more than usual.
I don't know what i'm doing with myself these days, or where my days are going.
I'm doing some shopping, some sightseeing, some drawing, a lot of studying, some hanging out with friends.... nothing out of the ordinary, but still i feel like something is off and i should be doing something more. Or different.
Shit, i don't know.
I just don't wanna waste any time.
Allan is so bummed because he has to work so much, but i must admit i envy him sometimes.
At least he always has a purpose and a plan, he always knows exactly what he's supposed to do and where he's supposed to be.
I'm just sort of floating around aimlessly.
And feeling like crap. Physically, that is. Stupid health issues.
And i worry too much about shit at home i can't do anything about anyway, and about things here that can't be helped either.
Wow, i sound miserable! I'm really not, i'm just having a weird day, i guess.
I think things will feel clearer in a few days when we've gotten our remaining tattoo sessions over with (so worried about that too, of course) and Allan finally has time off.
We're planning a few trips away from the city, and although i friggin LOVE Tokyo i can't wait to get out of town for a while with my baby.
But i am happy to be here, i always am.
I love Japan, and although i've been here so many times, it never fails to amaze me.

In our tiny excuse of a back yard, where the employees of our rental company come to smoke, there are fishies
I curse the day i saw these!
From yesterday, try and ignore the fact that i look like a midget, and check out the suspenders... what up!?
(Hat: eBay, Shoes: Vans, Jeans: Acne, Suspenders: Pageboy, Jacket and cardigan: Lowrys Farm, Glasses: that cheap shop by the station with no name)

I want this in wine red... they did not have that, but i'll find it

Another reason to love Tokyo; they try to make construction work less of a nuisance by prettying it up with fake flowers that no one steals
I almost bought this today, but 5 minutes later i found one that was much cuter and got that instead
Another day, another pair of suspenders (and pants and socks)
(Pants: Pageboy, Socks: Tabio, Suspenders: Lowrys Farm)

It's been almost two weeks since i last got tattooed, but my leg is still super sore.
That makes me very nervous.
As if i wasn't nervous enough as it is.
It's stupid, getting tattooed doesn't usually worry me this much, but having a bad day can really mess with your head.
But i've been trying to prepare as well as i can, and also not think about it too much.
One of the things i did to prepare was to buy a small pillow, which i hope will prevent me from getting too lightheaded this time.

Bunny pillow to the rescue!