Tuesday, November 26, 2013


For some reason I was thinking about modesty. Not that I really have a deep opinion. But everyone's got to deal with it in some form, so this is my attitude...

Once you're a grown up, it's soooooo not an issue.

Yes. When you're a teenage, there's a few years when you have no idea what's cool and what looks good on you--and even what actually fits--so you flail around wearing stupid things until you finally figure out what works. And then every few years your opinion of what works evolves depending on what's practical.

This is a process everyone goes through, and no point complaining about it. Lectures on modesty probably won't help teenagers that much because they're still teenagers and are still developing a sense of taste.

(And if they're getting lectures about modesty they probably don't have a lot of freedom in general...)

Anyway, in the real world modesty has no magic power over sex. After a certain point you realize that the boobs are still there under a baggy t-shirt. And girls know they're there. And dudes know girls know they know they're there. And that's the fun. It's like class. If you know you've got it, there's no need to show it off.

And (it seems) once you get in the bedroom, cargo shorts are just as easily to take off as hot pants, if the girl wants to take them off. The guy could care less about clothes, as long as the needless distractions go away as quickly as possible.

So when I see a girl dressed "immodestly," I usually think one of three things.

1. She actually doesn't think she's attractive and is overcompensating.
2. She has no freedom and is trying to be sexual the only way she knows how.
3. She is actually dressing according to the norm for her usual peer group.

In the end, I don't dress modestly because I'm virtuous or mature or wise. I don't wear hooker clothes because I don't know how to wear them and I'd look stupid. I wear leggings under my skirt because it's cold and that's the only reason.

Is the best motivation for "modesty" vanity? It's a mixed up  world...

Monday, November 18, 2013


The belated story of the kimono, and my adventures in yuzen-style dyeing.

I was able to try a kimono for the first time at a fair at the Hiroshima International House, near Hiroshima station. You didn't need a reservation to try on a kimono, so I was worried about it being really crowded. To be safe, I got there at the opening time, but luckily there was only one person ahead of me! So I didn't have to wait, and there was a wide selection of prints to choose from. (Though to be fair all the prints were pretty cool.)

It took four Obasans about forty minutes to get me into the kimono. (Though getting me out of it is a much easier process. Hehehe...) First I had to take off all my outer clothes, though not my underwear. No guys to be seen in that room. And there was a screen in front of the door. Then they gave me a white slip and arranged the robe on top of that. In between the slip and robe they put two towels, one on my waist and one over my breasts. Because I was too skinny. Bleh. Also I was tall enough so they didn't have to shorten the hem, which they did for some other girls.

Next was my makeup and hair (they told me not to eat anything because of the lipstick) and finally the obi. While the process was going on, the ladies kept chattering in Japanese. I was mostly in the dark, but I could hear phrases like "So tall!" "Doll face!" "Skinny!"

With the final result, I felt a little goofy as a tall redhead in a kimono, but also pretty freakin' cool.

I didn't actually get very far because it's not easy to walk in those things. and I was scared of ruining it. But I met up with my friend Diana and we did tea ceremony. And posed for a lot of pictures. One guy even directed me how to pose to "look more Japanese."

This Sunday I also went to a fair, but unfortunately wasn't able to make a kimono reservation. But I did do some cool dyeing.

I did have a lot of help with it. Though I wish I could have done more shading. I don't have enough Japanese to say "If the light source is in this direction, the leaves on the far side  should be a darker shade of red."

It was just me and some high school girls. Two of them tried to talk to me and help me out, although they didn't speak much English. So cute!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


On Monday I saw the movie 42. I was sort of by accident because Souichirou and I ended up at the small Aeon mall in east Hiroshima, and he decided he wanted to see a movie. After nixed Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we chose 42 because it was the only other one starting soon. Although Souichirou was sure he would be tempted to fall asleep because it was a human interest story and not an action movie.

And actually, we both ended up being surprised by how much we liked the movie! I'm so glad we chose it. It's actually kind of rare for us to both like the same movie.

So this is not really my review of the movie, but more of a general impression...

Only a few minor bad things. The pacing can be a little/rushed or choppy. There was one scene at the beginning where the manager choosing Robinson was cut together with a scene in an entirely different time and place of Robinson at a gas station.  In one scene Rachel Robinson discovers she's pregnant, and then Boom, the next scene is at the hospital after her delivery.

But maybe it's better to have a historical based movie that jumps around a little because the events don't all happen at once, than it is to mix the events up too much for more dramatic timing.

Harrison Ford's character is mainly there to do the monologueing for the movie. It's like he's saying his lines so they can get on IMDB. By the way, I DID NOT know Harrison Ford was in this movie until I saw the end credits. :P Feeling dumb.

The final scene is completely, enjoyably over-dramatic, with more splices of people at different locations and times. Seriously, I would like to look half as epic doing anything as Rachel looks pushing a baby carriage. I think the movie was trying to tell us, "OK, Robinson has been accepted by the team, they got to the World Series--Everyone be happy now!!!"

But aside from a few awkward transitions/cheesy moments, a very enjoyable, watchable movie. It feels like a simple story of one person dealing with a tough situation, and people are mean and don't want to change, but slowly things get easier.

I was surprised that although the movie seemed so American to me, Souichirou enjoyed it just as much as I did. He said he could relate to Robinson and really admired the way he didn't fight back in anger even when he was provoked. And because of his courage he eventually succeeded. I hope that this story can appeal universally. (And he only looked like he was falling asleep once. Haha.)

I liked the movie's message. I liked that it seemed made up of small incidents that added to a bigger picture. I liked that it was a period piece, because the costumes were cool. :)

It's not really a romance, but the main couple is very cute and enjoyable. They're always making jokes, and they seem to understand each other well. There's not much drama in their relationship precisely because they seem like such a good match and they're both loving and supportive. And I like seeing that in a movie. Not another story about getting together, but a couple dealing with life's problems.

Best of all, it's mostly about the characters and not so much about baseball. There are some good baseball scenes and facts, of course. But in the end, as with all sports movies, a game is just a game. The focus here is not on who wins a big game, but that talent and skill should be recognized and celebrated, no matter the race of the player. Jackie Robinson does not have any godlike skill that allows him to succeed without effort. He's skilled, and so are his teammates. But unlike other players, he has to overcome unfair odds.

Because of that, the story feels really true to life. Actually, he doesn't have any godlike talent to defeat racism either. He really just seems like a normal dude who ended up in a really weird situation. And also had the chance to make a positive difference in the world. Wow.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Here are some pictures from the Halloween party!

Unfortunately I had to miss the Hiroshima Bible study on the 31st because Halloween happened to be on a Thursday. But it was really important to see my friends from K's house again after a long time. I wasn't sure if anyone would remember me, or if the same staff would even be there, but as soon as I came in the door all the staff started shouting, "Stephanie! Stephanie's here!"

I was the police girl again this year because I really like that costume. Masa was the wolf grandmother, and Mari was Little Red Riding Hood.

We did some face painting, and as soon as I saw they had red, I asked to get a kiss mark painted on my breastbone. Because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was also speaking a lot of Japanese, which usually means I've had too much alcohol.

We played a drinking  game, but I could only stay a few rounds because I had to leave early. (Why couldn't it have been Friday night this year?????) So I didn't lose.