Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Beach and Marnie

This weekend I went to the beach for the first time this summer! And even though my skin has gotten pretty pale, I didn't get sunburn. I met a guy from Okcupid who works in a hostel near Miyajima and we hung out and had a good time.

When we swam out to the raft we were joined by a British father and his two adorable British kids. (Who probably would resent being called adorable as they were teens, but they were so freakin' beautiful and had accents to die for. I'm totally jealous.) We talked together for a while, and then they swam off. But later we saw them again in the shopping area on Miyajima, this time with Mom too, and the six of us went to have dinner together! It was super fun hanging out and I taught the daughter some Japanese phrases. They were an interesting family and all seemed to really enjoy hanging out together. I was feeling a bit nostalgic for when I traveled with my family and was also thinking, "Someday me too; I'll get married and have some cool kids and take them cool places...."

Today I went to Hatchoza theater downtown to see 思い出のマーニー. This is the first all-Japanese movie I've seen, and I saw it by myself. However, as there was no version with subtitles the choices were either to see the Japanese version or not see it in theaters at all. And I didn't want to let summer go by without seeing it.

There was a lot I couldn't understand, especially for some of the adult characters, but I could understand a lot of short sentences and the children's dialog. Luckily the main story is the same as the book so when people started talking for a long time about something complicated I at least knew what the topic was based on the animation and a few key words. If you know Anna's backstory and Marnie's back (future?) story then it's not too hard to follow what's going on.

I think fans of the book will mostly like the movie because even though the story's Ghiblified and a few things are changed or moved around in the plot, the main story is the same, and more importantly the emotion of the story is the same. You really feel what Anna is going through and her redemption.

Maybe the book leans more toward "It really happened but don't ask how" and the movie is more "It was all in her head" but I have to watch it again to decide. :)

However, this is definitely not a movie to watch alone. There may have been some tears...Any story about a character who's lonely really gets to me.

Friday, August 22, 2014


During Obon vacation I went to Tokyo again for two days. Unfortunately I manged to catch a cold two days before I went, so I didn't have as much energy as I had hoped. To make things worse, I managed to deactivate both my available cash cards (don't ask how) and was left with very little money until I could go to the Japan Post head office on the second day and get my cash card reactivated.

This is why most of the pictures I took do not show my face...

In spite of these setbacks, I was able to see both Tokyo Tower and Meiji Shrine (in Harajuku) and have a nice dinner with my friend Akiko, who was an excellent host for my stay. I'm glad we got to meet up again because she's going to Germany this month. I wish I had such an exciting life....

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Glasses! And sound recording mishaps.

On Thursday one of the nose pads on  my purple PC glasses broke off. They did this once before but I was able to repair them with tweezers to tighten the screw. This time the pad fell off completely when I was unaware and was lost in the mists of the carpet.

So I took the glasses into the Alook shop in Hondori and the guy was all, sure I can repair these easy--no problem. Unfortunately in the process of repair he inadvertently snapped the base of the nose pad clean off. And since last year the purple glasses had been discontinued.

Luckily, he offered to let me choose a new pair as long as it was the same price. By then I had been looking at all the other PC glasses for the last five minutes and was actually rather elated that I would be able to switch up my frames for no cost at all.

At first I wanted to get a pair in red, but the only red pair was the sample so I chose brown instead. It's exactly the color of my hair, so maybe that was the best choice in the end.