Dear Yuletide Author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! And thank you for your patience in waiting for this--I just moved across the country and started a new job, and things were a little more hectic than I anticipated. I'm sorry for the delay!

Please feel free to use your creative license and go where inspiration leads you, but here's what I was thinking when I picked each request:

Band of Brothers
My ultimate favorite genre is angst (it hurts so good!), and Nixon/Winters has the perfect set-up for that. Whether they end up together or not is up to you--just break my heart in the process.
If angst isn't your thing, anything that explores how they fit together so well despite being so different would be great.

Ella Enchanted
I chose Ella Enchanted because I love how Ella is so witty and resourceful. I'd be interested in seeing a snapshot of how they live their lives after the events of the stories end, or in seeing an event from the book from Char's eyes.

This is one of my all-time favorite series! It's an epic hero tale in a fascinating world with a cast of strong and unique characters. I love how loyal Inda's inner circle is to him and to each other, and a gen fic that explores their friendships either during the events in the books or that picks up where the books left off would be right up my alley. My favorite character is Fox, so anything that features him is a bonus.

If the muses push you in the direction of romance, then just try and talk them into something PG-13 or R.

In general, angsty romance and deep friendship always get me in the heart. I prefer fic with a rating under NC-17.


Hey guys!

Now that my computer has recovered from melting (yes, literally melting), I will try to be around more often!

One of my first actions on my repaired computer was to check aramatheydidnt to catch up on my gossip, only to see this entry on sex in Japan, and it really weirded me out. All of what she said is obviously true in her experience, but to me and to the gaijin/Japanese people I checked in with, the sex section is completely different than our experiences. After reading what I'm sure a lot of people will read and absorb, I wanted to add my own opinion, and since I've never actually joined arama, I'll do it here. :)

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Well, now that boyfriend is out of the shower, we're going to ramen. Let me know if anything needs clarifying..or perhaps less detail haha

P.S. My okaachan, ryogrande , I miss you <3

About the name "Jin"...

You all know how to pronounce "konnichiwa" in Japanese, right?


The "i" letter stands for the sound "ee." Naturally, this system of pronunciation carries over into other words, which leads me to....

PSA: Jin is pronounced "jean/gene," not as "gin."

I promise.

If you really need more assurance, check out the 45 second mark of this clip.

This message is brought to you by the Jin Would Kick You Out of Bed Foundation.

P.S. Similarly, "Jun" is pronounced like the month of June.
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So now that I am home from Japan and can actually access the internet on a regular basis, I'll try posting some entries I wrote!

Five Ways Japan Taught Me Not to Ask

One perfectly normal night, I go downstairs after doing my homework to hear the vaccuum running. I walk into the living room, and see my host family sitting watching TV. Everyone's eyes are glued to the TV, including my host father's, as he vaccuums his son's head.

Yes. Vaccuuming his son's head.

I closed the door and went back upstairs.

I once happened across a vending machine that sold sex toys. One of the most popular was a huge dildo called "Melancholy."

Flash Dance and Elf were also top contenders.

Every night, my host family watched comedians on TV. One of their favorites was a man famous for counting. He would count normally until he hit a multiple of three (I think), when he would spazz out and say it with a weird face or body movement. My host family would just DIE laughing.

I still fail to see the humor in counting.

When it rains in Japan, every single person on the street pulls an umbrella out of thin air the moment they feel the smallest drop. Those on bikes are not perturbed--they, too, use an umbrella, sometimes while talking on their cell phones at the same time. It is an incredible display of multi-tasking!

It is nearly impossible to customize your order at a restaurant, even if it would make it easier on them. If you ask for a cheeseburger without onion, expect to hear a "Well....." and a long pause in return (btw, you are supposed to reconsider your request during that long pause and retract it).

Not even allergies are enough to warrant a be careful!

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Five Misc. Things I've Learned From Japan

1. It's the little things that count

The Scene: You, a poor American, have just bought a packaged salad from the store, which contains a little packet of dressing. You tear open the top of the rectangular packet and dressing squirts out all over your fingers. You manage to get some out onto your salad, but have to squeeze the ends of the packet to get enough out.

If only you were in Japan, for the sake of your soiled fingers and salad dressing. If you buy a packaged salad here, the dressing comes in a convient little bubble-shaped packet that snaps open and dispenses on your salad, not your fingers.

Japan knows that the little things count, and companies go out of their way to take care of then. You will never see an un-uniformed employee anywhere.

However, there is one little touch that drives me crazy: Whenever you buy something at a store and they wrap everything individually and then place all those items into a bag, they tape the bag closed. Then when you want to show your purchases, you have to engage in an epic struggle with the tape. :(

2. Old Japanese ladies scare me

You know those horror movies where the cute, innocuous character turns out to be the bad guy? That's what some rogue Japanese grandmothers are like when on the city bus.

It's never the ones I expect--the ones with flaming red streaks or blue hair (both more common than you'd think, and so is purple). No, it's always the tiny little grandmothers half my size. They're perfectly normal while waiting for the bus, sitting with their cute little hands folded. But then the bus pulls up and it's a different story.

Suddenly, cute little grandmother springs up, shoves her way to the front of the line, and boards the bus ahead of all of the people who were waiting before her.

They resume their normal, everyday grandmother guise until the bus reaches their stop. Then they jump up again and, as if the last person off the bus will fall down dead, push and shove their way off. I've seen them bowl full-grown gaijin off their feet!

You may be wondering how little old ladies can muster the physical strength to push full grown adults out of the way. I wonder, too. I think it must be the element of surprise.

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1. While drunk, all behavior is socially acceptable.
This includes:
  • Men peeing on parked vehicles
  • Men peeing into rivers
  • Men peeing on street corners
Really, this type of behavior is best summed up in Senpai's words: 「どこでもトイレ」or "Everywhere is a toilet."
  • Hitting on foreign girls on subways
  • Hitting on foreign girls on the street
  • Proposing to foreign girls on subways and offering a plastic ring
  • Removing one's shirt to entice foreign girl to accept said proposal
  • Puking anywhere men can pee
  • Being belligerent
  • Trying out one's English on the nearest foreigner
An aside: drinking is apparently the Japanese national pasttime.

2. Staring is acceptable behavior
If you are riding any mode of public transporation and feel someone's eyes burning holes in your forehead, don't bother looking up to corroborate your suspicions. Yes, they are staring at you.

If you do look up, there are two possible reactions:

Adults/Teenagers: They will immediately look down and pretend it never happened.
Elderly/Children: They will engage in a staring contest with you.

Now I even find myself staring unabashedly at when I see another foreigner. I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so...

3. Japan is unique in having four distinct seasons
You may think there are four distinct seasons where you live.

You are wrong.

As I have been told many times, Japan is apparently the only place in the world that experiences four distinct seasons, and they are all especially beautiful when compared to the dismal seasons in other countries.

Don't bother pointing out that you experience four seasons. They are not Japanese seaons and thus do not count.

4. Fashion
At first sight, the MO of Japanese women seems to be closing their eyes, picking random clothes out of their closet, and throwing it all on. My personal fashion favorites are wearing shorts and knee socks, tiny Christina Aguilera-esque belt-size shorts with fur trim, and beehives (which are coming back in style here).

I on a regular basis see women carting around children wearing belt-shorts. Every time they bend over, their ass hangs out of their shorts and all I can think is that if my mother did that, I would NEVER want to be seen with her in public.

As for men, the most fashionable item right now seems to be skinny jeans as well as shoes with pointed toes, similar to what I imagine elves must wear.

5. Eyepatches are a statement
At first I thought Japan had an unusually high rate of eye infections, but apparently women actually choose to wear eye patches as a fashion statement. It lends a weak and vulnerable image, and thus inspires men to protect them.

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I've been so lazy about posting that I'm just going to mash a whole bunch of things into one big, long, huge post! I'll try for chronological order, but no promises.

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In other news, I've started dating this guy named Daisuke. He's an architect major who plays the piano really well and is very patient with my poor Japanese lol. He's really cool! <333 And tall for a Japanese guy! He's about 5'9"!!

We met when I was walking home one day and got a little lost (I had never gone that way before!) and stopped him to ask for directions. He walked me home and got my number, and later e-mailed me asking me on a date. I at first didn't want to, since I had just randomly met him on the street, but then I literally ran into him in the train station and he asked me again, and I said okay. He wore me down! lol

Since then we've been hanging out a lot. He's really fun to talk to, even if he isn't as into karaoke as I am haha. Then again, is anyone as into karaoke as I am?
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Hey everyone! How are you? <3
By popular demand (i.e. my mother's demand), here is another entry! Since my internet access at home disappeared, thanks to my neighbor during off his/her wireless, it's been hard to find time to post. I'll try to be better about it in the future! 

Last week my history class went on a mini-field trip to look at a temple. It was awesome!
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Yesterday I joined a circle called Cosmopolitan. Since Japanese clubs require their members to sell them their souls and all their free time, I thought a low-key circle would be the best option. Cosmopolitan is all about facilitating relationships between exchange students and Japanese students. Based on the movie we watched about their last year, the events seem to revolve around an outing to a cultural site, followed by KARAOKE. What better club could there possibly be?!

Plus, the guys are really really hot.

Tomorrow I'm going out with them to a famous temple called Sanjusangendo, which has 1001 statues of the Buddhist deity Kannon.

In other news, three people from my school have died since the semester started. Michael and I realized there must be a curse that a student from each of our five campuses will die, and since there are 5 campuses, 2 more have to go. And since we're on study abroad, we classify as our own campus and one of us has to go....

Alright they're closing the lounge now, so I have to go. Hope you're all well!