[escaping the THAImafia] *new blog!

4 03 2011

it has been a loooong time since I last posted! that’s because when I returned to Tokyo I started a different LJ blog – that I’m no longer using – __ -U !

soon after creating the LJ blog I discovered tumblr and decided to migrate all the contents there – in the end it was a more convenient format for the kind of blog I had in mind.

so for anyone who might be interested in reading a bot more about my nonsense —>>>

[escaping the thai mafia]


7 08 2010

this summer UNIQLO’s graphic t-shirts are devoted to manga and anime – featuring series like [one piece], [dragon ball], [gundam]… and since yet another [evangelion] movie was released this year, gainax’s star anime couldn’t be left out of this.

I wasn’t in time for a pen2 awesome t-shirt, but as the stocks dwindle they bring a new set of designs! so I ended up buying this one!

the writing glows in the dark – which I discovered by accident thanks to a friend… -__-U

next in my list: [日本おもちゃ] collection or [企業コラボ] collection ^^ hope there’s still a ホッピ model waiting for me!

[多摩大学図書館・TAMAlibrary] Ito Toyo

11 07 2010

yesterday I went to see Toyo Ito’s Tama Library, inside the Campus of Tama University in Kanagawa. even though it was saturday you could see a lot of people on campus O.o as if they had nothing better to do on a weekend than to go again to uni…

you could appreciate the absolute care with which the minutest details were treated. the concrete was smooth as silk and where it joined the glass of the arching windowpanes both were at the same level, not a millimeter off! さすがに日本だな。

also, there were some guys sleeping like babies in a special resting lounge. they were so cute, lol.

HOW TO get there:

from Shinjuku take the Keio line to Hashimoto (橋本),  it costs about 430 yen.

once there you will have to take a bus to the campus. the buses are outside on the ground floor

taking the north exit of the station. I think the one taking you to the campus leaves from quay 6.

from the bus stop to the campus entrance is just a matter of three minutes walking and most likely

other students will be getting off with you, just follow them. 以上


5 07 2010

[低燃費少女ハイジ] or “efficiency fuel girl Heidi” was part of the 2009 campaign by Nissan, promoting their “fuel efficient” new model NOTE. the campaign was issued as a mini-series by animation studios ZUIYO and studio crocodile in the same style as their famous [world of golden eggs]. the story goes basically like this: in each episode heidi goes around asking what “teinenpi” is, but no one can really tell her, until in the end she finds out, although I suggest you see for your selves :)

the silly thing was so successful that you can find all sorts of merchandising in KIDDYLAND! (check it out). I can’t promise I won’t end up buying some whatnot myself!

episode 1: “echo”

episode 2: “peter”

episode 3: “granpa”

if you liked them you can find out what the damn “teinenpi” is here (or not?). with a bit of searching around  youtube you’ll sure find someone who added subtitles to it.



16 06 2010

I found these two videos while roaming around vimeo. they’re just a peek of the wonderful work of celine desrumaux and yann benedi. be sure to check their page for more surprise, like the oncoming series “gIant” [first ep already out!]

[@the station]

2 11 2009

for all those who (like me) tend to embarrass themselves in public by doing ridiculous things… I dedicate this strip. hope you enjoy it!

bureaucracy sucks

10 10 2009

this is a little story I sketched during the first week of classes this year. I had been back from an erasmus exchange and I had some paperwork to do. it wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the bureaucratic system and it’s lack of efficiency.


9 11 2008


I have decided to go on hiatus for some time. the reason is I have started a lyrics translation blog on LJ and I’m doing most of the posting there (which isn’t much anyway, since I’m busy with uni). so for lack of time and because what I’m posting about lately doesn’t fit this blog anymore I will take a break from WP. I hope to come back sooner or later, when I have new things to write about!

*pic originally taken from ffffound

[きっと大丈夫・嵐] kitto daijoubu lyrics and trans

8 11 2008

*musings*: this song has proven a little tough – ironically because of all the english words! to try to grasp the meaning of the verses I had to make a guess at what they must have been thinking in japanese to make such a strange choice of english words. from there I struggled to translate back… I must say this song doesn’t make as much sense as the others – maybe because of my still-developing skills ^_^’

however, I had a lot of fun transcribing the katakana – you get such ludicrous occurrences XD


I would have translated [take me far away] too, but I spent most of the day updating my fonts and PS brushes because when I changed to mac I lost my old win libraries. sorry! fonts, brushes and the like are my weak point! I cannot bear to live on century gothic alone – I’m a sybarite.

pic courtesy of [info]mamoruchan :)

[楽園・二宮和也] lyrics trans + song

8 11 2008

as I mentioned when I posted [ファイトソング] this is the original composition prior to it – a 100% nino song, very sweet and endearing. since this is early production the lyrics are a bit naïve, but you can also detect his mischievous side in some parts (like when he says “if you don’t mind your mother getting angry we’ll be back by sunrise” and so XD). the title , “rakuen” means “paradise”.

since I imagine not all of you have the piece I’ll leave an MF link to it too – I honestly don’t remember where I downloaded it from, else I’d credit. enjoy the song!

[楽園]・二宮和也 (lyrics)

.::楽園::. (download)

*current mood:  ready for bed*

[台風ジェネレーション・嵐] lyrics and trans

8 11 2008

I’ve fallen in love with this song… the story is so sad… T_T I’d never paid much attention to it and it has turned out to be beautiful! I’m so glad I translated it >_<

this time there’s only one footnote *phew* – what a relief! I was afraid the footnotes would end up surpassing the song’s length…

[台風ジェネーション]・嵐  typhoon generation

thanks again to [info]mamoruchan for the pic :)
(don’t tell me not to thank you again because crediting is only fair!)

*current mood:  in need of a good coffee*

[ファイトソング・嵐] lyrics and trans

8 11 2008

ok, new song!! first of all I want to thank[info]mamoruchan for being so kind as to edit the pics for me – it saves a lot of time :)

when I went looking for the kanji lyrics I read that the music and words were nino’s!! ok, so maybe you all knew this already, but I didn’t. looking further into it I discovered there’s a previous version of the song entitled [楽園] (rakuen) with different lyrics and sang by nino alone. I got hold of the mp3 (I guess he aired it in his radio show) and as soon as I have the kanji lyrics I’ll post a translation :)

but for the moment I leave here our dear fight-song, which will always inevitably remind us of the 2007 Time concert and the boys boucing up and down the stage. *sigh*

[ファイトソング]・嵐 fight-song

this time I had to make three footnotes – what’s wrong with this guys? why do they have to keep writing one word and saying another that has nothing to do with it in the first place? Ò.Ó I just don’t get it. still, I will keep making notes because I feel people would miss part of it if I don’t.

*current mood:  hardworking*

[beautifulDAYS] regular edition

6 11 2008

I just received my copy of 嵐’s new single [beautiful days]!!!!! *dancing ridiculously in front of the computer*

even though it’s just the regular edition – the one containing the PV was already out of stock by the time I went to check on amazon – I’m ecstatic with joy! this is actually my first original 嵐 CD, though I hoped vainly for it to be [truth] – no luck here either, even though I was in tokyo by the time it was out.

so I thought I’d share – like I’m sure many other people will do these next days – uploading it to this blog.

the contents of the regular edition are:


.::beautiful days single download::.

01.beautiful days・02.僕は僕の全て・03.忘れられない・

04.beautiful days [カラオケ]・05.僕は僕の全て [カラオケ]・06.忘れられない [カラオケ]

the other two songs are [boku wa boku no subete] and [wasurerarenai]. I’m listening to them right now, but it’ll take me time to get attuned to them, so I can’t tell straight away if I like them or not. perhaps they’ll turn out to be like [how to fly] and [kaze no mukou he], which were both shadowed by the main songs in the single, but when listened to carefully you realise they are pretty good! *crosses her fingers*

that’s it for now. I wanted to start scanning the arashi photobooks I received, but my house-mate’s scanner is missing a cable – I went all excited to fetch it from her room after asking her permission only to find out it’s as good as having no scanner for all I can do with it in its present state… T_T  ゴメンね みんな…

*current mood: red02 nearing nirvana*

[yes?no?・嵐] lyrics and trans

6 11 2008

first of all, let me sight… I thought I’d have today to work on the songs, but I got an assignment for city planning due tomorrow and consequently spent most of the day in uni working with my group.

aside from that… I’m really pissed off.
in the short time I’ve been in rome I’ve come to notice the national sport must be moving bus stops around the city – I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve had to go in search of the new situation of my bus stop. yesterday I took the underground directly from uni instead of walking my 30 min to the place I normally wait for the bus because it had been moved to a street that escaped my knowledge – yet again. when I got out of the underground I recalled the nearest stop had also been transferred some good 600m down the street due to repaving of a strech of the road. I walked there resignedly under the heavy rain – because it was raining, of course. after waiting no more than a minute I resolved asking the people around me – experience has taught me that the more you ask the less you wait for a bus that’s not coming. and sure they told me the course of my bus had been changed that morning and that now it departed from piazza della repubblica. […] funnily enough, that’s where I had come out of the underground…
in the end I had to walk to another place, to take another bus that took me to one of the few stops that hadn’t been changed.
all in all it took me more than an hour and a half to get home, when it shouldn’t be more than 40min.

now, whoever tells me that rome is beautiful will have an umpleasant encounter with my knukles, I swear.

*cursing roman public transport vehemently, and wisihng for a meteorite to crash on atac’s central office*

sorry for the rant. here’s the song:

*current mood:  grumpy*


3 11 2008

ok, I thought I should inform of the requests I got so far – that way you’ll know if a song has already been asked for or at least what to expect in the next days.

yes? no?
kitto daijoubu
typhoon generation
fight song

cry for you
te agerou
take me far away
song for me
yume de ii kara

the first four I’ll try to have them by wednesday (though it depends on the difficulty of the lyrics)

ahhhh… tomorrow I have to wake up at six to get to class… and I have a long day of classes ahead. why am I still here? ¬.¬
oh! and I’m alone at home with my flatmate’s dog (BIG dog), who likes to sleep in my bedroom. right now she’s getting very nervous and my flatmate shows no signs of coming back… oh man… no sleep for me tonight. what should I do? I’m a cats person through and through!

*current mood: slightly worried*

[beautifulDAYS・嵐] lyrics and trans *update

3 11 2008

I finally found the kanji lyrics in a chinese page – the japanese lyric pages I know didn’t have them yet – so I had to check it a bit, because sometimes they change an ideogram or two and everything gets messed up *talks from experience*.
only two days for the single to go on sale >_< ! already ordered it in amazon, so it should arrive within a week with other things. today I got jun’s photobook and 嵐 toretate ^_^ 嬉しいよ!when I have time – and access to a scan – I’ll upload pics.

I’m including an edited version of the PV (edited meaning shorter). all credits to [info]mamoruchan who told me about it!
even if incomplete it’s very promising – the setting and atmosphere are a little dark, like those in [truth], but it balances the mysteriously cheerful ring of the song (given that the lyrics are not cheerful at all it’s surprising that the first impression of the melody should be of a happy-go-lucky type of song ¬.¬).

[beautiful days]・嵐

*update: I’m including a link to the CD song here, though you can download the whole single in a more recent post.

[naked・松本潤] lyrics and trans

2 11 2008

after posting [la familia] at [info]jun_daily they asked me if I had anymore jun solo translations. I was going to wait for requests, since there wasn’t one I was particularly interested in translating after [la familia] and with no criterion whatsoever I generally get nowhere.
however, I was so morose after struggling to translate [walking in the rain] with so little success that I needed to wipe it from my mind altogether. and I thought about doing one of jun’s songs – since at least I had a reason to do so.

I chose [naked] merely because it is the last one and also because watching some arashi vids the other day I came across one where the boys were interviewed because of the new album release (old vid, I know). when asked which solo he liked best, ohno (acting as leader and spokeperson for once – though not very successfully I should add…) said it had to be jun’s. there! if riida says it’s his fave that’s reason enough for me :)


*note* I have to thank kat for the image, since she passed it through photoshop and now jun wears his colour! 似合ってるね?

*current mood:  sleepy*

[雨の音を聴きながら、思想界に踏み出した] new LJ

31 10 2008

I opened an LJ account some time ago with the intention of starting the blog anew there – at the time I had received a ban from wordpress for a post where I uploaded some music and this blog was frozen. I was a little pissed off because I had other posts like that one and nobody had sent me a ban before. in the end I had to delete the post if I wanted to keep writing here and so everything went back to normal. but in the meantime I had opened the LJ account. now that I can use the blog again it seems a little sad to delete it, so instead of closing here I will try to maintain both.

the LJ blog will be dedicated to lyric translation, writings and a mini japanese course I have been wanting to post for some time. the lyric trans will be crossposted here, so the few people who come to check on those don’t find the place empty and full of dust. but apart from that the two will be separated. the only thing the have in common is actually me.

the truth is I no longer knew what this blog was about. it was great while I used it as a means of communication with my friends when I was in japan. before that I focused on reviewing dorama and now I have the translation thing and some comments on my life in rome. I wanted something simple and straightforward, with a single aim – so as to help put some order into my thoughts – and I didn’t want to leave an empty, unused account in LJ.

the result is [nanachan’s blog]・雨の音を聴きながら、思想界に踏み出した the subtitle meaning “while I listened to the sound of rain I stepped into the realm of thought”. I translate it only for the sake of curious people :9


[嵐・readyTOfly] lyrics and translation

31 10 2008

no freaky trans babbling this time, this was pretty easy compared to [eyes with delight]. the only news is that I found a japanese lyrics page from where I take the kanji 歌詞 directly to avoid mistakes – as far as the basic text is concerned of course, further inaccuracies are entirely my fault ^_^’

(kat, keep requesting please, this is soooo much fun!)

[ready to fly]・嵐

[嵐・eyesWITHdelight] lyrics and translation

31 10 2008

here’s another lyric translation – also requested by kat :9

but first of all I’m gonna bug you with some translation freakness. on attempting this translation I understood why not many people have tried it before – at least I haven’t been able to find any other translations. there are a couple of verses that can make you sweat bullets. they are so frustrating to translate that I had to go to a japanese forum where even japanese people were asking for the meaning of the f***ing expression. the girl who finally explained it said she had had to ask her mother lol

here’s the verse in question:

香りは緑なす君の黒髪 (kaoru wa midori nasu kimi no kurokami)

lit: the scent achieving green, your black hair. here comes the pun though: “midori no kurokami” is a fixed expression meaning “raven-black hair”. so the verse is actually a word game – I personally want to strangle the lyric composer for this – that I eventually turned into “the scent of your raven-black hair”. that’s the closest I could get to something that made sense.

then there’s another verse that gave me some trouble – I think this is a classic example of what japanese translations entail (aka: phrasing and rephrasing, juggling with random words to see if they succeed in inspiring you some ulterior meaning and reshaping the sentence until it makes some sense).

the verse is this:

涙より深い 輝きを湛え 微笑んでいる (namida yori fukai kagayaki wo tatae hohoende iru)

and this is all I came up with, from the ground-zero basic trans  to the polished sentence:

rather than tears this flooding overwhelming brightness, smiling
brimming with overwhelming brightness instead of tears, smiling
instead of crying, your smile is brimming with overwhelming brightness

finally: instead of tears, your eyes are brimmed with an overwhelming brightness

it seems like another word game. “tataeru” is normally used with eyes and tears meaing “brimmed with -” and with “brightness” meaning flooded. here “tataeru” is applied to “brightness” but takes the other meaning. shrewed, right? I felt so relieved when I finally put it together!

ok, enough of this freak babble – I thought I’d explode if I didn’t share this with someone! I leave the lyrics here. hope you like them!

[eyes with delight]・嵐

*current mood: smug*

*currently reading: wuthering heights*

[松本潤・la familia] lyrics and translation

29 10 2008

in answer to kat’s request I’m posting jun’s solo [la familia] – what do these johnnys guys have with spanish? first “seishun amigo“, then “daite señorita – oops! senyorita“… seriously. they don’t even know proper english and they venture with spanish? luckily they don’t try to go as far as kubo taito did in [bleach!] – that’s hilarious, I have a great time reading the names of the arrancar XD

what was I talking about? oh, yeah, jun’s song. probably one of the most endearing solos he’s ever had :)

[la familia]・松潤

*current mood: computerscreen-tired*

*currently listening to: julie delpy*

[himitsuNO嵐ちゃん] 081016

24 10 2008

this is last week’s himitsu, I know it’s not news by know – but I’ve been waiting for several days for dailymotion to publish two f****n’ videos!

I was thinking I’d like to see the shows trimmed to the interesting or funny parts, but you cannot always find these immediately after some kind soul uploads it. so I thought about doing it myself. I’m starting with this himitsu because I found it pretty interesting (compared to the never-ending ageha series ¬¬U, aiba-chan, that was too much…).

the program consists basically of three parts: the first one is a collection of weird clips featuring people surfing in a fountain, chinese basketball player mingming or robot-dancing. you will have to watch that twice – once to see the actual clips and a second to appreciate the faces arashi makes XD. they also bring this little kid that reminds you of roald dahl’s matilda – making maths operations in his head within seconds. it’s endearing to see arashi around the kid; you can tell sho-kun really likes children :)

the kid in question

when they ask the boy if he knows anyone from arashi he replies that the one he knows better is… ohno!! *riida smiles proudly*. but then, when asked for the reason he says he doesn’t know… *confused-disappointed look on riida’s face*

ohno-kun the moment the kid says his name

riida’s smug faces

disappointment kicks in…

the second part is an SP oh-chan and jun did together. they go to chiba to meet a fisherman that will take them out to the sea in search of a rare shark species they call [悪魔サメ] – otherwise known as “goblin shark”. this is the part I trimmed out of the program because it’s the most interesting. however, I leave you some screenshots!

やっぱり jun looking all kakkoii

and then riida…





the last part consists of a enquête-game – I should have mentioned that [toda erika] is the special guest ^_^U. the hosts ask arashi and erika some simple questions and they have to answer yes or no. then the results are contrasted with the average percentages of what people normally answer. the questions go something like this: “have you ever called a stranger mum by mistake?”, “have you pried a friend ne, are you sleeping? when staying over at his/her house?”, “have you struck up conversation with a taxi driver and laughed your head out?” (sort of), “do you speak to the TV?”… this one was great. jun and erika admitted to it and when asked to elaborate jun said he only did it if he was alone. he would laugh at something on TV and then ask himself why he was laughing for. then sho pointed out that jun talked a lot to himself when alone. jun confessed he normally says “tadaima” upon arriving home (even though there’s nobody waiting for him) and that when he opens the fridge he says “nomimono wo nomimasu” (let’s have something to drink). lol jun’s secret revealed:

other screenshots:

nino looking rather stupid (the result of spending too much time with dear riida?)

you can see the whole episode here in veoh. :) enjoy!


21 10 2008

these are some 嵐 icons born from long hours exchanging photos with kat through skype – being over 800 miles away from each other has its difficulties… I will be posting them little by little so as not to overload the posts :)

you can take them if you want to, but if you use them please credit and don’t post them in your blog as yours, thanks :9

random: members





*current music: yes, coldplay*

keeping up the poll thing_fave 嵐 album?

20 10 2008

“me too wants to try poll-thingy!” my inner self shouted at me today. and so here I propose another poll. I had also thought about asking people about favorite 嵐 songs, but it’s very difficult to choose. instead I pose a simpler (I hope) question: what is your favorite album?

we all started following the boys at some point or other; some of us have been fans for a very short time and thus are bound to be more familiar with the latest work. I myself feel something special for [time] because I became a fan in between that and this year’s LP – the truth is I am a jun-baited-through-kat fan :p. she stumbled upon 嵐 after watching [花男] and learning that all-mighty domyouji was also a singer. I must admit I didn’t like their music straight away V_V *ashamed* – at the time I was more into groups like [the pillows], [nobodyknows+] or [asian kung-fu generation]. the only song I really liked immediately was [サクラ咲け] and mostly because of sho-chan’s rap – I thought his low husky voice and rapper style really rocked the mellow jpop melodies of 嵐 songs. paradoxically it was a mellow song that got me addicted to the boys ¬¬U. it was none other than 虹, which I heard by chance streaming in someone’s blog. I literally fell in love with ニノ’s voice and performance and went nearly mad searching through the internet ’til 4 in the morning with little success. kat was so kind as to find me a life-saving youtube video of the concert solo so I could breathe again.

from then on it’s been 嵐 madness for me. my fave album is [time] partly because it contains 虹, and ニノ is still my 一番 because every time I have doubts about it I need only listen to the song to step back in track. :) それ以上. to the poll!

of course if you’d like to comment on your favorite song or how you happened to like a japanese idol boy-band you are most welcome! :)

*current mood: blissful*

*current music: viva la vida [coldplay]*

Which song of Arashi (嵐 ) is your favorite?

20 10 2008


20 10 2008

kat found this japanese name generator and it seems fun. she entered all our names and posted the results in her blog, but, alas!, we got the same first name! why would that be I wonder? our names have very different meanings – I know cause I have this really nice book-name and checked it out a long time ago. still we both got “izumi” (spring). so I went back to the generator and entered my middle name and sure enough the result changed. I’m posting it here along with those of kat and akiko-chan:
*update* how did you write your name, kat? it came out different this time!

My authentic japanese name is 近藤 Kondou (wisteria nearby) 澄麗 Sumire (clear and lovely).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey‘s Name Generator Generator.

My authentic japanese name is 山下 Yamashita (under the mountain) 歩 Ayumu (walk, deeper meaning: walk your own way).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey‘s Name Generator Generator.

My authentic japanese name is 清水 Shimizu (clear water) 明日香 Asuka (fragrance of the bright day).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey‘s Name Generator Generator.

Which member of Arashi is your favorite?

19 10 2008

[carryON] lyrics and translation

16 10 2008

[carry on] is one of my favorite songs from the [time] LP – along with [cry for you], [firefly] and [be with you], which all happen to fall into the ‘no PV’ category T_T

oh, well… at least we have the lives to make up for this injustice. (who was so empty-headed as to decide they didn’t need a PV? Ò.Ó おこってるんですよ!)

with regards to the trans… 間違えばすみません。sorry for the inaccuracies, translating songs involve a lot of imagination and you end up ‘interpreting’ more than anything, because some sentences just don’t connect or make any sense otherwise. still it gets easier the more you do it, since a lot of words repeat themselves and a lot of structures too. good way to improve your japanese if I may say so.

know that you are free to take the translation, as always – but if you use it in your blog or site, please remember to credit or link. these things take time and a little effort :)

[carry on]・嵐

Katori Shingo- Oha Rock

13 10 2008

Shingo Katori is one of the members of SMAP, one of the first music groups of Johnny’s. Shingo-san is well known for his parodies and personifications… (he is one of the best of the group). I saw the video of “Oha Rock” about 6 years ago and because at that moment the only thing I knew about japanesse music were the groups Gackt, L’arc~en~Ciel, Dir en Grey and Hikaru Utada I thought to myself that japanesse people where a bit nuts… and today at 4 in the morning I got an E-mail from Nana-chan with a link to this parody, and now that I know who the nuts guy is I have mixed feelings… I don’t know if I have to laugh or cry while watching this… (Shingo is my favorite singer from SMAP… well he is my favorite in everything) At the same time I saw this for the first time I saw the video of “Yatta” which I’ve seen again today and I’m glad to see that there are no Idols or actor/singer I admire between the components of the group, so that’s a relief, XDD!!

I’m truly grateful to Nana-Chan for showing me this video again and to the Blog she rediscovered the clip in the other day. I had a great time watching it, I had a great time seeing how Shingo danced and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the rest of SMAP on the last part of the clip (Goro is soo Kawaiiii!!!!).

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I have, >_<!!!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[twilightSERIES] personal view

13 10 2008

I have been thinking about posting a review of the [twilight] series ever since I finished reading the 4th book and never really got around it. now, with kat’s post of the new and definitive trailer of the up-coming movie and the fact that I have been also checking on MI trilogy updates, I think the time is perfect for a post on the YA bestseller.

however, I don’t feel like doing a whole review of the four books – it’s been a very long time since I read the first one and the last two and a half I devoured so hastily that they count as one book in my head… seeing I would only manage an awful mess of a review, I will not even try it. instead I just offer my opinion, my views on the series as a whole. *warning, possible spoilers ahead*

I have heard some people say the [twilight] series is a trilogy – hinting that the 4th book was unnecessary I guess. I could have gone further and say it’s a two book series; but being honest – though never straying from the point here – for me it was a very enjoyable two and a half sequence. let me explain. if I should consider the novels separately I have no doubt as to which ones are the most accomplished, best written and more “whole”. those two should be the first and last books of the series. one of the reasons I continued reading ’til the end even though YA romantic fantasy is not exactly my cup of tea, was that I thought stephenie meyer’s approach to the subject of vampires was fairly interesting. the way she strips the myth of all draculesque vestiges and brings it down to Earth, adding her own touches and adapting it to her line of story – this was a first for me in the vampire lairs. everything is conducted very naturally from the beginning, the context is also very un-extraordinary for a vampire novel and the main character is not gifted with unnatural perfection or beauty – she is clumsy and reserved, has a strong personality and in some cases shows more maturity than most teenagers are credited with. at least that was the impression you got when you read the first book, but this is another issue.

what I was trying to convey is that the initial novel made a good read to the point where no continuation would have been necessary. the second book takes a turn for the worse, as was called for after a happy end of a cliff-hanger. then ensues the most interesting arc in the books to come: some characters take leave and a new one is reintroduced to play a more decisive part. the dynamic of the story changes completely, but the reader gets used to this new pace very easily, which means the writer is doing well. here I draw a line and wipe out half of the book and the next one too, until we reach [breaking dawn]. this is what I meant by “two and a half series”.

it’s not that [eclipse] or the second part of [new moon] are specially bad or uninteresting – from a literally point of view they follow in line with the others and I’d say the pace comes more naturally than before, the writer seems finally at ease with battle or action scenes. the problem is the main character and her all-too-perfect, greek god statue of a boyfriend. their love story is so sappy my fingers got sticky from touching the pages and sporadic nausea overtook me from time to time. to make things worse, bella mysteriously becomes a spoiled and selfish brat – as if being constantly in need of everybody’s help weren’t enough for my nerves – turning your initial respect for her into reluctance and then plain dislike. her behavior and personality strays so much from the girl you knew in [twilight] as her relationship with edward progresses, that you no longer recognise her. since the books are told from bella’s point of view, the fact that the reader should develop a strong aversion towards her is not good – it wasn’t good for my mental health and kat and akiko had to suffer the consequences, aka me showering complaints about bella all day.

it is a pity that just when jake starts to gain importance and the werewolf issue is being developed, everything should be eclipsed by this new side of bella. I think those were strong points in the second and third book and would have made all the difference, yet all I recall from the time I read them is this impending urge to see bella dead and the sad notion that it would probably never happen.

which brings me to [breaking dawn] – the one I also count into my series. first thing that made me like it from the start is that bella stops telling the story after 140 pages :). from then on we have some good 230 pages of jake! I celebrate the writer’s decision here – jake has always been the antidote to the anxiety and angst bella arose in me. and in truth a change in the point of view was becoming really necessary in the story – not to mention that I’d probably have thrown myself out of a window if I had had to suffer bella’s pregnancy seeing it through her eyes!!! thanks SM for sparing us.

the second good point of the book is that we finally say goodbye to overly-clumsy, dependable bella and get to enjoy a stronger and more independent character (at last!). it’s also interesting to experience the subtleties of becoming a vampire in first person, instead of collecting the information from other characters. my only objection would be the predictable happy ending. I don’t know why, but, maybe because I have a knack for tragedy, my insticts told me it would have been far more interesting if bella’s plan B had had to be carried on. for some reason the thought of jake and little renesmee starting a new life together in brazil, the christmas present locket the only left token from her parents, gave me a stronger feeling of reality. sad endings are much more emotional than happy ones. oh, well.

so this was it. just wanted to share. the veredict would be that I liked the first one very much and enjoyed some parts of the others, here and there, but continued reading with the feeble hope of seeing bella finally die in one of the thousands of oportunities she is presented with. my wish was not fulfilled, but a good thing came of this experience nontheless: I love cassandra clare’s books twice as much now. 以上!

[howTOfly] 嵐 lyrics and translation

11 10 2008

today we had a compulsory appointment, like every saturday morning, with our history teacher. these sort of “sightseeing” is part of the course and we have to take notes and draw for the sake of the exam. in a way it’s really cool to have your “history of modern italian architecture” teacher explain to you monuments and buildings in rome. but the fact that it has to be saturday morning… today we went to study “san pietro in montorio”, which I can proudly say is inside a courtyard of the “spanish academy and embassy” in rome. getting there was a little problematic, since it’s just under giannicolo, but you generally arrive there through trastevere. now, trastevere bears a curious resemblance with hogwarts castle in that the street’s layout seem to be alive and ever-changing. once you get inside you know you are lost and it will take you the same time to get out of there that it took alicie to scape wonderland.

with all the street-wandering, old uneven stair-climbing and the 3h visit I arrived home dead tired and crashed on the bed. I was out for some good four hours and when I woke up refreshed I was taken by a sudden urge to translate some japanese lyrics – yes, it sounds weird, but that’s just how I am. since I had mentioned recently that I liked [how to fly] because of the lyrics mainly, I decided to start with that. hope you like it as much as me!

[how to fly]・嵐

*current mood pleased*

[流星の絆] ryusei no kizuna_beautiful days

10 10 2008

I have been either very busy or very lazy to check on the autumn upcoming doramas. I knew ニノ was starring in a new series for TBS that would cover [魔王]’s slot (yes, I’m sad too that it’s over – no more hot 生田斗真 for a while). but I didn’t know much about it, to tell you the truth; just the title [流星の絆]

the story is again one of revenge it seems (TBS is straining the topic a bit, what with [魔王] first and then this, but it may stick, who knows). three orphan siblings – played by [二宮和也] ninomiya kazunari, [錦戸亮] nishikido ryo and [戸田恵梨香] toda erika – swear on a shooting star that the time may come when they will avenge their murdered parents (hence the title: “bonds of a shooting star/meteor”). the kids grow up and finally discover the identities of the murderers. the two boys are intent to follow as sworn long ago, but they have overlooked a small detail: their sister.

the script is [kudo kankuro]’s, you may know some of his works: [kisarazu cat’s eye] (dorama and movies) and [ikebukuro west gate park] are the most famous. I just mention it because it could be a warranty of a good script and plot. I loved [kisarazu], so I hope this one turns out well – I got tired of watching dorama for the sake of someone’s appearance when I came across , that did it for me. so if this one is not good I won't follow it, not even for ニノ.

other interesting facts about the dorama are the two songs that are known to feature as the opening and insert song. the first one is the new [嵐] single [beautiful days] - how long has it been since truth was released, two months? and there's another single going out 5th november? do they ever stop to breath? - and the second one is a ballad by [中島美嘉] nakashima mika, whose brief collaboration with morisanchuu seems to have been just that: brief. honestly, what a waste. I'm leaving here the MF links to both songs - mind you, the [嵐] one is a radio-rip from ニノ's [baystorm], as the CD has not been released yet.

.::beautiful days::.


in fact it was the song that triggered all this. I was walking around rome the other day for lack of anything else to do, when I suddenly remembered about [ryusei no kizuna] and wondered who would be doing the theme song. the poll was strong on [嵐], of course, but since ryo is also in the series I thought maybe [NEWs] would be given a chance. but apparently not - now I feel stupid for even thinking about it.

while you wait for the dorama release in TBS on 17日10月, I found a TFP2 special of [ryusei no kizuna]. the file is some good 1.1Gb big, so there was no way I could upload it to MF without upgrading - and believe me, that's not gonna happen in the near future - so instead you have the d-addicts torrent link.

*current mood: impatient*

Twilight Final HD Trailer

10 10 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Final Trailer for the Twilight Movie,  hope you enjoy it, XDD!!!

fictional character-obama conversation conjured up by aaron sorkin

10 10 2008

this is an imaginary conversation acclaimed creator of “the west wing” aaron sorkin came up with upon demand of NYtimes op-ed columnist maureen dowd. the virtual dialogue features barack obama and fictional president bartlet, from sorkin’s series. it’s supposed to take place after one of the zillions pf confrontations the two candidates have attended in the past months. I must admit I am completely lost here – it’s been a long time since I last watched TV and the running campaign for president in america’s details wouldn’t even reach me at home if I had one. nevertheless, I enjoyed “the west wing” when it was on in spain and always found the dialogues mind-boggling – I wondered how much coffee and sleeplessness it took the script-writers to come up with such brilliant stuff. so I’m sharing mainly for that reason.

if you have never seen the series – I recommend you to give it a try when your neurones can spare the time and effeort it takes to follow the plot – I’ll just tell you bartlet is played by martin sheen. the rest of the surroundings are irrelevant to the conversation.

this is just an excerpt, for the whole article go here.

OBAMA I appreciate your sense of humor, sir, but I really could use your advice.

BARTLET Well, it seems to me your problem is a lot like the problem I had twice.

OBAMA Which was?

BARTLET A huge number of Americans thought I thought I was superior to them.



OBAMA I mean, how did you overcome that?

BARTLET I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.

OBAMA What do you mean?

BARTLET I’m a fictional president. You’re dreaming right now, Senator.

OBAMA I’m asleep?

BARTLET Yes, and you’re losing a ton of white women.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET I mean tons.

OBAMA I understand.

BARTLET I didn’t even think there were that many white women.

OBAMA I see the numbers, sir. What do they want from me?

BARTLET I’ve been married to a white woman for 40 years and I still don’t know what she wants from me.

OBAMA How did you do it?

BARTLET Well, I say I’m sorry a lot.

OBAMA I don’t mean your marriage, sir. I mean how did you get America on your side?

BARTLET There again, I didn’t have to be president of America, I just had to be president of the people who watched “The West Wing.”

OBAMA That would make it easier.

BARTLET You’d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old “ER” time slot with “30 Rock” as your lead-in, you’d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share — you’d be selling $450,000 minutes.


7 10 2008

“I made a point of not taking out my ludicrously big, very conspicuous camera until I spoke perfect italian. if anyone was going to mistake me for a turist I could as well be prepared to prove them wrong.”

“in this foreign city, where pedestrian crossings have nearly faded into non-existence and no clock seems to work; where you can’t lean your head against the bus’ windowpane or trust traffic lights, I lie alone crying silently in the tick-less hours, wishing – always wishing – that my grief be washed away by the uneven tides of time.”









7 10 2008

because japan will never cease to surprise us with yet another ludicrous occurrence.

here are the posters (up to this month) of the campaign entitled “train manners” – personally, I would have never thought that japanese needed any sort of reminder in the matter. just the funny, sour looking man that appears recurrently in all of them (like wally) is enough to make you twitch your mouth into a small smile. but the last three posters are just hilarious. I came across the “do it in the beach” one down at ebisu station, but didn’t know of the existence of the others until now.

go ahead, crack a laugh.


6 10 2008

looking at the traffic in rome I wish I never need an ambulance to come to assist me – there is just no way it would make it on time. and at the same time traffic is the reason I cannot be sure I can completely avoid it…


6 10 2008

here I go again with music. I’m spending a lot of time in buses lately – after a year driving my car around madrid going back to public transport is slightly disconcerting. since it can easily take me 40min to get home when the traffic is very roman, I have been trying different ways to pass the time. spacing out is no good, you always end up thinking about what you shouldn’t – danger here -, reading is… uncomfortable, what with all the bumping along the cobblestone streets and the bus-driver’s crazy roman driving. writing is, of course, out of the question due to the aforementioned detail. which means I mostly listen to music, it’s easier.



this is not a new group to me, but it had been some time since I last listened to their songs. it never fails to amaze me how different an artist can seem to you depending on the circumstances, depending on the time. I appreciate a new side of this group now, paying closer attention to the lyrics, all like short stories on their own.





more “misuchiru”, this time from different albums again. “tabidachi no uta” is more recent, though previous to “GIFT” (which I already posted some time ago). the other two belong to the album [DISCOVERY] that I bought for 500 yen in a [bookOFF] in 渋谷. funny how they spelled “nishi he higashi he” in katakana. hum…

.::BE FREE::.


one of these days I will simply upload the whole album, because I just love all the songs. until then I leave these two, which range among my favourites.



.::cotton wool::.


every time I listen to [LaMb] my friend marta comes to mind. she introduced me to this group one memorable afternoon during a workshop session that lasted 4 days in a row – this involved all four of us buried alive in my room working to get our architecture projects ready, sleeping in turns and going a little crazy. that time she played “gorecki”. now I can’t detach one from the other: marta is lamb and lamb is marta. however, enjoy the songs; according to my friend it’s perfect ‘music for fucking’.

.::the orchard::.

(^complete album download^)

absolutely wonderful. this I owe to akiko-chan, who’s always discovering new treasures! she has a previous album, but I haven’t listened to it yet. when I get around it I’ll start uploading. :)


6 10 2008

an interesting designers project in rome, located in hip, low-key trastevere, proposes an utopic encounter between art and fashion. working side by side with different creators of the italian panorama, [temporaryLOVE] opens a new collection every now and then. the pieces (all for sale) range between clothing and accesories, to pictures.

the small shop is exquisitely decorated, matching each exhibition – for every time they open a new collection they inaugurate with an “apperitivo”: the hidden streets gets crowded with people drinking wine and biting on sweets and chocolate. the atmosphere gets very intimate and the exhibition is always worth taking a look at. the last one was entitled [GODsaveTHEpop], featuring works by [elioVARUNA] and [DeSiDeRiO].

you can find more information on this amazing proposal in their website or their myspace.

for those visiting rome, you can easily get to [temporaryLOVE] from piazza di santa maria in trastevere. the actual address is:

via dell’arco di san calisto 9 (beside piazza san calisto).


5 10 2008

I could tell she didn’t enjoy our sexual encounters. no, that was not it – she did enjoy herself to a certain extent, she took pleasure from it, but never let the pleasure overtake her. I don’t know if I’m making any sense here. it was not that she lacked the physical ability to experience pleasure, more like she didn’t allow herself to. whenever the electric current of fulfilled physical desire was about to bolt through her body she would halt it, hold it at bay like it were too much.

this peculiarity of our relationship didn’t bother me in the least, I swear. her reluctance to let herself go completely was not apparent to just anyone; it wasn’t something she threw at your face. on the contrary, she was amazingly pleasing in bed without seeming servile. she somehow managed the right balance. the first time I noticed this subtlety about her I put all my efforts into making her enjoy sex as much as me, but it quickly became apparent she preferred it her way. I never raised the issue in conversation – after all it was not that sort of relationship. so from then on whenever we made love I tried not to think about it, as if I’d never come to notice. this wasn’t very difficult since at the time a mere look at her body would turn me on – I was young, you see.

she had a long and graceful neck and a straight set of shoulders. her well-shaped breasts were big enough that I couldn’t quite cup them in my hands. her stomach was flat and lean and her hip-bones stood out against the elastic of her panties, leaving a space through which you could catch a glimpse of her pubic hair. whenever we were lying down after making love I would rest my head just above her navel and stare into this secret place. once I told her about my fascination with the way her panties never adjusted right to her lower belly when she lied face-up. she laughed at my remark, but said I could stare as much as I wanted. I spent a lot of time doing this.

it may sound odd but I’m not one to fall asleep automatically after sexual intercourse. sure I feel like someone had sucked the life out of me – in a good, nice sort of way -, but I cannot go to sleep straight away. I normally light up a cigarette, not out of some obscure fancy for old cliches, but because it helps me think – or rather, be lost in thought. most people have some thing or other that triggers a certain mood – you could call it a mood catalyst. my sister, for example, says whenever she has a problem that bothers her she needs to sit on the ground, in the kitchen or the bathroom, in order to wave it away. she is convinced that it’s the sense of enclosure and the cold from the tiles that does it. she’s a weird one, my sister. the girl I slept with also had her own thinking catalysts: the bus or the train. according to her these were the best to cleanse your mind because as you looked at the rushing images through the window, the sheer amount of visual information at such high speed overwhelmed your mind and soon you had to stop paying attention altogether. it sort of made sense to me, though I wouldn’t know for sure since I normally read in the public transports – she said she couldn’t, it gave her a headache.

this is the sort of information I was able to gather throughout our encounters – mismatched pieces of her, small but important details that left the overall picture full of holes nonetheless. I sometimes felt I knew more about her that most people she dealt with on less uncommon situations. this was due to the fact that she never shied away from telling me her personal views or her most intimate secrets.

on an october afternoon we were both in her bed after having had sex. she had dozed off under the warmth of the covers, but I was sitting up against the head-board, musing. I remember it was raining, a downpour, and still we had left the window slightly open. a cold breeze found its way through the slit and along with the hazy light and the rhythmical sound of rain I soon entered a kind of trance. I have always found rainy days oddly calming, reassuring even; as if the homogeneity of rain had the power of evening the world up. that’s why she startled me when she suddenly spoke up from under the bedclothes. I immediately forgot what I had been thinking about – I still don’t remember – and I turned to her with a questioning look.

‘I said I don’t think I can commit suicide. do you know why?’

it bugged me. her comment was odd enough in itself without my being slightly spaced out still. but I just said ‘no, why?’ in a calm tone, as if it were an ordinary conversation between two middle-aged women, discussing the trick to a chicken recipe.

‘because I can’t make up my mind about it.’

‘well, I very much doubt all people who commit suicide are 100% sure about what they are doing.’

‘that’s not what I meant.’ her brow furrowed, not in disapproval of my failure to understand her, but searching for the best way to explain. ‘what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have a clear opinion on it.’

‘you mean a one-side-or-the-other kind of opinion? like with death penalty?’

‘that’s it.’ she added, visibly pleased that I had finally grasped it. ‘I’m not sure if it’s a cowardly act or the bravest one. I mean, in a way, you could think of it as the ultimate escape-way: you feel miserable, you can no longer cope with the world, your life is too painful… so instead of facing your problems you just take flight.’

‘because to continue living is always the hard choice, the one you have to work out.’ as soon as the words came out of my mouth I realised I had made a statement rather than a question. she merely nodded.

‘then again it must take a huge amount of willpower to overcome your natural sense of self-preservation and end your life.’ she rushed the words as if exhaling a big gulp of air she’d been holding for too long. her tone gave the impression she was debating to herself rather than talking to me. ‘have you ever tried to cut yourself or pierce your skin with a needle?’ this time she had looked directly at me, like suddenly remembering I was there. I said I hadn’t.

‘it doesn’t have to be anything serious. did you ever try that kid game where you pierced the upper layer of your skin with a needle to make the illusion it was stuck magically to your palm?’ I shook my head again. ‘no? well, if you had you would know just how difficult self-inflicted pain is. as if there was a kind of invisible barrier between your body and what tries to hurt it. your mind quickly shoots off to show you exactly what sort of pain you would experience if you went any further than imagining it. it feels so real it’s like you have already hurt yourself. I guess it’s an effective way to put you off doing silly things.’

I was out of words. what could I add to that? instead I just stared at her hands with a deep-in-thought expression. she resumed her calm demeanor and exhaled softly.

‘anyway. I was just trying to illustrate how difficult it must be to try to end your life, that’s all.’

‘let me get this straight. you would not commit suicide because you don’t know if that’d make you a coward or a very brave person?’

‘no. I merely can’t give a straight and clear opinion on it because both seem equally true to me. so until I can stick to one of the two I won’t consider the possibility.’

‘that’s… weird.’

‘it’s more about the general idea of how you see things, how you arrange the world around you. I would feel I’m not being honest with myself making a ‘yes-or-no’ decision of something I don’t have a clear view of.’

that afternoon we both smoked a cigarette in silence while we thought to ourselves – whether she was still pondering the strange subject of suicide like me, I don’t know. the rain went on indefinitely, but we never broke our silence, until I ducked into the covers to take a nap.

so these were the sort of things she spontaneously talked to me about. not run-of-the-mill stuff, I’d say, but not all were so creepy. sometimes I wondered why I was with her, not because I felt our relationship had no meaning – which, in truth, I had never paused to consider – but purely out of curiosity. she was no model, no matter how beautiful her breasts were; and certainly the sex, though good, was not something to throw me into a frenzy. and to top it all neither of us seemed inclined to get any deeper into each other’s lives. which in turn got me thinking why she was still seeing me. we had met by chance some time ago outside a mc donald’s in shibuya around 5.30 am. we were both taking a bite after a whole night clubbing, waiting for the trains to run again, and we had stopped in the only place open. she was with a friend, I had seen her drop the girl on a nearby table, fast asleep. somehow she didn’t struck me as drunk, more like utterly exhausted from dancing all night. she left her friend there with their bags – it was not likely anything would happen to them what with only one person out of six awake in the place, that being me – and she went away. I found her downstairs taking a smoke – I don’t know why I followed her; something about her detached manner and bemused smile pulled me up from my seat. or maybe I was just drawn to her because she was the only one in that place besides me that was not unconscious and I needed to talk to the living rather than the dead.

I approached her with the feeble excuse of asking for a cigarette, though I didn’t smoke at the time. she flashed that bemused smile at me and pulled out a package of mild sevens, flipping the lid open and sliding one out with a quick move of her thumb. she then lit it without waiting for me to ask her to. I don’t remember how we started the conversation, whether it was her or me who spoke up first, but I know I didn’t ask for her name straight away and neither did she. I seem to recall I inquired her about what she was doing here in tokyo, too obviously a foreigner to pass for one of the locals. her answer startled me a little, like they would never fail to do from then on.

‘what I do is not important. it’s of no interest, really.’ she added when she saw my reaction. ‘what do you do?’

I frowned, slightly taken aback. or it might have been that I was more tired than I had thought and my mind was a little too slow. she let out a low chuckle.

‘forgive me. if you don’t think it’s fair for me to ask you that when I’m refusing to answer you I will rephrase my question: what would you like to be doing?’

this didn’t help my struggling mind anymore than her previous question. I was so concentrated in getting it started that I thought I could hear the wheels and cogs screeching through the rust. meanwhile the column of ash that had formed in my forgotten cigarette was overpowered by gravity and fell to a puddle in the ground. I brought the cigarette almost reflexively to my mouth and took a drag. only a few seconds had passed.

‘I’m inviting you to tell me a lie – creative or not, it doesn’t matter.’ she continued, encouraging me.

‘I don’t know what I’d like to be doing. I’m not sure it isn’t what I’m actually doing.’

‘humpf. then you must be one of a kind, because people are never doing what they want. it’s part of the human condition.’

‘I could think of some who are though.’

‘I’m not saying that we deliberately choose the opposite to what we like, quite the contrary. those who can choose will go for what they want and sure enough it works. for a limited amount of time, of course. because it’s inevitable that you’ll grow to want something else, something you don’t have yet.’

I took another drag of the cigarette afraid the wind would smoke it before I could.

‘so,’ she suddenly broke the silence again, throwing away the still steaming butt of her cigarette and kicking it expertly to the nearest sewer. ‘ going back to our previous game, what would you be doing if you were doing what you want? I’ll start if you like,’ she continued quickly. ‘but we have to do it properly, start this conversation again. ask me your first question as if none of this had happened.’

I complied, relieved for the first time tonight that her request was so simple. ‘what are you doing in tokyo, if I may ask?’ I repeated affectedly, like an actor in a rehearsal going over the dialogues for the hundredth time. she nodded in approval and assumed her actress voice:

‘ahh… I’m running away from the thai mafia from the time I was a prostitute in bangkok. I now work the night shift in a love-ho up the hill and sleep in a different place each day: manga kissaten, cap hotel…’

‘why would you be a prostitute in thailand?’ I snapped. ‘wait, is this really what you would like to be doing?’ I was suddenly more alert than before. her story had not shocked me so much as it had piqued my curiosity. she wasn’t the least bit shaken by my question either.

‘I was backpacking around southeast asia when I run out of money in bangkok. did the wrong favor to the wrong person to get some easy cash to fly back home, but didn’t make it as far as the airport gates.’ the words came out naturally, effortlessly, as if she were rather recalling and not making it up. she never once looked at me while she told her story, this might have been a habit of hers. ‘the answer to your second question is maybe.’

there was a short silence. ‘how did you get away? from the thai mafia I mean.’

‘it wouldn’t be of any use to you if you found yourself in the same situation.’ she smiled half to herself, then looked up at me. ‘another cigarette?’

as she held the package of mild sevens to me I realised my neglected cigarette had expired between my index and middle finger. ‘yes.’ I stuttered, reaching for the package. but she took it away before I could grab it.

‘why? you don’t smoke.’

I stared at her in bewilderment and asked sheepishly: ‘is it that obvious?’

again that clear chuckle, like the sound of tiny bells.

‘even without the giveaway of the lame excuse to star up a conversation? yeah, it is. you don’t have the habit, don’t look comfortable with it in your hand, haven’t developed smoker gestures. instead you hold yourself a little too stiffly, as if you had recently had your hand cut off and you didn’t know how to compensate for it.’

‘wow. and here I thought I was putting up a fairly decent act.’

we continued our unusual conversation. I came up with a story of my own, but I don’t remember how it went now – it was something like employee of a batting center, in charge of collecting stray baseballs, I think. we didn’t have sex that day because she couldn’t just leave her friend there to wake up to the racket and greasy smell of mc donalds. but we exchanged numbers without promising to call – which in 9 out of 10 times it’s a guaranty that you will surely hear from the other person. and sure enough, barely a week after our brief encounter she called me and asked if I cared to meet her in a café in kichijouji, not far from her house.

the place in question turned out to be just next to one of the entrances to inokashira park. one of its walls curved along the first line of giant trees that grew on a pronounced slope, it was made of glass. a long wooden bar stretched itself all the way down the glass wall, old black leather stools scattered along it. I must say the décor wasn’t much to speak of and the atmosphere was not exactly lively either – maybe because of the dim light or maybe because it was a cloudy summer day and the mood was a little on the down side. nevertheless, she said she liked the gaudy place mainly for its italian coffee, its pumpkin ice-cream and the fact that it was full of stray cats running loose or taking a nap on an empty stool. we stayed long enough for her to finish her ice-cream and smoke through her last cigarettes. I didn’t ask her for smoke – I knew better than that.

as it turned out, she worked for a small but good company where she had been doing her internship a year and a half before. this seemed appropriate to me – you don’t go rumbling happily about how miserable your life is unless it’s not true. she told me the company paid for her accommodation – which gave me the clue that the company was faring pretty well for itself. it was a shared-house, western style, like most of the houses in the area. she lived with three other people who kept changing from time to time: one would go, another would come… and so on. she had her own room to herself; that was part of the house deal: you shared the common spaces and if you wanted some privacy you only had to retreat to your room. we spent a lot of time in that room. I liked it better than my own hole of an apartment – it felt… homey. an odd thing, considering we were not that kind of couple. in fact, we were not a couple at all, no matter how you looked at it. we were merely two people who met occasionally to make love and sometimes talk about the subtleties of why you should or shouldn’t commit suicide.

that first time we had had the house to ourselves. we could have made love all over the place, but I was the one who insisted that we keep to her room. later on we would do it in the shower, public toilets, the backseat of my car and once even in the office I worked in, one night I had to stay fixing someone else’s mistakes.

in the beginning I didn’t notice anything strange in her. we hit it off pretty quickly and had good sex. as the time passed though, her problem became apparent to me. the sex had not changed, it was me. I had grown more attuned to her, could read her and understand her better. and suddenly there it was, that barrier that contained all strong emotions, keeping them at bay. I would watch as the natural result of physical pleasure rode her body, making her flex her toes and arc her back, and then stop abruptly before it reached her eyes. afterward, I would turn the thought in my head while she slept soundlessly beside me. once I even considered the possibility of her having had some bad experience with men and sex before. but most of the time I was convinced it was just fear. fear of letting herself loose, of giving up control and surrender to something unknown and powerful. maybe that was her problem all along. she couldn’t bear the thought of losing control, so she was never able to fully understand herself, to know her limits and the extent of her own self.

I guess I loved her, in my imperfect way. the only way to love imperfect things.

she finally got her straight view on suicide an unusually cold may morning. I never got to know which of the two she had decide upon, but she did leave a message for me. one of her housemates, the girl who had collapsed on a table at mc donald’s the day we had met, handed me a blank envelope with my name written on it the day of the funeral. her eyes were rimmed with red from crying, but in all this time I had been seeing her friend we hadn’t so much as crossed a couple of words, so I didn’t know what to say to console her. now that I am older and more experienced I could come up with some lines for such an occasion, but back then I was too young, too shocked and too sucked up into my own sorrow to sympathise with anyone else. I just took the envelope from her with a nod and wandered off awkwardly. I only saw her once after that, some years later, in a fancy terrace in central tokyo. she was having brunch with some girl friends and I was meeting a man for business purposes. when we happened to see each other she merely nodded in acknowledgment, stared at me for a few seconds and turned her attention back to the conversation at her table. it was only natural, there was nothing binding us anymore.

the day of the funeral I ended up in her room wanting some privacy to read the letter she had left behind for me. it didn’t surprise me that it wasn’t the typical suicide message – after all, nothing about her had been ordinary from the start. why would it change now? she didn’t explain why she had done it and neither did she say ‘goodbye’ or ‘I love you’. what I had in front of me, written in her tiny, neat handwriting was the story of how she had escaped the thai mafia.

there’s no point in reproducing the tale here now, because even if you found yourself in the same situation it would be of no use to you anyway.

‘why did she have to die?’ the little one asked me.

‘all stories end with death eventually. or you could say that death ends everything. whichever you prefer.’ I said.

[toBREATHorNOTtoBREATH] a quick note on rome

4 10 2008

these last days I’ve found myself thinking about my first year in architecture school. more specifically about art lessons. there we were 60 or so freshmen – kids still – roaming around disconcertedly in the basement classroom we called “the museum” and which reminded me of an egyptian temple’s hypostyle hall (with row after row of columns and poorly lit). each of us faced a huge piece of paper clipped to a wobbly easel and scratched at it ferociously with charcoal-bars. we would easily run out of a couple of thess thick teaks every lesson, so you can imagine with our scrubbing we produced enough charcoal dust to make us look like real chimney-sweeps by the end of class. in fact we would go to the toilets at intervals to get some of the fith off before it started to feel comfortable with us and when we blew our noses the tissue would come out black. I can only think of a charcoal miner breathing this black dust in and out his lungs for decades, just like we did for that first year. but at the time we didn’t mind this very much – I suspect we were all secretly amused by our charcoal tainted buggies -; and as much as we liked to complain about how all our stuff was covered in dust too, we actually enjoyed it as part of our new uni life. sometimes we would rush out after class and forget to look in the mirror, thus walking around all blotted with charcoal and then realise upon getting home why everybody in the bus had stared at us in disbelieve. we didn’t mind this either, we bore it as a proof that we were architecture students, out pride boosting with the uniqueness of our treats. we were such kids.

so now, four years after, I find myself recalling this episode of my life with a little longing for the 18 year-old I was then. what triggered it was not so endearing though. the weather has been rather unstable in rome as of late. consequently I’ve been getting a runny nose now and again for a week and whenever I blew it I would discover to my utter amazement that the tissue came out black. just like the time we worked our way through bar after bar of charcoal in a poor attempt at an abstract picture. but now I hadn’t had a sniff of the thing for years! the only answer that I could come up with is that rome’s air is so polluted you could as well be breathing in and out a chimney! this though bothers me a little, to tell you the truth, because I have to live here for the next 10 months…


3 10 2008

eyes that were past crying or the busy bank employee

I flipped uncomfortably through the pages of my book, slightly aware that reading a novel was not the average way of waiting for your bank attendant to get back from an errand. of course, since this was my first time alone in a bank I wouldn’t know the procedures for sure. still I closed my book guiltily at the first hint of footsteps. I rested the paperback on my lap ’till the footsteps had trailed away, not stopping at my cubicle.

deciding the stress of taking out and concealing the book every other second would get me nowhere with the story I gave up reading and took instead to looking around the small working place. the L-shaped desk took up most of the space there, behind it the blue upholstery chair stood empty now. the back wall was covered in nondescript metal filling-cabinets, the door to one of them slightly ajar. I could see row after row of pink folders, just like the ones laid on the desk. it struck me that such a modern bank would keep physical files of its clients, I thought everything nowadays was stored in a hard-disk. but of course computers are not infallible.

I stared for a moment at one of these folders, some photocopies of what looked like an old driving license had slipped out of place. I didn’t bother to look at the name since the document was upside down, but the word ROMA caught my eye as it was written in capital letters.

the bank employee chose that moment to rush back into the cubicle, the gush of wind he brought with him made the leaflets on the wall to my right flutter. they advertised special accounts for young people or students, stressing the point that they only charged one euro per month. I didn’t linger on them for long, you could find them all over the bank and I had read my share of them while waiting. the attendant said something very quickly in italian. distracted as I was it took me some time to realise he had just been talking to himself. I nodded in acknowledgement nonetheless and concentrated on my up-tight pose: legs closed to the point my knees were tightly pressed together, my arms cradling my coat and bag stiffly on my lap, a visible tension clinging to my shoulders. I don’t know if the bank attendant noticed how apprehensive I looked, how closely I was watching my movements so as not to step out of line. I somehow very much doubt so.

as I waited for him to either come up with a solution to my problem or address me – whichever came first – I fell back to scanning the room. beside the desk, leaning on the leaflet crowded wall was a small side-table that matched the filling-cabinets. the top was loaded with random documents I couldn’t distinguish from my sitting place and probably this morning’s paper folded in two. the lower shelf curved under the weight of a sturdy-looking safety-ward the colour of fir leaves. a tiny but distinctive key stuck out of the keyhole, if it was holding something important inside, why would they leave the key on? I waved away the though as soon as it formed, suddenly more interested in other matters: the pronounced bent in the metal shelf got me wondering if it had happened overtime or the moment they placed the safety-ward on it. somehow both images seemed curiously implausible to me – the metal layer slowly, imperceptibly giving in under the excess of weight day after day for who knew how many years; and the more comic scene of it shaping itself instantly like the bottom of the sturdy box.

my silly thoughts were interrupted again by the sudden leave of the bank employee. I stole some more glances at the abused metal side-table, but the magic of the moment was gone, the piece of furniture no longer held any fascination for me. it was just some severely dented metal side-table that would have never caught my attention if I hadn’t had so much time in my hands.

I gave the room another quick sweep, just out of habit. this time my eyes came to rest on a childish drawing stuck to the wall. I recalled vaguely seeing something similar in another cubicle, the one belonging to the attendant of the previous visit. it had looked like the sort of handmade gift of “mother’s day”. the word “married” lit up in my mind as a logical consequence to seeing the drawing. excited by the thought of finding other clues as to who this nondescript bank employee really was I payed closer attention to the objects on his desk: a stack of clean post-it, uncapped blue pens with the bank logo printed on the side, a bubble-shaped paper-weight holding nothing down and a small figurine of a turtle painted in bright, absurd colours – it looked like some kind of souvenir, but apart from that I couldn’t make out anything of it. and then, leaning against the side of the CPU and facing the guests’ seat rather than the owner of the desk, was a personal photograph. a medium shot of a young man holding a woman in his arms, low hills covered in green and scattered firs on the background. the scenery reminded me oddly of switzerland. the man was very clearly my busy bank employee, only something was slightly wrong with him – I couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet. the woman was on her late twenties, early thirties, blond like him, her straight hair falling just below her shoulders. they both wore casual clothes – a plain white T-shirt and a blue polo shirt – as would be fitting for hiking or a day in the countryside. his arms wrapped around the woman drawing her closely to him and she in turn rested her head lightly on his shoulder. the more I looked at the picture the more disturbed I became. something about it bothered me, though in truth it looked too much like a “happy family” ad to give anyone the creeps.

I couldn’t chew on it any further as my bank attendant was already back again. this time I took a better look at him in search of the differences with the man on the photograph. he had lost some weight with the years, that was immediately evident just by looking him in the face – the younger man’s chicks were fleshier, not in a puffy but in a healthy way. his shoulders and back were broader too, like those of a sportsman. the man typing on the computer in front of me was still attractive enough (the hair line receding a bit), but the light that had sparkled behind his eyes was long gone. and suddenly it hit me, the reason the photograph had unsettled me before: when you looked at it you got the feeling that the woman was surely, irrevocably dead now. I don’t know how I had come to that conclusion, but my whole body cried out with the feeling of loss. it was certainly unfounded and stupid to think so, still it was the feeling I got.

my eyes trailed back to my bank employee and rested on his left hand: a very simple gold band adorned his ring finger, a sign that he was still married – whether to the woman on the photograph or not I couldn’t know. I wasn’t an expert, but I was under the impression widowers took off their wedding rings and stored them away following some kind of social convention. and yet the woman’s eyes had a sad, weary look to them that mismatched his glowing expression. it was as if her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes, couldn’t quite reach them. still her face looked calm and tender, like she were quietly saying goodbye, knowing from long ago that she wouldn’t be around much longer.

none of these feelings could be registered in his face, so it could be assumed he knew nothing about it at the time. I suddenly thought again of the awkward arrangement of the photograph, facing outwards, like casted away. then again the whole desk was such a mess it could very well mean nothing at all. my idle mind was quick to make assumptions, especially when deprived from reading.

after I left the bank, the image of the couple lingered in my mind. her face transmitted and oddly reassuring sense of peace – it said “everything is going to be alright”. and at the same time, even if you wanted to believe her, you know without a doubt that it wasn’t true. you could see the sadness welling up in her eyes like unshed tears – in eyes that were probably past crying. my heart contracted again with the pain of great loss – someone else’s, but real nonetheless. and then I let the images of the city take over my gloomy thoughts as I rode on a bus downtown.

Another Quiz about Arashi >_<

3 10 2008

kat XD shared this quiz with me last week I suspect in an attempt to cheer me up (嵐 never fails to steal a smile from me) and so I tried and got oh-chan. but by some mysterious design of fate I couldn’t post it directly through the “share” button -> “wordpress”. so I closed the results and contented myself with telling kat. as it happens she thought it’d be nice to have both posted (hers and mine) and so I complied. and this time I got jun twice!!! I guess I changed a couple of answers and now I don’t remember what I replied to get oh-chan… since we both got the same – and kat is gonna kill me for this (damn possessive with her matsubunny *ouch*) – I won’t repeat the results.

Congratulations!!! You and Matsumoto Jun have gotten married and are now on your way to a special Italian Honeymoon in the Amalfie Coast with nothing but good yummy pasta and beautiful beach shorelines to fill your hearts with romance and passion!!

*note*: hum, guess I AM in italy eating a lot of pasta after all. company is slightly different than an 嵐member, but still… :p


2 10 2008

me quedo con japón; con sus pajitas extensibles, sus frigoríficos parlantes y sus donuts con sabor a té verde.
desde este parque se oye el tintineo de una campanita de cristal, colgada en la terraza de alguna casa con un váter que te limpia el culo con apretar un botón. una joven con una larga melena de un rubio improbable pasa cojeando delante de mí; toda su atención puesta en el móvil último modelo con pantalla panorámica y acceso a canales de televisión. cuajado de diminutos cristalitos adhesivos, el aparato centellea bajo la luz de las farolas.
los cuervos, grandes como gatos adultos, graznan intermitentemente desde sus tronos en los postes de electricidad. a veces los ves manchar el cielo con su silueta gorda y negra, batiendo sus enormes alas con un peculiar sonido: como el sacudir de sábanas limpias.
sentada en un columpio de un parque cualquiera espero la llegada de una de estas aves. imagino que se acerca cautelosa – las huellas de sus patas clavándose en la arena bajo su peso -, gira la cabeza para fijar en mí uno de sus brillantes ojos negro-azulados y entonces el feroz tamaño de su pico se hace por fin aparente.
podría sacarme los ojos de las cuencas con ese pico, podría destrozarme la cara y las manos… sin embargo, el cuervo permanece impasible, estudiándome. la campanita de cristal suena de nuevo – un viento que no llego a percibir debe de estar haciéndole cosquillas.
el cuervo avanza de nuevo hacia mí, sorteando las colillas aplastadas de alguien que no se preocupó de recogerlas. entonces ocurre lo imposible – o improbable – : el cuervo se dirige a mí en su extraño idioma de cuervo, con su voz negra y rota, como de fumador de dos cajetillas al día, y comparte conmigo un pedacito de su sabiduría. un trocito de ese futuro que sólo algunas aves ven porque están siempre observando desde lo alto. “el gato de la tienda de la esquina no se mueve de la ventana”. reparo en que usa el presente simple, pero claro, cuando siempre hablas del futuro, los tiempos verbales se vuelven como las gotas de aceite al sol: una suerte de colores que ya no saben dónde empiezan o acaban. con esto se marcha de nuevo a velar el sueño de la ciudad.

ya no se oye la campanita, ya no pasa nadie frente al parque. pero aún no puedo cerrar los ojos.

las luces parpadeantes de las máquinas expendedoras parecen observarme desde la oscuridad de un callejón con salida exclusiva para seres nocturnos y muy pequeños. decenas de ojillos rojos parpadean desde el orden hipodámico de la máquina de tabaco. reconozco algunas marcas pero mi atención se centra en las cajetillas ligeramente más largas y los diseños neo-novecentistas sobre fondo rosa palo de unos “virginia slim” – mentolados, por supuesto. intento imaginarme a un hombre de mediana edad adquiriendo unos cigarrillos de la graciosa cajetilla rosa, pero la imagen no termina de cuajar en mi mente. entonces recuerdo un cartel – igualmente rosa, esta vez en tono cereza – en la ventanilla de un vagón del metro anunciando “coche de uso exclusivo para mujeres”. como tantas otras cosas en Japón, hay dos versiones, según el género. uno puede ir a un メイド・カフェ para que le sirvan señoritas de veintipocos años, ataviadas con trajes de sirvienta francesa – cofia incluida – y se arrodillen ante ti mientras escriben frases cursis con el bote de ketchup sobre tu tortilla “francesa”. también puedes elegir un しつじ・カフェ en el que la versión masculina de la “sirvienta francesa” – el “mayordomo inglés”, una incongruencia más de estas cosas de la servidumbre – hará lo propio, pero esta vez sin florecitas ni corazoncitos de ketchup.

mis pensamientos vuelven al cuervo y su enigmático mensaje. distingo un aleteo entre los arbustos – por cómo suena debe de tratarse de un bicho grande, quizás una mariposa azul y negra, con las alas tan grandes como la palma de mi mano. me siento tentada de usarla como correo postal para llamar al cuervo, pero no sé qué tinta se usa para escribir sobre polvo de ala de mariposa. tendré que dejarlo pasar.

el duermevela de los locales de la calle comercial me irrita ligeramente. por la noche se descubre un barrio nuevo, distinto del que anda trajinando bajo la luz del sol – será la influencia de la luz blanquecina de las farolas? por la noche emergen tiendas y rótulos que durante el día quedan ocultos bajo el bullicio y el ruido de la actividad diurna. hago un esfuerzo por recordar estos lugares – que parecen existir tan sólo en este universo silencioso y nocturno – pero estoy segura de que no servirá de nada, mañana volverán sin remedio a su anonimato rutinario y desaparecerán de la vista.

no ceso de pasar por delante de callejones oscuros, imposiblemente estrechos, como refugios de sombras cansadas de seguir a sus dueños todo el día. en ocasiones vislumbro unos metros más al fondo una escalera destartalada e igualmente estrecha y me pregunto a la casa de qué sombra llevará.
en mi aventura nocturna descubro que no estoy sola en esta hora insomne: trabajadores azarosos realizan en silencio obras en la carretera. su presencia pasa totalmente desapercibida por la población durmiente y su leve rastro de alquitrán y asfalto recién echados no hará a nadie girar la cabeza mañana.
me despido de estas humildes abejas silenciosas – tras mis ojos queda aún impresa la luz roja de sus señales indicadoras, como brazos luminosos oscilando en la oscuridad.
más actividad al final de la calle. apretujadas unas contra otras, una docena de bicicletas esperan frente al 24 horas como perros fieles limitados por la extensión de su correa (o el candado de su rueda trasera). nada interesante por aquí. sólo productos pre-fabricados, pre-cocinados, pre-digeridos… casi pre-cagados. revistas del mes que viene, ensaladas con fecha de caducidad de ayer, un frigorífico vacío con dos tristes onigiri rosas, otro a rebosar con helados en coloridos y llamativos envoltorios anunciando sabor a calpis y té verde. el café del starbucks en una taza de plástico, fanta de uva morada, zumo de melocotón rosa como un culito feliz. estante tras estante de rámen instantáneo, comida enlatada y dulces de chocolate a la fresa; chicles en pastilla con envoltorio individual… periódicos de poco contenido y revistas de menor contenido aún: publicidad, artículos sobre bienes de consumo y algún reportaje sobre un ídolo japonés del momento; a su lado, portada tras portada exhibiendo chicas jóvenes de grandes pechos, ligeras de ropa.
busco el café con leche más barato que haya: lata, botella de plástico, taza o tetrabrik? tener demasiadas opciones a las 2 am es contraproducente…

regreso a mi columpio, a mi parque, con esa espantosa escultura en bronce de un niño-bebé japonés. pobre niño negrito a la entrada del parque, qué imagen tan perturbadora ver una estatua vestida con ropa infantil de verdad.
las cadenas del columpio chirrían suavemente con mi lento pero persistente balancear. mi tetrabrik de “café au lait” viene con pajita extensible incluida – me siento como un marinero desplegando su catalejo, dispuesto a escrutinar un mar de leche, café y sacarosa baratos. un gato negro de rabo corto hace su ronda nocturna ignorándome por completo. bajo la creciente oscuridad su cuerpo desaparece y tan solo tres motas blancas a ras de suelo avanzan con ritmo constante entre las sombras. tres motas blancas – dos se acercan, una se aleja, dos se alejan… si no hubiésemos visto al gato de rabo corto antes podríamos pensar que tres motas autónomas hacen su ronda nocturna por el parque.

el silencio va haciéndose más evidente – tanto que tengo que taparme los oídos para no oírlo. retomo el balanceo para que la conversación de las cadenas me acompañe y entonces reparo en la estructura completa de estos columpios: tobogán, barras y caseta cónica de metal coloreados con pinturas infantiles, comidas por el sol. parece que palideciese ante el paso del tiempo, como la madera del balancín con forma de caballito-pony, guardando un precario equilibrio a la espera de que el culo de algún niño ocupe su silla de montar.

sigo sin tener sueño, pero los ojos me escuecen por la falta de luz y el exceso de uso. aún no he descubierto qué tinta se usa para escribir sobre polvo de ala de mariposa. aún no he conseguido que el maldito gato se fije en mí.

el cielo ya se quema en colores rojizos y azulados en el horizonte – imposible saber si por la polución lumínica o las primeras cabezadas del sol, no tengo reloj. el tiempo no existe en pequeñas cantidades cuando no tenemos con qué registrar su paso.

mi bicicleta me mira triste desde la barrera del parque. intuye que no volveremos juntas esta noche – las bicicletas tienen buena intuición, como los animales. como mi amigo el gato que me ignora deliberadamente.
abandono mi descolorido columpio de asiento de goma amarilla y comienzo a andar tras el testarudo felino de tres patas blancas. me adapto a su ritmo – no es fácil, yo sólo tengo dos piernas – y lo sigo pasados los caballitos-balancín y el banco sembrado de colillas. me lleva hasta los arbustos de antes, donde revoloteaba el bicho probablemente grande, y desaparece entre el follaje. es curioso, juraría que los arbustos me llegaban a la altura del pecho, pero ahora me cubren por completo. he perdido de vista los columpios y el banco y a mi fiel y resignada bicicleta. ahora que lo pienso, también he perdido de vista el gato.

la campanita de cristal suena una última vez. se oye aleteo de sábanas negras. un destello negro-azulado, como un descuido de la luz sobre una esfera perfecta. un graznido familiar: “dos cuervos mancharán el cielo frío del alba”.



18 09 2008

episode 10 of [rookies] is finally subbed!! all thanks to [skewedSTUDIO] and [timelesSUBS].

I had been waiting soooo long for this release! this episode is such a cliffhanger it doesn’t make the waiting for the final ep any easier T_T

still it was worth it, even if the last part of the dorama is more dramatic than fun i love watching the guys play and fight for acknowledgment :)

GO ニコ学, GO!

download links:

ep#10 (torrent)

ep#10 (dd)


24 08 2008

[oreiji]‘s [arashi] related blog – lots of interesting stuff about the boys, regular updates on the TVshows they appear in and their weekly schedule (definitely worth visiting). however, what really made me roll with laughter are the [motto juntoshi love] posts. I only new about [ohmiya] love, so [juntoshi] is new to me @_@; still it was awesome! check this posts, they are definately a must for [arashi] fans. :3

[motto juntoshi love]

[motto juntoshi love 2]

they are basically [arashi] fics, jun/ohno shipped, but told through caps and with lots of humour. the caps are really well chosen and the stories, even if simple are hilarious! I have read some arashi fics before, but this is the best I’ve encountered so far. enjoy!!!


24 08 2008
Behold... My Future
I will marry nino.
After a wild honeymoon, We will settle down in le marais in our fabulous Apartment.
We will have 7 kid(s) together.
Our family will zoom around in a melon aston martin.
I will spend my days as a johnny kitazawa\’s succersor, and live happily ever after.
whats your future

these are my results in this silly mash game lol
seven kids!!! WTF! will nino really be up to that? the first time I got sho-kun, but since I hadn’t got the knack of the places and so I though I might as well repeat it and write something decent (note: for some reason I got the same job both times, coincidence?)
can’t wait to see your results kat!!! :3

Behold... My Future
I will marry oh-chan.
After a wild honeymoon, We will settle down in roppongi hills skydeck in our fabulous House.
We will have 13 kid(s) together.
Our family will zoom around in a golden hummer.
I will spend my days as a kabukicho hostess, and live happily ever after.
whats your future

this time I got oh-chan!!! yay! actually I just wanted a different job and a more extravagant living place… since kat won’t let me exchange husbands! bye bye matsubunny… oh-chan is also a good option though :3

Arashi – Truth [MS 15-08-08]

20 08 2008

Ok I wasn’t very sure about this song’s live performance because of the mixed melodies in some parts of the song… but Actually “my boys” can do whatever they try, >.<!!!

This is a live performance for Music Station (A very popular Tv program in Japan) and YES!! they are singing Live! I’m glad everything with Ohno-kun went well (Or so I asume because he is attending tv show’s and everything, >.< Ureshio!!!! Omedeto Ohno-Kun!!!) Talking about Ohno… check out in the video (nearly at the end) when Ohno sing’s alone that his tie hits him in the face T_T But he is so natural about it XDD!

It’s been a while since I did a post on Nana’s blog, and actually this post was going to be in my own blog but I don’t know why I started writing in english so I said to myself WTF lets do it in Nana’s blog, XDD!

I know lately I’ve been talking about Oh-Chan but don’t worry I’m still a Jun Baited fan and that wont change for anything (not even Hiro looking something alike MY Jun and never having that girlish look on him, promise!!) It’s just that only recently I’ve found the sweet and lovely side of Oh-Chan…

That’s all for now!! I leave you with the live performance of Truth by Arashi!!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Arashi – Truth [MS 15-08-08] “, posted with vodpod


18 08 2008

another great dorama, in my opinion. I watched it just after finishing with [last friends] and the contrast did me some good… after all the suffering in [LF] it’s nice to laugh a bit for a change :)

the story is not very original maybe… bunch of young good-for-nothing delinquents, former members of  high-school baseball club, meet new enthusiastic teacher who is determined to make them achieve their “dreams”. in a way it follows [gokusen]’s pattern: boys don’t give a fuck about anything, school principal can’t wait to get rid of them, teaching staff is pissed off with them and wishes a random meteorite would wiped them out of the surface of the Earth for good… then idiotically enthusiastic new teacher arrives and gives them thousands of opportunities they shove up their… erhm, they don’t take because they’re *baddies* and stubborn like hell; time passes and masochistic teacher never gives up – after all he is masochistic teacher. either because he’s tiring or because they really feel someone finally believes in them – and poor things, that’s all they needed – they begin to change.

ok, I know this sounds like I’m making fun of it… but that’s pretty much how it goes, everybody knows that story. the differences here, the boys were a baseball team, with some good players that had put their hopes in koshien (national baseball competition, high-school level). since an unfortunate violent incident during a game they have been banned from playing and resorted to fighting, smoking and hanging around game parlours and stuff like that. deep inside though, they still yearn to play again, they just need a little push. the series is funny and enjoyable – or maybe it’s just that I like gang fighting and the sort, not in vain is [crows zero] one of my fave films so far.

the characters are really omoshiroi and the actors too:

kawato kouji [sato ryuta] is the *stupidly enthusiastic* teacher and a pain in the ass for the boys. otherwise he is a great person, genuinely worried about his students (yankumi style, I swear) and 2nd dan in karate! [sato] played master in [kisarazu cat’s eye] (also related to baseball @_@, does this man ever get a break?) and kattori in [bambino], where he was pretty cool, in my humble opinion V_V

aniya keiichi [ichihara hayato], the leader of the gang, he has real skill for baseball and back when they could still play he dreamt about koshien. he’s now a playboy that uses the baseball club quarters to bring girls and… erm, yeah. however, he seems to be very close to yagi touko – they must know each other since they were kids or something, since she calls him kei-chan – and all his coolness shakes when she jokes about having sex with him. [hayato] appeared in iwai shinji’s [all about lili chouchou] some years ago; since then he has starred in [waterboys2] and [niji no megami] with [ueno juri]. this boy is just gorgeous, the aniya look suits him perfectly!

wakana tomochika [takaoka sousuke] the catcher of the team and the “mood maker”, when he is not around things start falling slightly apart. he is as stupid and stubborn as the rest of them and gets easily flared up when challenged, but he has his weak points too. [takaoka] played a similar role in [crows zero] – takashi miike film about gang fighting, based on a very popular manga by takahashi hiroshi. other works include dorama [attention please] and famous [battle royale] (I have to see that one again because I don’t remember him…)

mikoshiba tooru [koide keisuke] is the only one in the band that doesn’t cause any trouble, he just hangs around with them out of former friendship while he keeps harboring hopes of playing baseball with them one more time. nice and kind-hearted as he is, mikoshiba is easily bullied, but if it weren’t for him the baseball club would have never reformed again. you might have seen this actor before in [nodame cantabile] as MASAMI!!! yes, I also had a heart attack when I realised… he looks so kakkoii in the magazines and so cute as mikoshiba… example of how afro-hairstyle and weird chinese-like mustache can ruin your image… V_V*

sekikawa shuta [nakao akiyoshi] may not be the teams ace but he is undeniably the fastest runner the have. second to come around after mikoshiba, his feelings towards the baseball club’s future are as strong as anyones’. [nakao] also appears in [waterboys2] and [dragon zakura].

shinjo kei [shirota yuu] the most violent and dangerous of the boys, he is last to rejoin the club due to his stubborness. despite his apparent detatched attitude he is the one that values friendship the most and would never betray his mates. this actor is actually half spanish, as a consequence there is a substantial difference in hight with the rest of the boys – poor japanese shorties – which makes him look monstrously big, when he is actually normal! just check [hanakimi] where he played kagurazaka, you’ll see he has more or less the same build as [oguri shun].

the other members are: [kawamura yousuke] as hiyama, [onoue hiroyuki] as imaoka, [igarashi shunji] as yufune and [sato takeru] as okada.

and [kiritani kenta] as hiratchi – this was my second heart attack. I thought “kiritani, kiritani… where did I hear that name before?” and then I find a post in a blog saying that he had appeared in [crows zero]!! “OMG! now I remember! he’s my GOD from [crows zero]!” this can’t be true! they have depicted him as the idiot of the group and with that horrible hair style and mustache he loses all his sex-appeal… T_T  please take a look of the “before” and “after”:

the rest of the cast includes [murakawa eri] (yagi touko) from [sexy voice and robo] and [fukiishi kazue] (mayumi rie). you can also see her in [bambino] playing matsujun’s girlfriend, eri, and in [yamada tarou monogatari], again as a teacher.

since it finished airing pretty recently only the first nine episodes are subbed in english  – all thanks to [skeweds] and [TimeLesSubs] :)   torrents this way —>

ep#1 :: ep#2 :: ep#3 :: ep#4 :: ep#5 :: ep#6 :: ep#7 :: ep#8 :: ep#9

if you don’t care about the subs because you just want to enjoy watching the boys, go ahead and download the RAW episodes! (note: 1280×720 divx6.xx)

ep#10 :: ep#11

if you like the ending song, [kiseki] from GReeeeN, I left an MF link in a previous post. :)


16 08 2008

I was thinking of posting this together with [花より男子final], but then I realised it’d be too much for one post.

these are the two [tokyo friend park 2] programs where the casting of [花より] appeared – the first one dates back to the airing of the second season of the dorama and the other one is “the final cast” to the movie. I have only seen the first one (I only downloaded the other one recently).

while writting the previous post I found myself remembering this program and thinking how funny it was. they all try to make matsujun act as leader – since he is, as tsukasa – but he is little  bit OOC here, he is more matsujun than domyouji after all. then you see oguri shun all happy-go-lucky, laughing idiotically and being all playful… such a contrast with sober, melancholic rui. shouta is really kakkoii (better than in the series) and you can tell he was only 21 then, he was just like a boy. the oldest one is abe *@_@*… 24 or so. and mao calls him “tonton”!!! – to me it sounds like french word for “uncle” *astounded*.

during one of the last games, where they ask the participants to answer individually about topics related to them, they asked matsujun if it was true that he used to read a lot of shoujo!!!! he answers, a little embarrassed, that it’s true, because he has two older sisters that were really into it he usually read it too. so he already knew [花より] before he was proposed to act as domyouji. and he said that while reading it he used to think that the coolest character was rui, and then he learnt he would be playing tsukasa instead lol!!!! at this oguri shun goes all excited and starts saying “that’s me, I’m rui!” and points at the name printed on his t-shirt – so cute! nothing like hanazawa rui, in fact.

in the end, they exchange all the “cleared” trophies for darts to get a chance to win the presents they asked for in advance. shun asked for a baby-cart!!! don’t panic, it’s not for him (no matter what the others say), it’s for his older brother and wife, who were expecting at he moment. he does get the price (someone else’s dart lands on the right place) and he says “niichan, I got it, I got it!” – but then another dart lands on the “baby-cart” slice! shun goes: “niichan, even if you have two it’s fine now!” – sooooo cute!!

the links are both to the torrents in [d-addicts]:



other interesting editions of the program include [arashi], [ikuta.toma+ohno.satoshi] and [rookies] as guests (in the latter’s case it’s not the whole cast, only kawato, touko, okada, hirachi and hiyama appear… *sad* misses aniya and wakana…)


16 08 2008

last wednesday I finally went to see [hana yori dango F]!!! – go me!

I went to roppongi hills’ toho cinema – mainly because we had already tried it when we went to see [崖の上のポニョ] and also because on wednesdays it’s only 1000¥ for girls :)

just a quick note, I got there at about 16:15 to buy the tickets for the 18:35 session and the were already SOLD OUT!!! when do japanese buy their tickets? do they get there in the morning or what???? so I had to make do with the 21:25 session – there are not as many screenings per day as in europe, even in big cinemas such as this. it was definitely worth it though, there was no way I was going to watch matsujun from the first row!

the film in itself is not bad, same style as the dorama but with really good illumination and photography. the story goes something like this:

makino and domyouji are finally getting married – with whole scene of formal proposing, kimono and all, parents meeting each other, bla, bla, bla…- and tsukasa’s mother (who seems to have reconsidered and is all nice and smiley) offers makino the most precious of the family jewels to wear at the wedding. the thing in question is a tiara with four gems as big as plums: one from america, one from hongkong, one from an isle in the south and the other one I didn’t get it :p

as soon as they start celebrating the upcoming event the tiara is stolen – long scene of domyouji chasing after thief and much “tsukasa style” fighting. don’t ask me why, but it seems they cannot get married if they don’t retrieve the thingy – predictable, but I didn’t get the reason why, excuse my poor japanese :p

from then on it will be a long trip to get the tiara back, from las vegas – casinos, more chasing and a really cute scene in the motel -, to hongkong to attend an auction with all F4 members (they wouldn’t miss the fun, would they?). then they end up in a deserted island who-knows-where, both alone and… happy? the fact is tsukushi’s doubts about the wedding have got bigger and bigger as the quest for retrieving the tiara became more difficult. are they too young to marry? are they really ready to spend their lives together? will she be able to make tsukasa happy? why does everything get so complicated for them? that’s what she is thinking, more or less.

the famous scene with matsujun shirtless in the water is obviously from the island sequences – there are many funny things here, like seeing how tsukasa grows a ridiculous amount of facial hair (poor thing, his beard is like three or four hairs…) and then shaves it off with a broken visa (no kidding). and then when makino asks him about his dream and he replies: “I’ve got it right in front of me.” pointing at makino. :) he can be sweet when he’s at it. you will discover tsukushi’s dream in the last scene, during the credits – I’m not spoiling it for you.

things about the other F4: nishikado is taking over the family business and giving conferences about the tea ceremony (the audience is nothing but women, of course); mimasaka is doing pretty much the same, though his family’s affairs involve shooting, scheming and being targeted by other bands *gulps* (I didn’t know this side of akira, he seemed so innocent…); the only one who is doing nothing is rui (or maybe he is and I just didn’t get it, but you just see him idling in his bedroom @_@). apart from that, shizuka gets married in france, sorry rui, life is hard.

best things… apart from the actors? the cute and funny scenes – in las vegas’ motel domyouji draws makino to the bed with the obvious intention of sleeping with her when they are interrupted by another character (forgot the name since he is not one of the regulars); domyouji snaps like a string and lies on his belly immediately (I was confused by this at first) but when when he sits up, he turns his back on the other two, makes a ball with the sheets and covers his crotch… seriously, just because he was thinking about sleeping with makino? lol

however, what I liked most is that after the “final” scene you get to see an epilogue, the “one year later” sort of thing. soujiro has writen a book – about tea ceremony, what else? – and yuki goes to the signing to surprise him. although he smiles warmly at first next thing he does is run away from her like mad. akira has become an oyagun (more or less) in hongkong – very much like “the godfather” asian version. rui… I never understood what happened with him, but at least he leaves his room. and a great scene with makino and domyouji back in the deserted island (this time they go there on purpose), where tsukushi reveals her dream. :)

kat, akiko-chan, I hope they release the DVD soon so we can watch it together guys!!! I’m so frustrated because I cannot comment on the important scenes so I don’t ruin the film for you! T_T

here’s the japanese trailer.

and I’m leaving the korean trailer here, since it seems it has some scenes that the japanese one omitted.

and I couldn’t leave [one love] PV out.


14 08 2008

these days I’m a little idle – well, completely idle in fact… so I’ve been listening to music a lot. here is my [halcyon] list (that’s how I call my everyday playlist):




キセキ (kiseki) is the theme to [rookies] dorama and a great song in my opinion. the second one I’m not sure about, it must appear in the series, but I don’t recall hearing it @_@ *hopeless*


.::I don’t know::.

.::shut up::.

a collaboration between [morisanchu] and [nakashima mika] – the result: a great song that get the best of nakashima, that is, her NANA side!

[utada hikaru]

.::prisoner of love::.

.::prisoner of love (quiet version)::.

theme to [last friends]. I find this song really catchy, the parts where the chorus joins in are my fave :)

[mr children]


.::centre of universe::.

[gift] is [mr children]’s last single. I had heard about this group, specially in jmusic blogs, but had never cared to listen to their songs. now I’ve got hold of some old albums and selections and I’m trying to catch up! – that’s why I’m also including the second song, which is older than [gift]. :)

[tamaki hiroshi]


yes! it’s chiaki-sempai!! while I’m not really partial to this sort of “mellow” jpop I must say I liked this song. I was surprised to learn that it was his 7th single or so – since he is already 28 I assumed he had been singing longer @_@




.::kaze no mukou e::.

and of course, [嵐]’s soon to be released single [truth], theme to [魔王].  I just love this song, it’s so out of style! like nothing they’ve done before :) and like kat said, the interlude with the violins is amazing. I don’t have [kaze no mukou e]’s mp3 file, since I sort of hear it everyday on TV with the olympics… but you can download the PV instead. the single will go on sale 8/20, releasing a total of three versions – main differences are “only CD with both songs and karaoke”, “CD both songs and karaoke +DVD truth” and “CD both songs and karaoke +DVD kaze”.


12 08 2008

the pillows’ last album ’08!!!! I was determined to buy it, if only because it’s the last (and I wasn’t going to buy one I already had…). since I only got it yesterday I haven’t had time to get used to the songs yet – I’m a little slow with that – so I cannot recommend this or that. the first single was [pied piper], but [tokyo bambi] is very popular too.

this is the MF link to the complete album.

and these are [pied piper] and [tokyo bambi] singles respectively.

and the DVD included in the album, featuring [pied piper] PV and a special video entitled [the pillows: texan daily life]


11 08 2008

I’ve been watching some new dorama lately (apart from 魔王) – among them [lastFRIENDS], a dorama I had sort of overlooked and discarded because of the title (never rely on japanese titles).

strong points of this series: different story (no more high-school, uni stories or weird, far-fetched plots), mature approach to a range of different topics and focus on character development and introspection rather than in the action. also, great cast: [ueno juri] (nodame), [eita] (mine), [mizukawa asami] (kiyora) – all from [nodame cantabile] -, [nagasawa masami] (proposal daisakusen) and NEWs’ [nishikido ryo].

michiru (nagasawa) is a very nice but fragile person; searching for the emotional stability that she lacks at home, she meets sousuke (nishikido) and they start an ideal relationship. however, as soon as they move in together sousuke becomes extremely possessive and violent with michiru, who feels helpless and just puts up with her new situation.

meanwhile, ruka (ueno), a former high-school friend of michiru, is finally realising her dream of becoming a motocross pro racer. but her life changes when she meets michiru again after 4 years of forced separation. her love for her friend drives her to protect michiru as soon as she realises that something is wrong and she takes her to the shared house where she lives. but ruka has been living a lie all her life, pretending to be someone she is not – michiru’s sudden appearance will trigger bitter thoughts.

takeru (eita) also has a secret he hasn’t told anyone. in the shared house he will play a supportive role, always taking care of the others in the most subtle way, but he would never let them know that he needs as much help as they do.

eri (mizukawa) seems the most outgoing and carefree person in the house. she falls in love every now and again and has had a lot of relationships. always making fun of love and talking carelessly she is indeed craving for true ever-lasting love herself. if only men realised that she is not as strong as she looks…

and I’m not telling anything more!!! you just watch it!!!

there are 11 episodes and a SP that you can find subbed in english by [kioku] here (torrent)

meanwhile, I’ll leave the opening, so you can enjoy utada hikaru’s [prisoner of love]:3


11 08 2008

we finally went to the beach!!!! not that we went very far, though, just to chiba (neighbouring prefecture). the area is called 九十九里 (kujukuri) and the beach we stayed in is the closest to 大網 (ooami town).

it took us about 3 hours to get there – counting JR from akihabara to chiba, from chiba to ooami  and a bus to the beach. also we had to wait for jee young and tracy that had taken the chuuo line in shinjuku instead…

the beach was surprisingly clean and EMPTY! some people had told us that chiba’s beaches were not worth the trip, that they were packed with people and filthy as kamakura. while the sea was not exactly *blue* – it was dark green, in fact – the water was ok. the ocean and tides are strong in japan, so most beaches are good for surfing mainly. if all you can do is jump and ride waves, who cares if the water is green? it’s not like you could swim peacefully from side to side – you’d soon drown if you tried… but it was great FUN!! I love it when the sea gets wild! william and I tried to play a little game: see who could stay longer floating face-up, eyes closed, waiting for the waves to strike. to prevent the other one from cheating we held hands. the problem is the tide made our bodies rotate until we hit our heads… that was the end of it.

something that really surprised me – and I should be posting this in my [things I find curious about japan] section – is that nearly all girls wore rubber-rings (just like kids do when they’re learning to swim) and their boyfriends pulled them from a string attached to the rubber-thingy!! WTF!!! could it be that women don’t learn how to swim in this country? – note: ISLAND-country. or are they so lame as to be afraid of the waves? 意味わからね。。。もうガマンできね。バカみたい、ね?these things just irritate me.

apart from that, the day was perfect – we ate there and then went looking for shells (got a plastic bag full of them in my closet now). the only drawback… we all got sun-burnt! even me, who never, EVER in my life had got sun-burnt… ありえね。。。ヤバイよ、これ痛いな!

I leave you the photos, as always :)


6 08 2008

on monday duncan and I decided to go to nikko [日光] to visit 温泉 (onsen – hot springs) a last. we chose nikko over hakone or other possible onsen resorts because of the proximity and the beautiful national park – apart from 輪王子 temple, 東照宮 and 二荒山神社 shrines, there are several waterfalls and hiking paths that take you to 中禅寺 lake and it’s onsen resort.

we had in mind taking the first morning train, but lady duncan needs a lot of time in the morning, so we missed our train – sorry duncan, but it’s true. however, thanks to that we met michelle, colin, alex, mika and asami! they were heading for nikko too, so we started conversation in the train and ended up spending the day together. they were all art college graduates – michelle, colin and alex from rhode island school of art and mika and asami from a school in tokyo. some of them were specialised in glass – colin showed us too of his works, small glass marbles with flower-like forms sprouting in their cores. they were in asia because they had had a show in seoul thanks to a korean friend they met back in their college days – I wish I could have seen more of their work… and since then they had been travelling a while: hongkong, korea, japan… うらやましい。。。

all in all missing that train wasn’t bad at all.

when we arrived at nikko i was definitely glad we hadn’t gone elsewhere – even if tokyo has many parks and vegetation there’s nothing compared to the forests you see there: huge trees with thin bare trunks like overgrown mushrooms stand so close together that you get the feeling you will have to move around like in a crowded pub; mountaintops covered in thin fog and green everywhere!!! *nature loving mood* the air smelled of rain and ferns… >_< うれしい!

we found a very nice antique shop on our way through the main street – I could have spent hours there! the boys bought ukiyo-e (traditional japanese painting) and I found some pottery that made me fall in love with it immediately – duncan told me “oh, so you found the best piece in the shop, snatched it quickly and left nothing for the rest of us! I see!”

then we went to have a bite to a soba and udon place (thin and fat japanese noodles). since one of nikko’s specialties is [yuba] (some kind of tofu), nearly all of us ordered yuba soba to honour the tourist’s spirit. it was actually very good – maybe because it was not some shit-hole in shibuya, but a real family restaurant hundreds of kilometers away from tokyo.

as I said before, nikko national park hosts a Buddhist temple and two shinto shrines (one of them is tokugawa ieyasu’s tomb – founder of tokugawa dynasty that gives name to the peaceful era after centuries of war in japan. I’m no expert in japanese religious architecture, but still it was nice to see the differences between shinto and Buddhism in the symbols they use and the priests’ outfits. the shinto shrines were a frenzy of taking off and putting on your shoes a hundred times – when you’re wearing converse and have to tie and untie laces twenty time you start considering walking bare-foot. photos are not allowed inside the temples, so there are none in the album and anyway, I think the only thing I would have liked to convey about the shrines was the lovely feeling of tatami under your feet – and no photograph can do that yet. we prayed at one of the altars, shinto-style, imitating carefully the japanese people: two bows of the head, two claps, pray, clap, bow. I even managed to compose a simple prayer in japanese *proud of myself*

after that it started raining cats and dogs and we had to take refuge in a small derelict coffeeshop – considering how much it was raining and the fact that I had previously persuaded duncan not to buy an umbrella, I think he was in his right to ditch me in the nearest sewer… we were soaked from head to toes, so dripping wet we didn’t even miss the onsen. we sat in the cafe trying to decide what to do next and waiting for the rain to stop while we ate yuba ice-cream (tastes like turron ice-cream, I swear) and drinking ice-coffee. the storm went on for an hour or so, lightning and thunder included. the girls and I practised some origami and then we all went for a smoke outside. by-passers kept coming to take shelter at the entrance, but only us remained. the road had become a real river – asami, who had to cross over to go to the bathroom, seemed to be doing rafting, her feet ankle-deep into the raging water.

by the time it stopped there was not much left to do anymore; the last train was due for 18:50 and we still had to get back to the station, so we just walked back looking at the occasional open shop and buying snacks and souvenirs.


[more b-day presents]

6 08 2008

here are the b-day presents that miki and duncan got me!!

miki’s is the hankie (murasaki colour, my fave!!!) and duncan’s is a key-ring in the shape of the monopoly dog (he engraved the “monopoly” sign in it, so it was like personal work :3). then we went to odaiba to spend the afternoon and when we got back home miki had bought sashimi for dinner!!! and best of all, they had also got me a piece of cake that looked just gorgeous – one of those cakes I keep staring at in bakery displays – all for me! *salivates*

then yesterday, when I got back home after going to yakiniku with my classmates, I stepped onto something hard when I entered my room without turning on the light – that’s me, all adventure and excitement. and it was another present from miki!!! it bore an “amazon.co.jp” greeting card and was shaped like a book, so at first I thought “murakami novel”. but it was [Lchange the World]!!! I’ve been wanting to see this movie since february, when it was on theatres here in japan. and miki bought me the special edition!!! 美紀サイコウ!!


ps: my parents totally forgot about my b-day… on the plus side, all my dearest friends were great this year!