29 October 2009

Hiya There

Heya everyone - I just wanted to have another check of who still may be reading my blog after all this time - especially since I've made it necessary for the reader to get an invitation to do so. Of course one will never really know how many lurkers they have visiting as well! But also, I'm thinking that most of you ladies in Japan may not read as much anymore, since I am not living in Japan anymore! I know it's not as exciting or different as it used to be. :(

So please just give me a "here" or "aye" to give me a good idea of who reads! ありがとう。

24 October 2009

Coffee in the Morning

いま、わたしはコーヒーをのみます。うまい! <3

This past week of classes went by in a busy blur, more so than my average week.

Yesterday I made a personal goal for myself - I plan to study up and try for the Level 4 exam of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or JLPT. It is administered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, and is held within the United States in Atlanta, Chicago, Arkansas, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington. The closest city to us, at this time would be New York. Level 4 is the easiest leveled-exam to take - I figure that starting there would be smart for me. At this point, since I've taken up learning Japanese for in-law reasons, I feel that I'd be proud of myself if I were to study towards an acknowledgment of that study-time. To be certified even with basic Japanese would be a great thing to have under my belt! It also can't help to put it on my resume as well. ;) The next test date is December 6th, but I'll probably try for next year. With school right now, I definitely cannot spend too much time on Japanese study, so shooting for a later date is better.

The three part to the exam are (1) Writing-Vocabulary (2) Listening and (3) Reading-Grammar. The website states that to pass the Level 4 exam, "The examinee has mastered the basic elements of grammar, knows around 100 kanji and 800 words, has the ability to engage in simple conversation and read and write short, simple sentences. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 150 hours and after completion of the first half of an elementary course." I plan to make flashcards for vocab terms and more importantly kanji. がんばります!

Everyone enjoy your weekend!

Here are some recent photos:

Our printing-monotype classroom.

Prints from our class. Mine is the abstract line conposition - supposed to be the character 'ろ'

Hallway on the 2nd floor

The printing lab, where we create monotype prints. See all the huge printing presses?

Very dirty ink containers

Our instructor, Becky Blosser :)

17 October 2009

Cold and Wet

Freezing cold rain yesterday, and today, and probably tomorrow the weather forecasts say. I'm getting together with a friendly acquaintance from college tomorrow to perhaps partake of the Lancaster city "Art Fall Walk". This means numerous art galleries and food places will be open and having interesting things going on, but I'm sure the rain will muddle things a bit...

Takeshi and I went to the CVS Pharmacy on West Lemon Street to get our flu shots for the winter. It's the first time either of us had received a flu shot (in a while) from anywhere but a doctor's office. We headed out early, got there when the line was only about 8 people long, and was out in about 30 minutes. Paid $30 each. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. Hurrah for the advancement of medicine and technology, and therefore smaller needles. ;)

I received my new social security card in the mail a couple of days ago, which means I can finally, finally take Takeshi's last name officially, on paper. Took long enough! We've been married since last May! Haha... I need to bring in the card to show the college people so that they can change my name in their system - for now, I still have to write my maiden name on all of my assignments! Meh. I'm leading a double life, as two different Lauras. :)

The weekend is here. Exhale...

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

11 October 2009


I don't know why I've never thought of doing it before now, but Takeshi mentioned this Japanese grocery store "Mitsuwa" that has online shopping! I've been peeking around the site (and other sites as well) and looking for all of my beloved food items. The thought of being able to eat natto, kimchi, mochi, and konnyaku again makes me SO excited!

I totally flipped out when I saw that Mitsuwa sold natto in their online store! I didn't they would, for some reason. Maybe because it's so stinky? Well it's already fermented, so I guess there's less of a chance of it going bad. Haha. :)

Another bit of good news - Takeshi told me last night that his restaurant is going back to the schedule of giving their employees 2 days off a week instead of 1. So, for right now (since they do still change days off every month or so) he has Sundays and Mondays off. I'm happy that he's got another day off to do things he wants to do! ばんざい!

Today we went did our laundry together at the laundromat, and then we just got back about 10 minutes ago from the Korean/Asian grocery store in town. I picked out some red curry, kimchi (we'll see if it tastes different than the kimchi you'd get in Japan...probably), and frozen pork buns. Takeshi picked out some basic curry powder, some desert gelatin, and 2 packs of red beans. He's soaking them right now, so hopefully we'll be able to make some homemade azuki! I always ask the lady up front in the store, if they have any mochi - she says she carries it, but she always says "we're out of it right now." But I have a feeling that if it is indeed Korean mochi, it will be different than Japanese mochi.

This month, upperclassmen go to speak to the Dean of Students about Spring 10' class registration. That shall be interesting, picking and choosing elective classes. Hmmmmm.

The aloe plant I received from my best friend Todd, has gotten so big from what it was when I got it! I hope in the future, to have a huge aloe plant in our house, in a big ceramic pot. :) Hehe.

the schoolwork continues...

06 October 2009

One Room Disco

The title's a song by the group パフューム (Perfume), which I am listening to right now! Perfume has to be one of my ultimate favorite groups right now - I listen to their songs every day.

The 3 of them in all their Japanese-girl-cuteness

Schoolwork is going well enough, and at a decently-paced speed. This is mostly because at the start of the semester, I made a personal goal to kick my usual twinge of procrastination in the butt, and work on projects for a certain class days ahead of when it's due. I've been utilizing "schoolwork triage", if you will. Anyway, it's working really well for me!

So far, I feel good about most of my classes - this is in reference to how successful I feel the process and execution of a certain project went, and the feedback I've gotten from the professors. So far, all of my different projects have turned out for the better; sometimes I was pleasantly surprised about how much the professor ended up liking my final product, even though I had thought they would have graded it lower. So that always gives me a little boost. :)

I need to create some really nice pieces, within the confines of the different projects I'm given in my classes, because I need new, strong pieces to put in my official portfolio. I will be taking this pieces to future interviews, so it needs to be good!

It's crazy - I think I've been in classes for at least 3-4 weeks now, already? Before I know it, it will be springtime which means graduation! My last year of college...wow! Then the college will unleash its graduates into the real world. Muahahaha...

I rented the movie "Twilight" from the college's library - watched it over the weekend. Great...now I'll have to end up buying the books. I'm a fan now, I believe. ;)

I'm going to make time for more Japanese study time this weekend. I don't know, with the projects I have to work on for classes, if I'll time to successfully study on the weeknights. Grrr...

Now for some photos!

Some homemade Takeshi-bread

Another small loaf

A tossed concept for prints in Monotype class - 6"x6" in size

Inner and outer spread of brochure for Lancaster City Contacts

More project pictures as they come! :) Enjoy your week everyone!