Life in Japan: What can I even say, y’all.

Ahoy there friends and family!

 

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Well, I definitely thought that the big move would trigger all this amazing inspiration for writing… and I was wrong! I’ve been here for almost three months now and I haven’t managed to finish a single post. Because, honestly I feel its all been said before.

There’s such an abundance of expat in Japan blogs I don’t feel I have anything new to add to the noise already being thrown every which way. I don’t have any life shattering advice to give any future expats, as I’m still trying to figure out my day to day completely.
All I can really say is, it’s going to be tough, y’all.

I came into the best situation possible, living with my partner and his family, and it’s still pretty dang hard adjusting to a completely new way of life. Everything is different. The way I do every single thing in my day to day life is completely different. The adjustments are easy to make, but dang if its not completely, exhaustively, frustrating sometimes!
Even just small things like not knowing how to use the washing machine and not being able to find a deodorant that actually works just pile up one on top of another and make you want to scream “CAN’T ONE THING ACTUALLY BE EASY?!”

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But here’s the thing you guys, all the bad, all the frustrations, and all of the idiotically difficult challenges that come with life in a new country, it’s all worth it in the grand scheme of things. I’m having an unbelievably amazing time here in Japan, and despite having days where I just want to sit in the house and not deal with all the difficulties, that good days do far more than make up for the bad.

My number one advice is, let yourself adjust.  The exciting tourist period will wear off soon enough, and the monotony of day to day will creep up on you.  Don’t let yourself think this is yourself falling out of love with your new home.  This is just real life pushing itself back into the forefront.  Some things aren’t going to be exciting, some things definitely will not be fun.  But you’re here for the long haul so it’s important to lay down some roots, and set a solid formation.  See what your town has to offer, make your daily commute to work a bit more exciting by taking a different way.  Eat lunch alone in different shops you’ve been too nervous to try.  Take the language lessons, put yourself out there and make some friends.

When you’re living in a new country it’s important to remember that every day is a new adventure and each day will bring its own sets of triumphs and challenges.  Japan is an incredible country and I cannot wait to spend the next few years experiencing all that Japan has to offer!
Thats all for now.

Cait.

Next stop, Tokyo!

Aloha friends and family!

 

And greetings from the scenic Plaza Lounge at the Vancouver airport where I’ve been chowing down on some free noodles (which will definitely give me a mad case of the garlic breath, maybe not the best choice before a long flight?) and gettin’ my free wine on.  We’ve made it to moving day!  After weeks of packing, stressing, and getting seemingly endless amounts of passport photos taken of me for every single piece of my visa application, we’re finally here!

I don’t think its actually hit me yet that this is it, were not coming back any time soon and this is the exciting new beginning to my exciting new life!  Even writing that I think I’m too exhausted to properly process anything. Honestly, I’m more excited about flying business class for the first time in my life (bless you frequent flier miles) and having a blast lapping up the silly luxury of it all (we get a rug at check in, while those in the slums get no rug.  This must be how Kate Middleton feels!).

Side bar:  I keep hearing a faint “meow” in the distance and for the life of me I cannot tell if it is someone’s text tone, or if there is a cat somewhere in this lounge.  If it is the latter, I will not leave before I meet the cat.

But while I’m here and have a free glass of wine in my hand, I thought I’d pound out a quick post to get you all up to speed on the moving preparations, how to be organized, etc.  But for the life of me I don’t actually know how we got it all done!  What I’ve learned is moving means you get rid of trash bag after trash bag of precious childhood memories, shirts that only look good with one outfit, and all the random bits and bobs you’ve accumulated over 23 years of life and unceremoniously hucking it all on the curb.  Even after getting rid of, no joke, 75% of what I own, I still feel like I’m bringing way too much with me!  Between the two of us we have 6 suitcases, which is a bit ridiculous.  But I do feel better that 2 of those are Shin’s and one of those is entirely omiyage.  But still, we have a lot of stuff.

There’s so much more to the moving process besides packing, but that is what has honestly kept me so busy that feel like the actual securing of the visa was the easy part.  Dealing with bureaucracy  is nothing compared to deciding which of the two almost identical sweaters you’ll keep.

Speaking of sweaters… it’s late-March, and while it still be a bit chilly in Tokyo for now, Japanese summer is right around the corner.  And Japanese summer takes no prisoners.  No point in wasting my time bringing any sort of cold weather gear– I might be chilly for the first week or two, and maybe I was a bit optimistic by not bringing a coat with me, but it’ll be worth it when it’s not taking up our limited space all season.  And knowing me, I will want to upgrade my winter wardrobe in the Autumn anyway.

 

On a more exciting note (more exciting than sweater crises?  I don’t think my heart can take it!)  we have a lot of fun and exciting things happening for our first week in Japan.  I start work on the 4th and Shin goes back to school on the 7th so we have a few days to get situated, get me all plugged into Japanese society, and do some sight seeing we weren’t able to do during the Christmas holiday.  I also have a hair appointment booked tomorrow and I am so excited for a complete hair makeover– new country new look!

Any suggestions for must see things in Shinjuku?  I’ll be hanging out there by myself quite a bit as Shin has a few job interviews on our first few days.

 

Almost time to board, well, after a quick trip to the duty free!

 

See you guys on the other side!

 

Cait.

 

48 Hours in San Francisco

Ahoy there friends!

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This past week,  I spent a quick weekend in San Francisco for a job hunting conference Shin was attending.  Despite being born and raised on the west coast, I’d never been to San Francisco before and had no idea where to even start or what to do.  Luckily I was able to meet up with some friends of mine who live in the Bay Area and they were able to be my tour guides while Shin was job hunting.

We got in late, late Friday night so all we were able to do was check into our hotel, and of course, go on a hunt for a beer.  But we soon learned San Francisco, much like Seattle, shuts down around 11 PM.  We found a pretty cool izakaya that was luckily still open by Union Square, had a beer and some amazing takoyaki, and then called it an early night!

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Shin woke up bright and early Saturday morning to go to his first interview so I got to relax in the hotel and hit up the fitness center, until I met up with my friends to go get some lunch. We had some beautiful weather and I actually got to wear shorts!  Shorts!  In February!  What a world!

And let me just say that all of the food we ate in San Francisco was absolutely amazing.  For lunch we ate at Farm : Table and I had their turkey burger and oh my god, it was life changing.  Any place with a line out the door has got to be good and this place did not disappoint.  After lunch we went to the Memebox warehouse sale (I’ll have a more detailed post of that experience shortly) and relaxed in a cafe until Shin was done with his interviews.

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Once we grabbed Shin we sat in some famous California traffic in an Uber for over an hour to go the mile and a half from our hotel to Ghirardelli Square.  I wish I had brought my nicer camera or snapped some more photos with my phone, but it was pretty dark by the time we got there.  We bought some omiyage for my family and Shin’s family, ate some tasty barbecue, and of course, ate lots and lots of chocolate!

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Sunday was another sunny and beautiful day, and while Shin had the last of his interviews I just shopped around the giant Westfield shopping center, and walked around the shopping district around Union Square to kill some time.  Shin finished up early that day so we got to eat lunch together in Japan Town.  Again, we picked our restaurant based on which had the longest line– so we ended up at Hinodeya Ramen Bar, and it was definitely worth the wait!

16880170_10210514974062539_674876814_oThe Tori Paitan ramen at Hinodeya Ramen Bar.  Cannot recommend enough!

Look how beautiful that ramen is… They only had two things on the menu, the dashi ramen with pork and a tori paitan ramen.  Shin got the pork and I went with the chicken and both were off the charts delicious.  The chicken was melt in your mouth delicious and the seafood dashi broth was probably the best ramen broth I’ve ever tried.  We need to get one of these in Seattle because I would eat this every day if I could!

After a bit of shopping and staring enviously at all of the other amazing looking restaurants in Japan Town we didn’t get to try, we grabbed another Uber over to AT&T Field  to check out the Giant’s stadium.  Shin and I are both huge baseball fans and we’ve made it our goal to see every MLB stadium on the west coast, unfortunately we couldn’t go inside the stadium, but we were able to check out the outside and the beautiful jogging trails around it, and shop around the Giant’s shop for some more gifts for his family.

Once we finished up there, it was just about time to go home!  We ate one last burger by our hotel and headed out to the airport.

All in all, it was a great mini-break in San Francisco!  I definitely wish we had a little bit more time because we didn’t manage to see (or eat) everything that I wanted to, but hopefully we’ll be back soon!  Shin took a few interviews with companies in the Bay Area so who knows, maybe our next adventure will land us out in California.

That’s all for now!  I hope everyone has enjoyed their long weekend!  Back to work tomorrow for my last four days!  So exciting!

Toodlepip!

Cait

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Ahoy there friendos!

Happy Thursday!

Hopefully y’all are having a good week so far, it’s been pretty wild over here in Seattle!  Sunday evening we had a random snowstorm, so Monday was a snow day at work– Woohoo!  ACTUALLY– Tuesday was supposed to be a snow day as well, but you know wouldn’t it be helpful if your job TOLD you it was OK to stay home or take your time on the snow and icy roads?  Maybe an email heads up would have been appreciated… I had to abandon Shin on the side of an icy road on Tuesday morning because I was so afraid of being late to work I didn’t have time to drive carefully through the neighborhoods to take him back to his place… Then as soon as I sit down at my desk (on time) there’s an email in our work-accessible-only email inbox saying that it was OK to take today off too.  WHAT.

Yeah.  Worst girlfriend of the year award goes to me.

I could write a whole book on how much beef I have with my company but that really just took the cake and pushed me over the edge.  No scratch that, I’ve been over the edge since I put my resignation in last week.  Also– sidebar:  My boss still hasn’t read to responded to my letter of resignation.  She’s had plenty of time to respond to my coworkers emails… So whatever.  On the 24th I’ll just stop showing up and I mean if she doesn’t notice it’s her own gosh darn fault.

Anyway– Wow, OK.  That ramble definitely got away from me!  On to our main topic for today…

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Tokyo Disneyland!

 

This past Christmas my boyfriend and I spent a day and a half in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea!  We had such a fun time, despite being super jetlagged, and I wish I had more photos to show off, because the parks themselves are absolutely stunning.

fullsizeoutput_82cAriels Grotto… look how pretty!  5 year old Cait was definitely freaking out…

So let me back up a bit, when I was in Japan last year with my friends we got a Starlight Pass (definitely the way to go if you’re going to be heading to the parks… more on that later) to DisneySea, and had a great time!  But because we had such a short time in DisneySea last year, this time I was prepared with a mental checklist of everything I needed to do/buy/accomplish during our visit.

Number 1: Couple’s Outfits

Matching.  Outfits.  This was the big one for me!  When we were in DisneySea in 2015 I was blown away by the amount of people wearing matching outfits.  Everyone was matching!  Couples, groups of friends, families, school groups (Cait, those are called school uniforms) and it was so cute!  That is so not a thing in America I was dying to force someone to wear cute Disney matching outfits with me.  And that someone came along in my boyfriend.

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He only looks slightly tortured…

He was such a good sport about it, even though it was embarrassing taking the train into Shinjuku in our matching fluffy Mickey Mouse Christmas sweaters, it totally made my trip that much more fun that I was able to share something so cute and dorky with him.  We saw less couples matching this year than I did last year (maybe its not cool anymore?) but we got a few compliments from staff, and man were we cute!

 

Number 2: Gelatoni

How many people know about Duffy?  Because I certainly knew nothing about Duffy coming into Japan last year.  But Duffy is one popular dude!

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Photo belongs to the Walt Disney Company

Duffy, “the Disney Bear” is supposed to be Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear?  He’s super cute and crazy popular in Japan.  Duffy has a few friends, the most important (in my opinion) being Gelatoni.

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I saw so many people with Gelatoni accessories and stuffed Gelatoni’s and I knew I had to buy one for myself.  But unfortunately because we had bought a Starlight Pass last year, the shops were closed by the time we got off our last ride, and I wasn’t able to buy my Gelatoni!  I looked online when I got home but since he is a Tokyo DisneySea exclusive, he sells online upwards of $90…

So this time, the second we got into DisneySea, I marched straight into the shop and bought myself my very own Gelatoni.

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Look how cute we are… we’re so happy together.

There’s not too much else to say about Gelatoni, we took him around the park and took a lot of pictures of him.  I love him and he’s my new best friend (sorry Shin).

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Number 3) The Food!

The food in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea is famous for being the cutest, and most delicious!  What I really loved about the snacks in the parks, is unlike the snacks you get in the parks California Disneyland, are small and (relatively) cheap.  You can try just about everything and not get too full, and just about everything was 300-500 yen.  A pretty good deal when you consider the $11 turkey leg Shin and I got in California last summer.

My favorite snacks were the Duffy milk tea in DisneySea (this one was absolutely perfect for a chilly day like the day we were there.  Fruity, creamy, and sweet, but not too big and not too overwhelming.  Perfect!), the potato churro in DisneySea (this one I was skeptical about, I thought it would be like a big hash brown, but it was more like a mochi texture and it was super tasty and not too heavy) and the Mike-pan (Melon bread that looks like Mike from Monsters Inc.) in Disneyland!

fullsizeoutput_82aMike-pan, Minnie parfait, and little green men mochi.

If you are going to the Tokyo Disney parks, don’t waste your time on eating at the expensive restaurants, just get lots of little snacks throughout the day so you don’t miss any of the hidden tasty treats!

 

Now I’m no Disney expert, and Shin and I take Disney pretty easy compared to a lot of people I know, but here are a few little tips to maximize your fun in the Tokyo Disney Parks!

  1. Take advantage of the Starlight Pass.  The Starlight Pass is a great way to see the parks without committing for a full day and for significantly less money.  For about $45 USD you can enter the park from 6 PM until they close (in our case in December, this was at 10 PM).  This ended up working out perfectly for Shin and I, we were supposed to have one full day in Disneyland and one full day in DisneySea, but when our alarm went off at 5:30 AM in Kanagawa we were like “is 2 days really worth it?”  Short answer, for some people, yes it is.  For us, sleep was more important.  So we took our time getting to Tokyo in the morning, had a nice lunch in Shinjuku, then checked into our hotel around 3:30 PM and bought a Starlight Pass for Disneyland.  It was definitely worth it for us to take it easy the first day, and Tokyo Disneyland is very similar to California Disneyland, which we had just been to a few months prior. We saw the few unique things they had to offer, but were refreshed enough the next day to spend all day in the totally unique to Tokyo, Tokyo DisneySea!
  2. Get those fastpasses!  This goes for all parks, but the lines were totally crazy, even mid-week in December!  Thank goodness we got fastpasses to Toy Story Mania, and the Haunted Mansion, both of which we weren’t able to ride until way into the evening.  But with the fastpasses we planned our day and got to see all of the shows we wanted to see, have plenty of time to sit down and relax, and got to ride all of the best rides.
  3. Make dinner reservations far in advance.  Shin wanted to eat dinner at this one buffet restaurant, but not only was it incredibly expensive (about $60 USD per person!) but when we called the day before to make a reservation, the only time they had left was at around 8 PM.  We ended up ditching the reservation and just eating snacks all day (worth it) but I would have liked to maybe sit down for a proper meal at some point.
  4. Bring cash, but don’t worry if you don’t!  Both Disneyland, and DisneySea, as well as all of the surrounding shops take credit/debit no problem with no minimum purchase.  If you have a foreign card that has high transaction fees, definitely bring cash with you.  The only ATM on the Disney property is for Japanese bank accounts only, so I was not able to get cash while we were visiting.
  5. Prepare for any weather!  It’s really popular to get dressed up as cute as you can for a Disney date, but December weather is not kind.  We had rain, wind, and freezing rain.  It was cold.  It was kinda wet.  It was pretty miserable at times.  We forgot an umbrella and had to pay $15 for an umbrella from the Disney store! I also got cranky because my hair and makeup kept getting messed up and I didn’t look peak-cute.  Dress in layers, bring an umbrella, don’t be grouchy when your hair gets frizzy!

I think that’s all I have, all in all we had a fantastic time during our short trip, and I’m looking forward to dragging Shin there again sometime in the near future!

disneyseaOne last photo, the parks are stunning!

Have a great rest of your week!  Weekend’s almost here!

 

Cait.

Pre-Packing Anxiety: What you’ve missed

Ahoy there friends!

 

I really need to put some more effort into keeping this blog up to date, because now that the Big Move is getting closer, things are happening faster and faster and faster….

Here’s the break down of what you missed:

  1. Job applications!  So.  Many.  Job.  Applications.  Followed by 100 interviews followed by a LOT of rejection when employers learn I’m moving with my partner and therefore not flexible on location (most jobs that sponsor visas for foreigners will require you to be flexible on location, since they can send you anywhere in Japan once hired… since I’m going to be living with my boyfriend in one specific place flexibility was definitely tricky…)
  2. THE JOB OFFER!  After probably 5 panic attacks and crying to Shin and my Mom that I was never going to get a job and I was going to be stuck alone in the USA with no house no money no hopes and dreams I FINALLY got an offer from a company and got started on…..
  3. THE VISA PROCESS!  Japan requires you have a Certificate of Eligibility before you can roll up to the local consulate to get your visa and that’s where I currently am… waiting the 4-6 weeks (one friend warns me it’ll be 3 months, another said his got processed in 4 weeks during a busy time of the year… so I’m staying on the side of optimism) for my CoE to process so I can get my visa and get my plane ticket and start my new life abroad.

What’s next you ask? Well!  So fucking much it’s insane.

You know how I said that March was going to creep up on us and I wasn’t going to be prepared and I wouldn’t know what to do… Well guess who was right.

It’s February now and I have my letter of resignation all typed up and saved in my drafts for me to send to my boss this Friday, last day of work will be Feb 24!  I’m leaving my job earlier than is probably smart but I can’t stand this place anymore and I’m pretty much on track money wise, plus I’ll temp for my dad a few times a week to make up for any last minute cash crises (PRAYING my CoE doesn’t take more than a month and a half to process or we might be in big trouble).

After I’m done working and finally a Free Man it’s time to get serious about moving!~

I’ve had a lot of friends move abroad before, I’ve moved abroad before, but the big difference this time is I don’t have a “home base” anymore.  My parents are remodeling our family home basically as soon as I leave, and so they are also in the process of moving– so there will be no space for anything that is not coming to Japan with me.  Basically it’s coming to Japan, or its going to Goodwill.  Yikes.  This is something I’m having a very difficult time with, losing my safety net and the finality of this move.  Losing my safety net is so scary and it’s going to be really hard to adjust to my new life.

To make things harder, we’ll be living with Shin’s family home for our first few months… and there is very, very limited storage space.  So I have a feeling I’ll be having to buy a lot of things in Japan when we move into our new apartment that I could have brought from home, but couldn’t for the sake of space.  No matter how cute my mug collection is, is it worth it taking up limited space in both my bags and in my boyfriend’s family home for 6 months while we get on our feet?  Probably not.

So… how do you take 23 years worth of stuff and condense it down to the essentials and get rid of EVERYTHING ELSE.  I’m anxious just thinking about it!!

And I am not even someone who is very sentimental about things and items, my mom really drilled it into my head that if you don’t love it, it’s going to Goodwill.  I’ve always had a teeny room with limited space, I have very few knick-knacks and childhood items (those are long gone) but clothes will be my downfall. I’m a shopper, shopping is my hobby and I love fashion and clothes.  Even now when I’m like “OK Cait, stay on a budget, you’re moving, don’t buy ANYTHING” I’m still browsing shops and scrolling through online sales while I should be working… I’ve been pretty good but I bought a few items and I need to stop!

I’ve already gotten rid of A LOT of clothing that I was uncomfortable getting rid of, and definitely would still have if I didn’t have moving in the back of my mind, but there’s still so much more that needs to go. It’s too stressful to even start!

Does anyone have any tips on how to minimalize your wardrobe/your life?  Anyone else make a big move recently and have any life changing advice?  Please let me know, you’re my only hope!

 

That’s all for now!

 

Cait

Japan Vacation, Christmas, New Years, Moving?! — 2017 here we come!

Ahoy there friends and family and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

 

Wow it’s been a while isn’t it?  You may have noticed the not so subtle theme changes because…. drumroll please…. It’s official!  The boyfriend and I will be moving in a little under 3 months!  

I’ll go into more detail in a later post (I’m still so exhausted from the holidays + jet lag even though we’ve been home for over a week… lazy holidays got me fucked up!) and I have so many pictures I need to edit and things about my trip I’m dying to share– But the long story short is we talked it over with both sets of parents, weighed all our options, and decided that there’s never gonna be a better time to do this and so… here we go!

The boy’s departure date is March 22, mine is still a little TBD because of visa processing and deciding when I’ll quit/start working but it’ll be within a week or two of that date if not the same day, which is the optimal plan because I really don’t want to do that flight by myself– I already know I’m going to be such an anxious mess!

 

After the initial thrill of like YES!  WE’RE DOING THIS IT’S HAPPENING!! Everything gets so much more nerve wracking!  Like there is so much to do and March is right around the corner.  I’m up all night frantically reading people’s moving stories and making mental lists of everything I need to do, everything I need to pack, appointments I need to make, applying to jobs like a crazy person, it goes on and on and on and on… and I just know I’m going to forget something major and end up not ready to go in time!  I go back to work tomorrow after almost a month of being on holiday so things are going to get really busy really fast.

So I turn to you, blog community, does anyone else have experience with this kind of move?  Any tips for nervous newbies?

 

Hope everyone had an exciting holiday season!  Here’s to an exciting 2017!!

 

Cheers!

 

Cait

 

BlogOWriMo Day…. 28?!: I Really Dropped the Ball on this One!

Ahoy there friends and family!

 

Let me cut right to the chase.  I messed up big time on my whole “BlogOWriMo” challenge.  After my last post life just got kind of super crazy super fast!  Lot’s of talking about the future with my boyfriend, planning our trip to Japan in December, got T-Boned while driving in the rain (we’re OK), studying Japanese like crazy, went on a mini-vacation to Vancouver, work work work work work, non-stop job applications, Pokémon came out, I beat my high score on tsumtsums (real important, I know), boyfriends phone broke over a month ago so lot’s of yelling at (EVIL CELLPHONE CORPORATION NAME REDACTED) on the status of a replacement, Thanksgiving crept up on us, and my car got broken into and the windows smashed right after a $200 bill was dropped on me from the rental company from the LAST TIME my car was in the shop!

WOW.  OK if I learned anything this month, it’s that I hate driving and the moment I never have to drive again will be the happiest day of my life.  Can we just all agree that cars are the worst and they cost too much money and will never love you and they really just need to go away forever? (No, I will not be taking the bus after my car is back from the shop.  I value my sleep too much.  Yes.  I’m awful, I know.)

But here I am at my desk, Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, and of course no one came into the office today so I’m bored as all hell, so let’s give this blogging another go.

 

So it’s come to my attention that I’ve never really done a proper introduction on my blog.  Maybe I should put a bit more of a soul behind my whining and complaining.  I couldn’t find any sort of meme or anything I liked so I’m just going to do a 10 random facts about me.  Please feel free to do this as well, I’d love to get to know more people on here and see who you guys are!

Without further ado, here we go!

  1. I’m a huge junkie for true crime programs.  Serial, Making a Murderer, marathons of Snapped on Lifetime, all of those ridiculous JeanBonet Ramsey “documentaries” that came out a few weeks ago… That shit is my jam.  I actually studied law in university, was on the mock trial team in high school and had plans to go to law school, but I dropped that idea pretty dang fast as soon as I entered to work force.  So I’ll just keep up with my fellow armchair detectives on Facebook and leave the real law to the real lawyers.
  2. I’ve lived in Dublin, London, and did an exchange in Okinawa, Japan.  I love traveling, and when I graduated from uni the first thing I wanted to do was get more opportunities to travel.  I was accepted into a law school in Ireland and had plans to go, but chickened out at the last minute, the idea of spending the rest of my life doing law didn’t sound as appealing as it did when I was 18 and choosing a major.  Then I applied to a bunch of positions abroad, had a few offers in Japan and Korea, and ditched at the last minute again (I need to stop doing that!) when I had been dating my boyfriend for a few months.  Now that a new adventure is on the horizon I couldn’t be more excited!
  3. If I had to choose any career, I’d actually want to work in professional sports.  I spent a season working for a MLB team and had the time of my life, I was really disappointed I chose not to continue on to the next season, but by the time they offered me a slight promotion I’d already taken a new position at another job, which is a huge regret of mine and I hope to get back into working in sports on day.
  4. I have 2 cats, Simon and Jellybean, and one monster-puppy Olive.  Simon is the love of my life and if he was a person, he’d be a supervillain.  Jellybean is his neurotic older brother who we’ve had since I was 5 or 6 years old… yeah he’s ancient.  He won’t leave the basement and screams at me all day long.  He loves my boyfriend though so they’re best friends.  Olive is a 8 month old Labrador retriever and she’s so sweet but so, so so so bad.  She’s so bad.  We had a lab growing up and she was so fat and lazy and mellow so Olive is a complete 180 from her… we love Olive to bits but sometimes she just needs to calm the heck down.
  5. I just finally bought a Wii-U this year…  Just to play the Yoshi game.  I bought it like three weeks before they announced the new Switch system.  Also, I’m not lying when I say I’ve only ever bought one game at full price.  And that game was Pokémon Sun.  I only have Yoshi and Pikmen for my Wii-U and I want to play it more so I need more games but I refuse to buy games at full price and nothing ever goes on sale so we’re stuck in an endless cycle here…
  6. Driving is the worst and I got my license just this year when I was 22.  I hate driving and if I never had to do it again it would be too soon.  But I still drive everywhere because it sure beats waiting in the rain for the bus…
  7. I love Kpop.  In 2016 alone I’ve seen Big Bang, EXO, BAP, and Got7.  I was going to see CL but the show was on a Monday night and I know if I go to a concert Monday night there’s no way on earth I’m going to work Tuesday morning.  So sad I missed her though.
  8. My boyfriend and I watch a lot of youtube bloggers of American-Japanese couples and the differences they find between Japan and America, just so we can get mad and complain about how wrong they are.  Most of the Americans are from areas or cities SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than where we live now so we just get really passionate when they say that Japan is so much more expensive than America. (Really? Please tell me more how you had to pay $11 for a movie ticket.)  Compared to our city, Tokyo is a budgeters dream.
  9. On that note, I still live with my parents!  I’m a chump!
  10. All I want is a shiba inu.  I love them so much and I was so close to adopting one last year, but I’m in no place to take care of a dog by myself right now.  So I’ll just stare longingly at pictures of them until one day I can have my own…

 

And there’s 10!  We did it!  Hope you guys found that somewhat interesting, let me know some random facts about you as well so I seem less lame.

Here’s hoping I get better at this whole blog-situation.

 

Toodlepip

Cait

 

 

 

BlogOWriMo Day 2: Off to a Rough Start

Ahoy there friends and family!

 

Wow just 24 sweet hours between saying I’m going to blog every day and now, and just everything has hit the fan.  Perfect to fuel my writing muse, am I right?  But I wish I could write instead about the nuances of Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang like I was planning on blogging about today… oh well.  There’s always tomorrow!

 

Long story short, I haven’t been blogging for long.  You don’t know me or my life so I’ll cut right to the chase.  My boyfriend and I just had the conversation both of us had been dreading and putting off since we got together 9 months ago– What’s going to happen in 3 months when he has to move back to Japan.

Dun dun duuunnnnn… Everyone in an international relationship is probably shaking their heads at me right now like “guuuurllll you didn’t know this was coming?” Shut up ambiguous person who may or may not exist, of course I knew this was coming.

I was just putting it off and pretending that it wasn’t happening.

You know.  Adult coping skills.

So lots of tears and hugs later we haven’t really reached a decision.  I’m willing to put up with long distance, even if it’s not ideal.  He’s extremely skeptical about long distance, he said he’s tried it before and it didn’t work out (cue more tears and those intrusive thoughts like “WELL I’M BETTER THAN WHOEVER SHE WAS SO IT WILL DEFINITELY WORK OUT THIS TIME” no internal thoughts, life doesn’t work like that).  He doesn’t want to tell me to move to Japan with him– or scratch that, he doesn’t want me to make that decision on a snap.  In a perfect world he’d stay here because this is ultimately where he wants to end up job-wise.  So we’re looking at a 1-3 year long distance thing vs me up and moving to the other side of the world.

Now hold up, before you guys all jump down my throat because “making massive life decisions based on boys isn’t the way to go about your life” Don’t worry friends I hear you way in the back.  No decisions have been made.

I actually turned down 2 jobs in Japan right before I met him– I was desperately trying to move back abroad ever since graduation, he was actually one of the reasons I’ve put my wanderlust on hold.  I’ve lived abroad twice, and traveled and studied in Japan.  My best friend lives in Japan.  I have countless other friends and acquaintances in Japan.  Moving to Japan isn’t the massive scary problem it could be.  I’d have him as a safety net, I’d have my friends for comfort.  If you read my last post, you know I’m not attached to my job.  And to top it all off, I’m going to be forced to move in the Spring or Summer no matter what.

But the uprooting of my life has to be for the right reasons.  Even though there’s 5000 reasons for me to go; and why if there is ever going to be a time to make a crazy choice like this, this is the time, there’s just a few reasons why I shouldn’t go.

So we’re reaching this huge scary impasse of my life of what can be and what might be and what definitely won’t be.  It’s one of these situations where playing it safe might not be the safest route in the long run.

 

I’d love to hear from anyone else who has experience with this kind of thing.  Any choice words of advice?  Any flavors of dairy free ice cream I should be buying to drown my emotions in?  How can I breach this topic with my parents who are extremely skeptical of anything I do and every decision I’ve ever made?

 

Sorry for another un-edited mess of a post.  I’ll try not to make BlogOWriMo just into my personal diary… But writing is writing and that’s what I came here to do.

 

Toodlepip and Cheerio.

 

Cait.

NaNoWriMo… BlogOWriMo?

Ahoy there!

 

It’s November 1st!  Happy November everyone!

October is dead and gone, Halloween is in the bin like yesterday’s pumpkins (get it?) and I’ve had my first gingerbread latte of the season.  It’s the official start of the acceptable time of year to start acting like its the official start of the Holiday season!

But more important than gingerbread lattes and reindeer sweaters– November is NaNoWriMo.  And Holy Bejeezus Batman.  I’ve been trying to do NaNoWriMo every year since…. high school?  Junior high?  Way too long.

This year I’m going to do it!  But as to not set too much pressure on myself and my creative abilities (trust me, there’s little to none) I’m going to try to write on this blog every day for a month.  Word count doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter if I publish or save it in the drafts never to be seen again, I just need to sit down and make time to write.  I think just getting into the habit of writing every day will do wonders, and even if a bunch of malarkey ends up floating around the internet, hey!  At least I’m writing!

I’m going to call this little challenge BlogOWriMo, which has most definitely been used before and is clearly not original in the slightest.

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo or a BlogOWriMo challenge this month?  I’d love to see what people are working on!  Let’s stick to our goals and maybe make it longer than a week!

 

Go Team!

 

Cait.

Summer 2016 K-Pop: Bringing the Actual Fire

While the radio hits of 2016 here in the USA have left me feeling bored and underwhelmed (Sorry Drake you know we’re still tight), have no fear!  Our friends in South Korea are here to release us from this snooze-fest with some of the most POPPIN’, FIRE single and album releases I’ve heard in years.

If you’re not already familiar with K-pop, let me just throw you into the deep end here so you can rock up to the beach this summer with the sickest jams on the block.

Without further ado, the July 2016 top 10 K-pop jams of the summer!

 

10) Cheer Up! – Twice

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People are going crazy over this song!  It’s everywhere, and even major celebs like GD have been rocking out to this on stage and on snapchat.  Personally I am not the biggest fan of girl bands, besides my girls at 2NE1 I haven’t heard much coming from girl groups, and definitely not as of late.  This is the first song I’ve heard by Twice and this is just a genuinely cute, fun jam.  The girls are adorable, I love the video, and Cheer Up has been a morning gym jam of mine the last few weeks.

Photo Cred MNet.

 

9) Fly – Got7

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THIS TUNE I officially call the start of the summer comeback season.  Coming out at the end of March it totally set the stage for all the major bangers to come.  I love this song.  I will never be sick of this song (or my boyfriend Mark).  Can we talk about the video for a second though?  This is truly a cinematic masterpiece.  The videos cutting to the dancing along with the chill tones and power rapping its just good shit all around.

Photo Cred JYP OFFICIAL.

 

8) Breathless – ASTRO

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Oh my god.  Do not get me started on ASTRO.  These boys will be the death of me.  I’ve been following them since before their debut when they dropped their drama “To Be Continued…” about a year ago.  Their debut album was fantastic and this single off their second album is nailing home their concept hard.  It’s just fucking cute.  They’re fucking adorable.  I’m only 23 and they’re forcing me into my cougar phase.

Do not even get me started on the video.  I think my teeth just melted it was so sugary sweet.  The visuals reminded me of another summer jam a few years back a little number called called “Live While We’re Young” by the one and only 1D.  I love the youthful summer vibes it makes me hate myself for wasting my summer away at a shitty job and never seeing the sun.

Anyway– ASTRO may be the cutest things on the block, but they’ve got the vocals to back it up.  Their concept might be a bit too immature for some people but those people need to lighten up and just enjoy the absolutely disgustingly cuteness which ASTRO brings to the table again and again.  I’m so excited to see what these boys keep bringing!

Photo cred Fantiago.

 

7)  Can’t Help Myself – Eric Nam

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ERIC.  This tune just dropped about a week ago and I’ve been playing it nonstop.  We all fell in love with Eric on After School Club but I think I have to marry him now, sorry everyone else I’ve already proposed to since beginning this list.  Eric Nam you are so cute why don’t you go be the new leader of ASTRO.

The signature dance move from this single is so dorky and cringey and I just love it even more because of the cringey dancing.  He’s the cutest nerd out there and his voice is so, so good.  I don’t even have much to say about this it’s just a genuinely adorable song that will put a smile on anyones face.

Photo Cred CJ E&M

 

6)  I Like That – SISTAR

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I actually wasn’t sure where to put this massive tune on this list.  It feels so timeless I wasn’t even sure if it was a recent hit or something I’d overlooked in the past.  The trends in K-pop lately have been sickeningly cute, or powerfully badass, and SISTAR kills it being ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE, sexy, cute,cool, and bringing back those old school K-pop vibes!

Photo Cred Starship Entertainment

 

5) L.I.E – EXID

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Officially my guilty pleasure single of the summer.  This is my singing along at the top of my lungs while stuck in traffic song.  It’s so incredibly catchy, but what really brings it above the rest for me is that bass drop along with the sickest rap line I’ve heard in a while. Keep on slaying EXID I want to see more from you!

 

4) Call you Bae -Jimin and Xiumin

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Is this song old news by now?  It came out in March so I’m just going to pretend that still counts as a summer jam because I am STILL LISTENING TO IT ON REPEAT.  Jimin is one of my favorite rappers and Xiumin of EXO’s voice compliments hers so well, and not only that but look so fucking cute they are in the video.  Oh my god.  Relationship goals right here, I just want a handsome man in a sweater to sing for me across the coffee table.  Jimin is so precious is this video too, this song is just so all around cute and sweet how can I exclude it from my wrap up.

 

3) VERY NICE – Seventeen

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My absolute favorite song of the moment.  That’s all I need to say.  This song is too damn catchy it should be illegal.

This song is the reason I had to admit to myself I like SEVENTEEN, when they first debuted I was like… that’s too many boys.  I  can’t even keep up.  I still can’t keep up.  Don’t ask me any of their names or who any of them are.  All I know is these small classroom keeps putting out fire single after fire single and this is their crowning achievement so far.  This is all I’m listening to right now.  As soon as it ends I start it again.  I need help or the sweet release of death.

 

2)  Monster – EXO

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What can I say about this tune that hasn’t already been said.  You knew this was going to be here I’m just reaffirming that this song brings the motherfucking FIRE.  Since you, your mother, and everyone else on earth already knows everything there is to say about this single and this video let me just drop some personal EXO facts on you.

  1. I saw EXO at UBC this past winter and it was the most violent concert I have ever been to in my entire life.  EXO fans got me fucked up man.  I was also significantly older than everyone there and spilled a beer down a 12 year olds back when an overly excited 15 year old nearly tackled me because I was too damn tall for her liking.
  2. I bought a Chanyeol sweatshirt.  I am absolutely ashamed of myself and should be in jail.
  3. This is the song that was playing when I got in my car accident.  I still listen to it while driving almost every day but it always sends a strike of fear into my heart.

 

And finally…… without further ado…

#1

FIRE – BTS

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This is another jam that needs absolutely no introduction, middle, or conclusion.  Basically if you haven’t heard this yet I don’t know how to help you.  This song changed my life, raised my son, and got him into college.

This song is my everything.  This video is the definition of perfect aesthetic (hello Hawaiian shirts and burning shit to the ground aka my vacation aesthetic).  The drop, the rap, the beat, this song will never leave me.  This challenged my love of Bang Bang Bang as the greatest K-pop song of all time.

Also that little dance move with the finger gun shrug thing holy shit my heart be a fuckin’ flutter.

Bow wow wow.

Photo cred to 1 the K Official.

 

Alright y’all thats all for now!  I hope you enjoyed, do you agree, disagree?  Let me know.

 

Cait