Sitting here , listening to Disintegration and drinking red wine (on a Sunday, awful!), it feels like being back at university. Isn’t it weird how albums can do this?

The only thing missing is nag champa incense. (I’ve got vanilla and cinnamon instead).

So here’s a picture of me while I was at university:

See, no fringe!

This was taken at a Band of Horses concert. They remind me of university too but I still listen to them on a regular basis whereas I haven’t listened to Disintegration all the way through for ages. And considering how sad it’s making me feel then maybe there’s a reason for that.

So I said I’d post some more cherry blossom photos and here they are. I know, I know, after a while they tend to get a little boring no matter how pretty they are. And I can’t really recreate the way it feels when you’re sitting under a canopy of flowers but never mind. Had a  nice hanami (cherry blossom picnic!) on Thursday night, it was really magical when the lights came on as it got dark!

Yeah, cherry blossom season this year made me feel happy and sad too. Happy because, well, the flowers are beautiful you know! Sad because, mm, I guess seeing so many people having happy picnics with family and friends under the trees makes me feel sad that..I’m not more like them or something?! I remember I used to get the same feeling watching people have picnics down by the seafront near my old house (oh wow, I really hope I can say I live by ‘the seafront’ again at some point in the future!). I’d look at them and imagine how happy they were and I’d just feel devastated. I know it’s ridiculous! It’ s not like I’m never happy and who am I to guess how people are feeling?!  Still, the few times I actually had a picnic or outside gathering that seemed to approach that level of happiness I’d spend the half the time thinking something along these lines: “Oh no, oh shit, this is perfect, it can’t last, I’m so happy, I’m too happy, don’t be happy, this will  be over soon, it’ll never be this good ever again shut up shut up” Yup, optimistic me!

So the feeling I’ve been getting this month is similar I guess. I’m sure part of it is that I miss people back home but part of it’s also ’cause I’m such a weird idiot when it comes to friendship. I’m terrified of large groups of people and yet sometimes I go to largish ‘events’ or whatever ’cause I tell myself that it will be fun and I’m just being stupid. It never is though. So on Saturday I went to a cherry blossom picnic with Danny and one of our friends ’cause I wanted to see somewhere new. The blossoms were lovely (of course) but otherwise..as soon as I got there I wanted to leave. You know when you get somewhere and just instantly realise you’re not going to speak to anyone and you don’t want to either? It happens at parties sometimes too  but at least then you can get drunk and go through peoples’ CD/book/magazine collection if you’re really freaking out!

So anyway, instead of running off like I really wanted to (not that I told anyone I wanted to!) we stayed and as soon as I sat down my mind was in SPACE. Left pretty soon and on the way back (I wasn’t alone btw or the next part would probably be even lamer, or not, I’m not sure!!) I walked ahead and started crying. Not a lot, enough so that I could pretend I wasn’t within a minute or so but still…why? I just suddenly felt so, so sad. Partly because I feel like I’m so hopeless at making friends I don’t know how I ever manage to. Partly because I hate myself for listening to people speak for about two seconds and then deciding that I don’t have anything in common with them and that we’ll probably never speak ever again so why should I make any effort and mostly because I wish I was the kind of person who could just..be happier and have nice picnics and meet new people and get on with them in an uncomplicated way. I know that will never ever happen though because my self esteem is like some kind of broken robot that occasionally gets a crazy power surge but otherwise just stumbles along beeping and whirring and bumping into things (and looking really sad obviously!).

Anyway, thinking about all this stuff just made me think about  how great my friends are. Every time I meet someone and speak to them and realise that the horrible block of ICE that I normally find between me and people isn’t there it’s so lovely. It made me want to tell people that they have no idea how happy I am to have met them and how amazing it is that it ever even happened considering what a total idiot I am sometimes and…ah, damn, see, writing this now is making me all teary again! Okokok, wow, and I ended the last blog by saying I wouldn’t overshare again, oops. I’m coming over all livejournal here. So to sum up: Cherry blossoms=strong emotions, I am weird sometimes & I love all my friends, hooray! Next post will be exclusively cute things or funny signs and nothing else!

..and I take a deep breath…

That song makes a rather fantastic karaoke choice btw! I remember seeing 4 Non Blondes on TOTP. I thought they were amaaaazing.

Oh dear..no pictures again. I do apologise, it’s because I’m updating at work and I don’t really like saving my pictures on my work computer. And I am going to write some kind of cherry blossom post this week, I am I am.

So on Tuesday night me and Danny went to see Kings of Convenience. In Osaka. The whole time I lived in Norway they never came to my hometown and I could never afford to go to Oslo or Sweden or wherever so this was the first time I’d ever seen them live! The gig was at Club Quattro near Shinsaibashi station. It’s bigger than Nagoya Club Quattro and the stage is level with the floor so that made things  a bit more intimate. We managed to get pretty much all the way to the front too!

A lady dressed in a rather spectacular lime green suit with hairclips shaped like the Rolling Stones lips logo turned around at one point and asked if I was Norwegian! Not wanting to launch into my whole boring “I was born here..I grew up here…I moved here” story I just said yes and she shook my hand! Maybe she just wanted to shake hands with someone who shared their nationality with the band and who am I to deny anyone little moments of happiness like that! She seemed pleased so I was happy!

The gig was really good! They played most of the songs I was hoping for (Homesick, Me In You, I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From, 24-25, Misread, Failure, Gold in the Air of Summer). Only one they missed out that I really wanted to hear was Parallel Lines. They did ask for requests at one point but I hate shouting so…

I cried a little bit during Gold in the Air of Summer but that was the only time. Other than that it was a pretty happy show really! Erlend Øye got into the audience and danced for I’d Rather Dance with You..at one point they got the audience singing (just oooh’s and aaah’s) and it actually sounded kind of cool!

Danny pointed out afterwards that being so close made it a little hard to know where to look. They even mentioned this themselves, saying how nice it was to be able to distinguish lots of faces in the crowd, rather than just seeing a huge audience shaped mass. I’m glad we weren’t in the middle, right at the front though as then I really wouldn’t have known where to look! As it was I spent a lot of time looking at their hands playing guitar, they are awfully good!

I am so lame that before the show I’d made two little origami envelopes with origami cranes inside and little notes. Don’t really know why! I gave them to their sound guy (I’ve forgotten his name, nooo, sorry!) to give to them.

We actually managed to get back home afterwards too! It was quite a long train trip but I like traveling on trains at night. I kept thinking ‘I wish I had a magical free railpass that I could use to go aaaanywhere’. One that I could use on Limited Express trains. I almost never take them because they’re too expensive but oh, they’re so much better. Listened to music most of the way back, including:

Low- Words/Breaker/Hatchet

Röyksopp- This Must Be It/Vision One

Bloc Party-So Here We Are/Blue Light

Radiohead-Black Star

Hadn’t listened to Low for aaages actually. Or Black Star. The line ‘I keep falling over/I keep passing out/When I see a face like you’ still makes me feel so sad.

Enough of that though, I have an assembly to go to. Will I understand a thing? No of course not! Never mind. The weather is lovely and that means hanami later on!

OK, that header probably sounds more serious than it should. I’m just at work, doing nothing. There’s nobody in the office right now but usually there are 2 or 3 people around and I feel weird because I have nothing to do. It’s only quiet like this because it’s spring vacation.

Oh, phone just rang. All I ever say on the phone:  ‘Joanna desu’ , ‘Hai’ ‘Gomenasai’ , ‘Uuuuum’ , ‘Iie!’ , ‘Aaaaahhhh’. So professional…

When it gets quiet like this I start doubting my own existence. I forget what time it is and how old I am and what I’m doing and where I’m going. And rather than doing anything useful to combat these feelings I space out/go on long blog reading sprees/listen to my silly internal voices which say things like “Wow, you totally suck at everything.”/draw/drink lots of coffee/read The Guardian.

Went for a walk a little earlier to get some fresh air.  It’s so grey outside and I can’t see the horizon or any hills or anything, just telegraph wires and konbinis and boxy little blocks of flats. Not that I especially mind these things, I’m kindof fascinated by Japan’s architecture really but occasionally it makes me feel like I’m just a little counter on some massive board game called Suburban Japan. You know like that Twilight Zone episode where the man and the woman end up in some weird town and it turns out it’s an alien child’s playset or something?? Oh, here we go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopover_in_a_Quiet_Town

Spent the weekend mostly looking at cherry blossom trees which made me happy but for some reason, also made me sad. I’ll try to write about why and post some pictures later today.

I’m really excited about going to Kings of Convenience tomorrow! I even started sketching possible outfits! OK, so I know I probably won’t meet them (and if I did why would my outfit even matter?!).  a) They probably won’t even venture out of the backstage area b) If they do they’ll instantly be accosted by other fans and there is no way I would enter any kind of queue or crowd to get to them and c) If I did meet them I wouldn’t know what to say and I’d get all embarrassed and mangle my Norwegian when I tried to speak to them.

I remember buying their EP in Platekompaniet when I was like..16 or something and sitting on the floor leaning on my desk listening to it. I know it sounds lame but it felt like musical relief.  I’d just had some pretty bad times school-wise and it felt like special magical people playing music to comfort poor little 16 year old me. Their music still has that sortof effect on me. When I’m feeling really tired and just..done, I’ll often listen to one of their albums. They make me feel a little sad but also like it’s OK to be sad.

Anyway..sorry to anyone reading this, I’m done sharing now!