Cute Snacks!

June 28, 2011

Some more cute snacks and by chance, it’s Moomin snacks again! A great new food shop has opened up nearby and I couldn’t resist these! So yummy and nostalgia inducing! Cocoa and milk, I’ve never had the cocoa ones before, exciting! Moomintroll is excited too, look!

Cute Snacks!

June 21, 2011

Apologies for the poor quality photos! These Moomin snacks were available in Lawson a little while ago and I bought a lot of them because they remind me of the Moomin biscuits I used to eat when I was little. Each box contains a packet of biscuits and a little Moomin figure. On a thimble. I don’t know why.

I LOVE the Moomins :)

Time for the second edition of Cutest Characters. I’ll be doing these updates on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. (Yes, I know it says posted June 9th but I started writing before midnight! Aaaah!)
I’m writing about another cat character! Bagpuss, oh Bagpuss.

Bagpuss in Akiba

Bagpuss is a character from an old childrens TV show first shown in 1974 and created by Peter Firmin and the very wonderful and sadly deceased Oliver Postgate. So this was a show that was quite old by the time I was born but it must have still been shown on TV I think as I do remember watching it (along with other Smallfilms shows like the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine).
The premise is that Bagpuss belongs to a little girl called Emily, who owns a strange shop full of lost, broken things waiting to be reclaimed by their owners. Why am I telling you this when I can show you!
“Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.”
The episodes always begin with a new object being brought to the shop and the regular inhabitants trying to figure out what it is. The mice usually try to fix it, Professor Yaffle figures out what it is and then one of the characters gets inspired and tells a story which is told through a little animation. It’s all quite dreamy and very nice to watch when you’re trying to get to sleep.

Bagpuss in Shibuya

Although Bagpuss is definitely a part of my childhood my current obsession with him really began two Christmases ago when I received a little Bagpuss toy from my Mum. There are a lot of Bagpuss toys out there and some of them are, well, hideous. This one is different. He’s small and fluffy but not soft and has the most mournful expression on his face. I was more excited about this present than, well, just about anything else! I was so taken that I started taking lots of photos of him. The more fun the location the better it is because he always looks sad no matter what angle the picture is taken from. I’ve taken pictures of him looking sad in cherry blossom trees, next to sweets and drinks, at Summer Sonic, next to the Glico man etc. etc. Bagpuss remains unimpressed and this is why I love him. I have a tumblr ‘The Exciting Life of Bagpuss’ which I’ve only recently started updating again where I post pictures of Bagpuss looking mournful next to things. I have quite a large backlog of photos to post.
Have a look! And follow me!

What's happening?

 So to conclude, here’s the little verse from the end of the programme:
“And of course, when Bagpuss goes to sleep,
All his friends go to sleep too.
The mice were ornaments on the mouse organ.
Gabriel and Madeleine were just dolls.
Professor Yaffle was a carved, wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker.
Even Bagpuss himself, once he was asleep, was just an old, saggy cloth cat,
Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams,
But Emily loved him.”
And I love him too.

I heart Bagpuss

Bagpuss Wikipedia entry:
Bagpuss Shop:

Noruwei no Mori

December 29, 2010

Of course I’ve read the book! (In English). Several times! Most recently I bought a new copy with the movie poster picture on the cover. This is something I almost always actively AVOID but for some reason I’ve got it into my head that this film is going to mean a lot to me. I still haven’t seen it, I just feel that way for some reason. I also bought two Norwegian Wood t-shirts from Uniqlo. (I’m wearing one in my last post!) Anyway, here’s a big poster in Yurakacho station with a weird travel destination tie-in!

But…but…why?? I’m in Norway though so um, yay?! No Northern lights might I add..but it was minus 17 yesterday and everything is covered with snow. It’s so pretty it’s almost ridiculous. Just looking at the trees makes me feel like crying because they’re so beautiful!

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.

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:

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!

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago then forgot about it so I will finish this post now!

So Pink Floyd have won their case and EMI  can’t sell their tracks individually or as ringtones. Do I care? I don’t know, it’s certainly made me think, though not necessarily about the issue. 
Thought one: I’m not really much of a Pink Floyd fan although the recent articles about Syd Barrett in Mojo really made me feel sad. I especially liked the story about the photo shoot for The Madcap Laughs. Iggy the Eskimo: mysterious! Also, the story of Barrett showing up unannounced while the band rehearsed Shine On You Crazy Diamond and nobody recognising him straight away was particularly upsetting. I looked at his wikipedia page afterwards and almost burst into tears when I scrolled down from the first image of him in ’69 to the next of him in ’75 looking almost unrecognisable with no hair or eyebrows. 
To counteract that sadness, here’s a happy Pink Floyd memory: My school was taking part in some kind of International Business….thing. All these students came over from all around the world and we had to make groups, pick a country and ‘look after’ the students from that country. I’m pretty sure me and my group did nothing of the sort but I do remember there being a big party at some bar before everyone left. They had a karaoke setup on one floor and even though I was terminally shy I decided to go and sing and I decided to sing Another Brick in The Wall. I’m not really sure why, I think it was because I knew I stood a chance of singing it all the way through without making any mistakes. So I did. They had a mic stand which made me feel extra cool. Anyway, I so rarely felt cool at the time that it was a nice little burst of rockstar for me.
Thought two: Albums listened to all the way through can be amazing and fulfilling but isn’t it sort of silly to try to control how people listen to music? Even if you release an album where all the songs are melded into one long song without gaps and you can’t skip, people can still turn the sound down for the bits they don’t like, or lift the stylus up on a record and put it down somewhere else, or buy a cassette and tape it and fast forward or rewind bits. OK, maybe it’s unlikely that people are going to bother to do these things but they could. Just like anyone could buy a book and read the last chapter first. Or read some of the middle chapters and never read the rest. So yes, you can control how people buy music but never how they listen to it. You can’t control how they interpret it either so why drive yourself crazy trying?
Thought three: I don’t want anyone to think I’m against listening to whole albums, I’m really not. Actually, this whole issue made me feel a little sad because I almost miss the days when I would sit in my room and listen to albums all the way through. I mean, I don’t reeeeaaally miss those days (I was a miserable little gothy teenager who cried a lot) but I miss that sense of having time to lie around on my bed or on the floor or in an armchair and just give in to whole albums. I did the same thing at uni but there tended to be more alcohol involved. The reason I bought a discman recently was because I kind of miss putting albums on and listening to them while I look at the booklet and then then lie down and drift off.
Here is my list of albums that are great to listen to all the way through/or that I at least USED to think were great to listen to all the way through (bit of a teenagery bias!):
Cocteau Twins-Treasure/Heaven or Las Vegas
The Cardigans-First Band On The Moon
Radiohead-Kid A
Blur-Parklife (No, really!! If you don’t you could miss Badhead and Clover over Dover, aaaahhhh!!!!)
Belle and Sebastian-Tigermilk
Karen Dalton-In My Own Time
Kate Bush-The Kick Inside/Lionheart
Four Tet-Pause
This Mortal Coil-It’ll End in Tears
The Triffids-In The Pines
Iggy and The Stooges-Raw Power
Band of Horses-Everything All The Time
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds-The Boatman’s Call
Grizzly Bear-Friend (EP)
The Cure-Faith/Disintegration
David Bowie-Hunky Dory
Billie Holiday-Lady in Satin
Massive Attack-Blue Lines
My Bloody Valentine-Isn’t Anything
Roxy Music-Roxy Music
Love is All-Nine Times That Same Song
Nina Simone-Little Girl Blue (or Jazz As Played In An Exclusive Side Street Club)
The Smashing Pumpkins-Adore
The Postal Service-Give Up
The Twilight Sad-Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
Jimmy Eat World-Bleed American
Erlend Øye-DJ Kicks
The Avalanches-Since I Left You
Camera Obscura-Let’s Get Out of This Country
A Silver Mt. Zion-He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…
Daft Punk-Discovery
Interpol-Turn on the Bright Lights
Jeff Buckley-Grace
Spiritualized-Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space
Kings of Convenience-Quiet is the New Loud
This isn’t a list of my favourite ever albums (although a lot of these would be on that list too).They aren’t even necessarily my favourite albums by these artists, just ones I enjoy, or have enjoyed putting on and listening to all the way through! 

Discman love

March 22, 2010

I’ve wanted to buy a discman for ages. I buy quite a lot of CDs and it’s too much effort for lazy me to copy them to my mp3 player. Or maybe this is just an excuse. Much as I like records, I grew up buying CDs so…all my music nostalgia is wrapped up in disc format. I love my mp3 player, I really do but I also love buying CDs and staring at the album art and (hopefully) reading the lyrics. And in Japan of course there’s the added fun of extra tracks, lyric sheets in Japanese and in the case of the Alisha’s Attic CD I just bought (I am lame, I know), the artwork translated into Japanese!

So in order to let me do all of this stuff again, I bought a nice pink discman in Bic Camera. It’s already great. I’ve spent the last hour and a half listening to CDs I’ve picked up and forgotten to listen to. Here are some not terribly good photos of some of them:

The Miki Imai album is very…adult contemporary…listening to it made me feel very, safe! The ACO album is heartbreakingly beautiful…it makes me want to cry a little and the Alisha’s Attic album is similar to Alisha Rules the World so it reminded me of being twelve and made me happy! Wow, definitely an amazing purchase!