Oh hai. This is going to be one of those blogs, you know, the ones where i haven't actually done anything entertaining or relevant, like falling down a mountain or eating raw horse flesh or setting fire to my own feet, but I feel teeming, bursting SWELLING with things to say, and since I have this wonderful medium, things shall be said.
Today was a particularly unusual February day, in that the temperature reached a positively tropical 5 degrees. It was almost warm. The snow was melting off carports in rhythmic patterns and my walk to school was bathed in watery light.
I could almost remember summer. I could almost remember the colour of a sky that's not a dirty bruised green with unshed snow.
School has been slow and mellow. My third years have fled the corridors for the libraries and the inner sanctums of their clever minds, and so school seems quiet, as does my schedule. I can't complain - I have time to write, time to read, time to study Japanese. In the last two weeks I've read five new books, which is impressive even by my Superman standards (if you're interested, Lolita was fabulous and moving, Hearts in Atlantis wasn't nearly as scary as I've come to expect from old Mr King; Howl's Moving Castle reminded me why I don't particularly care for Diana Wynne Jones' writing; The Seventh Trumpet reminded me why I reeaally should have paid more attention in hisotry and should possibly think twice before visiting Russia and Essential Hemmingway made me lay my head down, exhausted).
I also had time to do this:
The whole Nail Art phenomenon had more or less passed me by, until one most excellent friend (you know who you are, AG) requested some of Japan's tackiest for her upcoming birthday, and I was forced into the stores to do some serious research because, you know, I love her and stuff. Of course, as the above illustrates, I don't love her enough to prevent me from putting her birthday present on my ten digits. Soz. Seriously though, shopping for this stuff was mind-boggling. I know that Japan loves its glitz and its glam and its plushy, pushy, kitten-covered, cracked-out, glittery gawdy nonsensical fabulousness but I wasn't prepared for the two full aisles of nail adornments that awaited me. This is naive, I realise, given that I'm living in a country that has spawned people like this girl:
I feel like she should come with a R18 sticker on her forehead. She's the ultimate in fantasy, the doll made real, Polly Pocket gone gothic. Her nails, though, are tame compared to those I found awaiting purchase (AG, you are safe, these are not those that are winging their way to you):
Can you imagine having those on your fingers? I feel like I'd be unable to do anything; like I'd go to do something wonderful like pen a novel or save a child and be so totally mesmerized by my own digits that I'd just stand still and perform spirit fingers endlessly.
In other news, the weather has been doing this:
I've turned so pale I'm almost irridescent:
When I Skype my bronzed, beautiful sisters, I turn the contrast settings up as high as they go, so I can ignore the fact that they look like Malibu Barbies and I look like Bella gone bad (bitofa Twilight reference in there for y'all, I'm hard and fast with the literature today).
I'm continuing to labour on with Japanese classes (if anyone's keeping track, I now know approximately 5 words). This week was some sort of Japanese special affair, the observance of which involved making sushi, and facing in a particular direction to eat it. This was considerably more entertaining than conjugating verbs, and I'm resting safe in the knowledge that if my future career as a *insert something meaningful and important here* fails, I can turn to sushi making:
You make me feel like I'm living a... White Dream? Is that racist? Should I have put them in my mouth? Oh well.
I'm running out of pictures now, and with a dearth of pixels so too dries up my commentary.
To end of a loving note, Valentine's Day approaches. This is a big deal in Japan and the supermarkets are full with all the necessaries for making homemade delicacies to present to your loved ones. The done thing in Japan is home-made chocolate, heart-shaped, decorated with sprinkles, elegantly wrapped and absolutely beautiful. However, the supermarkets also recognise that there are those among us for whom that particular task is as beyond reach as Pluto, and they have furnished an alternative, one which I gladly took.
This is what Aravin will be receiving for Valentine's Day:
All my love,