Monday, July 31, 2006

3am - still packing

Ask a simple question, get a simple answer.

me: How come some people travel with just a tiny suitcase?

zume: Cos they have nothing.

Seems we don't have nothing nor are we leaving with tiny suitcases...I have tried, oh how I have tried.

Hope to have time for internet access and some pic posting - til then mata ne!

take it easy everyone

Sunday, July 30, 2006

one more sleep

We have been making lists and checking them twice...

Right now I think big M is upstairs sorting out his multivitamins

I have been making other lists in my mind...

Things I will miss and things he will most definitely miss about Tokyo

Knowing where to find good clean toilets...
Chopsticks and soba...
hhhhmmm let me see, what else?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

somethings coming over meeeeeeee

OK this doesn't happen very often...
perhaps it is the intense amounts of aussie blogness I have been reading lately
perhaps it is my not too distant departure for the land that i as a whitey was evicted from
perhaps i have had this home dye kit on my hair too long
i'm just gonna come out and say it
capture the moment
there i said it
happy now
don't know how long it will last so soak it up

ladies lunch vol. 5

Today was a special day, it was the first all come ladies lunch in a long time. Lindsey was on her Tokyo stopover to London, Big L is back in town with plenty of stories from her US adventure and it just so happened we were all free for a special afternoon of girlie catchups and greasey greek food. Alas today's ladies lunch may be the last lunch I have with all me ladies for a very long time. Giuls - on behalf of the tokyo ladies lunch club I wish you an amazing adventure and a safe journey back home. All of our lives are much better having met you - Giuls aka the nicest woman in the world.
So I leave you with a Ladies Lunch photo tribute - the good, the scary and the down right's to many more!

Friday, July 28, 2006

big day out

The sun is shining today - it's play day! No kindy, no pox, I get to hang with the cool Tokyo Two [Kel and Finn] today. We are heading south [i think] for a day of batteries on charge, body batteries on charge.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

1000 travel tips

Found on - Love it!

Try to Blend In
When traveling internationally, remember that not everyone likes Americans. Learn something about the culture you'll be enjoying and try to blend in. Dress in neutral tones and try not to talk or laugh loudly - it draws unnecessary attention to yourself. Obvious tourists are obvious targets.
16-Jun-2001 Robin Clayton ID265

and this one kinda makes me feel all sick and weird inside!

Find Your Way in a new City!
When travelling in a new city (especially in Europe) if you are looking for the main stream area to go to a restaurant, bar, or shopping and you don't know the language, ask someone where the Gap store is. This really works! I was in this town called Lille, right outside of Calais in France and we could not find any place to have a drink and hang out when we arrived in the evening. I just asked a young person where the Gap was and we were pointed in the right direction!
16-Dec-2001 Cecily ID405

the parkals are in the post

With a hemorrhaging [who would have thought that's how you spell it, thanks] brain from the onslaught of debilitating procrastination I was entranced by a beacon flashing at me when trying to check my emails on the new yahoo [which i am not loving one little bit...if I could be bothered switching I would - yeah Yahoo you got me by the clangers I am staying not because I am loyal to you but because I just can't be arsed telling all my friends we are not together anymore]
Check Your Stress Levels it was telling me
So I listened
Going through the mundane click and continue routine, I figured I was sailing through with flying colors, feeling sorry for the bastards that were in the mess some of the questions were suggesting. Here I am, on vacation soon to go on a very big vacation, no break ups, no job losses, no deaths or mortgage repayments, no illnesses or physical ailments, la la la...cocky locky I was!
Till this hit me of course...

High level stress?
Take action now it told me...
Seek therapy...
Evaluate how you prioritize your time...
Initially the cockiness was shocked right out of me, then it turned to dismay and a little disgruntlement - who did Yahoo think they were telling ME I had high stress levels.
Not one to ignore advice, I did a quick scan of the room to evaluate any stressful factors...packing? ahhh do it tomorrow! bills? They'll get paid! Mess? Someone will clean it! Lack of chocolate in arms reach? I'll have to get up sooner or later!
And then I landed on them...4 big yellow parcels. Instantly I knew what I had to face and where any stress I was feeling was emanating from...
I have it good, I have it bad!
It has taken me a good 4 days [actually thats a bit of a fib...Mum has been waiting since January for her present - 4 days give or take six months] to pack these parcels, write the addresses and stack them neatly in the corner.
Swallowing hard, I packed them into a Coles bag and away I went...stopped in my tracks I realised my Japanese is so crap I could never pull this off alone without the help of my Year 12 drama training. Ripping my shoes off, I ran through the house clawing at boxes and cupbords in search of a Japanese dictionary.
That was no use, throwing it to the ground I angrily mumbled to myself while leaving the house, parcels in tow 'Well it"s a little late now isn't it...shoulda thought of this long before long have you been in this country and you still don't know how to say you want to send something to Australia...mumble mumble moan moan'
Of course what I thought would be a simple "Hello, I would like to send these to Australia" Followed by a smile, a bow and a "Why certainly mam here let me take them from your clutches and send them on their way"; turned into me slapping the parcels on the counter, the man looking at me oddly, me blurting out "Australia" in my best Japanese accent, then recieving a long winded explaination of the various services of the postal system...i think... the only 3 words I understood was airplane, EMS and mitsu - which I thought meant 3...but I looked around and couldn't see three of anything.
As the rest of the office staff began to immerge from there nooks and crannys, nose around, reply with "Osutoraria ah soo" and then dart back into their holes, I felt my body temp on the rise, my acting skills on standby and my intense need to flee the scene intensify.
After much ado about seemingly nothing, a spalsh of english, a dash of japanese, a dollop of sign language, endless forms, and serious checking it seems the parcels are in the post.
My yearly post office visit is over, I have decided when I leave the country I leave with nothing if it means I can avoid going anywhere near a yubinkyoku [see i know the word for post office, good lot of help that is...]

river deep mountain high

being the circle walker that I am, I am currently doing ANYTHING but the things on my 'TO DO' list...
daydreaming is high on the list of things I am doing instead of the things I should be doing -
funny memory:

while cooking damper twisted onto bamboo sticks over indoor open fires, for 100 hungry and excited children, watching it blacken and wondering who if anyone would touch the stuff let alone eat it...

me: "I think I read once that charcoal is a carcinogenic"

teacher mate, without hestitation: "It is."


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

One big moulding pot

Coincidentally, I reacted in much the same way when I discovered that thick, yellow, black and brown wooly mould had taken up residence behind and under every piece of furniture that we own...

Again my reaction was very Miss Universe like, when I later discovered that after donning a mask, gloves and goggles then plunging into mould destruction well into the early hours of the morning, this may be a never ending battle in which the fungus wins and we move to drier land. Just like a beauty queen I took my cause seriously. I learnt something along the way too...according to our new industrial strength dehumidifier the humidity downstairs was sitting at a toasty 80% - that is higher than most countries in the world. For example the humidity in Mykonos today is a mere 53%, Venice is sitting at 61% as is Barcelona, no mould there I bet.
If I was mould I would live in our apartment too!

Monday, July 24, 2006

i love tokyo but i am glad to go (for a while)

Coming back to a dank and dreary city after six days of the most intense rainfall I or for that matter, Nigata has experienced did not make for high spirits. As the skyscrappers and smog came into view I felt the slightest pang of something. Perhaps it was excitment, perhaps relief but it certainly wasn't the once felt rush of eagerness to get my claws into Tokyo.
With my mind on other things and other places my passion for this city has been put out by the endless rain, the need to buy a $A 500 dehumidifier to keep the wet away and stop the mould from growing and my current lack of lustre for all things ridiculous (like this calorie off aloe vera chu hi - 4% alcohol but only half the calories....I had to buy it for a photo op. Taste review: A mixed taste much like cat's piss and alkaseltzer)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

icey adventure

We descended on the ice bar tokyo like a bus of japanese tourists.
It's late so here is a photo story of tonight's awsomely icey adventure...think fun, freezing, expensive and unique.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

summer camp

as i pack and prepare for summer camp, a 6 day camp beginning tomorrow...i leave you with some pics from the past that my ma just sent me. these snaps depict my sister's erratic emotions (she was gorg though), my thick facial and head hair and the wicked 80's decor in our house.

And then the 90's hit - she started wearing stilettos with her flannie pjs and i added shocking denim hats to accompany my cheesey smile

We've come a long way...she's now the leader of a bike gang and i'm an underworld gambler...who would have known way back then that we could become so successful. Here's to many more years as partners in organised crime!!
Wish me luck on, the heat, wilderness and no internet or cell phone *GULP*

happy birthday akiko

off to freeze our butts off tonight at the absolut ice bar

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

stayin alive

Originally uploaded by sushi_zume.
ah ah ah ah

midnight clean

it is a bit past one in the morning, on a school night mind you, and we are still well awake after hours of frantic spring - no summer cleaning. how it began i can't quite remember but i think the news from a friend in a high place that tokyo is believed to be hit by a rather large earthquake in the wee hours shook us into action.
there are dozens of things one can do to 'prepare' for an earthquake, but the truth is one never really knows. never really knows how strong the walls are, how many things will fall down and what exactly is going to quake. so perhaps we haven't really been cleaning for the earthquake as such, possibly we just both felt simultaneously compelled to get rid of a bit of oni before...well before tomorrow. because there is nothing to really say that there will be an earthquake. most people that i talk to believe that there is no way to predict earthquakes. and this higher source that the prediction is coming from, well it wasn't god but an insider in the shibuya city council and in tokyo that may as well be god. i decided long ago there wasn't a one almighty, all forgiving god, but if in fact there is and i am completely off base- i was only joking the other day when i powerfully thought as i was walking through shinjuku station in the searing heat with thousands of others "God i wish all these people would just fuck off"...i meant fuck off home, fuck off away from me in my slightly bad mood, not fuck off into a bottomless crack in the earth or fuck off squished under a skyscraper.

anyway our house is much cleaner after tonight's shananigans, some how we managed to throw out about seven large garbage bags of stuff.
and if the earth does happen to quake and shake in a hideous kind of way and you don't hear from me for a while...just know that i am safe and happy and remember i love you the most forever and ever! (i have got to get some sleep!)

in other news we got a new camera and new luggage for our eurotrash tour - if we keep buying new things before we get to euroland we won't be buying anything when we get there...
4 days til school camp, 19 days til we head off on our adventure and what feels like months worth of work and planning needed to be done...exciting (i have got to get some sleep!)

good night sleep tight don't let the earth open up and bite

love from d and m

Saturday, July 08, 2006

sexshi summer sangria white

Once upon a time I used to make a toxic elixir astutely names Gutter Punch(TM). The dictionary meaning of elixir states that it is a sweetened aromatic solution of alcohol and water, serving as a vehicle for medicine. As I mentioned my elixir was toxic, thus having many more ingredients than alcohol and water. The recipe fell into unworthy hands and has now no doubt been watered down since the days when it was at its most potent.
The one thing I can say about the powerfully medicinal Gutter Punch was that it certainly cured all that ailed ya. In fact the more you ingested the more almighty the influence was. I know of a man who dove head first into an inner city garden hedge from a great height after being chased by security guards. Fortunately for him he had taken a 2L road pack of Gutter Punch with him on his adventure. He walked away unscathed due to Gutter Punch's domination. I witnessed a man (a very hairy French one, thus I chose to stop witnessing rather rapidly) take every stitch of clothing off and walk freely across a frosty cold Story Bridge in the middle of a torturous winter. No extremities had to be amputated. How could this be I hear you asking yourself. G P!
See for yourself...below is an old picture of me sampling my fine wares, look closer and you shall see one of my patients in the background just prior to going into what was referred to on the street as a GP cosmosis.

These days I am a much classier lass. Gone are the days of mixing up the brew and hauling it round town in 54L plastic garbage bins, with the brand name stylishly painted on the lid with white out. These days I stick to a 4 L limit. The name has changed, the look is new and the flavour is far more... adult.
My new summer mix goes under the name of sexshi summer sangri white (new and improved). By no means a secret recipe - so let me share the experience with you.

What you need:
- Summer fruits (depressed about the lack of strawberries round town today) Lots of citrus is good - lemons, limes, oranges. Also chuck in some berries, peaches and pineapple (I couldn't be bothered chopping peaches and pineapple today so I got the canned variety, not very macrobio I know)
- Nice white wine, cheap is totally ok. In my uneducated opinion, they are all much the same until you hit a ridiculous price limit so go for the cutest bottle/ nicest label/ fav country...anything will be great. Today I was feeling Parisian.
- Dry ginger ale
- Other white spirits - today I was sticking with the euro theme I got Dita Lychee splash and Beefeater gin. In the past I have added Absolut Vodka and a peachy splash.
- Light flavoured juice. I found it tricky to get anything but OJ - I do not like to add OJ, it reminds me of vomit and it adds too much colour, taking away from the clear sparkling look.
- A clear jug so you can see all the wonderful colours.

Wash, chop and sample all the yummy fruits.

Fill the jugs with the fruits, marvel at their gorgeousness and then begin to pour the liquids in. My advice is go heavy on the grog, light on the juice. The way I see it, fruits are made of juice and it will come out of the fruit when it's good and ready.

Give the ingredients a good swish around, get it mingling. Some recipes call for a cup o sugar. I personally think it makes the divine concoction a lil too sweet, but as you like. Then whip the jugs into the fridge or freezer depending on the amount of time you have before the party.
Oh there is one more very important step. The taste test. Very important not only to sample the flavour but to be fully aware of the effects your refreshing beverage might have.
The first sip of my new batch morphed me into my 54 year old mother. I am sure this is just a phase and I will be strip teasing in the church next door in no time - just before I tottle off to this evening lovely garden party.

This is why I would be fired if I ever tried to work in any establishment that serves liquor. I successfully broke one cork screw off in the cork and fought furiously with the next for a good ten minutes. Laughing as I pretended I was opening the bottle in an exquisite french restaurant.

I only wish that big L was here to sample the sexshi summer sangri white with us

Hope the White House is treating you well big L! Come home safely!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Erotic, erotic, get your hands off my macrobiotics (sung to the tune of Madonna's Erotica)

As a child I had few goals, like many girls I whizzed around in a world of fantasy preoccupied with my own reflection in the mirror and mastering the words to the latest pop hit...I never wanted to be a princess, I never wanted to marry prince charming, had no interest in being a sports woman, didn't much like babies, never had a cabbage patch doll, wasn't interested in baking pretty strawberry cakes and I tattooed my pretty in pink barbie - what I dreamt about most was not easily attainable, but some how back then it didn't seem too out of reach. What I wanted was...TO BE MADONNA!
Lace wrapped around my head and tied in a bow, bracelets up to my elbow and little off the shoulder numbers got me even closer to my goal.
I don't have an abundance of childhood memories but I often remember Madonnarised moments. Like the time I was at an adult party minding my own business, doing kid stuff like nagging mum to let me get back in the swimming pool or eyeing off the stale chips and lollies on the table, when suddenly something so powerful hit my senses that it made everything around me melt into the floor and there I was, left standing in my own little world with a pink satin strapless dress, diamonds and gloves up to there. When I awoke from the fantasy I realised that my uncle had Material Girl playing on his crappy little ghetto blaster. It took me another 3 or 4 songs to work up the courage to go and whisper in his ear "Can you please play that Madonna song again?"
That was over 20 years ago, I don't really remember if he ever did play the song again but I know it definitely wasn't the last time I heard it.
Like the rest of the world, I followed Madonna whereever she went. I video taped her, I practised her on stage dance routines and I memorized words, poses and gestures. I even went around telling people that my middle name was Madonna - Deanne Maree Madonna.
Going to a catholic high school we had to choose a confirmation name. I knew in my heart that I should take my Nanna's name but I so furiously wanted to be Deanne Maree Madonna. That was almost the last straw. My disregard for most things church related these days has probably got alot to do with that naming debacle, now that I come to think of it.
It wasn't until 1993 that I actually got to see her in the flesh. Mum got us tickets to see Madonna live in Brisbane and we stood nice and close in the pouring rain with black garbage bags on our heads. By that stage I was 16 and it had pretty much hit me that I was never going TO BE MADONNA. I am not going to say I lost interest but my passion certainly died. I kept up with Madonna's achievements over the years, loved every one of her albums and felt her influence in various ways.
It won't be long now and Madonna will be whipping the audience in Tokyo, the final leg of her Confessions tour. I have loved her latest album over and over again and have seriously thought about seeing her once more...alas it just can't be on the top of the list.
So I have decided to have one more stab at being Madonna. Except this time there are no dance routines, I won't be wearing satin and there is definitely nothing erotic about this.

Just like Madonna, I have my own personal macrobiotic chef. The way I see it, the only difference is my meals are delivered to my door in a dirty cardboard box and Madonna's are freshly prepared for her 24/7 in an oversized gourmet kitchen.

This was tonight's I sat there chewing each tiny mouth full 368 times a strange feeling from the past swirled around. It was the feeling of having a greater power watch over me. As a child it was my mum saying to me, "Oh don't be so bloody stupid, you are not going to spew if you eat one more bean. Now just shut up and eat it or I will flog the living daylights out of you!" (This makes me laugh hysterically as I write it, most people would be scarred from such childhood experiences) Except tonight it was not my mum powering over me, it was my own conscience screaming "Oh come on, this is not going to kill you, in fact according to the broucher it's going to make you live longer, so just bloody well eat it all or I will flog the living daylights out of you!"

Lucky for me I like a non meat vegie kind of meal, but this gives new meaning to health food. None of the artificial scrumptiousness we can often become accustomed to.
The macrobiotic diet was further developed by a Japanese philosopher, and if premium health and convenience food is what you are after, or if you simply want your own personal chef like Madonna and I, check this out for more info and try here for the home delivery service.