Underground Ninja Toy Stores

January 5, 2011

Photo by Cherry Vega

I can’t remember when my love for Japanese started, but I imagine it was during my colorful raver years……which never happened, by the way……

Everything is so eye catching, that I long to know more about it. My years with Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, helped resolve some mysteries of this foreign land full of cute mascots and 1000 different kinds of Pocky, but I always long for more. Every time I come across something I’ve never seen or tried in Chinatown, I feel like I need to buy it just to further understand its meaning.

I have a favorite place to go in Chinatown that I can only refer to as “underground ninja toy store” after it became the luring key term that was described as to me, the first time I was brought there. It blew my mind.

Photo found on yelp

You walk into this place. A dull building with not much more than a pharmacy and bad lighting. Then travel down an escalator….

and end up in a basement with nothing but stores that at crammed full of reasonably priced  japanese knickknacks, accessories, plushies, stationary, video games, cute cups, and other random things that are nearly impossible to resist because of cuteness sensory overload.

Thats how I ended up with this new and unusually tall tea mug for $5.00, the other day.

Last time I was there, I noticed there was a new knickknack that I could’t even begin to understand.

This. what.is.this…? I know it says “crystal balls” but it also says “seven color”. Obviously deceiving.

I didn’t buy it, but recently Bee came back from a trip and happen to have brought it back as a gift! As if I was back in the ninja shop all over again, I was stumped by what I was looking at. I asked her what this adorable bag that could barely fill the palm of my hand, was made for. I don’t think she knew much more than me, about the mysteries of it, because her explanation was pretty much a description of the packaging.

“you put them in water and they turn into things”

then she drifted off in both, voice and eye contact.

I let them sit on my desk for a few days, then decided to just throw them into some water to see what would happen. I had no idea what to expect, and have no idea how I feel about the results. I do, however, feel like I should share as much about my Japanese discoveries, as I can. Just doing my part in down playing Americans as ignorant and unapologetic, to the Japanese, I guess.

this was how they looked as soon as I dropped them into a glass of room temp water.

Within an hour, they began to swell up a little

After about 5 hours, they kind of just dissolved into the glass. I was tired and the only thing I wanted after seeing these results, was a Shirley Temple. Unamused, I went to bed.

When I woke up, I was pretty excited to see these bouncy balls, that felt like a hardened Jello, filling the glass.

I don’t know what to do with them, but they’re pretty rad! A bag of them costs about 50 cents, so perhaps I can use them as an alternative to snow balls, in the summer time.

Lavender Lemon Cookie Sandwiches

January 3, 2011

My sacred book of lists and scribbles (also known as my journal)

A new year means a couple of new goals (not resolutions). Here’s a few from the list, that I plucked from my journal:

  • have at least 250 “highlight of the day’s” written by the years end
  • send out more postcards
  • draw more often
  • get a photo of mine put into a gallery show
  • have a weekly reason to update my blog
  • do a cartwheel in a different country
  • try recipes with ingredients I’ve never used
  • learn two new trades
  • find an excuse to wear fake eyelashes, weekly
  • order something on a menu with ingredients that I can’t pronounce
  • learn to write with my left hand
  • learn a magic trick thats more impressive than “I’ve got your nose”
  • teach my dog a new trick

This morning, sick as a serial killer, I made cookie sandwiches. I used lavender as an ingredient, for the first time ever.

This just knocked three things off of my list of goals!

my lemon lavender cookie sandwiches!

My friend Bea, had a grand plan to create something called Make Monday. I loved it! It got me excited to look at her blog every Monday. Even though she hasn’t updated since May, I still go back hoping that she’ll pick it up again. Until then, I’m taking this idea from her.

So, every Monday, plan on me making something. Perhaps a craft, a meal, or if I can’t get it together, you may end up seeing a video of me making my bed.

Heres my recipe and a photo tutorial on how to make lemon lavender cookie sandwiches. (note: you’ll see I just started playing around with my new Wacom tablet, and went a little crazy)

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One Photo From 1.1.11.

January 2, 2011

Despite the fact that I most defiantly have flu monsters crawling around in my system, I think its off to a good start.

Thank heaven for two thousand and eleven.

2010. A Photo Documentation.

December 31, 2010

I can’t believe how much I’ve shot since I got my new camera, last year. I can’t wait to do this again next year. I plan on getting many more action shots and a lot less voyeuristic ones. 2011 is going to the year I get real bold. It’s also going to be the year where I get a WordPress theme that allows me to post larger photos.

Anyway, eres a wrap up of 2010 through my favorite photos that I’ve taken within the past 12 months.

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

Rest In Peace, 2010.

December 30, 2010

This year was filled with things have permanently impacted my life. I never want to forget them. Heres a list of a few highlights:

  • My new Kitchenaid mixer
  • CANs Ege Bamyasi album
  • Learning about gardening
  • My weekend at Skate camp
  • Meeting my dad
  • Charlie, the pup
  • Discovering the shortest route to JFK by train
  • The clone tool, in Photoshop
  • Cowboy steak (steak marinated with coffee grounds, brown sugar, salt, and pepper)
  • The TWO times that chocolate almost killed my dog.
  • Northeast Kingdom brunches
  • Learning how to harvest marijuana
  • Valentines Day.
  • Learning to make my own jewlery
  • My kangaroo suit, that I got for my birthday (thanks mom!)
  • 5 hour long lunches on Tuesdays, with Bee.
  • Poaching eggs in tomato sauce
  • Learning that if you layer lipstick with powder, then another coat of lipstick, it’ll last much longer
  • Living room hang outs with James, on Chatroulette
  • Smoov-e
  • Hitting rocks that made unusual sounds

  • Learning how to edit videos
  • Ginger dipped in dark chocolate
  • Fracturing a rib, during a Mothers of Mercy/ Blacklisted show
  • Owning a chinchilla for a few months
  • Learning how to shuck oysters
  • Always getting a motivational push from Bettina May
  • Learning how to operate shot guts, handguns, and assault riffles
  • Working in a bakery
  • Creating the ShitJamesSaid twitter account
  • My trip to Ellicott City, MD
  • Not wearing pants at all for over a month
  • learning how to make royal icing
  • Knitting/ craft night failures with Sam
  • Finding the easiest way to clean a handheld blender
  • Eliminating boys who flirt by call me “tough guy” or “kid”, from my life.
  • Getting to see The Specials play, thanks to Smo.
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Going from the bar to the Today Show with Courtney
  • Phadwa
  • My dorky love for Veronica Mars
  • My introduction to Black Cat Espresso

The Catastrophe and The Calm

December 28, 2010

Remember when it began snowing and I thought it was just lovely? What an asshole, I was.

I thought it was so lovely out, that I even took a stroll out to Shake Shack and received some ice cream with my burger.

I looked down at my hands to see that the lack of blood rushing to them, had turned my fingers into a nice shade of violet. Then I saw lightening and realized it was probably serious enough to get back inside.

Now, the distance between my train stop and my front door, usually consists of a 5 minute walk.

Getting of the train in the middle of a really intense blizzard was a different story. Opening my eyes left me too venerable to letting hail, snow, and wind blind me. after having my face cut open by the weather conditions, I figured out the only way to walk home safely. Backwards. I walked down an abandoned street, backwards, in 30 mph wind. It took me a half an hour to get home.

Then I proceeded to go a bit stir crazy, in my house.

When The sun emerged, its was calm enough to go out and take a look at the aftermath. I always thought I was an anti-snow kind of girl, but I love the way it looks outside! So surreal.

 

Objects of Affection

December 27, 2010

Photo above is from my Out with the Old photo project from 2009.

The thing I learned from being a fly on the wall around dudes, is that if you want to get laid by your date, you have to really not be expecting it to happen at all. Just clear the whole idea from your memory. I think I went into the holiday season with the same approach.

I was really not expecting anything for Christmas. I had really low expectations. I feel like all I deserve is coal. Well, kairo. Kairo are those little  disposable Japanese heat packs that are primarily made of coal. They last for hours and have the most adorable packaging ever. Thanks to my Floridian years, wearing two of them under my layers of clothing is necessary for daily survival in this weather.

I ended up buying a ton of them as a gift to myself. Then I started receiving the most amazing things in the mail! I had a really amazing Christmas. I got the following:

A KitchenAid, from my mom!

If I had the option of trading my arm for something more useful, I would trade it out for this attachment. Its made everything I do in the kitchen so much easier.

A Wacom tablet from my siblings

Tins, from  James

Candy, from his dietary restrictions.

Abest friend, from Atlanta. (so what if he’s not an object)

A Christmas card that looked as though it had been shot at by a bedazzler, from Nixon.

A few pairs of really comfy sock slippers and a few really endearing Christmas cards, from my nana and great aunt.

Betsy Johnson lingerie, from a secret someone.

and some of my favorite perfume to go along with it.

Twin massive bottles of lavender soap, from TC.

a new adorable keychain, from Twinkie Chan

a Leica R3 rental (shot with my new 50mm), from Frank

This long feathered earring, from Gala. Along with the bone barrette that I made, I feel like a very fancy indian, sometimes.

And a very goofy Indian, at others.

The only gift that I can’t take photos of, is my trip to Thailand and Vietnam, that will be happening in February!  What an exciting gift to segue me into the new year!

Although I brag, I know its not about the gifts as much as the people who gave them to me. Everything I received is about to get some heavy usage (except for the candy, which is already gone and the friend who, again, is not an object.) and I’m going to be able to be reminded of where and who it came from , on a daily basis. I’m an unbelievably lucky girl with some really amazing friends and family.

What did you guys get for Christmas?!

 

Its Snowing!

December 26, 2010

Christmas Labor

December 24, 2010

Its not JUST santa and his elves that slave around in anticipation for tomorrow. Santa is a man who has a lot of average shmucks working ridiculous jobs over the holiday season, as well. While walking around Midtown, yesterday, I found some pretty dedicated Christmas workers.

A breakdancing reindeer (a.k.a. your friend from high schools dad); Minnie Mouse in Santa suit (a.k.a. an immigrant working the street)

My best guess for what these people were, were Sugar Plums. The fact that they refused to speak and that I’ve never seen a sugar plum only makes my theory more factual.

The Salvation Army was out doing that thing they do every year while you’re waiting for someone outside of a store. Ringing that damn bell until you cave and give them a dollar just for a few seconds of silence. The wisest upgrade on their part, was this dashing young lad who had  decided to replace his bell with a mic to serenade me.

The man whos job was to guide you  away from a Macys fire exit and toward Santa, almost made my day. That was until AJ, one of my closest friends, saw how sad I was that no one was dressed as a marsupial. He threw on my kangaroo suit and made a lot of little kids very happy and large adults very scared, simultaneously.

What a fantastic Christmas, its been so far!

All photos were taken by Chloe Rice

Except for the last one, which was obviously taken by an elf.

This Job Blows

December 21, 2010

Let me first say, I was NOT looking at porn on the internet when I saw this photo. Nonono. I was reading a gossipbl…..well I was just bored on the intern…..some one sent me a link that….sowhat? Itsmylife!

ANYWAY point is, nothing bothers me more that a sloppy photoshop job.

So what if this broad has a bun in the oven, or if Charlie Sheen keeps her in his bathroom? Why hide the truths?! Like sometimes I don’t floss after every meal. THERE its out. I feel so much better, already!

Good Shit.

December 20, 2010

This photographic gem was taken by Ray Suen

If theres anything I like the French for, its their abuse of butter in cooking and their music. A friend once told me “French sounds like you’re taking a dump“, but when French people are singing, at least its kind of like they’re shitting roses.

Below the cut are some French bands I’ve been enjoying lately.

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Knuckle Sandwich

December 18, 2010

Well this video has made my day.

Frosted.

December 17, 2010

This has been the most stressful wrap up of a year that I’ve ever had to deal with but something about the overall frosted tone of the recent days since that weak haze of snow that we had on Tuesday, is both too calming (and slightly depressing) to let me start the panic. Heres the overall tone of yesterday.

‘Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It.

December 16, 2010

I feel like Natalie Portman is probably going to go home with an award for her role in Black Swan, this year. It didn’t involve a whole lot of dialogue, but she really did an amazing job at acting out emotions that that were beyond what you would expect from her. Emotions are a difficult thing to fake.

There was something really amazing about watching 14 Actors Acting, and it wasn’t just James Franco makin’ out with himself or Vincent Cassel recreating an amazing Gene Kelly style.

The pacing, the musical tone, and the cinematography in each short scene does a perfect job in reminding you of the catchy message of Billy May.