Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Working on a poster to submit to a contest. I haven't spent this much time using Photoshop since 2004. Man! My face feels really hot. I probably should take a break. By updating my blog.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Japan is bad for my self-esteem

Just skyped with L, my translation mentor while she was having a year-end party at her office. It was chaotic, but nice. She asked me when I'm coming back to Japan, and I told her I don't know. I really don't.

Anyway. Here's why people shouldn't give clothing as a gift unless you know the person really, really, really well.

(click to enlarge)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Holiday Season in a Nutshell

Went out shopping with Mama. It wasn't quite boxing day, but sales were starting here and there and I even bought a shirt. I'm so proud of myself.

I always feel a bit restless in this after-Christmas-but-before-New-Year's period. I know the worst is over, but there's another yet to come. Christmas and New Years used to be awesome as a kid, and I don't know when I started dreading it so much.

I somehow doubt I'd be saying this if I were working a full-time job. I'll shut up now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Okay, okay, so I find him mildly attractive. Does that make me a nerd?
(click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas bloggers! Hope it's a warm, happy, stress-free one, and that you're not stuck in a wuss of a West European airport reading this using airport Wifi. If you are, I send you warm thoughts.
So what's new? I'm a proud owner of a beautiful yellow Freitag wallet. An adult wallet! I can officially bid tschüss (well no, I will still use them for other purposes) to my old coin purse. I've been looking for a worthy adult wallet for almost a year now, and this one is just perfect. wee!

So far I've been spending Christmas proofreading a 50-page translation I did a while ago. I'm just so easily distracted though. oof.

I will be back later with a cartoon!

Am back with a cartoon. Not very Christmassy, but something about capybaras are really fantastic.

Hope you had a supermerry Xmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reindeer Reinigung

Spent a good part of the morning looking into art programs in Berlin. The Masters program that I was most interested in looks über-competitive and nearly impossible to get into, but I will apply anyway. It's somewhat discouraging, but a portfolio is something to work toward and hopefully it will help me find new directions.

Onto less serious matters.

I took out Dad's reindeer costume to the dry cleaner's the other day. It was a pretty damn comical sight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Very Merry Japanese Christmas

Christmas dinner at the H residence.
KFC is actually a pretty damn legit Christmas dinner source in Japan, but people might give us weird looks tomorrow walking down the street in Berlin with a KFC bucket around dinner time.

You can even pre-order your party bucket weeks in advance in Japan. The roast chicken costs about 50 euros (and I think they only make it around Xmas). Man! Is there anywhere else in the world where KFC does this?

faux pas

9 hours straight of chatting in German. My brain is on fire.

Here's one about a really dumb comment I made to an Israeli friend of mine. Fortunately, she has a good sense of humour.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The actual Ichi the Killer film looks pretty intense, but I think I'd enjoy this slightly unhygienic remake.

Monday, December 20, 2010


A morning entry because I'm procrastinating.

My first week without school already feels empty and sad, but it is nice being able to sleep in. mmm.

My poor dad had to dress up as a reindeer for his office Christmas party. Apparently he enjoyed the attention from the kids, so he didn't seem to mind a whole lot. He looked pretty awesome though.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

bearded hipster

First day of my German exam is now over, and I'm relaxing a bit. It was snowing quite a bit in the morning, and it was nice to sit next to the heating by the window and look out at the snow while I thought about which of the prepositions to use (and in combination with which gender, and whether it was dativ or akkusativ). I counted all the answers I was pretty sure of, and it looks like I should be okay for the written part. Well. Better not speak too soon. Results come out January 10. My oral exam is tomorrow is in the afternoon, with some guy named Marcel. Maurice. Something Frenchy-sounding.

Anywho. Here's one about a recent encounter with a bearded hipster.

Maybe I do need stronger opinions.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


This weekend must have been the laziest weekend on earth. I left the house once to buy eggs, and only reluctantly. Oh, I started printing and writing my new year's cards, though. That was slightly productive, but I was basically just procrastinating because I didn't want to study for my German test. My idea of studying for my exam this weekend was watching German TV. Well, no. But I certainly could have done more . . .

Anywho. I was going through facebook photos (which is what I often do when I'm procrastinating), and I found a really funny comment by Mar's friend Q. Q is a really awesome guy with lots of obsessions, like shuffling (a kind of dance), working out, techno music, babies (yes, babies), hygiene, and meat.

This particular comment was about meat. Q eats a lot of meat. Well, he eats a lot in general. He told us once about a time when he got really hungry for a burger around 3am or so. There were no stores open, so he tried to walk through a McDonalds drive-thru, but apparently they refused to serve him and he was really upset. He's also really thin. God only knows where all the food goes. Either he's hiding it somewhere or he's got the most amazing metabolism in the world. Anywho.

It was a photo of my friends eating veggie burgers. For Q, veggie burgers is a mystery. Why would anyone eat a veggie burger when you could order a perfectly good burger? He described to me a nightmare that he had the night after he saw the photo, which basically went like this:

(click to enlarge)

"I had a dream last night about veggie burgers ZOMG! ok so I was like waiting in line at the cafeteria with 2 ppl in front. I saw a block of meat(pork, though it looks like those round blocks of smoked chicken at the deli) still there, but only 1/3 left.

When it was my turn, another worker asked what do I want on my burger. I looked at the containers and it's all veggies. I asked "What? Don't I get to choose which meat first?" And they're like "no, it's past 11pm, we don't serve meat after 11pm" I was HORRIFIED!!!! I asked why and they replied no one does.

I looked around at the McDonalds and Burger King next door and it was closed. I told them, "I still see that block of meat right there. Why don't you sell me that?" They said "It's store policy to not sell meat after 11pm" I was like "WTF, what kind of stupid policy is that?"

I was getting so worried. The thought of NO MEAT for a WHOLE NIGHT was UNBEARABLE. By now tons of ppl were in line waiting. I kept asking them to sell me what's left of the block of pork... to no avail."

Aw! I miss Q!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I think it's been long enough now that I can talk about that awkward date I had some weeks ago. He was my classmate's roommate, and though we'd met briefly at the school's Stammtisch, we'd exchanged only about three sentences. One day, when we were about to leave the bar, he casually mentioned that we should go out for drinks one day. I'd already had about four beers (the 500ml increments make it easy for me to count how many beers I have to have before I start to feel drunk (4) or my lips go numb (6), etc.), and with four beers, everything seems awesome and I generally respond to everything super-enthusiastically. So yes.

aaanyway. He called a few days later while I was on the bus, and I thought I heard "S and I were wondering if you wanted to go for drinks tonight." I wasn't up to much, so I said yes. After I got off the bus, I started to question whether he had actually said "S and I were wondering" or just "I was wondering." I eventually figured I was just flattering myself---of course it's a group thing---and so I went off to our meeting spot in blah clothes with minimal make-up.

I've never really been asked out on a date-date as an adult. I don't know how these things work.

He was the only one there. Oh bugger. It was a date. Yay, I wasn't flattering myself! I'm not entirely unattractive! Oh crap, he's coming this way. I put my hand out to shake his hand. He takes my rigidly outstretched hand and awkwardly kisses it, and motions me to hook arms. Urgh. Thinking it probably wouldn't be very polite to refuse arm-hookage, I reluctantly and awkward hooked arms with the boy and headed to the bar.

The rest of the night was actually not nearly as awkward, but there was definitely not going to be a second date. He said he would call me the next day (and he did), so I prepared myself for the call by googling "how to reject a second date."

I'm a dork. hee.

Friday, December 10, 2010

sun sun sun

Ack! I missed yet another day. I've been really lame this week!

The sun was partially out today, and we actually got to see a patch (just a patch) of blue sky for the first time in weeks! Man, is the European winter ever depressing. But well, I guess it teaches you to, er, appreciate the little things in life, like a tiny patch of blue sky . . .

Oh man. I can't wait till spring rolls around . . . mmm, springrolls.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I have an incredibly stupid fear of answering phone calls from people I don't know, or just answering phones in general. Thinking I'd be able to overcome my fear of phones by making myself confront the problem, I took a job as a customer service rep after university, only to find that it only made things worse (as 75% of the clients calling in were angry about something). Sure enough, I quit 3 months later and took refuge in the significantly less social world of translation.

And yes, I do actually cover my phone with a pillow and sit on it until it stops ringing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Tandempartner

I have a brand new Tandempartner, and I am so incredibly happy with him! Yay!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Our family friend K-san is here in Berlin, and we had a wonderful Sunday with warm meals, flea markets, and Weihnachtsmarkt in front of the Schloss Charlottenburg in the evening with friends.

Anywho. Two ex-classmates of mine have recently moved in together. I guess it's been about a month now, and it is quite apparent that the honeymoon period of roomiedom is over:

Although I've really lucked out in the past (except for a slightly inhygenic one in my first year uni), having roomies is tricky. I wonder if they've had their talk already this weekend. hee.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I'm totally dense when it comes to guessing someone's sexual preferences. As in, my gaydar is kaputt. I had this awkward conversation with a friend yesterday:

On a less awkward note, I went to the Neues Museum see some "entartete Kunst" ("degenerate art" that the Nazis had deemed inappropriate and got rid of in the 30s) that was recently dug up in Berlin. It was a cold but beautiful day out!

These guys weren't part of the "entartete Kunst" exhibit, but aren't they adorable?

ps. Nefertiti was drop-dead gorgeous. 

Friday, December 3, 2010


Oof. Spent the entire day at school today. 

After class ended at noon, I had lunch with a classmate, went back to the library to try out the listening part of the B2 test, worked on some transcription, did some more studying, went for cake with Motoki, came back to meet Andrew to go to the "Degenerate Art" talk that was being given at school. Then post-talk coffee, then home at 9pm. Phew. Man. But the talk was super interesting, and tomorrow morning we're going to the Neues Museum to check out some of the "degenerate art" from early 20th century that had just been dug up recently in Berlin.

Anywho. Today I remembered that one of my all-time favourite French words was:

I don't know what it is about the word, but whenever I hear photomaton, this is what I imagine:

An adorable camera monster. Raawr! *click*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

mehr Schnee

More snow! It was getting kind of ridiculous until it stopped a few hours ago. We got a good 25 cm or so of snow from last night and this morning, which is definitely enough for now. Some of the students were going berserk in the inner courtyard at school during break time and we had a 2nd-floor-window-to-courtyard snowball fight. Fun!

When I got home, there was plenty of snow on our balcony.

It's about -10C here, which is kind of cold for Berlin. But I remember calling my mom in Cambodia back when I was in university in Toronto. The conversation was totally nonsensical because I was all excited about the weather being wonderful and warm at 1C, while my mom was on the other end, unable to understand why I would describe 1C as "warm."

Warm is relative, indeed.


It's freaking December.

Sorry for the lack of comic today. But it's SNOWING a shit load outside for November in Berlin, and the weirdest thing is, I'm totally psyched about it. I was just out for a drink to see a friend of mine off, and a few hours later . . . SNOW! Everywhere! Fresh, white fluffiness! It's -10 C degrees and it apparently feels like -19. And yet I'm so excited. I thought I hated snow, but somehow it brings back fond memories of Toronto and childhood in the states and it made me so retardedly giddy. I can't even explain it.

New word of the day:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Went to watch Machete last night with C, A, and his roomie M.
Senseless violence, unnecessary nudity, angry rednecks, and over-the-top stereotypes of Mexican immigrants made the movie . . . freeking awesome.

But yes. This was the conversation that took place between my parents and me prior to the movie.

(click to enlarge)

ps. Holy crap! Today's the last day of November . . . how did this happen so quickly? I'm not ready for December!

Monday, November 29, 2010

more nudy! more!

People are weird. I don't need daily facebook updates on your gross-looking swollen eye or infections brought on by exotic insects. Really. Sharing deformities must be a guy thing or something.


Engrish is a beautiful thing. Even though it pisses me off occasionally, I've learned to accept it as an accidentally comedic part of my heritage. Japanese product names are fantastic. Take Mosburger, for example. What the hell is mos? Or moss, like the green stuff that grows on rocks? Kate Moss? Mossolini? (ok, I'll stop.) I'm a huge fan of Mosburger (it is--hands down--the best burger chain in the world), but I still have no idea where "mos" came from. Or the famous Calpis drink, which had to be exported as Calpico because it sounded too much like "cow piss."

I was thinking about this because I was looking at my foundation package. Nudymore. First of all, what is nudy? Is that an adjective, like "That party was totally nudy," or is it a noun, like "This beach is full of nudies"? Actually, the more I say the word, the more I actually want to use this word on a regular basis. Anyway, whatever nudy is, there's apparently more of it in this product.

Well, this is what I envision when I hear "Nudymore":


I just wiki'd Mosburger, and apparently MOS is an acronym for Mountain Ocean Sun. That's still Engrish. Yay!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mama's dream #3

My mom had a dream the other day that there were tons of maki sushi in our house. Her dilemma apparently was that she didn't know how she was going to cut it all up and distribute it to people before they went bad. Why don't I ever have dreams like this?

On another note, I discovered a young Japanese graphic designer---Kenichi Tanaka. Facebook is definitely good for something.

Anyway. He made this really wicked, thought-provoking info-graphic video about the peculiarities of Japan. I checked out all of his other videos and a lot of his other works, and oh man. Am I ever a fan.

Mr. Tanaka, you inspire me.


Double update because I have the energy.

Two of my all-time favourite words in the world:

Spanish for cardboard head.

German for gratin or casserole.


I'd never thought this was weird, but I've been debating it ever since Marlowe pointed it out to me. But I still believe that there must be people out there who used to do the same thing: as a kid, instead of wanting to play house or princess, I wanted to pretend I was freezing in the tundra or wandering lost and hopeless in the woods with my stuffed animals (children) and desperate for food.

I'm still convinced this is perfectly normal.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shell card

My mom got a Shell members card but was unimpressed.

(click to enlarge)

By the way, Happy American Thanksgiving! I might be celebrating American Thanksgiving tonight. Turkey dinner in Berlin! Is this possible?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

victory, paranoia, and epic fail

There's an ex from high school I've deliberately lost contact with, but whom I still FB stalk occasionally. Well, stalked, until he disappeared from FB.

Oh man.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

nickname chronology

I'm always amazed at how many nicknames I've had despite the fact that my name doesn't rhyme with anything. Well, except for baloney . . . that one was given to me when I was about 8 years old by a boy named Sean with whom I used to play Mortal Combat. Today, he's a huge, muscly Jersey-shore type dude.

Elementary school

Middle school

High school


2 months ago by Julian