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.

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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.

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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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peko and Rudy

Taking a quick blog break from working on my Referat for tomorrow morning.
Unfortunately the presentation is going to have to be a bit boring because I didn't want to do much research for my subject, which is, well, kind of like a Tokyo FAQ. I've collected some questions a lot of people ask me (ie. How big is Tokyo? Are there actually people who push people into trains?) and tried to answer them. Auf Deutsch. Pfui!

So yes. Excuse my laziness in recycling an old Photoshopped picture of monster Peko-chan that I'm using for my Powerpoint. 

Also! I wanted to share my Toronto-based musician friend Rudy Silvamer's EP Orkestra, which he just completed. He's cute and talented. What more could you ask for?

Monday, November 22, 2010

hungry calamari

I love reading the graffiti on public toilet walls.

Although I have to say, this one kind of creeped me out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No escaping the cute

In Japan, there is no escaping the cute.

When the woman at the bank asked me if I wanted a bank card with a Winnie the Pooh motif, I mentally scoffed, then said "Yes."

What can I say? I'm Japanese.


Mini blog break from work.

Latest little monster that I drew for Zane. Die Zuckerkatze is always hungry for treats to nom.

nom nom.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kensington Fire

M and Z have left. I miss them already!

Talking to Z about our roomiehood in Toronto reminded me of the gigantic fire that burned down the house/garage directly next to our apartment. Marlowe was over, and we were eating dinner and watching Lost or something on TV. I was just popping into my room to look for something during the commercial break when I saw something orange moving outside of my window.

The house next to us was up in flames. We went around to the emergency exit to take a look (stupid), and we couldn't even step outside because it was so hot. While Zane and I ran around panicking and trying to grab things, Marlowe calmly called 911 (who was already at the site, we realized when we went outside) and pulled the fire alarm in the apartment. We grabbed our stuff, knocked on everyone's doors, and left the building. There was a great hubbub outside with three or four fire trucks and a bunch of spectators. The street behind us, where the building was burning, was too narrow for the trucks to get to, so it took them till late in the evening to put out the fire. We stayed over at Marlowe's house for the night because our apartment was kind of smokey. Fortunately, our apartment was completely unaffected and the smokiness was all gone by the next day.

Anyway, a few days later we found out that the building was a grow-op, and indeed, there were a ton of planters discarded on the property.

Also, I drew myself with a backpack on, but in fact, I'd only taken my purse. Because I'm an idiot. I don't even think I took my passport with me . . . this is how well I cope with emergency situations.

Anywho. Found a CTV article on the Kensington fire. It's weird to think that this is already three years ago!

Friday, November 19, 2010


A quick day trip to the Poland/Deutschland border for a shashlik lunch with Z and M and Mama.

I am currently in the most pathetic shape I have ever been in my life. But I kind of want to run the Berlin Marathon in 2011. My life is a stupid contradiction.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Sitting in the living room with Zane drinking cold tea and reading webcomics. Mehrdad is napping. 

The glass boys have gone home at last, and peace and quiet has been restored. One of them vaguely reminds me of a tall, burly hamster with sleeve tattoos and a baseball cap. I've never seen a tall, burly hamster with sleeve tattoos and a baseball cap, but if I saw one, it would look like him. The other one has pretty twinkly eyes and earrings.

Zane is laughing at me. Her stomach is making noises.

So yes. Here is Thor. Thor was Moses's older roommate. He apparently had some memory issues or something and hence I introduced myself to him about four times over the course of the year. He was always very nice, though, and you could hear him shuffling in the hallways. 

"He was really hunchy as well." -Zane.

He was.

(click to enlarge)

Gloomy, dark, rainy Tuesday. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Spent a beautiful sunny Sunday walking around town with M and Z. My feet are tired, but I'm a very happy person. Now to get some work done (after I blog).

I can't help but feel slightly retarded when I speak German. My vocabulary is still superlimited---there are like, five adjectives I use over and over. Everything is schön, gut, interessant, schwer, or schlecht. Otherwise, I sort of fudge it up with "na ja" and hope the other person doesn't notice.

So yes. I feel retarded, but I enjoying learning German all the same.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

colder and darker

Zane and Mehrdad are here! Yay!

The days are getting colder, shorter, and darker in Berlin, and it makes me want to go into hibernation. Back in Tokyo, when I was too cheap to pay for my heating in my apartment, I would often translate like this:

Definitely one of the perks of working from home. 

Friday, November 12, 2010


Taking a break from transcribing. I'm at my computer in my mismatching purple-and-pink pajamas with a black nose strip stuck to my face. I just saw myself in the mirror and, I must say, I look pretty stupid right now.

My ex-classmate A's birthday is tomorrow. Am taking him out for birthday brunch. Pancakes, Belgian waffles, and crepes, oh my!

But I do have to say--as much as I still enjoy birthday get-togethers and parties, nothing will ever top some of those awesome birthday parties I went to as a a kid.

Pure awesomeness.


The strong, burly men have left for the weekend, but they will be back again, bright and early on Monday.

I also forgot to mention that one of the strong, burly men slipped on the floor while he was holding a giant piece of glass and fell onto the table. I wasn't there when it happened, but they told me when I came home from school. Of course, the glass shattered and our waffle maker was smashed. But for some amazing reason, the guy was fine. Not a single scratch. I told you, strong and burly. Wow.


The other day, I found myself staring at a guy for a really long time because he looked so much like Stephen Colbert. It was really embarrassing because he caught my eye twice. Well, I hope he felt a little flattered and not too creeped out. 

Zane and Mehrdad arrive tomorrow. Exciting!

ps. Happy Birthday to Maki!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Lots of strong, burly men in the house replacing the windows in our house. They're smily and friendly.

Here's another one of my mom's weird dreams that she told me about a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

why bonsai?

I was also randomly thinking today about why I decided to call my blog 盆栽を持ってくるのだ (Bonsai o mottekurunoda, roughly re-translated to "bring hither the bonsai"). If you know where it comes from, you are awesome . . . that is, awesomely nerdy.

In any case, bonsai is a funny word.

Part 5

The uncle and aunt are here. I'd kinda forgotten what it's like having family aside from my parents. It's interesting.

(click to enlarge)

So yes. This one is about our other Kensington neighbor, Oliver, who lived down the hall from us. He was a pretty normal university-student-type guy, but we'd never formally introduced ourselves. One day he came by out of the blue and asked Zane if she wanted to watch TV with him. Uh. (Although I have to say Zane was much more polite in rejecting his offer than in the comic.)

Later on the in the year, I met his roommate who told me they had maggots or bugs or something in his apartment. He was also convinced that Moses was trying to hit on his girlfriend. It was a weird apartment building.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Literal translation

Oliver and Christine are now on their way back to Copenhagen, and my paternal uncle and aunt arrive this afternoon! Oh man. What a week!

So yes. The great thing about my friends is that they're all so multikulti and multilingual. This also leads to funny literal translations that occasionally slip into our English conversations.

I'm going to try to think of some funny Japanese literal translations that I've actually used.

Off to tidy up the guest room.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Part 4
(click to enlarge)

So yes. Eventually, avoiding Moses became an important part of my everyday life (and it wasn't easy either, since he always stood right next to the main entrance smoking weed). Whenever there was a knock at the door, I'd run into my room and my brave roomie Zane would go see who it was. And because I'm a wimp, I resort to hiding and avoiding people instead of telling them directly that I don't want to see them . . . so yes. The same kind of pickle that I'm in with my language exchange partner, except he doesn't live next door, so all I have to do is ignore his SMS. Phew.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Monster Mug 1

The first of the monster mugs is done! It's kind of difficult to see, but you get the general idea. Yay for creepy monsters!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creepy Neighbors Part 1

After I got home from school, I spent about three hours in the afternoon working on my monster mugs. I will post photos once they're fired!

So yes. I'll start posting the Creepy Neighbors series now that I've stocked up a few strips. They're based on the neighbors we had back when I lived in Toronto and particularly centered on the creepiest of them all, Moses. Moses was a hairy guy in his 40s who lived directly next door to us. We weren't ever exactly sure what he did, but he claimed that he was working in music, "doing his own thing." It sounded pretty questionable, but we didn't want to ask about it. When he wasn't playing guitar, he would usually be found by the entrance of our building smoking weed. He was harmless and generally polite, but unfortunately, you can be perfectly polite and still be very creepy. So yes. At first, I tried to avoid being caught in an awkward one-on-one situation with him as much as possible, but unfortunately, I was eventually forced to be formally introduced to him at the laundromat.

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To be continued.

Politically . . . Correct

Just met with my language-exchange partner for Moroccan food in Kreuzberg. Mmm delicious. But I dunno. He's very nice, but it's always---well, always as in, this is our second meeting---slightly awkward. Maybe it's just me. Well, he seems to enjoy my company (we hardly speak any Japanese---it's not much of an exchange, I'm afraid), and I get to speak German. Everybody is happy. Maybe. Hoffentlich.

Anyway. Politically correctness is a pretty important issue when it comes to meeting people in other countries. I've made some pretty embarrassing faux pas with my Israeli friend (thankfully she has a good sense of humour), referring to the Israeli embassy as the "Jewish embassy."Oh man. And in Germany, obviously I've completely stopped using the word "Nazi" (ie. "You're such a grammar Nazi!") because it really simply isn't very funny here. Really.

But yes. Below is a true story---told to me by Marlowe about his teacher-colleague at his English language school in Toronto.

(click to enlarge)

Basically: there is such a thing as overly politically sensitive.