Jul. 6th, 2010 02:14 am
spiderpig: (Default)
Originally posted at my other blog

Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin, at the Benesse House beach.

Back in February, or was it March, I made a 10 day trip around Japan's middle kingdom. One of the stops, was Naoshima of Kagoshima Prefecture, famed for being an art-island.


One of the houses in the Art House project. I've packed away my Naoshima books (I bought so many!) so I can't refer to them to find the specific names. I know there's the internet, but somehow I'd like to flip through the catalogs and read up more information that way.

Another Art House project; this time James Turrell's (who also has an installation in the Chichu Art Museum) Darkside of the Moon. One of my favourite installations. I have a soft spot for art pieces involving shadows and darkness, as cliche as that sounds.



It was a cloudy day when I went, and for short periods of time, the rain decided to have sporadic bursts around the island, and it was a bit of an ordeal trudging about in the winter wind. But there was something very calming about the island, and the weather. It was full of people, but not crowded and never once did I feel that there were too many people in one place. Walking about the island and discovering places not on the map, visiting the Art Houses, tip-toeing through the two main museums, I felt that I could live here and that I'd love to live here. One day I'm going to come back (next year?) and spend a night or two. What's the island like at night? How would the outdoor installations feel in the darkening sky?

Sadly my film photos of the island are all gone! They got mixed up with my Miyajima photos so no lovely shots of the teabowl (I had to climb the pedestal -- shhhh! -- to get the shot I wanted!) or other secret photos!

The full set of photos is here.
spiderpig: (STALKER GEEK // ariake koichi)
And now I'm back from outer space from Nagoya!

Muse was fucking epic , even though the Aichi Prefectural Gym was small (it's smaller than uh, Bishan Stadium, seriously.) and we lacked the original round stage. STILL, OH MUSE. <3 Brings back so many memories of secondary school, of JC and then performing with Yen and Sim. <3

I love how music brings people together. Worth every second of the 6 hour night train back and 6 hour night bus there. Back and there again. Here and there. Ran around the neighbouring Mie Prefecture (neighbouring to Nagoya, that is) on Sunday to grab photos of the Ise Shrine and Meoto Iwa (Husband and Wife Rock[s]) at dusk. I need to figure out a way to travel lighter. My gear is killing my back.

I need a nap before my 9am class. And also, BOBO IS IN TOWN. :)
spiderpig: (Default)

Lately, I've been feeling like this.
spiderpig: (the efficiency o this nation :: havemerc)

I feel like this right now, waiting for the right chance to come by on a Catbus. It's okay, I have my trusty book and umbrella. You can never go wrong with umbrellas and books.
spiderpig: (speed of light // hoshi no koe)

For Mindy

For my cousin!

For Yen

For YZ

For Tsu
spiderpig: (mmmmm. // ariake koichi)
Current plans until the end of the year. I think I'll travel down to Kyoto, Osaka, the Hyogo prefecture and then Hiroshima during Spring Break. Hoping to head up to Hokkaido during Winter Break.

I'm pretty psyched about Enoshima! I've got a budget of 5000yen, inclusive of travel expenses, entrance fees and food (I think I am going to pack food...). Then it's about a week's break for my wallet before I head on out to Nikko for a day.

I think I have to forfeit the Sokei baseball match because the Saiyuki Festa is going on on the same weekend, PLUS Kimi-san's Halloween party. Which I want to go for, because I haven't been to Egg Farms in a month! It seems a bit rushed.

After that it's mainly in-Tokyo exploring, with Todoroki Valley next and then I might head out to Hakone and/or Izu depending if my parents want to go to Hakone to relive 10 years ago... But I do want to hit up Takayama, and Gunma, so I'll probably have to fit that in somewhere. Man, when will the seishun 18 kippu go on sale! I needs it now!
spiderpig: (opposable thumbs :: konata)

Thailand is Yann Tiersen, dog shit, and groves of rubber trees, their thin bark echoing of eternal fearful symmetry.

The smell of dog excrement plagues my nose wherever I and it goes; my nose is not sufficiently blocked – I can still smell Tom Yum (pungent tang of lemon grass rioting in my nose, no I am not hungry) at temples. It’s funny because I am now a “Spice Girl”, according to Pi Wit.

Cont'd )

Note: Have yet to process most of the photos so, it's pretty picture-less for now!
spiderpig: (!!!!!! :: persona 3)
I'm back! And exhausted. Will be locking myself up at home because I have no more clothes and I have blisters on every possible part of my two feet. Expect posts and pictures soon!
spiderpig: (Default)
Film is loaded (expired film, a gift from my brother; two more rolls of film are nestled in the suticase, a gift from Goat Shabu Shabu lovers), my iPhone has recovered and is filled with over 900 songs to last me 2 weeks (about 282mb of free space for ad-hoc recordings), just sent in my FlowTV article which hopefully will be accepted, have 3 notebooks in my bag (1 for academic stuff and 2 pocket sized ones for my diary of sorts), I am still a little uncomfortable at leaving Auden behind but this is for his own good, suitcase is packed and I'm going through it one more time, I am imagining mountainous landscapes and surreal vistas. I want to scream a little right now.

I just read Dan Baum's story about being hired and fired by The New Yorker - now that's the kind of magazine or publication I would like to write for in the future. I am not and will not be, in the near future, capable of writing anything as intelligent and compelling like the things in The New York Times or The New Yorker, but I hope that someday, after years of putting pen to paper - or in this case, fingers to keyboard - I'll be able to write with flair and distinctive style.

I was at TCO's potluck and I felt like an outsider. This is not to say that TCO has such at atmosphere, it is nothing like that. TCO is wonderfully warm and challenged me in so many more ways that well, other publications do. It's a different spin on things and something that I appreciate. Still, I have this phobia of socializing. And I felt sufficiently unaccomplished because well, I haven't had any of my stories published. Not sad, just unaccomplished.

But it was a fun night. Talked to Jon about Buddhism and the Buddhism programme, watched American Idol and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader with Dr Perry and TCO team.

Next day saw me getting up waaaaaay too early and hitting 3 Buddhist places before heading down to BooksActually to collect my Goat Shabu Shabu! :D Hung out there for a while before going off to meet my parents. Dr G popped by (was late, got on the wrong bus >__> ) while I was there.

FlowTV article has been giving me lots of grief too. I think I am not cut out to be an academic. Or rather, my insides would have turned inside out before I survive past the first year. It is Tough Work and I would like to labor at it still. If it gets published I will link it, if it doesn't I will post it up and learn from it.

Am bringing The Enchanter (Nabokov) and Design as Art along with me. I would like to bring another book along. Still contemplating if Umberto Eco would be a good choice. It would er, add unnecessary weight and I'm planning to raid bookstores in Thailand and Taiwan for nice old books.

Going abroad reminds me of the brief two day trip Choon and I took to Vietnam, before going on board the Hyogo ship. I remember distinctly, with the dust in my eyes and a dark-skinned lady coming up to us with books balanced on the ends of a pole, beckoning us to buy some of the cheap copies she had. We were mere facsimiles in her eyes, copies of other tourists she hoped to interest. I was more interested the men on the other side of the street, crouched over a small chess board, cigarette in hand. Horrendously orientalized images, but still so true in a strange, Kodak moment way.

I sent

I will return on the 30th, and will immediately set forth in looking for a job. Something that will give me enough time to write - aside from the novella I'm working on, I want to write an academic piece on Disney! - at my own pace: which is slow. Work because I like to work, because I like the industriousness of the Protestant ethic.

Which reminds me, must get de Botton's latest book when I get back and get my allowance.
spiderpig: (speed of light // hoshi no koe)

image from

"A natural planetarium," a voice said from somewhere in the darkness.

It's not like I was trying to be faux-dramatic over there, but really -- it was pitchblack and in the most cliche way possible.

But standing at the top deck, with the salty sea breeze (look, another cliche) pushing past my face as they raced to return back to the sea, it was beautiful. Neck tilted at an angle of 30 degrees, the position that would probably develop from sitting in the front row of cinemas too often. But in this theatre, I wanted to sit in the front row forever.

Looking straight ahead, it was nothing but endless sea and sky - as though sailing to the end of the world. But just that 30 degrees, a mere negligible cocking of the head, revealed a whole tablecloth of midnight blue with the pattern of stars.

I don't even know how to begin in trying to describe the countless number of stars I saw that night. It's the same way my camera failed to capture any ounce of its perfection. I never believed that stars could be so... breathtaking until that night. Yeah, I knew that such things existed - but they existed for other people up till that moment.

So I stood there, for fortyfive minutes or so, just singing songs under my breath, a soundtrack for falling stars and taking in the 270 (the remainig 90 degrees were the ship itself) degrees that simply surrounded me. I felt content. I could probably throw myself off the deck and float in the ocean and die happy because I'd die looking at the most perfect night sky ever.

Instead, I laid on the floor. No hair whiping my face, just looking straight up as the stars moved slowly past me. Shooting star, shock, wonder. Another shooting star, I decide to make a wish on the next one. The next one comes, and again I'm caught by surprise in the closet and can't do anything but just stare and gape.

Gave up on singing, the salt made my voice hoarse. Switched to playing Mraz on my mobile phone, muffled with the cuff of my sweater.

I wanted to fall asleep there.
spiderpig: (oh snap :: lambo)
(extracted from my moleskine)

Just saw my Japanese classmates as I was going up the escalator at Harbour Front MRT station. I was kind of hoping that I'd bump into some of Class 14's awesome people because I saw the students from other classes already in the train carriages. (The joys of being late! I get to meet people!)

Just as I was reaching the top of escalator, I saw Buu-chan, Seiya and a few other of my classmates and I immediately went, "ブーちゃん!” and when she didn't hear me, I started yelling ”セイヤ!セイヤ!!!”, hoping to catch my banchou's attention. And as I was yelling, I had this irrevocable pang of loneliness hit me (like the waves crashing against the ship's hull when we were out at sea). I wish that I didn't have school today; it's like being left behind, but worse because (of my own fault and of not my own) I didn't have enough time to get to know them better.

So when I was madly waving, I really really wanted to join them and show them around Singapore. I hate school D:

The brief convo went something like this:

私「あ、 学校へ一行ーー行く!いってっらっしゃい〜〜〜!!!」

Oh God, I'm going to miss it. All the 「アリ!アリアリアリアリ!」. The way the class calls me XD. I'm glad I got them to call me "アリ" instead of Alicia (which they mispronounced as "Malaysia" at first XDD).

I Love Class 14!!!!! Pictures will be up soon. Have to finish reading Joyce (or at least, my lecture notes) and get ready for class. I think I'm meeting my Hyogo people (the 20 Singaporeans) at Harbour Front at 4pm? To send off the Japanese students. Ahhh, I'm feeling nostalgic already. Darn. I wish I went for all the class meetings and hung out with them more. D: I'm such a retard. But at least most of my meals were with them! Buu-chan, Yone-sama, Hikki, Seiya, Junko, Airin, Kiyoshi, Metabolic (Ryuu-san), Kou-chan, Azumi-chan, Gen-chan, ahh... 24 people. I can't name them all off the top of my head. D: BUT みんながめっちゃ好き!!!


Aug. 28th, 2008 10:12 pm
spiderpig: (super sentai! :: shiawase 3chome)
The Hyogo Joint Summer Session at Sea was



In Saigon!

Aug. 24th, 2008 04:35 pm
spiderpig: (!!!!!! :: persona 3)
Hullo everyone! In Saigon right now!!

Um. That is all I guess?


Yum. Had pho for lunch, and Choon and I are heading down to this cafe by the river to chill out before dinner and then heading back to sleep.

HCM isn't as... chaotic as I expected - not as touristy as their other Indochinese counterparts but there's just something about the place. Like the way I can just walk across the street and have the monocycles just swerve around me (and have Choon shout at me to be more careful).

It's that sort of reckless abandonment that gets me in and out of trouble.

I'm trying very hard, to keep my head above water. My personality is just like this, unfortunately for myself. Naturally melancholic, weaned on Disney films and Mermaid's Saga -- the sort who would throw herself off a train-track but stop right at the last moment because I don't want to get myself sliced into a million, bloody pieces.

So yes. I'm hanging in there. Treading water, eating pho and drinking avacado juice. I suppose I pissed God off a whole lot in my last life time, because this one simply sucks. Why can't I be selfish for once and get what I want? To have my cake and eat it too?

Oh well.

Just keep swimming, swimming...


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A Tan

September 2011

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