Tag Archives: Japan

Ready…Set…GO!

BAM!

My final semester at university has begun! I am so excited to finally say those words, er…type those words. Haha! I graduated from high school back in 2008 and it has taken me 8 years to get this far to my final semester to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree. I know that it should only take 4 years to get your Bachelor’s Degree, but I took two semesters off to participate in the Disney College Program internship in Orlando, Florida for a year from 2010-2011. Then 2013-2014 I had to take a year off due to medical problems so that I could recover and get my health back to normal. Finally, I started classes again the Fall of 2015 and now…after all this time, I’m so close to the finish line and I’m so excited to graduate in December!

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The best news? Only two classes stand in my way of completing my goal. This last semester, I am taking “Survey of Asian Art” and “Music Appreciation”. Now why those two you may ask? Well, as an Art Major, I am required to take a Music, Theater, or Dance class and I didn’t mean to put it off until my last semester, that’s just how it happened, so Music Appreciation it was. And, I needed one more Art History elective class, and I really am a BIG appreciator of Asian culture, so I just HAD to take that class when I saw it was an option, haha!

So…please wish me luck!

– Soleil

 

An Update and Recommendations

One month late, what a slacker I am!

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Well, updates first, of course! I am not sure that I had mentioned it before, but I was hired to be a waitress at a Tavern/Bar back in March. Recently, though, I quit that job and now I have a new job! I am now a Video Game Advisor for GameStop, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!

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Also, I’ve FINALLY resumed work on my book, which I’ve been writing off and on for a few years now. My goal is to have the first draft completed by September 30th, 2016, that way I can start a brand new project for NaNoWriMo in November this year. =D

It was hard writing for awhile, with everything that was going on emotionally and mentally for me. Struggling through anxiety and medication and trying to figure out ways to handle situations that send me plummeting for an anxiety attack where pretty much my main villains when it came to story writing, because I was just SO obsessed trying to handle it, that I had a really hard time focusing on much else. Regardless, after working with my doctor and counselor to fix my medicine dosage, I am FINALLY feeling like my normal self (from before these anxiety problems started back in 2008) again, which is a huge relief and a lot of pressure off of my chest and mind.

That aside, I’ve been reading a lot. Have any of heard of the book “Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova?

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She’s done a lot of manga books, but this was her very first work I’ve ever read. I absolutely loved not only the artwork but the story as well! It was such a great read and I plowed through it in under 24 hours. If you’re looking for a book to read before the summer is over, I highly recommend this one, especially if you enjoy everyday middle school life drama for a young girl trying to fit in.

Still not sure? Here’s the synopsis for it:

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope—Peppi—Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals—the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

And, if you’re looking for anything to Netflix binge-watch, they recently added a new Japanese Rom-Com by the title of “Good Morning Call”, and is based off of the shōjo manga of the same name, which is adorable! Synopsis? Easy: A high school girl finally gets her own apartment, but she has to share it with the most popular boy in school. No one can know they’re living together. Come on, now who doesn’t love that?

To be completely honest, I’m an absolute sucker for Asian Rom-Com’s. I just love watching them so much, with their exaggerated expressions and reactions and everything, it’s just so much fun!

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On that note, I’m going to head off. I just returned home from work and, speaking of Netflix, I want to watch some more of my shows.

Cheers everyone!

– Soleil

 

 

The Daily Update: Let’s Get To The Point Here

I’ve been slacking with my posts here lately…. For the record, I promise to make a real post later today (…Saturday 9/12/15).

Also for the record, I started watching Sword Art Online on Netflix today:

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Also, also for the record: SOA is giving me all the feels! I literally just cried my eyes out for the last episode of Season 1. -sob sob!-

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Good night and look for my words again real soon!

-Soleil

A Night In The City!

Whelp, I’m an idiot and almost got ran over my a cab. No worries! I’m fine. But seriously, I crossed one street and for some reason thought it was okay to cross the next, except it wasn’t. So, I saw the cab coming at me, not even trying to slow down, and managed to leap back onto the curb. Whew!

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Of course I did joke to Kels afterwards (she went to Philly with me tonight) that if I was going to be hit by a car, that was the intersection to do it at because that was the intersection where the Jefferson Hospital was. At least I’d be admitted somewhat quickly. XD

Uh…anyway, I went to Philadelphia tonight with Kels to go to my favorite ramen shop: Hiro Ramen. It’s delicious as ever! Then, we walked around for awhile trying to find someplace to buy a sweet treat as a desert but everything was closed!

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Even the Starbucks was closed at 9PM on a Friday night! I know for a fact that the Starbucks by where I live is open until 11PM on Friday nights, so why was the one in the city closed so early??? …I have no idea, but it was disappointing.

So, Kels and I ended up wandering around the Arts District until we found: Capogiro!

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This place, by the way, is a Gelato Artisan and is rated #1 in the World by National Geographic! Needless to say, the gelato here is outstanding! I ordered a chocolate caramel medio gelato. Yum! Here’s a pic (-wink wink-):

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Ah…it was so good. I want another. -sigh-

Well, needless to say I’ll probably plan another trip back. I do want to get to the Philadelphia Art Museum before the Impressionists exhibit closes in September. It features work by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet, and Pissarro. Those are all some of my very favorite artists! -swoons-
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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

What’s In A Name?: A Custom Design Commission!

Today I finished painting the name onto the boat, as I had planned. So….TA-DA:

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Since the sailboat is a Western White Potter sailboat, they decided to name it Harry’s Potter, you know, after the Harry Potter books and movies. I’m pretty sure that I said that in my previous post…. XD

Anyway, that’s my design and they love it! So, yay! Got a portion of my payment today and picking up the rest tomorrow. I’m also going to Red Robin tomorrow to see if they had a chance to review my application and to hand in my resume. It would be nice to have a steady job again instead of side jobs. -fingers crossed here- Not that I mind side jobs. They’re fun!

For finishing my commission today, I treated myself to ramen at the ramen bar “Hiro’s Ramen” in Philadelphia again. I took my youngest brother, Jae, with me. We got there a half hour before they closed, but they were kind enough to let us come in and order. We ate as quickly as we could so as not to hinder them too long. It was delicious!

Philadelphia is pretty at nighttime because everything is lit up! Also, there isn’t as much traffic at night.

Ah, home now and it’s nice and relaxing. Mom has HGTV on and it’s one of those “International House Hunters” shows. The couple in the show is looking for a home in Warwick, England. It looks so pretty! I love those thatched roof homes with the timber-styled woodwork. -sigh- It’s so pretty.

Look for my words again soon, I’m going to do some writing.

-Soleil

An English Breakfast and an Japanese Obon Festival!

Good evening everyone! Today I was quite the foodie and had a delicous adventure. It started this morning when my Father cooked me and my family a traditional English breakfast. Here’s a photo I took before I dug in:

IMG_2174It included English beans in a tomato sauce, toast, English bacon (aka rashers), eggs made to order (I got sunny-side-up because that’s my favorite), black pudding, roasted red tomatoes (not on my plate), pork bangers, and bubble and squeak! (For our recipe to make Bubble and Squeak, see my Food Blog, Tuck In and Chow Down, here!

Later today, I went shopping with my father and found these really good herbal-infused waters:

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To be honest, I got them at Shop Rite for $1.29 each. I tried each one then decided to drink the lemongrass, mint, vanilla one first and save the lavender mint for before bed, since lavender is supposed to be relaxing/calming. The taste of the herbs is subtle and they’re more of an aftertaste than an initial taste, but they’re very good and I highly recommend them!

Later, I went to a Japanese Obon Festival. It was in Seabrook, which is in South Jersey. I carpooled with my friend Kel (not to be confused with Kels, although sometimes I slip up and call her that) and her cousin Sharon.

The festival started around 4p. There was a karate demonstration for a local dojo. I attended an “Introduction to Buddhism” inside the Temple, visited the Zen Garden in the back of the Temple grounds, and watched the Odori Dancing and the Tokai Drumming! I even took videos for you guys! But…I can’t figure out how to upload videos to my WordPress Blog! Sadness! -cries in a corner- I really want to share, too!

Ah…but I also got food while I was there. Since it was a Japanese festival, they served Japanese stall (vendor) food. I had beef and onion stir-fry over white rice:

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And Somen noodles (yum!):

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Somen noodles are a Japense thin-noodle (about 1.33 mm (think angel hair pasta or vercimelli), usually made of wheat. They are served cold and mostly eaten during the summers of Japan as Japanese summers are hot and humid and it is easy to loose your appetite by the end of the day. Somen is served in a soy sauced-based sauce (men-tsuyu) and can be garnished with your choices of grated ginger, chopped green onions, or Katsuobushi (which is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna).

“Somen is not something you normally eat at restaurants. It is truly home cooking…[an] easy one too!  You can find dried Somen noodle along with noodle sauce at many supermarkets in the US.”     –Japanese Cooking 101

All in all, today was a deliciousness-filled day! Looking forward to more adventures!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

A Wacom, Fishing, and a Pet Pocket!

Oh, apparently the time on my Wacom Tablet is wrong. It’s an hour behind. So, while I thought it was 12:44 AM, it’s really 1:44 AM! Ah…I should fix that, but I’ve already shut it down for the night. Tomorrow then…if I remember.

I decided a few hours ago that I want a fishing license. I went to the local Walmart to try and obtain one, but their hours for purchasing one are 8 AM – 8 PM, and since I showed up at 10:30 PM at night, I couldn’t get one. I did buy a new pole however (because I couldn’t untangle the one I had from my brothers’ from when we were kids) and a new bobber. I’ll have to go back in the morning to get my license. My plan is to pick up my 12-yr. old cousin and take him to lunch with Pepere, and then hopefully the three of us can go fishing afterwards. My cousin is all for the idea, we just have to see if Pepere wants to join us. I hope he will. Oh, let me mention, too, that my cousin is home for the next 5 weeks from California, where he lives with his mother. Since he’s with his Dad (my Uncle) until mid-July, I get to hang out with him. Yay! This kid is really awesome and we get along great. Makes me think of Jae, sometimes.

Oh! I’ve just remembered that I have to feed Pocket! She’s my Fancy Leopard Gecko! She’s 11 months old, almost a year! Ah, so cute! I can’t wait for her to be a year old! Here’s here picture, isn’t she adorable?

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She’s wonderful! I bought her mealworms today when I was at Walmart the first time. I made two trips to Walmart today. I bought my fishing rod during the second trip.

My hand is a bit stiff after spending the past 2.5 hours working on a piece on my Wacom Tablet. I use Fire Alpaca. Ever hear of it? It’s like Photoshop, but easier. A friend of mine from Japan recommended it to me on DeviantArt. I absolutely love it! I find it much easier to use than Photoshop, plus it’s free to download! Can’t be that price! Yay!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil