Monday, November 25, 2013

From Shibuya to Shinjuku: Closing Chapter of the Worst Landlord

Looking over the past year I haven't really changed much in appearance but especially in these last 3 months there has been some big life changes.

Namely, for the first time in 3 years I am leaving Shibuya. With Ash getting married and with child (now married and given birth to a healthy baby boy! congrats!) and my gyaru-sa no longer together, I don't really have too much of a reason to be in shibuya anymore as most of my close friends are now in Shinjuku.

For those who are planning on moving to tokyo looking for a place to live beware of a landlord named morris who often post listings on craigslist. He is a nightmare of a landlord and I warn you against renting from him at all costs. Why ash and I stayed there for over 2 years was just merely because it's expensive to move in Japan and with all the late fees he charged us (her) we never were able to come up with the money to move out until recently.

Firstly, in Japan sub-litting is illegal. We didn't know it at first but Morris is a sub-litter. Meaning he rents from someone and rents out to a 3rd party for a higher price making profit. He seemed like a good option at first because he only required a deposit and the rent was cheap for a place right in the middle of Shibuya. Sure the place was old but it sure as hell beat Sakura House's prices and size and on top of that he was charismatic and nice at the beginning. We moved in without any problems and a week after we settled in, the big earthquake hit and from then on our nightmare began.

There were many problems with many things I rather not go into all the details but in general he just never helped us with any of it. For example, our a/c broke and he didn't fix it til 6months later and we had to suffer the summer heat in our house at 37C at 80-100% humidity. It was awful. On top of that there was a pipe problem and so our shower flooded often, and the toilet kept running water. This apparently was a problem before we moved in that he failed to specify. The water bill turned to about 50,000yen for a month. We couldn't afford that and the water company went after Morris to do something about it. But he never helped us. I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture.

Ash is in charge of the rent and she was often a couple days late because at first it was hard to get a hold of him. He complained that why can't we just pay by bank transfer like everyone else. The fact is we tried but couldn't. He changed ridiculous late fees and in the final last year or so he started to get into shady methods to extort money and make our lives hell. The next part might be comical to read but it is really what happened.

In Japan you have to not pay for about 3months then get a official document to leave. Then it takes another 3 months to process a court order to really make you leave. We were never more than a week late with rent. And we always paid each month plus late fees. (which is funny he never gave receipts or actual amounts, he just made random numbers depending on his mood it seemed) He started to harass us from May of this year. Starting by locking us out of our house. But I was able to open the door by breaking locks and so on. By law he had no right to lock us out of our house if we paid rent each month regardless of it being a couple days late. Then it escalated to bigger locks. I was at home at the time so was it a properly made house, I would have been locked in but I managed to get in and out of the sliding door/window (like a ninja! yeah!) until one day winds were strong and knocked our window out of place and it broke. He was supposed to fix that but of course he didn't so we did it ourselves but he kept on tearing our fixtures apart. From the locks came him nailing boards up. over our window so we cant get in and out. (So, I took the lock out again) There have also been times he would break into our house to see if we were home several times. I can tell because he would step on things and a couple times we were home when he did that.

Around october and november came the hardest part. He started to nail our door shut. While ash and I were already planning on moving out by end of Nov, he was getting worse and worse trying to get us out faster. Ash was already staying mostly at Taiyos house and I already have a new place ready so I was just waiting til my school work quieted down before I attempted to move. But instead of only around rent time he came almost every day to board up our house. I was smart and brought a screw driver in my bag and opened up every time I came home to grab my things. But it really made life difficult. I really wasn't planning on moving til end of november but because of the circumstances I had to waste precious project time (which took a big toll on my 3rd term project) on moving my things. I could only take a little at time and I was only planning to just take a couple items one day and the boards got worse so I decided to move all my essentials out first. Unfortunately I was wearing 6inch heels and twisting my ankle on my way out. Needless to say, just when the weather was getting perfect for looking good I had to wear sneakers... which matched none of my clothes so I had to borrow jerseys... (on top of my hair finally being long enough to mori, it was summer so I had to wait an extra 3-4months to look good again and then this happened. Plus this years winter trends.... I'll get into that another day )

From that day I knew I had to get my stuff out as soon as I could but with 3rd term coming to an end projects and homework was heavy so I didn't have much time. It got worse again as he broke into our house again and stole our lights this time. You want us to move out but you make it hard for us to get our things. You want us to pay you money yet you want us out asap. Sorry but it don't work that way.

The very last day of our rent I finally was able to make it out there to do my last move. During that time one of his dogs broke in to yell at me to get out. I was already on my way out. He wanted me to clean the house like it was new as well and get out at the same time. Um sorry? You can't expect me to do all that in 2 hours. Well, the main person they were after was Ash since my name wasn't on the lease. Ash already had most of her stuff out already so I just packed my things and left too. I didn't bother cleaning since it's not like he's gonna give back our deposit (which btw, our super nice neighbour never got his deposit back. Morris knew he was leaving the country so he just made himself scarce and not answering contact.) and I wanted to show him a piece of the hell he put us through.

So now I live in Shinjuku and Ash lives in Saitama. We still phone each other often though. Things won't be the same but it's not necessarily a bad thing. We all have to grow up someday. Sometimes things happen faster than expected. But hopefully with a new family Ash will finally flourish and become more responsible. I know she works hard under pressure so surely, she will be ok. She always made sure she would. This chaotic mess was mostly due to a crazy landlord but Ash was not completely free from fault either. Her procrastination has landed her (and me in the process) in a lot of trouble with other household things on top of giving the landlord an excuse to make our lives a living hell. Hopefully for me as well, there will be some more stability in my life because I'm really tired of working soo hard only to have to work 2-3x harder just to prevent other peoples mistakes from impacting me so badly. Its just like driving. No matter how careful and safe of a driver you are, you can still get into an accident because the driver next to you isn't.

The gloomy truth of things are;

No matter how careful you are, you can still get into just as much trouble as the dare-taker next to you just by being there

Love is not all you need. Just because 2 people love each-other dearly don't mean they can be together. Unfortunately as it is, circumstances have a huge play in relationships.

Just because a person is good at heart don't mean they won't do bad things.

Just because someone is talented or smart don't mean they will be successful.

In otherwords, while hard-work and being a good person counts some, life is more at the mercy of luck than one would like to admit and circumstances/enviroment can really make or break people no matter how good or bad of a person was to begin with.

Pure-heart, and natural talent, and handwork stands nothing next to experience and luck. But no matter how short of the end of the stick you get you can only live-on and hope for the best.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oct 2013

School nearly takes up most of my life but there has been a couple times where I was able to go out and   play over the last 3 months.
Sept. 15th Dance Groove 2013
This years Dancegroove has a new spin on it. Circle politics-wise last year was supposed to be the last year since the founder has decided to let it go. However, Mikado Masa has decided to pick up the slack and revive it along with Mikado Shuuhei.

This year they collaborated with some Awa Party group. Ash and I got extremely lost getting there... so we only stayed for 1 hour. The awa party was interesting but not at all as fun as one would expect. Mostly because while I didn't mind getting soap on my clothes and hair (I wore a hat for a reason lol), I was not at all thrilled getting it shoved in my face which caused my eyelashes to fall off and ruin my makeup not to mention soap in ones eyes hurts! 

I believe it would have been much more fun drunk and if there were more sa-jin there. Though I think it was alot more fun for normal people this time. Alot of sa-jin were not thrilled with the soap in the face thing. haha 

But my highlight of the day was the purikura! I haven't taken purikura in 2 months! * SHOCK * 

Oct 14th Katie and Emi
  It was my first time meeting a couple british gals that just came out to Japan recently. Their names are Emi and Katie. The hot weather and the stress had made it kinda difficult for me to do my hair for awhile but I thought it's about time I start trying again. We went looking around Shibuya, Harajuku etc just window shopping, taking purikura and so on. It was really fun. It was really refreshing meeting up with some new gals in town. It reminded me of the fresh way I felt when I first landed here 3 years ago. I wish that we had a little more time so we could get in Katie's sushi and some Karaoke. Just a week or so later Katie also joined me at the Tokyo Decadance Halloween Special. 

Oct 15th Goth Gene
  It has been a long time since Goth gene has ran and I was really looking forward to it. But obstacle after obstacle made it kinda a drag to get to. Mainly, the typhoon. We managed to get our purikura in and take the train to goth gene safely. But when we got there there weren't many people there. The girl who calls her shiromanba Bazzooka?? some cyber goth chick was booming music so loud the floor shook. I think they were trying to make up for the lack of people? Either way it was making Ash feel sick so she had to go home early. Funny as it seemed, after she left the good parts started and it turned out to be a pretty good night. 

Oct. 19th Decadance Halloween
  Needless to say it was REALLLLY crowded. But Katie and I managed to find eachother. Also in the line, I randomly met Ash's friends Gab and Trev. I took turns hanging out with Katie, Gab and Trev and just some old friends over the times at Decadance. I had alot of fun. 

Oct 21st
  Tired as hell, I still miraculously managed to make it to help Dania and  Kate get their extensions in. We just chilled at Miami Garden and caught up. It was nice to have a breath of fresh air for once. Some time in the same week I met up with Dania again with Ryuuichi. It has been a long time since I've seen him. We went to Shisha (I dont smoke so I just chatted with them and had a drink) and then to Karaoke. We were messing around and Dania and Ryuichi sang Gasolina for me in Spanish. Again it was really nice to really play. Lately I couldn't seem to get drunk no matter how much I drank but it seems that that day I was able to finally get a bit buzzed. Must be stress? mood? probably what it was.

lol, looking at the wrong camera

Oct 31st Halloween
  I met up with Dania and company at Christon Cafe in my Toshiya costume. There I met her great friends from Cali. I was really happy that she was with such a nice bunch since last time was a disaster. They were nice and mature and even though it was halloween we had a nice relaxing night with good food. The only problem was that my feet were killing me and I could hardly walk. Serves me right for going straight for 6inch heels as soon as the weather got cold enough to look good? I really wish that Dania could stay. I need more sane friends like her. I feel like I can relax and talk about anything with her. She really understands me and is a true friend.  Come back soon ok?!

November... Really not much to say for November other than it was Hell. So There will be no Nov entry but instead a School work entry.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer is Finally Over! + School Work Showcase

Summer flew by really quickly. I didn't get to see hanabi nor did I get to show off my bikini at the beach this year but the upside of that is I got to stay inside with my lovely A/C and maintain my pale skin to live another year. Fall is upon us but I'm anxiously waiting for the winter clothes to come out because I hate autumn colors with a passion.

I think I would like to take the time to show my school work over the past half year.

The year started with a bang and my group won first place. 

The 2nd project was to make a introduction board about yourself 

Over the spring break we were to make a cd album cover based on a song of choice. The song I picked was Matenrou Opera: Eien no Blue. I picked this song because I wanted something that showed my taste in music as a whole. With its erie dark feel, emotional up and downs, amazing vocals and dramatic instrumentals, this song was prefect. In the past it would have been Rentrer en Soi: Stigmata or Protoplasm 

For Textiles class and Clothes making class we had to modify a t-shirt and bleach jeans and remake jeans into something 60s themed. I choose to remake it into a mini skirt but anyways this was not the coordinate for CM but for the Textiles class. The theme is Shibuya Rock n` Roll Cowgirl. I was aiming for a bit of a Hamasaki Ayumi feel 

This is the Photobook project for Idea Work Shop Class which is the same class as the one for the album cover was for. My Idea was to use my dolls recreate a scene for the manga I wrote about them. (sorry the 2nd photo is in reverse order haha) The photobook consists of a explanation of the story and scene, a character introduction, photostory, behind the scenes, concept work and about the author. It took forever to make this since I had to make the whole set from scratch. the studio room was not so easy to make. 
This is the object art project where we had to use objects and assemble them on a human body. My object of choice was garbage bags + air to create a dress. It was much puffier earlier.. but it turned out just fine I think. Most people chose to use other classmates as their model but I'm used to styling myself so decided to go solo on this one. 

This is the summer holiday homework for Idea Workshop. The theme was what you did over the summer holidays in the form of a photobook, colleague or object art. I kinda went with a 3D colleague. It was made from materials from my other projects over the summer, blood (yes real blood) and hair scissors. Its to show how miserable and frustrated I was during the break. So many a time I felt like throwing everything away. 

This is the bag I made from clothes making class. I slaved over this all break and it still didn't come out exactly how I wanted... but it came out ok I suppose. I like the concept I just wish a pro seamstress were to make my design for me. This photo was taken before I put in the straps I didn't get a chance to take a nice photo of the finished thing because I was so tired. The thing was the night before it was due,  I had no power so I had to stay at a love hotel near my house to finish my homework. Felt pretty awkward and lonely in a love hotel all by myself sewing away but it's kinda a funny story all together and the nice hot bath was awesome for my stiff shoulders. 

Next I am going to show my Fashion Marketing styling drawings. I rushed them all so its not really up to my standard of drawing but its good enough to convey my idea even though the body proportions are wonky. (especially the legs) I drew and color each of them within an hour. 

S/S 2013
A/W 2013-2014
S/S 2014
The first drawing I was trying to do things a little more fashion drawing style and kept things more objective but my teacher encouraged me to do things a bit more my way so that's why they suddenly look more like my normal drawing style from AW on. 

And..... For the main piece! This is the styling final project for Term 2! 

The 3 photos that were chosen for the presentation
I slaaaaaaaaaved over this too. I am such a detail maniac that I drove myself insane over things like the shade and cleanness of the gold on the t-shirt and the folds in the sash etc but it was all worth it. I didn't win first but I got alot of praise from my teachers. My Stylist Basic teacher was saying they were all talking about me in the back saying how unique my world was. 

Anyways here are the notes for the presentation in Japanese and English 

Model, Hair:CrazyTribe Orataku
Stylist, Make-up, Photo editing: Shiena
Photographer: ??
Shoulder armor, neckpiece, sash, T-shirt remake: Shiena
Shorts: Xfrm
Accessories: Coach, Baby Phat, H&M, no-brand

たくさんの間違いがあるかも、これは 使ったの プレゼンテーションのノートだ。


2013年s/s は色な面白いトレンドが出てきましたけど、一番かんどうされたのはNeo renaissance と metallic と clear そうざいでした。大学でにエロパ歴史を勉強して、ルナサンスが一番好きでしたから、今年のトレンドはネオルナサンスを選びました。最近プライベイトの時にsoul Japanのはいやりをきがつきました。そのきかけで、今回の第二タームのテーマオラサンスTybaltを生まれました。



TybaltはWilliam Shakespeare のRomeo and Juliet のえんげきのcharacterです。tybalt はJulietのいとこです。romeo and juliet はElizabeth 時代、エグリスのルナサンス代表された一番すばらしい時代にかかれました。


2013 s/sの metallic とclearそうざいトレンドのとり入れてかたアーマーとネックピースはゴルドきじの上にクリアそうざいを使って作りました。かたちは昔なふういんきで、そうざいは今です。そのかわりにティシャツとショーパンは今の形で、柄は昔のティストです。バランス的に似合うルナサンスティシャツをなかなかみつかいにくいでしたから、自分で、黒ティシャツにペイントをしました。最後にいっかついなアクセソリと赤サーシュでディテールとカラーをたすしました。赤シャーシュと赤バラ入っているワイングラスはcharacterのかのうてき の
モテルのposingはTybaltのようにしました。Tybalt はJulietのいとこです。えんげきの中で、Tybaltは良くけんかをおこしたります。ロメオの一番なかいい友だちをころしてから、ロメオはTybalt にころされます。 有名のラインはpeace, I hate the word, as I hate all Montiques and thee. 意味は平和?平和という言葉を嫌い、同じようにMontique ぜいいんとあなたが嫌いです。Tybaltはプライド高い、いっこくしゃ、narcissist,とちょっとエロさも入っているのcharacterです。いわゆるbadboyで、オラオラ系のイメージにピタリです。それで、


There has been many interesting Trends in 2013 s/s collection. The trends that caught my attention the most were Neo Renaissance and clear and metallic fabrics. While in college I studied European History, particularly the Renaissance period. That is why I chose this years trend Neo Renaissance. In my private time, I had noticed a steady rise of Soul Japan styles' popularity and thought I might like to experiment with that. From that birth Term Two's theme Oransance: Tybalt.

Theme Explanation:

Orasance is the combining of Ora Ora kei and Renaissance. From a new idea comes a new word and thus the concept Orasance was created.

Tybalt is a character from William Shakespeare' Romeo and Juliet. Tybalt is Juliet's cousin. Romeo and Juliet was written during the Elizabethan Era which is the golden years of the English Renaissance. 

Styling Breakdown:

From head to toe, I aimed to make everything a mix of renaissance and ora ora. 

2013 s/s's metalic and clear trends are incorporated in the shoulder armour and neckpiece by having a clear plastic layer sewn on top of gold fabric. The form is that of the past and the materials are that of the now. Oppositely, the shorts and t-shirt is that of the now but the pattern/motif is that of the past. Lastly, a red sash and bulky gold accessories were added to add detail. The addition of red is to bring out the subtle erotic quality to Tybalt's character. 

The posing is done accordingly to Tybalt's personality. In the play he is known to often cause fights. He killed Romeo's best friend and in turn was killed by Romeo. A famous quote of his is "Peace? I hate the word as I hate all Montiques and thee". Tybalt is prideful, hot-headed, narcissistic, wild and sexy. He is your stereotypical Bad-boy and thus a perfect fit to the Ora Ora image. Therefore through-out the photoshoot you will see a sense of self adoration, confidence, egotism with hit of melancholiness.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Long time no blog?

Wow I suppose it's been a long time since I wrote on this thing. If I had the time I wouldn't mind doing like I've always done and back track 3-7month blocks of my life as I read off my notes I write in my personal planner. Some may suspect that I may not remember much just reading 1-3 word messages in the days in my monthly planner but just purikura or those little word reminders is enough to trigger the entire night like a movie.

Unfortunately I do not have the time at the moment to be doing that. Here is why:

First a little summary of the last 8months:

I last left off my blog at about the middle of my christmas holidays in Canada. Like planned I've been back in Japan since January, graduated from language school ( I just couldn't take much more of it anymore) and started the stylist program at Vantan Design. (A fashion school in Tokyo). Since entering the school I had to adjust to some of the Japanese traditions and culture that I have been purposely avoiding since I got here. The culture shock is sometimes wearing on my patience but before I start to rip someones head off or pull out my hair in confusion as to how ridiculous it is to have manner/way of doing things almost more important than content, I always remind myself every place has its pros and cons and its not like going anywhere else will make much of a difference as I'm just a freak/ex. loner. (really it's already a miracle I able to speak and socialise to people to this degree considering where I started from) I still do not regret moving from Canada even now. The only thing that has changed is I wouldn't mind visiting my mom for a couple weeks here and there but at least there's always our nice long phone calls via phone app. Line. (It's kinda like skype but easier to use on your phone)

Alot has happened in the past 8months. I am always bogged down with homework nowadays. I am on summer holidays and I haven't left my house much aside from a couple days here and there just slaving away at my homework. But the upside is I won't have to worry about getting tanned this summer!

It has come to my attention that some people think Ai and I are still dating. To be completely clear about this, we have broken up hell... just a couple weeks past 2 years ago. I guess its misleading with all the aftermath afterwards. It has been this loonnnnnnnnnnng strange not officially together but not completely finished either for the past 1.5years. Around January we fought big time. I had a bit of a mental breakdown. It wasn't just him, but alot of things put together. Mainly just overworking myself with an insane schedule that I kept up for 1 year just lead to the deterioration of my sanity. I had a difficult time thinking properly, made some rash decisions, easily irritated and was depressed about what was going to happen to me in the future. Luke warm relationships weren't much help either. I wrote him a goodbye letter that I threw at him in tears sometime in January. (If I ever get some time I'll write about that day in detail later) But to no avail my goodbye didn't last long as I had to call upon him for some information of a past employee of his to solve some other problem involving a friend of mine as well. After that... I suppose the goodbye just became meaningless. It also didn't help much either. Alot my friends were anticipating it and thought it was good for me. It only felt good for a week and then nothing. From there we met a couple other times but eventually over time I started to loose feelings for him as he became increasingly shallow. Now we are just friends. The last time I saw him he was bragging to his customer about how put together I was like I was some sort of graduate of the Ai personality builder course. He taught me many things and made me more into a strong modern women. He trained me to be a stronger person and to care about myself a little more.

While what Ai moded me into is much more suitable for this modern society, it came with a new bag of personal image problems. I felt myself returning back to my old personality of being numb and cold towards things on top of feeling a bit masculine. I guess I mourned the lost of femininity in the process of surviving Japan's difficult conditions/rules/regulations without a loved one.  For about 3months or so I kinda fell into a bit of a groove of emotionless action. I think I sort of lost myself there.

Which brings us to now. I am recovering from this slowly by trying to remember who I am and what morals I put in place before I got here. In this dirty city I have met some remarkable people, some terrible people and exceptionally beautiful people broken by terrible people. (and of course the dull and mundane but who cares about them)

As for school, I like school. It's just stressful and I have a hard time making friends. But then again what's new? Putting aside the fact that most of them are 18year old kids, I've always been the type of person to mostly have friends outside of school anyway.

Aside from some emotional hiccups I'm in a in a much better place than I was last winter.

Back to homework, if I have time I'll catch up on this blog.