I thought I’d fill you all in on what I’ve been up to recently… What? It seemed like a good idea to me, at the time.

In Pictures? Why Not?

First: When going through some old stuff at the beginning of the month, I found the greatest “Thank You” card I’ve ever been given.

The greatest "Thank You" car I've ever received

The greatest "Thank You" car I've ever received

A little background: This was back when I was still studying Japanese at University (if you’re ever looking for a Japanese tutor round thee parts, contact me and I’ll point you in the direction of the best in the business). I had graduated the year before but I wanted to continue studying, so I kept going to the class (and paying, obviously).

I was asked by the Japanese tutor if I would mind helping out some new Japanese students (as in students from Japan) with their studies. I had no reason not to, so I agreed. A few days later, I was put in contact with a whole bunch of Japanese students. I tried to help them all out t the best of my ability. One of the Japanese students, Yuka, seemed to take it a little more seriously than the rest. We built up a rapport and, over a few weeks, I began helping her out almost exclusively.

We’d meet at <non-specific-caffeinated-drink-store> near where we both lived. We’d talk about this and that – the weather, places to go, etc. – all the while improving her English (and my Japanese, as well). Anyway, time came for her to leave for Japan – she was on an exchange programme –  and she presented me with the above “Thank You” card.

A Close up of the message portion of the card from Yuka

A Close up of the message portion of the card from Yuka

Of all the sentiments Yuka expressed, I think I like the un-intentional spelling mistake the best. It comes off completely cute, at least it does in my opinion.

The un-intentional spelling mistake just makes this card for me

The un-intentional spelling mistake just makes this card for me

Then: it snowed. Like, a lot.

I know that this might not look like much, but considering that this is the UK...

I know that this might not look like much, but considering that this is the UK...

I mean, like, a lot.

Snowman? Ha! Try Snow-Gate

Snowman? Ha! Try Snow-Gate

Then: I bought myself a new mug for work. A Muppets mug.

This is the mug compared to the size of the carrier bag I got with it. This shot doesn't do the mug that much justice, but it takes 1.5 litres of water/coffee/juice

My new Muppets mug and carrier bag.

I’d gone into the Disney store the week that  The Muppets came out over here (We had to wait 4 months, but boy was it worth it), saw this and bought it on impulse.

I remember trying to be charming and flirty with the girl that served me. But, as always it either came off creepy or stupid… no aloof would be a better word. I remember doing an impression of Kermit at one point (the video for OK Go’s version of The Muppet Theme was playing at the time), and I mentioned that my favourite Muppet was Gonzo (when she asked, by the way. I didn’t just blurt it out) and that my favourite Sesame Street character was Grover (that I did blurt out, for no real reason).

Either way, she didn’t seem offended, and I didn’t get jumped by security on my way out. So, all in all, I call that a success.

And today: I received my copy of Tokyo Jihen’s final album.

£20 for a 5 track CD, AND it has some kind of weird DRM on there that means I have to use EAC and rip at 0.5x just to get a clean copy for my iPod.  Totally worth it, though

This (and the next thing) took 4 working days to get delivered from Japan

It’s a 5 track CD, and cost me £20 (it’s listed at 1700 Yen, before tax). But it’s totally worth it. Tokyo Jihen are geniuses. It’s just a shame that this is their last album – you’re looking to hard, if you don’t spot the joke/reference on the album art.

I also got a book

OK so this was more expensive than the CD I bought with it, AND I can already play one of the songs from the album. But I'd like to learn to play the rest, too.

Dai Hakken Sheet Music

This isn’t the most expensive book I’ve ever bought, but at £30 (2800 Yen before tax) it came close.

Allegorically, the most expensive eBook I’ve ever bought (so far) cost me almost as much.

Last, but by no means least:

I ended up ordering two. That way, either I can take a friend, or I might (HA!) get a date for it.

Avenue Q! I can't wait!

Avenue Q are touring the UK this year, and I’ve always wanted to see it, so I bought tickets. Simple

I’m still waiting on my tickets to see Hugh Laurie at the Hammersmith Apollo (almost-front row, baby!) the same week as Avenue Q.

You Are, Now, Up To Date… Kinda

That’s all I can think of (and have pictures of) at the minute. So, until next time:

Have fun.


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Jamie is a .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for this blog, or writing for a blog about Retro Gaming (which he runs with his brother)