Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daisen City's Fireworks Competition

Hello everyone! Or should I say こんにちは, now that I (finally) made it to Japan... I had to go through Korea to get here. It wasn't a pleasant experience for me... I had an 8 hour flight (the time flew by on the plane), an 18 hour layover (I do not like Incheon Airport), then a 2 hour ride to Akita (seemed like 15 minutes). But I made it, and I'm loving Japan so much.

My first real event in Japan was the Daisen City annual fireworks competition. It's a prestigious competition that fireworks masters prepare the whole year for. It's when they get to show off their newest creations. It was really amazing. This year, there was estimated at over a million people attending the festival.

If you follow Japanese fireworks competitions, (which I doubt many of you do) you'd know that I'm actually posting late because the competition was on August 25. Sorry!

I'm friends with a girl from Tokyo, who actually has family that live in Daisen City. They were nice enough to pick us up from the train station and actually save spots for us (AND buy us yakisoba!). I felt so grateful. The show itself didn't start until around 6, but people were there since before 11 to claim the good seats.

When I was first planning to go to Akita, I was told that it was going to be in the rural country. When I think that, I don't picture cities at all... so I was actually really surprised when I arrived at Daisen City and actually saw a city, with tall building, etc.

This is my first festival, but from what I've seen they're all generally the same. There was great food selection, though it did get repetitive. I just loved the entire setup.

There were also games to play. Of course I played and lost...

The fireworks were gorgeous against the setting sun.

I had to contain myself and resist posting up all of my fireworks pictures! If you would like to see more, though, I'm planning to upload the raws to my flickr account. I'll get on that eventually, (when I run out of space on my memory card).

Overall, it was a good day and I'm glad I got to spend it with friends. It was a great start to my stay in Japan, and so far, Japan has not disappointed. 

And to end, I uploaded a video of the fireworks finale. (Though they called it the "finale," I don't think they understood what that meant, exactly, because they continued to shoot of fireworks for the twenty minutes we walked back to the train station...)


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blue Man Group

I know I haven't blogged in a while and I'm sorry! I'd like to say hi to all my new followers first of all and thank you for following me!
Since my last post (which was during Spring Break) I haven't really done anything exciting, which is basically why I don't have any new posts... But I did go to see The Blue Man Group in New York City!

Started my day off right with a breakfast burrito and hash browns!

Where I live at school is right across the street from McDonald's, so my friends and I went there for breakfast before leaving for the show.  I eat way too much McDonald's for my own good (and this probably won't be the last time you'll see me mentioning it here!) but I just love their breakfast menu so much!

My school is about two hours up from the city, in "lovely" Poughkeepsie. What's one of the biggest perks is that they have Broadway trips about once a month, where they provide a ticket for the show and a bus taking you there and back for only $25! As you can see, those tickets would've cost me $76 if I had bought them on my own, and the train costs an extra $40 round trip! 

I had bad tickets for this show, but that's not always the case. I saw some of my classmates got seats in the splash zone (where you have to get ponchos because you can get splashed with paint) for this show! And when I went to see Wicked, my ticket cost almost $200! So you just have to be lucky...

I wanted to go to Momofuku Milk Bar while I was in the city and try their "Crack Pie" but I didn't know we were going to get dropped off in NoHo!  Oops...

Now before any real New Yorkers get on my case, I do know how to use the subway system! I just didn't want to pay and have to rush back to the theater... So instead, I went to Trader Joe's and got some snacks... Close enough I guess. 

The theater was so tiny! The line for the bathroom took me almost half an hour... 

Despite my unfortunate lack of planning, I still had a really good time at the show. It was a lot funnier than I thought it would be! I'd definitely see it again, especially because a lot of their show relies on impromptu acting and audience participation, so you're never going to have exactly the same show twice. I had a lot of fun and I hope to catch another Broadway show before the year is over. 

xoxo, morgin

Have any of you ever been to a Broadway show before?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Rilakkuma Collection

Hello everyone! It's been a while... I've been busy with midterms and just a bunch of other junky life stuff, but thankfully I'm on break and I can relax for a little bit! And you know what that means: BLOGGING!

I love love love bears. And if you take my love of bears and combine it with my love of cute, there's one character that should pop into everyone's head... Rilakkuma! I love him. So I'm going to introduce you to my (growing) Rilakkuma collection! 

I like to keep Rilakkuma in my line of sight when I'm working at my desk. He guards my glasses as well as taking good care of my medicine! He doesn't seem so lazy after all...

Some stationary that I have. I actually had more notebooks/notepads, but I like to use them for school... Especially in subjects that I don't particularly enjoy, just so I have a nice notebook to cheer me up!

There's actually a jingle bell along with Rilakkuma on my phone. I love it because it jingles every time I move haha. You can see just how much care I take of my phone by the way this French Rilakkuma is all beat up. 

Those slippers get so much loving. I wear them everywhere! Got them from eBay at a great price, too!

I've never used the phone strap unfortunately. I'm saving it for when I find the perfect thing to attach it to. I got the Rilakkuma speaker from a very awesome person (hehehe) and he usually sits on my desk with my glasses (also from that very awesome person!) and medicine holder. The larger Rilakkuma is a backpack. It's really tiny, though, so it's pretty impractical for school. And lastly is a little plushie that occasionally finds his way into my bed for snuggles. 

I really need to add to my collection! Hopefully when I'm in Japan I'll have the opportunity to do that, but I fear that I may go a little TOO crazy if I see a store dedicated entirely to Rilak! But anyway, I hope that you enjoyed my collection! 


Monday, February 27, 2012

Obsessed with Tiny Tower

I have a pretty addictive personality. That can be good (sometimes), but it can also be very bad (most of the time). My latest addiction is the iOS game Tiny Tower. The concept is really simple. You build floors to make your tower taller, while housing "Bitizens" and giving them jobs. It's quite adorable, I must say.

I mean really... How could you not love the graphics? 

These are some of the floors you can get. (I just wanted to show off my Mapple Store!)

I currently have 47 floors and counting. There are six different types of floors you can build: residential, recreational, food, retail, creative, and service. I try to keep my floors as even as possible, but I don't think there's a penalty for having more of one type of store than the other. What makes this game really addictive to me is not knowing what kind of floor I'll get next... The detail that goes into each floor is amazing.

You can also earn coins by delivering stragglers to the floors they request via elevator. Spend your Tower Bucks upgrading your elevators. Trust me on this one.

If you're bored, or if you want to know what's going on in the minds of your Bitizens, you can always snoop around and read their Bitbook posts. The posts range from random to silly to extra sassy (especially if you put them in a job that they don't like).
I'm not going to lie. I've bonded with my Bitizens. And while it may not sound healthy, in my defense, I can bond with pixels if I want to! (My sad life with no irl friends... ) I dress them up and give them their dream jobs and make them love me. 

Here are some tips if you've just downloaded Tiny Towers:
  • Spend your bucks upgrading your elevator. Resist the urge to spend them rushing your floors or buying more coins from the bank.
  • Always try to find your Bitizens' dream job when possible. It doesn't matter if you find someone who has more skill because getting double the inventory for the same price is much better than the 9% discount you can get.
  • Try to restock the items that take longer at night, so when you wake up you can collect the coins and stock the newer items.
  • Don't be afraid to evict people at the beginning if they don't fit any of the jobs you have open.
  • You can "save" VIPs in the elevator by leaving them there. They won't run away no matter how long you take, unless you quit out of the game. You should do this if you're close to building a new floor/residential area but don't quite need the VIP just yet.
If you have any other tips, leave a comment below and let me know. 

But in all seriousness... Do not download this game if you plan to be productive for the next few weeks or so. This game will suck up all of your time and have you reaching for your iPhone every couple of seconds in order to restock your stores or buy a new floor.

And if you want, you can add me on the Game Center. My username is raptxre. I'd love to see your towers! (But no way are you going to beat me and get more floors...)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Softlips Giveaway Review

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I absolutely love to win giveaways. I enter anywhere from 50+ giveaways in a month. Though the odds are very slim that I'll actually win something, when I do get a win, it's a wonderful feeling! I was contacted by Softlips a few days ago telling me that I had won and my winnings came in the mail today.  I was shocked at how fast they came.

I was a little too eager opening my package (as you can see)...

Now, I use lip balms like crazy. My lips are still pretty dry after finishing my Accutane treatment, and the Northeastern winters don't help that very much. I wouldn't say that I'm a connoisseur of them, but I have tried quite a few brands. But this will be my first time using Softlips.

From left to right: Rose, Vanilla, Shimmer, Pearl
I feel like a noob for messing up my watermark already. But I didn't save the .PSD so I can't really fix it. Lesson learned...

You can see how shimmery these lip balms are. Even the vanilla (which is supposed to be plain) has a bit of a shimmer to it.
From left to right: Vanilla, Shimmer, Pearl, Rose

Here's a picture of my nude lips, just for comparison. Notice how dry and chapped they look. 

My lips with the rose shade. They already look like they're in better condition and they have a hint of a pink and shimmer.

My lips with the pearl shade. Not much difference from rose, but it does look slightly whiter.

Again, not much difference with the shimmer shade. You can see more of my natural lip color, though.

This is vanilla. It's the most natural looking, while adding just a hint of shimmer.

Overall, I may try Softlips again, but it wouldn't be the first brand that I went out to buy. While it's good because it has an SPF of 15, the taste of the sunscreen on my lips (especially because I'm in the habit of licking my lips a lot) is very irritating and gross.   I think I prefer my Burt's Bees tinted lip balm, but Softlips isn't a bad replacement if I ever run out.

  • Slim packaging, which makes it easy to store
  • No sticky residue
  • Good lasting power, even after eating and drinking
  • Provides sun protection!
  • Smells good
  • Strong taste of sunscreen on my lips
  • Colors weren't very bold
Overall Rating:


I hope you enjoyed my very first review post!  I tried very hard and I hope to keep improving!