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The Geisha Anorak

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shigatsuhana
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October 4th, 2010

Yes, I'm still alive!

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I've just been so busy with other things in real life that I always forget to come here. I've had lots of kimono outings over the summer and if you're creative enough or care, I'm sure you'll find pictures of me in internet land somewhere.

My biggest news of recent times is that I finally met Duran Duran. I have been a big fan since I was 13 years old and now I'm 40 something ok? Anyways, they were great. It was so nice to finally get to talk to my teenage idols. And I don't think I would have appreciated it as much when I was 16. I would have been star-struck and tongue-tied. But now, I've mellowed, I've calmed down and I could have a decent conversation with them. It was great to reminisce with them about the old days. LOL! Yes, folks! My first Duran Duran concert was in February 1984 in Seattle. I was 15 and it was the first rock concert I'd ever been to.

Duran Duran were in Birmingham doing a concert with Mark Ronson. I found out about the concert the night before and couldn't find that there were any tickets so I didn't decide to pursue the matter. The next day I tried to find out if they were doing any signings and couldn't find any. Just by luck I happened to walk down the right street after work and saw a long queue outside of Swordfish records. So, I asked the people in the queue if they were here to see Mark Ronson, they said yes. I then asked if DD would be here too, they said yes. I then phoned my husband and told him I'd be late coming home. He asked me if I was going to be a groupie! I proudly answered yes, and did he have a problem with that?! LOL!  Stood in said queue for more than two hours but met nice and interesting people along the way. Funny how old one can feel when most of the people in the queue were there for Mark Ronson and they didn't really know or remember which band was Duran Duran. Thanks to the trusty i-pod that was sorted along with the responses, Oh yeah, I know who they are now!

I had a quick peek through the window and suddenly got very giddy at the prospect of seeing the guys. Unfortunately since I didn't expect I was going to meet DD, I only had my diary for 2011 on me for them to sign on. The possibilities were endless if I would have prepared.
When I approached Nick I told him about my being at their concert in Seattle in 1984.  All of their ears perked up and they said Really??? You could see the quick look of nostalgia on their faces of a time long ago when the hysteria started. Mark Ronson was next to Nick but he was busy signing a stack of vinyl someone had brought in so I skipped him for later. Next was Simon. He was quiet and didn't say much. Then John...sigh....my favourite. Hahaha! I then told him about the concert in Seattle. He said, "Oh yeah! I remember Seattle. The Seven and the Ragged Tiger Tour. That was wild." I said "Yes, it was. I never screamed so much in my life. And by the way I apologise for the potential loss of your hearing." He laughed. I then told him that we were just priming him for going to LA which they did two days later. He said, "That was the beginning of it all wasn't it?" I agreed. Next was Roger. We had a chat about the differences/similarities in the weather between Seattle and the UK. Typically English, right! I told him that when I first moved to Birmingham my friends accused me of moving here just because it was Duran Duran's hometown. LOL!

I was at the back of the queue so I was able to get some pictures. I got a really nice one of me and Mark Ronson. I teased him and called him "My fellow American."  The one of me and John didn't turn out so well, but no matter, it's us! It took a while to wipe the smile from my face. What a great meeting. I won't say that "I can die happy now." because that is just silly. What I can do is check a big ol' mark off the bucket list! :D

January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

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I haven't been around much lately. Guess I haven't had too much to say. Horrendously busy until after the middle of January. Panto coming up and I'm not sure if I still know all of my lines and all of the songs. Yikes. Here's one of my costumes so far. Working and finishing the other one today or tomorrow.

piccys here:Collapse )

September 27th, 2009

I haven't posted in a very long time. No excuses apart from the usual ones. Last weekend went to the Japan Matsuri in London's Spitalfields Market. It was brilliant. There were so many people. Didn't get to eat my favourite takomaki, but maybe next time. :)  Pictures are on Flickr as per usual. Enjoy, and hope you are all well.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shigatsuhana/sets/72157622414982658/

August 5th, 2009

Hello folks!

For starters life has been pretty darn good! The trip to Venice in July was spectacular. I loved it so much, I'm dragging my husband there in November for a long weekend. Pics on my flickr account if your interested. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shigatsuhana/sets/72157621143524434/

Monday I finally passed my UK driving test and am now an official UK driver. What a faff. I've had my American license for 22 years now and it isn't any good here unless I go home and come back again and then it's only good for a year. If I had been born 50 miles north just over the border in Canada I wouldn't have had to take a test because a Canadian license here is fine. WTF? How stupid! Just because we dumped a little tea and told King George III to stuff it more than 200 years ago! LOL! Anywho this was the second time I took the test. I have had a provisional license since 2004 when I could be bothered.  I have been the queen of procrastination here. LOL!  I finally took the theory test back in June 2006. After you take the theory test you have 2 years to do your practical. I waited til the last moment to take my test and promptly failed it. I was far too stressed over it and not surprised to fail. I failed because I got in the wrong lane on a roundabout. I really hate driving tests! It took me three times to get my American one because I get too darn nervous. Believe it or not I am a good driver. It even says "Safe Driver" on my license.  So I re-took my theory test exam last August. And once again procrastinated about getting an instructor. So, finally when my social engagements were winding down for the summer I found myself a very good instructor and started to unlearn all of my bad habbits and learn the English way.  So the day of reckoning came earlier this week and I managed to pass it. The examinor was very kind and chatty with me. I thought I had failed it within the first 5 minutes since I nicked a curb. I thought to myself I'm just going to keep going and do my best. So before I pulled in I'd made a comment to the effect that I knew I'd failed and I'll just keep taking the test until I pass. The examinor told me not to be so hard on myself because I'd passed! Wow! What a pleasant surprise. So I'm off to Alton Towers this weekend with one of my collegues! Whoot!

Now for the niggling crap. A certain member of my family recently added me on Facebook. They promptly responded to my thread about passing my test and made a snide remark about my driving in the US when they had never actually been a passenger of mine. So I made said snide comment back. This person got all on the defensive, couldn't take a joke back and has dropped me from their friends list. Good grief! Last time I checked, I am 40 and said person is over 60 years of age. Do we really have to pretend it's high school and walk on eggshells? Nope! Not me. I'm not the insecure person I used to be. I'm well in control of my life and don't need to take crap from anyone anymore. Get a grip people! I've moved on, so should you! Just because you used to snap your fingers and tell me to jump, doesn't mean I'm doing that anymore! I don't have to take any garbage from anyone anymore.

Ok, rant over. Continue to normal programming. :)

On a lighter note I'm going to the Isle of Wight for a week at the end of the month. I so need a holiday!

June 21st, 2009

I'm not dead really

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Just really busy for the past few months. I haven't even visited LJ, let alone have time to post here. I'm going to Italy in less than two weeks so getting ready for that trip. I'm so excited. I've never been to Italy and I'm going with my best friend from school who is Italian. She has lived in Venice a few times and her mother and mother's family are all from Venice. I'm so happy to be going with someone who knows the city and speaks the language. I did buy a little phrase book, so hopefully I won't be a total foreign loser!

Started driving lessons again so need to study before my next lesson.

Right. Off to colour my hair and get a packing list ready. And must phone dad for birthday, father's day and anniversary that all fall in the same week!

April 1st, 2009

Is anybody scared YET?

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If you haven't been keeping yourself informed of what's happening in the US government, at least read this.  People have got to keep themselves up to date of what's actually happened. I am appalled that there has been no referendem on this. And even more appalled that this is so close to become the truth! Be afraid, be very afraid of HR 1388.  JFK would be rolling in his grave if he thought this is what America has come to. Goodness gracious, this is exactly the thing the government has been trying to avoid since it was created!  Do not let your freedoms be taken away with a gentle sweep of a white tooth smile!

http://www.e3gazette.com/2009/03/hr-1388-is-arbeit-macht-frei-too-strong.html

I'll spare you all of the literary comparisons and let the website tell you.

February 3rd, 2009

We had a great time in London for the Tokyo City promotion day! It was fun having so many dressed in kimono. We got quite a lot of attention and many photos were taken of us. There weren't quite as many booths as I'd hoped, but we stil had fun. The kanzashi maker was very popular. After the event we went to JapanCentre in Piccadilly for a lovely Japanese meal. This is the first time I've eaten in a Japanese restaurant in kimono! Yay! I'm glad this event took place on Saturday because now London is under a very heavy blanket of snow. 12 inches in some parts which is a rare occurance indeed. Only 5 inches at my house at it's peak. Enjoy!


This isn't all of us, there were two more dressed in kimono. The lady on the end in Furisode was a nihon buyo dancer.

More Tokyo fun here:Collapse )

 

January 21st, 2009

I am confused...

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I find it very sad when I hear so many people saying "For the first time in my life I feel proud to be an American."

Why? Because there is someone different in the White House?! What difference should that make in YOU? Being proud to be an American should come from within and the acts that you do, not what others do! As an American living in a foreign country, I always feel proud to be an American. It's who I am, not who's in government! It's how I treat other people, and how I represent my country, not someone I don't know who cares little about me as an individual. I may like or dislike what's going on politically in my own country but that's no excuse to feel poorly about myself or my fellow countrymen!  Being American is who I am, not what someone makes me. I have a sense of pride for the country, not the politics.

Don't get me wrong, the government of America has made plenty of mistakes globally! That is politicians making those choices, not me! I never feel personally embarrassed or responsible because of what some twit in the White House does! My life would be a rollercoaster of emotions if I only felt proud of who I was when there is a change in the government!

Look inside yourself and find out who you are, and feel proud of yourself regardless of what nationality you are or who governs your country! You can be proud of other people for making real changes, or being a hero, etc.

Ok... rant over....resume normal programming.

January 19th, 2009

Tokyo City Promotion

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For those of you in London on the 31st January, you may be interested in attending the Tokyo City Promotion.

Here's the link:  http://www.tcp2009.com/index.html

I will be attending with a few girls from Immortal Geisha and we wil be wearing kimono.

January 14th, 2009

Radio Show

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I'm not sure if this works outside of the UK, but you can go to this website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/local_radio/ and click the Listen Again link and listen to the Breakfast Show from today. I'm on just after 8 AM and before 8:20 AM. I think I'm fairly articulate, but I could be wrong! LOL!

The studio was quite posh. It was a very relaxing atmosphere. I might have liked a job in radio, Lord knows I can talk! :)

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