Friday, March 12, 2010

Gotta Catch 'em All...

I find it strange how much I like to collect things. I don't think I would ever call it a hobby or anything, however I've been coming to terms with the fact that I almost subconsciously collect things. Even as a kid, I enjoyed my coin collection, was jealous that my sister had a stamp collection, and had quite the Pokemon card collection too (I know I was and probably still am quite the melvin). Thinking back to it though, there were several occasions where I was offered great rare cards if I would have been willing to part with several of my cards. It was probably quite stupid to say no, but I couldn't bare to get rid of cards that I only had one of. I've noticed that this is something that has carried over into my Magic playing. On occasion I've taken a crappy rare over an okay common simply because I didn't have that one yet. I originally started playing Magic to actually play. While playing is still a lot of fun, I don't buy packs so I can build decks, I build them in hopes for something new. You can imagine my disappointment when I pulled two of the same rares at this last pre-release. They were pretty sweet rares, but I didn't care... I wanted something new... I'm glad I've got some sort of self control or this would carry over into lolita... I'm pretty sure I'm getting at least one set of eyes rolling at that statement but I'm serious. Every time I see cheap brand on EGL_Comm_Sales I want to buy it just so I can have it. It doesn't even matter if I like it or not. I'm trying to employ that whole "Only buy it if you LOVE it" rule, but it's hard.

My studying in France has brought along a new bump in the road as far as collecting goes. Not only do I want to buy every book that sounds even remotely interesting, I have also come across easter eggs with Hello Kitty figures in them. I am always disappointed to be unable to find decent reading material in French while in the States but really when it comes down to it, I realize I don't want to read shit in French... Reading in French feels like work, whether it's easy or not.

After opening my first box of Hello Kitty eggs, I thought to myself how I'm in a way lucky to not be studying in Japan instead. Gashapon toys would probably be my weakness. As if readily available lolita clothing wouldn't have been a big enough drain on my wallet. There were 24 different Hello Kitty figurines to collect inside these little chocolate eggs. If Monoprix hadn't sold out of them, I'm sure I'd have more than 15 figures right now... I did however see the Transformers version of the eggs today... I walked away though... I've never even watched Transformers, but something about finding Megatron inside an egg was just appealing.

Picture very much related. (It's my Hello Kitty Army. Be scared.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Name is Kei and I am a Brand-Addict.

I've recently lucked into being able to get a hold of one of my three dream dresses. Two of them are the red and black colorways of AatP's Vampire Requiem short JSK's so I probably won't be lucking into them anytime soon without dropping a few hundred dollars each. Really this post is just a look what I've got post. No harm in that though right?

I'll start with my trip to Paris back in January. I went to Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It was my second time there but that didn't take away from the awesome. There were quite a few people there this time which wasn't the case last time. I guess I'm glad to see it's doing better than the one in San Fran. I tried on a few things and kind of regret not buying the Castle of Nightmare skirt in red and the Vampire Requiem bag... That would have kept me from buying all the other stuff I got. I'm not too sure I'm happy with that compromise, but regardless I am happy to have gotten what I got.

These shoes were my big purchase of the day. I'm quite happy to have them. I can't wait to wear them since I haven't been able to with all the rain and snow here.

I was kind of torn on whether or not to get this. I bought another t-shirt style cutsew from Alice and the Pirates a while back and really liked it. I really like the shirt but I guess I just feel that the stripes are unflattering. I've been debating on whether or not to go ahead and wear it out or try to sell it on egl_comm_sales.

These were my pseudo-responsible purchases. I bought the tote for my groceries and to take my dinner materials to the kitchen and back. I've used it a lot but I kind of regret not getting a black tote instead. I bought the cup with the intention of using it for tea or hot chocolate but I didn't want to dirty it T_T. It's currently housing my pens and pencils.

These were my obligatory sock purchases. I could never justify spending so much on socks online but somehow I can't say no when I see them in person. I bought the Black and White and the Black and Grey versions of the Stripes and Trumps socks. They were after all an item I had to have once I saw them online. The second pair is very sparkly. The sparkly sock they have are kind of itchy, but they are cute nonetheless. I wear them with stocking under them. While I could always go bankrupt on brand, that is all I bought that day. However, I did manage to get a hold of this parka off the egl_comm_sales around the same time.

I had long wanted the cutsew version of this parka. My boyfriend got me the Marine Rose Skirt lucky pack for my birthday this year and while I was happy to have gotten the cutsew at all, I got the white version. This kind of makes up for it though ^ ^. Too bad everything I've ordered since I left goes to my house in the US... Lastly, I would like to talk about my dream dress.

I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I was quite disappointed when I found it to be sold out. I was even more disappointed when I found out how popular it was. Popularity often means money and difficulty in lolita so I had sort of given up hope. I didn't have $300 dollars to spend on it the one time when I saw it on EGL_comm_sales. It was snatched up fast too. I put out a want to buy and everything. No luck. I saw a girl wearing it at the Otakon this year. I offered to pretty much buy it off her back. She said no and told me how it was her dream dress too. Lucky girl. I ended up picking up the pink version of the dress at the Otakon the same year. As happy as I was to have it, I'm a gothic lolita and haven't actually worn it yet. I had given up until I bought a copy of Baby the Stars Shine Bright's Fall and Winter catalogue. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it in there. Since that moment I checked for new items many times a day on their website. The moment it showed up I almost couldn't believe it. I debated over the size and decided I should get the M size over the S size and then bought it. They shipped it right away. I was quite pleased. The package arrived at my house a few days ago in the US. My mother opened it and sent me an email about a surprise. I knew there was a fair at the moment but didn't expect to receive anything since the dress was just under the limit. I was shocked to have received not only the fair item but a calendar and diary as well.

Unfortunately, I'll be taking another trip to Paris in about a month. I say unfortunately because I'm kind of low on cash since I can't work in France. I'm hoping that there isn't anything expensive that I have to have when I go visit. I'd like to have some money left when I get back home... I guess that's what I've got a job for though...

Breaking the Silence

It's been quite some time since I've done an actual blog post. I'm currently studying in France and it's been quite the experience so far. I don't really know where I want to start, but it only seems logical to start at the beginning.

I got here on the 11th. Aside from some minor annoyances caused the other Americans not wanting to take my advice once we got to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris the trip to the Gare de Lyon cost a bit more than I would have liked it too. It also took 3 times as long as my methods but that's not what this is about, however, it took me 3 1/2 hours to get to JFK by car and then 8 hours to get to CDG by plane so I wanted to minimize any further travel time as much as possible... I suppose this is where I will start complaining about my program through SUNY New Paltz. While I was still in the US, their study abroad office was just inches above useless. I only say inches above because I did actually get the papers I needed in time, but with absolutely no time to spare. I drove 2 1/2 hours to their campus for the 3 hour orientation. That is something I regret somewhat. While sitting there for 3 hours with nothing to show for it, the other Americans told me more in 5 minutes than I had found out from SUNY New Paltz during the previous months. They weren't even able to provide us with an address where we would be staying before we left. As a matter of fact they told us to ask a cab driver to take us to Batiment Stendahl, they should know where it is. No address. No description. Luckily my cab driver knew how to get here but the other Americans weren't as lucky which tacked and additional few euros on to their trip. Once we got their, the people at that building weren't even sure who we were. It took some explaining before they finally figured that we must be the people on some tiny list they had. I'll spare you the nightmare that getting my visa was for now but getting here was a bit of a nightmare.

After going through two weeks of orientation to learn about the town we had to take a placement test at the CLA. The test consisted of three parts: Written comprehension and expression (grammar was also in this section), oral comprehension, and an interview. From this test they would place you in either level A,B1,B2,C1, or C1+. The test isn't too difficult. I felt that I did poorly on the interview out of some slight nervousness. I also know I made some mistakes on the oral comprehension part due to a confusing answer sheet. Too bad, so sad though. I ended up in B2. More specifically B2.5. I was hoping for C1 and just missed it but I think that everything turned out fine since I ended up with mostly awesome teachers which doesn't seem to be everyone's luck. The classes as a whole seem to be quite easy. Oral comprehension always seemed to be my weak point though, which is what I think kept me from getting into C1. While I can understand people perfectly fine, I can't understand recorded speech to save my life. I suppose that's why I'm here though. If it weren't for that I may have tried to go up to C1. While they say that changing levels is uncommon, there have been many people who have switched up and down levels. Our class had at least 3 switch out and 3 people switch in. I suppose I've decided to let myself enjoy the break though. I'm used to working on top of a much more busy schedule than I have now. As long as New Paltz doesn't manage to screw up putting the grades into my transcript correctly, all will be well. I don't have my fingers crossed though. Anyway, I suppose that's the beginning. I'll try to make this a more regular thing...

Saturday, March 6, 2010