Golden Week

Japan has this vacation called Golden Week. I’m pretty sure what happens is that there are several national holidays in the course of one week, so somewhere along the line, the Japanese government had a hey day and just decided to give people about a week’s worth of vacation. Of course, it depends on what days the holidays fall, but it’s a great vacation! And ECC, in order to be generous and keep the native teachers happy, always gives a full week’s worth of vacation, no matter what the actual Golden Week is.

So, this year, Golden Week starts on Friday and finishes on Tuesday. But for me, my vacation starts on Tuesday and ends on Tuesday. It’s truly a golden week for me, and I’m going to spend it sightseeing in Japan. One week-three cities. We’ll see how I survive. But as of right now, I’m excited!

Tuesday-Thursday- Kyoto and Nara

Friday-Sunday- Kanazawa

Monday-Tuesday- relaxing in Kasugai


They Call me Mellow Yellow

So, today, Jen and I had the following conversation. Mind you, I was innocently sitting in the living room using my computer.

Jen: So, what would you think about not flushing so much?

Rachael: uhh…

Jen’s phone rings and both of us start laughing…

Then Jen proceeds to explain the conversation to the person on the phone. Apparently, she is taking this whole global warming, save the environment thing a lot more seriously than I had originally anticipated. So, we have decided to adopt an old bathroom mantra:

If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

But, my stipulation for the whole thing is “let it mellow” for only two of three bathroom visits, then flush it down. We’ll see how it goes. Check out Jen’s blog for her stance on saving the environment, and I’ll keep updating on our efforts to minimize our carbon footprint.

“Insert Soapbox Here”

I keep trying to write a new blog, but every time I come back to my site, I’m just hit by a new slew of hater comments. I mean, who knew that one innocent blog for the amusement of my friends would cause such a whiplash in the cyber world? And as much as I’ve tried to ignore it, I just can’t anymore. I should know myself better than that. So, thus follows my commentary and thoughts about the abundance of comments on my blog.

First, let’s start with a confirmation that this is a personal blog wherein I can write my opinions on anything I want in any fashion that I want because I’m pretty sure that’s what blogs were made for. I’m not a sanctioned NKOTB fansite. I checked my credentials just in case I had forgotten or it had been changed. So, given that crucial insight, I find it a little unbelievable that people would criticize me for writing my own opinion on my own blog. I mean, if I can’t do it here, then what the heck is the point of writing this?

And speaking of that, I never claimed that my blog was researched or completely factual. I believe I started the now infamous “NKOTB” blog by saying that I heard a rumor. And why would anyone even care how well-informed I was on a blog, when I didn’t even care myself?

And what’s with all of the harsh mud slinging anyway? I mean, I don’t go around posting hit and run hate comments on the blogs of people I don’t know just because I don’t agree with what they say. I just don’t think it’s called for in any situation, especially considering I have absolutely no idea who the heck any of these people are.

Along that vein, if what so many of these fans are telling me is true and that this reunion is strictly for the music and the fans, then why the heck should they care that there are people out there who aren’t fans? I’m sure that the members of NKOTB would not appreciate the fact that their reunion tour was being supported by fans who hated on anyone who wasn’t 1000% in love with the idea of a reunion. In fact, I know that they would disapprove because I checked out their site and they have their own blog. They are, in fact, encouraging everyone to check out their new album, no matter how supportive or skeptical they are. And they’re doing it in a positive, friendly way, imagine that. I can’t imagine that calling skeptics ‘ignorant’ or telling them to ‘stay in the basement where they belong’ is a good way to help people “see the error of their ways” for doubting the success of the NKOTB reunion.

Lately, I’ve been accused of being a “closet fan.” There’s no closet about it. I said in my blog that I thought they were awesome back in the day. I was a fan when I was seven, and then they broke up, and I moved on with my life. It’s that easy. I have their greatest hits album and I listen to it every once in a while when I’m feeling nostalgic or when I go on road trips. Just because I’m skeptic of their rebanding and new sound, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like them when they were first popular. I think that there are probably just as many people out there who are like me, and don’t think the reunion is the best idea ever. I just wish that I heard more of those comments on my blog. Then we could get a lively debate going. That would a lot of fun for me and my regular readers I’m sure.

But I do appreciate the friendlier comments that have gently corrected my misconception and encouraged me to check out the new NKOTB. Or the people who bothered to read my very nice follow-up blog with their new single included. But I guess you can’t win ’em all, especially when it comes to blockheads.

And thus concludes my blog on the aftermath of my original NKOTB blog. I hope that this will be the last, and I will feel free to continue my blog on in its typical fashion sooner rather than later.

A Follow-Up

Well, apparently, the New Kids on the Block reunion is a hot topic in the blogging world today, and quite a few people took what I said a bit harshly. So, at the recommendation of some, I checked out their new single. It was a good song, don’t get me wrong, but I just think about them back in the day, and it just doesn’t live up to that image in my mind. Now, don’t go thinking that I’m dissing them or that I hate their new sound. And if you think it’s the best thing you’ve ever heard, well then, that’s wonderful for you, and I’m glad you enjoy them. But to me, their reunion feels like a movie sequel. Sequels are always great in theory, but you never quite know if it’ll live up to the hype of the first movie. So, I guess this is just a wait-and-see affair

I have this problem…

I discovered the other day the reason why I will never ever be an actress…other than the fact that I don’t have the necessary acting skills that is. And the reason is that I am completely incapable of keeping my head up when I walk up or down stairs. I found this out sort of by accident at the Kasugai train station the other day. I was trying to go down the steps while about a million people were coming up, and I nearly ran into at least five people because I was so focused on the step directly ahead of me.

At first I thought that it was kinda normal because people usually look down when they walk down steps. I mean, it’s the only smart way to keep yourself from plummeting to your death, or intense pain. But then I also noticed that I did it when I walked up stairs as well. So, I’m completely hopeless when it comes to stair usage.

And all I could think of was the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts descends the staircase in that gorgeous red dress, and I knew that my future aspirations as an actress were shot. Although, in an attempt to make myself a better human being, I have tried to get over this obsession with staring at my feet on the stairs. I usually look like a big moron, and it works better if I wear my glam sunglasses that make it difficult to discern where my eyes are looking. Otherwise, I just look like a frantic rabbit with the amount that my eyes flick up and down.


I heard a rumor that New Kids on the Block was reuniting and going on tour. Now, I have no idea the reliability of such a rumor considering the fact that I live in Japan, but I kind of hope this one’s not true. As awesome as they were back in the day, frankly, they’re just too old to even think about making a comeback as a successful boy band. I mean, they’re men, not boys after all. Two of the members, Joey and Jordan tried to establish solo careers about 8 or 9 years ago, and both were short-lived. I just don’t think that NKOTB has what it would take to keep up with this generation’s pop stars. Stay in the 90s where you belong NKOTB!

Mischief and other Childhood Memories

I’d just like to take a moment to say thanks to my parents for raising me and my brother. They really deserve a big round of applause! I was thinking about me and Curtis today, and I realized that we were really really really ornery kids!! I mean, I know that all kinds get into a small bit of trouble, but we were really a terrifying twosome practically from Curtis’s birth. I now realize how exhausting that must’ve been, especially for my mom. Here are a few of the funnier things that I remember doing with Curty:

One time Curtis and I found Selson Blue shampoo in the bathroom. Being the very creative kids that we were, we thought it would be a grand idea to pretend to be Smurfs. Mom found us running around the bathroom covered head to toe in blue shampoo. We didn’t realize that we had done something wrong.

One time Curtis and I decided that it would be a good idea to paint the dog white with the can of white house paint that we had found in the laundry room. Once again, Mom found us and the dog covered in white paint. Again, we couldn’t understand what we had done wrong.

When we were quite young, we discovered that if we wet the bed, Mom would put the mattress in the hallway to dry out during the day. Well, it was the perfect toy for us, being both a slide and a house. Needless to say, bed wetting was sometimes a problem for our parents, but I will say that it was more on Curtis’s part than my own. Sorry baby brother!

I remember the time that Curtis and I discovered that you could climb out my bedroom window onto the garage roof and then take a flying leap off the garage roof onto the trampoline which we had just happened to position perfectly right next to the garage. It took a few giggly runs up to my bedroom before Mom figured out exactly what we were doing. That was almost a trip to the emergency room for her from heart failure. We tried to tell her that it was perfectly safe, and even offered to give her a demonstration, but rooftop jumps were prohibited after that.

Or there was the time when I tried to ride the lawnmower and proceeded to ride it right into a tree in our side yard. But Curtis takes the cake on this one. He managed to ride the lawnmower into the corner of the garage, around which was no grass, only gravel driveway, which you were supposed to ride the lawnmower on anyway.

And I won’t even mention all the near-death experiences that we both had, resulting in at least three trips to the doctors and two to the emergency room. I have so many scars, it’s not even funny.

But we did have our good moments. We were always very well-behaved in public. I definitely can’t say the same for home time, but I think the real problem was that we just looked so cute that it was tough for Mom or Dad to stay mad at us for too long. I only hope one day if i have kids, that they’ll be just as mischievous as we were!