Well, I know the rules of one school of flower arranging!! The Sensei did 7 different arrangements, including one gigantic tree that was ... colossal. They gave us the opportunity to make our own ... in a group of 5. The thing I learned? Ikebana is not suitable as a group pastime by any stretch of the imagination. I basically sat back and let other people cut the flowers because it wasn't worth it to bicker over the heights.
The first arrangement - roses, japanese maple, and some green leaves
Sensei with the second flower arrangement (birds of paradise and some fronds!)
6 of the 7 Flower Arrangements
Close up of the finished "flat" flower arrangement - isn't it pretty?
close up of the side-hanging arrangement
The start of the tree-arrangement (the sensei created the stand as well)
the finished tree in all it's crazy glory
Our table's flower arrangement (the only thing I'll take credit for is the height of the long cat-tail, since I actually pointed out where that should be cut) *grin*
Wednesday... I studied. Got ahead in my reading. Waited for a friend to drop off his suitcases in my room since he's just finishing a year in Japan and is headed to Okinawa for diving. At first we were going to meet at 5, then at 8, then at 10, then at 10:20, then finally 11 pm rolled around and he made it to our station. Funnily enough I didn't really hold it against him - it was still lovely to a familliar and dear face even if it was only long enough for him to lug his luggage from the station to my room.
Thursday... Sophia put on a Rakugo performance - a one man comic who made us laugh for about an hour, even though he'd learned english from tapes that he'd put together to get the intonation down. Pretty impressive, and since the guy's full time job is as a musical signer his voice and range was incredible.
Tried to see the Batman movie with my friend, but sadly we misjudged the date and it wasn't playing at the movie theatre we went to. So we went to Ni-choume (the gay district in tokyo) and had some drinks and talked instead. All in all a totally pleasant evening.
Friday's child: Nekobukuro! (Kitty-town)
Friday afternoon a friend from school and I decided we'd go pay to pet kittens! Hey, when you go through pet withdrawal, you'll do anything to catch up. The cats were absolutely beautiful, and some were even sleeping down close enough that we could actually pet them (sadly, no picking up).
They had structures built all along the walls so the cats could get out and away from us and find cool places to hang out near the ceiling.
Such a beautiful cat - just like a little white lion!!
Last night I got a roommate! A friend from Texas needed a place to crash for a couple of days, so now I have a roomie - and last night was his night to grin and goof around with his Tokyo friends (and he of course invited me and the friend from school). We landed in one of those tiny places in Shibuya that makes fantastic food and brings you lots of drinks (all of which are... well, not as cheep as they could be). Hilariously some of Blake's friends had opted not to take the class I TA'd for in fall. Apparently talking about Harry Potter on the first day of an adaptation class is a no no according to them. Other than not taking my class, they were quite lovely people and I had a great time. Oh, and I had a mahi-mahi / avacado salad to die for! Sadly I pooped out at about 11:30 pm - getting up at 6 am really puts a crimp in your ability to stay awake until a decent hour. I split off from the group as they moved to a dance club and managed to catch the last train home (yay for trains!)
Saturday's adventures: Vampire Cafe!!
Today, after my tutorial I met up with my gothy school friend and we went to Ginza to go to the swankiest goth place ever - a Vampire cafe! The menu was hilarious, we ate in a velvet-draped alcove, had to ring a bell every time we wanted service, and it was actually really good food (not the kitchy kind you'd expect from a themed place in the states, to be sure!)
The bell and the candle on our table
Coffins and electric candelabra oh my!
Our first drinks! To the left is my drink - a "Blood Clot", and to the right is my friend's drink, a "Vampire's Blood" (in the dark lighting they were both redder than they show up here, just fyi). They were soooo sweet!
The map (as it appears in the menu). The yellow sunburst is where we sat
My dinner!! A braised beef cut that literally *fell* apart, in (of course) a red-wine reduction with truffles. And yes, it was served in a coffin. Why do you ask?
and now.... to bed!!