This week we welcome another autumn into our lives. As a thoroughly predictable human being, every September I fight the changing season, and then start warming up to the idea after reminding myself of all the things to love about fall. I finally give in (short of relocating, what’s a Portlander to do?). This years autumnal equinox is September 22, so as the rains arrive, I’ll be re-reading my annual fall list.
After spending 10 days in Japan, followed by a week in Korea, my mind is still processing the whole, amazing experience. I visited Japan in 2008 on my round the world trip, and it’s still one of my most-loved countries for so many reasons. For now, I’ll start by sharing some of my favorite Instagrams from Japan!
Frozen yogurt and freshly made potato chips, drizzled with chocolate sauce at Calbee+ on Takeshita St in Harajuku.
Japanese bookstores have a nice selection of cat magazines. Shocking how much print is NOT dead in Japan. Side note: their fashion magazines come with a purse attached!
One of the things I love about Japan is their dedication to cute (“kawaii”) culture. Socks shopping at Mighty Soxer on Takeshita St in Tokyo.
Biking in Karuizawa (& fall colors). Also love the trust factor of bike locks in Japan.
Hot coffee from vending machines – why do we still not have these?
Snow monkeys soaking in their mountain onsen in Yudanaka – one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen!
Fall colors from the Shinkansen train from Nagano back to Tokyo.
First stop in Osaka: okonomiyaki for dinner
The best aquarium I’ve ever visited. Fantastic.
Japan takes photo booths to a whole new level. Another Japan item I thought would have reached American shores by now.
We stopped by a cat cafe in Osaka. It was an… odd experience.
Worth a second visit. Golden Pavilion temple in Kyoto.
Udon in Kyoto.
Love the food “cart” culture along Fukuoka’s waterfront.
We spent our last few hours in Japan watching sumo!
Oh, hello fall… time for a new 10 things that make me happy…
1. MacBook Aaaaaair - My laptop broke last month (can we blame my lack of blogging on that? Ok, good) My sweet little Dell 710m was a trusty little lappie for almost 5 years! So after comparing newer Dells and Macs, I ended up deciding on the Air. Reason #1: It’s tiny and cute like a netbook, but still has just enough of the necessary laptop features. #2 (heh): Price. I thought about getting a Pro, but a basic Pro (same price range) is kind of the worst of both worlds. #3: this will make my occasional “work from a coffee shop” time so much easier since it’s super-light and starts up in oh 1/2 a second. I’m officially back to the dark side. The iPhone = gateway drug. apple $1299
2. Old-school FAIL – Classic Home Shopping network ladder fail, from Fail blog. It’s one of my YouTube favorites, and I still can’t stop watching it… “Actually I didn’t have it locked… it is very safe to operate…” youtube
3. Things Organized Neatly – I came across this tumblr via Swissmiss a few months ago, and still take a peak every few days. It reminds me of the scene in Amelie where her mother cleans out her purse. thingsorganizedneatly
4. New places to eat and/or drink around Portland – I love trying new restaurants… I managed to
tear myself away from my favorites go out too much this month… new places I would return to: Tabla, Muu-Muu’s, Night Light Lounge, Cabezon, Red Flag (this place cracks me up), and Broder… Mock all you want, but Foursquare is amazing for cataloging everywhere you’ve wandered into each month. Place I really want to try next: Secret Society. foursquare
5. The Shining @ Bagdad Theater – Groupon had a free Secret Screening event at The Bagdad. I knew buying too many Groupons would pay off eventually! Anyway, it was sufficiently fun… plus free beer and the movie was not as scary as I remembered it being 10 years ago. Bagdad Theater free
6. Gifting – You know when you find something that someone would absolutely love, and it’s so “them” that it’s just kind of automatic to snag it for them? Makes me happy. Excited for Christmas. :)
7. Mad Men – Yes, I know. I’m about 4 years late to the Mad Men party. Everyone has been telling me I would love Mad Men since oh, their first season. I finally checked out the first 3 episodes on Netflix and was [obviously] hooked. Thankfully I have about five months of dreary weather to catch up on Mad Men. netflix $eriously, why only 3 episodes on 1 DVD, Netflix? Why$
8. Betsey Johnson tights – To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Betsey Johnson anything. Too pink, too over the top, too gaudi. And then I ran across a 4-pack of tights (grey, grey, argyle, and black textured) in a Rue La La sample sale for Target-ish prices. Anyway, I’m a huge fan! I’ll still be giggling and/or cringing at most of their products, but the tights I love. ruelala $25
9. The XX – I got a few free songs of The XX earlier this year, and added to my Pandora station, and I’m still kind of obsessed with them. amazon $6.99
10. Portland, rain, pretty leaves… – I took this pic from the tram up to OHSU. Another reminder of why I love Portland and fall. :)
What’s on your list?