James and I just checked into our hotel in Shinjuku. It is really fancy and we will be here for the last short bit of our trip in Japan. Yesterday we went to Harajuku for the second time to do some shopping. I was allured by the fukubukuro, the Japanese “lucky bags” or “happy bags” that are sold in the new year holiday. These bags are sold at various stores for a fixed price, and contain products from that store, but you can’t see what’s inside. Pretty much like a lucky dip. The products inside are apparently worth more than the cost of the bag, but it has been said that some of the bags contain old stock that the store is trying to get rid of.
I bought two lucky bags from two different accessory stores, so I got some hair accessories and jewellery. It really is a mixed bag (excuse the pun); there are some good items and some that aren’t as good. The sales mean that it’s all quite hectic though. There were quite a few crowds and a lot of shouting shopkeepers.
Tonight we are probably going to eat at Sizzler for dinner. There are Sizzler restaurants in Australia but James has never been to one!
Just like I did last year, I am going to write a little summary of the things that happened throughout 2013.
Best posts of 2013
Before I jump into it, here are some of my favourite posts/picks of the year.
- Memories: Weezer — the time I saw Weezer live
- Can’t smile without you — who tells you to miss people?
- What I could have been — the possibilities of my future from various points in my life
- Lunches were really under $5 — my interesting experience with school lunch orders
- The twelve year battle is over. — my struggle with high cholesterol
- The day I broke my own heart — because sometimes, you have to do it.
- Fairy Dust — I share one of my longer and more recent poetic works, and read it out loud.
- The end is the beginning — when life gives you lemons
- A quote only goes so far — encourage people with more than just a pretty picture with words
- Performance Goals vs. Learning Goals — the best thing I learned in my tertiary study
- The beautiful letdown — why does it hurt more when someone you love says it?
- The twelve year battle is over. (part II) — I finally beat the cholesterol monster and started exercising more.
- I stopped taking antidepressants early this month. At first I started to get a lot of headaches, and not feel very good, but overall it was not that difficult and I never felt the need to go back.
- Some guy maimed our car and we had to buy a new one. It was about time, since our car was about twelve years old.
- Sydney had some crazy heatwave where the temperature reached about forty-five degrees Celsius. It was on the same day that the Big Day Out festival was on, and the front of the stage amongst all the people was reported to be close to fifty degrees.
- I started my Fashion Friday segment, which currently has a total of twelve posts.
- I saw Weezer in concert, and it was one of the best gigs I had ever been to. It was seriously hard to top.
- I saw Hey Geronimo twice this month, two days in a row.
- I went to An Evening with Neil Gaiman with my friend Seb, and we listened to Neil Gaiman read from his upcoming book, The Ocean at the end of the Lane.
- This month I started writing for A Music Blog, Yea? based in Canada.
- I caught up with my friend Dylan at a gig for Bullet For My Valentine, a metal band I have loved for years. I disliked their latest album but I was glad to hear some of their older songs. This was the first metal concert I had been to since my second ever concert for Avenged Sevenfold a few years back.
- This month I became a pescetarian, and ceased eating meat from land animals, because I wanted to eat less meat. I also began to dislike the taste of some meat. I still allow myself to eat fish and other seafood.
- I ran 6.06 kilometres without stopping. This is my personal record. Sadly, I haven’t been very much into running since.
- I went to the Sunrise/Today Show studio to watch The Presidents of the United States of America perform their song Lump live on television. You could vaguely see me in the background of the video clip. Which is somewhere on the internet.
- I actually went to see them in concert a couple of weeks later, and it was pretty insane. It almost topped Weezer. In fact, it probably did, considering Hey Geronimo were supporting them. But I wasn’t too afraid of the absolute grossness of the mosh pit, which was… to quote their hit song Peaches, “sorta rotten and insane”.
- I also saw Last Dinosaurs, who were pretty laid back, but wonderful to watch. They were also supported by The Griswolds.
- I finally had a chance to see Velociraptor live, a twelve-piece band of gigantic proportions… even though there were only seven of them present, they were a joy to watch. At the same gig I also met Jess, someone who would later get me into writing for Casual Band Blogger and who I would bump into at concerts multiple times and become really good friends with.
- I finally met Kim, someone I had known via Twitter and through one of our favourite bands, The Griswolds. We took sticker photos together, went to a couple of gigs and a festival together and overall had a great time.
- I bumped into Jess again, at a Jeremy Neale gig, and from there we became very good friends.
- I did Live Below The Line and lived on $10 worth of food for five days.
- I started tutoring my high school friend Anika in web design.
- I bought some cool boots this month. I always have a hard time finding shoes so I was pretty thrilled to have found some that fit really well.
- We finally got a new refrigerator. Sounds funny but it is worthy to note.
- I finally met my friend Zack, who I had known since I was a teenager. There was a large number of years during which we didn’t talk very much.
- I bought a new camera lens, which became my new favourite.
- I completed my first photography assignment for Tone Deaf, photographing The Protomen.
- It was a quiet month, and I remember getting quite stressed because I didn’t feel like studying or going to university at the time.
- I started photographing for Casual Band Blogger.
- I met Tristan (who is most adequately described as my neighbour-turned-best-friend) after a weird incident in which I nearly wasn’t let into photographing a gig (at my own university funnily enough), and after we had a conversation and realised we lived near each other and had a lot in common.
- When I went to a gig for Jeremy Neale, they played Evil Woman during the intermission and I danced a little crazy.
- I went to see a different doctor who told me that my high cholesterol I had been struggling with for twelve years was genetic. I was put on medication to lower my cholesterol.
- Tristan and I went to see Hey Geronimo, on a day when the trains were so borked we spent more time on the train than at the gig itself, but it made for an interesting retell.
- James and I went to see one of our favourite bands, Anberlin. We missed out on seeing them many other times so it was great to finally see them. They were amazing.
- My cousin Ricky arrived from Indonesia to live with us. He has been studying here and will be for the next few years.
- I ended my friendship with Zack, due to feeling suffocated and uncomfortable and being hurt. This was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
- I won tickets to the Sounds of the Suburbs Festival, from Tone Deaf, which was a bit funny because I am one of their photographers (Tristan kept asking if that was even allowed). Tristan and I went together, and also spent some time there with Jess.
- I coloured my hair black.
- Worthy of noting: Tristan took care of me when I nearly fainted.
- James and I travelled to the Hunter Valley for a day.
- I made the decision to stop photoblogging at Indecisively.me, and move my photoblog posts here, since I tend to post more photos on my blog. This is still in progress.
- I photographed two gigs in a night (The Delta Riggs and Palms). It was pretty hectic but kind of fun, and I was really happy with the results.
- I bought a new iPhone, the iPhone 5c.
- Kim came to Sydney again, mainly to see Fall Out Boy, but we went to see Lime Cordiale together.
- I lost my job in web design, but it was for the best.
- I went to Jeremy Neale’s Halloween party, which helped me forget about being unemployed.
- I got really ill this month, with pelvic congestion syndrome and a horrible pain in my abdomen that made it really hard to walk, but I got better after taking laxatives, haha.
- I finally finished my Masters degree. It was a very hectic few months leading up to November, but I was glad to be done.
- James and I went with Dom to see the ballet Swan Lake.
- Some random guy called me multiple times and sent me text messages with the hilarious begging phrase “brother please bro”. He had the wrong number.
- Tristan, Ricky and I went to see Hey Geronimo, despite being stuck on the train and later in heavy traffic in pouring rain. Thus I mutter, “shit I do for my favourite bands…”
- Australian rock band Greta Mob released their debut album Let the Sunburnt Country Burn, and featured my photographs in their album booklet.
- I started lifting dumbbells and trying to do more exercise. I stopped running as often, but I started to do more sit-ups and push-ups.
- I coloured my hair purple. It didn’t show much, except in the sun.
- James and I went to Hong Kong and Japan and had a great time. We saw the big Buddha in Hong Kong, and in Japan we visited a sample village in Gujo where we made our own food models and saw snow, Arashiyama where we rode in a boat and walked through a bamboo forest, and went to Ueno Zoo, Tokyo Disneyland and Shinagawa Aquarium.
- On the last day of 2013, James and I ate home-made soba and watched (as per Japanese tradition) Kohaku Uta Gassen.