Tag: sports

I’d rather be in Tokyo, I’d rather listen to Thin Lizzy-oh

tl;dr I’m in Tokyo. This blog is ten years old.


So for those of you who keep up with me on another social media outlet (or any other medium, really, like IRL), you might know that I’m in Tokyo (!) for the summer.

I’m working as a UX designer, and so far my experience has been good, if not a little routine:

6AM: Wake up at this hour, every day without fail, FOR NO REASON AT ALL other than the fact that my body clock is a bitch???
6AM-9:30AM: Make a futile attempt to go back to sleep. Suck it up.
10AM-7PM: Work.
7PM-9PM: Grab dinner with my limited Japanese skills. This is usually ramen or soba or some other noodly variant.
9PM-11PM: Watch a World Cup game. (Interchangeable/negotiable, depending on the match)
11PM-12AM: Get ready for bed, but debate internally if I should watch the next World Cup game
12AM-2AM (?): Decide screw it, I’m watching the match! Sometimes I can stay awake through the first half. Sometimes.

That said, it’s not my first rodeo when it comes to Japan, though it’s my first time being here for more than 2 weeks. Hell, the last time I was living abroad for more than a few months was back in 2008, when I studied in Beijing during the summer. Fun fact: this blog started because I needed a way to update my friends on my whereabouts with LiveJournal being banned in China. It feels weird coming full-circle a decade later, but here we go.

Anyway, I’ve been here for ten days. I don’t think I’m quite settled yet, though the amount of times I have eaten an egg salad sandwich from my neighborhood Lawson or run to the 7-11 in search for a workable ATM show otherwise. I haven’t even used my camera yet. But that’s ok — I’ve got a good amount of time to explore this city and country (I’m lookin’ at you, Hokkaido and Okinawa).

Let me tell you, being in a country whose national team just landed a hard-fought win in the World Cup is An Experience. I remember going to a block party in Vila Madalena the night Brazil defeated Chile in the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, and to this day, that memory wins all the awards for the biggest moshpit ever. Anyway, Japan had just scored an upset defeat over Colombia, and — well. Pandemonium descended upon Tokyo. I just so happened to be coming back from a watch party in Shibuya, which may or may not be THE BUSIEST INTERSECTION. Just imagine the amount of crowds in Times Square but with a fraction of the space. This photo was taken right before I decided I actually valued my phone and quickly stowed it away before a throng of drunk and (rightfully so!) excited fans could knock it out of my cold, dead hands.

Here’s a live recording. Turn those speakers up for full effect.

Udon noodles with grated yam at Kokuwagata. Despite (or even because of???) the slimy texture, I am ridiculously endeared to grated yam. The name is a pretty poor descriptor of what it actually looks and feels like (who knew that yams, when grated, would turn mucuslike?!), but this was delicious.

Speaking of yams, the KitKat Chocolatery sells purple yam KitKats, and yes, they are as delicious as they are purple.

This is Yodobashi, also known as the world’s largest electronics store. I poked my head in here last Sunday because I needed to replace my broken Fitbit strap, but alas, the world’s largest electronics store didn’t have my size.

getting into the weeds #latergram

A post shared by cindy! 🙋🏻‍♀️ (@cindypepper) on


A post shared by cindy! 🙋🏻‍♀️ (@cindypepper) on

On Friday, I went to the Gorillaz concert, where they premiered their new album, the Now Now. Also, I’m really impressed by how punctual the concerts are. Case in point: The show was done at 9PM. 9PM! Even after the encore! A concert schedule that actually agrees with my old-lady sleeping habits is downright revolutionary.

Olympic LOVE: Part 2

Simon Ammann

SIMON AMMANN, why are you so awesome. :’)

He’s definitely my favorite athlete of the Games. Why? Because this mf sweeped both ski jumping events with the gold, and now he has the record number of medals for any ski jumper. He did the same exact thing in Salt Lake, and I’m so glad that he’s in top form for these Olympic Games. In the Large Hill event (which was today), he got the best jumps in both rounds and he was over 14 points ahead of Adam Malysz, the silver medalist. If that isn’t a testament to how great he is, then I don’t know what is! What an amazing, amazing comeback.*

Can I just say, I freaking LOVE these Olympic Games. A lot of my favourite athletes (Ammann, Kramer, Bilodeau, Kearney, Shen & Zhao, etc.) have been doing so well this time around. My friends and I have been watching the games every single day; we’ll bring our homework and food to the lounge so we can cheer and shout at the TV screen and er, attempt to multitask.

Some thoughts on the men’s free-skate:

  • So glad Lysacek won the gold. I love a determined, hardworking athlete, and he’s really deserving of the medal. My heart broke when Takahashi fell in the beginning of his free skate and Oda Nobunari had the bizarre incident with his laces. I’m glad that Takahashi still got a place on the podium, especially since it was his last Olympics. Despite the fact that I’m generally happy with the way the results turned out, the judging on figure skating continues to baffle me (they totally underscored Johnny Weir).
  • Speaking of, I was completely turned off by Plushenko. His free skate was quite sloppy, and I’ll be damned to hell if I ever see another pelvic thrust from him. Not only that, the real kicker for me was his sour attitude after he got the silver. A quad does not a gold medal make, especially if you fall or get a wobbly landing. Evan still had the better program, and Plushenko needs to stop calling the wahmbulance. Nobody likes a sore loser.

Anyway, I can’t wait for the 1500m speed skating (GO SVEN!) tonight.


* — Yes, I’m a huge ski-jumping fan. I wish it got more coverage in the US, because those leaps are AMAZING. Is anybody else a fan?

Olympic LOVE: Part 1

It’s little surprise that I love the Olympics. I still have the fondest memories of being in Beijing during 2008 and watching the Summer Games live. When I visited Sydney, I had to visit the Olympic Park. The games are just so inspiring; it’s great to see all these stories of comebacks and underdogs and unbelievably passionate athletes unfold. And every Olympics, I love to see the different mascots, stadiums, and opening/closing ceremonies. I could wax on about the merits of putting together such an amazing event, but that would take forever. So without further ado…

Opening Ceremony

… the Opening Ceremony! My favourite parts were k.d. lang singing “Hallelujah” and the fiddlers. A pretty good way to kick off the Games, if I do say so myself.

Simon Ammann

And then the next morning, I watched Simon Ammann ski-jump his way to the gold medal. I’m such a huge fan of Simon; it’s so great to see him make such a strong comeback after Torino. I love how he knew he had the gold once he landed his final jump.

Simon Ammann

Not long after ski jumps came speed skating. I have two words for you: Sven Kramer. His skate was amaaaazing, and he pretty much blew all his competitors out of the water. Svencouver, indeed.

Alex Bilodeau is also a favourite, not just because he kicked ass on the moguls, but because he seems like a genuinely nice guy who really deserved that gold.

Alex Bilodeau

Last night, I was on the very edge of my seat as I watched the pairs figure skating. While I do like watching the free skate programs, the ~scandalous~ judging and the backhanded commentary on TV kind of spoil the figure-skating-watching experience for me. Nevertheless, I was so, so, so anxious for Shen and Zhao. The short program was stunning, and I was absolutely ecstatic when they won gold!

And how adorable is this quote from Zhao after the victory?

“I think it’s kind of hard to continue skating. So maybe it’s time to have a baby.”

I can’t wait until the LH ski jump (SIMON!), the speed skating events, luge, skeleton, and the ladies’ free skate. Expect more incoherent Olympic squeefests from me! In the mean time, let’s bask in the Oly love and tell me about your favourite moments during the Games!