As part of my last week in Japan, my partner and I rented an apartment in Machida, Tokyo. I had poured hours into research, determining all the different things we could do. One thing that came to mind was the Yokohama ferris wheel. It's one of the sights people think of when they think of Japan. (Actually, the main reason I thought about it was due to a windows theme that featured photos of Japan.) Anyway, I looked it up and discovered there was an entire amusement park surrounding the ferris wheel. That makes sense of course, silly me.
So I invited my friend to come to Cosmo World with us, and found the fastest route. Apparently, we were really lucky with the apartment location since the trains only took 40 minutes. Believe me, 40 minutes and under is a fast commute.
Of course, since we had all just gotten up, we wanted to eat first - there were a few restaurants nearby. We ended up eating at a T.G.I.F. for the simple fact that it was open (and it wasn't soup). The food was great, and we had a fantastic view of Cosmo Clock 21.
Then we marched onwards! What shall we find? What shall we do?
We arrived at Sakuragichou, but we could have also gone to Mintaomirai. From there it was a simple task of heading towards the enormous ferris wheel. The walk was really beautiful, since we had to cross over a re-purposed bridge that was fully decked out with perfectly trimmed trees, lights and speakers playing soft jazz. Then (due to horsing around) I tripped over my own feet, ripped my capris, and skinned my knee on the ground.
It was a minor injury. I didn't even notice it.
The closer we got, the more excited I became! I love amusement parks! I really, really do! Any opportunity I have, I take it! I'm not sure what I like most about them. I pretty much like it all, honestly. Although, I've never been crazy about carnival games. They're okay but you know they're a total rip-off.
Cosmo World has 3 different zones, each targeted towards a specific age group, but each area has something for everyone. There's the Kids Carnival Zone (children), Burano Street Zone (adolescents), and the Wonder Amuse Zone (adults). We spent most of our time in the Wonder Amuse Zone, but we also ventured over to the Burano Street Zone. I wanted to go on more rides, including one particular carnival classic. This ride may or may not include intricately decorated show ponies...
This park doesn't have day passes, oddly enough. They only sell "tickets". You can see how much each ride costs and purchase tickets marked with that amount. When you hand the ticket over, they scan it and remove the cost of the ride. Pretty smart.
The very first ride we got on was the Flume Ride: Cliff Drop ~Zekkyo-GP~. At the time, we had no idea what the scoreboard meant. We got on the ride and since I'm a bundle of nerves, I was screaming frequently. The worst part was the final fall. It's an 18m drop of 46 degrees. It doesn't sound that steep, but trust me, it is.
My sister visited me in March and my first suggestion was to see Tokyo Disneyland. My friend lives in Chiba, and was only 30 minutes away. Unfortunately, my sister and I had to travel from Utsunomiya - about two hours with the Shinkansen. Still, a really nice ride if you're willing to spend the money.
We were both super psyched since neither of us had been to Disneyland before. After speaking with my friend, and doing a little research, we discovered that Disney Sea was the better alternative. You see, there is Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Disneyland is the more classic theme park and features rides designed for children, while Disney Sea features more adult rides. Obviously, Disney Sea is the better alternative.
The first step in visiting Disneyland is getting there. You need to catch a train to Maihama station, and before you wonder how you'll know which stop is the right one, let me just say that you'll recognize it when you see it. That's exactly what my friend said to me and it was very true. You could see the resort sprawled out beside the station, and more importantly, elaborately decorated with Mickey Mouse. If you don't notice all of that, then you'll definitely notice the throngs of people with Disney merchandise.
Now, if you want to get to Disney Sea, that means taking the Disney train. You purchase a ticket (or use your suica card) like anywhere else. The train is adorned with Mickey's iconic silhouette. (I do indeed have more photos of things like the gate, and the train, but I'm respecting the privacy of my friend and sister.)
Disney Sea is split into 7 sections and each section is clearly delineated with a particular theme.
Lost River Delta
For full details and a cost breakdown, read on!
I am considering Korea as a possible destination for teaching ESL. The main reason I've thought about travelling there are the many invitations I've received from Korean women to visit their country. The girls I've known were so eager to share their culture with me. It was their warmth and compassion that instantly made me add Korea to my list of places to go.
This morning I woke up from a dream. It was a very lucid dream and when I awoke I was surprised it wasn't real. Then I sat in contemplation wondering what the dream meant. Why did I dream about her? It made me sad. Let me tell you why.
The dream started with me taking a class. I'm not sure where I was taking this class, I could assume it was from the university but honestly that would be misleading. A dream has its own learning halls. Regardless of where, I was taking a class. I feel like it was a writing class and that in itself would be ironic. In real life I'm a writer and apparently in my dreams I am too.
So I was standing outside of the classroom, waiting for the teacher to get there. This made sense to me since all my years in university I usually spent time waiting outside the classroom. (I made a habit of being there early.) So there I am, waiting patiently when I see someone walking towards me. Someone unexpected. I froze and panicked. I thought, I should walk away, turn around, do something to hide my identity. I wasn't prepared to see this person again. Yet I couldn't I do anything, just stand and stare.
They got closer and closer until finally they were right in front of me and oddly enough, smiling. This didn't make sense to me. Since if I were to see this person again, they wouldn't be smiling. Most likely they would do their best to ignore me or worse say something horribly cruel. Instead in my dream, they stood there smiling. So I looked at them questioningly, confused and baffled by their appearance. I managed to make out the words, "I didn't know you were in this class". She smiled back and said, "I tried to tell you". She described an antiquated means of getting in contact through messenger and I was shocked. That was what we would have used before.
I remember being completely and utterly dumbfounded. I never thought in a million years I would see her again nor would she be happy to see me. From there it was just like old times somehow. We reverted back to the way we were. When the classroom opened, we sat down but I had already picked my seat apparently before I knew she was going to be there. I had placed my stuff far away from hers.
The class started and the teacher sat in the middle on top of a desk. (This isn't unusual in some university classes by the way, so the dream was not off base.) She was talking and describing something but I wasn't listening. I was too distracted by my ex-friend's sudden appearance. I still couldn't believe she was there. It didn't make any sense to me. Before I knew it we were starting an activity. We had some sheets of paper with pieces of different stories on them, maybe a song or two. Next thing I know music is playing and the teacher is coming closer to me. She's singing and dancing along and I realize I better participate. I happen to know the lyrics to the song by heart and start dancing alongside, singing as well. The teacher stops after a bit and frowns, pointing to my sheets saying I should have it opened. I blush but feel frustration cloud my mind. I knew the words, I didn't need the paper.
The teacher pointed to a student and started another segment, from a story this time. They were expected to act it out it seems. Between all the commotion my ex-friend, turned friend came over to me and started to laugh with me at the hilarity of this class. It reminded me of high school where we spent creative writing class together making fun of the teacher.
Then the dream ended abruptly, as dreams have a habit of doing. I found myself dazed and disappointed. There was a longing inside of me to have her back as a friend. I was disappointed that it wasn't true. Yet I know it's not possible. Despite the dream's optimism. The friendship seemed to be great when I had it but it ended terribly. It wasn't up to me either. She decided we weren't friends anymore. It was a stupid reason. I hadn't been available to talk with her about her millionth break-up with her long distance boyfriend. Did I mention she called on my father's birthday? Over that, over nothing, she decided to stop being friends. It seemed counter intuitive. I had always been there for her. I had always supported her and helped her any way I could. I felt like something else was the catalyst. Before that I had divulged to her some terrible news I had kept locked up and expected some warm comfort in return. Instead, she didn't want to talk about it or even try to help me. I remember being instantly frustrated and hurt, the "friendship" was like every other "friendship" I had been involved in, not reciprocal.
I would give all of myself in a friendship and never get it in return. It made me think back on what I had with her as superficial. She was incredibly judgemental and lacked compassion or empathy with others. Why would I expect she would treat me differently? I guess I thought we were best friends. It turned out that I was only her friend if I was doing something for her.
As much as I enjoyed seeing her in my dream, in real life I recognize she was well, a bitch if you don't mind me saying. I could never be friends with her again, not after the way she treated me then tossed me aside like I was garbage. She didn't know how to be friends with anyone. Honestly, people don't change that much and she's probably still a diva.
Hence why the dream seemed good but turned out bad. I guess it was similar to the very "friendship" I had with her. All in all, I don't need to be dreaming about people I never want to see again. Do you want to hear something odd? It was just her birthday three days ago.
I think making a distinction between love and obsession is very important. Many people have the two confused in to one ambiguous amalgam.
Obsession: Obsession can feel like love. Someone experiencing feelings of obsession towards someone else will feel an overwhelming desire to be with them at any capacity. They want to be near them all the time. It is similar to infatuation. Obsession is the advanced stage of infatuation. It starts with a crush. You see someone and you like them. Sometimes what someone calls "love at first sight" is purely a superficial reaction with no real substance. You find them attractive so the crush begins. Following that you try to get closer to them, perhaps not in the traditional sense. You might ask others about them or more commonly these days, Facebook stalk them.
This sort of behaviour continues. Depending on the person, the proximity to the crush can vary. In some instances the obsession can occur with a celebrity, so it would be incredibly difficult to get close to them at any capacity. People who develop obsessions tend to view their crush as better than themselves yet they have a belief that since they "love" them so very much that it makes up for any shortcomings, this is a significant point. If the crush is someone they can interact with it is a different situation. In many cases they attempt to become friends and once that has been accomplished they dream about being more.
For some the closest they get is the "friendship". Some of them claim they've been put in the "friend zone". Just because you're nice to someone doesn't mean they owe you a relationship or anything else for that matter. Being nice should be standard for everyone.
Whatever the relationship between the obsessed and the obsession, it can never be genuine. The obsessed is ultimately selfish. They want that person all to themselves. They become intensely jealous and angry when their crush is involved with anyone they might view as a threat. It doesn't even have to be a romantic threat or a credible one, everyone else is suddenly a threat. Obsessions are ultimately negative and can become dangerous. Although the person experiencing the obsession may feel as though they are the only one who truly loves their crush Love is the wrong word.
Some obsessions can become lethal. It can develop into an unhealthy relationship, stalking or in extreme cases, life threatening. Obsessions are not only bad for the person being obsessed over but they are bad for the person experiencing these extreme emotions. If you feel like any of these feelings ring true for you regardless of the degree of obsession, you need to take a step back and really think about why you feel that way. You don't love them. If it was love it would be mutual.
Love: Love is a beautiful, glorious thing. It is nearly indescribable. It is not like obsession. The most important distinction is that feelings of love are mutual. Love doesn't appear right away. It can develop out of infatuation but it is rare. It is more likely to develop as a tense mix of emotions and confusion into the intoxicating sensation of being loved and loving back.
Another significant difference between love and obsession are the emotions. Obsession will leave someone feeling an odd intensity akin to loathing. Ultimately, it's a mixture of negative emotions. Love is different. Love leaves you feeling free, not trapped, for both parties involved. It's practically a whirlwind of confusion and positive emotions. Love is selfless. Love is easy. Most importantly, love is unconditional. Once you have truly loved someone it is permanent, you will never stop loving them no matter what. Sometimes a break-up can truly define whether you experienced love or not. If you end up hating them and wishing you never met, it was never truly love.
The best indicators of a long lasting relationship are oddly the people closest to you like friends or family. People uninvolved in the relationship are able to have a more objective perspective (dependent on the fact they're not obsessed with you). They can determine the legitimacy and longevity of the relationship. If you're enjoying the rose coloured glasses of a relationship, you might not want to ask. Just enjoy what you have no matter what it is. Nothing lasts forever.
Teddy Bear Day! What a beary wonderful day! I could go on about Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and how his persona created the "Teddy" bear after a hunting trip in 1902 Mississippi, following the mercy killing of an injured bear. A toy maker, Morris Michtom heard the story and thus created a toy bear in his name. Instead I want to discuss cute Teddy bears!
In North America it is common for every child to own a Teddy bear at one point in their lives. Some own many. Some hold on to their Teddy bears into adulthood. Most likely because they come to signify many adolescent memories and an attachment to their inner child. To the left is a photo of a StarCraft 2 e-sport commentator, Day9 and his Teddy bear, "Manfred".
Day9 is not the only adult who still cherishes their Teddy bear. I personally love mine. Her name is Matilda and she's a mouse. I've literally owned her since the day I was born, in my eyes she is my age. I dragged her everywhere as a child. I was so enamoured with Matilda as my best friend that my mother made up a song about her and I. At one point I even requested to make one of my middle names Matilda!
So take this day to celebrate the Teddy bears we know and love or the ones we no longer have.
In the past few weeks I've seen one particular date over and over. I thought to myself, what a strange coincidence. Each time I saw today's date I was reminded of what that date used to mean to me. September 6 is the birthday of someone I knew. At one point I knew them as a best friend and at another I realized they were a bully. I couldn't be friends with a bully.
Bullies are one of the most egocentric personalities. They can be narcissistic, focusing their concerns on their own lives while disregarding all others. This sort of behaviour seems common in schools. This is probably due to the social hierarchy, forcing adolescents to socially combat each other for higher status. That combined with each adolescents' feelings of insecurity creates a ceaseless need for recognition. Some do it by getting the best grades they can, others throw themselves into the claws of their peers and still others become bullies. They harass their peers and berate their friends, all in an attempt to cure low self esteem.
Growing up is one of the hardest things to do and being an adolescent is definitely one of the most difficult times of anyone's life. Everyone must overcome challenges in order to mature into an adult and sometimes those challenges can overwhelm us to the point of surrender. To everyone out there still experiencing the horrendous reality of adolescence, I salute you. I know you have the strength to put it all behind you and become a healthy adult.
Friendship, that special relationship between two or more people involving secrets, similar interests and fun times.
Friend zone, an imaginary plane of existence some people made up so they could complain about it.
The friend zone is a very common topic these days, particularly among bitter men and women. Here's what happens: Someone develops an infatuation on someone else based on surface judgements. They become involved in their life and do everything in order to spend time with them. Once they become a companion, they perform whatever tasks asked of them by the aforementioned crush. Then when they discover the person only considers them a friend, they wonder why and complain bitterly. Commence the comments about how the crush never dates "nice" guys/girls (like them).
I think everyone has been put in this position before but unfortunately there's a hard lesson to be learned from this kind of experience. Sometimes people aren't romantically interested, even if you're interested in them. Especially after establishing a friendship. The only way to have the chance for a romantic relationship with someone is to ask them out.
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