June 6 (Cambridge River Festival)

On June 6th, my friend Michele and I got up bright and early to help a friend out at the Cambridge River Festival, where she would be selling her own artwork and vintage silk kimono (in Japanese, you don’t add any equivalent to an “s” to make things plural!), as well as the makings of her fellow creatives back in Japan.

the shop's owner, Aiko

This is Aiko– a wonderful artist and new friend ( You can check out her website here! ).
She and her husband were at the festival while her mother-in-law watched their little boy for the day.  She is primarily a painter, specializing in cheery illustrations.

storefront_3

可愛いでしょう?

storefront_b_LOVE

brooke

Our friends Brooke (pictured above) and Bing stopped by to check out the festival as well- it was a really fun day, despite being somewhat chilly for June. Aiko dressed Michele and I up in kimono and obi, and we actually drew in a good number of customers, several of which went home with kimono of their own!
As a thank you for helping, Aiko offered Michele and I a free gift for the day.  I picked out a necklace of Mount Fuji, and slipped the money for it to her husband while she wasn’t looking.  She’s a hard worker, and gives the profits of each product to the artisans that made them.
It was definitely a purchase I would never regret.

June 16th, meet Kay

A genuine smile caught candidly is one of the most beautiful things possible to behold in this world.

 

kay shoot 2

Right? I mean, if you deny that, then you must deny the fact that seeing a puppy will put a smile on your face or that looking up at a brilliant night sky can strike awe into the hearts of any onlooker.

Crazy people.

 

kay shoot

 

 

I was going through my photos, trying to find a good one of our little “family”, and realized that I didn’t have any of my own- they all belonged to others and generally have a different someone missing from each one.  With that, I decided, all right- I’ll just get a photograph of each of them, and then realized that I don’t have really nice photos of everyone, and I don’t want to leave one to two beautiful souls out.
And then I realized- I have a lot of pictures of little miss Kay.

 

kay graffiti

 

As you may have gathered, or I may have already explained (probably the latter, as I really tend to forget to whom I do or do not disclose what information..) I spent my final semester of undergraduate studies abroad in Italy, studying Italian (Venetian, mainly Renaissance) Art History and Documentary Photography.

That would be the reason why any human of college-age appearing in my Italy photographs is probably holding a camera.


kay kay

 

 

As mentioned, this is the lovely miss Kay “Yams”– a friend made on my latest venture and final act of my undergraduate career. She is a pharmacy student, a couple of years my junior, with an absolute love of Art History, which brought her to Italy with me.  Her lineage is half (South) Korean and half Japanese, and she is lucky enough to have been incorporated into both of those sides of her family, as well as being a complete and total American girl.

It was fun- whenever Derrick and Geoff or Steph started speaking in Chinese (at which point we just sit there with blank faces) we could turn to one another and speak in Japanese, allowing them a taste of how we felt.  We have a lot of common interests that allowed us to bond, and I have to say that I love this lady- she’s cute inside and out. Despite the fact that she is known to her back-home friend group as an (impeccably put) inside-out sour patch kid.

> The nickname is incredibly accurate, as she is a cute, smiling, positive and soft-spoken young lady in general, especially if you’re not well acquainted with her.. but once you do get to know her, you realize that she can actually be loud, hilarious, serious, and semi (yet still ladylike)-sailor-mouthed.

She’s awesome.

 

So here- bask in the glory that is  Kay Yams.  Her favorite color is black even when she seems to define a puffy, pastel-pink as a human in general.  She is incredibly intelligent and admirably worldly, and ever a presence I’d be glad to accompany.

kay so pretty

 


 

EDIT:


I just ran across this on Facebook; the amazing miss Carrie Ambo took and posted it, and it adequately contrasts the (outer/initial) personalities of both Kay and Derrick:

 

accurate; Kay and Derrick

been a while

It’s already September 27th (2012).  My gosh, time is a ridiculous thing.  It’s either barely ticking by or it’s flying.  I feel lucky though, that (for once) for me, it’s flying.
I’m back at my university in Boston, after an incredibly hard semester last fall and a medical leave in the spring/summer.  My major is changed- from East Asian Studies to Art & Design.  Instead of cramming every bit of information into my notebook, I actually get to (not only work, but) hold conversations with my classmates (who, by the way, speak English. Well. And mostly as their first language).  I don’t think people understand how much easier that makes it to MAKE FRIENDS. Conversation is completely necessary.
Sure, I get stressed sometimes (I honestly feel like the village idiot in my photography class, since everyone else has done the prerequisites at this school while my last photo teacher was simply awful- we learned NOTHING) but I feel that I’m dealing with it better than last year.  Panic attacks? None yet this semester (and we’re what, five weeks in?)!  Which makes me so incredibly happy.  Last fall I was having them at least 3 times per week, and then even on medical leave I was having them (albeit less frequently).
I’m working at the university library, and working out almost every day (“insanity” workouts, running on the treadmills in my building, and my “homework” for physical therapy).  It’s not just that I’m physically exerting myself, but also improving mental health and whatnot, so I try to keep it up.  Every 2 or 3 days, though, I have to rest because my insides just can’t take so much action, and I get sick if I do something.
I’m living on campus again, and it’s so much better than the pit I was in last year.  There’s air conditioning, a dining hall, more than one elevator, lights(in my room), and working heat.
A big throwback, though, is that Witchaya (my man of 3+ years) is on co-op, and so he’s not living in the city.. So I can get pretty lonely.  I mean, growing up as a triplet, with step-sisters and dogs, there has always been someone to come home to at night.  Over the summer I at least had my pup, Lace, waiting at home for me.  But now it’s just me.

I wish I could have a dog here.

Alas, it’s kind of late and I have to get to the Museum of Fine Arts when it opens tomorrow morning.  Good night to anyone who happens to read this- I’ll definitely try to post more frequently on here.

My First Day in Fukuoka

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad asked me to complete a survey about my study abroad experience.  Once of the questions was to tell your most memorable experience.  This, in short, is one of mine:

My first day in Fukuoka all of the students met up with their host families for the first time and were sent home to spend the day with them.  Another student, who spoke no Japanese, was going to be living with my host father’s brother, so she came home with us until her host father got out of work,  When we got to my host father’s house I got to meet the rest of my family- three little girls and my host mother.  One of the girls was really shy and wouldn’t talk or do much when we (the foreign students) were around.  After dinner my host father and I dropped the other student off to her host family.  When we got back home I went to my room to change and unpack.  While unpacking I left my door open, and my youngest sister came in and sat on my bed.  I began to talk with her and one of her other sisters came in, hopped on the bed, and joined us.  After a few minutes the oldest, and most shy of the three came in, sat on the bed, and when I talked to her she opened up and we all had a fun time.  They taught me games, had me pick them up and flip them onto the bed, and played hide-and-seek with me until it was their bedtime.  It was just amazing to have people, especially this child who wouldn’t even speak in front of foreigners (at first), accept me into their home and family in such a way.  I had a wonderful time with my host family and still talk to them regularly- including talking about when I will come back!