You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘kawaii’ tag.
It’s been two years since I last went to this annual event, which traditionally closes the weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. The last time I was there, the Sakura Matsuri was held on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the Old Post Office Building (which was then undergoing renovation into the Trump International Hotel—you can see those giant blue TRUMP signs in the background of some of the photos I took during that event).
Since that time the event has been relocated. It is now held at the Navy Yards near Nationals Park. I don’t know if Donald Trump have had a hand in that festival’s relocation or not but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have to see those Trump International Hotel signs.
Like previous Sakura Matsuri festivals, this one was a celebration of all aspects of Japanese culture including anime, J-pop, J-rock, kendo, and traditional Japanese crafts. There were also a lot of cosplayers walking around. Here are the photos I took of the Sakura Matsuri.
One day after the most decisive election in recent memory has been held, I feel that posting these photos of a very cute dog will serve as a perfect palate cleanser to the all of the outrageous vitriol that has been spewed for all these months.
Last month I went to a board games meetup that was held in someone’s home located in my neighborhood. I had a good time as I met new people and played some board games I’ve never played before, including one whose gameplay was contingent on downloading this smartphone app. (I’ll admit that playing board games with an associated smartphone app is a new one for me. I grew up playing technology-free board games like Candyland, Uncle Wiggly, Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and The Game of Life.)
The event hostess had a small dog who was very cute and very friendly. At one point this dog wanted me to hold her in my lap. Here are a few pictures I shot of this dog while she was sitting in my lap.
After sitting in my lap for a while the dog indicated that she wanted down so I put her down. At the end of the evening, when I was getting my purse that I left on a sofa, the dog was lying next to my purse. She took one look at me and she rolled over on her back exposing her belly and indicated that she wanted a belly rub from me. That’s a sign that this dog trusted me enough to roll over on her back in the first place.
I recently checked out the grand opening of a new place in College Park, Maryland called SCETA Japan Center and, as part of the festivities, they held a Little Japan Festival. Okay, I’ll admit that it’s a far cry from a massive anime convention like Otakon but it was still a pretty nice occasion (and the fact that the weather was pleasantly sunny with low humidity helped). Here are my photos from that event, starting with the building itself.
There were all kinds of Japanese language books on display, including this one on hedgehogs (which brought back memories of the time when I once had a pet hedgehog named Spike).
Here are a few miscellaneous cute items I found throughout the building.
This next photo shows a backdrop that was set up for anyone to take pictures.
Someone saw me take that last picture and told me what it was. She then offered to take my picture with my own smartphone and I obliged despite my one skinned knee (which I obtained the day before when I fell as I was leaving the Hon Fest in Baltimore).
There was also a special Japanese Arts and Crafts Edition of the board game Monopoly that was written in both English and Japanese on display.
The last photo shows the free stickers and buttons I received that that event.
SCETA Japan Center is dedicated to teach Japanese as well as providing information about Japanese culture and tradition. Check out the website for more information.
Ever since I got my first smartphone in 2011 (just a few months before my husband abruptly walked out on me) I’ve been increasingly using its GPS feature to help guide me around in unfamiliar places instead of using paper maps or doing a Google search followed by printing the directions out on paper. It’s just way easier for me to just type an address into the smartphone and have its GPS device guide me around. The biggest hassle is that I have to leave the phone on the seat while listening to the directions orally. Every now and then I would pick up the phone to glance at the map to make sure that I’m going in the right direction while trying not to focus my eyes too much on that map because I’m driving.
It eventually became obvious that having a holder that would hold my phone at eye-level while I’m driving would be the perfect solution. I’ve held off on getting such a holder because of money woes and such. Last year I walked into a Five Below store where I saw a plastic holder for a smartphone that cost only $5 (which is the maximum price the store sells anything of its stock). Basically the holder had a suction cup that you use to put on the windshield then you put the phone in the holder whenever you need to use it as a GPS device so you can see the map without having to hold the phone in your hand.
Unfortunately that plastic holder was a short-lived thing. First I had trouble with getting that suction cup to stick to the windshield. It would stick for a while then it would suddenly fall to the floor, which is not what I needed if I was using the smartphone as a navigation device. During one of its falls it broke in half and I couldn’t fix it. I now knew why that thing was priced at only $5.
So I went back to the old way of having to periodically pick up the phone with my hand and glancing at the map. But then I walked into a Five Below store a few weeks ago and I found another solution that worked way better.
Remember Ty? Maybe that company’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell but its most famous signature product will: Beanie Babies. Those are the animal-shaped bean bags that created a media frenzy and some sort of bizarre speculative bubble where people were buying those Beanie Babies in bulk whenever a store got a new shipment and reselling them on the Internet for up to $100 or more. (The Beanie Babies themselves were originally priced between $4-6.) I remember when a website known as BeanieMom.com was among the most visited websites and Mary Beth’s Beanie World was a very popular print magazine among Beanie Baby collectors. That speculative bubble eventually burst and people discovered that all those bean bags that they spent a ton of money on were back down to their original retail price of between $4-6.
Since that time Beanie Babies can now be easily found at their original retail price in a variety of stores with new ones being released all the time. (I saw a few Beanies based on the hit cartoon show My Little Pony a few months ago.) They’ve been joined by these big-eyed plushies known as Beanie Boos along with round-shaped plushes known as Beanie Ballz and other similar products like Beanie Buddies and Lil Ones.
I recently found a Ty product line at Five Below that I felt could be useful as a smartphone holder. They are known as the Peek-A-Boos and these are plush animals that are especially designed to hold a smartphone or any other mobile device. They were priced at $5 and I found them to be very cute. After much deliberation I chose the panda bear.
Like the Beanie Babies, each Peek-A-Boos has a hang tag that includes the name of the animal and a brief poem about that critter. This panda is named Poo (not to be confused with a bear named Winnie the Pooh).
As the first photo shows, the panda was holding a mobile-sized sign announcing that it was a Peek-A-Boos while proclaiming “I hold your phone! + clean your screen”. When I removed the sign after I brought it home, I found that there’s a list on the other side showing all of the Peek-A-Boos currently available while implying that one needed to collect them all. If I owned more than one smartphone I would buy more Peek-A-Boos but, seriously, most adults don’t really need more than one smartphone. I admit that the Peek-A-Boos are cute but I feel that one is enough for me.
Here is Poo the Panda when he’s not holding anything. His green eyes are very large and sparkly and he’s got such a cute expression on his face.
Here is Poo the Panda holding a mobile device (which is an iPod Touch in these photos mainly because I was using my smartphone as a camera at the time). As you can see it looks like he’s peeking over the mobile device as he’s holding it, which is a cute touch.
This little critter is supposed to clean my screen as well but there are no indication anywhere as to which part serves as the screen cleaner. I saw that the inside of his front paws are made from a flat suede material so I tried cleaning the screen with them. It worked somewhat even though his paws are pretty small.
I also saw that his butt is also made from the same flat suede material so I tried that and I found that I got better results. I think the paws are meant to simply hold the mobile device while his butt is supposed to be used to clean the screen.
I was able to perch Poo the Panda holding the mobile device on the dashboard of my car. I actually tried it a few times when I needed to use my smartphone’s GPS device and I found that it worked wonderfully. I was able to glance at the screen at times without having to hold the phone in my hand. This is an excellent invention and it’s also so cute.
I even found a use for other than the car. Every now and then I tend to misplace my smartphone, which results in me doing an intense search of my home until I find it. These days I have Poo the Panda hold the smartphone at home when I’m not using it and I put that panda bear in a place where I can usually find him. The only time I take Poo to the car is when I need to use the GPS. When he’s not sitting on the dashboard holding my smartphone so I can look at the map, he’s at home holding my smartphone.
I have to admit that this is probably the best product that Ty has ever released (and I’m including those overhyped Beanie Babies). These Peek-A-Boos are not only cute but they have a utilitarian value as well. This has got to be the best $5 I’ve ever spent on a smartphone accessory and I don’t regret it at all.
I even recorded a video version of this review so you can see me actually use Poo the Panda to clean my iPod Touch screen.