part-time model

You’re so beautiful 
You could be a waitress 

You’re so beautiful 
You could be a part-time model 
But you’d probably still have to keep your normal job

Earlier this week, my boss (agent) called me and said “Are you between 160-175 cm, part or full Asian, free tomorrow and a good powder skier?” “Yes, yes, yes, intermediate advanced kind of?” “Ok! You’re modelling tomorrow at Shimamaki! I’ll pick you up at 5:30!” and then hung up the phone. This was all the information I had so I packed up every single piece of ski equipment and 4 changes of clothes into a large backpack.

And off we went! On the way there I found out that I would be shooting outfits for an online video for a large sportswear brand that I am not sure if I am allowed to say who it was for.

This was a view on the way there:

Black Sand Beach + Snow.

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So pretty!!!

I had to model two different ski outfits and two different snowshoeing outfits. For the first ski outfit, we would get driven up in the snowmobile and then we would traverse to a spot where we were starting to enter the video shot. Then, they would give us directions about where and how they wanted us to ski via radio. Then, we would ski down looking as cool as we could possibly look past the camera, stop, and then debrief. Then.. repeat!

For the second ski outfit, we would bootpack up the ridge and then strap on our skis and ski down. This was extremely tiring. The snowshoeing outfits were much easier as we only had to walk around a small area. They would give us different poses and actions to do which we had to do a few times each.

It was a lot of and fun and the filming team was very nice. There are so many ski videos where the girl skier is just skiing while the boy skier does something hardcore so I tried my darndest to look as cool as possible. I am still drained from that one day even though it was a few days ago.

Hopefully I make it in the video that comes out this Fall. Here is a sneak preview:





last week’s (senshu) storm

Last week (senshu) it snowed (yuki Ga futta) sooooooo much. We were worried that the cement would cave in on the house (ie). Below is a photo (photo) of me trying to ski in 60 (roku-ju) cm (senchimetoru) of snow that fell overnight.

This week is sooooooo sunny (hareta):

a day in the life

A lot of people have been asking what my day to day looks like. It is pretty random, but I can compartmentalize my time in the following activities:

Sleep: 7-9 hours

I wake up sometime between 6:45 am and 9 am depending on my work schedule, when the roof-alanches begin and if there is a loud guides meeting debrief happening in the living room. Likewise, I go to bed between 9:30 pm and 1:00 am. This is a typical view in the morning as I get up after the guides leave:IMG_20180127_082848668Work: 1.5-14 hours

If I am working at Niseko Auto in the office, I typically work from 8:30am to 6:00pm, but sometimes I split shifts with the other dude. When I am there, I process bookings, answer questions on the phone, deliver and pick up cars, shuttle customers, shovel snow, clear off the cars, clear off the cars again, clean and prepare the cars, wash the cars, and problem solve if a car breaks down.

Time to get the car ready for the customer!IMG_20180131_124332397How does this even happen??IMG_20180131_124455019It has been pretty quiet lately, but Christmas and New Years was quite busy, and it will get busy again now for the Sapporo Snow Festival and Chinese New Year. Typically I work alone other than when we have to deliver or pick up a car, which my manager will usually do with me. I have to do a lot of faxing at work:IMG_20180127_153148663If I am working an airport transfer shift, I will either drive a car to the airport and take the bus back or vice versa. Those are nice shifts because I can practise Japanese or nap on the bus. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive one way.


If I am working at Black Diamond Lodge, I will either work the main waitress shift (3:00pm to midnight) or the sub waitress shift (6:00pm to whenever it is not busy). When I’m there I open and close the till, take orders, make hot and cold drinks, chat with the customers, take payments, and wash dishes. Sometimes the sub waitress shift sucks because it can be only 1.5 hours long.

Unfortunately, you don’t really get tipped in Japan so working as a waitress is not as nice as it could be somewhere else. On the other hand, the restaurant team are my favourite people here and every shift we get FED which may be the #1 and #2 reasons why I work there.

Lately, I have been working 4 Niseko Auto shifts per week, 1 main waitress shift and a few sub waitress shifts.

Ski: 1-8 hours

Depending on my work schedule, the weather, car availability and who else has the day off, I will ski at the nearby Niseko Village resort , go on a day trip to Rusutsu or go backcountry skiing. Niseko Village is walkable, Rusutsu is about a 30 minute drive away and the backcountry skiing areas are around 20 minutes away. I love being able to ski and also do other things in the day. Here is a video of me skiing like a graceful swan:

#authentic #latergram #jahplow

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Cook and Eat at Home: 0.5-2 hours

The house I live in has a shared kitchen so I try to make as many meals as I can. I have been eating a lot simpler here as I don’t really want to spend too much time cooking and sometimes the kitchen is really messy or busy. As I am writing this, I am sipping on an instant miso soup. Lately, I have been eating and making a lot of cereal, rice, stir frys, gyoza, cabbage salad, onigiris, grocery store sashimi, Japanese-style hamburgers and perogies. I am trying to perfect my oyakodon and I will also make onigiris this week. This is a picture of an onigiri someone else made:IMG_20180127_115108133Here is a Japanese-style hamburger meal:IMG_20180122_123518489Restaurants/Bars: 1-3 hours

I eat out.. a lot. The food here is GREAT and there is a lot to try. Izakayas and soup curry have been my favourite. And okonomiyaki. And sushi. And more…

Onsen: 1-2 hours

There are tons of onsens nearby which are fun to go to and nice after a day skiing. One of the closest onsens to us is the city onsen that is like an onsen recreation complex, and is also the cheapest (Price: 10/10, Ambiance: 2/10). A few weeks ago, I went to the only mixed onsen in the area that also had a hauuuge outside area (Price: 7/10, Ambiance: 10/10). I can walk to one of the onsens, but it is at the Hilton hotel so I have not been yet.

Life Admin: 0-2 hours

Laundry, groceries, cleaning, sit-down errands etc. The grocery store is a 25 minute drive away, so when you go to the grocery store, YA STOCK UP.

Practise Japanese: 0.25-2 hours

I have been taking a couple of Japanese lessons and been working through a workbook. It is challenging, but rewarding when I can answer questions or know how long the bus is stopping for. My restaurant coworkers are SO PATIENT with me and have really helped me learn. They are the best.

Moisturize: 0.15-2 hours

It is so dry here!!!!

Chill: 0.5-10 hours

There are always people hanging out in the house in the morning and evening. Lately, we have been watching a lot of Terrace House. It’s fun to get to know the guests as well at the lodge as the lodge attracts people who want to get in the backcountry affordably.

nanji desu ka

Genki desu. Nanji desu ka?

Niji Yonjuugofun des.

I am learning how to say time.

Soon I will turn nigosai. Nothing planned yet.

I have been working a lot to save up for my trip to Kankoku with onechan and Scott. In between, I have been skiing and eating and skiing and eating (sound familiar to previous posts?)

It is really cold and windy here right now.

Sapporo ni itta (I went to Sapporo). We ate everything (dumplings, mochi, cheese tarts, Japanese hamburger), wandered, and shopped. I think that is what you do in the winter in Sapporo.

Here is a picture from kyo:

IMG_0990 (2)

It was below -31 this morning on the mountain!

onaji onaji


Konshu watashi wa bakkukantorisuki ni ikimashita nido.

Mata, watashi wa risotosuki ni ikimashita nido.

Konshu wa subarashi.

Ima tsukaremashita. Ashita shigoto ga arimasu.

Same same.

Good evening!

This week I went backcountry skiing twice.

I also went resort skiing twice.

This week was great!

Now, I’m tired. I work tomorrow.




Well, 2018 is off to a…slow…start.

This year was not so slow. It included a lot of visitors, work and school, skiing, travel, climbing-related stuff and vegetables.

Natalie from NZ visited and we went to Revelstoke. Kevin and Cam from NZ visited and we hiked the chief and saw dirty Vinyl Cafe. Natasha visited and we went to Victoria to visit Leslie and Kyla. I saw Wilson from Ottawa a bajillion times. And Daniel visited from Moose Jaw!IMG_20170924_141257149Lots of ch-ch-changes for us in the work/school departments. Starting in fall 2016, Lauren started going to night school at BCIT to learn how to machine with mills and lathes. This year in the fall, he signed up for a six month Machining course. He likes it so far. He left his Arc’teryx job and got a new part-time at… Arc’teryx! He works early shifts at the Downtown store now.

I took a Tableau course at BCIT in the winter, passed my first Tableau certification exam, and took on the Corporate Citizenship role at work. In March, I went to NYC for a business trip and also got to squeeze in the School of Rock, the Book of Mormon, the Staten Island ferry, 100 food items and a visit with Wilson. Then, Eileen convinced me to come to Japan for the winter…. and here I am!

Lauren is now the bombdizzle at skiing and has admitted he likes skiing more than climbing (gasp). He wanted to ski every month of the year for 2017, but he missed two months. He skied Mt Baker twice so I guess we can forgive him? Lauren bought a Whistler student ski pass this year.

We did a big road trip to the Kootenays to check out Nelson, Trail, Rossland and Castlegar. Verdict: Excellent. We visited family in Ontario and I visited David and Appnovation’s Montreal office in Montreal. That was a fun trip. I have PTSD from riverboarding and also I consumed so much food and drink that I felt sick for a couple of weeks…. bagels + biere + butter ice cream + more bread = yum. The ‘Armchair’ did not break down too much this year after we replaced everything the year before, so we did lots of trips to Leavenworth, Whistler, Squamish etc etc. We also went to Saturna Island and I went to Salt Spring Island.IMG_20170603_123203502IMG_20170702_185933691img_20170527_130306060.jpgI started off 2017 with a pretty bad shoulder injury and have been doing physio and training almost all year. I even started doing “cardio” before I left for Japan. Early fall was definitely the healthiest and strongest time for my muscles/body, and we were eating really well as well. I can’t say the same about now. We got really burnt this day:IMG_20170520_130743632And last, but not least…veggie update! Our apartment balcony doesn’t get that much sun, so I was only able to grow strawberries, kale, chives, dill, cilantro and arugula this year. The garden didn’t do so well because I was gone so much. We did share a CSA veggie box with Kirsten and Max which I thought was amazing, but I’m not sure if anyone else liked it. Lauren and I ventured quite far in vegetarianism.. I definitely can’t say the same about what I am eating now. As I was writing this, I was eating a pork bao and pork (??) gyoza.

Otherwise, life has been pretty good in Vancouver and I look forward to the shenanigans we get up to in 2018 (…after today). Here is a picture of Lauren in the summer, likely after a day of climbing:IMG_20170902_143542033

Niseko de suki

I have been skiing (suki o shite iru) a lot at Niseko Village. There are four sets of lifts with Niseko United: Annapuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono.

I bought a 50 hour pass, so I can ski (suki ga deriku) one hour (ichijikan) at a time. There is also night skiing at Hirafu.

The skiing is totally terrible, so you probably shouldn’t come here ever. I’m only going to come back here every fuyu (winter) to eat good food (fudo) and sit in a snowstorm.

This is the view from the Niseko Village gondora:IMG_20171222_123039897This is my favourite sukiforoto:IMG_20171219_105533053In general, Nihon is a very safety conscious country. There are warnings on every single escalator (remember to get off!), staircase (there is a staircase here!), and door (this door is automatic!). On the other hand, this sukiforoto is ok and they also open up the backcountry to people who do not have any avalanche (nadare) safety skills. Wakarimasen.

Night skiing in Hirafu: IMG_20171213_200546199Maybe in nigatsu or sangatsu I will join a group trip up Mt Yotei: img_20171207_091158940.jpgYuki sugoi!

Here is a video about how to say the months of the year in Nihongo: