Saturday, April 23, 2011

Love Gal's Photoshoot!

Ahh~ money is super tight around this time ==;; dance groove fee, tour fee, hair dye, photoshoot fee, and bbq isnt too far away either. Been eating instant noodles or raw egg over rice for the last couple of weeks and prob will continue to do so for a month maybe.. so hungry...

Every gyaru event has a pamphlet/booklet in which the circles and its members are shown. Events are not only to have a good time but to promote circles so that new people can join. Most of the time, circles use "pin-puri" which are solo purikura shots for their photo. But Love Gal's wanted to do something different. We wanted a professional photoshoot.

Mr. Yamada whom ash and I met at Double Hearts was so kindly willing to do the shoot for free. All we had to pay was for part of the studio time.

For the photoshoot we wanted everyone to look perfect so everyone went to get hair-set done. The place we normally go couldnt get us in at the time we wanted so we had to go to another place called Ups. We were barely squeezed in because there was a wedding party getting thier hair done and makeup done.

I wanted to pick a hairset that was standardly more me. I often like to experiement with hairsets if im doing them on my own but since this is a photoshoot for love gals i wanted a set that represented my general style so i picked a hime set but asked her to REALLLY suji it all out. The hair-set lady seemed to have alot of fun with arranging the colors of my hair on my head haha

When we got outside it was raining. It worried me alot. We finally made it to the alta to meet with everyone then we all headed to McDs where we touched up our makeup and put an extra coat of hairspray on to try to make it all stay. We also added glitter to make it look even more impressive. Mr. Yamada explained how the studio is quite small so we can only come in certain groups and rotate around. But in the end we all ended up at the studio together anyway.

The studio is located in Kabukicho. Its a studio where alot of kyabajos and hosts get thier shoots done. But instead of using their photographer we had our own so we only had to pay for studio time. The shoots went really fast paced at first and we got everyone done alot faster than expected so we ended up experimenting with with some more funny shots here and there.

The shoot ended around 3-4ish and the rain was pouring really hard at this point. We all went into a nearby game center and took purikura. A guy hit on miki and gave her his number on a piece of paper she gave one look at it crumpled it up and threw it on the ground.

after purikura everyone was really tired so we all split off.

soon after ash and I received the files and we edited it (lighting and so on ) and sent the files to each of the members so they can choose which one they want to use. Little did we know this photoshoot for our GYARU-SA is going to start a bunch of internet drama.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Welcome Akiho and Happy Birthday Satomin

Due to bad leader, Love Gals was left nearly the entire 7th generation left and only natsuki and matsumi were left to rebuild Love Gals. They gain Yumi, Miki, A-chan as the two of them. Later we joined making the cast about 7. Since then we have been working hard on re-building Love Gals. New members Saki, and Satomin joined and now we have a new recruit Akiho invited by Ash.

Ash met Akiho on mixi. Akiho is a gal from Kyuushu who moved to Tokyo recently to go to university here. She posted on a forum to look for new friends in Tokyo. Ash saw this post and asked her to join Love Gals. Luckily she did it fast because expressions invited akiho shortly after at her school on the day she was comming to the Love Gals meet to check it out. She was very impressed and was really happy on how welcoming everyone is.

Today is also Satomin's birthday so we signed a card and smooshed cake in her face just like how we did to miki. Kinda ironic as that this is prob the first day Satomin wore false lashes.

We all took purikura. It was amusing because purikura machines are not meant to fit THAT many people in a booth at once. But we managed somehow ^^

Im really glad Akiho decided to join because we really need people like her who have ots of energy and motivation to work hard on events. Akiho ash and I got close pretty quickly. She also joined just in time to be able to do Dance Groove and participate in our up coming photoshoot we are going to have for the booklet.

Aside from that things are getting pretty tight with money. Events actually cost money to do. How it works is that you pay a certain amount to participate in the event and you try to make your money back with however many guest come for you under your name. Not only was that due, but the cost for the upcoming tour is due and I had to get my hair done because the circle shoots are due soon and I want my hair to be rid of 2months of roots in my hair... looks like I will be starving for the next month or so. haha...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dance Groove 2011 - Giant Multi-Circle Nagomi

Dance Groove meetings happen every monday like clock-work. We are expected to go on time so to not have our circle look bad. Ash and I decided since the last time that maybe we should be taking off work on mondays instead of thursdays as Love Gals always lets you go for work but for Dance Groove if you have to leave you must leave during the assigned intermissions so not to disturb the flow of the meeting with people going in and out of the room.

Just like in normal Japanese culture where people work hard together then after they all get together and drink to build stronger and more personal friendships with their co-workers, so do gyaru after meetings. We haven't been able to because of work for the past few weeks but this time around we took off so we could.

The meeting started as normal. This was quite an important meet as this is the meet where it is decided which section you are are going to be put in and the sub-leaders for each section. The sections are such as stage, date planning, promotion, graphics, staff? (like door staff, vip room servers etc) etc

Ash and I decided to go into graphics because this is where we think we are the strongest. Ash wouldnt mind going to stage or promotion but I am uncomfortable and shy with public speaking and promotion requires phoning up and talking formally to sponsors and such which I am in no position to do. The meeting were held in formal speech so even though I am at the level in which i can carry a decent conversation in casual Japanese I have a difficult time understanding formal situations. Thus Ash and I had to be in the same group for me to even be able to participate.

The meeting went pretty long and afterwards we were all expected to make our way to Yoyogi Koen. I knew we were going drinking and i thought we were going to go to an izakaya or something so i didnt buy dinner. But due to the great number of people we went to yoyogi koen with sake and owari bought from konbinis.

When we got to Yoyogi Koen everyone was split up into groups. They wanted all the circle members to mix with other circle members so there was a max number on the number of people of the same circle in a group. Each circle was split and spread out evenly. We played drinking games and drank and drank and drank. In the west Im pretty good at games but due to the language barrier I'm still tripping up and making alot of mistakes. Not sleeping much and not eating a thing in the last 12hrs really put my tolerance down low. But I managed to survive quite a bit longer than I expected. Others however were already starting to fall. One sentaa actually started to get a nose bleed out of nowhere and the first thing he was saying was ahh nooo is there any blood on my albarosa coat?? please help me keep it protected. The next thing he said was ahh no i have school tomorrow i cant miss school~ noooo (let alone the fact hes bleeding alot out of his nose) Ash, one other person, kai and i were standing by yuki trying to help him. Kai said to lighten up the situation, that he liked the color of blood and i agreed. Ash looked at us as if we were sick HAHA (stupidvkeipeopleandthiercreepyobssessionofbloodimeanwhat?) Not all of us can help Yuki at once so it was ash who mainly stuck by him.

around 12-1am or so the rain started to fall and we all ran over to sit under the bridge. At this point half of the sa-jin were super drunk some passed out some throwing up. We werent the only ones who didnt eat apparently. Ash and I were still hanging in there for the most part but were starting to go as well.

The cultural thing that is different than the west is that in the west it is admirable to be able to handle your alcohol and be responsible to know when to stop but in Japanese culture it is admirable to continue drinking til you cant drink anymore and never refuse drinks as it is it rude to refuse. Being as such sa-jin will drink to the bitter end. Some may even go as far as continuing to drink with a throw up bag in their hand.

Shortly after some police came. We thought it was because of us so we quiet down and our minors ran off because they can get in trouble being out after curfew. Whatever the problem was, it was dealt with quickly, they went away and we continued.

Prob around 3ish I was way passed drunk and Kai took care of me as i rested my head on his lap while he continued to play the games. When I awoke after throwing up I noticed that ash was completely passed out. I stuck by her til she woke up again. For me the alcohol goes through my system very quickly so even if i get super drunk If i rest for a bit it will be through my system and I will be fine again soon. For ash, shes pretty strong but for sochu it gives her a headache and such. It was starting to approach 4am when Natsuki and I thought it would be a good idea to bring her home. Though Natsuki and I were also drunk, we were still ok enough to walk around and carry her. We took her to a taxi and we rode til our home where we carried her in. After i made sure shes alright i fell asleep too.

This night was pretty intense. I haven't drank that much in a long time and it somewhat made me scared of nagomis for a little bit and made me want to learn the games even better. Next time I will DEFIANTLY eat before doing a nagomi again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Darts + Karaoke w/ Blaze Event Team

As usual we had our weekly meet with Love Gals talking about some upcoming important dates or Dance Groove and how we need to try our best to recruit new members and such. After the meet was over Natsuki Ash and I went to McDs to eat dinner and hung out further when other members either went home or went to work. Natsuki got a call from Blaze (another circle) inviting us to join them for darts.

When we got to the darts place we were split up into groups and played. Our sweet leader natsuki cant play darts even if her life depended on it so she had a very funny way of throwing them. She would take the entire can of darts and throw them all at once hoping one of them will stick on the board. Every few rounds the teams got switched around. A few members were to choose their teams. Kouya being the playboy he is picked almost all girls. While Nikoru picked who he thought were the strongest which were all boys. The boys in his team groaned while Nikoru was completely oblivious to it all. During darts we also talked and speculated over a few things to do with Dance Groove. The last meet we talked about the Theme for Dance Groove. It was decided to to be JAPAN. But our group was saddened our SM Adult Disney theme wasn't picked. Tomoki was happy that most of love gals wanted it though since it was his idea.

The plan was to play darts til last train but by the time we finished all the trains were gone so we all decided to go to karaoke. On our way to karaoke Linderman asked if Ash and I would help this girl in Blaze with her style. She said she really wants to become louder in her style but doesnt have any clue where to start. We agreed to help her sometime.

When we got to karaoke we all paid 1000yen to our leaders and those with proper IDs showed them because minors are not allowed to go to karaoke after a certain time at night. The bulk of us headed towards to the room while some others went to the konbinini to buy alcohol. The minors snuck in a little later and shortly after the ones who went to buy alcohol came back with another small group who went to the free soft drink counter to bring owari. Other members from other circles such as kou mikado, and bluff also joined in and we filled up one huge room with at least 20-30 of us.

Everyone sang karaoke and played drinking games. Luckily Natsuki taught us a few last week so we weren't completely loosing but still, I wasnt doing too well because when it came to games like Yamenote sen (which is where you name a category and everyone has to say something in it and if they get it wrong, cant come up with something or say something that has already been said they have to drink ) I couldn't understand the category too well.

Also since its karaoke, those who didnt sing karaoke had to drink and so on. Natsuki is apparently known for being akb like so she sang akb. Surprisingly, there are large number of other gyaru who love vkei as Mika sang an old song of Gazettes and Kai sang acid black cheery with me.

During this meet Ash and I met alot of people who will later become closer friends in the future such as linderman, Nikoru, Kai, Tomoki etc

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ai's Last Event In His Host Career

Circle life took ash and I by storm. I went from having a moderate schedule to suddenly having a crazy busy one. I wasn't the only one busy either. While I was working on Dance Groove and getting myself familiar with circle life, Ai has been busy with practice and rehearsal for his club's event. The last time we saw each other, I expressed how much I wanted to come and see it because of how hard he is working on it but of course it would be expensive so I wouldn't be able to go... But since it was his last event as a host (he plans to quit sometime this year) he would rather it be me next to him than a customer for it so he offered to pay for me to come.

Early in the morning I made my way to Kabuki-cho. I met up with Ai in front of Donki and he told me that we needed to get some things. Ai's part in the skit he's involved it is a girl so he asked if i could do his makeup for him. I bought my makeup and we bought extra things like eyelashes and brushes etc at donki. After that there was still some time before the club opens so we went and ate some udon near by. Ai told me that when i go to the club its ok to say I'm his girlfriend as long as i don't tell them that he paid for me because that's against the rules.

When we got to the club I sat down with him and we chatted a bit over drinks. ( for events its all-you-can-drink free time system) some of the host without shime-ed customers rotated around the tables as "help" and talked to me as well. Sometimes Ai had to go to another table as help for champagne calls etc. His co-workers were very funny and entertaining.

During the first groups show, Ai got changed and came out in a... miku? costume LOL! I did his makeup while watching the show here and there. After that was done there was a little intermission and Ai went to the other side of the club to get ready while his co-workers kept me company.

Ai's skit was actually quite funny. They all dressed in nerd glasses multi-colored shirts and well really anything to look ridiculously stupid. The main character is a new host at a host club. He is trampled on and made to do mundane duties. He envies the number 1 at the club who has this customer named shizuka (Ai) who is a super bratty customer that spends alot of money. He expresses his frustration in private and out comes doraemon to the rescue. He has chats back and forth with doraemon and doraemon says he will grant his wish. The next time Shizuka comes to the club the number 1 stiffs up and cannot move. Shizuka gets frustrated and changes her shime to the new host. However things get out of hand when the main character finds out the true nature of how its like to handle shizuka. He is made to chug many bottles of champagne every night to the point where he thinks he made a mistake and cries out for doraemon. I think Doraemon kind of said that it was kinda a lesson he had to learn or something i wasnt quite sure on this part but anyway it somehow lead to doraemon having to drink the champagne instead and he got super drunk and was acting super crude and funny walking around the club. But eventually he gets a bit violent when shizuka picks on him and he brings out a vibrator? and sticks it under her skirt and she screams and runs away. The new host cries after shizuka and the story ends with drunk doraemon laughing. LOL what a crazy skit.

The rest of the time Ai and I just sat talked and drank til the club was closed. He had to shower and get changed so I left first and waited for him outside in font of the koma building in kabukicho. It was daylight and kinda warm. I sat around watching 3-bu trying to catch customers for their club. Originally there is 1-bu which is night, and 2-bu which is morning. But recently as of a few months ago there has been a few 3-bu clubs opening that operate during the afternoon. I sat around waiting for a while and just when a group of 3 who were 2-bu hosts who got off work were trying to get me to go with them to play (who didnt believe me when i said i had a boyfriend) Ai showed up and took me by the hand.

Its early afternoon. We were together during the day for once. We were thinking we might go out somewhere or something but we were both very tierd and haven't slept for a long time so we decided to take a little nap at my house for a bit. We ended up sleeping til late unfortunately.

When we got up we freshened up a little and went to eat at a ramenya near by that ash and I are friends with. Ai got along with the tencho very well and talked alot. The tencho was teasing me on how everytime the subject of Ai comes up my face lights up. The tencho also said that at first he was wary of him since he is a host but upon meeting him he can see why I like him.

After we finished eating we took some purikura in sentaagai and then headed off to atom. Ai said he hasn't gone clubbing in a long time. When I was there I ran into alot of friends and introduced Ai to them. Ai and I had some fun at the club but hes not really all that into dancing so he mostly just watched me and drank which made me feel a bit uncomfortable. We left a little early hanged out til around 6-7ish and then slept a little til the afternoon and he left to run some errands.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My 1st Hanami with Love Gal's

I came to Japan 2 years ago during hanami season in the spring. However, I was not able to go for some reason or another. My friend explained to me that Hanami is a tradition in which people sit under the sakura trees and admire the blossoming flowers. I thought this was done during the day with a picnic or something of that sort but it is very common for hanami to be done at night with your co-workers or friends with a bottle of sake.

Usually because of location, Yoyogi Koen is often overly packed during hanami season and it is very hard to get a seat. But due to the recent big earthquake last month it was pretty empty. After taking some purikura and a photo with our Love Gal's banner we headed to Yoyogi koen with a big bottle of souchu and bottles of tea, calpis soda, etc. We picked our spot and our leader Natsuki explained to us what a nagomi is.

Nagomis are a big part of sa-life. It is where everyone sits in a circle with a big bottle of sochu and owari (juice or tea etc to mix with. there is also dai-sa style where its just straight up but no one likes that style) and play drinking games. Usually the youngest in the group will be the ones mixing the drinks if they werent premixed and put into big pet bottles to begin with.

Usually our leaders will start off the games. Natsuki taught us each game to us so we will be prepared for future bigger nagomis with multi-circle meet-ups. I found alot of the games hard to grasp at first because of a language barrier. But I slowly got used to them as we played them over and over again.

A little further on a group of young salary-men who were doing nagomi as well next to us with a expensive bottle of nihon-shu (sake) offered to share some of it with us. One of them has connections with the beach and Natsuki and him talked about possibly having a summer event on the beach.

They didnt stay long after and neither did we. We left Yoyogi koen before the last train.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dance Groove Event Planning Meeting

Uwa~ Yet another day in which I had to get up earlier than intended on. Recently I found myself rushing through all my meals. Its really sad I don’t get to eat my food at the pace I want. When you pay for food… well at least for me anyway, I kinda like to enjoy it but whatever, things have to be done right? I said to myself that I DEFIANTLY wanted to eat my food normal for dinner.

Not really knowing how this meeting is going to be like but knowing we MUST be there on time because our leader Natsuki is in the running for one of the higher up positions and it reflects badly on our circle if we are late. To try our best to make it on time, we took a taxi to Shinjuku to meet with Yumi.

We all arrived JUST in time but the leaders of the meeting were late haha go figure but at least were weren’t. To my surprise even though it’s a gyaru meeting, everything is quite formal in terms of greeting people in polite speech, (only difference is that we say otsukaresama desu rather than ohaiyogozaimasu) taking special care of greeting leaders a particular way and people who are older than you. (This is when its kinda nice being older than a lot of people)

The meeting started and I was looking around a little curiously at this whole picture. It looked really cool seeing all these gyaru/gyaro all serious in a lecture hall. And normal people don’t think gyaru/gyaruo work hard. Everything was very formal and professional. The point of this meeting was nominating who is going to be in charge for each position. I had quite a difficult time understanding most of the speeches or what was going on. It was the first time being in japan in such a formal setting for so long. (amongst gyaru of all kinds of people is what makes me kinda laugh) The meeting went on til about 9:15 Our leader got one of the highest positions and we were all happy. During the breaks and free time parts were all called the Kyaba-sa (because we all look like kyabajos) and one of the supervisors said that our circle overall had the cutest girls.

Though we really wanted to go drinking with everyone after we had work at 10:30…. I said at the begining of this entry that the one thing I wanted today was not to inhale my food… guess what? I had inhale my food =.= Almost literally too. We tried to cut time by going to a ramenya near our workplace. I ate the ramen a little faster than id have liked though it was very good. But our gyoza took forever to come and by the time it did we had 5mins to eat it all. I bit into each one like 2-3 times and swallowed them all down. It really sucked. Not only did it kinda hurt going down and made me feel sick after, they were good gyoza too and I can tell I would have loved to savor them if I had the time of day. Work was a bit difficult to get through because of the little sleep we ran on and my brain for being tired with the whole day being formal and in Japanese/not understanding because of it, and Ash being tired from translating.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

S_Cube Graduation

S_cube is a big umbrella of a bunch of circles such as Sheeps, しぇっPィず, Serpent, Shetlans Shake II, S&S, Shooting Stars, Salvia...

Every circle has generations based on age and every circles has their rules as to what age they graduate. For most Highschool circles the graduating age is 18~19. Most dai-sa's are 21~22. As a general, you get about 3 years in a circle so there are some people who graduate a younger and some who graduate older. However, most circles have a age limit for how old you can be when you enter and so on. Though it is sad to leave your circle graduation is necessary for the growth of the circles. It is the goal of a sa-jin (circle person) to graudate. If you are kicked out or leave before graduation you are often shunned and excluded from circle people. After graduation motto-sa-jin (graduated sa-jin) often continue to attend events and some outstanding members become advisers for big multi-circle events such as Dance Groove, Love and Sunshine, Campus Summit, D-1. For singular circle events of thier previous circle often motto-sa-jin sit in VIP and watch their juniors.

Ash and I were invited to S_Cube graduation by Kazu and Ryouchimu. Ryouchimu is not graduating. However, Kazunyan is. The line for the event was quite long as i rushed to meet Ash and Yumi. I couldnt find them at first when I walked passed atom. When i finally found them Yumi told me that she was wondering who the person with the HUGE hair was. HAHA

When we finally got in, there was an interruption in the line to let all the graduating member's parents come through. Though one might think that everyone is against their children being gyaru but alot of parents actually support their children when they are in circles as they watch how hard the apply themselves at making events, making friends and really putting their all in something.

As soon as we entered Yumi brought us to the drink counter and we ordered drinks (most of these events are all-you-can-drink) and we were made to chug drink after drink while getting cheered on by calls. This is quite normal in every event.

The show began and we moved up to the front. We got to see many para-para, tech shows and so on. A little later we moved up to VIP because Yumi knew a few people in there. We were introduced to DJ Iori, DJ Yuki and a few other Djs. From the 6th floor looking down we had a clear view of the performances. The last part of the event was the graduation ceremony where each of the graduating members gave a speech and told of their precious experiences of being in their circle.

At the end of the event we headed back downstairs and I congratulated Kazunyan and then left with Yumi, Ash and Iori. We all headed to Sentagai and took purikura with DJ Iori and took a few pictures with a couple of people. One being Run-chan a very outstanding mamba.

Again another precious experience. I feel like somehow, all in the course of a week or so I have been swept into the heart of gyaru culture in Tokyo. I feel excited to know that this is the beginning of many new experiences and a oppertunity to see things I have only speculated on in the past first hand.

After meet, I was supposed to see Ai. He said he would come to shibuya for me around 8ish but time got later and later. I fell asleep waiting for him but he eventually came around 12. We didnt end out doing much just chatting and talking about random things. I showed him the photos from today and he was very impressed and surprised. He told me he tried sentaa for a week or 2 then quit. LOL I would have loved to have seen that hahahhaa. He was obviously very tired. He rarely has time so he often goes without sleep to see me... I don't like to stress him out too much so even though he says hes fine (while falling asleep while sitting or standing) I just let him sleep.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Sentaa and Men’s Egg Youth model hijacked my bed

A couple of days after my birthday party I spotted one of the senta’s hanging around mecca. I waved at him and he gave me a surprised look and waved back. I continued walk to work when a the whole group ran up to me and ash and started to talk to us. Kazuya asked for my number when Men’s egg youth model Ryouchimu came up and asked what was going on all genki. When Kazuya explained that I took a photo with him a few days ago, Ryouchimu said “THAT’S IT?! How boring” then he looks at us and said both of you are cute!! One of you give me your number! Because I gave my number to Kazu, so ash gave hers to Ryou.

On Thursday after I got home after the Love Gals meeting, Kazu phoned and asked where I was. “Im at home” “oh…. Im in shibuya” “Oh yea? Me too” “whut?! I thought u said you’re at home” “I LIVE in shibuya” “Oooh~” a few hours later we ended out hanging out with him and he also brought Ryouchimu. Kazu said he was tiered and cold and asked if he could come over to our house. All 3 of us were like whut? Why???? He kept pushing and pushing and eventually we caved in and said yes because we too were really cold. Our plan was to just hang out for a little while, warm up a little and go somewhere after but faster than kazu ryou fell asleep. Kazu kept asking ash to translate everything. The jist of it was that he liked me and wanted to be my boyfriend. I told him I already have a boyfriend and I don’t really have and interest in boys that are younger than me generally. Kazu eventually gave up and fell asleep too. So ash and I was like now what? So while the slept we watched girls life and eventually fell asleep too.

In the morning we were trying hard to wake kazu up. Ryou woke up just fine but kazu refused. When we finally got him to wake up he had to do all his makeup and so on and we couldn’t leave until they left. Eventually it got to be too late and ash just went with my half of the money with her and I sat down and said well it looks like im stuck on babysitting duty. Ryou laughed. They left a little after Ash got back from ometesando.

Some of the things we talked about was about gal/gyarou in general. Ryou said that recently he’s not very happy with Men’s Egg/Men’s egg youth. He said that he understands that yea that Megg now is tonned down and stuff but Mens Youth was supposed be the magazine that shows TRUE gyaruo but recently its been tonning down too. It frustrated him.

We showed some western gals Kazu (im not gonna say names just random ones mostly manba/bamba) he was looking over them and said that he thinks Pin and Niji are really interesting. He said he saw some of the western gals here and there before as well. His main opinion was that he wasn’t particularly impressed. He said a lot of them were either boring or if they were good, they just look like cookie cutter gyaru out of the magazine. I sorta agreed with what he said in some ways. The bottom line is, try to be a bit more original I think. When I think about it harder, the magazines nowadays have become more of the commercial side of gyaru/gyaruo. You may not see the heavier styled gals/gyaruo in them now but it doesn’t mean its not popular or don’t exist. Its just that gal has become more open to the public and the tonned down styles is a result of that. In the west, I think its easy to feel like its just a fashion, but the deeper and deeper I get into it here in Japan, it feels like its less about being perfect in your hair, makeup and style, but rather a way of being. (but of course, having perfect hair and style etc DOES make you prettier, but it doesn’t make you any less gal if you don’t is what im saying) bottom line there is stop picking eachother apart so badly like a bunch of Nazis with magnifying glasses.