Netflix and Chill

I basically spent my whole day laying on the couch watching Japanese Netflix.  One of my favorite things to do is to nap with Law & Order playing in the background.  Law & Order isn’t on Japanese Netflix, so I opted for Bones, and it was MAGICAL.

We’re working on getting America stuff up and running but we need a VPN which is something I don’t understand. I assume it stands for Very imPortant Netflix and Hulu thing.  Nathaniel will get that figured out and dealt with this weekend when he has the time to deal with it. Until then, I HAVE INTERNET! And Japanese Netflix!

Around lunchtime I forced myself to some chicken and rice to keep myself from binging on junk food all day.  Then I ate chips and had a Coke Zero. WHAT?! I deserved it.

I started watching “The Returned” and now I can’t stop. So there’s that.

It was cold and rainy here today so I had to hang the laundry inside which I can’t stand.

And the vile weather made it hard for me to get up and do anything. Eventually I forced myself out of the house to visit the exotic animal pet stop.

http://remix-net.co.jp/

It’s HUGE and it has crazy things. Like squirrels and OWLS. I totally thought the owl was a taxidermic owl, but no, it moved. I almost died.

They don’t allow photographs and they are pretty aware of what is going on, so I took some of these from their blog.


Yeah.  Hairless guinea pig

s.  

They also had these guys, in adult and baby:

(Just the guys at the very beginning but the whole video is worth watching.)

I almost died when I came home to this scene from the Godfather.  I jumped out of my skin.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I feel like it’s going to get harder and harder for me to be exciting every day you guys.

Winning Wednesday!!!

I won at today you guys.

Before I tell you all about it, here are a few things I forgot that I did amazingly well yesterday:

I figured out how to sync my phone to our bluetooth in the car IN JAPANESE PEOPLE.

I got gas, WITH NO HELP.

I used a DIFFERENT ATM and did it!

OK on to today!

This morning I was so excited for the internet to arrive, I did all of my daily chores and then some. I moved some furniture, I rearranged the shelves and cabinet, I organized some drawers. It was very exciting.
Until I realized that I misremembered what time the people were coming and had extra time on my hands. WAH WAH.  So I took a shower and brushed my mane. I got myself a bowl of peanut butter and apples and THAT is of course when they showed up.  It was 2 very polite gentlemen.

I keep getting myself into “situations” because I practice what I’m going to say to someone, and say it particularly well. The person then assumes that my Japanese is *awesome* and starts speaking back to me super fast. UH. Whoops.

So that happened with the internet guys, luckily we figured it out and they just went about their business.  One of the reasons we were annoyed that it was taking so long for this whole thing is that we were told by the internet people and the relocation people that are house was wired for the “Hikari Fiber” internet. Well, it turns out that we weren’t, but clearly someone, somewhere knew that because this happened:

It was much more serious business than I was anticipating, but they got it done!! It’s SUPER fast too. WAHOO!!

Instead of sitting down to enjoy the internet though, I had to take a train into downtown and drop off the pocket wi fi.  I had a Google Maps pin to follow.  However, I was too busy having a text conversation with Nathaniel and missed my stop.  I figured it out 2 stops later when I heard a station name I had never heard before. Whoops.

Once off the train, Google Maps lost it’s ever loving mind again. So I gave up on it, and just started wandering around in the general direction I thought I should go. Then: BAMN. I saw something familiar: A Starbucks I had been to! And then a florist I had perused. So I knew where I was, and how to get where I needed to go!! BOOM. Then, same thing, I spoke really good Japanese, and they started speaking quickly to me. Eventually we figured it out, but it was a bit complicated.
I didn’t even pull up my phone on the way back, I just walked from whence I’d come and found the subway line I needed. I even got on in the right direction, and RAN for the train and shoved my way in at the last second like a true train passenger. I was very proud of myself.

To reward myself, I went to a little department store at our station to look for a new purse. I’m looking for a little backpack. Just big enough for my iPad and wallet, etc. But not an old lady purse/backpack, something cute and sporty. And inexpensive.  Anyway, they didn’t have anything, but I hit up the local “Leg Fashion” for some cute, low profile socks for my new flats. . .and a sweat skirt. . .I mean, it was a NEEEED.

After that I decided I’d earned a Starbucks.  While ordering, I went for it: I asked which kinds of milk they had. IN JAPANESE.  And she answered me. IN JAPANESE. AND I UNDERSTOOD. SO now I can have a NON FAT latte! WAHOO!!!

I Felt pretty high walking home. I’d navigated a place I wasn’t familiar with, I’d spoken to a number of people in Japanese and I basically won the day.

AND THE LAUNDRY WAS STILL ON THE LINE. BOOM

When the kids got home, I had promised Isaac a shopping trip. We went to the Mega Donkey to get him a pair of cheap indoor shoes for school which he desperately needed.  I had also promised Rosie a Barbie as a reward for some behavior and of course, they were out.

But, I knew what store to go to. So we Google Mapped that and hit it up. BOOM (off brand) BARBIE.

Lastly I wanted to stop at a restaurant supply store my friend Anita told me about because they have these:

Oh, and Sour Cream. Which sadly (for Nathaniel) has gelatin. But we bought it anyway. Sorry dude.

So we could have this:

Look at that. Cheese, sour cream, black beans and corn chips. A taste of home.

From there, I actually knew how to get home without a map, even though I had never been to that exact store. And today, all my parking in reverse was good too. Even the kids commented on it. Rosie said I was best “Backwards Parker” and she loved me. She also had just received her off bran Barbie so she was in good spirits.

Since I was feeling so good, I detoured. 

And then I dropped off my most recent “X-Files” disc since we have internet. And then home to Instant Pot Beans.

However, my friend Bryan was right and I cannot just make Netflix and Hulu work, so alas, I still don’t have TV and Nathaniel had to work late, so he can’t even be here to fix it yet.  But I’m still REALLY REALLY proud of myself today, especially after I worked so hard yesterday too.  Tomorrow I had planned on wandering around to a few places I was interested in, but between exhaustion and the threat of rain, I think I Might make it a quiet day.

WINNING!

Go to Costco They Said. . .

It’ll be cheap and easy, they said.

Whoops.

Repeat after me:

Chips

Cheese

Sour Cream

Chips

Cheese

Sour Cream

So they didn’t have sour cream. So I substituted.

Whoops.

First it took us about 1.5 hours to drive to Costco on the surface streets as opposed to the toll road, and that was only with 1 missed turn.

When we got to Costco, it was CRAZY WINDY.

Then we went inside, and there was SO MUCH STUFF YOU GUYS. And everything has an ENGLISH translation. And there were many, many familiar items.  I didn’t get a lot of photos because I was just taking it all in. There wasn’t a lot of weird stuff unforutnately, but I promise to look more carefully next time for y’all.

I actually didn’t do too badly.

I bought:

3 bottles of wine

Granola Bars!

Chicken Broth (which as far as I can tell is not a thing here)

Pasta Sauce (most of the sauce at our grocery is made with things Nathaniel is allergic to)

Tortillas!

Batteries*

Chips (on the list)

Cheese (on the list)

and a pair of shoes for me. SUPER not on the list, but a need.

After a lunch at Coco Ichiban, it was time to head home. Feeling brave, I decided to try to the toll road.

First I had to basically get out of the car to get the ticket from the machine.

Then Google Maps (that rude ass bitch) told me to take the exit left, when what she meant was “Don’t take the exit on the left” (I Had another adult in the car who can vouch for the fact that Google was losing her mind), So we took the exit and paid. Except the dude dropped my change all over. There was lots of laughter on our part.  We stopped laughing when Google took us in a circle and right back onto the toll road. This time I just rolled on by as I grabbed my ticket like a pro.  And we continued on our merry way. . .

Until Google lost her shit and had us get off at the wrong exit, and then right back on.

Then we practically cried we were laughing so hard when we went ONE EXIT and paid 810 yen!!! I’m not sure if we did something wrong or what, but the tolls here are crazy high! (Their roads are also crazy well cared for)

All in all, the toll road cost us about $20 and only save us about 40 minutes. . .have to weigh that next time we go.  I’m so glad Christina was there with me to laugh at. . .I mean. . .with me.

Then I got home and discovered it had been windy here too:

However it didn’t affect this guy:


I feel like Cinderella (in a good way) when I’m folding laundry next to the window while these guys sing for me.

*OH! Here’s a fun fact. . . the batteries I bought at our grocery don’t seem to have enough power to them. They’re AA but they don’t make the flashlights as bright as they should, and they wear out really fast. I bought Kirkland brand today and BAMN bright flashlights!

Tonight is left overs night. Sorry for no exciting recipe.

A number of years ago, Nathaniel took over reading books to the kiddos before bed. It was a special time for them and they wanted nothing to do with me reading books. Now Nathaniel is most often not home during bedtime.  Last night, I snuggled up post-mermaid session with the kiddos and we started reading Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” together, and all 3 of us loved it. I’m excited to start this new tradition with the kids.

I failed at opening a can tonight with a 100 yen can opener. So we didn’t have oranges.

Both kids would like me to tell you the following:
The tigers are dying. Isaac thinks that because of this fact he should join Facebook to help the tigers. He’s not going to, but he thinks he should.

And the kiddos are selling raffle tickets for their school to raise money. Unfortunately, all the prizes are things you have to be in Japan to use, so they’re of no use to you, but I *PROMISED* I would pass along the information.
After this fail last night
#thanksobama

I’m trying this:

I’ll report back tomorrow.
But you guys.  Remember my awesome friend Mari??? She said she’ll teach me to MAKE plum wine.  Isn’t she great???

Magic Monday

Today was one of those days when things just worked. Thank goodness, I needed it. And I assume you, my faithful readers, needed to hear me stop bitching.  (LANGUAGE VICTORIA)

First, the kids went to school.  I love my children dearly, but I love when they have an outlet for all their thoughts that isn’t just me. Also, I’m trying not to ride everyone’s asses too hard on the weekend about keeping the house clean so when they exit the house on Monday, I Have a bit of a back log of tidying to do.

Second, I FaceTimed with my Mom, Dad, Sister, Emily Cat and Sophie Dog. Sushi Dog will not speak to me. I think she knows I’m on the phone and has no desire to give me the doggy time of day.  My heart is a little broken by this, but I know she is well cared for and happy. She has been a little anxious as my Mom has mentioned in the comments before, so she made her some mittens. WHICH SHE WEARS PEOPLE. So that makes me happy too.

And the delivery guy brought the things to make the internet work when the internet people come on Wednesday!

Next, I put out my trash, no birds ate it and it got picked up. Plus I put mine out at the same time as the people across the street and we had a nice little chat in Japanese.

THEN! A car drove the wrong way down the one way street, and all of us neighbors were out there yelling at them. I felt very included in the annoyance.   However, we didn’t flick them off, which I found a little disappointing.  We still have to be polite when chastising in Japan.

At 11, my lovely (inside and out!) Japanese friend Mari came to teach me how to use our counter top oven/microwave (which currently resides on our floor because we have no counter). We had managed to microwave, but the idea of actually COOKING in it was terribly overwhelming. I have 2 pages of notes (below) and I feel confident in my ability to use it! It’s super fancy and has a whole bunch of programs that I will never use.

Then, because Mari is a dear soul, she called the doctor to me. And here is the crazy thing, THEY DON’T DO APPOINTMENTS. You just go and they see you. So then Mari TOOK ME TO THE DOCTOR. (And kindly stopped me before I walked in with my shoes on, you have to remove them!). Then she translated at the doctor for me. (Even though the doctor had some English, it was much easier/better with someone who could speed the process up) Without an appointment we were there for. . . less than an hour total. And I forgot my Japanese insurance card so I had to pay out of pocket which was 3500 yen, so just over $30 US. But don’t worry, they’re going to refund me some portion of that when I go back tomorrow with the insurance card. I KID YOU NOT PEOPLE. THIS IS HEALTH CARE.  Then Mari took me to the pharmacy for my prescription. Out of pocket it would be 4500 yen, but they were out of what I needed (Walgreens on the corner of Washtenaw and Huron Pkwy. must have called and told them that’s how they like to treat me) so I’ll go back tomorrow with my insurance and let you know how that turns out. Oh and this is all cash of course, no credit cards!

How awesome is all that though? I have a friend who will not only come to my house (encouraging me to get up and clean first thing!) but will then take me to the doctor and pharmacy.  She is the same friend who arranged to have my package redelivered.  (Which was our US mail. . .so yeah, bills)

After I came home, I heated these up for lunch:

Turns out, not chicken, but a potato pancake of sorts. So delicious, but not really a whole meal. I ate it anyway.

This is how they want you to microwave them:

but I cannot microwave in plastic.

And I enjoyed this AMAZING tea.  I first had it at the Flower Making and someone told us where to buy it, so I bought it on Saturday. It looks like marmalade, but it’s tea!  It’s high in Vitamin C so you’re supposed to drink it when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s so tasty and caffeine free.

This is how you make it:

 

Once the kids were home, we decided on dinner and I headed to the grocery store. I was excited to find that Chicken was on sale, and that I recognized that it was on sale.  Oh the thrills! Nathaniel’s tea was on sale.  I got all the way through the grocery store and home before I realized it wasn’t hard. I just WENT to the grocery store, DID the shopping, and came home. I didn’t fret over anything. I knew what I wanted, and where it was. I counted my money correctly. It was a really nice trip.

Then I made dinner.

I made a basic baked chicken now that I know how to use our oven. Basically take some melted butter, put it on chicken, add whatever spices you want, bake it.


This chickencis good by itself but I use the leftovers to mix into other things.


Here are some videos and pictures showing you how our thing is both a microwave and an oven:

 

It’s pretty handy. It is one of the items we splurged on and bought a nice one because we want to take it back to the states and replace our microwave and toaster oven with this.  (I’m also bringing home toilet seats and perhaps a bathtub)

Nathaniel and the kids each got a piece of mail today from Nathaniel’s parents. (I’ve previously received mail) so that definitely added some excitement for the kids!  They’ve mastered the international mailing! GO MELISSA AND RON!

I’m exicted to hang out in my tub tonight with my new books!  I bought 5 Robert B Parker books (because that’s what they had) so hopefully it turns out that I like him.

I heard some sports happened in the states. So GO SPORTS!!!! Unless your team lost, in which case: SPORTS 😦

ALSO!  I need recipes people. EASY recipes. So please feel free to comment below with recipes for me. I would love that.

Tomorrow my friend Christina and I are hopefully heading to Costco!  It’s a hike so most people only go once a week, but I’m looking forward to CHEESE and maybe. . .SOUR CREAM.  I wonder if I can get a case pack of porn?

Explore Japan Sunday (3)

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!

Yesterday we found some granola that wasn’t crazy expensive (cereal is expensive here) so we were excited to try that today.  It’s good, but I noticed something a little different than granola in the US. . .

Yup, black beans, tomato and squash seeds. It’s actually pretty tasty, but also pretty hilarious.

After breakfast we had to rethink out plans because of the rain, so we decided to go to the Nagoya City Science Museum  It was HUUUUUUUGEEE You guys, we didn’t even get through all of it before we had to go get lunch. It’s 7 floors and pretty awesome.

On our way there we stopped and got umbrellas because it was pouring.  Rosie in particular thought the umbrellas were the funniest thing she’d ever seen and she giggled like a maniac.

Unfortunately I only got a few photos of the museum. Sorry!


I will say it’s hard to learn about science in a language you can’t read.

We met up with Nathaniel’s co worker Paul and his wife Mun Ling who have spent more time in Japan. They showed us around Sakae which is a HUGE shopping district. I have a feeling I’ll be spending lots of money. . . err. . .time there.

We finally visited the Book Off (recycle shop) that had English books. I got a whole bunch to read in my bath and cannot wait to get started.

We went to the Lego store too where Nathaniel spent a million hours making me crazy trying to figure out each blind bag.  He got (he thinks) 19 out of the 20 he “needed”. I held back because I for sure plan on doing more shopping very soon now that I know where to go. . .

For your entertainment here are some funny Japan photos from the week:

Tonight we’re having dinner all together with our friends Christina and Dewey and their toddler Iziah. I’m very excited to hopefully find a new family friend.  It’s been a really nice day and I’m hoping this will be a nice, relaxing way to start our week.

This is the week that the internet arrives! (Hopefully!)

Hmph

I was grumpy today and try as I might, I could not make myself ungrumpy.  It didn’t help that the kids were in the mood to misbehave.

Anyway, first we went to Mister Donuts.

(Sorry, I forgot a before picture)

Then I hit up my Starbucks for a latte.

This crow followed me for a while, he really really wanted my latte. The crows here yell “MOM!” over and over again.  It’s creepy.


We explored some parks. I didn’t really get any pictures because I was trying to contain my grumpiness.  There are a TON of parks around here which is super cool. I’m excited for warmer weather so we can spend more time at them.

After that it was home, and lunch from the Family Mart, which is like a 7-11.  But they have really good food to go. It’s bizarre.  The connivence stores here are amazing and on every corner and then some 😉

After lunch we headed to “Book Off” which is another recycle shop. The recycle shops here are plentiful and awesome. This one specializes in media, like used porn.

And Men’s Fudge magazine.

There was also this shark. I have no explanation for that. Although, that makes it sound like I have an explanation for used porn. . .

After that we went to “Don Quixote” which is sort of like a Big Lots?  It has everything.  It’s called “mega donkey” but their mascot is a penguin. No idea on that one either.

They did have a large selection of room shorts. . .but Nathaniel thought 1 pair was enough to scar my children for life.

In the kids’ section there is also a wide selection of costumes. . . you know. Normal things.

So yeah, not a terribly exciting day. I did take a nice long soak in my bath tub to try to relieve the grumpiness that is happening, but it’s just not working. It’s clearly hormonal as I teared up a lot today.

Tomorrow is Explore Japan Sunday. I’m hoping for a trip to the Winter Festival nearby and maybe the English Book Store (which I wanted to go to today but got vetoed in favor of used porn)

A high note for today was getting lovely help from my Japanese friend Mari.  We received a notice in the mail box with a package they couldn’t deliver. . .I could not figure out the notice despite visiting the English version of their website. I sent the pictures of it to Mari, who called the post office and is having them re-deliver the package tonight.  I was so glad I had someone to reach out to, especially where mail is concerned. I love to get mail, so it was disappointing to miss something potentially fun. (I’m going to laugh when it’s a bill)

So that was Saturday. Sorry to be boring, but I think my family will tell you my boriness is better than my grumpiness.

Feelings Friday (4)

I’m about to bitch and moan about my first world problems. So sorry.  I completely, 100% acknowledge that are things FAR FAR worse happening in the real world, all over, including my home country.  I understand that the things I’m about to say are petty, and really not problems. BUT THEY SUCK TO ME.  So please, don’t give me a lecture. MMkay? Thanks

ALSO: There is lots of NSFW or kids language in here. Dad, I’ll save you the trouble: LANGUAGE VICTORIA.  Yeah, fuck that shit, I’m grumpy.

I need, in this order,

  1. a massage. OMG I’m sore all over, including my stupid head.
  2. a manicure. my nails look horrible and having nice nails makes me feel good. petty, remember?
  3. a haircut.  I am pretty recognizable at this point by the ball of poofy, dried out, staticky fur on top of my head.

You’re over there thinking: Ok, so go get a massage, manicure, and haircut you dry hair, icky nailed, hot mess of a woman?

Let me be clear. It’s not that easy. It turns out that a lot of places here won’t service foreigners, specifically Americans.  Why? I don’t know. I would assume because a lot of Americans are assholes.  Also, you know, there is a language barrier. And it’s expensive.  And I have limited internet connectivity to research these things.  Our internet comes the 8th and I will be googling like mad then.

Next up on my petty list of problems is the fricken furniture. AGAIN. It’s NASTY. It’s UNCOMFORTABLE. And it’s frankly, INSUFFICIENT. We don’t all fit on the nasty ass couch. We had to buy a chair so that there is room for all 4 of us to sit. GOD FORBID we have anyone else over, we’ll have to squat.

Ok, why you gotta complain? BECAUSE THEY WANT TO CHARGE US FOR IT. Apparently we get 30 days included rental furniture and then we have to pay until our sea shipment comes. Which may not be until MARCH. Now, I would be ok with paying for furniture that I had picked out or I liked, or could even tolerate, but the idea of paying (an extremely high amount) makes me want to punch someone and shove them under the nasty couch cushions as a punishment.  Seems rational right?

Also I’m sick of wearing the same 5 outfits. PETTY PETTY PETTY.

I JUST WANT MY FRICKEN STUFF.

It doesn’t help that our living, dining and kitchen area (Where we spend all of our waking days since we have no stuff in our bedrooms except beds and dressers, because we have no stuff) is literally 450cm by 500 cm which is like, some feet. Not a lot of feet, just some feet. Ok, I googled, it’s like 15 feet by 16 feet.  This room includes:

A shitty ass TV stand.

A TV (this seems workable)

A shitty ass coffee table.

The couch of ick.

The chair we bought.

4 crap ass chairs and a shitty table.

OUR ENTIRE KITCHEN

and the cabinet I bought to put some shit in. Including our Computer.

Plus me and 2 kids most of the time. OMG it’s a lot people. I also use this room to fold our laundry because it’s where I hang the laundry.  So it’s kind of an all purpose room. AND IT’S TINY.  Which I knew going in. But we have an entire other room we want to use as a guest room/TV room, but it currently doesn’t have heat (remember that fiasco?) or FURNITURE.  So we’re living in this tiny, tiny room. AND I LOVE TINY THINGS. I would live in a TINY HOUSE if I Could, but this house is not designed for such living. IT’S NOT CONVENIENT.

And Nathaniel is basically not home, which does not help me feel good.  He misses all the time that both kids are awake and in the same room as me.

So that’s how I’m feeling.  Otherwise, in the feelings department, things are good. I do LOVE Japan, it’s just the move part that is causing me stress.  I love new friends I’m making.  I love the food. And the people. And the baked goods. I just don’t love this tiny room without my things.

Anyway, today was nice.  I hit up the 100 yen store to get some organizational items for the house to help me feel a little better about the tiny room, and it definitely helped.  That’s really all I did.

Well, I did buy “his and her’s” sponges, because you know men and women have different sponge needs.

And I broke down and bought some “room shorts” because they are just too hilarious to pass up. You’re welcome.

OH!! My washing machine is labeled as “super quiet”:

 

 

It cracks me up that this is considered super quiet. I wouldn’t want a LOUD one.  (for the record, I’m not complaining about that, it’s just funny)

I ate these for lunch:

Which are chicken? I think. . .or pork. They’re white meat. And tasty.

Rosie spent some time doing karaoke in our teeny tiny room. So that was. . . lovely. (actually adorable but I was trying to read something in Japanese)


I looked at a lot of instant pot recipes online. And then we ordered pizza. We’re going to watch Big Hero 6 with our pizza.  I plan on having hot plum wine too. And maybe a bath since I cleaned the tub.  You could have knit a new Torey from the drain trap. You’re welcome for that image.
And I’m still enjoying old x files.  I feel like everyone should revisit them.  They’re amazing.

So if you’d like, you can list your laundry list of feelings here. I’d love to hear them.

Thirsty Thursday

Everything (I choose to eat) in Japan is super salty. And I never realize I’m parched until it’s time to bed.  So I’m trying to remember to drink water.

Anyway, today I got to see my friend Christina and her son Iziah, which was wonderful. It was nice to see someone who is really in the same place I am in terms of the transition to Japan. We had a lot to talk about, and I thank heavens she is so normal!

We googled and decided to meet at a place to eat.  I stopped at the bank and WAHOO Starbucks on my way,
and navigated the subway all by myself  and then the walk to the restaurant.  I was pretty proud.  However, the place was closed, so we wandered down the street and found a Chinese joint, so we gave it a go.

There was NO ENGLISH, so it was an adventure. I managed to understand that we needed to order off the lunch set menu ONLY, not the other menu.  Then we figured out that the options for soup were “Soy” or “spicy”.   Once we deciphered what was seafood free for allergy sake, we ordered, thinking we were getting soup, entree, rice and a dessert.

HOLY LUNCH SET BATMAN. It was huge. AND DELICIOUS. We split the entrees which were Pork and Peppers and Fried Chicken, they were both really really good. Zay enjoyed a little bit of everything too! YUM!

Next we headed to a fancy bakery for dessert (we mostly skipped dessert at lunch). Christina discovered this place that is literally right behind her house and said it was amazing. SHE WAS NOT LYING.

First of all, it’s beautiful. Secondly, it smells amazing. And thirdly, everything I tried was delicious.

I got this giant strawberry cake thing which was perfectly created. Not too sweet either which I love, and we each tried these tiny little cheescake-y (but not quite cheescake) bites that were to die for.


Christina also got a pack of their spiced nuts which she let me try and they were beautiful and tasty too!

Then we just hung out and talked and talked and talked. It was lovely and just what I needed. (Tomorrow I fear I need retail therapy)

AND, I navigated my way home from Christina’s on the subway with no directions. BOOM.

OH! MOM AND ALIX:
Look what is next to Christina’s house too. . .

After that I had to come home and finish the chores that I didn’t get done earlier. Turns out, laundry hanging didn’t go well today. Whoops.

And then I headed to the grocery store.

Oddly, I haven’t heard back from him. . .

I also discovered a pretty handy grocery trick: follow the Japanese lady who looks like she knows what she’s doing and buy the same things she’s buying. BOOM.


I actually ended up making this for dinner:

http://www.healthstartsinthekitchen.com/recipe/5-minute-pressure-cooker-shrimp-scampi-paella/

Delicious.  But not a lot of food.  Will double in future.

Also, real talk: How often do you clean your tub? How often should you clean your tub? Molly, how often does your cleaning lady clean your tub?

And how do you clean your tub? Also, related: How am I grown up?

Big Brother 

Is watching.
I FaceTimed with my mom and dad and dog this morning and we had a little laugh about Sushi dog getting dog socks to stop her from licking her feetie paws.
Look.


Seriously.  Big brother knows.
Anyway here are some other facebook ads for your enjoyment.


It’s like they know me.


Keens!  In Japan!!!

This one came with a translation. . .


Which wasn’t super helpful.
Anywho. . .

Today was another kind of lame day.  I did more chores.  For those of you deeply invested in my laundry saga I’m all caught up!

I’ve finally got the drying down with a vinegar rinse so they’re not crispy. And I’m not going to lie , they smell amazing and sunshiney after hanging outside.

I even got the ironing done. Which is evidenced here in this photo I took of Rosie eating a giant carrot.


So it’s done. Just not put away.  Baby steps.
I hung this today too.

Nathaniel picked it up at the video game expo.

I have some other things I want to hang around the house but I’m trying to wait for the rest of our furniture.

And I still have the snow pants drying.
I also got all of our recycling out, including bottles and cans before the pick up. I even did it right and they even came and took it away.  Sounds easy right??? Hahah. No.

here is our schedule.


With clarification on the back.


And a map of where to place our refuse.

But that’s not all people. There is a book.


With NINETEEN pages of help.  And I’m serious when I say you need it.
Not only do your neighbors police you, I’ve heard stories of people having their garbage returned to them after tracking Down the culprit by looking INSIDE THE TRASH for clues.  I’m pretty impressed that we’re doing so well with it.
I’m also binge watching my dvds of x files and pretending it’s 1994 and aliens (of the extraterrestrial kind) are our biggest concern. And giggling at their technology.  Did you know I was 9 in 1994?

Tonight I’m making the kids new favorite dish which I call Tasty Chicken. It was born from desperation, an inability to use our oven, lack of ingredients I could recognize and pure laziness.  I first made it the first week we were here, and haven since made it at least once a week. I think you’ll all enjoy it.
First I use super sketchy looking ketchup because it’s cheaper than Heinz.


2 ounces of that. Which is some amount of milliliters.

Then 2 ounces of soy sauce.


Then some amount of weird looking honey.  Maybe an ounce?  Probably less

I add some garlic powder which is more like garlic crystals here.


Mix it all together.    Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Put all ingredients in a ziplock.

Put in your fridge for at least ten minutes, or as long as you need to.  Sometimes it’s just while I make a salad, sometimes it’s while I take a bath.  


Please note that my fridge contains sketchy looking cheese, black beans, soda and alcohol. All the basics.

When you’re ready to cook, toss it in a skillet on medium to high heat (our stove has hot and hotter) and cook it until it starts to carmelize.  Scrape all the bits and pieces off as you cook it.  Soooooo.  Goooooooooood.


I usually serve it over rice and with a salad or edamame. We basically always have rice cooking or warm from the night before so that helps for sure.

Tonight I added avocado for some of us and it was delicious together.
So.  That’s Wednesday here.  I’m getting ready to soak in my tub. What’s happening there???

Coming down. . .

You know when you come home from a trip and you’re so glad to see your bed, and your couch and your things?

Yeah, we don’t have that.  Today has felt really weird.  On top of my head pounding and my elbow being super painful, it felt really weird to come home to a house that is still somewhat like a hotel.  “Our” stuff isn’t here yet, and it won’t be for a while.  I feel like we had started to adjust to it but the act of going away and coming “home” really made those feelings fresh again.

I’m not saying it’s bad, or I’m depressed or anything. It’s just an observation.

It was also hard to work our way back into our routine since it was still such a new routine.  We completely fucked up the hot lunch system today on our first go, but I have high hopes for tomorrow.  Apparently you have to sign up and put money in and their is a PIN and blah blah blah. Sorry? We were handed a lot of paperwork and I guess I didn’t manage to read it all. Sumimasen.

Today I slaved over laundry, which is legit no exaggeration.  We each only have about 1 weeks worth of clothes with us. The children have already managed to each destroy one pair of their pants too.  Go them.  Anyway, I can only do about 1 days worth of laundry at a time because we have a tiny washer (7kg capacity) and you have to hang everything to dry which takes most of the day outside, and for bloody ever inside.  The last time I did laundry was Friday morning.  And between skiing and monkeys etc, we created a LOT of dirty laundry this weekend.   When we got home I immediately threw a load in and let it wash and spin itself silly over night. I hung that first thing this morning at 6:15am and started the second load.  I hung that as soon as it was done and did a load with ONE PAIR of snow pants that the boy child had spilled chocolate fondue on.  Then I hung those.

So at least now I’m down to 1.5 loads to do tomorrow.  Plus tomorrow I have to iron everything. It’s thrilling being me.

Aside from that I spent most of the day on the couch trying to make my head feel less like it’s going to fall off.  I’m also trying to keep my elbow from popping off too.  I’m kind of a hot mess, which is a phrase that confused our Australian host this weekend. Whoops.

Oh! I remembered something else funny that happened this weekend.  When we were getting our ski stuff (AKA torture devices of doom) I noticed that the tickets for the kids had their weight on them.  I asked Nathaniel what he had put down for my weight, because I love to make him uncomfortable, and he didn’t remember. At which point the lovely girl helping us cracked up.  She told me he put 95 kgs.  I DIED.

There are 2 options to how he came to that number:

  1. He was thinking in pounds, and clearly thinks I’m 12.
  2. He thinks I have a lead foot.

I have no idea how he came up with that weight, but it gave the entire store a good chuckle.

Let’s see. . . .not a lot else happened today.  I went to the store and didn’t buy 1/2 of the things I needed so I winged it on dinner.   I did buy wine though, so we’re going to be ok.  I reheated last night’s bath and tried to soak the ouchies away.

OH! I discovered that if you are late returning your 7 day DVD rental they fine you out the ASS!! OMG. It’s like 137 yen which is like. . .$1.25 for a 7 day rental of the X-Files. However, I was late (not more than 2 days) and it was 982 yen in fines. WHAT?!?!?! Did I BUY IT? I’m not 100% sure what happened because you know, Japanese but I’m pretty sure I brought some shame on my family.

Also I ran out of space to hang our socks today so I clipped them to our fence. . .add that to list the of shame.

And the amount of crumbs in our rental car from this weekend is shameful.

And Rosie wore a pair of pants with a hole in the knee to school today.

SHAME SHAME SHAME.

Sumimasen.