Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Christmas Cookies With Chopsticks

I'm trying to get into the Holiday Spirit a little... I watched the Michael Buble Christmas special last night (^_^). Nostalgic, but actually a little over-scripted, don't you think?

In Japan, you have to make Christmas happen--don't expect it to be Christmas just because it's December 25. Some friends and I are planning to make Christmas dinner together--quite a feat in our tiny apartment kitchens, and watch some Christmas movies. The problem is that there are so many people that aren't going home this year, we're going to be crammed in that little apartment. Ah well, maybe cozy, right?

Tomorrow is our work Christmas party with the students. I'm making Christmas cookies in my little toaster oven with some cookie cutters my mom sent me. It's working out pretty well. I'm going to attempt to make some frosting to go on top (^_^) tonight. I don't have a rolling pin of course, so I'm making do with a cooking chopstick. I hope I have enough cookies and don't eat all the cookie dough (^_^).

-- iPhoneから送信

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homegrown Kiwi Fruit

Living in the country has its perks. Often, we get lots of fresh produce from our students. But this year I had a first: homegrown kiwi fruit (^_^).

My student said that when she was a little girl, her father came home one day with a bunch of fruit trees. She thought he was crazy. But in the years following, also liked having fresh, fresh fruit around (^_^). Now, the trees are quite a bit of hard work she said, but very delicious (^_^). They have apple trees, pear trees, orange trees, persimmon trees, plum trees, kiwi trees... a real orchard by the sound of it (^_^). Growing so much fruit--especially kiwi fruit--in Japan is not so common either...

A few days ago a bad storm came through, so she had to save all the little kiwi fruit before they were destroyed. Lucky me (^_^). I have enough kiwi fruit to keep me happy for awhile now (^_^). I guess I have to share with my co-workers....

-- iPhoneから送信

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The sound of the ocean is not far away

Having Mondays off instead of Saturdays is usually so irritating. Not only do I work at night, I also work Saturdays, so I can hardly have proper relationships with people with normal schedules (blah Blah, typical afternoon-shift bellyache blah blah).

But, if you have a fellow Mondays-off friend, the two of you may discover there are a few blisses tucked inside the empty Monday world. Yesterday, the local beach became August (Nishio English teacher and hippie-esque, slightly insane piece of incarnate sunshine; also fellow Sunday-Monday weekend comrade) and I's private resort beach--yet there were also still a few people around to people watch and enjoy.

I've been craving the ocean. We've both been craving sunshine. So, we packed our backpacks and took our bicycles out there--it took us about an hour to get there, but only 40 minutes or so back because we found a way AROUND the small mountain, instead of having to scale it.

Thus we enjoyed a long afternoon playing in the water, listening to the piped in music on the loud speaker radio mixed with the waves.... I brought my little kite along.. it looked like a cute cicada doing colorful antics above the imported palm trees ^_^ Our bay area isn't so paradise-eque... they have imported the palm trees and the sand is actually not natural but brought in from the south of Japan.. and they renamed the beach Waikiki Beach so it feels more like paradise... it's still not quite the same as Hawaii I don't think ^_^, but it's warm ocean water and bright sunshine ^_^ So we are exponentially happy with it.

Unfortunately, the sunscreen we used wasn't waterproof....... lobster face. Yesterday night, I felt like I had a fever, and today at school was torture. And August is worse off than me. We're hoping all our skin doesn't peel off in sheets.. but I don't know if it can recover >_<

Next time, waterproof sunscreen.... and I have to practice swimming more... Mom made me and my brother and sister take swimming lessons when I was 8, but my sister and I failed, and I've never really been comfortable in water since... so August was trying to show me how there's actually a big bowl of cookie dough in the water, and if you scoop the sides, then breathe while eating it, and kick your legs like a frog, you can swim. Just makes me want to eat cookie dough really, but I'm trying.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

World peace

Sitting on the side of the river in Hiroshima, chilling and looking at the beautiful tragic ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome. Wishing I had a guitar so I could write another song about being nice to people. I'm sure tomorrow I'd think it was atrocious, but tonight it would be perfect.

It's dark and they are setting off fireworks behind the A-dome--real slowly, like one a minute maybe. Maybe they do this every night in the summer? No one seems overly excited except there's a few photographers out. The fireworks are shaped very distinctly like flowers. The sound is echoing down the river.

I like borrowing other people's towns for a couple of days.. Just hang out here instead of my own town. Of course there's more than just hanging out to do in Hiroshima, though. Today I stayed around here--the Peace park, museum, and Hiroshima castle. It's heavy stuff. After the museum and walking around thinking about it for most of the day, you really feel the human capacity to hurt other humans is ghastly huge.

The museum exhibits about Sadako and the thousand paper cranes, and then the memorial in the park in her honor remembering all the children who died because of the bomb were especially poignant: they remind me of what exactly made me want to come over here in the first place... In fourth grade, we studied World War 2 hard out. And sort of doubled with the war, we studied a lot of Japan. Funny how that happens, isn't it? At university, my world history teacher taught us through the perspective of the clash of civilizations as the driving factor in change. After the war, we all have been trying hard to understand each other. It was through studying this very disgust that made me want to know more way back then. And here I am... still trying my best to understand.

So give me a guitar and I'll write you a song really quick so we can make this feeling bigger and last longer.

Lala let's understand each other
Lala be nice to each other
Lala let's all be together
Lala respect and world peace world peace

(k, not a serious attempt at song writing)

PHOTO NOTE: The Second photo is the Children's Peace Memorial at night, just after they finished the fireworks and I left the riverside. It was put up especially in memory of Sadako. The little houses around it are full of paper cranes.

-- iPhoneから送信


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vegetable donuts

Lately, I've gotten used to waking up in the morning--as opposed to statin up ungodly late and sleeping til the afternoon as my work schedule suggests. In return, I get to see the morning light, get a few extra hours in my day, and get morning donuts.

Mister donuts, the donut shop most popular in Japan and conveniently located 3 minutes from my house, has a new line of donuts. They're more like cake than donuts actually, and include fruit flavors like caramel apple, traditional flavors like cinnamon chocolate, and vegetable flavors like spinach and sweet potato. So far my favorite two flavors are spinach and sweet potato and milk!

Donut paired with Japanese study works out to be a very enjoyable morning. I'm glad I got up today

-- iPhoneから送信


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