Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homage to Honda....

We are entering the bittersweet, sunset days of life with our
93 Honda Civic.

We will miss its sassy grin. We feel proud at its parting words....

Yet, we will not miss this, which does not work....

This sounds like it is infested with wasps and makes electric sparking noises even when it is turned off....

This, once again, is making rude noises on acceleration....

This makes it a little embarrassing to offer rides to visiting faculty....

It is not as bad on the other side, because of the time my dad lay down on the garage floor to reattach it with that bolt (now rusted, but still holding strong)....

We don't share its burdens equally: Darrin sacrifices pride and comfort to drive it, so I don't have to.

Greater love hath no one but this: that a man should drive the airless, radio-free car for his wife.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Introducing CupboardTracker

Welcome to the exciting CupboardTracker, powered by CupboardCam(TM).

Watch! Our food supply drop precipitously in the coming weeks!
Experience! Unique dinner combinations!
Marvel! At how many different vinegars are collected in the Surprising Breezes pantry!
Wonder: Can they use all that molasses? Will they dare to eat tomato soup in the summer heat? Can you make hummus out of kidney beans?

Join us on our thrilling adventure!

T-minus-30 days to departure:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting ready for you-know-what over there...

This morning at 5:00 I wasn't quite asleep...I felt a truck go by, or a thunderclap, but not. The last time I felt that sensation was in Tokyo with my friend Nariko....we were in a coffee shop when I thought a very large train passed underground.

Anyway, in the middle of work today I remembered to check my hunch: And yep: I was right!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Interview with Hugo

Hugo, what do you think the food will be like in Japan?

Do you like rice?
Yeah, but it doesn't taste like anything.

Do you like sushi?

What do you think you will really like about living in Japan?
I have no idea about that, cuz I don't know what's in it yet.

What will you miss about life at home?

What are you taking with you?
It's a long story. There's a lot of syllables in it.

Then just tell me some of the things.
School supplies and some yen. I'll probably find some toys there pretty darn fun, so I'm not gonna bring any. Actually, maybe some Legos. Am I done now?

Not yet. What are you going to do on the plane?
What do you think?

Play your DS?
Some of it, and also look out the window to see what we're flying above.

Anything else you want to tell the world?
No. Nothing else. That's it! Period. Okay, there's nothing else, and now, period. And remember, I didn't say "period, period, period."

Interview with Alek

Alek, what do you think your school will be like in Japan?
Seven kids are going to be there. We will get to school on a city bus.

You might also walk to school. What do you think of that? Do you think that will be fun?
No. (Sticks tongue out). Because it's going to be a long way.

What do you think you will really like about living in Japan?
Um....calligraphy. I want everything you need to do calligraphy.

Like what?
Can you do the next question?

What do you think you will really not like?
Nothing (unenthusiastically)

What will you miss about life at home?

What are you taking with you?
A lot. My nintendo DS. And I'm going to bring a little bit of stuffed animals. I'm gonna bring school supplies. Spy gear.

Are you spy on people there?
No, I'm just gonna do it at home.

Don't they have school supplies in Japan?
Yes. I want to have school supplies from the United States AND Japanese school supplies.

What are you going to do on the plane?

What will you play?
I'm gonna play with things that I bring, like the stuffed animals, but I'm going to play with them in my backpack. I'm going to move them around in my backpack.
Any other questions?
Anything else you want to tell the world?
Mm...yeah. I don't want to see "Noh".

Why not?
Because it's so slow.

What about kabuki?
What's kabuki?

That's a kind of Japanese theatre that has loud noises, and running, and cool sets.
Does it have a movie?

No, but you get wear headphones that translate it for you.
Okay. Then I want to see that.

Thanks, Alek.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Interview with Max

Max, what do you think our house will be like in Japan?
Small, cozy, and fun.

What do you think you will really like about living in Japan?
The small crime rate. That leads to being able to walk to the convenience store by myself.

What are you gonna buy there?
Whatever you tell me to, and maybe a candy bar or something?

What do you think you will really not like?
Changing shoes at school. The size of our yard.

How big is our yard going to be?
One square foot!

What will you miss about life in the U.S.?
Um....I don't really know. My friends Shane and Raith.

What are you taking with you?
Some of my toys, and a lot of my books. Harry Potter.

But haven't you read those books about 3 times already?
Yes, but I will read them again.

What are you going to read on the plane?
Artemis Fowl.

What else are you going to do on the plane?

What else are you going to do on the plane, besides read Artemis Fowl?
Look out the window.

What if we're not by a window?
oh yeah, I forgot...ummmm....something else.

Anything else you want to tell the world?
The world? Are you typing out everything I say? No....

(p.s. Thanks, Tiffany--I got this idea from you!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Three in a tree looks a little small.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

internet and pretzels

When I lived in Japan during my post-doc a few (okay, 13) years ago, there were really only three things I missed.

1. Darrin
2. NPR news
3. Pretzels

Of course I've been thinking about how it will be different this time.

1. Darrin will be there, too :0)

2. We will be able to get NPR news streamed over the internet--right in our own house! We will also be able to listen to xpn at home too. No, wxpn is no "FM Kokoro" with its daily Japanese lesson, but I would have hated to live without it. And though it may be weird to listen to All Things Considered at breakfast time, it will also be fun to say, "That news is so yesterday...."

3. Pretzels: Who knows? If they've introduced Starbucks to Kyoto since I was there, maybe they've also started selling pretzels....let's hope.

Note about Starbucks: On the one hand, I'm not thrilled that Starbucks, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are colonizing the world. But if you are an American who has ever purchased coffee at a traditional Japanese cafe, then you will know why Starbucks could be one of the best things to happen to foreigners in Japan. The coffee tastes like home (you know--like it was brewed with ground coffee beans, not ground asphalt), you can get more than 6 oz of it in a serving, and it doesn't cost 600 Yen....