Saturday, October 30, 2010

What did I get myself into?  Brother is having his birthday sleep-over tonight.  He has only two friends over, but that is two too many boys in my house.  How do people do it that have more than one boy?  I know, I am being silly and I would love to have more than one boy.  (I'll keep telling myself that anyway.)  Not that it matters, the baby factory is closed.  Forever.

Stupid typhoon prevented Dad from being here for it.  Stupid typhoon put trick or treating on hold and ruined all kinds of fun.  Actually, the stupid typhoon isn't really all that bad either.  But 'just in case' everything has been cancelled.  But not our sleep-over.  Yay me!

Now there are three 11 and 12 year old boys running around the house, sounding like they are breaking everything in sight.  My son?  He has lost all of his "mom" hearing.  All of the sudden, I no longer exist. *sigh*

I'll be good, I will smile and enjoy his fun.  This night is about him.  I just need to survive, and then I can look back and shudder smile.


Help me!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Fun Friday- There're POPROCKS in my ice cream!

Sissy and I enjoyed a little sushi at our favorite (and cheap) sushi go-round last week.  We decided to top off a perfect lunch with the perfect dessert from Baskin Robbins.  Yes- my dears- we have Baskin Robbins in Japan!  I don't know why- but I waited all this time to finally try them out.

We ordered a Halloween Sundae to share.  The two flavors we picked  were Halloween Lantern (had white and chocolate swirls with little candy pumpkins) and Magical Mint Night (purple and blue ice cream with candy bits.)

The sundae was topped with the requisite whipped cream, nuts, brownie bits, some lovely little sugar cookies and chocolate bats.

The best part was the ice cream.  I bit into the Magical Mint Night- so delicious.  And then, surprise!!  All of the sudden there was a popping in the back of my mouth!  I had no idea there were Pop Rocks in the ice cream!  Who knew that was even possible?  Apparently if you carefully coat them with more candy- they won't "pop" until you bite into them. 
Best. Ice Cream. Ever.
This is a true work of art- and it tasted as good as it looked.

see that green piece of candy? that's a candy coated POP ROCK!!

Japanese Halloween pumpkins are much happier than American pumpkins!
I am going back this weekend to get Brother an ice cream cake for his birthday party, can't wait!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Land of One Million Bicycles

I took these pictures outside the entrance to the Tsukishima subway station, near Shibuya (Tokyo).  As opposed to forgetting where you parked your car- at least the walk through the 'parking lot' is shorter when you are in bicycle parking!

I myself have not been brave enough to ride my bike off base- it is way too crazy for me!  Plus, I need to get a bell to ring at people on the sidewalk so they can get out of my way.  I am not joking, when you are walking on a sidewalk and hear a bell ringing, you step to the side so as not to get run over.

Next I must get a picture of someone riding their bike holding an umbrella- as I have seen on many a rainy day.  Now THAT is dedication my friends!  (illegal apparently- but still dedicated...)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sewing projects? Yay or Nay?

So I have another blog.  I started it a year ago to showcase my projects and try to delve into the sewing blog community.  It really hasn't turned out so hot.  First of all, I need to actually SEW things and complete them.  I can't do that all the time like I would like to.  I have changed the name many times and given the blog many jump starts.  It is still flat lining.  Sometime one has to know it is time to throw in the towel, right? 

So I was thinking since I still would like to show off my creations, sporadic as they may be- I might just post them here?  I think if I just present a couple of pics and not get too heavy into the hows and whys, it will be OK?  Or you do you think it would be a total snooze fest?

Eventually I will be leaving Japan (some days I wish it was sooner than later).  I will need something new to blog about at that point.  At that point- maybe I will start a new sewing blog? 

Okay, well thanks for reading.  I'm off to clean my room now...

Monday, October 25, 2010

taking the leap

I must have bad influences because I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.)  I have never written anything longer than a term paper!  What in the H was I thinking? 

To be truthful, I have been writing novels in my head for quite some time.  When I was a wee lass I used to write my autobiography in my head- in the style of Mommy Dearest- I thought I had it really rough I was a tad dramatic.  But as I got older I started writing different (fictional) stories (still in my head of course.)  A few times I started outlining my ideas and story plots.  I even wrote a few lines one night, I got no where.

So for me- this is a way to get the novel writing out of my head.  If I enjoy it- so be it.  I'll sign up again next year.  If I hate it, then I can put that idea away and move on to better things.

At first I was going to keep it on the down low- figuring if I didn't follow through no one would notice.  But I got excited and told people.  I grabbed one of those story plots I wrote down a while back- and started my outline.  I really don't know what I am doing- but who cares?  No one has to read what I write- and I probably won't care for anyone to read it.  50,000 words?  Sure, I can do it, right? 1,667 words a day... yeah... I can. *gulp

Wish me luck!

My Baby is 12- a late night pondering

I tried to go to sleep, I really did.  But I feel too out of sorts to do so.  So instead I am up making cupcakes for my son who just turned 12 according to Tokyo time.  I want to say I can't believe he is 12, but that wouldn't be honest.  I recognize that 12 year old/pre-teen/goshdarnjustaboutateenager behavior.  I remember being twelve, it wasn't THAT long ago (almost 25 years to date- I still remember ok?) 

At night, he is still my little boy- wanting my love and attention.  During the day- his friends are around and he couldn't care and probably prefers me to be elsewhere.  We fight.  We fight all of the time.  It sucks and I cry from time to time (but not in front of him.) 

So yeah, he is 12.  He looks like he is 12 and he acts like he is twelve.  I 'know' this, but my heart doesn't want to accept it.  I am so sad and worried and scared.  I am sad because I miss his little chubby baby cheeks and how he would lay his head on my shoulder when he was sleepy.  I am worried and scared because I doubt my ability to help him to succeed in life.  I feel like I have failed him in so many ways.  I know- I am not the only parent to feel this way.  Regardless of what people say- I still feel responsible for the issues we have had to face with him.  I just know I could have done this better.  Regret is a nasty bedfellow, isn't it?  I just need to move forward.  He is a wonderful boy.  I know that.  I don't think he does though.  And that is what I need to change. 

Back in August at the Monkey Park
Cupcakes are out of the oven, I am going to try to get some sleep now...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Food Fun Friday- how NOT to eat your curry rice...

See this dish folks?  This is curry rice- or karai raisu as said in Japanese.  Usually it comes with the curry sauce/gravy already on the plate (in this case it is in the gravy bowl.)  The breaded pork shown is tonkatsu.  It is all VERY delicious.  This is what I ate for dinner at the Royal Coffee Shop in the Narita airport on my way back from Singapore back in August.  Delicious food and great service (which is the norm in Japan- and there's no tipping!)

Today Jaime and I went to my favorite store in the world (yes WORLD)- Yuzawaya!  If you aren't sure what Yuzawaya is- see this post from last year...  Shopping five floors of awesomeness makes one hungry- so we found a noodle shop on the corner and upstairs.  We both picked a couple of pieces of tempura (I got shrimp, acorn squash, and sweet potato)- and we both ordered curry rice.  It was similar to the above picture- except ours came with big chunks of potatoes and carrots.  The food was mighty tasty and we were enjoying ourself immensely- our stomachs were no longer growling and our treasures from Yuzawaya were neatly stashed beside our chairs. 

Out of no where this older Japanese woman stops at our table and hands each of us a spoon.

A spoon?  I didn't need a spoon, neither did Jaime- we were rockin' the chopsticks man!

She insisted on the spoons.  While I know very little Japanese, I understand the words 'Japanese' or nihon-jin (as in a Japanese person) and 'curry rice'- karai raisu.  She was telling us that JAPANESE people DO NOT eat curry rice with chopsticks, they use SPOONS for goodness sake!  She repeated herself a few times- yes I know this for a fact.  She was obviously on her way out the door, so as she was backing away and heading to the exit- she continued to admonish us for eating our curry rice the WRONG WAY.  All the while her friend was covering her mouth as she stared at us and giggled.

I have never seen Jaime's face get that red.  My face was pretty hot as well.  EVERYONE in the restuarant had stopped eating/talking/picking their nose/whathaveyou- and were staring at us.  EVERYONE.  I had my back to them, so I didn't see them staring, but I could FEEL it man! 

So of course neither of us could pick up the damn spoons to finish our food.  Luckily we had some tempura left- chopsticks are ok there!  Damn if I was going to pick that spoon up right away so everyone could watch!  Eventually, after I felt everyone had lost interest- I picked up the darn spoon and finished off my curry rice.  That stuff is tha bomb- and the spoon was easier to use.  All the same- the chopsticks were doing their job too!

So people- learn from our mistakes!  Use that spoon for your curry rice!

Consider yourself warned...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

before the image uploads are disabled...

Blogger image uploads are going down for maintenance so...

I thought I would hurry and share some pictures of Sissy from her modeling job last week.  I think this is my favorite photo shoot so far.  It was held in the coolest and most beautiful studio.  I could have lived there- all it needed was a full bath and maybe a bigger kitchen.  I am not hip on all the deco speak- I am not exactly sure what one would call the decor style.  It was sort of European/shabby chic.  The walls were bright white and it had huge windows and the most beautiful doors.  Sissy's agent commented that the studio would be a great place for a party.  I want to have my next party there now!  Of course I couldn't afford the price tag- I know the hourly rental fee was mighty high.

The other models (all adults), were from the US (NYC), England and Australia.  Being around the models and the Japanese photography crew- I felt so big and fat!  I know- the models don't count because they don't eat and Japanese are naturally thinner than Americans.  It sounds good in theory- but I still felt out of place.

They were all so good with Sissy.  She was the only child there and they just doted on her.  She did so well they took some extra shots.  My only disappoinment was that she didn't get to wear designer clothes again.  We brought her own clothes to the shoot.  Luckily someone had handed down a bunch of velvet holidayish dresses to Sissy a couple of years back- and they all still fit.  She did get to wear a fur scarf of sorts- real fox fur.  I think it creeped her out.  It did me too to tell the truth.  I have never been a fur person- I don't see the intrigue to wear a dead animal's fur on my body.  Now if you are talking leather- I am all for that! ha ha 

I got some great pictures.  The lighting in the studio was just perfect- so even my click and shoot did a decent  job...

loved these doors- I want a house with these doors...

forever my goofy girl..

Engrish anyone?  Her (Japanese) agent suggested she take the picture pointing to the bad English.

That's all for today!!  Maybe tomorrow I will have another post for Food Fun Friday- I make no promises...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life is Good Award

I think this is award No. 3 for me.  Thank you Kristina!  You didn't think I noticed, did you?  It just took me a couple of days to get a moment to sit down and reply.  Love you muches and bunches!

Kristina, a fellow bibliophile (who reads 50X as much as I do), writes many book reviews and posts some yummy recipes on top of it all.  Check out her blog at Kristina's Favorites.


1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.

2.Answer the 10 survey questions.

3.Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.

4.Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.


1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

I started out anonymous and for the most part have stayed that way.  Since my honey is a sailor and we need to pratcice good OPSEC, I try to keep some things on the "down-low".  But I do have friends who know who I am and know about my blog.  I also feel the need to protect my children.  But I do understand that in order to really protect us all, I should stay off the internet completely.  Since that is not going to happen, I try to at least not give everything away.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

I refused to postpone our wedding.  Hubby and I were engaged after knowing each other for maybe two months at the most (can't remember now.)  We planned to for a December wedding.  So many things went wrong leading up to the wedding date.  The church we wanted ended up saying they couldn't give us the date we wanted (after I had ordered invites), and we had a heck of a time finding a new church.  There were no hotels available for the reception, we ended up at the airport.  Two out of three bridesmaids couldn't make as well as Hubby's best man.
I should have postponed for the spring- when travelling to Colorado would have been snow-free and we could get a hotel for the reception.  But so many people were telling me that we were moving too fast and that it wouldn't last- I HAD to prove them all wrong!

This December we celebrate 15 years!!  It was all worth it!

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

My mother!  It is scary sometimes!  I never thought I looked like her growing up...

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink fall warm drink?

Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbuckys.  But here in Japan *sniffle*, I can't get them!

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

I sew, read, watch TV and play Angry Birds on my iPhone.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I want to be successful at NaNoWriMo next month!  I signed up, I am just a little bit nuts I think!

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

I just wanted the heck out of high school- I wasn't any of the above.  I did ok, I wish I had tried harder though.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

I really suck, I can't think of anything right now!!

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I think I write about myself for the most part, I find it easy to talk about me.  I don't share all of my true self- somethings are just private and perhaps disturbing.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

Read of course!

15 newly discovered bloggers....

I am sorry- I don't really have too many newly discovered blogs.  I have been stalking reading the same ones for a while now.  I love you all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I don't get it...

Why are women so catty?  Is it in our blood, is it the hormones, is it the excess of plastic products that is seeping into our systems and messing up our DNA?  I guess the last one doesn't count since women have been catty since the dawn of man I am sure.

I don't know.  What I do know is that I can't ignore it when it comes to OPSEC.  Too many wives are adamant about posting information they shouldn't on Facebook.  And they try to say it doesn't have anything to do with deployment- but come one- we aren't stupid  weren't born yesterday- and neither are the people hacking into Facebook to get that info.  I sound like such a broken record these days- I am even sick of listening to myself! 

Obviously these 'girls' don't read any of my fellow milspouse blogs.  These ladies (milspouse bloggers) get it.

I may lose a couple of 'friends' today or the next.  But to quote Battlestar Gallatica vernacular (yes I have become a big BSG nerd as of late)- "frack 'em!"  I love my sailor more any day!

And to all my fellow milspouse bloggers- I HEART you too!  Keep up the good work! :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Having a Ball, Navy Style...

This weekend I got to go to my very first Navy Ball.  I have been missing out!  Hubsie never wanted to go in the past, and I never pushed it too far.  I think if I had realized they give out awesome prizes I would have gone before now, hee hee.

We were all a bunch of "single" gals. (meaning our husbands are deployed) so we went as a group.  I had a blast.  It was fun getting dressed up, hair done, the whole nine yards.  And seeing everyone washed up and dressed nicely was a bonus.  I love the "Cracker Jack" dress blues- the guys look so cute in them! 

The unique thing about being in Japan is that we also had guests wearing kimonos, so pretty!!  And the best part was seeing them out on the dance floor...

I know, not a great picture- but her kimono was so beautiful!

This man was so much fun!
Dinner was great, the speeches not TOO long, and the dance floor was packed.  The only bad part was standing for the presentation of colors- I broke out in a cold sweat, my stomach was hurting, and I thought I was going to pass out!  As soon as it was over I ran outside for some fresh air.  So weird!  The good thing is that it passed.  I am inclined to think it was the tight shoes.  But they were cute shoes!!

A good friend who is leaving next month...

I almost knocked this "Torii Gate" down earlier.  I was trying to catch up with a group photo and almost tripped.  I was admonished- warning me that it was only being held up with fishing line. 
I know they thought I was drunk- I wasn't- I SWEAR!!
back view of the dress- and weird "cat eye"- I tried to fix it- I look like an alien!
I can't wait for next year!  And I am hoping my sailor will be home for 2011- I have told him he is going if he's home!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Fun Friday- Singapore Style

Yes, it's October and I went to Singapore back in August- sorry.  Sometimes these things take me a while.  I am a busy lady!

Singapore is an awesome place to go if you like to eat.  There are so many different cuisines to choose from.  You can get Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Turkish, and Singapura style foods.  really there are more kinds than that- I just didn't see them all (or eat them all.)  

The prices ranges vary too.  If you eat at one of the places on the river at Clarke Quay- you will pay premium prices for the view and atmosphere.  If you want cheaper food (but still good), one only has to duck into one of the train stations and find the food court.  We had some lovely Korean food at the train station at Clarke Quay.  I tried kimchee for the first time- not too bad!

Korean- very delish

Now I don't know if I mentioned this before- but one of my favorite things to eat in Singapore was an ice cream sandwich.  Hubsie had told me about it.  It is a slice of ice cream wrapped in bread.  Literally- it is a 'sandwich'.  I have to say it sounded a little weird and I wasn't sure I would like it.  Let me tell you now it is DELISH!  The bread is sweet, with pink and green swirls.  I have no idea what it is called.  Not only are the delicious with many different flavors of ice cream to choose from- but they are cheap (one dollar) and can be found everywhere.  The vendors literally pedal them out on wheels and set up shop on the sidewalks, complete with an umbrella for shade.  We ate them for breakfast and whenever we were starving and couldn't decide what restaurant to eat at.  It is one of those things you have to try for yourself.

Ice cream vendor making my ice cream sandwich- this was right oustide the Youth Olympic Park.

My very first ice cream sandwich- mint chocolate chip- yummmmm!!
I don't have pictures- but our favorite place to eat was in Little India.  The best Indian food I have ever had.  The first time we ate there,  the waiter (who has quite THE salesman), had us ordering all kinds of food.  We had way too much!  I felt so bad when we left food on the table.  They wanted to pack it up to take back with us.  but honestly, we didn't have a good place to put it and it would have made our hotel room smell like Indian food.  It is a good smell, just not for the place you are sleeping, ha ha.

Some other notable eats were the shwarmas (sp).  I believe they are Turkish- kind of like a thin tortilla with yummy meat filling.  We also ate at Hooters.  I know- not a very 'cultural' experience.  We were just craving some good American food- and we were not disappointed. 

One thing we learned was that you have to be assertive about getting your check from the waiter.  They will let you sit at your table all night if you don't pipe up!  On one hand, that is nice if you want to sit back and enjoy the company of your friends, without having the waiters breathing down your neck trying to get you to leave so they can clear the table for new patrons.  But one night I literally had to go track down the waitress, we waited at least 30 minutes or more just so we could leave.  She had taken my credit card and I was worried she was never coming back with it!  But all in all, eating in Singapore was a grand experience, can't wait to go back.

I am really hungry now- where should I go for lunch today??