Saturday, May 09, 2009


Did you feel it?

Yah, neither did I. I suppose that is because after I dropped Sam off, I killed 30 minutes in Starbucks before the grocery store opened, did some shopping, returned home to be sucked into the computer, shared lunch with Toshi and then it was time to head back out again. Behavior like this is not going to cause the ground to shake.

People have been asking me what I am going to do with all my time now that both kids are in school, but really, I am not sure where this idea that I'm going to have my hands full of empty hours is coming from. The bottom line is a maximum of nine unscheduled hours a week, subtract from that all the different meetings Japanese schools seem to be so fond of and I don't have much to work with here.

Please, don't think me ungrateful. I am going to make the most of these hours and to prove it I will list for you the things I would like to do with my time.

Read the newspaper. I mean really read it. Think about it. Question it. Know what is going on in the world again and maybe even form the occasional opinion of my own about those happenings.

Tame the jungle. I am not a gardener, but I have begun to envy the spring blossoms in my neighbors' yards and I would love to do something with our little patch of green.

Write letters. Because real mail is one of the great pleasures in life and my grandmothers are not online.

Make the house presentable. I have always been a slob, however since I am supposed to be a responsible adult now, I figure it is time to make more of an effort in the cleaning department. Japanese people do not often entertain in their homes. This is a big mistake, because how else are you supposed to get motivated to clean?

Read more books. I have read an average of 50 books a year for the last few years. This year I set a goal for myself of 75 books. Selfish? Yep.

Write the next great American novel. That isn't going to happen, but Toshi has more than once asked me to write the next Harry Potter. . . not as in fantastical children's literature . . . as in a book that becomes an international phenomenon making the author obscenely rich. Okay, honey. I'll get right on that and while I am at it, you discover an inexpensive, renewable source of clean energy!

At the very least, I figure I should be able to keep up this blog.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


That's My Boy . . .

Tomorrow Sam will have his first ever lunch box at school. He is very excited about this, so I thought I would give him some choice in the matter. I asked if he would like norimaki or onigiri in his obento. He answered, "mmmmm . . . . senbei." This is roughly the equivalent of asking someone if they would like mashed potatoes or baked potatoes with dinner and they respond "potato chips!" Norimaki is rice rolled around various fillings, covered in seaweed paper and cut into bite size cylinders. Onigiri are often called "riceballs" in English, but really, what image does that conjure? Rice is pressed into the shape of a triangle around some type of filling, such as salmon or a pickled plum and covered in nori (seaweed paper) to make an onigiri. Senbei are baked (or sometimes fried, naturally I prefer the fried ones) rice crackers. Somehow, I don't think the teacher would approve of a box full of rice crackers and yes, they do check. I have heard of mother's being called out for not providing enough variety, enough color, enough balance, enough cutesy inserts to make the lunchbox appealing . . . okay, I am kidding on that last one, but still. With Sam's first school lunch comes Mom's first morning at home on her own. Watch out! The Earth is going to shake!

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