Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bus Stop, Bus Stop...

Monday when I went akaroakeing I took the bus to downtown. Turns out there is a bus stop a half block from the aparto that goes to Hamamatsu Central. It ain't cheap...210 yen each way. But the buses are really big and roomy and clean. It will be so much easier in the future for me to get to the train with suitcase in tow, when not having to take the red line train downtown. When I went to Nagano I walked 10 or 15 minutes in a misting rain, rolling my suitcase behind me to get to the red line. It would have been nice to know about the bus before now. But my predecessor was completely dismissive of the bus, as if it wasn't worth the bother. Boy, was she wrong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Had a big success with my 3rd and 4th graders. I bought a magnetic dartboard at the hyaku yen shop. I then painted over the numbers and put Alphabet stickers around the edge. I had them throw the darts and they had to come up with a word that began with the letter that the dart had landed on. They loved it! It came down to sudden death with the teams tied but finally the blue team one. But you could really see kids (especially a couple of boys who are too cool for school) try and use phonics to think of a word. After the the game was won I showed them in the back of the book where there is an alphabetical index. I have a feeling a lot of kids are gonna start memorizing more words. I told you I was a genius.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Karaoke Lunch

Last night I got an email from Rinako asking me if I wanted to go do lunch today and some karaoke. I jumped at the chance. So we met at her favorite restaurant at 11:30. One problem. It was gone. Yep, no sign, no map, just gone. So we changed our plans and went to Italian Tomato Jr. instead. Then we went to the other foreign food market that recently moved on me, and although it was only a block away I couldn't find without help. Then on to ruining her eardrums. I told her I liked karaoke, but I was lousy. That's only half true. I can't find the right key by myself. But I do okay if I can follow someone elses lead. And it is hysterical when you think you know a song and turns out you don't. The only two songs out of two hours worth of singing that I was able to pull off were "Horse with No Name" and "American Pie". And suprising that I didn't really know "Do You Want to Hurt Me" and "Bad Girls". I also pulled off a couple of country songs. The worst part is that Rinako is really good. No - seriously really good. But I had a lot of fun anyway, and it cost lest than 500 yen for 2 hours. It was a kick in the pants. Gotta do that again.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Skinny Lip

It is past time to buy a real coat. Several years past time. I didn't even bother to pack a coat when coming to Japan as I knew mine was useless, ragged and way out of style. So for the last couple of weeks I have been scouring Hamamatsu looking for the perfect coat. I have always loved the clothes in Japan. They are well cut and tend to be of a good quality. The bad thing is that they are so small. In the US I am somewhere between small and medium. Here I am large, and even large sometimes doesn't fit. It's enough to make a girl crazy. And as I am unbearably picky and cheap it makes the search even harder. Part of the problem is this years fashion. Short jackets are in. But when I put them on they make my hips look huge. I'm not one to run around asking if "this makes me look fat" because I'm not fat. But looking preportional is something I do expect. The other style problem is that the fur look is very in this year. And I quite like it. As long as it is not real fur. I don't eat animals, I certainly think wearing them is stupid unless you are a primitive cave man. I think I have evolved past that stage. Oh, I also won't knowingly buy wool. I finally decided on this coat. It looks nice, was cheaper than I was planning to pay, and I was tired of looking. I knew it was just a little tight through the back, but thought "Hey, I'm not planning on doing cartwheels in it, so it really shouldn't be a problem". And it was working out nicely - keeping out the wind, keeping me warm, looking very "That Girl" - until I got in the car to drive home. The tightness across the back is a problem when you need to put both hands on the steering wheel. Oh, well, I'll think of somethin'. Oh, and the store I bought it from is named "Skinny Lip". Is the other lip fat? Or maybe it is deformed and we are supposed to just ignore it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Simple Lesson

It is not easy coming up with things for the BabyKid Classes. It has to be something semi-educational and nearly free. Since I have 10 classes with 12 kids each whatever I do has to be done for 120 kids. So this week we did leaf rubbings. I made 120 copies of blank pages with a border that said "leaves" all around. Then I collected a bunch of leaves and flattened and dried them in books. Then I bought wax crayons and picked out all the autumn colors. Most of the moms use oil pastels. I think they are crazy. Two year olds should not be using messy art materials like that, when wax crayons are so much easier. Then I showed them how to do leaf rubbings and sat back and watched. I love watching how intense these little one's get while trying to do something we adults do without thinking. I was also amazed at how the mom's seemed to think these leaf rubbings were something brilliant. Did they not do this as kids? Or maybe I should just go with the flow and consider it a stroke of brilliance and that I am a genius.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Small Appreciations

Even though I have actually missed Thanksgiving, I'm taking this opportunity to give thanks anyway. I have a good-hearted, smart, funny husband and a lovely mumsy. I give thanks for having the world's oldest large dog. And I don't live in one of the many hard hit natural disaster zones. But once you get over the big thanks, I am also very appreciative of some little things. Living in a foreign county forces you to decide what is really important to you. These are the simple things that make me happy on a daily basis:
My heating pad - it keeps me warm in bed, it keeps my back warm when my legs are toasting under the kotatsu.
Kaldi - the foreign food store the regularly stocks cranberry juice, vegetarian chili, full size tortillas, Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate, Granola, Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea and vegetarian refried beans.
Almost being healthy - I'm getting to being completely over this cold
My computer - it works every time I turn it on.
Yahoo E-Mail - it brings me lovely, comforting and funny messages from all sorts of people and never any solicitations for viagra or porn.
NPR - It keeps me informed, entertained and keeps me company. I really don't feel alone.
Books and the easy access to them - Hamamatsu has several bookstores with limited but adequate selections and has nearly limitless selections
Good weather - It may be almost December, but most days are sunny and get warm enough to eat outside at lunch. The leaves on the trees are just now started to fall, with much color still everywhere.
And there are others having to do with keeping me warm or fed.
But I am also thankful for happy, cute kids that make me smile. I may complain about my job some, but the truth is I'm loving it. I do have to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" twelve times a week, but I also get to tickle and play with some of the world's cutest, funniest and greatest kids.
I hope you found some things to be thankful for in this time of appreciation, too.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Literary Renewal

Junko and I are reading "The Great Gatsby" together. It's quite interesting to see it through her eyes. It is also wonderful to reread this treasure. I am constantly reminded of why this is my favorite modern classic. A quote I like is:

"Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes."

With one sentence he creates an entire diorama. Unfortunately Junko is not really understanding it without my help. She hopes to go into book translation. If this book is any indication, she is going to need a lot more help than seeing a hack like me once a week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Special Delivery

Unexciting day. But I did get a couple of packages in the mail. They were gifts to me from me. I ordered the Sunday Philosopher's Club
from quite a week and a half ago. But I got a little crazy and ordered myself and book by one of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby.
I went ahead and got it in hardback. And I was listening to NPR's World Cafe at that time and was really enjoying the music by Jamie Cullum
so I ordered it, too. The amazing thing is that I ordered the last two items Sunday night. So it was a lovely suprise to get two packages today. Thanks me, you're swell.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rare Picture

This is a very rare picture. There is something odd about this photo. But only if you know me. This is a picture of me in a pair of jeans. I haven't worn jeans in years. I use to have to wear jeans to work when I worked at the animal shelter. So when I got out of that, I also got out of jeans. But when I was shopping the other day I realized I had bought 3 new pairs of cords, and I needed something else. And these looked good and were reasonalbly priced. So I am now back in jeans. It's probably a good thing, I was afraid they were going to take my American Passport away from me. Can't be an American and not own a pair of jeans, now can you?

Monday, November 21, 2005


I finally finished cleaning the kitchen. What has it been? 3 months since I started with the major move in scrub. Today I was finally able to get to cleaning out the fridge and scrubbing the floor. Between galavanting across the country and being sick the cleaning got put off. But today I finished! It is a huge load off my shoulders.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fancy Talk

I bought these elegant little Japanese desserts at the store the other day. The strange but lovely phrase on the front is as follows:
"Over-optimism modest chocolate and soft marshmallow lead you in elegant tea time"
Whatever that means? But it sounds pretty. Well, that there is pretty fancy talk for a moon pie. Yep, they are only good old american moon pies, but a bit smaller. Pass the RC Cola, wouldya?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

It is Windy and Pants

Today was terribly windy. And cold. And Mikio said it will be windy from now until May. Yes, that's right May. But what's this about windy and pants? Well, it is the answer that Hiroyuki (6th grader) wrote down to the question "How is the weather today?". It was supposed to be windy and sunny. The next question was "What are you wearing today?". He had only answered it "I am wearing a T-Shirt". So I told him he should put down "and pants" as he wasn't running around half naked. So he did, just in the wrong spot. When I caught the mistake it made me and the class (including Hiroyuki, he's a class clown) laugh for ages. And for the rest of the class someone was always saying "It it windy and pants". Okay, it might not be throwing you into fits of laughter but it made 10 sixth graders and one old English teacher's day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hamamatsu Enquirer

3 Year Old Japanese Boy Hits American Teacher and Creates International Incident

Dateline Hamamatsu, Japan - 3 year old Toshiki brutally attacked his English teacher yesterday before 23 witnesses. Ms. Davis was struck twice, but was able to walk away from beating unaided. After reporting said crime to community center authorities an investigation was launched. Several witnesses apparently came forward to report the vicous thrashing endured by the poor unfortunate foreigner. A panel of 5 Japanese authorites were convened to look into the matter and quickly judged the child to be a monster and are considering actions that may include time outs, temporary dismissal, permanent dismissal, branding, lobotomy or even deportation. After several phone calls to the teacher by various authoriies, Ms. Davis was quoted as saying "This incident has been completely overblown. When I reported it to the community center I just wanted permission to tell his mother she must remove him from the room for 5 minutes." Experts say that many victims want to blame themselves and that Ms. Davis cannot be trusted to be impartial in this matter. They also say she may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Japanese officials hope to keep the situation from becoming a barrier to Japanese-American relations, especially on the heels of Pres. Bush's recent visit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No Hitting!

Okay, I have a new rule. Didn't know I needed it. But today, it became apparent that I need a rule. No Hitting! I have actually had a small problem with this in my 4 and 5 year olds class. But I can just pick up the cretin and carry him like a smelly bag of garbage out to his mother and say "He hit, he can't come back today. Next class okay." (Yes, I speak pigeon English alot these days.) But what do you do when the mother is in the class and can't control the miscreant? I came to the end of my rope with little Toshiki, today. He's a real wise-guy comedian. He wants my complete attention and he wants me to laugh at him. He also sets off another little boy, who behaves pretty good when Toshiki isn't around. I ignore him completely when possible. I'll look right through him as if he isn't there. But he'll push other children out of his way and wrestle with the other little boy pretty fiercely and now he has started hitting. He hit me twice. When he gets out of control I usually pick him up and carry him to his mother and say "I think this is yours". And she bows her head repeatedly and says "gomen nasai" and then he's up and doing it again in 2 minutes. He usually stretches my patience pretty far. Today I'm sick and my patience was about as stretchy as a bowling ball. And then he started hitting. He hit ME twice!! It was at the end of class and I just wanted it to end. But I went to O'Goody and told him next week I would ask his mother to leave if it happened again. I didn't get much support there, but I have gotten a clearer set of rules in my own mind. And I know how I will handle it if it happens again. Kids are easy. Parents suck.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In Search of Montezuma's Stamp?

Tonight's conversation class with Shosei and Yukia was fun. They brought maps and more maps for their winter vaction to Arizona. I was looking at the one they had for Sedona and it just pointed out where business are located and several vortexes. It would have been nice if they would specify them as energy vortexes or new-agy-feel-good vortexes, but noooo they are just labled as vortexes. I was trying to locate some good Indian Ruins for them to visit, but the map was useless for that. So I got online and eventually figured out Montezuma's Castle would be on their way from Pheonix to Sedona and that is the coolest Indian Ruin I've ever visited. Well, they got really excited. I showed them a small picture of it and Yukia started clapping with delight. When I wrote down the web address to the Monument she noticed the NPS in it. She asked if it was a National Park, and I said "sorta". It's a National Monument, but it is administered by the National Park Service. I thought she was going to pass out from happiness. She says she collects National Park Service cancellation stamps. Another happy customer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Christmas is coming,....

A couple of weeks ago a flash of light outside my window caught my attention. I looked out and my jaw dropped. I cocked my head like a dog who has heard something strange. I blinked and rubbed my eyes. But it was true. I was looking at one of those lighted waving santas next to a blinking Christmas tree. In Georgia we have a neighbor who puts up a lawn full of these things. But looking over the Japanese houses packed next to each other, the local bar sign written in kanji, the corner vending machine filled with green tree and a couple of waiting taxis and the waving santa....well, you know you ain't in suburban Kansas anymore. I knew Japan had started latching onto Christmas with gusto, but I wasn't prepared for this. In America we have Thanksgiving that works as a nice speed bump. But they don't have that here. And it just seems so odd. Driving by Christmas ornaments next door to a buddhist temple is just so strange. It's a wild and crazy country.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Better Times

Rather than harp on my lousy day of being sick, I thought I would reminisce on better times. The last couple of weeks here have had wonderful autumn weather, cool but sunny. I have ridden my bike to work every possible chance I had. The joy that brings me might be strange, but so true. The sun on my back, the river running beside me, the birds darting about in the flowers growing along the path, these things are all to be treasured. Especially because I know it won't last. Also I have been taking my lunch if I stay downtown and eating it on top of the roof top garden over the symphony space adjacent to Act Tower. It is a wonderful, quiet place to be. Basking in the sun, reading a book and eating a cheese sandwich, Pringles and two chocolate chip cookies has been my lunch routine. Hardly anyone else seems to go there. So it's my little private park. There are several levels, one of which has sculptures, and the uppermost has a stage and a small lawn. Ahhhhh, I'll try to keep thinking the good thoughts. But it ain't easy when your pissy.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Beautiful Music, Dildo Caverns and Disgusting Dog Park

Whew! What a day. I had another tough night, as my throat kept me awake much of the night. I felt much better when I sat up, but lying down kept making me cough and gag. So I decided I might as well go on the day trip that the Suzukis had planned for me. Better than sitting around moaning, and would make me so tired I would fall asleep regardless of the scratchy throat. But of course they worried over me the entire day. Our first stop was the Musical Instrument Museum here in Hamamatsu. Hamamatsu is famous for musical instruments as Yamaha started here. Yes the Yamaha of pianos and motercycles. (Actually the Hamamatsu area was a breeding ground for many renowned businessmen and there beginings including Suzuki, Honda and Toyota). The museum is located adjacent to Act Tower, and yesterday as Mikio and I were passing it I said we need to go there someday. Well someday came really quickly. They had never been before and got excited about it. It was really wonderful. I spent most of my time in the European Musical instrument section learning the differences between them. I now understand how a harpsicord is different from a piano from a spinnet. Plus the crafstmanship was amazing. These aren't just instruments, they are works of art. And they had a fun section where you get to bang around on various non-museum pieces. As the only song I know is Mary Had a Little Lamb I tried it on everything from bongos to the xylophone, with a little freestyling too.

Then off to lunch and then the neighboring metropolis of Inasa. So we went to visit the cave that had the stalactites that I got so confused about in a previous post. And Ryugashi-Do was wonderful. Wonderful stalactites and stalagtites and interesting cave formations. The fact that none of them were over 2 feet in length was quite the suprise. I spent the whole hour trying not to burst out laughing. Although I wasn't expecting Carlsbad Caverns, I found this quite....pitiful. And the fact that most of the stalagmites were about 6 inches tall and looked like dildos and boobs only made that much harder not to asphyxiate. I have tears in my eyes as I type this entry from laughing finally. There were tour buses bringing people out to see this cavern!
Then we made a side trip over to the Dog Park. The Suzuki's didn't know what it was but decided it sounded fun. It was a disaster. Quite expensive. The dogs were in a small petting zoo like set up and it was not good. I won't even go into specifics except to say that there was alot of abnormal behavior going on. We left within 15 minutes and went shopping to try and get it out of our minds. They took me to a drug store to help me find a cough suppressant and then to another store to help me look for a plug to my kotatsu. A kotatsu is a low table with a heater attached to the underside, which you then cover the entire thing with a big futon type blanket and weather the winter. I've got mine working now, but I'm not sure I can use it to replace the regular room heater. Well, my plan worked and I am so tired I am sure I can fall asleep in minutes, no matter the throat situation.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Amazing Track Jacket

When I bought this track jacket I had the salesgirl translate it for me. She said "Sweet Dumpling". Okay, that sounds good. Mainly it fit, was reasonalbly priced, would keep me warm and it looked good. But when I wear this jacket the Japanese women (and a few men) squeal and say "kawai" (cute) and point at it and tell everyone in the place about it. I am not exagerating. One time in the community center I had 6 women squealing over me. And today I had 4 women and a funny little old man just laughing and squealing over it. I'm not sure if it just having kanji on my clothing, or if it is this particular phrase that is so amazing. Obviously, being a blonde woman in Japan I'm use to attracting a bit of attention. I'm just not sure my ear drums can handle me wearing this jacket regularly.

P.S. Health update. Going to bed early, keeping the heater turned on and taking lots of vitamins seems to have helped. The fever, aches and pains are all gone. But so is my voice. I sound exactly like a soft spoken Elaine Stritch. If you don't know who that is...well, you are on the internet, look her up!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Snot-Nosed Brats

I have seen more mucous in the last two weeks than in an alien film. Big huge globules dripping from toddlers noses, running down their chins, smeared on their sleeves, etc, etc. So another month, another illness. Yes, that's right. Yours truly is sick again. I've been in denial for the last few days, while still taking steps to combat it. All to no avail. Last night my throat and head hurt so bad I got only 3 hours sleep. And today, by the end of my fourth (and thank the god's, last) class I had tears in my eyes I was so tired and achy. Even though that last class was my bright-bulb 4 year olds class and everything we did was a huge hit with them. I'm told that the last two teachers spent their first year sick as me. I'm not sure that's much comfort. So after class I came home, cranked up the heater, got in bed with my heating pad, took a nap, woke, made a big dinner and now I'm blogging to you. Next stop, Sleepsville, if I'm lucky.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

New Album Released

Natalie, famous blogger, tips her hat to the guiding lights of her travels in the title of her latest album, “Nagano.” Artistically, however, she’s stretching beyond the usual rhythms and images of her past by showing a restless ambition that suggests she’s not done growing yet as an artist.
Always a savvy blogger, Ms. Davis of late has approached each album as a conceptual project. This one wistfully examines the complex emotions that come with living out one’s dreams. The album starts with “Mori-Shogunzuka” and “Downtown Nagano” both depict the life of a vacationer as both salvation and curse; both sections suggest that reaching one’s goals doesn’t necessarily erase life’s problems. She takes a new turn with the “Monkey Park”. But she does seem to return to one of her forte’s, Japanese children.
Those looking for signs of reflection on her everyday life in Japan won’t find them in this album. Natalie’s style is still apparent throughout the full release, though, and fans will be happy. Upbeat and dreamy are words that have been used to describe her work. And occasionally the word “competent”.
Natalie proves she’s willing to test her limits. Expatriate blogs will be better for it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

They Got It!

I spent most of my Sunday creating cutouts. These are just photo copies of various objects that I trace, color, cut out, laminate and then cut out again. Some that I did were to go along with the new book I had Mr. M. order me. It's Old MacDonald Had A Farm.

And I used these cut outs and the book with my dim bulb class (hey, I call'em like I see'em). And they got it!! They really got it!! It didn't come right away, but then one little boy caught on, and the wildfire of enlightenment whipped through them all. It was wonderful. And very gratifying to know that my hard work paid off. Yeah Team!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yuuma has Stalagtites

When I was talking to the Suzukis earlier they told me Yuuma has to have surgery. The good news is he only needs to be in the hospital for one day. But they aren't really able to tell me what the problem is. Let's face it, when you learn a foreign language internal organs aren't one of the first things you learn. I think it has to do with his boy parts though. Then Mikio starts drawing a picture of a mountain, and says "mountain". Then he draws what appears to be a cave and says "nandaro" which I hear alot and means "how do you say?". So I say cave. Yes. Yoko draws a few bats for effect and says "Batman". Do you mean bats? Oh, yes, yes. Much laughing. Then Mikio draws cones hanging from the ceiling of the cave. Obviously stalagtites. So I'm thinking Yuuma has some urethral blockage? Then Yoko tells me that next Sunday they want to take me to Inasa where there is a cave with stalagtites. I start laughing, and laughing. I thought Yuuma had stalagtites! Apparently there was a change of subject and I wasn't notified.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Souvenirs of Nagano

I spent the whole weekend doing chores. Groceries, cleaning, laundry and catching up on some stuff for work. But I did buy some lovely flowers for my new vase that I bought in Nagano. And I bought some incense for the incense burner I bought in Obuse. I also received the CD of my pictures from Nagano. So I have been enjoying Nagano all over again.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cute and Nobule of Hair

This is a place I pass by several times a week. I shake my head everytime I pass by. I even asked Rinako if Nobule was a Japanese word, but as it has a "L" in it I doubted it. I am shaking my head and closing my eyes even as I type this. Could they mean Noble? And nobody ever put cute and noble in the same sentence before. And how do you get noble hair? Or even better Noble of Hair? More head shaking.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another Private Student

Yukino is a new private student of mine. We met for her first lesson today. When we talked before she mentioned she wanted to work out of a text book, not just have a conversation lesson. So I brought along an intermediate text book I had sitting around the aparto. But I had been thinking about it and I really didn't want to use a textbook with her. So today as we were sitting in the "open space" on top of the concert hall I suggested we do a book club type lesson. We would read a book together and discuss it. She seemed agreeable so we walked over to MayOne Department Store/Mall which has a bookstore in it with a respectable, if not huge English Books section. We poked around and I suggested several books but she didn't seem thrilled with any of them. But after going over the whole English section again I picked out four and asked her to pick one. She picked The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith. We then walked back to the open space, sat in the sun and she then started to smile. A really big smile. And she kept looking at the new book. Turns out she thinks reading a book together for lessons is awesome. I think this is great, too. I got paid money today to go book shopping. Of course I spent most of the money I made today in the bookstore. And I still have to go hunting for another copy of that book, as the store only had the one copy. But still, this is a pretty good gig, don't ya think?

Y is for Yellow

I can't believe I haven't told you this week's lesson plan. I know you were all dying to know, but weren't brave enough to ask. Y is for Yellow. And what really interesting concept did I come up with to teach yellow? I give you the miracle of Play-Doh (and cookie cutters). Play-Doh is available here, but not a childhood right of passage like in the States. Many of the mothers found Play-Doh as delightful and intriguing as the tots did. One little girl (Noa) went ballistic when she had to give it back at the end of class. The amazing artwork in the photograph above was provided by Shuu. It was quite amazing that he could get three rabbits out of one tenth of a can of Play-Doh. As you can tell the last copy is a little flimsy. But isn't that what all those movies have taught us about clones?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Northern Exposure

In the last couple of weeks I have had to face the ugly truth. I was in denial all summer, but now there is just no getting around it. My apartment has a Northern exposure. Aaargh. All summer when my apartment was filled with sunlight and it was baking me alive, I kept saying "but this sun will keep me warm in the winter". Hah! What an idiot I was. Now that the autumnal equinox has passed I don't get squat for sunlight. And my apartment stays cool all day. It is frequently warmer outside than in. I have learned how to use one of my heating devices. It is the air conditioner/heater that is located high up on my wall. That means the heat comes out at ceiling height...and then rises? And as this is a Japanese apartment you sit on the floor, you eat on the floor and you sleep on the floor. But should you stand up for some wild and crazy reason your head will instantly be toasty. I also have a gas stand alone heater but it is all written in Japanese and I think I want some help deciphering it before I attempt to start it and accidently blow up the entire neighborhood. And I have a kotatsu. It is a small table with a heater underneath it. Unfortunately I can't find the plug. Guess I'll need some help with that, too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Bloody Keitai

My keitai and I don't exactly get along well. It's cute enough, and would probably make someone a great phone, just not me. First of all it costs too much for the amount that I use it. I use it about once or twice a week. So at that rate it costs me about 5 bucks a call or email. And for another thing I don't use it enough to get good at it. Emailing someone on it takes me about 5 minutes for one sentence. So, today when I got an email from someone I forwarded that email to my regular email address so I could reply using my computer. So I saw that the email got forwarded and then I deleted the email from my phone. Still with me? After work I went to reply to the email when I realized that the forward from the phone doesn't include the original email address. Why, why, why? That makes no sense. So now I have no way to reply to that email and this person is going to think I'm dissing them. And I'm not. I'm just keitai inept. It makes me crazy. Even if it is pink, takes pictures and has a cute little blue toucan charm attached.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Limited Edition Candy

Limited Edition Candy is a big thing here. Kit Kat is the king of limited edition candies. They come out with new Kit Kats every couple of months or so. The latest one is the Wine Flavored Kit Kat. So I decided to see what all the hullabaloo is all about and bought myself a box. And my editorial opinion about the Wine Flavored Kit Kats is as follows: Nothing special. They certainly don't tast like wine, but it is an interesting taste, but not something I would buy more of. In Nagano you can get apple flavored Kit Kats and blueberry flavored Pocky. I decided to pass on both. But when I was in the grocery store and saw White Chocolate Kit Kats I once again fell for the novelty and bought one. Not as good as the Snickers I found at the Hyaku Yen Shop last week that turned out to be my dinner. I'll be going back for more of those babies. Yummmm.