Friday, January 29, 2010

Cave paintings

Yesterday Jude grabbed some markers and attempted to draw on the wall in the hallway of our apartment. He wasn't even sneaky about it. Luckily, I caught him before he drew anything.

This was our conversation:

"What are you doing, little boy?" I asked him.

"I'm going to draw something on the wall," he told me.

"You are not allowed to draw on the wall, and you know better than that," I replied in a stern mommy voice.

"I'm not going to draw on the wall. Actually, you should think of it as a cave painting," he told me in a very serious voice.

"Um, I don't think so," I replied.

"I'm going to express myself through painting so others can know how we lived, just like the cave men did," he replied.

"Well, um, okay, then, okay, whatever," I replied.

1.) I was completely dumbfounded that my kid (at the ripe old age of 5) even knows about cave paintings. 2.) I was in awe at his ability to articulate language well enough to explain to me his intent. 3.) Holy shit! The kid is definitely smarter than me, and he's only 5 freaking years old. 4.) Shit! Did I mention the kid is already smarter than me?! 5.) Shit! I'm screwed!


So, I live in Japan. Duh! And since I have a useless English degree, I teach English. Duh! I teach part-time for the local school district, and I also teach at the local community center, and I teach students privately.

Yesterday was a busy day. I taught 5 English classes. But not only was I paid my usual fee, I also received the following items from my students and boss: 2 large packages of fresh delicious strawberries, 4 printed pictures of myself taken by my vice principal at a school event, 3 beautiful book marks purchased in Egypt by my vice principal, and a lovely hard-back cook book filled with recipes of famous British desserts.

My students and boss are incredibly gracious and kind and really appreciate my ability to talk for hours without ever shutting up. They also appreciate my talent for acting like a fool and keeping them entertained. Thus, they rewarded me handsomely.

O Japan, how I love thee!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here comes the hot momma!

It's official! The hottest, sexiest, red-head on the planet will be coming to stay at Chataeu Weenie...wait, that sounds kind of dirty...let me try most favorite gal-pal on the planet will be coming to Japan to stay with us for 2 whole weeks! YAHOO! BJ and J (pictured above) will be coming to visit us, and I can't wait! I'll be counting down the days!

Japan will never, ever be the same again! I don't think Japan can handle the both of us...together! We will take the country by storm!

Watch out, Japan!

BJ + Weenie= BFF! (I know, I'm totally lame-o!)


Kidzania is a miniature world for kids ages 3-13. At Kidzania, children can choose from a variety of occupations, become "certified" in that occupation, and then work in that occupation. It truly is the coolest place on earth.

Yesterday we went to Kidzania, and I volunteered as one of the chaperons for Jude's preschool class. I was surrounded by 15 screaming mimis.

The kids had a great time and learned a lot. I felt sorry for Jude because most of the instruction was in Japanese and sometimes he looked like a lost puppy dog. But, he over came the language barrier and had a blast. He was a fire fighter, an airplane pilot, an ice cream maker, and rode around in the Kidzania city bus.

(You can read about it in English here.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hell yes!

I hit the jackpot! Yesterday when I went to take the trash out, I found this cute, pink, bouncy pony near the dumpster in the basement of our building. It was slightly deflated, but I decided to take it home and try to blow it up. Thankfully, Husband fixes stuff for a living and was able to blow it up to full capacity. Actually, we blew it up WAY beyond its recommended limit. We HAD to, to get maximum bouncing!

It's recommended for ages 2-4, but that ain't stopping us! Since we are all under 5 feet 4 inches tall, and the combined weight of all 3 of us in only 250 pounds, we went to town, bouncing and bouncing and bouncing some more! We all bounced until our quads burned.

There's nothing like bouncing 3 feet off the ground while riding a pink pony! Seriously! You should try it!

You can buy them here.

It's smaller than the average man's

Our TV, that is! (I bet you thought I was talking about something else, huh?! You perv!)

Husband has owned this 21 inch TV since 1999. Basically, he's had the TV longer than he's had me! I've been begging and pleading for a new one, but Husband refuses to buy one, something do with the wattage or voltage not being compatible in the States. I can understand that, but still! I'm tired of watching sports and not being able to figure out who has the ball because it's the size of a flea! I'm tired of not being able to read the important information scrolling across the bottom of the screen. I'm tired of needing a magnifying glass to read the weather report!

This was our conversation this morning as we were watching a game:
Husband yelled from the bedroom, "What the score...who's winning?"
My response, "I don't know, I can't read the fine print!"

Husband walked out of the bedroom with his head hung low. It was as if I had just kicked his dog in the head with steal-toed boots!

Everyone we know has a new, giant, flat-screen TV the size of a sumo wrestler's ass! Everyone except for us!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It seems lately that my tolerance towards others is declining with age. As I get older, I have a harder time putting up with bullshit. And lately it seems that bullshit is all around me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Missing out

I love living in Japan. I love everything about Japan. Everything.

But every now and then I feel like I'm missing out by not being a part of my friends' lives. I mean, we e-mail, we chat on the phone, we follow each other on Facebook, but it's just not the same.

Since I've been in Japan, all my girl friends have had babies, and I've missed the whole process: their pregnancy, their baby shower, meeting the baby for the first time, watching the baby turn into a toddler, etc. I've missed it all.

I've also missed countless weddings, and I'll miss a few more this year. I've missed watching my friends find the one, fall in love, the engagement, and the wedding itself. I've missed it all in the 2 years I've been living in Japan.

I wish I had a teleporter to take me back to the States for all of these events. Or, I wish I was independently wealthy. Then, the thousand dollar flights back to the States wouldn't matter.

But, since I don't have a teleporter and I'm not rich, I'll just sit here, be sad and think about all the stuff I'm going to miss this year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

Yes, I've been thinking about those poor people in Haiti. In fact, I've been following their story via Internet and TV.

Of course, there isn't much I can do on the other side of the planet. Or is there?

Click here at The American Red Cross to donate what you can. Just remember, if this was you, wouldn't you want someone to help?

With that said, I spent 2 hours last night going through my emergency supplies. It dawned on me that since I live on the 5th floor of a 9 story apartment building, I've only got about 37 seconds to get the hell out of here if or when the big Tokai earthquake strikes. So, I decided to stash all my emergency gear in my car. That way, all I have to do is haul ass when the big one hits. I don't have to fuss with carrying my Dora the Explore emergency back pack filled with survival crap. No! I'll just run like hell and get the fuck out.

I know they say you should stand in a doorway or under something sturdy during an earthquake, but seeing all those people buried in the rubble in Haiti has me thinking otherwise. I think I'll take my chances by running for it. After all, being buried alive doesn't seem like a good enough option for me. Nope. Not at all.

So, my car is packed with blankets, canned food, winter clothes, a towel, several first aid kits, shoes, socks, undies, jackets, wind-up flash lights that don't require batteries, a weather radio, bottled water, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. If the shit hits the fan, I figure my family could survive about 5 days with no help from anyone. Knowing this helped me sleep last night.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Falling Apart

So, I went to the doctor yesterday for my asthma check-up. The asthma is okay considering I've got a nasty cold that YaYa gave me, imported all the way from Texas! So, I mentioned to the doc that my knee has been hurting when I run, and he took a look at it. I also mentioned that my left heel has been hurting off and on for about 3 months.

His diagnosis: I've a got a cold (that YaYa gave me!!!), Plantar Fasciitis, and IT Band Syndrome.

He said I can continue to run until the pain becomes unbearable.

He didn't discourage me from running the marathon, though. He just said I might not be able to walk for about a week or so after the marathon.

So, now I must make a choice. Do I keep running and attempt to run the marathon with an aching, stinging knee, or do I quit running and give my Tokyo Marathon spot to someone else? Since I'm kind of wishy-washy when it comes to decision making, I'll have to ponder these questions for some time. I'll let you know what I have decided when I decide it.

It's totally our fault

My family is responsible for killing thousands of trees each year. I'm so sorry. Please forgive us.

You see, about a year ago Jude learned how to make paper air planes. And ever since then, the kid goes through about 2 reams of paper per month. That's about 1,000 paper air planes per month, floating around in my apartment! As you can imagine, my apartment is constantly littered with silly paper air planes. I go around picking up piles of paper air planes on an hourly basis when the kid is home. However, I do recycle the paper Jude uses.

Husband is a different story. Husband must use one paper towel for each drink he drinks. Let me explain. Each time Husband drinks a beverage, of any kind, he folds a paper towel and places it under his cup/bottle/mug. On average, he uses about 8 paper towels a day. To curb this problem, I even bought cork coasters, but it hasn't helped. He still insists on using paper towels. You can see every place Husband has been in our apartment by following the trail of folded paper towels. I feel so guilty that Husband uses so many paper towels, so I buy the recycled kind.

So, in 200 years, when all the trees have been cut down, you can blame us!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 3 Amigos

Jude and his best buddies waiting to perform their Christmas ballet dance.

Yes, my kid takes ballet at school. Don't be a hater!

My Little Piece of Sunshine


Our Tejas Tri Experience- Part 4

***Sorry for the delay! I've been in a tamale coma for the past 2 days!

Back to the story:

I get on land and fix the damn timing strap on my ankle. I race to my stuff in transition and hunt through my giant bag for a shirt I had not planned on wearing. The shirt is in the very bottom of my gigantic bag, and under all kinds of useless crap. I put it on, but my helmet is already on. Shit!

I get on the bike. I'm getting passed like a little girl on training wheels. Shit! Even the fat girls are passing me on the bike (and by fat girls, I’m talking about the two hundred and fifty pounders who are all wearing tight spandex tri suits). Will this ever end, I ask myself? Then, I see BJ ahead of me by a few minutes. I am hopeful again. Seeing BJ has given me the hope I need to complete the race. She's safe. I'm safe. Husband is alive. Everything is okay again.

I finish the bike portion of the race. I get off the bike completely drenched in sweat. The shirt is hot and, thankfully, my boobs are still contained. I take the shirt off and head for the run.

I start running and one lady passes me. You are a marathoner; you can do this; beat her, I tell myself. You can beat all the fat girls that beat you on the bike, I tell myself. And, I do. I start passing the fat chicks. The race is almost over. I can hear the roar of the crowd as people finish. Thanks God! I turn the corner and kick it into gear. I finish strong! I'm alive-not injured. All is right with the world.

My first open water triathlon is over, and I didn't drown or crash on the bike. I'm so happy to be done.

Ten minutes later, I want a redo. I ask Husband when and where is our next race.

Then, it’s time for us to go back to BJ’s house and get ready for my friend's wedding at noon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tamale Coma

Will someone please come to my apartment and take my tamales away? I can't stop eating them, and my gut is about to explode.

Shit! I think I'm addicted to tamales. Help me stop the insanity! Please. Help.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Tejas Tri Experience- Part Tres

Please read Part Uno and Part Dos first. Thanks.

The story continues:

Now it's my turn to get into the water. I'm okay, I tell myself, still thinking about the busted zipper barely holding my tri-suit together. I have a shirt in my bag and will get it after the swim just in case my zipper decides to bust again while I'm on the bike or on the run. I feel better knowing I have a shirt.

I get into the water. The gun goes off. I start swimming strong. The girls in front of me are slow. I start swimming on top of a few, and I'm doing great. My zipper is holding, and I'm mowing over the slow swimmers. I kick and fight my way to the front of the swimming pack. Then all of a sudden, I feel my ankle strap (timing chip) come loose. I stop mid-stroke to fix it. I can't touch bottom. The girls I just swam over are coming at me, and I'm about to lose my timing chip and strap. I can't tread water and fix the strap at the same time. I swim out of the way and attempt to fix the damn strap as best I can. I think about swimming over to the life guards in canoes and asking for help, but I'm afraid I'll be disqualified. I try to fix it for what seems like hours.

I fix it as best I can. If I don't kick, maybe it won't come off, I tell myself. So, I pull myself through the lake- no kicking, just pulling through the water. I'm okay, but not good. First the zipper, now the damn timing chip. I'm done. I want to stop and cry. I want to give up, go home, and forget this day and this race. I just want to cry. Nothing is going as planned. But I just can’t stop. The voices in my head won’t let me give up. I have to keep going.

Finally, I finish the swim. It was awful. My time was awful, but I didn't quit…

Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Our Tejas Tri Experience- Part Dos

The start of the triathlon race.

Please read Part Uno before you read Part Dos.

Thus, the story continues.

We walk back to the start of the race (the swim) in hopes of catching Husband’s start. I'm still freaking out! I can't get the busted zipper out of my head.

Husband hops into the lake, and his part of the race starts. He's in the back of the 35-40 year old pack. He does great! Five minutes later the next group starts, and so on. Husband swims strong for 3 whole minutes and then totally freaks out. He can't get a good rhythm and is struggling like a dying fish. He looks to his right, and behold- a man standing. Is it Jesus walking on water? No! It's just another struggling swimmer who has found a shallow spot near the edge of the lake. Husband stops and joins him. Husband takes a break for about a minute or so. He, too, has lost his Mo-Jo! He starts swimming again, and the next age group is starting to pass him.

Meanwhile, I'm at the start (at the edge of the lake), hoping to see Husband. Minutes pass and still no sign of Husband. Now, I'm really scared. I'm scared for Husband-- scared about the zipper. Fifteen minutes pass, and still no sign of Husband. A few people are coming out of the water because they have lost their timing chips and bands during the swim. They have to get new chips. But I am consumed with fear for my poor, helpless husband who has obviously drowned and is now at the bottom of the lake. Only a few yellow caps (Husband’s age group) remain in the water. WHERE IS MY HUSBAND? I'm shaking with fear! Finally, I see him coming out of the water. All is right with the world again, except for the damn zipper...

Part Tres will be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Our Tejas Tri Experience, a play-by-play account- Part Uno

(This is the tri-suit I wore for the race.)
Some of you have already heard this, but it's worth telling again. This occurred a couple of years ago.

This is a play-by-play account of our triathlon experience. (Since it's really long, I'll post it in parts. Enjoy!)

Thus, the story begins.

We woke up bright and early at 4 AM. The triathlon was about 20 miles south of BJ’s house, and we wanted to make sure to have enough time to get there and set up our gear. And, Houston has horrible traffic. So, we get there, and the parking lot is full. We park at a local grocery store and ride our bikes to the start/set up area. We feel good, full of energy and ready to tackle the day. All of our bowels have been emptied, and we hydrated in the car on the way. (Of course, I had to make a pit stop along the way in a parking lot- nothing new!) Everything is going as planned. We set up our equipment. I copy the girl next to me in hopes that she has done it right. I don't want to appear to be a newbie in front of the hard core chicks.

We get our timing chips and band- no line. Husband attaches the timing chip to the strap and then to my ankle. Since I'm so small, the strap is attached but hanging on by an inch or 2 of weak Velcro.

Husband heads to the start. He's in the first group.

I have to pee again. BJ and I head to the port-o-pots. We wait in line. I go. As I'm pulling up my tri-suit and pulling up the zipper, the zipper busts! That's right, the zipper busts! I call for BJ who was in the port-o-pot next to me, no answer. I call for here again, still no answer. I walk out of the port-o-pot attempting to keep my boobs under wraps, but they have other plans! (Keep in mind, I have nothing on under my tri-suit. NOTHING!) I hear a girl say, "Her suit has busted, that sucks!" I want to cry! I see BJ. HELP ME, BJ! With calm, soothing words BJ says, "We can fix this- everything is okay." I am about to cry. My Mo-Jo is gone. BJ attempts several times to fix the zipper and finally she gets it up. It is uneven, but up. Now, I'm shaking. I still want to cry, but the look in BJ’s calm eyes averts the tears. All I can think about is my suit busting open on the swim or on the bike or on the run. BJ reassures me that everything is okay. "You'll be fine," she says, and I believe her. She says it in a way that only a best friend can.

You'll have to wait until tomorrow for Part Dos.

I could be done

During last week's 17 mile run, at exactly mile 15.5, I experienced a stabbing pain in my knee. It started in my upper, outer thigh and then went directly to my outer knee. Each step was painful, like someone jabbing a needle directly into my knee. However, when I stopped running, the pain stopped. So, I walked/ran the last 1.5 miles in agony.

Courtesy of the Internet, I have diagnosed myself with IT band tendinitis. I've had this running injury before, back in 2003 when I attempted to run my first marathon. It's an overuse injury that just requires stretching, icing and rest, something I can't really do because I'm in the most important month of marathon training.

So, some decisions must be made and soon.

I refuse to run a marathon with an injury. That's just dumb, and I don't want to cause serious or permanent injury to my knee just to run another marathon. Remember, I've already successfully completed 2 marathons. I don't have anything to prove to anyone. I know I can do it.

So, the questions are: will my knee get better in time for the marathon, and can I run a marathon without training properly?

When I find out the answers to these questions, I'll let you know.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I am the ultimate Survivor Champion

Okay, those useless people on the CBS reality show could never survive this:

1. a five year old with H1N1 Influenza;
2. getting puked on several times by said five year old;
3. stuck in a small apartment with Limpy (YaYa), and Gimpy (PoPo) for 2 long weeks;
4. stuck in a small apartment with Limpy, Gimpy and SISTER for 2 very long weeks;
5. making over 150 tamales;
6. eating said tamales;
7. co-habitating with Husband, Jude, Limpy, Gimpy and SISTER in an apartment the size of a shoe box;
8. getting coughed and sneezed on by Limpy (YaYa caught a cold while she was here visiting);
9. running 14.5 miles; and
10. running 17 miles a week later.

Yep, I would like to see those pansy-ass people on Survivor survive this!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

3 Generations of Crazy

During YaYa, PoPo and Sister's visit, we took time out of our busy schedule to have some family photos taken. This is the result:

Even though Jude was VERY uncooperative, we still managed to get a few great pictures.