Saturday, May 29, 2010

Paparazzi, Jude's Version



Jude loves singing! Duh! He is my kid after all! After he sang Baby, by Justin Bieber, he sang Lady Gaga's song Paparazzi. He loves this song! I play it on the piano, and he sings along. We're like the freaking Partridge Family! I love it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Baby, Jude's Version



We were eating sushi, and Jude starting singing Justin Bieber's song, Baby. Of course, I had to capture it on video for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Super Mommy

Okay, I don't know how you single moms do it!

I barely survived 8 days without Husband.

Thankfully, he's home, safe and sound, and ready to be Jude's wrestling partner again!

Phew! Thank God!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My sympathies to you

I play the piano. I started playing the piano when I was 4 years old. You would think I would be a really good piano player by now, but I'm not. I spent too many years without a piano, and my ability suffered.


But one of the best presents I ever received was a gift from Husband: a Yamaha Clavinova. Basically, it's a digital piano with all kinds of buttons and doo-dads. Because Husband bought me a fancy one, my keys are weighted, to simulate the weight of a Yamaha grand piano key.


Recently, my piano has become my best friend. I've been spending every waking hour learning and practicing new songs. It has become my therapy. When I'm pissed off, I play Chopin and bang on the keys, playing deep, long, low notes. When I'm happy, I play the Beatles or Lady Gaga. When I just want to hear the beauty of the piano and the music I make, I play Clare de Lune.


And when I play, I play with all of me. I am complete when I play. I am where I belong. I am my happiest.

So, for those of you out there that can't play musical instruments, where do you find your solace. Where do you go to be comforted? Where do you go to be creative? Where do you go to create what's in your mind? Where do you go to release the angst in you? Where?

I've always felt sorry for people who are not creative or disciplined enough to learn to play an instrument. I feel bad that you are locked in a world without the ability to create something. I feel sorry for you--sorry that you will never know the greatest pleasure of hearing your fingers creating the most wonderful melodies.

What's it like to be locked in a world without music?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Belly Buttons are yummy

Today at breakfast Jude spilled chocolate milk down his chest and into his belly button. (Because it's a million degrees in our apartment, Jude runs around in his underwear and nothing else.) He spent the next 10 minutes trying to suck the milk out. He was hunched over like a contortionist, trying his best to get his lips on his belly button. After much frustration, he gave up and got a tissue to soak up the milk in his navel. It was quite a sight!

I have to give him credit for his persistence and his flexibility!

I saw you in my dreams

So, Husband has been away for approximately 4 days, 19 hours and 47 minutes, but who's counting? Husband often takes business trips because of his job, so I'm usually left at home with Jude. I knew when I married Husband that he would have to travel for work, and I'm okay with that, but, still, I miss him terribly when he's gone.

I know you didn't stop by Weenie's World to hear my moaning and groaning about how I miss my husband, to hear me complain about something I agreed upon, but this is my blog with my stories and my feelings, so shove it!

And regardless of what I write here, it's just between you (you fine folks in the computer) and me. After all, Husband doesn't read this useless blog. He claims he doesn't have time. I think he's just scared to read what I write about him and post to the world for my own amusement.

Whatever!

Dearest Husband,

Even though you're gone, I dreamt of you last night. I dreamt we were in Hawaii getting ready to eat a fancy dinner. In my dream, you chose to wear a beige suit with beige tennis shoes. I tried to get you to change your shoes, but you refused. After a while, I gave up trying to make you change. Then, we made out, ate 40 bagels and confessed our love for one another. It was a good dream. I'm glad we got to visit.

See you soon,
~Weenie

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rotten fish and sweaty heads

This is what a traditional Japanese breakfast looks like.

As you know, I teach English at a local Japanese elementary public school, and I love it. Every day I learn something new, and I usually laugh in the process. Not to mention I also get to have fun at recess!

However, today it was hot, really hot, and my school doesn't have air conditioning, so I had to suffer along with the kiddos. But, as I entered one of the warmer classrooms, the aroma of rotten fish and sweaty heads nearly gagged me. Since most of the kids eat boiled fish and miso soup for breakfast, that shit comes out of their pores when they sweat. And, today that shit was pouring out of them, gagging me.

Oh well, instead of dealing with bratty kids with behavioral issues, I get to deal with 450 sweet, awesome kids who are eager to learn but smell like rotten fish!

All in a day's work in Weenie's World!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Barra-what?

Before bed time...

Jude: "Mommy, is a Barra-kooter a scary fish?"

Weenie: "What kind of fish?"

Jude: "A Barra-kooter."

Weenie: "A what?"

Jude: "A B-A-R-R-A-K-O-O-T-E-R fish!!!!"

Weenie: "What is that?"

Jude: "A! Type! Of! Fish! Jeez, you don't hear so good!"

Weenie: "Do you mean a barracuda!"

Jude: "Yes, that's what I said!"

Note to self: stop using the word kooter around Jude.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tee Ball Game #3

Jude played his third tee ball game on Saturday, and I must say, the kid is getting really good. He whacked the crap out of the ball, and it zoomed passed the pitcher. I was quite impressed!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mark your calendar

Holy shit!

http://www.twilightconvention.com/

Need I say more!

I plan to convince Husband to let me attend the one in Hawaii.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Literally

The other day, around dinner time...

Weenie: "Jude, please finish your dinner and throw away anything that's left over."

Jude: "Okay, mom."

Minutes later...

Weenie: "Where's your plate and cup? I need to put them in the dishwasher."

Jude: "I threw them away."

Weenie: "Why did you throw them away?"

Jude: "You told me to put anything that was left over in the trash. So, I did."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strawberry Picking in Saitama Prefecture

My Ome Ladies consist of 3 amazing, Japanese women who live in Ome, hence the name Ome Ladies. I teach English to these lovely ladies every Thursday, and they often take me on interesting field trips around Tokyo and the surrounding areas.

Two weeks ago, they took Jude and I strawberry picking. Around Japan you can find large greenhouses filled with strawberry plants. It was a unique opportunity to see how strawberries are grown in Japan.
We had an enjoyable time and stuffed ourselves silly with strawberries. They were delicious!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Kick-Ass Bar-B-Que, Japanese Style

One of my favorite Japanese students invited my family over to her house for a bar-b-que to celebrate Golden Week (a week in which 3 Japanese holidays are celebrated).
The kids enjoying my yummy cheese dip.
The kids watching Jurassic Park. It must have been a scary scene because Jude was covering his eyes.
Fireworks are awesome!

I love Japan!

Tama Zoo

For the past 3 weekends, we have been going to the zoo. It's Jude's favorite place to visit. We love it too! Jude gets to run around and see all the animals he's been reading about. It truly is little boy heaven.
Jude posing for a picture near the entrance gate.
An orangutan monkeying around.
Jude and I posing for a picture near the fish flags (these flags are flown in honor of Boy's Day- a Japanese holiday).
A sumo wrestler in training was also there visiting the zoo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

He can read

Happy Mother's Day to Me

There is nothing in the world that makes me happier than to see my son smile.

On Mother's Day, I found myself reflecting back on my journey through motherhood. And, I realized I never knew the power of love until I met my son. A mother's love is an unbelievable thing. It allows you to do things you never thought possible. It allows you to become a wiser, more patient person with a new sense of who you are and what you are capable of.

I decided long ago that my son was a gift, a gift from God. He was to be cherished, respected, educated, loved, and nurtured, so that someday he can be the best possible person he can be. It's a tall order to place on me, but I was more than willing to take up the challenge. And, like other things in my life, I do them all the way, to the best of my ability. This was a challenge I was willing and ready to take on.

The first few months of Jude's life were exhausting mainly because he was a baby who never, ever slept, and he wanted to nurse all the time. He was too intrigued with the world around him to ever find the time to sleep, and, well, he loved to have a boob in his mouth (such a typical guy).

After the first 10 months, he became a walking, talking little guy. Since then, he's been absorbing everything he can. He's mastered so many things in these 5 years. It's amazing what he's become.

On this mother's day, all I know is that I'm so thankful that I was chosen to be his mother. So thankful that he was given to me! So thankful for every moment I get to spend with him on this planet! So thankful for everything he is capable of. So thankful for such a sweet, amazing, little boy! So thankful to be his mother!

Moss Flowers in Ome

Once a year in the mountains of Ome, Japan (near Saitama Prefecture), these beautiful, little "moss flowers" bloom, creating an amazing site. My Ome Ladies (Japanese students) took me on a field trip to this extraordinary location. Here are a few pictures I took:
Me standing near the flowers.
My Ome Ladies and I posing for a picture.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Noodles, anyone?

Jude standing near Tachikawa train station

If you want to eat the best ramen noodles in Tokyo (in my opinion), you need to go to Ramen Square near Tachikawa JR station. Ramen Square houses 8 different ramen noodle shops, each with their own distinct flavor and style.

Swing Batter Batter

Jude's second tee ball game.

A sweet gig

As you know, I teach English. Duh! For the past year or so, I've been teaching these lovely ladies how to speak English. However, I think they've taught me more than I've taught them! I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful women!

Reading

Nothing makes me happier than to hear my baby reading books! Way to go, Jude! I'm so proud of you!

Tee Ball Practice

Jude's first tee ball practice.

Cherry Blossoms revisited

I took this picture near the Tamagawa (Tama river).

Batter Up

Jude's first time at bat, at his very first tee ball game. The poor kid forgot which way to run! I'm so proud!
video

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Books I'm currently reading

Have you ever wanted to know what a midget, Mexican momma does in her spare time? Well, I read.

I read not to gain knowledge or to learn the secrets of the world. I don't read to analyze or theorize. I read because I like to be transported into someone else's reality. I like to disappear from my world and get caught up in someone else's.

Right now I'm reading these books:
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger.
This is an easy read about 3 single women in New York. It's fun and reminds me of my single life.

Multiple Blessings by Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson.
This is a book I found in the trash. Because I can't stand to see books thrown away, I picked it up and started reading it. It's an interesting book about how Jon & Kate Plus 8 came to be.

Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe.
This is a children's book about a vampire bunny. I'm using it as a teaching tool for my Japanese students.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.
This is the second book in the Twilight series. I'm reading this with my private Japanese student.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Monkeys in Nagano

This is the only place in the world where monkeys relax in a hot, steamy bath.
Yes, I took these pictures.

Rice Spice is back

Welcome back Rice Spice, we missed you!

On ironing

When I graduated from college in 2000, I swore to myself that as a college graduate I would never, ever wash windows or iron again. It was my way of congratulating myself for all my hard work in undergrad.

Unfortunately, the congratulations is over, and I spent 7 fucking hours ironing everything that needed ironing.

Next time, I'll just sit my fat ass on my clothes and hope the wrinkles are blasted away when I fart.

Yes, that sounds much better than ironing!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life through song

My son sings. All the time. All. The. Time!

He sings at the park. He sings while he's eating. He sings when he's on the toilet. That's just how he rolls.

He loves to sing. He really loves to sing! (Maybe we've been spending too much time singing karaoke, and now it's rubbing off on him?)

He isn't a very good singer, but he's better than most. He can carry a tune, and you definitely know what song he's singing.

And when he has a song in his head, he sings it. All the time.

Currently, he's stuck on Avril Lavigne's song I'm With You. He sings it night and day.

I usually join him for the chorus.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The weirdness around me

I live in a weird, weird world.

In my world, men carry purses, and it's okay. Women still wear leg warmers, and no one thinks anything of it. People have orange, green, purple and blue hair, and no one stares at them. People eat lots of raw things, and it's totally okay.

Sometimes I forget how weird my world actually is. I guess I'm getting used to the weirdness. The weirdness is now common place.

And I love the weirdness and the absurdity of it all. My senses are constantly teased and tempted when I walk around Tokyo. I see amazing sites, taste amazing foods, and smell amazing things.

However, I'm afraid to move back to the mundane and the boring. In Japan, my mind is constantly in motion, trying to wrap my head around the bizarre-ness that is Tokyo, Japan. I am never bored here, that's for sure.

But when I move back to America, my senses will be dulled, and instead of witnessing bizarre and amazing things, I'll be in self preservation mode. I'll be looking over my shoulder in the parking lot, with my keys in hand, making sure I'm not being followed. I'll be leery of parking in dark, secluded areas. I'll be leery of lots of things, like the meth-head down the road or the weirdo looking at me like I'm lunch. I'll also have to watch over Jude like a hawk, something I'm not used to doing.

In Japan, I never have to worry about those things. No! Because there is hardly any crime in Japan, my mind can focus on other things. I never have to feel restricted, scared or worried. Instead, I take in the sights, sounds and weirdness of it all.

And I love all the weirdness!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

For Big Al

So blessed

I am so incredibly lucky to have a job I absolutely love. I honestly love to wake up in the morning, get dressed, and head to work. I'm happiest when I'm working, when I'm teaching and discussing the language I love.

When I was in college, I studied what I liked: English. I was always told that I should do what I'm good at, and, well, I'm good at writing 20 page papers with 25 different sources in about 6 hours, and I'm good at analyzing various literary works and comparing them to shampoo commercials. I'm also quite good at creating elaborate grammar trees that take up 2 sheets of paper. And, I like it. That's right! I like to create grammar trees. I know I'm weird.

I also love to sit around and think about how the words we say are created in our mouths. I love to think about how we articulate words and create them with the simplest movements of our tongues and lips. Diphthongs, glottal stops, and schwas turn me on! I know I'm really, really weird!

I also love to read books and catch grammatical errors in them. I love it when an editor misses something. It really does make my day, almost as much as finding an M&M on the floor!

When I do stumble across a mistake, I'm so tempted to correct the mistake with a huge, red pen, and then return the book, flagged and highlighted, back to the editor, charging them a fee for my services. I know it's rude, but someday I will do it.

Now, that's not to say this blog isn't littered with countless mistakes. I know it is. I try to correct the mistakes when I find them, but sometimes I write an entry in 5 minutes and then run out the door, never taking the time to really edit myself. I know I'm lazy.

But, all I know is that I'm one lucky bitch. I'm lucky because I get to do what I love! I get to teach English to people who are eager to learn.

It's great to be me!

Mother Nature, you don't suck!

The last 2 weekends have been glorious. The kind where you think you've died and gone to heaven. It's been a crisp 70 degrees with a nice breeze and a cloudless sky.

Because of the nice weather, we've been outside soaking up the sun's rays, and enjoying ourselves at the zoo and the park.

Dear Mother Nature,
I take back all the nasty things I said about you!
~Weenie