Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On missing Christmas in Texas

This will be our 5th Christmas in Japan, and I'm feeling really, really homesick.  I would like nothing more than to be in Texas, celebrating this wonderful time of year with family and friends--to exchange presents, to spend time chatting, to eat amazing Tex-Mex foods together, to go to church together, to be thankful together.  Instead, I'm here in Japan trying my best to do all of these things on my own.  I'm trying to give my kid the best Christmas I can, but it's hard to do when there are no outside signs that it is Christmas time.  Remember, most Japanese people are not Christian; therefore, Christmas isn't really celebrated here.  It's a day like any other.

So to all my peeps back in Texas, enjoy the great tasting food and the wonderful friends and family members you get to hold tight and the wonderful Christmas lights and the fanciful decorations and the love you feel as you celebrate Christmas, because right now I would give anything for that!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Letter to Santa

Jude:  "Hey mom, I'm going to write a letter to Santa and tell him exactly what I want for Christmas."

Weenie:  "Great idea.  And what exactly do you want for Christmas?"

Jude:  "Well, I want a Death Star Planetarium and a mummy...a Chinchorro Mummy to be exact."

Weenie:  "Sweetheart, Santa and his elves make toys, and if you are a good boy you'll get your Death Star Planetarium.  But Santa does not go around killing people and mummifying them so he can deliver them to you under your Christmas tree.  Mummies are dead people, and Santa will not bring you your very own mummy, no matter how many times you ask for one.  And Santa will not go and take a Chinchorro mummy from a museum and give it to you for Christmas."

Jude:  "But I've been a really good boy!"

Weenie:  "I know, you've been an excellent boy.  But Santa makes toys not mummies!"

Jude:  "That sucks!  I guess when I grow up I'll have to be a curator of a mummy museum."

Weenie:  "Now that sounds like a good idea."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On love and marriage

Love is a complicated thing.  That's for sure!  And it seems that this year has been a very tumultuous year for love and marriage.

This year we (Husband and I) have witnessed the end of 8 different marriages.  Husbands have cheated, wives have cheated, ex-wives have been assaulted, best friends have stolen husbands, wives got tired of their useless husbands sitting around doing nothing, etc.  In total, since Husband and I have been married (almost 9 years now), we have watched as 15 couples have gotten divorced (some are still in the process).    Crazy, huh?!

Some of our friends and co-workers are currently working on their 3rd husband/wife.  And I'm not sure if this is a cross-section of what's going on in America or if we just have a bunch a friends who have been unlucky in love.  But, either way, I'm shocked that so many people we know have had failed marriages.

What happened to for better or for worse?  What happened to to love and cherish from this day forward  until death do us part?  What happened to all of that?!

Look, I'm a hopeless romantic.  My mom and dad have been married for over 40 years.  Same goes for Husband's parents.  Both Husband and I grew up in houses where those vows were taken seriously and still are.

I know not every day of married life will be filled with rainbows and pink ponies and rose petals and kisses and hot hotel sex.  I know that!  And I hope I never fall out of love.  But if I do, I hope Husband looks past that and loves me enough for the both of us.  I hope he will love me in my worst moments, and I hope I will always cherish him and respect him and honor him...no matter what.

Look, I understand some people shouldn't be together.  I get that.  I understand that some people are abusive and hateful and mean and ugly.  I get that, too.  And those people shouldn't be married, ever!

So, if you are considering marriage, please don't go into it lightly with high expectations of a fairy tale life where everything is peachy and wonderful all that time.  I assure you, that don't exist.  And don't get married if you have a bad feeling about it, or if you don't agree on the basics like money, how to raise your future kids, religion, etc.  And don't get married if you don't have respect for one another.

Marriage doesn't equal happiness, and it seems lately that marriage brings out the worst in people.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

November books

These are the books I read this month.  

Since I was a nanny in a former life, I found this book to be entertaining, fun and heartfelt.  It was an easy read, and I highly recommend it. This was an enjoyable guilty pleasure.  In fact, I'm going to read the sequel this month, and I can't wait.  If you haven't read this book, you should.  (Don't bother watching the movie!  The book is WAY better!)

This book was WAY better than the movie.  In fact, the book was touching, realistic, convincing, but depressing at times.  I found myself crying on the plane to Thailand as I read this book.  It's a great love story, but a little weepy at times.  I don't recommend reading this book in public!  You'll be a hot mess, if you do!

I usually really, really enjoy books written by Jodi Picoult.  However, this book was boring, hard to get through and seemed too cheesy.  This book is set in Arizona and lots of Native American folklore is incorporated into the novel, making it seem hokey, with a lot mystical mumbo-jumbo crap.  I tried to get through it, but I gave up.  I don't recommend this one.  At all!

What are you reading?

Dinner at my place

Okay, so I live in Japan.  Duh!  So, you probably think I eat raw fish everyday along with miso soup and rice.  Well, you'd be wrong.  Even though I live in Japan, I still eat typical American food most days.  I try to give my kid all the comforts of home by creating delicious American staples.

Last night for dinner I made fresh artisan (no knead) bread and beef stew.

I started the bread around 1:30 PM.  I mixed the flours (2 cups unbleached white and 1 cup whole wheat), 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons rosemary infused olive oil,  1 1/2 cups warm water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of quick rising yeast, and I let everything rise.

This is what it looks like after you mix all the ingredients together.   It's a sticky, gooey mess!
After you mix up all the yummy goodness, you let it sit for about 2 hours.  After that, you remove it from the bowl and flour it, folding it on itself about 5 times.  Then, you let it rise another 2 hours.

This is what it will look like sitting on your counter rising.  

After is rises, prepare your cooking vessel.  I use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (DCB) for this particular recipe.  I coat the DCB with olive oil and place it in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Then, when the DCB is really hot, I dump in the dough.  I bake the dough for 30 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered.

This is the final product.
When the bread is baking in the oven, your house will smell amazing!  It's like the bread is teasing you the entire time it's in the oven.  So once the bread is out, we usually devour the whole thing.  I usually pair the bread with a dipping oil, but last night I made beef stew.

Sorry the picture isn't that great, but I was too hungry to screw with the camera.  And please excuse the bowl.  I don't normally eat out of my kid's dishes, but I didn't want to eat too much beef stew, knowing I was about to eat half a loaf of bread. 

Here's a picture of my kid chowing down on his yummy, home cooked, American style dinner.  I tried to get him to smile at the camera, but he was too busy eating.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some things never change

Even though I'm a married woman with a 7 year old son, who travels the world and has new amazing adventures often, sometimes I still feel like that same insecure 14 year old girl I used to be.  You know, the one without boobs who used to sit in her bedroom wondering what the hell is going on.  Always wondering why everything was so dark and gray even when the Texas sky was shining so blue and bright. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Only in Japan

I just think that with the rising cost of health care, employers should encourage employees to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight in order to remain healthy.  This makes sense to me, and seems like a good idea.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The bomb went boom without a boom

I'm happy to report that the bomb was detonated and everything is back to normal.  However, I didn't hear a thing when it went boom.  I was waiting for a shake, rattle, boom, ka-boom, anything, but I got nothing.  Nada!  I'm glad everyone is safe and the situation was handled quickly with no injuries, but I'm disappointed I didn't get to hear a thing.

And just so you know, today (December 7) is the day Pearl Harbor was attacked back in 1941.  Kind of ironic, huh?!

A bomb!

No kidding!  Some construction workers found an old bomb buried in the soil near my apartment-- a couple of blocks away to be exact.  I know, what are the chances, right?!  Well, actually, it's quite common for construction workers to find old, un-exploded, WWII bombs here in Japan, especially in Tokyo prefecture.  Remember, the U.S. bombed the crap out of this area back during WWII, and, well, not all of the bombs went boom!  So here we are dealing with them now.  Like, right now!  

Some special folks have been brought in to deal with the bomb, and they intend to blow it up in place around 1 PM today.  My building shouldn't be evacuated but a lot of other buildings nearby will be.  And my local grocery store and post office will also be closed today as we wait for the thing to go boom.

The old bomb was discovered yesterday when construction workers were digging in the ground.  As soon as it was discovered, streets were blocked off and traffic came to a halt.  I had no idea what was going on for about an hour.  At that time, I was trying to pick up Jude from school.  My normal drive to Jude's school is about 7 minutes.  However, yesterday it took about 45 minutes!  I was pissed at first because I had NO IDEA what the hell was going on.  When I later discovered the cause for the road closures, I didn't mind being delayed.  After all, I'd hate to be the one to go boom!

So, today should be a fun filled day as I listen around 1 PM for the bomb to go off.

I just hope all those trying to keep us safe will stay safe, too!  

I know, earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear disasters and now a freaking bomb!  I can't wait to live a boring life again in America!

I can't make this shit up!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We're back from Thailand and Singapore

Sorry I haven't posted in such a long time, but we were busy traveling.  We were gone 10 days, and it has taken several days to recover and get things back in order.

We had an amazing trip!  No, seriously, AMAZING!  If you have the money, YOU SHOULD GO TO THAILAND!  Like, NOW!  REALLY!  GO!  You WON'T be disappointed!  I promise!

Since I took over 1,500 pictures on our trip, it's hard for me to pick my favorites, but we'll start with these.
Similan Island Tour
Similan Island Tour

Similan Island Tour

James Bond Island Tour with Running Babe
Khao Sok National Forest Tour

The beach at sunset.

Jude buried in the sand.

Our beach during the day.

China Town in Singapore

Husband and Jude in China Town in Singapore.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Weenie:  "Hey, how many pairs of underpants should I bring for Jude on our trip to Thailand?"

Husband:  "Bring 5 and then turn them inside out, and he can wear them again for another 5 days."

Weenie:  "Really?"

Husband:  "Yep, that's my plan, and I'll go commando a couple of days, too."

Weenie:  "Really?!"

Husband:  "Yep, when I'm on vacation I like to free-ball it."

Weenie:  "Ew!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baking Bread

Sometimes I get a hair up my ass and decide to do things I might not normally do.  And, well, this weekend I thought I'd bake fresh bread and make a pumpkin pie.  Since we are living in Japan, I feel like I'm missing out on all the great things about fall.  I miss pumpkin patches, bails of hay, hay rides, flowering mums, fresh baked pies and so on.  So, I decided to bring a little bit of home, home.   Here is the result:

I will NEVER buy bread again!

I know, I'm the brown Betty Crocker, biatches!

Around town

The other day I visited a local market just as they were opening.  I would tell you the name of this place, but I'm an ignorant foreigner and still can't read Japanese.  But I can show you the pictures I took.

My AT-AT is bigger than yours

Jude raked in some major cash for his birthday and decided to splurge by buying a big ass AT-AT.  If you are a Star Wars fan, you know what I'm talking about.  If you aren't, you probably could care less!

I'm not sure who was happier to get this, Jude or Husband.

So, a big THANK YOU to BJ, Lola, and YaYa for the birthday money.  You have made Jude and Husband so very happy!

Girls Night Out

On Thursday, I went out with a great group of ladies.  We had a nice dinner, had a few drinks and sang a little karaoke.  Since I was recovering from gastrointestinal distress, I didn't drink.  Okay, I did have a few sips of beer, but that was it.

Orange picking field trip

Last week I went on a field trip with Jude's class.  We went orange picking and had a great time.  Thankfully, I did't have to smack any children, even though I wanted to!

Here are a few pictures from the event:

On Halloween

Japanese people do not celebrate Halloween and don't know much about it, so I decided to tell my students about it and let them carve pumpkins.  Since most of them had never carved a pumpkin before, they were giddy with excitement as they made their own jack-o'-lanterns.   

So, yes, I got paid to teach my students how to make jack-o'-lanterns.  Man, I love this country!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Denim- Day 30

30 Days of Denim

This is what I wore yesterday:
T-Shirt:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Sweater:  New York & Company
Jeans:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Earrings:  Lia Sophia
Necklace:  (bought in Japan)
Shoes:  Crocs

Yesterday we attended Oktoberfest and a birthday party.  We met some great new folks, and I'm sure we'll be hanging out with them again.  They are new to Japan, and I can't wait to show them the ropes.  

Oh, and I'm finished with my 30 Days of Denim.  Yea, me!  

Wearing denim for 30 days was actually pretty easy for me.  Since I don't have a dress code for work, I think that helped too!  

Now I'm looking around the web to see what I can do for the next 30 days.  Have any ideas?  I was thinking maybe 30 days of Crockpot meals or 30 days of exercise or 30 days of thanks or 30 days of learning, where I learn something new for 30 days, or 30 days of organizing.  

Let me know what you think my new project should be.  

30 Days of Denim- Day 29

30 Days of Denim

Here is what I wore Friday:
T-Shirt:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Sweater:  Banana Republic (bought in Japan)
Jeans:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Jewelry:  Lia Sophia
Shoes:  Crocs 

Friday I taught my little kids' English class.  I have about 6 Japanese kids in that class, ranging in age from 2-4 years old.  It's like trying to wrestle rabid monkeys.  But at least it pays well! 

30 Days of Denim- Day 28

30 Days of Denim

Here is what I wore on Thursday:
Camisole:  New York & Company
Sweater:  (bought in Japan)
Jeans:  Uniqlo (bought in Japan)
Earrings:  Um, I forgot where I got these, but I know it was at a Stateside mall.
Necklace:  Hard Off (Japanese recycle shop)
Shoes:  Wilson (bought in Japan)

I had to work on Thursday.  

On another note, Jude and I were 20 minutes late to Jude's swim lesson (that lasts 30 minutes), because the kid had to take a 40 minute dump!  I have no idea why it takes my kid so effing long to poo.  It's ridiculous!  If I had a dollar for every minute I have to wait on my kid to empty his bowels, I'd be one rich bitch!

30 Days of Denim- Behind the scenes

This is what happens every night when Husband is taking my picture for this useless blog:
my crazy-ass kid jumps in front of the camera about half a dozen times.  Why, you ask?  Because he can!

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Denim- Day 27

30 Days of Denim

Here is Tuesday's outfit:
Shirt:  H &  M (bought in Japan)
Pants:  New York & Company
Jean Jacket:  Uniqlo 
Jewelry:  Lia Sophia
Shoes:  Gap (bought in Japan)

In case you haven't noticed, I like to wear Lia Sophia jewelry a lot.  No, I mean a WHOLE lot!  Like, I'm practically addicted to the stuff.  No.  Seriously!  Just ask Husband!  

Lia Sophia jewelry is sold like Tupperware or Pampered Chef.  A representative comes to your house and has a party with you and your closest friends.  Then you look through the catalog and buy a bunch of stuff, and then it comes to you in the mail.  Since I have a couple of friends who sell it, I like to help them out.

You could say I'm a very, very, very good customer!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Denim- Day 26

30 Days of Denim

Here is today's outfit:
Tank Top:  New York & Company
Sweater:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Jean Skirt:  Old Navy
Jewelry:  Lia Sophia
Shoes:  Crocs

Today it was about 70 degrees, so I thought I'd celebrate by wearing a skirt and shaving my legs.  

My little zombie

Jude had a blast last night scaring the crap out of people.  When he made small children cry, he giggled with delight, and so did I.  

We are the type of people who like blood and guts and gore on Halloween.  We are all about being scared and scaring others.  We usually spend the month of October trying to scare each other by throwing plastic roaches at each other or hiding behind things and jumping out when the other person least expects it.  We watch horror movies and tell Jude to cover his eyes when the really scary part happens.  We decorate our apartment with skulls and talking skeletons.  

That's how we do Halloween!

30 Days of Denim- Day 25

30 Days of Denim

Here is Monday's outfit:
Shirt:  Old Navy 
Jeans:  Uniqlo (bought in Japan)
Jewelry:  New York & Company
Shoes:  Crocs

Yesterday was Halloween, and I spent the day volunteering at Jude's school, helping with their fall festivities.  I was very well behaved, and I didn't smack any children, even though I wanted to several times.  

***I look really fat in this picture.  Maybe it's all the candy I stole from Jude's candy bag!  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thailand bound, again

So, we have a great vacation planned for November.  We'll be heading to Thailand again, and I can't wait.  I just hope all the flooding in Bangkok doesn't fuck screw up our plans.

While we are on vacation, we're going to meet up with a good friend of ours.  The only problem is my friend has had some work done.  She's had a nip and a tuck and an implant inserted here and there-- if you know what I mean.  Of course she looks amazing because she doesn't have an ounce of cellulite anywhere on her body.  It has all been sucked out, literally!  I'm usually not too self-conscious because I think I look alright.  I mean, yes, I'm a little jiggly.  And yes, my boobies hang a little lower than most.  And yes, I've got a little pot belly.  But, I don't believe I look that bad considering I'm a thirty-something, Hispanic, Tejana, who has pooped out a kid.  However, you stand me next to her, and I look like a beached whale with saggy, banana boobs.

I know I shouldn't worry about how I look in a bathing suit standing next to her, but all of a sudden I do.  I know.  It's so stupid of me.  And I know she achieved her look by having surgery and putting her life at risk for the sake of vanity.  I know all of this, but my brain can't seem to turn off all of these insecurities.

I know perfection cannot be accomplished without surgery.  I know putting one's life at risk for vanity is stupid.  I know I can never look as good as her.  I know all of this, but, yet, my mind keeps focusing on my jelly roll, muffin top, spare tire or whatever you want to call it.  I see my thighs in the mirror, and I hear thunder.  I see my deflated boobs, and I think of pancakes.

Oh, why is this vacation with her starting to stress me out?!

Well, here are a few pictures from our Thailand trip last year.  I used Jude as my cover-up.   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

30 Days of Denim- Day 24

30 Days of Denim

Here is yesterday's outfit:
Shirt:  Banana Republic (bought in Japan)
Sweater:  Gap (bough in Japan)
Jeans:  Gap (bought in Japan)
Belt:  Gap
Necklace:  Lia Sophia and a Silver Necklace with an Amber Charm (I bought this necklace about 15 years ago, but I can't remember where.)
Earrings:  Gift from Running Babe
Shoes:  Crocs

Yesterday I got scalped, I mean, I got a much needed haircut.  However, I think the hair stylist got a little carried away!  Oh well, it's just hair and it will all grow back soon enough.  Until then, I'll have to wear lots of makeup and jewelry, so I'm not mistaken for a pre-teen boy.  

At least I don't look like Rod Stewart anymore!