Monday, July 16, 2018

Long time, no see


I have clearly not accomplished all my Golden Week goals, especially not the one about exercise, and (less importantly--or would that be more?) the one about Tiny Vader.

Life is all right. The Pumpkin Princess is having fun in JHS which is unexpected and really nice (I hated that JHS). She is in the percussion section in band and loves it. Midterms and finals have come and gone. Results were very, very slightly above average, which, if continued, aren't going to leave her as many career choices as she wants (Actually, her current career of choice is Disneyland Cast Member, which would sustain the standard of living she wants if our family home were within commuting distance of the place. Which it isn't.). The Pumpkin Prince is...a boy. He breaks things. He forgets things. He's all right with it. He's all right with himself. 

Bullet journaling continues, and is helpful, when I journal. When I'm really, really busy, I don't even have time to check/ update it, which means it doesn't get the chance to be helpful. Which means I need to do it more religiously, I guess? I've been doing it on a notebook I got at the 100 yen store, but after four months of it, I decided to get a bigger (A5) notebook with a nice cover. We'll see how I do with the bigger notebook.

I am still bulk cooking over the weekend for weekday breakfasts and lunches. I haven't bought an unplanned work lunch in over four months. I think that's pretty amazing. One unexpected problem is that I keep forgetting how much cash I (don't) have in my wallet. Thank goodness for free ATM fees at 7Eleven for people who get paycheck deposits at my bank...

Meditation...I don't know. I keep falling asleep. I never had trouble sleeping to begin with. I don't know if it makes me more productive or forgiving or whatever.

Exercise. See above. Totally slacking off. Lost, and gained back weight (my body's usual response of losing muscle, then gaining fat). I'm currently the weight I was right after the New Year Holidays. Which isn't terrible, by any means, but not as healthy as I could be.

I dumped my hairdresser (my hair salon, actually. My hairdresser left me a few years ago and I just kept going to the same salon out of habit). My new one gave me a straightening treatment, which I love, and bangs, which I am not sure about. At first, I liked them. Then I started feeling like they made me look like a 38 year-old (I say 39 because people say I look slightly younger than my age) trying to look like a 23 year-old. Then they grew (duh) and I am starting to remember why I ditched bangs circa 1998 in the first place. I'm trying to decide if I want to attempt a self-trim or if I will grow them out until my next salon visit (which will probably happen in 11 months).

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Have lofty goals

Mokuhyou ha takaku

Feeling better, even though I've totally slacked off on the exercise. Meditation is...on and off. I keep falling asleep before the YouTube video ends, which I've decided is perfectly acceptable. Journaling is going well. I started mid-March and I'm on page 42. I think I'm having slightly fewer "OMG TOTALLY FORGOT" moments, but I'm also having longer periods of "OMG I HAVE TO DO XYZ AND I TOTALLY DON'T WANT TO BUT I HAVE TO AND I REALLY REALLY DON'T WANT TO BECAUSE IT'S HARD AND I DON'T WANT TO CALL THAT PERSON AND GET THAT THING THAT I NEED TO DO XYZ AND OMG I HAVE TO DO XYZ" so I'm not sure if I'm actually any more efficient.

Here is this year's overly ambitious to-do list, to be accomplished sometime between April 28th and May 6th (but I am working and the kids have school on May 1st and 2nd).

1. Wash cashmere knits: From November to February (and sometimes March) I live in Uniqlo cashmere over Heat Tech thermals (with or without a button up shirt or blouse layered between the two). I have four long sleeved pullovers, a short sleeved turtleneck, and a sweater set. I'll hand wash them with detergent for delicates. (There's just something not quite right about dry cleaning something that cost less than $100.) The laundry net will let me only dry two at a time, so I'll have to do two a day.

2. Gardening: We had landscaping done and so I don't have nearly as much space to make overly ambitious plans only to let the yard fall to a weed jungle garden. Still, I want to have nice flower pots in front of the front entrance and maybe the new shed. So, I need to:

Empty old soil from flower pots, sieve, place in black trash bags
Get new potting soil and cute plants
plant flower pots with fresh plants to last for a couple of months

3. Run at least three times: I've totally lapsed in the exercise department. Shock therapy might be necessary.

4. Color hair and pedicure: I've already bought the box hair color. Haven't decided if I'll paint my toenails my usual navy blue, or something more understated.

5. Get a repair estimate on my work bag: I bought the thing about eight years ago. It now has small rips and the edges are badly worn. I did some googling, and the company does repairs for a price, so I want to take pictures and drop them a line and see if repairs would be worth the time and money. I think the cutoff would be half of what I paid for the bag in the first place.

6. Tiny Vader photoshoot: because I want to tell the story of what became of the rose/ silky red boxers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018



I felt really crappy this past month, so I'm trying different things to get myself out of the funk. I tried journaling again, and it's kind of good. I'm trying to get back into exercising. It's pollen season and kind of windy, so YouTube exercise videos are good.

I'm also trying meditation. I don't mean meditation like the religion I married into. That would be much too intense, plus, I can't do the lotus position (I think it's because my legs are too short).

No, I mean what the self-help people are calling "mindfulness." Before bed, I listen to one of the online guided meditations available on YouTube. I'm not sure if it actually helps me relax or sleep well, but it isn't hurting, and it's only about 10 minutes I would otherwise spend fooling around on the internet.

I'm not a religion expert, but mindfulness and meditation as defined by my (husband's) religion seem different. I can't imagine myself heading to my husband's family temple and sitting in the lotus position while the resident monk hovers over me with a bamboo sword. Mindfulness seems much more accessible with smartphone apps and YouTube and FB pages. While conclusive evidence of efficacy is debatable, it can't hurt, and it's only 10 or so minutes. Worth a shot. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

If it works

Umaku iku nara

I decided I would try journaling again. I tried it once, and it made me depressed, so I stopped, but I kept on hearing about it, so I decided to give it another try. I watched the You Tube on bullet journaling and went to the page and read all the information on it.

I know you're supposed to use a nice notebook with good paper, but I'm on a budget so I got a notebook with a vinyl cover at the 100 yen shop. I saved three pages for the index and used three pages for a "future log" and additional notes, and two facing pages for the monthly log for the month of March. Then I dove in and wrote whatever I felt like. I logged things I had to do and did and other stuff that I thought was cool that I came across during the day, and whenever a question popped into my head at work, I wrote it down, and when I had a minute googled it or looked it up in the books we have at work and wrote down the answers.

I ended up with over a page and a half of notations just for today.

Somehow, I don't think it's how bullet journaling is supposed to work.

But I felt like I was getting stuff done, and I looked over the notations before going to bed, and felt really good about my day, so whatever works, right? And I felt so good that I exercised for the first time in over a month, and now I'm sore all over but I'm feeling good about it, so it's all good, right?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lying is one answer

Uso mo houben

The other day, I took the day off to get a breast biopsy. Yes, a breast biopsy, you know, what you do when you get an abnormal breast exam and/ or mammogram and the surgeon does to make sure it isn't cancer? Yes, that. But I didn't want to deal with explaining to my husband what a Category 3 breast lesion was, and how stabbing it with a needle and sucking out some cells involved a blood-draw-caliber needle was more a precaution than anything. I don't know if he would have been "oh, ok" like he was supposed to, or if he would have freaked out like I was afraid he would. I wasn't ready for the latter. So that morning, I packed a lunch just like almost every other day the past two weeks, and left the house when I usually did. The procedure was done by 10:30, so I drove to the mall and ate the lunch I packed in the parking lot and bought a T shirt at Uniqlo (last year's shirts were on sale at 50% off and I found the discontinued color I liked) and walked around until it was time for my consultant gig. After I finished that gig, I went to Costco and the adjacent home improvement store, and then I went to Starbucks (and remembered to NOT get a decaf latte)
and did some English proofreading and fooled around on the internet until it was the usual time for me to go home.

So technically, I've lied to my husband. Oh what a tangled web we weave. At least it was a cheap web (500 yen for the T-shirt, 380 yen for the Starbucks sakura latte).

(And it was good.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Note to self


A blog post from a year ago reminded me that I was depressed this time last year. Maybe next year I'll remember this and take steps to prevent it (or at least catch it early).

So here's another reminder to myself:

Finishing a consultation gig early but not wanting to drive back to your office even though you have work to do is perfectly fine. Spending 500 yen on a Starbucks latte so you can sit in a sofa for an hour or so to get that work done was great idea. It was smart of you to remember that you'd probably never get it done at home (kids/ housework/ miscellaneous distractions, you know the drill). That's why you've packed lunches the past couple of weeks, so that you can spend that 500 yen you aren't spending on overpriced convenience store lunches on something more useful. Like sofa space away from home. Oh, and coffee.

However, in the future, try to remember you don't like Starbucks decaf lattes. Deal with the insomnia and go for the regular latte, or order one of those cutesy seasonal sweet frothy things in interesting colors. 

Oh well. At least the cup was cute.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Murder in the laundry room

Sentakushitsu satsujin jiken

I was taking pictures of Tiny Vader and Tiny Storm Trooper with their new washing machine, and the Pumpkin Prince said,

"It's Darth Vader. He wouldn't do laundry nicely."

"Oh, is that so? Well, what do you think he would do?"

"I think he would do this."

Oh dear.

"And I think there would be a witness. Hey, I think you should take the picture from above."

"Like this?"

"Yes, like that. And I think he would tie up all the loose ends."

"Like this. Oh, wait, I think he would use something better. Like this."

"There would be signs of a struggle, of course. Like this."

My son needs:

A. to watch less violence on T.V. and YouTube
B. extensive checking of his manga reading
C. intensive therapy
D. all of the above