Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where'd they go?

Doko itta no?

My darling, my sunshine, love of my life, reason for living;

1. That's not your chair. That's your sister's.

2. That's not your fork. That's your sister's, too.

3. I peeled two good sized Fuji pears for the four of us, not just you. Where have they gone?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Nana korobi Ya oki

This phrase isn't so much a phrase as a saying. When you stop and think, if you fall down seven times, you only have to get up seven times (or six if you choose to give up after the final fall). I guess they say "get up eight" because you are not only supposed to persevere, you are supposed to thrive. Or something.

Daruma dolls are painted papier mache. They are weighted on the bottom so they always get up (i.e. never give up) and have blank eyes. You paint one eye while making a wish or setting a goal, and fill in the other eye when your wish comes true or achieve your goal.

And then there is this.

The contents of this plastic Hello Kitty monstrosity are what the Pumpkin Princess decided was going to be her lunch for Monday. I wish I had pictures of the lunch, but this was when she went on a little trip (first train ride for her cousin) while I stayed at home. It apparently contained a sausage with a picture of Hello Kitty, a slice of kamaboko with a picture of Hello Kitty, ground chicken seasoned with ginger and scrambled egg arranged over a layer of rice. It was way too much food for a 4 year-old, and she only ate about a third of it. It's pretty obvious she was attracted to the container and not the food. To her credit, she ate the remainder for dinner that lunch and breakfast the next morning. I have washed out the container and she'll probably use it to store all the capsule toys she makes the Pumpkin Daddy buy every time they go to the mall.

(ETA: found online a picture of what was inside the box)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I look cool from both sides.

Docchi kara mite mo kakkoii!

When I saw a Krispy Kreme when I was in Yokohama for work stuff, I had to stop by, even though there was a long line that I had to stand in for a good 15 minutes.

My brother and his family were in town, so I had to make sure there were enough to go around. I got a dozen plain glazed donuts and some more with nuts and sprinkles (gotta have rainbow colored sprinkles because to anyone under the age of seven, a donut isn't a donut without sprinkles that get their color from carcinogens).

To my American friends, I probably look like a loser for standing in line for 15 minutes to buy donuts from a chain store. But keep in mind, Krispy Kreme donuts only got to Japan a few years ago, and they are to be found only in places like Tokyo and Yokohama. I think the nearest one from us is about 50 miles away and lacks parking space. Their inavailability makes them trendy and desirable. Kind of like Starbucks when they first got here about 15 years ago. So to my family (especially my s-i-l, judging from her response), I am a cool person who brought home the awesome donuts they saw in the Japanese analog of InStyle or Cosmopolitan last month.

But wait! We had the donuts with chilled green tea! I understand chilled green tea is edgy and fashionable and interesting in the Americas and Europe these days. I'm cool either way you look at it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You still don't get it?

Mada wakaranai no?

So I had a bunch of undergrad kids and the topic of religion came up (don't ask) and I asked if there were any Mormons in the group (which is probably illegal in several states in the US, the asking, not the Mormonism, that is, but I'm in Japan so there) and they said no, and so I said know how to make sure? They all looked at me blankly, so I told them to follow me, and marched the group to the cafe on the premises and told them to order whatever they liked, and they all ordered coffee (iced lattes and a shot of espresso, and I said that it has been proven there are no practicing Mormons in the group, and I got a bunch of blank looks.

So when I realized they still didn't get it, I explained (in a careful manner as to not be an obnoxious person telling someone what they already know) that Mormons will not drink coffee or anything with caffeine, or, for that matter, nicotine and alcohol, and one of them said "what, no Regain?" (no, not drug for alopecia but an energy drink available in Japan containing caffeine and nicotine, think Red Bull) and I replied "no Regain, at least not if you follow everything you're supposed to" and the kid was like "wow, how do they get anything done?"

I was amazed that none of the group (all enrolled in a school where admission is pretty darned competitive) knew Mormons won't drink coffee, but then again, I suppose the average American doesn't know there are about 60 days on the calendar Japanese people won't have weddings. Still, with all those cute blond guys pedaling bicycles all over town, you would think they would have had the chance to find out without me.

I'm first!

Ichiban ni natta!

Apparently, if you Google "Japanese last weekend", a blog entry I made 2 years ago about a trip to Tokyo comes up first.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is it you?

Anata desuka?

I've got a hit from Johannesburg. I used to have this blogging friend who hailed from South Africa. She seemed to be in a difficult time in her life when she stopped blogging and pretty much dropped off the face of the planet as far as I know. I'm hoping the SA hit is her, and that she is all right enough to be checking obscure blogs such as this.

I'm not getting any tomatoes!

Tomato ga zenzen torenai!

It's supposedly the hottest summer ever. I believe it.

Last year, I had so many tomatoes from the garden, I didn't know what to do. This year, the tomatoes somehow get eaten by some insect or other before they ripen. It wasn't so bad until August, but I haven't had a single tomato from the garden in over 3 weeks. Supermarket produce is a lot more expensive than it is most years, too. It's nice to know that the pros have it hard and that it's no fault of mine..

That's a photo from last year, a memory of better days...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You don't have to do that anymore!

Mou sou iu koto ha shinakute ii n dayo!

So Cinderella went to the royal ball in the enchanted dress. The Prince took one look at the beautiful Cinderella and would dance with no other the rest of the evening.

He loved her Swiffer too much to let it go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Please don't do that anymore!

Mou shinai de ne!

The previously described kid in the Pumpkin Day Care with anime red hair is showing a good inch or two of dark roots. I'm hoping his mom won't do that to his hair again, ever.

I love checking the "feedjit" bar. I can tell who some of the visitors are, but others I have no clue, so they must have found me without me telling them about this blog myself. And what is interesting is that some of these visitors I don't know apparently come back every so often to check on me. Which is cool, but I don't know who they are and what they are looking for.

So if I don't know your name, and you are checking this blog, and if you feel like it, please leave a comment and tell me what you were looking for when you got here and whether you found it. This is a blog about the Pumpkin Mommy and her brood, and the Japanese phrases only serve as a minor accessory to what I really want to share. If the phrases are important to lots of people, I might consider being more detailed about them, like how formal they are and whether you can use them on people other than immediate family and friends your own age.