Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is my Dad's 61st birthday (well it's tomorrow technically for him, but it's the 25th already here, so I'm celebrating today)! I believe my family back home got together to celebrate this weekend, and I wish I could have joined in! :(  I was there in spirit at least.
And just because it's my favorite picture of my Dad and I feel like posting it- I give you the Popeye picture (taken on our family trip to Guadalajara last year):
Happy Birthday Dad!!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Sorry for my 3rd post of the day, but I found something interesting I just couldn't resist sharing. I got blog visitors from 5 new countries today (for that matter, 5 different continents)! Thank you to the (I'm sure) very bored people in New Zealand, Nigeria, Chile, Romania, and Mexico who took the time to read my blog! That brings the country visitor total to 15, which is strange, because I hardly know 15 PEOPLE overall, let alone 15 people in different countries. I guess strangers have yet to know that what I have to say isn't all that exciting!
P.S. I love maps! I think what makes me most excited about getting a new country visitor is that the country turns green on the map in Google Analytics!

Why did I agree to this?

After 3 years of avoidance, leaving Corey to his own geeky ways, I have agreed to attempt to play World of Warcraft tonight. What can I say, there's a blizzard out, and I'm running out of entertaining things to do indoors. So I'll "log on" and give it a shot (once he's done with his "real" game, and feels like teaching me). I would say this is going to be painful, but I'm 3 beers in, so maybe not... :)

Lots of snow!

It's coming DOWN!!
Corey just got let out of work early because of the weather. Looks like it's going to be a night spent at home! I went out to try and take some pictures, but only got to the end of the driveway before the snow had gone up my pant legs and I got worried my camera was going to be killed by snow, so I went back inside. Seriously, the snow outside of our porch would be up to my waist at least if I were standing in it.

And to think, I was just starting to thaw out and get happy just a few short days ago. 
So much for that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Toy

We have a bright and shiny new member of our family (which Corey possibly might be more in love with than he is with me...). Meet our new iMac:
Corey has been pushing to get this bad boy for months and months now, and I finally broke down and agreed after last week when I nearly lost half my iPhoto library in a "we need more computer power" rearrangement of files debacle. We already have 2 laptops- an iBook that is dangerously old and close to death, and a MacBook that has a serious issue or two. So I suppose this new guy will be good to have when those conk out. Corey sure is happy. He even blogged about it (his whopping 2nd post), which means he's really really excited. :) Here he is getting his new obsession set up:
Please live a long and healthy life, iMac!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our kitchen

I love our house here. I really do. However, the kitchen perplexes me. Allow me to vent for a moment if you will...

This is our kitchen:
It's nice enough. The stainless steel counter-tops aren't the prettiest thing in the world, but I'm not very picky. We had to buy an extra rack to pile our stuff on because there wasn't enough storage space, but it works OK. It stinks not having a dishwasher, but that isn't too big of a deal.

The one thing that does truly irritate me is this: I can't reach the top cupboards! I know Americans tend to be taller than Japanese people, and this house was built for Americans to live in. I'm sure whoever designed it was trying to be helpful and mindful of the house's inhabitants. But I'm thinking they took it a bit far. I can just reach the bottom shelf if I stand on my tippy-toes and reach with all my might, but it's not very convenient when, say, trying to put the dishes away or get down a can of diced tomatoes. Corey can do a little bit better than I can, but even he is too short for these cupboards. We're in search of a step-stool to keep on hand. In the meantime, I'm getting really good at the "jump-and-grab" and climbing the counters.

At least we don't have to worry about hitting our heads on the cupboard doors...

Dinner tonight...

... was Yakisoba. It was delicious! We made enough for 6, but ate almost the whole thing (there's probably enough for us each to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow). Mmm mmm good!

Speaking of tomorrow, wish Corey luck- he has a big promotion test! He's been studying ALL.DAY.LONG. I'm proud of that guy! 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First Earthquake!

We had our first earthquake in Japan about 20 mins ago. It was fairly small, but it lasted for a good amount of time. Granted, it's been a while since I've been in an earthquake, but it felt really different from what I remember experiencing. California quakes always seemed more jolting and abrupt. Our house here is obviously built to be very earthquake-safe; it felt like we were on a giant glider swaying back and forth. Corey and I both commented that we felt sort of discombobulated and woozy for maybe 2 or 3 minutes after it was over. It was a strange sensation. Luckily it was just a small one! Those are always kind of fun!

*Edit: Apparently it was kind of big actually... a 5.9/6.0 (depending on what you read) on the richter scale with the epicenter about 50 miles east of Misawa. Yet on the Japanese earthquake scale it rated a 2 out of 7 in intensity here which is considered a minor earthquake. It sure didn't feel that big... Weird!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Ours was spent in Hachinohe running around the fish market and the mall with a couple of friends and their too-cute-for-words daughter. We're going to cook up the prawns we got today and pair it with the sake we also brought back with us for a romantic at-home meal. I hope all you other love birds have/had a good Valentine's Day too!

Also, Happy Belated Birthday to Corey's Mom Elaine (and her twin sister Cheryl)! Their birthday was on the 12th. I hope they both had a great day and celebrated well!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Physical Terrorists

In case you were wondering, physical therapy on a broken elbow does NOT feel good. Nope, not one bit.

It's officially been 4 weeks since it broke, and in another 2 days I can stop wearing the splint. At my last appointment the Dr. told me I came really close to needing surgery. Luckily the danger of the bone chip moving around at this point is pretty low, so that danger has hopefully passed. I'm trying to keep in mind throughout this whole ordeal that it could have been MUCH worse. Anyway, this morning I had my first PT appointment (and last for the next 3-4 weeks because THE physical therapist at the base hospital is going out of town tomorrow- great timing). I seriously thought I was going to break down crying and possibly pass out at one point. It felt like my arm was going to snap in half; I had mental images of chickens being de-boned throughout most of the session- you know, like someone pulling apart buffalo wings (my mind goes to odd places when I'm in distress). 
Anyway, I have instructions for daily therapy to do on my own. Not fun and it takes up a lot of time, but if it fixes my arm in the end, then obviously it'll be worth it. Moving on...

In other updates, since multiple people have asked, this is the car we bought a couple weeks ago:It's a 1998 Toyota Caldina. It isn't particularly flashy, but it has 4 wheel drive and the price was right. So far Corey has been doing all the driving here. I don't feel particularly comfortable driving in the snow and ice for the first time ever on the left-hand side of the road with only one arm (and, let's face it, I'm kind of just a scaredy-cat). I'll start getting serious about acclimating to driving here in a couple days when I'm out of the splint and my arm has loosened up a bit.

Did I mention we got our stuff? Well we did last week. The past few days have been spent trying to get the house in order. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.

I guess that's about it. Catch you later!

Friday, February 6, 2009


We have internet at our house now! Finally! I'm so excited. AND it's the fastest internet I've ever used! Lost (all 3 episodes I've been attempting to download for the last 2 weeks) downloaded in about 4 minutes. Woohoo! 

I'll be back with updates you might actually care about soon. At the moment I'm overcome with internet catch-ups!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Random stuff

This weekend has been less than exciting. There was a big snowstorm yesterday, so we didn't feel like venturing out and exploring outside of Misawa (getting lost in a blizzard isn't exactly our idea of a fun weekend activity). This was the view from the warmth and safety of the car:
Aside from going out to the ramen shop down the road from our house for a perfect snowy day warm lunch, we were home-bound. Which meant we sat in our almost-empty house (for several hours even without power- joy) bored out of our minds. We spent most of the day doing a gigantic Disney jigsaw puzzle (which we actually really enjoyed doing, but since it makes us sound like big nerds, I'm pretending it was lame). 

I spent time watching the cute little doggie with the green vest who lives in the house behind us from our bedroom window. He/she is so cute- (S)he sits outside waiting for the owner to come home all day and then goes absolutely crazy when she finally does. She looks like doggie popcorn the way she jumps up and down in excitement. It reminds me of Zoey. I miss that little critter so much!!
For like 3 nights in a row we've eaten the exact same thing for dinner because it's delicious and we can't get enough of it! We get a slab of fresh white tuna and some "hairy mushrooms" (as they have been dubbed by us for lack of being able to read the signs in the grocery store to determine their actual variety) from the hugely awesome Japanese grocery store near our house and eat it with some rice. Corey has been cooking lately as I am still pretty gimpy with my one arm.
That's all for now. Sorry this is a random and pointless post; it's the product of too much boredom.  To close, here's Corey shoveling our driveway this morning.