Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tour Part 4

Here we go...

Off to the left hand side of the living room is our game/computer room. 
This is where all random objects in our house come to die. Corey uses this room much more than I do for his various computer gaming/Warhammer activities. It houses our computer command station and our bookshelf full of odds and ends. 
From the doorway of this room you look down the hallway, which we're still in the process of decorating/picture hanging:
The next door down is the guest bathroom. Shower room on the right, toilet room on the left (sorry, the angles are not conducive to a good picture... but you probably know what a toilet looks like anyway, yes?). 
Continuing down the hallway, you'll arrive at the guest bedroom. 
If you come visit us, this is where you'll sleep (we'll be nice and replace the ratty blanket with actual bedding). The futon is VERY comfy, I assure you! Corey actually prefers it to our regular bed.  So come visit us!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yellow House Tour Part 3

Passing through the living room, you come to the dining room area:
Here we have our sad little table from Ikea. We've been searching for a new, bigger one since we got here, but have yet to find something we like. As it is, we don't even have enough room to do the new Disney puzzle we picked up the other day (yes, we're dorks).
Through the doors off to the side is the laundry room. I love the laundry room!
First of all, it's nice and spacious and is the perfect place to store all of our cleaning supplies. 
Second of all, it stays TOASTY in there! So in the awful winter months when the rest of the house is freezing cold in attempts to keep our heating bill somewhat manageable, there is always a nice little warm nook in the house to retreat to! It makes doing laundry much more appealing. It'll probably suck in the summer, but we shall see. We also have the water heater and various controls in here. I'm afraid of all of this equipment- I am easily confused by these types of things in the states, but when everything is in Japanese, I don't even touch anything.
Moving on...

On the other side of the dining area, we have the kitchen. I've posted a picture and have written about the annoyance of the high cupboards before, but here it is again. 
Highlights include the sucky fridge that stops working every couple of weeks and the messy rack full of food and appliances that don't fit anywhere else. But overall it's a decent kitchen.
The tour shall continue later. In the meantime, check out the double-yolked egg I had for lunch today! Oooohhh- Aaaaahhhh...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yellow House Tour Part 2

Continuing the tour of our house, here is what you see when you walk in the door (the door from the shoe room, that is):
This is our living room. It's still a work-in-progress (seeing as we still need a coffee table, more/better DVD shelfs, and an entrance organization area). Here is our TV area:
We struggled and struggled to figure out how to set up our living room and for one reason or another, nothing was ideal. This was the best arrangement we could come up with. It's functional, so I just try to ignore the awkward placement of the couch. *shrug*

The patio door is off to the side: 
And that pretty much sums up our living room. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'd like to take this opportunity...

... to introduce my hubby's blog (Version 2.0). The original didn't quite take, so he's started over again. Enjoy Memoirs of a Corey!

Today I played raquetball with Corey, ran 2.5 miles, AND did the 30 Day Shred. WHAT WHAT!!!!!

That will partially make up for the PILES of crab, shrimp, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, potatoes, noodle salad, corn bread, and baked goods I ate on Saturday at the Memorial Day BBQ we went to. Not to mention the booze I drank. This was the contribution I made alone (I spent an entire half day baking- so fun!!), and I was one of like 12 people who brought food, so you can imagine how much we had to eat:
The brownies were especially delicious, FYI, as were the butterscotch cookies. I give myself a big pat on the back!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Little Girl

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since our puppy Zoey died. It STILL sucks so much- we miss her like crazy and there is still a very obvious Zoey-sized hole in our lives (maybe physically small, but GIGANTIC in spirit). She was quite the pup. At times infuriating, but always lovable, she was a part of our little family from the day she came into our lives. 

We love you Zoey. Always will.

The Yellow House Tour

Some of our friends and family members have asked for pictures of our house here. So I figured I'd do a multi-post tour series of our current living space for those who want to picture our daily lives here. I'll begin with the exterior today. This is our house:
It's situated on the corner of a street in an area with maybe 20 other identical houses all rented by other American military families. Our rear neighbors are Japanese, as are many other houses surrounding our little America-ville. 

This is the extent of our "yard":
There's no backyard to our house, but we have a nice little porch (with nothing to put on it yet- we're obviously in dire need of a grill and some patio furniture). Our poor, recently-planted grass hasn't quite taken yet...

This is our garage (riveting, no?):
It's rather sparse (it's fuller when the car is in it!). We would use it for storage to take up some of the space, but it has it's own huge storage unit that we can't even come close to filling up:
When you step inside the front door, you enter the "shoe room." No shoes allowed in houses in Japan. Even movers remove their shoes each and every time they step inside, even when carrying couches and big screen tvs. So this entrance room gives you a place to take off your shoes and jackets before entering the actual house. The door to the garage is to the left, and a nifty closet is on the right.
Next time: the living room (you're shaking with excitement in anticipation, aren't you??).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh boy!

Today I get to be "Top-Secret Patty" and go see my hubby's workplace! I've been looking forward to this for a while now- the days of waiting in the car outside of the building when picking Corey up from work, staring at the posted signs that warn you to keep out as the "use of deadly force is authorized," and wondering what the heck it's like inside are over! They've arranged a tour of the facility for all the spouses of the people who work there (we've been background checked and all that jazz), so I actually get to see where Corey spends his days. Well, apparently he's not allowed to take me to his desk, and I don't think we get to see the room he actually works in, but I'll take what I can get. 

I've heard it's Dharma Swan station-esque inside! *Squeal!*

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Culinary Adventure

Last night we got to go to an extremely awesome restaurant to celebrate the promotion of/say goodbye to a co-worker of Corey's who is leaving Misawa. It was quite a delicious and adventurous dinner. First, we were served platter after platter of succulent, mouth-watering sushi and sashimi. Mmmmm...
Then our group got to enjoy 4 or 5 gigantic BBQ'd tuna heads that were absolutely delicious. It's fun to just hack off a hunk of tuna cheek and eat it!
Corey was brave enough to try one of the eyeballs from said gigantic tuna head. An experience I don't think he's likely to repeat...
Our most... shall we say, "interesting" dish of the evening was the following:
These are (well, were...) little live fishie guys swimming around in water. And a swallow later, they were in our bellies. I wasn't going to try this at first, but I'm glad I decided to suck it up (so to speak) and do it. I had a slight moment of panic after I took the gulp but before I could manage to swallow, when these little dudes were thrashing against the back of my throat and I was afraid they weren't going to go down at all. It was a very strange feeling! They didn't have any taste whatsoever, so I'm not sure what the point of eating them is- other than just to be able to say you swallowed live fish. Which, if you're impressed by that kind of thing, is pretty bad-ass.

I thought we were going to get to try fugu last night (blowfish/pufferfish- the toxic fish that if not prepared EXACTLY perfectly by a licensed chef, is lethal), but alas, it was not to be. Maybe next time!

And, since the night was dedicated to the awesome dude in black below- Congratulations Jay and good luck in Monterey! You'll be missed!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ryusendo Caves tour

Yesterday we took a day trip offered through the travel office on base to Iwate prefecture (the Japanese "state" south of Aomori, where we live). We got up early (once again on a Saturday- I think sleeping in is a thing of the past for us) and after a very scenic 3 hour bus ride, we arrived at one of Japan's largest stalactite caves (and a National Treasure). (Sorry for the overuse of parentheses.)

Here I am looking goofy at the entrance to the cave. 
There are amazingly clear, deep lakes inside the cave, as well as totally awesome stalactites and rock formations. As you might imagine, the light inside of a deep, dark cave isn't very conducive to picture-taking, but here's a sample of what I got:That's Corey looking over into one of the pools. These pictures suck, but in real life these caves were completely awesome! Walking through some parts were a little dicey, I will admit. The ground was wet and slippery, and there were spiral staircases built in odd formations around the cave walls that required you to crouch in very awkward positions while climbing up and down STEEP, slippery stairs such as these:After seeing the caves, we explored a pretty little trail by a creek:and walked around some shops. We also got ice cream cones, which made me a happy little cave-explorer. I love ice cream. Oh boy, do I.

Our next stop was to Kitayamazaki point, which is along the Rikuchu coast- famed for its views. I can see why- it was GORGEOUS!! There were 3 different lookout posts (although one was closed) that afforded totally breathtaking sights. The lookouts were connected by millions and millions of stairs (I exaggerate a bit, but there were a lot!), and between them and the tricky stairs at Ryusendo Cave, my legs are pretty sore today.We got back "home" (it's so weird to be calling Misawa home, but it feels more and more like it every day) tired, but happy. It was a great day! I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite view from our trip:

Friday, May 8, 2009

They're not called convenient stores for nothing.

We had a lost-in-translation issue with our internet provider(s) this week. Our service got turned off, and we finally discovered that we are supposed to have been paying 2 different bills for our internet (one for the phone company, and one for the ISP). We've only been paying the ISP bills all these months, and had no clue we were missing the other one. Oops.

The solution? Dig through the random piles of bills (which are 100% in Japanese- there is a service on base that automatically pays most of our bills so we don't have to deal with these) we've received lately and, through my very limited knowledge of katakana, decipher which is the appropriate phone bill. I bring it to the Lawsons convenience store down the street, hand it to the clerk, fork over my 840 yen ($8.40 approx.), and BAM- our internet is back on. 

I love it when problems are easy to fix! 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Speaking of sunburns...

I found the Florida picture. Ouch. 
(I can't believe that this picture was taken a DECADE ago! What??!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My first time golfing

Yesterday we spent the day golfing with some friends. I had never played golf before (other than the miniature variety), and to be honest, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it very much. However, I actually had a lot of fun! I wasn't as terrible at it as I figured I would be. My very first swing was pure beauty- a beautiful shot straight down the fairway. It went a bit downhill from there, but I was fairly impressed with myself. 
The weather was BEAUTIFUL!! Warm without being too hot, gentle breeze throughout the day, and sunny. Parts of the golf course were really pretty and overlooked the lake. It was sooo nice to be outside in those conditions all day! We played 18 holes, which in my opinion, is about 9 holes too many. I like golf, but 18 holes is A LOT of golf. It took 5 and a half hours. We were TIRED by the time we got home. Here are a few more pics:
Later in the day our friends Nate and Kara invited us over for BBQ burgers and a game night, so we had a fun night of eating yummy food and playing Trivial Pursuit. They're cool peeps, and it was a great night.

Unfortunately, over the past few months of winter, I had forgotten what happens when I go out into direct sunlight. Thank god I bought a visor at the gift shop before we headed out to play golf. =(