Sunday, March 26, 2006


仰司が寝る前に毎日明日の計画を教えてくれます。 今日の発表はこのとおりでした:

[明日ミルクのんで、おしっこして、飛行機に乗って、シュウッ~と行って、Ollie (いとこ)とGrandpa Craig の家に行こうね!]


Every night before Koji goes to bed, he lets me know about tomorrow's plan. His announcement for tonight went something like this:

"Tomorrow let's drink some milk, go pee, get on a plane, fly with a "whoosh!" and go to Ollie and Grandpa Craig's house!"

Sounds like fun, right?!

Boxer Briefs

Let's all celebrate the two week anniversary of Koji's cold turkey switch to "big boy underwear". Hallelujah!! The first few days were pretty crazy, with many accidents. His first accident-free day was last Monday, though, and on Thursday he even managed to wear the same pair from morning till evening with nary a leak. Perhaps this is getting to be too much information; I can't help sharing though because this whole potty-training thing has been such a source of angst for me in the last couple of months.

Not that he's entirely trained; he's still sleeping with Pull-ups and when he has to go, if I leave him to go alone there's not much chance of complete and clean success. But, he can and does tell me when he has to go, so I say that Big Boy days are here. And he looks very fetching and funny in the boxer briefs I bought him today.

Seven weeks of freedom now until I have to start over with buying diapers....

Closer to Just a Little Behind the Times

Last night it almost seemed we would fall asleep on the couch as usual. But without new episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Friday night TV will be pointless until October (yes, in case I haven't already mentioned it here, I've become quite the TV watcher since we returned from Tokyo. it's weird. name a day and I can tell you what I'll probably watch that evening. sad but true...I hope it's just a phase, but I'm sure it'll last as least as long as the fifth season of "24").

Fortunately, Aogu saved the day by running down to Blockbuster and renting Walk the Line. You all already know what a great movie this was, because you saw it last year when it came out. Yes, well, we haven't been to a theatre in quite some time, not to mention that we were out of the country when it was released. I did notice that the story focused on Johnny Cash's younger years and beginning as an artist, up to the time he married June Carter. Apparently, the real redemption in his life took place after that, though. I haven't read any books about him or by him but I want to; I have a feeling that the movie, as interesting and well done as it was, was just a prelude to the rest of his life.

Would it be weird and unlikely if we became big Johnny Cash fans? Perhaps. Let's see what I download from itunes in the next few days!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Time Is Flying So We Must Be Having Fun

Happy Birthday to this blog
Happy Birthday to this blog
Happy Birthday, Formerly from a Room in Roppongi
Happy Birthday to this blog

It's already been a whole year since I nonchalantly started this blog. It hasn't always been as clever or deep or interesting or updated as I would have liked, but I have kept going, so I suppose that's something.

Here's to another year of adventure in Roppongi and Skokie and beyond!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Privacy and Cookingese

As a general rule, I don't shop at Jewel anyway. So the question of whether to sign up to pay for my purchases with the end of my finger (NOT a fingerprint, as Jewel insists in this story is one I don't have to answer for now. Phew.

In kitchen-related news, I learned that big food companies have to "dumb down" their recipes these days because folks no longer understand cooking terminology. Sad. I mean, not that I'm a master of cooking lingo. But this is the information age! If a person doesn't know how to or what "saute" is, can't he just look it up? Maybe that would be too much work? In any case, though I repeat that I am no culinary master, I did well on the culinary quiz in the story. What was your score?

P.S. Happy 37th Anniversary, Mom & Dad! Good work~

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dessert Factory

So how do I keep busy while I'm in a self-imposed state of quarantine? I make desserts. Since Monday, I've made banana muffins, peppermint candied popcorn, white chocolate cherry cookies and the lemon meringue pie you see here. And though I am hosting a baby shower this Saturday, the theme of the shower is chocolate; therefore all these desserts aren't getting me ahead in the shower preparedness category. They may well be getting the numbers on my scale ahead though. Glass of water, anyone?

P.S. The lemon meringue pie was so-so. Not bad for my first attempt, I suppose, but then again, how do I know what LMP should taste like when I don't like it all that much?! So why did I make it? Well, I've had this thing for making meringue lately and I thought it would be fun to branch out from meringue cookies and applesauce with meringue cap. But it wasn't. Even when inspired by Maya Angelou. Tomorrow I'll be off to the market for three more pounds of apples.

picture taken with my new phone

Potty Training Psych

Let me give Koji credit for his progress in potty training. He's doing a pretty good job with it, overall, in spite of my impatience. Whether he'll meet my unspoken deadline of his birthday (April 20) for independently going into the restroom and doing his business when he has to go remains to be seen.

But one thing puzzles me: how can the same young fellow who had at least two "accidents" yesterday wake up at 3:30 a.m. and run into my room shouting "POTTY!"?! And this was no false alarm. His pull-up was dry. Furthermore, he sat right down on the potty and took care of things like some kind of pro. Fabulous! Can we now have this behavior continue during daylight hours, please?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Sound in Tokyo

When I read the following in The Economist online yesterday, I was skeptical. Sure, I love and admire the Tokyo Metro, and I'm still regretful that I won't be able to complete the stamp rally, which closes at the end of this month. But it's hard to imagine all those solemn commuters welcoming interruption to the silent reverie that is their commute. What do I know, though? Maybe they're all just supremely bored, and they'll welcome the opportunity to literally jazz up their life? I suppose I won't really know what to think until a lot of "ifs" go through; "if" the musicians really are licensed..."if" they actually take up posts in the Metro..."if" I ever go to Tokyo again to hear it for myself...*

Tokyo or busk
The silent underground walkways of the Tokyo Metro could soon reverberate with the sounds of the capital’s first licensed street musicians. In a surprise break with the Tokyo Metro’s conservative approach to busking, delegates travelled to London in early March to liaise with their counterparts from London Underground and explore the possibility of legalisation. The Japanese authorities say they are eager to recreate the success of the three-year-old British scheme, in which 300 musicians have been granted licences to play at 42 designated “pitches” throughout stations on the London network.

But there are real differences between the two cities. British buskers have been around for decades and were locked in a game of cat-and-mouse with the London Underground authorities until their position was formalised. Tokyo has never had buskers, and the Metro will first have to hold auditions for a new crop of subterranean stars.

*it's not that I actually think I'm never going to Tokyo again. But as of this moment I have no plans, which gives me the false feeling of "never".

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Yesterday morning, the one day I had a job to do--teach Koji's Sunday School--at church, I woke up with a diseased left eye. I didn't know it was diseased at the time, but I had suspicions as it was red, a bit swollen, and even had nasty "discharge" oozing out of it....eewww!
Through the day it got worse, and by this morning the condition had crossed to my right eye and I was really looking splendid. Fortunately, I was able to get an appointment with an opthalmologist, who confirmed my self-diagnosis: conjunctivitis. Turns out I have the bacterial form; I guess that means I'm just not clean enough after all?!
In any case, as you can see from the lovely photo of my right eye, I can't see so well, nor am I fit to be seen.
I'll be home clutching my antibiotic drops for the next few days!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Too Much Responsibility = Irresponsibility

Though it's been a few weeks since my cell phone upgrade, I hadn't made time to mention it here, mostly because I was still trying to figure out how to use the thing. In addition, I was trying to develop the habit of keeping my phone close to me, thinking that maybe we could even do away with our landline and go all cellular.

Well, today spring temporarily came to Chicago. So Koji and I went out in the backyard to play. That is, he was playing, and I was sweeping the rotting leaves off the cement slab in the backyard (am I supposed to call it a "patio" though it's not much to look at?). My phone was securely in my back pocket. Next, I took out the hose and tried to wash off the patio. "Tried" is the operative word; the water pressure wasn't up to the task, so I had to give up, but not before Koji and I were both pretty wet and dirty.

We retired into the house, and continuing in taking care of business mode, I briskly stripped off our clothes and threw them into the washing machine and washed them. At the precise moment the wash cycle finished, Aogu said, "where's your phone?". For a nanosecond, I couldn't answer, and then the horrible truth came to me.

I drowned it in the washing machine.

Oh, the horror! The sorrow! The tears! I know, it's just a phone, but it was a very fancy, advanced phone that I wasn't feeling worthy of anyway, and my inability to keep it safe confirmed my suspicions. sniff...

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. I rushed off to the nearest Sprint store, assuming they would laugh at me and then tell me that I had no option but to buy a new phone for full price. I was wrong! The girl informed me that I wasn't the first to drown a phone, and that Sprint has a program which would allow me to have the phone replaced or repaired for a maximum charge of $55.00.

So, my phone and I are reunited. Hopefully this second life together will be a long and responsible one!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Two Going on 29?!

This morning, as a reward for surviving my 30 weeks pregnant check-up, I drove through Starbucks for a decaf, tall, one-and-a-half-pump cinnamon dolce latte. I had to wait so long that I had time to dig 100 pennies out of my ashtray to help pay for my latte...but that's not the point of the story. Nor is the wait time at a Starbucks drive-thru; in fact, I didn't mind it at all because I didn't have to get Koji out of the car.

This story is really about Koji. After my coffee (beverage--it's hard to say how much actual coffee used in the making of that drink! but it was tasty) came through the window, before we had time to drive away, he started to whimper. "What's wrong?" I asked. By then his whimpers had escalated to a small wail. "Koji wanted coffee too!" he declared. Huh? Note that he has never actually tasted coffee of any kind, though he has spent much of his short life watching us drink it...

This afternoon, a friend of mine stopped by for a few minutes to drop something off. Koji was watching his usual fare on the laptop in the dining room. He did say "hello" after a bit of prompting, but otherwise seemed to take no notice of her. That is, until she had left. Then, he started to cry. "What's wrong?" I asked again. After his temporary lurch into adulthood this morning, maybe I should have seen it coming. He lamented, "Koji wanted to talk to Mama's friend!"