Sunday, November 02, 2014

What I Learned in October 2014, A List

*I can blog every day! I might not be able to be profound every day and my posts never go viral. But I CAN DO IT. And, though 31 Days October 2014 is over, I want to keep going. Next up, as November is conveniently designated NaPoBloMo (disgusting collapsed wanna be word that means "National Post to your Blog Month), the external pressure to do so is ON. Phew. Need that external pressure.  ps. not linking to NPBM stuff deliberately, I need to look at it more and see if I actually want to connect with it or just let it motivate me from afar.

*LOVE to read and my best love within loving to read is sci-fi/fantasy so I was thrilled and delighted and even further behind in my housework this month, thanks to the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. Wow. The premise is a human settlement somewhere out in the galaxy-and the catch is that men's thoughts cannot be hidden and are broadcast to those around. This has all kinds of implications, and the "what if?" nature of it was what made it my very favorite kind of story. I couldn't read it fast enough, though the speed with which I went through it then gave me a backlash of grieving. If you think that grieving after you finish a book or a series is not a thing, google "grief felt after finishing a book" and click on a few of those links. The other problem with finishing an engrossing series is, where to go next?!

*I already knew this, but was reminded afresh that PAL System (Japanese link), my grocery delivery service, is a lifesaver. The items can be a little more expensive but in my new, nearly working full-time life, the ability to have our groceries dropped at our door (very carefully swaddled in many many styrofoam boxes and also DRY ICE) feels close to priceless.

this is the catalog full of the edible goods keeping us alive these days
*Speaking of groceries, sadly but truly and honestly, I confess in October I was reminded of this equation: too many groceries + almost no exercise (except rushing to work on my bike...but the distance is too short) + not enough sleep = well-rounded-in-a-bad-way me. Ugh. So discouraging.  I know what to do but making myself do it?!!  ARGH. In my defense, though there's mostly no defense for "ate all the chocolate in the house," Japan is just so carb-centric!! SO, SO, SO (get it?! do you speak Japanese?!  Haha~) Everything comes with rice. Which is delicious and seems to have no effect on the slim population, but can't say the same for this Caucasian digestive system. If it doesn't come with rice then it's noodles or bread or potatoes or sweet potatoes or cake or cookies and did I mention rice?! This dietary business is one of my primary big cultural shocks. Before we moved here, my life in the suburbs of Chicago meant hours in the car every day. But it also meant comparatively inexpensive food. Whether American food should even be that inexpensive is something to explore separately, the fact remains, maintaining the same kind of diet here as I did there has been mostly too difficult.

*Halloween is fun. When the kids were younger I sometimes wondered if it was appropriate to join in, as a Christian.  I came to agree with this, Halloween is for Christians, too. Don't misunderstand, wondering never caused us to miss a chance to dress up and get candy... 
Now, there's no point debating Halloween: we're here.  Halloween has become a big thing for adults, but the part I like is the opportunity to visit neighbors and show off kids in cute costumes, which hasn't caught on. So I'm actually a little in mourning, although I have to be thankful that we did get to do a wee bit of trick or treating and we didn't even have costumes, to speak of .... (if I must speak of them, Izumi and Misaki are "artists" and Koji is, um, a member of the Seattle Sounders?!) We were also invited to a really great Halloween party, see below~
Reminder to self; though Halloween here is not the same as Halloween in Skokie, it is a different kind of great. Thank God!

on our short trick or treating circuit, these kind friends not only welcomed us and
gave us candy but invited us in to play "carnival games"

almost all the friends we were privileged to spend time with at the Halloween party,
we are so blessed!

Now, I will abruptly end this post by saying, Good night! I hope to see you here in November~


Jane Lucas said...

I'm along for the ride!! Love every word of every post!! I'm reading A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanAuken. Have you read it?

Jamie Matsuoka said...

Hi Mom! It might be a bumpy ride, I already missed a day yesterday and I'm ready to crash tonight but I still haven't written anything. :-(

Thanks for the book recommendation! I've heard of that one but never read it. I've been all and only into lots and lots of sci fi and fantasy lately so it would be good for me to switch to a different genre for awhile~
Love you!

L Case said...

i miss you.
i'm reading The Giver. Can't put it down...