Sunday, April 03, 2016

What I Learned March 2016

*Just as cars need gas to carry passengers onward, so I need podcasts to accomplish housework. It's been a year since I started listening to podcasts regularly, but my consumption has increased lately. The place should be much cleaner than it is, actually....these are my favorites:
Sorta Awesome
I love this show, hosted by fellow ENFP Megan Tietz, because I've been a fan of Megan's for years and years from back when she had a blog called Sorta Crunchy. I still miss her blog but I'm thankful she's found a new venue for creative expression in podcasting. Most of the below podcasts I've learned to love, I found through SortaAwesome!
A Slob Comes Clean
So meta of me to love listening to this while I attempt to clean, and so right. My only complaint with this podcast is that its host, Dana White, won't come right out and confess her Myers Briggs type. Very clever. But I can tell by her tagline, "As I figure out how to keep my own home under control, I share the truth about cleaning and organizing strategies that actually work in real life for real people (who don't like cleaning and organizing)!" she is not an SJ (no offense, SJ friends, the world needs you and so do I).
The Popcast
This is a show about American pop culture. Though I'm American, I live in Tokyo so I don't even know what's going on in American pop culture. Wait. Now I do, because I listen to this show. I feel like Knox and Jamie (OK, the real reason I love this show is because the host has a great name....) have the kind of hilarious conversation I want to have with friends. That statement suggests I don't have friends. I do. But life is happening, and not everyone is as enamored of humorous conversation as I. Someday I hope to have more friends who love to yak at length about all kinds of things, but until then, I have this podcast.

*Endings are hard and weird. This past month, Misaki graduated from Nadeshiko Yochien (3 year Japanese preschool/kindergarten) and Koji graduated from his club basketball team, Tokyo Kashiwaba. Being involved with these two things has been enormous for our family over the last three years, and seeing them come to an end is strange and somewhat sad. From a logistical and practical standpoint, I won't miss rushing Misaki to school on the back of my bike every morning. That was chaotic. And all of us will always treasure Kashiwaba for teaching Koji to love basketball, but honestly, we might also enjoy doing other things on Saturdays. In other words, these two big endings we marked with Koji's graduation ceremony on the 12th and Misaki's on the 17th, are just like life: bitter and sweet.

*Blue Bottle Coffee is delicious. A friend and I dragged her two and my three kids to this location while we were on our way to the Pixar Exhibition. We waited forty minutes to get our latte and cappucino, respectively, and it was worth it. (see photo evidence below) Bonus: while we were there, we saw the founder of Blue Bottle!? He just happened to be in town? Dear James Freeman, please let your next Tokyo location be Higashi Kurume. Our city bird is the Azure Winged Magpie, and you know that's a fancy way of saying "Blue Bird." We are destined to be together with your amazing coffee! I know I should have presented this plea in person when I saw you at the Kiyosumi location last week, but I saw you before I drank your delectable coffee and realized who you were. So please, forgive me. I will help you look for locations! Your new fan, JM

*I can do hard things. Since I started working at Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) 21 months ago, I've needed to fulfill some professional development requirements. The first one, which was to read five books, write up a six page paper and watch a couple of hours of video, felt very daunting. It took months longer than I thought it should have, but this past month, I finished it!! Patting myself on the back...and giving myself a push, now I have to get on with the next one.

Truthfully, I learned a lot of other things in March and I even remembered some things I used to know. But I don't want to push it so I will save those insights for another time. Happy April!

Kid Compliments

Out of the blue tonight, I received a flurry of compliments from Misaki. We had come home from a wrestling match at CAJ. Though it was 8 pm and most everyone had some semblance of dinner, they needed another. I started producing some burritos, and then I heard, 
"Mama, you have a good brain". 
"Thank you!" I said. "Why do you say that?" 
"Because" she said. "You know where we are even if you can't see us". 

As if that weren't enough, she went on to wax effusive about the burritos. A note: it's not as though they were gourmet by restaurant standard . In fact, they were pretty hodgepodge. Taco meat, white beans, cheese.... But also rice and cauliflower.....
"These burritos are way better than store burritos, Mama, " She said. 

Feeling some extra love tonight!