Friday, May 29, 2009

what's in that can? round three

Okay, so this one isn't a can, but I was so surprised when I dug into it that I knew I just had to include it here. I got it from the refrigerated section at 7-11 the last time I picked up a quick dinner there, and I just had a *feeling* about it, the kind of feeling that says "this probably isn't chocolate pudding; you should take a picture of it for your blog." I was right; it's definitely not chocolate pudding.

Any guesses? Okay...go!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, May 28, 2009

well, I'm back.

It's been so long since I've written a proper blog entry, and so much has happened, that I don't really know where to start.

I live in Japan now.

As soon as Jack got adjusted to being here, he started teething again. Fantastic. Brandon is doing great; he's at a really interesting age. Sometimes he just makes you want to rip your hair out, but at the same time, he's finally verbal enough to tell you everything he's thinking, and often it's pretty damn funny.

I'm potty training both of them at the same time. Seriously. Neither of them is making progress any faster than the other.

Our apartment is really nice. The floor plan is great, the square footage is supposedly more than our housing in Hawaii (although I don't think that includes the garage, which we used as a playroom - or the yard, of course) and the location is PERFECT. Right now I'm looking out the huge dining room window/sliding door (takes up the entire wall) at Tokyo Bay; on the other side of the building is a short (like 2 minute) walk to the Commissary/Exchange/Food Courts (the one with Taco Bell and Starbucks, and also the one with Dunkin Donuts) and the new building that will house the library, Fleet & Family Support, etc. Standing in front of my building, facing the Commissary, across the street to your right is the elementary school (the preschool is a small building on the Elementary School grounds). Across the street to the left is the big huge state-of-the-art gym, which has a special room for moms with young kids - like 3 or 4 elliptical machines and a big padded area with toys for the kids to play with. Across the street from the gym is the Chapel, and about a block away is the Post Office and the other food court (the one with Subway and Cinnabon). McDonald's and the bank are another block down the main road towards the Womble Gate (also called the "back gate", or, as I learned yesterday, the "Mikasa Gate" by local Japanese citizens). Right outside the gate is Mikasa park, which is beautiful, and there's a 7-11 a block away (convenience stores are a fantastic place to get cheap, quick, fresh, DELICIOUS Japanese food).

If you turn left at 7-11 and walk along the water for about 15 minutes you get to Home's (like Home Depot) and Livin (just bought out by WalMart). If you go one block to the right from 7-11, you get to Blue Street, the main drag in Yokosuka. At the end of Blue Street is Yokosuka-Chuo Station, on the Keikyu Line. If you turn right at 7-11 and walk all the way past the Main Gate, you'll get to the Daiei Mall, and past that is the JR Yokosuka Station. Both lines will get you to Yokohama and then Tokyo; I believe the Keikyu Line eventually makes its way to Narita Airport (it takes like 2 hours).

But back to my apartment! It has tile floors so it's really, really echo-y right now. We had a major Ikea quest on Monday (Keikyu Line from Yokosuka-Chuo to Yokohama, JR Yokohama Line from Yohomama to Shin-Yokohama, free shuttle bus to Ikea) and now we have a big corner sofa, a very colorful striped living room rug, chairs in both boys' bedrooms, a rug in Brandon's room with streets and stuff on it (for playing with his race cars and Monster Trucks), and a whole mess of bedroom furniture still in boxes. We still have the Navy loaner furniture until our Household Goods shipment gets here; so when our new beds get here next Tuesday (bought them from the NEX across the street) it might get a little crowded. But it'll be worth it, because the loaner mattresses SUCK and we are getting a Tempurpedic. Woot.

I miss my kitchen stuff. I have a single pan from the thrift shop, and two pots - an All-Clad multicooker that I bought at the NEX (which is HUGE) and a little enameled aluminum pot from the 100 yen store (which is TINY). I've been buying only the utensils that I didn't already have, so I have a very large Oxo flexible spatula, a Y-peeler and new kitchen shears. I never thought I'd say this, but it was a blessing that the movers forgot to open the flatware drawer, because we had to mail it all to ourselves and at least we have it now.

We have American TV; we get the AFN (American Forces Network) channels and some cable networks. - Comedy Central, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Disney, though. :( (Although there are a couple of Disney shows on AFN Kids...yesterday we saw Johnny and the Sprites.) The funny thing is that for most of those networks (maybe all of them, I don't know yet for sure since we've only had cable for 3 days now) we seem to be getting the Australian broadcast of them, so the shows are actually on at normal times. Aside from a few station identification commercials with Australian accents, it's all the same.

Well. Brandon is piling up empty Ikea packaging and jumping off the couch onto a big pile of cardboard, so I should probably get going now. He wants to go "to the town" today, but it's a crappy windy day, so I think we'll be staying on base - but we do have to get out of the apartment today. It was gorgeous yesterday, and we were stuck here all day waiting for the Ikea delivery. Figures. Today is totally a "stay-at-home-all-day-on-the-new-couch-drinking-hot-cocoa" kind of day, but I don't think the kids (or I) could take another day all cooped up.

I'll write more when I think of more. Sayounara.

the answer: round 2

This one is Brian's favorite, and I've been tasked with finding it at Daiei or some other local Japanese store and buying it by the case. I've never tried it, but this is how Brian describes it: "It's like if you took apple juice, added a spoonful of applesauce, and shook it up." I don't think I would like it, personally, but he loves it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the answer: round 1

The app that I downloaded to post here decided to stop working. Maybe
it will suddenly start again and the same post will show up here 6
times. But I'm doing this by email now.

We had a lot of good guesses, but it's canteloupe juice. It's one of
the few things I've tried so far that doesn't taste like it's
artificially flavored.

I have another one to post, but I want to actually find out for sure
what it really is first. Because I can't tell. Stay tuned.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's in that can? Round 1

Japanese vending machines are an adventure when you can't read Japanese. Truly like a box of chocolates. I know what's in this can/bottle because I've tasted it; but BEFORE I tasted it, I had no idea. Can you tell what it is? Leave your guesses in the comments!

I think I'm going to make this a regular feature. If you can read Japanese, don't spoil the fun; although I wouldn't mind at all if you shot me an email to let me know what the heck this actually says.

Normal blogging to resume when we get normal Internet access; it might be a while.

Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

first post from my iPhone

I saw some blue sky yesterday, and I realized that that was what I had been missing. Moving here after 4 years in the tropics feels like waking up at the end of The Wizard of Oz, going from Technicolor back to sepia toned - except that everything is gray. Maybe there are beautiful sights to see off-base, but so far, I'm unimpressed.

I'm with the kids in the Lodge playroom while Brian is at the housing brief. It's a lot like the one at the hospital, except cleaner. I'm saving this to post later, since I get no reception here at the Lodge; when we're in our room I use our network with the free Internet connection.

I hope we're able to find a house really, really soon, because I despise living in a hotel. Jack doesn't seem to think much of it, either. If you want my advice about moving overseas with a 1-year-old, it would be: don't do it. Just don't.

That's all for now, I will try to post more when I have a chance. I'll keep on tweeting.

Posted by ShoZu