Wednesday, June 1, 2011

woooooooooooot

Today is my Blogoversary. My TEN YEAR Blogoversary.
I was working on a redesign to celebrate, and to try to kickstart me back into blogging, but I had a browser crash and lost my work. I'll try to get up a new format soon.
I have had a doozy of a week, and it's only Wednesday. If I can muster up the motivation to actually write about it...wow.
But, um...happy Blogoversary to me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

break out the world's smallest violin

So, it's been almost a month since we left Japan. A week here, a week there, a week somewhere else, and I'm pretty well burnt out on staying in other people's homes. They might extend the "Voluntary Military-Assisted Departure" (NOT an "evacuation"!!!) for another 30 days, or they might bring us home within the next couple of weeks. My understanding of the situation is that the base seems to think that it would be safe to bring us back, but the decision isn't up to them, it's going to come from higher up, sometime in the next few days.

I want to go home. Despite the fact that there are still aftershocks, and the situation at the reactor hasn't been fully sorted out yet, I still want to go home. I can't stand having my family split apart like this, I can't stand sleeping in beds other than my own (Tempurpedics spoil you), I can't stand having Brandon out of school and both boys away from their friends and all of us away from our regular routines. I want to plan my meals and do my grocery shopping and cook in my kitchen. I want to have the birthday party that I originally planned for Jackson - with his friends and his Daddy. (The one we had with his cousins was fun, but it would have been better if everyone who was originally supposed to be there, had been there.) I want to bring the boys to swimming lessons and go to the playground across the street and I AM SO UPSET THAT WE'RE MISSING SAKURA SEASON. I want to take my kids to the base's Easter Egg Hunt, I want to decorate eggs at our dining room table next to the window overlooking Tokyo Bay, I want to tend the container garden on my balcony, I want to go out for ramen, I want to visit my favorite shrine in Kamakura, I want to get lavender ice cream at Kurihama Flower World, I want to sit down for dinner with my kids AND my husband.

I just really, really, really want to go home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I am breaking that promise to myself. I am flying home on Sunday night and I actually am hoping that we get to return. It's just stuff...it's just stuff...it's just stuff...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

stick it out

Some of my friends are flying back to the States as the deployment that was almost over is extended indefinitely...it's a tempting thought, to get away from the aftershocks and the rolling blackouts and the gas rationing and the food shortages at the Commissary that happen for no other reason than that people think there's going to be a shortage, panic, and buy five carts full of food. (Self-fulfilling prophecies, dummies.)

But I won't be going back to the States. Because once I go to Narita and step onto a plane that's bound for American soil...I am never coming back. That is something I decided long before the quake, and it's a promise to myself that I have no intention of breaking.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

we're okay

It's completely illogical, but experiencing an 8.9 earthquake (actually it felt like a 6 or so where I am) and 100+ aftershocks actually calmed me down quite a bit. I had such a bad morning of crappy neighbors and crying to my husband on Skype about how I can't stand living here anymore, and then BAM! I have to stay calm for my kids, which surprisingly enough, wasn't difficult at all. I pulled my evacuation kit out of the laundry room and put it next to the door, just in case, and sat on Facebook for the rest of the afternoon/evening. It was such a comfort to be able to be in constant contact with both my friends here in Japan and my friends back in Hawaii. Once I knew that everyone here was safe, I turned my attention to Hawaii, and freaked out about them for a while. (Tsunamis were my biggest source of anxiety when I lived there!) Now that I know that everyone there is safe, I'm marveling at just how huge this all was.

This is a video of the indoor pool on base, where we have swimming lessons, I hope you all can see it: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150092747686056&comments

Here's some news about the US Navy in Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJfEXUrvrsc

Here's a constantly updated list of all of the quakes in the region; there have been more than 100 aftershocks since the first major quake, and they'll probably be going on for quite a while: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/Asia_eqs.php

As for what it felt like: you know how it feels when you're on a subway train that's swaying a lot, and it gives a sudden jerk that almost knocks you down? It was exactly like that, for like 2 or 3 minutes straight. I was under the table with the boys but I'm sure that if I'd been trying to stand, I would have fallen down. The towers are built to sway so they don't crack, so really, it felt exactly like being on a very unsteady train. I have friends who had lots of glasses and dishes break, but the only damage we had was to a Mega Blocks model of Iron Man, and the gumpaste Iron Man I made for Brandon's last birthday cake. It was a bad day for Tony Stark.

Friday, March 11, 2011

you've got to be kidding me

I made the decision a couple of years ago to stop being passive-aggressive. I’m really good at it, but having been on the receiving end of some particularly undeserved passive-aggression, I decided right then and there that I just didn’t want to be that guy anymore.

Last night a neighbor put a passive-aggressive note on my door that I honestly don’t think I deserved. And I just feel sick about it. Literally, physically sick. Why can’t people just be polite, and honest? Why can’t they just ring the damn doorbell? Why doesn’t anybody ever think about anyone but themselves?

I’ve been saying for years that I feel like the only person in any given neighborhood who gives a damn about not disturbing my neighbors. I’m constantly telling my kids not to jump, not to push furniture across the floor, not to drop heavy things that will make a loud noise, not to talk loudly in the hallway. I bought my son a drum set, because he really wants to learn how to play, but I’m also spending more than the drum set cost to build a sound-isolation stage in his room so as not to bother the neighbors too much.

But I put on my headphones and sing along while I’m doing the dishes, because I’m f'ing miserable to begin with and I despise doing the dishes, and singing makes me feel better - and I get a passive-aggressive note on my door. From someone whose children run around the hallways screaming all afternoon, every day after school, banging on the walls and the doors and leaving bikes right in front of the elevator. From someone who leaves trash out in the hallway, sometimes for days at a time. I was bothering them. Of course, how silly of me. I sang in my kitchen. I was thinking about myself for once. Sorry, folks, won’t happen again. Back to putting your needs first.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

endurance

One of the most valuable things that I learned while preparing for / engaging in natural childbirth is endurance. One of my favorite quotes of all time is something that John Mayer tweeted a year or two ago: "True endurance doesn't begin until the moment you find carrying on to be completely unfathomable." What that means, to me, is that you go until you really, honestly can't do it anymore...then you steady your breathing and keep on going. This is true of pushing a stroller up a hill, running on a treadmill, staying in control of yourself through a particularly strong contraction, and simply living during a deployment.

It's hard. It's really, really hard. There isn't anything I have to do now, with my husband away, that I wouldn't normally have to do anyway; but for some inexplicable reason, there is extra pressure. I couldn't begin to tell you where that pressure comes from, but I feel it. It means that there's an even heavier tightness in my chest than usual, it means that my temper is even shorter than usual, it means that all I want to do is sleep. It means that we go out somewhere, anywhere, pretty much every day just to get out of the house and avoid the daily drudgery of folding the laundry and doing the dishes AGAIN. It means that I go ahead and let the boys eat hot dogs or ramen for dinner because I just can't muster the energy to cook something more involved. It means that we're late for school in the morning because we can't get out the door in time; it means that I'm up all night because I forget to go to bed without someone here to remind me.

It's hard. It's really, really hard. Steady your breathing, and just keep on going.

Friday, February 11, 2011

why i stopped blogging

So I purchased a blogging app for my phone, thinking that maybe that would help me post more often. I've seriously considered switching over to Tumblr exclusively, because let's face it, their iPhone app is all kinds of awesome. But for some reason, I just don't feel right about giving up my "real" blog.
I know that I really should pick some kind of focus for this blog, some kind of main topic. I've never really had one, and I never really felt like I needed one, but the blogosphere has changed a lot since I first started blogging - for one thing, there was no such thing as a "blogosphere" in 2001. Random, unrelated observations, musings and rants are fine for Tumblr, I think, but if I want to keep this blog (and I do!) then I really should pick a focus and stick with it, more or less.
I used to just write about whatever was going on in my life, but I can't do that anymore. First of all, my life is boring. Imagine how awesome it would be to live in a completely foreign country. Now forget everything you just imagined because my life is nowhere nearly that exciting.
Also, there are things I'm just not allowed to write about. Now, it's not like I would write about ship's movements or top-secret information about the layout of the base anyway, but that doesn't mean that there aren't people out there, right now, skimming blogs like mine in the hopes that one of us will slip up and reveal something that we're not supposed to. Personally, I'm so paranoid that I really don't think there's much chance that the person who screws up will be me. But just knowing that somebody with malicious intent is probably reading this makes me very, very uncomfortable.
I mean, just look at that entry I posted a while back about all of the places I've lived. A few mentions of "base housing" here, an offhanded "where the Obamas stay when they're in Hawaii" there, and suddenly, over the course of the next month or so (which was completely devoid of new posts), I gain a dozen new *anonymous* followers. And, you see that map over on the left side of the screen? Yeah, I check that, and yes, I have been a bit disturbed by the locations where some of my hits are coming from.
So I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, if I stick to only posts about knitting, or baking, or underwater basket-weaving, that the terrorist information scouts will skip over my blog and I can stop being freaked out by the whole thing. I just have to figure out what topic I can speak intelligently and interestingly about.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

hi

I have so many ideas for this blog. So many things I want to do, so many things I want to say. I want - I need to start writing again, so I can feel like myself again. I need it. But there's just so much that needs to be done, that I'm having a hard time taking the first step. Maybe I just did.

Friday, January 21, 2011

buying up all of the Duncan Hines

I bought 12 boxes of cake mix today. Yes, I have become THAT GUY.
In my defense: I am legally required to buy my ingredients at the Commissary. Being a legally-approved home-based bakery business (have I mentioned that yet? ;), I am required to acquire my ingredients from "approved distribution channels". This, however, is purely because I live overseas. It's kind of the opposite of the way things work in the States - I'm like 99% sure that you're not allowed to buy things at Commissaries that you're going to resell. So I stand behind all of the things I said about the Crazy Flour-Buying Bandit back in Hawaii.
But I guess the moral of this story rambling collection of sentences is that I'm a legal business now! Finally.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

a hat for cora

I just finished this hat for my new baby niece, Cora, who was born yesterday.

I made the hat last week and added the flower today. I did the whole thing without a pattern, without even a sketch - I just cast on at the top of the hat and started knitting. I should probably start taking notes when I do that, so I can write out the pattern in case anybody else every wants to try making it. Next time, I promise!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What's in that Can? Holiday Edition: The Answer

Well, we have a new record: not one single guess. Serves me right for not really blogging anymore. (I'll explain that soon, promise.)
The answer is strawberry. How they came up with the name "Snow Squash" for strawberry-flavored soda, I'll never know. I will say that it does have somewhat of a squash-ish aftertaste to it. It isn't quite as weird as it sounds, I swear.