September 19, 2014

Radio taiso

Each day, my ToDo list starts like this;
 - do Radio taiso at 6:30
And this will be checked almost every day, without a fail.
I've been doing it for ... almost three months now.

It was my grandmother's daily routine.  She used to go to taiso group at nearby kids' park every morning, have a chat with other members, come home and take breakfast.
It's considered to be elders' activity, or a school children's activity only during their long summer break (to keep their sleep habit regular and healthy). While I as at school, I have joined my neighborhood group only three days over two summers.  I was not an early bird, and most of all, I don't like "group activity" thing.  I am not the person who enjoys "the feeling of unite".  Those "Get together!"  "Do it together, everyone!" thing gives me ... well, unhappiness.  Let's not say more.

This July, it just came to me that I need something to wake up for.  Radio taiso, perhaps?
And realized that I don't need to do it with somebody else.  I don't need to go out to find a group to join.  I can do it in my living room.  Just myself, and a radio (actually a tablet with Internet Radio App).

And it just started so.  I'm completely happy doing it every morning all by myself,  sometimes remembering my grandmother's cheerful voice.
My daughter joined me only for her summer break,  every morning still half-sleeping.  Her school has started, and I'm alone again.  Our living room is too small for two of us, anyway.


I'm getting old.  I welcome that.

September 18, 2014

test

Testing post from my mobile. Hope attaching photo goes well, too. (^o^)

For your information (which you may not care)

I still use the bag I posted on the beginning of this blog.  It's my "school bag" which contains everything I need for the PTA meeting.

Change of strategy

I have an account on Twitter (who doesn't?), and on Facebook (again, who doesn't?).  And constantly am disappointed by them.  Not by my friends posts, but by the COMMERCIALISM I see there.  I know I can't hide away from the world, and I buy things.  But it's too much when they "recommend" English schools and cosmetics made with what-sounds-exotic animal organs (ugh).

So, I quit.  From now on, at least until yet another change of mind comes, I stop posting on Twitter or FB.  I'll keep them only as emergency communication tools with my families and friends, and only to look up others' posts from time to time.  (I have been treating them like that for a while already, but this is official now.)

Instead, when I want to murmur something (like I was doing on Twitter), I'll do so here.  (So I could say something in 141 letters? Yeah, that is a part of reason, too.)
I think I have been trying a little too much to make this blog fancier than my everyday life.  Sometimes it will be OK to dress up, but it's a ha-ha when you can't go out "because I don't have anything to wear other than these 182 dresses!"

I go out in my denim pants I mended twice.  That's me.
I don't sneak out by the backdoor.  I always use the front door (because that's the only door my house has), and I always say hello to my neighbors.
That's what I do here.

Lighter, but more.  Oh, it sounds like the title of another diet recipe book!

September 16, 2014

And the 14-15 season had already started

I knew I have neglected this poor blog for longer than I intend to.
This morning, I was shocked to see my last post was about Superbowl dinner.  What was I doing, not opening blogger in the first half (and plus) of this year?
... USUALS.  Everyday whatnots.

My husband has taken a lot of business trips during the time.  He made his first trip to South America just after the Soccer World Cup, and safely made his way home.  Thank goodness.
My daughter is now a 4th grader and doing some complicated math drill as homeworks (and of course, a lot of Kanjis to memorize).  Now she wears shoes as big as mine.  Honestly, we have switched each others' shoes more than once, like, after going out all day and her feet get tired too much.

My family members has exciting life of their own, I see.

And what about me?

"What about me?" - Is this a common, cheap self question of mid-40 wife/mother's?

Ok, let's see.  I've started something new, yes.  I am learning Italian on the NHK radio program since this April.  At the same time, I am trying to blush up my Spanish also on the radio programs.  It IS confusing learning TWO latin-based languages at the same time.  My Spanish was mucho, mucho mejor than my newcomer, Italian.  While I try to memorize one new word in Italian, it was read in Spanish pronunciation twice (which is not really a problem, they are so alike).  I mis-spelled the word like Spanish.  I asked myself why I don't just stick to Spanish,  which I still can't make proper past-tense sentence and have tons to learn.  Why?  Because Italian is NEW to me.  Close enough to make me want to learn, but new.

Now, after 5 month of doodling and murmuring, my Italian has improved.  A little.  I think I can order a coffee and a sandwich (Vorrei un cafe e un panino con tonno, per favore.)  

Well, listening to 15 minutes programs on the radio is the most exciting thing in my life.  And I think I am completely satisfied by that.

That's me.  And I needed this post to realize that.

Using a foreign language is a time-consuming process.  Take this Blog?  I spent more than 50 minutes just to post this much.  Blog post in Spanish or Italian?  No way.
But it's not about me speaking out loud.  It's about understanding.  It's about understanding myself (like today).  Composing foreign language sentence requires a good amount of analyzing and constructing, re-constructing pieces.  Pieces of thought, that is.

And of course, it's about learning what other people does.  I just want to understand those interviews on the news without Japanese subtitles.  Real words.  Not watered-down version.

Maybe, I learn other languages so I can read Sports News websites without translation.


Go, Texans!  2 - 0 is a nice start.


January 31, 2014

Superbowl dinner

My husband is a HUGE football fan.  He used to have a day off on Superbowl Day ( it's Monday morning here in Japan), but as increasing responsibility at work set in, it became a kind of luxury to have a whole day for just one sports event.  After we came back again to japan from USA (oh, happy 5 years of watching the game on Sunday evening), he decided to have a "time-shift" strategy.

We record the live broadcast on HDD, and have a Superbowl evening on MONDAY after he comes home.  He never enjoys a game if he already knew the result - so he has to be very careful, very, very careful to shut out all the news on every media.  Thanks to a rather minor popularity of the sports in Japan, it's not impossible to keep it away but difficult enough because of the size of the event.  It's a no-no to visit Yahoo! or any news page on the internet, accidentally flip the channel on TV to evening news.

And I, as a BIG football and a cooking fan, prepare a meal honoring the teams and the city where the game is hosted.  It's great to look up history and recipes, spending hours in front of my computer.  Love internet.

This year, though, it is a challenge to decide what to have.  If it were the Patriots, Cream-type clam chowder is a no-doubt choice, or if it were the Cowboys, I would have ordered chili meat online and bought the biggest bag of tortilla chips I can find.  Ravens? Crab cakes.  49ers?  Great excuse to try making a sour bread starter.  Saints?  Mufellettas and Po-Boys.  Gumbo, Jambalaya… I can celebrate a whole week.  But, oh, Seattle vs. Denver?  In New Jersey?

My plan after some research is ..
1. Campbell Tomato Soup (which I always have on hand for our "earthquake / typhoon care bag") representing the State of New Jersey
2. Salmon vs Rainbow Trout (both grilled) representing the teams, salmon for Seattle and trout for Denver
3. Coors Beer for my husband
4. Welch grape juice for me and my daughter
Veggies, bread and desert is not decided yet.  Corn hush, plain dinner roll and apple sauce, perhaps?

Yeah, I don't deny.  A bit depressed.

Go, please, Texans, next season.  Give me a chance to bake Kolaches.

January 17, 2014

hibernation, and waking up

Last year came and went like a fizz.  I feel I didn't do anything new, but hope that it's an underrating to myself.  As long as a person is living and doing everyday OK, he/she never stops finding something newer and better, whether or not he/she notices.

When I look back, I have to admit I had a not-so-creative year, knitting-wise.  Almost all my knitting project was for my aunt, who was diagnosed with a breast cancer and started chemotherapy immediately.  Thank goodness it was found in the very early stage and was treated well. As of today, she is very well recovered from the surgery. After 2 month, prognosis is very good.
I knit her chemo caps, a preyer shawl, and toeless socks (all her nail fell off as a side-effect of chemotherapy. Toe nails are slower to grow back). She is the best recipient of my knittings - she always gives me appreciations (and good motivations to knit MORE for her), and treats my gifts in the most respectful way.  You know, she WEARs them and hand-washes them properly.  Every single pieces I knit for her is in use.  My husband and daughter do wear what I knit for them, too, but all the washings are on my hand and they don't express the admiration my aunt gives me by words.  

Words.  Yes, words have power.

Last year was the record low blogging year for me.  Not that I gave up on it, but…. I think I needed a little vacation from it.  
I didn't Twitter much, neither.  I didn't visit Ravely so often, neither.  I did take pictures but didn't upload them on Flickr! so much, neither.
One reason that I don't use Twitter or Pinterest neither recently, is the "recommended" or "related" pieces they slip in on my board.  I want to choose what I see, that was the concept of "following", right?  Until when I can opt out from "related pins" and such, I'd look away from Twitter-verse and Pinterest boards.

Which, I look more often on blog-sphere these days.  It has a slower traffic, and I have more control on what shows up.

Keeping a blog becomes a task, a burden, when you stop updating it often.  What you feel in everyday life, the tone of your speech, they changes like the river flow.  Looks the same everyday, but what's right in front of you is not the same as the water of yesterday flown away from you and gone forever.  Do you want to record all of your everyday life?  Or do you want to let them go, just let them go unmentioned, "just like yesterday, nothing new"?
And suddenly, the river shows us a completely different face.  A rainstorm.  Those brown, fierce gush of water breaks peaceful routines and bring them away.  After the event, the river looks just like before, but it's not the same anymore. Do you want to write about the stuff you are not seeing anymore in your life? 

I have been keeping this blog for over six years.  I moved back from Texas, USA to Kyoto, Japan. My daughter is growing up, my grown-up families are growing older in that six years.  Japan has experienced a major disaster, which gave me no harm in my material life but crashed some of what I believed in.  I got a part-time but responsible job that eats off my precious time with fiber.
Blog has to change, too, when the writer's life experiences changes.  There are blogs closed when the writer "outgrows" of them or "finds different ways of expressing him/herself".   A closed blog makes itself eternal, in a way.  It may an act of respect to the blog to keep/freeze it as it is.

I was thinking about this blog while I was away from it.
Do I want to close it?  Just like a completed photo album, and stash away in the attic? Scrap, frame and keep the six-plus years of my life (not everything, but the essence of it)?

… No, I don't.

Life is a continuous act.  And writing about it gives me the power to face it.  Not may be the perfect control of it, but to cut out pieces from it and think over it, is a way to keep it rolling on.  I have not done, and will not try, recording everything in my life, hoarding murmuring "I got have this, too!*  I'll just keep on scrapbooking my life here, keeping only pretty/kawaii and important/moving stuffs.  As my life continues, without quitting and restarting, my blog, too, will continue on, if changes its face in a long-run.

I'll just visit here a little bit more often this year. At least more (three times, ha!) than last year.  And that's my new year's resolution.