Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Limbo!

Please don't tell me the Japanese is wrong -
I'm SURE that it's wrong in many places,
but it's close enough to get the point across,
so it's done.
There’s the point in an international move where you will find yourself in Moving Limbo.  A purgatory of relocation, if you will.  As I type this, The Mister and I are coming to the realization that we held out as long as possible, but our Moving Limbo has begun.

Moving Limbo is a weird space to find yourself:  After months of preparations and working like a dog to make sure everything is in place, now is the time when most things have already been set in motion or completed and all that's left is to wait.  Except we still have that original momentum, still feeling like we need to keep running for the finish line to do a ton of stuff.  This can be good, as it means I have time/ inertia to knock some unimportant, but useful things off the list; like making a sign for Mac’s flight crate, or working on outlining what we’ll need grocery-wise when we arrive and translating those items into Japanese so we can ask about them in the store.  It can also be a little maddening to have all this seemingly “wasted" time.

All of our belongings have shipped, save for a suitcase of clothing and a blanket for each of us, enough pet food to get both Mac and Bub through until they fly, and Mac’s giant dog crate.  Also Bubba has this box.  As all of his other worldly possessions have gone, he’s become fairly protective of his box.  

(fun aside, The Mister was not thinking clearly when he packed his clothing - with shipping time-lines, one is supposed to pack enough in a suitcase to get by for about a month.  The Mister only packed few shirts, a pair of pants, and some socks/ boxers.  He is going to be SO excited in March when sweaters/ additional pants, etc. arrive)

Because our apartment abroad will be furnished, and because most of our American furniture wouldn’t fit anyway, we sold all our furniture here.  We held out on the people who bought the bed as long as possible, but they’re coming to get the mattress today (which has been on the floor for us to sleep on for a month now).  Admittedly, I’ve found floor-sleeping is doing wonders for my lower back.  Nothing says “you’re old now!” like being excited about my back feeling not achy when I wake up after a full nights' sleep.

Meanwhile, Mac and Bubba had their final vet visit yesterday.  It was a brief exam and then a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to check, double check, and sign on the dotted line.  Those papers have been overnighted to the USDA so the boys can be certified like sides of beef (really it’s a certification that says they’ve been Rabies free for 6 months and are vaccinated - it serves as their quarantine, and will keep them from having a formal quarantine upon arrival).  After raising two very well-behaved critters, I was a little dismayed to see the tantrum Bubba threw at our last visit earned him a note on his chart:
punk.

What all of that means, is this morning The Mister and I woke up to this reality:

It is time to finally check into a Hotel. 
HOORAY.
King sized beds for everyone! ...for a week.  And then no more king sized beds for three years!


Have you ever under-packed for a trip?  
What did you do?  
Tell me in the comments!  
(so that I can pass some sage advice along to The Mister!)

today's little language lesson
すみません、果物はどこ ですか
Sumi-ma-sen, kudamono wa doko des ka.
Excuse me, where is the fruit?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catastrophic Customer Service.

9 days until The Mister leaves.  13 until Mac leaves.  15 until Bubba & I leave.



I just want to crawl into a ball and wait it out.  There's so many stupid, asinine, superfluous things left to take care of, and none of them actually feel like their completion is making progress toward the goal of just getting ourselves from A to B.  Admittedly, a lot of this is my anxiety talking.
Just waiting for something to light the fuse.

I remember this feeling from when we were about to go to Mexico.  It's a level of stress that makes me a supremely unpleasant person to be around.  I can't answer anymore questions about "aren't you excited!?"  because right now I'm not.  And I can't really focus on anything going on with anyone else because I have literally a thousand other things I have to focus on - they have to get done in the next 10-15 days.  The Mister's co-workers are throwing us a "going away" party on Friday and I am already amped up about how much I don't want to go and put on a "everything is super spiffy!" mask for the whole time.

Unfortunately, my instinct to just avoid contact with the outside world works really well on making me not a burden to everyone except... The Mister, who is also stressed out of his mind, but only recovers from breaking the monotony of check boxes on to-do lists through contact with other human beings.  Opposites attract.  And then spend the lead-up to international moves trying to not kill each other.  Ah, love.

Side note that is slightly related?  I have woken up every morning this past week with an *NSYNC song stuck in my head.  I have no real way to explain why this is happening except to connect it with the weird stress dreams?  I don't know.

Do you ever wake up with a song already stuck in your head?  
What song?  And Why?  
Tell me in the comments!

Anyway, one of these stupid little check-list things was making sure Bubba can come with me as a carry-on in 15 days.  If you're curious, the steps for cat as carry-on are thus:
  • Make sure the little fuzzball's got his customs import paperwork in order.
  • Make sure YOU have a ticket on the plane.
  • Make sure he hasn't gained too much weight to be too big for the carry-on sized carrier (just barely checked that off).
  • Call the airline a few weeks ahead of time and let them know the cat is coming along.
  • Day of, give the airline extra money as a penance for being "that person" on the plane with the cat.
Now, you may remember that last time I took Bubba on a plane I live-tweeted the experience.  I will do this again (@KpQuePasa) on the 5th of February, so look for that.

He's going to be so pleased we don't have to go through the whale-song tunnel this time.
It should also serve as proof that I have some experience in this department and was well aware of these steps when I called Delta two weeks ago to notify them of Bubba's accompaniment.  Here is the conversation I had with the "Customer Service Representative," which is in air quotes for maximum sarcasm emphasis on how poor her customer service skills were.  We'll call her Linda, because that sounds good, and also because she mumbled her name so poorly upon our initial introduction that I couldn't write it down.  (This sucks because I would have written Delta in a heartbeat about her.)
L: Hello this is Delta, my name is Linda, how can I help you?
Kp: Yes, Hi.  I’ve got a flight to Japan coming up in early February and I plan to bring my cat with me.
L: That’s not our issue, you have to do the customs stuff with Japan’s government.
Kp:  Yeah, I know, the customs work has already been done, I’m just calling about bringing the cat on the flight as my carry on.
L: You can’t do that unless you tell us you’re doing that.
Kp: [I paused here because, is this not obvious?]Yes.  I know.  That is why I have called.  To tell you.
L:  Well I don’t see your flight on my screen.
Kp:  I’m… sorry?   [was I supposed to somehow manipulate her computer from my phone to fix this for her?] I have the flight number and my seat assignment.
L:You’re in business class.*
[significant pause, because she did not add anything to this statement and I really thought she was going to.]
Kp:  Yes, I am in business class.
L: *Exasperated sigh* well you can’t HAVE a cat in business class.  You’re just going to have to find someone to take care of him while you’re gone.
Okay I have to stop here for a second.  I'm guessing she does not have a pet, because anyone who has ever had a pet would not be so cruel and abrasive to immediately jump to "this incovinences me so she must GET RID OF HER PET."  Also full disclosure, my brain immediately switch from "more flies with honey" being nice mode to "oh, it's ON, bitch" mode right at this second.

What would you have done if a stranger just casually demanded that you get rid of a pet?  
Tell me in the comments!
Kp:  Listen up.  That is not an option.  I have already taken care of all of his other living arrangements abroad.  If I can’t have him in business class I will downgrade to whatever class will allow him.
L:  I can’t do that for you, there’s a seat change charge.
Kp: Then I’m hearing that you CAN do that for a fee.  Is that correct?
L:  Well yes, but you have to pay for the cat, too.
Kp:  What do I need to do to change the seat?
L:  UGH. [<- are you kidding me, Linda?!] Hold please.
[After 5 minutes of hold time, she returns]
I can’t change your ticket.  [The Mister's] company booked it for you.  They have to change it.  And then you have to pay for your cat.  And if you don’t give us notice that cat is not flying on the plane.
Kp: Wow.  Really.  I’m pretty sure we established that I understand the notice policy.  I’m sorry to have inconvenienced you so by trying to, in fact, give you notice.
L:  Ma’am, I’m not sure what you’re missing.  You can’t give notice because this cat can’t be in business class.  
There has never been a more perfect place for this gif right here.
Kp: Yes, I do in fact, get that.  I’m going to get off the phone now and actually fix the situation.
L:  Don’t bring your cat with you and just expect him to get on the plane!  You have to PAY.  It won’t happen.
 And then I hung up on her.  Because I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the asshole in that scenario.

So that was fun.  The Mister's company got my ticket switched around, and I called yesterday to get Bubba on their record, and spoke with a much nicer dude who made sure we had all I's dotted and T's crossed.  We're set now.  Annoying though, that a checklist item which should have taken 5 minutes took two weeks.  Ugh.

today's little language lesson
Watashi no hobākurafuto wa unagi de ippai desu.

*You know what the one true bummer of this whole thing is?  Like, I understand if they've put a no-go on cats in Business class.  I don't like it, but whatever, I don't own the plane.  

However, The Mister's company pays for me to fly business class -aka the section where you get a fully lay-down-able bed and personal space- ONCE.  And I had to forfeit that to sit with Bubs in the section where I have zero leg space and a little TV in the back of the seat in front of me.  Which will inevitably burn out my retinas because they dim the cabin lights for the flight and I will just sit in the dark and play sudoku on a tiny, bright screen for 13 hours.

Friday, January 16, 2015

I fought the lime and the, LIME won.

In a quick break from Japan-prep-talk, today I bring you this stupid story:

If you have any familiarity with legit Mexican cuisine, you may be familiar with limes.
It is not uncommon in Mexico to put a bit of lime juice on EVERYTHING, and it's a habit that The Mister and I whole-heartedly adopted after living in Monterrey.  We always have a small bag of limes on hand for whatever dish we decide needs a little extra zing.  Truly it's delicious.  Give 'er a try!
I know this is supposed to be a joke,
but I would legitimately try lime juice
on everything pictured in this gif that
 is a real food for people.

Want a free, easy brunch recipe?  Here you go:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced.  
  • 1/2 Avacado, also diced.
  • Lime Juice.
  • salt and pepper to taste.

It's amazing, I promise.  Also a bit fatty.  But the good kind of fatty.  Or something.  Whatever, I like it.

About a week or so before Christmas I was making said brunch for myself.  I took out my lime to slice, and about three seconds later I was looking at the knife as it sat; not on the cutting board between two lime-halves, but more like deep in the middle of the pointer finger on my left hand.
It didn't so much hurt (at that point) as it was just really startling to see a knife IN my finger.

Here's what I want to know about YOU, dear reader:  
How do you react to accidental self-harm?
Tell me in the comments!

I've never been a fan of knives.  They give me the heebie-jeebies.  My anxiety almost always sees a knife and immediately takes my imagination to the worst possible scenario of what could happen while said knife is in my line of sight.


  • I anxiously argue with The Mister at least once a week over whether he needs to use the sharp knife when he could use a butter knife for cutting things.  
  • When I was in college, I took a printmaking class (who am I kidding, I took ALL the printmaking classes; Herr-Professor-Taylor-Sir for LYFE!*) and one of our projects included linoleum carving. 

linoleum cutting tool of choice.
We got about a thousand heavy-handed reminders from our prof to always make sure we're cutting AWAY from ourselves with the tool, only to watch the girl sitting next to me accidentally jam that damn thing straight into her lower-thumb-meat.  I'm pretty sure I silent screamed I was so upset.  She just calmly asked to be excused from class, but I was traumatized.
  • Somewhere in The Mister's data files, there's a video of him convincing his new girlfriend to take a video of him while he tries out his new sushi-knife, even though she's pretty adamant about being uncomfortable with such a sharp knife around.  He pretends to cut off his thumb as a "joke," and the video ends with the camera begin thrown onto the counter so I could panic properly by yelling every swear word I knew and running far away from my thumb-less future husband.
You get the point.  Knives creep me out.  People getting cut is a horrible visual.  Knives are the most statistically probable item to cut a person.  And so it's all kind of logical in a crazy sort of way.

It's not just knives, though.  When I get a meager paper cut, The Mister will be the first to tell you that I go to Scarlett O'Hara level fainting drama.

Everything is ending, the world is over.  Might as well start digging my grave, if I didn't believe that cremation (for me) is a far more responsible way to go into the great abyss.  Stoke the coals, I guess.

Similar reactions occur for stubbing my toe or accidentally poking myself in the eye because I forgot my glasses were on top of my head and I tried to habitually push the bridge back up my nose.  A horrific, painful death is clearly imminent, and nothing will ever be good again.

Then a butcher knife** slides off a lime-rind and into my finger deep enough where "stitches?" is not an out of the question reaction.  And my immediate reaction?



TOTALLY FINE.  NOTHING HORRIBLE OR TERRIFYING HAS HAPPENED. AT ALL.
I yelled this as I applied enough bandaids that I couldn't see the cut bleeding through the bandaids anymore.  That equaled somewhere around 10 bandaids.  I figured the yelling as loudly as possble made certain the powers that be would hear me and make sure my finger was actually totally fine and it wasn't going to get gangrene and start to smell and fall off during a poker game.  This needed to be true especially because I don't play poker.

In the past four or five weeks, I've gone through a family size pack of bandaids.  I learned that you can *kind of* decoupage a finger-nail that you've chopped mid-way through by using clear nail polish and a piece of tissue paper.  But friends, I write this blog post triumphantly today because my finger is healed (mostly, it sort of looks like I have a perma-hang-nail), and the nail has grown out just enough that I can give myself a VERY lop-sided mani-cure.  But it means I don't have to keep a bandaid on it anymore, because now I can't catch the cut on everything.  It's exciting.  Really, stop judging.
Bubba is very excited too.
Have you ever epically broken a nail?  How did you deal? 


*My printmaking prof was a highlight of my college career.  He was a grizzly dude-  if Ron Swanson had Albert Einstein hair and a passion for pottery instead of woodworking, that would be Prof. Taylor.  Studio classes were required to listen to his CD of Toto's Greatest Hits on repeat, and for some reason this never made anyone dislike him, but rather it just gave us all a common bond of being millennial kids who enthusiastically knew every word to "Africa."  At some point, we, as chill art students, started referring to him by only "Taylor," his last name.  
This is a moniker he accepted for approximately half an hour until he paused Toto and informed us stoically that we would refer to him with a title that conveyed proper respect.  We couldn't decide on one title, so we gave him all the titles, and from then on he was Herr Professor Taylor Sir.  He seemed to like it.

**yeah, I know, butcher knife for a tiny lime is maybe a bit on the over-zealous side.  But all our other knifes were dirty.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Year In Review 2014

Howdy folks, it's that time of year again (Or rather it was a few weeks ago.  I had other things to write about. Sue me.)

Year in review!  Let's take a second here to peek at how 2014 worked out with those goals I set for myself.  Here's what I had:

1.  Art:  Make a greater effort to create for myself. Fulfill a desire to make pretty and functional things.  I'd like to look back on this in 2015 and have at least 4 great, fun creations to share. 

2.  Career:  Come to grips with the idea that The Mister makes me one of the luckiest damn people on the planet.  In many ways.  But for this bullet-point's purpose, that I am able to do what makes me happy instead of what makes me money.  To wit, I think it's time to figure out how to make FINvites my main gig, and integrate that into life as the curator of KpQuePasa. 

3.  The Dreaded Number: Aiming for 13 less pounds by the time 2015 rears it's head, for a grand total of 42 dreaded pounds standing between 2012 and me.

4.  Home Front: Grow a great garden that gives off enough awesome produce that I can freeze and can a few things come fall.  Get home to Wisconsin at least once this summer.  Manage to catch enough fish in one sitting for a meal while up north.  Sell this tiny, but well-loved house.  So basically, just be perfect.  Right.


Whew.  Okay... so here's how those all turned out.

1.  Art.  I managed to turn this one out, due mostly to how flexible the term "art" is.  Four top bits this year?
- Costumes

- Ginger-bread cookies & labels
 
- More baking!  Cakes and Mini-bries!

- I kept sketchbook sketching!


2.  Career.   FINvites is going well, though I'll admit I'm nervous about how it's going to look abroad... or if it's going to look like anything... but I *just* turned in my last US job to the printers yesterday and that's pretty exciting.  I'll check it as a win.

Poster design
Our 2014 Christmas Card
Stamp design
3.  The Dreaded Number.  Bahahaha.  I made it to -35, then visited family.  Then I made it to -34, then visited family.  Then Christmas. Then seeing all our friends for good-byes.  Then good-bye parties. And ...yeah.  So I cumulatively lost 0 weight.  I also gained 0 weight.  Not a true win, but it could be worse.

4.  Home Front.  Sad pandas.  The garden tanked, mostly because we turned the house over to property management in August.  I have managed to keep a single potted mum alive since then, but that doesn't really count.  Plus I'm a horrible person and totally plan on throwing a living plant away on the last day I'm here.  Sorry mum plant, your days are numbered.  Maybe you should have put a little effort into blooming, like, ever.
I tried to make it look less sad by adding
a single crappy Christmas tree ornament.
Also not sucessful.
Not a real successful set of goals last year, though to be fair as of writing that I had no way to look forward and see that we were about to start our next big adventure of Japan prep.  I can't say it doesn't bum me out to not have a few more checks in the win column, but 't where do I don't know that I can blame myself too much for that (except the dreaded 42 fail.  That was all me.  And cookies.  Me and cookies.)  SO... where do I go from here?  Yikes.

2015 Goals!

1.  Move to Japan.  
I'm throwing myself one here.  You might read this and think I've got it in the bag, but I know what's still left on the do-to list.  A successful move is not just getting The Mister and I from point A to point Japan.  It includes moving all our stuff, unpacking all our stuff to set it up, and of course, getting Mac and Bubba safely to Japan, settled in, and happy.

2.  Be less of a hermit than I was in Mexico.
I will be the first to admit that I'm not the most social person in the world.  (The Mister would very enthusiastically second that statement)  But Mexico was rough for me because I didn't feel comfortable/ safe leaving the house alone.  This is not an option in Japan because I don't have a yard for Mac, mass transportation is a necessity, and most notably, The Mister's naval obligations and civilian job will end up taking him on trips that leave me by myself in Japan on a regular basis (also it's leaps and bounds safer for a lady to wander around solo).  I have to get a friend group and leave the house of my own volition, by myself.  To be successful in this goal I will need to have found a group of my OWN friends (not just friends who are friends through proxy of The Mister), and I will have to pass the next level up of the Japanese Proficiency exam.  (This also means I"ll have to keep taking language lessons while we're abroad.)

3.  ARTING.
Staying sane for me is largely controlled by my ability to create things.  Some of this has been stalled lately because the to-do list is overwhelming.  I'll need to figure out what ARTING will look like, what medium it will take on once we're over there, but I want to create another 4 fabulous projects just for me which I can be proud of.

4.  The Dreaded 45.
The Dreaded 29 has been conquered since 2012.  That's pretty awesome.  But I haven't made much progress since then.  I'm crossing my fingers that a few key changes to our lifestyle will make another 16 pounds possible this year.


What are your goals for the year of the Sheep*?  
How will you measure if you're successful?  
Tell me in the comments!

And now, since I know that this is my annual post which is mostly self-serving instead of entertaining to readers, I'ma start working on a Friday post which is fun.  Check back in then!

*today's little language lesson
編みかけだったマフラーが完成しました
Amikake datta mafuraa ga kansei shimashita.
The scarf, which was in the middle of being made twelve years ago, is now finished.  

2015 is the year of the sheep according to the Japanese zodiac.  Each year the Japanese postal service releases commemorative cards that people can send to their loved ones in celebration.  The stamps on these cards are also commemorative, and this year's stamp is a sheep wearing a scarf.  It's a throw-back to 2003's stamp, which showed a sheep knitting a scarf.  Yay continuity!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Itty Bitty Living Space.

SO, Japan:  Small country, big population.  This translates to a country that is great at mass transportation and organization, but not so great at 'spacious' living.  In short:


While we don't have a HUGE home here in the states, we do have a yard, and a semblance of private space.  We did our research - we knew there were some things we'd have to give up to make Japan a reality, and we were prepared.  That didn't mean that our home finding trip was any less amusing with some of the homes we were shown.

The Mister's company did a splendid job of pairing us up with a relocation firm, who specializes in helping Americans settle into Japanese life.  They were our guides during our home-finding trip, and they were very patient with us.  We didn't make their job easy... specifically, we are bringing not one, but two critters... and there aren't a whole lot of places that are like "sure, we'll rent to foreigners who have no credit history in our currency - and also we will allow their pets who could potentially destroy our property"  Still, we were shown... I think 7 different places (give or take, remember we're working with jet-lag memory here), and we decided on one that I hope will be a happy home to us for the next few years.

Because there isn't a whole lot of horizontal space, Japan does high-rises well.  And by well, I mean that the first apartment we looked at was on the 24th floor of a building, and I got vertigo so instantly upon walking onto the balcony that I immediately nixed it.  It was also only 450 square feet total, so that was a bit of a check in the minus column.  In any case, balconies are important, because the Japanese don't waste electricity on laundry drying machines - you're expected to wash your clothing then hang it on the balcony to dry.  If I can't walk into that space without feeling dizzy... well there's only so long you can hold out on clean underwear availability.


We looked at a few more places that were in the 500-600 square foot range.  To put that in perspective, we strongly feel that we fit "okay-ish" in our 1200 sq ft home between the Mister, Mac, Bub and I... plus all our stuff.  We knew our home would be smaller, but somehow it's much different to have that understanding than it is to actually see that reality.  I was pretty sure we weren't capable of narrowing our belongings down enough for a 500 sq ft home to not look like an international episode of HOARDERS: BURRIED ALIVE.  Our very patient relocation agent would spend the drive between each apartment reminding us that these were considered spacious places we were seeing.  And it almost sank in as our new reality... until she showed us the 950 sq ft place we eventually settled upon.
A dramatic reenactment of The Mister and I from the last few months as we decide what to bring.

Now, I feel pretty confident that our agent knew exactly what she was doing here.  Show us the first few tiny spaces to break our spirit, then bring us to this place: A place that in this culture, is A FLIPPING MANSION.  It is priced exactly at the right budget point, it has rented to other families, with pets, from The Mister's company.  It's in a area of the city that is well-positioned near a park for Mac, shopping/ groceries for me, mass transit for all of us, and has a reasonably large community of other expatriates nearby.  So she showed us that, then took us to two more rentals, which were okay in size, but both were WAY out in the boonies from any kind of convenience (and one was next to an actual rice paddy... hello mosquitoes... and malaria).

So anyway, this is the place we picked!  (click on any of these pictures to make 'em bigger)
Our front door.  This little gate is important because it means we're allowed to put
flowers or the Mister's bike outside our apartment.

Our very spacious living room and main balcony.
I really like that aside from the bedrooms it's a pretty open layout.
This picture has been taken from the dining room that opens to the kitchen
on one side and the living space you see on the other.

Here's the view from the main balcony.
You can see the park down there which is Mac-friendly.

Admittedly, there are still a few things I'm nervous about with this space:

  • this is my entire oven.  blargh. 

I am pretty sure I'm going to try making cookies the first week we're there
 just so I stop freaking out about this baking thing.

  • the balcony, while not on floor 24, is on floor 11, and the Mister is harboring a serious phobia that Bubba is going to escape the inside and take a flying leap.  I'd like to think he's smarter than this but... yeah.  So that's a thing.
    view of the actual balcony, and of one of the little retractable pole-holder
     that will eventually allow me to hang our landry out to dry.
  • because it's all (white) wallpaper, I can't hang anything up.  No photos, no paintings, no calendars, no clocks.  boring walls.  hmm.  
  • we're limited on items by the size of the one main doorway, which is smaller than a standard American door, obviously.  That means no bed larger than a double, a narrow fridge (really that's more about Japanese standards than the door size), and a smaller washing machine (see: fridge).  Also it means we won't be getting an elliptical as previously planned, but I think we'll be walking enough to make that okay.


All in all, though, this has some potential.  Which has lead to inspiration boards.  You know what inspiration boards are?  They're what silly bored people do to mimic the things they see on pinterest, outlining unrealistic decorating ideas they have for their home.  And because it calms me, I've made boards for our living/ dining room and both bedrooms.
We picked grey curtains, that exact couch and dining set pictured, and a lighter version of that TV stand. I'm going to add a pouf once I get there and teach myself how to make one, and hopefully at least a rug to separate out the living from the dining area.  I also found some "removable vinyl patterns" that I can't help but feel like play with fire a bit on the "no hanging crap on the walls" rule.  

The "Master Bedroom" will boast this actual wide-double bed (the biggest we can get!), those sheets, brown curtains (closest color to light-blocking we could get), and a colorful quilt that is *almost* the same as what's pictured.
I also bought this runner-rug in the bottom corner so we don't have to hear Mac's nails on the hardwood of the hallway every night while we try to sleep and he's all "I'ma walk around because you don't want me to."  I dream of a giant "removable" vinyl wall map and throw pillows.  We shall see.
This is for the side bedroom - aka where KpMcD will sleep on nights when the tiny "Master" bed feels too tiny for both of us.  We already have the desk, the bed, and the grey quilt, plus an awesome Starry Night blanket that my aunt made for me years ago.  As you may note from the dreamy throw pillows, I shall theme this room.  I will also probably paint in this room once I get my easel set back up.

I WILL BRING IN ALL THE COLORS.  ALL OF THEM.
Hopefully that helps with the white walls!  These have been a fun way to calmly feel productive when I'm not in a productive mood, but I can't wait to see now how it all actually comes together!
Less than a month until I actually know, I guess. (eek!)

Other interesting perks to this place?  Well, there's one that I can think of off the top of my head:
WELL HI THERE, HEATED-SEAT BIDET.
My butt is going to be so happy.

How do you start to make a home?  
Tell me in the comments!

today's little language lesson
私の 猫わ うるさいです。 わかります。 ごめんあさい!

watashi-no neko-wa u-ru-sai desu.  wa-ka-ri-masu.  go-men-na-sai!

My cat is very loud/ annoying.  I understand.  SORRY!  

I'm fairly certain we're going to end up using this a lot for our neighbors.  
Which is *kind of* amusing, because no one cared that we're bringing a cat, 
they're all worried about Mac.  Who as we all know, will be no big deal.