Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hana[meat] 2017

Today is Mac's Gotcha Day!

8 YEARS ago I went to a SPCA event and fell in love with those -once orange, now white- eyebrows.  I've had this pup by my side for some of the craziest, most life-changing things I've lived through.  Lots of celebratory snuggles and treats and running around the little neighboring park shall be taking place today.

night one.  he was the same size as Bubba.  so smol.



Instead of a blog post today, last week we finally got a chance to check out Hanami.  If you're unfamiliar, this is the annual celebration in honor of the cherry blossoms blooming throughout the country.  It happened to coincide with a lot of rain this year, so we were lucky for one good day to jaunt over to Tsurumai park for the have one last sakura flower hurrah.  Mac was also pretty pumped*.

Check out the vid below, and have a great day!

(click to play or click here to open in a new window)




*You may remember from previous years when I mentioned the awesome food truck guy who sells kebabs and happens to be in the same place in the park each year for hanami.  He always remembers Mac, and Mac DEFINITELY remembers him.  I obviously played around with learning editing software on this little video, but I have to add that what you don't see here is the moment when Mac actually realizes there are food trucks in the park, and he immediately beelines to the spot where this particular food truck always is.  Mac and Meat Friend are for sure biffles.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Do You Remember The Time When I Was Electrocuted?

This morning, The Mister texted asking for a video of Mac doing his trademark “Moon Walk” trick.  It triggered a soundtrack for today consisting entirely of Michael Jackson.  I’m a “Dangerous” (on cassette tape, no less!) era kid - 
What was your MJ album of choice?  
Tell me in the comments!

*also if you want a giggle, here’s said Moonwalk video, which you should watch before lawyers swoop in and are all “you used less than 30 seconds of his songs and are gaining nothing monetarily from their use!  Cease and Desist because fun is illegal!”*



So.  Hi.  It’s been a hot minute.  Let me catch up quickly on life here since… well, November:


  • Kp2 and her SO moved back to Australia.  I am so happy for her to be reunited with her sassy little puggle dog… but I miss her bunches.
  • I have done approximately 0 things of notable interest outside of the daily “wake up, clean house, grocery shop, lather, rinse, repeat” mantra, and I’m struggling to find motivation to expand past that.
  • I failed the JLPT again.  For the third consecutive time, I passed every section of the test individually but missed the cumulative number of points needed for a pass by an infuriatingly small number.
  • We have officially entered our last year here in Nagoya.  Which means we’ve also entered into that lovely feeling of being constantly in limbo with regard to having any idea what the company really intends to do with us and on what timeline.  Note the sarcastic use of the word 'lovely.’

And so… the blog has suffered.  Like any other person with a presence on the internet, I prefer to share the things that make me happy, because spending time putting together verbal vomit on things that have made me sad or upset doesn’t do too much for me beyond making me more upset while also worrying my friends and family.

That said I’m about to spend a little time putting together some verbal vomit regarding the lights in this apartment because today we had ANOTHER LIGHT GO OUT.

But stick with me, maybe I can make it funny.

Lightbulbs are one of those things which have made me very aware of my inability to work outside my cultural comfort zone.  Because it should be. SO. EASY. to replace a light bulb.  I should be able to take the burnt out bulb from the socket, buy a new one at the store, and then come back plug it into the socket and rejoice in the light of the lord.

We’ve had a few lights burn out in our time here… our first one took me three trips to the store and then one very flustered call to an unhelpful “relocation expert” to finally successfully change.  Other bulbs… have just remained burnt out because we didn’t have a ladder and I was not keen to have to relive the feeling of a grown ass adult woman being the origin of every “how many [insert disparaged ethnicity/ gender/ occupation/ generation here] does it take to change a lightbulb?” joke.  I can change a lightbulb in the states, no problem.  Just so we’re clear.

Our shower room light died last year because that room is used for showers and as such the connections rusted and corroded.  Who’s surprised? We weren’t.  The “relocation expert” took days to bother getting someone lined up to come and fix it, so there was a week or so where the poor lighting lead to some “creative” leg shaving styles.  

A month ago the main light in our living room went out while The Mister was away with a navy commitment.  Determined to fix it myself, I push our arm chair underneath it so I can get a better look at the tiny kanji on the light shade instructing me to simply turn the shade clockwise to open it and access the bulbs.  I did this, but my gut told me it didn’t feel like it was turning “correctly” and so I let it go, admitted defeat, and contacted our “relocation expert.”  It took three days for any solution to get back to me; a duration of time that included me going to the Daiso to buy a stretchy headband and two little clip flashlights to make myself a headlamp by which to read.  

is it funnier if I keep pretending that's just a joke or
if I fess up and show you photographic evidence that I really did that?


The solution I eventually received was to simply keep turning, get the bulbs out and replace them, then twist the shade back on.  So.


*somewhere around here you may be noticing an outside force which seems to make every frustrating encounter I’ve had with our lighting a tad MORE frustrating.  I would touch on this further except I have actually tried to on 5 (FIVE!) different occasions to expand my thoughts on the subject and those writings are… well on every occasion that tangent has turned into a very ugly tirade.  To be clear, they make me laugh really hard and it helps me get the ick out of my system, but if I’m going to hell I don’t need to be dragging anyone with me.*


So. I’m back up on that arm chair and I did manage to get the shade off and the old bulbs out.  With NO ONE’S HELP I MANAGED TO FIND THE RIGHT BULBS FOR THE FIXTURE. (This is a personal win that I might have celebrated as if I had just received my first Oscar.)  
  
And then I went to put the shade back on while standing on an armchair, while on my tippy toes… and the entire fixture just unplugged from the ceiling and rested itself in my hands.

To reiterate, I am standing on my tippy-toes on an arm chair for all of this.  I can’t see to be able to line this stupid thing back up to plug it back into the ceiling.  We don’t have a ladder.  So I take a deep breath and do what I had tried so hard to avoid:  I call the “relocation expert.”  I explained I do not have a ladder or similarly sturdy structure in the house upon which I could stand to put the light back up.  That they need to get me help.  

Let’s long story short the ending - the response was “looks like you just need to plug it back in, good luck!” And so I waited another night or two until The Mister came back home from the navy, we went and bought a ladder, smashed into our little car, lugged it up to our little apartment, and we fixed the damn ceiling light ourselves.  Then, after joyously dancing around and double-fist-flipping-the-bird at the ceiling light, I proclaimed that I would NOT be dealing with another light bulb situation in this apartment; if something burned out we would just consider it mood lighting.  The Mister agreed, and we went out for Thai food.  It was good.  mmm, Pad Thai.

given the opportunity, I would gleefully 
become an endless looping gif of pad thai noodle consumption.

Yeah okay so then this morning the light in our entryway burnt out and there are zero windows there but also it is where the only full-length mirror is in the house and ugh it’s just one little lightbulb and we OWN a ladder now so I might as well.

This had every opportunity to go smoothly.  Old lightbulb out.  New lightbulb acquired.  New lightbulb in.  Switch on... and feel like I’ve leaped out of my skin because even though I did my part right the electricity is not going to the bulb but is instead zipping right into my finger through the light switch.  I shrieked.  I fell down.  I peed my pants a little.  It was a proud moment.

…I took a moment to get the rainbow of colorful language out of my system, and I have emailed the "relocation expert."  So let’s see where this goes.  Or not.  I mean, it’s a little hard to see in the dark. 

We’ll have to train Bubba to be a seeing-eye cat in that section of the apartment.



Random tangent I just have to share:  Today is Bubba’s 11th Birthday. He’s been along with me for over a decade and he’s still the most handsome little tabby cat who croaks instead of meows and holy gosh all the snuggles today to celebrate.  Sorry that we had to put you on a diet recently dude, but we gotta keep you in spec to weigh in as “carry on size” when we are all ready to leave Japan and come home.
 



*wait wait! where do we go from here?  I can promise that... I will try.  It will not be once a week, but I will try to be more frequent on this blog, and I suspect there will be more things to talk about as we prepare to go HOME, so stay tuned.  Meanwhile, I would remind you I am much more active on Instagram because it is very quick to update.  So.  You know, there's that.