It looks like Bito's going to take the fall for the school thing, according to episode 2. And only because these fucking cops have a grudge? deep buried mancrush? for him. I don't really get why he doesn't like to be touched--so what, the first girl you had a crush on kept saying you were dirty. You haven't touched anyone since then? Maybe he was abused or something. I think that might be asking for too much, even from TBS. And I don't really get why Hana is so enamoured with him. Chalk it up to her being 18, I guess. We'll see what develops tonight.
I need to find a better way to make carbonara. I don't think the egg cooks enough in the hot oil and it cools down way too fast. This time tasted the best though in all the times I've cooked it. But now my tum is not happy with the eggs. :(
Tonight's menu: (leftover) curry, asparagus, macaroni salad. I should get the salad going at least so that it's got a chance to cool off. I need to get out my Ryouri Navi and check the recipe. Maybe I can find something to do with my aspara in there.
Elementary school tomorrow. I probably won't be doing anything but going over the new materials and meeting classes. I don't have anything to teach them so they better not expect much from me.
Last episode of Entourage just finished! I get so wrapped up in it, it's terrible. I wanted to watch Hamonep (Hamony Nepleague) last night but I totally spaced and missed it. It looked really good! I wonder if there are videos on Youtube. And where's my new ep of Top Model?
Chapter 12 word count: 1,130
As I was saying to trivialaffair today, it's probably a good thing this is the last chapter because I'm getting reluctant to write it. I don't hate Eq (yet) but I am not so excited to write it anymore? I'll be glad to finish it and move on to something else. Though I have it all planned out already so I don't know why it takes so much effort to get to it. It might have something to do with the heaviness of this last part. I've never written someone dying before.
I didn't have any classes today due to finals but I hardly got anything written. I did some research for Tomoko and talked to Jun. He said he might come back to Toyochu next year but he doesn't know yet; the BOE will make their annoucement in March about placements. He might get moved back to high school. Then I went out for lunch with the 3rd year teachers to this awesome pizzaria. Set lunch included salad, pasta and pizza, a drink and dessert for ￥1550! It's near Basha Michi, where we went last time, on the #1 bus route.
I will write a bit more before Himitsu at 10. I'll try to hit 1,500.
I decided I want to eat yakiniku for my birthday so I sent off a reservation request to Gyuukaku. They should call me tomorrow to confirm it? I will have Andrew call anyway and confirm the number since I don't actually know how many people will come. Probably not all the 8 that I counted.
Also, we're going to Korea for a 5-day trip at the end of March. I'm really excited. I did some reading on Travel Wiki today and that psyched me up even more. :) I have to go to immigration to get a re-entry visa two weeks before we go (on Graduation Day) but otherwise, I'm good. I should probably buy some won now since the rate is so wonderful (although it probably doesn't change much?). W1000 is Y86!
I was going to make nikujaga for dinner tonight but then I didn't really know what to eat with it. And I'm too hungry now and don't want to wait an hour for it to cook. Though, I don't think the leftover thai I have is going to fill me up at all.
Got new AV cables and 28 Dresses to test them out. The sound wasn't too terrible for my CSI marathon last night though...
Oh yeeeeea. 2 hours down to 20 minutes. Amazing.
I bought stuff to make my mushi pan. I just bought a sifter to turn upside down in the pot from the 100 yen shop. I don't know how well that's going to work but... we're going to try. I might have to suck it up and go buy a proper bamboo steamer tomorrow. I was looking on line and steamer pots are like 5000 yen! I swear we could buy steamer racks back home. And we don't even steam food in North American cooking for the most part. But I had one with my rice cooker so I know they exist. This bothers me immensely that I can't find one here. We'll have to make due.
I need a cooking icon. Too bad Totsugeki Bangohan doesn't exist in HD. Why don't they release Mago Mago Arashi on DVD? Seriously. I would buy that shit in a heartbeat.
Time to eat dinner and bake!
I found a few recipes for brown sugar mushi pan. I want to try making it! But I don't think I have the right pan for it? I don't think you're supposed to have the cups sitting directly in water so I might have to invest in a new pan for that. And then I could try making chawan mushi and Sho's green pea custard. :D I have most of the ingredients for this so maybe I'll pick the rest up tonight. I'm suppsed to bring a "present" or something to Tomoko's on Saturday. Some homemade sweets that aren't so sweet or typical? No hearts here. Maybe I'll try adding chocolate chips to it. I'll post about it and how it goes with pictures.
I've more or less straighted up my room... now to move on to the bathroom and kitchen. The kitchen is alright, I just have to do the floor and I should wipe down the counter. I did the dishes this morning. But the bathroom.... I thought I just cleaned it. Well, like... less than a month ago? I guess I didn't do such a good job. >_> I've got my list together for shopping as well so I can do that before picking K up at the staton.
I bought running shoes yesterday. If I want to get fit I need them since I know my ankles aren't so great (from those basketball days) and my gran has knee problems so I probably will too. They were only 6800 yen for Nike so I went for it. However, now my bank balance is below my float which freaks me out. It's not like I'm broke but it makes me nervous to have so little now. I told myself I can't take out more money until payday which is this weekend, thankfully. If I have to eat soba for the next few days, so be it.
I need an upbeat playlist to clean to.
I haven't gotten around to rewatching Marathon yet... but I did see the news clip for Door to Door. I'm really looking forward to this special. I wonder how long it will take to be subbed. Stormy is probably doing it and how long did they take to do Marathon? Ugfkjgfs.
It's Ariel's birthday tomorrow. Justin and I are going over and we're going to cook dinner and watch Mean Girls. :D I don't know what I'm going to do for mine... if anything. It's on a Thursday and I think my liver could use a rest still from my last drinking experience. The only good thing about that night is that I didn't barf.
I don't even know when Andrew and Ben are getting back from Cambodia. I think next week sometime. Asshole didn't even text me to say they were leaving.
I should join Justin on his Sexy Body diet. Ideally, I'd like to go back to Canada 10lbs (or 10kg?) lighter and have everyone be like "Wow! You're so hot now!" Or something. But I love carbo-loading.
But I did get to try some new veg: chrysanthemum leaves.
I take that back. The egg cuts down the sweetness.
( So I went a bit mental with the pictures... )
The salad was super simple to make -- it's not really a salad so much as a dessert. I never really knew what to do with persimmons. The lemon gave it a nice fresh bite that balanced out the sweetness of the honey; it tasted a bit like pineapple. I only used 1 heaping tablespoon of honey and it was bordering on too sweet. The plain in yogurt in Japan comes with sugar that you add yourself so if you can, get unsweetened plain yogurt or use less honey to compensate for the sweetness. I would probably use two persimmons next time too.
The gratin... was bland. I ended up drizzling cesar dressing on top to give it some flavour. Otherwise, the topping was nice and crunchy and the pasta was nicely cooked and the sauce was nice and creamy. Maybe I'll add some paprika and basil next time. Otherwise, two thumps up!
Dinner was great. I only wish I had cooked more... I met Andrew and Bruno in Shinjuku around 11 and we did grocery shopping. We were in the supermarket for about 45 minutes, picking up all the ingredients we needed and debating about a few things. We had to ask for a whole raw chicken from the meat counter specifically because they only had cooked ones. And then wandered around Shinjuku looking for pie crust (or pie "sheets" as they call them here) for another 45... we went to three different department stores before being told we could find them on the 8th floor of Keio department store. There's a specialty baking shop there! You can get pizza crust, cakes, dough, and any tool/utensil under the sun. We got back to Takadanobaba around 12:30 and started to get our cook on.
I made kabocha potage again (but it wasn't as flavourful as the last time I made it, but everyone liked it), mashed potatoes, roast chicken, stuffing, gravy. The chicken came out perfectly! It only took an hour and a half and the meat just fell off the bones when I went to carve it. And the stuffing was moist and fluffy~ I should have cooked the potatoes longer, that's the only thing. They were a bit hard to mash and I like my potatoes really whippy. And even without the neck and giblets, the gravy was pretty tasty.
Andrew made pumpkin (kabocha) pie and it turned out awesome this time. The last time it didn't set up so it was more like... pumpkin mousse. We decided against buying cloves because he was never going to use them except for making pie but I think we should have. I like my pumpkin pie to be spicy. The texture was perfect though! I took pictures; maybe I'll post them later.
I was a bit late getting home but I mangaged to talk with my friend Heather on Skype at midnight for an hour or so and that was really great. I should make a point of doing that more often since I have a webcam finally, after all these years.
Today, I watched a crapload of D no Arashi and did laundry. Tomorrow, I have no classes so... I don't mind being tired since I won't be doing anything anyway. I'm going to try and write a bit now (which I have been saying all day, I know) and then watch Shukudai-kun. It's on at 12 for once; tonight's guest is Sekai no Nabeatsu. I have heard this name so much lately and I don't know who the fuck it is. Tonight, I'm going to find out!
je_ficgames, I will finish you!
Got new flipflops from Tokyu Hands to replace mine but the vest I was going to get was gone today! I should have just bought it yesterday when I saw it. You snooze, you lose I guess. Damn.
I got a recipe book today as well! I was flipping through it on the train back from Keigo's and there are so many delicious looking things! I think I should start a food blog for all the posts I write about food. There are a good handful I want to try. It's an "autumn recipe book" so I can use all the vegetables that are on the shelves now. I sent an invite out to Nikki, Amanda and Sachiyo for them to come to dinner on Sunday but I bet they will all have plans already. Andrew is useless to cook for because he hates all vegetables.
It's 7pm... I should cook. I got some fish yesterday and I have carrots that need to be eaten... I should look through my new book to see if there are any good salmon things I can make. :D And then... more Zelda. Or I might hanker down and read more Bill Bryson tonight. Or maybe study. Andrew registered for his kanken test, I suppose I should do the same. Closer to home this time since we won't be tested at the same time anyway.
Michelle might be coming to Japan in the fall. Excited! She said September but I don't know if she meant this September (as in, now) or next September.
Saturday when to Hiroo and had my 3rd treatment and met Justin for dinner. I had a really fun conversation with the nurse for like half an hour about Japan and pop culture. And you bet JE came up. X3 She's asked me who my favourite actor was and I said Nino and she was like "What? Why!" Ahaha... he is a great actor and cute (even if he looks like he's 13). Went back to the restaurant Andrew and I found when I was there last and while it was good... the オススメ menu wasn't a great as the last time. I was a bit disappointed but had some really great mushroom risotto. Met up with Andrew and went back to his place and studied and watched some Star Trek before bed. I fucked up and thought that Rie had planned Taka's birthday party for Sunday night but actually it was Saturday so I missed it. I was probably going to bail anyway if it had been Sunday... I don't feel so bad blaming it on my sheer retardedness rather than just being too tired/cheap to go.
The test was great. I got off at the wrong station and had a little freak out but the officer at the koban was very nice and helpful. It was only another 10 minute walk to where I needed to go in the first place and once I got to the right route, I just had to follow all the people. I thought the test was at 11:30 but actually it was 11:50 so I had lots of time to spare. Went to the wrong room at first; I read the sign where all the test numbers were posted correctly but for some reason thought that 1102 was on the 2nd floor... another blonde moment. I've been really bad for those this weekend. But the woman beside me said I was in the wrong place and another took me down and showed me where I should go. When I walked in all the kids were like "Eehh? Sensei?" (They must have ALT's too) It was a bit awkward because I knew all eyes were on me as they showed me to my seat. I was expecting it, since I wrote the test for 2nd grade kanji but it's different when you are experiencing it in real life.
It was easy! There weren't any questions I didn't know but I did make one mistake for sure. I'm confident that I passed and maybe in the high 90's! I just have to wait patiently for the results to come. It was really irritating because the kids were whispering to each other and asking to go to the bathroom through the whole test. Why didn't you go before? It's 40 minutes! Can't you sit still and hold it until it's over? I know it's a test for kanji at a low elementary level and they were all 7-8 years old, but it really took away from the seriousness of the test. I was so tempted to look over to the kid beside me and shush him but I refrained.
Came home and caught up on my fic reading and watched a Hanadan special on TV... Just was lazy. I wanted to get a load of laundry done but it was rainy and shitty so I couldn't. I went to bed at 10pm and woke up on my own at 5:30 this morning. I could have gotten up but decided I liked sleep better. I'm expecting a pretty relaxing week at school. Midterm exams are on Thursday and Friday so I anticipate having more than a few classes cancelled for self-study, especially for 2nd and 3rd years. Fine by me. With this plot bunny in my head, I'll have my own thing to work on. I could be ambitious and take my Japanese textbooks to school and keep on doing some studying. I want to write the level 8 test in October and unlike 2nd year where I could already read half of them, the 3rd year words are pretty new to me.
Tomorrow's menu: Rachel Ray's Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with Sesame Noodles At least there are real instructions and not what I can see on the screen and I already know I have to cut it in half because it's a 4-serving recipe.
3 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/2" strips
1 egg (room temp)
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (room temp)
2 tbsp heavy cream (room temp)
1 glove garlic, grated
3~4 tbsp olive oil
1. Bring salted water to boil. Cook spagetti for 5~7 minutes. Pasta should be al dente. Drain water, set aside.
2. While pasta is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add cheese and cream and mix well. Set aside.
3. Heat oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Fry garlic until brown. Add bacon and fry until crisp.
4. Add pasta to frying pan, coating well with oil mixture. Cook for a few minutes until heated through.
5. Turn pasta into a bowl and pour egg mixture over the hot pasta. Toss well. The heat of the oil and pasta will cook the egg through just enough. Arrange on a plate, garnish with parsley. Serves 1.
It looks pretty damn good in the picture, doesn't it? It was surprisingly easy! I finally found a recipe that didn't require a pre-heated dish (because I don't even have a toaster oven) but it might have been better because in the 5 minutes it took to take the picture, it was already getting cold. It was really cheesey and heavy. I would eat twice that much if it was meat sauce or tomato sauce. Next time I will only use 2 tbsp of cheese and 1 tbsp of cream and see how it goes. I could have laid off the oil a little bit and cooked the bacon longer and used the bacon fat instead; it would have given it a nice flavour. But for a first attempt, I'm rather impressed. And so far, I'm not feeling ill so that's a plus. I was so full after that I didn't even eat the salad I bought.
It's only 7 so I'm going to settle in for a Heroes marathon. Mohinder, my foxy love! I'm coming! I'm feeling sleepy already, damn that heavy pasta, but I'm going to soldier on and maybe even write a bit later. I got back into my groove. Maybe I'll write another minor pairing (though the lack of comments makes me cry), like Aiba/Ohno or Aiba/Nino. I guess Aiba is a monogomist of sorts: he's usually paired with Sho or Jun. I haven't seen many other variations.
I ordered new shoes from Marui. I had looked a while back and saw a pair (that fit!) for like 6000 yen but they weren't there today because all the new spring stuff is in. But I did find the "model" section - "Plus Size" in Japan. Not only for "overweight" people but for taller people who have feet bigger than 24.5cm. I found the same style but I was looking for a fun colour like red or green. They had turqoise... but it didn't call to me. So I asked the lady and she said she could order a pair from another store. :D Pretty red shoes on Wednesday! I'll be like Dorothy. I thought about white heels, but they would get dirty. And I didn't want black because I have so many black shoes already (although I'm buying these to replace my black ballet flats). There goes 7,900 yen.
Then I went to the grocery store. I decided to cook Hawaiian Hamburger Steak Bowls for dinner so I had to stock up on a few things. I ended up getting stuff to make Mapo Eggplant as well. I spent like 20 minutes staring at labels in the condiment section of Nagasakiya. I didn't find Worchestershire sauce though. Or rather I forgot to look, but luckily Bulldog (a Japanese sauce brand) makes one so I didn't have to shell out for the "real stuff". Not that I would have been able to find it anyway.
Stopped off at the dollar store to get some tupperware and measuring spoons. Got some DVD's. I wanted to rent The L Word because that streaming site Andrew told me about is CRAP. It takes twice as long (or more) to load as it does to watch the freaking thing. Unfortunately, the first season won't be released until the 19th. Damn. So I rented two discs of CSI: Miami season 2 and No Reservations because I wanted to watch a chick flick.
Lastly, I went to Bic Camera and picked up my digital camera. Fuck. It took them long enough. I thought they would give me shit because I didn't have the reference number or the repair reciept but he just took my phone number and that was it. 6900 yen later... I finally got to download all those retarded drunk pictures from our hotel party when Carla was here in January. Oh. My. God. I didn't think we were that drunk. And now our escapades are immortalized on Facebook for all to see.
I finished my painting! Tada~
And here was my dinner: Hawaiian Hamburger Steak Bowl and Bok Choy with Black Vinegar.
I got home around 5 after grocery shopping and have spent the entire afternoon dicking around the Arashi comm's and transcribing the lyrics from the Utaban performance. Thanks be to Yvonne for telling me about that word processer because it makes looking up kanji by radical much easier than listening 46329 times to try and catch the word. I just need to figure out how to turn on the furigana because they insist on using the randomest readings. Jerks.
I should cook but I am forever faced with the same dilema: I don't want to do the dishes in the sink. I also snacked on these delicious treats from Pesto bakery I picked up this morning. Some kind of Okinawan thing made with black sugar... basically its bread soaked in molasses or something sweet and left to harden. Like a giant, sweet, crunchy crouton. Divine. Will definitely be eating more of those in the future. I am also sufficiently caffinated. Thus, I am not hungry. But I need to cook that chicken and daikon or it too, like everything I seem to buy, will go off before I can eat it. If I cook it at least, it'll keep for a few more days and I can eat it later.
So, the maelstrom that was Nova is finally over and the dust is beginning to settle. I've moved out of the Nova apartment in Abiko to a one-room (literally) place in Kashiwa. It's small by Canadian (and even Japanese?) standards, at a whopping 16.36m^2. It's probably smaller than those Marine Drive studios actually. But I like it. I'm getting some furniture delivered tomorrow so I'll be able to make this place feel more homey tout suite. I've got a kitchen that consists of a mini-bar fridge, one electric burner and sink with a 2 shelf cupboard above. I cooked dinner for the first time tonight and it took a lot of planning an maneuvering, deciding what to cook first. Beside the kitchen, next to the door, is a closet that is meant to house a washing machine, which I will probably never buy. Right now, it's where I chuck my dirty laundry and store my suitcase. There is a geta hako (lit. geta box; geta are traditional Japanese slippers) or shoe cupboard on the other side of the door, next to the shower room. It's a tightly packed bathroom, essentially. Everything gets a bit wet when you take a shower because there is no curtain (I should probably get a tension rod and curtain for that purpose). There's a bit closet that fits my clothes, extra futon (for guests) and assorted crap that I brought/accumulated over the last 3 months. It's on the ground floor, but I still get a balcony to hang laundry and survey the street. Even though I'm only a 10 minute walk from the station, it feels like small-town neighborhood Japan; what Japan should REALLY look like. I guess? That's what Andrew and Yvonne said. There is a convenience store on the next street, and a laundromat up the road so I'm pretty set. Anything else I could want is 10 minutes away. I haven't explore the area too extensively yet - I've been up to my eyeballs in errands and meeting people and running around. I went to one of the big malls in Kashiwa today and picked up some furniture (all I have to my name is a futon and plastic set of drawers) which is being delivered tomorrow. Pictures to follow tomorrow.
This month was going to be a bit of a holiday for me. My new job at IES wasn't scheduled to start until December so I got a few part-time stints teaching and a few private lessons and was going to sit tight. However, IES called me and needed a substitute teacher immediately for some elementary schools, at Y12,000 a day, so I jumped on it. Kept me busy, and got a feel for this ALT job (although, junior high will be different). That finished on Friday, so now I get a 2 week break before starting for real. It's going to be busy though: now that I've moved, I have to change my address everywhere, including city offices and get a new gaijin card and set up house. I've got a bit of training for the new job also to do, but will only be 1 day next week.
Yvonne came out this weekend to celebrate her birthday with me and Andrew. She's got a JET conference today, tomorrow and Wednesday, but came a bit early and we went to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba on Saturday night. An onsen is a Japanese hot spring, or communal bath. It was awesome! This place was decked out to look like the Edo period and everyone wore yukata. We didn't get to go to the outdoor baths, since it was too late, but we stripped off and tested out all the different baths. Unfortunately, there wasn't any co-ed ones, so Yvonne and I had to ditch Andrew for a while. We took ridiculous pictures, of course, making total asses of ourselves. On Thursday, Yvonne and I are taking a trip to Nikko. We're staying 1 night, and going to hit up all the sights there. It'll be my first real trip in Japan, outside of Tokyo. I'm so excited! It's only going to be about 100$, and right before a national holiday so we got a pretty good deal. I'll have loads to write about!
After getting back to Kashiwa yesterday afternoon, Yvonne helped me get a haircut since I was long overdue. The guy asked me if I dye my hair because he said it looked damaged. WTF! This is the first time in years that I actually don't have ANY dye in my hair so it should be healthy as a baby's bottom. But hairdressers in Singapore used to say that to me all the time too, "Your hair feels dry". I think he was full of crap. And besides, how many white customers does he work on? Fool doesn't know what he's talking about.