I just found the very entertaining website Japander, where you can look at all the advertisements that American celebrities have done in Japan. I never gave this much thought before seeing Lost in Translation, but apparently it's very common.

All I can think about these days with Christmas coming up is food. I usually become more food-obsessed during the winter; I think it's due to a natural desire to store up fat and hibernate. I usually take this further than necessary though, giving up any sort of exercise until April, and eating as much and as often as possible throughout the SAD months of winter. The holidays only make it worse, because many of my favorite foods are connected to the winter holidays, so I feel that my only time to eat them is during this month. Yes, I realize I can bake spritz cookies and cardamom braided bread and gingerbread men anytime during the year, but they are connected to Christmas in my mind, and therefore I am craving them. I haven't actually done any holiday baking yet this year, but I foresee the day after Christmas turning into a baking frenzy in order to fulfill my holiday cookie desires. Chocolates have been appearing everywhere I go though, so at least my chocolate needs are satiated. I'm trying to save the egg nog in the fridge for Christmas day so that I won't need to buy more, since it's one of the most fattening substances known to man, but it's so yummy and you really can only buy it once a year, so I had to get a little bit. I'm not counting the two egg nog lattes I've already had this month... We're making a real actual turkey for Christmas (they were on mega-sale at Costco), so I'm trying to decide what to make to go along with it. Turkey is very exciting, because it means leftovers for days afterwards. With the weather cold and cloudy and gloomy, work overwhelming, and the days too short, a turkey sandwich, some cocoa and sweet bread and a few chocolates just seem to make it more worthwhile. And a good book. Now all we need is a fireplace... I don't know if we get the Seattle station that is airing a burning log during Christmas morning to make us feel warm and cozy, but it doesn't really matter, since it only airs til 10 AM, and considering I don't have to go to work - I probably won't even be awake yet. Bliss.


hurrah for shortened work weeks

One of the very best things about Christmas and New Year's - one week of only 3 days of work, and one week of only 4. Of course, after that we don't get an extra day off until Memorial Day, so I'm enjoying it while I can. This weekend was nice - unexpectedly got to actually spend some time with that guy I live with but never see, so it was good. Put up some Christmas lights and indulged in much chocolate. And got some smiles from the world's cutest baby. Knowing that I only have a few days this week makes sitting at this desk a lot easier. I'm really burning out on the whole day behind a desk thing. I'm starting to envy the people who come and do the groundswork - blowing leaves and such, because they are out and about, walking around in the fresh air. I should have learned to teach mountain climbing or something instead of yoga - there would be many more fresh air opportunities. I'm wishing there was some snow to make it feel a bit more like December. The forecast says there might be some in about a week! It is most likely wrong, but one can always hope.



Well, I was excited about Christmas. Until I spent the entire day Sunday in the mall and various other major chain retail stores like Barnes and Noble and Pier 1. I have always preferred cute little downtown local stores - I feel better about supporting a non-chain store, and they usually have neater stuff. But, due to the desire to get all the shopping for family done at one time, and having a limited budget that doesn't support the sometimes higher prices at little local stores, I hit the mall end of town. After standing in a line of about twelve people at the Orange Julius, about fifteen people at the yummy pretzel place, and about 45 people at the heavily scented lotion and potion store, not to mention many hours wandering around Target, Barnes and Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, etc. I am competely burned out on Christmas. And I never want to enter a mall again. However, the mission was accomplished and most of the shopping has been completed. I think it would've been far more pleasant had I been wearing better shoes - while Converse are stylish, after walking on the hard mall floors for several hours my back was aching and my feet hurt. Part of my problem is that it takes me five hours to decide what to buy someone, and then I obsess about whether it is the right choice, will they like it, will they use it? That's not what it should be about. They should appreciate a gift for the thought behind it. And I'm sure they do as much as I do. But I wish it didn't have to be so gift-focused at all. However, not everyone on my list thinks that way, and probably wouldn't appreciate my saying, well, I think it should be about the spirit of the season, so I didn't get you anything, but here are some warm fuzzy feelings. So, I bought them all some stuff instead. And now I'm eager to get on with life and in the years to come, do all my shopping online so I don't ever have to go to the mall again.


secret meanings of things

So, ever since I wrote a blog post eons ago in which I talked about a bunch of the toys/gadgets/clothing & accessories from the 80s, I've had loads of people ending up at my site who were searching for "jelly bracelets" or "black jelly bracelets" and other variations. I was wondering why on earth so many people were interested in searching for information on a pretty basic piece of jewelry that you can buy at Hot Topic for a couple of bucks. CNN has answered my question. Bizarre.

Another thing that people search for that tends to land them here is Catharsis Plungers. Apparently, I've used both those words at some point. These plungers are awesome though - I want one. The idea of shoving George Bush's head deep into my clogged toilet thrills me.

So, now all you people who are searching for these things - there's your links to all the info you need. Thanks for visiting.


he's the man

Did I ever tell you how cool my husband is? No? Well, here's an example of how cool he is. Yesterday when I got home from work, there was a big Christmas tree set up in the living room. Not decorated of course, because he knows I want to help with that part. And he hadn't even read my blog entry yesterday about how I wanted a tree. He's so cool. It's very exciting because this is our first (and probably last for quite a while) apartment with room for a tree, so this is my very first full-sized tree since I moved out of my parent's house. Yippee!


tis the season

I always used to wonder why everyone got stressed about the holidays. I'm starting to get it. It's hard to fit in shopping and shipping and decorating and cooking when you don't have time to breathe during the rest of the year. And I know none of that stuff is mandatory, but I love Christmas and everything that goes along with it, and I want to get a tree and decorate and make cookies, etc. It brings some light and warm feeling into a time of year that feels very bleak and cold and unhappy to me generally. So, my goal is to, you know, do all that stuff sometime soon here. I guess the financial issue of the holidays is the most stressful, but I'm willing to shell out $20 plus the cost of a stand for a poor dead tree that will stand in the living room for a few weeks before it is tossed onto a garbage heap. This weekend I will have a tree! I have tons of ornaments and that sort of thing because I get them as gifts every year, so I need something to put them all on. It seems kind of silly to haul the box of them around through moves and such if we don't use them. Not to mention how good a Christmas tree smells... So, there's my self-justification for why it's not silly to get a tree, to stress about shopping (what in the heck do I buy for my parents?) or to make three batches of cookies while I'm trying to eat healthy foods.

To help you get into the spirit of the season along with me, see 'tis the season, a very helpful site by a couple of great blogging sisters. They will answer any holiday questions and quandaries that you may have. And make you laugh your arse off as well.


And the sky was made of amethyst

I have nothing to say, but feel like I have some sort of obligation to put something in here. So - the JET applications are sent off, and now we just wait. Thanksgiving weekend was fun, had dinner and all that, then dim sum and then shopping at Uwajimaya that weekend. I discovered my new favorite food - yukimi daifuku, which is basically a ball of ice cream inside a covering of mochi. YUM. It even beats my old favorite, which was the mochi dumplings with sweet adzuki bean paste inside and sesame seeds on the outside. The Japanese class is over, but we may start private tutoring. Still need to get that worked out. Um, so, yeah. I think I'm going to go home tonight and put on some Nine Inch Nails and put up Christmas lights and all that decorative sort of crap. Or maybe I'll go Christmas shopping if I have a car. Or maybe I'll just rent a movie and be a couch potato. I have had too much caffeine today/yesterday - as I sit here I feel like my ankles are all floaty. It's kinda weird. So, what was the point of this post anyway...? Oh yeah, to absolve the guilt of not writing anything lately, and to subject anyone who might actually read this to my Friday stream-of-consciousness. Ooh, I could rent Pirates of the Caribbean. That's an exciting prospect. Johnny Depp in eyeliner... Here's an interesting series of articles from the Stranger on Courtney Love. The Live Through This album is yet another one that enabled me to survive high school. I can't tell you how many times I peeled out of the gravel parking lot with "When I went to school... in Olympia" blaring out the windows of my Pontiac Beelzabub. It helped so much to know that someone else felt that much resentment toward their high school, and I can guarantee you that Stevensville was worse than Olympia. Her other songs on the album are much more beautiful, inspired, and lyrical, and yes she can scream like no other. I practiced that throaty scream til my throat was raw, but I just didn't smoke enough to be able to replicate it. But a few years later, her glam plastic surgery and the album Celebrity Skin with that horrible Malibu song on it ended my infatuation entirely. She seemed to have completely become part of everything I loved her for hating. So, I moved on to Belly and other bands, but have never found anyone as beautiful in her ugly rebellion as Courtney was then.