Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It's the middle of winter now, in sort of melty/snowy Takaoka. I realize that I haven't updated in a very long time. The usual list of excuses are known "I was busy" "I had to study" "I couldn't be bothered to upload new photos and therefore had nothing interesting to share in this format." "I was sucked into the election news" etc

The truth is, life took priority over the virtual. That, I feel, is the most valid of excuses, so I am sticking with it.

Quick re-cap of what has happened during and since August:
  • Had an art adventure on Naoshima.
Kusama Yayoi's red and black "pumpkin" on Naoshima
  • My sister and brother-in-law came to visit Japan. It was a 2-week whirlwind. Kyoto, Nara, Toyama, takayama, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Osaka, Tokyo, Nikko, and they managed to squeeze in a quick swing by Himeji.

Beth and Brenndan in Nikko

  • Climbed Hakusan finally. It really is a beautiful mountain, especially in the early fall. Please note my ever-stylish soccer socks.

  • Had a crazy camping trip to Noto. There were marshmallows, native art, and more Thai-jin than we ever expected. J also discovered a scary trilobite critter, if anyone knows what it is, please enlighten us!

This cultural park had a great rolly-slide. Too bad it was covered in rotten cherries.

The mysterious trilobite creature...

I am a chicken on slippery rocks when drunk on wine in the dark.
  • Went to Hida and Takayama in search of a wooden Godzilla sculpture I once saw.

aforementioned Godzilla

Hida warehouse and fall leaves

just some koi

J and his new friend tanuki-chan

  • Studied my ass off for JLPT's 2kyu test only to be turned away from the testing site because I didn't open my envelope beforehand to realize I had been bumped to Kanazawa. Complete failure on my part.
  • Cracked my laptops LCD screen, so now I have a thrillingly annoying "black bubble" effect going on. I am too cheap to just buy a new computer.
  • Took the Shin Nihonkai Ferry to Hokkaido, was great fun (we think we saw a seal off the coast, too)! Spent Christmas in Sapporo and New Year's in Niseko on the slopes.

outside of the Sapporo beer garden


J drawing kanji in the sand along the shore east of Otaru

  • Had a PA seminar in Tokyo, so brought J along for the weekend and visited old friends and a professor who was very giving of his time.
  • Spent the night in a tiny little minshuku in Toga. Had an amazing ungroomed first day of powder, followed by a mediocre yet fun 2nd day of groomed slopes.
  • Practiced my cooking A LOT in the past 6 months. Homemade muffins, cupcakes, breads, pita, tortillas, pies, various lasagnas, mousakkas, hummus, soups, and curries. It's been a fattening time!
  • Watched all the snow melt in 20C weather last week, and am now crossing my fingers that the temp will continue to drop.

I am going to fiddle with posting some recipes on here, and see if that lures me to the computer more often.

Till next time...

Friday, February 13, 2009

In my Absence, I dream

3 of us were traveling together. 2 had bones broken, and were taken in by a man who seemed to be gentle, and offered us spaghetti sauce later that day. He healed our broken legs with a gun. He had a small dog, which seemed to switch between happy and nervous. I wandered outside while the man was preoccupied, and saw a neighbor. I walked to him and asked how the man treated the dog. He said that the man was lovely to the dog as long as it remained inside, but once it stepped foot out the door, the man became extremely violent. I began to worry, and simultaneously noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was a 3-4 foot tall jet black creature. It was all legs, slowly making it's way down the street like an ink-drenched alien spider. I was afraid. I questioned the neighbor about this monster as well. He said it was a "wethen" and it fed on spaghetti sauce, which is what you are having for dinner. It knows what you are having for dinner, it can smell it. I started running for the house. Slamming the screendoor behind me, I screamed for the others. The wethen clawed at the door and shrieked at an ear-piercing pitch. It pushed me over and broke through the door, only to jump on the face of my friend. Flashforward: the man somehow subdued the wethen, and placed it in my friend's arms as she sat on the couch. He instructed her to bite each of it's arms. I ran from the room. I couldn't understand why they trusted the man. If he and the wethen feed on the same thing, there is something in him to fear.