Nothing super-exciting happened today, unless one factors in that, like it or not, just being in Japan makes everything super-exciting.
Today, Thomas and Tabitha played RockBand2 on XBoxLive with Andrew, Peter and Joe. It’s hilarious to me that my 1st and 2nd grader are perfectly playing and belting out words to songs before their time like, “Shooting Star” and “Eye of the Tiger”. XBoxLive certainly adds to the depth of enjoyability – to be able to play with your friends and family on the other side of the world!
After responding to some various loose-ends in PA, we bundled up and set out for the two-hour mountainous trip to Misawa AFB. Most of the roads were decent, but on the more remote curves through the forest areas the sun doesn’t reach the pavement enough to completely melt through the ice. By nightfall, it was particularly slick and we did see a one-car accident being cleared off of a section of road with a dropoff — thankfully, this section had a guardrail (they don’t always around here!) and the car had stopped upon impact.
Because the weather here can be so treacherous, some of the roads between here and Misawa actually close. Tonight, we stocked our pantry and new freezer to the tune of $356.00.
I tried tongue tonight at dinner. I think it was cow’s tongue, but I’m not exactly sure. It was sliced very thin, and we cooked it on our grill at our table. Leah’s highchair was unfortunately right in front of the gas knob – so as she would “bump into it” with her foot, the fire would flare up or wither accordingly. Tom grilled and ate skewered tiny octupi – whereas the octupus I ate was battered and fried in one of my new favorite snacks, takoyaki. They are little fried dumplings of octupus and chive goodness, drizzled with mayonnaise and a hoisin-type sauce, topped with more chives and wafer thin bonito fish flakes that twitch from the heat of the takoyaki as if they were alive. Some places only lightly fry the takoyaki, and so the uncooked dough oozes out as you attempt to pop it whole into your mouth. However, I prefer that they are a little “overcooked”, so that they stay intact and my mouth doesn’t get scorched with scalding but not yet breadlike batter.
Throughout dinner, Leah became increasingly squirmy. Time revealed that her princess-pullups weren’t so beautiful, and neither were her leggings. I changed her using packs of disposable oshibori from our table to clean up the mess. I confess, I was the one that left the stinky diaper in the restaurant’s trash. Sorry! There was no way it was going to sit in the car for two hours and induce a vomiting reaction x 7!
I find myself enjoying listening to the audiobook rendition of Harry Potter during our cartrips. We’re about 1/4 of the way through book three, Prisoner of Azkaban. One thing I appreciate about Rowling’s writing is her character development. As she described Professor Lupine, she described him as unusually sleepy during the daytime. It’s not till nearly the end of the book does the reader find out what he turns into at night. When character’s identities or plots are revealed, it always seems to fit together beautifully and I look forward to each cluelike morsel.
Well, it’s off to bed. Today we learned that the driving class is tomorrow at 10am at Misawa. Tom is required to take this class, essentially a crash (lets hope not!) course in Japanese driving etiquette and street signs, in order to purchase a car in Japan, as a foreigner. The only difference is that we have to leave the house by 7:30am to be there on time.
I’m off to bed. I’m reheating the bathwater from last night for a warm-me-up soak before bed. There is a little switch in my living room connected to the hot water system in the bathroom. I can see that the water temp is at 42 Celsius by the indicator light :)