Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I'm not sure why it bothered me so much, but I was very saddened to hear of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's passing today. I had been checking for updates on him fairly regularly, and I really thought he would make it.

Of course, some people say it's "just a horse" and there are bigger things to worry about. Yes, there is a war going on. Yes, there are thousands of people who die around the world due to starvation, violence, and illness without making a blip in the headlines. Yes, horse racing has some very brutal aspects to it that deserve more attention. And yes, there are hundreds of horses who die on the track each year without getting this much attention.

But sometimes we all want a miracle. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Rest in peace, Barbaro.

Culinary adventures in Tokyo

This past week has been full of culinary adventures!

The weekend started off with brunch at Au Temps Jadis with the lovely Montchan in from Sweden and the ever-amazing Tari!
We munched on yummy crepes and lots of free goodies thanks to Tari being a regular.

It was a great morning! Thanks, ladies, and hope you are having a great time in Tokyo, Montchan!

After brunch I met R and we had cake with Sebastian, a friend from Sapporo.

The cake was excellent, and the weather was fabulous, too! I got lost on the way to the restaurant despite having been there multiple times before, but all's well that ends well, right? :-)

Then tonight I went to a sayonara party for Karah. We just met in December (though we probably attended some of the same conferences in our previous jobs), and I wish I had met her earlier! The party was at Genghis Khan, an awesome Mongolian restaurant in Otsuka. The entire restaurant is made like a huge yurt!

Quite amazing interior!

The restaurant has Mongolian traditional clothing for all diners to wear, and the staff will even pick out a color for you.

Thanks to the awesome staff, a few rounds of a Mongolian drinking song, and lots of free vodka, everyone was having a good time.
Looking forward to my next dining adventure!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Some photos from Christmas

Better late than never, right?

Our adorable little Christmas tree!

A drive-through window at Starbucks, and a gorgeous blue sky!

Bijou looking handsome modeling his Christmas present - a quilted vest for chilly winter walks!


I've been delinquent about posting. Part of this is because I've been busy, and part of it is because I have felt like I have very little to blog about that is positive. I have been feeling a lot of stress recently due to circumstances which I cannot write about here for the time being, and I am trying to deal with it in healthy ways (i.e. ways that do not involve alcohol, overeating, Beverly Hills 90210 marathons on the couch, or other self-destructive behavior).

On the other hand, I had a great weekend which I will hopefully blog about later. Hope everyone's Monday is going well!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Progress report

At the risk of making this blog even more boring for my readers...

We are now in our fourth week of the New Year, and I must say I am doing better on my "projects" and goals than I thought I would. I thought I would share a progress report:

  • I have eaten breakfast every day in some form for the past two weeks: sometimes a banana, sometimes some yogurt, and on days when I've overslept a banana while running to the station (eating while walking/out in public is of course a big no-no in Japan so I try to be discreet in order not to shock my elderly neighbors). I must say that I have noticed a change in my energy level and I will definitely try to continue this. (I hesitate to write this because I don't want to jinx it, but I have also noticed that my pants are looser!! Yay!)
  • I have taken the first step toward joining a gym. A new one is opening in my neighborhood in April, and I have made a "reservation" to "sign up." The price scares me, but I try to tell myself it's an investment in my health and my future.
  • Although this is probably one of the least "cool" things a woman in her 20s can buy, I bought a crock pot and I am loving it! I can make a big batch of food on the weekends with minimal effort, and the leftovers help me avoid the temptation to eat trash for dinner on weekdays after I come home for work late and exhausted. I have tried to avoid recipes that require a lot of pre-packaged seasonings and broths that are high in salt, so I feel that this is a much more healthful option than what I used to eat.
  • Although I have yet to see concrete results, I have taken proactive steps toward accomplishing the mission that Ali, Mayuko, and Tari know about.
  • I have been making an effort to purge my apartment of unnecessary stuff by giving it away, donating it, or selling it. This is going to be a bigger and more long-term project than I thought.

And my new project for this week is.....(drumroll, please):

To wash my face every night!

Yes, I know this is a very basic thing that everyone should do, but I haven't been very good about this for the past couple of years. Whenever I feel tired or lazy it's been too easy to just brush my teeth and then call it a night, but my skin has suffered. The extra five minutes a night to wash my face before bed definitely count as an investment in my future as well!

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Technical difficulties

I changed my template! I like it a lot, but there's still a lot of tweaking I need to do.

Pardon the mess!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My project for this week

After puzzling over why I continue to gain weight despite my best efforts to eat as many fresh foods as possible and eat smaller portions, I have decided to try an experiment. I am going to try to eat breakfast every day! I'm thinking that this will give my metabolism a swift kick in the pants in the morning, and maybe my body will feel less of the need to hold on to every meal.

Now, this might sound silly to those of you who do eat breakfast every day, but considering that I haven't been in the habit of doing so since junior year of high school or so, this could be harder than it seems. My main problem is time. Every minute of my morning counts since I don't get up until I absolutely have to. So...I'm going to start small. A banana, for example, or a few bites of yogurt. In a pinch, I've decided that a glass of milk and a few crackers would even be ok.

I'll let you know how it goes! I don't have scales, so my measure of progress is how my pants fit me. If my pants get any tighter, I won't have any clothes to wear to work!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bring it on

Well, 2007 is upon us, folks! I had mixed feelings about this year...on one hand, it's unbelievably refreshing to have a metaphorical clean slate given that last year was quite challenging in more ways than one. On the other hand, however, it's a bit frustrating that it's already 2007 because there are some aspects of my life (mostly professional) that are not panning out as I imagined.

BUT!! A New Year is all about being positive and looking ahead, so I have vowed to turn over a new leaf. Bring it on, 2007, I say!! Seeing what is to come is exciting, and I can't wait.

I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, but I have decided to make some this year. They're not resolutions as much as guidelines (don't want to put too much pressure on myself - ha):

1. Keep track of my money with Microsoft Money or a kakeibo or something with the goal of paying off the remainder of my student loans
2. Join a gym by April and go three times a week (I decided to give myself the deadline of April so that I can work out how I'm going to pay for it through guideline 1 above)
3. Be more diligent about keeping in touch with friends (I love you all but I am horrible about email...I will try to be better!)
4. Be kind (especially to those who I often take for granted)
5. Be thankful for each and every day, experience, and feeling.

Guideline 4 was already tested twice this morning! The first time was when I got in the elevator in my apartment building. There was an older woman (who may or may not be my landlord...I'm not really sure) standing inside, and I said good morning (in Japanese). She then said, "A Happy New Year!" in English, and it surprised me. I should have replied with a "Happy New Year!" but instead I just smiled and nervously laughed. I am such a dork sometimes.

The second time was when I got to the train station. A fellow foreigner who lives in my neighborhood and has talked to me before came up to me on the platform and started talking. "Where are you from?" "How come I've never seen you before?" (Ummm....you have...) "Do you speak Japanese?" "What kind of work do you do?" I smiled and, remembering Guideline 4 and my failure to follow it in the elevator just moments before, did my best to answer his questions without giving away any personal information that could later be used against me. But then the questions changed. "Are you married?" "How old are you?" My cryptic answers weren't getting the message through to him that I felt uncomfortable, so I said goodbye and went on my way. Guideline 4 applies only when kindness is due.

What are your New Year's resolutions/guidelines?

Happy New Year, everyone!

P.S. Ali, don't worry - I made one more resolution that I haven't written on here just because I don't know who's reading this. It's the one that you just put into action! Congrats!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!! 2007 is here. How did you celebrate?

R and I celebrated with a bottle of champagne:

That may be part of the reason why I have a touch of a headache this morning...tee hee.

May 2007 be a year filled with peace, love, and happiness for everyone! Happy New Year!!

template by suckmylolly.com