Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shiba World

Photobucket2011 Mameshiba Calendar 
Mitsu is bed-less because she destroys them, and towel-less because she pees on them. So she is left with the hardwood floor or our laps. Here, she is nestled between my calves, on her back, teeth exposed. Also photographed are my fleece socks, which I've realized, after living in the Midwest for 26 years, are absolutely necessary in the winter. Do they come in non-hippie, non-40 year old mom prints? (I'm sure they do, but I don't actually care. Warmth is my priority!)

Today, we went to the vet so she could get some more puppy vaccination shots and to check on her heart murmur. The vet reports that she no longer hears the murmur! Unfortunately though, Mitsu was not treated to Gerber baby food like she was during her first visit. She got rid of her murmur, allowed the vet tech and vet to probe and prick her, and all she got were some cookies! Life is so hard for a sweet faced puppy. So I gave her the beloved chicken and chicken gravy baby food when we got back. After playing with her millions of toys, and after I did my nails and after Mordecai played Metal Gear Solid 4, she got sleepy and sweet, like nectar, like her name.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decorations

I'd say "Holiday Decorations," but the menorah was put away earlier and I think the Hanukkah candle holders should not be near so many flammable objects.

At the request of Mordecai's mom, we assembled some decorations. We got a little rosemary tree from Trader Joe's, and Mordecai found an animatronic tree that sings "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" at Walgreens. It was one of those moments where one of us says, "Look at this silly thing" and then it ends up home with us. This reminds me of someone, who, despite the addition of the puppy, is still a star member of our pack:
The tree's eyes reminds me a little of Doraemon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Puppy Frosting

That's a lot of cupcakes. I made red velvet cupcakes but with Emily's cream cheese frosting: 
1/2 pound (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer until fluffy then add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and mix well. Then, try not to eat it all.
As usual, Emily's cupcakes are better. At least my frosting is sufficiently good.

Tomorrow is TRON LEGACY in 3D for IMAX. And laundry. And the usual puppy antics. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Do you know about Shibas?"

Our breeder experience went well, so I'm going to share our little story we've got so far. This is also for Phoebe, who is apparently in the market for a little poodle! And maybe Wesley!

My previous, limited experience with breeders involved finding one at the dog show at Chicago's McCormick Place in February. This seems a good way to meet breeders and to see their dogs' dispositions, but I wasn't willing to wait until February. After figuring out which breeders were in the Midwest and approved by official figures (AKC, National Shiba Club of America), I started contacting breeders in the early fall, asking about litters and providing some information about me and Mordecai. Actually, everyone ignored me, so I was getting a little nervous. Were Shibas in such high demand?! Was I going to have to prove in some helicopter mom way that I was a fit owner?! Momoko did say that she had to be "selected" to own her puppy from her New York breeder, and this breeder wanted a survey filled out (which I did, and which was ignored). Finally, Mordecai called Glenchester Kennels. They made sure we knew about the breed, but didn't drill us about ourselves. We were placed on a waiting list, but somewhere at the ass end. So we watched their website and our emails for updates, and eventually anticipated a puppy from either Spirit's litter, born at the end of September, or Danica's litter, born at the beginning of October.

Spirit's litter: Who knew we'd get the one that first caught our eye, "Darkest Muzzle"?
Debbie and Mark diligently kept us updated with many pictures of their growth, from when they looked like guinea pigs to when they looked like miniature wolf pups. We arranged for a late November pick-up, aiming for some time around Thanksgiving. A lot of friends and family started asking us about which gender we wanted. I initially wanted a boy, because I wanted to name it Felix (after 2010 AL Cy Young winner King Felix Hernandez). But I knew that it wasn't necessarily a good idea to get fixated on something superficial, that it had more to do with matching personalities, and anyway, Mordecai did not care at all either way. So eventually I softened up to the idea of a girl, and since there were so many girls in both Spirit's and Danica's litters (8 out of 10 puppies were girls), we figured we'd end up with one. After waiting for so long, we stopped caring about genders, and just longed for A PUPPY in our house. But thinking about it now, it's good that we got a girl because so many of her dog friends will be boys (Oji, Jackson, Boba), and the breeder mentioned potential same-sex aggression in Shibas.

Around the time we figured out we were likely getting a girl, my mom thought of the name "Mitsu," taken from the word "hachimitsu," which means honey, or literally, bee nectar. It looks like (according to my observations at ShibaInuForm.org) everyone who has a Shiba has to name it something Japanese, and I had long been needing to do this as well. Mitsu is easy to pronounce, as it's contained in known Japanese names (Mitsubishi, Mitsuwa), so we were leaning towards Mitsu. (Other contenders were Strawberry, Ichigo ["strawberry" in Japanese], Josée [from "Josée, the Tiger, and the Fish"; apologies to Sean!]).

Left, Mitsu; Right, Poo Monster Dud
It turned out the one I thought was a boy was one of the remaining two puppies we could choose from. Our other choice was her lighter coated littermate with rounder eyes. The latter presented a couple of problems right away. One was that she had a heart murmur, which we were told would most likely go away. The other was that we observed her go potty in the breeder's living room, and after she relieved herself, she proceeded to begin EATING what she just excreted. This is apparently a habit picked up from their mother, who is particularly meticulous about cleanliness. I've read that Shibas are very careful about being clean, sometimes prancing around puddles, avoiding the rain, etc., so I wasn't entirely disgusted. "Darkest muzzle" also seemed tempted to join the fecal adventures, but she hesitated and missed her chance.

Goodbye Poo Monster and Keeper (breeders' pick of the litter)!
Mordecai was turned off by the Poo Monster Dud, so we were more prone to picking "Darkest Muzzle." We (and others) had thought she was the cutest of the bunch from previous pictures, so it was nice to see her remain an option for us. She seemed very outgoing, friendly, and cautious but optimistic about unfamiliar territory. I was also impressed that she let pretty much anyone hold her, play with her paws, gums, and even trim her nails with a dremel. I've read that Shibas are not particularly cuddly, so I was drawn to the possibility of contact. And finally, the breeder said that she looked like a good Shiba. Her ears taper forward a little and are well-proportioned, her hind legs bend well, and her eyes are triangular instead of almond (Asian eyes!). If they were keeping two puppies from the litter, the breeder said, Mitsu would have been her second pick. I wonder what her other three littermates were like, especially as they transition into their new homes.

Mitsu's penthouse
I was afraid that Mitsu would have a hard time in the car ride home from Ohio, that she would have a hard time in a new environment, that she wouldn't like being crated at night, etc. But so far, she's been totally fine with car rides; she immediately claimed her crates, bed, toys; and she's allowed us to sleep at night by crying for only a couple of minutes in her crate. It's also been relatively easy to potty train her, as the Shiba literature indicated would happen. Her confidence in herself and her new surroundings is growing, and she's starting to get a bit feisty. One of the current challenges is being able to leave her alone in her giant crate (it's Yuki's old crate, so it's for an Akita, which means she has a mansion of a den space for Mitsu). The main challenge though is to make sure her will never triumphs over ours, partly because she's a Shiba and partly because she's a puppy. I like how people ask us, "Do you know about Shibas?" as if we're gonna be like, "Oh really? They're stubborn and willful and hard to train? My, thank you for informing me!" Child, please! I know how to read a book and use the Internet. I appreciate it, but don't. Anyway, I can already tell what kind of trouble we've gotten ourselves into, and I'm always busy thinking about how to erase bad habits, effective immediately! I got this!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


She's here! Our Hanukkah Puppy!

The six hour ride home went rather smoothly. But I'm so exhausted, mostly from worrying, anxiety, and driving in crappy weather, rather than actually taking care of her. I had read that new environments can cause a lot of stress in puppies, that their first car rides can make them sick, that potty training is difficult or tedious, that you have to assert your authority right away, that the first couple of nights involve a lot of what should be ignored crying and whining, and so on. For now, she's adjusting well, and responding to both Mordecai and me. It's only Day One, so I'm thankful that there have been no serious issues. But damn, it's a really long Day One, I could pass out any second.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brothas From Anotha Motha

If you know me, or have been to Golden Nugget with me on more than one occasion, then you know that I will likely order the Guadalajara Skillet (first photo). It is a skillet of potatoes, onions, peppers, chorizo, cheese, tortilla chips, topped with a fried egg, accompanied by a side of salsa and a hot pepper, and it also comes with corn tortillas.

Today, I encountered the Guadalajara Skillet in burger form, or its "brotha from anotha motha." At Maddi's request, we went to Kuma's Corner for lunch (best time to go? Sunday, 11:45AM), and I ordered the "Megadeth," named after the band (second photo). It is a burger topped with a chorizo and potato hash, tortilla chips, and a cayenne avocado mayo-ish sauce, served on a pretzel roll. I had the handmade chips, as you can see. I imagine the Guadalajara Skillet and the Megadeth writing letters to each other, reunited without ever knowing they were separated.
Dearest Megadeth,
I hope you are well. At Golden Nugget, they continue to ring the annoying bell every hour so the employees know to wash their hands. I don't know if they actually do. The funny-looking Asian girl continues to order me, regardless of the location. She always takes me home, and I feel special. Maybe one day you will meet her.
Guadalajara Skillet

Hey Guaddy, Yeah that little lady came, ordered me and took my creamy cayenne avocado top off. She just SHUT IT DOWN. I guess she likes chorizos and potatoes a lot. Over here the music is still loud and I saw a waitress rub her nose a lot with her hand, so I was like Oh Shit It's Dirty Up In Here but then I saw another lady with blonde and black hair find a stray strand of hair and she properly took it to a garbage can, or at least out of my sight so I was like Oh Snap Maybe It's Alright Here. Sometimes I sense that big old devil dog but it stays outside and doesn't eat me. My worst nightmare is to be devoured by the Beastmaster. Anyway this crazy little Asian girl had me BURNT! The waitress was like Watch Out Now but your girl was like Oh You Don't Know Me Honey. Okay I'm sick of writing to you because I'm a burger and I shouldn't be and don't want to do this,  I'm gonna go smell good now, so bye. MEGADETH
We saw Senshi, an Akita, behind Kuma's Corner. I know Kuma was an Akita, and I wonder if Senshi is to Kuma like what Oji is to Yuki for my family. He looks like Oji's "brotha from anotha motha" so I felt compelled to pet him, but I knew better than to stick my hand in between the bars. Not that I ever knew a mean Akita, but you never know. That combo of black head and golden eyes is amazing.

Now I will continue to imagine what life will be like on Wednesday and on. Will the Shiba puppy hate me for the first couple of days? "How dare you take me away from my littermates and mother! Who are you and why do you smell bad?! SHIBA SCREAM!!!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicago Sun-Times Show

This past weekend, we attended another Chicago Sun-Times card show. Some prominent active guests were: Ubaldo Jiminez, Clayton Kershaw, Curtis Granderson, Jayson Heyward, Armando Galarraga, Edwin Jackson, Evan Longoria, a canceled Aroldis Chapman, a canceled Matt Garza. Some former star guests were: Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, William "The Fridge" Perry of the '85 Bears (he wore a cowboy hat and walked with a cane). It was a pretty good lineup, but a number of the young players don't merit the high prices for autos. Curtis Granderson--UIC alum, Chicago native--comes back from New York, and charges $99 for an auto?! I know it's out of his hands (he's a gentleman, I trust it's out of his hands), but damn, FORGETCHU (à la Gwyneth Paltrow or Cee-Lo, however you want to hear it in your head)! At least at the card show. Jayson Heyward had higher price tags than Galarraga and Jackson. FORGETCHU! Ubaldo was charging $49, Longoria $89, and Kershaw $59. FORGETCHU!

Armando Galarraga is our "Honeymoon Pitcher," so I wanted his auto. Mordecai wanted to be reunited with Darryl Strawberry and pick up where they left off at a T.G.I.Friday's in Queens 20 years ago, so we had to check out his booth. I told Galarraga that we went to a Tigers game for our honeymoon, and that he won, so he was our "Honeymoon Pitcher." He gave a good laugh in response. I forgot to tell him that Justin Verlander pitched badly the next rainy day, and to thank him for blessing our marriage. Mordecai recounted his T.G.I.Friday's story to Mr. Strawberry, who laughed at the "You were trying to eat your steak, but I really appreciated you taking the time to sign my card" line. I really enjoy meeting beloved players, but it's always so nerve-wracking to actually meet them. What do you say? "Hey, you don't look as dorky as I thought you would. In fact, you're pretty good looking." (Galarraga.) "Hey, you seem confident." (Strawberry.)  What would you say to your favorite player? "Can you sign this? How about this? And this too. Can you sign my puppy? How about my arm? Would it be creepy if I got your signature on my arm tattooed? Did you know you're the first baseball player I cared about who's not Japanese? You're welcome. When will you forget me? Thanks!" (Miggy.) I guess it's just important that you say what you want to say to them, thank them, and treasure the memories.

Milwaukee, May

I never posted these but always meant to. Back in May, we went to Milwaukee for a Milwaukee vs. Mets game. In the last picture, we're waiting for the gates to open, so we could see the Mets' batting practice. Corey Hart went berserk at this game, and the Mets had a laughable starting pitching situation.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Philosophy in the Times

It's interesting to see philosophy outside of academia. Here, a portrait photographer, Steve Pyke, posts some black and white photos of important philosophers looking into the distance, caught in deep thought, disgruntled, and so on. They explain "why philosophy," and Pyke explains why he takes their pictures. I've never been a huge fan of reading through comments, but it was interesting to see people's reactions to the feature and essay. "Since when are 'philosophers' exclusively anglo-american?" (My follow-up question: when not Anglo-American, why Zizek?) Why aren't scientists and other theorists in there? "Lawyers and philosophers...are like half-brothers. Sometimes I wish I was a philosopher, but I love my flat screen TV. Whatever." I think a lot of these questions have to do with Pyke being based in New York and how he is interested in philosophers who are respected by other philosophers. But this doesn't explain the best question: "How about Philosopher trading cards?"

Of the portraits and explanations, I liked Kwame Anthony Appiah's and Tim Scanlon's best. Appiah looks inviting, and though he gives a standard explanation of "why philosophy," it's succinct, and the way he puts it is worth repeating. I like the look in Scanlon's eyes, and the compelling comment about becoming our own prisoners without philosophical distinctions. Of course, this has got me thinking about myself, so I'll be posting my own philosopher trading card here soon, complete with an explanation of "why philosophy." I'm sure all -3 of you are dying to know, so stay tuned.

And then Jade alerted me to this essay on hipsters, also from the NYTimes. It references Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction, which is not quite philosophy, but its premise is beef with Kantian aesthetics so I say it counts. Anyway, Bourdieu's whole research on class and taste is interesting, but ultimately, I don't think taste is determined by class. I mean, we all saw Vivian cry at the opera in "Pretty Woman," right guys? REMEMBER? I just saw that movie last night on USA (i.e., edited and laced with commercials not from 80's, which would be preferred) for the first time. I couldn't tell if the writing was terrible, especially for Vivian's parts, or if Julia Roberts is a terrible actress. I didn't mind looking at Richard Gere's character and his sometimes-Asian-looking eyes, and I loved George Kostanza's cameo as the lawyer, and the storyline is interesting enough to keep watching. But damn, I felt so gross after seeing it, and not just because Julia Roberts has wiry eyebrows, like the fur of an Airdale Terrier.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Which one of yous is coming home with us???
Are you the lucky star?
 Everyone guesses that you're the boy, which means you won't come home with us. And you've got soy sauce on your face, bro. 
All photos kindly sent to us by Glenchester Kennels.

YouTube has been a useful resource for researching puppies. You can read about a breed, and that's really great, but it's nice to be able to see the breed in action. Did you know Shibas elict a kind of scream?! Here's the best one (go to about ~1:40). Anyway, there's this one video of an 8 week old Shiba puppy who is being introduced to some human friends. I like the commentary provided by a man in the video:
"Oh man, I mean, seriously like...I dunno...I guess I've seen a few dogs that are pretty cute but this one seems to be...this one seems to be like top 5 percentile of the cutest dogs..."
THAT'S RIGHT, TOP 5 PERCENTILE. That means ELITE. I think that's a pretty accurate description of the Shiba puppy. What is it that makes it so cute? Its furriness, tininess, the foxiness, the pointed ears, the curly tail, the beady eyes? Next to a Lab or Husky puppy, would the Shiba automatically win in a Battle of Cuteness? How do you walk away with only one?

After Thanksgiving, Mordecai and I plan to drive to Ohio to Glenchester Kennels, where we will meet two of these puppies shown above, and pick one to come home with us. I suppose it's possible that we'll have three or four more puppies in the next litter, Danica's, to choose from, but I also suppose that the breeders would rather us take a 9 week old puppy than a 7 week old puppy. I mean, after we take our pick, who's going to want a geezer 9 week old Shiba puppy over a 7 week old one? Actually, Yuki was 12 weeks old when we got her. She was a talker ("Ooo ooo ooo" which meant, "Love me!" but sounded more like, "I'll kill you!"), and apparently that was not appealing to a lot of people. I thought it was her best attribute, and picked her over Pinto, a younger male, with black pinto bean prints on his white coat. I'm sure Pinto was a good guy, but that was the best decision ever in the History of Decisions.  

It seemed criminal not to share these pictures (house? painted walls? resodded backyard? new floor in the sunroom? PUPPY!). This may turn into a Shiba puppy blog, but whatever, YOU'RE WELCOME IN ADVANCE!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Damn French Horns

Last night Mordecai and I saw a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of some Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. (I recommend taking advantage of their "student ticket" system.) I've been into classical music lately, but only to the extent that this all pertains to "Nodame Cantabile." (I saw the two movies, which left me with so many questions, but settled the main ones between Nodame, Chiaki, and music.) There were two reasons why I picked Thursday's concert: 1) Jonathan Biss, the pianist performing Beethoven's concerto, looks like a snooty Mordecai, and 2) I recognized the beginning of Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony from the Nodame soundtrack. 

We went to a pre-show lecture on Mozart's Symphony 23, Beethoven's Concert no.2, and Mendelssohn's Symphony 4. The woman-encyclopedia talked for 30 straight minutes about the three composers, what they were going through when they composed the pieces, and how they all related to one another. It was like a human Wikipedia article but somehow more trustworthy. What was most helpful for me was her explanation that the fourth movement of Beethoven's concerto had a rondo structure of parts: A, B, A, C, A, B, A. ("Music students say it as a word, 'abacaba.'") I had been listening to the concerto before the concert, but never really listened for any patterns beyond the first movement, so when Biss performed, it was nice that I could locate the A parts ("like the refrain in a pop song") and anticipate the different B and C parts. Prichard had also explained that the last movement of Mendelssohn's symphony was going to be aggressive, so I looked out for that as well, having never heard that symphony beyond the first two minutes of the first movement.

If you can't tell by now, I've had problems in the past trying to get into classical music. I need something to notice, pay attention to, or else I will get bored and start thinking about random things, or I will just doze off. Even if I am familiar with the music (this past summer, we went to see Beethoven's 1st and 7th symphonies; it was pretty AWESOME to see Nodame's theme music live!), the performances are so ephemeral, not loud enough in my opinion (I want it all to go BOOM in my ear!), and it's all just so different from being able to press << and listen to or see it all again.

Mordecai's advice to J-Biss: Don't comb your hair back.
So aside from some superficial familiarity with the music, I had one more thing to my advantage, which was what Jonathan Biss looked like. We were in the upper balcony, so it was hard to tell exactly what he looked like in person, but he seemed super tall, lanky, even gangly. It looked like his wingspan was such that he could play two concert grand pianos if he wanted to. My guess is that he can reach an octave-and-a-half or more with one hand. His feet looked huge as well, like Sideshow Bob's. Anyway, it was hilarious to see a Mordecai-look-alike sway during the orchestra's parts and wave his head around while he played his parts. (It's even funnier if you imagine Mordecai in this pose, or this one. Maybe I can imagine this better, or find this funny, only because I get front row seats to his comedy acts.) I have no way of  providing a serious judgment of his performance, but it was nice to have a view of the keyboard live, instead of just hearing a version through headphones, or getting a straight-on view of Mitsuko Uchida's ridiculous facial expressions during her performance.

And then came the french horns. Mendelssohn's Symphony 4, or "Italian" Symphony, has two french horns, and they have a pretty prominent part throughout the whole thing. They keep a kind of bass line going while the strings are doing their main-melody thing in the beginning, and Mordecai's claim was that they were way too loud.  This seems to be a complaint not so much about the horns, but the conductor, Antonio Pappano. (I said maybe Pappano's Italian heritage was responsible.) And later, Mordo says, the horns themselves messed up when they had the spotlight. It was as if something was caught in their reed thingamabob (that thing that collects the spit), or as if they didn't blow enough air, or, figuratively, as if the horns' voices cracked. I think that I heard what Mordecai heard (he has more sensitive ears than I do), but I wasn't confident enough to say that this sounded effed up to me. When the concert was over, there was the usual clapping for five minutes so that the conductor could come out three times, but some people left immediately. I thought this was normal especially since it was getting towards 10PM and there were tons of old people whose bedtime was probably when the concert started (you know, like how people leave early or right after a Sox game to avoid parking lot traffic!). Mordecai said he assumed everyone else was mortified by the horns, which I thought was funny. (Does everyone assume that others are like them?) I had no way of gauging whether others found the horns to be shameful, and I wished more than ever that Twitter could be useful for this reason. But alas, 95% of the audience was over 70, so what could I do. I checked, but of course, no one tweeted about Jonathan Biss, the CSO that night, or about those pieces. One person tweeted that they were going, but nothing about their thoughts on the show or french horns. I suppose I could've gone to the ladies room after the concert and eavesdropped, but that only occurred to me right now. Although, I didn't think about checking Twitter for french horn complaints until I was in bed. See, it's not always about "the good old days" vs. "kids these days." I'm just slow!

ETA: Two reviews (here and here) confirm a number of things. The french horns are probably unable to sleep at night; there was a strange buzzing sound during the Beethoven piano concerto; Mozart's symphony was faster than "usual" (at least, faster than the recording I bought on iTunes); though born and based in London, Pappano is, let's just say, "unapologetically" Italian.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


As I noted earlier today, here's a log of today, inspired by Richard. Yesterday I watched two episodes of Nodame, read four pages of philosophy and graded zero exams. Today I repented.

7:27AM Wake up, reluctantly get out of bed.

7:45AM Leave with Mordecai; he goes to work, I order medium soy latte at a nearby Caribou. The foam of my latte tastes a little like tofu. I eat my croissant I brought from home in a Ziploc bag.

9:30AM I've graded two exams, set out a short stack of papers that I don't think will be difficult to grade (i.e., good students' papers) and started reading Axel Honneth. I've got about 25-30 more pages to go. It's an essay on reification and recognition, and there are moments that make me sad. Why is philosophy so caught up in knowing things, like the world and its people are the subject matter of a standardized test? I note in the margin "REQUIEM" of some page and draw clouds, a stick of lightening, rain, and wind. I have in my mind Mozart's Requiem Mass that he was singing to Salieri at the end of "Amadeus," but only the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony comes to mind. I don't know much Mozart, come to think of it.

10AM I check Twitter to see confirmations of Mariah Carey's pregnancy. I anticipated a good "article" on the matter on Dlisted, and whoever that genius is, delivered. I tweet that link, tweet again about how sad it is that Mimi had a miscarriage two years ago. 

By this point, I've also probably checked to see if Glenchester Kennels has updated (or "pupdated," as I almost accidentally typed) their website with a recent photo of six puppies, one of which will come home with us soon (more on this for another post)!

11:30AM Finish Honneth, skim the responses to his essay, get annoyed by them. I start to bother Mordecai with texts about lunch. Also, I've been at this Caribou for about 3 hours and wonder now and then whether anyone secretly notices cares, because no one apparently does. Wonder why I don't do this more often.

12PM I meet Mordecai in the car at the parking lot between Caribou and his office, and we go to some place called Jason's Deli, which is basically a variation of Panera. I think I prefer Panera. I have a BLT with potato soup; Mordecai has a "Chicago Club" and some red-colored soup. I see a bulldog running in the parking lot outside, people chasing after it. A young man was able to grab it by it's collar, and patted it while the owners caught up with the leash. The bulldog appears to appreciate the petting; it looks happy to have had its ephemeral moment of freedom.

12:45PM I get dropped off at the Roosevelt red line, take it to Fullerton, and take the Fullerton bus home. Someone on the bus is coughing up a storm. By the time we get to Clybourn, I start to think about Nodame. She asks, "What's so wrong about playing the piano freely, for fun?" I think this is a good question. What's wrong with her original ambition of being a preschool teacher? I love Nodame so much. I wonder if I'll grade that little stack I set out for myself earlier.

2PM I get home, watch the last episode of the Nodame drama series, cry, look for the Europe specials. I can't find them on DVD, which I know I have somewhere, but they seem to be on Mordecai's external hard drive (mine is almost full with HD version of Glee, Season 1). At some point I practice piano--working on a simplified version of the first movement of Beethoven's 7th. I've got it down, but can't play it through without slipping on the black keys.

3PM I blog, gchat with Emily, gossip about the Regenstein staff, clean the kitchen somewhat, prepare things for dinner. No more papers will be graded, but two is better than zero.

5PM Start cooking rice. Prepare potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, tofu in a light stew of soba tsuyu, miso, sake, sugar. The ginger is no good. 

6PM Mordecai comes home, helps with dinner, and we start watching World Series Game 2. Mordecai laments that Jeff Francoeur is not starting in right field, and Daniel Murphy is instead. I expect that Jorge Cantu will warm the bench. For dessert, we share an almond croissant and a plain croissant.

8PM Mordecai installs the blinds in our sunroom. I practice some more piano, this time a theme from "Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind." 

8:30PM I blog, watch Edgar Renteria hit a home run, the Rangers continue being unable to produce anything offensive, and C.J. Wilson get pulled for a blister on his finger. I note to myself that I should shower and get ready for bed--I want to watch the first Nodame Europe special and go to bed early to leave with Mordecai again tomorrow morning.


Red nails

I'm not in despair. I thought my hair would serve as the best background to picture my nails using Photobooth. I got them done yesterday.

I've been recording, more or less, what I've been up to today, as Richard did in this post. Naturally, this being a public log of my text and photos, I've picked an anomalously productive day to share. It will be a good comparison to yesterday, where I woke up at 10AM, called Salon Moka to make an appointment on whim, called my mom to see if she was free to take me to my appointment (she was), got some puppy news, read four pages of philosophy, watered the backyard for about 20 minutes, went to my appointment with my mom while she meandered in K-Mart (she said it was fun), and then went to the French bakery for the second day in a row, this time to hoard croissants (split douze with my mom, she paid for most), and then came home and watched an episode of "Nodame Cantabile." When Mordecai came home we made dinner (mozzarella, tomato, basil with balsamic vinegar on herb baguettes), watched World Series Game 1, went to the grocery, watched the rest of the game, and then we prepared for bed and I watched the second to last episode of Nodame before falling asleep around 1AM to what I think is Schubert's piano sonata no.16, but who knows what I play in my head. Lots of "tun tun tuns" and "tah rah rahs."

Remember when blogs used to be about sharing what you did today? haha.

More posts to come!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Good Life

Looking back on this post featuring my first makeup brushes, I notice that it's once again the end of summer, football has started, and Jack was with us for some time again. Now we're in a different place; I'm more familiar with football players; and I know just slightly a bit more about makeup.

I still follow many fashion blogs and pay attention to what I wear, especially for teaching. But ultimately, I tend not to wear anything all that exciting, save for maybe a few dresses here and there. With the new house, the finances have been redirected from H&M et. al. to Home Depot et. al. (The exception was buying some stuff in Japan, "for teaching," or because it was 80% off the original  price!) However, something that keeps falling from the sky are Japanese beauty products. I am so grateful for this that I built (ordered from Target, then assembled according to instructions) a shrine for these products.


When I say they fall from the sky, I'm talking about the friends and family discount which can be interpreted as "Here, take this, I don't use it" at best, or the "Five Finger Discount" at worst. My cousins' father is a cosmetics wholesale distributor and gets sample products from various companies, and they have a small storage room of unused, unopened, in some cases not-even-on-shelves-yet beauty stash. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of euphoria I experience when I go into this stuffy, neglected, moldy room. Basically, it's like going into a small convenience store of beauty and household products. Except there is no cash register, and you're handed empty boxes and bags and told to fill them up with stuff to take back home.

Heaven's doors: beauty on the left, cleaning on the right.

And you think that's a great story, right? BUT THERE'S MORE!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Labor Day in Lexington

We went to Lexington, Kentucky with Emily & Jack for Labor Day weekend. Here are some highlights of our trip. I'm sorry that the potato burrito was not documented, but I swear that burrito came straight from the Land of Awesome Food Dreams.







Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dusty sage

On the one hand, certain small but important accomplishments are occurring in my life, signifying responsibility. Most of my wanty-ness is directed towards the house (read: expensive!), so I am striving to eat in more, meaning I have to prepare food more often. Tonight's menu: "cream stew."
On the other hand, the old wanty in me still lives.
I saw a woman at the Fullerton train stop wearing a sparkling gold version of these. I initially wanted those until I came across them in "dusty sage" at J. Crew. What a name. This is a variation of the color I've been obsessed with for the past year, so they were a must. Thankfully, they don't make my legs look like daikon, like Keds did. Wow, that was horrific!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stolen images

I'm not sure what the law exactly states in Japan, but I believe that I was somewhat unlawful by taking these pictures above, and I continue to be so as I post these onto a public blog. In Japan, all cell phones, including iPhones, are rigged so that you can't turn the shutter sound off when you take a picture. The phones always makes a distinct sound, like a photo is being taken with an SLR. So everyone was surprised that I could turn the camera sound off on my phone when I put it on silent. I took advantage of this discrepancy and snapped away, though not up girls' skirts' or whatever the male equivalent would be, which is what the law and the pre-rigging of phones are meant to prevent. (At one point I refrained from taking a picture of a cute but very young girl holding a stuffed angry Pokemon about a third of her size. It was a great image, so it was hard to resist but I did.)

We have here a female eki-in, or station master, at Yokohama station for the Keikyu line. Maybe she's not exactly the master, but that's a cool title to aim for. Then there's a surgeon, who operated on a close family friend's father. Though he looked oompa loompa-ish, he was totally on top of things. And then it turned out that "elevator girls" still exist! The department store Sogo apparently cannot afford them, but eternal rival Takashimaya can. They should look into recruiting "elevator boys."

Things, places


Food displays