It’s 11:28 am on Friday, Sept. 20. It’s 77 degrees out and sunny. It’s supposed to get up to 84 today, we’ll see if it does.
The girls are outside in our little driveway riding their scooters. The area has a fence, so I feel comfortable letting them play out there while I’m inside. (For the record, I’m sitting at the kitchen table, with an open window between us. Still working on giving them more leeway.) Zoe is trying to teach Tiny how to “drift” on her scooter, which resembles less actual drifting, and more just moving forward with both feet on a scooter for more than 2 seconds.
The room they are in front of is the hidden tea room.There is a door there that only opens from the inside.
I have things I should be doing (sewing a baby blanket, for one) but I’m not feeling motivated. I started on the blanket yesterday, but the machine’s tension was off and I ended up having to undo everything I did, so I’m not feeling inspired to work on it again. But I want to get it done by this weekend, so I should get to it. I’ve been under the weather all week- the girls have had phlegmy throats and crazy coughs, and I’ve got the sore throat part of the equation. It’s made me tired all week. My throat is much better today, but I’m still tired. But that could also have to do with the earthquake that woke me up at 2 in the morning. It was somewhere between a 5.3 and a 5.8 (US and Japanese sources were reporting differently) and about 100 miles away, but it was only about 12 miles under ground, which is I think why we felt it. There are earthquakes up in that area all the time and we usually don’t feel them, but this one was a shaker. Luckily, the girls slept through it.
I may not be sewing today, but I did finally figure out how to use my circular knitting needles. And it only took me about 6 tries to get the pattern right. Slowly but surely. Learning new things is good.
Speaking of learning new things, I just signed up to take a lettering class on Skillshare in October. I’m taking a calligraphy class later this month- apparently I’m on a handwriting kick. (Once you click through, click on the info tab for prettier information. And if you decide you want to take one of those classes too, and sign up after you click through one of those links, you’ll get $10 off the price of the class!)
For school, we’ve been learning about rocks, which the girls are finding fascinating- not least because of the cooking demonstrations we’ve been doing to show how different kinds of rocks are made. (Sedimentary rocks are made up of layers, like s’mores! Igneous rock is liquid, then cools to a hard rock, like sugar syrup! Metamorphic rock gets harder when exposed to heat, just like cookies!) I ordered this little rock kit from Amazon, and amazingly, it got here in 2 days!
In history we’re talking about monks and monasteries, and specifically today about how they hand wrote books. The girls colored in illuminated pages. I asked them to color them in really carefully and after about 10 minutes they were fried. So we talked about how it only took 10 minutes for them to get tired, and the monks worked for 8 hours a day. It was a major eye opener.
Zoe set up their table like a desk this morning, and asked if they could do their work in their room instead of downstairs. We tried it, and they blazed through! They may have to work up there more often!
I’ve started a notebook of stores I like in Tokyo and where they’re located. There are amazing stores here, but Tokyo is so huge that it’s hard to remember where things are. Oddly, if I can remember the train station they’re close to, then I can get to the store, but keeping the stations connected to the right store is hard. So a notebook it is. I got a gorgeous little white cotton Japanese made book that I’m going to decorate with washi tape.
I reaaaaaally need a haircut. So badly. I even have the info for a salon, I just have to work up the courage to call. I know that this is not as big of a deal as I am making it, but I just keep procrastinating. I was visiting with one of my friends earlier in the week and she commented that living here is exhausting, and I totally get what she’s saying. She lives a far more Japanese lifestyle than I do, and interacts with more people in Japanese, so I think she feels it more than I do, but every day normal things like going to the store or calling to make a hair appointment take more energy because you have to work harder. That’s not a bad thing; challenge is good, work is good. But it does result in me not having a hair appointment yet.
The girls are heading upstairs to “play aikido”. This could end badly.
It’s later now, playing aikido didn’t end badly. They’re downstairs eating lunch now.
I’ve made a Costco order (we neeeeed cheese!), the laundry is done, and I just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a part from the movie The Mexican on Youtube. I wish I could say that I found it, because it’s awesome and it cracks me up. Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini and someone else are dancing in a hotel room to The Safety Dance and James has Julia on his back and they start to fall over and she yells, “Not the safety dance! Not the safety dance!” It’s so funny and I think of it all the time. I watched a clip or two from the movie and it reminded me how sad it is- I think I read that movie differently than everyone else- I think that partway through, James’ character changed his mind and decided not to kill Brad Pitt’s character. Which makes what happens horrible. I know other people disagree with me, but I will stick with my reading of it forever, so it’s no use arguing.
But since I can’t find that link, instead I give you this:
And I add the comment that I saw when I found it- “That dance is not nearly as safe as you would think.” It’s not, you know. I also give you this, which, while I wish it were synchronized better, I can’t complain about because I don’t know how to edit video. I love the explanation- “I don’t know why this happened.” And this, because I seriously miss Scrubs and didn’t realize it until just now.
And on the topic of Thor- this is why I love that movie, and why I love the character:
I never cared about Thor before the movie, but he’s one of my favorites now. He just makes me happy.
I just finished Nevermore by William Hjortsberg, in which someone is committing murders in the style of Edgar Allan Poe stories and Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle are trying to figure out what’s going on. It was good.
Now I’m reading Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, which is all about different famous artists and writers through history and how they scheduled their days and work. It’s really interesting, and I think it will lead in nicely to Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh, which I am alternately really looking forward to and scared of, because it’s over 900 pages. (On a side note, I wonder if Steven Naifeh is related to Ted Naifeh? That’s not a common last name.)
Anyway, the girls tell me that it’s time to go ride the scooters down to the post office (to go to the ATM to get money to pay for the Costco delivery when it comes tomorrow) and to the bakery. Here’s hoping I don’t regret telling them they could bring the scooters.
What are you up to today? What is making you smile? What are you learning? What are you reading?