Saturday, July 31, 2004

Summer Weekend

So, what do New Hampshire people do on a summer weekend? I can't speak for all 26 of us here in the state, but I can tell you what I've been doing this weekend.
Seeing as how I am still on summer my vacation, my weekend can start as early as I like it to. This weekend started on Thursday evening because that's the night I went to the Stratham Fair with my boyfriend. (okay, yeah, there, I said it. I have a boyfriend. He's awesome. Throw rocks if you must, but I reserve the right to duck). The Stratham Fair is a cute little country fair. It has 4H exhibits including pigs, sheep, cows and bunnies, tractor pull contests, booths selling all kinds of trinkets. carnival rides, a variety of food and live entertainment. I never went to the fair as a kid, not that I remember anyway, but I have been several times in the past several years. I always get a kick out of it. This time I even rode the ferris wheel, despite my fear of heights. It was nice as it was sunset with the sun all orange and sinking on one side, the nearly full moon rising on the other and all the lights of the fairground below.
It was hot and muggy on Friday, so I didn't go out and accomplish much. There was some translation work waiting to be dealt with, so I did that for a couple of hours. Mostly I just kicked back, relaxed at home and worked on my crochet project a little.
Today was also hot and muggy. I picked up my girl around noon and we came back home to have some lunch. We went out to Payless Shoe Source where we got three pairs of shoes (two for her, one for me) for a grand total of $13.49. That's a pretty unbeatable deal. Later on we headed over to Packers Falls to go swimming. It was very refreshing, even though I did discover a couple of small leech-like looking things on my legs when I got out of the pond. On the way home we stopped by the organic farm stand next door and bought a couple of summer squash and a "gourmet lebanese squash". I've never had the lebanese squash before. It's the size and shape of a summer squash, but light green rather than yellow. I'm going to saute the squash with some fresh herbs from out on the deck and have that for dinner along with some leftovers that are in the fridge. Tonight I'm watching "The Princess Diaries" with my girl and starting a new crochet project since I finished the kercheif already.
Hopefully, the weather will be okay tomorrow and I'll be taking my girl to her first ever renaissance fair, the Maine Renaissance Fair. She has a killer costume and I will be appropriately attired as well. I'll try to get some pictures of us to post here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Pamming About

Ok folks, time to pencil a new entry into your reference books. I hereby officially coin the phrase "to pam about" as a new standard idiom of the English language.
To pam about
1. To expend inordinate amounts of time accomplishing very little.
The phrase was first coined circa 1988 by a certain individual who shall henceforth be known only by his initials, JH, due to the fact that said coiner is now a business executive who would no doubt be appalled to have his now reputable name linked with such frivolity as this blog or the author thereof. First recalled usage was, "Stop pamming about and let's go already!", uttered by JH in exasperation while waiting for this Pam to get ready to go out. Uttered while said JH was broke, unemployed and living on the floor of this writer's hovel of an apartment in a state quite far removed from what one may imagine to be the executive splendor in which he now resides in Tokyo.
Pamming about differs from merely wasting time in that the subject who is pamming about may appear to be engaged in some useful or meaningful task, but is actually accomplishing very little, if anything at all. Also, the amount of time consumed by pamming about is frighteningly large and consumes anywhere from an hour to an entire day. Pamming about also often involves a certain level of good-natured (hopefully) annoyance on the part of the individual employing the term, as it is so often used in sentences which begin with "stop", "quit", or "are you through".
As this blog may be seen as a prime example of pamming about, I hereby rename it: Pamming About. (at least temporarily)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Crafting Season Starts Early This Year

Today's schedule has consisted of a bunch of weirdly staggered appointments. I have a couple of free hours this afternoon and I decided I'd come into the office and get some prep work done, rather than drive all the way home and back. A little bit of work did actually get done. I thought I was going to also fit a 30 minute walk in, but I brought my latest crochet project with me and I'm tired of working, tired in general and really feeling quite content to sit and space out on my project. I usually don't get the urge to compulsively knit or crochet until the weather has gotten a little colder, but this summer has been cool and wet, so maybe that explains it.

Monday, July 26, 2004

What's Outside My Door

I'm not a great photgrapher, but you get the general idea...


Despite the fact that I woke up this on Monday-est of mornings with a splitting headache and images of a nightmare lingering in my head, it turned out to be an okay day. There was a definite setback at one point, but I got some progress made on preparing things for classes for the fall semester and finished up and sent off a relatively easy yet lucrative translation job, as well. Probably the high point of the day was receiving my daughter's faire costume in the mail. Not that many people make or sell garb for kids, and much of what is out there is either cheesy halloween costume type stuff or scarily expensive. Lucky for me, I discovered a great new eBay seller, Tara the Tailor, who makes garb for both adults and children. She even sewed the bodice with double seams in the back and sides so I can let them out as my daughter grows. It's back to the faire for me this weekend!

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Resident or visitor, if you're looking for information about what's going on in Kyoto, you'll want to keep an eye on Kyotown , which has just been launched by Nils of Alive in Kyoto fame.

I Stand Accused

Yesterday I attended The Maine Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, Maine. It was mostly a day of fine English weather, cool and damp, but it set a nice mood for things and at least I didn't have to worry about overheating in my garb.
I was cited by the sheriff for two crymes; 1) Disturbing the peace, obstructing justice and/or annoyance of a public official. 2) Public displays of affection and/or other acts of beguilement, including charms, spells and curses. I hereby proclaim my innocence and blame it all on my companion, that handsome rogue and scribe renowned both near and close.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Yes, It's Pink

OK. This blog is pink now. No, I have not lost control of my senses anymore than I previously had. In fact, the blog may not stay pink for all that long. But for now, pink it is.
And yes, I was spur of the moment and reckless enough to change the template without backing up the old one so all my side links are gone, for now. I'll get them back up soon enough. The comments came back easy because Haloscan has automated the whole installation process for Blogger. No more fiddling with the template to get the Haloscan comments added.
I bet my readership will plummet with the new color scheme as I forecast that guys at work aren't going to be as apt to be checking out a girly pink blog at the office. I'm not trying to drive you away guys. I'm just feeling in the mood for pink. Better reinstall that little exit sign thingy, whose name I have completely forgotten. Ahh, whatever.

Can't Win For Trying

I recorded a song today (see title above). I wrote it a few weeks ago and am too chicken to play and sing it in front of anyone, so I recorded it instead. It was nice to see that I still remember how to use the mixer and Garageband to get a track down. It came out okay considering that I'm not a very good guitarist and am an extremely weak singer, as well.
So, if all I have are disparaging comments about my performance, why bother to do it? Because, as my sister likes to say, it's not all about being "good", it's about getting out there and doing it. Even if it's technically imperfect, if there's some element of truth or something real about it, it's worth it.

Crafty Quote

I found a great quote from Robert Frost that I had never read before on someone's sig at the Craftster site.
In three words I can sum up everything I've ever learned about life: It goes on.

I was just looking for ideas about crocheting projects and I found a nice chunk of wisdom in the bargain. Gotta love crafty women.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I love teaching, but the pay is barely enough to cover the bills, so I've been thinking about maybe finding a new career. I've done all the usual things like check out and I've taken several online career aptitude tests. Little did I know that all I really needed to do was visit the
Job Predictor, which informed me that my ideal job is a "Professional Tramp". That's lovely.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Let's Get ...

My girl is developing her own musical tastes and recently is very into the Black Eyed Peas. One of the songs she likes seems to have political correctness issues. The album version of the song is called "Let's Get Retarded". The version they play on the radio is called "Let's Get It Started". After I explained to her why there was a difference between the album and radio versions, she started calling the radio version "Let's Get Mentally Issued". That's pretty funny coming from a 9 year old kid who has lived in this country for just 15 months.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Stay Above It All

If only I had had this handy product back when I had to deal with those nasty squat toilets in the JR Umeda Station.
Glad to see the dirty toilets in Tokyo site is still around, even though it hasn't been updated since 1997.

Girlie Men

Schwarzenegger Provokes Anger With 'Girlie-Men' Remark
This cracks me up. I know, it's bad and unprofessional and politically incorrect, but it's just so absurd that it makes me chuckle.

New Telemarketing Ploy?

Those telemarketers are always working some angle. In the past couple of weeks I've had three of them ask me if I was the responsible adult at home or if there was any over 18 currently at home that they could talk to. When I explain that I am the adult of the house they all say, "Oh, you sound so young!"
Well, one guy was particularly annoying so I just told him "No, no one over 18 is home now."
Come on people, I am twice 18 and then some. I do not sound like a teenager!

Sunday, July 18, 2004 : Accused Deserter, Family Arrive in Japan

I've been following the story of Hitomi Soga for almost two years now. She was kidnapped, along with her mother, from Japan by North Korean operatives in 1978 when she was 19 years old. She was one of five abductees who returned to Japan in 2002 and the only one who came back without her spouse, probably because in her case her spouse was not another Japanese national, but an American soldier accused of defection to North Korea in 1965.
The children of the other abductees were brought to Japan and rejoined their parents this spring. They grew up never knowing their parents were Japanese. Now Ms Soga's family has joined her in Japan and her story is finally getting a little press in the US. Of course, the US media focuses on her husband's story and sports headlines like ABC News' Accused Deserter, Family Arrive in Japan.
The BBC presents another view, Japan Gripped By Cold War Love Story. And the press in Japan, yet another Obstacles line Soga's, Jenkin's Path.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Good Night

I stay up too late every single night. I'm doing it again right now.
This tends to happen to me in the summer. In the winter time, I'm in bed by 10 or 10:30. In the summer, I rarely get there before midnight. Is it just me or are there any other seasonal night owls out there?

The Pond

My sister and I took the kids to the pond in South Berwick for a swim today. I don't know the name of the pond or even the name of the street that gets you there, but I know how to get there. The bottom is clay, not rock, and it doesn't get too deep too quick, so it's a nice place to swim. There's a small island with a rope swing in the middle of the pond, but the kids are still too little for us all to swim out there. Some people paddle out on floats and some people bring canoes and kayaks.
The pond a very mellow spot. We said we'd stay for an hour, but the kids were having a good time in the water and my sister and I were enjoying the rare chance to have an uninterrupted conversation, so we stayed for an hour and a half.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Blueberry Muffins

My life may be in turmoil, but that doesn't mean I'm going to miss out on one of my favorite summer time activities, baking blueberry muffins. Today I tried theseJordan Marsh Style Blueberry Muffins. I just took them out of the oven and they look and smell pretty good. Jordan Marsh used to be one of the big regional department stores in New England. They all got converted into Macy's quite a few years back.

Shine On

I am The Sun

In the tarot the Sun symbolizes vitality and splendor. The Sun is definitely not a meek and retiring card. You have total confidence in yourself. You are not cocky, but profoundly sure of your power. You have unlimited energy and glow with health. You have a greatness about you and stand out brilliantly. Finally, you see and understand all that is happening within your sphere. When you see this card, know that you will be successful at all you undertake. Now is the time to let your light shine.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

Month: Day: Year:

Very nice. Don't I wish I had total confidence in myself. I do have confidence that all this divorce shit I'm going through (oh my! I said it! The "D" word!) will some day be done. Or at least it will be started and on its way to being done. And the fact that every utterly typical situation and reaction any expert I talk to tells me about maps perfectly to the way things are right now is actually somehow soothing to me. When you're going through it, it all feels like such a uniquely personal hell.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Seacoast NH Rainy Day Fun?!

Someone ended up here from a search for "Seacoast NH rainy day fun". Ha! There is none! Just plenty of rain these days.
Actually, depending on what kind of fun you are searching for, there are a few places you might consider checking out. The Children's Museum of Portsmouth is fun if you have young kids. Geek that I am, I always enjoy spending time at the public library. If you're more of a shopping type, you can go to the Fox Run Mall in Newington. Dover has the Woodman Institute and Portsmouth has a lot of historic homes that are now museums, like the John Paul Jones House.
So, there you go. Don't say I never did anything for you, ok?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Vertical Society

I don't know all that much about other cultures in Asia, but I know Japanese society is supremely concerned with hierarchy and social status. You don't even say good morning to someone without considering the status of the relationship between the speaker and the adressee. Foreigners who stay in Japan inevitably find that that it is very hard to determine exactly where they rank. Well, they need wonder no more. All they need to do is consult The Japan Hierarchy.
via Shannon

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Osaka Schoolkids To Be Chipped

I found out via Robert Brady that a school in Osaka
plans to tag students with RFID chips
. Wonder if they'll be selling the special "chipped" version randoseru next spring.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Dog Toy or Marital Aid?

Dog Toy or Marital Aid - You decide.
Apparently anyone's dog is safe with me.

Oh Help Me Now!

Since I have been accused of listening to "old people's music" by my 9 year old girl, sometimes I compromise and we listen to the local pop music station when we're together in the car. Now, thanks to that, I have Toxic (yes, by Britney Spears) stuck in my head!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Hey, What Are You Looking At?

Tiredness makes me bitter.

The girl got reasons.
They all got reasons.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The Mare Downstairs

Last night the mare in the stall that is right below my kitchen was colicking. I'm not really a horse person, but I spend enough time around horsey people to know that horses can die from colic. Their guts get blocked or twisted and horses can't vomit, so if things get really bad and blocked and what's inside can't some out the back end, their insides can explode and they die.
There is a window at the bottom of the stairs at the door leading into the apartment that looks into the mare's stall. There was a lot of noise last night and the light in the stalll was on, so I went down to have a look and see what was going on. My landlady was in the stall with the horse and said she had found the mare covered in mud laying down beside the shed out in the pasture earlier. She brought her inside and had her up on her feet, but the horse was still in some danger and the vet was on the way. The vet came and went and as I was lying in bed I heard a lot of kicking on the wall downstairs. I went and looked into the stall and the mare was down on her side, kicking at the walls trying to stand up. He eyes looked okay and I saw her occasionally chomping at some hay that was in the corner of the stall, so I figured that was a good sign. She stopped kicking after a short time and she didn't look sweaty or crazy eyed. The light was still on in the stall and I figured my landlady would be out to check on her again, so I went back upstairs and went to bed.
When I woke up this morning I wondered how the mare was, so I went down to look into her stall. When I did I found myself staring her right in the face. She was up and there was some poop on the floor, which meant things were moving and she was ok. Horses are so big and look like such strong animals, but they really are delicate in many ways. I'm afraid of heights, so I'm not interested in riding, but I like being around horses.

Write Right Rite

In summer, I like doing nothing. Actually, in every season I like doing nothing. The book I'm reading now, If You Want To Write; A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit, encourages this sort of behavior. I like this book a lot. Even though the book is about writing and not about love, per se, I like she says about love.
For when you come to think of it, the only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them.

I can't really write for shit these days. I spend too much time worrying about things that are out of my control and not enough time taking in the smell of the summer days and fresh cut hay. Eventually I'm going to get through and get past it all. Or at least get to a point where it stops taking up so much prime real estate in my mind.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Rainy Summer Day

It's been gray and raining off and on all morning. It's a perfect day to work. The Tokyo agency I usually work with has been sending translation jobs at a steady clip, which is perfect for me during this summer vacation. Usually I work at the dining table because there's good light there and it's a nice open space, but today I'm working in my girl's room. The ceiling slopes down with the incline of the roof and there are two small windows that don't let in a great amount of light. It's a cozy place to be on a rainy day. There's not much of a view from where I sit, just the gray sky, some tree tops and raindrops on the angled windows.
It's past noon and I'm still in my pajamas. They're comfy and I'm by myself and working, so why not. I consider working in my pajamas one of the great benefits of working from home.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Dog Day Doldrums

We're now in the dog days of summer. Webster's says the term refers to 1. The period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
2 : a period of stagnation or inactivity.
Yeah, I know the dog star, Sirius, blah blah blah. Woof.
Anyway, I am feeling very dog day-ish this week. It just seems like everything is slow going. I know things will change and that this is a phase and a process that I have to go through. It'll probably end up being yet another one of those times in my life that I look back at and wonder how I got through it. I get through it by telling myself it's not that bad, that things could be and have been worse.
We used to sing this at vespers on Sunday nights at camp.
Too high, can't get over it
Too wide, can't get round it
Too deep, can't get under it
Gotta go through the door.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Foster's Daily Democrat says Rochester's celebration a hit , but I'd say it was more of a miss. On Saturday night we went to the Rochester fairgrounds to see their Independence Day celebration. We got there early and had a fun time checking out all the vendors and varieties of artery clogging treats. There was entertainment on stage, but I always find people watching in the crowd is at least as entertaining as whatever show is going on. The fireworks show started late, after 9:30, and was great for the entire 5 minutes of it. It appeared that a couple of fireworks exploded on the ground. After the second explosion, the field lights were turned on and people started packing up and leaving. Several people in the crowd told us there had been an injury and the show was done. The stage and PA system were still set up, but no one got up to make an official announcement. We headed back to the car and waited with the other 15,000 people there for our turn to get out of the lot and onto the road.
When I got home I watched the local evening news, but they only said that the show had been cancelled due to injuries. When I checked the local paper the following morning, it reported that the show had in fact gone on at midnight for a crowd of 100. Today I heard that another fireworks show had been scheduled for tonight, the original rain date. Then on this evenin's news I heard the show has been cancelled due to rain. Oh well.
I saw the Dover fireworks from my sister's front lawn last night. It was a pretty good show and the facilities were very comfortable.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

My New Town

A couple of months ago I moved to a town that's about ten miles away from where I used to live. I had never spent much time here before that, just passed through sometimes on the back way to my mom's house. But I always felt a certain fascination with this town. It's an old mill town with a population of about 7,000. The main drag has mills along the river on one side and a collection of small business on the other. One of the mills and several other buildings in town are made of granite. There's not a whole lot to the downtown commerce; a few restaurants, the post office, a laundromat, a book and coffee shop, a pet grooming studio, a flower shop and back up on Zion Hill, behind the main street, is the Stone Church, which was once one of the best places to see live music in the NH seacoast area. Looks like it will be again soon.
This town is very crunchy in a slightly goth kind of way. It's just five miles from the university, so a lot of students live here. You see lots of tattoos, piercings, short spiky hair, dreadlocks and other general grooviness if you hang out downtown for any length of time. It's all very laid back though, Maybe that's just because it's summer. Anyway, I like it here and I'm glad I've gotten the chance to live here and check it out.