Category Archives: Life and Stuff

The Summer Time Blahs

Suddenly, I remember what the end of summer was like back when I was in elementary school. I’m ready for it to be over.

The doctor who did my retching/endoscopy check said I didn’t have cancer, but that my stomach showed signs that I was stressed. First I was like “Really? What proves that?” Then I was like, well, yeah, I could have told you that.

I was in a bad mood all summer and I’m not sure why. Maybe my usual October malaise has become an August angst.

There’s the anniversary of dad’s death along with the recent death of people I knew when I lived in Colorado. What bothered me about the latter was I didn’t remember the person until I saw pictures of her when I knew her. Even now, I don’t remember specifics, just warm feelings and a friendly smile. I’ve even seen pictures of us camping with her family and all I can do is think “when was that”?

There are also issues with my in-laws that are going to force major decisions fairly soon.

School starts soon, though, and I’m getting back on a normal sleep schedule. Maybe that will help.

Ready for Needles, Tubes, and Cameras

Heading off to bed relatively early so that I can get up in time to drink some tea and some water. Won’t get to eat anything though. I’m already in a mandatory fast.

After that, though, all I’ll be doing is filling in forms and then traveling one station away for the annual health check.

This year I’m lucky that it’s been scheduled at a clinic near my house, which means I get to have a relaxing morning before needles, tubes, and cameras get involved. (Note: Japan has clinics that do nothing but annual physicals. Period. If your arm fell off during an exam they’d note the “arm related issue” on your physical but wouldn’t recommend another clinic.)

After a couple hours of exam I’ll get to come home and take a nap whilst some medication wears off. Then I’ll finally get to eat something.

Last Week Blues

Not much to write about.

This is the last full week of fake work before my real work starts up again. I’ll enjoy it as much as I can, but even if I didn’t have fake work, I’d be feeling blue.

The last week of summer is always kind of blah. Even though actual work hasn’t started, and our girls aren’t attending actual school, our schedules get busy. Our oldest had club the entire summer, but even our youngest starts having activities. This means we don’t even get a chance to do a last minute Tokyo Disneyland Trip (which saves us the heart attack of the entry fee, so it’s not all bad).

I’ve got to start prepping for the coming term, which always makes me feel blah.

I do have a health check coming up on Wednesday; that may make for an interesting time, in the same way a Chinese curse encourages.


Once More the Intervention

Life intervened again with She Who Must Be Obeyed coming down ill this evening.

This had me cooking and has me reminding our oldest she has to do dishes. This involves periodically chasing her off our living room sofa. There is something about the living room sofa that causes the two oldest women in  the house to immediately fall asleep as soon as they sit on it.

This something is so bad that I actually have to make our oldest get up off the sofa before I can leave the room. If I don’t, she will be asleep again in a few minutes and the process will start again. Even if she’s sitting up and playing on her phone when I leave the living room the something will cause her to fall asleep sideways with her phone somehow still gripped in her fingers.

This makes my job a bit more difficult as the sound of her phone hitting the floor was the Dad Signal calling me into action.


Rainy Days on Mondays

An acquaintance of mine is off scuba diving somewhere this summer, but his last wish for those of us left in Japan was that we get pounded by rain whilst he was off somewhere else. (We had a dry “rainy season” following a dry “Season in which it rains”.)

Thus far, his wish has come true, but in an odd way.

We’ve had a mercifully cool summer. It’s been humid to the level of “breathing liquid” but the temperature has been in the high 70s/low 80s Fahrenheit (26-28 Celsius) which is a lot better than usual Tokyo metro area temperature of “scorched earth”.

The trade off has been lots of rain and a few migraines.

Today, for example, we kept the air conditioner off most of the day. However, about the time it got so humid we decided to turn on the air conditioner, we had an impressive cloud burst.

I hope this lasts. However, I suspect we’ll have a hot September. I have to be good and sweaty by the time I get to work, I guess.

Another Zombie Day

I didn’t think we would be, but were zombies again.

I’ve written before about how the day after a trip to the in-laws turns everyone into zombies.

The girls are still in “grandparent amnesty” mode in which the intervention of grandparents staves off a plethora of punishments and it’s my job to remind them that, yes, the dishes really do have to be washed, and no, there is no one here who will save you.

This means not much was accomplished today. I did some writing and at least one daughter may have done homework but I was too much of a zombie to find out.

Tomorrow we’ll start settling back into normal life, but today was kind of a bye on normal life.


Settling Back in, Without Mercy

We made it back from the in-laws despite more rain, several random complete traffic stops on the expressway, and a temperamental navigator (a computer this time).

Once we got back, we got comfortable quickly. Maybe too quickly.

We were late starting out and that put us into the “u-turn rush” which wasn’t that bad, except the traffic came to complete stops several times during the trip. We still don’t understand why as there were no accidents.

As we got near home, our navigation system decided that we’d ignored her one time too many and she stopped giving us notifications.

Once we got home, we all fell into our usual chairs and routines and relaxed to the point that all of a sudden it was time to go to bed and we hadn’t actually eaten supper.

Tomorrow we’re back to our full regular routines. Maybe we’ll manage to unpack eventually.

Fish and Visiting

A short one today in honor of our short visit to the in-laws.

Although, we’ve had a short visit we are, all of us, ready to be home.

Our oldest has club starting back up, our youngest has Junior Leader activities, and She Who Must Be Obeyed has work.

In my case, I’m ready to continue doing nothing as I’m now in my actual official vacation, but doing nothing in my own way. Although being at the in-laws is mostly relaxing, it comes with lots of extra people and chairs that don’t fit.

By day five it’s time to move on.

Lost and Rebound

I recently passed the two year anniversary of my diet/lifestyle change and I suppose it requires an assessment.

The second year was the rebound year. I pushed the weight loss quite far and some of it came back with a vengeance once I relaxed my rules. Carbs crept back in and my dedication to the daily exercise routine waned.

Oddly, I’ve reached a kind of steady zone where I neither climb nor drop. However, the zone is above where I’d like to be.

I still fit the clothes I bought after the weight loss, but they are noticeably tighter than they were before.

I’ve been reviewing the first food journal I kept to see what the biggest changes have been with the goal of restarting the “diet” I followed in that book. I’m waiting until after we get back from the in-laws to start though. Being here involves food and alcohol that doesn’t fit the plan.

I’ve been lazy about exercise though; that also doesn’t follow the plan.

Darkness and Rain and Hydroplane

Not much today but a trip through the rain and darkness in a car with misaligned headlights.

Although I’m the only one who seems to think they are misaligned.

We got started late and that put us into the darkness. Our car is a hand-me-down from our in-laws who are no longer able to drive it. I’ve always complained that the headlights are probably misaligned because they have an odd pattern with a clear line I’ve never seen on another car and they don’t actually seem to illuminate much. Although everyone who sees them agrees something is wrong, the lights seem to pass inspection.

This wasn’t a problem until we hit rain in the mountains. That’s when things got interesting. We had limited visibility and headlights that didn’t illuminate the rails or lines.

Eventually we got through the rain and had a beautiful view of the remains of the sunset. Off to one side, though, was an impressive storm cloud that put on an impressive lightning show.

I guessed that was where we were going and, as fate would have it, that was where we were going. We hit a harder storm at the worst possible area: road construction with opposing traffic separated by a row of cones.

We enjoyed some light hydroplaning and a few moments of terror.

Eventually we got past that and are now enjoying being at the home of Mother and Father of She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Beer is involved of course, especially after that trip.