I love this time of year.
This year in particular is bringing me joy as summer – which I never enjoy – was especially unpleasant. Overly hot, overly humid, less wind than is the norm for this area, etc. Calling it merely “uncomfortable” would be insanely generous. It was awful.
Then, almost overnight, the seasons changed. We went from having 38C days and 30C nights… To 24C days and 15C nights. We were able to turn the air conditioner off one day, and (other than a short stint as a dehumidifier during a few days of nonstop rain) it has been off since.
A few nights ago it was even cool enough in the evening to consider bringing the kotatsu out.
I love the autumn.
I have been promising to buy Motoki a little camera to play with for the past few months. After getting tired of him leaking tears whenever we passed cameras in a store, I ordered the cheapest normal-sized digital camera I could find online. A whopping 1800yen with included waterproof case and free shipping.
It arrived today.
I wasn`t expecting anything even close to what could be vaguely called “quality”. But… This is something entirely in it`s own category of awfulness. I had hoped for something along the lines of the first cell phone camera I had almost 10 years ago. This thing is a step below it.
Curse the “lo-fi toy camera” boom. All you weird people who want crappy digital cameras have made it impossible to find anything of just normal crappiness at a decent price. (6000yen for one small step above this?!? Just because it`s “retro styled” and looks kind of like a Holga? You have to be kidding me.)
Motoki is thrilled with it, crappiness and all, but will definitely be getting this for Christmas.
Through the summer, this little frog and a slightly smaller companion lived in the morning glory vines we were growing outside the front door. There is an aluminum lattice there that was perfect for the vines to grow up.
The two little frogs (and other little frogs that came and went) would perch on the lattice or vines and eat the numerous insects that would come hurtling toward our door. I usually have to keep bug repellent incense going all through the summer, but thanks to the frogs – no need this year.
And then it started getting cooler… And the morning glory started dying. The bugs stopped coming. All the other little frogs had left – but two stuck around. Two tiny, thin, frogs.
I considered putting them out in the back yard, where lots of other frogs have taken up residence. But they were tiny and weak. When I watered the morning glory, they would creep out and sit in the tiny puddles… And do nothing else. I wondered if they would survive being released in the back yard. They`d been on our vines since they still had tiny tails.
So I went with the most obvious solution. I bought a large tank, made it into a little frog habitat, caught a bunch of tiny crickets and grasshoppers – and brought the frogs inside.
I have finally gotten around to filtering out the overwhelming spam, and to updating WordPress…
Hopefully I will be able to toss some content up here.
Yes, we`re still alive.
After a lot of talking with my husband and thinking, we decided to not enroll Motoki in the athletics club. As sad as it is to say, it ends up boiling down to money. Not that we can`t afford it (it is outrageous… But that`s not the issue) – but rather that it would be a total waste to have him join it now.
The school year ends in the middle of March. For the last few weeks there are various events… The only advantage to joining now is that we would only have to pay half the regular entrance fee… A discount of 3000yen. And in return, we`d pay 2 months worth of class fees (a total of 12000yen) for two classes. In my eyes, a complete waste. I`d much rather pay the regular entrance fee and start at a point where there are a normal number of classes each month.
Motoki was disappointed, but that is life. We will consider joining again in April.
I doubt there is anyone out there who cares about this as much as we do, but more fun car info after the break!
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Last June, we decided we wanted a new car. While we love and adore our car, it`s getting old (by Japanese standards). And, just about that time our air conditioning pump developed a problem. All repaired under warranty, but we figured that it was as good a time as ever. Our car`s shaken expires in March, so it seemed a good idea to buy a car before we would have to pay those fees again. On July 1st, we put in an order for the 2010 Prius.
I have never bought a car in the US – but I understand that the whole purchase process is quite a bit different there. (Please correct me if I`m wrong…) Apparently you go to a lot and look at the available cars, usually choosing one of the many on the lot or ask the dealer to have one delivered from another lot somewhere. If you`re unlucky, you may have to wait a bit until another shipment comes in and the model/color you want is available.
In Japan, when you order your car – they make the car for you. You choose your options, your color, etc – and they actually send an order to the factory. Dealers only have display models, nothing you can drive home. Normally this doesn`t take all that much time. When we ordered our current car, it was made and at the dealer to pick up in a week or two. However, when there are a lot of orders you have to wait your turn. You get your car pretty much as soon as it is made, but there is still a wait.
With the 2010 Prius, the number of orders was (and still is) much higher than the actual manufacturing speed. We placed our order on July 1st, and have finally received news that it will begin on the production line the 17th. The car will be delivered to the dealer the week of the 25th, and we will be able to pick it up on the 27th or 28th. We will have been waiting for 8 months.
The dreaded business trip was finalized and my husband left yesterday. It is only supposed to be for a month or two… But that`s exactly how last year`s 6 month trip started. I can`t say I have high hopes this time around either. Back to being a pretend single mother…
Ever since having Motoki, I`ve suffered from regular migraines. I had the occasional one here and there back before getting pregnant, but it was really a rarity and usually followed a serious lack of sleep or heavy pressure. Now it`s a pretty regular monthly occurrence.
Today was migraine day. I knew from last night before going to bed that it would be – I can just tell that I`m going waste the following day due to head pain. Excedrin sometimes helps, sometimes not. But it could be much worse – I`m still functional… Just in enough pain that I feel nauseous. (Although I can`t say that I`d actually want to do anything that requires me to test that.) The migraine just finished it`s course about 30 minutes ago.
One interesting thing I have noticed about my migraines is that once they are over, there is an extended period of near euphoria. I used to think this was just my body and mind rejoicing over the sheer lack of pain – but apparently it`s a common feature of migraines. So in return for suffering through around 24 hours of agony, my body gives me the closest thing I can imagine to being “high”. (I don`t have any drug usage experience to make a true comparison to. Which is a good thing, I think.) Right now I`m sort of enveloped in a floaty cloud of relief that it`s over, and incredibly tired from the whole thing. But it would be hard to call it an unpleasant sensation.
Motoki has poor coordination. He runs a bit oddly, and has a lot of trouble with activities that require fast movement. He is horrific at throwing things and is the only child in his kindergarten class who cannot jump rope at least once. I think he is fairly aware that he is not so strong in that area and does his best to avoid that sort of activity. Not to say he doesn`t enjoy moving around – he just avoids the specific bits that he has trouble with. When playing a game using a ball, he will be the one to run and pick up the ball – but will pass it on to a friend to throw.
The kindergarten offers an optional after school athletics club/class. A teacher comes from a local sports gym and there is an hour long class once every week after kindergarten ends. So far, Motoki has expressed absolutely NO interest in joining it. He would dodge the suggestion or straight out say no… But this month a pamphlet came again and I brought the subject up. One of his best friends is in the club, so apparently things are different this time around – he really wanted to go. So we signed up for the free demo class and went today. I went too so I could watch.
Motoki was good through the class, did his best… And the teacher was good with all the kids. So I decided to sign him up and picked up all the forms – then noticed… It is way way too expensive for what it is. Seriously. I was half gawking at the price. A group class, once a week, should not be around $75/month. Or at least it doesn`t seem like it should. But we`ll just have to cough that up somehow.