Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happiest Pocky on Earth

Emotional eating never felt so good! Oh, Japan. CUTEST SNACK FOODS EVERRRRR!!!!

It doesn't matter that the Pocky itself kinda had a sawdust quality. Just the packaging itself made me happy. And now I share that happiness with YOU!! You're welcome. And if you don't know the joys of Pocky, then GO! Find Pocky! Educate thyself!! IMMEDIATELY!

And ask yourself: WHY DON'T I KNOW ABOUT POCKY??? But be kind to yourself...we all make mistakes. We do. It happens. It's okay. You're okay, I'm okay. Okay? Okay.

Why hello little Panda bear!
Happy childhood memories of a slip n' slide, evoked by a little dancing bear. Who knew?
The pyramids?? That is some next-level multicultural junk right there. Oh how I wish I could read Japanese...

I'm still looking for the elusive chocolate banana Pocky...if anyone finds it, let me know! The prize for that junk will be AWESOMES. Trust.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow-Coated Reality

I'm a Florida girl. And what do I know about snow? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I've visited winter in the past (and serious winter at that...hello?? -40 degrees in Finland, thank you very much), but it took one snow day here in Tokyo to inform me straight up: I'm screwed.

My Florida winter clothes are a JOKE. And not the funny kind. The ohhhhh-you-poor-thing kind. So I wear a lot of layers. Like 4 or 5. Like I can't bend my legs.

But in my defense, the people I asked said it "doesn't really snow" in I didn't worry too much.

Until it snowed in Tokyo.

Ummm...that's snow.

Like more than just "a little."

But it sure is pretty. Even if it is breaking branches and threatening to drop piles of stuff on my head.

Once it's enough to make fake people, it's officially too much..
But we had a great day learning about snowpeople of the world. Like this Russian snowwoman. She is quite voluptuous, but we tried to keep it tasteful.
Or the Japanese snowman. Kawaii!!!
Japanese Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Adorbs!
But at least we look great in the snow! 

I'm sorry but this doesn't look like "it doesn't really snow" to me. But maybe it's an issue of perspective. Maybe THIS is what snow means to them:

Ummm...yeah. I didn't take this picture. I don't want to be anywhere NEAR this!! But it is in Japan.
 So it snowed. And I looked in my closet and realized that I own three pairs of boots, but two of those have five-inch heels (haha, stupid Floridian!) and the last pair has soles so slick that I've already slipped and fallen twice, and that's BEFORE snow and ice entered the picture. And none of the above are waterproof. There is mad laughter in my head as I write this. Totally and utterly unequipped.

So I went shopping for winter things. And after looking for snow boots for five minutes and realizing the biggest size they have for women is an 8.5, I decided I wasn't up for public ridicule today. Kids, hear me: I wear a size ELEVEN. And as I have mentioned here before, I have arms and legs for daaaaays...allow me to reiterate:

That is my LEG I am leaning on. Foot flat on the floor. FYI: THAT IS NUTS.

Buying a jacket and snow pants is going to be an absolute nightmare. So I did what any sensible Florida girl does: I bought summer dresses. But to balance it out, I did find a ski least my head's not too big for Japan (yet):


So I survived the snow day like a champ. Though my feet were totally soaked. But at least I didn't fall on my accident-prone keister...A MIRACLE! I felt like Bambi on the frozen pond, but without the adorable woodland sidekick. And then I spent 24 hours hiding in my bedroom watching movies and trying to drown out the sound of snow sliding off the roof and crashing to the ground. 'Cause you know it would've landed straight on my head. NO THANK YOU.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Airdrop tweezers, STAT!

Hey kids!

So I haven't always been the paragon of well-groomed eyebrows I am today. I can admit that. In fact, I spent years totally ignoring my eyebrows. Is this what you expected to read? Because it's not what I expected to write. I'm just writing what I'm thinking, and today, lucky us, all I'm thinking is EYEBROWS. 

Real talk: my students are talking, and instead of listening and preparing some kind of roleplay about ordering food or yelling at their subordinates or designing an ad campaign for a vanilla soda called Vanilla Ice which will enable us to have a moment to rap together...wait...what was I talking about? I got caught up in some happy memories rapping with my students. PS Sometimes my job is nothin' but AWESOME. And I do whatever it takes to help them learn. And keep myself entertained. 

Okay, what? EYEBROWS.

So instead of listening, most of the time I'm just staring in utter fascination at their eyebrows. Waiting for them to come to life and wave at me. Or talk. Or dance. Or something. How are eyebrows that thick and wide and intense even possible? And they ALL have them. And tweezing...nope. Not happening. Cosmetologists of the world: you could rake it in here! FREE TIP!

Anyway, if I had that BIONIC EYEBALL CAMERA I've been wanting, I'd have a bunch of awesome pictures of some scary hairy-caterpillar next-level eyebrows. But alas, that's still a no-go. So this is all I can leave you with...I'm at work, they talk, and all I see is THIS:

I should get paid extra for never mentioning it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Down like a dog on the highway

Let me get this down in writing, just so there's a record:

There is a very good chance I will die in some kind of traffic mishap here. Okay, I shouldn't say "traffic mishap." That sounds like the drivers are nuts. Which they might be...I just don't know. You know, I don't think so though...everything seems pretty stinkin' orderly. What I mean is I will get run down in the street and it will be entirely my own fault.

They drive on the left here.

"But you don't have a driver's license or ever drive a car or even ride in cars...why is that a problem???"

Because I ALWAYS look the wrong way when crossing the street.

Sure, we teach kids to "look both ways"...but what happens over time is that you learn to automatically look left, start walking, then look right, because you know THAT'S WHERE THE CARS ARE COMING FROM. Except that's not true here. I need to look right, THEN left. And I can't seem to get it through my skull. All the crazy things I've survived, and THIS is how I'm going to die.

Well, let me just say: I called it. At least you all know what to do in the event of my death. Go nuts for donuts!!!!

But if the bus that runs me down is as adorable as these, I WON'T EVEN MIND:

I just don't understand: How do they make even the BUSES cute????

And the fabric on the seats IN the buses??? ADORBS!!!

It's too much. I LOVE IT HERE.

PS: This is the poem I couldn't get out of my head while I was writing this...oh Anne...and now I miss college and my Pony Pal. GOOD TIMES. Consider this a bonus generosity and thoughtfulness stun even me sometimes:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I kind of want to take a tour bus of Japanese people to Iowa and watch their heads explode

Let me tell you a little story about corn:

The Japanese are obsessed with it.

The end.

Okay, you know I can't leave it there. And maybe "obsessed" is a little strong, but then I really have to ask: WHY IS IT EVERYWHERE?

In vending machines:

Hot corn soup. No other food. Just corn soup. Or, I'm sorry..."corn potage."

And corn soup. And more corn soup. In every grocery and convenience store.

Even Heinz??
And individually wrapped pre-cooked ears of corn for snacking.

By the register, no less.
Corn on pizza. (I was so alarmed by the pineapple, ham, corn pizza, that I backed away before snapping a picture. I think it was the MAYONNAISE on top that got me.)

Or you can dress as some form of corn for your next costume party (Don't you worry: ON IT!)

Costume with CLASS.
Or hear corn in concert:

Now, if you know me, you know I love me some Doritos. LOOOOOVE. The junk food trifecta: Cool Ranch Doritos, Red Hots cinnamon candies, and Publix Sweet Tea. Add some fried chicken and that's an ideal meal right there. You didn't ask, but this is something I think the world just has to know. This is probably what I will eat on my first day back in America. Yummmmmm.

Okay, so what was I talking about? Doritos. Yes. I love them. So when I saw that little Doritos logo in the grocery store, I got all giddy and happy inside and I bought them without even a second glance.

But then I got home and looked more closely.

Do you see what that is??? Look closely.

Huh. Maybe this just alerts the consumer that these are corn chips.

NOPE. They are actually BUTTERED CORN FLAVORED DORITOS. I can't even explain how weird it is, but they have figured out how to make seasoning that is exactly like eating a fresh ear of buttered corn. There were popping and fizzing noises in my head as my brain tried to figure this out. SOOOOOO weird.

And yes, I finished the bag. But no, I will probably not buy more, love for Doritos and all. Okay, I like how in that last sentence I know my weakness for Doritos is bad enough that there is a chance I will go back for more of this Doritos abomination. If you were here right now, you would have heard a very deep sigh that accompanies that admission.

So, as you might imagine, some of the words I say most often here are: "What is that? I HAVE TO KNOW." Buttered corn Doritos. Yogurt soda. Weird root vegetables. Tofu somethings. Tentacles. Tummy is a CHAMPIOOOOOONNNNNN!!! But I really had to apologize to tummy after this one:

I saw "caramel corn." I like caramel corn. Actually, I love it. And strawberry flavor? Well, I had to know! Until I opened it. Then I was just worried. Clearly we don't have the same interpretation of "caramel corn."

Looks like worms, texture of Cheetos, tastes like strawberry Pop Rocks. Let your mind run over that combination. And now again. NOT OKAY. But yes, I ATE IT ALL. And no, I don't know why. I really don't.

And speaking of corn, up until Christmas day, I was greeted on my way to work by the Children of the Corn every morning:


 I'm so glad they're gone.
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