Friday, March 24, 2006

A Week of Random

It's been a busy week.

I was off Monday, but spent the whole day cleaning someone else's house because their pets decided to shit on every level surface in the household. I didn't get half of my chores done.

I made a roast chicken on Tuesday (I think, I'll have to check with Sly) and we had a nice sit down dinner (with Sly, obviously).

It was a short week at work (I put in 18 hours over the weekend), since I wasn't there Monday or today (Friday) and left early (I picked up extra hours on Wednesday) on Tuesday and Thursday. That left me feeling all discombobulated, because, well, I wasn't at work.

Three days of recovery from a hard stint at the gym-not going to the gym threw me off, too. I'm such a creature of habit--if it's interval training on the treadmill-it must be Tuesday. I've been increasing the duration of my workouts pretty quickly over the last three weeks and it wiped me out. I needed the rest badly--I think my hip flexors have begrudgingly forgiven me. The rest really helped, I needed it. I need to add a yoga workout or two this coming week. The first week in April will get me back into lifting weights (and swimming lessons).

This week, I tried to be a little more pulled-together, outfit-wise, at work (more on why I'm falling apart in the next paragraph). So I finally wore wore a narrow-rib black sweater that was an Xmas gift from Stephanie, my SIL. It's cotton so it was a little too light to wear this winter (I wore monster woolly ski sweaters all winter) AND as much as I hate to admit, I was too chubby to wear it sooner. But being down from 137 to 119 pounds since January helped. And the fact that the sweater is incredibly flattering and makes me look another ten pounds slimmer really helped, too. I wore it with my black alligator print boots (thanks Mrs. Phelps for re-mailing them to me) and a pair of my "skinny jeans". I really, really like the sweater-so I called Stephanie to thank her again. I asked if she could find me a bathing suit that would vanish 10 pounds, too!
It was really nice to talk to her.

Work is a mess. Two co-workers (and friends) got their funding pulled, so the site is trying to keep them here, as they heads is full of the improntant no-ledge. In order to do so, it seems that they would have to be put onto the contract on which I (and 11 others) work. In order to do THAT, 2 or 3 less "essential" individuals will be sent home. Everyone is freaking out and leadership can't get their heads out of their asses and make a decision.The one Lt. Col. is a very sweet man, I know he's hoping and praying for last minute money so he doesn't have to let anyone go but sometimes, you just have to cut bait and run. All the contractors understand and no one is going to hate him, really. We just want answers. Nobody is getting much work done anyway because everyone is speculating (and making contingency plans). Sly, as the team lead, is furious with them because people just need to know, so they can begin all the running around that happens when you have to go back stateside.

Thursday, I went to the local thrift shop and got two cute shirts, a pair of zori (kimono shoes) that were BRAND NEW and an interesting color, a scarf and a set of dishes. The owner of the store seemed very tickled about the dishes, which are reproductions of the works of Kano-school artist (and I thought an art-history degree was useless). He was pleased when I recognized the name and was able to use the Japanese names of the flowers, grass and animals depicted on the little dishes. I think he was also pleased to have someone on which to unload some Engrish. I did have one brief American moment. When I was looking at the dishes, I noticed that there were five (even though there are four seasons) and I wondered if it the dishes had been part of a set of eight and three broke. Then I realized..duh, the Japanese never give four of anything, since four can be read yon or shi and shi is also the word for death. Four is considered unlucky. So the plates came in a set of five.

Also this morning, I talked to my mom for about an hour-and-a-half. She had her colon scoped as part of a routine physical and they found a polyp and they didn't screw around, they pretty much sent her to surgery right away to have it removed. Mom said she got serious good drugs (Demerol and something else)and doesn't remember anything, but apparently she talked to everybody on the way into the operating room. When she came back for a follow up, people she didn't know were saying "Hi Connie!" and being her best friends and my mother was totally like "Who the hell are you?"
Mom had no symptoms--no pain, no blood in her poop, nothing, but the polyp they removed from her colon was about an inch long. Gross! The growth was benign and as my mother put it, "Thank God, no ass-cancer." My family is fucked up. Ass cancer. Sweet babby jeebus.
There was also some diverticulitis, but it's mild and studies show it can be handled with a [vegetarian] diet and regular exercise and some other lifestyle changes (and my family has made fun of me for years for being a hippie pinko-commie vegetarian health-food-store-shopping hypochonriacal freak). I sent my mom a book on caring for intestinal disorders and a book on juicing and a juicer to go with. Mom is working on getting a "content connie colon" to which I should add "a conent connie colon containing no cancer."

This week, I hung out with Eiko-san after I was done working. I sold two haori, three kimono, two obi and a couple of scrolls. Two of those kimono were sold to co-workers. The guys in the office are getting to the point where they don't want to let their wives come near me...I cost Tate 150 bucks, and Crocker, too. But Dana got it the worst. The last time Eiko-san was here, I sold Dana's wife, Amy, two fancy wedding robes for a total of 700 bucks. I also sold myself some kimono, but I don't want to talk about that. I do not have a problem. I can stop anytime I want. I just don't want to.

My Japanese language listening skills are teh sux0r. I took Eiko-san to do some grocery shopping for American foods and as we were going down the produce aisle, she was happily chattering away. I caught something about dai (big) and mango. I thought she wanted a mango, so I indicated that they were are (over there, away from us). Some more rapid-fire Japanese and then finally she said "We'll ask Masako-san" --meaning "this is like talking to a turd, and I'll take you to go see the translator". At any rate, I got Eiko-san her Folger's (of all things), strawberry jam, a spiral-cut ham, and some instant coffee. Eiko-san couldn't explain the instant coffee in a way I understood, so she finally pointed to the box. "Oh, 'instant' coffee! Eigo da 'instant'!" said I. When Eiko-san looked confused, I said "Hyaku Kohee" (literally quick/fast coffee). Not quite correct, but I got the idea across and she found it funny.

When we saw Masako-san, she explained what Eiko had been saying was not mango but mago (grandchild). Oh, geez. What she had been saying in the grocery store was that her grandchild had been accepted to college (daigakku--big school) in the city of Hakodate, located on the island of Hokkaido. So Eiko wanted a fancy ham for the main course of the dinner party she was going to throw for her mago. So that was the "dai" that I heard...And I can't explain why I thought she was saying mango, other than I'm a dipshit. At least they found this hilarious. Fine, I thought, I can play, too. So just before I left, I went back to the commissary, got a really nice mango and put it into a gift bag. Then I gave it to Eiko san and said: "Kore ga presentto desu. Mago jinaii, MANGO desu yo!" (This (here) is a present (for you). It's not a grandchild, it's (definitely) a mango!". She was laughing so hard she was crying. Point for me. But not for long. I saw Eiko-san's danna-samma (husband) Aizawa-san the next day, and he told me he ate the mango last night. And then he said "Sakayuu mango tabete, mago tabemasen! " (Last evening, I ate the MANGO, not the grandchild). So he got me, too. No point in messing with a professional. Aizawa-san is a total hoot, always making jokes. And showing Chris antique shunga (explicit Japanese woodblock prints).

Masako-san gave me a presentto, too! It is the cutest little handbag, with dragonflies on it. I thought that was so sweet, especially since she doesn't make much money at all and her budget is tight. It makes the gift extra special. We're planning for her to come hang out next week. I told her to bring her laundry, so she doesn't have to pay to use the laundromat. Her american boyfriend PCS'ed to Korea for a year, and she's having a hard time.

I also had a kimono lesson today. I got it into my head that I was going to wear a kimono for it, too. It took me TWO HOURS to get dressed. It should take 20 minutes. I haven't dressed myself in kimono for nearly five months, so I had trouble (you have to reverse a lot of things and I don't think well in reverse) but I did OK, Eiko-san only had a few corrections. Our running joke during practice, when I'm taking too long, is that the person I'm dressing will be late for their party. When I told Eiko-san it took two hours to get dressed she said "Practice more. It should only take 20 minutes. My god, the party would have been OVER!" and Aizawa-san added "Your husband would fall asleep waiting for you!" Oh, they are too, too much.

And that is my week in review.

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