Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Epic Quest, It Is Complete

Those of you who tuned in some time ago may remember my amazing Hunts Barbecue sauce and (more amazing) Johnsonville Bratwurst find. I actually found those in the lower level of the department store at the station I live at, Hon Atsugi. I forget the name of the store, but it wasn't necessarily some fancy pants expensive place. For some reason this store just has stuff from all over the world in it. Plus the prices weren't exactly that outrageous either. Usually when you think of import stores theres a 2x price hike for shipping or whatever, but I was able to get that barbecue sauce for 500 yen, and the pack of 6 brats for 600 yen (~$1 each). I have no problem at ALL paying that price. In fact, I'm still dumbfounded by the fact that I have Johnsonville brats in my freezer at this very moment. Plus! I can go get more whenever I need some!

Well my quest continued. When I went to Shonan Beach with Ishikawa-san and company a couple weeks ago, another friend and her daughter tagged along. Turns out this person is married to an American who works at the nearby American base. Well as it turns out, they also have a supermarket at this American base. This American base where Americans live. And naturally Americans working at this American base enjoy American food over Japanese food. Yes... oh yes, are you getting my drift?

I wish you could see the tears on my face. Each one is for all the Americans who have lived in Japan and dealt with absence of Barbecue Sauce and Ranch Dressing (and brats! bonus!). Many thanks to Kana for asking that friend who came about whether or not they had ranch dressing at the American base!

So with this I believe I've found the secret to permanently living in Japan! (sorry mom and dad)

My quest for the holy grail (ranch dressing and barbecue sauce), was complete. And there was much rejoicing, yaaay

...I wonder if I can find buffalo sauce somewhere.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Catching Up

This blog needs some more blog, and less non-blog.

Two weekends ago we went to Shonan Beach down at Chigasaki for a picnic and barbecue. It had been like, almost a month since we'd done a barbeue so we had to do one again. To keep the pace up, we'll be doing another on July 4th (total coincidence). I definitely need to be as AMERICAN as possible for that. Maybe I can find an American flag belt buckle somewhere...

Anyways, Shonan beach was pretty fun. We were worried about the weather as to whether it would rain or not. It seemed like every day we checked during the previous week Saturday and Sunday would swap weather forecasts. The barbecue was planned for Sunday and as Saturday turned out to have gorgeous weather we were worried Sunday would be rainy but some how or another the weather turned out nice and sunny, although a little windy.

The barbecue on the beach was... well pretty much exactly that. We set up shop on the beach, planted a little mini grill, and FEASTED. Once again Ishikawa-san was master chef (and master eater), and it was a lot of fun.

One interesting thing about this place was that the peninsula (man made i think) we were on had this breakwater on the tip, and you can go fishing and such off of it. But the most interesting part is that you can... fish crabs right on the breakwater structure. They're just crawling around (or hiding from us scary people), but if you're quick with a net, free crabs for you! Unfortunately I guess they don't taste good? But oh well, it was fun to catch crabs. What really blew me away was watching some old dude with some simple fishing line pull an octopus out of the water!! Wow.

The only problem with this fun we were having at the beach... all day long... in the hot sun... was that I was a major idiot and didn't put sun screen on... Its been almost two weeks since and I'm a freakin snake man right now. Yeesh.

My skin was like, burning, so I wanted to live inside the fridge or better yet freezer. So I cranked the AC down. The only problem was that my body was getting cold cause the room was cold... but I couldn't really wear a whole lot of clothes because my skin was burning. But since my skin was burning I wanted to keep the room cold... AAAHHHH!!! 悪循環だ! (vicious circle)

Anyways, this past weekend I visited Kana in Oyama again. No pictures this time around, but we decided to rent a movie. The only problem was we rented probably the worst movie ever created - The Curse of King Tut's Tooooommmmmbbb!!!. Yea umm... unbelievable. Words cannot describe this atrocity. Basically I think this is what happened...

"Hey, archeologists/adventurist are popular right now! Let's make a terrible made for TV movie to jump in on the popularity!"
"That's a great idea! How much money should we invest on this?"
"How about 15 million dollars!"
"But how are we going to convince people 15 million dollars was invested into this?"
"Who knows, how about we make it really long and put some cheap CG in it. That should eat up a lot of dough."
"I love it!"

...ugh. At some point during that movie I switched over from interest in the movie to interest in how BAD that movie was. Wow.

Well Sunday I got a chance to go to St Paul's international again in Iidabashi (Tokyo) where I went to church while I studied abroad. Man I can't tell you how cool it is to see familiar faces. Everyone I know right now I've only known for a few months now (wow, its already been 3 months), so it's nice to be around people with a bit more history. Best of all, dude and his family from Madagascar are still there. wewt.

When I mentioned I'm interested in offering what I can with music (trumpet, choir, etc) they seemed pretty psyched, haha. I guess they enjoyed the Easter 3 years ago where I played trumpet and we threw together a choir (and I directed! hah!). Now I gotta get my trumpet over here (I brought my mouthpiece for now).

Alright, that covers it for now. I promise less non-blog and more blog in the near future.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quite the Week

I haven't posted for awhile. Last week was... quite a ride.

Last fall at the beginning of the school year, Mary, a fellow teacher and very close friend of my mom was diagnosed with cancer out of the blue. After a roller coaster over the past several months, she suddenly went to be with the Lord last week. By this point it wasn't exactly a surprise but it still feels rather sudden and shocking. We're of course very sad to part with Mary, but there's also a strange feeling of comfort knowing where she is at this very moment.

Mary, we're glad you're rejoicing in heaven, but we're so sad to see you go. You will be greatly missed!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Johnsonville Heaven


Also this.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hemp Haircut

Finally got my hair(s)cut today for the first time since coming back to Japan. It was rather long, so it felt good to shed a couple pounds off my head. I was much overdue.

I went to this place that Ishiakawa-san goes to in Shake (same station as work) called Hemp... and I'm pretty sure its a reference to what you think it is. The sign for this place was this huge graffiti style sign with a Jamaican kind of color scheme. His car (van) was also tricked out with a skirt and flames paint job. The store itself had a whole assortment interesting knick-knacks and stuff as well.

But the guy was... just a normal nice guy. I guess that kind of stuff is just his hobby (in a good way). My haircut actually turned out not to bad either. Much better than the $35 haircut I got in Tokyo 3 years ago where I left it up to the barber and he gave me a... mullet. Yes a mullet. man I'll never forget that.

Anyways thats that. Got my hair cut in Japan and it turned out pretty good. Cool.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Internet Fixed!!!

YES! Got my internet fixed.

Thank you Brian L for suggesting I drop the MTU down to 1412!! Worked like a charm!!! Seems we had similar problems at Proto Labs Japan when we got the internet there and thats what they did to fix it. Ahhh feels so amazing when it works correctly. Thank you!!!

Now all pages load nice and snappy, AND my ps3 is able to connect to PSN. Awesome.