Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A couple of recipes to make you feel better!!

*No...sorry...I do not know who this darling child is...though...I'm sure I can find two pictures of my little ones that are almost exactly the same pose and probably same blue bucket!!!

Happy Wednesday!!!

This is going to be short so I will just get to the point.....(YouTube is calling my name, don't ya know...gotta watch another episode of "My Boys"!!!)

Tonight I treated my dry and yucky feet, heels and elbows to something that was just quite yummy!! My mom told me about this a couple of years ago and for something so simple and easy, I don't do it enough.

Okay.....mix equal parts sugar and olive oil. Get into the bathtub and massage any part of your lovely body that needs the TLC!! I usually mix one or two tablespoons but tonight I did 1/4 cup of each and had enough to just slather all over my body!! (It felt kind of decadent...yet strangely....nice at the same time!!)

After massaging into your skin for a can go ahead and wash it off, tonight, I soaked in the hot bath for a bit before washing.

I can tell you that I am feeling incredibly soft right now!!! My skin feels like buttah!!!

*The bathtub, on the other hand, is whole 'nuther story....Oh well...I'll clean it tomorrow!!

Now....another not so much a "recipe", but something to possibly make you smile!!!

Calmness in Our Lives

"I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished." So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now. Please pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace."'m off to see what I can finish off in the fridge....I KNOW there's a bottle of homemade Kahlua ("Kuroiwa Kahlua"!!), with just enough for a nice drink before I zone out on YouTube videos!!!

Happy Hump-Day, Everyone!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where is my damn soapbox when I need it?!?!

Since I was born, I have had blond hair. Granted, those many moons ago, it was mere wisps on my little round head, but....they were blond wisps, dammit!
As the years have sped by....that wonderfully platinum, almost "white" kind of blond I had in high school, gradually, I'm "sandy blond" with bits of "strawberry blond" thrown in. My grandfather used to say I was a "dishwater blond", but, I'm sorry...Loved the man more than life itself, almost, but....that..just..won't.. do.
(He said one time that "dishwater" was one of his favorite colors!!!)

(*When I was 16, I did some time paraded around with "pool blond" hair....thanks to the chemicals in the pool during the summer, I had an alien-like interesting green tint to my locks when school started again in the fall. )

Now......being a "smart" blond, I can laugh at the "dumb blond" jokes. Some of them are actually quite funny (yes, I get them!!!) and I will pass them on to other friends.

And then, last week....I received a picture that seriously got me a bit ticked off and made me want to climb up on the shoulders of someone tall and handsome like Peyton Manning a soapbox and let my few readers the world know that I was mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

This was sent as a "Look at the dumb, blond woman trying to take a picture." And yes, it is quite humorous...just look at how she has the camera turned around backwards...hahahahaha....Could she BE more stupid?

And then.....I noticed something.....THAT WOMAN IS NOT A BLOND.

Am I the ONLY one here that can see those dark roots, almost about to reach out and grab the woman beside her in the really shiny peach outfit!!!

One of the very important rules of "the world of blond" is to never, I repeat NEVER let your roots show (if you do happen to go to the bottle, that is....and yes, some of us do, only because in MY case, it just makes my head, ergo, ME feel lighter....happier!!).

My point: ("finally!", you say!!) There are dark-haired women out there with really bad dye-jobs, doing stupid stuff, and trying to pass themselves off as "true blonds" .

This is a travesty. Stop the madness!!

Dark haired women...go find your own thing to be "cute" and funny about...quit taking our "thing". Leave the "blondness" us....the blonds. Or...if you must go out masquerading as a have a reputation to uphold...spend the $20...get those roots touched up before you go out!!! Don't make me do it for you!!!

Now....whenever I get a list of "dumb blond" jokes, I'm going to read them all with a huge grain of salt....on the really dumb ones, I will say to myself, "Oh right! Probably a brunette did that!!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh my goodness!!! You have ENGRISH in America!!

In response to my "venting" about stupid English that we can find pretty much everyday over here (scroll down a few posts!!!)....a good friend sent this to me in an e-mail.

The message was as follows:

Keep in mind this actually really did happen!!!! This was for someone who was moving from an insurance claims office.
Okay so this is how I imagine this conversation went:
Wal-mart Employee: "Yo " dis be Wal-marts, how kin I heps you?"
Customer: " I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."
Wal-mart Employee: "Whacha wan on da cake?"
Customer: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss you".

And on that sad and slightly disturbing note, I'm turning off the computer....I have escaped into the blogging world and YouTube for waaaaay too long now. I have children around here somewhere that probably need my attention!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's Feast....It's Fabulous Dah-lings!!!

How many times per day do you usually laugh?

Oh...puh-lease!!! Why don't you just ask something easy, like "How many grains of sand are in a cup of sand?" How many times do I laugh in a day??? How about.....INFINITY?!?! :-d
I. love. to. laugh. My whole theory of life is that if you can't see the humor in something, then it is time for a change!! Or if something is not longer fun...get out!!
In my classes....I teach mainly oldER people....average age, somewhere around 58-or so. Many of them are there to learn the language, others are there to get out and to "exercise" their brains (as one lovely 70-year-old woman told me!!)....but all of them are in my class because it's fun!! (or at least that's why I hope!!) We laugh...and we laugh a lot!!
How many times a day do I laugh?!?!? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHA!

What do your sunglasses look like?

Let's see.....I have about 3 pair that I have "strategically" placed so I can always find pair is a RayBan the"Blues Brothers" ("We're on a mission from God.") type of glasses. Another pair is just a cheapy pair of "whatever" glasses. favorite pair are my Sweet Potato Queens "Queenly shades" (with 25 rhinestones on EACH side, thank YOU very much!!). I love 'em!! When I wear them, I positively feel empowered!!


You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?

I would love to go to Hokkaido. I would get on the Shinkansen ("Bullet Train") and go to the northern-most island in Japan. I have never been there, but always love hearing about it. In the summer, it is probably the coolest place in Japan to be...and in the winter, definitely the coldest. I would love to see the annual "snow festival"....the pictures are incredible!! Plus, I could buy my most favorite Japanese sweet from there....butter cookie sandwiches with a raisin butter cream in the middle.....mmmmmmmmmmm!

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.

I live there. ( kidding....!!!) :-D

Nagasaki City has about 350,000 people....but still, the feeling is very "country". The people, generally, are kind and caring and willing to help you out if you need it....even if you are a gaijin ("foreigner"). I am from a very small town in Colorado...and I am very comfortable here.....but as with every small town, it does have it's drawbacks...being too small...but's home. For now.

If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?

(Where DO they get these questions?!?!)
Another color, huh??? hmmmmmmmm....maybe a pale yellow....something that would always look kind of bright, even when it wasn't.
That's a question I can honestly say that I have NEVER thought about before!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A winding down, of sorts....It's almost Friday and I'm tired...

This afternoon, as I was reading through cleaning out some books, I came across a book of poems that my mom sent to me a few years ago. The book, "The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis" is actually one of my favorites.....and I had sort of forgotten about it for a while.
The poems were chosen by Caroline Kennedy and were some of her mother's most favorite. In this book, is one of my favorites....and one that, if I had to pick one poem to represent me...I think this would be it.

First Fig
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No really....what do YOU think it means?!?!

The other day, I had some free time on my hands and since I never rarely get free time, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself. So...I took said "self" to a discount store here that is somewhere between a Wal-Mart and a K-Mart (sadly, though, nowhere near a Tar-jay!!) It's a pretty good place to go shopping and I can usually find a good bargain or three. The name of the store is can imagine my excitement when I first saw the sign...and then...."oh crap!'s an E...not an A!!" there I was, looking through the t-shirts and as always, the ones with English catch my eye. Not because of their wonderful designs or catchy phrases, but because usually....and by "usually" I mean 99.9% of the time....the English is just. plain. stupid. It will make no freakin' sense at all!!
For example, take the t-shirt that reached out and grabbed me I happened to find:


And.....the dogs?? Leep??
Am I missing something here???

After a few moments of just shaking my head and giggling to myself, I took a picture with my cell phone and sent it to two American friends, asking them what they thought....One response was , "You're the English teacher, you tell us!!"

Nope. Sorry. Not even going to try!

I don't know if you are aware of it, but the English in most non-English speaking countries is positively laughable. If you don't believe me, go to and check out what they have!! Some of the things, you will think are jokes, but...I can guarantee, they are not.

*BTW, that shirt was actually kind of nice...good color...and cheap!!! And no, I didn't buy it...
Wrong size, don't you know. Would make a great present for someone though!!! :-D

I will never forget one day, on the streetcar, an older woman sitting across from me wearing a t-shirt and nice pants...casual, yet on the dressy-side. Her t-shirt had some very elaborate flowers embroidered around some English....and it said:

"These are the day of our life. We are dancing monkeys."

Have you ever gotten in the situation where you get tickled....and the harder you try NOT to laugh, the more you actually do?
I finally just got off the streetcar because I think I was starting to make her nervous....and I know I was about to completely go crazy!!!

Welcome to a small corner of my world.

Everyday, I drive past an electronics store, with huge banners outside with "FOR YOUR JUST" written on them. Hell-llloooooO....maybe Just for you might not be better?!?!?!
The newspaper this past weekend did a whole section about the new library that just opened here in the city. On the front page: WE LOVE LIBRARY!!!

I'm about to start something that, honestly, has no end!!!

And then....there husband. Though he really doesn't speak English very well, he does understand it better than most. He likes wearing t-shirts with English that, to the average Japanese person, is just English. And yet...the meaning will be oh so funny, and understood mainly by the foreign population.
My family, especially my youngest brother, doesn't help the situation one bit.

Last year for Christmas, he sent the K-Man a t-shirt that, as I explained to him, most Americans would get....not immediately, mind you....but after passing on the street, after about 2 or 3 seconds, he would probably hear them laughing as they walked on down the way.

So, what does it say? "I AM the man from Nantucket."

(Go ahead, take a second or two....)

He loves this shirt. *sigh* add to of MY favorite t-shirts from the Sweet Potato Queens:

I used to have one of theirs that said
"Never wear panties to a party."
I wonder what happend to that one?!?!

And by the way....if you're going to wear ANYthing from the Sweet Potato Queens, you REALLY must accessorize with these:

My good friend, Dena and I wearing our SPQ Divine Diva glasses...she truly is my "sister from another mister" and has been for over 20 years.
(And I do believe we were both wearing panties!! Obviously, not an "official" party that night!!!)

So....if you see something funny on a t-shirt or anywhere...tell me about it...I love stuff like that.

Especially if it doesn't make me wanna take out my red pen and start correcting!!!

Have a great day!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meeting the "hair challenge".....

For those of you who are just joining us...a blog that I read faithfully, Mrs. G., in one of her latest posts, did a "history of Mrs. G. in terms of hair and fashion" kind of post. Because I usually cannot help myself, I made a comment and in return, in a comment on one of my posts she threw down gently tossed a challenge to me to do the same. And me....finding it really hard to pass up such a challenge, decided to 'bite'. (Please someone, tell me there's a prize at the end of this!!! :-D )

Okay....let me just start this whole "retrospective" thing off by saying that...even though I am at a bit of a disadvantage due to the fact that most of my really bad interesting fashion pictures are ripped up and thrown away gently stored in boxes in my mom's garage in the States...I feel that I have kicked butt succeeded in meeting this particular challenge using only the photos I have here in Japan!

*This picture is of me and my youngest son at his "field day" at the daycare. The woman behind me is probably thinking: a) "I wish that gaijin (foreigner) would move...I can't see what's going on in front of her!." or b) "Wow! I wish I could wear my hair like that!! Kawaiiiiii!! (cuuuuuute!!)".

I must admit, this (looking at the above picture)..... is what I usually look like. If you must know, I was a big fan of the Gidget movies when I was younger and feel that many times, I am channeling Sandra Dee...or any of those women off of "Where The Boys Are" (one of my all-time favorite movies!!!Love those classics!!!) And as my Mom said, "Not many people could actually wear their hair that way, can." Now that may be just my Mom talking, maybe she was tossing back the Scotch and being really sarcastic, but, I don't Mom said I looked okay....and how many times can any of us say that our Mom's actually said (alcohol involved, or not!!) that about anything we have done with our hair or worn?!?!?

So....if you're might wanna buckle up, it could get kind of bumpy!!!

Debbie's a slightly "Glamour-NOT"-kind of way

Once upon a time, a very cute baby girl was born to a very young couple. (Yes, that's my mom...NOT the babysitter!! Mom was doing the Mia Farrow look long before it was popular....and I'm just loving those glasses!!!! Serious!!) This picture of the little angel was taken at 5 would be another 4 or 5 months before any hair would grow that could actually be seen with the naked eye!

And when that hair came in, it was very, very blond....very, very straight...and fine. (The baby in that "state-of-the-art" walker....those of us born in the early 60's are lucky to be alive and in one piece!!!......anyway...that baby is my brother and he also fell victim to the "no hair" gene in our family. Thirty-nine years later, it is causing him a problem once again!!!) This hairstyle, except for a few brave haircuts (see next picture) would be the style of choice until I was about 15, then, a young skater named Dorothy Hamill became famous and influenced a large number of us. No...I don't skate.

I would, on occasion, stay with my grandparents and attend church on Sunday with them. Having to look my very best, I can only imagine how much Dippity-Doo had to be put in my hair before wrapping it around the pink spongy curlers!! The cool thing about Grandma doing my hair was that she had one of those hair driers that you put the bag on your head and the hot air came through this really long could walk around and everything!!! I was such a big girl!! I think that this was also the time when my mom used to cut my bangs....but first she would put that pink tape on it to keep it straight. I'm thinking she got these.just. a. little. too. high.

Aaaaaahhhh....Senior pictures. Mrs. G.....I'll see your wings and feathers and raise you that fwooooofy action going across my forehead. Personally....I love this picture...the others (of which there were a bzillion!!) were okay...but this one was the best.

Fast Forward.....past university (all three of them!!), past the many strange and wonderful jobs I had....Finally finished university...went to South Texas to know..."to make a difference".....and spent the best 4 years of my life!! Down on the Border...dinner in Mexico was about 10 minutes by car....and on a good day, about 45 minutes from South Padre Island!!

This was taken during a hurricane...not sure which one...maybe in 1988. We all boarded up our own apartments and went to Chez Jay...a good friend with a second floor apartment...entrance into his refuge was some food, some alcohol and a bottle of water!! Obviously...due to the intense heat and humidity, I cut most of my hair off....but with also living so close to the beach, having a no-frills hair-style was necessary (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!) Personally....the only time I wear shorts that short anymore is when I sleep and now they are called "pajamas"! And if I"m not mistaken, those are actually a pair of men's boxer shorts...much to the chagrin of my mother and grandmothers....that was what I usually wore...OUT IN PUBLIC!!! was the style then!!!

...part 2 'cause I can only post 5 pictures at a time...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph!! No wonder I had very few dates during that time in Texas!! Obviously....someone found a salon that liked to do things a bit on the 'kicky' side!!! What you can't see was the tail that went down my back about 6 inches!!! (I'm pretty sure that the tail was actually pink at one point...and then purple in support of the high school foolball team!!!) And those glasses!??!?!?! 'Nuf said!!! *sigh*
Grown-up Debbie. (?) Oh...and one more trip to the perm-crazy salon before we go!!

16 years ago....Debbie...a newbie in Japan and taking that perm-action just one more step....and what's with the nice scarf over the denim jacket?!?! "I'm too sexy for my hair...." :-D Is it just me, or did I actually look younger here than in the previous picture?!?! Must be the clean air....good rice....and seaweed!!!

And now....we bring this strange and interesting (at least for me...this has been kind of fun!!) retrospective to an least for now. The hair is still short...still thin...but getting darker as the years go by.

*Note to self: Have Mom send some "highlights"!!

So...there you go, Mrs. G...and anyone else out there...

I faced the challenge. Can you?!?! Any others out there brave enough???

C'mon....I wanna see YOU now!!!

Have a great I have to go and get some work done for classes tomorrow since I've done pretty much nothing else but this!!! It's been great!!!

Some rainy-day humor to pass the time while you wait.... is a rainy Sunday...the boys are being held prisoner playing quietly in their rooms with Lego's and I am working on answering a challenge that was THROWN DOWN gently tossed to me by another blogger.

Now....I'm not one to shy away from a challenge, so will do my damnedest very best to meet this challenge. I don't have "the keys" so to speak to the scanner or the camera...I must wait until the K-man comes home to help. Yes...yes...I know...I could learn to do it on my own. In my defense, let me say this: I am playing the "helpless female" husband and I have very little time that we actually spend together, due to our ridiculously busy schedules. By refusing to not being able to manage the Japanese programs, I am guaranteed at least a few minutes of "just us" time at the computer. Yes, I know...I'm putting the whole "I am woman, hear me roar" idea waaaaaay back....but...a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do!!

So...until my "challenge post" is ready to go....please watch this video of "Mrs. Hughes". I just got it from a friend, watched it twice and laughed out loud both times!!! Too funny!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday's Feast....something new to do!!

Happy Friday!!
Did you survive the week? For me, it was a long one...good, but long!
In my perusing of other blogs....a couple of times I have run across this idea of a Friday Feast (Thanks "ms. teacher"!!). It is a meme (a pre-set group of questions) to answer. I won't "tag" anyone with them....but, if you want, you can do them too. I just thought it would be something interesting to do on a Friday night.
Here goes:

What is your favorite beverage?

In the In the afternoon...cold green tea or a Caramel Frappacino from Starbucks. In the evening....a cold beer....or better yet, a Margarita.

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.

**Gosh...there's so much to choose from!!!**
A miniature blue convertible VW Beetle (the new kind). A container of Victoria's Secret "Amber Romance" Body Butter (heavenly!!). and...a 6-inch Troll Doll with pink hair and a pink kimono (A present from my mom 16 years ago...too cute!!).


On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?

Oh.....if you include "white lies" in there....then I am probably a 7. Sometimes it's just better to say what is expected or wanted to be heard and get out!! I try to be as honest as I can, but's really really hard!!!

Main Course

If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?

Can't really think of one....that's a strange question!


What stresses you out? What calms you down?

Sometimes, driving here in Nagasaki is really stressful....some roads that really should be one-way are just treacherous to drive on and if I meet a lot of cars going the other direction....stress stress stress!!!
Also....running late. I hate being late for things and you know how it is when you're already late and you seem to hit every single damn stoplight?!?! That's enough to make me just scream / cry / get out of my car and kick the tires!!!

Here, the Japanese take their 'ofudo' (bath) very seriously. Of an evening, I look forward to "my turn" in the bath....I usually take a book (not a very Japanese thing to do!!) and I can stay in there for almost an hour!! The bath is deep enough that if I rest my head on the back, the water will come up to my chin and I can pretty much stretch my legs out!!! Sometimes, I will put some milk bath stuff from The Body Shop in the water....light a couple candles and Voila!! My own personal spa!! One time I mistakenly put in some Victoria Secret scrubbing gel thinking it was the body wash...not a very comfy bath that time!!! (But I still smelled really very nice!!:-D)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A little sarcasm keeps things interesting....

Most everyone knows (and if you don't, then you soon will...) that when learning another language, humor in that language is sometimes almost impossible to get, or at least, it takes a lot of time. Here in the Kuroiwa house, while watching TV, on more than one occasion all three of the men of this house have been laughing their butts off while I just sit there and let it all No clue. I am nowhere near being fluent in this language, but, I can hold my own with the best of them in daily conversations. But humor? No time soon, my friend, no time soon.

Sarcasm....taking humor one more giant step beyond....and especially in the English language, is very difficult to understand (or so say many of my students). Hell, I've been in the States with friends and have had people tell us that they "just don't get" us. My friend, Dena (my "sister from another mister") was even once told by an ex that she was "just too sarcastic"! Really? Ya think?!?! Too sarcastic??:-D

Anyway....where was I? today is downright chilly and I dug out one of my favorite sweaters. I've had it for years and it seems to be growing....actually getting bigger!! Now, I would LOVE to say that I was getting to the fact that we have no clothes drier, the sweater just keeps stretching out more and more and more. I got it from Land's is actually knitted with a denim-type yarn, so the more I wash it, the more faded it's an awesome sweater....except for the fact that I am swimming in it!!

So I see one of my students today and we are talking and she says to me.....
"Nice sweater. Could it be any bigger on you?"

I looked at her and I could swear that her eyes were twinkling!!!
As her teacher.....(wiping a tear from my eye), I am so proud of her!! She was sarcastic and it was intentional!!!

As her friend....heh heh heh...I have so few Japanese friends who understand sarcasm...this will be so much fun!!!
On that note.....and keeping with the sarcasm "flavor".....I was in YouTube (again!) and ...somehow...somewhere I came across this guy...and he is a hoot!!
**Sorry about this, but....once again....either YouTube OR Blogger is giving me crap again, and now I can't embed the damn click here, and go there yourself and watch....please! (I'm about to fire off another "I'm sorry, but what's going on? Does YouTube have a special club that I wasn't invited to join?" kind of letter!!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

...and then peace returned to the world and all was right...

I'm just loving this blogging stuff!!! Not only am I meeting some incredibly wonderful people and keeping more in touch with my friends on the other side of the world, than ever before, but...I think I have just experienced a bit of "THE SECRET" right here in "Bloggersville".

I had a problem. I put it "out there". And lo and behold....the problem was taken care of!!
**A HUGE mahalo....arrigato...gracias to Mrs. G (you rock, my friend!).
She gave me a suggestion and then........"kiss me on the lips and call me cute"..... worked!!

I have a few more, not problems per se, but....mild disturbances in my own personal atmosphere. I will work on them for a bit longer, but if nothing gets fixed, I'll be putting some more...."out there"!!!

Have a wonderful evening!!!

AAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!! are you? Doing good? Good. Me? that you mentioned it.....I'm a bit cranky!! I just put together a post...not remembering that it was started last week, so when I hit the "Publish Post" went BACK in time in my blog!!
So...if you want to read tonight's post...go to January 8....check on the side bar for the title that has "Secret Boyfriend" in it.
And now....I'm going to bed. I'm done. That's it.
If anyone knows how to move a post, let me know, please.
Well hell.....lessons learned, huh!!
Ya'll have a good one!! :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Joining the frenzy with my own "Secret Boyfriends", Part1

As many of you may, or may not know.....the "Secret Boyfriend List" craze has hit the blogging world. Bloggers all over are holding nothing back in revealing who they have secretly loved or lusted after over the years....or in the last few days!! I read 6 or 7 blogs faithfully everyday and most of them have done their list (figuratively, of course...teehee) or they have started on one. The pressure has gotten to be too much. It's time.

When I first thought of doing this, I thought, "Well, this'll be easy." I sat down here and began formulating who I would choose and what I would say...well....not so easy, my friend, not. so. easy.
Who do I start with? Do I put them in any particular order? What if I forget someone?
I have a feeling that this list will be a very long "work in progress" because, just the other day as I was sitting at a stoplight, I thought of someone else!! :-D (This really is fun!!) we go....Debbie's "Secret Boyfriend List":

The first person I thought of was......Tom Selleck. (You may want to click on the pictures and they will get much bigger on a screen of their own and then you can look at them at your leisure!!!)

In college, Magnum P.I. was probably one of my most favorite shows on TV. And not for the action or the cool cars...or even because it was in Hawaii ("my next home") was because of Tom. *sigh*

I mean really.....just look at him!!! The hair....the chest...those eyes.....the casual way he makes that goofy Hawaiian shirt look like it was just made for him....the mustache (even on "Friends" Joey and Chandler were lusting after that mustache...something not every man can grow!!) ....the smile....aaahhh...the smile.

And...I have to admit...whenever I was single and maybe looking at someone wondering if "could this be him?" , I always looked at the man's hands and feet.....not quite a fetish thing going, but....he had to have nice hands and feet...and since Tom was barefoot many times on the show, I knew right then that he was meant for me!!! Somewhere in my mom's garage (where I am still storing many, many valuable things!) I'm pretty sure that I still have the poster he made for the U.S. Volleyball team many moons ago....just shorts...holding a volleyball...that's pretty much all I remembered...It was on my wall at college the whole time I was there!!!

*And just for the record...between you and me....feet and hands....still do it for me...though I'm just looking! (Hey...I'm married, not dead!!) :-)

Can you believe that this man was on the dating game AND LOST........ TWO TIMES!?!?!?

If you want to watch a funny movie that Tom was in that also can be (and has been) used as a basis for comparing cultures... rent "Mr. Baseball". That is one of my favorite movies...not only because of the content (he is an American baseball player here in Japan), but because he plays the part so well....and it's so funny...and in some parts of the movie, so true it's scary!!!

The man is just too damn cute and charming for his own good!!!

Now it's time to close for tonight. Good night, everyone.....Good night, Tom!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh...the lessons that we learn.

Many times as our children grow, we watch them learn some of the same lessons over and over and over again. It's painful to watch...but we have to go on with the hope that they will someday get it. It may take more time than what we think we can stand, be good parents, we can never give in....though we may want to...we must be strong. (I'm sure my own parents went through this...of course, not with me, but with those two rambunctious brothers of mine. Me? Please....I was the perfect child! )

Tonight....I had to watch Issei go through something that, if, yesterday you had asked me to write how I thought this was all going to turn out...I would have been pretty damn close.

For Christmas he got, after over a year of pleading and begging and sneaky negotiations, a Nintendo DS-Lite. According to him EVERYONE in his school has one. Here is an example of a conversation we actually had one time:

Issei: *** SIGH***
Mom: And that was for...what?
Issei: I'm just really sad. (and sounding oh so very pathetic!!! Violins, please!!!)
Mom: Okay....I'll play.....why are you so sad?
Issei: I can't talk to my friends.
Mom: What? That's silly!! Of course, you can talk to your friends. What do you mean?
Issei: **sigh** ALL my friends have a DS and they always talk about the games. I don't have
one so I can't talk with them.

The boy was trying to play me like a cheap piano!! :-D
He survived probably the longest year of his life...and now he can join the many young boys, with their heads down, all playing those damn games!!

In the Kuroiwa House, I am trying to follow the example of my friend, Lauren and her friends in California....they have basically taken TV away during the week (or at least they had...not sure how that is going). Now, as the TV here is basically background noise for many, that would be like declaring war.
But....with the Gameboy and now the DS and the time spent playing has been restricted.
No games Monday-Thursday...and on Sunday ONLY after the work has been done.
So good...until, and yes, this is partially my fault, but...I slipped a bit, but recovered nicely, I think.

On Thursday, Issei comes home (and not to the afterschool program) and after doing homework can go and play with friends. One of his friends got a new game and wanted Issei to's not Friday yet, now is it? I understand the friend is going somewhere this weekend and won't be around on Sunday (Really? I don't know, but it was a nice argument.) let's make a deal...he can have the DS for a bit on Thursday, but he gives up his Friday time. Deal?? game Friday...can I go now?
"Are you sure you understand?" "Yes. See you later."
(Can you seeing where this is going?) we are, Friday night and before dinner he wanted to play the game.
"Do you NOT remember the deal we made? You traded your time.", says I. "But...but...just for a little bit?" he asked tearfully.

I stood my ground...sat down with him and calmly went over what he had agreed to the day before. Sadly....oh so sadly...he went back to playing with the Legos with his younger brother. As he walked back into the living room, he said,

"This just really sucks!"

I hope that, whenever something like this happens, he will remember that every decision he makes has consequences. And yes, sometimes, it is very sucky....but that's life. This may be a lesson that takes some time.

God help us all!!

You all have a wonderful weekend!!

*The picture, by the way, is Issei when he was 2. The eyebrows, in that sad expression, have not changed in 8 years!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"I've always relied on the kindness of strangers."

As I have lived in this country for 16 years (plus a few months), I thought that nothing would surprise me anymore. When I first got here, I was surprised / shocked / amazed / intrigued sometimes many times a day. So much of this strange and wonderful culture was (is) just so different and once I got over the feeling that I absolutely hated being here (long story...another time...maybe), I could go out and experience what this beautiful city and her people had to offer.

But, now....16 years so much is new...this is my "home" now (until that lottery comes in and then it's "sayonara" and color my ass in Hawaii!!)....things just go on, without much excitement or "wowness".

That has been altered...just a bit.

A few months ago, at the daycare that my youngest goes to, I noticed a bag that was hanging with all the others for the parents of the "baby" group to carry their things back and forth. It was a beautiful bag....Hawaiian quilted design with a pineapple on it. Okay...I'll be honest...I pretty much lust for anything "Hawaiian" these days.
I asked one of the teachers about it because I was interested in buying one. "No", she said, "probably not for sale. The little girl's grandma made it."
Well....phooey.....with one last yearning glance at the bag before I left, I sadly went to find my little one to take him home.
About a week I was arriving, once again to pick up youngest child, I met a young mother with a little girl and the mom was carrying THE bag. I politely greeted her and I oohed and awed over her little girl....then I asked about the bag. Yes, her mother-in-law had made, you probably couldn't buy one....thank you for the nice compliment....byebye. And she left, taking the darling little girl and her beautiful bag with her.

Fast forward to the Christmas Pageant (it's a Protestant daycare!!). Before the show was to start, I see the young mother headed my way. She is carrying a shopping bag and she hands it to me saying that it was for me. I opened the bag and I saw this.....

She explained that she passed my compliments on to her mother-in-law....and in return, she had made me one, too.

Now...for those who know me know that there are very few times in my life when I am speechless....this was one of them. I tried to tell her (in babbling Japanese, I'm so sure!!!) that I didn't even have the words in English as to how I felt. make matters just a bit more interesting (and I'm blaming it on the whole Christmas season stuff), I have to admit that I did get a bit emotional. The poor girl really didn't know what to do with me then!!! :-D So....I got myself together, bowed as deeply as I could and thanked her the best way I knew how.

It just made me realize that even though I think that my life is just "same s**t, different day" sometimes....someone can always surprise me and make the day extra special!!!

Late-Nite Post....Part II.....or...."Smell really...smell me...whaddya think?"

(If you were here with me, I'd be putting my wrist up under your nose!!)

Speaking of nice surprises... this one is NOT from a stranger, but from one of my very nice and wonderful students. She went on a holiday in December and visited a few countries in Europe and as most Japanese do, she brought me back "omiyage" (a souvenir). .........a bottle of perfume...a very nice, and probably expensive bottle of perfume!!!
I can honestly tell you that I have never owned a "brand name" perfume...tearing out the perfume ads from Cosmo and rubbing them all over my body does NOT count, I'm pretty sure. Was a bit leery about this....Chanel can be a bit intimidating....but, I have to admit....I think I like it!! The description of it says,

" This superior fragrance contains citron, rose, jasmine and is accented with honeysuckle, vanilla and oakmoss making Allure perfect for passionate use. "

*Note to self: find some passion. :-D

Now, I can tell you right now that I'm not one for wearing "perfumes" or "colognes". In high school, my mom will tell you that I used to "bathe in that damn musk."...but I think she exaggerates. I was more of a Love's Baby Soft kind of girl.....and then later, I graduated to vanilla.

And now.....just Victoria Secret....wash with it...scrub with it...rub it in...spritz it on...I'm loving pretty much any scent they have...but I'm partial to the vanilla .

(Just put Amber Romance on my hands....mmmmmmmm)

Maybe, wearing Chanel will be a "growing experience" for me....

I may not wear it everyday....but it'll be nice to have for special occasions.

*Note to self: find some "special occasions"

So....a big thank my student. The perfume was a wonderful surprise and won't go to my hips like the chocolate she gave everyone else would!!

You all have yourself a great day....may a surprise or two come your way!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Really...this is all I got tonight for ya.... it is...Monday night....and I really should get to bed as tomorrow is Issei's first day back at school, which means the alarm goes off at 6:15...snap (I'm trying to cut down on the bad language my boys are picking up!!!)....but...I kind of made a deal with myself with this blogging thing that I would try to post something every few days or so. I get (and I know this might come as a shock to some of you...hahahaha) a little lazy sometimes and I have to keep on myself about getting things done.

That are some "quickie posts" of some things I thought were fun:

It's only the first part of the new year and already I'm looking forward to warmer weather....not hot and sticky...just warm. My good friend, Lila, got me these "drink cards" for my birthday (along with the flamingo lights and Hawaiian that girl!!) and I've been perusing the recipes and have found quite a few I think that I to try!!! Cheers!!!

Saw the previews for this on Yahoo the other day and the boys and I HAVE to see this!!! "Horton Hears a Who" is probably one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books and this just looks hee-lair-ee-us!!!

Saturday was my friend Jan's daughter's birthday and since Kayla is one of my most very favorite young ladies, I volunteered to make her a cake. So on Friday night I did some planning and had an idea as to what I wanted to do.
Then......on Saturday.....for some
unknown reason, the men in my family just let me sleep and around 11:00 I rousted myself out of bed.

Hell's Bells....the day was half gone and I had to make a cake. No problem....I work better underpressure.....get the coffee going (LOTS of coffee), boys fed and outside....ingredients for cake...Hell's Bells once again....recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour, I have only one cup....think...think...what the hell...just adjust all the other ingredients....well....I got no time for that crap...just put in what

"feels" right ( works for my grandma!!!).
The decorating took about 20 minutes, as we were running using the stuff I have in my cabinet...this is what I came up with.

Not bad, I'm was really good...of course, cream cheese frosting can make anything taste fabulous!!! (That's Kayla, by the way, on your left!!)

Thanks Kayla and Jan for letting us celebrate Miss Kayla's birthday....we have been there for almost all of them....she and Issei are just a little over a month apart and have pretty much grown up together. I hope we can be with her for many many more!!!

And last....just a picture that made me laugh out loud...I wonder about my children least they have a sense of humor....and if you have that, you'll be okay!!

Have a great week everyone!!
(anyone care to join me for some "summer time drinks")

Friday, January 04, 2008

aaaaahhhhh....nostalgia....Come and join me, won't you? it is...the Friday before life gets back to normal. Koji is at the daycare so the rest of us can get our "work" done....Issei is working on about 12 pages of homework he "forgot" and I am actually getting some work done on my room. "Look!!! There's the floor!!! See...I told you it was there!!!"

I needed some music to get me motivated so I went into the K-man's room (aka-the "music room") to peruse the CD collection. Now...for those who know us, know that no..task done quickly. With my collection plus his...we have ourselves a CD extravaganza!!! (he hinted the other night that he needed another set of ABC dividers, like those used in record stores, because the genres were getting all mixed up!!! *sigh*) I was going through the selections, I found myself becoming very nostalgic....Must be the beginning of a new year encouraging that...I dunno, but....I realized that there were certain albums that had such strong memories and/or emotions....

For me...first and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I listen to their music and automatically I am thrown back into high school...specifically...9th and 10th grade. My BFF Danette and I were the "little sisters" of some older guys who let us hang out/tag along with them. One of them, would listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd for hours on end. We would drive around in his old Jeep, with no heat (and in the winter in Colorado, believe me, it was cooooooold!!) and even today, when I hear anything by LS, I think of that time.

My very first car, when I was 16, was a VW Beetle and it had a kick-ass stereo....for 1978, that is!! My friends and I would drive around, listening to music and of course, singing!!! We also got very good at "car dancing"!!!

Leo Sayer was quite the hit then....his "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" was a tape (possibly 8-Track?!?!) that we listened to often. I remember one time, we actually stopped the car in the middle of Main Street and had an impromptu dance!!!! No...we weren't crazy..... at all!!!

I can still remember scrounging around coins for gas for Betsy (my car!!)....we would drag main for hours and hours...and $2 in gas would last a really long time!!!
(Did anyone else "drag main"?? We were right out of "American Graffiti"!!!! and YES, all of us with VWs named them, mine was "Betsy", Danette's was "Fred" and Susan (another BFF) had "Lulu"...I know...too cute for words!!)

Aaaaahhhh....Pablo Cruise...LOVED THEM!!!
I used to ride around with someone sometimes who wouldn't sing, but he would mouth the words to the songs and act like he was singing TO me....and since I was a freshman and he was a senior, that was just waaaayyy too cool!!
( be 15 again, huh??)
**oh...and just for the record...the Pablo Cruise CD is the K-man's, not mine.

I discovered Jimmy B. when I was 15....his songs are fun, funny, and sometimes really deep (Really!!). So many road-trips included Jimmy...even today, he goes with me wherever I go.
I thought I had found the love of my life one time when one special person finished the line to one of my favorite songs....(I guess that was a personal test I gave guys!!) "My head hurts, my feet stink......."
Lo and behold...the guy was a toad and his knowledge of Jimmy B........ not even worth it!!!

By the YOU know the line?
I finally had to quit asking that 'cause so many people just weren't the Parrot Head that I am.

*answer....."and I don't love Jesus". It's a song about being hungover...not one of his hits, but still, for us in the Phlock, it's right up there!!!

And lastly (for today, that is)....Phil Collins.
In 1986, I had finally graduated from University and had no plans for a job or my all. Sure, I had applied for teaching jobs, but...I had just finished doing a 3 year program in 2 and I needed a break.
So.....I went to the Dominican Republic for about 3 weeks. A good friend of mine was in the Peace Corps down there and she offered me her place to escape and hopefully, find myself. So....I packed up my bag...and spent the best holiday I have ever had. We were in Third World conditions but it was awesome!! So many hours were spent on the most beautiful of beaches, drinking beer and/or rum and listening to Phil in my headset. That was also the year that I had a bit of a "love affair" with the Viet Nam War....I read so many books during that time...and the songs from this CD bring that all back.
*note....I found part of my self there....I'm a "work in progress" don't you know!!!

So.....what about you?? Are your memories as affected by music as mine? What does it for you?? I'd be interested in hearing what others have to say.... my "computer time" is up and I really should get some more done.
By the way.....I'm now listening to "Daughtry".....Man!! When I start my own list of "Secret Boyfriends" like so many have done, Chris Daughtry will be up there pretty close to the top.....yummmmmm!!! Could eat him up with a spoon!!!

Have a good weekend everyone.



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!!!

Happy New Year's the "year of the mouse" here...not sure what that means but if you are turning 12, 24, 36, 48, 60......this year, then THIS is YOUR YEAR!!!
( in the Kuroiwa House we are tigers, horse and monkey!!) did you spend your New Year's Eve? I always get a bit nostalgic this time of year...thinking of the parties and fun that goes on in America on the 31st....aaahhhh..."memories"!! The celebrations are a bit quieter here....though some younger people do go out and drink, the evening is usually spent with family and sometimes friends, at home. On New Year's Eve, it is tradition to eat "toshikoshi" soba noodles for good luck and good health. If you do a search on the internet for "osechi ryori", you'll find that most Japanese foods traditionally eaten this time of year have some particular meaning, usually having to do with good health, long life, and so on.
When the K-man was younger, the town would basically close down for the New Year Holiday (Jan. 1-3) stores were supermarkets...nothing. The food prepared for the holiday was made so it could be kept out and eaten at any time. The food was stored in special tiered lacquered boxes (very beautiful!!)....this was a time for rest for EVERYONE, even the wives got a break!!
But now....we have 7-11s and other convenience stores, department stores and supermarkets and shopping centers that are open during this time. Retailers saw an opening for doing great business....and they do!!!
It is also tradition to go to a temple and pray for the new year. At the temple, we usually buy the new year's "omamori" or good luck charms. Issei will get one for "study" and we always get a special one to protect us while driving in the car!! The K-man and I usually each get one for a "general overall" good luck kind of thing!!!
Tonight, we will go to Grandma's house for dinner. She decided a few years ago that cooking all the traditional foods was a bit too "mendokusai" (workably translated to "too much of a pain in the butt"!!!), so we will be having something else. Not sure what it will be, but I will be taking dessert.....even as I type an apple pie is baking in the oven and starting to smell mighty good!!
So...on that delicious note....I will close for the day....I wish you all the best of the new year and all year long.
And since I couldn't be there with you at midnight...consider yourselves hugged and kissed!!
God bless you all.