17 July 2012

Out of Office :: Bits & Pieces


I woke up dehydrated this morning and, after a pathetic two sips of water, I'm contemplating my second cup of coffee. This one would be iced and not hot, so I can almost be convinced that it's okay. One of these days, I'll take better care of myself. Until then, coffee. With ice. Which counts as water, right?

I made delicious coleslaw last night. It was a take of Smitten Kitchen's, heavy on the mustard and vinegar, light on the mayo. It filled my little Midwestern heart* with so much joy. I have this terrible habit of assuming that anyone who doesn't like coleslaw (or potato salad or macaroni salad) formed their opinion on crappy supermarket deli takeout and don't know what they are missing. For that, I will forever-and-always hate supermarket delis, except for Whole Foods, because we all know that their coleslaw is slammin.'

[* Midwestern by way of grandparents and extended family and long summer vacations, I should say. Colorado is not the Midwest, and don't you dare say it is. But I love me some 'slaw, 4th of July, Madras plaid, and a little headband action now and again.]

I have a pair of brown sandals from Payless. I got them 5 years ago, and they just won't die. They're like the little sandal that could. They are made out of this weird plastic-lookalike-to-leather and, while comfortable and practical, I am ready to move onto another pair. (It's been 5 years already! I've gotten my $15 worth! Any natural material would have worn out long ago!) I finally caved and ordered this amazing, much-more-than-$15 pair of Frye's, and my sister is bringing them to me in August. Don't remind me that our shoe closet is already full, Japan has tons of cute shoes in my size, and I have promised myself to only ask Meg to bring the most important things from America, like a new pair of running shorts, Stumptown coffee, and a decent IPA. These things happen to the best of us. No sense in looking back.

I've yet to nail the perfect air conditioning temperature for our apartment. 25° seems to cold and wasteful, but 26° is too warm. I keep trying to do the automatic 2° colder then outside, but it seems to make our place frigid, even though it is hot as balls here (technical term). In an effort to be eco-conscience, I tried to turn it all off yesterday, open the doors and use the fan. I was sweating and disgusting within 15 minutes, and it's back on. I'm so sorry, Japan. I'll try and conserve energy other ways, like washing dishes less.

I have also realized that I am totally willing to get on board with this line-dying-clothes-outside gig that the rest of the world embraces. However, I am American enough that I insist that my towels be fluffed in the dryer. Everyone has a limit.

If we are too be honest, I usually walk around with a running, inner monologue in my head, just like this, which is to say totally it's a hodgepodge of random observations and thoughts. It's this that I blame for my general lack of coordination, constant gracelessness, and occasional "Hmmm, what was that?" that I'll interject into ongoing conversations. That must be so annoying to my loved ones, and for that, I am very sorry.

Usually, it's decently good stuff and most of it ends up here, on Jackson Riley. However, in the past week or so the monologue has been there but nothing is coming out on coherent sentences when I sit down at my beloved Macbook.

It's frustrating because I know what it means: I need a break. Not a long one, but a little one. A bitty-break. We're going on holiday soon, one where we meet up with cousins and swim with elephants and eat our weight in street food, so I was going to up and disappear on you then anyway. I'll be back, with photos of exotic locations and, perhaps, a fancy-pantsy travel guide or two from all the trips we've been taking. Until then: coffee, coleslaw, grant writing (not all at once... don't be gross.). xo.

[Mini Buddha photos taken along Mt. Misen on Miyajima. I might have been obsessed with them, and my in-laws were so kind as to wait while I took photos of every. single. one.]

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