Wednesday, April 26, 2006

20 years ago today...

For all the terrible things that came out of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, one good thing has happened. Wildlife is thriving. Apparently by evacuating all the people, animals have been able to run free in a natural, albeit contaminated habitat.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

20 years since Chernobyl

April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. It is really sad how the radiation has affected a whole generation with birth defects, cancer and the like. CNN has outlinesd some of these health issues in this article.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The placenta mask

Holy cats! My student gave me a box of placenta masks a couple months ago as omiyage (souvenirs) from Hong Kong. I haven't been too much in the mood to do beauty treatments the last couple months, so I just used one for the first time today. I was skeptical.

The translated description on the package says: "Placenta Collagen Mask can dissolve the dark pigment and balance the water and oil production within the skin, nourishes the underlying tissue and accelerates cell effectively. Frequent use of this mask can improve skin texture elasticity and strength in aging."

Well, it really does dissolve the dark pigment... all the red blotchiness across my cheeks is gone! My skin pretty much has even colour across my face. I was shocked when I took the mask off. It really is amazing.

So of course I tried to find where I can buy it online... and the only place seems to be some dodgy unknown sites. And let me tell you, I'm glad I got this as a present because it is 600 yen (6 bucks) PER mask! So 3000 yen for a package of 5. Yikes! It really does make a difference though. I am going to try it for the rest of the week (the pacakge says to start with doing it every day for 5 days) and see if it makes a difference, and if so I will try to order some more for maintenance purposes. Who knew placenta would work so well???

Friday, April 21, 2006

Haircut and a party

I went to get my haircut this afternoon. I decided to go even shorter this time round. Hiroshi wants me to cut it really short - ie 1 cm sides and curly on top. That is a bit too drastic I think! Last time I cut it from midback to shoulder-length. This time I went from below the shoulders to bob lenghth. Just by my jawline.

It is a lot lighter, let me tell you! I liked it - I even got my bangs sweeping across my forhead to oneside instead of straight across standard. When I went to the birthday party event tonight everyone said how great I looked. Hiroshi's comment - it makes your face look round. So now I don't like it. It isn't supposed to make me look fatter! :( I told him he was mean, and he insists that he is just being honest. I think he should lie when it comes to new haircuts.

Anyway, the party. Two of my coworkers had birthdays in the last few days, so a bunch of us headed out to TGI Friday's for dinner and drinks, and then on to karaoke afterwards. I actually did pretty good with the food. They had a party menu set thing. I had one fried mozerella piece, 2 chicken wings, 1/4 of a club sandwich and a ton of salad with hardly any dressing on it. i was pretty impressed with myself - there are so many yummy things to eat there that are bad for me! I also limited myself to two drinks for the entire evening (rum and diet).

Karaoke was fun as always, but there were 13 of us in one room. That's too many. If there are any more than about 8 you really need to get a second room. The party room is a great concept, but you can't sing! If you are there for an hour, basically everyone can sing just one song when there are 13 of you. It was still fun though. Everyone got to joke around and socialize, so it was good. It was nice to go out and do something... and I even got home before 12 midnight! Living in central Tokyo definitely has its benefits - you don't have to leave the party early (as several others did) in order to catch their last trains home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy anniversary mom and dad!

Today is my mom and dad's anniversary. I'm pretty sure it is their 29th one. Not that it matters if I am wrong, because as the rest of the family will attest to, the actual date of the anniversary changes every year. In fact, every year it changes because they have checked the wedding certificate, "remembered" from last year, or whatever. All I know, is it is pretty darn confusing on my calendar where I mark birthdays and the like! Of course whether it is the 20th or the 22nd (two of the most common date choices) 29 years is still pretty impressive.... congratulations mom and dad on still being able to put up with each other ;D

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Queen's 80th Birthday

April 21sst is the Queen's (of England) eightieth birthday. You can learn some interesting facts about the Queen here .... 80 of them actually in celebration of her birthday.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Running feels great!

I went for a run tonight for the first time in ages. Let me tell you, it is a heck of a lot more pleasurable when it isn't near freezing outside! I haven't been recently because the pollen count was too high (I normally wear masks this time of year to cut down on sneezing and sniffling). Of coures it felt so good, I totally pushed myself and I can already feel my musscles starting to seize up - love that feeling :) Of course when I try to get out of bed tomorrow morning I might not be so enamoured with it LOL

Monday, April 17, 2006

The azeleas are out

Suddenly all the azeleas are in bloom. They are really pretty - the seasons first big splash of colour. I was surprised to suddenly see them out. If I can remember, I will take a photo to post here. In the meantime, here are some cherry blossom photos courtesy of Hiroshi because I was too lazy to get my own camera out to take pics this year.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Being productive

Wow, today I am being super productive. I did a huge bathroom cleaning job, including scrubbing mold and soap scum away. Ick. Then I attacked the appliances - cleaned the crumbs out of the toaster, the splatters out of the microwave and the spills and finger prints on the fridge. Then I wiped down all the counters and cleaned the sink as well. This is more cleaning than I have done all year (Hiroshi is usually happy to do it, so I let him go crazy - why clean if someone else is willing to do it for you!).

I've also got some chicken and meat defrosting so I can cook up some meals ahead of time for next week. I eat properly when it is just a matter of grabbing something out of the fridge. Hiroshi will probably die of shock too, because not only have I cleaned, but I also pulled some salmon out of the freezer to cook for dinner. I haven't cooked dinner in eons either. Can you tell that I am not the world's best homemaker? Good thing I work LOL

I guess this will qualify as my spring cleaning. I just need to dust in the bedroom and air out the futon... but it is raining today, so that will have to wait until later in the week.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wow, it's Easter

Apparently it is Easter weekend. Japan, being a non-Christian country, doesn't celebrate it, so I have been spared the chocolate extravaganza's in every store.

Hiroshi knows Easter as the holiday where you die eggs. I think the first year that we were together, my mom sent an egg dying kit over and we had fun making the eggs wild and crazy colours. I mentioned that it was Easter weekend and he asked if we (westerners) ate turkey... I had to explain ham, hot cross buns, chocolate egg hunts and the like.

I could make a ham and do the Easter thing, but that would require finding one - and then I'd have to search for hot cross buns, or more specifically a recipe for them. Then I'd be baking all weekend... because there are other family breads and stuff that are traditional at Easter as well. So, no chocolate and no ham for me. Luckily Hiroshi has now forgotten about Cadbury cream eggs, or he'd be whining about wanting them. Personally, I'd kill for the Cadbury mini-egg things with the hard outer coating.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Could you pass Grade 8 in 1895?

How many questions can you answer in this 1895 Grade 8 exam? I couldn't even decipher some of the questions!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Everything is green!

Spring is here and everything is blooming. Just seeing the trees lush with bright green leaves kinda makes your day that little bit better. I always love that feeling in spring when everything comes to life and you can smell "newness" in the air. The cherry blossoms are mostly gone now but there are still alot of camelias blooming. One of the things that I love about Japan is that there are always flowers blooming. If memory serves, after pointsettias at Christmas, the first flowers that you really see are daffodils.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Did you miss me?

Wow, I can't believe it has been two and a half months since I last blogged. Where the heck did all that time go? This year has just flown by. Two weeks from now is Golden Week (a week with a bunch of holidays in it).... I haven't made any plans to go anywhere, so I guess I am staying here. Good way to save money I guess ;)

The cherry blossoms are finally fading away here. They actually lasted a full two weeks. There are only a few remaining petels on the trees now... although there is the odd tree of a different type that still has blossoms. In Tokyo the trees tend to be mainly one type of cherry tree though. I had my hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party on the weekend. We had a touch of rain in the morning, but otherwise the weather was great. Sunny and 20C so I got a bit of sun on my face. It felt great to be outside in the fresh air. Although, I am really starting to feel old... just sitting around all day totally stiffened all my hip joints, and I could hardly walk in the evening, let alone the next day. Add that to the fact that I get tired really easily if I have a heavy/long day at work and I am starting to feel older and older. Whatever happened to staying up all night partying and then going to work the next day? Oh yeah, that was like a decade ago. Scary.

Not much has been going on in the past two and a half months. Just working. My job will be changing a bit in the next week or so (but I'm still with the same company) - hopefully my hours will get a bit more regular. The only exciting thing I guess is that Amazing Race is back in its original format and is worth watching again.

I am hoping to get back into the daily blogging thing, so stay tuned.