Monthly Archives: November 2009

This post contains waaaaaaaay TMI

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In order to blog about the day I had, I’m going to have to write about all kinds of stuff you never wanted to know about me, so before you read any further, be warned. This is also probably going to be a huge marathon post, so be warned about that too.

So my day started at 8:30 with some tapping on my leg by Akinori. I thought he was waking me up because I told him I had to go the doctor this morning, and if you don’t have an appointment, which I didn’t, you have to be there between 8:30 and 9:30. But no, he was waking me up to ask if it was okay to take the car to his friend’s house to drop something off before his friend went to work. (Akinori randomly had the day off today.) We had a 15 minute discussion about why this arrangement was not going to work and why couldn’t he take whatever it was to said friend’s workplace later in the day after I came back from the doctor. I swear, I do not get my husband’s train of thought sometimes.

* Begin TMI *
So I finally get out of the house at 9:15. Good thing the doctor is 5 minutes away. So the doctor I needed to see is the doctor every woman I know dreads, the gynecologist. About two weeks ago something out of the ordinary started going on in my nether region, which I naively thought might have been a result of the combination of sitting in front of the computer for hours on end every day working on that monster translation project and wearing what my husband likes to call, fundoshi (what sumo wrestlers wear) for underwear. (See, already TMI. I’m sure you really did not want to know what kind of underwear I wear.) So I made hub take a look one night, and he was like “it looks fine, this is making me horny”. Needless to say I was not in the mood to relieve his problem as mine was a little more serious. And I mean really, I can understand looking at a naked woman and getting turned on, but looking straight on at the birth canal? Not so sexy, if you ask me. My husband is just weird. So I took a look with a strategically placed mirror and things definitely did not look okay. They looked red and there was a bump.

Bumps scare me because I am an HPV carrier. In my post about how I have changed over the last 12 years I mentioned that I had given up the party girl lifestyle. Well, I was a party girl well before I came to Japan, well before I was out of high school actually, and I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. One of them being about the use of condoms. I’m really lucky I only walked away with a case of genital warts and nothing worse, but when I was diagnosed with it at the age of 18, the summer before going away to uni, I was devastated. Lesson learned though! (Although that didn’t stop me from being more promiscuous than I should have been, it just taught me to always carry a condom. The lesson in promiscuity came awhile later.) I haven’t had an outbreak since I was probably about 20 or 21, but I had to have full on surgery with my last outbreak so the thought of warts coming back always freaks me out. Instead I get polyps every once in a while, and I had a pre-cancerous one a little while back so I have to be very careful about making sure I get biannual pap smears, something I haven’t done since giving birth. Hence the worry.

I wanted to time my visit so that the doctor who saw me during my pregnancy would be the one to examine me, since he’s already been there and done that. All the doctors at the clinic take turns doing maternity exams and gynecological exams but it’s mostly the head doctor who does the gynecological exams and he’s about 104 and just makes me uncomfortable, so of course it was him who happened to be there this morning due to some schedule shifts. Arrgh! So I go in and explain all my symptoms to a nurse after waiting for an hour. She assures me it has nothing to do with the type of underwear I wear. Silly me. But wouldn’t it be nice if that were the cause and everything would go back to normal if I made a slight wardrobe change? So then the doctor sees me and before he exams me he says “Sounds like herpes.” WHAAAAAATTTT???!! So he exams me, and yes, definitely herpes, and I’m going to prescribe this medicine, and you caught it very quick, this is nothing, and blah, blah, blah… All I’m thinking is, how did this happen? Is Akinori cheating on me? Did he have a cold sore the last time we got friendly? He better have had a cold sore or I’m going to kill him.

So I’m in a bit of a dumb stupor trying to wrap my head around this news when the nurse calls me back in to explain the medicine. And I just ask her point blank, “herpes is transmitted sexually, right?” You would think for someone who has contracted an STD before I would have a little more knowledge of how they work. But really, how can they just throw a diagnosis like that at you, without any explanation at all of how it manifests itself? So the nurse then explained that even if you’ve had chicken pox before then basically you carry the virus which can produce herpes sores, but yes, it can be transmitted sexually, so make sure your husband gets checked out too. Great, thanks for alleviating my worries. Which is it, chicken pox or sex?? And now I’m wondering, is this nurse thinking, “poor foreign girl, came to this hick town, and all for a cheating husband.” OR is she thinking “dirty foreigner, can’t keep your pants on, even in a town so small everyone knows your every move, and now you’ve probably gone and infected your husband. You and all your dirty foreign friends should be deported.” And does everyone else in the waiting room know what is going on in my nether region too? It’s probably written all over my face now.

I called Akinori as soon as I got back to the car and asked him if he had any cold sores recently, and he said he didn’t. Then I told him what the diagnosis was, and he swore up and down, left and right and standing backward on his head on his grandmother’s grave that he has not been with anyone else since we met. In my heart, I knew this was true even before I asked him, and I don’t doubt that he’s not lying to me. He’s really not the type of person to be unfaithful, and if I had any doubts about that I wouldn’t have married him in the first place. I’ve dated cheaters before, and one of the reasons I married Akinori was because he showed absolutely no resemblance to them whatsoever. We spent the entire dating period of our relationship living 4 hours apart and I never once doubted his faithfulness. Now we live together, and I’m going to start? It just doesn’t make sense.

We both agreed that it was a good idea for him to get checked out too though so he called the Red Cross hospital, and the nurse he spoke to on the phone explained things a little better. Pretty much everyone carries the herpes virus (this I knew), and it can manifest itself in cold sores when your body is rundown and tired, or in other places that are prone to attract bacteria, ahem. I think lightbulbs clicked on in both our heads, considering I was hospitalized with mastitis last month in the middle of the monster translation project, and I was living on 4 hours of sleep a night for a month. Rundown may be a bit of an understatement.

At first Akinori was ready to run out the door and get checked out today, but then decided that he had some time, since we obviously can’t get friendly again until my symptoms subside, there’s no immediate rush, as in it has to be done today. It can wait until tomorrow or a little later this week. So once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I decided that it was time we got off our asses and actually did the cleaning that we’ve been saying we’re going to for the last 3 weeks or more since we were both home on this random weekday.

* End TMI *
* Begin boring stuff *

We both had our individual projects, and of course Sara came with me, so Akinori was completely unfettered in doing what he had to get done, and yet somehow, his task remains incomplete. I purposely took Sara and closed us up in her room (since my task was tidying up her unused bedroom that has all of my clothing in it) so that he wouldn’t feel like I was watching over him and nagging him, because I know he hates that and gets annoyed and then acts like a child and pouts and then nothing gets done. But it doesn’t seem like that much more gets done if I’m not watching over him so I’m not sure which is the lesser of two evils.

Although it didn’t look like I was doing much in Akinori’s eyes either, since every time he opened the door to ask me a question I was half naked or wearing something different as I was trying to go through all of my clothes and decide what needs to go and what can stay. I have done this twice now in the past year and I still have too many clothes that I don’t wear half of.

Now I’m faced with a new, albeit happy, dilemma. I have some clothes that are just old. Like ripped t-shirts that I’ve had since high school that have some sort of sentimental value, but really it’s time to get rid of them, and I have to finally put them in the “toss” pile. But then I have some clothes that I LOVE, but they don’t fit anymore because they are too big. Believe me, I would much rather have them too big than too small, and I am proud to say I am no longer the owner of any clothing that is too small on me, but at least half my wardrobe is too big on me. I hesitate to give some of this stuff away or toss it because I do plan on getting pregnant again, and hopefully I can wear this stuff then. Then of course there are all my partying outfits. How much do you want to bet I will never have occasion to wear a pair of leather pants ever again? (Nevermind that they are way too big on me now, so if I did wear them it would be as maternity pants. Ever see a pregnant woman in leather pants – in Nagano? If anyone wants a pair of size 14 black leather pants, they’re all yours!) And all of my cleavage revealing tops. Thanks to breastfeeding, I don’t even have any cleavage anymore. (In fact I have the nastiest shriveled boobs in the world, and it makes me very sad – please tell me future pregnancies will bring them back to life, if only for a little while.) I don’t discount the fact that I may gain weight again in the future, but I don’t want that to be a reason for me to hang onto bigger sized clothing. If I know bigger clothes are available to me, I won’t be as motivated to take action when clothes start getting tight. So for right now, there is the “toss” pile, the “keep” pile, the “give-away” pile and the “possible future maternity wear” pile.

* End boring stuff *

Wow, this post has really been all over the place and chock full of shit you really probably never wanted to know about me, but if you’ve read this far, now you do.

Panty Fetish

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No, not hubby, Sara. Every time I do laundry she always manages to find my underwear as I’m sorting and folding and throw it over her head. It’s really kind of funny, though a little gross. I took a photo of her sitting in front of the TV wearing my underwear around her waist tonight, and I would post it, but I would rather the entire internet did not have access to photos of my underwear, no matter how difficult it is to actually make out. If you take them away from her she totally nuts out, so I just leave her have them until she can be distracted with something else.

In other news, I have decided not to blog about Mrs. X anymore as I found that actually expressing my feeling towards her in written words just stressed me out even further. I met her for coffee once during the week and was literally clenching my jaws the entire time. Why spend time with her if it causes me so much turmoil you ask? I ask myself the same question all the time. The only answer I can come up with is that she is so incredibly persistent that it is impossible to refuse her sometimes. Although when I think about it, things really have gotten better. A few months ago she was wanting to go to lunch two or three times a week, something my wallet just couldn’t handle. Plus, nothing tastes particularly good when you’re not enjoying the company you’re with. At least now it’s just coffee.

I think I was just stressed in general last week. I have gotten exactly three reservations for next month’s workshops. Three reservations will almost pay for my friend’s travel expenses, that still leaves the cost of the studio and her lesson fee to be covered. At least she’s my friend and has agreed to do the workshops for free if there are no profits in the end, but that would really suck. I’m hoping there will be a full house at the dinner show, and I can use those profits to pay for everything else. I just don’t want to end up in the red.

The other thing that really stresses me out practically everyday is money. I really, really, really want our own house someday. I hate being in debt, but I know that there’s no way we could pay cash for a house, so I understand that is a debt we will probably have until we die, and I am fine with that. I just want it to happen, but I have to admit I want a nice house, one that will cost lots and lots of money, requiring a huge bank loan, and bank loans are not easy to come by these days, especially when you have little savings, a husband with a ridiculously low salary, a wife with an irregular, unstable income, and the husband is nearly 40. Luckily we won’t have to buy land and we can probably put up his parents’ land and house and maybe even business as collateral (even though the land is the only things really worth anything). I just want to work towards this goal and my husband is so damned laid-back, take things one day-at-a-time, maybe we’ll win the lottery, attitude that it drives me CRAZY! He wasn’t good with money before I met him and he’s not any better now. I just don’t let him touch the finances now. But I feel like there is always something around the corner to suck away at what little savings we have. I had a goal for how much we should have in the bank at the end of this month. I don’t even know how it happened, but we are so not there. I really am going to have to tighten the purse strings in the new year, and unfortunately that means I have to cook a lot more, which I hate, but it seems that if I want to have my house someday, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and put on an apron. Know anywhere to find super-duper easy recipes? I could use a few dozen!

A Perfect Day

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When L called yesterday to decide what time we should meet today, she suggested 9 o’clock. Not my favorite time, but getting an early start is better than starting too late, like Akinori and I usually do, hence spending only 45 minutes at the zoo yesterday before it closed. I set my alarm for 8 and ending up sleeping in until 8:30 and Sara showed no signs of waking at all. I have to say that waking up with her next to me is really the nicest possible way to wake up. She’ll usually wake up at 6 or 7 for a bottle, then go back down for another 2 hours or so. She kind of starts out half asleep and half awake and rolls all over me with lots of hugs, then she gets all smiley and giggly and lots more rolling and hugging. I used to hate mornings, but now I actuallyook forward to those few minutes every morning. Amazing what kids will do for you.

Back to the point here, L was running late and called to ask if we couldn’t meet at 10 instead. Perfectly fine with me! So we met up and she told me all about her time with Mrs. X. I had to laugh at a lot of what she said. I was able to guess at a lot of the stuff they talked about since Mrs. X tells the same stories over and over and OVER again, not hard to imagine what their conversation was like, well not really a conversation really is it when only 1 person does the talking.

Anyway, L and I went to a flea market that was happening about a 2 minute walk from our house first, where she picked up a few really super cute items. I just walked around showing off my super cute baby. When we left the flea market, we didn’t really have any plans for what we were going to do next, but I was really up for a bit of an adventure. So we got in the car and went to Hakuba. I hadn’t been to Hakuba since I went snowboarding about 8 years ago, but I had really been wanting to go since I heard there was a large foreign population there and lots of stores and restaurants that cater to them. The drive took a lot less time than I expected, and when Hakuba came into sight, this is what it looked like…


It was soooooo breathtakingly beautiful. Forget the fact that I HATE snow, it was just too beautiful to be concerned about the cold.

Now that we were in Hakuba, we were hungry and I tried to find somewhere to eat using the GPS. A place came up that I knew I had heard of, so we tried to go there, but it was closed. It was along a mountain road that was lined with pensions, so I guess maybe it’s only open during the ski season. It looked cute though so it’s too bad it wasn’t open. The area was beautiful so we drove around for a little while, then turned around and decided that we really needed to find a place to eat. So we just went into the first place we found that was open, which also happened to be quite cute, and yummy! Here’s Sara and mommy getting ready to eat. (Mommy looking a little bit like a witch I think, maybe that would explain the lack of a smile on Sara’s face.)

After lunch there wasn’t much to do since it’s not ski season yet, so we decided to drive closer to the ski slopes and check them out and then head home. Not one phone call or text from Mrs. X all day. Peace.

We came back to our house and hung out for a bit before L had to go and meet someone else. Akinori came home early and got to meet her briefly, then he took a quick shower and we went to the annual Ebisuko fireworks display. Wow! Japanese fireworks displays are amazing. I haven’t been to one in the States in years and years, but I don’t remember them being nearly as long. This fireworks display went on for nearly TWO HOURS!! It was cold, but worth it. Here’s just a sample…

Apparently it’s one of the largest displays in the country, especially nowadays considering the bad economy. No one’s wasting their money on fireworks anymore, except for the good people of Nagano. One more good reason to live here I guess!

Catch me if you can!

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So the other night I wrote a post, posted it, then deleted it. I felt a bit evil for ranting about a certain person. She’s not a blogger, nor does she read blogs, and I didn’t name her, or even “initial” her, and when I went back and read it, I didn’t even write anything that horrible. I just felt bad though, and I feel even worse now since I have been doing my best to avoid this person the last few days, but I feel that it’s all I can do to keep my sanity.

One day not too long ago, this woman who I am going to call Mrs. X called and asked if I wanted to meet for coffee. I had plans with my new friend L in the afternoon, but I said I could meet for a little while before that. So we did, and when it came time for me to meet L, Mrs. X said she would just say hello and then go. Of course that is not what happened. L shows up and Mrs. X doesn’t leave, she stays, and she doesn’t stop talking for 30 minutes, straight. Then she suggests that we all get another drink at Starbucks. L and I hadn’t seen each other in over a month and we were both looking forward to catching up, but couldn’t because Mrs. X was not letting anyone get one word in.

So then Mrs. X graciously offers to drive me home. I told her that was okay, I wanted to do some shopping at the department store next door for dinner. She says, “okay, I’ll go shopping with you, then drive you home.” The point was that I didn’t want her to drive me home. I wanted to have a chance to have just a few minutes alone with L, so we could catch up even a little. So I told her that Akinori was planning on coming to get us after. I felt so bad lying, but the woman was just not taking a hint! She got it then then though I think because she scuttled out of there in a rush.

Sometimes Mrs. X will call to meet up 3 times in a week, but usually just once. I can handle once, but more than that becomes painful. Sometimes when I haven’t seen her for awhile I really enjoy spending time with her too, but sometimes it drives me insane, especially since she spends 95% of the time we’re together talking non-stop. That is no exaggeration either. Once in a while she’ll ask a question and I can give a one-word answer, and then she’ll go and expound on my answer in the absolute opposite direction of where I was headed, but it is impossible to stop her, and more impossible to shut her up.

Friday there were 6 of us at lunch. It always kills me to meet with her in a group because she has to control the conversation where everyone is listening to her, or if she can’t do that, then she will corner one person and talk their ear off the entire time. I just get so annoyed. It’s like she sucks the fun out of what would otherwise be a really fun lunch for me. So when she texted me to invite me out on Saturday night, and said that she had invited L too, there was no way I was going. I felt bad for leaving L with her, but I figured that L is an adult and she can make own choices about whom she chooses to hang out with and can say no if she wants to.

L and I have plans for Monday and I wanted to call her and talk about those before she caught up with Mrs. X on Saturday night. When I called her she said she wasn’t going to meet up with her that night afterall, but was going to meet her for lunch Sunday instead, and did I want to go? I said that we didn’t have plans, and it was only lunch, so call me and maybe yes, I would meet for lunch, but when Akinori and I got home, we decided that we would go to his friend’s restaurant for lunch and then take Sara to the zoo, so that meant lunch was out. Oh well.

I got a text from Mrs. X then today inviting me to lunch with L, and then saying that L was going to go up to her house and then out to dinner with her in the evening near her house, and inviting me to join them too. We had plans, so I refused but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for L since it sounded like she was being kidnapped. I wondered if L even knew of these plans that Mrs. X had for the whole evening. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow when I see L.

Apparently though Mrs. X knows that L and I are meeting tomorrow because L called me today in front of her. She said that she was waiting for a moment alone to call me, but that never happened so she just said fuck it, and called. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be getting a text message or phone call from Mrs. X tomorrow asking me what I’m doing or wanting to join us. I really don’t want that to happen because I am putting my foot down. I hate being a bitch about this, and I feel like I am being mean and petty, but I need a break. I need to be able to meet up with a friend and actually have a conversation with that friend, and I can’t do that when Mrs. X is around. NO ONE can have a conversation with Mrs. X is around.

I really am not a catty person I don’t think. I enjoy a good piece of gossip as much as the next person, but that’s just me being nosy really. I don’t enjoy seeing anyone get hurt, and I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone, no matter how much they annoy me, but I really do not know what I can do to avoid this person any longer. I don’t really want to be brutally honest with her because I think it will hurt her, and I don’t think it will help the real problem, which is her inability to stop talking and actually listen to others.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings, but tomorrow is bringing an early morning with L, so it’s time to go to sleep for now.

Sweet, sweet freedom!

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Hello World! I’m back from hell, and it wasn’t fun. I finished a fairly painful translation project this afternoon, and I actually had butterflies in my stomach as I was typing up the last few sentences. It wasn’t all that bad. About half was laughably easy, but the other half was so freaking painful I wanted to cry. I didn’t get to sleep before 2a.m. once in the last week and a half I think. Akinori and I had a big fight towards the end because I wanted more help from him with Sara and he felt that he was doing a lot as it was and I just wasn’t appreciating it. We had a nice long talk about that though and both felt a lot better about things at the end I think. Anyway, it’s done and now I’m just waiting for the big fat paycheck at the end of December. Can’t wait!!

In other news from friend K is coming from Osaka to do some workshops here in Nagano. She and I started belly dancing together and were kind of partners until I changed jobs and became a slave to USJ. I had to quit dancing completely for about a year and in that time she started teaching and taking all kinds of workshops and really improving as a dancer. By the time I got back to dancing, we were in completely different leagues. But now she is a great source of information, inspiration and encouragement and I can’t wait to see her and I can’t wait to see how the workshops turn out. We’re doing two, one on Friday night and one Saturday afternoon and then a show at an Indian restaurant (the closest thing to Middle Eastern Nagano has to offer) later that night, where I’m also going to have a cake for Sara’s birthday, since she will turn 1 the day before. I cannot believe my baby is going to be 1 already!

Anyway it’s all very exciting and busy, and working on that translation project was just killing me as I was thinking about organzing belly dance stuff every moment and it was sooo hard to stay focused! I was actually really lucky to get a dance studio and the restaurant organized only a month out from the event. I went to a few places and they were either booked up, cost way too much, or really shitty studios. I then decided to contact a place I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of booking, and not only were their rates reasonable, the dates I wanted open, and a really nice studio, but they want me to teach belly dance there from the new year. Well, sort of. It would just like what I’m doing now, paying for the studio myself, and organizing all the students on my own. But they would advertise on their homepage for me, which is a huge plus! But the place I rent now is run by the city, and ridiculously cheap – 200 yen an hour! The studio, although reasonable, is not nearly as cheap, which means I would really have to have a good number of students to make it worth it. As it is now, there are times when I only have one student show up to a lesson. That wouldn’t even pay for the cost of the studio if I moved to the dance studio. It’s definitely something to think about for the future, but I don’t think I’m brave enough to take that plunge right now. We’ll see how things go after the workshops. Hopefully I’ll get a few more students.

Alright, well it’s now the next day already, and Sara needs my attention. I’ve been sitting in front of the computer all day for the last month. Time to go outside and get some Vitamin D for us!