Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Getting Hot in Here...

There are some days where everything reminds me of the first week I spent in Japan. The other night I had to go home early to meet with the A/C repair guys since boyfriend is sweating his britches off without a working A/C upstairs. Went home, make muffins, made edamame, and baked some tilapia for dinner. Cleaned the house, did the laundry, tidied up since people were coming over and did the dishes... all very typical Meg-esque things (have you not noticed my OCDness?). I thought it was going to be a very normal evening for me, which would have been okay considering Ajax was flying and wouldn't be home to entertain me. I couldn't have been more wrong...

A/C dude and landlord showed up at 6:30pm to work on things. 

Step 1- Offered the landlord and A/C guy a Gatorade since it was so hot where they were in the house (thus the reason for the visit). They flipped out... apparently Gatorade is not common over here (the closest thing is Pocari Sweat) and they were ecstatic.

Step 2- Listen to landlord describing the problem to repairman... heard repairman ask if I spoke Japanese. So I responded with "Nihongo ga skoshi dekimasu" (I speak a little Japanese) and they flip out again and go off on a tangent of Japanese phrases, none of which I understand. But I got a high-five out of it... that was fun. My landlord is a fan of high-fives.

Step 3- A/C guy can't fix A/C. :( He says whole unit needs to be replaced. Landlord wants to replace it with a combo heating and air unit which would be fabulous because our bedroom is freezing cold from Dec-March. He has to go shopping for a good one.

Step 4- A/C guy leaves. Landlord and I go on tour of the house (it's his place after all and he just wanted to see what we had done with the place since the last time he'd been in there). His favorite part was the new TV. He couldn't believe how thin it was. He kept checking it like it was suddenly going to get fatter.

Step 5- I offer landlord a seat at the table and ask if he wants beer. We only have Coors Light. I think I made his life complete. We sat and drank our beers out of Japanese style cups and ate edamame and talked about everything that we could find the common words to communicate about.  3 beers later I sent him hope with another Coors, a bag of blueberry muffins, and some edamame for a snack. He was all grins.

Things I learned from drinking Coors with my Japanese landlord last night:
  • He's 68 years old
  • He designed and build three of the ceiling lights in our house
  • He took 28 years to plan and build the house I live in
  • He's an architect and a painter
  • His son is a wine sommelier at a fancy shmancy hotel in Ebina
  • His daughter lives in Hawaii
  • He incorporated multiple secret areas into our house
  • His favorite fruit is blueberries (I made him muffins)
  • His shoe size is 4 inches smaller than Alex's
  • We're the first Americans to live in his neighborhood
  • He owns most of the neighborhood
  • He enjoys BBQ and American beer
  • He thinks I make OK edamame

He didn't want to take the picture because he said he wanted to get a hair cut first. :)

I believe that's about it. We had a great time chatting (him in Japanese and me in my English and random Japanese words that I throw in when I remember my lessons). Here's to more amazing times! Just wanted to let everyone know how eventful my "boring" evening turn out to be!

Partying hard!

Have a fabulous week,


Friday, July 13, 2012

I Want My Baby-Back Ribs (Barbeque Sauce)...

Heads-up, yo. 

This post is going to include deliriously delicious descriptions of foods that I have missed terribly since I  moved to Japan in January 2011. If you are hungry, you may end up gnawing off your arm in your manic hunger cravings after you read this. I will not be held responsible for you going out and buying way too much of any of the foods mentioned or for eating way too much and going into a "food coma."  You have been warned.

Recently I sat down in bed after a glass or 3 of wine (my new favorite- guess that means I'm growing up) and realized I was starving. (Just so you know, I use the term "starving" very loosely. I can just eat a huge lunch and then 20 minutes later tell someone I'm "starving.") Instead of being a reasonable adult-type person and walking down to the kitchen to go make myself a delicious meal of milk and cereal (Ajax wasn't there to make real food for me) I decided that the best idea would be to make myself even MORE hungry and make a list of foods I missed from back home. Obviously I make really smart decisions.

List of Foods & Restaurants that I Miss from Back Home:
  • Crispers' Signature Summer Salad- This salad has everything, greens, cheese, tortilla chips, smoked turkey, mandarin oranges, Gorgonzola, candied pecans, and herb citrus dressing that I would lick off the ground. I hate salads and I love this thing. When I worked nearby, I would get that at least twice a week. It's amazing.
  • Mom's cottage cheese toast- For those of you deprived folks who have not had the pleasure of knowing my fabulous mom, she makes wonderful foods on bread. I know this sounds odd but she makes the best grilled cheese, sandwiches of all kinds, boiled eggs on toast, and my personal fave... cottage cheese on toast. I know this is the dorkiest thing ever. Yes, all it is is toast, butter, cottage cheese and maybe a bit of salt and pepper if I'm feeling like a rebel. But it is delish and when mom makes it the heavens open and angels sing.
  • Momo's- If you haven't had Momo's pizza, you need to get your tuchus to Tally and go find the little hole-in-the-wall, sketch place and stop by. The slices are touted as being "As big as your head," and they're right. They're also made fresh and are amazing. They also have a portabello, balsamic, mozzarella salad that is kick ass. Get to the Momo's! Do it now!
  • Papa John's Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce- I really don't feel like this needs any additional explanation.
  • Chick-fil-A- If you don’t know about Chick-Fil-A then you live in a bubble. Though semi-pricey as far as fast food goes, the quality is amazing. Their chicken nuggets are drool-worthy and their chicken salad sandwiches are unparalleled. I seriously have dreams about the chicken salad sandwiches. I want one. Right now please!
  • Good Draft Beer-Japan has an amazing selection of whiskey, they have pretty decent canned beer, I can get bottles of Cuban rum that I can't get in the states... but I'll be damned if I can't find many bars or restaurants with a good selection of beer on tap. I think the first phrase my guy learned in Japanese was "nama biru" which means "fresh beer" or in our case "draft beer." Draft beer here is typically Asahi or Kirin, basically the equivalent of Bud Light and Miller Light. I've seen one place with Guinness on tap. It's an odd thing to miss, but I loved being able to walk into pretty much any restaurant and know that they'd have at least 5 beers on tap to choose from. Japan likes their bottles and cans. Le sigh.
  • Cake Shop Cupcakes – Cake Shop was the shiznit in Tallahassee. I was introduced to it by my friend Becky who routinely bought them for most work events. “It’s your birthday, here have a cupcake.” “You got a promotion, you deserve a cupcake.” “You knocked out two of your teeth? You really need a cupcake.” They had cupcakes of all kinds, but one of the ones that I remember best was the Heath Toffee Bar Icing with peanut butter cake one that they had for a limited time. They even put little crumbles of toffee on top. Definitely worth missing especially since Japan doesn’t really do cupcakes.
  • Mexican- Chile rellenos, margaritas, melted cheesy things, warm nachos dripping with salsa and sour cream, more margaritas, and Mexican rice. MMMMMMmmmmmm... oishii des ne. Oh crap, I mean 'delicioso.' I used to revert to Spanish in Florida but now I answer random things in Japanese. Ay yi yi!
  • Wisconsin Cheese Bricks- Most families give gifts or clothes, toys, shoes or other interesting items during the Christmas holidays. My family does that too... but we also give the wonderful gift of cheese. Cheddar cheese (mild or sharp), muenster, Colby, pepper jack, etc. We're from Wisconsin. I was born in Florida but I definitely have the cheese genes (sadly, I did not get the racing or car mechanic genes). so when it gets cold enough during winter, the Wisconsin fam sends us cheese (and sometimes Horse Collar/Kringle!) or the family members down in Florida or Colorado will order cheese to be delivered from our "cheese guys." When I cam back from Florida in January, my dearest Cakkie sent me home to Japan with a 6+ pound brick of cheese. I was so nervous the whole way because I firmly believed that I was going to have my cheddar confiscated going through Immigrations and Customs. I made it! Whew! Fast
  • Boiled Peanuts- This southern 'delicacy' is one of those things I don't think I will ever find out here. OH MY GOD! I need them now. Carolyn, lets go watch FSU baseball and eat "Balled Peanuts" like the college years. I miss that so much.
  • Publix Sushi- Publix sushi was the shit. No one can tell me any different. Yes, I know that I currently live in the land of fresh fish, delectable dishes made from the finest sea critters... it's a lovely way to dine. However, I definitely do miss me some California Rolls and Americanized sushi. In the states I never had to wonder what it was that I was eating when I went out for sushi. Japan is more than a little different, still good most of the time, but different.
  • Super Perros-This Colombian style restaurant was a favorite of mine in Tally-ho. It started out as a little street vendor at someone's house that was open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights after people were leaving the bars. They finally got a little place of their own close to my house and got a lot of business. They served these amazing "Super Perros" which were delish hotdogs, with crushed up potato chips, mayo, secret sauce, ketchup, and pineapple chunks on top. The dogs were so big you had to eat them with a knife and fork. Add on a Colombian beer and you had yourself a great meal at Super Perros.
  • Mike's Killer Coffee- I discovered Mike's a few years back when I started going to the YMCA on that side of town. They do make killer coffee... end of story!
  • Bagel Heads- Nearish to Mike's is Bagel Heads, a hipster-esque place that serves sammis and bagels and coffee, Oh My! They have the most kick-butt breakfast bagel sandwiches in the galaxy. I've tried to replicate them, I can't.
  • Italian- Japan cannot do Italian right. They just can't. I'm not sure what it is but if I get spaghetti, it will be watery and meatless with fish roe on top. If I ask for any other type of pasta, it's going to be so odd compared to the Italian that I'm used to stateside (not that 'Merica has real Italian, but it's closer). Shoot! I'd take an Olive Garden right now. Give me pasta!
  • Sony's BBQ- I need pulled pork slathered in Sweet Sauce. Give me ribs. Put some smoked turkey with coleslaw on my plate. Corn bread would be nice too. Anyone got any extra napkins? I'm seriously drooling.
I know that I am missing more than a few of my faves. If anyone can think of amazing food from back home, or in your own area, put it in the comments. On that note, I'm going to go have cereal for dinner and mope about it. ;)



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where Have You Been...

Yeah yeah yeah... I'm sucky at the Blog-o-sphere. I get busy, or I get bored and find something more entertaining to do. I get crotchety and don't want to talk to people, or I get happy and go out. In any case, I really don't do a good job at keeping this thing up. People always say that they are going to try and do better, heck, I've definitely said it before... but I really want to do this. Stupid reasons and life just keep getting in the way.

Here's the fabulous update of my life recently:
  • Still kicking tush at what I do and lovin' what I do at work
  • Still with el love o' my life
  • Keep having random Japanese men propose/sing to me. I got a flower from one gentleman at the Yamato train station about a month ago, he told me I was beautiful and that I deserved 'hana' (flowers). Ajax didn't even get jealous, he just laughed at how sweet I thought it was.
  • I learned the basics of playing poker (don't laugh too hard, I've never done it before).
  • Became obsessed with a site called Little Black Bag ( 
  • Landlord gave me a high-five last week. Awesome!
  • Many more Tokyo trips and debauchery.
  • Got to travel to Iwakuni for work. Thus far I've been to Misawa, Sasebo, Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Yokota, Atsugi and Zama... 7 of the bases in Japan. I've gotten to see a lot of the country.
  • Also went to Hakuba/Hakone several times during the winter so boyfriend and friends could ski/snowboard and so that I could make snowmen and get thai massages and drink wine.
I PROMISE to update more later. Next on my list of things to write on here is my list of foods that I miss from the states. It's a doozy, be prepared to go out and eat something after the next post.

Love y'all,


Playing around in the car in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic. 
Ended up stuck in the same spot for 45 minutes. Excuse the sketch hair, I had just taken my french braid out.