Monday, July 16, 2012

Tokyo is for lovers

There's no question about it - I am a city girl.

I love the views. From our 33rd floor we can see a Buddhist temple, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo bay, Mt. Fuji (on a good day), and the Disneyland fireworks at 8:30. We can watch tennis matches, baseball games, swimming meets and soccer games just by looking down. Plus, rainstorms are way cooler when you're surrounded by clouds and fog.

It's super clean. I've been here for about 3 months and I've seen garbage on the streets less than 5 times. Seriously - I counted.

Taking the trains might seem a bit overwhelming, but I grew up with them and it's a million times easier than driving here (especially considering gas prices.)

Maybe it's just my way of justifying not working out somedays, but we walk so often that I feel like I'm being healthier. On any given day I'll get about 5 miles just walking around town - usually it's more.

I get to go to Starbucks more often. My sugar/gluten-free lifestyle severely restricts my options on the menu but I've figured things out. There's a Starbucks on almost every corner and since it's so hot I need my Skinny Soy Milk Vanilla Frappucino (hold the whipped cream and syrup). I do, however, feel a little high maintenance when I order in front of my friends.

Last but definitely not least, it's home. I've lived here since I was five. I may understand the way things work in America but I feel much more comfortable being here. Sure sometimes my Japanese is a little rusty but it all works out.

Two more full days until I go back to the states. There's a rumour/myth of sorts that says if you see Mt. Fuji 2 weeks within leaving Japan then you'll definitely come back. Seeing as I hiked Mt. Fuji a week ago I'm holding out on the hope that the superstition rings true.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

never again

Usually I'm not one to say never, because really anything can happen. But I will absolutely never eat natto again.

What is natto, you ask? Whale snot.
Okay, fine it's fermented soy beans, but it kinda looks like whale snot and it sure tastes like what I imagine whale snot would taste like. It's super healthy, and Japanese people can eat it in boatloads. However, I tried it for the first time and really tried to be tough enough to eat my serving. Well I did, but not before grossing my mom out because I gagged so hard at the dinner table. It's ridiculously stringy (like for a couple of feet) and slimy. It leaves an absolutely bitter vomit taste in your mouth. 

The Japanese say that because it's so healthy it contributes to their impressive longevity. Even with my new health kick, there are places I won't go. I guess I inherited my Dad's Osaka tastebuds. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

two of the finest people I know.

Glen and June Nelson. 

This post is a bit delayed but on Sunday, these two celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. 61 years ago they were married in the Salt Lake City temple - and after only a couple of days my grandpa had to go to Germany to fulfill his duties as a private. 
I didn't take a picture of all of the news articles - but there were about 4. Apparently my grandparents getting married was big news in Springville - although I would argue it was one of the greatest things that ever happened. My grandparents are so full of love for all of their 25 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren, but especially for each other. If you've ever met my grandpa he's probably made you feel like you were the most important person he'd ever met. Well he's just about my favorite person in the world. I barely remember a summer in Utah when I didn't help him in the garden or go down to his house to "play mouse". I've absolutely never felt more loved by anyone else in my entire life. He is my hero. My grandma was definitely smart enough to pick a good man. She is amazing and despite being punched a time or two, served as a faithful lunch lady in Vegas - where she revamped the entire program to include things like peanut butter cookies and other treats. She's an amazing cook. She may not be the same as she used to, but even with her Alzheimer's you can tell she still loves each and every one of us just as much - although she wishes we were much quieter at family gatherings. 

They are great. They deserve much more than a blog post, but seeing as we already had the celebration, and I recently quit my job and now have to save all my pennies, and am on a new diet and have nothing enticing to make them - this will have to suffice. I love them with all my heart and even with their trials I would be ecstatic to be like them one day. Much love Glen and June - you deserve it. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

doctor's orders.

Unfortunately I have been put on a fun new diet - doctor's orders. I secretly hoped he would tell me nothing was wrong, or that I needed to eat more chocolate. Of course not.

Here's what I "get" to avoid:

-sugar (white, brown, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, etc.)
-yeast. meaning baked goods like bread, rolls, crackers, bagels, pastries, and muffins.
-anything with gluten. meaning bread and pasta.
-vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), mayo, mustard, pickles, ketchup, BBQ sauce (<-- that's unreasonable), and any commercial salad dressings.
-peanut butter, peanuts, and pistachios (are you kidding me!? I live off of my peanut butter)
-coffee, black tea, cider, root beer, alcohol - okay this one won't be a challenge at all.
-aged, moldy, and processed cheeses. No blue cheese or cream cheese or mac and cheese.
-processed, dried, smoked, and pickled meats. Not that I'm a big fan of sandwich meats anyways, but I like smoked salmon quite a bit.
-packaged processed, and refined foods. Nothing canned bottled, packaged, boxed, with any chemicals, preservatives or food coloring.

What a joke. And here are all of the things that I have recently bought that I can no longer eat:

Anyone care to join me on this venture? I thought not. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

sisterly love

The other day I lost my lovely zebra earring while trying to run and catch the bus so I could make it to work on time. My oldest sister caught wind of this, and knew that my best friend had recently left on his mission. In her words (although she doesn't know that I've heard this) "she shouldn't lose her earring and her best friend in the same week." I love my new zebra earrings and wore them to work, even though big earrings are technically against dress code.

So yes, I whine when I lose an earring and I miss my best friend - but my sister is rocking enough to send me brand new zebra earrings from Australia through her house in India because she loves me. She is great. Not that that wasn't already clear to anyone who knows her.