Saturday, February 12, 2011


Last night, we went to see pretty lights in Otaru. I'll tell you more when I'm not blogging via phone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A beautiful day, a jammed train

There aren't many things more beautiful than frosted trees against a deep blue sky. Especially when viewed from a cosy train.

And the train is certainly cosy today! People are all over it! Now, I'm pretty sure a Tokyoite would scoff at my definition of crowded, but this is Hokkaido, and so it's kind of weird.

Let's party, train people!

Bus Buddies

Sometimes, I am on buses and other forms of public transportation with high school students. I have been known to cheerily greet the private school kids (accidentally), who then look completely confused. Some of my students will greet or acknowledge me. Some will remain absorbed in whatever it is they are doing. With some, you can almost feel the prayers emanating from them. "Please don't make me speak English!" But there is one student who rides the bus with his friend, and they will actually go out of their way to try to have an English conversation with me. It's always fun to see them on the bus!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to wake up

So, let's say you need to be up early for something and you really don't want to oversleep. Now let's say that you've been up late the night before, so you are definitely worried that your body is going to stage a revolution and snooze away, peacefully unawares.

Well, I have to get up early on numerous occasions to catch early ferries and trains, and I recently seem to have perfected the secret to getting out of bed EXACTLY when you want to. So, in order to enrich your life, I would like to share my method with you.

1. Move into an apartment building
2. Gather as many neighbors into the surrounding apartments as possible
3. Feel slightly guilty because you are never sure what they can hear and not hear
4. Start working out
5. Load the following song to your iPod and use it in your workouts (the point is to get accustomed to the intro and what comes immediately after it)
6. Use slightly powerful speakers for your iPod so you can listen at home (it is best if the speakers always seem to be too loud)
7. The night before the day you want to get up early, set your iPod alarm to wake you up to the song below
8. Preferably set this up in another room
9. Happily go to sleep
10. At your designated time, this song will start up. When your brain hears John Piper start talking, it will remember the song from your workouts in 5 and know what is coming
11. You will find yourself flying off your futon like someone set it afire
12. And presto, you are awake!

And so, for your enjoyment, here is the song! Even a girl who loves flowers and pink things and dancing has to MAKE WAR every once in a while!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bath time

When I was in Asahikawa, I stopped at Loft to rummage around through the bath section. They always have interesting choices. This one sounded fairly interesting, so I decided to try it.

It smells like a pot of vanilla wassail!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The main drag through town

Yes, I have realized that this is basically a picture of nothing. Oops.

Recently, I had been thinking about how overall, this winter felt a bit milder than last winter. Well, I was wrong son, I was wrong. This morning, I stepped out into a swirl of big, fat attack snowflakes. The Abominable Snowman? Probably just some poor sap walking to work on a morning like today.

I considered remaining in the office building all day (generally I don't have school on Mondays), but by noon, it looked like the weather had cleared up. I hadn't brought my lunch, plus, this morning I was rather dismayed to discover that I had accidentally brought lychee teabags to work instead of the caramel sugar tea I had meant to bring.

So, on my way home to eat and gather tea, I noticed the snow blowing around (feeling like salt spray). I attempted to capture it, but failed. Oops.

And, oh my! How the temps have dropped! When I left work this evening, I thought my kneecaps were going to fall off!

I may not be quite as well-adjusted as I thought I was.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Drifting through ice

Yesterday, we went on a cruise through the drift ice in Abashiri. It was cool (pun intended)!