I just spent more time and effort on making mashed potatoes than I ever have before. Why? Because I’m getting together with a bunch of fellow foreigners tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. 😀

I’m so glad I started this process tonight instead of scrambling last-minute tomorrow to get there on time with food. The potatoes themselves are done, minus any pepper since I ran out, and cheese because of waiting until it’s time to reheat and eat.

However, I haven’t even started on the gravy yet. I’m planning on making my own from scratch (that means without any sort of pre-prepared mixes, right? I’m definitely using a recipe that isn’t mine…) so that the potatoes don’t have to feel all alone in the world before their delicious demise.

The potatoes took I think more than an hour and a half to prepare and cook and mix… Oi, that was a lot of effort. Actually, it may have taken more like 2 hours… Either way, it’s bedtime now. I’ll make the gravy tomorrow as well as eat lots of things that remind me of home. 🙂

Nighty night, internet.

Kids are energetic and competitive

Oh my goodness. Playing games in classes at elementary school gets crazy. The kids are awesome and they really want to win.

It makes me happy when things go well because I still don’t really know what I’m doing here or if my games are worth the effort or if they’re productive in any way.

Some days my poorly prepared plans go over better than other days…

Music is hard.

So I’m working on a song right now for band. Got a shmancy app on my phone that provides tuning tools, a very versatile metronome, as well as a cool sound recording feature that I started messing around with today (it’s got surprisingly good sound quality in my opinion).

So I’m super ready for this, right? Yaaaaaaa, well, still not really. This song is a pain. Literally. It pains my fingers because of the super fast note slides. It’s set at 126 beats per minute, which is a decent tempo. But it’s nasty when combined with triplet sixteenth note slides straight into bouncy eighth notes and then right back into the triplet sixteenth notes!


I’m getting much better at it now, though. When I first started really giving this song practice time, things were going pretty decently (practicing at 100 bpm) all things considered. I was learning the slides and starting to get used to the insanity that is this song. Then the next day when I sat down to practice this song, the universe seemed to band together to just make my life with this song wrong. Suddenly my fingers couldn’t hit all the notes. My sound kept squeaking. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

But apparently today’s a good day in the universe to rehearse this song. I’m even practicing it at the required 126 bpm. I’m impressed with my progress today, and I can only dread the horrors of the fail of tomorrow if the on-off pattern I sense forming comes to torment me.

And if you’re wondering what musical madness I’m actually talking about, it’s the first minute or so of “The Merry Widow” selections composed by Franz Lehar, and arranged by Eiji Suzuki. Look it up. It’s crazy. Impressive-sounding. But frustrating to learn.

Last time today: ughhhhhhhh.

(Oh wait, the tempo also bumps up to 132 bpm for the last about 20 measures. Fun.)

Driving in Japan is Crazy

There are animals all over the place at night because rural Japan.

And also, winding roads through the mountains are just new and interesting.

I LITERALLY drive through clouds; fairly often, honestly…

Melissa in the sky with diamonds. Ha. If I had diamonds… Nah, I’d rather have emeralds and sapphires and rubies. The pretty colors are just so much better than diamonds. Soooo…. Melissa in the sky driving-through-the-clouds.

New Friends and New Ambitions

This sounds like the lead-in to a Pokemon episode…

I made a new friend recently and I’m really excited about it. And from the sounds of it I’m going to be able to meet a lot more people from hanging out with her.

The new ambitions part  is that we’re actually planning on starting a quidditch team here. Because quidditch is awesome and it bring together the weirdest, most fun people. We’re hoping to get a few Japanese people on the team and not have it be primarily foreigners. Japan as of yet doesn’t have any real quidditch teams. Maybe we can make the first!

Driving Around

Driving in Japan is so much different in Japan. It’s pretty much completely opposite all the way down to which side the blinker is on and which way you push the handle thing to turn on the windshield wipers. I drive a lot slower here, though I’m definitely driving on very different terrain.

It’s so weird.

I have a Pokemon mobile game and it’s fun

But it’s also frustrating beyond belief when I can’t catch the pokemon, or when I have to battle the same pokemon over and over again with pretty much no reward for the effort.

On a similar note, I am now in season 5 of my Pokemon nostalgia re-watching experience. The sheer amount of times that Team Rocket breaks the fourth wall is incredible, as well as their amazing talent for bad puns.

I love Pokemon.

Food is Good

Cheese and meatballs and bread and tomato pasta sauce together make a very tasty dinner.

I kind of want to make more and just keep eating, but that’s not a good idea at all and I don’t need it and I’ll wait until another day to have more.

Run-on sentences…

Lazy Days are Fun

I really enjoy going out and hanging out with people in free time and on weekends. However, staying at home sometimes can be the best. Then I don’t have to change out of my PJs, and I can just spend my day lazily watching Pokemon or something. Which has been today. Awesome 😀

So you know how I’m bad at parallel parking?

If you didn’t, you do now. I hate parallel parking. It’s scary, and difficult, and I’m not good at it.

But today!

Today I tried for the first time to parallel in Japan. And I DID IT PERFECTLY. Everything is opposite here. Steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Drive on the left side of the road. BUT I PERFECTLY PARALLEL PARKED TODAY. I’m so proud of this accomplishment.

I still don’t like parallel parking though…