“Until I feared I would lose it, I did not love to read. One does not love breathing.” — Harper Lee

I know that it’s been a while. And I have been told to update. I thought I mentioned that it was going to be NaNoWriMo, but that is no excuse. So as it is Thanksgiving for me now, I will put up as many posts as I can. Even though A and B are not mutually exclusive, but I have three hours of sitting and waiting to get through.

I heard it snowed stateside! I wish it would snow here, not just for the obvious and eternal ‘maybe-I-don’t-have-to-go-to-school’ reason, but also because then it wouldn’t be cold enough to rain. It’s not fun trying to decide what to wear in 40 degree rain. Nor is it fun to wake up and walk to school at 7 in 40 degree rain. Nothing is fun in 40 degree rain, except sitting inside under a blanket and pretending you’re asleep.

And on my four-day weekend this week, I did just that. On Saturday, because I could, and what else does one do with their Saturday morning? Stuff, Errands, Chores? No. I should have been writing. I always should be writing, or finishing applications, but you don’t need to tell me that. I know! I know! It’s getting done. Slowly, surely, it’s getting done.

What else is new? I have hiccoughs right now and it’s driving me crazy. And I know it’s because both my brain and my body agree that I should take a nap, but somehow I don’t think the school would appreciate that. Plus it’s like they’ve never heard of insulation. The walls are so thin, or made mostly of glass, and the BOE announced this week that the heaters should not be turned on until December. Because it’s not like there’s the flu going around or anything, and I know that’s not how germs work, but I’m sticking to it.

On the plus side, you can find every size and type of hand warmer you could dream up in seven-eleven. Like small or large, or stick on or for your toes. So if it gets too bad I’ll just layer those on under my suit. Well this has been fun and rant-y.

I wish you could find turkey here. Or anything other than fried chicken or ham. That’s what I really want right now is turkey and stuffing. And just thinking of all the pies and cookies and mashed potatoes and green beans. Man, I miss thanksgiving food. I don’t miss the food-coma that come after it, or black Friday adds. And cyber Monday. I can’t think of anything dumber.

But that means it’s Christmas time! Officially. There is nothing in between that you can throw at me and say: “it’s too early! What about __________?!” After tomorrow, Christmas songs will no longer lurk among the random radio stations and muted shopping store music. They will be blasted unapologetically from rooftops and anything that could remotely hid a speaker. TV stations will begin pushing their Countdown to Christmas events like crack cocaine and no one can stop it! Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph, and three ghosts of Christmas will gang up and take over, like some sort of evil Christmas affiliated Avengers team. Elevators will play the Nutcracker suite, and candy canes will sprout like weeds everywhere you go! It’ll be weeks until you can even hope to get the scent of evergreen out of your nostrils. And the increasingly popular measurement that we all live our lives by, the Starbucks peppermint latte, needs no longer hid behind the red and white snowflake cups! It’ll be everywhere; you thought the pumpkin spice latte needed to take a break? The pumpkin spice latte is the peppermint lattes unpopular kid brother! I love Christmas.

Unfortunately, Christmas in Japan means a bucket of KFC and some vaguely log shaped cake. Blech. I don’t know how that came about, but it makes me very sad. And the Starbucks here? They’ve been taking liberties with their menu. First – they didn’t even have the pumpkin spice, and now? They’ve replaced the peppermint latte with the snow maple toffee latte. Which, I will admit isn’t that bad, and hashtag-first-world-problems all you want, I still want some peppermint latte on the few occasions I can make it out to a Starbucks around here. (Though seriously if you hashtag at me, we won’t be friends anymore, because outside of twitter, it’s dumb, and even on twitter, it’s still dumb. Twitter is dumb.)

Back to Christmas in Japan…KFC is gross. I think everyone can agree with me one that. It’s just not good. But you have to order like weeks in advance to get a bucket of chicken on Christmas here. It’s so weird. So weird. And Santa? He doesn’t come in through the chimney, mostly because they don’t have chimneys here, but he also doesn’t leave presents under the tree. Though they do have those little fake, plastic-y, sad-looking trees in the stores here. So I guess Santa breaks in through the window and flies around on stolen tooth-fairy wings (which is another thing they probably don’t do here. I dunno) and then magically sneaks a present into your bed. I’m not sure, and I’ve in no way checked anything I just wrote, but I think that’s probably what it is. Definitely, maybe. (Which is a pretty good movie, also.)

And snowmen! Snowmen here are only two snowballs! Two! I drew one on the board the other day, and everyone laughed because there were three sections. Personally, a snowman with only two sections looks a little ridiculous to me, but that’s probably cultural. Most likely. I wish I knew why that was though. Like, who decided how snowmen would look?

If you’re interested in some new Christmas songs to listen too, instead of the same old versions of the same songs, I’ve come upon some really good ones recently. Straight No Chaser, an a capella group has some pretty funny versions of songs. There’s the 12 Days of Christmas version of their, that I’ve probably made you listen to. It’s along the lines of other 12 Days of Christmas-like songs. But it mixes in different carols and popular Christmas music – it’s good, let’s just say that. Then there is the Christmas Can-can song, which is hilarious and awesome. And the Nutcracker song, equally hilarious. Check out all three. But then realize that there is nothing wrong with Alvin and the chipmunks, and listen to that album too. Do we still have it on a record, like a vinyl record? I think we might…do that instead. That’s better, somehow.

Then go caroling and get a peppermint latte because I am STILL NOT OVER THAT!

Then send me a picture, so I can show it to a barista here while crying and maybe they’ll make me one out of pity.

Just kidding about the picture part. But really, Happy Thanksgiving to all! And to all a good night!

Oh and then totally check out the Thrilling Adventure Hour, especially the episode in which they rewrite T’was The Night Before Christmas poem for their (dark knight) batman/aquaman character – Phillip Fathom. Because (1) TAH in general is hilarious, (2) it’s written by two guys named Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, seriously, like really, that’s their names, and (3) the best way to pull through a food coma is to laugh all those calories off! Remember the average American will gain 7 pounds this holiday season! Do you seriously need any more of a reason? Ooo. Rhymes.  

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.” — Louise Fresco

I confess – I’m cheating a little with this one. Making it combine two different prompts: my favorite food/meal and some of my food quirks.

That second one. That’s easy. If you know me, you know I have many, many food quirks. Here are but a few.

  • I don’t like pig in any of its edible forms. Bacon, ham, sausage; it just doesn’t taste very good to me. Turkey is an excellent substitute though. I could eat turkey bacon or sausage any day. In fact, I once ate an entire package of uncooked turkey bacon when I was like…twelve. Just cause I was hungry.
  • I don’t like any salad dressing on my vegetables, or cheese, or other various non-salad foods…like nuts. Gross.I will eat my lettuce raw, thank you. My bestie likes to make fun of me because one day we were in her car and I pulled a bag of cucumber slices out of my purse and started snacking. Also, I’ve just eaten a whole cucumber for breakfast before. What can I say? They’re delicious.
  • I don’t like anything too greasy, oily, spicy, or bloody. That’s just not my thing. I’m not a huge fan of red meat, although I kill hamburgers sometimes. You just get those anemia-induced red meat cravings, you know?
  • I love oranges (Lexicon Valley just put out a very interesting podcast on the etymology of the word orange) and pumpkins, and purple potatoes.
  • If coffee is a food (it certainly is a food group to me), it’s my favorite thing ever.
  • Or salt. I sometimes just eat salt. But again – that’s another one of those medically-induced cravings.
  • Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point were I can’t stand too much sugar at once. It makes me teeth hurt just thinking about it. But like 80% pure cocoa is the best! So bitterly delectable.

Anything else?

  • Tomatoes are…iffy. Sometimes they are okay.
  • Soup is one of the best forms of food.
  • Avocados (with salt!) are one of the things I love to “cook”. Guac should be available to eat out of a tortilla chip cone. Or cup, with a tortilla spoon.
  • But that’s about the only type of chip/cracker I’ll eat. (Saltines…are a derivative of salt, so they’re cool.) And if it doesn’t have a) a ton of salt, b) guac, or c) cheese, I’m not gonna bother with it.

My favorite sandwich (and I guess the answer to my favorite food/meal) would be Cheese, Pickles, and Mustard. Three of the best foods you can find. Pickles…that might be hereditary. It seems like we can’t get through a family gathering or meal without at least two jars of pickles on hand. My whole family will smash on a jar of pickles. Cheese, american works best, for me, but any will do; and that’s self-explanatory, isn’t it?  Who doesn’t like cheese? And mustard. Coleman’s if you have it, is the only condiment I really like. Katsup (or ketchup or whatever) is okay, but that’s really my sister’s thing. But MUSTARD! Juicy toast is a close second. That stuff is so good. And breakfast for dinner would be third.

And just to mention it here, though  it might be a family secret, but if I don’t say something, my father will…Bacon, Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon-raisin Toast. That’s not something you will ever see me eating. And that makes me odd. But what does that say about the rest of my family that does eat it?