Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Update

Hi there, it's your delinquent sister/daughter/long-lost friend. Happily, I'm becoming involved in many new projects of late, but unhappily, I've been neglecting the Sumeba Miyako. For my own personal reasons, not blogging because I'm too busy is better than posting everyday how much I miss Pinkberry, the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, and sitting in traffic on the 405. So, sorry for being neglectful, but I hope you understand.

I've been writing a little column over at OkinawaHai, an online magazine for Americans living in Okinawa. I post on Saturdays with an emphasis on traveling, but sometimes I take (hopefully interesting) detours into the topics of health, exercise, and cool stuff to do on our own little island. Check it out if you get the chance.

I started a fitness program up at the gym called "Extreme Fitness Challenge" which is contorting my body into a sore mass of slowly expanding muscle. We do all sorts of bootcamp-esque challenges, liked timed push-ups, sit-ups and 3 mile runs. We meet for an hour a day, 5 days a week, for 8 weeks. I plan to turn 30 this summer looking like I just turned 20.

Mortechai's passing was sad, but after 3 days of mourning we replaced him with an even feistier beta fighting fish. John has named him Deuce Fishalow, Fish Gigolow. But we call him Pagoda for short.

John and I are headed up to the track to do a little work out and then we're going kayaking this afternoon. Here are some recent photos of our adventures!

This $60 piece of fruit is called smells like moldy garlic and tastes like garliky-passion fruit. Despite that riveting endorsement, I thought it was pretty good.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The tastiest of treats

Hellooooo, Lover.

Sex & the City is coming to theaters, though I'm bettin' not here. Does anyone know how to start a letter writing campaign to whomever controls the military movie selections? Would it be just a tad indulgent to fly home this june just to see it on the big screen? I guess for that price I could buy one of those great flat screens and watch the DVD on that. Nope, just not the same.

Oh and HELLO, Mr. Big? Full Name John James PRESTON???? And I'm married to JOHN??? And my godfather/uncle's name is John Preston??? And we both love Carrie??? I knew we had a connection. That's it I'm bookin' a flight.

The trailer won't dissapoint.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Morty R.I.P.

[Scene - couple walks into apartment]

John: Gunner Bunner? Hey Gunner! What's a matter buddy? Gunner won't come out from under the table.

Jen: He did something wrong.

John: Gunner, what did you do?

Jen: Check upstairs for kitty puke.

John: Gunner, what did you do?

Jen: He totally did something wrong! look at him, he's totally hiding-

John: GASP!!!!!!!!

Jen: What, what did he do? What...

Jen: Oh that poop?

John: That's MORTECHAI!!!!!!

Jen: Oh my god, Gunner you better run.

[--20 minutes earlier--]

Mortechai: You're goin down cat.

Gunner: What are you gonna do from that bowl? huh? splash me? wah.

Mortechai: Sometimes revenge means the ultimate sacrifice.... [jump, flop flop plop]

Gunner: Damn you fish, I will not take the heat for this! Get your tail back in that bowl!!!

Mortechai: You're....[wheez]...goin....[cough]....doownnnn...[expire].

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stuff We Like

How is it that with the infinite amount of sites out there, we all end up reading the same blogs and watching the same YouTube videos? A friend of mine in Okinawa tells me about this funny YouTube video that people keep sending her, and it turns out it was just a little (& hilarious) dance video created by my good friend Judy in her LA cubicle. Not only had my friend seen Judy's video several times, but her friends back in Texas loved it so much that they performed the video and re-shot it for YouTube.

For those of you over 40 reading this post, and getting a little lost....let me break it down: Let's say you come up with a funny joke and tell it to your neighbor. They you fly to Chicago for business 2 days later only to have a cocktail waitress in the hotel bar tell YOUR joke back to you. Later that night in your hotel room, you hear John Stewart talking about your joke on The Daily Show, and how Bush tried to tell your joke at the White House correspondent's dinner, but messed up the punch line. It's a little eerie, and gives the impression that you have your finger on the world's pulse. Well, I should say, Judy has her finger there.

Some viral blogs take a little longer to reach us over here in the least 36 hours longer. But we catch on eventually. It helps that I have on my hands to surf the net.

Most recently I was alerted to this site called "Stuff White People Like" which has apparently gained a rush of popularity. Ironically, I was alerted to this website by a podcast (SWPL #40) of an NPR show (SWPL #44) talking about viral blogs.

Hoping my blog will one day become viral, I was intrigued. Apparently, I like a lot of the stuff white people like. And so does my husband. In fact, this website is reading like a list of our monthly itinerary. As I read the list to John, he thinks I am making it up to frame him as "whitest white man alive." I start to ponder. I glance down at our coffee table, strewn with Netflix (SWPL #39) of our favorite TV shows. #38 and #85 (greatest show ever). This freaks me out a bit, so to calm my nerves, I reach for my cup a joe (SWPL #1) but since it's cold, and it's already 2pm on a Sunday, I just go for the vino (SWPL #24) The wine starts to get me paranoid and my mind starts to wander in two directions.

Either A: I am so white and so predictable that I in fact contain not one original bone in my body and only really THINK that I like the things I like after years of forming opinions, and really, I am just a carbon cutout of every other white person in my age and socio-economic group.

Or B: The entire website is an elaborate ruse cooked up by Judy to freak me the heck out. I'm really hoping it's the latter.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pizza in the Sky

It's easy to get into a groove. I think, even the luckiest girl living in Paris would start to unwittingly walk the same path around the city, walking her toy yorkshire terrier in the same park, noshing on croissants in the same cafe, shopping for her louboutins at the same boutique....sigh....where was I? Oh yes, the groove. We are notorious groovists. So we've made a goal of one new exploration every weekend.

This Saturday, we went to a wine tasting event at Kadena. Apparently a Napa collective sent over $250K worth of wine, there were 100's of different bottles to choose from. Great time.

This Sunday we went to "Pizza in the Sky" a pizza restaurant that serves 1 flavor salad, 1 flavor pizza. The pizza has sausage, corn, peppers and beacoup cheese. The real treat is the view. It takes about 1.5 hours of driving on windy highways and through gorgeous, ropey jungles. You emerge from the botanicals atop a viewpoint that spans miles and miles.

On the road to Pizza in the Sky

We ate on the patio balcony

The view from the outdoor seating area

The menu

Lauren and I

Tasty pie

The cutest coffee presentation

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I am nursing a persistent itch to be in Los Angeles right now. I'm sitting here, trying to come up with something interesting to say about Okinawa, and it's just not coming to me. It's raining here and there's some decent lightening, although the thunder is nothing to write home about. I'm getting a little sweaty in this mugginess, and any time I mention how muggy it is to anyone, I only get a condescending chuckle and a "you have no idea." Like when I moved to New Hampshire and broke out the down jacket, scarf and hat when the leaves started to change. I HAD NO IDEA. I can't help it, I'm the spoiled offspring of spoiled offspring. My grandparents and great grandparents made their courageous journeys west until the sun hit at just the right angle and said, yep, this is it. The good life. Why live a miserable muggy, sodden, wet, frozen existence when you can just live in flip flops. All year long.

So yes, LA. I'm having that "man, why did I break up with that girl - she looks so good now" moment. I did her wrong, I tell you. The last couple years we lived there we didn't even go out that much. We dined in the same 3 places. Hollywood was such a trek, and the traffic and the noise and blah blah blah. I think we both agree that if we ever go back, we have to approach it like transplants - see the city with open eyes. Take in a show. Do the Star Tours. Renew our vows, so to speak.

A couple months ago, my friend KMAC sent me images of a gorgeous little New England town she and her husband recently moved to. I turned to John and said "someday, WE should live in a little town by the sea." He turned to me and said, "Are you seriously kidding me right now? We're live on a 10x10 foot ISLAND." hmm. point taken.

Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the island living respite. But I look at a lot of the locals and their internal clocks are just putt-puttin' along. Live goes slooowly here. I miss some of the excitement of LA. I miss the options.

So who knows, someday we could be back in LA. Will she even take us back?

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Jewelry Designs

Something to wear to those last minute tea invitations at Versailles.

Happy Friday!

There is hope for the future.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Love is...

I never pictured my own wedding. I don't particularly like being the center of attention. There are so many components of a wedding that are too cliche. The staged photos, feeding each other the way. I like other people's weddings, I have a blast at other people's weddings. I just really never wanted to play the roll myself.

I think what I dislike most is the instantaneousness of the moment. Is it the "I do" moment? Is it the "first kiss," the "first dance?" We are going to spend the rest of our lives together, and it has to begin in one single moment? Not for me. I like to move sloooooowly. Like 7 years slowly. Year 1: friends. Years 2-4: date. Year 5: cohabitate. Year 6: nice, lengthy engagement. The pressure of 'instantaneous' is just too much for me. Love should reveal itself just as slowly, I think. I mean, we've got another 60+ years together (we have EXCELLENT genes) so why do all the fun stuff right up in the beginning?

And those moments keep on coming. For the past 6 years, when I cook, I have only fed him vegetarian meals with the occasional piece of fish, because I have a raw meat and poultry phobia. Can't touch it, can't cook it, can't eat it. I used to tell my mother that my family (should I ever have one) would be vegetarian or make their own meals because I would not go near the stuff.

And then the other day, I find myself blankly staring down into a bowl of slimy raw chicken breasts marinating in homemade sauce I had thrown together. How did this transgression occur? At what point had I so unknowingly crossed my own boundaries? But then, in typical unceremonious fashion, I realized.....for me, love is a bowl of slimy raw chicken breasts. And my man needs protein because 60 years is a marathon, not a sprint.

Two-Wheelin' Freedom

I used to ride my bike to school - about 1.5 miles - by myself in 1st grade. I had this little blue bike that had the "petal backwards" brakes. I used to test myself to ride the entire way with no hands, only leaning to turn corners. The quintessential symbol of being a "big kid" was a bicycle with hand brakes and ten different speeds. What a skill those big kids had mastered! How did they not fly over the handle bars when they braked? What did all those speeds actually do? Oh, one day I would find out. I would ride down the street, casually pedaling backwards to a soft "click, click, click, so passerby's would know... no pedal brakes. It's all hand-brakes from here on in, baby.

In second grade, my Nana asked me what I wanted for Christmas from my dad. I couldn't even say it out loud, it was too brazen. It was like asking for a BMW on your sweet sixteen. Instead I wrote it on a paper an gave it to her.... "ten speed bicycle." Well, my dad surpassed expectations by two speeds and gave me a glossy new lavender 12- speeder. Boy I ran that bike into the ground. I was still using it in high school, where I may have been the only kid in LA that was actually biking anywhere.

When I first started to drive, of course the thrill of being able to conquer long distances made bicycles look like kids' stuff. Oh the horse power! I can even sleep in my car (which I did a couple days in college before the dorms opened)....oh the freedom. But after years of sitting in immobile traffic on the way to and from work, the automobile lost it's luster. The thought of getting in the car to go get a carton of milk just turned depressing. Not to mention the expense of it all.

So here I find myself, car-less in Japan, and I find that I don't even really want a car. I've been biking to the grocery store, to the gym, to the beach, to explore. My friend DD called me this morning and reminded me that we would turn 30 in a few months, and it honestly hadn't occurred to me really. There is something about biking to get around that makes you feel like a teenager. Watching those older kids driving past....suddenly they don't look so happy, or so free. My eyes are more open when I bike...I see restaurants an stores I hadn't noticed on the same routes I usually drive. It's a slower way to get around. But I've been racing to and fro for years, and yet I felt my life was stuck in one place. I can finally take it slow and I'm happier than I've been in a long while.