On our weekly chat my mother chided me for not having posted lately which, dear reader, I have already been experiencing some guilt about. Part of the problem is that we restarted training for the prefecture speech competition, which means I had no spare energy. I come home, eat, wash, sleep, wake up to rinse and repeat. The contest was yesterday - we haven't heard the results yet - so next week should be more relaxed.
And then I was hesitating because there was a Serious Post I was trying to write, but I couldn't get it right so maybe for some other day. This probably sounds ridiculous but I take a long time to write this silly little entries. I can't hit "publish" until I'm satisfied that every word is in the proper place. I once wrote down my thoughts on romance, from the PoV of someone who'd never dated, but before I was satisfied with it I'd started dating someone. So I revised it from the PoV of someone dating for the first time, but before I finished that we'd broken up. I still have that entry on my computer - it's about three years old.
Why am I so obsessive about a web journal that only a handful of people read? I think it has to do with my poor memory - for most intents and purposes I don't remember anything outside my present circumstances. I remember living in Japan because I look around me, I see the apartment walls and the hideous curtains. Although I know that before that I lived in my parent's house, in a Seattle apartment, that I went to a big college and a small high school, that I've made some friends. But I don't actually remember what that was like, I just know it happened. If you told me that in fact it didn't happen and I just imagined it all, I would quite possibly believe you (on some level). There are some exceptions, like a certain smell will remind. And then there's the humiliation component, that I will infinitely experience the slightest embarrassment as though I'm still standing there with egg on my face. I still shudder over things in elementary school - in those circumstances at least my memory is crystal clear, and razor sharp.
Which is all to say that I keep a journal because if I don't it's like nothing ever happened. Even if it means nothing, if no one reads it, it means something about me won't disappear when I do. Words are the most important thing in my life, obviously, and by writing down my inconsequential thoughts I can make me feel like I'm something important too.
Sometime I'll have something good to write you. Ah, over Winter Break I'll be going to Osaka, primarily to see a concert of my beloved duo, but hopefully I'll also get to see the area, Kyoto, Nara. I'm spending a wince-worthy amount on the whole excursion, but considering I haven't even left my apartment this weekend I think I deserve an outing.
Hmm, in the cooking world - when I can get myself to make something more than dashi broth - I was recently given a bag of persimmons. I'd never had persimmons - for a fruit aficionado I am woefully unaware of the more exotic types, and I thought they were tomatoes at first. Then because I'm uncreative I made some into pancakes, which don't taste bad but are quite floppy.
Ah, this was an experiment you might turn your nose up at, but I swear it's worth it! Herbs are prohibitively expensive here, so I asked my mother to bring some de Provence when she visited. But I must have been thinking of some other herb blend because this has a sour quality that doesn't make it my favorite. "I need something sweet to counteract it," I thought. Since I'd eaten a can of peaches for breakfast I'd saved the juice, so I mixed with an equal amount of mirin, a spoonful of Herbes de Provence, and a little bit of ginger. Then I cooked some beef in it on the stove top - is that simmer? Sautee? I don't understand the terminology of the kitchen - and put the result on top of somen. Seriously, incredible. Makes my mouth water just sitting here writing about it.
Here's an odd song-of-the-day for you (though not as odd as the last one, haha) because I don't actually like this trio. Shuuchishin is one of those shoved-together-for-TV cookie-cutter groups. They're the Ken-dolls of J-pop, down to their assigned primary colors. And one of their previous songs sets my teeth on edge because it perpetrates a bit of Engrish I could do without. But this song's school-anthem, straightforward, inspirational tone gives it the heart their previous endeavours lack:
I was talking about enka earlier, the style of music popular among older Japanese that is distinguished by a quaver in the voice and mournful lyrics. The queen of the genre was Misora Hibari:
And because I love them and because I'm going to be at their New Year's Countdown Concert which will never stop being exciting: