26 July 2010

white wine

Sitting in the couch enjoying a glass. :) Hub is next to me on the floor, ironing out one of his chef's jackets for work.

Went to an interview today actually, for a part-time job. It's in Old Town Alexandria, so I'd probably have to take the bus, but it pays $12 an hour which is way more than I thought I'd get right now! So I hope I get it!!! They said they're hiring 2 people, so my chances are a LITTLE better. It depends on how many people actually interviewed that day with them. Hopefully not like, 20!

Send me good vibes please! ;)

Good news as well on the bug-fighting front. Apartment apparently is having a routine pest-control visit this Tuesday to treat the whole building. Thank YOU! Saves me money, from buying all kind of traps, poisons whatever. So looking forward to Tuesday. And nice to know for the future, that the apartment does in fact cover pest-control visits, and that I can call to schedule an appointment at the office if I find more buggies around. Hopefully not!

22 July 2010

f*cking ROACHES

We have them. I'm pissed.

We are clean people. Judging by what I've seen so far from the rest of our neighbors in this apartment building, I HIGHLY DOUBT they give two shits about cleanliness. Which means the bugs were brought on by them, not us. And besides, we just moved here recently. We'd have to be total pigs to attract roaches THAT fast.

Any tips? I've only seen little ones so far, and even though I REALLY don't want to see a huge honking roach crawling around - it usually means that there are more somewhere else.

I've seen the majority of them in the kitchen so far, but I have seen one or two in the bathroom?? And when I see them, I kill them but I know it's probably just the TIP of the iceberg. We did buy Raid roach spray the other day, but I usually can't run and get the can every time I see one, or it would be gone by the time I'd turn back around. I usually get 'em with a tissue. And wash my hands afterwards. :(

This Sunday I'm thinking of getting some roach traps, or even better - the poison stuff that the roaches can eat, and bring back the nest where it slowly kills the nest off (hope to god). I've read tips about prevention, and I'll be even MORE of a clean-freak after today, but I hope I can actually make a difference.

I doubt very much that the apartment would cover an extermination person to come out and treat the building. Definitely would come out of OUR pockets.

The first time I saw the buggers was down in the laundry room, which happens to be the room directly below our apartment. And that's even GROSSER idea, of having roaches crawling all over your laundry, if you leave it out in big, huge, damp piles. Which is EXACTLY what SOMEONE in this building has repeatedly done. It's disgusting. And I have to move the shit over, so I can actually work the fucking washer and dryer, too. The last time I went down there to do laundry, I took a bunch from the pile and threw it on the floor. I don't give a damn, let 'em get dirty. Who just leaves their damp laundry there for hours??

Also - it's a very small room - and the dryers there run SO HOT. Above normal, really. So it stays very warm and humid down there. Just the right kind of place to raise a roach family.

Anyway, there's a good chance the bugs are originating from there, but what do they eat - detergent?

I've killed numerous types of bugs already in this place. Roaches, flies, nats (one is still evading me), millepedes (pukes), small spiders, and one measly cricket.

I am the bug-warrior-woman. Hear me roar.

My hubby on the other hand, is very afraid of getting near any kind of creepy-crawler.

Aren't I supposed to be the one on top of a chair screaming?

I'm about ready to buy a whole bunch of bug bombs or whatever, and blow this whole apartment building into oblivion.

So yah, any tips would be appreciated, if anyone has had to deal with roaches before!

20 July 2010

kabocha and 100 posts

Happy 100 posts to me. :) Wow that's a lot of hunting-and-pecking the keyboard!

Down the main road aways' we have found an international grocery store called "GrandMart". This is our new favorite place to go and find unique and hard-to-find items, such as foods from Japan and such. This grocery store combines so many different countries together in one place - I've never seen it before. From what we have been able to identify, the store sells a large amount of Korean and Latino foods, then followed by items from Japan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, much from South America, India, and some from Africa.

They have so many things there, and we've been pleasantly surprised a few times already, finding out what they have that we like. I was able to try my first lychee fruit - the actual fruit itself, not anything "flavored" and not in a can. I definitely would always pick, eating the actual fruit hands-down! We buy our rice there from now on, since we found a Japanese brand of rice being sold there. They have all types and cuts of meat, from the usual to the less-mainstream cuts including, all kinds of critter feet (duck, chicken, pig), WHOLE cow tongues, tubs of cow and pig blood, big flaps of pig skin by itself, duck, rabbit, goat, frogs legs, and last but not least WHOLE pig heads. They run about $15 a piec--a head...

Takeshi was thinking of getting one the other day, but he thinks that $15 is still a little much for a pig head, since he says it's mostly bone and skin. I just don't want to have that thing staring at me in my freezer all the time! And Takeshi mentioned that, "It would probably take forever to defrost". .....Eww..... Defrosting pigs head. Anyone hungry?

I did buy a kabocha (Japanese squash) the other day from there! I was so happy to find them. I loved eating kabocha at the inlaws house. So today I made some kabocha amani (=sweet simmered kabocha). Ran out of soy sauce though, but still had enough for the recipe, which is basically simmering the squash in water, suger, and soy sauce. I'm happy to find that they sell multiple grocery items from Japan including, Golden Curry, Kewpie Mayo (expensive, damnit!), and (angels sings) furikake!! (=condiment for sprinkling onto rice)

I. Love. Furikake. I have missed that stuff so much!

All of this food kind of helps to bring me closer to Japan again, even if it is only in my head! But it brings back so many memories for me, because food for me, is probably one of the strongest 'switches' that can do that. And of course I do lovelovelove my Japanese food. ;)

15 July 2010

melon juice and study books

Melon juice. We have a lot of it now, actually. This past Wednesday Takeshi had off so we decided to go check out one of the farmer's markets from a list he'd gotten from work. Seems that Restuarant Eve supports and/or buys from many of the nearby markets in the area, and I was hoping we'd be able to find one again. I didn't know if we'd be able to find a farmer's market within a convenient distance from where we live. So we got there and it was significantly smaller than the one we'd favor up in Lancaster, but it had good sells there. Mostly fruits and veggies, with one stand selling homemade icecream (I was very tempted...), and a couple more selling poultry and dairy, flowers and such.

We bought some carrots, plums, cherry tomatoes, and I picked a yellow melon. Which they said was "seedless" - but it wasn't. Psh. I was hoping, having it being seedless and all, that we could just slice it up and all - but in the end decided to make juice out of it. Oh boy did I get a lot of juice. Almost 64 ounces of it. I hope I don't get too sick of drinking it, since I have to use all of it up now! And the stuff is pretty well sweet on it's own, so no sugar is needed.

After watching GaijinWife's vid of Shou and Marina's metcha-cute, chu-fest, I want to really begin to seriously study Japanese again. Even though I wish I could pay for classes somewhere for this instead, a fire has been lit in my belly sort-of-speak, so maybe I can talk to my MIL on the phone next time we ring them! Sometime, maybe I could talk to Takeshi about doing some speak-only-in-Japanese days. It's true what GaijinWife also said in a reply on her blog, that one needs to live in Japan for a bit to be able to work on becoming fluent (or at least better at conversational Japanese!). Time to open up my many many Japanese-study books. :) I find that most of the time I'm better at writing sentences and such in Japanese, but that won't do me any good with actually talking to people. Lol.

Random photos:

really cool spice and tea shop in Old Town Alexandria

Whole Foods Market in town. It's so nice to have one of these nearby again!

Old Town Alexandria views. Only about 12 minutes from us.

Unique, quirky coffeehouse called "Misha's" in Old Town. Their coffee is SO fresh. Very different taste than any coffee I've ever had. I couldn't help but think of Khea and Missha when I saw this place!

13 July 2010

less than

I guess I'll stick with this new design template for the blog. I hated it when Blogger decided to change everything up. Oh well!

So yes, we've moved now to Alexandria, VA. Getting down here was a big pain in the ass, with finally getting the green-light from the apartment office, and THEN trying to get a truck as fast as humanly possible, because the hub is definitely not one to take it easy. We packed up all of our stuff, just the 2 of us (couldn't find anyone to help us in such short notice). Just 2 of us on a STINKING, blazing hot day. And we all know I'm not good with the upper-body strength right now. So it was hard to say the least. Worked straight through until we finished - I had shove bottles of water at Takeshi so he'd actually stop to drink in the heat. And in all the blur and rushed business of lugging stuff up and and down the stairs out off the apartment - we locked ourselves out. With nothing on the outside to help us. Had to rush next door to our neighbors, (girl also named Laura, and her fiancee) and groveled to use her cell phone to call the apartment office. THANK GOODNESS a technician was on call there 24 hours and only charged us $50 (still hurt though...) to unlock our door for us. We sat in the back of the truck, in the semi-sun waiting for about 20 minutes for him to come, until we could finish packing.

Left the house RIGHT afterwards to drive down to Maryland to drop off the 2 bicycles my friend had lent us last year. His mom was nice enough to let us stay the night, since we couldn't have made it to the new apartment in time that day, before the office closed, to get the keys and sign the paperwork. Started off bright and early the next morning and drove the rest of the way to Virginia. Signed the huge stack of paperwork, and then went to unload and move everything IN. That day was more humid and hot, since we're more south now. My friend Todd helped us move in that day, and we could NOT have done it without him. We were very grateful. And here we found it was his birthday that day! I felt bad. In the end we wrote him a "thank you for your help/happy birthday" check.

Fast forward to now. I can't say that things are going well for me in the job department. Takeshi already had his new job settled out even before we moved, or else we wouldn't have moved. Because of going to college full time in the past, I haven't had a job since about 2007. And I'm desperately wondering if I'll get one again. Even a part time job. Early on after moving here, I went to the shopping center nearby and filled out applications to multiple places. I'm hoping that if I keep bugging them from time to time, they'll have me in for an interview at least. But I haven't heard anything, from anyone, except "We're not hiring right now."

Every day I check job search engines for graphic design jobs, send my resume, cover letter, etc. etc. Nothing at all yet. A lot of places don't want entry-level people. They say, "must have 3-5 years experience". I don't even have 1 year of experience. You gotta start somewhere though.

I know the economy is pretty much shit right now, but I can't help feeling like a total failure. This move was supposed to be the beginning of me making a difference finally, to work and earn a living. Takeshi's never seen me as a worker before in all the time we've been together, only a student.

I totally HATE it when he comes back from work at night and asks me again and again, "So, no calls from anyone?" And I have to keep saying "no". I wish he wouldn't ask me. It makes me more and more anxious and stressed out. I stay at home all day, sit infront of the computer and search and search. Then I eat, then I sleep at night. Wake up start again. I feel my life slowly oozing down the drain. I'm nobody, sitting in this apartment by myself.

I'm getting desperate with even finding a part-time job in the meantime. What do I have to do, clean houses? Wash asses? I don't feel like I have a purpose right now. My life is at yet another standstill.

Takeshi works even longer now. He's gone from 10am to midnight. He gets Sundays off, and one other weekday off a week, which they say will change and never be the same from week to week.

One of Takeshi's old colleagues from Lancaster mentioned a term to me, when we met them for dinner one night, right before we left town. She said I'm a "kitchen-widow". She smiled sadly a little and said, "Well that's what my husband is too, since I'm the one in the food industry."

That term sums it up extremely well actually.

So in short, I sit here day after day, wishing, hoping, searching. Staring at the walls. I wish I had friends nearby. But I don't even have the car with me anyway. I know I wouldn't feel as lonely if I made contact with other humans during the day. Or even a dog. But we can't get one until I have an income too, because trying to support a little furry thing right now with just one income is not reasonable.

07 July 2010


Don't know who still reads this blog besides the parents. Haven't been in a blogging mood as of late. Lots of things going on.