24 June 2010

waiting sucks

Well, waiting sucks but what sucks even more is that people can't work fast enough at the apartment place. They really don't know how urgent we are with our schedule, since we have to be out of our apartment here by the 30th. Which is pretty damned close.

Takeshi called them today (again) (but hey can you blame us for being a little nosey about this?) and the lady pretty much had a fit at at over the phone, about how she can't do anything to make the process go faster, blah, blah, steam. So they told us that they cannot guarantee that we'll be able to move in by next Wednesday = the 30th. Great. Uuughhh...

Plan B? Put stuff in storage somewhere in VA close as possible to the apartment community, and find a hostel to crash at.

Meanwhile, ALL of our stuff has been packed up inside of our apartment since yesterday I believe, except for some toiletries and clothes. And the inside of the place is terrible right now, with the outside heat and humidity and no air conditioner. Falling asleep has been tough - the other night I tossed and turned and sweated until I finally fell asleep at about 4am. We broke down the bed already so the mattress is just laid out on the floor. I think we're definitely hoping to finally leave our now boring, uneventful, and swelteringly-hot living conditions for something else!

But now all we can do is wait for the call from the apartment people! Get your sh*t together already! :/

21 June 2010

Trip to Alexandria

So we just got back from a trip to the D.C. Metro area, but mostly Alexandria, VA. We arrived there on Thursday and left Sunday afternoon. We went to look at as many apartments as we could, and also make some job appointments. Mainly with Takeshi doing another "starch" (for-free-work-day) at a restaurant in Alexandria, while I went to downtown D.C. for a part-time job interview. The drive down was fine and uneventful, but jesus the traffic down there is worse off than what I remember! And TONS and TONS of construction going on with the highways and roads. Everywhere we went there was construction, making things a little bit harder at times to find exits and such.

On Thursday we were much more productive than we thought we'd be! We saw a total of 4 apartments. Most of them were equal to each other for the most part, interior-wise. With appliances and size of rooms. Most of them were garden-style apartments which is where you're not in a huge apartment complex but sharing a smaller building with maybe 4-6 different other apartments. Then one we saw, was actually the only "complex" style we looked at, and it was probably the oldest.

On Friday I dropped Takeshi off of at the King Street metro station and then drove and parked at the Van Dorn station down the way. Sat at the Station Armory station in downtown D.C. for a while since my interview was at 1pm and I got there at about 11:30am. It was a nice day fortunately, so I found a bit of shade and listening to my iPod while watching people around me. Some elderly ladies choir/group came by for a while, but after listening to them chirp out oldies tunes, I mostly just stuck to my own song lists. ;)

The view from where I sat at the Navy Memorial near the metro stop

Interview went well, lady was nice. Long story short though - ends up I can't take that one anyway, even if she ends up calling me later on. It ends up being waaaayy too far away from the apartment we're waiting to get approved on right now, since I'd be riding into downtown D.C. from Virginia everyday, paying about $4.50 roundtrip - while only getting paid part time at $9/hr!

My best friend Todd was actually free that day and came up to meet me after my interview. We had a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant of ours nearby. He stuck around with me the whole day pretty much, since I don't know WHAT I would have done all day by myself - mostly would have stayed in the hotel and watched TV - which is actually what we both ended up doing anyway. :) We wandered out at about 8:30pm and walked to the KFC across the street a ways. I got KFC for dinner and Todd couldn't resist the iHop located in the bottom floor of the hotel next to ours. I usually don't have a huge love for iHop but KFC isn't five star cuisine either. We were trying to pretty much safe as much money as we could with eating out the whole few days we were there...

At the end of the night, I dropped off Todd at one station, and thankfully Takeshi called me to tell me he was done, so I made my way to the other station without having to drive all the way back to the hotel, and then have to leave again to get him!

Takeshi and I stayed up really late that, till about 2am, talking and deliberating about the shitty situation of having all of these apartment we'd been looking at being above our budget which is $1000 MAX. A lot of apartments said, "Oh we don't have 1 bedroom available....but we do have 2 bedroom?" But yeah, that jacked up the price to definitely over $1000. And that's really more space than the two of us need at this point. So that night there was a lot of nervousness, stress, urgency, and fear coming out in the two of us, as we tried to figure out what to do. We even brought up the crazed idea of trying to maybe waiting it out still a little in Lancaster, or trying to move somewhere else less expensive like Philly or something. We couldn't really come to a solution yet, really, so we went to bed pretty silent.

Fast forward to the morning of Saturday. I find out pretty damned quickly that I have a severe stomach bug. Something I ate at that fucking KFC last night? Probably. I hate fast food. This was NOT the time to get this sort of shit. When we're supposed to be traveling around A LOT all day long around town. From about 7am to 11pm that NIGHT I had constant stomach pain, nevermind nauseousness. It was almost unbearable. It was like someone had my stomach clenched in a their fist, with a burning sensation as well. So yeah, worst pain I've had in a long long time. Takeshi had actually ended up looked up 2 more apartments to look at that morning on the fly. And he needed to have someone there to navigate for him. I knew he was worried about me, but I also knew he had the same mood of "why TODAY of all times?!".

I almost decided to stay in the hotel when he asked me what I wanted to do. But I felt really bad about having him go and do this shit himself. I had to help him do this. :( So I crawled into the car with him, laid back in the seat, gritted my teeth and off we went. I almost tossed what little I had in me twice while driving that day. It was terrible. The first apartment we went to, I just couldn't go in with him to see the place. So I sat in the car with my eyes closed and wished someone could knock me unconscious. At the second place, I actually crawled out to go with him. We went up to the apartment, and even though it was mostly air-conditioned in there, I was sweating my ass off. She was mostly talking with Takeshi, since I wasn't feeling well enough to utter more than 2-3 word responses. I had to leave finally after 5 minutes of standing there. I was wilting like a pukey, white-faced daisy next to them. I certainly didn't want to barf or something in front of the nice lady...

So fast forward again to that night - Takeshi and I get in a stand-off.

TK: "Ok that's it - let's go to the emergency room."
Me: "What?! No!" (still in fetal position on hotel bed)
TK: "This is ridiculous for someone to have severe stomach pains for 24 hours!"
Me: "It's gonna cost us a shit load of money!" (no health insurance)
TK: "I know that....but..."
Me:"....I feel better! Seriously" (I had at this point started to nibble on some crackers. Was telling truth)
TK: (a little pissed at my bullheaded mood) "Fine! But if we end up going anyway in the end, and they ask why we didn't come sooner, I am NOT going to be blamed."
Me: " Yes yes of course! It's obviously my choice. Fine."
TK: "Ok fine."

I took a little risk with seeing if I would be able to sleep the rest of it off - which I did - which is good. So ends the terrible, stomach flu episode. Bleh.

So we're back home in Lancaster for now. Waiting for hear back from the apartment we ended up going with. Then comes the packing, and the moving truck. Oh boy. Random photos!

Huge bunch of jackfruit at the local 'international grocery store' in town

We went and visited pet shop in PA a few days before our trip. Kitties are funny. ;)

14 June 2010

blog stuff

Hey everyone -

I've noticed that for the people who have followed my site, my profile pic thumbnail has not changed. It's still the previous one i.e. illustration portrait.

Could you guys maybe try to unfollow and then follow me again to see if it changes? It's confusing me! Thankya. :)

And also to anyone who would like to follow me, please feel free to add me! Shameless plug I know. x(

Also -

I've been debating whether or not to change the title of my blog. I love the name, but I've been wondering if it applies to my current status. I created this particular blog because I was living in Japan, thus the name emerald-mountain-tea.

I'd have to give it a LOT of thought as to a new title, since I don't know if I could come up with anything I like as much as this one. Any thoughts?

not a morning person

Sitting here at my small desk at the internship. It's about 20 mins til 10am and this cup of coffee is doing nothing for me. I think I spoiled myself this weekend by being able to sleep in until 10am both days. Man that was nice!

Our apartment is getting stuffier and stuffier and more humid as the weather switches from just heat and sun to humid, rain-forest downpours and back again. That makes for a really gross interior climate! We have the AC unit sitting in the closet, but since we're close enough to moving anyway, I think we'll be toughing it out.

The more I read the blogs from all of the ladies back in Japan, the more I wish we both had more "Japanese exposure" here. Living in an area with a higher population of Japanese, I don't know. Yesterday Takeshi said that while writing a message back to someone in Japanese, he had to look up some kanji. Obviously he won't ever totally forget his first language, so I'm not too concerned about it, but I do wish he had more access to that culture. Nevermind him though - I want some!

I'm the one who is obviously going to start forgetting the Japanese I've learned if I don't use it. I really really want to, in the future, find a way to take some Japanese language classes. I've never learned Japanese through an official course or anything, it was always Takeshi teaching me and then later on, me trying to keep studying on my own.

It also makes me really sad that I guess it's pretty much a fact that we probably won't get to visit Japan again until there's a wedding or (sad to say) a funeral. The only wedding that could be important enough to spend the money and time to fly over would be SIL's wedding. Not that Takeshi doesn't care about his friends getting married. And as far as funerals, I don't even want to think about that!

As much as I want to get over this fact, I still find myself pining away...I can't help it. I love Japan a lot, and I truly do feel a loss of not being able to be there - to experience the culture, the people, and the sights I came to love.

Alright enough self-pity. (for now) ;) I'll whine again another day.

After my internship ends this Tuesday, we'll be focusing on looking for an apartment in the D.C. metro area. Takeshi is, I think, pretty sure with which place he'll be choosing to work at, from the two he's already seen. I think we'll be cutting it a little close, depending on how fast we find an apartment that works for us. We have to be out of this apartment by the 30th. And we need to rent a UHaul moving truck and move all of our stuff out and move all of it into the new place. With just the two of us, which is doable but I'm no burly muscle man for sure - but neither is the hub. ;) But he's stronger than me, by far so I hope I can help as much as I can!

12 June 2010

rich lady winery and enka

(I accidently couldn't get my old blog design back after I found out Blogger completely changed their list of templates and etc. Oh well.)

Here are some recent trips and events which happened, but before that, enka -

I finally got an earful of Jero's famous hit-song "海雪" ("Umiyuki"= ocean snow) and I gotta say I like it. Of course he made my eyes bug out when I found out he was African/Japanese-American! It's refreshing to see a African-American artist not rapping about the usual sleazy things! Hah. He's got a good voice too. I'm not a fan yet of enka overall, but Jero definitely turns me on a little, to it. ;)


Anyway, a couple weekends ago, we decided to go and visit a local Lancaster winery which Takeshi had heard some good things about from coworkers. The drive wasn't long, and it took us off of the major roads and onto good ole' country roads - rolling right past (and through) farm houses and silos. Almost felt like you were driving through someone's property, the buildings were hugging the road so much!

We finally reached the winery which turned out to be some family's huge mansion of a house, with a separate "tasting room" building to the side. Nothing but farmland below us (oh yeah - it was on top of a huge hill). It was pretty hot out so we scurried to the door and went inside. Long story short - rich husband decides one day to start his own winery. And that's it. They had oodles of money to it. And I wouldn't be such a hag about it, if it weren't for the slightly-snobby wifey-lady running the tasting room that day. She gave us a quick tour of the rooms where they made the wine. When we got there, there was a middle-aged piggy couple chatting brightly with her at the main counter. Obviously they knew each other. So it was very awkward for Takeshi and I sitting in the corner, quietly have a go at the tasting offering of cheese and wines - while the other four chirped on about the weather, and why the rich-lady had purchased that particular expense marble tiling from Italy, blah blah blah blah. And then she'd come over to us and politely offer us the next wine sample. Which were pretty big, considering I had to drive us home. She'd only fill the glass up about 1.5 inches but we tasted about 5 or 6! All of those added up and I was starting to feel it around the 3rd round. We had the option of, if we didn't finish the glass all of the way, to pour out the remains in this small porcelain basin, before going on to the next wine. And since I was getting fuzzy, I started to pour out the last 10%, consistently. Takeshi had been doing it too.

Rich-lady: (looks at basin after we've both poured out another bit) "Wow I think this is the most wine I've had poured out before! Haha...." (said with a slight bite to her tone)

Me: "Oh I'm sorry! Heh......."

I really wanted to say, that she should stop bitching to someone who may or may not being a bottle from you today (we didn't). And I still had to fuckin' drive home after that - what did she want me well and shit-faced for the winding-country roads? And actually some of them I didn't like at all, so I poured those out anyway. Give me a break! It's not the best wine I've ever had anyway, but the experience of going there soured my impression of the brand in the end.

09 June 2010

rainy day

Another really really dark, gloomy, rainy day. Can't stop yawning at work. Thank god my back is turned to the boss-lady but then she's easy going and has been yawning too, so whateve'.

So it was actually Takeshi's last day at work yesterday. He had to leave at some point before we move, and time got away from me, so I had forgotten!

07 June 2010

The drumbeat

The steady drumbeat continues, as we are already a week into June! Hard to believe that in a few weeks we will (hopefully) be in another state, a new apartment, and new surroundings. Worst case scenario is that we can't find an apartment in time, or that someone will let us rent but we need to wait to move in - if that's the case then all of our crap goes into storage and we camp out at a local hostal in the D.C. metro area until then.

I've been sending off bunches of inquiry emails with resume attached to place after place, but no word back yet. Ugh.

Takeshi is pretty much guaranteed a job at 2 restaurants so far, and is planning to perhaps do another stage (day-of-work-without-pay) at another place in Alexandria as well.

This past weekend was good. Saturday night was humid and god-aweful. Tossed and turned and sweated my buns off until I finally fell asleep at 2:30am. Mr. Sleeps-like-Log next to me had no problems of course.

We went grocery shopping and then to the liquer store. Bought some Disaronno Amaretto for myself. :) And we bought a bottle of vodka to mix with anything else in the house, since we've gotten tired of having to be creative when mixing drinks! I wanted to buy some sake, but I'm fond of serving it in a sake drink set, bottle and cups etc. So I held off. I want to find a real pretty sake set online perhaps.