October update! It has been a little over 2 1/2 months, but it feels like so much longer. Although this is hard, I wanted this. I did. Even though work is still incredibly busy, and I have very little free time, I am starting to settle in a bit more over here in Japan: getting used to teaching, signed up for a Japanese class, started taking yoga classes in a nearby city, etc.
I also had a birthday! My first tanjoubi abroad.
Last week, I turned 32. I had the actual day off work, and instead of doing something, I just wanted to RELAX.
Full on, premeditated, relaxation. I made a list days before and kept it on my desk (as you can see, I still need to buy a kitchen table!) to look forward to on on my actual day off/birthday.
I skyped with friends and stayed in my pajamas until the afternoon. I did some yoga. Put on a face mask and napped. I watched The Vampire Diaries online, and ate pizza for dinner. Skyped with my parents and blew out a candle on a doughnut from Mister Donut. It was bliss.
Then, on Saturday, there was a little dinner party with some teachers. We had Mexican food (with no cilantro since it is nonexistent over here).
I made carrot cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting from Smitten Kitchen, which I celebrated photographing with all the light that comes in my apartment over here. (SUCH a welcome change from my dark, dimly lit place in Vermont.)
Now that I found Japanese baking ingredients, I thought I should photograph them. I even love the stickers on the eggs.
And now for the maple cream cheese icing. I used my precious Vermont maple syrup stash. I can only find powdered sugar in small quantities, so I just bought the entire row. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, was my logic.
Cake! I had three WHOLE ONES that afternoon. What would the teachers think?!
In addition to the great packages, I also got a chill-out CD from Rachel. (I don’t think it is any secret that I have been stressed.)
1) Burning Stars – Mimicking Birds
2) John Wayne Gacy Jr. – Sufjan Stevens
3) Lucky Man – Sun Kil Moon
4) Love Is All – The Tallest Man On Earth
5) Stealing Tomorrow – Great Lake Swimmers
6) False Horizon – Grouper
7) Runaway – The National
8) Clandestine – Dear Time’s Waste
9) The Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit
10) Sleep The Clock Around – Belle And Sebastian
11) Seventeen – Youth Lagoon
12) I Need My Girl – The National
13) Everything Is Moving So Fast – Great Lake Swimmers
14) Holocene – Bon Iver
15) Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks – The National
16) Cross Bone Style – Cat Power
17) Between Two Mysteries – Mount Eerie
Cool plants, cool cards, cool wallhangings. Chocolate chips.
And I bought myself under-eye cream and a new bike. Woo hoo! My old one had no brakes, a broken light, and a bad wheel. Time to let it go.