Monday, October 29, 2012

Bad Day

Stomped around for most of it snapping at people.

My Great Kitten Clean-up was thwarted by a nasty tummy ache this morning. I still pottered around and did stuff, very slowly, and got some some crap cleared away, but definitely nothing energetic. Neither the bleach nor the mop made an appearance.

The kittens nearly drove me truly, honestly, mad. Genki is in the genkan, in isolation as her ringworm is healing more slowly. Meanwhile Cinnamon and Vanilla are still in the living room, but spending more time than before in the cage, partly because I feel so guilty letting them run free while Genki cries and mewls out in the hall. Consequently, they have become much more reluctant to go in the cage, or to stay there when put in. They were quite happy to do so before, because they knew they'd be let out pretty much as soon as they miaowed once and put on a cute face. Extra points for all looking at me at the same time with ears pricked up and all moving their heads in unison to follow me and I moved from  place to place. SO cute.

But now, their only goal is to GET OUT.

And get out they did. Over and over and over.

At one point between about 10 and 11, I was trying to get them back into the cage, anticipating a more general clean-up in and around the specifics, meaning leaving the door open for me to come and go, meaning everyone had to be back in her cage. I would put Genki in her cage, and come back into the living room to see either Vanilla or Cinnamon wandering about the room. Back they would go, and I would wait just a few seconds to see which corner or bar they were fitting through, shove them back, and tape down the net, more firmly tie the second cage to the first, or add a peg or something... just in time to see Genki streak past, having escaped herself. By the time I caught her, I could hear V or C starting to mewl and climb and struggle and squeeze, and by the time I chucked G back in her cage, one of them would be out again, and it would start all over, and honestly this happened about ten times in a row, with only a few seconds spare to try to close the gap where they had escaped. I had masking tape between the buttons of the net, pegs holding corners, extra caging on the sides tied with wool, and even a cushion taped to the side of one cage. In the end I got so mad, I put the naughty pair in the travel cat box. When the claws started to show through the sides of that, I threw a sweater over it, and they FINALLY gave up and went to sleep (I had blocked Genki's favorite escape route with a cushion in the meantime).

By now I felt so behind, and like I was running in one spot! I went shopping for cat food and things for dinner, and bought some netting to add to the cages. I really wanted - and needed - a nap, but got so busy again, cleaning the cage and clearing out the computer corner and cutting the net and cooking tea and taking Erica to karate and then well here we are, with kittens still escaping all over the place.

I just added the nets. Vanilla is half out. Yay! Success! She could not get further than her head. Genki is crying LOUDLY - while means she is stuck. Escape is usually silent. Vanilla just tried - and failed - another corner. I still anticipate a long night, waking up to chase kittens...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kitty vids


and blogging, and blogging and blogging and blogging and blogging. And thinking about Tumbling. Yes, that is five different blogs I am thinking about, plus the Tumblr idea, which is more nostalgia, once I get some old stuff scanned...

I'm not drinking tonight, so no drunkbooking, maybe some soberbooking, or just booking (I might pretend I'm drunk). I have too many things to do tonight, too many things to do tomorrow, plus I have only 27yen left in my purse for this week.

It's a peaceful Friday night, Erica is playing with the kittens, Amy and Lena are doing homework, I think. K is in the kitchen cooking. I couldn't for the life of me think of something to cook this morning, (plus all my money for the week was GONE on late fees for DVDs I forgot to return - ¥2700) so he decided to cook something. Now he's preparing salmon with vegetables and butter wrapped in foil and baked. He cooks well, but has no idea about timing and children's empty stomachs!

I had a funny week. After PANIC on Tuesday after losing the calendar, I finally got it finished at sent off. OH SHIT! Just remembered I had better give them MY address to send it too, or it'll end up with last year's mailer! I'll just pop out and do that, and I'll be back.

Okay, that's that done. I only had one essay this week, so I actually found myself BORED. Not that I lack a mountain of household chores to do. And I clean forgot about my blogs. I'd just sit at the computer checking my mail boxes and thinking there had to be something I was supposed to be doing!

As the first line of this blog suggests, I found the answer. Two down, three to go. Then trademe things to send, and a kitty corner to create. A cookbook to create and a house to declutter. Recipes to sort and old photos to scan. Really, I have no business being bored, none!

The kittens: they are now double the size they were when we got them (400g --> 800g) but still have rather nasty ringworm. They are absolutely adorable though! "It's so fluffy I could die!".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drunkbooking 101

1. Wake up, get onto facebook and reply to every post

2. Cook dinner and do laundry IN THE MORNING to minimize distractions

3. Check fb again at lunchtime, and during breaks at work. Comment on everything. Make some semi-controversial comments about a subject you feel indifferent about. A good debate is interesting and instructive. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES comment on any subject you feel passionate about. Being attacked and offended is not fun, no many how many wines you've had.

By the time you actually get that first glass in your hand, you should have a dozen or two shiny little red notifications to work with!

4. Post cute pic of kids and/or kittens.

5. Update status with something interesting, dammit! Preferably a question.

6. Keep commenting on everything. Laugh a lot. Post update of a hiccup to see how many likes you get (good indication of how many other drunkbookers are out there).

7. STOP. Or pick a close friend or two to have a super stupid long dumb conversation with, but for God's sake otherwise, just STOP!

7.1 Go back, just for a minute... just to see...

10. Wake up next day. Do not check facebook at all, ever again. Swear not to drink again either. Yeah right.

I did it!

I spent the whole day quite sure that I would be heading this post 'thwarted'.

All I have wanted since about June was to come home from work on a Friday afternoon, and enjoy a nice glass of wine before the sun went down.

There's something special about that hour, the moment of transition between day and night. And there's something special about those first two glasses of wine, and the gentle buzz and happy feeling that result. It's a tiny slice of heaven when the two combine.

Easy enough you say, just waltz in, ignore children, head to fridge, grab glass, uncap wine and drink away, BUT no....

It has to be PERFECT you see. There can't be laundry hanging around, waiting to be hung, folded or put away. Dinner must be prepared, the room tidied. Then I can relax and enjoy the moment. So, too many times I've rushed home from work, then spent the next hour, or even two, trying to catch up and clear things away before I can truly feel I am in that 'now I can sit down and relax' space. So I've managed to fail every week, sometimes because it was too hot outside, with too many mosquitoes, sometimes because it was raining, sometimes because we got home too late, sometimes because I was finishing up laundry or taking too long cooking something.

And when the sun clouded over as I drove towards home today, I was so sure I would be adding today to the long list of thwarted Friday afternoon sunshine wines, but NO! I did it!

A tiny sliver of sun shone into the yard for just long enough to light up one glass of champagne.

(Grudgingly, I have to be thankful to the gardeners who trimmed that big tree in the corner. I usually despise them for promising me they'd just 'cut a little' then butchering the whole tree).

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Funny how when you unexpectedly get some, you don't know what to do with it.

Waiting for homework to finish, no essays to do, AFWJ business 'booked' for tomorrow morning.

An average day. Thursday is much, much better since they kicked Erica out of daycare and Kanji moved back to the main gasoline stand. Now he just turns up at home at 8:30 and I leisurely trot myself off to work, no running around trying to find the right towel, two pairs of clean knickers, the right cup, etc etc, then doing the drop-off and crossing my fingers that sensei won't have something to chat about as I watch the clock... merely preparing a bento seems like child's play after that, and even easier today since we had NOTHING in the house so I instructed K to buy her one at the combini.

Lovely bunch of new students, and I have pointedly NOT asked for a photo sheet this year. The last two years I've had one, and managed to not remember any names at all. I think I relied on the photos too much and didn't make an effort. This time, I've gone back to my old system of visual cues, mnemonics and puns. Taisuke looks like Woody Allen. Kenta has pretty eyes like the Kenta last year did. Daiki reminds me of that friend of K's who hugs him a lot. Takahiro is short and thin (while the name means tall and wide). And much less nice ones, like 'pizza-face' and 'cone-head'. But IT WORKS dammit!

I was supposed to spend the afternoon sipping tea at my computer screen and proofreading a medical academic article, but it never turned up. I'm a bit annoyed about that, because if they send it to me now, with the original Friday deadline, that means I have one awful Friday ahead of me. And if it doesn't, well, that was rude, not to mention a loss of cash!

Karate again tonight. All the other students have been upgraded to the other class, although all of them started after Erica. So it's just her and Sensei. The first half of the class is fine, when he is more gentle and instructing her. But then towards the end he starts getting tough (part of the game), she starts to cry. Can't win any fights if you burst into tears anytime someone smacks you. I wonder if he wants to kick her out, but can't because Baachan's his auntie. I'm quite determined to be the most stubborn in this fight.

Kitties are still sick. I think it's ringworm not mange now, and little Cinnamon has it worst. She doesn't eat at much as the others and is a whole 100g smaller. I hope they don't have to be shaved.... they are very very cute now belting around the room, up on the sofa, on top of the cage. They are terrified of the vacuum cleaner, no prizes for guessing that one, and happily really hate getting squirted with the water bottle, so the shoji are still in one piece - I caught Genki very delicately pulling at a tear in the paper with just one claw.

Monkey party was a success.... promise some photos from that!

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Lull in the Proceedings

Kitty update: I can't see them right now, but I can hear them... one is scratching on the Princess tent, trying to 'catch' a piece of elastic. One is under the computer table, climbing up on the speakers. THUNK there goes one falling behind the sofa against the door. schuk...schuk... Erica's hardhat skidding across the floor... PLOP one falls onto the sofa... clatter! as one dives into the peg basket and knocks it over!

They've grown about 1-200g each in two weeks, and are about two months old. They tear around the room like maniacs, jumping on each other and stalking things with their little bums wiggling. We have a spritz bottle of water ready to squirt them when they try scratching the paper doors or tatami, or climb up the screen doors or paper shoji doors.

They got mange... the Vet calls it 'kabi' which also translates as 'mould' but it looks like mange, caused by mites, so I guess it's the same thing. Apparently they inherited it from their mother (who I saw the other day, looking like a new lady, fat and healthy! And hopefully not pregnant again). I've given them two baths, and that is to continue, twice a week... forever? A wet kitten is a pitiful thing. Without that fluff, they are bony rattish creatures. It takes over an hour for their fur to dry. They get so cold and shiver, so I wrap them up in a blanket with a hot water bottle and cuddle them for half an hour after the bath. I've been treating the mange sites with cream and lotion, but from today we have switched to medicine. And yes, I DO remember how to give a cat medicine, it came right back to me!

Meanwhile the human children have been busy too. Amy just came back from her school trip to the Peace Park in Nagasaki, where they visited the museum and some sites associated with the nuclear bomb. They spent the night in 'school trip hotel' and then went to Huis ten Bosch the next day! She left early Thursday morning, and Lena also had a field trip that day, she visited a car factory, airport and courier depot. AND Erica did not have daycare, but Keio kindy that day, so both her and Lena needed a packed lunch (normally I have NO lunches to do on Thursday) and all this on the first day of a new semester at the college.

That's why this is the lull... it's full on tomorrow. Erica's super-duper Monkey Party is on Sunday, but Yuki, her birthday twin, can't come! So we've invited them tomorrow, and made an extra cake, so he will come tomorrow with his sisters. I will be baking and making all day, and preparing for the party. It's her fifth, so even though she won't start school until she's 6 & 1/2 here, it still feels like a big deal to me! We've invited all her kindy class (only six in the class so no big deal) plus a few others. At first I was going to continue into an evening barbecue, but then we were invited to another barbecue, which I am REALLY pleased about now! It'll be SO good to just leave the house, go to someone else's and just sit on my butt drinking beer. SO much to do in the 45 hours between then and now, but I'm focussing on it as my reward for a party (two parties) well done!

Message from Genki:
"5____ww7777euussssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss  z                                ı