Thursday, May 22, 2008

Getting used to it

We've been in the US now for over a month, and are getting used to being back. We still miss Japan, and reminisce on the good times we had there often, but life moves on, and so are we.

We got our last shipment from Japan on Monday, about 243 assorted boxes, crates, and pieces of furniture. Since we never really consolidated our two homes before we went overseas, we find ourselves doing so now.

A piece of advice...if you're not yet married, don't collect a lot of miscellaneous stuff. When you do get married, it doesn't just double. It quadruples. And then you find yourself in the laborious task of sorting through it all to make room to walk. We're having a yard sale, soon, but frankly, I'm not sure even our yard is big enough! We have way, way too much crap. Still, it feels good to be getting through it, and we'll soon have our house squared away.

I also had my first experience with "Cross-fit" exercise program. It's basically an all-over body workout that changes each time you go. I started with the beginning class today, and I haven't been this smoked from a workout in far too long. Our warm up was pretty much as challenging as a normal workout. For the actual workout, we did sets of medicine ball throws, and hung from pull up bars and pulled our knees up to our elbows (supposedly) in sets of 30-25-20-15-10-5 for time. It took me 19 min to get through it all. Ouch. There definitely seems to be a philosophy of "Pain is good. Extreme pain is extremely good."

This is a good way to get over the sedentary life I've been leading for the past few years with a staff job and a long commute. However, now that we live a much more reasonable distance from work, I'm getting back into the swing of things so I don't end up as one of the fat lieutenant colonels I used to laugh at when I was a strapping young captain. Crossfit will help, and they have classes that I can do before heading off to work in the morning. If this one workout is any indication, I'm going to love and hate it.

If you're interested in learning more about it, go here. If you want to check out videos of some of the exercises, check out their exercise page which shows a bunch of the different WODs (workout of the day). If you want to do more, just Google "Crossfit" and your city or postal code and you should get some options nearby.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sumo and Subaru - An Interesting Combination

Don't know how I missed this commercial (maybe because we've been out of the country for four years...). Hilarious!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moshi moshi, Telemarketer-san desuka?

So the other day, while I was unpacking some boxes, I got our first telemarketer call. When I answered the phone, there was the telltale hesitation and faint sounds of other phone jockeys in the background. Thinking quickly, I said, "Moshi moshi."

Telemarketer Lady: "Hello?"

Me: "Hai...Moshi moshi!"

Telemarketer Lady: "Hello?"

Me: "Hai! Konnichiwa!"

Telemarketer Lady: "Hello?"

Me: "Gomenasai...eigo ga dekimasen. Nihongo ga dekimasuka?" ("I'm sorry, I don't speak English. Do you speak Japanese?")

Telemarketer Lady: *click*

That was the easiest time I've ever had getting off the phone with a telemarketer. We had them in Japan, and it was basically the reverse. They would call, ramble on for a while, and then I'd tell them that I was "jozu jarimasen" (not good at Japanese). I'd get a brief apology ("Sumimasen...") and they'd hang up.

I've now used the technique yet again, with the same results. You couldn't get away with that in Spanish, as you hear it around town almost as much as English.

It seems that our new phone number was once used by some sort of scofflaws. We get calls from bill collectors, and even a call from the Northeast Independent School District the past two days in a row telling us that "our kid" (we have none) is now 9 dollars and 45 cents in the hole with the lunch room. I'm tempted to call back and just tell them to refuse to give "my kid" any food if he can't pay for it. Maybe he'll learn to manage his allowance better.

So, if you call us, don't be surprised if you hear Japanese...if we want to talk to you, we will. If not, then "Gomenasai. Jozu jarimasen. Sayonara!"