Monday, May 28, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

The move is steadily approaching. In preparation, the DH and I flew to Ohio last week on a house-hunting trip. Believe me when I tell you, five jet-lagged days is not a lot to find and secure a new home. Especially when the photos you see on the online Realtor sites don't always look the same as viewing ahouse in person...

But we were successful! We found a great house in a quiet neighborhood, close to the schools and work. After the tight quarters in Japan, it seems huge. And it's surrounded by Trees! Trees! Trees! (Did I mention that I love trees?)

Aaah. Welcome to Ohio.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Empty Rooms

The movers took the final load yesterday, leaving each room looking like an Edward Hopper painting. Stark, sad, empty.

Rental furniture arrived later in the afternoon - we'll be here for another month - but it just isn't the same.

I console myself with the knowledge that somewhere in Ohio, a house is waiting for us, its empty rooms waiting to be filled.

If only we could bring Japan with us.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Idol Surprise?

Thanks to the magic of Slingbox, we were able to watch the American Idol final three results show last night. Sadly, we watched Melinda Doolittle take her final bow - which she predictably handled with class and with grace.

Do I think Melinda was consistently the best vocalist this season? Absolutely. Was I surprised to see her eliminated? Truly? No.

All over the internet we're seeing articles referring to her ouster as "shocking." However (IMO) the result show - much like the entire season - lacked the kind of suspense that would render anything "shocking." Not only was this season just not that exciting, but by now we should all know that it isn't necessarily about who's best, it's about who gets the most votes. And Melinda's camp just wasn't as large as Jordin's and Blake's.

The good news is that Melinda should have a stellar career, with or without the Idol nod. She's just that good (And look at Chris Daughtry. His elimination last year really was a shocker, but he's far surpassed either Katherine or, um, whatsisname in the year since.)

So who do you want to win next week? Blake, with his beat boxing and awesome performance style or Jordin, with her pipes and likability?

Neither one would be a surprise.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Movin' On

The movers come tomorrow to take our boat shipment. This means that we sort out the bare essentials that we really need with us for the next month and a half, and they are going to take everything else. We'll have rental furniture delivered when our things are cleared out. Simple, yes?

Not even.

We are learning how complicated a move from Japan can be. For one thing, the roads in the neighborhood are so narrow that a regular sized moving truck is an impossibility. Instead, our movers will load up a small truck, drive it down to the dock, load it on the crate and then come back for another load. This will stretch the move across THREE DAYS.

Meanwhile, we are not allowed to throw the stuff we no longer want away. We have to buy stickers from the city for those items that they will recycle. For other things, we need to flag down the little man who drives through the neighborhood every so often, collecting cast offs. Glass and ceramics can be disposed of in once location, wood and clothing in another etc., etc.. It's a real adventure.

During this process, I have been amazed to discover the amount of STUFF that we have accumulated over the past four years. And you know what? I don't want to take it all with me! Someone once said that our possessions take up room in our psyche as well as in our homes. The more we have, the more we have to keep track of, and we are burdened. Boy, are we burdened.

I wonder if we have any of those recycle stickers left over...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Long Goodbye

Yes, it's been a very long time since I posted on my blog - and not for lack of anything to say, either. Life has been, as life tends to be, very busy.

Sadly, our time in Japan is drawing to a close. My husband's company has decided that his talents are needed in the States and so we will be moving in June to Dublin, Ohio.

Some of you who have read NOW AND ZEN may recognize Dublin as Atsushi's home while his Dad worked for Honda. Little did I know that I would be following in Atsushi's footsteps! My family and I did live in Ohio years ago, so we are looking forward to being back in the Buckeye state. If only we didn't have to leave Japan to do so!

The exciting news is that I will be in the States this fall when S.A.S.S. - THE FINNISH LINE comes out. Watch this space for celebratory plans and contests!

Now, a word about THE FINNISH LINE... The main character in the book is Maureen (Mo) Clark, a Nordic Ski Jumper from Park City, Utah. During her stay in Finland, she confronts prejudice both in and out of her sport. While Mo's adventures are fiction, real world women ski jumpers are facing blatant discrimination right now as they continued to be barred from competing in the Olympics. Please stay tuned for updates on these phenomenal athletes' progress as they fight for the right to be included in what should be an open and politic-free event, and to see how you can show your support for Women's Ski Jumping!

Meanwhile, life is calling, and it's telling me to pack!