Thursday, January 31, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Full disclosure, I made these little guys so long ago I can barely remember what I did. However, I do remember absolutely loving them, and the fact that my mouth watered ever so slightly when looking at the pics is reason enough to share them, regardless of how long ago they were made. 

This recipe comes approved by Kate and Rachel. 

Wrapped and Rolled,

[The Latest]

Must Read: Why You Should Travel Young...Converge Magazine.
Google Search: CNN.
Tune: She's So Mean By Matchbox 20
Accomplishment: Having an all around good Friday. TGIF!
Obsessions: Cooking with sesame oil.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life In A Page

I told myself that I would finish updating my resume by the end of January. 
Well, it is January 31st over here, and I am just now starting to really get to work on it. I had made little corrections, but not enough to really make a dent in things. I just kept reading my resume over and over, not willing to part with anything I'd done over the years. Every internship, every student teaching position, every fundraiser I'd been a part of. It all seemed so very important. Defining even.  

After a few reads and a chat with a friend, I sent it to him to look over. He immediately ripped it apart and sent back orders, "cut this, cut that"  When I protested one of his "cuts," he responded with a,"Ya, they don't care. Your resume is too long, at this age there is no reason it should be two pages. And cut the white space. If you get rid of that you could probably fit a few more things." It was exactly what I needed to hear. And even though I responded with a very mature, "FINE," I knew he was right. 

As I did as I was told, cutting and pasting, deleting and italicizing, I started to realize how much this little resume represented. Up until now, I thought everything I had ever done was the most important thing in the whole wide world. Seeing it written in black surrounded by white, trying to make it stand out that much more. When I was living it, not even once did I think to the future and consider that one day I would potentially, hopefully, most definitely be doing bigger and better things. 
Things that get bolded and go right to the top of my little one-pager.  
Can barely wait to see what they will be.

More to come, 

[The Latest]

Must Read: China Hacked the NY Times...The Guardian.
Google Search: Etsy.
Tune: The A Team By Ed Sheeran
Accomplishment: Cutting some things on my resume. 
Obsessions: New nail polish coat, glitter and all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Just a few to brighten your day!
The last one absolutely kills me, thanks Jessica!

Haha. There may be some truth to this lol.

Pinned Image

Ha, Ha, Ha,

[The Latest]

Google Search: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Stories.
Tune: The A Team By Ed Sheeran
Accomplishment: Getting my students to write some complete, coherent sentences. 
Obsessions: Buzzfeed App.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Japan Finale

Last week, I signed my contract saying that I will not be re-contracting for another year of JET. Which means that my time in Japan will come to an end in July after a phenomenal three year run.
And that, my friends, is a massively bitter-sweet feeling. 

Right now, I can honestly tell you I am not quite sure what my next move will be. 
I am working on my resume and causally looking for jobs, but most importantly, I am trying to soak up every opportunity, adventure, experience and awkward encounter that comes my way.
Don't want to miss a minute. 

As of now, all I do know is this...

Living in the here and now, 

[The Latest]

Must Read: `Real Life` in North Korea...IHT.
Google Search: The Rosenbergs.
Tune: The A Team By Ed Sheeran
Accomplishment: Filling up a few weekends in Feb with some awesome events. 
Obsessions: Strawberry yogurt.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend Update

highlights included...
[1] a phenomenal lunch with the cutest little chopstick holders ever. 
thank you michiko!
[2] port of yokohama. welcoming a few semester at sea-ers.
[3] the big buddha of kamakura. 
[4] pachinko! crossed that off my to-do list. quite the expensive experience.
[5] a surprise monday morning snowfall. 






hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We Lied

The Truth...
Every other Thursday night I teach an adult English class. 
For the first hour, the lovely women I talk with tell everyone about something that has happened to them as of late. For the second hour, we do a small grammar lesson, before I introduce the theme for the evening, accompanied by a worksheet and other supplemental items. I have done everything from, travel to music, to books, movies the different cultures within America, the TV show FRIENDS, to even what Obama stands for. My latest idea came when I decided, back in December, that I wanted to give these ladies a little more speaking time. I came up with the idea of Speed Dating Conversation. I explained to them what speed dating was, then enlisted the help of some other foreign friends. We were going to talk for 10 minutes, then switch. The only rule was that my students had to initiate the conversation. We foreigners do that all too well. I wanted these lovely ladies to be in control of the conversation. 

When I did this lesson last December, it was a massive success. The ladies loved it, and were speaking solely in English for a solid 40 minutes. I decided I wanted to do it again this month, but with an unintended twist.

My good friend Sayaka is a Japanese native, but speaks English as if she flew in from New Zealand yesterday. Johnny Dip is my favorite acta. Love you Saya! 
Friday morning she was flying to Thailand for a friend's wedding, and since I live closer to the airport, she was staying with me Thursday night. She and two other of my very generous friends, Kris and Chris, agreed to come to my adult class so we could have another round of Speed Dating Conversation. The ladies in my class love to talk with foreigners, and Sayaka really could pass as one, so we decided to try. 
We spent as solid hour of our Wednesday work day twisting the truth and coming up with a back-story. 

The Lie...
We said... 
 -her parents were from Japan but moved to NZ where she grew up
-she speaks no Japanese; her parents tried to teach her but it was a lost cause
-she is currently visiting family in Tokyo
-she and I met at a party
-her name is Sara

Spinning and selling the lie wasn't the tough part. Not sure what that says about us...
The tricky part was making sure Sayaka didn't react to ANY of their Japanese. 
We even decided she wouldn't say her own last name, and made sure to English-ify the way she said, "Tokyo" and other Japanese cities. 

Our first test came within 5 minutes of being there when the women asked what she did for a living. She said she worked in PR (true) in Auckland (false)
The women weren't sure what PR was in Japanese. 
Sayaka bit her tongue while they women conversed with each other, whipping out dictionaries and discussed. It's koho, btw. Sayaka responded with, "Oh that's good to know, I'll have to remember that. " 
I chuckled, and took note to nominate her for an Oscar.

The class went on. 
Kris and Chris were in on the joke. 
Right before class finished, we told them the truth. 
Kris took a video as we revealed the truth. 

Unfortunately, this video is only from the first few seconds of what was then a 10-minute conversation. I have to say their reactions aren't all that exciting here, but they got more so as it became clear what we had done.
The lady in the scarf is my favorite. She wasn't listening when we said that Sara is actually Sakaya, so when Sayaka started speaking Japanese, the lady turned to the woman next to her and said, "Her Japanese is so good!!!" Which was then followed by, "Oh, she's a REAL Japanese!!!" We all laughed.

After the big reveal, we asked if any of them knew that Sayaka was really a fluent Japanese speaker. A few said they did. I was shocked to hear that. Sayaka did a GREAT job of not reacting to any Japanese and looking confused when she was spoken to in Japanese. Oscar material I tell ya. 
The ladies explained that they knew she actually spoke Japanese because she looked Japanese...
That took us all by surprise. 

All these lovely ladies have traveled, so I was surprised to hear such an opinion.
I was curious to hear they didn't think it was possible for a first-generation Japanese immigrant to not have learned their parent's language. I come from a town that is very high in Japanese-American citizens, and many of them never learn Japanese. Perhaps I'm just used to the idea of America's culture blend, and forget that it is not as prevalent here in Japan, so these ladies would never have had the opportunity to witness the same thing. 

We tried to explain that there are many people that are from one country, grew up in another, and don't speak the language "of their face" if you will. I know of a few other JETs who are ethnically Japanese but grew up in an English speaking country who, at times, really struggle living in Japan. "You look Japanese, but you don't speak Japanese?! How is that possible?!"Is a tough concept to grasp if you don't witness it all that often.

After class, Sayaka, Kris and Chris headed to Starbucks for a late-night hot chocolate, my treat to them for coming and talking to a few old ladies. 

Thanks again guys!

"And the winner is Sayaka, for the best native acting like a foreigner!"

[The Latest]

Must Read: North Korea Plans Nuclear Tests Targeted at US...The Guardian. No bueno.
Google Search: Lance Armstrong Oprah Interview
Tune: I Knew You Were Trouble By Taylor Swift
Accomplishment: Executing my stations lesson.
Obsessions: New Nivea hand lotion.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Just a few to make you chuckle...

Gotta love him

Ha, Ha, Ha,

[The Latest]

Must Read: Two Men Experience Childbirth...Babble. 
Google Search: Adele Baby
Tune: I Knew You Were Trouble By Taylor Swift
Accomplishment: Finishing my stations lesson.
Obsessions: Mixing instant coffee and milk tea.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Apple Crumble

One of my all-time favorite desserts has to be warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. YUM! Last weekend, my good friend, Mike made me a lovely dinner followed by an apple crumble while I played with baby Rido. I have been craving another bite of warm apples and ice cream all week. 

Last night, Kris, Rachel and I, attempted to make our own apple crumble. I googled a couple recipes, taking a few of their suggestions before throwing caution to the wind and completely wingin it. 

Here is my, notremotelyexact recipe...

*I peeled and cut up three apples, and placed them in a clear baking dish...while we watched Ellen YouTube clips.
*In a separate bowl, I mixed flour, brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon....I simply mixed until I like the color of the mixture. (Somewhere, Julia Child just rolled her eyes).
*I poured my powder mixture all over the apples.
*Melted some butter in the microwave then poured that all over the place.
*Threw some muesli (my town doesn't really do granola) on the top.
*Chopped up a ton of walnuts and made a thick layer of those bad boys on the top of my creation.
*Then I baked it.
  -Because I have a microwave oven, that's in Celsius and doesn't pre-heat, I don't have any hard and fast facts about the baking process. I can tell you it was on 190 C for about 7 Ellen clips. I took it out when it looked golden brown and started to smell good. Good luck with that.

None the less, it was to die for! 
My friends and I gobbled it up. Either they really enjoyed it, or I just have really good friends ;) Thanks guys. 


[The Latest]

Must Read: Open-Minded About Marriage...Huffington Post.
Google Search: Simple apple crumble with muesli recipes.
Tune: The A Team By Ed Sheeran
Accomplishment: Answering all my emails.
Obsessions: Taco salad.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Barry's Back

Today, on the other side of the world, the US welcomed President Obama back for another four years. I didn't watch any of the inauguration, but I did read a few articles and peak at a few pictures. Amidst this very special American moment, I would be lying if I said that my initial reaction to the below picture was anything other than, Michelle got bangs! 
Glad to see her and I are on the same page. 

Welcome back Obama.

Top 5 Quotes from Obama's Inauguration

"My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together."
"We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity."
"We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear."
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth."
"We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."


P.S. Read what some people had to say on election day way back in November.

[The Latest]

Google Search: Judi Dench.
Tune: Someday By The Strokes
Accomplishment: Cleaning my floors.
Obsessions: New crisp white t-shirts from Santa.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend Update

highlights included...
[1] a friday morning presentation for the chiba JETs at this year's mid-year conference.
Real Life English, delivered to you by The Kates
[2] sumo!
[3] met baby rido for the first time.
this kid has eyelashes for days.



a little sumo vid. 
the matches were quick, but quite exciting! 


hope you all had a lovely weekend!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

English-less Words

My friend Megan sent me this great article entitled, 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent and I thought it was just plain fascinating. I copied and pasted the body of the article to simplify things, but here if you're hungry for other similar articles, the original link can be found here
Thanks Megan!
1. Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
You know when you're really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can't stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, "I accidentally ate the whole thing."
2. Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)
Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an "aaaarrrahh" noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means "to move hot food around in your mouth."
3. Layogenic (Tagalog)
Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as "a full-on Monet... from far away, it's OK, but up close it's a big old mess"? That's exactly what this word means.
4. Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa)
College kids, relax. There's actually a word for "to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked."
5. Zeg (Georgian)
It means "the day after tomorrow." Seriously, why don't we have a word for that in English?
6. Pålegg (Norweigian)
Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything — ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it — you might consider putting into a sandwich.
7. Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, "Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right."
8. Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can't quite remember.
9. Koi No Yokan (Japanese)
The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.
10. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego)
This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.
11. Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
The kinder, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to "vicarious embarrassment." Or, in other words, that-feeling-you-get-when-you-watch-Meet the Parents.
12. Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for "tenderly running your fingers through your lover's hair."
13. Greng-jai (Thai)That feeling you get when you don't want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.
14. Kaelling (Danish)You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant) cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.
(the English word used when you realize it's Friday), 

[The Latest]

Must Read: Obama's Gun Control Plan...The Guardian.
Google Search: Shakira.
Tune: I Won't Give Up By Lennon & Maisy...these sisters are amazing!
Accomplishment: Fixing my heater.
Obsessions: Essie Mademoiselle.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

iphone phun: ca edition

as of late, a few of my favorite, random photos from my trip to california... 

CA livin, 


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