Monthly Archives: February 2013

Getting There

Sorry about the late post. My mild cold from Monday turned into full-on, ‘oh please, just let me die’ illness Tuesday morning. I almost fainted in front of the fifth graders, which would have been a blessing. This year’s batch are a tough crowd, due in part to a teacher who gave up the reins until a little too late in the year. I don’t know whether to be hopeful about their sixth grade year, but eventually they’ll be in junior high school, with multiple teachers to tag-team discipline.

Anyway, lots of time this week, little motivation to do anything besides sit at my desk in a vaguely upright position.

I got back on schedule with the blanket last weekend and hit a major deadline by doing a few mores squares after work in between blowing my nose. The blanket is now 75% complete:



I am five squares into the 31st row, out of 39. There will be eight blue rows total, then five purple rows. On the upper right, you can just see where I’ve started the i-cord edging.

Somebody asked about the sweater. It’s still MIA, until the blanket is more firmly on track for completion by March 31st.


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Photo Monday – Retro

April 2004

April 2004

This picture is from my first trip to Japan, with my mother. We took a week-long tour through Tokyo and Kyoto at the height of cherry blossom season. Digital cameras were available at the time, but nobody we knew had one. We made it through the whole trip with 2-3 Kodak disposable cameras. When I made my scrapbook, I actually had to sketch some things in. Worse, I haven’t seen the disc holding the Kyoto half of the trip since I graduated from high school.

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Happy 100th Post!

Thaaaaaat’s right, this my 100th post! Not only that, yesterday y’all gave me my highest number of hits in one day since November 2008!*



In honor of both of these, I’m offering a Japanese postcard to be sent to each of the first three commenters to this post. Don’t worry if you’re a first-time commenter, I’ll keep track of the moderation queue so that it really is first come, first serve.

*Thanks, by the way. That date was starting to give me feelings of inadequacy.



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Fish and Chips

Though not quite.

At the end of 2011, I came upon something called 101 in 1001. The premise is that you come up with 101 things to do and you have 1001 days in which to complete them. You can put whatever you want on the list, from ‘learn to knit’ to ‘visit London’ to ‘make a dentist appointment’. I whipped up a list and set the start date for January 1, 2012. That means I’ve been chipping away at the list for little over a year now, with about 40 items completed so far. It’s the kind of thing that it’s nice to check in on every once in awhile, to see if you finished something off or if you’re looking for something to do.

One of the items on my list was ‘cook a sanma fish and eat it’. Sanma is what the Japanese call Pacific Saury – it’s a type of fish that’s commonly eaten grilled. I added it to my list because 1) I rarely cook fish, even though I like it, and 2) when I do cook fish, it’s usually in big thick fillets. This was a more Japanese-style experience, fish cooked whole with head and tail intact.

So, I obtained the fish (and some potatoes, to make me feel better):

Misgivings start here...

Misgivings start here…

Sanma is actually at it’s peak in autumn, which I knew…except that in autumn, you can’t find anyone who will sell you one sanma fish. They come in packs of three at least. I ended up waiting until the end of January, when they finally started to appear individually. I grabbed a produce bag and selected this fine specimen.

Normally, I don’t have a problem with my food having a face. Especially in this case – alive, it was a fish, big deal? Dead, it was highly tasty.

There was just one obstacle – gutting the fish.

I didn’t think it would be an issue. I’ve dissected things. I’ve handle meat and dead animals. I didn’t want to have to eat around the guts, so they had to go. I picked up the fish and my sharpest knife, standing over the sink as my brain cheered things like, “Yeah! Go for it! Don’t be a wuss! Get those guts out!”

I cut along the belly from just behind the gills all the way down. It cut easily until I got near the tail and I wondered where I should stop. That looked like the fish’s anus, which is presumably where the guts would stop…

Abruptly my brain switched from cheering to: “Ewwwwwwww!”

Then it started muttering about offal.

Needless to say, it took a few minutes to work up to sticking my fingers into the cavity and yanking out the digestive track (bless fish for having such simple organ systems).

Disemboweled and ready to roll.

Disemboweled and ready to roll.

I prepared the fish following these instructions, while the potatoes got this treatment. The fish was cooked in my fish grill, a shoebox-sized gas oven that is part of the same system as my gas burners. The potatoes were baked in my microwave oven, which has an actual oven setting.

Okay, much better.

Okay, much better.

I didn’t use enough salt on the fish and the potatoes were strangely sweet, but everything was quite tasty otherwise. Sanma can be messy to eat if you don’t know how to remove the bones, but I managed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m done food-blogging for the forseeable future.


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As you can see, I’ve finished the green section and the first few blue squares are making their appearance. Hard to believe, but the blanket’s two-thirds done already. Just another 13 rows to go (8 of blue, 5 of purple).

Sweater? What sweater?


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Photo Monday – Snow

Snow Tree at Sakaehama Elementary

Snow Tree at Sakaehama Elementary

Sorry about the radio silence. I’ve spent the past week and a half in a haze of jet lag, unable to keep up on knitting, writing, or blogging. Last night I couldn’t even stay up late enough to watch my Sunday TV show, crashing by 8PM.

The weather hasn’t helped. We had over a foot of snow dumped on us over the weekend and I spent a lot of time trying to keep my walkway clear in hopes of staying the postman’s good side.

Hopefully I’ll get back on schedule this week.

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Double Update

Both projects continue steadily. I’m headed home to America tomorrow, just for a week. (Though because of how international travel works, I only spend three days at home)

Here’s what another hour and forty-five minutes added to the sweater:

Creeping along…

What you can see here are both saddle shoulders and the back of the neck. The open space is the v-neck that I foolishly hoped to have joined in the round by now. Alas.

The blanket has entered its green period.

Also creeping along.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to churn out Friday’s regular blog post this afternoon, but I’m not super optimistic. I leave on my trip tomorrow and I keep thinking about how lucky I am to have a seven hour layover in San Francisco International Airport. :/ I don’t suppose anyone knows if you can get a hot fudge sundae at SFO? My first hot fudge sundae in six months would go a long way towards distracting me.


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