Monday, October 13, 2008

made food

Today I made soymilk and rice balls.

The soymilk was satisfactory, given my inexperience, but I’m hoping to improve. It took a few hours and seventy cents of soybeans to make about a gallon. Next time I will probably use less water, as it turned out a bit thin. The flavor ended up ok, although I had to use more salt and sugar than I expected (about two teaspoons of salt and nearly four tablespoons of sugar for the gallon).

The rice balls were also fine. I had more trouble figuring out what kind of rice I ought to use than anything else. Eventually I came to understand that the kind of rice marketed in the United States as “sushi rice” is about the same as the all-purpose rice of Japan, which is all I really wanted. I had nothing interesting to stuff the rice balls with (no pickled plums at the fancy grocery store!?), so plain carrots, cucumbers and some leftover red beans with spinach had to suffice.

I have also been playing kickball at a local park on weekends. Everyone involved is very friendly, and the weather has been cooperating more than I thought it would. I learned this weekend that a different group is trying to get a soccer game started earlier in the day on the same day we play kickball. Next week I will try to attend that as well as kickball.

During the week, work continues to take up my time. I commute about an hour (or more) each direction, and stay busy all day. Often I don’t manage to get out of the office for half an hour or so after office hours end.

I moved into a house earlier this summer. It’s very comfortable, and I enjoy the people I live with quite a lot. The rent is reasonable (although, of course, more than I would like to be paying), and the area of town is quite nice, despite being a long way from the office.

Friday, May 2, 2008

broken and repaired

I knocked my glasses off at work last week. The frames broke on the cement floor of the warehouse. The one lens that fell out was not scratched, and I taped it back in temporarily. Over the weekend I glued the broken frame together. It wasn’t a perfect job; the lens was loose so I cut a piece of rubber band to fill up the space. I colored over the rubber band and the dried glue with a black permanent marker, and the repair isn’t noticeable without a close look.

Monday, April 21, 2008

this is the latest

Last weekend I was at the wedding of a high school friend. This is the third good high school friend of mine to get married. I rode a bus for a few hours and met up with another friend to drive the remaining couple hours to the wedding. There were awkward moments during the visit, but I still enjoyed it.

This weekend I finally clipped my hair short. I had been trimming the sides of my haircut as well as I could do myself with a pair of scissors. The top and back became increasingly unmanageable, so I just got rid of it all again. I borrowed an electric trimmer, as my own is still in the box of possessions that I shipped from my previous house (conveniently still packed for easier moving when I finally find a place to move to).

I also spent some time this weekend working on the garden of my hosts. Their back yard had several very nice flower beds when they moved in late last summer. Until now there seemed to be no need of maintenance. Following advice from my mother I cut out a lot of dead flowers and grasses. The beds look much nicer, but I still don’t know what, if anything, to do to all the trees and shrubs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

there is some more

February: Still on vacation. I took the bus to visit a friend from high school. That was a good time. I hadn’t had a conversation about my high school years in a long time. The visit prompted me to try reconnecting with more people I haven’t contacted in years, and the internet has plenty of tools to facilitate that.

March: I flew to the west coast to visit some friends from college. That was also a good time. Friends and I went hiking, went to arcades, hung out around the house, and so on. Unfortunately, all the people I was visiting lived in different outer suburbs, and I rode trains around the city quite a bit. As a pass-time, I enjoyed a long train ride more than I expected, but I don’t envy the experience as a commute.

I’ve since returned home and returned to work. The work-load has increased now that I’m in a long-term position, so the re-adjustment to employed life is more stressful than I would have liked.

Also, I agreed to house- and dog-sit for some acquaintances here, starting just two days after I came back. I am getting along well with the dogs (two schnauzers), but I will be glad to return the responsibilities of pet ownership to their owners tomorrow. I will also be happy to return to my usual commute. I may have chosen the most time-consuming route available from this house. I have been walking about twenty minutes to a bus line that goes directly to the office. I could have been riding a bus to the bus stop that I have been walking to, but it would have meant waiting around for a while between buses. Standing around doesn’t appeal to me, so I end up walking. I was second-guessing my decision at least once before I get home most days, but I still made the same choice the next morning.

Soon I will need to find a new residence. I will be trying hard to find a place convenient to work. I already have a map of the city with highlighting along all the bus lines that go near the office. I understand that there are nearby bike routes, too, but I haven’t been able to find any details yet.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

these days

December: I continued working at the board game publisher. During the holidays, my hosts left the state for several days. I had a nice time alone, watching the house. Although I made tentative plans to return home, they fell through, and I stayed where I was all month.

January: Still working all the time, Monday through Friday. Sometime during this or the last month I accepted a permanent, salaried, full-time position. Until this point, I was looking at my job as seasonal work. I finished two books this month, and played board games on several occasions. I started another blog, about my past expenses, but already I want to change direction with it.

February to-date: I have the month (and a little more) off work. I left to go back to my previous house, where I still have lots of possessions to deal with. I plan on not taking most of it with me, but it will take some doing to sort out what I want, and to figure out how I want to bring it with me. I have managed to see quite a few of the people I wanted to see, including some friends from the town where I went to college. Earlier this week I participated in one very successful board game party and one moderately successful board game party. Today I fixed up a bicycle belonging to the house, and did some cleaning.