Saturday, June 27, 2009

Weekly Round Up

So, there's no clever title because this week was a hodge podge and instead of doing multiple blogs I'm just going to shove everything together. Here goes! The start of the week was just work and working out, but I had Thursday off and it was nice and relaxing. Rana and I went to the beach with our friend Patti. Patti is a foster mom for the local rescue (OAARS - where we got Rana) so she often provides playmates for Rana. She doesn't currently have any foster dogs, but she was willing to play with us just the same. Plus, back in the states she trained dogs for the blind so she's very helpful at getting Rana to behave, but with as stubborn as Rana is I might have to hire Patti full time. Here are some pictures of our beach adventure:
Oh yeah, when Rana got a raincoat she also got a backpack. I know, you guys are thinking I'm crazy, but the Dog Whisperer says that for dogs with a lot of energy if you give them a backpack they'll focus on their job of walking.
Patti, Rana, and their big stick!
Patti and the Amazing Digging Rana!
What a mess!
My little pet pig, Rana!
Friday, Rana got to go to the beach again. This time it was with her new friends Mally and Jetta. These dogs make Rana look pretty small. Mally is a little dominant and Jetta is very shy, but they're all getting better about playing together. Their owner is Bridgette, a civilian that works on Kadena. Here's a play date pic:
Jetta is on the left, Mally is on the right.
Today I had my Weekend Warrior training. It was another good one. I wasn't able to go quite as low in the squats or lunges as usual because earlier in the week I blew out my quads, but the rest was great. It was another circuit set up, but this time it was on the beach. Luckily, the sand was pretty packed, but it still made for some nice resistance. My favorite part of the workouts is when we have to sprint to a cone. As we're running, if Jeff calls out your name you better haul it because if he tags you you owe him 10 burpees. During the last sprint of the day I thought I was giving it my all when I heard my name called. I definitely turned it up a notch. As I turned on the afterburners, I heard Jeff say "you always have more to give than you think." I liked that and I'm going to try to remember that during future workouts when I think I'm pooped.
A cool pirate ship play ground at Araha Beach.
Funny signs at the beach. Apparently you need to watch out for waves and jellyfish!
Part of the workout equipment!

After the workout - sweaty and sandy! Perfect!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cutest thing ever!

Now, I'm sure all of you faithful readers have guessed that with a title like that I have to be talking about Rana. Well, you're right. I know all you non-dog people are going to shake your heads and think I'm nuts, but I got Rana a raincoat. What can I say? It rains a lot here. And while she doesn't mind getting wet I only have so many towels that I'm willing to designate dog towels. So when it rains for 10 days straight I run out of towels. I'm thinking the raincoat might help a little. Plus, OMG she looks super cute!

This is just ridiculous!

I've heard some talk show hosts spouting off that eating healthy doesn't cost any more than eating a bunch of junk. With these produce prices I think they are a bunch of liars!
Almost $7 for 3 apples, really?
Guacamole anyone? It will only cost you about 6 bucks.
Or, how about some tangerines? Being from Florida where you used to be able to get citrus cheap, this one really hurts.
I remember when you could get kiwis 4/$1. Now they are $5.17!

The thing that gets me on these is that they are grown in Japan! Even if it's from the mainland, shipping can't be that much!
Before moving here I had heard that you can always get a good mango, but for over $5/pound I can't bring myself to do it. Plus, I'm pretty sure the papaya is grown on-island!

Almost 5 bucks for a melon...
Or over $4 for a tiny "personal" watermelon?

And I'm not sure what makes cantaloupe so expensive, but that one on the right is costing you over $17! You could get 6 bags of chips for that price! I'm not advocating eating junk, but it's no wonder why so many Americans are fat.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekend Warrior

So, today was the day that I decided to up the ante. I started a Weekend Warrior fitness class over on Camp Foster. The guy that runs it is a Marine and has been training people for the last decade. He said he normally trains fighters. I'm not sure exactly what that means besides they're probably pretty tough. I knew that we would be doing functional fitness and stuff where you didn't need a lot of equipment, but didn't really know what else to expect. I should have known that since he's a Marine and trains fighters it was going to be tough. And it was, but it was also completely do-able.
Plus, the big bonus was that it wasn't raining! That might not seem like a big deal, but when it's been raining for 10 days straight sunshine is a real perk. However, despite all the sun the field was wet. I'm talking standing water wet. No big deal, I can run through water. Right? Um, yeah. How about ab work, push ups, and other weird warm up activities in the mud. Once I was saturated it wasn't that bad, but sitting in that cold nastiness the first time was pretty gross. And it stunk. My friend and co-worker Rhonda said it reminded her of the cow fields back home in Louisiana.
The instructor, Jeff, believes in circuits. So, we would start at one station do a few exercises for a timed period and then run to the next station and start some more exercises. We did some arms, abs, back, and legs. I'll probably be able to tell you what else we worked out when I wake up sore tomorrow. Despite the mud and the difficulty level, I loved it! I thought it was fun (I can hear my lunch friends snorting now and perhaps shaking their heads, but they know I'm sporty). I can't wait until next Saturday's session! Woohoo! Here are a few pictures of the aftermath:

My legs and shoes were so stinky and muddy that Oscar had to come investigate.

My shirt got so filthy that I drove home in my sports bra - something I NEVER do!

My outfit after the workout. Everything was completely soaked.

Oscar - just because the blog is always about Rana, Rana, Rana.
Rana liked the after workout activity of cleaning my smoothie cup. Don't worry it went right in the dishwasher.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A whole lot of nothing

Recently I've been working about twice the number of hours I prefer due to some people being on leave. It has been a little rough and is really cutting into my computer time and social schedule. I think I've had to turn down the last 4 or 5 invites from friends because of working on the weekends. Anyway, enough complaining. I just wanted to let you all know why there hasn't been as many posts. Despite all the work, I have done a few things this week, like:
getting a haircut, teaching English, setting up a play date for Rana that was cancelled due to rain, and being the point of contact for the International Lock In Planning Committee for work.

So far I LOVE my haircut. I waited way too long between cuts and the other one had gotten ratty and looked really uneven. I went to a new lady who is from the mainland and has worked in salons in Tokyo and London. She speaks great English (a huge relief when you're getting your hair cut) and gives a great massage when washing your hair. At one point she reminded me that I'm not a typical girl. Here's the conversation that took place while she was blow drying my hair (imagine the low hum of the dryer in the background):

Yukari: So, when you're drying your hair...

Me: I don't own a blow dryer.

Yukari: You don't know how to...?

Me: No, I don't own a blow dryer.

(turns off hair dryer - the salon is now silent)

Yukari: What?

Me: I don't own a blow dryer.

Complete silence; I think something has been lost in translation so I motion while I say:

I don't have a blow dryer.

Yukari: No blow dryer at home?

Me: Uh, no.
She turns the blow dryer back on and gives up on giving me pointers.
Luckily, she gave me a good enough cut that it air dries well.

Here's a picture of 2 of the 4 ladies I teach English, Takako and Michiko:

So, I put a personal ad on a website for Rana. I'm not trying to find her a boyfriend, just a playmate. She's got a lot of energy and is sick of just having me to play with. Apparently other people are looking for playmates for their dogs too because within hours I got 5 responses. I set up a date with a great dane, a german shepherd, and a shepherd mix for Friday morning. Rana was going to be the smallest of the 4 weighing in at a measly 58 pounds. However, it was not meant to be. It started pouring on Thursday evening and basically didn't stop until Saturday evening. We've all agreed to get together once the weather takes a turn. Here's what a dog looks like when she doesn't get to go on a play date:

Pitiful, huh?

In August the Youth Center hosts an International Lock In where Okinawan and American kids get together for some cultural exchange and some fun. I found out this week that I'm the point of contact and that there was a planning committee meeting this Saturday. I selected some kids from the Youth Center and we met at a restaurant owned by one of the Okinawan kid's parents for lunch and an idea exchange. We had a cold noodle dish, something they said is a common summer meal here in Okinawa because it is refreshing. Here are some pictures of the kids playing some games.

All of the girls loved the blonde boy in our group. There was much whispering, giggling, and they all crowded around him. He is a very sweet boy and was definitely embarrassed by all the attention. This last picture is the back of the shirt of one of the little girls:

It reads "It is very important that I experience wonderful love. Do you have a fantastic love now?" Japanese shirts crack me up.

I only have one more crazy hour work week left and then I'll be back to my normal schedule. Hopefully, then I'll be able to blog some more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cake Wrecks

So, one of the ladies I lunch with introduced me to this site and it has had me laughing for days. You know I hate to direct you to a website other than my own, but I think it's worth it because I can already picture my mom wiping away tears of laughter as she looks at some of these cakes. Plus, I love the author's style of writing - hilarious! Rana has run into the office a couple times to see why I'm laughing so hard. At this point the spotted dog thinks I'm nuts. Make sure you check out the list of the fan favorites on the right side of the page. Here you go: