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April 29, 2005

Last Beautiful Weekend

We had a last beautiful weekend. Yesterday, we dropped off a million books to donate to the library, proudly sent home a money order for a very large amount of cash and discovered we have enough to make the next year work for us, I bought a cheap cotton kimono-like robe, we went to the gallery, got the photos developed from Miyajima and went to karaoke.

We also discovered that we can no longer eat chicken stirfry, which we’ve been cooking most nights a week for fourteen months now- spiced up by a once-a-week spaghetti (sauce from a bag). This isn’t entirely the fault of my cooking skills- it’s also the high price of Japanese groceries, absence of a microwave/oven/broiler in fact any heating apparatus beyond one burner and a bread toaster not to mention no counter space. We’ve been eating a balanced diet this past year, but hardly a varied one and that’s the end of it. Serious.

Last night I finished reading “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers, and was depressed as a result. I’ve also finished reading “An American Childhood” in my giant Annie Dillard book (definitely not her portable collection), which was better. I have begun “The Years” by Virginia Woolf, which the inside cover notes was began first in Nottingham in September 2002 but ne’er finished. I am going to finish it this week and leave it here, as it’s well-travelled enough.

Today we woke up at the usual time and went to Osaka quite early. We forgot it was a public holiday (the beginning of a weeklong one- and for once we get to play too!) and the world was a madhouse. The trains were crammed, so we sat on the floor and irritated people. When they got fuller, we managed to find one seat and sat in shifts, but I felt sick most of the way so I hogged it. When we got to Umeda, we went to Osaka Kiddyland to search one more time for the elusive Miffy in Overalls. No dice, but it was huge and wonderful. I perused the Miffy goods and selected some appropriate ones, and resisted others. Stuart was wonderfully supportive, though did get irritated by the Monchichi DVD beside the Miffy department and ended up turning off the television. It was my last Kiddyland experience, and Stuart was so patient as I struggled to say goodbye to Miffy goods for all your lifestyle needs. I am really really going to despair leaving it behind. This is not drama. After Kiddyland, we went to Shinsaibashi and hung about. We revisited the Sanrio Gallery, and had a lovely lunch (in a jewelry store’s cafe?) and then went to the Apple store. I got an Ipod Shuffle and Stuart got an Ipod Mini in green. Sugoi. The woman at the store asked me what operating system I had, and I told her I had a white mac and it was new. She talked just to Stuart after that. We left Apple, and went to Tower Records in America-Mura, where I bought magazines for the plane. We walked about America-Mura and shop staff were very nice to us, noting our Apple bags. We watched a sunglasses fashion show with human mannequins and it was strange. We drank lemonade outside Freshness Burger and watched the freaks go by. The cute goths were as ever, but my favourite candidate was a woman in harem-pants style acid washed jeans, a red vest with a tropical print on it and red pointy shoes. We went to the Athens bookshop after that, so Stuart could buy a book for the plane and we got “Eleanor Rigby” by Douglas Coupland.

We got the train after that. It was so busy, but we got off in Sannomiya to have dinner- bibimba! We got home after that, and have been eating strawberries and playing with Ipods since then. Tomorrow is our last day of employment for an indiscernible length of time. This is a positive step.

3 thoughts on “Last Beautiful Weekend”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Unrelated comment: This is Crissy & I am working at a place called ECW Press with a woman named Kulsum who is going to be in your program in the fall… that is if you are really in the Creative Writing MA program and I haven’t lost my mind…

  2. Crissy Calhoun says:

    Since I don’t have yo’ email let’s continue to communicate in comments:
    Yes, you will totally like her. Not that I know her that well but she is smart and lovely and interesting and engaging. And speaks her mind and has good ideas. She wanted to get your email so maybe I’ll ask Erin to pass it along…

  3. Anonymous says:

    When you have all our kitchen equipment at hand, we will be expecting very good meals. No excuses then. (only Joking)
    Sue x

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