We bought a new sofa:
We had our last one for pretty much as long as I have been in Japan (over 10 years). It was worn ragged, holes and stains everywhere from the wear and tear of life (i.e. primarily kids), and yeah, it had just met it’s day. So we graduated from our love seat to an actual sofa, being we now have a house that can contain it. We also bought this online, believe it or not, which is a major new thing for us. Really affordable and I find it rather comfy.
On a totally unrelated note, the kids didn’t have school today so they went out to Odaiba to play. Anna ended up going to some “trick art” place with a friend and our camera is full of pictures like the following:
I have no clue what is going on in half of them but it gave me a good laugh.
I was walking with my family down the boardwalk near our house the other day when I casually spotted this large staircase with the side made out of long, horizontal, wood boards. About a year or so back when we were walking past, for some reason I got it in my head to climb up it, and before long I was helping my son and daughter at it as well. We probably spent a good 30 min to an hour playing on it I think.
Anyhow, it was one of those rather random, spontaneous, happy memories that I couldn’t help but recall as we walked past the other day. Just then, my daughter grabbed my hand and said “dad, remember when we climbed up that?”
Apparently she remembered it too.
It’s funny how that one memory stood out for both of us — and interesting how we both recalled it in the same manner at the same time. The more excitable, less logical side of me likes to be entertained with the idea that we have some sort of special father/daughter mental connection, but in a lot of ways, that’s not such an illogical explanation: we are connected through that shared experience (among many others), and the collection of those experiences is what ultimately makes up our relationship.
No wories though, my intentions aren’t to attempt some profound declaration on the truths of life. It was just one of those little moments that made me happy, spawned from another random little happy moment, and I just felt like writing it down so maybe if in lucky, I’ll get one more out of it later down the road. We shall see.
Ok, this is about the weirdest dish I have ever tried: pepperoni cauliflower casserole. It was actually pretty decent, but if I were to do it again, I would leave off the cheese and pepperoni on top (there is still some pepperoni ground up in the cauliflower puree), and skip the whole oven stage. I think the inside tasted good enough as it was without all the other junk. Kind of like a weird sort of mashed potatoes.
Today is a holiday in Japan and we also have a wussy typhoon hanging around. I gave the kids their first drum lessons, reserved a rent-a-car for our upcoming weekend trip to Karuizawa, and am about to go look for a new sofa, as ours is currently falling apart.
I also slept like 12 hours last night, so maybe I have caught up from the week before finally.
Ooooh, this looks fantastic!
I’m rather liking Em’s new single, especially the hook. It’s different, but I like the direction better then Relapse and Recovery.
Went to a Disney on Ice show with the family in Yokohama today which was rather fun. We had insanely good seats — 3 rows from the front, but ironically it was a bit hard to see because there wasn’t any slope there so you were looking at the back of everyone’s heads. The first row to the side of us was empty though for some reason, so the kids moved up there. I think they enjoyed it. And I enjoyed it mainly because they had beer (go Japan!)
I’ve been climbing with *gasp* other people the last few weeks which has been a bit different. I have always been the loner type but I’ve realized the benefits of going with other people. You get good advice, get to watch how other people do things, and you learn a lot. It’s probably a lot of the reason that my progress has always been so slow up to now to be honest. But yeah, what can you do.
As an example, I had this 4-kyu I was working on and was never able to reach the last hold. There was only one good foot hold available and I just didn’t have the strength to pull myself up to it with my arms. And I found the trick by watching someone else and it was horribly simple: if you’re lacking a good foot hold just make one (i.e., smear). And it’s so stupid but this is somewhat of a revelation to me because I can see like one million other scenarios I have been having the same problem with. I was just stuck in this mindset that it was a strength problem (i.e., not being able to pull myself up on one leg when the foothold is too high) but it’s easily solvable with very simple technique.
Anyhow, I went top rope climbing a couple weeks back and am going to go again with a friend on Monday. My main objective is just to not forget how to do it but I also want to try some harder routes this go. Maybe around 5.9 or 5.10 to start with? Would also like to try out the slightly over-hanged wall they have. I fell for the first time about two weeks which was actually a good thing cause I need to get used to doing so. I still am rather hesitant to make big-ish moves when I get far up. Just not used to it yet so I get a bit nervous about pushing things too hard.
Went bouldering at Miyashita Park in Shibuya today:
The wall they have is outdoors, which is rather cool, and they also have a big lead wall as well if you have the certification to do it. It’s nice because A) it’s really cheap and B) they only let so many people in at a time — so it’s great for going with kids cause they won’t bother too many other people.
Here is the wifey:
And our friend Mami:
The only real downside was the wait — they had a pretty horrible waiting list. I think next time we should just put our name down in the morning, get lunch, and then come back later. It was a lot of fun though. I do want to go back. I just need to twist someone’s arm and get them to do the rope wall with me.
I climbed my 4th 4-kyu/6a/V3 today and on about my 3rd time attempting it (which is dramatically faster than what it has typically taken me to send that level):
It wasn’t all that bad but the holds were all rather small and pinchy. It wrecked havoc on my fingers but not really my arms — and reaching the last hold is a bit tricky. I also made a lot of progress on another 4-kyu/6a/V3 that I have been working on after getting some beta from another climber. I was kind of stuck on this one hold were I have to replace my hand with my foot, and I learned I could heel hook it instead (by watching the other guy do something somewhat similar).
I also realized something else: I’m really not going to get much better than I currently am climbing once a week. I really felt it this evening as it was my second session in three days, and I was climbing way better than I normally do. I was on the wall for about three hours straight as well. Problem is that it would be realistically hard for me to do more than one session a week with my current schedule. Oh well, that’s what happens when you get old I guess.
I went climbing down in Shibuya with my son on father’s day while the ladies stayed home and made cookies. Here is Ren rocking the cave:
I managed to climb this 6-kyu which was rather fun:
The holds are nice and positive but it’s pretty rough on the steep negative incline. The last hold is also a bit tough to reach as your legs are all under the wall at that point. Or at least mine are. Because I suck.