Tuesday, January 30, 2007

different shades of the same thing

you don't even know how many blog posts i've cleverly titled but don't have time to write about yet. there's much more to come. oh so much more.
here's a typical day for ローレン (that's me):
my mobile phone/camera/alarm clock extroardinaire (from now on referred to as The Device) goes off with sound, lights, and vibration at 6:30am. usually it's resting against the headboard, so i get the added heart attack of something clattering violently by my ear and shaking the entire bedframe. i allow myself one and only one push to the snooze button, then i drag my sorry carcass out of the most comfortable bed i've had the pleasure of sleeping in, ever. i think that to myself every single morning. my bedroom is 6 tatami mats big (9 x 13 feet) and pretty sparsely furnished (only a bed, a nightstand, and a small air filter that's about the size and shape of a flat computer screen).

i open the sliding room dividers (ふすま) and step into the bitter cold living room. ok, it isn't so bitter anymore, but that's only a very recent development. my living room is also 6 tatami mats in size and more cluttered. this houses the Massive hardwood dressing closet/cabinet/storage chasm that could swallow someone's oversized yarn collection *ahem*, or possibly a dead body. this is probably the most enviable feature of my house.
usually, i have my creamy puff blanket draped over my shoulders and i trudge to the kitchen where the tea water machine is always on and always hot. i make myself a big cup of black tea with sugar and soy milk and then slide my legs under the heated living room table (こたつ) which i discussed back in September.

i write for 40 minutes and then hustle to pack a lunch, eat a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, and walnuts, straighten the unruly bedhead with my new hyper-power straightening iron (thanks mom!) that hisses so much it sounds like i'm cooking steaks, and dress before velcro-ing my shoes on and clomping down the steep hill to school. if i don't forget before i head out, i consult the complicated schedule for what variety of trash will be picked up that day and hoist my bags up the hill to the trash bin.

the high road to the bin:

the bin itself:

the scenic route to school:

when i enter the school yard, i bow and say good morning to any students i see, change into my school slippers at the rusted outdoor shoe locker, and usually make it inside just as the bells are ringing to signal the start of the morning meeting. as i go in, i smell the deliriously wonderful odor of fresh coffee, bow to the women sweeping the stairs, and glance briefly into the office to see if i can catch the eye of any of my friends. then i unload my computer, lunch, and other stuff into my desk and start ignoring the meeting. later i teach class, blah blah blah.
at exactly 4:15 i strike out for home, check my mail, step out of my shoes in the entryway (slide on my house slippers) and then decide what to do for the rest of the evening.

the front of my house:

the entryway:

a few bits more.
Come One, Come All; dye your hair Brown, Brown, or Brown! Blonde? Impossible! Red? Improbable! at least the boxes are cool for those guys who want a little "beauteen."

finally, i'll part with a shot that may comment on the "all part of the same group" mentality of japan, or it could be a coincidence. i call it: Movement In White. or..."i like white CARS and i can not LIE!"


  1. I like this entry a lot. It's interesting to read the description of the start of your day.
    Also, love the picture of all the white and silver cars! I am still amazed by the overabundance of white. My car looks white, but it's really pink at heart!