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Welcome 2013

2013 has arrived.  I fell asleep in a chair around 23:00, but my wife woke me up around 23:45 to welcome in the new year.  I had to rise at 05:00 on December 31st to get into work early, and I just ran out of fuel around 23:00.  I just cannot stay up late like I used to do.  All of my energy goes to my work and to trying to raise the kids, just don’t have much energy at the end of a long day to stay up to watch a ball fall from above or Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffen putz around on the tube.  To think just five years ago I stayed up all night and talked and played card games with friends.  I managed to stay wake for the new year to arrive, but I fell asleep again shortly after 00:30.  Oh well.

For dinner on New Year’s Eve, I prepared 年越し蕎麦 (New Year Arrival Buckwheat noodles, or New Year Arrival Soba).  I could have bought the regular dried noodles imported from Japan, but since I live in little Korea, I thought I’d try to find fresh noodles–they just taste better.  I cannot read Korean, but in the Korean market I found one huge package of noodles with the Korean text and “Soba” in parenthesis.  I compared the Korean lettering on that package with that of the smaller packages, and I managed to take home some fresh Soba.  We noticed that Korean soba is much more brown than the Japanese equivalent.  My wife inspected the ingredients (listed in English due to FDA regulations), and we found that in Korean soba regular wheat is added to the buckwheat, which accounts for the darker color.  Regardless though, the noodles were very tasty, and we sent off the year with ざる蕎麦  (Cold Soba dipped in soup) and a spinach salad.  If you like Soba, Korean soba is damn good too.  We’ll have to buy it more often.

After dinner we watched the NHK Red & White festival listening to all of the different types of music and dancing: J-pop, 演歌 (Enka), and all of the other odd forms of Japanese pop-culture.  We moved from Japan more than three years ago, and I have not really watched any mainstream Japanese TV since moving away.  I still find myself missing Japan…but then I think back to how much time I had to spend at work in that country, and the thought of moving back to Japan fades out of my mind.  Any way, I could still recognize many of the actors, actresses, singers, etc.  These past three years have felt like an eternity to me, but in reality not much time has passed.  Where do the days go?

2012…what a year.  We had quite a few setbacks this past year, but at the same time I have a job now with real career potential, and I now have a precious daughter.  Of course, even at six months of age, she challenges me on everything, perhaps an omen for the future?  I find myself really wanting to buy some land and not having to move for awhile.  I don’t want a big house, but I want some land and a small house.  But here in the Washington Metro Area, I find that to be a pipe dream.  I want to put down a small garden and grow some green vegetables, but reality says I’ll be renting for the next decade at least and trying to grow some vegetables in flower pots.  At least it is a goal to work towards though.

2013 is going to be a big year–it has to be.  I have a lot to do, and I must do it and accomplish it all.  Failure is not an option this year.  I like odd numbered years, which I find to be more easy going than the even numbered years, so here is to hoping for a good year!  Happy New (Calendar) Year to all!!!

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