Pull up a chair and get comfy so I can tell you a bit about adam and e.. I {e} recently married the most AMAZING man in the world. The hubs {adam} decided after he graduated from law school he wanted to be like Tom Cruise [back in his good days].. but WAY more good-looking} and be like A Few Good Men. While he works hard to maintain the law, I'll be photographing the world around us. This blog is about where we've been, where we're going, and where we hope to be... our first destination was ENGLAND... and now you can find us in J A P A N. Come share our adventures with us.


phantom quakes.

sometimes japan has earthquakes... and by sometimes i mean a few times A DAY. 
i know, at first it scared me too. 
but then it seemed like everyone felt them but me. 
prior to japan i had only heard tales of quakes... never experienced one for myself... and i kinda wanted to... just a little one though. 
no big, scary ones. those aren't welcome here.

and then... i started feeling random teeny, tiny rumbles.

they happen so frequently that i often wonder if the rumble originated from the ground or my stomach?
one can never be certain where the rumbles come from-- ground hunger or stomach hunger.

sometimes they happen right as you get up from sitting down.
and well, that's not fare because sometimes i get lightheaded when i stand up or slightly dizzy for a split second so it's hard to tell if it was dizziness or a quake.(i'm an 80 year old trapped inside a 20 something body [yes, i said 20 something... it may be my last year in my 20's but it's still my 20's.])

i'm 28% sure most quakes happen when i lay in bed at night. 
conversations often go a little something like this:
a: "No, but I just scratched my foot."
e: hmmm.. 

a few nights later.

a: snores.
e: (thoughts) i can't believe you're sleeping through this quake right now! 

a: nope. not an earthquake.

the next night.
a. i think you're getting confused... our bed is so sensitive to any movement. i just scratched my face.
e. that's weird that you scratched your face right as the quake happened and didn't feel it.
a. not a quake. 
e. hmmm.. i don't know. i definitely felt something.
a. yeah, me scratching my face.

you know that feeling when your phone is in your back pocket and you think you felt it ring but it didn't?! 
well, i'm pretty sure that's what happens to me with quakes. i think i feel one but nobody else around me agrees.
phantom quakes. 
brace yourself... they happen ALL THE TIME!

mudge love.


the art of sweating: survival guide for a japanese summer.

oh, hello (japanese) summer.
you aren't as kind to me as my old ways, my english days of summer.
cool, breezy (and often quite chilly) days that one might mistake for a brisk fall day are no longer my summer ways...

now, every time i venture into the outdoors i must prepare like i'm stepping foot inside an insanely hot steam room.

oh my. 

how does one prepare for weather so --------- (insert-word-that-is-trying-to-stay-positive-but-we-all-know-is-probably-a-lie) not ideal? 
(stay indoors until autumn?!?! um, yes please)

well, let's take a lesson from the japanese:
1. sweat cloth
yes, my friends. everybody has one. and you're in luck because in true japanese form every product made in japan WILL be the most adorable thing you've ever seen. (i'm talking to you too, boys... don't be afraid  to embrace it... if a 40'something business man can rock a teddy bear patterned sweat rag then you can too).

2. paper fans.
i'm not talking about those accordion fans that you made from the church bulletin when you were young-- trying entertain yourself from falling asleep on sunday mornings... no no. this is a real thing. paper fans are everywhere and everyone has them and will whip them out at any given moment perspiration is involved. 

3. water.
everyone has it with them but for some strange reason they only drink it when they're in their designated water-drinking-area: sitting at a table, standing next to a vending machine, or standing outside of a convenient store. 
i don't know how they keep themselves hydrated but they manage to stay cool.... when this blonde-haired american is thirsty, she drinks. 

4. umbrellas.
rain or shine you better have an umbrella with you at all times. long gone are the days i used to laugh at sunny day, umbrella carriers... i've embraced it and i don't ever care. 

5. layers... of clothing.
long sleeves, long gloves, pants, sweaters, hats, and boots. people dress for winter year round over here. what's beneath all those layers?!? do they have some sort of a/c unit built inside their clothing that they aren't telling us about?! how do they do it?! we all know why they do it--- they value fair skin. but how they do it.... sheesh. this is one of the japanese mysteries that i'm afraid will never be solved and it makes me sweat just thinking about it.

6. naps.
find a shade and count some sheep. sometimes a rest is all you need to beat the heat. (unless you're me and then you need a nap in a cold, dark cozy bed)

summer, you may nice and sunny (unless it's the rainy season-- which is also summer)  but indeed you're hot... and for that i raise my sweaty rag high in the sky and say, "Bring on the humid heat!"---- because after all, you know that humidity is one of japan's best kept secret for anti-aging. 
***written in the dark, cool refuge of my home where the air is currently set at an arctic temperature. 

mudge love.


now presenting...

every interaction, greeting, farewell, meal, purchase, thought, way of life, book, article of clothing, and (especially) gift you buy for someone special is 
beautifully and wonderfully presented to you.
presentation is over the top in the best way imaginable. 
in case you haven't heard-- japan does everything 500%.
it is truly mind blowing. 
M I N D  B L O W I N G, people!

 even in mcdonald's it feels like you're at a 5 star restaurant...  not that i've eaten there or anything.
i mean, who would even consider that option when they have access to so much amazing japanese food!?
those people are fools. 

okay, so i may or may not have ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a coke within the last two weeks. 
i never said i was perfect... so, please... take your judgment shoes off and leave them at the door. 
(for the record... the mcdonald's in japan is amazing.)

so, word to wise-- if you find yourself out and about at a local restaurant, don't squeal like a little girl if they happen to bring out carrot that's been carved in the shape of a bird.
be cool.
be cool. 

mudge love.


the moose diaries:: an introduction.

meet moose.
he's furry.
he's tiny. (weighing in at about a whopping 2 lbs.)
he's cuddly.
he's extra playful.
he's japanese. 
he's part toy poodle/maltese/pekingese.
 he's the most adorable pup you'll ever see.
...and he's the newest addition to the mudge family. 

now, some of you may be thinking right now (apart from the fact that you thought the mudges fell off the side of the blog'osphere due to radio silence for the past month{s} ), "i thought winston was your doggie name for your pug." well, my friends, marriage is all about compromise... and since we both couldn't agree on a puggie we had to choose another kind of pup. 
and lemme tell you-- i'm so glad we did. 
L O V E.

without further ado.....  meet our dog child.

yes, it's okay to cry because of cuteness overload.

mudge love.


whAt tO exPect wHen liVinG iN jApan.

in case you were wondering, japan is quite lovely. 
but today is not a day to talk about it's loveliness.
oh no, let's talk about all the crazy things that happen here. 

we're coming up on 3 months thus far of attempting to be a local and it has been very... awkward/hilarious/stressful/fun/overwhelming/adventurous/ and everything in between.

 for example:

kiss (or make out with it) your personal space goodbye. 
queuing up. 
sitting in a restaurant.
more walking.
recreational activities.
any other activity.
and especially taking the TRAIN--- queue story time and go:

never make the mistake of taking the train during rush hour. 
don't worry, i didn't either... but unfortunately, non-rush hour is still rush hour to the rest of the world.
like, i'm talking about being sandwiched between so many people the man touching my back (who was sweating profusely) transferred his own sweat onto me... never has the phrase "packed like sardines" made so much sense to me.
would you believe that this man managed to fall asleep (standing up) despite any room to move? i couldn't turn around to see but i could feel his hot, breath on my back and hear his faint snoring pounding in my eardrum. 

no room for picky eating.
odds are at some point you're getting something on your plate that you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what it is... be a sport, try it out.
most restaurants have a picture menu so you can feel like a 5 year old again and point to things... but, let's be honest... pictures don't always say a 1,000 words... especially when they look like fried chicken but it's actually tofu (for what it's worth, it was actually delicious).
(i actually LOVE the food here... and i'll let you in on a secret-- i was once the pickiest eater on the planet)

japanese festivals have so much culture!
it's also a good place to people watch.

until next time.

mudge love.


yoU caN finD uS in TokYo.

suShi. tokYo tower. shriNes. zeN garDens. milliOns of peOple. veNdinG machiNes oN evEry coRner. hellO kiTty gear. skYscrAperS. 

yup, you guessed it.
this weekend the mudges are off to soak up downtown tokyo.
(heck to the yes for it being a four day weekend).

seeing as how we haven't even booked a hotel yet , or don't really know how to navigate the trains, or (still) don't know any japanese (we know what you're going to say but we like to refer to ourselves "spontaneous and adventurous" not procrastinators), um... yeah, let's just say this is going to be a hilariously, fun weekend filled with tons of inside jokes and stories that will probably be documented here. 


now, you may be thinking to yourself, "wait a second... i thought you said that you lived in tokyo?."
well, to that i would say, "yes, you're right however tokyo is MASSIVE." 
... and well, we live in a sleepy part that's sort of on the outskirts of the downtown madness.

so, this is us... throwing caution to the wind and saying, "hey, tokyo
 ready or not we're coming to hang out with you!"

sayonara kemosabe.

mudge love.


a piCturE saYs a tHousAnd woRds

... and when it comes to ordering food at a restaurant in a foreign place, you will be so thankful for pictures.

because, let's be honest... when things look like this:
and there are no pictures... you could be ordering $100 worth of cow's tongue.
my knowledge of asia as a whole is not very great... so, i deeply apologize if i offend those of you who are local (or who are wildly intelligent and just happen to know the ways of far eastern cultures.
i ask of you to please educate me in your wise ways of eastern knowledge.


sometimes when i think of the japanese language and how it was started, i picture two elderly men playing a very detailed and creative game of hang man. 
neither player wants the opponent to lose so they just keep adding elements to the man (or in this case a house).

these men thought it was so fun and entertaining that they decided to create a language completely out of symbols.
they were also quite witty and so they made up stories and created inside jokes for each symbol.
 i like to think it went a little something like this:

actual translation: daughter
 their version: person running from arrow... translation: "run for your life"

 actual translation: honor
their version: man and woman caught in rainstorm... translation: "don't forget your umbrella"

actual translation: life
their version: pitching a tent next to trees= bird poo everywhere... translation "don't forget to shower after you go camping"

.... you know, they would say stuff like that.
that's how i like to think it all started. 

mudge love

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