Deciding that I'd spent enough money on eating out this weekend, and also that the world didn't need to be subjected to my sweaty, unkempt appearance for a third time today, I stayed in for supper. Besides, that's why God invented Kraft Dinner.

As a measure of how sad inspiring my life is, I feel that I accomplished a great deal today, simply because I vacuumed, prepared two different kinds of tea to chill (ice tea, I <3 you!), got around to starting the reorganisation of my sewing room, and had a Great Idea.

My Great Idea: though I've begun several (three have actually gone at least into the cutting phase!) quilt projects over the past five years, I've never gotten any further than assembling squares. So I decided to slash and burn my wardrobe with extreme prejudice, i.e. cut up all the clothes that I don't need anymore, mostly the ones that have been demoted to around-the-house status but I can't throw out because they're still wearable, and use those clothes as a practice quilt. That way, the clothes will become something useful, and it'll be a good trial run for an actual quilt. Though I don't plan on using any batting for this one, I will attempt some sort of quilting. Maybe I can find a cheap fleece blanket to use as the sandwich filler.

Hey, I completely forgot to take a nap today! Oh, I remember why, it's because I told myself I'd nap after I'd finished vacuuming, but then I got distracted by other stuff and wasn't sleepy anymore. XD;

Now Sarah and I are finally getting around to making reservations for our little excursion down to Kyushu. So far we have plane tickets, boat tickets, a car for Yakushima, and one night (out of four) booked. We're doing good! ^_^b

I really, REALLY wish my nose would stop! I've been sneezing since yesterday, probably because of dust kicked up by my cleaning efforts. Spending time at Kimberly's didn't help, with all the dog dander in the air, and now my eyes won't stop watering. XP
I just took the first tablet of anti-malaria medication. This, coupled with yesterday's shot, the fact that I'm flying solo today (co-teacher is already on vacation), and the fact that I'm already tired from having a million things to do this week, will make it an interesting day... And I can't take the kids swimming because of the weather, but since my period just started, it's kind of perfect timing, isn't it?

But who cares? I'm going to China tomorrow! :D

I think I'll leave work early today, because I still need to... let's see. Buy new earphones, get extra kitty litter, withdraw more cash, and probably do a couple of other things. And once I get home, I need to finish packing (got clothes mostly done last night, now I just need to figure out everything else!), write my Travelpod post and hopefully get one or two done in advancce for posting while I'm on the road, post the pictures from Emily's birthday, write down names of places I want to see (Beijing Fabric Market, I am coming for you! <3), finish my dress, finish the last chapter in my Chinese textbook... Oh, and maybe get some sleep? XD;;;

But first, I need to shower and go to work. Woohoo, just one day left, and no afternoon classes!
This morning I had a follow-up appointment to see how my back was doing.

Me: So about a week and a half ago, I noticed a thread coming out of my back.
Sensei: Oh? Let's take a look.
*Examines the scar and the thread*
Sensei: It's a surgical thread, all right.
*Snips it*
Sensei: And you said it only came out last week?
Me: Well, I only noticed it then.
Sensei: I see. You could have called for an earlier appointment.
Me: But it didn't hurt or look infected, or anything, so I thought it would be okay to wait for this appointment.
Sensei: *looking like she was trying not to laugh at this weird person who was not bothered by a thread coming out of her back* Come back and see me in November. And if you find any more threads coming out of your back, call, okay?

Last night, I dreamt I was with Alexis and we were meeting up with Jill to see Masa perform at a place called (how fitting!) The Beer Hall. We didn't have tickets, but that was okay, because we could just buy them at the restaurant next door. But on the way my cell phone had been stolen and replaced with another one that would tell me when I had mail, but wouldn't let me read it, instead flashing Russian spam on the screen. I spent a long time trying to figure out how the pickpocket had managed to get my phone charms off my phone and onto the replacement.
Today was the kind of day that makes me happy to just be alive. The weather was gorgeous, there were plum blossoms to be sniffed and photographed, Tabitha was unusually adorable and affectionate, I made shepherd's pie and Kimberly made fried okra and a cake and we had a good meal together, then watched a movie and knitted.

Oh, and it turns out the mole on my back was a dysplastic nevus, and not malignant melanoma. Not that I was incredibly worried about it, as the doctor had said it was most likely nothing serious, but I guess there was still a vague "what if..." lingering in the back of my mind, because I definitely felt a small twinge of relief when she told me it was all clear. So now I just have to remember to be extra-careful with the sunscreen, and to keep my back covered.

In case anyone was wondering what it looks like, here are pictures! Yes, I bugged my friends to take pictures of my back. Not precisely so I could share them with the world, but because it was the only way I could get a good look at the thing myself. I don't think it's too gross, but maybe those squeamish about stitches should not click. Also, I have bad back skin. Sadness! Wanna see? )


So far, the best story I can come up with is a failed assassination attempt. Give me some ideas, people: who did I take a bullet for?

Snow! ^o^

Feb. 16th, 2010 11:43 pm
I celebrated Valentine's Day marathoning movie/television adaptations of the works of Jane Austen with [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi, [livejournal.com profile] akahannah, [livejournal.com profile] lizstarsky and [livejournal.com profile] later_uk. Pictures will come at a later date. ^_^

In the meantime, in honour of the snow that may or may not fall tonight, here are some pictures from a couple of weeks ago, when I awoke to a very unusual sight. Snow day! )

In case anyone was wondering about my back, there is now a hole in it, where the mole used to be. It's smaller than the mole was, since it's mostly healed, but the skin hasn't closed up completely yet. It'll probably take a few more days, maybe a week. It doesn't hurt at all (good!) and I can take normal showers again, and apart from covering it up for ballet class (went back tonight after over two weeks away, let's see how Inui-sensei's new stretching exercises leave me feeling tomorrow! XD), I can go about my life as though nothing had happened.
So far, today has been rather full of fail.

First of all, I woke up at 8:30. I needed to be at the hospital at 9:00 to get the last of my stitches taken out. I made it (barely), then waited for longer than I would have liked, but having the stitches taken out took less than a minute. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until as the doctor was explaining some things to me, my vision started going black and I nearly passed out. And I have no idea why. I was sitting down, at the time! :P So she had me lie down for a while, and the sweet nurse who'd admired my キラキラ purse came to check on me periodically, until I felt better. After that I was sent on my way, but didn't get home until a bit after 11, at which point I jumped into pâte brisée preparation for my promised Quiche à la Bingley.

I don't know if it's the cold, or what, but I just couldn't get anything done fast. And the quiche won't be travelling with me to Chiba Manor, because the new technique I tried (note to self: save the new techniques for when you have no other engagements for the day!) seems to have failed. Anyway, good thing I had planned on butter tarts and the crusts were all ready to go, and that I had way too much quiche filling! I'll be bringing baby quiches along, at least, though nothing dessertish. Bloh.

Ugh, now I have to pack my stuff, feed the cat, wait for the last batch of quichettes to finish baking, will them to cool off at the speed of light, go pick up my prescription -- other moment of fail, I didn't have my medication booklet so didn't pick up the cream on the way out of the hospital -- and might just make my rendez-vous with Emily. Or I might be a little late. I wouldn't be surprised, with the way things are going! :P

Oh, and I haven't even showered today. XD;
Note to all people seeking to acquire ladies' undergarments in Tokyo: Amos Style gave me some chocolates (Lindt milk chocolates, in case you're wondering) for shopping there today, so I guess this is a good time to be buying stuff! If I'd known, I'd have bought one item and gone back at other times for more. Mmm, free samples...

In back news, there are 6 stitches, it seems. The pain is pretty much gone, but now I have to deal with the deep, annoying itchiness of skin knitting itself back together. (Isn't that a great image? Millions of tiny little skin cells with knitting needles, attempting to connect themselves to each other. ^o^) GRRRR, I JUST WANNA SCRATCH! *whimper* I know it's a good sign, it's just not fun. Good thing it's right in the centre of my back, otherwise I might be tempted to poke at it. XD

In other news, woohoo, Dream Live 7th comes to Tokyo -- well, Yokohama -- after Golden Week, which means I get more time in Europe with my family! *dances around*

SYTYCD final 6 rambing goes here! )

I can has results! )
After a good night's sleep on pain killers, my back felt fine until I pushed the blankets off and the cold air hit. But I gaman shita'ed during the day, and it only occasionally felt like someone had taken a scalpel to me. You don't realise how much you use your back muscles until you try not to! Halfway through the afternoon, my arms started aching from having done nothing more than I typically do (less, even, because I was careful to not give the kids any opportunity to jump on my back or hang off me). Seems somebody was overcompensating!

K helped me take the big gauze pad off and slather the disinfectant on. I forgot to ask her to count the stitches, but it looks good! Well, as good as a row of small, neat stitches in the middle of my back can look, anyway. Which is kind of cool, actually. I ought to start working on my story about how I got my scar. But perhaps I should just ask my brothers for one, since they're so good at coming up with extremely unlikely scenarios (exploding chickens, anyone? XD).

I think I'll attempt a ballet class on Friday. It's not Inui-sensei's class, so I won't need to worry about having my ribcage forcibly raised to where it shouldn't go. XD

To celebrate our JLPT results, Eda and I hit up Royal Host this evening for some more sexy study times. Apparently, our shared スーパーギリギリ powers caused some sort of mind meld, because apart from her salad and my pineapple-jasmine tea, we had exactly the same thing.

"Hmm, what do I want to drink?"
"I think I'll go for the orange juice."
"I'm kind of in the mood for that too! :D"

"Ooh, this hamburger with mushrooms looks good."
"Yeah, it does look pretty good..."

"Tropical tea?"
"Sure!"

"And for dessert, there's the strawberry-chocolate thing. Or I could just go for the hot fudge sundae! In junior size."
"That's totally what I was thinking of getting! LOL"

We also ate our age in beans, because that's what you do on Setsubun, duh! XD (I got to be a demon at school this morning, and the kids had a great time throwing beans at me, so when I saw some cheap-o beans as I was on my way to meet Eda, I couldn't resist and brought them along to our study date.)

As we left the restaurant, it was snowing lovely fluffy flakes, unlike the other night's huge clumps of questionable snowiness.

Am currently working on a study plan for this year. I want to do the level 2 again this December, and this time my goal is to pass with more than 80%. At least then I'll know it was deserved. I also have taken up the zhongwen again, because this summer, I'm off to China, baby! 8D

Arg, stab of pain! o>_<o All right, time for pain killer and bed. Because I need to get up a bit earlier than usual tomorrow, as I have to cover up the bandage on my back before washing my hair.
The doctor had said the anesthesia would start wearing off around 6, and sure enough, by the time K was heating up the stew (which was very good and perfect for this weather!), sensation was returning to my back, which felt tingly and tight. Now it's painful if I move my arms around, bow my head or bend over, and the muscles in my upper body are also sore, perhaps in sympathy. I'm going to take the pain killer right before going to bed -- hopefully it'll see me through the night! I'm not quite sure yet how I'll sleep, because I usually sleep on my back or curled up on my side, neither of which will do the stitches any favours...

ETA: People, you need to remind me to take the (non-pain-killing-whatever-they-are) pills! 3 times a day, after meals. I have the feeling I'll be forgetting them a lot. X_X
I have a 2cm-long incision in the middle of my back, neatly sewn up, courtesy of the lovely Kurata-sensei, who had furry purple balls in her hair. <3

I nearly fell asleep on the operating table, because what else was I going to do? Not like I could tell what was going on (there was a sheet over my head) except for when I felt vague pulling and heard snipping sounds.

When it was done, she asked me if I wanted to see what she'd removed, so I looked. "It's not very pretty, is it!" I exclaimed, and the doctor and the nurse laughed.

Now I've got 4 different types of medication (one is... some sort of anti-infection thing, I guess?, one is a pain killer, and two are ointments) and the whole thing, including the initial consultation, the operation, and the drugs, cost under Y12,000. Of course, I have to go back to get the stitches removed (twice)...

Then on the way home, I saw the cutest thing ever: a produce vending machine in which were lovely large Chinese cabbages. The machine was asking Y200 for them, but stuck into each cabbage was a toothpick on which hung a 50yen coin. Kyaaaaaa~~~! I bought one. :3

And then I got home, and the best joke I'd heard all week had arrived in the mail.

I PASSED THE JLPT2! *rofl* 57/100 in writing/vocabulary, 75/100 in listening, and 122/200 in reading/grammar. That's an overall 63.5%, and I have no clue how I managed that, because today I didn't understand the word for cotton swab (menbou, 綿棒, in case you're wondering) and the doctor didn't know the English, so I whipped out my ipod and we both learned something new. XD

Now I'm off to K's place, because she promised me a dinner of beef stew after my terrible ordeal. ^_~
In the middle of demonstrating an exercise, Inui-sensei nearly lost his super baggy sweatpants. He hiked them up pretty fast, but everyone was laughing, and he seemed a bit embarrassed as he assured us, "Daijoubu, daijoubu!"

He seems to think that I'm three inches taller than I actually am, or that I should be three inches taller; yet again he tried to drag my ribcage up to where it can't go without me becoming airborne.

On the bright side, I didn't suck quite so much at the small jumps! It also kind of helped that a whole bunch of lower-level people showed up to today's class. So instead of being at the very bottom of the pack, skills-wise, I was at least at the top of the bottom, and looked good in comparison to some. XD

I spent an interesting morning at the hospital, yesterday. Got sent around to various places before everything was in order (initially it was my fault for going into the wrong building) and I finally got to see the dermatologist who examined the mole on my back, said it's most likely harmless, but I might as well get rid of it. So I'll be going back next week for that.

Hopefully the recovery won't take too long. When I had the birthmark taken off my knee, when I was 11, I had seven stitches, taken out at two different times (first 4, then the last 3), and since it was my knee, it was a few days before I could bend it properly, since the skin needed to stretch, and quite a while before it wasn't painful to the touch. Since this one is in the middle of my back, therefore not an articulation, I suppose it will be different. I've been told to take no baths, only showers, for the week following the procedure, and I guess ballet will be out for the same amount of time.

I wonder how big the scar will be? If the mole is 9mm wide, and they need to cut a slit around it, it'll be maybe twice as long, at most? Maybe I'll have a lizard on my back to match the one on my knee.

With any luck, the anasthesia will be effective and I won't pass out on the operating table the way I did 17 years ago. ^_^;

And now, I bid you good night.
Bloh. Seems that the mysterious burn/scrape thing that appeared on my forearm the other day is a return of the stupid excema I had several years ago, and it's spreading. At least this time it doesn't itch! Still looks gross, though.

My question for you today is, are hydrocortisone creams over-the-counter in Japan?

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