Thursday, May 19, 2011


Nashville is all about trendy mobile food trucks. They park outside of cool stores or gallery crawls and lure in the young and beautiful with their unique menus and alternative appeal. Up until today I felt that the taco truck, the grilled cheese truck, and the marshmallow truck (just to name a few) were just things for young local journalists to write about and hipsters to rave about. But then, I saw this: 

The Japanese food truck!! The best part is, rather than selling stuff like california rolls and weird ramen, the truck sells actual Japanese snacks like onigiri (rice balls), mochi ice cream, curry and rice, and UDON!!
It won't be up and running for a few weeks because the owners are headed to an anime convention (of course) in Chicago, but I will be certain to chase this truck down and give it a try once it's in commission. I can only hope that the food is tasty and the driver shouts "irashyaimase" out the window.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Future

With my two best friends in Nashville having just gotten laid-off from their teaching jobs, and my Americorps term (very slooooowly) nearing its end, it seems that our conversations that were once filled with non-stop laughter and planning for fun things are now exhausting attempts at figuring out what comes next.

When I think about applying for jobs and the possibility of moving to a new city, I just want to take a nap on a sunny beach in an obscure part of the world.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bathing with Friends

I recently decided that my heaven is a public bath. The fist time I went to the onsen while I was in Japan it was silly and awkward. It did not take me long to figure out that it was actually the best thing that has ever been done with water. A few weeks ago I took the Megabus down to Washington D.C. to see two lovely ladies and then we went straight to Spa World.
It had been a while since I had gotten on a bus, alone, for just a couple hours of fun and little sleep. And it was all well worth it. We spent about seven hours in the spa. Sunday was beautiful and the last thing I wanted to do was get on the bus to Pittsburgh at 3 p.m. and leave all the intelligent people of our Nations Capital.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things I Cannot Afford but Will Probably Buy Anyway

1. A new digital camera.

My camera broke just days before my big trip to Barcelona, Florence, and Rome.
In Florence, I stopped at a kodak store and picked up at disposable camera.
This past Sunday, as excited as a kid on christmas morning, I drove to Walgreens to pick up the developed pictures. Among the mostly overexposed or horrible pictures, there were a few gems.
Me and my mom.. and evidence of her annual glass of wine

Although there's nothing like looking through a roll of freshly developed prints, I think it's best to stick to digital. The combined fee of the disposable camera and developing the film ran about $30. 

2. Pedicures. 

Even though it's only April, days are getting longer and hotter as hemlines are getting shorter and shorter.  Like my mother, I am not blessed with beautiful feet. The occasional pedicure helps to keep things in line this time of year, and the cheap chop shop places just don't cut it. 

3. My lifestyle. 

I am too tired to go into this right now, but I need to change something. Soon. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things I can't Afford (a series)

Speeding/ Parking Tickets Seems unfair that while I was driving to my 40 hour (or more) a week volunteer position, where I provide literacy services to children in underserved communities, I got a speeding ticket. And then I got a parking ticket a couple days later. It is cool Pittsburgh Police -- I will just do all the hard work while you sit around give tickets. (Getting this ticket was way more fun).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Source of Inspiration

Recently, this has been my source of inspiration:

Pittsburgh is a gritty city and sometimes you need to find your inner honey badger.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Nights

In Japan, Caitlin used to make the hour-long Thursday afternoon drive through the mountains and along the Seto Inland Sea to visit me for the night. We usually cooked dinner together, talked about our weeks, and sometimes drove to the almost empty mall to try on weird hats or buy tights, but we mostly were excited to curl up next to each other in my real bed, which is presumably still the best bed in Japan.

When I first moved to Nashville, my friends and I would take turns hosting Thursday night potluck dinners at our respective apartments. The nights were full of delicious food, wine, and lots of laughing. As time went on our schedules got busier and busier and it became difficult, somehow, to carve out that important time. 

It's 10:00 on Thursday night, and I just finished putting together a last minute presentation for tomorrow afternoon. I ate a veggie burger, by myself, for dinner while frantically reading up on Vietnamese immigrants in Nashville. 

At some point between September and now my job got really hard. 
I miss waking up with nothing to do on Saturday and Sunday mornings in my big Japanese bed. I miss more time for friends. 
I'm gonna work on this. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It was a Special Sunday

A couple of Sundays ago I went up north towards Erie, PA with Katyana to celebrate her last few days in the United States before she left (for her rite of passage) to teach English in Japan. We visited a sugar shack, where maple syrup is made. It was a chilly day in the wilds of Pennsylvania. On the way back we stopped to eat miso soup and we all said a couple of Japanese words.

I am now a firm believer that maple syrup makes the pancake.

Food Stamps

I got an unexpected call over lunch from a guy who I've worked with a little here and there. He works at a wonderful organization in Nashville that strives to bring secure and sustainable food systems to everyone in Nashville.
He called to inform me that the East Nashville Farmer's Market will now be accepting food stamps at all of their vendors. Beyond that, for every $1 you spend in food stamps, you'll receive $1.40 in farmer's market credit. He asked me to spread the word to all of the refugee families who I work with in that area. 
I told him my fellow Americorps co-workers will probably be more thrilled to hear the news than most families who are set shopping at Kroger and Walmart, but of course I'll pass the good news on to all. 

Unfortunately in Tennessee you do not automatically qualify for food stamps for being an Americorps member, like you would in other states such as Pennsylvania. Due to some savings I acquired while teaching English in Japan, I failed to make the free food cut. Although, I have had refugees who I work with buy me food on their food stamps, explaining that it's free money and I need not worry...

Caitlin, are Pittsburgh farmer's markets this with it? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our Family Bleeds Black and Gold

The Steelers played in Superbowl XLV on February 7th.  Leah flew up from Nashville for the Superbowl in our hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.  Caity drove across town to meet Leah at our Grandparents house in Mt. Lebanon to watch the game.

Unfortunately, the Steelers did not win.  There was still a delay the following morning for Pittsburgh Public Schools and the entire city still drank a lot of beer, though probably not as much had they won.  Then Leah went back to Nashville and Caity stayed in the town of black and yellow.  Regardless, the Adams/ Hashinger family is always happy to have an excuse to eat savory snacks and mix drinks.