Week Six – tea cha cha!

A slightly belated update, but I blame Borderlands 2 for sucking up my Sunday afternoon – which is usually the time I reserve for blogging.

So the highlight of Week Six was receiving my first weight-related comment at the gym the other night which happened to be, “Have you been sick? You’ve lost weight.”

I was reasonably happy at the time, but then wondered if I’d lost weight in a bad way…lol…not that it really matters I guess. I also now fit into my skinny jeans so I celebrated by wearing them to work today. Yay.

I did some Body Attack classes for the first time in several years too. I’d forgotten how hardcore they are…It’s been a while since I’ve formed a visible pool of sweat on the gym floor, so it was satisfying from that perspective. For me, exercise always needs to be something I have to use my brain for and I find BA to be too repetitive and boring to enjoy on a regular basis. Seriously, I can only take so many star jumps and burpees. If I can’t have an instructor that provides me with eye candy, at least give me something fun & challenging to do.

Fasting is all about delayed gratification. It probably has been good for me in that sense because I was getting very ‘Give.me.now!’ about a lot of things including food and having a ‘reason’ not to eat and eventually a ‘reason’ to eat works quite well for me. One of the things that has been very important in getting me through the hungry times is tea. In Japanese they have a saying about your mouth being ‘lonely’ and I often find that I just need something in my mouth (read into that what you will…lol) to take away the loneliness, so tea is my friend.

I have quite a few different types of tea from Japan, which are mostly all variations on green tea, but I find the flavours are different enough to mix things up a bit. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce my tea collection.

tea_

Sencha

Usually I make do with tea bags, but if I really need a fix I use my proper tea leaves. In Perth there is a tea shop in Subiaco that imports tea every year when new season tea becomes available and I’ve got some Fukamushi (long-stemmed) green tea that I can put in my kyuusu tea pot. Gyokuro is the best and most expensive green tea, but my budget doesn’t extend to the $60 or so they charge for 50g.

I don’t understand why the ‘green tea’ they sell in the supermarket doesn’t taste or look like green tea as I know it. I buy Japanese green tea because I like my green tea to be green.

green tea

Genmaicha

Is a mix of sencha and roasted brown rice. The rice gives it a nutty, earthy flavour that I quite enjoy and sometimes you’ll find the rice has ‘popped’ and it looks like you have popcorn in your tea.

genmaicha

Maccha

Powdered green tea. Best drunk with some Japanese-type sweets made of bean paste. You can also use this to cook with to make green tea ice cream, green tea pudding and green tea rice cakes etc.

This is what is used traditionally in the tea ceremony, as it can be frothed up with a bamboo whisk. Which style of the tea ceremony (school) you are doing will reflect how frothy you make the tea.

I don’t have any proper maccha but I do have powdered sencha that I use for cooking.

maccha

Houjicha

Is roasted green tea and generally contains more stems of the tea plant than leaves so this gives it a woody flavour and very low caffeine content. It’s nice to have before bed actually.

houjicha

Umecha/Konbucha (Kobucha/Umekobucha)

I’m not sure whether this can really be defined as tea – it’s actually more soup, but it is drunk as tea. It is made from adding hot water to powdered seaweed. There is also umekonbucha which also includes some dried plum to give it a little sour/salty boost. You can also use this stuff to cook with and it provides flavour while cutting down on the salt content (which often tends to be a problem in Japanese cooking).

kobucha

umekobu

Umekobucha on left, sencha on right
Umekobucha on left, sencha on right

Salted Cherry Blossom

These are actual cherry blossom flowers that have been salted.

cherry

It’s only drunk on special occasions, but you knock off most of the salt and add hot water to get your ‘tea’. The flowers actually look quite nice when they unfurl in the bowl. You have it in a owan (bowl) as opposed to a tea-cup so it is a bit like soup.

cherry 3

Jasmine

jasmine 1

I picked these up in Japan. They are Jasmine flowers that have tea in the middle of them and have been tied up with string. When you put them in hot water they unfurl.

jasmine 2

I also enjoy mugicha which is barley tea and it can be served hot or cold (I usually always have some in the fridge during summer.) Rooibos is my tea of choice when I’m feeling over-caffeinated and if there is Twinings available, I’ll invariably choose Orange Pekoe. As a side note, I can’t stand Earl Grey. It makes me feel like I’m drinking dish washing liquid. I also have to be in the mood for jasmine or other fragrant/florally teas. I used to have a lot of rose hip tea too. I liked the sour taste, but I found it quite hard to get decent rose hip that actually tasted like something other than pink water.

I have various tea goodies including these wonderful little bags that allow me to make my own tea bags. I picked up a pack of 50 for 100 yen (about $1).

tea bag

They are particularly good when you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to have to clean your tea pot.

tea bag 3

I suppose you could get very professionally and make tempura out of your green tea leaves if you want, though (most people use fresh leaves, not the ones you’ve just made tea out of though – they are so good).

tempura

 

This is my Japanese tea pot.

teapot

And my favourite tea cup.

teacup2

And that brings my tea collection to a close. That probably wasn’t as fun for you to read as it was for me to write, but anyway, at least I give you variety – bruised asses one week, salted cherry blossoms the next!

Week Five…or is it?

It could be week five of my fasting experiment or it could be week 416 since I started blogging. Actually it’s both so it’s my 8th blogging anniversary. Yay for me.

There’s not much to report this week diet-wise except that I’ve got a cold so instead of my usual 4 gym classes, I only managed to drag myself out of bed for 2. I felt exceptionally guilty about that, but I guess shit happens. I’m thinking that’s it’s been a while since I’ve been in a world of hurt at the gym so it may be time to do something a bit hardcore. I can’t wait around for my beating window to open again so I’d better suck it up and join a boot camp or something.

Life-wise, I had a scary trip down memory lane by going back and reading some of my very old blog posts. Yeah…there is some weird shit in those early entries.

I also had a couple of days off work early in the week, mostly due to my cold but also because I really couldn’t be bothered to go. Do other people get into those funks? I’ve spoken before about my telephone phobia and my social issues (a.k.a just thinking about using the phone makes me nauseous and talking to people freaks me out) and I had one of those weeks where I had to make some difficult phone calls. It took me until Friday afternoon to pluck up the courage to do the worst phone call and I only managed to force myself to do it because I thought I couldn’t cope with having the dread of making a phone call on Monday hanging over my head all weekend. I have to say there is nothing quite like 20 minutes of a yakuza-type Japanese dude screaming in your ear – the way they roll their ‘r’s just makes you cringe. And if you’re not sure what I mean, have a listen to this (the subtitles are kind of cute 🙂 )

The other thing that I would like to say is while I love Japan and Japanese generally, doing customer service with Japanese people just sucks balls. Big time.

And finally on the topic of Japan, I’ve got a work trip to Japan coming up in September, which is good but also bad at the same time (see point above…) At least I’ll be able to stock up on food, make-up and 100 yen shop goodies, so I guess that will make up for the week-long whine-fest that my work trips to Japan always morph themselves into.

Tally-ho into Week Six!

bunny

The beating window

I’m not quite sure how I would describe myself if asked…other than ‘spethial’, the first thing that comes to mind is a bondage-fetishist with an endurance kink. Unfortunately it doesn’t really have a ring to it, does it?

I’m not a painslut or a masochist per se. I don’t and have never self-harmed or done ouchie things just to see what they ‘felt’ like. My coping mechanisms are normally much more innocuous and involve ingesting large quantities of food and/or pushing myself at the gym until I feel like I’m going to vomit (actually that vomiting thing can be said about the food too…lol.)

I’m generally pretty wussy when it comes to things of a painful nature so it is a very rare occurrence when my beating window opens. I’m not sure what opens it or how things change inside me, but on Sunday afternoon at about 2pm I felt my window swing wide open and I actually ended up asking M to tie me up and beat me.

He wanted to know how long I needed and gave me a multiple choice of (a) 30mins, (b) an hour or (c) 2 hours. I said 2 hours thinking that the beating part would be relatively short and the tie me up part would be much longer, but I think the beating part was sufficiently longer than I expected.

Afterwards my botty was feeling quite tender when I sat down. At work yesterday, I felt it every time I got up and went to the printer and then came back to my seat (that’s about 50 bazillion times). I figured that there would have to be something to show for it so I went to the shower room in the office to have a look in the mirror.

P1210929

I have to say the results are quite pleasing – except for the fact that you can tell he is right-handed…lol.

P1210928

The main offender for the bruising is Mr Tawse. That foot of double stitched leather is guaranteed to bruise up even the most hardened of asses.

I’ve also got some tender nipples from having clover clamps on and then having my boobies mashed during the ravishing. Clover clamps and I have an uneasy relationship in that I love and hate them equally as much. M made me hold the chain in my mouth as he walloped me and that was very nice *fans self*.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon. I hope my window opens again some time soon.

Week Four

So there I was on Friday afternoon feeling not so well from a fluey-type cold thing that is attempting to take hold and I was hungry. But not just any old hungry, it was a I-want-to-gnaw-my-foot-off-and-eat-it-if-it-will-make-me-feel-better type of hungry. I’d had 100g of yoghurt since 7:30am and had a banana left until 7:30pm. I figured if I ate my banana at 3:30pm, it would get me through my gym class and hold me until dinner. So I went out to the kitchen fridge in my office and discovered that my banana was gone.

….

Where the fuck had my banana gone?

I went back to my desk but then decided that I needed to go back to the fridge just to check again. So I did and after opening the fridge for the second time, my banana had not magically reappeared. I looked in the rubbish bin and saw a suspicious-looking banana skin.

Who the fuck would steal my banana?

So I decided to send an email around the office to uncover the banana stealer, but after drafting a very sassy email, I deleted it before sending it because after reading it again I sounded like some fucked up person with an over-attachment to her banana and I didn’t want everyone to know I was more unstable than they already thought I was.

So I went back to the fridge again and noticed that not only was my banana gone, but my apple was too! Then I had a thought and decided to look a little more closely at the garbage bin. Sure enough, there was my still cold banana and apple from the fridge. Obviously someone had come along late on Friday afternoon and assumed that anything left in the fridge was not needed.

FFS don’t throw out a fasting person’s banana!! Please!

I didn’t care that it had been sitting in the bin. I fished it out, scoffed it and immediately felt better but also a little sad at the same time…I’m very glad no-one saw me…

I was looking forward to gym class after that and after getting changed and leaving work at the appropriate time, I managed to get myself stuck in a hideous traffic jam which meant I missed my class. If I’d been ten minutes earlier, I would have passed through the intersection before the accident that caused the traffic jam happened.

All in all, it was not a good Friday.

But I survived the week and that’s a month on the 4:3 diet done and dusted.

My beating window opened unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon and I felt like I needed some pain/and or bruises. M complied with my request beautifully and gave me a nice work-over with the crop, cane, paddle & Mr Tawse. Butterfly clamps also featured prominently in play time and my botty is feeling quite tender at the moment so we’ll see what marks are left tomorrow.

banana

 

 

Another ten Japanese pornish words you never needed to know

ten more

1. shiobuki – squirting

I find this one of the more interesting Japanese porn words because shiobuki actually refers to an ocean spout or a blow hole. Shio is tide or sea and buki comes from the verb to blow. It always conjures up foamy, salty vaginas for me.

tide

2. gankyuuname – worming

Worming made headlines a few weeks ago in mainstream foreign press when an astute reporter somewhere noticed that some Japanese people like to lick each other’s eyeballs. Apparently you can get worse things than pink eye from it so I wouldn’t recommend it, but fans say that the ticklish, freaky feeling it gives you is irresistible. It’s a fetish and reminds me that there are some interesting people in the world.

gankyuuname

3. fuuzoku – sex industry

Fuuzoku is a general word referring to all things prostitute-related . In Australia we’d call those sorts of areas with strip joints and what-not a blue light district. In Japan, blue means nothing like that at all, instead all things pink are naughty. Prostitution in Japan is not strictly illegal, but providing an establishment for prostitution acts or ‘managing’ a prostitute is, so places that offer these services claim that the girls are there of their own accord and can ‘accidently’ have sex and they make them look after their own sex toys, lube, condoms and whatever else they needs so they are not actively managing or facilitating. Generally speaking though, prostitution in all its forms is tolerated and police are more interested in arresting you because you put your non-combustible trash out on combustible trash night than because you got laid in a bathhouse.

Legally speaking, there is a sliding scale of businesses that offer sex-related services. Up in top spot you have your soopuranndo soapland which are bath houses offering a bath (of course) and the full sexual experience. This is followed by fashion health, image clubs, SM clubs & aesthetic salons which offer hand jobs, blow jobs, massages and can sometimes also offer the full experience. Then you have your strip clubs, porn video booths, peep shows & places where you can go to watch girls masturbating. After that you’ve got your various other sex-related establishments such as love hotels, no panty cafes & adult shops. Kyabakura (cabaret clubs), hoosutesu kurabu (hostess clubs) & pinkku kurabu (pink clubs) are kind of border-line places where there’s not supposed to be any sexual stuff happening on the premises, but staff often on aafutaa afters where sex is definitely on the menu.

There is also a full range of non-establishment business such as delivery health (we bring blow jobs to your door!), home massages & girls will meet you in a love hotel for services as well.

The sex industry is pretty much in your face in Japan. You get a zillion flyers in your mailbox, tissues with advertisements for all things pink handed to you wherever and it’s all over tv. A lot of sex industry workers have become famous tv personalities and you’ll see a lot of stories about the sex shops on tv. Late night tv in Japan is also time for soft porn shows and anime.

playboy

4. shuuchi purei

We know this as humiliation play and it encompasses everything from adult diapers to parading someone around in a public place naked. Speaking of which, I’m curious to know which European countries Kink.com films their series Public Humiliation in because I’m fascinated with what they get away with. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

omutsu

5. shakuhachi

A shakuhachi is a traditional wooden, recorder-like instrument. In slang, it also describes sucking someone off. Hitorishakuhachi means one person shakuhachi ( I’d think you’d need to be pretty damn flexible.) In related words, sokuhachi refers to sucking someone off without them having a shower first (Japanese are big on cleanliness and it’s a fetish-type thing to get a quick suck off without a shower/bath first). I think you’d have to pay extra for it. Namahachi means a blow job without a condom. Nama means ‘raw’ by the way. And lastly, my favourite, haamonika (harmonica) which refers to someone sucking your dick sideways – just like you would play a harmonica.

If you look really closely, the guy on the phone is doing hitorishakuhachi
If you look really closely, the guy on the phone is doing hitorishakuhachi

6. herusu – health

Be careful with this one, while herusu sometimes means health, it often means blow jobs. If someone is going to a fashion health, they are going for a blow job, some kissing and maybe some touchy, feely stuff . You may or may not want to go with them. There are a few types as mentioned previously deriherusu (delivery health), fashion health, new health, super health etc.

7. ekibentaii – Railway bento box position

ekiben1

I’m including this even though it is a bit dated, just because I think it’s great. In the old days when the trains used to stop at the station, people used to carry bundles of bento boxes in front of them to sell to the passengers. In porn, it refers to a buff man standing up and holding a woman in front in front of him and fucking her because that is what the people carrying the bento boxes looked like. Wikipedia tells me in the Karma Sutra it is called a suspended congress. Personally, I like railway bento box position as a name better.

ekiben

8. tekoki /teman/yubiman – hand/ finger job

Te is the word for hand and koki is from the word shigoku which means to pump so obviously tekoki is a hand job for the men-folk. For the ladies, man comes from the word manko, which means pussy. I can’t think what we say in English for the female version of a hand job…a fingering? But then there is a proper Japanese word for a fingering which is yubiman so I’m sure we have to have two different words in English too. Obviously my English needs some work…

nurse

9. sukatoro – scatology

Scat. I’m not sure if I need to say anything else (and I hope I don’t have to.)

10.burusera – bloomer / sailor suit

A lot of Japanese men have a thing for bloomer style panties, school swimming suits and sailor style school uniforms. This is actually where the roots of cosplay began and these things feature heavily in sexual dress up fantasies. When I first went to Japan in the 90’s, vending machines selling used high school girl’s (and younger…) underwear were all the rage. They’ve realised that that sort of thing is not the best thing for school kids to be doing so it’s not as open as it used to be, but there are still plenty of places selling all sorts of used items -socks, shoes, school uniforms etc. A burusera shop is a place to get any and all items you ever wanted. Apparently there is also a market for used tampons, hair, faeces etc. as well as underwear, bras and other clothing items. I think I need to say it….ewwww.

ブルセラ

Week Three

Well, after going foo foo at those ‘hardcore’ folks who fast back-to-back on two consecutive days and saying I would never do it, I managed to become a member of that exclusive club this week. It was all in the name of birthday cheesecake on Friday in the office, so instead of fasting Mon, Wed, Fri as I usually do, I fasted Mon, Wed, Thur and scoffed cheesecake at 3pm on Friday (then went to gym so I felt better about it.)

I have to say it was manageable. On Thursday night I had some fairly significant tummy rumbles, but nothing that a few cups of tea couldn’t fix.

There was an article in the newspaper about fasting this week and I learned that ‘hardcore’ folks are actually following the Two-Day plan (consecutive fast days), while the ‘normal’ folk are doing the 5:2 (non-consecutive fast days). So that cleared that up for me.

After three weeks I’m happy to report that I have lost some weight! Yippee. I haven’t actually weighed myself but my work clothes are definitely looser. I feel quite good generally and other than those moments of sad I mentioned when remembering that there is no yummy food to look forward to on a fast day, it’s all good so far.

All the literature about the 5:2 mentions that most people eat less on the non-fasting days as well and don’t gorge themselves as might be expected. I’m finding that too. Overall, I’m eating less and eating better (except for the occasional piece of cheesecake 🙂 ) This is one of the reasons I like to follow a diet. It’s makes me mindful of what I’m eating and helps me stay in control. I need boundaries and rules in most things that I do, including eating, so it’s working well. Bring on week four!

I also wanted to write a post about the weird feeling I had the week before last, but never found the time. We had two people away at work so my week was full-on. By 4pm on Friday I couldn’t think straight – although that may have been from the cheesecake-induced sugar high 🙂 Anyway, what I wanted to write about was that I had three days where I felt absolute contentment. It was the uncanniest thing. I’ve never experienced it before in my life. I’d imagine that is how people feel when they’ve found god or possibly the perfect baked cheesecake. It wasn’t rainbows and unicorns but I just felt…good. I felt that way for a full three days and I can’t quite describe it…It was like my hierarchy of needs was being perfectly met and nothing was bringing me down.Usually I’m worrying about something – work, money, being a sucky slave, M’s health – the list goes on but I had a little bubble of golden joy around me for those three days and I really don’t know why. All I do know is that I’d like to have that bubble back. That was some damn fine euphoria I felt then.

Hierarchy