But I can play chopsticks on the piano!

Because of my hand-situation, Mrs. Ishii has relegated me to using a fork and spoon for my meals. I feel like a failure. I had been doing pretty well, I thought - I only drop about 2% of my food when I eat with chopsticks now. And about 50% of the time I can pick up a piece of tofu without smashing it in half. Trust me, this is real improvement.

So far I have had only two true American freak-out moments when it comes to the food Mrs. Ishii has served and I think I covered it well. The first was when she told me to spoon these little white squiggles and black dots onto my rice. I was totally game until I saw the eyes looking up at me and realized the little squiggles were tiny dried fish completely intact! But, the rule in my house growing up was that you eat what you serve yourself, and I put two spoonfuls in so that's what I ate.

I tried not to show that I was holding my breath the whole time I chewed.

The second just happened last night when she served large sardines for dinner. I know that you can eat the bones in a sardine (even a big one) without any problem, and that they're good for you. I also know that many people like them and have no problem eating the bones. I managed to crunch down about half the bones and pick out the other half, but it was a real struggle. (Keep in mind that I'm the person who can isolate the strings off of sugar snap peas and the shells off of soft-shelled crabs)

Other than that our evening meals have been really uneventful. Granted, I can't tell you the names of a lot of what I've eaten and there's a fair chunk of it that I wouldn't be heartbroken to never encounter again (last night she also served this slimy vinegary green stuff that was strong enough to make the inside of your nose burn). But most of it seems about par for the course of what you'd expect from an average Japanese household.

Our evening meals are kind of like a Japanese take on Tapas, many small plates of stuff, and always with rice. For example, tonight we had a tofu/avocado lime-y pudding thing, fish/tofu semi-fried ball thingys, sweet red beans, "kentucky beans" (which I'm pretty sure are just green beans), cucumber in spicy mustard sauce, miso soup, sauteed eggplant and peppers in tomato sauce and yogurt (she saw that on a program this morning and wrote the recipe down), and the obligatory rice (brown). Tasty.