This evening, RHA was sponsoring a 'Surf 'n' Turf' dinner for the association's residents. Preparing the food for this event was an all day process, so I was recruited to assist during my morning shift. I hung plastic and paper lobsters on the walls for decoration, helped set up the tables, and scooped over seventy bowls of ice cream for ice cream sundaes. I burned my tongue sampling the clam chowder and ate several cheese biscuits, and tomorrow I'll be free to tackle any remaining ice cream in the freezer. It seems a fair enough trade to me. What would I be doing with that time otherwise, besides sitting on my bum?
After I got off work at 3:30, I hurried over to Mitsuwa, the Japanese supermarket, to meet Seanie. Mitsuwa was having a 'summer festival' with traditional Japanese games like scooping for goldfish and yo-yo balloons as well as traditional festival snacks like takoyaki, yakitori and shaved ice. I guess it's a little weird, going to a grocery store for a festival, but I was curious, and I'm not going to Japan anytime soon!
Mostly, we ate. Seanie and I bought iced green tea, flavored with raspberry, that game with rainbow-colored tapioca balls. We had tofu cheesecake, which tastes 'healthier' than regular cheesecake. A little more grain-y; Seanie likened it to the difference between wheat bread and white bread. I got to try takoyaki - octopus balls - for the first time. The dough balls were softer than I expected, but the octopus itself was super-chewy. It's weird to see suckers on your food, don't you think? They also had hot gyoza 5 for $1.00, so we had that, too. We were all filled up, but if we had still felt hungry there was yakitori, azuki-bean and mango ice cream, strawberry and lemon shaved ice, a noodle dish, and lots of other foods to eat.
Throughout the day, Mitsuwa was also sponsoring little competitions. There was an archery demonstration when we arrived, and then later in the day there was watermelon smashing for little kids. It was crowded, so we didn't watch much.
After spending about an hour at Mitsuwa, we hurried off to church to listen to a sermon about money management. It's a fine topic that certainly deserves discussion, but the preacher opened with a five minute diatribe about government spending being out of control and proclaimed that we had probably NEVER heard a sermon like this (re: money) at church before. I just kept thinking, Well, ACTUALLY money's been a popular topic since the economy tanked. I've probably heard two or three series about money and Godly stewardship of resources at this church alone. The message was mostly mind-blowingly obvious.
STOP going into debt.
START getting out of debt.
Make a BUDGET.
STICK to the budget.
As Seanie commented, it was more like a self-help sermon than a Bible-based one. I suppose if someone was new to the church, putting this material into a Biblical context would be useful, but it's the same information you can get from virtually anyone advising about finance.
After we got back from church, Seanie and I made some tortellini and watched the movie Return to Oz, which was fun. A lazy evening nicely rounds out a busy day.