Last night I did the unthinkable. I was actually sort of productive.
I got home around 5:00 and after doing some "necessaries" on the Internet, I decided to cook. Yes, me, cook. Yes, in my tiny kitchen. Yes, in the little kitchen with only one burner and a microwave and a rice cooker. Until this point, I had not been more adventurous than scrambled eggs for weekend breakfasts, and (instant) noodle soups for dinners. But I blew the doors down tonight, if I do say so myself. Whilst overly familiar with the microwave (and its complete inability to make popcorn from scratch, I might add), I resolved to tackle, in one fell swoop, not only the virtually-unknown burner but also the complete stranger of a rice cooker.
Thankfully, my rice cooker is not as complicated as Elliott's. I didn't think to take a picture, but suffice it to say, it is a pale grey rice cooker with one dial and only two settings. I was also lucky enough that my predecessor left me a little note about how to use it. Basically: (1) add rice; (2) add water; (3) rinse; (4) add water; (5) turn dial to setting 2 and when it is done, it will switch automatically to setting 1; (6) let sit at least 5 minutes. It truly couldn't be easier. Japan really is the future.
So I threw some rice in. I chopped and boiled an entire fat carrot. I steamed some green beans in the microwave. Then I chopped and fried two small pieces of chicken breast. The rice was done (25 minutes - amazing). I decided to go out on a limb and pulled a bean-and-sauce mix that I'd bought about a month ago from the cupboard, and threw the whole in the rice cooker onto the freshly sticky rice. Mix mix mix. Taste taste taste. Oh my god, it was soooooo good.
In fact, I think I must never cook here again, because I'm sure nothing else will ever live up to it.*
Then, as if cooking weren't enough productivity for one night, I cleaned out the entire futon closet. So now I can put my futon away properly in the mornings again. The slightly unfortunate thing is that clearing the futon closet did not necessarily translate into putting everything that *was* in the futon closet into a logical place, so there are strange piles of things here and there over the floor of my living area. But hey - Rome wasn't built in a day. I have at least another 10 months to clean up and organize this place, right?
* I did, however, decide to leave the whole glorious mess left behind in the kitchen as a lasting testament to the excitement and thrill of the evening's cooking experience...well, at least until this evening, when I will clean it up.