There’s the big baby, the Olsen kiln, firing with all its might back in Japan. I’m missing my time in Japan as I go about the work of remodeling my studio and hitting the various roadblocks, but I still think I can get back to work on Monday. Feeling hopeful. I was talking to some friends the other night about Japan and one of the things I really appreciated were the bathrooms. That is such a girl thing, I know. First of all, they are impeccably clean. The worst bathroom I saw was in the Tokyo airport and it was on par with a decent American public bathroom. And everywhere you go, it’s standard for the toilet seat to be heated. Even at the pottery where we were living, all the toilet seats were warm. I never realized how wonderful it is to have a warm toilet seat. Most toilets also come with a bidet with three different settings and angles. You can also adjust the strength of the water flow if you choose to use the bidet. In public restrooms, there are often settings for music, (marked with a musical note), a toilet flushing sound, and a “strong deodorizer” button. I figured out that the music and flushing sounds were employed to cover potentially embarrassing noises. I wondered though, what’s the point of covering the noise when everyone withing earshot knows you are covering the noise with a fake flushing sound? Which is worse? Did I mention that I miss Japan?