Monday, October 28, 2013

Dumb and dumber

Just as I thought the politicians in the States can't get any dumber, I see an article that the Tea Party chairman wants to file a class action suit against homosexuality.


According to their logic, homosexuality leads to AIDS more than smoking leads to cancer.


According to some studies done in the past, tobacco caused more deaths than by HIV, drugs, alcohol, car accident, suicides, and murders combined. So, just where did these bozos get their stats from?

Politicians get voted into office, which means they're chosen by the voters. Are the voters in the States who support these bozos just as ignorant? It's appalling that not only are they governing the country, they're also wasting an colossal amount of taxpayer's money coming up with all these "brilliant" ideas, instead of coming up with ways to help the average citizen improve their quality of life. Want to cut on spending? Toss these useless politicians in the dumpster, where they belong!

I was yakking with my chat buddy and he was asking if there's a petition against stupid politicians that he can sign. I looked, but no banana. Sure, we can start one up, but doubt that'd do much good, since you CAN'T FIX STUPID, can you?

OK. Done with this rant.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lazy, dumb and illiterate

It's been a while since I've posted anything on this blog. I have another blog that I regularly maintain but it's for a select audience and not exactly suited for the innocent public. LOL

So, what've been I up to these past few months? Up to no good, of course! LOL Nah, been pretty much living a mundane life, mainly work-home-work-home with a few outings with friends in between. Summer was good, tho. I got the chance to go to the beach almost every weekend, weather permitting, but I didn't overcook myself this year! YAY! I did end up with a funky tan that looked like paint running down my back. I suspect that it's sunscreen running down my back from the sweat so it got washed away in some parts. Hopefully it'll all fade by next summer. Last year I ended up with a shield on my back. Egads!

Looks like the States is in shit creek right now what with the clowns in DC playing games at the citizens' expense. I'm living in Japan, but if the States defaults on its payments, the ripple effect can expand way over to tomorrowland like the Lehman shock. It took me a year to get hired for the job I'm doing now as it is. If the States sends the world into another down spiral, it'll be my turn to default on my mortgage payments. Now that would totally suck since I have about 5 more years to go. I'd hate to become homeless at this point in my life.

Reading about what's going on in the States reminds me of a non-profit membership club I used to work for. There were the directors, committees and management. Of course, the management was tasked with the daily running of the club but had no major deciding power. The board and committee chairs are nominated and elected by the membership. So, when something needs to be done, they had to go to the committees, the committees toss the hot potato around for a decade or so then send the potato up to the directors. Then the potato's tossed around some more and by the time they make any decision, the potato's all dried and shriveled up. So how's that management system working? Bankruptcy is a matter of time. The members were always bitching and moaning about the lack of action by the powers that be, but still, they keep electing the same crowd of power-hungry micro-managing idiots year after year. Sound familiar? The members always had the power of the vote, but they mainly took the easy route and gave their vote to whoever was the chairman. It's the same with the States. Nobody does any research on their own, swallow whatever the media feeds them hook, line and sinker, and mindlessly vote for any name they recognize.

Living abroad gives me a third-party view of what's going on and man, I have to say that Americans are getting lazier and dumber every year. Proof of that was an article I saw where an interview was done out in the street asking which people preferred--Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. It's the same frikkin' thing! O.M.F.G! I couldn't believe how many people thought they were two separate policies and supported one but didn't support the other. You can add illiterate to lazy and dumb. My long-term plan is to eventually go back home and retire but I'm not sure if that's a good idea seeing how things are in the States right now.

Mid-term elections are coming up next year so I hear. This reminds me what a person who was active supporting the Democratic party once told me--voting isn't a right, it's a responsibility. Looks like it's high time that Americans, yours truly included, start doing some serious research and vote out the clowns that ran our grand nation to the ground.

But in reality, nothing will change. Money talks and bullshit walks . . .

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Online dating site observations Jun 30

I logged into my Ok Cupid account and on the Welcome! page, it shows the recent activities of ALL men, not just guys living in Japan. On top of that list was this:

Q: Is a girl who's slept with 100 guys a bad person?
A: Yes
Explanation: “No decent woman could survive 100 sexual partners and maintain respect for herself or men in general.”


Too bad they don't ask if a guy who's slept with 100 girls is a bad person in the same question with A: Yes for girls, No for guys, B: Yes for guys, No for girls, C: Yes for Both, D: No for Both as answers. I'd really like to see what this judgmental asshole, whose ID is "teacher of life" in Japanese (the guy's a foreigner, btw) and probably in his late 40s would reply to that. Man or woman, it shouldn't matter how many sexual partners they've had in the past. What should matter is how they've been treating their partners, like they don't go hump and dump a girl and treat her as if she's some disposable towel.

From what I hear, the trend with college-aged girls in Japan is to have as many "boyfriends" as possible and some boast that they have over 20 (how they manage their time between said "boyfriends", school and sleep is a puzzle). If these girls keep up this pace, they'll clear the 100 mark before they graduate since it's unlikely the relationship with these "boyfriends" will last more than a month or two. Would that make them a bad person? Stupid and reckless yes, but bad? I don't think so. As they mature (if ever that's possible), they might get second thoughts or regrets over what they did while they were in college but odds are they'll look back and say "ah, the good 'ol days, when I was young and carefree".

On the flip side, if a guy who's close to my age, never been married, never really had a meaningful relationship, had an extremely low number of sexual partners, I'd be concerned if there's something wrong with the guy? I've known a guy or two who never got married til late in life since they didn't like to be tied down in a relationship, but they said that they fucked like bunnies whenever they got a chance and the storage room and conference room at their offices saw quite a bit of action.

In my matches over at Ok Cupid, 13 out of 37 don't have their profile filled out, yet 5 of them do have face pics on their profs, and out of the 13, 11 are listed as replies often. Wonder if emails they send out count as replies or if their replies are ones saying fuck off?  LOL

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Setting priorities

I rarely enter discussions where the topics are controversial. I have my own opinions and I'm not about to argue or defend them. It's my entitlement and it's not up to any others to tell me otherwise.

Since I'm usually bored at work, I read through the Yahoo News and I see that abortion is being the next hot  topic now that the gay marriage issue is starting to die down. Texas is moving to put more restrictions on abortion, which will practically ban the practice in the State.

I lean towards pro-choice. No woman goes to the clinic with glee to abort her child. It's a tough decision to make and a decision the woman has to live with for the rest of her life. I also believe that men should stay out of this argument unless if they're willing to actively prosecute the fathers who abandoned the pregnant woman to fend for herself.

Quit serving the churches, provide comprehensive education to all sexually active young people about prevention and birth control instead of lamely suggesting to abstain from sex, instill into the young men's minds that condoms are a must if they're not ready for fatherhood and to protect not only their sex partners but themselves as well, provide more than adequate care for the unwanted children that already exist in foster homes and orphanages, offer more government-funded alternatives to pregnant women who do not wish to or cannot keep the child, when a working solution to the existing problems are implemented, then start talking about further restricting a medical procedure that not only will terminate a life but also has the potential of causing permanent damage to the recipient.

While the state legislature is arguing about a topic that isn't necessarily a time-pressed issue, there was an article that due to teacher shortages in Dallas, kids aren't getting the education they need. There is a crisis in education right now. Why the haste in pushing a bill that would do more damage than good since all it will achieve is lawsuit after lawsuits and taxpayer's money is going to be used to defend the bill. Would the taxpayer's money not be better served in educating the children who, for better or for worse, are the nation's future?

Methinks the government of all levels start need to attack real problems instead of going after issues that'll get the politicians re-elected.

My 2 cents, for what it's worth.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The world of online dating

A gal pal was telling me how she joined an online dating site and the types of questions they asked to find the "perfect match". I wasn't all that interested in the dating part, but I was curious as to see what kind of questions they asked, so I created a profile.

Boy was I surprised at how men would reach out to someone over on the other side of the world saying they're looking for ever-lasting love and serious relationships. Really??!! I know I'm not capable of keeping up a long-distance relationship and certainly am not delusional enough to even have an online relationship. I need to be able to actually meet the person to see if there's any connection and physical attraction before I even think about starting up any type of relationship.

It is irritating how some men will contact me without reading my profile and find it shocking that I'm not Japanese and call them out of the crap they tried to dish out.

I modified my profile to be really bitchy, so I haven't been getting all that many emails lately. LOL

After seeing rain pretty much all week, it was nice waking up to the sun and blue sky. I was reading another local blogger's post and she mentioned that it's supposed to be hot today. Hot day? Really? Awesome! Before I knew it, I was pulling out my bathing suit to hit the beach. It was still pretty cloudy and the wind was chilly while I was riding my scooter but it was clear enough to see Mt. Fuji off in the distance.

I got to the beach I usually go to in Hayama and since it was still early and it's the rainy season, the beach was deserted which suited me just fine. The water wasn't as cold as I thought it would be and it felt good wading through the clear shallow water. I went over to see if I could get a pic of the snails that have eyeballs peering out from under their shells to stare up at you. They were mighty obliging to get their pics taken. LOL I also got a shot of a little octopus scurrying into a new hiding place. In one of the pics, I loved the way the water reflected the clouds and the sun.

I found a little secluded spot with a deep pool and as I was standing still, there were a few little yellow and black striped fishies gathering around my fat thighs, taking a few nibbles here and there. They must've thought mmmmm! white meat!! LOL Luckily, they're teeny so I could barely feel them merrily nibbling away. I've been nibbled at by colorful fishies in Okinawa and it can sting! I'll bring some bread with me the next time I go snorkeling.

It started to get cloudy and a bit chilly so I finished up taking pics and headed back for home. I was at the beach for only an hour or so, but it still felt good. Can't wait for summer so I can hang out at the beach every chance I get!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One pitcher of margaritas divided by two equals happy gals

I organized a get-together with a few friends. This time we went to a Tex Mex place up in Hiroo, which was recommended by a couple of people I know. 

There was just the 5 of us this time, 1 dude and 4 gals, so he should've been a happy camper surrounded by us lovelies. It was one of the gals who recommended the place when I mentioned that the group was in the mood for Mexican food (Tex Mex is close enough . . . LOL ) A small gathering suited the venue since it was a rather small place. It's a long and narrow restaurant, with maybe only 30 or seats. But the food was really good. So was the frozen strawberry margarita. 

My gal pal was already waiting outside when I texted her that I was at the station. The dude texted me that he's running a bit late so will meet us at the restaurant. That left one missing. She messaged us that she'll be late so to start without her, which we did. She finally showed up--an hour late. There IS a limit to being fashionably late, yanno.  She was saying she was supposed to be only 20 minutes late, but she got lost for 40 minutes.  Mind you, the restaurant is basically just around the corner from the subway station, around 5 minutes away. She even has a GPS on her iPhone and them suckers point the direction you're supposed to be going! 

Anyhoo, while we were waiting for Lostie to show up, we went ahead and ordered drinks and food. My gal pal and I split a pitcher of frozen strawberry margaritas, and the other two had, of course, Corona. The chili was OK, but I think mine's better, but the salsa and chips were really good. They make some good salsa at that place! We had chorizo, enchiladas, quesadillas, taquitos and of course dessert. Man were we stuffed by the end of the meal!!

My dinner buddy (the sole dude) was ragging my gal pal, asking her who was the love of her life this week?  But she wasn't stingy about telling us of the dudes she's dating now. She showed me a pic of one of the dudes she's dating, going on about how long his eyelashes are and how much she likes his voice. She even had me listen to some recording he made. Yeah, the dude's cute, yeah, he has a nice voice, but what's his personality like? Guess she's still yet to find out since she hasn't been seeing him for all that long yet. Get some booze in her and she'll yak up a storm!  The only way to shut her up is to put something in her mouth  I couldn't believe that we got booted out after we finished our dessert, tho  But to be fair, there were people outside waiting for tables to free up. 

After dinner, we took a brisk walk down the street to a coffee shop on the corner. It was an open-air cafe with a balcony on the 2nd floor. The air was a bit chilly, but I don't think it would've been a good idea to have this rowdy bunch sitting indoors. LOL

While we were having coffee and yakking up a storm on the balcony, Lostie's friend called her, asking what she was up to. She tried to describe where she was, and she wasn't doing all that great a job at it. Her friend finally figured out where she was at, which was like just down the road from where he was. He came up and joined us--totally friendly dude and that added to our rowdiness. 

My gal pal earned a few spankings from me since she took up smoking recently (is she dating a smoker now? ). Bad girl.  So I was the only non-smoker on the balcony. Fortunately the wind was blowing the other way, so I was safe from the smoke. 

Me spanking her got the convo started up on S&M and who's S and who's M. She sent me a link on a test to see which side of the scale you are, S or M. The test was all in Japanese, so it took me a bit to get through the questions since I can't read Japanese as fast as I can English. My results came back as being the "terribly balanced type", slightly leaning toward the S side. The description of my personality was pretty accurate, too. Both Lostie and my gal pal leaned heavily toward the M side and Lostie's friend confirmed that he is a total S. Since the test was all in Japanese, my dinner buddy wasn't interested, but it would've been interesting how far he'd be leaning toward the S side. 

My gal pal sobered up a tad bit and went off to meet her date (the long eyelashes dude) so we followed suit and called it a night. 

Surprisingly enough, my head wasn't feeling the after effects of a 1/2 a pitcher of margaritas. But looks like my eyeballs were hung over and dyslexic. I wake up, look at my wristwatch, saw it was 7am and I thought to myself that it's been a while since I slept so much. When I plopped down on my PC, the clock on my desktop was saying uh no dude, it's only 5am . . .  

It was fun and I should do this more often. Hopefully those who couldn't make it this time will be able to join us the next time.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Open up and be happier

In today's society, religious beliefs pretty much dictate our morals, resulting in a repressed society shunning open discussions about sex, which is a natural desire.

Love does not equal sex and sex does not equal love. But unfortunately, many people have trouble differentiating the two.

Not all monogamous relationships are miserable and not all open relationships are happy. But, it's my personal belief that if people open up their minds and relationships, they might find the little something that's missing, enabling them to fulfill their desires without putting their relationships in jeopardy. Of course, in order to pull off open relationship, the foundation of the relationship needs to be solid between a couple. Couples need to have the capability to be open and honest with not only their partner, but with themselves as well. What do they want? How are they going to find what they're looking for? What does the partner want? Are they willing to share?  Can they separate love and sex? Do they even know the difference? What rules will they set with their partner? How will they deal with jealousy? Are they secure enough? Those and many more are questions couples need to ask themselves and their partners.

Jealousy and insecurity have no business in open relationships. If one partner is the jealous type, even a monogamous relationship will run the risk of partners clashing. Jealousy might be OK in the beginning, but it does get old fast. Jealousy gives the other partner that he/she is not trusted. If one partner is unable to trust the other, then what's the point of being in a relationship? Love alone is never enough. That only exists in storybooks and the silver screen.

I know I'm not suited for monogamy and I'm never going down that path ever again. My future partner must be confident and open-minded. He must be secure in the knowledge that he's the one I come home to at the end of the day and it's in him I place my trust. I expect him to place his trust in me as well. We have to be best buddies as well as lovers. I don't expect to know every detail of his past or what he's doing 24/7/365 so I expect my partner to share the same way of thinking. It's my belief that his past experiences made him the man he is today and it's that man I found an attraction in and decided to share my life with. My partner has to be accept the whole package that stands in front of him, orneriness, quirks and all. I'm going to need my space and privacy and I'll respect his.

I hope to find a partner that fits my criteria who is just as happy to be with me as I will be with him.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Samurai Rock Orchestra musical

Story of WORLD

Once upon a time, on a forgotten island far away, the Red People lived in peace and harmony, under the protection of a kind King and enjoyed the sweet melodious music played by the lovely Princess.

But, the Black People, of an underground world, were jealous of the Red People's "sound above ground" and conspired to take the annoying melody away from them.  

The Red People were happily enjoying dance at a feast while the Black People were conspiring to kidnap the lovely Princess.

What will happen to the Princess? Can her people rescue her from the evil clutches of the Black People? Will music and harmony be restored?

The secrets of the holy power held within the music notes will soon be revealed.
story by Naoki Iketani
Samurai Rock Orchestra
translated by yours truly

I had the opportunity to go see a musical a former co-worker is helping with the promotion. This musical is performed by an all-Japanese troupe made up of dancers and gymnasts and the music was an interesting blend of rock and classic, centered around a violin. The violinist, who also played the role of the princess, put on an entertaining display of her technique throughout the stage.

The story is thought up by the troupe leader and there are no lyrics, just music and dancing. But not any ordinary dancing.  A lot of acrobatic moves are incorporated into the acts. The story is about a princess whose music is loved by the people and the jealous and evil villains scheme to kidnap the princess and throw her people into despair.

The show started out with the dancers' shadows bouncing off the curtain followed by a series of acrobatic dancing. The highlight of the first curtain was where the villain king stacked chairs high and performed several acts of balance. It was incredible, especially since the stack of chairs was wobbling the whole time. The first curtain ended with the Princess being captured by the bad guys.

The second curtain focused on rescuing the Princess and opened up with a show of taiko drums with an array of jumping and tumbling acts. Vaulting, parallel bars, trampoline, stomping and tap dancing were incorporated into the routine and the the effect was really impressive. There was even a showdown between the taiko drummer and the band drummer.

As in any fairy tale, the princess was rescued, the villains saw the err in their ways and everybody lived in harmony. The two-hour stage went by surprisingly fast. The stage was fast-paced and entertaining and I really enjoyed the show.

I took photos with my phone camera, but unfortunately, it's not suited to take photos in spotlights and fast movements. It's best to go see this incredible show in person.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's "right"?

These days, no matter where you turn, there are articles and memes plastered all over the internet about one Amendment right or another but to me, it looks like these rights are applied only when it suits those who posts such articles and memes.

I saw a post being "shared" encouraging people and businesses to not serve a certain woman because of her beliefs. Sure, the woman and her organization do things that are certainly inappropriate and insensitive, but does that give others the right to plaster her photo all over the internet and tell others to turn her away? Are her rights as a private citizen being considered? Or does that not apply because she shares different views and beliefs than the general population? I do not share any of the Christian beliefs nor have I ever read the Bible. But from the snippets I've heard over the years, Christianity is supposedly about love, mercy and tolerance, is it not? Where is the love shown to those of different hues? Where is the mercy shown to those who made mistakes in their lives? Where is the tolerance shown to those who share different beliefs? 

I'm an American expat living overseas and what I see is deplorable. The America I grew up in is quickly disappearing from the face of this earth, being replaced by a country that is filled with people who have become ignorant, irresponsible, narrow-minded and downright lazy. The nation is overrun with people who feel sorry for themselves but are too lazy to get off their fat asses and do something about it. They're quick to place the blame on others but never take a good look at themselves or their actions. I have a fellow American expat friend and he says he never wants to live in the States since it's a horrible, horrible place to be now. The people are expecting a lifestyle with champagne on a beer budget. 

There was an article where a bakery in a super store left a knife at the bottom of a kid's birthday cake but fortunately the knife was found before anybody got hurt. Of course the store profusely apologized and fully refunded the customer, but instead of accepting the apology and refund with grace, the dad said he's looking into his "legal options". Yeah dad, looking to make a quick buck? But I wouldn't be surprised if the ignorant jury awards the dad with big bucks just because the super store rakes in millions in sales and should be "punished" for being rich enough to have so many branches nationwide. What they don't realize is that if they're patrons of that store, they're contributing to the award since stores just include the cost of all those frivolous lawsuits into their pricing. I wonder just what percentage of the pricing goes to the funds that pay for lawsuits and settlements?

Sure, there are those who step up to the plate and lend a helping hand whenever a disaster strikes. But should that really so shocking to see people who actually care that it becomes national news? Shouldn't random acts of kindness be a matter of course for the proud American?  

Where the fuck did common sense go??

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Three weekends in a row found me on one isle or another. This time I was on a man-made island called Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, which is a combination of an aquarium and rides.

The weather on Sunday wasn't ideal to spend a day at a theme park, but I figured we could always change plans when I picked my friend up. He was OK with heading to Sea Paradise, which was good since I had to renew my year pass anyway. So armed with an umbrella and a couple of compact raincoats, off we went, hi ho hi ho. We got there just as the park opened so I didn't have any trouble finding a parking spot and the line to get his ticket was short. I had to go to the office to hand in the paperwork to renew my pass. With that done, we started off wandering about in the main aquarium.

Like I said, Sea Paradise is a combination of an aquarium and rides. There's the main aquarium, a dolphin aquarium, an open aquarium and a new attraction called Ocean Farm, where they have pools split up where they're breeding fish. The rides include a roller coaster that juts out over the water, 351-ft free fall, a few motion-sickness-inducing rides that go in circles, a few water rides and one where you can enjoy the view in panorama.

Even tho you know that they're behind a thick layer of glass, it's not all that comforting to see a set of huge sharp teeth swimming towards you. But my friend was pretty fascinated in seeing the sharks and manta rays swimming in the main tank. Looks like the caretakers dropped a bucket or something in the polar bear enclosure since it was playing with something blue, which usually isn't there. We laughed out assess off watching a penguin with a serious case of itchy butt. It was frantically rolling this way and that, trying to get at the itch with its flippers, but it was just out of reach and that was one hilarious sight! LOL  We also saw all the pretty little fishies in the smaller tanks and huge crabs. Them crabs were pretty active that day.  In the dolphin aquarium, the dolphins were playing with a bouy and there was a mola mola swimming in the round tank. Them's one funny-looking fish, looking like someone forgot to attach a body to the fish. We went over to the open aquarium and saw dolphins and belugas playing with balls, a penguin running away from their caretakers and a walrus standing in the water napping with its head propped up on its flipper. They brought out a couple of penguins to let the visitors pet them, and one tried to make a get-away by jumping out of the cart. That brought out a few chuckles from the audience.

After we got our fill of fish and other ocean creatures, we went on a ride. One ride can get you really wet if you're not careful. If you catch the waves at a certain angle, the waves will totally splash you from behind. But, I brought a couple of compact raincoats just for that purpose. We got splashed a little but not that bad. Then we went on the roller coaster and the girl behind us was totally freaking out! LOL I wanted to go on another water ride after that, but wasn't inclined to wait 50 minutes so we went on a ferry boat ride that took us from one side of the island to another instead. That took us to the free fall ride. I did mention it was 351-ft high, right? I wasn't all that thrilled to go on it, but he seemed keen so I tagged along. As we were going up higher and higher and higher, he mentions that he doesn't really like heights. I'm like you tell me that now??!!  Holy Shite!! We get to the very top and man could we see vast and far!! Then we hear 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . schwoomp! We were dropped a few feet and the ride stopped! WTF??!! And before we could collect our wits, the ride dropped us the rest of the way. AAAAHHHHHH!!!! OMFG!! My friend SQUEALED!  He was really enjoying himself on the roller coaster, but he actually squealed on the free fall ride!  LMAO!! We got on a tame ride that gave us a panorama view of the area then had a late lunch and ice cream for dessert. When I asked him if there was a ride he wanted to go on again, he didn't have a specific preference so I suggested we go see if we can get wet. He opened his mouth but nothing came out. Hahaha! We went on the splashy ride and made it out without getting too wet. His boots caught some of the splash, tho. We got on the roller coaster again and called it a day.

Man, I did NOT appreciate my alarm clock at all the next morning!!  My friend had the day off so HE got to sleep in. Hmph!! It was a busy but fun weekend.

Sakura sakura

Saturday found me in Roppongi Hills with plans to meet up with a gal who I've been chatting online with. She usually lives in Germany but said she was in Japan for the art fair in Roppongi and asked if I could join her. She also said a gal pal of mine is joining so I agreed to mosey on up to the big city. I caught my gal pal online and we set up a meeting place before we headed to where we were supposed to meet the other girl. She told us she'll be in black with pink Nike sneakers. When we got there, we couldn't find anybody that fit that description, so we waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . 30-40 minutes passed and still no girl in black and pink. Hmmm? My gal pal went to check out the outlets on other floors, just to make sure that she wasn't waiting in the wrong place. Now in a time where we're tethered with electronic leashes, not having a cell phone really sux in cases like this. She didn't have one to use in Japan and she didn't rent one at the airport either. Even if she had a laptop, not many places offer free WIFI in Japan.

We figured we waited long enough, so we abandoned the mission and went shopping. My gal pal sent her an email explaining how we waited but couldn't find her so we decided to leave. Neither of us heard from her since. Banana Republic was our next destination since my gal pal was in need of new outfits. There were cherry trees lined up along the street that ran next to Roppongi Hills, so we took quite a few pics of the canopy of lovely light pink blossoms. There was some event going on at the little park but since there was such a huge crowd, she led me through a less crowded path. Before we got to the store, the smell of cinnamon was in the air! Is that a Cinnabon outlet I see? YES!! Of course, we can't pass a Cinnabon outlet without getting one! *drool*

She found a couple of things she liked at Banana Republic and announced that she needed new shoes to go with her new outfits. So off we went to Ginza where there was an ABC Mart she frequents. Like there was none in Roppongi??!! Apparently not. She found a pair of ballet shoes she liked. I saw a pair of sandals that I thought were cute, but considering that my closets for my clothes, shoes and purses are overflowing, I figured I'd hold off til go through my closets and start throwing a few things out, whenever that's gonna be. LOL

We then had dinner at a place that specialized in grilled beef tongue. She was wanting dessert, as usual, so we went to a family-style restaurant for cake and coffee. I ordered an orange-mousse cake with vanilla ice cream. I plopped the ice cream into a coffee cup and poured espresso over it, making myself an affogato. She had a breakfast date and I had a date too, so we called it a night and caught the subway home. SHE only had a couple of stops to go, but I had to head back to the boonies. I made it before it was tomorrow.

Here are some pics of the cherry blossoms I took in Yokohama and Tokyo. Just as they're in full bloom, the weather gets all windy and rainy . . . go figure . . .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Little isle off an isle

Spring was in the air, or temporarily, the temperature being in the 70s. It was a nice day to walk around under the sun.

My BFF of 30 years and I went to Enoshima, a small island off the shore down in the Shonan area, which is a swanky beachside resort along the coast in Kanagawa. There's a highway that runs along the coast, which tends to have bumper to bumper traffic all day long on the weekends if you're unfortunate enough to be driving there between 10am-5pm. The traffic is lighter in the morning and eases up after dark . . . usually . . .

I wanted to have brunch at Eggs 'n Things, a pancake place from Hawaii with outlets in Yokohama and Tokyo. Little did I know that they didn't offer parking and the lots around the place is outrageously expensive, even more than Tokyo (which was hard to believe!!). But my friend knew a lot where we can park for the entire day for a reasonable rate. It was a bit far from the restaurant, but the weather was nice and the sights were interesting.

Eggs 'n Things is still popular so if you get there after 10am, you'll be standing in line to get in and the visit time is limited to 90 minutes. The place is known for pancakes with loads of whipped cream piled on. I opted for a waffle, so the pile was not as high, but enough to turn into a Leaning Tower of Pisa and eventually collapse. My BFF ordered the crepes so we can share sample each other's orders. The kona blend coffee wasn't as good as we hoped, since we both know what good kona blend tastes like (the coffee at McD's in Hawaii is pretty awesome!).

The walk around Enoshima was appreciated after the filling brunch. Enoshima is a little island where the goddess of music and entertainment, Benzaiten, is enshrined and the island is said to have risen from the bottom of the sea back in the 6th century. There's also a botanical garden at the top of the island that is another tourist attraction. There were enough stairs to get to the shrine and wasn't inclined to climb more stairs up to the garden. The day was hazy so the view wasn't all that clear. On a clear day, the view of Mt. Fuji would be magnificent. The parking lot was next to the harbor and there were people fishing off the path that's along the edge of the island. It felt good to just sit there, drinking in the warm sun next to the sea, enjoying a comfortable silence in between yakking that's shared by people who've been friends for a long time.

My BFF mentioned a park that has a tiny zoo that sets above one of the most posh neighborhoods in the region, complete with security gates, which is pretty rare on this isle. We got to the park, which is up in the hills and had birds, bunnies and monkeys in cages and the peacock was strutting his stuff and showing off. Pretty cool sight. The main attraction of that park is the monkey cage, but I don't like monkeys all that much so I wandered off to take in the view. Like I said, it was hazy so the view wasn't as clear as I would've liked, but still it was nice. Just too bad that Mt. Fuji was nowhere to be seen.

We finished off the day with dinner at a steakhouse with a salad bar. Great way to end a great day! :D

I spend Sunday being totally lazy, even tho I should've been doing the taxes. I need to tackle that task before the week ends :-S

I had a great weekend. Hope ya'll did, too! :D

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How do you like that breast?

Chicken breast, mind you. Whaddya think I meant? LOL

I was looking at 2 long days in a row at work with one having a meeting in the evening and one having an early morning meeting, so I went to treat myself to a nice dinner with a glass of red wine at the UK pub I like to go to. The special was beef and bleu cheese pie, but since I'm not a fan of bleu cheese, I went for the grilled chicken and cheese sandwich. Man, that's one thick sandwich! The sandwich had grilled chicken breast, thick slice of cheese and salad in between tasty rye bread and came with piping hot potato wedges.

One good thing about getting booted out of the office promptly at quitting time is that you can sit back, enjoy dinner with a couple of glasses of wine and chit chat with the owner or other customers but still be home in time to get a good night's rest. Me needs me beauty sleep. LOL

Ding dong . . . quitting time . . . now get your asses outta here!!

OK, how many companies do you know that have a day set aside very week to tell the staff to get the hell outta here and enjoy life? Sounds great, hey? Not so much as it sounds.

From a couple of weeks ago, the company I work for started making announcements through the PA system to remind the staff that they're expected to leave promptly at quitting time "to enrich their after work hours and to add variety in their lives". Uh-huh . . . well, as with any other company around the globe, the company's making cutbacks, including staff, so they're expecting the staff to take on extra workloads but still finish their projects on time. :> They just imposed a no-overtime policy last October.

My work relies on other people finishing their reports so I can translate them, so my time alternates between bored and busy, bored times being longer than busy times. I try to keep myself amused by catching up on current events by reading the Y! news or surfing for images to use for blings or gifs.

These days my inbox is getting flooded with emails (by flooded, I mean I'm getting more than 5 emails/day LOL ) asking me to do the translations pronto. :-S Dudes . . . :-w . . . I sift and sort, see what I can take care of right away and what'll take more time. I had a couple totally 33 pages E/J translation. UGH!! E/J translation is draining and takes twice the time than it does for J/E translation. But it is nice to actually have something to do instead of twiddling my thumbs all day long.

Gotta say, working at a Japanese company surrounded by geeks is different from what I'm used to. Never saw such a collection of dudes who totally lack in creative imagination . . . LOL

Strawberry fields

Holy Shite! I got left behind!!

The day started off with the alarm clock rudely waking me up at 5am on a Sunday morning so I can be on the train at 6am to get to Ikebukuro to join a day trip I foolishly agreed to. The train ride was uneventful and I managed to find the meeting place with little trouble.

A gal pal I met through this site (and popped her girl on girl cherry) started a business and part of it was organizing day trips to venues near Tokyo. She contacts me through FB asking if I'd be interested. Shabu shabu lunch and strawberry picking sounded like fun so I said I'd go. Tochigi is well-known for its strawberries and there are fields and fields with greenhouses growing strawberries. She didn't mention that we'd be touring shrines in Nikko first until later, but I told her I won't be going in the shrines but will roam around the surrounding area taking pics. I do not like shrines or temples and have no interest whatsoever in touring around them. Hell, I live near Kamakura, temples and shrines galore without the 3-hour bus ride. Come to think of it, there are strawberry fields about an hour away, but the quality isn't as good as I'd get in Tochigi.

I was the only one from booniesville and the rest of the tour participants were living in Tokyo, so they enjoyed the chance to get out of the big city. I can get that. I don't like Tokyo all that much. My gal pal is a Filipina so most of the group were her friends from the Philippine network, with the exception of one of the hubbies and gal pal's BF. It was interesting that some of the group thought I was a Pinay and started talking to me in Tagalog. Uh . . . huh? Lo siento, no hablo . . . wait . . . that's Spanish!  :))  So I spent the day listening to Tagalog flying around on the bus.

Egads! Is that snow I see on the ground?! Seems like it snowed the day before in Nikko. BRRRRRR!!!  The snow was so fine and light, it was fluttering down from the pine needles from the breeze, glittering in the sunlight as it fell.

The tour started with touring the shrines. The major shrine in that area is the Toshogu, which is the mausoleum of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the Tokugawa shogunate founder and also dedicated to the spirits of Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Yoritomo Minamoto. There are lavish carvings which would make for good pics, but I wasn't feeling like climbing a bunch of stairs to get to a shrine I'm not interested in the first place. So while the rest of the group were I was roaming around the surrounding paths taking pics and staying in the sun to warm my freezing ass. Now we were told a time and place to meet after touring the shrines so I mosey on over to the meeting place to find that there's nobody from the group in sight. WTF?!  Where is everybody?! I saw that my minor carrier had reception at the parking lot, which was a good 15 minutes away on foot, so I didn't think anything about it until I went to call my gal pal. EEK! No reception!! Plan B, text with tablet . . . wait wait wait . . . no reply . . . WTF?! Then I logged into FB to see if there was a message for me. That's when I got a text from her through FB. Seems like they thought everybody was there so they headed off to where lunch is before the meeting time, and I was there 5 minutes before, even. Ho-ly Shite!! Either I made no impression whatsoever so can be so easily forgotten or made such a strong impression that I left a shadow of my presence behind. Either way, I got left behind. Later I learn that my gal pal dropped and stepped on her cell that morning and cracked the screen so couldn't receive texts and she used someone's iPhone to log into FB. 30 or so minutes into waiting, the tour guide, who was in tears, came to get me and take me to the restaurant. She was profusely apologizing since it was something that shouldn't be happening in the first place.

Lunch? I was told it was shabu shabu, but it was more like sukiyaki. They didn't have to be so stingy with the meat, tho. The rice with chestnuts was good. I liked that. It wasn't a filling lunch, but since we were going strawberry picking, it wasn't a big deal since we needed to save room for the strawberries.

Hi ho hi ho to strawberry fields we go. After an hour long bus ride, we get to the fields where we saw rows and rows of greenhouses growing strawberries. There were poles for the roofing along the paths between the greenhouses and couldn't help giggling to myself thinking about how my 6'2 friend would be banging his head on these poles at least once had he been there since he has a bad habit of mindlessly following the shorty walking in front of him. LOL We were given a few instructions on how to pick the strawberries and warning that there's a wooden box where the bees are kept to pollinate the flowers. It was all you can eat for 30 minutes. That doesn't sound like a long time, but strawberries can fill you up long before the 30 minutes is up. Man, were the berries sweet! So sweet that you didn't need condensed milk to go with the berries.

I picked up a couple of bottles of fruity vinegar that make a nice refreshing drink when mixed with soda water at the shop (adding vodka doesn't hurt, either ;) ). They had cakes other sweets that used tons of strawberries and looked mighty tempting but since I had a long train ride home, I decided against getting a cake.

The bus ride back to Ikebukuro was uneventful and I dozed the whole way. I was pleasantly surprised to find seats the whole way back to my neck of the woods. I lucked out on one of the trains since nobody seemed to sit next to the foreign dude. LOL He was mildly shocked when he found that I spoke English. He needed to get out, so he said sumimasen (excuse me), where I said I'm getting off too (in English, of course).

All in all, I'd say I had a good weekend. Of course I wasn't happy when my alarm clock rudely woke me up at 6am on Monday morning, like it always does. Next weekend sees a new month. Hopefully a new hello will come along as well.