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Saturday, March 31, 2007

We're watching a movie, Capote, and then I'm going to bed as I teach at ten tomorrow, so not much in the way of a blog - I really really want a day off from it!

Basically, slept in, watched America's Next Top Model with Peter, Hitomi made omelets for breakfast. I taught in Shinjuku at 3, somehow we digressed into ASL which was interesting (and I've forgotten a lot, yikes!), came home and Peter and Hitomi were watching Borat, so I read since I didn't like it the first time and didn't want to sit through it again.

Eventually, Peter and I played a couple of games of hockey on his PS2 that he hooked up, we each won one, and the Hitomi made a delicious curry and stir-fry for dinner before we settled in to watch Capote.

Now, go find yourselves something interesting to read, and I'll blog properly again tomorrow.
D

Friday, March 30, 2007

First of all, how cute are these two little guys! They're the newest additions to the zoo at Wellsview and I think you'll agree, totally adorable! I can't wait to meet them! They are both males, and are cashmere goats (very soft, I'd imagine, especially with their baby fuzz!!). Mom has big plans to drive them, which you can seemingly do with goats, but I'm thinking they'll end up about as useful as Molly and Casey - cute and not much else ;).
Back in the big city, I met Jordon for lunch today at Suji's and we took advantage of the lovely day (it started off pouring, but improved significantly), to sit outside on the newly built patio Suji's has out front. It was really pleasant! We had a nice lunch/good chat before he had to head back up to the office, (thanks for making the effort to come all the way to Roppongi!). I decided to see what all the fuss was about and check out the new Tokyo Mid-Town Project which opened today in Roppongi. (view from the galleria mall over the park-very nice!)

It's a really nice development! I like it better than Roppongi Hills, because it's more compact, and the mall is actually a mall whereas RH is so spread out, and I always get the feeling that half the tenants have forgotten to move in. Plus, things are in really random places - there are cafes scattered all over the place, and its all kind of empty.
(water feature looking at the main Mid Town Plaza Building)
(Glass roof over the plaza area)
The complex, developed by Matsui, and designed by Tadao Ando (I think!) includes the Ritz Carlton Tokyo, a new art museum, a four-floor galleria shopping mall, cafes and restaurants, a radio studio, housing, etc. There is also a park and a pond behind the development. As I was walking around in the park today, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing, and the sakura blooming happily I definitely felt as though I was in an architects rendering and not real life! It's so new and shiny and perfect, and the day was so perfect that it was crazy!


There were quite a few people there to check it out today, but most parts (except Starbucks) weren't too crazy. Also notably nuts was the Ritz Carlton. It takes up 15 floors way up in the main building, and has a dedicated elevator to go up to the lobby. I wanted to go check that out, so I went to the entrance of the elevator, and one of the men there, who spoke very good English, told me that in order to see the lobby you need reservations, and that they were booked solidly through April 10th. Just to go up and stand in the lobby! Nuts!
I had a pretty good poke around, especially in the galleria, which is full of incredibly expensive shops (think Harry Winston), and has a pretty big Italian presence from the looks of things. On one floor, however, they have all art, design, and interior shops, which are very nice, though of course expensive. They even have a Faber and Castell store. Its amazing how posh you can make pencils look!
Unfortunately, I didn't have a proper camera with me, and my phone died part way through my self-guided tour, as I was emailing photos as I took them to flickr and I guess that ate up a lot of juice. Anyway, I'll have to go back again with a real camera to check out what I missed!
Since then, I've basically just been hanging out at home - Peter came home briefly and then went out for a massage with Hitomi, and I plowed through another book by Olivia Goldsmith - Insiders. Good escapism!
Anyway, that's about it, and the internet is being flaky, so I'm going to get going...
Night!
D

Thursday, March 29, 2007

On my way into the office today I stopped to do that interview with the doctor from the birthing clinic for BAB. She was very sweet and explained to me the benefits of having your baby at a small clinic or at a big hospital depending on your pregnancy. The clinic was really nice (and separate enough from any reason I might be going to the doctor that I didn't even freak out visiting!). She showed me some of the private rooms you stay in after you give birth which are absolutely massive - there is the bed for mum with a bassinet beside it, a flat screen TV, microwave, etc. and then a separate, curtained, area for other members of the family to stay in if they wish. There's also a bath/shower and separate toilet. The room I was looking at was lovely and sunny and overlooks the river. In 'space at a serious premium' Japan, the room seemed absolutely palatial!

I got back to BAB at about 12:30, wrote up the article based on the interview, did some proofreading for BAB, and then had a really interesting chat with a woman from Australia who works with special needs children and children on the autism spectrum here in Tokyo. It was kind of a last minute thing, so I didn't have a chance to pre-research, which I generally like to do, but she was really interesting and had lots to tell me! Japan seems to drop the ball a bit with integration, therapy, and support for special needs kids, especially, I suppose, when you compare it to the US and Canada where it is such a priority in the education system. Here, many kids actually have to go to the states to get diagnosed, and if they can get a place in an international school, the family is left to pay for the teaching assistant for their child (a TA would be provided by the school system in North America). I'm looking forward to researching more for this - I think it's going to be really interesting!

I also did some research for an upcoming style article for BAB, and came across this website - www.iattire.net, where you can buy apparel and costumes for your ipods. It's hilarious!!! Some of these costumes are soo detailed, it's quite amazing! The website is definitely worth a poke about on, as they have loads of great costumes which will definitely put a smile on your face!!
(I think this one is quite amazing! You can also buy the tiaras seperately, if you wish)\
(Valentine's 2007 collection)
(Holiday 2006 collection).

They also have great descriptions about their 'clothing' on the website (incidentally, they pay their Californian workers living wages to hand create the costumes, and use 'couture techniques' in the process). Anyway, about these boxers:
They say: "Tradition has its place. So do these. Generously cut for freedom of movement, with a wide elastic waist that won’t bind or chafe. Hand-made of cotton, featuring red hearts on white cloth, an elastic waistband, and easy access crotch." <--All, I think you'll agree, features that any self-respecting ipod looks for when purchasing skivvies!

I was showing the website to people in the office, and we were talking about how you maybe couldn't use your ipod when it was dressed up like this, and then the boxer page happened to be up, so I was like 'well, maybe you get ones like these, and just put your finger up the leg (easy access crotch, and all that), and kind of move it around like this (as in to turn the click wheel). Wait...that sounds really dirty!' Think before you speak Dani; think!

At about 6:20, I left work and headed down to Suji's to meet up with Peter and Kong, who were having dinner on the new patio. I joined them there and had some tasty beef stroganoff... We had a nice dinner/chat; it was good to see Kong again and we talked about the metpod and Joss Stone, who is coming to Tokyo soon - she has such an amazing voice!

We all hung out there for a couple of hours and then Peter and I headed home - he's watching American Idol while I do this, and then I plan to blog and read before I go to bed fairly early... I think I'm meeting Jordon for breakfast tomorrow (well at eleven, so maybe brunch?) At where else? Suji's of course. Not sure what else I'm going to do tomorrow - since I'm right there, I might pop up to the office for a couple of hours after, or I might write some stuff for myself, crack open ye olde nihongo textbooks again, or do something completely unexpected. (It could happen!)

mata ne!
D

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hmmm, struggling to come up with a way to make work today sound interesting to those who aren't interested in the exact details of how you decide whether or not to leave words open or hyphenate them, where exactly a hyphen, en or em dash goes, or any of the other things I spent five and a half hours looking for today. Weekender goes to print tomorrow, so I think I looked at pretty much the entire thing, at least once, today and then also proofed a couple of BAB articles, along with doing a little bit of writing and quickly preparing for an interview tomorrow. Contrary to how it might sound (looking at commas and all that), it was still an enjoyable day--there is something very satisfying about crossing off all of the corrections with a bright pink highliter!

We broke from tradition today and headed the opposite direction from Suji's to go to a place called, I think, Eggs Benedict, which is a really, really cute cafe down by Nissin (the expat grocery store we buy our Canadian bacon at). Since it was a totally gorgeous day (23C and sunny), we sat outside on the sunken courtyard they have outside. The whole cafe felt very much like it was straight out of Estevan or Oak Bay village back home, and the food was quite nice--salads, curries, Eggs Benedict (of course), taco rice, which is what I got, baked goods, coffees, etc.

After work, which was about 7:15 by the time I left, I headed up to Orbitune to meet Peter. While I was waiting for him, for about an hour, I finished my Bill Bryson book, which was fantastic. One of the reviews on it says something about him making writing look flawless, which is true--he has such an easy, dryly humorous way of writing which makes you think he is just sitting there chatting with you, but you know that if you tried to write like that, it would just sound like you were trying to write like you were just chatting sarcastically.

His book paints a great portrait of America in 200 pages, from the point of view of an American who spent 20 years in Britain and then came back to 'rediscover' his homeland. With self deprecating love but no holds barred, he points out some of the flaws and oddities of American culture. Among other gems, I found out that the average American eats 19 pounds of pretzels a year (and Peter and I thought our four pound Costco purchase in January was excessive!). Also, there is one lawsuit for every 2.5 people in America, and NYC spends something like 200million dollars paying for 'slip and fall' settlements ever year. There is also something like 300 lawyers for every 100 000 people in America (and more there than the rest of the world combined). To put in some kind of perspective, Japan has 11 per 100 000.

Once Peter was ready to go, at about 10, we went out to get gyudon (meat over rice, basically), which is like comfort food in a bowl. Its super cheap, super filling, and super loved by lower level salary men, who can put a bowl away in about 2.2 minutes (that's only exaggerated by about 30 seconds). Its like ramen, a super hot, large bowl of which can be consumed by a 'ri man in about 2 minutes through a well practised combi of slurping and as Kieron puts it, "putting your whole head in the bowl to become one with the ramen". The slurping and head-bowl techniques cool the ramen down and keep splashing to a minimum, respectively.

We were ordering at the vending machine, as you do, but I didn't really know what I wanted, so I just randomly pushed buttons, and ended up with salad, miso, gyudon (with pork, not beef, which is how its traditionally served up), and pecularly, a raw egg. In the shell. I'm really not sure what one is supposed to do with that. Actually, that's not quite true--you are supposed to crack it into the provided dish, mix it up, and pour it over your rice which is supposed to cook it with the ambient heat. I just palmed my egg (and Peter's), and took it as a type of doggy bag. I like my eggs properly cooked, thanks :).

Off to watch some gymnastics now (I love TiVo, have I mentioned?)

D.

(who, btw, doesn't want to hear anything about the grammatical mistakes which are sure to be in here, just in case anyone was getting some ideas!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yeesh, long day today! It was fun though, which is always good :)

Headed to work at ten, as usual, this morning, (with people on the train clearly thinking I was nuts as I laughed out loud at Bill Bryson's book of collected columns: I'm a Stranger Here Myself). Since I didn't have to teach, I stayed at work until I got not quite kicked out, but at least encouraged to leave at seven. Over the course of the day, I did a whole bunch of proof reading, including one thing for BAB (the bab news), which is always a monster undertaking, and took nearly two hours, and I'm sure I still missed things! There is sooo much weird punctuation as it is mostly listings and short blurbs and stuff that I really have to be careful doing it. I'm starting to think that I like my Chicago Manual of Style just a little bit too much these days! I really shouldn't be coveting one for myself! Otaku desu ne?!

It's actually amazing how many grammar rules there are! I know I keep saying this, but I honestly had no idea there could be, for instance, six pages worth of rules about hyphenation! My general rule of thumb was to just throw them in where they looked good, but seemingly there is a formula (or at least rules) on how one does it! Lots of times it depends on where its placed in relation to the noun in the sentence, what else the word(s) are being paired with, etc. Craziness! Clearly my profs haven't been too stringent on grammar, as there is no way that I was doing all of this correctly before!

Besides the copy editing, I wrote a quick article about summer camps (did you know that something like 83% of kids get homesick at camp?), compiled most of the street snaps we've snapped over the last three weeks, kept the calendar updated, and generally tried to help out as necessary...

As I was walking out of the office with Helen, she asked if I was still enjoying it, which obviously I am, since, as I pointed out to her, I would probably be able to come up with some excuse to leave before working three hours extra if I wasn't enjoying it!

I had about an hour before I planned to be at Super Deluxe for Pecha Kucha night, so, for lack of a more inspirational plan, I went to Wendy's to get dinner. It was a huge one, at least as big as any at home, with decor straight from North America; it was so scarily similar, I didn't even have to sort my garbage! They did have a very Japanese, non-North American thing in the washroom though, which was an attachment on the sink, which instead of having auto water on its own, also had auto soap, and auto blow drying all built into one handy bank of automated-ness!
(Two friends enjoy some quality time together over dinner)

At about eight, I headed over to Super Deluxe, thinking I would have time to get a drink and a seat before it kicked off at 8:20, well, I managed the drink part OK, but it was so crowded! I ended up wall leaning for the first two hours before finally pouncing on a funny little ottoman type seat near the front, which I kept for the last hour that I was there, despite the glares I was getting from one half of a couple beside me. Incidentally, they managed to share the ottoman beside me (along with a chuppa chupe!) just fine, thank you very much ;).

I had very little idea of what to expect, but it turned out to be a great evening, and I'll definitely be back! Basically, the idea, started in Tokyo by Klein Dytham Architecture (KDA), and now in over 60 cities, is that designers and artists and people 'doing stuff', come to a public space, and each get twenty seconds per slide (20 slides) to show their latest projects, collection of works, etc. to the audience. They used to to twenty artists per evening, but that proved to be too long, and so I think they've cut back, although I'm not sure how many they use now - I left at about 11, wanting to avoid the last train rush hour and get more than a couple of hours of sleep, and they were still going strong. I think I saw about ten artists....
(work is projected onto three large wall-sections which are all beside each other, and total about fifty running feet by maybe 10 feet in height?)

The artists ranged widely from jewellery makers just starting out, to a product designer whose entire body of work was inspired by cigarettes in a carton, to experienced architects, to a yoga master with an interesting self-promotional video, to a girl who takes pictures of meat in various shapes (like she twists it into flower buds and stuff), and then cuts out the photos and decoupages them onto walls, in the pattern of hearts and sakura. It was absolutely hilarious as she ended her talk by saying, "I actually work in a real meat shop in Shibuya, you should come by on the 19th!" to which Astrid, the MC says "oh, is it like an exhibition?" and the girl goes "no! its discount meat day! for real!" Fantastic!


Her theme of sakura was fitting for the evening though, as this was the special 40th volume pink hanami themed Pecha Kucha (pronounced, apparently, pekakcha). Although Mark (Astrid and Mark are the couple behind KDA and Pecha Kucha) couldn't be here tonight because he was in London, he sent the audience of about 300 a video message, recorded in London just a few hours before we saw it. Pretty cool!

It was a very international mix of people in the audience, probably half foreign and half Japanese, although I'm not sure exactly - the mix of presenters was also pretty varied. I'd say there were about 3 which tried to incorporate English and Japanese fairly equally, and 3 that were solely J and 3 that were solely English. Anyway, for Y1000, including Y700 worth of drink, its a steal! I'll definitely be trying to make them monthly from now on!
(a wall hanging inspired by cigarettes organised in a cigarette carton, this guy's work largely followed this 'one sheet' pattern philosophy.)

(Shantell Martin's mini book portfolio. She did a great bilingual (with a friend translating) presentation about how she grew up in London, got into graffiti, ended up in Tokyo, started making mini books with drawings and poetry, started working on collaborations with clothes, etc. and now has a popular website.)
(Someone in the audience yelled out 'kawaii!' (cute) when this was shown! Actually, the guy was a bit of a nutter (or had over participated in the beer break just before his 'set', but was an entertaining/whimsical illustrator. He made some hilarious comments during his presentation, which wasn't so much planned I don't think ;). Good work though - funny stuff!)

Night!
D

Monday, March 26, 2007

Blogger is eating my photos as I try and move them, so I'm just going to leave them up here...
random flowering tree in Yoyogi Koen
who's coming?
interesting goods
more random flowering tree in yoyogi koen
sunset on the way home from the overpass
interesting goods shop
--
Today was a lovely and quiet day, in which I didn't do very much at all, but also didn't feel as if I should be, which is usually my issue - I'm either feeling bad b/c I'm not working, or thinking that I should be sightseeing or something. That all might be true, but today I just enjoyed the fantastic spring weather and chilled out.
After I got up, I read for awhile (Wish Upon a Star by Olivia Goldsmith) Then, at about 12:30, I walked down to the Shibuya ward office to get my visa extension moved over to my gaijin card. At least there aren't immigration length line ups there! It was all rather quick and painless, and I was out of there in about ten minutes which was great - either they were practicing 'cool biz' or just had the heat on arbitrarily, but it was hot in there!
I head back into the perfectly temperatured (yes, that is SO a word!) day outside. It was absolutely gorgeous today! I was exactly comfortable in a T-shirt, although judging by the number of coats I saw, its a few days early for that for most people ;). I went down to the big crossing in Shibuya to get some street snaps for BAB, and had limited success, although I think we have enough now for this issue between the few times we've gone out to get pictures. Generally people are fairly friendly about it, but there are people, who when you approach them, are very defensive and dismiss you straight off the bat. I don't really blame them - most of us still have our defenses/instincts turned up high from whatever city we were living in before, and its also somewhat disconcerting to be approached in English here, as you really don't expect it. Interestingly, just minutes after I left the crossing, and I was deep in thought about this very thing, a guy came up to me, kind of from behind (middle aged Japanese salary man from the looks of things), and just asked me 'are you busy?' without telling me why he was asking or anything. Instinctively, I was just like 'yes, I'm working' and kept walking.
I had some lunch and then headed up to Yoyogi Koen to enjoy the last of the sun and see if the sakura were out yet. Reports online have been saying that they are just starting/about to start, so I went to check it out, and they were indeed out, but I think probably not at full bore quite yet. There were quite a few people having Hanami parties, where you spread tarps out under the trees and eat and drink, and have picnics. It looked like good fun! I think one in a park would be nice, but they also do them in cemeteries here, which just seems very bizarre to me!
I was innocently taking pictures of some gorgeous flowers (not sure, what they were - magnolias?) when this middle aged, plumpish Japanese woman walks up to me, and asks if I'm a tourist. Since I doubted she'd get my joke about being a livisitor, in that in between stage of living and visiting, I just told her I sort of was, and that I was staying for about 8 months.
Then she says to me: "I'm just exercising, and I need a model to help me get rid of pain here and here and here" gesturing to her shoulder, neck and back.

"Can you help me for a minute? It will just take a minute or two"
Perhaps because I'd been thinking about how people just don't help out the crazies on the the street anymore, or because I was thrown off guard, I was like
"sure"
So, backpack and camera to the ground and she gets me to roll my neck, touch my toes, bend backwards, and twist my back a bit. Then she's like

"I do one point, so which you want?" And I'm thinking 'aren't I supposed to be modelling something for you? And yea, I know this is kind of sketchy, so can we just move the show along?' So I just go,

"Well, you know, whatever" and she's like "no, you pick", so even though I don't particularly have any back issues, I pointed to my lower back, and we get the show on the odd little road that its heading down!

She made me stand there, and then stood perpendicularly to me, with one hand poised by my back, and the other by my front (not touching me), and then proceeded to pull her hands back and forth quite quickly, as if she were pulling gum or something away from my body. I was just like 'what? how does this happen to me? at least I can blog it!' then she started muttering some stuff, in Japanese, and I started having a very hard time not giggling at the absurdity of the whole situation, and then I started to get a bit worried that she was going to want me to pay her, or donate something to a cult or something, but when she finished, she just asked me if it felt better (yes, of course, what else am I going to say?) and then looked me straight in the eye and said:
"we all have a life force, use yours." and then turned and quietly walked back off into the trees.
What else can one do after that except sit by the big fountain, soak up the sun, read your book, listen to the drumming, and marvel at this fantastic and crazy city?

By the time I finally got home, after stopping by the 'interesting goods' shop near our house which did, in fact have interesting goods if 1950's Americana floats your boat, it was about 6. I spent the rest of the evening luxuriously reading, and I finished the book, which was quick, even for me - 501 pages since 10pm last night! It was good tho - pretty great chic lit! (She wrote The First Wives' Club of movie fame). In the back of the book, there is a pretty touching tribute to her from her former assistant, as she died after completing Wish Upon a Star in 2004 and it was actually published posthumously. I did a quick wikipedia to find out what happened, and it turned out that she died of complications relating to a 'chin tuck'. As she wrote often about plastic surgery in her books, it seems rather an ironic way to go! She was just 54.
And that's about it - made some bulgar wheat for dinner as Peter was out with Mibu, and then blogging this before bed - work, and pecha kucha night at Super Deluxue tommorow.

D.



Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm not sure what it is, but my Sunday morning at 9am walk to Shibuya seems to be when Tokyo delivers its worst weather! It was disgusting and pissing down rain again today, which happens so oddly often on Sunday, and barely at all any other day. I didn't lose another umbrella to the walk as I did two weeks ago, but someone did, and then abandoned it right by a crosswalk, looking very sad and dejected. Broken umbrellas just look so pathetic all bent and wrong looking!

So I taught this morning at ten, which was about the same as it always is, and the wandered over to the library to exchange books - I got a lovely pile of pink, save for a Bill Bryson book, and Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I figured it was high time I read it, especially if I am going to be proofing at work ;). I got home at about 12:30, just in time for Peter to decide to get up (!), and then stayed here for a couple of hours, reading and the such.

At threeish I went out again to teach, luckily it had stopped pouring, so we just had a lot of grey to deal with, but it wasn't sloshy anymore - good as I'd just managed to dry out from the first go around! I was teaching a new student today, he turned out to be quite nice. His English is already really quite good as he was an English major and then spent about 10 months studying in Vancouver. We had a pretty easy conversation, which bodes well for the future, although afterwards, he sent me a really funny email, saying, in part: "YOU LOOKED MUCH MORE SINCERE THAN I HAD THOUGHT." Ummm OK... Sincere? As in, not going to fleece him? Trustworthy? Homely? What? I'm curious what he actually meant by that, as sincere isn't really an adjective I'd use to describe someones personal appearance ;). Anyway, I guess it's a good thing, so I'm not complaining, but it is funny how translations get mangled when going between languages!

One note, we met in Shinjuku, and walked past Krispy Kreme, which had an insane lineup, which the 'most popular ride at Disney' style line placards pronounced was going to take 1 hr and 40 minutes to get through! No wonder people seem to always leave there with boxes of donuts - you wouldn't want to stand through that for just one, would you? I wonder if the pouring rain scared anyone off this morning? I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was no! Timmies take note! Clearly a Tim Hortons in Tokyo would be a good idea!

By the time I got home, Peter and Venus were at the office, so I caught up on an old Desperate Housewives, stretched, wrote, read, watched RENT, etc. for a couple of hours before they got home. We were both very hungry (and well co ordinated) so Peter called before he left the office and I had dinner ready the minute he walked in the door (so housewiferish of me!) It involved tater-tots which I haven't had for sooo long! Oishii desu.

We watched Little Miss Sunshine after that, which I'd seen and Peter hadn't. I think its a great movie and that Abigail Breslin, who at ten, was the youngest nominee at this year's Oscars, was great. The whole family is so fantastically dysfunctional - there's nothing quite like pushing your VW van to get it to start and then leaping it one at a time as it rolls off down the highway!

Making news today was an earthquake in North-Central Japan, which measured a quite powerful 6.7. Anyway, tragically it killed one person (done in by a falling stone lantern in her garden), and injured 162+ others (mostly minorly). According to the news story, you could feel it in Tokyo, but I missed it (or couldn't tell it apart from all the other little tremors you feel here every day!).

There is one pretty entertaining side to the reporting though, which is the 'tsunami' they keep talking about. Here's what Bloomberg had to say:

"A tsunami about 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) high came ashore around at 10:12 a.m., the agency said."

Ummm how on earth do they even measure that? Or declare it any different than any other wavelet lapping the peninsula shores? I mean clearly, we're grateful that a tsunami didn't happen, but maybe they could just say that?

Here's hoping I'm not in the subway if a big earthquake hits Tokyo when I'm here! Especially the Oedo line in the deepest depths of waaaaay down there (17 storeys deep, I believe, and hot as anything!)

D.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I really did an embarrassing amount of nothing today, slept in, way in, as I couldn't sleep last night and ended up chatting to people from York until nearly 4, leading to not getting up properly until about noon today, and then we spent the day watching TV (Hawaii Five-Oh), and An Inconvenient Truth (mostly Peter, I was listening but not really watching the shows), submitting a query, finishing the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, etc. Hitomi went home around five, and eventually I made pancakes for dinner. That's about it though; never got out of the house, and really, accomplished very little :s.

However, here are some interesting things I've come across recently, which are way more exciting than anything I might come up with -

First of all, is The Buried Life, which I might have posted about before, but I can't remember... Some guys I know from GNS and their friends went across Canada in a borrowed RV last year crossing off their list of 100 things to do before they die, including running a major corporation (Ebay; for a day), touching the Stanley Cup, and getting a tattoo on a whim. Since Johnnie, who has always been into making movies, is part of the crew, it's being documented on their website as well. Check out their trailer here.

Here is the story of a complete nutter, (OK, endurance swimmer), who is swimming the length of the Amazon River. He's already gone an incredible 4000+km, breaking his former world record. He's not particularly young, either, at 52, he is fighting off tons of dangerous things (crocs and sketchy Amazonian diseases, anyone?) to complete his quest, which he plans to do in the second week of April. Now, clearly, this particular problem wouldn't pose a direct threat to me, however, I don't know about you, but it still made my skin crawl when I read it:

"A real risk is the toothpick fish. They can enter the body by swimming up the penis and can only be removed by surgery."

Ewwwwwwww!

For all of the post-it lovers out there, courtesy of boingboing.net, the great repository of stuff online, comes a link to Arash and Kelly's Genius Table, a Table made up of a block of one foot square post-it notes. So, so cool! I love post-its, as my desk and border of my computer monitor will attribute too - how cool is this, doodle to your heart's content, on your desk, and then slap the whole shebang up on the wall behind you. Great!

Just because Flash Mobbing is cool (and came up in conversation yesterday). Here is a podcast about it, which I haven't downloaded yet, but might be interesting...

Ummm and finally, I don't think I can post a link to this, because it's a facebook group, and therefore not strictly public unless you're a member of Facebook, but anyway, as part of my doing nothing today, I was surfing around and looking for gymnastics groups, which, predictably abound, and I found a whole bunch of memorial groups to a 19 year old, who died, just after Christmas from double lung cancer. (She was a gymnast, which is how I got linked over to her). It struck me as really interesting that people were making such personal sites like that, and I'm sure, usually they're only visited by someone who knew her, but every once in awhile someone like me will stumble over it, and its like accidentally turning up to someones funeral or something. There were tons of pictures of her posted, and very personal messages. I felt a lot like I was interrupting something extremely private within the realm of this most public of spaces. I backed out of there quickly and went back off in search of giants and backtucks.

Interesting.

D

Friday, March 23, 2007

No work today, so I got to sleep in which was good - Venus was also sleeping in Peter's room all night, which meant I actually got to sleep in - she tends to wake me up early when she's in with me... Had a very relaxed morning at home just hanging out, reading my David Sedaris book, etc.

Peter headed out at about 2:30 for a meeting, and I left shortly thereafter to go vaulting at JRA. I think they must put the surcingle back on the barrel slightly differently after they use it on the horse, because it tends to either be loose (but without enough slack to get it one hole tighter, which is annoying!) or really tight. Today was a tight day which was great, I basically spent 40 minutes doing hangs and shoulder stands, good fun but I'm sure I'm going to be sore tomorrow! I also have kind of a weird bruise now on one arm, but that's ok - it was lots of fun to hang upside down again for awhile (yea, I'm weird). I also managed to start keeping my head down more during my swing for my scissors, which really does help you get more airtime...sugoi!

After that, I headed to Omotesando Hills and finally opened my Shinsei Bank account. You may remember that I tried to open an account last year before my 20th birthday, and nothing, not even telling them I was an orphan would make them move past their 'those under the age of twenty need parental consent' rule to let me open an account. So, today, finally armed with enough years on the planet, an extended visa, and my gaijin card I ventured in there to get one. I drew the one English speaker in the bank, which was lucky, and since there were no spare machines (to do the registration on) in that branch, she actually walked downstairs with me to the other location in the Hills to get me signed up - I guess maybe she knew no one down there would be able to talk to me? It was actually the weirdest bank I've ever seen, as its in the 'Shinsei Cafe Bank', sponsored or partnered heavily with DeLonghi, and with quite the Italian theme-have your espresso with a side of money management! We got me signed up, and I got my atm card at the same time - in hot pink! Shinsei's big thing is their 'colour yor life' campain, where you get to choose from like 24 different colors of card. I got pink, no so much because its my favorite color or anything, as clearly it isn't, but because it is just so UN-bank-y that it seemed like a good idea.

After that I headed up to meet Peter at the office, I knew I'd be waiting (and wanted to work somewhere that wasn't the house), so brought my laptop and took the opportunity to write a couple of query letters, and then read for a bit (finished my David Sedaris book which was so funny, especially in the second part, where he talks about learning French! Also started back in on my Margaret Atwood book). Also saw Jordon for a bit before Peter and I headed out at around 9:30, stopping for dinner at Jonathon's on the way home. It's a typical 'fami-resu', and was pretty tasty. I had a hamburger steak and rice kind of deal, while Peter had the indian chicken with mexaicn pilaf; as you do!

Headed back home and got here at around 11... Peter is on some kind of old school TV kick, including the Johnny Carson Show and Hawaii Five-O on DVD....

No idea what's going on tomorrow, but I don't have to teach or anything, so we'll see what happens...
D.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Really not feeling like writing much today, so short is the name of the game!

Work was good today, spent basically the entire day proof reading and entering changes, but it was all fairly straight forward (I say that now, before I see what I missed!) Not so many people in the office today, and I was still confused thinking it should be Wednesday - so expecting people who never showed up, etc. I contributed to the book exchange, as I'm thoroughly enjoying a book I got off Anthony on Tuesday: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

I left the office kind of on time, as I was thinking about getting a bank account after work, and then ended up not having time (well I didn't want to risk being late to teach), so I sat outside by the spider at Roppongi Hills and read for a bit before going to teach. Today was day one of what was supposed to be the big Japan magazine/scrapbook project. It started out really well - the girl read about kimonos and then wrote a paragraph about them and colored in a drawing I'd brought. The boy adapted a mystery game from a magazine, changing it from very British to Japanese and then drawing some 'spot the difference' pictures.

Unfortunately, in the end, the Dad came up to me, and told me that since the kids are on vacation for the next couple of weeks, he doesn't want me to teach them until the 10th. Expensive spring break for me :s. Luckily, I have some possibly new students coming up soon!

Headed home and made a snack, and then proceeded to whip out the vaulting spandies and stretch while watching RENT (Hawaii present from Pete!) and singing along at the top of my lungs. Poor Venus was looking at me as I did V sits and hollered out the tortured lyrics as if I was a complete nutter (she's probably on to something!)

Peter came home just as I was un=twisting myself from a bridge, and also looked at me in a similar sort of way! We just hung out this evening, reading and getting through TiVo'ed stuff. Venus and I also made a milk run - wandering down to Circle K, and that's about it... Really, nothing exciting!

D

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Classic.

“A recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll suggests a large majority of Americans — 87% — would be comfortable with a 13th floor room assignment. But 13% say they’d be bothered by a 13th floor room assignment.

From upgrade travel
So since it was Equinox Day, and therefore no one was going into the office today, I slept in until about ten, and then got up since Venus decided she was hungry. For a cuddly dog, she can still squirm a whole lot at night!

Anyway, she's cute, so she gets away with it ;) We went to make breakfast, and I discovered that 'peanut cream' here, is really not the same as peanut butter, which is what I was expecting. It's really hard to describe, and actually tastes fine when under jam, but the closest I can come up to as a comparison is that its literally like peanut butter - so if you ground in a bunch of peanuts and sugar with butter this is what you might end up with. It doesn't have the slightly salty stick to the roof of your mouth taste that's essential in PB&J! Maybe I should try making it into PB cookies, I bet it would be good in there!

Anyway, I took advantage of a day off when Mom wasn't at work, and called home to catch up, so we had a good chat for just over an hour, about anything and everything, as usual...now if only her article selling would rub off on me ;).

After that I spent most of the afternoon working on my next script for the TOEIC podcast... It was about 'cool biz' which is a government campaign to lower greenhouse gas emissions by raising the temperature of offices in the summer (keeping the AC to a lower level). In exchange, employees are encouraged to leave the tie and jacket at home, and wear just a dress shirt. This seems to be occurring to mixed reviews as some people feel awkward or embarrassed without their suits. Incidentally, the temperature the offices are being set at? 28C/84F... that's sauna-tastic!

I also spent a couple of hours doing proof reading for BAB - I managed to get almost everything read that I had to, and can make the changes tomorrow. Since I got my Weekender stuff basically out of the way already it should be fine, not a major time emergency...yet! This whole holiday in the middle of the week thing is very bizarre though... I got very excited thinking there should be a new metpod out tonight, and then freaked out that I hadn't emailed my end of the week report to the kids' dad. None of which, of course, happens until tomorrow!

Had a chance to take Venus for a walk, and finished my This American Life podcast on the way (so great!), before meeting Sarah in Omotesando. We were originally going to go out with some of her friends and then decided to bail and do our own thing, which ended up being dinner @ . Pizza Express (that's the British site, but all about the same I'd guess). That was one of the first places I went with Peter since I got here, actually maybe one of the first times on the train and everything as well, I remember him trying to explain to me where that big GAP is... Actually, I think I randomly went to Yebisu Garden Place first, and then met him there...I'm pretty sure I tried to get on a JR train with a metro ticket!

Anyway, we had a nice dinner up there, and then when I got back, Peter and Hitomi were home from Hawaii. They were actually given the option to stay again (or go to another island for a couple of days), but they figured that was pushing their luck a little bit, so they decided to make their way back here ;). Sounds like they had a nice trip! We spent a bit of time catching up (and eating imported cereal, very exciting!), before they both crashed after their long trip. Since I have to be up in 7 hours, I'll be heading to bed fairly soon as well I should think...

nite!
D

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mmmm so work today - it was a pretty quiet day in the office, as not so many people are in on Tuesdays anyway, and Helen took yesterday and today off so she would have a nice long break when combined with the uber random holiday (Equinox Day) of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, a fuse blew in the power supply for the computer I use, so I had to temporarily borrow a power supply from the penguins, move everything onto a flash drive, move that onto another computer, and go from there. Of course, I had to do the whole thing over again to get my email over as well... Anyway, after that little hiccup, I got organized in a new corner, and got working on the 'things to do' calendar that I put together for every Weekender. Lots of good concerts coming up in April! They didn't all make the calendar as I try and keep a variety of types of things to do, but Joss Stone, Beck, and Snow Patrol are all coming in April! I think I want to go to at least one of them (probably Joss Stone or Snow Patrol). Any takers?

Basically spent the rest of the day getting the articles I'd written over the weekend to Anthony, printing off piles of proof reading for BAB to work on tomorrow, and starting in on the website updating a little bit. I didn't really have time to do much of that at all though, before a quick run to the post office before leaving at about 5.

Headed to teach at 5:30, and had a pretty good lesson - I found out that they're going on Spring Break as of Thursday for eleven days, so I got them to brainstorm a bit at the end of the night about a project we might all do for the next few sessions, and we decided to make a magazine about Japan, so I have to do some research and gather some books and stuff over the next two days so we can get started with that on Thursday... Hopefully it keeps everyone occupied for the next few weeks!

Came home, and on my way back started listening to This American Life. It's so good! I can see from how good this is, how families might have sat around ye oldie ( ;) ) crystal sets to listen to radio dramas or whatever. They've made the show this week out of tape from their recent six city live tour, but for the most part it follows the typical format. This week's theme is 'what I learned from TV'.

What I learned from this podcast so far, is that the average American watches 29 hours of TV every week! That's ridiculous! Its also the average, which means that some people watch a lot more than that! Even with TiVo, which is unfortunately jacking up my watching, I have 5.5 hours of 'must watch' TV per week (Gilmore Girls, Ugly Betty, ANTM, Desperate Housewives, The Apprentice: LA, and the Hills) *gawd that's a crap list when laid out like that!*, and then add a few more hours from either watching DVDs or working while watching something like Discovery Channel or TLC or whatever... I think I'd be hard pressed to make it to 29 hours though!

Not one to shirk a challenge, I settled in for an evening of TV, since tomorrow is going to be a work day before I meet up with Sarah and her friends in the evening. I just have to say, once again, that I love TiVo! Turned it on, jumped into the menu, and found an hour of gymnastics waiting for me! It was the Canadian Nationals (2006 maybe actually), which was interesting - the comentating was sooo painful! They only showed the top 4 athletes in event final so there are only so many comments you can make about each person's back story, and we got each one many, many times! Its also interesting to see just how big a difference there still is between the Canadians and the rest of the world - extra wobbles, steps out of bounds, lower degrees of difficulties, etc. We have a terrible problem of showing up, but not really competing. Sure, Elyse Hopfner Hibbs is doing things, and Kyle Shewfelt winning gold on floor in Athens in 2004 gave the entire sport a huge shot in the art, but there still needs to be something done to improve the sporting situation in the great white north (see also my soccer rant from a few days ago.)

Inevitably worked on splits for awhile (they're slowly coming back!), and studiously chillaxed, and that about sums up my day...

Happy early Equinox Day!
D

Monday, March 19, 2007

Oh man! Long and busy (but productive, so that's good!) day today! Just a fairly quick blog about the whole thing, cause I need to be up early for work tomorrow, and I'm procrastinating lots of little jobs till the morning (which I will fully regret then!) but it means I need to get up extra early to have time for everything...

Anyway, spent the biggest part of the day back at the immigration office in the middle of nowhere picking up my visa extension. Handily, they aren't deporting me which is always nice, otherwise, I'd be home when Navina is here, which would be a bit of a disaster :) I just need to change my flight home till later in the summer, and I'm all set! I did discover that taking the JR to Shinagawa and then the bus from there is much easier and faster than going to Tennozu Isle station and walking from there, so that's good - the bus to the immigration place is really clearly signed in English, they're obviously used to people like me!

Oh my god! What a freaking ordeal! I had to line up with about 120 people to pick up a form, which didn't require filling out, just stickering with my 'proof of payment', and then I had to go downstairs to the combeni to buy said sticker (the line was probably about 40 people long; out the door), and then back upstairs to wait through about 200 numbers (and an hour long lunch break), on the floor since there were no seats available... Then, I got to the counter only to find out that I'd missed a step (another line, to hand in said sticker), but luckily the guy took pity on me, took the form off me, passed it to his neighbor, and told me to go wait. You'd be surprised how many people would have just been like 'da-me!' and sent me to the back of the other line... Anyway, 30 minutes later, and just over 3 hours after I got in my first line I was out of there. I guess its not actually so long, but its always so crowded and busy and inefficient feeling that its hard to deal with! (Even for someone like me, that actually enjoys filling out forms, and loves it when the census comes around!)

Back on the bus and then to Shibuya, to teach at 4:30. I actually got there a bit early, which was good, I had time to finish my Morgan Fisher article (well actually, I'm way over the word count, but I can deal with that tomorrow), and finish up my movie review. Good to get them basically done though!

Today's student is the stylist, off to New York tomorrow morning at six am with twelve bags full of costumes for a made for TV movie he's working on over the next month. He showed me the page he's made with all of the costumes organized on it, and its completely nuts! There are 6 characters and 83 scenes, and each scene requires a new outfit. Since they're not like the rest of us, and never re wear clothing, its made for quite the shopping spree over the last few weeks! The poor guy was pretty stressed out about everything, and worried the clothes wouldn't fit (he hasn't met many of the Korean actors, just gotten their measurements which he doesn't trust 100%.) For him, the biggest disaster would be having bought clothes which are too small - you can strategically pin stuff, but you can't exactly let it out when there's no extra fabric! I'm excited to hear about his trip when he gets back in the middle of next month!

After he left, I hunkered down (still in the same cafe, as there was a plug they weren't upset about me using and I was there anyway) to write my article about language exchanges for BAB. Again, I'm over by a few hundred words, but I can prune them out over the next couple of days. I don't know what's going on today, I had been getting better about planning the arc of the article to fit the word count, but I think that deciding to 'just write the story first' as I did today did me in in terms of keeping the word count under control. That's what we have editors for though, right?

After finishing that up, I headed to Tower Records and browsed for awhile like a kid in a candy store with all the books in English! I ended up reading first chapters of like three books and flipping through a bunch of magazines (Tower is like home of the magazine browsers!) Soooo many books and so little time! I also went back and checked the name of that book I mentioned a few days ago about the horses in the ghetto. It's called Fletcher Street...
(Click the photo, I think, for more images from inside the book)
I met Sarah after that, in Shinjuku (and got COMPLETELY turned around, taking the totally wrong exit out of that ridiculous place. In the end, I had to call her to get her to meet me, b/c I knew it would take me ages to get to her... I really don't like that station!) Anyway, we went and ate Italian, and had a great, gossipy evening. It was a really good chat, I'm glad we met up! Three hours later, (we had a lot of chatting to do, apparently!), I headed home, and got back here just after 11. Peter and Hitomi were supposed to be back today, but their flight got cancelled and they're staying until Wednesday now, so I just fed a very hungry V (poor girl!) Bribed her forgiveness with a rawhide, blogged, and am now heading to bed!

D

Sunday, March 18, 2007

From the least of reasons why you would know if you belong in the facebook group "I go to Art school and THEREFORE I have more homework than you":

23. Your friends think its funny that you have seen more people naked then they ever will in their whole life. You also have a few horror stories to add to that.

So, so, so true... two years on, the name Michael still makes my skin crawl! Too bad, as its not exactly an uncommon name!

Anyway, today started out as a typical Sunday - slightly painful teaching at 10, yet more taxi stories, and then an entertaining explanation of how one executive's misdeed's weren't really so bad (I guess there's some corporate scandal going on now in court):

him: "He only lied about the earnings about 50 million USD, it's not that much".
me: "Uhhh that's quite a bit! Are you sure it was that much USD, and not that much yen?" (it would be 5 mil US in that case I think)
him: "no, 50 million US, its not that much though - I think all companies lie about their profits, I mean, we do it when we don't want to pay tax"

Right then...

After that, I stayed on to write the lion's share of the rough draft of my Morgan Fisher article/interview. I was using a plug at Starbucks (practically the only one I know about in a Starbucks here), and just as I was getting to the end of my first draft, one of the employees came upstairs to tidy up, and told me I wasn't allowed to use the plug... that definitely sucks! One thing I won't miss about this place - how freaking hard it is to get some denki!

Luckily I was basically ready to move on, so I wandered over to Omotesando, where I was due to meet up with the Paddy Foley's/Weekender crew to march in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. I still remember getting a little suede shamrock sticker in the hospital all those years ago (and being royally pissed about missing the parade). I think this is the first time since then where I've actually celebrated Saint Paddy's day, and not the other significance of March 17 in my life. (Well k, so today was the 18th, but whatever :p). It's a weird thing to talk about though - you can hardly go up to people and be like 'guess what day it is for me today?' Not that I don't haha, but yea, it's a bit odd...
(some of our many many flags)
(Most of the group from Paddy Foley's - it was a pretty big contingent!)
(Where's me lucky charms?)
Annnyway, I got to the crazy staging area, and met up with Helen, and then once we'd left the school grounds, Caroline, her husband, and two super super cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniels joined us for the march down and back Omotesando. Her puppies (Sandy and Tommy) were dressed for the occasion, and drew lots of crowd attention, deservedly so!
(Tommy, with his sister just visible in the background)

It was a much bigger parade than I was expecting! There was a big contingent of us marching with flags for Paddy Foley's, and then the other Tokyo Irish pubs were out, plus the Bailey's dogs (HUGE!!!), the Irish Wolfhounds, the Irish Setters (dogs the order of the day, seemingly!), marching bands, baton twirlers, and happy revellers, impressively kitted out in green.
(Bailey's Saint Bernard - I was amazed how many of them there were!)
(Irish wolfhounds all dressed up...these guys are nearly the same size as Emma!)
(Emma, the cutest pony on the planet!)

Apparently this is the only thing that closes down Omotesando every year, and even though its only for about an hour, I can imagine it bungs up traffic in the area horribly! They do a pretty amazing job of waiting until the last second to close it to traffic, clearing the street, getting the parade through, and then getting everything moving again! I remember the chaos surrounding symphony splash nights in Victoria, and how it takes them a good 4 hours to close down the area, in their super inefficient way of doing it in stages - I think I got caught down there in my kabuki kab since the different check points didn't know if the road was open or not, and so they let us in when we weren't supposed to be in, and it was a big mess of nearly squishing people!

I digress.

Kieron and his sister (visiting from Ireland) were marching with the Tokyo Irish Music Festival, but everyone else from the office was at an outdoor cafe instead of marching with us! We saw them and waved, but no one came to flag wave with us, except Nine, who showed up for the last little bit of the parade. After it was all finished, around three, everyone scatted again, and I grabbed a quick snack before heading home.
(since it's really just Saint Drinking Day!)

I grabbed V, and we walked over to Sasazuka to grab a few groceries from Queen's Isetan. I got two types of fresh bread, which are sooooo tasty! I came home and made a huge, hearty, meaty lasagna, which should pretty much keep me in lunches and snacks all week! I also felt a bit bad because I won't be home when Peter and Hitomi get back from Hawaii tomorrow night, so I figured since they'll probably be hungry from the flight and trek home, the least I could do is leave them some supper.

Spent the rest of the night fairly domestically - cleaning up a bit, laundry, etc, and also gathering my strength for another trip to the immigration hell-office tomorrow - my visa extension appears to be ready to pick up... (or their turfing me out of the country)...

D

Saturday, March 17, 2007

So, up fairly early for a fairly touristy day (photos below, I was testing out the blogging straight from Flickr option), but anyway, I headed allllll the way down the Odakyu Line to Odawara. It actually took about 2 hours door to door which was a little bit longer than I'd anticipated, but I had a really interesting book with me, so that was fine. It's a book called Strip City which is about the one year odyssey across America which Lily, an ex stripper turned journalist takes to come to terms with her 10 years as a dancer. Its interesting, illuminating, funny, shocking, and entertaining.

In Odawara, I headed to the castle, which is really pretty - perched up on a hill and overlooking the city and the water. I wasn't actually there to see the castle predominantly though, so I headed down into the park of the castle to see the horseback archery (Yabusame)which is what I was actually there for. It was pretty interesting - there were using stocky cob type ponies, dressed up in traditional tack and costumes (the saddles look kind of like western saddles without a horn, but the stirrups are really long and kind of flat scoops - they reminded me of grain scoops without the handle/sides - I think this is so that when the riders are standing up to shoot the bows as they gallop along, they have an easier time balancing.) The riders were also dressed in traditional costumes, which were pretty cool - there was a pretty even split of men and women, and I think they competed in mixed classes, but I'm not actually 100% sure about that. Other tack included tie downs, cruppers, and fringes all over the place. Incidentally, a lot of the ponies were studs.

The ponies were all pretty rough and ready, but so cute! Good at their jobs as well - basically, the riders went galloping down a 300 (ish) metre track (with ropes running down both sides of the track). A few seconds in, the riders drop the reins (short, cloth, and tied together), and the ponies keep galloping down the track as the riders stand up in the funny flat, scoopy stirrups, hold up their bows (about 5 feet long), and then string them and shoot an arrow at a target 90 degrees to the left. A hundred metres later, they repeat the process. Each rider gets 2 or 3 goes at it. The targets have lots of concentric circles, and then depending on where they get the arrow on the target, you get a different amount of points. Some riders missed the targets completely, or failed to get their bows strung in time (its all pretty quick, so hardly surprising!)

Today was just the preliminary rounds (tomorrow there is a parade and stuff as well, but I can't go tomorrow), but in the break, there were four kids practicing for the kiddy archery tomorrow. It was hilarious - they weren't actually 'archering', but they were practicing the runs down the path. They had two tiny (10-11hh) paint shetland type ponies which were absolutely adorable! The kids were also dressed up in the traditional costumes, and so cute! I want to try it!

After I watched the archery, I walked through the little flea market they had set up next door, and then headed back up the hill to the castle. Around the castle is a random little zoo (peacocks, monkeys, pheasants, and bizarrely and sadly, an elephant who has been there for 57 years in a tiny pen!) I went into the castle, which is actually a recreation of the original structure on the outside, but modernized (well 60s style) in the inside. The inside is four floors of artifacts, maps, models, etc. It was pretty interesting, and they did a decent job of incorporating English into the whole thing. At the top, you can walk around on a viewing platform, and look over the city and out to the water.

Headed back home at about 5, worked on a movie review for work, finished my stripper book, watched the Apprentice (season 1) and made some very yummy pancakes - I got the recipe from allrecipes.com and they were great! I didn't make the fruit topping, but the pancakes themselves were good - I don't think I've ever put vanilla in pancakes before, but its a great addition!

Tomorrow, I teach and then march in the Saint Patrick's Day parade, which should be entertaining, and then maybe soccer...

D.

PS - happy Saint Patrick's Day, and Happy Diabetes Day to me (14 years, yikes!)

thelwell!


horseback archery 009
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

practicing kid


horseback archery 007
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

random castle elephant


horseback archery 018
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

Odawara Castle


horseback archery 023
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

look ma! no hands!


horseback archery 028
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

horseback archery


horseback archery 036
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

horseback archery


horseback archery 041
Originally uploaded by studiodani.

western saddle with the horn sawn off?


horseback archery 062
Originally uploaded by studiodani.