Thursday, July 20, 2006

AW Chain (Round Three)

This morning I promised myself I'd write. No playing or e-mailing or superfluous googling. Write! Eerily, after I sat down I kept getting this overwhelming urge to visit AW. Iron will that I have, I lasted almost half an hour before I gave in and looked. And good thing too. There was a PM from Chaostitan! Round Three of the AW Chain has made its way to me.

I feel this sort of connection with Chaostitan. I think it might have to do with her awesome taste in blog templates and her love for kitty cats. I don't know. Might be something else. It could be here extra sensory powers to inform me of a waiting PM.

Today is July 19th in the states.

I'm going try and pull a feat that might just be illegal to the AW chain. I'm going to try and skew this post to what I had planned for today's blog.

Chaostitan brought Southern Expression's piece on technology to her thoughts on cell phones. She mentioned that while hers has text messaging she doesn't use it much. Text messaging! Speaking of text messaging, I got several yesterday (July 19th here) on my cell. They were all to my son though. And from friends that we don't see a lot. You see it was his birthday. He's eleven now! Eleven. Wow.

I was going to put lots of cutesy-pie baby pictures up but being eleven...he may kill me. I did find one. This is kindergarten so not too cutesy but he's wearing his pretty yukata. He had a big summer festival at school that night.

This whole getting older thing just blows my mind. It always has. I think I'm deficient in that part of reality. Like when I meet friends or relatives with children I haven't see in a while and they are so much bigger, I really have a hard time dealing with it. Not to mention that I'm getting older. Yesh.

But J! Happy Birthday!

He's going through a kind of watershed recently with studies and school and things he wants to quit doing (after almost five years) and things he wants to start doing. It's all very new to him these feelings. Like how life, in hindsight, seems to block itself off into periods and then how you reach a point (either high or low) where that period just ends. You say goodbye to people, places, certain ways of living, whatever, and you start on a whole new path. So I can see him going through this and it is very painful and exciting all at once. But I think he is making the right decisions so I am happy that I can encourage those. Even though change is painful I think he will be much better for it.

I baked a cake. I'm not a great baker. I didn't inherit any of my mother's amazing cleaning/cooking gene. But I made one. From scratch even. It has one gazillion calories. I think that is a fair estimate. Here's a picture.

Is that a snowman on top? Yea. Is the four bars of melted white chocolate and cream sort of pooling in the center? Yea. Is there four bars of dark chocolate, five eggs, an entire tub of real butter and more cream in that thing? Yea. Is that my arteries you hear hardening as I type? Oh yea. It was good though. Right now all that is left is the center and that is being saved for the birthday boy himself. He's got a very busy summer vacation starting next week so I won't even beg to cut the piece in half. He can have it all. Hey, you only get one eleventh birthday!

Next up is Tiffany's Smorgasbord. She also has perfectly delicatable taste in blog templates as well. You'll see!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cold Play!

Last night was Coldplay!

After J got in from school he hurried up his homework, put the dog in his room and then we set off to Tokyo. M was already there on business so we'd meet up at Tokyo Station. My only rule was NOT to leave the Bullet train area. Okay, sure. I can do that.

Everything went smoothly, we get off the train and my phone rings. It's M and he says he'll be a little late. Forty-five minutes. Well, gee, J is hungry and so am I so we're gonna grab a bite to eat, then meet you here. J and I head off to find some grub. We walk and walk and find something that looks good. We order. Mail on my phone. It's M again. He'll be here in fifteen minutes. Crap! Food thankfully comes out fast and we devour it, pay the check and head back to our meeting point. We find the meeting point. This is going great! No M though. Odd.

Phone rings. Where are you?

Um...There was much confusion and running around and phone calls back and forth and finally we discovered that I had left the Bullet train area...pushed my little tickets through and voila! Now we were totally on the wrong side of where we needed to be. Much runnng and stair climbing but we eventually made it to the Budokan unscathed, a bit wet, but on time.

The funny thing about the Budokan is that it is like oh-so-famous for bands and all but it wasn't made to be a music hall. It is a martial arts arena. The sound is quite bad. M told me lots of times bands will write on their liner notes that the show was taped here but in reality they'll record it in Nagoya or somewhere else, where the sound is better. It is also very tiny. From the pictures you can see we had nose bleed seats but still we could see quite good. Here is J and the stage before hand.

The place was packed and all those foreigners! I was surprised. We even had an English couple sitting right next to us. Another lovely thing about shows here is that you can drink. They sell beer and the like. So we all sat there drinking our Sapporo beers waiting for the show to start.

It did and it was great! I got chill bumps four times and cried thrice. Today I was reading over some other blogs of people who went and quite a few said they were crying as well. What is up with that??

It was so friggin' good though. The audience went nuts and the band was tight, the sound actually fantastic and they played like all my favorite songs! Well, I wished they'd have played Green Eyes. Sigh... J wanted them to play "Spies" (from their first album) because it has such dorky lyrics. "Spies came out of the water..." Okay~~.

Chris spoke a little. Said, "Thanks for having us at such a hallowed place..." What IS it about super tall, super lanky Englishmen??!!!

It always rains when we go to the Budokan. This time though we had umbrellas. Here is a shot leaving, the sea of umbrellas and the Coldplay sign.

Also, I could have sworn I saw Ringo Starr milling around. I really did!

※Set List:
Square 1
Speed of Sound
God Put a Smile
What If
Don't Panic
White Shadows
The Scientist
Till Kingdome Come
( )
Swallowed in the Sea
In My Place
Fix You

Monday, July 17, 2006

足湯 A Hot Spring for Your Feet!

I don't know how long these have been around--probably for thousands of years--but I just recently discovered them. They're called ashi-yu (足湯) which literally translates as "foot hot water". But I guess a hot footbath describes them well enough. They seem to be at all the train stations these days. Even our little rinky-dink station got one not too long ago.

Yesterday we left early and spent all day walking around Mount Fuji (those pictures later). We got in around six or so and were actually heading to one of those izakayas we particularly like, when we discovered it was closed. The little ashi-yu place was free and since our dogs were really barking we all stopped to enjoy that instead. There's J (green shirt) fixin' to put his socks back on and his buddy S coming down the mini stairs.

So how you work one of these is pretty simple. You simply remove shoes and socks, roll up pants if you're me or someone like me. And insert footsies in to the obscenely hot water.

Here is a close up. You can see by S's face...I joke not when I say it is obscenely hot. It feels absolutely wonderful!