Monday, September 29, 2008


The sun is going down earlier and (seems to) be coming up later. This morning, out on my run, I was up on a ridge and got a view of the town, still asleep, with mountains to the west and the sunrise to the east.

It was cool, calm and peaceful. I really like(d) living here and I was stuck by sudden melancholy about leaving this place soon.

Then I was struck in the forehead by some giant-ass nasty bug and that brought me back to reality: jobs go away, people move on and in a few months no one will ever know I lived or worked here. The town won't look much different, someone else will be out running on the ridge and enjoying an early-autumn sunrise.

I barrelled towards home and a hot shower.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Misawa Aviation and Science Museum

After four years, we finally made it to the Misawa Aviation Museum. And talk about lucking out, they had most of the planes OPEN, so you could get in them and flip switches, push buttons, stomp on pedals and shoot down bad guys.

The building and grounds are fantastic.

Click on the picture to go to Flickr. There's more photos in the set.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Southwest Trip

My friend KW went a-travelling. Looks like he saw lots of cool stuff:

KW trip pix

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumnal Equinox

Tomorrow (9/23) is the equinox, which is also a national holiday here for some reason.

12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. Then the days begin to get shorter, like our time here.

I love Autumn here in Misawa, and part of me is really sad that this will be my last one. I miss having the sun up at 4:30am though.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ringo (Apples)

The label of a bag of locally grown apples I purchased:

The whole group of people who "made" my apples! They all look so serious. Apparently, apples is serious bidness.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We had a beautiful clear night Sunday, which was perfect for Tsukimi (moon viewing). I bought mochi cakes and brought in some Susuki (Pampas) grass for seasonal decor.
The moon as seen from the balcony of my house.

My tatami room.Mochi. The yellow ones have white bean filling in them. The pink and green ones have red bean.The Japanese don't see a man in the moon, they see an usagi (rabbit).Stems of Susuki grass.
Susuki grass fronds.
I enjoyed a cup of matcha (green tea) with my mochi. Since green tea is sort of bitter, it goes nicely with the mochi. The chawan, or tea bowl, dates from the end of the Meiji era (about 1926). Ume (plum) blossoms are usually a late winter theme, but I like this bowl a lot and wanted to use it.

Friday, September 12, 2008


What happened to this week!
Um, yeah.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In the Middle

It's the middle of the week.
I completely lost track. Sorry, no interesting posts.
My life is completely banal and bourgeoise, mostly.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fall is Coming

The leaves haven't yet changed, but the stores are putting out the fall food, including Kirin Aki (Fall) Beer!

It's now still dark at 4:30 am and the quality of light has changed, too.

Looking forward to the change of seasons/scenery.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Teto Teto (hedgehog)

Teto Teto (hedgehog)
Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin
I spent the whole weekend knitting.
I made two scarves, a headband a pair of wristwarmers AND
I made a hedgehog!
I so need a life.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Analog Game Japanese Version

Has nothing to do with digital - the usage of analog here is in the "bearing some resemblance" sense of the word.

My mother is notorious for pointing out people who look like other family members. For example: watching Rockford Files, Mom noted that James Garner "looks like Uncle Mark!" and on Dynasty, Linda Evans made her think of my Aunt Kate. Mom found look-alikes everywhere on TV shows, models in magazines and fliers, actors in movies and even random people on the street. This habit was picked up by my brother (for a while) and me. It got so bad that one evening, while all of us were watching a movie (on VHS! Kids, remember that?) my father turned to us and roared "They look like ACTORS! Shut up and watch the goddamm movie!"

Well, guess what? The game works here in Japan. I've seen Japanese analogues for a number of my family and friends:

My maternal grandmother
My paternal grandmother
My paternal grandfather
My father (which was weird)
My mother
My brother
Me (only from the back, she had the same haircut and color, and dressed in a style similar to what I like but was definitely Japanese. Chris pointed her out. I found it gave me a distinct sense of unease to be walking behind "myself")
My cousin Matt
My Aunt Den
Chris' dad
Chris' brother Tim
Chris' brother Gee
Chip F. (gets even weirder, because Chip looks like a really thin version of my dad, who hated the game, as previously mentioned)
Don S. (although we are not sure if it counts, because he's Chinese)
Ben L. (again, not sure if it counts, he's Chinese, too)
Ron R.
Randy L.
Chris W.
Mike E.
Chris S.
Rebecca C.
Scott B.
James T.
The Individual Formerly Known as Spouse
Dr. D
Ernie L.
Fran V.
The guy at the tollbooth here in Misawa who looks exactly like Hiro from HEROES (we weren't the only ones who noticed this either - the whole office was talking about it one morning. Not sure if it counts as he's already Japanese. Maybe that makes it a meta-analogue or something?)

I'm sure there's some I've forgotten, but you get my drift.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hump Day

Just trying to make it through the week. Phew. After two months of being a couch potato, I'm back to working out again and my muscles, joints and bones have nothing nice to say to me or to each other.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Satori no ato ni mo sentaku wo

Satori no ato ni mo sentaku wo

After enlightment, the laundry.

Since I am nowhere near satori, after the laundry, there's the dishes, the dusting, the vacuuming, the yardwork, etc.

Calligraphy from a local artist, done at my request. And yes, it's hanging in my laundry room: