Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beer Reviews

A brief interruption in our countdown. I'm a correspondent/beer girl over at Belching Monkey. Please give us hits (and maybe read my reviews)!


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Monday, December 29, 2008


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Friday, December 26, 2008


Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas Keki
Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin
Merry Christmas!
This is our last Christmas in Japan, so it was bittersweet, unlike our "traditional" Japanese Christmas cake.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Cue banal powerballad "Final Countdown" NOW.
30 days remaining until we fly out. I'm beginning to take my last looks around.

Click on the pictures to get information.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stone Lantern with Snow

Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin
We got a good snowfall. It looks like winter for real now!
More pictures on flickr, click the image to go to the photoset.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It's been a little hectic around here, what with 30 days remaining till we leave Misawa and 32 left til we depart Japan entirely.

Add to this the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and well that's my excuse for missing my semi-regular M,W,F updates. Sorry Mom, CIS, DS and the three other people who follow this.

Very quickly:

I am working on my first beer review for Belching Monkey!
I'm reviewing Mishima Banana Soda and Mongozo Banana Beer.
Monkey? Banana? Get it? Awwww, come on.

I did a bunch of baking to make goodies for the office.

I did some part time work last Saturday and wore a "christmas kimono" ensemble which I thought was tacky but ended up being well-received.

I went out with the Server Support team and ate, drank, exchanged gifts and watched them play SMASH BROS for our holiday get-together.

I got the house decorated for Xmas, and like I promised in the last few posts - pictures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Strong in the Rain

Strong in the rain
Kenji Miyazawa, translated by Rogger Palbuse

Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four go of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs ... his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there's a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, "Don't be afraid"
If there's strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their perttiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about a loss during the cold summer
Everyone calles him "Blockhead"
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart ...

This is the sort of person
I want to be


Monday, December 15, 2008


Days 'til Christmas! Is your shopping done?!
No snow here. The house looks cute enough, but I didn't decorate as heavily this year.

At some point, I will put up pictures. The tree is really pretty this year and my tree topper is pretty funny, too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The final out for our house is January 19, 2009.
We move into the hotel until January 21.
We fly to Tokyo on January 21st.
We fly back to the US on January 23rd.

And there you have it.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Our packout is confirmed for January 14th. yippee.

Had dinner with our dear friend Masako. We ate ourselves silly, surrounded by the clamor of year-end parties, a haze of cigarette smoke (not so fun), and the bustle of the waitstaff. Cozy, informal, easy and wonderful. Masako remarked that it didn't seem like we've been friends for more than three years now. Without her friendship and help, I never would have been able to learn as much about Kimono as I did. I sincerely hope she can visit us in the USA sometime.

A few emails about jobs, nothing stateside and nothing where we want to go. Germany fell through about two weeks ago. I'm fine with that - one less decision to agonize over.
I'm tired of the ongoing crap with this new contract. I'm sad to be leaving some of the aspects of my home- and work-life here behind, but I am also looking forward to dealing with a different kind of stupid back stateside. Change can be good. Even if it's just a change in the scenery of stupid. We have a plan of attack and I am ready to fire the opening salvo. I am painfully excited to see my friends - who have been very good about fb, email, twitter. Thanks, guys. You know who you are. I can't wait to see you all again.

My Aunt Den made Christmas more excellent for me by sending a care package of indigenous Buffalo/Western NY foodstuffs that I've always missed terribly around the holidays - DiCamillo's baked goods, her famous shortbread cat, homemade pistachio bark, sponge candy. No molasses cookies this package, but I am not complaining. Hilarious shotglasses - I need to youtube a video of Chris and I doing shooters with them. The shotglasses have LEDs in them that flash when you bang them on the table. Mine says "Reindeer Fuel!"

I did the holiday decorating over the weekend. It made me feel better to put the tree up a week earlier than usual. I'll even be able to observe my tradition of taking the tree down New Year's day. This is a nicer way to end my run in Japan then having Xmas in a hotel room. I am grateful for the opportunity for this "proper" (at least to me) closure. We will be out of the house on January 19th, living in a hotel for a few weeks, then we come back to the US.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Our pack out date is most likely going to be the 14th of January.
Once this is confirmed, I'll have to reschedule our flights out of Japan and our hotel accomodations stateside.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


We have been definitely have been extended until January 25, 2009.
It's a relief to know that and now we just need to reschedule the packout and our travel plans.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Little Bit More

Lastest scuttlebutt is that we will be extended until the end of January 2009, not March as we had orginally thought.

Waiting for the final word and then I will reschedule our packout and our travel arrangements.

I am excited to be in my cute little Japanese house for one more Christmas!