click to enlarge
Well, my mother should be here in a few days
and we haven't even begun to get ready yet.
I mean, there are clothes to wash, there
is furniture to dust, cupboards to clean,
and on and on -- it's a daunting set of tasks.
Karen and I are both looking forward to my
mother's arrival. We get kind of lonely out
here sometimes, and it's only when you have
no access to your family do you begin to
understand how much you need them in ways
that you never even realized before.
So, my mother will be here for two weeks,
and after that Karen and Jack are going back
to Vancouver for two or three weeks so that
Jack can meet Karen's family. Unfortunately
I can't get any time off of work to go with
them. What this means is that I'll have a
two week window of opportunity to cut loose
and pretend that I'm a bachelor again.
Being a faux bachelor should be fun, but
I'm not sure if I still have my old stamina.
I think, just to be safe, I should invest
in one of these party aids.
click to enlarge
Last Sunday was a great day, not just because
of our chance encounter with the Emperor
and Empress of Japan (see Monday's post)
but also because our neighborhood held its
annual matsuri: a street festival with religious origins.
We came home from the park at around 7:00
p.m., still elated by our unexpected brush
with divine royalty. As we walked out of
the station, we heard drumming coming from
over the houses and buildings way over on
the main street.
We decided to investigate, and lucky we did,
because it turned out to be the annual neighborhood
festival. I don't know if it was the 'official'
matsuri because I didn't see the Shinto shrine
relic that usually gets paraded around boisterously
at these events. Nonetheless, this was a
rockin' street party with a variety of local
taiko drum groups, processions of women dancing in
circles around a central podium, kids in
kimono, games, food, and fun of all kinds.
Jack was a bit of a celebrity as well.
We have no plans for this coming weekend,
but I think that it's going to be hard to
top last week's.
In other news, my job is starting to get
really busy -- lately I haven't been getting
home until 10:00 p.m. I'm working on a large-scale
Japanese music site, due to be launched in
For you techies out there, it'll be run on
a Blue Martini platform (i.e., JSP, Java, Java Beans).
I've been charged with writing the Java code
for little snippets of functionality throughout
the site,e.g., the system that reminds you
of your password if you've forgotten it,
checking to see if a CD or T-shirt is in
stock before allowing a site-user to buy
it, etc. I know it doesn't sound too exciting,
but it's actually kind of fun -- I guess
everything seems a little bit more interesting
when you're living in a foreign country because
even the most banal of tasks are taking place
in an exotic context.
I'll let you know how the project pans out...