Hunkabutta Archives

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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.


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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 November.

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...