Wednesday, July 30, 2008

new adventures

Here are some recent photos from the Torii Beach Wine Festival.
Kimono girl

Jazz all day long

Jazz all night long

hanging out on the grass

serious fireworks

John is back, yay!  Before he came back I got a chance to go rock climbing with some friends.  It was at an indoor "gym" here, and really fun.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to even make the first couple of steps, but it's surprisingly easy when you use your legs instead of hands to force your weight up.  The wall that I was able to climb was about 30 feet high, and straight up.  Most of the walls actually slant backwards, so you are not only gripping on the tiny rocks to keep from falling down, but to keep from falling backwards.  I made it about 75% up one of those more advanced walls before I fell backwards, but you have a friend attached to a rope that keeps you from falling to your death.  It was so fun that I actually found myself the following day kind of itching to climb a wall. We're going again next week and I', sure John will love it. 

Then, saturday, Lauren and I went snorkeling off the Kadena steps.  It was the best snorkeling spot I've seen so far - the fish were really diverse.  I saw a black and white striped water snake, which was apparently poisonous, although the sly little sucker swore he wasn't harmful when he was cozying up near me.  Then I saw a fish that was square around it's girth.  It was black with neon tiny spots of pink and yellow all around it.  It looked like a tacky-Pier-1-Imports-table-art-tchochky version of a fish.  I can't imagine how these fish evolve to be neon pink, blue, yellow, and square???  

Lauren swam up to me, and said, "are you getting stung?" and I was like "no, what are you talking ab.....ah? ouch! ouch! ouch! what is that?????" And I was getting stung all over my legs.  I couldn't even see what was stinging me, there was nothing there, but I hi-tailed it out of the ocean lickety split.  I had puffy irritated spots all over me.  Microscopic jelly fish?  Toxic nuclear waste from the Chinese subs??  I'm hoping it's the former, as I'd like to snorkel again soon.  Ironically, I had been mocking our friend Dave for wearing a full body wetsuit.  Needless to say, he did not get stung.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camilla & Lee

Thought I'd share some pics of Camilla and Uncle Lee

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Haps

Just got home from my Japanese final.  Such a great feeling.   I remember when I got on the bus on the way home from my last final at UCSD - art history.  It was 5 years late, but like grapes left on the vine too long, it was only that much sweeter.  I rode the shuttle around the campus an extra loop, looking for ghosts who lurked amongst the eucalyptus trees....  DDcones, TylerCones and all the 80's guys, Andris and Ani and all the people who had been a part of that campus for me.  They had flown the coop back in 2000, and here I was, riding the loop in June 2005, extra unused bluebook in hand. It was my best accomplishment yet.  I did it alone - my only friend all year was my roommate Lu. 

So now, I'm starting my in Japan!  What unbelievable circumstances have brought me to this point?  Marriage? I thought that would never happen.  Living in Japan?  In my wildest dreams!  And I am.  Okinawa ni sunde imasu!

Had my first "driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road" experience today. It was bound to happen. At least it was on base - I don't think the japanese police would have gone easy on me for that one.  People were looking at me funny, yes, but I thought they were just thinking, "wow, she must really like that song cause she's got no shame in singing it out loud."  Really they were wondering how drunk I was.  Anyway, situation resolved itself once I got to a stop light.

John is in Ohio on a TDY, and as much as I say that, I don't know what it stands for.  I'm thinking... Temporary Duty.....Y-something.  Acronyms have become a part of life here.  I can also identify the type of plane flying over head BY IT'S SOUND.  Yes it's true.  The F-15s are flying quite frequently these days.  Lets just hope they don't go the way of the B-52s and start falling out of the sky.  

Speaking of DDcones, I am beside myself with the time that has flown....her babies are no longer babies.  Here are some photos she was kind enough to share.

Oh man, Keira is going to cause her daddy to lose sleep - what a beauty.  I have not met Jaxon yet, but I feel like I have because he looks just like Marc.

Colbert Nation is on, must run.  Sweet dreams....

Friday, July 11, 2008


In case you're wondering what those crazy looking dogs are in my header, those are our new shisa dogs.  Every house in Okinawa has them... We went shopping on Kokasai Street (big shopping district) to buy Clay some Shisa dogs before he moved off the island. I saw these and there was something about the bright colors and just the lunacy of these guys that made me think they'd fit in well at our house. And they do.

Natalia, my vigilant intellectual property watchdog back in the states emailed me from this photo she took in a store in Venice Beach - selling my trees!!!  Thankfully, these appear to be the designs that our partner company has produced for us, so rather than getting worked up, I am pleased to see they are out there on the market. Funny that the tree was the first thing I ever did in metal, on the first day of class.

Our new designs are looking spectacular, and I'll be sure to post as they come.  John's heading back to the states tomorrow for two weeks, and I'm jealous...i am itching to come home, but I think it would be best if I waited till Thanksgiving. 

There is a persistent rumor that our lovely ex-neighbor Vic is going to spend her precious vacation time and come to visit us this summer.  I've also been told that Andre might come and stay with us for a bit?  I'm thrilled at the prospect of both, and I'll tell you what - first one to reach the shores of Okinawa gets the fresh sheets!

Speaking of the shores of Okinawa, we were told that when the US troops came ashore during the Battle of Okinawa, they came up in a stretch of beach exactly where I live.  My grandfather was in that battle.  It is astonishing for me to think about. 

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We were driving to Japanese class last night at dusk, and a huge black bird was flying along side the car.  No. Wait.  That's a....oh my god, that's a BAT.  Bats instead of birds.  They are everywhere.  This one was like a Gunner bat, nice and round around the belly, no doubt from sucking children's blood.  They hang out in the trees, come out at night. 

In other trees, the cicadas loom large.  These are knarly bugs, although I haven't actually witnessed one up close.  By the sound coming from certain trees, you'd think there were thousands and we are being visited by a plague.  Here's a video of the sound.

John has a 4 day weekend for the fourth.  We're off to the Tori Wine fest and AMERIKA fest. Photos to follow.  Happy fourth of July!!!