Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Kristie

On this day, 20-some-odd-years-ago, the youngest of us sisters was born. Happy birthday to Kristie!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Things I Heart About Japan

Right now, so much of the focus on Japan is about the enormous disasters that have gone on over the past several days. Rightfully so. It has been a most awful time for the Land of the Rising Sun, and it hurts my heart every time I watch or read the latest news.

Instead of all the chaos and destruction, I want to think about the things I love about Japan. Here goes:
  • Anpan—a sweet bread filled with an, which I guess is a red bean paste.

  • Robotech—only my favorite cartoon and the first anime I ever saw.

  • Mugicha—barley tea; I first had this when I spent a short bit of my summer, right around 5th grade in Fukuoka.

  • Kuri manju— it's manju, but the outside is more of a baked bread than pounded-out-rice. Just go to your local Marukai or Nijiya and ask for it.

  • Miyazaki Films like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, etc.

  • Obento—the best box-lunch ever.
Okay, so I realize this centers mostly around food and media. But, these will be important in the weeks and months to come as Japan struggles to recover. I wish I could do something more tangible to help, but I think buying Japanese products will go a long way.

I do love other things about Japan and its people. It is such an orderly and considerate society. One in which you care about how your actions affect those around you; and this is so ingrained that you see the culture shining through in the simplest of photos. Here is the the picture that warms my heart the most (open it in a new window so you can see a larger version:

Notice how many of them are sitting or laying on some kind of paper or mat so that they are not directly touching the floor? And do you see how some of them have taken off their shoes and lined them up just-so? It's so Japanese. I love it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

In Thanks

So I've been sitting on this blog topic for a little bit, and every time I think I want to write about it, I change my mind. Between the earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami activity of the past 24-ish hours, I changed my mind again.

It's time I say how thankful I am for my friends and family. I never say it enough to my family, but I do appreciate them—more than they could ever imagine. But really, I want to "talk" about my friends today.

My friends freaking rock. I pretty much have always known that, but lately...well, lately they have really gone the extra 5,280 feet for me. The most tangible example I can give you is that I need more than two hands to count the number of friends who have opened their home to me. And I don't mean for a short visit.

And that's really all I can say on this right now.

That, and thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Girls' Day!

March 3rd is a day known as Girls' Day in Hawaii, or Hinamatsuri in Japan. Culturally, I can't tell you much about it, but we celebrated it in Hawaii when I was growing up. Mainly that entailed having the boys put up all the girls' chairs at the end of the school day. Now that's something from the hanabata days.

Nowadays I don't do anything at all to celebrate Girls' Day except for make some sort of status update on Facebook. Some years I have been known to call up my mom and lament the fact that she didn't send me a Girls' Day present. This year I did no such thing as I am just being grateful.