January 2005 Archives

Still here...

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Hanging with Dav's bio fam. Got a pic with Papa John. And Dav's grandma wrote a poem! Then Antonio played the spoons...And as I snuck up to get a video, I ended up getting my butt spanked by his spoons and twirled around in a dance. Unexpected partipation! You can see on the video when he approaches me and instructs me (and phone) to turn. Then Antonio shook his butt. Man, what a happening place

Cafe Trieste in Berkeley

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Yep. Opened 4 months ago. Such a community!

Caughtcha!

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Wakame as herself. See why I love her to bits? She's so funny and adorable in her unique way.

Extra Action Marching Band

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My camphone battery died mid-event (grrr!!) so finally, here are some close shots of when the Extra Action Marching Band pushed through the crowd and started their performance. I found myself surrounded by at least 2 tubas and a trombone...just as the dancers, dressed in silver-beaded thongs, jumped into the fighting ring to give us a show. Man, they sure raised the energy by several notches!!

I had given Ezra my camphone for a bit and he got some good pics of the crowd as they watched the fights. The last pic is of smiling Mieko-san. If you know Tokyo Tidbits, you know she appeared quite a lot there : ) It was great seeing her. We've lived in SF and Tokyo together...and I hadn't seen her forever. I called her last minute before going to Oakland knowing she'd like that sorta scene, and of course, she was already planning on going. What a fun night!!

A real Fight Club

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In Oakland. Very Mad Max-ish. Fire, fighting, motorcycles, loud explosions, and an agressive crowd. Very cool though! And girl fighting too.

Callou Designs

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We visited Eme's cute little store that she opened a few months ago in lower haight. It's already full of her creative clothes and personality. It's really cool to watch her success story unfold; from her bedroom workshop, her increasing span of designs, and now her store. 2 customers came in while we were there and she's busy as can be. I couldn't resist and bought a pink scarf and a shirt that Eme will custom fit for me. She even has an official Callou Design bag!!

Personal

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This is to those who know the wonderful, adventurous and thoughhtful Joy... ASIJ times and beyond that in so many ways. She continues to grow and share in ways that tickle me pink. I, eh hem, so knew she and Gen would be buds.

FooBar

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At work, on Fridays, we bust out a mini bar, music and lots of bottles. Hard to keep working once FooBar opens. It bonds us, let's say.

Tommy

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A gentle Six Apart member who walks around saying hi to everyone. And it's not me who is small. Tommy would surely tower over me if he stood up...

What's in 6A's kitchen?

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This is what keeps us going: snacks and lots of sugar. I found some oranges in the fridge though. That's healthy.

Funny friends!

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Visiting Eme and Eric. First, we forgot their apt. # but it didn't matter cuz there weren't enough buzzer buttons anyway. Luckily, Eme rode up on her bike just in time to let us in. We get in and Eric got Dav to join him in a dance game. What a precious video! Folks who know Eric...isn't his piano sign just perfect??

JY is cool! or a bit wacky

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Check out his T-shirt. From a Spanish company...that as far as I can tell is a little disturbed, but they are having fun with it.

Stamp it!

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Dinner at French bistro Liaison in Berkeley. They stamp the dessert menu on the table. I am having sorbet and my, it's fancy.

Yo, thanks for the wine!

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An anonymous benefactor kindly dropped off a nice box of wines and more. Includes 1993 to 2004 (Beaujolais Nouveau), a muscat, and cistrus rum. Already enjoyed a nice white.

Live from Tahoe!

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At Squaw Valley...Gorgeous T-shirt weather and lots of snow. Getting a little slushy but it's so nice to be here. Ahhh.

1000 Blank White Cards Game

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At home, inspired by Ezra. Now I know why this is so freaking FUN! My gosh, the things we are learning about each other! This is way too much fun! All cards were drawn by players. .Um, notice the cards referring to me? My, what lovely housemates. I highly recommend to all. You can find various rules, but it's all fun!! If you know the so-called rules, you'll get the pics, no?

Jay Allen with fuzzy ears

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He volunteered to wear my bear ears. A little fun for the meeting that is about to begin. I should bring my bunny ears next.

PSP

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Hirata-san showed his PSP...which of course stands for Play Station Portable. Ha. Now, I know. There is no way to be "in" without being in Tokyo with the light years they are ahead for certain developments. Especially me...Geez. My SO non-in-ness is SO being exposed by living here...BTW...the PSP is much smaller than appears on video...

American Izakaya

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At Thirsty Bear with visiting colleagues from Tokyo, Hirata-san and Miyagawa-san (who just joined...Welcome!). Believe it or not, Hirata-san is here for 2 days! Otsukare sama desu!

Hotel Utah

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Having lunch with Dav. Just a few steps from work. A welcome change from San Mateo where we were so isolated. Dav didn't lose time in getting connected...

Dav's pictures of the trip are up!

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Chilly day, eh?

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It's only my second day working in our new office. I'm still adjusting to the beauty and space. I walked into the kitchen today and bumped into a bunch of Six Aparters happily eating pizza together. I marveled at the site because we never had a kitchen before, let alone space to eat together!

But the heating still needs some adjustment. I'm serious when I say I don't like being cold. Sippey caught me decked out at a meeting in a particularly cold area of the office...

Comments are open!!

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Thanks to Dav, Kokochi has comments again! Yay! Also, thank you for your patience to all those who emailed me instead while comments were down. And especially during the tsunami scare, thanks for checking in with me. : )

Last night in Chiang Mai

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At a beautiful riverside restaurant in Chiang Mai for our last night. Fancy. We were already full from a gigantic lunch that was fantastic. So we had wine and dessert (although the pic shows the magnificent bottle of water we had). Actually called "Riverside" and I highly recommend for a romantic evening.

Minty: you should go there since you're still in the area. We miss you! And on our last evening, we wondered aloud, "What's Minty doing now?" Go Minty!!

Various scenes from lovely Pai

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Driving there.

Dav getting a 3 hour spa/massage.

Dav with a spoon on his nose (a game sponsored by Mellow Yellow, a cool and fun bar).

Views from a walk to the hills up behind the hot springs (that were hot enough to satisfy the Onsen-loving me).

Views from our bungalow.

Driving to Shark River Restaurant.

Shark River Restaurant: our favorite bar/restaurant that was so chill we ate and napped for a few hours. When we woke to get going, the owner came by to say, "you leave us so soon?"

Sittin' at Mellow Yellow yet again. And Ari with the colorful healthy shakes they served.

Various scenes from Ko Samui

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The most relaxed cat I've seen at the Seabreeze Bungalow that came up to Dav, plopped down in his arms, and napped.

Beautiful nature up in the hills.

A cute alter with tiny statues of a cute old couple. Just how I wanna be when I'm 80 years old.

Ahhh. The beach.

A chicken family walking around. I've actually never seen a whole family; mom, dad, chicks all hanging out together. I saw them several times, always together.

The perfect facial

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One afternoon in Ko Samui, Sapna and I ventured out on our own to get a facial. We went to a beautiful hotel only to find their services were totally booked. So we enjoyed their garden and drank coconut cocktails on their beach. But we later went to Four Seasons and splurged on the best facial I've ever had.

Omatase! お待たせ!

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Finally, I'm uploading pics that I took with my faithful phone while in Thailand. It's weird cuz even though I couldn't moblog, my phone is my camera so that's what I used. Dav has a super duper digital camera so I left it to him to get the nice pics. My pics are more of my snapping what caught my eye or moved me.

These pics here are of my first night alone in Bangkok before I met up with everyone. I was fascinated by all the food stalls and ate more than a normal dinner's worth of food. It was delicious...although now I suspect that I got my tummy bout from here (??). Anyhow, it was fun poking around, pointing at dishes, and tasting all of them.

Airport emotions

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Just came back from picking up Dav at the airport. It took a while for him to come out as he apparently had his luggage searched - no doubt due to his very suspicious looking passport photo - and as I waited, I was struck at how many different emotions and experiences airports hold: there were 2 Japanese camera crews waiting for a famous baseball player to burst through the doors; a woman arrived from Thailand on a medical stretcher was greeted by reporters and her family (I can only assume she was at the tsunami scene); many family members waiting for loved ones; shrieks from a girl meeting her long lost friend...so many individual memories.

I remember my mom used to tell me how airports always made her sad since she used to send off my brother every year to boarding school to the US from Japan. And then she had to learn to part with me when I went to college in the US. Me too, I used to get a lump in my stomach at SFO and Narita when either Dav was leaving Tokyo or I was leaving SFO after being able to spend time together during our long-distance relationship.

I bet there are a million amazing airport emotion-filled stories.

Tadaima! ただいま!

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Arrived home a short while ago. Shocking to see all this rain after beautiful sunny days. But soooo good to hug my kitties again. As soon as I walked in and called their names, they came running. They've been purring non-stop and sticking very close to me. Dav arrives tomorrow at 9am as he had to go back through Viet Nam.

I had a 5 hour lay over in Taipei, not the cheeriest airport to hang out in. And it was freezing with totally out of control air-conditioning. In search of warmth, I ordered tea at a coffee shop. I couldn't decide if I was crazy or the airport folks were out of their minds, so I asked the server whether he thought it was a tad chilly and whether there was a warmer corner I could run to. I only got a smile and a shrug. To those who know me, being cold is almost frightful for me. Once I lose body heat, I can't generate it on my own. So I wasn't looking forward to the chilly 5 hours ahead of me. I was grateful that I had my gigantic scarf that I always have with me, even in tropical Thailand.

I'm writing this because I wanted to also share how thankful I was to have Amy Tan's "The Opposite of Fate" with me, her account of her life and writing. I picked it up just before leaving Pai and I'm close to the end already. Thanks to Amy Tan, I actually enjoyed the 5 hours and the 11 hour flight I had. Having solid time to read and having a great book is incomparable, no?

Pai - a little slice of heaven

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We stayed a night in Chiang Mai and are now up north in a tiny, lovely town called Pai. We'll be here until the 8th and I'm very happy about it. In contrast to the beach tourism or the busy cities we've been in, this is a chill, cute, health/environment-conscious place surrounded by lush mountains and fields. Our agenda is: eat well, sleep well, have long massages, go white water rafting, and play with elephants. Both Dav and I agree that this atmosphere matches our style better. We have gorgeous pictures, but alas, all will have to wait until we are home to upload them.

One side story I'll share here. Dav and I left Ko Samui on the first flight out of the New Year at 6am. To do this, we packed and carried our bags to the NYE party and left directly. But once we got into Bangkok, we couldn't get a flight to Chiang Mai until evening and desperately needed sleep. So Dav and I decided to go to the movie theater and sleep through a movie. We didn't care which movie it was and ended up with The Polar Express. So there we were sitting in a Bangkok theater about to watch an American Christmas movie with scenes of chilly snow. As initial previews came on, we must have dozed off...until I somehow noticed that everyone in the theater was getting up. I glanced at the screen to find instructions, "Please stand and salute His Majesty the King." I nudged Dav and we promptly stood up and watched various scenes of the King doing his duties. We both found this situation so hilarious and were horrified that we couldn't stop giggling during this moment of respect. But we'll sure never forget it. Ahhh, the joys of weird vacation twists.

Live from Phuket

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A wonderful friend Tracey Northcott and her family had planned to visit Phuket and had me worried sick when the tsunami hit. Luckily, they hadn't arrived yet at that time. But a few days later, I got an email that they were all the more determined to head there nonetheless. It was a conscious decision and I think they are awesome for it.

Tracey then sent an incredible description of what they were seeing. I'm posting it here as it provides an important alternative view. The tragedy is real. But, the media will have an immense impact on economic recovery in how they portray these areas, since tourism is so vital. As Tracey writes, "The reporting is actually hurting the already shocked and bruised population of this area. It is sensationalising the situation and scaring away the tourists which are the lifeblood of this economy."

Thank you, Tracey, for sharing.


The earthquake and resulting tsunami hit on Sunday. We (Mum, Dad, Richard and Tami) left Tokyo on Monday after checking with the airline and hotel that we would be able to get to Phuket and that we would have a dry bed to sleep in. We were offered the opportunity of canceling or changing our plans but made the conscious decision to travel regardless. Most people would think that we were mad, but we Northcott's do not scare easily - we are serious about our travel...