March 2006 Archives


This morning Dav took me out for breakfast. Then he drove me to work...I was distracted on the phone as I prepared to get out of the car, but Dav frantically tapped me on the shoulder to look at the construction zone boards that are across the street from my work. Just as I peered over, I saw 2 construction men take down and carry a big board with "Dav 'heart'"....and below where that board was, there was another board with "Mie." In beautiful spray paint!

Late last night, he had snuck over here to spray paint that! Luckily, in the nick of time, he got me to work to see it. I ran over and took pictures of the romantic evidence, telling the construction guys they were taking down a love note.

Then when I sat down at my desk, Garth IM'd me:

nibblet: hehe "dav heart mie"

nibblet: just saw this

Kokochi: hey!!

Kokochi: you did?

Kokochi: they "just" took it down

nibblet: mhmm

nibblet: really?

nibblet: who took it down?

Kokochi: and I ran over and took pictures of the boards

Kokochi: the construction dudes

nibblet: oh, this is a different one

Kokochi: Dav drove me to work...and was going to show me...but then they were hammering it off!

Kokochi: but I saw it!!

Kokochi: isn't that the sweetest?

nibblet: This is another one ;)

Kokochi: huh?

nibblet: just walk downstairs and enjoy the fresh air for a moment

Kokochi: i'm talking about across the street

Kokochi: right?

nibblet: nope

Kokochi: oh?

Kokochi: um

Kokochi: walk outside 6A?

nibblet: yah, like you're having a smoke

nibblet: or like you're with jay while he's having a smoke

Kokochi: ok, I'll try

...

Kokochi: omg!!!

Kokochi: It's right there!

nibblet: I thought I should tell you before they took the containers back in

nibblet: otherwise, I would have left the surprise

Kokochi: i didn't see it...he had done another one across the street on the blue boards around the construction site

nibblet: heh

Kokochi: :)

My beloved husband spray painted 6A's garbage container that's right outside! [oi, are we gonna get in trouble for property destruction?? oh boy]

I love my husband.

Sasha and Ilya

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Our friends Sasha and Ilya, whom we met in Thailand, got engaged and had a party at Voda. We arrived early, so I got to take pictures of the decor that I really liked. Totally reminded me of a Tokyo bar.

I love sharing life's marking moments...more and more friends are marrying and will soon start families. I love watching all this together.

I had a great time at Vedo. A bit yuppy, but it was fun being so pregnant in a club-like atmosphere.

Early gift

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Hadn't seen Ian and the family lately, so we went over to Alameda to have Chinese together. We arrived in the late afternoon, and Izumi took me shopping to some used maternity clothes shops. I have a wedding to go to in April and need a dress. And not one that looks like a smock or a potato sack. No luck, but I found one shirt. I was also going to look for slip-on shoes as it's harder to tie my sneakers now, but I wasn't smitten by the designs. Sigh. Do I have to give up on fashion?

Anyway, to my surprise and delight, Ian, Izumi, Julia, and Tyler all presented me with an early b-day gift. Included were several beautiful cards with drawings that were just adorable, but one that I think was of me was pretty scary. I got a Japanese cookbook (yay!), and a matching mother-daughter dress set that Izumi and Julia used to wear (with red converse sneakers). I remember having a matching dress with my mom, and loved wearing it together. Made me feel so connected to my mom.

I especially like a pair of super cute earrings they gave me. There's a cat, fish, duck, dog, turtle, and parrot, all dangling in wild colors. What a hoot!

I also got a little 安産 "anzan", safe-birth protector (the little dog in a box). I'm not quite ready to prepare for birth, but I'll sure keep that little dog close by.

Then we had the most delicious Chinese dinner. I know I keep saying everything is delicious, but Dav, Ian, and Izumi agreed it was indeed very good, so it wasn't just me. It was one of those big Chinese restaurants where every table is a group of 6 or more celebrating some special event. The service was excellent; they even brought out a mango pudding with a candle for me!

Popcorn at the movies

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I never eat popcorn at the movies. Just not my thing to eat while watching a movie. However, when we to see Dear Pyongyang at the Asian American Film Festival, and had a light dinner beforehand, I found myself hungry just as we settled in...which was like 1/2 hour later! I was going to ride it out, but Dav got up and later came back with a bag of popcorn!! What a sweetie. I was so happy!

The documentary, by the way, was excellent. Very personal and heartbreakingly touching. I'm fascinated with North Korea, and the intertwined history it has with Japan. It was particularly interesting to see very recent personal footage of Pyongyang. It's hard to imagine what it must be like to live there day in, day out, but Yonghi Yang, the director, did an honest job of just showing how it was for her family, which is quite extraordinary. I highly recommend it.

Belle & Sebastian

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Click to see video
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[I wasn't able to post to Kokochi for a while, so I'm catching up on posts]

This was from last Wednesday when we went to see Belle & Sebastian. The first time I saw them was in North Caroline a few years ago, in a small venue. This time it was crazy huge...in fact gigantic, and I could barely see them! But the music was great nonetheless. If you know their stuff, you'll recognize this snippet in the video.

I had to go sit down on stairs way in the back about mid-way as my back is beginning to bother me if I'm standing too long. Felt like an old lady waddling away to rest.

Name book

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In Golden Gate Park, basking in the sun, looking at kanji for name inspiration.

testing, ignore

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testing the new mail server setup--Dav Yaginumahttp://AkuAku.org/

test 3

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still testing.--Dav Yaginumahttp://AkuAku.org/

test 2

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testing, please ignore--Dav Yaginumahttp://AkuAku.org/

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Fluffy and pink wreath

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Ele loves wreaths. I know from her blog.

So when we got a big box last week with the word "wreath" on it, I was quite excited. And holy cow, what a wreath! At first I laughed imagining the image Dav and I must give for someone to see this pink fluffiness and think, "my god, I must get that for them!" I mean, it's a bit loud as far as wreaths go. But it's actually a perfect wreath for a Burning Man household.

But the pink. Shhhhh. It's that color that Dav is avoiding ever since we knew Gargle is a girl. I think Ele is brilliant as this wreath can be the perfect funky decor for Gargle, but can slide into our household under the guise of being Burning Man. Since Gargle won't have a room for quite some time, the wreath is proudly on our front door (which is indoors so it won't get damaged).

Speaking of Gargle's room...she's gonna sleep with us for, I dunno, as long as babies sleep with parents. Coming from Japan, I just can't imagine placing a tiny month-old baby in a crib all by themselves in a lonely room. That's the plan anyhow. Our bed is already pretty crowded with us and 2 cats that stretch out like surfers when sleeping.

Speaking of beds, we upgraded from a futon to a top-of-the-line Tempurpedic mattress and pillows! It's heaven! I'll do a separate post on that later as it deserves one.

A warm welcome to XT

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It's such a pleasure when my non-blogging friends, one by one, start their own blog. Although I want everyone to have a blog, I don't push it or expect it. So when I hear of a new friend blog, such as XT's joujoujolliejunket, I'm thrilled not only that she's blogging, but that she came to it on her own! And then I love reading about all these other things that don't come up in our regular interactions. I get to learn so much more. So here's a warm welcome to XT!

Don't mess with a kitten

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Via YouTube

Friends and coffee

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Caught up with Sean and Manisha at Philz, a pretty amazing coffee shop on 24th street. Just last weekend, Dav and I discovered this place for the first time...when we took a walk down 24th only to hit a downpour of rain. We ran into Philz to wait it out, and discovered an eclectic place that ground and hand-poured each cup as it was ordered. We didn't order that time as we were just waiting, but today, Sean suggested it. How funny...to have never seen it, then 2 weekends in a row end up there.

Nice to just sit and chit chat with good 'ol friends. I love how SF is slowly becoming a deeper home for me (it takes years and years before roots grow for me as what counts for me in a city - relationships - takes a long time to evolve) in the sense where we can bump into people, find our hang-outs, have a rhythm, yet still discover new places.

Running around in the sun!

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Today was just gorgeous. Finally, the rain has let up.We went to a neighborhood park to kick around a soccer ball. Dav got me running to and fro, and the kicking was actually a great workout. Luckily, Kunal later joined so I could take a rest (didn't want to overdo anything even though I felt fine). Felt good to be out running around.

Bouncy Bee

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Click to see video
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After dinner, we went over to Rachel and Cesar's where they presented us with Bouncy Bee.

Fisher Price came out with new editions of their vintage toys. I don't recall this one, but Rachel does, and couldn't resist getting one for Gargle (we *still* don't have a name...we might wait until we actually meet her on this). Dav promptly gave Bouncy Bee a test run. Since Gargle will have to be able to walk to play with it, we'll have to patiently wait a while, but it just tickles me so when our friends pre-welcome her like this!!

Norikonoko in Berkeley

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Finally was able to have dinner with Rachel and Cesar at this lovely homey Japanese restaurant in Berkeley. Cesar is going to school AND teaching so his time is precious. It was quite special for all four of us to share dinner.

I had samma (Japanese pike), one of my favorite fishes with daikon and lemon. No sushi; just home style food which was quite nice. Dav ordered a bowl of natto (fermented soy beans) so I made sure to snap a picture of the gooey-ness. I'm so happy Dav has acquired a taste for natto as it's profoundly homey to me and I'm glad we can share it (usually, non-Japanese find the smell and texture offensive, which makes me feel I should eat it in a closed closet when no one is home).

[geez. I just realized I took pictures of the food, and not one of Rachel and Cesar. Dav got in one just because of the natto. Crazy-food-lady I've become.]

Belly

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At the Blog Business Summit, sitting at our table, I couldn't help noticing this particularly view I had.

Blog Business Summit in L.A.

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Been here since 9:00 am with Anil and Marissa from Six Apart to join the Blog Business Summit. I've been working with the Blog Business Summit folks for a while, finding areas for collaboration to educate businesses about blogging. It's yet another branch of what I do at Six Apart. I was a little nervous dragging Anil and Marissa (Marissa and I left Oakland at 7:00am today, and Anil has been speaking in the sessions all day), but it's turning out so well. The balance between the sessions and what the audience wants to learn/hear is just about right, and the size is small enough that everyone is asking questions and talking to us.

We're all energized, and love getting out to meet people. Too often we get cocooned in our blogosphere and don't realize the real issues/fears people have about blogging. We see the benefits, but it is still a "wild west" new territory for many. It's great to talk to people and see their eyes light up, especially when we show solid examples. "Is that really a blog??" Why yes! Evangelizing is fun ;)

MattCon

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Dav and I have a combined calendar to track stuff we do so we don't double book. I had noticed "MattCon" for this weekend, but thought it must be some geek conference. Instead, Dav suggested I tag along as it was basically this guy Matt's birthday for which every year, he invites people over to play games all afternoon and night. Although suspicious it would be geeky, and not feeling super energetic to sit and play games, I still joined.

To my pleasant surprise, it was a cool gathering with games galore for sure, but in the most beautiful home, with the most tasty chocolate/cream cheese concoction ever, and tea. Everyone was super friendly...and I even met Neil from work! And he knows Estrella and Dan who are our friends! [I love how SF can seem so small and quaint like this.]

After making myself some tea, I found Dav engrossed in reading the rules for Carcassonne. It's pretty easy to comprehend yet when we played with Estrella and Dan, it turned out to be a fantastic game. There are several levels of strategy and winning involves long-term planning and even teamwork. I think Dav and I will get our own. I've played and loved Settlers of Catan...and although this is different, there are similar themes. Haven't played such a game in a while, nor been surrounded by fun-loving gamers for an evening. It was worth it.

After that, I went home as I just needed to lie down chill. Dav stayed to play a game that Dan originally created. Now that's cool.

Estrella, showed me the cutest bootie she knitted for Gargle. She's working on the other now. I melted at how small it is! Oh my...how thoughtful! I love all this attention Gargle is already getting even before she's here!

The last 2 pics are of 2 striking paintings that were in the living room.

Reality Check

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Colleen, Dav's bio-sis, had a baby girl like 6 months ago. It's perfect because we can inherit stuff she's outgrown. We've decided to get as much used items for Gargle as possible. The list of things we're told we'll need for her is insane, and I'm just not into buying so much stuff especially when we have many friends with babies already who are willing to hand-off their stuff.

Well, after dinner, we got our first item from Colleen. It's a vibrating chair. I know vibration works on some babies (Kimi's first girl loved that thing). We also got a polka-dotted car seat cover that apparently costs $80! That's crazy!

Anyhow, once we brought the chair home and set it in the living room, we giggled how this must freak out our housemates. We'll just fill the whole living room with baby stuff over the next few months and say, "oh, don't mind us...it's just an art project." [We’re still figuring out our living situation as it's probably not the best idea to have a baby with 4 housemates trying to sleep.] But boy, that cutey little chair looks so out of place in our living room!

Double B-day Dinner Bash

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Last night we went to San Rafael to celebrate Dav's bio-sis and bio-bro's b-days with a giant Chinese dinner. I couldn't believe the number of dishes we had. It was in a strip-mall ugly building that I would never have suspected as good, but the dinner was quite tasty (well, all is tasty these days). As usual, with Dav's bio-fam, the gathering was full of multiple conversations, jokes, and family banter. Marcus got an 1800's pistol which caught a lot of attention. We polished off the dinner with a cake, but in order to cut it, the waiter brought out the decoration and candles first...the candles propped up in a cut tomato. How's that for practical originality?

Of course, we ended all with fortune cookies. I'm such a sucker for these and chose mine which said, "The joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days." Hmm. OK. Gotta take care of my hubby. Sounds good.

Then, since Dav never picks his fortune, I chose one for him out of the 20+ pile of cookies. Low and behold, it was the SAME fortune! I almost scrawled in a "wo" in front of the "man" before showing the double message to Dav, but considering he's been so good massaging and helping me around, I conceded that his "joy" should be my focus.

Practical

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Check this out. It's a video showing how to peel boiled potatoes instantly, which is a pain when making Dav's favorite croquettes dish. Basically, cut into the potato around in the middle, boil as normal, and then put in ice cold water for 10 seconds. Once taken out, simply pull the skin apart and it'll all come off!

I haven't tried this but am looking forward to doing so.

Thanks Dav!

Fluffy Happiness

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I've had an extremely mellow weekend due to fatigue. I think being pregnant is finally hitting me. After boasting that I felt super fine and energetic, I hit a wall, and spent all my time feeling like lead in bed. I wasn't sick, and Dav and I suspect I may have been dehydrated. I started noticing about a week ago that it's getting a little hard to move around normally. And I guess there was a lot more physical stress than I felt...I feel much better now, but will be more attentive to drinking, eating, and resting more than I think I need.

Anyhow, one big gift of happiness came to me around 2:30 am on Saturday night. You know about me letting the cats out, and how I've had minor scares waiting for them to come back. Well, it happened again.

This time I let Kats out at 7pm (Waka wasn't interested). Little did I know that our downstairs neighbor was going to have a big party. I'm totally fine with the party, but once Kats was out, I knew he'd be too frightened to come back into our noisy building, run up the stairs, and pass the booming 2nd floor apartment to our 3rd floor door that I keep ajar. I went down into the garage where the back door is to call for Kats about 6 times with no luck. By midnight, I couldn't bear it and allowed myself to sleep...fitfully with visions of Kats being lost, never coming back, or a neighbor calling with bad news. I just hoped he was safe. Deep down I knew he would come back, and that I should trust Mr. Kats. Still, it was hard. I definitely was asleep around 2:30, but my subconscious must have been alert since I somehow woke when he finally waltzed in. The happiness and absolute gratitude! I hugged and thanked Kats, then poked a sleepy Dav to share my joy.

So although I set this all up for myself, it's once again a moment to appreciate how much I love Kats! And Waka too for snuggling with me while we waited : )

Gourmet Trout

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We were lucky to be invited to Brian and Tameeza's for dinner the other night. It's where the Salon was held, but this time, it was for serious eating and finally getting some time to catch up with them. I've known that Brian was a serious cook (he carries his knives when he travels and camps at Burning Man with a chef from a great SF restaurant), and had been totally looking forward to the meal. We were not disappointed.

Cheese to set me in the mood, then for dinner, beautiful whole trout, stuffed with veges, water chestnuts (gives great texture), and parmesan cheese. Simply but perfectly sauteed string beans and portabella mushrooms with salt, and quinoa. It was a fresh, light and delicious meal.

Dav and I also really enjoyed having the one-on-one time with them. We keep seeing each other at social gatherings, and noting that we have lots in common, but never having time to just sit and talk. I learned a lot (they have some cool experiences that I never knew about), and look forward to reciprocating dinner (won't come close to Brian's cooking though).

Wakame has a crush

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Our friend Sean has been hanging with us lately, and I noticed that Wakame is quite smitten. I've never seen her not only warm up, but actually stay glued to someone, constantly talking, and waving her curly tail wherever his attention is. Just last night, I came home to find Sean working at our dining table, and Wakame perched on the corner of the table just close enough to get a pet or comment from him from time to time. I certainly don't encourage her to sit on the table, but she was pretty determined.

As I cooked, I heard Waka meow, and Sean murmur a response. How funny! But poor Sean, he's sorta stuck with her now since she won't let up!