June 2008 Archives


We arrived at the station to catch the Narita Express (to the airport) about 30 minutes early. Better safe than sorry! Rachel entertained Tesla, and it was very cute for me to see my daughter and dear friend bond even more at this moment and over the past week.

grandparents

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Granddaddy hugging Tesla with his leg. Granddaddy trying to hold on to her for a picture as she wiggles away.
Grandmother dropping us off as we head to the airport. Note the Hello Kitty doll my mom bought for her because Tesla loved the Hello Kitty dvd this past week. Tesla immediately took to it, and even now back in SF, she keeps it close to her. This was normally Tesla's nap time so she refused to even look at the camera.

Bath time at home

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I'm more careful about naked pics of Tesla nowadays, and make them private for the most part. But this series is just too cute. She's in the bath at home, washing Japanese style. She had no idea, but loved the pouring water from the tub part. And once we washed off, she really enjoyed the deep hot water. My parents have an automated bath where you can heat the water (which can be used over a few days since you only soak it in after washing yourself clean) automatically, and the temperature can be preset. Usually we do 42 degrees, but for Tesla, I did 40.

Joy and her apartment

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I was pleased to have time to see Joy (high school friend) and visit her apartment. It's in Akasaka, within walking distance of the Six Apart office. Dav and I spent the night there when Joy had just moved to Tokyo a few years ago. She was away on a trip, but kindly gave us keys. Her furniture had not yet arrived so it felt huge (See tiny Tesla stuck in the bean bag?).

Joy has an amazing life, and I love getting updates. This time too, I got some unexpected updates, and look forward to hearing how this chapter unfolds. I am determined some day to stay again in her very central, very swanky apartment with its million dolllar view. Her grandfather is a great potter, and Joy has beautiful pieces. Her most recent addition is this big hanging ball with a speaker in it! I didn't get to hear it, but I got to touch it and semi-hold it. Even without the speaker feature, the thing is pretty awesome as is.

Quackie gift from Eddie

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I finally got to see Eddie this time. We first got to know each other when I was living in Tokyo; he contacted me after reading my Tokyo moblog, realizing we lived at the same tiny train station.

This time we met after I finished work, and joined Rachel and Tracey. Sweet Eddie brought a gift bag for Tesla full of items of a cute Duckie character. Since we met in busy Shibuya at 9pm, there was no way Tesla could be with me, so unfortunately, I disappointed Eddie who wanted to see T. When she's a bit older, I hope I can bring her to dinners with friends.

I gave Eddie's bag to Tesla and she immediately dug in, saying "quack quack." Thanks, Eddie!

ballet and Hello Kitty

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My dad put on a DVD of ballet for Tesla, and I've never her seen her so mesmerized. Even with kid cartoons, after a while, Tesla will wander away and start something else. But with the ballet, she was glued. She even started dancing, and tried to copy the moves by holding on to the edge of the sofa, raising her leg up high. It looked awkward, but she was trying!

I also bought a Hello Kitty DVD. The theme is about potty, but it's oozing with cuteness, and I thought it'd be good to have this while I'm at work and my mom needed to distract Tesla. In the end, Tesla never had a meltdown so bribing her with Hello Kitty wasn't necessary, but Tesla loves the video and pretty much everyday has made my mom play it.


I hadn't seen my auntie and uncle for quite some time, so it was nice to hang out, but by far the best was Tesla. I loved showing her to them, and they loved playing and watching all the funny things she does. Tesla set up her high chair and another chair on her own, and my auntie played with her as if they were on a train.

a glimpse

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As expected, it's so good to be here/home! It's still "home," even though my my home is SF too. Anyway, here's a quick post from a lunch my mom hosted for us and my aunt and uncle who came to visit to see Tesla. My mom said she was just making "rice" but it was a beautiful spread. My aunt brought homemade pickles that were delicious too. It was a wonderful way to start my week here in Japan!

off we go!

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Rachel

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This is woefully delayed, and was initially to be a post about our delicious Thai meal chez Rachel and Cesar's eons ago. She's been taking classes, and we were served some mighty fine dishes. I have to say the appetizer of a sweet shiitake mixture bundled in a boiled dumpling, along with fresh salad sprinkled with fried garlic flakes was fantastic. I'm not good with raw or even semi-raw garlic, but was fine with the fried garlic. Soooo yummy.

Anyway, weeks passed and I still hadn't posted, and now I have a nice opportunity to dedicate a post to Rachel. You see, Rachel is brave enough to join me on my business trip to Tokyo with Tesla this time. Without a traveling partner, I would hesitate to bring Tesla. The trip can be daunting, but since I also need to be alert at work, it's very nice to have a friend, whom Tesla knows, come along to ease the whole trip. I feel very lucky to have friends who sign up to join me in this adventure. Rachel can hopefully enjoy Tokyo while staying chez mes parents, and I can greatly utilize her support and extra hands to care for Tesla.

I'm also excited because I know Rachel will love Tokyo. I envision her eating her way around neighborhoods each day while I'm at work. Unfortunately, I will have little time to spend with her save a few days before work starts, but she will get to see where I grew up, see my old home, my parents, etc. And she will see a life that you can't see when visiting in a hotel.

Nice thing is she can share her memories with Elida, who has already taken this trip. Slowly, I'm bringing my SF friends, who don't really know my former life (like my high school friends do), into my Japanese side. Nice!

eager early parading

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Last weekend, for daddy's day, I proposed we go to Dim Sum for brunch. I texted our neighbors, and soon we had a reservation. Dav said there was a parade for us to join afterwards, as long as we brought an instrument and wore a hat. So we all came prepared. After Dim Sum, we walked to the Ferry Building where the Cacophony folks had planned a public parade. As we walked with our hats on, we played our instruments.

But notice the date? We arrived and no one was there. Upon checking his Treo, Dav discovered we were a week early, and 2 hours early! Didn't matter. We continued to play and enjoy our very own parade! Here's Tesla playing the maracas quite well.

my kitties!

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While Mika was here, I finally got around to taking some pics of my kitties!

There's been this one bird who comes by everyday, stopping to chirp like mad on our fire escape, fully knowing my kitties live here. In fact, both Dav and I think this bird is taunting them. And although my kitties are interested, they are too old to jump up and bite (they used to be hunters...in their defense). I like having the bird visit, and even Kats and Waka seem to accept him now.

camera action

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Beloved Patrick came by the other day to take pics of Tesla since she's close to her 2 year mark. I wish I had more time to personally hang with Patrick, but I get so busy that time zooms by. Luckily, he called to make an effort to stop by and get Tesla at 24 months in all her glory. I can't begin to explain what a gift this is...for a person like Patrick to faithfully document her growth. Soon, Patrick, I promise. I want to have you over for dinner!

He came while Mika was visiting here from Japan, who is also into photography. As usual, I was busy, but she enjoyed SF on her own. We did get one dinner at home just the two of us, and deepened our friendship. In little snippets, I build my relationships. I was thankful she took the time to take snaps of my kitties!

new skill!

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Tonight, while finishing up bath time with Tesla, I said, "hai, demasho ne" (alrighty, let's get out now). And to my surprise, she gathered her toys and put it in the plastic bucket I store it all in - all by herself! Granny told me she started teaching Tesla "clean up" but was rather unsuccessful so far. Tesla couldn't have done it better!

What a treat for mama!

fighting a bug

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First Tesla got sick...a loooooooong fight where she had a variety of symptoms (fever, rash, coughing), but consistently for 2 weeks + was in the worst mood ever. Lots of crying where nothing would console her, and that drove Dav and me nuts. She got better and she's back to her chirpy, early-waking, playful self. Then granny got sick which meant I had to miss a day at work. Then I got sick and missed 1 day so far, but have felt like crap propped up on drugs for 3 days. And I leave for Tokyo with Tesla tomorrow.

All my energy has been to working and fighting this bug. Hopefully I'll catch up on some cute pictures I've been meaning to post...

special hat

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At Ferry Building

new license plates

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Dav went ahead and got special tags for our car. Daddy's love!

ohashi girl

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My phone cam got wet so the pictures are foggy, but today, out of the blue, Tesla took my chopsticks and started eating with them! Dav got a better picture with his cam phone. Her finger positioning is quite good! She must be observing our every move even when we have no idea.

Happy Birthday to Ian!

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It was my pleasure to host a sushi dinner for my brother Ian's birthday on Saturday. Along with the kids, and the Yarringtons (friends from our Tokyo days who now live in Saratoga), we had a fun time eating, drinking, playing, and chatting.
I have to say the highlight was the amazing cake Rachel made with a Tintin "Destination Moon" theme. Ian and I grew up with Tintin, and I really wanted a special cake for Ian. However, I'm not so great at baking, and Rachel is a star, so I asked her to help me out. In spite having an exam the morning off, Rachel came through brilliantly with the most magnificent 8 inch high vanilla cake with caramel filling, and a gorgeous marshmallow "moon" frosting. Wow. Thank you, Rachel!
Tyler and Andy being fuzzy-head goofballs.
After dinner lounging around...
Julia and Lauren made a "house" with Tesla's kitchenette. I came in to take a picture. I love how each have their own "pose" and how formal Lauren stood up! Next is Andy's running action picture.
The food...oh my. We had a lot. In addition to my sushi and inari, Miyo and Izumi contributed super yummy salads and appetizers. The table was full of food!
Tesla has been fighting a pretty rough cough so has been cranky and tired, but she enjoyed hanging out with the older kids.
Even with all of us, we were only able to eat less than half of the cake. More to share the next day : )

one way to use spam

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I got a few laughs out of this. Thanks, Beau!

"identify brontosaurus crockery shabby taunt"

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sharing a table

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At our local cafe. I was going to get food to go, but Tesla pulled a chair out. It was pretty much the first time we sat like 2 individuals at a table, facing each other as we ate our sandwiches. Can't wait 'til we have conversations too!

Internally...

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Every once in a while I check what search words bring folks to Kokochi. I used to keep a list as some were hilarious and quite out of context. But recently, I'm happy if I get a few pics up of Tesla, let alone sift through stats. I did check today though. And most times, new folks come to Kokochi from a search on words linked to my "old life" as in when we went out to the weird and quirky things that San Francisco offers. Or saw amazing things and I posted about them. In contrast, lately - as in the last 2 years - it's really all about Tesla, which isn't what folks are looking for.

Kokochi has become my personal memory book that just happens to be public out of old habit. Honestly, the biggest impetus to blogging nowadays is the feeling I get when I go back into archives for one reason or another, and have this wonderful chronicle of Tesla. It's such a treasure, so I continue.

I've always been the kind to think, "If there were a fire, I'd grab my cats and photos." Now, I don't have to worry about photos since they're online. Tesla will be able to run soon in such an emergency, so I just need to focus on my cats :)

Anyway, this got me thinking about sharing about other internal stuff on my mind vs. Tesla's daily activities. So here's a short-list:

  • Been feeling again how little creative & thinking time I have, and wondering what the consequences are. I'm happy, but what part of myself am I losing?
  • Going to Tokyo for business in a few weeks, and bringing Tesla again (her 4th time). Each time is completely different due to her age, and this one will be the toughest, I think (thank goodness Rachel is joining me to help on the plane). However, it will also be the most rewarding because she can respond to things. The main goal is have Tesla remember my mom who will fly over in August to care for Tesla when we go to Burning Man without Tesla. That will be the first time ever that both of us will be away from Tesla for more than a night.
  • My cousin is getting married, and I really want to attend. But it's in Erie, PN, and our schedule dictates that we'd have to travel like mad on a Friday, have fun on Saturday, and travel again on Sunday. With a toddler. Now I know what that means, and I'm very sad to admit attending might not be the best decision.
  • Tesla will be 2 on July 5th. But mama will be at a spa with her 3 other high school girlfriends. Us all have not been all together without men by our side since high school, and this is so overdue! I know next year's b-day will be big because Tesla will be able to express what she wants, so this year, I'm going to have a small lunch for her a few weeks early so I can have my weekend with my girlfriends. So excited!! And Tesla won't know the difference [although she can read about it here later on Kokochi, heh].
  • I have a website I really want to start. I want to post about neat stuff on the Japanese internet. This site would not be about me at all. It's something I'm excited about because it would force me to regularly explore a branch of the internet I don't spend time on that is exploding with cool stuff. However, "cool" does not mean the geek, manga, "this is so weird" sorta stuff that seems to be what usually gets introduced on the English internet sites. I want to focus on the everyday, sometimes female, design/home sorta stuff....because I want to :) I'm hoping this will be my creative outlet. However, I've been waiting for the time to dig in, and it just isn't going to happen, so I'm slowly facing that I will have to do it even though I have a million other things on my plate.
  • I don't blog about my cats anymore, and that saddens me. For the same reason I blog about Tesla, I need to re-include my cats. I love them.
  • 88 days until the burn. This year will be like our honeymoon!
I may have more to add later, but for now, I'm going to sign-off.