Thursday, September 21, 2006

Corporate Punishment

I have to give the Non-English speaking people at this conference props - but MAN! Am I ever uncomfortable listening to some of these guys struggle through their presentations - GAH!

Numbers mostly trip people up. Eventually, the glogs of numerical spit get swallowed and lay in wait somewhere between the esophagus and the gullet (do we have a gullet?).

I imagine Professor T_ng going home at the end of the conference and violently vomiting up about a gallon of glibbery numerical alphabet soup.

Double props to Manhaz for the wicked new word.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pappa San

Pops can really come up with dinner he said the lady's kimono (a guest, not a server) didn't look like a very fancy dress. It was cotton, not silk, striped, not flowered, grey, not brightly coloured.

"What's that company?" he says. "Peterson? No, Peterman. J. Peterman?"

"Huh?" I say.

"The outdoors know, uhh... L.L. Bean! Her kimono looks like she got it at L.L. Bean."

Other stuff worth a note:
At dinner tonight, we were asked if we had any allergies after we ordered. Probably good practice in an International hotel chock full of seafood.
I saw a woman whose straight back rivaled Tamiyo Kusakari from the Japanese film, "Shall We Dance?"

Our beer has been Yebisu (remember it, try to find it in the States).
Saw the Japanese version of the Four Seasons purse-stool (Mom, you know what I'm talking about). A lacy cloth was placed over two purses sitting in an empty chair at the table next to us. Protection from falling food, or covering something not so beautiful as the food? You decide. They were both Louis Vuitton, so I'm leaning towards the latter.
Manners and afternoon tea appetites were stunted when a man took off his shoes and socks and put his feet up on the sofa he was occupying. Let me get this straight, it's rude to blow your nose at the table, but laying back and lounging sans footwear like you're at home potatoing on the couch in a public place where elegant teapots are tilted back on their hindlegs and pretty cakes are served passes for okay?
Lastly, Yokohama has a frosted sky. The light is different here...pearly.

Smoked Chipped Beef

I bought a book for cK just because of the title: Nobody Cares What You Had For Lunch. It's about blogging, the content is crap, but I just liked the title so much I made an impulse buy.

Since nobody cares what I had for lunch, let me tell you about my breakfast.
From the buffet:
  • stewed plums and figs
  • melon
  • smoked salmon and capers
  • steamed rice
  • miso soup with fresh crunchy scallions
  • tamago
  • tofu
  • seaweed and edamame (the best thing ever)
  • Japanese boiled egg (hard to eat with chopsticks - had to revert to my coffee spoon)

Just seriously jiving off this food. It's so tasty and delicate.

After breakfast, Dad and I went to the business center to get cards made (communication is a sweaty ordeal here - I get nervous for the people who are trying so hard to understand, and who are so apologetic for not understanding). I love the people here, but I'm going to need three showers a day if I keep this up.

One more sweaty ordeal followed with Dad and I trying to ask the curator of the Yokohama Museum of Art if she knew Tomiya and was he famous, no we don't want to have his paintings shown here, we just want to know if you know France? No, he justs paints France a lot, we have his paintings, please don't apologize, European art is the same as in Japan, Europe hasn't heard of him? No please, you do understand our question, you're English is very good! You have answered our question, you don't know of him. I guess we are not rich because of the paintings he gave to, no, we don't want to buy his paintings. We want to know if you have heard of him. But, no. Thank you, arigato gozaimas...can we go back to the hotel, Dad? I need a shower. My pits smell like smoked chipped beef.

ps - I had tuna sashimi over rice for lunch. I know you don't care, but there it is.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Am Thor, God of Thunder

So those last three strikes are OUT, man!

Who cares about's so cool here in Yokohama all I want to do is stop time and watch. Besides there are clocks everywhere - even a garganto digital one on the flippin' 30-story Ferris Wheel outside of our window.

Bags made it. To quote my good friend cK, "Whoo!"

E fixed the remote issue - I am all good on the internet. Even Skyped for the first time today. Ray laughed at me when I contacted him. "You're so pleased with yourself, aren't you? You aren't happy to be talking to're happy with yourself that you made this thing work." I replied indignantly, "No, I'm not happy because I made this thing work!" (then sweetly) "....I'm happy because it's free!"

I'm such a tightwad.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Three Strikes, You're Out!

Strike One!
Put on my Princess Diana commemorative watch this morning so I can keep track of time at the conference. At the airport I realized the watch was motionless, as in dead, no battery. (Is this foreshadowing?)

Strike Two!
Foreshadowing? Yes. Time is going to be a problem for me on this trip, I can just feel it. The computers and printers were down at the Delta Medallion counter. After a 20 minute wait, Dad and I went to the International Check-in where the SLOWEST TYPER IN THE WORLD "helped" us. Seriously, it was getting down to the wire as to our bags making it onto the plane under the 30 minutes before takeoff rule. Then, the STITW proceeded to put me on the 7:15 flight (Dad was on the 6:00, which I, too, was supposed to be on). Now my bags are a whole flight behind me. It will be a miracle if they make it to Tokyo on time.

Strike Three!
Can't remote in to do any email downloading or grab some stuff to work on on the plane. This flight is going to take forever. For. Ever.

At least I got my three strikes out of the way. Now I know the plane won't crash.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Japan Tease

I'm actually nervous about this trip. Will I offend someone due to my boorish ways? Will I hand someone my business card improperly? Will my hand on someone's shoulder be a major faux pas?

And the language...ugh. I'm worried. Whenever I've traveled before, I've been able to get by reading bits of French or Spanish. Kanji? Not a clue.

20 hours on the plane. Never done that before - don't even know how crazy I'll go. Or how jumpy my legs are going to get.

Looking forward to the food though. I'm on a quest to find the lightest tempura possible. I could eat sushi everyday all day long. Maybe I will. Except when I am eating noodle soup!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Observations From The Last 48

  • women can be such ninnies
  • shelled edamame is a lovely little lima bean imposter
  • getting upgraded to Business on your upcoming flight to Japan is almost as good as edamame
  • people who don't do a flush check should not be allowed in public bathrooms
  • going for a walk after getting home from work can abate the urge down a glass of wine
  • a good computer chair is paramount
  • dirty hair is manageable up until about the 40th hour - then it just gets gross...and starts to smell funny
  • calf cramps suck
  • giggling with friends on the phone is the best medicine
  • don't eat coleslaw that has been left out - it gives you gas...too long, it gives food poisoning (this last one was a life lesson, not one learned in the last 48)
  • Monday, September 11, 2006


    I just love my guy. Makes me laugh everyday - even when he's feeling crappy. Today on the phone...

    Me: "Hello?"
    Ray: "Hey."
    Me: "What's up? How was your day?"
    Ray: ...
    Me: "Having a bad day?"
    Ray: "Let me tell you about the kind of day I'm having. I want to workout. In fact, I don't want to just box tonight, I want to grab the bag, wrap my arms and legs around it, wrestle it to the ground and bite it."
    Me (laughing): "I thought you were going to say you wanted to wrap your arms and legs around it and hump it!"
    Ray: "No. Actually, what I really want to do is hit my bag in the balls."

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    BTW II

    My make-shift frog-saver has failed miserably. It keeps getting caught in the filter and sucked underwater. There was a half-dead crapaud in the pool the other morning. He was probably damning me for teasing him with an out-of-reach, underwater, useless, fake lilypad.

    Last resort experiment. I'm going to attach it by a leash to the patio chair in the corner by the red hibiscus tree. I'm determined to make this work. Screw the frogs, I just want to win.


    The massage was kickin'. Kudos to Martha for the hot towels on my back and feet in the middle of the face-down half.

    Seriously...everyone should get one of these.

    Marco? Polo!

    So here we are in the lovely Marco Island Beach Resort. 11th floor beach view, out on the balcony, eating left-overs for breakfast (neither of us was really hungry last night since we got in at 3:00 and went downstairs for “lunch” by the pool near 4:30).

    We’ve had a great time so far. In the car, to kill time across Alligator Alley, Ray suggested a word game that he and his mom used to play to make the trip from NY to FL go faster. You had to say a word and then the other person says a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. It took me a second to catch on that all the words Ray was giving me ended in Y. Relentlessly (hey there’s a Y word!) At the end of it all, I was desperately making sh_t up like the word yellowishly, just so I could shoot the Ys back at him.

    We fooled around in the room once we got back from eating…let’s call it, lupper. Dinch? No, that sounds dirty. Lupper or Sunch.
    After Ray got up and went to the bathroom, I realized, as I was lazing looking out the window, that there was a pair of young female, blue-shorted legs on the balcony above and to the right of us, looking, I assume, directly into our bedroom. By young I mean the legs of a non knee-wrinkled, spider-viened twenty-something. (Certainly not the young, like a teddy bear should be dangling from my arm, kind of young.) I was amused at how less than horrified I was. I’ve always considered myself as more of a voyeur than an exhibitionist. But I think several factors went into this state of mind. Using Lorie’s favorite list mode (the bullet), these are:
    • She wasn’t a man.
    • I couldn't see her face (to see if she was laughing).
    • She didn't bring anyone else out on the balcony.
    • I wasn’t in a place where I knew anybody.
    • I wasn’t 100% sure she saw anything of consequence.
    • If she did see anything, I'm pretty sure she had a good show.
    We crawled back into bed after dinner – like, immediately after dinner. In fact, all I wanted to do during dinner was crawl back into bed and watch three more episodes of Lost on the computer. We’ve fallen off as of late and need to do some catching up if we want the option of watching it like regular TV-folk. But maybe we don’t want this option…this series is slow and aggravating enough as it is. Who needs to add commercials and a one-week wait between anti-climaxes? Don’t get me wrong, I love it and am hooked. But Jesus-God, could we have closure on at least one of the freaking story lines? All I have to say is Praise Cheezits that Shannon is finally dead. Sahid? I know one doesn’t choose love, it chooses you, but Pal, you got hit with the wrong end of the arrow on that one. She was a hag and I’m glad she’s out of your life. Find someone else to hump in a tarp-covered hut. Even the crazy French chick with the rifle would have been better than that whiny, oh-so-troubled, poor me, pseudo-rich girl chippy.

    Today we are going for a couples massage at noon. I’ve been looking forward to this all week. I hope my next entry is:

    “It was heaven.”

    Not a four paragraph long tirade on crappy masseuses.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006




    Tuesday, September 05, 2006


    Went to PetLand over the long weekend...saw a pug and wanted to fall in love with it (especially after the horrendous traffic we had to sit through on 95..."This dog better be worth it..."). While he was small and cute, and had those wobbly eyes that are supposed to be adorable - but really just creeped me out, Ray could tell..."He's just not your dog."


    There was nothing wrong with the little fella. It reminded me of my dating days. There just wasn't a love connection. Besides, what we really want is a French Bulldog. And we want it when the cat is dead. Otherwise, enduring a puppy in the/her house would probably kill her.

    So I've replaced the dog-longing with another fixation. Knitting! I'm going to produce the world's most comfy scarf. However, I'm going to have to learn how to relax when knitting and purling. I was getting a little belligerent with the needles. Shoving the buggers through too tight loops in the yarn wasn't conducive to the zen-like state I was hoping for. My shoulders and right index finger are killing me. I can barely type. In fact, I'm going to stop.

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    WalMart Walkabout

    What was my ass doing in WalMart this lovely Sunday morning? Searching for a plastic-floaty-lilypad-like thing to save the suicidal pool frogs. A ranidae life raft of sorts. I looked in the fake flower aisle, the toy aisle, the garden aisle, and, obviously, the pool aisle. Nothing. Doesn't exist. I mean, if I can't find it in WalMart, it hasn't been invented yet, right? What did I come up with in the end? Well, with Cheri and her "How can I help you?" blue vest attitude, we settled on a Throw and Go. A dog frisbee. A bright yellow, sunshiny, saviour disc.

    Will it hold up, or will college students be challenged to outdo the up and coming frog tipping craze? Cow tipping is illegal, but I'm not sure where the law stands on frogs... am I breaking some law?

    What's with this interest in saving these damned frogs from a watery grave? It's just so sad to see them floating there, splayed belly down like DaVinci's Vetruvian man, in the medium in which they live and thrive. Live and thrive if there is an exit strategy. None exists in my pool, just an exit waiting room.

    But, if that honker that scared the crap out of me this morning (he flopped out from behind a flower pot and made me squeal like a three-year-old...pretty sure I woke up our half of the development) shows up in the pool tonight, well, he can just eat water and die.