Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Holidays are Coming!

Hey! remember this? Our first Christmas, 10 years ago. We were in Houston in that big, gorgeous house...good memories! Let's ask for our usual present again this year: Kibble!! KIBBLE! YAY!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good Eyewitness Description

A couple of days ago on Tokyo's TBS-TV Evening 5 News, there was a report of a macaque monkey in Itabashi. Between 7:00 am and 9:00 am November 6 a monkey was seen crossing a road in Itabashi, Tokyo, and a second sighting was reported in the vicinity of Shimo-Itabashi Station on the Tobu Tojo train line in Tokyo.

The Itabashi monkey is reportedly smaller than the Shibuya monkey. A resident in Itabashi witnessed an animal jumping from wall to wall. "I’m certain it was a monkey because it had a deep red butt," he said. 

The "deep red butt" is a definite giveaway that this is not just an ordinary commuter.  Anyone may don a full set of body hair and a haggard expression, but the red butt, now THAT removes any ambiguity in the report.  --Happy Chihuahuas

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Happy Chihuahuas' family members are overjoyed today!
America has hope again for the first time in many, many years!
There's a lot of work to do, but we CAN make America a place to be proud of again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Although a bit of kibble suits us just fine when we've been "good girls," we see enough TV to know that humans thrill to various accolades for their achievements.   They even enjoy inedible ones, often involving statues and getting really dressed up (which we can't fathom can be more satisfying than kibble) and sometimes red carpet is involved (now THERE'S a temptation!), but this week in Japan it was the ORDER OF CULTURE (文化勲章, bunka kunshō).

This year, among the six recipients of this high honor, Chihuahua Mom was thrilled to see Professor Donald Keene.  It seems that CM has many of Mr. Keene's books of Japanese literature in translation--she has even read a few of them--and he is a big hero to her for making Japanese literature and culture more accessible in her native English.

On TV we saw Mr. Keene dressed up in a suit with long coat tails, meeting the Emperor and the other awardees, accepting his award.  According to Wikipedia, "the order has one class only, and may be awarded to men and women for contributions to Japan's art, literature or culture; recipients of the order also receive an annuity for life. The order is conferred by the Emperor of Japan in person on Culture Day (November 3) each year.

The badge of the order, which is in gold with white enamel, is in the form of an mandarin orange blossom; the central disc bears three crescent-shaped jades (magatama). The badge is suspended on a gold and enamel wreath of mandarin orange leaves and fruit, which is in turn suspended on a purple ribbon worn around the neck.

The order ranks between the Order of the Sacred Treasures, First Class and the Order of the Rising Sun, Double Rays (second class)."

We know Chihuahua Mom has a big secret--she's now hoping that her other major culture-bridging hero, Donald Richie, will be similarly recognized in the near future...  We have our kibble waiting!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Signs of Autumn

Dusk arrives earlier and earlier.
Persimmons ripen.
Crowded trains smell of wool and mothballs.
Trees receive new straw skirts.
Oysters are in season again.
Chestnuts appear in cuisine everywhere.

Paradox: the Rising Sun lights a bronze lantern as the sun sets...

Monday, September 8, 2008

While we were snoozing...

The "Urban Monkey" (hey, is that anything like 'urban cowboy'?) was spotted in Kanda but avoided capture. Maybe he rode the Yamanote Line from Shibuya to Kanda.  According to witnesses, he was spotted staring at some bananas at a fruit stand (how did they know he was staring at bananas and not some other items?) but he was shooed away before he could steal any (sort of a prejudicial statement, dontcha think?  Maybe he would have paid for them; we don't know if he carries a coin purse).  The head police officer lamented the fact that the monkey is so agile but "we have only nets" (like, what should they use, hand grenades?! Maybe this is a job for Spiderman.)  The police official further stated that the monkey, driven to the overhanging electric wires, urinated onto the ground below.  (Well, maybe he had been looking for the restroom when they chased him up there.  Besides, public urination is still not a crime here, anyway.)  The police have pledged to capture him alive, until then, you may want to wear a hat around Kanda Station... [Ref. Japan Times, Sept. 8, 2008]

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

30 Years Ago...

A couple of times a month, "Chihuahua Mom" meets four lovely Japanese ladies to help them practice speaking English.  They trade stories about their experiences and brush up on certain English idioms, have a bite of lunch, and a good time is had by all. Today's theme was 'encounters with celebrities'.  Chihuahua Mom told about meeting the famous singer, Hiroshi Itsuki, backstage at the Hilton in Las Vegas 30 years ago.  At that time CM didn't even know who he was or how famous he was in Japan.  Little did she know that his son would even be a classmate of her son in first grade in Japan!  The funny thing is, while CM's appearance has changed a lot (to her chagrin), Hiroshi Itsuki looks almost the same today as 30 years ago!  (CM is second from L in the photo).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bulldog + Chihuahuas

Our favorite Yale Bulldog returned to New Haven yesterday.  We really enjoyed having him around all summer to lie around on the sofa with us, play, feed us, walk us, take us to the vet (yuck!) and just 'chill' with us all day long.  He said the cafeteria food is not very good, so we're going to send him a big bag of kibble!  Yay! Kibble!  KIBBLE! 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Fireworks

After the rainy season of May-June, summer weekend evenings are punctuated with beautiful fireworks at riverbanks all around Japan.   It's a popular dating event, with young couples and hopeful singles decked out in cotton yukata (one-layer kimono) and wooden gehta clogs.  Taking picnic foods and beer and big plastic sheets to sit on, people wait for the fireworks to start.  Once, when our kids were in kindergarten/first grade, we spent a few days with friends at a mountain cabin and enjoyed watching fireworks reflected in a beautiful mountain lake.  The reflections doubled the colors and brilliance of the fireworks--talk about getting more bang for the buck.  The mountain setting, the kids in pajamas, the warmth of friendship, created a memory of summer fireworks that for us has not been surpassed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Local News: Monkeying around in Shibuya

Monkeys, specifically the Japanese Macaque, reside in Japan and frequently become newsworthy in their vexing intrusions upon the lives of farmers, invading homes, eating garden vegetables, and destroying crops.   But last night's TV news treated us to the comedy of "monkey loose in major train station" where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish monkeys from human beings... Many nets and official personnel were deployed.  Excited onlookers recorded the event on their cellphone cameras.  The police were comically ineffective, as usual, and the monkey escaped to a nearby park.

There is a theory that this monkey, and perhaps others, learned to ride atop trains to find food and entertainment in various parts of the city.  Such is the life of the urban monkey.
(Photo by Kei)