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)