March 21, 2010

hiding from a magical flying carpet of desert

I have just returned from 3 days in Tokyo. I visited clients with a senior colleague to learn more of "the ropes". Then we had some meetings... Then I stayed an extra night so that I could see a friend who lives in Tokyo. I had lots of fun and did a whole lot of learning but it does feel good to be home!

However, terribly strong winds kept me from having a deep sleep last night.

Those howling winds did not come empty handed. They brought along the Gobi Desert.
What I thought was fog and clouds turned out to be a trillion specks of sand.

I didn't take pictures but you can see a news clip about the yellow sand we had today( click HERE).
The sand has made cars and windows dirty and it has given me a sore throat too!

The dust that covers Japan and Korea (and of course the sandstorms in Mongolia and China) have been growing in proportion these past few years.

Today's blanket carpet of yellow sand was extra harsh....

If you are thinking "well it's just sand!" then please know that it is not only messy but it is also unhealthy.

If you have hay fever, then a spell of a runny nose and watery eyes is "normal". The real danger is in the toxins that attach themselves to the sand as they "fly" over China's industrial zones... of course Japan has industrial zones too, but the chemicals found in the sand are said to be quite toxic and have matched with the chemicals China has been founds to use.... thus the sore throat?
this is a picture I took in Kitakyushu, Japan (2010 March)

So...I have had to hang my wash "out to dry" in the house instead of outside as it is usually done.
socks and shawls
Since I did not want to go outside and get wrapped up in a veil of sand, I decide to clean my room...which ended up being a mini treasure hunt instead.

I found out that I must be liking the colors blue and green since that seems to be my latest buying trend:
blue wrapping paper, green envelopes, blue and green tape, blue bird clothes pin, a blue silver button and
in the very back...a four-leaf-clover tin box

Even a book that I have been meaning to read has a beautiful blue on the cover...
I have not been deliberately looking for authors with an "Asian background"... but one book has led to another...
bought this one by Jamie Ford last week
which led to this one
The Asian American Superhero Anthology "Secret Identities"
which led to this one...
a graphic biography of the mathematician/philosopher Bertrand Russell

Oh dear...the top layer of things on my desk are what I bought last week....what will I find if I dig any deeper?

March 7, 2010

My 103rd post!

I started this blog on the 19th of January in 2009.
My first "real post" was on the following day...a post about the new years celebrations here in Japan.
It was the year of the cow... Now it is the year of the tiger...and I didn't even blog about it because I thought I was so busy...too busy to write...

Here is a picture of my tiger that we have had on display in our house since January....this tiger will stay on display till the end of the year...

For a person that has started many "projects"most of which are left to be finished, I never thought that 100 blog posts would be possible. LOL I didn't even notice my 100th post...

With hopes of improving my writing skills AND hopes to take my mind off of a few unhappy moments ...I tried to comb through my life and find interesting bits and pieces that would remind me of why I chose to live in Japan. I used to think it was my mother's "fault" for dragging me back and forth between the US and Japan. However, now I know that once you become an "adult", you really can't blame your parents for is your life to live and your thoughts only that can control what you do.

I do not know how to express my thanks (yet) for the many people who have taken the time to read my posts, comment, given me advice and support and have been great friends even though we may not have met in person....right now just allow me to say "arigato" (thank YOU).

I will continue to blog because I hope to improve my writing skills, continue friendships, make new ones, learn more about Japan (and of course share what I learn) and most important of all... to be happy.

Although he is not one of my favorite presidents...I do think this quote is rather appropriate to explain how I feel:
"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement; in the thrill of creative effort." Franklin D. Roosevelt is a bit of happiness that I found the other day while waiting in line with my number in hand...

I look forward to my 777th blog post! Have a happy lucky day!

March 1, 2010

mama's got a brand new bag....

One of my nice bloggy friends that has a great blog about life in the city (NY), has tagged me for an interesting post about what is carried around in can check out Frances' blog here.
Thank you so much Frances for giving me this chance to actually blog from computer and not from i-phone...AND clean out my bags while I am at it! LOL

...and now...the moment you have all been waiting for...
my bags!
That is one of my latest favorite bags that I use on my day offs. It is one of Porter Japan's new line of bags for us gals who like their bags cute but sturdy (Porter Girls) click here for their website, in Japanese...)

Usually in this bag there will be my Muji ( for more on Muji check out this) mini bag that holds all of the stuff that becomes my; concealer, mascara, lip stick, blush...etc.)

My Paul Smith wallet (also rather new to commemorate my new job...)
and finally, my Franklin Covey scheduler....that looks sturdy but is actually falling apart...LOL

Then I have my bags for work....
One holds things that I need to pull out really quickly like catalogues, my train pass and name card holder. I also include a bag that zips up and is see through so that I can see the "innards" at first glance:
The "innards" are: funky looking paper clips, mini-mini clothespins (that I use like paper clips), my "hanko" (rubber stamp that we use in Japan like signatures), stickers, thank you cards, scissors, stapler etc...
This bag is also from Muji and is reaaaaalllyyy nice because the zipper is very sturdy and slides real easy.

Wow...this is kinda making me look organized....which is not as true as I would hope for it to be...YET!

I often find myself fumbling for my name card holder...and digging around in that little suitcase with wheels that carries all of the books that I want to show my clients. It can be rather embarrassing and I have had a good laugh with some people about it too.

I will be taking those two bags to work tomorrow too since we will be headed to the northern part of Kyushu.

AND NOW....for something completely different...and random....

I was at the local Seven-Eleven today and found a most interesting bottle of soda... I didn't really want to drink it but how can I call myself courageous, adventurous and curious...if I passed up this chance to have a swig of...CHOCOLATE SPARKLING (soda not alcohol)!!!

sweet dreams...