Saturday, September 29, 2007

A change is coming....

My only complaint about this week's Grey's Anatomy is that it wasn't long enough. It still has its squee factor, people. I was among those who cringed at the soap opera-y feel of them bringing in Merideth's half-sister, Lexie, but I believe that she will make a great addition to the show. As long as they don't get too far into the whole, you-killed-my-mother-and-made-my-father-drink-so-that-he-doesn't-
know-what-year-it-is issue. Good to see Miranda taking the higher ground with the whole Torrez being chief resident thing, too. Wishing that tomorrow would be better for Callie instead of gloating. It just solidified why we lover her! It will be interesting how the whole Derek/Meredith thing plays out, too. Now I only have 71 minutes until Stargate Atlantis!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I had a BLAST!!!

OMG! Last night, I attended my first EVER Khaki Ball. Let me tell you! There is nothing more enjoyable then seeing a bunch of people, namely Navy Chiefs, who usually have to be dignified and the epitome of military bearing, get drunk and get DOWN in their khakis! I had a Heineken and three RUM and cokes (I mean two parts Bacardi Rum and one-half part coke). How I was still standing is beyond me. I was feeling GOOD. I danced and ate... finally left about 11:30 PM when Ant came and got me (I couldn't drive after drinking all that!). So now is the aftermath. I am not feeling hung-over, I just feel it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

It is six years after the world changed forever. It falls on the exact day of the week as it did back in 2001. As I look back, I see us getting used to daily terrorist attacks, getting used to our loved-ones going off to war... I just know that this is going to continue for a long time. Decades maybe. Thinking my eventual kids may grow up in a world where they know that they will grow up and have to deal with this, either going off to fight themselves, or having to deal with a family member having to go off to fight, depresses me.


OK, so Ant and I went to the exchange last night. We picked up S3 and S4 of Reno 911 (damn why do I love that show) and some other things. We go to pay, I swipe my debit card, told, debit just went down, can you push credit? OK, so I reswipe... DENIED! Checkout lady says "Sorry, your card has been declined." WHAT!!! There is plenty of money in that account... ok, swipe again, Declined... annoying checkout lady says, again, "Sorry, your card has been declined." "Something is wrong with your system," I say. She looks at me dumbly. I swipe a second card... Denied, too!. "Sorry, your card has been declined." "look I know something is wrong with your system." another dumb look. Ant tries his... Same thing... "Sorry...." finally one of the other checkout people says that except for the Star Card and the local bank cards, the system is down. "oh, is it? OK." To me, "Our system is down." No Shit! Ya think? Now she gets it. So I pay by check.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What the Japanese will do for American Pizza

Last Sunday was the Misawa Air Base Air Show. Over 150,000 people were expected to descend upon the base. That is tripling the city of Misawa! Here is a video showing why these people really showed up! The Japanese pizza is small, weird and expensive. This is their one chance per year to get cheap, delicious American pizza.

All the Japanese people waiting for American Pizza

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You gotta love idiots!

Mississippi Man Mistakenly Calls 91l, leads Cops to His Meth Lab

Thursday , September 06, 2007


A man trying to call a news station to complain about not getting a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina accidentally dialed 911 and was charged with making methamphetamine after police arrived, authorities said.

Curtiss Randall Coleman was trying to get the number for Biloxi's WLOX-TV on Wednesday just before the 6 p.m. newscast, investigators said. He misdialed when trying to reach directory information and called 911 instead of 411.

When he hung up on the emergency dispatcher, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department was sent to the home to see if anyone was in need of assistance.

Deputies said that when they arrived at Coleman's house, no one answered the door. Officers broke in and allegedly found a methamphetamine lab.

Coleman, 53, and four others were arrested, including Coleman's son, Christopher, 30. A fifth suspect remains at large.

"It was a calamity of errors on Mr. Coleman's part," said Sgt. Curtis Spears, commander of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County.

Along with the Colemans, narcotics agents also arrested Erin Paula Oliver, 35, of Moss Point, and Leslie Renee McMahon, 27, of Ocean Springs. All four were charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth.

A person who answered the phone at the Jackson County jail declined to say whether Coleman and the others had attorneys.

Friday, September 7, 2007

More of Fitow

Typhoon Fitow Tracks for Misawa

We entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness (TCCOR) 1, a full 12 hours earlier than anticipated. Meaning, high winds imminent. Right now, Fitow, the name of our friendly neighborhood tropical storm, is tracking to hit us directly, at 9pm local time, tonight.

Here is some video taken earlier...

And some graphics from the tracking site... We are located at the 9pm spot.

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Where it was at 9AM this morning...
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Misawa Braces for Fitow...

Around midnight this morning, we entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness (TCCOR) 4. What this means is we are expecting some nasty weather within the next 72 hours... As you can see from the graphic below, it is going to get bad, and pass right over Misawa.

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I, for one, am hoping it does get that bad for a number of reasons... I have to work this weekend, for one. It has seemed that everytime I get time off, it rains. I mean, AS SOON AS I LEAVE the building, clouds roll in, and as soon as it is time for me to work, beautiful weather, again. Well, now, the other half of the workforce can understand our plight. ENJOY the misery losers!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


12 August 2007, 2015hours
The latest in the saga of my journey to Baltimore... So the guy at gate A39, where I am currently waiting, comes over the PA and says, "People waiting for flight 2200 to BWI, the plane isn't going to be in until 9:18 pm. We probably won't BEGIN boarding until 10:00 pm! Oh, and by the way, the gate has been changed to C16, that is CHARLIE 1-6." Meanwhile, I finally have a good outlet, my computer is charging, but I am now at the wrong terminal.. WTF! Pack everything back up, get on the tram, yadda yadda yadda.... Get over to the gate, no working plug! Have I mentioned I hate DFW. I change my mind. I want to go through Atlanta afterall.

I Hate DFW

12 August 2007, 1950hours
I should have known when I got to Misawa City Airport, and the plane wasn't there, that this was going to be a baaad travel day. The plane was late coming in from Tokyo (which never happens in Japan). We took off 30 minutes late, but managed to make it into Tokyo only 10 minutes ahead of schedule (the Japanese fly like they drive, they floor it!). I got my bags, made it to the shuttle bus counter, got my ticket for the 11:55 shuttle to Narita from Haneda (it was then 11:45) and waited in line for my shuttle. And waited, and waited, and waited... That is right folks, even the shuttles were running behind. A situation so unheard of in Japan, the epitome of efficiency, that the shuttle attendants were panic-calling anyone they could get ahold of to find out what the hang up was after the shuttle had been late only 30 seconds...

So, I finally get on my bus, make it to Narita, make it through to the ticket counter, make it through security and immigration... make it to my gate, make it on the plane for the 10.5 hour flight to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Now, that is where it hits the snag that makes me think I should have seen the signs. You see, the genius at ticketing decided it would be ok to give me a layover of 90 minutes ate DFW to get to the gate (slight problem), off the plane (ok), clear immigration (U.S. citizen, no problem), get my bags (problem), get through customs (big problem), recheck my bags (bigger problem), go back through security (ok, this is just ridiculous), get on the tram (which, surprise, was running behind schedule) to make it to the literal opposite side of the airport for my flight for a take off time of 5:05 pm. Guess what folks, I made it... That is right, I made it .... to the gate just in time to see my plane taxi for take-off. I rebooked for the 9:30 pm flight, putting me into BWI at 1:30 am. At least they gave me a $10 food voucher. Good thing I have friends there who are willing to come pick me up, drop me at my hotel, pick me up from the hotel, and take me to the car rental place. Cause otherwise I would be S.O.L. Thanks Mei-mei!

I love the USA

12 August 2007, 1930hours
You know what I love about the U.S.??? Going into the ladies room and not having to look for the western-style toilet symbol and finding that there are only the Japanese squatter-style toilets left... Then having to decide whether I have to go bad enough to consider using one of them....

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Although it IS a Michael Bay movie (Stealth was a total bust), it is AWESOME!!! None-stop action, almost from the word "GO!" Shia La Beouf was ingenious in his role as Sam Witwiki. The only things that put some stops to my utter stupification was the usual Bay-isms that popped up throughout the movie. Such as stationing a fleet of ships in the Yellow Sea to keep an eye on Qatar, or the fact that people did flee when the final fight started... They were still flitting around OUTSIDE, riding bikes, pushing baby carriages, etc. So, I suggest seeing this movie. You won't be disappointed.


OK, yes, my usually anal tendencies failed me for once. And in the most inopportune of situations. After traveling an hour to the Seoul/Incheon International Airport from the base, finding our ticket counter, standing in line and finally having our turn to check in, I realize ... my orders aren't in my bag with my travel itinerary! OH SHIT! They won't check me in without my orders due to the fact that, even though I asked for a stamp in my passport, I didn't receive one. So, it was either leave the Korean Peninsula with my orders or with having a stamp in my passport. And as I had neither, I was in a sticky situation. Luckily I had my receipt with the Lodge's phone number on it. And after two attempts at sending a bellboy up to the room I had occupied, my orders were finally located right where I remember putting them after I checked into the hotel (on the bureau next to the TV which was then covered with the unread newspapers) and faxed to the airport. We made it to our gate as the final call for boarding was being called.

Now usually I double and triple check to ensure that I have my orders, passport, itinerary... Not this time... but let me tell you, I will now make multiple copies and a softcopy at home.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some Seoul Searching...

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I've been in Seoul, South Korea for a few days now. I did some eating and shopping last night. Myself and two fellow travelers took a taxi to the Itaewon shopping district of Seoul. We spent the first hour or so looking through the shops. Two of us were looking for blankets; nice, heavy blankets you can only find in Korea or Japan.

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Nice, eh? Quite warm, too.

Curiosity led us down some back alleys, which led us to some nice surprises. We found a couple of streets with more upscale shops. Shops not containing the usual crap that you found in the more touristy areas, but shops with some really nice antiques. I mean, let me tell you, Seoul could be the antique capital of the world. All those "Antiquers" should grab their passports and book a trip to Seoul!

We also went to a tiny Korean restaurant in the heart of "Little Albania."

We had Kimchee...

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Bulgogi, which we cooked ourself at the table...

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and some other pickled-fish dish that was also pretty good...

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I also took in some sights...

a nice little view from in between two buildings...
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The "Welcome to Korea" archway.
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Korean McDonald's
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Now, I was watching the news, and Fox was reporting on the South Korean hostage situation in Afghanistan, and how it was the ONLY thing on all the stations here. However, walking around town, even though everyone had a TV set up on the street, everyone was glued to the set, it wasn't the news they were watching. It was the Asian Games Soccer Match between Iraq and the South Korean teams. That was the real thing people couldn't stop talking about.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ooops! She did it again...

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DAMN! Not even a week out of rehab, and Lindsay Lohan is once again arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated. Heeped onto this, one FELONY charge of Cocaine Possession, and one FELONY charge of Trafficking of an Illegal Substance. And again, she seeks the refuge of rehab. This time, she also sought medical help...

"LOS ANGELES - Lindsay Lohan was busted for drunk driving and drug possession on Tuesday, just days after completing an alcohol treatment programme following her arrest in May for similar charges, police said. "

You know, I was watching the news as I typed up my report, and I first thought it was discussion on Ms Lohan because she was now out of rehab, had turned herself in for her last offense, etc., etc. Then I realize, HOLY SH!T, AGAIN!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Book SEVEN is finally here!

So, Ant got a bug up his ass to go to the BX at 0700 for book seven of Harry Potter. The line was already around the corner...

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... and extended back around this corner...

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Ant not looking so happy... Wait, wasn't this his idea???

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camping out with the others...

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And the final product. Book 7 in our hot little hands....

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Damn PX advertised for over a week about the 0800 presale... then on the day of, nope, sorry, we can't pre-sell.. have to wait until 0901 as that is 1201 GMT! WHAT, you can't pre-sell? Amazon has been doing that for almost a year! You can't do it an hour early? Whatever! Anywho, half the base was there. AFN included. Ant may have made it onto Around the Services for today or sometime this weekend.!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Let there be STEAK!!!

So, being stuck in the States, I decided to make the most of it. I decided to see a movie. I picked a chick-flick, "Knocked Up." I chose this movie because The others I would have seen, (Die Hard, Harry Potter, Transformers) I would have liked to have seen with my Hubby, who is 6,000 miles away, at the moment.
And, as I had 90 minutes before the movie started, I decided to go to Applebee's. Party of one, I sat at the bar. I looked at the menu and decided, LET THERE BE STEAK! I hadn't had one in a while, and they are super expensive to have one at a restaurant in Japan, so there! It was so delish!
Movie was cute. Had its funny moments and its IsodidnotneedtoseeTHAT moments. But all in all I enjoyed it.

Stuck in Florida, Courtesy of Man-Yi

Well, I made it to the airport with 45 minutes to make it through security and all that... plenty of time. Unfortunately, Typhoon Man-Yi made it to Tokyo with plenty of time to cancel my flights. So, I am stuck in Florida for another two days. Had to rent another car, move back into billeting. SUCKS! But it IS Florida!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eat your heart out Olive Garden!

Macarni Grill is SO much better! Sorry Amanda, but it is true. I ate at Macaroni Grill today. Oh My God! utterly delish! I had a chicken and mozerella sandwich.

I found a new wonder drug!

Orange juice. That is right, Orange juice. My throat was killing me because of the long flight. I mean, for 3 days the darn thing was just damn painful. I couldn't swallow. Then I had a tall glass of orange juice and it immediately felt better. Then I took a 4 hour nap, and the pain was gone. As it started to come back, I drank more orange juice, and the pain goes drastically away.

My new camera and the Wii hunt

I went and found a new digital camera. It is a Nikon Coolpix. It has an in-camera red-eye reducer, a 3 inch LCD screen, and an optical stabilizer. I bought a 2-Gig memory card, which happened to be on sale at the price of a 1-Gig card. It also came with a rechargeable battery, which can be recharged via the USB port in my computer. This thing is bad-ass!
I've also been on the hunt for a Nintendo Wii. I've been all over Pensacola, Florida. No luck. In one way it is funny, cause there are tons of PS3s and Xboxes around. Considering how much I hate Microsoft, the "Zune" is just ridiculous, and how much Sony is messing up, with trying to outdo microsoft... It is funny. But still. It is also annoying. We'll probably have to order one, have it sent to Ant's parent's house, cause no one wants to send things to APOs, way to support the troops, and have Ant's Parents send it us.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fly Delta

OK, I just have to rave about my international flight on Delta Airlines! For one thing, they had these in-seat tv screens that let you watch movies, and it wasn't some crappy in-flight movie they picked for you, either. You had your choice from about 30-odd movies. I watched two, "Hog Wild" and "In the Land of Women." I would have watched a third or fourth, but I had vainly tried to get some sleep. So I settled on reading and listening to my iPod. I also had tons of leg room, and a seat in between myself and the other gentlemen in the row. Food was decent, I had about 3 meals and a snack on board. Hey, it was a 13-hour flight!

Sleep, Glorious, Delicious SLEEP!

Well, I made it safely to Pensacola, Florida! Man, was that a trek. 26 hours, 3 planes, 2 checked bags, and 1 carry-on, and I am here. I have amassed a 32 hour sleep deficit. You'd think I'd have been able to sleep on the 13 hour plane ride to Atlanta from Tokyo! Nope, I had an annoying Brazilian teenager pounding on the back of my seat. And, not wanting to start an international incident, I just went with it.
SO, I get to P-cola, get my rental car, get to base (without getting lost, pretty great for me!), get to billeting, get my room (actually it is a suit, a bedroom, a kitchen, and a sitting area) and it is now midnight. I crawl into bed and blissfully fall asleep. Next thing I know, my wrist watch alarm is going off. Now that thing is set for 0400 Japan time. I'm like, there is no fricken way it is 2pm! I finally take my eye mask off, yep, 2 pm! WTF! I've gotta get up, in a minute. Next thing I know it is 330 pm. I'd fallen asleep again! 15.5 hours of sleep and at 8pm on Friday, a mere 4.5 hours after I'd gotten out of bed, I am ready for bed again.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


OK, so, I am finally going to get to take a few days leave. After putting in leave and having to cancel it, putting in leave and having to cancel it, each time because another business trip came up, I am finally going to get to take three days of leave.... or so I thought! Turns out, they can't get me out on Sunday, so now I have to leave Thursday. This means that, once again, I have to cancel my leave! To top it all off, some idiots decide to try and blow themselves up in Scotland. Then the TSA decides it has to up its security measures... all not 3 days before I leave on a jet plane bound for the good ol' U.S. of A! Just like when I graduated from grad school, and Ant flew out to MD to see my ceremony, and that idiotic threat about liquid explosives forever kept Janice Dickinson from having her make-up onboard the plane, and our children from being able to have their formula.... just days before we flew back to Hawaii!!
So now, I am flying to Florida, 4 days before the conference, stuck on base, without a rental car.... SON OF A B!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the sound of election season... Japanese style!

For the last few weeks, Anthony and I have been wondering about announcements that seem to go on every day. At first it seemed like the same time every day, 1200 or 1500... then it seemed that it would happen intermittently. Lately it seems like it is all the time. Ohiyogozaimas.... dit dit dit gozaimas... dot dot dot gozaimas... konichiwagozaimas.... every other word gozaimas. We thought it was one of the car dealerships we live near. Finally, driving to work, I had the "fortune" to witness just what was making all the racket. A van outfitted with many megaphones and a lady in white gloves sitting in back with the windows open and a microphone in one hand. And plastered on the side, pictures of what must be a candidate for office. AH.... here it comes again... must be winding down, only been 10 minutes since they drove past last...

You know you are living in a foreign country when...

you make sure you have enough money in two sets of currency in your pocket at all times.... We go out, and we automatically ask, do we have enough Yen/Dollars? Never know what you are going to be up against. Even on base, certain places take Yen, others Dollars. When we pay our car fees, for instance, we pay on base, but have to make sure we have Yen. Go figure. It is a strange experience.

And you know what is annoying? Yennies. the Japanese version of Pennies. They are light, almost like they are monopoly money and made of plastic. There is absolutely no reason for them, except to take up space. My hubby uses him in his gaming night as extra pieces when he runs out.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Just got back from Shimode Mall where we watched Pirates of the Caribean: At World's End. Awesome movie! Worth the trip down there and back. We ate at the food court and had a hodge-podge of food. Ant ordered these fried calamari balls... not popular with us... He also went to McD's and ordered a Big Mac Combo. I had the veggie noodles-Miso soup. Driving home, I think we were behind a drunk Japanese guy who kept swerving all over the road. He finally pulled the hell over.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Which Tarot Card Are You?

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Yet Another Earthquake

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Yeah, 12:59:58am, I am sitting at my desk at work. Working through another mid, when I feel the earth start to shake beneath my feet. I'm thinking, nah, its my imagination. Then my monitor starts to shake, and the whiteboard behind me was shaking... and someone shouts, YEAH! I suddenly realized, nope, not my imagination, this was an earthquake. And a pretty strong one at that. The strongest I've felt since arriving. It was centered about 65 miles North East of Misawa and a 5.5 magnitude.
Now, here is the other thing. This is like the 4th or 5th earthquake I've felt in the last two weeks. The last one was on Wednesday morning around 530am. It was centered at about the same place. 75 miles North East of Misawa.. about a 4.4 magnitude.
I am just thinking a big one is about to hit. So many earthquakes centered near the same spot... I am getting nervous.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My 30th!

Last night, my work section had a party. It just happened to fall on my Birthday. Well, here are a few pictures from then.

First Beer...
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They thought it would be funny to put "40" on my cake...
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I find it hilarious!
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Still laughing...
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Feeling good...
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Beer #2.
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About time to go...
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Friday, May 11, 2007

The Big Three-Oh!

I was awake at midnight to usher in the end to my 20's and the beginning of the rest of my life. :D I had a moment (a big moment) to ponder my life thus far. When my mother was my age, she was divorcing my father and looking at single motherhood with two kids. She had an education, but nothing that would enable her to support her family. I have a happy marriage; two wonderful fur-kids; a house in Hawaii; two working, if old, Japanese cars; a burgeoning career; great co-workers; a college education; visited China; lived in Japan, Hawaii, California; Texas, D.C., Florida (ok, so only for 5 weeks there in the Sunshine State).... I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am. I am going to include some photos of birthdays past as a sort of montage to the big day.

My 25th B-day in 2002. Zaar was only 4 months old!
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More of my 25th b-day, heading in to my bro, Christian's b-day, which is the 12th. He is singing his lungs out in this pic. He is getting ready to PCS to Officer Training School in this picture. Then off to Korea and Germany, amongst other places.
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11-12 May 2002. Later on that night/morning. All of us at AnnaBanana's. From L-R: Ed, Ant, Me, Christian, Mike; (back row, L-R) Jimmy, Other Guy, and Ken.
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My 26th B-day, 11 May 2003. We now had a 16-month old Zaar and a 11-month old D. J.
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Well, there you have it. Some of my 20s captured on camera for all to see.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Cherry Blossoms Come to Misawa!!!

OK, it is spring in Japan. And although this time a year comes around about a month later than Tokyo, 400 miles to our south, it does visit, nonetheless. And with spring in Japan comes the beauty of Cherry Blossoms! Here are some pictures, though they do not capture the full effect, they do give you an idea.

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Across the street in front of the City Hall.
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Right out the base.
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The park. They put up these pink lanterns which reflect the pink from the cherry blossoms and vice-versa.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


One of the sucky things about working shift is you tend to get your days/dates/times mixed up. I am perpetually either a day ahead or a day behind, depending on my mood and the day. Well, today, I was a day behind. And this is bad. Bad because I had an eye appointment, and appointment I desperately need, scheduled for 8 May at 1345 (that is 1:45pm for you non-military types). I, somehow, thought that 8 May was Wednesday, ie, tomorrow. Then, as I thought about it at 1600 (4pm) that, hey, wait, 11 May was Friday, 10 May is Thursday.... that means TODAY is 8 May. Sh!t. OK, well, I'll just go in tomorrow and try and reschedule. Did I mention how badly I needed this appointment and how hard it is to actually get scheduled for one??? It isn't like I can go to the local Walmart or a Pearlvision or something like that and get an appointment next week. I am pretty much stuck.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


After seeing Spiderman 3, Anthony and I went the the Universe Store (sort of like a Super Walmart) to buy dinner. We like going there. You can get Sushi, various teryakied meats-on-a-stick, some interesting deserts. I decided I wanted some Wasabi. I figured, Wasabi, a sort of condiment, right? Must be in the condiment aisle. I'll just find that aisle and wander down it until I see something that looks like Wasabi. Wait, what does Wasabi look like? I've never bought it in the U.S., so how can I pick it out in a foreign country?
I found the condiment aisle and began walking up and down the aisle. Now, I have been teaching myself how to read Hiragana, one of the three Japanese alphabets. So I tried to pick out some characters (is that what you call a Japanese letter?). Finally, I found something that could have been Wasabi. YES, the character for "bi" and I see the "wa." Wait, that isn't "sa." I look next to that, AH! "wa" "sa" "bi"!!! Now the real test... I get it home, start to eat my sushi, put the condiment on my sushi, put it in my mouth. YES!!! The familiar sinus-opening sensation of Wasabi! I found it! I actually feel like all my time the past week or so trying to teach myself how to read Japanese has been fruitful. I am quite pleased with myself!

Japanese Cinema

We decided to take advantage of the fact that Spiderman 3 was being released in Japan 4 days earlier than in the States. We decided that since I had the day off, we would go to Shimoda Mall and finally experience a Japanese movie theater. $17/ticket later, we are shown a mock-up of the theater. "Which seat?" the cashier asked. "Huh?" We had ASSIGNED seats. The movie was in English, with Japanese sub-titles. It was a little long, it didn't get good until the last 20 minutes or so.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My husband can't use a phone!

OK, so my hubby, whom I love and adore, cannot, I repeat, CANNOT use a GD phone! He picks up our handset, presses talk, then the number, then stupidly presses talk again, thus hanging up. Then he wonders WHY it is not ringing on the other end??? So today, he wants to check our voicemail. I tell him, *123. He does it... "It isn't ringing!" he says. "Did you hit talk?" I ask. "Well, you didn't say that!" WTF!!! I'm sorry, I thought you had used a phone before. Then he starts going into how I say you should hit talk. I said don't hit talk twice... otherwise you just hang the frick up on yourself. Then in his infuriating way, starts to logically state why he is still right about pressing talk twice. "Well, you gotta press it to start to dial, then you gotta press it again when you are ready to hang up." ASS!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Japanese Post Office

OK, living near a nuclear power plant, as we do, we recently received a 9000Yen check. I saw the damn thing and wondered, how the heck do we cash a Japanese check? Well, that is easy, you go to a Japanese Post Office. Now the Japanese Post Office is the epitome of Japanese efficiency. There were a total of 7 windows. The last three were for insurance/money orders/check cashing/etc. The bright, cartoonish and colorful signs and posters were muted while standing in comparison to the drab, professional and colorless Post Office furniture/people. In an American Post Office, you might have 2 people standing behind the desk, one of which MAY be taking customers. Here, ALL SEVEN windows were operating and there were several people in the background also with a job to do. The first 4 windows were for the usual postal services. The last three windows (5-7), you had to take a number, which wasn't the numbered tickets as we are used to in the states. No, this was a receipt-type printer hooked up to a pixelated board, which, when the next number was called, the Post Office Clerk would press the button, and Voila, the computerized voice would yell out the number and ask you to step up to the clerk. You would initiate the transaction, then reseat yourself until the clerk called you back to finish your transaction.

My Celebrity Look-alikes...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Out of the mouths of our Grandparents

We recently (like yesterday) got Vonage. Now, this is great in two ways. 1) We are more closely connected to our friends and family, as it is not an international call for us or them anymore, and 2) It is less expensive, because it is not an international call for us or them anymore. I emailed everyone our new phone number (Deleware area code, vice a Japanese country code, thank you very much!). However, I could not email my grandparents because, like many of our older generation, they do not have the internet (GASP!) and are just as happy without it (double GASP!).
What is funny, however, is that when I called my grandparents to give them our new Vonage-provided U.S. phone number, my grandmother thought it was a type of cell-phone service, and my grandpa had no clue what I was talking about. I explained to my grandparents, that no, it was NOT a cell-phone provided service, but a phone call over the internet. She got that. My grandpa, still didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

I've been through a couple of earthquakes before. Usually, though, I wasn't quite sure it was an earthquake until the news or the USGS confirmed it. Last night (or this morning, actually, 0007 to be exact), Ant had just crawled into bed. We heard the windows squeak, then the bed lurched. I thought, at first, that it was Ant moving in Bed, but then the bed continued to shake for a good 30 seconds. This was the first earthquake that I've experienced that I KNEW was an earthquake, right from the start.

This is where the earthquake's epicenter occurred. It was 5.5 on the R/S, right across the bay from where we live in Misawa, Aomori prefecture.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The new 'Gates!

They appeared right on time on iTunes this fine Sunday morning. I immediately downloaded and sync-ed them to my AppleTV. Rewatching the mid-season finale's before we watch the mid-season premiers.
SGA Return Pt. 2 was excellent. RDA seemed to call it in, though. However, it could have been that his character just seemed out of place in Atlantis vice the SGC. Too bad we didn't see more of the fall-out to the team's bucking orders. Maybe seen RDA give Sheppard a good ass-chewing followed by an atta-boy...
SG1 The Quest Pt. 2 was also good. I loved Teal'C's whole "what about Puff" line. I love that Carter punched Baal out! haha... the Humanizing of Vala (I've loved her character from the beginning).

Trying very hard to stay positive....

So, why am I so upset lately? I've always wanted to live abroad. I am living abroad. Stationed in Japan, a very cool country. One thing about visiting the States, my old command made me realize, is I miss the States...
But I am homesick. I miss Hawaii, 'cause I hate the cold and because I knew where everything was. I miss my house. I miss my doxies having tan bellies. I miss American food, hearing English wherever I go. I don't necessarily miss my old command, I don't think I would be happy being stationed there again. Too many changes.
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I hate what I do. I am not doing my job. I am not a linguist! I am babysitting. I am mad that TPTB won't send linguists to Analyst school because they MAY not use their language, but have no problem sending us to a place where they KNOW we won't use our language.
Therefore, to deal with my ennui, my borderline depression, I have decided to do a few things for myself. First, I will work out everyday, without fail. Second, I will continue where I left off 6 months ago in learning Japanese. Third, I will refresh myself with Mandarin. Fourth, I will take better care of my Sailors, I will be a better Navy Chief. Fifth, and most important, I will remember that I have a hubby and a family who love me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

D.J.'s 5th Birthday

Today is my youngest Doxie's B-day. He turned 5 today. My little boys are getting older. I remember coming home on 13 March 2002 and meeting Zaar-dog. My little 11 week old boy... then meeting a 9-month old Deej back on 6 March 2003. Now, they are both 5. It is just another day to DJ, though. He doesn't even know it is the day he was born. That there was a time he didn't exist.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


13 April 2007, the last 10 episodes of Stargate SG-1 and the last half of season 3 for Stargate Atlantis will premier on Sci-Fi (or as more and more of us Gate Geeks like to call it, Skiffy). Now this means, being in Japan, and unable to get Sci-Fi, I will hopefully be able to download the two shows via iTunes and sync up my AppleTV sometime Sunday and watch it on my bigscreen TV.

My Anniversary

I've been married for 7 years today. Hard for me to fathom. It seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for the wedding in Hawaii. I remember thinking... we will do this at 10, that at 10... it seemed so far away. Now, it is staring us in the face. It is cool... I love him. We are good together, and he is my best friend. What could be better?