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July 9, 2009

Dear Diary, I believe in wormholes

These past two weeks have been...very strange. I can't even explain why.
Let's just say that I feel like I have been in a wormhole...
I'd be in one place and before you know it...wham!...somewhere else...
Totally trippy week.

So...instead of going on and on about time and space...here are a few snippets of what I saw and did....

I went shopping for new slacks because I ripped a pair (!?) and at the department store I noticed the displays for yukata...the traditional Japanese kimono for summertime. Times are changing, the bow arrangements (obi) are so different these days!
I finally got my visa renewed....it cost 4,000 yen for a three year VISA.

After you get your VISA renewed in Japan, you have to go to your local city office or ward office in order to have them update your residency status on the "alien registration card" you are required to have with you 24-7.

A few years ago I forgot to do this and got "scolded" at my ward office.
Hilarious.

When I went to my local city office to get this done, I noticed that they had an interesting sign out front...
It says: photochemical smog official report bulletin board
There are 4 different levels and the higher the forecasts get the more you are urged to stay indoors.


We haven't had an alert since I moved to this city, but it is historically known for pollution with a few lawsuits still pending.


I think it was last year or the year before, a city I used to work in had to actually cancel schools because of this "photochemical smog" stuff... Children where becoming ill from running around outside! Argh.


...


Oh, and then it was the 4th of July and since (according to my passport and all those VISA papers), I am American I had my own little celebration...senkou hanabi! (Japanese sparkler type fire crackers).
The picture came out...really...weird...but here it is:
Happy Independence Day!
I forget who is independent of whom sometimes...but I love America for all it is and all it can be.


And after July 4th comes my special anniversary.


I came to Japan 24 years ago on July 7th.


July 7th in Japan (and I think China too?) is Tanabata.
The day Hikoboshi and Ori Hime (a couple who became the stars Altair and Vega) get to meet in the heavens after a year of being seperated by the Milky Way.


Setting aside the Milky Way's major control issues..it is said that if you write a wish on pretty paper and tie it to a bamboo tree, the two stars will make your wish come true since they are so happy to be together on this one special day... if it doesn't rain.

I use to wonder if I came to Japan to meet my Altair...

as my husband guzzles beer and stares at his mobile phone on the couch...

I wonder....

ANYWHOO

I went outside on Tanabata night to see if I could see at least one star. But even without a "
photochemical smog alert" it was just plain cloudy since it is the rainy season...

But I did get a glimpse of the moon:
turned out harry Potter-ish...
In between shopping for pants, getting my VISA and staring at the sky, I did a teeny bit of housework and found a box of books that I had brought with me to Japan 24 years ago...

The one in the middle (Girl Sleuth by Melanie Rehak) is a new edition (obviously since it was published just a few years ago, a non fiction book about the people behind the name of the author Carolyn Keene):
I use to be an avid reader of Nancy Drew books... I was shocked to find out that Carolyn Keene was not a "real" person... Although I don't read these books anymore I can't bring myself to get rid of them...
I'm hoping that one of these days I will be able to display them on my "mystery-books-shelf"...

(I'm aiming for
a look similar to Delwyn's and a tad bit similar to what I found on Jamie's blog with a pinch of Laura's taste....)

Without sufficient shelf space I have recently made my pile of books larger with these:

I also bought a magazine, something I haven't been doing lately since they ARE SO EXPENSIVE...
(2000 yen for the latest issue of MONOCLE!)

The Big Issue is a magazine I buy every chance I get...I wrote about it before
here.
And since Willow introduced
some of her favorite magazines and I thought it would be neat for me to do too, here are some of my favorites:


I can't buy the New Yorker and Mental Floss now because the company that I used to work for was the importer of these magazines...and well...the company went bankrupt last year.

The Rolling Stone I can still buy as well as Marie Claire idees (which I can't read since it is in French but I just love the pictures and crafts!)

One of my favorite Japanese magazines is
Tennen Seikatsu and it features recipes, eco friendly crafts, and lifestyles....

Speaking of lifestyles, hopefully I will be able to get back on track soon.
I will be going to Nagasaki over the weekend for a Buddhist ceremony...my father-in-law's third year after passing away...
...

Before the weekend I will have to write 1 report, update an English manual (all for work) and pack... and all the other stuff in between that people need to do...like read.

!

Which reminds me that I need to write about Pope Joan ( a book I finished reading which was great!) and I still haven't blogged about a concert I went to....

!

which reminds me that I am going to a Simon and Garfunkel concert next week!

...

I better go to sleep now before I remind myself of more stuff...

Hope you are having a splendid week!

11 comments:

Butternut Squash said...

My goodness, You are in and out of the worm holes aren't you. I feel transition coming, or maybe a period. Much better to have lots of activity in your mind than none at all. I guess that is not very Zen of me is it. But there is nothing I hate more than someone saying, "I'm Bored." Peace.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

I've had a totally wacked out week! I'm exhausted and still have lots going on! I need three of me this week! I read every Nancy Drew and was irked to find out there where lots of Carolyn Keene's.A couple of those books in your stack caught my eye, I feel an Amzon view coming on! :)

Lori ann said...

haha, that was a fabulous post, we were all over the place! I think i would like that japanese magazine since i love the marie claire one too, even though i cant read french either.
perhaps you need a daytimer to keep track of all your comings and goings!

willow said...

Wow, this was a week worth of posts all rolled up into one! Happy Japanese Anniversary! Love the spooky sparkler pic. :D

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Your post made me smile. Your discovery of a box of old books from 24 years ago - what a delight! :)

B said...

Wow! That was a lot of ... things you did! Very random and a I like it! I specially love that you found a box of books from 24 years ago! Oh, the excitement!
I love Japanese magazines, even though I can't read them, and everyone loves Marie Claire idees, so maybe I should give it a try!

Cyndy said...

Dear Tulsa: Am really enjoying your picture of the fireworks! I have some that are very similar (almost 200!) from our show this year. When I loaded them on my computer I couldn't believe what I saw! Then I quickly wondered if I have discovered the true beginning of our universe! I will be posting about them soon with a story pondering whether art is really art if what you get is not what you intended! : )

And then you touched my heart with reference to Nancy Drew and Carolyn Keene. Yes, I was heartbroken when I found out that Carolyn Keene was not a real person--and devastated that SHE was a MAN!! Still love Nancy, Ned and especially Hannah, though. I collected the first 50 books (the "real" Nancy Drew stories) throughout my childhood (the 50th book being Hannah's cookbook). I can't wait until I finish my library and give them a place to rest...

And, uh, photochemical smog does not sound good--at any level...

Polly said...

Great post, it's so nice to find out what you've been up to.

It's strange that you've been living in Japan for so long and still need to do all that visa renewing again and again. Immigration rules in Japan must be very strict.

I like your pile of books, I haven't read any of those!

And I like your selection of magazines. I love New Yorker, I get it weekly, straight to my door! And I'm very surprised to see The Big Issue, I actually thought it's an English magazine!

Have a great weekend!

Polly

I_am_Tulsa said...

Butternut Squash, I totally can't stand thought of "I'm bored" too. There's so much to see, so much to do and so much to think about (also not very zen!) that it is sometimes stressful for me to relax...?!

Carol! I am so happy to find a kindred Nancy Drew spirit! "Irked" is a good way of explaining how I felt too!

Lori, I have lists of lists for things to do...I'm a bit looney when it comes to scheduling...lol
I'll try to post more about Japanese magazines again!

Willow, thank you..I can't believe how long it has been since I started living here!

I_am_Tulsa said...

Sharon, thank you for stopping by! I was thrilled to find my old books too. It was such great timing too, I got to think about the past 24 years and I realized that time flies!

B, I wonder if there are any Japanese magazines abroad...I'll try to do a post on some more Japanese magazines soon!

Cyndy, I would so LOVE to see your collection! Despite the "disappointment" after finding out about Carolyn Keene I still have a soft spot for these books!

Polly, The New Yorker getting sent to your doorstep....that is literary bliss, isn't it!? I don't know what VISA laws are like elsewhere but I have gotten use to all this paperwork, of course I could do without it...SO, I am going to try to get a permanent VISA....which means more paperwork but if I get that done I won't have to renew it every couple of years!

Chiara.u said...

Hi Tulsa... what an intensive and rich week!!! Unlike you I'm in a forced lazy period, due to school holidays of my two children! Well, lazy in blogland and work but very very busy as a mom!! They occupy the most of my time...
Waiting for other "adventures through wormholes" I wish you a relaxing weekend :)