Thursday, November 27, 2008

Setsuko's Wedding Part 2

After the knot had been proverbial tied, it was time to eat, drink and be merry. Ken's date was "Pengy" the squeaky Penguin toy.
Ken had a good chance to practice his finger food skills. Thank goodness for bread! There was a lot of Eye Candy for him in the form of cutlery that was a constant battle to keep out of his hands.
They cut the cake, but now that I think about it, where did all those yummy profiteroles go? I never had one...
Two handsome guys.
Pengy was hitting the sauce a little too hard.
We finally managed to squeeze in for a photo op. I'm glad Ritsy and I had a small wedding, these poor saps didn't have a chance to touch their food.
Ritsy, Ken, Setsuko and her son Yuuki.
Yochhan was overcome with emotion (and alcohol) and got a little emotional to wrap up the festivities. A very nice day all in all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Setsuko's wedding part 1

Finally we could dust off Ken's Michael Corleone suit and head out to enjoy the wedding of Setsuko and Yochhan on Sunday November 15th. It was held at Amandan Rise a new wedding house here in Hamamtsu.
The followed the itinerary's schedule very tightly and headed over to the chapel in due time.
The minister was a nice guy from Spain with whom I chatted. He scattered some English and Spanish into the mostly Japanese sermon. It was quite a nice wedding even though it was a rainy day.
The newly wed couple, the Tajima's faced the crowd. I could barely recognize Setsuko!
Finally we enjoyed a nice "kampai!" (Japanese version of Cheers!) with Ken as we all cheered the new couple. Ken loves Kampai and will initiate many times throughout any mealtime.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Family Arrive : November 15th

With Setsuko and Yo-chan's wedding a day away, Ritsuko's mom's sisters and brothers arrived and we all went for Unagi down by the Tenryu river. Sorry can't remember the name of the place, but it looks like there is a great view in the day time.
Oh no, terrible with names here- sorry! Of course, Ken was quite popular as this is the first time in a long time some of the family had seen each other. This is one of Ritsy's aunts here (maybe Reiko...?)
And one of Ritsy's uncles -Nobuo pictured above. He had previously had a stroke, but seemed in good health (a relief for me to note considering my Aunt Mary had just suffered a hemorrhaging stroke)Setsuko's son from her first marriage, Yuuki is turning into quite a good young man.Aunt Chiemi also promised her aunts the next big event would be her wedding. That would be nice to see!It was a delicious dinner and a great chance to meet some more of Ritsy's family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ken!

Today is Ken's birthday! Looking back at all the pictures, it's tough to believe that it's only been a year. But at the same time it's unbelievable it's a year already! Anyway, what a great first year it's been and here is to many more! Happy birthday little guy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some more picture catching up

Ken is starting to sit like a grown up. Hard to believe it's only been a year with all the little milestones!
Sadly, he also gets hypnotized by the tv a bit. It would be hypocritical to completely keep him away from it, but I keep a good eye out that he isn't watching violent tv. Thankfully Japanese tv is a lot more family friendly (sometimes infuriatingly so).One of our neighbours gave us this simple little play gym, he loves climbing around it like a little monkey.
And he is finally taking to going down the slide frontwards. In the beginning, it was also backwards.
And of course he still loves balls and balloons. This one, daddy over filled and it popped very easily.
Okay a lot of people are curious if he is walking yet. Sadly, the answer is still no. He did start cruising really early , but he has always seemed content with just that. Recently he has started standing on his own for long stretches, and he is quite excited about it, usually clapping happily, so I think it is getting closer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Updating pictures

Unfortunately, it took Ken having a fever and me having to take a day off to buy me time to update the blog a bit. He has taken some medicine to bring down his temperature, but he is just a shadow of himself... Hang in there little man. Here are some recent Phone camera pictures.

Couldn't resist to buy him a X-mas hat. Probably parents everywhere have tortured their kids like this.
He has taken a great interest in feeding himself now, so we often try to make finger food for him.
Mom and Ken.
He also loves picking up the phone and copying our mannerisms while we talk on the phone. Very funny. But sorry if you get an accidental call from him, Ritsuko's mom already did.

Friday, November 21, 2008

HICE moved

Okay this is a little late reporting, but the very useful HICE has moved offices. HICE stands for Hamamatsu International Cultural Exchange. It provides a great resource for foreign residents in providing information, cheap language classes and a fantastic job board. I actually found my main job over at Time/Life from the board, but you can also find some private lessons or advertise yourself. Oh ya, also there are sometimes Sayonara Sale notices, cheap stuff being sold by people leaving the country-- I haven't tried but I would bet you could under-bid a lot of the asking prices... I mean they are leaving...

The rumour mill says that the Forte Building where it used to be, has been sold to the local big company Enshu Tetsudo (Entetsu) and may end up another Department store. The sad fact is that Forte is a lovely building and not very old- it seems that a lot of the space was unused so it was a waste of prime real estate in Hamamatsu.

The new location can be found on the other side of the train station , in a building named the Ito building. You will find a sign pointing you to the correct floor- I think it was 9?
The best landmark to note near the Ito Building is the Mos Burger that sits just across from the Royal Host restaurant. On the right side of the above picture you can see the Ito Building.
I hope they don't mind, I borrowed this map from their website...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Japanese fad in full swing- Bananas

I'm really sorry if you are checking my blog sometimes and have found no updates for the last little while. I am still trying to learn how to manage my time with the new apparent "more free time" I should have, but I am not really finding the time to sit down and blog.

Bananas- you know them, you love them. Well the short story is that a woman developed a diet whereby you eat just a banana or 2 for breakfast and some warm water, then you can eat anything you want for the rest of the day. They had a rather large Opera singer use the diet and managed to lose 15 pounds somehow in a few weeks. I watched the program and called BS from the get go. I am confident that not only is there a missing piece of information- or straight out misinformation- Japanese TV has been caught lying before. But this sparked a national craze and since then Bananas have been in high demand and are often sold out at the stores.

This really illustrates the power of the TV in Japan. I feel that if this information were displayed back home, people would look at it sceptically and maybe try to read up on it or ask someone in the know about the validity of the diet. But here, people see a quick hit-- an ultra-easy way to lose weight painlessly and just jump on the very large sized bandwagon. It's insane, the ladies I know that have tried it said it produced no results, same as when they tried Billy's Boot Camp last year during that fad.

Well, I guess- That's Japan!