Monday, October 09, 2006

Sports Day 2006 (or, east is east and west is....sensible?)

On this day (well, nearly on this day) in 1964 the Tokyo Olympics began in, you guessed it~ Tokyo!

To commemorate the event, the Japanese government soon after decided that every October 10th should be forever referred to as "Sports Day" and has been turned into a Japanese national holiday.

Ask any Japanese person why they have "Sports Day" and most, if under the age of 40, have absolutely NO idea why.

But most will reveal to you in deepest confidence, away from any other Japanese person, that they hate "Sports Day".

Many of these people are teachers, parents, and even students at public schools.


The reason is clear as day to anyone who has lived in Japan, but for those of you who have never been through it, just imagine a day filled with fun and games, children marching around Hitler-youth style, with parents having to sit together, sardine-packed under a hot sun, waiting to make the obligatory video of their less than athletically ept spawn in competition with other children whom they care nothing about.
Then the parents have to wait 30, 40, 50 minutes or longer until the next event featuring junior.....only to find 50,000 other doting parents standing in your way, holding their cameras over their heads (and consequently, in your face) as you try to capture the pre-Olympic moment of your own budding Carl Lewis.

What is a 6'3" Daddy to do but hold his camera over his head and snap away, only to find later that you got a nice shot of the mens room on the second floor of the school?

Lest I forget the female perspective of this family affair....there is the LUNCH. Every mother, on Sports Day, has to get up at the crack of dawn and start preparing this enormous and decorative picnic lunch for the family to eat at the school athletic grounds, in the blazing sun, at exactly 12:00.

Now I have never been one to complain about a good lunch, and this certainly ranks up there with the best of them (on an annual basis) but the amount of preparation and time spent on making it LOOK good (because the watchful eyes of other mothers will always be checking yours to see if it is up to snuff) is yet another reason that parents, and especially female parents, don't like Sports Day.

And lastly, Sports Day is not even on Sports Day anymore!
It can occur any weekend in the month of October.

And it continues....year after soddy year. No one likes it, hardly anyone understands why they do it, hardly anyone in this country of sheeple is willing to speak up and END THE MADNESS.

So, my dear bloggers, this is my vent, my safety valve of venom. My refuge in a storm of sushi-slurping stupidity.

So, today, to commemorate the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the wife and kids and I are going into the country side to pick figs and grapes and eat some barbeque. We will take pictures, unfettered by the masses. We will have a barbeque lunch prepared by minimum wage workers who care nothing about how pretty their food is. We will stretch our legs, breathe in clean air, eat some great fresh fruit....and put Sports Day and the sheeple behind us.

Amen and amen.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Is this really a blog if you don't write often?

Several months have passed..wondering if any of you guys are even reading this anymore?
Getting too caught up with daily life, care for the family and my own selfish pursuits are but a few of the big reasons.

Lets see, the brief update:

Since my last cyber-missive, I have had the opportunity to go to the US for a month and play my horn at big band camp, reunite with 2 of my old band members in Boston (Johnny One Note- see previous entry for details about those guys), see the family and my neice get married, and generally get a good reality adjustment. After spending a few weeks back home, for the first time in a VERY long time, I am considering employment there, or at least somewhere else off this golden sushi archipelago.

Before I left for the US my father nearly bought the farm with renal failure. They put him on dialysis, and miraculously, he came off of it! he had to stay in the hospital over a month.

After my trip to the US, I came back to start a new school year. Things have gone pretty well this first 6 weeks, and I am enjoying work more than I ever thought I could. Compared to last years stress-0-rama, this year is a cakewalk.

Meanwhile, Dad was hospitalized with near heart failure. This put him in for 3 weeks. He has been out almost 2 weeks now and is doing ok, but as can probably be seen by all reading,he is not doing well overall....

Wifey is studying and working like a dog. The company owns her soul, evidently and we are looking for a different job for the spring for her. Hopefully the Lord will open a door by then. I am in charge of dinners during the weekdays and she does the breakfasts.
I always liked cooking!

I have given the heave-ho to my salsa band and my big band...the former rather gladly and the latter rather reluctantly. I am forming a band with professionals so that we will not have to deal with people who cannot really play their instruments, bozos, ego-maniacs and can enjoy our efforts to the fullest. So far I have landed a Japanese bassist who studied at Berklee, a pro pianist/percussionist who is from the US and a vocalist from the Phillipines. Need one or two more people to make it complete.

What else?

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Japan and I plan on taking a....HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Let me hear from you!