Friday, March 7, 2008

Can You Tell Me How To Get...

First of all, is a fun site. Just putting that out there - I got the dish stickers from it, and now this gem.

I love Sesame Street. And I remember vividly this first clip (#3) on this post - about visual thinking. The other two - I do not, but you can see the evolution. I'm really considering picking up those "Old School" Sesame Street videos for Mia. Notcot, I have no idea why people don't make great shows like this anymore - probably because Jim Henson and Frank Oz aren't involved in television anymore. I'm with you, though, Kermit is a cool cat. Frog. Whatever.

Think We'd Get In Trouble For This?

Some brilliant soul decided to make DISH STICKERS!! Too bad this is kind of gay-pride rainbow, otherwise I would seriously get one (Not that there's anything wrong with that.... don't ask don't tell). Just to see the look on the guy who took back my satellite dish at the end of our tour here. What, dude? It came like that.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Freedom Is Sweet

Hello! Yes, I have been out in town - almost constantly - since the Period of Reflection was lifted yesterday morning. The current restrictions are not that big of a deal to us, Craig's not some huge drinker - the occasional wine or beer or mixed drink at home will be just fine. (And I have a DD! Sweet.) The curfew is no biggie either, we put the kiddo to bed at 8 so usually it's just a movie or TV after that. The good news is, nary a second glance from locals, as I had hoped. The bad news....

-The yen rate - 101¥ to the dollar! YIKES! To give you an idea, when we got here it was about 124¥ to the dollar, so we've lost 18.5% of our value here. *Edited to correct my crappy math, thank you, Nick.

-Articles like this worry me. I'm really curious as to how many of the 1.3 million Okinawans dislike the Americans this much that they want us to leave. The protests held here have about 100 people there - doesn't seem like much representation, and I'm told that the protesters are often flown in from mainland Japan! It's tough for me to REALLY get an unbiased general opinion. But I truly hope and continue to believe that people here are OK with us being here. Because I love being here, even if only for a while. And I know a lot of people who do too.

All in all, not too horrible, and oh MY it is GOOD to be back out again! I ate at SomChai today for lunch with my friend Casey - there was a line out the door at 11:30 when he opened! A few guys in there cited the fact that an exception to the PoR restrictions was that you could travel to places of worship. I definitely think his food qualifies as something I worship! (Richard said, "If you worship the chili, this is your place!")

I've been out shopping, driving, paying my cell phone bill, and enjoying very chilly and windy time outside, but whatever - I AM OUTSIDE! I'd love to say I learned some lesson from all this, but it's probably just that my kid has a harder time sleeping when she hasn't had time to play outside. And I still like cooking.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Cover Photo

Check me out! My picture made the cover of THIS WEEK on Okinawa Magazine! Ok - NOT a huge deal, it's like TV Guide out here...but still pretty sweet. Better yet, my kid is in it too! Lookie:

Free At Last....

At least I am. Craig has some restrictions, but absolutely nothing we can't handle (or don't already do!)

Can't wait to see what it looks like out in town today!

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's a New Day

Feeling good - getting out of the house - and it's 3/3. My lucky number is 3.

And thanks for the comment, Ernie - you crack me up. And so you know - bouncing around in the jumpie is one heck of a workout. I have done it. Fun - but tiring. And nauseating when you've had a few. Some other parents told me they do the 100th day thing in the states in kindergartens... I'd never heard of it. Ok - have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Shuri Castle & More

First of all... a montage. Of silly child. Can't you just see her on the frappucino sugar buzz?
We parked a little ways away from Shuri Castle because we had no clue where the parking for it was. So we had a beautiful walk on a sunny day. Here's the Pook by one of the outside walls in her snappy little hat.
On little podiums throughout the castle perimeter there are pictures like this:
As it ends up, that's an aerial view of the flower garden next to it - really cool:

The castle itself with Craig & Mia standing in front of it. Quite ornate, lots of amazing details.

I took this from on top of a wide wall outside the gift shop. It didn't take long for a staff member to motion me to GET DOWN! Gomen nasai! (At least I got the shot)
A cool dragon detail on the castle.
We had lunch at the restaurant next to the gardens. The usual plastic food displays were in a case outside the restaurant - here's Anpanman and his crew surrounding the kid's meal. Mia's was actual food that looked exactly like this.
A couple of t-shirts for sale at the nearby vendor.
In the car on the way home I snapped this of the Yui Rail tracks. The train runs above the roads throughout Naha. We'll have that adventure one day soon for sure.
At a stoplight I nabbed a shot of the British Rock studio on rte. 58.
I can't believe we were going about 50 km/h when I took this - I've been dying to catch this Spidey in a picture!
After Shuri we went to the Starbucks down the road - this was in the window so I gave it a shot. It was a "volcano" - well, they poured a shot of espresso into the dip in the cake, and then topped it with whipped cream. It was not too sweet and very delicious.
As we waited for our coffee drinks, I snapped this outside. I didn't notice the hilarious girl in the doorway until I downloaded it. Too funny!
The drive-thru menu - you can see the menu items at the *bucks here are really different. The food is actually really good! There are wraps and hot sandwiches. Yum.

My flickr site has a good bunch of photos, and my Shutterfly album has all 82. If you care to kill some time. Hopefully some news tomorrow regarding the lockdown end. However, I WILL be getting out for an OIWC luncheon tomorrow - we're going to Naha! More on that later.

Some Random Stuff

First of all, shame on you, PRESS, for giving up the Prince's position. This was even more idiotic than Geraldo drawing a map in the sand.

Yes - he was released - and no, we're not free quite yet. The General is in Korea, and I'm predicting that after his meetings on Monday we will be free. I'm not holding my breath to hear any apologies either.

In the "oh, crap" category, we're renting the blu-ray discs of the final parts of The Sopranos via Netflix. We're awaiting episodes 5 & 6 now. We're also watching (live now) the final season of HBO's The Wire, and after each episode there's a write-up on by a group of fans. We just watched the most recent episode and while reading the Salon article afterward we COMPLETELY spoiled the ending of The Sopranos for ourselves. As we read the sentence we both yelled "OH MY GOD THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!" and well, it sucks. But whatever - that show ended a year ago now, I guess it was wishful thinking that we'd avoid finding out what happened until we got to the end, but ....that blows.

Speaking of blu-ray - I'm thankful that I STOPPED my husband from buying an HD-DVD player because now blu-ray has WON! Yay! So for those that haven't jumped on this train yet - a PS3 is the cheapest blu-ray player, also plays games (duh) and regular DVDs, so I recommend it. The quality is amazing.

I did watch the Oscars and am SO thrilled for "Once" - a heartwarming amazing movie that I seriously have been recommending to people since we saw it in the movie theater before we left for Japan - which is now the winner of the best original song Oscar. Since then, Mia has also fallen in love with the soundtrack (it's basically a musical) and knows each song by heart and sings them with so much feeling - I wish that I could video the kid but she won't let me. I'll do that in secret one day. Craig and I are pretty sure we have one of the only 6-year-olds who can sing the whole soundtrack of Once, and if she was on American Idol, would sing "Lies" or "Falling Slowly" for sure! (we asked)

I'm sifting through pictures in my "reflection" time... some were from Shuri Castle a few weeks ago. Here's one of Mia with a group of super friendly Japanese girls who really liked her. They asked to have their pictures taken with her too.

More to come, probably later today.