Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Man

In the United States, snow man is made typically with three snow balls, like such:

In Japan, snow man is typically made with two snow balls, like such:

I have to say, perhaps this stemmed from our body types and find it kind of amusing.

Also, kids in the U.S. draw yellow sun:

Kids in Japan draw red sun:

My hybrid child draws it with a yellow crayon even though she goes to a Japanese preschool.

Go figure.

Monday, January 9, 2012


On the way to Santa Barbara airport, we blew past this lovely little hut. I screamed at my husband to stop and turn around the car so I can take a picture.

That's right. It says, "Orient Laundry." Love that Chop Suey font. Totally reminds me of the Chinese characters from Thoroughly Modern Millie who kidnaps orphan ladies, put them in the laundry hamper and sell them to slavery. Awesome.

Sadly, this joint is closed. Otherwise, I would commute from Seattle to get my laundry done here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


In my culture, people who are in mourning are not supposed to say "Happy New Year." New year's cards is are big tradition (like Christmas cards here), but if you lose a family member, you are supposed to send out "I'm in mourning" announcements prior to the timing of New Year's cards so that people won't send you anything that indicates celebration. I am in that group this year.

2011 was difficult. From the earthquake to my mother's death, it was a year that challenged my mental and physical strength in stress, concern, grief, obligations, and sleepless nights. But because of that it was a year that I also experienced a lot of love in my marriage, my child, friendship and community. It was a year of great loss and confirmation that I am blessed.

So as I look forward to 2012, the year of the dragon, I hope to nurture the connection I established with people and slowly regain my strength to grow bigger and stronger for the next challenge.

I wish you a good, healthy, peaceful year.