Thursday, October 29, 2009

We are eating M&M's and dressing the dogs, that can only mean one thing, dementia.
Don't pass these photos around, I wouldn't want Poodle Rescue to see them and take the dogs back.

Drag Race

My 1980's life flashed before my eyes last night at the High Heel Drag Race. I was lucky enough to have a great perch at Leah's apartment. And guess what? They were doing the Thriller dance, it took all my self restraint (like I have ever had any) not to join in, the only thing that stopped me was I lacked a fabulous dress.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Madame Secretary

I am very sorry she is not Madame President. Ms. Rodham Clinton heard Mike McCarten was working in town and ran right across the street to say hello. I thought I might try, that day, in true Lucy and Ethel fashion, to impersonate someone who worked at BUMED but where do you put a woman of a certain age not in uniform when there is no cafeteria line?

Thrill the World

In an attempt to break the world record for simultaneous dancing, a record currently held by 'The Hokey Pokey', I convinced Mike and Leah to join me at Joe's Movement Emporium to learn Michael Jackson's Thriller Dance. We had a few hours of lessons, then off to the makeup room if you wanted blood and guts and then at 8:30 we joined the rest of the world in doing the dance. What could be bad about this? It was free, we were dancing and meeting lots of new people. At the next family gathering we will teach it to all the McCartens. Stand by for THAT photo. In anticipation of my next visit you should go to, watch the videos and learn the dance so we can get started right away.

Lucky Prepares to Meet His Maker

I arranged for Lucky and Pepper to go to day care on the day our furniture arrived here in Old Town. It was a great place, they were among hundreds of dogs and placed in a room called 'the lounge' for older dogs. At the end of the day they came home with report cards. Pepper had reclined on the futon all day but I was happy to read that Lucky made a friend named Homer. Well, it seems Lucky may have picked up a little something life threatening from Homer. Lucky spent a restless night and when we woke to the morning light our room looked like a scene from 'The Shining', there was blood everywhere. Lucky spent a few days in the ICU and was diagnosed with Canine HGE which led to a cascade of things culminating in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He still isn't quite healthy but he's not trying to die anymore. In the midst of all this a local church had a blessing of the pets on the Feast Day of St. Francis Assisi so we put on our best leashes and hedged our bets.


On our way out of Japan we got another dog. Pepper is an 11 year old Husky- Schnauzer mix ( Schnusky). We are her eighth owners, she has been passed around Camp Zama in Japan the way cars are passed from one family to another and never leave the military base. Her last family had her the longest, three years. For some reason could not get her on the flight back to the States with them so they had someone pick her up at the airport and take her to the shelter on the Yokosuka base. I was keeping tabs on her, no one was interested in adopting an 11 year old dog so they were going to give her a permanent home at a no kill shelter as a last resort. Mike and I took her on a trial basis and one day as we were walking her someone stopped us and said she was thinking of taking Pepper home for her children as they had left their dog behind in the States. Mike turned to me and said "lets go sign her adoption papers right now". As I write this I realize that's exactly the way he married me.
The major difference between Pepper and Lucky is that Pepper is a dog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"She thinks a little like a Japanese person...." hosts said to our Nakai-san at the Ryokan, nodding in my direction. That's because I bring gifts and thank people profusely. Mayummi-san, Chizuru-san, Motoyo-san and Chizuru-san's husband treated me to a night at a very nice Ryokan with an Onsen that is 100% volcanic water. We had our own Nakai-san (a hostes who wears a kimono) who served our 18 course kaiseki meal in our room and even though she finished with us at 9:00 PM she was back to wake us up at 8:00 AM to then serve our 5 course breakfast consisting of many kinds of fish, three soups and four kinds of pickles. In between all this food we soaked in the Onsen. After spending hours in showers and baths the night before I thought I would wait until I got home to shower again. I could see my friends were quietly horrified so I told them I would take a shower. "Oh no. Ka-chan. Take a shower just to get clean, then you must take a bath, the water is 100% onsen water and the tiles are special Izu tiles."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Answer: Sayuki of Asakusa

Question: What do you get when you cross Margaret Meade with a geisha?
Sayuki is the first foreign geisha in Japan. I know I have always called myself the "Gai-jin Geisha" but I apparently have no rightful claim to the title. Sayuki is a British woman with an MBA from Oxford who studied in Japan off and on for 15 years. She is currently persuing a degree in Social Anthropology, that is the form of Anthropology where you have to live among your subject of study. So Sayuki applied to be the first foreign geisha and was accepted on account of the fact that she is fluent in Japanese, has lived within the culture and plays the flute. All Geisha must be experienced in some kind of performing art. Sayuki is not ready to give up the Geisha life, she is quite liking it and asks that we all be on the lookout for the book she is writing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter 2008/2009

I have been working almost full time in the hair salon here so the only trip I took this winter was to the States. I did my niece Allegra's hair for the Winter Ball. A near disaster, how could I know that Winter Ball hair is not like prom hair?
Mike and I hosted a Christmas party for the salon. On Christmas day we served dinner on the ship. Mike's apron says "Wash your damn hands". We hoped to do some good but I felt as though we were harassing people who just wanted to be left alone to eat lunch.