A Habit Learned In Japan

While we were driving around today it occurred to me that there was a habit I learned in Japan that I didn’t notice until now.  Instead of pointing towards something with my finger I use my whole hand in a more gentle gesture.

I was pointing at something out the window and gestured with my hand, it hit me and I smiled.

A habit I’m super happy to have picked up, hope it sticks with me.

New Blogger to Share — The Fun Boss

Aquarium EntranceIt was a rainy day today, so I took Estelle to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. We’ve been meaning to go there for awhile, as I have always had a fascination with the ocean, and Estelle is too young to care. So, off we went. If you plan…

My awesome friend Abby just started a blog and it’s wonderful!  She posts about being a new mom and traveling with a baby.  Please check her out and follow her for more amazing adventures!         Rainy Day San Diego: The Birch Aquarium — The Fun Boss

Frantic February

I know it’s been a bit since I last posted, so much has been happening this month with preparing for our move out of Japan.  Plus we have been battling a little bit with admin trying to get our flights figured out.  It’s so hard to push off a big trip till the last minute, family and friends are left sitting and waiting for us to inform them, plus the cost goes up the longer you wait to buy flight tickets doesn’t it.

I’ve been going through our storage boxes and weeding out some of the Coca Cola collection.  Selling some of it to people who collect, which is so much nicer than if it were someone just looking to sell for a profit.  I am quite sure I’m selling for an outrageously low price but it’s more about the weed out for me than how much I can get for everything.

On the 5th we jumped on the train to Tokyo, the husband needed to pick up his new passport at the American Embassy and I needed to apply for a Visa at the Italian Embassy.  I’d never been to either and was fairly underwhelmed.  Too many Hollywood movies had me thinking they would be beautiful and elaborate but both were just regular entries (although the Italian entry was a bit more covert and slightly hidden) and just counters to line up for.  In fact it felt much like going to the dmv in the states.  Slightly disappointing but both were run rather efficiently from my point of view and we were back in Yokosuka after lunch.  We are heading there again this morning to pick up my Visa.  One interesting aspect of the Italian Embassy is the hours of operation.  They are only open 09:30 am to 12:30 pm.  I suppose there isn’t a lot of activity for them in Japan.

I have been doing lunch and dinner with friends which has been really wonderful.  I’ll truly miss the  friends I’ve made here.  I’ve been enjoying time with them so much I haven’t been taking many photos.

Last week I met with the new Ombudsman for the command, she seems a good fit for the “job”.  Really a nice lady and a lot of energy.  Also, we had our main pack out.  This in the military is when the moving company comes in to pack all of our stuff up and load it onto crates to start the move.  We have 3 different pack outs.  The first (last week) was the normal household items which takes the longest to transport.  The second which is this Friday is for items we set aside to go into storage for the next few years.  The last is the expedite which we have scheduled for Monday.  These items are put in a rush to arrive typically a month earlier than the bulk move.

Also, this month I made a sneaky purchase for a final Japanese item to take with us. It was a surprise to my husband and he loved it.  This is a Japanese signature stamp called a Hanko.  They use it often in Japan for official contracts and such and I thought it would be a cool thing for us to have.  The stamp I picked out is made from water buffalo from Holland and I checked to make sure it’s harvested without harming the animal.  Apparently, they shed their tusks so no harm to the animal.  Our stamp reads left to right Dupre’ but really it reads kinda like doo-poo-lay.

Thursday is our Hail and Farewell at the command.  It’s a gathering typically once every month or so to welcome new people and say good bye to those leaving.  It’s a little nerve wracking for me because I know they will call us up and I hate being put up in front of people but I’ll try to enjoy the evening.  Alcohol will help.

Friday is the storage pack out then I’m going to dinner with the ladies from work for one of their birthdays and my final hoo-rah with them.  Will be fun but sad, I’ll miss them.

Saturday I am joining a Japanese friend of mine to go to a Zazen beginners session.  It is basically a Buddhist meditation, click the linky for more info.  This is something I wanted to do when we were getting ready to move here but one of the few things I didn’t really dive in to research.  I’m really thankful my friend mentioned it and can squeeze this in before moving away.   After the meditation we are heading to Yokohama for late lunch or early dinner of Fugu (blow fish).  Not something I have to do before leaving Japan but she mentioned it so why not!  She gifted me this beautiful Sakura Sake as well, love her.

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Sunday is a friend’s baby shower which I am hoping to attend but will see how I feel and hopefully won’t end up poisoned by the fish Saturday. eek!

Monday is the last of the moving and we move to the Navy Lodge for a few days before flying out.

Then March Mayhem begins!  A big trip to the states and bouncing all over the dang country … oh and we are still waiting for word from the detailer before we can finalize the end of the trip…ugh… then towards the end of the month we are off to Italy!

I think I’ll do a post about the nerves of that coming on with the housing situation, driving and such and planning an accomplishment type post on what all was achieved and loved while in Japan.

 

Awesome Noise

Noise…I’ve experienced different kinds of noise to wrap up my 2015.  From OzzFest (Head-banging, thrash metal concert festival) to Hong Kong at Christmas, and Tokyo for New Years Eve – the noise was real.  One was literally a lot of sound and cranked up high and the other was more pushy salesmen and noisy touristy spots (I’ll do a separate post on this trip) and of course New Year’s Eve was spent in Hobgoblins in Shibuya (I’ll do a Holiday – Year End wrap up post).

On to OzzFest

(the links are to the band’s web site respectively)

This was a bit of a bucket list type thing for me.  I never thought I’d have the opportunity to go see Ozzy Osbourne live in concert let alone my slightly stalkerish celebrity crush Dave Navarro WITH Jane’s Addiction.  Epic doesn’t even cover it.  Jane’s Addiction, I didn’t know they were back together, talk about a throw back to my teenage years.  It brought back a lot of great memories of nights out with my brother and his friends.  Yep, he brought his little sister with him to party because he was awesome like that.

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My Dave

What I didn’t realize was the level of thrash and screamo bands that were lined up with the greats.  I honestly thought it would be mostly hard rock and I’m not a huge fan of people screaming at me but honestly if it’s done right and I’m in the right mood I can get into it.  Enter Hatebreed, a hard core metal – thrash band that has a new fan.  They killed it, sounded amazing and were really great at hyping up the crowd.  As soon as we got home I put two cd’s in our amazon basket.

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Crystal Lake also got the crowd amp’d up, good stuff though the mosh pit slammed me just enough to have us moving back from the stage about half way thru their set.

Corey Taylor from Slipknot was fantastic and I have to admit I was worried an acoustic jam would lose the crowd but it seemed to come at just the right time for everyone to cool down and take a breath.  He sounded great, that was a big treat.

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Evanescence stunned me.  This is not what I would consider a metal band by any means and I was actually rather surprised to see them in the lineup.  Holy crap they sounded amazing.  The metal sound with Amy Lee’s voice was incredible.  I was in awe.

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The husband and I saw Korn live many years ago in San Diego so this was a repeat but man they still sounded great and belted it out big, truly epic.

Black Label Society were also on my list of bands to see live so I can check that off now.  Brilliant and a true biker band if there ever was one.

I’m not going to lie, the Japanese bands kind of run together in my head and a lot of them sounded rather similar.  Baby Metal and 人間椅子 (Ningen Isu) definitely stood out.  Baby Metal has a huge following and I can see why.  These girls were well rehearsed, super cutesy and just stupid enough to make me rather disgusted.  I do give the band credit, the music was good but the singing was … meh.   人間椅子 – these guys were amazing!  What a show, you must check them out – even if you don’t like metal music, please watch…these older guys are rocking it out!

I researched them a bit before the concert so I knew a little of what to expect but man did they deliver.

That’s my summary of the bands I found noteworthy.  All in all it was an amazing weekend and I am so incredibly glad we were able to do the concert series in Japan.  What a great memory for us to take with us.  We saw some legends play here from Eric Clapton and Sarah Brightman to Judas Priest, Brian Setzer and all of OzzFest.  It’s been an epic music adventure, my ears are still ringing. (ok not really but yeh)  By the way, 3 Doors Down is playing in a couple of weeks.

Thank you Japan!