May 31, 2011

Online Yes-Man

I was thinking about a storyline for this post involving the resurrection of the Cookie Monster toy in our home now that Marina is transfixed by it. She is really interested in the Cookie Monster’s repetitive musings—“me like cookies”—over and over again as she develops her language skills.  Anyhow, I seriously considered painting a swastika on the Cookie Monster’s forehead in an effort to contrast this very mundane infant’s toy with the horrific image of a totally deranged Charles Manson that inevitably comes to mind. This would give you, dear reader, something to gnaw on while I natter on about my kids. But, I didn’t do it this time. I pulled back. And for a day or so now, I have been asking myself why.

The answer to this is that I am somewhat leery of putting too much out there into the digital ecosystem which may be perceived the wrong way. Truth is I get these odd ideas of juxtaposing the normal with the utterly abnormal all the time. But with the ubiquitous nature of the online world, anyone can view this. And that means anyone could take the humorous intent a completely different way, and that may backfire. My humor is an acquired taste. So, rather than take that chance, I figured that, for once, I’ll take the road that is most taken and play it safe.
Is this a sign of maturity? Naw. Life is more fun when you sporadically just do things and see what happens. When it can have implications for the entire family, though, that’s another story.

May 20, 2011

Relocated. Revitalized. Really.

Yikes, it’s been more than a few weeks since my last missive and our vantage point is now vastly different. We’re living in a new city now—Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. Apropos to my new home, I experienced two earthquake tremors today; my co-workers laughed when I looked a bit skittish as the building swayed. Apparently, “you get used to it.”

We moved here at the end of April and the action hasn’t stopped since then. Finishing the last few days of my previous job, contemplating the 5,414 days I spent living in Hiroshima, and then being catapulted into the maelstrom of setting up a new homestead in a new city— I felt like a youthful Emilio Estevez circa Repo Man: just forward motion without much thought of future consequences. Amid all the harried moving-in activity, Jerry Garcia’s apparition appeared beside the foldaway lawn chairs in our 10 ft. x 10 ft. front lawn, and welcomed us to the new neighborhood. Who would’ve thunk it?

Part of the move from Hiroshima to Yokohama entailed the retirement of our old TV, a huge old box which took a duo of movers to haul out, and cost me about $75 in recycling fees. It was replaced by a new 32-inch flat screen which gives me headaches and already sports telltale infant thumbprints. But the upside was that this consumer binge has been beneficial to the kids’ morale. In their eyes, I went from a modest Average Performing Father to the Greatest Dad Who Has Ever Lived. Super-sized cartoons now rule the roost in our happy, significantly larger, home.

I am not certain of the etymology of the venerable term “kickass.” But I do claim copyright for kickass², because the Rising Family is now engaged in our very own version of the Apollo program in terms of a new lifestyle. I assure you, dear Reader, we are kicking ass-squared in our new city, new home, and new job.

Marina turned one year old recently. She’s adorable and developing new skills, new balance, and a new appetite for learning every day. We just adore her and wished her a wonderful first birthday, and a lifetime of equally happy years to follow. I’m gushing, but I’m allowed: I’m a dad.

She also took her first steps on April 21.
And so it goes.