December 25, 2013

Happy Christmas Message

To my family, friends and random folks who may be reading,
best wishes and heartfelt good cheer; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We had another terrific Christmas; feel lucky and blessed.
Started with a morning coffee...

The girls were naturally THRILLED about EVERYTHING today.
It was contagious. We simply had a wonderful merry olde, sepia-toned tyme.  

And check out this funky "impressionist picture" application on my camera.

December 24, 2013

Winter Solstice

It is Christmas Eve and I am mulling over autumn’s passing and winter’s grip. Thinking positively, the winter solstice (a few days ago) means the nights are getting shorter and the light of day is longer. So, astronomically, things are heading in the right direction.

Like a tube of toothpaste nearing its end, I want to squeeze the last bit of summer out and make it last as long as I can. Here are some of the highlights of Sept-Dec ’13:

To keep the dream of summer going, we visited Tokyo Summerland in mid-September. The heat and humidity is still formidable in Tokyo at that time, but most public outdoor pools have already shut their gates. Tokyo Summer is for summertime die-hards: a huge indoor domed pool and artificial wave water park that is open nearly year-round and, from July to September, offers more outdoor aquatic fun with a maze of whirlpools, waterslides, and fake waterfalls.
The Rising Daughters are water babies. Lady E. is coming along nicely in her swimming lessons, and M. seems to following the same trajectory, making me proud. At Summerland Marina mastered the meaning and ill-timed public use of the word “asscrack”--once again following in the steps of her elder sister (see “Gonzo Parenting”, Jan. 2011). They enjoyed squirting random people with their water pistols, receiving shrieks of delight from young women in bikinis, all crying “cute.” 

In my book, there is everything right with a theme park dedicated to the pleasures of summer all year round.

With swimming no longer an option after September, we switched to observing fish and even touching them at the Aburatsubo Marine Park. It features an enormous aquarium and numerous displays for sharks, dolphins, penguins and sea lions.
The day we were there, they had this spellbinding live stage performance of a popular kiddie cartoon—imparting youngsters with morality though tales involving men in very tight grey rubber suits flinging themselves around the stage area fighting the bad guys. It was Captain America-meets-Crispin Glover chaos, and I enjoyed the show more than the girls did. I love that s—t!

And Marina is learning to drive.

My wife and I insist that the Rising Daughters embrace culture as much as they have fun being active. Thus, we have studied many of the world’s finest art treasures.
Courtesy of Nickelodeon/Viacom Int'l

Being classy people, we are teaching the girls the fine art of “passing wind” without being discovered.

Even in October, E & M were out meeting their fans…

..and trying out new ways to get around.

Alas, come November’s chill, I got bogged down in the trench warfare of my email inbox at work, and we had fewer activities of note. One major blow to the head, and I wake up to find that it is the end of December and I am on vacation. And so it goes…