June 30, 2015

Four More Seasons

We are heading into musky, verdant high summer. The plants adorning our house add a dash of tropical to the otherwise desert/austere look to our abode. “These days, our place looks like a 1970s adult movie,” I quipped to my better last weekend, prompting rebukes and derision from her.

I once showed you what our apartment in Hiroshima looked like in the midst of the four seasons. Here is the Yokohama version:
(Full disclosure: the heaviest snowfall in five years)



June 29, 2015

Blech! Sunshine and Saccharine

I was sizzling in the sun when I had a musical bonding epiphany with my youngest Rising Daughter, Lady M.
During Elena’s annual school sports day Marina and I spent several hours under the morning sun wandering around the tightly-controlled confines of the schoolyard navigating the hordes of moms and dads, grannies and grampas all vying for the best videotaping vantage points. 
We were already tapped out and decided to take a break at our humble lunch spot in one of the shaded areas of the school.

Sweaty and bored, I pulled out the trusty iPod Shuffle and settled into my foldable chair, when she surprised me by asking to listen along with me. Why not? I thought, and handed over one of the ear buds. She surprised me by liking the music. Perhaps it was fluky because the Go Gos oldie “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Vacation” happened to be next on the playlist and she instinctively liked these girl-surf-pop tunes, bobbing her head along with the beat. “We ga da beat,” she said, cackling.
Then, “Lithium” by Nirvana, the loud-quiet-loud structure captivating me yet again and prompted M. to do a head bob, mimicking my own (last seen in 1992). Hmm. A budding music fan? We shall see. She later lost the ball when Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash hit our eardrums, prompting her to scrunch her nose in disapproval, remove her bud, and scamper off to watch another one of Elena’s events.
Such is the slow tempo to life on these early summer weekends, completely at odds with the frenzy of weekdays. Same as it ever was.
Beyond that, Crazy E. has embraced sleepovers so we were the grateful recipient of time off when she stayed over at a local chum’s house. Payback came in the form of our hosting her friend the next weekend. All fine and well, but the chattiness prevented regular sleeping patterns.  The next day I found out those eight-year-old girls who stay up until 0200 the previous night gabbing possess a certain kind of fury fused to a late-afternoon crankiness that is hard to deal with. Not pleasant, I can tell you.

“Ain’t no damn thing perfect, son,” murmurs Johnny Cash in my ears as I settle deeper into my chair. Just another summer day.