jet lag

Went to dinner at trusty Five Points with mama and papa, Hiroko, Lee and Charity, and Aunt Emily and Uncle Dolf. Damn fine salmon, and of course chocolate fondue for dessert.
Gave Lee and Charity t-shirts from Lucky and Korean-made fake Kappa nylon sweat pants; his in yellow and hers in pink. In return, they gave me a gold, diamond-studded NY on a fat gold chain. Quality. I will, naturally, wear it to their New Jersey wedding in November.

yes buti feel so safe!

Finally experienced new and improved airline travel. First I totally forgot about the tiny little swiss army nail file on my cell phone, but it was quickly and efficiently confiscated by security at Narita.
Then I enjoyed my fine business-class meals with a metal fork and plastic knife.
Finally we landed in JFK and the family of 5 in line in front of me was given the full security re-check. I'm surprised the security guards didn't ask the guy to put his 3 year-old and 5 year-old kids through the x-ray machine. I guess they fit the profile of luggage-laden child-toting terrorists because they were *gasp* middle-eastern! The mom had a scarf wrapped around her head and everything.
The best part, though, was when the customs guy grilled me:
him: Ya live in JAPAN?
me: Yup.
him: How long ya been there?
me: 8 years.
me: [looking very jet-lagged]
him: Ya been on any farms lately?
me: I live in the middle of Tokyo.
him: Yes? No? Farms? Got any fresh fruit? Been in contact with any farm animals recently? Got any meat? Raw sausages?
me: Tokyo. TOKYO. It's solid concrete 100 kilometers in any direction. TO-KEE-OH. In Japan. No sausages. No fruit. No animals. Concrete. And lots of people. Bad Asian rap music. Teen pop idols. Silly hats. Tiger-striped fashion accessories.

new york, ny

Hiroko left yesterday, so I spent the day getting ready; shopping in Shibuya, playing Kengo2 on my PS2, and packing. Left the house this morning and came to the office (taking the bus from the Westin Hotel across the street) to do a final mail check and lunch. Not entirely thrilled to be diving head-first into the assinine world of renewed airport security -- I can already imagine some monkey with a metal detector telling me to take of my boots and prove there's no bomb in them, or drink my own shaving cream to prove I'm not intending to spew toxic foam all over the plane. Well at least I've got 3 laptop batteries. I hope the movies don't suck, too.