Originally uploaded by renfield

The sell dinner, at Morton's. That is one serious filet mignon. Put me in a right-proper food coma.

Boston Career Forum

Boston Career Forum
Originally uploaded by renfield

All the graddies anxiously awaiting a chance to get a job. Tough market these days...and I am still waiting for someone to show up in a suit that is neither:
1) black
2) ill-fitting

just my luck.

just my luck.
Originally uploaded by renfield


Uploaded a bunch of photos from the Shichi-go-san weekend. Basically a morbid Japanese holiday celebrating the fact that your kid has lived to see his/her 3rd/5th/7th birthday.
Did formal photos at the local photo studio with everyone in kimono, then the next day went to the Suitengu shrine for some blessings and lunch down the street at the Royal Park hotel.

happy 88th!

Toyo-baa turned 88 -- a celebration called beiju in Japanese.
We took the night bus up to Ibaraki after Kenkakubanrai and spent the night. It was surprisingly warm that evening and perfectly excellent weather the next day. We checked out the garden a bit and then went across the street to play with Hana-chan for a while before heading out for a celebratory lunch with everyone. Aunt Mari hooked up Tonchan and Mookun with some toys and stuff, and then we did some shopping at the Ami Outlet Mall before getting the train back to Tokyo. We finished the evening with some pizza from Salvatore before crashing.


Another full day of general iai silliness. This time we had 260 people, so we were way behind schedule and finally after I finished judging around 5pm I had to leave early so that we could get on the bus back to Ibaraki.

trip from hell

Taken me a while to get caught up on the bloggage, so forgive the time lapse. (Or don't, I don't care much either way.)
Had the Trip From Hell a few weeks ago. Thought it would be a great idea to take the wife and kids to the USA with me; they see the family, I do some bid'ness. All in all, a great idea, poorly executed.
First, Ton got a fever the day before we left. Debated about what to do, and finally morning of she was not SO feverish, so we got on a plane for 12 hours of boredom and napping. Actually wasn't too bad; she was hot and grumpy and sleepy so I just held her for most of the flight and she mostly slept. Sort of.
Checked into the boutique MAV Hotel and got upgraded to the Penthouse Suite, which was the size of TWO shoeboxes (to be fair, by NYC standards, not bad.) Hotel was WAY to trendy for kids; the shower head was this art-deco contraption that looked cool but was useless for washing myself, let alone two small kids. Ton's fever was raging again and the kids tylenol cold medicine wasn't helping. So we bailed on the hotel after one night, cancelled dinner plans, etc. and just headed back to my mom's in CT.
Emy and Dolf and Cousin Dave came over for dinner, and that was actually fun.
Ton seemed to be getting better so on Monday we headed up to Boston. First class on Amtrak. Train left about an hour late, arrived in Boston two hours late. Food was almost edible. Arrived at Boston and my luggage is gone. In its place is some brown carry-on owned by some old dude with a cane, whom I watched get off two stations earlier and I remembered thinking "Wow everyone has that black Tumi just like I do -- popular bag!"
So I call the number on the bag several times and finally someone picks up. I explain that I flew in from Japan, leave for Chicago tomorrow, and really need my bag. So they graciously offer to allow me to come out and get it.
Get in a taxi and ride for an hour to THE richest neighborhood in all of Massachusetts.
Which of the three answers below correctly identifies what the rich old man offered me?
1) Some money for two hour round-trip, $125 cab ride
2) An apology
3) Nothing
The lovely Russian immigrant taxi driver offered to forcefully collect some money, but I declined his assistance, not wanting to get into a Russian mafia/murder entanglement.
The whole time, by-the-way, Tonchan's fever is back and she won't leave me, so I am holding her and carrying her the entire ride.
We make it back to the hotel, all plans for dinner with friends cancelled. Grab some food in the hotel restaurant and get to sleep.
The next morning I have to go to Harvard early and start work, so P and the kids get back on Amtrak and go back to mama's in CT.
The rest of the trip proceeded generally without incident.
I even managed to see Liz, whom I haven't seen since high school 20 years ago, and talk to her lovely new husband who is interested in coming to Wall Street after completing his MBA.
I get back to CT. in time for a proper Halloween. Ton is loving her Kiki costume that baba made, and Mookun has both a skeleton outfit from baba and a batman costume from Tai.
We hit the Westchester mall for shopping and trick-or-treating, then do more trick-or-treating at the CT. condo. Ton inhales for bars of chocolate. She is an unstoppable candy-eating machine.
At one AM, she retches it all over the pillow, the sheets, herself, me...we do an emergency shower amid tears and crying and noise and general unhappiness, strip off the sheets and manage to get back into bed.
The 14 hour flight home was uneventful by comparison; watched some cartoons, did some napping, ate some snacks.
In all, I reaffirmed my general unhappiness with being in the USA, though it's much more tenable when the kids are neither sick nor jet-lagged.

ittenbari ramen

ittenbari ramen
Originally uploaded by renfield

Fujita wanted ramen for lunch, but she was embarrased to go by herself. Perfectly acceptable miso-ramen with chashu and tamago. Nothing as amazing as Suzuran though.