Saturday, December 27, 2008

All I Got for Christmas

Yikes! Two weeks without an update. My 1970's month has sputtered. My mother-in-law has been here and I've just been busy. I'll mix in some 70's posts into January - I've got some stuff saved up that I wanted to write about (some of it's already in draft). But for now...

Merry late Christmas!

This Christmas for us was nice, if a little hectic. We're not used to having guests so there was a lot of stuff to do. And the Japanese have some different Christmas traditions so we had to kind of indulge some of my mother-in-law's wishes while at the same time trying to show her the American side (including the full turkey dinner yesterday) - it was her first time here for Christmas. I actually made a "Christmas Cake", which is a Japanese tradition:

I know, it looks a little lame compared to a store-bought one, but I am not a pastry chef! I did my best. It tastes great.

We cut back a little on presents this year like everybody else. At least I still have a job, so I'm thankful for that. I did get some interesting stuff, though. Here's a visual list of everything Santa brought me this year:

From: my mother-in-law

Every time my wife's mom comes here from Japan, she literally brings us a suitcase full of snacks. This is only like half of what she brought this time. We've already eaten the other half.

From: my dad and stepmother

We do love cheese! Notice that this was sold by a bankrupt company. This was kind of a bonus gift that my dad had bought and then forgotten to send us some years ago.

From: my mother-in-law

I did actually need sweaters this year. It's cold! I am wearing this one right now.

From: my wife

I'm a little disturbed by this album cover. I told my wife that and she was like "why?" I don't remember any controversy when it was released either. I guess some people don't see the obvious metaphor (especially obvious given the album title).

I didn't ask for this, my wife just bought it for me (used) and I haven't listened to it yet. But Ai Otsuka is really cute and I know she sings cute songs. And she's quirky and eccentric in the way that I like my Japanese pop stars to be. It doesn't get much quirkier than getting a mock facial on your album cover.

From: my dad and stepmother

This is just one part of a large cooler full of steaks, stuffed potatoes and fish that my dad bought us. He sends Omaha Steaks pretty much every year. Not that I'm complaining; they sell some fine meat.

From: my brother and sister-in-law

This is one of my favorite movies. I actually get the feeling every time I watch it that I'm seeing something kind of important. It's definitely a Bush era film. (The comic might have been earlier, though I don't remember the exact date.)

From: my wife

One of the things that's funny about my wife is that she occasionally thinks I am a 14 year old Japanese girl. But I don't mind, and she knows it. I like to look at the pictures, I admit it. And we like the same styles, so that's cool. We're both a little outside the mainstream. This is KERA, which is now my favorite Japanese fashion magazine. I might actually post more about this later! Japanese punk and goth style is amazing, even if it is completely contrived and misses the point of the original. It's kinda like everything else they borrow from us - the core of it's just been buried under the sheer volume they've amped it up to, but that ends up being interesting in its own way too.

From: my brother and sister-in-law

Yes, I like this band! But I wanted this more for completeness than anything. I still haven't listened to it and I'm not expecting it to be as good as "Riot!"

From: my wife

These are interesting. They're ear muffs that go around the back of your neck. So you can wear them without messing up your hair, or wear them with a hat. I needed these; even though I drive to the train station on the way to work, I still need to walk like 1/4 mile from the parking lot. Last week, we had like 14 degree temps with 35mph winds. It was not fun.

From: my wife

Another sweater. My wife likes it when I wear black, and she's been disappointed that I've started wearing brown, green and grey lately. I used to only wear black. (She's a little goth at heart!)

From: my wife

This is Shiina Ringo's most popular album; sold 2.3 million copies according to Wikipedia. She doesn't really look like that, that cover is kind of a joke I think. And it's out of focus, that's not my camera or the picture. This was a surprise like the Ai Otsuka CD - I've only ever talked about Shiina Ringo in the context of her writing one song for PUFFY. But I am curious to hear her own stuff.

From: my wife

Gloves. Black, of course. To replace my brown ones.

From: my mom

Mystery present. I'm not seeing my mom until a couple of weeks from now, so I've promised to wait to open this. Kinda shaped like a blu-ray disc of some sort.

From: my mom

Mystery Amazon box. I could just peek in there but I've promised not to. My wife is supposed to wrap this but hasn't had time. I think I know what it is, though...

Not pictured: my dad also sent us a box of apples from a farm near where he lives in the northwest, but we already finished them. I don't even remember the name of the farm now.

Of course, this is also technically a Christmas present:

From: my wife

I needed it and I picked it out and bought it, but I told her she could call that my main present if I could just buy it. I had no real choice, since my old one broke.

So how was your xmas and what did you get?


  1. Chris Kuan6:55 AM


    Otsuka Ai's ecchi "Love Jam" album cover was obviously suggestive enough to have, er, spawned a parody cover for the ero DVD "Love Semen"

  2. Yikes, a little "on the nose" with that parody I think!

    Link above is NSFW, anyone else who's reading this.


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.

About Me

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I'm married. I like to travel. I have no kids. I have a house... that I'm bad at maintaining. I used to collect classic video games. I own a lot of musical equipment that far outstrips my ability to use it. When I was younger, I was in a band. I like gadgets, and I'm an Android guy. Someday, I would like to live on a different planet.


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