Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

かき氷


かき氷
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

冷たい!


冷たい!
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

ペンギン@ 上野動物園


ペンギン@ 上野動物園
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

モノレール

Monorail ride at Ueno Zoo which Mo was the most excited about.
モノレール
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

hello kitty

Pre Ueno Zoo.
hello kitty
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are you willingly being ripped off...?

Took my daughter to Precure event in Ikebukuro today, while my husband took our son for male bonding. I knew what I was getting into by visiting such cash cow event, I told my daughter that we were going to see and play, not a shopping. She seemed to understand that. So, off course the venue was already crowded at 10:00 a.m, and the cartoon related toys and goods and all kinds of stuff here and there. And I noticed that the most of the parents were following where their kids went, and money was flowing everywhere.

They had an appearance show that the 3 Precure girls in full body suit sang and danced, and after the show, they had an encounter event to shake hands with them. Off course it was not free. You were entitled to line up to it if you purchased at least one of the goods they offered in the back of the stage ranged from JPY500 to JPY2,000. Interestingly, quite a number of a parent or parents were buying those without even asking their own kids if they wanted it or even which one. Maybe their logical circuit was set so that they, without even thinking, were ought to buy it so that their kids should be able to meet huge body suit characters, without a trouble. Some mom even left her daughter alone among the crowd to buy it, found out her daughter was crying so hard realizing her own mom disappeared, and some other dad near by thought that girl was a stray. Ah, her MOM was so desperate to get that goods...

At the game machine area, there was a family with 2 girls who jumped over to a particular one which required some game cards to play. The parents following them pulled out the wallet and immediately inserted the money, not even saying anything. So generous. I wonder if kids appreciated such their parents' action, or simply took it for granted. I overheard the other mom said to her daughter that she didn't have to wait in line to play a new game if they would buy it so she could play at home. That's too easy, isn't it?

I, on the other hand, kept reminding my girl that we were here to see and play, not to buy. Every time she said to me she wanted to do something, for example, a short 3D theater movie, then I said to her that it was costing money JPY500 per person, plus waiting time of 30 min. She wanted to try a photo shoot in Precure costume, I said her it was costing money plus look at the looong line of people waiting for hours. Surely she was demotivated and moved on to the other FREE stuff.

Although one thing she really wanted to try, and agreed that would be the only thing she could do was to paint Precure face to make a plastic sheet. I explained her that it was her choice of the day and I would not help her at all because that was what she wanted badly. She agreed. So, there I was, just watching my daughter messing up colors and what not despite of the sample photo they put out on the working table, I started watching the other families. And I, again, noticed that there were so many parents helping, or even mainly working on the coloring, which made their kids looked bored. They were working so hard, try to color exactly the same as the sample, clean up the paint run off borders. One girl had mom and dad on the both of her sides hovering, caring if their daughter was not making any mistakes. Some of the moms around us looked horrified that my daughter painted a face of Precure green. She was totally happy with the results despite of the green and yellow mixed face with some missing areas, and very satisfied which made me also happy that she could do everything by herself and made accomplishment.

Doing the same as the others and exactly as instructed are the product of Japanese education and custom of our culture, although that is not what made me wonder today. Spoiling kids by trying not to let them confront the difficulties, and prepare everything for them must not be a good thing for them in long run. When a girl's mom took over her project of painting because she was not painting it correctly, she must have lost her motivation to keep painting. If the girls want to buy Louis Vuitton handbags, do they expect someone magically appear and pay for these?

I‘m convinced that those parents were simply looking for their kids' happiness, and off course my daughter's happiness is my great joy, too. Although, my question is if their goal is the same as mine but the process is too convenient to them. They don't want to see their kids to make mistakes they help too much, which results their kids having a lot less opportunities in every degree. They're still too young don't expect them to color perfectly within the line. Let them wait in line to get what they want. Don't buy stuff just to shut up your crying kid. Don't you think they'll eventually be on their own...? Or do you mistakenly think you're needed and fulfilled when your kid asks for money...?? They'll eventually take over your life because of lack of experience in the early age, and you'll be still ripped off, probably unconsciously, yet willingly, thinking it would help their kids...

出発進行!

Kiddy train ride at Sunshine City, Ikebukuro.
出発進行!
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

after

Dadah!
after
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

before

She worked really hard...
before
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

ビニール焼き

Her project - paint Precure Beat.
ビニール焼き
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

食べ物ではありません

ビート

Cure Beat!
ビート
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

プリキュアダンス中

Dancing with Precures.
プリキュアダンス中
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

カラオケ中

Karaoke Precure songs.
カラオケ中
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

プリキュア!


プリキュア!
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cars macaroni&cheese


Cars macaroni&cheese
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

cooking w/kids who were exited at beginning.
mo:i don't like it.
ton:i don't like it,either.is it from America?
me:yes,dear.glad they can tell what's not real food in a way...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

lunch@crayonhouse


lunch@crayonhouse
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

大盛り

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

lunch@tamahide


lunch@tamahide
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

元祖親子丼。美味しゅうございました。

massage cream


massage cream
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Decaf

A new coffee bean store in Azabu Juban called CROP SHOP. They roast at the store, and sells decaf, Colombia only, though, it's pretty good. It's decaffeinated in Germany by non-chemical method by sinking the beans in water, etc.
Decaf
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

酒粕&マンゴー


酒粕&マンゴー
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Sake lees & mango. Could not resist at usual Ritatino.

lunch@jica cafe


lunch@jica cafe
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda
Tried a lunch at Cafe Frontier at JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency, Sadako Ogata is president) in Hiroo. Didn't expect much as it was a part of a governmental organization, but in fact, it was pretty decent place. Interior was not bad, staff were friendly and quick, and food was fast and unique, as they have dishes from several different countries with reasonable price. I saw families with little children, elder and younger group of people there.

I thought I used to hear lots of seniors participating JICA, but seems it's not a trend anymore, or at least the news are focusing on the other issues lately. I saw many senior people flying to those countries in Africa continent where JICA deployed their support, via Heathrow when I used to work at the airport. I didn't have chance to actually talk to them, as they all looked very nervous. They must be because the most of them were retired professionals who were to educate or train people with different language, culture, custom, and in much severe circumstances. I admired them as they had skills and experiences that they could share with the others, and I still do. Maybe because of those veterans' effort of cooperating those countries, Japan received lots of support including monetary from, namely, Algeria, Soudan. It's very thankful they do care about us, although, I assume, they must be busy with their own issues.

Somewhere I read that Japan doesn't spread much of our tax money as international support like ODA, despite of our impression (or at least how media reports, or not reports the facts...), rather give long term loans in Japanese yen. The purpose of the loan is to support financially off course, but rather than just give money, those who received the loan need to pay back, especially in Japanese yen. Maybe because we don't simply have a concept of charity, or maybe because we have same experience of receiving loans from World Bank after the WWII, somehow this obligation of re-payment encourage to make efforts. You might not appreciate something you were simply given by someone else without a choice, but if you borrow money and build something you like, then you must take good care of it, don't you?

Eating my Laos curry noodle, thinking there are so many things we can do, share, cooperate, etc., though, what I need to do now it to look after my family and get ready for Obon (festival of souls in Japan) back at my hometown, and I hurried my way back to my house in the summer heat.

コーヒー美味しい

Enjoying his decaf in the morning.
コーヒー美味しい
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

パパと


パパと
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

hello kitty waffle

They didn't have people around it was pitiful we bought a couple of Hello Kitty Waffle on the way home.
hello kitty waffle
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

This is how I got free lunch today....

Tried a teppanyaki restaurant for lunch with my husband after his appointment at hospital in the morning. At the restaurant, wonderful salad came, chef grilling 2 slices of decent sized butter fish (ebodai), rice came, then I felt a hot burning liquid running on my back of shoulder....! Staff hit a bowl of hot miso soup on the back of the chair and it spilled on to me.... I stayed calm, but it was quite hot, and I almost lost my appetite, but couldn't resist crispy fried skin of the fish, I kept on in taking lunch. The staff and chef apologized several times, some awkward moments, ice cream showed up, and I was about to pay, the chef didn't take the money. I was not mad, I was just surprised by the incident, but I bet I would've done the same if I were him. Food itself was great so I wish to come back sometime again.

Mysterious power of sunspot...

Over heard a conversation of senior ladies next to my table at lunch. One of them said sunspot activity had been very active it caused malfunctioning computers, health, weather, all kinds of stuff. Ah, that must caused today's frequent droppings of Internet connection while I was working....

Monday, August 08, 2011

lunch

Lunch at Homeworks in Hiroo. Ton came up with a creative sandwich - french fries with clam chowder.
lunch
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

water canal

Huge water canal toy at Roppongi Hills.
water canal
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Friday, August 05, 2011

kaito in a basket

Right size!
kaito in a basket
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

アイスクリーム

Ice cream break at Ritatino after lunch at Rainbow roll sushi.
アイスクリーム
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

lunch date w/kaito

イチゴミルク

Strawberry and milk flavor!
イチゴミルク
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

かき氷

Too lazy to cook dinner, so we had some easy dinner at food vendor at Roppongi Hills beer garden. Kids ordered shaved ice off course.
かき氷
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

Thursday, August 04, 2011

William in town


William in town
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda

enjoying caramel ice cream @Hanabatake bokujo

Met up with William who was here from Hawaii for lunch. Then hit the best caramel soft ice cream he found in Hokkaido. This store in Roppongi is closing 21st Aug, so better hurry up!

And see you at your wedding in June next year!!