Japanese culture: Geisha

 Growing up with only brothers, I’m not quite sure what exactly is the definition of “a little girls best day ever”, but I suspect heading out in Kyoto with Maman to get kitted up in full makeup as Geisha is pretty darn close.

I believe the story will begin, “Once upon a time…



They strolled…

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And rode in a Rickshaw…

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And had a jolly photo shoot that I imagine they will both remember for a very long time. My two beautiful Geisha princesses…

“The highly accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing, singing, and playing music. Some were renowned poets and calligraphers. Gradually, they all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose.” – Wikipedia

Annika’s Musings on the Subject

“Geisha and Meiko by Annika Balog

I went to the Geisha salon. Then I went to the back room.  We sat in chairs while the workers put on the make-up. And then we put on the dresses and took our pictures. Then we went outside and took more pictures and went in a rickshaw. I enjoyed it very much. Everyone was waving at me and taking pictures of my mom and me. I hope to do this again someday. And I hope I will enjoy it that day too.”


Ancient History 101: Treasure Uncovered, circa 1975

Yeah yeah, I hear it every day. “Dinosaur Dad”, Nicholas says. Anything pre-iPhone is Neanderthal.  And then it happened. Ancient treasure washed ashore, like gold doubloons from ancient sailing ships.

A cassette tape! Likely something from an ancient Deadhead, with protruding forehead, and deep set eyes. It was in the  explanation of the utter simplicity that drew the greatest interest from the charges.

The concept of Fast Forward >>, Reverse <<, estimating where the song you wanted was located. And then the concept of a magnetic tape that became unwound, and required the primitive ‘MyPencil’ tool,  inserted in the grooved slot to spin and tighten the loose tape. The sympathetic  looks made me feel old.

American Idiot: The Journey Begins (in fun)

Let me be clear. THE  VIDEO THAT FOLLOWS IS MEANT TO BE HUMOROUS AND FUN. Period. Unfortunately, in today’s climate, it requires a brief preface.

As most of you know, I detest hypocrisy nearly as much as I detest the main stream media of all colors and stripes whose sole task it seems  is to create distraction and discord among it’s fellow citizens to a point that it destroys the very fabric of our nation. And for what, to sell papers? To generate more clicks? “Brand America” be damned, right?

Nicholas and I  discussed the tone and angst and messaging of “American Idiot” by Green Day, which  captures so much of the current madness we observe. Personally, I find myself humming it often, as if it was written last week. I sometimes feel alien to, and in, the land I love. And the questions one gets all over the world like,  “what the heck is going on over there?”, makes it clear that “Brand America” is under assault.

Make no mistake, America has given us fantastic opportunities whose rightful credit accrues to our immigrant Great Grandparents, Grandparents and Parents who toiled, saved and in some cases died for our good fortune. Be they forefathers who died in WWII, or died in a coal mine, under the shadow of dirty unsafe working conditions, we owe everything to America, and those who came before us. And to you Dear Reader, as I strive always to find a pony under a pile of poo, this too shall pass. America will thrive. She has faced far greater foes than the internal strife from our unhealed internal wounds. In the mean time, let’s try not to kill the goose which has been so good to so many all over the world.

Thus, the use of American Idiot here is a subliminal a call not to arms, but a call for the use of brains, and hearts, and goodness. It in no way shades thoughtful citizens anywhere. Moreover, this song selection is in no way meant to point fingers at anyone or anything in a manner as to convey high minded elitism. THE SONGS MESSAGE IS SERIOUS, THE VIDEO IS NOT!  We hope you enjoy watching, as much as Nicholas enjoyed making it.

American Idiot, Green Day, 

Don’t wanna be an American idiot…Don’t want a nation under the new mania…And can you hear the sound of hysteria?…The subliminal mind-f$ck America…Welcome to a new kind of tension, All across the alien nation
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay…Well, maybe I’m the fa$$ot America, I’m not a part of a redneck agenda…Now everybody do the propaganda…And sing along to the age of paranoia
Welcome to a new kind of tension…All across the alien nation…