what's that sound?

ah, yes. the sound of your reproductive freedoms flushing down the toilet.

who voted for alito. grr.


in support of frequent sex for everyone...



stolen from sowilo, but interesting

Here are the current top 50 books from www.whatshouldireadnext.com. Bold the books you have read. Italicise the books you might read. Cross out the books you probably won't read. Pass it on:

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien (I tried...)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) - J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender's Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien (again, i tried...)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert


christmas, part deux

We had a lot of luggage. Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone who knows us. Five bags, to be exact. That was fine. Not that Air Canada was particularly happy to see us, but they let us on the plane. The problem was that five bags weren't enough. So we shipped two boxes - Christmas presents, people, not ball gowns. And the USPS had a bit of a problem talking to the Japanese Postal Service. So the first box didn't arrive until after new year's. No fear, though. The christmas pjs came. And it just meant two chances to trash the house.



lost babies

Off to the side of the graveyard and shrine are these memorial statues for babies who were lost. People dress them up and leave flowers. It's so sad, but I really like the concept.


our second shrine of the new year

On a very rainy day, we took an adventure to find the Tokyo Tower. (That's the tower in the background.)

We found ourselves at this temple. Beautiful inside, and the graveyard behind the temple was incredible. There was a bit of a festival going on because of the New Year. Food vendors, people, a fire for burning last year's arrows.



meiji shrine pilgrims

This is the line to get in from the main gate. I'm standing in the same place I was for the previous picture (the money pit/shrine is to my left), looking at the front gate. The police are letting groups of several hundred through the gate a a time. There's a line of police with police tape herding the people. The most amazing part of it was that no one was impatient. They just waited for hours in the cold.

Allow me to assure you that we came in the side gate where there was no line.


new year's day

So i caught a stomach bug and spent New Year's Eve ill. Not my ideal way to ring in the New Year, but as I didn't have anyone in Tokyo to kiss, I suppose it was just as well that I missed it.

I think I've mentioned that New Year's is the big holiday in Japan. Seriously big. They close the country down from December 28 - January 5. Everyone makes a pilgrimage to a shrine, preferably one of the big ones. K&D live a couple blocks from the side entrance to the Meiji Shrine, which is the biggest one in Tokyo. The actual shrine is beautiful, but the grounds are more impressive. Acres upon acres of wooded and open space.

Japan does public space really well. It's one of the reasons that you don't feel all that crowded in Tokyo. There seems to be a park or a shrine everywhere you turn.

Back to New Year's. The Meiji Shrine, as the biggest in the city, is also the most popular. Millions of people go for midnight (seriously, millions). We headed over the next afternoon. It was still insane.

When you're at a shrine, you toss a 5 yen piece into these carved wooden boxes and say a prayer/wish. (The abridged version.) Because of the sheer numbers, they'd done away with the boxes and put down plastic sheeting and barriers. You were supposed to push as far forward as you could and then throw the money. In the picture, the money pit is under the string with paper dangling.