Happy New Year! (Japan time)

Yes, it is still December 31st in Canada, but it’s already January 1st in Japan. Happy New Year!

As I wrote in the previous post, I made a Christmas greetings web site for my Canadian friends. It’s been slightly modified and now it is a New Year’s Day greetings site for my Japanese family, relatives and friends. Sending New Year’s Day greeting cards is Japanese tradition, just like sending Christmas cards in Western countries. Here is the illustration from the web site.

Happy New Year 2014, the Year of the Horse

2014 is the year of the Horse, so I combined Christmas and the horse to make this illustration. Daikoku Santa Claus, sitting on bales of rice, rides a chuck wagon to bring fortune to everyone. He is Calgarian!

Wish everyone good luck for the year 2014.

December 31, 2013Permalink

Wherever I was… But…

As I wrote in an old post a year ago, I always make my family’s traditional New Year’s Day dish, 正月の煮物, wherever I am. But for the New Year’s Day next year (3 days from today), I cannot make it… I will have to work on Mon. 30th and Tue. 31st, which means I will have no time to make it. This is very disappointing…

Though I cannot do that yearly event, I have done another annual event recently: making my own Christmas greetings web site with an original illustration of the year. I made my first greetings web site in 2010, and have made it yearly since then. This year, too, I made it, and sent invitation (URL, user name and password. It is my private message and password protected) to my Canadian friends on Christmas Day. I will post the illustration on Jan. 1st. It will be my New Year’s Day greetings web site for my Japanese friends.

When I lived in Calgary, the landlord invited me to their Christmas dinner. On New Year’s Day, I shared my 正月の煮物 with them. They told me that having my 正月の煮物 became an annual event for them. This year I sent them and other friends invitation email to my Christmas greetings web site. Some of them replied to tell me that they always enjoy my annual greetings web site.

Wherever I am, whatever it is, it’s good to have a yearly event to connect with my friends.

December 29, 2013Permalink

Memory of Mess

The freezing rain in Southern Ontario last weekend changed many things. Tree branches coated with a thick clear layer of ice look incredibly beautiful especially around sunset. But the same phenomenon on something else left a big problem for a huge number of people in the region; some power lines were down because of a heavy thick layer of ice. It’s been five days since the ice storm, but thousands of people are still living without power.

In an early post, I wrote about scenery and seasonal food; autumn leaves even in Canada remind me of some seasonal Japanese food. In another early post, I wrote about a strange connection between a natural disaster and my childhood memories; a typhoon (or hurricane) evokes memories of chestnuts. A day after the ice storm, I drove in the city and witnessed what the natural disaster left. Unlike the memory of typhoon and chestnuts, it was more straightforward. When I saw traffic lights turned off, I remembered the mess after the massive earthquake that hit Eastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

It even evoked the emotion at the time. I quit a job a day before the earthquake. A job interview had been scheduled soon after that, but it was cancelled because of the mess after the earthquake. It was the start of helpless job hunting. TV news revealed the severe, unbelievable reality in the disaster areas day by day. I felt completely helpless. It is surprising to find that even a small event, turned-off traffic lights, can evoke such emotion. It was probably the combination of the scenery and the current situation. As I wrote in a previous post, I got a new temporary job, which means that until recently I had been unemployed. The manager of the current work place told me that he expects me to work for a long term, but nothing is guaranteed. Probably a glimpse of the mess after a natural disaster combined with the current unstable situation evoked the emotion.

Today I went boxing day shopping. After buying some nice shirts, although they were discounted, I thought “can I really afford them?” Income often hides unwanted reality. Now I have a job, have income, but it is still unstable and, above all, it is not a job that I want. I’m still a looser. I should remember hungry spirit as I wrote in an old post a year ago.

December 26, 2013Permalink