Sunday, September 03, 2006

BBQ Time!

Great weekend so far, as weekends tend to be. Last night, Yoshiko and I hit up a Yakitori place called Tsukunetei, which was REALLY good. Yakitori is Japan-speak for chicken on a stick, or more precisely pieces of chicken on a stick. I had never tried it, and am kicking myself for not doing so sooner. The tsukune (minced chicken mixed with seasonings and made into a patty... on a stick) was especially good.

This morning, after a fruitful (bananas, kiwis, apple) breakfast, we parted ways and I headed on down to AEON where I met up with Matt for the drive to the BBQ, courtesy of Kanako-sensei. We'd been hoping for good weather, and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. High 20s, low humidity, sunshine with the odd cloud..... gorgeous day! The humidity of the summer has pretty much given way to the dryer weather typical of the Fall here, and I'm loving it.

There was a pretty good turnout for the BBQ today, especially considering it was a good way out of town. Our superstar for the day was definitely Kentaro who made it out there on his folding bike, Go Kentaro! Here was our little patch of green for the afternoon.

Allow me to apologize for the picture quality, I inadvertently left my camera on ISO 400 from the night before when I was taking low-light shots outside. The resulting images are quite grainy... d'oh!

Here be Matto with Kotaro and Takashi.

Good times were had by all, some people broke out frisbees, others played catch. Here's an action shot of Takashi lunging to make a catch.

I think the highlight of the afternoon was probably when a student told me I looked young when I don't wear a suit. Not that I feel old, but 2 situations came to pass this week that reminded me I'm oldER than I used to be. First was my mother telling me they would be in Japan for my 27th birthday next March.... I think that was the first time I'd heard that number mentioned with me as a target... lol. The second incident was when I showed my driver's license to some students in class this week and got: "Woah, young" as a response. Of course, the picture is 10 years old, and I had hair then... but it still made me recoil a little to hear that. Anywho, I have no problem with where I am in my life right now, age and otherwise... so there.

Another interesting thing about this park was that there were quite a few of these biting caterpillars doing their thing in and around the trees. It made for some amusing times when the girls would find one on their bag\chair\shoe and scream out in horror as if the thing was about to sever their leg with it's massive pincers. I was able to coax one onto the front filter of my camera and get this shot... hairy little buggers ain't they?

When I got home, I was treated to a fantastic sunset which I was able to capture. Again, grainy... That's the problem with having a fancy camera with all these settings, you have to keep an eye on them, live and learn.

Now, to compensate for the horrid high-ISO pictures from the day, after I realized my mistake and corrected it, I spent some time on the roof tonight and came away with a good shot of the moon waxing gibbous. Waxing Gibbous is one of the 8 major phases of the lunar cycle, between the First Quarter and the Full Moon. With any luck, I'll be able to get most of the phases throughout the next few months, since Fall is dry and the air is crisp and clear. Wish me luck!

Plans for tomorrow include laundry, some biking and additional photography. I haven't had much of a chance to get out and fiddle with my camera, not wanting to slow down my travelling partners... Matt and I are meeting Yasuko and Kanako senseis after they finish work and going to an Okinawan yatai in Yatai mura. Should be fun!


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