Thursday afternoon my Cousin Jo and I escaped from Toyama City! We took a train to the biggest and hippest city in the Hokuriku region, KANAZAWA.
I can sing the praises of Kanazawa until the wee hours. It is a "real" city! There are many Starbucks in the downtown area! The streets are filled with semi-staring cosmopolitan folks. There is a bookstore with a significant English book area. The shops stay open until 8pm on the weekdays.
Cousin Jo and I had planned to spend some time enriching ourselves at an art museum but it was closed. Then we discovered that all of the museums were closed. We consoled ourselves at Kenrokuen, one of the top gardens in Japan. The trees were naked but the gardens were still a lovely site. Jo and I spent way too much time amusing ourselves taking photos. We did peep a few cherry blossoms slowly emerging into the world. This made me very happy because I'm slowly turning Japanese and obsessed with cherry blossoms.
Irish Jo and I had an early dinner of pasta and pizza. Then we rushed to the bookstore to read magazines and books in English! I really miss spending hours in bookstores. I was a very happy camper at Libros Books. We ended our Kanazawa sojourn with crepes & Starbucks.
It was good for my spirit to see a different landscape even for a day. My holiday has been going well after a rocky start. I've figured out a few important things and have been reminded of God's amazing grace.
It is another cold rainy day in Toyama City. It is also the first day of my spring holiday. I was planning to bask in the spring sun and wax poetically over the cherry blossoms but trees are naked and the sun is in hiding. I'm trying not to be blue therefore I embraced indulging in various spiritual pursuits which lasted for 90 minutes. Then I took a nap.
Now I've moved from being spiritual to neurotic. I talked to my best friend, Nonnie, for awhile. It was great to hear her voice and brilliance but I was still in neurotic mode when I hung up the phone. It took my Cousin Jo to knock some sense into me.
Cousin Jo suggested that I have a drink to relax my nerves and help me embrace the spirit of doing nothing as rain continues to pound the streets of Inari-town. I'm a sugar addict, so I added donuts to the alcoholic remedy for my semi-mad state.
I put on clothes and ran across the street to my nearest supa (supermarket). Now I have a partner for the evening-Cocktail Partner! I've had a small drink of Cocktail Partner and I'm feeling looser. The donuts were yummy too! Cousin Jo saved the day again!
Happy Easter Sunday! I spent this holiday in the company of friends. I had Easter brunch at the posh ANA hotel with my cousins: Thip-sexy, Sexxy "I like teeth!" Jimmy, and Irish Jo. We stuffed our faces with fine food and luscious desserts and breads. Then we convened at my abode for movies. Eventually we ended up crashing Colin aka C-Dog's (the red head dude) Easter dinner party. C-Dog gives good party. I had a great time meeting new people from Mexico, France, Korea, Philippines, and Toyama-ken.
I was in Tokyo with my beloved family during this time last year. My mother, little brother, his wife, and her sister had flown from the East Coast to spend several days with me in Japan. It was really amazing to see all of them on my new turf.
We spent our time rushing around Tokyo trying to see all of the sights. They also indulged in a lot of shopping while I overdosed on Starbucks vanilla lattes. I was stressed during our time together because I wanted them to have an amazing trip even though I had little knowledge of Tokyo. My brother and I even regressed to our childhood and had several little fights.
My highlight of the trip was simply spending time with my family and doing print club. I also liked shopping with my mother. I wish we could do the trip again because I now have a wider knowledge of Tokyo. There are so many more places that I would have dragged my family to visit. I definitely wouldn't have taken them on the Imperial Family Palace Tour. I would have also been much calmer about being their sightseeing guide.
I love my family very much. They are God's gift to me. My mother and her family made sure that my brother and I didn't have "an awful African-American childhood."
P.S. Yes, the first pic is a photo of my family with the actor Jack Black. We ran into him at a store in Harajuku. He was very nice and took photos with a slew of people.
I`m hating the weather. I finished reading a New York Times article titled, Black Coaches in N.B.A. Have Shorter Tenures. I`m now depressed! URGH! I think I might have to stop consuming mainstream media due to my race and unwillingness to deal with news-induced depression.
Another story that made me depressed was last Sunday`s New York Times Magazine feature on Roland G. Fryer Jr., a young assistant professor of economics at Harvard. The article is titled, Toward a Unified Theory of Black America. Fryer is interested in using economics to study African-Americans.
The article was interesting and depressing because Fryer had what I call, ``an awful African-American childhood.`` The writer and journalist Debra Dickerson also had ``an awful African-American childhood`` that was detailed in her first book An American Story.
I did find it very interesting that in the course of the story Fryer learns that his mother`s family were musically accomplished people in the jazz field. Fryer seems surprised to learn about any family accomplishments since he believed he was an anomaly. I really have a problem with African-American achievers from non-middle class backgrounds who believe their some type of `anomaly.` I vaguely felt that way when I was in my 20s regarding my traveling ambitions. Then I learned that there was a cadre of African-Americans who had traveled far and wide.
I`m in my thirties now and I know the truth. Black folks have seen and done everything and everyone! You may not have personal knowledge of the wide assortment of African-American accomplishments in areas beyond sports and arts but it is there. Unfortunately, our wide-array of accomplishments aren`t taught in American classrooms or written about in mainstream media. I must add that some African-Americans haven`t done a very good job about informing our younger folks and some older ones about our greatness.
I understand it is a white patriarchal conspiracy to make American society and the larger world believe that we are inferior. However, Black folks really don`t have to believe it!
I`ve discovered that being a critically thinking African-American woman is a bit stressful. Being a human being that cares about others is stressful too. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who didn`t care about anything or anyone. URGH! I think I`m PMSing.