Monday, October 27, 2008


Had a chance to go down to Shimoda for an overnight. I stayed at the White Beach Hotel, a converted love hotel owned by some folks I know. The hotel is seconds from the beach, and it really is beautiful – not at all like the beaches you find near Enoshima or Kamakura. The sand is clean, the water is clear. The beach is riddled with huge rock formations poking up here and there and hollowed with caves. The water was warm and swimmable, even in late October. I stuck my feet in the sunburned sand and the waves lapped at my toes.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I had a week off, but couldn't get it together to take the whole time and do something with it. Mostly, it's because of laziness, but also because of the cats. With Pudgy having died so recently, I don't want to entrust the little darlings to a stranger, and it's hard to ask a friend to look after them.

Anyway, I decided to go to Mito for a night. K would feed the munchkins, and I thought it would be a good idea to check this town out. I'm generally down for random towns, so off I went. I input a few geocache coordinates into my GPS, and I hopped the train north.

After checking in to the Toyoko Inn, I went and found a cache on the Sakura River, an uninspiring concrete lined trench cutting uniformly through town. The cache was well hidden, though. The second one was more interesting - it was at the site of a former water tower, and looked transported from a Disney fairy tale, all pastel and obvious decoration. I also walked past some nice red brick buildings, and a big prefectural library.

Then I went to the movie theater and watched Wanted. Truly horrible. Skip it.

Thursday, I went to check out Kairakuen, which is supposed to be one of the top three classical gardens in Japan. There was a cache there that I couldn't find, but it was nice to walk around the grounds. Truthfully, though, the garden was a little boring. I preferred Ritsurin Koen in Takamatsu on Shikoku. Perhaps if I went during plum season I'd feel differently.

After the garden, I had a stroll around Lake Senba. Track team junior high schoolers were training, running the lake course. A few older folks having an amble. Maybe the best part of the trip, this just walking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Me Voy

When I was in Spain, my friend Fran would stop in at the house between deliveries (he drove for a fabrica) and drink a cup of coffee and then leave again. He always said, "bueno, me voy", as he was leaving.

"Me Voy" felt a little difficult to translate. It means "I'm off", but that seemed a bit too flippant when looking at the rest of the lyrics. More literally, it means "I go", but that sounds a little strange in English.

by Julieta Venegas

Porque no supiste entender a mi corazón
Because you couldn't understand my heart
lo que había en él
And what was in it
Porque no tuviste el valor de ver quien soy
Because you didn't value seeing who I am
Porque no escuchas lo que está tan cerca de ti
Because you don't listen to what is so close to you
sólo el ruido de afuera
instead only the noise from outside
y yo que estoy a un lado
and I am off to one side
desaparezco para ti
invisible to you

No voy a llorar y decir
I'm not going to cry and say
que no merezco esto
that I don't deserve this
porque es probable que
because probably
lo merezco pero no lo quiero por eso
I deserve it but I don't want it, that's why

Me voy
I go
Que lástima pero adíos
What a shame but goodbye
Me despido de ti me voy
I'm leaving you and I go
Que lástima pero adíos
It's a shame but goodbye
Me despido de ti
I'm leaving you

Porque sé que me espera algo mejor
Because I know something better waits for me
Alguien que sepa darme amor
Someone who knows how to give me love
de ese que endulza la sal
which sweetens the salt
y hace que salga el sol
and can bring out the sun
Yo que pensé
I thought that
nunca me iría de ti que es amor
I would never leave you, that this love
del bueno de toda la vida pero
was good enough for a lifetime but
hoy entendí que no hay suficiente para los dos
today I understood that there's not enough for us both


Tuesday, October 14, 2008