Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luka & Life

Well Monday was my first true experience with a sick child. We had a normal day all the way through until about 2:00 am when Luka woke up and started to throw up. It was really sad to see the little guy like that. However, in between his spells of vomit he was as happy as a clam! I am actually the same way. So I hope he will inherit that from me. I might feel like poo, but always try to be in a good mood. So Shoko, starts to clean him up and the sheets in our room and I take him to the kitchen to give him a little water and we head back up stairs to get his new clothes back on and try to get some sleep. Well while Shoko, is doing her best getting the room ready and I am holding the freshly clean Luka, he throw up again on me this time and himself. He starts crying and I go quickly to my happy place since I can't do vomit. If you have ever seen the film 'Stand By Me' you know what I mean. Once one person vomits then it is a chain reaction. That is how I am and so as I was trying to stay strong and comfort my son in his time of need without hurling myself. Well we got all cleaned up again thanks to SUPER MOM and went to bed and had a nice night. Yesterday, he threw up one more time in the morning due to the fact they rushed maybe to soon food into him. However, the rest of the day was great and by last night he ate and kept it down. So we are happy that our son is doing better and that through all of it he was a total trooper! So I hope this doesn't happen to often, but it is good to know that we survived....

Luka, also has really been coming along in his speech. He is saying multiple words both in English and Japanese and mixing in a lot of signs as well. He almost always can tell us what he wants using the combo of the three languages which is so cool. He has a TON of personality and is always laughing and wanting to play. He is a lot different than other Japanese kids as far as I can tell at his age. They all seem to be shy and to themselves and very quite where as Luka, is a big flirt and always wants to play and run around and meet random strangers. He is walking backwards now and is running a lot. He can reach up and open all the doors in the house as of this past week. He is climbing up the steps all the time which is a safety issue that we need to be watchful over. He is telling my mother-in-law's stupid dog to 'SHHHHHHHHHHHH' now with his finger on his lips that go into his nose for added laughs. He is progressing well and has been doing really so so very great.

Shoko is doing awesome. Being the super mom and wife it is a tough job, but she is more than up to the challenge. She fixes us all breakfast, lunch, & dinner. However, she has told me not to get to comfy with all of this once we move back and she starts back to work again... ;) I know she will do her best and I am always willing to help where ever I am needed in the kitchen. Also, she keeps the house and laundry clean at all times. She is so wonderful. I'm blessed that she said 'YES' to me going on nine years ago. She is getting ready and excited about here sister having her baby here in April. It is going to be a girl so that will be fun for them. Shoko and I have talked about doing a few more mini vacations before we leave so we are talking about what that might be at this point. Maybe Chinese New Year in Nagasaki or in Oita Zoo Safari. Who knows?!!

Talking about leaving I bought my ticket yesterday and I will be leaving Japan on March 25th. So look out!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Let me start off by saying that most of if not all of you guys know that I'm a Conservative fellow. However, I am not a blind follower of any one party of idea. I like to think for myself and come up with my own opinions and not have Fox News or MSNBC tell me what or how to think. In saying all of that....Thank you, Massachusetts!!!! This was a big deal for people who are sick and tired of Obama just doing whatever he wants and not checking in with us. I'm not as I have said before a wordsmith and do not know every finite detail of the ins and outs of politics, but I do know that borrowing billions from China, bailing out Wall St, bailing out banks, bailing out car companies, slamming through a medical bill that know one including his own party understands onto us and more importantly our future generations, not addressing the illegal immigrant problem, not keeping us safe from possible terrorists attacks, etc not getting people back to work by creating jobs, keep giving people money for being lazy and just sitting around doing nothing on our dime, putting a Supreme Justice on the bench that is questionable at best, being the world's president and not Americas, etc.... is no kind of way to have your first year.

I vote both Democrat and Republican and have since 2000. I vote for who I feel will do the best job. I didn't vote, Obama, but had faith that he would listen to the people since that was his message. "Yes WE Can"!!!! DO you remember this? Now, it is "Yes I Can"!! He does not listen and has not since almost day one. He should have woken up to the fact months ago with Virgina and New Jersey both going Republican, but NOOOOOOOO!! He just kept on shoving his agenda down our throats. Now and only maybe he will back up and start getting back to what we really need. Yes, we need health care reform ,but there are much better ways of doing and starting with open and honest dialog would be nice for all sides to see. Getting people jobs and stop paying people to watch Jerry Springer and eat Milk Duds would also help. People will not help themselves if you give them free handouts and money. I know I use to work at Wal-Mart I see the people who get that money and assistance and it was just sad to know that I was supporting them being lazy. Now people say oh I can't find a job. I know this is true in many cases, but you know what folks working at White Castles is not any ones dream job, but it pays the bills and you can hold your head up high knowing that you work and make a living instead of being a leech. Don't get me wrong folks people who are let go from their place of employment deserve any and all help they can get. People who just want US to take care of them I have no use for. Obama is breeding people like the latter. I remember seeing a news story right after Obama one and they interviewed some women and these women actually said they don't have to work now because Obama was president.....I kid you not! Sad thing is it looks to be true. If you keep making people hopeless and dependant on others like Obama is doing then you will have a government that will control all aspects of your life because that is what they want. Because they have been conditioned to ask and assume that this is what the government is there for not to hold your hand, but to carry you the entire way.

I like Obama and I don't want to see the chap fail I really don't. Because if he fails we fail. That is not a good scenario at all. I just want him to wake up and smell what the American people are cooking!!!!

This message was brought to you all by, Jason and was NOT sponsored by any one political party... ;)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Movie Reviews

I will use plot summaries from www.imdb.com so that I can focus on what I think of the films.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-Renowned adventurer Allan Quatermain leads a team of extraordinary figures with legendary powers to battle the technological terror of a madman known as "The Fantom." This "League" comprises seafarer/inventor Captain Nemo, vampiress Mina Harker, an invisible man named Rodney Skinner, American secret service agent Tom Sawyer, the ageless and invincible Dorian Gray, and the dangerous split personality of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Written by Anonymous

Now for my review. I really want to like this film because I love team-up types of films. Superheroes are a perfect example of the or 'verses' movies like Jason Vs. Freddy, Frankenstein Vs. The Wolfman etc. I thought this would be a great way to see many of the great folks from books long ago come to life....Well I was wrong. The dialog and acting is so laughable I don't blame Sean Connery for retiring after this debacle of a film. Though I hate to have seen him go out like a punk. He was probably so embarrassed he just wanted to go into hiding. You have TERRIBLE i mean really bad CGI work. You actually have stand-ins or doubles for the main stars pop up on the screen and the camera sits on them. The stunt doubles are so obvious and it just takes you out of the movies. There are two scenes in particular like this. First, a stand in for Connery is in full shot of a scene and the camera lingers on the old chap. Then there is a scene with Nemo and you see this really young Indian dude with this HUGE fake beard fighting and not the actor. The just put the camera right on him and it looks like the guy is in a Halloween contest. I have no idea what this movie is suppose to do, but it is just so sad and pathetic I almost feel sorry for the people involved. The do have a few really good actors in this, but none of them show up here.....I would say only watch this if you like to hurt your brain and eyes!

Stuck-Brandi is a hard-partying, overworked, nursing assistant desperate for a promotion at the retirement home where she works. After a night of drug-binging and partying, she accidentally hits a certain Thomas Bardo a deadbeat and recently evicted man who gets stuck in the windshield of her car. Not wanting to call for help since she is driving under the influence, Brandi, chooses not to get Thomas medical help and instead drives home and leaves him clinging to his life in the windshield of her car. While Brandi frantically tries to decide what she is going to do, Thomas, tries to free himself knowing his time is running out. Written by Anonymous

Stuart Gordon directed this gem of a movie based on a true story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chante_Jawan_Mallard. It stars Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea. They both give truly amazing preferences here. Mena, plays the ghetto fabulous white girl who thinks that she is black. She has it down and in a scene where she finds her wannabe thug boyfriend cheating on her with another woman she shows us how ghetto fab she really is. Stephen, plays the down and out just becoming homeless man to the T. He really makes you feel bad for the guy. He is tying his hardest to make his way through life and just keeps getting stepped on by everyone. Gordon shoots this perfect and of course the story itself is true, but the outcome is far less dramatic than what Gordon puts on film here. He fills in the gaps with some great dialog and some interesting takes on life. There is a scene where a Hispanic family hears him in the garage, but they choose not to help because they might be deported back to wherever they are from for being here illegally. Also, the thug boyfriend is all talk and we soon find out out that Suvari is tougher than he is....I was totally blown away by this movie. It is a little out of the norm for Gordon who usually dwells within the walls of Horror/Sci-Fi, but beings his A game here. I hope he shows us that he can make more movies like this. It was an excellent film in every way. There are a lot of interesting back and forth with the secondary players as well (Mena's boss and friend) come to mind. I would highly recommend this film for a buy It is well worth watching this story of true human tragedy. Buy it NOW!!!!!

Street Kings-A disillusioned LAPD detective, Detective Tom Ludlow, rarely plays by the rules and is haunted by the death of his wife, even though he has a girlfriend named Grace. Ludlow and all of the cops in his unit, including the unit's commander, Captain Jack Wander, bend and break the rules of conduct on a regular basis. Their intention is often to deal with crime in a manner that they perceive to be more efficient, which leads them to routinely lie, falsify reports and manipulate evidence to cover up for their wrong-doings.

I have read and heard a lot of people crap on this film. So my expectations were not very high. However, I was really pleased with this movie. Keanu Reeves does an excellent job here as Ludlow. This movie also has Forrest Whitaker as the Capt. of the Vice Unit. With many a great actor showing up in this in smaller roles. There are A LOT of twists and turns here and you really don't know which way is up until the end. However, before the real BIG twist you probably can start to guess where it is going. I don't want to say much about the plot since it is a fun ride IMO at least. I just wanted to say they shot Los Angeles beautifully and for a 20 million dollar film it looks great and with the cast and talent they brought it really shows up. I have no idea why it didn't do better. Maybe people just don't think Reeves can pull of a serious role like this. However, his portrayal of Ludlow is really spot on. I would say at least rent this, but I would also say if you can find it for a decent price buy it. I recommend this flick.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Begenning To Look Like Danger!

So I wake up this morning and look outside and it has snowed a ton. I mean it is giving Central Indiana a run for its money. I'm thinking there is no way that school will be in session since this part of Japan never hardly gets this kind of heavy snow and that the students go by bike to school and a few walk that live close. So I call my lead teacher and just check with her to make sure....well she said `The vice principal & principal said we are going to have school.' I was floored and a pissed off. It is SUPER dangerous to drive on these roads here in this area of Japan. Because there are no such thing as salt trucks and main roads here. There are only tiny little streets. There are NO `main roads` unless you take the highway which costs mega bucks. My teacher said that the vp told her `be careful and take the major roads...` lol What the crap is he talking about. This just boils down to macho guys thinking they can be tough because that is what Japanese men are all about. Being tough and making everyone follow their choices. It puts all of us in danger and these poor kids even more so. Can you imagine riding a bike in 5+ inches of snow while it is still falling at 7 a.m. It is beyond absurd. So as I am driving I left my house at just little after 7:00 and it took me over an hour to get here. It usually takes about 20 minutes. As I am driving a fellow ALT calls me and says his wife has not seen this much snow since she was a child and that this is highly unusual....That just pisses me off even more. He has lived in this area for almost 10 years his wife is from here and when I get to school everyone is talking about how they have never hardly seen anything like this, but no one speaks up and says this is ultra gay that we are here and putting everyone at risk. They just nod to the vp & p and say 'Yes, there is a lot of snow out there` no one has a backbone. If I spoke better Japanese I would have told them what I thought. My classes are missing many of the students because at least some parents are smart and didn't want their children possibly hurt. Though most sent their kids to school. So here I am sitting at school wondering how I got here and now thinking how will I get home this evening. I just pray that God will wrap his arm around me and guide me home safely and that my fellow teachers and my wonderful students get home as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Work What Is That!?

Well today is my last day of vacation. It has been almost a month off for me here. Shoko, Luka & I have had a busy month. Here is a little recap for your reading pleasure.
We had Christmas which was a real blast. Luka still does not know what the big deal is about opening presents, but I'm sure he will know by his second birthday!! Shoko, Yoshiko & their mom all went to church together while Luka and I palled around the house. He received a ton of stuff even if a majority of his family lives in America. Many packages came for that little guy. Lucky soul he is....
Then we took a mini vacation to Huis Ten Bosch http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/ which is a Dutch Village in Sasebo, Nagasaki. Luka, had so much fun there. They still had Christmas going so he saw all of the lights and tress decorated the entire place over. He was in heaven for sure. I got to have a western breakfast for "free" at the hotel. So I over did it to say the least. Shoko, did some shopping for cosmetics and snacks so we all had a blast. Then we went into Sasebo City to walk around their shopping areas like the Arcade (which is what the Japanese call an open aired shopping mall) then we went to the local Framer's Market to look at what the farmers and fishermen brought in. Then we ate some "World Famous" Sasebo hamburgers at Burger Shop Lucky's. It was good, not great or marvelous, but good.
My birthday was next on the calendar. 31 on 31 so that was kinda cool. It was a low key birthday for me. I always like having big blowout bashes and doing a lot of stuff, but this year it just wasn't in the cards....Maybe next year!
New Year is really big in Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_New_Year. So we went to Shoko's grandparents house for a family get together and had great food in the process. Her uncle is a cardiologist and speak excellent English so Shoko loves to have them come and visit because it keeps me entertained and he loves to speak English!!!
After that we have just went to a lot of shopping malls in our areahttp://www.izumi.co.jp/, http://www.aeonmall.com/ and went out to eat a lot here are a few places that I know of that have websites http://www.freshnessburger.co.jp/, http://www.lotteria.jp/index.html, http://www.mos.co.jp/index.php . I have also rented a crap ton of movies in the past two weeks!!! So I might be doing some more reviews that may or may not be more in depth....
So there you have it folks. I will be back later for more talk and witty banter....;)

Recent Movies I Watched

A list of movies I have seen resectly....

Valkyrie-Really good war movie based on a true story that invloved trying to kill Hitler. Tom Cruise is a nutjob, but does a fine job in this role.

A History of Violence-One of David Cronenberg's best films ever. Small town Indiana feels perfect is the setting and it has an all star cast (Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello & Ed Harris) that bring the A game. The plot is that a family is under attack by an organized crime outfit that think they know the father of the family who use to be apart of the group of killers. Is he or do they have the wrong guy?! Cronenberg shot this film beautifully. If you have yet to see it go and watch it now. It is a buy for sure.

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder-This has many funny moments, but at times Smith goes too far with jokes about his parents having sex and cussing around his own daughter. It made me frown... :(

Open Range-Is one of the best if not the best western of the last 10-15 years to have come out. Kevin Costner stars and directs this masterpiece that takes place at the closing of the great cowboy/west era. Canada stands in for Montana, but is shot so beautiful. It really is amazing and it takes you a place that you longed to visit. You also have Robert Duvall, Michael Gambon & Anette Bening along with great Michael Jeter in his last role for his death rounding out the roles. Costner and Duvall are "free grazers" that stumble upon the Irishman Gambon's land and all HELL breaks loose. This is a must own.


So I love my mother-in-law she is really great. However, I find a lot of little things that bother me. The first being that she talks about how great her food is all the time. There is not a single humble word that comes out about her food. It is so funny/annoying because I have never been around someone who always talks about how great they do something. I don't know why it bother me, but it does. I just want people to at least pretend to be a little humble about what they may excel in. I don't want someone to say "Oh, I suck and I'm no good..." Not at all. Just a little humility would be nice. I have of course seen this before from others, but just not on a regular basis. Most of my close friends and family are very humble folks so when they so something well or are excellent in something they take it in stride. So it has taken me by surprise by her daily accolades to herself. She is a good cook no doubt, but at least wait till we say how great it is before you tell us....Just recently my brother-in-law was saying that it bothers him that she does this as well..... I didn't say a word....;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So Let's Do This Thing!

I have been wanting to do this for a long time. I always said I would, but never got around to it.... until now. I am not a wordsmith by any stretch of the imagination, but I will do my best to try to string a few thoughts together! Please if you are reading this leave comments and make suggestions if you will. I would love to improve the look and flow if other people out there have things to help me make this blog into something grand.

This will be just about my life and thoughts on certain topics. So it will be all over the place. One day might be about a movie I watched and a different day could be about my family. Then it could be about shopping for DVDs and then another could be about autograph collecting. So as you can see it will be far reaching and all over the place.

A little about me for the ones who might not know who I am. Right now I live in Japan and will be here until the end of March. I will be moving back to the states with my family. I am married and have a son that is my life. I am a Christan that has way too many hobbies. I LOVE movies (Horror being my favorite), collecting autographs, DVDs, vintage movie posters. I also love going to movie conventions and traveling all over the world. I have a love of baseball and my teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees. I have been a fan of both since I was a child. I know there are a million more things to say, but I guess that is what this is for. I hope you all will enjoy this blog. If not at least will be my therapy... ;)

Please feel free to comment and tell others. Looking forward to see where this goes.....