February 14, 2018

February 14

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 9:39 pm

Valentine’s Day croquettes. Sam said they looked like asses, so he had some hot asses for dinner.

February 3, 2018

February 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 10:49 pm

Setsubun, New Year’s on the lunar calendar.

January 27, 2018

January 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:00 pm

I know the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament winner, Tochinoshin (originally from Georgia), because Sam’s boss is a big sumo fan and forced me to attend a morning sumo practice and lunch at a Nagoya stable. After the practice, Tochinoshin and the other European wrestler wrapped towels around their waists and took off their sumo diapers right there.

During lunch the stable master complained that Tochinoshin loves sweets, like all foreigners. He had visited the U.S. and was disgusted by the food. The nabe hot pot (hard to enjoy on a hot summer day) served was surprisingly delicious and I knew the broth wasn’t prepared with the usual instant dashi. I made Sam ask and the wrestlers in the kitchen seemed pleased we noticed. It was homemade. The fried things and mayonnaise salads were heavy too.

At the end of the tournament I had to go to a banquet in Nagoya. There were creepy sumo groupies and a few low rent geisha in polyester kimono, a lot of relatives of the sumo wrestlers, most obviously from the countryside.

This is Tochinoshin:

Other pictures:

January 26, 2018

January 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:31 pm

Old pictures Sam took at a snowman festival.  Yukidaruma Festival, Hakusan City, Ishikawa prefecture.

January 25, 2018

January 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:34 pm

More snow and cold. The park across the street from my apartment:

Winter moonrise over the park:

January 24, 2018

January 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 10:05 pm

This is the closest thing to a blizzard I’ve ever seen. A few days ago the weather report said that Nagoya would have two days of snow and I was excited (some sort of unusual cold front from the north), but of course that changed this morning to sun with maybe a little snow in the afternoon. It was sunny all day until about 4:30 when everything went dark and the wind howled and rattled all the doors and windows. I was glad I was inside. When Sam came home he checked on his car in the building garage and was shocked that it was covered in snow. I told him it was a blizzard and the wind was horizontal. I don’t think he really believed me because he was in his snug office.

From David Laskin’s “The Children’s Blizzard”:

“‘I was just saying that I ought to dismiss school and go to Woonsocket for coal when a sudden whiff of cold air caused us all to turn and look toward the north, where we saw what appeared to be a huge cloud rolling over and over along the ground, blotting out the view of the nearby hills and covering everything in that direction as with a blanket. There was scarcely any time to exclaim at the unusual appearance when the cloud struck us with awful violence and in an instant the warm and quiet day was changed into a howling pandemonium of ice and snow.’

“Sergeant Glenn estimated that there were twenty thousand people ‘overtaken and bewildered by the storm.’ Many of them were children sent home from school or out doing farm chores, but there were also farmers working in their fields or leading their cattle to water, doctors making their round, peddlers, salesmen, mail carriers, itinerant grocers. Glenn himself got lost as he tried to make his way home from the Huron weather station that night. Blowing snow sealed both his eyes nearly shut and he wandered around dazed and exhausted until by chance he encountered someone who pointed him in the right direction. There are hundreds of firsthand accounts of the onset of the blizzard, the wind shift, the first wave of blinding snow as fine as dust. There are scores of stories of narrow escapes, houses or barns found by accident or luck, horses or dogs that led their owners back to the barn, landmarks that suddenly appeared when the wind dropped for a moment. Rare are the stories of rescues. People saved themselves or they weren’t saved.”


January 22, 2018

January 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:16 pm

Another view from my window.

Men chopping off the nice autumn branches just when they’re at their peak:


January 20, 2018

January 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:41 pm

Sam brought home two Gorgonzolas and four Camemberts and there was much rejoicing.

National Cheese Lover’s Day. From Emile Zola’s “The Belly of Paris”:

“All around her, cheeses were stinking. Huge blocks of butter were lined up on the two shelves at the back of the shop. Brittany butter was overflowing from its baskets. Normandy butters, wrapped in canvas, looked like models of stomachs onto which some sculptor had thrown wet cloths to keep them from drying out. Other blocks, already in use, cut with large knives into jagged rocks with valleys and crevices, looked like landslides on a mountain gilded by the pale evening light of autumn.

“A Parmesan added an aromatic pungence to the heavy smell. Three Bries on rounds were sad as waning moons. Two very dry ones were full. The third, in its second quarter, was oozing, emitting a white cream that spread into a lake, flooding over the thin boards that had been put there to stem the flow. Port Saluts shaped like ancient discuses had the names of the producers inscribed around the perimeters. A Romantour, wrapped in silver paper, was reminiscent of a nougat bar, a sugary cheese that had strayed into the land of sour fermentation. The Roqueforts, under their glass bells, had a regal bearing, their fat, marbled faces veined in blue and yellow as though they were the victims of some disgraceful disease that strikes wealthy people who eat too many truffles. Alongside them were the goat cheeses, fat as a child’s fist, hard and gray like the stones rams kick down a path when they lead the flock.

“And then there were the smells: the pale yellow Mont d’Ors released a sweet fragrance, the Troyes, which were thick and bruised on the edges, were stronger-smelling than the others, adding a fetid edge like a damp cellar; the Camemberts, with their scent of decomposing game; the Neufchatels, the Limbourgs, the Marolles, the Pont l’Eveques, each one playing its own shrill note in a composition that was almost sickening; the Livarots, dyed red, harsh and sulfurous in the throat; and the Olivers, wrapped in walnut leaves the way peasants cover rotting carcasses of animals lying by the side of the road in the heat of the sun with branches. The warm afternoon had softened the cheeses, the mold on the rinds was melting and glazing in rich reds and greens of exposed copper, looking like badly healed wounds. The skin of an Oliver beneath an oak leaf lifted up and heaved like the chest of a sleeping man.”

January 18, 2018

January 18

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:09 pm

The Diary of Anais Nin, Winter, 1931 – 1932.

“Louvenciennes resembles the village where Madame Bovary lived and died. It is old, untouched and unchanged by modern life. It is built on a hill overlooking the Seine. On clear nights one can see Paris. … Behind the windows of the village houses old women sit watching people passing by. The street runs down unevenly towards the Seine. By the Seine there is a tavern and a restaurant. On Sundays people come from Paris and have lunch and take the rowboats down the Seine as Maupassant loved to do.

“The dogs bark at night. The garden smells of honeysuckle in the summer, of wet leaves in the winter. One hears the whistle of the small train from and to Paris. … My house is two hundred years years old. It has walls a yard thick, a big garden, a very large green iron gate for cars, flanked by a small green garden for people. … Behind the house lies a vast wild tangled garden. … When I look at the large green iron gate from my window it takes on the air of a prison gate. An unjust feeling, since I know I can leave the place whenever I want to, and since I know that human beings can place upon an object, or a person, this responsibility of being the obstacle when the obstacle lies always within one’s self.

“I chose the house for many reasons. Because it seemed to have sprouted out of the earth like a tree, so deeply grooved it was within the old garden. It had no cellar and the rooms rested right on the ground. Below the rug, I felt, was the earth. I could take root here, feel at one with the house and garden, take nourishment from them like the plants. … I had a sense of preparation for a love to come. Like the extension of canopies, the unrolling of ceremonial carpets, as if I must first create a marvelous world in which to house it, in which to receive adequately this guest of honor. It is in this mood of preparation that I pass through the house, painting a wall through which stains of humidity show, hanging a lamp where it will throw Balinese shadow plays, draping a bed, placing logs in the fireplace. Every room is painted a different color. As if there were one room for every separate mood: lacquer red for vehemence, pale turquoise for reveries, peach color for gentleness, green for repose, grey for work at the typewriter.”


January 16, 2018

January 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 10:10 pm

Sam’s birthday. It was a snowy day.

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