Kerry:See You Soon - This is the only picture I could find of this arch; I know I have a few of the other side but my Aperture library is still in disarray. The arch marks the entrance to the Mikasa Park area of Yokosuka. You have to go through this arch to get to the secondary gate of the base. As you leave the park area (and therefore also as you leave the base), the inscription that is visible says "See you soon". I saw it when I left base briefly today (to bring our fish back to the pet store - Brandon loves them so much that abandoning them to die was just not an option), and it made me sad. I never wanted to live here and I was literally counting down the days until we could leave; but I didn't want to leave like this.
Tara: SpiderGuy - My son's interpretation of Spiderman. With earmuffs and a kimono.
Kerry:Indicator Lamp - I've never been good at feeling earthquakes. I think I feel movement when there isn't any, and I don't feel anything when there is. There have been literally hundreds of aftershocks, but most of them are small enough that I haven't really been feeling them, although sometimes I think I feel movement and it turns out to just be my own heartbeat reverberating through my body. But ever since the sun went down on Friday and I turned the lamps on, I realized that this chandelier lamp is the best way to tell if the earth really is moving, because even the slightest movement is amplified first by the dangling nature of the lamp, and then again by the way that the light is spread across the wall. And yes, that is a rubber duckie with a Santa hat on. I actually have no idea why it's still out.
Kerry:Ominous - I took this picture from my balcony about 3 hours after the first earthquake. The water was starting to actually look turquoise, which usually only happens right after a major storm. (I guess a major earthquake shakes the water up almost as much as a typhoon.) The wind is starting to pick up and the clouds turned black before the sun went down - great, just what we need, a storm on top of the tsunami. ETA: The tsunami didn't reach us here in our part of Tokyo Bay. We were very, very lucky; we didn't even lose power here on base. Others were not so lucky. Don't worry about me, pray for those up north who lost everything.
Tara: I had a picture ready for today, but it's really insignificant to what Kerry is going through right now. Today I'd rather keep the focus on Japan and everything everyone there is going through. Love and thoughts to Kerry, my friends in Japan and to all the people that are affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Kerry:Rare Cheese Flavor - Yes, this really is "rare cheese" flavored orange juice. (Well, 51% juice. Maybe the other 49% is cheese.) I bought it. It's been in my fridge since yesterday. I haven't been able to psych myself up to try it yet.
Tara: What kind of Express? - I saw this in a dollar store and it took me way too long to realize that that was an "s" in "Fast" and not an "r." Also, I just noticed that I've inadvertently given my photos this week a WTF? theme.
Kerry:Arc Light - At Ikea I found these awesome glass vases that, if you put six of them together, form a circle. They come in six different colors, so naturally I got one of each. Today I finally bought some flowers to put in them. I had wanted *white* sweet peas and tulips, but I do like how the pink and purple turned out. I put a candle in the middle of the circle and it's really lovely how the light glows through the different colors of glass. From above, though, it just reminds me of a multicolored, flowery Iron Man chest. Iron Girly Girl, maybe?
Tara: That's Easy! - I work with my kids using educational workbooks. This was found in one of Maggie's books. Not sure what she's supposed to do here since it's kind of already done.
Kerry:Stained Glass - I was blown away when I cut up this orange; I've never seen one before that was sectioned in this way. I'm not thrilled with how this picture came out, but I was only able to take one shot before my son came over to the table and demanded to know why I was taking pictures of his orange, because he was hungry.
Tara: Balls Out - I'm not sure the car balls are helping to make this pink car more manly.
Kerry: No I Don't - I've never quite been able to figure out the point of this poster. It appears to be something along the lines of "If you think the Spice Girls are hot, you should try our Blazin' Cajun Burger! It puts those ho's to shame." The fact that cajun food was trendy around the same time as the Spice Girls adds credence to that theory. The problem is, there is no way that this poster is that old. It just hasn't aged enough. It looks brand new. So I think that the underlying message here is actually, "Hey you, pull your ass out of 1997 and come eat another f'ing burger, you fat sack of loser."
Tara: What's outside? - Every month of Maggie's first year, I would take a picture of her sitting with a big stuffed bunny so we could see how much she was growing. Now I take a photo of her with the bunny every year around her birthday. I was only able to get a few shots in before she got bored and jumped up to go look out the window for awhile. Gavin would have gotten slightly annoyed but would have stayed until I was finished taking pictures. Maggie has more of a, "I'm gonna do me, so deal with it." type of attitude. I don't where she gets that.
Kerry: Invisible - A few days before my husband's ship pulled out, he brought us on board for a little tour. Brandon was so excited that he insisted on wearing his "Navy Outfit" - a little child-sized replica of the new "aquaflage" uniform. (Because everyone knows that sailors need to blend in to...the deck of the ship? The water? I actually have no idea what the point of that pattern is supposed to be.)
Tara: Fancy Fan - These are leftover rainbow decorations from M@ggie's birthday party. Not sure if it's laziness or the fact that we like them that has kept us from taking them down. Probably laziness though.
Kerry:Boardwalk - This is my absolute favorite analogue shot so far.
Tara: Growing Up - The last few days we've noticed that M@ggie is quickly losing her baby characteristics. She's lost pretty much all of her cute little arm rolls and she's so skinny now. I took this today as she was drawing on the back patio with chalk. It was the first time she truly looked like a kid to me and not a toddler. I may be coming down with baby fever.
Kerry:Cosmos - This is a picture from way back in October, the day that I brought my DSLR and allllll of my lenses to Kurihama Flower World, but left the battery on the charger at home. I took all of my pictures that day with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. Appropriately enough, the reason I've been posting all old pictures this week is also a technology glitch - my Aperture library self-destructed and I have to rebuild it manually, literally one day's worth of pictures at a time. I'm up to mid-October of 2006. So when it comes time to post a picture here, I just kind of randomly open folders until I find a picture I like. Thanks, technology!!
Tara: Fairy Tale - I'm still nursing my sick little girl so this is another old picture. This was taken last summer when my husband went through a Geocaching phase. The kids and I weren't as enthusiastic about it as he was so he sadly let it go. Although, the wasp sting he got on his last Geocach made it a bit easier to stop.
Kerry:Contradiction - My kids are both in swimming lessons, and this month for the first time, their classes were back-to-back instead of simultaneous. So I've been spending a lot of time at the pool - long enough to finally notice the odd placement of the "no running" sign. (There's a treadmill and a stationary bike along the wall near the diving board - for triathalon training, I would assume.)
Tara: Shadow - This is an older picture that I found on my phone. My daughter has caught whatever fever cold/flu thing I had last week along with a nasty cough that I had the week before. So most of this day was spent with a sick three year old cuddling up next to me. So this picture represents a shadow of her healthier self. Ba-da-bump!
Kerry:Kawaii Pastry- This is also completely normal in Japan. (Kawaii means, approximately, "cute".)
Tara: Rainbow Foods - I made sure ROY G BIV was represented in the table settings and separated three 1lb bags of Skittlesby color to make a centerpiece that children couldn't get the concept of. By the end of the party my centerpiece was just two bud vases with green and purple Skittles. I loved the way the fruit platter turned out. Although, if I make this again, I'll either get grapes to represent green or get more than two kiwis and also learn how to correctly cut them so I don't waste so much trying to get the skin off. I would also like to give a public service announcement about that caramel fruit dip. This was my first time ever buying and consuming this product. If you've never bought it, don't. It will forever ruin fruit for you. Never again will fruit be a healthy snack option because you will want to douse it in that delicious, soft caramel. Trust me on this.
Kerry:Tentacles - This is completely normal in Japan.
Tara: Rainbow Cake - I promised my daughter, M@ggie, that I would make her a rainbow cake this year for her rainbow themed birthday. I made the cakes the night before her party and put it together in the hour between leaving her Build-a-Bear party and the time guests started arriving at my house. First though, I had to get the food ready and since we've all been sick this past week we didn't really do anything but shop in preparation for the party. So while I cut fruit to make a rainbow fruit platter (tomorrow's pic) and got the other appetizers ready, Josh put up decorations. I used a cake leveler for the first four layers then guests started arriving and started crowding my kitchen. I wanted to start icing it and be done so I quickly eyed the red and orange layers and used a bread knife to level them myself. Apparently, my eyes suck since those two layers are way too big. Oh, well; it tasted good.
Kerry:Mandala - I got a Mandala coloring kit a couple of months ago and never opened it. I brought it with me to the hospital when my almost-3-year-old had his tonsils out on Thursday. This is how much coloring I got done while he was in surgery. I finished it the next day while we were waiting to be discharged. Incidentally, I think the kit would have been greatly improved by including a pencil sharpener. Those are some teeny-tiny areas to color in.
Tara: Rainbow Glass - I was in an antique store recently and they had this huge display of colored glass right by the window. This was taken in the late afternoon so the setting sun shining through all of it, lit the room up beautifully.
Kerry:Cymbal - Every time we go to the music store, my son sits down at every single drumset in turn. They are usually all electronic drumsets, but one day last June (this is an old picture) there was one that was not only a "real" drumset, but a kid-sized one at that. (He actually has a kid-sized drumset, in his room, still in the box. He knows what he has to do to earn it - he just hasn't done it yet.)
Tara: Apocalyptic Snowmen - I made these cookies this past Christmas. They're from Calvin and Hobbes. I thought it was fitting since today, in the middle of February, it was over 70 degrees. I'm still sick so I didn't even get to go out and enjoy it.
Kerry: Ume - It is cold. Really, really cold. But the blossoms have already started. I'm pretty sure that these are ume (plum blossoms) - they're the first ones that bloom. Brace yourself, there are going to be a lot of blossom pictures once sakura (cherry blossom) season starts.
Tara: Sick Day - My necessities of the day. Tissue, moisturizer for my sad dry nose, ChapStick because of all the mouth breathing, water in a plastic cup so I don't have to keep picking up our extremely heavy glasses, and of course Jell-O. I'm starving but it's the only thing I can consider eating. Why don't they make Jell-O with medicine inside of it? I'm kind of high on meds right now so I'm not sure if that's a brilliant idea or stupid.
Kerry: Sake - I had chosen this picture to upload yesterday, but then it started snowing and I got that nifty heart-shaped snowflakes picture, so I pushed this one back. I had a really hard time picking a picture for the theme - "Love". It's kind of a sore subject for me right now, seeing as how my husband is deployed for Valentine's Day - not only that, it's still that first week when everything sucks and you don't even want to get out of bed. But having said that, I finally settled on this picture, which I took at a shrine in Kamakura last weekend. It's the three loves of my life standing in front of a giant wall of alcohol.
Tara: Portrait of Love - I'm sick today so instead of seeking out things to photograph, my subjects came to me as I planted myself on the couch today while my fever climbed. My son, G@vin, drew a picture of my husband and me holding hands because of Valentine's Day. He made sure to write one of the few sentences he has memorized, "G@vin loves Mama." I love that kid so much. Sidenote: I just noticed he drew high heels on me. Funny, since I rarely wear them.
Kerry:Love Snow - It doesn't snow in the part of Japan where I live, pretty much ever. That was one of the things that was told to me when I first moved here, in a reassuring tone of voice - "Don't worry, it doesn't snow here." Like that's a good thing? I lived for seven years in places where it didn't snow; and yeah, Hawaii's weather was picture perfect every day and I wish I was still there, but geez. It is so much harder to deal with cold weather if you don't get even a little snow now and then. I mean, what's the point? Well, tonight is the third time it's snowed in the past few weeks; and what's different about tonight is that it is STICKING! I stepped out onto my balcony and took this picture with my trusty Lensbaby Composer w/Creative Aperture Kit. Heart-shaped snowflakes! Happy Valentine's Day!
Tara: Sweet Love - I thought this would be cute for Valentine's Day. I feel the subject has the same qualities as the holiday. Candy is not real food, but generic. A little bit of candy is a treat, but too much of it will make you sick. Candy is bad for your teeth, just like Valentine's Day since it causes excessive candy eating.