Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

One thing we can not buy easily in Japan is Tex-Mex food. (read-made, like from a restaurant or fast food joint.) (One can make it oneself. I can buy taco shells, seasonings, tortillas, etc. in Fukushima City.)

Here’s what we can get where I live:

The above “taco” is the sort of thing we may be able to buy ready-made in Fukushima City.  The above photo is the Nan Taco, and it’s on Nan bread. (Bread usually eaten with Indian curry.) Right now it’s on sale at Mos Burger Fast Food Restaurant…for a limited time only. Tacos like the Nan Taco disappoint me because it’s a far cry from what I would eat in the United States.

So anyway, this photo is at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Southlake, Texas. (My sister was driving us home from the movies and from Barnes and Noble.)

Very cute.

Photos from the local high school.

Lots of choices. I know it’s not authentic Mexican food from Mexico……but I guess Tex-Mex is its own cuisine.

Award-winning!

I was trying to eat healthy, so it was the taco salad for me.

Barnes and Noble (Part Four)

Time keeps ticking into the future except when one gets bored and then it reverses itself and kind of flatlines for a while. But luckily, for moments when time has ceased, we have Ghibli.  Ghibli knows no time, no boundaries, no age.

Jiji!!!!!

Something that is great about Ghibli–and separates it strongly from Disney–is its strong female characters.

Oh, Totoro!

I wanted to buy this mug, and asked if I there were any left. Alas alack, it was sold out.

Gudetama is not Ghibli…but this display is authentic and makes me feel I am in Japan! I think Gudetama is an egg and so I never buy Gudetama items for my son because he hates eggs.

Time has flashed into the future! Star Wars is for when time is speeding up and the world is whizzing by.

Barnes and Noble (Part Three)

Before my regular post about my summer trip to my home in the United States, I want to update you all on the controversial “Sun Child” statue in Fukushima City. Many people did not like it, or did not like it in its location, and the news today is that it indeed WILL BE REMOVED.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180828/p2g/00m/0dm/094000c

My opinion?

I think the removal is a good thing. I like the statue–it’s art and it says something. But I think it is art meant for adult eyes. Therefore it should be moved to the Culture Center or an art museum.

The article above does not say EXACTLY where the statue was placed. It was placed right in front of a recreation center (called Comu Comu) for children. It’s a city-run building that houses an area for babies, a small science museum, a planetarium, a children’s library, and more. I love the Comu Comu Building. I rarely go there now, but when my son was young, I often went there.

Placing the statue in front of Comu Comu was a huge mistake. The Sun Child may be a statue of a child, but it’s not art for children. It’s horribly frightening, not something a three-year-old needs to see. (And the statue is HUGE so it’s impossible not to see it when entering either entrance of the building.)

I’d like a statue that is made FOR the children of Fukushima. FOR them and them only. (Many versions of the “Sun Child” statue have existed in the years prior to 2011. It was NOT created for Fukushima.) I’d like to see a statue of love and hope and peace and joy. Not fear and bandages and worry, which is what I think when I look at the Sun Child statue.

Moving on.


At this point, I think, we left Barnes and Noble and walked next door to the movie theater. We sat down and waited, and I wondered why nobody was there for the movie. And then my son figured out we were a full hour early. Yep, that’s what happens when you’ve got jet lag. Time has no meaning.

So we walked back to Barnes and Noble.

When the 3/11 quake hit, at that very moment, I was reading Butler’s Kindred. That’s what I was doing.

I looked at the calendars very carefully–finding the one I wanted. Finally I decided on the TEXAS calendar. (I purchased it for 2019. It’s not easy to get TEXAS calendars in Japan, even using the internet.)

I also purchased this Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market 2018. I can buy it on the internet in Japan, but I wanted to support a brick and mortars bookstore.

Next, I chose (and purchased) the Birds of Texas Guide. I myself am not a bird person. However, I needed to know some information about birds for my current manuscript. I’d researched online in Japan already, but I wanted the more trustworthy guide. And indeed, I looked through it upon arriving back in Japan, making sure the information in my manuscript is correct.  I really like this guide. I recommend it!

Barnes and Noble (Part Two)

Next, I strolled over to the Manga section.  It’s always amazing to me how comics from Japan have taken off in English in America.

Next, the foreign language section. Barnes and Noble in Southlake only has Japanese textbooks which are for the very beginners. Very very very beginners. If you are anything past very beginner, don’t bother.

Names like “Japanese for Dummies” and “Japanese Demystified” crack me up. They want you to think Japanese is easy and you can learn it in a month, no problem.

Barnes and Noble does NOT have an intermediate section, so obviously nobody is completing these books 冷房のない暑い教室のイラスト and moving up to the next level.  授業中に居眠りをする学生のイラスト

Let me give you advice: If the title implies it’s easy, the textbook is no good. You want something that doesn’t make false promises.

This is the textbook you should be studying: “A Guide to Japanese. It’s not easy. I’m warning you. You’ll Have to Pick Up this Book on a Regular Basis and Study and Not Give up after Two Weeks, even if you’ve lost this book. If you lose it, look for it. If your Mom and Dad had lost you behind the Sofa and Not Bothered to look for you, you never would have learned the English language. Same Basic Thing.”

cartoon images from https://www.irasutoya.com/

Barnes and Noble (Part One)

After eating my slice of quiche, I headed up the escalator to the second floor. I wanted to see the kids’ section.

The sign should say “Welcome Kids and also Writers Doing Research on What is Currently Being Sold.”

Lots of great books here! Both old and new.

Great books here, too!

I know “The Giving Tree” is a  book people love or hate. I like it. We had a copy in our house and I was entranced by it. Why was the tree giving everything away? What’s going on here? One purpose of books (other than to entertain) is to get people to think deeply and come to their own conclusions. Because Silverstein never actually (to my knowledge) explains the relationship between the tree and the boy, there are many theories. And I think that’s good. The readers are thinking and seeing how the story applies to them personally.

I went to the “L’s” to see where my future books will go. Right next to A Dash of Dragon.

Barnes and Noble Cafe

On one of our first days in America, my son went to the town of Southlake (close to my parents’ town of Keller) to watch the Incredibles 2. A plus is that the movie theater is next door to a Barnes and Noble. Yay! Japan has bookstores (Maruzen and Kinokuniya perhaps being the most famous) but it does not have Barnes and Noble. And even if it did, it would be stocked with Japanese books. Nothing wrong with that! This being Japan and all.) I like to see what’s out there in the American book world.

But first:

I was hungry. Jet lag hunger was gripping me! But I had not realized how extremely expensive the prices were at the cafe in  Barnes and Noble were:

Over five dollars for a grilled cheese sandwich! Wowee Zowee!

I ended up getting just a slice of quiche. Ironically, the quiche was cheaper than the grilled cheese sandwich.

The prices are certainly no cheaper than Japan. I’m often thinking that the U.S. is cheaper (and it is, for certain things like fruits and vegetables) but it really isn’t any cheaper.

My parents’ pets

I don’t consider my parents huge pet lovers. But they gave birth to pet lovers who gave birth to pet lovers. (Most of these pets are my niece’s. Plus, my sister has a huge soft spot for rescuing animals in need. Cuz she is a good and kind person.)

My niece’s dog–a Lab mix–and one of her two cats.

My father says he doesn’t like cats because they eat the birds. Thus, he was the inspiration in my manuscript for Mr. Piper.

  • Graciela and Koral are looking for a cat that escaped. (Graciela was cat-sitting and was thus responsible for the cat’s well-being.)

A man was out in his yard, watering the flowers, and told them, “I hate cats, but I’ll let you know if I see her.”

“You don’t really hate cats, Mr. Piper.” Graciela wasn’t crying anymore, but her face was red.

“I’m a bird watcher, so yes. I actually do.” He pointed to one of his many bird feeders.

“I like birds, too, Mr. Piper. It’s a quandary, isn’t it?”

“You said it. Life is full of hard choices.”

“I’m just glad I don’t live in Australia. It would be even harder to like cats there since they are not an indigenous species.”

“You got that right. God bless America.”

Charlie is a GREAT dog. Very gentle, yet the sort of dog who would rescue my parents from a grizzle bear if grizzly bears lived in Texas.

Land-wise (but not population-wise) Texas is larger than Japan. I refrain from telling Japanese people that because it seems like I’m putting down their country, but I’m not. There are definite benefits to living in a compact country.

Food is up high to keep away vermin. These cats enjoy being outdoors. (They have a choice of in or out and both of them rarely come in.)

The black cat is the older cat, and also the dominant one.

Yep. He’s got an attitude. Both are very sweet, though, and will purr if you pet them. They don’t bite or scratch.

Charlie LOVES chasing balls!!!! He loves it!


Not pictured are the two little dogs. (They were probably inside. Both little dogs were given to the family by people who could not keep them. Both are extremely sweet.)

Max

Ellie May