Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bienvenidos to My New Blog!

Bienvenidos to my new blog! I wanted a space where I could put up stuff about my travels and friends and family could easily comment without being a member. I hope you take the time to read and would loooove to hear from you!

After quitting my translation job in Japan and getting over my culture shock in the States, I have now started my first journey! But really, where did the journey begin? Did it start from Seattle when Dad and I drove to Alaska (see Yahoo 360 blog for pics and write up), to Vancouver for a weekend to gorge out on veggie food with the fabulous company of my friends, to Los Angeles for hilarious play-dough games and a day trip to Tijuana with my cousin, then an international flight to Japan to get a re-dose of culture shock? Or even sooner with a week hang-out in Winnipeg with Mom, Bismarck $10 a roll sushi and too many margaritas with my sis, and 4th of July in Milwaukee with relatives including a special trip to Summerfest to see Lenard Skinnerd with my cousin (the ultimate re-acclimatization zap into U.S. culture....FREEBIRD!)? It was going to be a chill-out summer for me, I needed to relax after working Japanese karoushi office style (karoushi: death from overwork) for the last 3 1/2 years, but man alive has it been busy! And FUN!

My JAL 747 flew into Narita airport on Tues. afternoon with a typhoon hovering in the skies, it was pretty turbulent but I wasn't too concerned. I have Mom to thank for that, though she doesn't know it she cured me of my fear of flying with a book she lent me while in North Dakota. What was the name of that book written by the flight attendant, Mom?
Typhoons make for gorgeous sunsets, as shown in this pic:

It feels like I was never gone, my old problems and annoyances are coming back, and holy cow is it hot. What ever came over me to want to come to Japan the hottest, most humid and unbearable time of the year. But it's great to eat healthy food (sorry about all my food complaints in the States, everyone) and to see everyone! Plans in Japan include climbing Mt. Fuji again next week. I'll report later on that! There were 2 more typhoons nearing, but they veered off to China, so we should have some nice Fuji-san weather. Fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

Hello Shannen:

Max here. (I'm one of the 2 friends from Vancouver for all those other friends of Shannen's who may be reading. The other friend is my wife Sanae.)

Cool pic of turbulent skies. Nippon must be a tad angry with you for packing up and moving on and avoiding your duty of karoushi.

It was fun, indeed, to fill our faces with vegetarian fare and groove to blasting dub reggae.

Sana and I are looking forward to witnessing your exercise in masochism as you claw your way up towering Fujisan in suffocating heat. At least you can look forward to the freezing cold that will await at, what station was it, 7? Take lots of pics.

Are you preparing for your climb by drinking lots of Chu Hi's or Mojito's?

Hey, I'm starting Kendo this week and can't wait to beat my friends silly. Two other friends will be joining too. Should be good for a laugh for those who happen to watch. But I'm keen about this first bit of exercise in years and anticipate becoming obsessed!

Sana says 'hi' and we look forward to our next outing. Where will it be??? Thailand? Spain? Italia??

Take care over there Shannen and we'll be checking on your blog regularly.

gxis amikino


Auntie Dot said...

If you thought Summerfest was fun and crowded you should have stayed in WI for the State Fair. Cows, racing pigs, cotton candy, smoked turkey legs, brats, burgers, cheese on a stick and of course, CREAM PUFFS. I went to the State Fair on Tuesday night but Dee, Madelyn, Haylee, Uncle Don, Aunt Shirley, Lindsey & Jim, Kristen and David are going on Sunday. I'll stay home and dog sit and enjoy a nice cold drink in the air conditioning.

Take care!

Shannen said...

Wow, thanks for commenting already, I'm so happy to have guests!!!!!!!!!!

**Max-kun and Sanae**

It was totally fun visiting, sorry if all the delicious food seem to take over the other fun memories, ha ha. The reggae club and neighborhood in Seattle was definately a star find! And the international fireworks were neat, what country won the big contest?

Kendo sounds great! But be nice to your buddies! Do you have to buy a big stick and metal mask?

Hope to see you soon whereever it may be!

**Antie Dot**

Oooo the State Fair, in your neighborhood!! Sounds like they have lots of healthy food, ha ha! Wish I could be there to check it out, the racing pigs sound especially exciting! I hope the weather isn't too hot!

Monchan said...

Hi Shannen,
Can`t wait to see U!!
Call me please!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Alaska pictures! The Hyder and Juneau pics brought back a lot of memories for Rico & I! I have decided that Britsh Columbia is the most beautiful place in the whole world. I even tried applying for jobs there after college. Apparantly the Canadians aren't ready for a know-it-all American nurse!

sister Sam

Shannen said...

I can't wait to see you too! I'm glad to hear you like the Fuji pics!

*Sister Sam*
You went to Hyder, too? Cool! Didn't know that! Is that where you saw all the grizzlies? I kept thinking of Rico on the ferry, how excited he must have been at each port.
BC was gorgeous, I'm thinking of moving to Vancouver someday, we can be neighbors!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Shannen:

Did you finish your Fujisan climb? If so, how was it? What's next on your agenda?

By the way, as you know, I know a few single fellows over here that might like to help you with your aspiration to live in Vancouver "someday." I think that is a grand idea too! Everything's here for you: the ocean on your doorstep; the mountains in the backyard; and all the veggie food you can eat. Oh, and we're here too!


Sister Sam:

I work in healthcare here in B.C. and last time I checked, which was not too long ago, the province was absolutely dying for nurses! I don't know when you last looked into this, but the newspapers keep talking about the "nursing shortage" here and the need to recruit internationally. Perhaps they could use some know-it-all U.S. nurses ;-)

Shannen said...


Hee hee, enticing me with men, oceans, mountains, and veggie food!
This week 2 typhoons were in the neighborhood and we didn't want to risk it, so Fuji-san will be conquered once again next week. Wish me luck!

*Sister Sam*

Still interested? Should check it out!

Anonymous said...


So what are you getting up to while you await fair climes over Fujisan?

Have you hooked up with Chieko yet?


Faith said...

Hi Shannen!
Love your new blog and the great pics you have posted so far! Can't wait to see and hear about your new adventures on Fuji-san! Hope you're having a great time in Nippon with all of your friends there and eating all of your fav japanese foods!! (Just thinking about the okonomiyaki, miso ramen, jaga bata... is making me so natusukashi- and hungry!!)

Pierre and I are doing great, we are starting to get the nursery ready and have been thinking of some names. Do you have any fav boy or girl names?

Happy travels Shannen! Can't wait to read more! When I have some pics I'll send them to you too!

Beijos e abracos!!


Shannen said...


I saw Chieko my first couple days here in Japan. She is doing genki and still into her soccer, hee hee.

Let's see, I went into Tokyo to an Ethiopian restaurant, I'm totally hooked now! Yesterday went to a Brazilian group's CD lauching party in Oizumi (Gunma) and got an old taste of Nikkei Brazil!

How is your kendo class going?


Great to hear from you!!!! When are you due? Nao and Steve and all in Gunma are excited about your baby, too! Every time I pass your old apt. in Oizumi I remember the good ol' days when you were here!

Do you know yet boy or girl? Opting for a surprise? Brazilian name? Japanese name? Hmmmmmmmmmmm......let me ponder for awhile...

Will definately keep in touch! Can't wait to see baby pics!!

Anonymous said...

Hi long lost daughter,

Enjoyed your new blog of tell all/respond all. The name of that cure-all book is Plane Insanity by Elliott Hester. Glad it helped.

I am trying to psch up for school starting this Thursday. The kids start this Monday. I have a class of 25 so am somewhat grumpy (okay #*#*#) of this "no child left behind" farse. When will administration do it's part?!

I have the wedding invitations cut and today (hopefully) will start printing. Wish me a hassle free technology journey!!

Love, Mom

Shannen said...

*Long Lost Mom (?)*

Thanks for commenting! Plane Insanity, yesss that's the one! He tells all these horrible (and funny) flight stories, it made me feel like crashing-and-burning is the least of my worries, ha ha.

I hope you have 25 angels this year! It's always a bummer when your vacation is coming to an end. Here in Japan everyone starts today after a week holiday, and you can see the sadness in their eyes--hee hee, bit of an exhaggeration maybe. Hope your first days go smoothly!

And good luck with the invitations, I bet they'll be fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Catch up from Dee

Hey you,
Nice to catch up with you. After you left I discovered this great little tea room, that servers veg. food. I went there for tea and lunch. There were so many teas to choose from it was hard to pick. Jessie keeps looking for her faviorte toy tugger, I think she misses you, like the rest of us.

Haylee got her tonsules and anoids out. Took a week to start feeling better but, now the sasy girl is right back at it.

Madelyn fell on Monday and broke her two front perment teeth. So far not to bad, we just have to wait and see if the nerves dye. If they don't it will just be a patch job to fix them. If the nerves dye, when then thats a whole new story.

So thats a quick two weeks in a hand basket.

Ahhh..How a uneventfull life we live.

Talk to you soon, Please keep posting new pictures.

Hugs and Love
Dee and the girls

Anonymous said...


Sam came by yesterday on crutches. Wiped out when Rocco took off after a dog while she was jogging with him and he tripped and dragged her. She is banged up and has a badly sprained ankle. So between Dee and us we have our 3 medical problems/accidents.

Do you know where that mini shopping bag of other shopping bags are..I need them for school. You know the Starbucks and Bath and Body mini bags.

Climb Fuji-san yet?
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the latest news....did you know that Pluto is no longer considered a planet by the scientific community? It doesn't meet their new definition...basically it doesn't clear it's orbit of other things since it crosses Neptune's path. Now my nnemonic device "My very elegant mother just sat upon nine pillows" (to remember the planets in order from the sun will have to change)!! Maybe she can just sit on Nemo... since pillows has to go. Kids would like that!?! Any suggestions?

Teacher mom

Shannen said...

*Dee and Mom*

I´m loving feedback from you all to my blog, thank you thank you thank you!!! Unfortunately, I will only accept good news from here on out---No more accidents allowed... (just kidding, of course, nyuk...nyuk...) They say bad things and good things come in threes, if we count your news together some good things are about to happen!


Very eventful 2 weeks indeed! I'm glad Haylee is feeling her ol' self again. Fingers crossed for Madelyn's teeth! (And your wallet!)
I miss you all and Jessie, too! Jessie's game of tug was a pleasure and a cinch after Mom and Sam's dogs who make you sweat.

*Teacher Mom*

That's horrible about Sam's leg!!! Rocco that stinker! Now see, if Bismarck didn't have that leash policy Sam wouldn't have gotten hurt. (though I can't say much for the other dog...)

I saw that about the planets! I was actually rooting for the 13 planet theorists. I learned the nemonic (sp) phrase around 2nd grade, it was a song with a video and an extra "p" at the end---My very educated mother just served us nine pizza pies! Hmmm, let me think of a good one without the "p"...

I just got back from climbing Mt. Fuji, YIPPEEEE!! I'll update soon!

Anonymous said...

Shannen chan!

Omedetou! Fujisan success for a second time! Not many can say that, I'm sure. Except, perhaps, for all the jiji and baba who cruise up there each year, it seems, and leave people like me gasping in the dust and pumice stones. Damn those jiji / baba!

Hey, kendo starts next week, but I've watched a few classes and it looks exhausting. Can't wait though.

We just received your "special package" of unchi delights from Japan. Thanks for all the unchi notes and unchi stickers!! ;-0

What is up with that?? In my time there, I never did understand the fascination with unchi. Do you get it? I especially like the unchi notes: "Happiness Unchi Chan. Full of hopes and dreams." What?!! I don't get it. Did you hug your happiness unchi today Shannen??


Shannen said...

Glad you enjoyed the little package of unchi, he he. No idea why turds would be lucky, but hey, to each his own.
Enjoy your Kendo class!

Anonymous said...

now I stay in touch!

Anonymous said...

я вот что скажу: прелестно... а82ч