Tuesday, August 11, 2009

erathquakes, tsunamis, and cat treats, oh my!

So, we set out for a bit of adventure today...But wait. Stop. First, let me tell you about the earthquake that woke me up at 5am this morning. Being asleep and all at the onset, I wasn't exactly at my sharpest when I first started consciously thinking.

So after hearing the immense amount of rattling that was taking place all around me, my first thought was, Somebody's trying to get into my room!!!

But it was more like, SOMEBODY'S TRYING TO GET INTO MY ROOM!!!, only, you know, in thought form.

And then, once I realized that my bed was shaking uncontrollably, really rolling around like it was fluid or something, my next thought was, And now they've gotten in and are shaking my bed!!!

So you can imagine my intense relief when I realized that the amount of noise and movement that had so abruptly woken me up was only an earthquake and not, in fact, harmful intruders who first broke into my room and then, horror of horrors, decided to shake my bed.

Because we all know that most break-ins are in order to shake a bed.

Jails are just full of those kinds of criminals and dear God, please protect us from them all.

But that earthquake really was something; it lasted a pretty long time--maybe even ten minutes--and I was glad when it exhausted itself so I could go back to sleep.

I am also glad that I didn't know about the tsunami warning (!!!) until it had already passed. I am terrified of tsunamis, but have always comforted myself by the fact that I have never lived closer than a two hour drive to any shore. Until now, that is.

Anyway, back to my adventure today.

It started with a trip to the 7-11 nearby. My friends all chose something uniquely Japanese, but me? I, uh, didn't.
Ritz crackers and Evian water are the universal language that translates quite nicely into S-N-A-C-K no matter what part of the globe you inhabit.

But don't worry I did eat some local fare later on in the day, and my friends bought this candy for all of us to share.
At least candy is what they said it was. Having only Japanese writing on it, there was really no way for us to tell what it was, but given how closely it smelled like something that crawled out of the ocean as well as the cat face it sported, we decided it might actually be a cat treat and left it alone.

And then we ventured out onto the subway for the first time.
And by we I mean smart people who actually figured out where we needed to get on and off while Brandon and I wandered behind, happy to follow and lost in our conversation.

It's nice to see how the Japanese care for the pregnant women.
And encourage rude, clueless teenagers to get off their seats and do the same.

We made it to the Tokyo Tower, although I gotta say that I did not think it was very beautiful.
It was pretty tall though, so there's that. We could look for miles and miles and still not see the end of Tokyo, this city is that big.

Oh and we stopped for a bathroom break there. I gingerly stepped around the urine that was on the floor and went to it.
After the tower, we went to a nearby temple and graveyard.
You may find it strange and morbid, but I love graveyards. I think the care and attention to detail in the burial of their loved ones is a special and telling part of every culture: we all love and miss our family, our friends, the people who create home for us.

Graveyards are hallowed and sadly beautiful testaments to the importance of each other, I think. And I kind of felt weird posing for this picture next to this gravestone; I didn't feel like a smile would be apropos, exactly, which left me looking like this.
But I am not sure that cats have the same sense of propriety. At least this one found nothing whatsoever wrong about catching a midday nap on this gravesite.
Too bad I didn't save one of those could-be-candy-but-is-probably-a-cat-treat for this kitty.

We visited the Imperial Palace, but couldn't see much of it because it's closed 363 days out of the year. So we settled for walking around the beautiful gardens that surround it.
And I loved the look of these two swans.
Doing what swans should do and not at all confused or doubting their calling. A lot of us could learn from this, I think.

Oh, and leave it to me to say, well, this...

Please bear in mind that we had only landed in Japan a few hours earlier and jet-lagged doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling. I walk up to Mindy and her husband Dave who had already been sight-seeing in Japan for 10 days and suddenly remember the facebook status of Mindy's that said something about hiking the Japanese Alps a few days before. Perfect conversation starter, right? Ah, perfect conversation starter when you aren't exhausted and apparently dyslexic. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

I give Dave a hug and, in the middle of the hotel lobby, loudly ask him, So how was hiking the Alpanese Japs?

Yep, not only did I sound crazy, I also managed to sound racist. Just perfect. Of course we both laughed, but still--Japs?!?!?! Did I really have to accidentally say Japs?!?!

Apparently I did.


James Ricardo The Actor said...

Sounds Like A Great Day! You Are Right The Tokyo Tower Isn't That Pretty! LOL!

peaj said...

Tokyo must be nice - they have Ritz crackers.

I like graveyards too. I like the sense of history, and of completion. I like the perspective that these gravestones reflect the lives of people who lived out their lives a century ago, with all their daily struggles and emergencies, and now all those issues are forgotten and they are resting from their labors.

It's so cool that Emily is there with you!

Karenkool said...

The kitty snack cracked me up. Thanks for the update on the earthquake and all. I'm so glad it wasn't those awful bandit bed-shakers.

I think the tsunami actually hit China.

Sir Tophs a Lot said...

Oh I am so glad you made it here and are already out exploring and having fun. Are you off tomorrow as well? Cuz I am...

I thought similar things this morning, both why am I back on the ship rocking again? and, why is my bed shaking from people having sex in the room next to mine? Which, by the way, is conveniently EMPTY. Haha. So no worries on thoughts of criminals. I can't wait to see you soon!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Topher--sadly, I am NOT off tomorrow!!! We have warm-up at 10:30 am and then two shows and then an opening night party, so it's gonna be a long day. When is your next day off? We gotta find a time to get together!!!

Mom said...

Pop & I both like graveyards too, because of the history and the culture it represents. Really enjoying your blogs!

sherri said...

I never really looked at graveyards that way, but now that you mention it- that is a great perspective on something most find to be morbid.

Love your little slip up at the end there ;) sounds like something I would do!

Mandy and Jack said...

Ahhh! I thought I was the only one who loved graveyards!! Jack thinks I'm totally morbid because I LOVE them and I want to get a plot in this really beautiful cemetery in north Dallas. Eh. Oh well.

And I don't think you have to be blamed for the "Japs" thing. Jet lag does CRAZY things to you.

And oh yeah, I totally have a picture of a squatty-potty from China. And a lady in the concierge lounge saw it and was like "did you take a picture of our bathroom?" I was like, "um, yes. Yes I did."

Glad nobody broke in to shake your bed!! :)

kathiek said...

Graveyards, especially really old ones, are pretty interesting.

That garden is gorgeous! When is the Imperial Palace open to the public? Will it be open at all while you are there? I bet that would be something to see.

Swans are such beautiful, graceful birds.

Have a great rehearsal and show, Jess!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Hmm, I am not sure when the Imperial Palace in open to the public--I heard only two days a year, but that is all I know. You're right, seeing it would be amazing!

Michele said...

Wow Jess, that is quite a full day! I'm so glad you didn't eat the kitty treat. The graveyard looks amazing, the kitty looks a little put out, you just look like you're living life to the fullest!

I guess I need to choose another name besides semi anonymous said...

loved the pix. have never been a fan of earthquakes myself.

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