Wrapping Up 2014!

31 12 2014

I am at the airport in Manila, the Philippines, waiting for my flight back to Tokyo.  Been busy or had little internet connection so days have gone by although I wanted to write daily about my trip.  But since it’s December 31, I’m going to do a wrap of the year 2014.

When I finished writing the above, it was time to board.  So I am back in my apartment in Tokyo before I leave for my parents’ for the new years.

January:  It became the final January to be attending the industry convention in Cannes, France I have been going to for the last 22 years although I did not know that at the time.  From 2015, it will be held in June when it’s supposed to be warm and sunny.  It also was the last time my best friend and I would rent an apartment together in Cannes, though we did not know that at the time either, as my friend got transferred to another group company in August.

February:  The Cannes trip lasted into the first week of February after which time I took advantage of my location to visit Monte Carlo, Monaco for the first time.  It rained throughout my short stay.

March:  At the end of March, I decided to visit another region with casinos, Macau, though it was just by coincidence.  Again, heavy rain at times but I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences as I had been told otherwise – that Macau is small and it’s good only if you like gambling – not true.

April and May:  From the end of April and the first week of May, paid a visit to Boston, Massachusetts, US of A, upon request by my aging parents, where we used to live in the ’70s.  Met new and old friends, went to where we lived, places we used to visit, a perfect trip down the memory lane.

June:  Since I got rid of my cable TV subscription I started going to movie theaters again and probably during the month of June was when I went to see the most number of films.  This is the list.

July:  Almost every month my two good friends and I get together to eat different cuisines of the world and we always try to go to a new region except that in November we do French because of “Beaujolais nouveau” and in December we do “Christmas”.  This year we ate around the world by going to Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Chile, India, and Myanmar.  In July it was Chile at Mr. Eduardo’s.  His empanada which he made in front of us from scratch, as well as everything else, was beautiful.

August:  For my summer vacation I chose Poland as the place to visit and when I mentioned this to my German friend living in Berlin, she insisted I come and visit her as well.  So I did.  Warsaw, Krakow, and Berlin in ten days.

September:  A major change in my bathroom which I had been reluctant to do because I liked the design of the old one but it was getting too dangerous to not change.  Now completely updated, typically Japanese toilet installed and because of that, I was once again able to have guests at my place for the first time in a long time.

October:  My birthday month and celebration was to be had.

November:  My two most favorite musical groups, the Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, were in town at the same time which interestingly enough gave me an opportunity to visit the Tsukiji Market for the first time.  Feeling very blessed.

December:  Finally a trip to the Philippines, Manila and Vigan, after offices closed for the new year holidays.  Things unexpected happened which I shall write about in the new year as I sort out my photos.

Hope more good things to come in 2015.  Happy and peaceful new year to all.





Left on a Jet Plane

28 12 2014

Time for another vacation as our offices closed as of this past Friday for the biggest holiday season in Japan, the New Years.

I was Manila bound on Saturday evening.

The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences

 





Movies! in the Month of December, 2014

27 12 2014

My favorite of the month





Music! in the Month of December, 2014

26 12 2014

The perfect time of the year to be enjoying festive, joyful music!

Laila Biali who performed two completely different sets on the same night @ the Cotton Club, i.e. that would be unusual; most artists play the same set twice in one evening.

Laila Biali who performed two completely different sets on the same night @ the Cotton Club, i.e. that would be unusual; most artists play the same set twice in one evening.

Starting with symphonic metal @ a Tower Records in-store event.

Cross Vein, a Japanese symphonic metal band @ a Tower Records in-store event.

Chico & the Gypsies at Blue Note Tokyo.  One of the bigger French (not Spanish) exports.

Chico & the Gypsies at Blue Note Tokyo. One of the bigger French (not Spanish) exports.

Tahiti 80 @ Liquid Room.  Another French affair.

Tahiti 80 @ Liquid Room. Another French affair.

Jill Decoy Association @ JZ Bratt.  A three-piece Japanese band with pop vocals and jazz accompaniment.

Jill Decoy Association @ JZ Brat. A three-piece Japanese band with pop vocals and jazz accompaniment.

Schroeder-Headz @ a Tower Records in-store event.  Great turnout for the pianist.

Schroeder-Headz @ a Tower Records in-store event. Great turnout for the pianist.

The Stylistics @ Billboard Live Tokyo.  Wouldn't be Christmas w/o them.

The Stylistics @ Billboard Live Tokyo. Wouldn’t be Christmas w/o them.

An Irish music film from sometime ago.  The theatrical production is currently on in Tokyo.

An Irish music film from sometime ago. The theatrical production is currently on in Tokyo.

Fried Pride @ Tower Records.  Think Tuck & Patti of Japan with much more aggressive vocal & guitar.

Fried Pride @ Tower Records. Think Tuck & Patti of Japan with much more aggressive and technically excelling vocal & guitar.

Lovely Hilary Kole @ the Cotton Club for the Christmas week.

Lovely Hilary Kole @ the Cotton Club for the Christmas week.

Yasuji Ohagi, a classical guitarist, at an in-store event @ Yamano Music Ginza.

Yasuji Ohagi, a classical guitarist, at an in-store event @ Yamano Music Ginza.

Have a musical holiday season ♪





An Italian Christmas

25 12 2014

My two good friends and I decided to go Italian this year for our Christmas celebration breaking away from our traditional French theme in the past years.

We had to choose a restaurant owned/managed by a true Italian and I found just the place.

Christmas gift-giving going round.

Everything pretty much homemade including the limoncello which came on the house.  Loved it.

Napolimania

 








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