Friday, March 23, 2007

Would You?

I was talking to my golf partner this past week. We are both excited the freakin' ice in PA is finally receding and we can start hitting. When I talked to him he was also excited because he was getting Lasik surgery this weekend.

Now I'm a progressive guy. I can see the virtue in not having to bother with eye glasses and contact lenses, but if you've read some of my previous posts, you also know I get FREAKED when anything gets approximately 6 inches away from my head (remember this picture, yeah it still totally applies to this).


I just cannot see getting Lasik. No way. Not doing it. Have some guy slice into my eye and reshape it with a surgical laser? Um, no. I think not. I'll put up with wearing the glasses, reordering the contact lenses and be content with seeing big blurry puffy images around the room when I wake up in the morning. I know, it's a common procedure now, with a high success rate, and everybody who is anybody is doing it, but at this point I've decided to be that one individual lemming that halts at the edge of that cliff and watches his bothers and sisters plummet to their demise below. Besides, my intellectual, nerdy mind says to me sure it's cool, it works, but um, where are the 20-30 year follow up's on the people who had this done. And the upside? Glasses make you look intelligent and sophisticated. If a contact offends you, you can just pluck it out and toss it. And the biggest one is no high powered laser blasts into my eyeballs and melts my brain!!!

So those are my reasons. But the question is, would you do it?

My Dad...

So I mentioned my father before. I've been thinking about him quite a bit right now. See, I'm going through a weird time right now. Trying to figure out the next move, what to do next, what would be best for Sharkey and me long term. You know opportunity, risk, reward, etc. It's at these times, when I really miss my Dad. Even though I pretty much know what he'd say to me, nothing really replaces hearing it from the source right?

My Father was awesome! He's been gone now about 4 1/2 years. Now you may think this is freaky and/or maybe a bit weird (would you expect anything less from me anyway?), but I thought I'd share with you the tribute I did for him at his service. I think it puts things into perspective of how I felt about him and really explains some of the things about my Dad that stand out to me. So take it for what it's worth.... I had to create the write up below from the note cards I used when I did it live. See, because my Dad's family is from the West Coast and Pacific they didn't get to attend the service and my Mom thought it was important for them to be able to read what his sons got up and spoke about, so she asked me and my brothers to turn our notes into something we could send to the relatives. So when I was thinking about my Dad tonight, I remembered I had this document. Oh and just so you know the cast of characters:
  • Yamie: That's my Dad, and "Yamie" was his nickname
  • Nichan: My oldest brother... Nichan is what my Mom calls him. It's a Japanese name that designates him as 1st born son
  • Onesan: My older brother. The middle child. That makes JP the.... Baby... riiiight...
  • JP: If you cannot figure this one out, then you just need to get off my BLOG you JACKHOLE!!!

A Tribute to Yamie By JP

As I look around the church today, I see many people who knew my father at different times in his life. My perspective of my Father is much different than that of my brothers and is different than all of you, his close friends and family, who are gathered here today. As time goes by, we all change in different ways and how we remember people depends on the time of their life that we knew them. We are all not the same from year to year. My Father was less active with me than he was with my brothers. By the time I came around, I saw my Dad as being full of advice and full of wisdom. My Mother would often say, “Yamie is full of something all right.”

My Mother and Father had grand dreams for their family and high hopes for their sons. They wanted their children to do more than they did, have more opportunity than they did, and be the best that they could possibly be. Many of you in this room understand that, because that is the tradition of the Japanese or all of you “Nihonjin” gathered here today. Together, they decided that education was the key to success. Their dream for their children was that all three would graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in some area of study. The first was Nichan. Nichan was valedictorian of his high school class. Nichan received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Nichan graduated in 1982 and was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy. The dream of my parents was very much alive. Next came Onesan. Onesan took 5 years to complete his degree. He finished and was a certified Occupational Therapist. The dream of my parents was thriving, strong, and moving forward. Then came me. I had a similar aptitude to Nichan, but my habits were different. Where as Nichan would come home and hit the books right away and study, I would come home and do my homework in front of the TV. I still made the grade and scored high on my tests. My parents felt that their dream would be realized shortly. They often would say, “JP should have no problem in college.” Eight years later, and after three college major changes, I was still without a degree. My Father saw that his dream was in jeopardy. He sat me down one day and had a talk with me. He said, “JP, you’ve come too far to quit. You will finish your degree.” My Father did not give me the option of quitting. Quitting was most certainly not an option, and I did not want to find out what the consequences were for not finishing the degree, so I completed my degree in Mathematics. My parents’ grand dream was fulfilled!

Through out the college ordeal, my Father was patient with me. His patience was exhibited in other ways too. I, like my brother Onesan, have a driving story to tell you. I was a senior in high school at the time. It was the day before I was to take my driving exam. Dad had come to pick me up from school and let me drive home. At the time, Mom & Dad had a 2-door, Datsun 5-speed car. It was a little, sporty car. When he came, my friends were on the tennis courts practicing. I thought I’d look cool driving away, so I went around the parking lot to buzz on by the courts and wave to my friends. I went past the courts, shifted into 3rd and screamed out of the lot. Unfortunately, I did not see the concrete island in front of me. Bam!!! The car ran right over it. I can still remember my Father and I hopping up in the car from the impact. We kept on going, car intact and all, and my Dad just looked over at me and calmly said, “Boy, I’m not sure I should let you take that test tomorrow.” Well, Dad did let me take the test, and I’m happy to say I passed and have run over no more concrete islands to this day.

My Dad’s patience was also shown when he taught me how to golf. He spent hours with me teaching me how to grip a club and at the driving range critiquing my stance, swing and position. I can still remember playing golf with my Dad. My Dad had a really interesting pre-shot routine when he came up to the tee box. Dad would tee the ball up and then take 2 practice swings before he hit the ball. It was always 2, no more, no less. After each swing, he would always hit the bottom his club head hard down on the ground. Swing, boom!!! Swing, boom!! Those of you here today who played golf with my Dad may remember this. It’s like Dad was proclaiming, “Watch out, Yamie’s ball is coming down the course!”

I will always remember the time I spent with my Father and all my memories of him are good ones. So where is Dad right now? To his family and grandchildren I share this with you. When the palms of your hands clap together, up and down, and rotate side to side, Dad is there with you. When you are sitting down and your leg uncontrollably oscillates up and down quickly, Grandpa is there. When you snap your right hand and then bring the right hand, thumb up, to the palm of the left hand, Dad is there. When you are sitting in your comfortable chair or on the sofa, with your arms crossed, with the hands touching your sides, and your head slightly cocked downward, Dad is with you. In yoga, that’s called the Yamie position. And when you are happy at a point in your life and find yourself humming or singing “la, la, la” to yourself, where the song you have in your head is from no particular song, Dad is right there with you. All of these actions and motions we’ve learned and inherited from Dad. So a part of him will always be with us and will be passed on from generation to generation.

The family and friends gathered here today may ask, “Did Yamie go too soon? Was it really his time?” To all of you that have those questions, I will share a story with you. This is a story I related to my Mother recently and she found it to be of comfort to her and I hope you will find comfort in it as well. Before my Father entered the hospital he had a conversation with me on the phone. At the time I thought it was a bit strange, but looking back, I can see why Dad told me what he did. He told me that, I should not worry about him, and that he felt he had lived a good, long, full life, and was content with it ending. He further told me, “JP, that may sound bad, or callous to you, but that’s how I feel.” I believe my Father knew that his time was short, but even with that knowledge he was content.

When I think of my Father now, I don’t think of him the way he was when he passed. I picture my Father in my mind as he was when he was young and in his 20’s. I see him exactly the way I’ve seen him in pictures of that time. I see him not hindered by a debilitated body, but I see him running at full speed with a big smile on his face. I picture my Father happy with his Mother, Father, and sisters who went before him. I know I will see my Father again, so today I speak to honor his life, celebrate it, and give hope for the future. Thank you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

If a Little JP-Sharkette Should Arrive...

If Sharkey and I are ever blessed to have a little JP-Sharkette, I gotta get me one of these....Issho Ni Nenne, which is translated "Beddie Bye Together" is supposed to lull a baby to sleep with comforting womb sounds. Ha!!!! Think it actually works?

Well they are the same people who make the "Hidamari No Mickey" that I have in the kitchen (ppssst Suzieq...and you thought you couldn't understand my last post...heh, heh...):


But I really like Mickey. Mickey is a nifty stress reliever. He just sways his head back and forth all day, as if saying, "la tee worries..." I liked it so much I found a Minnie Mouse one for my Mom on eBay, Hidamari No Minnie...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I was in King of Prussia last night. Being a student of Ancient Greek culture and interested in all things Roman, I decided I needed to go see 300.

So on an impulse I called Sharkey and told her I would be home late. I bought my ticket, a medium popcorn and a small Coke and sat down to see what the hype was about. It was AWESOME!! The effects and cinematography were awesome! The visuals very impressive. CGI has come a very long way. The movie has great dialog and the cast is brilliant. For what it was, it was inspiring and the message of free men standing against overwhelming odds to protect their homeland and freedom was driven home and then some. I can really see why Leonidas lives on in the Greek culture today. I give this movie the JP two thumbs up. It's definitely a great watch!! And sure there are battle sequences and you see people getting killed, but it's more comic book "Lord of the Rings" type violence.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12th, A Historic Day!

Today is a historic, memorable day. JP paid off his first car!!! It is true. I was not in the habit of keeping any of my prior vehicles long enough to receive the title for them. But look what came today:

Finally--it's mine!

So with this little piece of paper, this is all mine now:


(OK, so this isn't exactly my car, notice the CA license plate...but it is the right model and color so I ripped off Motor Trend...)

But this is a historic day. This event is also an example of how Sharkey has changed my life. Before her, I would keep a car about 3-4 years, then trade it to get another new car. The Matrix has been a great car though. Sharkey calls it my "man" wagon. It's not a wagon!! It's a cross over vehicle... I haven't had any problems with it at all. It is my first Japanese car. It can store just as much as the Ford Explorer I used to have, and it has great pickup, good storage, comfy seats, and a good stereo. I purchased the Matrix the first weekend Toyota released it, which gave me limited bargaining power, and Sharkey joked with me back then that I better like it because I'll be driving it for the next 10 years! But let's face it, no one can explain the Matrix to you, you have to experience it for yourself...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

When Organic Chicken Goes Completely Wrong

Sharkey said to me yesterday, "JP something in the frige is bad." I look in the fridge and don't see/smell anything. Sharkey said, "I cannot believe you don't smell that." So 2-3 hours pass and then I go to get some filtered water from the fridge. I look/smell around again just for giggles, and I spot the free range chicken broth from December. Ick! I take it out and I give it a little sniff with the cap on. I think I found the offending fridge substance. So I uncap the container and proceed to dump it down the disposal. I thought I was going to just puke. It was really, really bad. Sharkey was one room away from the kitchen and she said, "Yep that's it!!" Even now when I think about it I'm still about ready to gag!! Happy Tuesday!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

JP's Harebrained Scheme...

So as the snow melts, the temperature rises and spring seems just around the corner. That also means that golf season is steadily approaching!!! I cannot wait! I have been watching the first tournaments of the PGA Tour on the tube and I'm getting pumped to get out there and whack that little ball all around the course.

Call it hero worship. But I like a lot of others have really hooked on to one of the PGA tours newest players, Camilo Villegas. Villegas comes from Columbia. He hits the ball 302 yards on average off the tee. But the most interesting characteristic about him is how he reads greens. Check it out:


He is called "Hombre AraƱa" which in English is "Spiderman." Gee, see why?

Spiderman, Spiderman, no one reads greens like Villegas can..

The funniest thing was Sharkey and I were out to breakfast with our neighbors and they brought him up. So it's funny that Villegas is cutting into the mainstream.

But one of the things I like about Villegas is the way he dresses. Now sure, he like the rest of the tour guys are sponsored so all their clothes are given to them, but he is always sharp looking (JP says in his most masculine, metro-sexual voice):


The shirts he wears are just awesome!! The first time I saw them, I had to find out who the sponsor was, and it turned out that his clothes are made by J. Lindeberg, who is a designer in Stockholm, Sweden. So as we know, when JP sets his sights on something "THE HUNT" begins! J. Lindeberg clothing is really hard to come by in the USA. Not too many people carry it, and the ones that do charge buku bucks for it. It is insane! The shirts range in price from $100 - $150. And yes I'm crazy, but I'm not that crazy to drop that much on a single shirt (that and the fact that Sharkey would divorce me). Last year, I was able to snag a JL shirt at a decent price from a local high end golf shop at their year end clearance sale (ppsssst... Suzieq, it was the shirt I was wearing when Sharkey and I met you and the Hubs...) So since then I kept looking in the proshops and on eBay for some deals.

Well, to make a long story short, I was walking through the local golf shop this past week and found out they had a shirt sale going on, buy one get 2 free. And lo and behold they had a bunch of J. Lindeberg shirts. So here's where JP's harebrained scheme came into play. I figured I could take advantage of the sale, buy 6 shirts, drop $250 for the 6 shirts and then keep 2 and eBay the other 4 to recoup the costs. As it turns out, there are actually insane people who will pay $$$$ for these things. My eBay auctions for the 4 shirts have recouped my $250 and it looks like I'll turn a profit, so 2 free shirts, plus a little extra to start the new season. Whoooohoooooo!!!!