Monday, January 24, 2011

Favorite, Special Place Closed!!!

Do you have one of those "special occasion" places that you go to once in a blue moon? You know, it is not your "everyday" place where you'd go and have dinner, it is one of those special occasion places for when you have a special milestone birthday (30, 40, 50...) or you have a milestone anniversary (5, 10, 20,...). My special occasion place is Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Sharkey and I first went to Roy's when we were vacationing in Hawaii on Kauai. It was in a word....WONDERFUL!!! They have Asian Fusion food. It is Asian with French influences, so funky Asian. And they have the most awesome dessert.

It is a molten chocolate souffle that is absolutely to die for!! We were happy to find that Philadelphia had a Roy's location. We went there a few times for our "special occasions." So this year my Mom is turning 75, so I thought it was the perfect time for Roy's so I went online to make a reservation only to find out they closed back in July 2010!! A big "OH NO!!!!" was heard for miles when I read about the location closing. I guess that means I will need to hoof it to Baltimore or Hawaii now for special occasions!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crazy Asian Ethics

You may have recently seen this article floating around the internet. It's about the Tiger Mom:

Wall St. Journal - Why Chinese Mothers are Superior

The article talks about how she raised her daughters and if you read the comments there are a lot of critics on her techniques. Call them whatever you want, but I can totally see what she is saying and I think the reason why it is so foreign to people is because she raised her kids using an Eastern perspective and the people judging her are coming at her from a Western perspective.

Now do not get me wrong, I think she is hardcore Eastern (i.e. very hardcore Asian). And I think my being Japanese gives me the right to say this, because, well I lived it. I was raised in a similar fashion. I can remember my Mom drilling in my head that we need to do things "this way" not "that way" and these "things" would be repeated over and over and over and over again for years on end in the house, in the car, on the way to church, at the table, on vacation, etc. My brothers and I joke about it today as adults and call it the broken record parenting style. My Father would tell me on occasion that while people like to say we all are equal, we still need to be better, do better and drive to be the best at what we do to make sure everything is equal. These are the messages I heard growing up and when I read the Wall Street article I saw a lot of similarities to how I was raised.

I used to think part of it was my parents being raised during WWII and all of the prejudice and racial tensions they had to deal with. But reading the article made me realize their perspective on what was acceptable for their kids was not unique to them, because these standards were passed to them by their parents. So maybe WWII was not the real driver for their parenting style. If I were to sum it up, their goal was perfection. And that in and of itself is very Japanese. So even though I grew up in the United States of America all of my life, I hold that Japanese perspective of not being satisfied with just maintaining, but pursuing things with the goal of ultimate perfection. I think reading the Tiger Mom's article was very insightful to my own life because it made me realize I am who I am as the result of a culture thousands of years in the making. Right or wrong, good or bad, and however you think of it, it produces results and often times really good ones.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

JP and Sharkey Day!

From time to time Sharkey (my wife of 10 1/2 years) and I do a "JP and Sharkey" day! Usually it is on a Friday to extend the weekend and we try to do something fun that we normally do not do. Sometimes we go into Philly to Reading Terminal Market for lunch, we have taken day trips to Annapolis, MD, gone to NYC for a short weekend and walk around like "New Yorkers." So with the start of the new year we scheduled our first JP and Sharkey day. So what are we going to do? Well...and this is Sharkey's idea, we "may" be taking a little weekend trip to the Poconos to do some skiing. I used to be a skier in High School. I had my own skis (Dynastar 190cm downhill racing skis) and went about 3-5x a year and went on a yearly 3 day trip with my Church's youth group which is not too bad considering I grew up in the flat, farmlands of Southern New Jersey. But the last time I was skiing was about 15 years ago! And Sharkey, even though coming from the frozen tundra that is Minnesota has only been skiing 2x. This could make for an interesting JP and Sharkey day! I just hope in our "middle-age" we do not end up in traction or requiring some physical therapy after the day together!