Tag Archives: flowers

Monkey Shines


The sarusuberi trees are in bloom. I’m not usually a big fan of frilly pink things, but I do love these flowers.


There’s something almost artificially perfect about them. Maybe it’s a reflection of the culture they live in. Plus I admire their bravery; they blossom in the midst of the worst of Tokyo summer. Plum blossoms come in second for valor as they arrive at the end of winter. In that sense, it’s hard to have much respect for the vaunted cherry blossom. Granted, cherry blossoms are lovely and I have waxed poetic about them in this blog several times, but they do choose a much less challenging season to bloom in.

The first time I saw a sarusuberi tree, I asked a friend what it was called, then asked if that was a Japanification of Salisbury. “No,” she said. “It’s slipping monkey. Look closely. The bark is quite smooth.”


“Saru” is monkey. “Suberu” is slip or slide. The same verb is used for skiing or stepping on a banana peel at the supermarket and taking a header into a pile of cabbages.

Intrepid explorers Mayumi Ishizuka and Finn Many-ens discovered this unusual example of Unkey-monkey Japonicus in the depths of the Florida Everglades.


The Unkey-monkey likes nothing better than slipping around on the branches of local sarusuberi trees.

That and bananas. He likes bananas, too, so do be careful if you take him to the supermarket with you. Or at least stay a safe distance away from the cabbages.

Fifty Days

I had a good week. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, I had several rather nice moments in my professional life. I am building both my confidence and my reputation as a director and loving it.

On Wednesday, there was a new instructor at the dojo, so Yamamoto-san introduced everyone. “That’s Sato-san. She’s new but a pretty good puncher. That’s Suzuki-san. He hits pretty well but isn’t so great with the mitts yet. That’s Eda-san. She’s good at both gloves and mitts, so you don’t have to worry about her.” Purr.

On Friday, a good looking man (they are rare) smiled and waved at me in the station. It took me a minute to recognize the waiter from Jolly Pasta out of uniform.

A doctor visit on Thursday revealed that my cholesterol is down to an acceptable level, my exhaled CO level is down from 29 to 2, and I have only gained 3 pounds.

As of today, I am smoke-free for fifty days, so I offer you some pretty pink flowers to celebrate. I am smiling. I hope you will join me.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA