S is for snowstorm, o-sooji & sayonara 2014!

I wrote I’d do it someday.

Today, in the spirit of wrapping up 2014, seems a good time.

That’s the view from my new studio apartment (new = one month):


And the same view today:


A powerful storm’s cutting a swath across parts of Arizona and Las Vegas. It’s our season’s first snow. Most people hear Arizona and think scorching desertinsane furnace heat … butt-ugly sprawling Phoenix infested by gangs and illegals and truly horrible dangerous people from Mexico and users sucking off America’s system.

Well, perhaps the last one isn’t first in the minds of folks who don’t know Arizona! Nonetheless, all true all the same. Southern Arizona is the primary scorcher. Heading north brings temperate to cold climates.  Flagstaff, for example, in the northern reaches gets serious snow and chill. Ski country. CROWDED ski country!

In expectation of the storm, I completed errands yesterday so I don’t have to drive anywhere. Here’s why:


Not my driveway rather a reasonable facsimile. Mine’s slightly steeper and involves one sharp precise turn — all the while backing out of a car cover! Thanks but no thanks. Much as I wanna hit the gym’s pool, I’ll pass. Today.

New Year’s Eve means one thing to me: o-sooji. The Great Cleaning.

On this day in Japan, folks are cleaning their homes from top to bottom — windows too! They’re sweeping their porches at their homes and businesses. Workers are cleaning out their desks — and being PAID for it! They’re polishing their cars and placing pine decorations on grilles. In days of yore, they paid off all debts so to enter the new year with a clean slate.japancardecorate


o-sooji1Not every single person in Japan of course but those who stay true to tradition are doing so.

As an Asian trapped in a Western body and with some 10+ years of Japan living under my belt — and skin — I adhere to their traditions at New Year’s Eve. As a so-called neat freak … OK, it’s true though I see absolutely nothing freakish o-sooji2about it! … my place is spotless or pretty damn close all the time. On occasion a few things like boxed files need tidying up, newspapers the recycling bin.

So if you saw my place, you’d laugh when I say I’m gonna do Japanese o-sooji! “Of what?!” you’d say! Yet o-sooji I shall! It’s about honoring and partaking of the tradition rather than actual need.

Once those 15 minutes are finished — haha — I’ll continue the glide into 2015. Not literally hopefully! I mean, there’s that awfully steep snowy driveway to negotiate if I head out to nearby Whiskey Row for pints at my favorite pubs, the Courthouse Square and trees wrapped in rainbow Christmas lights glowing brightly.

Midnight brings the Boot Drop: Prescott’s version of the Times Square shindig with a lit-up Western boot instead of enormous sphere.

With my winter wardrobe, including leather fur-lined snow boot stored in another state that I’m sorely missing now, I’m less than uber-excited about standing around in the white stuff and 19 degrees in “normal” garb for the midnight drop.

whiskeyrowbootdropOn the other hand, I do so want to be there, particularly this being my first New Year’s Eve as a Prescott resident. A year ago, I made the 2-1/2-hour drive from my town of residence, I wanted to be here Just. That. Much!

Now I live here! Yey!

So will play it by ear as the day unfolds and storm subsides. If I do opt for the boot drop will be sufficiently warmed-up and I don’t mean strictly clothing layering. 😉

Well, it’s 1:18 p.m. Still in my PJs. Time to brew another cuppa java, switch into my “work clothes” and get my o-sooji on.  Sayonara for now.