Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Milpitas, CA, February 14, 2010: Last year for Valentine’s Day, I sent out a bunch of blank cards with illustrations of muffins, candy and chocolate on them. Inside, I wrote, “Happy Valentine’s Day, from, [not “love,”] David.” Most people liked them, but a few were confused. How was I to know that in some cultures, sending a Valentine’s Day card to a single woman was like the concept commit for marriage? You know the part where you promise the big house on the river and the condo in Hawaii with palm trees and white sand by majestic blue waters... before reality sinks in and you end up with a condo at Rivermark (near Cisco) with a cat litter box by the toilet.

So, this year, to avoid similar confusion, I’ve taken some photos of the flowering trees near our beloved Building 30, which I offer to everyone as a Valentine’s Day treat... No strings attached, so to speak.

Not saying which day I took these photos so John won’t know which hour to dock out of my next paycheque. Just kidding, John! Go Saints! Go (LSU) Tigers!

After all the rain this week and last, I thought I might miss out on this show, but there they were in full bloom: the Japanese cherry trees just down the block from my desk.

Here you see a grove of these lovely specimens. In some cases they were next to white flowering cherry trees. Sort of like the Gaijin (foreigner) sitting next to the Japanese person on a full flight to Tokyo. “We’re very sorry you have to sit next to the Gaijin, most honorable sir,” which is what I gathered the air hostess likely said to my Japanese seat neighbor (I speak no Japanese whatsoever) shortly after my bag of chips exploded all over him. Not easy pulling those suckers apart when your elbows are jammed firmly into your ribs, eh?

Here, down the street, I can imagine the Japanese gardener apologizing to the Japanese cherry trees for the mess of petals dropped by the Gaijin tree, not that the Japanese trees don’t make a mess on their own.

Doesn’t matter if the Gaijin is American, Canadian or European, all of us Gaijin look alike to the Japanese, except our noses all look different: and the Japanese aren’t used to that. Japanese noses look the same. Having sat around for an hour in the Ginza district looking at noses, I can attest to that, however unscientific that study might have been. And once achieving perfection, why should Japanese noses have variety? They smell, run, sing... I’ll tell you, after 3 hours of whiskey fueled Karaoke, you’ll hear all the nasal singing you can handle for a lifetime!

Two views of the trees outside of the entrance to the Sheraton.

There are many empty commercial buildings around our area. But the grounds are well kept.
Here one of the trees looks a little tipsy.

Speaking of tipsy trees, back at the Drunken Forest, our pet name for Building 30’s parking lot, the trees are just starting to sprout, which means we have about two weeks of full color to look forward to as we park our cars. However, I’ll park underground to avoid scraping the petals off of my windshield as they start dropping next week.

You know what a drunken forest is, right? No, it isn’t some lonely, uniformed guy stuck in the middle of the Rockies, that is a drunken forester.

A drunken forest is one that grew on permafrost that is now thawing due to normal cyclical weather patterns that have nothing to do with global warming, you know, according to people in Dallas and the East Coast who are suffering through a dump of snow this week.

The photo on the left is not mine, I found it here.

OK, so our trees aren’t exactly drunken, just a little wind swept. Likely some genius came up with a cost savings measure: “we’ll use 2x2’s to support these saplings rather than 2x4’s. Nobody will notice!”

Still, hard to beat the view from our balcony. Drunken Forest in the front, mountains (hills) at the back. This is also the view from my desk. OK, I know a guy who planned the seating (thanks, Chuck).

Considering that this was my view for about 8 years at the old building, I don’t feel too guilty about my present location. However, being part of the greater team, I do feel obliged to complain, despite my view, you know, to keep my finger on the pulse, to show camaraderie with those who didn’t get a window seat. So here goes, the office is too noisy when everyone is talking... the parking lot trees are crooked and my view of the mountain never changes, except when it rains!

Happy Valentine's Day

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

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