Mondays with Mike: Watashi ni shiawasena tanjōbi (Happy birthday to me)

March 6, 2017 • Posted in baseball, Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike, travel by

This coming June, I will celebrate a significant birthday. As in a big round number. To be honest, they’re all sort of blending together at this point, and none seem that significant.

Photo of a woman diver holding an octopus.

A photo from “The Village Across the Sea,” a book of Brian’s terrific photos of Ama, traditional Asian divers.

But I’m not letting this one go by without using it as an excuse to splurge on myself. And so, to celebrate my birthday this year, I’ll be flying to Tokyo.

I’ll be staying with our nephew Brian, who’s fashioned a career teaching English while also building a marvelous professional photography portfolio. Beth’s posted about him at the blog before—he specializes in shooting two very different types of subjects: Japanese heavy metal and punk concerts, and Haenyeo—traditional female divers of Asia.

Photo of a rock musician.

Brian also shoots metal concerts.

Brian just got a brand spanking new job, and he’ll be living very near to Tokyo by the time I visit.

He’s making plans for us to take in some Nippon Professional Baseball games. I’m told these games are an absolute hoot and it’ll be a chance for he and I, at last, to root for the same team (he’s a Cub fan, I’m a White Sox fan). With any luck, we’ll get to see Shohei Otani, a phenomenal player who pitches when he’s not playing outfield or serving as designated hitter.

Brian will also give me a guided tour of, well, whatever he thinks we should do. He’s been in Japan for several years now, and I’m trusting his judgment on what I should not miss.

I’m also going to trust his judgment on what foods I absolutely must eat, as well what beers and sakes I absolutely must drink.

Plans are being made as we speak and suggestions from blog readers are welcome. Meantime, I’ve got to do a little research on the Japanese baseball scene. Sayonara until next Monday.

Judy On March 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Hot Damn
Can I come, too?

Marilee On March 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Great way to celebrate another year!! What an adventure!

Bev On March 6, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I love it!

Marsha On March 6, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Happy early birthday! Sounds like a fantastic trip!

Pick On March 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Dude! Who knew?!? You’re almost old, olden, old as moi, old as dirt, older than your mother.
Have a good time. Toyota, Kawasaki!

Sue Doyle On March 6, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Wow…sounds WAY cool! HBD – early! Have a wonderful trip and keep us posted. And, BTW, maybe 60? Still a baby… Hugs to both you & Beth…

Kim Holly On March 6, 2017 at 9:21 pm

Go to the International Fish Market. Get there early and watch sushi grade salmon get auctioned odd for up to $75,000. Tokyo is amazing!!!

Patricia On March 7, 2017 at 9:03 am

WOO HOO – I call those birthdays with the 0’s on the end “the evens” and they absolutely MUST come with fabulousness. Lori and I will be celebrating my “even” (mine starts with a 5 this year!) with a trip to Rio de Janeiro in April. Cannot wait to hear about Tokyo – have never been there.

Brigitte Erbe On March 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

It has been so long since I have turned 30, I can’t even imagine. Over the hill, for sure! Congratulations, and enjoy… Brigitte

Rick Marks On March 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Mike – That is one long flight, I have made it many times! You will enjoy to culture, the people, Tokyo, the food (try everything!), the beer and cold sake! Don’t forget to karaoke – it’s quite different in Japan than in the US. And yeah – Happy Birthday, welcome to the Sixties!

Michael Knezovich On March 7, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Thanks everyone. Judy, you’re more than welcome! Pick, I’m trying to catch up to you. Sue, yes, correct guess. Brigitte, have I told you how terrific you are lately? Rico! Not sure about karaoke, and yeah, the flights. I can save a bundle if take one stop but not sure it’s worth it.

Bonita Mall On March 7, 2017 at 9:16 pm

This is wonderful to know about – am thrilled for you! Wheeee – what an opportunity!

As always,

kathy moyer On March 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Hi Beth,
I hope you and Mike have a great time with your nephew, Brian. Watch out from drinking too much
sake, some brands are much stronger than others and we don’t want you making an international scene, Trump is already doing that. Looking forward to some interesting blogs in July!!

nancy b On March 10, 2017 at 6:25 am

Wow, congrats! Great news.

Annelore Chapin On March 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Yeah! We’ll be in your suitcase, can’t wait ! Don’t know Japan and my BD is around there too! Not a round one though. What a great idea! Looking forward to the ‘after’ blogs. A

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