June 23, 2009

No Such Luck?

Engaging in the fantasy of instant wealth is an attractive intoxicant for the average person. The temporary thrill of spending a few dollars in an attempt to realize the dream of being able to quit ‘the job’ and buy ‘the thing’ – whatever the thing may be – is a form of social morphine that helps us get through the workday.

My life here in Japan is a good one. But that doesn’t mean I don't occasionally indulge in lotteries. Whether it’s the 6/49 when at home in the Great White North, or the Japanese national lottery called “Takarakuji” now, whenever I get the craving I buy about ten dollars’ worth of tickets. Random numbers, random tickets. The universe is indiscriminate in so many ways, so I believe if I ride the random wavelength, sooner or later I’m gonna hit the jackpot.

So far…no such luck.

Here are some scans of my favorite Japanese lotteries.
This one is called the Million Dream, which costs about C$3.50 per ticket. It only pays out one million yen (C$12K), but to 1,000 people. That’s a very democratic version of luck.

The one below, the Dream Jumbo, is garishly inviting due to its Las Vegas-inspired colorful block letters in English, which always lends a little marketing cachet here in ‘ol Nippon. For C$3.50 per ticket, you really get the illusion of wealth. It’s crack on paper, baby! The kicker is that only one person gets the big dream jumbo prize, which is about C$240K. Not too shabby. Its sales point is the mirage of exclusivity as well as wealth. Anyway, the Dream Jumbo is not enough to retire on, but winning it could be a splendid start to making Freedom 55 more reality than pipe dream. Err…lottery dream.

Za Beach
As for more realistic escapism, the beach season started for the Rising Family last weekend. We escorted Lady E. to a local beach for an afternoon of fun. Here are a few pics of Elena sporting her new lime green sundress, which a colleague/friend in Thailand kindly sent us. (Thank you, K.T.)

Elena really enjoys the aquatic life, and I am looking forward to the day when she can swim.
While I have yet to win the lottery, days at the beach offer other kinds of treasures.
(Insert reader's groan here in response to that corny line.)

Sayonara for now.

June 6, 2009

To my Mom, the Happiest of Birthdays

On this special day, my dear mother
I would like to express in words,
so that anyone in the world can see
how important you are to me.

G.P., today you are 60 going on 40.

You’re old enough to know better,
yet young enough to revel.
Wonderful just the way you are.

Especially on your birthday
I hope you know how much I appreciate you
and how much you’re loved by us all.

I’ll spend this day being grateful for you.
(And thanks for bringing me into this world, too.)
Happy birthday!

Love Chris

Aliens singing Happy Birthday

To view this, click on the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yolLqx6k1OM

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