Home > Gaijin Chronicles > Happy 2012!

Happy 2012!

Happy 2012 everyone!

… What’s this? An update? Holy crap, maybe 2012 really is going to be the end of the world and this is the first sign! I dunno, maybe?

Where have I been? Somewhere in between trying to figure out how to be a father, a stretch of being super-busy at work, and just trying to keep my sanity afloat (wasn’t always successful!). Plus for awhile, I really didn’t have anything interesting to write about. I just can’t be the guy who does the “hey, look at this weird aspect of Japan, isn’t it quirky!” guy anymore. I don’t even notice most of it anymore.

Well then, what am I going to write about? That is an excellent question. I don’t have a concrete answer. What I do know is that I miss writing so I’m going to try to do it more. Whatever tickles my fancy that I want to write about. That was kind of how I started off in the first place. So topics may vary wildly.

That’s all I really wanted to say for the moment, so here’s a picture of my daughter. She’s a year and two months old now. Go read some of the original posts in the archives, then think about how that guy now has a little toddler running around. Almost frightening, isn’t it?



Categories: Gaijin Chronicles
  1. January 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Hey Az, nice to hear from you again.

    PS: I see no pictures.

  2. Tah
    January 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Glad to have you back! But where is the picture? It’s not showing up. 😦

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Had forgotten to upload it. Should be there now.

  3. The Flying Yeti
    January 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Good to hear from you Az. and yeah time has passed; today is my 50th B-day!
    Urg I feel like I’m just 35…..

  4. The Flying Yeti
    January 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm


  5. TGadding
    January 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Oh my god, she’s GORGEOUS! I want to smoosh her adorable little face.
    And welcome back to blogging, Az! I hope you can manage to squeeze out a few more posts this year; we’ve missed you.

  6. January 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Your daughter is adorable. Very kawaii!

  7. Vega
    January 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Hey! It’s great to hear from you again and your daughter is lovely πŸ˜€

  8. Mallory
    January 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Omg, seriously can’t believe there is a update on this blog. I come this half out of habit and half hoping for an update. But I can’t believe your daughter is that big already, seems like just yesterday you were ranting about your pregnant wife calling you at work nonstop.

  9. Dzonis
    January 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Holy crap! It’s already more than year!? I still remember when marriage was still on the way and now BAM! A child already grown. Well, keep your sanity and good luck

  10. Damocles
    January 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm


    always good to read what you write.

  11. Brandon
    January 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great to see a new post from you, Az. And your daughter is so adorable, I think I have cavities. πŸ™‚ Hope to hear from you more in 2012.

  12. Stefan
    January 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Yes! Best thing about 2012 yet.
    I don’t really mind what you write about, I bet most people will eat it up and be happy about it, anyway.

    Also, d’aww.
    They grow so fast, don’t they?

  13. January 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    You could become a Daddy Blogger . . . in Japan! ;D

  14. January 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Az,

    Firstly want to say, good to see an update from you again. You inspired me to do my own blog and don’t be surprised of you find the writing style similar to yours in certain aspects (influenced, yes)

    I’d suggest putting up some of your philosophies next (similar to “death of a nice guy” from way back when). It would also be interesting to see if your perception has changed much from back then.

    Cheers and keep them coming


  15. January 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Oh my God she’s adorable!! I feel sorry for Az-15-years-from-now… she’s gonna be gorgeous!

  16. Andre
    January 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Posting pictures of your daughter should be outlawed because it causes peoples brains to implode from cuteness.

  17. January 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm


  18. hostilecrayon
    January 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Awww, how cute! My own baby boy just turned one. Parenthood is wild, isn’t it?

    I’m looking forward to hearing more from you in 2012!

  19. Will
    January 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    What a cute baby. I’m sure she’ll give crystal kay a run for her money. And yeah, I would love to see more blog posts; RSS feeds prevent blogs from dying nowadays, supposedly.

  20. Jackie
    January 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Happy new year!! She is beautiful az! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  21. Yoho
    January 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    You got a white sofa? She’s gonna love that πŸ˜€

  22. Palabradot
    January 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Glad you’re back, and can’t wait to hear of your adventures in Japanese parenthood. We’ve got a three month old boy now, and we have referred to your “baby sleep level” post so many times!

    Anna Linda is so beautiful. Such a big, pretty girl! Hope you’ve got weaponry and a good stout lock on your door for when she hits sixteen, cause the lads will be knocking. πŸ™‚

  23. Mawander
    January 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Gorgeous! Glad to see your post!

  24. January 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Toddlers are basically smaller, terrifying versions of humans. They’re innocent, wide-eyed at the most mundane things, have giggling fits and have absolutley no concept of fear.
    They also move a lot faster than you think… Especially when they have somthing like marmalde on toast in hand and are wondering who to fit it into your nice and expensive new bluray player….

  25. January 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Good seeing you writing again. Your daughter is a doll!

  26. J
    January 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Whoa he lives! I thought you committed Seppuku from raising a girl, I have 2 so I can say that! πŸ˜€

  27. Devin Kenton
    January 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    First off, glad to see you’re back! I was starting to wonder if you had just decided not to write anymore (as you said, you’re starting to not notice the “weird” stuff, so it limits what you can write about). As an earlier commenter brought up, revisiting some of your older stuff (which was pretty enjoyable while getting the point across, btw) and/or comparing your current life now to how things were back then might be something to look into.

    Your daughter is very cute! If I were you, I’d start training to become a samurai father now, so when the boys start coming around, you can instill even more fear in them before they reach the area around your place (I’m pretty sure that you can combo it with the Gaijin Perimeter to reflect damage and stun them to activate your Gaijin Smash Hyper Combo to finish them off).

  28. January 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm


    Are all the people on your commute normal or something? Come on, there’s got to be all kinds of things to write about.

    Someone should start a kickstarter for you to write full time for a year.

  29. Vespalady
    January 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    She’s so cute! And tall! Also, I’m sure that if you write about one thing that happened on a random day… it will baffle people who have not stayed in Japan for any length of time. That’s just how Japan rolls. haha, makes me wonder what I’m thinking applying to study there next year…

  30. January 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Wow, she’s a beauty!

    It’ll definitely make 2012 that much better if we have Az to kick around again. Please, by all means, give us a gaijin dad’s perspective of Japan. You shouldn’t feel you have nothing to say, simply because it isn’t the same sort of stuff as before: you aren’t the same guy as before. This ought to be about your evolution, not just your adventures. Not every post needs to be outrageous or even “funny”, necessarily — it just needs to be about you.

  31. Lindsey
    January 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Your daughter is so beautiful! And its great to see you posting again, I’ve been reading this blog/the previous blog since 2007 or so, when I first came to Japan myself. Happy New Years πŸ™‚

  32. atara
    January 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Your daughter is so beautiful it’s making my ovaries hurt.

  33. MaxWilder
    January 7, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Personally, I would love to hear about the process of raising a kid in Japan! What kind of standard medical procedures happen? What immunizations are required? What kinds of toddler entertainment does Japan have? When do they start pre-school? How is school structured? Are you teaching her to be bi-lingual?

    There are tons of kid-related things you could write about that would be interesting to us Japanophiles!

  34. Nic
    January 7, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Very nice to hear from you, Az.
    Those are 2 very cute pictures. Have fun with her! ^_^

  35. January 7, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Wow, I can’t believe my eyes, a new post! Awesome.

    I wish you a happy new year as well and a lot of patience with your sweet little toddler.
    I’ll be looking forward to reading future posts.

    Best regards from tiny Switzerland

  36. January 7, 2012 at 5:58 am


    She looks so cute Az! You must be so proud. Also, I’m glad you’re still interested in writing, because I’m still interested in reading what’s in that noggin of yours!

    I’ve been batting around ideas for a comedy/slight drama graphic novel myself. I know we’ve only interacted over the web, but if you wanna brainstorm or are interested in doing something like that let me know on Facebook or email, I’d be honored to work with you.

  37. DC
    January 7, 2012 at 8:11 am

    A post! I just happened to look today after not bothering for months, and here’s a post on the same day. Must be some freaky wave length. Either that, or my tin foil hat isn’t providing the protection I thought it did. πŸ™‚

    “I just can’t be the guy who does the ‘hey, look at this weird aspect of Japan, isn’t it quirky!’ guy anymore. I don’t even notice most of it anymore.”

    OMG! You’ve gone native! πŸ™‚

    Wow, I can’t believe how fast your daughter is growing up. Are you getting any sleep now? She’s definitely at the stage where she can reach up and grab things. I hope all the fragile stuff is out of reach. Based on my own experience, the time when your kids stop breaking things is when they finally move out of the house for good.

    Are you teaching her to be bilingual? I’ve heard of parents doing things like; Mom only talks in Japanese, and Dad only in English.

    Some day, you’ve got to take your family on a trip to the USA and post an expat view of how weird the US is/has become. Like the expression says, you can’t go home again.

  38. istel
    January 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Finally! A new update for the new year πŸ™‚

    Been lurking since Gaijinsmash but just want to say am so glad you’re back.

    Oh and a very happy 2012 to you.


  39. Michael from Denmark
    January 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Welcome back!

    I already closed my browser out of habbit after my daily check for updates to your blog. But, hey, wasn’t that a different headline?! Open a browser and lo and behold, a new post!

    I hope you’ll be back posting more regularly and that you and your family are happy and

    Take care.

  40. January 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Your daughter is beautiful! She’s definitely got super-star potential there – hope your retirement plan works. XD

    I was very glad to see the update, and I hope you get back into writing. Even beyond the fact that your subject matter about ‘quirky’ Japan was interesting, your writing style was genuine and personal, and very often hilarious. You really know how to paint a picture with words, and that’s a special talent. Like all talents, it’s got to be kept sharp. Good luck with your future writing, as a loyal fan I look forward to reading more!

  41. TheOtheJN
    January 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Great that you’re having writing cravings again despite all that’s been happening.

    I hope you will grow up to be a great father that Anna will fondly remember you as being when she is older.

  42. Bara
    January 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Yeah, good to hear the urge to write is still there. Whatever subject interests you is fine. I’ve always enjoyed reading your take on life in general.

  43. Layla
    January 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Good to see you’re doing well and baby Anna is cute as ever. I’ve been following gaijin chronicles/smash since 2005, when I was a 16 year old on a study abroad program in Japan. I feel like it couldn’t have been that many years though… Year in and out, I feel almost a comraderie with you through your words. I missed your updates but it was nice to find you posting in /r/Japan!
    Happy new year!

  44. L
    January 8, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Happy 2012! It’s awesome to hear from you. Your daughter is precious! πŸ™‚

  45. January 8, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Happy New Year!

    Anna is so beautiful! I especially love her hair! It looks so soft and curls so gently! Gorgeous! Someone mentions being prepared to swat the boys away when she’s 16, but I disagree; with the way Japanese men are (from what you’ve posted before), you need to start protecting her NOW!

    What you blog about next is of course, going to be up to you, but let me put a little “bug in your ear” about the possibility of posting as an American father raising his kids in Japan. I’m sure there are cultural differences that haven’t arisen before now in regard to parenting, that would be quite fascinating to read about, and how you & your sweet wife resolve your own parenting differences, if there are any. Just food for thought.

    I look forward to seeing more from you this year. πŸ™‚

  46. Vidgmchtr
    January 8, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Nice to see you posting again!

    Has she learned the ability to teleport yet? I assume since she’s half-Japanese, she learns the ability not long after she learns how to walk. πŸ˜›

  47. January 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I’m glad to see you return, Az. The intarnets just wouldn’t be the same without you. Your daughter’s absolutely adorable, to the point where you might need to learn how to Gaijin Warp to give discerning glares at whoever tries to hit on her in the future. D:

    I look forward to more writings and musings from you.^^

  48. Athlynne
    January 9, 2012 at 3:15 am

    AZ, you’re alive! YAY!

    I hope you do write more, we’ve missed you. And if you ever decide to collect your Gaijin Smash entries into a book, I’ll buy it!

    AW, little Anna is beautiful. Your Get-Rich scheme is coming along nicely. πŸ™‚

  49. Falx
    January 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm


    Also damn she’s tall. If the Beyonce thing doesn’t work out make sure he’s in a Uni with a basketball team. “Daddy’s little Micheala Jordan” makes a good backup plan.

  50. Falx
    January 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Urg “she” not he… damn I wish I could edit posts.

  51. Timothy
    January 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    “I just can’t be the guy who does the β€œhey, look at this weird aspect of Japan, isn’t it quirky!” guy anymore. I don’t even notice most of it anymore.”

    You say that, but now that you’re going to be raising a kid there…how long until we hear about her catching cicadas and whatnot?

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Never, because the day she brings a cicada home is the day she learns true punishment.

  52. January 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    (Caption for first picture)
    “What are you talking about!?”

  53. Darkrider
    January 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Yes! he lives! great to hear from you again Az! Anna it so cute and wow! she’s got some long index fingers! Slap that picture on some merchandise and you can make a pretty penny.

  54. ArthurFrDent
    January 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Dude, happy to hear you haven’t fallen off the earth… kid’s pretty cute, too. Hope all is well with the family. Wishing you’se a Happy 2012

  55. Dancingrage
    January 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Strangely enough, I’m thinking of 2012 as the year I come out of my own parenting shell and get back in touch with people I haven’t talked to in ages and ages. Having a 3 year old girl myself I understand how you can sort of drop off the face of the earth without really thinking about it.

    Ms. Americanized married yet, by the by?

  56. w
    January 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Happy New Year! Awesome girl. And good luck with the sanity.

  57. T
    January 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Awww, she’s beautiful!

  58. January 31, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Fourteen months already? My goodness, she’s so tall! What a sweetie!

  59. Rich Rostrom
    February 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    What a lovely child!

    Blog or not – as you please, and how you please.

    The tension is between that you do one thing really well and that you don’t want to do just that thing. Pick your own balance.

  60. Elaine
    February 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    She is adorable! She has you wrapped around that finger of hers! Glad to know you are still around living and loving. My little one will be 2 in April and I know how life can just revolve around them and you dont realize how quickly time has gone by. Hope to hear from you soon!

  61. Mayhem
    February 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Definitely super cute πŸ™‚

    Good to have you back Az…

  62. Jay
    February 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    A reader since 03! Very glad to hear you are well and taking on the new challenges of your life. Your daughter is beautiful, and those fingers possibly signify potential as a pianist, or great dexterity of the controls / combo system in street fighter. I would have liked to hear / was curious to hear your point of view regarding the natural disasters that have occurred in Japan. Its been extensively covered but I’m sure I can speak for the majority in saying that everybody would be continually interested in the progress; the world is behind Japan and its recovery. Reading a post about it from a familiar friend would be welcomed.

  63. wole
    March 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Glad to hear you are ok, as are you fam. Do you still have time for good ol SF? Did you already get the sf x tekken game?

  64. Jen
    August 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Hey Az, have you seen this? Japanese girls getting into “Black style”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qe4AZRkFYE

  65. TheMan
    October 11, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Wondered if you were still around. PLF divorced yet?

  66. Shayan
    October 11, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Been following GS since about 2004, always a great read. Not sure if we’ll get another update, definitely holding thumbs for one.

    If it’s not to be, then I think that was quite a nice one to finish it on. He’s got a wife, a kid and maybe the Gaijin Smash part of his life is over.

  67. November 25, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Where you been Az? The year is nearly over! You must have something to talk about!

  68. strtpls3
    January 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Hey Az,
    I hope your absence means that you are doing well with that fam and everything is ok. We all miss hearing from you though. If you can, let us know if you are done with the whole online thing (but are still ok).

  69. Longtime Reader
    August 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Az, I just finished re-reading the archives in order (I am a Japanese Schoolteacher, Gaijin Smash, and Gaijin Chronicles) after introducing a co-worker to them. I hope that you and your family are doing well (though the lack of updates probably means exactly that).

    If you are not going to pursue this particular endeavor anymore, it would probably be a good idea to make a farewell entry, even if it is short. Though your daughter is cute and beautiful, it is not fitting that she be the final entry in your blog. An entry announcing your intentions for this wonderful collection of stories and observations would be more fitting.

    Thank you in advance.

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