fortune

Yahoo’s fired CEO fights back & I think it’s the start of Act 2

I am no fan of Yahoo as a service or business, nor do I understand America’s fixation with bleaching their hair.

But I simply love how Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s CEO who was fired last Tuesday by telephone, has broken every rule about being forced out. She refuses to use euphemisms and press releases, and has called the board “doofuses” in the business magazine Fortune. She says in the interview that the board “fu#*+d me over.”

Those are some ginormous balls, and perhaps a career revival. Godspeed, Carol!

New Year’s Fortunes at Shrine

On New Year’s day, beginning just after midnight, many Japanese visit shrines, provide a small contribution, pray for less than 30 seconds, and buy a fortune. My friend took me to Adachi in northern Tokyo to a famous shrine the evening of January 1. You can see above that if you don’t like the fortune you receive, you can fold it up and tie it on a special stand that contains all the bad and just mediocre fortunes.

I left my fortune. And, under the guise of being a foreigner observing local customs, I couldn’t help but take this image of a Tokyo yankii leaving his fortune at the shrine. His mane of distressed hair, the fake fur sweatshirt color, the glitter, lack of warm clothes on a cold evening, and exposed backside somehow all added up to a good omen for the new year and new decade.

Oh, and inside my fortune, I found a (fake) gold plated trinket. Mine is considered especially lucky, a rake that symbolizes I will be “raking in” the money this year. I hope so!

New Year’s Day

New Year's Day,  shrine

With the in-laws and the hubb, I visited this shrine on New Year’s day. Amidst an ordinary Suginami neighborhood, this small shrine looks like something out of history, or at least an advertisement. Hey, is that Hachiko, the famous dog?

New Year is a quiet and charming time in Tokyo. Everyone who came from the interior has left, most businesses are shut down, and there’s a lot of over-eating with the family. In between delicious lunch and dinner at the in-laws, we visited the shrine, to say a quick prayer and to draw our fortune.

After experiencing the mind-numbingly long prayers of my family’s religion, Japanese prayer is so charming. Throw some coins in the shrine, ring the bell, bow twice, clap your hands twice, press them together, think a happy thought, and let the next people have their turn. It takes about 20 seconds, and involves no audible words.

Happy new year to everyone! Hope your year started well.