good news, but still a mystery

I found out yesterday that I've been placed in Hyogo-ken as a prefectural JET! Which means that I'll be contracted to the prefectural Board of Education there. From what I've gathered online, it sounds like chances are good that I'll be teaching senior high school, and it also sounds like I may not find out what town or area of Hyogo we'll be in for quite a while. But - we're in the region we requested, and no matter where we end up we'll have fairly quick train access to Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, and shinkansen can get you from Kobe to Tokyo in less than 3 hours. Washington state is the sister-state to Hyogo, so I should have expected placement there, but I didn't know about the sister-state relationship until yesterday.

So, we still don't know if we'll be in a tiny town in snowy mountains, near one of the coasts, near a city, etc. Wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!

Wow - I only have two weeks of work left and now at least I can look at where we're going on a map. This long long process is actually happening and I'm still pretty much in disbelief of it all.


you ate Hamtaro!

I just wanted to provide you all with a link to the world's cutest food. Bentos made up like cartoon characters and such. Imagine opening up your lunch as a kid and chowing down on Kero Kero Keroppi's face. That would be so much fun! Also check out the beautiful maki rolls. I can't imagine how you would even begin to make a butterfly of different colored rice in a roll. I am in awe of the skill. And I'm hungry too.


extreme popsicle makeover

I have been eyeing the pretty new Blogger templates, so I decided it was time for a change. I apologize if any comments that anyone was deeply attached to got dumped in the process. Let's give these Blogger-brand comments a go and see how dependable they are. I'm sure I'll still be modifying things as I attempt to learn how to manipulate this design stuff, but I am nearly as computer unsavvy as they come, so it will take some time. But isn't it pretty?

Life in popsicle-land has basically just been building up of stress, like static electricity on a balloon when you rub it on the carpet before sticking it to the ceiling. You never did that when you were a kid? It's dangerous if you have those bumpy cottage-cheese stucco ceilings. The countdown to departure is becoming more rapid, but preparations are still being procrastinated. Only two Mondays left at work! (I'm not counting Memorial Day - ha!) I'm excited about everything, but just overwhelmed. This week or next I should find out our destination, and then everything will get even more interesting. Stay tuned.


yay for my bro!

I don't know if my brother ever looks at this site, but just in case...


He graduates from college tomorrow, and now has a degree in making cool things like computer games, websites, and nifty digital six-packs of beer and other stranger things.


new blog addiction

I've been spending far too much work-time reading mimi smartypants, and finding this morning that there was no new entry, I started reading her archives. That's when you know I'm addicted to a blog. Anyway, it's quite uncanny how many similarities are going on here - English lit major, musician from childhood through college but hasn't touched the instrument since due to angsty issues involving years of forced practice and realization that one will not be pursuing a professional musician life, works for a scientific journal publisher, lives with husband, likes goth nightclubs (although she actually still had a decent goth wardrobe and access to said clubs). Granted, this is from her blog in 1999 (archives) and now she has a toddler and stuff, so not so similar anymore. And her personality is quite a bit more fiesty/punk rock than me - or does she just let it show more? Anyway, I'm just wondering exactly how many girls are out there with the English lit musician thing working in publishing. Probably loads. Weird. Anyway, mimi is a fabulous writer, makes me laugh out loud with every entry, and is having a book of her blog published. That's the way to do things - publish a book without even having to write it. Fabulous.

I'm dreading the beginning of the PACKING, and I've been distracting myself by reading product reviews of hair conditioner and such on the internet. Anything to avoid actually preparing for this thing that is moving to Japan. Actually, I've developed an obsession lately with hair products, scented body lotions, frilly bath things, etc., but not having the budget to buy them, I just read about other people's experiences with them. Completely ridiculous I know. Especially because I'm moving to another country and will have an entirely different selection of self-grooming supplies available anyway. And I have plenty of smelly-good stuff in my own bathroom, that will take me years to use up. But at least I'm not lusting after sports cars or big-screen tvs. It could be something much more expensive after all. Just wait until I have access to a Sanrio store...


counting down

30 workdays left at the desk job, not counting any Saturdays I end up coming in. Luckily, the computer network is being worked on tomorrow, so I can't work. I've got to start going through the apartment and studying more Japanese and making this whole thing seem real, because it doesn't really yet. Don't know where we're going, don't know exactly when everything is happening, don't know anything much. Not that I need a solid plan - actually I feel like planning is the last thing I need right now. I need to drop all the stress about little things and just do this without worrying too much.

On a different note, yesterday I had breakfast at The Old Town before work, and it was so wonderful to sit with coffee and delicious eggs and salsa in tortillas, studying Japanese and watching Bellingham wake up. The place began filling up quickly when I got there at 6:30 (the hours on the website are apparently incorrect - it opens at 6:30) and everyone but me seemed to be regulars. A couple of guys sitting next to me discussed liberal politics; one of them was running for some local office. At a table in the middle of the room, three men talked using sign language, and it was pretty amazing to see such an animated conversation happening in complete silence. The sun came in the windows as it rose, and I relaxed more than I have in ages. I was actually singing as I drove to work afterwards. I can count on one hand all the times I have eaten out by myself, but it's nice sometimes to have that space, to exist in a public place on your own independently. It gives my brain some room to move.