Happy Birthday to Tara Barnum!!
Second things second:
Been feeling really great lately, productive and on track like I haven't been in months. I had been slacking in my studies, but I'm caught up once again with my Japanese course books. I've been making art again, collages and some paintings as gifts for friends, and I'm really liking the results. I'm also in the process of writing something that may end up becoming a book or a screenplay about some strange goings-on in my life, especially this last weekend in Kobe.
I've officially re-contracted for a second year here, and I'm also applying to be a Tokyo Orientation Assistant for the people coming in this summer. A lot of my friends will be going home at the end of this year, so I'd love a chance to meet some of the new folks and help them out as soon as possible. It'll be in late July, early August if I get it, and it's a free trip to Tokyo, whoo!
The rest of this week I'll be super busy, as I have a quick trip to Kobe again tomorrow night, then Japanese lessons and a teachers' dinner Friday, and Saturday and Sunday I'm going with a friend on a trip to the mountains in Tottori. Knowing I'd be swamped, I actually took today to clean my house top to bottom, vacuuming, doing laundry, dishes, reorganizing things and I even did a little redecorating. The place looks good I think, it hasn't been this well cleaned since just before X-mas. The weather was so warm today, it really was like spring cleaning. It's so warm in fact that the cherry blossoms may come out soon, which will be ridiculously early. Global warming, man.
I also went out and gave my "giri choco". Japanese Valentine's Day is the day girls give "obligation chocolate" to the guys as a thank you for their help and hard work, so people like teachers, bosses, dads and male friends get chocolate along with boyfriends and husbands this day. Japanese chocolate companies made this holiday into a marketing blitz, and do 50% of their chocolate sales this week. In a month, March 14th, it'll be White Day, a holiday started by a marshmellow company to boost their sales, and that's the day when the men give gifts of cake, marshmellows and such to the women to reciprocate. There's also a newer one I just found out about that's April 14th, Orange Day, where I guess couples give each other such presents with an orange theme. That was obviously started by the orange growers, hehe. Crazy Japanese holidays.
So all in all, I'm doing really well for anyone who was wondering. xoxoxoxoxoxo to you all. Happy Valentine's Day.