Hey all! Just so you know, I'm still alive, despite my reckless snowboarding habits, and enjoying life as always!
The last week of 2009 was great! I spent Christmas day with Sachi, we exchanged gifts, ate lunch, and watched Avatar (2D).
The next day I was in charge of my International Center staff's year-end party. I had planned for it for a couple weeks, so it was just making sure things went off without a hitch, and herding everyone around (good little sheeple). Of course, one thing went wrong - best laid plans and all: after bowling we moved to the Chinese restaurant where they squeezed us into 2/3rds the space the promised us. But they gave us more food than anyone could finish and it was all delicious and authentic and a good time.
I spent the rest of the year snowboarding everyday. I went with my supervisor at the ken-cho one day to Geihoku Kokusai, my first time snowboarding in Hiroshima as opposed to crossing the border to Shimane where i normally go for Mizuho. It was fun and we hit every run they had several times each! I took great pictures on my new cell phone too.
Oh YEAH! I got a new cell phone! The number is the same. The new email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to email my phone. My old phone broke about three weeks before the 2 year contract on it ended, and they told me that unless I shelled out almost 100 bones for a replacement on my phone insurance, I'd have to pay for a rental until the new year when I would be eligible for discounted rates on a new 2 year plan. WTF?!?
So I went down the block (Hon-Dori) to the AU shop, where they offered to give a new phone, FREE, with all the functions of my old phone, plus it's water-proof, plus it's got a 5 megapixel camera, plus a pedometer (what am I 50?), PLUS a solar panel charger!!! I can't make this stuff up people. On top of all of that, they are giving me a 200 dollar (more after the exchange rate) stored value debit card for keeping my old number, so even after the charges of canceling my contract with them I come out waaaaay ahead! In short. I love my new AU phone. Screw you SoftBank, a.k.a. Vodafone.
Back to the slopes, I hit up Mizuho every day after that and enjoyed countdown at the usual bar with some friends, but went straight home after the non-existant ball-drop to get some sleep and be ready for New Year's day with Sachi's family.
As usual they were great. They poured me copious beer, fed me til bursting and shared a wonderful day with me that had, really, the exact same atmosphere as Christmas day back home. This all took place at Sachi's grandmother's house, so we also swung by her husband's grave topay our respects, light him some incence and make sure his plot was clean and had fresh flowers. one of Sachi's cousins wandered off and came back to report that some of the other graves had artificial flowers and everyone seemed to thing that was poor form. Interesting.
Since then I've been snowboarding a few more times, came back to work, and things are settling in to a familiar pattern again.
Hope you are enjoying 2010 too.