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First Snow of the Season

Well, it's sort of flurrying outside, which is just bizarre, since there aren't any clouds. And it isn't even cold. It's about 55 degrees; I didn't even need my jacket for most of the day.

Had the PTA Christmas Party today. Really, really good food. And the choir sang and the band played and it was really nice. Appetizer was thinly-sliced salmon around a small mound of orzo with some sort of greenery on top. And it had some sort of fruit sauce around the edges. It was the best thing I've eaten in I don't know how long. Then we had corn potage. The Japanese are insane about corn potage. For Americans, it's just plain old corn chowder, but here, it's like some sort of specialty soup item or something crazy like that. Then they gave us French bread to finish off the soup with. Then came the tiny steak filet with Marsala sauce (okay, so the sauce was a little weak) with a strange little cream-sauce-filled-potato cup thing that tasted REALLY strange. It was kinda minty, in a cream-sauce-filled-potato-cup sorta way. Ew. And there was some sort of greenery with that, too. Then they gave us coffee and this "bucket cake" which was more like a "itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny cake" thing that was a little weak in the flavor department, too. But it was pretty good. It had this stuff on top that was juicy and tasted like grapefruit, only it wasn't grapefruit, which was kinda scary.

But all-in-all, it was nice. (And they rigged it so that Ashizawa-sensei and I got the door prizes for our table. She got a plant, I got something in a red bag that I haven't opened yet. I'm so excited!!! Curiosity is a charm and a curse....) And one of the mothers (I don't teach her English, but I talk with her every now and then) gave me this little basket of cookies (all the teachers in the English department got one) from this department store I can't remember the name of, but it's Ashizawa-sensei's favorite. Before the luncheon, there was a chapel service, but the presents and pretty good food (oh, that orzo!) definitely made up for all the sitting around and letting my butt fall asleep.

I'm starving, but I'm done with all my grading, so I don't have to come in on Sunday, like many of the other teachers are going to have to do. Ahhahahahahahahah!!!

Been emailing Shun-chan off and on. Still have a crush on him, even though I haven't seen him in forever. Oh, well. Some things just don't change, I suppose.

Going to start taking Japanese lessons from this teacher that EVERYBODY else in Canaan House is taking them from, probably starting next semester. The place is in Sannomiya and the lessons are pretty late, so I'm a little bummed about that, but there really isn't much I can do about it.

And I'm going to try and join that Koyo Daiko group in Kobe. I miss drumming so badly. I practice every few nights or so, but still, it's not quite the same as being in a GROUP and practicing in a GROUP and making friends and blabbing in Japanese....

Went to the bank yesterday and bought a bijillion traveler's cheques and got some American money in cash and I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING THAT THE PEOPLE AT THE BANK SAID TO ME AND I WAS SO FREAKING HAPPY OHMYLORD!!! I mean, usually they stump me with at least one word I dunno, but this time I understood absolutely everything and it was great. I was in the best mood ever, walking to work after completing 1,000,001 things, and then I noticed a black car, kinda shaped like a baby station wagon, parked outside one of the houses I pass on the way to school and I thought, stupidly, "Hey, that looks like a hearse!" and as I neared it I realized that IT WAS A HEARSE and they were pulling a body out of it. Apparently somebody died at the hospital and these nice looking guys in white coats were carting the body back home for the burial. It completely killed my mood. I was on cloud nine, the sky was absolutely glorious, I was nearly done with work, and then somebody had to go and die on me. I was not a happy camper about it. And all the people involved seemed so...business-like...about it....It was so sad. And the really depressing part was that the deceased didn't even get to die at home; s/he had to die at the hospital or old folks' home or wherever.

Went to the psychiatrist (Maeda-sensei) for the first time, today. It was weird, talking about all these things I've always blabbed to my normal shrink about, only this time I was going on in Japanese. Talking about utsu-byou, fu-an, jisatsu, kusuri wo kaeru, stuff like that. When I showed the doctor where I had cut myself, forever and ever ago, he said, "Ah, aamu kattingu." (Oh, arm-cutting. [with a Japanese accent]) It was sorta surreal. He said that they don't have the meds I'm taking now, but that if I try asking around at the Hyogo Prefectural Medical School Hospital (Hyogo-ken Ika [as in medical studies, not squid] Daigaku Byou-in) they might be able to hook me up with the same stuff I'm taking now. SCORE!!!! I am so happy I can barely stay calm. It was such a relief to hear that. The other doctor I had talked with, Uematsu-sensei, was only recommended to me because he can speak a little English (and not that well, let me tell you). The guy was a freaking cardiologist. A CARDIOLOGIST. He had NO idea what I was going on about. It was so much more helpful to talk with Maeda-sensei today in Japanese than it was trying to straighten stuff out with Uematsu-sensei last week. Sigh. Sometimes it's better to just go ahead and bite the Japanese-language bullet and get it over with. Besides, you learn interesting words, like bei-doru (American dollar). I know I learned SOMETHING else, but I completely forgot what it was....

Well, it's late, I'm starving (hey, they gave us little portions, okay?!), it's Friday night, and I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 8:30am sharp. Sigh. I haven't had a day off in so long I can hardly remember what they're like.

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