14 August 2008

A Blog-Matters Moment

I've added an email subscription function to the blog. Can I just say that this excites me tremendously? I have a hard time checking blogs regularly, so the idea of having it mailed to me instead of having to check it every day always makes me happy. I'm glad I can now offer this to my (sporatic) readership. Just check to the right of the screen for the sign-up space.

04 August 2008

An Honest-to-Goodness Update

My last entry wasn't much of an update, something I'd feel worse about if I were under the opinion that anyone other than hannah read this blog on a regular basis. That being said, I should give a general update as to my life here ... for posterity's sake.

As of August 1st, I've lived in Ota for a year. Happy anniversary to me!

A little over a month ago, a friend of mine was hit by a small truck while riding her bike after school. She was in a coma for two weeks and will be in the hospital for another month at least, recovering from many broken bones and other injuries. With luck, none of this will be permanent damage. Here's wishing for the best.

Laurel, a friend and old suite-mate of mine from college, came to visit, traveling a bit and spending a long weekend with me. We went to the Ota matsuri (summer festival) together, went to karaoke with Amy, and visited Kamakura and Nikko (two of my favorite places in Japan). It was a lot of fun in general, and I was glad to have the company of someone who'd known me for more than a year.

Speaking of matsuri - I've been to several thus far this summer, and I have to say that there's something truly special about these festivals. I daresay they will be one of the things I miss the most when I leave. Last weekend was the Kiryuu matsuri, where I danced the Yagibushi dance with the locals, and the Ashikaga fireworks festival, where I ooohed and ahhhhed with the rest while looking stylish in my jinbei. Both were extremely fun, especially as I got to go with a pretty different crowd.

A few weeks ago, thanks to a week of many, many meetings, I got in contact with a few of the newer ALTs in my town. I can easily say that the best "discovery" within this crowd is Bob - he's become my new best friend in no time. (Between him and Clarissa, I'm a really happy girl...though, well, I guess I'm to the side of them in my above picture.) In addition, the new JET ALTs recently arrived; while this is sad, as it means I've had to say goodbye to good friends, it is allowing me to enjoy the company of new and different people.

I saw the latest creation of Hayao Miyazaki in theaters, which makes me extremely happy. Ponyo is an adorable movie - I even understood a good portion of it, even though it was all in Japanese (I'm still rather proud of that feat, though, as the main characters are only 5 years old, I probably shouldn't be bragging). I'm hoping that, like the last movie to come out of Studio Ghibli, the DVD will come with English subtitles and dub track even though it's only released in Japan. :D

All in all, I've been social and busy (though maybe not as busy as I should have been). Go, me!

And now I'll leave you with a quote I just heard while re-watching a Scrubs (season 1) episode. It rather sums up how I feel at the moment.

"At a certain point during your first year, things begin to feel a little different. You've arrived, you know? You just start to feel ... cooler. The point is, we found our stride. We know all the ins and outs. Let's face it - we've earned the right to be a little cocky."