Well, I am finally settling in to my parents' place here in the wilds of Ohio, and already my mood is changing from what it was, for the most part, in Youngstown. Even with all the moving out/moving in hassle, even with me and my parents sort of unconsciously negotiating our space and "how things will work" while I'm living here, I'm calmer here, more at ease somehow. I guess it really is home, even though I've had a multitude of problems with the place growing up and even afterwards, when I tried living other places, I found that all of the skills and cultural mindsets I had in place didn't work pretty much anywhere else I went. Luckily the one thing I had that was innate and not culturally instilled was a curiousity to know things other than what a small rural town in Ohio had to offer me, and along with that curiousity, a tolerance for uncertainty and not knowing everything I need right off. Those qualities have served me well so far, and hopefully will continue to do so when I'm in Japan.
Initially my mom and Hobbes the cat were unhappy with each other. My mom assumed he was one of those cats that immediately adapt and like everyone. She assumed he was one of those cats that would immediately take to her, jump in her lap, and love her to pieces. He does this with me. He did not do this with her. He hissed at her a couple times and one morning, attacked her leg when she got out of bed. He had been hiding underneath it, waiting to ambush her. I thought this was hilarious, but my mom starting threatening Hobbes, telling him she wasn't sure if he could live here anymore. The next morning he curled around her legs and acted like a sterotypical lover cat and now he has charmed her back into letting him stay. He just really needed a couple of days to adjust to the new place, and all the new people. Not only does he have to get to know my parents, but also my grandparents, my brothers and sisters in law, my nephew and nieces, all of whome come in and out of the house all day long, since they all live on either side of my mom and dad's place like a clan or something. He's doing well though, considering it had only been him and me since January, with only occasional visitors.
Now my computer is all set up and I'm back in the saddle again. I'm studying Japanese again and now I've got to get writing again.
Oh, and the novel has been sent off to an agent who requested to read it. Hopefully that works out.