...was spent getting to know a co-worker better, translating for my friend Mona and some Japanese guy who thought she was cute (neither of them spoke the other's language) and drinking wine and watching movies earlier tonight with Katie and Mona, as we tried to pretend like Monday wasn't going to arrive and we would have to go back to work. We took a trip through the cemetary behind my house, though, and I finally found where the gong is that I hear ringing every morning at six a.m. sharp. Behind the cemetary, a little further along into the woods, we found this amazing huge temple. This is the thing I love about Japan. You think you know your surroundings, and then all of a sudden, it shows you something new. The temple was closed, so I want to go back on another day and see if it's actually visitable, but we got some decent snapshots from the outside of it, and also of the cemetery surrounding it.
And just for the record, it is so damned cool when you start to understand a language to the point where you can hold a semi-decent conversation and stop people in stores and ask them questions about stuff you can't necessarily read (because of the high irritation of a spelling system that has way too many characters, and that's one thing I won't back down on, someone needs to redo the writing system here, even the kids at school complain how many damned kanji they have to learn just to be literate) and in any case, if I can't read something, I can at least stop someone and ask about it, which is just as useful and I get speaking practice as well.
Along with all this, I got the most lovely phone call from Karen Meisner during the Ratbastards party at Wiscon, where everyone sang "Love Shack" to me over the phone. Tears, tears, tears. The phone was passed around to whoever was on hand at the party, so I got to speak to most of my peeps. I must admit, though, I *am* a bit worried about this apparently cute "Beck-like" boy who was going to be given the "Zakbar Award" later that evening because he was the closest thing to a diva this year. No worries. I am in the land of karaoke training and also as of now have lost twenty pounds in 9 months and so all I've got to say is not only will I be in prime form for singing karaoke when I get back, I'll be hot and whoever Mr. Cutie is better watch out.
And I hope David Moles did turn over the dessert dish for me.
Oh, and a cute little pic of me, Katie and Jody before last weekend night out in Tsuchiuara's hip little club, Orbit.