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hisashiburine

Word to the wise: walking from one end of town to the other in nubbly Hello Kitty sandals is not advisable. Nor is eating a giant custard and blueberry crepe right before bed. STILL, that sort of ridiculousness is what makes matsuri so glorious! Of course I can't forget the 5 minute goldfish (not quite as sad as 10 minute turtles, but still...), and what would Japan be without stands boiling over with plastic toys, all of which flash asynchronously and make ridiculous noises? And of COURSE, I wouldn't call anything Japanese without tentacles, and loads of them.

Today and tomorrow are Murakami's big matsuri. Everyone comes out dressed up in yukata, getta, happi, and the like. It's pretty awesome. Tomorrow I may be pulling a float, but perhaps not... we'll see. I think there will be pictures....

Besides that, life has been good. I've been swimming a lot, wandering around, and taking small trips. Jess and I drove out to Yamagata's ZAO to see a crater! I've never seen a volcanic landscape before, so it was pretty incredible. It stunk like sulfur up there, but I suppose that's to be expected. It was neat to see all the animals and plants that had managed to scrape out a living in that environ... and apparently there's some special little beetle that's endangered that only lives up there on that crater. I know because we found 3 guys catching them and putting them in bottles to take back and breed in captivity. That reminded me of that paper I wrote on Lasiorhinus krefftii oh-so-long ago. I think beetles are a little hardier than wombats, though.

School lately has been pretty dull... if I didn't have my conbio textbook to keep me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I think I'd have some drool stains on my desk. I'm ready to get out of here and start grad school... I'm ready for something that requires all of my faculties. Not like living in Japan has been easy, and truthfully I totally could have studied Japanese harder, but it's a different sort of challenge. For example, drawing a good picture is hard for me, it's a challenge- but I'd rather challenge myself by running 42 km or solving a calculus problem or remembering chemistry or learning anything about biology... I guess it's a matter of interest.

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