summer ramblings

It’s a slow summer day in the teachers’ room. It’s blissfully air conditioned in here, and I am thinking about what to blog… I fear that anything I write about will basically be self-indulgent rambling, but I am bored af so I guess that’s just how it’s going to be.

Anyway. Here goes nothing:

  1. I started reading Infinite Jest, a task I made for myself on my 30 before 30 list. The book itself has 981 pages, but if you add in the footnotes it has a grand total of 1079. Currently I am on page 60. I decided to read Infinite Jest with absolutely zero prior knowledge about its content or author (David Foster Wallace) other than the fact that he committed suicide at a rather young age and that there are those out in the world who consider this book to be his opus, a modern masterpiece and required reading. My thoughts on it so far is that is it really dense and really dark. Wallace is incredibly adept at getting into the minds of the characters he created. Sometimes his words are so natural I feel as though he is speaking directly to me, and other times I am slogging through overly difficult prose. I am coming to like the push/pull of the accessibilty versus inaccessibilty, and I am happy for the chance to stretch my super out-of-use brain muscles. This won’t be an easy read though.
  2. Pokemon Go has officially become part of my life.  This is my first time playing any kind of Pokemon game. I do have these incredibly vague memories of perhaps starting one a long time ago on Gameboy but making no progress whatsoever… Oh well. I feel that one flaw of the game is its vagueness when you first begin. You sort of just muck about making mistakes (in terms of evolving, transferring, using items, etcetera) without realizing it because you really don’t have enough information. It really wasn’t until my character reached level 7 that I realized a lot of the errors I was making. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want the game to hold my hand, but I still feel like it could throw me a bone somehow… On top of that, logging in with Pokemon Trainer has been really problematic. There have been days when it just refuses to authenticate so I can’t play at all, and my friend Vicki has been locked out completely with no way to create a new password. And so I decided to scrap my Pokemon Trainer character and start a new one with my Google sign-in. I am hoping things go more smoothly this time around.
  3. Riley got his plane tickets and he is officially coming to Japan! I am so excited to see that guy; it’s been two years! Evan and I are going to meet up with him in Kamakura, travel to Nikko and Hakone to explore, then hit Himeiji-jo on the way home to Fukuoka. It is going to be really nice showing him around Chikugo too, but I am worried about how he is going to fare in this intense heat/humidity after so much time in Washington state. It was pretty tough on Rachel and Arlo, so I think Riley’s going to have it tough too.
  4. Summer festivals have been cropping up everywhere and I love it. I have already enjoyed dragon floats, fireworks, food stands, day beers, fields of sunflowers, and light projection shows. And there are still more to come! This Friday I am very excited to watch the Chikugo-Gawa Fireworks Festival from Ayame-san’s beautiful 33rd floor apartment overlooking the the river in Kurume. It is going to be a potluck party, and Vicki and Fiona will be coming as well! The very next day Vicki, Mikayla, Johnny, Evan and I are all going to Kitakyushu for the Wasshoi Yosakoi Festival. I am really excited for this one because all of us are going to wear yukata together, and none of us have been to Kitakyushu before!
  5. The new JETs have arrived and moved into their apartments. Their names are Cheyanne and Brian, and both happen to be from in and around Chicago. Last night we had a welcome dinner for them at Yagura across from Sunlive. I am glad to have fresh faces in the Jutaku this year, and I am really hoping to make some connections with them as time passes. I especially hope that Evan is able to become friends with Brian, our apartment-mate who moved in right across the hall from us. I know that Evan has been aching for some guy time with someone he can speak fluently with, so maybe this is his chance for bro-mance.

All right, I suppose that is enough for now! Later tonight I plan on going through the pictures that I took over the weekend and posting a gallery here. じゃまってね!

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