Saturday, October 27, 2007

October 2007

That was one heck of a month. Man.

Well, I was able to convince my employer to give me the last of my vacation so that I could go and be at Ryan and Rebbeca's wedding. So I took off on the 12th of October and got sick on the plane. Got there on the 12th, visited with Grandma and Grandpa, then returned to SF to prepare for the wedding. It was great to see everyone, despite being both sick and jet lagged. The wedding was on the 14th and it was very nice. And it would have been the subject of a much longer post, if not for the other events of the month. Before I move on though, congradulations Ryan and Rebbeca!
I arrived back in Japan on the 16th and went to work for two days. Then, on the morning of the 19th in Japan I got a call from my mother informing me that my grandfather had passed away in his sleep. I imeadeately packed a suitcase and headed back to the airport. I arrived in Napa on the afternoon of the 19th. My mission for the week: to play with my little cousins as much as possible and to record as many stories of my grandfather's life as I could. So, on Saturday all the kids (everybody minus Oriana and Josh, who were still in transit) went to a Milo maze/Pumpkin patch in Davis to get lost and to pick out pumpkins. I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera. Anyway, we had fun in the maze. As far as the pumpkins went, Chenzo and I went a little overboard. He used his money to buy the biggest pumpkin in the patch, and I bought about 6 pumpkins so that everybody could have one.
This was my one dollar pumpkin.
So the next day Chenzo, Josh, Nick and I carved the big pumpkin.
This is how big it was.
Smaller pumpkins had been carved on the previous day. Josh.
And the big one, done.
Then we laid them out by the tree in front of the house.
Here they are at night.

It also happend to be Kira's birthday, so we made a cake and cut it with the Sonic Blade (Trademark).

Well, the rest on the week was consumed by planning the funeral and trying to collect as many stories as possible. Here is everybody at dinner on Tuesday, the night before the funeral.
Thank you for everything Grandpa. Love you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Studying and.. Fishing.

So, a quick update on recent events. The big news is that my Japanese proficiency test is only 2 months away, so I am beginning to study twice as much as I was. I have new motivation to pass. If I do pass I can attend Japanese university, though whether I will or not is still to be decided. I am actually in a very easy place mentally at the moment. There are a lot of things that need to be decided in the future, but none of those decisions can even be made until after December, so for now I just have to memorize. Very not stressful.

Physically I have not been doing so well. I got my arm yanked at Kindergarten last week (which happens an average of 20 times a day I would say) but this time something went *ping* in my shoulder. Two days later a small pain began in my shoulder. That small pain turned into a big pain in my whole back. Soon that back pain turned into crippling neck pain and I had to take a day off of work to go to the hospital. Got some powerful Ben Gay like medicine from the doctor and most of the pain went away. A little is still lingering, but it is tolerable.

So basically, I haven't been doing much but study, go to Sports Day (I went to 4 Sports Days in a row) and stretch my back. Then this Saturday I went on my first excursion in a long time... fishing.

Now, I remember going fishing with Grandpa Clay on Caples Lake with his big boat and having a great time not catching any fish. I also remember going fishing on the rocks by the Manta Ray viewing area at Mauna Kea and having a huge Eel slither across the rocks at my feet. Those are the two times I remember fishing, and neither of them involves catching fish. Well, this time I went fishing with Yuri, Eri, Sayaka, Kentaro and Hide on Lake Haruna. Our goal was to catch fish since we had already bought the supplies with which to do fish tempura.
We rented some of the ugliest paddle boats in the world...
And began to fish. I mistakenly assumed that this fishing expedition would be like my other two experiences where we gave up or got bored within two hours and went to a restaurant that served fish.
Not so. Six hours later we were still on the boat. I got a chance to take 2 very peaceful 2 hour naps.
After six hours, this is our catch. Now, I know they may look small, but this is actually the size of fish that we were fishing for.
In the end we had enough for tempura. Fishing in Japan. Now I've done it.