Bookshelf, Beer, and a Bed

Lapse in blogging is due to being rather busy towards the end of the year last year, things going really well in my social life, and a two week vacation back in Virginia.  I may pick back up again, I have a wealth of topics to discuss again, I will introduce.

I bought a bookshelf from a really decent home furnishing store called Nitori in Kochi city.  It’s comparable to Ikea in some respects.  Indeed it was a build it yourself bookshelf and I spent the afternoon leisurely and sporadically assembling it.  I picked up a T-handled ratchet screwdriver from a hardware store while I was out to finish screwing it in flush to the wood.  I moved all the books in the apartment to it and put my nice little sepia tone globe as well as a stuffed bear and my year of the tiger piggy bank gift from my bank on it.  This freed up some space on my other bookshelf for more practical and decorative purposes.

While home I enjoyed the proverbial paradise that is America when it comes to beer compared with Japan.  Apparently craft and microbrews are becoming much more “in”.  They had tons I’d never even heard of, in addition to Legend (one of my favorite breweries) at… FOOD LION!  In a small town far from any metro area worth mentioning, this is quite remarkable.  Equally remarkable however is the recent discovery that there is in fact also good beer to be had in Kochi City!  I just finished a delightful 11.3% Trappist ale and am now enjoying a Japanese domestic craft brew called Yona Yona ale.  Both purchased from the same place in Kochi.  I have heard there is yet another mecca for Beer that carries some worthwhile American imports, though I have yet to verify its existence.

I have also begun seriously planning the purchase of a real bed, with a real mattress.  After a year and a half of sleeping on the floor and futons and then going back to VA and sleeping on a real bed for two weeks I have confirmed the value of a bed on my spinal health.  I’m budgetting about 1k USD for it including delivery.  Double size will accomodate fine and should fit well enough in my tatami room.

In other news, my purchase of the Amazon Kindle has led to a huge increase in the amount I read… I’ve finished 5 books (Bill Bryson’s a Walk in the Woods, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Warrior’s Apprentice, and almost finished with Bujold’s The Vor Game) in the past 3 weeks.  It took me about 3-4 years to finish the previous 5 books I read.  I really like the font size selection and light weight of the Kindle.  I purchased one book, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, for it and read it prior to any others, sort of a tribute to technological futurists like Gibson.  The other books I’ve read it on it were available via free licenses and I got them off the interwebs.

In even otherer newses, I am planning on proposing an “international day” to my school principals.  I have my supervisor’s backing for this so I just need to try to propose a politically interesting and seemingly valuable event that doesn’t conflict with too many other interests.  This is my current side project at work and I plan on giving it all I’ve got.

My new years resolutions include: Read more (already checked), Write more (working on this), stretch daily, make boxed lunches instead of wasting money on store bought ones, hammer away at the Japanese studying, and waste less time on the computer (I spent a lot of November and December playing computer games).  I’m also going to try to be more diligent about podcasting once a month, and I wrote up a schedule of topics to cover.

Going home to VA was refreshing, it renewed my interest in personal projects, reminded me of the things I like regardless of where I am, and really provided a kick in the bum to let me know that… this Japan thing, yeah, that’s what I’m doing right now, so I better DO it, don’t futz around and waste what I’ve got going here.

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