I got kind of inspired last night…instead of doing the telework and overtime design work I brought home with me, I decided to do something for myself instead, to help recharge after designing something like 6 landscaping sites this week. The image is courtesy of stock.xchng, taken by zaido, though s/he didn’t specify what castle in particular this is. The design should work in 800×600 and up, but it’s optimized for 1024×768 and up. I wanted to wait till I could use one of my own Japan photos, but I just wanted to get rid of the template first, so…yeah. ;o)

It’s seven weeks until I leave. I still haven’t started packing–but I mainly need to pack clothes. Mom bought some kitchenware for me, but I don’t know if I should keep it or just buy my own when I get there. I also would be taking keepsakes and memorabilia from home, my Japanese textbooks (and my hundreds of kanji flashcards, haha), and my violin and music (I want to pick up more sheet music before I leave, so I’ll have plenty to work on…I’m in the middle of two, the Kabalevsky violin concerto (which I kind of gave up on) and the Barber violin concerto (I can only barely play the 1st movement), but I’d love to pick up Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending.

Anyway. :o) So…for the most part, that should be it. The apartment where I’ll be is fully-furnished, within walking distance of anything I would need, and I’ve been assured that the BOE employee that works with us will be more than happy to take me shopping to help me buy stuff. Another major concern of mine, though, besides the general strict-vegetarian-in-Japan thing (though as long as I just constantly cook for myself, I ought to be okay), is that the washing machine and dryer there will shrink my clothes–and while I’m certainly not huge, I don’t think that adult-large in the US is quite the same as it is in Japan.

I’m actually meeting my best friend for lunch in an hour at Ru-san’s (an ueber-Americanized chain of Japanese restaurants…I’ve definitely had better, but they have a very original and cheap sushi menu, that includes quite a few vegetarian options), and one of the Atlanta JETs, Jaime, has organized a dinner at a Buckhead restaurant called Genki tonight, so I’ll be meeting around a dozen other Atlanta JET folks. I’m definitely looking forward to that–it’ll be great to have other people who, while they may not all be at the same point in life that I’m in, and while they most likely won’t be going to the same area of Japan that I am, are all prepping for this major transition as well. And it’d be great to get to know a few people before the official Atlanta orientation at the end of June.


This is just a test, to see if my syndication feed works. (The URL of the XML file is – have at! I’ve set up a LiveJournal feed at smithainjapan, and am trying to figure out if it’ll show up.)

Oh–so it actually is offiical. My papers are on their way to Tokyo as of this past Tuesday, and my consulate contact confirmed that they were all right. We still have so many questions, though…it’s funny, because my dad asks me about this and that and we’re at about the same level of informed-ness in terms of the actual process of my going over there. (He’s also offered to take several weeks off to help me settle in. While it’s great that he wants to help me get settled into everything, it’s something I have to do on my own, you know?)

I promise there’ll be more “meat” soon. After the office in Japan Japan processes all the paperwork and sends the placement results back, then things will get going. But to those of you who have stopped by already, thank you for reading!