Birthday generosity, concerts, and geckos

A lot’s been going on these past couple of days.

On Friday, my beginners eikaiwa class threw me a birthday party–one of the students owns a “snack bar” (more like a karaoke bar that serves snacks, and not one with actual women, I don’t think, since he and his wife run it together), and we had coffee/tea, egg sandwiches, kuromitsu ice cream, and a chocolate cake he baked for me! Three of my students also had their watercolor teacher paint me a really beautiful, one-of-a-kind Awa Odori themed fan. It’s truly lovely, and they all are as well.

For the next class, we didn’t do much (besides discuss unsettling and uncomfortable topics related to how unsafe the US is–seriously, they brought up the Halloween Incident with the Japanese exchange student, they talked about getting robbed and how they were surprised that I’ve never touched a gun, and even atomic warfare came up–holy freaking crap, what a strange class), but I went out to lunch with three of my students at my favorite Italian restaurant in town, and the ladies insisted on ordering several slices of pie, which we split amongst ourselves.

I hung out with mainly Brian last night (everyone else was tied up except for me, so I headed to his place, then Jordan/Saori picked us up and we met Ashley/Yuki (her friend from Tokyo) for dinner, and then we split up again)…I ended up crashing there, and he insisted on making me a special early-birthday breakfast this morning! Jordan picked us up and gave me a ride back today (as he and Brian went to meet up with the Iya guys to have a guys’ day out–except they went looking for a kitten for Brian…that’s as masculine as you can get, right there!). I really don’t know what it is about me and bonding with gay Canadian Sailormoon fans (some of my longtime friends may remember a guy in Niagara Falls I was really close to in high school and into college)…they just rock.

After 3 hours of playing IM tag with Q and struggling with Kelly’s non-booting-up computer (in one word, ARGH), I met up with most of the folks from out west for dinner and karaoke in Mikamo. We sang our blessed lungs out, and it was a lot of fun and a good evening.

Oh, and I’m now going to see Utada Hikaru in concert on Wednesday in Matsuyama! I’m going with Julie, Saori, and Brian, and maybe others–Julie and Saori already got actual seats, while Brian and I and whoever else may go are standing. I was really indecisive about it for a while, in part because it’s a work night and in part because the massive amounts of train travel for my Kyushu trip next month isn’t going to be cheap, but now that I’ve decided, I’m really getting excited about this.

I’m sitting here right now and contemplating what the best way is to get the tiny, terrified gecko out from behind my fridge and out of my apartment. I mean, granted, of all the things that could have found their way in here, I will gladly welcome a gecko over something worse–but it just can’t stay in here, you know? Any ideas?

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