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Year of the Dragon

January 1st, 2012

This is my year, my fifth time around, so I’m turning 48 in June. Holy cow, I’ll be 50 soon. Just after midnight, Sachi and I celebrated with a snack of ham, cheese, and nuts with red wine (a gift from a friend), not the healthiest of late-night snacks, but it’s not like we do this every night. Even Ponta got a nice snack of rice and a little bit of cheese.

2011 was, well, a full year. I started out with a case of the flu in January. Since I got permanent residency in late 2010, we were in full house-hunting mode throughout the first four months of the year. We got scammed by our realtor who faked us into signing for our house (which, fortunately, turned out to be a house we’re happy with, which does not excuse the scumball realtor). Between that and actually finalizing the deal, a 9.0 earthquake shook the whole of eastern Japan, causing a tsunami which killed as many as 19,000 people, and setting off a nuclear disaster which seemed to go on forever. Stores were low on supplies for weeks while the whole nation sat on the edge of their collective seats waiting to see how bad bad could get in Fukushima. My school closed for the remainder of the semester. Then we moved into our new house, with all the work and technicalities involved with all that. We bought a bunch of new furniture and settled in. In May, we landscaped our small garden and learned that bin Laden had been killed. Judgment Day came and passed, and then came and passed again. Sachi and I planned a housewarming party, but then her father, Junzo, passed away. We went to Nagano for the funeral. I fractured a bone in my right foot which I had broken some years back, which kept me on crutches for more than a month, foiling our plan to buy a puppy in late July. Then I fell and sprained my left wrist which made it hard to use crutches. I made a DIY PC. I stopped blogging on a regular basis just as the right wing went nuclear and the Occupy movement started gaining steam. After my foot got better, we got Ponta, for whom I started a blog. A typhoon hit, prompting my school to close early that day. Steve Jobs passed away. Sachi and I planned another housewarming party and had to cancel it as my mother fell ill and I had to take an emergency trip back to America. My mother passed away while I was there. I came back to Japan, finished my semester here, and bought a used car (having a car is a fairly big deal if you live in Japan). Then I went back to America for a two-week visit, and came back to Japan to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with Sachi and Ponta.

It’s hard to think back to a year as event-filled as this one, and brings to mind the Chinese curse about living in interesting times. But there’s been good along with the bad, the most significant of which was getting Ponta, who has been a particularly bright spot in our lives.

Let’s hope this year will be a better one, Mayan calendars notwithstanding.

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