Sunday, January 14, 2007

Prepping For The New Year

While the title of the post makes it sound all official, I really haven't been doing all that much of importance. Though I have been doing some things that will help me out in 2007 and into 2008.

First, all of my visa and immigration stuff is taken care of and I can relax finally. My visa got updated and my identification card as well. The only thing left for me to do that entails talking to immigration officials at all, is to get my re-entry permit for when I go to the US in June. Japan has a rule that if you leave the country without obtaining a special document, they automatically void your visa and send you to your home country from the airport in which you landed. Therefore, any foreign national living in Japan must get a re-entry permit whenever they leave the country if they plan on returning to Japan. I will do that as June gets closer, its no biggie, I just fill out a form and give them money.

Next, I have pretty much cemented the days that I will be in the US and have been getting things in order for my arrival. I need to go to the dentist for a tooth cleaning and I had my mom book that for me. My teeth are in nice shape and the cleaning is really just a formality, that and I like how they feel after they are all polished and whatnot.

As far as maintaining the proverbial fort, today was New Year's cleaning day. I cleaned my closet and threw away a bunch of stuff I don't need. I have one more area that I want to hit but its going to take a couple of hours to clean all of the documents out of it and sort what can be trashed and what needs to be kept. I will do that soon, maybe tomorrow. Other than that, the homestead is pretty much the pinnacle of tidiness.

In cleaning the house, I have been trying to also clean up my computers and free up space. I am out of room again and I do not plan on getting another hard drive for a while. So, I have been burning things to discs. You would think two terabytes is enough room for one person but its not. I am starting to suspect I would eat up any amount of storage that was given to me. I have a packrat personality and it shows in my computer setup. In the quest for more room, I have been cleaning up my music drive. The other day I found that I had almost the entire Led Zeppelin discography in triplicate; I don't even listen to Led Zeppelin. This is when I could use my own clerical midget.

My laptop got paid off the other day so that just leaves the one credit card that I use every now and again. I am not a fan of using credit cards but here, sometimes it is a necessary evil. Buying plane tickets for example or getting caught somewhere here after the ATMs have all closed or none of the ATMs accept your cash card. That happens more that I would like. Japan does not have a standardized ATM system in place so not all ATMs will accept all ATM cards. Its lame. Either way, from a financial standpoint, I am on track for meeting my goal for the amount of money I want to have saved by the time I leave here next year.

On the body side of things, I didn't like how fat I was for my wedding a few years ago and though I have lost a bit of weight since then, I want to lose more. If I am going to have to be in some of my brother's wedding pics then I want to look decent for them, not like some fat Kobe beef cow that just got herded off the plane from Japan. If I could be down about 25-30lbs. by the time June rolls around, I will be happy. That is almost exactly six months from now so I think that is a reasonable goal. I just wish they had a damned gym around here that I could get into, I miss lifting weights. I have cut out all drinks that have calories in them other than juices and 1.5% milk...and everyonce and a while, hot chocolate.

Lastly, I am continuing my Japanese lessons and I am progressing nicely. From the people I have talked to, most think that I could easily pass the first language exam of the four needed to be a professional translator. The first exam only requires you to know 100 kanji and I think I am around the 150-200 mark in that area. The flash cards I snagged really help me out a lot. But do not think I am any good at Japanese because I am not, its just that the first test basically makes sure you know something about the Japanese language. Maya and the Japanese lessons have been helping out a ton though. I am getting there.

So that is about it. This year is all about prepping for whatever the next step is after this because unless something comes up, I will be back probably somewhere in the US by 2008. Maybe. If it does look like I will be back in the country next year, I am going to need to start looking for a car, a cat, and a job sometime around October so when I come back, I can come back and right into something. Oh yeah, a place to live would also be a plus. On the car side of things, I either want my old Matrix XRS back or I want a Honda Fit. On the cat front, I want a fat Persian that I will call Mister Muffins, any color is okay but I would prefer grayish-black. That way he would look similar to a blueberry muffin in keeping with his name. Once I have Mister Muffins, I will raise him to be a dog, hopefully an attack dog but probably just one that sleeps most of the day, more akin to a Basset Hound. Man, I want a pet. Not kidding, I have plastic hamsters that look like the real thing that set on top of my bookcase and I talk to them sometimes. Its really kind of sad.

Anywho, there you have it. Thats what I have been doing and if you are lucky, I will soon take pics of my newest most shameful obsession yet. Seriously, as a man, I feel a tinge of shame for the new item that I am collecting. For now, thats all I am going to say. Later.


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