Now I can return to my usual posting on random subjects. Less effort, less interesting. Recent news:
Here's a stone statue of Buddah that locals noticed growing a few inches of neck over several years.
Japanese TV makes everything seem like the most amazing thing ever, but this owl might just be.
There was a dance/puppet/costume contest on TV the other night, and this was one of my favorite entries.
I could have used this list of things not to do at the end-of-the-year drinking party with your coworkers before I went to one - fortunately I don't think I did anything on it.
In more serious news, I was horrified to hear that the Kabuki Theater where Mama and I went this summer is scheduled to be torn down.
I may have mentioned these before, daruma dolls:
Being hollow and weighted, they tend to return to upright if they are tipped. One eye is filled in while making a wish, and when it is fulfilled the other is also colored. They come in many sizes and colors - I bought a palm-sized one when I was applying for jobs, and before I got on the plane I colored in the second eye. The one on the right is from 2008, wishing for a safe school year. The one on the left is the replacement for 2009. It will be placed on top of the trophy case in the entryway.
View from the third-story:
The mountain looks more respectable with snow:
And because Mama wanted pictures of yours truly on vacation, here's one in the outfit I wore the entire trip, in front of an incongruously blossoming Kyoto cherry: