More OpenCanvas Fun

More collaborative fun with Will. This post will lead in nicely to my next Japan post, which will be about critters.

A pair of tengu plot against the arrogant buddhist and samurai who have come to seek their badass martial arts training. Little do they know, there’s nothing that peeves a tengu more than arrogant samurai and monks.

Japan Trip Update Number 2: Magical Corners

Most of the time, the first adjective that dribbles out after someone asks me “How was Japan?” is “beaauuutiful”, possibly accompanied by a little drool. There were a lot of pretty places, but what made them so special and charming was how neatly tucked away these places were in the totality of Japan. Wander across a university campus and stumble into a bamboo forest, or skip through a touristy castle ground with tents and booths and slip into a quiet little garden, ignored by the local tourists because it is not part of the exhibit.

Andrew calls these “Magical Corners,” in that you will round a corner and bump into a place of pure, magical beauty when you least expect it. Here are a few of those I wandered into…

Magical Corners

Japan Trip Update Number 1

Well kiddie winkies, it’s that time! However, I am not going to do this “About-my-Trip” update in the usual sense. This is because everyone hates to read chronological accounts of trips. No no, don’t deny it, I know it’s true. It’s like telling someone about your dream–no matter how well you tell it, it’s never, EVER as exciting to other people as to you. So, I’ma update by topic! Pictures and stories will be all mixed up, but I’ll cover everything. And for those of you who insist, I will provide a chronological listing as my very last post.

Also, even though I’m putting them behind cuts for the LJers, I’m still doing linky thumbnails, cuz there are just lots of pictures.

Food!

Bittersweet Homecoming

Sorry for the downer of an I’m-back post, but this is important.

Many of you knew that my beloved Fish has been ill for about the past month. He’d seemed to have stabilized when I left for my trip, but according to my mom, it was only today that he took a turn for the worse.

It was like he was holding out for me; waiting for me. His breathing was labored, he’d lost all his color, and the tell-tale pineconing scales of dropsy indicated he’d finally lost function of his kidneys. Tonight I had to euthanize Fish.

I put him down the best method I knew how with what I had available. I made him a coffin out of a box and tissue, taped it shut, then trekked out to the backyard. With a stick and my hands and a flashlight in my mouth, I clawed out a grave for him in a special spot, and there he is buried. His coffin reads “To Fish: I love you. Thank you.”

I remember when I first brought Fish home. It was a lonely winter term, and I needed a companion in a maddening, desperate sort of fashion. I did all my research and plucked him away from the Danville Family Pet store, choosing him for his purplish hue. It was a significant event, to get a pet, because I had finally begun to get over the loss of my cat, Max, who had died a year before. I was ready for my own pet again.

He was a fine companion in a lonely time, and gave me someone to care for and to pour out my love upon. He played with me. He danced when I came in the room. His favorite screensaver was Bezier curves. He held a fierce grudge against any camera.

Fish was tough. During his 2+ years of life, he got ich, fungus, velvet, and beat them all. He drove to Connecticut and back. He grew to nearly 4 inches in body length, making me think he had a bit of the giant gene in him. He was fierce, and didn’t hesitate to flare at any stranger who approached the tank.

He was a fine and beloved pet, and had a good life. I only hope I gave as much to him as he did to me. I loved him. I miss him. He was a good fish.

Thank you Wheeler, Will, and Ken for enduring me.

Geek Update

This is a brief update from Japan aimed at the Tuesday Night Ballers. Today, Andrew and I visited a friend of his who lives in (I kid you not) Nishi Fuji Hashi Bashi Machi. This friend–Mark-Edmond by name–enjoys the boardgames, just like us! We played some games that I highly recommend we adopt for Basketball.

The first game is Citadels: a sneaky bluffing card game that was quite fun. The only drawback is the game pieces to represent gold coins look dead up like butterscotch candies, and thus frequently end up in Lisa’s mouth.

The second is Perfect Timing: super fun game that plays off the fundamental human desire to play with stopwatches. There are 4 possible playing entities (meaning 4 people or 4 teams).

The third game we did not get around to playing, but Andrew’s friend say we MUST PLAY, is Carcassonne. It apparently is similar to Settlers of Catan, but is different, and can take a lengthy time to play.

Mark-Edmond says “Stupid Andrew won both games”

Okay kiddies, I will be back in the States Monday night, after which I will update with detailed logs from my journey, and photos. See you kiddie winkies later!