The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, 2007!

Hi everybody. Happy New Year!

Hope you had a nice Christmas and a good New Year's Eve. Christmas in Beppu was okay. There was a huge fireworks display down on the beach. The Japanese take fireworks pretty seriously, so even a "small town" like Beppu (150,000 people?) puts on a really good show that would put major celebrations in any Canadian city to shame. (I guess this is just a difference in opinion of how to use tax dollars...)

Anyway, the fireworks were on for two nights, Dec. 23rd and 24th. We went down to the beach the first night, and watched it up close. It was really impressive, choreographed to music and everything, with lots of interesting "effects" and a variety of different kinds of fireworks. It lasted about 40 minutes too, which is almost too long, actually.

The next night was Christmas eve, and we could see the fireworks from our balcony, so I took a few shots.

Here's a shot of the spectacular finale. You have to imagine the sheer size of this. It was huge.

The week between Christmas and New Year, I didn't do much. I am off work for this 2 weeks, so I just puttered around and went to Starbuck's way more than anybody should. I also wrote a bunch of New Year's cards. I made my own cards this year. 2007 is the Year of the Boar, so I made the kanji for "boar" into a caricature of a wild pig.

Writing New Year's cards is a bit of a chore, as you are supposed to send one to everybody you know. It gets to be pretty oppressive for small businesspeople who have to send them to all their customers. Fortunately, I don't have many friends. Ha. Ha.

Last night was New Year's eve. Katie (another teacher) and I sat around drinking and making fun of the annual "Red and White Show" (a televised New Year's eve singing program featuring all the top singers in the country) and how atrociously awful it is. Then, we went downtown for the countdown to midnight. They had some people hip-hop dancing, then the countdown and a couple fireworks, and then taiko drumming and traditional dancing.

After that, we went to the local shrine to make a wish and to get our fortunes for the year. In 2006 my fortune was "Very Lucky" (the best possible) but this time, it was "A Little Bit Lucky" which was kind of disappointing.

We came home around 2:30 and I slept for a few hours, then got up again at 5:30. We then drove down to the beach to watch the sun come up. This is a big Japanese tradition, so we weren't the only ones.

Here's the sun just peeking up over the horizon. This prompted lots of "Oohs" and "Ahhhs" and some applause. Note the garbage burning incinerator smokestack in front.

Within a few minutes, it looked like this (or I assume it did; after staring at the sun for three minutes straight I couldn't see much of anything.)

After that, I came home and slept most of the day away. I'm almost looking forward to going back to work...

Anyway, all jokes aside, here's hoping that everybody has a wonderful, happy, healthy, fulfilling 2007!


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