Monkey Igloo

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My kids at Hokubu Shogakko made this at the end of winter, when the snow was melting, and it was a blistering 7 degrees C during the day. It felt warmer inside of this dome than my house (and this is not hyperbole, unfortunately). Thank god for summer! Right now its nice and cool up here and everyone else is stuck sweating it out all over most of Japan. Gotta learn to cherish the moments. Then again, there are no bugs during the winter months, and none of that insidious mold!

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Upside-Down Winter Fro (post hibiki)

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After Going to the Kuju Skiing “Resort” (which is like calling my fish tank an aquarium), my fro was encrusted by a blizzard that came out of nowhere! This kicked major ass because:
1. The entrenched youth forming a wall with 7 layers of strata to block all who dared to board, while looking good sitting down on the slopes, in their brand new way-too-expensive gear, sending emails via the newest keitais, were all scared away by this blessed tempest. It blew hard and deposited a nice layer of powder to cover the icy slush and my hair.
2. The ride kicked major ass after the storm dumped powder on the slope (I would say slopes, but that would be an utter lie). The run was only about 50 meters for the “advanced” half (that?s right, there are only two lifts that make up one run) and I could do it with my eyes closed, making it down in ten seconds. The blizzard was SO thick that it was like riding with my eyes closed.
3. It is nice to be only one of the few quasi-real boarders on the mountain (and I use this word lightly) being blasted by snowflakes. The feelings of a numb face, and the shock of chewing an Altoid and then inhaling the air in sub-artic conditions…
If you want to go boarding in Kyushu, I have a word of advice: save your money. Go mountain boarding instead, or head up to Northern Japan.

Righteous Fro

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Why get a hair cut? I have been in Japan for over a year now, and it seems that all the hair stylists know is how to give me a bad one. There was one exception, but they didn’t cut the sides short enough, and my hair went wild shortly after. Screw it. Its time for my fro to go back to its natural state.
What is it with bad haircuts in this country anyways?

And So It Starts…Again (sigh!)

Summer break is officially over and classes resume today, so it is back to the same routine. The teachers forgot to tell me to come to the opening ceremony, and as I heard everyone singing the official Ubuyama Chugakko song, I was happy to be left out so that I could read about the discovery of a new order of insect in National Geographic (much more interesting than listening to meaningless speeches). Being invisible has its advantages after all!

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Sonic Reverberations

Sunday has always been a big disappointment to me. Technically, it is a free day, to be used as a typical day off, but the day after takes away from the magic.
That being said, This Saturday is not so bad. Right now I am in my house up on the mountain not really doing anything, and it feels good! The breeze is sweeping through the open windows, and though I can not call it “refreshing” it still is a billion times better than being in the hot and humid environment of the city..
Feelin? pretty good right now. I just ran my 5th hash yesterday. I am proud to say that I came in with the front of the pack, after not exercising at all for over three weeks! I am feeling the burn of residual lactic acid, though.
The race this time was in southern Aso, and for once it was a beautiful day with no rain! Props to Ben for putting it on, and to everyone who showed up.
So yesterday, I was immortalized and given the name “Sonic” because of my righteous fro! I truly have sukebe hair, which seems to grow at the same rate as the grass of Kyushu during the Summer. Anyways, this nickname is not new at all. I was first called Sonic when the Sega Genesis, the badass 16 bit console of the day, was at its zenith of popularity. Then I grew out my hair and had it parted down the middle, losing the nickname until college rolled around. The nickname periodically has resurfaced, with everyone who bestows it on me believing themselves to be original in drawing a parallel between my hair and that of the Blue hedgehog. That being said, it is time to make a decision. I will either allow my mane to grow, allowing it to thrive past the point of any semblance of control, or take the scissors to it.
Sonic also happens to be the name of a really cool dog that lived with Justin about 10 years ago. Sonic is blended into my earlier impressions of Japan. Sonic ran faster than the wind, chasing bottle rockets (and I swear, almost catching them) through the rice paddies of Nara-Ken. Watching Sonic tear through the rice stalks was like watching a turbo-charged alien snake-worm in Tremors rip through the desert sands, but more fast and agile.

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Ignition

Words. Pictures. Hypertext. We post, you decide:
Finally, after months of nail-biting anticipation, and our hopes of the much hyped Typepad being dashed, we are up and running on… Movable Type! The layout on MT looks sleek and I need to read through the manual when I am on the punchcard.
Although MT’s capabilities far surpass those of Blogger, the layout seems more intuitive and makes me want to learn everything about it. Props to J for finally getting this thing up and running. Just wanted to put down some verbage and make my mark on the section known now as the “Higo Blog”.
I can’t wait to see what will become of this: Finally a way to chronicle my misadventures, but mostly I’m doing this so that I can remember the experiences that might otherwise be forgotten. In college, many pranks were pulled on unsuspecting roommates but I can’t remember all of them. Had I written them down, this would not have been the case.
On Chris Dempsey’s 21st birthday, we (being Brian and I) pulled an awesome joke on Chris and Steve, who shared a room in our Picasso apartment in Isla Vista. I got about 10 cubic feet of foam peanuts, and when they were outside enjoying the keg of Sierra Nevada, we dumped the foam in the room, turned on two huge K-Mart box fans to produce a sustained peanut flurry, and locked the door of our room to foil any attempts at retribution.
Unfortunately, Chris was in a particularly foul mood (because his girlfriend of the time decided his Birthday was a GOOD TIME to break up with him- that’s just cold-hearted now).
When Steve saw the room, he was drunk, and after punching us a couple of times, he congratulated us on a well-executed prank (you know what’s up man). When Chris saw it, he was drunk, but he didn’t take it very well. He kicked down our door, saturated our mattresses with 5 gallons of Arrowhead water, all the while as we watched, in disbelief, unable to do anything.
Chris’ rampage might have been an equally good prank, but he did it with the look of a crazed wombat with no intention of anything other than lashing out in hatred. The next day he was still pissed, and I think he still hasn’t fully recovered from the incident. If you ask him, our prank still is not funny. It was just a case of us being assholes, as usual (I accept that I am an asshole on occasion, but this was a brilliant joke).
It is experiences like this that I wish to more fully document, for no reason other than recording things that I find to be interesting, of concern, or at least noteworthy.
Everybody and their mom is blogging now, but what I hope to do is to surpass the quality of content, planning, and execution of my portion of the greatness that is the C0sm1c13uDdh4 page. Experiments will be carried out, with some destined for greatness and others for utter and complete failure, but just bear with me. I am not a flight risk, nor am I Raed. But you will see a schooner- if you look hard enough at these two asterisks ( * *) for a suitable length of time.

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