Virtual Daydreaming 2

I just discovered that my blog commentary on the picture below posted
to flickr instead of this blog. So here's what I wrote so you can see
them together on this page:

Isn't this a fantastic shot? My friend Nathan said it was something
out of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" where martial artists run up
bamboo trees waving in the wind. Actually it is a little girl in a
maple tree in the Imperial Garden of Kyoto. She was put up there by
her father for a photo op, but I captured it too. Like something out
of a dream... that's what I've been feeling like for the past week.

Wednesday was Labor Day here. We got the day off from school. Thursday
was Thanksgiving in the USA, so I called up my expat friends Nathan
and Leon to make a meal of it. I'd heard that the Sheraton Kobe was
offering a Thanksgiving Buffet on Wednesday. Nathan came 3 hours by
train and Leon came down from his mountain apartment to Rokko Island
for the meal. It was touted as a Thanksgiving buffet by the American
coordinator for the hotel. So we had some assumptions about the menu.
As we walk to our table, past the buffet, we can't spot the chef with
cutlery in hand to carve a turkey under heat lamps. No yams, mashed
potatoes. Nothing. Well, not nothing. But nothing familiar to
Thanksgiving. It looks just like a pan-Asian cuisine. We ask the
waiter. "Oh, that's for dinner." Great. So much for delivering a taste
of home to my friends. The waiter comes back and says cryptically,
"they're preparing the turkey now." Leon interpreted that to mean,
"for dinner." But finally the waiter gestures over towards the buffet.
We see it. Arranged in slices like silver dollars are "turkey with
cranberry sauce." This the sole Thanksgiving item in the buffet. We
laugh it off and get 4 plates of food by the end of the meal. So we
got our money's worth for the buffet, but not what our stomachs were

I haven't been forthcoming with my blogs on schedule because school
has been getting quite intense over the past two weeks. Finishing up
the term. I have been working hard to leave my lesson planning at
school so that I can enjoy an evening at home without more work to get
back to. I finally did that on Thursday and felt on top of the world.
That feeling lasted until Friday morning when I neglected something in
the lesson plan and threw my co-teacher and students for a loop when I
deviated from the LP to fit it in. That sent me into a spiral of
frustration that I only got out of Saturday evening. Perhaps it was
exacerbated by lack of sleep during this week when I've been staying
late at work and then staying up late at home.

Staying up late at home has been induced by my love for technology and
gadgetry. I have recently become more interested in podcasting because
I have found out it is possible for me to produce a podcast almost for
free. So I've been surfing the web learning how to do it and testing
out software applications to do it. I don't have much of an angle for
a show right now: there's already EFL teachers in Japan with a
podcast. In due time, I'll have something. I just need to get on top
of my teaching first.

And the countdown clock has begun for my Christmas return to the
States. So I think that is making me think of places anywhere but
here. However, nowness is a good quality. I need to be focused on the
now instead of worrying/longing for the future. That will take care of
itself. Thanks for reading and I'll be back next week!

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Countries I have visited

Where I've been in the USA