To be honest, I had completely forgotten about my blog until a week ago.
I was so surprised to see that there are a few people out there who read it, so I will continue to post! :)
Since the last post was in September of last year, I will recap again.
Halloween was fun. I volunteered for a haunted house thing in Atsuma that my friend Jennie organized. It was very nice. I dressed as a giant hamster and the little kids really liked it. I also had a Halloween party for my eikaiwa (English conversation) class. We dressed up, told ghost stories, etc. I also baked cocoa rice krispy treats for them. I can't really remember anything else notable happening. As expected, Hokkaido starts to get cold around this month.
I was the Social Coordinator for the Hokkaido Association of JETs and my major job was to plan the tour we do every year during the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo. This happens in February, but seeing that we have 100+ ALTs and others descending upon our fair prefecture at the same time, the planning starts long before that. I actually started planning in August, but November was when most of the prep action took place -- getting hotels/air tickets arranged for people, etc. Lots of stress this month that would last until the festival was over in February.
Also, this year, instead of staying at home and moping for Thanksgiving, I was invited to Tokachi (north-east of me) by Lauren to participate in a big, American Thanksgiving potluck. That was so much fun and the food was SOOOO good. Afterwards we went to karaoke and drinking, finishing up at Lauren's house where everyone passed out on the floor. Lol!
Christmas time! I got lots of presents from my mom. Dad, not so much. Still, it wasn't nearly as depressing as last year. More stress from planning the Yuki Matsuri. Spent New Year's in Sapporo with Lauren, Kae, and Nao-chan. Had so much fun there! It was so fun that I was actually tired of partying near the end.
Snow, snow, snow! Even though snow eventually becomes a nuisance, one can't help but rejoice when it first falls and everything's so white and peaceful and beautiful. This is short-lived once you have to shovel it from sidewalks, it turns dirty, and melts partially then re-freezes into ice just waiting to kill you.
I went snowboarding many times in January.
This is a picture of me snowboarding at Teine Highland last year. I have since gotten better and I really do enjoy the sport even though it leaves me absolutely sore in places I didn't even know I had. There's nothing like whizzing down the mountain on a clear day with your favorite music playing in your ears.
I also finished the feature that Aeric and I had been working on for almost a year - Magdalene.
One of the best things about this month was that my gym, Joyfit, had a New Year's party (way after actual New Years) and I got to hang out and chat with the instructor I have a huge crush on. :) :) :)
My birthday was also this month. My mom sent me gifts. My neighbors made me special food.
The Yuki Matsuri started and ended in one weekend this month. So stressful, but overall successful for HAJET. I think most of the people who attended had a great time. There were those that complained of one thing or another (prices, etc). I was just glad when the weekend was over and I could wash my hands of everything.
Valentines day meant I had a really awesome party with all of my friends at my house. Lauren came down. It was actually a party thrown by Kelsey and I to invite our Joyfit crushes, but both crushes turned out not to be available, so it just turned into a regular party with our friends and some acquaintances from Joyfit and other places. I think there were actually more Japanese people than foreigners which was fun. Food was good.
Lots more snowboarding. So far this year, I've been to Teine Highland countless times, Niseko two times, and Furano (in March) once. I really want to go to Yubari (Reishi) and Rusutsu before the season is over. I heard that in some places you can snowboard all the way through May.