It’s been a while! And of course, lots and lots has happened. You know what that means – time for a list!

1. Berkeley Application: Submitted!
That’s right, that’s right! 1 down, 10 to go!

2. Upcoming Clarinet Solo – Date TBA
The music teachers at my base school recently walked up to me and handed me a copy of the solo clarinet part for Sing Sing Sing. Oh God.

3. Haircut at a Japanese Salon!
So, despite my initial reluctance, this it turned out to be an *amazing* experience. A Japanese friend recommended a salon in Kamo. It started out with a consultation (per usual). And then there was the shampooing. I think I know how it feels to be a car going through an automatic car wash – that’s how practiced and quick this guy’s movements were. It was wonderful. And it lasted like 5 minutes or so. And then he rinsed. And then he shampooed my hair for another 5 minutes. And then there was the conditioner. And then there was a head, neck, and shoulder massage. And then my hair was cut. And then there was another shampoo. And then it was time to blowdry and flat-iron. Two hours and 4800 yen later, Kristi was finally able to wear her hair down again. *smile* A girl from the salon even walked me to my car in the rain so my hair wouldn’t get wet…

4. English Day at Niigata Women’s College
I spent the majority of my Saturday talking to Japanese college girls. They’re all studying English, so their school lured in a whole slew of ALTs with promises of free food and about $100 in compensation. It was a *lot* of fun. I met a lot of nice girls and got a lot of cell phone numbers. It was also exhausting beyond all belief though. They rotated through in half-hour sessions, so every thirty minutes you had to start a new conversation with two or three girls. It’s hard to be on for that long… Afterwards, one of the girls slipped me a little note, complete with pictures of cats, the Space Needle, and a little self-portrait – and her contact information, of course…

English Day at Niigata Women’s College
Originally uploaded by kristi-san.

5. Fun in Niigata City
Melissa, Aaron, Kate, JP, Nuria, and I decided to have ourselves a good time out on the town:

Outside the Immigrant’s Cafe, Niigata City
Originally uploaded by kristi-san.

At the Hot Spot, Niigata City
Originally uploaded by kristi-san.

Niigata ALTs Love Purikura
Originally uploaded by kristi-san.

6. Winter Shopping!
So, I mentioned that I got paid $100 to talk to Japanese students, right? Well, guess what I did with it. :) Seriously though, people are saying it’s going to snow any day now, so I went on a little shopping excursion. I bought the most amazing pair of boots ever. And a down coat that’s very much in the Japanese fashion (fur-trimmed hood and all). But very warm, of course. Fun stuff.

Ok, that’s enough for now – it’s past my 10 pm bedtime, as sad as that is. :) Back to work tomorrow… Hrm…