Better late than never...
Lots of stuff happening lately. :D
So after trying it for a month, it turned out even my mom, who was in an unbreakable trance about getting a dog at the beginning, finally decided that it was a good experiment but our family is just not right for a dog. Whereas a pet should bring out the best in people, it brought out the worst in all of us. Naturally I was anything but keen on the idea at the beginning, and through the course of this month I came to dislike it quite a bit less, but it was a matter of adaptation like anything else, I figure. My dad wasn't terribly excited for it but figured it'd work out, but ultimately his major complaint was the accidents: "At least babies wear diapers!" And my mom was finding it to be a stressor more than anything, so after she herself brought the idea up, last week they took it to the Humane Society. Now we're able to appreciate all kinds of things we took for granted too, like being able to use both of our bathrooms, being able to talk above a hushed whisper, or (I think this last one's just me, but) not getting ambushed upon walking out of my bedroom and into the kitchen first thing in the morning.
A smaller one, but still neat... I ordered ダーリンは外国人, or "My Darling's a Foreigner" a couple weeks ago from a Kinokuniya in New York (discovering a good way of ordering Japanese books in the process!). It's a manga with interspersed little text parts that's basically really funny anecdotes of a woman who married an American guy and the resulting culture shocks and such. Can't wait to read the sequel :D
And of course, more than anything, Osaka is right around the corner! It does suck that I can't meet Mayu, but aside from that I couldn't be more excited. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that I told the people in Chicago that I wanted to go on August 2 at least two months ago, only seven days ago did they realize, "Hey, it's getting close, we should schedule his flight.", hah. Turns out that they couldn't get me a flight back until the 16th, so they had to move my departure date to the 8th. Hm, well, gives me a little extra time to prepare, I guess. But the really funny thing is, since the flight back on the 16th was the earliest possible one they could get me on, it includes an eight-hour layover...in HONOLULU!! Can't believe I'm going to Hawai'i. :D That's gonna be like three days packed into one though: I leave Osaka at 7:00 PM after a full day, take an eight hour flight that just hops over the date line to arrive in Honolulu at 7:52 AM on the same day, depart at 4:15 PM, and take another eight hour flight that arrives at O'Hare at (guess what) 5:15 AM. :O Naturally my parents can't pick me up then, so I've gotta take a bus or limo back to Mitchell, then get driven home by my mom. I'm gonna be sooo tired, haha. But somehow I've gotta learn to sleep on a plane, 'cause if I'm going to Honolulu, you'd better believe I'm gonna enjoy it! Take a bus (or cab, I guess) out into town, eat lunch, grab a souvenir or two, take some pictures, and get back in time for my plane. :D
Thought I had one other thing to mention, but hmm...I'll mention it later if I think of it.