As strange as it seems, December and 2008 are just about over. I’ll be heading back to the US on Christmas for a week, staying in St. Louis to see the fam and plan new job* related stuff. Hard to believe the year’s this far along. Thank god I’ve only got 3 more days of work this month.

Last weekend we had a bonenkai (忘年会), the year-end party that Japanese people like to do. It literally means “party to forget the year,” probably because most Japanese people hate their lives so much they have to drink copious amounts of alcohol to forget how painful the past 12 months have been, only to get drunk in January at their new years parties to begin the cycle anew**. Our was a lot of fun though, with 25 people racking up a 100,000 yen bill (about a grand in USD) at the first party, followed by all-night karaoke. Here’s a pic I stole from Andy’s Facebook of the survivors who made it for McDonald’s breakfast at 5AM on Sunday morning:

survivors who made it to 5AM McDonalds breakfast

Since I decided to write a blog at about 1:30AM again when I should have been asleep at 11, here’s just a quick rundown of what I need to do/will do before leaving for the US on Christmas Day.

Fri 12/19 – work, then department’s bonenkai
Sat 12/20 – sleep, x-mas shopping, Goi school bonenkai, maybe karaoke with Chiba school
Sun 12/21 – x-mas shopping for real
Mon 12/22 – work, get home late, then sleeeeep because Tuesday’s…
Tue 12/23 – another BS holiday, “The Emperors Birthday!” shopping and packing.
Wed 12/24 – work, stay up all night packing
Thu 12/25 – try and scam the airline counter girl into giving me a free upgrade since it’s my birthday (25 on 25!), fly, get home and eat way good food, sleep for 2 days

*It’s pretty fishy, haHA!
**Just kidding; the Japanese don’t really drink to forget the year. They do it because they’re a nation of alcoholics.