When going through my closet to clean out old junk (to make way for the new junk that’ll eventually arrive here once it’s completed its journey across the Pacific Ocean), I discovered that when my mom was tidying up in my absence, she designated a couple of bags just for all my Pirates of Dark Water merchandise and memorabilia. It made me laugh out loud, that my parents, who at first kept pushing the “why do you waste so much time on this crap? You need to study!” thing all through high school and into college, have finally given in and just rolled with it.
This is also my way of saying “hi, I made it to the US okay.” It was a tough transition–after two years there, I’d really dropped roots and made some good friends, and I shed many tears when I said goodbye, when I waved at the friends who came to see me off as my bus pulled away from the terminal in my town and I left Tokushima Prefecture and Shikoku, and when I walked down the jetway at Kansai Airport in Osaka onto the plane that would take me out of Japan and across the Pacific. But I’m here…and my hometown has never felt more suburban to me in my life. Things are going well, though. It’s been a week and a half, and the honeymoon period’s kind of fading, and I’m feeling uneasy about various things, but that’s just a part of culture shock. A local Japanese grocery has many of the little food things I miss about Japan, so that’s really nice, and I randomly found out yesterday that one of the librarians at a nearby library speaks fluent Japanese–talk about serendipity!
As for my merchandise inventory, it’s been nice going back through it, and it’s been really cool looking at the animation cels I’ve won and had shipped to my parents’ house while I was abroad. My Niddler plush was still stuffed away in a box with all the other stuffed animals, though, but it took going through that box to remember that I even owned it. I also had a good laugh at the horror that is the Halloween costume of Ren (blue plastic one-piece costume, with a picture of Ren on the torso), and I discovered the OOP Niddler action figure a former friend gave me, which stoically guarded my monitor during college, along with a stuffed ladybug a friend gave me in high school. I’ve reassigned them to their former post again, now that I’m back to using a desktop.
It feels good to be home. Strange, but good. I do miss Japan, but that’s to be expected.
I think this post kind of accidentally became my annual “post on my birthday” post, except a little early–I turn 26 tomorrow. I’d post something introspective about the evolution of the site and the fandom and stuff, but I’ve done plenty of that already.
And another reminder: DragonCon is this weekend, and I will be on the Classic Cartoons panel on Sunday at 5:30! I believe it’s in the Vinings room, but don’t quote me on that. The Pocket Programme is on the website, so check it out. I’ll be with three other people, and it should be a lot of fun, with a lot of emphasis on audience participation, so come on out to have your say. I hope a few of you will drop by! I’m looking forward to meeting you guys, and those of you who already let me know you’re coming, I’ll keep an eye out for you.