Year in Review

So, I had one of these all typed up on New Years Eve, and then I left the window open, and several days later decided my computer needed a restart. This year is off to a moron start.
Well, from what I can recall, the review was kinda depressing, so I’ll try to make this one cheerier. But, I mean, I’m not gonna lie to you. This year had depressing parts.
Also, I realize how hideously boring these are for you, the reader, but they make me feel nice.
Here we go! 2008!
-After spending a week in Pittsburgh with family and a week in Los Angeles with friends who say they’ve missed me, returning to Japan is more difficult than I anticipated.
-Also more difficult and awkward is informing the internet at large that I have broken up with my boyfriend, which I skillfully avoid doing until the very next January, via year-in-review blog post.
-I go on a ski trip in Nagano, challenging my newish friends to death-defying ski feats on the mountain and calling them “Stan Darsh” in really condescending tones. No one gets it.
-It’s pretty cold.
Looking back
-It’s okay to tell other people you’re sad, even if you’re stubborn and you think it will make you look weak. Well, it might, but everyone needs friends.
-Not wanting to come back to Japan has jack on not wanting to leave it.
-I get second-hand invited to a Snow Festival in Hokkaido I had been wanting to attend, but didn’t have the know-how. Old Lauren might have hemmed and hawed about people not wanting me to be around, and, oh, what to be done, but New Lauren was all LET’S DO THIS, so I did, and it was awesome.
-I ate some amazing foods. Who would have thought a place could be famous for Ramen?
-Japanese students graduate in February. Perhaps it is because they want to finish school before they freeze to death. How honorable.
-My parents visit. I wow them with my amazing Japanese skills to taxi drivers and waiters. Joke’s on them, though, I only know how to say names of restaurants (to drive to) and names of foods (to eat up).
Looking back
-As long as you’re not a total weirdo complainowitz, second-hand vacation invites are jim dandy. Maybe I don’t need to hyper analyze every outing I go on, cross-referencing everyone’s approval rating of me. Maybe I should just do stuff.
-Vacations revolving around food are completely normal.
-It is frickin’ freezing. Kevin mocks me for being “so caucasian” as he happily chatters his teeth in his apartment, rather than complain about how cold it is.
-I learn to use my kerosene heater. I don’t die!
-I almost poison all my friends by “salting” their food with MSG at a dinner party. No one gets my perfectly-placed esoteric Shakespearean reference.
-I take a spring? summer? vacation while kids are between years of school, and travel to Kansai with three friends. One is a Complainey Complainowitz. It’s okay, though. I had fun, ate foods, and saw temples. One of the better vacations of my life.
Looking back
-Playing “2 Girls 1 Cup” at a dinner party is not kosher. What it is: hilarious!
-Planning vacations are fun, but a twin room has two single beds. A DOUBLE room has one DOUBLE bed. I guess I’ve made worse mistakes in my life. OR HAVE I.
-The weather starts warming up. I become a little more comfortable with the town, often biking around for lunch. It is delightful.
-I am also a little more comfortable with the new class of first years at school. I start to make with the jokey jokes. They are well-received.
-I get killer death allergies from Japanese Pine Trees. Every bike ride leaves me looking like I’ve been hysterically crying. Some doctor shoves tubes in my face.
-I am cured? Somehow?
Looking back
-Cherry blossoms are really as beautiful as every single haiku EVER makes them out to be.
-Mocking my mother and brother for having allergies and thus, inferior genes, in the American northeast comes back to haunt me THIRTYFOLD.
-Centipedes invade my bathroom. Bath time is significantly less fun.
-The Magnificent Six slowly starts to form, consisting of me, Gabe, Kevin, Charlotte, Dave, and Bex. I am grateful to be included in such a fun and unabashedly exclusive group of people.
Looking back
-Theeeese aaare the daaaays! To remember!
-The Mag 6 teaches me poker. I don’t completely suck, despite certain members’ ability to predict my cards based on my sneaky tell of giggling and shifting my eyes back and forth.
-I start practicing Aikido. It hurts a lot, and I can’t understand a word the instructor is saying, but it’s a great workout.
Looking back
-I should have started a martial art earlier in Japan. And I should get back into it now!
-After bitching that I planned ALL of my friends’ birthdays, and no one seems to be lifting a finger for mine, my friends are guilted into celebrating my 28 years on this earth for TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT. And I got to wear a crown!
-I drink with my coworkers. It is awesome.
-I almost cry at my farewell speech to the school (in Japanese). I think they really wanted to see some waterworks.
-They come when saying goodbye to my friends at Narita airport. In public. I think I drooled on Dave’s shirt. I MEAN IT WAS A TEAR.
Looking back
-What can I say? I am happy to have had such a great experience, even if it feels so sad to leave behind. I’d do it all again and feel the pain all again.
-Here comes the emo part. I make little attempt to overcome jetlag, so I play some pretty cool video games on my ex-boyfriend’s futon, who has graciously allowed me to stay at his house.
-My ex-boyfriend was gracious; I did not date a futon. Damn dangling participles.
-I get so sad, I sort of don’t like food anymore.
-I apply for jobs. I think it’s weird that I haven’t gotten any after a month. Hah!
Looking back
-Video games cure what ails ya. Especially if that video game is Grand Theft Auto 4, and you get to kill lots of people and have sex with hookers.
-Heh. Still no job. Applying to ridiculous amounts daily. Hearing almost nothing back.
-Discover awesome side-effect of not liking food! Not being overweight! I decide to actually eat healthy foods instead of no foods, and I start to exercise.
Looking back
-Okay, so I wasn’t like ridiculously overweight, but let’s just say for the past few months in Japan, I preferred Sapporo beer and battered tempura to, say, green tea and rice.
-SERIOUSLY, JOBS? Seriously.
-In an attempt to not be a mopey mump my whole life, I enroll in a TV script writing class at UCLA and an Improv class at UCB. I meet super awesome people!
Looking back
-I’d say I should have done UCB long ago, but then I wouldn’t have met the cool crew I ended up with. Here’s hoping we complete all the courses together! Three cheers for hilarity.
-I enter a contest to write a novel in a month, and I win! Well, I win the minimum number of words. The novel is still in production.
-I have my final Improv performance, and I don’t suck! I don’t think!
-A friend sticks her neck out for me, and I get a job! Being a personal assistant to an awesome lady.
Looking back
-Everything’s coming up Milhouse.
-With my short-term assistant job coming to a close, I accept an offer to go back with my old closed captioning job TEMPORARILY. Passive aggressively moving to Japan as an excuse for why I have to quit might not fly a second time.
-I move into a new condo! Ex-boyfriend rejoices! New roommate is super great!
-I am thankful for all friends, old, new, and super-new, for helping me survive a tough time.
Looking back
-Ah, December. I remember it as if it were two days ago.
Well, that’s it! I feel accomplished.
My new year’s resolution is to eat a pomegranate. I think I will fulfill it tomorrow.

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