Happy new year wishes to everyone! So. Here we are, it's going to be 2008 by the end of tonight. Looking back on this past year, I've had some ups and downs, but generally this has been a great year. It's now just five weeks until I leave for Japan on a one-way plane ticket. Whew. I've gotten together all of the documents I need to be able to work in Japan, and I just have to take them to the right government offices here in America. Once I've got my visa stamp, there's little more I need to do besides prepare culturally and mentally for the transition to Japan. It's all very exciting. For the past five years, I've been working toward this goal in various ways. From language studies to research to cooking, I've learned as much as a could. Now, I feel comfortable with the idea of living and working in Japan and really look forward to it. Once I'm there, I'll be able to write much more from a local perspective. I also received a new digital camera on Christmas, so I can take more of my own photos as well. I'd like to thank all of my friends who may read this, and welcome new readers to my blog. Once again, a happy new year to everyone. Let's make this one an outstanding year!