Anyone who's read my blog for a little while knows I have a lot of love for Japanese culture--it really breaks my heart to see this, not only because of the loss of life but because of what I sense this is going to mean for the country as a whole. My gut reaction to seeing the ticker on a news programme announce that the yen had immediately fallen in value was to recoil from the crassness, yet it probably is a real reflection of the hard road ahead for Japan.
A lot of people were linking to the NHK (Japan's news service) streaming feed, but I couldn't watch it because it required Silverlight. I ended up watching most of the coverage on al Jazeera English, which greatly outshone CNN's fumbling anchors. Ever since Hillary Clinton complimented al Jazeera it seems like everyone's a lot more comfortable acknowledging its superiority to American 24 hour news shows. It seems to exist in an alternate dimension where the news didn't slowly become overrun with trivia and circular bickering.
I watched a lot later than I should have. I tried playing chess but was hopelessly distracted.
Ever since the urologist told me I'm supposed to sleep through the night, I've been trying to keep track of how often I get up to pee. Last night I actually got six consecutive hours for the first time in I don't know how long. They were reporting tsunami might hit the west coast of the U.S. and I dreamt that we got it here. The water came up around the house, and the ducks were milling about, so I fed them. For some reason a few mountains rose around the house two, and a number of strange animals showed up. I took pictures of some of them, including a sort of ostrich with enormous, pale yellow wings and a jagged turkey face. And there was some kind of skinny bull with four horns--two big ones on the outside and two little ones in the middle. When it saw me, it immediately charged me and shoved me against the wall. For some reason, it didn't hurt at all.
Maybe I slept so well because I was extremely, inexplicably tired yesterday. Group projects were presented in my history class, and I felt so bad for most of the people presenting. It was such a flawed idea--having students in groups of three essentially teach the remaining chapters of one of our text books to the rest of the class. Practically no-one knew how to keep their presentations under ten minutes, most people had no idea of projecting their voices enough to carry through the class room, and essentially stood in front of everyone mumbling uselessly dense notes. I suspect teachers are required by some kind of school policy to have at least one group assignment per semester because so often I see these poorly considered, useless things, but this one took the cake.