Not much to report on the packing. My tentative deadline for packing is Thursday evening.


Shoes, I’ve found out, take up enormous amounts of space.

Many of my friends are already going back to school, which is a little weird – but I’ve been so focused on leaving I’ve forgotten that IUP is starting next week as well. My cat, Phoenix, is clearly aware that something is going on, because of the stuff out in the living room, and the amount of time I’m spending there. This morning, I found him here:



Yes, that’s a blanket he’s sleeping on. I’m taking the blanket, but decided not to take the pillow, because the university is providing me with one. The blanket comes from the advice of a student I met while working at Walmart this summer. She had studied abroad in Ghana for a semester, and was able to give me some limited tips. “Never underestimate the comfort of a familiar blanket,” she told me. “You can wrap yourself in it and imagine you’re home.” I’m following her advice by taking my treasured and very ratty quilt around the world.

So, in honor of my loyal and sentimental cat, here is a video I took of one his endearing quirks:



On an interesting note, the news has been talking about the Japanese elections, which are coming up rapidly. There is potential that a party other than the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), might gain power in politics. The LDP has long been the dominant party in Japanese politics, making their government look more like a one-party system. This article in the New York Times states that according to some research, there might be a huge turnout for the elections, which is surprising for a country that as a general rule hasn’t been that concerned with politics.

5 days to liftoff.