I had written an entry about my "before-sakura adventures" yesterday, and it was a pretty light-hearted, fun little post. By the time I had finished, however, I had learned of the attacks at yesterday's Boston Marathon. For those who know me, I'm from a small town in New Hampshire, just about an hour from Boston. When I think about going to the city, Boston is the place I imagine, and though I pronounce my r's and almost never say "wicked," I've always regarded myself proudly as a New Englander.
    I've been to Boston countless times and walked the freedom trail, visited the museums and aquariums on multiple occasions, explored around the North End and Chinatown, been on a few cruises out in the harbor, and I have known a few people who ran in the Boston Marathon at some point.I didn't live there, and I didn't realize it until just recently, but I consider Boston to be "my" city. Nobody in Japan knows what New Hampshire is, so my answer to the question "Where are you from?" is always "near Boston."
    I had a lot to say about this, but who would've guessed that someone else would beat me to it and say it a lot better than I probably would have. Patton Oswalt, a comedian, pretty much put to words what I was going to write and posted it on facebook. He wrote,
Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
    I'm not sure what I else I can really add to that, so I'll just offer my condolences to the victims and families, and those affected by yesterday's tragedy. We're all here to support you.
    On another note, I'm including the post I had written yesterday, unedited and unchanged. Just click on "read more" to see the whole thing. Enjoy.

    They're starting to open up here in Aizu! I went for a walk yesterday since it was such a beautiful day, and I took a bunch of pictures of the castle and area surrounding it. Consider these the before pictures, because I'm going back next week to get some more pictures during the full bloom. There are already tours of the castle going on, and I have to say, it was pretty crowded for a Monday. I can only imagine the traffic next weekend. But anyway, let me show them pictures!
     Just imagine how these pictures will be in full bloom! I didn't go inside the castle yesterday, but I'll have to next wee, because the entire castle grounds are surrounded by these trees, so it's going to be an amazing view. Don't worry, I'll take plenty of pictures of the castle, sakura, and the hanami (flower viewing party). But I've got one more cool thingy today.

    Do you see that?! That's an old style Family Computer (Famicon, or really a Nintendo) that I found at a thrift store for a total of about ¥1200. That's about $12, for the Americans out there. And that includes everything to hook it up and Dragonquest IV. A classic! Already tried it out, and it works perfectly. I'm so freakin' retro, I can't handle it! The only problem was that the game selection was pretty bad. It was almost entirely sports games, and who in the heck actually likes playing those?

    And on that note, I'm going to end this post and get ready for another work day. Only about two weeks until my family gets to Japan, and I'm counting the days! It's gonna be a heck of a trip, filled with sake, sushi, and sites! Have a great day everyone, and keep an eye out for the full bloom pictures from next week.


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