July 20th

"What was that bright explosion over there? Fireworks?"
"No, I think it was a bird."

It wasn't raining today, so Naoya went to lacrosse practice. Kozue took me to a local park, and we went for a nice walk. They had gardens, a baseball field, a dirt soccer field, tennis courts, and like 50 totem poles made by graduating elementary school students. Apparently she's planning a Labo barbecue there, so I'll get to come back.

Naoya and I tried hacking out in front of his house after he got back. He loves the game, and he's pretty innate at it, too. The biggest hurdle for him was the not saying "I'm sorry", but he's not any worse then me now. We were out there for a good two or three hours, until it was time to go to a Labo meeting.

The first part of the meeting was the elementary school group, they were practicing a play of Alice in Wonderland, the part with the Queen of Hearts. I brought a hacky sack, and played with them a bit during the breaks, but mostly it was just sitting and watching. I looked out the window, trying to read some of the signs on the street, and found a sign saying "igo" next door. I think it was a go parlor.

After the younger kids' practice, we went to the conbini across the street for dinner. I got an inari instant udon, an umeboshi onigiri, and some other stuff. We took it back to the center to eat, but we went to a different room for the older kid's meeting. Turned out it was a tatami room with a bunch of go and shogi boards stacked up on the wall. After we ate, the group practiced their play while I played a game of go with myself on one of the nicest boards I've touched, one of the big ones with legs like in Hikaru no Go. White won, 49 to 47 not including komi. I made some pretty dumb moves, too. I would make a move, look up for a while, look back down at the board, and go "woah... how'd that hole get there?" and proceed to kick my own ass.

One of the girls brought a package of plastic pocky, and if you took the wrong one, they'd all shoot out at you. I didn't pick the wrong one, despite her offering it to me like three times.