12/03 (Wednesday)
Got together with Takechi-san of Dreamusic (former CEO of Square) for the first time in a long while. He's such an energetic person, I always look forward to meeting him and letting some of his energy rub off on me. It's strange how he can make people feel like they can do anything. Thanks, Takechi-san, I'm always in your debt. And thanks for the kue fish stew dinner.

*Kue = chub, a kind of fish.

12/04 (Thursday)
Going to hole up at Yamanaka Lake again tomorrow, so today I'm finishing off everything I have to do here in Tokyo. What to do with a life that just seems to get busier with each passing day...?

12/05 (Friday)
It's raining at Yamanaka Lake. I want to play, but I must work. I'm hounded by my writing, but thankfully it's quiet here, so I get a lot done.

12/06 (Saturday)
Another day spent writing. It's a good day when you can see Mt. Fuji.

12/07 (Sunday)
More writing and a little composing today. The weather was nice, so I took a drive around the shores of Yamanaka Lake. The view of Mt. Fuji over Yamanaka Lake from a "panoramic viewing spot" halfway up a low hill is enough to take my breath away. In the distance I can see Yatsugatake Mountain and the Japan Alps. It's this kind of feeling that we're trying to capture when we paint paintings and take all those photographs.

12/08 (Monday)
My electric piano is acting up so I had someone come all the way from Tokyo to fix it, but we couldn't figure out what was wrong. It's pretty clear I'll be getting a new one.

12/09 (Tuesday)
Home from Yamanaka Lake. From there I go straight to work. Of course, I can't concentrate in my office.

12/10 (Wednesday)
Today we learned that Pao is afflicted with an under-developed hip joint. She's one of those dogs that loves to run wild but now she'll have to avoid strenuous exercise. It's a hereditary disease with no cure. I'm sad...but I'm sure Pao is sadder.

12/11 (Thursday)
Did three interviews then headed to FM Yokohama. Yokohama always feels close to home for me... but it sure is far coming from Shinjuku.

12/13 (Saturday)
Back to the mountains. The guy who came to fix the electric piano doesn't know how to open the cover. He actually asked me "How do I get this thing open?" Even I can tell that trying to pry the thing open isn't the right way to go about it. In the end, he started hitting my piano! I got a little upset and said "instead of trying to force it open, why don't you get someone that knows how to open it!?". And he says "Hmm, I suppose so. I'll be back." and leaves. Please, people, let's try to be professional about our jobs. So, my electric piano still doesn't work, and I spend the rest of the day writing.

12/14 (Sunday)
Writing, writing, writing, writing. Another day gone just writing.

12/15 (Monday)
The piano is fixed by the afternoon. Finally! Just when I think I can get back to composing, my e-mail doesn't work. I spend a long while on the phone with someone from the company's network department, but no good came out of that. Suddenly, my lower back starts hurting. Maybe because I spent the last two days sitting in the same position writing? It hurts so much I have to lie on my side. But I’m pressed for time... I give up composing for the day and write some more.

12/16 (Tuesday)
Back to Tokyo. Ouch! My back hurts, I think I'm coming down with a cold, and I've got heaps of work to do. But, all work and no play makes Nobuo a dull boy, so I'm going out for dinner tonight_ Yakiniku barbeque. Why haven't I been going out for dinner more often with my wife the last several years, I wonder.

12/17 (Wednesday)
Gah! I've had it! Every time I come to the office there's more and more work to be done. I'm doing too much, I realize. Somebody, please, fire me!

12/19 (Friday)
Meeting on a new project. Once again we've got something in store for you all that's sure to get a rise. Can't wait to get this one out! I wish all of my work was this much fun.

12/20 (Saturday)
I finish work during the morning and head to Yamanaka Lake in the afternoon. There's snow in the shade along the roadside. It might be time to put on the snow-chains soon.

12/21 (Sunday)
The weather's great at Yamanaka Lake. I almost want to put off work and go play somewhere, but it's cold enough to drive all thoughts of going outside from my head. And it's only December! I wonder what it'll be like in February.

12/22 (Monday)
It’s warm today at Yamanaka Lake--a dramatic change from yesterday. It's almost 6 degrees Celsius (43° Fahrenheit) today. And, I've pretty much got the basics down for my new composition. Fun work goes fast.

12/23 (Tuesday)
It's up to 8°C (46°F) today! Something's wrong_it's getting warmer every day. Apparently, years ago, Yamanaka Lake used to freeze in the winter, and they used to skate and go ice fishing for smelt, but the lake hasn't frozen for a while now. Too bad.

12/24 (Wednesday)
Shinjuku. I do what I can to reduce the work that's piled up then go home for a Christmas party. After all these years with the same wife, you run out of new ideas for Christmas presents.

12/26 (Friday)
My sister came back to Japan from Malaysia. I prepare to be her devoted chauffeur for the next few days.

12/27 (Saturday)
Today "the chauffeur" visits Nishi-Ogikubo, Odaiba, and Futako Tamagawa. Boys and girls, do you know what driving in Tokyo is like these days? Stop and go. Stop and go. Stop and go...

In the end, we spent most of the day in the car.

*Nishi-Ogikubo: residential area in NW Tokyo.
*Odaiba: shopping and recreational island in Tokyo Harbor.
*Futako Tamagawa: shopping area in Western Tokyo on the Tamagawa River.

12/28 (Sunday)
Dinner party in Yokohama to celebrate my parent's gold anniversary. My father gives my mother a ring!
We are all impressed they made it fifty years with all the complaining they do about each other.

12/29 (Monday)
In to the office today. Hey, I've got lots to do. I can't be a chauffeur every day. But I end up spending time getting things organized and get no creative work done at all. I'll be productive tomorrow.

12/30 (Tuesday)
I still have cardboard boxes left from when my office at work moved from Meguro to Shinjuku in August. Today (five months later), I finally sort out the boxes filled with CDs.

12/31 (Wednesday)
Everybody: Today, I will bid adieu to cigarettes. I've already stocked up on Nicorette gum. Tomorrow, on the first of the year, this journal's name will change to the "Non-Smoking Journal." Happy New Year, everyone!