Ahhhhn~It's been somewhat busy here. It's only going to get worse, I can tell.MEEEHHHH.Otoosan called me like, fifteen minutes after I got off work just to bark in my ear and remind me that tomorrow, July 12th until July 16th, I'd have to stay at his stupid house. Believe me, I argued and exhausted all my sources trying to get him to either let me just visit for a day or stay only one day. But then he went into all this bullshit of "us boys [yeah, you Eiri] being so inconsiderate and cold; really, what would your mother even think if you"--yeah, see, I'd probably make you wish you gouged out your own eyes if I allowed myself to type all the crap he spewed and you went and made the fatal error of reading it all.But I think he struck a nerve when he mentioned okaasan and I just sort of... went kerplop and finally gave in. I swear to the gods he hung up and started cackling and his devil horns finally appeared...I called Mika and asked her if she was going; she's usually very [externally] passive about otoosan's griping, but even she sounded a bit miffed when she told me that otoosan had flooded her inbox with orders to come to the shrine.I tried getting a hold of Eiri, but I *know* otoosan must have tried his damnedest to get a hold of Eiri and, even harder, TALK to him. Ooooo. So I figured he finally ripped out his phone and changed his cell phone number. Maybe otoosan doesn't even have that; Eiri likes to pretend, sometimes, that he doesn't know what otoosan is talking about when the subject of cell phones comes up. Eiri being Eiri, he can pull off a lie as if he were stating a fact you cannot possibly question and HOW DARE you ask such a heinous thing!The only good thing was that Tohma had to give me a week off for the festival. HEEEEEE. I know my father would try to curse him out of our family if he didn't~ But you know, good things with me never seem to last ['CEPT MY HUNNNNEEEYYY~~~] and I would most definitely see him at least a couple days for the festival. *sigh*I got to otoosan's early that morning [gods help me what the fuck was I thinking!?] and otoosan, OTOOSAN, was still asleep! I must be growing old and shit... Well, I just put the bike in the shed, threw my shit in my old room and flopped on the old bed and took a niiiice nap~Only to be woken up about two hours later with a loud, "TATSUHA! WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING!?" and the thud of my head hitting the wall from the surprise."Ou fucking gods--!""Do not take such names in--What foul language!!"Then I proceeded to curl into a ball as he beat the shit out of me. He may be old, he may be bald and he may fart cobwebs and belch dust, but he can kick, your, ASS.After we finished fighting [read: after he finished assaulting me], I got into a simple yukata [summer, y'know] and immediately went about to cleaning up the place with otoosan. I'd say it's awesome that because of the Bon festival, we don't have school, but I'm basically doing everything I do at school here!!I don't know how many times he asked me to quote a scripture, I don't know how many times he had me identify which Gohonzen was which god or goddess, I don't know how many times he kept telling me I was going to one of the Hells in the many Hells in the even more many sutras there were, but after only one hour of his blithering did I put on my little nearly invisible ear phones and turn my MP3 player hidden perfectly in my robes.It was fucking hilarious; watching dad lecture me while I was listening to my Nittle Grasper [B-Sides!] CD. It looked as if he was a poorly dubbed musician in an old 1930s flick.He just kept babbling on, which was even better. Finally, I went outside to sweep the halls, porch and torii. It was going all right before a pebble hit me square in the head; it was so unexpected, so out of the blue, it felt like a boulder pegged me and I fucking flipped backwards and fell on my goddamn ass.One of the ear phones had fallen out and I heard otoosan shouting, "Boy! You're really testing my patience! I've been calling you for help for ten minutes and you just ignore me!""Sorry, little hard of hearing," I replied and smiled, "it's like I had some giant mosquito buzzing in my ear for hours."Alas, otoosan did not get it. Rather, he went and snapped, "Remember the Hells, Tatsuha, remember the Hells!""Yes!" I cackled. "The Flaming Cock Hell!" Oh, man, that was too fucking hilarious to pass up. I laugh every time it's mentioned in school. I mean, seriously!! I can't help but imagine a giant penis spitting fiery cum at poor, mourning souls. Hell that Hell might be a fun place...!Even funnier is when otoosan replied sincerely albeit sternly, "Yes! You do not want to get caught in such a Hell! A giant cock will devour you in fla--why are you laughing!? What is so funny!?"OMG OTOOSAN JUST SAID COCK!!!"It's not funny, you know!!" he snapped. "The Hells are no laughing matter! It's like you want to be damned."I am in the worst Hell and it's called Raving Mad Baldy Hell. "Oh, come on, dad--""Dad is not coming on anything!!"... !!!! ♥ ♥ ♥!!!"Now come help me in the kitchen!" he snarled before retreating like a hobbling little imp.I scowled, rubbing the back of my head. "Let he without sin cast the first stone!!" I shouted. It was some Biblical reference... quote... thing I heard a lot before. Of course he didn't know it, but I'm sure he definitely knew what it meant [it's easy for old people to know anything written/said back before the dinosaurs croaked]. But he didn't hear me sofuckingwhat.It felt like New Years all over again. Cleaning and preparing food. Otoosan had thrown a rock at my head because he wanted me to come get a pan off the top of the 'fridge because "his back was hurting lately."You know I bit my tongue; I so wanted to say, "Yes, that happens when bones turn to ash."Regardless, he cooked a simple meal, one that would serve at least six people. So I guess I wasn't the only one blessed with visiting otoosan for more than likely a day or two.After that, we went about cleaning the graveyard. Pulling out weeds, sweeping and washing the thin tombstones. I got to clean up okaasan's area and I kept telling her that she was in a MUCH better place, that was for sure, when otoosan was away or too busy humming to himself. I could hear the clanking of wood and nails as the people down the street went about working on the finishing touches for this year's yagura.We finished cleaning up around noon or one in the evening [we started at 8:30]. I was so happy, but a bit confused, when otoosan suddenly bailed on me after telling me to put on my robes I wore only for celebrations. [It's so ugly. It's fucking white.]I got dressed nonetheless and went to find him. He was busy making arrangements for something and told me that he'd talk to me in a couple hours. Sweeet. So I just yanked off my robe and plopped back in bed.Though otoosan woke me AGAIN with a startle and AGAIN did my head hit the wall; "Boy! I didn't tell you you could nap! Thank Buddha-sama that you were sensible enough not to lay and sleep in your clothes, less the fine, holy fabric get wrinkled!"I remember catching a show on a TV station that plays imported shit from around the world and said, "Buddha Eye for the Half-Queer Guy.""What did you say?""Nuthin'."I got dressed again and not a minute later did I hear the squeal of little chillens from the front room. I dashed into the room and exclaimed, "MONSTERS!"Miyuki and Tomajiro instantly screamed and laughed and ran at me. I fell to the ground, on purpose natch, and before I know, I've got two little lumps of wiggling kids climbing all over me and pulling at my robes.It's something we made up, you see. I'd play the defenseless hug busted woman missing her shirt and bra or only in her panties and bra, or maybe just panties victim who came upon two monsters [that would be the twins] and when I scream, they must come and eat me.See, I am cool with kids.Mika and Tohma [nngh] were there. They said they'd be staying for the next couple nights. Oh fun. Otoosan took them all [practically forcing the kids away as if I were the flaming cock himself] to the graveyard where they chatted and paid their respects.We all sat and ate and everyone talked. I could only understand what the babies were muttering. We basically had our own conversation off to the side while the "adults" mingled. I had taught the two the word "weenie," but to never say it until you're 10. Then it's okay.After dinner, we all went outside and listened to the music coming from the big celebration just down the road. Tohma insisted we just go tomorrow since the twins were too tired for the night.I don't quite remember, but... I did see Eiri one day. I don't know if it was the same day or another day, I just... forgot. Pfft, I'm not my brother's keeper. Anyway, I do remember getting ready to do something otoosan the Rock Throwing Slave Laborer told me to do, when I looked out and saw Eiri.He was in the graveyard. He looked kind of solemn... but you know, in a type of "hmmm I can't read him!" way. He was there for a little while--I don't know if otoosan knew he was here, but the old badger called me inside with a loud "BOOOOOOOOYYYYYEEEEEYAAAA" and I immediately ran to his bitching. I had to map the kitchen floor; as soon as I finished, I went back outside to talk with Eiri, but he was gone. Dunno where he went...Hmm, I don't recall ever seeing him again, though I might have. It's been too exhausting to try and pinpoint Eiri's part in this entire puppyshit mess. First off, Tohma being here makes me tense because if I do anything to piss him off, he might retaliate by increasing my work hours or cutting a bit of fat off my paycheck.Mika wasn't so bad... but then she'd occasionally bitch about something, and it was usually directed to me. As if I had shoved a uterus up between her legs and declared, "Behold! From here on-ith, thou shalt bleed endlessly for 5 days and 5 nights and shalt not die, but rather kill others instead!"I was often left taking care of Miyuki and Tomajiro, but they were great. They did exhaust me a bit [am I getting too old for kids now!? FUCK] and it was downright HURTFUL that when I offered to take the kids out for some soft-served ice cream, everyone nearly had a conniption fit. I actually won this battle... but I won't say the reason why is not because of me, but the fact that Miyuki and Tomajiro threatened to sob and be angry and "hate them forever" if they didn't get their ice cream.I was given a time to be back, and I swear, there was probably some spy watching me for all I know, but regardless, we went down to where the big party was being held and bought some ice cream. It was quiet because it wasn't evening yet, but still lots of people were around. I pointed out a couple things to them, explained some shit."That is the yagura. People build it for this festival so some hot women and really queer guys can dance on it all night. That over there is a chouchin booth--you get people to make and customize you those little paper lantern boats you're supposed to place in the water to guide the dead back to their homes--in the ground. Oh, and that over there is a vending machine. Though this one is a tad on the boring side, if you're lucky, in Tokyo you can get the ones where they sell the used panties of some girl along with her picture! It makes it much easier to whack off, too. I'll teach you one day, Tomajiro! Miyuki--uh, you might want to ask your mom."We went around town for about twenty more minutes. I had been told to hold their hands at all times [even when they were coated in sticky ice cream] and they were pretty obedient and good. I still get the giggles whenever they call me ojisan or Uncle Tatsuha."Just remember to watch how you pronounce ojisan. OGEE SAN. Not OGEESAN. People will think I'm old and that you're my kids. Oh, gods, Mika must feel like she's got a bazillion wrinkles."In the end, the festival went on just fine. Tohma, Mika and the twins went back home around the 15th to spend some time visiting Tohma's ancestors [in the ground]. Mika noted they'd be back later that evening to do their little part for the Toro Nagashi. I don't recall seeing Eiri again, but he might be floating around the place.Anyway, we did go to the festival and watch everyone dance and cheer and be yay happy wee for a few hours. This year, the dancers had done the Bon Odori in typical, ancient Nenbutsu style with all those min'yo tunes.Otoosan and I spent the 15th alone and just rested that entire day. Come evening, we both went to pay our last respects to our ancestors and mom, then went about preparing the chouchin lanterns we made for the night of Toro Nagashi, the final night of O-bon.We went down to the local lake with one lantern for us both. We lit them, then let them loose on the water's surface. I sniffled and pretended I was on the verge of sobbing as I waved the things good-bye. Otoosan patted my back; he thought it was for real. For the love of... It's not funny if he thinks it's real!On our walk home [it was only about a mile, anyway], we saw over the bridge all the lanterns glowing on the water's surface. It was really neat. And the sappy part of me thought that it would be cool if okaasan's spirit was actually using my lantern as a candle to guide her home in the afterlife.Ew, sorry about that.I thought I was home free when it turned the 16th, but I was wrong. Otoosan had apparently been talking to Tohma that time a couple days ago, asking to give me another couple weeks off to help him prepare for the Gion Matsuri, which is totally a pain in my ass as it spreads for the entire month [the festival, not my ass].He came up to me that morning after breakfast and said, "Tohma-kun very kindly gave you the next three weeks off to assist me for the Gion Matsuri. We've been so busy with the O-bon festival, that we missed out on Yoiyoiyoiyama and Yoiyoiyama. But today is Yoiyama and we will work our hardest!"He's honestly trying to kill me so he can suck my energy and blood to further increase his ancient lifespan.I'll talk about the entire Gion Matsuri crap later. I'm still tired from all that fucking work, topped off with school again.OH FUCKING JOY.P.S. Fine! Make note to get Tohma a fucking Chūgen present since otoosan won't stop annoying me to because Tohma was so "kind to me." Get off my ass, old man, you're not even remotely cute and it probably fell off two centuries ago.OOC: Gohonzen: To put it simple, any type of [Japanese Buddhist] sign of devotion and worship. Such things like statues.Hell Scroll: This sutra is about the seven lesser known Hells out of the sixteen Hells. [They have a lot of Hells.]Hell of the Flaming Cock: This is one of the Hells mentioned in the above sutra. It is basically a Hell where a giant rooster breaths fire... Not much more information than that from my sources. XD;;"Dad is not coming on anything!": Oh Gods, I had to use it. XD This is a quote from the movie, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.Yagura: A wooden stage built high up for the O-bon festival. I guess people dance on it; must be, as people gather around it... surely not to stare."Buddha Eye for the Half-Queer Guy": is, of course, a parody of the American television show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Even if you've never seen it, you must have heard about it as some point or another. It really is fab show. XD There is a UK version as well."Let he without sin cast the first stone.": Basically, it means, don't try to act perfect and don't try and shun me thinking you're perfect. Plus it went with the entire rock thing. XDChouchin: those little paper lanterns they make to float on water.Used panties in the vending machine: Now, I know Japanese vending machines can sell porn and condoms, but I made this discovery today by a friend currently staying in Japan and boy... XD;;Ojisan: Ojisan is used for "uncle" while ojiisan is used for "old man/grandfather."Toro Nagashi: Direct your attention to HERE.Nenbutsu: A type of Buddhist saying ["mindfullness of the Buddha"] used in deep chanting. I read that this tradition of dance...? I dunno, whatever, was used for the first O-bon festivals.Min'yo: Classic Japanese music; some min'yo are used as forms of entertainment.Yoiyoiyoiyama: July 14th, the beginning of the Gion Matsuri.Yoiyoiyama: July 15th.Yoiyama: July 16h.Chūgen: A Japanese holiday held on July 15th where people give their bosses and the likes presents.