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Jan. 1st, 2013 | 10:03 am

Back in Canada, for a rather different New Year's than last year. I was up all night going to an ex-pat New Year's Party hosted by my guest house company last time, watching the big Tokyo TV special with all the J-pop stars and then walking off to visit a shrine to ask for blessings (GAWD I wish those photos had turned out. There was a dude who brought his new kitten to the shrine for blessings. KITTEN! KITTYKITTYKITTY!) followed by a trip to the top of a nearby skyscraper/mall's observation deck to watch the first sunrise of the new year.

This year, I went back to an older tradition, which SOUNDS less cool, but I kinda missed it. I forget how or when it started, but one year I was feeling gloomy/pensive so I slunk out of the house to do the countdown outside in the cold under the stars. And... I kind of liked it out there. Looking up at the moon, the big dipper, Orion, listening to the sound of all my neighbour's parties drifting out into the stillness, hearing the stillness occasionally broken by a tipsy reveller stumbling on to a porch somewhere and shouting a New Year greeting across the lake, shouting it back for the heck of it....

It's been my personal tradition ever since, which kinda puzzles my parents, I think. But it's just kinda nice to meet the New Year one on one.

2013 seems nice. Kinda cold and quiet at first, but they all are. Really pretty, though. I hope we get along.

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