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(hehe) Note scribbled in Sayuri on 1/20: "Partners in buffoonery appreciate each other (DB <--> Andy)."



Oh my god, with the stressing and the too (two?) many things to do. Really, it sort of is two too many... if I removed any two, I'd be just fine.



I may or may not have time and inclination to talk about these things later on tonight, but I do feel incredibly motivated to at least outline them in the next couple minutes before food arrives.

Item number the first: Mom's observation that Dad's and my differing opinions on Dean (I like him, Dad doesn't, although neither of us think he'll get the nomination) is quite possibly largely due to the fact that Dad's exposure to Dean has been through tv, and mine has been through print. I've read his speeches and agree with the content, while Dad has watched the speeches and disagreed violently with the attitude. Interesting, and I may write more about it later.

Item number the second: My absolute elation that Jan offered to pitch in towards the TJ-TC graduate students being better welcomed and integrated into the TC department; particularly that she seemed so genuinely annoyed and sympathetic to the disenfranchisment and disconnectedness that we tend to feel. I didn't know, for example, until we started writing our paper and Mary wrote it in, that I have a box in the TC office. No one ever told me (nor Mark, whose box apparently had a paper in it for months once). How about the fact that I didn't know for six months that I got to use the TC computer lab, or the fact that it wasn't until the day that my research group was meeting in the TC lounge and closed the door that I learned there's a code that I was supposed to have known to get in? Yay. Anyway, it's really gratifying that Jan was so shocked and displeased when the topic came up—she'd just assumed that TC was orienting us the same as the "normal" graduate students. More on this rant, perhaps, later... food's here.



Progress: I remembered today at 11:30, rather than 12:30, that I have a vocab quiz on the morrow. Considering that I was in the middle of Japanese homework at the time, it's now 12:30 and I'm just now getting around to looking at the specific words on said quiz. Net result of said progress: zero.

My only consolation at the moment is that in two months, life is going to seem so fucking ridiculously easy that the now might be worth it. Might.



If I didn't have to get up and read and do homework and stress (not in that order), I'd write about my weekend. But it was pretty low key, and I'm pretty tired. And that's that for the night, methinks.



Going down to Winlock, w00t. May write more later, but my Friday wasn't fantastically interesting, so if I don't, it's no big thing.



Having gotten only about two hours of sleep last night, I considered it the better part of valor to leave class today right after my speech, come home, and sleep for another four or five hours. I felt much better after that, but I think I must have some weird lingering stress issues, because even feeling better, I still don't feel all that awesome. I did make it in for our research meeting (get to work on that stuff tomorrow, finally), which Jan was aghast at. "What are you doing standing up?!?" she demanded. I'd emailed her this morning and told her that I'd be missing 512 today, with a bare bones "I had a seizure yesterday and medical thingies and stress and no sleep = me no come to class today" sort of message, but I figured that since I'd woken up in time to go to the meeting, hey, why not?

I went into work after the research meeting, around 5 or so, fully intending to catch up on some things I need to do, but got nabbed by Greg to help read through his personal statement for graduate school (it must be that season—last night it was proofing Ian's law school one). That turned into an intensive two hour co-editing session, which honestly, I loved. Considering the crap writing I can pump out, I find it funny how much I absolutely adore tuning others' pieces. Anyway, considering that Jim picked me up at 8, not a lot of work got done.

Nearly five hours later, I'm not really sure where the rest of my evening went. I suppose we did spend a good hour or so grocery shopping (would have only been about five minutes if not for the interesting encounter with the old Chinese lady with Alzheimer's... okay, I exaggerate. Ten minutes), and we had to stop by Jim's to drop off things before coming home, and dinner took a while to make... but it's suddenly 1:16 am, I'm exhausted, and nothing productive that I planned to do got done. Sigh. I think I'm just cranky because I'm tired. Ph3@r my impenetrable cereal-box fort!



"Exciting" day today—I suffered a seizure this morning. Yeah, you heard me right, a seizure. With the convulsing and everything. GREAT. I went into the doctor's office this morning, you see (this is before the seizure), and had some blood drawn. I've always been bad with that, and have at least once before had a huge fainting spell after having it done. It's not a squeamishness thing—the last time it happened in a big way, it wasn't until I'd gotten out of the office and half-way down the street and into a crosswalk when my body flipped out (my dad's neurologist now confirms that with my wacko blood pressure, I should never ever donate blood, which at least comforts my guilty conscience about that). Well, today, let's look at what was going on:

Asthmatic symptoms from sleeping with the cats: check
Fasting blood draw: check
Paint fumes filling the doctor's office: check

Apparently, a recipe for disaster. What happened was that I went to my doctors', but through a scheduling screwup, neither of them were there. Mel, the nursing assistant, was there, training their new receptionist/assistant, and we figured hey, as long as I was there, I should go ahead and get the bloodwork they need for my (rescheduled) physical done. So I went upstairs to the lab to have my blood drawn (hated it, as always, but I stopped watching them do it years ago, which helps), and came back down to the office to get pricked for a cholesterol check. When I stood up from the pricking, I felt really odd—I faint enough in life (my mother likes to say I "swoon," heh) to recognize that I was probably about to do so, so I asked for a cup of water from Mel and sat down in the lobby, not sure if I felt like I wanted to vomit or faint or both. Mel stuck her head out through the window into the lobby to tell me not to hunch over like I was doing, so I leaned back and rested my head against the wall behind me.

Next thing I knew, my ears were blaring a ringing sound and my vision was slowly graying back in. It wasn't a typical faint, I could tell that right away; usually I surface out of a faint very quickly, and my hearing and vision click in at the same time. This time, I could see that Mel had somehow managed to transport herself from the other side of the partition to my side (I found out later I'd been out for a good 45 seconds) and was saying something, but I couldn't hear a damn thing for a few seconds after I started being able to see her. Heh. I told her "hold on a second, I can't hear you," which she later said would have been funny if she hadn't been so freaked out. Anyway, it took me forever, seemingly, to get everything hitched back together in terms of senses, but once I understood that Mel was trying to get me out of the chair and lying down on the floor, I was confused. Sure, I'd fainted, but I wasn't a goddamn invalid. I faint all the time. That's when she told me that I'd had a seizure and been out, convulsing and spitting, for nearly a minute.

The cup I'd been holding had been flung halfway across the room, and I'd apparently hit my head on the wall a bit (so she said—I didn't notice it hurting at all). So yes. Happy fun times. I've never been known to have a seizure before (although several times that I've fainted, no one's been around, so who knows), so even though once my senses came back I felt totally fine, albeit a bit weak, it was immediately time to make neurologist appointments and make me stay lying on the floor of the lobby until they could get someone to come get me.

After that, the story gets much more boring. We finally got ahold of Jim (who'd been at the dentist) and my father, and Jim came flying down to pick me up to take me home. I got to go in to my dad's neurologist this afternoon, which was interesting, but he confirmed what I'd suspected—my brain likely isn't broken, I probably just had a severe cutoff of blood/oxygen to my brain this morning, due to a combination of restricted airflow and low blood pressure, which happens to be the sort of thing that starts a seizure. I get to go have an EEG and a MRI in the next couple weeks, just to make sure, though. Heh, Dad's neurologist is insisting that I get an open MRI to make sure I don't have some sort of crazy claustrophobic attack and faint while I'm getting it done. Highly unlikely, but I'm not going to argue with the brain scientist (shrug).

Jim and I finally got home, exhausted, around 4 pm and immediately went down for a nap. Between nap and going out to get dinner, not to mention the whole seizure thing, I didn't get to a place where I could start my homework until something like 11 tonight. I'll go in and do my oral report in Japanese tomorrow morning, but I felt pretty justified in emailing my teacher, explaining the situation, and turning my gargantuan homework assignment in on Friday instead of tomorrow. Of course, here I am writing this at half past midnight, not having even started on said oral report yet. I rule.

I didn't write anything yesterday because I didn't get home until past 1 am and went almost directly to bed. It was in a good cause, though—Richard, Jeff, and I went out to get a couple beers and catch up. Richard was extremely pleased with his Engrish-y omiyage, and it was nice to be out, just the three of us, joking around like old times. I miss spending time with Richard; we've really grown apart the last four years. Sigh. Anyway, without getting all melancholy about that, I really did have a blast seeing them. I see Jeff almost every week for gaming purposes, but it's not quite the same as "hanging out."

Other than seeing the boys, my Tuesday was pretty uneventful, particularly in comparison to my morning today, heh. So I don't think I'll write about it any more and finally stop procrastinating on that stupid Japanese oral report. Yay.



Let's all do the "up at midnight, studying for tomorrow's vocabulary test" dance! (dancing) Sigh. I meant to do this studying all day, but it was overruled by the rare instance of me being at my apartment by myself. It's now clean, or at least messy in a way that doesn't look like I just moved in. And some twenty of my CDs have been ripped, leaving only about two hundred to go. The task should be completed fairly quickly (by the end of the week, I'd judge, although it might stretch into the next); the sucky part will be the integration of the rips with my current collection, not to mention still needing to sort though the ones I got from Brian when I was in Japan. I smell a finals-week project in the making, seeing as it'd be a few all-day efforts to get that all done.

Other than making it look like I actually live here, I didn't do a whole lot today. Jim came home around 8:30 and we made a assive pantry-filling run to Safeway that took over an hour, I suppose, but that sort of going into the looking like I live here thing. I open up the shelves now and I recognize the food, rather than staring at communist vegetarian things and boxes upon boxes of tea that I stuffed in there to clear up the counter space. I'm not entirely happy with the distribution of shelving space here, but I don't think there's much I can do about it. Pots and pans have to go somewhere, even if I'd really like to be able to repossess the cupboards they're in.

It took a long time to put away all the food we'd bought, combined with Jim hacking up a chicken for big ol' batch of stock to keep at my place (nummy nummy), so I didn't get to studying and Jim to making dinner until past 10, I'd wager. Much too late on a night before I have an 8 am class and he's shooting to be at MS by 7:30 (shudder). I weirdly relished the small routine-ness of it all, though, chatting over dinner before he went in to take a shower and I started putting up food and doing dishes. Not so weird, really: for one, it's Jim, and for two, I still can barely believe that I can have someone else making noise and listening to me and existing in the same space at night. I wonder how long it'll take me to get over the pure joy of it.



I've been really behind of late. The reason is pretty obvious if you read the below posts, but I still feel the need to apologize. Jim pointed out that he thinks I've taken on far too many responsibilities this quarter, and sadly, I think he's right. I'm just not willing to drop any of them, and therefore I'm screwed. It'd be a little bit easier if I had more hours in the day, so I wasn't always so exhausted when I get home, or if Jim and I weren't shuttling between each other's places, often on last-minute notice. I think I finally got a handle on how to juggle everything towards the end of this week; part of that requires that I now go out to the Roma and study and things for a few hours, but when I get back I'll recap my week and put things on an even keel again.

So, in an attempt to rectify the past week's unbelievable (perhaps unrivaled in /tht/ history) string of non-updates, I'll try to do some super recap action and set things up for me to not suck next week.

Looking at my schedule, though, I see part of why I was able to get behind so easily. I don't have classes on Friday, and so my weekend basically started on Thursday afternoon. That night I went out to dinner with Zach, and managed to get myself to only one present to still hand out. He did get perhaps the weirdest selection of presents that any single person recieved, which wasunintentional but also highly amusing. I think that night Jim and I had set aside to just sit around, because I don't seem to remember anything much interesting other than crashing to sleep after my long (long? hah! four days and I'm saying it's long?!?) week.

I didn't have class Friday, but I went in to work for a few hours. Most of my time at work was spent waiting for Damien, who'd forgotten that we had a meeting at 1, sigh. But my duties over at the Commons got ironed out a little bit once he finally showed up, which was something. After work I headed over to Big Time, and staked out a table for TJ people who were coming later. Much later; I'd been detailed to hold our favorite table from as early as possible, and so I was sipping a beer and doing reading for my classes for a good hour and a half before other people showed up. A good evening spent bullshitting and drinking beer, though.

I meant to get a lot done on Saturday, but Jim and I managed to spend most of the early afternoon eating lunch and going to Costco instead. We went over to Kathy's (one of the other devs in Jim's group) for dinner, which was fun albeit... a little weird. I hadn't seen Kathy and Tyler since I'd left, and I know Kathy had at times been in the break-up-with-Jen camp at Microsoft. The other people there were ones I hadn't met before (so they only knew the post-breakup Jim), except for Rob, for whose presence I was incredibly grateful. Jim cooked up dinner for a whopping nine of us (thank god he did—Kathy and Christine had at one point expressed doubt about their ability to find lemons and cayenne pepper at the store; we would have been doomed) and board games were played, so I think the night could be counted a definite success.

There's several things between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that would have made good topics here. I even thought that I should have written them down last night as I went to sleep. But I failed to do so, and thus any really good thoughts I had about meeting A.Dawg, Kathy's dog Mojo, my work situation, globalization of software, and other such snippets have slowly but surely rusted. I'll be better from here on out, I promise.

I meant to get an early start today, and run lots of errands before going and studying at the Roma in the afternoon. Fat chance; I finally struggled awake at nearly 2 pm. Jim had apparently been awake for a few hours, but hadn't wanted to wake me because I'd been sleeping so heavily—teach me to not leave instructions at night, heh. I rolled into the Roma at around 4, which was about the time I'd intended to, but with a lot less done beforehand. Studying was supremely productive in the three hours I was there, however, with Japanese homework, some vocab quiz preparation, and over half my TC reading being accomplished. I feel much better about my week than I did earlier today.

If I was in Japan at the moment, I'd relate an anecdote about the lewd singing man who acosted me at the bus stop on my way home, but you know what? I've got people, real live people, to share these things with within an hour or so after they happen now. Jim already heard about the guy, and now my desire to write about it is far lessened; this is exactly why my updates were so long when I was in Japan. I had no one... else... to talk to. Much more boring for anyone reading this now, perhaps, but I can't bring myself to feel all that much regret.

Tonight's been spent dinking around at home (Jim-home), doing laundry, helping out a bit with dinner, and watching The Scorpion King (it's just as bad on third viewing as it ever was). Small and perfect night.



This finding out at three am that I have a vocabulary quiz the next morning at eight shit needs to STOP. It'd help if I could also stop things like forgetting that I need to edit a journal paper proposal by the end of the day that's already nearly ended by the time I get home, or failing to understand an article even after I have a handle on what it says in Japanese because I don't understand the underlying economic theory in the slightest. This week is the best... looking at my second night of ~three hours of sleep in three days. What can I say, three, it's the magic number.

I hereby decide to skim my vocab list, go to bed, and, well, pray.



Shit day, hooray. Mistaken buses and speeches and crappy installs and being late to class and being tired, oh my. On three and a half hours of sleep, mind you. Speech is over, which is good, but I still can't figure out how Brandon was pulling data for our research group, which is bad. I don't like thinking I'm an idiot, but I'm probably missing something hugely obvious and it's enough to make me cry, as tired as I am. So I'm going to bed before I have a nervous breakdown.

Things that were good about Japan: not having anything to do at night in the sense that I had much less stress once I got home in the evenings. I couldn't stay up futilely fucking around with work and homework and research, because it wasn't even there to fuck around with in the first place. Not saying I'd go back, but did I not predict that within a week of being home, I'd find things to complain about here? I'm nothing if not predictable.



Depressingly common scenario: class at 8 am, yet I'm awake still at 2:30 am. Sigh. I've been working on my internship report and doing some vague prep work for the (OMFG) 20 minute long presentation I'm supposed to give (OMG IN JAPANESE) on my internship in class tomorrow. Note the adjective "vague." Once I clean up my report, though, I'll add it to the Japan section of the site, along with the version I wrote for JETRO. It should be a fun contrastive experiment to look at how I prettied stuff up for JETRO in 2 pages, how I expanded into more of the crap for the 10-page-odd paper for my credit, and how I ranted for six straight months here. Heh.

I could talk about my exceedingly obnoxious day, or how I'm (OMG) freaking out about how to get all my shit done this week, but considering that staying up later will A) make my day more obnoxious and B) reduce ability to get said shit done, I think I should go to bed in the name of... well, not science, but something. It really is amazing though, I must happily say, how much better I feel about my day when I can come home and talk it over with Jim rather than stewing in a tiny room for hours on end. Jim says that if I go back to Japan he wants to come with me or visit me, so that I won't forever associate Japan as being "the place [I] go to be angry and lonely and depressed." Heh.



My irregular schedule from hell continues to screw my ability to do things outside of the irregular schedule from hell. Jim and I went to Canada this weekend. We intended to go up on Friday, but scattered plans and no hotel reservations precluded doing so. We did end up watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, rectifying a horrifying gap in Jim's cinema-viewing history. He "thought he'd seen it, parts of it, anyway," a completely unacceptable statement, if you ask me. Considering that I am newly the owner of theIndiana Jones boxset, it took a mere two hours to confirm that A) Jim had likely only ever seen promotional clips from the movie and B) Indy is a total badass.

I also got drunk this Friday for the first time since I'd gotten home. Beer with TJP people, including the new first-year Master's student, Rob (who reminds me startlingly of Brandon, except ACTUALLY gay instead of many people simply thinking he is), but lacking Mark and Carl (who's moved on into being a real person again). Anyway, I didn't get "lit," to use Brandon K's parlance, but I was certainly four-pints-of-beer-tipsy, and confirmed that while I think that being drunk is quite amusing, I think I'll be really happy if getting drunk two or three times a week does not remain in my calendar.

I'm going strangely anti-chronologically, but I suppose it's because I forgot things about Friday until just now. Another highlight: Craig's rather indignant statement about me being used by Damien to clean out the Commons' back room. "That's like hiring Superman to do security for your rock concert. I mean, sure, it'll be good security, but it's a bit of overkill!" Not to mention Andrew Mathes coming in to work for the first time that week, sporting much better hair than he had been when I saw him in Japan (tip to boys: for 99% of you, shaving the head does not work) and a sparkling new econ major. Sigh. I wasn't sure I'd keep him in the Japanese, but I had hoped.

We got a much later start on Saturday than we'd hoped, between sleeping in and puttering around and having to look for my passport. Which I couldn't @#&*(#$**&! find. What the fuck. It's not like I didn't have it in my hands not three weeks ago. And now I can't find it to save my life, sigh. We finally figured that the copy I had of my passport was likely good enough (it wasn't even needed when we went in yesterday, but the obnoxious US border cop on the way back down today did at least confirm that it'll pass as identification) and headed up, but we didn't even get to our hotel in Vancouver BC until around 8:30 or 9. Much time was spent strolling around downtown Vancouver and chatting, but we couldn't find an ATM that'd let us get Canadian currency (it's a conspiracy, Jim's sure) and it got late, so we ended up opting for room service, heh.

A lazy morning followed by an afternoon at the Vancouver aquarium was exactly what I'd had in mind when I'd suggested the trip. The parking-lot meters, incidentally, took Jim's credit card, confirming the ATM conspiracy theory. A parking-lot meter takes American VISA, but ATMs downtown don't? Suspicious, if you ask us. Anyway, I hadn't been up the aquarium in a long time, perhaps not since I started college, so it was fun to walk around and remember where things were. I kept dragging Jim back to the sea otters for "just one more look," and sat staring entranced for a ridiculously long time at a harbor seal that reminded us of nothing so much as an aquatic Lars. Proportionally fat, too, hehe.

We got back into town tonight to find that Jim's house had likely been the subject of a break-in attempt. There's a mild possibility that the cats could have somehow opened his window and knocked glasses and his lamp over, but that bad description doesn't really show that when you look at the scene, it's pretty obvious that the cats didn't do it. We think that whoever it was pulled Jim's window open and managed to knock some windowsill items down onto the shelf below, which tipped the lamp over and started the cascade of glassware on the floor that we found. Only one glass actually broke, but thankfully the noise of that appeared to startle whoever it was off. Next order of the night was going around and making sure all the doors and windows were locked, yay.

I spent most of the night catching up on my TC reading, but I completely failed to look at my Japanese homework (due Tuesday), nor plan out my 20 minute presentation on my internship (also Tuesday), nor catch up on things I need to get done for my research group. I'm totally awesome, someone shoot me now.



Gargantuan task finished: all of my pictures are now resized properly and with modify dates that actually reflect when they were taken (some times are approximate, so sue me). There are also two bonus pictures that I discovered. One is of my ass from when Jason and crew came to visit me in early November, but the other is a surprisingly good picture my father took when he visited in September. Enjoy.

Long day today, as days that begin with an 8 am class are wont to be. I totally flubbed one question in Japanese, but rocked another... got all the kanji on my quiz correct except for one minor reading, and so I'll take the balance and say "eh" about my morning. Being in class again is... odd. Six months is the longest I've gone without taking a class since I was five, although several stretches of high school had about as much scholastic value. Anyway, the two hour break between classes was spent bouncing between workstations I could find (but Craig later gave me access to the webteam office, for which he gets mad points... no more CRC floor machines for me) and not getting a whole lot of work done. I should have done the reading for TC 512, and honestly regretted not doing so. I mostly managed to BS my way along in class, but considering that international tech comm is the basics of my academic interests at the moment, and Jan (my research advisor and generally wonderfully awesome teacher) is the professor, I really shouldn't have dropped the ball. No one seemed to notice; only two people (out of ten or so) had actually come in having done the reading, so I wasn't alone, and I was the only one who hadn't done the reading who decided to really pitch in on discussion anyway. I'd forgotten how fun it is to talk in class, although TC 502 (Empirical Traditions in Technical Communications, don't you envy me) yesterday reminded me how unfun it can be to listen to other people talk in class. Especially PhD students. Urge to kill. With the rising.

A little more work was done in the afternoon before my research meeting, but only a little. Until my work situation gets sorted out, it's going to be a lot of days where I sit on my ass... somewhere... and do... something. Hooray. But anything is better than Japan. Every time I feel the complaints rising, I look around, reassure myself that Yoshiyuki is not sitting by my elbow, and EVERYTHING IS OKAY. Not a lot got done at the research meeting, either, unfortunately. I haven't read up on a lot of the stuff I promised myself I'd read up on, so I wasn't able to really contribute anything other than my scintillating presence. Which really wasn't that scintillating today. Weekend is still available to do a lot of that, at least.

Jeffie came over for dinner tonight, the first time that we've hung out just the two of us in a long time. It should happen more often; I love hanging out with Seth and Jason and that crowd, but Jeff has closer, former-roommate ties, and I don't like the distantness of only seeing him for gaming, even if is every week. Next time... food at his place, with CABLE. Heh. Timing worked out just great, too. Poor kid had to go to work at 10 pm, but Jim and Rob were going to see Big Fish at the Guild a bit after 10. I feel like a goddamn social butterfly. I so popular! And all without beer. America is totally awesome. Movie was good, although I think they REALLY should have found another actor to play the teenage version of Edward Bloom. I'm sorry, no way can I take the idea of Ewan McGregor being 18. He's over 30 and not a day below. Above that you can fudge.

Considering, however, that it's 2:12 am and I want to be on campus in, oh, about 7 hours, perhaps I should get the fuck to sleep. Helps that I didn't take a nap today (as I have nearly every other day this week); I'm actually tired at a "decent" hour.



This first week of classes is kicking my ass. I knew it would, when I was unable to get my sleep schedule under control last week, and hadn't finished moving in moving in (as opposed to just moving in, which I did get done) by Sunday. I'll figure it out eventually, figure out how to manage my time, get homework done, pay bills, watch a little TV, cook dinner, and write stuff down, all in the same day. It'll just take a little while. But give me a break—I'm over six months out of practice.



I'm exhausted but I'm afraid that if I don't write something down I never will about today. I'm at college for the first time in six months at 1:30 pm today, and I realized it felt... weird. I have no position at work yet and probably won't for a week or two, but I saw everyone but Craig today and am therefore mostly content. Jim and I went to see Lost in Translation... he rightly guessed that I'd get upset watching it, something I'd discuss if I weren't about to drop dead and needing to get up in about four hours. But the scene where Charlotte goes to Kyoto: stepping through a huge gate, she sees a wedding party come towards her, the groom carrying a huge red parasol. That instant, those few seconds of footage... that is the why to Japan.



I just spent some time resizing and renaming pictures I got from Ishibashi-san. Of particular note, however, is that I finally tracked down the movie of the fugu twitching all over our plates at dinner in November. Took me enough digging through that disc he gave me, heh. The audio got stripped out when I converted it to .avi from .mov, but there wasn't anything interesting other than people going "ewwwwwwww," trust me. If you have the time and inclination to download the 85 meg movie Ishibashi-san made from footage he shot when several of us went to the aquarium the last weekend I was (supposed to be) in town, feel free. If it's not there now, it will be when it finishes uploading on my end, heh. Zipping it only shrank it by about 5 megs, and if 5 megs matters to you, you probably shouldn't be trying to grab something 85 megs big anyway. Ishibashi-san managed to get some pictures I really liked, so if you've got a couple minutes, I highly recommend checking out what he snapped.

Heh, watching the "making of" feature for Raiders of the Lost Ark tonight, which yields this wonderful quote from Steven Spielberg, as he speaks to a snake he's holding up next to a torch:

You don't like fire? You do like fire. You love fire. In the script, you're supposed to hate fire! Why do you like fire?!?? You're ruining my movie!

Up late again, big surprise. I had three things I meant to get done today: finishing the apartment cleaning, doing laundry, and emailing John. None happened, and at 3 am I'm ready to throw in the towel. The hilarious part is that I've not been awake even twelve hours, go me. I didn't get to sleep until near six last night and had no commitments today, so I'd set my phone to wake me up around 1:30 just to avoid sleeping the whole day, but I didn't end up actually hauling myself off the futon (my bed is still at my parents' house) until nearly 4 pm. I know I reset my alarm twice, but I think the bulk of things was me hitting snooze; considering that the snooze on my phone is only 5 minutes, that was a LOT of snoozing.

Other than paying my rent, I couldn't get up the energy to actually do anything today. I spent a lot of time fucking around on my computers, although I suppose I did cook. For the first time in six months no less, which was pretty fun. I modified a recipe in the winging-it spirit, braved the food processor, forgot to start rice until everything else was nearly done, dirtied more dishes than I should have, and turned out an extremely tasty curry. Overall, I'm quite pleased with myself. So pleased, in fact, that I'm going to reward myself by leaving dishes until tomorrow and going to bed right about... now.



Okay, here we go with update-from-hell kung-fu-grip action.

(This part was started on 12/29) Almost no writing in the last few days... a drive up to SeaTac to pick up Jim's half-brother Mike offers a 1.5 hour chance to scratch away while Jim and his dad chew the fat in the front seat. In three and a half years with Jim, I've never met Mike, a child by one of his dad's two earlier marriages who's nearly old enough to be a father rather than a brother (he's turning 40 in the next week). It's funny to think that Jim's still got family I haven't met, considering that the ones I have met number at least two or three times my own.

As should be obvious from that last paragraph, I'm down in Winlock for the weekend, which I suppose needs some explaining (about why I'm down here for some people, about why an explanation is needed for others). It's hard to write this down after avoiding the subject for so long... which I had my reasons for, mind you.

So, Jim and I are back together, on a somewhat provisional basis.

Back together? Well... for six months I've neglected to mention that we'd called things off between us when I'd left for Japan. It wasn't meant to be temporary (I would have talked about it eventually), and was the result of a decision we made nearly three months before I left. In our desperate drive to pretend things were fine for as long as possible, we didn't finalize things until the very day I left. He drove me to the airport... we sobbed but maintained our resolve. We traded a few emails over the first week or two, but I forced myself to stop writing, knowing that he wouldn't take up the slack. It simply hurt too much. There were exceptions to my policy of non-contact, of course; like when l got so sick and called him, crying, at something like 6:30 am, Seattle time. I hoped I'd stop thinking of things I wanted to tell him or ask him, to no avail. I may protest that the reasons I drank so much in Japan were "that's what people did" because "there was nothing else to do," and while that may be the case, perhaps I would not have been so amenable to it if I hadn't been so fucking depressed all the damn time.

A few weeks before I came home, Thanksgiving weekend, I suppose it was, Jim called me. It was 4 am at home and I hadn't heard his voice in 4 months. He didn't have anything in particular he wanted to talk about, he said; he just wanted to hear my voice. He may have called another time or two before The Letter, and there were some emails about this and that, I forget my chronology somewhat. Anyway, I was sitting at work one morning when I got an email asking if l was at my computer at the moment. That was the day of The Letter. It was pages long, but could be summarized with a sincere "I love you... can we please get back together?"

This surprised the fuck out of me.

I tell you true, I had somewhat expected a slight variation, more along the lines of "I'm lonely... can we get back together?" Perhaps it would be dressed up other trappings, but the upshot would be, crudely, "I haven't gotten laid in six months and I'm horny." (And this is where I picked it up again from my own computer on 1/02) I know that there's a healthy dose of me hearing what I want to in what he says mixed into things, not to mention him telling me what I want to hear. But let's take up that second part for a minute... a major complaint of mine in the last year or so was exactly that he WASN'T telling me what I wanted to hear, for fuck's sake.

I'm condensing two weeks of emails and some long talks after I got back here, but the long and the short of it can be put in a paraphrase from Brandon: there's no way to tell if Jim 2.0 is an actual product upgrade or merely marketing hype without unwrapping the software and giving things a try. Nearly two weeks into being home, things are looking beautiful. If they're still looking beautiful in two or three months, I'll be an extremely happy girl.

Honestly, I'm a little tired of uberanalyzing this particular situation over the last month, so I think I'll let things lie on that front for a bit and get into a quickie recap of the last week or two.

Monday the 22nd, finally landed back at SeaTac. Jim, Mom, and Dad all showed up at the airport, which was welcome after that bastardly day. Most wonderful was having Jim there, honestly. Seeing Mama was great, too, but Dad and I started fighting within about three minutes (of course), and I was too cranky to handle it well. I was alternately wired as fuck and tired as hell all that day, which was interesting. I think it was pretty similar, overall, to that day I pulled an all-nighter to work on papers and ended up so loopy I was skipping down the Ave, clapping my hands and humming. Jim stuck around all night until I was finally ready to toss in the towel around midnight; it was so nice to just be around him, after six months of being apart... not to mention the other aspect to the whole thing.

Tuesday the 23rd, headed into campus to have lunch with Brandon, but ended up being drafted for lunch with Brandon K, Alex Gregorio, Will, Alex Tomita, Josh, and Melinda instead. Met up with Brandon and Ryan for coffee and ceremonial presentation of a keychain with a pint of beer attached. I'd wanted to find Ryan plastic Indian food. When I figured out you could only get that through special-order catalogs, I wanted to find him plastic Japanese curry. When the cheapest of those was above $80, I wanted to find him a plastic pint. When the cheapest of those was above $40, I gave up and got him a toy. He seemed to like it, but the definite joy was the next ceremonial presentation... the canned mackerel curry. I've got to get him to take a picture of the can, seeing as I forgot; seriously, that shit is hilarious. I hope if he eats it, he keeps the can for posterity. Presents tendered, Brandon and I went to a "research meeting." Quotation marks because we really intended to get some work done, but I hadn't seen Jan and Mary and Carolyn and Matt in six months, so we got sidetracked on socializing right quick. Did find out that the NSF, Adobe, and Amazon are all interested in funding us developing the silly research tool I developed and Brandon tweaked, which was damn cool even if nothing ever comes of it. Brandon and I went to see Return of the King that night, with some friends of a friend of his, none of whom I knew, heh. Not that I particularly cared, because I was seeing Return of the King. You know. I sniffled at the cavalry charge of Rohan like a sissy little girl. The movie didn't get out until near midnight, but that was the day that Jim and I had slated to have dinner and Talk. We didn't end up getting to sleep until near 6 am, I think. I was still in a fog from jetlag and the utter unreality of him wanting to get back together with me, so I think I was more than a little weird and didn't say a lot of the things that perhaps I should have... ah well, they're getting covered in small bits and pieces as we go along. I think once I finally get back into covering things daily again, I can elucidate more on that stretch of things.

Wednesday the 24th, can't remember for the life of me what I did all day. Sat on my ass, probably. Went to the candlelight service at Mama's church with the fam that night, Dad was a dick, got my annual chat with Ben Warfield, hugged Dave (minister, gay, super-awesome frisbee hurler, ultra-cool) and told him as much about my last six months as I could before we noticed the line piling up behind me, heh. Couldn't get to sleep to save my life, rotted my brain on the Teen People that I found in the hall.

Thursday the 25th, Christmas started out sadly normal with Mama and Dad's arguing audible from the basement. Hooray. Got some spiffy presents (Fool, in particular, went all-the-fuck-out... he said that it was to make up for missing my birthday, but still!), but Dad and I got in a nasty yelling match later on, which pretty much spoiled my afternoon. Brandon came over for early dinner, though, and with the exception of a sniping outbreak concerning the blender, Mama and Dad were on good behavior for him. He laughed mightily at his Engrish-y mug, and ooohed properly at the pretty glass single-serving teapot I brought for him, which made me happy. My presents to my family earlier in the day had been extremely well received, Jim loved the silly mugs I brought for him and spastically gave him on Monday (they were supposed to be Christmas presents, but I was too wired that day to keep track of what I was reserving for when), so I was extremely pleased with myself in the gift-giving department. Anyway, I ran away to see Cold Mountain with Brandon and Nathan right after dinner, which neatly gave me an excuse to be out of the house for several hours in the evening (I'm so sneaky). Spent a long time that night talking to Jim on the phone, wishing I was down in Winlock.

Friday the 26th, ran errands in the morning and headed into the U-Dis to have lunch with Ty. Red Robin... mmmmmm. They brought me a chicken burger instead of a normal one, which I emphatically did not order, but I didn't have the heart to complain. It was tasty, anyway, so I mostly forgave them. Had so very much fun talking to Ty; I don't see him face-to-face all that often, but he's still Part of Home to me. He seemed to really like the 1000¥ bill he knew he was getting and the 2000¥ I surprised him with (ni-sen en bills are about as rare as US $2 bills, so when I got my hands on that one, I knew Ty was getting it). I told him I was having fun being the Japanese Gift Fairy, hehe. I went to go read The Stranger at the Roma that afternoon, old and familiar ritual that finally shocked me, after four days, into realizing I was home. Jim came back up into town that night, and we went out for Mexican... ooohhhhhhhh, Mexican. Rosita's has changed names, but the food was oso good I nearly died. I could have just sat eating hot tortilla chips with tomatillo salsa and been happy enough, really. Heh. We stayed up too late that night again, which segues into...

Saturday the 27th, struggled out of bed at 5:45 am after about three hours of sleep and headed over to Brandon's apartment (my apartment o_O) to take him to the airport. We buzzed him at 6:25... no answer. Strange. Jim wondered if maybe he was in the shower, while I walked out into the lawn and looked up through the beginnings of a snowfall to see that the lights in the studio were still out. Whoops. Poor kid's alarm hadn't gone off, but he answered the phone the second time I called, thank god. I was prepared to start throwing rocks at the windows, but was glad I didn't have to. He buzzed us in, and we came up to a frenetic scene of a boy trying to get out the door within 15 minutes of waking up to leave the country for three months. Heh. He'd finished packing the night before, so we were able to shoo him out the door, albeit sans shower, with insistence that it was fine that he hadn't finished cleaning up the place for me. I know how stressed out I was leaving six months ago, and my alarm had gone off; he definitely didn't need to worry about crap like that. It didn't help that Steven had called him and told him the lines at SeaTac were dreadful, but Jim drove like a maniac and my dear Brandon was delivered to where Steven was standing (far ahead in the line, hehe) to disappear to India for the coming quarter. I did my best to not cry when I hugged him goodbye; I'd managed to see him every day but one of the ones we were in town at the same time, but it still doesn't seem fair that we don't get to come back and be together for nine months total. Sniffle. Goodbyes said, Jim and I headed down to Winlock to visit with his folks. Sausage McMuffins are really fucking good, particularly at 7:15 am, by the way. Jim's parents were just getting up when we finally made it down, which meant we weren't able to crash into bed until nearly 11 am. I don't think we made it out into the day until near 3 pm, heh. I can't remember much of what we ended up doing that night, which tells me it was probably a really good day with people I love dearly.

Sunday the 28th, can't remember a damn thing really worth mentioning. Lots of talking, eating (omg, Taco Bell. TACO. BELL. You just don't understand), shopping, and generally being deliriously happy to be in Winlock instead of at my parents'. Or Japan, for that matter, but mostly instead of being at home.

Monday the 29th, ditto the above, minus the shopping, plus the getting to meet Mike. We had Christmas Mark II (for me and for the presents I'd brought them from Japan, and for Mike) + Eric's birthday (he turned 21 the next day). It really became clear (almost embarrassingly so) how happy his mom and dad are that we're back together, heh. Mom gave me a mountain of presents, but one was a stocking to keep down with theirs for Christmas futures, and another was a set of Nutcracker ornaments. She's given me Christmas ornaments the last two years, but they were single pieces; this year she gave both me and Jim sets. (eyebrow raising) One might, just might, surmise that she was prepping us to have enough ornaments for a tree of our own. Just might. She also gave me some pretty clothes, which is good, considering I rarely buy pretty clothes for myself. I'm going to exchange two of the jackets she snagged (the sizes are off, slightly, so she gave me the gift reciepts, but they're generally styled a little too old for me), but I promised Jim and me that I'd get something equally nice when I do so.

Tuesday the 30th, Jim, Eric, and Jim's cousin Jake all came up to Seattle to go for Eric's 21 run. I pled out, not really feeling like going and getting drunk if Jim wouldn't get drunk with me (he was driving). See, I didn't turn into an unrecoverable alcoholic in Japan! So there! I twiddled around a lot of the afternoon, had dinner and a little hang-out with Katie-Kate, and headed over to see Seth and Jeff and Jason and Kyle and Chad that night. I really wanted to give Seth a hug, but I've never hugged him before and it'd just be weird. I did mock-pummel Jeff, simply mock Kyle, joke around with Jason, and companionably sit on the couch with Seth over a movie. Life back to normal is GOOD. That night it started snowing again, which would have made coming home a little dicey if I had not been driving Mama's Subaru Baja of Ridiculousness. Let's not get started on the fact that my mom bought a Baja. Sigh. I called Jim on my way home, and arranged to pick him up for the express purpose of driving him the 13 blocks to my apartment, snagging some things, and walking back through the snow to his place. It was a goofy idea, but I think that walking through the midnight snow with him was one of the most quietly perfect parts of my week.

Wednesday the 31st, Jim's parents came up into town. Their 25-year anniversary was on the 1st, so they'd gotten hotel rooms for all of us downtown for a party. Important to note is that they'd reserved a room for me and Jim, which reminds me of something I forgot to mention earlier: Jim's parents have known, perhaps as long as we've been dating, that Jim and I sleep over at each other's places, and that my parents have never cared if he slept over at their place. The rule in Winlock, though, was always that I got Jim's old bedroom and he either got Eric's (if Eric wasn't there), or an air mattress in the living room. Apparently, a couple months before I'd gone to Japan, Jim's dad had told Jim that we didn't need to do that anymore (the fact that Jim never mentioned this to me at the time is probably equal parts the impending breakup itself and Jim's lack of desire at the time to encourage intimacy with me). Anyway, the seven of us (Jim's mom and dad, Mike, Jake, Eric, Jim, me) had a great dinner, champagne and presents in the hotel, and us "kids" trekked over to Seattle Center to watch the Space Needle explode from the Center House lawn. I was cranky that night, mostly because I was PMSing, I think. The monthly standard complaint: I fucking hate menstruation. The fireworks were beautiful, though, and the five of us (four, actually, Mike didn't drink any, or at least not more than a sip) swigged down a bottle of champagne, grinning like fools in a mist mixed with firework smoke. We hung out in the boys' room (Jake, Mike, and Eric were sharing a room, poor guys) drinking another bottle and telling dirty jokes until after 2 am; Jim and I stayed up talking until past 4. I don't think I've gone to sleep before 4 more than one or two days since I got home, probably, which tallies up suspiciously well with being jetlagged still. Hooray. School next week is going to be TEH BEST EVAR.

Thursday the 1st, Jim, Jake, and I hung out all day. Well, okay, there was something like a three hour nap in there, whatever. We collected Eric and went to see Bad Santa in the late afternoon, shooting the number of movies I've seen in the last two weeks to triple that which I'd seen in the preceeding six months, heh. Afterwards, Eric asked if he could come over and hang out at Jim's that night... it wasn't his asking that upset me, but Jim's refusal to deny him (it's complicated, but that's the gist). I wasn't able to talk to him about that until a few hours later, but in a way I'm kind of glad it happened, because it gave me a chance to have an object example to point out to Jim about something that's pissed me off for years. We all went to have dinner before dropping Jake off at the airport. I was sad to see him go (he's in the Navy, and with leave up, had to go back to Iceland). I'd only met him once before, but we got pretty chummy in the two or three days we spent hanging out. Chalk up another one of Jim's family that I adore. I swear, it's sickening. Jim and I had originally planned to hang out that night, but I was pissy about Eric and asked him to just run me home. We dropped Eric off at Jim's before running me on some errands, which gave me a chance to explain to Jim (more in depth than I have here or have the energy to at the moment) why I was pissy at all... he seemed to understand where I was coming from, and offered to come over and spend the night at my apartment (he didn't really want to entertain Eric all night, part of why I was annoyed that he'd yes'd him coming over in the first place, and had no qualms about leaving his brother with his roommates and his computer). For the first time in a long time, I felt like he actually wanted to come over, so even though it took me complaining to prod him into it (I would have rather have him figure out why I was mad and make the offer without me prompting the conversation, but the boy can't read minds, for which I frankly can't blame him and which isn't fair for me to expect in the first place anyway), I came out of things happy. He played KOTOR while I puttered around cleaning my apartment and fighting to get my computers talking to each other properly, the sort of domestic evening that I've been (literally) dreaming about for six months. And longer. Evening, heh. Make that until, oh, 5:30 am or so (rolling eyes). We're awesome.

Today the 2nd, Jim and I got some tasty ghetto Nasai teriyaki (oooooh, spicy chicken and gyoza, I'd missed you so. Gyoza may be better, generally, in Japan, but they're not tasty ghetto Nasai gyoza) before he went to pick up Eric and head back down to Winlock for a last weekend of visiting with Mike before he goes back to New Orleans for another year or two. I finally made some progress on cleaning the place up tonight (the part about fighting with my computers kind of overwhelmed the part about cleaning, last night), and although it's still a disaster area, at least it's a disaster area with a clean kitchen and a designated laundry basket. And some other perks. I geeked out tonight, but hard. I spent two hours reading up on USB 2.0 and my motherboard and a whole host of related subjects. Some weren't even so related, but I was glorying in having an internet connection at 1 am to indulge my tangential mind. Oh internet, how I missed you. Much more than tasty ghetto Nasai gyoza. And then I goofed off making a favicon for the site, just because IE trying to get the file has been filling my error logs for years. Not to mention doing it because I could, because I HAVE MY COMPUTER! (dancing) It doesn't seem to work quite right, but shit, if I stop getting favicon.ico errors, that's good enough for me.

(rubbing eyes) I didn't really think it'd take me that long to write simple, low-detail, paragraph blurbs to fill in gaps, but I suppose it was nearly two weeks of time. At least I'm sleepy enough to likely slip off quickly... ignore that part of it is because it's 5:20 am.