Thursday, January 26, 2006

and a semester has passed

I suppose the goal of keeping this up somewhat regularly has not been met with any enthusiasm here lately. Its already a new semester, and I feel like such a different person from when I last posted, let alone when I first began to post. I don't know where to begin, honestly, so I will begin where I can, and let it flow from there.

I wanted, last time, to give an account of my trip to Japan. I wont go into too much detail here about it, but I can say this: it was life enhancing, wonderful, and altered my perception in a brilliant way. At the same time, life goes on, and my day to day life is much the same. I wake up, go to school, read manga, watch anime, go to work, do homework, paint, cook and clean, with occasional trips outside for fun with others. And yet I am different.

I have a goal now. I am a Japanese major who wants to do the CIR program through JET. I will graduate in a little over one year. I am both excited by these things, and scared of them, while still feeling a bit of nostalgia for my school life that I am about to leave behind.

It is again time for another change in lifestyle. This time I may even go overseas to live. Allow me to rephrase that- this time I will go overseas to live. Heh, I just took a moment to let that sink in a bit more. One thing that is different from the last major change in my life- I am confident that I can handle this one. I know without fail that I will make it on my own, in whatever I choose to do. It may not be smooth, but it will be mine, this path I carve out now.

What is interesting is that what makes me nervous is not moving, or the task at hand, but the convincing of others that I am as capable as I know that I am. I feel like I have no proof. What I will show people is a slip of paper, and a rather shakey record of my life thus far, and I will tell them "I can do this, and I will do this well." But when they ask for previous experience, I can only say that I have improved and learned much in my time at University.

I have mentioned the professor Steve Ross before. Many times. I took his American Dream class last semester, and this semester I am once again registered for a class of his- quality of life. It is a real estate course, and I am participating (internally) in a way I never have before. These interactions with the materials he gives me and the questions he asks have changed me more than anything. But I have still not won. I have not conquored his voice, I am only following him, ever closer, down the trail he treads.

I do not regret being a Japanese major, but I do wish that I also were able to take more architecture courses. It is definately something I see as relevant to my life. But now, I no longer see it as my life. Something Steve says- each discipline tends to look at the world as a subset of itself. But really, I think it is the reverse- the disciplines are subsets of the world. I want to be careful not to look at the world through only one view finder.

I have many projects now. I want to work at getting my apartment complex organized, but it is definately a low income housing area, and there is lack of enthusiasm on their part, and lack of time and effort on mine. I want to do more habitat for humanity work, but again time is a factor, and this semester thus far, I have done all my reading. I really want to give my best effort to my classes this semester- not for the straight As, but for myself. They are classes I love and professors I respect. I want to give them the effort they deserve, and that I deserve to give. Ishmael- it is not what is said, but the journey that will change you. Thus far in school, I have been a passive learner, and as a result, the change upon myself has been minimal. If I enteract more, I am hypothesising that I will have a greater change in myself, and this change (not the accumulation of facts, but the experience of having disciplined myself enough to look them up and learn them) is what I will need for whatever future job I may have.

Heh, if I didn't look the way I do now, one might guess that I have gained a particular grace in my movements that comes with the gaining of some wisdom. Not to say that I am wise, but that I am finally beginning to put some wisdom in my bucket, instead of letting it be overflown with facts from a multitude of sources.

Its very funny right now, because I am on a tightrope again. I feel half as if I am performing for some future unknown audience. They will read stats sheet with reviews on it, and choose either a red stamp or a green stamp, all without asking me even once "so how was the ride?" Its like a critic who looks at a roller coaster from the engineer's blueprints, next to the actual expenditures, and without even asking the first people who rode on it, pronounces it either good or bad. And here I am in the middle of my performance for this man... and try as I might, I can build no tension. This is my life. Twenty one years in the process, it does not start when I leave this campus, and it will be a long time before someone makes me stop (I hope). I am not preparing for anything, THIS, right here, right now, is it. It is very fragile, very small, and yet so strong and bigger than I can comprehend and still so unstable, so uncertain... and I became okay with that.

I don't really understand why or how, but I became a very happy person here. There are things that I am not satisfied with about myself, but I am not unhappy. I smile daily, I laugh even when I am alone. I feel proud of things that I do- even small ones. My life is not bad. I am very privlidged, and even more so to recognize it. I really don't understand how.. but my heart moved. I have become much better than an optimistic, hopeful person. I have become a determined free floating spirit, content in my daily activities, and spinning around dizzy as I move- not just forward, but looking all around me and laughing.

Its okay if I fall. It makes me appreciate being on my feet that much more once I get up again.

If I can keep this spirit in me, no matter how I change in the future, I think that I can be happy.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I Have Returned

A long time ago. Yeah.. almost a month. There is just so much to do.

I had the most amazing time. It was wonderful, and not just because it was all roses. There were plenty of hard things about the trip as well- mainly the company. But I can't go into that right now.

Basically I havn't been here because I have been elsewhere- school has started back up again. I am taking history of japan, japanese 3, psychology of advertising, oceanography, and Steve's American Dream class.

Up until last week I was working 40 h0urs+ a week still. I have been trying to edit out redeye and glare from my pictures so I can get them printed and then make a scrapbook. I have been trying to find time to finish my journal about the trip- a hand written one. I still need to finish Scotts paintings.

I have to keep up with school work and house work as well, plus have some kind of social life. As you can see... busy. Very busy.

But I reduced my hours to where I only work Weds, Fridays and Saturdays. This now gives me plenty of time after this week- I have a huge essay due. Next week will be a little cramped with my first oral exam in Japanese, but I am not too worried yet. My first advertising exam- last Friday- was a 96.

Despite my a/c being inadequate and the overflow of people in Austin causing my job to be three times as busy as normal, I am having a good time. I bought new clothes. I paid off a little over half of my debt from the trip, and am slowly going to work off the rest. I have given out the souvineers sucessfully, and am now more fully participating in Steve's class.

As long as I pull off this essay for Japanese History by Friday while working on Wednesday, and using Tuesday as a movie night for Steve's class, I should be in a great place to do what I want.

Thats it for now. I will hopefully write more on Japan here at a later time.

Friday, August 12, 2005

So Much to Cover

Its been a while, time has flown. There was no movie with Marcus. I have mostly gotten over the worry- I think. It may be that I am too preoccupied with everything else to pay it any attention. In any case, the catagory of Boys has been once again safely removed to the backburner.

Today I picked up the yen from the bank and helped Marcus move. I also began a cool diary/log/scrapbook-ish thing which I will faithfully write in through out my trip to Japan- which begins in less than 26 hours. *gulp* It doesnt feel real. I think that is why I havn't packed yet.

Scott's paintings are not finished- not all my fault though. He still hasn't sent me the pictures of the buildings he wants. But I still want to finish a lot more on the painting before mom and dad get here tomorrow. But I have to pack. And buy a new memory card. And buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And plane snacks. And probably some other things I have forgotten. I still need to clean more. And I have 14 hours, of which I am sleeping through half of.

Hrms.. other big news. Grandma glassed in her patio- a new room. She also gave me one grand towards my trip which I could desperately use. Oh, I met Alisa's mother. That was fun- I woke up 10 minutes late and that is a very strict woman. I am NOT moving. Just in case you missed it- I was looking at new apts with an apartment finder lady. But since my rent just -verbally- went down to $555 from $660 at my insistance, it is no longer profitable for me to pay all new deposites, and movers at a really stressful time of the year. Yays for not giving up washer and dryer in unit. Oh, but I do want to try to go get it in writing tomorrow.. as well as there is some paperwork I need to fill out which I angrily threw into the floorboard and stomped all over. Dunno where it is even. Just its dirty wrinkly now and a new sheet would be better. OH I need new batteries too... writing this down now.

Otherwise, my head hurts the cats crazy and I need to sleep now. Oh and I quit Blockbuster. That surely isnt new though, right?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Oy

So I have called more Japanese people and it is a little harder than before- especially when they wander from the expected questions. But we survived. Found no better places, but gained an understanding- or better one- of where I stand in the language situation. We have changed our plan to accomodate this and our new goal is to find a good English speaker in Tokyo and ask for their help in finding out if there have been any cancelations that we may capitalize on.

In other notes, the apartment people want to check the status of my income. This would be the third rant today if I had enough energy to rant. Basically they gave me too short of notice, I tried to comply, but turned mean when they werent accomodating. I probably will be given punishment for my behavior later.

Also today I received Scotts check and the pannels. They are huge, but they are what I wanted. I am happy with them. I cleaned out a space for them, kinda, and am almost ready to paint. I got an email from Scott making sure I got the check and telling me he has taken pictures for me. Yay. I am excited and want to get started as soon as possible.

A third curiosity.. I think I may have been on a date with Marcus. Mother told me he was safely far away in Houston and I didn't have to worry about him. Well. He is now in Austin, he gets his car tomorrow, and I think I had a date with him today- albeit a short one.
I requested his services for hard labor on the pannels. We then went to Seven-Eleven and he bought my dinner along with his (it was good, and it was my idea). We then drove by the apartments he is moving to, and wants me to move in to with him. I looked and they are nice. I will call them probably on Monday to try to see the interiors and discuss specifics. They are within walking distance of the University as well, so that is a huge plus. Then we drove to the baseball stadium, parked, and walked around the grounds while talking and eating. He insisted on carrying my fruit cup for me. I think he also wanted to close my door for me, but I told him his door was already open so he went to his side. I almost wish I hadn't so I could know for sure.

Among some of the more strange things said this evening were " you don't know how much I have been looking forward to seeing you." "I missed you." and "you are beautiful." He also told me that someone in another car looked like me- when I mistook him for meaning the middle aged Mexican next to me he said something akin to "no no no, Mexican men don't turn me on." I didn't respond to this... but does that mean I do? those words were in my head, locked tight behind my lips.

For better or worse, I am finding myself more and more like a stereotypical manga character- denying the feelings even though everyone else knows they are there. Except well, no one knows because they don't hang out with us like that.

He may take me to a movie Saturday evening- even though I should be painting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Yata!!

I am so psyched.
Seriously, I could become addicted to the phone.

For the first time, I made my first international call, overseas, to Japan. I talked with a real live Japanese person, and they talked to me. For several minutes, it was a conversation, and we both understood!!! Okay, yes, I know that technically Hatanaka-sensei, Aida-sensei and Suzuki-san were all Japanese people who I talked to live. But they weren't in Japan, and they knew English as well.

But today I talked to someone living completely separate from me who did not know my language and it worked out just fine. I was able to find out they had no open rooms. It wasn't great information, but my confidence in speaking has soared.. along with it my anxiety is creeping up that I am overestimating.. but still. I can do this. We are doing this.

Also it dawned on me how awsome the phone is... completely unconnected folks talking to each other on opposite sides of the world. Just so cool.

I could seriously become addicted. Like the only serial prank caller of Japan who calls just to try out their Japanese... yeah its weird, but possible. Maybe I could get some cool name too... like denwabanditosan or somethin... oy I am sad. But this is sooo freakin cool. I cannot stress that enough.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I GOT MY PASSPORT

Well, almost. I got the status check which said it was mailed yesterday- which means I should get it tomorrow or Friday. Its the same thing- its on its way. The birth certificate was not a problem.

Other than that... I got through today alive- it was suprisingly slow at BB today... partially because all I did was check out people. Joey I met today- and he is nice. He is lazy in terms of what he is willing to do... but I may be misinterpreting layed back. He is mainly a writer, and is soon moving to Boston, or so he says. Either way, any man who gets me out of the store at 12:15 is good in my book.

I called Marcus since I had a message on my phone from him. He told me about how he painted his new models and how great they look, talked up playing with him this fall on his computer game, and basically asked about how I was. It was a how are you call. The last one of those I got... was either Billy or David... most likely Billy. Thats how long ago. Well, last one from a guy. Girls.. we check up on each other all the time.

I don't know what bothers me more though- all these small things that I am mentioning, or the fact that I am mentioning them..er noticing? Usually I am clueless. But this time I am wondering exactly what is going on with him. So does this mean I have grown and started being able to pick up on things, or am I being paranoid, or worse, am I really wanting to see things? and yeah, that is a worse. What do I do if I start to like a friend who for all purposes is off limits as the ex of a good friend? And she still thinks they can get back together some day, although it has been made clear to me that it is impossible.

But its just phone calls for now so I can pretend I am clueless. He is all the way far far away in Houston and I wont see him for at least another three weeks. I am supposed to help him move into his apartment with my truck. He could just be trying to butter me up for that... geh. I need to stop this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Today My Feet Hurt

They really do. But that is okay, because as you can see, I am just off of work, and I actually have the energy to do an entry and take a shower. I might be able to get used to this schedule- as long as I do some register and not just run movies all day long. Running movies kills me, my back and my feet. Register is just my feet. But even not that bad because we get to stand on a mat.

I spent most of my break today talking with Mom and complaining about Blockbuster, but after my nap this afternoon (which made me 10-20 mins late) it wasn't all that bad. I left today thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could do this.

None the less, it is still hard, and I have no memory on my computer left due to backup of anime I have not watched. This is really bad because One Piece came out tonight, and FMP the second raid comes out tomorrow. Not to mention Naruto and Bleach... But I work tomorrow as well. Thursday will be my catch up day I suppose. And I will call scott after 5pm since I have still not gotten a response.

Okay, shower time, and maybe some planning on how to get my uniform washed for tomorrow. Its been almost a week of wearing those shirts and those pants and they need some help. But there is no time to really wash them...