Saturday, July 31, 2004

Spend Thrift I Am Not

Well at least not today.

I made a point to get up early- and I might have. I dunno. Got woken up by Steve asking me to come in this afternoon. But I refused. I wanted to go see the live cooking show at the mall. I even printed out directions. In any case, I got up on time, and got out the door relatively okay.

No sooner did I hit the freeway did my dad call. We talked for a bit, and as a result, I did not follow the directions I printed out exactly. Then having missed my exit for the second time, I threw them away all together, and asked a man in a parking lot.

He seemed nice enough, but his directions were crap, and I ended up almost outside of Austin before I realized it. At that point, I just turned around and went back to where I messed up on the printed directions, and somehow made it where I was going with only one more screw up. Street names should not change spontaneoulsy- no matter what city you are in or how many people thinks its obvious.

I got there around noon, had a fun time walking around, but wasn't really interested in looking in the shops surprisingly. I headed fairly straight towards the taping for the show, and sat through the wine tasting section and both Grady Spears section and another man .. Atkins Curtis or something like that. Grady looked awkward, but the Curtis man was interesting and funny.

Afterwards, I walked around some more, checked out some anime, bought a smoothie, and headed towards the theater to see what was playing. I decided there on Shrek 2, and had a grand ol time. It was a good movie, equal with the first.

On the way back out is where I ran into trouble. I saw a booth with the old mario brothers on it, and had to stop to play for memory's sake. It was awsome- and apparently not the only game. No console needed, the full versions of 45 old school games were stored within controllers you meerly plugged into your television- for only 50$. I caved. Those games are just too sweet to let go, and the controllers are small and easy to put up.

I can't spend money for a long time after this. I wasted all my awsome tips I got yesterday. But at least I am not in the hole for this week. Oh, and I did buy a jumbo card for grandma and grandpa's thankyou. They called today also, but I was in the movie and missed them. Hopefully I get the card out before they call again.

*sigh* gotta work tomorrow, noon to twelve. Its going to be a drag, and I still need to clean my uniform from yesterday. *snif* I hate laundry.

Wow

This gets hard to remember.

Well, for today, lets see. On time this morning. Actually woke up and my hair was nice. Of course, no one was around to see it, and it rained and was very humid all day. Marcus wasn't on the bus.

Um, I finally got the sake bottle almost finished. I might have messed up on the cap a bit, but I think I can lighten the shadows on Monday and fix it. The other bottles look awsome. Everyone is starting to notice, and its giving me a bit of a high.

I had to work today. Wasn't sure if I was supposed to be in at 5 or 6, called up there, and she said 4:30. Apparently a few people had called in sick. But for an hour I was the only car hop. THAT was a bit of a nightmare. And although my feet hurt right now, I made good tips. $45 in one night. Oh, there is a new girl too. Her name starts with an L, but I dont remember it well. She was short toay- and if she doesn't give back the money by Sunday she is fired. But then I did the same thing once.

Tomorrow, or should I say today? I hope to go to Barton Square Creek Mall. Apparently they are having a chef thing for free. Grady Spears will be there. I dont know whether I should bring the book he already signed, or buy another one. Both are possible as I still have extra cash from mom and dad. It starts at 11, I hope I can get up in time. Surely so. It will be one of my first outings with the car. I am excited.

On a side note, I am thinking about delaying Japan. Not just for financial reasons, althought that would releive some of the burden for the semester and allow me to do well in class. But I am thinking that I want to be there during festival time and see Obon and the cherry blossoms and the irises. New Year's is big, but I dont have a grave to visit. Maybe if I go in the summer I can be a volunteer and live in the community a bit better. It also gives me more time to work on my Japanese, and more time to be there in general.

The hardest part about this is putting it off again after so many times of wanting to go somewhere. Also admiting to people that i told I am going, that I am not going just yet. I dont know why that should bother me- its still the same year- but it does.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

A Few Days Go By..

and you dont even notice.

Well actually, I noticed, but I was really tired and made a bad but concious decision to not write. The result is this is going to be a huge post and a mix match of various things from the past few days.

So... what do I remember for sure?

I talked to Jinny about the grade trouble thing. She suggested telling my dad that I was looking at the wrong numbers and was tired and confused- which has a certain appeal over commiting insurance fraud or anything serious, with the added benefit of not outright admitting I lied. Which I should do, but dont have the guts to do. Not this time.

I still have several weeks to think it over. But it is bothering me much more than I origionally thought. It makes things harder. I am having difficulty during quiet times when I start to go over a million other things I could have said that would have been better and more right.

Um.. yesterday I was late. I woke up to the sound of the bus I usually take driving off. 20 minutes later I was out the door on the next one, only to fall down in the grass about three steps out of it at school. The class was already outside drawing "portraits of trees," so a few of them saw me, and I had big stains on my knees from the dew. But it turned out okay.

Yesterday after class I tried out Japan Sushi Bar which opened up a few weeks ago just up the street. Very expensive and not much selection. I went with the 25$ meal for tamago and sea urchin sushi (one peice each), a bowl of udon noodle with beef, and tempura banana with red bean paste icecream.

One of the most expensive meals I have had in a while, but it was good. Except for the sea urchin. THAT was an experiment which did not pan out. But now I know. Its like a soft creamy jelly with the color appeal of boiled intestines. The smell is very salty also, and not in appealing way. I will never try it again.

On a semi side note- curiously the cherries tacked on to the banana boat for color and visual appeal were sour, instead of regular marchiano. I would like to know how they did that.

Today was on time again. Leftover udon noodle for breakfast, and a morning shower as I actually fell asleep early and unintentionally. I slept with my contacts in even. It took me a while to figure that out too. I couldn't understand why everything was so clear when I opened my eyes. I had to mentally note that my glasses were still in the bathroom, which means I didn't wear them to bed the night before.

We started inking in our tree portraits. Despite only having vaugely tried something like this before with Leonita, mine is looking pretty good. I am not sure how, but it is. This baffles me, and I think annoys others. Though I am not sure of their true feelings. I think they might be a little against me because I keep on checking with other folk- I dont know why I do it but I do. I want a second oppinion, but more than that I want someone to talk to, and someone to acknowledge my work. Or at least constructively critisize me.

I am starting to stay later after school. I kinda like it. I am still alone, but at least I am being productive and there are other people in the area. Plus it keeps me on time with my projects. It seems like everything I have started has been several degrees more difficult than most. I spent almost an hour reproducing a Jack Daniel's label in map pencil today. Its not perfect, but if you step back it conveys the idea rather well.

In a general fashion, I have been running down like a clock on its last twist. I have been very tired lately, and no amount of sleep seems to help. Talked to mom just a few minutes ago, and she thought it might be my potassium levels going down again because of the medication. Either way, it sucks. I can't keep this up for much longer. I might need to start taking vitamins again.

Tomorrow I gotta work- first time this week, which is a little odd. Somewhat like punishment for skipping out last Friday also, though I dont know if Steve is that kind of person. For sure though, he is one who finishes last minute on projects. He NEVER gets the schedule done on time.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Trouble is Stirring...

And it is building itself up big.

The truck is a wonderfully awsome gift- however it comes with a big hook. Insurance. My parents are paying for it. Which is why they want a copy of my grades- to get the discount offered to students with a GPA higher than 3.0. Which mine is not.

I put off the grade report while they were here, but they asked again tonight, and I reluctantly said it wasn't high enough. But I said it should be up there soon. Like around fall. Which is a big fat lie. MAYBE if I do well, it could be a 3.0 at the end of next spring. But its not even possible before then. My only hope is that they will forget- but they wont. He even half requested me send the report to him anyway just to see if they would let it slide.

I have some thoughts about maybe faking a grade report- not an official one, but just a print out of the UT thing set with a few numbers changed. But I dont know if they confirm the reports they get before giving the discount. If they called and found out I falsified information... forget the legal implications of it all, just dealing with my parents would be enough to make me want to dissappear.  But if I can confirm that they do not check the information.... then it would be considerable. Very rotten of me, but its a matter of survival in a way. One of those if you do something wrong, and no one is around to see, no one finds out, and you fix it, was it ever there to begin with? It definately is, and I dont know if I can live with myself knowing I went that far to uphold a lie.

In other respects it was a good day. I got an 87 on my Intro to Japan exam. I finished my charcoal hand this afternoon, and am almost finished with the planning of the papper bag drawing. I just have to transfer it to the real board. Proffessor Woody okayed me working with water colors, even though I only had the digital photos, and no real paintings. Mom found my real paintings under my bed, and they are safe. Thankfully.

I did not see Marcus today, and I wanted to. It was dissappointing, but I am not sure why. Maybe I wanted to brag a bit? About the truck. I feel like I want to talk about it for no particular reason but to see someone else be surprised, but there is no one to listen. Its ho hum ordinary business. I havn't even driven it yet, other than that one time with mother.

But I do feel a definate itch to take it out and try my new wings. The question of all questions being- where to? The current answer coming to mind is the ice ring. That sounds fantastic. I should also look around for a public-ish beach to play at. I cant go crazy though and rent a kayak for the weekend. I am still saving money for Japan.

I am wondering, if it really would be wise to wait for summer. There are so many more festivals in summer, as well as if I go in spring I could see the cherry blossoms, and maybe the irises. Participate in Obon and even see the August Hanabi festival... the most spectacular fireworks show in the world. I would have more money so I could stay longer. I really do want to take my time over there. Maybe look at doing one of the volunteer things so its not all tourism. IF I decide to wait, I would want to get more involved to where I became part of a community- not be just another dumb American tourist. I am still going to work, plan and save like I am going this winter though- my mind is not made up yet, but still better to act as though it is and prepare.

But indeed, if I waited until summer again, that would be almost 8 grand, as opposed to around 3500.  I could go for a whole month, without worry.

Almost Forgot

But I didn't, as you can see.

Today was the last day of the visit from the family. It was kinda sad, but a little releiving. Nothing really to do or talk about that interesting or pressing. Even though I did find out Mema and Papa are no longer doing a BBQ stand, but looking into a full restraunt, with Gordon as a backer. Its a huge step.

It went relatively well. The car for one thing was a huge surprise. I didn't expect to get it, and it still hasn't completely sunk in. I am getting bits of "I have a car" ness. But its not full blown yet, and I havn't gone for a drive. I am a little scared of Austin roadways- I have never really paid attention to where I was going, so I am gonna get lost a lot. 

Mom and Dad did ask for a grade report from me for the insurance discount. I didn't give them one, but it is still a problem. They will be asking for it again, and my gpa hasn't been raised that much just yet. Maybe I can get them to wait a little longer, but if not, its going to be a tough road.

One not so good thing- they brought the wrong portfolio. I only have two pictures of paintings I did when I was 14 to show the professor. Hopefully that will be enough, but if not, I can get more digital pictures sent by the end of the week.  I think. If Uncle Mike is obliging enough.

We went to Barton Springs today and walked around. It was nice, and dad got to see some of fun Austin. But Grandma had a hard time walking, and both she and mom were irritated about the heat and started griping after a while. It kinda dampened the good mood.  I am not sure where else to take them next time they come in to Austin. Dad is not interested in museums, and there are just  a few state parks - but really, unless your staying there, why go?

Maybe next time I should arrange for us to all go to a show one night. Mom would love it for sure, and with my passes I bought, I should get a good enough discount for 3 tickets. Either a comedy club, or a new play that would hold dads interest. Live theater though, not a movie. I have made it my goal to give them culture. Or maybe we could go to the Alamo Draft House, and then a coffee shop afterwards where we can talk. That sounds like a good deal, depending on whats showing. I will think on it at a later date.

In any case, I have to get some sleep because I have some chores to do tomorrow. I have to deal with the credit card company and the office at the apartment complex to see about getting the filters changed, air conditioning checked, carpet cleaned, antenna hooked up and the truck registered.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

What Can I Say?

It was a full day. I got up early- around 8 am, and vacuumed, took out the trash and got dressed before everyone got here.

We brought everything up, and Grandma and Grandpa said they had something for me down in the car. It was the keys. They gave me their old Dodge Dakota. Seven years old, 300,000 miles, but looks like it was just driven off the lot. It was another moment when  I had no idea what to say. It was very unexpected, and a complete surprise.

We went to breakfast, and then to Sams to buy groceries, with a few stops inbetween. Picked up good sake at whole foods and such. Then came home and most everyone rested while mom and I took a test drive around the area so I could get the feel of it. Its great. Easy to turn and stop, not too big- although too long for the closest part of the parkinglot here. But thats okay. I even still have the ladder rack so I can put a kayak or store things on top of the camper. Inside we are going to put carpet, and bungee cord a large cooler we bought at Sams today.

I am exhausted right now, but very happy. I wish I could be more expressive for them. They deserve to see a big reaction. I will definately send a card, but right now I am about to fall over dead tired.

We went to Ichiban to eat dinner around 7, and they liked it. Was more food than we could handle, but very good, and we even got a discount card. 5% credit on everything and you can get something discounted after 10$ is racked up. As long as it doesnt expire, I now have  a way to get there for lunch.

As for watching anime with mom, maybe tomorrow morning. We watched one episode, but really, everyone is too tired. Even too tired to open up the sake. Guess it depends on how late everyone stays tomorrow.

To Combat the Recent Rush of Earlies...

We have decided to do one really really late post.

Actually I have been cleaning, kinda, for mom and dad and the gparents when they get here tomorrow morning. I worked this evening, so didn't have time then. I got off early, and then messed around with some anime while working.. so it took some time. But I am finally ready for bed.

I also finished Tools today- against all odds. I also finished the charcoal hand- but not the object. I am going to have to stay late every day next week and then some to make up for it, and keep up with the objects and paper bag assignment.

I talked to the prof about watercolors today. He told me to bring in some of my old stuff so he could see where I am. I asked mom to get me some pictures of the framed stuff in Fort Worth, and to bring the rest of my portfolio. I think he will be rather pleasantly surprised.

I checked to see if my credit card had gone down. I need to talk to them. I transfered money into the account thinking it would reduce the balance- but instead it looks like it increased the credit. Which is SO not what I want. I will call on Monday though, because I dont want to deal with it this weekend while everyone is here, and I have the time before the next payment is due.

There is a chance I wont have to work tomorrow- which is a good thing. I feel a little guilty asking if someone would like to take my place, but its better to ask so I can spend time with the family. I couldn't look them in the eye if they questioned how hard I tried to get out of work, if I didn't at least say something to the manager. Its okay, really. I got 10 hours, which has become my usual.. unfortunately. Plus tips it comes out to a little over a hundred for this week. I did forget to ask him about reducing my deductions on the paycheck. Well, I didn't forget.  I thought it was a bad time to ask him. Too many requests at once, and he wasn't smiling at the time.

Oh yeah- one more thing. I had a bastard customer today. The first of what I hope will be few. He asked for one thing after another. Literally. He waited till I went back inside and came back out to make another request. I had katsup on me, but it wasn't enough- go back. He wants pepper, go back. He wants water, go back. He wants ice, go back. He gave no tip. THEN the real top off- I went to do a lot check, and all the paper and packages for his pepper and katsup and lids for the ice and water WERE TORN UP AND ON THE GROUND. I mean a HUGE mess. That man does not deserve public service. He deserves a beating and a few months in a polyester uniform on the poor side of town working back to back double shifts on sale days.

NOTE TO POSSIBLE READERS:
If you are like this man, don't be. Its indecent. Its inhuman. It may even get you a snot wad in your second free water.  Have compassion, tip, even if only a little, smile and say thank you, and CLEAN YOUR OWN SHIT.

Thank you and have a good night.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Long and Peaceful

Yup, that would be today.

This time I actually did manage to get up early and get to class early. To my surprise, there were other people there too.  We worked on the usuals- Tools, charcoal hand with object, and then began to work on the paper bad with objects. The one whose thumbnails I got up early to do this morning.

My thumbnails were horrible. But fixable. Part of the problem was he simply didn't understand why the grocery cart (one of my objects) was smaller than the paper bag, and the bottles were huge. When he saw the mini bottles of liquor and the mini grocery cart, he understood, and told me to play up the surreal aspect to it- which I had already planned to do. I wanted something out there looking. But I didn't feel the need to defend myself.  As it is now, I have a nice, if difficult, composition to work on. So long as no one drinks my subjects.

I worked through lunch, had a pleasant time in Intro to Japan, and then grabbed some sushi and returned to the classroom. I stayed till 5:30 working on the Tools. I finished the shadows for the hammer and the tongs, and completed the wrench and its shadow as well. All that is left is the hand holding a tool- which I am supposed to talk to Woody about first.

Interesting time coming home- I nearly flattened a guy. I passed him while he was sitting down, then he got up and started running at me. All I heard was some guy rushing me from behind, and I turned and was ready to lay him out on the ground when I realized he was headed across the street and so not focused on me. Still, it pleases me that I reacted that way. At least I havn't forgotten everything David taught me.

I had to run for the bus. I need to work out more. I was tired just from going half way down the San Jack. I already made a kind of promise to stretch more last night. I am going to start doing sit ups and stretches every night. I am so stiff compared to how I used to be when I was doing gymnastics and martial arts. I want to at least get back to doing the splits without wincing. I might make a sign and put it on my bedroom wall, so I dont forget. Though I dont like doing that so much cause when people visit its somewhat embarassing. I could put it in Japanese, but then it would be more like decoration, and somehow that seems to undermine the purpose of the sign itself.

*shrugs*

I will figure it out.

Meanwhile... anime and laundry.. prep for the parents.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Early Again

But I don't think I am going to last too much longer.

I made it through the test- took till the last few seconds. I made it to the bank, and picked up my workable fixative and masking tap for art class. Now what is left this week is cleaning, work, and somehow making up for excessive details on my Tools assignment in art. I am behind. I should be finishing tomorrow, but instead am only about half finished.

I have come to realize today how tedious planning a trip to a foreign country is going to be. I have been reading the book I bought at the STA travel agency, and I must say it was the best $20 dollars I ever spent.  There are so many things I didn't think of, or know how to find out about, and its all neatly packaged in a little book with an easy to use table of contents.

But I am still going to have trouble. I want to do so much, and this book is showing me more and more possibilities. I have a feeling that I am going to end up very rushed over there in an attempt to do everything. But I doubt I will be able to earn enough to stay for four weeks. I am going to have to go through extensive planning and chart making to figure out exactly what I want to see and where I want to go. I can even plan down to places to eat. It has city maps, and price ranges, and even great details about local owners of hostels and their querks. The trick is going to be not micromanaging my time. I have to restrain myself in order to allow for flexibility, and some actual relaxation. I dont want it to be a picture taking mission.

The good news is I am looking at it now. Seriously looking at it. My origional idea was something along the lines of get a passport, get vaccinations, hop a plane and get there. Then walk and try to understand. Which, while surely an interesting approach, would cause me to miss a whole lot of these fun little festivals for local towns, as well as not so well known attractions. But now, I am planning and learning, and I have at least two months to play with ideas and set out a general pattern of travel before I have to start making decisions.

Of course, I still intend to follow my father's advice and go to another agency to see what they say. I would never admit it to his face, but he is rather resourceful and smart about these things.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Reporting In

Well, I got home about 30 minutes ago. It took me forever to count down at work as some wonderful woman decided to pay me $7 in nickels and pennies.

I was not able to find someone to switch shifts with for Saturday, and on top of that, I already work on Friday, so it would have sucked anyway. I would either have worked a double shift on Friday, or worked on Thursday and Friday, giving me no time to clean before the folks got here. Thus the schedule for this weekend is: I work my given hours. My parents leave at mid Saturday morning and arrive leasurely around 2 in the afternoon, at which point I request off early if there is room for it.  If not, oh well. Its more money. If so, I rush home, take a shower, and we go out to eat, then explore Austin night life- as much as you can when your touting along two senior citizens and your parents. They will stay till late afternoon on Sunday.

Last night's phone call with Dad worked out wonders. Like a charm even. I introduced him to the idea of going without Michelle and her roommate, and instead going with a group tour. He was okay with this, even though he stressed the importance of talking with Michelle and seeing if I could bring down the cost of their trip and comprimise a little more with them. The point being that all my horrible and evil scheaming will work. I will go through 'negotiations' a bit more while learning more about what I want to do, and outlining their idea of a completely different trip. I will explain, then get the permission to go ahead on my own with the tour. I can then use Tanaka-sensei as security for staying the third week, as I would like to visit her, and she has been open to the idea. I would not be completely alone- even though my stay with Tanaka sensei would most likely be only a day as I pass through her town. I feel a little dirty for all the manipulating, but it beats being told flat out that I can't go.

Alright, time to stop playing and get to work.

This week is a big crunch time for me. I have to study for my exam tomorrow, and read Chushingra- an evil puppet play from the 1500's. Then I have to catch up in my art class on the tools project, and get my supplies. Also run by the bank and cash my check, as well as clear the debt on the credit card. Then hopefully I can pick up some solvent and masking tape so I can stop begging from others in class by Thursday. Thursday I need to clean the apartment, catch up on laundry, and make room for my mother's DVDs by burning off around 20 - 30 gigs of anime. Friday night I work, and then do a second round about cleaning and laundry cause I work again on Saturday morning, and then they are here. Hopefully I can clear the fridge by then of evidence of going off the diet with all that fruit. But it was sooo good.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Its a Little Early, but..

Nothing more is going to happen today.
 
It was a good day, and will continue to be- although I have a lot of reading to do. I did not realize I had an exam on Wednesday. But that's okay, because that means its over with before my parents get here. Thus no need to studdy over the weekend.
 
I dropped by the STA Travel place this afternoon. I had made a huge list of questions and wants, and when I walked in there... it was as if I had never thought about it. I went to the book rack and started looking through a guide book to Japan, until someone asked if they could help me.
 
I plopped myself down and said yup, explained I wanted to go to Japan for 2- 3 weeks, didn't really know what there was to do though, and wasn't sure of prices. She suggested a tour, and I got one of those magazines she showed me. They are a little too tame for my tastes though. They have the comfort level rather high, but I want to feel like I am out of the United States. But the important thing- they are cheap. Kinda. $1805, and I think that includes airfare, but not entirely sure. She said I could do the ticket separate and then stay after the tour leaves and do my own thing- which is what I am looking into now. I bought the book, and am going to look through it and decide what I want to do, and see how that matches up with the tour.
 
The good news is that the tour and prices thing is a good way to break the news to my parents that I am going alone. With a group of 12 people, its not entirely alone, so they dont have to worry. Then on top of that, with the prices being so much better, it is a reason for not wanting to go with Michelle and her roommate. They were saying $4,000 - $5,000. I KNOW I can do it cheaper than that, for sure now. Which my Dad should appreciate. Moreover, since I bought the book (with some trouble cause I couldn't write a check and couldnt find my card) I have something to show them when they come in this weekend. I can prepare them tonight by telling them about my visit to the travel agency, and then have a much more detailed plan for them to look at when they come in.
 
Also, minor note in the day, on the way back I ran in to Elizabeth from last year. She seemed to be doing well. I have half a mind to try to find her phone number and get together with her sometime. She is really sweet.

And They're Gone

First Hostess Mission Complete. Second to begin immediately.
 
We got up this morning without event- and eventually decided to go to Oasis for lunch. Its a neat restraunt on Travis lake. I saw it from the boat last time my folks were in town, thought it was a landscaped bed of flowers because of all the brightly colored umbrellas. Its right next to Hippy Hollow also. Just for a reference point. :P We talked, and then went to pick up David so I could get my plate back from the blueberry panckaes, and they all left for Houston. I then took a very long nap.
 
LaterI called my folks. Apparently it is better for them if they come this weekend instead of waiting a bit more. SO, I have to now keep the apartment spotless because my granparents (on the father's side) and my parents will be here this coming Friday.
 
I am actually happy about this. I see no reason why we can't have a blast together. My parents are great, no issues what so ever with having fun and tearing it up. I plan to take my mother to Einstein's one night. She is looking forward to it. My dad wants to go to Barton Springs and see about the cannoe rentals.
 
My grandparents... are old socialites. But they can deal. So long as I dont ask them to join us for Indian food. The report from my mother said they were absolutely terrified when she told them that I get to choose the places to eat. Last time I chose the restraunt, it was Maharajia in Fort Worth- and they hated it. They don't like curry. I figure I will take them to Ichiban or the World Beat Cafe, or even possibly the Thai Noodle House. Some place interesting- but not Indian. They might like the art museums or something similar to that. A less active activity. We shall see. Hopefully I dont have to work (Steve has not finished the schedule, AGAIN), or a major test around then.
 
So, I dont know what it is, but I have been sore these past few days beyond belief. Part of it is work, I am sure, and maybe so much time on the computer, maybe the arcade games. The awsome boxing game was definately a strain. I am not used to such action. But I hurt. Greatly. And its not going away. My arms and legs were like rocks- you cant even push in the flesh my muscles are so tense. Well, were.
 
My point is that finally the 18.99 or so that I spent on a massage book paid off. I finally pulled it off the shelf, along with the massage oils, and went through the entire self massage chapter. It took about an hour and a half, and I am not completely mushy now, but its better. And it felt great. I think if my hair wasn't wet, it would have been easier, but such is life. Thats the reason this entry is so late anyway. I did that before this. Almost skipped the entry, but it was too nice of a day to forget. Just very calm and easy going. Everything clean and quiet, cool, and just somehow refreshing.
 
It was a very good day. Leaving me with a smile even, and looking forward to my parent's visit. I can't wait to see what my grandparents think of my few changes. I am going to try to finish one of my paintings before they get here as well. Hopefully I dont slack off, its almost done to begin with.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Frustration with the term "Friend"

I feel sick.
 
I don't know how I got here. "Here" being an extreme low. Simple words can do that to a person. Sink everything, and create damage beyond repair. Especially with relationships.
 
Currently I have several images filing through my head in a loop. One of them is from a dream where my best friend from grade school shot me. Another is Sarah crying on my floor, and me being determined to do everything within my power to help her. Another time racing in my car to watch her choir recital when her parents couldn't be there. Then a few years later when I came in to Austin as planned to see her and go watch the opening of the LOTR with her. Specifically the telephone conversation I had with her, when she explained she saw it with her sisters already, and would be too busy to see me. Then rewind to the argument I had with my parents about coming up that weekend. They told me not to, and I fought  so I could go see that movie with her. Then my poem at Bacculaureat- Bubbles of Strength. I wrote every word, and as I read them I ment them. Truely believing that we would be together forever. Then to Joseph telling me he never wanted to talk to me again, and crying for three days straight. Myself, saying I had work to get out of talking to Carrie when she was upset. And of course, last night, when Danny asked Jinny when we became "close friends" and she said we weren't close.
 
It shocked me. I hid it well, agreed with her. But I consider her my best friend this side of Texas. Considered? Does her answer change mine? Does the depth of a friendship have to be equal on both sides? Can it be inequal without a grudge eventually arising?
 
What does friendship really mean? I have always chosen carefully, I thought. But still, there are moments where they support you endlessly, and in the same breath can cut you deep, and drop you to dwell in your personal hell. They know the buttons to push for the reactions they want. But is that the same as knowing your weaknesses? I lived with my parents for 18 years, and I managed to hide my weaknesses and feelings from them for 14 of them. Until I got tired of it. But these people that I want to know me, want to show everything about me- I sometimes feel like they know me no better than my parents. Do they ever wonder about my motivation for the things I do? Am I thought of after I turn the corner or the window is shut?
 
How many times have I promised people that I would be there for them? I have told every person I considered a friend that my house was open to them if they needed it. To not hesitate to call me if they needed help with anything. Money for a cab, a ride across town, another person to grab the feet and keep watch for the cops. I never put any time limits on it. I think I would honor this promise, if years down the road someone popped up and asked for help. I intend to. But how many people view me in that light?
 
Am I a fool for trying to be there for everyone? Especially in light of the many shortcomings of the people I have called friends. I am guilty as well for letting my friends fall, but more often than not, I feel as if I am the one being dropped.
 
On top of that, I am unsure to what extent I can claim to have a right to make demands on friends. Everything is voluntary with a friendship- but when something happens that seems a breach of contract, what right do I have to complain? If someone promises me a ride to the train station, but cancels last minute and I have to call a cab, do I have a right to yell at them? Logically, I would say yes. However, I was relying on them in the first place, and they just became unable to do as promised because their priorities are different.
 
Do I have a right to rely on a friend for a ride? Or am I really a fool... like the dog who gets kicked across the room, only to roll over, lick its wounds, and make its way back to its master with unflenching loyalty in the face of pure hatred and cruelty?
 
I am starting to loose faith in people, and I don't like it, but I am unable to stop it. I cannot stop the doubts that creep in when I make plans, and go out of my way for people. I can't stop the idea that I should be holding back, not showing everything about myself for protection. But I dont want to be that way. I want to keep wearing my heart on my sleeve, but I am not sure how long I can take it.

A Busy Day and Yet...

There was nothing to really look forward to. No sense of urgency or expectation.
 
It was basically just going through the motions at high speed.
 
I woke up around 9 on my own, looked up some recipies for pancakes and decided that I would wing it- since out of all the books I have, none said anything about blueberry pancakes. Well, I followed a buttermilk pancake recipie for the most part, but then did a few extra's to make sure the fresh blueberries worked out allright. I then cut up the mangos and made a fruit bowl for everyone. Whereup they woke up and we ate.
 
By the time everyone was finished, I had 20 minutes to get ready for work, and 1o more to get there. I am not sure how, but  I made it. They left shortly after I did, apparently went shopping in San Marcos, and then tonight to a friend's birthday party. I wish I could say that I was happy for them, but I really am not.
 
 I like that Jinny has a new boyfriend. He is not as bad as I first thought. I dont mind her hanging out with other folks and certainly I understand the desire to greet and pay respects for a bday. However these folks are disturbing the peace. They dont want Jinny and her new Bo together because they are friends of his ex.  Thus they actually called and told him that either he could go to the party, or she could go. But his ex didn't want to see them in the same room toegther. Jinny and XP (Bf's name) are actually keeping it a secret that they are dating. Now, I understand this does not concern me. It shouldn't at least. However I can see by the way Jinny and XP are retaliating, I am going to end up with some long ass phone calls down the road while she cries about things she should be fixing now. I told her this last night- told him this morning when he asked what I thought they should do. But it doesn't matter.
 
Disaster is coming. And it sucks. I am not an overly caring person. Too much emotion on one side and I can't help but back off. Its extremely selfish of me... but what else should I do when I stop caring? I am a defective girl who can only give advice. I don't sit still or sympathize very well. Or at all.
 
Work was... unremarkable, I should say. No big mistakes, it was kinda slow, with one or two busy spells. I got good tips, finally. I think its the first time I have come home with more than $10 in my pockets.  First time I got a break too. But I have decided I dont like them. They are just long enough to allow me to realize how much my feet hurt, then I have to get up and start giong again.
 
Billy came by, and I was surprised. But then again, I forgot it wasn't with him that the promise to not show up intentionally while I am working was made. I don't really understand why, but I have never liked people showing up while I am working. Maybe its because at that point I am in a lower position... possibly the uniforms. Maybe working in general makes me feel a bit disenchanting. I feel like I am not in a good enough job, and am revealing something bad about myself. Athough I am also aware and firmly believe that working, no matter what the job, is something to be proud of. A person who earns their own living by honest means is nothing to snub your nose at. And yet, I still can't shake feeling that ...it lowers my status. Which I honestly shouldn't care about.
 
When I started at Sonic my first reaction was that I was a waitress, and I wanted to hide it. Of course, I think being aware of wanting to hide it made me tell more people. Not to fight myself, but maybe to confirm something for myself... or deal with it, or make myself accept it? I am not sure how to put it. But it seems when something bad happens, I have to talk about it more. The more I talk about something, the easier it gets to say, the more real it feels. Maybe the more reactions I get the more I know how to feel about the thing itself. In any case, I am silly for such things. I dont know why I tell people not to come. I should stop it. Be happy I get a break and a chance to play.
 
A last thought- maybe its because it messes with my role playing. When I am at work, I play the role of good employee. I am very polite, try to do everything quickly and professionally. Having someone from outside that work enviornment interferes with my performance of my role. I want to play both the friend and the employee at the same time, and it makes me uncomfortable because I am unsure which role to choose. Professional employee is too cold for a friend, but acting like I usually do with friends is inappropriate for the location. Okay, that may have been way overthought- but it feels at least partially right for why I dont like visits. To be sure, there is much more that is not so understandable or excuseable.
 
I got home, finally. Parents had called, and I talked to them for a while. Everything seems fine over that way. They are repairing the fence from a storm a while back. It blew a tree over on to the fence. I then pulled out the leftovers from last night and began munching, dessert first. I went off diet for this weekend- majorly.
 
I dont expect Jinny and XP back for another two to three hours. It gives me a bit of time alone, but I can't relax. I am tired, but can't sleep because I have to wait for them. Just watching anime... I feel like I should be productive while they are gone. But I dont have to answer to them. Hostess' guilt?
 
I am not sure of much, other than I am tired, and today was excessively heavy.
 

Not Too Shabby

This day was good.
 
I woke up late, didn't get to class early. But I managed to finish my shoe project in class. Prof even said he liked the "beautiful details." I was late to Intro to Jap again, but that doesn't matter so much since it was a movie day- and he couldn't get the movie started. It took like 20 minutes to get the sound, subtitles and image all together. It was old- ie crappy acting that makes the story hard to get in to.
 
Jinny and XP ( new bf/dating guy) arrived 2 hours later than expected, which gave me time to go shopping and get started on dinner. I picked out salmon with salad and asparagus, with a fruit salad for desert. Blueberry pancakes for tomorrow morning, along with more fresh fruit and a dip.
 
It was fun today. We ate, after another guy showed up. David. I was a little smashed as I finished the bottle of wine from last time, then took two more glasses. But I was okay. Just jubulent.. I think thats the word. Afterwards we went to Motzarts, where I declaired them overpriced. We walked around a bit, then went to Einsteins for some good old fashioned arcade games. I sucked at DDR, and the hand version of DDR. However I have a knack for the boxing game. Despite the gloves being too heavy and the extremely exaggerated movements required to dodge. I got 50th high score on the first try... Plus its cheap. Only .25 per game. At least here, in Fort Worth I saw the same thing for a dollar.
 
Well,  I am going to be exhausted tomorrow at work. Its so late, and I havn't been up like this in a long time. I am all out of wack. Hopefully after tomorrow I wont have to work again till at least Tuesday, and that way I have time to recouperate on Monday. As well as check out that travel agency thing. I mentioned that to my Dad and he thought it was a great idea.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Surprises All Around

Well, I didn't go back to the art studio after my intro to japanese class ended. I didn't even get much work done on the project due tomorrow. Only one more shoe added, and I needed at least three.
 
But I did find out some interesting information from the TA. She just came back from Japan. She said that I should buy a rail pass. It pays for itself right out of the airport almost- cause apparently when flying in to Tokyo, its $40 just to get out of the airport, and another $40 to get back in again to leave. She suggested I talk with the STA travel agency on the Drag, and I agree it sounds like a good idea.
 
The true surprise is that tomorrow, I will have house guests. The first non-related ones. Jinny and her boyfriend are going to stay for the weekend. When did this come about? Oh... about 30 minutes ago I called her to find out about a missed call on my phone, and she told me. They will be here prolly a little before I get out of class tomorrow.
 
And the apartment is a mess.
 
I know I am supposed to be keeping it clean- and its not that bad. But the laundry has piled up something horrible, and I have nothing in the refrigerator fit for normal people. Plus that whole poison thing... I need to vacuum, do laundry, do dishes, change the sheets out, scrub the shower and tub and sinks, and clear out the fridge, set something out to defrost and make a meal plan through sunday morning.
 
And I thought I was going to bed early, get up early, and try to work on my art project a little more.
 
I also have to work Saturday afternoon from 1-5 pm. But it still gives me Friday night and Saturday night through Sunday morning with them. Maybe we can go shopping or go out to eat, or to a movie or something. Even though I really dont have the money for it since I am trying to save up for Japan.
 
I always wanted people to stop by like this. Only now that it has happened- or will happen- I am completely unprepared. Who would have thought?
 
In any case, I had best get busy if I want to be able to wake up at 5 am tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Unrelated Thoughts from the Bath

One more entry for tonight.

While sitting in the shower waiting for energy to move my thought process went something like this:

I want to loose more weight quicker.
I could go to the gym.
Why doesn't my apartment have a gym?
I could move...How hard would that be?
Most of my things are kitchen utensils and clothes. Then furniture.
I don't have all that much stuff. But it fills up the apartment.
My parents home didn't have much more than kitchen supplies and clothes. And decorations. Lots of decorations.
I guess thats the way everyone is. But a lot of people collect things.
Grandma has her crystal collection and jewelry. Grandpa has old books. Dad has guns. Mema does owls and ducks and dolls. Papa has cookbooks. Mom does stuffed animals and shoes.
Even I was forced to collect clowns. I have never bought a clown in my life, but people keep giving them to me as music boxes, crystal peices, porcelin figurines, seashell men and piggy banks. For a while I had some music boxes as well. But one of them broke, and I stopped asking for them.

And then I started wondering about what the purpose was for these things. Collections of items seem pretty useless. All they do is take up space and collect dust. I have never really been interested in collecting pretty things. I can admire them in the store, appreciate the beauty, and move on without a desire to own it. Why aren't others the same?

For a while now I have been saying to myself and to others around me that I want my life to be about experiences, not objects. I don't care what I have- what brand clothes I wear, how many pairs of shoes or perfumes I can choose from. I do care about how many places I get to see, and the variety of activities I get to participate in. And I am willing to do without some comforts in order to be able to go farther and see more.

I would be thrilled to move through my life with nothing more than the necessities, a few extra candles, and a truck load of photo albums I put together. However, it seems almost impossible for me to do. I am the only grandaughter on my father's side, and one of four on my mother's side.

I am not exactly sure how it will turn out with my mother's side, but by being the only grandaughter of my fathers side, I am already commited to inheriting over 500 collectors edition Swarsky crystal peices, 10+ G. Harvy prints, and an estimated $100,000 in jewelry and precious stones, as well as a full arsenol and library from my grandfather. From my mother's parents there are less valuable items monitarily, but still a good deal of collectable dolls like an origional Miss Piggy I used to play with every day, and also an extraordinary amount of jewelery which will be divided between one of my cousins and myself.

Now, putting aside the horrible fact that when I become the owner of these things it means that my grandparents are dead- what should I do with them?

My grandmothers jewelry alone could pay off my school loans from now through the next five years and then some. I do not wear jewelry, except for on the rarest occasion, and it seems silly for me to keep such things when all it does is create liability for me in case of a break in. The same thing with the crystal collection. But is it really okay for me to sell off such things? Their prized collections they spent most of their life gathering together with friends and relatives? Is it wrong for me to turn such things into cash and use them to do what I enjoy? Am I depriving future generations (provided I actually decide to sit down and create one)from a part of their great grandmother?

Its a weird balance between respecting her actions, and getting what I want out of a thing. I know they want me to be happy. But as in life, so they are forever- and it always seems they want me to be happy in THEIR way. I don't want to have to care for such things. I am not even sure that it would be legal for me to own all of my grandfathers and my father's and my mother's guns together. I think that would total more weapons than some militant revolutionary groups...

In any case, those decisions are far off for me. I can worry about them when the time comes, and in the meanwhile, keep my house clutter free.

Yata?

I believe yesterday's theme was along the lines of an excruciatingly slow day. Well, today, it was the opposite.

Art was over before I knew it. I still spent an extra hour working on my main project, but Stephanie, a new friend from class, stayed with me and worked on hers as well. I have finished neither my first nor my second shoe, and we were told today that we needed four of them for that one picture. I keep picking/getting the hard ones with an extreme amount of detail. Both the hiking boot and the sneaker are ALMOST done. Just a few details to add in, but the outlines are completed as well as the major features.

What I got for complaining about note taking yesterday is, not surprisingly, about twice as many notes today. The Intro to Jap prof seems to be trying to run through all of Japan's 30,000 years of history in two days, and then wants to use the remaining time in the week to discuss a play we are supposed to be reading. Still very interesting, but I was hardly able to move my hand after class. I kept on flexing it to make sure it was okay.

Finally, I have returned the book to Alex. Well, kinda. I gave it to Aida-sensei who will give him the book tomorrow in class. I found out after I got home that he had emailed me yesterday and tried to set up a time for today. I called him and informed him about the arrangments I had made. He was accepting, if not pleased.

I cooked when I got home. Turned on the radio and made fried spicy salmon cakes. About half way through the fish batter I realized exactly how much love mom had to make these things around once a month for us. I have decided I absolutely hate pan frying things. The oil spatters and burns you no matter what you do. If your really unlucky, you dip the tip of your finger in the hot oil while adding more raw ingredients to the pan- as I did today. I was about two inches from the faucet when I remembered water does NOT help a grease burn. I consider that lucky.

I was going to make a flaun too, but have decided against it. Maybe tomorrow. I am too tired. I could barely finish Kino's Travels this afternoon, and am already contemplating a shower and bed. Its only 7:30.

What keeps me from it is I have commited mass genocide in the bathroom. There happened to be a colony of ants that had moved in, and I sprayed them. Thus along with not wanting to clean up the tiny corpses, I also dont know how safe it is in there right now, or how long I have to wait before I can wipe up the area without destroying the potency of the poison. In the meantime, I am wearing my flipflops at all times. Its prolly not necessary, but it just feels better. If it weren't so hot, I would also ventilate. My eyes are watery. But whether that is from the poison, or from being overtired with contacts in, I do not know.

In any case, I am most thankful I was not scheduled today, and I am moving my bed time up another hour once again. We will try this side of the night for a change.

And this day just keeps going and going...

Its been long.

I woke up before seven, and its now almost 1 and I still havn't slept.

I chose a particularly difficult subject in art, and thus stayed an hour extra in class. I wrote about three pages of notes after drawing for five hours, and then went home. Where upon I did get to eat lunch/dinner and watch the beginning of a new series which I rather like.

Kino's Travels. Its kinda gloomy, kinda moralistic. But I like it. Not moral in the sense of you should do this... but more like "thats the way the world goes." Ironic-ish.

Then I zoomed to work, and it was BUSY. I can finally understand what busy means at Sonic. Half priced burger days suck. Not only do you do more business, but prices are cheaper so tips are lighter. I still got 10$ total for tips, but 7$ of it was loose change.

I didn't make too many mistakes today. But I did make one biggie, which I feel truely sorry about. I accidentally hit the coin holder against someones car and scratched it. I said I was sorry, and didn't even look that closely, so didn't really register the scratch. The woman was pissed. Understandably.

I would have done something if I could- but I had no idea how to repair it short of offering to pay. Which I cannot do. Steve surprised me by backing me up. I thought I might be fired or something. He just said be careful and that was the end of it. Except I found it harder to smile for half an hour after that. I felt so guilty. I wanted to go up to her window and apologize again- but I was worried about accepting too much blame.. in case she tried some funny legal stuff. I dont know how likely that would be.. but I just thought it better to avert my eyes and avoid potentially dangerous contact.

I still haven't given Alex his book.

I got my grade in Japanese today- an A. :D

I realized I should prolly check on how much time I need in order to get a passport. Thanks to my Dad- who thinks I am still going with a small group. I dunno how to tell him. He even gave me an easy out "anyone sound like they are bailing?" I will have to tell him soon. Get them used to the idea.
Heh, I am not even used to it yet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Anouncement

This morning I created a seperate blog for my dreams- Do Fireflies Dream?.

This is because I thought that my entries would be too long if I tried to include all of my dreams, as well as information about my day.

In any case, if you want the funny stuff, look that blog up.

First Day of Classes: accomplished

I forgot how tiring it can be to get up before the sun.

I happened to notice last night as I sat in my blissful stupor with more anime than I could watch, that my classes now start at 8 am instead of 10 am.

Its okay. Really. Actually it will be okay, because at least I will get to talk to Marcus more. It turns out he has the same schedule. I was never more glad to have taken the extra five minutes to run smoother through my hair and put on a base for makeup than when I stepped up to the bus stop and he was waiting.

Its not that I like the boy... its just, I don't want to look sloppy in front of him. He is waaaaay too wimpy, as I am constantly telling my mother. He is the traditional Jewish Prince. He doesn't get his hands dirty, and he has some very liberal political views which would make him an easy target at any family gathering of mine. He is way too sensitive too. On more than one occasion he has hung up on me or walked away because I said some insensitive joke and he couldn't deal with it. I much prefer someone who throws those light barbs right back at me. Verbal war. Its fierce, its fun, and its expected from this ex-debate team member.

But I do like seeing him more, even if its just the 20 minute bus rides twice a day.

The art prof is cool. There is no other way to put it. That whole wrong section thing he solved right there. Just told those of us who needed to change to march down to the advising office and had the guy switch us right there. No lists or uncertainties. If we wanted it, we got it. On top of that, free coffee every day, and occasionally free foods. I must confess that I did have one of their lemon poppyseed muffins. I can no longer say that I have not gone off diet without plan. But it was free poppyseed... plus I hadn't eaten.

The class itself is mostly based on drawings. He gave us around 5 exercises today to judge our abilities. I could have done better with the whole "draw a tree" thing. But it didn't suck. I am by no means the worst in the class. Hopefully he will section me aside with the more skilled and let me work on more advanced techniques. He is going to do that by skill- not section number. I am excited.

Another bonus- I have almost all the supplies already. I need a gum eraser, a new sharpener, and matboard and fixative. I feel experienced. All those years with private art lessons were for something. Even the exercises today were familiar, and I knew the explanations for why some of them work.

The professor for Intro to Japan is also great. I like him a lot already. He tells wonderfully hilarious stories, which incidentally give us a chance to write down the info on the projector. He talks slowly, so adding our own extras is easy as well. Today he told a story about some kinda mushiro herbal medicine. Basically Japanese Vodka with a venomous snake in the bottom of the bottle. Like tequila, only bigger and more scary. He had to drink out of a 20 year old bottle of the stuff- only to find out his host didn't drink it herself, but used it to reduce age spots on her hands.

Cox, or I should say Jordan, from Japanese 1 was in that class. I asked him about Alex, but he didn't know. I am going to have to go to Aida-sensei and either ask for a delivery or a place and time they get out so I can get the book back to him.

It was a full day. I can't imagine what its going to be like to work after all this. Its only seven now, and I have already slept for 2 hours in the shower. I think I will start going to bed around 11 and see if that helps.

All in all, a very good day for me. I am pleased. This semester should go very well.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Day of the Telephone

Basically, today, I talked on the phone.

My grandparents called, surprisingly. I thought my grandmother was still mad at me from our last conversation. Seems its over with now tho. I talked to my Uncle Mike, he is doing well.

My parents then called. My mom just got a new cell phone, just for emergencies. She only has 40 minutes per 3 months. But I got the number anyway.

Then, after a while, I felt like I needed to talk to someone, and couldn't settle on a person. So I called Sarah. My best friend from home. Bittersweet it was.

I realized how far apart we are, yet again. I miss her, and the people in Fort Worth I used to hang out with. I didn't have a lot of friends, but we were close. I didn't even know the guys she was hanging out with tonight. It was like everything was pointing out how much I didn't fit with her anymore. She talked about her family, and was telling me that I should know these things, when I honestly didn't. I can't even get a feeling like she has told this to me before. Its scary. It made me feel so cut off.

I want to see her again, and hang out like we used to. And then again, I am afraid to go back. Last time I went back, I sat in her dorm and we talked, and it was obvious how much had changed. She didn't have time for me. I have felt like she didn't have time for me for the past 2 1/2 years. Which is silly and stupid of me.

Of course she is busy. She has a life to deal with- a job, school, two very large families, and I am not her only friend. Last time we talked, I was still able to tell her everything. Tonight though, I duno.

I wanted to say something... I am not sure what. It just felt heavy in my throat and tongue, cause it was something serious. I just haven't been able to talk it out, so I haven't fully realized what it is. She was laughing and talking with Scott and Adam on her end so much, that after playing with them a bit, I said goodbye. What I really wanted to say got buried in a ridiculous request for her to go to Japan with me this winter.

Now that I think about it, a trip alone is.. well. Lonely. I guess some time this weekend I gave up going with Shelly and her roommate, but I don't want to give up the trip itself. But I don't want to go alone. Partly because I am sure it will worry my parents, but more so maybe because I am scared. I have half a hope that maybe my Japanese Culture class this semester will give me more of an idea for what to expect.

Something that stands out to me in this process. At the class lunch after our Japanese oral final, Hatanaka-Sensei asked if I was really okay with chopsticks- asked if I wanted them to bring me a fork. Shelly felt the need to explain that you say "itadakimas" before breaking the chopsticks in two. Heh. I looked that awkward. But I knew both. I can use chopsticks with my left and right hand, pick up paper, and single grains of rice, as well as jumbo shrimp and apple slices. I have my own pair- Jinny brought them to me from Hong Kong as a souvenir.

If I go alone, will I really be okay? Can I really have fun?

And wasn't the point of taking a trip across the sea to become self reliant anyway? Isn't that what I had in mind when I first decided I wanted to go to Europe on my own?

I remember thinking it would force me to make my own decisions, to make friends, to act on my own will. I thought it was something I needed to break free of feeling scared when around a bunch of new people.

Was I being naive? Silly? Or am I so close to actually being able to achieve one of the things I wrote down on my dreams list, that I am running away? Too scared to take ahold of what I want and find the consequences of my actions?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Surprises Can Be Nice

But this morning's was not.

I got woken up by my manager calling to confirm that I still worked for Sonic. After stumbling around in my head for a moment, I responded that I hoped so, and asked why. I was supposed to be in an hour before then. Fun.

Needless to say I rushed up there, and was then informed that I did not know how to carhop. All previous training sucked, thus I had to start over again with a video. Then the manager- Steve this time - fllowed me around and made me nervous so I forgot stupid things like where I was going, and to check what order I was taking out.

However, it was a good day. I prefer Manager Steve over Manager Bryan. Mainly because no one shouts profanities or calls me "Little Mamma" when he is there. Its a nice, civilized atmosphere where everything goes smoothly and no one gets mad enough to throw cherries in your face.

I also got to start on skates today. Just skate around the lot and get a feel for it. Well, I tried. Its bumpy, its sloped, and its got many hazards. However this is not a problem. Stopping without using my arms is. I am sure that I will either fall flat on my ass or slam into a car the first time I am actually asked to carry something. Neither is appealing.

Today, I managed to fall in car grease. Also rolled straight into a fence and tore up my palm. Then did not notice and slipped on a puddle of water, grabbed onto a pole to keep from falling in it, and went around and around and down and down. I felt like a stripper. Only.. in Sonic uniform. em>that would be a weird fettish.

In any case, I left work energized, surprisingly. Tried to go to an art fair- but it cost 4 bucks to get in, so I wasn't about to spend that kind of money to go look. Yes, four dollars is a lot to me right now.

I came home, and I talked to my folks for a while, downloaded a song by Smashmouth, and began to clean. I must say that no one has as much fun cleaning as I do- or at least did today. I was strangely giggly. I even ran and giggled taking out the trash. I am sure the two women I passed by were amused. I know the guys across the street were. I have this HUGE glass door in my living room that leads out to the balcony, and you can see inside when the blinds aren't shut. I tend to have the music up loud and dance when doing laundry, so those guys got a show. Kinda. I am not sure how well I dance cause I dont do it in public. I think its safer that way.

In other news, I found out just how badly in debt I am. I owe $3,470 to my parents. Now, they aren't the worst people to owe money to, but in general thats a lot to owe anyone. I paid them what I could today, and I figure I will finish the rest of it by the end of August. Hopefully.

Family Watch:
Uncle Mike seems to be doing well on 400 mg of his new meds. (We found out he had lukimia last year- and that is on top of numerous heart conditions) It was making him horribly ill for a while, and we werent sure he could do it. However, its been two weeks and it is not affecting him as badly as it was.
Uncle Carol had a heart attack. He has been in the hospital most his life for one thing or another. Mostly in a diabetic coma for the past few years. They say he needs a quadruple bypass. They also say they aren't sure whether its worth it. The man has almost died so many times, they are kinda thinking its about time they just let him go.
Grandma and Grandpa are worrying themselves sick over Uncle Michael. Literally. Both their bloodpressures are way over the norm, and they have both been having problems.
My mom hurt her back last week moving furniture, however my father's back seems to have healed from the time before that moving furniture.

And you thought my life was interesting...

Well, you were wrong.

Today I did nothing. I mean it, too. I had good intentions yesterday, I know. I was going to clean, I was going to scrub, I was going to paint and be creative.

I watched anime. All day. Well, actually, I slept the first half of the day, and then watched anime. I didn't even eat.

Well, breakfast. I had leftover bread from last night. Blackberry jam toast... mmm.

In any case, I did take a brief break from all that heavy anime watching, surfing a cool website- howstuffworks.com or something like that. I read how a laser printer works, and about some new super tiny computer/sensor things. Basically, my ass is flat from sitting in this chair all day. And now.. I cannot sleep. Too much energy. But much too late to go outside.

Ah... such a delimma. I could clean now... but I think I will just take a super hot shower and knock myself out with the heat. Tomorrow I will do something productive.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The End of an Era

Well, not an era, but a class.

Today was my japanese final, and I am truely sad to see it go. More like I am sad to see the people go. It was a fun bunch- only around 10 people- but good people. I will miss their company. I think I did good on the exam- it was very long. That is my impression. Not hard, but long.

In other news, I did not give Alex his book back. I was supposed to, but he arrived late and left early. Thus I looked up his email and phone number, but no response yet. I do not want to be accused of stealing it- especially since I joked about stealing it. I really do want to give it back to him. Hopefully he makes contact and I dont have to try to hunt him down.

I got an email about my upcomming art class- aparently its advanced, meaning there is a requirement I have not fufilled. I dont know what to do. I sent an email to the prof explaining. Hopefully I can get into another section without too much trouble, or he will let me stay in advanced. I dont have my portfolio here with me, but I have a few paintings and a few pictures of my stuff. If its just ability.. I have it. But the hours from the prerequisit I dont have.

There is nothing I can do but wait till monday, thus I opened up a bottle of wine. It may not have been the best thing to do... but it needed drinking. I am at 1/3 down, and dont think I could, or should finish it. But I spent some serious time on the cork so I dont know how to save it just yet. Its not diet approved, so... keeping it is not the best. Cooking I believe is okay- cause the alcohol gets cooked out. We shall see.

But in any case, I figured I would put in my entry while still sober, so its a little early, but my day wont be going anywhere else, so its okay. The rest of the night is anime, bath, and maybe make a bread and/ or dinner. Actually, the bread is a fact cause that sounds really good right now. It wont be finished till midnight.. but thats the way things go. Atkins bread, of course.

Tomorrow I will clean and work on my paintings- just in case there is a chance I could convince them to let me stay in the art class I cherish so much.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Real Post for Tonight...

So.. Well, it wasn't just recently anymore, but tonight I talked with my mother over messenger. She has gotten.. not proficient, but decent, with the computer.

I discovered once again, our relationship completely blows me away. I wont say that I looked up to her when I was little, although I am sure that to some degree I did. She wasn't human. She was a Mother. Everyone knows that Mothers have special powers that defy logic. I remembered she never showed weakness though. When I think back when I was very young, I remember her being very strong. She didn't cry when she sat me on her knee and told me my Bubby had died. She was able to take care of me and clean up my mess when I was sick, no matter how disgusting it was.

But recently she isn't a Mother anymore. She is, of course, still my mother. But she is also human, and a good friend. Somehow we got to the point past all the yelling and screaming about boundaries and rules and respect. Now I can tell her anything easily. And what's even more startling, what shocked me and moved me so much tonight, was the realization that she feels the same way about me. We were having a real conversation. She was not putting on the persona of mother, but being very open, honest, and talking with me... for lack of a better expression, like an adult.

And what she said struck me to the core. My heart didn't jump, but it twinged, ached. But in a good way, that felt like a smile. We were talking about how I didn't like to be bossed around, how I liked my independence. She had made a remark about making sure some other people would take care of me, and I went into a side rant about how I could do it myself. Childish to do, I think now as I write it, but at least the terms I put it in were not. Its an age old battle in any case. We know our lines well.

But somehow, the conversation turned to her and my father. I said I wished that she had been more confident and voiced more of her own opinions when I was younger. Even if she wasn't as able to answer me as my father was, I would have liked to hear what she said.

She didn't defend herself- she admitted she let him handle the serious things. But she did say that she was not led by him through life. She stood up for herself. I laughed and remembered the times they would "go for drives," and I would sit there at the window watching them sit in the driveway wondering when they were going to leave. (There was talk of divorce around that time) She said, "Those were very serious conversations. But they all seem so stupid to me now. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I love him from the depths of my soul."

It was a rare moment for me, when I saw them not as my parents, but two people in love. It may not seem like something that should have such a big impact, especially over messenger. But it reminded me of the one other time I have seen them like that.

My mother was in the hospital just out of major surgery. She was frighteningly close to dyeing then, but she didn't know just how close at the time. Only dad knew. She was on morphine and a dozen other drugs that were giving her nightmares, and my dad still had to work. The hospital was two hours away, in another city. We couldn't go as often as we should have.

That day when we came she was crying in bed, and said that she was scared. She had no idea what was going on, but she was alone, and she had been there for over a week when she was supposed to have been released in three days.

Now, I have never known my father to be a caring man. He is always there, and involved, but he is not emotional. He has a sarcastic tone about him. Its best to not make mistakes within his knowledge. Until that time, I had often thought of him as useless to her, and a burden. He was overly critical, harsh, and farted way too much and snored too loud.

But he dropped everything and ran to her side when she said that. It was like I didn't exist. He was there for her, and it felt like he always had been. I had never seen him like that before, and I don't think it had occurred to me how worried he was about her condition before then. I could see for the first time that he really did love her, and take care of her.

That same force I saw that day was behind my mother's words tonight. I could hear her in my head, see her face when she said it, and I knew she meant them. That she could share something like that with me, her daughter, is amazing.

It makes me nervous as well. So many times I have criticized my father, only to be told by her "your father is a good man." I believe it now. The strength of their relationship awes me. Is it really possible for me to cultivate that kind of relationship myself? To feel so strongly about one person that I can make a statement like that with complete conviction? I want that kind of relationship, but it seems too big for me. Like trying to hold a star. Too far away, and if I ever actually got hold of it, I wouldn't be able to keep hold of it because I would burn my hands.

Catching up to date...Last two years in a nutshell.

So.. I figure since I have lived 20 years and some months before now I might as well do a short post to cover at least some of that. Namely the big going ons right now.

SO first off... I am in the middle of a rennovation. Of the self, not the apartment. I came up with this crackpot idea that because I wasn't happy, I was going to withdraw from society, go crazy for a bit, strip everything clean again, then straighten up stage by stage. Okay, so the go crazy part happened on its own, and the rest of it was planned. And by crazy I dont mean insane chewing the straps holding down my arms. I mean I went wild with parties and lots of fun and dangerous things. This resulted in a few VERY bad decisions, leading to a very bad night where I got amazingly lucky and only lost a good shirt and some pride.

Basically, after that, no more parties. I failed just about every course that semester- well not failed, but very low grades. The worst I have ever had. So I stopped hanging out with trouble makers, I quit my part time job tutoring at a highschool and decided to focus only on school. I did that for a semester, brought up the grades, and they are still high.

The next phase was being responsible for my person and property. You may think this should have come first- but I am not paying 8 grand a year for myself. Basically, I cleaned up, started doing my hair everyday (which was always clean, just not styled), some makeup, made a point to keep the laundry and dishes done, sheets clean, floor vacuumed. The basics.

Once I held steady with that- good grades, clean house and neat appearance- I added in repairing years of damage. Meaning I went on a diet. Its been okay so far, with very few splurges, and none of them not planned. I have lost around 30 lbs, and have another 60 - 80 to go. I am not obsessed, I just need to loose that much. I think. I will stop before I get to stick size- but I am not sure how much is muscle and how much is fat so its hard to judge a number. Basically when I hit a size 12 I will be happy.

Currently, its been 3 weeks since I picked up a job again. I dont work that much, and the manager sucks. I am sure I will be complaining a lot about him. He doesn't get the schedules out on time, he doesn't give good instruction, I didn't ever get to see anything about training and in general the enviornment he keeps.. lots of problems. But when I can keep the job steady, and the grades, and the apartment, and still have time to cook for my diet.. then I will be ready to add a club or organization. Currently duking it out for first addition is the Go Club, and Habitat for Humanity.

Relationships...um.. I suck at them. Embarassing stuff, but I have never been out on a real date. I think. There was a time or two I got asked to do things, but it wasn't clear. I have had a few crushes. No real boyfriend. There was one occurance... but I am wavering on weather or not to count him. He had an official girl friend. Part of the big mistakes I made. In some ways I regret it, and at the same time I am glad that it happened. There are good and bad aspects to everything. But basically I learned that I am not ready for a guy- even tho I feel like a tulip in a sunflower feild. Too small, overshadowed and flat out wrong. In any case, I need to get a firm grip on myself before I start to worry about someone else like that- no matter how good it may sound.

Future plans... for the past two semesters I have been set on architecture for a major. One problem- my gpa was blown by my party years. I have talked to the dean, and we shall see how things go next spring.

I want to travel. Currently I am planning on going to Japan this winter break. If I earn enough money, and if I can grab Shelly long enough to tell her I really want to go with her and her roommate. I have half a mind to go alone even if I cant get ahold of her, as seems more and more likely the case. But I am worried about that. Am I capable of planning such a trip? I don't speak that much Japanese- only had first semester. Plus I already told my parents I was going with them. I don't want to lie to them, but I dont want them to worry or try to stop me from going. I am desperate to get out of the country. I want to see not-America.

Just Getting Started

So I figure I might as well introduce myself. Isabel here. I am 20, female, Texas native, architecture major, art and anime freak. Like to hunt and fish, hike, and kayak. I will try just about anything once. I collect languages, and also have a big thing about trying different foods. I make a point of picking up at least one thing I have never seen before when I go to the grocery store.

Okay- so why am I here? I just basically wanted a place to type out my day, thoughts and dreams. Someplace that didn't feel so closed off. I can't always talk to those around me about what I am thinking, so... here I am. And by the way, I have some weird dreams folks- you would have yourself a great laugh if all you did was read through these things.

I have tried keeping a journal before, it generally doesn't work. We will see how this one goes. The big difference here is that one day I might actually get a response. Which is a little scary to me, cause one of my goals for this thing is to keep it brutally honest. Which is a tall order, considering that means writing things about the people I know. Its scary to think that they could read everything I have ever thought about them. But... if they find this, hopefully they will forgive me and remember these are small moments in time. The second goal is less grand- to keep it going fairly regularly.

Wish me luck.