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...

Monday, July 18, 2005

But Maintaining Altitude

So.. one minor stress gone- I talked to Tomas and am free for my trip to Japan. Put on the breaks. The job I really want to keep is saved. Then I am getting more hours than I thought at first from Blockbuster- my funds are coming in more steady. Hold positions. Now I am just bouncing in the air, waiting to see how things pan out.

It still wont be enough for me to do the trip with a clear concience, but I have found out that financial aid will be released on the 30th. The day I get back, right before rent. Good news. If grandma does give me a thousand dollars towards the trip, then I will be good, I think. I might even be $400 in the plus by that time, after buying the ticket. Chances are slim though. However I have become determined to do this trip, even if it is on credit. I am wondering whether I should sign up for a second credit card just for the occasion, then close the account afterwards. I am reluctant to do so.

I still have not received my passport... I want to figure out what I can do to find out its status. I need to call into work, and see what time I am supposed to go in. I didn't check it last night because I was so ready to leave after I stayed almost an extra two hours to help them close. I need to call Scott since he is not responding to my emails. I need to get his canvases made. If I can do that, then I will be in a good position to start painting, and maybe even get the money before I leave for Japan.

I think once I have checked the status of everything and get my passport, I will feel even better. But I am not going to allow myself to float away on happiness again. Its too fragile, this plan I have. I am depending on having both jobs in order to pay back my credit card expenses. August and September are going to be painful months for expenses. I will have to do some very strict budgeting so that I can continue to make rent when what is left of my financial aid runs out. Remember- I am using that to pay off the credit card. Thats three months of rent I have to earn again... after September, I will litterally be living off what I earn each month. And on top of that, I told my parents I would pay them back before the end of the year- I want to at least be able to give them a thousand back.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Reintering the Atmosphere

That is what today has been. I am not on the ground nor diving below sea level, but despite my best efforts to keep walking on air, I have sunk in spirits just a little.

First is the sleep deprivation- partially caused by my addiction to anime which, while damaged is still hanging on strong. For example, I finally started watching GTO. I am not able to keep up with all the series I started, but I am starting a new one. Lack of sleep drains my energy, I am finding it harder (along with dwindling supplies) to make breakfast or any meal for myself. As a result, lots of snacking on things not really meant to be eaten, and lots of money wasted on fast food... ie 2 days at Jack in the Box, 1 day at Taco Bell, and 1 day at Thundercloud subs...two days with a coffee, two sandwhiches and a peaches and cream muffin at seven-eleven. I think I like Seven-Eleven the best. But its still money. Working one hour just so I can eat at work... it has got to stop, even if I starve.

This is also having an adverse effect on my weight.. maybe... I dunno. Its gone up 3lbs this summer which some might say is no big deal... but its that it is moving in the wrong direction. I will keel over and die soon if I gain too much more. Then I am also breaking out pretty bad- stress, or just personal care being thrown out the window due to fatigue.. I dunno. I know I could change my sheets more than once a week, and I prolly should do a face mask sometime soon. But it just doesn't interest me. Same with the exercise thing. I need to do some of that again... but its so hot and I am tired and there are a dozen unsatisfactory excuses to make. I know it should up my energy level but jeeze... how long till it takes effect?

Then there has been the weighing of time matters... financial aid release, credit card and bill payments, I am really getting nervous about the passport. I want it in my hand already. I still havn't told either workplace that I am leaving, and I have not finished or even started the paintings for Scott. I am still waiting on hearing from him. But at my current motivation level, I worry about whether I will be able to do it. I am the grape in the press right now, and unknown forces are turning the wheel. If it weren't for these small things, I think that I would have come home today with that same feeling of satisfaction I have been mentioning. But right now, satisfaction of a job well done can only be had when the job has been finished... and I am feeling very insecure right now. Despite the nervousness, I still have something in the back of my head saying it will all turn out well.

Part of those knawing feelings come from another discovery, the main acid in my heart right now. SO... if you want to know how far back I have been refering to the fair in Japan as the world architecture fair... you can flip through the archives... its a long time. Somewhere when I was researching the World Architecture Fair from 2000, and the Japanese pavilion, I clicked on a link and it showed me about the fair in Japan... and I suppose in my obsessed state of mine I just lumped it under... but its actually a different fair.. still lots of architecture, but Japan only. Methinks. I still havn't had the heart to look up more specifics.

Stop laughing or sympathizing... you have no idea how much it hurts to write that sentance. Even more, Alisa told me... via messenger. I told her I was going to be alseep by 8, so I didn't have to answer her response to my reply of what was architecture about the fair. I wasn't wrong when I stated the fairs connection to architecture, but... she was still right that it is not the World Arc Fair. Its kinda like playing a game of baseball and breaking the zipper on your pants, only you don't notice. Not only do you wear them for the rest of the day showing your panty design to everyone, but you wash and continue to wear them for the whole season. And no one says anything or appears to notice, until the last game when you are standing on the pitchers mound... What do you do?
My first thoughts were of how to hide the fact that I was wrong... thats interesting. Believe me. My plans to travel with a smart competent human being to a foreign country and convince her that a national event was international... relying on my evasive & misleading answers and her inability to understand the language... Yeah I am that dispicable. Then it was to apologize without loosing face and looking like an ill prepared idiot.. but wait? isn't my lack of preparation and research what caused the misunderstanding so don't I deserve that title? Do I try to blow it off like I figured it out and it was just a misuse of words? *sigh* alas, whether it was the concience or the lazy part of me who didnt want to keep up with the lies... I am going to just bite the bullet and say the truth to her.

When I think about it, there is not much of a difference. I was so excited to hear about the pavilions that would be there- we are not going just for the fair afterall. I am pouting because of a name change. Well, that.. actually it doesn't bother me. I think the trip will be just as great... what bothers me is my complete idiocy in missing the GIANT detail. And doing it publicly. Having to let everyone know who I talked to about the trip (thats a lot of folks), that I planned a trip for over half a year, and didn't even know that I was mixing up two different architecture fairs. I hate admiting mistakes. I am even wondering back and fourth of whether or not to correct my parents knowledge... they will get to see huge buildings in my photos.. what does it matter that they don't know the real name of the event? Heh... but then how sad am I to have to try to save face infront of my parents?

I will go to the real world architecture fair someday. Just not this time, nor prolly next year. (If I have anything to say about it, next year will be Bush Gardens with Marcus.)

But I think something has been off with my thinking about this trip until now... I kept on saying, its the trip of a lifetime. Once in a lifetime. How often does someone get to go to Japan? and the answer, the true answer to that, is as many times as they want to. This trip, this year is truely once in a lifetime- not because I am getting to go overseas for two weeks to Japan, but because it is the first trip in what will be a long succession of amazing trips that I myself will work hard for and earn. Since I have been able to work hard this summer, and make the money necessary to go to Japan, it only stands to reason that I can choose to live my life in such a way that I will be able to work hard similarly in the future, and do the same thing.

I was raised with the idea that such trips were rare and once in a life time events to be cherished. While I am glad that I can appreciate a trip like this for what it is, there are many people who are raised with this as nothing more than a biannual ritual. It is possible for me to take as many trips as I want in order to experience Japan in all different seasons and places.

So.. despite the mini bombs and the extra pressure, I am still looking forward. I am a bit weighed down by what I have overlooked, but I am still strong. I am still going to Japan on my own power, and I am still going to see Tokyo, and Kyoto and Nagoya and spend a night in an amazing onsen, and I am still going to see a national level fair that will have some great exhibits and architecture, and I am going with a truely wonderful friend who is kind enough to overlook my shortcomings, if I swallow my pride and give her the chance.


PS- on the Marcus worry thing... here is the funny strange part... I worry about him liking me, but it makes me sad when I leave it at he doesn't. Is that mean of me? I want the attention, but not the responsibility... I think. I am still lost there. But for now... the saving grace of today before I go to sleep and then to work(again) - Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid episode 1 in the raw. FINALLY.

and maybe tomorrow I will have the guts to inform Tomas of Japan trip.

Oh yeah... on the way home today... I saw something super scary- a white van with one of those hazardus chemical signs on the back- only it had the radioactive symbol, level 7. If gasoline is fire hazard level 3... what in God's green earth is a LEVEL 7???!! It was real too- they had an escort which I managed to cut into on accident. I think one of them followed me to the apartment because I followed the scary van for a little bit... they just drove through the complex when I went in to park.. maybe waited for me to check my mail at the front. It was just weird.. and scary. Maybe somewhat neat... how often does someone see a sign like that?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Progress with a Raised Eyebrow

Alisa has been very reservation oriented this past weekend, and as a result, we are waiting on confirmation for just two more ryokan before our beds are set for the trip. It has now become my duty to explore thoroughly the options availiable at the fair and begin setting up reservations to see those. I am not opposed to being this well prepared. But I am slightly sad that some of the spontinaety of the trip is gone... I think it is a necessary and somewhat acceptable trade off when going for this short of time. If it were a longer trip, say six weeks, I would definately be taking things more relaxed. But as it is, we are only seeing around a third of the country- thoroughly, but only a third.

In other news, I informed the bank I was leaving, and got them to extend my credit up to $3,400 (yikes!). I will bring it back down again when I come back and pay it off. I also collected information on how much it would be to get Scott's canvases professionally stretched. Seeing as I have never done it before, these are large jobs, and I dont want to be held responsible, this is the best way to go.. except its around $400. OUCH. But better safe than sorry, and even if it hurts me, I want him to have a good product. I emailed him this morning about the situation, and requested the money to cover the canvas costs up front. This is confirmation time because I am finishing these, somehow, before summer ends. I am depending on his money to be able to go to Japan.

I have crunched the numbers, and I am pretty much just breaking even this summer and able to buy a ticket, maybe, with everything. The actual expenses for the trip itself are all on credit. Another ouch. This means that when I get back, the trip is coming out of financial aid for the most part, and I am going to have to work at least 20 hours a week in order to be able to pay rent at the end of the semester without letting my parents know the dangerous way I funded this trip. Yeah... not good to lie. I told them Alisa paid for my ticket, and I gave her $400 towards it already. Acutally, I put it on my card, and then gave $400 towards the balance. But it would stop my father's heart to hear my credit balance right now. I am determined to take care of this on my own.

I didn't do much on Sunday, but Saturday felt so productive that it was overall a good weekend for me. Today was my first day of training, and I got to meet Josh and talk with Jen, assistand manager and manager respectively. I hung out mostly on the computer in back though, which was annoying. I have a few more computer exercises set for tomorrow, then hands on learning. Woohoo. I want more hours, they say to get more hours, I need to develop a good sales pitch for the rewards program. I hate sales, I think. Its just... they don't want to be hit up with it, I know it, so why should I push it? But I will become a door to door saleswoman if that is what is needed to make 30 hours a week for this next month.

The eyebrow raiser? That would be last night talking to the Marcus again. I do not know if I am looking for things or reading too much into what he says, but some awful sweet words are coming out of his mouth. He left me a message on my phone that refered to me as beautiful. He told me (IM) I didn't know how much he admired me. When I kinda questioned him about that though he changed it to respected and admired. He said he wished he could help me with the funding of the trip, which I shot down like a clay pidgeon. I told him the only thing I would ask from him was mental support when I was working 30 hours and doing school full time- he could be the slave driver over me for homework, and maybe a fishing buddy on rare weekends. He said as long as he didn't have to touch the fish it was okay. This is Marcus, Jewish Prince of America, ex-vegetarian and card holder of the City Boy Association. But he is willing to go fishing.

Then I am not sure how we got on it, maybe he said he wished he could go too, but I made a half joke that we could go on vacation together next summer, maybe somewhere cheeper in the US- Disneyland. He scoffed at Disneyland and said he would rather take me to Bush Gardens in Virginia because it wins best landscape every year, and the roller coasters are built around the trees. I chimed in that it would be cooler and I have never been up that way before. I also said I was scared of roller coasters, and he said I wouldn't have to worry because he would hold my hand. See where my confusion comes from? Awful nice, but with messenger there is no tone of voice to give that final confirmation of meaning... I dont know how serious he was, but it sounds fun.

Just in case, I put a reminder on my calendar about 4 months before we would be considering leaving so I can check back and find out if he really wants to or how feasable it is. I had intentions of working all next summer, but a one or two week vacation that is around $1500 should be no problem for us, and leaves plenty of extra money that can be saved and applied towards loans like originally planned. Afterall, how many trips do you get to take like this in a lifetime? Just friends with so few obligations... I may be taking him way too serious, but he tends to run on the serious side and I would hate to just blow him off as joking about this if he is not.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Truth About Bob

Well this post is starting in agitation at a relatively new trend I am seeing in work, and will end with an update on the exciting adventures of the stupid people at YellowCab.

First for the agitation. Tomorrow is orientation for Blockbuster. Finally, I can start earning some serious money. Maybe. I have been increasingly scared of the work load... except now I don't see it as all that big seeing as I have been scheduled for only two half day shifts next week. Twelve hours for sure, and then orientation at maybe another six or eight... in any case, its not over 20 hours in one week.
Maybe. Another maybe. Because Sunday I am scheduled to be something named "on call." It sounds fine enough, but it is a dirty little way that they can have extra workers if needed, and dock you if you are not there... but not have to pay you if it is surprisingly slow. In other words, it is a way to ruin your weekend. I quit Sonic mostly because this was my constant state- call in to work an hour before you might be needed and see if they want you. Nothing dependable so you cant make plans. Your life begins to revolve around the company's schedule... all for their convenience and against yours.
I need the hours. I am greatly opposed to this idea, but I need the hours. I have a strong desire to tell them I am either scheduled or I am not, but to cut the crap and decide. But I need the hours if I can have them... and I shouldn't go rocking the boat. In fact.. I need more hours. An additional 20 hours a week, especially after the delay of training and orientation will not make the money I need. I think that once I start to do a good job though, they might be willing to hand me more. I will have to be sure to do a good job. I need at least 30 hours a week. If it is actually humanly possible, I might try to figure out a way to even get overtime at one place or the other.
Not to mention I am confused about the taxes taken from my check. In three weeks, the government has taken over $200 from my gross earnings. Suddenly the politics of the flat tax don't seem all that far removed. I think that if I had time I would begin a strong movement for it in Austin to the best of my abilities. It will definately be a goal before I finish school cause... man what am I going to do when they take .40 out of every dollar I earn and I have all those huge loans?

Okay... now for the information on the idiots at Yellow Cab. First, two days ago there was a robbery- $16,000 stolen from the safe in cash, plus receipts and checks. No one saw or heard anything, and the world has gotten just a little more cruel. $500 reward if you know anything... but I don't. Jeeze I wish I did.

The people up there suspect the former dispatcher who overdosed. No doors or windows were damaged, so they are assuming the theif had the key- which means inside disgruntled worker. You can't get more messed up than a recently fired drug addict. But she was over 400 lbs, and would shit herself in the chair, so the rumor goes. If she was that far gone, then her being able to have the mental capability to not leave fingerprints, move a safe twice her weight and not make a sound or leave hair samples, drool, shit etc.. are pretty low.

Story #2- if the first wasn't enough. Today Donell, now moved up to dispatcher got an idea. He would play a joke on Delonda, the other dispatcher, by faxing her a ride request through the company lines via his cell phone. This ride had in the notes on the bottom "bomb package from Al Quida under seat." She didn't pay much attention to it, being swamped with other calls that came first. But National Security did. You know... seeing as this is the capitol of the President's home state... and Al Quida just recently attacked the transportation lines of London.. like yesterday...well. We got lots of calls. Very quickly. From lots of famous, and completely unheard of people.

Before Delonda had even had a chance to pull it up on her screen, Tomas was getting a call from headquarters who had received a call from D.C who said there was a bomb threat and the police would be there shortly... but it was a joke. Because Tomas immediately called to see the fax, and Donell told him what happened. Yeah... like the higher ups are going to believe this- especially with a robbery so recent.. So we get to have polygraph tests next week. Everyone. :D Sounds fun.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rhetoric from The Man

Kinda.

Today was the Lessons in Leadership seminar at Yellow Cab. It was all day, and while I must admit better than a day taking calls, still boring. Well, maybe not boring so much as suspicious.

I couldn't help but analyze each thing the speaker said in terms of corporate interests and brain washing. There was a personality test- ish kinda thing. Choose one out of four shapes, but of course the interpretation of the shape is left up to you, and qualities that could blend are separated/dichotomized whatever. I was slightly put off that I had been labled as accepting of new ideas, but neither a leader nor creative. Small inconsistancies bothered me- such as an equilateral triangle labled with the proportions of 10% knowledge, 25% skill, and 65% attitude. Which to me is a crock of bull. Yes they are all needed, but knowledge is higher than 10%, and attitude... well, it is not 2/3 of a persons ability to perform. Skill comes from knowledge.... its just way too oversimplified. But I remained quiet, which may or may not be a good thing. He wanted more interaction, which is understandable, however I am sure he did not want a logical heckler.

There was some useful information along with the propaganda- information about how the company itself works. I never considered the cabbies to be the customers, but indeed, that is where the money is coming from. NOT the callers, although they are important to the cabbies and therefore to us. But they are a necessary third party, not our primary target. There was a large section on safety which was largely useless. Lots of definitions- 14 characters of a leader by our military thing. Most of the examples were bad. Presentation of the self was used as a marine vs a mall rat. But the very definition of a marine proves that the man is capable because he has earned his uniform and rank, while the mall rat may be just as qualified, there is nothing to show his rank. It would have to be a plain dress marine on holiday to be equal...

And one other thing which has bothered me enough to hope to see the speaker tomorrow- on one of the exercises he had us label the importance of particular issues to the cabbies/employees as a manager. This may sound okay at first, until the earlier stress of the cabbies being independent contractors who hire US is added. Then all of a sudden, whose priorities is he asking for? the situations are vastly different and thus answers change. I based my answers off of a cabbie as independent contractor. Factors that were dependent upon my own actions, such as wages and job security were placed last in expectations from a company I hired. If Yellow Cab ceased to exist, these drivers would still be there with their vehicles under different names or companies. We do not determine their working conditions, wages, job security or interest in their job, so why would these be mentioned as important factors in a service that is being payed for? But I had not grasped the nuance in meaning in time to question the speaker over the answers. I do not like being wrong, and I was almost exactly opposite of the given answers. This disturbs me, and I would like it clarified.

On a last note- a new woman was hired. Gloria. She is at least for now, working the same shift as me. I am happy because she is very nice. She is currently being trained by Tracey, who seemed half human today. But we shall see how things go. I might have someone to talk to up there that I can identify with, just a little.

In any case, I did ask for Saturday off, due to my thesis advisor requesting a meeting... and yeah.. its a big fat lie and I dont like it but it allows me to lead into a two week break for Japan. Which is better than saying I need to go back to Ft. Worth for a while... how is that? a lie that allows for a later lie to become closer to the truth? :( Somehow I am not satisfied with that. Two lies to make each smaller.... still does not change the fact that I am lying twice as much as needed. If needed at all. To lie seems like an awfully big lack of faith in a person. Of course, I am the one who is doing wrong because I did not confess all of my plans up front in the beginning when asked. All of this is dirty.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

And Exhausted

Today was great.

I got to bed around 1am, woke up around 7:30 just in time to begin getting dressed and have mom and dad call and say they were almost here. I was dressed and ready to go when they got here, showed them Outpost9, and we headed out the door to San Marcos.

A few weeks ago the San Marcos river showed up in one of his fishing shows on OLN, so he was rearing to see it. We drove down, after dropping off the truck for an oil change, and began checking out the area. One area was so beautiful we just stopped to go look- the swimming hole next to the road with a restraunt overlooking it and a dam with a spillway... if there is only one. We parked and started walking on a trail to check out the water, but it wasnt very far until we found a giant piece of machinery. It was, daddy guessed, part of an engine used to pump flooding water out of the river. It was huge. He pointed out the break and the lock and the intake, and then we found where it was probably set. We took pictures and I will add them eventually. Its just rusted junk, but neat, beautiful and overgrown junk.

We walked over a bridge with lots of grapes and leafy vines where a man with a guitar/harmonica set up was doing a street performance. On the other side of the road lay the most clear and beautiful water in Texas, or close to it. They had bbq fires going, and two men were paddling kayaks in the dam's rapids. We watched them for maybe half an hour then moved on to find a better spot for fishing.

We ended up going to the aquarina something.... it was a park whose mascot was a swimming pig. Just to the visitors center though, to find out information on the river. Dad said they took me there once when I was three and we did everything- rode the gondolas, the glass bottom boat, saw the movies and all the live shows. I don't remember, but I bet I was a blast to watch. The gondolas don't work anymore, there was hardly anyone there, and I saw no pig, but it was still neat. I enjoyed looking at their archeology displays, and we even went on the wetlands board walk. It was fun, walking and fish/turttle spotting.

From there we made our way to what we thought was the San Marcos river, by heading back north. Instead it was the Blanco river. But that was okay. We got off and parked under the bridge anyway and went fishing. Dad and I took turns changing behind the car into our swimsuits, and then we picked up the fly rods he brought down and headed to the water. I wore mom's fishing shirt and her water shoes because my flip flops were too slippery and the cotton shirt too hot.

At first it was difficult to cast because it had been so long, but after dad caught his first perch (:\) I got a bit better. By the end of the three or so hours I was back in awsome cast mode, and had even learned, sort of, how to roll cast. Its around 50% right now and needs a helping tug to make it over. Dad caught two more perch and left me in the dust. But I still had fun. It was gorgeous clear water, and I could watch the fish chase the luar. We talked and played, and I got my foot stuck in mud again and lost my shoe again. Only I had to fish it out myself this time, with mom for support. We walked along the bank as far as we could without getting our backsides wet, and then we reached the deep end and Dad broke his leader. Mom had gone back a bit earlier because we heard music coming from the direction of the car. I guess without being able to fish, and without being able to see mom dad wanted to get back quickly so we left.

Then we rode back south after realizing we missed the San Marcos river. But when we did find it, the river was smaller and muddier than anticipated, plus we were running low on time. We just drove around looking at or for the water, and then headed back in to pick up my truck. I changed at home, then we paid for the oil change, and went out to Whole Foods at Lamar and 5th. It truely is a nice store. We walked around and I will say that if it was closer, I might be having some serious concerns.

Finally we left and went to Pluckers- after long debate/pushing responsibility to choose to someone else. We were all tired though so it wasnt much of a conversation-- mostly just laughing at the tv airing america's funniest videos. But it was still nice to watch tv with them.

I just got back in to the apartment after they dropped me off at my car and headed home. I am about to pass out. Except I am a bit sunburnt on my lower right arm and the back top half of my lower legs. Basically the parts that never get any sun and where the shirt and water didnt cover. Its a strange tan line but I will live. Maybe. My face is pretty red too.

But I must repeat.. it was a great day.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Refreshed

By a bout of laughter and hard work.

I am truely strange, but I am in one of my truely high points. Life is great right now. I am working 40 hours a week, am about to raise that up to 80, and am going to clean most of the night to pass inspection from my parents tomorrow morning. Yes, I called them yesterday and let them know that I was not working Sunday and Monday, and thus they are coming. I have piles of laundry to do- and its my last full two day weekend. I must be crazy. But I am.. the best way to say it is truely happy, though I dont think the expression is adequate.

I came home from work, called grandma, talked to her, mom and auntie Brenda, then ate some cake and watched the last of Touch and then Howls Moving Castle. I want to buy that movie, I think. And then I took my shower. I changed the loads of laundry. Nothing much. But in the shower I just couldn't help but laugh. I have been working hard and have been very tired lately, but I realized I don't regret it.

All those times I wrote about doing what I wanted instead of working and cleaning and I was depressed and regreted those days after they were finished. And now I come home and am happy to have accomplished something. I am happy to have the foresight to make my lunch or breakfast the night before. When my back was hurting really bad, and it still hurts a little, but not much, I was even happy just to be able to put my feet on the desk without wincing. And I am happy to be up and to leave every morning before traffic gets bad, and with the morning talk radio. I could go on and on about the small things that I am enjoying right now.

This is what I needed, and this is what I was looking for I think, maybe since the beginning of High School. The feeling of walking steadily towards a goal on my own two feet, on a path I created. Not following the well traveled route of graduating, but doing something that was my own, was extreme, and was not dependant on my parents. I think about Japan every day. I do calculations every day. I take my travel book with me to work and back, inside and then back to the car, even when I don't plan to read it. The copy of the plans thus far is tucked inside the pages and ... it just feels good.

This is the closest I have ever been to setting a long term goal for myself, and accomplishing it. The form has changed a little, but it is still a goal from a long time ago. Even working for a full year towards it is the longest I have ever worked for anything. I couldn't even take proper care of a Beta fish just two years ago. I probably still couldn't do it. Kyuubi is lucky she can impose her will on me or she would be in serious trouble. But I have stuck with this.

I think I will scream all day when I finally leave. I mean... just getting my passport papers turned in was big. Now I am squealing because I am having to think of how to tell my boss that I will be leaving for two weeks. When I actually get to the terminal, I am going to be bouncing from wall to wall giggling like a nutball. Security will pull me aside thinking I am some strange mental escapee. And then when we actually get in the air? And then when we land? Will I still be standing? The mixture of fear and excitement might kill me before I ever set foot on foreign soil.

But more than anything, I am begining to feel confident in my choices and my ability to move myself. I am trying, and wheels are turning, just like the theory goes. I thought I was exagerating when I said it before- that if ever I was to believe that I could do anything, I would first have to prove that I could do this. And with each passing step closer to my goal, my strength and belief in myself grow.

Right now, I can feel myself moving forward on my own power, and it is exhilerating. True, this is just a side street in my life, and the main path- school- is still very messed up. But after this, I will be able to tackle it with a clear head. Slowly and deliberately forward, sometimes pushing myself hard in order to break through to where I want to be.

I might just achieve an interesting life after all.