Apr. 7th, 2011 10:08 pm
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Really I'm just writing this post to test some internet-y stuff out. Buuuuuuut I hate to post in vain so I'll slap together a semblance of a real entry.
So yeah, I got back home from Japan Friday evening. Didn't sleep at all on the plane of course so when I got home I passed out for 18 hours straight. I pretty much spent all weekend in a weird zombie-hibernating state. I didn't have the mental acuity or physical energy to leave the house (even though I desperately wanted to hang with friends), so the only productive thing I did all weekend was some very slow house-cleaning. I still had a mess from All-con and the pre-Japan packing frenzy. Oh, and a multi-colored science experiment growing in my fridge. I threw some powdered Clorox at it and I think I heard it laugh.
Monday I went into work expecting (hoping for?) a slow day, only to be shipped off to Kerrville for the next ten days. Blah. I know I just got back from a long vacation, but if you think about it, I was ALONE for those two weeks. I want need to spend time with my friends; not sit in a hotel alone for another two weeks.
. . . Oh well. Whatever.
All I've got to say is there better be something damned fun to do on the weekend of the 16th. Someone better have a birthday or a BBQ or there needs to be a con or a river float or SOMETHING, dammit. I need friends and fun!
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You just get on a plane
and you're there.
But its hopeless;
I don't have a passport to your heart

Japan Day 10: Tokyo to Texas )
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My train is running faster
Than the speed of light
And in my heart
A million stars
Are burning bright

Japan Day 9: Hikone and Tokyo )
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In a strange city
An unexpected encounter,
Surely this must be
A trick of the gods

Japan Day 8: Arashiyama )
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Throw some blue love,
it's like action painting.
Dash yourself against the canvas,
it's very action painting.

Japan Day 7: Higashiyama )


Mar. 30th, 2011 06:55 pm
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The sun has almost disappeared
Once again.
And now I can't see you
Once again.

Japan Day 6: Hakone to Kyoto )
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My doctor asked me
If this summer
I am going to take a holiday,
If I am going anywhere.
"I don’t care
Where you go,
As long as you promise me
Not to sunbathe."

Japan Day 5: Hakone )
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Today I leave Tokyo, headed west. I was just starting to get comfortable here and beginning to know my way around. I suppose that means it's time to move on. I can't have an adventure if I'm comfortable, can I?
I'm grabbing a bite of breakfast before I check out of my little hotel and head to the train station. I'll be taking the bullet train out west to a hot springs 'resort' area near Mt. Fuji. I'm almost more excited about the train ride than the destination, ha ha.
Well, breakfast is done; time to head out.
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And all the love
On earth
Was suddenly there
On the lips
Of that girl from Ginza

Japan Day 4: Central Tokyo )
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The sound of the subway
And a song
I had long forgotten

Japan Day 3: Shibuya & Harajuku )
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"the first time
the two of us
ever spoke to each other
was a Thursday afternoon
in May"

Today's itinerary is going off the schedule a little bit. I'll stay in Shinjuku this a.m. I'll be checking out Uniqlo and Mugi, two popular clothing stores known for offering cheap but stylish and casual clothes. I'm not sure I'll even be able to find anything that fits me; I've heard the rumor that Americans have a hard time finding their sizes a time or two. I don't mind if I don't find anything. I'm just curious to check out what they've got.
Then I'll be going to Tokyu Hands, a Do-It-Yourself department store that offers quite a bit of cosplay materials. I'm going to do some investigation into the cosplay ways of the Japanese and smuggle out their technology.
In the afternoon I'll head up to Akihabara, the electronics/otaku district. I'll check that out for a while before meeting up with Kelly for dinner. She's a fellow Texan cosplayer, currently here for a teaching gig. (This may be the best meal I get all week! *drool*)
So yeah, that's the plan. I wonder if it'll hold up . . .
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In the end I couldn't meet you,
I stayed at the hotel alone.
The city that never sleeps,
it's seven at night in Tokyo

Japan: Day 1 )
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The bad news is really starting to stack up for my trip.
I’ve been keeping the news of nuclear danger in perspective, even though I’ve had dozens of people tell me that I’m crazy/stupid for ignoring it. Really, I’m getting pretty pissed by so many ill-informed people and complete strangers TELLING me what I can and can’t do. They don’t even try and discuss it with me, they just figure since they’ve watched 5 minutes of news, their blanket opinion carries more weight than the opinion of someone who’s been planning this trip for four months and has his own money and safety invested in it. I had to spend an hour last night trying to calm down my irrational sister; she wants me to at least wear a dosimeter while I’m over there. I think I will, just to shut up all these nay-sayers. I won’t even answer the phone when my mom calls. 9_9
I’m not worried about the scheduled black-outs or the rumors of food shortages; I figure that those only apply to limited areas and could quite possibly be corrected by the time I arrive. I’ve got a rail pass that allows me to take the bullet train anywhere in the country, should I need to avoid certain areas. So I’m fairly flexible.
But today there’s been two big setbacks. I chose this time of year to make my trip because the Tokyo Anime Fair is next week. I see that as a sort of cosplay pilgrimage; witnessing cosplay in it’s homeland, at the site of the world’s largest anime convention. Imagine how awesome that’d be.
But the Anime Fair has been cancelled for this year.
. . . That sucks.
But really, that only affects one day out of my ten-day schedule. It’s regrettable, but 90% of my schedule is still intact and I can easily fill that hole, I imagine.
The big one though, is that the tour company announced today that Jenny & Beauty’s tour had been cancelled, so they won’t be going. That . . . really sucks. I avoided signing up for that tour because I wanted the freedom to do my own thing, but I’d still planned to have overlapping itineraries and hang out with them occasionally. Now I’d be going without any friends; two weeks on my own in a foreign country. That’s lame and a little intimidating. The question I’m asking myself now is, “Can I have enough fun on my own to justify the trip?” At this point, I really can’t say.
I’ve got until Saturday to decide whether I’m going or not; after that I’ll start getting hit with last-minute cancellation fees. So I’m holding out for some/any good news that makes this trip more attractive. I've started to contemplate the idea of postponing, but I don't see any equally good time for travel in my near future. I'll need to change jobs soon and once I do that, big vacations won't be in the cards for awhile. I can't shake the feeling that if I postpone, it'll be 'indefinitely.'
Besides the matter of money and my own stubbornness, I think one reason I’m still committed now, even after all these setbacks, is that I keep thinking of that quote attributed to Mark Twain.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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Yeah, as if.
Don't ask why I haven't posted in a month. I could cite half a dozen lame, half-baked reasons.
Anyways, life is the same as I last reported. Working out of town, no social or romantic life back home, etc etc.
The only bit of new news is that I'm a mere week away from my trip to Japan. A few dingbats I know are saying, "You're not going to Japan! The whole nation is fucked up!" I know they're wrong, but it pisses me off to have their ignorance raining on my parade. I don't care if I get off the plane and spend my entire 10 days filling sandbags and working at a soup kitchen; I'M GOING TO HAVE A JAPAN ADVENTURE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
I kinda gave up on the crash-course-Rosetta-Stone a week or two ago when it became obvious I wasn't going to do a John-Travolta-from-'Phenomenon' and learn the language in record time. So I'll just have to rely on the cosmopolitan-ality of the Tokyo-ites to make up for my lingual ignorance.
Even though I know Japan's gonna be a whole other level of fun and adventure, I still feel like I've gotta jam-pack as much fun as I can into my last week here State-side. SXSW is coming up; I plan to spend at least one night checking that out. Next weekend is Anime Matsuri and All-Con. My friends seem to be equally split on which con they're going to. It apparently boils down to: cosplay or drinking. I haven't put together any great new costumes so I'm leaning towards the drinking con. Hell, if it's my last chance to hang with my friends for awhile, you better believe I'm gonna booze it up with them.
So yeah LJ, that's all I have to say for now. Sorry for the recent dearth of entertainment. Life is just dull often sometimes.
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I got into town last night and was pleased to find a bunch of Christmas cards in my overstuffed mailbox. Considering they're probably all the 'presents' I'll be getting this year, I was happy to find them. Another unexpected bit of good fortune; my ex-landlord sent me back $600 of my $800 deposit. Wow. I'd thought I'd never see a penny of that again. In addition to that, my company gave me a small holiday bonus since I've reached the 5-year employment milestone. Plus, my credit card bumped my limit up by a $1000, since I've been with them for a year now. Yay for surprise money!
With these new funds plumping up my bank account, I went ahead and reserved my plane ticket for Japan. It's the biggest expense of the whole trip, but I needed to finalize that first before I could plan out the rest. So now I'm dialed in for 10-days, 10-nights in Japan. Wooo! Now that I can finally start planning and scheduling events and places, I'm getting really excited. It's hard not to get carried away.
But the trip-planning's gonna have to wait a couple days. My family's coming in to town tomorrow so I've got an ass-load of organizing and tidying-up to do at my new place. It'll be fun to see them I suppose, I just wish I had a little more time to myself to relax first. Oh well.
So I may not be online too much in the next few days but I really hope everybody out there has a fun, stress-free holiday.
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I did my first nightshift up here the other day. It was . . . surreal. Yes, the sleep-deprivation had something to do with that. But also the fact that the sun only went down for 3 hours also added to my dis-orientation. And then I think I saw a moose standing in the middle of the road as I drove back to camp, but by that point I could've been hallucinating. (Which reminds me, I'll have to try that Valerian root that my boss told me about when I switch back to days. Vivid waking dreams, yeah let's do that!)
The cool thing about the night work is that I'm totally on my own; I can work at my own pace and have almost no one to bother me. So I don't even have to wear pants if I don't want to! But this is Canada, so . . . yeah. Even though I'm scheduled and get paid for a 12-hour shift, the work only takes 6-8 hours. Once I email our results to Houston, I'm free to leave and go back to camp. Easy peasy work, baby!
Oh, but in slightly less awesome news, my boss seems to have forgotten the vacation request I made over a month ago for AX. He's still willing to help me out, but my AX trip will come at the expense of the river float I'd been planning for the 12th. Lame. And the best I could do would be to fly in directly from Canada on Day 0 of AX; no time to go to Austin to get costumes. I don't mind (too much) forfeiting my river float so that I can go to AX. But now it's gotten especially difficult to figure out how to get my costumes (if any) to AX. K'nuckles is automatically out unless someone's driving, which I doubt. The smaller costumes may be do-able but I've got to figure out a way to get them there by mail or . . . I don't know. This kinda jacks with my costume plans. I don't even know which ones I should attempt to finish at this point.
So yeah, I've got some thinking to do.
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Talking about work )
Now that I've been with my company for five years, my vacation allotment has been bumped from 10 days a year to 15 days a year. Wooo! Now I don't have to be so damned stingy with the days I spend at cons.
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random babbling )

I kept meaning to write a post announcing my return to Dallas for the past couple weeks, but there just hasn't been anything to write about really. I'm here for the sequel of that previous job. The biggest difference between the two jobs is that this one takes place in the ass-crack of the summer. OMG. Even though the hours and the physical work ain't that bad, by the end of the day I'm exhausted, just from sweating so damn hard. My sweat glands are pooped. It doesn't leave me much energy to spare to go out and hang with Cameron or do anything other than wash, eat, and go to bed.
The drill crew I'm working with this time is very different. I was warned that the driller was a drill sergeant, but only now am I fully appreciating what that meant. He's hard on his helpers, which means they do whatever they're told (by him or me) without grumbling, which is good, but even I'm a bit wary of the driller and I don't even work for him. The worst part though are the 15 minute lunch breaks. He decides what we're eating that day and sends one helper to get lunch. By the time we finish chewing, it's back to work! I miss having an hour to myself in the middle of the day in the air conditioning. My second favorite part of the day, gone.
On the positive side, all this overtime and per diem kicks up my pay by about %50 per month and that's worth the fatigue. I have been thinking about getting a DSLR camera soon; I'm tired of trying to coax decent pictures out of my point-and-shoot. I think I'll use the bulk of my excess pay to pay off my truck. It would be nice to not have to worry about that anymore. I had thought I'd be spending my evenings putting together a costume for AFest, but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe when I get more adjusted to this schedule I'll be able to scrounge up enough energy to do it.
Oh yeah, when I got back from AX, I got a little email from Southwest Airlines saying I'd finally earned a free roundtrip flight. I'll admit, my first reflexive response was something along the lines of, "Free out of state con! Woo! Acen? Otakon? D*Con? Who knows!" Not too long afterwards I realized that it'd probably be smarter to save the flight for something more responsible. I think I'll let Liz have it. She's been planning to go see her BFF in New Mexico this summer and although I think road trips are awesome fun, it'd make the trip a lot easier for her if she flew.
Hmmm, I can't think of anything else interesting. That must mean it's bed time. G'night!

AX Report

Jul. 16th, 2009 06:41 am
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(Belated because I haven't had internet for the last week or so.)

long report, but with some pictures at least )

Cosplay pics are here
Non-cosplay pics are here

August 2017

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