My second semester as a grad student began yesterday, so if you thought I posted infrequently before, prepare yourselves to be completely underwhelmed by this blog. Aside from staying pretty busy at work, every weekend for quite some time has brought either out-of-town visitors or summer parties of some type, and often both. I started reading a novel last week for the first time in far too long, and managed to plow through five chapters before I went and picked up my books for class. And now school has started before I decided I was completely ready for it. So maybe it wasn’t the best time to start a new blog. Oh well.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I’ve been cranking my efforts to learn Japanese up quite a few notches. I managed to get a hold of some audio lessons that I can listen to in my car to supplement the Rosetta Stone lessons that I haven’t been nearly as diligent with as I should be. All this in hopes of being ready for my visit to Japan. I’ll be flying out on Christmas morning and returning on the 4th of January. I can’t wait. The downside is that I won’t be able to dress like Santa Claus and scare the hell out of little Japanese kids. I mean, I still could…but last time it was my way of entertaining myself while Yuka’s family was busy selling Christmas cakes on Christmas Eve.
So, when I’m not working on my Japanese skills, reading a new novel, entertaining out-of-town visitors, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and kicking off my second semester as a grad student, I mess around with ridiculous social networking sites. Or, I guess I should say, I play around with those websites while I’m doing all that other stuff. Here’s a funny video about how silly it all is. And this video seems to have been created before twitter and all its contemporaries, which are a little more like crack than friendster, facebook and myspace. Here’s to you, technology. Thanks for helping me keep real life friends at a safe distance while allowing me to be constantly and intimately involved with the mundane minutia of perfect strangers’ everyday lives.
This week I had a dream that I had to use an outhouse at some sort of campground or other public place. I stood inside the outhouse for a moment and marveled at the complete lack of odor. Then I noticed that spiders were crawling all over me. I wasn’t creeped out or scared, I simply took notice of the spiders, mildly curious about where they came from. And that’s all I remember from that dream. The spider in this picture is one that I saw in my kitchen last night, which is probably the same kind as the ones I’ve seen in my hanging out by the wastebasket in my bathroom and crawling on the wall in my bedroom. I don’t kill spiders, as I typically hope that they will seek out and destroy any bugs that would otherwise show up and gross me out. However, I thought it might be a good idea to get a picture of this one, as maybe someone would be able to let me know if it’s the type that will eat me while I’m sleeping. So if you know anything about spiders, or know someone who does, please let me know if my life is in danger. In the meantime I’m going to go about business as usual.
Mom came to California earlier this month to spend some time with my older brother Tim and his family up north, and they managed to come down for a couple days so we could visit Sea World in San Diego and the Farmer’s Market here in LA. I managed to get a little sunburnt while I was in San Diego because I didn’t wear a hat or sunscreen (not recommended for fair-complected Midwest boys like my brother and I). It was my first time to experience a sunburn on my scalp, which made for less-than-pleasant showers for a couple days there. Overall, though, we had a really nice time. The nephews really enjoyed it, and we managed to get soaked by some of those mischievous dolphins and whales. I have uploaded the pics, which also include a couple of short videos of Angelo having the sort of pure fun reserved for kids his age, primarily because they’re the only ones who have that much energy.
Here’s a marginal-quality video of a part of a show there called “Pets Rule,” an elaborately choreographed show featuring cats, dogs, pigs, birds, and ducks (sorry if I’ve left anyone out). As someone who grew up around cats, I know how stubborn they can be, so I was most impressed by their performances. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell what’s happening in this video, so you’ll just have to go to Sea World and check it out for yourself.
Finally, I wanted to point out that I’ve started a new blog called The Meaning of Spam, which will be an attempt to establish a spiritual communion with the Internet, by way of reading between the lines of the mystical messages It puts in my inbox. Not that I am crazy about starting a religion, but if the Internet wills it, who am I to stand in the way?