Javajunkee with new glasses
The replacement glasses

It seems like I’ve posted less during my break from school than I did during the semester. What’s that about? Well, I guess I have been busy, for having been on break. I was back in Illinois for about a week and a half, but my mobility during this trip was a bit more limited than usual. This wasn’t all bad. I still managed to make it up to the Quad Cities for an evening, and spend a little bit of time with each of my siblings. Because I stayed most nights in Paxton, I got to hang out with Bob quite a bit, which was quite enjoyable. I even took him on a ride one morning, when we borrowed a truck from one of our uncles to go pick up some of my belongings that were still in Urbana.

Snowy Paxton
This calls for hibernation.

So it snowed quite a bit while I was back, and stayed pretty cold, but we borrowed the truck to go to Urbana on the second of two relatively clear days. The road conditions were pretty good on Route 45 that day, and we cruised along at or near the speed limit most of the way. Just a mile or two south of Thomasboro, however, we suddenly found ourselves sliding out of control on a patch of ice. I had only enough time to let off the accelerator, hoping to regain traction soon, before we drifted into the left lane at an odd angle. We regained our traction at that bad angle, and the truck’s light back end and high center of gravity sent us back-over-front, first into the ditch, and then into the opposite side of the divided highway.

It all happened too fast for us to do much other than brace ourselves for impact, and the only thought going through my head was, “this is going to cause a lot of damage.” I’m still not entirely clear whether the damage I was anticipating was bodily or property. The truck slid to a stop on its passenger side, facing the opposite direction in the lane farthest from where we’d started. Bob and I checked with each other to make sure we were each okay, and as far as we could tell at the moment, we were. In order to get out, we had to climb out through the cab’s broken rear window, as we weren’t going to be able to open either door. I waited for Bob to climb out first, as I was suspended above him by my seatbelt and had to wait until he got out to be able to release my seat belt and find my way out of the car.

After the Crash
That's where I was sitting.

To look at pictures of the vehicle after the fact, I have to wonder how we made it out without any major injury. Some of the folks who stopped to help us after the accident mentioned something about me having blood on my forehead as I climbed out, so I worried about whether I’d sustained a blow to the head during the accident. With my previous experience of being ignorant as to the state of my own physical well-being due to a concussion, I suspected it would be best to get checked out at the hospital. I had some soreness in my left shoulder where the seatbelt had forcefully restrained me, but after the EMTs gave me a good once over, they verified that I didn’t seem to have any major injury. At the ER, they x-rayed my shoulder to make sure, and they said that I shouldn’t worry about a CAT scan unless I experienced any post-concussion symptoms in the next 48 hours or so.

So now that I’m back in LA, some folks are calling me “Crash.” I think it might stick. Last week was the two-year anniversary of my motorcycle accident, followed shortly by the twelve-year anniversary of my decision to stop using drugs for recreational purposes. Incidentally, four years ago on MLK day I was pulled over on Route 45 (just a few miles south of where the latest accident took place), where I was given a ticket for speeding and informed that my license was suspended for parking tickets. This driving stuff is hard work.

On Thursday, I’ll get back into the classroom for the final course of my MA degree, a fiction workshop class. That and my thesis work will be how I spend just about all of my free time for the next four months, and then you should all be able to start calling me Master Crash. Meanwhile, back in the Midwest, Bob is on his way to St. Louis for the night, and tomorrow morning he’ll fly to San Diego to get started on his USMC career. Maybe it will work out so that we can attend each other’s graduations in May? We’ll see.


looking sharp and sharply looking
looking sharp and sharply looking

So I went into the eye doctor a week and a half ago and discovered that I’m slightly nearsighted. While I’m inclined to blame this, in part, on the fact that I’ve been working a desk job sitting in front of a computer screen day-in, day-out for the last three years, I’m not sure that’s entirely the case. Tonight I went on what is becoming my regular evening walk around the neighborhood, and as I once again was marveling at the clarity with which I can now see distant objects (and particularly illuminated objects at night), I happened to look up at the stars overhead and notice the Pleiades. I was astounded by what I saw – I could pick out each of the individual stars! Even as a child I could not do that, which leads me to suspect that my nearsightedness, however slight it is, has been around for quite some time.

Everything else is good, for the most part. Yuka is coming out to Cali for Thanksgiving, and we’ll drive up to visit Tim, Yasu, and the boys. We’re also going to see Mary Poppins while she’s in town. Fairly soon I should be going in to interview for the TA program, which will play a major role in determining whether I’ll finish my MA in 2010 or 2011. With these new glasses, I’m thinking it might end up being 2011, but we’ll see. I’m going to be spending my 29th birthday in Nagoya, Japan. I can’t wait. I may even ride the Shinkansen this time. And I’ll be sure to eat lots of ramen.

Speaking of eating, I’m still working on being conscientious about my eating habits. I haven’t been using the Livestrong calorie counter thing lately, as it’s a bit of a hassle to update regularly. Instead, I’ve just been trying to keep track in my head each day. I’ll let you know how that works for me.

Get Ready to Start Calling Me ‘Master C’

I may have grown up listening to David Alan Coe, but that don’t mean I can’t get myself edumacated.

I had a little case of the Mondays going on today, but then I came home to find a letter in the mail from CSUN informing me that my thesis proposal has been accepted. Yay! Now I get to really get to work! I’m stoked, though, because it means I’ll finally finish Never Enough, the piece I started ten years ago as a freshman at Bradley University. But I am applying for the Teaching Associate Program, which would give me some valuable hands-on experience in the freshman composition classroom. If I’m accepted to that, it will push my graduation back by a semester. As I told my sister, though, that means I’ll either graduate in the Spring 2010 semester, during the same month I’ll be having a wedding ceremony back home, or I’ll graduate in the Fall 2010 semester, during the same month that I’ll turn 30 years old. So either way it’s going to be a busy year!

Speaking of wedding, I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I simply can’t keep eating the way I did three years ago and expect not to put on weight. I’ve tried going to the gym with varying levels of success, but my gym membership expires this month and I’m not comfortable forking over another year’s worth of membership fees to continue seeing limited success.

I wasn’t really thinking about this, though, when I accidentally stumbled onto this Lance Armstrong website the other day. After playing around with it, and discovering that it claims I can lose 2 lbs a week by keeping my calorie intake at 1674 or less each day, I decided that I might as well give it a try. I’ve noticed in the first 48 hours of using it that simply having an awareness of how much I’m consuming is enough to make me reconsider certain choices. And best of all, it’s free. So maybe by the time I meet Yuka in the aisle, I will have shed a few of these extra pounds I’ve gained since I’ve been working a desk job. No promises, though 😉

That’s it, for now. I need to get started on this thesis!

If you are looking for a great event performance on your wedding, follow Jugglinginferno or click here.

It Has a Name

Trichotillomania – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Growing a full, even goatee is complicated by this condition, particularly when I’m working on big, important assignments or projects, such as the 4,000 word take-home final that is due in just over twenty-one hours.That said, reading through this wikipedia article about the condition leaves me feeling quite grateful that my symptoms have been limited to my goatee and nose hair.I wonder if I can draw disability for this?

One Year Motorcycle-Accident Free

In honor of my breakfast videos of 2008, I made this little thing showing me enjoying some tasty scrambled eggs and brown rice – breakfast of champions. The lighting is bad, but my usual video crew wasn’t available for filming so I had to wing it.

As I was going about the process of making a new breakfast video, I happened to take a look at the videos from last year. The first breakfast video (“Good Morning JavaJunkees“) still gave me a chuckle, but the second one (“The Truth about Breakfast“—which I’ve taken off my publicly-available youtube channel) disturbed me deeply. I hadn’t seen it since I made it. Hearing stories about how strangely I was acting is one thing, but seeing that behavior for myself was a truly terrifying and humbling experience.

How About a Real Post?

Enough of all this political crap, eh? How about what’s really going on?

Well, last night I made it out to see Hot Fuzz, which was rather amusing. I was out late enough, however, that I didn't make it down to Santa Monica this morning for Zazen meditation. Earlier this week, though, I finally got up the gumption and joined a gym. It would’ve been nice to join a place between work and home, but this one is a little out of the way. The good news is that they’re open for twenty-four hours, so now when that 3AM urge to jump on a treadmill comes over me, I have somewhere to go. I’ve been there twice so far, and I think I’ll make it a habit. If I manage to go three times a week, which is my goal, then it’ll amount to something just over $2 per visit. Not bad. Of course, if I go once a month, it’ll be $36 a visit. Not good.

Anyway, in other news I have almost completely finished revising a story called “Giving Up.” I’m not sure I like the ending, yet, so I’m going to spend a little time on that today. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to read it.

Finally, I’m starting to play around with Macromedia Flash at work, trying to put together interactive presentations/animations. I might take a class on it. If I get good, maybe I’ll post a little movie on here sometime. We’ll see.

Oh, one last thing: does anyone know anyone who lives or works in Wilmington, CA? Just curious.

My Dang Throat Hurts

I guess I’m getting sick. so I drank a cup of tea, and 1/2-3/4 of the way into it, I couldn’t believe it, but my throat wasn’t fixed yet. what gives?

anyway, I’ve learned today that I will officially be a member of the class of ’06. how pathetic. they’re not offering the intensive russian course in the fall, so I have to take two semesters. 🙁 the good news is this: parkland might be offering russian in the fall—an evening class. so I could take the fall off from school, aside from that russian course, work a lot of hours to pay bills and whatnot, and then take classes at the university again in the spring. I probably won’t take a full courseload in the spring, just the final semester of russian and an independent study in writing. the other possible option is taking an intensive first-year japanese over the summer and then two semesters of that next year. it would be extra work, but I know someone who could do my homework for me 😉

we’ll keep you posted on all of that. as far as the votes for the writing contest: so far I’ve received one vote for “under attack.” that’s the vote count. I’ll keep you posted on that, too!


I’m going to be a gimp like my dad.

I’ve somehow thrown my back out today. It’s happened a couple of times before, and every time, I remember all of the bullshit Dad went through with worker’s comp and trying to get some relief. I guess I’ll just have to make sure I keep good posture.

lot of writing to do this weekend…two big deadlines on monday. it’ll be nice to have it done.

Have a Good Weekend!

btw: I re-read that last post, and I just want to point out that I don’t mean to sound like I think it’s completely ridiculous to be involved in the anti-chief movement. I have a close friend who’s pretty active in some of that, and I think it’s good that he has something that he believes in and is dedicated to. I imagine if I was really that curious, I could just have a conversation with him about the issue. maybe one of these days.