Dreams and stuff

I had a dream where I was trapped in the mother of all haunted houses. Just going into the place guaranteed your death in seven days, ala THE RING/RINGU and the creepy girl coming out of the TV. That makes for an interesting moment when you realize you've actually found a way OUT of the damn place, but that doesn't really matter, cause you've only got a week after that before your time is up. I only saw about four rooms of it before we realized our "escape" route meant climbing down the side of the building - and somehow after four rooms we were about five stories up without ever using the stairs. There were fire escapes mind you, but instincts told you that they would collapse or there would be sections missing. It couldn't be that easy.

The interior was apparently like the movie CUBE - where some of the rooms would outright kill you. We took this so seriously that if there was any cryptic writing on the wall, we refused to read it as it might summon something to kill us, or drive us mad outright simply by giving voice to whatever was written.

To further emphasize how terrifying this place was supposed to be, none other than Freddy Krueger himself was willing to make a truce with us so HE could get out of the place alive. It rather amusing when you walk into the room where something in your subconscious comes out in holographic form to scare the crap out of you. When asked what Freddy saw, he said ashamedly in a quiet voice, "Wesley." We were dumbstruck. "Do you mean from Star Trek or Angel?" "Angel," he said in the same voice.

Fred Krueger scared of Wesley from Angel. Hey, you have to admit, when he went dark, Wes was pretty bad-ass.

Still, the idea that Freddy was scared of Wes was amusing. Until his predictable and quite expected betrayal, upon which I found myself fighting him with both his own razors and two whiffle ball bats. For the record, it's not easy to hold a whiffle ball bat while wearing a razor glove. I was quite pissed that none of the other people in the dream were helping in this fight, mind you. They just seemed quite content to watch. Which they shouldn't have been so content - horror movie rules being what they are, the stupid glove would probably corrupt me and then I'd come after them for not helping.

I woke up before that happened.

Lucky them.

Well, I say...

This is an actual spam mail I received this morning...

Have they ever told you this, "Gush! Your penis is so small!"?
Didn't you feel stupid?
Don't let women prefer dildo to you ! Megadik will make you a real man ! You should simply rely on this magic preparation!
"Wow! Your penis is unique!" Isn�t that what you just love to hear?
Soon you'll be the only one women will dream about! Megadik is your real cure!

Your penis is unique...wow...I think if I'm telling a guy that, it's not because of it's size...
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No Words.

I just found out that a friend of mine from high school died in February. He was only 3 years older than me.

I have no idea how it happened.

His daughter posted this at the funeral home's guestbook:

its not been long since you left me but i miss you so much already. i'll never forget the chocolate pudding i put all over your face when you was sleeping. all you could do when you woke up was smile at me.i'll always love you and remember my proudest times with you. i love daddy.

We had not spoken in years - life just moves people apart sometimes.

Nonetheless, I've been crying for the past 20 minutes.

Updates soon

Sorry about the lack of updates. The inability to post pics really spoiled blogging for me when I was overseas.

We're back home now, so I should be posting more trip details soonish.


break in journal until I figure out a way to get around my shortage of space on my server for images. I can post without images, but that requires me to go cut all the links out of the text I've saved and right now I don't have the time.

Anyway, I'm in Kyoto right now and will try updating with pics when we are in Hiroshima.

Day One After the Flight

The most useful bit of advice I can give any new traveler to Japan (at this young time) is to learn the Kanji of the train station closest to your hotel. So long as you know it, you will know how much it costs to get from wherever you are back to your room, and stand an excellent chance of being able to make it back there. Many of the trains now have digital displays which tell you in romanji what station is next, with bilingual announcements to accompany them.

After waking up early, we headed out to go exploring. novacheckers took me to the Akihabara area before it truly woke up. Even then, though, people were waiting around for stores to open. A pastry shop was putting fresh wares out into their window, and I wanted one badly. Unfortunately, it was also closed and wouldn't open for another forty or so minutes. We continued to walk, eventually getting to Kanda. One of the things you need to prepare for is that you will walk a lot, and that at least in the Ochanomizu/Akihabara/Kanda/Suidoubashi areas, there are exceedingly few areas where pedestrians can sit down.

We eventually made our way to Shibuya, where we spent some time checking out some of the arcades. It's rather interesting that most of them seem to have the exact same game selection even if they aren't the same chain. There are Mech-Warrior style games here in excess, many of them full-on pod simulations where an entire floor of the establishment is nothing more than a multiplayer environment for mech combat. I did enjoy getting to try out Tekken 5 (I don't believe it is out in the US yet), and both of us have had a blast playing Power Smash 3, which is essentially the next iteration of VirtuaTennis.

You really have to see the UFO catcher games to understand how cute Japan can be. Some of the plushie prizes are adorable to the point of trauma, and the figure prizes are so frakking good that you can waste hours and coins trying to finally get some payout. Luckily, Nova turned out to be a master at one style of them, and she netted us four Evanglion mini-figures in just a handful of tries.

In the afternoon, we met up with our friend Marianne (a fellow Puzzle Pirate) and her husband, Per, from Norway. We trained down to the Tokyo Dome, where they have a mini-amusement park called La Qua. La Qua has a roller coaster called the Thunder Dolphin that I wanted to ride from the moment I saw pictures of it online.

Once I saw it in person, it was a lot more intimidating. You really need to see it first hand to get the scope of this ride; it hugs the roof of the nearby shopping complex (about six stories tall) and zooms through a hole in the side as well as through the middle of the "hubless" ferris wheel. Further more, unlike most American coasters, this one didn't have a "car" so much as it had a seat with a belt and a lap-bar; you weren't sitting inside anything that had walls or elevated sides.

I hope some of the pictures give you an idea of the scope of it.

The four of us took turns playing different Bemani games in the La Qua arcade, everything from Dance Dance Revolution to Taiko Drummer (which, like everyone who plays it for the first time has to say, is incredibly fun).

We all settled in for dinner at Denny's. (Yes, DENNY'S.) As Nova is fond of saying, Denny's in Japan is not Denny's in America. Traditional American food is almost absent from their menu, though you can still get pancakes for dessert if you'd like. Per found this rather amusing, as he pointed to the big white letters adorning the trim at the top of the wall that said "Denny's Hamburg" but yet, there was no hamburger on the menu.

After, we headed back to Akihabara. At this hour, it had become a congested mass of pedestrians, and it was quite a sight to behold under all the neon lights. Unfortunately, we'd arrived a few minutes before most of the shops closed for the evening, so our visit was cut short.

More to come as I find the time to write. Japan is an exhausting experience if only for the humidity and the amount of walking you end up doing. I'll touch upon that in another entry, but on most nights, it's all we can do to make back to the room and clean up before collapsing.

Getting to Tokyo

(apologies for the lack of updates, our room doesn't have wireless access so I'm unable to send them at the day's end)

No matter how many comforts they try to throw at you, thirteen hours in coach seating on a plane is still thirteen hours in coach setting. Which makes it all but impossible to sleep (though the gentleman to my left seemed to have no problem at all sleeping upright for about eleven hours of it - I have no clue how he managed it), and the sparse hour or so I managed to get only resulted in an extremely crimped neck.

On the other hand, we did have approximately 295 movies available to us as well as some fairly cheap knockoff games. This allowed us to see both The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy in one sitting, something we'd been unable to do the previous week back home due to the third Bourne film having just been released. So now that we've done our homework, I look forward to seeing The Bourne Ultimatum when we return to the United States.

The airline food, in my opinion, was surprisingly good compared to the last time I flew across the Pacific. It was also fascinating that half the crew appeared to be Japanese, and that all messages given over the PA were spoken in both English and Japanese. This was not something done on my last flight to Narita Airport; although this flight was on Continental and not United. As well as the bilingual announcements, we were given chopsticks with our meals and I made it point to use them regardless of how American the food was. Eating scrambled eggs was a fun challenge.

By the time we arrived at Narita, I was starting to get borderline hallucinations from exhaustion. I held it together well through immigrations, customs, the currency exchange, and the purchase of our train ticket to Tokyo proper. (Which, coincidentally, was the first time I was able to use some of the Japanese I'd been studying for the past few months. It felt really good to know that was time well-spent, especially considering how little I was actually able to learn.) After, the train ride on the Narita Express gave me my first non-airport view of the country.

The first thing you learn about Japan is that somethings you see in anime are NOT make-believe. In Evangelion, Misato and Shinji lived in some immense apartment building that, not being native to Japan, I figured was the result the overpopulation of the Tokyo-3 area as one of the few habitable spots after the Third Impact. It's not make believe - just on my trip from Narita to Tokyo I saw several clones of that structure and several more larger than that one.

We got off the train at Ochanomizu, where our hotel was just over the Hijiribashi bridge. After checking in at the hotel, where my minuscule knowledge of Japanese was obliterated in the face of words I'd never heard before, we ended up collapsing in very small room we'd reserved.

It was only 5 pm local time. But, after having been up for roughly 40 hours with only a one hour or so nap, I'd sleep for about twelve straight hours.

(pictures are coming - I need to get an FTP client on this machine and then maybe we'll have some here)

The Great Japan Getaway, Prelude

It's now about 7 am CST, and I've been up for 21 hours straight. Which means I'm getting a bit slappy as I write from the lappy that novacheckers purchased for our trip overseas. On our way to drop of my beloved Saturn with my parents, we stopped at a Quik Trip where I purchased the necessary uber-coffee and banana to sustain me long enough to get us here. While there, I spotted a pancake, egg, and sausage hot sandwich which proved to be absolutely heavenly for convenience store food. I might have to try eating another after I've slept to get a better opinion.

I can feel my body winding down little by little; it won't last long once we get in the air. This gives the whole experience a bit of a dream-like quality, in that I'd almost believe that this wasn't happening at all.

Next post will probably be after we arrive in Tokyo. See ya on the other side of the world, LJ friends!

Stolen from Seph

What kind of God are you?
Favourite Color
You earthly time was spent Feeding millions with a few hot dog scraps
Your throne is A great mountain wreathed in silver cloud, attended by angelic beings of light, arced with lightning and bathed in glory
You wear Nothing! And that is why people worship you
Your Godly superpower is Complete dominance and sovereignty over time and space and the infallible right to do with both as you please
This Quiz by pelagicboreas - Taken 732 Times.
New - Dating Advice written by YOU!


I've held the same job now since Sept of 2000. I've worked at the same company since December of 1999. During this time, I've alternately hated and loved this job depending on the current attitudes of management.

Of late, it came to become really good. The tedium was broken up, and my team was given projects to work on. Some of them are actually beneficial to what we do and not just elaborate busy work. The team itself is very close, and we have come to work very well together. I didn't realize how much I had actually enjoyed working in this position until recently, despite the fact that I have not had weekends off since December of 1999, getting Monday and Tuesday off instead.

On Wednesday, I went in and trained day one of the new technical assistant class. On Thursday, I was given the news that the training department was offering me a position as an assistant trainer.

Initially overjoyed, I've spent the every day since (including Thursday) crying about leaving a job I have loathed in the past when it was the most stressful.

I will miss my team. I will miss not being part of the projects we were developing. Just this Monday, we had given a presentation to Senior Management and had been given a bright review, and enthusiastic permission to move forward. I am sad that I won't be there to actually DO the project, and see it succeed.

But I have weekends off for the first time in nearly 8 years. And I won't have to take escalated calls from customers whining that they don't want to pay for someone to come repair their alarm systems despite the fact that they signed a contract agreeing to do that.

Still crying.
Still feeling conflicted.
But for better or for worse, it's done.

Welcome to Monday - Friday, at last.
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