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It felt good to be on top of a soap box one last time.

Posted on 2004.03.17 at 00:00
Current Mood: surprisedwho'd a thunk it?
Current Music: Taps.

friends only.

I've just realized what a horrible thing online journals are. I shouldn't want people to read about what I ate for lunch. I shouldn't want people to comment on what song I'm listening to. NO ONE CARES. And if they do, they can ask me personally about my day.

I started this journal because I wanted to be writing more. Before that, I made my personal homepage as a sort of self-discovery trip. But now I realize how vain and self-centered it makes me come off as. My life is not so interesting as to be documented. And if I do have to write something, it will be private and all my own. Or maybe it will be on a piece of paper that I will throw away later.

Giving up posting will be hard. I love comments. LOVE them. I love the idea that people are reading what I have to say, and are somehow affected by it. But I saw something today that made me question what I was doing. Through a friend of a friend's Xanga site, I came across this. It's the website of a former classmate.

I screamed out loud. I was so disgusted, I wanted to swallow my eyes and pull my intestines out through my throat. And the thing is, how was that site any different from mine? When you strip everything down, aren't they both self-promoting cries for attention?

I don't want to be like that. I'm probably not going to change, but I want to at least save myself from making anyone feel how I felt when I saw that site. The thought that someone could see everything I put on display as a pity act horrifies me.

So, with great sadness, I'm going to discontinue this journal starting Wednesday, March 17th. I will still update my website, and I will still be very much available on AIM or otherwise.

Another day, just another day...

Posted on 2002.05.09 at 22:10
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: "Copasetic" - Local H
Quick updates on today:

* Took the AP English exam and came up with several nicknames for the lady who was coordinating the test, such as Stick Up Ass Lady, Splintered Bat Up Ass Lady, Permanent Wedgie Woman, and Frau.

* Walked around with my buddies and watched Shirley put up campaign fliers (Vote Shirley Leong for secretary '03!! She's the "SHIR" choice!)

* Had a baggie full of chocolate creme Oreos and strawberry Newtons after the test to calm my nerves after having to deal with Splintered Bat Up Ass Lady.

* Sensei found out who my crush is. I have a bad feeling about this.

* Today was in the mid-70's and I had to walk home. Blech. And this scary-looking man with a hunchback was walking behind me, but I turned a corner and lost him.

* God, siblings are annoying... My poor dear mother...

* I think I finally convinced Alex to go back to school!! I'm so proud of that boy.

Day of Silence

Posted on 2002.05.03 at 20:35
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: "Cappucino" - Tomosaka Rie (written by SHIINA RINGO!!!!!)
It's really cool walking around without talking. I reccommend it, acutally. Try it at least once, you might be able to listen to more than you know.

Today was Day of Silence, in which almost 200 students participated by being absolutely silent for the entire school day. The purpose of the Day of Silence was to protest against the hate that gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. people suffer, and the censorship they're forced to place on themselves because of their sexuality.

As it says on the little cards we handed out to people questioning our quietness:

"Please understand my reason for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence which is caused by harassment, prejudice and discrimination. I believe that the first step to ending the silence is fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What can you do to end the silence?"

Posted on 2002.04.22 at 21:41
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: "Clumsy" - Our Lady Peace
I've had my high for a while now, I knew it wouldn't last long. Last week was ... terrible, for lack of a better word. It was just all-around bad. What's worse is that it ended with a not-so-silent crying fit locked up in my room... those are never fun, but I've been doing that a lot lately. It's like a routine thing now. I wake up, go to school, come home, and cry about something before I go to bed, or cry myself to sleep. One or the other.

Today I was worried about Mr. Hall and his father who had recently suffered a stroke. He told us about it last week (ah! - last week... everything bad can be blamed on last week, it's like El Nino). I wanted to say something comforting, but I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how serious a stroke was, because my grandma had two strokes since last year and she recovered from them pretty quick. All that happened was that she couldn't speak very well, if at all, and she was tired all the time. But I couldn't bring myself to tell him any of that... I honestly didn't know what he was going through, so I figured I'd better let well enough alone.

I hope everything's okay...

I got to thinking in the middle of math class today (which is the worst place to think about anything besides math) that I'd give anything to be back in D.C. again. Not by myself, mind you. I mean to press rewind and go back to 3:15 a.m. at the student parking lot, on the way up to SFO, and relive it all over again.

Sensei no koto shinpai shiteru wa... Hayaku kaettekure...

The Japan Trip

Posted on 2002.04.20 at 13:57
Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: Shiina Ringo, I don't know the name of it...
This happened during the latter half of spring break, and it wasn't as special as the D.C. trip, so I'll outline it with just the cool important events.

Day 1
- my film got confiscated when I tried to take a picture of Tyler getting searched at the airport
- watched Harry Potter in Japanese (hotondo kubi nashi Nick!! Hahahaha!!)
- Ami-chan's 1st time being airsick!! Threw up:
*beef and rice
*macaroni salad
*dinner roll
*dessert that had the consistency of cheesecake but not quite
- it got stuck in the sink in the bathroom and I had to bail my vomit out with little paper cups.

Day 2
- Ami-chan survives the Walk of Death!! ...barely.
- Not too bad, except for being sweaty and thirsty and sore...
- Saw Sanjuusan (33) Gendou, the thing with all those statues and the long hall where they used to have archery tournaments or something
- Got lost @ Kiyomizu Dera (temple of pure water), had kitsune udon and a bottle of Fanta afterwards
- Went to Kinkakuji
- Saw the rock garden @ Ryoanji
* I asked a man, "Why are the rocks placed that way?" in Japanese
* He replied, "Sono question wa... Nobody knows, desu ne"
- Bought Shiina Ringo stuff! YEAH!!
- The guy @ the yakisoba place let me take a picture of him, but the girl at the crepe place was too shy
- I took more purikura (sticky pics) than I ever intended to.

Day 3
- packed up and got on the Shinkansen to Okayama
- met up with our host students and families
- they had a very nice opening ceremony for us
- we did the hokey pokey... >_<;;
- I met up with Kazuha again! Yay!
- my host student is Kanae... yeah...
- we went to a karaoke place (met up with Rika! Yay!!) and sang and had sodas and snacks.

Day 4
- went with Kanae and her parents to see an old Edo period school
- met up with everyone else and went bowling (tanoshikatta!)
- went shopping for like 20 min... I bought socks and an eyeliner
- the eyeliner was more expensive...
- the hairstylist guy made a fuss about how my hair is a little wavy and that I should get a "straight perm"
- regardless, my hair turned out great and he gave me a little bottle of conditioner for free!

**Day 5** (today gets a gold star!)
- went to the Hiroshima Peace Park (Heiwa Kouen)
* sugoku kanashikatta! ;_;
* "mizu o kudasai"
* black rain
* shrapnel wall
- we watched Mr. Hall juggle for a bit after that, to clear our heads of the disturbing scenes
- we walked around and went shopping 'til we found a nice, tiny ramen shop
- 1st time eating real ramen!! Yum yum yum...
- it was shoyu ramen and a side order of gyoza
- went shopping some more after that... bought tape with skulls and crossbones on it, a Harry Potter book, and a really really cute t-shirt that couldn't fit me, so I gave it to Kanae

Day 6
- saw Kanae's opening school ceremony
* we sat on the floor, in rows, in another school's gym
* it was long and boring
- went to McDonald's, cuz by this time, I'm getting just a little homesick...
- had Baskin-Robbins after that.. strawberry cheesecake.. yummm..
- there was a super-cool statue of Alice and the white rabbit on chess pieces
- Anri, a Japanese student, told me that the statue gets up and walks around at 3 am... scary!! ^_^ Anri's so cool...
- We all went ice skating after that.
* I was tired, and I didn't want to make a fool of myself, so I didn't skate
* Alex didn't want to go through the trouble of finding ice skates that fit him, so he didn't skate
* we both ended up wasting like 600 yen playing air hockey >=) Heh!
- They took us to another karaoke place for about an hour, then we had to go home
- I had nikujaga. Yum.

Day 7
- woke up at 5:30 am. I just wanted everyone to know that.
- Packed up, got my hair to behave, and left Kanae's house at about 6:20
- Had a long goodbye at the train station, took a lot of pictures, had to fake a smile for like 10 minutes...
- I'm really gonna miss Anri
- I ate tempura soba at the airport with Alex
- I stealthily avoided the airline food
- The pilot wanted to mess with us, so we circled around San Francisco, like, twice before landing.
- When I got home, the fishbowl on the windowsill was empty.
The poor bastard.

The D.C. Trip. Pull up a chair, kid, this'll take awhile.

Posted on 2002.04.13 at 17:46
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: "For Nancy (cuz it already is)" - Pete Yorn
This was about a week and a half ago, but I'll try to recall what I can.

On March 27, at 3:15 in the morning, I met up with the Japan Bowl teams and Mr. Hall at the student parking lot. We went up to SFO, checked in our luggage at the ATA counter, and boarded a plane for Chicago. They served us sodas and what tasted like Gerber biscuits on the plane.

4 or 5 hours later, we landed and ate lunch at the Reagan-something airport in Chicago (I won that round of Food Court Roulette!), and played shiritori until we had to get on another 2-hour plane to Washington D.C. (On one of those flights, I forget which, I was watching the Pink Panther. In that episode, he had a problem with a termite in his log house. His solution: point a shotgun at it.)

When we arrived there, I got my luggage and waited with Miriam and Alex and Jean and her cow pillow. I kinda had this feeling something was wrong because we were waiting a little bit longer than I thought was necessary. Sure enough, Ngoclan and Angela came back to report that their luggage had been shipped to Honolulu. Fuck...! So Mr. Hall lays the smack-down on the airline people, they say theyre very sorry and theyd ship the bags back as soon as possible, and we pack up and take a shuttle to the Metro terminal.

Once we arrived there, however, Alex announced that his backpack was missing, and that he left it at baggage claim. ...Fuck...!! He ran back with Sensei to get it, and returned safely.

After that, things went smoothly. We took the Metro to the hotel (which had this yucky smell eminating from around the front of the building... Miriam described it as a strong cheese smell, I thought it was more of a diarrhea and cheese smell). We set our stuff down in our lovely, spacious, and well-decorated rooms, and went to go eat at Subway.

A bit of advice: never eat the salads at Subway. They're just sandwiches without the bread.

The next day, we spent like 5 hours shopping for new clothes for Angela and Ngoclan. That was fun ^_^. (Have pictures, will post. Or at least link to them. Later.)

After that, we met up with Mr. Dont Mess With Texas Hurley. He came with a former student/Japan Bowl contestant to make a promotional video for Japan Bowl. We went around and did as tourists do, visiting the obligatory Capitol Building and Washington Monument. Hall Sensei pulled us over to the Museum of American History and had us look at the Japanese Internment exhibit. Pretty impressive. After that, Miriam and I went downstairs to the gift shop, and I got my mom a new Rosie the Riveter pen (the old one got mangled by a co-worker, legend has it). After that, I dont think we really had time to walk over to any other museum... we stopped by this stand that had buttons and bumper stickers for sale. My favorite one, I think, was a button that said:

Dont make me come up there.

There were other ones, too.. mostly with political remarks (hello... D.C.... yeah...) such as: The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans and Last Time We Mixed Politics With Religion, People Got Burned at the Stake.

When everyone was done with the Smithsonian, we went back to the Metro station. Sensei told us that the simplicity of the station was created and intended to serve as a bomb shelter. I looked around at the walls and the ceiling (if you can call them walls or a ceiling... it was a dome), and I figured it was probable. I have a picture of Miriam pointing to the boxy-tiled dome-shaped roof of the station... looks pretty awesome.

We got back to the hotel and had a group study session for about an hour, hour and a half. We were doing our best to study, get some confidence, and get the jitters out. Japan Bowl was only a night away.

The next morning, we all got dolled up in suits and ties and skirts and other formal, stuffy, uncomfortable clothing and went to go eat our complimentary bagels and register our teams.

At around 9-something, they rounded us up and sat us down for the opening ceremony. They gave us a run-down of the rules and regulations, which pissed me off a little, because they JUST THEN told us we had to use the polite form (using -masu with all of the verbs and ending all the other sentences with desu) instead of plain form. That ended up not being too much of a problem, but still, they threw me a curve ball.

The Level II teams went off to battle first, and the Level III and IV teams had to kick back in the auditorium until they were done.

Its a horrible feeling, the hour of waiting before death.

When it was our turn, we walked over to the Massachusetts Room and took a seat at the table on the right. The team in the middle actually looked like a threat, because I think one or two of them were Asian. (They turned out to be an absolute JOKE, but...) The team that sat on the left consisted of two African-American guys, and I couldnt make anything out of them. I figured they must be fairly good, because they must have won the regional competition with only two team members, and they looked pretty serious. As it turns out, the team captain on that team WON last years national competition for Level II.

As we got going, there were questions that we could get easily, and there were questions that we just plain didnt know. We missed one or two questions during the first round because they were culture questions, and during the second round, we got quite a few right. Ngoclan chimed in with ishin-denshin and got it perfect, Miriam probably got something, too... I forget. When the second round was over, I breathed a sigh of relief because the third round is only kanji. Kanji is easy. I turned to Miriam and whispered, Were home free!

I spoke too soon.

The kanji on the overhead projector was either kanji we never knew existed, or simple kanji put into compounds that we didnt know how to read. We were helpless. My heart sunk into my lower intestine.

When it was all over, the team from Georgia (the two African-American guys) went over to whine at the moderator lady, and we got all our questions answered as to why we got certain questions wrong. Then we went back to the auditorium to wait for our scores.

When they put them up, Silver Creeks Level II team got 4th place, 180 points. Level III got 175 points, and I was about to commit harakiri with a ballpoint pen when one of the important lady-people came up to me and said, Silver Creek team captain? There was a tie. And then told me to go to a room with the Punaho (sp?) High School team for a tie-breaker.

Punaho was from Hawaii, for Christs sake, theyre all Japanese over there. Needless to say, we lost the tie-breaker.

Miriam and Ngoclan were really good sports about it, Im proud of them. At most, it got them motivated to try harder and kick some Hawaiian ass next year. As for me, I sat and sulked in the auditorium and wept silently. Hall Sensei came over and asked if I was okay, gave me a one-armed hug and kissed me on the head.

We all had to sit through the final rounds and the closing ceremony (Miriam had a tranquilizer dart in her watch, but 007 gave it to her personally, so she didnt want to use it), and then we had to go to this Japanese ambassadors house, cram into a room, and listen to a bunch of speeches. They offered us sushi and other stuff, but at this point, I wasnt really up for trying sushi. I dont really like sushi anyway. I wasnt up for eating much anything except Alexs curry rice.

We blew that popsicle stand as soon as we could and went back into the hotel and changed. Me and Miriam were more than happy to drop the polyester/rayon and button-down collared blouses for cotton t-shirts and jeans. We met up with Mr. Hurley and his minion again, and Ngoclan, Angela, and Jean found some prettyboys to flirt with, so we took them on a mini-death walk to Ben & Jerrys. After the ice cream, we said goodbye to Mr. Hurley, Mini-Hurley, and the frat boys.

We went along our merry way to look for a pizza place, but to no avail. We came to the end of the Georgetown shopping area and were about to turn back when Ngoclan spotted a door that said Free Pizza Delivery on it. It looked pretty cheap, like the back door to a kitchen or something, but it was a quick-fix for our hunger, and thats all we needed. I bought a couple of sodas and met everyone else outside. They were sitting on the curb, munching on the cheese pizza.

I dont know who pointed it out, but there was a nice park just across the street. The Francis Scott Key Park, I think. A much better option, in my opinion. We sat on this stairway that looked out onto the city and the river. Sensei had us go around and share what we liked best about the trip. I told them that the best thing about this trip was just being together in good company, and that I wouldnt want to be anywhere else, with anyone else, than here and with you guys. We had cold soda and hot pizza. The view was beautiful, the night was beautiful... we were sitting on the steps of Francis Scott Key Park together... and thats all we needed.

The next day, (Ngoclan and Angela were wearing their own clothes!! They got their luggage back!!) we did more touristy things. We saw the Vietnam and Korean War Memorial, then went to the Lincoln Memorial. It was raining, and my pants got all wet and icky while we were walking around. When we got back to the hotel to check out, I changed my pants and socks and ran my shoes under the hand dryer in the bathroom. (Come to think of it, it was a very nice bathroom. The hotel itself was pretty cushy. If it would lose the cheese-diarrhea smell, it would have been perfect.)

We checked out, got on the Metro to the airport, and got back home the same way we got here, only backwards. We stopped in Chicago again and ate sandwiches at Potbelly. On the next flight, me and Miriam were seated, like, 12 rows away from everyone else, so when we were all settled down, we wrote a note to Sensei and our comrades up at the front of the plane and had a flight attendant deliver it for us. ^_^ Hehehe... that was cool.

When we landed at SFO at some ungodly hour, all our luggage arrived safely, and Sensei reported the results of the Japan Bowl to my mom. He gave me a hug and said see ya in 36 hours. I went home, unpacked, and started to get ready for Japan.

Say hello, Kanae! ^_^

Posted on 2002.04.06 at 21:00
Current Mood: blankblank
Current Music: Ima ongaku ga nai.
Hello!Here in Japan. I'm Kanae.(not canai) Ami staying my house. Ami is good Japanese speaker! I and my family are very surprised!Tomorrow, Ami will go to Hiroshima. But, maybe it will rain. That will be too bad!

The day after tomorrow...

Posted on 2002.03.26 at 17:59
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: "Last Nite" - The Strokes
I'm so stoked. I can't wait much longer!!

After tomorrow, I'm going to be up before dawn and ready to GO!

Sensei and the Japan Bowl teams (consisting of me, Miriam, Ngoclan, Jean, Alex, and Angela) are going to be on our trek over to Washington D.C. Now, I admit, I didn't really appreciate the memorials and the statues and the history as much as everyone else did last year, but just that fact that I'm AWAY from everything that sucks here and I'm together with everyone I like here makes the endless walking and the boring museums worth it. I'd rather be exhausted and a little bit bored (but generally having a good time) with my friends than exhausted and very bored and pissed off and irritated stuck at home.

I want tomorrow to pass by fast. With my luck, tomorrow will last forever.

My dad called up Mr. Hall and told him I couldn't go to D.C. or Japan because of my grades...

Posted on 2002.03.23 at 15:23
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
Current Music: "Atashi wa Koko yo" - Chara
...But I don't really wanna talk about it.

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