Posted on 2008.10.07 at 21:32 Current Mood: satisfied
So many things going on in my head lately. I've been writing more, and then there's homework which isn't so bad right now, and then there's work.
As of this morning I have found an absolutely brilliant approach to procrastination. It makes me hopeful that I can train myself to get things done that need to be done, even if the great motivator is the avoidance of doing something else that needs to be done. Say hello to Structured Procrastination!!! I needed this right now, and I've already made a list of 20 things of varying importance for October. Regular posting of this journal is at 12 right now, right between my Comp II reading homework(11) and translating my Japanese music magazines(13).
Then there's the lovely matter of synesthesia, introduced to me by my wonderful sister Christine! I can see how I've got it in some ways. Colors have emotions, and emotions have color, though they change depending on the person. For me, happiness is a deep cerulean blue, but for someone else it may be goldenrod. Time has color, and it can change the way you feel. Monday is red, but if the day is something like lime green then a lot of stress can build up. I don't see these colors with my eyes, but I feel them, and I can pick them out fairly easily if I want. Most times I don't think about it, but it's easy for me if I want to. Also, things have personality. The shake machine at work is finicky and doesn't always like to cooperate all the time. The fry vats don't like Zac. The drive-thru drink station doesn't like most of the crew girls. I seem to get along with them all fairly well. They don't give me many problems if they can help it. Trees and plants have personalities, too. Last year the people at my apartment complex cut down one of the big trees, and it screamed and cried for almost two weeks because chainsaws really hurt and it takes time to die. I tense up a bit when I think about it. The trees at my mom's like me because they've watched me grow up, and they're always happy to see me whenever I come back. I always feel safe there. I also connect with animals really well because I can pick out personalities in them, and not just in general but really specific personality flares. Anyone who's heard me talk about my cats or my possum or the dogs I've been with through the years could probably tell you this. On an emotional level I know all these animals to be my equals. They have real souls and minds that interact with everything around them. Sometimes people use phrases like, "oh, he's a real animal person" or such like it's a definite trait. Maybe it is. When I think about the faces of the pets I have, the image I get in my head is actually very human and based largely on the sense of personality I get from them.
Okay. That's probably all for now. Until next time...
Well, I'm about to go into marathon-writing mode for the next few hours and most likely for the greater duration of tomorrow after a break of sleep. Before that happens, though, I would like to share some interesting information I just learned about the current Japanese imperial family(this will very likely find its way into the last question for my take-home exam on Japan for Asian History.)
So. The current emperor of Japan is Akihito, son of the WWII emperor Hirohito. Akihito and his wife Michiko have three grown children: two sons and a daughter. Princess Sayako has already relinquished her imperial status. Women can't ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne anyway.
And that's where it gets interesting. Until a little over a year ago, Akihito's sons Naruhito and Akishino only have daughters. Heir presumptive Naruhito and his wife Masako have a four-year-old daughter named Aiko, and Akishino and his wife Kiko have two daughters ages 14 and 11. Kiko wife then become pregnant with a third child. Japan has the longest reigning dynasty in known human history, and it's always been determined through male succession. This rule was finalized in the Japanese constitution after WWII.
Naruhito is not likely to have another child after Aiko. He and Masako were both in their early fourties when she was born, and Masako is feeling really stressed out from her position as the sonless empress-to-be. Asahino and his wife were expecting a third child that could be a boy, but it could just as well be another girl.
Debate had been running wild over whether or not to amend the Constitution to allow a woman to ascend the throne. It had the support of Prime Minister Koizumi among others, but it has three main sides of opposition. First there are those who figure that tradition must be kept. Hell, the current dynasty has lasted since at least the fifth century. Next there are the families of the former Daimyo who have kept a piece of powerful sway even after they officially lost their former power. Then there are the Shinto priests. After WWII the power of the emperor was greatly reduced. One of his main positions is as a Shinto priest... a male role. If Aiko becomes empress, she very well might not be able to fulfill this role. She could always be a miko until she marries, but that won't be the same.
And an interesting thing: if Naruhito and Akishino only have daughters, but their sister Sayako has a son, that boy can never become emperor because Sayako is no longer royal. He won't count.
Debate was going like wildfire over whether or not to amend the Constitution right up until the news came in that Kiko was pregnant with her third child, at which point everything in the Parliment stopped so the occasion could be congratulated and applauded. After the news came in, those against the empress amendment decided to stall until the gender of the baby was known. If it was a boy, they planned to get the amendment pushed under the rug because the no-son crisis would be over. If it was a girl... well, then. Back into the wildfire.
And guess what? It was a boy. In September of last year Prince Hisahito was born. The empress amendment was indeed pushed under the rug, and Hisahito is second in line to the throne after his uncle Naruhito.
Okay. Now I sleep, and then I go on a writing marathon. Upside: this will all be over by Thursday.
So. Night shift. I don't do many of those, and I think I like it that way. As for tonight's fiasco from hell...
Somewhere in the neighborhood of ten o'clock, we had a power blink. In a split second the power for the entire store turned off and on. Power blinks in general can be quite amusing, but depending on your perspective on the specific situation, they can causeHELL. Knowing luck, we at McDonald's get the hell blinks. These affect the computer system in several ways: 1) The card machine fucks up. Such a temperamental system that is. 2) The connection or something that links the registers to the screens in the grill, thereby telling the grill people what food they have to make and how, also decides to fuck up. The result is that you have to tell the people in the grill what is on order... order by order. 3) The whole process in general of serving the customer- from taking the order and the money to preparing and presenting the food- slows down considerably. The solution is rather simple, but it induces more hell before things get better... The entire computer system for the store has to be shut down for about fifteen or so minutes to allow it to get a grip on itself. Customers don't like this. One lady- apparently known for coming during busy times and demanding that her demands for her order and food be dealt with immediately, despite the fact that we have other people before her who we're trying to finish serving so we can get to the next people who have been waiting longer than she has- well, she threw a tantrum that ended in her walking out the door with a goodbye of "You can kiss my ass." Not a happy lady. Not a rational lady. I hope I don't have to deal with her too much.
Then there's the matter of school in the morning. Yes. I have a nine a.m. French class. As such, I shall bid you all good night now and get back to you later.
I finally realized why I've been feeling kinda off these past few days. Garland's birthday is coming up. He would be turning nineteen.
The past couple days at work I've been more disposed to having thoughts and potential conversations(with various people) running through my head, particularly in the last three hours or so before I go home. A couple days ago I had to try to push it away to make sure I wouldn't get too close to crying. It hurts, you know? It hurts to think that his body's actually lying in the ground, to think that he's not going to wake up. I still have him with me, but I wish it could be like it was.
As I write this Garland stands behind me resting his arms on my shoulders. He tells me not to cry, but I can't help it sometimes. I know he understands that. Sometimes you just have to cry. Then you get up and go back to your life. Or something like that.
I apologize if this is depressing, but it just hit me around four o'clock today that his birthday is coming up, and I feel I should write this down.
Posted on 2007.08.02 at 15:49 Current Mood: amused
"Ages ago a savage mode of keeping accounts on notched sticks was introduced into the Court of Exchequer and the accounts were kept much as Robinson Crusoe kept his calender on the desert island. A multitude of accountants, bookkeepers, and actuaries were born and died... Still official routine inclined to those notched sticks as if they were pillars of the Constitution, and still the Exchequer accounts continued to be kept on certain splints of elm-wood called tallies. In the reign of George III an inquiry was made by some revolutionary spirit whether, pens, ink and paper, slates and pencils being in existence, this obstinate adherence to an obsolete custom ought to be continued, and whether a change ought not to be effected. All the red tape in the country grew redder at the bare mention of this bold and original conception, and it took until 1826 to get these sticks abolished. In 1834 it was found that there was a considerable accumulation of them; and the question then arose, what was to be done with such worn-out, worm-eaten, rotten old bits of wood? The sticks were housed in Westminster, and it would naturally occur to any intelligent person that nothing could be easier than to allow them to be carried away for firewood by the miserable people who lived in that neighborhood. However, they never had been useful, and official routine required that they should never be, and so the order went out that they were to be privately and confidentially burned. It came to pass that they were burned in a stove in the House of Lords. The stove, over-gorged with these preposterous sticks, set fire to the panelling; the panelling set fire to the House of Commons; the two houses were reduced to ashes; architects were called in to build others; and we are now in the second million of the cost thereof."
So. McDonald's closes at 11 p.m. (with the exception of Friday and Saturday, but that's irrelevant for today) Drive-thru and front counter are both supposed to stay open until such time. Well...
1. The night shift crew for tonight started off two people less than planned on the schedule. (Khayla got fired yesterday- excuse me, "terminated"- and Tashi called in.) Strike one. 2. At ten o'clock two of our girls go home leaving the night shift crew at a whopping total of FIVE people. Strike two. 3. Three of us five are useful only in the kitchen. The touch screen register is completely foreign to them. Strike three.
So the initial idea was to keep one register open on front counter and once the two girls left at ten we would take orders for both counter and drive-thru on that one register. This sounded kinda do-able at first. It wasn't. At all. Especially when people started coming in on counter ready to place orders. Of course, by the time it became really apparent that this initial idea was flawed about as deeply as the San Andreas Fault, the till for the drive-thru register had already been taken out and counted. Damn. Well, we put another one in, and I took orders like they're supposed to be taken for drive-thru for a total of about... 5? 6 cars? By then it was nearing ten-thirty, and Sam decided that drive-thru had been open long enough. We turn off the headsets and lock the windows. I'm sure we got some people later who planned on getting something from McDonald's as the time is approaching ELEVEN, but none of them banged on the windows or honked their horns so we didn't have to deal with them. This may all sound creul, but seriously. Why do people feel the need to go to the drive-thru of a McDonald's when it's almost eleven o'clock at night. It's even worse on Fridays and Saturdays when we close at midnight. For some reason there's always some person (or multiple persons) who believe that "closing at midnight" means he can come to us when his clock says 11:58 and order food for himself and five of his friends. No. "Closing at midnight" means at midnight (give or take a few minutes bases on various factors) we lock the doors, turn off the headsets and go into cleaning mode. We do not keep a full stock of cooked food when it's two minutes to closing. That's foolish. The idea is to throw away as little food as possible. We may be willing to take small orders when we're about to close, but if you make us drop meat and fries when the equipment that cooks and stores said foodstuffs has already been cleaned... chances are we won't be too happy with you. We're not allowed to say it to your face, of course, but we still don't like you. I find it amazing how having a job in serving people brings you in tune with your inner despise for humanity. Not everyone's bad; most are actually reasonable, but serving truly teaches you to despise those IDIOTS who need a good mallet thwack to their skulls.
On the positive side, after drive-thru closed down at about ten-thirty, we only had one or two orders total come in on counter before we closed, and one of those was nothing but a few soda drinks. Also, I'm off tomorrow. I shall get plenty of wonderful sleep.
Haven't posted in a good while, but here's something fun that I'm doing.
First off, starting next week I will be a manager at the McDonald's where I work. I get a blue shirt, and I get to finally say goodbye to that damn visor that I've had to wear for the past year. Yay! But now for the real reason for this post...
I have decided that by January I will own a complete, real furisode ensemble. January is important for two reasons. One, my birthday is on the fourth. Two, since this will be the year I turn 20, and since I turn 20 before the fifteenth/second Monday of the year, this will also be the year I would celebrate Coming of Age Day were I to live in Japan. I don't, but still. The day used to be set on the fifteenth, but I think it's officially the second Monday now. So this coming year it'll be either on the fourteenth or fifteenth. In high school we learned about the different holidays, and Sensei made it very clear that you have to turn twenty before Coming of Age Day, or you can't celebrate it until the next year, even if you were born on the sixteenth. Luckily for me my birthday falls on the fourth.
So yesterday was my nineteenth birthday, though my sister is probably still trying to usurp the laws of time and space to keep me eighteen and a half forever. 'Twas a good day. We made Snickers cheesecake! Yummy...
Sometime in the early evening before the sun went down Mom and Peter came by, bringing with them two chairs, a couple more end tables, a box full of kitchen stuff(we can make cupcakes and cookies now!), and my presents. I got my grandma's old sewing machine(stress OLD; it's awesome though), a tiger puzzle, a truly evil wooden puzzle that makes use of the almighty dovetail joint, and a couple other things. The cheesecake was still in the oven, and after we took it out it had to cool. So we went to Sho-ya for dinner.
Kaiyo was working that night, and though we didn't get her as our waitress, she came by and talked to us. I like practicing my Japanese.
Me: Tanjoubi desu. Kaiyo: Aa, omedetou! Me: Arigatou. Jyuukyuu sai desu. Kaiyo: Waka~i! (turning to my mom) I think she is Japanese. Mom: I think so too. I really do.
She then showed me her wedding ring. Kaiyo's getting married... next month! I'm so happy for her. She seems really happy.
After dinner we went to Corner Market and watched Peter as he hunted through olives and oils and breads like a kid in a candyshop. Then we went back to the apartment and had cheesecake!
In other news, here's a thing on a Japanese band that I'm starting to get into. The band name is 12012. In this video, two of the members embark on a large-scale adventure of hide-and-seek. It's amusing. (When one of them goes into a music store and picks up a magazine, I have that one! That made me so happy.)
Monkeys are intelligent and agile, well-adapted for jungle life as they swing happily from tree to tree. As a monkey, you are a social animal who is quick to learn new things, loves to climb and is known to show off. A monkey's tiny primate features are irresistible, as is her gregarious personality!
Okay, so I'm finally updating this thing. Yay! It is much overdue. And I now have a total of three friends! Double yay! I love you guys. Being the beginning of this year we shall call 2007, I suppose I should put down some resolutions. Here we go...
1. Mail that package to Nozomi!!! I reeaaly need to do that...
2. Stay in touch with my friends in Texas. I don't want to lose them. And with that, get in the habit of updating this damn journal. And my myspace for that matter.
3. Develop a somewhat less eratic sleep schedule. Not sure how well that will turn out, but hey.
4. Read more. God knows I have enough books to choose from.
5. Continue with my Nihongo no dokugaku, which will include finishing digging my way through the interview with Asagi from D. Translating full blown Japanese text is evil... epecially when my kanji dictionary doesn't contain some of the freaking characters.
6. Actually find and listen to some of D's music, which could take a while...
7. Don't fear my dad so much.
8. Write, write, write! I have so many stories that must get recorded...
9. Become more assertive.
These aren't neccessarily in any particular order, just the order they came to mind mostly. I'm sure there are others, but for now I'll start with those.
Not much has been going on lately. All is well at McDonald's. Christmas Day and New Year's Day have got to be the two slowest days of the year. I still don't know how to make sandwiches, but I've seen enough made that it won't be too difficult. I despise some of the people who come through the drive-thru for their oblivion, ignorance, or just plain stupidity, but other than that I really can't complain. People amuse me as they always have, and that includes my co-workers. Steven and Cory have recently learned not to disturb my areas of personal space, for I will hit them. The area from the armpits to the hips qualifies as personal space. Yay. Quote Samantha: "Someone raised you right, Valan. I'm gonna teach my daughters to kick ass."
In other news, I am going to be 19 in three days... two actually. It just turned midnight. I don't really feel older. I remember in AP English IV we read a short piece from the point of view of a girl who said you're every age you've ever been. Even when you're 100 you're 100 and 99 and 98 and every other age. So when you act one way, that's the part of you that's 3 or the part that's 10 or whichever age that you feel at the moment. I thought that was neat.
Well, I would love to write more, but right now I getting really sleepy. So bye-bye for now, everyone.
Posted on 2006.09.14 at 18:15 Current Music: guess
Much stuff has been on my mind (evil car stuff, my wonderful sisters' birthday, school, friends, juggling, sleep, etc.), but in the midst of all of it, I have had this song in my head. So behold. It's beautiful.
I have a flute! (and panda cookies and ramune and ebizen and wasabi peas!)
Sigh... today was a good day. My day has been as such:
About 8:45- rolled off the couch and got dressed. 9:00 to 5:00- work 5:00 to 7:00- scrubbed and scraped and otherwise attacked the eggy evilness that was cooked onto the hood of my sister's car 7:00 to sometime before 9:00- went with Christine and Asian to the Asian Market (panda cookies and ramune and ebizen and wasabi peas!) and then to Hudson's (flute!)
Hudson's truly is an awesome place. I was upset at first because they didn't have the usually large area dedicated to plates and china and such. I wanted to get more of the patterns Christine and I are collecting. So we wandered the store, and lo and behold, there it is... FLUTE with case and tuning rod and cleaning cloth and shoulder strap for 89.99!!! Flutes usually sell for a lot more than that. I have named her Tinkerbell. She is beautiful, and through her I shall rekindle my flute skills that have been lying dormant for over a year now. I am excited.
Posted on 2006.08.11 at 22:58 Current Mood: satisfied Current Music: Voltair
I finally have a religious identity. Yay! Lots of people- the bulk of Christians primarily- choose a religion based on social reasons. They go to a church where they have friends or where they can get to easily or where they think would just be a good place to go. I did pretty much the opposite. I figured out what I believed on my own, claiming no religion in the process(even though my mom believes me to be a good Lutheran. I believed it when I was confirmed, but that was five years ago. I was fourteen.). Now that I know what I believe, I've become aquainted with several religions and religious sects, thanks primarily to my wonderful older sister. I have found a Christian sect that matches with what I believe, so from here on out I claim it as my own. I am a Cathar. Historically, I'm a herecy(stupid Catholics), but Lutherans were a herecy, too. They just got started late in life of Christianity and found a large enough following to gain respect eventually. Cathars are much older than the Protestant sects, and unlike them, we had our own pope until 1978! I really agree with the Cathar dogma, and it makes me happy to know that there's a really old religious sect that I can believe in. One thing I love about it is that it is open to individual interpretation. You are actually encouraged to THINK and QUESTION your faith because *gasp* doing so might actually make your faith strongly.
I am almost ready to send my package to Nozomi. I just have to copy my letter onto the colored paper. I also need to get more chocolates, since the last two melted in the car. I have rediscovered so much music in the making of the CD's I'm making for her. Ah, nostalgia...
Well I've been slightly off-kilter ever since yesterday late morning. I had this one dream that kind of shook me up, especially after I looked into the symbolism and representation in it. I'm feeling a lot better now. I had a long phone call with my mom(not about the dream though; that conversation was with my sister), and she's very opptomistic about the future, which is nice to hear. Then Garland really cheers me up. I'm sitting on the couch when Christine and Reeta get home, and he tackles me, knocks me flat on my back and for a few moments doesn't let me get up. Chotto hazukashii ne? Let me up. No. Let me up. No. He only did it for about half a minute, but it was a bit annoying. For some reason I'm being very emotional. Impending blood probably has something to do with it, and probably that damn dream. I hate death dreams. They make me depressed, and that gets me like this. I'm kinda frustrated with all of these emotions right now. I wonder. Shouldn't I know how my emotions affect. This really got to me back in Texas. Out of the blue my step-mom would go on about how I was making such hateful faces at her and how the fact that I had the nerve to do so greatly insulted her and so forth. The problem was I had no idea I was doing anything of the sort. If I have a horrible, insulting look on my face, shouldn't I know? Shouldn't I be aware of it? Shouldn't I know what my face is doing? The hundreds of times she made inferences on me like that are a big part of why I don't trust myself that much. I don't trust myself to do whatever right, because I'm so damn afraid of messing up without knowing it, wherein I'll find out only well after the fact when I'm helpless to do anything to save myself. I'm getting off on tangents, but I guess that might be good. Like I said, Garland cheers me up a lot. He's stuck with me for quite a while now, and he doesn't like to suffer through all my brooding when my mood spins like this. I'm lucky to to have him, I know. And let's just say quite literally that if it weren't for me he wouldn't be alive right now. ^_^
Posted on 2006.07.14 at 07:09 Current Mood: content Current Music: Valan's Japanese stuff
You have to trust yourself. She's getting better at it. I walked around the apartment today, got a glass of milk, changed the CD, and a couple other things. She's fairly accurate about everything. What makes this all complicated is the fact that she has to be asleep for me to really walk around on my own. That's not to say she can't stand back. She can. But she just holds on really tight when she's conscious. Not only that, but I can't open my eyes because if I do she'll wake up. In some way or another she's my eyes, and like I said she's pretty accurate. I got the idea when I fell asleep before she did once. It happened a few times both ways, and it has a lot of potential for both of us. The first time we tried to do this she was pretty unsure about whether or not she could do this, but she trusts herself a lot more now. She doesn't acually see anything as she guide me. It's like she just knows. She's crazy like that. Our entire relationship is proof of that. How many people do you know who can distinguish between the presences of a soul's individual lives? I honestly didn't think she would notice me with Nrum already there. But no, she turns, calls me out, looking directly at where I was sitting. Nrum left, and I was pretty cold toward her. Nrum made me go back and apologize later because I made her cry. Once again she turns to where I am when I get there. We've been pretty close ever since. I ticked off the Elders once or twice and almost got put under the deathly version of house arrest. That was interesting. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it somewhat, but an Elder ultimatum is pretty serious, especially when they feel the need to ask for a living opinion. Valan, I apologize for scaring you so badly. Honestly. Have I written enough? I guess that will be it for now. I'll have to do this again.
Posted on 2006.07.13 at 12:08 Current Mood: bored Current Music: L'Arc~en~Ciel, AWAKE and SMILE albums
Patriarcal society is stupid. Please forgive any man-bashing that is about to occur. For instance, men who believe that they cannot, under any conceivable circumstances, lift a finger against a woman really get on my nerves. "But she's a lady..." Right... I'm sorry,but I know a lot of women who are anything but ladies. The whole ideology of women being weak inferior creatures is personally quite agravating. It is a scientific fact that, while men are physically stronger overall, women are stronger in proportion to their body weight. It is also a scientific fact that the female brain is more efficient than the male brain. If you look at the white and gray matter for a woman and a man of equal intelligence, you will find that the woman has less of both. She doesn't need to use as much as the man. The female brain also has multiple connections between the two lobes, whereas the male brain only has one. Women are overall better at mutitasking. Think of it. Men have been trained through the centuries and millenia that it is their duty to go off and fight, and that they are the only ones capable of protecting the helpless women at home. One-track minds. Battle! Meanwhile, back at home, you have the so-called helplesss women raising said warrior's eight or ten children. Rolf, I said get that firewood now! Hilda, stop pulling your sister's hair! The amount of multitasking these women had to do is impressive. No, Edna, I can't come to the door right now, I'm fixing the whole in Alex's pants. If that's Mary's suitor, could you kindly tell him that she is behind the house washing clothes with Julie and Clara and that he can just come back later? He'll have to wait until your father comes back from that damned battle before asking if he can marry her, anyway. Sigh... Sorry, I just have a problem with men who put women on a pretty little pedestal and call claim to treat them as equals. You'll never be a person's equal as long as you're on a pedestal of any kind. Well, that is my rant on patriarchal society for now.
"Saa, koko kara tobidatte miyou Itami o kanjiru hima nante nai sa, aa Dakedo kimi no koe ga mada mimimoto de hanarenai no sa Mabushi sugiru yuuyami no taiyou ga Nanika o tsutaeyou to shiteru Saa, koko kara tobidatte miyou Mirai o yume miru imi nante nai sa, aa Dakedo kimi no kao ga mada omoide o hanarenai no sa Mabushi sugiru yuuyami no taiyou ga Nanika o tsutaeyou to shiteru"
That is the last to choruses to a song called "Yuuyami Suusaido" by the Japanese band Pierrot. Daisuki! That part of the song just really sticks with me. I'm listening to L'Arc~en~Ciel right now. I now have three complete albums, each of which is burned onto its own little CD. I'm going to make a Pierrot CD (or two, probably two) and a Miyavi CD (probably two here as well). Miyavi is hilarious. He can be very sane, but he's such a spaz. He's quite an amusing character. Mittsu no daisukina Miyavi no uta: "Itoshii hito," "Kekkonshiki no Uta," to "Jibun Kakumei." "Jibun Kakumei" tends to stick with me as well, and it made a hell of a lot more sense once I found out what "kagami" means. Saa, so much music. I haven't even started on Morning Musume. I'll probably leave them alone for a while, content to just watch Rika Ishikawa scared out of her mind when they bring out the baby chicks on Utaban. Hilarious! Alas, I am getting bored, so I shall now depart from this and shall later return.