June 10, 2000
6:31 pm
Right now I'm feeling: Tired

Right now I'm listening to:The Brilliant Green

The Brilliant Green: Hello Another Way

The Brilliant Green's been on the scene just about two years now.
Many of their songs are in English!
Their new single is going to be a big hit very soon.


The Way To Work

My faithful steed gallops me
into battle once again
(laugh at the basket.. go on..
you know you want to)

The treacherous 'two-way' streets

A shortcut along the train tracks...

...and I reach the palace of learning

Inside the teachers' room

My sworn enemy...
the accursed INDOOR SMOKER!!

The focus of today's frustrations:
a defective video card!
Lately I've been catching up on: One of my favorite journals Vain Travails. Forlaetan's writing captures her true feelings beautifully. She's going through some rough times; I wish I was there just so I could give her a great big bear hug.

  Quote of the Day:
"Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power."
-- Seneca


I'm out of touch.

In so many ways, I've lost contact. With my friends. With the important things going on in their lives. Missed a couple birthdays, haven't emailed some of them in months... my family... my parents.. my adoring little brother and sister, in whose eyes I can do no wrong, but of whom I am so unworthy to be a brother to... my college brother who has finally achieved a stable, rewarding relationship... same with my old college buddy, Luke, the lone gunman, who has finally found happiness, which I found out about by reading his website...

And not the least of which, I've lost touch with myself. With the real reasons I'm here and what I hope to get out of this year, these choices, this life...

I'm starting to realize that I've been in a hazy funk for a while. Sleeplessness is debilitating. It is draining and annoying and frustrating. It has a profound affect on you physical and psychological well-being. Sure, I've written and gone to work, and seen a few people. I might have even appeared normal. But I've felt wrong. I still don't feel completely right, but I need to make a change in some of my habits now. The sleeping pills I'm taking are effective.. sometimes. If I didn't know for sure that I was asleep for eight hours every night, sometimes I'd swear that I was not asleep at all. But for the most part, they do work, but for some bizarre reason, I look more tired than before. Is that possible?

I have to get in contact with some people. Old friends, old acquaintances. Soon. A flock of JETs will leave and new ones will come in in July. And I have to be honest with myself when I say that I won't see them ever again. Damn. That feels so... solid. Permanent. But it's true. Oh, we may keep in touch for a short while (hopefully for longer than that), but they'll have their lives and I'll have mine.

I've got a few partial-bonds to deal with. Y'know... people who you've met and talked to at length a few times and you just know you could be really good friends with them, but for some reason you just don't find the time to call them up. A few partial-bonds and a couple full bonds are leaving Japan at the end of next month.

To start this off, I've gotten together with a few JETs I don't really see a couple times this week. I learned that they went to see Himeji without me. I've been there before, but I really wanted to see it again and they knew that... but it had been a while since I last spoke to them so I guess it didn't occur to them to invite me. And I don't really blame them.

Lament of the Pop-Ups

Yes, you've noticed by now that my site is now sporting ugly, cumbersome pop-up ads. My pop-up free benefits expired at the beginning of March, but I was hoping that my account had been overlooked. That I'd slipped through the cracks and would enjoy a pop-up free zone until I moved to another domain. But, alas, it was not to be. What I'm more worried about is the fact that, technically, not only am I supposed to have pop-ups, but my account is supposed to be 7 megs less on space. I've been checking links but they haven't deleted anything... yet. If the bums at Network Solutions release the domain name I've been waiting for on schedule, I'll be able to move within a couple weeks.

Digitalism: Revisited

OK, so I mentioned before how wondefully efficient the average Japanese retail worker is not, so you might not be surprised that I got my camera last Friday by walking into the store on a hunch and seeing it, plain as day, and most certainly not out of stock, sitting on the shelf. I asked them why I wasn't called and nobody seemed to know, though they did apologize profusely, of course (it's probably just because nobody wanted to call the foreigner). I bought the camera, but not a decent sized memory stick (they included a measly 4 meg stick with the camera which holds about six pictures of high-quality), then. I went back for the stick a few days ago. It really is quite a nice camera. The zoom on it is fantastic. But the lens does make the shape of the camera somewhat odd. Trying to buy a camera case for it was a real problem. I still don't have a proper one.. I'm using my old camera case which never really fit the other one anyway. It's a little bulky and I can't really fit it into my pocket like I would the Fuji camera, but it's great in low-light settings (the Fuji camera was not) so I can't complain.

Now you'll be seeing lame-ass pictures of me going about my day, snapping photos whenever the whim takes me. Why? Because I can. hehehe Today you see how I get to Towa JHS. A mismatch of routes, isn't it? Wacked-out streets, a bike path along the train tracks, and I have to cross three other train tracks. If I'm hauling ass (which I usually am), it takes me about 10 minutes to get there. Not bad at all. Next week is Takatsumi JHS. I take the train and walk along rice fields. Picturesque. You'll like it.

The Scare

The first thing I do in the morning is check my email. Yes, I freely admit it... I am an internet addict. I check email, hotmail and stock quotes. It's routine. I usually leave my computer on overnight because I'm usually using the internet just before I go to bed and right after I wake up. Anyway, so I get up, move the mouse to start up the hard disk, and nothing happens. There are two multicolored static bars along the top and bottom of the screen.


Ctrl-alt-del... nothing. Hurmph. I press the restart button. Familiar re-boot sounds. OK. A screen comes up. A variation on the feared "Blue Screen of Death", the blue screen was filled with exclamation marks and a few other assorted characters. Shit. Fiddled around with it for a while. Dammit. Late for work. Go to work. Contemplate disaster scenarios all day. There's about 7 gigs of stuff that I need on that drive. Oh, man.

Just think about it, folks... what would you do if your computer suddenly died a sudden, painful death? What would you lose? Emails and addresses? Projects? Photos? Internet bookmarks? Irreplacable writings? 1.5 gigs worth of MP3s? Fantastic monitor wallpaper of the illustrious Senna Matsuda? My neighbors,my friend Aya, and my supervisor are all going through the same thing, their computers are having major malfunctions, too.

I cut out of school early and raced home to tend my sick machine. I rebooted it twice to no avail. I hoped it was my monitor, so I hauled my tower upstairs to hook it up to my neighbor's monitor to see if that worked. No go.

"Jeff, why are there happy faces all over the screen?" Lesa asked. There were indeed happy faces inbetween the exclamation marks. Hmmm. Odd. The 'Happy Virus'?

Then I took it back downstairs to swap the hard drive with the one I replaced it with in January. Hmmm, that's interesting. SAME screen. OK. I'm all right. That means it's NOT the hard drive. It's salvageable. What could make the monitor all messed up.. hmm... what could... !! The video card! Could it be?? I madly scour through the boxes in my closet to find my old video card. An operation later and I had the old one installed. Boot it up... works PERFECTLY.

Crisis averted.

It does run significantly slower now... going from 32 megs of video to only 8 will do that. But it works. I'll buy a new one soon.. either from an electronics store here or maybe off of Ebay. That friggin card cost me about $100, which is cheap for a 32 meg card, which is maybe why it was so short lived (I have to stop being such a cheap bastard).

I have only a month before the old JETs leave, but I'm going to take this one step at a time. First, something simple. I'm going upstairs to my neighbors' apartment and have some 'chicken goop' and maybe watch a movie. Then, rest. I'm going to go to sleep and not open my eyes for 13 hours (nice, prime number there). Then, I'll get up, eat something, and write an entry about the absolute mayhem that is going on at my neighbor's school. You guys won't fucking believe it. Then, I'm going to sleep again for 12 hours and then go to work. My body is going to get some rest even if it doesn't want to. If I don't feel better by Monday... well, I'll decide what to do then.

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