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Today I found out that on September 10, 2002, I will be going to New York. More specifically, Manhattan. This will be the first time I will be going to New York in my life. I don't realy know all the details about the whole trip, all I know is that a relative asked me if I wanted to go. I said "sure," so he bought the ticket for me. We plan on staying from Tuesday the 10th to Sunday the 15th. We plan on going to the World Trade Center memorial site where the towers fell. We also plan on remember those who lost their life for no apparent reason. We plan on paying our respects to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers who lost their lives trying to save others. Also to the New York City Fire Department (NYFD) who also, lost their lives trying to save others. As none of us (my cousin and me) have ever been to New York City, much less New York, we also plan on being tourists, visiting such sites as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

If time permits, we might make it to a Broadway show. I have heard from numerous different sources that several shows on the 11th will be canceled. I guess we won't be going to any shows that day. We do plan on see a show though, so if anyone has any recommendations on a really, really, really, really good show that a couple of people who aren't that interested in theater would like, by all means /msg me.

The thing is though, my cousin, about two weeks ago met a girl who seems to be together with. They seem like quite an item, though its only been a short time. Although he isn't speaking right now of any future between them, and he is treating it like a short fling, it seems to me and a couple other friends of ours, that fit well together. So, if they are still together in about three weeks from now, I might have to let my ticket go to the girl. Being the good guy I am, I probably wouldn't even put up a fight for the ticket, because this girl is HOT! and that would possibly bring us a bit closer. Not that I would pull anything while she and my cousin are still together, but if something were to come between them two, I might be the one to some both of them.

I just got the movie, Amelie for my 29th birthday. It reminded me of something I have been thinking about lately... that it is so sad to go from being a kid with so much style and potential to being a lame adult with a bad haircut and boring clothes and uncomfortable shoes. I don't understand why people have to grow up. In Amelie, she is the same person grown up as when she was little, and this is what makes the character so amazing. I sometimes think that I don't want to do the work of having a baby and raising it if he/she is just going to grow up to be a wanker. What is the point? I was a wanker once. When I was about 21, I was a huge wanker. Very serious. Very rigid. Very horrible. Then I met Scoresby and something clicked with us. It took a long time, but in that time, I sort of reverted to this core-self. I don't think I am exactly who I was at 8 years old, but I feel free and young and finally like me. I don't care for the rules of adulthood. I want to be messy and wear sneakers and enjoy the smallest of tiny things. It is also a bit like Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenebaums.... except I haven't brought my childhood problems along with me into adulthood.

We had a scare a few weeks ago ... when I had to take Scoresby to the emergency room. He was severely dehydrated and it was really unsettling. At one point when he was finally being re-hydrated by IV, I decided to go home and walk the dog. It was 10:00 at night and we'd been away from home for a long time. I couldn't believe that I was going to leave him there, lying in that hospital emergency room. But I knew it was the right thing to do. On the Metro ride home, I pulled Nozomi from my pocket and just cried. Nozomi is a tiny rabbit/kitty that a friend in Japan made for me a while ago. She makes me feel better. I didn't feel embarrassed to be crying on the Metro or holding a tiny stuffed rabbit/kitty. I felt like me. This is me. I am it.

I don't know anymore. It's written on e2 that death has two stages, one or both.

1. Physical - You don't exist anymore. Your body is dead and you're gone. I don't know about an after life so please forgive me.

2. Emotional - Hunger, pain, love, etc. become just one emotion. An emotoin that is flat and without fanfare. Usually followed up with or experience with depression.

I guess I'm going through the emotional one. I have it to a point. I care for my friends. I care for my family. But why don't I care about myself as much as I do for them?

I'm not suicidal. I have no intention on taking my life. I did in the past and went through with it. But I was saved and didn't die. I remember the pain, the blood. The life as it rushed from my body. It hurt. It hurts worse than the worst breakup, the worst argument with your best friend. It's not even able to be compared to anything. It's unique. I remember it as the only route that seemed I could take. And it was stupid. No matter how bad life gets, it isn't worth taking your life.

Sometimes I wonder if that was a good thing that I didn't die. How many people would never have met me? How many people would never even known I existed?

Would they have shed a tear, even for a person like me? Would they be happier never knowing that I existed?

I think they might be. It's hard to think of happiness. I'm "happy" in the sense I get to do things that most teens never get to do. I've seen so many wonders that it's hard to count. I've been through so much that I feel like I'm older than I am. But I feel I'm missing something. Something that would make me complete.

I'm not saying in the sense of a significant other. I don't think that's the big problem. I just wish I was accepted more. I guess I have the nice guy complex.

Enough of that. I guess I need to go find myself in the world. I think I'm confused. I know I'm confused. And time will be the ultimate judge for me. No one else.

I am so tired I can barely comprehend exactly how tired I am. I went to sleep this morning after work and then woke up two hours later, and I've been awake since then. I'm a bit loopy.

I took a "black mole" caffeine pill a couple of hours ago and it only succeeded in making me feel sick. I've been drinking decaf Earl Grey tea and smoking cigarettes since then. I'm working tonight to cover for the other night guy who covered for me last week so I could celebrate a work-free birthday.

I think I'll stop working at around 2:00AM, and take an Ambien. The circumstances under which I will be taking Ambien are good; awake for too long, empty stomach, in need of sleep. These together will almost guarantee that I'll have an Ambien stupor for an hour or so. Ambien stupor is, for me, not unlike an acid trip, only more visual and less mental. The last time it happened, I sat in front of my computer and looked down a long, blurry tunnel at my monitor. I looked at pictures of baboons that had blue faces, like they were holding their breath for too long. I like monkeys.

The monkeys always come and visit me after I've taken Ambien, and they sing epic tales about life in the jungle, and about their brethren currently in captivity in the zoos and research laboratories of the world. Sometimes they recite Shakespeare and Sartré plays for me; other times they paint their faces white and don form-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and act out pantomimes. I love it when they climb the invisible rope. Some of the monkeys speak to me in Spanish, and they share my love of hot sauce. Now and then they spread a blanket on the floor and invite me to their picnic. Indeed, they produce a grand spread from their wicker buttocks basket, usually consisting of watercress sandwiches, tomato soup, puréed leek, and whole garlic cloves. Now and then a monkey in a business suit knocks on my door and tries to sell me the latest and greatest in vacuum cleaner technology, despite my protests that I could never afford such modern marvels.

When I am very close to sleep, an orangutan in a nurse's uniform draws a bath for me and provides an exotic assortment of scented soaps and bath salts. While I bathe, he idly swings an incense brazier around the bathroom, making it smell of opium. I drift off into sleep to the sound of the monkey grinder's nickelodeon, which to my addled brain is like unto a chorus of angels singing the praises of the almighty Jebus the Christ.

When I awake the next day, the monkeys have all gone home. They never call afterwards to thank me for a great party, or to invite me to their monkey hovels at Audubon Park. But they always return, always eager to please.

I ♥ MONKEYS.


My goodness, when it rains, it pours...today was one of the most interestingly bad days I've ever had. I think the universe punished Masukomi and I for a small argument we had bu making the rest of the would go totally and unconditionally psycho.

I have a client named Judith whom I do site maintenance for. She's a really nice person and really wonderful to talk to...one of my all time favorite clients. She does Feng Shui and is an affiliate at http://www.chigraphics.com/ which is basically a feng shui warehouse online where you can purchase feng shui products. By being an affiliate, she gets to link to a referrer engine and whenever someone who has found the warehouse via her site and actually buys something, she makes a lousy 8% commission.

Judith had given her old webmaster the link to the shopping cart and the dork botched it....months of commissions wasted because of a moron. So the webmaster for the warehouse e-mailed me the info and I fixed it. I let him know that I'm the new webmaster and any functionality issues should be directed to me. There was a short e-mail conversation...I've posted it on a web page for easy viewing. http://weblog.atomicpink.com/email.html

Basically, he had asked me to put a banner link to the shopping cart on every webpage of Judith's site AND add a link to the navigation bar. Judith and I feel that her site is to promote HER, not the warehouse, so we said no. He eventually called me at exactly 8:01 PM EST and the call lasted until 8:34 PM EST. During those 33 minutes, he went from "I am better than you, so do my bidding" to "How dare you defy me?" to "I will fly over there and take care of you!" to "I will have one of my men fly over there and take care of you!"

Recap: He was threatening to physically harm me because I refused to link to his website more than we already had.

Eventually, he got VERY violent and I hung up on him, and immediately called the police about it. He had gotten so violent at me towards the end for not taking his crap, I feared he might just do something.

My mind is still having trouble grasping why he threatened my life...are links really that imporant?

Part One

"My word look at how blunt this knife is!"
/me picks up notched household blade with no sharp edge to be seen, tests on finger.
"This is one extremely blunt knife."
/me proceeds to absently run blade across palm of hand while contemplating breakfast options
"hmmmm"
/me starts to feel pain and notices long shallow cut across hand.
"Wha?"

Part Two

The hand is clean but the cupboard is bare (aside from a frozen meat pie and a dwindling supply of instant noodles), must get groceries before breakfast can be had.

Everything goes as planned until I reach the canned meat section.
Spam.
Not even spam, but some nasty cousin without a memorable brand name.
"oooooo"
/me grabs spam in some kind of daze and heads home.

Spam.
This can opens like those old sardine cans I've never actually seen, but of course the key snaps and alternate methods of entry are required.
Knife.
The blunt knife that left a shallow scratch along my paw is all I need and after three quick stabs the spam is mine to enjoy.

/flatmate looks up
"Are you eating spam?"

"Yup"

/flatmate wrinkles nose
"It smells like cat-food"

"Yup"

"Get out"

Luckily I was able to find a location where while not being in the room, its occupants had a perfect view of me as I munched through the entire can (except for something that kinda resembled lard that had latched on to the sides).

What scares me most of all is this aspect of the ingredients: 98% Beef.

the saturday so nice i lived it twice

weill in japan: day 46

I am home.

It has been an outrageous day of travel, but my biggest challenge was time. This is the longest day I've ever lived: August 17, 2002 started for me at 12:00 midnight Japan Standard Time (11:00 AM on Friday, August 16 Eastern Daylight Time), making it 37 hours long for me.

I was all packed by the time my alarm rang at 6:00 AM in Japan, and I surprisingly got right out of bed, downstairs, and into the shower. After a horrible breakfast of iced tea and a toasted roll taken from the freezer, we were off to Ogikubo station. I wished my older brother goodbye at home before he left for his Saturday work shift, and said goodbye to my host father at the station. My host mother graciously helped me with my huge luggage all the way to Shinjuku station and the 8:03 AM Narita Express, which got me to the airport without any problems. Narita Airport is huge: I had to ascend four stories from the basement-level train station to the third-floor departure lobby, but I was good once I got a cart to hold my luggage.

The first of three security checkpoints was at the station itself: before leaving, I showed my passport and plane tickets to a woman at a security counter. She waved me through.

The second security checkpoint involved two of my bags being scanned before I could even check in for my flight. This took very little time, although I had to surrender my cart, and produced no problems.

Everyone spoke to me in English at the airport, although not too many words were exchanged. After a light semi-real breakfast and a trip to the duty-free shop to blow my last 2,500 yen on gifts and plum-flavored gum, I was ready to go. The third security checkpoint, at the metal detector to enter the gates, was a breeze.

For a 12 1/2 hour flight, there really wasn't much to speak of. I actually got to sleep for a couple of hours, thanks to the little bottle of wine I drank with lunch/dinner/meal0 on board. There were nine movies being shown on my little personal monitor, but I only watched one in full. It was a drama about the team of engineers at Victor/JVC who developed VHS. At times it was pretty sappy, but overall I found it more enjoyable than "The Time Machine" or "The Scorpion King."

By far, the weirdest part of the whole day was the time angle. I left Tokyo at 12:00 PM local time on an eastbound flight across the Pacific Ocean. About three hours into the flight, I opened the window to see a beautiful sunset. A couple hours later, it was a beautiful sunrise which signaled the start of the same day. Since we had gone back in time, effectively cancelling out all the food I had eaten, we had to eat again. I spent most of the remaining time watching snippets of movies and listening to music. The flight was slightly turbulent at the start, but smoothed out quickly.

In New York, I expected the toughest checks, but I cruised past Customs with nothing to declare and no need to open my luggage. My brand-new passport now has two stamps, and I have no bitterness about the experience.

My parents met me at the airport, happy to see me. I plucked them out of an almost exclusively-Asian crowd, tossed my bags into the car, and we were out. I was surprisingly alert for the rest of the afternoon, had "dinner" at 4:00 PM, then got to bed at 5:00 PM. I woke up not 20 hours later like I expected, but rather 6 hours later at about 11:15 PM. I write this now at 3:30 AM EDT on August 18, but I might want to try sleeping again. Sunday will be spent unpacking, regrouping, readjusting, and getting back into a New York state of mind.

It has been a fantastic six and a half weeks. I hope you have enjoyed all of these writings: over 40,000 words of my thoughts and experiences. Over the next month or two, these writings will be combined with hundreds of photos and more information to make an all-purpose supersite about my trip to Japan. Stay tuned. For now, I'm going to head back to bed. Good night!

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