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I’m back! Happy Holidays, New Year and Best Wishes for ’08!

January 6, 2008

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted last. Well, now I’m back and organized so it’s all good. I’ve got a lot to report so this might be a long post….

First off, I went to Florida over the Winter Break (December 19-30). I stayed in an extended hotel from the 19th to the 22nd. On the 20th though, I went with my friend Amanda to her high school Concussion event (percussion plus concert gets you that name). The theme was Construction and so the band was playing all sorts of rhythms and things on Construction equipment. You know, sorta-like household objects. Who knew you could make such sounds from that kind of equipment. There were a lot of funny skits too. I felt odd at first, going to that high school, like I shouldn’t be there. But it was the school I would’ve gone to if I stayed in Florida. Soon enough I felt like that totally different person. I didn’t have any of my hikikomori tendencies. I don’t like being near a lot of people, you see. It makes me self-conscious and paranoid. Like Sato Tatsuhiro from NHK ni Youkoso! Except he’s more hikikomori than me. Getting back on subject, that Saturday I went to my friend Elianne’s house to stay over Christmas with her family. Every day we basically watched anime, read manga, listened to music, and played Guitar Hero 3 (which she got for Christmas on the Xbox 360). Oh right, my other friend Amanda was there too on Saturday and Sunday too I think. Some time on that Saturday too, my friend Sam came over too. I haven’t been communicating with email or the phone, so it was a real reunion. Well, she’s always been their friend. We’re not really that close. But still, it was good to see her.

I’m trying to remember everything in detail now so my mind’s getting hazy. Um, I think that Sunday we (as in Elianne, Amanda, Me, and Elianne’s mom) went to the Airport to see Elianne’s cousin (whom she hasn’t seen since she was five from Venezuela). He’s like 21 or something… Anyways, he doesn’t speak much English, so I felt really out of the loop. I’ve forgotten most of the Spanish I knew when I started learning Japanese last year. It’s hard to keep up with all the languages; my parent’s Hebrew too. Languages are such a communication barrier. So anyways, after the airport trip, we went back to Elianne’s house and I think we carried on with our usual activities. I really didn’t get much sleep there, since we stayed up to like 2:00-5:00 AM even on some days. 5:00 on Christmas Eve, because Elianne’s family opens their presents at midnight. They don’t wait till the morning; good for me. I didn’t even know I was getting a present. And my mom too, since she came with me to Florida (she came to see our old house and the tenant in it. we can’t seem to sell it >.< she stayed at the hotel most times.) She was at Elianne’s house for Christmas Eve too. She looked really bored, because knows no Spanish at all, except basic words that we all know. Luckily for me, I caught some of everyone’s conversations. If only they spoke Japanese. Then I could catch almost every word. Oh. But I’m not that fluent. I just pick up a lot from Anime and dramas, you know.

Amanda went her own way for Christmas. It’s a family holiday, after all. She should spent it with family. I met many of Elianne’s relatives that night o.0; many of them I remembered from two years ago. Except her younger cousins. One girl, Daniella, was so cute! She was like 5 years old, I think. I don’t usually say kids are cute, but she was. I was speaking a little Spanish to her. The others, Simon and Cessa, or Cesar they called him, didn’t remember me, but when they asked how I knew them I said, “I’ve been to your house before.” Stalker! No, not really. But it’s true. I went there once (they live right behind Elianne’s house, after all). They have a a cute golden retriever dog named Cody. So energetic, that dog. I’m a little nervous around dogs, too.

On Tuesday, Christmas day, Elianne’s cousin had stayed the night before and the next day we went and showed him around our town (they call it city, but it’s a suburb!). It was his first time in America. It must’ve been so different from Venezuela. We (Elliane, Me, her cousin and Elianne’s dad) took him to a mall and walked around. A lot of shops were closed since it was Christmas Day; but seriously…. what stores are open on Christmas? I didn’t expect to see any. What a surprise. Game Works was open and played there for a few hours. I hadn’t been there since my friend Jana’s birthday (that was the one and only time before now. she lives in Georgia now). I was actually good at DDR for once! I don’t have the game, so you can only be so good playing at friends’ houses, right? The songs didn’t seem hard at all. I actually felt like a pro (secretly, it was on beginner, so go figure?). We also played a sword-fighting game with undead demons. I had wanted to play a few years ago too. I was pretty good, I think. That whole time I was playing the games really well. I’m not actually good at games, but that day was different. Weird, isn’t it? Oh, Elianne and her cousin won some plushies from those claw games. I was a bit angry, ’cause I wanted one too. But I gave up. “Never mind. I don’t need one.” That’s how I convince myself.

After Game Works, we went to Wasabi, a Japanese restaurant. I’d already eaten Japanese food twice that break too (to make up for all the years I didn’t). I’ll only say this once but, I-hate-Sushi. Some fish were okay but for the most part, I wasted 17.00 on that meal. What a waste…. Oh! I tried Ramune that my friend Melanie says is so good. It’s a cherry drink, with lots of sugar, I’m sure. But I don’t care about that stuff.I was really good. I need to tell Melanie that…. I just remembered…

I got into a few fights with my mom that break. Usually, we get by on fine terms, but I was with her for so many days. Alone. And without my dad speaking up for me. She pissed me off so much. She actually asked me if she could stay at Elianne’s house, since they offered. I was like, “It doesn’t matter. If you want to and you don’t have anything else planned to do, go ahead.” Something around those lines, anyhow. She’s a grown woman! She should make her own decisions. Apparently, she was considering me and how I’m staying at a best friend’s house. Okay. “I-don’t-care,” Is what I wanted to say. Maybe I’m a heartless daughter, but whatever. She annoyed me too much! I’m bringing this up because on Tuesday night, she called to remind me that we were going up to visit our relatives again (we saw them the friday before). And some we hadn’t seen yet. I told that we could just cancel those plans. I wanted to spend more time with my friends. After all, they were the only reason I came to Florida. I don’t care about some relatives that don’t keep in touch and expect us to pay a visit. I’m really strict about family. We’re so estranged. Anyways, my mom yelled at me and said I better call Amanda and ask to go to her house and pick up the things I had given her to borrow (some anime and I had borrowed some manga from her); since we were leaving the next day from that town. She said I had ten minutes to call Amanda, ask if I could come over and get my stuff. My mom volunteered to drive me (more like forced). Oh, if I didn’t call her back within that ten minutes then she wouldn’t let me stay Tuesday night at Elianne’s. What a tyrant! And she wonders why we’re not closer. She disgusts me sometimes, I swear.

Well I worked out the situation, somehow and I even said goodbye to Amanda and her parents there (she gave me my Christmas present there). It turned out that was unnecessary though, since she came to sleep over at Elianne’s later, since it was my last night.

That night we watched G-Gundam (Elianne got that as one of her Christmas presents; the complete series). It’s old-school anime, but still interesting. I don’t intend to watch the rest of it though. Gundam’s not my think. If I was gonna watch a gundam series, it’d be Gundam Seed (and Destiny), since I know the characters. Away from the anime, I had fun with them. Three people sleeping in the same bed is not comfortable! I had to go and sleep in the guest bedroom. I can’t be like Tohru, Hana-chan and Uo-chan from Fruits Basket. I toss and turn, you know. I need room. I don’t like to feel cramped.

On Wednesday, my mom and I drove 45 minutes to our relatives’ place. I got to meet one of my uncle’s and his family that hadn’t seen since I was 13. Well, the baby doesn’t count. He wasn’t there when I met them in Israel. They live in Seattle now anyways…

That day I went with my mom to the Japanese museum there, the Morikami museum. It had a lot of stuff I already knew. The paintings, etc. We didn’t get to see much stuff though. I couldn’t find them >.< and I wasn’t about to drag my mom everywhere. She doesn’t like long walks (knee problems). We did see the old museum from the early days. It was shaped like the traditional homes in Japan. We even had to take off our shoes! Which I didn’t mind though. Except for the smell….. They gave us paper slippers. Paper! They crumbled really easily… Who’d wanna keep that (they offered to let us keep it)? I’d only keep it, if it was real. Weird…

I promised myself to come back though with my friends; these things need to be done with fans of Japan, after all. Oh, I felt really lined-out, as I think of it. Everything must be done my way. We see this, not this- kinda attitude. My picky attitude. Everything has to be right. I hate that attitude. But I can’t help it. It was so hot that day. Not that kind of weather to be walking around in.

Oh! Plus. I saw a girl with a Gaara key chain on her backpack. I was so tempted to actually ask her if it was. You know, to start up conversation. But in the end, my hikikomori nature didn’t allow me to. Oh well. At least I got to find a fellow otaku. Cool!

After the museum, we went back to the relatives’ house. In this case, my grandparents’ house. I played on their Windows Vista computer. *star struck* It’s so nice. I got to watch some anime that way. At around 5:30 we all left to go to Sweet Tomatoes. A place I’d never in my right mind pick to go eat at. A salad place for a girl who doesn’t like salad! It’s ridiculous. Well, I got to eat some pasta and desserts anyway (I really didn’t eat a lot on that trip. No appetite.).

That night, we drove back down to our hotel; 45 minute drive again. Joy. I really got back into American music again with the radio (I only listen to Asian music). That night, we packed (well my mom did. I was already packed) and I went on the laptop. Went to bed at around 1:00 AM, I think. Who remembers… The next day we got up and checked out of the hotel and drove 2 hours to see my other grandparents and their beach house. What an exhausting drive!

I love the sea, so it was fun. But I didn’t swim, even in the 80-ish degree weather. I don’t swim, see. Not that can’t; I just don’t. Swimsuit-not-good-for-me phobia. Forget it. Anyways, my grandma (well that grandpa’s 7th wife) made us so much to eat. After not eating much for a few days, all that food is hard to eat. Still, I slept better there than anywhere else (my mom and Amanda snore). Thursday, the 27th, my grandma went to the Post Office and I went with her (she’s got a new Toyota Solara corvette. it was so cool!). While she went into the post office, I went into the Surf shop next door. At first, I absolutely wanted to buy a swimsuit, but my hikikomori nature said no in the end, and so I picked two t-shirts ( i haven’t worn the 2nd yet though). On Friday, my grandpa took me to buy birthday presents. We went to Best Buy first, on the idea that I’d get an iPod Touch. Changed my mind quickly. It’s not that cool. I bought lots of anime instead. Fruits Basket, Ah! My Goddess, and Jigoku Shoujo vol. 1 & 2. See what I always want? After that he took me to Circuit City to try again for the iPod Touch. He didn’t seem to get that didn’t really want it. How do you tell someone going senile about anime? He didn’t really understand what I wanted anyway. I said nevermind and then I asked if we could go to Barnes and Noble, and so we did. I bought three mangas: Beauty Pop vol. 6, and Cherry Juice vol. 1 & 2 ( I hadn’t seen them anywhere else, anyways). Oh I forget to mention my first and huge manga shop. I went with my mom on the first thursday when we got to Florida to Borders and I bought a ton of manga. A lot of yaoi, in particular. I’ll tell later what it all was, since I don’t remember! Ha!

After that, my grandpa took me to TGI Fridays for Lunch. He kept asking what I wanted to do after high school, many times, since he didn’t remember *sighs*. I’m not even going to mention how many times he said he had a lot of glasses of ice tea.

That night was pretty uneventful. Next morning, I packed and was ready to go. At around 2:00, my mom and I left (we had to return the rental car by four). We arrived at out destination and returned the car. All we had to do was leave the car in a parking lot area with other cars, take our belongings and walk to the office, where a shuttle was called to take us to our Hilton hotel near the airport (our flight was a 8:00 the next morning). The hotel itself was really elegant (and expensive!), but they didn’t even have internet access in the rooms. What rich hotel doesn’t have that? Weird. My mom and I hung out in the hotel room till 6:00 (around an hour and half) and then we went down to the dining area for supper. Boy, did we splurge for dinner. My dad would’ve yelled at us for all the money we spent there. On top of the near 20.00 dinners we had dessert too. Don’t think that wasn’t expensive either.

Movie on tv, showers, and bed early. We had to get up and 5 AM after all. Pack last minute things. Express check out. Shuttle to airport. Check in at airport. Security. And wait– for two hours. Waiting is really boring. Finally– boarding.

An hour or more so or flying to Atlanta airport, where we went for our connecting flight. The plane was late due to the weather and we even going to fly into storm clouds. Joy. We boarded, found our seats and took off. I can’t believe how dependent I am on gum for the take off and landing. My ears can’t take the pressure >.< My mom said I have a child’s ear canals. Thanks…. Mom….. that really helps…. *rolls eyes*

The flight was rather fast since my mom said it was to make up the late time. I didn’t know planes would go faster if they were late. I just thought if they were late, they were late. End of story. On the landing, I didn’t bother with gum though. I just waded out the pain. It’s kinda hard to ask for gum when you can barely hear anything! I swear…

Arrival in Richmond intl’ airport, meet Dad and brother, pick up mom’s suitcase and drive back down to our house, which is a half hour away. Finally! Home! I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted to be home so much. It was nice I tell ya.

That’s it. I don’t usually ramble about my personal life, even in the blog, because there’s usually not much to say. This was a special occasion, as you can tell. If there’s one thing I regret, that would be that three days after the arrival, I had to go back to school. Not enough time home! But hey, I watched all the anime I had put off. Now most of those series are over anyways.

Not music this week. Not until I get requests or comments, remember? Till my next post, which will be all about anime and the new season. Oh, good news. I’ve decided that, instead of reviewing individual anime episodes, I’d do series’ reviews. I don’t have that kind of time. Bye-bye!
~Nat aka Yumi

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