Monday, May 10, 2004

I know that my last entry was long winded and whiny, but I needed to get that out of my chest. I thank those who read through all that. In spite of what has happened the last two weeks, nothing truly interesting has been goin on in my life. I've been thinking about the blog and I feel like there's really no purpose anymore to continuing it. It's becoming a chore to write in it...I don't even feel like there's anything of interest to write about. Before, I felt that I had something to contribute with my experiences in Japan. Now, who wants to read about a girl sitting on her ass? Also, I feel like I haven't been very open in this blog lately, avoiding writing about things that are unpleasant and painful to me, especially about the death of my friend MC. How could I avoid that subject when it made a big impact on what was going on with me my last several weeks in Japan? It's just not fair and dishonest of me to be holding that back.

It figures that I decide to end my blog now that Blogger has FINALLY added new blog templates...

Maybe I will post once in a while, but I doubt it. I want to concentrate more on posting my pictures on the web and perhaps working on my web page that has been long sitting there, neglected. Again, I appreciate those who took time to read what I had to say.

I am very hurt by what happended this weekend. I had been very happy with the way last weekend turned out. The last thing J and CY had told me was that they were able to come to my house the weekend of May 7th and 8th. They weren't sure about TS, so I decided to email her myself. She wrote back saying that she couldn't come so I figured that it was just too bad. Friday was approaching, so I sent an email to J and CY with more specific plans. Since CY said she finished classes at 3pm on Friday, I planned on picking them up at 3:30pm and then we would head straight to Ocean City, where we would go back to my house, which is 30 minutes away. I spent Thursday cleaning the entire house, something that I didn't even do when K was here. I still hadn't received a response to my email, but I happened to catch J on MSN Messenger that evening and he had me understand that he would be waiting for me the next day. However, he didn't seem to know what was going on with CY, whom I still hadn't heard anything from.

On Friday, the next day, as I was driving to Newark, J called me. The first two things he asked me were: "What time are you coming?" and "Are you coming by car?" He then told me that he and two of his Korean friends were going to a Korean restaurant and if I wanted to come along and by the way, could I drive them to a certain rental car place? "What about CY" I asked. "Oh, she says she can't come." At this point I felt a bit put off and just a bit like I was being used. Later, I arrived in Newark, where I had time to meet M and take her to the grocery store, where I told her about my predicament. She told me not to take it personally and to just go with the flow. I figured she was right, so I felt better and went to meet J, his two Korean friends, and the other Japanese girl I had met the week before. After the two Koreans got their rental car, J joined me as we follwed them to the Korean restaurant. He almost left me to drive by myself but I think one of them told him that he should accompany me. By then, it was well after 4:30 so we agreed that maybe it would be better if I stayed at M's apartment for the night and we could head down to Ocean City and my house the next day. J even said something about CY maybe being able to make it on Saturday so I called her but she wasn't home so I left a message on her voice mail. Dinner at the Korean restaurant itself was really nice. Afterwards, we went next door to an Asian grocery store where J and the other Japanese girl had a field day with all the Japanese groceries that were there. So after that, J and I returned to the Towers in my car and the rest headed back in the rental car, but not before making plans to get together that evening. J and I went back to his apartment, which he had to himself that weekend because his roomates took a trip to NY. J then proceeded to spend the next half hour talking on MSN Messenger with some friends in Japan, dragging me twice to make conversation with them as if I was some sort of Japanese-talking circus freak. At this point I wasn't in the mood to be making conversation with someone I didn't know. Meanwhile, I repeatedly tried to get in touch with the two Koreans by phone, but I would get no answer. Then, J showed me an email written to him by CY, telling him, IN ENGLISH, that she wasn't going to be able to make it to my house this weekend. I checked my email in case she had sent me a similar email to me, but she hadn't. Since the Koreans weren't answering the phone, J and I decided to head over to Blockbuster to rent a movie. But before that, he knocked on the door of the girls who live across the hall from him to invite them to join us later that night. A blonde girl that looked like she belonged in a sorority opened the door and when he invited her, she said she was sorry, but that she and her roomates were getting ready to go to a party. Then she asked, "Well, what are you doing tomorrow?" J gave me a quick glance and said "Nothing." Oh, then maybe we could get together tomorrow and have a party." He enthusiastically agreed. As he and I walked towards my car, I said to him, "Weren't you coming to my house tomorrow?." He said, "Yes...ah, but...yeah, I'd have to spend the night, wouldn't I? How about next week? What do you think?" I said something like, "Well, it seems like there's a lot going on for you here, so go ahead and stay." People that I've told this to said that I should have left him standing right then and there, but I put up with him the rest of the evening as I took him to Blockbuster, where he rented "Matrix 3" even after I told him that I had only seen the first Matrix movie. And then I took him to the liquor store and made sure he got good beer. Even after all his sh**!! And he would go on about the upcoming party. He asked me if I would be able to go to the party and I simply said, "No. I'm going back home tomorrow." He kept saying, "Ah, that's too bad you won't be here..." Back in his apartment, he, one of the Korean guys, the Japanese girl, and I watched the Matrix 3, which became a bore after seeing so many explosions and shoot-outs. The Kokrean guy ended up leaving, barely saying anything, before the movie was even over. After the movie finally finished, the girl left and only J and I were left. I was a bit buzzed but I was determined to return to M's apartment. Throughout all this, I still felt some sexual tension between us tow and I wondered if I would be strong enough to resist it, because I think a small part of me wanted something to happen, I must admit. And I think maybe he did too because he kept saying, "Maybe you should just spend the night. You could sleep in my bed and I could sleep on the couch." But I was so disgusted with him at the point that I said no. I promised myself that I would NEVER drive when even the slightest bit under the influence, but under these circumstances, I was determined to leave. By the time I was falling asleep in my sister's apartment, I remembered that I had promised to call him when I got back but I figured that he didn't deserve a call from me. On my way home the next day, he called me and asked, "So I'll see you next week?" I said, "Maybe." I should have outright said, "No."

Needless to say, CY never returned my call. I just can't believe that she avoided all direct communication with me, writing J a letter in English, obviously meant for me, not bothering to tell me herself. And I hadn't even found out about her not coming until I was already halfway to Newark! I know that the avoidance of direct confrontation is just part of Japanese culture and as much as I try and try to understand Japanese culture, I can't help feeling deeply insulted, hurt, and upset by her actions, especially since my only intention was to be nice to her and J and to repay in someway the kindness I was shown in Japan by people like T-san and KM. My dad says that maybe I was being pushy and annoying in inviting them. Did I really annoy her? Was I really that pushy?

As for J, he totally disregarded my plans, even after having made so much effort to receive them in my home, having spent an entire day cleaning the house and having driven two hours to pick them up. I can only attribute most of his actions to his immaturity, simple lack of consideration for others, and thinking of only what was best for him. And then he had me run around and take him places. I should have seen it coming. He did it before last year, and I should have known that he would do it again. It serves me right for being so nice. Come to think of it, he is one of the most selfish people I know, his thoughtlessness comparable to one of a 3-year-old child. And if he didn't want to come because he'd rather hang out at UD, why didn't he just say so? Again, Japanese culture...My only consolation was that he didn't "get any" from me this time and that I was strong enough to resist him. I think this also proves just how much I love K...

Needless to say, I plan on never speaking to them again. I erased all contact information from my records and I blocked J from my MSN contact list. I wrote a cordial email to TS, who at least had the decency to tell me that she couldn't come, and wished her a safe trip back home and good luck in the future. Still, I wish I could just tell them off, but I know it would only result in me looking like a bigger fool than I have been made to look like. I even wish for an apology, but I have to accept that I will never get one...

Huh? All of the sudden Blogger does a 180 and changes its format. I don't know if I like it though...I was so used to the old format...

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Last weekend was fun and eventful. I went to Newark to pick up M so she could see G at her prom's Grand March. It was a good thing my mother decided to take a day off so she could take her to all her appointments. Also, her best friend SS, and the Spanish exchange student living with her, JM, both who go to school in Western Maryland, were participating at the prom as well. It was my first time meeting JM. He seemed like a really nice guy and speaks English really well. Out of the three sisters, I think preparations for prom were the least stressful for G. I think she also looked the prettiest at prom out of the three sisters. She wore a light pink dress whose a bodice had satin ribbons in the front and had satin ribbon straps. Her hair was decorated with ribbons to go with her dress and her makeup had been done very nicely. She, SS, and JM went to pre-prom dinner in Ocean City with other friends from school. My parents, M, and I headed over to the Civic Center to see G march down the "red carpet" with her date. Grand March is a prom tradition here where we live. It is basically when each couple "promenades" down a walkway designed according to that year's theme. This year's theme was "An Affair to Remember", which was basically a 40's Hollywood theme. It was very nicely done. It was so strange seeing the classmates that Genevieve had grown up with all dressed up and looking so adult-like. Most I hadn't seen since they were in elementary school. Also, my friend JE was there...I invited her to Grand March...it had been the first time seeing her since coming back to the US...and since the death of my friend MC. It was rather awkward...and even though she is usually a quiet girl, my family noticed that she seemed unusually sad, and she seemed to want to go home after the Grand March and was just being nice in waiting until we found G in the crowd of prom-goers. But still, we met up with G after the Grand March and took pics of her and her date and her friends. We were very happy for her because she seemed to be really enjoying herself. After prom, she, SS, and JM did the usual after-prom thing in Ocean City but tried not to return home too late, because the next day, the three of them headed over to Western Maryland to participate in SS and JM's prom! Can you believe it? Two proms in a row! For this prom, Genevieve wore a black strapless dress made of tulle and she wore her hair down, with a pink ribbon around her head....I saw the pictures she took and she looked so nice! And she says that she had a really good time. We were very happy for her.

As for me, I drove M back to Newark, where I was to stay for the rest of the weekend so she could use the car. I made plans to meet with MAB, my friend from college and later on with J and the other two Soka exchange students CY and TS. MAB and I had lunch at Ali Baba's my favorite restaurant in Newark and then we had some coffee at Brew Ha-Ha. It was really nice talking to him and catching up. He had to go to a dress rehearsal, so afterwards, I met up with J...almost a year since I went with him to Yamagata. It was so strange seeing him again...all the memories of what happened in Yamagata came rushing back, finding it hard to believe that it's already been a year...and I wondered if something was going to happen again, since he was being his flirty, touch-feely self. But I kept thinking of K and how I much rather be with him....and how it wouldn't feel right if something happened with J. At the same time, I thought about how weak I can be under such situations. Still, I felt that I was a lot less naive, a bit wiser, and more careful when it came to J. I took him to meet M and later on took him to the shopping center so he could buy stuff at K-Mart. After that, I had to hand over the car to M, so we walked back to his apartment building to meet CY. Soon after, we met up with another Japanese girl that is also here to study English at the ELI (English Language Institute). I had told MAB that I would attend his play that evening so I invited them to come along, so the four of us went. The play, called "Behind the Mask" was a rather unusual play in which the cast sang selections from musicals...or sometimes just recited them. And there was a very funny redneck version of "Romeo and Juliet". I don't know whether my guests understood what was going on or not. Anyway, after the play, MAB invited me to the cast party, but I was trying to see what the Japanese exchange students were up to...CY and the other girl seemed to be turning in and J wanted to hang out and drink in his room. At first I told him I'd hang out with him but then I felt uncomfortable with the prospect of hanging out with just him and his roomates. And when it came down to it, I realized that I much rather hang out with MAB, so I had him pick me up in front of the Towers and take me to the party. I guess the party could be classified as a "drama geek" party, but let me say it was a very...interesting party, in which a drinking game got wild. Do you know the Three Dog Night lyrics that go "There are things, I ain't never seen before. I don't know what it is, but I don't wanna see no more"? Well, it was sort of like that, except that I wasn't uncomfortable. In fact, I became increasingly amused as I observed the game and became more and more tipsy. I would yell out when I felt the rules weren't being followed exactly. MAB too looked on with amusement. I think we're both getting too old for this....hehe.

The next day, I met up with J and TS since she couldn't meet up with us the day before. I showed J the nearest liquor store, where he proudly made his first alcohol purchase in the US. Then, we hung out in TS's room and watched some of "Spirited Away", which I have already seen. It is the cutest movie ever! Even the villians were adorable! All in all, I had a good time and later, when I got home, I made plans with J and CY to come down to my house the following weekend, but that's a whole other story....

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The return of "J"!
Remember "J"? The dude who invited me to Yamagata? The guy I almost "went to Korea" with but then cancelled on me? Well, for the second half of 2003, I hardly ever heard from him and I thought I would never hear from again, but then...I got in touch with him again through MSN Messenger. And guess what? He's coming here, to the US....to the University of Delaware to study at their English Language Institute for an academic school year. During the time I spent with him, I knew that he had been to UD twice and that he was seriously thinking of studying there...but I didn't think he'd actually go through with it! And him, of all people! Why couldn't it have been K?? :`( He's coming very soon...in a week in fact. I felt that it was only right that I should repay his kindness in inviting me to Yamagata by inviting him down here for a weekend when he comes to Delaware. For a while, I tried to get in contact with him to let him know, but he wouldn't respond. I was getting exasperated about it when he got in contact with me while I was in Newark this past weekend. We talked for a bit and I told him that I wanted to invite him to my house and he seemed to like the idea. I've told my sisters about my history with J so when I told them that I wanted to invite him over, they rolled their eyes, but I assured them that there will be on "hanky-panky" this time!! I'm inviting him over to be nice...He is off limits for me!
This past weekend...
This past weekend, I spent a really nice and relaxing time with my sister M. The thing is, my mother wanted to go to the King of Prussia Mall and pick M up on the way. M had wanted to borrow the car for Sunday so basically we were to drive up in two cars and then I was to stay over in her apartment in Newark until Monday. Then my dad said, "Why don't you take the time to visit the Wharton School of Business while you're up there?" I didn't feel like going, but I figured that I'd go to please him...and basically to get him to stop bugging me about my future.

We ended up spending Saturday afternoon at the Christiana Mall, which is nearer by. We had lunch at our favorite Christiana Mall haunt, Don Pablos, which is a Mexican restaurant. My dad and I spent time at Circuit City, one of my favorite stores, then I joined my mother and my sisters in their endless and pointless quest to find G shoes for prom. Anywayz, we all drove back to M's apartment in Newark and we were dropped off there. I had brought the Spirited Away DVD to watch, but M wanted to watch something else, so we went to the nearby Blockbuster. At first, we couldn't find anything, but we ended up renting three DVDs. We got "Ghost World" and "Dancer in the Dark" because we couldn't decide between the two. And I got "Taboo" or "Gohatto", a Japanese movie starring my latest celebrity obssession, Ryuhei Matsuda. I was so surprised to see it in Blockbuster that I simply had to rent it. That evening, M and I saw "Dancer In the Dark", which is one of the most disturbing movies we have ever seen. While it was about a woman who had lost touch with reality...it was so realistically filmed and so shocking that it stays with you for a while. While it was an interesting movie....I really don't recommend seeing it. Geez, after seeing this movie, "Grave of the Fireflies" seemed uplifting (even though I still think it was a very sad movie).

The next day, I had lunch with my sister and then, while she worked on homework, I watched "Taboo". I think it was an interesting and entertaining movie that I think I would like to buy on DVD, in spite of the sloppy ending. And I hate to say this....the symbolism was a little cliche, and obscured to the point where I don't know if there was something deeper to it or not. Anyways, I started watching Ghost World that evening but the DVD player in my sister's computer froze up so I gave up....hopefully I will have time to watch the rest of it in the near future.

Anywayz, the next day, Monday, Mariana was nice enough to go with me to Philly to go to a Wharton information session. It was a good thing too because I hate, hate, HATE driving in Philly. Anyways, in spite of the initial intimidation by all the prospective students dressed in suits and already with careers, the information session was very interesting and the admissions officer was very nice. He directed me to the Lauder Institute, which was where my main interest was in. The Lauder Institute is a department within Wharton that allows you to earn a dual degree in business and in international studies. Anyway, I talke to an admissions office there and basically she told me what I already know....that I need more work experience in order to even think about applying. I asked her what kind a job she would suggest and she told me that there was no "right" answer. Instead she gave me two student directories which had student profiles. I read it later on and I almost got sick to my stomach. All the students know several languages but above all, they all have these, amazing careers and have been all over the world....it's inhuman! They're all these super-duper overachievers! I had to stop reading. Anywayz, after dropping M off, I went back home....I was pretty tired.

On TH...
Lately, I find myself thinking about TH a lot. Right before I started dating K, I felt that TH and I had some sort of...flirtation going on. On my birthday, KM even asked me, "Why don't you go for him?" and I replied, "Well, I don't know if he likes me" to which KM did not respond. Looking back...maybe TH did have feelings for me, but I will probably never know for sure. He was always such a nice, sweet guy who came across as introverted but would surprise you by doing or saying something crazy or wacky. He's really not a very handsome guy and lord knows he has awful teeth, but there was something about him...a certain confidence...something that I have often referred to as "sexiness." We have exchanged a few emails since I came back home. He's now working and God knows most of his time will be occupied with that. After I started going out with K, TH confided in me that he had feelings for this girl at Soka who is half Brazilian and half Japanese. Later on, when I asked him about her, he seemed to have given up hope, apparently she was more interested in getting him to go to meetings. TH himself, while of full Japanese blood, was born in Brazil and spent a few years of his life there. Perhaps he is attracted to hispanic girls. So if that is true, did he indeed have feelings for me? If K hadn't been in the picture (not that I regret it....K has been one of the best things that has happened to me so far), would something have developed between TH and I? Will I ever see him again?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

A potpourri....(or, Procrastinating)

I was reading my previous blog's archive from last September. Natsukashiiii (how nostalgic!). It was nice looking back and realizing that they way I wrote wasn't as boring as I had thought. I also didn't feel the sadness that I usually do when I think about my time over there....I guess it was because what I read was before K's time...

I saw the "Grave of the Fireflies" a few days ago. I can honestly say it was one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. It's about two children orphaned during World War II. I won't give away the ending, but I don't think I would even want to because it's so sad. But it was also a very beautiful movie, beautiful in how it portrayed the characters' emotions and the relationship between them. Shortly after buying the DVD, I wrote to my professor asking him if he had seen the movie and what he thought of it. He wrote back to me today saying that it was a very sad movie and that I should see it with my family or friends instead of seeing it alone. Unfortunately, it has been several days after I saw it....alone. *smiles* Well, what can you do?....but it's true, perhaps I should have seen it with my mom or my sister. I didn't cry when watching the movie, but this movie is defenitely a tearjearker.

Easter was nice...got to wear a new outfit and go out for lunch. But my biggest surprise was in church when I ran into JK, my first boyfriend. It was such a pleasant surprise to see him after all this time...I hadn't seen him since way before I left for Japan. He has a full beard now....at least his head's not shaven like the last time I saw him! It seems that I am "doomed" to date guys with beards, with JK setting the precedent...lol! Anywayz, he gave me his phone number but unfortunately, he accidentally gave me the wrong number, but he knew my phone number so he called me up the next day. We started talking about things when I mentioned K. I hadn't even mentioned that he was my boyfriend when JK said..."You miss him, don't you" I meekly said yes and then he said..."Oh my God...you love him, don't you?" I was shocked....it was as if he had read my mind! He tells me that he has the ability to not quite read minds, but to feel other people's emotions when they are nearby and said that my emotions must have been running really strong for him to have felt them over the phone. Later that afternoon, he came over my house and we spent a long time just talking and catching up. There was so much to talk about....about his fiancee, about living with her and her parents...talk about crazy! G also had a chance to talk to him. Later on, he told me that he sensed that she feels something for the guys she's going out to prom. I certainly wouldn't be surprised about that. Anywayz, I do hope I get more chances to talk to him. It was strange, but the fact that he sensed my emotions when mentioning K sort of resurfaced the strong feelings that I have for K. The two days before that, I had been talking to M, convincing myself that things with him wouldn't have worked out anyway...but now I know that I still love K just as much...*sigh*

Here I am, trying to do something with my life. This evening, I looked up information on joint Japanese/Business degree programs. There are some that look pretty good. The thing is, I know for sure that I want to continue my study of the Japanese language and culture, but I don't want to use it for teaching, and since I hear that you can do a lot with a business degree, the combination of both sounds like a good idea. It's just that I still don't know what my "career goals" are...I'm just seeing where it takes me. But unfortunately, it seems that schools are looking for people with "goals". What the heck am I supposed to tell them? Should I make something up? I am also trying to fill out a part-time job application to Barnes and Noble. I love bookstores and it seems like such an awesome place to work and above all, I could use some cash flow....God, I hope they're hiring. I need to be doing something besides sitting on my ass.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Today I went back to Circuit City to buy my sister's birthday present/s and to see if I could find that "Grave of the Fireflies" DVD. Well....the DVD was still there so this time I was able to get it. Yay! I know I won't need to rent a movie tonight!
On Monday, my friends KG, AR, and ET came to visit me for two days. It was so nice to see them! We went to Circuit City, my favorite electronics store in the US, so I could check out the laptop prices. My friends had a field day in the CD section because CDs there are so cheap. I came across a rare copy of a lesser-known movie by the same animators who did "Princess Mononoke" and "Sprited Away" called "The Grave of the Fireflies." Even though I had never seen it before, it looked really good and I really wanted to buy it, but I didn't have enough money. Later that afternoon, we all went to Olive Garden for dinner. It was really nice and the food was delicious! In the evening, we watched "Lost in Translation"....the first time for the three of them. I'm not sure they liked it though, but it's understandable....it's is a rather strange movie...and part of the reason I liked it is because I could identify with it after being in Tokyo. We also saw "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". I know, I know, I'm such a geek....but I absolutely love this movie! It was AR's first time seeing it....how could she have gone through college without having seen it!!?? Anywayz, the next day, we finished watching "The Holy Grail" and relaxed for a while. Then we went to the Ward Museum and then to Ocean City to walk on the boardwalk. I was so happy to see my friends, with whom I have mostly communicated by computer this past year and a half. I hope to be able to have more chances to hang out with them in the future!

I realized today that April 1st was DT's birthday and that I had forgotten to wish her a happy birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY D.T.!! I will be emailing you soon!

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I came across this pretty cool game/survey in my friend MG's LiveJournal. Basically, you choose a band/or artist (it doesn't have to be your favorite one) and answer only in song TITLES by that band/artist. But I chose my favorite band anyway, which, in case you don't know, are the Bealtes. Here goes:

Are you female or male: She's A Woman

Describe yourself: Tell Me What You See

How do some people feel about you: Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby

How do you feel about yourself: I'm a Loser

Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: I Should Have Known Better

Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: It Won't Be Long

Describe where you want to be: Here, There, and Everywhere

Describe what you want to be: Something

Describe how you live: For No One

Describe how you love: Can't Buy Me Love

Share a few words of wisdom: Let It Be

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"If Mohammed can't come to the mountain..."

Today I went to my dad's office because my former guarantor from Japan, along with two of my dad's colleagues, came to visit. We all had lunch at a local steak restaurant. As a gift, I gave him the rum cakes that I had bougth in Barbados and two letters I wrote for AT and Mrs. T. It was so strange to be seeing him in these parts after having seen him in Japan over a month ago. Add that to having K come to visit me and meeting the three Japanese teachers from Hokkaido this past Saturday. It's as if Japan itself has come to pay me a visit here in this place that is so far removed from the Japanese world, so I won't forget...but how could I?

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