deralte: (Default)
( Nov. 15th, 2010 02:57 pm)
I thought I should update to let everyone know I'm alive, just swamped by phd apps. The three which are due on Dec. 1st are killing me, and once again there is a problem with my transcripts. *headdesk* Had a Korean midterm today, working now, and customer service training in the evening, followed by finally being allowed to register for my courses next semester, assuming they're not full (which I'm sure they will be). And that's just today. Life very much sucks.

On an amusing note, I was buying lunch at the employee cafeteria at the Met and one of the lunch servers stares at me and asks, "You work here?" "Yes." "But you're so young," he muttered as he walked away.
deralte: (squid float away (by me))
( Aug. 28th, 2010 01:28 am)
So it turns out that pretty much everyone at the hospital (on the floor where I usually work) thought I was 18. I got to hear multiple gasps of shock when I told them I was 27 today. And yesterday, another patient monitor I've been chatting with for months had thought I was 18 or 19, definitely younger than her, rather than a few years older. I told her that usually the two masters degrees clues people in (which is generally when they ask me my age), but she just figured I was smart *L*

Doing internship applications atm, so I've been glad to have some of the easier tasks at the hospital these past two days. Am not holding my breath for the weekend though. Also, feeling like I have no chance of getting these internships either *sigh* And if I do get an internship, there's a whole host of problems related to one or both of my jobs *double sigh*

Although it's been cutting into other things I should really be working on, I've really enjoyed playing Civ. 4 with my brother these past few weeks. We started a new game with a more interesting map and have been wreaking unholy havoc on our neighbouring civilizations. I know it's a horribly distracting time sink, but I'm still disappointed that we probably won't be able to play again until Christmas break (we could play over the internet of course, but both of us think it's probably a better idea to focus on our work since he's full time in college and I'm part time and working two jobs).
deralte: (Default)
( Aug. 6th, 2010 01:41 pm)
The patient monitor I worked with last night thought I was 18. When another one came down, he thought I was younger than him, despite him being 23. It's weird cause I always think that with my hair up, and wearing a uniform, I look older, but I guess not (or maybe they'd have thought I was 16 if they met me on the street?). I've been getting a lot of double takes from patients and patients families too cause they all assume I'm under 20, then I start mentioning random things and they realize there's no way someone under 20 has done as many things as I've done.
deralte: (chuck sarah average girl (by come_daylig)
( Jan. 12th, 2010 09:01 pm)
I really hate Florida. I hate all the pastels (I used to think it was because it's tropical, but now I've been to enough colourful tropical places that I know it's just Florida). I hate the uncomfortable grass. I hate that you can't even walk on it without checking for ants that will swarm and bite you. I hate the overuse of palm trees. I hate how generic the place looks around the retirement communities. I hate how they think 60 degrees is cold, yet go to the beach anyway. I hate that I never see any alligators. I hate all the drivers who are either young enough to think they're immortal or old enough to be okay with dying (and really shouldn't have their license in the first place). I hate that it's usually too hot to enjoy yourself. I dislike that Florida has pretty sunsets but they're almost always blocked by pastel buildings and palm trees.

Things I like: Lizards that live in your house. My grandmother's club house's spa. Thunderstorms. Uhm. I once went swimming at night here and there were frogs in the pool with me. That was cool. The food is usually pretty good too (at least when you eat out).

Okay. Enough ranting.

I'm at my grandmother's house, planning on leaving early tomorrow morning for my drive up to NJ. I have had lots of good food. At the Cousin's Club (ie a meeting of all my cousins every month), I actually met a cousin of mine and her husband who are total geeks. We'd read/watched pretty much all the same books/tv shows/comics/movies. I was impressed and had a great time talking that night. Definitely my favourite dinner of this trip.( ps. My granduncle thought I was 15 when we went to visit.)

One of my duties while I was down here (besides filling in on grandma sitting duty) was helping mum go through the house removing anything expensive before the assistant starts taking care of grandma here, plus just thinning out all the junk that's accumulated over the years. I can not believe how many toothpicks, sponges, umbrellas, and napkins there are in this house. There are 14 umbrellas in the garage alone! It turned up a lot of unexpected, interesting finds like an unused carving set for me and a pasta maker. And expected things like a mahjong set (grandma can't play anymore cause her memory is bad), the liquor cabinet, and the dvd collection. My car is stuffed.

I caught the first three eps of Chuck. I though it started out slow, but hit it's stride again by the second ep. and I really enjoyed the third ep of the season (but anything with Awesome and his obligatory shirtlessness is awesome;)). Chuck is one of those few shows I don't mind if they hit the reset button a bit (though it's more like characters evolve, then regress to make the plot work and be closer to the formula) because the whole point of it is parody. I think it's hilarious how they're using the actors in car comercials during the show too.

Now I must go do a few more things of prep. G'nite.
I'm kinda sad I finished watching Mei-chan no Shitsuji because now what is Ariana going to watch to de-stress during her postgrad aps? It actually had an only mildly sappy ending, much to my shock. I'd really like to know what happened ten years after the series as well. I can see the main triangle ending up in a practical threesome.

Applications are going fairly well, though it hasn't stopped me from several rants about arbitrary requirements (why does one university need my referees phone numbers, but not their addresses? Why does one university want to know my employment history while another doesn't? Grrrr.) I'm enjoying being able to check off things on my checklist for each university, though it's no fun watching my savings dwindle with each payment. I'm also seriously doubting my chances of getting into any of the Canadian universities. They expect you to be ridiculously specific for someone *beginning* a phd.

I managed to finally get a swine flu shot yesterday (I have asthma and can't take the nasal one, which was the only one available before this.) They said they were only giving out the injections to people who were under 24 or over that but with health problems like asthma. I was expecting to have to explain and show off my inhaler, but the guy didn't seem to notice I was over the age limit. I suspect my youthful appearance struck again. Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that some high school students tried to bully me when I stopped for dinner on my way back from Boston a few weeks ago. They had the only parmesan cheese at their table, so I went over to ask if I could borrow it. One of the guys said one of those inane stupid comments that are only funny in high school like, "What if I keep it?" (I can't remember what it was he said exactly cause it was that stupid.) I just went, "Uh huh" in my most sarcastic tone and grabbed the cheese, leaving the girls at the table to giggle at my brush off. It was only as I was driving home later that I realized they'd acted that way cause they'd thought I was close to their age.

Speaking of age mistakes. M. and I went to support C. in his first seminar (in a place very far away from where we live). It was just me and M. and T. from Buyu, and the rest were all tae kwon do students or people known by the tae kwan do guy who ran the training space/dojo. Despite being introduced as having a 4th dan to them all, the teenagers there (at least) all thought I was their age (it's impossible in most arts to get a 4th dan before the age or 20. If you meet someone who is, then they're not training in a very good art or had an unwise teacher. In buyu for example, I wasn't even allowed my 1st dan until I was 18.). I was surprised because it's obvious by my ranking that I'm not that young, but then I guess my looks overrided their logic. Two guys how came late and didn't know my rank were rather doubtful of my abilities as well (one accidentally hit me in the lip quite hard with the end of a hung bo and left me with a fat lip (though mostly on the inside thankfully) which is just about healed now). Almost everyone had black belts, but with a couple of exceptions, their skill levels were quite low so I'm actually pleased I made it out of their with only a fat lip and a bruise or two (you always get more injuries from newbies). I ended up in one of the weirder training situations of my life in the beginning of the seminar since I was asked to train with a ten year old boy with ADHD (I gather martial arts is some of his therapy). Having grown up with my little brother, I expected worse, but actually, the kid thought what we were doing was 'awesome', and unlike some older people, didn't think twice about hitting me (a common basic mistake of people training is that they don't punch properly because they're afraid of actually hitting someone, which makes proper training very difficult for the person being attacked). I had to adjust things for size, and be a bit more playful than I'm used to, but the kid wasn't half bad. He took to sadistically asking C. to demonstrate things 'one more time' on poor T. (who was the uke). I couldn't help but approve *L* I ended up switching around a lot in the second half, which was a mixed bag. Some were great and others, like the teen who refused to train because he was scared of getting hurt, made me roll my eyes a lot. At least we were doing weapons which was more interesting than the review of the basic kihon happo that occupied the first half.
deralte: (farscape janken logic (by art_in_disguis)
( Oct. 30th, 2009 08:37 pm)
I was at the dentist today (zero cavities. woo!) swishing around the fluoride rinse and one of the dental hygienists walks in and goes, "Oh, you look about 12 years old. Aren't you precious?" I roll my eyes, and give her the 'are you crazy?' look until I can spit it out, then point out, "I'm 26." She pauses. "Oh, well, you're getting up there, but you still look about 12 years old. 16, maybe, now that you're not swishing." Tells me about how she got carded for buying cigarettes when she wasn't wearing makeup. I put on my glasses. "The glasses make you look a little older." I refrained from asking just how much since I suspect I still looked like a high schooler to her.

Dad and I are really liking this new show, White Collar. I just hope the quality stays the same after the first ep. Also, we started watching Castle from the beginning tonight cause I'm running out of television for us to watch this week. Don't ask me how that happened cause it's not like I have time for us to watch much either. Now I have to write a short reaction to Kiki's Delivery Service in Japanese. Ja ne!
deralte: (chuck sarah average girl (by come_daylig)
( Sep. 2nd, 2009 03:49 pm)
Well, I've somehow managed to do everything I was supposed to do in the past couple of days at Rutgers. Therefore, my fees are paid, my financial aid is arranged, my ID card is official, I'm registered for classes, I have all my books etc etc. I showed up at the first J. class on Tuesday (9:50am) but the section I'd chosen was seriously overloaded with 30 people vs 10 in the other class happening at the same time, so I and a few others switched sections to the smaller class (something which I prefer). Our teacher seems nice, though I'm dismayed by how basic the textbook is. Also, I didn't realize this but my Japanese lessons in Japan used photocopies from the same textbook so I actually have a lot of the conversations in it already memorized. I guess I should expect an easy term... After that class, I tried to switch my Japanese sections in person, but was told I couldn't even though I had a permission slip (and was treated like a stupid freshman to boot) by a cruel course registery person (god, if I were actually 17 and just starting college for the first time, I'd have been devastated by how sneering and condescending that lady was). I shrugged this off, bought my books, and went home and emailed my Dean who changed everything for me in a couple of minutes thus belying what the registry person had told me. I then got a hold of my financial aid person, and then the student accounting office in quick succession to pay off my fees.

Everyone seems really confused by my age. The most common phrase I've been hearing these past few days is, "Wait. How old are you?" cause everyone assumes I'm a freshmen until I start talking about all my travelling or my Masters degrees. It's pretty funny.

Today was my first day of Spanish which is a later class than my Japanese one (11:30am). You can tell I'm *not* a freshman because my reaction to not having to get up early for two days a week was not to sleep in, but to go in early so I could get things done. When did I ever get so responsible? I managed to do some quick shopping at the supermarket, deposit a check, get my temporary ID card replaced with an official one, and submit an application for a lifeguarding position at Rutgers. I then spent an hour or so reading The Master and Margarita outside (where the weather was gorgeous) then went to Spanish 101. It's being taught immersion style so there was no English after the first explanation of the syllabus. This suited me quite well, but only because I already speak French and Spanish is a sister language. Hence, I already knew the grammar style and knew what to listen for, and recognized various words enough to generally know what he was talking about. I feel sorry for some of my classmates though cause their comprehension wasn't very good. I think the problem for me will be figuring out pronunciation and spelling (just like English *L*).
I was very very pleased this afternoon when I called up my work and not only did they assure me that I had no need to come into work on Monday, but that I also (contrary to what they'd told me) had Friday off. Considering Friday is the first day of the Animenext con (which is about ten miles from my house), I was happy enough to shout with joy since now I can attend all three days. Woot! I don't think I'll be cosplaying on Friday beyond wearing my Yondaime shirt, but I'll be Okita Souji of the Shinsengumi on Saturday, and probably wear my yukata on Sunday (assuming I can figure out how to tie my obi by then).

I picked up my little brother after lifeguarding class today (which was all safety videos since it was raining and cold), so we're all ready to go in the morning. (Edited to add: I was very amused today in that I was chatting with the two high school students in the lifeguard class today and I asked what year they were in, and the guy asked me what year of high school *I* was in. I laughed and pointed out that I was 25 years old with two Masters under my belt. How sad is it that actual high school students think I'm their age?)

Cold is still hanging in there, but is subsiding slowly. Wisdom tooth (or lack thereof) barely hurts and I should know because I kinda forgot my painkillers when I left for lifeguarding and went several hours without them. It stings and is a bit sore, but I wouldn't have even bothered going back on the painkillers except it does hurt when I lower my head or open my mouth really wide. Expect I won't need the painkillers soon though. I'm really pleased how quickly it's healing considering it was pulled late on Tuesday.

ps. Anyone want to meet up at the con?
I was very very pleased this afternoon when I called up my work and not only did they assure me that I had no need to come into work on Monday, but that I also (contrary to what they'd told me) had Friday off. Considering Friday is the first day of the Animenext con (which is about ten miles from my house), I was happy enough to shout with joy since now I can attend all three days. Woot! I don't think I'll be cosplaying on Friday beyond wearing my Yondaime shirt, but I'll be Okita Souji of the Shinsengumi on Saturday, and probably wear my yukata on Sunday (assuming I can figure out how to tie my obi by then).

I picked up my little brother after lifeguarding class today (which was all safety videos since it was raining and cold), so we're all ready to go in the morning. (Edited to add: I was very amused today in that I was chatting with the two high school students in the lifeguard class today and I asked what year they were in, and the guy asked me what year of high school *I* was in. I laughed and pointed out that I was 25 years old with two Masters under my belt. How sad is it that actual high school students think I'm their age?)

Cold is still hanging in there, but is subsiding slowly. Wisdom tooth (or lack thereof) barely hurts and I should know because I kinda forgot my painkillers when I left for lifeguarding and went several hours without them. It stings and is a bit sore, but I wouldn't have even bothered going back on the painkillers except it does hurt when I lower my head or open my mouth really wide. Expect I won't need the painkillers soon though. I'm really pleased how quickly it's healing considering it was pulled late on Tuesday.

ps. Anyone want to meet up at the con?
deralte: (Default)
( May. 10th, 2009 12:25 pm)
You know, only I could go to a local flea market and run into Chief Longbow of the Cherokee Nation of New Jersey. He hit on me as I walked by (said I looked like I was 16) and pretty much latched onto me when he found out I was an archaeologist. I saw pictures of his family and friends, was invited to a pow wow in October, and was introduced to his theories on migration (since he's black, which opens up a whole different kettle of fish... some of his theories were out there, other's were okay, but they're pretty much unprovable one way or another so... yeah.) I have the weirdest cultural experiences sometimes...

In other news, it's utterly beautiful out today with blue skies, a cool breeze, and most of the flowering trees are still flowering while the brilliant green new leaves are coming in and the grass is all long or freshly mowed. I want to spend all my time outside. Unfortunately, just walking around set my eyes watering and my nose running like mad. Stupid allergies. At least I got some cheap eggplants at the flea market and some pretty new pins (an alligator and the Batman symbol. They're shiny.).
deralte: (Default)
( May. 10th, 2009 12:25 pm)
You know, only I could go to a local flea market and run into Chief Longbow of the Cherokee Nation of New Jersey. He hit on me as I walked by (said I looked like I was 16) and pretty much latched onto me when he found out I was an archaeologist. I saw pictures of his family and friends, was invited to a pow wow in October, and was introduced to his theories on migration (since he's black, which opens up a whole different kettle of fish... some of his theories were out there, other's were okay, but they're pretty much unprovable one way or another so... yeah.) I have the weirdest cultural experiences sometimes...

In other news, it's utterly beautiful out today with blue skies, a cool breeze, and most of the flowering trees are still flowering while the brilliant green new leaves are coming in and the grass is all long or freshly mowed. I want to spend all my time outside. Unfortunately, just walking around set my eyes watering and my nose running like mad. Stupid allergies. At least I got some cheap eggplants at the flea market and some pretty new pins (an alligator and the Batman symbol. They're shiny.).
I obviously didn't spend enough geeky time going over the new ST movie because my dreams were full of little alternative scenes (what if he'd said this there, sort of things) and it was actually hard to get back to sleep whenever they woke me up.

Getting into the IMAX yesterday was hard because my mother booked one in NY, rather than NJ so we had to go through tons of traffic and across the GW bridge. We got there at 6 and discovered people were already lining up for the 7pm showing, so we forgoed dinner, bought nachoes and popcorn and got in line, or rather, I got in line while they bought food. This ended up annoying since the lady behind me decided that standing within a few inches of my back and booming out her opinions on ST (which I mostly agreed with to be fair) was fun. When my parent's finally arrived, she gave me more space then immediately started declaiming things. One of which was that the Benjamin Button movie was amazing and everyone should see it. I said I wouldn't since I don't like subjecting myself to tragedies, and she asked what my age was. I told her 25 and she was shocked. "You look fifteen. Such a young face!" (which means she was planning on telling me I wasn't old enough to know if I'd like the movie or not, ne?) but after that she was much more respectful. *rolls eyes*

After the movie, we took Mum out to Red Robin for her Mother Day's meal. She'd never been there so she found the raspberry malt shake amazing and I split a whiskey river barbecue wrap with her and it was as tasty as everything at Red Robin.
I obviously didn't spend enough geeky time going over the new ST movie because my dreams were full of little alternative scenes (what if he'd said this there, sort of things) and it was actually hard to get back to sleep whenever they woke me up.

Getting into the IMAX yesterday was hard because my mother booked one in NY, rather than NJ so we had to go through tons of traffic and across the GW bridge. We got there at 6 and discovered people were already lining up for the 7pm showing, so we forgoed dinner, bought nachoes and popcorn and got in line, or rather, I got in line while they bought food. This ended up annoying since the lady behind me decided that standing within a few inches of my back and booming out her opinions on ST (which I mostly agreed with to be fair) was fun. When my parent's finally arrived, she gave me more space then immediately started declaiming things. One of which was that the Benjamin Button movie was amazing and everyone should see it. I said I wouldn't since I don't like subjecting myself to tragedies, and she asked what my age was. I told her 25 and she was shocked. "You look fifteen. Such a young face!" (which means she was planning on telling me I wasn't old enough to know if I'd like the movie or not, ne?) but after that she was much more respectful. *rolls eyes*

After the movie, we took Mum out to Red Robin for her Mother Day's meal. She'd never been there so she found the raspberry malt shake amazing and I split a whiskey river barbecue wrap with her and it was as tasty as everything at Red Robin.
deralte: (shinto squirrel (by me))
( Jan. 15th, 2009 10:34 pm)
Started out early after dropping my bag in a coin locker at Kyoto Station. Then headed to Ryoanji with itsfamous zen rock garden. I wasn't all that impressed. I'd expected it to be, I don't know, bigger. The zen garden in Yamaguchi City is just as good imo. The temple did have the best merchandise and good English explanations. Pity I had no money (I am literally going home with about 500 yen total.) After Ryoanji, I did some bus manuveuring and walking to get to Goryo Jinga shrine for their festival which turned out to be more of a low key flea market. Did pick up a nice set of small screwdrivers at least.

Next was Ginkakuji (the Silver pavilion though the silver melted off long ago), which really was a beautiful temple. It was just as impressive as Kinkakuji only in a different way. Also, the grounds were magnificent - all moss covered with streams wandering through. Also, a grove of bamboo and cedar. Beautiful pics, and a better, if weirder Zen garden than Ryoanji.

Caught the bus to the Heian Shrine which despite being a modern scale model was pretty impressive architecturally (or is that because of?). It was also teeming with shrine maidens. I wandered past the Budo centre on my way out which is full of training halls for the martial arts though I couldn't go inside. Then I stopped at the Kyoto handicraft centre which is kinda a tourist trap and kinda not. It really depends on what "swag" you want to buy. Anyway, I was drawn to the woodblock printing floor where I got to watch them actually carving the blocks out and printing them. There were tons of prints there, but the actual old ones were too expensive as were any of the bigger/nicer reproductions. But I did manage to find a cheap, near postcard size modern print by K. Nishijima. It's quite pretty and is called "Festival day". There was also a half price sale on a few of those 8X10 reproduction prints which happened to include one of my all time favourite prints by Hiroshige (one which I've always called "guy losing his hat" myself) so I picked it up for about $18. Thank god they took credit cards.

I killed as much time there as possible then headed back to the station. Kyoto's much less crowded now that Obon's over, which is nice but some of the energy is gone, or maybe that's just me. Had yakisoba for lunch, did a bit of shopping in the mall under the station before catching the Shin.

I wanted to note that Jen, the Korean guy I met at my hostel said I have "really warm eyes" and I must be good with kids. Also, that I look Spanish. o_0

Home again. Here I come.
deralte: (shinto squirrel (by me))
( Jan. 15th, 2009 10:34 pm)
Started out early after dropping my bag in a coin locker at Kyoto Station. Then headed to Ryoanji with itsfamous zen rock garden. I wasn't all that impressed. I'd expected it to be, I don't know, bigger. The zen garden in Yamaguchi City is just as good imo. The temple did have the best merchandise and good English explanations. Pity I had no money (I am literally going home with about 500 yen total.) After Ryoanji, I did some bus manuveuring and walking to get to Goryo Jinga shrine for their festival which turned out to be more of a low key flea market. Did pick up a nice set of small screwdrivers at least.

Next was Ginkakuji (the Silver pavilion though the silver melted off long ago), which really was a beautiful temple. It was just as impressive as Kinkakuji only in a different way. Also, the grounds were magnificent - all moss covered with streams wandering through. Also, a grove of bamboo and cedar. Beautiful pics, and a better, if weirder Zen garden than Ryoanji.

Caught the bus to the Heian Shrine which despite being a modern scale model was pretty impressive architecturally (or is that because of?). It was also teeming with shrine maidens. I wandered past the Budo centre on my way out which is full of training halls for the martial arts though I couldn't go inside. Then I stopped at the Kyoto handicraft centre which is kinda a tourist trap and kinda not. It really depends on what "swag" you want to buy. Anyway, I was drawn to the woodblock printing floor where I got to watch them actually carving the blocks out and printing them. There were tons of prints there, but the actual old ones were too expensive as were any of the bigger/nicer reproductions. But I did manage to find a cheap, near postcard size modern print by K. Nishijima. It's quite pretty and is called "Festival day". There was also a half price sale on a few of those 8X10 reproduction prints which happened to include one of my all time favourite prints by Hiroshige (one which I've always called "guy losing his hat" myself) so I picked it up for about $18. Thank god they took credit cards.

I killed as much time there as possible then headed back to the station. Kyoto's much less crowded now that Obon's over, which is nice but some of the energy is gone, or maybe that's just me. Had yakisoba for lunch, did a bit of shopping in the mall under the station before catching the Shin.

I wanted to note that Jen, the Korean guy I met at my hostel said I have "really warm eyes" and I must be good with kids. Also, that I look Spanish. o_0

Home again. Here I come.
Bujinkan last night was relaxing. At first I had to do a bit of manoeuvring to try to get a partner who I wasn't going to kill (ie, annoying partner from the time before last), and ended up in a group of three with a guy who thinks he knows everything and my friend M. But then another guy got there and since women have cooties, M. and I were left to train together. This wasn't a bad thing though since we got to relax and not deal with testosterone for the evening. For example, when we were training what to do when someone tries to strangle you when you're standing up against a wall, we did it a few times to check that we knew what we were doing (and that yes, that it does hurt to be slammed into a wall) then watched the rest of the guys do it over and over again while we did the sane thing and stopped before getting hurt. The whole night was various ways of countering grabbing attacks from a simple lunge at you to strangling and grabbing your arms or even trying to put a full nelson on you. Getting out of the bear hugs was rather painful since your muscles get crushed from pressing against your opponent and then crushed some more when you're the attacker since you have to try to hold on with all your strength (M. and I believe in quality over quantity). Consequently, my inner and outer biceps are suffering from deep and not so deep bruises (getting my blood pressure taken today was insanely painful), but at least I know how to fight off a full nelson.

Today at physical therapy, I was chatting with one of the workers there who is as much of a geek as I am so we were jumping from topics like comics (Batman, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion etc) to movies (Labyrinth, Hulk etc.) etc.
We were talking about some older show, and he was like, "You're old enough to remember that? You're younger than me, right?"
And I was like, "Well, how old are you?"
"22."
I chuckled. "Ah, well, I'm 25."
"No way. I thought you were younger."
"If it makes you feel better, I still get hit on by high school students."

Not doing all that much else atm. Dad and I have been watching Top Gear and Dexter and Merlin as per usual. Still working on my college essay because all my drafts suck. Sending off a bunch of packages tomorrow for Christmas. Other than that, I read Undercover by Beth Kephart. While I found the language beautiful, and it was nice to see good poetry in a book for once (mainstream fantasy makes you forget), I found the overall story rather boring. I also read Jinx by Meg Cabot which felt a lot like the sequel to a novel she didn't want to write. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. The characters were well introduced and the plot, while predictable, was well crafted. The other book I read was Wheetzie Bat which is a bit like reading a feast of words. The slang and tone and flow were a lot of fun. I liked how short it was as well.
Bujinkan last night was relaxing. At first I had to do a bit of manoeuvring to try to get a partner who I wasn't going to kill (ie, annoying partner from the time before last), and ended up in a group of three with a guy who thinks he knows everything and my friend M. But then another guy got there and since women have cooties, M. and I were left to train together. This wasn't a bad thing though since we got to relax and not deal with testosterone for the evening. For example, when we were training what to do when someone tries to strangle you when you're standing up against a wall, we did it a few times to check that we knew what we were doing (and that yes, that it does hurt to be slammed into a wall) then watched the rest of the guys do it over and over again while we did the sane thing and stopped before getting hurt. The whole night was various ways of countering grabbing attacks from a simple lunge at you to strangling and grabbing your arms or even trying to put a full nelson on you. Getting out of the bear hugs was rather painful since your muscles get crushed from pressing against your opponent and then crushed some more when you're the attacker since you have to try to hold on with all your strength (M. and I believe in quality over quantity). Consequently, my inner and outer biceps are suffering from deep and not so deep bruises (getting my blood pressure taken today was insanely painful), but at least I know how to fight off a full nelson.

Today at physical therapy, I was chatting with one of the workers there who is as much of a geek as I am so we were jumping from topics like comics (Batman, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion etc) to movies (Labyrinth, Hulk etc.) etc.
We were talking about some older show, and he was like, "You're old enough to remember that? You're younger than me, right?"
And I was like, "Well, how old are you?"
"22."
I chuckled. "Ah, well, I'm 25."
"No way. I thought you were younger."
"If it makes you feel better, I still get hit on by high school students."

Not doing all that much else atm. Dad and I have been watching Top Gear and Dexter and Merlin as per usual. Still working on my college essay because all my drafts suck. Sending off a bunch of packages tomorrow for Christmas. Other than that, I read Undercover by Beth Kephart. While I found the language beautiful, and it was nice to see good poetry in a book for once (mainstream fantasy makes you forget), I found the overall story rather boring. I also read Jinx by Meg Cabot which felt a lot like the sequel to a novel she didn't want to write. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. The characters were well introduced and the plot, while predictable, was well crafted. The other book I read was Wheetzie Bat which is a bit like reading a feast of words. The slang and tone and flow were a lot of fun. I liked how short it was as well.
I just had my seventh person in three days tell me I look about 18 or 19. When I tell them I'm 25, they look really shocked. I could have done without being carded though.

Anyway, the Ravenwood Motel was actually quite nice providing you don't mind paper thin walls (I have a sound machine, so I don't, and it actually got really quiet at night). It's a cute little motel with very friendly owners who will talk your ear off, nice showers and towels, excessive cleanliness (and I don't just mean for a strip motel), and little quirks like putting up the flags of the states or countries of whoever is staying there outside the hotel (it was weird to wake up and see the New Jersey flag on a flagpole outside our door). The only real problem I could see with the place was that there were no air conditioners for summer, which may or may not be a problem that close to the Pacific, but oh well. Anyway, turns out we spent the night in the Yurok Reservation which explains the golden bears guarding the road.

From there, we went to one of the privately owned redwood trees you can drive through. There was no one else there so we got lots of pics. We then headed into the actual forest which is divided up into lots of confusing little sections. We ended up stopping in the Prairie Creek area and asking a ranger where the best place to go on an hour long, not so strenuous hike. She recommended Brown Creek trail at mile marker 129 and it was perfect. The trail wound through a valley, with only a few real steep parts. It was early morning so the mist was still being burned off and the sunlight only touched down on the ground occasionally though you could see it dappling the upper parts of the trees. Many of the trees were huge and everything was covered in moss and ferns. There were lots of trunks on the ground (many, several feet higher than my head), decaying and becoming homes for ferns and beetles. I saw a little brown frog near the creek, and as they woke up, you could gradually hear a number of birds, plus leaves falling into the very noisy ferns. The needles/leaves when you stepped off the trail were feet deep and springy under foot. They coated the trail in a reddish tint and helped disguise the numerous roots that covered the path. The trail was 1.7 miles one way, so by the time we completed the 3.4 miles, the sun had risen enough to give us very different pictures from all the sunlight penetrating the groves. It was truly and awesome hike and well worth my blisters. I recommend it to anyone.

From there, we went hunting lunch and ended up in Trinidad (there's no where to eat in the park as far as we could tell). Trinidad is on the coast and a gorgeous blue harbour with rocks and strong winds. We had lunch on the pier. The fish and chips were okay, though I've had better, and the view was beautiful. We then had a long drive along 299 to get back to route 5 and our hotel. 299 is a very windy road through the Sierras so even though it's short on miles, it's long on trip duration. Still, points along it were beautiful and I kinda wish I'd been driving when we hit the really really twisty parts *pout* We got into our hotel around 6ish and were offered free beer and wine and nibbles. Yes. Life is good. For dinner, after Dad took the car to get an oil change, we went to Casa Ramos an authentic Mexican restaurant that was nearby. We don't really have any good Mexican restaurants in NJ that I know of, so it was hard to pick something from the menu since there were so many things I hadn't tried before. I finally settled on flautas or a shredded beef and pork stuffed into a fried tortilla. The guacamole that came with it was the only guacamole I've ever liked.

In other news, I finished reading American Gods on the drive today (brilliant as usual, though I'm still not sure about that detour into drowning with the clunker... was that cryptic enough for non-readers?*grin*). I also finished Coredelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I dearly wish I could find the other Miles books to read. She has an interesting writing method which basically covers almost every moment you could want to see in a character's life. This might not appeal to some, but I enjoy it when an author covers all the little things (when it comes to human interactions at least). Will be starting the Persian Boy next. It also occurs to me that I never mentioned I read Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light on this trip. It was a pretty amazing book that showed rather than told, and wove a tale half backwards that made perfect sense. I was very impressed, though the first chapters before the first set of flashbacks lag due to you not knowing or caring about the characters. I always remember Zelazny for Chronicles of Amber which is nowhere near the quality of this book. What a treat!

This is, btw, the last chance for any of you California people to email me your phone number for a meet up. We head to San Francisco tomorrow.
I just had my seventh person in three days tell me I look about 18 or 19. When I tell them I'm 25, they look really shocked. I could have done without being carded though.

Anyway, the Ravenwood Motel was actually quite nice providing you don't mind paper thin walls (I have a sound machine, so I don't, and it actually got really quiet at night). It's a cute little motel with very friendly owners who will talk your ear off, nice showers and towels, excessive cleanliness (and I don't just mean for a strip motel), and little quirks like putting up the flags of the states or countries of whoever is staying there outside the hotel (it was weird to wake up and see the New Jersey flag on a flagpole outside our door). The only real problem I could see with the place was that there were no air conditioners for summer, which may or may not be a problem that close to the Pacific, but oh well. Anyway, turns out we spent the night in the Yurok Reservation which explains the golden bears guarding the road.

From there, we went to one of the privately owned redwood trees you can drive through. There was no one else there so we got lots of pics. We then headed into the actual forest which is divided up into lots of confusing little sections. We ended up stopping in the Prairie Creek area and asking a ranger where the best place to go on an hour long, not so strenuous hike. She recommended Brown Creek trail at mile marker 129 and it was perfect. The trail wound through a valley, with only a few real steep parts. It was early morning so the mist was still being burned off and the sunlight only touched down on the ground occasionally though you could see it dappling the upper parts of the trees. Many of the trees were huge and everything was covered in moss and ferns. There were lots of trunks on the ground (many, several feet higher than my head), decaying and becoming homes for ferns and beetles. I saw a little brown frog near the creek, and as they woke up, you could gradually hear a number of birds, plus leaves falling into the very noisy ferns. The needles/leaves when you stepped off the trail were feet deep and springy under foot. They coated the trail in a reddish tint and helped disguise the numerous roots that covered the path. The trail was 1.7 miles one way, so by the time we completed the 3.4 miles, the sun had risen enough to give us very different pictures from all the sunlight penetrating the groves. It was truly and awesome hike and well worth my blisters. I recommend it to anyone.

From there, we went hunting lunch and ended up in Trinidad (there's no where to eat in the park as far as we could tell). Trinidad is on the coast and a gorgeous blue harbour with rocks and strong winds. We had lunch on the pier. The fish and chips were okay, though I've had better, and the view was beautiful. We then had a long drive along 299 to get back to route 5 and our hotel. 299 is a very windy road through the Sierras so even though it's short on miles, it's long on trip duration. Still, points along it were beautiful and I kinda wish I'd been driving when we hit the really really twisty parts *pout* We got into our hotel around 6ish and were offered free beer and wine and nibbles. Yes. Life is good. For dinner, after Dad took the car to get an oil change, we went to Casa Ramos an authentic Mexican restaurant that was nearby. We don't really have any good Mexican restaurants in NJ that I know of, so it was hard to pick something from the menu since there were so many things I hadn't tried before. I finally settled on flautas or a shredded beef and pork stuffed into a fried tortilla. The guacamole that came with it was the only guacamole I've ever liked.

In other news, I finished reading American Gods on the drive today (brilliant as usual, though I'm still not sure about that detour into drowning with the clunker... was that cryptic enough for non-readers?*grin*). I also finished Coredelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I dearly wish I could find the other Miles books to read. She has an interesting writing method which basically covers almost every moment you could want to see in a character's life. This might not appeal to some, but I enjoy it when an author covers all the little things (when it comes to human interactions at least). Will be starting the Persian Boy next. It also occurs to me that I never mentioned I read Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light on this trip. It was a pretty amazing book that showed rather than told, and wove a tale half backwards that made perfect sense. I was very impressed, though the first chapters before the first set of flashbacks lag due to you not knowing or caring about the characters. I always remember Zelazny for Chronicles of Amber which is nowhere near the quality of this book. What a treat!

This is, btw, the last chance for any of you California people to email me your phone number for a meet up. We head to San Francisco tomorrow.
We had a nice breakfast at the B&B this morning then set out for Lynn Valley Canyon Park. Driving through Vancouver is a bit of a pain, I have to say. I'm amazed at how much traffic the city has at all hours. Anyway, we made it to the park and crossed the suspension bridge (very fun and bouncy), and hiked down, along the creek to twin falls. The scenery was beautiful. The park is a temperate rainforest and moss covers everything from the tree stumps to the rocks. Moss hangs in sheets from branches, and everything was a beautiful green. It drizzled and rained all the time we were out there, so we were a bit damp, but the scenery made up for it. At Twin Falls, I know it's out of season, but I saw a salmon trying to swim up the creek. I was astonished to see one. From there, we hiked back to the park's cafe and had scones and vanilla red bush tea for lunch before freshening up for another hike. This time we went upstream to see the 30 ft pool (which had a gorgeous view up stream to a rock lined waterfall providing you were willing to risk taking a dip climbing out into the pool over slippery rocks) and hiked up hill to a level area, then down hill again and across the suspension bridge. By then, we were tired and our feet hurt, so we went to a store in town to shop for snacks. We got some Tim Tams and Dad got an Oh Henry bar and we tried a Nanaimo bar (very tasty, like a brownie crossed with a fruit cake and chocolate and cream). After that, we made our way through the afternoon's traffic to drive through Chinatown which was very cool looking. Then it was only a matter of getting back to our B&B. Once there, I settled in to watch ep. 4 of True Blood (Eric was introduced! I love the way they keep pulling lines from the books too. It keeps everyone in character.) in the common room, and read fanfic and more of American Gods.

I should note, btw, that the B&B cook and one of the Swiss guests here this morning thought I was a teenager, and was shocked that I'm 25 *L*
.