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Monday, February 9th, 2009
8:33 pm - I'm oraganizing a prison break.
It's come to my attention that my return to the States is a lot more temporary than I thought it would be. Granted, I knew I'd be going to Japan again, but didn't fully anticipate the strictly get-in-and-get-out attitude I'd be adopting once I got back home. For the most part, I'm over reverse culture shock and the feeling of home not feeling quite so right, and not being apart of what I got so used to over the past several months. But it's not like things are perfect--the depression is still there, it just surfaces in random pangs, and when it does it's really overwhelming. I can deal with it, and it's not anything tremendously serious, but it does mean something.

I really just need to get back. I love America, but I have such a loose attachment here right now. No one wants to hear what I have to say about my experiences, and I'm tired of any conversation about them turning into me listening to whatever topic the other person decides to switch to. I knew that going into it, but honestly, I'm ready to move on. A lot of what I am looking forward to in life are things that I can only do in Japan, and so I need to take my energy back over there.

I'm applying to be a coordinator for a short-term study abroad program in Japan during the summer. I'm really lagging with the application, but hopefully I land it and can scratch the itch a little. After that, unless something unexpected presents itself, it looks like I'll be doing the whole English-teaching monkey thing. Right now is not a good time to do JET, it's being phased out in a few prefectures, and there are other problems with it, but it's honestly a more sound program than Interac and all that other eikaiwa jazz, at least at this point. So I'll try my hand at that and see what I can make happen. I'm actually pretty excited for it, a lot more than I should be, but I actually have something to look forward to, and things beyond that as well. I'm incredibly optimistic about it, and not blindly either. I have a very good feeling in my bones about this.

Outside of that, life has pretty much slowed down. School has becoming more boring and tedious than ever before, although I'm taking a neat little class on Tokyo which, aside from the complete incompetency of the professor, is a great medium for all that bound up Japan energy I have. I listen to a lot of music, but GreeeeN and 九州男 continue to blow everything else out of the water without a fair comparison. I foolishly thought my return to America would slow down my drinking, but instead have only found the type of bloody misfortune and ruin that lurks at the end of a bottle.

But I'm completely happy with that.

P.S. Add The Last Samurai to the list of all time great drunk movies...SAKKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEE!

current mood: thoughtful
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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
11:17 pm - "Home"
So, my flight back to LA has been delayed two hours and because of this terrible misfortune, I am forced to wait in Narita airport, drinking and surfing the internet while everyone else gets a head start back home. Bleak though my outlook may be, I sense that Steven "Mancock" Hausdorfer will find a way to prevail.

It's incredibly difficult to articulate what I am feeling right now. Aside from a two month break between semesters, I have spent the last seven months or so in Japan. During my stay here, I've met so many wonderful people, seen things that have absolutely wowed me, and just done so much. I can't help but feel attached to everything here. I am leaving a tremendously important part of my life behind me and although I will be able to get back glimpses of it, I can never rekindle the experience in it's entirety, and that is deeply saddening.

But it doesn't end or change anything. Those friends are still there. They are people I can still meet, both in Japan and in the US. I have friends all over the world who have shared an incredible experience with me, we have all become richer for it and I think that's the greatest thing in the world right now.

I'm really sorry for the sappy post, but it's as close as I can get to saying how I feel right now. I'm not looking at this as separation from anybody, because they're all there and that makes me able to move forward without worry. I received some heartfelt letters from very close friends earlier, and I bawled like a baby. But that's because I am so grateful to have those kind of people around.

Now it's time to get back home and get readjusted. I will eat tacos. I will eat many of them.

current mood: calm
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Saturday, September 27th, 2008
2:15 pm - Straight to the Top
So the time has come to give myself that extra little alcohol-inspired push that I need to keep the ball rolling.

I've decided to enter a Japanese speech contest at TIU for foreign students, meaning that I will most likely be taking on a horde of psychotic Koreans, Chinese, and Mongolians. Oh the Mongolians. My God they will kill us all and make trophies of our skulls.

To add even more nuts to my nuttiness, I am going to take the JLPT level 1 upon my return to the states. The studying required to pass will either kill me or propel me to universal dictatorship, but I feel confident that I am ready enough to handle it.

Otherwise, Japan is going very well. I always say this and never do it, but a proper update is coming. But honestly, can you blame me for not being on the fucking computer?

current mood: determined
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Thursday, September 4th, 2008
3:28 pm - asdfsadfsaf
And this just innnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Blade of the Immortal just got really fucking baller.

Shira just tore the house down, in the best way possible and in the best chapter yet.

Also, Japanese computers blow. I dread having to type out a ten minutes Japanese speech on one, if only because it means spending the amount of time it takes to get anything done on one.

And they ask me why I drink so much in Japan.

Ichiban hangaku all day tomorrow. I will no doubt get raped like always, but even knowing that will not keep me from my drink.

current mood: excited
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2:22 pm - Ahhhhhhhhhhh
I forgot how much I missed speaking Japanese all day and going to Izakaya.

current mood: content
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008
3:21 pm - I am the Jeff Kent of JSP
Fuck all that garbage I said in the last post. The second I got on the plane I was more pumped for anything than I've been in my life. (I was also nearly molested by a gay flight attendant)

I will update more frequently and in full detail later, but for now I am back in Japan and everything is top-notch.

But I have to take a three hour long Japanese placement test...again.

Shit is going down.

current mood: mellow
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Monday, August 25th, 2008
2:48 pm - やっと見つけた明日へ
So it's that time of year again, I'm getting on a plane for Japan tomorrow at 12:45 and won't be back until December 17th.

Of course, I'm a totally different person heading over there than I was last semester. I've seen a lot, learned a lot, and just went through enough stuff to change the way I think about things. But I still can't shake this feeling of worry as I head over. I'm a little frustrated with my inability to do so, but for some reason I still have this confidence issue even though I know everything's going to be great, having done all of this before. Once I get in the air I'll be fine, it's just this illusion that I'm on my own from here on out, when I know that's totally not the case.

So I'm try to adopt the right attitude for it. I know exactly what it is, but I can't find a proper way to articulate it. It's just something I have to force, and the excitement will just flow from there.

So I'm just going to try and enjoy every step of the way and keep my head on straight. It takes courage, so I might need a drink or two, but I'm looking forward to it.

And yeah, I'll try and post those Japan stories from over there. Otherwise, here's looking at you Japan.


And ohhhhh God I needs me some Bar Old Fashioned, Karaoke All, nomihoudai izakaya, and freshmen with cute feet.

current mood: stressed
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Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
5:00 pm - 現在の日本の政治は、問題だらけで、将来が心配だ。
Man, I need to get back to Japan so much it hurts. I can hardly focus, everything just seems like a distraction right now. I don't know what to put my energy into, or how to pour things out.

Oh well. Crazy Japan stories tomorrow, hopefully. Once I get my vision straight.

current mood: indescribable
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Thursday, June 26th, 2008
3:09 pm - Beer Break
So, having safely returned from Japan, I find myself in a complete surreal state of mind.

That first semester was an extravaganza of Japanese speaking, karaokeing, alcoholic dementia, getting a handjob, getting hit by a car, taking off my pants at inappropriate times with disturbing frequency, and just flat-out fun. Words would do poor service in any attempt on my part to articulate what a great time I had. Obviously, as is typical of the weirdo in me, my main goals were to make a load of Japanese friends and make strides in the language I have studied maniacally for the past five years. Both of these goals were accomplished, but because I am returning next semester, are still in progress and so I choose to write about something else instead.

The program I studied under, JSP, provided me with an experience I hadn't really known before in Japan. Of course I had spent a lot of time there before, but not with a daily routine and lifestyle I was forced to adapt to. As a result, even though my priority was to get involved as much as possible with Japanese people, a lot of camaraderie was formed between the JSP students. It's a strange feeling, waking up in my own bed and knowing I can't just walk out the door to the lounge and see everyone I've been hanging out with for four months. I can't go on a beer run, go to karaoke, or just BS around with what have turned into some of the closest friends I've had. I was a total mess when I left for Japan, but a group of people like this is what got me on track. So I'm very grateful for the experience.

Part of the problem, of course, is the basis of reverse culture shock. I myself as a person have changed, but things back home have stayed exactly the same. This is what makes my return so frustrating--I went through a gigantic experience that I can't possibly communicate to anyone. Of course people will say "How was Japan? Tell me all about it!" But all they really want you to say is "It was good." They'll tolerate maybe a story or two, but for the most part no one really cares. I don't blame them, quite frankly, because there's no way they could completely appreciate what I wanted to say unless they shared that experience. The past four months were fantastic, but the experience can't be rekindled, relived, or revisited in any capacity, that in itself is saddening. However, I have a hell of a lot of memories, most of em good, and it's reassuring to know that I have those to count on. So I know I look like a giant emo pussy in this post, but I think I'll be ok. Something that was really imporant to me just ended and now I am regrouping, that's normal. America is strange right now for me, but things will all work out pretty well soon. I just wanted to take a minute to remember the feelings that have made me so happy these last few months. Good times.

Oh yeah, now I can eat tacos.

Anyway, expect a few stories here, because if I write em well enough you'll listen. The next couple posts will be detailed accounts of the Steven Gets a Handjob and Possibly STD and Steven Gets Hit by a Car stories. They are quite hilarious, quite simply because nothing on even a relative level of normality can happen to me.

current mood: weird
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
2:43 pm

And then returning to Japan for the fall semester.

But yeah, I head back to Western Civilization tomorrow evening, and arrive at LAX around noon on the 25th. Then seeing Tom Petty the same night. Best welcoming I could ask for.

Japan has been one wild ride. Anything you have heard from me about it doesn't even scratch the surface of my wildest stories. I will make appropriate entries once I get settled back in at home.

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Thursday, April 17th, 2008
10:23 am - NOES
I am fucking cursed.


current mood: frustrated
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Sunday, March 16th, 2008
10:56 am - I'm coming for you, Pakkun.
Sooooo last night Shiina Ringo and Amuro Namie were about one hundred feet away from me, and I saw Asian Kung-Fu Generation perform, plus a bunch of other artists. I've only been here a week and I am already having more fun than I thought was possible. It was funny, I always thought that if I was in the same room as Shiina Ringo I'd orgasm. Variety kinda spoiled it, or maybe the fact that Kusuo has leapfrogged all Japanese artists for me did it, but either way, it was incredible. I had no idea she or any other big names would be there. Or that Crystal Kay really can't sing. I actually have way too much caffeine in me to articulate much about what my life here is like, but I will do so soon. Just know that I am completely free of worry and trouble, that I feel absolutely wonderful and satisfied with the friends and experiences I've had so far, and that my Japanese is fucking baller. Except I have a ton of homework every week.

current mood: giddy
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Wednesday, March 5th, 2008
3:33 pm - And my first post from Japan is...
You put the boom boom into my heart,
You send my soul sky high when your lovin' starts.
Jitterbug into my brain,
Goes bang bang bang till my feet do the same.

But something's bugging me
Something ain't right
My best friend told me
What you did last night.

Left me sleeping
In my bed.
I was dreaming
But I should've been with you instead.

Wake me up before you go go,
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo-yo.
Wake me up before you go go,
I don't wanna miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go,
'Cause I'm not planning on going solo.
Wake me up before you go go,
Take me dancing tonite.
I wanna hit that high...

You get the gray skies outta my way,
You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day.
Turn a bright spark into a flame,
My beats per minute never been the same.

'Cause you're my lady,
I'm your fool.
Makes me crazy
When you act so cruel.

C'mon baby,
Let's not fight.
We'll go dancing
And everything will be alright.

Cuddle up baby,
Move in tight.
We'll go dancing tomorrow night.

It's cold out there
But it's warm in bed.
They can dance,
We'll stay home instead.

Yeah I've gone insane. I'll make sense of it later, but just know I am kicking ass over here!

current mood: weird
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Monday, March 3rd, 2008
6:25 pm - Refreshed
Never ever doubt the amount of good a few close friends can do for you. I've never really had to put too much thought into it, but no matter what kind of hardship you're facing or how bleak the future looks, sticking it out on your own is a bad idea. I don't want to sound over-dramatic, but if you have someone to reach out to, show no hesitation, because that's totally what they are there for. =)

So I leave for Japan tomorrow morning. The state I am in is nowhere near what a person of reasonable character and sanity would call "prepared". I have not packed, I'm feeling that weird homesick-lonely-nervousness, and haven't really focused on the idea that I'm going to be gone for a while and separated from what I'm used to. I know that sounds like an exaggeration since I've spent so much time in Japan before, and after a couple days I'll never want to return, but it's just a natural bump in the rode I always feel right before I leave. I'm excited to develop my ability in the language, to understand the culture better, and to live life with a sense of adventure and all that junk.

The first thing I'll do after I brave Immigration, money exchange, and meet my incompetent supervisor--VENDING MACHINE TIME BABY! You have no fucking idea how strangely excited I am to attack those things again. All the crazy nostalgic sights and sounds that I think about every once in a while, just by remembering that those are within reach makes me feel energized. For the time being, I'm a bit of an emotional jigsaw right now. So I appreciate any contact kept with me while living out my alcohol and onsen dominated life in Japan. Otherwise, toodles, and try not to die while I'm gone. I'll keep you posted.

current mood: worried/excited
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Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
4:14 pm - Maaannn
My head is pretty much going a mile a minute right now, in every single direction. It's really hard to focus on any one thing, especially knowing I only have until Tuesday evening remaining in this country (at least for the next three and a half months. I had to wait a million years in line to get my Visa, and just picked that up. I'm not sure what to do next, who to talk to, in order to prepare for leaving for that period of time. It's going to be longer than it seems right now, so I have to make sure I make the transition pretty smooth. I want to see a looooooot of people and just have a good time with them, but I don't have many days left. It's really weird. I want the refreshing experience and a total break from the routine over here, but I also want that connection. Soooo for the next few months, expect this to basically be a Japan blog where I come to unwind and get a breath of (English) fresh air. Oblige me and I'll buy you a cool T-shirt in Japan!

Warning: The shirt might have some offensive perversion of English on it, but at least it'll look kinda cool.

current mood: hopeful
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Thursday, February 14th, 2008
10:36 pm - Devil May Stupid Dialogue and Music
Today was a day of manly respect and virile support. It was actually not much of that, but that's how I remember it for some bizarre reason. I really just wanted to to note, before I get to sleep, that JSA is incredible and I'm lucky to have such great friends. It's a really warm feeling in those girly parts of mine that I don't like to talk about when I walk into a meeting late and get mobbed with greetings and sincere advice.

I was also reading through a "guide book" about my study abroad program earlier. Apparently, in Japan, there are four seasons. Did you know this? I sure didn't.

And Tom Petty tickets arrived in the mail today. In June, I pretty much step off the plane, and then head straight to the concert. The transition from a semester of intense studying/repairing my unstable psyche in Japan, to drunken plane flight, to Tom Petty should be interesting. Scientific inquiry has led me to believe that it's a feeling akin to placing one's penis in a vagina, then into a rewinding VCR, and then into a bigger vagina (I might change this to smaller vagina, upon further scientific inquiry). I'm going with my Dad, because he's the only person I know that appreciates Tom Petty. Well, other than Zack, but he is Jewish, and my family forbids that.

I have no idea how I am going to follow my beloved Dodgers. In the meantime, drunken karaoke:

current mood: bored
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Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
1:56 pm - Yam Evolution
From the Wikipedia entry regarding the city in Japan I will live in, for the next four months starting March 4th:

"Kawagoe is famous for its sweet potatoes, and on the local "Candy Street" one can find such treats as sweet potato chips, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato coffee, and even sweet potato beer, brewed at the local Coedo Brewery."

It would be naive of me to suggest that I have a choice in the maitenance of my dietary intake here. Given the fanatic persuasion with which the Japanese impose even the most toxic food upon foreign visitors, it seems all too likely that I am doomed to an entirely new state of despair--a pitiful condition soon to be defined as yammage. In face of this terrifying fate, I am making no defense for myself. I bid farewell to all my companions who have supported me throughout my journey in life, and even to my mortal enemies who have provided motivation and amusement. The Steven Andrew Hausdorfer once known to you is dying, and will soon be reincarnated in the form of a giant Lovecraftian blob of starch.

Silly, I know! But there's actually a small nugget of interesting truth in the garbage I just typed out. Y'see, learning Japanese is a much bigger animal than simply being able to express yourself in another language, and knowing all that annoying kanji, grammar, syntax, vocab, etc. It means that you really need to learn to subdue everything you know about expressing yourself in your own language, because simply translating what you want to say to someone all the time amounts to flat-out failure. You're forced to use what you've learned and your judgment of the situation to find the best possible thing to say, the phrase that will best keep the flow of culture and conversation going. It's a very forced, contrived, and deliberate process. Among learners of Japanese, that's something just about everyone agress upon. It frustrates me to no end, but it's also something that makes me enjoy learning it! And believe it or not, it actually goes beyond me being a masochist. Having that kind of obstacle forces you pay more attention to what you're saying, what's being said--it gets you more involved in the experience and makes the language something bigger than a tool. If you do it just right, it's immensely satisfying, and makes for great friends. Plus, breaking the rules every now and then can be refreshing. And that's why I'm resigned to accepting the potato-dominated lifestyle that lies ahead of me. I get to wear an artificial smile and accept what I don't want to. I am Yamasaurus Rex, I am the soul-drinking Yam Ram God, and I consume all.

That probably seems stupid, boring, and not much worth mentioning. It probably isn't, but you must understand, I'm a bit bored here. I'm kinda dissapointed with myself. I thought I'd spend most of my uber long break studying, seeing all the people I need to see, and doing all the things I should do before leaving for a while. With a whole month left though, it's not a big deal I suppose. I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping as much good stuff as possible happens to me before I go. I want to head off knowing things went right. If not...eh, I'll just get drunk on the flight.

current mood: bored
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Sunday, February 3rd, 2008
7:27 pm - 18-1




current mood: dorky
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
I finally saw There Will Be Blood yesterday, and as the French say, it was le fucking awesome (note: this line is read to best affect if you say it out loud with a outrageous French accent, I just tried it and was greatly amused. You now understand my sad position in life). I really don't understand how anything other than this and No Country For Old Men can win best picture. I have to admit, I'm not one for pornographic cinematography fests like Children of Men, but There Will Be Blood is probably the most gorgeous film shot by anyone other than Sergio Leone. It's a long film, and while I was watching it I was never really awestruck with the feeling of it being awesome. But that's not because there are no individually awesome moments. It's because the movie does what so few do, and that's impose itself on you. I hardly thought of anything else until the credits started rolling. Daniel Day-Lewis gives as good a performance as anyone ever has. That sounds like hyperbole but after seeing it, there's no way to disagree. Paul Dano is surprisingly frightening. I'm gushing over this a little too much, but the movie just stayed with me. It also helps that I saw it in the perfect mood. I'm in a writing mood, an acting mood, a thinking mood. I tried writing again last night and it went pretty well. I think I'll start pounding away at something soon.

IN OTHER NEWS! I have emerged from my cocoon of momentary emo as a triumphant butterfly of uncanny charisma, drunkenness, and Japanophilia. All I needed was a little booze-fueled R&R with thirty Japanese people in Big Bear. It was a great trip that got me feeling better, bonding and cutting loose and all that sentimental stuff I suck at talking about. The point is, I established myself as an all-time great at drunken Jenga. So legendary was my against-all-odds-comeback win that I am reminded of it on a daily basis with bows of respect. Although, it is quite possibly just a fearful reaction after everyone was exposed to my penis.

And the other night, I went out with two girls for Korean BBQ, karaoke, and quite peculiar Korean coffee. The visceral onslaught of song that I unleashed, however, was only practice for my next planned outing of...Korean BBQ and karaoke. I lead a simple life, but it consists of meat, alcohol, and music, so I have very few complaints about it.

It's important to note that this past weekend, I attempted and successfully completed the merciless and stomach-defiling "game" that is Power Hour. Each minute seemed painfully quicker in coming than the last, and in my drunken stupor, when I thought I could hold no more, it was over. I looked around the room, much the same way the victorious Gladiator does the arena, and surveyed the damage. Japanese corpses, everywhere. I can't quite articulate the scene or feeling to you properly. Just know that I felt as if I had killed a man. To add to the surreal atmosphere of everything, one of the quitters had started blaring the Chocobo music from Final Fantasy. After stumbling around aimlessly, looking for anything resembling a comforting soul, imagine my surprise when I went downstairs and saw the savagery of the only other survivor of it all:


And I leave for study abroad in a little over a month. I really feel like I should be doing something.

current mood: calm
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
9:35 pm - Better the devil you know than the angel you don't!
It was a painfully long time in coming, but I have finally turned 21, and my liver is not pleased with that at all. You'd think that having the Colts suffer a sickening playoff loss on my birthday would drive me to suicide, but I sort of felt that it was predestined. Tom Petty is performing the half-time show at this year's Superbowl. Meaning, that if the Colts were to reach the Superbowl, Peyton Manning would be in the same place as Tom Petty at the very same time. For my two heroes, and probably the two greatest men in the world to meet under such epic circumstances, there is no doubt that the end result would be that of great and explosive harm for galactic harmony. Unfortunately, my 21st birthday spawned a similarly agonizing result.

After spending an entire day recuperating from excessive celebration (15 yard penalty, btw), I find myself in spooky physical pain. It's nothing I haven't felt before, but this time it has come in tandem with a mysterious lack of confidence. I honestly don't know what it is. Everyone has those rough hormonal spells where they almost willingly fall into a faux-emo attitude, but I swear this isn't one of those. I think yesterday's titanic hangover definitely had something to do with it, but the idea of it carrying on this long doesn't seem right. I keep hopping from the first episode of one J-drama to the next, one song to the next, just hoping I can get my head straight. The more I look at it, I think it's just frustration that's mounted up. Little things--like being laughed at or asked "what are you going to do with that?" when I tell someone my major. The fact that I really need to go out and grab some internship experience but don't have the time for it right now because of study abroad. Being single for 21 years doesn't get me down, because it didn't for 20, or 19, or whatever. But I'll throw that in there because it covers more ground. I don't even look at any of it as my fault, which is what upsets me, because if it were, I'd at least be able to take responsibility for it. I really hope this doesn't make me sound like I'm depressed, because I'm not. It's nothing like that, I just feel...bottled up. It's just knowing that there are things I have to do, but can't necessarily get done in one instant. That's probably the most frustrating feeling there is. Knowing you have to bide your time and wait. For a lot of things. I just want to get something done. Something that I can put to my name as a win over the idea I'm wasting my time. I just hate writing about how "one day I'm gonna do it!" and then...not doing it. I know I'm on the right track, it's just the waiting that gets to me. It's the HAAAAAAARRRRRRDEEEEESSSSSSTTTTT PARRRRRRRRT.

But that's as much as I'll say about that, because I'm really not as down as that makes me sound. I think I'm just tired and need a little reset. I had a great birthday with some of my dearest lovefellows. I can now order booze in public establishments without worry. I am going on a skitrip even though I can't ski, and then I am going to spend four months in Japan. Hopefully in that eclectic mix of events, some other good stuff pops up. Until then I'm going to wait, but I'll try my best to do it happily.

In other news, the Yakuza Papers is BOMB! So much shooting, stabbing, drinking, and funny accents! I cannot get enough of this, and so I'm saving the last disc for an appropriate time. I have also acquired Yebisu beer, thanks to my legendary endurance and connections, and it has found a comfy home in my fridge. There's probably a bunch of other stuff I should be writing bout, like what I exactly did on my birthday aside from shortening my lifespan. I keep forgetting to go into details about all the interesting stuff. Oh well, next time I'll either post some real writing or do a Tom Petty entry. Probably depends on how much I've had to drink.

current mood: sore
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