28 April 2010

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

Well, viewers, the word is in: Elliott is officially totaled.

This morning, I left for work early so as to stop by the body shop on my way in. I only had a couple of things to retrieve from Elliott - a set of jumper cables and a tire iron - but it was worth going to be able to say goodbye to the car I'd had and enjoyed since my senior year in high school.

Elliott was not in great shape when I arrived. Both bumpers were gone, notes were written on him in car chalk, his tail-lights had been pulled out and put in the trunk... Were we having a funeral, I would have asked for a closed-casket viewing. It was depressing to see him like that, and his untimely demise really struck home. Truth be told, I had been considering replacing Elliott for a while. We had grown apart over the years and not together. It wasn't quite time for us to go our separate ways, but that was in our near future. It didn't make losing him any less sad. Still, I didn't have time to linger, so I gave Elliott his final rights (stole his floor mats) and went on my way to work.

In the end, I like to think that Elliott is moving on to bigger and better things. He's doing something I can't - taking over other, in-need-of-repair cars one infiltrating piece at a time. When the Mercury Sables of the world rise up and try to overcome their masters, I can rest assured that Elliott is contributing to the movement.

26 April 2010

An Update

With nearly a year of silence on a blog, I find myself wondering how far back one goes in order to bring everyone up to speed, or how necessary such an act is. Still, I feel the urge to at least bullet-point my last few months:

  • After leaving Japan, I spent a couple of weeks traveling with friends in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. It was harrowing, glorious, fun, and I can't believe I did it.
  • In September, one of my best friends got married. I stood on his side at the wedding, which was a real honor, and managed to not cry, which was a real surprise.
  • I also moved to NC in September, and started living with my best friend from high school, which has been one of the best rooming situations I've ever had.
  • In October, my maternal grandfather died. He was 93, and had lived a very full life. I'm really happy I got to see him a lot before he passed, as such couldn't have happened in previous years.
  • I also met and started dating my boyfriend, Stephen, in October. He's a computer science graduate student, a complete nerd, and absolutely wonderful.
  • I spent Christmas with my family and New Year's with friends for the first time in years, and it was glorious.
  • I started working for Gymboree Play and Music in January, and am still working there - basically, I get to play with little kids most of the time. It was, is, a big step up from working at Old Navy, the only other job I'd been able to find until that point.
  • Stephen and I took a trip to New Orleans at the end of February to visit his alma mater. It was one of the better trips I've taken in a while, and the food was amazing (as one might suspect).
  • I turned 25 in March, meaning I'm good for my quarter-life crisis. It'll start any day now. Stephen and I went to a tea ceremony to celebrate, and I spoke Japanese to native speakers for the first time since I left Japan.
  • Finally, around 5 days ago, I was rear-ended while driving home from work. Though neither I nor the other driver was injured, my car wouldn't start after the accident. I'm fairly sure Elliott has earned his parking pass for the Big Lot in the Sky, which will make my next week of car shopping really "fun."
Is that all too big for a nutshell, or did I fit it all inside?

A Reappropriation

Though I'd originally intended for this blog to be dedicated to my years in Japan, I'm finding I have the urge to pick up blogging, and [Witty Title Here], where I left it almost a year ago. At the time, I found my isolation in a foreign country mixed with a high amount of travel to be the optimal conditions for my need to write. With those incentives gone upon my return, I felt I no longer had a reason to write.

It has occurred to me, however, that my isolation remains. I have been living in North Carolina for 8 months now, and yet I mostly socialize with my boyfriend and my roommate. As they have lives of their own, and rather busy ones at that, there often come times when I am spending my days in an isolation reminiscent of Ota, but with fewer reasons to be alone.

Perhaps it is time to turn my writing into a promise for, rather than a reaction to, interesting news. If I constantly find myself writing the same things, see that things have not changed, it will only be greater pressure to do more - a public accountability of sorts.

So, here goes.