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Widgets and walking

Posted by Leith in News,Play

So, starting today it looks like the NaNoWriMo widgets are finally working. On my main page you’ll now see the proper word counter… I’m actually not that fond of the designs, to be honest.

Walking around today was a bit of a challenge. After some broken sleep, I gave serious thought to skipping school for the day since my leg hurt so much. Not being able to bend it to 90 degrees without it hurting makes even sitting on chairs a bit of a challenge. But, somehow I managed. I felt like I was semi crippled and had to use a lot of handrails, but I managed.

Damn it, this probably means I’m going to need surgery on my knee a lot sooner than I was hoping.

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Does basketball get lost in translation?

Posted by Leith in News,Play

So this weekend has to be one of the best I’ve had for a while, most of which I am going to squarely thank my new friend Jon for. Yesterday afternoon we met up in Shibuya and went for a wander to a basketball shop there called Gallery 2. I will most definitely be going back to that place… the whole thing was filled with awesome basketball gear – shoes, clothes, the works. I picked up a pair of new basketball shoes (early birthday present, thanks Dad!) and a new pair of basketball shorts and some socks while I was there.

The day just kept getting better, though. After a bit more of a wander, we stopped briefly to have Freshness Burger for “dinner” (I’m not really sure what meal it was, neither of us had eaten in a while). They serve some very decent food for a reasonable price, so I was happy to introduce Jon to them. After that, we headed to Shinjuku, where we had a date with a famous hotel. The Shinjuku Park Hyatt is where most of the film Lost in Translation (which is a favourite of mine) was filmed, and we had made it our mission to go have some drinks in the New York Bar on the 52nd floor where many key scenes from the film happened. We sat around and had expensive drinks and talked for hours about everything and nothing while being treated to some excellent live jazz.  My recommendation to anyone that comes to Tokyo is to go up there for a drink or two… even if the movie connection means nothing to you, the view is absolutely stunning. The table we sat at was square between the spot that Bill Murray sat at and the little table where Scarlett Johansson sat.


The weekend was then topped off by heading out to Yoyogi Park this morning, where I hooked up with Jon and played some streetball on some newly resurfaced outdoor courts. Played for hours and had loads of fun, although I pulled the muscles in my calves a few times. Some good people out there having a good time playing. In the end I actually got a bit sunburned/tanned, which I wasn’t expected. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and has been absolutely gorgeous all day.

I also got to chat with Anastasia and wish her a happy birthday (Happy Birthday again, love!) on her birthday while it was her birthday both here in Japan and over in Florida where she is. It always feels good to be able to connect with her on days like today, somehow makes the distance seem not so far.

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Research changes, mini-media review

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Work

So, this week one of my alternate research plans fell through. I had been planning on making a wireless glove interface for the Wii that is around the cost of current Wii peripherals. I had looked into the kind of bending sensors I was going to use, had some ideas about 3D positioning using a Wii remote and some clever infra-red stuff (similar to some of Johnny Lee’s research) and investigated a lot of other current projects and so on that are commercially available. However, when I looked into the research community, there was something similar that was published about three years ago. I would be using different technology, different protocols and with a different end objective, but there wouldn’t be enough about my research that was novel enough for it to be research, so when I presented this at the meeting this week, my supervisor suggested I quit pursuing it. I still think it’s a cool idea and would love to make some games for it for the Wii, but it’ll have to be relegated to a personal project for now (which means that it’ll probably never get done unless I have some strong motivation or a collaborator, given that my backburner list is pretty long). I don’t know – what does the Void think? Would a wireless glove for the Wii be worth upping in my backburner priority list?

Classes are still hard, I’m still not following as much as I’d like. I started my UI assignment, which is writing some interface stuff for controlling robots. I wrote the simple version of a mouse interface pretty quickly, but that’s pretty boring. I’ll get the automatic algorithm out of the way, then look at some different ways of interacting with the software that would be more interesting. Heck, maybe I can write interaction with a Wii remote as practice… anyone have an opinion?

Worth mentioning I think is that at the start of this week, True Blood started up again. I quite enjoyed the previous season and have been looking forward to it starting back up again. I haven’t read the books that the series is based on, but I hear that apart from going a little slowly, the series is staying quite true to the books, which is always a good thing. I recently finished watching the first season of Legend of the Seeker, which is based on Wizard’s First Rule (by Terry Goodkind), which I did a re-read of after finishing the season. There are a number of things about that series that I just didn’t like. I mean, I get that you have to adapt a certain amount of the material so that it fits into a television format – most books aren’t exactly written episodically, after all. But there were a bunch of things that I found just fundamentally weird about the whole thing. Part of it, I think, is that Legend of the Seeker was licensed by Disney and wasn’t licensed by HBO or the likes, which means that most the adult elements and themes to the book (and there are plenty) are just completely glossed over, and that strips out a lot of the important elements of the story because they’re trying to target a different audience than the book. On the whole, if you can separate the series as being a different thing from the book then you’ll probably be fine… but for those of you that haven’t seen the series yet, I would suggest you read the book(s) first so you can get a better impression of how the story and characters are supposed to hang together. It’s been renewed for a second season and again I would make the same recommendation – read the books first, watch the series second.

While I’m on the topic of things to watch, this week Anastasia and I went to our local movie theatre and watched Star Trek and Terminator 4. I also joined the movie club… and racked up a few points for the both of us going to a couple of movies. I later tried to work out how to register for their online service (all in Japanese), but while I could slowly make progress, I eventually ran into an error that informed me I was outside the registration period. Ah well. As for my opinions on the movies, I enjoyed both of them! Star Trek was a lot of fun, with a lot of nods back to the old stuff… I was initially a little concerned with the casting of Karl Urban as Bones, but once I saw him in the film, I think it worked out really well. It certainly never would have occurred to me to cast him for that role, but he played it very well. I enjoyed how they adapted it for a new audience and I can certainly see them having a good run of these new movies for quite a while yet, assuming they have good scripts. Terminator I also really enjoyed… I think they took it in a new direction, which they needed to because they’d sort of used up the sending-back-in-time routine with the previous films (and the series for that matter, although I haven’t seen that yet). I thought that Sam Worthington did a fabulous job, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in other films in the future. Moon Bloodgood, who I know mostly from her role on the sadly not renewed Journeyman, was extremely talented and still very hot. Also in movie news, Transformers 2 came out in Japan yesterday. No, I haven’t seen it yet. Yes, I will see it soon, try not to spoil it for me!

On Monday this week I also visited the National Institute of Radiological Sciences with Anastasia. The Engineering school held a tour for the international students (for free), which was pretty cool. I got to go see particle accelerators and how they get used for medical purposes. The visit was more up Anastasia’s alley than mine in terms of specific research area, so I was usually gawking at the software they use and trying to work that out… that and the medical imaging stuff, which is fairly related to some of the stuff that I can do research on – computer vision. It’s not really the focus of my lab, but it’s something I could look into some more I suppose.

I had a random conversation with Ruby this week about Tlazoteotl, the Aztec goddess of filth. I suspect if I was going to have any kind of deity affinity, it would probably be one like her. Both the source of and absolution from lustful sin. Sounds like my kind of goddess!

Earlier in the week I looked over my list of anime and manga that I have on the go, or want to watch/read (and have watched/read, for that matter) and it highlighted for me once more that I really should write a little program to manage that stuff for me. I keep meaning to, and it keeps getting relegated to my aforementioned rather long backburner list. What does the Void think? If there was a site you could log into to keep track of what you’re watching/reading, what you want to watch/read (and what you have watched/read through the history if nothing else)… would you use it? For that matter, is there something out there that does this already that I just haven’t discovered yet? I mean, AniDB (which I use often) has something similar just for anime, but it isn’t quite what I want it to do. There are a bunch of other sites that have communities built around the individual things… for that matter, I’m a member of Flixster as well, which is a similar for movies, although I don’t really update it very often. None of them really keep tabs on what you’re doing in the way that I’d like, and certainly not in one unified place. Well, would other people use something like that if I made one?

While I’m talking about my personal projects, I decided today to scrap updating my financial spreadsheets, and just use the online system I built (LeithBank). Hopefully this will motivate me to work on it some more and get in some more of the functionality that I want/need to use it for proper analysis.

Ian told me he had his first professional commission for music this week! I’m really happy for him, although we both had a bit of a laugh about him really needing to have his portfolio updated and online. ^^

My medical checkup at the university was this week. I dropped more weight, although I knew that was going to happen. I blame my regular basketball. I think I’m going to need to start getting serious about putting some muscle back on… more muscle-building exercise, eating more foods to help with that kind of thing. Anyway, I apparently grew 4mm since last year, which puts me at a little over 182cm… but still shy of being six feet. By 6.8mm. Ah well, I’m six feet with shoes on I guess.

Yesterday Anastasia and I got some more stuff for the apartment for free… well, we had to pay for the transport, but that was waaaaay below the value. We got a TV (and stand), a new couch and a bunch of little things like power boards and so on. I’m not sure what we’re doing with my old (smaller, less comfortable) couch just yet – maybe put it up on Craigslist? We’re probably going to get some shelving for the kitchen as well, but I’m not sure yet.

It’s a bit irritating that I keep falling behind on my journal. I mean, I take notes about what I do everyday, I just need to put them into entries. I don’t think I’m really the micro-blogging type, so I don’t think I’ll be using Twitter, despite its massive rise in popularity and use as a communication medium. I don’t think writing everyday would work, because there’d be too much dross… I need to cut out some of the unimportant details or I’d bore myself to death writing them. Still, my once-a-week entries seem to be getting a bit more epic lately, so maybe I should try writing a couple of times a week to make it more manageable? Who knows. I had some weird dreams this weekend that I’m going to defer to writing about later.

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Dreams, drugs and basketball

Posted by Leith in News,Play

Probably the biggest thing to happen this week was this weekend – basketball training camp!

After the influx of new students at the beginning of their academic year (which is April here in Japan), my basketball circle held their next training camp, this time in Chiba. I only went on one of these last year and I had a whole lot of fun that time. The other ones that have happened in between I haven’t been able to go on for various reasons, but I’m glad that I got to go on this one. It was pretty tiring, but in a good way.

I was actually the first person to arrive at the meeting place, which is a little odd since I was probably one of the furthest away in terms of where I was living, but that’s all good… I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t late!

There were 8 teams for the first day, which meant that we had a lot of games to get through! My team was Team Neko (cat) and was lead by my friend Fukushima (or Fu-kun). Unfortunately we came in at number 7 after winning three, losing three and drawing one. After a lot of tiring games, it was back to the hotel to chill out. I didn’t get to go have a shower and a bath for a little while… the little bathroom only had a four-person capacity for the little places where you sit and shower, so there was a bit of a wait! Anyway, after all that was a very nice dinner, then people went about their business chilling and relaxing before the party that night.

Unfortunately for me, the party wasn’t as fun as I was hoping. Being on my meds means I can’t drink, and my lack of Japanese ability meant that I didn’t really understand or follow (and certainly couldn’t really participate in) most of the games that everyone was playing. I ended up going to bed as early as I could really get away with, which was after the awards. I had a lot of people comment to me beforehand that they thought I was going to take the top for rebounds, but then when I pointed out that there were a lot of people that did repeated rebounds where they just couldn’t get it in the basket, but got a lot of rebounds… not so much with me, I’m happy to say. In the end I took third place for rebounds. ^^

Most people stumbled into the bedroom (it was six to a room) around 4am. My sleep was pretty broken, despite the drugs.

Today went a lot better on the basketball front. The teams for today were divided up by the year level of the student, so I was in the “fourth years and above” group. My team cleaned up – we didn’t lose a single game, which was great. Some really good basketball going on, and a whole lot more running! My team-mates very kindly said it was largely thanks to me given that I really got in there on defence and rebounds, although I couldn’t shoot to save my life all day other than the short shots after a rebound. Just not in the zone, I guess. Anyway, the second round after that was a group of teams much like what we do at practice, all randomly grouped up. At this point about half of the players were playing volleyball on the next court over (it was more of a recreation day, after all) and a few more were just exhaustedly lying around, so there were only four teams, no subs. My team did all right, we won two and lost one.

After the basketball was done, we went back to the hotel, had a bento lunch, showered and rested up before the long trip back to university. After I finally managed to get back home, I just chilled out for the evening with Anastasia.

While that was probably the most prominent thing in my mind for this week, I certain did get up to a bit more than that. Before I get to that, though, my landlord dropped by this weekend. While I was away. Anastasia had a pretty hard time understanding who he was and what he wanted… in the end he apparently just gave up, although it sounds like he wasn’t too stressed by the whole thing. I’m sure that he’ll stop by another time, hopefully when I’m there!

On the school front, I had my usual classes and so on… very unfortunately understanding even less than usual in my Socio-Information and Communication class. I couldn’t only really pick up that it was about privacy and the relative importance of different kinds of information. Beyond that, I don’t really have a clue. My supervisor’s class this week was giving an overview of sketch-based research, some of which I knew just from being in his lab, others of which were new to me. All good stuff, and I can follow along with a reasonable bit of the Japanese so far. My vision assignment is giving me a bit of a headache, as it’s a bit harder to wrap my head around than I thought it was going to be.

Earlier this week I went and had a chat with a Kiwi named Karl, who’s been doing some research at ERATO, a collaborative research/design lab that my supervisor heads up. It was suggested to me that he might be interested in helping me out on a research idea of mine, but that didn’t really pan out. He’s been doing some interesting work, but he was leaving the country pretty soon and his interests didn’t overlap as much as I thought they were going to, which was unfortunate.

I also watched the first lecture online in a series at Stanford on High Performance Websites, which was pretty interesting. I don’t know if I’m going to register for the course or anything, but I’ll certainly enjoy watching the other videos they offer for free, and I might pick up the course book at some point. It’s all about the craft, right?

Early this week was my next meeting with the psychiatrist. Now that my sleep seems to have (relatively) levelled off with the use of the drugs, it’s time to start gradually weaning me off them. His proposal on how long it’s going to take is frustrating, especially with how I know it’s altering my behaviour and body-chemistry, but I guess I’m better safe than sorry on that front. Another couple of weeks, then back to his office to review.

I finished reading an article my Mum sent me from NZ in her care package. It was about the NZi3 and how basically all the smart (IT) people in Christchurch leave because there aren’t enough opportunities to stimulate them or provide them with enough income. The laid back lifestyle of Christchurch is great, the people are great… there just isn’t a whole lot to keep you there if you want to make a big career for yourself in the IT sector. I guess the problem is more ambition than anything else… the smart graduates all have their eyes set on big challenges, and equally big paychecks to go with them. Not a lot of that to go around in Christchurch. Still, it was an interesting read even if it was stuff I’ve known for years.

Have I mentioned Japanese paperwork irritates me? I had to re-apply for my automatic payment on my electricity bill because I didn’t include one of my names (having a long name can be irritating sometimes) on the application form. So on their forms, I have three names (the other wouldn’t fit), but I have four for the bank, so I needed to put in all of them… apparently they couldn’t work out it was me from the other three identical names that matched up with the account number I gave them. Ugh, whatever. New application is now posted.

I have a desk! It’s very studenty with scratches all over it and a bit wobbly, but it was free (apart from getting it transported) and certainly serves its purpose. I’m hoping to fill it up with filing a lot of my stuff this coming week, although really I just need a whole lot of shelving. I miss having a lot of shelving!

I managed to catch up with a few people this week, which is a bit rare for me. I caught my Dad (who’s nightmarishly busy himself) on Skype for a bit of a chat, I talked with Daniel (still enjoying his animation course) and Tom (who’s just started to work at Sidhe, the only game development house of any noteworthy size in NZ). All a bit mental, really. Anastasia and I also managed to get out to dinner with Takuya (after not managing to catch him a little while back) and, as it turns out, Tomo. Not the Tomo I played basketball with at St. Andrew’s, the one that’s the architect friend of Kyoko. Anyway, that was really cool to have a bit of a catch up and to introduce Anastasia to the two of them. My stomach complained a bit at the sashimi later, it’s been a while since I’ve had it, but that cleared up just fine.

After realising (for the upteenth time) that I didn’t have an RSS feed for Sinfest (despite there actually being one), I did a bit of Googling and came across a way to write one. After adapting it a bit to suit a bit more formatting that I prefer, the world at large is now welcome to use my Sinfest RSS feed. I’m hoping to add links to the archive pages that the strips belong to as well at some point.

While I’m talking about things to entertain me, I saw in my email that Spider-man is now on Broadway! Crazy! I don’t think that I’m actually going to be able to go see it, but the fact that it exists at all entertains me.

Also on things that entertain me, I managed to get Under a Killing Moon working on my computer earlier this week. It’s a bit jerky in places, but it’s still an awesome game and I’ll probably play through it again when I’m trying to wind down. Gotta love Tex Murphy – I really hope the guys over at Big Finish Games get enough funding to make another one.

This week I had a few very bad mornings for waking up. I gave some serious consideration to going back to drinking coffee. In some ways I don’t even know why I still persist at not drinking it. It’s not like I’m experimenting with tea while I’m in Japan, or have another hot drink of choice that I’m having. I have the odd hot chocolate, but that’s about it. I don’t really know any more. I mostly started it as an experiment for the effect that it would have on my body, given that before I stopped, I had been having a fair bit of it, and I was one of those people that would be able to have a cup of coffee before bed and be fine. It was just a bit weird, really. I still very much like the taste of coffee… actually, I just don’t know why I’m not drinking coffee. I guess in my head it would be a weird way of making my body do what I want it to in a sense, and I’d rather have my body adjust to a nice bio-rhythm without it. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

Right, so my dream. I had a dream in the middle of the week that was really weird and the fact that I remember any details of it at all is probably even more weird since usually I’m just kind of peripherally aware that I dreamed at all. Anyway, I dreamed about going back to develop games for Ignition (insert pun about my dream job), and getting Ian a job there making music while I was at it. There was something about my being away for a while and coming back with more experience to bring to the team. I was there from the morning to meet up with Jeremy, most people didn’t show up in the office until after lunch for a team meeting. At the meeting a producer (that wasn’t Barrett, which was a bit odd) informed everyone that someone out of the west coast office was going to be moving out to our office to help with… the marketing stuff, I think. Reactions were mostly eye-rolls. Anyway, I spent most of the dream (after my meeting) shaking hands and catching with people. It was all just a bit surreal. Maybe I’m just projecting where I think I’ll end up at the end of my degree… maybe my brain is telling me I should be making games and not doing things that are unrelated for my Masters.

Maybe it was just a dream.

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On ankles and resting

Posted by Leith in News,Play

Probably the most present thought about this week for me is that I managed to bust my ankle at basketball practice early in the week. I rolled it pretty bad and went down, so I subbed out and rested up for a while. I then (rather foolishly, as it turns out) thought it was just a minor roll and that resting out for a while had done the trick, so I played a bit more before going home. During the same practice, I had a comic moment where I ran into one of the girls and then had a basketball hit my forehead a split second later… again, down I go. Seriously, if I’d been watching I would have thought it was hysterical. As it was, I was just a little dazed for a moment before it was back to basketball. On the way home from practice, my ankle just started to hurt more and more, and I needed to walk on it to get back to my apartment, which was less than fun. So, I’m pretty sure I managed to sprain my ankle. No, I didn’t go to a doctor about it. Should I have? Maybe. But I figure that with that kind of thing they’re not going to tell me much I didn’t already know. At best they would have given me some wraps for my foot… but getting there in the first place was a bit problematic, so I figured to just stick with what I knew about resting it up.

Speaking of rest, luckily for me this week has been Golden Week here in Japan, which is a series of public holidays that are strung together and give people a good chunk of time off. Sadly the weather has mostly been rubbish this week. With that going on, classes are all messed up, no one’s really in the research lab; all in all it’s a pretty slow time, which was perfect for resting up my ankle. By the time this weekend rolled around, it was feeling pretty good. I then went out with Kyoko to celebrate her birthday (sort of… it’s actually her birthday today, so Happy Birthday to her! I spent a few hours putting together a drawing of some of her favourite flowers for her) – the place she chose to go is called “Muscle Park”, which is a kind of sports-skill-based amusement park out in Odaiba (where we wandered around a bit first and later saw and enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire). It was a lot of fun, despite highlighting how completely uncoordinated I am at a lot of things. Only problem was when we were on the last one we were going to do, we misread what we were doing and ended up doing balance, agility and something else I can’t remember the title for. Anyway, I managed to slightly roll my ankle again in the agility test, which pissed me off pretty bad. One for my idiocy at doing it in the first place, and two for the fact that while I managed to get a decent time, I would have shaved another couple of seconds off (and thus gotten probably the top amount of points for the section) if I hadn’t done it. >_<

Yes, I know, not my finest hour.

In other news, this week I managed to catch up with my sister a fair bit, which was very cool. I hear from her now and again (a bit more now that she randomly sends me text messages… that she knows I can’t answer…), but it’s always good to have a catch up. We made arrangements for Mothers’ Day (also today, Happy Mothers’ Day, Mum!) and just generally had a good chat.

I finally got back entries into LeithBank so that I have a full 12 months in there. It’s certainly not a typical 12 months, what with all the travel and the like, but it’s a good feeling to know that I’ve got that much data in there – all the way back to when I arrived in Japan. I still have a ton more that I can enter from my spreadsheets (or what’s left of them after my pen-drive corrupted), but that can wait a bit more I think. I might try and get to the start of the calendar year (2008, that is) after a little while so I can do some comparisons across the whole year, but I’m not sure yet. It still needs a lot of work on the income tracking side of things, but that’s less simple than the odd back entry of transactional data. *shrug* We’ll see.

I also talked this week some more with Ian about working on a joint project. We bounced some ideas around and settled on one that we think is pretty viable. After we’d done a brain dump of ideas, I organised a lot of it and wrote up a bunch of the production-oriented stuff (goals, timelines, etc). So far it’s looking pretty neat, and will make for a good side-project for us to work on. The prototype version as a kind of proof-of-concept for the two of us has been deadlined for the end of the year, which is more than doable. I hope to make a lot more progress than that before the end of the year, but I don’t want to overtax our time since we’re both working on other things full-time as it is. Partially motivated by/for this, I read the first chapter of my game development textbook that I got, which was on the history of games – veeeeeeery interesting! I’m going to try and take it slowly going through the book so I can review things properly and take it all in, but at the same time I’m itching to rush ahead and just read it all. I might end up doing that for a once-through and then go back over it to review. Either way, reading about it certainly amps me about game development… I’m a lot more amped about that than I am about doing my current actual research – oops.

Completely random aside: when getting groceries earlier this week, I got a knitted coaster as a freebie when I bought some lemon soda. I also have a bunch of other little knick-knacks (pens, magnets, lasers…) that I’ve picked up in similar fashion since I arrived in Japan. I may, in fact, be a complete sucker for meaningless cheap knick-knacks attached in order to get me to buy their product. ^^;

Ok, what’s with random people looking me up on Skype? I’ve had it happen a few times now, people just randomly adding me to their contact lists when I have no idea who they are. I mean, I’m all for random encounters to develop new friendships – some of my very good friends I met that way, in fact – but at the same time, it feels strange. Mostly I’ve just ignored/blocked the people, but I don’t really have any reason to, I suppose. Anyway, point of this is that this week I ended up chatting to some random chick in China who wants to practice her English for a while. Not quite sure how that’ll turn out… I don’t really see myself as an English teacher, but I’ll do what I can every now and again, I guess.

I had some feedback on my poetry that I posted this week, which was a bit of a surprise. I mean, I know people told me to post them so they could read my stuff, but it was still surprising that from my handful of readers they actually liked some of it. I have pieces that I like in there, but when I sat down to review my files to put them online, I realised that a lot of it is complete crap mostly derived from my being in an overly emotional or distressed state. I don’t seem to write happy poetry, you know? I took a quiz on the internet (shock, faint) around the time I started high school – it told me I was 80% likely to write bad poetry and I should just not. Since most of my poetry is pretty bad, I may be forced to conclude that not all internet personality quizzes are complete crap. Then again, I could obstinately insist they’re crap anyway, which is equally likely.

It was nice hearing that my poetry was liked, although I don’t think that I’m quite ready to have a public comments section for my pieces. Maybe I could put on something like the “So-and-so likes this” function from Facebook? What do you think, readers – would you want/use something like that?

Anastasia found out she passed her Hydro class this week, which she is extremely happy about… it sounds like a complete bitch of a class to take and she would not have been a happy camper if she’d had to retake it. So, congratulations to Anastasia, I’m sure that means her final semester of her Bachelor’s will be just that little bit easier for it.

Speaking of Anastasia, the new futon got delivered this week. My little single futon from the dorm wouldn’t have really cut it when she arrives next week. There are a bunch of things I would really like to do to get this place up to scratch for her visit, but time and money are both factors. I wonder how long we’ll last after she’s here before we get the gas range (stove-top)? While I find I can make do pretty well with frozen stuff, sandwiches of many varieties, fresh things and the odd comvenience store snack to supplement lunches on campus and the odd dinner picked up from bento stores or restaurants, I don’t know how well that’s going to scale to two people. Anyway, new futon! It’s bigger, it’s coloured “moss green” which is quite pleasant, and it comes bedding and extra pillows, which is a plus. I’ll probably need to get another futon to layer underneath, but it’s good for now.

On the anime front this week, I started to watch Eden of the East, which I’m enjoying so far – just the right amounts of mystery and crazy without seeming completely ridiculous, and a likeable main character. I haven’t decided which sub group I’m going to stick with just yet… I think I need to figure out who’s actually going to stick with the project as well as provide good quality. Since there are a lot of groups doing it, I should be able to find a good one. I also finished watching Darker than Black, which I absolutely loved! Awesome characters, some really nice action sequences and animation… I might have to get the manga as well, see how much they left out, how accurate it is and so on. In any case, I would thoroughly recommend it, although it’s certainly not an anime for children… once again illustrating for me how the animated medium is one that can be intended for more mature audiences and should be respected as such.

Today was mostly a catch-up-with-people day. A few long Skype calls to people all over the world, various chats in IM with people… a good communicative day. Although it started off a bit weirdly with a dream about sitting in the lotus position with some woman I didn’t know talking to her. Weird in itself, and in that I remembered any of it… other than a vague awareness of knowing I dream, I don’t usually remember any details at all. While I don’t put any particular stock in the symbolism of dreams, I do wonder at the fact that I remember anything at all, since that’s pretty rare.

Will I remember more dreams, I wonder?

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