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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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:: Saturday, April 19, 2003 ::

Random Everythings



I like and hate the fact that no one is here at school. I like it because peace and quiet abounds. I can sing to anime songs as loud as I want 24/7. It's not like anyone can hear or anything. But then again... there's no one here. I've spent entire days in my room with the IMer as my only line of human contact. Leave once to get food at the Campus Center, maybe, and that's it.

Walking around campus is near scary. It's a ghost town. The worst sort, too--the kind that forcefully pushes and *keeps* people out. At least in the summer there's the slight buzz of normal operations--the routine still goes on. But now, nothing routine is taking place at all. Dining halls are closed, and I've rarely seen more than 20 people grabbing eats at the Campus Center. It's all just... odd.

Just finished playing DDR... man, has it been a while. I have to get all of my timing back. I should really play more, but that requires something called time, which is in awful short supply for me.

Next week is Hair... hurrah! I can't wait. It's going to be so much fun. I've never played in a pit before--I wonder what exactly it will be like. How much of the stage will I be able to see? How much room will there be for all of my instruments? And which marimba will I get? I hope it's a good one. ~crosses fingers~

And to be *part* of a production! As a theatre minor, anywhere I can get my face seen is good. Even if it is in the pit. Next year I'm going to try out for a departmental... how much fun it would be to get in... ~vows to work on her acting technique over the summer. She's not exactly sure how to go about doing that, but she will~

I don't know if many people have noticed, but about two weeks ago I added a hit counter and stat tracker to this page. No longer do I feel like my thoughts are meandering aimlessly through cyberspace--yes, people *do* read this! Not many people, but people just the same. I even had a hit from Brazil and another from Japan. Japan! Konnichi wa, Nihonjin-san!!! What is it, exactly, that brought you here? I wish I could find out.

~dares a glance at her bookshelf~ There is so much to read and so little time! Everyone is so kind to lend me books, and then I buy my own books, and then the library is full of books... like for so many other things, summer becomes the magic time of completion.

I can't believe I didn't mention this yet--I recently became a manga editor for HUSH Shoujo Project. What does all that jargon mean? Well, Levi at HUSH gives me scans of manga [comic book] chapters with the text in either Japanese or Chinese along with an English translation. It's my job to Photoshop the foreign text out and put in the English words. Sounds easy, doesn't it? It is, when you're working in clean white text bubbles. The wrinkles come when there are sound effects over the background drawing. Then I have to erase the Japanese text, redraw the picture, then stick the English words on top. Seamlessly. It's a lot of precision work, but somehow it's a lot of fun. Each tough frame is a challenge, and I get great pleasure out of beating it. ^_^ Click on the HUSH Shoujo link to the left to take a look at my work. Recently I've edited Kare First Love 5a and Atashi wa Bambi 6 along with doing the sound effects for Kare First Love 5b. ~has been a busy little beaver~ I get my next chapter tomorrow--yea!

Wah, I've rattled quite a long time about nothing, really. I should end before I think of other silly things to say. -_^ Oyasumi nasai!!!

:: Kazen 10:30 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, April 17, 2003 ::

And Then It Became Vacation



And what an odd vacation, too. I'm really alone--no one in my suite, no one in the suite next door (which is really really good, actually), and the entire campus looks like a ghost town. I went to the campus center for dinner and a total of, like, ten people were there. I like it, though. It gives me a chance to do all the me things. Sleep. Read. Edit manga. And find myself a little more.

Don't think I'm cutting myself off from the world, though. My IMer is up 24/7 as per usual, and I have seen humans since break started.

Most of the time I'm here my bedroom door is closed--this way Kate and I don't bother each other with our music. But now there's no suitemate, nothing to worry about. With this I'm realizing the power of an open door. It's all psychological. No longer am I locked in a little box. Sure, this little box is linked to another little box by that very door, but I can't see that from my bed. ^_^

So, I keep on going on, and I'm liking it.

:: Kazen 7:40 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, April 13, 2003 ::

How to Ride a UAlbany Elevator Like a Pro



It's scary how some things have their own culture. You don't even notice it until someone breaks one of the cultural "rules". So, to help you avoid such a snafu I have personally ridden the elevator upwards of six times a day and taken diligent notes, all to enlighten you to Residence Hall Elevator Culture.

Note: many of these things are true and are actually good advice, but it is up to you to decide what. ^_^

~~~~~

Pre-Ride

Before you ride in the elevator you'll have to wait for it. There are definate dos and don'ts here.

If no one is there push the button. If people are already there don't even bother looking. You'll have to lean down and squint to see if the orange light is on, and it will be on, so don't bother.

Make a neat line along the wall in front of the elevators. If someone is trying to get in the tower (and you happen to feel generous) open the door for them. However, if you are near the front of the line let them rot. Hey, your elevator ride is more important, anyway.

Usual procedure calls for you to watch the displays to see what floor the elevators are on. If they take a long time you have the option of looking around disgusted and maybe even making a comment to your linemate before shaking your head. Don't forget the head shake.

When the Elevator Arrives

Go up to it. Maybe stay a step back in case someone comes out, but don't take lots of care to give them room. The person behind you will budge otherwise. And heaven knows being first in the elevator is oh-so-important.

Upon entering the elevator press the button for your floor. Know exactly where it is. Otherwise everyone will know you don't live here and shoot you strange looks. Some people shoot looks with thorns... watch out for those.

And don't think anyone will push the button for you, or ask what floor you need. Even if your hands are full you are expected to push for your own floor.

Take a good look at the floor as you walk in. Chances are the elevator is not clean. Watch out for spilled soda, loose laundry soap, beer bottles, empty Chinese takeout containers, fliers with nearly nude girls, and smashed apples. For some reason people smash apples in elevators. It's our elevator pastime.

While Riding

While in the elevator make an effort to stand as far away from everyone else in the elevator. If there are four people or less this is easy, as everyone takes a corner. If there are more people than that simply do the best you can. As each person gets off readjust to get away from people. You don't know them. And you don't particularly want to.

If someone rides the elevators for five floors or less and doesn't have a crutch or an excessive limp make fun of them as soon as they get off. Really, why are they slowing up the already slow elevator process with an unnecessary trip? Perhaps site instances where you have walked upwards of ten floors instead of taking the elevator out of your infinite kindness. Then shake your head.

Getting Off

The most simple part. Simply step off, minding any spilled goods and the gap. Know which way you're turning straight off, otherwise you are an outsider yet again. If you don't know which way to turn, guess. By the time you realize your mistake the elevator will be gone, thus saving face.

~~~~~
Now you are prepared to take everything the elevators can throw at you. Wait... I forgot about the drunk people. I'll include them in v2 ^_^

:: Kazen 1:52 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, April 06, 2003 ::

Scary Stuff



Last night was scary. At five a.m. I heard yelling from the other side of my wall. The yelling got louder, with more people. Then the yelling moved into the hall. Then there was scuffling, and thudding--punches were being thrown. More yelling. And for it to wake me up you know it was loud. Thank goodness UPD came when they did. I didn't feel like leaving the safety of my bed to make the call. I wonder what the whole deal was. It won't be up in the police blotter until tomorrow or the day after, and how much do you want to bet it will say, "personal dispute, 13th floor Livingston Tower" or other such jargon?

...who do I live near, anyway? I don't even know them. Now that may just be a good thing.

:: Kazen 7:22 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, April 05, 2003 ::

Exciting Stuff



Wah, a lot has happened in the last two days. In reverse order:

Hockey game tonight. A *lot* of people were there, and I sold $450 worth of 50/50 tickets. I would've sold more if I had more time and more tickets... scary thought. Really cool thing--an off-ice offical I know gave me an offical game puck. It's sitting on my desk right now, in front of my monitor. It's a good little friend. In all my 9 years of watching hockey I have never caught a game puck... I don't know if I ever will.

I'm really going to miss the games. Over six months of not seeing my great friends, of not yelling at the ref, of not guaranteeing a winner to every person I sell a 50/50 ticket to. Of not seeing the kids I know, of not seeing the guys.

The look on Raymond Giroux's face as he got off the ice broke my heart.

This morning was nice because I just hung out in bed and did nothing. Soul days are good for me. Not good for the homework that piles up, but good for me.

Last night was the East Asian Studies Department Annual Speech Contest. I was in it for Japanese I.. and I won, somehow. It was really cool. I liked my speech, as boring as it was. (I mean, I can't say that much. It all sounds like a third grader is speaking.) I ended up talking about Duanesburg. (See? Like I said--boring.) My favorite part went like this:

"There is also a skydiving school. Duanesburg skydiving is a little famous. Once in a while someone dies. It doesn't happen often, though."

Something I noticed while listening to the speeches--Japanese has some of the longest set phrases. The "thank you" phrase at the end of the Chinese and Korean speeches was quite short, two or three syllables. In Japanese, though, you say, "Doumo arigatou gozaimasu"--12 syllables if you count the long vowels. Can't be impolite with "arigatou" or "doomo", oh, no.

Every time I use Japanese I feel silly and stupid that I don't know more, that I can't understand more, that I can't say what I want to say. Example--afterwards one of the judges complimented me. Simply, too, nothing over the top. Still, I had to say, "Sumimasen, wakarimasen"; "I'm sorry, I don't understand". It's not a total loss, though--I caught a "Let's go in" and "Would you like some tea?". If anything,

Nihongo ga daisuki desu! ^_^

:: Kazen 9:43 PM [+] ::
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