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2005-06-18 8:48 p.m.

return to jesusland

Hey. I was supposed to be somewhere over the Pacific right now, but I’m at a hotel in San Jose instead. They overbooked the flight, you see. So, I get a free hotel stay, twenty five bucks to spend on food, a new flight to Fukuoka from Narita, and an eight hundred dollar travel voucher, enough to cover another jaunt to the States and back. I get a much better seat on the flight tomorrow, too. I feel a little guilty in that I sort of volunteered for it, even though I’ve already used all my vacation time and then some, but they busted out the thumb screws, and eight hundred bucks is hard to turn down. When I called my supervisor to tell him I’d be gone another day because of this, he said it was cool. He didn’t ask whether they gave me a choice…

So, San Jose. It only just occurred to me that this is where the Winchester Mansion is. I wish I could have gone, but it’s a little late now. I’ve only been there a few times (only once in the last ten years), but it’s one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I think I could be relatively happy starting there as a tour guide and spending the rest of my life working there. I love it there. Ah well.

Oh, did I mention I nearly forgot my passport when I left Japan? I was halfway to Fukuoka before it occurred to me that a passport is required for international travel. I had to call my supervisor, have him break into my apartment, find my passport, and pass it off to someone else on the Rock who happened to be headed my way.

Anyway, Jesusland. I was fairly depressed most of the week, without really knowing why. It is absolutely clear that that place is not for me. I do love the mountains, though.

this place seems so unfamiliar
and yet i know it well

My sister’s wedding went well, I suppose. The night before I woke up around 3 am and never managed to get back to sleep. I had dreamt that I was kept under armed guard in an underground compound while the wedding took place because the church deemed I was a security risk.

As for reality the next day, I thought I was prepared for the fact that I wouldn’t actually be able to attend the ceremony, but hanging around outside listening to Mogwai while my sister got married inside will not be one of my happiest memories.

thought that i'd forget all about the past
but it doesn't let me run too fast

I did some songs on guitar at her reception. The third one, “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel, seems to have been the favorite. People usually like it when I do that one. Apparently my voice is well suited to it. (I also did “Tonite Reprise” by Smashing Pumpkins and “By The Rivers Of Babylon” by Sublime.)

Her husband’s pretty cool.

I saw people while I was there.

Junko, for instance. That was awkward. We went out for lunch one day. She wouldn’t really look at me. She also came to the reception, and I’ve never seen her look so uncomfortable.

you don’t know
i think about you every day

I also hung out with Nemesis for a little while, which actually went really well. It was a rough road, but I think we’ve managed to become friends. When you really like each other, when neither of you want a romantic relationship, and when both of you know that the other feels that way… It’s nice.

I also spent some time with Seika, which was pleasant.

Oh, I read The Daily Show's America: The Book while I was there. It was great. Though not exactly reassuring where the state of our great nation is concerned...

Batman Begins It was awesome. Christian Bale is the best Batman ever. I was doubtful that anything could top the original Keaton/Burton one, but I think this did. I did have a couple of issues, though: the bad guy’s plot and motive didn’t really make much sense, and he sure fessed up quick to Katie Holmes. Ah well. 4 stars

Super Size Me You know, this is one of the many things that I had thought was normal and universal until I lived abroad and realized that it’s actually cultural and provincial. When I first went to Japan three years ago (has it really been that long?) I was extremely annoyed at the tiny portions they always serve in restaurants and sell in stores. Where’s the food, man? But after I’d been there a while I realized… Hey. I don’t actually need any more food than this. It’s not actually necessary to eat until you’re full. Gluttony is one the primary American pursuits, though few realize it or care. I’ve been vaguely disgusted by it all week. Anyway, this is a good film, which everyone who lives in a country with a McDonald’s infestation should see. 3 stars

I didn’t manage to see the English version of Howl’s Moving Castle. It wasn’t showing in Vegas, oddly enough. I assume the English audio track will be included in the Japanese DVD, though. Christian Bale is cool.

in a wooden boat in the shipping lanes
with the freighters towering over me
i can hear the jets flying overhead
making lines across the darkening sky
and when the sun is going down
i can take a taxi into town
and the waiter at the restaurant
sets a table just for one

wheels keep on spinning round,