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2001-07-09 Monday 5:30 p.m.

return of the warped tour OR i have no hands

"He was born without the ability to blend in and socialize the way some people were born without hands."

Let's talk, shall we?

I'll tell you about my weekend. I did lots of stuff.

I hope I can tell it the way I want.

I'm listening to the new Weezer right now, by the way. I like it, but probably not as much as Pinkerton.

Anyway, Friday night I went lap swimming. I wish I did it more... I swam about 3300 yards. I've talked about this before, but there is something so special and right about swimming that just isn't found in other sports... You get out of the world of gravity, impact, and sweat and into the world of floating blue isolation where the noise of the outside world is drowned out by moving water. I can use my whole body when I'm swimming, in a way I just can't on the ground... I can work my muscles in a way that I've never experienced on earth- a relentless pushing that strains without being painful. (Though swimmers are no strangers to pain. Any serious swimmer can puke and then swallow it without missing a beat.) I just wish I did it more... I'm getting more out of shape every day.

Came home from swimming, went to bed. Got up at 6:30 to do karate for three hours. Karate's getting a little frustrating. I've reached something of a plateau, and I'm not sure how to go about resuming my ascent. Apparently this happens to pretty much everyone in our style once they get beyond the basics...

Then I went to the Warped Tour. I went with the Girl Next Door, the girl I'm somewhat interested in (the same one mentioned in this entry- let's call her Ryuu (the name is a mental hop-skip-and-jump for me from her real name)), a guy who went to high school with the two just-mentioned girls (let's call him Shiruhito), and another guy (Other Guy). I think I was the oldest in the group by two or three years... The high school classmates (unintentionally) formed a little group with me and Other Guy on the outside looking in... We'd basically just stand there and watch the buddies talk to each other, finding our attempts at adding to the conversation to be largely irrelevant. After the AFI show (for which we were up in the thick of things- if you know what I mean), we were all dead tired. All of us except Other Guy were sitting somewhere, and Other Guy didn't know where we were. We saw him, but no one seemed to want to go get him. I hopped up and got him, because us losers gotta stick together. Not long after that, Girl Next Door and Shiruhito said they were going to run and check the band schedule. Ryuu said, "But I'll be alone if you go!" Girl Next Door pointed to me and Other Guy. Ryuu said, "Oh." I said, "We don't count." Because we didn't. Ryuu got up and went with them to check the schedule.

Did I feel left out? Yeah, sure. Did I care? No. It's my life story. I practically expect it. With occasional fluke exceptions, I have never been good at integrating with groups- "blending in and socializing." I just can't or won't... And I'm cool with that.

A cynic might say the Warped Tour is just an excuse for the young, bored, and lazy to go somewhere and rub against each other, all sponsored by Vans, Target, Sony, etc. And they'd be right.

Anyway, I went to the Warped Tour mostly to watch the people, and I wasn't disappointed. Such interesting behavior... (smell of sweat, alcohol, and pot) The AFI set was the one which was most like my Smashing Pumpkins experience of last year (see here), except the people here were nicer. (supposedly no alcohol allowed. who woulda thunk?) We could have been up in the thick of things for some of the other bands' sets, but I think we got our fill of getting up close and personal with the other deviants at the AFI show. (and why is it the whole time I was just thinking about how I'd write about it in here?)

The more people I'm around, especially if I don't know them, the more introverted I get. My mind has never taken part in mob mentality- I just don't get it. I think that's a good thing. I've never been able to step in line and march, or lose myself in the enthusiasm of the crush of humanity surrounding me.

People are so strange. I love watching them. What an interesting cultural phenomenon these kinds of concerts are, against the backdrop of modern society. Such strong destructive urges lurking underneath the progress and enlightenment... It makes me wonder what's going to end up happening to us humans... Will we get it all sorted it out? Or are we just putting more and more pressure on the trigger of the gun we've placed into our collective mouth?

Some of the bands I liked were AFI, The Apex Theory, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Rancid, 311, and Pennywise were also there... When I went to the Warped Tour in Seattle three years ago, there were a lot more ska/reggae type bands... This time it was pretty much straight punk/metal.

I got sunburned a bit. At least I'm not ghost white anymore.

When I got home (we spent about 8 hours at the Warped Tour, plus an hour there and back), I went with my roommates to light candles for dead ancestors and set them afloat in a river, as part of the Japanese Bon festival (the Japanese actually do this on August 13, but for some reason we were doing it Saturday night). It was an oddly solemn way to end the day... It was nice.

About Ryuu, this girl I'm somewhat interested in- she spent the whole day Saturday displaying her indifference towards me. The only thing she's told Girl Next Door (aren't aliases fun?) about me is that I'm "quiet." heh. (And I'm sure she said I'm hot- certainly she couldn't have missed THAT! ; >) I've collected evidence to indicate that the best course of action here would probably be to abandon anything resembling infatuation, at least for now. However, she's a cool girl with good taste in music and movies, and a sweetheart. So I'm still gonna hang out with her. I'm virtually incapable of rushing these things, anyway...

While we're on the topic of my loserhood, today I wrote an essay in Japanese on why I like Sailor Moon.

"When I talk, I say nothing. When I write, I say everything."