my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

the big ass 'huh' post....

So, it seems like ages.  I'm sure it hasn't been.  I'm sure it's been less than forever.  But [insert announcer voice here], THIS IS WHAT I DID ON MY SPRING BREAK...[/announcer voice]

I did manage to write about that, more than once, I think.  But, the long and the short of it is that I told Neil we should take her into the vet because she wasn't using her box all the time, and the vet vaccinated her and then didn't give us a clear diagnosis.  After three really long visits in three days, we got firm with the doctor, told him we're not going to let him cut her open, told him he was going to give us the special food in case this was a urinary tract infection, and then asked if we could have antibiotics for her swollen leg.  He caved.  And Felix the cat is doing MUCH better.  She's been on the antibiotics since last Thursday, her swollen leg is completely back to normal, her energy levels are back to mostly normal, and she seems like she's also putting on weight.  She likes her new dry food enough to eat it, she doesn't like her new wet food at all (probably because it's not chunky in gravy - yes, we do have a picky cat), and we will pet her and cuddle her and love her as much as possible.  I hadn't realized how crappy she was feeling last week (after the vet visits) until she got better and started running around being a goofball again.  YAY for no surgery!  YAY for a cat that's obviously feeling better.  Now, hopefully, the new food with do the trick and we won't have to worry.  Unfortunately, the box problem continues.  We're using a lot of comet and just bearing it.  If that's the price to pay, I will now pay it instead of paying the vet.  It's not that bad to have clean floors anyway.

HA!  Well, I got about half the reading I wanted to get done completed.  Considering the unplanned vet visits that generally lasted at least a couple of hours, and worry over kitty that totally left me with a two second attention span as far as coursework was concerned, I think I did good! 

Religion and Ritual's book was all about the "New" Religions of Japan, which sounds way more exciting than it was.  Something about a historical/anthro/religious books leaches all the fun out of learning new things.  This one was probably the most boring of the many we'd read, and the only good that came out of it was my paper, where I posited that the "new" ness of the religion seemed to be more of a change in old religions because of industrialization (and things that go along with it) than a true change in the outlook on the world.  Doubt I'm right about that, but it did get a 'good' from the prof.

And hey, at least I got some good mileage out of the Kitty - we have to do a thing called "storytelling" for Japanese - basically we have to tell a quick anecdote (the kind one tells in conversation every day) and use all the pretty forms that make the language fluid (for those in the know, stuff like "yo" and "ne" at the end of sentences for emphasis, "sore kara" and "de" to indicate switches in content, and all of that good stuff.  Basically all those things are the Japanese equivalent of "and then" and "you know?" and other stuff we don't even realize we use when we tell a story).  And I think I'm looking for the sympathy vote because I wrote about taking the cat into the vet -- 'watashi wa natsu yatsumi ni totemo warui deshita!' (my spring break was really awful!)

Oh, and I started to make my way through the damn Sufi reading, but I was about 300 pages behind.  I'm now down to about 100... so that's something.  But I had all these great intentions of doing flashcards, and those are just not getting done.

And after all of this moaning and complaining, there was finally FUN.  Actually, there was a crapload of fun. 

Wednesday Timothy got into town, and even though he went directly to the venue and lived there for most of the time he was here, he did manage to sit down with us for an hour or so on Wednesday night, just catching up and saying hi in that deliberate and charming way of his.  Funny to see any of the TBG crowd here, and to talk some of the gossip (well, not really because Tim isn't one for that), and to catch up on my old department from his perspective.  We got him set up in my library, and packed him off fairly early since he'd done the red-eye/music all day/with a cold thing.

Thursday Brad and Dar arrived!  I picked them up from the airport, and gave them the totally goofy 'this is our gas station' tour of the route home from the airport.  Dar approved the purple fireplace (yes, there was some doubt), and got the full tour, and then we hightailed it to Kerby lane to introduce Dar to the joys of queso and chips. Brad, of course, with family in Texas, wasn't exactly new to the experience, but I think Kerby Lane takes it to a new level.  Or a cheezy level?  Then we prettied ourselves up, and ran out to bar hop a little, just ... you know... quiet like.  We settled at a little pub on 4th (the street for those over 25, apparently).  Brad's friends made their way over, the bar had some kind of a goofy band in the background, and we got a little time to catch up and smoke and talk under the influence.  And I discovered (only as the man was leaving) that we'd shared a booth for a couple of hours with a Professor I almost took a class from.  It's too bad I didn't realize beforehand, because the guy's brilliant in Romani, and probably would’ve been quite interesting to talk to.  Then again, Tyler tells me professors don't want to drink with their students for the most part, so it's probably good that I didn't.  Our old neighbor Ryan was discovered leaning up against the bar inside (the one who believes, when he's drunk, that the moon landing didn't actually happen).  We hauled him and his friend over, and they made amusing additions to our goofy crowd.  We also established (from Brad's friend Mark who runs Magic Marker Records) that we'd have to actually *buy* tickets for their music showcase on Saturday... and then we had a last drink and went in search of music. 

And we found it, in the form of a little old fashioned thrash metal (where the guy's doing the death rock unintelligible voice) under a tent in a packed dirt parking lot outside.  We used the rocking (literally) portapotties, stuck around for half a dozen songs, and then decided to let our ears rest for a bit.  We headed back to the house to blow up the air mattress, drink some free alcohol, and sit on our own porch and smoke.  We brought their friend Connie with us, too, because if the house was going to be full, why not add another?

Friday found us sleeping in, giving the cat antibiotics, and running right back to Kerby Lane.  After all, we had a Connie to introduce to the glories of queso!  We managed to survive the wait, to split breakfast and eat until we were splitting, and then headed back downtown for MORE MUSIC!  After all, that's what everyone was here for.

We parked in our secret (always open, generally free) parking, and hustled down to Emo's Backyard to catch a show from a mediocre punk band that was on before the band we really wanted.  Then Lifetime came on and seriously kicked ASS.  They were reunited because their respective bands were all playing SXSW, and they decided that they'd use the opportunity to kinda rock the house.  It was one of the few concerts I've ever been to that had a real-live pit, where people literally flung themselves (sometimes flipping as they jumped off the stage) into the crowd, and where people walking out from the pit were bloody (either clothes or dripping from cuts on their faces).  No, I did not go in the pit.  Yes, the music was TOTALLY worth it.  Then we headed up to Red Eye'd Fly (the venue Timothy was at) to see a band I can only categorize as alternative-goth:  She Wants Revenge.  They were great, and didn't even seem to take themselves tooo seriously.  Then we headed back to the house to give the cat her medicine, to feed the troops, and to take it easy for a night.  Taking it easy involved trying to go to South Congress for some live (but not packed) music (that unfortunately for us was finishing it's last song when we got there).  Joel came out to have some drinks with us, we walked all around until we found a place that served us appetizers and marginally decent drinks, and talked until they closed and kicked us out.  We went home, and Dar & Connie outlasted us all, staying up and kind of falling over things (or making stuff go bump in the night) - but not so much that it kept the rest of us awake, so hey, I say more power to them!

Saturday turned rainy.  We got slower and slower about getting up and out - and Mark texted that the daytime showcase of Magic Marker Records was cancelled due to rain.  So what did we do?  Went to Kerby Lane!!  This time with Timothy in tow.  Unfortunately, 6 is MUCH harder to seat than 5, and everyone wanted to linger over their coffee or something, so we spent over an hour waiting for a table.  But Connie had resolved that she was going to try to eat every meal with queso, and so we had to make the attempt.  And we did, and she did, and then finally set our sights for downtown and the music poster display at the convention center.  See, even the side trips were music related!  We wandered past insanely beautiful concert pictures, and awesome poster art, and then hatched our plans to head to the Magic Marker Showcase early and possibly NOT have to pay. 

It was at this fabulously yummy restaurant Habana (yep, cuban), and we made it there before they started manning the doors.  Neil slipped back home to take care of the kitty medicine, and we waited for the music to start (and of course, we smoked and drank!).  Mark was pleased we'd actually made it to his show, we talked and goofed and then listened to a whole host of bands (when they got there) that were great.  I was introduced to the musical genre of Twee (and seriously, TWEE ROCKS!!), and am in love with a new band called Tullycraft (my favorite from the 5 we saw).  Oh!  And Jao was there too - so funny to run into someone from school at a show.  After the Bats played we collected Connie from another venue, and decided to call it a night.  After all, it was 1. 

Sunday was, of course, the day of rest.  After the marathon music, drinking, smoking, and walking, everybody called it quits.  We hit the Asian Buffet (I know, I was scared too, but really it's not that bad.  And they've got soft serve!), pointed Connie & Timothy in the direction of the bus (they were more hardcore than we), and Brad, Dar, Neil and I headed back home so I could do more homework and they could play videogames.  The end of the night found our Connie & Tim returned to us, and we for some reason watched half a season of Entourage because it was strangely addicting.  Damn you Roadrunner On Demand!  You kept me up FAR too late to wake up at 8 am the next morning.

Monday was me hitting my alarm for just ... 5 ... more ... minutes.  Apparently I pushed it a bit to far since Dar came in to make sure I was awake.  Now, something about me:  I am NOT a morning person.  I cannot explain how much of a morning person I am not on Monday after drinking and staying up late all weekend.  Let's just say that I had a tough time being civil as I put my backpack together and declined her totally sweet offer of morning tea, and Neil had to reassure Dar later that I wasn't mad at her.  I'm going to hell.  My only defense?  It's MORNING!

Connie's plane had already whisked her back to the West Coast, but Neil, Brad, Dar & Timothy met me for lunch at Madam Mam's.  Thai iced teas are good.  I got to tell them all about my meeting with one of the professors I want to help me get into grad school, and say goodbye properly when I  wasn't growly and mean from lack of sleep.  Neil drove 'em straight to the airport after that, and Monday night found us basking in the house sans people.  It was a great visit, and so good to see the kids, but also something we're just not used to - guests!  For many days!  Hee.

Finally, I met with the first of the professors I want to recommend me for the Asian Studies Grad School program.  He was the iffiest of those I wanted to talk to, because I'm currently taking a class with him, but haven't had him before.  That means he's got two papers and a class presentation to go on, but really doesn't KNOW me.  He solved that problem brilliantly by suggesting that I get a recommendation from one of the professors I've worked most with at UT (who is sadly not tenured or tenure track, so doesn't qualify to recommend for this program), and he would roll it into his rec, effectively giving me a double rec with enough history to make it stick. 

Unfortunately, the upshot of the rest of our conversation is that I need to maintain my grade point average (which is mostly ok, but that Sufi class is going to screw me), and I NEED to be getting A's in Japanese.  His words were basically:  "B's are ok, but Japanese is an easy language, you should be getting A's."  What's that mean??  I need to push HARD for the rest of the semester to do great in Japanese.  It's doable, but it's not going to leave me a lot of time.  And beyond that, I need to make sure I keep hard on all my other classes, when I'd prefer to slack off a little bit.

Oh, and I'm going back into 'test prep madness' anyway, because I've got a Japanese chapter test tomorrow and Friday, and 3 tests the week after next that I cannot do badly on.  So, school, here I come!

And if you, my dear friends, actually made it through all of that, I give you MASSIVE HUGS because you're far more patient and dedicated than I am!!


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  • but... the story goes on without me!

    As far back as I can remember, I've believed somewhere in the back of my head, at a gut level of knowing-ness, that the stories in books go on…

  • Goodbye to my Grandfather

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