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August, 2008:

Cooling down into the turn of the seasons

Well, it’s official. Cooler weather is really on it’s way – I’m making stew right now. Sure, I could make stew in the summer, but that seems a little off-season don’t you think? This isn’t to say I never get cold in the summer… there are nights where I actually use my electric blanket to keep me warm and help me stay asleep.
Next week it’ll be September! Kind of feels like the summer sped by but I think that’s mostly because July was so jam-packed this year that it took me all of August to fully relax again XD This isn’t to say that the activities in that month weren’t worth it – I really enjoyed visiting Tokyo again although it make me kind of homesick for living there, a bit. I want to find more excuses to go back to visit… hehe. But for a while, I think I have to spend some time at home. I still have tons of stuff to sort through and decide where to put and what to do with. (Although this is a process that essentially began when I moved in here about a year ago so who knows how long it will really take…)
Lately I’ve been back to playing games a lot, which I love ♥ On the Wii, Smash Bros. Brawl (mostly single player adventure mode); PSP, LocoRoco and then Patapon; DS, The World Ends With You, which is absolutely fantastic and I will have to go back to it once I’m done with the other games I’m playing.
Other things I’ve been doing (besides playing video games and attempting to organize all of my worldly possessions) include watching Sailormoon R and editing meta-info in iTunes (things like ratings, genres…) and trying to play through all of my tracks. It isn’t as though I haven’t listened to most of them, I just lost my library info a few months back and am still recovering from it (T_T) Admittedly it’s better than losing my library which would be 45GBs of music (@_@) I have three copies (laptop, external hd and iPod itself) so it would be hard to lose all three barring something horrible like a fire so I don’t worry about that too much… anyway, I’m aiming to get everything in a clean, organized, tagged fashion so I can create more smart playlists and regular playlists faster (by being able to seek out songs I want). I still have the task of properly labelling the remainder of my Japanese songs with hiragana/katakana/kanji (as required) titles and artist names…. but that’s kind of a less important task and possibly even more time consuming than rating and playing through the last thousand songs.
Doing things like that are a reminder to me of how organizational systems are good, but have huge learning curves sometimes. It takes so much time and effort to set them up people around you wonder if you’re ever going to get anything done anymore (the Boy keeps saying he thinks I’m wasting time with iTunes, but in reality I’ve actually made a lot of progress by just doing a little every few days) but when you do get a system down, all you have to do is add the new things and you’re set! The important thing is to not let a backlog pile up or your system is for naught (n_n)
I might try to blog more in the coming days, if for no other reason than to babble on about the games I’m enjoying and force my recommendations upon my friends.

Productivity in Driving

So despite rain threatening this afternoon, I did end up driving to my parents’ house (for the purpose of cleaning out my old room) and back today, which is about 15-20 minutes each way, depending on the route and speed you take. Some relatively major roads were involved, and I reached 40mph for a short period on each trip. As ridiculous as it might sound to some of you reading this, that’s a decent step forward for me XD I may actually get my license before winter, but I wouldn’t bet on it just yet.
Despite how I’m feeling now (which is much more comfortable) I still maintain that at the time when I should have started driving originally (which is 16 in this state) I would not have been a very good, or very stable driver. It wouldn’t have been safe for me or anyone else on the road (this is not to say that everyone who passes the license test are good or stable drivers, but I can only make that decision for myself, so.) Yes, I probably could’ve been driving a year or two ago, but, well. Anyway the important thing is it’s happening now, and I will eventually have a car of my own to drive and take me places I want to go alone *shock*
Some things that initially scared me and things I think would have helped me to know/do as a new driver are:
– the car actually MOVES when you put it in drive. This is not something I had ever been aware of, and it was rather unsettling.
– starting out on a hill is not preferred. A large parking lot (empty of course) type area is best for getting used to turns, as well as starting and stopping. (I still think there should be practice courses for new drivers to test out, akin to go-cart areas, but for full size cars. As a required training exercise before you actually get on the road. I felt ill-prepared.)
– likewise, practice going back and forth between the brake/gas pedals is important, since you’re supposed to do it with only one foot. I’ve got it down now, but initially I really really wanted to use both, and it resulted in some physical lockup and mental stalling.

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