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Kamen Riders on the Storm

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After driving through what seemed like a typhoon, I am now back in Bloomington. Started off a pretty lazy day, ate lunch with the fam (Cecil Whitaker’s pizza), then packed up and got ready to hit the road. Would have left earlier but there was some show on G4 about the history of MegaMan, which was sweet so I stayed and watched. Left my house around 4PM central time, and things seemed to be smooth sailing from there. About an hour or so passed, or the time it took me to listen through most of Ludacris’ Red Light District, it started to drizzle. OK, I can deal with that. Then it started to rain. Then it started to pour. Oh, and add that to the effect of any car or semi in front of you spewing water towards your winshield at 80 mph, and visibility was now cut to almost naught. The greatest moment was when I was behind a slow-moving semi, who was exactly side by side with yet another semi, both of which were spraying water at me. My winshield wipers couldn’t keep up; this was no longer a fun drive on highway 70. It reminded me a lot of my brother Alex’s common complaint in high school, when you’d have 2 or more HUGE fat chicks slowly walking down the hallway, blocking not only any hope of passing them but all artificial light as well. As if the two non-passable semis in front of me weren’t enough, soon after yet another car gets up in my space, and starts tailing me. This one was a weird looking bronze car that had a handicap tag hanging from the rearview mirror. Great, just great. I’m flying down the wet highway with a pair of semis in front of me, and some jerk handicapper (yes, just because you’re handicapped doesn’t exempt you from being an ass) decides it would be a great idea to tail me. Great idea PAL.

As fun as the highway party was, I pulled off in a nice little town called Casey, Illinois before the cars ended up doing a roadway mosh. I ate a McDonald’s cheeseburger while I waited out the storm. The rain seemed to let up and the sun was starting to come out a bit, so back onto 70 I went. Drove for about a half hour until I realized that the storm must have been following my eastbound path, and I had driven back into it. Luckily it wasn’t as bad this time, so I made my way from Casey into Indiana and to the town of Cloverdale, where I turn off of highway 70. Nothing really interesting happened during that leg of the trip; no fat high school girl semis to block my way, and no handicappers to tail me. As I started driving down 231, the rain pretty much let up and I was home free. Nothing like speeding down a 1-lane highway in the peaking sun. By the time I got back to Bloomington (around 9PM eastern time) and unpacked the first load of stuff into my abandoned-smelling apartment, I opened the door to get more stuff. Somehow in the 15 or 20 seconds it took me to set down 1 box, re-open the door and look up, the huge storm had found my apartment and did it’s stuff. The Japanese term 雨男 seems oddly appropriate here.



The drive from Bloomington to Chicago must be one of the most boring and least-scenic of roadways I have ever seen. Driving up to Indy is pretty much the same as usual, but once you pass Indy, there is absolutely nothing. NOTHING. Not really even anything interesting on the sides of the roads. No major towns until you get up to Gary/Chicago area. I passed Lafayette and Purdue I think, but saw nothing of note from the highway except for some salt mines. But, about 5 hours later (including a pitstop in Morocco), I made it to Chicago. I’m staying in a pretty nice hotel downtown, preparing for my interview with AEON tomorrow. AEON, for those wondering, is an English school in Japan. Sounds fancy; I think I have a decent chance at getting in. However, Bryan Reynolds also applied last year and didn’t get in, which leaves me worried. Maybe the A-Team is too super qualified for this kind of job. I’m considering playing down my experience, which is really tough since half of my resume is Japan or Japanese-related stuff. We’ll see. Also sometime between now and the interview tomorrow at 1PM, I have to make up a 15-minute lesson plan for the group interview. I guess I’ll just try to pull something out of the memories of my stint of teaching English at Takanawadai High School.

I’d never driven to Chicago before. I’ve been here quite a few times, but it was always either my parents driving, flying, or taking a bus. Anyway, the drive wasn’t too bad (except for the excruciatingly boring aspects); I do like the drive to St. Louis better. Also, before you get into Chicago proper, you pass through this industrial zone where every building spits smoke of varying levels of pollution (including neon blue!). Maybe that was Gary? Yes, that part of the world looked pretty bad from what I saw. The legends are true!

Toll roads. I get to the first toll gate, and was preparing for the worst. 15 cents. Sweet; I can deal with that. Then the next one: 50 cents. A big increase, but still, not too bad. Then a little bit more down the road and I hit the last of my toll gates of the night. This one, however, is a whopping $2.50. What. The. Heck. Chicago.???! They lure you into thinking “oh wow, these toll roads ain’t so bad.” But once you’re on the road and there’s already no way out, they slam you at the end with a huge price increase. 15 cents should be the maximum or something. The roads weren’t even THAT much better than a standard highway. Bah.

Up to now, spring break has been just working on IUSTV stuff everyday at the office, usually until about 8 or 9 at night. I’m kind of glad that I got to come up to Chicago for a few days, just to get away from everything. Sure, tomorrow afternoon after my interview I’ll probably come back to the hotel to work on IUSTV stuff (e-mail, scheduling stuff, etc), but it’s still like a vacation for me. I want to check out the Field Museum, Chinatown, and Mitsuwa. All of which I think I’ll be able to pull off, since I’m staying here until Saturday afternoon. If anyone else is around Chicago, call me and we can hang out. Otherwise I’ll just be museum-ing it up myself. God I’m such a dork. But they have an exhibit on evolution!

Driving for 5 hours by yourself with nothing to do but listen to CDs gives you a lot of time to think to yourself. I can’t really remember if there was anything important (there certainly wasn’t anything deep), but I do remember the revelation about sleep. Recently, I’ve been getting more sleep than I ever have since I was very very young (probably before I entered elementary school), save for weekends, breaks, etc. Nowadays, with my demanding College Senior class schedule, I sleep pretty much 8 hours every day. I wake up feeling fine, never need to nap, don’t feel tired, and life, in summary, is good. This is coming off a long stretch (middle school to junior year of college) where I would instead get about 5 or 6 hours of sleep, I would wake up tired all the time, fall asleep in class, take naps, etc. Getting 8 hours sleep is definitely a good thing. I actually think I’ve written about this before on the blog (well, probably just bragging about my awesome schedule), but I just wanted to throw it out there again.

Now, I’m watching Champloo on Adult Swim in my hotel room, thinking about what I should make my lesson plan about, and I have already planned out my morning schedule for tomorrow. I’m going to wake up around 9AM to get everything organized, printed, and to make sure I show up at the interview place ON TIME (yeah, we all know I have a bad habit about being late for everything). Once that’s over, time to explore downtown Chicago. SPRING BREAK 2K6!!!! WOOOOOOO!

260 miles in 3.5 hours


Back in Bloomington. And yes apparently staying up until 6AM every day for the past week or so has officially ruined my sleep schedule, and I am sitting here in my nice Bloomington pad, 6AM, for some reason not feeling like going to sleep although I have absolutely nothing to do right now. I was feeling a little tired earlier around 2, but why go to sleep when I can watch TV and repair a Red Dragon Megazord?

Partially due to the boredom (not a bad thing) and lack of things to do at home while on break, I’ve become addicted to reading peoples’ blogs. I guess I can’t really say addicted, because I haven’t read that many, but I like to read peoples’ blogs (people I know, primarily) more often now. I don’t have as much of a hankering for reading strangers blogs, because they don’t seem as interesting to me, but I think I’m going to try and read peoples blogs more frequently from here on. YOU are obviously one step ahead of me and are already reading mine. Just some ramblings from a guy who should go to sleep soon. Oh yeah, speaking of blogs, I like comments on mine, because it makes me feel like this has a point/interaction. Use it like a discussion forum. Topic: what is your favorite type of cheese?

Obviously being awake this late is having some kind of effect on my train of thought. Anyways, in the past few hours, I’ve actually ran through my head two or three different “topics” that I could write blog entries about. I don’t always plan stuff out too much before I write on here, which is why my blog is pretty random and all over the place. Nick, of course, has an ongoing list of 30389 topics that he narrows down in a fashion similar to the Academy Awards nomination process. My problem is that I think of a good number of ideas, but am too lazy to sit down and write about them. Either that or I decide that it won’t be a good article (or there won’t be enough to write) and abandon it that way. Just off the top of my head of what I can remember, some so-called “discarded” blog ideas from the past few weeks have been:

  • similarities between hardcore anime otaku and sports fans
  • college is pretty much a waste of time if you don’t actually get experience in something that will be applicable in the real world
  • saw a CNN spot on some hippy school in Chicago. STOP RAISING HIPPIES
  • i love Dragon Ball
  • Kishidan is 10 years old somehow, and they are still awesome
  • semester outlook (I’ll prolly get around to this)

Feel free to borrow those ideas and develop them into some quality blog posts/newspaper articles/pop group songs for yourself; I’d love to see them.

I got my JET confirmation letter (they got my stuff), grades, 2 bills, and a reimbursement check from Sears in my mailbox. Also a bunch of ads. Overall, not the frightening overflow of mail I expected from being out of town for almost 3 weeks. But it’s good to be back; this is going to be a sweet semester. But for now, I must sleep. I’m going to forget what daylight looks like.

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It was storming pretty hard when I woke up. It’s over now; I had a good lunch; I took a good nap. Time to get stuff together and drive back to B-town I guess.

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