Late last night,there was a change of plans - instead of going to watch the second Matrix movie tonight, we hit it last night instead. I originally went with Yuki, but he spread the word to all the other Japanese foriegn exchange students, and we ended up with six people bound for the Fergueson Theater. ::chuckles:: I also ran into one of my old Yell Crew buddies on the way down there, and he and a friend of his met us there. Movie was kick-ass-fantabulous, as to be expected. I told myself that this time, I'd try to analyze all of the philisophical tidbits that escaped my notice the first time....nah, didn't happen. I got so into the film that I couldn't break away from it and look at it from my side of the "fourth wall". Not that I'm complaining. ::smiles::
Afterwards, the Japan crew asked me if I'd drive them around. "Why the hell not," I thought to myself. Yuki hopped in the cab with me to keep me company, and all of the girls climbed into the back. (I originally thought it was going to be three people, and that way everyone could ride up front. Turns out that something as simple as a midnight joyride sparked so much excitement that everyone had to go). I drove around town for a pretty good while, all over Moundville and Tuscaloosa and Northport. Gave Yuki the informal tour, as he knows English well enough to comprehend much of what I'm saying. In fact, he's making quite a bit of progress already, from just being immersed into our society for a week or so. Anyways, I pointed out to him where the malls were, the resteraunts, the bars and the clubs. I figure he can tell the others if they ever go out themselves, though that seems unlikely - only one or two of them have Japanese driver's licences, and none have the International licence yet (naturally). The only place we actually went to was Krystals - after a while everyone was getting hungry, and that was the only place open that late (aside from Waffle House). Yuki was joking around about them serving "Japanese person sized hamburgers", while the girls all begged to eat their chicken nuggetts in the back of my truck. Aside from that, I just randomly prowled around streets that I didn't really even know. I wasn't lost, of course - I knew if I followed one road long enough it'd connect with Highway 43 or with University or Greensboro or what have you - but I rarely if ever went down some of those steets. On the way back, I slowly coasted down the Strip parade-style, so everyone could holler and wave at the teeming masses gathered around the entrances to the various bars in town. Great fun.
To be honest, I don't think I've prowled the streets like that since I was a freshman. Sure, I may occasionally go out for a ten minute drive every now and then for a bit of fresh air, but never spend an hour and a half driving around, enjoying the sights, listning to a half dozen Japanese girls giggling and taking pictures out of the bed of my pickup truck. ::chuckles:: Between Yuki's growing taste for the country music he often hears me listning to on Winamp when he comes back from class, and everyone's excitedness to ride around in the bed of a pickup truck for absolutely no reason, I fear that I'm slowly changing these students into Asian Rednecks. ^_^;
Didn't get to talk to my baby last night, cause she left her cell phone in her friend's friend's car. Kinda bummed me out, cause I need that girl like oxygen. A constant supply of Laura or else I'll just die. At least, it happened on a night where I was so extremely tired that I was able to pass out on the bed without thinking too much about it. She works a double shift tonight, and she has to close. I probably still won't get to talk to her for an hour or so. At least I didn't click the "Do not play sounds while away" tab on my Instant Messanger (like I almost always do). Laura ended up IM'ing me to tell me good morning and that she loves me, and the blinging woke me up long enough to give her a call for fifteen minutes before she had to go to work. ::smiles:: I just don't know what I'd do if it werent' for that girl...
Anyways, today the gang needed a ride out to the mall. Yuki said it was three people, but that three morphed into eight - the girls from last night, and two new male students that I haven't met. Eh, no problem there, long as they don't mind riding in the back. Don't mind? They were each trying to beg the others into letting them get in the back also. If I had an extended wheelbase frame, I'm sure I would have been the only one in the cab. ::chuckles::
Haven't been to the mall in ages, so it was a nice way to spend a weekend afternoon. Especially since Jason was outta town, and I have no books/TV/radio/etc in my apartment to entertain myself with. We broke up and said we'd meet back at the food court in an hour thirty. As I was walking to Radio Shack (I think), one of the male students spotted me and wanted me to go inside the store he was just at so he could show me something. Turns out, along with all the video games, the Babbages clone (I forget the name) also sells Anime and Manga. This guy just couldn't believe that there was Manga over here, and he wanted to buy a bunch of it. Two reasons - one, it would help him learn English a bit better, and two, because they were some of his favorite series that he had almost forgotten about. Musta hit the nostalgia button, cause he was telling me how when he was a child, he'd watch Dragonball Z every day, and after school he'd pretend he was Vegeta and play-fight with the other children. I showed him down the hall to Suncoast and he couldn't believe it. Toys, magazines, Manga, Anime on VHS and DVD, posters, wall scrolls...everything Japanese that he could ever ask for. He was also quite surprised to know that we knew about the actor "Bruce Lee" over here. ::smirks::
I couldn't believe it, either. As I was showing him all the cool stuffs we gots over here, I was surprised myself. Last time I was at the mall, Suncoast was cool because they had an entire wall of Anime. But then again, that was so long ago that the Anime was on VHS, and Sailor Moon was the biggest name there, tripling the number of tapes there was of DBZ. Heh. Now, they have wall scrolls and toys and all kinds of cool ass stuff that I never knew about. Yeah, it's all way more expensive than it should be, but just that it's for sale really impresses the hell outta me. I wonder, is it just because we have a very large population of Japanese people in the Tuscaloosa area, or are *all* Suncoast stores like this? (I know the one in Mobile isn't, but that's the only other store I know of besides this one).
What surprised me the most? POCKY! Yes, I've been sitting here, goin crazy for some Pocky. Haven't had but one package since I've returned from Japan. They just don't sell it anywhere nearby. RJ gave me a box when he returned from Japan-fest in Atlanta. But now, all this time, it's been sitting there on a shelf not ten miles from here in all it's pockity goodness. Suncoast has an entire shelf dedicated to nothing but Japanese snack foods. Dozens of different kinds, but most importantly there was an entire shelf of just Pocky. Strawberry. Mousse. Almond Crunch. MMMMMMMM. Just four bucks, and I could be gnawing on a few sticks of it right now. But of course, I find this out now that I'm completely and totally bankrupt - zero dollars in the checking account, and nothing but cobwebs in the billfold. It's about enough to drive me crazy.
(Now that I know it's there, I'm really going to have to keep myself from busting down the door and robbing the place. I can just see it now: "No, I don't want your money. Just gimme all your POCKY! No one has to get hurt!")
Afterwards, I fixed tuna patties for myself, and gave one to Yuki to try. He seemed really impressed. Also, it's quite handy being able to cook for one and a half (since he eats so little). I'm always having leftovers when I cook, as the servings are just too big for one person. Often it's not enough to save, either, so I'm forced into over eating just so I don't waste anything. It's easier to cook for both of us, and it's nice to be able to show him things he hasn't had before. Of course, now I'm kinda wishing I was a halfway decent cook. While I was in Tokyo, Eiko would fix such fabulous meals. In America, I fix Yuki off-brand pot pies and tuna patties. ::shrugs:: It is nice, if nothing else, to be able to have conversations at dinnertime. I dunno, there's just something that's so damn depressing about sitting there alone, eating by yourself.
Anyway, that's about it. Around nine or so, one of Yuki's friends came up looking for him. They were supposed to go play tennis together. Out of politeness and possibly the beginnings of actual friendship, they asked me if I'd come down there and play with them as well. I knew I shouldn't with my back and all, but I said all right anyways. Tennis isn't nearly as difficult as football. And there's not too much bending, like in martial arts. Plus, this was a very casual, informal game. I wouldn't have to hurt myself making a play like I normally do when I compete - I'd just let it bounce past me and go again, as no one was taking score (or even knew how to, it seems). Played around with one of the guys from this morning after two of the three girls got tired of their game. About ten minutes afterward, Yuki came down there. Turns out he had a prior engagement. He laughed his ass off when he saw me out there. Turns out I was the last person he expected to see running around trying to hit the fuzzy little ball. I could only play for about ten minutes, tops, before my back started hurting. After I stopped, it kept getting worse for another five before calming down. However, it quickly dissapated - perhaps I am starting to get a tiny bit better, after all. I still hurt myself all too easily, but at least this time the pain didn't stay with me for hours. So, I waited half an hour or so, then played Yuki for five minutes or so until my back gave out on me again. It's still very sore now, but only that. Sore. After a hot shower the pain isn't any worse than on a typical day. Good good news for Nash.
Well then, it's quarter till one now. My baby's gonna be getting off within the half hour, and I miss her twice as bad as usual since we couldn't talk last night. Lemme get offa here for now. I might be back on later tonight after our call, but then again I'll prolly just doze off instead. Take care, everybody!