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Visitor Update - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

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Previous Entry Visitor Update Oct. 7th, 2004 @ 04:56 pm Next Entry
I have several good news related stories to, well, relate first off is Dave is coming down this weekend with his gal Eli. They are going to Osaka for the long weekend, and has asked if I would let them stay at my place. It will be great to see old Dave. They are going to Universal Studios Japan so I may go too, not sure if I am up for it or not it may also be unbelievably expensive (like so many things are here.) I am a little nervous about money as well this month. I have to pay around $60 because I had my bag shipped from Tokyo to Daito, and unless the IRS gets it in gear and sends me my form I will have to pay another $600 this month! Meaning I had to shell out $1200 this month, around half my paycheck! I will get the money back eventually, but “eventually” doesn’t help me “now-ually.” I have money of course, but I am just really really paranoid. I don’t like my available funds to dip below $1000, and am really uneasy about letting that happen even if it is for a good cause like Universal Studios Japan. So USJ (as they call it here) may not be in my future this time, but we are definitely going to Hard Rock Café Osaka because, as Dave put it, “I need a real hamburger!” Truer words, truer words… When I came to Japan to visit Dave the first night we ate at the Hard Rock Uenu. Dave took my picture with a very cute waitress, of course the story later became the very cute waitress was hitting on me and asked to have her picture taken with me. Dave has promised more of the same at Osaka Hard Rock, so how could I say no? The one bad part is that Dave and I will play Smash Brothers when Eli is out shopping. This is annoying because I really wanted to BREAK DAVE INFRONT OF HIS GIRLFRIEND BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I am Smash Brothers evil. Dave has not played in over a year, I think, and I haven’t played in a few months. I need to practice a bit, because Dave is the master, but in the words of Darth Vader “When I left you I was but a boy, now I am the master.” Or so I hope.

Next my parents are coming in late October and staying till November 9th. I am really excited to see them. I have a holiday in the middle of the week so I will either take the two preceding or proceeding days off to make myself a nice little five day weekend. We are planning on doing some really neat stuff. I am going to send them to Kyoto because it has everything, we are going to go down to Wakayama and see the Pacific, I need to find a nice bamboo forest near be to see. That is one I really want to experience as well. But mostly my parents are looking to experience what it is like to live in Daito and Japan. This is actually what I found most rewarding when I visited Dave in January. I so enjoyed just walking around seeing the city and how the people lived. My mom and dad are looking for a similar experience, and Daito and Osaka will be great to provide a nice contrast of city and not quite city life.

Also on the horizon is the potential for Katie to visit me. Katie wrote a grant proposal for Shansi. Shansi is an organization on Oberlin’s campus to help promote cultural understanding between America and Asia. Katie is interested in doing the JET program when she graduates next year, so she is hoping to come. She would have to do a project while she was here, but one on the educational system would be very easy to do, and very informative given the fact that I could probably land her interviews with staff from my school, the Board of Education, plus all my international cast of characters friends. Needless to say she wrote a really strong proposal that I helped to give a good polish. It will be for around $1000 if she is awarded the prize, I think they give out 4 and around 20 people apply. The odds of one in five are good, and probably a lot higher due to the fact that this is Oberlin so some of the proposal probably go something like this, “I want to smoke weed in China to like totally protest against like the human rights issues that are like blocking the pedagological dialog to the unpacking of worldly discourse in post-modern homoerotic classist hierarchical vegan patriarchy.” So I am thinking, because she used real words, she has a better than one in five shot. The $1000 would be more than air fair so she would be set. I don’t know if she would stay for all of winter term or just a week or two, I guess I should have asked her. Ohh well, she can stay the whole month if she can stand me. Regardless it would be great to see her again, fingers crossed everyone. This is like a Peter Pan “Tinkerbell is dead” moment here, if everyone believes in Katie’s proposal clap your hands and it will come true. If you don’t clap bad things will happen to you, very very bad things…

And there is always the potential for the one the only Team Canada to come visit me, and hopefully whisk me away to beautiful China. Laurence coming here may spark controversy though, because I have given Damian, a Canadian JET and resident “pretty boy,” an uber-cool nick-name, “Canadian Heat.” Could Canadian Heat and Team Canada get along, or is Daito-shi too small for the two of them? But Team Canada may never even make it over to Japan, because he is currently enrolled in Quantum Mechanics. Few things in this world are more mind siphoningly, essence suckingly, bowel shatteringly bad as QM. Especially for Chemists, for they still toil under the misconception that the Schrödinger Wave Equation is their friend and easy to use. The truth is a cruel cruel mistress. Many a good chemist has crumbled when physics revealed the true evil nature of the universe to them. I pray Laurence is willing to and strong enough to except the truth. Or else I will have to visit him, in the insane asylum! Speaking of chemistry, I read that the Noble Prize in Chemistry went to three chemists that described how a protein is broken up in a cell. Last year (or maybe the year before that) it was how protein went through the cell membrane. When are cooler forms of chemistry going to win the prize and not this bio-chemistry stuff?
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From:sneakypeteiii
Date:October 7th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
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Team Canada and Canadian Heat can only fuse to form a more powerful being, the Hot Canadian Team! Together, we are good at hockey, speak poor French as well as English, and travel around on a large moose. It is inevitable.

Yeah, I saw the "ubiquitin" prize -- actually, I think all the nobels in the past three years were given to biological chemistry things: first it was NMR and Mass Spec of large molecules (read: proteins), then it was water transport channels in the cell membrane, and now how proteins are destroyed in the cell. If you look at the three prizes, it seems as though the nobel committee was constructing some sort of garbage chute for proteins. Consequently, it looks to me like proteins are on their way out. Next year it'll be back to hardcore chemists.

So if the last problem set wasn't enough, nobody I know has any idea how to do 1a this week. I hope the TA does when I go bother him this afternoon, lest I go check out a book on real number analysis. Hopefully I won't be in the nuthouse in December -- they say that grades don't matter much here -- B or better is good enough!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 8th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)

I laugh at your folly

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Your only hope for beating the Master is me! Mwahaha. May the gods have mercy on your soul.

Good luck Katie!

-Eric in the-boondocks-of-Japan-where-it's-rather-lonely-but-just-too-expensive-for-anyone-to-ever-come-visit
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From:jbisker
Date:October 12th, 2004 10:59 am (UTC)

most (un)impressive

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for goodness sake andrew, the quote is "when last we met I was but the learner; now I am the master."

sheesh, some things you think you can count on in the world, you know?

it sounds like you're having a great time. i own you an email, and hope to make good on it soon.

hope you're doing great,
-josh
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