For now, a quick update for those who haven't heard yet:
I took a job with Amazon so Paula and I are moving to Seattle in about three weeks. I'm excited and nervous.
Moving is hell.
Well, I got the official phone call today to tell me that Trilogy would not be offering me a job at the end of my leave of absence. So as of August 1, I'll be really unemployed (instead of just this pseudo-unemployed I've been recently). It's a weird feeling. Kind of disappointing and at the same time kind of a relief. But still, 5 years 22 days is a pretty good run, especially starting from the crazy days of 2000. And I hit my other goal of getting a two-digit employee number (meaning I'm in the top 100 most senior employees at the company, time-wise). Although it looks like I'm not going to make my final goal of sticking around until the first patent application I filed issues.
As for what's next, I have no idea. Maybe grad school, maybe going back to Japan, or maybe just finding another software job somewhere else. My parents have brought up the idea of going to work for IBM several times since I have lots of connections there. It's certainly something to consider, but who knows? Maybe they would send me to Japan. Or send me to grad school.
Also today, my mom called to tell me that my grandmother died today. We weren't very close, but still. Crazy that both those phone calls would come on the same day.
recently, for some reason, whenever i talk about the leave of absence i'm on now, i always say that i'm getting one fifth of a cucumber.
(cucumber -- kyuuri, salary -- kyuuryou)
today i spend three and a half hours looking up vocabulary that i overheard in class and in preparation for tomorrow's class. i haven't even had time to study it (other than looking it all up and typing it in) and it's time for bed. intensive is good, but i can see why they don't encourage participation in this program for more than three months at a time. the burn-out potential seems high.
and yet, it's still a hell of a lot of fun. i suppose this is the same attitude that got me through mit.
it seems that in a formal letter i wrote for a homework assignment, i invited one of my teachers to go out carousing1 with me.
learning new words from dictionaries without checking for examples can be dangerous.
1: for the benefit of those who read kanji, the word i used was 夜遊, which my dictionary just said was "nightlife" of no specific variety.
this weekend, i once again tried to kill myself with my bicycle.
i'd heard that there were some cool sights down in Kota, the next town south, so i took off by bike to check them out. it looked from the map like it would take about an hour to bike, and then i could park my bike at Sangane station and hike around an about-8km trail that would take me eventually up to the peak of Mt. Sangane. i found the station without a problem, but even after 15 minutes of poking around, the trail wasn't to be found. i did manage to find Honkoji temple and Fukozu fault (left by a magnitude 7.1 quake in Showa 20 (1945?), there was a 1.5m displacement), but none of the rest of it was in evidence. and of course, no one had any idea what i was talking about. it wasn't a total waste, though, at least it was good exercise.
but, i haven't gotten the part where i tried to kill myself yet (discounting some brutal hills i went up on my crappy bike). on the way back, i took a short break to watch the Shinkansen go by, and shortly after i started up again, i managed to completely misjudge a turn and crashed straight into the guardrail. my bike came to a sudden stop, and i came to a slightly less sudden stop on the ground. after some copious swearing, though, i determined that i wasn't seriously injured (aside from some nice bruises which developed later on). i had a chance to get some good japanese practice with another cyclist who stopped to make sure i was ok. it was a good thing he stopped, too, because it turned out i bent something badly enough that the rear wheel wouldn't turn anymore and he took me across the street to an auto repair shop where i got everything, er, straightened out. the phrase i heard the most at that point was "be careful, ok?"
in other news, later that night, i had the chance to try a ~$150-a-bottle irish whisky (Midleton's Very Rare), and it was fantastic.
yesterday in class, i talked about the customs and habits of the people who live in my stomach.
seems that "stomach" and "the country" (i.e. "not the city") are pretty similar words.
seems like for the past few weeks, i've been totally confused between two grammatical structures. every time i've meant to say "i've been trying to do [such and such]" i've actually been saying "i'm about to start doing [such and such]". i wonder why no one said anything, i've must've been saying some really weird things.
i even asked a teacher at one point about a finer point of the former structure (thinking it had the latter meaning) and got what i interpreted to be a reasonable answer, but i guess the reason some of things i was trying to say "sounded weird" might've just been because i was saying the wrong thing.
well, another mistake i'll likely never make again.
As time has gone on, I've discovered that there are really only three kinds of people studying at Yamasa in the short-term "SILAC" program I'm in.
1) people majoring in East Asian studies or some such similar field who have an interest in the language relating to their current area of research
2) people with an extreme interest in things Japanese who have the means to come here, study the language, and live in the culture
3) burned out IT/software professionals
I think the last group is the largest.