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February 14, 2005

Food Poisoning

In the ultimate twist of fate, I am at home today, sick to my stomach with what has to be food poisoning. Having just spent a week in Taiwan with no problems whatsoever eating at places that would never pass muster on a US health department inspection, one has to laugh that I got sick only after eating at a restaurant back here in the States.

Well, one would laugh if one were not doubled over in pain. Ugh.

PGP Signed Entry

February 13, 2005

Narita Nirvana, Redux

Writing from the new* Red Carpet Club at Narita International Airport, during a 3 hour layover. Got off my upgraded flight from Taipei a little over an hour ago, and headed into my personalized shower suite. Now I'm going to let you in on a personal detail here, that is how good I am feeling about myself today...

I hate using the restroom when I travel. Actually, not just when I travel, but rather, I just hate using the restroom in any public place. Sometimes, maybe, you get a fairly clean looking restroom and it's bearable... but god, have you ever tried taking a dump 10 hours into a flight in an airliner lavatory? I'm getting nauseous just thinking about it. I can't imagine how hard it must be as a woman; at least as a guy I don't have to touch anything to pee. Yuck...

Okay, back to the point. So one of the nice things about taking a shower at Narita is that you get a whole bathroom to yourself, that has just been cleaned just for you. So it's like taking a dump in a hotel room... not quite home, but definitely clean. Hell, cleaner than home if you know me. That and right afterwards, you just step into the shower and come out a little later squaky clean. They even give you basic toiletries, though no hair goop and deoderant. The shower heads even have a basic pulsating function that almost seems like a water massage. Ahhh... what a great way to decompress after a trans-Pacific flight, or even just because you didn't get up early enough this morning to take a shower before heading for the airport in Asia.

So now I'm sitting here lounging. There's a cold glass of beer next to me, some yummy treats, and I'm watching the planes come and go to all points of the globe. I'll probably hit up the massage chairs upstairs in a bit...

Not quite the jacuzzi thing I wrote about a while back, but still a pretty darn close to ideal way to spend a 3 hour layover. It's the dignified way everyone should be able to travel, but if it's going to be reserved for only the few, man I hope I keep on being one of the few.

* New, see, because it's been more than two years since I've flown to Asia, and equally long since the last time I was at this airport. Kind of crazy when you consider, but just a sign of the times I guess. Anyway, this lounge has probably been here forever, but it's new to me. I will say that I lament the loss of the old satellites here at Narita for one reason: there used to be a secret observation area that very few people knew about in each satellite, and I loved going there and just hanging out, watching the planes from a panoramic window. That's gone now. But the showers and WiFi and beer make up for it. Heh.

PGP Signed Entry

February 11, 2005


This purpose of this post is solely to thank M for forcing me to buy the 50mm f/1.4 lens instead of the f/1.8.

PGP Signed Entry

February 2, 2005


M commented to me yesterday that I've been really busy these last few weeks, but that I seem really happy lately. This is true.

I've noticed that since the beginning of the year, it seems like I've filled every hour of every day with some purposeful activity. There's just been so much going on! I'm already making great progress on a bunch of the "resolutions" I wrote about a few weeks ago. The challenge has been balancing it all with sleep and keeping myself from burning out.

When I first moved into my apartment, I didn't have anything. I slept on the floor in my sleeping bag and my lone piece of "furniture" was a milk crate. I may have been too lazy to get real furniture at the time, but the reason I tell everyone that I took so long to get furniture was that it forced me to go out and not just squander the good years of my life in front of a TV or computer screen (because goodness knows I do enough of that anyway). These days, even with furniture and all, I don't spend all that much time in the apartment because I feel I've gotten into a good routine of avoiding routine.

Yes, I play volleyball every Tuesday (and sometimes on Monday and Wednesday too), and soccer on every Sunday, and go to dinner with my friends every Thursday, play poker every Friday, and have been hiking almost every Saturday... etc... but what's really amazed me about the past few weeks is how I've managed to squeeze even more out of the time than I thought I could. For instance, Monday, I had an eight hour long conversation with J - I guess you could say it was a heart to heart - that spanned dinner over sushi, coming home for a quick stop, taking pictures of an unusually clear night scene with the new camera, dessert at yummy chocolate decadence place, and Driving (yes that's with a capital D). All this after work, of course. And I used to just come home and bum after volleyball on Tuesday. Yesterday, I picked up wings and went over to J's for a late dinner instead. I'm actually pretty amazed at how much one can do in a single day.

I do think right now I'm on the edge of being too active, because I haven't been getting quite as much sleep as I should. But I'm thinking if I can just be a little more efficient with boring things like laundry and such, I should be okay. Like writing this on the tail end of a lunch break instead of when I could be working or spending time with friends.

Anyhoo... that's the one month into 2005 update. Is it crazy that this is the first time in 14 years that I've ended January with zero Premier-qualifying miles? That's okay... I'll have 18,000 by Valentine's Day.

PGP Signed Entry