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[May 2002]

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May 2002

earthquakes and disappearances but good news too

Best thing that happened
Hope got a job
Worst thing that happened
Denise going missing

As Christina once said, LiveJournal has stolen my soul. I've gotten into it so much, that Mik's Months will now mostly be a bunch of references to my LiveJournal. This means more pointing and clicking for you, but less typing for me! =)

My First Earthquake!!

After 13 years of just missing them, sleeping through them, or missing out on experiencing them for other flukey reasons, I finally experienced my first earthquake! It wasn't major by Californian standards, but everyone was talking about it anyhow.

Read more... )

Hope got a job!

I can't express how excited I am about this! After over a year of employment, Hope has a job—and she's working for NASA!! I'm so proud of her!

Hope's a jack of all trades when it comes to web work. She does graphic design, HTML, and has done some web administration. NASA is having her write a few scripts for image transfers, but they're also picking her brain about the more technical and scientific aspects of the project. Every time I've seen her since she got the job, she's told me about the project, which sounds incredible. I so wish I could be involved with it as well!

Amsterdam—It's Really Happening!

I received the air ticket I paid for last month, for my trip to Amsterdam. I'll be living and working there from August until December—that's the plan, anyhow. But I don't actually have anything lined up yet, and as this LiveJournal entry shows, in the middle of this month I realised how much there was to do. I panicked. But soon afterwards I realised that I'd already done a lot of it, and I still had plenty of time to do the rest.

I also decided this month to move out of home at the end of June, and just couch surf for the first two weeks of July. My wonderful friends came to the rescue and offered me plenty of places to stay, and as a result, I'm saving over $500 in rent. I'll be spending the second half of July driving to Texas, where my plane leaves from. This is so I can visit various people in LA and Austin, check out New Mexico, and get my last taste of the desert for a while.

Anyhow, I got the ticket for a good price—not much over $1000—and now I just have to decide if I'm going to buy some kind of a rail ticket for travelling around Europe. We'll see...

More Big Spending

In addition to the air ticket, I bought a new laptop this month. After a lot of advice from friends about good, robust brands, I settled on a Dell C800, which I purchased refurbished from a uBid auction. It hasn't arrived yet, but I plan to install Linux on it, and make it my primary computer. My existing computer, a laptop with a broken screen which has been functioning as a desktop for a while, will stay in the U.S, and function as a remote backup server for me.

My parents were nice enough to send me A$1000. I plan to spend that to replace the digital camera that I had stolen in January.

Met M

For the first time since our divorce in December, and all the emotional shit brought up by her letter in January, I saw M.

The thing that moved me the most was how much she'd changed, both physically and in personality. Physically, she's lost a frightening amount of weight, and is now wearing contacts instead of glasses. She looks ten years younger, in a way that disturbed me. Or maybe it's just because she's acting so differently now as well—the voluptuous, introverted, mature, no-nonsense woman is gone, and she's been replaced by an outgoing, friendly, slim twenty-something.

The main thing that happened since I'd last seen her was being diagnosed with depression, and being treated for it. This explains sooooooo much!! My attitude to her has changed completely, mostly because I now have a better understanding of where she was coming from when we were living together. She just had much more going on in her life than even she realised. I no longer have to blame her for a lot of the stuff that I blamed her for; I can blame her depression now.

It took me a while to analyse my feelings around meeting her. One of the things that I was pondering over is the fact that I'm still avoiding issues when I'm with her. I've always hated avoiding issues with people, but over the years it became a habit when I was living with her. There were various reasons for this, some more valid than others, but those reasons are gone now, so why am I still doing it? Clearly I've got more thinking to do.

But now that she's being treated, I have new hope for reconciliation with her. There's no way that this can happen before I go to Amsterdam, but we can make a start. I hope to see her at least one more time before I leave.

As for what the day was like to be with her, well, it was fine, apart from adjusting to the change. We went out to Folsom, a far eastern suburb of Sacramento, and I walked alongside her as she roller bladed by the river. We went for lunch afterwards, and talked about our lives. She didn't ask after my life much—some things haven't changed, I suppose—but she's definitely had a bumpy ride over the last few months.

Denise's Disappearance

Denise had me, Hope, and a fair few other people worried for a weekend when she didn't come down to visit as arranged. She was supposed to arrive at about 5:00pm on a Saturday night. I started ringing her at 7:30 to see if she was all right, but never heard back. At 9:00, I still hadn't heard anything. I decided that there was no point in me fretting at home, so I went to Oakland Airport to pick Rose up from a flight back from New York. While waiting for Rose, I telephoned the California Highway Patrol people to make sure that they weren't scraping Denise off a highway somewhere.

After 24 hours and leaving several more voicemails with her, I thought it was time to ring the police. I was on a beautiful date with Hope at the time, walking around Golden Gate Park at night in the City. Since Denise is from Sacramento, I rang the cops there, and they were very helpful. It felt like they were genuinely concerned for my friend's wellbeing, which was nice, because I was still feeling stung from the rather impassive Berkeley police when my bag was stolen in January.

Everything turned out to be all right, though. The police visited Denise at her home, and that prompted her to ring me to tell me what happened. Apparently her car was having trouble on the freeway, so she turned back home. She'd also lost her mobile 'phone, which was the only thing that had my telephone number, and she thought it was the only way that she could access her voicemail.

Enchantment

As I mentioned, I picked Rose up from the airport after she got back from New York, and we were met at home by her lovely friend from Toronto, Carol.

I described Carol as "enchanting" after I first met her. The fact is, I thought she was one of the most beautiful people I'd ever met, and I developed quite a crush on her. I went especially to South Bay Bi Coffee to meet up with her, but found myself struggling to come up with anything to say. I've always sucked at small talk, so there were a lot of awkward pauses.

Somehow, though, I managed not to look to foolish for her to want to talk to me on the telephone the next day. During that conversation, I learnt that a lot of the awkward pauses were just her taking time to come up with a thoughtful response to what I had to say. This made me feel more comfortable, but no less shy around her.

I got to see her one last time at Baycon. Something wonderful happened when I saw her there...

Baycon

I went to Baycon, a big sci-fi conference that occurs annually in the South Bay for the first time as a registered participant. It was a mixed experience, but overall I'm really glad I went.

Read more... )

Misculaneous Happenings

My department finally moved to the new floor at work. Now I have a nice new cube, and although it's smaller than my old cube, it's within view of a window. I even put mirrors up in it so I can look out of the window just by turning my head. There are still facilities missing from level 3, though, such as a toaster, and they haven't finished all of the toilets. They're also dragging their feet constructing the stair well to level 2—moving between floors is currently a real pain. But I'm sure they'll get all this sorted out eventually. Whether they do before I move to Amsterdam remains to be seen...

My all-time favourite band, Midnight Oil, were in town, so I went to see them. This was nothing like the concert they had on my birthday last year, when I got to meet Peter Garrett, but it was still an absolutely fantastic show! Read more... )

Hope and I set aside a day to work on our cars one weekend. We pulled her dashboard off and fixed the climate control, and diagnosed problems with the indicator and dome light. We set aside a second day to go to the wrecker and buy some parts, but it ended up raining that day. At the moment, Hope is driving around in a car without a dashboard. We really need to schedule another car day!

This month, I saw a bit more of Diospyros than I normally do. I met her to go hiking one afternoon, but we ended up spending more time just vedging, and telling each other about our new girlfriends. Read more... ) She also hosted a party for her birthday at the end of the month, so I got to actually meet her new girlfriend, and a lot of her other friends. I really enjoyed spending some fun, non-acupuncture time with her. But since she's going to be in Europe for the majority of next month, it will be some time before I even get to see her for that.


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Mik Scheper, 19 February 2002
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