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  1. The Philosophy of Final Fantasy Villainy
  2. Tsunderes: A Behavioral Study
  3. The Benefits of Fangirling
  4. Re-integrating Zombies into Society: A Dilemma
  5. Machine-Assisted Motion: An Introduction to Armored Core Piloting
  6. The Principles of Time Travel
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Every day, I’m going to draw something that happened within the day.  If nothing interesting happens (which most likely is the case), then I’ll just draw a random thought.  For practice.

A quick sketch that I made on my phone using Freenote.  I am loving the app.  It’s a nice change to use only one finger for drawing, but I wish I had a stylus that worked on a capacitive screen.

A little boy brought his puppy along for a ride in the jeep.  The puppy stole most of the passengers’ attention, they seem to be very fond of dogs.

Every time someone celebrates a birthday, we eat at Buffet 101.  Here’s my dessert plate.  I was amazed by the carp-shaped coconut jelly.

We walk, following the dead through narrow streets that could barely fit a car.  It is a procession, a solemn flash mob invading the small country roads.  People look at us as we pass by.

We continue along a small path that leads into the town cemetery.  Stone and gravel are crushed repeatedly under the shoes of almost a hundred mourners.  

In November, this same path must be covered with drops of candle wax, flower petals, and a mix of trash and dirt.

There are tall trees heavy with green mangoes.  I get a sudden thought that they must be well-nurtured by the dead.

They finally lay his casket down inside the chapel.  Sounds of weeping fill my ears, but I hear none from his wife.  She is not allowed to cry.

Outside, someone whimpers softly like a dog.  The wind carries the sound along with those of shovels scraping the ground, mixing cement.  When the cement has covered everything, the whimpering turns into howling.

A real dog comes along to sniff at our feet.

The sky is bright blue with barely a cloud in sight when they let white balloons fly into the air.  People start clapping.  

I hear someone tell a child, “look,” pointing up to the balloons with his lips.  ”Say goodbye to grandfather.”

The holiday season is nearing its end and I am more stressed than I really should be.  This should be a time to relax and unwind, but I feel under pressure and full of worry from work.  

I’m working on a project that I just know hasn’t been carefully planned.  Everything is half-baked and unprepared but the bosses are pushing for it to start.  

I don’t want to find out what will happen to a project that begins development after less than a month of planning and decisions.  It’s just not enough time for coordinating with users, mapping out their workflow, and gathering requirements.  

And yet there can be absolutely no delay for this. Argh.  My head hurts every time I think about it.

The stress I’m feeling is evident even in aikido practice.  Today was our first class since our old dojo closed, and I was so tense that my sensei commented on it.  In most of our recent classes, I’m always so tense.  I think I might have forgotten how to relax.

Do not enter your home smelling like peppermint.

You will risk getting slobbered all over by your peppermint-loving dogs.

I attended an aikido seminar yesterday where we practiced with a group of foreigners. We did a technique (something like ushiro kubishime throw?) where we had to quickly lift the uke onto the back using the hips (I can’t explain it very well) and then throw him forward.  

My partner was a big guy whom I think weighed more than twice as much as I do.  Normally, the people I practice with are only slightly bigger than I am, so that was something new to me. It also didn’t help that I was very distracted and did not have enough presence of mind to get any of the techniques right.  With the right technique and body mechanics, anyone my size could probably lift anyone his size.  But I messed up and kept using my back.  After the first class I decided to just watch the next one (which I half-regret doing because they performed a lot of cool new variations of painful-looking nikkyo).

Anyway, I went and got a swedish massage for the first time and it was the best!  I don’t know why I never got one before.  It’s helped my shoulder relax, although not completely.  I feel so, so much better.  My upper back and right shoulder have been killing me for the past week.  My muscles were so tense that I was told that my back was as hard as a piece of wood.  I think they’ve been put under too much strain.  I often carry a heavy bag and stay long hours on the computer (and probably don’t stretch enough before class).  I will be going back soon to remove the tension on all of my muscles.

Today, I:

1. Received my first colored belt for aikido.  It’s blue!  I love it.  Thank you sensei!

2. Experienced the most painful sankyo technique I have ever had, complete with cracking fingers and momentary numbness, twice.  I forgot the name but it had an entry similar to uchi kaiten but sankyo is performed midway.  The sankyo hold is maintained while you get dragged down to the mat with just your fingers.  Wow and ouch.

3. Realized that tension at work translates into tension in the body.  Certain events at work has had me on the edge for the past two weeks and I can’t relax!  It’s affecting the way I practice aikido. I need to chill.

Today, I also:

4. Found out that I overpaid my credit card bill, which means I have extra credit to spend!  Hooray 😀 such a nice surprise.

5. Was given a cup of milk tea for free by some people at a spa promoting their milk tea brand, just as I was about to go to the convenience store to buy milk tea for myself.

6. Feel like God is on my side and everything is going according to His plan.  I hope.  It seems like a lot of changes are coming.

Good night, everyone!