Sunday, May 02, 2004

Can't stop writing...

So, I got an e-mail back in the e-mode days (see, and here's what I responded with:

From jezabell
> I read your profile, and laughed my ass off! I'm
> sorry, but you seem like such a genuine person, and
> seem like you'd be very fun to talk to. If you're
> interested, go ahead and look at my profile, and
> write me back!

:) Well, I'm glad you appreciated my profile! Actually, I wasn't trying to be funny when I was filling it out. I was bored and just wanted to kill time. Re-reading it now, I wonder why I chose to say the things I did. I guess I wasn't really paying attention (much like when I'm driving), and just let my mind wander (much like my car when I'm driving).

Of course, when I'm typing, I tend to ramble. It is fortunate (though frustrating) that they limit you to how much text you can put in. I know that if I tried to list all the music I listen to or all the things I'm passionate about, most people would grow tired from scrolling down the page. And I would probably forget what I was talking about halfway down, and go off on some tangent that had nothing to do with anything, but just happened to hit me while I was at the computer. The Zen of typing.

Anyway, sometimes I forget that I even have a profile there. I keep meaning to update it (the picture especially, it's more than a year old!), but never seem to have the time. Although, it is spring break right now...and I am at the computer right now... Of course by the time I finish this e-mail, I will have forgotten again.

So, I see in your profile that you list Spanish as one of your languages. Do you actually speak Spanish? I have it listed as one of my languages because I took two years of it in high school, but that was several hundred years ago (calculation based on my ability to understand native Spanish speakers now, it seems that the language must have changed a great deal since my time in high school because I can barely understand a thing now). Actually, most people I know also took Spanish as their language in high school. One time, a group of my friends and I were standing around by the office and I needed to borrow a pen. When a friend handed me one, I responded with "Gracias," an automatic thing from when I was in Spanish class (although it's not so automatic anymore. Whenever I ate out at a Mexican food restaurant, I would realize that I said it after the waitress brought me water or whatever, and I would wonder if she thought I was being a smartass. Anyway, anymore I say "Arigato," from Japanese class). Where was I? Oh yeah, well, when I said "Gracias," he replied with "De nada," and we all started taking a trip down memory lane. Someone else started with "Como Esta?" and we went through the standard High-School-Spanish responses "Muy Bien, Y Tu?" "Asi Asi", etc. It was about this time that my friend Javier from Argentina walked by. Now, he had never seen us speak Spanish before. Ever. Not one word. Now, we were all speaking it (sort of, you know what I mean). I think he thought we were poking fun at him.

Poor Javier. Actually, I had another friend, Erin, who just left for Mexico for six months. She dropped by to say 'bye', but I had my headphones on and didn't hear her knock. Isn't that sad?

I took Spanish because my family is (distantly) from Spain. Like, my great-great-grandmother was from Spain. It seemed like a big deal to my grandfather that someone keeps up with the old language, so I did. Besides, it was either Spanish or Latin, and I was no good in Latin class. Of course, as Spanish was important to my grandfather, Latin was equally important to my father, who learned it when he was in school. I hate having to choose between family members, but I sure didn't want to take two languages at the same time! Now, though, I can't get enough. I switched to Japanese when I went to college, and took American Sign Language just for fun (in this case, 'fun' translates as getting up at 6am so I can drive to Spokane at 7am for my two-hour sign language class every morning). I regret dropping Latin more and more all the time, especially as one of my favorite authors (Terry Pratchett) loves to quote things in Latin. The only Latin I can remember is Illigitemus Non Carborundum (or something like that, I can't remember how to spell it). It means something like: Don't let the bastards grind you down. My father has it as his license plate frame, which is ironic if you know that he never married my mother, making me his bastard child (which may be a bit of an over-share for my first email to you, but there you go).

Anyway, I didn't continue in Spanish in college because I want to be a computer game programmer, and Japan is game Mecca. I was actually looking into going to Japan this summer, if I could find a job that would defray the costs enough. Of course, getting there might be a problem; since I am deathly afraid to fly owing to a class I took in high school. See, I used to WANT to fly. I loved it! I flew back and forth between my parents all through my childhood. I wanted to be a pilot. So, when the chance came to take a class on how to fly, I took it.

What a mistake! The first thing they teach you is all the ways that things can go wrong leading to your death! Logically, I understand that a single engine prop plane has potentially more danger than a commercial jet airliner (you can't even really compare the two), and they are unrelated in every way. And yet I'm still afraid to fly. That's why it's a phobia (irrational fear). On the very rare occasions when I do fly, I am very particular about it. I did my research, and I minimize my chances for danger (not that there is much danger on an airplane. You really are much safer in a plane than in a car. You would have to fly non-stop for like a million years before statistically you would be in a fatal crash. You have a greater chance of getting two Royal Flushes in a row playing poker. You have a greater chance of getting hit by falling airplane, wait). I fly Southwest (not one fatality, and that's with 50% more flights than Quantas, the ONLY other major airline with no fatalities), I sit over the wing (most reinforced part of the plane), next to the emergency exit (and you'd better believe I have that handy emergency exit guide pretty well memorized), in a rear-facing seat, on a non-stop flight in the middle of the day. And STILL I'm afraid to fly! This may be because I often don't have the money (or actually, the willingness to part with money for something akin to torture for me) to fly Southwest, so I get given tickets on Alaska or Horizon. These are the planes that aren't big enough to come up to the terminal; you have to walk out to them. These planes are small enough that they have to arrange the seating so that the plane is balanced!

I also haven't flown since the tragedy of 9/11. Actually, I have a satellite dish, and was up that morning at 5am. I was watching Good Day LA, and out of curiosity I switched over to Good Day New York to compare the two shows. About 2 minutes later, the first plane hit. I was watching the New York news when it happened. What are the odds of that? I ended up watching the entire thing unfold, moment to moment. Of course, no one else was awake, so I watched it by myself. I tell you, I think it was a completely different experience to be watching it live than to hear about it after. At first, they thought a bomb had gone off in one of the towers. I was watching live when the second plane came in and hit the second tower, confirming our worst fears (that this was intentional). By the time my mother saw the footage of the twin towers collapsing, she already knew what had happened, but when I was watching it, we didn't know! In fact, the news commentators continued talking for about a minute, because they hadn't realized that something was happening. It was pretty freaky.

(Glancing up at how much I've written) Holy shnikies! I bet you didn't think that your one-paragraph e-mail would elicit a novel in return! And the bulk of my response is based on one line in your profile (Languages English, Spanish). Imagine if you had written TWO paragraphs, or if I had gotten to the next line, Religion! My fingers would be falling off! Anyway, sorry for ending on such a downer (ah, you thought it was all going to be fun and games), but I should really stop typing now. If I can...just...pry my fingers...away from the keyboard...

Wow, I really did talk a lot. When I was little, I wanted to be a writer. I don't know why I didn't pursue that, as obviously I don't suffer from writers block! (At least, not when I'm writing about myself. Maybe I'm not a gifted writer, I'm just self-centered!)

Anyway, hope I didn't overwhelm you! And if you respond, I'll cut my e-mails down from novel sized to novella sized. Well, I'll TRY to anyway! :)

...and I never heard from her again!

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