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20 February 2008 @ 11:13 pm
Chicago stream of consciousness  
So I'm in my hotel room in Chicago. There was a lunar eclipse tonight, did you know? My dad told me over the phone and then JJ called and asked if there was supposed to be one tonight, and it was only then that I went outside to look. The moon seemed super bright when we landed, and I knew I was going to hold onto that moment, but the eclipse almost passed me by. JJ and I stood outside and shared that for a moment over the phone.

I learned about deicing planes today. Whatever they sprayed all over the plane looked kind of pinkish. However, the rig they had set up to do the spraying was awesome. There was this guy in a cherry picker type cabin extending from a crane, except the controls looked a lot quicker and more fluid and there was a giant water gun thing on the bottom of the cabin thingy. The two conclusions I drew were that 1) I probably don't want to know what's in plane deicer and 2) deicing planes looks like it would be a really neat job if you didn't have to do it when it was so cold outside.

My flight was oversold. Not everybody showed, though. It kind of would have been neat if they did 'cause I volunteered to be bumped back to the next flight. Even though I would have gotten in later, I'd also have gotten a $250 travel voucher. As it stands, though, I'm dog tired.

This is the first time I've really taken a trip and been by myself. On the way out to Japan, I had to handle a plane transfer by myself, but the moment we got to Narita there were KCP teachers and staff there to haul our jetlagged butts out to our homestays, and then once we were there my host mom helped me learn to navigate the train system. Is that why I was so nervous all day? Once I got dropped off at the airport I was strangely calm.

I have a paper I need to work on tomorrow morning. This semester is really kicking me around a bit, even more than last semester did. Between everything that's going on, it's rare for me not to be dead on my feet -- but I think it's worth it. I'm really enjoying my Korean class and I've learned a lot from my sociology classes, especially the current set. I think AmeriCorps is making those classes especially relevant in some ways. I feel like the way I view the world has totally shifted in the past few months.

I guess I look different to people, too. I haven't exactly shown the best face on LiveJournal in an age. I think that's because the only time posting really matters to me usually is when someone says something and I get upset because I feel that it's an unfair statement that does nothing but hurt people.

When these things happen, I tend to think about them a lot and dwell on the hurt, so as a result I try to stay away from people that I believe say unfair things. It's better for my schoolwork, my work life, and my personal life if I can keep myself from fixating on injustices.

I've been coming to terms with the fact that when I eventually leave the convention, there will be no real loss. I'm good at a few things, but you can always find someone else out there to do the kinds of things I do. There are, however, people who are far better at their jobs than I am who catch a lot of flak from a few persistent people who can't see everything that's going on. There are also people who are consistently undervalued, overlooked, and distrusted despite the fact that the con rests on their shoulders and has done so for years -- and they never say anything about it.

I used to be really loud about the kinds of things I did, and when I was a sophomore in college I actually really thought I could be con chair. Yeah, I was that foolish. Things I've done since then have demonstrated that even more, but the whole "con chair" thing really drives home for me how little I knew.

Anyway, I'm having fun doing my job for the con. I have quite a ways to go and a lot to work with Blue and Bob on but the road has started and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the panels folks present. There are a lot of great panels and a lot of great guests and some great aspects of the new facility and I know this convention as a whole has the potential to be fantastic.

But it's a hobby. I enjoy it and I care about it, but many other things come first.

I care about JJ. His health, his happiness, his peace of mind. I care about my family and my friends. I am really grateful that we have so many supportive friends who are keeping JJ's social calendar very full while I'm away! I work with a bunch of wonderful kids and I care about helping them grow. I care about the disparities in opportunities for students that happen in this country, even within the same school district -- look at what Allderdice kids have in terms of activities and what, say, Westinghouse kids have. I care that bus stations have gang graffiti scribbled on the benches. I care how companies treat their workers, here and overseas, and how they treat the environment. I care about wars and genocides that are going on right now.

I feel guilty sometimes because I'm torn in so many directions right now. I now feel like I'm obligated to do some things, but I can barely keep up with what I have to do, and I still have dreams of what I want to do, and Jim and I have dreams for us, too.

It's late; I'm tired. I wanted to be asleep a while ago but I wanted to write this, too.

Before I go... flying out of Pittsburgh at twilight was amazing. Everything seemed to glow because the lights were bouncing off of the snow. It made everything look softer, like there was an element of magic to it all, like it all had some inner radiance.

As much as I claim to hate Pittsburgh roads sometimes, I'm really glad to live there. Chicago from the sky is this immense grid of light that seems to stretch forever save for a couple of skyscrapers clustered in the middle. It all looks the same, and I can't imagine what it'd be like to live in a neighborhood with nothing unique about it. It seems like it'd be soul sucking. I mean, it's cool to imagine a giant version of oneself stomping around on the grid, but... it can't compare.
 
 
 
lannaspartaflag on February 22nd, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
This is the first time I've really taken a trip and been by myself.

I had a bit of the same thing when I went to Vancouver. For the Denver part of it, sure, I had a friend waiting to pick me up at the airport and drop me off afterwards, but once I got into Seattle, it was totally up to me to find the train station and then sort out how to get to my hotel and I was so freaked out that I wound up eating sandwiches at a drag bar. :P

Drag bar aside, I was so ridiculously proud of myself for the smallest things. Finding places to eat, figuring out where to go each day and how to get there. It was such a silly ego boost!


I guess I look different to people, too.

As you should, I think. Change is a sign that you're living. You have to react to the things that go on around you, that you see and do, and all the different experiences and stuff.

I don't mind saying that you're definitely different than you were in high school, but you're still everything that makes you yourself too. There's just some new bits around the edges that are fun to get to know.

See also: "It-dit-dit-dit-dit-f*** you." :D
PGpantherpg on February 26th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
XD

Chicago was a good time. I got to ride trains! And transfer! It reminded me of how awesome Tokyo's mass transit was.

You've changed, too -- you have a whole new air of confidence around you. But I know when we hang out liek 40 years from now we'll still end up sitting around going "So... whaddya wanna do?"