Dr. W's Space Travels
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2021-08-15 22:17:57 (UTC)

Space Cadet Quadruples the Conversational History with His Cousin

Dr. Wood LXI

So it was Tuesday when I last wrote an entry… feels like so long ago seeing as lately I’ve been doing entries like every three days at the longest. I have a very fulfilling weekend, and I’m now sitting here at my desk on a Sunday night, getting ready to put the cherry on top of it with my normal evening routine. Just this past Friday I found out that I was gonna have a second interview this coming Monday (i.e. tomorrow) with some people that I’ve worked with. I’m definitely a bit nervous about it, though I’m confident I can do well. One person in particular has seen my work ethic firsthand, and I enjoy working under him; another has worked with me before and I think I’ve made a good impression on her. I just really hope I don’t do anything to flub it up. Not sure what it would take to do so – my positive reputation precedes me, so it’d have to be something pretty catastrophic to have that effect. I guess it’s just the fact that it’s an interview that gets to me, because an interview means I have to prove myself one way or the other (unless it’s just a formality at this point and they’ve already made up their minds… which I’d like to imagine might be the case because of how prideful I am, but I won’t assume as much).

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day at my Aunt Carolyn’s family’s house, partaking in a family gathering and enjoying some cornhole matches and pizza. I’m not good at regulation cornhole… but there are some really good players in my family apparently. Before I attended, though, one of my uncles asked if I could pick up my cousin to bring with since she didn’t have a way to get there (my uncle had to attend something else). Prior to yesterday I really hadn’t talked with my cousin Sam all that much – it was usually just a few sentences here and there at family gatherings and stuff. No real reason for the lack of conversation other than that just seems to be the nature with relatives one doesn’t see often. So I was a bit worried that the car ride would be like that: small talk and then awkward silence while she uses her phone or something, and I just focus on not driving poorly (I think I’m a safe driver but I get nervous when other people are in the car with me… and this was my first time having someone accompany me in the Spark). But it was NOTHING like that at all! We talked the entire way there and back – and mind you, this was like an hour-long drive! I was surprised by how pleasantly talkative she was – not interruptive, but also not leaving the threat of an awkward silence. (Note: I don’t mind silence in general but I get a bit anxious about the “uncomfortable” variety). I think the outpour of conversation started with me asking if she wanted to play some music, and she shared a bunch of her unique musical tastes with me (some good songs, too!) And then at some point she played a song from an anime, sharing that she was HEAVILY into anime. That blew my mind – there was another anime fan in the family! So yeah, oodles of weeby conversation ensued. She watches generally more popular titles (Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Naruto, My Hero Academia, etc.) and in dub (I am a sub person 95% of the time), but that still left a fudge load to talk about. Holy cow I was through the roof haha. Conversation then went to things like philosophy, college woes, vaccinations (our opinions starkly differed but I tried my best to remain receptive to what she was saying), therapy, family matters, and board games. It was so neat because it just felt really natural talking to this family member that I have NEVER held such a conversation with. I even made her laugh with quite a few of my quips – which for those moments gave me delusions of feeling like the cool cousin (I have Eric to compete with – he’s more of a family man and has a better comedic sense than I).

That just really stuck out to me from yesterday. Part of me is proud of myself for doing my part to make it a good bonding experience. Another part of me is proud of Sam for doing the same. I got to learn a whole lot about her personality and thought patterns and stuff and, again, while I didn’t quite agree with every notion on certain topics that she brought up, I was genuinely thrilled by her transparency in talking with me in spite of my intermittent presence in her life. I think yesterday was the day I could finally tell her apart from her twin sister haha (her sister wasn’t at the gathering, but at the next gathering I see them both at, I’ll be able to address them properly XD). Ah, that was just really a superb experience – thank you Sam for contributing to making my day, and good luck to you on everything you do! That time spent like that really meant a lot to me. And while we’re still in the file folder for “Building Relationships”, I had a short video call with my friend Oscar from the Netherlands today. Was very much on a whim, but was very enjoyable. He’s a few years older than me and has known me since I was in Afghanistan. He even met Evelyn while she and I were still together – something that I don’t think any of my close friends have been privy to doing. But yeah, I see him as someone who’s really wise. Today he told me about three rules that he lives by for a happy life: having meaningful relationships, having a fulfilling job, and doing things for others. Honestly very simple, but when put into perspective it markets itself as insightful. And I can tell he really lives those things. He’s one of the few people I’m close with whom I feel confident has a happy life. I think it’s easy to feel dissatisfied with one’s life, for one reason or another. But even with any hardships Oscar might face, I feel like he’s got enough resilience to bounce swiftly back from them. I get it – depressive phases happen to many people. They’ve happened to him too. But I really just mean to applaud how well he’s taken control of his life and taken it in the direction that he wants it to go. It’s something that I admire and hope I can learn from. So yeah, what a lovely conversation I had with him, too! I told him about the Japan trip I hope to embark on in March, and he asked if I could swing by the Netherlands and meet up with him for a few days at the end of it. Kind of put a lot of pressure on me since it’s a heavier alteration to my mental itinerary than what one may imagine (I’ve been very possessive about the time I allot myself for the trip). At the same time, if I were to not visit him this time, then when the heck would I? I visited him four years ago, with the intention to revisit him sometime in the future. I have to capitalize on what opportunities I have to make that promised future a reality. And he’s honestly one of the most caring and sincere dudes I know – a way better friend than my conversational frequency with him might suggest. I think if I do get the chance to go on my Japan trip next year, I should visit him, even if just for a few days. Building relationships makes for a happy life, after all.

Okay I realize I’ve been saying a lot of cheesy stuff lately – but I’m not sorry. When it comes to my diary entries, I won’t say cheesy things obligatorily. If my textual method of saying the things I feel moved to say comes off as what one might call “cheesy”, then I guess that’s just the way it is. Things will never be the same (okay I just felt like throwing in Tupac lyrics). Anyway, this was a wonderful weekend. And today was very relaxing – watched a ton of anime. The Friends Club hosted a few movies, two of which I watched. 5 Centimeters Per Second was an interesting one – the story and character development felt a bit lackluster, though the art and animation were highly commendable. I’ve Always Liked You was a VERY heartwarming one – pretty predictable romance with no real twists or significant levels of originality, but I think partially for that reason it was super charming and satisfying to watch. Seasonal shows have, of course, been going quite well. I finished Joshiraku today and I have to say – I underestimated the FUDGE outta that show. Holy crap that is probably the funniest thing I’ve seen since Asobi Asobase, and that’s saying A LOT. That might be the most underrated comedy anime in anything I’ve seen. It initially presents itself as a cute-girls-doing-cute-things show under the guise of doing rakugo, and later unfolds as a hilarious indulgence filled with jokes heavy on Japanese culture, insane quantities of references, glorious comedic timing, no shortage of fourth-wall breaks, and so, so many situations worthy of a meme template. And the characters are so likable – I already got Tetora on Muda and I plan to get the rest of them (I have to negotiate with another server member for one of them). God that show was incredible. Like it truly executed its comedy well and holds up well to even the legendary Asobi Asobase and Nichijou. Heck, it’s even got Kiniro Mosaic sweatin’.

I was about to say that I wrote too much just now, but I don’t think there’s ever an instance I could write too much in a diary. Unless it becomes an addiction to write about myself. The potential for an audience kind of exacerbates that predisposition to be addicted to “all about me” time but eh whatever. I’m gonna have to decide what anime I wanna watch next. I have a few that I’d like to choose from and I should probably think about it before tomorrow morning. I have about an hour and a half before bedtime soooo… I could either select one now, or just spend the rest of the night playing Maitetsu or something. Or I could just dwell in my existential uncertainty instead, while I worry about tomorrow’s interview. That’s an enticing option. But I think I’d rather go with anime or Maitetsu.

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