I went to my boss and asked if he had anything more for me to do for the day. He hemmed and hawed around, and asked me why. I stated that I had the whole next week off, and wanted to start my travel ASAP. He looked surprised and questioned if he could spare me for a week. I fumed. Finally, he gave the blessing, and I practically ran out of here.
Went home, packed and got the apt ready... Unplugged things, got the remaining trash together, etc... Got it all into the car and left.
Drove... Caught some light traffic at the triangle, but was early enough for it to not matter too much. Caught a bit more traffic at construction points, and hit StL at around rush hour.. But made it through pretty well. Had to stop for dinner - found a Wendy's.
Called Ankh when I was near the area to get basic directions and give ETA. Then called Jingoro back to let them know I'd be by the next day... Called RedneckNinja to see where they were - we pretty much passed each other. Called Ankh back when I was close to verify directions.
Arrived at Ankh's... suggested that we go to the bedroom, since it was the only room with AC. We played a bit off and on, and chatted... Much of the night. I was completely relaxed and ejoying their company. We discussed their SO and our relationship. They had to go to work entirely too early, and I used the time they were gone to sleep... and sleep.. and have a bit of a snack.. and sleep... Took a few pics of Tiger and Kinji and such.
Sat, Aug 24th - Drive to Jingoro's
They got back from work, we played a bit... I showered, then took off. Got into town and remembered that the new Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown DVD sets were on sale at Best Buy, so stopped there to buy them. Called Jingoro to see what was going on, and found out I was just in time to help them get all their crap out of a storage shed and into their new place. Caught up with them at the storage place. It was raining.
Thankfully, they had a U-Haul - this made things much easier. Between Jingoro, RedneckNinja, Yakumo, and I, we cleaned the place out pretty quick. I was in no mood for either being overly careful or taking extra time, and tried to keep things moving. I ended up in the truck with Yakumo directing item placement. Then we caravaned to Jingoro's new place. Their bathroom is SO damn small. Nice sink, tho.
We got set up to unload, and Jingoro showed signs of wanting to unpack each item as it came out of the truck. I stayed in the truck and kept a constant queue on the edge waiting to be taken in. This allowed RedneckNinja and Yakumo to keep the flow going. I helped take a few larger items in, but mostly stayed back to keep it all flowing. We finally finished in pretty good time.
We filled the front room with everything, including the furniture on end, but at least we had the truck unpacked so it could be returned. We headed out to return the truck and eat.
Had to stop to refuel the truck, and then managed ot take a route which got us stuck with a train between us and the U-Haul place. Evidently, Jingoro called ahead since the place was supposed to close right then. We dropped off the truck, and witnessed some tool case thing fly off a passing truck into the road. RedneckNinja retrieved it and returned it to the owners. Then we went to Thai.
Thai was wonderful. Steamed Dumplings, Basil Chicken... yum. Good conversation, too. Just like old times. Stopped by Marsh for beer.
Then we went to Jingoro's place. Of course, there was nowhere to sit. So we started moving things around inside. Jingoro again wanted to unpack each box as it came. I wanted to sit down. Yakumo collected all of their stuff that had been stored with Jingoro's in one place. RedneckNinja and I found clear floorspace in Jingoro's room and proceeded to pack it with all the extra boxes and such we could find. Then we started putting the furniture in place. Eventually, it was all sorted out to where we at least had somewhere to sit/sleep.
The next step was watching Jackie Brown. Sometime early on, RedneckNinja got a call, and was on it for most of the movie. Jingoro nodded off. I went semi-conscious. Very good movie, though. After it was over, Jingoro went to bed, and the rest of us chatted (RedneckNinja's call was from a sibling with... issues.) then passed out - RedneckNinja on the leather loveseat, Yakumo on their own couch, and I was on the futon.
Sun, Aug 25th - Drive to Oz's
I woke up entirely too early, had my shower, and played on my laptop for a bit until Yakumo and RedneckNinja woke up. We were discussing food, of course. And Jingoro was up not too much later. As usual, Jingoro was puttering around while I, for one, was rapidly approaching headache level. They put LotR in, which I refused to watch. Then they put Love Hina in while they took a shower - RedneckNinja and I weren't into it at all. Finally, we were able to go to Arby's for food.
Pretty good time there, chatting and joking and such. We got back, and Jingoro was talking about unpacking more stuff and doing some other things throughout the day... RedneckNinja and I took off. I had told Ankh I would be back Sun night, but when I called there was no answer. So I called Oz instead, and ended up dropping by there to see their new place. I parked on the opposite side of the road, like I saw a few other cars doing.
Caught up with Oz for awhile, and then we decided to hit Thai for dinner... it was closed >_< ... so we went to Chinese instead. It was good, we were there for a long time chatting and such. Then we headed back to their place, they put a movie in, and we chatted until we fell asleep.
Mon, Aug 26th - Drive to Rent's
Woke up early, got stuff outta my car, had a shower, hooked up the laptop in the computer room, and played around online for a bit. McD's for breakfast. Oz no otosan showed up and we went to Thai for lunch. It was excellent. Cheaper, too. They warned me that insurance wouldn't cover me if someone hit my car because it was parked strangely.
Went back to Oz's, played around online a bit more, took a nap, then headed out to the rent's. As we left, Oz picked up this little yellow envelope from my windshield. It was a ticket for "parking backwards." BS. I ignored it.
Surprised them, of course. Caught up for awhile, compared my new camera to Chichi's, and all that sort of stuff. Vegged to tv for a bit, snacked, and played on their computer for awhile. Talked to Ankh briefly, setting up dinner for the next evening after I finished at the arcade. Tried to call Tigger, but no answer. Once they crashed, I vegged to tv a bit more, then headed to bed.
Tue, Aug 27th - Drive to Ankh's
Tried to sleep in, didn't go too late tho. Showered, had breakfast... Did my own thing, then this nurse came by to hook Chichi up to some external pump thing - it's a catheter, and they have to wear it 8 hours a day.
Did laundry, packed my stuff, and headed out.
Went to the mall, to Gameworks. Had to play some DDR MAX 2. It was the $10 all you can play deal starting at 3, but I got there early. So I hung around, nabbed a free credit, and waited... Watched quite possibly the biggest person I've ever seen playing play it... finally got my free play card and wristband. Headed back to the 7th machine and played it and a bunch of other stuff for ~5 hours. I was drenched, sore, and feeling really good by the time I left. I hadn't brought my phone, and there's no clocks in there, so it was a bit later than expected. Still, it was a blast and I hadn't gone that hard for quite awhile.
Called Ankh from my car as I left the parking lot, and headed to their place. Once there, I didn't even go inside.. Just switched to their car and waited for them to come out. Went to Union Jack for dinner. They sat us next to some loud, sorority-type fems who were gushing about this and that. They finally left, and we ate in peace. Had a Guinness. Was good.
Headed back to Ankh's place, went to bed and played lightly for a bit, chatted, etc... Wasn't really into anything but sleeping at that point. Slept pretty well. They got up and left, I went back to sleep for a bit. Got up, managed to find Enigma for a quick pic, checked some email, and left.
Wed, Aug 28th - Drive to Rent's
Was driving towards the rent's when a sudden urge struck. I pulled into the drive of this huge church I pass alot. Got out the digicam and took a ton of pics. On the same sort of whim, I figured I'd stop by Half Price Books just to see what there was... Managed to find a few items.
Got to rents, and started reading one of the books - Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card. I hadn't read this one yet, and I have been eager to for the past year or so. Got about half way through it when the rents decided to bug me.
First Haha came in to talk to me about my weight. This royally pissed me off. Then Chichi joined in... thankfully, Haha left us... and they told me about their thoughts of late turning to the times they almost died... drunk driving, being stupid, fights at school, etc...
Finally, I begged out to go eat... then returned to reading like I wanted to. They had to have a last say, but finally went to sleep. I finished the one book, vegged and had a snack, and then read a bit from the one story collection before sleeping.
Thu, Aug 29th - Drive to Oz's
Got up, breakfast, showered, started laundry... Then Haha and I went out to this one place to shop for bowls. We found the ramen bowls just like I have, and they bought me another 3 of them, as well as 4 ramen spoons. I liked the look of the sake cups, but I decided against them. I joked about buying lunch at Panera and a treat from DQ, but denied them when they offered.
Back home, waited for laundry to finish, packed everything back up, and left. Chatted with Oz about Aard the entire way there... Then arrived at Oz's and set up the laptop and played a bit, helped them create characters and such. They had finally gotten a job, so I was going to take them out to celebrate... But their grandparents had just gotten back in town from vacation, and were cooking a meal, so we went there instead.
Oh. My. God. The. Food. It was heavenly... I stuffed myself full, and still had some pie. It was amazing. Perfect potatoes, beans, macNcheese, bread, meat... yum. We ended up helping them unpack the car, then left with leftovers.
We hung around and computed and such the rest of the night... went on a drive.. had DQ, etc... Finally crashed sometme.
Fri, Aug 30th - Drive to Jingoro's
Woke up when Jingoro called for a ride, read, computer, showered... Didn't need breakfast. Took Jingoro to Death Center becuase they were dying. Did some errands, Hung around and did things and stuff, went to thai for lunch... Picked up Jingoro after a ride through campus... Took them back. Got back in time for Oz to make a call confirming pay rate for contract and such. Polished off the leftovers for dinner. Walked to Marsh for milk. Chatted a bit with Beldurin. Packed up and headed over to Jingoro's.
Jingoro wasn't home, and Beldurin and SO had just left, so Yakumo and Oz and I hung out for a bit... Then RedneckNinja came in, and showed off all the nifty weapons - Naginata II, Katana, Warsword, and such. Then Beldurin came back and we all played with the weapons for a bit. I had the camera and was snapping pics off and on. Oz decided to trim a tree with the naginata.
Then we went inside and tried to figure out how to play Mah Jong while watching a bad imported Japanese pr0n. Took forever, we gave up betting, and finally someone won... and had to go get the beer and food. We cleaned up the Mah Jong set, chatted for a bit.. Someone vetoed Pulp Fiction, and someone else vetoed Reservoir Dogs, so we ended up watching Boondock Saints with the commentary.
Jingoro went to bed.. Oz passed out. RedneckNinja and I did a bit of boken battle, and then I passed out. Yakumo and RedneckNinja were up for quite awhile watching Ruroni Kenshin and trying to figure out some of the moves using the boken.
Sat, Aug 31st - Drive to Tigger's
Woke up before everyone else as per usual. Got the stuff from the car, took a shower, and started packing up. Yakumo, RedneckNinja, and Oz all managed to get going not too much later, so we headed out to Wendy's for food. Since Jingoro was so sick and still sleeping, we left them to it.
Had an absolute blast at Wendy's. We were there for far too long. At one point, I looked out the window and saw Beldurin driving past, so I gave them a ring. They were on their way to look at apts, but said they're drop by Jingoro's later. We eventually decided it was time to leave and headed back.
Jingoro and Beldurin were taking Jingoro's flat car tire off. They finished, and the tire was slated to be put in RedneckNinja's car and taken to Walmart for a replacement. We went inside for a bit to chat and all that, and then it was time to leave.
I headed off... Decided to take the scenic route. Went to drive thru K-town, which I hadn't been to in years... saw the old house... etc. I was in such a wonderful, calm, and enlightening mood. Not quite Zen, but... Pretty close, at least for me.
When I was getting close, I called Tigger to let them know my ETA and such... They didn't have directions at the time, but I managed to look at the road atlas I had and figure it out.
Arrived and hung out for a bit... Then we left, with every intention of going to Sae Ae Kwan for some amazing Korean food.
We drove around for awhile and got to Chicago Foods, which was interesting. The place was packed. Cars double and triple parked, lines of people trying to get in and out... We got pretty lucky on the spot, and headed inside. It was a much more compact store than say... Mitsuwa.. But the selection was incredible. I decided on 3 bottles of So-Ju. Tigger got 2 boxes of tea and an energy drink. Getting out of the parking lot was a challenge, as well.
Then we drove around trying to find the restaurant we had accidentally found before. No addres, just a vague idea of where we thought it was. We drove around for quite awhile, then finally I headed back to the Mitsuwa area with the intention of giving up and going to Timber Lodge. But I didn't see it, and Tigger noticed a Japanese restaurant. So we went there, since we were getting desperate and cranky from lack of food.
I didn't know what to expect... We walked in, and in was set up with tables and booths and such - not teppanyaki, not sushi bar. The menu read like a list of favorites. I ordered for both of us - Edamome, Yakitori, Shumai, Gyoza, Tea, and 2 bowls of ramen. It was wonderful. After the appetizers, we were able to have a relaxed conversation. And then the ramen came... Oh yessssss. It was SO good.
We were the last patrons in the place, and we cleared out eventually. Spent some time outside enjoying the evening, then started the drive back to Tigger's place. We hung out briefly, they insisted on showing me EQ... I snapped a coupla quick pics, then headed out.
Sun, Sept 1st - Drive home
Stopped for gas, then started driving. I managed to clear the Chicago area before having to stop. Didn't see a rest area, so I picked a likely exit, and ended up in some business's parking lot. Took a nap. No idea how long. It was dark on both sides of it. Woke up ready to drive a bit more, and got back on the road. Saw a Rest Area only 1.5 miles down the road. Couple hours later, was too tired to contiue again. Managed to get to a rest area this time. It was around dawn. Woke up feeling like I was in an oven. Got up, washed up a bit, and then got back on the road.
Stopped to get gas, and tried to get breakfast/lunch at Arby's, but it was too early. Managed to get the rest of the way home. Unloaded the car - including the legos the rents made me take, then caught up a bit online. Showered. Haha called, then I napped. Ankh woke me up with a call, but I went back to sleep.