March 29, 2005

Goodbye Fire

I've never been good at saying goodbyes. I hate it actually. It’s an awkward acknowledgement that you are leaving and in my particular case the possibilities of meeting again are very slim. How do you precisely wish someone a goodbye and still provide the sentiment that you will dearly miss them? My mere words will not convey the emotions of sadness for the person whose company I have come to enjoy. Will a few quick words, a solid hug, and some tears provide this sentiment? I think it would be a good start but there should be this whole complicated ceremony for it and it should be ritualize.

It should start with something like “River on Fire”, a group gathering, and for one last night we all spend it together celebrating. I was glad that many of my D2 buddies were able to show up. Even though I have only worked with them for a short time they have become almost like my family. They have filled the void that I have felt for the past few years and this contentment was what made it all worth while. The following pictures will provide you with some details of who attended. Thanks to Mark BaDger for being the awesome host, Joey Koblish for setting up the bon fire, and Ms Karen (Joey’s Fire Marshall Mom) for helping us start the fire in the rain.

The farwell get together started with this simple flyer.

The following are pictures from Evelyn:

Joe Blum

Joey Kobbler not Koblish looking GQish?

Thomas and Kara, hey hayyy

Zach the tall guy, me the short person, and Dave sitting

Howie excited about roasting his marshmallow

Evelyn and I together before all of the craziness started

These are my pictures without the flash:

Joey in the dark

Mark the BaDger, our graceful host

Nathan, Sydney, and Kara

The fire is a bit warm isn't it Mike?

I will miss everyone and I hope they had a great time. I wish them well and I do have everyone's contact information so there will be no excuses for not staying in touch.

Posted by thy at 12:08 AM | Comments (9)

March 20, 2005

D2 Folks

Posted by thy at 01:04 PM | Comments (4)

March 14, 2005

More Lomo LCA

Posted by thy at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2005

Lisa LOEB! リサ・ローブ

What a crazy week! Well not that crazy when you're sniffling and coughing into cheap chaffing double ply tissue for the week. I'm currently trying to recover from this mild cold for the past week. The cold symptoms are going away so I think I'm getting better. Hopefully by proactively pumping myself full of cough drops, vitamin c drops, and zinc drops helped quickly relieved the severity of the cold!

Now on to the good news, I saw LISA LOEB!!!! It was amazing! She's so cute and funny in person! Her show was great! It's always nice being able to listen to loud music. Listening to her sing in person was just like listening to her CDs. The lyrics and words came out very stunningly clear. It was not muffled by the speakers or by her amplified voice. Usually I find that music from live concerts are not as good as the CD since sound equipment at concerts always somehow distort the audio and the singer's voice. Lisa however, didn't have any of those limitations and it was awesome! Alright I'm always like this after seeing an artist/musician live. Well that was the real high light of my spring break. Too bad photo was prohibited and I was not able to meet her. However here is a picture of her to keep you interested.

Kawaii! Picture courtesy of MSN Japan. More pictures of lisa shopping in Japan can be found here

Another good news, Yamasa sent my Certificate of Eligibility so I can actually get the Visa on my passport. Too bad they sent the COE to Blacksburg while I was in Fairfax. Now I will have to wait until I get up to N.Va before I can visit the embassy with all of the required paperwork.

Posted by thy at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

Two Down One More To Go

After much nagging and persistence I finally got some results from Yamasa. The following is all gibberish to many of you but this is what it took to have Yamasa sign a simple form with some detailed information about the cost of their program.

The process spanned 4 weeks and took the following measures:

Week 1 - 2/15/05
Tuesday- Dr. Stadler sent a fax and waited.
Friday - No response, sent fax again. Everything still calm.

Week 2
Thursday 2/24/05 - Call Dr. Stadler on the progress of consort. Mention to email the form also.
Friday – Still no response Dr. Stadler sent an email to admissions attempting to initiate communication of some kind.

Week 3
Monday 2/28/05 - Still Nothing from Yamasa.
Tuesday 3/1/05 – I called Yamasa’s office in Japan. Yamasa: "What you need something? Oh ... please send it again".
Thursday 3/3/05 - Dr. Stadler sent another email to Yamasa.
Friday 3/4/05 - Raise my fist to the sky!

Week 4 - 3/7/05

"I am terribly sorry about our late response this time. I am too ashamed to tell you why we didn't respond to your request earlier. Please excuse us...

Best regards,
Toshiyuki ... "

How is that for a response? Well at lease we got somewhere. Also to my great surprise they sent me another letter stating this:

"... we would like to send him the certificate of eligibility so that Mr. Nguyen can apply for a student visa well in advance of his departure for Japan.

We make it a rule that the certificate of eligibility is sent out only after the payment of 6 weeks tuition and more than three months of accommodation fee. But we are willing to make an exception for the financially-supported student."

Well I'm glad all is well. I just hope that Yamasa hasn't marked me as a trouble maker. For the past 3 months Yamasa receives at least one email a day from me asking questions about some type of paper work. All of this all deals with Financial Aid. If I just had $15K in the bank account all would be smooth sailing but if I did I wouldn't be trying to study abroad. I would be living it already! Curse the poor college life!

On a brigher note here are my seats for my flight. Learning from my previous mistake that calling the airline one week before boarding and choosing a seat is a bad time (Yes my years of life experience has finally proven to be fruitful). Sitting in the middle seat for 15+ hours is no fun. No fun as in I can't freely get up and stretch my legs or take a piss without waking the fat dude to my right or maneuver around the extremly shy middle age Japanese lady to my left who timidly shrinks every time I turn in her direction. This year I got a bit smart about it and here are my seats:

The red dots are my seats. First one is window seat but it is only a two hour flight. The other will be 15+ hours. Picture courtesy of Now I can get up and move about as I please. Ohh and maybe this year I can be smart enough about getting those neck support things too. Maybe for once I can actually sleep on the plane. Better yet I can either alcohol it up or just take some sleeping pills. It's no fun to drink alone unless ... no I would just be dreaming, that would never happen. *oh I'm crossing my fingers*

Posted by thy at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2005

Moving on up

Well moving up in the air or rather just getting in the air. To put it in plain english, I bought the plane ticket.

I finally decided enough is enough with this waiting from Yamasa to respond to my paper work, i.e. consortium agreement. All they have to do is fill in this damn form which shows the estimated cost of attending the school. How freaking hard is that? They could just email me some questions if they are not sure of what course I will take or my accommodations preference. Hell I can do the damn thing for them just as long as they sign it at the bottom. Just to let them know that I was serious about this I sent them a form with total cost of Tuition + Accommodation + Fees. They just have to fill in the rest like living expense, books, and airfare. Is this the infamous Japanese efficiency at work?

I guess the whole point of this entry is that I don't want to be held back from some paperwork. I've gone too far and spent too much money to get push back by a piece of paper.

Posted by thy at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)