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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Piper's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003
12:37 am
Thoughts on the first few days of school.
It feels strange.

Really, ask me about anything that's happened at school so far, and I'll probably give you that answer.

First and biggest of all, there are people who recognize me from what coverage of the tournament the media was able to provide this year. It's really kind of scary, because while there are people who say nice things about it and then drop it, which is great, there are also people who start asking a lot of questions. Benign questions, but also touchy and personal questions. And then there are people who stay away from me totally because of the whole thing. They seem to think that I'm dangerous.

Y'know, sometimes I agree with them.

Anyway, this is all better in writing class, because it turns out Brolli and I are in the same section! I think we're both kind of nervous about being seen as overachievers so we're sitting in the back and pretty much keeping quiet for now. But I'm glad to have someone I know to study with, and maybe compare papers. I'm always kind of worried about my writing because it's really easy to choose the wrong word for something, or say more than I should say, or assume the audience knows more than it really does. Our teacher doesn't want us writing "science fiction" stories, either, so this is going to be tough.

At any rate, it's really weird being in class five days a week. I have to spend lots more time outside of school reading and writing than I did last spring, but that's okay, because I'm excited to be learning as much as I am, and I still have a lot more free time than I did on the base. They kept me so busy with workouts and other kinds of training outside my tutoring sessions that I didn't have a whole lot of time to myself, to think. Now, though, not only do I have that kind of time, but I have time to spend with everybody and with Beej, and that makes me really happy. I'm so thankful for that.

Anyway, I need some sleep before training in the morning. Hope to see you all there!

Current Mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, August 21st, 2003
3:40 pm
Fun and excitement... anywhere but the mall.
Well, summer's almost over, so we've been heading out and doing all kinds of things. However, at Beej's request, we're staying away from the mall for a while. I don't blame him, though I did find the performance very entertaining. In a good way. Anyway, it's been really sunny out, so we've been spending a lot of time down at the lake, and hiking around in the woods, and in the park. I've been over there to play my flute a couple times, and sometimes in the evenings they have free concerts like the country one we went to a while ago. There was an incredible folk artist who played there a few nights back, and next week there's supposed to be a Celtic performing group. I hope it doesn't rain!

I'm all set for school to start, too. I have all my books, and I've looked through the first chapters of most of them. I'm also reviewing other things that have absolutely no bearing on school, like my languages. I've been going around the IGPol database and refreshing my memory on a lot of the ones I haven't used in a while, and I'm still giving BJ Common lessons every once in a while, though I really have to concentrate to make sure I'm not teaching him my accent, too. I got the Ena lilt from Kalana and the first few months on the base were really frustrating because my tutors had to retrain me so I sounded "more civilized" and the last thing I want to do is pass that problem on, though sometimes I just can't help it, y'know?

I've been thinking about how much I'm really going to miss this weather when it's gone. It's been absolutely gorgeous out, great for playing and studying outside and swimming and hiking and everything. But I've done this once before, so I can do it again, and it's not like there isn't anything to do when it gets colder out, anyway, especially now that I have school. School is fun. I like knowing things about where I am, and the more I learn, the less I feel like a tourist.

Current Mood: thoughtful

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Friday, August 8th, 2003
1:20 am
Far too long since we've done this...
Bra, Trunks, Miko, Pan, Ubuu? If any of you are reading this, do you feel like having a day out Saturday and hitting the mall, the pizza buffet, and maybe lazer tag or skating or sarpec or something? It's been a while and I know I've missed it!

Current Mood: cheerful

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Thursday, August 7th, 2003
1:36 am
Back to school.
I can't really believe it, but classes are going to be starting soon, so I went up to school today to register for courses with my counselor. To be honest, I was waiting to see how things went in the tournament before I did. 'Cause I did earn quite a bit from proofing Brolli's book, and a couple of the scholarships I tried for went through, but I was still a little short for full-time, especially with books and all, and spring semester would have been a problem, too. So I would have talked to Beej but I wanted to give myself one more chance and it worked out, so I'm glad! Anyway, I'm taking classes in geography, writing, early British literature, biology, and linguistics this semester. I look forward to it.

What was really weird was when my counselor asked me if I had any idea what I wanted to major in. I knew what she meant, I've read the course handbook and I've learned well enough from the other college students around here what a major is, but the question still kinda floored me. First of all, I seriously can't imagine narrowing down my studies to any one thing. Or two things. I mean, I know that a lot of people do. I've seen it all the way through the IGPol ranks, 'cause I had different tutors for every single subject I studied. Everybody's like a part of a machine. They have fields they specialize in, they become experts. But what do they do if they're confronted with a problem they know nothing about and there's nobody around to help them? That always confused me, back when I was younger. Until I got to the base, Kalana had taught me everything. I think I've realized now that she knows so much and was able to teach so much partially because she's thousands of years old and partially because she had to. We were alone on Taelarre and I imagine she'd been alone for quite a while before I showed up. When you're not guaranteed a team of experts, you have to be the expert yourself, because you never know what might come up.

And that's what brings me to my other big thought about the question of a major. Majors mean planning -- planning and preparing for years of study. It's quite a thought. Before I got to this planet, when I was on my own, I don't think I ever planned anything more than maybe, say, ten or fifteen cycles in advance. Granted, on the base, things used to run in 100 cycle rotations, but I never thought about that. I didn't have choices to make.

But this is different. This is asking me to think ahead four whole years to specialize, to develop one specific area of ability in which I can get a career so then I can work in that profession for the rest of my life.

My head hurts. I can't make this kind of decision.

At any rate, I told her I had no clue whatsoever, because there are so many things I'd like to try and so many things I like doing. So we're holding off for now, but she made a point of suggesting the Liberal Arts major. Apparently, it's meant to give people an opportunity to learn about a lot of things. And there aren't any specific careers for people who do that, but a lot of them do go on to professional school for more specialized classes to lead them into a career.

See? I can't get away from it.

But I do have some really cool classes this semester, and my counselor is a really nice lady.

Anyway, I think I'll go watch my fishies for a bit and then take a little trip outside to the roof. Or to fly around. Or something.

Current Mood: confused

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2003
11:56 pm
Taking a break.
I'm so glad the tournament's over. I really love having the time to relax a little bit without that thought in the back of my head.

We all went out to see Finding Nemo yesterday. It was incredibly cute. Cute and fun, and of course BB and Daikon loved it. Enough so that we spent the afternoon in the wading pool out back today looking for Nemo and occasionally getting water up our noses which made us very cranky.

There's so much I've forgotten. Y'know, I was really kinda worried when they started looking, 'cause, well, Nemo doesn't live in the wading pool in the backyard. They were at it for quite a while, and I wasn't sure whether I should say something or make something up or what, when all of a sudden BB shouts, "DAIKON, YOU DID IT! DAIKON FIND NEMO!" And Daikon was standing there, holding his hands cupped with a little bit of water in them but nothing more.

But BJ thought differently. "Very good, Daikon! So, what are you going to do with him now?"

Blank stares from the boys. Then BB thought about it for a bit. "TAKE FISHIE HOME!"

"I don't know, BB, I think he misses his daddy, don't you?" Daikon was looking back towards the treeline as Beej was saying this.

So BB thought some more. "TAKE DADDY FISHIE HOME!"

After a while, we managed to convince him that setting Nemo free would be the nicest thing to do. So Beej and I brought the boys down to the lake so they could set Nemo free, then came back so they could go take a nap.

Y'know, it's amazing how really believing in things can make them true, at least to the person doing the believing. And I can see it working for good things or for bad things. But it kind of makes me a little sad that I've forgotten how. Or do I do this and just not realize it?

Thought for the day. Off to sleep for me now.

Current Mood: curious

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Friday, July 25th, 2003
12:28 pm
And that's that.
It is now half past noon. My match with Jewel was supposed to start at what, ten? They told me when I woke up about fifteen minutes ago that they brought me in here about ten minutes before that.

Do I really need to say any more than that?

The match was excellent. But it was the longest yet, and after yesterday we were both hurting going into it. When it was ending I half expected both of us to just stop fighting and keel over 'cause it was really hot, too. But we knew we were getting to that point so we just kind of looked at each other and decided to get this overwith, already. So I tried charging but I left myself open and she capitalized on that and knocked the wind out of me, then kicked me aside. I think hitting my head on the tile floor right then was the final straw.

So I woke up here. And I wasn't exactly sure I wanted to let anybody know I was up right away because it's nice and cool in here and they'd given me lots and lots of ice packs and it felt really good. But it's good that I went ahead and sat up 'cause Beej was here and he brought me a senzu bean and some lemonade. So I took the senzu bean and felt my insides rearrange themselves and then after a minute I was ready for something to drink, and I wasn't sore anymore, which was even better than just the ice packs.

And now I'm supposed to be writing to everybody. Hi, everybody! Can you believe the tournament's over? It's weird, 'cause when it was going on, it felt like it was pretty long, and now that it's over, it seems like it was awfully short, doesn't it?

Congratulations, Jewel! You really earned that title. We had an excellent match and in the end I think it really came down to who wanted it more, y'know? Thanks so much; I learned lessons from that fight I don't think I'll be forgetting any time soon!

Beej, I've thought it over a bit and I think more than anything I'd like to do a little sightseeing somewhere new. We can try to figure out exactly where on the ride home, provided I don't crash out on you like I did yesterday. *blush* Sorry about that, by the way.

Feeling much better now. I think the awards ceremony is starting soon, and hopefully after that, we can all go get some lunch somewhere? I'm actually feeling pretty hungry for the first time since we got here! *g*

Current Mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, July 24th, 2003
11:55 pm
Fun and excitement.
I don't understand exactly how today happened. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I want to understand it, I just know it happened.

First thing in the morning, I fought Goten, fresh off his victory yesterday in the Battle of the Culinary All-Stars. Landed a few solid hits but got kicked around a lot, too. Somehow I managed to get by him and kick him out of the ring.

Got a lemonade and a couple of ACE bandages. I was headed back to the staging area when I heard Beej was fighting Zarbon. That scared me *so* much. I mean, Zarbon *really* messed Vez up yesterday. She needed two senzu beans after that match. And believe me, I know from experience, when you need two, you're hurting in a big way. But Beej pulled it off, and then Zarbon left. Just took off and flew out of the stadium from where he was standing. Hopefully we won't have to deal with him again for a while.

Listened to music, drank my lemonade. Found out I was fighting Piccolo in the quarterfinals -- and believe me, after his match with 17 yesterday and his first match this morning, I was awfully nervous about that. Somehow, though, nervous just kind of stops mattering when there's someone bigger than you are, older than you are, more experienced than you are, and stronger than you are flying at you. That's the nice thing about immediate life-threatening conflict, y'know? You don't really have time to doubt, you just have time to do. So I started off by concentrating on keeping myself intact, and then I started to try and limit how much he could attack, and then I worked for the offensive from there. It definitely wasn't easy, though. Piccolo is tough, and he used a lot of techniques I hadn't seen him use before. He got a really good shot to my leg which made me have to rethink my entire strategy. Oh, and it hurt a whole lot, too.

So, somehow, I managed to get past Piccolo. Got another lemonade, a bagel, and some more ACE bandages and went to sit down, patch myself up, and think about what I was going to have to do in my next round. Sipped the lemonade and nibbled at the bagel every once in a while; I couldn't stomach it all at once so I just worked on it a little at a time.

Found out I was up against Gokou in the semifinals.

This was going to hurt.

However long it was from then until the match, it was way less time than I'd hoped, and we were fighting before I knew it. Gokou is an incredibly intuitive fighter. He sees us fight all the time, but just as much as that he sees the kind of people we are and how the way we fight reflects that. If you have a technique you've been saving up and keeping secret, sure, it'll set him back, but he'll pick up on how it fits into your fighting style and learn how to combat it awfully quickly. So in order to keep up with him, I had to fight the way I hate to fight. Something to distract, then something harder. Minor pain, major pain, and once you're on a roll, you don't let go of it until you've won. Ignore injury to yourself, there are better times to worry about that. Ruthless fighting, the philosophy they taught at IGPol, the stuff I had drilled into my head until it became almost part of my subconscious, the style I don't resort to unless I really don't have a choice.

And I won. And Gokou got a senzu bean, and he was fine. But I didn't like handling the match the way I did and I started really feeling all the attacks he landed on me. Went back to my hotel room, threw up. Took a lukewarm shower, got out, got dressed, wandered down the hallway to the machine and filled up my ice bucket. Made myself some ice packs, sat on the bed and put them everywhere the ACE bandages had been, along with a few other spots that were just starting to get sore. Grabbed Tayliel and stared up at the ceiling for a while.

It felt a lot like a mission at about that point. But then Beej came in bearing pain relievers. I took some of those, then we turned on the TV to some random movie or something and sat back and snuggled. Next thing I knew, he was waking me up a few hours later and saying we should go for food. So we went down to this restaurant by the hotel lobby and had chicken. And some lemonade.

And that brings me to now, and now I think I'm going to go to sleep.

Current Mood: confused

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8:49 am
Fun and excitement all day long! (hopefully..?)
I just got out of my match with Goten and he has seriously been doing a ton of training. I can't count how many times he almost had me! But I managed to get behind him and ring him out with a decent kick and now I have to wait for pairings for the next round. I think I'm just going to put my headphones on and kind of try to relax for a while.

Ubuu came to breakfast with all of us this morning. He's really nice! In all fairness, too, he did manage to keep up with Jewel and Pan and Mikomi and I as far as eating went. *g* I think Gokou might have convinced him to start training in the mornings with us but he hasn't said anything for sure yet so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Sounds like another match just ended. Gosh, all the people who are getting to the quarterfinals are *really* good...

Current Mood: stressed

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12:45 am
Fun and excitement: Day One!
Well, one match down and I'm still in. This is good. But tomorrow is three matches and only two people are still going to be in the running by day's end, so really, the fun hasn't even begun yet. Which isn't exactly a comforting thought, but fighting isn't supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, anyway.

Today involved a lot of what Kia likes to call "hurry up and wait". Rush to get to the qualifiers on time, wait all morning as people try to qualify. Rush to get everybody in the staging area, wait a lot before your match. But there was a lot to look at. Beej and I saw a lot of people our age and maybe a little bit older try to qualify. One of them actually made it through. He's human, but he's really good. He beat Raditz this afternoon. At any rate, he seemed pretty lonely, 'cause all the rest of us knew each other, so after a while a bunch of us went over and introduced ourselves. Turns out his name is Ubuu. He'll be joining us for breakfast tomorrow morning, which should be pretty cool!

There was one other really lonely person in the staging area today and that was Zarbon. He was about the last person I was expecting to see at the tournament; then again, he has a tendency to show up where he's least expected and perhaps pay attention to things more than we give him credit for. He's smart. But he's also really really mad. It was pretty creepy, but he's not stupid enough to try to pull something at the tournament, is he?

I fought against Tien today, which made me kind of nervous, 'cause he made it all the way to the finals in this tournament last year. He has a really smart set of ki moves he uses and if you're not familiar with what he can do it's tough to get the upper hand, because he won't give it to you easily by any stretch of the imagination. So we had a tactical fight that must have gone on pretty steadily for at least half an hour. I finally managed to use earth ki to knock him out of the ring, but I had to have the announcer help me find my way back to the staging area because I couldn't see. Smart announcer, he had sunglasses. I wasn't that bright and I let the Solar Flare blind me, but I had to keep going. The match really could have gone either way, but I'm glad I managed to pull it off. Tien, thank you for such an awesome match. You really had me thinking.

It's time to set thinking aside for the day, though. Beej and I are going to go out flying for a bit, since it's absolutely beautiful out. Maybe after that I'll be a little more inclined to get some sleep. I hope so, 'cause I know I need it.

Current Mood: calm

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003
12:10 am
Fun and excitement... is finally here!
It's over. No more spending every spare moment training, no more practicing. We're leaving for the tournament later today. I should go get some sleep, except I can't. I'm starting to get wired.

You know, using Earth computers is weird. I'm using Kia and Raditz's desktop right now because I'm making a CD to bring along -- mostly techno. I guess a lot of techno is new versions of old songs because I know Beej and Kia have both walked by my room while I've been listening to music and been like, "I can't believe they remade this song!" And it still seems kind of funny to me 'cause I was always under the impression that songs didn't really belong to anybody before I came here. I would guess that's probably true on most other planets, too, though. I just never stayed long enough anywhere else to figure that out. Anyway, as I was saying, using Earth computers is weird. 'Cause the keys are all different than I'm used to so I keep having to backspace and correct myself 'cause I keep messing up.

I guess a lot of us will be taking a hoverbus over to the tournament tomorrow, courtesy of Bulma. I wonder if we'll have to be strapped in like we were on the plane last year when we went to Vegas. Well, we really only had to be strapped in when we were taking off and landing, but we couldn't move around very much. But I'm hoping there aren't seatbelts or anything on the bus, or that we don't have to wear them much, 'cause I think I'd really like to try to get a bit of sleep on the ride there, but I can't sleep strapped in.

Maybe it's just me and intraplanetary transports. I think I'm getting better with that in some other respects, though. Like when Beej and I go out on his motorcycle. We did that this afternoon for a while, before the BBQ. And it was a good time. I'll admit I was a little nervous about the bike at first, but now that I'm used to it it's really a lot of fun, though I think the company is a large part of that. *g* Oh, and after the tournament's over, we're going to try to build a boat down by the lake. I'm really excited about that, 'cause I've never been on any kind of water transport before, and it looked like all the people we saw down at the ocean were really having a good time.

But good times can wait. And I think I titled this post wrong, actually. 'Cause fighting isn't necessarily fun and excitement, but it *is* really important. And I hope the tournament goes all right because things could go wrong at any time, y'know? I want to know that I'll be ready if something happens, so it matters to me that I'm able to keep up with everyone. So I've been training really hard, and I know everyone else has, too. I guess we'll see how things turn out.

My CD's done now. Beej is kinda reading over my shoulder and pointing out to me (1) that I haven't even packed yet and (2) that I should be asleep. I suppose I should pack, huh? This is quite an interesting idea. So I guess I will.

Current Mood: nervous

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Friday, July 11th, 2003
11:00 pm
Fun and excitement... and thinking and quiet.
Well, yesterday night was our big trip with Bulma and Vegeta and Vicki down to Hiratsuka for Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival. I think there was something for everyone there, though it might not have looked like it at first. There were paper decorations all around... streamers, and figures, and there were trees where people wrote down their wishes on little pieces of paper and tied them to the branches. It was absolutely gorgeous, and that was enough for me -- but it got better.

At dusk, there was a parade with dancers and traditional musicians that all three of the little ones just loved, and I have to admit, I thought it was pretty awesome, too. There's just something about people letting go of everything normal about life and living in the moment and being so *happy* that's such a rush. The music was absolutely irresistable. Not that I'm about to run out and buy a CD of a taiko group or anything, though -- it couldn't possibly be anywhere close to being there, out in the streets, hearing the drums pounding and the flutes (bamboo flutes really have a wild sound to them, don't you think?) shrilling the tunes as some of us tapped our feet and restrained ourselves and the rest of us danced. I think BB was really impressed with the drums. The fact that somehow one of the big oatmeal containers disappeared while we were making cookies this afternoon and that moments later there was an awful lot of noise coming from the living room was a big hint.

After that, there was plenty of food to be had. I can't even describe what it smelled like to have so many people cooking so close together in open air; it's going to make me hungry again just thinking about it (yes, humans are allowed to be hungry, too!). Lots of fish and rice and warm candy... it was a really salty, sweet, summery smell.

The fireworks were really cool, too. There were some with colors I hadn't seen in fireworks before, like purple and teal, and some that kind of whistled through the air. The best part, though, was the company I was with. We kind of broke off from everyone and found a hill nearby that was pretty quiet and just sat back and watched. And by the time the fireworks were winding down, the stars came out.

It made me think about last year at this time, when Tanabata rolled around. It still seems kind of funny to me, counting in years, seeing things as a cycle, thinking of a cycle as something bigger than a day, watching things that happened once happen again out of simple tradition of revelry and not out of necessity and discipline. Anyway, though, last year around this time, I had people aboard the ship and we went out stargazing to celebrate. I remember it being kind of awkward for me, because up to that point, I'd really never done anything with the ship just for fun. But it *was* fun, and thinking back on it made me happy, but sad at the same time, y'know?

BJ picked up on it before I did. "Starsick?"

"Huh?"

He lifted a hand enough to point up where we were looking, where the fireworks had been. "You miss it, don't you?"

My stomach did a couple flipflops about then, and I could feel my face getting red 'cause I knew he was right, but I didn't know if *I* was right. "I shouldn't."

"Why?"

We weren't looking at the stars anymore by this point. Actually, I think *he* was looking at *me*, and *I* looked at him and kind of looked down at the grass really quickly. "I... I don't know." I looked back up, because it wasn't worth avoiding anymore, even though I was starting to get a bit of a lump in my throat. "I guess even though I'm happier here than I've ever been, there are still some things I *do* miss, y'know?"

Beej nodded, looking a little sad himself. "Yeah. I know."

And I realized in that moment how much worse it has to be for him. See, neither of us really belong here, but at least it's something far away that reminds me of that. And stars can be avoided. There are cloudy nights, there are nights where we stay inside. But BJ comes from a time where almost all of us are dead, and I can't imagine what it must be like sometimes, because his reminders are all around him, all the time. They're the people he cares about.

So neither of us really said anything for a little while. We just sat together and thought. And I guess I decided that even if I was miserable on the whole while I was on duty and even if I messed things up way too much last time I was out there by myself I'm allowed to miss Blip. I'm allowed to miss PRISMA. I'm allowed to miss just going out on a Dash Pad and floating around and taking in all of the nothing for distances farther than I was ever really able to fathom. I'm allowed to miss Kael -- and I'm allowed to miss Tarren. Even if I was the one who killed him, there was a time when he seemed to me to be a very thoughtful, just, and virtuous man. Even if I can't miss the person he was when he died, I can miss the person I perceived him to be before.

Same with Taelarre. Part of me wishes so badly that it was still around, so I could go back one day, bring Beej along, show him the places where I used to play back before they made me forget how. But that's stupid. Even if things were exactly as I'd left them (which they definitely weren't when the planet blew up), I wouldn't get what I was really looking for. Because what I really want is for it to matter to someone else the way it matters to me, and regardless of either of our intentions, it won't. For it to really matter takes being there when things happen. I think that's probably one of the hardest parts of everything for both of us. There are things that are so important for us that we can never really share like we want to, and we can never understand as much as we wish we could.

But we do what we can. We talk a lot. On nights when one of us can't sleep we both end up finding our way to the living room. We do lots of stuff together -- teach each other new things, try out things that neither of us really has a clue about. And we have evenings like yesterday.

Bulma, thank you for telling us about the festival, it really was a lot of fun. Beej, I'm so glad we went along with everyone, but I'm even more glad that you're you, and I'm sorry for forgetting I'm not the only one.

Current Mood: thoughtful

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Monday, July 7th, 2003
10:55 pm
Hmm, that's pretty loud.
Thunderstorms are rolling through. I haven't heard them this loud since I was little back on Taelarre, since the ship and the base were both built to quiet that sound. It's a little creepy. 'Course, I always used to find storms creepy, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

...oops, power just went out. But I'm using my portable unit, so all is good.

I'm looking forward to heading out to that festival with Bulma later this week. I think we all decided to go on Thursday. That's going to be so much fun! I'm looking forward to trying on a yukata for the occasion. And there's supposed to be all kinds of music, and even fireworks! I can't wait!

Whoa, gotta go, I've got rugrats crawling up on the bed with me 'cause they see I've got light and they're pretty freaked out by the thunder and the dark. I think I'll be turning this off and we'll be heading back over to their room until they fall asleep. It sounds like Beej is up, too; maybe he'll help me out with this one.

Current Mood: tired

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2003
12:32 am
Fun and excitement... in microgravity!
Well, I'd have to say the opening of the Micrograv Room on Saturday was a big success. Nobody got sick (which from what I hear is a big problem in a lot of micrograv orientation classes) and despite the lack of, well, *gravity*, we all got a good workout. I know I was sure feeling that in the morning; when you maneuver in micrograv, it takes precision and control in some muscle groups that don't normally get much attention in training in order to get where you were hoping to be. So we worked to get a handle on that (flying with ki is not allowed in the micrograv room 'cause that's cheating!) and then we played a couple of variations of sarpec.

Sarpec is cool. I think I've mentioned before that it's kind of like Capture the Flag. When you play the game by official rules, you have special jumpsuits with laser guns attached and they inhibit your motion for five seconds if you get hit on the enemy's side of the court. If they can catch you and stick the tip of their gun into a port on the shoulder of the suit during this time, you're their prisoner and the rules are backwards. You can't move unless someone on your team shoots you, and then you have five seconds of free motion. But if your teammates can "key" the shoulder of your suit like the other team did *anywhere* in the arena then you're free to go. The overall objective is to get two cloth flags from the enemy's side of the court and return them to your own goal area, but if the enemy takes one of your flags, you can try to get that back, too. Complicated, huh? We haven't gotten that far yet as a group. We stuck with one flag and touch/collision tagging on Saturday like in land Capture the Flag and it worked pretty well. I think once people get used to the environment and start being more comfortable thinking without the concept of "ground" or "floor" we'll be able to play more like the official game, but only if people want to, 'cause everybody seems to be having plenty of fun as it is!

I really look forward to playing in that room more and I'm glad we got to build it. I think we can learn a lot from it and it's also good to see everybody learning how to maneuver without gravity in a fun way. It's the way people should learn, y'know?

Speaking of fun and learning, Beej and I are taking BB and Daikon to the zoo tomorrow after morning training for a while. We plan on heading back here around naptime, which'll give us plenty of time to check things out without anybody getting too cranky (hopefully!). I'm still not too sure the idea of a zoo sits perfectly well with me, but it'll definitely be interesting to find out more about Earth animals.

((OOC Edit: Note -- My notes on sarpec and micrograv in general are *loosely* based on ideas presented in Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Read it 'cause it's really good! Actually calling it "microgravity" instead of "zero gravity" as it's more commonly (and mistakenly) known comes from being a Science Olympiad dork and, more importantly, from a guest hosting stint I did with a friend on the local Fox Kids Club four years ago at the NASA Glenn Research Center. But that's an embarrassing story for another journal. *g*))

Current Mood: cheerful

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Thursday, June 26th, 2003
6:45 pm
Fun and excitement... being toasty warm.
Or, rather, so warm I think I'm toasting. But that's all right, 'cause this has been a good week.

In case some of you have been on another planet or something, it's been really really really hot outside. We've been taking tons more water breaks during morning training than usual, which I think is actually helping, 'cause generally matches are shorter and it's forcing us to be a bit more aggressive. Sometimes that's not the easiest way to learn stuff, but with the tournament coming up and all, it's a good time for us to change our focus. I really believe we're improving, too, since when you know the fight has to be over quick you start reaching and sometimes you take a risk you normally wouldn't, and sometimes the way it works out is quite surprising.

Unfortunately, the heat hasn't done the same thing for afternoon training. Beej and I were flying around working on some stuff yesterday and somehow we kept finding ourselves closer and closer to the lake and then all of a sudden I ended up underwater. Though I guess since I used my powers to shoot a nice jet of water back up at Beej, it still counted as training for *me*, right?

In other news, though, Bulma and I have finished up work on the Microgravity Room and we're officially opening it up Saturday night. Anybody who wants to float around in air conditioned comfort, play some games, and learn how to use some muscles you never knew you had is welcome. If you haven't spent a lot of time in micrograv conditions before, I'd suggest not eating a whole lot beforehand, 'cause sometimes people get a little disoriented their first time dealing with the sensation. We *will* have pizza afterwards though!

Ooh, it looks like it's starting to rain outside. Hopefully this'll cool things down a little bit, 'cause I think we could all use a reprieve from this heat!

Current Mood: hot

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Friday, June 20th, 2003
12:24 am
Fun and excitement... in tight, narrow spaces.
So Bulma and I ran some tests on the Microgravity Room today and found out that some areas of the room weren't functioning exactly as they should have been. It wasn't a computer error, as far as we could tell, so I got to go crawl in between the double walls and check the wiring. I was really, really hoping it wouldn't come to that, but it needed to be done. So I got to grab a headset and a little light that mounted on my shoulder and crawl on in.

There is something extremely unnerving about little, dark, narrow spaces. I don't know if that applies to everyone, but it's one of my little hangups. I really don't like not being able to move my arms much or look around -- and the wires really weren't helping either, 'cause I kept worrying I was going to bump one out of place. Yet, there's part of me that knows freaking out about this is completely stupid. Mission me. The part of me that dragged me in and out of the ship's innards whenever something went wrong and tried to convince the rest of me that it wasn't so bad. The part of me that hears that something needs to be done and immediately sets to work. That's what got me in there and kept me focused.

And it's a good thing I *was* focused, 'cause there was an awful lot to do. Turns out the reason certain panels were going down was because a bird found a way in at some point earlier in construction and was trying to steal wires for its nest. It's long gone, since everything was closed off a while ago, but there was still a lot of cleaning up to do and wiring to reconnect or replace.

We were at it until about an hour ago, actually, when Vegeta decided we'd done enough for the day and came to boot us out. I found out about it when he banged on the panel I was working on to get my attention. I know he didn't mean any harm by it and he just wanted me out, but it scared me half to death and I know for a moment there my ki spiked right through the roof. By the time I got out, part of me was still freaked and part of me kind of wanted back into the wall 'cause I didn't want to look Vegeta in the face 'cause for crying out loud, it's so *stupid* of me to be hung up on this "little spaces" thing!

But stupid or not, I have to admit that I'm still hung up on it. And embarrassed or not, I'll be going over and finishing up those repairs tomorrow, 'cause it needs to be done, and I need to show myself that I can get it done. There's not much more left to do, anyway, so maybe we can finally get it up and running by the end of the evening. That would be nice. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of this project has been a complete blast, and I know I'm going to miss working on it 'cause playing with electronics and whatnot is great. I just wouldn't mind reaching that end goal and getting it finished and floating around goofing off for a while. It's time to have a different kind of fun with this project.

Now, though, I have to get some sleep so I'm a decent challenge for Pan in the morning. We trained together today and it was quite a workout! I'm sure whoever enters the youth division of the tournament is going to have quite a hard time of it taking her title away from her because she is awesome. *g*

Current Mood: tired

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Wednesday, June 11th, 2003
9:21 pm
Fun and excitement... sooner than expected!
Spending yesterday at the ocean with Beej was even cooler than I thought it'd be! We spent a lot of time on the boardwalk yesterday and saw all kinds of really interesting people . . . and, of course, spent a little time being rock stars. *g* That was loads of fun, but it was really, really *weird* too, y'know? 'Cause I've played my flute in front of people before but I've never sang for a crowd, and usually if I go off into my own little world with the flute, it's a good thing, but here when I was singing, I was supposed to stay focused, not on all the people in the booths and not on my sexy male background dancer, but on the camera. But we had fun, and the tape was quite interesting when we played it back last night. Y'know, it's really really strange seeing and hearing a recording of yourself! *giggles*

Anyway, after we ate, we played around on the carnival rides for a little bit (they're *lots* rougher than the ones at Disney World!), then headed down to the beach to walk and hang out for a while. It was really neat 'cause we started off near the boardwalk and there were all kinds of boats off in the distance. Some of them had sails. They weren't anywhere near as big as the ones I've seen in movies -- they were only built for a couple of people -- but they looked like they were moving pretty quickly. Some other boats, though, ran on motors instead of by wind power. There were people with skis on the water being towed behind some of them, and we even saw a couple where people with parachutes were flying in the air behind them . . . parasailing? Yeah, that's the word. So there were water skiers and parasailers and all kinds of people sunbathing or swimming and after we spent a while there, we took off to find a quieter place to watch the sunset. Along the way, we saw some really big boats, ones that looked like they could hold about fifty of those sailboats in the movies, and Beej said that those were the kinds of ships they send things over to the continents in. It makes sense. After all, they were big enough to start reminding me of spaceships! Looking back, I was pretty impressed with the big boats and all the things people were doing with the motorboats, but I think I liked the little sailboats best of all.

We found a really nice, quiet stretch of beach along some huge rocks just after what BJ said was probably the "tide". There were all kinds of things along the shore, so there was lots to look at. There was quite a bit of driftwood, and I found some shells like the ones they had in the souvenir shops up on the boardwalk except most of them were smaller and a few were broken (though finding them is still a *lot* cooler than buying them). We also came across some fish bones (gross!) and a crab claw (Beej said maybe we should take it home and tell Daikon and BB we met Sebastian. *I* said maybe we should go home and ask if anyone wanted a copy of that tape) and then we just kinda made our way back up by the rocks.

The sunset was absolutely gorgeous. The ocean kind of reminds me of space 'cause the water looks like it goes on forever, and so does the sky, so when you're sitting on the beach watching the sky change colors, it feels like you're staring into infinity. But it's a brighter infinity than space, and an infinity that feels alive. The waves keep crashing along the shore, occasionally birds fly overhead, and you know that under the surface of the water there's a whole other world that nobody knows very much about. It's kind of cool, knowing that a mystery's there and that it's still a mystery, y'know? Sometimes in space I lose sight of how pretty it is and get caught up in the science of it all, but the ocean's different.

The stars were just coming out when we started to leave, but just before we cut in from the coastline, we saw something moving along the shoreline and decided to come in closer and take a look. Here they were these great big turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. So we stayed out of the way, but we watched for a while before going back home.

All in all, I'd say it was an incredible day. I learned a lot, and I know we both had tons of fun, and Beej has been incredibly amusing since 'cause he's acting like he's afraid of what I could do with that tape. He knows where it is, though. We're keeping it separate from the general Blackmail Video Archives for the time being. Y'know, one of these days we're going to have Really Embarrassing Camera Footage of *everyone*. We'll need to have a big movie night somewhere when we get to that point. Except I have to question whether the VCR would survive . . .

Current Mood: content

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Monday, June 9th, 2003
4:53 pm
Fun and excitement... but not yet!
Well, word is that they're finally finishing up on repairs to the stadium. I guess the builders ended up having to replace a lot of things, but that's good, 'cause it'll probably be safer for everyone, right?

I've had to do a little more training on my own lately, since it's finals season and Beej has been studying a lot. I hope I've been helpful with science and math, but I'm afraid I haven't read enough to offer much assistance with literature . . . or especially history. But he's been telling me some things about what he's studying, 'cause apparently teaching another person about something helps you remember it better yourself, and then other times I've just gone off and worked with my powers a bit. Since this all happens in the evening, once we're done we all usually end up in the living room watching a movie or playing a game or something before bed. It's not a bad system at all.

We watched Treasure Planet, one of the newer Disney movies, last night. That was interesting, to say the least. I mean, the thing the boy was riding on at the beginning of the movie reminded me of a Dash Deck, which was kind of cool, but they sailed through space on these . . . these *boats* which were exposed to the vacuum, but somehow everyone could still breathe and was warm enough, but then there was a generator which could have explained that, but when it broke people started falling *up*. Beej and Kia explained that the story was based on a book called Treasure Island and that those were the kinds of ships Europeans used to sail on when they were just finding out about all the different parts of the world about 500 years ago. Huge, glaring scientific inaccuracies aside, it was a cute movie. In fact, it makes me kind of curious about the ocean. I've never traveled by water before, y'know? And to tell you the truth, it kind of makes me miss space, too. Don't get me wrong, I definitely don't miss missions, but there are some times when you're up there and everything's just so peaceful and silent that all of a sudden, you realize how beautiful everything is and it just kind of takes you by surprise, y'know? Maybe I need to talk to Tap and see how Sapphire feels about taking a day trip, just for fun.

Oh, there was one other good thing about that DVD, too- there was an ad that said The Lion King is finally coming out on DVD soon! I know it doesn't sound all that important, but honestly, you don't want to know how many copies of that tape we've gone through since I've been here. This is very good news.

I've got to go help with dinner now. It's great to see so many people posting again! Keep in touch, okay?

Current Mood: thoughtful

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Wednesday, May 21st, 2003
11:11 pm
Why do they call this a summer "vacation"?
Really, now that my classes are out of the way for the year, I'm finding myself more tired than I was during school. It's not too hard to see why, though. Bulma got the parts for the microgravity chamber so we've been putting together and programming the working parts when we've had time, and a lot of people have been helping us get the frame up over the weekends. Bra's been helping us out with the technical stuff from time to time, too, and Tanomi usually stops in when he comes to pick up Mikomi the evenings she's over. Even Trunks and BJ have poked their heads in occasionally. I'd say at this rate, we'll probably be done with this project within the next two or three weeks, which is really, really cool. I look forward to going in there at some point after the tournament and just floating around for a bit.

Speaking of the tournament, I've been working with my powers more since school let out. I'm trying to extend the area I can control without sacrificing precision or endurance in the process, but I have to save that kind of training for when I don't have anything else really important that I need to do during the day, 'cause it really wears me down. I mean, I'll get done and all I'll want to do is cry or go to sleep on the spot. It worries Beej sometimes, I know, and I wish I could change that, but in a way, it's almost funny. My training with my own powers takes away from me what his training at SSJ4 gives him. They're so different, but when all is said and done we're each better people because of our powers, in a way. We're more focused, more disciplined.

Too bad about the flip side, though, huh?

Anyway, I need to sleep. I really don't want to train tomorrow but I know I have to. More than a tournament, this portable unit and the necklace I'm wearing should be motivation enough to me. G'night, everybody.

Current Mood: contemplative

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Wednesday, April 9th, 2003
6:34 pm
More Earth customs.
Guess what? I found out about another interesting Earth tradition a week ago on Tuesday. It was really weird, 'cause I woke up and I could tell something was wrong, but I wasn't sure exactly what, 'cause I went to grab some clothes out of the dresser and I instinctually wanted to go right -- but it was on my left. I wasn't sure whether it was just me being weird, but I realized everything seemed... backwards, even though it was all in order just as it should be.

Needless to say, I was really confused, but I got dressed and went out to the kitchen anyway (that is, after I found the door). BB and Daikon were busy snacking, and Kia and Raditz and Beej were talking, and Beej seemed way more animated than he usually does before training. And he turned and looked at me and it wasn't a normal look, it was a very amused sort of look, which he followed up with this huge grin. "Good morning."

"Good mor-" It was about that point when I started putting two and two together, though I still didn't know why. "Beej..."

"April fools!" And he started laughing as Kia kind of glanced between the two of us and shook her head.

Long story short, I got the entire April Fools' Day tradition explained to me by Kia, and Beej put all my stuff back where it was supposed to be. I was quite impressed, actually -- I'm a pretty light sleeper, so it's amazing he was able to pull that off -- but that didn't stop me from switching my house slippers with his before he came home and started violin practice in the afternoon.

Well, it looks like we're going to get some homework done and then head out for evening training. Not something I'd choose to do on my own, probably, but the company makes it well worth it. Beej and I switch off with Raditz and Kia every other weekday so we all have time for both extra training and time with BB and Daikon. It's not a lot, but Beej trains with Gokou in the afternoons a lot, Raditz can at least work on technique at work, and Kia and I? We have birthdays to plan for. Yep, Tuesday is BB and BJ's birthday! We're going to PIZZA MOUSE'S HOUSE Saturday afternoon (but he doesn't know that so shh!) and then Saturday night... well, that's a surprise for someone, and since he might actually read this I'll tell you all about it after the fact. Kia and Raditz have been discussing having a BBQ on Tuesday, so don't be surprised if you hear something about it at training tomorrow!

Well, Beej is finished with his math now, so it's training time for us. See you later!

Current Mood: busy

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2003
12:08 am
What a wonderful weekend!
Y'know, I'd completely forgotten what day Friday was until I woke up that morning and saw flowers on my bedstand again. It took me a while to get to like Valentine's Day, but White Day was great right from the start! Beej and I went out in the evening -- I watched the boys while Kia and Raditz went out to lunch (*without incident* thankfully) -- and we had dinner and then just walked around the park for a while because last weekend was actually pretty warm. I can't begin to say how happy that makes me. I actually had light clothes for the weekend, too, because Kia took me and the boys out to the mall Wednesday for that purpose... and also so I could be coerced into getting some kind of pseudo-dressy outfit without realizing what was going on. Quite predictably, it worked. But then again, Kia didn't know Raditz was taking her out for lunch, either, so I suppose it all evens out!

We spent a lot of time outside this weekend, though. I didn't get a chance to go on a hike or anything like that, but all of us were out on the playground Saturday taking turns keeping BB and Daikon busy and cleaning up so we can put everything back outside soon. Not yet, because it's supposed to get cold again, but soon.

Speaking of cold, the Tenkaichi Budoukai is going to be moved back because the rainy season and the cold season out where it's held were really bad this past year and not only did it keep them from repairing the damage everyone did during the last tournament, but it caused some new damage as well. I guess they're taking the opportunity to do some general renovations to the stadium. But apparently this coming year is going to be really great, and even though the tournament's been moved back, everyone's awfully excited about it! Gokou's been so busy between training and spending time with ChiChi and Grace that I honestly doubt he'll be thinking about updating his journal very much for a while. And if the rest of us thought we were busy before, well, it's even more chaotic now! I'll try to keep this up to date as best I can, but I'm not sure how many other people will be posting for a while. Am *I* planning on entering the tournament? To be honest, I'm still not sure. Beej keeps telling me I should, but I don't (and just can't, to be honest) train as much as a lot of other people do, but I need to keep up with it in case something happens anyway, so y'know, maybe I *will* enter. It can't hurt, after all (well, maybe it will, but I can think of other things that would hurt more).

So that's basically what's been happening around here. White Day, wonderful weather, and lots and lots of training. I hope you've all been spending time outside, too. It's supposed to get rainy later this week, so enjoy it while you can!

Current Mood: busy

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