Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: March 2009

29 March 2009

354th post: Some cleaning up

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As mentioned on my Twitter feed yesterday, I have 3 identical boxes (47cm x 33cm x 36cm, about 1.5ft x 1.5ft 2.25ft) stacked on top of each other and haven't touched those in a while. In fact, I barely touch anything in my room other than the area around the laptop I normally use lately.

As my priorities of cleaning up my room are low, since it's not so bad. However, I can see dust and dirt gathering on the surface and that most of the mess are not so visible. In fact, it still looks a lot better than back in November 2006, shortly/during the time I made a major tidy up and moved the furniture around. Under the new arrangement, the mess level has somewhat kept to a minimum.

It's hard to tell what has been thrown out and what's still around, but here's what what is still kept besides the furniture:
  • Digital clock on top of the CD shelf
  • Blue and pink pencil sharpener
  • the stickers on the door and CD shelf
  • 1998 Dell PC set (white), at the spot where the newer 2002 Compaq PC (black&silver) is at. (The latter, along with the chair, is now in the living room)
  • 2.1 speakers, but now connected to the 2007 Acer laptop.
  • Those 2 mouse pads
  • CD/DVD spindles, CD holders, 5.25 inch floppy disk holders (filled with CDs)
  • Stuff pasted on the wall, but on the opposite side
  • 2005 drawings of MegaTokyo characters (bookshelf behind the bed) now in plastic pocket holders along with my other pencil drawings
  • mini-dustbin on the study desk
  • brown shelf with blue doors underneath the CD shelf (didn't even touch it, including the stuff inside)
Anyways, about those identical boxes, I opened it up on Saturday and the box at the very bottom contains cassette tapes and VHS tapes. If I'm not wrong, most of the content of those tapes are TV recordings of Pokemon between 1996 and 2005. There's more stored in the spare room and a particular drawer in my parent's bedroom.

Knowing that the other 2 boxes contain computer/electronics parts, I took them out. Some of the interesting things I found include 6 ATX power supply units, 1 of which, supports a Pentium 4 motherboard. The rest are older. There are also serial/parallel port cables and adapters. There are also several C7 and C13 plugs and telephone wires lying in there. Moving to a more open area is necessary as I need to sort out the mess and the tangled wires. It was hard to look through the items because someone in the house actually observed Earth Hour that day. The tangled wires and the amount of (mostly obsolete) stuff was so bad that I had to stop mid-way and continued earlier today.

During the clean-up, I noticed that there are empty or under-utilized PS/2 mouse, Wireless G router, and paper ream boxes. There is also a 1998 PC tower casing with a 2005 motherboard that was short-circuited around the time I had the laptop. I stuffed some ATX power units, parallel port switcher and a DVD drive that refuses to eject no matter how many times I press the eject button (there's no CD inside btw). The 2001 IBM PC too. After the clean up, there's now a box that's placed at the top that is empty, save for some large envelopes and a tube I received when ordering stuff online in end-2007.

I would like to get rid of the now-useless eletrical stuff, but I want to make money for getting rid of those, even as scrap, since it contains a lot of rubber, plastic, and metals. Wish my parents had told me what they had done that affects me instead of quietly doing it. When I ask certain type of questions, they would either ignore me or give a biased answer to the point that no longer trust them and leave away from them, but can't for financial reasons.

Above image is Ushio Okazaki of Clannad as a teenager.

26 March 2009

Disorientated Feelings (Part 8)

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[revised 5 April 2009]
(Continued from Part 7)
(Related: Alternate Dimension (Part 19))

Today's lessons seem to involve a lot of writing of notes into the notebooks the teacher wrote, some of which are handed in to the teacher. However, each year I progress since primary school, the hiragana of words I'm familiar with have been slowly been replaced by kanji that gets more complicated as I progress through each year. To tell you the truth, I don't know when I started learning this language, but it somehow seems to be my native language by the time I know what was going on. I also seemed to have learned another that has a completely different writing system and way of pronouncing words to the extent that the ones that are being taught in schools are like a joke, but is useful only when communicating with people of other countries. Anyways, with the learning kanji that has more strokes becoming more of a necessity, my hands are getting tired from all that writing.

Too bad I can't write with both my hands, but at least I only need to enter the pronunciation for the kanji for it when using the computer in romaji or kana. Luckily the lesson before lunch today is mathematics, so it's less tiring to write, but more thinking is involved. I find it strange that my given name is written in hiragana while almost everyone else has theirs in kanji.

When lunch break arrived, the teacher asked everyone to hand their assignment books to the front where I would collect and bring those to the teacher's office.

However, knowing the thickness of each assignment book multiplied by the numbers of people in my class would mean having a tall and somewhat heavy stack of books to carry. Should I carry all at once, or should I carry some and come back later? Well, almost everyone seemed to have left, collecting the books earlier already ate up time for lunch, and heading back to class to collect the rest would take up even more time. Not to mention that I have to make my way through the now-crowded corridors.

So, how do I get about carrying these all by myself at once? The teacher left when the lesson ended and is now out of sight. Looks like I have no choice but to carry them by myself so that I can quickly have lunch wi... AHH! WATCH OUT! :'(

I tripped my right leg with a table and found myself falling through the front door near it. There wasn't anyone when I started to fall, but a guy suddenly appeared in front of the door.

The next thing I knew, I was lying on top of him and that our lips made contact and my heart was beating rapidly as a result. Huh? What happened? His face is too close to tell who he is, but reminds me a lot of Hisakawa-san I met at the office of Hiroko's dad a while back. Oh wait, if I was falling forward as I was about to... Oh no, I could bring trouble to him by the other guys just because of this incident out of jealousy. I can tell that people are now already looking at us, including the few that are still in the classroom. Argh! My mind is going crazy now! What should I do?

I hurriedly got up from him, grabbing a book that was scattered around me to cover my face, and gathered the rest of books, and ran towards the teachers' room with the pile of books in front of me. Before I could get away, however, he asked for my name. That voice... it IS that Hisakawa-san that I had recently fallen over with. I deliberately replied to him in a voice that no one hears me speaks in before in order for them to not know it's me since practically everyone in school recognizes me by my usual voice. Wonder if they can still tell by my hairstyle though.

My friends have almost finished their lunch by the time I joined them.

******

I carefully made my way to the roof at the end of the day so that I can be out of sight of everyone. If I were to leave a message to him, I can't just drop him a love letter in his shoe box as his friends or people who are jealous of him over me could just grab it and not know about its contents, but there's no other way, to my knowledge, to communicate to him without others knowing. I wonder if I can use the letter of my workplace and have it typed in an official-looking letter... He must somewhat know that other language, as I recall him saying that he is good at programming. I bet someone who is looking at a letter that is written in a completely foreign language to them, but hope Hisakawa-san can understand well, would not have a second look at it. The official letter look would lower their suspicion if it being a message from me even more.

There is one small problem with this: what name should I use? It would be far too obvious if I use my real name as the signature is probably one of the first few places to see whom my letter was from. Hmm, "great granddaughter of (insert difficult-to-remember great grandpa's birth name)"? Well, my late grandfather was a foreigner... But still, it's too lengthy! (My family name came from his wife, who generously gave money for our family car recently) Yoko Takahashi? That's as good as sending an actual love letter, but I'm not sure if there's actually anyone in this city with that name. Um, I don't know...

I lied down on the ground and stared blankly at the sky, with my feet pointing towards the buildings just opposite the main school gate. (Aiko's school would be visible if I turned 90 degrees to my left.) The scene of houses or low-rise buildings in the horizon and clouds floating in the air is rather calming to look at than to seeing houses cramped together or tall buildings everywhere.

I don't how how long I have been staring at the sky, but the sky had already turned orange as a result of the sun setting. That was when I heard Itsuki, talking to another guy he calls either Kenjiro or Tanigawa, talking about me as they walked between the shoe locker and the main gate:

Itsuki: "...in the music club today."
Kenjiro: "Why? What happened to you?"
Itsuki: "Promise you won't tell anyone else? Not even with our other classmates?"
Kenjiro: "What are you talking about? I'm your best friend! I would keep this matter only between ourselves. So what is it all about?"
Itsuki: "Well, I was heading towards the cafeteria during lunch earlier today and walked past class 1-1 when a girl popped out of nowhere through the front door and landed on top of me."
Kenjiro: "Oh ho ho! Was she cute? What's her name? What did she do to you?"
Itsuki: "Well, she claims to be that famous Miyazawa-san, but I can't see her face as she seems to keep covering it with one of the books that had scattered around when she fell on me and quickly ran away. When she was on me, her face was too close and I was too shocked to tell. Her voice doesn't sound like Miyazawa-san we both know, but she does have her trademark hairstyle..."
Kenjiro: "Wow! She even goes to the extent to claim that she is that goddess of ours that is the main reason why all the guys like to be in this boring school. On top of that, that girl even had her timing, location, and even the hairstyle perfect! She really have a huge crush on you and used this chance to kiss you and make it look like an accident!"
Itsuki: "The location? What do you mean? And why would she fall for a nobody like me who does poorly at grades? I barely even passed the entrance exam of this school while Miyazawa-san scores the highest ever: a perfect full score!"
Kenjiro: "Well, true, but didn't you know? Class 1-1 is Miyazawa's classroom! That girl who was pretending to be her even bothered to rush down to her classroom, waited for you to walk past the front door, and pounce on you! It's not everyday our teacher would held us back that would take up that much of our lunch break, so she picked the perfect timing and used Miyazawa-san's name so that you don't know who she really is. I'm sure you would get a love letter from her quite soon. Ah! A secret admirer! Your luck seems..."

.........What? They think that I am the girl who is pretending to be myself? I had only covered my face and use my bathroom singing voice (erm...) and they can come up with such well made deductions? Well, from Hisakawa-san's point of view of what happened, it does seem possible. However, I am that Miyazawa-san they are talking about who did it out of clumsiness, not some pretender who had everything planned perfectly.

I'm still relieved that they didn't know it was actually me, but dropping what appears to be a love letter into his shoe box is now out of the question. I have to now resort talking to him at work (but he works at a branch quite far from mine) or use that "official letter" plan I thought of earlier to have a rendezvous or other messages with him. Not sure about the other people who saw me and the people whom they told about it.

This has become such a big mess...

*****

Various versions of the rumors on what had happened that day seemed to have spread among everyone but they all have something in common: They don't know who Izumi was, they think the whole incident was intentional, and most ruled out of the possibility of me doing it.

Most girls who heard it got angry that they think that there was someone pretending to be me . The guys now seemed to be more on a photo hunting spree looking for the mysterious girl. The few classmates who saw it and myself seemed to be the only ones who know the true story. Now this is getting silly already, though it would be interesting to see how far this goes without me admitting to doing it.

I have done a letter that unless you look at it closely and understand it, it would look like an official letter of a company containing many complex words that were not taught in our foreign language classes. As for the position title, I used my given name with my late great grandfather's surname, and the official title of my job position in that language complete with my signature. Bet they weren't expecting this.

The letter says to meet me alone inside the storeroom on the 3rd floor, where the hidden entrance to the roof is, during lunch of the day after I put it in his shoe locker. I'll do so only when I'm mentally prepared for that though.

(Continued in Part 9)

24 March 2009

【一覧:2009年春アニメ放送開始】At a glance: Spring 2009 Anime

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ニコニコ動画:http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm6354473
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FciGdtZDt7M

Unlike previous seasons, I can't seem to bring myself to do this properly. I would bump this up and/or put up posts on the anime blogs once I get around to doing this properly.

351st post: @_@

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It may sound strange if I put it this way, but I have this strange ability to make myself feel scared for no apparent reason. This time however, I don't even know what triggered it.

Just a few hours ago, however, thinking about what I would be doing 5 years from and just cleaning up my room earlier (23 March) seem to somewhat triggered just as I head to bed. As I was sleeping I suddenly started to feel scared and want to cry for no apparent reason. Opening my eyes into a dark room seemed to only make matters worse.

Could be someone's comment while I was cleaning, could be thinking too much, or something built up over time faster than I could relief it, could be a video of someone saying life-changing events that they are or will be experiencing.

I didn't know wanting to do something as straightforward as cleaning my room can trigger weird things happening to me...

23 March 2009

Disorientated Feelings (Part 7)

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The first thing I knew when I woke up was that a pillow was stuffed at my face and that I'm lying facing down on my bed with the sound of birds chirping outside. Even though I'm now awake, I found great difficulty trying to get up, giving people who are seeing me at my current state the impression that I'm still asleep. "Can someone help me get up?" was what I wanted to say out loud, but my body did nothing as it continues on to sleep. My body has been out of sync with my mind lately...

Come to think of it, I might have seen that Hisakawa-san I met yesterday in school. Itsuki Hisakawa, isn't it? But since I don't know him before then, I might have easily pass him off as just another guy in school. Well, there are a lot of other guys that are interested in me, but why is he the one that catches my attention?

As I lay in bed deep in thoughts about Hisakawa-san with my body still asleep, Izumi finally manages to wake me up, saying that mom has prepared breakfast. Without thinking, I dragged myself to the dining table downstairs.

Everyone, except Kuniko, was staring at me as I reached the table and sat down to eat. I don't know why they are looking at me like that as I had breakfast in an unusual dead silence with them. It wasn't until Kousei said to me, "Sis, do you have school today? It's Sunday today...", that I realized that I'm still wearing my school uniform from last night. Normally, I would turn up in pajamas as I normally come straight from bed. Dad is sitting quietly at a corner of the dining table, that I didn't notice him until I saw him as he's rarely at home. I can sense that he's laughing very hard despite trying his best to keep a serious straight face. Come to think of it, why are my parent's wedding anniversary a few months after I was born? The mystery that surrounds my own family...

Mom alerted to us that our home supplies are running low, so that means that our entire family would head to the supermarket in a 7-seater car. My dad bought it with cash my great-grandmother gave out of pity that my dad has so many young children. Well, great-grandma does seem the type who would earn money like the rich, but spends it like the poor. Now she has too much money, even with a reasonable amount set aside for retirement. Her age seems to be about the same age as my friend's grandparents, but what's with the narrow age gap between generations for my family? If it weren't for this, I might have a different dad or would instead be born between now and the near future instead. Makes me feel that I'm now living in the past when I think about it. The supermarket that mom refers to, and where we usually go, is a department-store-like supermarket somewhere that dad uses the highway along the way to get to. Oh, and it's a different and a lot larger supermarket from the incident with Hiroko's mother 9 years ago.

After what seemed like forever with my siblings bugging me to play with them (I'm too old for it), we finally reach the place. With me as the oldest child in the family, and all my other siblings mostly still in primary school, I feel out of place during family outings like this: They seemed far too young to be my siblings and the age difference with my parents are too narrow. If my friends were to see me with only dad and Kuniko, they would jokingly say that dad is my "husband" and that my youngest sister is my "daughter". Believe me, that has happened before.

Before I knew it, I was running around the supermarket aimlessly, alone, looking at the stuff I could see at eye-level. However, I do sometimes find better or cheaper items of the same type of product if I do look up, like a spindle that contains more blank CDs/DVDs (for backup in the case of my computer becoming irrecoverable) and costs less per disc than ones at eye-level. Problem is that it's hard for me to reach them, and I'm not sure if I can use the ladder lying around nearby.

The part I spend most of my time there is looking through the clothes and shoes. It's hard to decide to choose what I like: There are a lot of nice designs to choose from and at the same time, not spend unnecessary. The last stop before checking out is the frozen foods and dairy products area. Cashiers near there are the most crowded compared to the rest, even though there are a lot of counters available.

We stopped by a family restaurant along the way home that evening for dinner.

*****

As the days passed, my classmates and teachers seem to ask me for more and more things for the class over everyone else when it comes to doing things for the class or reading the passages in the textbook. I feel like showing my frustration over them always choosing only me, but I can't for it could make matters worse. It's strange that I can still keep a calm, friendly face when I feel all angry inside. In fact, no one has ever seen my angry face, not even myself.

During homeroom one day, there was an election on who would become the class representative. As expected, I was one of the few candidates and received an overwhelming majority of votes. That means I have (unwillingly) become the class president and somehow be able to come up with a good speech of appreciation. My life in high school has now officially started.

Thank goodness people still don't know about my hideout at the rooftop: guys would stare at me with their excited faces when they see me and sometimes find an excuse to have me go out with guys I am not interested with. I hardly see that Hisakawa-san around. I hear from the other girls that he joined the music club, and is struggling with lessons. Other than that, he seems to be a relatively unknown person. He still seem to not know me yet though.

Today is the day I have to do the class roster after the last lesson. Normally, they would just ignore their duties or leave a poor classmate to do all the work. I don't know if it's because of my popularity in school, or that I'm the class representative, but all the guys did their duty, including those who are not for today. They even crowd around me to find any opportunity to help (and argue among themselves if there's conflict). I have to be in a group with other girls or use going to work as an excuse to not go home wih them.

There's no work today, and Hiroko and Aiko says that they have something on, so today is one of the few rare days that I'm heading straight home alone. The time to get home is about 2 hours: 15 minutes to get to the station, an hour by train, and half an hour by bus. Waiting times make up the rest. May be longer during winter, rainy days, and other unforeseeable events.

I still have homework to do though...

Part 6Part 8

20 March 2009

Pre-2006 anime

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Since 2006, I have started watching mainstream anime that airs late at night. Not because of Suzumiya Haruhi (though I did watch it), but as a departure from the ones that were mostly targeted at children and/or don't seem end after hundreds of episodes like Pokemon and Naruto.

I did, however, watch ones from before that year later on like Serial Experiments Lain, Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (did watch this a long time ago, but was too young to know what was going on), Midori no Hibi, Negima (1st season), etc.

Apart from the aspect ratio being 4:3 (letterbox) instead of 16:9 (widescreen), there are noticeable differences. Comparing the Winter 2002 and Autumn 2006 versions of Kanon, I would say that the newer version has improved quite a lot.

There are however, recent anime that are based on something that has been around for quite awhile (Clannad), while there others that are of original content and are quite good (Code Geass, True Tears)

Why am I posting this? Well, it's has been quite a while I had typed something somewhat personal here. Besides, my recent posts has been mostly been about a story (3 related stories related actually) that has mostly lengthy text.

Speaking of "having a new twist", here is a video I found of Toradora first opening in Kinetic Typography. I have replaced the IMEEM video of my lyrics post of this song with this video.



Edit: Huh? Yukari has recently posted about the exact same thing as me? (O_O)

16 March 2009

Disorientated Feelings (Part 6)

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Some time after golden week, Hiroko-chan invited me to her house as she was behind in our school work. She said that she would drop by her father's workplace for something.

We got of at the same station of a small town she normally alights at, where the only way to tell it apart from other towns are those tall, expensive-looking apartment complexes that are near completion.

As we left the station, we crossed to the other side, separated by 2 roads and a mini-park in between. I had never been here. What I wasn't expecting was for her to enter the building right after crossing the road. What was even more surprising was that the building she entered has the logo of the company I work for.

Hiroko-chan then made her way to the office room marked supervisor, but has no name on it. In there, there was a man with some grey hair on his head, which means he is in his late 40s or early 50s. Hiroko saw him and called the man there as her dad in a voice that sounded as though she wanted to run and jump at him and then hug him, but refrained herself from doing so. Could be either because she's no longer a child or that I'm around. She then introduced me as her friend and would be heading to her home together.

She then asked me to remain in the manager's office as she does something outside. There was an awkward silence between me and this old man as he was staring at me. He then asked if I was the director's niece. I agreed. He then says that my uncle would drop by here once in a while, with one as recent as last month. (Isn't that when I saw my uncle entering the office at the hospital in a hurry?)

He then talked about stuff like how he met my uncle somewhere and his personal stuff that I'm not really interested in. However, he suddenly touched a sensitive topic that started to make him cry: his first wife being killed. I was thinking about how to ask it, but he brought it up himself.

"Nine years ago, my wife was shopping for groceries at a supermarket downtown and headed to the cashier. Suddenly, the terrorists shoot the front of it and took over the place. I only became aware of it when someone asked me to watch the news live telecast and saw my wife among the hostages,"

(pause)

"Earlier, I received a call from an anonymous person, with a modified voice, that, if I didn't provide them with information about the things they are working with within the next few hours back then, they would go after people who works here until they do. I thought that it was a hoax, so I didn't respond to them. Even if it wasn't, they could be using that information to change mankind in a bad way. Lately, I haven't hear anything from them."

(starts crying even more)

"If I had known this would happen, I would have done something to stop them. She was the greatest woman I had met. Shortly after her death, I had re-married to my current wife and had a child with her. However, Hiroko doesn't get along with her well as my daughter seems to avoid talking or seeing her or the half-brother. As you might have noticed earlier, she sounded like she wanted to jump at me. In fact, she still does so today and, with the size of her body now, she would knock me onto the floor with her weight and happily hug me tightly."

(he started to calm down)

"Oh, I haven't seen you since you were kindergarten, You had certainly have grown a lot in that time. My daughter has become more cheerful when she told me about you on the first day of high school last month. You sure are fortunate to be having a happy family and talented to have people looking up to you."

Yeah, you are right. I guess. At that moment, there were two sets of footsteps approaching us, followed by a knock on the door.

"Dad? I brought along the newcomer the director recommended here." said Hiroko in an unsure voice.

She came in. The guy behind her was wearing the same school uniform as my school for the guys and appeared to be of the same age. When our eyes met, my heart started pounding rapidly and my body behaved in a way it never did before. I don't know this is happening.

The newbie introduced himself as Itsuki Hisakawa (久川伊月) and claims to be good in programming. Hiroko then pushed me out of the office, excusing us from the 2 guys in the room. As I left, her father told me not to tell anyone about what we had discussed earlier.

Once we got outside, Hiroko said that I had fallen in love with him as she saw my face earlier. I denied this, but me blushing, and stuttering as I'm saying this says otherwise. Have I really fallen in love with him? I'm not sure myself. Wonder if he has the same feelings for me? What class is he in? (Oh no, I'm already starting to think about him. What is wrong with me?)

We then reach The Kyohara household. It's located north from the train station and could still see those apartment complexes in the south-western direction from here. For sure, she said "I'm home, brought a guest along" in a rather reluctant tone as we removed our shoes when we entered: a sharp contrast as compared to when she talks to her father or me. I noticed that the house on the inside is western-styled. She then, in a hurry, made her way to her bedroom upstairs. I wonder what kind of grudge does she have with them?

We studied in her room for what seemed forever. At one time, I heard Hiroko's stepmother dropped the food outside the closed door. Hiroko, at first, ignored it, but collected the food after some time has passed and ate it. Seems that she prepared extra for me.

Looking at the time, I realized that I had to head home now before I miss the last trains home! How time seems to fly by...

The streets are rather quiet. If the lights of some houses and the street lights weren't there, the place would be pitch black. There were only a few people when I took the train. The darkness and the almost-empty places scares me somewhat.

Feeling relieved upon reaching home, I head straight to bed and sleep. Was too dead sleepy to even bother changing out of whatever I was wearing. My clothes are usually too troublesome to put on anyway.

I think I heard my dad's voice as my room lights were switched off, followed by the door being closed.

Chapter 3
Part 5 | Part 7

10 March 2009

Alternate Dimension (Part 23)

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When I am done with the music club for the day, I met up with Kotomi and my cloned self, who is sleeping. The former was surprised on seeing me, but was somewhat expecting me to appear.

Upon seeing the device, she said that she saw sketches of it in her uncle's office in April last year, some time before I first met her. However, she did not know what the documents with it says as it was written in a language she couldn't understand and that she only had a glimpse of it before the director tried to hide it from her. That was when she found it suspicious. However, that was the last time she knew about that device.

Recalling that I was cloned, she asked me if the device with me is the same as that of my clone. Without touching it, Kotomi thoroughly examined the device on my sleeping self to her left, compared with mine and I told her what I knew about it. Judging from her facial expression, she seemed to have found something interesting that I might not know: she didn't tell. She did something to have it say "authorization approved" and then did something to have the device to do something at the beginning of December this year on mine, but did not do the same thing with the one on my clone. The disappointed look she had on the face since I met her after turning into a girl suddenly turned into a large broad smile. What was that all about?

Her reply to what she did was: "You will find out on that day!" in a cheerful voice.

"About that thing...", I said as she was looking at my sleeping clone as though trying to spot differences between me and it.

"Oh, the machine you came across at the science research department of this school? I made it, just the month before you came across it.Of course, with the help of several others." she replied.

I was referring to the device that I had been able to teleport, time-travel, and even my way of life changed, not the 2 identical machines of a room I came across later on she was talking to me about. Nevertheless, it is a subject of interest to me,

She then describe what she knows about it, most of which I don't understand. What I do know is that it is a cloning machine. From the point of the person being cloned, they could either end up with the cloned body or remain with the original, which no one can predict or tell. It's like my alter ego now having its own body. She add on to say that, unless they have multiple personalities, the later the age of the subject that is being cloned at that time, the more likely that both will behave exactly the same. For example, a person who is cloned as a baby would encounter different things like when the parents divorce where one may take one of them, or significant events that happened to one but not to the other, resulting in completely different results in the behavior and achievements than the other, whereas one who is in their mid-teens onwards is most likely to be doing the same or assisting things. So the first example would have one treat the other as a sibling, while the second example would be treat as their other self.

Unless the minds are merged (in my case), it is quite rare for one or all instances of that person to be able to control or even be aware of the other. As a safety measure, it won't work for people with evil intentions, but it can't tell people without evil intentions and the absolutely clueless who may not even know what the machine is apart. She also said why I was able to easily enter the room and get cloned easily was because I am a staff of the company that room belongs to, knew certain people there well enough (Kotomi? Aiko? Manager? Director?) before knowing what the machine is for, and working on a related project. Although not obvious, there are security measures in place to prevent theft: one of them is having people feel not to approach the building, but not so strong as to completely avoid that building that has other research rooms belonging to the university or other organizations, which explains why I hardly see anyone there. Even if they do get through, they would not have the feeling to steal anything. She doesn't seem to be aware about Mamiko's body being modified at her hospital when I went on a holiday to that country during the summer vacation.

Before the end of the day we soon departed. Kotomi hopes that I would turn up for her event quite soon. I am now left with my clone, who suddenly wakes up from the moment Kotomi is out of my sight. You know, since my mind is merged with my clone, I had never spoken a single word to it. The same is true for the reverse, but this is because I am her: whatever my thoughts are is hers too, but I can make both bodies say, do, or behave in completely different ways at the same time at different places.

There is this awkward silence during transit or at home with Mamiko, but talking to her is like talking to myself. Besides, I already know what she was up to when I was with the band from the time we separated at the toilet, to the time I met her again with Kotomi without anyone telling me.

Whenever I feel lonely from not seeing my parents for quite a while at home or sad, Mamiko would pop out of nowhere and hugged me tightly, sobbing, if she's nearby. Not only do I feel being hugged, it also feels like I'm hugging someone out of sadness at the same time. Then again, she has been through horrors more than me.

*****

During the remaining 2 days of the event, the timings for our performance are different. Neither Aiko or Kotomi dropped by to see me as they have their own things to do.

On the third and final day, could see large dark clouds. Strong, cold, winds blew around us as my band was just about to set up and had to head indoors. We had to hurry as I saw a bolt of lightning and, almost immediately, a very loud thunder.

I don't know where I am, but all I could see is rain blowing at my face that makes my visibility of only a few feet in front of me and the lightning would strike somewhere near me. I shouted for help with all that I could, but I knew this would be useless with the noise from the rain drowning my shouts. However, I noticed that the way I shouted tells me that I am controling my clone's body.

After what seemed like forever, I encounted a building that had a familiar interior: the Science Research Department! The interior doesn't seem to be decorated for the festival at all.

In the room I got clonned at, I now noticed that, apart from that machine, the things here are smillar to the ones to the branch where I work at. As I got close to the device, I noticed that a connecting interface for the device in question would appear on me. This gave me the idea of being able to see my memories through a computer.

[Author's note: You may find this part quite similar to the rejected version of part 15]

I found a data cable and connected to one of the computer rooms nearby. However, the one on me appeared at an odd place: under my skirt. However, this is the only convent location based on what I'm wearing and it would be difficult to move or see what I'm doing if it were to be around my head. From the moment I connected myself to the computer, it seemed to find multiple devices. Odd ones I see include a program that "came with me" of what my original body and I are seeing, hearing, saying and thinking right now and is scarily accurate. Out of surprise, I tried to run as far away from the computer as possible.

!!!???

Barely after trying to get away, I fell and could only go as far as the cable I'm connected to, which is shorter than 5 meters. Strangely, that PC didn't even budge when I tripped, despite me being able to lift it and I can't unplug that cable I'm connected by myself with all my might unless someone else does so or when it's safe to remove. How strange. It seems that the program that displays what I'm seeing from earlier is still running.

I opened what the computer detected as a drive and saw that all of my memories are in it, including childhood memories that I thought I had forgotten. It's ridiculously several thousands of times larger than the largest computer memory drive I know of! Also, it's dangerous to modify people's memories, especially mine! When I played music regardless of where it's stored, I would somehow be singing perfectly to that song in my voice, as though my vocal cords were the speakers. Background music became humming, unless there is singing for that part, which would be excluded. This ability is quite useful if I were to perform that involves singing, or speaking to a large audience and got too nervous.

Also, I saw a program in an RPG-like interface that displays the items stored inside me. Except for a radio and a wheelchair (from back when I was unable to move), there is nothing else in there. Apparently, I can make virtual items real, useless garbage turning into something useful, and sick people or broken objects being as good as it never happened. That explains why the illness and scars my original body had disappeared...

Not wanting to be found out, I had to shut down the computer the proper way before I could unplug myself. The rain had became light when I left.

*****

When I had a break at a corner with a vending machine, people in the band whom I don't know approached me. Based on the questions they asked me, it seems that (in this dimension) I was a child prodigy. I blushed when I heard this.

Well, this would explain how my current living condition came about, which is a stark contrast to what I was living in before. At that time, my cloned body appeared, back from the science research section, and was smiling broadly. She didn't seemed to be aware of it. When I saw it, she tried her best to stop her grinning. Fortunately, she managed to do so by the time the people I'm chatting with turned to see what I was looking at.

I intorduced her to them as Mamiko, my twin sister (who my clone that I can control actually) and the three of them introduced themselves. Those two said nice things about me and I, via my clone, replied back.

Afterwards, we (me and Mamiko) finally get to explore the exhibitions of the school. Good thing that the event extends into quite late at night for the last day.

At night, we looked at the full moon with its lights shining at us with the clouds in between is a nice sight when viewed at the side of the school's largest lake or the top of the hill. As the dormitories are nearby, there were no staff walking around to disturb us.

Chapter 5

05 March 2009

Disorientated Feelings (Part 5)

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The sun is setting down by the time I reached the hospital, so the lights inside have already been turned on.

The hospital has visitors, and some patients moving about. The staff who normally greeted me as I entered either ignored me or had faces of having seen me before but wasn't sure who. Huh? You don't know who I am?

I knocked on the office door marked with "Director" and say that it's me and waited for a while.

Instead of a reply, I hear silence. I opened the door and realized that there wasn't anyone inside. The desk has a nice looking computer with notes stuck on the screen. The desk is filled with a lot of notes on something recent, some stationery, and some photo frames of his family and mine that were taken. The bookshelves are filled with several identical-looking books that talks about medical $science.

Normally, he would be present when I enter. Then again, I started working here not even a year ago. I headed to my work area in the mean time.

*****

I headed to the office again at the end of the day. Unsure if he is in there now, I quietly knocked on the door and he replied which indicates that he is there.

As I entered, I saw him looking at some old documents that has a picture of my mother. More recently, there is a rough sketch of a device about the size of a wrist watch, and a Three Dimensional model image of what seemed like a tight full-body transparent jumpsuit. He looked as though he just entered the office just a while ago in a hurry.

When he saw me, he stared at me for a while, as though trying to figure out who I was. What? You don't even recognize your own niece? Well, I was wearing my new high school uniform and with a hairstyle that he had never see me in before to the extent that he even asked me who I was.

He realized who I was from the moment I started talking and suddenly made a rush to hide those documents from me quickly by stuffing those into another old box and hid it somewhere out of sight. Too late, I saw it when I entered.

The box was labelled "Dokumente über die Schaffung einer Geschlechtsumwandlung Gerät" which was dated about a year before I was born. How suspicious...

Every night, after work, uncle would send me home in his car. Today is no different. After waiting for Aiko, we headed to his car in the parking area at the basement. I mentioned to him about the international programming convention I saw in the newspapers this morning and he did seem quite excited about it.

Aiko and I both talked about our first days at high school and the friends we made. This doesn't seem to be the appropriate moment to talk about that supermarket incident.

When I reached home, there was wrapped food on the dining table for me. Mother is taking care of Kuniko (youngest sister), and Shin'ichi (oldest brother, but younger than me) is already busy studying. He would be entering Middle school next year. Izumi and Kousei are already sleeping. Dad is nowhere to be seen.

*****

The days has passed long enough to have the pink petals on the cherry blossom trees being replaced by green leaves.

Unlike middle school, joining of clubs is not necessary. However, during the club showcase some days ago, it's hard to get around without having some nerdy-looking guy(s) appearing out of nowhere and persuading me to join some club. I would like to, but I have work to do, though Aiko said she joined the Tennis club. I didn't join any at the end of the day.

Since my first day here, I can't help but to or hear a sound that would only be made when a picture is taken with a camera or have this feeling of someone following me from behind. Sometimes, with male voices whispering to each other. However, I don't see anyone doing such things when I turned around. I somehow have a reputation of being "a smart beautiful girl" (天才美少女) around the school, according to whispers I heard when I walk past groups of people. I have no idea who started it...

I was picked by the teachers most of the time to answer seemingly easy, yet challenging, questions most of the time. Maybe this could be the contributing reason as to why I was asked to help people who are having trouble. Oh well.

I had to eat lunch with Hiroko at a quiet corner near the backyard. But I can still sense someone with an SLR camera watching me somewhere nearby. Come to think of it, how do I know if someone is there if I can't see or hear them? On top of that, I can still behave as though I am clueless on being watched. The aura they are emitting says that they are just want to take pictures of girls and sell the photos they took to other interested guys. No real threat from them.

At the end of each day, I would help the teacher to carry the assignment books to the staff room after the teacher, who would normally go first as a sign to the rest of the class that the class is over after the last chime for the day. The teachers' desk is located in the middle of the long rows of desks that it's hard to locate unless you had the things normally on the desk and the area round it memorized. The exit of the room is easily marked as the emergency exit (非常口) with the running man above the door and similar signs with arrows pointing to the other exits at the other areas. You can say that the staff room is just as messy or messier than that of my uncle's office with all the student's assignments and other paperwork and the lack of a computer on their desk.

As the corridor is relatively empty by the time I left the staff room, I saw the orange sun in the sky outside. The teacher held me back to talk about my popularity among the students, despite me not doing anything, and advised me on anything more that what a normal student should know. I used this opportunity to find places that would become my secret hideout places.

I noticed that there is a roof that is supposed to be accessible, judging by the tall wire mesh fences all over there. However, nobody, not even the teachers or the 3rd year students, seems to know how to get there. Looks like I have to find it myself.

I searched around the 4th floor, the top floor, but, I found nothing out of the ordinary there. However, I do recall seeing a storeroom at the floor below. I headed there and I found nothing but stuff that seems to be used only on events like the cultural festival. Seeing that there aren't any other possible places, I decided to have a look through all this stuff for hidden openings. Even though it was very dark, it seems that there is a passageway large enough for me to crawl through that I would have easily missed if the lights were to be switched on. To my surprise there is actually a pocket of empty space large enough for me to get back up on the other side. and there is a narrow stairway upwards. Climbing it up by one level seemed longer than usual as I'm climbing 2 levels worth.

At the top, there is a door with a glass panel window on the top half of the door that only allows light through, so you can't see what's on the other side. I opened the door outwards to find that I am at the roof. I feels like I am at the top of a large wide concrete cloud surrounded by fencing to keep me from falling off it. It's so big that no one would be able to see me from the ground, unless I get too close to one side of the fence or make noise in such a way that the people directly below would be able to hear. Playing the radio speakers loud enough for me to hear at some distance away from it is okay, but using loud things like the electric drill (for whatever reason) is forbidden if I don't want to attract attention. I head towards the side of one of the fences, keeping low at the same time so as to not be spotted. I could see the entire school grounds and the area beyond. If I had a boyfriend, this would be a nice place to hang out at. Too bad that there is nothing there except the stairs where I came from to seek shelter from the sun.

The next place is the area beneath the stage at the hall, but right now, the boys' basketball club is occupying it. It would be a bad idea to search for a hidden place if people are watching. Even more so if the person who is searching happens to be a popular girl that all the guys in the school are crazy over. Seems that the best time to do so are during lunch or the early morning where there are no events going on.

Chapter 2 / Chapter 3
Part 4 | Part 6
日本語版

04 March 2009

Video: progress of Tokihi (Part 5)

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I have found an open-source program that I can take video captures with. So I made a video of the portion I typed a few hours ago.

video

Well, I messed up with the settings: had the number of frames per second and/or the frequency to shoot a frame too high. However, the default settings were what you would see when connected to a remote PC client.

01 March 2009

344th post: costs on owning a car

1 comment:
Recently, I did say that I was thinking of getting a driving license and someone commented that it is a useful life skill, since I am already at the legal age to get one. However, even if I do get one, I would only use it in emergency as my father is the only one with a valid driving license. He also has a license to drive a motorbike, which I'm not going to get.

Reasons why I don't want to own a car is mostly cost, inconvenience and safety risks that can be completely avoided which includes:
  • there are too many cars on the road
  • road lanes and parking lots are too narrow
  • have a fear of traveling at speeds faster than 50km/h
  • inconsiderate drivers
  • cost of fuel, parking, tolls, fines, maintenance, legal stuff, accessories, etc., easily exceeds the cost when compared to taking public transport in the same period of time. Possibly by several times more.
  • large cities have this mandatory inspection of having a car inspected after a few years that would, for some reason, not pass.
  • need to be alert and keeping an eye on the road most of the time
  • inconvenient if a car breaks down, especially if help is difficult to get
  • risk of injury or even death if involved in an accident
    • even if there was no injury, might still be liable to pay for damages or held responsible for injuring the other party.
  • jaywalkers/drunk people
  • stopping at almost every traffic light, especially in the city where there is one every few meters. (also applies when taking public buses)

To tell you the truth, the city is not car-friendly and is more practical in lower density areas. Besides, there is already a good rail network around the country.

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.