I think this is it. I think I am as ready as I can get. I made a few laps around the house without moving anything significant in the direction of my luggage so I must have everything packed. It's generally like a whirlpool: I start with stuff strewn all about the house & try to gather everything I need in one central location. As I move about I see other things that need to be packed, moved or put away & do so as I find them. Eventually stuff gravitates to the center until I am left circling alone & empty handed around a few neatly packed bags. Thus is so.
I'm confident I have everything ready now & all that's left is the waiting, the waiting & the waiting. Waiting for my ride to show, waiting to arrive at the Milwaukee airport, waiting to arrive at LAX, &c. I have plenty of entertainment packed but that will unlikely keep me from wanting to move about & exercise, especially in such cramped quarters as a jetliner's economy class mini-seat. 6'3" & aviation do not blend smoothly.
As is usually the case I had plenty of closing words to share before the first leg of my journey but now that I have the ideal means to communicate them to the masses (that's you) the words evade me. I guess it's down to making things up as I go, per usual.
I almost wrote a paragraph about work. Ugh! What's wrong with me! I cut out three hours early, I shouldn't want to talk about it.
It looks like I'll be able to watch my favourite episode of Azumanga Daioh tonite before we leave. It's #21 where the class takes a trip to Okinawa. Osaka discovers sata andagi, Tomo runs amuck & Sakaki befriends a mountain cat. It's my favourite for so many reasons on so many levels but it has always reminded me of my coming trip to Japan & that may be why I like it most. We may not be traveling to Okinawa but I'll sill be singing & watching for the blue in the sky.
Earlier, before I accomplished the bulk of my finishing up I watched The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit, an excellent documentary that unintrusively chronicles their first two weeks in America without droning commentary, voice-overs or pointless stock footage. All songs in their live performances are played in their entirety from Ed Sullivan to the Washington Coliseum without edits or interruption. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement & I had to make a great effort to drag myself away to finish packing. Sheri gave this to me along with a number of other precious items included with my adventuring fedora. She's the biggest Beatles fan I know so I didn't doubt this would be good. If only I had a little more time. . .
Wow, this is random. I suppose part of the reason is that I keep reminding myself to write a hard-copy of my latest unfinished poem so I can attempt to remove the "un" whilst I am away. Shouldn't be too hard as I have most of it memorized but there are a few lines that just won't stick. This is a tad unusual because when I write poetry I usually have the solid parts completely memorized while I write & switch other lines around to complete it. This isn't that complex but perhaps it's some of the imagery (particularly in the third stanza, which is quite vivid) that has me groping. It's a bit of an annoyance but I enjoy writing out something that I know will work out well.
I'm fading already. That's not a good sign. I'm a little tired but perhaps it's just mental exhaustion from trying to remember everything at once for the past three days. I'll copy the poem, watch some anime & by that time my ride should be on its way. I've said farewell to just about everyone & those whom I haven't probably don't know I"ll be gone. Goodbye everybody. If I can update from Japan I will. Those of you who gave me their address can expect a letter sometime after I return (if the Japanese post office is anything like our own.) Take care & be well. I'll fill my amber travel journal & backdate everything for you to read when I get back.
- J I M O U T -
Consumer Disclosure Notice for Anime Tour departure date 14 Sep 2005
RELEASE AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK
I understand and agree that during the tour or other trip in which I will participate, under the arrangements of H.I.S. International Tours (L.A.), Inc. (hereinafter BUSINESS ENTITY) and its agents, employees, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, certain risks and dangers may arise, including, but not limited to, acts of God, the hazards of traveling in unsafe or politically unstable areas or under unsafe conditions, the dangers of civil disturbances and war, the forces of nature, orders of either the Japanese or foreign governments, immigration regulations, isolation resulting from infectious diseases, and tour itinerary alteration or cancellation owing to such causes, the negligent or reckless acts or omissions of BUSINESS ENTITY, its agents, employees, officers, directors, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, travel by boat, automobile, train, ship, aircraft, or other means of conveyance, and accident or illness in remote places without access to medical facilities, transportation, or means of rapid evacuation and assistance. BUSINESS ENTITY shall not be responsible for any injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveler in connection with any of the above and/or terrorist activities, social or labor unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, food poisoning, theft, diseases, local laws, delays, changes of schedule and route in relation to transportation facilities, and tour itinerary alterations and/or shortened stays at destinations owing to such causes, accidents occurring during participant’s free activities, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel agent’s control. Traveler assumes complete and full responsibility for, and hereby releases the agent from any duty of, checking and verifying any and all passport, visa, vaccination, or other entry requirements of each destination, and all safety or security conditions at such destinations. For information concerning possible dangers at international destinations, contact the Travel Advisory Section of the U.S. State Department, (202) 647-5335. For medical information, refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), (404) 332-4559 or use their fax information service at (404) 332-4565.
In consideration of, and as a part of the payment for, the right to participate in such treks, tours, expeditions, or other activities and as a part of the payment for, the services arranged for me by BUSINESS ENTITY and its agents, employees, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, I DO HEREBY EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL OF THE ABOVE RISKS, including, to the extent permitted by law, the risk of negligent or reckless acts or omissions of BUSINESS ENTITY, its agents, employees, officers, directors, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, and I DO HEREBY EXPRESSLY AGREE TO FOREVER RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND HOLD BUSINESS ENTITY and its agents, employees, officers, directors, associates, affiliated companies, and subcontractors HARMLESS against any and all liability, actions, causes of action, debts, suits, claims, and demands of any and every kind and nature whatsoever which I now have or which may hereafter arise out of or in connection with my trip or participation in any activities arranged for me by BUSINESS ENTITY and its agents, employees, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors. THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT SHALL SERVE AS A COMPLETE RELEASE AND EXPRESS ASSUMPTION OF RISK for myself, my heirs, assignees, administrators, executors, and all members of my family, including any minors accompanying me. I HAVE READ AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THE PROVISIONS AND THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THIS RELEASE AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK, AND I HEREBY AGREE TO ALL OF ITS CONDITIONS. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT BUSINESS ENTITY HAS RECOMMENDED THAT I HAVE MY ATTORNEY REVIEW THIS RELEASE PRIOR TO MY SIGNING IT. I further agree that any legal dispute involving these travel services shall be heard only by the courts of Los Angeles, CA, USA. I acknowledge that in calculating the cost of the tour or trip, BUSINESS ENTITY has relied on my consent to these terms and on their enforceability. In the absence of this Release, the tour/trip cost would have been higher, or, alternatively, BUSINESS ENTITY would be unable to offer these services.
Signature of Participant: ________________________________________
Name Printed: ________________________________________
Interesting that they should send this at the LAST MINUTE.
Current Mood: turning Japanese