well, everyone will be happy to know that even though i was doing some legwork toward various things since i bought my ticket two weeks ago, i really didn't start packing and/or pulling stuff together until yesterday. (i wouldn't want act out of character all of the sudden -- i have a reputation to uphold.) i did, however, plan my final meals.
thursday for lunch i ate at tacos-a-go-go. thursday evening i had chicken carbonara at corner market. friday for lunch i ate at goode company bbq with some co-workers (who had suggested i needed to eat some bbq before i left...something i had no problem agreeing with). friday evening i spent at coffee groundz for the geek gathering. (thanks for the shirt, loopylow!) there, kojo gave me a list of a few books he'd like for me to look for and buy while i'm in taiwan. and sue showed up and hung out. saturday i went to the saint arnold's brewery tour. on an empty stomach. and i brought one of their glasses. i came home and slept about 5 hours. then i met the potts at chuy's. i went over to their house and watched snl. today i ate lunch at the house of pies. i watched the super bowl. (yea, saints!) then i walked over to subway and picked up a chicken breast on flatbread. the only place i'd had on my list that i didn't make it to was niko niko's. oh well.
i appear to have managed to fit everything i want to take into what is traditionally a full-size carry-on bag -- which i will be checking, and a combination laptop bag / backpack. i bought a full bag of cat food, made extra house keys for the potts, made copies of important documents, talked to my parents and grandmother, and so on and so forth. i went to the grocery store and picked up some stuff for ash, and bought some cashew packs, granola bars, and cracker packs. (half went in my carry-on, the other half in checked for the trip back). i've got about 5 or so days worth of clothes. i put an empty backpack in my checked bag just in case i need to come back with more than i took. i've got a point-and-shoot camera, an iphone, an unlocked razr, my macbook air, a micro mag lite flashlight, a fine-point sharpie and a cross pen, etc. i've emptied my pockets of my knife, my lighter, various keys, etc. i will be putting my wallet chain in my bag i'm checking. (although i did decide to wear my belt that is covered in metal studs. i'm guessing i'll be taking that off at security.) i just checked the weather and it appears to be lows in upper 50's to mid 60's, highs in mid 60's to mid 70's. i was planning on taking a jacket of some kind anyway.
i have not made any lists at all. hopefully i'm not forgetting anything. yesterday was the first day i finally started getting a bit nervous about forgetting something, not knowing something and causing/creating issues for myself, etc. i'm completely out of my element, having never flown internationally before (and it's not like i've flown domestically all that much either), so i have no experience and don't feel completely at ease with this unknown-to-me process. but hopefully everything will go well.
it continues to be funny to me just how many friends, family, co-workers, etc. appear to be really, genuinely excited about my trip. a lot of them have gotten giddy when they found out, or continue to talk about it to me. but i'm still not excited. i finally (as mentioned above) got a little nervous. i'm overall just not all that excitable. it just doesn't seem like a monumental thing to me. maybe it's because i've known a lot of people who came from other countries, go on overseas trips, live in other places, etc. i know i don't/haven't, and i know a lot of people i know don't/haven't, but maybe that is what helps make it seem less like a huge deal. plus, like i said, i'm generally not known for how giddy and excited i get about...well, much of anything. i'm going overseas. lots of people do it. i hope it's cool. i hope i have a good time. it'd be really nice if it did affect me in some meaningful and profound way. but i'm not counting on it.
the current plan is for jack to come around around 6am and go eat something at the house of pies, then he'll take me up to iah. my flight is at 10:45am. i should be in the air for about 14 hours on a 777, flying into tokyo. then i'll have 3 hours to switch to a jal flight from tokyo to taipei, which is supposed to clock in at around 4 hours. i'll hopefully be using wifi a lot. doing stuff with google voice, skype, twitter, flickr, email, and maybe even this blog. if i can pull that off then it'll be just like they say in the russian blog spam i get:
Мы путешествуем по всему миру и исследуем. Присоединяйтесь к нам и вам не придется скучать!
(you'll have to copy that and paste it into babelfish or google translate if you don't read russian. i'm not going to be around to hold your hand the next couple of weeks, you know.)