Ned the Nutria 

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of ever seeing a nutria, then let me paint you a picture. Imagine a New York rat: a long tailed, beady-eye animal, with large teeth protruding front teeth. Now, imagine that rat growing to the size of a small beaver, throw it into some waterway like a creek, a ditch, or even marsh, let it live there to munch on weeds and whatever else it eats.

Now imagine that it is dark. You have come home two hours ago. And because you live in crummy student housing, you need to take your laundry to a building across the parking lot. You walk past the bushes and assume that the rustling you hear is just the neighborhood cat, a pleasant but annoying creature always trying to sneak into other people's apartments. While looking at the bushes for the invisible cat, you nearly miss stepping on the giant rat creature obliviously munching on acorns under your apartment mailbox. Since you have startled it, it dashes off towards the creek with an animal burst of speed, which startles you. Simultaneously, the rustling in the bushes dashes off towards the creek. After removing the various laundry items that you, in a fright, accidentally threw up into the oak tree, you realize you have met a nutria.

Ned's Home

I had called a couple of times before to complain about these rat like disease carriers, but today, I finally went to visit the apartment manager to complain in person. As the creek behind the apartment we live in is actually a wildlife refuge, the manager says that he will have to call the fish and wildlife department. I know that the nothing will likely be done because, as I go to a state college, and the creek is a local park, I am officially in bureaucratic purgatory. Ned the Nutria, you have won the day my friend. If I can capture him on camera, I will try to post the picture here. For now, I can only be content to post a picture of the creek in which Ned lives.

23 November 2004

Fall Changes 

It has been a full nine days since my last post. Things are getting busy around here, especially because it is getting closer to the end of the term, and I have a lot of work that I need to complete. I've got about two and half essays to write in about as many weeks. I'm not sure that I will be able to get it all done, but I have definitely changed some things about the way I have been working in the past. Rather than keep doing the same thing with more intensity, hoping things would somehow change, I decided I needed to do some completely different things to try and effect a permanent change.

Money has suddenly become an issue, which, is seriously making me think I should apply for a job over the winter break. I have noticed a few temporary agencies around town, and considering how winter shopping season is about to get in full swing, I figure I should be able to get a job an earn a few hundred dollars. I definitely need the cash. Still, I try to maintain my sanity in small ways: through time spent with my girlfriend, taking digital pictures when I can, and working on my comic occasionally. It definitely helps.

19 November 2004

Fish Dreams 

Last night, I dreamed I was a small exotic fish in a very large municipal pond of some kind. I enjoyed the wash of water rushing through my gills, and I enjoyed the strength with which my body threw itself against the barely rocking currents. Swimming forward towards the pond's above-water concrete edge, over towards the waving underwater vegetation and the kelp-like shapes of the fresh water plants, I found myself caught in the tall leaves, leaves which were poisoning me. The shock of the idea of being poisoned affected me more than the mere reality of it. Assuming a human shape, I climbed out over the edge of the pond to try and find the comfort of people I knew would take care of me, cover me with a warmth that would negate the poison of the leaves that were prickling at my damp skin.


Although I enjoy dreams in which I am other animals or people, I did not enjoy this one too much. At the same, for some reason, I can not stop thinking about it. Here it is nearly twenty-four hours after I had the dream, and I can still hold some of the imagery of it in my mind. Most dreams leave me after being awake for twenty minutes. It has affected me on a deeper level than I guess I really want it to. On a completely different note, I do appreciate the poetry of the dream, even though it bothers me.

10 November 2004

Projects and Introspection 

Last night, I finally finished a minor project for school that I had been working on for the past couple of weeks, and, thankfully, I think that I managed to do rather well on it. I will know for sure when I get my grade for it, but the instructor told our group that she thought we had did well. I definitely needed the academic ego boost. It will help when I turn my attention this week to the unfinished projects I am still working on from last term.

Primarily, we were discussing John Okada's No-No Boy, which for me, is a novel that depicts a young Japanese-American man's struggle to define what it means to be an American in a society that had rejected him. Although I live on the West Coast of the U.S.A., I think that we do not hear enough about the internment of Americans in these camps, even now when such discussions--hell, "cultural battles"--are being waged over what it means to be an American. There are all kinds of memorials, observances, and reminders of other parts of our history, why not this part? Just as most kids on the west coast here know about Lewis and Clark, they should know about this as well. If anyone ever had a desire to read this book, they should read it as soon as they can.

Waterfall Fountain

Finally, despite this press of work, yesterday my girlfriend and I decided that a trip the beach was necessary to take a time out from all of the stress and hassle that normally builds up from daily living. Just as one has to occasionally clear out the fridge from spoiled food, or clear out the accumulations of clutter in your living room, one should clear the soul and spirit from the clutter of daily routine with a refreshing communion with nature. There really is no place like the beach. I wish we had taken pictures, but we did not have a camera with us. Today at least, even though I am immersed in the daily routine of work again, I can still enjoy the mental images of yesterday's sunset at the coast and enjoy the feelings that were inspired by time well spent with my girlfriend.

08 November 2004

My Girlfriend 

I have a lovely girlfriend that I have had for over four years. I do not talk about her much on the blog, but I am thinking I should change that because I need to let everyone know how great I think she is. I don't say it enough, but I really do think that she is the best thing in my life, way beyond anything I ever do or say here. In a way, it is almost as if she is too important for a mere blog. I should be carving how much I love her in the sides of mountains.

When I moved to go to school at my choice of schools, I made a mistake. I forgot to really think about what the choice would entail and how it would affect my relationship. I did not talk about it enough with my girlfriend at the time, nor did I really take seriously all of the implications that I was even slightly aware of, let alone the ones that were staring me in the face. The faith that she put in me I took for granted when I forced her to follow me in order to save our relationship. I did not recognize just how much of a sacrafice she was making in order for our relationship to work. I just expected that she would be with me and somehow everything would work out. Of course, I did not think about it much since then.

However, I have been thinking about it quite a bit now, and I have to say that it has meant a lot to me personally that she has decided to turn her life upside down to be with me. Would I have been able to do the same? I would like to think I could, but to say that on a blog might imply that I fully do not understand all of the various sacrifices that were involved with that decision. I am afraid I would not be able to. I am not used to being with another person and making decisions that are unselfish.

Therefore, with all of this in mind, I would like to say that: my girlfriend is an amazing person who has made my life better for being with me. I love her very much and I do not tell her that often enough. I will try not to take for granted as much as I have had in the past. And, I will do something that shows her how much I love her by showing her how much she means to me. No matter how long it takes, I will honor her sacrifices by showing her how I would do the same for her.

01 November 2004