Starting music: Adrian Belew - Side Three
Last Friday was my last day in the office where I've worked for the last 17 years, and it was a pretty low-key ending. I mostly spent the day sorting things into piles: box up for shipping to China, recycling, and trash. I'll admit to a small bit of disappointment that after all those years spent there, I didn't get so much as a good-luck card. No lunch, no drinks after work, nothing. Oh, well. I know that true happiness lies in not having expectations, and therefore not being vulnerable to disappointment. I'm a generous person and like to look at things in the best light, so I'll put it down to a simple lack of organization in the office: the person who used to plan these things is no longer there, and no one else has taken the initiative.
This week I've been splitting my time between packing and other preparations, and finishing up the projects from my old position.
Last night my wife planned an informal get-together for friends and family at an area brewpub. Lots of people showed up, and (no surprise) I didn't get to really spend enough time with any one person. Thanks to all who showed up, and to everyone else: you shoulda been there — it was a great time! For those who didn't get invited, my apologies. We used pretty much every email in our combined address books. Many of them turned out to be old and defunct.
One thing that kind of amazes me is how many of my friends have been to China. There were at least three at the party who shared personal experiences and offered suggestions. I guess I hang around with a worldly bunch. Both of the guys (aside from me, and if you don't know which one is me, why are you reading this blog?) in this picture are China vets. Those who were there will notice something odd about this picture. I do not have a martini in my hand. Someone was slacking!
One guest was even thoughtful enough to bring a gift. Not that I was asking for anything, mind you, but it's always nice to gather the warm fuzzies when you can. It's a travel book, and the giver was smart enough to figure that I already have travel guides to China, so she got The Rough Guide: First-Time Asia which looks to have a good overview of many nations that I could have the chance to visit. Like all the Rough Guide books I've seen, it's very down-to-earth and direct, full of practical tips and observations. Though I noticed it does not have a chapter on North Korea... I wonder what's up with that.
Middle music: KBB - Live 2004
This time, these two weeks before departure, are a bit frustrating. In some ways I wish I was already in Beijing, because the tasks to be taken care of before leaving are tedious. But on the other hand, I'm trying to make the most of these days, connect with people I know, do fun things, and so on. That being said, I probably should finish this post up and get back to some of those tedious things...
But I have one more picture, and feel the compulsive need to write some text to fit next to it. This one features some of my teammates from Co-Rec Soccer (standing, not eating). My last game with the team will be on Tuesday, and with my departure, the last founding member of Kick Arsenal will be gone. They may be a bunch of newcomers, but they're good people, and maybe I'll get a chance to catch a game on the occasions when I visit Seattle. It's a team with many world travelers. I can remember times when people have missed games from being in England, Kosovo, Uganda, and Yakima.
OK, enough bloggifying for one day. Back to work...
Ending music: Koenji Hyakkei - Hundred Sights of Koenji