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January 6th, 2006

I never did get any sleep Wednesday night, yet I still managed to stay up until 11:58pm on Thursday. I spent the morning finishing Captain Alatriste while sitting in the back room of the local library before it was officially opened to the public and also spent some time talking with a few library employees who I knew from having worked there myself. I did a little shake and dance with one of the patrons as we both tried looking through the foreign language dictionaries at the same time and I was surprised to find that the reference collection doesn't contain a single Chinese dictionary.

Checking my email presented another, more shocking, revelation, as apparently someone had sent me a "rose" through friendster. The amourous individual responsible is a 49 year old woman attending WSU for a degree in Management Information Systems, and who I also recognize as a member of the university's livejournal community. My mom, I should point out, is only two years older than that. Could it be that I have a not-so-secret admirer?

The library staff held a potluck during their last staff meeting (falling somewhere between Christmas and New Year's Eve, although I can't remember the precise date at the moment), and one of the employees brought Vietnamese kimchi to share. Not many people tried the kimchi, but my mom commented on how it's a food I enjoy, so the following day the woman who had made the original batch brought a cupful for my mom to bring home to me. Tuyet Nguyen was working on Thursday, so I made it a point to tell her how much I appreciated her kindness, although that soon segued into her promising to bring me more kimchi and spring rolls with sauce on Friday. My offer to make her a CD of Vietnamese music in return didn't work as well as planned, as Mrs. Nguyen told me that she already owns albums from most of the artists currently on my computer. It looks like a 'thank you' card may be my Plan B due to a lack of time (and ideas).

Not long after that I went to visit Mrs. Yu and wished her a happy new year (saehaebang mani paduseyo) after she extended the same courtesy to me. I ordered steamed rice and kimchi but wound up with several pieces of shumai as well. I'd wonder about all the free food if it weren't for the fact that Mrs. Yu always gives me something extra every time I come to her restaurant. Her son was working that day as well, but, as always, he wore a frown on his face and spent all his time working in the back kitchen area.

Before too long it came time to meet Violet at the cinema, and during my walk from the bus stop I was completely soaked by the sudden showers that enveloped the city. Violet showed up just before the movie started but it was still enough time for us to have a brief conversation and for me to give her the present I had made earlier in the day - a small box decorated with blue paper, seashell designs, and the characters for "good luck" and "friend" around the outer lip of the box lid; inside was a layer of small, blue, glass stones with a sand dollar wrapped in tissue paper sitting on top. Violet had never seen a sand dollar before and was intrigued by the design etched upon the upper surface as well as my story about how they're the skeletal remains of a marine animal. She started playing Animal Crossing over the winter break and had heard about sand dollars from the game but had just assumed they were a fictional type of money, never thinking they might be a living creature. Violet seemed to like my gift, which was nice to see.

The lights eventually dimmed to signal the start of the film, and while Violet and I stopped our conversation the same couldn't be said for several of the elderly couples seated around us. Unfortunately, I doubt there was a dramatic turn of events in the movie that wasn't greeted by vocal confusion ("what's going on?") or unnecessary commentary (ranging from "look at that car!" when a Citröen appeared on screen to "he's dead!" during a later scene in the film) from at least one member of the audience. Still, it was worth going to see Munich. Despite a running time of 164 minutes it never felt exceedingly long, and while it may not topple Saving Private Ryan as Violet's favorite war-related movie she seemed as impressed as I was at the film's conclusion.

While we were waiting for her car to warm up Violet also tried calling two of her friends to see if they had room for an extra passenger on their drive back to Pullman. Violet said she would take me herself if it weren't for the fear that her animals might get upset over the company - she spent four days in Seattle and had a friend hold the terrarium with her newts on the trip north, after which they refused to eat for a week. I can understand why she'd be worried after hearing that. A girl named Tsukasa said she'd be willing to take me, which was quite the relief.

After Violet dropped me off at home I caught an episode of CSI with my mom which included a song that I recognized without being able to place - until the vocals started and Dave Gahan's rather distinctive singing provided the necessary clue that it was, in fact, Depeche Mode. My mom said that she liked the song ("Precious") and surprised me by asking if I had any other songs from Depeche Mode that she could hear. It's not too often that our musical tastes intersect. Having gone so long without sleep, however, meant it didn't take long for me to start counting sheep in bed - an activity I plan on enjoying again within another minute or two.

And that, I think, concludes my day.