Category Archives: PITTSBURGH

Upon leaving Pittsburgh

Sorry, Nomaday, but I’ve been busy!

After a week-long adventure to the heartland, I’ve returned to Pittsburgh for final preparations: isolating all the things I’m taking to Japan and determining what particular bags they go into.  I’ve got a carry-on, a laptop bag, and two suitcases, as well as a suit… it’s just a matter of knowing what I’ll need and when and where.  I managed to sell my bed to a Voltron-shirt-clad young lady who paid for it with cash, which was great, and I even got the honor of helping her lug it over to the other part of my neighborhood and up two flights of stairs (exhausting).  But it’s gone, as are so many other things: packed in boxes to be stored, tossed into the garbage can, peddled to charitable organizations, left for my graciously accepting roommate who will soon find his collections of kitchen instruments, plastic Guitar Hero peripherals, and clothes hangers suddenly swell (not to mention my entire office set-up including desk, monitor, printer, and computer).

There’s just no room and no reason, which is both a bit scary and liberating–at my most minimal, will I still be able to find the happiness and the stability that I routinely pursue?  I have already begun to miss the comfort of my formerly inviting bedroom, warmly lit and curtained, a post-work TV rolling Seinfeld while a meal cooks, a Yuengling, my video games.  Eventually I imagine I’ll make up the place I live in much the manner that I did it here, a place to feel safe and relax, even amidst the pursuit of ever-changing experiences and adventures.

I can’t help but continue to wonder, as I always have, what exactly it will be like not only to enter a new country, and Japan in particular, but to make it my home and carry out my life in it.  How will I feel as part of a 0.000836% minority?  What new circle of people will I meet and what will my friends be like?  It’s kind of the same feeling as when I came to Pittsburgh: ready for something relatively defined, but anticipating everything I cannot possibly expect.  The toed line between discomfort and heightened awareness, letting things go and embracing new situations, the fuzzy logic of a 21st century rice cooker: approximately something like this, depending on the always variable circumstances.

Things are really getting serious

If there was any going back before, there sure as shit isn’t now–I suppose technically I could dig everything back out from all the boxes it’s in and hook it all back up, but if it’s taken me seven or eight hours just to rip it apart I can’t imagine how long it would take to put it back together.

That’s right: topside you see the naked cold furniture preparing for its trip to storage-land (the basement of Jessy’s ever-so-kind parents).  You can also see part of my foot.  It’s so dusty in here that I was actually just overcome with a miniature fit of The Croop, notable solely because of the echoes that such actions now produce.  Though I expected more melancholia than what I’ve gotten, going through my drawer of birthday/Christmas/holiday cards and letters from family and friends was a little sad.  Of note: a tiny, multi-page handwritten letter from my mom, originally given to me as I left Iowa for Pittsburgh just about three years ago to the day.  I suppose the words of wisdom contained therein still apply: always remain an ambassador for where you’re from.  How true!

Tomorrow at 9:00 the chariot arrives; from then we load up everything that’s going.  Two days later I’m off to Iowa for a week, then after a final three days in Pittsburgh I’ll be on my way to Japan.  Even now, with my job over, my stuff all in boxes, the furniture dismantled, the utility cancellations scheduled, and a minor collection of Wii and 360 systems/accessories/games laid out to be readied for my luggage (hey, a few years is a long time), it’s still only barely real.  I have my new address, pictures and information regarding my schools, my apartment, my classes, my city–months of mental preparation and research about the culture and the day-to-day workings, and still I’m stuck in a sort of dull, defiant disbelief: “Yeah, sure, okay.  Moving to Japan.  Uh huh.”

I’ve gone from six months to three months to eight weeks to six weeks to a month to three, two weeks, and time just ain’t getting any slower.

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Japan is two weeks away

Today was my last day at work, an occasion marked most deliciously with blueberry pie (they ninja’d my pie preference out from under me months ago somehow).  Honestly I’ll rather miss the troubleshooting and the motherboard replacements for some reason.  Something satisfying about using manual dexterity to actually perform a skill and fix an object.

I’m sure this blog will do nicely when it comes to documenting my experiences in the months and years to come.  It had ought to anyway, I’ve been tinkering with it for months in preparation for exactly this time of my life.  Internet, my name is Brandon!  You know me well already, but I hope we are able to work together in a mutually beneficial manner.

I leave in two weeks, and I have virtually nothing packed.

On the plus side, I have started to receive some pictures of what our apartment will look like from a nice couple who lives in our building.  Here’s a few glamour shots courtesy of my Picasa plug-in!

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