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First published: 9/28/01

Life itself, an anime convention, and gifts from Troy

Since the last installment of Lainspotting, life has been...interesting. In August, I moved from Cypress, California to Troy, NY to start my (second) graduate career, this time in Science and Technology Studies instead of Plant Biology. It's a whole different life all over again, and all the more lonely since I'll be away from my fiancee for about 9 months or so. One thing hasn't changed though. I still don't have enough time to update TEL as much as I'd like to. The terrible tragedy of September 11th, 2001 (with NYC being just 3 hours away from me) didn't help, motivation-wise. Of course, we all deal with such events in different ways. I was one of those information addicts, glued to the television and the web at every spare moment, trying to get the facts straight on what happened. It was my way of coping, I guess.

I'm moving on--treasuring life and the joy of sharing it with others, which is why I'm feeling compelled lately to work on my website. The work feels good, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Where should I start? There's so much to talk about, but so little time. That's been the story of TEL since day one. I wish I had time to add new stuff that's been lingering on my "to do" lists forever and interact with my fellow lain fans on mailing lists and discussion boards. I used to be more active, especially when TEL was new, but life moves on, and as much as I love lain, I can't spend the same amount of time on it as I used to. Still, I hope what I've made available will keep lain fans occupied and entertained for a long time to come, and I promise I will do major updates now and again. One thing you (the reader) can do to help is to point out broken links, especially on the glossary page and also on the link list. Hunting down broken links takes forever, and I have to do it all by hand in order to catch those pages that still work but are no longer lain-related.

I should mention that I attended Otakon in August. It was great! I met Cristina from the Lain ML. She was staffing the art show, which I spent a lot of time at. There were so many impressive pieces on display--Lain art, too! I bid on and won a wonderful picture of Lain. It's sitting at my friends' house in Baltimore right now. When I manage to ship it to Troy, I'll be sure to take pictures of it. I also bought the Lain Playstation game, and I don't even own a Playstation! None of my friends found it surprising that I bought it, though...

Hey, did you know that TEL is over two years old now?! It's been a good run, and the number of daily visits is at an all-time high, so I have lots to be happy about. ^_^ Thank you all for being so supportive!

There are a couple of things I'm going to do to celebrate the two year anniversary of TEL's opening:

1. If you recall what I wrote in the intro to TEL, I was working on a paper related to lain. TEL got more and more detailed, but the paper never happened, unfortunately. I wrote a few paragraphs, but I never had time to finish it. However, that paper was only the second half of a larger work, the first half of which I wrote in mid-1999. It's not directly lain-related, but it was very much inspired by my initial viewing of the show. I intended to publish it all on the web when both halves were done, but it looks like I won't be getting to the second half anytime soon.

Note that the first part, entitled "21st Century Boys", is self-contained and complete, though I wanted to expand the section on otaku. (I've since written more on otaku, and I intend to continue). The second part was going to be called "Girls in the Machine" and was going to focus on progressive/feminist cyberpunk themes of identity, technology, and politics as exemplified by serial experiments lain, and especially Lain herself. A careful study of TEL (and my discussions on various Lain mailing lists) should give you an idea of what I was going to write about.

Overly-delayed, and to commemorate the two year anniversary of TEL's opening, here is my paper:

"Where have all our bright-eyed children gone?"

Thanks in advance to those of you who actually get around to reading it. Feedback is always welcome.

2. In addition to making my paper available, I'm going to post some info about a "new" lain MP3.

People have asked where to find the music that played in Cyberia in layer:02. Strangely enough, it's not to be found on any of the lain music CDs.

Instead, (as I told people who attended my lain panel at Anime Expo this year) it's one of the "secret" MP3s on the lain Bootleg data CD.

I can't provide the MP3 here, unfortunately, but here's the title of the track in case you want to hunt for it:


It's my favorite background music from the series. If you can find it, dim the lights, down some Classic Coke, hit "play" on your MP3 player, and enjoy my paper. ^_^

Until next time...

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Last updated on November 18th, 2001
Lawrence Eng