Monotony on the brain

As I flossed my teeth tonight, the idea hit me at one of the monotonous, repetitive things in life that, in a certain sense, just don’t make sense.  I occasionally have this happen with eating – actually, it’s rather often in recent months.  It suddenly occurs to me that, even after eating to satisfaction, at most, it will be only a few hours before we have to eat again.  It is this never-ending chain of requirement called food.  If we didn’t have to do that, imagine the time and mental energy (and physical energy) we could put to other things.  How much energy goes into managing eating in a single day?  In life as a whole?  How wasteful that is with our time…  Plus, it all just comes right back out of us anyway, and we’re burning energy to digest it all.  There’s got to be a better way to handle this need that we have for energy and nutrition…

And, of course, I simultaneously wonder if I’m just bat-sh** crazy and need brain shock therapy to rearrange the nonsense connections in my brain (and then wonder, yet again, if I’m crazy even more, since I just suggested shock therapy).  Eventually, I find myself having a delightful meal, and cannot fully comprehend how I was genuinely considering a lifestyle without food – as if it were possible right now, anyway – only days or moments before the current meal.

I think the real link is how stressed I can get about figuring out what to eat.  Because it really is that: figuring out.  There is no easy, obvious answer to the average What’s for lunch? question.  And, especially with my current setup, where I have almost zero fridge and kitchen usage, the question is even more difficult to answer.  I can’t even plan ahead, really, because I can’t store almost any food of any kind, room temperature or cold.  And I can’t really cook much either, because of the limited use situation.  So, I hit this phase of meal distaste often these days.  This is not to say that I didn’t hit it often in the past, because I totally did.  But that was mostly because I would be exhausted by the time I got home at the end of the day (or late at night), and didn’t feel like cooking anything.  Not because I had no options.  I had loads of options there.  But anyway…

So, tonight, flossing hit me the same way.  Why bother flossing, when food will just be right back at the very next meal?  And if we’re flossing now, why do we not floss after everything we eat?  (And then I remember how I regularly floss throughout the day, whenever I become aware of anything stuck or sticking in my teeth.)  And it’s not like monkeys floss, and they get along just fine with their teeth.  (Yes, I know they don’t have the crap diets we have, but I wish we could be more like them in both of those senses – not having to floss and not having crap diets that require us to brush and floss constantly.)  And so went the thoughts for a few seconds, before I required myself to get off the topic.  I knew it could turn disastrous if I didn’t stop asap.  (I’ve had some extreme bouts of stress and depression combined, when it comes to the whole food conversation I mentioned briefly here.)

So, yeah… that’s that topic.

Post-a-day 2018


So, what are you?

Today, I share something I received yet again in the e-mail for yesterday.  I love the quote in it, and something similar lives always within me in my everyday life.  I say and have said for years, “We are what we eat, and we are what we think about all day long.”  And I ask myself, “So, what am I?  What are my thoughts?  What am I thinking about all day?”

I now ask you the same.  Who and what are you?  What do you eat, and what do you think about all day long?  What words do you think (even if you do not say them)?  And what would you like to think?

I do a regular cleansing, so to speak, of my own thought patterns and language.  I evaluate what words and thoughts I have been using and entertaining, but which do not suit the self that I want to be.  And I make a conscious, daily, minute-to-minute effort to think the thoughts and use the words that I want myself to think and to use.

And I always feel so – for lack of any other way of describing it – clean afterward.  It almost feels like bathing, slowly but surely.



We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.


The ancestor of every destructive action, every destructive decision, is a negative thought. We do not have to be afraid of negative thoughts as long as we do not welcome them. They are in the air, and they may knock at anyone’s door; but if we do not embrace them, ask them in, and make them our own, they can have no power over us.

We can think of thoughts as hitchhikers. At the entrance to the freeway, we used to see a lot of hitchhikers carrying signs: “Vancouver,” “Mexico,” “L.A.” One said in simple desperation, “Anywhere!” Thoughts are a lot like those hitchhikers. We can pick them up or pass them by. Negative thoughts carry signs, but usually we see only one side, the side with all the promises. The back of the sign tells us their true destination: sickness and sorrow.

Nobody is obliged to pick up these passengers. If we do not stop and let them in, they cannot go anywhere, because they are not real until we support them. There is sympathy in the world: pick it up. There is antipathy in the world: don’t pick it up. Hatred destroys. Love heals.


The Thought for the Day is today’s entry from Eknath Easwaran’s Words to Live By.
You can view the Thought for the Day on our website



Post-a-day 2018


Unpaid, at last?

I realized today that right now is the perfect time for one of those necessary unpaid internships designed to get into a field of work.  I have a place to live, and am mostly provided food and water, and all without immediate cost to me.  And I have support from family to pursue what I feel is best.  I just need to keep up my end of the semi-agreement for the next toward a half (-ish) months, and I expect that the food and shelter will remain available to me at the same cost for quite some time… giving me the perfect opportunity to test out those jobs that have intrigued me, but would not offer money for the first little while of working in them.

We shall see..


Post-a-day 2017


ukulele, poke, and cray-zay

(Those all rhyme, in case you were wondering.)

Tonight, again, I spent some time with friends after school.  I napped briefly in the car, while I waited for them to arrive at our early dinner location.  We had a silly time figuring out how to order our Poke (think of a short “okay” with a p in the front), and chatted and ate and chatted some more, before heading outside to chat and dance and do acrobatic bits (because, why would we not do such things?).  We were all a bit tired, but only ended our time together, because the two of them had to go pack (one is moving apartments tomorrow, and the other is leaving to visit Australia for vacation).

At lunchtime, I had a Spanish-speaking lunch with some students, while I played ukulele alongside one of them.  I dragged kids through knowledge, forcing them to think and do well on their tests – I actually handed some tests back immediately, telling them, “No,”  go fix this stuff.  After school, I played a birthday song for a different student, and gave her a guitar string ring I made in Japan (not because she’s my favorite or anything, but because she always steals my jewelry during class, and hopes I won’t make her give it back.  So, I figured I’d give her something of her own that was sort of mine.  It was fun playing the song and singing for her.  I had forgotten how fulfilling it was, when I’d sung for my dad’s 64th birthday (“When I’m 64” by the Beatles, of course).

Yes, I feel satisfied in my day today.  It was good and fulfilling, an oddly uncommon combination for me in recent years.  I am delighted with this having happened twice this week.  I look forward to the next one and many to come.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017


Getting ready to time-travel

And so one thing ends, and, with anxiety, something new begins.  Tonight, I complete my life here in Japan, and dream one last dream before I move forward to my next step.  I felt like I was in “What About Bob?” today, taking my mother’s guidance to do whatever needs to be done next – aka baby steps.  I took my baby steps all day long today, and finally got it all finished.  I even accomplished a few things I expected not to be able to do.

One of those things being seeing the guitarist I’d seen a couple weeks ago at the nearby train station, who had greeted me in English one night as I was moving my stuff to my friend’s place.  He greeted me and asked how I was doing tonight, as I was walking in Shibuya, and ended up accompanying me, with my comfortable acquiescence, to the phone shop to disconnect my phone (It was closed.), and then buying me a Japan-only Yuzu frappucino from Starbucks, and sitting with me as I finally watched the Shibuya Crossing from the Starbucks window (It wasn’t actually very impressive, but I think I never really expected it to be, anyway.), at which point, we finally discovered that we had, in fact, seen one another those two or three weeks back.  He was a nice guy, Ryo.

I ended my evening with my last gaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi), on which I spent ¥680 (just over $6 US), and which I didn’t even finish eating.  I’ll miss such affordable sushi, but I’ll survive quite well back in Houston, I do believe.  Green smoothies and colorful veggie-based juices are calling me.

And now, at long last, I shall sleep.  Rest, anyway.  We’ll see if it really is sleep tomorrow morning, when my alarm wakes me just before 5am.  I hope I wake rested well.

Anyway, this is it, I guess.  Tomorrow morning, I say goodbye to Japan, and then I time-travel (departing 11:10am on Saturday, 12 August, and arriving 9:30am on Saturday, 12 August).


Post-a-day 2017



So much of my food here is selected based mainly on it’s ability to satisfy hunger while leaving the wallet as heavy as possible.  The sandwich I had today, my dinner tonight – I hardly want to eat either one, ever.  And yet, I’ve had the same sandwich thing multiple times this past year.  Why?  Because it fills me without voiding my wallet.

I can hardly wait never to have to eat like this again.  At least, as part of my daily life, I mean.  It’s exhausting, figuring out what to eat, when I really don’t like – and even rather dislike – the foods around and available to me.  I’ve never eaten in so many restaurants, and had to take deep breaths and just ‘deal with it’ in my entire life before moving here as I have this past year.  I’m tired of it all.  Clearly Japanese food is just not my style.  I leave it to others to enjoy, therefore.

Bring on the green smoothies, salads, and everything not Japanese, Houston.  I’m ready.

Post-a-day 2017