Fear of something, but what?

I did it.  I accomplished exactly what I’d wanted for today (and then some), and I cleaned out and cleared out that big box and its last 8%.  And as nervous as I might have been about doing that – trust me, this getting rid of things I’ve had forever and resisted getting rid of for at least a decade has been an incredible strain on me.  I mean, having all this stuff, exactly how it has been stored (a total mess), has been a huge part of my identity.  I guess it was a big part of myself of which I wasn’t really proud, but that doesn’t make it any easier to clean it up and let it all go.  I’ve never done anything so intense for myself as I am doing right now.  (Not actively, anyway… Japan was tough, but I wasn’t actively seeking out all of that.  I had no idea what was in store for me when I signed on for that job.)

That being said, I find that I’m almost more concerned about tomorrow’s events than any of this cleaning up and out stuff.  I’m going to a sort of luncheon for people in the Texas and Oklahoma area who returned this past year from the same program in which I participated, the returnees.  Something about it kind of terrifies me.

And I’m really not sure what it is…


Anyway, I’m going to do my meditation and painting I had planned for tonight.  Sweet dreams, this half of the world (and good morning and afternoon to the other half).  🙂

Post-a-day 2018


The world turned upside down

The internet went out for a little while tonight…, and I find it somewhat hilarious that it was sort of a huge deal for the others in the house, and I almost couldn’t have cared less.  I did, after all, live several months wihout internet at home, both in the US and in Japan, and I even spent some months without cell service or phone service of any kind either…  I kind if enjoyed the certainty of quiet that it allowed.
  Knowing that no call or text or e-mail would arrive on any device whenever I was at home, was like breathing freely in a whole new way.  And all the important people knew my situation, so they knew to show up at my door if they wanted anything immediate, or to plan enough ahead to tell me to go check something at a certain time, using the WiFi down the road.

I almost miss that.  I certainly miss the reliability of work and income I’d had at the time.  😛  But that’s not really the point here, now, is it?

Post-a-day 2018

Unpacking & Unboxing

Three and a half thoughts:

1.  I spent my afternoon today opening and sorting boxes from Japan.  I finally have the much-needed winter clothing I’ve been wanting the past month and a half.  Good thing it was almost warm today.

2.  I was happily surprised that almost everything I brought back was totally practical and useful and something I really like.  I was worried that I wouldn’t like loads of it all.

3.  It’s interesting to me how Japan no longer feels like a sort of adventure.  It actually surprises me when people have big reactions to the fact that I was there, living there.  It feels the same as saying that I buy vegetables at the grocery store – it’s just something simple and everyday.  I lived in Japan… and so do millions of other people.  I know that it isn’t the regular deal for people around here; I’m clear on that.  I just mean that it feels so not special to me specifically.  It almost feels more unique that I floss my teeth every day (sometimes more than once a day), than that I lived in Japan.  I guess it’s just old news for me now. So does that mean I need some new news, then, if only for myself?

1/2.  Wait until you see the tubs of kimono that I have…!  (Doesn’t that sound like ice cream or something?)  😛

Post-a-day 2018


Longest and Shortest Years

Okay, please exclude February 29th from existence for this reading and any further conversation on the topic.  Kay, thanks.  😉


Thus ends the longest year of my life.  It began in Tokyo, Japan and ended in Houston, Texas, thereby making it 13 hours longer than any regular year in my life.  Last year, 2016, was the shortest year of my life by 13 hours, because it was reversed: It began in Houston, Texas and ended in Tokyo, Japan.

Before this year, my shortest year had been 2012, beginning in Houston and ending in Vienna, Austria, making it 7 hours shorter than usual, and making 2013, which ended in Houston, 7 hours longer than usual.  Those years are now in second place for the shortest and longest years of my life.

Fun, huh?  😛

When I was little, I made several lists of things I wanted to do in my life.  I remember writing into one at some point that I wanted to live the longest and shortest year possible one day.  That means spending one December 31-January 1 in the first time zone, the following in the last time zone, and then the third in the first time zone again.  I now actually have friends in both locations, so it is totally possible.  Let’s see if I can pull it off, shall we?


Just to drive me nuts, these had to clash with leap years, instead of working with them.  I’ll get there some day, I imagine.  I’ve gotten so close without even putting forth a conscious effort already.  I can only imagine what I’ll pull off in the future.  And I know it will begin with the January first of a leap year, whenever it happens.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017


Asian-English teatime with the bff sister

This evening, by a wonderful unfolding of events, I ended up having tea with my best friend’s little sister.  As my best friend’s little sister, she holds a sweet spot in my heart.  What’s more, the fact that she’s the first person I’ve seen go from little kid, singing nursery-rhyme-type songs, to a mature young adult (and soon full-blown adult), makes that spot even sweeter.

As we sat in the tapioca teahouse, drinking our warm (Taiwanese style, I think – at least, that’s what a friend of mine saw constantly while in Taiwan, and which we haven’t seen much elsewhere) bubble tea, our attention somehow turned to the menu on the wall.  Naturally, we hadn’t thought anything special of it when we actually were looking at the menu to order earlier on, but it was suddenly relevant to our conversation, so our attention turned to it.  She is studying Mandarin this year (since August), and I’ve just moved here from Japan.  So, we have some common ground on understanding Chinese characters.  (For those who don’t know, Japanese kind of stole the characters from Chinese, and adapted them a bit, so loads of them look exactly or almost exactly the same and have the same or very similar meanings.)

We joyfully pointed out that “ice” was on the end of each name in the ‘Snowy Drink’ category, and that “little” was next to one other character on the “Snacks” sections – likely ‘little meal’ or ‘little food’.  Something like that.  And then we discussed how we were scouring the menu, picking out little pieces that we understood.  It was like a fun little puzzle that we were putting together, piece by piece… one that we know will take months, even years, but the timing of which doesn’t seem to bother us in the slightest.  We’re just excited that we’re able to make the little sense of it all that we already can.  And we aren’t even using the same language to do it, technically, making it simultaneously that much sillier and that much more awesome.

So, we got to enjoy one another’s company and be nerdy language-lovers together, while sipping warm asian versions of English tea (Earl Grey) on a cold, cold night (for Houston, anyway).  Blessings abound when open our minds and schedules to them, it seems.  And I am grateful for this one in particular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017


Singing, Showering, and liking you better…

Today, I sent a message to my best friend that read, “For some reason, I regularly think about messaging you when I go to the bathroom”

Her response was prompt and simple.  “Lol,” followed by, “You like me so much better when youre naked”

“Duh,” was my casual response.

You see, the whole thing started back in college.  Freshman year, I was Skype-ing with Christine one day, probably early morning.  I had gone into the common room to chat with her, but, since we were in an all-girls dormitory, and it was too early for visitors to be around, I wasn’t fully dressed (probably just a t-shirt and underwear).  When we started the call, she let me know that a friend of hers was with her, and that it was a guy (because it was already afternoon in Cambridge, England, so it was normal to be hanging out with people already there). So, I had to go put on some more clothing before we turned on the camera.  (At least, I think that was the case… she might have just checked to make sure I was properly clothed, because I regularly would be not fully clothed.  Either way, the next part did happen.)  When I commented about this, the guy friend of hers made a comment about liking someone so much better naked (I forget if it was about Christine liking me, or what, but it was totally silly, and seemed such an odd comment.)  We both were lacking in understanding at first, but he explained that there was an actual song (by Ida Maria), and that that was the line the girl used in it.  (See, it made sense and wasn’t actually weird at all.)

The chorus goes like this:

But I won’t mind
If you take me home
Come on, take me home
I won’t mind
if you take off all your clothes
Come on, take them off
‘Cause I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked
I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked

We found it hilarious.  We found the actual song and music video, and fell in a sort of this is silly and utterly ridiculous, but I still love it kind of love with the song.

I shared it with my hallway neighbor, who played guitar, and we tried playing it a bit on the guitar.  I eventually played it for Christine one day on Skype.  My greatest, proudest achievement with the song, however, was the time I snuck into the bathrooms (they were shared, and had loads of stalls and multiple showers) one day, just after Jessie, the neighbor, had gone in to shower.  Once I knew she was actually in the shower, showering, I walked into the showering area (mind you, not into her stall, just in the showering section of the bathroom), and began playing the song on guitar, and singing it to her.  I could hear her snorting, gurgling, guffawing laugher emitting from the shower stall as I sang and played.  It was spectacular for the both of us.  I shared the story with my best friend, too, and she loved it.*

So, the song has always held a special little place in our hearts, minds, and lives, all three of us.  Everyone else probably just thinks we’re crazy, whenever they overhear us mentioning or quoting or singing it.  😛

Here’s a link to the music video.


*This reminds me… I sang to a friend of mine in Japan while she showered one night.  We were chatting on the phone, just hanging out one night, after we’d both gotten internet, and so didn’t have to hang up after every five minutes anymore, and she really needed to shower, but we weren’t ready to end our conversation/hanging out.  So, she set the phone to the side on speakerphone, and I sang to her while she showered.  I had been humming and singing quietly already anyway, so what was the difference if I just did it a little louder, right?  It was spectacular, of course.  Then a night or few later, when I mentioned to another friend that this had happened, he complained that I didn’t sing for him and that that certainly wasn’t fair.  And so I sang to him over the phone… and he fell asleep.  😛  Spectacular in a different sort of way, I guess, but still spectacular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017



Snow in Houston, Texas (and t-rex Christmas cards)

Last night, it snowed here.  In Houston, Texas.  It happened yet again.  What miracles lie before us?  It began after I went to sleep, and didn’t begin to stick until after I woke up for a bathroom break in the middle of the night.  So, I woke up to snow covering everything that wasn’t concrete this morning.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of the best kind of snow – you don’t have to shovel or worry about tire chains or anything, but you get to have beautiful snow everywhere around you.



The hit of the morning was arriving to school.  My mom drove me in, because we were going to a Christkindlmarkt (German Christmas market) together after school, and the market was too far away for me to drive home first and then go, and it didn’t make sense for us to drive two cars out there.  She was staying for a bit, because we had Mass at school for the Immaculate Conception, and this was a chance for her to see the school a little bit.  Pulling into the parking lot (vacant of teachers, because we were so early), we discovered a sort of snowball fight happening in the picnic table area next to the lot.  We didn’t have much snow on the ground, but the kids were making some snowballs out of it, and throwing them around at one another.  It was adorable.

Naturally, my mom declared that I had to make a snowball, as we were leaving the car.  I grabbed an already-made snowball from the ground, which had lost only a bit after originally falling there, and showed it to her.  As she eyed me up while she finished off her own snowball, I realized that she intended to throw hers at me.

And so the fight began.

My mom and I, shuffling around a parking lot and a small grassy area with snow about it, picking up and throwing odd snowballs at one another, practically screeching with delight.  When I was turned away, a snowball hit her square in the back of the head.  No one was too near us, though, so it had come a long way.  And these were a little tough for regular snowballs, so it definitely hurt her a bit in the moment (stung, perhaps, is the appropriate word here).  It didn’t ruin out fun, of course, but merely added to the silliness of the whole affair – one of my students had attacked my mother with a snowball*.  No part of that declaration makes sense for living here, in Houston, Texas.  😛

In class, before Mass, kids lined up at the windows to stare at the snow in the courtyard below and on the roofs within view.  This was only the second time in their lives that it has snowed here, so their fascination with it was completely understandable, and utterly adorable.

Today had some magic, that’s for sure.


*I found out later that the student who hit my mom actually was a student of mine.  He asked me ‘who that teacher was, walking with me earlier,’ and, when I asked for clarification, he described the morning snowball affair.  “That was my mom.”  In shock, he declared that he thought it was a teacher and asked me to tell my mom that he was sorry for what he did to her.  (My mom and I laughed at the thought that he apologized for having hit my mom, but that is seems to be the case that he willingly would hit a teacher in the head with a hard snowball, without question.)

P.S.  My task today was to “[d]raw a Christmas card”.  So, I drew one on the roof of my mom’s car tonight as we were leaving the Christkindlmarkt.  Frost had begun to reappear all over the place.


Post-a-day 2017