Sometimes I spy on my neighbor.  Not actually spy on him, per se, but watch him secretly… which is quite similar to spying, now that I think about it…, but it’s different in this case (I promise).

For a while, I was trying to figure out which of my supposed building-mates lived directly across from me / next to me / on my floor (it’s two, two, and two, four apartments total, with the bottom floor actually being a storage place on one side and a hair salon on the other (owned by the owner of the building’s wife)).  And, for various reasons, I didn’t want to open my door whenever I heard the person opening up the door across from mine.

Firstly, I don’t know much Japanese, so that’s an awkward introduction in and of itself.  Add to it that I would be swinging open my door – which directly faces the neighbor’s with about two meters of space between them – just to look at my neighbor, and would be lacking an explanation for why I have just sprinted open my door and started staring.  And then the fact that I oftentimes hear him at his door late at night, so I’m either just getting ready to shower, have just showered, or am already dressed for bed (all situations which include my being in little-to-no clothing), and you have a good reason not to throw open the door late at night in your knickers, and try to introduce/explain yourself in a language you don’t really speak to the shocked neighbor.  Yeah, I wasn’t really about that.

So, I would just rush to my door whenever I heard him – usually, anyway – in hopes of figuring out if he were the teacher, the college student, or the third one (whose occupation I completely forgot).  Now, because of the little entry area for removing one’s outdoor shoes, I even had to lean forward with both hands on the door to hold me up, so that I could look out the peep hole, making me feel even more like the spy I probably am.  And, you know what?  I still haven’t figured it out.

I have no idea which person the guy is.

I do know that he isn’t the lady with the car – I hear her pound down the stairs from above every day at about 7:30 in a tremendous rush, and then drive off.  I Think he isn’t the college student, because the one time I got a half glimpse of his face, he didn’t look too young.  However, he keeps odd hours like a college student in the US might keep, so I haven’t ruled out that option yet.  So, basically, I have learned that a man of some age lives across from me, and I think he lives alone.  Other than that, I have no idea.

So I’m thinking about making pralines enough to give out to all three apartments, and go meet them all.  Now that I know a good bit more Japanese  – it’s still totally broken, but I get myself communicated usually.  And I’ve learned how to make pralines.  That helps, too.  (They were really delicious, actually, and I was really proud of them when I made them the other week…)

The point of this all?  I guess that I’m really a stalker, but get totally lazy about it when it comes to things after I’m already home for the night.  And that I can make pralines.  Yeah, that’s pretty much it for tonight.  😀  Love and laughter, my friends – share them both with others today.  🙂


Day 20 of 40
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end goals

Do you know how to be a good writer?  I certainly don’t.  I know that, as a writer, I want to effect a betterment of humanity, the world, and each individual reader.  However, how do I accomplish that?

I regularly open up a page (digital or actual paper), ready to write – often even feeling a pull towards the writing, and an excitement about beginning it -, and then write nothing.  And it isn’t that I have standard writer’s block or anything.  I sit there, staring at the blank page (or, rather, being who I am, staring at the page for a few seconds, and then looking all around me), wondering what to write.  I have plenty of ideas (most of the time, anyway – I occasionally do have a sort of writer’s block in which I have no ideas, but not often.), plenty of thoughts…, but which one or group of ones do I pick?

I think that, in those times, it is possible that I am so focused on the desired outcome of people getting something out of the writing, that I take away most of my opportunity to put into the writing what would make the greatest difference for others.  (You might be slightly lost; allow me to help find you.)  I mean that I end up wringing out my thoughts so that they seem more like something that could make a difference for others, instead of just writing truly, honestly, openly, as myself with no other concerns but sharing myself.  If I just share with others (remember that this is the whole reason I want to write in the first place), they can benefit for the better.  If I attempt to formulate a benefit-causing article (or whatever I am writing), I lose my natural space of sharing myself within the article.  And that natural space of sharing oneself is certainly what I would want to read as a reader.  So I think my goal as a writer is to have that sharing be always present in what I write.


That being all said, it has me wondering about where else I get stopped, unable to decide what to do amongst all the options, which path to take to obtain the desired goal.  In these areas, too, am I setting aside the juice of the matter, and thinking only of the end goal, thereby losing the most essential parts to my success?  (I think I might, actually…)  This shall be my contemplation of the next few days, yes.  🙂


Day 19 of 40
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Just like Mom

Every so often, I get the opportunity to discover myself to be quite similar to my mother, in ways that do not initially occur to me as ‘like my mom’.  Tonight, I called her to obtain help on how to improve my spiderweb cut-out on my Halloween t-shirt.  She casually offers guidance, and then shows me her own, which she just finished cutting herself.  It’s the middle of the night where I am, and early morning where she is, and yet we were doing exactly the same thing at the same time… and something that isn’t exactly normal behavior for the average Halloween celebrant (Who wears the same ghost/spiderweb t-shirt every year on the week of Halloween?  And who cuts up a new one, whenever the older one can’t be found?).

Okay, so maybe it isn’t all that odd that we do the same thing for Halloween – we did live together for many a Halloween.  However, it had me think of all the other things I do, mannerisms I now have, that five or ten years ago I didn’t do and didn’t have, and which all come from my mother… and which I hadn’t even noticed were from her until someone commented about it, or until I saw her do it, and thought of how I also did the same thing.  Sometimes, of course, I would notice, like when I erased a kid’s whole sentence (or whatever it was) the other day, and made him rewrite it, because it was too messy and illegible.  But it typically catches me off guard, no matter how it is brought to my attention, because none of it is intentional on my part.

Perhaps I’m not making too much sense here.  The point is, I share so many qualities with my mother, it overjoys me.  In a million little ways, I am just like she is, while still having another million ways that make me different from how she is.  And I just love it.  It means that, no matter what, she always is with me.  And, what’s more, if I have children of my own some day, they are likely to pick up on many of those million little things I have from my mother, thereby carrying her forward in the world of humanity, without the slightest bit of effort or difficulty.

Kind of cool, huh?  🙂


Day 18 of 40
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Music heals (a poem-ish)

I close my eyes in utter fascination,
allowing the music to pour through me,
to fill, and then empty me of what was stuck,
and I begin suddenly to breathe
what almost is normal, refreshing air.

But then the music is cut off,
and so is my healing,
leaving me merely knowing
that I have been caging myself in here –
and taking away the one thing
that was building me out.

With full, beautiful music,
my soul has been summoned.
Let us, then, go,
and make ourself whole, Self.


Day 17 of 40
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Knitting keeps me up at night…

You know when you find those things that you just love to do, but you can’t figure out why you love to do them?

Last night, trying to shower, get ready for bed quickly, and get to sleep asap, after I got home at 11:30, I couldn’t let myself go to sleep.  Why?  Because I just had to work on this daisy chain.

I spent a chunk of the day yesterday looking up how to make one’s own super-mega-chunky yarn (because I want to make an arm-knitted blanket, thanks to my friend Devon), and had stocked up on some beautiful green yarn after school, in order to make said super-mega-chunky yarn*.  I had already begun making the daisy chain I needed with this green yarn, before going to an art opening – which was totally fabulous, by the way -, and yet it was as though I had to work on it more.  Not out of a painful need, but a joyful one; I was just so ecstatic about making the yarn.

Feeling like a 4-year-old on the eve of his birthday party, I just couldn’t go to sleep.  I finally just had to be my own mommy for the night, and tell myself (aloud, actually) to put away the yarn, I can work on it tomorrow, when I can enjoy it even more, because I am feeling rested, because I actually went to sleep tonight… Hmm.

What is it about this kind of thing?  It happens to me almost every time I knit, or start making bracelets**.  I just don’t want to put it down.  No, it’s not that.  The experience is that I am totally engrossed in making whatever it is, and I want to stay in that space of pure, free, delight.  Even when I know it’s a good idea to get ready for bed, I can’t seem to get myself away from working.  I have to set myself a sort of cutoff or curfew each time (e.g. Five more minutes, and then put it down.  Twelve more rows, and then walk away.), or else I’ll never stop.  (I once worked on a puzzle all through the night, because I just couldn’t stop.)  I keep thinking about what I can produce by doing the work, and it is as though the end product pulls me toward it (in time and space, I guess), having me work and work and work, and never want to stop until it’s finished.

Is there a way I can have a career that feels like this for me?  That is the dream, and I want to make that dream real.  For sure.



*Apparently you can just crochet however many strands of yarn you want together, using a simple slip stitch (aka daisy chain in laymen’s terms), and then use the chain as the crazy thick yarn.  So that’s what I was working on last night (and tonight).

**I make simple stretch bracelets out of spherical natural stone beads, because I could’t find ones like I wanted way back when, and so I just made my own… and then loved making them, so kept buying more stone beads and making more bracelets.




Day 16 of 40
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To-Do Lists

I just love To-Do Lists.  Especially when I get to put them on a little sticky note, and stick it somewhere, looking all cute and colorful and organized.  I just feel like I have my life together when I have a good To-Do List written out for the day.

I especially love my To-Do List for today:

To-Do List

Buy & Burn Waterproof Paper
Mail in Ballot
Go to Art Show Opening
Make Eggnog
Try an i-cord
Get old t-Shirts


I feel like today’s list just makes my life sound so fun and exciting.  It’s like I am simultaneously a housewife, an art snob, an artist, a responsible adult, and a high schooler.  And I like it.  Especially because there isn’t one thing on that list that isn’t me (despite the grammatically incorrect  usage of the word).

I think I like To-Do Lists so much, because they allow me to glimpse myself – who am I being today?  (And what do I need to add, in order to be who I want to be today?)  And seeing it written down on paper, somehow makes it loads easier to stay on track with who I want to be (even if I still don’t know what I want to do with my life).  Yeah… something like that  🙂



Day 15 of 40
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Self-Expression (-ish)

You know that feeling when you go ahead and share what you’re thinking, and explain out the way you see something, and everything works out perfectly?  The other person completely understands and accepts your view, even if it is contrary to hiss/her own, and life just seems to flow with color, full and beautiful.  I like those days.


Day 14 of 40
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(Child) Games

Whatever happened to our games?  Growing up, we seemed to have endless games to play. On the short bus rides home or the long ones for a field trip, waiting in line at the bathrooms in school, and on family road trips, we always had something to talk about, to entertain ourselves, and it required no music, no digital media.  When did all of that change?

I ask this in hopes that, by finding when it changed, I might also discover why it changed, and thereby discover a way to recover the creative delights we once shared all throughout the waiting times of our lives, as well as the regular, quality time spent with family and friends.  I think that might be very good for us nowadays.  🙂



Day 13 of 40
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Bedtime thoughts

As I am readying myself for bed at a friend’s apartment tonight, a few things have been on my mind: When will they all come back?  Will they wake me?  Will someone step on me, trying to get to his/her bag, once they’re back?  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…  But the biggest question for my OCD mind is: Do I shower tonight or in the morning?

Lately, I have taken to showering at night, because I keep myself cool overnight (thus avoiding sweating for the most part), it keeps my bed cleaner, and it means I get to sleep later in the mornings before work.

However, having the OCD brainwaves means that I have a sort of inner freak-out if I am just recently cleaned (and have no extra change of clothes), and then come in contact with something dirty.

So, I was sitting on the floor, having a mental dilemma over whether it were better to shower now and feel clean for bed and all the other reasons I do it daily, or to shower in the morning, and not have to worry about how clean these futons and  blankets and floors are, or if someone comes and sleeps, unshowered, next to me.  While doing my best to convince myself that a morning shower was the best idea*, I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable at still being in my ‘dirty’ clothes.

However, when I took off my tights, I had felt significantly better.  I then noticed, as I still sat here contemplating, that taking off my socks had a similar effect.  And, when I took off my bra, but had to take off my whole dress first in order to do it, I noticed how amazing it felt taking off the last of my clothes… and that’s when it occurred to me: What if the most comforting part of getting ready for bed isn’t actually the showering and getting clean, but the removal of clothing involved in that process?

Now, I’ve put my dress back on me – it’s a very pajama-y dress due to the stretchy cotton composition -, and I am ready for bed.  And so is my brain.  And it’s amazing.  

Is that really all it takes to be ready for bed?  Strip on down, and you’re good to go?  It just may be that easy…  I might have found a way to be okay again with not showering before I go to sleep.  And for an area of life where OCD plays a very loud role in my head, the chance of having found a way to quiet it is huge. Really.  And it’s also a fun idea, isn’t it, that taking off your clothes is all it takes to relax and be comfortable enough for bed? 🙂

*I actually started crying when I showered at night the last time, and people tried to hug me when they got home from their bar fun… :/

Day 12 of 40
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Thoughts over Missing

I miss my cat so much, it actually makes me start to feel sick when I think about it… so I mostly just don’t think about it.  It’s as though I glance at the idea, the thought, of our being apart for at least another nine or ten months, notice that the experience will not be good to accept the thought, and so keep on walking past.

Day 11 of 40
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