Tick-Tock

Well, the omiyage are almost all gathered – just missing two magazines (and maybe another box of graham crackers… I need to count those) – and the rough list of packing and pre-departure to-do’s is made.

Accountability partner for tomorrow has been obtained.

Now, just to get to sleep, so I can get up early tomorrow and get to bosse-ing*!

I am beginning to grow nervous, and not exactly from excitement.

I think I am at that point of ‘when the pressure is on you, start, and the pressure will be off,’… so it is just pressure of being unprepared so late in the game for something so big.

So, I suspect I will feel much better by tomorrow noontime, when I have handled already a good hunk of the tasks on my list.

To be fair, I had a whole lot more packing and organizing that needed to happen the last time I was preparing for a trip to Japan, so it is only normal that this feels like Way too late to be only just packing clothes tomorrow.

Also, if all the organizing and cleaning up I want to do before I leave doesn’t happen, everything still will be okay… it just would be great to get it all done, and to come home to a lovely, organized, and clean home in just over a month from now…, so I want to make it all happen. πŸ™‚

Fingers crossed!

*From the French word bosser, meaning “to work”.

Post-a-day 2019

In-N-Out

In-N-Out Burger has landed in Houston, Texas.

Well, the Houston area, anyway – not in Houston proper, but in a couple highly populated suburbs of it.

I went to the nearest one today for lunch, as I was somewhat already on the way there (compared to where I live in inner city) due to my working location this morning.

And it was all because my mom sent me a photo of their onesie pajamas that she had discovered online (though, I’m not too sure why she was looking not why she sent it to me).

When I checked Google Maps to see if it was open already and how to get there, I noticed only where it was and that it opened at 10:30am and that the other location was already open for today.

Yay!

So, I went.

And cars were everywhere.

Traffic cones line the street next to the parking lot.

Traffic cops direct cars.

About ten to fifteen In-N-Out employees are moving around the neatly organized parking lot, taking orders, it seems, and managing the drive-through lines.

Another employee or two are handing out hats and stickers to people waiting (outside) in line for dine-in ordering.

I tell my mom that I hadn’t known it was opening day, and she says I might as well stay and eat anyway, especially because of that, and also because I had come al the way out for it already.

I agreed that I could sit and read one of my current books, and begin following signs for ‘Dine-In’.

The parking lot-based employees tell me to pass a certain way, and they move a couple cones and a sign for me to truck through into the front parking lot, which is today exclusively for dine-in customers.

I go in, wait not much more than five to seven minutes in line, place my order, and receive my ticket.

As I am heading outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while I wait, I head the number two called.

My number is 75.

Everyone is in a good mood, though, and is waiting happily enough.

I am delighted for In-N-Out.

Eventually, my mom and my cousin’s husband join me, and I have an outdoor table in the shade, and I get my food.

The cousin husband shows me a saddle that he’s just picked up – super cool, by the way – and heads off, while my mom sits with me while I eat.

We invite a couple to join us at the table, since they already have food but no table on which to set their little trays.

They inform us that the store has been open for a while, and that it is like this every day, open to close.

Wow.

The food is delicious, as usual.

When leaving, I see a couple doing just what I had considered doing, if we hadn’t been able to sit at a table by the time the food came.

It felt like a very cute Texas touch to In-N-Out.

Plus, it was just adorable to see, so I really enjoyed it.

Like dessert to my meal. πŸ˜›

Anyway…, welcome to Houston, In-N-Out Burger!! πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

News of Note

I gave up watching and reading the news several years ago, due to the fact that almost nothing in it was ever positive.

What was the point?

Rather than being the new information being shared, the news has merely become the show about as much negativity shared as is possible.

‘What other bad thing can we share with people?’ felt like the question news channels seemed to be asking themselves constantly.

It made society feel horrible and almost hopeless… made humanity seem utterly terrible…

And that is not something in which I want to participate, so I just gave it up altogether – if something noteworthy happened, someone somehow would let me know.

And it has worked really well these past several years.

Truly.

I am grateful that I did it.

No, I don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about on SNL’s Weekend Update most of the time anymore, but I don’t really watch any television anymore in the first place, so it hardly matters.

(Can you believe it’s been over a decade already since I gave up watching television?!… wow…)

I’ve contemplated many a times creating a magazine or newspaper – almost certainly digital – that only shares good news, positive news, because that’s the stuff that we all really want to hear about anyway, and almost no one seems to be sharing about it… and, if someone is sharing about it, very little time is given to it, especially when compared to the negative and sad stuff in the news.

Tonight, for the first time, I crossed someone who did something quite similar to what I would like to do: share things worth sharing.

By the end of the article – okay, I only looked at the pictures, but that was totally the point, anyway – I was delighted, my spirits were totally lifted, and I was really interested in learning more about all of the topics given… basically, I want articles to go with each of the positive pieces of news…, but I guess that’ll just have to be something saved for my future newspaper/magazine. ;P

Enjoy the picture article here!

It is well worth the quick read-through! πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Embarrassment by Inbox

The other day, I received what I thought was a final effort from the laser hair removal place to advertise their extended Black Friday sales.

I didn’t fully read the subject line, since only the beginning shows up on my phone without opening the actual e-mail, but I saw the sender, and so opened it to see if their Cyber Monday piece to their Black Friday sales was anything worth noting.

I scrolled down, searching for the expected pricing options, but couldn’t find any… the e-mail wasn’t making any sense, somehow.

Where were the Cyber Monday discounts I expected to see inside this e-mail?

I was processing what on Earth this e-mail was from the laser hair removal place for Cyber Monday and Christmas Presents….

I read the bottom piece first, and hen went tot he top of the screen to see if I could make sense of it all…

Like What does that have to do with hair removal….? Does the hair really make that big of a difference for people? And what does it have to do with having babies….?

I was completely lost in this e-mail.

I needed to start from the beginning again.

And then I scroll up to see this:

And then super sexy guy at the gym walks in the door, we look each other right in the eyes, and I feel like my face turns bright red.

I say hi to him, somehow able to talk, despite my brain still being in the middle of processing this whole e-mail thing, and simultaneously panicking that he definitely can read my mind and the e-mail currently showing on my phone, and he knows exactly what I’m contemplating at the moment (i.e. vaginas and babies and sex)…, even though he 100% has no way of knowing what I’m thinking unless I were to tell him, and he is too far away to see my phone.

I can’t bring myself to share with him the embarrassment I am feeling, and so I message my friend who gyms with me (and who, of course, knows how firmly I stand on the belief that this guy is the most gorgeous and attractive person I have ever known in real life), and tell her what has just happened.

She laughs at the part where the super sexy guy walks in, and then asks simply, “Is it the vagina steamer?”

I laugh something terrible in the inside, and tell her, “Didn’t even get that far,” because I didn’t, and she laughs once again.

Of course she knows all about this thing of which I had never even heard.

Typical. πŸ˜›

Haha

Eventually, I start smiling, as my embarrassment fades and my logic finally wins against my panicked insanity, and I finally can enjoy the hilarity of the situation, as opposed to only knowing it to be hilarious without actually feeling anything beyond panic and embarrassment. πŸ˜›

It was a good couple minutes, that was. πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Nakey-Nakey

I have two things I want to discuss tonight: getting naked and, well, getting naked.

I hadn’t really realized this seemingly blatantly obvious link between the two, until just now…

***Note: These are not standard nothings tonight, but actual open thoughts and descriptions of two separate scenarios involving human nudity… so, be forewarned that it isn’t exactly PG13 material tonight… ***

Anyway, so the first getting naked…

I had my final appointment today at the laser hair removal place.

It was for laser hair removal on my bikini line.

—— Side note: The appointment was actually for tomorrow, but I somehow got it wrong in my calendar… the girl who showed up while we were sorting it at the counter turned out to be the same girl who had been behind me and had helped me after my fall on the road the other week(!)… we had a fun time of evaluating the crazy odds of our meeting like this, mere blocks from where we had first met, though under entirely different circumstances – actually for both of us, as she worded it, to ‘have our pubes lasered off’… ——-

So, anyway… laser hair removal…. bikini line…. final treatment…. As usual, the technician asked during my lasering session whether I had considered doing a full Brazilian.

First off, Ouch!(!!!).

Second off, mmm, I want to keep a semblance of natural to my body, thank you…. plus, no offense intended here, but it kind of freaks me out to see no pelvic hair on adult bodies…. it reminds me too much of children’s lack of pubic hair, and is in no way attractive to me… and makes me not even want to consider for too long, because it starts freaking me out having sexual attraction and children be in the same line of thinking, despite their being technically separated in the thoughts…. anyway…

However, I didn’t say all of this – it was just my regular thoughts that arose at the idea of having a Brazilian lasering session done to remove all of that hair.

I did tell her, though, that I had considered it, that I wouldn’t mind having the hair in the back be gone – I mean, who likes butt crack hair?… eww… – but that I wanted to keep the hair in the front.

‘We can do that,’ she tells me, ‘just the back strip.’

‘Really?’ I ask, surprised that it is an option, since I have never seen it listed among the many area options these laser hair removal places all offer.

She gives me some details, and I follow up with the girl at the counter, after we finish with the session.

It is extremely affordable to do the ‘add-on’, as they call it, and so I sign myself up for it.

(Then, they get me in on the other part of the last day of their Black Friday sale, and I go ahead and sign myself up for the final area I had been considering to have lasered for quite some time now… and the price is so good, I know it won’t happen again before I’m ready to seek out doing it later on, so I accept, and gladly so…, but that is beside the point here… moving on…)

Rather than wait for my next appointment – turns it I had one more I could do for bikini line, so we scheduled me for that, and just included the others in that future appointment – in January to start the two new areas, they gave me a razor, I went and shaved myself freshly, and the same technician and I went back into the room together, and quickly did the other two areas.

Now, I was mentally prepared for this back strip of Brazilian, because a friend and I had just been discussing her Brazilian waxing seasons of the past and laser hair removal of the present last night.

She was comfortable with someone touching her buttocks in that context, because she had been doing it for so long, and, well, that’s why she’s there – it involves being handled in private areas.

We got into talking about how context allows for lots of things in one situation that would be absurd in another.

For example, I shared about how I was on a topless beach in Barcelona with or mutual acquaintance Bryan.

“You did not go topless on a beach with Bryan,” she says, almost panicked, eyes wide, turning to face me directly.

“No, I didn’t,” I laugh, “but, once he left, I was totally fine going topless.”

Because the context of topless beaches in Barcelona had it be totally normal for the Spaniards around me.

e.g. The family of Mom, Dad, and two boys, aged about 12 and 8, in which even Mom was topless as they sat together on their blanket.

But it is not normal in our home culture, so there was basically no chance I was going to be topless around Bryan.

Fast-forward to my second session within my laser hair removal appointment today.

In the first session, I was lying on the table in my t-shirt and underwear, when the technician, clicking at buttons on the machine, says to hang on, it’s not working.

She then tells me that I can relax, because it’ll be a minute.

And then, quite casually, ‘We’ll have to go to another room – this one’s not working.’

She asks while standing at the door, almost as an afterthought, but not quite, if I want to put my own clothes back on, or if I want her to grab me a robe.

I quickly remove the sheet covering me, as I tell her that I can just put on my shorts, and then do so.

I leave my belongings there, and go with her to a different room next door.

Without giving her a chance to leave – they always leave, even though I am keeping on my underwear, per their recommendation, but the way, and they are going to see me without the sheet anyway as soon as they start doing the treatment… – I drop my shorts on the floor, and plop on the bed.

She seems unconcerned in every way.

As she talks to me, she is so casual and blasΓ©e, and says everything like an almost afterthought, as though she had just caught herself daydreaming, and realized that she was supposed to be talking pleasantly to the client.

Her lumbering drawl, at such a slowed rate from the traditional, “Hi! I’m Kimberley!” waitress or general service industry young female, ready to serve You! way of high-energy speaking, is soothing, but also almost comical.

Compared to Kimberly!, she seems to be drugged with super-chill pills…

(But not actually drugged.)

I personally am very comfortable with silence, so I didn’t mind her lack of conversation, but I can imagine that their training tells them to talk to the clients, and so I accept her after-thought-ish comments with sense of wry humor.

– It’s funny having a conversation with someone when you both know that you definitely are okay not talking with one another, but that also the conversation is necessarily by royal decree, so to speak. –

So her comments always seem to be ever so slightly delayed, giving her a very laid-back and chill vibe, though differently so from typical laid-backedness and chillness…

Now, as mentioned, we go back in the room for our second session together, after I talk with and pay the girl at the front desk.

I am expecting, in the room, to be put on my belly or something, and to have her move my cheeks to the sides – since that was something specifically mentioned by my friend about her Brazilians, and she is the only ‘experience’ I have with them – but that, of course, does not happen.

She tells me, still in her passive and casual, slow meter, “Okay, so, for the butt, you’re just gonna pull both your knees up to your chest and hold them there with your arms.”

I have a moment to process the words and what they mean, and then another to verify with myself that I’m okay with fulfilling the suggested request, and then I do it.

And she, as with all the rest, casually, as though she’s barely even aware of what actually is in front of her, but is instead thinking about that blue and purple drink she saw in the store yesterday and what was it made of?…, lasers the back strip of a Brazilian, and I consider laughing at the whole thing, as I recall Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number comment of, “Mind your own Brazilian!!”*

But I was totally comfortable.

The context of the situation – a laser hair removal place where getting Brazilians is totally normal in the first place – combined with the oh-so-blasΓ©e way of the technician allowed me to be super comfortable, despite the fact that I was lying on my back on a table, wearing only a bra, hugging my knees, and showing all my lower parts to a woman I don’t even know…

I am still grateful for her.

And I am grateful for all that has transformed in me, which has allowed me to enjoy and participate in such a scenario, as opposed to long for it but be too terrified of it even to consider doing it.

Okay, nakey situation number two time!

I’ve begun reading the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, after falling little girl in love with the Netflix original film by the same name, which is based on the book.

So far, as usual, some is exactly the same and some it totally different, but I am enjoying the book, nonetheless.

Tonight, I read the following passage, which really had me start thinking:

I wonder, though: What would it be like? To be that close to a boy, and have him see all of you… no holding back. Would it be scary only for a second or two, or would it be scary the whole time?

There is more to the thought that the character is having, but this was the part that stuck out for me.

What would it be like to be naked with someone we love wholly and who wholly loves us?

Would there be embarrassment at all -even if we both are totally for, let’s say – or would we be shy, at least on the inside, concerned by the exposure and the prospect of… of what exactly?

Of being hurt?

Being naked doesn’t mean we’ll be hurt, but being exposed emotionally always seems to carry with it a fear of being hurt, and so does our physical nakedness and exposure somehow also carry that same fear and discomfort?

Is that why we struggle to be naked in front of people Period?

Are we so afraid of being hurt?

And I don’t mean physical hurt… purely emotional, psychological, stuff with the head.

Are we so afraid in our heads that we would be afraid to show everything openly and comfortably to the one we love most?

How often do couples just be naked together, without it being sex?

Do they take the time to explore the physical beauty of one another’s bodies without haste and without avoidance or hiding anything?

As Sophie Kinsella’s same book says, “including the dodgy bits.”

But, even then, she only mentions that her man has seen them, not that he has embraced them, nor that she has.

Does the comfort of being seen fully and embraced naked by another stem first from our being able to see ourselves naked and to embrace all parts of our naked selves?

I think so.

And I think it would be a wonderful and powerful experience for couples to take the time just to see fully on another’s bodies, and to learn to embrace them just as they are.

Like how we can take the time just to sit and to gaze into one another’s eyes and be with one another fully – what if we did that with our whole bodies?

I think it would be not only beautiful but beneficial – for the individuals, for the couple, and for the world as a whole.

Expanding our love in such a way could only be a good thing for the world around us…

So, yeah… those are my two things about getting naked tonight… I think I went a little off the trail here and there, and I might have used some poor wording – I definitely did – but I hope the points made it across, anyway. πŸ™‚

Sweet dreams, World.

*Look it up… it’s a great book and an awesome scenario around the comment. ;D

Every day, a little more

Today, after the workout, I went purposefully and sat with the guys from class who were hanging out and somewhat stretching.

I was not embarrassed when they were worried at my possibly having heard something – which I admitted comfortably that I hadn’t heard, and even chuckled at the situation.

I listened to and commented in and participated actively in the conversation that arose as I sat there… and I did it all comfortably.

And I didn’t say anything that I didn’t want to say (AKA something mean or overdoing joking, etc.).

And I envy that girl her position and her words now, as I look back on the memory.

I was almost entirely my goal self, and it was amazing.

Anywho…, every day I am more and more myself in a way I had never allowed myself to experience myself…

It’s like that song from “Kinky Boots” called “I’m not my father’s son,” sung by Lola/Simon and Charlie… I can relate loads to the words in that one… phew!

Post-a-day 2019

Not a kiss whore

“I’m not a kiss whore…”

Laughter…, “Whatever – it seems like every time you go, you kiss someone(!).”

“Yeah: all two times, I kissed one person each time.”

Both laugh, totally tickled.

(Recall last week’s adventure.)

……….

This was near the end of my conversation tonight with my mom.

I had been telling her about my day at the Texas Renaissance Festival (RenFest) with a semi-friend today (we worked together briefly, and have always gotten along and talked forever whenever our paths have crossed), and had just shared with her the most delightful part of the day for me.

You see, a long while back, perhaps two years ago – long being relative, obviously – I met someone who really attracted me while at RenFest.

It wasn’t so much sexual attraction – I want to date you attraction – as it was simply attraction – I want to be around you attraction.

He had mentioned specifically about a possibility of our becoming friends, if I would like, and I agreed, and we met up to pursue this… so I thought, anyway.

And, when he received multiple calls in a row, and I encouraged him to take the call, and he answered with, “What’s up? I’m on a date,” I chuckled at his obvious use of the term in order to get the person to hurry up and leave him alone.

At the end, when he asked if it were okay to kiss me, therefore, I was thrown – and I mean really thrown… I denied the request, and then felt really uncomfortable and mean and a bit weird… and for a while… I felt justified in giving my honest answer that I did not feel comfortable kissing him or letting him kiss me, but I still felt weird and, somehow, bad for the following year or so, give or take, off and on.

(See my comment about the meeting here, embedded within a conversation with someone else.)

He came to mind somewhat often, though we only swapped messages a handful of times again.

I thought of him whenever I was going to or at RenFest, but somehow missed him – whether by accidental forgetfulness or intentional avoidance (my own, I mean), I am not entirely sure.

But I didn’t see him again.

That is, I didn’t see him again until today.

Remember how I have had this whole beautiful transformation happening within and without me this past year+.

Well, that gave me a whole new experience of the idea of this guy when I considered him today.

Suddenly, it was clear to me that I wanted specifically to go talk to him, to clarify with him what had happened for me back on that date I hadn’t known to be a date, to find out how and a little bit of what he was doing now – still the art, and, of so, what? – and to request and to receive a kiss from him.

Perhaps the kiss last week ha some revved up, but I truly believe that it at least made things clear for me in a way they had never been before: a kiss was a kiss, and it is okay to want to kiss someone.

And it is okay to want not to kiss someone.

(And, of course, not to want to kiss someone is okay, too!)

Who I am now wanted to kiss him.

Who I was two years ago couldn’t and didn’t want to kiss him then.

I wasn’t certain about the kiss today until I started talking with him, but I was at about 90% certainty before I even saw him.

I just couldn’t seem to stop smiling while talking with him – I almost felt like my cheeks were growing red with the constant huge smiling I was doing.

(Fortunately, my teeth look amazing now, thanks to my invisible aligners from Smile Direct Club, and I smile almost all the time now, anyway.)

I wanted to complete that circle of events from our afternoon spent together… and I also wanted to kiss this man for the sake of kissing him.

And so, as we were nearing the end of our conversation, and I was letting him know that I’d bring him omiyage from my upcoming Japan trip, and we could meet up in January, I had a final analysis of the question and determined wholeheartedly that I wanted it: “Could I have a kiss?” I asked.

I had already told him all about our unknown date and my thoughts at the end, and he had assured me that he was not offended and that all was well, and so, ‘Of course,’ was his reply to my single additional comment regarding ‘making up for before’.

And he stepped and leaned forward toward me, and we kissed(!).

Hard and whole, and 100% consensual on both sides.

And I almost felt like giggling with laughter in delight at both the fun of and the absurdity of the situation, as well as the fact that I JUST KISSED A BOY!!!! AND I LIKED IT!!!

(Thanks, Katy Perry.)

I smiled gargantuously* (yet again), reiterated my plans to reach out and on omiyage, and wished him farewell, and then he wished me the same.

It was lovely.

And I couldn’t seem to stop smoking for quite a while afterward.

He had offered to me to try out being friends again, and also offered a date again, if I were interested.

I told him that I’d think about the date part, but that the friend go was a definite.

And I felt amazingly self-expressed and confident in myself on more levels than I could count and identify.

Yes, it was lovely.

I have come so far.

It is amazing.

I am amazing.

But I am still not a kiss whore, just FYI.

Post-a-day 2019