Memories in alcohol

Walking through an absurdly large and diverse (product-wise) Kroger today, I was struck with a sudden and momentary shift back to Japan, as I passed one of the drink aisles….

There was something about its seeming chaotic orderliness, and its crowded feel that took me back to the alcohol aisles in the store near my house in Japan, and, at first, of this one particular store near the train station in a nearby town where I went to help with English stuff…

And the memory was really nice… it was a very good feeling of transportation, and I felt very much at ease, belonging, and comfortable…

Weird to see Japan as such things, but I also totally get it – it is part of me, and certain points of life were stable there that are not stable for me here and now, thus the feeling of stability and comfort from the memory, despite the fact that Japan as a whole was kind of nuts and really hard on me… πŸ™‚

The aisle…

It is definitely more spaced out in the middle than Japan’s comparable aisle, but the setup and feelings were quite the same for me… who’d’a thunk alcohol could be so warm and fuzzy for me? πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2019

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Dressed for Work

Tonight, I attended with my mom a sake mini-course and tasting event.

As predicted, every Japanese man was in a dark suit with a white shirt… however, the slight touch of color was found in a tie or pocket square in the Americanized men.

Also as predicted, there was a fabulous array of Japanese foods, the presentation was brief but extremely informative, and the tasting was hilariously wonderful.

While there, I considered strongly at one point what everyone else was wearing.

Beforehand, I had asked my mom, a person who is usually quite particular about dressing to the appropriate level for things, if I needed to change into a different dress than what I had on… I showed her the dress, which was a much nicer and more business-y version of what I already was wearing, and she didn’t think the change was needed…. she pointed out that she was wearing something quite similar, albeit slightly nicer-looking (same color scheme, different pieces).

We had been at an art film showing earlier on, and I had worn my current outfit for that and felt totally comfortable in my choice, but I figured it was best to check with her regarding the Japanese event.

Sure enough, once there, she commented that we should have known everyone would be in business suits and the likes, since it was a Japanese event… I reminded her that that was precisely why I had asked about my outfit ahead of time, and she rather shrugged her shoulders unconcernedly at this with an Oh, well…, and we moved on to enjoy ourselves, anyway.

At this point, I thought about how everyone was probably just coming straight from work, anyway, and so they were all just in work clothes… and then I realized that I, too, was coming straight from work and that I, too, was just in work clothes…

I don’t have a corporate job in an office with a cubicle on a floor in a big building… or anything like it… I’m a writer and photographer… and, today, I was editing photos, and then sent them off to a client – much work accomplished for a single afternoon, actually… and this cotton dress and summer sandals are what I wore to do that… casual and cute, but not office business…

In “Hannah’s Life, Created”, a notebook I compiled a couple years back, while living in Japan, I have a brief description of what I want my work attire to be… tonight was a beautiful acknowledgement of my having achieved that desire, and, in that instant of noticing this, I was filled with a sense of calm confidence in regards to my life – I am doin a beautiful job of pursuing my goals and dreams and of becoming and being the person I want to be.

I’m not all the way there yet… I am there with some things, though, and I am well on my way to more and more at any moment(!!!)…. and I love it.

I really do love it.

Yes, it would have made sense to wear the nicer dress tonight… no, it didn’t ultimately matter for what tonight specifically was…, yes, it was amazing to notice what I did about being in my ‘work clothes’, and so was totally worth it this time to be a bit under-dressed…, and no, I never really quite fit in at Japanese events, anyway – Gaijin Smash to the max!**

So yeah… we had an awesome time at the event, learned loads about sake. – and yes, I am fully aware of how odd it is that I take such an interest in sake, when I drink just about no alcohol in the average month – and ate wonderful foods over wonderful conversations.

And I had a lovely discovery about my current status in life, and it tickles and overjoys me even now, hours later. πŸ™‚

Yay, life!

And thank you, God, for entrusting me with this piece of the path – I love this part, and I trust you fully, as I throw myself fully into this lovely hard work!

Peace

Hannah

**Man, do I miss my store Mister Maxx in Toride, Ibaraki!… like a cross between Target, Petsmart, and a bakery!

Post-a-day 2019

Misled Bartender longs to be loved

Can we just talk for a minute about a certain type of character in men: that of the overweight male who manages the alcoholic beverages for everyone?

I’m not sure how I feel about this character, but I tend to notice that I frown or bold my face firmly blank rather often when in the presence of such a person.

On the one hand, he can do whatever he likes – he has the freedom to choose.

On the other, I feel so sad and distraught and, even, angry and annoyed that that is the way the man chooses to be.

You see, it comes across to me as a man who couldn’t find himself valued physically – fitness lacking immensely – and, quite possibly, therefore, intimately, and so he has discovered/chosen his position as drink expert, because he gets to be valued and appreciated by preparing and providing alcoholic beverages for everyone – in a way, he gets all the pretty girls, and, from each, a version of love, appreciation, and intimacy.

Add onto that the often-present obsession with drinking games and their rules, and I can hardly stand to be around this man… he is so adamant that he is the expert on this drinking game or that drinking game… and his skill levels are quite high in just about every drinking game…, as is his alcohol tolerance…

He goes around to the females of the party, and developed special codes with each of them regarding their drinking preferences… he understands them like no one else does…, but only in the sense that he knows what alcohol preferences they have…

And he seems to exude importance and appreciation of himself…

But do these women truly love him as he wants, needs?… or is the situation only getting worse and worse for this man who feels so unloved (outside of the alcohol stuff)?

Every time I cross this man, I have a sense of outrage at his ignorance – meaning that he ignored it – of doing anything valuable with his time and effort, and his misled focus on improving his skills at those two areas.

I mean, Really???!

And I know this is just my view and my opinion… I just wanted to share… the whole reason I am even upset about it is that I don’t value alcohol almost at all in life – I see it mostly as an unnecessary and not-so-valuable distraction for people… it used to be the safe beverage to drink, due to germ issues back in the day, but it seems to me to be utterly abused and somewhat unnecessary in modern-day society.

There are so many better ways a man can spend his time than focusing on alcohol tolerance, combinations, and games… he probably could have picked up a foreign language in all the hours he dedicated to those three things… let alone exercised and gotten loads more fit… :/ ::sigh

Just a thought – I’m not aiming to be rude here; merely aiming to say what I see and feel about this… but do you know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Gal Pals

In a comical and slightly intoxicated – truly only slightly on the one side, and then sober on the listening side – conversation between two girls (women) this past weekend, I heard the following line, delivered slightly like a five year old’s declaration of wanting her own birthday cake at someone else’s birthday party, from the girl who has a boyfriend:

I want a boyfriend who does the sex to me every day.

She then proceeded to say, “I really do,” in an effort to convince the sober, single friend who was laughing deeply beside her.

And no, English was not a foreign language for either – they were all too clearly native English speakers.

I think that’s part of what makes the silly statement so wonderful.

I am still laughing at the whole thing today, days after the fact, it was so odd and goofy…

πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Wasted

I wonder what it is that has people do the whole ‘hard core party scene’, filled with drinking, sometimes marijuana, and even the occasional illegal drugs.

Is there something we are seeking, and we search in the self-losing experience of extreme alcohol consumption?

Is there something that feels inadequate, but seems to be fulfilled when under the influence of increasingly strong effects of alcohol?

Are we afraid of or hating something in our lives, and we avoid the thoughts of it through alcohol’s removal of clear thinking?

Are we full of worries, and the alcohol pushes them out of our mind so well, we keep drinking more and more, until the law of diminishing return has been ignored so long that we hardly even function anymore?

Is it something else entirely?

I had a brief time of drinking in certain settings as a sort of camaraderie, or a group participation activity… sometimes even as group participation with ‘the cool kids’.

(I say ‘the cool kids’, but am definitely talking about adults… I wasn’t into law-breaking when I was under 21, and I definitely am not now.)

However, it didn’t last very long.

The worst of it, which was really only a matter of being tipsy in certain group drinking settings, not even drunk, was when I was very much hating something going on within that group setting, and I kind of wanted to avoid it while, at the same time, getting to be one of ‘the cool kids’.

(I did have a wonderful time of regular alcohol consumption at one point in life, and I believe the traditional German (and European) attitudes toward alcohol could prove quite helpful to the US… Biergarten evening drinking in summer in Germany is wonderful… but I didn’t even always drink then.

Anyway, the reason I was mentioning the Biergarten is that I do have positive memories and associations with alcohol… I just don’t much care for it.

I can have it, sure, but I wouldn’t be in the least bit concerned if I never had it again in my life.)

I’ve never understood what drives people to the degrees of drunkenness at which they are not functioning human beings, but merely stumbling babies all over again, twenty-plus years after the original state of babyhood…, but I have wondered much about what drives them to such a point in alcohol consumption.

And I’ve wondered, too, about if there is something comparable for me and my life… I haven’t come up with anything, but I haven’t looked too deeply into that specific piece of the idea.

We even call it being “wasted”…, yet do we consider that it could be a small piece of life that we have, indeed, wasted by being in such a state?

Just a thought, but it’s getting to me tonight…

Anyway… happy life, happy night

Post-a-day 2019

Beer run?

‘Okay, I’m stopping at the grocer on my way out there.’

‘Oh, since you’re stopping at the grocer, will you pick up some (hard) cider for me?’

He then gives me the details of his preferences on cidre, and we settle a plan…

“Haha…,” he continues, a bit nerdily and excited, “I’ve never had my little sister buy me alcohol before.”

We both had a dorky chuckle at this idea, mostly because we knew how the rest of our family had been growing up, as well as how unlike them I had been, simply uninterested in alcohol, let alone getting someone to buy any for me.

…..

Separately, when actually at the store, two girls who work there were telling me about the cidres sold, and kept suggesting I get a ‘sneaky’ one, so that I could ‘get him drunk’, and they kept chuckling at how their boyfriends are always surprised with sweet drinks that have high alcoholic content and leave them drunk, when they had thought they were totally fine… I didn’t entirely disapprove, since it’s people who matter to the girls, but I wasn’t exactly a proponent of the behavior in the first place…

When they remembered that I had said “for my brother”, their tunes changed and they gave me genuine flavor information on the different cidres, instead of just talking about getting something sweet. πŸ˜›

The irony of it all was how I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d purchased alcohol, let alone purchased any for my own consumption (not that these were for me, of course), and it felt extra-silly carrying out the cidres… I felt so totally out of place, not unlike an underaged kid sister trying to sneak alcohol for her brother’s party…

My extra consolation was in the fact that he really doesn’t drink much in the first place either, but wanted some drinks because he is on vacation (and even then only a few, because there’s an intense CrossFit class awaiting him in the morning). πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Tough stuff

Just a curious thought that came up tonight – one which I have had many times before, thought usually only passively or, at least, without much depth of consideration – while at dinner: How are people within our society to learn to have healthy and successful and mutually satisfying physical and sexual relationships, as well as healthy relationships with alcohol?

When do we do anything real to teach our growing children and young adults (and any adults, really) this information, to give them concretes and explicit and specific information?

When do we create with them healthy relationships to the topics in the first place?

In my cave people era books, they talk about how females each had a unique ceremony, with a carefully selected older make, to give her the full experience of adult sexual intimacy…. there were people designated in different seasons who were to be guides for the growing adults to learn about sexual intimacy by voluntarily going to any of these people for the honest help and insight an older and more experienced individual could give.

I know these can easily go against various religious traditions of today…, though that does not change the fact that these were ways of helping people to build healthy sexual habits and relationships.

While avoidance has its pros, it also very much has its cons, one of which is the educational side of learning to have positive relationships to and using sexual interaction.

Do note: I’m not aiming to stir up any nonsense here – I’m just sharing the idea that came up tonight, and that I found very interesting and worth considering further.

Anyway, I see it very similarly with alcohol in the USA – we just don’t ever teach our children to have healthy relationships with alcohol, and yet we spring it on them in full power when they’re supposedly several years past being a legal adult, offering at no point any useful and practical guidance on how to approach and to have a healthy relationship with alcohol.

It doesn’t surprise me that we have so many issues regarding it, especially for the younger adults and teens… we ignore it and tell them to avoid it entirely, throwing them to the hungry lions on their 21st birthdays.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019