And then, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, you find yourself quoting and singing along to Disney songs with the other Americans at dinner, and you realize that you might actually be, in this moment, surrounded by friends… and all the fear and concern slips away, and you find yourself firstly delighted and secondly – and much more powerfully – filled with love for them… all of them.

And you notice that the love was always there, but it head been, in a sense, on hold, in the break room, in the green room…. it had been waiting for its cue, its invitation to join the party… it had been waiting to feel love coming onward before exploding outward with love.

And it makes you wonder what might happen if you just went ahead and loved so powerfully and fully right from the start with people, instead of worrying about a need to keep it cool, not to be so sappy or whatever….i f they then would sort out their own expressions of love toward you, and a lot sooner than usual due to the overflowing love already coming so openly at them…

Perhaps it could end up creating a whole new world of love in the relationships of your life…, and, even though it is scary to consider being so exposed and vulnerable, you find yourself genuinely considering it…

Or, maybe, is that just for me?

πŸ˜‚ Love the world, and it can love you back even better than you might have imagined, Banana… πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Fish for dinner, but not to eat

At a friend’s home tonight, I had a homemade dinner combined with a spontaneous private lesson in Japanese Kanji (Chinese characters).

The lesson was mostly about fish and how, even though the pronunciation is different for different fish, they all have the same first character in their name: fish, sakana 魚 🐟.

What was extra fun about it is that some of them actually helped me learn what on Earth the fish actually are.

For example, saba ι―– is the word for mackerel.

It is a combination of fish and blue.

Aka “blue fish”.

Did you know that mackerel have blue all on their backs?

I do now. πŸ˜›

It was definitely a fun lesson, and it all started with her showing me the kanji for shark, and my saying that it looks like a shark on the right and a fish on the left.

(It really does!)

And then she got all into how “fish” is in the kanji of all the little fish dude names.

It turns out that shark is made up of “fish” and “crossing” (and not something like “fish” and “monster”, like I was imagining).

Shark calligraphy

I guess it makes sense: the thing that crosses fish…

But “crossing” still totally looks like a shark to me.

Post-a-day 2019

DΓ­a de Muertos dinner and dessert

Man who appears magically next to us: My girlfriend and I saw how you were dressed, and we were just at this party, and they gave us these cookies, and we wanted you…

He trails off, proffering a small, white papered bundle.

Said white bundle

Hannah: [Big and quick inhale] Are they calaveras?!? Are they skull cookies??

Man, smiling: Yeah, yeah they are.

Hannah: You’re giving us cookies?

Man: Yeah…

Hannah & Mom, slightly off from one another: Awww, thank you(!).

I accepted the package graciously and peeked inside at them, expressed another but of bouncy joy and expressed my gratitude again, both to him and for him to tell his girlfriend, and the man walked off, all three of us smiling.

Not so bad for dinner at a Thai place – my mom had wanted Mexican food to end the holiday, but everywhere food was, naturally, packed…, so, we just stopped for a warm meal at the place down the street from my house, on our way to take me home.

When we fully opened the package and took them out, we found handmade, adorable calavera cookies.

So, in a way, my mom got her Mexican food to celebrate the end of the DΓ­a de Muertos days, after all. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Food belly

I tested out eating ‘normal’ food last night at dinner with friends.

We went and had Korean food – the irony of the situation being that a friend of mine came with us, and she was visiting Houston from Korea – and agreed, as is typical for Asian eating situations, to have everything be shared (a style I rather prefer, as I have said often).

They asked for dietary restrictions, and I mentioned that I had mine, but that I was going to use the night as a tester for whether I’m okay eating ‘normal’ foods from time to time (because this diet is a lot to keep up, and it seems a bit nuts to keep up every day for the rest of forever, especially considering holidays and cultural events that have foods that just don’t fit the bill…).

I ate food with them.

It was delicious.

While eating, I noticed quite quickly some physical responses to certain foods (e.g. having to clear my throat from excess mucus somewhat constantly after eating the dish with dairy and the high gluten one).

Afterward, I noticed slight discomfort, but nothing too bad – it was only somewhat noticeable.

I was pleased.

Good thing, I thought.

I went home, delighted with the evening with friends, as well as with the food situation with my body – no, I had no intentions of eating that way anywhere near often, but yes, I would be able to take part in special occasions like tonight.

I go to bed, ready to pass the *** out, because it is so late by then.

At 5am, to a searing pain in my lower stomach, I awaken, almost in a bit of a fit.

I rush to the bathroom, unsure as to whether something needs to come out by gravity, or whether I need to hurl…

… it feels like both.

……..

Almost an hour later, I have managed not to throw up, despite the rising panic that it was wanting to happen, I have cleared out a good amount of what was hurting my bowels so badly, and I go back to bed, exhausted, only to feel another wave of nausea hit me when I lie down flat.

I curl over to one side, and strategically place body parts to help ease the once-again increasing pain in my belly, and somehow fall back asleep.

Today, I felt okay all day, but still exhausted from not enough sleep – had to get up too early today – and somewhat low on energy due to the bit of food debacle early this morning.

I told my friend about what happened, and she said that we are sticking to my dietary restrictions from now on at dinners. πŸ˜›

Well, I survived it, which is great, and I now know not to do it unless I want a lot of pain and discomfort – which, I don’t.

The point is that I have lived and learned on the matter, and I can move forward content with my dietary restrictions, and people who get weird about it can go eat a can of glass… just saying… πŸ˜›

(Haha – for some reason, that last bit really makes me chuckle, it is so absurd and came out of nowhere.)

Post-a-day 2019

Friends

Tonight, we had a dinner: three moms and three daughters.

The mom’s could have talked all night, if we had let them.

We daughters could have talked all night, if one of us hadn’t had to get to bed for an early morning and long day tomorrow.

When we switched to any combination of us talking to one another, the conversation hit a new seemingly infinite possibilities for continuing all night.

In short, it was a dinner of friends.

I have felt for a while now that there is always something that can be said with friends… yes, silence is comfortable, but it is only there when wanted…, otherwise, there is always something new and exciting to be discussed – friends often can hardly wait to share about this or that, and they love listening to the this or thats of one another, and they always inspire new this and thats for one another to share…

With non-friends, we run out of things to say, and then sit in odd silence (which is in great contrast to the comfortable silence that can occur among friends).

And tonight was a night of friends, despite the fact that I’d only met the one mother-daughter once, and my mom hadn’t met them before tonight.

There’s something about friends that doesn’t necessarily have to do with time… more a matter of connection, I guess it is…

I’m not sure we three daughters could have been much different from one another on paper…, but we connected so comfortably, that we might as well have been friends for years.

πŸ™‚

Yes, it was a very good night.

I love true friends.

Post-a-day 2019

Dinner and a shower…

Tonight, I ate the same food at dinner as I used after dinner to scrub my body in the shower.

Slightly absurd and utterly intriguing, is it not?

I’ll just tell you: It is.

You see, when I was living in Japan, I learned first in Okinawa about how this food that was regularly a side dish in Japanese meals was also found as the base for certain jiggling and super-foaming soaps – trust me, this was a very odd and confusing conversation for me to be having, especially in Japanese, as the shop workers tried to explain to me how something that sounds like the Japanese pronunciation/version of a drinking alcohol is actually a food, and that this food is what makes the jiggling, funny soap here in front of me.

Suffice it to say, I bought a few of these spectacular soaps, mind partially blown by the soap itself and partially by the whole discovery of its being something I somewhat often ate.

(The next time I use one, I’ll share photos, I’m almost certain – it is really cool!)

Now, this plant is called konjac, and is pronounced just like the alcoholic beverage.

Therefore, in Japanese, they are both pronounced the same way and written in Roman characters the same way: konnyaku.

(The signs had the Japanese written, too, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that I’d seen a foreign word written as though it were a Japanese word [e.g. using hiragana instead of katakana], so I didn’t trust it entirely.)

However, I eventually understood what non Earth it was – sort of, anyway – and suddenly started noticing it more and more around me in life.

Tonight, I cooked some “konnyaku threads”, which look like little knots made of about seven white strings of rubber each, and had them with some other Japanese-esque food I prepared.

Then, for my shower, I happily pulled out for the first time my “Natural Konjac Puff”, a body scrubber similar in size, shape, and texture to a cut loofah… except that it went from the rough and crispy of a loofah to the soft and squishy foamy of a sea sponge, once it was wet and soaped.

Also, when I first opened the package for the puff, I smelled the puff, and it had a very similar smell to my konjac food from shortly beforehand- that rubbery, slightly salty, and weird smell that isn’t exactly bad, but isn’t delightful either…

Totally odd and crazy experience.

P.S. Here is a great page that talks about konjac in mug more detail.

Post-a-day 2019

Nerding into the finish line

Tonight was great.

I turned in the hard copy of my paper (digital copy was earlier today – I just couldn’t get to campus until after work), and then somewhat spontaneously went to dinner with a friend from college (finally, it worked out for both of us).

Dinner was great.

The restaurant we picked, which the friend had picked at random from the two options I gave, was shut down, and so we went to the other option, and the pumpkin red curry special was just what I’d needed and wanted on this cold and windy night.

I ran into an old friend from dance while having dinner, and that was fun.

The friend and I having dinner together talked a lot about boats, because he works with boats and art, and then we finished a crossword puzzle.

It was a nerdy affair, and I definitely loved it – a rather perfect end to the semester for me, really.

Post-a-day 2018