Productive in the storm

I went to 5:15am workout class.

I impressed a coach with my stretchiness (which has been a recent acquirement due to my routined stretching each night the past few months), and then worked really hard, almost to the actual point of hurling… πŸ˜›

Then I went to 6:45am lacrosse practice (morning weightlifting practice + conditioning), and I even helped make the kids do the weightlifting properly and fully.

I felt super knowledgable in the weight room, and thereby discovered that I had never expected in my life for that to be such an easy and comfortable terrain for me – and was through that pleased.

I then helped care for a kid who hurt himself.

Then I taught class at 8am.

Then I hosted a secret meeting with a few students who are now collaborating with me on an awesome project for our class (partly as my goodbye party and present for them all, and partly as something I have wanted to do for years, but for which I have always lacked the desired collaborators).

Then I taught more class.

Then the rain was so bad that more than half of my next class could not come to class, and so they played a bit of ball in the classroom while listening to two French songs, and then we talked French culture and fun facts, before heading outside to observe (from a safe location) the storm and the flooding all over our campus.

We listened to Prince Royce and talked about how I really want them all to come to the dance club I am helping teach for partner dancing, and several totally agreed and with genuine enthusiasm (‘I’ll come… it’s senior year – why not?’).

Then I talked with students, as they waited for class and I ate lunch.

Then we were told that surrounding roads were flooded, and no one could get in or out.

Then I graded a bunch, because no one was allowed to change buildings anymore due to lighting all over the place, and so my last class was canceled.

Then we were told that the roads were clear enough to get in and out, but with caution, and not all of them were…, but we could go ahead and leave on time.

Then I came home, did my necessary laundry, fixed a toilet – a first for me, and a task that truly impressed me – and then visited with a neighbor for an hour or so, and then came back home and found some desired photos to help with the secret project, showered, and, for the third night in a row, listened to music while getting ready for bed (including right now)… (and it is lovely)…

Then I remembered an art opening that was forgotten in the rain…

Now, I write this, and prepare to sleep and do more wonders tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

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And so, color

My mom sent me this link this morning, and, having just watched the video, I am utterly inspired, and not for the first time by him, but more so than ever.

I needed color

Super ❀ to this man and what he has given and continues to give to the world – ΓΌber inspiration for me on the daily

I think I might quote him soon from this video, if not to others, at least to myself…

I want to share my art with the world, but that means I need to go ahead and create it already… πŸ˜›

So, as I have been considering lately, let us go ahead and plan it out into my schedule to have the allotted time for it.

P.S. Some days, we finish work at 11am and ask to skip practice after school, so we can just go home and eat and then go to bed before 5pm… and, occasionally, we have to have a tiny mental breakdown when a huge fly shows up above our bed as we climb into it to read just before going to sleep, and then, as we go to do something about it, the fly flies into us… twice…, and we can’t help but panic and cry and remember the last time something extremely similar happened, and beg the world to have this just be an odd, single fly on its lonesome, while we call Mom on speakerphone to tell her that we are tired and know that and so need to be told what to do…. and, finally, after having hung up a fly paper strip, checked the attic doors (and found nothing [phew!]), and rewashed our hands and hair, relieved, we can finally go to bed, still before 5pm, for some much-needed sleep…. though, hopefully, that it just a one-time thing from today… that would be a sort of dreadful regular thing to have happen…

Post-a-day 2019

β€œThe oven looked awesome and so did I”

I asked him why he took the photo, and he replied honestly,

The oven looked awesome and so did I hahaha πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

He, of course, corrected “oven” to “ocean”, but I knew what he meant.

He was not being conceited, nor was he being rude or nasty or macho or anything else negative… he was sharing truly with me, openly and honestly.

It was a gorgeous photo of a gorgeous swimsuit-donned, tanned, and tattooed man on a spectacular scene of two-toned blue ocean water and a blue sky of yet another blue, and the man was smiling with practically no eyes, so large and true was his grin.

I would have longed to have taken such a photo – I would be proud of it for him…, but I would be terrified of such a photo of myself.

To come across as sexual, even sexy, at times, has been ingrained in my mind to equate wrongness, shame, something terrible for myself and the world.

I have only recently begun to appreciate such images of others, and am working on valuing such an image of myself – in accepting it as appropriate as part of my human expression in this life.

My next step in that process, I feel, is being comfortable with a photo like the one I had discussed with this guy tonight.

As he mentioned in our conversation, the intention behind the photo was to show something beautiful – his father had declared the scene and the son as gorgeous, and so photographed what stood before him (as I gladly would have done)… he was not trying to catch anyone’s eye, or get anything out of it – he was just sharing the wonderful memory and scene with the world (for which I and everyone else I know who has seen the photo has been grateful).

So, I want to create some photos of me that are beautifully gorgeous and that I would want to share with the world for their beauty, and then I want to share them with the world.

Yes…, that is my next step. πŸ˜›

Let’s do this. πŸ™‚

P.S. Our whole conversation began out of a conversation my friend and I had, regarding our shared experiences of body image (though from different backgrounds and for different reasons), after she posted this, which included a somewhat sultry photo of her posing on the beach.

She is still Christian, and more beautiful than ever in her confidence…, and I regularly use her as inspiration in my own life, to help me to challenge my own fears and struggles in life that I have yet to transform.

Post-a-day 2019

Riding the bus with my mother

There are three lots on my block which recently have had their houses demolished.

Two of the lots are nearing the end of construction on their new houses, and the third has, so far, sat empty for a while.

Just about every morning, around 7:30, workers arrive and get to making noise on this, that, or the other part of construction for the two houses.

I have noticed a certain inattention to caution regarding trash and scraps, and so have been quite careful not ever to walk over by either of the houses, as there is an ever-changing blanket of glass, nails, wood pieces, and other sharp objects on the ground by them both.

Today, in an effort to dodge some potholes, my mother drove directly in front of these two houses…

A few hours, a free concert, and almost five hundred dollars later, she had two new rear tires on her car, out of necessity, not desire.

You see, she was picking me up to go to an opera performance, thus her being on my street in the first place.

She had dropped me off to allow me to go use the bathroom and to pick up our tickets at will-call, and gone to park her car, only to discover that the tire pressure, whose warning light had signaled on our way to the performance, was decreasing at an alarming pace, and so needed to be handled immediately.

She told me to leave her ticket at will-call for her, and that she would join me when she could, and then took her car to the one place she found open on a Sunday to handle such issues as her current tire predicament (which, fortunately, was only about a mile away from where we were).

At intermission, she joined me at our seats, her having sat at the back for the first part, due to her having arrived late.

She informed me that she had made it to the performance by asking a woman to drop her off, since it was only about a mile away from where she had had to bring her car.

We laughed at the slight absurdity of it all, and discussed how to get back to the car after the performance ended.

Yes, it was close, but the place would close only half an hour after the performance ended, and my mom wasn’t in running shoes (nor was I).

So, I offered the idea of my spare bus card.

At first, she aimed to find someone we knew after the performance ended, so as to ask for a ride.

Then, she considered Uber (but I was opposed for the cost of it, and the fact that my account isn’t set up properly anymore for here [remember how I lived in Japan]), before reconsidering just asking someone else from the performance whom we didn’t know.

We were running short on time, and I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help, when I had means to handle the situation myself – I’m always rather like that… if I can do it myself, even if it is more difficult, I typically still will handle it myself, so that I only ask for help when I truly need it.

So, I looked up the bus route options, and started walking to the bus stop, which was enough encouragement for my mom to give up her idea and go with mine.

I knew her main opposition was simply the same as most people’s in Houston – most people do not use the busses here, unless they financially have no other means of getting around, making the bulk of bus patronage poor laborers, cleaners, minimum wage people in rough situations, and homeless people…, and that can be an uncomfortable, and almost dangerous-feeling experience for those who do not belong to those groups of individuals…, and it can somewhat easily create a feeling of being somewhere dirty, at times…, so no one wants to ride the busses in Houston…, not really, anyway.

I, myself, struggle with it, despite the fact that I use the busses here… I want to promote public transit as much as possible, but I also prefer feeling safe and clean than the opposite, you know?

Nonetheless, it was our most logical option today (in my head, anyway), so we went for the bus.

Another lady coming from a similar downtown performance also joined us in waiting for the bus, and it was quite cool to me to see another ‘normal’ person, so to speak, taking the bus.

My mom, while waiting, mentioned how she had never ridden the bus here, and that she was a bit excited for it.

I smiled and was glad, and told her how it all worked, and that it was mostly just like any other public transit she had ridden elsewhere (except in Vienna, which has one of the best public transit systems ever, and in all aspects of it).

While riding, she asked about how to signal for our stop, and I explained her two options, however, another woman clicked for our stop first.

I told my mom that she could push the tape anyway, just to have the experience and to know what it’s like, pushing the tape on our busses, and she replied coolly and smiling, “I’m touching enough.”

We had seen a whole range of riders come aboard, including all of the stereotypes, smells and all, but also a few other ‘normal’-esque individuals.

Nonetheless, I understood entirely why she had no interest in touching anything more than was necessary at this point.

When we exited the bus, I rushed off in one direction on my predetermined path to the car place, while covering my gaze to the right hand side, and ignoring my mom’s questioning as to why I was going that particular direction, knowing that she would follow me because of my quick pace.

When we were walking into the driveway of the car place, I slowed and dropped my hand, turning toward my mom and informing her of how I had been avoiding any sort of interaction with the man who had been urinating in the trash can that was next to the bus stop.

No, I had not been certain of that being his task, but it looked to be enough so, and I had no interest in discovering anything further on the matter, and so I blocked it from my view, and headed off with the intention of getting away as soon as was possible.

It is funny to me a bit – perhaps ironic – that my mom has told me so much since I’ve moved back to Houston (from Japan) that I need to be careful here, and that it is not like Japan, and yet she does not herself seem to understand how to be careful when in Houston.

She asked why I hadn’t gone the other way around the block, and I, at first, didn’t understand why she was asking – was it not obvious?

And, of course, it wasn’t obvious, I realized… she had no idea the type of hangout that the area was, nor that more people tended to hang out over by that underpass all along its length, and that it was a better idea for us to avoid it altogether, always.

So, while being a bit nervous at my mother’s lack of understanding as to how to be safe in Downtown Houston, I also was consoled in my own ability to be safe here – without realizing it, I had developed my own appropriate way to keep myself safe here in Houston – that’s part of why I tend not to go out at night.

I typically ride my bicycle or scooter, or even take the bus or walk for getting around anywhere near me, and none of those is a very good idea at night…., so I usually just don’t go.

I had begun to think it was merely because of my anti-social emotional side lately, and my dislike for drunk people, but this had me recall that it is more than just an aversion for stupid people that keeps me in most nights. πŸ˜›

Anyway, my mom picked up her car and was bummed about having to spend the money, as was I, but we were grateful for the bit of time we had been able to spend letting my mom experience a Houston Metro bus, and that, at the very least, the concert itself had been free.

But this did remind me of that time we drove way up north to a special spring to get some free, natural spring sulfurous water straight from the source – the city had it posted that anyone could come have water from it, so long as the sun is up – and then drive back home an hour and a half, during which time my mom commented, “Well, that was the most expensive free water I’ve ever gotten,” referring to the gasoline cost and the tolls crossed for the journey. πŸ˜›

It’s been a bit of a joke of ours ever since then.

And so, today’s performance, one could say, was the most expensive free concert we’ve ever attended. πŸ˜›

(Actually, my mom did say that… haha… I’d forgotten that it wasn’t just something I’d thought, but that seems actually said aloud. πŸ˜‚)

Post-a-day 2019

Beware, dearest reader

Is it empathy that connects me so strongly to the books I read?…. that has me suffer when Ender and Valentine suffer, be on edge and in a near-constant state of jumpy panic while reading about Katniss, and be giddy with delight while I read yet again Elizabeth’s interactions with Darcy?

If it is, I feel a sense of needing to take care to pay attention in life right now, as I have just begun reading Anna Karenina (in English, of course), and, based on what I saw in the film, it is not a state of mind I want to share for long, Anna’s (nor is Vronsky’s, for that matter), and I am almost concerned that I will find myself siding with her along the way, which, somehow, makes me nervous.

Although, on the other hand, perhaps it is a perspective I need to learn, not for direct use but for helpful application of knowledge and ‘experience’ for those in need of guidance… hmm…

Anyway, I’m totally loving the book so far – the mood alone is quite delightful, but so are the grammar and descriptions and comments and the story as a whole so far(!).

Post-a-day 2019

The past in the present

I recently came across this bit of journal-esque writing I did several years ago, and, since I found myself reading almost addictively, and I happened also to find it a bit hilarious to see how young I came across – which makes me wonder if I actually sound much older now, six years later – I figured it would be fun to share here, to see now how I wrote in the past… the past at present, so to speak. πŸ˜›

Therefore, happy reading. πŸ™‚

……….

Mon 4 March, 2013

Today I am sitting on the couch. That is not to say or to suggest that this, sitting on the couch, is such an out of the ordinary activity – though it has been the case that for the previous seven months leading up to this week have left me without a couch on which I even could set myself. It is simply to state that today, I am sitting on the couch. I am not really doingmuch of anything else. Unless of course you would like to believe that breathing, watching a film, listening to music, eating food, digesting, drinking drink, and the occasional conversing with one’s stepfather are considered “doing something”. In that case, I’m doing quite a lot today, and am being very productive. However, in my head at least, that is not the case, and I am not up to much today. I am simply sitting on the sofa (Oh, look: I’ve used the word “sofa” this time. Such creativity is at work in me today!). I think it’s because I’m avoiding doing anything else. Perhaps I would feel guilty if I put my efforts to something else other than that which my mother wishes for me to do…. or, for that matter, other than what my father and stepfather wish me to do. That is organize out things in the house and get a job that pays well. They would likely say that they just want me to get a job, almost any job. Just a job that pays is their goal. However, if I were to get a job that pays, but the job is not very fancy and does not pay very much, they would very much be dissatisfied. For example, if I began work with the trash pick-up in the neighborhood, they would not be so proud as to say they were glad for the job. They would see it as an as-short-as-possible-term job for me, waiting for me to get ‘a real job’. What if I profess myself as a long-term devotee to trash pick-up, and that I see it as the first step in making a change in the world? That I must absolutely do this job so that I can understand people better in order to change their way of thinking. That by starting at the base, by discovering what they see to be trash, I can then begin to alter what they see as valuable. What if I do that? Well, I don’t know, but it ultimately does not matter, because I know that is not what I am going to do. Although there might be some value to that idea. I seem to be good at that: pulling some jargon out of nowhere in attempt to prove some point that I don’t fully believe, and then find myself with a quite amazingly powerful argument. I guess it’s one of the talents God has given me. I think it came out of my mental expansion, or whatever one would like to call it. I’ve spent a good deal of time – though time is completely relative, and I have only been physically around in this body for a short time in comparison to the world and, of course, to other people who have been around for “ages,” as women in their forties and fifties and sometimes even thirties an dupper twenties like to say. As I was saying, I’ve spent a good deal of time studying people, and a bit their cultures. I even did it semi-officially for a while in high school and college. More in college than in high school, though I think that fact is somewhat irrelevant. Anywho – that’s a word I’ve come to enjoy in my lifetime, though I’m not actually sure it’s technically a word. But what do technicalities matter anyway when we’re dealing with full self-expression? Anywho, I’ve studied people throughout my life by simple observation and conversation. And interaction, of course. I have spent my whole life sitting on the sidelines, just watching people pass by, taking notes in my little notebook full of comments of opinion about the world around me, completely missing my own participation in it. No, no. I have been quite the participant in life. I just have paid attention while doing so.

My clock on this computer shows that it is currently 20.29. It is somewhere that proclaimed time (speaking of proclaimed time, my computer will tell me in just a moment that it is 20.30). However, that is not technically the time here (oh, look: a technicality). The time here is actually, well now, 13.30. I mentioned that I hadn’t had the availability of a sofa for the previous seven months. That is true. I was living in Wien in a shared room, with two closets, two beds, two desks, two night stands, and a set of shelves comprising the furnishings, and a slightly musky odor filling the air-tight room when my co-habiter was around. Now, the point of sharing this just now is unknown to me. However, I will use the opportunity to make a connection to my studies of people. I was in Wien to learn German. So I said and thought, anyway. I learned much about the peoples living there, as well as much about myself. I also very much developed myself, and was, for the first time in my life, able to proclaim honestly and whole-heartedly that I was exactly the person I wanted to be. Rather, that I was being the person I wanted to be. I still am that person. And that’s great, actually. The trouble comes in, however, at the point where I’m not entirely sure what to do with that person, now. So I’ve done my cultural study in Wien, I’ve learned a good deal of German, I’ve met and visited the family of mine who lives in Germany (and has for hundreds of years), and I have returned to Houston, Texas, where I technically lived before embarking on this last European adventure. I did want to avoid returning, and even began to set up things so that I could succeed in avoiding the return. At least for a while. But the fact that I am here right now shows that I did not do that. I said to myself that to avoid something means to leave something incomplete in your life. After I said that, I realized that I needed to return to Houston. I didn’t actually need to see or talk to any specific people in Houston. I just needed to return to Houston. Because by not returning to Houston, by avoiding the return, I was avoiding what came with the return. And that’s the next step of my life. I’ve always had something sturdy on which I could rely for my immediate and somewhat near future. Until now. And by not returning to Houston, I could avoid dealing with that, with my lack of suredness, with my fear. I would be hiding a fear inside of me. And hiding things really just doesn’t work. No matter how much we try to do it, we cannot succeed in keeping something hidden. Not completely. We ultimately reveal all that is hidden within us, wheter verbally or not. I think it is part of our nature as humans. We’re just plain blabber mouths with everything. If our mouths don’t give it away, our emotions and reactions most certainly do.

A friend once sent me something that said “Only trust people who like big butts. They can not lie.” It still makes me smile, although that friend seems to be in a dissapeared mode right now. He’ll come around. Hopefully it will be before he dies. That would be quite a disappointment for me, and even for others, as he has a lot of potential to make an amazingly large difference for a great number of people in this world, as well as for the natural side of this world. His impact will likely still be large if he doesn’t alter his current way of being, though it will be quite limited and likely very disappointing in comparison to the one he could make with a simple reappearing act. We’ll see. Well, someone will see, at least. I don’t know that you and I will see the future of his situation, or even that I will see it.

So, I said I was not doing much today. I changed my mind. After watching that movie, I was inspired. I still am inspired, and by that film. I changed my footwear and went outside to play some volleyball and to pursue my desire to learn to skateboard. I think we can pursue all of our desired activities, though there is only one time in our lives where we will actually succeed with them. I tried playing guitar several times as I was younger, but never went past a few chords in the best attempt to become a guitar player. In the last year, I have actually taken my own steps, extra steps, to learn to play the guitar. I don’t play much, but I learn to play songs that I like, and I oftentimes become a great deal of ease and release when I play, rather than the struggle that comes to a beginner of a foreign task, as it once was for me. After years of attempts at guitar-playing and even more occasions of stopping the attempt, I finally can play guitar. I’m not amazing like different performers or people who play ‘just for fun’, but I can play and I enjoy playing, and that’s always been the point of my learning to play guitar. The point of this: I’ve finally fulfilled this desire that I’ve attempted several times in my life to fulfill. And the point of that point: We won’t reach certain things until the time is right. The time was finally right for me to learn to play guitar, so it actually worked for me this time – my head was in the right place at long last. This skateboarding thing is similar. I’ve wanted to skateboard as far back as I remember my brothers starting to skateboard. Every attempt has left me unsuccessful, still scared, and oftentimes hurt. I’ve thought for months on this, though, and I think my hesitation, cause by my fear, has been a major factor in my getting hurt. Today, I was not only putting myself out there confidently on the skateboard, but I was almost not even present to a fear. Once I let go of my hesitation, and look at the logistics of the activity (that it required that one just keep balance and GO), it becomes something completely different. It becomes somethign do-able. Yes, it takes practice. But I am capable of it. I find that really cool. Uh-oh. That last sentence might be giving away my age (as though my writing in general in no way does that already). Okay, as I sit here typing, taking the occasional sip from this bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha juice, … I don’t actually have an end to that sentence. I just wanted to say what I was drinking, I think. My aunt is actually making her own Kombucha juice right now. My cousin, her son, apparently taught her how to do it. I believe it takes several days, if not weeks, to make the juice. It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. It tastes like it’s been sitting somewhere for weeks before it was bottled and kept in a cooler. It always does, Kombucha juice.

Let’s go back to the part about my age. I was reading a book recently where it was mentioned that adults, grown up people, are nearly obsessed with numbers. Numbers like how old one is or how long one has done something or how far away one is from something or what time one will arrive or how much something costs and the likes. That wasn’t exactly what the book said. It’s what I’ve specifically noticed as being significant to adults since my reading that. I’ve also noticed how I tend to do that. I’ve been working on stopping that. It’s been gonig quite successfully, actually. I do it less and less, and I notice almost every time when I am considering asking a number question, and I opt often not to ask it, as I see the lack of any importance in hearing the answer to the question, thus losing my point of asking the question. But to apphease the adult in me as well as the adult in you, I shall give you at least a few numbers. Seven, twenty-two, three and a half, a few thousand, and eleven hundred.

Okay, elaboration. I’ve just returned from seven months abroad, becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. Just a few days ago, I became officially twenty-two years old. I completed college in three and a half years. I currently have a few thousand dollars of school loans to repay (I think). And I expect that finding a job that gives me at least eleven hundred dollars a month will be enough for me to live sucessfully on my own for a while until I find something else to do with myself. Oh, and my name means “Grace” in its language of origin. To me it just means “me”, though that’s sometimes scary, as in the times when someone says it with annoyance or frustration, suggesting I’ve done something upsetting and now have to work hard to make things good again. I think to most people, it’s just a name, though. Hannah is it. Hannah banana to certain individuals. I enjoy when people call me Hannah banana. Probably because it shows a specific enhanced degree of love when they say it, when they decide or choose to use it.

Well, I’m going to go back outdoors. I’ve had a good break here writing. Now I’m to continue my goals of improving my volleyball (re-enhancing it, actually, after several years of not playing almost at all) and skateboarding performances. I’ll write again, and likely soon. I guess my sitting on the couch today has altered. Perhaps it’s like addiction problems and other problems. Admitting that one has a problem is the first step to solving the problem. My problem was sitting the day long on the couch. I feel it to be utterly too underproductive for my capabilities. So, once I admitted that fully, I was able to rid myself of the problem. Cool.

13 MΓ€rz 2013

Heute haben wir einen neuen Papst. Francisco. Er ist ein Jesuiten. Sehr cool.

—–

I’ve decided I want to write a book. Not a book like everyone else. But a book in present tense. Yes, in present tense the whole way through. I tell a story with the book, but it hasn’t actually happened until the reader reads it. So to speak. πŸ™‚ Well, that’s my idea, anyway.

………..

P.S. The programming is likely to destroy my double spaces after periods, so, please, kindly ignore that change, and assume the appropriate spacing after each period… yes, I’ve shared all about my opinion on the spacing here… ugh!

Post-a-day 2019

We Are People First

Sometimes, it is important just to remember that, as my stepfather has always said, we are people first.

Above everything else and before everything else, we are all people.

Whenever I forget this fact, I get stuck in my head, I grow nervous, and I even panic at times… I become afraid of not being wanted or loved, and define any form of rejection as a direct statement of my un-lovability (which, I know, is false, but which still manages to put in a word here and there in my mind, and will share as often as I’ll let it).

But, when I remember that we are all just people, I remember that it is okay to talk to one another, to say what I want to say… I can offer my help, I can ask questions, I can be interested in the lives of others and in being a part of them… I can do all of this, and, even when I am rejected, I can be bummed briefly, before accepting that it’s really okay – this particular situation just wasn’t meant to go the way I had hoped it would go, and, now, something even better is somewhere on the way.

πŸ™‚

This weekend, I was rejected.

And it was okay.

Today, however, I was not rejected, but rather accepted.

I believe letting go of my fear and just talking allowed for me to be at ease and for things to flow comfortably.

Yeah…, it went well. πŸ™‚

And, through it all – this weekend and today – I remained true to myself, which, next to being open with one another, is the most important part of it all.

Yeah πŸ™‚

So, yay, me!

Haha πŸ˜›

P.S. The potential drama referenced yesterday is still not handled – though, God did give me a bit of a funny, ironic moment in the middle of it all, which, somehow, helped immensely… I’m still very unsure about things with it, but I’m trusting God to help me do what is best for us all.

Post-a-day 2019