Oink, oink!

I did lots of things today, but I dare say that the best part of today was meeting Mr. Snorty, a rockstar pet to someone I know.

He welcomed me into his home quite happily and easily, and proceeded to snort at me jollily, while sniffing and rubbing against me constantly…

I’ve never met anyone like Mr. Snorty before, but he certainly reminds me of a cross between a cat, a dog, and a barrel. πŸ˜›

I know. πŸ˜‚

Mr. Snorty:

Post-a-day 2019

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Today’s Gloss

What to say, what to say…..

What did you do today?

I worked out super earlier, then slept in late, then walked around this fancy posh place.

I hung here with my mom, and then my aunt and grandma, too.

And we had fancy dinner, and we laughed so hard over our food.

Then we lounged in our connected rooms, and gabbed and chatted some more.

And now we’re all to bed*, and I’m grateful no one snores.

Such a good day.

Oh, and I had a reunion chat with the kid who tried flirting with me on my first day as his French teacher (and my first official day as a full-time teacher), because he thought I was just a new student… he works here… he’s gorgeous and all grown up now… and it was still hilarious. πŸ˜›

*We each have our own queen sized bed tonight… super posh and fancy, are we not?

P.S. We are here because I am a professional photographer, and because I am making wonderful connections and am doing photos that make the right people happy and delighted and grateful… how lovely it is to treat my family to such posh-ness as we never have together… truly lovely… Thank you, God

Post-a-day 2019

A bedtime prayer

Dearest Sleep,

Engulf me, please,

For the next eight or nine hours,

So that I might awake

Refreshed and ready to go,

Ready to take on the world

And to use my unique talents and me-ness

To serve the world

By being myself

Fully,

For the greater glory of God,

I offer this prayer and this intention.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2019

Adulting

I shared with a couple adults tonight about my current endeavors, and especially how grad school is for my back-up plan and that photography is my number one plan… and they trusted it and supported it.

It was my brothers’ dad and stepmom, so they’re kind of like slightly distanced close family… like aunt and uncle distance, in a sense… so they care about me and know me rather well.

And, tonight, that was very clear to me (though I already knew it).

They asked questions first to understand the plan and financial logic, and then to understand the artistry and passion of it all.

They accepted my logic and my back-up plan with only a handful or two of questions (at which point their concerns were relieved), and then they genuinely asked about and listened to my responses regarding what I am doing with photography, artistically speaking.

They understood it.

I showed them some photos, and they had funny comments and then also genuine comments of understanding my perspective and approach to photography…

And it felt so…. freeing, I guess…

People whom I’ve always seen as ‘the adults’ in my life haven’t exactly been supportive of my current efforts, some even openly opposed and contradictory to just about everything I believe regarding work and lifestyle, and others not being opposed but not being supportive either… just somewhat passively accepting that I’m up to something or other and taking care of myself.

So it was truly refreshing – yes, that’s the word, refreshing…. aaahh – to have them respond in such a way, especially considering that they are both very practical individuals, especially financially speaking.

Yeah, tonight was really awesome… and they wanted me to show and tell them even more… and even asked if it were possible to make them look “good” in some photos (as opposed to just tolerable or old), and offered to be subjects for me, if I were interested, which I was and am… and they even offered up the idea that my doing photos would happen in exchange for a fee, which I informed them was unnecessary, because they would be doing me a service by letting me use them as low-risk subjects for practice, anyway.

I mean…, I think that none of my family has done that or even mentioned the idea of doing that with/for me…

Tonight was just a great experience, and filled with love – I adulted really well, confident in my current endeavors and in sharing them with others, and it was all fully accepted and embraced by those others.

Thank you, God and all Creation for the love that has empowered and engulfed me tonight.

May I share it with the world around me tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Sat Naam.

Post-a-day 2019

Trustworthiness

I think it is important that we either always remain alert or always remain fully willing and able to become acutely alert at any moment in life.

Sometimes, situations are perfectly fine and safe to a point, and then w ended to be alert and wary – “Proceed with caution,” our mind must tell us.

But how often are we unwilling to become alert in a situation?

If things have been fine for so long, do we become somewhat ‘immune’ to any concern that may arise, due to the fact that nothing bad has happened so far?

Do we forget that anything can change, despite something’s having been the same for as long as we can remember?

I think this is a common situation that females can run into in relationships with males… he has been reliable and totally safe so far, so long as I have known him…, and so I miss seeing those spots where he suddenly is pushing limits, and I don’t notice things fully until something really big has happened in a way I had never hoped for things to happen… possibly something very bad… Do we give the benefit of the doubt for too long sometimes?… Do we feel guilty for turning our senses on full alert, and so force ourselves to ignore them, convince ourselves that the warning bells aren’t really there, but are just in our minds?

I think it ultimately is important for us, if not to be always on alert, always to be willing to be on full alert, and in any situation.

And I don’t mean merely females, here – I mean all people.

Do you know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

German Rank

By the time I arrived in Germany for my summer of German language courses as a precursor to my Fall/Winter study abroad semester, I had done the whole foreign language study and foreign language immersion thing a couple of times already – I knew what I was getting into and how I wanted to go about it.

True fluency was my goal, and I knew how to manage that.

The day I arrived, however, my German was absurdly limited and rather laughable…. I could hardly ask questions, let alone understand the answers (more on that some other time).

And so, by the time I was visiting with the others in my program’s group (they had also arrived that day), and had met the head of my program, everyone had been socially established in terms of their levels of German ability.

One girl was ‘the head’ of the group, so to speak, another was ‘the absolute beginner’, and the other few were sprinkled in between them… I openly declared my poor abilities that had been used throughout the day, only somewhat successfully, and expressed concern of not placing high enough to receive credit for the German courses back at my college (you had to be at least in the second level for the courses to count, and I was worried that I might be ending up in the beginner, first level, based in the day’s events).

In other words, I was ranked ever so slightly above the absolute beginner girl, and just barely below the girl who’d studied for a few semesters already (two years, I think, actually).

However, I wasted no time in immersing myself with the German-speaking head of our program, and got help from her immediately for the things I knew I would need and want to say starting the next day, when I would be interacting with all the people at the school and taking a placement test and starting classes… again, I had done the foreign language thing before, and I was knowledgeable about how to function on minimal vocabulary and grammar – I could make anything work, so long as I had a certain set of vocabulary ahead of time.

And so, to my delight the next morning, what I had prepared myself to be able to share with others about my absurd travels getting to that small town in Germany, ended up being the essay question on the placement test!

Therefore, to my pleasure and total surprise, I was placed in none of the beginner level courses, but in the first of two intermediate courses!

Since I had arrived late the day before (again with the telling another time), I had missed the regular times for the placement tests, and everyone who had taken them then was already in the first day of classes while I took my own placement test (along with a few other people who weren’t in my program, but who were also studying at the language school that month).

Therefore, when I walked into my intermediate level class – this was after multiple verifications that they were sure they were putting me into the correct class – and I found ‘the head’ of our group sitting at one of the tables, there was a brief moment of shock for the both of us, as I blew apart the ranking of our whole group by jumping rank so obscenely (I use obscene, because it rather was obscene, in a sense).

She was not happy, to say the least.

Two weeks later, when I already matched and, in some areas, had surpassed her German capabilities, I had voluntarily removed myself from the ranking altogether.

Rather than be a part of the group so much, I had become ‘the outside associated’, someone who isn’t truly a part of the group, but who comes to visit and gets along well with everyone whenever she does.

I never spoke English after that first day, not once… and that was enough to set me away from the group hierarchy.

(Okay, I did speak English once… this British guy seemed like he was about to cry one day, while begging me to speak English, because he so desperately wanted to hear how I sounded in English, since he had known me for weeks but had heard none…, but that was genuinely the only time I did it while there.)*

And it was wonderful.

In the second month, we had a similar situation happen with the new group arriving and joining our ranks… everyone was re-ranked, with me still as an outside associate for the first round of people, but ranked in a real place by the new folks (just above ‘the head’ from the first month)…

For that month, I was ranked below a new ‘head’… however, a month or so later, when we had all moved to Vienna, Austria, I was fully removed from the ranking system by all the new people, too… I had real friends who were native German-speakers, and certain parts of my German were better than anyone else (not all parts, though, because five years does teach one a lot, so the new ‘head’ definitely had some knowledge on German that I never really intended to have)… and I still used no English.

However, I eventually started throwing in the occasional bit of English just so they wouldn’t hate me so much – speaking only German had kind of pushed me way off the ranks… almost no association at all anymore…, but I got rather pushed back out by some when they discovered my many friendships with non-foreigners….

So, yeah… essentially, I ended up a distanced associate, and that actually was really great for me… I was there to learn German and learn German-speaking culture, not American anything (which was mostly all that my group had to offer), so I did just that: I learned German and German-speaking culture by being a part of it.

And it was awesome.

And I still found the hierarchy of our group to be hilarious, especially when I blew a hole in parts of it again and again. πŸ˜›

That was rather fun, actually.

I wonder how I would have felt had I been a regular member of the hierarchy, and not the super-gifted member that I was… hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

*Something tells me that I might have used the occasional translation with the outright beginner girl for the first few weeks while she got her bearings, but we kept that rather hush-hush and between ourselves, so no one really heard or knew about my occasional English words to her.

Karate

Whenever I do this teeth whitening thing, I have to keep his little blue-light mouthpiece in my mouth, gripped between my teeth, for five minutes.

Afterward, I spit out the excess gel in my mouth and I wash off the mouthpiece.

Whenever I’m in the cleanup stage, I’m always adjusting my jaw, stretching its muscles, and feeling around my teeth a bit with my tongue.

As I do this, I find myself remembering strongly my days of American karate in my youth.

For sparring, we had to have a rubber mouth guard to protect our teeth… I remember how, every time I got a new mouth guard, my mom and I would be in the kitchen, trimming edges, boiling the rubber, and mashing my teeth into it to make it mold perfectly to my bite and teeth.

It was always so exciting to me, for some reason I cannot yet understand… perhaps it was the specialness of the whole process, like we were doing a whole (and real) science lab experiment, tongs and boiling water and all… and it was for me… so it was something unique and special and process-filled, specifically being done for me…

Perhaps that was a large part of it…

Whatever the case, I always enjoyed it, forming my mouth guards.

Especially the bit of biting down on my mouth guard, squeezing my teeth tightly, and wedging them each into the rubber, claiming specific territory to be forever theirs in that particular mouth guard…

Whenever we did spar, and I got to wear my mouth guard, I rather enjoyed sucking and chewing slightly on my mouth guard, tasting the rubber, feeling the tiny rebound it provided when I clenched my jaw and released, hearing the squishy sounds of saliva being pushed around and in and out of the mouth guard’s coverage area as I clicked my teeth (with the rubber between them, of course) together several times in quick succession… and then tasting again, as I held my jaw snug and sucked everything out of the mouth guard.

It all seems odd to me now, considering it and sharing it, but also still quite familiar… I don’t see myself doing half these same things nowadays, yet I remember them fondly nonetheless.

And, every time I whiten my teeth, I am filled with a few drops of that excitement and delight brought it me for years by karate…, making it a unique and somewhat special experience so far as teeth whitening goes. πŸ˜›

P.S. I love finding words that I’ve known for years, but whose language of origin I didn’t initially speak, but now speak, and, therefore, as I cross the word anew, I suddenly see it from the eyes of this language I now speak, instead of as a foreign word with meaning I must struggle to remember… karate is one of those words… from my American eyes and ears and mind, it is pronounced the American way and means merely a form of martial arts… from my Japanese eyes et cetera, it is pronounced with a Japanese pronunciation, it means 空手 (からて), which literally means “empty hand”, and it is a form of martial arts… and, somehow, the two are simultaneously the same thing and two totally different ones… so it goes… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019