Music tonight

I pulled out my guitar tonight and played.

I had thought that it had been maybe a month or so since I last played, and then another couple weeks or few since I had been playing regularly.

However…, I did some calculations and checking (mainly here), and discovered that I have played my guitar a maximum of a handful of times since September, the most recent one being in December…

It’s mid-March right now.

That means that I was absurdly off on my passive calculations, and it has actually been almost half a year since I played guitar regularly, and only a max of five occasions in there – though, probably more like three – have found me playing it for, say, ten minutes.

Granted, I have played a bit of ukulele since then, but that has been rather sparse, too… and my last regular playing of ukulele on the daily was actually a year ago.

I did a while of playing/making music every day for myself, no matter what, back in early Fall, but I somehow stopped…, which I usually don’t do, when I come up with something like that… (I’m thinking I reached my goal of 40 days, or else I hit moving and the absurdity that was involved with that, and so I didn’t have any instruments with me for a while, and was too distracted and exhausted by everything else either to notice or to bother with it, if I did notice.)

Part of it is as I have known for years: If I don’t have the guitar out (e.g. on a stand, from which I need only to pick up the waiting guitar in order to play it), I end up rarely playing, with the reverse being true, also – if the guitar is out, I will play it often.

Another part of it is that I miss my other guitars, and somehow feel something like being unfair to them, or like I have abandoned them, and therefore am cautious about spending too much time and energy with the Japan guitar I have with me.

Granted, the idea is totally absurd… however, that in no way changes the fact that I am experiencing it.

So, I sent a message a bit ago to the person who took temporary charge of my guitars when I moved to Japan.

He lives here in Houston, but is gone during the school year, so I might have to wait for summer… hopefully, though, his spring break will be the same as mine, and we’ll get to have coffee and then go pick up my guitars from his home, to take them to my new home.

And maybe I’ll get to pet his family cat then, too.

(On a related note, I have been missing my cat all evening, yet also totally not missing having a cat – I love animals; I just don’t want to live with any right now. I mean, let’s be real, I think this raccoon is enough for the time being.) ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway… I played parts of two Shake Russell songs tonight, and they both were awesome.

The guitar totally needs new strings, but that is for another day’s/night’s tasks – for now, it has done its job of getting me strumming around and creating music again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m hoping that, while with family tomorrow, my uncle will play some Shake Russell songs with me, since we often all end up doing music stuff, anyway, when together, and our families (my mom’s and her sister’s) love Shake Russell music.

Okay, I’m stopping now, before I continue on to talk about how I love Shake Russell’s concerts, where here are only sixty-ish people, and how that’s my kind of concert, and how Japan was like that at times, too, and now I’m suddenly super sentimental, and tears this and tears that, another hour has passed, and I’m still not asleep in bed. ๐Ÿ˜›

Therefore, I bid you wonderful nights and days and mornings and evenings and everything in between. โค

Peace

Hannah

P.S. (Aha!) I’ve remembered: I stopped the daily music because it was something I was aiming to do daily, but not something I’d committed to doing daily… it is a small distinction between the two, but it is important to note – life got busy, and I opted for sleep over music… :/ …, but I didn’t break my word on anything there. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Phew!)

Post-a-day 2019

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This weather

It is cold – it is cold – it is cold – it is cold….

No, no… I feel warm, I feel warm, I feel warm.

……..

Relevant tonight, with or near/freezing weather, but also a rough version of the miniature conversation that would happen between a friend and me all the time in Fall, Winter, and Spring while I lived in Japan. ๐Ÿ˜›

It regularly was so cold, that we just had to tell ourselves that we were warm, in hopes of it helping somehow – brain psychology and all that jazz, you know.

At the very least, however, it made us laugh just about every time, and that was definitely good. ๐Ÿ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Accomplishments

Today, I socialized while getting myself some of the good Japanese culture, and even a bit of the language, too.

I made this:

The fancy and “real” one is the white paperboard one, but I messed it up, so I much prefer my practice one on the newspaper (that’s why I put the hanko [stamp] on it, too).

It is the Japanese writing for Anshin, which means ‘peace of mind; freedom from care; relief.’

We did it as an activity called kakizome ๆ›ธใๅˆใ‚, which is the first kanji one writes in the new year, and it is an intention and wish one makes for the year.

I selected ๅฎ‰ๅฟƒ, because that is what I want in abundance in my life this year (I almost considered ใ‚ขใƒƒใƒˆใƒ›ใ‚ฆใƒ , which is not kanji, but is spelling out a word, and, in this case, spelling out the two foreign words “at home”, because I couldn’t find anything that seemed quite right for what I longed for in my life this year…, but then I found ๅฎ‰ๅฟƒ).

ๅฎ‰ๅฟƒ was perfect, as soon as someone wrote it down for me… we had discussed the meaning, which I really liked, but it was when I saw it that I loved it.

I don’t remember what the very top part is, but the whole thing includes the word for woman and the word for heart – those two kanji, combined with the meaning?… done deal – let’s do this. ๐Ÿ˜›

And, so, we did. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post-a-day 2019 (The last year of Emperor Heisei, Heisei 31 ๅนณๆˆไธ‰ๅไธ€ )

True to your heart

You know that feeling of being in just the right place, doing just the right thing for yourself and your life?

Today, surrounded off and on by Japanese people who live and work in Texas (mostly as language teachers) and a few non-geeky-but-maybe-a-tad-dorky-about-Japan US Americans, I found myself in just that feeling…

And it was delicious, and perfectly timed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

The skies

In Houston, we have clouds that hang low, low in the skies, appearing to be mountains in the distance.

In Loma Linda, they have real mountains… and I love it.

However, it keeps making me feel like I’m in Japan and am suddenly on the wrong side of the road, and the wrong side of the car, and I need to fix it immediately… (because that’s the only place I’ve ever had real mountains)

Post-a-day 2019

Milk-buying debacle

I was thinking the other night about buying milk in Japan.

It wasn’t an easy task initially – I looked up the right words to find and everything, because nothing was super obviously milk in the store, and because I had been told that there were various types of cow milk sold in Japan.

And so, having looked up my info, I went to the grocer with my words to recognize real ‘milk’, and I was confident in my chances of finding milk.

You see, I thought this one section was the milk.

And I was right… mostly… it was the milk section.

But it was also the section for many other beverages of various similarities and differences to and from milk.

I don’t drink milk, you see, so I had always just bought the almond milk, which was easy for me to figure out.

But, when I was making pralines as a gift for my weekend host family, I needed milk, so I went and bought one that was ‘100% natural’ (or something much like that), because that was what I had learned as the differentiating factor in the weird milks versus the good/real milks).

The pralines were good, but a little sweeter, thinner than I’d expected – it was my first time making them myself, though, so it was easily a possibility that they were just always like that for the recipe I was using.

A week or so (or less) later, a friend was over, and I offered her the carton of the remaining milk (which was kind of a lot), and she accepted (remember that I don’t drink milk).

Somehow, it comes out – I think she might have poured herself some milk or sniffed it and then poured it to check or something – that the milk is really off… the color is totally wrong, and it is definitely not milk.

(Actually, I think it was more than a week later, and so we’d figured the milk was bad, and she was pouring it out in the sink… or maybe that wasn’t how it happened… I’ll have to check to see if she remembers…)

Turns out, it is juice – 100% natural juice suddenly makes much more sense to me than ‘100% natural’ milk – and it makes perfect sense about the pralines having been a little off.

I was actually surprised the pralines were any good at all, let alone quite delicious, seeing as how I had filled them with some juice mixture instead of milk!

We had a good laugh over our sudden discovery.

I was sure, therefore, to look up the specifics of milk cartons when I was making pralines a second time, this time for a goodbye present for all my local friends and my coworkers.

Fortunately, it worked out properly this time around, and the pralines were even more delicious, and they totally blew people’s minds (because pralines are definitely not a thing in Japan).

Post-a-day 2018