To write love on her arms

Well, it isn’t on my arms, but it is on my hand!

I hadn’t exactly intended to put the words on my hands when I started out, but they somehow happened anyway… I still find it an odd place to place them, but it does well to remind me constantly, because I always see the palms of my hands… which I’m not sure I knew before this week, and my constantly seeing the words on my palms.

People always use the phrase of knowing someone/something “like the back of my hand,” but I never understood it fully, because I don’t know the backs of my hands very well.

But I do know my palms, it turns out… I see them all the time. 😛

Also, this: The San Jacinto Monument, marking the location of the Battle of San Jacinto, which gave Texas its independence from Mexico in 1836.

Post-a-day 2020

Bedtime, and yet

It is bedtime (and has been for hours), and yet here I sit on the floor, being silly with my phone.

To be fair, I am not wasting away myself or my mental capacity – quite the opposite.

I have been practicing and studying Italian.

I’m one of the people on this planet who genuinely aim to use the genius cell phone technology to improve myself, and not simply to send a million bad photos to semi-close friends all day (and night) long.

So, rather than go to bed, I first sat listening to my latest audiobook (with the excuse that I was waiting for photos to load to my computer from my camera, but I sat long after the computer was already put away), then finally showered when my phone died; returned to my phone for some Italian practice and a jumpstart back into the game for my Duolingo learning league of the week; and then finally hit the point of declaring a need to go to bed, and so am placing my last few open-eyes moments here, writing this.

Op!… looks like we’ve lost one: only the right eye is fully open anymore… and the left is sagging below halfway…

Oop!… the right one just did a temporary slip, and they both closed briefly.

Now it is really time to get to bed, and not just to sit on the floor at the end of it, wearing my jumbo-knit (hand-made by yours truly) green blanket like a heavy Mardi Gras parade cape, considering whether I want to put on a sweater…

Oh, the silliness of sleepiness… 😛

Goodnight!

(Or, better yet: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!) ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. 😉

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. 😀

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

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 鯖 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. 😛

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

A good night

I met up with some old students of mine tonight, and it was delightful.

They were delighted at my use of Japanese, I was delighted at their delight, and we all were delighted with the company and the activity.

Kaitenzushi started us off, then purikura, followed by more purikura, and then we did our new year’s omikuji and prayers at the temple, talked about boys and the lack of boyfriends in, coincidentally, all of our lives, and then we ended on taiyaki and a walk back to train station.

Our group chat is filled with about 60+ photos from the three of them, of us throughout the night together.

So Japanese.

But also super fun.

(I meant the photos, but pretty much everything about our time together was fun, so it applies, even with ambiguity!)

Now, I am back at the hostel for the night, hunched in my book/bed/capsule, wondering how I will make it up at a good time in the morning in order to gather my things properly and check out before 10am…

And also wondering how to manage all my stuff over the next few days, and whether I’ll get to see this guy I had really liked …. well, Period.

I had really liked meeting him, and also talking with him and messaging with him, and, even, looking at him… which is kind of all of it….

So, yeah… the tea I had this afternoon – black Royal Milk Tea – was delicious and warm and exactly what I had wanted, but it would have worked out much better if I had stuck to my plan and had it in the morning, and not in the afternoon-evening…

Oh, well… here’s to hoping I can rest well for the next few hours!

Prost!

P.S. I had wanted to go see a film in the theatres, but the times weren’t great for the films I was interested in seeing, and so, in a move to save money and still see something that interested me, I watched a subtitle-free – that part was unintentional – Japanese film on Netflix that is only available while here, in Japan…. woohoo!

Post-a-day 2019

I’ve never landed on snow…*

Well, here we go!

Ich freue mich so sehr.

Ich habe aber doch ein bisschen Angst.

Ich gehe trotzdem, und vielleicht weil ich diesen Angst habe.

I guess I’m still reasonably tired right now – German was all I had to express myself right there…

It has been fun visiting Montréal these past hours.

It seems like a lovely place – not by the sights so much as by the lifestyle and the people I have crossed and noticed.

I’ve used almost no English while here, had not even considered that it was French-speaking Canada – mostly because my friend who lives here is from Houston and is not someone I would consider “French-speaking”, so it didn’t even occur to me that it would be in this part of Canada, wherever he happened to live – and have loved every bit.

I always wonder when I go to the Mexican parts of our Houston culture – the tamale places, the panaderías, Fiesta – how the workers know which language to use, Spanish or English.

Do they judge people by their covers, as we were always told not to do?

And yet, I think they must.

And I think that is exactly what is great about a successful business like that (cross-cultural business, I mean): their being able to identify appropriately the customers’ culture, and then interact accordingly with the customers.

When I entered the plane yesterday, to go from Houston to Montréal on Air Canada, I knew they would be operating in bother French and in English.

I also considered briefly how any American airline likely would not do such a thing, and would use exclusively English, just about always, no matter the destination…

(When I interviewed with an airline once as a multilingual flight attendant, they made it sound terrible: the multilingual flight attendants are only ever one individual on any given plane, used to act as translator, and only when needed… it wasn’t about greeting people’s home cultures at all, or serving… it was just about putting out fires, essentially…)

And I wondered how the airline workers would judge.

At baggage check-in, the man greeted me easily and mid-conversation style in English, and I thought nothing of it.

But, at boarding time, as I was surrounded by passengers speaking a mix of French and English, I wondered how the flight attendants would handle it.

Sure enough, as we were stepping into the plane, the greeting post was using one language or the other, depending on how she judged each individual.

And she always had a happy passenger, so she was judging correctly.

My mother and I have discussed how I am rather European, at least for an American – I have many contrasting aspects of the two cultures that kind of go back and forth for me (I’ll give an example in a moment.).

As I took my own steps onto the plane, the greeter gave me the direct-look evaluation, considered, and then said, “Bonjour.”

I automatically respond in kind.

And I was elated.

I was taken for a French speaker, likely due to the European style of my outfit for the day – fitted half-collar long-sleeved black shirt, scarf, snug – but not tight – jeans, and fashionable winter boots.

People from Texas just don’t dress like that. 😛

Today, in contrast, I am very American in my dress: oversized purple long-sleeved t-shirt, same boots and jeans and scarf, and a beret… an odd combination of the two cultures.

But I don’t have to worry about what language people will use with me today – everyone uses both automatically at the airport.

‘Bonjour, Hello,’ they always say.

And the response determines the language used.

But they always say the French first…, and so I automatically am responding before they are finished with the English greeting…, and so they end up using French with me…, which I like very much.

I don’t often have such an opportunity, and I am grateful that I am embracing it.

Anywho… Montréal is nice, is really, really cold, and is beautiful with the snow everywhere (and gives a new experience for me with everyone acting like the snow is normal and nothing big deal [because it is normal here]).

Snow:

*This first was the airport last night, when we had landed on a boatload of snow… snow was everywhere, including where the planes were driving…(!!!)

Including when I picked up my bags at baggage claim:

Now I am off to Japan.

See you on the other side (literally)!

P.S. This flight is to Japan, now, so they will be using all three languages, and I am delighted. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Sioux living

I watched the film “Dances with Wolves” tonight for the first time.

It stressed me out a lot.

It was a really, really well done film…. really…

Kevin Costner is adorably handsome in it.

It hurts my heart that people like the “white men” in the beginning and end still exist today – they are the kinds of people who give me stress whenever I cross them, for I cannot understand their misplaced, narrow viewpoint of the world… and I do not yet know what to do about it – I know something must be done about it, however, if we are to survive as a people on this planet.

Anyway… it is a beautifully done film, and it is very much worth watching… I am glad I finally saw it as an adult, for I think it would have been perceived extremely differently by me as a child, and I want to have had this experience, as an adult watching it for the first time.

And the soundtrack is spectacular, totally worth hearing.

Give it a watch (and listen).

And then, just because it is related through the director and main actor of the film, go look up some of Kevin Costner’s music – he has a band, and they perform together, and the music is wonderful… that man had spirit worth sharing with the world, and I am grateful that he shares it with us.

Post-a-day 2019