Mardi Gras Fun (Run)

As expected, after my much-needed rest, I was quite willing and able to greet the freezing cold day today. We added on a little extra time to our sleeping, because we were getting to bed so late, and we showed up at the run just before it was supposed to start – only two minutes before packet pick up was scheduled to end, and 17 minutes before the run was to start.

And it was a blast. There were not very many people there – perhaps around 50, and just as many people who did not show up, probably because of the cold. However, that added significantly to the charm of the event and the experience. It made it feel even more like a close-knit family fun event, even though we didn’t know anybody else there. (Although, as it turned out, we did know one of the photographers! I told him that I would love to do volunteer work with him on photography… We shall see what happens there. Fingers crossed!)

For what I believe was the first – and will quite possibly will be the only – Time in my life, I won first place in my age group. That was really exciting. My mom got second place in her age group. I had told her that I had intended to run the whole thing, and not do it with her, mostly walking and running some. However, she somehow thought that I had changed my mind, and was going to stay with her the whole time. So, when it was my turn to start, and I took off running, she called out to me, with obvious slight annoyance at having been left behind. She wasn’t mad, but she was surprised, and it was actually rather funny. After I finished my 5K, though, as my cooldown, I went and joined her on the course, and I finished her 5K with her. So, we got to spend extra time together on the 5K after all.

After the little awards ceremony, we went back to our little motel and took extremely hot and awesome showers, bundled all up again in clean clothes, and headed out to attend the local Mardi Gras parade. It, too, was a total blast, with close-knit family vibes. I also believe that we each got more beads than we have ever gotten at any Mardi Gras event we have ever attended. We were at the very beginning of the parade, all on our own except for one woman and the emergency workers who were waiting for the end of the parade. We were the first attendees that anybody on a float was getting to see after pulling out onto the road, so just about everyone, with extreme excitement, threw an unnecessary number of beads our way. And it was only a 30-minute parade… from the very first vehicle to the very last, it was only 29 minutes. Then, because we had gone all the way to the start, we were able to leave immediately, and not wait for the parade to reach its end destination. So, we headed to the ferry to go across to Galveston Island, and had breakfast at a spot that we like. (We had a bit of a double-take upon arrival to the restaurant, because there was a whole slew of Mardi-Gras-decorated jeeps, just like had been in the parade on Bolivar. Turns out it was a group doing a Mardi Gras pub-crawl-type-thing with all of their decorated jeeps.)

Then we headed home, I did some preparation for our intense freeze that is coming tomorrow night onward, I went to work, I got to go home early from work, I did a little more preparation for the freeze, and now I am about to pass out hard core. It was a wonderful day, I reached my ideal step goal for a day, I had a great time with my mom, and I am super grateful that my bedroom is warm enough for me to sleep in it tonight. We shall see what happens tomorrow, though. Fingers super crossed that all goes well around that.

Post-a-day 2021

^ It wasn’t too bad this time. I mostly remembered.

Beyond bedtime

Stressed, worried, exhausted. My mom’s energy and enthusiasm for discussing continuously unnecessary details long before they are relevant hasn’t helped. Also, she keeps talking to me, which is the only reason I’m still not in bed, sleeping, despite my efforts to finish my tasks and go to bed over the past THREE AND A HALF hours… I did not finish all my reading scheduled for the day, despite having the time. We did not play a card game with my Vietnamese playing cards. She just kept doing stuff that felt far too irrelevant for the time, yet kept me from accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish.

I know she’s excited and into it all. But I couldn’t not have been in clearer communication about my exhaustion and my intentions for this evening. So, it’s a bit extra frustrating.

Right now, I just want to sleep and then go home whenever I get up. I hope I enjoy the run instead, and then go home. But I’m worried she won’t want to leave, when I’ll be beyond ready to go home… we shall see what happens. Perhaps I will feel much better by morning.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Barely got it… also, happy lunar new year!

Birthday

Today was/is (depending on where one is in the world right now) my birthday.  Thank you to my mother and to my father for having and making me.

Now, people at school totally forgot about my birthday, and that’s okay.  A friend was even giving me a hard time about details for an upcoming trip while I was in the middle of my birthday lunch at a nice little Nepalese restaurant, and that’s okay, too.  I wasn’t looking too forward to all of that.

I have been working on my mental and physical health lately, and one part of that has been going to my gym more often.  Instead of once or twice or zero times a week, and only for, perhaps, an hour, I have been going more like five to ten hours a week, attending all sorts of fun classes (boxing to ballet, angels training [a misleading name for the crazy-hard workout that comes with it] to yoga [yes, normal yoga]).  The gym is all women, and we all have to have nicknames, so as to create a close-knit space (instead of the formality of Japanese culture and always using last names), so it makes for a really great environment.

That being said, I was really looking forward to getting to my gym today.  Dinner with a friend was something great on the list, too, but the gym had the extra excitement of helping out my physical health while I enjoyed its being my birthday.

I knew that some of the ladies knew that today was my birthday, and so I was excited to be going somewhere where I could feel the love, so to speak, for my birthday.  Just after I walked in the front door, the lady at the desk wished me a tentative English, “Happy Birthday…?”  A huge grin and verbal thanks assured her of the success of her endeavor.

As I was changing for class, I heard some English being practiced in the common area, “How old are you?”  So, I suspected I was about to be asked this question when I got into class a few minutes later.

What I did not expect, however, was to walk into my step class of older Japanese ladies, and for them to break into song, singing me “Happy Birthday”.  And in English!  I actually started tearing up a bit, it was so wonderful.  If I had been hoping for some welcoming love here, I certainly found it, I found myself thinking.  Essentially, it was perfect.

After class, a number of people kept wishing me a happy birthday and talking to me about this and that.  Before the next class began (yoga), I made a point to interrupt the delighted chatter of the older ladies from step class, and to thank them especially for their singing and well-wishes.  And I did it all in Japanese, and successfully.  They were just so wonderful.

And then they all started asking me how to say the name of a bicycle that has a motor attached to it.  Amidst all the Japanese, I declared that I’d have to do some research, because I could only think of electric bicycle and motorized bicycle.  

But that’s not quite the point.  The point is, I suppose, that step class is amazing – you could do yourself quite well by joining one wholeheartedly today.  🙂

Also, all of my thanks to all who played a part in my coming to be.  🙂

Happy Birthday to me.  Watch out, World!  😀
Post-a-day 2017

 

Mardi Gras

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras and my birthday.  This is the second time in my life that the two events have coincided.  It just so happens that people haven’t even heard of Mardi Gras here in Japan, so we can let alone the idea of their celebrating it.  I am throwing an impromptu dinner tomorrow night (decided it this afternoon), and am only certain of two guests (a Canadian and a Japanese friend).  Not my favorite kind of Mardi Gras bash, but it’ll still be nice, I think.  Nonetheless, this will be one of my most simple and uncelebrated birthdays yet.

The last time my birthday coincided with Mardi Gras, I was in ninth grade, and we had arranged with a friend of my mom’s to go stay at his place on one of the main parade roads in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  Unfortunately, that was 2006, and Hurricane Katrina cancelled those plans for us.  

We instead grabbed my childhood best friend, and went down to Galveston for some all-you-can-eat pancakes and a good ole parade.  It was nothing like New Orleans would have been, but it was still wonderful, and it started a tradition.  Almost every year since (we must exclude the year I was studying in France), my mom and I have gone to Gaveston for Mardi Gras.

Which makes it totally weird that there is literally nothing around here for any Mardi Gras merriment… happy birthday to me?  (There’s got to something good for me to get out of all of this.) 😛
Post-a-day 2017