Oh, goodness…

Because what would life be without a bit of toilet trouble and a plumbing conundrum to top off the ridiculous cut and soon-to-be massive bruise you got on your bum in the shower, of all places???

Oh, wait… not your life – mine.

Ugh(!!!).

Dear goodness, help me, please…

Post-a-day 2020

Ouch

You know, I feel like one of the most annoying parts of menstruation is the intense pain and tenderness that shows up in the breasts. I mean, what purpose does that serve? Genuinely: Does it have a real purpose?

It hurts, it has no obvious purpose, and it is annoying. Plus, at least for me, it has me regularly cupping my breasts, in an effort to ease the pain…, which, of course, is not the most casual or clear way to be not drawing attention to them for nearby males. I almost could feel bad for the poor fellows who have to see women hold their own breasts like this, so gently…, if it weren’t for the fact that we women are doing it purely out of a need to decrease pain and discomfort, and not as a means to draw a guy’s eyes. The fact that it makes guys stare almost doesn’t bother us, because it actually soothes the physical pain to hold them with our warm, gentle hands…, but I said almost…

It is ironic, though, how an effort to decrease one discomfort causes another… 😛

Sigh… anyway, mine hurt, and it has been for days longer than usual this time… ugh.

Now, for some stinted and shallow sleep…

Post-a-day 2020

Movie night(mare)s

My siblings thought it was an acceptable idea to have me watch the original ”Scream” film when it came out. I was five. My mom was furious. But I survived. I even have a sort of affinity for the film, despite the many nightmares it produced throughout my childhood. 😂

Then, “I know what you did last summer” was another they shared with me, only a year later… yikes. Again, though, I survived.

The sequel was freaky but fun for me, because it was possibly the first sequel to release during my lifetime for something that I knew.

At some point, before age nine, they showed me “Jaws”. “Jaws” is actually one of my favorite films – I even read the book recently! – despite the nightmares… and general fear of the ocean… that still exists today… 😂

Frankly, seeing “The Sixth Sense” at my mom’s strong recommendation when I was eight was significantly more traumatizing than any of the others, and I, to this day, have bad dreams and spooky nights because of it…, but that’s for different reasons. “Scream” isn’t very practical or realistic for everyday life.

“Deep Blue Sea” and “Lake Placid”, at age eight, were probably the films that put me over the edge in terms of being comfortable swimming alone in any body of water… I just couldn’t do it – even in the pool at my brothers’ dad’s house, I was somehow convinced that, after I had started to swim away from the wall, someone had opened up a secret panel behind me, and released a shark into the water…., and so I would rush to the other side and wrench myself out of the water as fast as possible, breathing hard… always to find no shark, of course… fortunately, of course…

One of my brothers – one not involved in having me watch the scary movies – had mentioned to me, after his having seen “The Ring” in theatres, that the film was terribly funny due to the fakeness of so much of it… he was the only one laughing during the film, but he was laughing hard at times, he said.

The thought of a scary film’s being funny was new to me, and I considered that I might want to see this film…, but not badly enough to seek it out – I had already written away scary films from my life by that point.

One night, however, years later, I was drawn by a film that came on television, not knowing what film it was. I had an odd feeling that it was “The Ring”, however, and I turned out to be correct in that judgment. Keeping my brother’s idea of humor in mind, I stuck with the film. Frankly, I also found the film quite stupid in many ways, as my brother had suggested and described years beforehand. I was still haunted in dreams by certain aspects of the film, but I recovered much more easily than with any other scary film I had ever seen, and I attributed it to the mentality of laughing at the graphics and illogic of certain visual scenarios within the film – thereby distancing myself from the story itself.

I still stay firmly away from scary films, though, and horror films are a solid no for me, with no question of even discussing them and their subject matter…

I’m almost certain that almost all of my nighttime and dark-alley fears have come from films…, so, perhaps life could have been a lot easier not having the scary films in it…, but perhaps it is just those fears that have me be so prepared for just about anything in life…?

Anyway, the point is that I very much dislike and avoid scary movies (now that I have say and am not a little kid), but I was exposed to several as a young child, yet I survived.

So, if you are watching a film, and discover in the middle that it might be a bit too gory or freaky for a child in the room, don’t worry too much… you’ll probably traumatize them much more with other things in life than with that movie… I don’t encourage the scary films – not at all – but I recommend not panicking too badly, if they end up seeing something you think might be a bit much for them… they’ll survive. 😂

Oopsie

Today, at the beginning of one of my classes, my students had an oral quiz.

For oral quizzes, they always have to call the same phone number, which is a Google Voice number I chose years ago for this express purpose.

These students had used the Google Voice number before, and most of them just have it saved in their phones, since we use it every time.

A few students, however, did not have it saved today, and so asked for me to write the number on the board.

Okay, sure.

I think about it for a minute, and then write out the number, somewhat confidently and totally surprised – I always have to look it up constantly at the beginning of the school year, and I hadn’t realized that I had re-memorized it again already…, but go, me!

Within thirty seconds, a few students are telling me something…

‘Is that number right?’

‘I think so,’ I reply, ‘but I can check.’

And so I pull out my own phone to go log in and check the number, which is what I usually do in the first place, so it’s no biggie to me.

‘I don’t think that’s the right number,’ others tell me, a sense of assuredness in their voices.

‘Oh, really…?’ I consider…

Suddenly, it hits me: “Oh!… That’s my best friend’s number!” I declare, quickly erasing the number from the board.

Laughing, I put up the correct number, and I marvel at how similar the two are – extremely similar, with just the middle numbers swapped with the end ones.

I shake my head, and I wonder if anyone had already been in the process of leaving a message….!oops

Guess it would be good to give her a heads up… or, perhaps, it would be more fun to leave her with a voicemail of someone praying in French… 😛

After all, that’s what friends are for, right? 😉

Post-a-day 2019

A mouthful

I tend to sing when I’m in a good mood.

Not always, but regularly and somewhat often, if I am in a good mood, one can find me (by sneaking up, typically, or else I’ll quiet down somas not to bother others) singing and humming songs as I go about my day and night.

This includes when I am in transit between locations, my singing habit.

However, seeing as how I typically drive a Vespa most of the time now, it has been a funny transition to not singing while driving.

Why is that, you ask, that I must not sing while driving?

Well, even though I am in a good mood just about every time I get on that scooter, and so start singing a good amount of the time, of I were to continue singing once going, I would end up not so happy, due to a mouthful of bugs.

Yes, an open mouth with no windshield while driving is almost always a bad idea.

And so, unfortunately, whenever this thought occurs to me when I am singing as I start out on my bike, it makes me smile really big, making it hard to keep my lips together, which makes me smile and laugh even more, and then makes it even harder not to have a huge and toothy grin showing… it is a tiny but important battle I have with my lips in these situations, and it is utterly hilarious.

In short, singing in my bike would result in a mouthful of bugs, so singing is not really allowed while going faster than about fifteen miles per hour. 😛

P.S. I have discovered two things from my highway travels to work each morning.

First, heading in the opposite direction of rush-hour traffic on this highway apparently does not have “Going the speed limit” on its list of approved activities – it seems that ten to fifteen over the posted speed is more the norm for people, while the opposite direction chugs along at around thirty in its morning traffic.

Secondly, my neighborhood smells like amazing fresh breads in the early mornings on weekdays, and like sizzling bacon on Saturday early mornings… I’m not sure yet about Sundays, though… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Packing with my Butler buddy

Siri is a great buddy, but occasionally gets the message a bit mixed up on the butler/personal assistant front.  I’m staying temporarily at my mom’s house right now, because the hot water went out at my new place, but won’t be finished for another few days…, and it’s gotten really cold out, so I didn’t really want to take freezing cold showers.  Therefore, I gratefully accepted my mom’s offer to stay here until the hot water was returned to the new place.

That being said, let us turn to the fact that I had already had a bag packed from various stays elsewhere in the previous week-ish, due to Thanksgiving and moving and all.  I did have some clothes to wear still, but I had now run out of underwear in that bag.  So, I planned that on my way home (to my mom’s house) from class, on the first night that we’d determined that it wasn’t just a one-night deal but a several-undetermined-number-of-nights deal with the no hot water, I would stop at my new place to dig up (almost literally, since I’d done a terrible packing job and nothing was unpacked yet, really, and most of everything was pushed together in a currently un-useful fashion in this one room) whatever I would need for the now-extended stay.  I could borrow socks from my mom, and I already knew that a bra was in my dirty clothes there (so I could just wash that), and I had clothes and could borrow clothes.  So, all I really needed was underwear, when it came to clothing.  And then I needed to bring my laptop for the various things I would need to do on it this week.

Naturally, I was brainstorming all of this while driving to class, and so couldn’t write anything down.  But I knew I would forget if I didn’t have a reminder after class somehow.  And so, I asked Siri to remind me.  And I cracked up when I happened to glance at a stoplight at what she was writing.

 

I didn’t need to correct it, because it was clear to me, anyway, what the reminder meant.  Plus, I enjoyed laughing at it, and knew I would enjoy it as a reminder later on.   And, sure enough, I was right – I loved it later.  More than that, even, was how much I enjoyed getting to mark as completed the odd task.

This is not the first time I’ve had an odd accidental reminder, and not even the first in the past week.  Add to that the actual odd reminders that I ask Siri to give me (and on a somewhat regular basis).  We now have some really odd data to be going back to Apple for stats and improvement… I regularly wonder what the people who see these Siri conversations think when they see how absurd people are with her at times.  And I always enjoy the thought that my silliness and absurdity, both accidental and natural, just might bring some utter joy and delight to their lives here and there.  It definitely does to my own life, anyway. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Table Troubles

We spent a good chunk of today at or around the international airport, but it was actually a really good day.  One of the best parts was the delightful misunderstanding at lunchtime.

Now, to understand the significance of part of it, you must first know what happened yesterday.  My mom, my stepdad, my stepsister and her boyfriend, and I went to lunch at a restaurant in The Galleria.  My mom and stepdad went in first, while we kids went to look at a Lamborghini just outside the doors.  When we filed into the restaurant, we saw them heading up the stairs, and followed.  They told us up top that the waitress downstairs had told them to pick a seat anywhere, and had specifically mentioned that whether upstairs or downstairs was of no importance – it was open seating.

However, a waitress was rather snotty with us when we mentioned this upstairs, after asking kindly if a certain table could be wiped down before we sat down at it.  She declared that we needed to check in with the hostess (but would not help us find the hostess, even when we asked kindly) and that there was a wait time, and we could not pick our own seats.

About two minutes after finding the hostess, we were seated at the table we had originally found (and then requested).  And the guy setting the table was unfathomably slow, leaving us all standing, watching, as he finished setting the flatware.  (Not sure why anyone was bringing us to a table that wasn’t ready yet, but it just made us laugh at how ridiculous it all was.)

We were quite nice to everyone, keeping always in mind the fact that it was a holiday and that we were grateful for their being there.  A good handful of the people at this place seemed just ready to throw things at people for the simple defiant act of existing.  Nonetheless, we got our table and, eventually, food and all, and it was a good time all-in-all.

Now, fast forward to today, lunchtime.  We found a Mexican place that was near the airport – and I mean Mexican, not Tex-Mex, and not non-Mexicans who claim to have Mexican food and whatnots – and was open.  My stepdad went in first, while we all parked the car.  My mom, my stepsister and her boyfriend, and I all walked in in a row as another family was leaving, excusing ourselves in Spanish as we bumped paths and all (I meant it, when I called it a Mexican place.).  As I walked in behind my mom, I saw my stepdad standing next to a table just two over from the door.  He said that the lady told him that we could sit there, but he was going to the bathroom now.

So, we all slide into the booth and begin discussing whether there might be bleach in the cleaner (because the table was still damp from being cleaned and smelled a bit of bleach, but my mom had on black long-sleeves, and so wanted to be cautious about touching the table, if there were bleach in the cleaner), when a lady comes to our table and, in English, apologizes, but this table is already for another family.  Could we please wait just a minute over here?

I turned to my mom, and asked her what their deal was with tables right now, and she could hardly fathom it herself, giving a genuine I have no idea.  So, we stand up, the boyfriend telling the lady in Spanish not to worry and that we were completely okay.  We wait to the side for perhaps 45 seconds.  Then, the lady tells us that, okay, you can sit in this booth (the one just next to where we had sat down, and that was almost exactly the same).  So, we sit, and comment how it is drier that the other table was.  I sniff the table, and my stepsister fusses at me not to do so, but I explain that I was merely smelling for bleach, and she laughs.

My stepdad eventually returns, someone comes and takes our drinks orders (in Spanish, of course), and then the original lady comes to take our drink orders.  I notice passively that no one ever sat at the table next to ours.  We tell her that someone already had done so, but we are ready to make our food orders, however (all in Spanish, of course).  Then, before taking our food order, as she looks at all of us, she says something surprising.

Apparently, since she spoke to my stepdad in Spanish originally, it was a non-compute that the rest of us would be the family with him.  Though the boyfriend is from Mexico, he has blue eyes.  I am dirty blonde and blue-eyed, and my mom is sort of a brown-haired, brown-eyed, older version of me.  My stepsister just kind of blended in with us, since we were the majority look of our little group.  So, we were the foreigners, so to speak, and clearly weren’t the family of the original guy who’d asked for the table a few minutes ago.  She didn’t explain all of that, of course.  We deduced that.  But she did say (in Spanish) that she had thought that we did not belong to the gentleman to whom she had given the table, and so she told us that the table was taken by someone else.  But, upon seeing that that same gentleman was at the new table, she realized her mistake.  So, she apologized for it a few times, and we all enjoyed a good laugh at the whole thing.

No one ever ended up sitting at the table behind us, until the last few minutes that we were there, when a single man sat down to wait for someone or something briefly (so it seemed).

So, those were our adventures with table miscommunications this week.

Post-a-day 2017

The Lingering Effects of Culture?

I have noticed two behaviors of mine that linger still (and consistently), despite my having been in the USA and out of Japan for almost four months.  They are 1) constantly looking right first before crossing the road, naturally walking to the left, and casually beginning on the left side of the road when riding my bike; and 2) silence.

The first has been improving significantly, and is almost never present when I am driving a car (though those two-lane, small town style, empty roads do make me think twice before I pull out onto them).  It is mostly just my bicycle riding and walking that is still in the habit of Japan’s side.  Seeing as how I am aware of the road-crossing issue every time I approach a road, I feel confident that things will be fine there – even if I must continue constantly checking both directions over and over again, because I don’t trust myself as to from which way the cars actually will be coming on which side.  The second is a bit different.

I wonder if the silence is something about which I need to worry.  I feel like it is no big deal, however, when I look at it from an outside, USA perspective, I seem almost oppressed in the action.  The silence comes in the regular everyday passing of people at work.  I often only smile and nod when we make eye contact, and I regularly say little-to-nothing in group conversations.  Partly, I have no interest in discussing the present topic with the present company most of the time.  However, I wonder if part of that is because I am not accustomed to discussing things with people like I once was.

My distress tied to living in Japan significantly affected my desire and will to learn Japanese.  Therefore, I really didn’t put forth almost any effort in the language beyond the absolute necessary, until I was on the rise from all of the depression, only a few months before my departure.  This means that I was not able to participate in most conversation around me.  Yes, I could understand a good amount of it, and often all of it (though, occasionally almost nothing), but I usually was unable to respond.  It was my first experience with what I previously had only heard other people say they did, and the development of which I couldn’t understand: understanding a language, but not speaking it.

So, I grew incredibly accustomed to speaking very little and to listening a lot.  And this was not a conscious decision, necessarily, though I had intended to observe for the sake of learning all about the culture and language.  My goal was to learn, not to separate and somewhat exclude myself.  Transferring the same behavior over here to the USA, my native country, has the behavior occur quite differently.  As mentioned, I seem somewhat oppressed, like something is preventing me from speaking.  All I notice is a lack of desire to say anything most of the time.  But I also don’t even consider whether I want to speak or not – I just don’t speak…  So, I am wondering about this, whether there is something more there, something in the way for me, preventing me from full self-expression.

 

Post-a-day 2017