Tick-Tock

Well, the omiyage are almost all gathered – just missing two magazines (and maybe another box of graham crackers… I need to count those) – and the rough list of packing and pre-departure to-do’s is made.

Accountability partner for tomorrow has been obtained.

Now, just to get to sleep, so I can get up early tomorrow and get to bosse-ing*!

I am beginning to grow nervous, and not exactly from excitement.

I think I am at that point of ‘when the pressure is on you, start, and the pressure will be off,’… so it is just pressure of being unprepared so late in the game for something so big.

So, I suspect I will feel much better by tomorrow noontime, when I have handled already a good hunk of the tasks on my list.

To be fair, I had a whole lot more packing and organizing that needed to happen the last time I was preparing for a trip to Japan, so it is only normal that this feels like Way too late to be only just packing clothes tomorrow.

Also, if all the organizing and cleaning up I want to do before I leave doesn’t happen, everything still will be okay… it just would be great to get it all done, and to come home to a lovely, organized, and clean home in just over a month from now…, so I want to make it all happen. πŸ™‚

Fingers crossed!

*From the French word bosser, meaning “to work”.

Post-a-day 2019

In-N-Out

In-N-Out Burger has landed in Houston, Texas.

Well, the Houston area, anyway – not in Houston proper, but in a couple highly populated suburbs of it.

I went to the nearest one today for lunch, as I was somewhat already on the way there (compared to where I live in inner city) due to my working location this morning.

And it was all because my mom sent me a photo of their onesie pajamas that she had discovered online (though, I’m not too sure why she was looking not why she sent it to me).

When I checked Google Maps to see if it was open already and how to get there, I noticed only where it was and that it opened at 10:30am and that the other location was already open for today.

Yay!

So, I went.

And cars were everywhere.

Traffic cones line the street next to the parking lot.

Traffic cops direct cars.

About ten to fifteen In-N-Out employees are moving around the neatly organized parking lot, taking orders, it seems, and managing the drive-through lines.

Another employee or two are handing out hats and stickers to people waiting (outside) in line for dine-in ordering.

I tell my mom that I hadn’t known it was opening day, and she says I might as well stay and eat anyway, especially because of that, and also because I had come al the way out for it already.

I agreed that I could sit and read one of my current books, and begin following signs for ‘Dine-In’.

The parking lot-based employees tell me to pass a certain way, and they move a couple cones and a sign for me to truck through into the front parking lot, which is today exclusively for dine-in customers.

I go in, wait not much more than five to seven minutes in line, place my order, and receive my ticket.

As I am heading outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while I wait, I head the number two called.

My number is 75.

Everyone is in a good mood, though, and is waiting happily enough.

I am delighted for In-N-Out.

Eventually, my mom and my cousin’s husband join me, and I have an outdoor table in the shade, and I get my food.

The cousin husband shows me a saddle that he’s just picked up – super cool, by the way – and heads off, while my mom sits with me while I eat.

We invite a couple to join us at the table, since they already have food but no table on which to set their little trays.

They inform us that the store has been open for a while, and that it is like this every day, open to close.

Wow.

The food is delicious, as usual.

When leaving, I see a couple doing just what I had considered doing, if we hadn’t been able to sit at a table by the time the food came.

It felt like a very cute Texas touch to In-N-Out.

Plus, it was just adorable to see, so I really enjoyed it.

Like dessert to my meal. πŸ˜›

Anyway…, welcome to Houston, In-N-Out Burger!! πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

News of Note

I gave up watching and reading the news several years ago, due to the fact that almost nothing in it was ever positive.

What was the point?

Rather than being the new information being shared, the news has merely become the show about as much negativity shared as is possible.

‘What other bad thing can we share with people?’ felt like the question news channels seemed to be asking themselves constantly.

It made society feel horrible and almost hopeless… made humanity seem utterly terrible…

And that is not something in which I want to participate, so I just gave it up altogether – if something noteworthy happened, someone somehow would let me know.

And it has worked really well these past several years.

Truly.

I am grateful that I did it.

No, I don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about on SNL’s Weekend Update most of the time anymore, but I don’t really watch any television anymore in the first place, so it hardly matters.

(Can you believe it’s been over a decade already since I gave up watching television?!… wow…)

I’ve contemplated many a times creating a magazine or newspaper – almost certainly digital – that only shares good news, positive news, because that’s the stuff that we all really want to hear about anyway, and almost no one seems to be sharing about it… and, if someone is sharing about it, very little time is given to it, especially when compared to the negative and sad stuff in the news.

Tonight, for the first time, I crossed someone who did something quite similar to what I would like to do: share things worth sharing.

By the end of the article – okay, I only looked at the pictures, but that was totally the point, anyway – I was delighted, my spirits were totally lifted, and I was really interested in learning more about all of the topics given… basically, I want articles to go with each of the positive pieces of news…, but I guess that’ll just have to be something saved for my future newspaper/magazine. ;P

Enjoy the picture article here!

It is well worth the quick read-through! πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Every day, a little more

Today, after the workout, I went purposefully and sat with the guys from class who were hanging out and somewhat stretching.

I was not embarrassed when they were worried at my possibly having heard something – which I admitted comfortably that I hadn’t heard, and even chuckled at the situation.

I listened to and commented in and participated actively in the conversation that arose as I sat there… and I did it all comfortably.

And I didn’t say anything that I didn’t want to say (AKA something mean or overdoing joking, etc.).

And I envy that girl her position and her words now, as I look back on the memory.

I was almost entirely my goal self, and it was amazing.

Anywho…, every day I am more and more myself in a way I had never allowed myself to experience myself…

It’s like that song from “Kinky Boots” called “I’m not my father’s son,” sung by Lola/Simon and Charlie… I can relate loads to the words in that one… phew!

Post-a-day 2019

Not a kiss whore

“I’m not a kiss whore…”

Laughter…, “Whatever – it seems like every time you go, you kiss someone(!).”

“Yeah: all two times, I kissed one person each time.”

Both laugh, totally tickled.

(Recall last week’s adventure.)

……….

This was near the end of my conversation tonight with my mom.

I had been telling her about my day at the Texas Renaissance Festival (RenFest) with a semi-friend today (we worked together briefly, and have always gotten along and talked forever whenever our paths have crossed), and had just shared with her the most delightful part of the day for me.

You see, a long while back, perhaps two years ago – long being relative, obviously – I met someone who really attracted me while at RenFest.

It wasn’t so much sexual attraction – I want to date you attraction – as it was simply attraction – I want to be around you attraction.

He had mentioned specifically about a possibility of our becoming friends, if I would like, and I agreed, and we met up to pursue this… so I thought, anyway.

And, when he received multiple calls in a row, and I encouraged him to take the call, and he answered with, “What’s up? I’m on a date,” I chuckled at his obvious use of the term in order to get the person to hurry up and leave him alone.

At the end, when he asked if it were okay to kiss me, therefore, I was thrown – and I mean really thrown… I denied the request, and then felt really uncomfortable and mean and a bit weird… and for a while… I felt justified in giving my honest answer that I did not feel comfortable kissing him or letting him kiss me, but I still felt weird and, somehow, bad for the following year or so, give or take, off and on.

(See my comment about the meeting here, embedded within a conversation with someone else.)

He came to mind somewhat often, though we only swapped messages a handful of times again.

I thought of him whenever I was going to or at RenFest, but somehow missed him – whether by accidental forgetfulness or intentional avoidance (my own, I mean), I am not entirely sure.

But I didn’t see him again.

That is, I didn’t see him again until today.

Remember how I have had this whole beautiful transformation happening within and without me this past year+.

Well, that gave me a whole new experience of the idea of this guy when I considered him today.

Suddenly, it was clear to me that I wanted specifically to go talk to him, to clarify with him what had happened for me back on that date I hadn’t known to be a date, to find out how and a little bit of what he was doing now – still the art, and, of so, what? – and to request and to receive a kiss from him.

Perhaps the kiss last week ha some revved up, but I truly believe that it at least made things clear for me in a way they had never been before: a kiss was a kiss, and it is okay to want to kiss someone.

And it is okay to want not to kiss someone.

(And, of course, not to want to kiss someone is okay, too!)

Who I am now wanted to kiss him.

Who I was two years ago couldn’t and didn’t want to kiss him then.

I wasn’t certain about the kiss today until I started talking with him, but I was at about 90% certainty before I even saw him.

I just couldn’t seem to stop smiling while talking with him – I almost felt like my cheeks were growing red with the constant huge smiling I was doing.

(Fortunately, my teeth look amazing now, thanks to my invisible aligners from Smile Direct Club, and I smile almost all the time now, anyway.)

I wanted to complete that circle of events from our afternoon spent together… and I also wanted to kiss this man for the sake of kissing him.

And so, as we were nearing the end of our conversation, and I was letting him know that I’d bring him omiyage from my upcoming Japan trip, and we could meet up in January, I had a final analysis of the question and determined wholeheartedly that I wanted it: “Could I have a kiss?” I asked.

I had already told him all about our unknown date and my thoughts at the end, and he had assured me that he was not offended and that all was well, and so, ‘Of course,’ was his reply to my single additional comment regarding ‘making up for before’.

And he stepped and leaned forward toward me, and we kissed(!).

Hard and whole, and 100% consensual on both sides.

And I almost felt like giggling with laughter in delight at both the fun of and the absurdity of the situation, as well as the fact that I JUST KISSED A BOY!!!! AND I LIKED IT!!!

(Thanks, Katy Perry.)

I smiled gargantuously* (yet again), reiterated my plans to reach out and on omiyage, and wished him farewell, and then he wished me the same.

It was lovely.

And I couldn’t seem to stop smoking for quite a while afterward.

He had offered to me to try out being friends again, and also offered a date again, if I were interested.

I told him that I’d think about the date part, but that the friend go was a definite.

And I felt amazingly self-expressed and confident in myself on more levels than I could count and identify.

Yes, it was lovely.

I have come so far.

It is amazing.

I am amazing.

But I am still not a kiss whore, just FYI.

Post-a-day 2019

Kids

I really like kids.

The human kind, I mean… not so sure yet about the goat kind…

One of my cousins came down from Ohio with his wife and three little girls this past week, and I absolutely adored spending time with those girls, especially the two eldest ones.

They were 2.5, 6.5, and 8.5 years old… I think… no, I think it was… well, the 2.5 and 8.5 are correct… and I’m thinking the middle one is 7… anyway… shows how much the numbers mean to me in the end. πŸ˜›

So the 7-ish- and 8-ish-year-old were absolute wonders for me.

We did piggy back rides and shoulder rides and tickling and running and chasing and coloring and talking and ‘guess which’ games and tire swinging and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” time together…. and probably loads more that isn’t coming immediately to mind right now(!)… like the time spent smelling my aunt’s essential oils and oil blends together.

They gave me stickers and paper objects, and kept asking me to make yet another paper crane for each of them, all while being generally totally pleasant and acceptable with their behavior.

They had sense and reason, like high schoolers, but they also have that extra willingness to hear what adults have to say, as well as a desire to absorb as much as possible from us, especially if and when we are willing to give them our attention.

And, for me, that was easy to do.

When their father came to visit Texas for a while in our childhood, I was about 7 years old.

He had bleached hair, played trumpet confidently (and well, so far as I could tell at the time), and was really tall and grown up – even my eldest brother looked up to him (figuratively, of course), so I knew he must really be actually cool.

Seeing him now, it turns out that he’s actually only just barely taller than I am.

And he’s a total nerd, much like the rest of my immediate family.

But that nerdiness is exactly what makes him all the more relatable (and fun), in my opinion.

He even commented at one point that the general nerdiness must be a genetic trait within our family, as he has never experienced so many people who have conversations like we do, just like he does… and yet we didn’t grow up around one another almost at all…. it wasn’t only nurture, but must have some nature involved in the matter.

My uncle, his dad, had not been paying attention, and so asked what he meant about some family trait, and no one wanted to bother to explain in detail again, so we led it short and sweet… and, within minutes, we had a conversation occurring that we used as an example of my cousin’s point.

(Naturally, we discussed this point, and reached no conclusion but many possibilities.) πŸ˜›

Now, every time my mom and I are having a conversation that is the kind my cousin had meant, we laugh and comment on it – we already knew that we were nerds, but it is fun to consider it a family gene (whether r is or isn’t so).

I miss them all already.

I don’t know that I want my own children, but I could handle some well-behaved 7- and 8-year-olds… they’re great.

Post-a-day 2019

Where is home?

I have been thinking lately more and more frequently about my upcoming trip to Japan.

It is now only two weeks away (not even, actually), and I am nervous but excited, and somewhat stressed.

But the stress isn’t about typical things, so much… not typical for most people, anyway.

It is about feeling a need to make plans for my trip.

Have you ever been busy and away from home for so long, that all you want to do is just go home and do nothing in particular other than be home?

Well, this is kind of how I am feeling about this trip to Japan.

I don’t really want to have to plan anything, because I feel like I am just going home and want to be home for a while before I start making any plans… plus, when we are home, we have time to figure out when to do things, because we live there…’we aren’t going anyway anytime soon.

But I am only visiting for a couple weeks…, about three weeks all together, I suppose… I don’t have all the time to schedule later.

Or do I?

I think I might just…

Anyway, I find it odd that going back to Japan feels like going home… like I’ve been off at college for the semester, and am finally returning home for the winter break…

But my semester has been two and a half years this time.

I wonder if it has to do with the fact that this was the first place where I was entirely on my own, as an adult.

I couldn’t go have lunch or tea with my mom, or ask her to help me do something or other, or go to her house for dinner and a movie… or anyone else who had become part of my staple people in life… I was on my own in my day-to-day.

And I built a home for myself, even though it became all too clear that the culture was not one in which I wanted to stay living and working long-term… I had said that I wouldn’t have to be paid a lot of money to go back to working in and living in Japan…, and that still stands.

However, a visit to Japan, as I always said, is a great idea.

And I am delighted.

I will test this idea of not scheduling anymore for now… I think it might help significantly for me… mhmm…

Post-a-day 2019