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. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

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Road trip, again

“Okay, butterfly woman, let’s go.”

“Just a second – I’m holding a box of dogs.”

I made it home to Houston on Saturday afternoon, and delighted in my new home Saturday night and all yesterday.

I haven’t even unpacked everything, and I still love it… I even stayed up until two AM last night unpacking boxes, because I was so happy about where I now lived that I wanted to get things set up as soon as possible.

Tonight, I am back to an odd sleeping situation, sharing a sort of shack-like room – an average-sized room that stands alone in someone’s backyard – with my aunt, a family girlfriend, and a box of puppies, all in what feels like the middle of nowhere (aka Oklahoma).

(No offense to Oklahoma here – it just feels like the middle of nowhere to me, quite similarly to how I say that the college I attended is ‘in the middle of nowhere north Texas, almost to Oklahoma’.)

What a January if absurdities and adventures, eh?

P.S. I saw a super Texas Chevy truck yesterday, while out riding my bicycle (looking for Target, and taking about an hour to go the estimated 16 minutes that Google Maps thought it would take me), that had a vanity license plate with “NHL EH” on it, and then two hockey stickers on the back window. ❤

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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

Will they get along?(!!!)

Imagine bringing your partner home to meet your family over Christmas.

… for the first time after everyone knows that you even have a partner.

Now, imagine getting extremely sick, fever and emergency room visit and all, and being buggered up in bed the entire time after the first day and a half.

Let’s hope your partner likes your family and vice versa, because they’re spending all the time together, and without you.

How terrifying that could be, but also how true a test of the match.

So far, we really like him, so it’s all good on our end… he even survived and participated well in game night fun with us all… super bonus for us.

We’ll just have to see if he ever comes back… ;P

Post-a-day 2018

Domestic International Travel

One of the things I love about Houston is how I can just immerse myself in different cultures here.

Tonight, my mom and I attended a festival that was in celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Naturally, we were immersed in the Spanish-speaking world, with a great emphasis on Mexican culture (and Mexican Spanish).

And it was wonderful.

People, for a good part of it all, did not behave using U.S. standards of behavior – southern hospitality, southern sweetness, and southern chivalry were on vacation, for sure.

A small fight even broke out between two guys, and people broke it up and gently shoved people back on their way through the festival, almost immediately forgetting about the altercation that had just occurred in front of them.

Items for sale couldn’t have been more stereotypical, and they were all genuine.

Performances were wonderful and traditional.

And the food was spectacular and native, as much as is possible out of country… I wasn’t even hungry, and I had to get some, because I knew how good certain things would be. (And I was right, too. But I just had a taste, and then saved the rest for tomorrow.)

And it was all a really good time, the two of us kind of being two of the very few gringas and gringos at the event – it was such a genuine piece of culture that we were the ones who were visiting, as opposed to the event visiting Houston… (I hope you get what I mean by all of this – it isn’t intended to be ignorant or rude or anything of the sort, but merely showing an appreciation for the drop of foreign culture that is utterly at home and at its ease here in Houston.)

It was great.

Post-a-day 2018

Cold…

It’s cold enough and I’m tired enough that I can’t seem to think about almost anything…  My eyes merely continue to close for increasingly long periods of time at every blink, and my mind keeps wondering why the air hasn’t turned on yet, since the temperature in here is well below the setting on the thermostat…  I guess we are kind of wimps here in Houston, when it comes to cold weather.  Yesterday and today actually did have cold weather.  It was in the single digits of Celsius (I totally don’t know cold weather in Fahrenheit, because I’ve never lived anywhere that uses Fahrenheit and that has consistent cold weather.), and the high was around 15 or 16 Celsius (16 is 61 in Fahrenheit – I know that conversion!).  However, our bodies still don’t take it well, especially when it actually is reasonably cold weather like yesterday.  I’ve already got a cold going from our sudden drop the other night (combined with my minimal sleep this week, of course), and I’m sitting under my sheets right now, shivering at the coldness of the room (it reads 69), wondering if I’ll be able to sleep if the heat doesn’t come on.  I only really set it to 71 or 72 right now, because it isn’t that cold outside.  But it’s set higher right now, just to test the system.  Sadly, as you can tell, the system is failing me right now.  And I’m really tired and want to sleep, but I already know that I will struggle with that, because my exposed skin – aka my face – will be so cold.

Oh, well… here’s to hoping for happy, warm, cozy rest tonight, and cool, crisp weather tomorrow (followed by a spectacular, long night tomorrow night, complete with sleeping in Saturday morning)!

Post-a-day 2018

Recycled(?) and Reused(?) Concerts

We went to a sort of concert tonight, where musicians composed and performed musical pieces on unsalvageable – truly – pianos (or, in one case, a big chunk of what used to be a piano).

I saw an article about it in the Houston Chronicle on Friday, and sent a photo of it to a friend, since the concert was free and she and I were planning on doing something together Sunday, but weren’t sure what exactly… and so, with little knowledge of what precisely was going to greet us with this performance – I mean, we did know the location and that the location, Super Happy Fun Land, was absolutely absurd in and of itself, so we had a big hint that the performance would be of the artistically absurd type, but we weren’t sure in what way or ways – we went. 🙂

By the end of it all, we had seen and heard from our recycled AMC theatre chairs the use of hammers, drum sticks, bass drum mallets, a wheel-y thing, a piano tuner, pliers, chain mail, and vibrators (yes, the sexual kind – three kinds of them, actually, one being bright, Pepto Bismol-y pink) on pianos as a means of making music, and we’d heard a bit of poetry with one of the pieces, too.

And (Oh, I guess this counts, too, as something used on a piano.) the third and final piece ended with the performer/composer shoving, with an almighty wrench, the upright piano backward onto the ground – complete with a humongous, resounding and somewhat shocking BOOM! – and then jumping up and down on the strings, smashing all that he could with his shoes, before completing with a satisfied, deep chuckle.

It was, indeed, a creatively absurd evening.

Post-a-day 2018