Home (base) is where the heart rests

I think it is kind of funny at times how life can seem so utterly insignificant, un-lived, boring, mundane at times, despite amazing adventures we have at other times in that same life. If we adventured far and wide all the time, would we not grow tired of such repetition in life, as we do worthy he repetitive everydays we cross during our stationary, non-big-adventure periods? But did the great adventurers of yonder and yore not take time to rest and relax and consider life in a very different and very calm way after a grand adventure. Did they not prepare themselves on all levels with great rest and reliability of surroundings and daily expectations, before heading out on their next grand adventure?

Even if they didn’t, I think it is important that I do. There’s a reason we use the term “home base” so often in life. A home base is a valuable place to have: it is a place to process; a place to feel accepted, no matter what; a place to feel loved; a place to feel home; a place that is always reliable and there for us; a place where we are always welcome. Returning to home base for some rest and restitution is a beautiful, valuable move.

I guess that is why I have done it so many times now. Hello, Houston and Texas. Thank you for being my home base all these years. Even though I start to feel insignificant with life when here at times, I know it isn’t about you two – it is about the wonderful challenges that life is offering to me while I am here with you. It is by working through those challenges that I prepare myself for my next grand adventure, wherever that may be on this amazing globe. Thank you for being here for me, no matter what, and for always welcoming me home, no matter how much you or I have changed.

❤ Houston, ❤ Texas

Post-a-day 2020

Turning insignificant into loved

I started working at a clothing store as a part-time job recently. And kind of ‘just because I wanted to do it’. I had never worked in retail before this, and I had often felt that I might be well-suited to being paid to organize and fold stuff (something I already do when I go into stores as a customer, anyway, but, of course, not for pay). So, I am giving it a go.

Walking to the store today to work, I had geared up for the pouring rain: Waterproof boots, a long raincoat, backpack waterproof cover, and an umbrella. The only thing not covered directly by waterproof material was my sweatpants – odd how that is singular yet not…. a single item of clothing, yet referenced as a plural for its two legs… yet we do not reference a shirt as plural for its two arms/sleeves…

Anyway, so, I am being very careful as I walk on the sidewalk. It is placed directly beside the road, with no buffer – genius, I know (meaning What idiotic brain fart planned this sidewalk?). Whenever I come up to a spot where there is a puddle in the road, I quickly run a large arc away from it, before joining back with the sidewalk, doing my best to avoid any possibility of being splashed by passing cars.

Just after I cross the train tracks, when there is nowhere to arc , and I am just running in a straight line to pass a puddle, a single car comes speeding up from behind me. There are no other cars around, and the car easily can move into the left lane and avoid hitting the massive puddle on the right lane… and the bright yellow individual who cannot be considered invisible right now.

The car does not move over. I notice just in time to jump forward and pull up my legs as best I can in front of me.

Almost my entire left pant leg, and some of my right, is suddenly soaked, completely through to my skin. My leg is actually dripping wet on the left.

I curse in an outraged yell, as I continue on my way, somehow embarrassed.

After setting everything down in the back at work, I change into my regular shoes, and head out to check in, eyes already beginning to burn. The moment she asks me how I’m doing – the standard check-in – I starts to cry. I cannot help myself.

I’m okay, but I’m not okay right now, I manage to say a couple times. I explain briefly what happened and that my pants are currently soaked through, and that, as I am now seeing with clarity, I am not only physically uncomfortable, but I am living in the experience of having been unworthy of being noticed. Insignificant out on the street, thus completely missed by the driver. That was my experience, no matter what logic told me, and I was still processing that experience and all the emotions that went with it.

She got it completely. Do I want to go change? she offers. I don’t have anything to change into, I reply, still in active tears.

“Okay, do you want to go pick out some pants?” I hesitate, considering how it doesn’t work for me to go buy something for myself right now.

“I’ll get you some pants,” she clarifies at my hesitation to respond. “Go pick something out from the sales rack, and come check back in with me, and I’ll get them for you. And then you can go change.”

And so I did. And she did. And I changed into dry, fancy, brand new pants. And the world was suddenly a lot easier to take in when I was no longer soaking wet and mentally preparing how to survive the next five hours as such, and somehow be in a good mood and help people and walk around with ease.

I checked back in with her once I was changed, expressed clear and direct gratitude for handling the situation so well – so immediately and so effectively – and for creating a space for me to clear things up for myself by removing the strong physical discomfort aspect of the situation. (Think how we are miserable and can’t function properly when we are super hungry, and then our brains suddenly work again after we’ve gotten the needed nutrition. Better yet, think about how a bull or horse will buck and buck like crazy, even after the cowboy is off its back, until that miserably tight burr strap is loosed off its hindquarters.) It has been a no-brainer for her, and she was glad to have been able to help clear it all up for me. After all – and she didn’t say this, but we both know it – I can serve the store and its customers best when I am at my best… and wet and miserable is certainly not my best. So, it was beneficial to the store for me to have the new pants, more so than just the cost of the pants, but for the cost of all the customers with whom I would come in contact the rest of the day.

I don’t know if she bought them herself, or if there is a budget for the store to be used for such odd, here-and-there occasions. And I’m okay with it either way. I am nonetheless grateful that this person considered such a solution, whatever the details of it, and made it happen. And immediately. It made a world of a difference for me, and I was and still am extremely grateful.

Plus, I actually really like the pants. They were comfy to wear, and they are a really pretty color. Thank you, K. You turned a terrible experience into a lovely and loving one. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Vroom Vroom

Today, I went to my mom’s house to bring some salmon for dinner for my grandparents (who are still there due to hurricane damage at their home in farther-east Texas), and to hang out with them and with my mom. Where I am house-sitting is about an hour away from my mom’s house. I have express permission to drive the Vespa (which was, essentially, a copy of mine only a few weeks after I bought mine) and the Porsche, because, “It’s the cheapest car we own.”

Take that in for a second, will you?

Anyway, it’s a 1999 Porsche 911, a little car made for speed and spectacular performance. I drove it (with the owner in the passenger seat) once years ago when he first bought this particular one, and he had me go up in the highway and experience the sheer speed the engine can produce. I remember noticing that we were going 96 miles per hour despite my having had no idea we were much above even 60mph – I had told him at the time that the car just felt comfortable there, like it was made to go that speed more so than any other speed. He agreed with me, and then gave me a breakdown on why that felt to be the case. It was a really cool experience for me.

Today, I own a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL with crank windows and a 2013 Vespa 300GTS (that’s 300cc). The Hyundai is mostly a rainy day and grocery store car, as the engine can really only handle light use and short distances. The Vespa is, well, a Vespa. It can go 88mph with me driving it, but it isn’t made to do that very often or on the regular – it is really made to go 50-ish on the regular, possibly a bit more. Neither of these vehicles is anything like a Porsche. Nor was the 2011 Toyota Prius I recently drove for a while while a friend was out of the country – that one even less so, really.

And so, fast-forward back to today, when I fired up – and I use those words on purpose, because, boy, does it sound like someone just lit a massive fire when that engine roars to life! – this Porsche 911. It kind of made me nervous just to get the thing out of the one-car garage door (of a four-car garage, of course), I felt like I might blast a hole in something every time I even touched the gas. (Plus, with the age, the gear shifter was a little wonky to figure out at first, having to pull it way to the side for first gear, and even more way to the side for reverse, I was nervous of going the wrong direction straight into the concrete in front of me!) I had to run a quick errand first, and so experienced the world of growling beasts that are the low speeds of such a vehicle… I felt like I was going to break down just about everything that I passed, that engine was so strong and rough with its constant dull roar and slight explosion at every press of the gas pedal.

But I got over it after that short errand, and I took the dog for a quick little neighborhood ride before I headed out. I was told she absolutely loves it, and she even snuck out the gate while I was checking things over before leaving, and she climbed halfway in the driver door, despite my telling her to come back inside the yard. It was actually quite comical, so I couldn’t resist. I had considered doing it, anyway, but didn’t want to be running any later in my plans than I already was. When she so pathetically tried to crawl into the car, I had to go ahead with the original plan to take her for a ride.

Thus, the following… and no, I have no real explanation but that I imagine she might have been escaping the sunlight… the top and the windows were all down, and she knew it…

So, there’s that…

After I dropped her back off at the house, and gave her a treat as my departing gift, I headed out to my mom’s house. To start the trip, there is a quick stint of about six or so exits on the highway, before exiting for a ground-level Highway with a million stoplights and a surprisingly low speed limit for something called a state highway… anyway…

As I turned onto the feeder and headed the long road to the ramp onto the highway, I began really to feel the car’s power. I used to drive a new Volkswagen Jetta, manual, and was in love with the German engineering and the smoothness and classic-ness of the engine and steering and everything-to-do-with-driving of it. When I rented a new Volkswagen Beetle a few years ago, I was reminded of that fabulous engineering. Today, climbing up onto that highway ramp and overpass, my whole body reacted with memory and nostalgia at this experience of yet another classic case of stellar engineering. When the car felt like it was in its ‘chill space’, as I call the average vehicle’s 45mph feeling, we were going 85.

I might have gone a bit faster than that for a while, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speed anymore. I was feeling throughout my whole body the tingling sensation of memory combined with satisfaction and fulfillment. This is how a car should feel, I found myself thinking. This is a car.

And I meant it.

The top was down, the wind was blowing in just that way around, and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and laughing aloud, hard. I actually thought for a second, Wouldn’t it be silly if I cried right now? And then I noticed how my thoughts spoke without analyzing fully the situation… within seconds of having the thought, I noticed tears in my eyes. And not from the wind. I agreed with my thought, that it was silly, but I allowed the expression to be true and easy, and dove into my experience.

Driving this little car just felt right for me. It surprised me, but I could see that, now that I was trying on the idea, I truly want to make having one of these in my life happen – I want to have one of these 911s one day, to drive on the regular, wherever I may want to go in it. She is calling me, and I can finally hear it…

Vroom Vroom…

Post-a-day 2020

Swirlytop

I don’t have much to say right now, tonight. Except that I feel a lot of that old hurricane season waiting for the next 24-48 hours. It could be disaster, and it could be simply some winds and rain and no biggie whatsoever. It could not even do that much – the storm could turn elsewhere entirely, or dissipate immediately upon landfall. They all have happened in my lifetime, and more than once. I guess that, in a way, growing up in such a place, I find myself calmly in the middle of the total and extreme fear and concern, and of, its polar opposite, utter chill and calm and unconcern – it shall pass. Because they always do pass. Like final exams, next week, they will be over and done with, but there is a huge hurdle to get through them to next week. And all we can do is just prepare and then wait.

As I was saying recently to someone, having grown up in southeast Texas, hurricane season, somehow, always gives me a sense of at-home-ness. I guess it is kind of how I felt so comfortable with all of the earthquakes in Japan, because they happened so often (weekly, was the average where I lived). In a way, they were representative of my home there. So, I have this odd sort of affinity for earthquakes now. (In fact, when still living in Japan, it am earthquake didn’t happen for a couple weeks, I would feel so out of sorts, it seemed nuts. When finally one happened again, I felt like I could breathe more easily, more freely again.) And I think the link between hurricanes and my childhood, being with my family through them (and through their aftermaths), has me feel this sense of homeyness and comfort around hurricane season now.

Also, I am rather fascinated with the powerful display of this planet’s abilities of power. Air and water, two things we need to be alive, are the exact things that can take away this life via a hurricane. Yet there is beauty in their power, both figuratively and literally.

Funny: I just realized that I even felt incredibly at-home when we had typhoons in Japan. Just like home, I suppose was the feeling. Haha. How odd this all is…, but that doesn’t make it so any less.

Over the next couple or few days, there is a potential of two hurricanes to pass this way. We shall see what happens, I pray.

P.S. While this has never happened in my lifetime, I think there has never in known history been two such storms developing in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. She’s kind of a one-storm-at-a-time kind of Gulf. ;P

Post-a-day 2020

Ouch

Well, my bum hurts… a lot… (Okay, now I am laughing, because that just sounds so totally charged with sexual innuendo, and get it is absolutely not one bit sexual.) So, the showerhead broke, because it’s actually made of plastic at the part where it screws onto the pipe, and it just kind of split. That means that, despite the double and triple efforts of duct taping the pipe and connection piece, a bunch of water comes out of the duct tape instead of the showerhead itself, making the water flow significantly decreased from usual. To stand under the full water flow – from the showerhead and the leaking part combined – one must stand directly beneath the pipe and showerhead, as opposed to out in front, as would be the place to stand under normal circumstances.

Now, imagine showering in this setting, and dropping a bar of soap. You squat down carefully to pick up the bar, and stand back up at a rather normal standing up speed… only to have your bum suddenly be on fire after hearing a loud clanking and feeling a big bash on your backside – you have just perfectly slammed and scraped your backside upward against and across the large bathtub faucet… the faucet that typically is a couple feet behind you when you’re showering, thereby rendering you shocked and confused at first… but then you recall the leaky water situation, and realize that you had not at all factored that into the squatting and standing back up scenario…

That was, essentially, the portrait of me last night. I now have an inch-long cut, a two point five inch-long red line on either side of it, a few deep red spots around it, and a bruised and lighter red area of about two point five inches by one inch to hold it all together. And it still burns, 24 hours after the incident even happened, let alone the dull pain of the hit’s bruise.

So, yeah, my butt hurts.

I actually couldn’t even put on my underwear all the way for quite a while last night, the skin burned so much from the cut (which had bled a surprising amount, considering so much of the butt is fat and all). And I couldn’t sit normal or lie down either for a long while. Instead of going to bed as I had planned, I stayed up and watched a film on the sofa, sitting on my side, allowing the cut to close up enough safely with the medicine, as well as stop hurting so much that I couldn’t let anything touch it.

Now, it is mostly just a matter of not letting anything rub across the skin there, nor pushing too hard against the area. Otherwise, it is doing rather well, and really just keeps reminding of my other butt injury this year, in which, while fixing a wedgie, my fingernail caught the skin at the base of my spine and top of my butt, right in the middle, and scraped off a whole inch-ish-long chunk. Yes, a chunk. It bled a lot, and all over my underwear – such a weird situation that one was(!).

Basically, I’m just wondering how many more of these absolutely ridiculous butt injuries I am going to be causing myself the rest of this year… or even my life. The last was in January in Japan, and this one is August in Southeast Texas. What will happen in another six-ish months, pray?

😛

…………….

In a totally separate note, I received official word this morning that my gym is closing at the end of this month, permanently. He had too many people drop memberships and all, so it is the safe and smart thing for him to do financially for himself and his family (the owner, I mean). While it is conceptually heartbreaking, I realize that my intense depression last month was very much regarding the fact that, while most everyone else was back at the gym as usual, and I was staying home because it was what we were told was the safest idea for the time besting in our city, I had a feeling that I wasn’t just missing out for now, but that I was missing out for good – that I wouldn’t ever be going back to the gym. Being upset over this idea as being real seemed irrational of me at the time, which only added to the sense of loss and the depression. However, now that I am on the other side of the depression and intense struggle, I have now dealt with the relevant concerns that were at its root…, including the idea of my never going back to that particular gym again. So, while the news is, well, new, I have already gone through the emotional turmoil of not being able to go to the gym ever again, so I don’t feel any need to go through it again – I’ve already handled that one!

Yes, it is sad that the gym is closing – it was a spectacular space filled with love and support that made huge impacts on many lives, mine included. However, it is both a new opportunity for the owner, as well as for me. As “High School Musical” so happily belted out for me tonight, it’s the start of something new – and I can feel it, and I am ready this time. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Boiling point?

I might be at my boiling point this week… physically, though mentally regarding the physically…

You see, I have learned to handle acne rather well for my body… meaning that I have learned how to avoid having very much of it.

Unfortunately, my body is extremely sensitive – well, kind of to everything, but that’s not the point right now – to sweat, when it comes to producing acne.

All I need is to have my skin be the level of sticky sweaty – pouring/dripping sweat is fine, but, once it stops, I need to clean off the skin – in order for acne to show up in the very near future in those exact spots.

So, I washed my face three times throughout the night last night, and have done it several times today, simply because of the heat of the place where I am staying this week – it is warm, like 76 overnight and 82 degrees Fahrenheit during the day (And, before you start saying the temperatures are to save money on electricity or to help save the planet, know that the air is set to “ON”, not to “AUTO”…, so it is always running…, but with warm-ish air abouts.)… I couldn’t identify at first why I was so mentally disturbed by the fact that the apartment was kept so warm, but I eventually realized that that was it: the acne concern.

I was kind of supposed to go take photos with someone this week… now, it is definitely not happening… I already have more acne on my face than when I got here yesterday, plus, I only slept a maximum of a few hours last night, for fear of bugs (I got bitten while aiming to sleep) and for the struggle of the intense warmth of sleeping atop a fabric sofa and wool-like blanket…. so, no photos of me this week, buddy – I need to be not semi-miserable and not annoyed at my physical state to go take such specific photos.

Let’s be real: sitting here, writing this, I keep taking breaks to move my arms away from my body, and to breathe deeply, both in hopes of cooling off even a little bit more… it reminds me of the days of no a/c in the world, when everyone just suffered all summer long, and sat, miserable, on their porches with cold lemonade and a cool rag, unable to get themselves to do anything else, because the mental effort involved in starting any physical effort was just too much for the overheated body and brain to handle…

That’s about how I feel here, breathing in the warm and humid air of the apartment, as though I might just be sitting outside still…, but outside has bugs and wind and rather low humidity, actually… man… not even my deep breathing is relieving, it feels so oxygen-low…

Ugh… okay, you can do this, Banana…

Post-a-day 2020

Out of the frying pan

… and into the black pot of swirling stew…*

Things have been quite the bit of a mumbled- jumbled mess today!

Whew!

Tomorrow is a half-day for work, due to something happening in downtown Houston…

I truly hope and pray that all be smart and safe tomorrow afternoon… let humanity show some advancement, please…

Anyway, things have been crazy today for other reasons entirely, but I am glad for the half-day tomorrow.

However, it is likely to be an interesting half-day in and of itself… man… today’s muddled stew did not turn the way I’d thought it would spin…

Tomorrow is likely to tell us more… and next week will make it all clear, I think.

Fingers crossed… God, guide us all to, through, and with love.

Amen.

*For those who’ve missed it, I’ll tell you merely that I have combined two famous phrases for their meanings and for the locale similarities… 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Cinco de Mayo

Perusing the various social aspects of my phone as I get in my final required steps before I am allowed to go to bed for the night, I have noticed a sense of slight oddness…, but I have been unable to identify what is odd, nor really be sure that something is, indeed, odd… I’m just tired, and under the after-effects of a large margarita (from six hours ago, mind you) and lots of tamales and tacos to fill my belly and tire me out.

I had consciously decided to gorge on them in celebration of Cinco de Mayo – truly more of a Texas day of celebration of Mexican culture than a Mexican celebration of boosted morale in the midst of a takeover by France… – and to be delighted with the whole experience… and I have been – today has been great.

But, sitting here on my bed, there is something tickling at the back of my tired mind and body…

I wiggle and trench my shoulders a bit, and it suddenly hits me, as I declare happily, “That’s what’s weird! I don’t have a shirt on!”

As usual when I am really tired, I messed up the order of things in getting ready for bed, and forgot the one that involves putting on a shirt. 😂

So, I popped over to clothes, selected a soft t-shirt, and pulled it on happily.

Aaahhh… that feels good… satisfying.

At last, the oddness is gone, and I feel whole in my bedtime preparations. 😂

Silly, silly… 😂

Post-a-day 2020

I love my city

I really do love my city. I spent most of the day today out riding my bicycle around it, and taking photos of things I like, so that I could send them to my buddy in Italy, so that he could see some of the everyday and the beloved that are part of my life in Houston.

(What a sentence!)

What’s funny to me right now, though, is that, though I did that and I exercised and I made delicious food and healthy and delicious juices afterward, and I sent the photos on, and I chatted a long while with a good friend while winding down just now…, though I did all of these things, and I was incredibly satisfied by and fulfilled by my day…., I suddenly am filled – in my intense sleepiness, as I prep as quickly as is possible for bed – with an experience of loss regarding that guy… I almost want to cry, yet I couldn’t say why specifically… but it has to do with him, I know.

It is much like the song I wrote the other day about loving my city, yet not wanting to be in it right now…, because I wanted to be with him, instead… I was just going through all of these awesome photos, and it was on my mind how much I love my city…, and then, bam… some utterly unknown tangent busts in this old topic.

I know it was a tiny affair on paper, but it wasn’t tiny for me, for many reasons… and I understand that it isn’t just going to go away – it is going in small steps, with every day involving less and less brainpower and attention occupied by thoughts of him and that whole situation, and also less intense emotions connected to all of it… but, even still, it doesn’t feel good when, after a whole day of being in great spirits about it, my guards of logic and consciousness begin to close down for the night, and I am whooshed by a sudden sad reminder of something I really wanted – something I expressed wanting – didn’t work out, despite my going for it.

I’m just going to sit with that for now… perhaps it is what will do me best, not to resist it or disappear it right away… perhaps it still just needs to be felt at times…

So, I’ll feel it…

Post-a-day 2020

Get your a** off the floor ;P

The biggest mistake was sitting down.

If I hadn’t sat down in the first place, I wouldn’t be stuck here right now, battling mentally with what it will take to get me to get up, go put on some clothes, and finish my post-shower, pre-bed activities so that I can go to bed and sleep.

However, here I still sit, leaning against my bed, instead of in it, and just a towel wrapped around my hair… eyes drooping closed and slowly rising again to determine if I have made it into bed yet, only to be disappointed to the point of closing them once more… the cycle repeats.

Okay, fine, I’ll get up and finish things up… I just don’t have anything for tomorrow, though I have more than one thing I would love to do tomorrow (if only it weren’t all dependent upon another), so it is harder for me to want to go to sleep.:.

Well, perhaps I can develop something wonderful simply by waking earlier than needed, and taking the time to explore what I might like to do, and then do it…

We’ll see about that…, but it is enough to get me up, so, here I go…

P.S. I Really want to go somewhere next week – no school, no work, no events… let’s either get a cheap plane fair somewhere or drive somewhere, a state or national park, perhaps(!)… ye-he-hess (Mr. Burns style, fingers and all).