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… ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Grazie, Prego

I have a language exchange partner.

Heโ€™s Italian.

Heโ€™s asked me to marry him.

Neither of us is looking to date (or anything of the sort with) the other – we genuinely just want friendship through language sharing, as we each improve our own abilities in the otherโ€™s native tongue.

In a way, we hardly know one another.

Yet, we chat (via messages that are mostly text and sometimes voice) and send one another photos and videos and updates basically every day… yeah, every day, I think…, so it feels like we are closer than we are.

We are honest and open with one another… in a way, it is an extremely low-risk situation for us both, you could say… I wouldnโ€™t say yet that we are friends, but I no longer describe him as โ€˜my conversation exchange partnerโ€™, but as โ€˜my buddyโ€™…, because he really is a buddy to me, and I hope I am to him.

We know about highs and lows in love and heartbreak for one another; we talk about finances and healthcare systems and death – so much death right now in his part of the world, but we never seem to dwell longer than is respectful; we get nerdy about grammar and explanations of turns of phrase; we share about work (we have very different jobs yet similar setups); I sent him my song before I shared it with almost anyone else (Since he isnโ€™t great with English, he said, he could be a good testing ground for sharing it…, which he said after encouraging me through my nerves of wanting to make the instrument side of things go well, but being worried at my skill level…)…, and he knew what and whom it was about, without a doubt (It was not about him, of course, but someone in my life here.).

(“Comunque si. Sei cotta!๐Ÿ˜‚,” he said after reading the lyrics. Anyway, yes. You are cooked. (A phrase which here means, “Out of your wits in a crush on this guy”) ๐Ÿ˜›

And, what’s extra fun is that our time difference and lifestyles actually line up perfectly that when I’m getting up and going to bed happen to be perfect times for him to be messing around, messaging me… so we have two good chunks of time every day to be in communication with one another.

And it really is fun… honest and fun.

I think meeting this buddy of mine has been one of the most valuable parts of this year so far.

And I am extremely grateful.

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).

Germs

Tonight, my concerns about bathroom germs were solidified.

In talking with a very experienced and well-read and well-informed nurse, I learned of clear studies that established absurd levels of germage 1) being forced upward (into the air and the flusher’s face) from toilets when they are flushed, and 2) being blasted onto one’s hands and around the bathroom via high-powered air dryers (mostly because a rather high percentage of people do not wash their hands properly or thoroughly [naturally, Japan comes to mind, with the typical quick rinse of water onto the fingertips being as much as most women ever seemed to do]).

Crazy, it is.

And very unsurprising… as I mentioned, I had suspected as much.

It just reaffirms my desire to have toilets more like in Japan, where you wash your hands over the back of the toilet – dual flow toilets – as the faucet pours water into a basin that drains into the tank that holds the water in preparation for the next flush.

That way, you don’t get your dirty hands on the same surfaces where you brush your teeth.

Just saying…

These things I dream… haha ๐Ÿ˜›

P.S. I have been awake the past 19 and a half hours… Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

Post-a-day 2020

A change in perspective, but not in mind

Have you ever had a time where you interact with a person you’ve known for a while, but you leave the interaction seeing the person entirely differently?

And then, have you ever left the interaction ready to cry, because that person just filled every need you had emotionally, but you are ovulating, and so his stellar level of physical fitness and adorably cute persona and face and hair ended up just reminding you of the facts that 1)you don’t have someone to be your someone, and 2)you really want someone to hurry up and be there for you to be your someone?

Okay, so maybe it is more a girl thing than a guy thing, and maybe it is more a me thing than an anyone else thing…, but, as the kids are saying these days, the struggle is real.

I am not attracted to him, though I have always acknowledged his adorableness and his pristinely perfect body – that is, I do not have a romantic attraction to him… I absolutely enjoy his presence and enjoy interacting with him, because he is a great guy, but I am not trying to date him or anything.

Yet tonight, as I struggled to get through what I was doing, he encouraged me so beautifully, and in the quiet, ‘I care about you,’ kind of encouragement, combined with the, ‘I am so proud of you for all you are doing for yourself right now,’ that it just touched me to the core.

Sitting at home later, I suddenly noticed that he was in my mind, and my mind was somewhat sad – I was okay that he wasn’t the someone for me, but his having been so perfectly wonderful with me tonight just re-emphasized the fact that I do not have that someone in my life yet (not in that capacity yet, anyway), and that I so totally want someone who will be like that, so caring and loving and calm and comfortable in his encouragement and help and love for me.

Suddenly, I wonder if I am all wrong in my interests, if something more like this guy is what I really want…, and then I remember that I have always wanted someone who is like this guy in the sense of being how he was tonight with the encouragement…. but that curl to the hair is risky cute.

Not that that’s actually news, though… we’ve known that from the start. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway… perhaps I’ll have lovely dreams that will sort out the remaining emotional stress from this, and I’ll have moved entirely forward by tomorrow when I awaken.

๐Ÿ™‚

Post-a-day 2020′

Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. ๐Ÿ˜€

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

Post-a-day 2020

Maybe itโ€™s just for me

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about riding my bike on the highway through the cold, winter evening weather that makes me want to arrive home to my husband, have a little romp fest with him, and then snuggle up to a movie and hot cocoa by the fire together.

And, I mean, it isn’t exactly a sexual thing – riding my bike through the cold isn’t an erotic experience or anything.

It is kind of like how a cold winter day just kind of makes you want to snuggle close to a warm mug of hot chocolate or apple cider… only, when riding my bike on these days, I just want to have the little romp fest first, and then snuggle up under blankets with the warm mug.

Just as the hot chocolate just sounds like the perfect next step to the day, so does this little grouping of events sound for me.

Granted, this is Houston, Texas, so we won’t often have fires going anyway, and, besides that, I don’t exactly have a husband at the moment (or anything like one), so my scenario isn’t exactly plausible…, however, the cold weather and wind just somehow make it seem like the perfect way to continue on in the day.

Perhaps, somewhere down the road, that will be the way I end each chilly day of winter.

For now, though, I just smile at the slight irony of the situation and utter oddness about its existence in the first place, and then I feel the chill start to sink into my skin under my ski suit, and suddenly feel slightly sick, my stomach ebbing toward forcing out whatever might be at that moment within its uncomfortable, tightening confines…

Anyway, so that was my afternoon, eh?

How was yours? ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Welcome Home

It is rainy and humid and warm (but will be cold by morning!), and the house was humid and miserable when I first arrived, and the shower was standing, and my towel was (is?) big and fluffy, and I wrapped it all around my body and then my head, and it still isn’t soaked through…, and my bed is soft and big enough for me and not on the floor, and it is finally cool in my room and the hallway and all, but it is still humid in a good way, and so my nose insides aren’t hurting anymore…

Yes, I am back to Houston, Texas, and its winter weather and wonderful beds and towels…

And it feels delightful to be here.

But I’m hungry… hmm…

I guess I kind of did miss a meal somewhere along this past 39-hour day that was my January tenth of 2020… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

Jet-setting oven

Well, here we go…

It has been an interesting day so far, and continues to be so now…

I currently am very annoyed with Air Canada, but I am hoping that they will remedy the nasty problem when they open the counter (as soon as this ANA flight finishes at the same gate, and someone shows up for my flight).

Also, what to do?

Buy the filthy expensive whisky for my dad, a whisky that you kind of can’t get anywhere else anyway?

I think so.

But I have to wait for them to open the counter to remedy the situation with my flight first…, then walk all the way back to the duty free place that had it (because the one here doesn’t have it).

Huff……

God, help me heal through this next bit of traveling (because I also happen to have a fever right now, naturally).

๐Ÿ˜›

P.S. They did not remedy the situation, and it was not a very comfortable flight arrangement… however, my seat companion and I commiserated and laughed about it a bit, and had some great conversation besides, so it ended up being tolerable (fortunately!).

Post-a-day 2020

Snuggle bug

The final night has arrived: I return to Texas tomorrow.

It is weird; I don’t feel like saying, “I’m going home…” it just doesn’t feel quite right.

For at least part of me, this is home – I am at home in Japan… in a way.

No, I do not want to stay permanently.

In dinner conversation, the idea came up of my working at an international school or special private school in Japan… and I almost felt a need to quell a rising panic…

But I reminded myself that I am safe and okay, and that I am perfect as I am, and I was able to remain calm easily and communicate nicely – aka I didn’t shout like a five-year-old, “Dame!” (No way!), but instead moved the conversation forward with a different route, so as not to offend.

(Because who wants to be told, “I kind of hate living full-time in your culture, thanks,”?)

Japan is a place for me to visit, that is for sure.

I even could see myself coming for slightly-extended-stays in the future, maybe for photography or something of the sort.

But not living here again.

I am sad to leave, but I am relieved to be going home to Houston, a place that always will hold a spirit of home for me.

I am nervous to go back to my low-budget life as a graduate student slash tutor slash up-and-coming photographer.

However, I actually am quite excited at the terror of what is to come next with all of it – classes and thesis, lots of graduation announcement photos, developing my editing skills, creating my kimono art show, teaching art & yoga (bilingually at that!), tutoring and teaching French and Spanish And Japanese, studying Japanese… maybe even watching some Olympic Games (I did buy some temporary tattoos and nail art to be a Japan fan during them…)…

Yes, I am looking forward to the next steps.

Especially getting even more fit… the gym has been something crazy for me this past month.

I have been totally fine without it, and even eating anything and everything delicious-tasting… and I have grown accustomed to being comfortable with myself more fully…

I am excited to return to the gym as my more-developed self that I now am… more true to myself than before (which was already purty darn good and true).

I am excited to see and to interact with my semi-crush-ish guy, and to be totally comfortable and okay with our being friends forever…

And to have that place be cleared up for something new and a bagillion times better to come into my life… I am ready to take on this life…

Thank you, Japan.

Thank you, Sara, my once-again snuggle buddy (now aged nine years).

Thank you, God.

Thank you, Texas – here I come. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020