Sunday, March 28, 2010

★16 New kink?

M-chan's sayonara party was duly themed, 'Salarymen & Schoolgirls.' I adhered to this theme and dressed up as a schoolgirl.

It was fun XD
Maybe too much fun.

So much fun in fact that I might have discovered a hidden kink for schoolgirl uniforms.

Naughty schoolgirl cosplay, anyone?

Haha, ;P

Saturday, March 27, 2010

★15 アートで自己表現

Got the sudden urge to paint today and before I knew it I'd done five different pieces! I really like working with caligraphy ink. I think I'll experiment with it more.

Now I'll go hang these on my wall.

★14 空

These days I don't want to think.

It feels like every time I do my mind becomes a mess. What used to be up is suddenly down, left is right, good is bad - until I can't be sure of anything anymore.

I don't trust my mind. I don't trust the mind's need to rationalize, to categorize, to judge. I'm tired of questions with contradicting answers. Everything is right and yet Everything is wrong. It makes no sense and yet it makes perfect sense. So no more questions and no more answers. I'm tired of answers. There might not even be answers. Not in the way we're used to; no absolute answers.

So I don't want to think.

I just want to Feel. Live. Experience. Be my heart.

I want a divorce from my mind, or at least a separation.

Look mind, I'm not saying we're over but I need some space....

I want a tattoo.

Crazy, isn't it? Me, someone who never liked them and vowed never to get one.

For the first time in my life I want a tattoo.

And I find myself considering and condoning things I never have before.

I can be so many things. We are all so many things. We are complex. We are everything.

Right now I'm floating. I'm floating in possibility.

With hopes of someday settling, of doing that thing people call, 'coming into her own.'

But see even now I can't trust these words. When I write there ends up being some kind of conclusion expressed, a rationalization of some kind, and that's what I want to get away from.

Get away.
Come home.
Stop thinking.

Nothing but Air.

Just Breathe.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

★13 Kit-Kat

Found a new Kit-Kat flavor when I was in Gunma this past weekend. Check it out:

Baked Sweet Potato.

Friday, March 19, 2010

★11 火

Fires are fucking scary.

That pretty much sums up my day yesterday.

Luckily, we were able to extinguish the fire in time to prevent it from spreading but the whole ordeal was still pretty scary.

In the end it was only what you'd classify as a, 'small grease fire', but I'd never been in that kind of situation before so it was quite a shock. We were heating up oil to fry up some egg rolls when the pan started smoking. I turned off the stove and waited for the smoke to clear but instead a couple minutes later a fire flared up out of nowhere. I was alone in the kitchen and panicked (knowing only that I couldn't use water since that would make it worse) but thankfully my housemate was nearby in the shower room and I got him to come help. He didn't know what to do either so at first we threw a towel over the pot (in lieu of a fire blanket) but when that didn't work we finally remembered the fire extinguisher. We used one and thought we were in the clear, but soon after the fire flared up again and we had to use a second fire extinguisher. By the grace of God, one of the building managers who was scheduled to come check M-chan's room (since she was moving out) came early and was there to call the fire department and help with the fire. The firefighters came and then the police, and later the heads of the company who owns the building. I was pretty shaken up and feeling pretty sick from the smoke/fire extinguisher fumes to begin with, so being interviewed and photographed by the firefighters and police (my Japanese vocabulary does not include 'What to say in case of Fire') and having to say goodbye to M-chan (my best friend in Japan and closest thing I've ever had to a big sister) in the middle of all of this was pretty nerve-wracking.

I tried helping with the cleaning but due to my asthma I had to step out of the kitchen almost every other minute because I couldn't breathe. Even once I left to run the errands I couldn't postpone, my chest continued to feel tight and my eyes and face were itchy. I was also feeling light headed and, in general, not well. Last night my eyes were even a little swollen (I'd tried cleaning again) and this morning when I woke up they were really swollen. They're still bothering me a bit now. I also have a headache. At least the tightness in my chest is gone, though. But I also haven't tried to do more cleaning.... Actually, we've decided to call in someone to clean. I don't know yet if the housing company will cover the cost, but I rather pay than risk my health.

And as it often happens, when it rains it pours.

I've been going through a lot of changes recently. Mostly self-induced, as I try to face myself and my life and make changes for the better that will make me healthier and happier. It's not always easy, and being far from home it gets lonely, so it's been tough. I feel like I've done (am doing) my best to be really strong recently so I'm entitled to a moment of weakness and the need to lean on others every once in a while. So in the middle of all of this - my best friend leaving Japan, trying my best at overcoming certain personal issues, being left to deal with the consequences of a fire, not feeling well - the few friends I was counting on couldn't (though it felt at the time like they wouldn't be there), and other friends without fully knowing what I was going through were getting mad at me over totally unrelated issues. Well, it was a bit much.

I don't know.

For a long time I was someone who counted on her friends a lot but was always hurt and disappointed. Now I try to help myself and be strong on my own which makes me forget I can lean on others sometimes.

When is it ok to ask for help?
When should I deal with things all by myself?

I guess that's something I'm still figuring out.

I'm always trying to be considerate of other people's feelings. I'm always trying no to let people down.... But I'm also trying to stand up for myself more and trying to think that yes, it is allowed to expect certain things from the people that really matter. I want to be able to do it all on my own, but sometimes I need support. It's that balance between independence and community.

In the end I have a lot to learn.

But that's ok.

Yesterday was kind of a meltdown, but those happen.

Today I'm still stressed but back on my feet again and doing what I have to do.

Maybe I don't have to do it all alone, but I do have to take responsibility for myself.

So that's what I'm trying to do.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

★10 高円寺

A week or so ago I explored Koenji. A trendy little area with a kind of Bohemian feel. The streets are lined with secondhand clothing stores, record shops, and cafes that are either quaint or quirky. Koenji is known to be the home of 'alternative culture' in Tokyo. Think the Village in New York or Haight/Ashbury in San Francisco.

I don't know that it's still all that revolutionary, but it's my kind of place.

Facades in Koenji

Monday, March 15, 2010

★9 T.R.Y.

T.R.Y. まだ見ぬ未来 何があったって信じて進めば

絶対 明るい未来 それだけを信じて。

T.R.Y Mada minu mirai Nani ga attatte shinjite susumeba

Zettai Akarui mirai Sore dake wo shinjite.

T.R.Y The future is still unclear But if you go forward believing something was bound to happen (then)

Most definitely A bright future Just believe that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

★8 Kit-Kat

Something that amuses me to no end here is the incredible variety of Kit-Kat flavors. In the US we have chocolate and that's about it. In Japan, however, it's a whole other ballgame. Chocolate Kit-Kat?


Strawberry Cheesecake flavored Kit-Kat?
Ramune Soda flavor?
Pudding (Flan)?

That's more like it!
According to Japan, anyway.

Honestly, I've tried a lot of the different flavors for the mere sake of novelty and found I don't really like them so I don't eat them. (Guess I'm a classic Kit-Kat fan.) Still, every time I'm in a convenience store I can't help but check to see if there's a new flavor out. It's like a game! I want to see how many different Kit-Kat flavors I can find!

The flavors change with the seasons so there's always a new one out.

These are some of the flavors I've encountered recently....

How about Ginger Ale flavor?

Passion Fruit and Raspberry.
(This one was exciting because I love passion fruit but sadly it wasn't good.)

Soy Sauce
(Just wrong, right? >__<)
(Not much better, right? >___<)
Sakura Matcha
(Cherry Blossom Matcha Green Tea)

I don't think it can get much worse than Wasabi and Soy Sauce flavored Kit-Kats but this is Japan so who knows!

I wonder what flavor I'll find next.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

★7 私の花

There's a flower that stands tall and strong, conviction rooting her to the ground.
Come hail or drought or snow, she stands there, tall and strong.
When the sun is high,
When the skies are clear,
I miss the rain, she says.
I miss the breeze, she says.

My clouds are gray and violent, thunderous and looming.
A rain shower of tears.
Wind that blows fierce with fear.

And she takes it.
Welcomes it.
Asks for it.

She sees the beauty of the darkest darkness; purifies the sky.

Until the rain trickles down gently, only tiny drops of dew.
Until the wind dies down to a breeze, a soft whisper that tickles through the trees.
Until soon my skies are clear again.
And my light, my sun, shines high.

Then if her petals stand withered, if her leaves sag or droop; I'll still think she's the most beautiful flower I've ever seen, give her all the warmth she needs.


Navigating with precarious balance.
Losing it and getting it back.

We'll move forward with the seasons.
We'll face the day and Fight.

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

★6 疵物

There are times I feel so flawed.

When the weight of my imperfections seem to crush me like an anvil.

And I think....

Will I ever get out from under here?

I want to be beautiful.
I want to feel beautiful.

Monday, March 8, 2010

★5 曲

"In Other Words"
Ben Kweller

Another night slips away
In other words i should say
There are no words he should say
There are no words

In his eyes i see the fear
That only time could disappear
If only time could re-appear
Now's the time

Somethin' to take it away to take it away to take it
Don't let it stay don't let it stay don't let it

The butterflies are passive aggressive and put their problems on the shelf but they're beautiful
He'll realize the only thing thats real are the kids that kid themselves and the demise of the beautiful
What is beautiful?

The multi-life is better than
The one we're in the one we knew
Cause everyone is seein' through everyone

They're steppin' on
His gold terrain
He's movin' on with bold refrain
His blatantly old campaign
Is movin' on

Somethin' to take it away to take it away to take it
Don't let it stay don't let it stay don't let it

The butterflies are passive aggressive and put their problems on the shelf but they're beautiful
He'll realize the only thing thats real are the kids that kid themselves and the demise of the beautiful
What is beautiful?

What can't stay goes away

It starts stopping when it stops stopping

Saturday, March 6, 2010

★4 顔

Today's Faces

A myriad of expressions.

Friday, March 5, 2010

★3 春


One of the things I love most about living in Japan and Japanese culture is the emphasis that's placed on the Four Seasons. Everything changes according to the season. The way you eat Soba changes. As do blends of tea. There's a time for Nabe and a time for Soumen. Summer is for うな丼 but Mikan are for Winter. 春、夏、秋、冬。Seasons changing is the flow of Nature and Japan goes with that flow. Here, I feel in tune with Nature, with the seasons, in a way I never did before. I like it.

Now it's Spring.
I like Spring.
I can feel Spring.

Today I saw my first Cherry Blossoms of the year.

桜 - Sakura

The icon of Spring in Japan.

I stumbled across a shrine near my work today. I'd arrived with some time to spare and, finding the weather as nice as it was, decided to take a little stroll down the street. To my surprise and pleasure a few feet up ahead I was greeted with patches of pink just beyond a stone torii gate.

I love Spring, I thought. As a wave of peace washed over me.

There's something about Spring. They say 'Love is in the Air', and it is.

Love of Life.

Spring is about Life; about Living.
About rebirth and renewal. New beginnings.
The buds are sprouting, trying their very best to push their way out of the darkness, to grow into the light. They're trying so hard to live! To poke their little selves out where they can feel the breeze and touch the warm sun.
Everything is life.
After the death of Winter there is life again.
After our death there is life again.

I think, It's never truly over. Not forever, anyway. For us, all of us living things, there's always another chance. Our chances never end. Because just as life takes away it gives back. Things coil, then they spring back. We coil, then we spring back. That's the cycle of life and death. It's what we are. Who we are.

It's beautiful.

I look at the flowers and I think, I want to try my best as well.
All is not lost.

It never is.

Awaken with the flowers.
Blow free in the Sky.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

★2 ネズ‐ミミ

I have a new friend.


A little mouse I've found to help me document this next part of my journey. She was a little expensive, but I think I've gone through enough in the last few weeks to where I deserve it. Besides, I'm going back to working full time next month so I'll be able to save money again.

Anyway, I'm excited.

ミミ is something new for me to play and experiment with. I needed something new. We'll discover lots together, I'm sure.

I'm still getting used to her.
A trial run.

★1 始まり

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
~Seneca (Roman philosopher)

Every once in a while it's time for us to hit the reset button. To sit back; let it all go. We've already assessed the past, that road that's led us here. We see, we learn, we appreciate, and we move on.

Step by step by step.
One foot in front of the other.
Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot.

And sometimes we go in circles. Sometimes we get distracted. Then there are the times we're lost, or tired, or afraid to go anywhere. We need to sit and stop occasionally; get some well needed rest. There can be rainy days and snow too; winds that threaten to knock us over and heat that burns through to our bones. All of this and more. And sometimes it's too much! Until we can't see the forest for the trees anymore! Then there's no way out. We feel all boxed in. Where to go?! So we sink to the ground, afraid even, to look around.

We don't like falling. None of us do. But sometimes, believe it or not, it's the best thing that can happen to you. Without down there's no up. Things have to break or they won't get fixed. When everything around you shatters, then that's your chance to put all the pieces back together into something even better!

So, get up. Re-start. Reset on that journey.

As long as there's a path in front of you and breath in your lungs you're not done yet.