Friday, April 30, 2004

Cosmic Chaos

It's a very good thing that I have a good sense of humor and an appreciation for absurdity. I drove to the real estate agent's office in Exeter this morning and was informed that the guy I am renting the apartment from hadn't realized that tomorrow was May 1st! So, it turns out I will not be moving into the new apartment tomorrow. I could be in there as early as Monday or as late as May 15. For my troubles, they knocked half a month's rent off the bill, so if I do get in there on Monday I'll have saved a few hundred dollars for my patience and understanding.
Mercury is just leaving retrograde and we're in between two eclipses. I keep an eye on the astral weather so none of the twists and turns really surprise me all that much. At least not mentally and emotionally. My neck, shoulders and head, on the other hand, feel like someone has been beating them with a club. I've already taken two rounds of ibuprofen today and none of it has made much of a dent in the headache.
It's beautiful out today. Seems more like summer than spring. Suppose I'll try to get out and enjoy it later on. I think what I need right now is a nap.

Another Step

In less than 2 hours I will be signing the lease on my new apartment. If things go the way I expect they will, tonight will be the last night I sleep under this roof and think of it as home. At this point what I'm hoping for most is that the headache I have had for the past week will finally leave me once I make the move.
This is another step. It's a big step, but it's still just one step on the journey. It will get me to the place where I can begin to consider the steps that follow from here. What comes next is that I relax in my own space and take time to reflect on how I let myself give up so much control of my life and figure out how I want to live from now. I even have a fair inkling of the step that comes after that, but I'm not ready to share it just yet.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Something to Ponder

"What is love? As far as I can tell, it is a passion, admiration and respect. If you have two, you have enough. If you have all three, you don't have to die to go to heaven."
-- Willliam Wharton


Not too long ago my dad told me that his father had come from a little town on the Pripyat River called Chernobyl. My grandfather, along with his mother and sister, left there in 1916, made their way across China, through Japan and eventually emigrated to the US.

Today on SpaceTramp I found a link to a website by Elena with photographs and commentary from her motorcycle trips to Chernobyl. Incredible stuff.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I am Fluent in Geek and I Already am a Translator

You are 27% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

My Theoretical Phone Service

Well, I still have not located a new place to live, even though my goal is to be out of here by May 1st. The seconds are ticking by very loudly.Once I do get out of here, I'm seriously thinking about getting phone service from Vonage - The Broadband Phone Company. I had broadband phone service in Japan and thought it was a great value. Does anyone have have any comments or advice about Vonage?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Where's Dinner?

This is so not what I should be doing right now, I mean people are waiting for me to make dinner, but when spirits and self confidence are running a little low, there's nothing like a really random online test to brighten up a rainy day.
Damn, J-Lo! You are...
77% dateable!
Attractive and confident, witty and charming, a healthy ambrosia-based diet... you're wanted in the 48 contiguous states, you slayer. Call me. Seduce me. Make me a man (or woman.) Not only do you know how to turn a guy's (or girl's) engines on, but you also know how to oil, lube and rotate it. You put the "elation" back into "relationship," and the "night" back into "one-night stand."'s The Date Test

Sunday, April 25, 2004


Oh yeah, in the midst of all the upheaval I acheived Lifetime Membership in Weight Watchers yesterday. What does that mean? It means I have reached my goal weight and maintained it for 6 weeks and as long as I weigh in at least once every month at not more than 2 pounds above my goal I don't have to pay for meetings. I set my goal on the higher end of my weight range and have been consistently 3-5 pounds below that for the past month. The excessive levels of stress in my life have pretty much killed my appetite so it hasn't really been a chore to maintain. There have been plenty of days when I used the WW points as a goal to eat that much, not as a restriction. My dad told me I'm "svelte" now. That's pretty funny. Question is, how can I have dropped 21 pounds and weigh what I did in high school and still think my butt looks too big? Think I have some issues. Who doesn't though?

A Dim View

Over the past week or so, the screen on my iBook has stayed dim when I have woken the computer up from sleep. I can just barely make out enough to maneuver over and put it back to sleep from the Apple Menu and then wake it up again. Sometimes that fixes things, sometimes it doesn't.
Poked around on the Apple support site and found nothing helpful so I went the Apple Discussions boards and found this thread and a couple others like it. Looks like I am not the only one with the problem. I got the extended warranty when I bought the computer, but I'll have to send it away to get it fixed and I'd rather wait until the semester is over before I am without a computer to work on at home.

Hints and Crumbs

There's so much more to the story than I can write about here right now. Sometimes I wish I could just put it all out here, but I realize that is not appropriate or wise. The whole purpose of the blog is to give me a place to vent and be honest and somewhat anonymous. But the anonymity isn't really there and the repercussions would have the potential to devastate me and some others, as well.
And at other times I come so close to thinking, what the hell, I should just go for it and speak my truth. Put it all out there and let the chips fall where they may. I used to live like that, a long time ago. If I only had myself to think about, I probably would do just that. But it's not just me I have to think about. I've got a girl who needs a mom who's not a total flake. So I'm just going to have to keep my shit together for a little while longer.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

My Tattered State of Mind

My mind is racing a million miles a minute these days. Thought I had a plan all set for a place to move and now it seems like it probably won't come through. It was a nice idea and a convenient spot, but it just seems like I am doing a whole lot of pursuing and not getting back any clear answers. Screw it. It's not my only available choice.
Today I decided it's really time to start expanding my options. I've made a few phone calls and sent out some emails to people who may be able to help me out. I've gone back to my family for more ideas and they've offered up some good ones. It really seems imperative to me that I start taking some concrete action and get my ass out the door and into a new place. I'm looking at everything from short-term fully furnished rentals to buying myself a condo. I'm tired of being stuck. I'm tired of wasting time. I'm tired of feeling so damn frustrated and uncomfortable in my own home.
I've been going to counseling for nearly a month now. It's been good for me, but I'm started to get annoyed at being told how well I'm handling everything. I mean, if I'm handling it well and it makes me feel this crazy, how would I feel if I were making a mess of things!?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

What's The Point?

Researchers in Japan have shown female mice can reproduce without the involvement of a male. WTF? Why bother?
Don't mean to bash here, but the trend toward things effeminate in Japan always bothered me. Guess this is just taking it to the ultimate extreme. I should elaborate on this, but I don't have the time now. Maybe later.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Unintended Effect?

The little info sheet I got from my first massage warned that massage releases muscle memory and frees things up in the body and that may result in emotional reactions afterwards. Today's deluxe facial included a half hour massage. Maybe that's why I'm having my own little pity party for one now. I'm getting really tired of being such a frigging rollercoaster emotional mess. Well, at least I'm all exfoliated and hydrated and shit now. Guess that counts for somewthing.

This Is New

Hmmm. Someone around here likes what I have to say.
And her name is Heidi. My best friend's name is Heidi. I haven't spoken to her for a couple of years and I don't even know where she is on the planet anymore, but we were best friends from 4th grade on. I don't think the Everyday News Heidi and my goober best friend Heidi are the same person, but I have a great fondness for the name. It reminds me of a lot of goofy times.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Phase II of the Rescue By Pampering Force

So, tomorrow I am booked for a deluxe facial at Dover Wellness and Beauty Center. This is another birthday present that I am finally getting around to enjoying 6 weeks after the fact. Back at that point I hadn't even made the announcement of my personal crisis (guess you all have probably figured out the deal by now), but maybe my family members were picking up on my distress and the need for some pampering. Now they all keep telling me to take care of myself and pamper myself so I can cut the stress back, even just a little. Last week the hot stone massage I got as a present from my mom was great (Did I even write about it? I should have.) Tomorrow I'm booked for the facial, courtesy of my stepmom. Still have another spa day present on offer from my mom. I may feel like shit a lot of the time, but maybe I'll look kind of decent, at least.
I also went out and bought myself some new sneakers and a pair of lovely lilac colored Dr. Scholls today. Dr. Scholls are a crazy concept though. You have to live through a few weeks of total foot agony until you break them in and they can start to work their healthy, beneficial foot magic on you. Dr. Scholls remind me of when I used to go to summer camp. It's best to try not to run in those things because when they end up slipping forward and you come down on the back heel edge with the middle of the sole of your foot it hurts like hell! Wait. Why did I buy them again? Oh yeah, because they're cute.

Looks Like It Might All Work Out

I went and looked at the apartment today and it is adorable. Looks like it will work out, just need to give the owners a few days before I get the final, final answer. It's bright, open and in a private and peaceful location. Of course it's a lot smaller than this house it, but I can handle that. I can so see myself feeling very comfortable and relaxed there. Yeah, a lot of work lies ahead of me. I'll need to move, buy furniture, set up all the utilities and such. I don't care because all of the hassle will be so worth it for the peace of mind.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Mixing All the Metaphors

This past month and a half or so has been one of the toughest of my entire life. I've been trying and trying to pull myself free of the damn creeping vines that have been tieing me down. Everyone has had advice: Be patient. Give it time. You don't know what you really want yet. Don't act in haste.
You know what? No one giving that advice is me. No one knows the decisions my heart has already made. I spent years putting up with nonsense I never should have put up with in the first place and never said anything about it to anyone. At 39 years old I believe it is about time I listen to myself first and take all the advice as the good intentions of people who care about me and want me to be happy. I've been doing the hard work, asking myself the tough questions and facing up to a lot of things I stuffed down for years. Looks like it may finally be starting to pay off. I'm going to look at an apartment in the neighborhood that sounds like it very well could be the perfect place to make my new home and my new life. I feel like I've been revving my engine in neutral forever and I'm finally starting to shift into drive. Not an automatic mind you, but a manual transmission. Planning on going from neutral to first, not 0 to 60 in a blink of an eye.

R for Random?

My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Born to Rock

Finally had another practice today with the new band. It got put off for a few weeks, mostly due to the turmoil in my life. I'll tell you I've never had quite as good a time at a band practice as I did today. Definitely need to be doing that much more often. Once we're ready to take it out on stage, the world may just be shocked by the intensity of it all. :)

Question of the Month

from Planet Waves
We are also being given permission, or taking that permission, to make our homes more liberated places. If you can't be free in your own home, then where can you be free?

That is the question of the month.

And that is why I'm looking for a new home. Anyone know of a nice, reasonably priced 2 bedroom apt available in Dover?

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Giving It Up

I'm finding it highly ironic that the biggest journey of my life could only begin to happen once I came back home and stopped running to the ends of the earth in search of it. There is a lot I am giving up now; the old rules, my comfort zone, old definitions of security, a big heavy burden and my home. It's ok though. If that's what I need to sacrifice to get free and live my life without fakery and deceipt, it's worth it. And the really beautiful thing about it all is that once I stopped clutching at all the shoulds in my life, I found everything I was ever looking for was right here waiting for me. All I needed to do was learn how to look with my heart.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I Hate Waiting

I hate waiting. I hate waiting to be where I want to be. I hate waiting to just say what I want to say and be who I want to be. I hate looking over my shoulder all the time. I hate feeling like I'm not entitled to my feelings. I hate waiting for this shit to be done with.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Life As An Experiment In Sleep Deprivation

I have probably not had a sound night's sleep in well over a month. Certainly haven't gotten a solid eight hours of sleep in recent memory. Through this little accidental experiment I have discovered that five hours of sleep suffices, six and a half hours is plenty and even with just two or three hours of broken sleep, I can function enough to get by. To make up for the lack of sleep, I try to remember to breathe deeply and when I get up every morning I do some Half Sun Salutations. That and remembering to eat, hydrate, and caffeinate are the things I'm doing to take care of myself. Family and friends are picking up the rest of the slack and keep reminding me to treat myself well. In the past my response to stressful situations has been to get even more spartan and stoic on myself. I think the current approach works better.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Give Blood

I went and gave blood today at UNH after lunch. It was the first time I gave blood in close to 10 years. I used to donate in Hawaii all the time, but then I had my daughter and we moved back to Japan (after having seen a nurse mark my blood as "foreign" at a blood drive in Osaka, I vowed never to donate there again) and I just fell out of the habit. Giving blood is such an easy way to make a potentially huge difference in someone's life and they usually give you good cookies when you're finished. Save a life and get a cookie. What could be better than that?
The blood drive was held in the MUB, same place I got my flu shot last fall, but much less crowded today. I checked in, filled out the form, answered the interview questions, got the finger prick and my blood pressure taken. That was all easy enough. The only real problem I ever have giving blood is that I'm a slow bleeder. My hands and feet are usually cold. I have poor circulation, and I don't have any good fat veins in my arms. The nurse managed to locate a vein and got me set up, but she ended up having to stand there with me for 15 minutes holding the needle and tube in a certain position to make sure the blood flowed enough to fill up the bag. It probably takes me twice as long to donate a pint as it takes a normal donor. The needle is never as bad as I fear it will be and as long as I don't look at the bags full of blood I feel fine. I feel a little slower than usual right now, but none the worse for giving up the pint.
The blood drive at UNH will be going on for the next two days, so if you're on campus and can spare a little time out of your afternoon, please consider giving a pint. You could help save someone's life and you'll get cookies.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Two Stupids Don't Make a Smart

For all the years I spent in Japan, I never really got over the infinite misuses and abuses of the English language used as graphic design elements and eye candy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just go check out and pick a page, any page.
And it's obvious the fascination with attraction to form minus meaning also exists here in the States when it comes to "cool" looking tattoos of Chinese and Japanese characters. Here's what some of those "cool" looking Japanese tattoos really say. (via Robert Brady, who I bet sports no tattoos. ;) )

Monday, April 12, 2004

Break Out

I know I've been pretty cryptic on here for the past several weeks, maybe longer. That's because right now I'm trying to leave the past behind and start anew, but the past keeps trying to draw me back down into its muddy depths and keep me where I've dwelt for far too long. It's hard breaking loose. It feels like I'm fighting as hard as I can to get free and I just keep running smack into the same stupid cement wall. Guess it's obvious that this approach is not working. Everyone tellls me to give it time. Time is not going to change what has been wrong for much more time than I hardly care to admit. I can't go back and right past wrongs. I don't want to go back. It's no longer in my heart. I need to move on. Let's move on already!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Spring Back to Life

Today is Easter. It's also my daughter's ninth birthday. My crocuses are coming into bloom. My tulips, lillies and daffodils are sending up shoots. The weather is mild. The dog is bouncy. The birds are singing in the yard. It's spring and I'm so ready for the new life and rebirth the season brings.
Being born is hard. I think every being struggles with it. Babies have to make their way out into a new world with a struggle. Plants have push their way up out of the soil into the light. But I think they all have something inside that lets them know at the end of the long, hard, dark journey everything will be all right. Not every seed blossoms into a flower. Not every baby creature makes it to adulthood. But I think they all can't help but try. I can't help but try too.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Even when you go two steps forward and one step back, you're still making progress.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Not Right

I can't believe that after a dinner out in which I was grumpier and mopier than I have been in public with my mother since I was about 8 years old, after her knowing that a lot of my life is total chaos and crisis right now, and after her commenting that she thinks I'm too thin, she nevertheless remarked to my sister that she thinks "I look lovely". The chaos and the crisis are not contributing to the lovely factor. There are other factors involved. The grumpiness is real. The mopeyness is real, too. The crisis is very real and has made my life suck in a myriad of ways for far too long. The loveliness must come from my finally seeing the light at the end of this long, dark, sucky tunnel.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

One Year Mark

I was making a photocopy of my passport today for some tax issues I need to deal with for a translation agency in Japan and I saw that it was exactly one year ago today that I left Japan. This past year hasn't always been easy. It's not that easy right now, but I find myself really amazed that my heart knew this is where I need to be. My life is changing beyond recognition. Some aspects of that are really difficult and others are incredibly beautiful. I try to let them all wash over me and carry me along. I can't tell you where I'll be when the two year mark rolls around, but I'm sure it will be someplace interesting and not at all the same place I'm at now. And that's just fine by me.

Monday, April 05, 2004

If The Radio Is Sending Me Messages Does It Mean I'm Crazy? ;)

Brown eyed blues
Gotta find yourself another fool
Say yeah, yeah, yeah

Brown Eyed Blues, Ben Harper

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Sometimes life is so incredible it leaves me speechless, wordless and breathless. Well, almost breathless. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Japan Blogs

If you're interested in firsthand accounts of what it's like to be a foreigner living in Japan, check out Japanzine's article on the Japan blogging scene. Two of my favorite daily reads made the cut, my old neighbor across the lake's Pureland Mountain and Galvin Chow's Kind of Crap. Very different perspectives and I can appreciate them both.

Magnetic Poetry, Magnetic Friends

I used to teach at an engineering college in Kanazawa, Japan and the building that housed my office was a big concrete slab monstrosity with all the warmth of a dungeon pit. The foreign teachers' offices were old science labs that had been partitioned off with metal walls. It wasn't the greatest office I've ever had but it was the first and only time I've ever had an office to myself. There was no sound proofing and it was possible to have quite satisfactory conversations with my neighbors through the thin metal walls.
I remember the day I met my new neighbor who had moved into the office previously occupied by a crazy paranoid lady who had been convinced the school and our boss had been spying on her. I also remember hearing her threaten to slit another co-worker's throat if she leaked a certain piece of information to the boss, but that's another story.
This new neighbor was a guy about 10 or 15 years older than me. He came into my office, introduced himself and proceeded somehow to tell me a whole lot more about himself in a very short period of time than most people ever would. He had an attitude and a chip on his shoulder the size of his home state of California. We became fast friends, I think in part because we were in the same boat of being somewhere we really didn't want to be, but feeling like we didn't have a lot of control over that fact. We joked around a lot and found we shared a common interest in music. In the beginning he be all frantic about prepping for classes and I would tell him, "Hey, we have 5 minutes before the bell rings. What're you worried about?" I think that put his mind at ease. At least it made him laugh. (I mean, how much do you really need to prep for a class of kids who just want to follow what's in the textbook?)
I had a magnetic poetry kit up on the metal wall and he would come in and create obscene poems, or as obscene as you can make them with the words in the kit. He was the only one who would ever come into my office and play with those words on the wall, other than me. Everyone else just thought it was profoundly weird.
He and I saw each other through some tough times. Times when one or the other was staring straight down into the abyss, with ten toes on the ledge. We shared a lot of secrets. Still do, actually. I haven't seen him in about 5 years, but we still keep in touch. My favorite thing about the time we spent together was seeing him get back into music. He had left it behind, along with alcohol and drugs, many years ago. I can't remember what part, if any, I played in his going back to it, although I do remember one night walking through town, talking about it and understanding what a big part of him it was. About why he'd stopped and why he had to start again. It was something he needed to be in touch with himself and his soul. I think watching him make his journey back helped me start on my own journey, which is still very much underway. Think it will always be a work in progress. At least I hope it will.
He's always challenged me to be true to myself and he never lied to me that it was an easy thing to do. He still sometimes sends me letter and poems with questionable content that make me laugh. I'm not exactly sure why he's on my mind today, except that I just came across the magnetic poetry link on someone's blog and the weather here has been so rainy and gray, just like it was in Kanazawa.

A Little Saturday Morning Resolution

Well I won't back down, no I won't back down
you could stand me up at the gates of hell
but I won't back down

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
and I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down

Well I know what's right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin' me around
but I'll stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby there ain't no easy way out
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down
No, I won't back down

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Friday, April 02, 2004

Deep Tea Tag

It's a tea bag that makes a fine cup of tea and yet, it offers so much more.
Identify your identity and act and speak directly from it with a neutral mind. This gives you caliber, success and happiness.

Bad Rhymes On a Rainy Day

I first met you in a smoky bar
First saw you in a hat with a plume
First I heard of you was your guitar
You said you had a tendency to fume

It seems everything I write is tripe
And I live by my own credo
It seems that now the time is ripe
to say "Damn the torpedo!"

Oh my. That's really bad and the ending is all screwy, but that was really fun.
Great thanks to Joel for turning me on to Bouts R�mes and helping me put a smile on my face this rainy morning.

Make Love Not War

It is convenient, easy to use, reasonably priced and has few adverse side effects, so I guess in that perverse way the world works, it was distressing but maybe not so surprising when they took the sponge off the market. It's not like women have that many great choices when it comes to contraception. If you want constant protection and convenience you have to mess with your hormone levels. If you don't want to fool around with your hormones, you have to go with a barrier method, a diaphragm or a condom, and they definitely do their job, but they call for some forethought.
Now they are reporting that the contraceptive sponge is near U.S. return. Hey, between this development and the recent findings that sex makes you smarter maybe it's time for a resurgence of that good old hippie slogan-- Make Love Not War.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Old Poem

I don't write much poetry on here. Probably because I consider this public writing and my poems or lyrics are things I consider private. Have never really showed them to many people. It seems like there are a lot of things I had gotten too good at keeping to myself.
I wrote this last November. It was true then, not anymore though.

Faking is easy when you've done it for years
and you can't even tell what is true
They all tell me the way I must feel
because they know the things I used to do.

And I act like I care when I don't feel at all
I pretend to listen, pretend not to fall
Pretend to be there when I'm so far away
Pretend I'm not waiting for the end of the day
when it all fades away. It all fades away.