Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Venus Direct

Do you remember all the fuss a couple of weeks ago when Venus passed across the face of the sun? Well, she hasn't exactly stopped being a major influence on things.
Today Venus turned direct after spending over a month in retrograde. For a very interesting take on what this may all mean ,check out
Venus Retrograde, Venus Direct, 2004 by Eric Francis. But only if you're into that kind of thing.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Shocking Discovery

It's been well over six months since I last colored my hair and I have come to the shocking conclusion that my natural color is the color I was always trying to dye it to be. That's good, I guess.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Any Suggestions?

The couple I have been tutoring in Japanese since last fall will be moving to Japan next month. They plan to stay there for several years. I'd like to get them some kind of going away present, maybe a book that will give them some helpful advice about living there, or something that might help them and their two little girls get settled. If you happen to have a dictionary, a book or a guide you found really helpful for acclimating to Japan, please leave me a comment. Most anything I ever read on the subject was published in the 80s!

Down On The Farm

I don't think I've mentioned on here that it looks like I'll be staying down on the farm for a while. The guy I am subletting from asked me if I was interested in continuing on here after the sublet lease ended and I told him I am. I'll probably buy some of the furniture from him, but not all of it. This place is great. From the outside it looks completely unimpressive. It's a barn. On the inside, it's pretty styling. I'm going to have to borrow a camera and document the place. I love it, but I know I won't be here forever.

Seventeen Years

It was precisely 17 years ago today that I first went to Japan. I took a Northwest flight from San Francisco and landed at Narita at 6am with a too-big backpack, a Lonely Planet travel guide, traveller's checks and a return ticket. I had no job, no friends and no clear idea of what I was going to do other than find a job and learn the language. Once I got through customs and immigration and picked up my pack, I found my way to the Narita train station and started calling guest houses that were listed in the Lonely Planet guide. I found one that said it had space available that night. And that's how it all started.
I spent 12 of the last 17 years in Japan. Sometimes people ask me why and I find it hard to come up with an answer. I certainly enjoyed a lot of that time and learned a lot about different ways to be in the world. It was a great challenge to make a life for myself in a foreign culture and to prove that I was up to that challenge. The money was good, too. But after a while the money stopped being enough of a reason. I was homesick all the time and, a bit like Dorothy, I didn't realize going home was a possibility all along.
I'm really glad I came back home. It's funny how for years I imagined I could never fit back in, could never find my way back. I kept moving and moving, a new city every three or four years. Sometimes a new country even. I was seaching for someplace that felt like home. No place else ever really did. Now I'm home. I know it. And I'm glad.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A Fictitious Story

Once upon a time there was a woman who spent all her time out of work smoking a funny flower. She thought she did it because she liked how it felt. She thought the lazy, hazy feeling was something that was making her life better.
One day she decided that spending every day in a lazy haze might not be a good way to live. So, she stopped. Once she stopped, she noticed the lazy haze had been clouding her way. And once she could see clearly, she realized she needed to change some things. She changed even though it made some other people feel unsettled. And she felt better for it, even though not everyone agreed with her. Now she's not hazy, although she is occasionally lazy, as that is just her nature.

Kombat Baby?

Went out to the Muddy River in Portsmouth last night to see The Pubcrawlers, Commando Baby and Shuttlecock. It was the first time I'd seen The Pubcrawlers, a New England Celtic Punk band. and I really liked their set. And I have to say their vocalist, Kevin, looks mighty fine in a kilt and a pair of docks. Commando Baby sounded good, even though I was afraid the bass player was going to pass out on stage. Still they rock, no bones about it. Last up was my favorite local band, Shuttlecock, who are now back to being a three piece. I liked them as a four piece too, but they can certainly hold their own just the three of them. They played a couple of new songs and their website says they'll be working on their second cd soon. I never managed to get a copy of their first.
I like going out in Portsmouth every once in a while. The last time I went out there was back in October for our last gig as Bolt. Finding parking is a pain and the streets are full of yuppies (is that still a viable word?), but it's still my town.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Despite having played the part so well, I hereby resign from the position of scapegoat.
1. One that is made to bear the blame of others.
2. Bible. A live goat over whose head Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The goat, symbolically bearing their sins, was then sent into the wilderness.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Farm Living Is The Life For Me

I live in a barn. Really. My apartment is on the second floor of a horse barn. A stallion lives downstairs and sometimes he kicks his stall at night. Sometimes all the horses are brought in for the night, but since it's summer now they stay out in the paddock and have a shed they can go in to.
It's usually pretty quiet here and I am generally the noisiest entity around, but right now they are loading hay up into the hay loft that's on the other side of the living room wall and it's making a racket. It's not so much the rattling of the conveyer belt they're using to load the hay as the banging that vibrates through the floor and the loud voices of the folks doing the loading. My daughter is so wiped out from our afternoon at the pool that she's sleeping on the couch through the whole commotion. Good thing, too, because one of the women loading the hay cusses like a sailor.

How To

Tony Pierce has got it right. I need to take the advice. I've been doing entirely too much smokescreening on here lately because I'm scared of repercussions. That's just more running and hiding. I thought I said I was through with that bullshit. Basically, I am, but I've also already implemented #13 on Tony's list.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Basketball and Solstice

This evening, after showing up too late at the Father's Day barbecue at my sister's place, I went with my sister and my niece, nephew and daughter down to the farm sis recently started working at in south Dover. It's a beautiful place with green fields stretching a half mile down to where the Bellamy River joins with Great Bay.
I played basketball with the kids. We played 2 on 2, me and my girl versus my niece and nephew. We had a good time. It's been a long time since I've played basketball.
I know people are pissed off at me. I know they think I'm wrong. That's why I'd rather hang out and play basketball with the kids. They still treat me the same.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ride It

You know how sometimes you feel restless and reckless and ready to do something on the spur of the moment and not worry about "the consequences"? Well, I was feeling like that yesterday. There's been something I've wanted for quite a while now and even though I'm not in the best financial situation of my life, I know I'm not about to go to ruin. And yesterday I decided that as day after day of beautiful weather passes by, I've been missing out. Missing out for no good reason other than timidity and indecision.
Actually, I'm making it sound like I left the house knowing what I was going to do. That's not it. I went into Portsmouth and attended to some business there and then went on down Islington Street to check out Papa Wheelies, just to see what kinds of bikes they have. Now, that's a real bike store. They carry great lines and they offer free liftetime service for your bike. Good customer service to help you choose a bike that's right for you, too.
I honestly just meant to look, but once I got on this and gave it a spin, I saw no reason to wait any longer. Oooh, bicycle lust! It overcame me. I had to have it. And now it's mine. Think it's time to go for a ride.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


I always suspected these were both the same song.
So does this mean that all I need to do is write one catchy pop song to use as a template and do something so my hair is cooler and then I can sit back and watch the royalties roll in?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Pros and Cons

The good thing about being teacher: no one considers it odd when you don't go to work all summer.
The bad thing about being a teacher: no paycheck all summer. (at least not in my current situation)

Lucky Day

This morning I bought a lottery scratch ticket at the supermarket and won $10. That is definitely the most money I have ever won with a lottery ticket. When I went to cash in the ticket, I took $5 back in cash and bought more tickets with the remaining $5. I got three Powerball tickets and two more scratch tickets. I won $2 with one of the scratch tickets. The next Powerball drawing is wednesday night. Wish me luck!

Palm Crazy

I have recently come into possession of a "personal entertainment organizer" aka a pda. I appear to be forming a rapid addiction to the little gadget. It's got all kinds of cool applications on it;vaddress book, datebook, electronic book readers and whatnot. I even added an application that lets me track Weight Watchers points. Back in early March I reached my goal weight and I've stayed below that for the past 3.5 months, probably partly due to stress. I haven't been paying attention to points or how much water I drink or anything. In the past couple of weeks I've noticed the numbers on the scale starting to climb a bit. I'm still slightly under my goal weight, but the time to stop the ascent is now, when it's completely manageable and before I start beating myself up over letting things slide.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Woman Be Wise

Bonnie Raitt made the Sippi Wallace version popular, but I found lyrics to Rosa Henderson's 1924 version of the song.
It was good advice 80 years ago and it's still good advice. That's all I have to say for now.

What Ever Happened To Ranting?

I've noticed that recently I seem to have lost my capacity to rant here. That disturbs me. What good is a blog without a rant every now and then? It's no good at all, of course. It's not like I don't have enough to rant about. I have plenty to rant about. I'm just trying not to piss people off too much, no matter how much they piss me off.

Market Square Day

I went to Market Square Day in Portsmouth yesterday for the first time in about 20 years. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I had excellent company. It wasn't as crowded as I remember it being in the past. And I found a really good parking spot at my dad's office.
Market Square Day was first held was held when I was 12 years old and living right on Miller Ave in Portsmouth. We used to walk dowtown and spend the day snaking through the crowds. One year I was a face painter for Strawberry Banke's booth, I think it was. This Market Square Day had all the elements I remember from back then; music, face painting, balloons, crowds, June sunshine, and vendors selling all kind of trinkets, jewelry and art.
It was my daughter's first time at Market Square Day. She had a wonderful time and it felt great to share that part of my hometown and my history with her. We spent so much of her life far away from here. This place is so much a part of me and I want it to be a part of her, too. The entire day was a perfect blend of old and new. It made me feel like things are starting to come together in a new way. It was casual, laid back, fun and really significant. It ranks up there as one of my best days ever, actually.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


A massive thunderstorm came through here yesterday evening. The rain was pouring down in sheets. The wind was whipping and branches of lightening were snaking their way across the sky. I looked out my bedroom window, through the pine branches, back down to the paddocks and saw Zephyr, the stallion, standing outside in the storm. He has a run in shed where he could have gone for shelter, but he just stood there in the fading light. His head was up and he was still. He just stood there in the rain with the rain and thunder pounding, the lighting flashing. I stood at the window watching him for minutes, just standing there through it all.

Four Weeks and Counting

It's been just about 4 weeks since I moved out into my own apartment. As slowly as time was passing before I could move out, it seems to be flying by now. My life feels like it is much more my own now and I like that a lot. Aside from worrying about money, which is more a result of disembarking from the Japanese university money train than becoming single, there are few things I can think of that seems less comfortable about my life now compared to how it was before.
In fact, one of the few things that does bother me is that I am still not free to write about all the things I would like to here, for fear of some form of retaliation. There really isn't any iinformation on here that seems like it would incriminate me. And I need to keep it that way for now. I guess that's one reason why people turn to fiction. They can tell their stories truthfully without worrying about consequences. Maybe that's an angle I need to consider.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Venus Transit

The Venus Transit happens today. Astrologically, it's big news. Jonathon Cainer suggests it is an auspicious time to make a promise, a committment or a wish. I'm quite a good wishmaker. In fact, I think that whole "be careful what you wish for because it may come true" saying was more or less created for me. I used to wish unspecifically and get what I wished for, along with a whole lot of other complications that I hadn't forseen at the time of the wish. These days I wish more carefully and less wantonly.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On

Had another jam session with the guys from the IOL (yup, the ones that had an open house last Thursday) last night. This time we had a drummer, a bass player (me) and three guitarists. It was a blast. I wasn't playing as well as I know I can, but even still, we had some moments when we were all deep in a groove and everything became more than any one of us. There's something about that that is so satisfying. It's nothing you can make happen. If you're all trying too hard, it won't happen. You just have to be open, listen, feel and let it happen.
My sister has said to me that a good jam is better than sex. I can't go so far as to agree with her about that, but sometimes it comes close.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

From The Old To The New

For someone who is currently unemployed, or underemployed, I had myself a pretty busy day. I started out the first half of the day in Portsmouth, my old hometown. Portsmouth in the spring is just about one of the prettiest places you could hope to see, even though it seems like most of the streets on the east side of downtown are in the process of being ripped up.
I started out with a morning meeting about becoming involved in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary events to be held in the summer of 2005. I believe this will be an important event and I am really happy to have the opportunity to use the skills I acquired in Japan to make a contribution to the community I grew up in, and perhaps to the larger world as well. It will be a great way to reconnect with my hometown and it will give me the chance to make a name for myself apart from the legacy of my family. I can appreciate the various advantages I have being the daughter of, niece of, sister of, but I'm looking forward to making my own mark, too.
After the meeting, I dropped by Belle Peppers to visit my friend Chip. I haven't seen him since last fall and it was great to spend a few minutes catching up. One of the wonderful things about really good friends is that months can go by and when you see them again, it's still like you just talked to them yesterday.
I met my dad for lunch and we went down to The Ferry Landing and ate out on the deck. The food is always tasty and the views, right there on the river next to the tugboats, are about as classic Portsmouth as you can get. I had the grilled tuna sandwich with sweet tomato salsa and an ice tea. It was very nice.
I took a little walk back through town with my dad, which is always a lovely thing to do. By the time we got back to his office a big thunderstorm was moving in, right in time to be pouring and flashing when I went out to Newington to submit a job application. Since I have no classes (or paycheck) until September, I'm looking for some parttime work. I never, ever get hired for normal retail jobs, but I'm going to apply for some anyway. A customer did mistake me for an employee while I was in the store on my way to the service desk to hand in the application, so maybe that's a good omen.
The storm pretty much blew over as I was driving up to Durham to check out the open house at the InterOperability Lab at UNH. They do a lot of cool stuff there and it is really impressive how the facility combines education and industry to the benefit of both. I wish some other areas of the university would take a lesson from them in combining academia with the real world.
I came home at the end of the day and found an email from a translation agency in Tokyo that sends me work fairly regularly. It looks like they might have a job for me over the weekend. Luckily, they haven't received if from the client yet, so I can just go to bed now and not worry about chasing a deadline just yet.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Consider Yourselves Warned

There's not much I could say on here that would make anyone feel too hot right now. And is that my fucking problem?
No, it isn't.
It's funny when the shit comes down and you see who would hold you back and who wouldn't. It doesn't always play out the way you thought it would. Some of the people you'd like to think would want to see you be free don't really like it when you start to go in that direction. And it's an odd feeling to know that people are talking behind your back about things they really don't know about. Basically the only thing to do is say, "Fuck 'em", and go ahead and live your life.
Hmm, just realized there's a full moon coming up in a few days. No wonder I'm so fired up. I feel like I used to feel when it was time for sparring. I'm kind of aching to let it fly on someone. I guess you should all consider yourselves warned.