Thursday, December 23, 2010

Humbug = gibberish.

Really, it does. Go here (clicky-link!). I'm not lying, I promise.

So remember how, once upon a time, I thought of a blog topic before 10pm the day I'd planned to post? Maybe even wrote it ahead of time?



Anyway. It's Christmas soon. This does not make me particularly happy. Now you're thinking one of a couple things:
1. "Whaaaaaaatt??? How can you not like Christmas? How does it not make you happy? It's the best time of year!!"
2. "Well duh. You're Rachel. You're all dark and emo and if you liked the shiny colored lights that would throw the world off balance."
3. "Wait, I thought all Christians loved Christmas? Heck, even non-Christians love Christmas; I mean, people get presents! You're crazy."
4. Something else that I don't feel like coming up with.

See the deal is, I like Christmas. That whole Jesus-being-born-in-order-to-die-and-save-us-all-from-our-wickedness thing is REALLY FREAKING COOL and I love that. [I'm also not going to reiterate the story for you, since you've probably heard it about 8,000,000,000 times and will be again tomorrow in church. If you'd like to read it (which you should), go hereish, and hereish, and keep going. (Clicky-links!)] So yes, I like Christmas. What I don't like is all the crap that comes with it here and now. Seriously. What is up with all the lights? It's essentially a contest between neighbors to see who can have more colors on their house. If there's a story behind the tree other than to terrify firefighters at the horrible fire hazard in everyone's homes, I don't know it. The carols? Painful. The cookies? Love 'em, but after you've baked 6 dozen different kinds it starts to get a bit tedious. Finding the right gift for absolutely every person you've ever met is so difficult that I've actually given up. Immediate family and one friend- that's it. No one else gets gifts from me (a few people get cards, but that's only if I was bored at WalMart and found a REALLY REALLY good one). Even trying to sing "special music" at the Christmas Eve service at church goes sour because someone always has to get angry for no good reason.

It's all fake. Even the people who profess to love Christmas because it's Jesus' birthday tend to be just putting on a show. The gifts have become the most important thing. Everyone wants to know what they got, what everyone else got, what everyone else got for everyone else, if their gift was good enough, oh-goodness-gracious-theirs-was-more-expensive-now-I-have-to-I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT. The whole thing is blown waaaaayy out of control. I don't know how it is with other families, but finding a time where we can all get together with our other relatives is just awful. They're busy this day, they can't come up then, their other family is doing this, we've got something that day... then when we finally pick a day, no one seems to like the same food. ???????? Ham, mashed potatoes, some sort of vegetables, rolls. The end. Is it that hard?

Plus, don't forget that, it's the holidays, therefore you're supposed to be happy. ALL THE TIME. Baaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The simple fact that I'm supposed to be happy gives me the insatiable desire to be cranky, sarcastic, and cynical to every person I meet (yes, I know this is bad; no, I don't always act this way; yes, this time of year I'm usually faking being festive, but not always, I admit it).

So here's me ranting about how much I HATE this stuff. I really, really do. So don't try to make me feel better. Don't try to force your horrible "classic" Christmas movies upon my poor eyes any longer. You don't have to turn down your chipper tunes about snowflakes and holding hands by the fire, but please don't be offended when I turn up my Project 86 or Alice Nine. You're allowed to like all the sparkly cliché stuff, but understand that some people don't. Try to remember that there IS a point to Christmas (that Jesus guy... remember him?). Eat a cookie or two, but don't go overboard. Keep your head. Please, for crazies like me.

Personally, I don't understand how people can actually like those horrible songs about drinking eggnog with your 'special someone.' I mean, really? I'm convinced that some married person somewhere wrote them giggling evilly and thinking about the torture he or she could inflict upon us single people. Even the cookies don't help all that much... (bring on the Since October)

Is there a point to this blog? Yes. Is it inspirational (or whatever)? Eehhhhhh... that's up to you. Inspiring you to be an optimistic cynic like me? That'd be cool. If not... meh. Whatever. I'm not really expecting to change many people's minds about putting too many ornaments on their trees anyway (I do draw a line at the plastic santas and inflatable snowmen though... I WILL ridicule you endlessly if I find out you have one, and I will NOT feel bad about it).

So happy Christmas. I hope it's mostly painless. See you next year.

Just for the record (and completely off-topic), I lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove this. (Clicky-link!) If you don't get it... I feel sad for you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Once upon a time

Once upon a time I used to post on here regularly. Then I missed a month.
Once upon a time I used to get regular amounts of sleep, even if a 'regular amount' was four hours.
Once upon a time I knew what I wanted to do once I graduated... not sure exactly when that changed.
Once upon a time things were a lot more straightforward in my head than they are now.
Once upon a time I had motivation to do certain things that now hold little or no interest for me.
Once upon a time I was sure about things that I now question on a daily basis.
Once upon a time I didn't care so much.
Once upon a time I cared more.
Once upon a time I knew I didn't want something... now I'm not so sure.
Once upon a time I was more patient.
Once upon a time I tried coffee and didn't like it. I tried it again today. I still don't like it.
Once upon a time I thought I was knowledgable.
Once upon a time I met some people way smarter than me, and they changed my life.
Once upon a time I thought I knew how to feel things.
Once upon a time I wasn't so confused.
Once upon a time I knew who I was, and I thought that would never change.
Once upon a time I changed, and I don't know whether that's good or not.
Once upon a time certain people were important to me. They still are, but a lot of them forgot.
Once upon a time certain things were important to me. Lots of them aren't anymore.
Once upon a time I learned how to be cynical.
Once upon a time I figured out that I like it.
Once upon a time I realized that I have little patience for people who can't see past stereotypes.
Once upon a time I realized that I have little patience for people who can't see past appearances.
Once upon a time music prevented me from going crazy, in some form or another. This is still true.
Once upon a time I was scared witless.
Once upon a time I was angry. Seriously, continuously angry.
Once upon a time I knew how to cry.
Once upon a time I realized that I never really learned to rely on other people.
Once upon a time a lot of stuff happened.
Once upon a time I tried to explain it all to myself.
Once upon a time I failed miserably.

Things in life change. Things in life stay the same. It's scary. I don't like it. I can't really do much about it. That's scary too. Apparently I'm just going to have to "go with the flow," whatever that means.

I'll let you know where I'm going when I figure it out for myself. Which might be when I get there.
Or maybe I won't tell you. Who knows, maybe I'll never really figure it out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I have started and restarted this blog several times now. I have no idea what I want to write about. Well, that's not entirely true. I have a few ideas, but nothing seems to be coming out right. It all feels fake, forced. That, of course, is not what I'm all about here. Fake is never good. I don't want to force something that doesn't want to be forced.

This is where I pull out my little notebook that's full of quotes, picka a random one, see if I get inspired.
Here goes.

"Luck will come to those who laugh."

Interesting. Really interesting, actually. I haven't been doing a lot of laughing lately. Some, but honestly... life feels flat. I blame that on moving back to Wisconsin after Japan. I mean, really. I just feel bored and irritated a lot of the time. Not all the time, of course, but... more than "usual," whatever usual is. This=bad!

"Luck will come to those who laugh." I tend to think so. I mean, it makes sense, right? Be happy smiling lovelove optimistic lala whatever and good stuff will happen. But you can take that a different way too- be joyful in the Lord and He will reward you. (I apologize if that is, in fact, quoted verbatim somewhere else, I just pulled it out of my brain.) He really will. I mean, if you're cranky at Him all the time, complaining, never paying attention to what He says, ignoring Him, I can imagine that He wouldn't be too happy. Would you be? Probably not.

It's rather important that we live our lives to the fullest FOR God. I have been taught this in Sunday school since I can remember, but have I ever actually done this? Probably not. Kinda sucks for my eternal future business, doesn't it? Well, it would, if God weren't so ridiculously forgiving. That's sure a good thing for us, or we'd all be screwed. Fiery-burning-in-Hell-forever screwed. I don't want that. I don't think anyone does. God forgives us for everything, just provided we humble up and ask for that forgiveness. This isn't an automatic excuse to do whatever you feel like all the time- God also knows our intentions. If we live for Him with all of our might, He'll reward that beyond anything and everything you ever imagined.

"Luck will come to those who laugh."
Live with joy. God is good. Life is a blessing. Just the fact that you're alive is a miracle in itself. Think about it- you're a living, breathing, thinking creature. Compare yourself to a stalk of corn for a minute. That's kindof an insane difference, don't you think? I don't think I need to explain it. If God had wanted it, He could have made another corn stalk instead of you, but He didn't. He made you, gave you parents and a home and school and me to write this blog for you to read. Isn't that fantastic? Isn't that worth laughter and joy?

Be happy. Smile. Laugh. Dance. Twirl around in a circle. If you're filled with joy, other people are gonna see it, and they're gonna get curious. They're going to want to know what it's all about, and if your joy is for God it'll be contagious.

So get ON that. You laugh, you live for God, you go to Heaven. Simple as that. Sounds pretty good, no?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Importance of Cherries

So this Sunday at my church (the one I’ve been going for nearly 17 years) Pastor Phil preached about the Important Things In Life. Summarized, he challenged us to think of what’s really important in our lives: a grudge, or a relationship? A TV show, or a child? The answer should be fairly obvious.

No matter what you believe, you can’t deny that this has got to be right. I mean, really. If your favorite TV show is more important than the life of your child, there’s something seriously wrong with. Whether you believe in God and what the Bible says or not, you should know that everything in life has different levels of importance. Shouldn’t people be more important than media? I tend to think YES.

I struggle with it too though, really. I get soooo frustrated at people when they interrupt me while I’m doing something. What this “something” usually is, is reading a good book, writing something-or-other, watching something online, etc. I’m in my room, my recluse, but someone (usually my father) dares to knock on my door and disturb my solitariness, and I get bothered. Frustrated. Short-tempered. Why? Because I had to pause what I was doing for less than 5 minutes and answer a simple question or two. Really? How stupid is that? How can the newest episode of whatever show be more important than my family? Or the next chapter of a book? What harm would it do for me to be polite anyway? Even if whoever is wasting my time, it’ll only be a few minutes; whatever I was doing will still be there when I get back. Is it really necessary for me to strain my relationships by being curt?

So I know some habits I have are problematic. Then what?

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” -Matthew 7:24-27

Yeah. Cool guy named Jesus said that (if you don’t know who Jesus is, hit me up; we’ll talk). And guess what? HE’S RIGHT. I am the house. You are the house. What’s the foundation? Good question. I’d like to think it’s the rock and not the sand, but is it? Am I really doing what God wants me to? I dunno. I’m not perfect, I know that, and God knows that, of course, that’s why He’s there to help. I can’t do what He wants of me on my own, but I do have to take the first step. I have to take the initiative to do the right thing. To pay more attention to the Important Things In Life and less to the unimportant/less important. NOT saying that fun stuff like books and moves are bad. Nope. Not bad. I like them bunches. They just shouldn’t rule my life.

Tough stuff. I like my JDramas. I like my books. I like my alone time. BUT Faith is important. People are important. Relationships are important. I like those things too, and I need to remember just HOW incredibly important they are more often. I challenge you, dear reader, to do the same.

Song on this general theme (sort of): “Brat Pack” by The Rocket Summer

And no, cherries have nothing to do with anything. That's an inside joke with... myself. Haha I'm lame.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Trust is an interesting thing. I mean, think about it. When you trust someone you give them a part of yourself, give them control over a part of you emotionally. It's healthy to trust people though- if you don't have anyone to confide in, anyone who understands even just a part of you, you'll end up extremely lonely, among other things. It's a fine line though, trusting people. I'd like to say that you should trust everyone completely, but you just can't. You'll end up getting used and hurt and walked all over time and time again. Most people in the world can be trusted, but the select group that can't ruin it for everyone else.

I've got a good friend who is a perfect example of a trusting person. I admire it a bit, actually. She always gives people the benefit of the doubt, and she can easily give her heart over to someone without any qualms. I, myself, am a cynic. I can't help it, it's who I am. I like to think I'm friendly and outgoing, but I have a hard time entrusting myself to other people. I'm used to being in control, and I have a hard time handling it when I'm not, which means I tend to take a long time to trust people.

The two of us are pretty much opposites in this regard, as you probably gathered. The problem is, neither are really ideal. I bottle things inside- I've got plenty of friends who trust me with their stresses and problems, and I even know that I should trust them, I've got no reason not to, but I can't. It's not healthy to keep everything to myself, and I know it. My friend is different from me, but no better off, really. She assumes the best of everyone, trusts most people easily. Unfortunately this means she gets hurt a lot. Everyone likes her because she's so friendly, but everyone has also figured out how trusting she is, and that's been taken advantage of time and time again.

While I get overloaded by my emotions, problems, and issues that I keep all to myself, she opens up far too easily and doesn't know how to protect herself. Neither is beneficial or healthy, but there's only so much we can each do to try to fix it. I need to learn to open up, she needs to learn to protect her heart. Both are necessary skills to have, and we're each lacking in one of them. There's a happy medium that neither of us have managed to achieve. It's something I need to work on, and I know it.

It's a strange thing, trust. I'd like to say that everyone should be trusted completely, but that's not how it works. There are far too many people who enjoy gossiping far too much to be trusted. I've run into that recently. There are so many rumors going around, and I just wonder what makes the people telling these rumors think it's ok to spread them. Whether they're true or not, it's bad stuff, and it's that person's business. If you want to know, go back to the source, don't speculate to other people. It's juvenile, and it's low, and it's one of those things in this world that I just can't stand. Gossip, consequently, is also one of the things that I think have made me so cynical. I know far too many people who gossip about anything and everything they hear, and I don't want things about me spread around, so I just don't tell people things.

Despite the fact that I have a hard time trusting other people, I have decided that I'm going to be a person that can be trusted. There are far too many people who can't be trusted for a multitude of reasons, but I don't want to be a part of that. It's because of those untrustworthy people that there are cynics like me, and it's because of that that I strive to be trustworthy. I tend to think it's an important trait to have, and I hope someday the rest of the world will realize that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So it's June...

Blogspot, for me, has pretty much fallen off the face of the planet. That seems to be a recurring theme, actually.

It's a strange feeling, being home from Japan, and there's lots of good and lots of bad that I'm really not going to go into on here. It's nice to be home, in a way, but I do miss it a lot, or at least some aspects of it. I will be going back someday, along with visiting friends in England and Australia as well as all around the US. Should be great.
In the meantime, though, I need to find a job. Badly. Some independence in my life would be nice, so I would like to purchase a car as well as move out into my own place, but both of these take quite a bit of money, so a job is the first thing in order. Thankfully I have an interview tomorrow, so hopefully that goes well. :)

All too soon (or not soon enough?) I will be going back to university. Gotta think about graduating and stuff. Then possibly a different school. Definitely a real job. All of a sudden I seem to be growing/grown up. It's a strange feeling, but I kinda like it.
Supposedly it's a sign of being old when time seems to start passing by really quickly... well, maybe I'm old then, at least mentally. I don't know. Whatever it is, it's happening, and it's kinda cool.

I was kinda hoping to have something all intellectual and deep to share this month (for all 9 of you subscribed, and maybe 2 who'll actually read this), but that doesn't seem to be happening. Probably partially because I'm just getting over a rather long bout of writer's block, partially because I don't sleep much anymore... not on purpose, that's just how my brain is working (or not working). Unfortunate, but true.
Anyway. Maybe next month I'll come up with something great. Maybe I'll post something before next month, if I get a wonderful idea somehow. Who knows. I think I actually got an idea of how to fix my book (70 pages in and it REALLY needed to be rethought... I think that rethought has been thunk), so that's good. I'm writing some poetry, but I'll probably never let anyone see that.

I still like to pretend I'm a kid. I tend to think that's a good thing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


So I've been in Japan since January. I'll be leaving this Thursday, after nearly exactly 4 months here. I am feeling about 8 billion different emotions right now, and trying to figure out what that all means is a royal pain in the neck. But I've had an AMAZING experience, and now it's time to go home.

I've visited some incredible places while I've been here, seen some things that I didn't even know existed. There is a lot of history here, and a lot of sights that I could never find in the US. It's crazy being in a place that's been a country for so long, learning all the history behind everything I see (and promptly forgetting it, but hey, I tried).
Some things I've seen/done:
Yasaka Shrine,
Nara Dobutsu,
Osaka (Tennoji, Shinsaibashi, Nipponbashi...),
Roppongi Hills,
Japan Baseball Museum/Hall of Fame,
Imperial Palace in Tokyo,
Shibuya, Harujuku, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro,
Meiji Shrine,
Ueno Koen,
Tennoji Zoo,
Geisha Dances,
and more. I've done SO much... and not to mention the food. Oh, the food here is so great! Bento boxes are probably the world's greatest inventions. Seriously, it's lunch in a box, but it's all fresh and healthy. None of that Doritoes and a soda business. Okonomiyaki is quite probably my favorite, but I love takoyaki, tenpura, tendon, and... oh gosh, just everything. Sweets: mocchi, konpeito... nom. They also eat a lot of curry here, which I am more than ok with.

I've made some amazing friends here, from all over the world. I will never ever ever forget them, and I fully intend to visit every one of them as soon as financially possible. We've all bonded so quickly, and we've made some amazing memories that I will always remember. I will miss them all terribly.

Speaking of friends, I've been introduced to some new Japanese pop culture stuff: an anime called Durarara! which is quite entertaining... another anime called Hetalia, which everyone on the planet should watch, regardless of age, nationality, or interests... a few dramas, namely one called Bloody Monday (which is fantastic) and another called Samurai High School (which is so terrible it's good). There's also Sunao ni Narenakute, which I mostly like because some of the other Seminar House 2 girls and I would watch it in the lounge every week and make fun of it because it's so cheesy... good times. My favorite by far though, is a manga called Kuroshitsuji. The Black Butler. It's FANTASTIC. I'm up to date on the manga, but I still have to watch the anime. It'll happen. There's also the musical which I LOVE, despite the fact that there is exactly one actor in the entire thing who can actually sing. The second musical, which I wont be able to see until October (grrrrrrrrrrrr)... ah me.

There's some pretty good music here, too... discovered Matsushita Yuya by watching Durarara! and the Kuroshitsuji musical... not normally a type of music I'd listen to, but his voice is just so pretty. :) AND in Tennoji there's this particular section of sidewalk that's raised like a bridge over the street, and guys come out with their acoustic guitars, amps, and microphones and just sit and play. Seriously, you can just walk around and listen to whoever you want, buy a cd if they don't suck. It's fantastic. I'm quite sad I only got to go once, but such is life.

I'll be going to Sakaiminato, the hometown of Mizuki Shigeru (the author of GeGeGe no Kitaro, among other things) tonight, and I'll be there all day tomorrow, so that should be fantastic. I'm pretty darn excited, and I plan on taking about a billion pictures. Should be great. :) I'll be back on Tuesday morning, go to karaoke with some friends Tuesday night (have I mentioned how fantastic karaoke is? LOVE it), pack my stuff and chill out on Wednesday, then leave Thursday morning. It's closing in. Weird.

Anyway. I've had a fabulous time here. I really want to and really don't want to leave, all at the same time. That's how it goes, I guess. This trip has kindof made me realize how important it is to travel though. I mean, I never would have gotten this kind of cultural diversity knowledge from a classroom somewhere. It's important to go out and actually experience the things you're learning about. Plus it really helps language skills. ;)

I'm off though. Gotta start packing. ^_^

Friday, April 23, 2010


Childhood memories. They’re fantastic, right? I mean, I don’t, personally, think about my childhood much until something actually comes up. But really, they’re some of the most precious things in the world, and they should be treasured much more.

Think of your favorite childhood movie. Not memory, movie. Mine, personally, is Aladdin. I LOVE Aladdin. Amazingly so, it’s kindof ridiculous. I don’t think about it very much though- there’s always so many new movies coming out that I don’t even remember Aladdin most of the time. When someone brings it up though, I can immediately bring to mind watching it on VHS with my sisters on the living room floor with a bowl of popcorn; I remember the time my mom said that the Cave of Wonders had indigestion after Abu touched the forbidden treasure. I can still recite most of the lines and sing nearly all the songs in the entire thing, even though I hardly watch it anymore.

It’s amazing to me how clear memories like that can be, how I can remember a single time watching a movie when I was a kid but sometimes not what I had for lunch yesterday. But how often do I actually think about my childhood? Not very.

Memories are kindof fantastic, if you think about it. I mean, not only can we store information that’s happened long in the past, we can file it away and pull it up at any moment (in theory, of course, I realize memory banks are not perfect). I mean, how awesome is that? WAY cooler than, say, a goldfish, which has a memory of approximately 2 seconds, on average, and I’m pretty sure they can’t bring to mind their “childhood” memories.

I tend to think that we, as people, should treasure our memories a bit more. They’re precious- each person’s memories, even ones from the same events, and completely unique. Each person views each and every situation and everyone else in the world subjectively. No two people think exactly the same way, no matter how similar they may seem. So there’s well over 6 billion people in the world, and each person has how many memories? A ton. So out of all the infinite number of memories in the world, the ones you have are completely and utterly unique.

It’s amazing, though, how much we take our memories for granted. It makes me a bit sad, when I think about it. Just being here in Japan makes me realize that, even in another first world country, how different my memories are from people who grew up here in Japan, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.

My point here (sorry for the attempt at putting it into words at 1am after a week of approximately 2 hours of sleep per night) being that I think memories are much more important than we give them credit for. I am, from now on, going to make a conscious effort to remember more stuff more often. When I came to Japan was the first time I ever kept a journal for an extended period of time, and it’s really helped- I can recall memories much easier now, at least the ones I have written down. I’m going to try to continue that even after I get back- even if I don’t do anything ostensibly interesting for an entire day, I’m still going to try to write down at least one memory, no matter how small, each day. I challenge you to do the same.


One more blog from Japan from me. I’ll be back home in the US at the end of May. It’ll be back to normal, whatever that means. So until then… hugs and kisses! おやすみ!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Place

I'm going to do something a little different this time. I'm late (I was in Tokyo and therefore didn't have access to all my usual goodies on my computer... sorry), so I'll just change things up all around instead. This month, instead of writing a blog blog, I'm going to give you a short story I wrote a little bit ago. Kinda new, kinda special... let me know what you think. :)

My Place

Congratulations. You’ve found my place.

Everyone’s got one, that particular spot where you feel safe no matter what. Sometime’s it’s secret, sometimes publicly known. Anything from a mall, to a coffee shop, to a park, to the corner of the couch in your living room will do. Everyone’s got a place, and that place reveals something ostensible about his or her temperament. It’s personal, and someone rarely feels the same way about another person’s place.

Welcome. I’ll show you mine.

First you see the gate. It’s made of iron, nearly two stories high, see? Ivy likes to crawl up the verticals; it keeps them from rusting. There are words engraved in the crossbar with silver filigree, but I’m sure you can’t read them.



Oh, to watch you struggle. It’s not even a dead language. Here, I’ll take pity. It says, “My heart is living. Forever, I’ll sing.” Pretty, no? It’s a shame you don’t notice the rest… but we must move on.

Don’t tell me you’ve seen enough? Why, this is just the introduction, the prelude. The real piece has yet to begin. It frightens you, the way you can’t see past the front of trees, doesn’t it? They’re rather foreboding, even in the daylight, but they don’t mean you any harm. They’re only trees, after all. Now, just after twilight, the leaves are black instead of green, the trunks barely visible in the shadows. Don’t worry, though, I’ve always been safe here. Come along.

It’s a rather abrupt change, isn’t it? You can feel it in your very bones. As you pass through this gate you’re leaving the city, entering the patch of untamable land the earth demands. Don’t mind the rustling, it’s just a kitsune[1] looking for it’s meal. It starts getting hungry about this time, you know.

Follow the path around here. See, it winds through the plum trees beautifully, don’t you think? Two weeks ago the attenuated branches would have been choking in pink and white blossoms, but you’re too late for that. Now they’re bare, little portals to let the moonlight through. The stars are obstructed by the wretched smog from the city, of course, but the moon is simply stunning. Look at how the fallen petals coruscate a haunting blue. I can’t look at it enough; it makes my soul hungry. When there are enough white flowers it almost looks like snow. It’s a shame it hardly ever snows here, or we could invite Yuki-Onna[2] to a little tea party, provided we brought a child for supper. Who knows, maybe there’s a Hana-Onna[3] instead. What’s that you say? Ghosts and witches are no laughing matter? Of course they’re not. This way, now.

This is my favorite part: the lake. You’ll see it in a moment, just keep following the stream. Be careful not to slip on the rocks. They look sturdy, but they’re really quite treacherous. Come now, along the boardwalk. It’s quite well built, I promise. There, see? This is the only spot in the whole damned prefecture you can see for more than fifty yards. You’re lucky, too; the full moon makes the murky water shine. Look, down into the tarn. Don’t lean over too far or you might fall. That would be a treat for the kappa[4] though, wouldn’t it? That’s why they live here; you can’t see them through the water until it’s too late.

Wait, now, what’s the matter? Don’t throw yourself about like that, you might get hurt. A face in the water? Well, of course. Didn’t I just tell you this is where the kappa live? Either that or it was a ningyo[5]. Of course they’re real, why would I lie to you? Come off the lake then, if they frighten you.

Please, don’t shriek so, I told you the kitsune were here not a moment ago. If you scream like that you’ll wake all my friends, and I still have more to show you. It may be too late for that now though. Running won’t get you anywhere; I’m sure the tengu[6] are awake now. They’re much faster, and they like a chase.

There, see? Just kneel down; the grass is soft here. Don’t be afraid of my friends. I know they must look eldritch from here, gathered all around us, but they won’t torture you. They need to live, just like any other creature, but they do not delight in pain. Well, except the tengu.

Please don’t blame me, it’s not my fault. I never once lied to you. It is beautiful here, isn’t it? Can you hear the singing? The trees, the water, the yokai[7]… even the rocks join in the chorus. It’s the most exquisite aria the world has ever heard, and with you as the soloist. How lucky you are, to have stumbled across my place on such a night! Tonight, you are the main act, with the moon as your limelight. Enjoy it. Revel in the glory. Then, morosely, you must say goodbye to everything else, for this is my place, and my place will keep you.

[1] Japanese legendary shape-shifting fox

[2] Snow Woman; cannibalistic figure of Japanese lore

[3] Flower Woman

[4] Japanese water goblin, known for capturing humans and eating their intestines before drowning them

[5] Japanese mermaid. Differs from the Western mermaid in that it is more like a monkey’s upper body with a fish tail rather than a human’s.

[6] Japanese monster, said to be corrupted monks with a body of dog, avian, and human characteristics

[7] Japanese word for monster, specifically of Japanese folklore

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I would like to start out by saying that I had a whole bunch of fabulous ideas for this blog, but I didn’t write down about half of them, so I forgot them, then had to pick between the remaining ones… it wasn’t an easy decision, but a decision was made, a bit because I’m going to try to post this at a time where it is the 23rd both at home and here in Japan. ;)

Also, it has been exactly one year since I started posting on here- February 23, 2009 was my first blog. Happy anniversary!!! Haha has anyone actually been keeping up with the posts?

Anyway. Bloggins now.

I decided that time is something that I really, really do not understand.

Seriously, what is time, really? A minute, an hour, a year. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines time as, “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole,” but isn’t time just a human-made excuse for why we haven’t gotten something done?

I’ve half a mind to think that time does not really exist. The moon revolves around Earth, Earth revolves around the sun, the entire universe is moving and changing, blah blah blah… we just break it all down into little pieces to make our so-called ‘time.’

People are so concerned with getting things done by the deadline, being on time, being productive, making good use of their time, not wasting their time, all that business, me included. If you know me at all, you know that I get really stressed out if I’m going to be late or if I don’t have enough time to get something finished, and I get really loopy if I have too much extra free time. It’s something I’m still working on.

Time though… isn’t it just something we people use to measure the performance of other people? Don’t we just use it as an excuse to judge and control everyone else in our lives? I’m as guilty as anyone else. If someone is late, keeps me waiting, or wastes my time I tend to get really angry, or at frustrated at the very least. All of us use time to influence how other people do things. Take professors, for instance. We have deadlines for everything, from homework to papers to tests (the end of the period) and everything in between. Granted, if they didn’t give us deadlines probably nothing would get done, but they are still using time to control how we work, how we spend our free time.
(Notice how many times I’ve used the word “time” thus far?)

I’ve begun to wonder what the world would be like if we all decided to stop measuring time. I mean (correct me if I’m wrong), but no other living organism measures time like we do. Do you think cats and walruses and ants and daisies and lettuce measure how many minutes the sun was up today, or for how many seconds it was raining? I tend to think not. So if we humans stopped measuring time would everything fall into chaos? Probably. Would that be a bad thing? Maybe yes, maybe no. It would certainly be much easier to “live in the now” as bunches of people always say we should. I would kindof like to try it sometime, but I have a feeling I would fail miserably. We depend so much on being at work at 9, out of class by 3, home by 11… it makes me a bit sad to know that some invisible force such as time controls me so much.

Think for a second about a day that was a complete vacation. You planned nothing. You slept until you felt like it, ate when you felt like it, did whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, never had to worry about trains running, stores or restaurants being open, any of that. (If you’ve never had a day like this you are missing out.) Now think about how relaxed you probably were. It was probably one of the best days of your life, yes? What if every day could feel like that? I mean, obviously people have to work sometime, get stuff done, but maybe if we didn’t worry about time so much we’d be more productive. Maybe we have deadlines to be productive, but without deadlines we’d be more relaxed so we’d be more productive.

I may be crazy. It’s a nice thought though, yes?

It would be nice to live without a schedule dictating my life, without worrying that less than 10 seconds could determine whether I get on the right train or am able to pick up the right gift. There’s a good reason I wish there was a 24-hour coffee shop near where I live; I tend to keep very strange hours, and sometimes I’m wide awake at 3am, and there is no where to go. This sucks. But because of that silly time I’m stuck in my room, bouncing off the walls.

This is a lot of ramblings. I apologize for the crazy thought jumps and whatever else might not make sense to anyone but myself. What I’m trying to say is that, for multiple reasons, I don’t believe in time. I think people made up time because people are ridiculous (I’ll talk about that some other time).

Happy anniversary.

I’m off to study for two exams that I have tomorrow morning. I’m running out of time. (Can you tell where I’m coming from on this blog?)

Love you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


It’s January. It’s a brand new year. Resolutions are made, some already broken. I made a resolution; I may actually be able to keep it this year, which is pretty exciting. This year, I am motivated (that’s part of the resolution, but not the whole thing). I am determined to actually do something worthwhile instead of just going to classes and getting my homework done on time.

I’m going to start off by saying that I am leaving for Japan TOMORROW. And it’s terrifying. But exciting. I’ll be there for four months, which is the longest I’ve spent away from home ever. It’s also on the other side of the planet, which is a big deal. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing over there besides taking classes and being a tourist, but I feel like God’s got a plan, so I’m just going to go with it. If it feels right that’s got to mean something, I think.

This last year I started seriously writing. I’ve always liked to write, tinkering around with short stories and novels that never got finished (or even really started), but in 2009 I really started doing stuff, this blog as proof. I’ve got a few short stories that I don’t think are terrible; a butt load of poems, some good, others not as wonderful; I started a book that I will finish and attempt to get published; I’ve even got a few songs. I’m writing, and I’m letting people read some of it (which never happened in the past). I’m getting serious about a career in writing, and I think this year is bringing big things.

These are two big issues in my life right now, but they’re not the only ones. There are other things that are also very prevalent at the present time. For the first time some things (which are going to remain unnamed on public internet for now) finally feel right. That’s never happened before, and if that’s not a God thing, what is? I feel like I know where I’m supposed to be going, and I’m determined to get there, no matter how hard it is. I’m not alone on this journey, so I know I’ll make it.

My point here is that I’m finally motivated to do things, to get stuff done. Most of my life I’ve just kind of drifted through. I mean, I always worked hard, getting good grades in school, doing my very best in whatever extracurricular activities I happened to be in at the time, but I never had an ultimate destination, a long-term goal to work towards. I do now, and I find myself wishing I had found it earlier.

I think what I’ve found is that motivation is really, really important. A person should always be working for something. It doesn’t matter if they change their mind once, twice, a hundred times; as long as they have a goal and are really trying for it, they’ll figure it out eventually. The worst thing someone can do to his- or herself is to be stagnant, to not try. If you keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same results you’ve always gotten. I don’t think that’s what anyone wants. Change is scary, but it’s inevitable; you might as well make it productive and what you want.

The ostensible goal in life is to have a great job, lots of money, spouse and 2.5 kids, blah blah blah. I say imagine your own utopia and work towards that. My ideal job likely does not have a lot of money in it, but I don’t care. If it makes me happy, that’s what counts, isn’t it?

God’s got a plan for me, and I’m determined to figure it out the best I can and make it happen. For the first time I’m motivated. It’s scarier than I ever would have thought, but in the end I know it’s going to be worth it.

P.S. Prayers for me are greatly appreciated. Safe travel, health, stress, the like. Thanks much. ^_^