Log in



1/14/17 11:46 pm - AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA hahaha haaaa this gold---no--NOOOOOOOOO

I just started rereading my LJ entries from January 2007.

First of this, is was very amusing because I feel despite how much I've matured, at my core, I really don't change at all. XD I still identify so strongly with my 18-year-old self.


12/30/16 10:21 pm - It's time for my 2016 reflections and 2017 goals

Well... that was quite a ride, wasn't it?

It's worth touching on a couple of the world scale things that occurred this year, though I'm usually not directly affected by things going on the news. Politically, my heart was in a lot of turmoil this year, especially seeing as I fall liberal on some topics and conservative on others, all in the name of trying to do what's right and respects life and strives to improve it, even if it's not always the easy option. I opened my mouth on a couple topics I cared most about (that I am pro-life and anti-Trump) and got a little burned for them and likely shunned, which is highly unpleasant. However much I disdain politics and shudder anytime someone far-right or far-left starts spouting hate, I have constantly had to remind myself that if I care, I can't afford to stay silent for the sake of preserving non-conflict in my personal life. The heated divide in the US is very distressing, almost as much as the actual implications of the upcoming Trump presidency.

More generally, I went through a stressful move from one foreign country to another, and that made the plight of refugees very heavy on my heart. I've been paying a lot of attention to stories about them.

That makes a good transition over to what 2016 has been to me personally. Let's take a peek at the goals I set last year and then go from there!

And the results are...Collapse )

That's enough reflection on the past. Now let's look ahead! I'm posting this tonight because I'm leaving tomorrow to spend a couple days in Guilin, because mountains.

Drum roll, please!Collapse )

12/19/16 08:34 pm - In a funk

I've generally been doing better and better here, and many good days, but today started a nice day off but kind of spiraled into being very down about my current life and fretful about the future.

In my right mind I know there's a lot of names for what I'm feeling, but I'm feeling those sorts of anxieties and sadnesses anyway.


I am very eager to go to on my trip to the US (though I know it will be over before I know it and it will probably come some family drama in some form or another), and as much as I just want the next 35 days to blow by, I know I have things to look forward to in the meantime too.

I'm just going to try to recognize my sadness and anxiety for what it is, and try to focus on the nice things.

12/19/16 11:04 am - My people

So... I'm homesick for Japan, yes, I finding groups to speak Japanese with sometimes was important to me.

A while ago I wandered into a little Japanese restaurant and looked at a little newspaper there aimed at the Japanese community living in Shanghai. In their classified section, I found a couple groups I decided to get in touch with.

First was the rock climbing group. It was fun, everyone was pretty chill, there were cool people, and rock climbing was hard but fun. I'll probably do it every so often when I have time, but my open times do not usually sync up with those of the rest of active members of the group. While getting to know people, I mentioned that I did naginata before, and people are usually pretty surprised to hear this. Like, "wow, that's... um... you're more Japanese than I am (and now this is awkward)" so I didn't really want to bring up all the other very, very Japanese things I was often involved in.

I got the "more Japanese than Japanese people" comment a lot in Japan, and though it was often meant to be a compliment, it was still a comment that rubbed me the wrong way. I'm passionate about traditional Japanese culture, but I'm not Japanese and don't claim to be. Likewise, does not having much of an interest in traditionally American things like BBQ or baseball make me less American? No. And yeah, there's a smidge of awkwardness when a foreign person knows far more about an aspect of American culture than I do, but there's no need to say they're more American than I am--and gosh darn it, I love it when some manga authors have really nailed American culture when writing it as a setting, and they're enough to make me look at things and nod and yes, yes, that's exactly it! How had I never noticed that charm before?

But anyway.

I went out last night to a kimono party held every few months. People dress up, go out to eat fancy food and chit chat. I was really on the fence all day about going because I had such a sore throat--literally changing my mind every minute. But I wound up going through all the effort of putting on the kimono and preparing to spend a small pile of money, and I'm really glad I did.

At this kind of circle, when I say that I practiced tea and naginata, I got a bunch of comments like "I want to do kyuudo, they look so austere! Hey, I practiced omotesenke too! Let's have a tea party in spring, I've got a few tools! Ohhh! Please tell me where you take your Chinese culture lessons, I want to go to!"

<3 These are the sorts of people I fit in with, no matter what their nationality.

It's also very cool that many of these ladies have lived in Shanghai for a long time (and elsewhere) and really like living in China. I've been having trouble adjusting--partially due to homesickness for Japan--but part of my goal for the next year is to remind myself how much I like Chinese culture. And I'm always reminded of that every time I go to my Wing Chun or Chinese tea lessons, so the desire to enjoy traditional Chinese culture is still there--it's just even harder to find people to appreciate it with in my daily life.

Turns out one of the ladies at the kimono party runs her business around kimono and Chinese dresses and she lived almost exactly across the street from me. The restaurant happened to be pretty close by, so we walked home together and had a very nice conversation, and even being a white person in Shanghai, it didn't feel odd at all to be wearing a kimono around town if there was someone to do it with me.

:3 With any luck I'll have some excuses to wear qipao soon too.

12/15/16 07:13 pm - YES

Today I found Digi-Tri gashapon at a couple of subway stations. I, who usually do not get very excited about merchandise, was really, really excited.


It only took three tries (about $15 altogther), BUT I HAVE OGREMON ON MY KEYCHAIN NOW, YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS

To clarify why this is exciting, I was keeping an eye out for a new keychain anyway since the one I had been using for five years broke last week. Plus, when I saw what designs they had available, Ogremon spoke the loudest to me because I feel a spiritual connection with Ogremon on my moody sullen days. And now I've got an Ogremon to take around with me on those moody sullen days, yeeeeeeeeesssssss

Plus, if other people see it, they'll either be like "????" or "!!!!", not a lukewarm in-between like "Oh, you like insert-character-eeeeveryone-knows, so does everyone else."

And I have Yamato/Garurumon and Metalgarurumon, but I'd feel weird carrying around my sister's favorites. Like I'd be breaking our own personal canon. I'll probably take them home of her. I'm really happy I got Ogremon like I wanted, but maaaaan, the ones with the kids/champions are *adorable* and I would have really liked the Angemon too and I'd very, very happily take home the Hikari for my friend. Who knows, I might go drop another $30 on these things.



11/30/16 12:01 am - 185,552 words

Just barely made it in time to say I finished on the 29th--THE FIRST DRAFT IS DONE.

11/28/16 04:22 pm - Let it be known that November 28th is...

This has been such a nice day.

My roommate was out, so I left my door open for the cats to walk around free, and one of them woke me up shortly before my alarm would have gone off, so I got those drowsy moments of "I refuse to budge, and by the way, I totally don't have to." I did some laundry and read over an assignment I gave to one of my students last week, and was very proud to see that many of the other classmates worked together with her on it (I had her do it because she seemed like the only responsible one, haha! ^^;).

I took a walk out to my tea lesson, my second one since reaching Shanghai since I'm busy and my teacher is often busy breastfeeding. I got there really early so I had fifteen minutes to kill and caught a friend on a Skype chat who I've been missing lately, and then I got to very, very thoroughly enjoy my lesson. I got to drink tea from a tree that is over 500 years old, and it had a really lovely fragrance and smooth texture. My teacher had me start using some of the tools, and she's looking fired up to give me more frequent lessons next year. She gave me a little gaiwan to practice with and some nice tea to try out and see if my family might like trying that variety when I visit home in January.

After that I took a longer walk through that neighborhood and found a street where they've begun not sweeping up the leaves. This part of Shanghai, the old French Concession, has a lot of character and when the weather is nice and sunny, you often see people out on the streets taking fashion photos. Many of the people I passed by seemed to be distinctly enjoying themselves.

I was looking for a cheap lunch, but accidentally got an expensive French lunch because it had my name on the sign. Eheh. It was a tasty galette. I had the terrible little pleasure of listening in on what bits I could overhear of a table of Japanese women. They caught my attention with the unmistakable "eeeeeh?" all in unison while listening to someone's story.

Here at home, a few of the items I ordered on Saturday came in, and I was surprised by a very nice little homemade Christmas card from a family I spent many, many good times with in Yasugi, an even smaller town next to Matsue. As for my items that came in, I was prepared to be disappointed because online shopping is still a jungle to me, and but I really like the short I was give-or-take on, and the sweater than came needed some more fiddling around with, but it gave me a fun excuse to try out a bunch of accessories with it. Verdict is that it will work.

I edited my students' work, and while I don't know how it's going to work performed, it was a charming little read. That was the last of my "must do" items for today, and I still have plenty of time to work on my story. I'm fairly certain I will finish writing it tomorrow, which is exciting (a) because it will be done, and (b) because I happened to finish my 2014 novel on the same date and (c) 29 is my lucky number anyway. The climax is going really well so far; I have one more long chapter of action to write and then two chapters of wrap-up, which will probably be on the short side.

Another one of my items I ordered on Saturday just arrived, and it's my calendar for 2017. I wanted the exact same very of the one I'm using for 2016, which hangs in the perfect size and place on my desk and has exactly the right minty color I used among my other turquoise and teal items throughout my bedroom (which I worked very hard to try to get perfect--every day I regret any decisions to leave Japan, I look at my clock and remind myself what a very, very good decision that clock was). Unfortunately, this calender's border is not the minty color I thought it would be, but it's a distractingly bold shade of bold.

But I'm not throwing fits about those things now like I was a few months ago.

And hey, it matches my little Mawaru Penguindrum penguins on a couple of my desk shelves.

Anyway. Time to find a snack and then get to writing. WRRRIIIIITTTTIIIIINNNGGG~~~~!!!

11/23/16 05:32 pm - HERE IT COMES

160,281 words in a 363 page document. 44 chapters written.

My characters are about to walk right into the climax of this story.


But dang it, this is going to be a long climax. The plan has to go well before it all goes wrong.

Back to plotting, then back to writing I go.

Just a little more.

Well, no, probably at least 10,000 words more. But hey, THIS IS IT, I AM ABOUT TO WRITE THE CLIMAX.

*maniacal laughter with a twinge of crazy*

EDIT: So I'm plotting and... um... this is probably gonna take a lot more than 10,000 more words.


11/15/16 07:26 pm - My thoughts are one big jumbled mess and now I'm a bar of chocolate

Pretty much every facet of my life is causing some stress right now, even if it's slight. At work I'm really just trying to stay afloat, but the waves are coming from all directions--so many directions; many of which were already opposed to each other before I even came in. Sad to say it, but I'm already counting down the months left in my contract (a little over 21). I know I can do this, but I'm certainly not qualified on paper for a lot of it, and though people have been very earnestly giving me feedback, I'm still not very good at being a teacher. Every time someone says I need to put more energy into it, I want to shrink into a deeper and deeper little hole inside of myself.

I knew things were going to be harder here--I knew I was growing soft and needed the challenge--but because I'm not surprised, I feel like I have no right to complain about everything stressing me out. I knew they'd be here and I came to learn to deal with them and be a better person for the experience.

But right now I'm feeling bitter and dark and tasteless, like a good bar of chocolate that was left exposed to the elements and is now covered in sugar blooms.

I cannot say that I regret leaving Matsue, despite how much I miss it and despite how much difficulty I'm having with trying to be a happy person here (though it does come in nice doses). When it comes down to it, this was fully my choice, and I don't feel like I can complain about my stresses because I'm very lucky to be where I am (for which I'm grateful). I also feel a lot less inclined to complain when I think about refugees, the people who felt they didn't have a choice and are going through the same kinds of struggles.

My suffering is hardly even a degree of theirs, but it is still along the same lines, and frankly, I do feel I am suffering. It's been keeping them very close to my heart since June or so, and today, when I was having a very, very overwhelming day with a long list of causes, I still feel calmer when I think of them. I pray for serenity as much for them as for myself.

11/9/16 03:19 pm

I've done a lot of crying for my country today.
Powered by LiveJournal.com