Lit Me Up

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Should I update this blog again? I feel like… I should. I can’t believe I haven’t all year.

This has been an awful year. For a lot of people. For me especially. Maybe I can write about it.

At least I got a new job that I love.

Hmmmm. Need to think about what to do with this space. I do miss blogging.

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Happy New Year

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Goals this year include:

Less is more.
Quality over quantity.
Let go of anger and negativity.
Allow myself to feel what I feel.
Missing things from my past is okay.
Slow down, do things thoughtfully & thoroughly.
More Japanese food cooking.
Do things properly.

I hope 2017 treats us well. I need a good year.

Death Wolf

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I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo, but I’m at 35k for my current WIP. That is a win in itself. Recently when I write I feel so full of words and then I write them all out and then have nothing left and until I fill back up I can’t keep going.

I started an instagram for book photography. At first I thought it was weird to spend time takeing photos of books but I love books so whatever. I am really enjoying it, and having so much fun playing around with editing. I guess I’ve missed photography. –> https://www.instagram.com/tsukisuki/

Tidal Wave

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I haven’t posted in this place in over a year!!!!

What have I even been doing???

I:

  • Got a promotion at work
  • Got a hamster
  • Named the hamster Hamilton (not after the musical)
  • Read over 100 books
  • Started a new novel that’s set in Tokai-mura Japan. It’s magical realism.
  • Got a new computer, had the new computer break and got a newer even better computer
  • Started to cook A LOT of Japanese food

For Halloween I plan on being a creepy cat & for November I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo.

House of Wolves

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Things I Miss About Japan

  • Sushi that costs less than twelve bucks for six pieces of nigiri
  • Bathrooms. Fancy toilets. Doors that go all the way to the bottom of the stall. An entire room for the bath and shower.
  • Food. All the food. Onigiri, yakisoba, gyudon, tempura, karage. I miss going to the grocery store and spending less than ten bucks for dinner.
  • The local restaurants in Tokai
  • Family restaurants
  • Trains
  • Sock shops
  • Convenience stores everywhere
  • Midnight ramen with my husband

Ya know, actually, when I sit down to think about what I miss I actually can’t come up with that much. Last week I was just hit with this astounding overwhelming absence of Japan from my life and I missed it so much. Maybe it wasn’t so much the things there that I miss as it was a feeling I had while there.

Who knows. I am happy here tho. But damn, I wish I could get Japanese food more easily (and cheaper).

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Timberwolves at New Jersey

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It’s amazing how quickly things can change. And how hard work seems to be never ending. A month ago I was ready to give up, but now all kinds of good things are happening. I don’t know why things suddenly started to work out, but I’ll take it.

When husband and I moved here back in August we expected to spend the next five years in our 10th floor studio apartment overlooking the Charles river. We are now living in a one bedroom apartment on the first floor with a private patio and the swankiest of top floor lounges overlooking the Charles river. We are so happy here and it feels like a dream that we live here.

This took place in the course of three weeks.

And at the same time I went to three job interviews. More on that later.

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Things

Thins I want to eat in the USA:

  • Hawaiian pizza with soy cheese
  • (American) Chinese food (sweet & sour pork, orange chicken & egg rolls)
  • Grilled (soy) cheese
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Corn bread with honey
  • A meal at Mikado Sushi on 28th street
  • Chili dogs
  • Cobb salad — hell any salad that contains 100% lettuce and 0% cabbage
  • FRUIT. All the fruit. Berries. All the berries.
  • $1 Tostino Canadian bacon pizza (I don’t care if it gives me a stomachache)
  • SOY MILK ICE CREAM
  • Yellow cake with vanilla frosting
  • Tuna casserole
  • I-Hop
  • Bacon that is crispy

Things I want to do in the USA:

  • Get a library card
  • Get a job that does not involve teaching English
  • Make phone calls in English
  • Drive
  • Hug my dog
  • Own a couch
  • Own a coffee maker
  • Make friends
  • Contact publishers and get physical ARCs
  • Rent a car
  • Drive to the ocean
  • Bake
  • Celebrate holidays properly

Bayerische Motoren Werke

Bayerische Motoren Werke

Jessamine almost got hit by a white BMW three-series F30. And she wasn’t sure how she felt about that. As in she practically didn’t mind that a beautiful car nearly stole her life.

White, powerful, fast. Too fast. The driver, bass thumping, sunglasses obstructing 95% of her face, blond curls bobbing, was not paying attention, to say the least. The tears were covered by the lenses of her three-hundred and forty-five dollar YSL brand “eye protection”, her nine-dollar-a-tear Dior mascara smearing across her knuckles as she tried to brush away the only evidence anyone had that her boyfriend was a lying, cheating bastard, whom she hoped, would rot in hell.

No, Jessamine didn’t know, nor did she care, about the owner of the BMWs overcharged credit cards and undercharged sex life. She only had eyes for that white three-series that almost ended her own life. The purr of the engine, the rev of the turbocharged four-cylinder, the wail of the tires burning on the pavement, the scent of a half a tank of gas; those would have been the last pleasant uses of her sense she would have had, had she not stepped back onto the sidewalk at the precise moment she did. One more step and she would have also been subject to the pain of death; her skin pealing from cracked bones, that white metal and plastic headlights shattering her internal organs.

None of this crossed her mind though. Instead she whipped out her phone and Googled the make and model. She wanted to run after the car and ask it where have you been my entire life? All fourteen years of it? She began to conceive a plan to own that car when she turned sixteen. Somehow.

Jessamine soon realized that she could not make enough money in the two years until her sixteenth birthday, to indeed afford a BMW. Not a new one, not a sleek white kitten that would purr just for her. Her parents laughed at her when she asked if they would consider loaning their signature to her in exchange for sky-high insurance premiums and summers filled with minimum wages. She could get something from the used card lot, her father said. She could ride the damn bus, her mother interjected over a glass of wine. (Her mother rode the bus a lot on account of a blood-alcohol level “just barely” over the legal limit, but over enough times that she was on a “vacation” from driving).

So Jessamine did what any sensible girl would do and lost her virginity in the back of a black Mustang GT. When they weren’t making out, her skin pressed against the leather seats more of a turn on than Tommy’s hand mashed against her breast, she was learning how to drive a stick. To change a flat. Her father paid her five dollars less than he did the guy at the Jiffy-lube to change his oil. Her mother mumbled that her license was no good until she got the horizontal one that showed she was twenty-one, not the stupid “new driver” vertical nonsense that kids got “these days”.

Justin taught her how to drift a curve in his blue Honda Civic that sounded like a wind-up toy. Carl let her drive his Chevelle, the one he’d installed a Hemi in, for only a kiss. Stephen let her drive them to prom in his father’s red 1969 Camaro. David held her while she cried when they came upon the accident; a white BMW three-series F30, crumpled against a tree, a blond woman hanging out the cracked windshield, red dripping down the hood. He thought she was crying over the horror of it all, the loss of life, a life cut too short, tragic, senseless. Should have been wearing a seatbelt. Did the airbags go off?

Blah blah blah.

But it was the car. The lovely car, fractured and ruined and splattered blood red, which broke her heart the most.

What a wretched, exquisite way to go.

 

This is a short story. Based on one true fact.

Cute without the E (CUT FROM THE TEAM) // TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS

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Five years ago I met a guy. Every story starts with a guy, doesn’t it? Well, this story starts with a short guy. I met him online, we went for a walk, he smoked a cigarette, offered me a hot coffee, looked up at me, and said he’d call me later. I looked down at him, one overwhelming thought: he’s much shorter than I expected. 

When I got home I felt so bad for thinking that. I felt so bad for thinking that the day after my birthday I was meeting this awkward guy from the internet, freshly twenty-five, starting my second year in Japan. What the hell am I doing? 

The first thought I had when I met my husband was thank god he’s taller than me. As a 5’4” woman in the USA, I am not tall. I spent all my life looking up up up at six-foot tall bros, feeling like a tiny, dainty girl. In Japan I feel like a monster, stomping around, thighs the size of tree trunks, arms that go on for miles (or kilometers in the land of the metric system). My husband is not overly-taller than me, he clocks out just a few inches taller, but still. It was enough. Was his height what hooked me? No. It was just a fleeting though that I had because of the previous date with the shortest man I’d ever met. (Not that I have anything against short people, I don’t. God, this is going downhill fast).

Five years ago I never imagined that it was going to be the beginning of the beginning. I didn’t know that this taller-than-me three-years-younger-than-me soon-to-graduate-university-two-years-after-me guy was going to be the one that I feel in love with and the one that was going to change my life. I thought I would make my home in Japan, and continue to teach English, hocking my language like a cheap purse in a Chinese street stall. (Feel free to exchange ‘purse’ and ‘Chinese’ with any other cheap good that you can sell on the street in any location).

This guy… he… he had a dream. I still remember the night he told me, five years ago, that he wanted to go to the USA for graduate school. That he wanted to get his PhD. He told me this in Japanese. He couldn’t even speak English at this point! We were sitting in a dirty Japanese restaurant, him ordering off the picture-less menu because I couldn’t read half of what it said. I nodded, thinking that it would happen in the ~future~ and then watched as he spent the next five years making that dream come true.

And so now, next month, we are going to Boston. Moving there for the next five years, if not longer. Living in an MIT family apartment. I’m going to see snow again. I’m going to drive a car again. I’m going to buy books in English. I’m going to make phone calls and be able to communicate with the service representative. I’m going to be able to boil more than one pan of water at a time on my four-burner stove top. I’m going to bake muffins and drink cranberry juice by the gallon. I am excited about getting a new job and terrified about doing weird things in the USA because I’ve been gone for so long. I am excited to see my husband doing what he loves, what he worked so hard for.

Boston. We are coming.

 

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