We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. — Anais Nin

I’m not gonna lie. This is definitely a problem of mine. Being a writer never helps. I’m constantly wrapped up in daydreams, some less realistic than others. And I am always wondering, ‘what if?’ And so, for the fourth time, I’ve moved halfway across the planet.

Yup! Back in Japan. Back to blogging. I’ll be better (again I say this. I will TRY this time.)

But this time I live in the country. I’ve never lived in the country! I’m a city girl, through and through. I know you know. Even if you wouldn’t say it to me, we both know you know.

And now I live in city about the size of my suburb, surrounded by Strawberry fields and a ring of mountains in the distance. It’s not helping with the daydreams.

Fortunately, I’m so…what’s the best way to say this….confident, yet mildly terrified and stressed out about driving, that I’ve been super aware of what I’m doing in the car. (Yes, I have a car. It’s rental, it’s tiny, like shorter than I am, and it’s boxy and I kind of hate it, but love it too.) And I have to have a car, not because its the country. There is a train; compared to Yokohama, it’s a pathetic little thing, with trains every 20/25 minutes and only two directions to go in. But as we have already established, I am a city girl, and Yokohama spoiled me. Anywho, I NEED a car because I have 10, TEN, 1-0 schools. TEN!!! Wait, one more time, 10!!!!!!!!!!

Yup! Three elementary schools, 6 kindergartens, and a nursery school. Yeah….yup. I don’t know how to get to most of them. But that’s what GPS is for. (I do know how to get to the ES I go to almost every day. So as far as that goes, I’m good.) But two of the ES are straight up in the mountains. Like, they don’t think my little-motorcycle-engine car will make it up the road if it snows. (I learned to drive in snow…I’m not too worried about snow, but if there is ice, I’m not sure the car is heavy enough to keep it from sliding down the mountain.)

But because it’s in the mountains, there are cows! Yeah i know that doesn’t make sense. It’s Japan, what do you want? COWS! And this farm/kids education place/? that makes really, reeeeeeeeeally good ice cream. It’s really good! I will try to stop there like every week when I go to that school.

(I’m only half kidding.)

Other than that….classes haven’t started yet. So, I dunno? People seem cool so far. And the kids all seem pretty nice. I don’t have the preteens this time, thank god. I’m planning on making posters all day tomorrow. Prolly about the months. Cause English really had a field day with naming months. Japanese did the smart thing and used numbers; first month, second month, etc.  To the kids, it probably seems like English just smashed random letters together, stood back, and said ‘that’ll do’. So I’ll be thinking up some way to make it easier to remember…if there is one?

Mmm. Yeah. I’ll post again soon.


“They are full of nostalgia for the days when spirit and material were obviously married.” — Molly Nesbit’s What Was An Author?

The following is a creative non-fiction essay. It’s a rare departure from my normal ramblings, but still…enjoy!

(Formatting required linking to the document.)


“To espresso or to latte, that is the question…whether ‘tis tastier on the palate to choose white mocha over plain…or to take a cup to go. Or a mug to stay, or extra cream, or have nothing, and by opposing the endless choice, end one’s heartache…”– Jasper Fforde

Today’s prompt was to write about anything, for exactly ten minutes again.

And something about widgets, which I did last week. I’m not exactly sure if anyone noticed, because they are in the menu, and that seems to be an almost invisible button up at the top. But hey, write about anything, you say?

A daunting task. I had honestly no idea what I was going to write about, and still don’t. But I have been thinking about Jasper Fforde recently, having just finish the ‘The Song of the Quarkbeast’ (and quarkbeast being perhaps one of my favorite words to say, try it!) I decided I would find an ingenious quote from him and start there.

And lo and behold! I found one about coffee. I believe, and this might betray my obsession with his books, although I swear, I’ve only read each Thursday Next book once, and they just trigger something in my brain that decides what should and should not be remembered, but I believe that it comes from the “Something Rotten” book. A short Google search proved that to be correct. Well it proved that to be the title, which I did not know I knew, if you know what I mean.

Long story short, Hamlet trying to order coffee. Perfect! Hilarious! Smart! Incredible! All these things and more! It’s like the “Shakespeare-ize” song lyrics I put up in an earlier post. It’s just so…intelligently funny. It’s amazing!

And we all know the intelligent is the new sexy. Don’t we? I mean, SHERLOCK. But I won’t get started on that, because there is no way I’ll be able to stop at ten minutes. And if you haven’t love Sir A. C. Doyle for more than the past four years, shame on you. He’s no Jasper Fforde, and considering they write completely different genres in completely different ways and voices, who would want him to be?

They’re both so great! Fantastic! Wonderful! BOOKS. WORDS!

26 little letters bending and twisting into anything you can imagine! And MORE!

I’m done. Thankfully. I do not know where we would have ended up if we had gone down that road. But all of a sudden I would like to read “The Phantom Tollbooth”….

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Today’s challenge: write a post for your dream reader. About anything.

But for me, that’s too open ended. My dream reader? I don’t know who that is. I know there are about a hundred people I wish would read my blog, but are any of them my dream reader? Maa….

(For those of you that don’t know Japanese, maa is well… I think… and hmmm… all wrapped up in one convenient package of doubt.)

So instead, why not post a blog that I can easily picture. I didn’t start this blog to make a name for myself. I’ll do that on my one with my writing. This just happens to not be my chosen medium for that to happen in. I also didn’t start this blog to comment on anything, other than my life.

This is to keep in touch with my friends and family, while I live on the completely other side of the world. A daring feat. There are just so many people, that I’m related to alone! But still I hope that they all wake up sometimes, and tell themselves

“Let’s check in with Sammy. What’s she up to?”

And run (I’m very interesting in my imagination) to their computers, and open up their preferred browser to this page. I know a few do. And so, thank you and all good thoughts.

And since this is a blog to keep in touch, by allowing you into my random thoughts and the things that happen that are just too bizarre (and funny, I hope), I will make this post a conversation. One-sided, true. But about whatever. What do you want to talk about?

Our family conversations over dinner, or those conversations with friends in coffee shops and restaurant corners, have run the gambit of the possibilities of zombie attacks to surgery details to dog antics to Doctor Who to the social dilemmas the world of The Walking Dead presents. Japanese poetry to Shakespeare to modern language studies. Soccer to piano to bar culture. Scifi to current events to anecdotes from twenty years ago. Let’s just say the possibilities are endless.

Since I can’t get any votes from you yet, (although if you’d like to suggest something, please comment. I can think up some thoughts on almost any topic) I’ll just pick something, shall I?

(This is why you never, NEVER read comments on random postings. Anywhere on the internet. It doesn’t matter, they just make you mad.)

As usual, during some of my free time at my desk, waiting to be allowed to go home, I checked the company Facebook site to see what other teachers had been posting. Particularly to see if there were any other humorous arguments about language. I found one. Well, it started out mildly interesting, then just made me suuuuper angry.

The post was about a test that another teacher had been grading. Their Japanese English Teacher looked at something they had marked correct and told them it was actually wrong. Now this student, apparently, lived in England for the first six-plus years of her life, maybe is even half Japanese, so their English is pretty much native. The grammar in question was ‘play piano’ vs ‘play the piano’.

To me, that’s perfectly acceptable. As a piano player, I often say things like I play piano, I have to play piano, and I have played piano since…etc. I have no problem with ‘play piano’. According to some of the commenters on this thread, ‘play piano’ is incorrect. If it helps, I think he was from somewhere in the UK, and the books here use American English, to the extent that an Australian English teacher was told to turn off her accent for class.

The thread went back and forth for way longer than I should have been reading about which was actually correct, and whether or not that was even the question they should be talking about. I say ‘way longer’ because I was just getting angry about all of it the more I read.

The British were very uppity about using ‘the’. I personally think in American English it is all now just a stylistic choice. But maybe I’m wrong; I don’t know.

I DO know that there are a few teachers in the family. What do you think?

I will leave you with some funny language awesomeness. Songs – shakespeared.

If Shakespeare wrote the Macklemore song Thrift Shop
If Shakespeare wrote the Macklemore song Thrift Shop
If Shakespeare wrote YMCA by the Village People
If Shakespeare wrote YMCA by the Village People
The original version of the hokey pokey song, by Shakespeare
The original version of the hokey pokey song, by Shakespeare

Yeah, I got off topic at the end…. But you’re welcome for those (above) ^^

“I’m not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it’s not because I want you, or because I can’t have you – it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try… I’ve seen your kindness, and your strength, I’ve seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are.” — James Marsters as Spike

Why? Because JOSS EFFING WHEDON, that’s why!

Also, today’s assignment was to add some tags, and follow some blogs, and in order to post something I went back to yesterday’s daily prompt. (Not something that I am currently doing, but if there is chance to I will. Or I will try. That’s more like it.)

So that brings me to this post.  The prompt – We’ve all heard the saying: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree?

The answer: see above title.

That’s not a very clear answer is it? I’ll try to explain.

I think there are certain things that transcend culture and that we all find beautiful. Like the Aurora Borealis. I think we can all agree that that is pretty effing amazing. Or, an example a little closer to me, Fuji. I mean come on, it IS a national treasure. Fun fact: the famous woodblock print of Fuji that you are probably thinking of right now, it one of the three most famous woodblock prints from Japan. Or ever? I don’t remember, but I know you know what I’m talking about. The clouds, the snow covering the last quarter of the mountain top. Google Fuji, you’ll find it.

But then there are things, like people, or art, or language, that are more personal. Not everyone finds the same things beautiful. I mean language! the fact that EVERY language has an order for color, the same order! Mind blowing. Fascinating. Or the science behind all of it. Not the “romance languages sound so beautiful” kind of thing. Not that. But that speaking Mandarin Chinese fluently makes you better at music; or vice versa. That’s…beyond words.

I find language beautiful. Snow. My grandmother’s handwriting. I’m sure not everyone will agree with me.

So back to the title quote. Not exactly about beauty. But the fact that there is this association whether right or wrong that exists between love and beauty, means that when I think of this quote, it sticks out in my mind as a beautiful thing.

And, I mean, Joss Whedon. His work is beautiful – one word: Firefly.

Okay, so that’s about all I have to say on that topic. But I did accidentally delete some of this. I tries to retype it…but if it doesn’t make sense, or I jump from one thought to another, let me know. Or just let me know what you think.

Also: Lexicon Valley #31: Name that tone goes into the Mandarin Chinese/music thing. It’s a podcast, if you want more info.

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu PART ONE


So here’s the deal: I’m going to attempt to do the Writing 101 and Blogging 101 prompts. For this month? Don’t remember how long it lasts, but hopefully it will do a couple things for me.

It should have me posting several times a week, which will hopefully keep everyone more up to date on what I’m doing. Not that the minutia of everyday life is all that fascinating, not when everyone has their own version. But in addition to that, I will hopefully be forced back into a state where I write every day. Which is something I haven’t had time for a lot of recently, but I think that might possibly be my own fault. This may be a way to fix that. We shall see how it goes.

Anyway, step one of blogging 101: Who am I and why am I here?

My name is Samara. I am currently a teacher of English in Japan. I love writing and language. And I am here to entertain you with fabulous, magnificent, and entirely fictional stories I catch floating around in my head. Also, so I can keep in touch with all of you, until we can meet again. It will be sooner than we think, but longer than we can imagine, I’m sure.

Love you, miss you, talk to you soon.