“…rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln

Just a note. This is a super old post. I don’t know why it didn’t get uploaded. 

How wonderfully perfect and amazing is that quote? Yes, it is only half of the quote; the first part is something like should we be sad cause rose bushes have thorns. But that’s boring because it’s just so….true?

But: REJOICE! Rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. I don’t think people use the word rejoice enough. This is my new philosophy. And for every question someone asks me that I don’t want to answer: rejoice! For thorn bushes have roses. (Maybe throw a little confetti) then run away. For every lull in a conversation: rejoice! For every tense conversation I do not want to be a part of any more:..rejoice! 

For every morning I spend sitting in a government building waiting for my ticket number to be called so that I can hand in a piece of paper and then….go sit and wait some more: rejoice! For thorn bushes have roses, and what a wonderful idea that is. What an amazing combination of words and letters. What a great thing the english language is. How awe inspiring are those that have a solid grasp on it, the true wordsmiths. 

Rejoice! What a great word! For thorn bushes have roses! What an uplifting idea. Isn’t that a smile that flickered across your face? Isn’t that amazing? How great! How beautiful! 

Oh and p.s. I think I’m going crazy waiting in this dumb government building. I am just so very bored. 

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you”, that would suffice.” — Meister Eckhart

Well, here at least it is Thanksgiving. It’s still another couple hours/a day for you, but it’s already starting to get dark here. I can believe how much I miss daylight savings time. In the summer the sun NOT coming up at 4 is nice. And in the winter the sun NOT setting at 4 is nice. All of both of those things are nice. It’s so disheartening to see the sun start setting and know that there is another hour before I can go home. So not fun.

But this is not a complaining post! That was the last one. It’s very rant-y.

This is a thank you very, very much post.

To my family, my big, beautiful, colorful, crazy, ridiculous, awesome, magnificent, smart, wonderful, and open-hearted family – each and every single one of you – thank you. For being whom you are, for all the get-togethers, and dinners, brunches and vacations, parties and presents and holidays, for being family, with or without the blood to prove it; for all of that and more, thank you! I love all of you so, so much!

To my friends, my amazing, worldly, adventurous, creative, gorgeous, awe-inducing, trend-setting, kind-of-fantastic friends – thank you! Thank you for everything! For being whom you are, for dealing with my crazy-self, for shopping, and conversations, for TV marathons, and actual exercising, for phone calls and texts that go on for days! Thank you! You are more than any one deserves, and better than I could’ve asked for! I love you guy too, so much!

To everyone else – thank you! Thank you for everything, for reading this, for being here. Thank you!

To everyone that supports me and helped me to be the person I am now, though you may not be reading this, or even know it’s here, thank you.

So take a drink for me today, spare a second for a thought, send some love out into the world and eat some good food. Have a wonderful thanksgiving, and remember this quote, for me:

“God gifted you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’” — William A. Ward.

p.s. Today is 8800 days of Sam! Little ol’ me 8,800 days old. Just a random fact to make your Thanksgiving a little more math-y.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I did not love to read. One does not love breathing.” — Harper Lee

I know that it’s been a while. And I have been told to update. I thought I mentioned that it was going to be NaNoWriMo, but that is no excuse. So as it is Thanksgiving for me now, I will put up as many posts as I can. Even though A and B are not mutually exclusive, but I have three hours of sitting and waiting to get through.

I heard it snowed stateside! I wish it would snow here, not just for the obvious and eternal ‘maybe-I-don’t-have-to-go-to-school’ reason, but also because then it wouldn’t be cold enough to rain. It’s not fun trying to decide what to wear in 40 degree rain. Nor is it fun to wake up and walk to school at 7 in 40 degree rain. Nothing is fun in 40 degree rain, except sitting inside under a blanket and pretending you’re asleep.

And on my four-day weekend this week, I did just that. On Saturday, because I could, and what else does one do with their Saturday morning? Stuff, Errands, Chores? No. I should have been writing. I always should be writing, or finishing applications, but you don’t need to tell me that. I know! I know! It’s getting done. Slowly, surely, it’s getting done.

What else is new? I have hiccoughs right now and it’s driving me crazy. And I know it’s because both my brain and my body agree that I should take a nap, but somehow I don’t think the school would appreciate that. Plus it’s like they’ve never heard of insulation. The walls are so thin, or made mostly of glass, and the BOE announced this week that the heaters should not be turned on until December. Because it’s not like there’s the flu going around or anything, and I know that’s not how germs work, but I’m sticking to it.

On the plus side, you can find every size and type of hand warmer you could dream up in seven-eleven. Like small or large, or stick on or for your toes. So if it gets too bad I’ll just layer those on under my suit. Well this has been fun and rant-y.

I wish you could find turkey here. Or anything other than fried chicken or ham. That’s what I really want right now is turkey and stuffing. And just thinking of all the pies and cookies and mashed potatoes and green beans. Man, I miss thanksgiving food. I don’t miss the food-coma that come after it, or black Friday adds. And cyber Monday. I can’t think of anything dumber.

But that means it’s Christmas time! Officially. There is nothing in between that you can throw at me and say: “it’s too early! What about __________?!” After tomorrow, Christmas songs will no longer lurk among the random radio stations and muted shopping store music. They will be blasted unapologetically from rooftops and anything that could remotely hid a speaker. TV stations will begin pushing their Countdown to Christmas events like crack cocaine and no one can stop it! Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph, and three ghosts of Christmas will gang up and take over, like some sort of evil Christmas affiliated Avengers team. Elevators will play the Nutcracker suite, and candy canes will sprout like weeds everywhere you go! It’ll be weeks until you can even hope to get the scent of evergreen out of your nostrils. And the increasingly popular measurement that we all live our lives by, the Starbucks peppermint latte, needs no longer hid behind the red and white snowflake cups! It’ll be everywhere; you thought the pumpkin spice latte needed to take a break? The pumpkin spice latte is the peppermint lattes unpopular kid brother! I love Christmas.

Unfortunately, Christmas in Japan means a bucket of KFC and some vaguely log shaped cake. Blech. I don’t know how that came about, but it makes me very sad. And the Starbucks here? They’ve been taking liberties with their menu. First – they didn’t even have the pumpkin spice, and now? They’ve replaced the peppermint latte with the snow maple toffee latte. Which, I will admit isn’t that bad, and hashtag-first-world-problems all you want, I still want some peppermint latte on the few occasions I can make it out to a Starbucks around here. (Though seriously if you hashtag at me, we won’t be friends anymore, because outside of twitter, it’s dumb, and even on twitter, it’s still dumb. Twitter is dumb.)

Back to Christmas in Japan…KFC is gross. I think everyone can agree with me one that. It’s just not good. But you have to order like weeks in advance to get a bucket of chicken on Christmas here. It’s so weird. So weird. And Santa? He doesn’t come in through the chimney, mostly because they don’t have chimneys here, but he also doesn’t leave presents under the tree. Though they do have those little fake, plastic-y, sad-looking trees in the stores here. So I guess Santa breaks in through the window and flies around on stolen tooth-fairy wings (which is another thing they probably don’t do here. I dunno) and then magically sneaks a present into your bed. I’m not sure, and I’ve in no way checked anything I just wrote, but I think that’s probably what it is. Definitely, maybe. (Which is a pretty good movie, also.)

And snowmen! Snowmen here are only two snowballs! Two! I drew one on the board the other day, and everyone laughed because there were three sections. Personally, a snowman with only two sections looks a little ridiculous to me, but that’s probably cultural. Most likely. I wish I knew why that was though. Like, who decided how snowmen would look?

If you’re interested in some new Christmas songs to listen too, instead of the same old versions of the same songs, I’ve come upon some really good ones recently. Straight No Chaser, an a capella group has some pretty funny versions of songs. There’s the 12 Days of Christmas version of their, that I’ve probably made you listen to. It’s along the lines of other 12 Days of Christmas-like songs. But it mixes in different carols and popular Christmas music – it’s good, let’s just say that. Then there is the Christmas Can-can song, which is hilarious and awesome. And the Nutcracker song, equally hilarious. Check out all three. But then realize that there is nothing wrong with Alvin and the chipmunks, and listen to that album too. Do we still have it on a record, like a vinyl record? I think we might…do that instead. That’s better, somehow.

Then go caroling and get a peppermint latte because I am STILL NOT OVER THAT!

Then send me a picture, so I can show it to a barista here while crying and maybe they’ll make me one out of pity.

Just kidding about the picture part. But really, Happy Thanksgiving to all! And to all a good night!

Oh and then totally check out the Thrilling Adventure Hour, especially the episode in which they rewrite T’was The Night Before Christmas poem for their (dark knight) batman/aquaman character – Phillip Fathom. Because (1) TAH in general is hilarious, (2) it’s written by two guys named Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, seriously, like really, that’s their names, and (3) the best way to pull through a food coma is to laugh all those calories off! Remember the average American will gain 7 pounds this holiday season! Do you seriously need any more of a reason? Ooo. Rhymes.  

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness” — Allen Ginsberg

I don’t take credit for the quote today. The title of today’s post is the prompt too. Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice?

I’d like to think that I am starting to. I want to. I think that people that can actually dance to the beat of their own drummer without a care in the world, are some of the most successful people today. Maybe not in terms of wealth, but just in life. They truly enjoy what they do. Everyone should have something like that. Even if you don’t love your job, you should have a hobby or something that you can do that is one hundred percent you.

And so I guess my point is that especially since college, but even that last year or two I was trying to do exactly that. And since living on my own, I’ve become even less apologetic for who I am. That’s my problem. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to live with it. I do. My best friend and I agree; we aren’t social butterflies. We’re social bats. We aren’t pretty flowers. We’re cacti. And we love it. We click. We have three conversations at the same time, over months. It’s the best thing in the world, and I hope that everyone can have something like that.

I am not saying that that means I am rude to everyone, spouting what I think all the time, without apologizing. I’m saying that I like Top Gear, and I like Castle. I love Firefly, and I watch The Vampire Diaries. I like reading. No, I love reading. I hate people taking pictures of their food all the time. Unless there is a very good reason for it, and I mean super special occasion, just eat it. I eat vegetables raw, and I love shopping. I like colors, but I like things to match. I like walking, and roller coasters. I love yoga. But at the same time I want to be a runner too (I’m definitely not yet, I’m working on it…slowly. My lungs don’t seem to agree with me yet.) I will point out if you say something incorrect, not to show off, or to put you down for being dumb, but to point out that you are wrong. If you’re being rude, I’m gonna call you out on that. And that’s only partially because I’m kind of awkward. I like being awkward. But I’m also trying to listen to other people more. I may not like who they are, but that’s fine. I don’t have to. I just want to know what makes others tick (selfishly, so I can use that later in my writing career. Evil smile, followed by manic laughter…optional.)

So I wholeheartedly agree. Don’t hide the madness. We should celebrate uniqueness now more! Creativity comes from the crazy; I firmly believe that. You just don’t always have to be crazy. Let it out at the full moon.

“Concentration is one of the happiest things in my life.” — Haruki Murakami

Another ten minute free-write time.

Okay, so it’s free-write time again. A stream of thought with nothing to direct it, but wherever my brain may take it.

I just spent the past hour and a half watching a musical of Sinbad in Japanese. It was interesting, even if I had very little idea of what was going on. I don’t really remember that story very well. But there was a lot of singing. They had maybe one or two lines in between all the singing. It was crazy. And that is why I can’t do this right now. It was crazy hot in the gym with all the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. And all the windows closed and the lights and everything. I do not know how the actors and actresses could do it. Twice. They deff did that this morning for the younger grades too. So my brain is like fried. It’s Friday too, I think I just need a break.

Thankfully I can go home, and kind of let my brain just shut down and go into sleep mode for a bit. Not too long, cause I got things to do tonight. Cleaning. Blogging. Etc. But for a couple hours or so I can just sit there and listen to a podcast or watch some TV and I won’t have to translate anything or plan anything. Or try to look busy when there is absolutely nothing I can do while sitting at my desk.

Maybe that’s why this week was so long. Monday was an all-day desk marathon. And those are terrible. Okay. Ten minutes.

Okay so there was more to that ten minutes, but it was ramble-y and I’m tired so it wasn’t very interesting nor did it make much sense.

So instead I’ll put something else down here, but I’m not sure what.  This week has been terrible as far as the prompts go. I just don’t know what to write for them, or what to do for the non-writing ones. (The ones I usually do the daily post for.) Maybe by next week it will be better.

I think at least part of the problem is that I am trying to get up earlier so that I can start running in the mornings. Which I could do at night, but in the morning just seems like that would be the easier time to do it. Actually, about 3-5 in the afternoon is the perfect time to do it, but I don’t think the school would let me go on a run while I’m supposed to be watching dust collect on my desk. Maybe if I tried to join the track and field club, but then I might need to come to practice on the weekends. And go to the meets. And go every day. And that is just not what I’m trying to do. I don’t want it to be that serious. I just want to run two or three mornings a week. Anywho, so far, the alarm goes off and I’m just woken up about an hour earlier than I’d like to be. I don’t actually get up, I just sleep in between the three or four alarms I have set after that. I think that is a serious problem as far as the being tired during the day thing goes.

I’ll figure it out. Somehow. I think I just need to do it. Stop giving myself excuses for why I can’t and just get up and go. Or I need to try it once.

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.” — Louise Fresco

I confess – I’m cheating a little with this one. Making it combine two different prompts: my favorite food/meal and some of my food quirks.

That second one. That’s easy. If you know me, you know I have many, many food quirks. Here are but a few.

  • I don’t like pig in any of its edible forms. Bacon, ham, sausage; it just doesn’t taste very good to me. Turkey is an excellent substitute though. I could eat turkey bacon or sausage any day. In fact, I once ate an entire package of uncooked turkey bacon when I was like…twelve. Just cause I was hungry.
  • I don’t like any salad dressing on my vegetables, or cheese, or other various non-salad foods…like nuts. Gross.I will eat my lettuce raw, thank you. My bestie likes to make fun of me because one day we were in her car and I pulled a bag of cucumber slices out of my purse and started snacking. Also, I’ve just eaten a whole cucumber for breakfast before. What can I say? They’re delicious.
  • I don’t like anything too greasy, oily, spicy, or bloody. That’s just not my thing. I’m not a huge fan of red meat, although I kill hamburgers sometimes. You just get those anemia-induced red meat cravings, you know?
  • I love oranges (Lexicon Valley just put out a very interesting podcast on the etymology of the word orange) and pumpkins, and purple potatoes.
  • If coffee is a food (it certainly is a food group to me), it’s my favorite thing ever.
  • Or salt. I sometimes just eat salt. But again – that’s another one of those medically-induced cravings.
  • Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point were I can’t stand too much sugar at once. It makes me teeth hurt just thinking about it. But like 80% pure cocoa is the best! So bitterly delectable.

Anything else?

  • Tomatoes are…iffy. Sometimes they are okay.
  • Soup is one of the best forms of food.
  • Avocados (with salt!) are one of the things I love to “cook”. Guac should be available to eat out of a tortilla chip cone. Or cup, with a tortilla spoon.
  • But that’s about the only type of chip/cracker I’ll eat. (Saltines…are a derivative of salt, so they’re cool.) And if it doesn’t have a) a ton of salt, b) guac, or c) cheese, I’m not gonna bother with it.

My favorite sandwich (and I guess the answer to my favorite food/meal) would be Cheese, Pickles, and Mustard. Three of the best foods you can find. Pickles…that might be hereditary. It seems like we can’t get through a family gathering or meal without at least two jars of pickles on hand. My whole family will smash on a jar of pickles. Cheese, american works best, for me, but any will do; and that’s self-explanatory, isn’t it?  Who doesn’t like cheese? And mustard. Coleman’s if you have it, is the only condiment I really like. Katsup (or ketchup or whatever) is okay, but that’s really my sister’s thing. But MUSTARD! Juicy toast is a close second. That stuff is so good. And breakfast for dinner would be third.

And just to mention it here, though  it might be a family secret, but if I don’t say something, my father will…Bacon, Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon-raisin Toast. That’s not something you will ever see me eating. And that makes me odd. But what does that say about the rest of my family that does eat it?

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” — Anonymous

Money is a close second.

NO! Not really. But it was too good an opportunity for that perfectly cynical thing to say; couldn’t let it pass me up.

Time.

Time is tricky.

You can give time, lose time, waste time, make time; but you’ll never really change it.

I love the way we talk about time. I tried to do an experiment with metaphors and similes in college. It didn’t work out, but it still fascinates me. After all, time is such an abstract concept. Time is impossible to hold (but “he’s” got a lot of free time on his hands). You can’t smell it, usually. Although sometimes you smell its effect. You can’t taste it. You can’t hear it. You can only see where it’s been, not where it is.

And yet it is always on our minds. It’s such an obsession that we’ve given it its own dimension!

One of the first things we learn when we learn a foreign language is how to tell time.

Time, unlike smiling, is universal.

And because of all that, I wholeheartedly agree that if you take your time and give it to someone else, that is the greatest gift.

Sorry. I don’t usually take quotes by anonymous. But I liked this, and I honestly couldn’t find who it was attributed to. At least in this form. There are a lot of similar quotes out there though.

I also didn’t really follow the prompt for *cough* Thursday *cough*, but that’s okay right? …Maybe.