“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.)



“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?

“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”….

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” — Julius Caesar

Today’s challenge was to change your theme. I bet you can tell that I did that. I’m not sure if it makes much difference one way or the other. I like the lighter background, to me it seems easier to read. If you think it was the worst mistake a human being has ever committed, let me know. I’ll change it back. I did like the circles….

And again, as that was not a post, i have undertaken the daily prompt. Write for exactly ten minutes. No more, no less; but it can be about anything you want. And seeing as I’ve already started talking about a whole lot of…well nothing, I will continue on with that.

Today I was teaching ES, and I love it! As time goes on, it’s becoming obvious that I love the ES soooooooo much more than the JHS. Although the special needs class in the JHS is kind of the best in the entire school. But, by far, the cutest kid is at the ES. He’s also in the special needs class, but he wears these suspenders to school every day. Oh my goodness, he’s adorable. Easily distracted, but adorable.

Besides the fact that there is no “Scary-sensei” at the ES, the kids just don’t care as much about getting things wrong. And they aren’t worried about taking entrance exams, well not really, so we just play games all day. I mean yes, bingo gets a little old for me, and I am tired of the screaming and yelling that accompanies the kids’ favorite ‘Janken’ game (Rock-Paper-Scissors; although they like to say Rock-Scissors-Paper, which just sounds wrong to me…) because you know they get into that. I have heard Japan called the land of Janken, and there is a very good reason for it.

I mean at the JHS the teachers have to teach them certain grammatical points, and what-not, and the kids need to know it to get into HS but seriously, what happened to  tricking students into learning by making it fun? That’s what I do to the ES kids. Today we learned colors…well they knew all the colors already. What they didn’t know is that I tricked them into learning ‘What color do you like”. I haven’t made them say this without prompting yet, which is probably why they didn’t notice, but next week, when they say it all on their own, hopefully they still won’t realize they learned something! They’ll just know it.

Okay. Time’s up.

“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) ^^

“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.