Saturday, October 26, 2002

True autumn...

It is now truly beginning to seem like autumn. It`s one of those cloudy days that make you feel sluggish and that I inexplicably like. After dance rehearsal, Tsveti and Don had meetings for their respective groups and I had nothing else to do so I started walking around, taking pictures of the beautiful fall scenery. As I told Tsveti....there is a hint of home in the weather and the falling leaves....but not quite. For people like Don, this is the first time they have experienced autumn. Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year....but I have to say that nothing beats autumn in the Northeastern United States. I headed down to the Paris cafeteria, and then I was planning to go to the Pond of Literature (strange name, isn`t it?), but Tsveti`s rehearsal ended early so I waited by Paris while she came to meet me. As I was waiting, I enjoyed the woods surrounding the Paris building and for the first time in a while....felt relaxed and at peace. I wished someone had been with me at the moment, but I imagined that had that person been there with me, I would be self-conscious and wouldn`t truly enjoy the scenery and the moment.....I guess perhaps I am at my best when I am alone...which may be unfortunate.....or perhaps this how it is with everyone....

I am now here at the computer lab waiting for Tomi to respond to my email so we can figure out what the gang is doing tonight....:-P

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Today Don, Tsveti, Pamela, and I have established the Soka Chapter of the Lonely Hearts Club. Hey, we might even start a band :-D :-D At least I feel better knowing that I`m not the only one with a screwed up romantic situation (or lack thereof) :-D
Get a woman`s rice cooker to work and you feed her for two evenings.

Teach a woman how to actually use the rice cooker and you feed her for 10 months....

Thanks Mendi!

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Yesterday was Orion`s (from Brazil) 22nd birthday and as a spur of the moment birthday celebration, he invited all of us to eat at the Royal Host. It was a lot of fun...had a good time and got to hang out with my usual crowd and with people I usually don`t hang out with. Don bought a spider at the 100 yen store which caused quite a sensation at the restaurant. It is attached to a small pump which makes it jump. I especially liked when she did the "Jump to your death" trick. Ok...I know it`s stupid but it`s one of those inexplicable things that make you laugh.

Also, a Cuban foreign exchange student arrived at Soka last night. I don`t know why he came so late in the semester, but oh well. That was also the talk of last night. His name is Osmael and Tomi is helping him out with translations and stuff because he doesn`t know much English or Japanese. I got to meet him just a little while ago, but I didn`t get to say much to him, except that I up and called him "usted" and Tomi was like, "why are you calling him `usted` for?". But it felt like such a formal situation and I had just met him that it felt right calling him `usted`. But I apologized and said, "I`ll never call you "usted" again. Tomi tells me that he will be doing the dance for Sodaisai, which would be fine but we have little more than a week left until the dance! How is he going to learn the dance in such a short time when we`ve been working on it for over a month? And besides, I think we have established the stage positions....unless of course, someone drops out...

About what I wrote yesterday....I am feeling much better about it. Don was right....I get too attached emotionally sometimes. I should play it cool....of course, that doesn`t mean I have to be an ice queen. I can be friendly like I always am....but I shouldn`t have to bend over backwards to get people to notice me. If they don`t follow, that`s their problem. Well, that`s my mantra for now anyway :-) Besides, I should broaden my horizons.....there are so many people out there to meet and get to know.....
I have dance practice in 10 minutes but I don`t care. I have things I want to say.

Last night I had a long talk with Don about many things, especially about a certain person. She confirmed my suspicions about him liking someone else. But most importantly, by talking to her, I realized a lot of things about myself, which was good. But right now I`m just confused and don`t know what to do. And I am not talking about all that cryptic stuff I have been writing on the blog lately. All that was about the guy/s I liked. It`s just that yesterday, I found out that an even bigger question has to be answered. And it pretty much comes down to this: Where do you draw the line between changing a character flaw and changing who you fundamentally are as a person? Don says that I can be overly sentimental and idealistic. But to what extent can I change that? I have realized that in dealing with guys, being overly romantic and being overly attached can really backfire....There`s so much else that I want to say but don`t know quite how to do that right now. All I want to say is that I really appreciate Don`s honesty. I needed to be brought down from my cloud. Or at least I needed to be shown that I was on a cloud.....now how do I get down from it?

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Things I am grateful for: Heated toilets on cold mornings, cell phones

More to come later

Monday, October 21, 2002

From October 13th:

"All I ask of you is forever to remember me, as loving you..." -Church hymn

"And now, I find...I`ve changed my mind" -Madonna

I finally got to talk to Bill about what I had wanted to talk to him about an it went really well. He was very understanding about the fact that we are so far apart. We basically came to the conclusion that we are free to be with whom we want. Strangely enough, I told him something that no one else here in Japan knows. So I feel so relieved now. But yet I am as confused as ever about what path to take. Last night I had a dream that, unlike the dreams I`ve had since I came here, was so detailed and felt so real that when I woke up, I was shocked that I even had this dream. And well...it confused me. I think that at this point, I really want to proceed slowly. These past few days, I have seen the bad consequences of going too fast and I would rather be patient and be happier in the end than jumping into something and being brokenhearted about it.

"Come back to me, with all you heart,

don`t let fear, keep us apart.

Trees do bend, though straight and tall

So must we, to other`s call.

Long have I waited for your coming,

home to me and living

deeply our new life.."

I used to sing this hymn at church. Of course, the speaker in this song is Jesus, but I have always given it a more secular meaning. The way I see it, the speaker is a man or a woman addressing the person he or she loves. Either way, it is a beautiful song, even though I think it more beautiful with the secular meaning.


It`s been quite a night and well, as they say in the US, the shit has hit the fan. But to be honest, I feel so relieved that the truth has come out. While the path is still unclear, I am defenitely more certain about which way to go, and that is forward. Kurt sometimes has this Led Zeppelin lyric that he likes and in this case is very appropriate:

"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there`s still time to change the road you`re on..."

Yet, I am worried and scared, but things cannot always remain this way. They will work themselves out. Of that I am certain. My viewpoint has changed and I just may be able to move on.

"Foolish heart, hear me calling

Stop before you start falling...

Foolish heart, hear my warning

You`ve been wrong before, don`t be wrong anymore...."

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Entry from October 5th (I don`t know how I skipped this one):

I`m sitting right by the door to my balcony, watching the scenery outside and the cars go by. The weather is so nice right now, it`s making up for the gloomy weather we had last week. I had a very good time last night. It was a whirlwind of events. The `paati at Pari` was ok, but some of us kinda felt left out because of the language barrier. However, I could begin to understand some of what was said and Don understood even better. We got into our regional groups for the festival and it ends up that Tom, who is from South Africa, and Bogdan, who is from Bulgaria, are officially in the North American group. We are going to cook samples of the pierogies that we are making for the festival. I don`t even know why we are making pierogies when it isn`t even from North America. Even the simplest-sounding suggestions were either too expensive or hard to make because the necessary equipment is not available. Brian jokingly suggested a kissing booth and they said `THAT will go over well with the Japanese!`, because they would be way too embarrassed since kissing is a HUGE deal here apparently.

Anyways, Don, Tomi, Chie, and I left the Pari paati earlish because one of the Soka English teachers, Pamela Yamamoto, was having a party for the people in the English Forum. Because I work at the Chit-Chat Club and not in the English Forum, I was a bit self conscious about going but I had nothing to worry about, because I had a really good time and Pam did not seem to mind at all that I was there. There were some Japanese English students and some other English teachers. One was from India, one was Chinese-Canadian, and the rest were from the United States. It was so cool to be able to speak to other Americans and share our frustrations at not knowing Japanese very well. Towards the end, there were only English speakers left and we talked about a whole bunch of things until almost 1am. Afterwards, we walked two of the English teachers home. I really like riding my bike at night (when it`s not raining, that is). It is so peaceful outside and you can feel a cool breeze as you cruise along. I know that soon, however, the weather will get cold and riding bikes won`t be as pleasant.

Lately, I`ve been looking back to the time before coming here and have realized how frustrated and stressed I was. I`m sure Bill and my family see that as well and I wonder if, when they talk to me, they notice the difference. Far from being stress-free here in Hachioji, I feel a certain peace that was defenitely missing when I was at home or even at school. I look back at how I was always complaining to Bill and at how things would sometimes get downright ugly between my mom and I. And I wonder why I acted that way. I believe that it was restlessness, my need to see and do new things--and my need to be intellectually stimulated. I also think it was my frustration at not knowing what I want to do after my graduation. I`ve been thinking about it, and now I`m not so sure that I want to be a translator. To be honest, I don`t know what the hell I want to do with my life. I thought coming here would give me a better idea about what I want to be in life. And while that hasn`t been the case so far--maybe I will find out yet.

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