Category Archives: Personal

Settling Back in, Without Mercy

We made it back from the in-laws despite more rain, several random complete traffic stops on the expressway, and a temperamental navigator (a computer this time).

Once we got back, we got comfortable quickly. Maybe too quickly.

We were late starting out and that put us into the “u-turn rush” which wasn’t that bad, except the traffic came to complete stops several times during the trip. We still don’t understand why as there were no accidents.

As we got near home, our navigation system decided that we’d ignored her one time too many and she stopped giving us notifications.

Once we got home, we all fell into our usual chairs and routines and relaxed to the point that all of a sudden it was time to go to bed and we hadn’t actually eaten supper.

Tomorrow we’re back to our full regular routines. Maybe we’ll manage to unpack eventually.

Lazy Vacation Day

I decided not to visit the dead because it was raining. I was that kind of lazy day.

Because it was raining I skipped the annual visit to the family grave. This is usually something I enjoy doing because it’s an interesting ritual and I often run into former students (visiting, not in the graves).

However, even though it was unseasonably cool, the rain made the trip seem less interesting so I opted to stay home and do absolutely nothing. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed and her mother cut the trip short.

Other than that, not much happened to day. Which means it was a good vacation day but not a good day to write about.

Queasy Rider

For some reason I’ve been thinking about motorcycles lately.

My father always had a motorcycle, there’s even a picture of me when I was little on one of his cycles. He also went through a biker phase that morphed into a different style of biking but technically never ended and we had at least two motorcycles at our house. He had a dirt bike and cruiser (complete with fairing and detachable saddle bags) and one of my favorite moments was riding on the Kawasaki (probably a Kawasaki) with him to Denver where I got my allergy tests to eventually be mostly cured of my allergies.

Despite this, I only drove a motorcycle once. Dad, out of the blue (i.e. for reasons I don’t remember) taught me how to ride. (We were in our house which means it had to be in the early 80s which meant I was at least 14 or 15). After I mastered the “down one up whatever” shifting nonsense on the dirt bike (a Honda I think), I rode down a dirt road near our house and actually had a great time. (I didn’t ride enough to get confident/stupid.)

After I returned to our house I got off the bike and never drove a bike again.

Although that was a great moment, I never had the desire to drive a motorcycle again. Maybe if I’d driven one earlier things might have been different, but at university one of my friends had a nasty motorcycle accident that put his leg in a cage and that pretty much eliminated any interest I had in driving a motorcycle. Another friend recently pointed out, whilst questioning why anyone would want to ride a motorcycle, that every motorcycle rider he knew had an “accident story.”

That pretty much explains why I’ll probably never own a motorcycle.

Music and Bolt and Hunting for Soft Serve

Today we wandered down to a music contest starring our oldest and her band, er, her band club. The adventure ended with ice cream and disappointment.

The contest featured dozens of high school bands each with 10 minutes to perform before they were rushed off for pictures and waiting. There were lots of rules, mainly no pictures or video in the concert hall unless you buy it from the professionals.

Our oldest’s band did well (and will be moving on the next part of the contest) although I felt it was not their best performance of the song.

After their turn, I took the opportunity to bolt for home as our oldest wouldn’t be performing again.

On the way home I decided I needed some soft serve ice cream. In fact I was craving it. I even passed better, more expensive variations of ice cream because was in the mood for soft serve. I went for the cheapest only to discover that particular McDonald’s branch didn’t sell ice cream. Then I went to a different restaurant where I got a big cup and a little bit of ice cream for a substantial price.

It was tasty, but it was a disappointment.

Later, She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest came home. It turns out they had also been craving soft serve, but they’d found a better version. I broke at least one commandment involving coveting at that point and committed ice cream adultery in my heart.

However, because our oldest is moving on, I’ll have the chance on Tuesday to get real soft serve.

Of course, I’ll probably be craving something else at that point. I hope I’ll be able to find it.

Keeping Place

A mercifully boring day today, so this will be little more than a place keeper.

Been scribbling on other writing projects and have a few posts I’ve been avoiding finishing. Not because their long or controversial, but because I’ve not been able to get things down the way I’d like.

Luckily, it remains unseasonably cool. (Cool enough that She Who Must Be Obeyed wanted the windows closed this morning because the breeze was too cold.) This does bring rain, but since I have no reason to go out right now, I don’t care.

The biggest problem right now is the only thing being kept in place is my butt. I may have “butt in seat” but it’s not translating to finished projects. Everything is sort of stuck in place right now.


Not Bad for a Monday

Today, for complicated reasons I’ve discussed before, was a paid holiday. Because of this I was in a good mood and more productive than usual.

Although I was nursing a migraine hangover I got a lot of small projects finished. Some of them were actually useful, too, and not just plans to do something.

I managed to feed our youngest, although that amounted to mostly saying “food there. you make you food.”

I also packed and posted a sale pen, which also might have contributed to the good mood, especially as I broke even on it (and all the most recent purchases).

Tomorrow, though, house arrest starts again for a few days. That will make me cranky. It means, at least for this week and next week, I don’t like Tuesdays.

A Forced Day of Rest

Not much to report as I got the migraine spot early and that ruined the rest of the day. At least until it got better.

Everyone was out and about doing various things when I got the migraine aura and took some medicine. I suspect it’s because the unseasonably cool weather has been messing with my head (or I need to get up and about some more).

Either way, taking medicine led to me being sleepy the rest of the afternoon which led to me accomplishing  very little.

Eventually, though, I got better and we enjoyed our youngest’s birthday.

More on that in a future post.

Follow Up, With Attitude

(Note: I’m feeling salty. So what?)

He has a good memory about what I said. About what he said, well not so much.

I’ve mentioned before how the company I work for tried to assign me, well, I believe the technical term is “shit work” during the summer.

I didn’t, however, report the follow up.

The day after I wrote about that situation on this bit of blather, I got the phone call I was expecting from the company I work for’s designated bullshitter. He’s supposedly a former Marine security forces bullshitter and as such is trained in talking down angry people. (Note: I don’t consider him an honorable person therefore “former Marine.”)

His technique is to remind you of what you said, interrupt your attempts to vent even if it will make you feel better, and then conveniently forget everything he’s said when you attempt to remind him of it. In fact, when you attempt to remind him of what he said, he interrupts you in order to remind you of what you said.

The problem is, there is no way to get past him. He acts as a kind of secondary firewall to keep upper level management from having to deal with the actual product that is being sold. (Yes, I have accepted that I am a product.) There is a firewall level in front of him but they don’t bullshit as well as he does and he eventually gets involved.

Oddly, he’s almost single-handedly responsible for losing the company three positions at the school where I work but he keeps his job. People feel unsupported and leave for greener pastures. In my case, it will be extremely difficult to find a greener pasture. Therefore, If you know of any jobs in the USA involving teaching or writing, please let me know.

In a final twist, those three lost positions are all filled by people who used to work for the company I work for, which says a lot about the company I work for.


The Things We Avoid

I have a project I swear I’m going to get to.

I’ve thought about it quite a bit.

I’ve done  a lot of research on it.

I’ve even scribbled some notes about it.

Then I sit down to do it and just stare at the page. (Note: I still do a lot of stuff long hand because, well, I’ll get to that.)

If I don’t stare at the page, I stare at the front of the notebook. Then I open it, grab a pen, write something, usually related, sometimes not, then look for something else to do.

What I like about these daily bits of blather on this blog is that, with a few exceptions, they are safe. At 1250 posts (this is 1251) they are safe. Some are honest, some are interesting, some are meaningless enough that they don’t even qualify as blather. They are Mere Filler, or something like that.

I have a lot of material and have been assembling it into something resembling a book, but that’s where I start staring at notebooks and blank pages.

In my case, that deep fear we all feel about certain things we know we could do manifests as laziness and distraction. I’ll get to it later, after I play a bunch of games and then research a topic that might be useful in the future. For something.

All writers, actually, everyone who attempts a new hobby or project reaches that point where things stop being easy. Where beginner’s luck gives way to a novice’s failures.

There are several topics that I listed when I began this bit of blather that I’ve been avoiding. I thought I was just putting off interesting stuff, but I realize I’ve been avoiding them.

I think I’l put them in the book. But first there are other things I think I might do.

Short Cut With a Hair Cut

The woman who cut my hair today laughed at my hair before she cut it. I deserved it, though. Sort of.

As I’ve written before, one of the odd revolutions over the past several years in Japan has been a change toward 10 minute, 10 dollar hair cuts. I’ve had them, as an afterthought, in train stations, and once when I was bored.

However, because I have a regular place I go, I often get the same barbers. However, I usually don’t get them consecutively.l

Today, though, I got the barber I’d got the last time I got haircut two months ago. She ran her fingers through my hair and laughed at how long it was. (Note: it wasn’t that long in a Beatles mop-top sense, but it was the longest she’d seen.)

I gave her some basic instructions and, after she finished laughing, she went to work. (Note Deux: I’m not joking, because I’m a regular, she knew my hair enough to laugh at it.) Because I’d timed it well, though, I got more than ten minutes.

In the end, it was slightly longer than I wanted but it looks pretty good. Next time I hope she won’t have a chance to laugh.