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First Semester Down!

Dec. 18th, 2013 | 08:41 pm
location: RisaLand
mood: accomplished accomplished
music: A.B.C-Z ~ Desperado

Well, finals week is finally over and I'm done until 13 January. This has been such an amazing few months, I feel like I've taken back a tiny part of my life and finally am heading in a direction I'm satisfied with. The best part? I had such a blast in my Psych classes. I feel like I've found my "home". The other best part? 4.0 GPA my first term back after *whistle* years away. It was tough and a lot of work but worth every bit of it. I'm already signed up for next term and super excited about my classes - including a Women's History class and a Women's Studies class. There's an excellent Anthropology program at a nearby uni and I have been tempted but the world that Psychology has opened up to me is incredible. Both of my profs were positive and the assignments were interesting but one of my professors was just wonderful. She was encouraging and supportive of everyone in the class - there are people who happen to teach classes and then there are teachers that touch your heart. She was definitely one of those. 

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It's aliiiiiive

Nov. 26th, 2013 | 04:33 pm
location: HappyLand
mood: tired tired
music: A.B.C-Z ~ Like a Blow

Just a quick note to say I'm still alive but life's just gotten so busy. My first term back at college has been so many things...amazing, fun, challenging and stressful. Mostly it's taking all my extra time. I'm making full marks (so far!) but I'm putting the work into it. I couldn't be more positive that Psychology is a good match for me. I've learned so much and am getting some amazing tools to understand myself and others. Ultimately, I'm hoping that I can use all the goodies I'm learning to help others so they don't end up as miserable as I've been at times. I'd like to work in early intervention or something with kids, but we'll see.

More critters have joined the family, a conure who has decided her name is "Hey Baby", three gerbils (Sasshi, Reina and Yukirin) and two free puppies - Dai-chan and Fumi-kyun (yes, yes, I know).

I haven't had much of a chance to catch up with my dramas, I think the last two I watched were Bad Boys J and Kamen Teacher (I recommend both for light entertainment). Johnny and Aki-P are still getting too much of my money. I need to take pictures of my ハート エレキ , A.B.C-Z, KinKi Kids and Kisumai discs.

Hugs to everyone!

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Kimuchi no kimochi

Aug. 6th, 2013 | 07:10 pm
location: kitchen
mood: thoughtful thoughtful
music: Domoto Tsuyoshi & Gackt ~ Kimuchi no kimochi

With the warm weather and so many veggies, I've been doing some pickling. While I can't eat kimuchi/kimchi every day, my husband and son can so I make it a lot. I learned the basic recipe from my Korean friend, (I'll call her) Ruth, and veganized it.

Ruth only started making kimuchi as an adult. She is one of the many Korean children adopted by Christian American families in the late 1960's and early 1970's ~ who grew up knowing she was Korean but totally isolated from her culture. She couldn't speak a word of hanggul, never had eaten Korean food. In her head she was an All-American girl but on the outside it was evident she was Asian, strangers treated her as if she were Korean though she didn't feel a connection to her culture at all. This led to a lot of anger and pain and an eventual estrangement from her family when Ruth decided to seek out who she was. She found a lot of answers about herself and her heritage in some older Korean "sisters" who took her under their wings and nourished her. Sadly, this hurt her family. They felt that she was betraying her "real" (adopted) family and turning her back on all they had done for her by seeking out her cultural roots.

To Ruth, learning to make kimchi was cathartic. I remember the first time I came over and it was fermenting, she apologized for the smell but she was so proud to be making her own kimchi. Not being able to taste hers (her recipe called for fish sauce) I asked if she would mind teaching me how to make it. I didn't know that by asking such a simple (and, to my mind, selfish) question would bring her so much happiness. But she felt that she was in a position to share her soul, her heritage with someone. She was Korean and proud of it. I'm proud of her too, she's very brave and has the biggest heart in the world.

Her story isn't unique though, and that makes me sad. Even in my own childhood, my stepmother bulldozed my brother and I into being Perfect Little American Kids. No Japanese in the house. After my father died, no sukiyaki, nabe, dango, onigiri or those lovely, fat sushi rolls. My brother was first christened Catholic and later we were immersion baptised into her Baptist church and had the hell literally scared out of us. Both my brother and I had our given Japanese names, Joji and Risa, changed to more "American-sounding" names of John and Jenny and that's how we were known all through school in America. In my brother's case, my stepmother named him after the saint she had been praying to at the time he joined the family. In my case, she picked the most popular American name of the year I was born. Since we weren't in the age of the internet, the only way to keep in contact with our Japanese relatives far away was via post and those letters were often confiscated by my stepmother and when my aunts tried to come and see me, I was refused to be able to visit them. By the time we were adults, my brother was so removed from his heritage that he felt animosity towards Japanese people and even to this day prefers to refer to himself as a "Pacific Islander". By the time I was able to visit with my grandmother I was already Amerika-jin. There is nothing like the feeling of not belonging. I'm not American yet I'm not Japanese. That's often the tale of children brought from other cultures to America and I hope that more adoptive or step-parents realise how very important culture and ethnicity is to children, especially when we look so different from our peers at school. Without that strength of the culture, we are the targets of bullies and peer pressure.

For everyone, let's be proud of our uniqueness and where we've come from. Let's share our heritages together and learn about the world and the different regions we know. By making the world smaller, we can make a happier place.

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More fandom babbling

Jun. 26th, 2013 | 07:47 pm
mood: pleased pleased
music: Hey Say JUMP ~ Come on a My House

Just saw the PV for JUMP's Come on A My House and died from the cuteness. I don't remember seeing a lot of HSJ videos that made a huge impression on me...I liked ありがとう ~ that was the first time I was able to look at them and think "okay, these guys are pretty cool, they really will be a great future"...and Over was okay. Super Delicate, while one of my favorite songs of theirs, the PV didn't really move me. Please remember, I'm approaching these guys from a different angle so while I've been aware of them, both in JUMP and individually for years, I never have really followed them as I have my Old Guys and don't know them the way that serious fans do. So before I say much more, I plead ignorance ^^;;

When I first heard Come on A My House I cringed..."jumping boy"..."jumping girl"..."jump! jump!" ?? I know, I know, they're doing it right but sometimes it's like listening to Can't Stop! Loving, The Next Generation of hits. Good for the debut and the first couple of years after, but c'mon, let's move on, please. There have always been some really great songs throughout, like Mayonaka no Shadow Boy, ありがとう, Over and Super Delicate that make me think how seriously awesome and talented these guys are.
But...Come on A My House was so catchy it stuck in my head and I got over my issues with the "hey, we're JUMP and we have 'jump' in our song!" The video solidified my addiction ~ I love the guys' cohesion and interaction, they really know how to get along and respect each others' spaces and strengths. The video itself is cute, love the colors, the dog(!!!), the outfits and the manga-like feel. Altogether, it's almost a perfect song/video combination. JUMP are definitely doing a lot of things right and it shows.

Probably my favorite video of theirs, it's a cute, catchy song and escape for the summer, love it!

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It's life

Jun. 25th, 2013 | 02:22 pm
location: Crazy Land
mood: exhausted exhausted
music: Hey Say JUMP ~ Come on a My House

Lately just trying to keep my head above water. The Husband has been having a lot of problems, it's taking a lot to keep things steady there. I keep hoping therapy will help but it's taking so long.

My sweet li'l kitty was ill for a few days but right now he's bounced back beautifully.
A new rescue ratty! My first girl in about 6 years, she didn't come with a name so I've dubbed her Maki (Maki Maki)
Another cat is suffering from horrible eczema so trying to figure out what's going on with him and get him some relief. Changing foods, trying homeos and herbal options.

On top of everything else. But I'm hanging in there...

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TOKIO is my motor!

Jun. 18th, 2013 | 07:55 pm
location: Happy Land
mood: impressed impressed
music: TOKIO ~ To be

You may remember that one of my goals this year was to give TOKIO a chance. And I have been growing in the fandom.
As a KinKi fan, I always have thought Tomoya-baby is hysterical and I couldn't help but laugh at the craziness of TOKIO on shows like TokiKin. But still, they never really became a group I could say I was a solid fan of. They were too dorky. Too idiotic. Too irreverent. Where's the damn ikemen in TOKIO anyway? (okay, so Taichi and Gussan sometimes can pull it off, but...I like my pretties, people) In some ways they almost didn't seem like Johnnys at all. Thankfully, I joined some really fun TOKIO comms around and through the wacky, awesome members, I can now say that TOKIO have totally stolen my heart. I think, like my SMAP, V6, KinKi and Kisumai fandoms, a lot has been added by the wonderful people who are drawn to TOKIO. They're fun. They have a hysterical sense of humor. They like to rock n roll. They "get" it. And maybe even more so since TOKIO are, in a way, the oddballs in Johnny's. They started as, and still are, a band. Long after they "need" to do so, TOKIO get down and do the hard work ~ and I swear, if you have never, ever seen an episode of DASH then you won't get to see the guys in all their glory. DASH Village! DASH Island! OH MY GAAAAWDS, these guys are effing incredible!!! That's before you even get to their personalities. I crush sooo hard on Joshima Leader...don't side-eye me until you check him out at his best. He's simply it. He has the heart of a child and the soul of a guitar god. Watch him try to float down the river on a huge balloon "creature" and I dare you to not adore him. See him become James Bond before your very eyes and feel your heart crash!

And the music. How did I not live to this music before? Their lyrics are upbeat and positive, they have kept me going on the hardest days. True, I still might like Gussan or Leader's voices a bit better but that's why they made that 15 minutes CD (which I will one day get my hands on!!), right?

I'm still working on my JUMP fandom but am getting to really like the guys' personalities. I just ordered my first Eito single in about two years, so that fandom is coming along as well, but slower than I'd like.

If you've been like me and have been swayed by the prettier guys and poppier pop, join a few TOKIO groups, the people are the best and they can point you in the direction of the best singles and albums to pick up and which variety episodes or dramas to check out. They'll point out the guys' charm points. If you're still not won over by TOKIO, the people are worth the time.

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Got JOY ^-^

Jun. 6th, 2013 | 01:51 pm
location: SMAPLand
mood: bouncy bouncy
music: SMAP ~ Tenohira no Sekai

Because going broke by giving Johnny-san all my money is the way to go, I've started June off with a few singles. I ordered SMAP's Joy (blue cover) and got a copy of Mistake that I didn't get the first time round ~ with the remix of Battery (already on my Top SMAP songs list). I think I'll be able to justify (ha ha) getting the yellow, green & orange covers, I love the bright tones and the guys look adorkable as can be. http://www.jenewsdaily.com/2013/05/28/single-joy-smap/ I love Tenohira no Sekai ♥ so I must get my hands on the yellow cover.

Looking forward to AKB election results...Takamina, I voted for you!! Tomochin, you too. Hoping they send her off with a big bunch of love, it's going to be so empty without her.
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May. 27th, 2013 | 04:58 pm

Hmmmm, well, okay I started Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). It's supposed to help me get rid of the "negative self talk" and help me to be more positive and help the depression. Will it work? I always thought I was a positive person, I always thought I had a lot of positive self talk.

I have some assignments ~ I'm supposed to become aware of my feelings when I get anxious or overwhelmed. What are my thoughts? I guess that will tell me something, huh?

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Yay, I'm here again!

May. 25th, 2013 | 10:34 am
location: SickLandia
mood: exhausted exhausted
music: Kis-My-Ft2 ~ Strawberry Dance

Well, that nasty lung infection got worse and ended me up totally out of commission. I hate being so sick that one trip out of bed makes me ready to fall right back into bed. Or trying to choose which you have the energy for: brushing teeth or eating...I was so sick I didn't even lament laying around like a sloth in bed. After that it was catching up...but every time I sat down I'd fall asleep. Everything seems to be moving in slow motion, things that should take a little time end up taking all day. I guess I just need to give myself time to get back in fighting form but really, I just want to get back to doing everything I have to and love to do. Sleeping and being sleepy is NO FUN.

I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the planet or forgotten anyone, it's been one of those times that I just don't have energy for anything more than getting the basics done. And with a completely dysfunctional husband, that means more work because he can't be bothered to move away from the video games to, you know, do dishes or laundry, watch over the kids or anything while I'm in the hospital or at home on antibiotics. Well, at least he's in therapy now, we'll see if that helps but I'm cynical at this point...

I'm looking forward to catching up on what's been going on.

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(no subject)

Mar. 10th, 2013 | 01:10 pm
mood: busy busy
music: SMAP ~ Battery

Our ISP has been supposedly upgrading our service to the 21st Century...they're a teeny little company who are used to serving people who generally don't care about speed or service, they're just happy to have a phone out in the middle of nowhere. Apparently the company found some incentive to give us more than like 100kbs/down, so yay! But, it's meant for the last couple of months that our service is in and out. Without warning. Sometimes it has been off for an hour. Then comes back on for 5 minutes. Then goes out again. I kinda gave up on getting anything done via the internet and since I'm pretty home-based right now (almost an hour to drive to the nearest town) it was nice and peaceful. But, when the internet is up, work and classes get done. Looks like the ISP is hopefully getting close to done because speeds are getting better and I have gone part of a day without interruption of service.
But all this makes me think I need a cooler phone or pad or a netbook that I can pop in my bag so when I'm in the City I can get more done.

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