Monday, September 18, 2017

Remember me sometimes

Tokidoki omoidashite

I didn’t want to post this on 9-11, because even though it’s kind of a 9-11 story, it’s petty and mean spirited and probably not the kind of thing that most people want to read that day. So, I’ve set this to go online later when it’s all less raw for everyone.

Back in the day, there was a boy. Of all the boyfriends I’ve had, he was the most beautiful, outwardly anyway. He had light brown hair and green eyes and boyband good looks. We both liked coffee and Thai food and big hamburgers and chocolate and reading and art museums. He told me I was pretty and I told him he was smart and we laughed at each other’s jokes. It was meant to be, right?

Except it wasn’t. He started ghosting me after a while. I called him on it, and sent him strongly worded emails when he didn’t change the way he did things, and dumped him in June when he still wouldn’t stop. (Except, is it really dumping if he was the one ghosting you?)

We called and texted every so often even after that. Or, rather, I called and texted every so often, and he replied when it suited him. Because I was stupid.

I must have gotten home early that night, because I was sitting at home watching TV when the newsflash about the Twin Towers came on. I picked up my phone and called him.

“Turn on the television.”


“Turn on the television.”

He turned on the television.

Then he hung up on me.

We met once in person after that, on friendly terms. We drunk dialed each other a few times. I think the last drunk dial was his, but I’m not sure. I think it was in March of 2002.

I haven’t heard from him since.

I still think of him sometimes. When I do, most of the time I end up feeling angry. It isn’t so much what happened, but that I still think him worth getting angry over. He shouldn’t matter that much. But he does. Because I am stupid.

But I’ve got my revenge. I am living well. And he is forced to remember me at least once a year for the rest of his life.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

It's called summer vacation because it's a vacation

Yasumi dakara natsuyasumi to iimasu

Haven’t posted in a while. Nothing really bad has happened, except for my dad’s Alzheimer’s progressing just like everyone knew it would. That warrants a whole post (or a series of posts) on another day.

Today I’m here to post that it’s the last day of summer vacation for my two offspring. I remember that summer vacation when I went to school was depicted as idyllic. Those 2 1/2 months began at the end of the school year, so you didn’t get any homework, so you ran around with your friends/ went to day camp/ went to summer camp/ had some intense clinics at the YMCA, that kind of thing. Of course, my parents were always anticipating Armageddon for me, so I went to Japanese Saturday School, which meant that I got homework during the six or so weeks of free Saturdays I got out of summer vacation of that. You got to do a whole bunch of math and language arts (Japanese) worksheets and you were also assigned either an essay or a book report or both (depending on masochistic overly optimistic enthusiastic your teacher was) and you also had the option of handing in some kind of craft or construction project. Of course, quite a few of us ended up doing things on the last Friday before the first Saturday of September, sometimes having to stay up past midnight to finish those darned worksheets, and lamented that Japanese Saturday School should be like American schools and not have homework. Then, our moms would reply that schools in Japan have summer vacation homework, and that was why Japanese Saturday School has homework.

My kids were pretty good about getting their summer vacation homework done. They had their workbooks done by the second week of August. Still, the journey was not without trials and tribulations. It would have been more vacation-y without homework.

Another thing about summer vacation for kids in this country is that there are required activities, especially in the final year. The Pumpkin Princess had marching band practice the first and last weeks of summer vacation. (Marching band is a required activity for sixth year kids in her school.) She also had juku (the standard translation is “cram school” but they aren’t cramming. They try to teach the kids how to analyze information and write out their findings in a coherent, logical manner) summer courses, and between those things, it worked out so we couldn’t go on any overnight trips during summer vacation. We managed to squeeze in a day trip to the theme park, but that was about as good as it got.

As of 8 pm on Sunday evening, everything is already packed up and ready to go, including the restocked glue and watercolor paints and colored pencils. But I still think that summer vacation should be homework and required activity free (well, maybe a small maintenance dose of workbooks..)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Romance Scammer

Koibito Sagi

Been away from the blog, but not the internet. But apparently, this is potentially dangerous. I'm watching the news and they're doing a segment on romance scams. Ladies of a certain age (like me) are preyed up on by internet gigolos who are out to make a buck off our romantic fantasies. The thing is, they're international, and possibly working in groups. I'm watching this on the news, and it's so sad. The lady they're following has lived alone after the death of her mother several years ago, and suffers from a neurological disorder. Her "boyfriend" sang her to sleep during exacerbations of her disease. To her, the romance was real, and she sent her "boyfriend" a lot of money (as in, more money than most people make in a year), because she loved him and she thought she needed the money. 

I'm trying to think if this could have happened to me. When I first started out on the internet, I'd sometimes meet people I'd met there.

The first potential axe murderer I met was a closeted college table tennis player I'd met on IRC. He was fun until he came out and then he started picking fights with me. In retrospect, I should have cut a newly out person slack, but I decided we didn't really have any use for each other anymore and stopped chatting with him. 

I once let another potential axe murderer drive me to their house and cook me dinner. I figured it was all right because she was a woman. It was. She was a very good cook and her house was absolutely lovely and she had the cutest dog. We fell out of touch, but not because of any sort of particular animosity. 

And then there was the mailing list of the obscure cartoon I loved during my childhood. I met the group at ComicCon. And then later, one year during my single working girl days, my best friend's grandmother got sick (and later passed away) and my other best friend wanted to visit her boyfriend on the American East Coast (they later broke up) so no one would go with me on my annual international holiday. I contacted someone in this group from London, another person decided to join me from Switzerland, and we had the best time roaming the British Museum and seeing Mamma Mia in West End.

When Evil Ex dumped me, it was these potential axe murderers who consoled me and reminded me I deserved better, not the Pumpkin Daddy (He turned out to be the "better," but I didn't start seeing him as such until much later). They sent me candy and little trinkets and I ate Fig Newtons as I cried late at night. 

So yes, it could happen to me. If I were lonely and not sure about where my life was going, I could see myself finding solace in kind words that came through Line or WhatsApp or whatever. I hope the word will spread and people won't be scammed by these pathetic excuses for human beings. And if they are scammed, I hope the culprits are brought to justice.

One thing working in my favor...I can't seem to make PayPal work for me. Maybe I'll keep it that way, as a preventive measure.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Second half of multi-day holiday

Renkyuu no kouhan

Day 4

Weeded for half an hour. 
Realized that I needed to hem the curtains in the Pumpkin Prince’s room (we’d been using the curtains I bought when I first moved into my bachelorette pad, circa turn of the century). It was a fairly simple task, except the sewing machine seems to be acting up and the stitches are uneven. At least this happened with something like curtains and not clothing. Another task for the to-do list. 
Some editing work.

Day 5 (last day!)

Put away the olive brown sweater set.
Weeded for half an hour.
Colored my hair.

We bought both offspring new shoes. We also checked out a mall we hadn’t been to in a while and found a Burger King. We were ashamed at ourselves at how excited we were to find a Burger King, but only slightly. Too bad we hit the place after Lunch.

This Golden Week, I ended up with three good-sized trash bags of weeds (which is probably like one standard American sized trash bag, which is still a lot of weeds!) and a good-sized trash bag of clothes, and a room with curtains the right length. So it’s not a bad 5 days of tasks. Only ran once, but that’s all right.