Tag Archives: sleep

Necessary Evil

Nobody likes eleven hour flights. As much as I love going to places on the other side of the world, I don’t like eleven hour flights. But I need them. 

I frequently find it impossible to disconnect from the world. I feel itchy if I don’t have a wifi connection that can help me connect with people. Some of that I’m sure has to do with the volunteer work I do for Worldcon, but it’s also because of how I keep in touch with the majority of my friends and family. 

For the last five years I’ve lived at least several hours away from the large groups of people that I love and I used the internet very heavily as a crutch to keep in contact with them as I didn’t have the money to visit as frequently as I would have liked. 

Now, while I have the means to visit my friends frequently, I still live mostly in isolation and my phone and my laptop are very real extensions of myself that allow me to keep up with the world around me and the world my friends are in. 

But sometimes, I just need silence. I don’t get as much as I should. The ability to be connected to everyone has turned into what feels like an addiction, and even if I’ve sworn I’d put my phone away for dinner, I’ll sneak away to the bathroom to catch up. The ability to connect like this allows us to ignore our reality, and to a certain extent, ourselves. 

So, what does an eleven hour flight have to do with this? Well, turns out that most flights from Tokyo to England or the US lack wifi. I cannot connect. It’s a blessing and a curse. After I get rid of the shakes that come with the realization that I can’t in fact open Chrome and play on Tumblr or Facebook, I relax. I listen to music, I read a book, I sleep, I ignore the rest of the world, sometimes I even write. I cannot be productive in the usual way that I crave to be, but I am given the time to recharge so that I can be. 

I hate eleven hour flights. I love eleven hour flights. 

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Not Quite Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

Life in Japan is beautiful, though not without difficulty. 

I have never lived in a place as breathtaking as Japan. Had I known what it would be like to live here, I don’t think I would have come. I’m very glad I didn’t know. Too often fear of the unknown keeps me from doing amazing things. 

I cannot read, speak or understand most of the language here which is a much bigger deal than I could have understood it be. Will wrote about how isolating it was when he got here, but he has several years of Japanese, even if he was a bit rusty. I had no idea, but I’m not sure you can really grasp a feeling like this until you experience it. Not being able to read? Man, I just don’t even know what to do with that. It’s the most basic skill that so much of my life is built upon and it’s so easy to take it for granted. Even going grocery shopping yesterday was a trial. I only picked up some basic things, the house was unsurprisingly void of food when I arrived, but grabbing vegetables and hangers took me about three times as long as it would have at any other store because I couldn’t read the basic signage, and I certainly couldn’t read the map. 

I also wasn’t counting on being stared at so often by so many people. I did some exploring of the neighborhood and found some parks and inquisitive children. They weren’t so bad, mostly they just tried their basic English on me, but the teenage boys who stared and then pointed and laughed were harder to deal with. I didn’t realize how much the stares and laughs would bother me, but looking back, I’ve never really had to deal with much of that. Even being a sci-fi fan, I got to skip most of that phase as most fannish things were in the mainstream pop culture by the time I came around. 

Today I shall unpack the rest of our luggage that arrived via courier last night. I was 300% done with the world by the time we landed on Monday so we decided to not try and drag the several large bags with us on the trains. It meant lacking clean jeans yesterday, but I survived. It’s been decided that much like the NYC apartment, we’ll just each have our own closets. Will get’s the one in the master bedroom and I get the second bedroom which is good with me because it has much more shelf space. Once the weather clears up, and after I’ve killed some more zombies I’m going hunting for furniture. Will and I found a great antique place when we were out on Wednesday and he told me this morning about another one. 

I still appear to be a morning person and that’s just fine with me. I get up an hour before Will which means I get most of my inbox cleared out before I wake him up and we get more time together that way. On the downside, I’ve been crashing out really early, though that may be the con crud I’m still fighting. We’ll see if this lasts. I hope it does. 

 

Going The Distance

I feel like I’ve been going about 100mph for the last month and a half. This certainly isn’t a complaint, as I’ve been having an absolutely wonderful time going places and seeing people, but I’m very glad to be in the middle of a recovering week in Chicago. 

I love traveling and I always have. I think there is a little bit of personal magic in traveling. Yes, I know how corny that sounds. You get to learn more about yourself when you travel. How much of you is you and how much is your situation or your location? And of course, this things that are dear to you become immediately apparent. For instance, it isn’t my computer that I need, but more the ability to easily communicate with my friends around the world, and the ability to create. Of course, those things pretty much require a computer, but details and all…

I’ll admit that while traveling is awesome, being away from Will isn’t all that great. We haven’t spent this much time apart since before we were dating and it sucks. The major difference in the time zones wasn’t something we could really have prepared for. Our daily schedules have very little overlap, and we’re only awake at the same time for about nine hours. It’s more like having a long distance co-worker than anything else. 

I’m also missing New York, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Going back to the city brought great relief even though not having an apartment of my own was weird. Not having a home base is weird, in general. I had gotten used to the pace of the city even if I wasn’t going as fast as everyone around me. Now every place I go – except conventions – seems a little slow. Everything and everyone is so much closer, there. I used to hate being packed so closely, but now I feel lonely when I’m in the big empty house that I’m staying in. And how could you not love the convenience? Having three Duane Reades on our street was pretty nice. Especially since one looked sorta like a gutted, gold cathedral. 

I’m not nearly as prepared as I should be for living in Japan. I’ve been studying one of the read and point books that the wife of another liaison lent me, but until recently that had been it. Then the other night the friends I’m staying with brought me to get sushi. 

Previously I hadn’t been a fan of sushi. Until Wednesday, I had only ever had spectacularly bad rolls. I got quite the education on different types of sushi and how the different fish taste that I think will be enormously helpful for day to day life. I enjoyed most of what was ordered, but did actually have issues with the huge proportions which seemed to be specific to the place we were at.  The texture of raw fish doesn’t actually bother me, but too much of anything is a bad thing. 

In five days, I’ll be off to London for the week. Meetings with friends about Loncon and doing a bit of obligatory sight-seeing. If you’d like to live somewhat vicariously, email me about things that you’d like me to go check out. I’ve started a list of things to do, but more ideas will I think, make things better. 

New Years Resolution Continued

As some of you may know, my New Year’s resolution was to start drinking as much water as I do soda. 

Well, the resolution has been successful so far. I average about a gallon of water today. Some days I have a can of soda, some days I have two, some days I don’t have any at all. What really gets me are the bags of BBQ potato chips at the end of the hall. Those suckers are fucking addicting. Odd side note, I still think of them as the KC Masterpiece BBQ chips, even though that tie was cut on the bag a while back. Talk about effective branding. 

The resolution has actually progressed further than just drinking water every day. I’ve started working out with Karibabyhorse every day and seeing a personal trainer twice a week. Before you start thinking “Well isn’t that nice for you, I don’t have that kind of money,” I don’t actually have that kind of money either. Access to my school’s gym is $70 a semester or $125 for a year. That’s a little bit more than $20 a month, which I used to spend on chocolate milk (Yes, I’m a recovering addict). That’s a night at the bar for some folks, or just ordering out. It’s a well worth it investment. With access to the gym comes access to the personal trainer. It’s a really great deal. 

My coworkers laughed at me (not in a mean way) last week while I hobbled around for the two days after my first appointment, but I’m already starting to feel the benefits form the intense workouts. Mostly in my arms and legs, and not my tummy where I would like it, but it’s a work in progress and not something that will happen over night. The oddest place that I’ve notice slimming down is my wrists…they look very dainty now. 

I haven’t stepped on a scale since the very beginning of January, and I don’t plan to any time soon. Knowing the number won’t help me any. I already have plenty of motivation (my trainer is adorable and sings random songs – last week it was Mariah Carey, today it was Ellie Goulding) and all of this isn’t because I want to attain a certain number on the scale. I want to feel better. And yeah, I do want to look a certain way, but I don’t know what the number associated with that look is, so why worry?

More later. Time to dive back into work. 

Time to Commit

In the past it’s hard for me to commit to just about anything. Well, except sleeping. Sleep and I have a very serious relationship.

But this last month, I’ve been digging in and doing a lot of growing up. I know I’m not done, I’m only 21 after all, but I’m getting there. I’m digging into my school and personal commitments and really focusing on my priorities. I’m going to bed early, getting up early and making sure that I get everything that’s important done in-between.

I’ve always like writing, and blogging. In fact, if I hadn’t hidden them all because I’m terribly embarrassed by my past writing attempts, you’d be able to find half a dozen old blogs with half a dozen different usernames. But it’s always been a hobby that’s gotten thrown in the lowest, largest, filled with crap desk drawer when other things start screaming for my time. No longer. I bought this domain name, I’m going to use it! (A relationship similar to my gym membership…)

So, I’m here now. I’ll be playing with different designs and changing fonts. Keep an eye out for new exciting things! I can’t promise any of it, but I can certainly hope for it.