Saturday, August 29, 2015

Planning a Trip to Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar has been a dream destination for quite some time.

I, in part, thank Anthony Bordain for my Burmese Fever!

His episode on Places Unknown has me salivating for good food and itchy feet to get over to Myanmar.

I definitely want to come here to Began!

For the FULL EPISODE or...you can go on Netflix and Episode 1 of Parts Unknown.

Mainly, I want to go to Myanmar because it's quickly becoming a must see tourist destination.  I would love to go there while it's still empty in some areas and not have to worry about crowds or being harangued. 


One thing that I remember vividly about Angkor Wat and the various other temples in Siam Reap was the crowd.  There were throngs of tourist and I get that now it's become such a tourist site but A part of me was still hopeful that I would get a few temples to myself.  Actually, I did have a few moments where parts of Angkor Wat as well as two other smaller temples were deserted.

Myanmar is perfect for this now!

Things I've heard to do before going to Myanmar:

  1. Get your Visa ahead of time.  There is an embassy in Bangkok and it opened from 9:00am-12:00pm.  It was suggested to get there early because the line builds up fast.  There is also an online visa sign up as well!  Both these methods take time though so take that into account before going
  2. Bring crisp denominations of $100 bills because they won't accept anything else.  You can use USD over in Myanmar, just like in Laos and Cambodia
    1. Book your hotel ahead of time because it's impossible to find a place on the fly.  You'll be stuck sleeping outside if you don't pay heed to this
    Shwe Myitzu Pagoda, Indawgyi Lake
    Indawgyi Lake


    Places I want to go to:
    1. U Bein Bridge - the world's longest teak bridge
    2. Mrauk U Ruins 
    3. Ngwesaung Beach
    4. Golden Rock Pagoda
    5. Pindaya Caves
    6. Irriwaddy River
    7. Nga Phe Kyauang by Inle Lake During the Hpaung Daw U Festival in September and October
    8. Began (the picture is the 1st on the page)

    Festivals to check out.

    I'm excited for my upcoming trip!

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    Hacks for University of Hawaii at Hilo Students living in Hilo Part II

    Welcome (back) to Hilo, UH Vulcans Part II.  This particular blog incorporates holidays as well

    1.  Stargazing around Hilo (and just outside of Hilo) that are FREE!

    • Moon Hill - Gosh how do I explain this.  It's just past Alae Cemetary Road and yeah....I'll find a way to GPS this bugga.
    • Puna just past 4 corners, go straight instead of turn right for Wai Opae/Kapoho.  You'll find Kumukahi Light House and the best place to stargaze in Puna.
    Kumukahi Lighthouse

    2. Best Spots to Watch Fireworks (without the crowd):
    • Imiloa Parking Lot
    • Various Points on the Puainako Road Extension
    • At to top of Ponohawai and Komohana 
    • Hilo Soccer Fields
    • Same Moon Hill


    3.  Holiday Events to look forward to (FREE):  
    • Most holidays have Parades.  Fun to see but if you're just driving in town to shop, keep in mind you may get stuck behind a long line of floats and horses
    • September Hilo KWXX Hoolaulea - Usually a Saturday late September 20 something.  This year it's being help on Saturday September 26, 2015
    Just to give you an idea how big Hoolaulea is.  Did I mention it is FREE!
    • Hawaii Island All Nations Powwow - There are a lot of people that are part Native American and they gather in late September to celebrate their culture
    • Halloween - There's a tradition of Obake stories and ghost hunting.  A lot of times, we visit the so-called haunted places: Babies Cry, Hilo High School, etc.  Everyone here has their favorite spot
    Picture
    Old Hilo Memorial Hospital a.k.a Babies Cry -  Creepy as all hell...especially at night

    • Black and White Night (Hilo Bay Front) - First Friday of November, all the shops will be open late and various music groups will be playing.

    It's an old flyer but you get the picture. Very fun night but also very crowded.  Check the Downtown Improvement Association (DIA) Website for actual date every year.
     
    • Black Friday Shopping - I'm not a huge shopper but those of you that are, you can wait in line from 2am at Prince Kuhio Plaza for the door buster at 6 or 7 when the mall opens for a chance to win a shopping spree and enjoy all the great sales.
    • Red and White Night (Hilo Bay Front) - First Friday of December, similar deal as B&W Nite but a bit low key.
    • FIRST FRIDAY EVERY MONTH - Hilo Bay Front Shops are open later and usually have events and food trucks.


    4.  Check the local Calendar section of the Newspaper  (Some Events are FREE, Others not):
       I always stumble upon events that usually are not that well known.
    5.  Check out various Factories, Farms, and Gardens (NOT FREE):

    • Nani Mau Garden
    • Onomea Botanical Gardens
    • Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens (FREE!):  I'm a HUGE fan of their Petting Zoo on Saturdays 1:30-2:30pm                                                                                    
      • I adopted these two to support the Enrichment Program within the Zoo since it's a free Zoo.  Jellybean is the cute Miniature Zebu and Jose is the Standoffish Llama (unfortunately, poor Jose just passed away. R.I.P)
    BONUS:
    I HIGHLY recommend going to the Zoo for the Christmas at the Zoo event.  It's one of the best things I did as part of their Enrichment Program.

    X-Mas Photos

    I also recommend Joining the Enrichment Program at the Zoo if you're a huge fan of animals or planning to work with animals for school/work.




    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Hacks for University of Hawaii at Hilo Students living in Hilo Part I

    Welcome back to school, UH Hilo Vulcans!  A brand new semester and for many, a brand new home.
    I will recommend you look up on Google and ask Siri where these places are because it's way too tiring to hyperlink EVERYTHING (don't forget to add Hilo to the name because these are common names)!  This is stuff that my group of friends and I did to to keep ourselves busy.

    Here are just a few tips on Random things that'll help you survive the semester:

    1.  What do I do in a town that essentially closes at 7pm?

    • Go Sing Karaoke - Joann's Lounge - Hilo, HI, United States. free pupus! good quality.Most of these places will give you free appetizers if you order a drink - definitely better than peanuts 
    • Go Star Gazing on Mauna Kea at the Visitor Center - granted not Hilo but still something to do
    • Go to the beach to watch the stars or have a picnic at night on a full moon: I recommend Carl Smith Beach Park
    • Go and find all the porn shops and check them out - yeah, we were that bored


    2.  I have the munchies, it's late and I don't know what's open after 11pm.  Try:
    • Fast Food Joints: Mcy D's, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, 7/11
    • Supermarkets that close after 12
      • Safeway closes after 12
      • KTA closes at midnight
      • Walmart closes at 1pm
    • Ken's Pancake House - This on is a typical one but open 24/7
    • Zippys - normally open until 11pm but 24/7 on Friday & Saturday 
    • Kampai's Sake and Ramen - open 5pm to 1pm




    3.  I'm craving a bit of ethnic food.  Where do I go?
    If you want more info Click HERE.
    • Thai
      • Thai Smile
      • Naung Mai Thai Kitchen
      • Chiang Mai
      • Tina's Garden Cafe
    Naung Mai Thai Kitchen - Hilo, HI, United States. Pumpkin curry with tofu and brown rice. Yum!! Thai level hot!
    • Indian
      • Kamana Kitchen - AMAZING Lunch Special
    • Pakistani
      • Akmal's Indian and Pakistani Kitchen
    • Chinese
      • Hilo Rice Noodle Soup

    • Vietnamese
      • Pho Viet
      • New Saigon
      • Pho 808
      • Hilo Rice Noodle Soup
      • Yen's Cafe
    • Japanese
      • Takenoko
      • Sakura Restaurant (on Kilauea St across from the County Buildings)
      • Miyo's
      • Kampai
      • Kenichi Restaurant
    • Greek (only Gyros)
      • Pizza Ala Slice - This is the closest you'll get but their Gyro Dinner/Sandwich is amazing!
    • Italian
      • Cafe Concerto 



    4.  Need something to do during the day?
    • Volcano National Park (obviously)
    • Mauna Kea just before Sunset
    • Beaches along Kalanianaole Avenue 
      • Carl Smith a.k.a. 4 Mile
      • Richardson
      • Onekahakaha
      • Leleiwi
      • Kings Landing
      • Chocks
      • Drangers
      • Break Wall
    • Go to Waterfalls
      • Rainbow
      • Akaka Falls
      • Boiling Pots



    5.  I need a quiet place to study and Starbuck EVERYWHERE is filled.
    • My super secret spot I never shared with anyone (but now that I've graduated, I don't mind sharing)
    UNCLE BILLY's Store - Kope International
    It is the sweetest spot to get shit done!

    Not only does this store/cafe have great ice cream for hot days, but you can also get some of the best loose leaf teas and sandwiches (I LOVE getting loose leaf bergamot (a.k.a. Earl Grey) tea and a Lox 'n Beagal)

    They key is to go into the back room!

    You walk through the main store, Past the Cash Register, Past the refrigerated section and into the back room that looks like it's for employees but REALLY it's an extra sitting room that is comfortable and best of all, QUIET.

    It's the absolute best way to study and have time alone time.




    BONUS:
    If you're up for a hike and some beautiful waterfalls, check out my other ultra secret spot.
    Also, now that I'm leaving the Island for an adventure soon, I don't mind sharing it with everyone :D
    Granted over the years the word has gotten out and more and more students are going there but back when I used to go there, you'd get that place all to yourself.
    To find it check out this blog.

    If you want to check out different sites around the island, check out my board.


    If you have any suggestions and want to add things for all the new residents in Hilo, Please leave a Comment!

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Getting Started on Your Story with a bit of Structure

    I've been asked how I go about with planning my story a lot of it is having lists.  In my last blog, I went over where I got my inspiration for my story.  Here is what I do from there:




    Honestly, it's not that dissimilar to this diagram above or at least the organization of making a list.

    One thing I will always suggest you to do is to make sure you have a notepad or something as well as a pen always within your reach.  Keep it in your purse/merse, backpack, desk, car, any where you are prone to having random ideas pop up while you're busy.  You'll thank me because there are many moments when I get an idea and I"m either very grateful that I have some paper on me to make note of it or I'm VERY sad for not following my own advise.


    So, you have an idea!  Great!  Let's expand upon it!

    I usually brainstorm on my idea to get a general idea of where I want my story to go.  I create a list with bullet points and everything and I like to call this process, "diarrhea of ideas".  Gross...yeah but it'll make sense.

    Pretty much you write EVERYTHING that comes to mind in a list.  i.e.

    Story Idea
    1. Main character is a boy/girl
    2. they go to the store and buy groceries
    3. walking through hot items session of the store, the spaghetti bubbles
    4. inspects closer and see the noodles waggle and trying to communicate
    5. shocked and curious, they buy the spaghetti and takes it home
    6. spaghetti comes home and is left in the hot sun where it proceeds to melt and spread all over counter
    7. takes over counter -- > then home  -- > then houses on block
    8. main character feel responsible and looks for solution
    9. walking by a shop, there is a sign for food eating contest
    10. after contest, main character talks to contestants and convinces them that that was only the first round of the contest.  Next round is in a suburban neighborhood.  They'll know when they see it
    11. then stops by a homeless shelter and does the same thing
    12. Rallies all the eaters and they go to town on Spaghetti Monster
    13. They chow down and the city is saved and well fed
    14. Ending: All is right in the world again except for a stray meatball! (* Sequal idea )
    You get the picture!

    There's just your basic outline.  Wrote this one in less than 10 minutes and some will take me a few days to finish but it gets easier with practice.  They all don't have to be that short as well.  I have some that are 3-5 pages long do what ever you need to do to complete you idea and thoughts.

    One thing I usually like to do when I make these outline is write until I have an ending.  I'm aware of how hard it is but it really helps if you can finish up your main ideas because it gives you a goal to work towards.  

    I know, I know, the ending may change and that's fine.  I usually make a note at the bottom and label it ALT Ending: and note my idea.  By the time you are halfway done with your story, you should know which way you are leaning for your ending. 

    Yes, you'll make changes but you also don't want to delete your old ideas, so I recommend making an alternate list of what you would like to do with your alternate ideas so you can pick and chose what works for you as your write.

    I typically finish up an outline in an hour or less depending on how in depth I want to go the outline list.

    Give it a try and let me know if it work for you or let me know what methods you do.

    I'll write more about my process in the next blog but hopefully this helps to direct you on how to get started.

    Good Luck!

    Monday, August 17, 2015

    In a Bubble that is the U.S.



    I want to start off by saying I want to extend my condolences to those that were injured or killed as well as their loved ones that were affected by the bombing in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday evening, August 17, 2015 (they're a day ahead).

    For more information, check out Bangkok Post or Reuters.

    I also want to have a disclaimer that I don't want mean to offend anyone by what I am writing and if I have, I apologize in advance.

    My husband and I are both in shock about what had happened at Erawan shrine as we were both chatting to catch up with each other's day and were about to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog with my best friend because he's never seen it.

    Both of them went to get snacks and drinks for it and I waited patiently for their return until I get a message from my husband saying that he'll be late because there was news of a bombing in Bangkok.

    To say that I was worried was an understatement but at least I knew that he was safe.  But I also knew that I had friends that lived in Bangkok so I wanted to make sure everyone was safe.  I check on Facebook and already saw message from friends commenting that they were safe (thankfully!) and granted Bangkok covers a large area!

    BKK, Thailand
     





    Now, to give you some persective:

    New York City Population = 8,363,710 
    Bangkok Population = 8,160,522 

    New York City Size = 468.9 sq mi 
    Bangkok Size = 605.7 sq mi












    It's a pretty big area when you think in those terms.

    Well, I message some people to either let them know to find out if they are okay or to let them know that my husband is fine.

    I am messaging some one back and they jokingly say, 'maybe next time you'll visit Iowa' probably lighten the mood and it starts me thinking...

    Are we safer here in the U.S.

    No, we're not.

    ....But we like to think we are!

    Incidents of Shooting (incomplete) in the since 2005

    March 2005 - a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.
    October 2006 - a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.
    April 2007 - student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.
    August 2007 - Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.
    September 2007 - A freshman student at Delaware State University shot and wounded two other students at a campus dining hall.
    December 2007 - a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.
    December 2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.
    February 2008 - a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.
    February 2008 - a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.
    July 2008 – A former student shot three people in a computer lab at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona.
    September 2008 - a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.
    October 2008 - Several men in a car drove up to a dormitory at the University of Central Arkansas and opened fire, killing two students and injuring a third person.
    December 2008 - a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.
    March 2009 - a 28-year-old laid-off worker opened fire while driving a car through several towns in Alabama, killing 10 people.
    March 2009 - a heavily-armed gunman shot dead eight people, many of them elderly and sick people, in a private-owned nursing home in North Carolina.
    March 2009 - six people were shot dead in a high-grade apartment building in Santa Clara, California.
    April 2009 – An 18-year-old former student followed a pizza deliveryman into his old dormitory, and shot the deliveryman, a dorm monitor, and himself at Hampton University, Virginia.
    April 2009 - a man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, New York.
    July 2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston.
    November 2009 - U.S. army psychologist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded.
    February 2010  A professor opened fire 50 minutes into at a Biological Sciences Department faculty meeting at the University of Alabama, killing three colleagues and wounding three others
    January 2011 - a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tuscon, Arizona, killing six people including a nine-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured with a gunshot to the head.
    July 2012 - Masked gunman opens fire at midnight cinema screen of new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 and injuring 58. Suspect James Holmes is arrested by oplice and awaiting trial.
    August 2012 - Gunman kills six people at SIkh temple in Wisconsin before being shot dead by police. Suspect is named as white supremacists Wade Michael Page.
    There's more but I'm going to stop there.  Here's a database on mass killings in the U.S.

    I don't see how we're any safer over here than say Colombia according to this map.

    Now I know that my information is incomplete but my point is, we like to think we live in a safe no danger zone when really, shit can go down anywhere at anytime.

    There's nothing we can do but mourn those that are lost, rebuild and live the rest of our lives the best that we can.

    Or we can live in fear.

    I choose the former and would rather try and live the rest of our lives knowing that there is danger out there, but I'm not going to hind under a rock and hope that the ugliness in the world will go away.










    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    More about Moi

    So I'm filling out my About Me section on Goodreads:

    I love to travel and write and eat and learn about traditional herbal medicine from any culture.

    That's pretty much the crux of who I am.

    Traveling helps open my eyes to the world around me as well as shake things up for me a bit (I think everyone needs that every now and again) but most of all it helps me learn something new.

    I consider myself to be a life long learner and hope to be one of those people that goes to school even when I'm 80 or as long as my memory prevails.

    I love being a foodie because I feel like you can eat your way through a culture and learn a lot about a place just by the food.  You can observe what types of fruits and veggies they grow in the region, what types of meat they eat and why and also get to know the spices they chose, not just because it taste good (believe me it's a huge factor) but also the reasoning they chose to use it.  OH, yeah.  There is also the factor that I just love to eat!

    I have a fascination with learning about traditional herbal medicines from all over the world.  It's like passing on a story through oral tradition from one generation to the next only it's their way of healing with plants they they've discovered through trial and error as well as observation of animals.  I find this tradition very interesting because it's survived this long and it's also a peek into a different time and culture.  It has its validity as many pharmaceuticals will look for new drugs through exploring these old traditional medicine and refining it for their own use.  I just enjoy all the fresh green things to eat and drink!

    I write because it's my own way of telling a story and therapy all in one.  It's a great outlet as well as a way of letting my inner child run amok.  I also find that writing journals of certain experiences can transport you back to a time and place that you may have forgotten about.  I especially love to do this traveling because there are just certain sights and smells and experiences that I wouldn't have been able to recall had I not jotted it down soon after it had taken place.

    My one main goal in life is to keep on learning.  It's healthy and keeps your mind sharp but I feel that it relieves a lot of stress just to say, 'I don't know', and go from there.  It can be tiring to be an 'authority' of some kind, always having to prove yourself and what you know.  Sometimes you just have to put down the world and let others figure shit out for themselves.  It feels great not to know anything but the process of learning is even better.  Granted, I'm all about sharing what you know if someone comes to you for information, but not to the extent of being overbearing and claiming there is only one way to eat a lemon.

    Just keep an open mind.

    Monday, August 03, 2015

    SS: A Candid Look at Life Excerpt

    My gaze watches unwavering at the scene before me.  Light flickers on the plumes of smoke as flames engulf a flipped vehicle.  There is no movement and only complete silence.
    Dead.
    Tears brim and cascade in steady streams down my cheek as I look on at the horrifying scene before me.  I try to discretely wipe them away with a sweep of my hand, but they are persistent and continue to flow despite my furtive efforts.  
    There has to be a logical reason for this to happen.  I don't want to accept that things happen spontaneously and without purpose.  I can't quite comprehend what just occurred before me and the question of "why" keeps looping in my head.
    “All things in life happen for a reason.”  
    I turned towards the ambient voice that is suddenly behind and somehow all around me at once.  
    “Who...who's there?”  I turn to look both right, then left and was sure that voice had come from behind. Now that I'm facing where my back was turned, I see no one.  I turn my face towards the wreckage once again and suddenly I am up close to a body that is shroud in shadows.  A sharp gasp escapes from me because it has no distinct shape or feature other than it could be some sort of manifestation of a shadow.
    I take a step back, not feeling comfortable being in such close proximity to the being but keep calm enough not to run away in hysterics.
    “Who are you?”
    No answer.
    “Why did this happen?!  I don't belong...here!”  My volume increases as I speak, not because I was quite sure if this thing can hear me but mainly the gravity of what happened hit me once I said everything out loud.
    “You are here because I deem it so.”
    I look at the nameless being in confusion, trying to register that last statement. With my chin held up high, lips pursed in a tight line, and my fists firmly placed on my hips, I said defiantly:
    “That isn't an answer!”
    A low rumbling sound akin to laughing came from that being, sending chills down my spine.
    “What makes you think that any of this is done for your benefit?  The time for your intervention has passed and now you are existing solely for my purposes.”
    Unconsciously, I look back at the flames behind me as if they are beckoning me.  I shut my eyes tightly, trying not to be hypnotized by the pyre and turn to the being before me.
    “I am am a good person and I keep my head down.  Why is my life so important that it would come to this?!” I ask pointedly, while indicating with my right hand towards the scene behind me.
    “I pose those same questions to you and ask what in your short blink of an existence in this realm deems you to continue living?  What have you done to be worthy of your life because there are many in line waiting to fill your shoes?”
    I was offended and ready to state my case but as I look back at my life, I can't say anything stood out.  I've not lead an extravagant life style.  In fact, far from it but it was still my own.  I was not a bad person to be sentenced like that.  My life was humble, quiet, and safe. I should not be standing here right now discussing my life, but rather living it!
    “You should ask yourself if you are really living?”
    “What kind of question is that?”  I shout back in an outrage.
    Of course I have been living!  I couldn't help but feel appalled by that statement but it also got me thinking about my choices.  Yes, it was quiet by my choice.  Throughout my life, I would have been the one that everyone forget existed because I didn't do anything to call attention to myself.  Yes, my life was humble; Only because I didn't strive for more than what was needed in life, like an education and...
    There is no 'and'.  
    My life was the safest there was, no one could argue with that.  I had what I needed, so why would I need to venture beyond that. I was content and happy.  I didn't like the prospect of taking chances because there was a 50/50 or more percentile that I would fail.  Like I said, I was content with my seclusion, my knowledge, and security.  
    Why, it was only this morning I was cozy in my office with my familiars, my books.  One particular book was feeling the ravages of time and it was my duty to tend to it.  Water damage as well as brittle pages were showing signs of its age but I was my duty to give it a sort of face lift.  I treasured these books now more than I did people around me and lived the lives of its protagonist vicariously.  In a sense they were my babies.  
    As of late, I looked forward to times when no one was in the library and I could slip into one of the various worlds they offer within their pages and would just lose myself.  I could forget about my sorrow and the state of my life for a few moments in the day and I was content with just that!
    I see nothing wrong with my current state of life so I cross my arms resolutely announce, “I'm perfectly happy with the way my life is!”
    “A gilded beast born in captivity will not regret something it never experienced, but will it not yearn to feel the grass within sight and beyond its confines?  You on the other hand, could and have had the choice to go beyond that which is comfortable, yet you continually choose to stay within your own confines by erecting your prison walls high above yourself.  Comfortable living or rather fearfully hiding from the rest of the world is as much a cage of your own construct.”
    I clench my fist - probably creating half moons on my palms - to keep from verbally lashing out at this spirit's harsh words, but why are these words riling me so and getting offended?  I am happy with the way my life has panned out yet the verbal barbs gouge severely to my core and its poison penetrating deep within me.
    What have I done with my life?  Yes, I'm content, but am I happy? I con myself into thinking that the outside world is of no interest to me. I feel the pull to go out and do something outside of my normal routine but when I poke my head out from beyond the books, I only stretch my neck so far.  Fear seizes me and I hide once again.  I always tell myself that I'll try next time over and over again. 
    It's too late for that.
    I reevaluate once again the paths that I chose and find that all of my choices did have alternatives to where I am now.  I used to chide myself into thinking that college will be where my life would pick up and whisk me off to uncharted lands, yet I chose the safest route: two years in community college for my gen eds; a B.A. in English instead of linguistics as I had originally planned, and then a two year M.A. for Library Science.  My parents are librarians, as were my grand parents, my great grand parent, and my great great grand parents before them....
    To read the rest, please go to this link.
    If you like what you read, click on the heart at the bottom of the page to vote for my story.

    Thank you for reading.

    Sunday, August 02, 2015

    Posting Stories

    Hey All,

    I just wanted to let you all know I'll be posting snippets of stories I'm working once a month.  Some of these stories will be posted on other sites and others will just be work in progress.


    I tend to lose focus on one project and move on to the next one really fast so let me know if you want to see more of something you've read. I love feedback so feel free to drop me a line or if you particularly liked something I've posted at one point or another, let me know.

    I also don't mind constructive criticism too.

    You can even throw prompts to me or ask me question about how or why I write about something.

    Thanks for the support!

    Transition

    I don't know if I've mentioned this but I'm moving to Thailand!

    Well, before we can start celebrating you must know I'm in Limbo.  My husband is in Thailand and I'm still back at home because I've got to finish up school etc.  It's not so fun being separated but I'll manage until December.

    I talk to him everyday on Google Hangouts and the best times for me to contact him is my lunch time and EARLY in the morning like 1-4am.

    Needless to say, my schedule is a bit fucked up but I don't have him telling me to sleep early anymore.  Actually, it's sort of the opposite.  I tell him to sleep because I can tell he's tired but doesn't want to sleep if we're chatting.

    I understand a bit of what he's feeling.

    I moved to Japan to study abroad in 2007-08 and a lot of things are going in if you are by yourself.

    Granted, he has a few of our friends from university helping him out and getting him comfortably situated but it can be a lot to take in all at once.

    It's hard when you've lived a comfortable and familiar life for so long to up and leave but I feel it's almost necessary.

    I know for me it is.

    I like to change things up a bit and challenge myself as well as learn about new things.  That's why I love to travel and meet new people through couch surfing but we've reached a point where that just wasn't enough.

    It was getting too comfortable.

    I just talked to my mentors on the day that my husband left after a chance meeting at the gym.  I've never seen her there but we decided to meet after our work out.  Needless to say, it was great catching up but one of the things that was imparted on me was something she learned from two different friends.  One was a bit younger than her and the other was like in their 60's.

    They said, you need to move at least every 10 years because you get too comfortable.  You don't challenge yourself beyond what you know and things can get stagnant.

    About 3 years ago, I was definitely feeling antsy and wanted to move around and travel but my husband wasn't that comfortable about moving just yet.  We also had an elderly dog and we couldn't move with him at his old age.

    Last year was very pivotal as far as the both of us started to toy with the idea of possibly moving.  I tried to alleviate my antsy pants by going back to graduate school in 2013.  Half way though the program, the school closed down but luckily another school took all the students that wanted to continue with the program under its wings.  I'm forever grateful that I can finish what I love but my heart is not in the my studies at the moment.  I think the school closing started a chain of events leading up to our eventual move.

    At the end of Summer 2014, a huge hurricane came and hit my husband's work place and damaged that whole area.  Shortly after that, a lava flow from Pu'u O'o was slowly inching its way to his work place as well.

    It was a very hard year for him and he worked tirelessly with his fellow teachers and students to get media's awareness and put his workplace on the map.  Which they did rather successfully and the school is still running while others decided to close their doors.  It was a victory but it was also tiring.

    Unfortunately, with all that going on, the week before Thanksgiving, we said goodbye to our sweet old Rardy dog due to health complications.  It was one of the hardest things both he and I faced as a couple and we had a hard time coping.  I think we also wanted to move away from that chapter in our lives and started to talk about possibly traveling after I finish school.

    The following year, this this year Feb (2015), a friend of ours came out from Japan and visited us.  He planted a bug in our ear and told us about a teaching position in Nagano and so just out of curiosity, my husband applied and interviewed.  He didn't get the job because he didn't have international experience but shortly after that interview, my best friend told us about his school that he works for and how there is an opening for a math teacher.

    Well, long story short, he got the job!

    But...I still had school so we made the hard decision to accept the position at the school because we weren't sure if there would be a position the following year when I was all done and I'd stay behind to complete all my school and clinic hours.

    This summer was a struggle to try and spend as much time as possible before we parted and putting the rest of the world on hold until the day he left - Last week Monday, July 27.

    I knows it's been more difficult for him because he's going through all the culture shock and having to start a clean slate all by himself but as I said, I'm sort of on a hiatus.

    I'm living with family until I move out there but I feel like I'm just going through the motions and trying to keep busy in the mean time.

    I look forward to the time I can spend on Google Hangouts with my husband as he shows me our new place, talks about all the great food and some of the great things he's been seeing at our new home.

    I miss him very much and am sad that I can't be with him as he experiences all these new things on his own but I'm also excited for him that he's going through this colossal change - something he doesn't much like - on his own and finding things about himself during this time apart.