Lots of Clean Laundry and a Nice Surprise…

A strange combination… yes… but a happy one!

Since I was helping my friends with their move, everything at my own house (laundry, cleaning, washing dishes, etc.) got put on hold!  Well, the cleaning part was done prior since I knew my friends were going to stay at my place!  🙂  (I’m not known for being the neatest person in the world and my friends knew this.  So it was kind of funny when the wife walked into the house and exclaimed, “Whose house is this?!”)  😉

Since they left on Tuesday, I’ve been trying to catch up.  Today, the last load of laundry was washed and hung up on the line!  YAY!!!  It is a very nice feeling!

Then I got an email from someone who went to the same school as me.  He’s a VERY talented guitarist who’s touring with a famous musician in Japan right now, working as the music director and lead guitarist for the concert tour.  And I’m going to get to see him tomorrow!  (The “nice surprise” part of the title… 🙂 )

Was hoping to go with a friend who also loves music, but there’s been no response from him… probably extra busy with work.  Therefore, the 6-hour drive will be done alone, but I’ll have lots of music to listen to and will get to see dear friends whom I haven’t seen in too long.

Am looking forward to having a love, laughter and music-filled weekend!!  🙂  Hope everyone has a great one, too!!

P.S.  Not sure if I’ll be able to write anything while I’m gone, but I’ll definitely post something when I get back home.  🙂

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Did Anyone Miss Me? =)

Well, I’m back after… more than 10 days, I think.  (Whew!)  Honestly, I have missed writing posts on here SO MUCH, but because of helping some friends with packing for their move to another island in Japan, exhaustion and sleepiness won the battle every time!

So, anyone who has read about the “zoo” that I was keeping here at the house, here is an update:  these friends who have moved were the owners of the three cats and six birds (nine, originally) and they ALL left on a big white airplane on Tuesday morning.

Needless to say, after taking care of the “zoo” for almost four months, it’s almost too quiet in the house.  And I must say… I really do miss them!  My youngest cat, Chako, seems to be ecstatic that things are somewhat back to normal.  She has “her” room back and this morning she wandered in, stretched out on the floor, and began to purr loudly.  (Can you say “spoiled”?!)  🙂

So, anyway… yes, I am still alive, if anyone was wondering.  Thank you to those who have sent me emails and messages on Facebook, asking if I’m okay.  Hopefully soon, life will calm down and I’ll be able to get into the routine of writing every day/night again.

Being away for this long has been tough, especially since there has been so much I’ve wanted to write about!  But for tonight, I bid you all adieu and will eagerly await the Sandman’s arrival… it’s been another tiring day.  🙂

As we say in Japan, oyasuminasai!  (In other words, “good night”!)  🙂

A Very Small Room, Headphones and a Microphone…

A perfect combination, in my opinion!  🙂

I was blessed enough to have three vocal jobs this week… two singing and one narrating.  Words cannot express the joy I feel when standing in front of that mike, receiving directions from talented sound engineers/directors!

Sure, you can turn on the TV and find quite a few shows full of those who long for that spotlight to be on them and stand on that stage, belting their hearts out.  And that’s perfectly fine… more power to them!!  But I’ve learned that even if one’s joy is singing, the spotlight and stage isn’t for everyone.

I just LOVE singing… plain and simple!!

It’s okay if it’s back-up vocals on someone’s CD or singing children’s songs for music to be used at an English language school.  It’s perfectly fine if it’s narrating announcements for a local department store or singing “la-la-la” on a TV commercial for toothpaste.

It’s singing… something I’ve longed to do since as far back as I can remember!!

Don’t get me wrong.  English-teaching is also a job I love to do.  Seeing the progress students make, young and old, can be amazing!  The smile on the face of a child after hearing the words of praise… it’s priceless!

But music… oh, music!  And singing!  Being in that small space, headphones on, speaking into the microphone… adding an “ooh” or an “aah” and harmonizing and having effects put on the vocals, then hearing the finished product… it is better than a bowl of freshly-popped popcorn!  (And if you know me, you KNOW how much I love popcorn!!)  🙂

If I’m lucky enough to keep getting chances like these, I will be a very happy person!  🙂

What Scares You?

What were you afraid of when you were little?  Are you still afraid of that thing/those things now?

Fear is a strange thing.  It has changed quite a bit as I’ve gotten older.

When I was little…

I used to think there were monsters under my bed, but because I was so hot-natured, I’d end up sticking one foot out of the covers during the night, only to wake up, realize that and quickly cover my foot up.  😛

Being in a dark room wasn’t too scary, but shadows were.  Sometimes they looked like scary beings or frightening faces.  (Not always great to have an active imagination…)

Falling was always the biggest one.  I think it comes from falling out of a second-story window when I was 2 or 3 years old.  No broken bones or bruises… just a mom who screamed so loudly, my dad heard her from a half-mile away!  🙂

Now that I’m older…

The loss of loved ones.  People being in your life one moment and then gone in the next.  Yes, I know it’s all a part of living, but it’s a fear all the same.

The concept of forever/infinity.  Not sure why this is so scary to me, but when I think about it, my stomach seems to twist and turn in strange ways.

I’m still frightened of falling.  I will stand on a chair or a step-ladder when I absolutely have to, but it is NOT something which brings a smile to my face!

So, what scares you?  What kind of fears do you have?

(Oh, haunted houses at amusement parks aren’t thrilling places for me, either… especially Japanese ones because most of them are a walk-through type of thing!)

Cherry Blossoms and Back Pains…

One wouldn’t think that those two things have anything to do with one another, but both have been a part of my everyday as of late.

The trees are in full bloom now and I see them while driving around town and walking with the dog around the neighborhood.  Because the temps this spring have been SO crazy, we’re enjoying the blossoms now instead of late March.

And the back pains… I don’t know what I did, whether it was a pulled muscle during a walk with the dog or as a result of doing some spring cleaning around the house (yes, my mother would be shocked!! LOL).  Anyway, my lower back (right side) has been aching something terrible, to the point that it was hard to get to sleep the other night.  (Perhaps another shocker for my mom because I can fall asleep by the time you count to three!)  🙂

Sitting in the computer chair was the worst for a while, so I’ve been away from blogging.  Did try using the laptop in bed to write a post, but the pain didn’t ease up that way either.

Funny thing is during my bout with pain, I thought how wonderful it would be to think out my thoughts and to have them automatically typed out in a post.  Yep, there’s probably an app out there somewhere which does exactly that, right?  🙂

So, does anyone out there have any advice on how to make the pain go away?

The Path to Those We Love…

All day today, one song has been playing in my head.  That may be because I’ve been thinking about one particular thought for most of this Thursday…

Are there people in your life that wander out of your life, but always end up wandering back in?  I mean, it could be romantic or purely platonic relationships… it could be that we don’t see or hear from these people for years on end, but when we do, it’s as if no time has passed at all.

Whatever obstacles there are, there are some friendships and loves that seem to move above and around, then the connection is made once again.

Why was I thinking about this today?  Who knows… my mind tends to do what it wants to!  🙂

Anyway, the song which played along with all these thoughts today… “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles.  It’s not one that I liked very much when I was younger (thought it was rather boring actually).  As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve come to love it and the feelings for the simple melody and deep lyrics grow.

So, here it is… hope the melody is playing in your head as it is in mine.  🙂

The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles)

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to your door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long, winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Spring, oh Spring… where are you?

The Spring Equinox has come and gone, my birthday has come and gone (though the celebrations continue… a happy thing!), the sakura trees (Japanese cherry trees) are finally blooming…

And just as the whole city was elated about warmer days and sunny weather, Mother Nature decided to throw us for a loop!!

For the past two days, we’ve had winds and rain like during typhoon season!  It has been simply crazy!  Let’s see, yesterday the bullet trains were stopped, airplanes weren’t flying, the ferry boats which run between here and Pusan, Korea, were stopped.  The newscasters even advised that people stay in their homes if at all possible.  (Meanwhile, I drove westward to a friend’s beach house as a group of pals were throwing a belated b-day party for me… you should’ve seen the waves!!)

I guess I’d gotten so used to the sound of the gusts outside, hitting the windows and the walls of the house, I woke up this morning and the sound of the silence was almost deafening.  And what a difference from the gray skies of yesterday!  It was ALL a deep blue with not one cloud in the sky… BEAUTIFUL!

Got a call from a good friend (the one who bought me a pair of Crocs for my b-day) and he invited me to a picnic under the sakura trees with him, his wife and her mother.  We went to a nearby shrine and ate lunch with all the fragrant pink blossoms above us.  Needless to say, it was so nice!  But the winds were still chilly.

The weatherman was saying today that the temps will be dropping a bit over the next few days… already April, yet temps like the middle of March.  (Brrr!!)

Spring, we’re ready for you!  Whenever you decide to arrive and stay, we’re here waiting!  Just PLEASE don’t take too long!  🙂