Monday, January 30, 2017

Friday, November 18th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Tuesday night I had my kodomos and adults in Mizoguchi.  the classes went well, but the kodomos are a little unmanageable.  No big deal at this point, but I'm going to have to get tough eventually.

Wednesday sucked the big one.  I came in and cut 1.5 meter lengths of yarn for Karl and these stupid Christmas ornaments.  It took all of my morning free time.

I had to squeeze writing my dorm chapel talk in during the 1st part of chapel.  I went and cut more yarn then.

After lunch we had a faculty meeting. The sucker lasted 4 1/2 hours.  Needless to say I was furious by the time it was over.

I rode home with K's & we stopped at Sato for dinner.  Karl talked about Sonia and voting for her most of the time.  Nobu wants me to vote one way, Karl another.  I feel like a friggin' puppet.  So, now I'm being introduced to office politics.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, if I stay in Japan past my 2 years, I'm not staying with Hinomoto.  The politics, back biting, disorganization, attitudes of teachers & students, K's returning from America, etc. are too discouraging and infuriating for me to stand it anymore than 2 years.  So maybe I'll work full time for OTC & live near Rokko, so that it'll be easier to go to church.  Maybe I'll work part time for Hinomoto, but that's it!

Anyway...Thursday I rode in with Kim and we taught our classes.  What a mess!  We're working on maps, and some of the girls were absent, some hadn't finished making their maps, etc.  So now I have people working at all stages of the process, and don't know how to keep track of everything.  What a challenge... :-0!!

The rest of the day Kim & I talked, ate lunch with Nobu, and played a game in our combined Japanese lesson.

After school I had to give a mini- spur of the moment drama workshop to people doing the Christmas story in the Christmas pageant.  Of course I'm trying to get my E.S.S. stuff practiced for Shirotopia, and this was supposed to be E.S.S. night, and most of my E.S.S. people are doing the Christmas story.  So, we lost out on yet another night of rehearsal.  I get no financial support for this stupid festival next year, no cooperation, no help, etc., etc.  I hate this job!

Mr. M. is browbeating Chinatsu about her speech contest piece and saying that her enunciation and intonation are wrong, contradicting what I say.  Needless to say Chinatsu is starting to panic and hate the whole thing.

I'm not a happy camper.

After the drama workshop I went through Chinatsu's speech with her and went through "Mr. Postman" with Michiyo.  Then I had to run to the dorm for dinner (fish...) and dorm chapel.

Emily-san said to speak for 10 minutes.  No problem.  I never heard the part about sing for 20 or 30, so I finished in 10 & sat down. Then had to get up again & fake it for 30 minutes.  What a joke.  Picture me furiously writing campfire songs on the blackboard & trying to teach these songs, erase, scribble up another, teach it, etc.

I got home at 9, opened my mail, took a shower, and went to bed.

I realize that lately my entrees have all been bitch, bitch, bitch, but I feel there is some cause to be negative lately.  This place isn't fun anymore.  I've somehow become so busy that I don't know which way is up, and people keep throwing these spur of the moment bullshit things at me, and I need time to prepare or I don't feel I'm accomplishing anything.  People also don't bother to tell me anything & I feel like I'm just here to be pulled out of a drawer when someone wants to use me.

It's wrong to feel this way, & I'm going to work and pray earnestly to be positive and happy, but the obstacles are enormous, it seems.

Anyway, life goes on...the same, I guess, as anywhere else in the world.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Friday, November 11th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Actually today is Tuesday, November 15th, at 3:10 p.m.  When I wrote the above, nothing had happened since the last entry.

But, lots has sine then.  Friday night I taught my Megumi class.  It wasn't a real thrill, but it was okay.

Saturday I got up, cleaned, got cash and then taught an English lesson to Meg.  Manna didn't come, so I had a long Japanese lesson.  It was a really good one.  After my lesson I watched a couple of videos, and went to bed early.

Sunday I got up and left at 8:50 for Rokko. The sermon was on "Rocks in the Bible".  It told of rocks as food, drink, shelter, safety, etc.  It was good.  I sat by Dave.  What a Mr. GQ!  He's great.

After church Kimberly, Paula, Nora, Barry, Kenji and I went to Central Station at the New Oriental for steak...yum!  They have a real salad bar!  We met Isaku there, so we crowded 8 people into a 4 person booth (Jim B. came too).

Kenji came to church for the 1st time & we talked him into doing stuff with us all day.  He spent 12 hours speaking English with gaijin & said he felt like his head had been put through a pencil sharpener!

After lunch we shopped, and had a picture taken together and put on an NTT phone card.  It was great!

After shopping we went to bible study, church, and singles fellowship.  Bible study was about the power of prayer and existence of miracles today.  It was very interesting.  I left early to help Paula with the song she is singing next Sunday.

I sang at church.  I sang "Friends".  People cried.  Afterwards, Charles said "Boy, if I could sing like that with a cold, I'd pray to always be sick".  (I told them, beforehand to bear with me because I had a cold).

Singles was about Ruth, being a foreigner in Israel.  Relevant!  We had homemade ice cream and took pictures afterwards.

I called Nobu before singles & told him that I was staying with Kim.  He told me no, and to get my ass over there, so as not to make Kim's landlord angry (as Kim lives in an all women's apartment building...no men are allowed overnight...how stupid!).

Anyway, I stayed with I's.  Carol was supposed to go with Kim & I on Monday to the embassy to get our re-entry permits, but Becky got sick again & Kim & I were sent off to do it solo (or duet in this case).

We caught a taxi at Sannomiya Station and I said "Kansai denryoku" (consulate or embassy), but he thought we said Kansai denki (Kansai electric).  So, we ended up in the wrong building, and had to be led to the right one.   Luckily a nice lady escorted us there & it was nearby.

We filled out our forms, bought our 3,000 yen stamp, and got it taken care of.  We went to the old Oriental Hotel for coffee and croissants.  Kim then left for the christian women's luncheon and I went to Maruzen to browse.  I bought a wonderful calendar of restored carousel animals.

I took the shinkaisoku back to Himeji, then went to the post office to pay my phone bill, mail Melissa's wedding present, and buy stamps for my Christmas postcards.  My total was about 12,000 yen.  Ack!

There have been ropes strung up around my neighborhood with paper streamer things hanging from them from Saturday to now.  I guess they were there for 3-5-7 day, which was Sunday.  3-5-7 day is where girls age 3 & 7, and boys age 5 celebrate being that age.  They wear their cute little kimonos around all day.  Because of this, and the nice weather on Sunday I was squished into a corner, standing, on the train, incidentally.


I had my lesson with Kayo.  She has a cold, too.  She asked me what I had for dinner (planned).  I said I didn't know, but would find something.  As I thought, she came about 2 hours later with some Japanese dish that she had made for me.  She's such a doll!  I'm so glad I decided to teach her for the price she could afford (which was less than half my asking price).  I would have missed out on so much culture & kindness had I not!

I put stamps on postcards, wrote an encouragement letter to Robin, watched more of Shogun, & went to bed.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thursday, November 10th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Tuesday was the busiest I've been yet!  I taught my 3 classes, had my Japanese lesson, then left school to teach my 1st class in Mizoguchi...6 elementary school children- 4 boys and 2 girls.

They were typically hyperactive, and obnoxious, but if I realize that going in, maybe I'll be okay.  After all, they have school all day, so it should be fun, or their interest won't be kept.  We learned the days of the week, and sang the theme from "Happy Days" using the days of the week.  For some reason Saturday was hysterical to them.

After the kodomos was my adult class...of 2 people.  One is a Kenmei student, the other is a working man.  Their English is pretty good.  We discussed "Shopping Street" from a book called "Explain Yourself.  It should be fun.

I've caught a cold so I had a sore throat Tues., and all the other nasty symptoms yesterday and today.

Wednesday I came in & lazed around until chapel, then did the same then.

At lunch I ran to the post office to pay my furikae and bought stuff for tacos at Ginbiru.

I met Satoko on the train.  She is an office worker for Hinomoto, and always says "hello" and smiles.  She's very nice, so it was nice to finally meet her.

I picked up my prints from the weekend festivities in Rokko, then went home to start dinner.

Akira and Hiroko came, and I fixed tacos.  It was a fun evening.  WEe talked about Bush's being elected that day (GAG!).  We also talked about the emperor and how they felt about him.

Today, I rode in with Kim.  My E.C. I class went well.  Now I'm begging in my office.

Oh, yesterday I was embarrassed.  I got a call telling me that I was supposed to be at a meeting.  I ran down, walked in, and everyone started laughing.  Haruko sensei thought she called Karl (not that we even sound anything alike).

A lady came to see me about teaching once a month at a kodomo school near here.  Offers keep coming in, but I need to start refusing them.  The money is good, but so is free time!

Mike has a lecture series starting in January, once a month.  He may give it to me.  It pays 9,000 yen per hour, for 3 hours, 1 day a month...not bad!

At this point, I want to quit my Friday night class at Megumi.  I doesn't pay, but I enjoy the people, so I'm not sure what I want to do.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Monday, November 7th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Saturday I ran errands.  I bought Stephanie a hapi coat and Aunt Doris a friendship ball.  Not that Steph. and I may be together, by Christmas, but just in case, I bought her a present.  I'm tired of missing out on great presents by breaking up before Christmas instead of after- ha!

I guess I write the above because I got a letter from darling Steph. Saturday.  In only 8 words she informed me she wasn't going to Pennsylvania at New Years as we had planned to, since February.  No apology, nothing...just "I have to work, so I'm not going to Pennsylvania."  Grr..  I wrote back the standard "what are your feelings towards me?" etc. letter, so we'll see...

I had a lesson with Meg & Manna.  Meg thinks the Japanese conversation isn't working, and that we we need to work in a book...yuk!!

I jumped on a train after lessons, and went to a singles "going away/Trivial Pursuit" party at B's.  We had yakitori on the grill, and it was a great time!

Moira and Isaku

 Me and Nora!


Charles and Mary B.

Erin and Mitsuko


 Should we pick "Entertainment" or "Literature"??

 Trivial Pursuit is EXHAUSTING!

I stayed overnight at I's.  Carol & I had a nice chat Sunday morning, then I left for Rokko to go to morning worship.

Lots of the singles were there, and after service they talked me into going to B's for a Southern U.S. lunch.  It was GREAT!  Peanut soup, turnip greens, cornbread and beans, key lime pie.  Chicken & dumplings, etc.

 Janet B. (the hostess)!



 Digging that 80's sweater!

After lunch Barry, Nora, and I went to the New Kobe Oriental Hotel, shopping.  What a place!

Everything was really expensive.  I managed to walk away with only 47 post cards (my this year's Christmas cards), and a vase (for 1,000 yen).

After shopping, and eating Belgian waffles, we went back to Rokko and to bible study (except that I went to the students center instead and practiced for our trio).

In service the trio (Nora, Erin, and I) sang "undivided".  It went well.  I went up and declared y desire to be a member through watchcare.  It was a great evening/day.

Today I went with Mike at 1:45 to meet the man running the school I start teaching at tomorrow night in Fukusaki (or Mizoguchi)(I forget which).

We went to look at the place, and Mike & I had a great chat about Genesis & the rapture.

I had a lesson with Kayo at 4.  I have the horrible feeling she's giving me a kimono for Christmas...but, maybe not.

I started writing out Christmas cards today, too!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Friday, November 4th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday was a holiday- again.  It's a good thing I'm not paid by the hour, or I'd never get any money with all of these holidays!  It was Cultural Day, and my contribution was that I went to Mukonoso to see Becky in her piano recital.  She did very well, but the entire day was a write off.  I left at 8:50 and didn't get back until 7:45.  We had dinner after the recital at a Chinese restaurant.

The recital was 3 hours long...ugh.  Luckily the level of the students varied, and we got to hear some really good players.  The 3 year olds were a tedious group to sit through though!

So begins the social obligation phase of life.

Today I've gotten a lot done.  I wrote my homeroom chapel talk, made lesson plans, graded homework, copied worksheets, wrote letters, etc. etc.

Chinatsu & Tomomi came in at lunch because we were supposed to have a special E.S.S. mtng.  They said lunch was really inconvenient for them, and generally gave me the impression that I'm not very important to them anymore, and that they'll give me only so much support and time each week.  I'm overreacting, but when you lose that "edge" that being different and unique gives you, it takes some adjustment.  (I find I'm also learning not to take stuff so personally-rah).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Year's Resolutions UPDATE!!

So...one of my New Year's resolutions was to lose weight.  Another was to drink less wine.  Combining BOTH, I've been participating in the "Rejoin Weight Watchers/Dry January/Butt and Gut Challenge"...challenge (which I TOTALLY made up by mushing together three different programs).

So far, I'm sticking with it...I'm staying within my daily WW points total (32).  I haven't had a glass of wine, or any other type of alcohol since New Year's Eve.  I'm on DAY 8 of the "Butt and Gut Challenge" (incremental planks, squats, crunches, and squats).  Apparently, it's working...I've lost SEVEN pounds since January 1st!!!

Although the "not drinking wine" thing is difficult, my biggest challenge has been food.  Charting points is TEDIOUS, and getting bored with what I eat is a constant ANNOYANCE.

Luckily, the internet (and Pinterest) are FULL of interesting recipes and suggestions!  I'm posting links to TWO recipes I found online (or on Pinterest...I can't remember which...my brain isn't getting enough potato chips and cookies to work properly).  They are DELICIOUS, and MIGHT just keep me from quitting this whole ordeal!

The first recipe is Curried Chicken Salad.  You can find the recipe here.  I wrapped mine in a lettuce leaf, instead of using bread, and the entire meal totaled 4 points (her recipe says 3, but when I put it through the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website, it said 4).  It was DELICIOUS!


The second recipe is Beef Chili Mac with Jalapenos.  You can find the original recipe here.  You will see that the recipe is actually called "Turkey Chili Mac with Jalapenos", but I altered the recipe and used lighter versions of ingredients than the original recipe to adjust the points.  Here's my version:

Beef Chili Mac with Jalapenos

Ingredients
1
T. garlic chives
1
tsp. onion powder
1
tsp. ground coriander
1
tsp. cumin
2
tsp. chili powder
¼
tsp. salt
1
lb. 93% lean ground beef
c. beef broth
1
(14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2
cups dry whole wheat elbow pasta
c. fresh jalapeno, seeded, membranes removed, diced
½
c. skim milk
4
oz. light cream cheese
1
c. reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Directions

Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente.

In a small bowl, combine onion powder, ground coriander, cumin, chili powder and salt.

Brown ground beef in Dutch oven. When almost done, add minced jalapenos and garlic chives. Cook until tender but not mushy.

Stir in beef broth, diced tomatoes, and pasta. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed by pasta.

Pour milk into a small pan and heat up slowly over low heat. After the milk is warm and steaming add the cream cheese and stir until it is melted.

Add the shredded cheese to the milk and cream cheese. Stir until it is melted.

Pour the cheese sauce into the pasta mixture and stir until the pasta is evenly coated.

Serve hot.

9 WW points/serving.
Serving size: 1 cup.

Here's hoping YOU are sticking to YOUR New Year's resolutions too!!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 2nd, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Tuesday I went in on the 8:22 and taught my 3 classes.  I gave my E.C. II classes pop quizzes.

I had my lesson with Yukari- ack!  It was Kaiwa Day, so M. came & we all talked in Japanese (or tried in my case!).  I did a little Christmas shopping, watched a couple of episodes of "MacGuyver" and went to bed.

Today I helped some of the girls with their presentations for the speech contest.  I got to be one of the judges (Karl and O. were the others).

Mr. M. asked us to make a few comments after the contest.  Karl got up and blasted the girls for not being prepared, lack of participants, lack of ability, etc. etc.

I sounded like Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" when I commented, but I remember the nerves and fewar of speaking in public, let along in a foreign language!  Chinatsu won, Michiyo came in 2nd, Tomomo 3rd, and Masami 4th.

Today I have a student affairs meeting.  Rah.  Tonight I have nothing planned, so I'm looking forward to an evening along at home.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Monday, October 31st, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday I got up and left by 8:50.  I went to Mukonoso to Nobu's church bazaar.  Kimberly (who stayed up until 3 am the night before, and was no fun) met me at the station & we went to the church. 

I bought some cute boxes, cookies, and a Christmas decoration, for cheap!  We ate lunch there, then went to Hankyu Oasis to get a few groceries.

Kimberly didn't want to do anything, so we ended up going to Rokko and spending time in a coffee shop.

They had a drawing and K. won a notebook.  We went shopping at the area across the street from CLI, and found out that the street side is nothing...inside was a whole shopping center.  Really neat!  I found hashi holders with treble clefs on them, and lots of other stuff, that I actually refrained from buying!

We wen to Mos Burger for dinner, then walked south in Rokko, and discovered a whole part of town that we didn't know about.  We went to Daiei, a shopping street, and cut through a temple to get back after shopping.

Nora, Erin, and I practiced our trio for next Sunday.  As church was all songs, we were pretty sung out by 9:00!

We had singles fellowship at B's.  Talked about what gave us joy.

Spent the night at Nobu and Carols.

Today I got up, chatted with Carol and K. for awhile then got ready & left for Kaisei Byooin.  Last visit :-) ?!

Mailed 4 boxes off today- Christmas presents...hope they get there undamaged.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday, October 29th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I rode the 8:22 in, and got caught up on lots of stuff at the office.  I started researching and organizing thoughts, materials, etc. for my English Drama class next year.

I had my koto lesson.  I was okay, but made lots of mistakes, as usual.

I got letters written, papers copied, my newsletter article for F.B. in Fairfield written, and various lesson plans & stuff done.

Friday night was Megumi class.  This was our Halloween party.  We did the suitcase race, made masks, trick or treated in the church, and I set up a "Feel the body part" place.  The students were blindfolded and I had them stick their hands in various things like hamburger, jello, tomato juice, spaghetti, etc.  We told them it was brains, blood, heart, etc.








The reactions of some of them (guys as well as girls) was hilarious!  WE had cake & cider, and bobbed for apples, too.  It was really fun!

Today mom & dad called and said that Grandma Shepherd died yesterday (Friday).  It was a relief, I guess.  She's finally out of her coma.  But you never really prepare yourself fully for that "one phone call".  I'm not sure what my reaction is.  I'm too far removed from the situation to feel it properly.  I'll miss what she used to be, but guess I have been already, since she went into the nursing home.  God Bless you in your new life, gram.


Today I ran errands, and had my lesson with Meg and Manna.  they went pretty well.  I called Kim this morning.  We discussed final plans for "Phantom of the Opera" next January.

After lessons Michiyo called about a news release for our Shirotopia show.

I went grocery shopping, and am now relaxing, contemplating life, age, and death, and preparing to watch "Young Sherlock Holmes".

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday, October 28th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday was an okay day.  I rode the 8:22 in with Kim.  My E.C. I class went pretty well.  The rest of the day I worked on stuff in my office.  Joyful Noise practiced at lunch- yuk!

I wrote some letters, and did some other stuff.  After school was E.S.S.  Regular meeting was very short.  Special E.S.S. met after, and we talked about Shirotopia.  I guess for two months every Sunday we are doing 2 shows- ugh!  So, we're going to have 3 shows that will rotate.

It's going to be quite a big undertaking.  Michiyo and Chinatsu were the only special E.S.S.-ers that came.

I rode the 6:19 home with L.L. and we discussed the Halloween party we're having at Megumi class tonight.  Should be interesting!

I spent the rest of the night watching videos and eating dinner, etc.

Not much else happened to write about, so I guess it'll be a short entry today.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday, October 27th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday was maybe the worst day (to date) I've had in Japan.  It started out all right.  I came in for Bible Study, and 1st period.  I wrote letters.  It went downhill starting with chapel.  Some Korean guy spoke abou t???  It was really boring.  I read the books of 1st & 2nd Timothy during this time.

At lunch I ran to the post office and finally got cash.  I ran to Ginbiru, then back to school for the tail end of a special E.S.S. meeting.  The girls were mad and only spoke Japanese.  Michiyo handed me her lunch tray to take down and the soup spilled down my pant leg.  I had a faculty mting. from 1:30 to 4:00.  All that time was spent concerning hiring the kindergarten head at tendai, because she was no good over there.  S. wanted it, no one else did, and so arguments, etc., followed.

For some reason, she got hired by one vote.  I abstained.  Then I had an English mtng. until 5:25.  I needed to catch the 5:05 train because it was the night Matsuo and Hiroko came over.  I almost missed the 5:38 because of the meeting.

Hardly anytihng was translated.  Karl wasn't there.  I got my English drama class next year.  K. argued about aspects of that (of course!).

I ran to the train, impatieltly waited until it got to Himeji, then ran to Daiei to get taco fixings.  Of course Daiei was closed.  I ran to the post office, picked up my prints, ran to Daily to get "whatever" for dinner, and got there 10 minutes late.  Akira had already left.

He came back around 7, and I whipped up chili spuds, salad and vanilla pudding.  So it ended in a fun way, but the day really sucked.  (I've got to learn to take things in stride and relax).

Swore a lot today, prayed about it...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday, October 26th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Monday Night Kayo came for our lesson.  She was wearing a beautiful kimono that she made and I wanted to take a picture, but she wouldn't let me.  I was embarrassed (and I wanted that picture!).

Yesterday was class day.  they went pretty well (for Hinomoto).  I'm getting tired of exerting so much energy for students who just don't give a shit.

I also fasted until dinner time with the hopes that through that and prayer I'd remember my cash card number and that my ear would heal.  I don't think I did it right, because neither happened.  I'll just keep praying and have faith that they will.  I have a slip to go to the post office to pick up a registered letter.  Maybe it's my cash card number.  MY major concern is my ear.  It's driving me nuts.

Last night I went to the post office to fill out the form and use my cash book, but of course it was too late.  It closed at 4:00 (who the hell can get to the post office by 4:00, to get money??)(people work in Japan)(stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!!).

I watched "Shanghai Surprise", then went to bed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017!!

Well...it appears that I haven't blogged about my New Year's resolutions since 2009, but I always seem to have the same ones, so I should really just copy and paste (as I am now) with the heading "New Year, Old Goals"...

So...here they are...again...but check out the "addendum" at the bottom.  Something new that I've never felt the need to "resolve to do" before... 

1).  Lower my cholesterol. Still high.  Still needs improvement.  I'm taking high doses of prescription niacin, which thins out my blood, but is helping somewhat.  Except for the occasional "flushing" (which, I'm told, is like a hot flash...skin turns red, I sweat, I feel really hot for awhile), it seems to be helping...but resolutions 2 and 3 would help the medication be even more effective).

2).  Lose weight. Man...this one seems to be on my resolutions list EVERY YEAR. You'd think I'd have done it by now, but, I'm a little TOO FOND of fatty, salty, junky food. I've TRIED to lose weight, and have accomplished the goal, but then put it all back on when I get busy, or stressed, or bored. I'm starting the Weight Watchers "Points Chart" today. So far, I've only had a cup of coffee, and am planning to have bbq cheddar jalapeno chicken meatballs (www.slenderkitchen.com/bbq-cheddar-jalapeno-chicken-meatballs/) for lunch, but evenings and the time just before going to bed are when I crave junk food the most, so we'll see if I have the will power to NOT eat everything in the refrigerator!  I also find that my will power is not as strong as it was when I was younger, so...wish me luck!

3).  Get more exercise. I became a member of the community center gym this past January, and was pretty consistent with going there when it was cold and snowy (and even attended a number of Zumba classes with my friend Lynn).  When it got nice out, I also was fairly consistent with walking outside, but, as school got started again, and mornings got earlier and earlier, got lazy again. I've tried to get back to the fitness center a couple of times a week over the last month or two, but need to get back to three times a week.  It's always challenging to FIND an open treadmill at the fitness center until about mid-February (when all of the other "new year's resolution" people finally give up), so may have to attempt walking outdoors until then...brrrr...

4.  Drink less wine. Okay...I admit that I'm a little too fond of wine. Not slobbery, staggery, drunk fond of it, but DEFINITELY "it helps me relax" fond of it. I'm HOPING that the whole "lose weight/get more exercise" thing will assist with this resolution. Wine is HIGH in calories, and will TOTALLY defeat losing weight, which I think I REALLY AM now committed to doing.  At this point, I'm making a "tenuous" commitment to a DRY JANUARY.  That lack of will power thing is going to REALLY be put to the test!

5.  Work on my debt load. I like to spend money.  I like having a credit card.  They do not necessarily go well together.  I'm nowhere NEAR where I was when I went into the "debt management" program five or six years ago, but I definitely need to "reign it in", and pay off the debt that I have now accrued.  My car will be paid off in August, and the money going toward that debt will be redirected to my credit card balance.  Now if I could just figure out a way to refinance or switch my student loan to something that would actually show a decrease in the balance occasionally...

6).  Swear less. Okay...I admit it (although if you know me AT ALL, you already know this)...I get EXTREMELY "potty mouthed" when I drive around the cities. It doesn't HELP that 98% of the drivers up here are COMPLETE and UTTER morons, but, in an effort to "detoxify" my commute, I am stating here, for the world (or at least the three people who read my blog) that I am vowing to curtail the "blue stream of trucker talk" that seem to pop so freely from my mouth. Enough said.

7).  Spend MORE time with family and friends. I don't really need to elaborate on this one. I get too busy, and too wrapped up in things, and my personal relationships end up taking the brunt of it. No more (I hope). Family and friends are what it's all about, right? Why cut time from that for all of the "crap" that fills our days??  I MIGHT even try to work on my phobia of talking on the phone (I know it's not rational...that's why it's a phobia!).

ADDENDUM:

8). Find a way to move forward with hope this year (and the three years after that).  I have not been happy since the election.  Everything leading up to November 8th was contentious, and mean, and full of hatred and bigotry...none of which I care to be a part of.  I pride myself on finding the good in things, and in being a, generally, upbeat and positive person.  I'm not at the moment.  

As the inauguration gets closer, I find myself feeling more trepidation, and less hope that things will be okay.  With each odious pick for "head of this" and "chairMAN" (because "person" is apparently not BUTCH enough) of that, my hopes for our country get dimmer and dimmer.  SO...I am still going to TRY to find the good in the future...whatever it may hold...but THIS could be the toughest resolution of all to stick with.
 
Wish me luck, and I hope that YOU are successful with your New Year's goals too!!!