Remembering to Sing

When I first wrote this post, it was very negative. I was expressing frustration with the feeling that I have been doing very little. How unambitious my life seems. I’ve been wrestling a lot with balancing self-care and self-improvement. Sometimes it feels like it’s so much work just to maintain a status quo — to pay the bills, feed yourself, practice good hygiene, be somewhat presentable at work/to the outside world. I have felt like I haven’t had the time or the energy to work on the multitudes of amateur endeavors that I have hoped to take on — crafting, drawing, photography, web design, reading and writing more. But I have to remind myself how much has been going on in my life and to appreciate the every day opportunities and experiences, both big and small, that cross my path.

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Day of Remembrance, 2014

Who am I? You know who I am. Or you think you do. I’m your florist. I’m your grocer. I’m your porter. I’m your waiter. I’m the owner of the dry-goods store on the corner of Elm. I’m the shoeshine boy. I’m the judo teacher. I’m the Buddhist priest. I’m the Shinto priest. I’m the Right Reverend Yoshimoto. So prease to meet you. I’m the general manager of Mitsubishi. I’m the dishwasher at the Golden Pagoda…I’m the peach picker. I’m the pear picker. I’m the lettuce packer. I’m the oyster planter. I’m the cannery worker. I’m the chicken sexer. And I know a healthy young rooster when I see one!…I’m the one you call Jap. I’m the one you call Nip. I’m the one you call Slits. I’m the one you call Slopes. I’m the one you call Yellowbelly. I’m the one you call Gook. I’m the one you don’t see at all–we all look alike. I’m the one you see everywhere–we’re taking over the neighborhood…I’m your worst fear…And I’ve been living here, quietly beside you, for years, just waiting for Tojo to flash me the high sign…

There. That’s it. I’ve said it. Now can I go?

Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor Was Divine

On February 19, 1942 Executive Order 9066 was signed, which led to the unjust incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, including my great grandfather, a strawberry farmer in California’s central valley.

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Surviving a tough week

Last week was a struggle.

It was the first week back from work after a long winter break. Although controversial, Monday, January 6, 2014 was dubbed “The Most Depressing Day of the Year.” Off to a good start. Tuesday was the height of the polar vortex. While we were nowhere close to Minnesota’s lows, my poor California body was physically unprepared for the high of 7 degrees. I did suit up appropriately, but that didn’t change the fact that it was still bitterly cold out.

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How do you want to spend your life?

How Do You Spend Your Life? | The Amateur Everything

Tonight has been a night of mental torment. There are so many things I have been meaning to do (all week!), and I want to do it all. But it is also the first night I’ve had the apartment to myself in a while and I want to use the solitude for all of my creative endeavors. There are so many possibilities for tonight, and they are all wrestling for my attention. And the internet. Oh, the internet never helps.

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Thoughts on Disposable Income

The fundamental terror that capitalism exploits is that we might not want anything.

-Adam Phillips

In accordance with the monetary limits of living in Funemployment, I am in the midst of a self-imposed spending freeze. The terms are vague, but I think I’m doing a decent job. Most of my money goes towards food, either groceries or dining out. Having just moved, however, I’ve also spent a lot on the various iterations of “home supplies.” I stopped short of buying actual artwork for J’s apartment, but boy have I been itching to. His wariness about my purchases has also helped reign in my spending a bit. Nothing like Judgey Eyes to make you re-think the items in your shopping cart.

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