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Swamp Thoughts

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Not Much to Say, but the Cookies Sure Look Good!

Just a random thought about TV shows, cancellations, and people who watch them.

I noticed that there are these Vent-o-Pages that strike up the fact that a show has been cancelled, and then all these people stomp their feet, use yell-y letters, and then end with how the channel that aired them sucks. *Sigh*.

I used to sympathize with the people who were upset, because, you know, I was upset, too, about shows I liked a lot. But recently, I've tried an experiment. I went to these same Vent-o-Pages, but for shows I didn't care for much. And all the whining and angry taunts at the canceling station seemed silly to me. Try it, you'll see.

Anyway, this blog is for me. Not that it isn't great, but it is a way to vent for me; so how can I criticize? Technically, I'm the only one reading/writing this blog, so I'm not venting, I'm "noticing": putting it down in the world wide crapper.

You know what I theorize? Sure you do: I think that we should take all these wonderfully insightful, fun, creative shows that we love so much, put them on the web, and for each series that gets the most viewers and the highest ratings, THAT show should actually be renewed and played on the web site of the station that picks it up. I'm sure the network would save money, plus, some viewers would stop flinging their crap into the world wide-yes, exactly.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Chop-Chop Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan: a place where I did not want to go. In fact, the culture of Japan remained so far from what I valued, I admit that I felt somewhat repulsed and loathed to even meet people who manufacture respect for someone who didn’t earn it. And to make my heels dig further into the solid concrete ground, I would be visiting a city. Born and raised in suburbia and country sides, I couldn’t even imagine myself enjoying cramped skyscrapers or the hum of people lurching in waves. And embarrassingly enough, after trying numerous times and methods, I could not use chopsticks. However, my eyes were to open as my love for adventure and discovery were tapped by the wonders of Tokyo.

Breaking down my misgivings of going to an anniversary celebration and training for my martial art in Tokyo, I was enticed and then lured to the prospect of getting a tour of a 400-year-old dojo at the Emperor’s Imperial Palace. This opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime event, led me to spend my money and brave the streets of Tokyo, and its people.

The plane over to Narita airport embodies my first impression of Tokyo: crowded. However, I had no time to focus on expectations and previous notions of Japan. As our little group exited the gates, so did our own version of the Kentucky Derby begin, the finish line being our beds. We were off, focused on getting to our hotel as soon as possible, and maybe getting an actual meal after traveling for 18 hours.

But it wasn’t so. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we were met by an emissary of the larger group who told us to drop our stuff in our room, and return to the lobby: it was time to meet up with the rest of our group – who had already been in Japan a couple of days, who hadn’t just been up for several hours in several versions of an iron tube, who had showered and eaten balanced meals during the day. These were the people we were meeting, and we were not in the best of moods.

Humoring everyone, we dropped our bags and made another frantic rush to the restaurant. We were late, and almost everyone had finished eating. People drank and our food had already been ordered for us: salad…oh, and water. I had to eat salad with chopsticks. I wanted to cry.

Adding insult to injury, they split the tab up amongst everyone in our party. Each of us had to pay 3200 yen. Yes, that does equal $32 US dollars. I tell you, my stomach was not the only thing growling that night.

Returning to the hotel unsatisfied, I and a couple others, hit a 24-hour bento box place just around the corner from our hotel. I took the first thing that looked good: rice with bits of chicken. And you know what they did? Do you? Of course you don’t. They did the one thing that made me want to dance across the Emperor’s gardens: they gave me a SPOON!

I took my meal back to the hotel (it breaks custom to eat while you are walking around) I scooped up each of those mouthfuls with tears of joy in my eyes. I still have that spoon….

Anyway, despite the first couple of hours of Tokyo, and a shock that would rock all of us, the rest of the trip turned out to be a lot of fun for several of us and a personal enlightenment for me.

The next day, we woke up early to enjoy a Japanese-style breakfast at Royal Host, a place that reminded me of Denny’s. A Japanese-style breakfast always comes with some kind of protein on the plate. In one “set”, you get a piece of salmon and vegetable soup. In another set, you get a salad, an egg, and toast. Japan has an order, a way of doing things that you don’t mess with, otherwise, you can confuse the natives, or, even get them in trouble. For meals, if you want something substituted, it’s best just to order two different meals. And no, you cannot take the left-over food with you.

Again, we jump on the train, this time to the gym where we practice. At this time, I’m stunned at the efficiency of the trains. The trains arrive and leave at exactly the times published. Another realization strikes me, even though I was warned: there are a ton of vending machines. Not only for drinks, but you can find vending machines for food, toiletries, and cigarettes. The funny thing though, was even though I was warned about the heavy smoking in Japan, I had only noticed the cigarette smell in my nonsmoking hotel room, until that evening when I encountered a smoker who was in the waiting area of a restaurant. I guess, along with consuming food and drink in public, you don’t commonly smoke while walking around, either.

After a training session of throwing people around, we took the train back to our hotel, showered, and dodged the sluggish decision-making process of the larger group. Unlike the train system, making decisions lies on the other end of the Japanese cultural spectrum. We knew we didn’t have time to accommodate the larger group, so we informed our trip liaison of our plans, and raced off to see Shinjuku before we had to return for the Saturday night banquet.

One person of our excursion group had lived in Japan before, so he knew the train routes, and fortunately, the language as well. We got to Shinjuku and ogled the glowing neon lights, the shouting salespeople who stood outside their stores with shiny cell phone displays, and the books in the 7-story bookstore. Later, after the banquet, I was to return with my Japanese-speaking buddy to visit a Mister Donuts and check out the seedier side streets of Shinjuku (Soapland). Japan doesn’t condone prostitution or gambling, but you can visit “massage parlors” or play Pachinko for “prizes”.

Sunday came upon us quickly, we were already done training, showered, and searching for the Emperor’s Imperial Palace before we realized that we were moments away from the reason why we all paid for this trip: the Emperor’s onsite dojo.

We are introduced to our guide, a personal assistant to the Empress, and a translator, who had a harem of 3 girls following him around. Next to our guide, was the coordinator of the trip, Tadashi. He smiled big in anticipation of seeing the dojo.

Our guide told us about the main gates and the palace guard stations, and our translator, poor guy, did his best, but I soon started to ignore him and read the signs. Our large group moved passed the first guard station and Tadashi almost ran over to a gate, where behind it, he indicated the dojo with a big smile on his face. Our guide gave him the arm cross and said something in Japanese. I knew something was up by Tadashi’s crestfallen expression and the fact that our guide gave him the denied gesture. The Japanese crowd grew silent while the non-speakers looked about in confusion as we all continued our tour away from the dojo.

The news, I found out later, as we were lead to the souvenir shop, was that for security reasons, we were not allowed into the dojo. I had such an enjoyable time so far in Tokyo, that it took a while to soak in. I gave over my passport information, paid for the trip, and invested all this time, for no dojo and only 6 hours of training? What the hell? Believe me, I wasn’t the only one disappointed. Several of the Americans said their family had to make sacrifices for the amount of money they paid. One family had to cancel their family trip to Japan so only one of them could go. Another family had just experienced a lay-off, and had very little cash to spend. But all of these families knew that viewing this dojo, with all its history and art, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So they said, GO. And now, we were denied access. And since this was Japan, what authority says, goes.

But despite the smothering of the catalyst that brought me to Japan, the adventures outside the dojo, and the people I traveled with, made the whole trip worthwhile, especially dodging the Yakuza that evening.

After the events at the Emperor’s Imperial Palace, we went to Shibuya. We just flowed into the sea of people at the main plaza as if we’d done it several times before. At one end was the train station where we came from, and at the other end stood a building with one side used exclusively as a TV screen to project advertisements. I gawked at the building while ducking and dodging the crowd, keeping up with my wily companions.

We went up a side street to see a capsule hotel, which contains morgue-like beds for businessmen, where, once again, we were denied access. Along the way, we found a restaurant serving puffer fish (fugu), the kind that will kill you if you don’t prepare them right. We didn’t enter, but we took pictures of the giant puffer fish coming out of the building and the tank of them pleading for us to save them. Our stomachs grumbled, so we went to buy one of those scrumptious wafer encased ice cream sandwiches at the nearby 7-11 store (the ones we ate at the palace were way too soggy to be satisfying).

Now, our stomachs full, we hit a Pachinko casino. As one of our troupe described it, the decibel level in that place was equivalent to a rock concert in a jet engine. That same person bought 2000 yen ($20 US) of silver balls, which he preceded to put in this Pachinko machine called “Sea Story”. He mocked fear as the machine started blinking and making sounds. We had no idea what was happening, and then a lady came over to show us what we needed to do. Our Japanese-speaking friend, who had never entered a Pachinko casino in his 9 years in Japan, got nervous, unsure whether we might be charged “extra” fees (like sitting or gaijin fees) by the Yakuza, who have a big hand in Pachinko.

Under duress, our Pachinko-playing companion had to trade his winnings in for orange juice, Choco Pies, some mystery object, and a plastic item with a gold flake, the size of a thumbnail, in it. The barker, who happened to be impossibly louder than the Pachinko casino sounds, told us to go outside to exchange the gold flake. But she couldn’t tell us where, just “outside and up”. So we went upstairs, and then downstairs, not finding anywhere where we could exchange this object. At this point, we wondered if we even wanted to, since everyone we asked whispered “outside” as their eyes darted this way and that. Finally, someone discretely pointed to the company name on the plastic object, “T.U.C.”

Outside the Pachinko joint, along the street, we found a dark corner, next to a garage, and a tinted window with a drop box. Written on the window, masking the person’s face behind it, were the letters, “T.U.C.” We dropped the plastic gold flake item into the drop box, hands pulled the box in and grabbed at it. 3500 yen was placed in the box, and pushed back at us. We said thank you, no response, and we just booked it out of there.

Perhaps it was the relief of tension, or the fact that we were tired, but we laughed and laughed about how silly the whole situation was. We headed back to our hotel after that, sharing our thoughts about our time in Shibuya and the rest of our adventures in Tokyo. Tomorrow, we’d be heading home, but not before we visited a temple.

The next morning, we had 3 hours to enjoy Tokyo’s ancient offerings before we had to leave for the airport. After breakfast, we headed over to Asakusa Temple. Asakusa Temple is a Buddhist temple, where you can place prayers on a piece of paper, cleanse yourself with incense and water, and offer some money and a moment of respectful silence. The Japanese-manicured gardens around the temple contained koi and several statues. The approach to the temple was the major attraction, however. A huge red lantern greeted visitors (it had a dragon at the bottom of it), along with some giant gods. Along the way, shops and food vendors sold trinkets and food of all kind. It smelled good, and soon after we got there, a mob of people filled the streets between the vendors. Side streets afforded some breathing room and other shops. We found a McDonalds there, where I got a welcome fountain drink.

We had 30 minutes to shop, and then we had to go. I got a couple items for friends and family, but overall, I was not able to do any souvenir shopping for people, though there is plenty to look at and buy.

We were in the airport before I realized that the only shopping time I had was at the Asakusa Temple. All of it was sightseeing, and experiencing the culture and the people. Then I was struck with another realization as I mentally reviewed the trip: After all these years, I could use chopsticks! We had to squeeze food in between all the activities, to which we had grown into savage beasts at meal times. I had very little time to think of using chopsticks: all I wanted was that food in my mouth and into my mewling stomach. By the end of the trip, I used chopsticks like a pro. I guess everything comes down to a level of necessity!

As I was doing my journal during my 9-hour flight, I also understood a truth about myself: many aspects of my personality aligned with that of Japanese culture, and perhaps the reason I was so loathe to go was that I knew subconsciously how closely I’d get to seeing myself in the mirror. I’ve heard a saying that people don’t like certain characters in movies because they’re too similar to the people who don’t like them. For me, it was true. I saw myself clearer than I had after this trip.

For instance, I let people be who they are, and if I don’t like them, I usually avoid them, saying nothing about my dislike for them. I figure that if they want to change, then they have to make that change. My views won’t help them unless they ask, which I’d gladly give. In short, I determined that people will eventually figure “it” out, as I just go on my way. I saw that mirrored with how Japan views people in authority: Someone has earned a level of authority or achievement, and you honor that, but it doesn’t mean you have to respect that person, and it isn’t your place to tell that person what he or she “should” do. They will figure it out eventually, with or without your help.

So, what I viewed as manufactured respect for people at the beginning of the trip, is actually honoring the achievement rather than the person. If the person earns the respect, so much the better, otherwise, we reserve our respect for someone who deserves it.

In conclusion, Tokyo is a city….in Japan. And I would go back for more adventure. I would recommend two things for people who want to visit Japan: bring an English version of the train and subway stops, and have someone there to speak Japanese for you. Also, remember that though Japanese people mind their own business, try to observe and follow their cultural nuances. Other than that, enjoy the availability of sake from a vending machine!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Year of 5's

Coincidence? I think not. Or so I'd like to think...well, if ever we can call someone uncommitted, I'm yer gal. Anyway, back to the topic of 5's:

The number 5 has recently come to my realization as a significant number in my life. Every 5 years, it seems, my life takes a significant turn. I can start at 1st grade, when I had my first "boyfriend". Now, I won't get too personal about this significant event because I don't quite have the cajones to admit it to the world of webcrawlers. So, let's just say the decision I made that fateful day still effects me at my tender age. Fast forward 5 years and it is 6th grade, and man oh man, that year was a doozy: I changed schools (which wasn't such a big deal since I had changed to several schools until that point), and decided that life wasn't as grand as I had thought. I became a cynic and an introverted agnostic. I think Catholic school can do that to the best of us.

Another 5 years pass and I graduate from high school. I decided that year that high school wasn't worth my time. I needed to learn, and all I was getting from high school was a bunch of social flack from fellow students and repetition from the education material. Most teachers were disciplining students and in the power scuffle, I became bored and irritated by the lack of actual useful time spent at the institution. I had taken college classes that year that expanded my knowledge and I was eager to continue it in a more mature and progressive environment. Graduated at the age of 16, people, and it can be done despite what counselors and teachers say.

At the ages of 21-22, I decided that now my university has become repetitive and boring and that I was gonna graduate. I collected all my units and presented them to my university and graduated by 22. I got hired on into a great job (at the time) and stepped into a phase of my life where I earned many things that take some people a lifetime to accomplish (or so I was told). So, graduating at the time that I did allowed me to do a lot of things just before the door closed on the opportunities I had access to. I saw other university friends who graduated just a quarter after me falter in their chosen career path and didn't earn the money needed to exploit the economy at the time.

Poof, another 5 years go by and now I've spent my life source working for a company that I really liked at one time. I suffered from sleep deprivation which is a terrible illness. You can see on WebMD that it can cause a lot of physical and emotional changes, and luckily I was able to identify the source of my depression before it got a real hold of me. I decided that I needed to turn my life around that year. If nothing changes, nothing changes. So I changed something every week of my life, no matter how insignificant it was (buying a CD I had no idea what was on it to driving a different route somewhere). I kicked off this event by jumping out an airplane with a man strapped to my back. Yes, I could've wrote "tandem", but y'know, it's funnier the way I said it. So there....stop judging me!

Which leads me to this year: 5 years after. What will happen this year? Keep watch and see. I'm excited to find out. I already have some inklings, but Life is anything but predictable. I've already damaged my knee from snowboarding, so maybe this year I'll remember it as the first year that my knee started bothering me. Every winter for the next 5 years (at least) when I get pain in my knee, is when I can say, "Yeah, that year I didn't wear knee pads and it still bothers me today, so kids, wear knee pads if your gonna go snowboarding/skate boarding...etc." And then the kids ruin their knees anyway because what does old auntie know anyway? Aren't Life lessons wonderful? I especially enjoy watching my nieces and nephews learn the hard way when we give them the information before they learn it the hard way. Ha! So, I'm cruel, but I don't waste my breath or get frustrated. Sometimes, you just gotta let them do.

So, the number 5. Another coincidence is that in the art of Numerology, my birthday adds up to the number 5. I've got 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot (now who can say that, huh?). I also saw a movie, a really really bad one, one that I should've stopped watching within the first 5 minutes but watched it all the way through, where, at the end, the Dust Devil holds his hand up and says, "These five rays will stay with you." The woman then shoots his hand with a shotgun, which also makes his head explode. Pieces of his brain and skull fall to the ground, which was soooo neat. Now who can say that they would watch such a movie so they can hear those words and remember them even today? I tell you, my crazy readers, that this 5 thing has substance for me.

Have you evaluated your life? Can you see the numbers? Can you see any patterns? Personally, we see our lives the way we want to see them. We make our lives the way we want to make them. If this year isn't the year for you, make it your year. Find the pattern. Have fun. Go crazy. It sure works for me!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

By Golly, I Think We've Got a Wetness Situation Here!

Yes, my loyal readers and those first timers, water has been escaping the clouds and the sea to fall upon my meager clothing. I travel with it in my hair and in my shoes. It has been an ever present pal that keeps me soggy during the day and the night. You might ask if I were homeless, but no, I am not. In fact, I was fortunate enough to visit Hawaii during the holiday season.

The day before my departure: it rained. It was kinda a bummer 'cause I wanted to walk my dog (yes, my doggie is still very healthy and very alive - good hardy Danish, German, and English stock) before I brought her to the kennel.

The drive up was dry, but leaving from Oakland was a chore since we had to wait 2 hours on the plane for them to update the software, and then we were off for a 5 hour journey. Arriving in Hilo, we were greeted with the soft pitter-patter of rainy shoe-droplets. Ah, yes, how very rainforesty and exotic, I thought. And then the pattern continued for the rest of the two weeks. But did the rain stop us? NO! We drove all about the island, soaking up the rain (not the rays). It didn't rain in Kona, the California coast of Hawaii, both in weather and in attitude. The north had a bunch of cowboys (Parker Ranch being one, if not the biggest, cattle ranches in the U.S., yes even beyond Texas). The Puna district had all sorts of hippies. The island was very distinct in the type of people it adopted to each area.

I loved all the activities I did. I went snorkeling, sailing, helicoptering, kayaking, wine tasting (even though I don't like wine), volcanoing, spelunking, looking (at gardens), and driving. I have some pictures, but the best snapshots and memories are in my head.

When we arrived back in Oakland, and guess what: yeah, it was raining. It rained all the way back to my hometown and it rained the next day. Here, when it rains, it's cold. In Hilo, I spent all day in flip-flops, despite the rain (and mosquitoes).

Now, I've been back for a week, and I 've been busy every hour of the day. I have a new vacation planned - why, yes it is snowboarding. I have a new victim, I mean- buddy accompanying me on the trip. We'll see how he fares, but if I'm lucky, he'll become addicted to the sport - all selfish reasons for the hope, of course. Well, if he does become addicted, it'll be good for him in certain ways, too.

Okay, wish me luck in keeping whole and having fun in the mountains of snow! Hope yer'all being good and having fun, too!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Save Me

Well, I spent an hour last night updating my blog, and at the end of it all: I lost it. Believe me, I was momentarily disgusted. I don't even know if I want to recount everything I did - again. But I'm gonna do some of it now.

Before leaving the chilly yet sunny state of California, I entered a contest to see if I could win a ticket to travel around the world. I didn't even get a response back saying they got my essay. Yet, another seemingly waste of time. I sure hope it wasn't, though. Always hopeful, yeah, that would be me.

Seattle was fun. I enjoyed the speaker, Dr. Richard Bartlett. He indeed have an agenda of reprogramming us, which worked partially on me. Plus, he did have a CD he was selling with subliminal messages on it (see my last post about being open to these "suggestions"). I must be psychic - uh-oh, that can be a burden!

It snowed and rained profusely in Seattle, but luckily, I was indoors for all those events.

I spent two days and one night in Victoria. I met some great people: A fellow passenger on the Victoria Clipper also owned one of my favorite coffee spots (Bean Around the World); the guys in Turntable (I bought 4 CDs from them); The wonderful lady in Three Spirals; Thomas at Heart's Content; and one of the cashiers at Whirled Arts. The desk clerks at the hostel were very nice, too. Thank the boopahs for cheap lodging and nice people!

I'm back, and this blog was not as entertaining as my last one, but it'll do. Hope everyone out there reading this stuff is having an enjoyable moment right now. Now. I mean: now. Dang it, just have it when it pleases ya!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just Add Oxygen

Work. My friend has work for class. That is why I'm here, blogging again, 'cause we've returned to the computer lab, and I'm gonna be here for a while...though, I don't know how "here" I'll be since she's always throwing over some wickedly funny comments and random thoughts.

Work. Yes, everyone has work to do. My parents, older as they are, should be retired by now, but they've gotten themselves into a place of lending and investing. They grumble at the fact that they've shortened their leash so far that they won't be taking a big trip next year. They foam at the mouth every once in a while, but when I show them the sun, they blink and cry like little babies. It's cute and sad at the same time. Or maybe, it's only that way because I imagine it, and in my world, everything is puppy dogs and peppermint sticks.

Yeah: work. I need to start pimping out my dog for people who like to pet extremely wiggly and hyper pets. She needs to earn her keep...and besides, she likes to be fawned over.

Work. Have I caused you an epileptic attack by flashing the word "work" at you so often? If so, ha ha ha ha ha ha: work. HA!

Fun! My most recent trip was to, yes, you guessed it: Roseville, CA. It's a wonderful place because it has a Trader Joes and a Costco - I don't think I could live in a place without either one, Costco especially, because that will be my home base when zombies attack. Hopefully, they'll be a gun store or a garden store near by when the apocalypse comes, but if it's Spring, I'm sure Costco will have garden equipment. Be warned: if you look like a zombie, and you be coming to my Costco, you won't unlive long! Better just go after some college meat: they're always ripe for the pickin' and plenty of them smartie-2-shoes.

Fun! Next trip: Seattle and Victoria! As I mentioned in my previous blog, I'm going in a land of whirly-dirly colors and floaty things. Personally, I like the science behind things, but I'm open to subliminal messages and deep psyche reprogramming. I might even buy me a plastic dashboard Jesus - nah, it would clash with my Boopahs mirror dangle. They are my gods.

Fun! Yes, it's off to Hawaii for my and my savage kin. They let us loose this Christmas and New Years: and the world will become a special place for all. Unfortunately, I won't be able to visit a respected friend of mine: the man who introduced me to aiki jujutsu. Well, he'll be safe in Mexico, at least. At this time, I'd like to say how much I like this martial art. The dojo I go to has few, but very great, people to study with. Two of them are being promoted to brown belts. In our dojo, we go from white to brown to black. No colors in between. I'm still a white belt, and have been going for less then a year, but I love it! Aikido had developed from this art, and my good friend on the East Coast has let me know that he takes it (by the way, can you send me your email address? My address is inali@hotmail.com) - ah, but has my good East Coast friend taken his family to Italy yet? That, or, the transamerican camper trip? Chop-Chop there, buddy!

Work for me, well: it's been like an herb: parsley - it you get my meaning. And if you don't, well, whoever does? I still love it and will be going on a presentation campaign next year, kicking down the coprolite ideas that bodywork is just a luxury. But I'll stop before I begin. Preaching isn't my thing. I'm a swoosher: I'm always passing through. I'm not here to convert, but to find people who like to share ideas with each other.

So, off I am. My friend has called me ("beee-yatch", so I know it's me), and we are off to, well, I have to repack some stuff before my trip, and she's gonna sleep: since she's got work tomorrow, and I'm off to the fun place.

Enter, And You Shall Be Healed

Well, it's off to Seattle for me this next week. I've got a class that I have no idea what the content is gonna be like. I have this vision of people lining up and being pushed back by the healer with the palm of his hand. I took up this class by just the testimony of this lady that I respect...but now, I'm thinking that I might have made a mistake. Which was the mistake, well, maybe both: respecting the lady and spending cash on this class...oh, well, I'll see very soon. Gotta go now, but will update everyone soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Year Without Meatballs

Almost a full year since my last entry. But I was forced to write this one. You see, two weeks ago, during the Obon Festival, I nonchalantly said hello to a former coworker who told me to update the blog. I promised I’d do it within 2 weeks. Damn him.

So, the Obon Festival was a lot of fun. Our Daito Ryu group performed our techniques for a blood thirsty crowd. Nah, just kidding…unfortunately.

So, what have you all out there been doing…the ones still reading my blogs and forcing me to write yet another entry? Hm? You make me write, I want to see some love back. Yeah, I’m talkin’…to you and your little doggie, too.

Speaking of yummy little puppies, my dog is still alive and itching. She’s a 4-year-old stuck in an 11-year-old’s body. Most everyone thinks she’s around 2, but I’ve seen here when she was 2, she’s more like when she was a 4-year-old. She’s had a couple of rough patches that cost a good buck or two. I’ve revamped her kennel outside to a high-security prison, but is more like jail for criminal psychotics since I have to give her doggie valium to keep her locked in. Recently, she’s dug a hole that I’ve gotta fill with a moat and hungry alligators…or dirt, whichever is cheaper.

Let’s see, what else can I update you late-night or bored-at-work readers? I’ve got several pictures I’d like to post from my trip to Europe and Peru. And guess what? I also went to Belize! Yes, that former British ruled Central American paradise. It was so much fun. My friend and I went cave-tubing, horseback riding, canoeing, ziplining, and hiking among Tikal’s ruins. Ok, so, technically, Tikal isn’t in Belize, but it was part of our trip, which was mainly in Belize mainland and cayes. I’ll post some pictures when I get the chance, which will probably the next time I see a former coworker. I’ll have to become a hermit, now. I hope you’re happy! And yes, I’m talking to you, Minute Man.

So, the next excursion out will be in October, where I learn some more advanced techniques for Bowenwork. Yes, I’ve been in business since February 2007, but the business hasn’t kicked off yet. I’m dragging my feet a bit, and my money reserves are dwindling…alarmingly so, if I might add.

So, other injuries to mention, besides to my wallet, are several bruises from my martial arts class, a mysterious numbness in my leg that hasn’t gone away for the last couple of weeks, and a bloody lip…it’s not what you think of as a lip, though. I was wakeboarding, yes, that fun yet evil sport, when I slammed face first into the water. I could imagine the same feeling of how my face felt as the same as having someone smashing a cast-iron frying pan in my face. I was half-out of my wakeboard and tasting blood. I couldn’t open my eyes because I swear they were not there, and everything was numb. I thought my nose was broken, but, I soon discovered that the piece of skin that attaches my upper lip to my gum had been ripped. Yes, it was a bloody mess, but it has healed now. I’m ready for my next wakeboarding trip!

Alright, I think that’s enough fodder for now. Be a good cow and chew your cud.