How to plan adventures, part 1

So my Blakeless is on his way to Kentucky. I miss it so much. I haven't been to Louisville in over a year, which is weird to me. I don't think Louisville is the right place for me to live job-wise, but I really miss my people there. And my family and friends nearby as well...and how damn cheap the rent is there.

So! I've been doing some planning this afternoon. After this wondrous stint in Japan, Blake and I have been discussing where we want to relocate to in the near future, depending on school options, how much money we can save, etc. We both really like DC, but we know we won't be there long term. We've mostly entertained the idea of moving to Chicago, as originally planned, but Blake suggested to me that we take a road trip of all the great midwest/east coast cities that we could live in. We'd both love to live in Portland, but know that it's just too far away to live long term. Sure it's a cool city, but I'd like to be somewhere where I not only have some connections, but am within visiting distance of my family and friends. Home is where the heart is, and all that. So, I think a two week road trip is in order shortly after I come back from Japan next August.

Here's some places we're thinking of visiting and potentially moving to:

1. Chicago, Illinois (duh)
2. Brooklyn, NYC - I always wanted to live in NY when I was younger and lately I've been thinking about it again. Expensive and less crime than DC (which isn't all THAT bad, really), and of course there's no shortage of fun things to do and people to meet.
3. Minneapolis, MN - to be honest, it's really too damn cold here for me to consider moving there, but we'll include it in our road trip to see the city and pay a visit to Douglas.
4. Pittsburgh, PA - Philly is also a possible option here. Never been, so we'll just have to see.
5. Baltimore, MD - not too far from where we live now, but seems like a pretty cool city.
6. Milwaukee, WI - close to Chicago, and the more I read about this city, the neater it looks. Worth a gander, anyway.
7. Providence, RI - sort of random, but seems nice
8. Boston, MA - seems like a cool city, but full of assholes. Then again, so is NY and that's #2 on the list. So is DC, and we live there. Again, I've never been there, so maybe that's a hasty judgement.

So I'm still researching and adding to the list. Austin, TX is also a place Blake and I have though of going to, so maybe we'll visit. It's too far away to live though. And despite Austin being a super rad city, I just don't know if I can bring myself to live in Texas. Ug. The Carolinas are an option too, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions? Chicago is really looking the most likely at this point, honestly, but who doesn't love an exploratory road trip?

Anyway, in other news, I've had a pretty lax weekend here in Japan. Probably going to knit a little today, do some cleaning, and walk around Sakura a bit. Tomorrow my classes are being videotaped so my school can observe and comment on how I'm doing. Yikes.

Maybe later I'll have some knitting pics to post for the first time in forever. This blog is called frankenskein, after all. Give me US city suggestions!


the ego has landed

Do you ever get a little wistful for days of yore when you were totally angsty, depressed all the time, and heartbroken? I do. Well, not the feeling I had during those days because well...it wasn't fun. But sometimes I hear a bittersweet song that I used to listen to when I was mopey, and the nostalgia isn't sad, it's happy to me now. Mostly because it reminds me how much I have grown since I was 20 or so (and younger) and it reminds me of my capability to feel, even if it was stupid. Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Satellite of Love" send me into a whirlwind of nostalgic emotion when I hear them. I wonder how I cared so much about dumb boys and dumb situations back then. I'm sure you all can relate on some level.

So I'm totally on a Velvet Underground/ Lou Reed kick again. I used to call them my 2nd favorite band when I was younger, but I haven't really listened to them in awhile. It's been too long. My music tastes as of late have all been older music. Maybe it's because Japan's aesthetic can either seem incredibly old (like, Edo period) or very 1980s. Seriously. The buildings and colors and everything just make me think I'm in the 80s. Sans the power-perms and Jerry-curl, of course. It rules.

Anyway. Just this second, I felt a teensy little earthquake. I've lost count of the ones I've experienced so far, and I've only been here for 5 weeks. I guess there have been about 4-5? I can kinda see how the Japanese get used to them, as they seem to happening atleast every week. Typhoons have been hitting us here recently too. What is this crazy place I'm in?

One of my adult students brought in a gift for me today. It's actually kind of perfect.

I almost teared up when he gave it to me and said "Here is a souvenir from my trip to Osaka." Now, I know it's just a small thing to do, especially in a country when giving small gifts like this is customary, but I still think it's really cool that this 19 year old kid was walking around on his vacay and thought "Hey, I'll get this for my English teacher." Such a nice thing to do. And there's even a cat on it.

As far as events, I've been doing a lot. Last week I hung out with Nathalie a bunch, met a cool dude in Tokyo named Vaughn, and got drunk with Nathalie and my boss at Daruma, my local izakaya. And went to a Brazilian festival in Yoyogi. I'm thinking I'll go back to Yoyogi sometime soon, during the day. This Sunday I actually have to work, as it is one out of the three weeks per year that I have a six day workweek. boo.

With that said, life is still amazing, and I wonder how long my adventure will last. I have no idea what is in my future, and have no concrete plans. It's unlike me, but it's refreshing. I used to live my life in the past, and then in recent years I was always thinking about my future and ignoring the past. Now I'm somewhere in between, living all of it day by day, and it's fantastic.

yes!: I've lost about 11.5 lbs since I've been here. My clothes are starting to feel bigger. I like shrinking.

no!: patiently awaiting September 28th, when I start getting paid on the regular. Going into Tokyo as often as I do dwindles the funds!