Thursday, January 31, 2008

snapshots: northwest winter

These are not "new" pictures and many of you have probably seen them before. I've been slow about uploading pictures to blogger because, relatively speaking, it's pain. But I'm going to try to be better about it because I've been taking a lot of pictures and would like to know what you think.

First stop Portland, Oregon. Dec 2008

Next, somewhere in Western Washington on Highway 97, Dec. 2008

Early morning, between Chelan WA and Wenatchee WA, Dec 2008

Me and my bro, Chelan Washington, Dec 2008

super cute aunt and uncle, Bellingham Washington 2008
If anyone wants more cute family pictures, email me.

the adventures continue

Monday, January 28, 2008

end of Jan. thoughts

aaaah. I am so freaking antsy these days. Routine is driving me kind of nuts. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of things about my job, and while teaching the kids' lessons has a rhythm to it, it's not the same as the routine that's making me batty. I never really expected that knowing what to expect all the time would make me feel like this.

I feel too comfortable, kind of. The language, the train schedules, the culturally right thing to do has become more second nature than I ever would have guessed it would. Like I used to get a little nervous before switching to Japanese. I used to recite what I was going to say at the grocery store or to the bus driver or whatever. Kept me on my toes. And now... switching back and forth is easy. Not that I'm really all that fluent, there's still a lot I don't know. There's still a lot I don't understand.... but it's not hard anymore.

One thing I loved about subbing was that you were always at a disadvantage. You never really had the info you needed. You could never really be properly prepared. The cards were always a little stacked against you. So you had to be awake and on your toes. Not so much anymore. So now, if I make a mistake, it's because I'm lazy, not because it was unavoidable.

Being so comfortable makes me feel just a little less alive. Perhaps that's why I've been drinking so much on Saturday nights. I feel like I have all this energy and no place to put it. Like I could just coast if I wanted to, which I don't.

I went out to tango again. I tried again. I was so bored. There was no "out of breath". There was no "lost in the moment." There was no passion. There was no beauty. a bunch of posers who have crappy frames and make no connection. like they had never really hugged anyone in their life. so the jerk me around rather than lead me. they drink so they have courage to dance rather than dance to be alive.

why can't I find anyone here who loves to dance just because they love the way it feels? and the intimacy and the surprise and ... there's almost a danger to a good dance, in the same way there's a danger in brushing past someone you shouldn't have a crush on. that little catch in the breath and rise in body temperature. a good dance leaves me breathless. I haven't found that here. but I'll keep looking.

I'm spending a lot of time thinking about China. Joe and I are planning to travel there for Golden Week--Japanese spring-ish break at the end of April. I'm planning on taking extra days off to give me two weeks to travel, the first week with Joe and the second alone. Shanghai to Xi'ian (together) and then I'll head south to see the terrace rice fields and other adventures.
This picture is from the Yunnan area, but there are other areas like this too.

One question that bothers me is "how much to fly?" We'll probably be getting round trip tickets to Shanghai. But how much to fly domestically. There the matter of cost... but more than that I worry about the amount of pollution verses time spent at cool places. While some traveling overland is fun, it's also nice to dwell a little. Thoughts?