Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas jubilee... in three acts

I. A poem

At long last! My Christmas presents are in the mail.
They'll travel the ocean in the belly of a whale
bouncing around tween its guts and its bones
Till they're dropped off in Alaska and are picked up by gnomes.

The gnomes who were brilliant and the ones who were slow
were sent off to work a long time ago
To the factories that brew up the toilet cake dyes
And to bikini wax parlors for overweight flies

But those who never mastered the Brazilian,
Are now bringing parcels to Northern civilians
They travel by night, carrying boxes and letters
All the meanwhile wearing wool postal sweaters

It isn't that they hate what they do,
but it's no surprise they often break for a few.
So if my shit's late or doesn't arrive
just know that it's tough for a gnome to survive.

II. A craft...s

I am not generally a huge fan of making my Christmas presents because it's a pain time-wise. But, that's what you do when you're poor. So! I found a few pretty righteous tutorials online that I thought were worth a share.

The first one was how to make your own natural dyes. This was not an epic fail for me, but I would gather at least a 65% fail. I made green dye using mostly spinach leaves and parsley, and purple dye using radishes, grape skins and strawberries. They both looked beautiful and rich while simmering in the pot, but the green dye hardly took to the fabric. The little that did just tinged my stuff pissy yellow-green. That is likely the fault of the materials I used and the crap job I did curing the fabric beforehand. The purple came out a lot better, but turned blue after a wash. I will post the link that I used, but would recommend doing a little research into what materials stain well if you decide to try this project. I think I'll definitely have another go at it in the future... let me know if you're interested in trouble-shooting or can offer any good tips.

Makin' dyyyyyyyeeeee!

The second craft are these wood block photo prints.

Ain't them there neat?
 Here's the website I found the tutorial;

Yer mom's a tutorial. heh.

Again, though, many stumbling points. These are the second set I did... the first set is now firewood. If you want to try this project, here are a few useful tips;

1. Use wood with as shallow a grain as possible. Even if you like the look of the deeper grain better, avoid it. Avoid it like Jehovah's witnesses at your door inviting you to bible camp.

2. Don't buy matte finish mod podge (I think you probably want the glossy finish stuff). It started turning opaque white after I applied it. If that's all you have, rub most of it off with a damp sponge while it's drying.

3. The paper is going to rip your entire picture off if you rub it too hard. When rubbing away the paper fiber, pretend you are on a friggen archeological dig. As carefully and slowly as possible. Once most of the fiber is off, let it dry. Go back later to finish getting the rest of the fiber off, either with the wet sponge or your clammy little fingers. You'll be able to rub much harder then and should be able to get the stubborn bits off.

III. A Song...s

I just recently started singing outside the confines of my car/ shower. Never really had much confidence or practice, but I've been jamming more and more with friends recently. Even went to an open mic session a few months back. I'd love to record something real nice and soulful at some point... the following videos aren't really my jam, esp. a capella. But, it's Christmas, so here are some seasonal diddles you can listen to with a fat cuppa nog. There's not a lot of traditional Yule music out there, so they're both church tunes.



Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Child's Indulgence

My mother told me not to touch the dead crow
So I poked it with a stick
And then when she turned away
I jabbed a finger right into its gullet,
Reminding myself to wash my hands before eating again.
Naturally I forgot

Come on, she said, looking at me again
And I tried not to smile as I jammed my hands
Quickly back into my pockets
As though they’d never left.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Farms

Two posts from yours truly… all in one day. Omagah.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Today I find myself with plenty of down time at my desk and I'd like to keep it that way. To avoid being asked to teach any unscheduled lessons I have enacted my ‘fortress of solitude’ plan. Basically I look busy at my desk by clattering loudly on my keyboard, furrowing my brow and questioningly grunting from time to time. If anyone gets too close to me or looks like they want to talk I flash a quick smile and bolt to the potty until I think they've gone.  Crazy? Yes. Wicked bathroom stink? Double yes. But ask me how many lessons I’ve taught today. Come on, ask.                                                                                                                                    
          Well anyway I had the time to do a little laptop housekeeping, and came across some photos and a video I meant to post some time ago. They’re from one of my favorite farms in the area, Green Farms. The only problem I have with the place is that they keep this bear that wandered in from the mountains in a really, really tiny cage. It’s bored as shit and just walks around in circles, day after day. Gotta figure out how to either kill the thing or raise some money to get it a bigger cage. Other than Pooh bear, all the animals on the property look pretty happy and it’s a lovely place to wander around. Have a looksee~
They had orange pumpkins this year!
  Bees in boxes. 'Bout 80 clams.
Fish in bags. 5 clams flat.
Grandma's telephone. Great reception but requires wax cylinders to make a call.
Mushrooms on stumps. I guess about 10 clams 50.
And lastly... Well I have no idea what you're supposed to be.

A Winter Work Out

More often than is probably usual, I find myself talking in a psychopathic squirrel voice, hell-bent on the murder of loved ones. Some who have come to encounter this strange creature have affectionately named it 'Gibbles'. Recently, a rare piece of footage was unearthed from my computer that catches Gibbles dancing to it's favorite band, Primus.

So as the chill of winter sets in and your potato ass mashes itself further down the cracks of your La-Z-Boy, I would like to offer up this potentially helpful video. It is my hope that you can enjoy dancing along to the frantic jig, as well as get the blood pumping back into those sagging vestiges of fat you call your body.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Around Suwa-ko

The other weekend I ran a half-marathon around Lake Suwa (21k). I wasn't aware that marathons came in halves or wholes until about a week before the race. Somebody told me. If there are categories that separate 'runners' and 'people who sometimes run and other times eat frosting from the can', you can probably figure out which one I belong to. My time wasn't great, but I finished six minutes under the time limit; something I hear about the lower third couldn't make. So, yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm proud of my comrades and of the people who didn't finish on time, too. Everyone really challenged themselves. Pictured below is 'team underdog'. We're enjoying some wine and a hearty pipe in the parking lot post-race. If our story were to be turned into a movie, the caption would probably read, 'the team that nobody expected to win, and didn't'. ♥

I can't think of any reason as to why I started running. Even less rationale behind why I started running without shoes. For most of the race I used a pair of five-finger shoes, but eventually even those had to come off. My toenails were long as shit and jamming themselves into their respective toe capsules, and my feet were begging for the pavement. People didn't stare as much as usual, which I contribute to their utter lack of energy near the end of the race. On the flip side, all of the village people who see me running around barefoot always want to stop me and have a chat about it. "Do you know you're barefoot?" "Do your feet hurt?" "Are you poor or crazy?" Recently I was going break speed down a sunlit hill in the Nagano countryside when Cat Stevens shuffled onto my mp3 player. He was singing something nice about peace and love or pot or bunny rabbits. I don't remember exactly what but it was pulsing through me as I flew forward. I could feel the rocks and damp grass under my feet. That's as close to understanding the 'why' of it as I've come. There have certainly been benefits to running barefoot; I have developed arches in my exceptionally flat feet and they don't pronate anymore. That means less foot pain and less trouble with my knees. That's not why I started running without shoes, though, and it isn't why I continue to do so. There is no 'why'.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Water Moccasin

For those who were wondering about the canoe...

we covered it with fabric strips and a few layers of epoxy,

which looks like something like this. And by something I mean exactly. This is epoxy. :) We also added gunnels and cross bars to the inside for support.

We took the completed 'Water Moccasin' out to Minamiminowa Dam for her maiden voyage. The water was arctic. Thanks to everyone who came to join us!

Our second trip was to Miwa Dam. No swimming this time, but Satoshi and I won a canoe race in the 'Sweet Banana'. Featured above are the lovely B-chan and Chess-chan, Karen, Takashi and Satoshi.

The only thing left to do is cover the little lady in some artwork and a layer of polymer.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

America, the beautiful

To tell you the truth, I find myself in a pleasant if not cheery mood. 
The sun is shining and I have been lounging under a thick blanket for the better part of a crisp, fall day.
I therefore find it regrettable that the following post may come across as a grumpy denunciation. My intention is actually quite the contrary. I was surprised and pleased to happen across an MSNBC news report on a friend's facebook page. Although I found it somewhat crass and fumbling at first, it really got me to thinking about some things that I had been trying to piece together in my mind for some time. Maybe you will agree with my conclusions, maybe you won't. I challenge you to watch the video and examine your own opinions. 

With love.

This newscaster delivers some pretty clear opinions along with his story. Is that ok?
That's my big question.

Hmm... well...
I have decided that I not only condone the delivery of this story, but I am refreshed by it. The newscaster discusses some grave realities without excusing his blunt personal sympathies in the subject matter. But wait! That's a slippery slope, there, buster! You can't inject opinion into the news. It must be clear cut fact. End of story. Unfortunately in this case, I can only agree theoretically with this exceptionally sound argument. There are some major gaps that seem uncrossable by taking a black and white stance on the issue. 

If I were part of a peaceably organized protest and got beaten or pepper-sprayed by an armed authority, I would hope that the public opinion would naturally support my case. I would hate to think that the 'rightfulness' or 'wrongfulness' of my abuse were left up for debate. For pity's sake, we know that behavior is wrong! Don't we? Shall we perhaps validate the victims by holding authorities both privately and publicly accountable for their wrongdoings?

Oh, heavens, no!
That damnable slippery slope!
When can we say it's officially 'ok' to express opinions in the news media? 
It seems like when our silence threatens the longevity of our human rights is a pretty good time. As specified in the United States' most cherished doctrines, we all have the right to safety and dignity. To freedom of religion, speech and assembly. Freedom from fear. Is it therefore not refreshing to hear just one man from a major network speak with indignation when he sees those rights snatched from us in broad daylight?

Furthermore, I can't help but tilt my head in confusion when I witness the double standard that rejects or allows certain opinions from entering into the news. The Bill O'Reillys are somehow permitted to shower us with idealistic American rhetoric and simultaneously dismiss each and every one of those ideals when it doesn't suit this really bizarre agenda. How can you parade around the air 'ho-ho!'ing American values while you are telling my friends and I that we are wrong for our personal choices, the beliefs we hold and the people we are? The only opinions I am continuously besieged by from big news networks are the ones that keep keeping me down. Hippie, fag, non-believer, hoodlum, druggie, bum, feminist, beaner, negro, terrorist, freedom-hater. I have heard so many reasons from the news as to why I shouldn't even be considered an American. Those distasteful words are carefully remolded to be just passable enough to make it onto my TV set and into my newspaper and tell me that I don't belong on the soil of my own country. This I am told ON THE NEWS. ON MY NATIONAL NEWS.
I love every rock in my country. 
I love every one of my countrymen, even if I find some of his or her opinions to be misguided. 
Why don't I belong in the country that I would gladly bleed for, given the right cause? More importantly, why haven't I, along with my disenfranchised brothers and sisters been speaking up? This newscaster did, and I find that I have to have respect for that.

It goes beyond the pale to expect that 'all the weirdos' should keep their mouths shut and play by the rules when it comes to public opinion in the news, while all of the Bills of the world go on telling my family and countrymen that I am unworthy of my homeland. 

It goes beyond the pale to pretend that racism and sexism no longer exist, and we're all even steven. 
It goes beyond the pale to ask the citizens of one of the freest countries in the world to fall in line or get out. 
Who gave these nutjobs the right to speak to anyone in such a despicable manner? Regardless of whether you fall into one of the poisonous, aforementioned categories, could you possibly understand why some of us are exhausted? The news is not liberal, progressive, or even rational anymore. It's sensationalist, farsical, dogmatic, racist. Perverted. Perverted. Perverted. And it perverts malleable minds into accepting and upholding social divisions. I know because I wake up each day with the understanding that America, the beautiful will feed me just a little spoonful of hate before I go to bed. It is sad for me to imagine people with bigger problems than mine choking down even bigger spoonfuls.

I am not unamerican and I am not a police hater. I am just a girl who thinks everyone should have a sense of physical security and emotional belonging in this world. If those needs are unmet, we must use our voices, hearts and minds to destroy the evil from which division stems. The reasons I have given are why I so fully support the news reporter from this video for condemning behavior that is so obviously wrong.

Do you agree?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Alright, darlings.
I have decided to post a few recipes, even though they aren't entirely mine.
They're good, cheap and easy.
.....Like yer mom. HURNK!

Zucchini and Avocado Soup                                           

Get that crap!

2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 green onions, chopped       **(save out like 1/3)
                                   **Japan people (たまねぎ: 2 stalks)
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger        **(I used like 1,000)
1 garlic clove,  chopped
2   14 1/2 ounce can of vegetable broth + 1 cup water
       **Japan people (I used 2 of those
       bigger dry soup packets and adjusted the h2o slightly)
2 medium zucchini,  thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon of salt                           **(disregard fascist recipe, season at will!)
1/4 teaspoon of freshly-ground black pepper        **(season away, you maniac, you!)
1 medium avocado, seeded, peeled, & chopped
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chopped red bell pepper               **(dare I say, mmmmore?)

Cook that mess!

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the green onions and cook 3 minutes; stir in ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add broth, water, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes, until zucchini is very soft. Cool slightly. Stir in avocado. Puree soup however you damn well can. Food processors or blenders are best.
          **(I have a hand mixer and I blended the bejeezus out of the soup while covering it with a lid
         and using my available elbow to shield my face from the scalding dish. This part was not a
         happy time for me.)
Return to pan to heat through. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with red pepper and remaining green onions.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Kabocha Soup                                                         

Get that crap!

1/2 Kabocha      **(this is a Japanese pumpkin... not sure
1/2 onion                 what the best alternative would be...)
1 cup milk         **(substitute a little bit with cream)
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 1/3 cups water
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to season
                          **This recipe really needs a little more - I added;
            black pepper (to taste... I like mine real peppery)
            salt (to taste... a little less than the pepper)
            cinnamon (1/8 tsp... or so)
            vanilla (1/8 teaspoon... or so)
            chives (however much you like on top)

Cook that mess!

Slice onion thinly. Take out kabocha seeds and cut kabocha into large blocks.
            **(You can cook the seeds with butter, salt and a dash of maple syrup. omg.)
Place kabocha on a plate and microwave for 4 minutes. Take off skin and slice kabocha thinly. Saute onion slices with butter in a pan. Add kabocha slices in the pan and saute together. Add chicken bouillon and water. Simmer onion and kabocha until soften. Puree soup. Add milk. Heat the soup over low heat and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and vanilla. After pouring a bowl, garnish with chives.


Oh my god. My mixer belongs in porn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What shall we make of it?

The sounds of the oncoming typhoon are raging outside.
It is incredibly frightening.
I said goodbye early to my students today, and hummed a prayer to the earth.
Let them walk home, let them all walk home.
Earlier this year I felt an earthquake that cracked the ground on which I walked.

I find myself in a space-time in which mother nature is PISSED OFF.
She is tired of being hacked away at by her own impudent, ungrateful children.
She is tired of watching them quarrel over illusions and snatch up her plenty with persistent greed.
I have never believed in a doomsday, but it seems that somehow she is slowly, gracefully lifting up her broken limbs to collect a cyclical due.
She is a loving mother, but will not think twice about thrusting us into the grave we have dug.

Surely nobody would choose to blast her mountainy breasts with dynamite
nobody would choose to pour toxins into her bloodstream
nobody would choose to scorch holes into her paper blue skin
if there wasn't a buck in it.
This is capitalism! Who's to stop progress?
Besides, how can we be blamed for some albeit unfortunate, natural disasters?

These things are not our fault! It's a cycle. It's science.
Why don't you turn to your precious science now, you butt-fucking liberal?
Because my mother is as much science as she is mystic.
Her bereavement is shown in climate change; which melts the ice caps, and scorches the earth with fire.
Her bereavement for the stress of enormous dams and extensive mining is shown through shifting plates. earthquakes.

What we have forgotten, for hundreds of years, children, is that we are tied to our mother.
And our mother is the only thing that ties us to the great stellar orgy.
If you treat your mother like a whore, there will be nowhere for you to run, even in death.
She is a living organism that can sense and love you and has thusly exercised incredible patience.
Perhaps this is the course of human destiny, for right and for wrong.
what say you?
Shall we further test her?
Or can we maybe do things just a tiny bit differently?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some days are just better than others.

My face looks something like this     :)))))))))))) ~!!!!!!***

Oh, but please don't worry. My happiness is generally kept in check by a healthy dose of cynicism and the mounting realities of being an adult. Today was just one of those better off days.

To set the scene, I was driving to school expecting an equally fart-tacular day as yesterday. I wasn't hungover like yesterday but was incredibly sleepy and not thrilled about my busy work line-up. The typhoon clouds finally started breaking, though, and the drive was just a little too beautiful for me to stay crabby. The sunlight was positively dancing over the moutains as it broke through heavy clouds. A crane soared over the rice fields and took a huge stringy dump as it passed in front of my car. It was somehow more poetic than observing the same scene with a non-shitting crane. That's when I started feelin' kinda groovy.

When I got to school, I got this card from one of my 6th graders.
 **(Yes, the image is inverted. If you cross your eyes, you will be able to read the secret birthday message! I did this for your pleasure. Don't mention it.) 

So last week we were studying birthday stuff and I gave the kids these cards to decorate in their own free time. Today aforementioned boy gave his card back to me with a message inside which, when translated, reads something like this;


Dear Sarah Teacher,

Happy birthday!                  (<-- Totally not my birthday, little dude. But I love that you thought you
                                                                                                              remembered. ^_^)

Thank you for giving me English instruction that I can easily understand. I'm studying English and the reason I can understand so much is thanks to you. Thank you for giving me the understandable English.


I know that I'm a good teacher, but a sentiment like that from any student, let alone an elementary schooler, was really quite unexpected. It made me feel great. It made me remember that it's easy to forget that people are saying and thinking good things about us that they may only rarely express to our faces.

So then I came home, and decided to keep rollin' with the beats that were jim-jammin' away in my brain box. They were telling me to finish this painting. So I did.      **(see figure Deltron Zero)

    *******   (Deltron Zero)    ******************************************************

Not the best picture.
But I'm pretty happy with the painting.

Anyway I hope you've had a good one, too.
Bis später, alligator.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hello there

Today's rain has made me nostalgic for everything.
For the past, for the present and for the future.
When I start to think that I would fit somewhere in a French movie,
I get angry at myself for being such a sissy.

Images are shutter clicking one by one through my mind's eye.
I'm in the future.
Maybe I'm walking the streets of Seattle, watching dirty fishmen throw fish to each other in rubber boots.
The catcher wraps the fish in paper and lays it on the display rack.
The other one laughs heartily at something and wipes his hands on his apron.
He is smoking, but the catcher recently quit.
Maybe I'll go to the forest later.

But I'm not in Seattle. I'm in India.
Dipping a hesitant toe into the River Ganges,
observing the piety of its bathers and remembering what I have been taught about parasitic water.
Just a little would be ok... up to my knees.
And now I can't help but put my hands in. Cupping the water back and forth... Ok, ok, that's really enough.
This river is full of crap.
Women are wearing beautiful scarves...

When is a good time to get that job?
Maybe I need to feel bolted down for a while.
I know that my family is starting to need it for me.
I'm walking the fine line of being an admirable world traveler and a selfish bum who will never come home for Christmas again.
But maybe I will continue to travel a little longer.
Just until the recession breaks...
Hell I'm still young enough.

Now I'm back before then.
I'm thinking about you.
How I knew you and how I know you.
I'm thinking about your family and your pets and your favorite color.
Sometimes I have to love you in a sad way,
but I love you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Yesterday I had a class of 5th graders who were starting to study numbers. I had a fun activity planned for them, but thought I would do a short self-intro beforehand since it was my first class with them this year. When I finished introducing myself, the Japanese teacher decided they should all stand and ask me a question. After they asked one, he or she could sit down. Everyone took their turn, one by one, until one girl was left standing. A Brazilian girl, who I presume already has already been labeled 'foreigner' amongst her peers. Most likely she was born in Japan, speaks only Japanese, listens to Japanese music and eats Japanese food. But nobody considers her to be Japanese. She's not like them because her blood is different. When it was her turn to ask a question the teacher told her, 'Oh, it's okay. Just sit down.' It put my blood to boil. There was no chance for her to be empowered by learning, because she wasn't given the chance to struggle like everyone else. For the rest of the class, the girl didn't speak a word. It seems that the teacher was trying to spare her from any embarrassment of not being able to answer, but instead he made her even more isolated. She was now both 'the foreigner', and 'the girl who didn't answer'.

My heart reached out to that girl because I'm 'the foreigner' here too. The difference is, for me that is okay. I will be treated differently, for better or worse, and I expect that. I am an adult and I can handle being told 'you are not like us', even though I think that's just some racist bullshit. But that child is Japanese, has no freedom to go anywhere else, and she will probably always feel like an alien in her own country. 

Maybe I'm assuming way too much, but I can't help but think, "What a pity".

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I shall meet my mother, the sea

Recently my friend, Takashi and I have been working on a canoe.
We've still got to layer it with epoxy and fiberglass, but the basic structure is finished. More to follow.


Friday, June 10, 2011


4   5   11   40   53   18   21   16   245   120   37   18   5

Seconds passed between each of your tea gulps.
It gurgles down your esophagus with the power of a freight train and the speed of a snail, swashing around the curves of every oyster pink segment until plunging into your hairy little tummy.

I am trying not to let your grotesque noises lure me into staring at you.
You are sick and old and deserve a nice cup of tea.
Fine. My shoes are interesting anyway.

Now there is a toothbrush in your mouth.
Now it's very difficult not to look.

The teachers all brush their teeth after lunch. I do not.
Not because I feel uncomfortable with the idea, I just can't be bothered.
I've got the chompers of a horse anyway.

You are chatting with a student and toothpaste spittle flings from your mouth.
The toothbrush is bouncing up and down with each syllable.
smacking noises make me wonder if you have dentures.
Please take it out.

...don't look...... don't look......

ok, a little peek.
that's enough.
I wonder if I will gurgle like an unplugged tub when I'm your age.

Friday, May 27, 2011


  I got up at 5:30, propelled by an abnormal motivation to take a morning run. I nearly stepped on a dead frog which would have been especially gross considering I went barefoot. Other than the bit of roadkill and aching feet, it was a great way to start the day. I left for school by 8:30 feeling invigorated. It seems that the feeling wasn't meant to last. It is now 9:00 and cranial rigormortis has already set in. There are classes for Monday yet unprepared, but I can't bring myself to concentrate on anything more complicated than the shit under my nails. This is what happens when I have no lessons to teach. I space out until the 5th period bell and try not to inflict physical harm upon the teacher who slurps tea like an ardvark with lockjaw. On days like today I generally give up trying to look even marginally busy after an hour or so. I think it is apparent to everyone that I am really just loitering... which upsets me on an infinitesimally small scale.

During my nice leisurely breakfast I was able to catch up on a few scenes from a movie I've been watching called “Dreamkeeper”. It's about a Lakota kid and his grandfather who are on their way to an all nations pow-wow. Along the way, the grandfather passes on the Indian stories he grew up with. Where the acting/plot/budget may have been stretched thin, the stories were pretty interesting. My favorite was one about a kid called Thunder Boy, whose mother fell in love with a thunder god. Before she returned to earth to give birth, the Sky Mother told her that Thunder Boy would be taken away if anyone ever hit him. The kid's grandma didn't believe a word of it, though. She was convinced his mom was just a big booty ho who wandered off during a storm and got knocked up. So that wily old bitch didn't think twice about hitting Thunder Boy with some corn and he got sent back to the clouds. The end. I'm on the last scene of the movie, which I guess I'll have to finish when I get home.

Recently I also finished “Dances with Wolves”, which was surprisingly not a complete pile of steaming donkey turds. For some reason I imagined it to be a campy 80s movie starring some white girl twirling a ribbon dancer around a fire. Close, but not quite. Kevin Costner plays a United States colonel who met and integrated into a Sioux tribe while stationed out in the desert. Despite a little dry heaving during the love scenes, it was at least a 7/10 in my book.

I'm not sure why I've been so interested in Indians lately. I always was as a kid, but recently I've had a really strong desire to visit a tribe. I am equally interested in understanding reservation life, too, but spending time amongst an unmarred tribe is more of a holy grail. I wonder if there are any groups left that still manage to live by the old ways. I'd like to live with them. Kevin Costner can come too, if he must. Although some modernities would be challenging to let go of, I think I could give anything up pretty readily if offered the opportunity to separate myself from the urban landscape. My parents wouldn't take it well. My mom would cry and ask me why I was putting her through such and such, dad would tell me that I'm an adult capable of making my own decisions, but I would have to live with the putting mother through such and such, and grandpa would make some bigoted crack about alcoholism or unemployment. But I am the only person living my life, so I think I would still do it even if it made my whole family cry.

This society does not suit me, or for that matter, anyone. In Dreamkeeper, the grandfather talks about how the two-leggeds have removed themselves from the circle, and can no longer talk to crow. I want to live with the water and rocks and not be called crazy for acknowledging the power of sentient and non-sentient beings alike. I'm tired of living amongst masses that do not desire enlightenment. I want to pee outside and smell campfire in my hair and make things with my hands. Its probably impossible to live how I want to, but it's nice to dream about.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back from the bar

I recently learned how to use the video program on my computer and how to upload youtube videos. Did I mention the discovery came after a trip to the bar? 
                                                                                  well...   here's my crowning achievement.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Springtime cupcakes

Today's rain is a decidedly a good rain.
The kind that allows for lovely thoughts.
Like                    old fashioned raincoats
                           and pendulum clocks 
                           and boats 
                           and old books.
Just now, I was thinking of grandmas
who fasten plastic canopies over rows of curlers.
They have all just been to 
             some corner shop      to buy lollipops for 
             some grandchild,             despite the rain.
 When I was young, my father took me to 
                                                                   a corner shop.

Outside the window, there is a cluster of cherry blossoms.
They sit in the foreground of                                                                     distant mountains,
clouds curl over the entire scene.
The pink flowers look like     great 
transforming the trees into fat little cupcakes, all in a row.

Which reminds me of
               the nicest thing I have thought of today.
A cupcake's fart.
                    and warm 
                    and airy,
                    and sometimes escorted by a sprinkle.
I can't think of anyone who doesn't like cupcakes...
but then, I do not know everyone.

I think Stalin probably liked cupcakes
I'm not sure about Kim Jong, though.
He is not so lighthearted as Stalin.
            Maybe I will send him an invitation to my springtime cupcake affair,
and his RSVP 
will let us know for certain.

On a day like today,
a rainy, spring day 
                 perfumed by 
                                   cherry blossoms,
we three can sit around
drinking petit coffees from tiny cups,
munching cupcakes from pretty tins
and they will fill our mouths with pink farts.

Please don't let me be misunderstood

My honesty has been inexhaustibly forthcoming.
Silence may have more gracefully expunged the ink blots of my heart,
but an honest declaration seemed preferable to deceitful intrigue.

I exposed my soul to all those whom I was capable of damaging.
It was my intention to avoid destruction by acting nobly,
but pure intentions can sour easily when given a name.

Goodwill and sincerity on the tongue of the speaker can turn to
Jealousy and sorrow on the ears of the listener.
Truth becomes relative.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Staring at the sun

This is a short story I wrote at work. 
Maybe it's shit, maybe its good. 

“I can finally see” said the girl of 23.
“I was wandering around in the dark for such a long time, I forgot how to use my eyes. Actually, I feel rather silly saying it, but I forgot that I had eyes at all!”

Some may have called the girl a fool, and others still might. Why shouldn't they? She seemed perfectly well-adjusted, but it was no secret that she had spent the better part of her adolescence scurrying about in the filthy, hollow tunnels under an old oak tree. But if we examine the the girl's story with empathetic hearts, it is not difficult to understand her foolish liabilities. The tree's special amber color and smoothed bark made many before her slip into a warm caramel daze whenever they thought of it.

“If only,” she would puzzle, “if only I could find an opening in the stump of this tree. One that would be just big enough for me to enter, and have a nice cup of tea on a seat of comfortable roots. That would be nice.”

With each spring day, she would return to the tree and pine over such an opening, but content herself to sit below the oak's great arms and reap its tranquility. One such afternoon, her head lolled over a lap full of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. While the detective adventures were satisfactorily amusing, they would not keep her from an afternoon siesta. As drool mounted upon her lower lip, something approached. A funny little thing small enough to bathe amply inside a thimble. It wiggled in front of the girl's nose and tapped against it upon catching a gentle Northwesterly breeze. The girl's eyes widened as she became aware of the inchworm dangling directly in front of her proboscis. She cooed where she could have screamed. It was only his proximity that she took issue to. With two fingers, she carefully cut the castaway's line and set him upon a neighboring root. She watched as he made his way down into the grass. She pulled back a handful of blades in an effort to observe her new friend for a little bit longer. To her surprise, the critter had inched out of sight.

“Where could he have gone? He was just here!”
To add to her surprise, the handful of sod she was clutching eased out of the ground, leaving bare a portion of what seemed to be an old rabbit hole.
“I could probably...”

She clawed at the ground, pulling away chunks of dirt and moss with a jolly fervor. She was on the brink of uncovering her underground paradise and was beside herself. The hole quickly widened, until a girl-sized opening was formed, and no larger. She was delighted to know that the tree's root structure would prevent entry of anything larger than herself. It was as though a magical hideaway had been made specifically for her. This particular tree had sought her as much as she had it. She made a cozy earthen bed where she returned to for many days to bask in the warm underground. Sometimes the girl slept in the tree at night, and a trail of trinkets could usually be found in and around its base. For a long time, the girl was transfixed with her sanctuary.

As she grew intimately familiar with the cave, she gradually became dulled to the excitement of its newness. Her spirit was lively and grew anxious. She fought feelings of boredom; trying first to invent interesting ways to sit, then ornamenting the cavern with beads and bits of yarn. Try as she might her special little place had become an ordinary burrow, like any other. She hated the thought of abandoning her beloved tree, but began to daydream about other retreats. A compromise seemed the best alternative so she began concocting a plan.

“I'll make a tunnel. One that I can crawl into whenever I want, just below the roots that hang to make my bed. But I must be careful not to disturb the roots, or I will have no bed to return to.”

The next time she returned to the tree she wore an apron embroidered with strawberries and carried a small green gardening trowel. She began digging not far from the tree and remembered the excitement she felt upon discovering the rabbit hole. Dirt smudged her perfect apron as she hurriedly gouged out the earth.

Dig, dig, dig, dig,

A perfect tunnel. Big enough to crawl into, too small for anyone larger than herself. She crawled inside, feeling warm and safe. The tree's proximity offered the girl reassurance, and she took to sleeping in the tunnel more quickly than she had in the hollow of the tree. Over some time, the tunnel and the cave were gradually connected, separated only by the assemblage of roots on which the girl had made her first bed. She knew that to tear out the tree's roots would result in its death, so she dug no further skyward.

The tunnel replaced what the girl felt was missing from her treehouse sanctuary. She adorned her new home with beads and yarn. She felt invigorated. Until one day, she felt a pang of remorse that sent shock waves down to her toes. Her wonderful tunnel became just a tunnel, like any other. Its familiar twists posed no new challenges to the girl. She tried to find new ways to sit. She decorated. All the while, she became very, very dirty.

'No matter!' she thought. 'I'll make another tunnel and connect the two.'
So she dug another tunnel.
And another,
and another.

She dug and slept in her underground network until it expanded so far she would later be given an award for being the first person to hand dig their way to China. She worked by candlelight and her eyesight became poor. Sometimes she got lost in her magnificent labyrinth, and she would daydream about when she slept upon her cozy bed of roots. Walking through a lengthy passage one day, she met a mole.

“What are you doing here in my tunnels?” she exclaimed.
“Your tunnels? Surely you don't imagine you are the only one who has ever or will ever be down here?!”

The girl felt crushed. She had thought that, and her sense of ownership promptly deflated. She wished she had never left the tree that belonged only to her. She resolved that she would return to her beloved cave, if her eyes could feebly direct her to it. She thought for a minute of asking for help, but in a flash, the mole was trundling off, letting out a snarky cackle from its twisted smile.
“I don't need your help, anyway!” Her voice echoed through the dark expanse. “I've built all these tunnels, so surely I can understand them by myself.”

She took up a candle and squinted her weak eyes. She could see at close range, but relied more heavily on her memory to navigate. The roots she tripped over and narrow ceilings she hit her head on were only fully recalled when she failed to avoid them a second time during her backtrack. She thought she might have stopped digging long ago, had she kept closer tabs on how many times her mishaps repeated themselves. It appeared she had been taught the same lessons over and over without learning anything. The journey was exhaustive. Her dirty clothes began to tear and her chipped nails bore a stratum of dirt. She became very sad and wished that someone else could make the journey for her. It was this way, as a blind dirty shadow of her former vivaciousness that she finally, mercifully returned to the retreat of the tree.

The bed of roots she used to sleep on was chewed through during her absence. To her astonishment, the tree had not died, although many of its leaves were badly withered. She had never realized that it had much larger, far reaching rhizomes that made it difficult, although not impossible, for any one creature to destroy it. Only a few bits or yarn remained stuck to the sides of the inner sanctum, the rest had been scattered. She felt sadly nostalgic. The tree was the same, but it was not. She lingered only for a short time, deducing that the creature responsible for the chewing was also the tree's latest inhabitant. Probably the mole. She didn't know for sure.

What she did know, was that she could never again make a home for herself inside the snug tree. She could also never return to the hollow labyrinth. All she could do was crawl up through the tunnels, out through the tree, and into the sunlight. She would try to see again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


For all the shit that I gave pleasantville,
It seems like a dream.

I'm scared
to leave what has become my home
my loved ones
my friends
my coworkers
my countrymen.

I'm scared of fleeing
when I know that
these mountains
cry out in pain.
But what can I do to stop the shrieking?
It would be to abandon chaos for chaos.
I am too in love with this place.

What kind of world is this?
We must mistrust all
lest we become slaves.
Fear mounts upon fear
and we are toothless bunnies, shivering against the winds
of man's folly.

The seeds of destruction
long sown
are beginning to blossom.
Who is the farmer tilling my mother?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chipawassee Crossing

I finished this last week.
She's holding a glass hippo in a river.


Life is a little surreal.

I was eating lunch with some of my students when snow started pounding down from a warm spring sky. "wtf?! Do you guys see this? It's snowing!"
"Aaah, yuki da!" (Oh, it's snow!)

Everyone was a little surprised. Then again, it's probably just that pesky global warming. Humans raping the earth - mystery solved. I returned to my desk for another 2 hours and then got in my car and drove home. I threw my coat on the floor and began checking my e-mail. A tangle of Christmas lights I never bothered to take down started rattling against my window banister. Some wall hangings followed suit until every object I own was in full seizure. Within minutes my entire apartment complex had begun swaying back and forth.

'Wow, guess there must be some tremors around here'. It seems like I learned somewhere that you're supposed to go to a large open space during an earthquake. After packing up my laptop I headed out to the car park, hoping that I had recalled the procedure to the correct natural disaster. My legs carried me like a drunkard and I found my car rolling on the unsteady ground. When the worst seemed over, I went back inside and got ready for a party. Three of my best friends were hosting their going away party that night. It's difficult to make good friends abroad, so a mid-afternoon quake was low on my radar.

By dawn, I had stumbled home from the bar to find about 8,000 missed calls from home. The phone rang and rang through one of the worst hangovers of recent history. By this point, I had picked up a few more tidbits about the earthquake, namely that it was big and that it was difficult to make phone calls, but certainly nothing I assumed to warrant bringing me back from the dead so heartlessly. When I submitted to wakefulness, the news started pouring in. 8.8 on the Richter scale. Nuclear power plants unstable. Tsunami. Thousands of bodies. Beware of acid rain and radiation. Wreckage.

Today at work, I was asked to correct some papers from a 1st grade class at my JHS. The students were to pretend that they were writing me a postcard from somewhere and tell me about their trip. The assignment must have been given out before the weekend. One boy wrote,

Dear Sarah, 
I am in Miyagi. Earthquake now. 
I see tsunami over there. 
Earthquake is very awful. 
I want food and drink. 
Then I'm very cold. Can you help me?

It's a little hard to deal with. Everyone here is worried about all those who are suffering the worst of the human condition. We are worried about our future, safety and health. We are worried about nuclear explosions and safe drinking water. I am worried about my friends leaving and feeling isolated during a really weird time.

In a mere 2 days, I will have a few weeks of spring vacation. If gas rations are lifted and the roads are stable, I'd like to travel to the affected areas and offer my volunteer services. I hope that it is a feasible goal, because people really need help right now. There is no bright side to this. Good people have been very damaged. But maybe the Japanese can come together as they always do and try to mend each other.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From the Archives

These are some works I did in high school. I found them in my parents' basement when I went home for Christmas.
I'm waiting on the slides for a whole bunch of other pieces.
                                                 Posting to follow~ o_O

These are music boxes. I gave the one on the right to my brother - it plays 'No Woman, No Cry'.

...again, waiting on the slides of the other two I made.

...and yes, that is an AWFUL damn picture.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A day in the Doldrums

Considering men of consequence  
      on occasion
also sat around scratching metaphorical balls,
I'm instilled with confidence that 
                                                I, too 
may soon be up to something great.

Unfortunately my current gumption is something like
overstretched taffy.
I'll sit here with goggle eyes fixed to a                     on
                                                                            fly        the 
bored out of my stagnating gourd,
droopy lizard eyes hanging
I seem to have hired an overcooked carrot to impersonate my body.


When myself is ready to leave February
I hope it to have the vigor to take on my 
        spring cleaning.
Pits of sewage have long needed to be raked from
                                            my conceptual gutters.