Category Archives: fate

No

scold-blog

Last week I watched V stand in the living room, shake his hand at the dog and shout (actually shout!) “Da! Daaaaaa! DAAAAA!!!” at him. The first time it was funny, as was the second time actually. Quite funny too. The third time he did it, I realized it was a little familiar.

Familiar as in it was something I did all the time.

“Chewie. No. CHEWIE!. NO!” I shout. All the time. And then, when that doesn’t work, I say in my most calm of voices “Chewie. No, buddy. GET. DOWN” (Please visualizeĀ  him frantically barking and jumping back and forth on top of my arm-chair near the window, freaking out at everyone and their dog (literally) who walks by. Or walks near. Or near-ish.

Pain. In. My. Ass.

Apparently I shout at him a lot. AND shake my finger, just like V was showing me. I do it often enough that V is now an expert at it as well. And I am not sure that I like the image that is being displayed.

So that made me think about things. About how much we pick up from our parents, what kind of lessons we learn as children that shape our world today. It really made me examine my own actions… and then look at my personality and see if I could see my parents actions reflected in that.

It was very insightful. I saw interesting reflections of both parents in my temperament and actions. I’ll just keep those thoughts to myself for now.

How much of this is genetic and how much of it is learned actions? I swear I feel some of my beloved Gran in me, especially these last few weeks when I am rather a lot ‘flighty’. More so than usual. Yikes! There might be more Gran in me than I thought! Not that that is a bad thing. I just wish it was accompanied with a bigger chest and more glamour. Like Gran.

I digress…

Oh, how I am like my mother. Might as well just have cloned her. And then made me. But added more sarcasm, made her slightly more high-maintenance (here, M would chime in with ‘a lot’) and added about 40% of Father Gilbert. And then you have me.

Higher on the maintenance level than I would like to think I am (I think I am pretty low… M disagrees A LOT), cleanliness obsessed, no patience for crap, bullsh*t or any of that crap, hard to know. Mostly because am not interested in knowing you that much. Unless you show interest in knowing me. Then I am interested. And that is because of the shyness and poor self-confidence issues.

Oh internet, how you bear and handle my confidences…. You are like the ultimate secret diary.

V is on the path to becoming an interesting combination of M and I.

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No Ghetto No More

ghetto-blog

Can I just say that I am a home-owner?

I figure if I write it here, that will help make it a little bit more of a reality. Right?

M and I like to play that game where you think back to when you met that person you married… and then you mentally trace all of the steps that you took to reach the place where you are now.

It never gets old, all of that retracing. I know you play the game too.

So we start back in Japan circa 2002 when we were both young and supple. All fresh-faced and wide-eyed at living abroad.

Flash-forward to 2005, M and I getting married in Florida lake-side (possible gator-sighting in back-drop).

Skip one more year (that year where we were apart as I couldn’t legally reside in the States as I didn’t have my citizenship sorted out) until we hit 2006.

Now that’s where things start to happen.

The first year I moved to Florida, we lived in a teeny one-bedroom apartment in MetroWest. At that time, it was still a nice neighbourhood. And just what out-of-staters think Florida should look like. Right on a golf course, palm trees everywhere, a pool. Ideal.

So small. Although, compared to what we had lived in in Japan, it was a palace. A PALACE. That same year we got Chewie, the needy, love-driven, attention seeking, ‘I hate everyone but you’, angry, super-licky, pain in the ass Chihuahua. That we love.

I still remember the first night we took him for a walk. He was extra little then. We walked him around the complex and just happened to walk near a storm grate.

M said to me, “Do you think he knows not to walk over that?? He won’t fall in, right?”

Me: “Of course he knows and he totally won’t”.

And then he totally fell through the grate. Those little chihuahua legs are not meant to be walking over things like that.

Suddenly that area of town became a hot-bed of crime. Drugs and prostitutes, man… and Jimmy Dime-Bags, our neighbour, smoking pot on the stairs every morning.

And I wanted a baby, an apartment with a hallway (or at least one other room) and somewhere that wasn’t full of prostitutes. And on we moved to Hunters Creek.

Such a good move. Much closer to the parents. And clearly my biological clock liked it too, as I instantly became pregnant the moment we moved in.

And we have been in this apartment for 2 years. And now have a one year old son plus our dog-child as well…

Now is the time for first time homeowners to make a move. And so we did. And are heading over to Lake Nona…

So as we drove to our new townhouse after closing this morning, these are things that ran through my head. We pulled up in front of our building, the birds of paradise were beautiful at our front steps and it was raining lightly.

M and I stepped out of his car, got out our new key on its orange puffer-fish key chain and opened that door. We stepped in to glorious uncirculated air and flesh coloured walls. A few carpet stains, a lack of blinds, some ceiling fans from 1987 and a few other little things to fix. It was gorgeous.

From a one-room Japanese flat, to ghetto prostitute-filled neighbourhood to country bliss in Lake Nona…

How amazing our travels through life have been.

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Japan

DH000025

I had the oddest dream last night.

I dreamt M and I were back in Japan, teaching at the new NEW school our boss had opened up…. and let me explain why this was strange…

When I moved to Japan in 2001, the school that I taught at for 2 months was the smallest building you have ever seen. Approximately 2 one-car garages stacked on top of each other, with an exterior stair-case to reach the second level. The walls of the building were so thin they bent when you pressed them. It might have been a temporary structure, I can’t remember all of the details…

The new structure was about 100 feet away, a gorgeous 2 story building that was officially to open in January of 2002. Think 2 2-car garages stacked upon each other. With running water, flush toilets and proper airconditoning. So what was weird about my dream was that the new NEW school was 3 stories high, huge and was well, a school. And not a garage.

When I came back from winter holiday in Canada, entering that new building was structural bliss from my teaching point of view. Especially compared to what I had experienced the 2 months before. That same day, I met my future husband.

The morning after I flew back in from Christmas holiday in Canada, I banged on my only neighbour’s (on the 2nd floor… the 2nd floor of our apartment that was basically 2 2-car garages stacked on top… wonder where they got the inspiration for the school!) door… M answered looking rather disheveled…. Untucked plaid shirt (that he might still have somewhere), wife-beater, glasses….I invited him out for coffee. I like to be friendly and am hard pressed to take no for an answer. Unless it’s my answer, then I say it all the time.

Anyways, the door was slammed in my face.

And there might have been some mumbling. ‘Wait…’ might have been one of the words I could have made out. I waited. The door opened again, M looked less-disheveled and off we went. We rode our awesome bicycles with baskets to the only Starbucks in town. We met up with some other Gaijins, drank some coffee, smoked our faces off and then rode our awesome bikes back to teach some English.

Who would know that approximately 6 months later we would be attached at the hip….but not ‘dating’. Just ‘good friends’. ‘Good friends’ whose other good friends wondered what on earth was going on between us. Nothing was. Nothing at all.

Not until M’s Dad visited, and that visit seemed to cement things. I was the only person that he introduced him to. And invited to join the 2 of them. And once his Dad headed back to the USA (plus one steamy night on that awful twin-bed…. steamy in an innocent way. Really!) that was it.

So sometimes when I think about the path my life has taken, wonder if I have made the best decisions, did I take the best direction I could have… I look at what I have right now:

Gorgeous son.

Handsome and utterly adoring husband that worships me.

Lovely new home we are about to move into.

Comfortable and happy life full of love, laughter, laughter and the best of memories that we have made together.

So even though I sometimes wish I had chosen a different direction education-wise, I am so glad that I went in the direction that I did. Everything I have done in my past…. especially including the unpleasant things, has led to where I am now.

Thank you fate. And destiny.

Thank you both.

xoxo a.m.

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