Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From the Source

I keep clicking on things on the Internet repeatedly thinking they'll update even though I just checked them a second ago.  I also realized that I click on things on the Internet thinking it'll give me some sort of incredible power/inspiration, but I've realized that I've got to be the one to create and make that inspiration.  Now to just get the motivation...

--Till then...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Money, Money, Money

This is a pretty raw post.  If you're reading this Mom and Dad, well....  Sorry.

Now that I'm living on my own and supporting myself and not living a stressful college student life, I don't have nearly as much anxiety as I had a year ago (and about 2000-times less anxiety that I had two years ago).  But the one thing that totally stresses me out and angers me is the topic of money.  My current financial situation, while not terrible, is still pretty bad.  I have one (rather small) credit card bill, a loan my parents made to me, and lots and lots (but not as much as some) of student loans to pay off.  With this transitional period I'm just getting out of now, my primary struggle is with the late fees.  The payback of my loans just happened to start the month I moved to Japan.  But thankfully, I've wired some money over and that should be taken care of for now.  I guess it's time to explain my long, complex history with money

My first "job" where I got paid was when I was 13.  I baby-sat two boys and made $5 an hour.  This gig lasted for a couple of years.  Then I had my first "pay-check" job at age 14 working at the Wisconsin State Fair for 4 or 5 days as a bus boy.  I earned about $200 or so from that, which is pretty dismal for the crap I had to endure.  And then, I hit the big time, and got a part-time job at Walgreens a month after my 16th birthday.  Whoo.

Starting, I earned $6.50 an hour which went up marginally every year.  I worked there continuously from February 2004 to September 2006, but worked over winter breaks of 2006 and 2007 and summer break of 2007 (after winter break of 2007, I ceased working there for good, thank the Lord).  I worked on average about 20 or so hours a week and even more during the summer.  You'd think I was rolling in dough and set for college, but that's laughable.  Anyone who thinks they can pay for all of college by working a part-time job in high school is seriously dreaming.  All it got me, materially, was a bunch of video games (a majority of them used), two computers and a DSL Internet hookup (that my family ended up using, too), and extra spending money during my first couple of months in college.  What it got me academically, mentally/emotionally, socially, and physically was a much-worse-than-I-should-have-had GPA, a sense of constant anxiety because of this, a bleak outlook on humanity due to the many instances of human cruelty, greed, and selfishness I witnessed over the course of 2 and a half-years, the loss of 3 people that were my best friends, and a bum right shoulder from over use in scanning, bagging, stocking etc.  I wished more than anything to just quit the job for months and months, but my dad forced me to keep it, even though I feel that the cons of the job far outweighed its meaningless pros.  In his mind, money came before anything, even pointless, more-work-than-its-worth money.

During this period, though, I was very good with my money.  I saved enough to get larger things that I wanted and I didn't blow it all in one place. This sense of being "good with money" persisted into college.  Even though I only earned like less than $600 a month, I didn't smoke, drink or go to clubs, so I managed to not be one of the many people in college who was constantly broke and unable to go out to eat or see a movie or do other fun things.

Then, at the end of fall quarter of 2008 or 2009 (I blocked much it the incident out of my memory, so I'm unclear on the year), I ran into my first big financial nightmare, something that only a couple of people know.  I had opened up an account with WaMu/Chase at the beginning of 2008 to have access to while in Japan.  It was my first checking account.  I had no clue what an overdraft was and thought that it was something people did as sort of a loan and something the ATM would alert you to if you did it.  But no.  I over drafted (something quite small), and there was a $50 charge that I had no clue about.  Then I got these letters in the mail that I just thought were junk mail.  Then......  I started getting phone calls.  They started off once a day.  Then they kept coming.  It was driving me insane.  I answered a few of them and figured out the situation.  I panicked.  I had no clue what to do.  I tried to pay it online or check how much I owed, but I discovered that my Chase account had been closed because of this.  I didn't have enough money for what was now a $400 charge.  I went home for winter break and was still getting calls.  I could hide it no longer.  I finally admitted it to my mom.  After a humiliating phone conversation with the collection agency, I finally made a deal to pay it off.  My mom realized how anxious this whole situation was making me and gave me my "Christmas present" of bailing me out of this situation.  She asked me why I didn't just ask her for help in the first place.  Heheheh...  Parents are so naive to think it's that easy...  But this incident not only scarred my credit report but also my brain.  I still jump any time a phone rings.  And I even got a call from another collection agency angrily asking me for the same money from the over draft.  When I told them that I had already paid it, they looked it up in their system, and quickly (and weakly) apologized.  A nightmare.

So that, among many other reasons, is why money is a subject that you should never bring up in front of me.  I don't want to hear about how much your family makes.  I don't want to hear about how your dad put this much into your bank account.  I don't want to hear about how you are too broke to go out.  I don't want to hear about your new car you got for your birthday.  And I especially don't want to hear about your lack of student loans.  All of it will send me into an internal rage.  Bottom line is, once I get out of this debt, I'm damn well saving up and paying for my children's (first four years of) college.  It'll just solve so many problems down the road.  But they sure as hell will know the true value of a dollar.  Because I'm sick of being around people who don't.

--Till then...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Time is Now

Long ago, in a kingdom far away, there rose a terrible king who set out to conquer the world.  He fanned the flames of greed and power in many hearts and amassed a mighty army that took over scores of villages and neighboring kingdoms.  It seemed as if the wicked king's vice-grip of terror would know no end.  But it was prophesied that on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the king's reign, a girl with hair as red as the autumn leaves and eyes as gray as slate and skin as rich as copper born under the sacred tree of ash would rise up and restore the world to order.

The girl was born just as prophesied.  She was spirited away to some secret location for fear that agents of the wicked king would try and find her and kill her.  Her name was Eryspei, meaning "Red Hope".  She trained under the tutelage of the resistance force leader, a skilled warrior and thief.  Her footsteps soon became undetectable and one blow from her sword was enough to take down even the most fearsome soldier.  A few more years passed and she was finally ready to fulfill her destiny.

The final preparations were made for her quest.  Her family loaded the horse with all she'd need for the task.  They said their tearful goodbyes, knowing in their heart that their own flesh and blood would soon bring about peace.  Eryspei saddled up the horse and took off towards the king's fortress.  But while crossing a narrow bridge, her horse got spooked.  She was thrown from the saddle into the river and drowned.  Her body washed up in a tiny village.  Soon news spread of the prophesied hero's demise.  Despair grew amongst the resistance forces with many choosing to take their own lives than to live in a doomed world.

But then a boy -a simple ordinary boy -got an idea.  He had pale skin, brown eyes, and golden hair.  He had been in the resistance force for just over a year now.  In the middle of the night, while the others in the village were mourning their fate, he packed up his horse and headed towards the king's fortress.  He climbed over the wall undetected.  He sneaked past the guards with ease.  He made his way into the chamber of the wicked king, and with his trusty, dull dagger, he leaped out and stabbed the king right in the heart.  Without their mastermind monarch, his empire of terror quickly fell and peace was restored.  All because of an ordinary, non-chosen boy and one idea.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: it's obvious and if you don't get it, then just go on doing what you're doing.

--Till then...

Delayed Reaction

How dare you.  How fucking dare you.  You are supposed to be my friends.  How could you not stand up for me?  You know for a fucking FACT that I would stand up for you in a heartbeat.  I have never been more embarrassed or humiliated or angry in all my life.  A whole lot of effort ruined because I cannot count on people that I thought I could.  It still hurts.  It still pisses me off.  I try to write it off as no-big-deal, but it really hurts.  I'm a second-class citizen in your eyes.  I'm not worth the effort.  God forbid you step out of your comfort-zone to help someone else.  After I go out of my way to help you.  And look where it fucking got me, no?  Such a great time.  And such a great time having decisions made for me against my will.  Having to put out more because others wanted to give less.  I really highly doubt I mean much to you anymore.  And it's making me think you don't mean much anymore either.  What a great fucking ending to a PERFECT day.  I'm so honored to be in your presence.

--Till then...

I'm a Bad Friend

I'd like to think I'm a good friend because my friends mean so much to me, but the truth is that I'm a bad friend.  I always forget birthdays, I never follow up with things, I forgot what people are up to, and I never send letters or anything....  I suck.

--Till then...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sooo, what IS this blog?

I've been debating on whether-or-not to even keep this blog.  But I was thinking, maybe I'll write more personal things in here.  Who knows.  I guess here's something personal:

My laziness knows no bounds.  I'm way too lazy for my own good....  I thought an international move and a professional life would be enough to knock me out of it, but apparently not!!!  I gotta stoppppp.  I also wanna talk to all my friends state-side.... but they never wanna talk to me..........

--Till then...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Castle with no Door

I think thoughts are beautiful. I feel like I have a lot of good thoughts, but I can never express/remember them. I think this is a pretty common problem, no? Like any time I'm mad at someone, I'll have this conversation between them in my head with the perfect words to say and even predict their retorts and one-up them with even better retorts, but when I actually start talking/arguing, that whole interior conversation goes away. Ugh, I think I better carry a notebook around with me. I know it's so cliche, but I gotta do something to keep my mind straight and remember these phrasing. Being out of school and doing menial work makes your mind week. Like when you were a kid and you're come back to school and you'd forget how to write properly because you haven't done it all summer.

Oh well, just some thoughts. Some horribly written thoughts that sound much better in my head.

--Till then...

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Regret is the biggest shadow on my life. I regret almost every major action I take and the thoughts of said hijack my brain and, consequently, my life. I know most people regret things and certain regrets haunt their lives for a long time, but literally not a second goes by where I don't think about my regrets. It is a personal struggle I'll probably have to live with for the rest of my pathetic life. I wish I was exaggerating when I say how much I think about these things, but it's true and it's crippling.

The only time I don't think about these things are when I'm with friends and having a good time, which, lately, has been non-existent. I'm hoping my big move to Japan will change my scene enough to shock me out of this and help me enjoy my future with my friends, but I know another lull will come and all I'll have for company are my carnivorous regrets.

Ugh, I'm even regretting posting this as I write it. Be kind with me.

--Till then...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Words to Live By

Change is coming, and it feels so good!!! It's still relatively far away, but it's exciting!!! And there is one phrase that's gotten me through all this. I don't usually like taking other people's words as inspiration, but this phrase from Owl City's song "This is the Future" has really been my mantra:

Dive in and swim away
From your loneliness and miserable days.

My loneliness and miserable days have been quite numerous lately. And my willingness and hope for anything good has been inversely proportional. But chanting my mantra, I dove into the pool of possibilities for a chance to swim away. And it worked.

Where am swimming to now to escape these two things that plague my current life? Japan, of course! There, my loneliness shall end. So many of my dearest friends currently (or will soon) live there. There, my miserable days will be numbered. I can have the freedom I want with the exploration I crave.

I know it won't be perfect. I'm predicting I will not like my job or the situations it will put me in, but this is just stop one on my journey.

But seriously, just think about how powerful these words are. We can swim away from our own problems with effort. It may be hard and our seas may be more turbulent than others', but we're all already drowning where we are now. So please, everyone, I urge you: dive in and swim away from your loneliness and miserable days.

--Till then...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Need to Shave

Funny how time slips more and more away. Even now, in my days of just work instead of work and school and clubs and everything, I can't even find time to shave or clean my room or wash the dishes. I pray that it's because I can't find the time and not that I don't have the energy. Please don't tell me this is aging. I've fought my entire life to not... Never mind. I'll spare you that thought.

I've been planning on things changing. I'm hoping this change will mean that I'll have time to shave. But there's the thought of the harsh reality that I'll never have time to shave.

--Till then...

Monday, May 30, 2011

But Tomorrow Comes...


Do EVERYTHING I say I will. Because I deserve it. Because the world deserves it.

But I'll start tomorrow...

--Till then...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ambulatory Coma

I had this thought the other day that's kind of stuck with me. I just offered my own consciousness up to anyone willing to take over. I'll just fade away. Something else can just do this. All of this. Not like suicide or anything. Just being world-wearing and giving up.

Life recently has become so pointless and punctuated too far and in between with stressful, half-assed "vacations" and not enough time talking with friends. I feel like everything I do now is just as a form of relief from work. For example, I love watching movies so much. But after I watch a movie, it's like a crash from a big high I've been on when I face the reality of my day and responsibility. Any small pleasure I take in something is fleeting at best and depressing at worst when I juxtapose it to my harsh reality.

I guess that's why I'm starting to revert to my coping mechanism "auto-pilot" mode. In a way, I got my wish. I'm here, but not really. Every day is just so "blah" and there's not much to look forward to. Every day will be the same. I just got a small promotion at my job, but that'll just push me more into this blandness. And even my impending vacation seems pointless when I think of the fact that it will eventually end. I can only see myself coming out of "auto-pilot" when I'm actually going to be making my own decisions in my life instead of now where cruel circumstance is doing that for me.

It also doesn't help when the majority of my friends are 2,000 or more miles away.

Help me out of my own life.

--Till then...


Every time I say "I want to go home" to myself, I keep thinking about Japan.... WTF?

--Till then...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shout OUT!!!

I just wanted to give a shout out to my newest blog obsession: Spooning with a Schoolboy. She's having a give away now with a bunch of cool Japanese stuff on the table. Enter if you want, but make sure to READ the blog in general!!! It's getting me so excited and inspiring me to work harder to return to Japan.

Here's a link to the give away post: http://www.carolinejosephine.com/2011/05/150-followers-give-away.html

--Till then...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I'm writing this now as I prepare to go visit her for the last time. I've been going back and forth on whether or not I would go with the rest of the family to put her down. The part of me that wants to go wants to say goodbye one last time, touch her fur, and give her a kiss. The part of me that doesn't want to go doesn't know if I can handle it or not. I don't know if I can have that image in my head. Plus, I've been crying all day. I'll just cry at random songs that I'm listening to, thinking about her. But I've finally made up my mind, I'm going to go, even though it'll be really hard.

I guess I'll first go over what happened. Starting on Friday, April 8th, she developed a bad cough. She normally gets a cough every year, due to allergies, but this time, it was much worse. We took her to the vet as per usual, but on Saturday night, she got worse, barely able to breath. When we got to the animal ER, we didn't know what to expect. On the way there, we though she was fine, and at one point, considered heading home. But the closer we got, the more serious it looked, with her tongue turning pale. After the doctor's first look at her, she thought it would be possible that her lungs were filled with blood, and that that was it. But then, after a more conclusive look, it looked like she was stable, but her blood count was low and her trachea was collapsed. We left the hospital relieved and hopeful. My parents went to visit her the next day, and they said she looked good, tried to wag her tail, but was a bit weak from the ordeal. The day after that, I visited her with my mom. She hadn't eat since Thursday, still, and she kept coughing while we were there. We took her outside to see if she'd go to the bathroom, but she would just lay down on the grass. A glimmer of hope appeared when she would lay on her side, wanting us to rub her tummy. She does this every time she basks in the sun. When we left, we were hopeful, thinking she just needed time to recover her strength. But today, my mom came home in tears having gotten a call from the hospital, saying that she wasn't improving. She had deliberated, and decided that putting her to sleep would be the best option. I felt like I had been hit by a car. It has been such a roller coaster of hope and despair. I thought we were out of the woods, but now it looks to be the exact opposite. Throughout all of this, Stella's suffering is just what gets to me most. She's 11 year old, but she was expected to live much longer. She had never had any serious health problems before this. It's all so sudden. I can't believe it's ending like this. I'm still holding out hope against hope that we'll get to the hospital and she'll be all better. But I have to dissuade myself of this thinking. But I want to end on a happy note. So I'm going to talk about the good times and celebrate Stella's impactful life.

Our family first got Stella on May 1st, 2000, when I was in 6th grade. She was only 8 weeks old (she was born on March 3rd, 2000): the cutest -and sassiest -puppy you've ever seen. When we first brought her home, she was very naughty. She'd bite your socks as you were walking and gnaw on furniture. She would also bark whenever we would eat, wanting some of our food. But after she got spayed, she began to settle down. I remember when she got the surgery, too. The stitches on her belly were hot pink. Throughout the years, she'd grow on us more and more. What I think I'd remember most about her was that if you were sick, she'd be super sweet to you and cuddle up with you. Her fur is so soft. And the noises she makes are so cute. She can instantly cheer up your day just by laying with her. I love you Stella. I always will. There will never be another one like you. You will be remembered for as long as I live and then some. You have left this word far too soon. We love you.

--Till then...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Like

For a long time now, I've firmly believed that the root of all conflicts comes from liking and not liking things and others' opinions on the matter. While at first, it starts off as mere childish stupidity, it generally leads to discrimination, and even genocide. This may be a far leap, but let me walk you through a lifetime of likes.

For little kids, things are easy and they're friends with everyone because they are just emerging in the world. They don't see differences between people and mostly spend their time happily playing with one another.

But then, as they get older and spend more time away from their friends, they start developing their own interests. New likes come along, and, with that, new hatred towards those likes. How many times did you hear, growing up, something to the effect of "Ewww, you like that [TV show, movie, boy, girl, singer, video game, pastime, sport, etc]. You're stupid!" How many times have you said it yourself? Unless you liked the things everyone else liked (or, more appropriately the things that the kid in "power" liked), you were ostracized. I remember a particularly scarring incident where I confessed to one of my classmates in 7th grade that I bought the new Pokemon Silver game. He was shocked. "You still like Pokemon? What is wrong with you?!" From then on, since I was the new kid, I never offered up anything that I truly liked. Even though I spent much of my free time playing video games with my friends, I never brought up the subject of video games or any thing I actually liked at my school (where I didn't really have any true friends) for fear of criticism. Whenever I went out with anyone from school, I painstakingly kept up a facade of things that they liked just to please them. Looking back, while it made me popular, it was pretty fucking stupid.

Next we get to high school. I could write a fucking book on how any interest you have at all in high school will get trampled under the social order for no reason at all. But there are two particular things in high school that overwhelmingly irked me. First, among boys, the knowledge of what you like with be used to taunt you in the most vile way. "You like that song? You must be a fag!" "You don't like football?! You're a queer." "You homo, I can't believe you watch that show." Any deviation from typically "masculine" interests results in instant branding as a homosexual, whether true or not. And the inevitable reaction of those taunted in such a manner is to do something "so totally not gay" in order to be accepted back in the social graces.

The second, and by far the most idiotic in my opinion, is the high school mentality surrounding music. I've mentioned a couple of times already on how music will label you "cool" or not. Since when (and, more importantly, why) does the type of music you listen to determine what kind of person you are? Growing up, I didn't really listen to music for this exact reason. The only thing I saw music (and I'm talking about popular music. CD's, concerts, the radio, etc.) as was a tool for others to berate and control you.

And the insanity doesn't stop in high school. It continues on into infinity. College may be even worse than high school in this regard. And, the craziest thing, people's musical interests fluctuate in an instant. One song may be deemed "hip" and "cool" one day and "lame" and "over-played" the next. I'd like to say people are smart and rational enough to realize this neanderthalic social institution's hypocrisy, but, sadly, no.

It's then obvious to see how conflicts arise over different ideology. This faction likes this leader while the other faction likes this leader. This race likes this physical feature, therefore this race is less-than. etc.

I honestly could forgive all of it if people just realized what they were doing. Going to a university who's central theme is "social justice" and doing what "right", I've never seen more discrimination due to what one likes. While they'll quickly point out that they don't "judge" others' actions (and doing as such is seen as the lowest thing you can do), they'll just as quickly judge you for your fashion taste, your choice in music, and the way you spend your free time. In my opinion, it is much more appropriate to judge someone based on their actions rather than their likes.

I hope that you can see through the bitterness and actually get to the point I was trying to make. Even though this needed to be said, I don't think I said it very well. Oh well, at least I liked writing it. Just don't judge me for it.

--Till then...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stuck in a Rut

I've finally given into the fact that this is the closest thing I'll ever have to a diary/journal. This place is pretty obscure and probably no one reads this anymore, but I like that fact that if someone wanted to find this and read about it, they could. I guess that's why I don't like writing in a personal notebook anymore. The only thing is, each thing I post here has to fall into some sort of "theme", but oh well, on with the show!!!

So, I have been at my new job as a reservations agent now for almost two months now. Some might see this as an accomplishment, especially in this job market. I just see it as hopelessly depressing (but not in my old, depressed state way. More in a fed up, pathetic way). I look at a lot of the people around me at work. To them, this is it. I've talked to some people who have been with the company for many years, and they're still in the same position as when they started. The pay scales are published for all employees to see, and they are not pretty. Most of these people have a family to support. I have absolutely no clue how they get by. If I had to come back to this job day after day after day, I would honestly go insane. And there in lies my big fear: that I'll be stuck in this job for the rest of my life, unable to find anything better. I've had this fear before, except the setting was Walgreens. That was brought on by similar sad realizations. Seeing people my age, graduating high school, refusing college offers in favor of working in a never-ending shit-hole. What separates myself from them? Everyone has dreams, right? How would you not do everything in your power to make those happen when the alternative is serving crabby assholes for the rest of your life while you live in eternal squalor?

Well, now I feel like if I don't catch a break soon, I'm gonna break. I have two upcoming opportunities. I'm applying to be a flight attendant, which will make me twice as much money as I am now. I also finished writing my essays for the second round of the Foreign Service Officer selection. But both of these possible breaks are somewhat precarious. There might be a snafu with being currently employed by the same company and applying for another job within the company. And as for the Foreign Services, my essays are probably for shit compared to everyone else. I feel that if I can at least make it to the next part, the group interview, I'll be much better at that. But I highly doubt it.

Till then or beyond, I'm working 2nd shift, which I thought I'd love. But instead, I'm just tired all the time instead of just in the mornings. Somebody dig me out.

--Till then...