This came in the mail today… I’ve been re-reading all of the Tortall books (and in the case of the Beka Cooper books, reading for the first time!), and it occurred to me that I’ve never looked for them here. It seems that only the Alanna books and the Aly books have been translated. Too bad, since the book that got me started was Wild Magic, and Kel is my spirit animal.
These books really set the stage me growing up. They showed that there are so many ways of being a woman, and I never realized how much of an impact it had on me until I started going back through the books.
Anyway, here’s a scan of map with all the Japanese names.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how they went about translating everything, and if the books have the same impact this time around.
I’ve been putting off this post because I’m not sure what I should say! My feelings are so mixed, I’ve been afraid this post would be almost unreadable.
This past Friday (the 21st) marked what Dai called ‘x-day’, aka the date of his diagnosis. I’ve been taking a lot of time since then reflecting on what that means, and how far we’ve come.
Sometimes it feels like it’s been so much longer than a year, like we’ve been dealing with this for an eternity. But other times it feels like barely any time has passed, like I’ll look at my schedule and realize that, holy shit, he did chemo already… he did the transplant… he passed the 100 days… All of these milestones I created in my head have been slowly checked off and I barely noticed.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if they hadn’t done that one stupid blood test. He’d been to the doctor a few times, told he had a bug or the flu, and had been home for a week. We had no idea it could be anything beyond a very nasty virus.
When he was finally diagnosed, shit was bad. They said they doubted he could have lasted another month without treatment. That’s just so weird to think about… Were we really that close to death, without either of us realizing it?
And then in August, with a blood infection that we were almost certain was going to be the end. I bought funeral clothes and steeled myself for the call. Right on the brink of death, and he calls me out of the blue, delirious but very much alive.
And then we finally find a donor after so much searching. We thought it wouldn’t happen, but suddenly there she was, ready and willing. Making it through those first 100 days and being able to leave, finally be ‘out-patient’ for the first time in nearly a year…
I’m in awe of everything Dai’s been through, everything he’s pushed through. I’m in awe of us managing to still have hope, still being able to look towards a future together and still able to say ‘I love you’ and mean it after seeing the worst, most vulnerable sides of each other.
Anyway… This post is starting to get garbled, just like I feared! So I’ll end it on this:
Thank you to anyone out there reading. Thank you to all of the kind hearts who have reached out to me during this time. When I stated this blog, I thought I would post silly things about Japan, maybe animated gifs of cats. I never could have imagined the turn it took, or the outpouring of support from strangers.
Thanks for sticking with us this past year.
Haha these are two questions that are hard because I have SO MANY possible answers.
6. Your most embarrassing moment.
Every time I open my mouth an embarrassing moment is imminent.
BUT here’s one that is more than, “hey I said the wrong in Japanese and said something really rude x infinity”.
So I went skiing in Furano a couple years ago. Furano has some night mountains with really amazing, beautiful views. Tucked up in the mountain there’s also a small restaurant with lots of warm stews and hot alcohol. I really wanted to go, but I was worried: We could get up easily by a series of lifts, ranging from multi-person to horrifying single-rider lifts (I cried lol). But getting down?
We checked some route maps and were pretty sure we’d found a good way down, the hardest level of slope being ‘average’. So up we went, and we enjoyed a great lunch.
Everything was fine until we started going down. Long story short, we took the wrong way. Suddenly I was looking down the steepest hill I’d ever seen. It was ridiculous! It seemed to be going straight down to be fear-vision. I’d start to go down slowly, only to freeze up and force myself to fall. I couldn’t get more than a few feet before I was going just too, too fast, and freaked out.
Now, two of my friends were a married couple. Ayu is one of my coworkers, and a great skier. Her husband is this gigantic manly man, who looks like some sort of mafia boss (completely contrary to his personality— he works as a caregiver to the elderly, a job he took so he can follow his wife from town to town). Boss comes up beside me and is like, “Hey, how about I carry you.”
I laughed, but uhh he was serious.
We give my skies and poles to Ayu to carry, and Boss hoists me up on his back, piggy-back style. Somehow, he manages to ski that way down this advanced-level course, all the way to the beginner’s area As we went down the mountain other skiers kept doing double-takes, slowing down to see if we needed any help. It was mortifying. They must have thought I was injured, but nope, I’m just a big pansy and the world’s worst skiier.
It was pretty impressive, but I was too embarrassed to get back on the slopes the next day. And it turns out poor Boss was so worn out from carrying my ass that he skipped the next day, too, and spent it drinking and cooking with me.
my lesson: next time, I should just roll down the goddamn hill.
23. Biggest Pet Peeves
I have many, many irrational pet peeves that make no sense and make me look like a jerk. But here are some things that make me give some serious side-eye.
1. People talking super loud.
Especially on public transit. An ALT I work with has a bad case of this. It’s like hey I’m next to you. RIGHT HERE. The people on the other end of the bus don’t need to hear your life story.
2. Guys taking up like 3 seats on a bus because they have to splay their legs out.
Hey sooo are your balls really that large that you need to sit spread-eagle, or what’s going on here exactly
3. Getting asked about my timeline for marriage/babies/pregnancy
I used to always say, “Oh I’m too young to think about that hahaha” but now they’ve started saying, “You’re almost 27, you don’t have much time left!” and I just….
4. People talking to themselves as they work at a computer.
looking at you guy who works diagonally from me. I know you want us to know you’re ‘working hard’ but seriously I want to strangle you. We all do that, but most of us do it in our head. try it.
5. Kerosene heaters.
everything about them. everything.
6. The term “gaijin smash” and the people who use it unironically.
stop being proud of being an asshole. just stop in general. stop.
Pet peeves are the rhythm of my life.
Ok let’s do this!
10. Three turn ons and three turn offs.
Oh jeeze this is hard. I don’t want this to be too TMI so I’ll stick to physical characteristics as opposed to actions or whatever.
3 Turn Ons:
1. Dark eyes. Like really dark, so dark it’s hard to see the pupil.
2. A guy’s hip bones and collar bones.
3. Boxer briefs (uhhhh I don’t know when this happened, my brain just decided these were sexy. why.)
3 Turn Offs:
1. Body/facial hair. I’ll never tell someone what to do with their own body but it’s the opposite of sexy for me.
2. Body modifications. Sometimes I like subtle piercings but generally I’m not a fan.
3. No butt. I like a butt, please have a butt.
17. Why your last relationship ended.
After a year or so of fun times and romantic travel he no longer wanted to be my boyfriend, and thus, I was dumped.
I wish I could say why, but there wasn’t a reason. He told me as much himself: he said he really liked me, that I was a great girlfriend and he was really happy while we were together. But he apparently just wasn’t feeling it anymore.
I think we got caught up too fast in it. He thought it was so cool to be dating a cool American girl, and I was thrilled to be dating a musician who was pretty out of my league (haha). That kind of relationship can only last so long on novelty alone.
Now I sound really chill, but at the time it absolutely floored me. It came really out of nowhere. One week he was driving me to work, bringing me out with his friends, talking about the future, and suddenly he was fading out of my life and ignoring my emails. It was a very Japanese-style breakup. Honestly I think that if he had his way and I hadn’t demanded he explain himself, he never would have sat down and broken up with me at all. He would have just kept fading out until I gave up.
19. Five things on your wishlist.
1. A new phone! I need a new phone like crazy. I’m trying to wait until my two-year contract is up but that’s like, 5 months away.
2. A rice cooker. Mine belongs to my JET apartment, so soon I’ll be rice cooker-less.
3. A nice camera. This is never going to happen but I wish it would!
4. New dishes and other home furnishings, for when I change living spaces.
5. A really nice desk lamp.
….. ok, that was seriously the most boring wishlist ever. No wonder I’m the lamest person to buy gifts for. But really even my Amazon wishlist is a bunch of books.