The other day my bf was out of town and I was alone in the house. I live in a very safe neighborhood (OK someone once tried to kidnap my aunt here but that was a fluke) in a very safe country (sure there are crazy people chopping up their victims but no gun violence), and am not someone who is usually guided by fear. Sleeping in my bed in the middle of the night my dog started barking her head off. It was about 2 a.m. and she is not a big barker - doesn’t bark at my friends, or the dog sitter, but only if a stranger comes to the door. I hadn’t locked the door, but lying there, I felt really reassured by her. Even though she’s only about 25 pounds, she sounded like she meant business! I knew she was protecting me and if there WAS a stranger at my door at 2 a.m., they probably would go away hearing her barking her head off at them on the other side of the door. The dog; she’s got my back! 

Just got back from a week in the US and the orientation for my MSW program, so that’s a huge goal that isn’t on this list. 

1. Visit a new prefecture (Went to Akita prefecture this month for work.)

2. Finish a crochet project

3. Travel to Saipan

4. Ride the night train across Japan (from Tottori to Yokohama)

5.Cook ten new recipes 

6. Dress up as a maiko (had to do this for work and never would have otherwise)

7. Travel to Sweden

8. Take the lowest level Spanish proficiency test (putting this off as I have work)

9. Attend a non-yoga fitness class (I did a Sawanobori <river walking> day in Miyagi, complete with life vests. I think that counts.)

10. Take a friend to volunteer at the soup kitchen

11. Read 50 new books (53/50; I just read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and several others this month. And about to dive into my social justice textbooks!)

12. Take at least an amateur class or photo walk to learn to use my DSLR better (I’m signed up for a photo walk this month)

13. Write for a new client/publication (Got another new client this month!)

14. Go to 6 shows (been slacking on this! 3/6)

15. Send 12 packages (4/12 Need to up my game here too!)

16. See Takarazuka or similar (I went to see a 舞踊 performance at a playhouse in Kyushu and it was the most cross dressy, vampy, awesome thing ever. Pics to come.)

17. Meet my (adopted) cousin whom I’ve never met

18. Go camping someplace new (Did Miyagi and Chichibu last month.)

19. Spend a night in a Buddhist temple

20. Visit my aunt who got cancer and whom I haven’t since before then

21. Make a cat enclosure in the back yard

22. Figure out why my internet has sucked for four years and get it fixed

23. Find and write about five new restaurants (5/5, finished!)

24. Shoot and develop some of the many film rolls languishing around the house

25. Pay off a major bill

OK, I can cross off a couple more this month. Let’s do this!

Thanks guys! I’m really looking forward to it. Yeah!

  1. memmoree said: cool!!! a new adventure!
  2. winningintokyo said: Sounds awesome! Good luck!
  3. meikoandgabby said: So awesome!
  4. feliniest said: How exciting!!!!
  5. pattyfingersintheholywatersaid: That’s so awesome! Congratulations!

I’m just starting my MSW this week, and I am currently in the US doing my orientation. I’m excited to think and talk about social justice on the regular. 

Here’s our SSW values set:

 We treat each other with kindness, respect, consideration, thoughtfulness and dignity.

We will not tolerate behavior that makes any person feel unsafe, including any discrimination against race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender expression or any oppression. We will gently and respectfully interrupt any form of discrimination. We will listen, grow, change and stay committed to one another and the process of learning.

We will make mistakes, but we stay committed to not making the same mistakes over. We will be accountable for our actions, saying we are sorry when it is needed, and finding the tools to be good supports and allies to each other. We will communicate the work we are doing to be good allies when needed.

We will take time with one another and listen to understand. We will support the voices and leadership of others.

We remain committed to the ongoing work and self awareness necessary to advocate for equity, social justice, and the right for all people to have an opportunity to thrive. We realize this work never really ends and we are all always learning.

We will bring solutions to the table, not just problems. We will be part of the solutions.

We will treat each team member as an individual with their own valuable skill set. We will honor individual and new ways of doing things. We will support learning of new skills and new leadership development. We will not participate in degradation based on rank, role or affiliations.

We will act with honesty, integrity and commitment to the School of Social Work and each other;including staff, faculty, and students.

Active listening and personal accountability resolves conflict. We will make sure that everyone has a voice by stepping back (making room for others by talking less) and stepping forward (finding our voices).

We will remember and seek out the goodness and humanity in others. We will use the “human goodness” model – everyone is good, it’s our behaviors that are not always good.

We actively work to resolve conflict peaceably. We will practice tools for resolving conflict. This will be a part of our professional responsibilities and our work together.

We proactively strive to create a supportive and collaborative work environment that encourages teamwork. We will not humiliate anyone. We will do safe, healthy venting, ask for what we need from one another in a healthy way, listen and stay committed to work out conflict with each other.

"One Billion Rising for Justice” is a 9 minute short film directed/edited by Kirthi Nath that features footage shot last year by amateur and professional cinematographers in 200 countries, as well as interviews with One Billion Rising global coordinators. In 2014, activists in 200 countries rose for JUSTICE for all survivors of gender violence and the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Join the movement in 2015 when we will #Rise4Revolution!"

Here’s the project that I worked on earlier this year doing transcription. It was really powerful to see these women’s movements all over the world and hear what people are doing in their own communities.

"Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (via observando)

People who stand in front if the escalator while making decisions.

Random Nara statue in Iwate! Morioka library. Knew it was him as soon as I saw it. Nice little surprise. 

  1. Camera: Nikon D5000
  2. Aperture: f/5.6
  3. Exposure: 1/125th
  4. Focal Length: 42mm

Went to a meeting in Shinjuku with some ad agency big wigs for an interview. There were five people on our side that had to attend this interview. They sent me a meeting place and I carefully followed the directions, was ten minutes early. At the appointed time they called me - where was I? At the meeting place. They were too (the other four); I must have the wrong place. I hustled to where they were. We checked in with the receptionist: we needed to go somewhere else. Actually where I has just been. The only non native speaker in the group had gotten it correct (because I had actually read the directions, and the ad execs had been giving me bitch face for being late). Yeah.

In Sendai. Somebody on this shink smells like a distillery.