Hey everybody, so, I know I don't update this journal at all anymore, and it has mostly just turned into a way to keep up with my friends on my flist, so here's the deal:  I've started a travel blog, so I can write about my travels, which I've been wanting to do for a while now, and not worry about keeping up with a regular online journal.  My journal is in my notebook, it's for myself, and my travel blog is for writing about my adventures.  I don't really want to keep up with anything else.  So, my new travel blog is here:

Also, please check out my friend Jenn's blog, which is the only blog I currently have listed as following right now, because she's doing some cool stuff in Costa Rica, teaching and traveling, etc.

Love you guys!

Tokyo, oh Tokyo

I just got back to Japan yesterday, and promptly passed out for 12 hours. Now I'm awake, showered the plane ickyness off of me, updated my calender and to-do list with my insane life, and started organising and planning my lessons and my stuff. Apparently, I've also been signed up for sundays in the park and the flea market with my roomie Rio, for which I am so excited I cannot even express it! I'm much more excited about my life in Tokyo over this next year, I've really started making it my home and I'd say about 80% of that is due to having Rio around!
I'll actually start updating with photos, so that I don't have to email them, this seems like the best way to keep my photos organised and share them!
Off for a day of cycling and the park!
  • Current Music
    The birds

Laura, I love you. And other thoughts.

Well, I am back in the lovely town of Austin, and I have had a few important thoughts on my mind. They are important to me, and as for the rest of the world, well, we all move in our own ways.

I have moved among the world. I have thought, I have discussed, have seen, tasted, smelled, heard, hurt, written, and so forth, in amongst the world.
And I have seen my independence, so dependent on the inherent, profound, complete interconnective nature of everything.
I move in the world in a way, in a manner, with ideas and with feelings and calculations.
I have begun to think clearly, to see my way more clearly and at the same time, not at all.
In speaking to Laura the other day, amongst the sun and lemoney soda water and apricot bread and lots of love, I found myself saying something unexpected. Something to the effect of that, for all of the hurt, the hours of crying (20 or so of them on my way back from Europe), the love, for all of this continually changing shifting guessing what's good and what I will regret, I realised this. I am happy in how I move in the world, now. This, here, now, and the growing old and the nostalgia, I have unlocked an undercurrent of happiness in my heart, of peace, that sits still and watchful while all the turbulence of life tumbles over it. I have come to know myself and to not mind not knowing, and learned to make decisions I won't regret and to not regret decisions that I've made, and I am really, really living. I am living completely. I am complete, plus or minus, like the ocean.
I love you Laura, thanks for your conversation. We are sunshine and soda, in these days.
  • Current Music
    joanna newsom, in my mind

Belfast on to Edinburgh

Well, I know this update was a bit overdue, but I didn't have any time while I was in Belfast (even though I ended up staying there a day longer than I had planned) to write up an update. So now I'm in Edinburgh, but I'll let you know what went down in Belfast first, before I move on to my current status. So I arrived in Belfast and got to the apartment of the guy I was couchsurfing with really easily, which was a nice change. He turned out to be completely NUTS in a fantastically awesome way! He's an Aussie guy who just loves to take the piss out of absolutely everyone, so cute, and we had an awesome time. I'm so glad we got to become friends! I met a bunch of other couchsurfers from Belfast as well- we all got together and had wine and pineapple and just a lovely time. Then I decided I would just like to stay a second night and meet the other surfers that were coming through to stay with Ara (my host), and we met up with this lovely couple from Berlin/Colombia and a gorgeous Romanian girl who lives in Dublin, and had a great time exploring and watching movies and drinking mate. Belfast is a fascinating city- I saw incredible murals, got in depth lessons on the history, learned about the cabs and the armored police vehicles, and went to a particularly infamous local pub to watch people be thrown out for fighting (some of them were actually bleeding) while the police vans and ambulances stood by to take care of the results of the nightly brawls. It was so much fun!
Anyway, today I took the ferry from Belfast to Stranraer Scotland, and then took the bus to Glasgow (almost left my backpack on the bus there) and then another bus to Edinburgh. Grant had plans until 11, and it was about 6 when I got in, and EVERYTHING, absolutely everything was closed because it was after 6 on a sunday, so I ended up splurging and going to see Juno for the 4th time to kill a bit of time, and then met up with Grant a bit early. I had all of my stuff with me so I just didn't feel like exploring Edinburgh in the dark for 5 hours. Now I'm sitting in his wonderful house, and he's on the phone with his dad at the moment, but we've spent that past 3 hours catching up on each other's lives and he's been cooking up a storm. I mean, this boy is going the whole nine yards with food- salad, fruit, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes in olive oil, and tea- he's spoiling me rotten, and bragging about his cooking the whole time, so we'll see... he told me I should wait to make this post until after dinner so I could go on about how wonderful his cooking is, but I decided to go ahead and make it before I totally pass out.
It's like nothing has gone awry between us, like we're totally fine as friends again, it's so wonderful to feel so welcomed and have all the worries of things being awkward just dissolve. I'm so excited to be here!
Thats about it for now, I'll prattle on more later!
  • Current Music
    Nick Drake on vinyl

Hitchhiking, buses again, Trinity College, getting lost, phone numbers that don't work, and busking

Well, here's the rundown.  I hiked (not so much hitched) for about an hour outside of Wexford (it took me a good half an hour just to get up the guts to stick my thumb out), and was finally picked up by a very country Irish couple, who I could barely understand (I thought they were speaking a different language at first), who drove me part of the way to Dublin while interrogating me about how my parents could let me go stay with a strange man in Dublin (they thought I was a total tramp, I think).  Eventually they dropped me off at a bus station and insisted that I take the bus the rest of the way, which I took as fate, and did.  Then about another hour towards Dublin, I realised that the phone number I had for Barrie, the guy I was supposed to stay with, didn't work.  So, after calling my mum and waking her up to check my email and see if I'd copied it right, I started to get worried.  I got into Dublin and the bus dropped me of at Trinity College, so I could look around the university while I tried to figured out what I wanted to do.  I wandered to an internet cafe, got info on some local hostels, put more money on my phone, and sat and wrote in my journal at a cafe, when finally I got a call from Barrie!  We worked out where to meet up, and went back to his house at about 7pm (I got into Dublin about 2pm).  He's such a great dude and host, he cooked dinner for us and we chatted for a bit and got to know each other (he was mortified because his roomie was a total dick to me, which I thought was hysterical), and then we decided to go out busking on Grafton street, and made a bit of money playing all kinds of different music.  We made friends with a crazy ?polish? guy who was training to be a cop- he was so loud and happy and played a mad violin and sang Louis Armstrong songs, and then some guy nicked his hat and he was suddenly simultaneously calling the cops, chasing the guy down the street, and screaming "I'm a fucking cop, I'm going to kill you!" in a really strong Polish accent.  Then Barrie and I walked the 40 minutes back to his house instead of catching a tram, and he pointed out all the haunted houses along the way.  What a guide.  We were busking until like 2am and there's a work crew building a house next door to him starting really early, so I didn't get much sleep last night.  Now I just finished wandering around looking for the pub to meet the Welsh guys, couldn't find it, so now I'm at an internet cafe just relaxing. 
Also, my back is freaking KILLING me after yesterday's escapade.  It's a cloudy rainy day (surprise) today, so I'm going to enjoy taking some photos and exploring the city a bit more, maybe buy a bumper sticker, and then go take a nap.  Tomorrow I'm stopping by Trinity and then off to Belfast.
On other news, so far I'm completely in love with Trinity and just Dublin in general, and they have taken the lead for first choice to study in.  Cardiff was much dirtier and I didn't really resonate with it well, but Dublin, I'm totally mad for Dublin.
Now I've got to buy my ferry ticket from Belfast.
Peace out!
  • Current Music
    Irish Rover

Trains, buses, ferries, gypsies, welsh men, hostels

Does "buses" have one "s" or two?

But more importantly, here I am at an internet cafe in Co. Wexford, Ireland.  So for any of you who were wondering if I actually made it to Ireland, well, I did.  But that's not to say it wasn't a long, rather uncertain trip to get here.  I left Cardiff at 7am yesterday, took a bus to the train station, and caught the 8 o'clock to Haverfordwest, which I did completely on the advice of a random Polish guy who is a friend of Sally's.  Without ever looking at a map, or really even having a clue where Haverfordwest was, I jumped on a train there, then spent 2 1/2 hours traveling, and when I got there, spent another half hour wandering around looking for a bus to take me to Fishguard.  Eventually I found one, and in another half an hour of insane hurtling around tiny Welsh roads in the countryside, I found myself in Fishguard, waiting for a bus to take me to the ferry.  I got to the ferry 2 hours early (here was me worrying that I would miss it) and after an embarrassing escapade of trying to board with the crew, I finally made it onto the boat.  Which is a WHOLE other story.  
While on the boat, I was befriended by this Irish gypsy hippie occasionally homeless dude, who it later turned out had a HUGE crush on me.  So that was fun, but awkward, and eventually I just wanted to be left alone to write, but alas.  He lived in the forest for 4 years.  Which I thought was pretty damn cool.  So then after 4 hours on the sea, we came into port at Rosslare, where we got off the boat, and I caught a bus to Wexford, where lies the only hostel for kilometres, run by some German people.  Two very nice older Welsh men from the bus helped me find the hostel, and then after I dropped all of my stuff on my bed, I headed back to the pub to meet up with them, where they bought me a couple guinness and gave me all kinds of advice for traveling around Edinburgh, and made plans to meet up with me in their favourite pub in Dublin in a few days, where they said I can session and that its quite famous.  Now, I'm about to attempt to hitch to Dublin.  Wish me luck!
  • Current Music
    Irish Radio


I arrived yesterday in Cardiff- I almost missed my plane to London, because I was stuck on the runway for ages coming into Chicago.  But I caught the plane, and while I was waiting to board for London, I made eye contact a few times with a guy who was carrying a backpack- interesting looking bloke, I thought, and then of course, I ended up sitting next to him on the flight.  So Jason and I spent the flight talking- he was on his way to meet his girlfriend in London and then they were headed to Morocco.  We traded lists of music for eachother to look into, and chatted about my studies and his work in the environment and ecologist.  I feel I learned a lot from him, and it was so nice to connect to a stranger so well.  We parted ways (a few times, because we kept running back into each other) in Heathrow, and I grabbed the tube to Victoria, where I got a coffee and found my bus to Cardiff.  I was waiting on the bus, and another guy boarded right as we were preparing to leave, I made eye contact with him, and he asked if he could sit next to me.  Of course I told him he was welcome to, and we chatted all the 3 1/2 hours to Wales.  He's the editor of a music magazine here in Cardiff, that focuses primarily on independant music/musicians, so we chatted about music and traveling (he traveled through India and Kashmir) and all sorts of things.  We also tossed around the idea of me freelancing for his magazine while I'm in Tokyo; basically going to shows and writing articles.  We'll see if that goes anywhere.  I'm off to meet him for a coffee in a few minutes.  Last night I went to see Tegan and Sara down at the bay (completely jet-lagged and only semi-conscious, a state that I'm still in somewhat) and they put on an awesome awesome really hysterical show.  I gave my extra ticket to Sally, the lovely woman who is putting me up while I'm in town, and we had a great time.  
Tomorrow I'm off, super early in the morning, to Fishguard- there are no buses, so I suppose I'm going to be hitchhiking.  I have to catch the ferry to Ireland by 2:30, so I'm going to be up super early to try and catch a ride.  Then I have no idea about my accomodations for tomorrow night, so there probably won't be another update for a few days!
Signing out!
  • Current Music
    Nick Drake

Changes and Renewal, Adventures.

So, I'm starting a new phase in my journal.  I want to kind of start over and really try to keep some sort of record of my adventures, because I plan to start traveling a lot more in the coming year(s)<---optional plural for Emmie.

I feel that I have entered a new part of my life.  Here there is Creative Writing, and not so Creative attempts at being Published. There is traveling, and starting in a few hours, the first stage of that will begin, with my departure to the UK.  For the next two and a half weeks I will be hitchhiking and couchsurfing and interviewing my way through towns and cities and forests and universities in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.  

Home has been a renewal for me, and I feel ready to start these things, to start a huge change in my life, while my friends lives are changing back here in Austin and Fort Worth.    Jenn, my wonderful husband, Emily, my soulmate, and my lovely  lovely always supportive family, and Matt who will open a bookstore with me, and Laura and I will live in the forest and write short stories, and Candace who living with was like being in an awesome dream, and Phyllis and I eating blueberry pie, and Mallory my love we will move together to a remote mountain in Spain where we will be hermits and write and mail our manuscripts into civilisation.

So, for the duration of my adventures in the Kingdom of Unitedness, I will be keeping track of my adventures, or at least, letting everyone know where I am and that I'm alive, here.   Hopefully once I return to Japan, this will continue as well.  So from here on out, most of my entries will be public as well, so that all of my friends can keep up with me.
My next entry will be from somewhere across the sea!

Shunpatsu!  There's a whole lot of walking to do, guys.
  • Current Music
    The Science of Sleep

(no subject)

Okay okay okay.  
I'm going to try, REALLY try to keep a better journal from now on.  Really.  I'm going to give it a good go.

At the moment, the moment being 3pm on christmas day, with a hot cup of coffee in my hand and a pile of books and instruments piled on a couch waiting for me  to explore their potential, I'm in Nikko working at a lodge.  The lodge itself is incredible, its very homey and in the woods, with a fireplace and couches and guitars EVERYWHERE.  SO many guitars!  I'm sleeping in a room in the basement with a few bunkbeds, but I'm the only one in the room.  There is only a space heater and an electric blanket, and we cant run the kerosene heater at night so it gets painfully cold.  Its actually colder in the basement than it is outside.  Last night, I could see my breath while I was reading in my room, and the temperature outside was -4 C.  Everything was frozen this morning.  I've cooked vegan food, breakfasts, cleaned bedrooms and bathrooms, swept driveways in the cold, read, written poetry, played some of my new songs, had long conversations on life and religion and music with the buddhist/yogi monk who owns the lodge, made friends, and done yoga, and I've only been here 3 days.  I'm doing this as part of WWOOF, and I'm staying until sunday and working.  It's wonderful.  I've learned all kinds of new cooking techniques and recipies, and am amonst really interesting kind people. Most of the time it's just me and Zenryu, the monk, doing yoga and cooking and cleaning and carrying firewood.  Tonight we're planning to go to the onsen (hot springs) in the forest up the road from here.  I really love it here; this place, the work, the life.

Over the past few months I have been a hermit out of creative energy, stress, and piles of work.  I have been teaching, going to class, doing some traveling, writing music, writing prose fiction, writing poetry, reading everything I can get my hands on (the pile next to me now consists of Borges, Unamuno, Marcel, an old well-loved fantasy novel, the Way of the White Clouds, and Frege).  I have been reading Leibniz and Heminway, Pound and Heine, the other usual poets, George RR Martin, Doris Lessing, EE Cummings, and all manner of other random things.  I've been having a genral craving for learning that is stretching on over the months.  I've also been writing and experimenting a lot more with my own music recently, growing and expanding creatively in ways that I never imagined I would.  My band plays weekly or bi-weekly as of recently, often getting payed for the gigs, so that has been keeping me busy as well.  I spent a week hanging out with a Swiss guy who is DRIVING around the world- he's on the last leg of a two year journey, driving through Japan and into Russia and then back home.  We had a lot of fun around Tokyo and now he's on his way to Hokkaido.  There are some pictures of us on his website, which is overall just an extremely interesting enterprise.

In other news, I'm planning to be a total goofball on New Years, and stumble to a bunch of different shrines in the city with Rio and some of my Muslim friends (who will be the only sober people around) and a few bottles of champagne, drinking in the streets and wandering about all night until Emmie and I line up and wait for the New Years day sales the next morning.  At some point there will be some traditional mochi eating, as well.

  • Current Music
    Nick Drake